#JanuaryJoy – Try a new Exercise class

There are a few things that are traditional to January… healthy eating, trying to lose weight after Christmas excesses and most of us feel compelled to try and get fit again. Last January saw me starting BMF classes – in fact my first class was on the third of January 2012. At the time I was looking for a cost effective way of exercising that I could do outside and that I would enjoy. Pete plays football 2-3 times a week and I wanted to ditch the gym as I was never going, but I couldn’t vouch for my safety running alone at night, or my motivation to keep it up.

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I totally got the bug and although there were times I let it slip for a week or two, or weeks when I was on holiday, I managed to attend over 60 classes last year and that’s even despite the fact I barely went in November and December. For those of you who don’t know much about it, it’s group exercise outdoors, in all weather, at parks across the UK – near cities where it’s hard to exercise outside. You don’t have to be a fitness guru to attend and it’s not at all sadistic. Instructors are all ex-military and amongst the most supportive and motivational people I have met – they really know how to make you keep going. Classes are intense but as a result they go really quickly, and the effort you make starts to pay off really fast, spurring you on further. If you would like to read more about my experience of British Military Fitness, you can click through here – it’s no-where near as scary as it sounds! And if you fancy having a go, try a free class!

This year, I have a different fitness objective. 2012 was all about getting physically fit, strong, increasing my resistance and stamina. In 2013, I’m aiming for a more holistic approach. I’m keeping up my BMF classes but I’m going to add in some Yoga classes. This is partly a need – I’ve never been particularly bendy, but the strength work at BMF means I am permanently tight. It’s about more than fitness though. Yoga is something I have dipped in and out of for years with several longer spells of regular classes. I know enough Astanga yoga now to be able to run through a short sequence by memory and I’m always left with the most incredible feeling of well being.

Last year was busy and stressful at times, I certainly didn’t get much time for reflection or quiet contemplation. In short, there wasn’t much ‘me time’. So this year I’m going to try and attend a yoga class here and there, but more frequently to practise at home – I have a brilliant DVD Jayne Middlemiss: Love Yoga (don’t be put off by Jayne Middlemiss – she just does the yoga in the background!) which has 2 workouts for different levels of experience and my goal is to work up to the harder one this year.

Now it’s over to you… have you any plans to improve your fitness or goals you want to achieve? Or will you be looking for a more holistic approach like me this year?


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29 thoughts on “#JanuaryJoy – Try a new Exercise class

  1. Hmmm, we’re taking salsa lessons and calling it exercise. I have also been thinking about yoga. it does seem fun and I would need the peace of mind, the time to slow down, to contemplate, meditate, to *stop thinking*.

  2. My main goal this year is to shift the 2.5 stone I put on.
    We are trying to save so no fitness classes for me! Im running 3 nights a week, long walk with the hubby on Saturday and a swim on Sunday at the moment.

    Rebecca I love Pilates and have a great DVD by Caroline Sandry, I will go back to this once I loose some of my belly and can actually bend forward!

  3. I am not a lover of sport I have always been crap at it. My secondary school was sports mad and ridiculed you if you weren’t amazing at it so totally put me off. What I did love was dance and I was flexible fly forward ten years and I found I loved yoga and body balance.
    There is this big misconception that yoga isn’t any sort of work my husband thinks you just sit crossed legged with your eyes shut humming!
    Astanga can be quite full on! I really enjoy the relaxation at the end I always feel like I’m walking on air when I leave the glass.

    We have just installed in our garage at home a cross trainer, treadmill and rowing machine. I went on the treadmill last night for 30 mins which is a big thing for me as the gym is not something I enjoy but I want to incorporate some cardio with my yoga and get fitter.
    My husband was rather impressed as he didn’t think he would ever see me for that long on the treadmill!

  4. Pilates is what I want to get on board with this year, although its gonna have to be via DVD as its going to be much more practical than attempting to get to a class.
    Having said that, yoga might be beneficial, especially after a stressful day with my babies, might add the Jayne middlemiss to my basket when I get the Pilates one!

  5. I’ve signed up to do the Great North Swim (2 miles) this year – mainly because I wanted to reignite my passion for swimming.

    I’ve not managed to get into a pool so far this year (mainly because the one at my gym is always so busy and there’s no room to swim laps), but the plan is to go to the pool once a week along with a couple of other gym sessions.

    We shall see how that pans out… the swim is 14th June!


    • Oh brave lady!
      My hubby fishes a loch quiet alot and there’s a group who swim in it every week no matter what the weather is.
      They’ve gave him a fright a few times when the morning mist is lying on top of the water and all you see in swimming caps!

  6. My one exercise goal this year is to workout at least four times a week, for at least 30 minutes. I did this in the autumn and I really saw results, so having had a break over Christmas, I’m now getting back into it. I’m a workout at home type and swear by Davina workout DVDs, which are excellent for beginners and more advanced levels.

  7. It’s not really a ‘new’ exercise as such, but I was given a voucher for a personal training session for Christmas and am booked in for Monday. It’s with the company that run the (indoor, I’m a wimp) Bootcamp classes I attend twice a week which are brilliant. I find them way more beneficial than I ever found going to the gym 4 times a week on my own. So, I’m going to have this one session and I’ve taken advantage of a two for one offer they have on to give myself 3 in total. The trainer has agreed to set me up with a fitness plan I can get on with on my own, I’ll then see him to tweak once every couple of months or so. Here’s hoping that, plus #dryjanuary and some major healthy eating will have me in shape by summer!

    I am keen to try something like pilates/yoga to get some of the flexibility back I lost when I stopped dancing, so might look in to some of these DVD recommendations, thanks ladies.

  8. If anyone is after a hardcore workout for abs at home on dvd – may I reccommend (though reccommend may not be the EXACT word for it!) the brutal but do-able Ab Ripper dvd http://www.amazon.co.uk/Insanity-Ultimate-Workout-Fitness-Programme/dp/B002QZ1RS6/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1357725027&sr=8-4 (the link is to the set, but I just use the ab ripper dvd which I can’t seem to find!) it’s just a 15 minute workout so although tough, you know exactly how long it lasts!

  9. I wanted something to aim for this year and the very first Yorkshire Marathon was announced yesterday taking place in York on 20th October.
    So I signed up last night…..eeeeeekkkk the furthest I have run is a 10k run back in october 2010! I’ve been told I am mad for doing it – they may be right – but I know the feeling I am going to get when I cross the finish line no matter how long it takes is going to be amazing (painful too i’m sure) and raising money for a charity close to my heart will make all the hard work worth it.
    284 days to go!

    • Good luck! I’ve done a half marathon but a full marathon is on my list of goals to achieve before I’m 35. Just need to decide which one to do and try and figure out if I can fit in the training. I think I might wait until my kids are a little older.

      • Thank you! Im nervous but excited at the same time, thankfully a friend joined up too so will have a running / training buddy to help keep me motivated along the way. Training starts Monday!

  10. Last year I fell in love with running, but the craziness of Christmas completely got in the way and ruined my routine. Also, it’s just too COLD (anyone else get a burning chest when they run in the cold?!)! Right now I’m focusing on daily workouts in the comfort of my bedroom. I love pilates (Darcey Bussell – Pilates for Life, Stott Pilates Matwork Series), I find it so beneficial especially as I spend most of the day at a desk so stretching out my back and neck is great. I tried the Tracy Anderson workout yesterday for the first time, WOW does it burn! Not one for beginners, but if you like to push yourself then I’d recommend it!

    • YES ME!!
      I thought there was something wrong with me, I went out for a run on Monday night and lasted 20 mins, my lungs were burning. I thought it was because I was recovering from the cold. Dont feel so strange now 🙂

      • Hurrah! I mean…I’m sorry for you…but glad I’m not a freak! I think it’s got something to do with breathing in too quickly too soon; going from a lovely warm house out into the cold and running straight away, my lungs are in SHOCK!

  11. I do most of my exercise through classes as I get bored so easily when exercising on my own. I went to my first pregnancy yoga class last night which was…interesting…not really the fast paced workout I’m used to (I love Spin and Body Pump classes) but it was nice to try something different.

    After the baby is here I’m going to try and rejoin BMF if I can but if that is too difficult logistically I have a boxset of Jillian Michaels DVDs to work from. I also love Kettlebell training but I haven’t been able to find any good DVDs (I have one that is good workout wise but it’s rather low budget so is a bit cringey at times!).

  12. I’m another one who wants to get back into Pilates this year- a few years ago I was going regularly but since moving I’ve got out of the habit and my back is feeling the effects! I’ve never tried yoga despite wanting to so thanks for the DVD recommendation – might give that a go when I get back from my travels!

  13. I started Zumba last November, which has been great – not just becaus eit’s fun, but because my core and bum and hips are moving in ways they have Never Done Before which is great for flexibility (and bring me out of my comfort zone!). It’s on Monday nights which is great as it shakes me out of the Monday blues.

    I let hot yoga tail off last year with the long hours in my new job…I resolve to go at least once a week this year because no other yoga even comes close for me – it stretches every single muscle and join and ligament in my body and leaves me exhausted and sweaty and calm. It’s 90 minutes though – which is quite a chunk of my evenings – meaning I need to plan ahead!

    And for those who saw me on Twitter last night, broken…I’ve just started running with weights and donig some kettlebell training. Oh my good God. I could barely lift my arms to shampoo my hair last night! And I was running a bit over Christmas, which proves there are a whole bunch of muscles running doesn’t even touch!

    I realise this all sounds a bit hardcore so here’s my disclaimer – I have always exercised loads, and have always been a size 12-14, and this year I’ve found my metabolism is MUCH slower than it was in my 20’s (I thought this was a myth, sadly it’s not). Hence I’m trying to do a range of exercise that keeps me interested!

    • Anna K I hear your pain r.e. the kettlebells! My trainer gave me a new programme last month which is all kettlebell based! Its good (she says) because it mixes cardio with strength…I mean I was as out of breath as I am after running!! I could not even walk for three days afterwards!!
      It does leave you with the feeling that you should wake up the following day looking like Giselle though! x

    • Yep, I’m a bit of a zumba fanatic. It’s a good one for laughing and getting fit. I recently found a zumba tone class, too, with little rattle weights through the workout. Exercise AND making music!

      I’ve also being going to aqua running classes for the last few years, which I’d recommend.

  14. Well I am determined to improve my running this year, after getting into it last July and then resorting to the treadmill through the colder months I feel it is definately something I enjoy. I have just started a training plan for my first proper 10k. I am by no means a fast runner however so I am trying not to get wrapped up in speed but rather just being able to go the distance. At the minute I am doing 5k in thirty two minutes which is a fairly quick run for me! I think I will be slowing down to get the miles done as the programme progresses.

    Last year was the year I really made exercise part of my life on a regular basis and now feel it is going to be something I stick to for good. I ran throughout the holiday period and as a result only gained a pound over the 3 weeks in Dec where I ate more than usual and drank more.

    Last year was also the year I achieved my biggest weight loss goal which was losing over four stones, it had taken me since feb 2011 but I weigh the lowest I have in ten years! It was a great feeling but I still have a stone and a half to lose to be at my ideal weight for me (yes I was rather overweight!) so that is my goal this year. With exercise now a part of my lifestyle I feel it is achievable and I can get ready to enter my 30’s (next year!) in tip top shape after fighting with yo-yo diets etc throughout my 20’s.

    As well as running my trainer has given me a kettlebell programme but the only downer is that I have a problem with my sciatic nerve where it runs through one of the muscles in my leg and doing lots of squats and lunges really aggravates it and renders me soooo sore for days afterwards! So it is a work in progress, I can definately see an improvement in tone in my arms and abs though….they are under there somewhere!!!

    Sorry for the epic post!!
    p.s. Rebecca how did the Be your personal best go?? Did I miss a post or are you still doing it?

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  16. I’m also aiming to get into a yoga routine this year. It is surprising how relaxing it is and yet a really good bit of exercise (I’m always aching a little the next day!)

    The only problem I have is getting into a routine with classes because if I miss one I struggle with finding another time that works. Will have to check out that DVD!


  17. Well I’ve probably bitten off more than I can chew with all the resolutions I’ve made this year but I’m certainly hoping some will stick. One of them is to try Yoga. I’ve signed up for a beginners course in Soho and start in February. I was a pilates nut a few years back but I let it slide (as well as my weight) so combined with a new diet of eating non-processed foods and no sugar I’ll be giving it a try. I feel Yoga is going to help me tap into relaxation and my potential spiritual side more than pilates did. Fingers crossed. Great post by the way!

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