When I started distributing beauty products 16 years ago my suppliers in Spain and Italy were always amazed by the fact that I was not interested in body treatments and products. I explained that it was because our weather was so bad and we spent so much time covered up in layers of clothes that we simply did not feel the need to spend time and money on something only our long suffering partners would see.
Fast forward 16 years and how things have changed….I blame the bloody Kardasians! Now my Face Book feed is filled with gym selfies and fitness bloggers seem to be everywhere.My friends constantly seem to be training for marathons and triathlons. Women and increasingly men are obsessed with having a perfect body and a six pack if at all possible.
Body treatments from slimming wraps, to laser hair removal and even pedicures are now just as popular as any facial as everyone strives for perfection.
As a 47 year old Mother of two I have no illusions that a perfect body is probably out of my reach but I absolutely believe in trying to stay as fit and healthy as I can. Exercise is very important to me and over the years I have veered from going to the gym five days a week in my twenties to two years of no exercise at all after an accident meant I had to undergo two surgeries on my spine and left me suffering from chronic pain. I then discovered Pilates which quite literally saved my back and my sanity. I spent my thirties and early forties walking my dog daily, doing Pilates once a week and going to the gym several times a week and felt and even if I say it myself looked great. Now either I am the most unlucky person in the world or a total clutes but two years ago a glass door caught the back of my leg and sliced straight into my ankle resulting in 12 stitches and nerve and tendon damage. I was back to square one, I could not exercise and the joy of middle age meant the weight piled on over a stone to be precise. I was disgusted with myself and after yet another night trying to squeeze into one of my dresses I had the “come to Jesus moment” as my American friend calls it….I needed to quite literally get off my ass.
Now I know I appear confident but the thought of walking into a gym full of tonned 20 somethings with perfect bodies terrified me. I also did not want to spend a fortune on gym membership when work and kids meant I might not always be able to go.
Then I heard about Match fitness classes from some of my annoyingly fit friends. There is no membership fee and they have an app so you can book a class the day before once you know you can make it. I decided on TRX classes as they are a complete body workout and do not put too much pressure on my ankle. 8 weeks in I would love to tell you I look like Elle Mcpherson but unfortunately that is not quite the case however I am much more toned and less bits wobble when I jump around now.
I am not going to lie the first week of classes I thought I might pass out or puke or both but I persevered and I now love going. I find it brilliant for head space and stress as well as my body and have roped a few friends in for moral support. I know Louise will not mind me saying that Match fitness is not fancy……in the best possible way. There are no muscle clad guy’s posing in front of mirrors and no swish decoration but it is great fun, in the middle of the town and they run a great selection of classes. Louise and Gary are great at making sure you are doing an exercise correctly and give me alternatives when my knee or back prevent me from doing a particular move.
My tip to anyone starting out is to take a picture of yourself from the front, side and back and repeat every 6 weeks to monitor results and keep yourself motivated. I have a course of universal contour wraps every few months to tighten skin and reduce the appearance of cellulite. It is the only body wrap I have ever offered in the salon as it is the only one I have ever found that actually works. It removes toxins and tightens skin and you can read more about it and book HERE. I asked Louise from Match Fitness to suggest some tips for getting started which you can read below and my advice is just do it…your head as well as your ass will thank you for it.
My number one tip for starting exercise or getting back into it after a break is to find something you enjoy! There are so many different types of exercise classes and gyms around Wicklow that we are spoilt for choice. If you sit in your car and dread the workout you’re about to do, chances are you won’t stick at it. So find something that challenges and pushes you but makes you feel good too.
Secondly get yourself a workout buddy/buddies. If you’ve committed to exercising with a friend whether that’s to go to a class or for a run etc you are much more likely to find the time and follow through. It’s also a great confidence booster to have a familiar face there when you’re starting out.
Don’t be afraid to be a beginner. I know it’s nerve wrecking walking into a gym or exercise class for the first time. Do you look around and think 1. Everyone here is super-fit? or 2. I’m the only one who doesn’t know what they’re doing? Both WRONG! Everyone is there for the same reason – to get their workout done…that girl who looks like an Olympic athlete was a first timer once too, that guy with the bulging biceps and six pack has taken years to look like that – Everyone has to start somewhere and sometimes getting started is the hardest part. Bite the bullet and go for it!
Finding the time to exercise is one of the biggest obstacles for a lot of people. These days we’re busier than ever family/home/work life requires a lot of juggling. It’s understandable why you would think I don’t have time in my day to exercise. But I would say it’s because of all of the above that you need to set aside an hour for yourself, to get sweaty and forget about real life and focus on yourself for 60 minutes. Because exercising doesn’t only have physical benefits it does wonders for your mind and mental health too! The feeling after an amazing workout just cannot be beaten. Check out match fitness HERE