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My monthly exercise diary #2: Settling in

While I’ve not settled into a full on exercise routine, I’ve done much better in February. I got off to a bad start with Kayla Itsines’ programme at the start of the month as I forgot to download the PDF offline (oops) and so got to the gym and realised I couldn’t do it! So I started on their circuit instead, which over the month I’ve been doing more regularly and adapted as time has gone on.

Generally I’ve added in more abs exercises and more repetitions of the arms exercises using the pull down / push up machine. I’ve started to see some results, with my back already looking visibly more toned and my belly slightly less pronounced. I know I need to up my cardio to really get this down, but more on that in a sec.

I’ve also added in some extra squats and replaced their tricep machine with tricep kickbacks, which I find more satisfying and definitely harder… I’m not sure what it is about the machine I don’t like, but these are more comfortable (and challenging) for me. My only problem is making sure my form is right without a mirror (as a ladies’ only gym, there are no mirrors except in the changing room).

I’m probably going about twice a week now I would say, which is better than it was. I have struggled though with my ongoing shin issue, which may be shin splints, preventing me from running. I’ve had some good advice from one of the gym instructors via my friend, so I’m going to give that a go along with building up from scratch. One of the main causes appears to be a lack of regular running, and then trying to do too much too soon.

So, I’m going to work the NHS ‘Couch to 5K’ into my routine. It’s going to be hellishly boring to begin with, but I’m going to stick it out and see how it goes. Fingers crossed it helps! Otherwise, I’ll need to find other ways of bringing cardio back in, which would be a shame as I had started to enjoy running, particularly outside.

I finally had a reassessment at the gym where they weigh and measure you again and then provide you with a new regime (if you need one). To be honest the results were a mixed bag – weight up 2lb, some body measurements up and some down, body fat % down. I’m not disheartened at all seeing as I’ve not really done the 8 weeks of exercise that you’re meant to have done, and I’m happy that my body fat % was down in particular.

The new regime seems much harder than the previous so I don’t think I’ll find myself adding in much more to it. Ironically I was going to start it tonight but I’m not feeling great (man flu) so assuming I’m better tomorrow, I’ll see how it goes!

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