At the beginning of the year Nuffield Health held a competition for entrants to share a health and fitness pledge for 2017. I decided to enter as this is my 40th year (I’m less than a month off the big 4-0 now) and I’m now starting to think consciously about improving my strength, stamina and overall self-confidence.
I was lucky enough to be selected as one of two winners across the UK who would be given a gym membership, a fitness wardrobe, a Fitbit and most importantly, a personal trainer for 12 weeks!
As you will know from my last post, I’ve given up negativity for Lent so starting at the gym I also viewed as an opportunity to increase my endorphins and help me with that goal too.
Sunday was my first session and began with Nuffield Health’s Health MOT, a series of tests to ascertain your general health and fitness levels. This included two painless blood tests (pin prick) to test blood sugar and cholestrol levels respectively, measuring resting heart rate, waist to hip ratio, BMI and lots more.
Whilst I normally don’t like being meddled with as I fear finding something awful wrong with me – my positivity during Lent had me giving this a go – and I was delighted to find I am really very healthy considering my very sedentary lifestyle and a rather blase approach to my diet. It looks like my vegetarianism has benefitted me despite my great love of cheese!
Next came the fitness test where the real challenge began. I am literally starting from the position of unfittest person ever! I get a bit worn out from doing the three flights of stairs up to my office at work so I was quite nervous at the prospect of this. Beyond that, my self-consciousness meant I was worried that everyone else in the gym would be looking at me and judging me but with some serious self-talk I got on and gave it my all.
We began with some cardio; a warm up on the cross trainer followed by 13 minutes walking on the treadmill where I made it 1km. At this point, I was feeling pretty good and thought this might be easier than I had anticipated but then we moved onto box press-ups (apparently the easiest type of press-up but certainly not something I found easy as you’ll see from my video!). I then planked for the full 60 seconds using sheer grit rather than strength as my arms were weak from the press-ups. Finally, I did squats for 60 seconds. Sounds nothing but for an absolute novice it was exhausting.
The trainer I’ve been paired with is perfect for me. Whilst we had a really good laugh as I clumsily attempted everything she showed me, she also pushed me to carry on even after I thought I couldn’t.
I’m now having a training plan worked out and alongside my weekly personal training, I’ll also be doing cardio at the gym twice a week by myself. I’ll be blogging my experience weekly throughout the 12 weeks and hopefully together we’ll see some real changes in my body definition, self-confidence, strength and stamina.
If you’re like me and think the gym isn’t for you, I’d encourage you to look at your local Nuffield Health centre as an option. The Health MOT is offered to all members as an option and gives you a benchmark as you start against other Nuffield members, and it then becomes a set of stats you can measure your progress again.
This morning, I’m aching a little but actually less than I thought I would but more than anything, I feel proud that I gave everything 100% and that I’m doing something to positively improve my health and wellbeing as I get older. I look forward to sharing the rest of my journey with you which no doubt will include more undignified videos (hey, you have to be able to laugh at yourself!).