It’s become rather cliche to say that come January 1st, you’re going to get fit and start eating healthier. I suppose it does go with the end of Christmas, having had all the rich and delicious things that come with the season. I’m not into New Years resolutions, as I rarely stick to them, but the one thing I did stick to for the last couple of years is getting fitter and trying to lose some weight; that is until about six months ago.

To be fair, circumstances dictated that maintaining the fitness stuff and eating healthier would be more difficult, in part due to emotional things. I won’t go into all that now. It was a bit of an excuse, as well, though and it’s something that I would like to change.

Part of having Hypermobility Syndrome (post on this soon) means that I have to stay fit and strong to maintain joint stability and to make sure I’m not in so much pain. As such, I want to start a plan that I’ll try my best to follow in order to keep my fitness levels up. I’m not going to be crazy hard on myself - if your body needs rest, you should listen to it. There will also be times where life is going to get in the way of this goal. Despite all that,  I want to try and become more disciplined.

Hopefully, this plan will also help me lose a bit of weight. I’m not massive and I was doing quite well over the last two years in dropping some pounds slowly (so that they stayed off) by calorie counting using the MyFitnessPal app. Slimmers World/Weight Watchers type of things and faddy diets really aren’t my bag. I like my food and enjoy cooking delicious meals. Sometimes, I can be a bit fussy - another thing I’m trying to change this year. The main element I want from my diet/doing any sports is to enjoy what I’m doing. I think that’s the key to maintaining longevity in anything you do.

Using the MyFitnessPal app to count calories really isn’t as hard as you’d think. It daunted me a bit at first, but once you work it into your routine, it’s fairly straightforward. You can still have treats and eat a decent meal every day. I went from having 2,000 calories a day (the UK standard for a woman) to about 1,300. This helped me to steadily shed just over a stone in weight over a year and I felt really good that I’d done that way. When you take on a diet, like Slimmers World, for example, you have to keep doing that for the rest of your life to keep the weight off; through exercising regularly and lowering your calorie intake, you don’t have to feel bad about what you’re eating. If I want to have pizza one day, I just need to be a bit more careful that day or do some exercise - exercising counts towards your calorie allowance, but if you want to keep them in the bank, that’s okay. The app is really good at making sure you eat enough as well, because that’s something a lot of people make the mistake of when they’re dieting. Your body needs sustenance, just not all the greasy, sugary stuff all the time.

A friend of mine is also working on getting fit at the minute. I have to say, she’s a bit of an inspiration. She’s so dedicated to her fitness and makes time to do some seriously intense workouts. Spin class, then a HiiT class afterwards? Rather you than me, Z ;). I certainly do admire her ability to stick with it. She started doing this quick workout on the side that somebody showed her and I liked the idea of it. You have to take your name, look at a reference board that has an exercise assigned to each letter of the alphabet and build your own workout. Have a look at mine below:

J - 15 crunches
E - 1 min wall sit
S - 30 burpees
S - 30 burpees
I - 30 jumping jacks
C - 30 squats
A - 50 jumping jacks

A - 50 jumping jacks
M - 20 burpees
Y - 10 crunches

G - 20 sec arm curls
U - 30 sec arm curls
R - 15 push ups
R - 15 push ups

Damn all those double consonants. My name doesn’t really give the most varied of exercises, but these seem to work all the right places: arms, abs and legs. I’m going to try and build this into a week’s exercise regime that will go something like this:

  • Name game (above) - 3 to 4 times a week
  • Run - once a week
  • Gym - at least once a week, probably a combination of weights and running on the treadmill or rowing
  • Class - once a week
  • General physio/joint exercises - at least once a day

Once the weather gets a bit less wet and slightly warmer, I will be going out to restart my parkour training, this time without a trainer. I might see if I can get together with some other people to train with. Also want to ride my bike more. All of these things I actually like doing and feel really positive about myself afterwards. Seriously missing parkour training at the minute.

Anyway, I’m going to make a little series on fitness. Maybe two or three posts on things that are beneficial to me that others might find helpful. What are your fitness goals for 2016? Do you have any tips for sticking with it? I’d love to hear your thoughts – until I sort out a comments section, why not tweet me @jessdarnes?