This is a quick little post about my current gym routine. I just wanted to get it out there on my blog and show that exercise is a huge part of my life as well as my diabetes – I have found a good balance and my condition definitely doesn’t stand in the way of me doing any of the exercises that I put my mind to.
My gym routine is completely personal and it is something that I have designed by myself with no coaching. I have my own plan, my own routine, that I have built up over the past few months over amounts of researching and practise.
I have noticed a lot of change in my body since I have started to maintain this routine. This is what is working for me, this is what makes me happy and this is what I enjoy doing. I’m not saying this is what anyone should aspire to, I am simply writing about it because I want to share it on my blog. I don’t do it for anyone else but me, I workout because I love it.
Currently I focus most of my exercise routine on strength training. When I focused only on cardio, I did this because I loved to run and would run 10K two to three times a week just because I enjoyed it. I realise this is a lot of cardio, but I wasn’t doing it to lose weight, I was just doing it because I liked it. I liked trying to beat my previous time and I liked the way it left me feeling afterwards.
I began to strength train when I joined the gym at my university last September. I did this because after all my running, I was beginning to see changes in my body and I had found a new love for exercise. I wanted to try new things.
At first I wasn’t sure what I was doing really (the gym can seem daunting and scary at first with all the huge machines and people who look like they own the place) but gradually I found my confidence. Along with this, I did an immense amount of research and watched YouTube videos for hours. After trial and error and building up my own confidence to explore new exercises in the gym, I now have a membership at a gym which much closer to home, and I go four/five times a week.
I train lower body twice a week and upper body twice a week. It is fair to say that I am wayyy more confident with lower body exercises as this was the muscle group I trained alone for a few months (I’m not really sure why, I think I was mainly focused on toning my lower body and playing around with those kinds of exercises was the easiest way for me to get confident before I actually started experimenting with exercises).
I realised that in order for strength training to be effective, you cannot ignore muscle groups, and this meant I started focusing more on my upper body.
On leg days – one day I focus on hamstrings and glutes, the other, quads and glutes – I incorporate HIIT (high intensity interval training) on the stairmaster for around 12-15 minutes. I LOVE HIIT training as it is such an effective method of getting my heart rate up and getting the sweat on. I really feel as if my body is burning those calories and I continue to burn them for hours after. HIIT training is a fabulous way to get exercise into your day, and as a session can be as little as 10-15 minutes, there really is no excuse! Just fit a quick session in on your hair washing days…
If I have a bit more time, I like to do LISS (low intensity steady state) on the treadmill while I catch up with my fave YouTubers or just take some chill time to listen to music. I throw 10 minute ab sessions into my workouts whenever I feel like it really… And I ALWAYS take Sunday as a rest day to recover my muscles and make sure I don’t wear myself down. It is super important to rest so that your body has time to heal and recover, as well as your mind.
My gym routine has become a huge part of my life over the past few months. Yes, it took ages for me to build confidence to actually walk over to the free weight section by myself and pick up those weights to begin with… Yes, it took hundreds of research about form and sets and the correct way to fuel your body and get the most out of your workouts. And no, I am no expert!! But this is what I enjoy. I enjoy pushing myself and reaching my goals, and this has become a huge part of the fit lifestyle that I now lead and intend to keep living.