Personally, I couldn’t cope without going to the gym or running outdoors at some point throughout the week. I know that makes me sound like one of those super annoying people that actually enjoy exercise … but I am and I do. Don’t get me wrong, after a long day in the lab or in the office it can be a struggle to persuade myself to go work out but honestly I never regret it and there are a number of reasons why.
Life is stressful. Fact. But stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing (watch this TED talk), its how we cope with the stress that makes it either a beneficial thing or something that can have a severe impact on both our physical and mental health.Exercise is great for our mental wellbeing and as an Equal Opportunities Officer for the University of Edinburgh’s Boxing Club, I have a mission to make talking about mental wellbeing and mental health part of everyday life.
Also, getting all hot and sweaty is a lot of fun! Running outdoors really clears your mind and its often when I do my best thinking. Fresh air, the rain in your face (and one or two times a year the sun on your face) and a good playlist is the best way to start or end the day. Exercise is also a good way to spend more time outdoors when so much of our day is spent looking at some form of screen! The key thing is to find something you enjoy … if you don’t enjoy running up hills then don’t do it, it’s just going to be counterproductive. BUT, you do have to try new things (heard of medieval sword fighting..?) before deciding whether you like them or not. So give something different a go. If this sounds like it has been leading up to some shameless plug, its because it has … Come try the University of Edinburgh’s Boxing Club! Punching things is cathartic – trust me. Come do it in a safe environment where it isn’t a crime! Check out our website and Facebook page for class info (click, click, click).
In all seriousness though, I enjoy training with the boxing club so much because it is the right mixture, for me, of a team sport and an individual sport. I get to train with my friends and we encourage one another to get better every single session, but progression is individual and you can easily train alone when you want to. There is also no obligation to get into the ring. We know that sparring isn’t for everyone so feel free to come along to classes to get fit and learn good boxing technique through shadow boxing and pad work. We will be at the UoE Sports Fair this year if you would like to meet some of the committee and find out more about the club (Sports Fair 2016: Wed 14th and Thurs 15th September (1100–1600) Pleasance Sports Hall).
As well as boxing, here are a few other things that I totally recommend when you wanna get a sweat on:
- Blogilates.com – Pilates, HIIT, recipes, clothing/equipment … Cassey’s got it covered. These YouTube videos are so much fun and really effective! There are also song challenges, which are exercise challenges lasting the duration of one song … so no excuses about not having enough time! My favourite is the Call Me Maybe Squat challenge – go do it! (leggies on FIYA)
- SkyFit – I only recently started using this but I love it. I never used to like outdoor running that much as I would get a bit bored but using this app makes you feel like you are taking part in a live class. There is an instructor giving guidance the whole time and great playlists! My favourite is the Miss Independent Run because its a mixture of sprints and running set to a Kelly Clarkson playlist! The app also has yoga routines, strength routines and classes for cycling (get it here).
- Dancing – Just do it. Either at a class, at a club or at home in your bedroom. DO. IT.
Till next time …