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How to enjoy exercise

Making excuses about finding the time or a place for exercise? Make the effort - you'll be surprised how good you feel if you start trying to build it in again…

by Eminé Rushton

exercising outside

I’ve always been good at making excuses, but since having children, it’s easier than ever to exempt myself from exercise – too busy, too tired, and so the beat goes on.

Living in a sleepy Kentish village helps matters too – no local gym. But, of course, I don’t need a gym. I am surrounded by quiet roads and glorious woodland. My local village hall, to boot, runs weekend Zumba classes and yoga sessions. The excuses wear thin.

Then the very kind people at PowerPlate sent me a personal one for home use and carried it all the way up to my house, and then my bedroom. Okay, I’m out of excuses.

The first time I use the PowerPlate I’m reminded of something primal and positive, that my body can do powerful things (yes, yes, I have done ‘natural birth’ twice, so I should know this), and it is meant to be used. Feeling my muscles engage as I squat, lunge, press and sit up, is a wake-up call, a nod to an old me, who used to play netball at county level, and was the first on the court/pitch/field whenever a ball was in view. I loved the thrill of breathlessness, the competitive fire in the belly, the sense that my body was being pushed to a lovely limit – achieving great things, scoring goals, feeling very, very alive.

Every time the PowerPlate buzzes into life (yes, it does cause the entire old cottage to shake, which is giving my husband acute anxiety) I feel excited – I’m about to stretch and test my body again, and the results will come in time, if I stick with it. The simple act of making a start has propelled me to do other things too. Instead of booking a cheap and cheerful Uber (a city cab service booked via an APP), I choose to walk across London for my appointments – from Charing Cross to Hyde Park one day, and Marble Arch to Baker Street the next. I may show up a bit dishevelled, but it’s good to get the heart racing.

While I can’t physically accommodate netball sessions into my family’s life (my local team would require two 2-hour practices a week and a weekend match), I can get a weekly yoga class in. The compromise is getting up and commuting into London an hour earlier so that I can do an 8.30am session at Triyoga Soho, before my first breakfast meeting of the day. I’m doing the class with a good friend, as we’ve promised to buoy one another up and spur each other on. I can do it, I tell myself after each class and workout, and I did, do it. Just.

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