Doing More Every Day
Hello, my name is Hayley and I’m a student based in Scotland. When Strathmore got in touch and challenged me to Do More exercise my initial reaction was that I am quite an active person anyway. I usually walk about 3 miles a day, between walking my dog and just getting where I need to go. As a result my legs are pretty strong and, when I've tried things like the 30-day squat challenge in the past, I’ve not really struggled.
However, we can all stand to do just that little bit more, so I decided to take up the challenge to Do More by focusing on my arms. I'm a bit of a weakling – as much as I hate to admit it, I often struggle to open bottles and jars!
I also wanted to try and work on my stomach. I have a slight spinal curve and one hip higher than the other so I didn’t want to push my back too much as I find things like crunches very painful. But basically I decided to do at least 20 extra minutes of exercise on top of what I usually do everyday, as every little helps!
Here’s a week-by-week breakdown of how I got on:
Week 1 - I took my first ever boxercise class this week. We started off by learning a few basics hits and then did circuit training. The circuits alternated between boxing moves and then things like skipping (definitely my favourite one).
I'm a bit of a wimp so I never really thought that boxing would be for me, but it ended up being quite fun. We worked in pairs and one of us held some pads whilst the other one wore the gloves. It turns out that my friend has a bit of a violent streak, and the teacher actually said to me at one point: 'If you get in a fight, you know whom to call!'
We both had a great time and it was a good laugh as well. Trying to open my bottle of water with gloves on was really funny. I'm surprised by how physically demanding it actually is.
As I've already said my main focus for this challenge is my arms. Surprisingly my arms didn't feel as sore as I thought they would. It was actually my back and chest muscles that ached the most the next day. It's surprising how many muscles you use without thinking about it. I've also been doing some press-ups, squats and tricep dips at home. So far I've really enjoyed what I've been doing.
Week 2 - Boxercise was cancelled for this week, which was a bit of a shame. We were allowed to use the gym for an hour instead so I took advantage of this and tried out some rowing and the treadmill. I ran 0.45 miles in 12 minutes but I have no idea if this is good or not (probably not!).
I did actually really enjoy rowing. This sounds daft but I think that because I can row 'further' faster I feel like I'm accomplishing more. Plus, I'm using all of my body. What are you supposed to do with your hands when running?!
I've also been carrying on with doing some exercises at home. I can notice my arms feeling a lot stronger and I'm starting to see a little bit of toning as well. I love this, and it feels great. I feel really motivated by this to keep going.
I bought my own set of weights on Sunday (you should have seen me trying to carry the box out of Argos!) and am looking forward to working even harder next week.
Week 3 - Using my new weights I've been doing a basic arm work out every night. It only takes me about 10 minutes but leaves my arms burning. Out of everything I've done over the last 3 weeks, this has given me the most instant results. I can already feel my muscles getting stronger and more defined.
I've also been doing some more rowing and have managed to get my time down quite considerably. The Scottish weather perked up for a bit this week so the Batdog and I have been going on more adventures as well!
So overall I would say that there are two main things I’ve noticed in myself since doing the Do More challenge:
Get Defined: My arms look and feel a lot stronger. It's not something I think other people will notice, but I definitely can and it's making me feel a lot happier about myself, which is the most important thing!
Stress Less: I've had two big deadlines over the past few weeks (bye, bye 27-page long physics report) and exercising has really helped take my mind off things or burn off some steam!
It’s great to see how choosing to Do More has produced such positive results. Why not join in and see how doing more affects you too? If you’re not sure where to begin, perhaps these easy tips to Do More can help set you off on the right track. If you’re looking for something a little more intense, then keep your eyes peeled for Dr Andrew Murray’s 5k Training Plan to get you off to a flying start!
Hayley is a student based in Central Scotland who blogs at Water Painted Dreams. She is currently sitting her Advanced Highers, and aside from her blog has been doing work for Amnesty International since the age of 11.
Facebook: Water Painted Dreams