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AUGUST Newsletter
HELLO NEWSLETTER SUBSCRIBERS! How are we all? How's your August going so far? 
Mine's going pretty alright thanks for asking. Mercury Retrograde is over which is wonderful news and I spent half my weekend at the spa after I convinced Mark to go all out for his Mum's Birthday this year. I ain't complaining. Anyways, onto the topic of this month's newsletter - workout routines - how to build one that's right for you and the motivational tools to arm yourself with so that it becomes so ingrained in your everyday that you don't even have to think about it. Recently I have been sticking to my routine and I've been feeling all the better for it. I'm sleeping well, getting up earlier and easier in the morning and just feeling like I can take take proper deep breaths of fresh air (anyone else feel like that after a good cardio sesh?). So here's how my current routine is shaping up and my tips for making yours...
 

Lesson #21

How To Build A Workout Routine

In order to stick to any kind of workout routine the two 'F's need to be high on the agenda. FUN and FLEXIBLE. If these two criteria aren't being met, them you can bet your bottom dollar that your new shiny 'entered into your calendar and already bought a bundle of 20 sessions' routine, will leave you with your fair share of class passes leftover. Hey, at least you'll have some to use in January when you get bitten by the bug again, right? So with these two factors as the priority, here are the steps to put a plan in a place that has a better chance of sticking this time round... 

1. FIND THE FUN. Now when I say 'fun' here, I sort of mean 'doesn't make you cry'. Over the years I've worked out pretty consistently and I certainly do find it a stress reliever and a nice way to add some social interactions to my day, but I wouldn't say that I find sweat sessions fun 100% of the time. Sometimes they are, and sometimes I have to grit my teeth to get through them; either way you feel pretty darn good when they are done. So experiment with exercise and see what doesn't make you curse and cringe. In the past four years I've tried running, resistance training and weight-lifting, Reformer Pilates and spin and enjoyed them all. Some might enjoy daily power walks? Others, Aerial Yoga? You don't know till you've tried it. So dedicate a month or two to testing out classes, roping your mates into joining you or trying out videos in your front room. Make notes of ones that don't make you wince/scream/throw-up. 

2. BUILD IT UP. Depending on what your routine looked like before, this might be the first time that you've turned into a hot red tomato for a while, so be prepared to learn and feel like it's tough and it's never going to get easier. We've ALL been there. My aim when I started Reformer Pilates, was to be able to get through a class without the Teacher needing to correct my form *nod of solitary for all the Teacher's Pet wannabes out there*. Turns out two years later I'm still getting called out and it's ALL COOL because you're always learning, but things do get easier. Your cardio ability increases along with your strength and what feels absolutely grim now might feel considerably easier in six months time. Take the time to build up that base-level ability before you put any firm structure in place. 

3. ASSIGN YOUR QUOTA. Ok, so you've found the workouts that you (kinda) enjoy, you've spent a few weeks/months (whatever you feel you needed) working on your fitness and you're ready to commit to some kind of weekly schedule. Here's where I would previously go wrong. I would sit down and write myself a plan that dictated that I should go to the gym or run or do a yoga video at home on particular days of the week. Say, the gym on a Monday and Friday, a run on a Tuesday and an at-home yoga video on a Thursday. Like so many of us, my schedule changes all the time and so this never really works when work engagements, travel or friends and family meet-ups crop up. I'd never stick to it, a week would pass where I'd only manage to get one of my allotted activities in and I'd feel like a failure. Instead these days I aim for a number of sessions per week and don't worry about what days of the week I do them on. So there's much more flexibility and if I don't hit that number, I try to at least get as close as my schedule allows. So right now I aim for the following: 
 
Reformer Pilates - 2 sessions a week 
Spin - 3 sessions a week (more if possible/feeling up to it) 

Last week that looked like this: 

MONDAY - Full day in London and friends round in the evening, couldn't get to any classes
TUESDAY - Early morning Spin class 
WEDNESDAY - Evening Reformer Pilates class 
THURSDAY - Early morning Spin class 
FRIDAY - Early morning Spin class 
SATURDAY - In Birmingham with my In-Laws, couldn't get to any classes 
SUNDAY - Mid-morning Reformer Pilates class 

IN TOTAL: 2 Reformer Pilates sessions & 3 Spin sessions - TICK.

4. MAINTAIN. A notoriously tricky step, but at this point if it's something that you enjoy and you'd like to keep up with, you have to make it part of your lifestyle. Just like catching up with friends, or doing a weekly food shop, working out however many times a week you feel comfortable doing will eventually become something you just do without really thinking. Two things really help me here. Firstly, if I do start to get slack with it I listen to my body. It gets tired and lethargic and I feel gross pretty quickly. I'm not one of those people who LOVE exercise, but I do enjoy how it makes me feel - so I use this as a kick up the arse. Secondly I don't cancel sessions unless a work thing comes up or I'm literally coughing up a lung and I'm ill. Once I implemented that rule things became a whole lot easier. At the beginning of the week I book in my sessions for the next 7 days. Never cancel, put on your trainers and before you even realise you're walking yourself to the gym. 

A Point In The Right Direction

'Billie Eilish & The Triumph of The Weird' by Josh Eells For Rolling Stone If I'm not listening to 'When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?' on repeat, then I'm listening to 'Thank You, Next' or 'Sweetener' (see below). Love Billie. Love that she wrote her album with her brother in his bedroom. Love that she loves The Office. 
'Ariana Grande on Grief & Growing Up' by Rob Haskell for Vogue  Her last two albums have been absolutely BANGERS, but man has this girl gone through a lot. An emotional interview that touches on everything she's been through in the past couple of years and how she's managed to get through it all. 
'Naomi Campbell's Airport Routine' on YouTube  This is five minutes of YouTube fashion content/comedy as it's best. Highlights include a fellow passenger asking Naomi to anti-bac wipe her chair and Naomi eyeing up a stranger because they have great legs. Brilliant. 
'Lemon & Lime Poppy Seed Drizzle Cake' by Lorraine Pascale I messaged my Mum the other day to ask if she'd ever made a Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf. She replied 'no', and then 15 minutes later after leafing through every cookbook she owned, she sent me the recipe for this (SHE IS THE BEST). Mine always comes out looking a little flat and like a brick, but it tastes SO GOOD. 

In case you missed it

Products To Pack For Holidays 

Five items that are great multi-taskers and *need* to be in your next suitcase next time you travel.

My European City Break Edit

The three best city breaks that I’ve ever been on and my ONE must-do for each location.

My Summer 2019 Uniform

A trio of items that have fast become my most-worn pieces and where to buy ‘em.

Five Ways To Edit Your Kitchen

Five methods to make cooking, eating and cleaning in your kitchen a whole lot easier. 

 

Four THINGS I’VE BEEN LOVING THIS MONTH

& Other Stories Oversized Shirt*

I’m not sure I’ll ever stop recommending this year-round staple.

Teva Original Sandals*

This ugly shoe fave has become my go-to sandal for the summer.

Mango Satin Halter Dress*

I ADORE the shade of this sun-downers-only number.
 

& Other Stories Macrame Bag*

The best high-street dupe I’ve found for my Alienina Rope Bag.

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