Making sure the work/ life balance pendulum continues to swing towards life

How exercise can remind you of who you are

If you know me at all, then you’ll know that one of the things I love doing in my spare time is exercise. I love running, going to the gym and generally anything active. However, since going back to work after maternity leave, getting in a workout is so much harder. During maternity leave I used to workout whilst Amelia was sleeping or go out for a run with the buggy, but now I’m back working long hours and, given the nights are dark from about 4.30pm, I’m really struggling to find both the time and the motivation.

To be quite honest, it was making me feel pretty miserable. As such, I decided to join a new class to try and get back into the swing of things and find a bit of ‘me’ again. I wanted something that was a little different and really pushed me. I could easily have gone to the gym, but I needed someone to motivate me and teach me some new techniques I could use at home too. Classes are good, but I find they can often be a little bit disappointing if the teacher isn’t really good. I personally hate classes where I look around and everyone is doing it wrong and the instructor doesn’t seem to notice, so I needed to do my research and find the right option. This is how I came across the team at Body Fit Solutions in Witney.

Body Fit Solutions is a training studio which offers fitness and Pilates classes. Kelly and Stuart who run the place are a husband and wife team who run their bespoke fitness and Pilates studios with a focus on quality instruction and good technique. They developed Body Fit Solutions as a way to fundamentally improve the movement of those embarking on a fitness routine. There are lots of fitness and Pilates products out there but what sets them apart is their dedication to building good foundations in movement first.

What I like about the classes is the absolute focus on technique. They both make it very clear there are no quick fixes, rather it’s about hard work and great form. They are always on hand to move you into a different position or tell you (in simple terms) how to actually feel the movement.

I started off with a set of the Wednesday BODYFIT classes in the evening which were awesome. I was surprised at how much of a stickler the instructor Stuart was for form, but I am glad he was. The great thing about Stuart’s class is that you actually end up doing fewer reps, but with more focus on the technique. This means shorter, snappier workouts that deliver better results, which I love and have talked about previously on the blog.

I also tried something a little unusual, though none the less fun, in the form of a Pilates Reformer class. Now for those who haven’t tried a reformer class, you might be, like me, in for a bit of a shock. I thought I was walking into old Christina Grey’s torture chamber when I walked in. However, I soon learnt how to use the machines, and everything started making sense. The machines are actually really cool and it’s amazing to see how a small movement can have a massive impact on the body. Not only was the class challenging (in a non-sweaty way) they also always made me feel relaxed and stretchy. This was just what I needed after a long hard Monday at work and definitely helped me sleep better in the evening.

Since returning to work, I’ve found myself getting into a very bad habit of working most evenings and so going to these classes have given me a reason to ensure I log off early enough and limit my screen time.. (hard when you work all day and want to keep a blog up to date too).

It’s always hard finding the motivation to try a new class or head out in the evening to do a workout. But it’s little things like this that remind me of who I am. I’ve focused so hard on being a mum, and likewise since I’ve been back at work, I just been focusing on proving to myself that I can do the working mum thing, that I often forget to look after ‘me’. Getting back into these fitness classes means I can start to find me again and feel healthier for it.

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