With spring here and summer on the way, you might be thinking a little more about your health, wellbeing and baring more skin than usual! I’m certainly not one for quick fixes or fads, and thankfully you don’t need to try something like that to feel healthier and stronger in time for this summer.
Especially since I had Finley, I’m passionate about sharing ways to keep healthy and reach your goals that don’t take a lot of time, because let’s face it, even if you don’t have a small child we all have very full lives.
Curves gyms can be found all over the country, and like me, they believe that 30 minutes is more than enough time to see amazing results. I was welcomed at the Cramlington Curves gym to have a try of a Curves workout and see if 30 minutes really would be enough.
My Curves Experience
I was given a full induction to the gym by the lovely friendly staff which including getting weighed, measured and having my body fat and BMI recorded. I was weighed in kilograms, which I’m not that familiar with for weight, so if you don’t really want to know what you weigh that can help, or of course you can ask not to be told and look away. She asked me detailed questions about my lifestyle and goals and together we set some targets for what I wanted to achieve within the month. She suggested I try and go for 3 sessions a week, although many people use the gym daily when it’s open. The way she put it to me was that going once a week would get 33% of desired results, twice a week 66% of desired results and 3 times would be enough to get the full 100% of results I wanted. It was a good way to see that even once a week would be doing something, although it was equally good motivation to go for 3 times a week.
Now I have to admit, as a former hardcore exerciser, I thought the workout was going to be easy. Curves is a wonderful brand name and clearly attractive to women like me who may be on the curvier side. I think there’s a misconception that women-only gyms are all light dumbbells and cross trainers so I was very surprised when I was given one heck of a workout! After all, it is only 30 minutes so it’s worth going all out and putting in maximum effort.
The workout consists of a circuit of resistance machines for strength training and recovery stations for performing cardio exercises. There isn’t a class start time, you come in and start and do your circuits, which is 30 seconds at each machine and station. There is a constant voiceover that tells you when it’s time to move on to the next station. What really made the difference is the fact that you’re coached the whole way through the workout. The girls were there egging you on to go faster and put in more effort, meaning you really do work that bit harder. They also help to ensure your movements and posture are correct.
As I said, the actual workout includes resistance machines so you are working your muscles as well as getting a cardio workout through an increased heart rate. Building muscle is a win-win as it not only improves your metabolism it also protects your bones as you age and of course helps to tone and strengthen your muscles.
I was genuinely impressed with my Curves experience and I do wish they had a gym location closer to where I live. I love the idea of going knowing that you can just get on with it, 30 minutes is all it takes and that it’s a complete full body workout.
You can hear me talking more about the workout, as well as how I keep myself feeling strong on a daily basis in this video:
Whether you can make a Curves gym session or not, there’s other great ways to feel healthier and stronger within your daily routine. Here’s how I make 30 minutes really count:
I walk as much as possible
Often underestimated as a form of exercise, I try and walk whenever possible. I carry Finley to nursery in a ring sling, walk to the gym and the shops and really try and think before jumping in the car whether or not the journey could include a walk. We also take regular walks together as a family at the weekend.
Knowing that every little counts
This has been a big point of focus for me recently. Just understanding that every little thing, no matter how small I think it is, counts. That 5 minute walk, choosing an apple instead of a chocolate bar, those things count, even if everything else seems to be out of whack. This attitude is especially helpful if you struggle with all or nothingness!
Working out at maximum effort when I do work out
When I do get to the gym, a Curves session or doing a workout at home, I really make an effort to work as hard as I can. Once you’ve warmed up and cooled down, 20 minutes isn’t long to go all out and give it your maximum effort. You’ll see the results!
Scheduling in workouts
Scheduling in workouts is a little trick I use to help ensure they happen! If you were a member of a Curves gym, scheduling in the 30-minute session and telling your Curves coach when you’ll be back (they do ask you which is a great technique and adds accountability into the equation, a brilliant habit former) is just another way of making sure you’ll show up and do the work!
Divide up the 30 minutes – that’s just 3 x 10 minutes
If 30 minutes still feels like a big chunk of time for you, try breaking it down to 3 x 10 minute sessions. That could be sit ups and push ups in front of the TV, hula hooping in your garden or walking to the shops. It all adds up!
Planning your meals takes moments and really helps reduce the amount of decision making / willpower juice you have to use in your day to day life. It takes minutes to plan ahead, even if that’s planning the morning or the day before rather than the whole week.
Doing the mindset work
If you’re familiar with this blog you’ll know I’m big on mindset work. Taking some time to reflect on your thoughts, be that through journalling or meditation, is going to help you be a healthier, stronger person from the inside out!
Curves have a brilliant offer running until the end of May where you can get a free induction and trial at your local gym. Check out all the details here.
Have you tried a Curves gym? How can you spend 30 minutes a day on building your health and wellbeing?
*Post in collaboration with Curves