Category Archives: Exercise

A new set of challenges

Hello from a very soggy Sunday morning in Leeds. We are in the middle of “Storm Brian,” which is pretty full on. I’ve been awake since 5am (great Sunday lie in) after waking up from a horrible zombie nightmare. Maybe I need to stop watching The Walking Dead right before  we go to sleep…

Parker is delighted that I’m up so early and has pushed my laptop off me and has started giving me a slightly scratchy massage.

Anyway.

When I first started my blog in 2015, I gave myself something fun to do, and also to write about by setting myself 25 challenges to complete before I was 25. I didn’t really complete them all, but it was good fun. You can click the links to read about when I tried lobster, caviar, and meditated for ten days.

Now I’m picking up my blog again, I’ve decided to give myself a new set of challenges. (With no more fishy business – now I’m a veggie)

Although I’ve just turned 27, I’m sticking with 25 challenges (seems like a more manageable number haha)

Here we go, here are my challenges for the year!

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1- Visit India

2 – Hike one of the three Yorkshire Peaks

3 – Read “Shantaram”

4 – See live comedy

5 – Watch “Gone With The Wind”

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6 – Get a tarot card reading

7 –  Take a language class

8 – Donate 200 things to charity

9 – Spend no money for one week

10 – Go to a pilates class

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11 – Learn to salsa dance

12 – Play piccolo in an orchestra

13 – Learn to sew and make something wearable

14 – Host a dinner party for my friends

15 – Go plastic free for a week

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16 – Try making my own cosmetics

17 – Go Christmas shopping in York

18- Go to Ireland

19- Go to a concert of music from another culture

20- Go vegan for a week

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21- Read sixty books in a year

22- Volunteer to help out with a charitable cause

23- Start drawing again

24- Have a car-free week

25- Do yoga every day for thirty days

So there we have it! I’m excited to get going. How nice to have a list of stuff to fall back on when I’m bored.

I’ll keep you posted with how I get on.

P.S. apologies for the photo overload! These are all photos I took on our visit to Harewood House yesterday where I had my mind blown by the dahlias. I am no longer using instagram, so you can expect a lot of photos making there way on here.

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New thing 6) Walk 10,000 steps everyday for a week.

Before I turn 25, I’m trying to do 25 new things. This is partly to get my out of my comfort zone, partly to stop me being bored waiting for September, and mainly so I have something to write about on here. Some of my new things are interesting, some are incredibly mundane. Unfortunately this weeks challenge falls into the latter category. You can read my about my past challenges here.

Health care professionals state that we should all walk 10,000 steps a day to stay healthy and fit and prevent weight gain. As a music teacher, I don’t do a lot of walking day to day. I literally get in the car, drive to a school/ student’s house, teach then drive back home. I run 5k twice a week. (You can read about my running antics here.)

So, I popped my pedometer on and walk I did.

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Things that surprised me: 

  • My pedometer doesn’t work very well. It told me my 5k run was 4.5km and got stuck on around 8,000 steps whilst I was walking on the spot in front of the TV.
  • 10,000 steps is a LOT. It’s essentially an hour of walking each day.
  • It’s hard to fit that amount of walking in during a working day. I had to work round it by walking on my lunch breaks and walking up and down the stairs in the house, and on the spot in front of Netflix in the evenings.
  • I actually felt happier and less stressed for walking throughout the week.

Things that made me laugh:

  • The little dancing celebratory man on the pedometer who pops up when you hit 10,000 steps.
  • Walking around Headingley on one lunch break thinking “fantastic! Clever old me for getting my steps up” and then realising I’d forgotten to put the pedometer on that morning.
  • Demanding that Tom came for a walk one evening as I hadn’t made up my steps and then walking to the pub thus cancelling all health benefits.

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(Looking gimpy whilst stomping round and round my local park during a downpour)

Moving forwards:

I’d like to add more walking to my daily routine. I love how it boosted my mood and reduced my stress levels. I also slept better throughout the week. However I won’t be wearing the pedometer anymore – it made me feel a bit pressured. Also, I need to find some new walking routes!

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New thing 4) go to a yoga class

As part of my 25 new things before I turn 25, I attended a beginner’s yoga class yesterday.

I payed my fee online (12 quid for ninety minutes) and shuffled up the road to Kula Yoga in Chapel Allerton after I’d finished my morning teaching work.

There were twelve attendees in the class, plus our lovely teacher, Claire, who was really helpful.

We began with some breathing and warming up exercises and then went into a few basic postures.

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Something that surprised me: Some of the moves were really hard. The above is ‘downward facing dog’ which made my arms and legs shake with the effort. I woke up the following day with achey muscles in my shoulders and legs.

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Something that made me laugh: At the end we lay on our mats, covered with a blanket with a bean bag over our eyes. We listened to calming music whilst we received a shoulder massage. This was one of those situations where I know it would be really inappropriate to laugh, but I couldn’t stop thinking about Miranda:

Would I do it again? I’m eager to start doing some sun salutations in the morning to wake up my body. But in terms of general exercise, I’m going to stick with my running. There was a bit too much lying about on the floor for my liking!

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New thing 2) Run 10km

In September I noticed I was out of breath when I got to the top of our stairs in our house. Enter running shoes.

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I ran and I ran. I ran until I could do 5km without stopping. Then I did 5km twice a week.

I decided to challenge myself to doing 25 new things before my 25th birthday, and a 10km run was one of them.

Bank holiday Monday, I plug myself into Strava. I ran and ran. I had a clicky hip and a blister on the bottom of my toe. I got lost. I ran for an hour and twenty minutes and I accidentally ran 16km. (whoops!) Direction is not my strongest sense!

Luckily, Tom is so good at navigation that I call him Tomtom. He’ll be in charge of map reading next year!

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