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“I Started Exercising From Scratch – Here’s What Happened”

Posted on: by Alice Paulse
Woman who has begun exercising from scratch

Additional source: International Journal of Workplace Health Management; Photography by Igor Polzenhagen

Stopped exercising for a bit?

You’re contemplating whether you should lace your trainers up again and break out your gym towel? Here is our fashion assistant’s account of how it went down for her.

For over 10 years Marilize, WH’s fashion assistant, has had the same pair of running shoes. In fact, “The last time I exercised properly was when I was in high school”, she admits.” And since then I’ve perhaps jogged twice a year”. I live near the beachfront promenade in Cape Town, where lots of runners train. I used to think Oh, these fit people are crazy, but secretly I wanted to be like them. I was just too afraid to commit”.

The Problem

It’s common knowledge that people who are overweight start to experience many health-related issues like high blood pressure or type-2 diabetes. But is it possible to be unhealthy even if you aren’t overweight? The short answer: yes. There’s even a medical term for it-metabolically obese normal weight (MONW). In other words, the “skinny fat” phenomenon. It means you look lean, but are still carrying excess fat (especially around the belly) and not enough muscle-and it’s worse than being fat, but fit.

The Cure? Same as the cure for someone who’s overweight: get moving. Cardio training builds fitness and improves metabolism, and weight training builds muscle so you won’t be a skinny-fat person.

20% – That’s how more productive study participants were when they exercised during the workday. The majority of participants (72 percent) did aerobic/cardio workouts.

Read More: What It Feels Like To Have A Have A Serious Blood Sugar Crush

The Verdict

“I didn’t push myself too much too soon as I knew it might scare me off if I was too hard on myself. I made sure that I went for a run at least three times a week, but found I had to set a goal to keep me going, so I decided to do the Gun Run half marathon last October. Over time I went for longer runs and pushed myself to go faster on certain days,” explains Marilize, who successfully completed her half marathon and is still running regularly. “Training and getting fitter is so good for the whole body and mind. My general confidence has improved a lot through running.”

Read More: “I Gave Up Alcohol For A Month – Here’s What Happened”

Stick With It

TIMING IS EVERYTHING. Find a time that works best for you.” I prefer running in the morning, but I also love the snooze button. So I tend to run more in the evening”, says Marilize.

GET SUPPORT “I asked for advice from a colleague who’s a runner, and she gave me tips and kept me motivated. Plus, I also got a different kind of support. I went for a foot scan so I could invest in new running shoes”, says Marilize.

BACK IT UP. Lazy days are sure to happen. Find yourself a quick-at home workout. That way, when you really don’t feel like making the trip to the gym, you’ll have the resources to spend 30 minutes flexing your muscles at home.

Unexpected Perk!

Winning at life: setting and achieving exercise goals helps you set and achieve other goals in your everyday life.

Love road running but you want try something different? How about trail running, don’t be scared, our beginners guide to trail running will help navigate your trails. 

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