Exercise has helped me to become more relaxed, stronger and fitter after an accident several years ago that left me in a lot of pain and gave me nerve damage. I have regained my sense of self and changed my life in the last couple of years and becoming more active has certainly helped with that. In today’s post, I’m going to give you a little insight as to how.
I’d lost all of my strength and couldn’t left things that are relatively light such as a pan of water or the kettle, plus my grip was affected which mean that lifting these things could be dangerous too.
However the impact wasn’t just physical as my mental health was affected badly which is something that I still really struggle to speak out about. For a long time following the accident, I felt as though I had completely lost who I was and although I feel like I’m more me now than I have ever been, I’m definitely a different me. I’ve come to realise that your experiences in life shape the person you become.
Years of being on medication for the physical pain had a negative impact on my mental health because the tablets made me feel exhausted. The more tired I felt, the less I felt as though I could cope which exacerbated the mental health issues and made everything worse. It was time for change.
I saved up and hired a personal trainer to help me to gain the knowledge and techniques needed to lift weights to help me to rebuild my strength. I was living on my own most of the time and needed to be able to do everyday things like lifting something heavy, turning to talk to someone without setting my neck off in pain and ultimately get a bit of confidence in myself back.
After keeping up with it consistently for months and realising the benefits not only to my strength but to my well being by having an hour long social media break twice a week, I decided to join the gym.
I was nervous at first but quickly found my feet and started to love it. Being active helped me to raise my fitness levels, give me some of my strength back and confidence in my own abilities. It also gave me vital time away from the online world and a much needed break from my phone. When you work online, it can feel as though you’re working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and you never get a break from it. Going to the gym or for a swim and having my phone off for that time gives me a chance to switch off, relax and focus on the present; each stroke, each step, each lift. I love it!
The same goes for being more active in general really. I absolutely love going for walks around where I live and, as daft as it sounds at 29, I use the Pokemon Go app for extra encouragement. I park further away from places now, walk into town and walk to the swimming pool. My life is more active now than it has ever been in my adult life and the positive impact it has had on my outlook, fitness and most importantly, wellbeing has been amazing but none of it would have happened if I’d let me size get in the way of me going. Sure it was daunting but the more I went the more confident I became and the positive impact on my life was definitely worth it!
Now that I’ve felt the happiness that becoming more active has brought to my life, I want to share this message with others in case it could help them too. Don’t let your size hold you back from benefiting from exercise, especially the mental health benefits. You don’t need any fancy pants gear to go to the gym, just some trainers, leggings, a sports bra and a long top will do to get you started. Same with swimming, just grab yourself some cheap plus size swimwear and you’ll be good to go. It’s not about what you’re wearing, so long as you’re feeling comfortable, confident and supported in it.
The outfit that I’m wearing in this post is myScarlett Two Piece Lounge Set in grey from CurveWow (If you use the discount code whatlauraloves10, you’ll save some money on the site too). I often wear this tracksuit when I’m on my way to go swimming.
When my boyfriend finishes work, he often comes to mine and we walk down to the pool, go for a 30-40 minute continuous swim and then relax in the sauna and steam room for 10-20 minutes. Then I have a shower but take my time to pamper and look after myself too with shampoo and conditioner, a hydrating body wash followed with a condensed version of my skincare routine and a body moisturiser, all from small sample sizes that I’ve saved from goodie bags and freebies at beauty counters. My trip to the gym or swimming is a relatively short amount of time out of my day but does me the world of good and I feel so chilled afterwards.
What is your favourite way to exercise? I’d love to know how it has helped you in your life!
It's good that you're finding ways to become more active. Walking for me is the main thing that I like to do like getting up from my desk at work as much as possible and walking up the stairs x
Love the tracksuit it looks so comfortable. I would love to know how to use weights too, I have no clue but it's something I'm really interested in. I love playing tennis which has become part of my routine now.
This is very motivational Laura, some people who have given up and felt sorry for themselves but you took action to take care of yourself.