I have become a fitness convert later in life. Looking back I have always enjoyed playing sports like football and netball and dancing.

But I rarely found the motivation to do anything other than my dance passion which is bellydancing (and running, although I run as a mode of transport to get me from place to place or to fundraise in charity races). 

I have found however, that focusing on my fitness has been an absolute crutch of mine over the past year whilst dealing with moving home, the grief of being separated from my kids for half the week (due to a marriage breakdown) and finding my feet again in a new life with the excitement and anxiety of not knowing what the future holds. 

Adding fitness as one of the core focuses in my life (alongside family/relationships/friendships, faith and career) has helped every aspect of my life from feeling physically stronger, leaner and also having the discipline to motivate myself each day to do something positive (even when I REALLY don’t feel like it!). 

I am also a brand ambassador for Move GB as I use this app lots to find fitness classes to attend, as part of the membership, wherever I am in the UK, you can join here: http://bit.ly/mamameiblog (affiliate link).

Rituals = Results 

We are all unique in what helps us with our fitness motivation but for me it is having a varied fitness schedule that works, as well as, saving time and money by not just working out at the gym but by using walking, jogging and running as my vehicle where possible.

So here is my fitness schedule which has massively helped to improve my physical and mental health… 

Monday: 

  • Walk on the School Run 
  • Run/Jog to the Gym (I wear about three coats as I can’t deal with the cold weather, I am what we call in Yorkshire “nesh” ie I can’t handle the cold so I have to convince myself to leave my house aka self-made Sauna by wrapping up in a ridiculous amount of layers). 
  • Omnia Class at the gym: I love this high intensity class using machines as it is only 30 minutes so it’s really productive and means I work hard. 
  • I then run home as I work from home so either have a meeting or deadlines to meet. 
  • I work best like a HIIT class too so I do short bursts of work then I break it up with tidying or cleaning or going on a walk to make a phone call (as I get anxious on the phone). 
  • I have a phone call with my accountability buddy Jordan Wake and we set our fitness, business and personal goals for the week as well as reflecting on the week before. I definitely recommend getting a buddy to hold you accountable or join our free Women’s Health Club on facebook as we set goals for the week ahead and check back in on a Friday. 
  • If I have time, I will try walk or jog to a Yoga class late afternoon when I feel sluggish as I find the stretching really good for me especially to release any tension and stress. 
  • Or I love going to Zumba Strong in an evening which is a HIIT class but too Zumba style music… It’s tough but fun and I love the community and the teacher Cat Thompson motivates you to smile and move with her vivacious personality. It also means I am breaking up my day by seeing people and helps me to stay focused and motivated as I struggle on a Monday as I have to say goodbye to my children for a few days. 
  • That said, I am trying to just focus on one main workout a day at the moment as exercise can be addictive and overwhelming when I have a lot on. 
Yoga – Hip Stretching at The Sanctuary Yoga and Pilates Studio, Yorkshire

Tuesday: 

  • I try to do Miracle Morning when I don’t have the kids which is where you get up early to do some exercise / meditation and personal development. So as I tend to train hard at a gym class, I try to just stretch and do some light yoga on my yoga mat (I have recently bought the kids Yoga mat too so we can do Yoga together at weekends). 
  • I schedule the gym like business meetings (I sometime even say I am a t a meeting so people respect my time and availability… but don’t tell anyone!). 
  • On Tuesdays I love catching up with my friend at the gym and going to three half hour classes back-to-back: Spinning (cycling on exercise bikes), Abs and Yoga. 
  • If I am not working and doing a Theatre Review or attending a Reiki session, on a Tuesday evening I go to do Aerial Yoga with another friend. I have recently discovered Aerial Yoga and it is amazing for your strength, flexibility and also for relaxation before bed. That said, I need to learn to go home and take a nice relaxing bath with aromatherapy oils rather than just going back to my laptop to do more work! 
Reiki with Beyond Healing

Wednesday: 

  • I run to HIIT class at 715am. I never want to go but I always know I will be buzzing after! Also once a month it is swim HIIT which is lots of fun and a nice change. The class is just 45 minutes but a great full body workout! I always wrap up warm and then I am boiling and buzzing by the time I run home! 
  • On a Wednesday evening I love going to Zumba at 6.30pm as it is a great way to break up the dark nights! 
Zumba with Cat at Wakefield Baptist Church

Thursday: 

  • I love Trigger Point Pilates at 7.30am or going to Aerial Yoga at 9.30am depending on my schedule and sleep (I try to get at least 7 hours sleep, I aim 8 hours, but recently it has reduced to 6 hours so I am trying to up this as I know myself how important sleep is for health and fitness. That said, I work best when I exercise on a morning!). 
  • I then jog to work at CoActive charity to help at a Dance and Movement session where I lead a bellydance workshop and also take part in line dancing! 
  • I then walk home and catch up on social media. I absolutely love my airpods to listen to podcasts or to make phone calls. 
  • I then walk to a Burlesque Chair Dance at 6.30pm which is a fun group of women at a community centre. 
What is Burlesque Chair Dance? And Why I love it!

Friday: 

How a Fitness Tracker has motivated me to train harder
  • I run to spinning class at 7.15am which is 45 minutes of what feels like torture but great for my legs. I used to be lazy in spin and take it easy but now I have a fitness tracker I have no excuse! I then run home. 
  • I check in to the Women’s Health club on facebook to share how I have got on as well as to see how everyone else has. 
  • I walk on the school run as I am lucky to live close enough to school to do so. 
  • I sometimes perform in a bellydance show late on a Friday night which is a good workout especially if they also play Bollywood and Bhangra music! 
Life behind-the-scenes of a professional belly dancer

Saturday 

  • As I have the kids at weekends I try to have a lie in with the kids aka not get up before 8am! 
  • We often go on a family day out which is normally active as i love the idea of staying in at home but then the girls get stir crazy! Recently we tried a family yoga workshop which was lots of fun! And last week we did a Bollywood Dance Workshop which we loved. I love exercise that involves the whole family! 
  • I then sometimes have to dance again in a show Saturday night. I am always shattered and low energy before a show and then I get an adrenaline spike and I am up late and can’t stop dancing! 

Sunday 

  • REST DAY! 
  • I tried to incorporate a home workout on Sundays and sometimes we do do a bit of yoga or bellydancing at home but I try not put pressure on it. 
  • We walk to church and play there. 
  • I then spend the afternoon cleaning the house and preparing for the week again! I love the down time with the kids although I get Monday dread as I know they will be leaving again. 
Bollywood Dance Workshop at Yorkshire Dance

My motto however when it comes to exercise is… ANYTHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING! Don’t wait until Monday or tomorrow… just take one small step today and keep on going. Try not to compare yourself and set your own goals.

I am a brand ambassador for Move GB as I use this app lots to find fitness classes to attend, as part of the membership, wherever I am in the UK, you can join here: http://bit.ly/mamameiblog (affiliate link)