I wish the campaign had been around when I was at school. I hated PE. Well to be honest I didn’t hate PE itself. I loved playing netball, hockey, rounders and badminton even though I wasn’t very skilled at the games. I loved working as a team and having fun. I hated… getting changed for PE in front of other girls, wearing tight fitting PE clothes that did not suit me, showing off my legs in a PE skirt, running, wheezing at the back during cross country, fitness tests, being weighed at school, having fat measured at school (only happen once – traumatising!) and worst of all showering communally.
As a primary school teacher I now know a lot of this has changed. Changing rooms usually have cubicles and there’s no communal showering for a start. Girls can often wear shorts or tracksuit bottoms now so don’t have to worry about having lots of flesh showing.
I think most teenage girls feel self-conscious exercising in front of others. This Girl Can has tried to normalise this. Why does it seem alright for boys to sweat doing exercise but not girls?
There seem to be more options for exercising these days. We can take Zumba or other dance classes. There are so many walking, running apps around. We can wear pedometers and track out steps and use social media to support and compete with others which can spur us on more.
I told myself I wouldn’t start exercising until I lost my first two stone. It was amazing how quickly the time went! So I closed the living room curtains, moved the sofa and started an exercise DVD. I was really self-conscious and didn’t want anyone to see me. I was aware of the noise of the floorboards creaking and wondered if my neighbours could hear the elephant stomping noises coming from my house! After 20 minutes I was exhausted!
I know people who’ve done the Couch to 5K plan. I know people who love running. It doesn’t make sense to me. So I downloaded the app and had a go. You start by walking for 5 minutes and then alternating 60 seconds running with 90 seconds of walking for 20 minutes and then a 5 minute cool down walk. I got some running shoes and a running bag and set off. I can’t run. I wiggle a bit and it’s a bit faster than walking. I’m not very good at running uphill. I find it really difficult but I’m having a go. I’m not sure I’ll continue running and following the plan to the letter. I think I’m better walking regularly and alternating with some jogging occasionally when I can manage it. The great news is that the more you weigh the more calories you burn walking or running.
I’ve downloaded some music using Amazon Music on to my phone. I don’t normally listen to music on my phone. I started out by getting some running tracks. These are great as it encourages me to move faster than I normally would. I downloaded Top 100 Running Hits Playlist and Christian Workout.