Exerecise

Getting Fit at Home – It’s not as hard as you think!

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It is easy to put off getting fit and in shape because of cost, space, lack of equipment, no time. The list (or excuses!) go on. In this article we hope to eliminate some of those fears and blocks to help you on the road to getting fit.

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The Cost of Working Out at Home

It is worth remembering that fitness doesn’t have to cost you any money. Sure you need to have some exercise shoes and some workout gear but it doesn’t have to be expensive. Don’t be swayed by buying the most expensive pair of trainers the shop assistant tries to sell you. Just make sure they have decent soles and that they fit you well. I buy half a size bigger than my normal shoe size to allow for my feet swelling through the heat of exercise. If you have high budget in mind and if you are serious fitness guy, you can buy the best treadmill at your home and do workout with the same.

So what can you do at home that doesn’t cost much money?

Running – For starters it is free! You can go at any time and you can really vary your workouts. From long jogs to hill sprints. If you are new to running start off slow with a 1 min walk, 1 min jog, 1 min walk etc and build yourself up to longer sections.

Skipping – You can buy a skipping rope for around £5. Skipping is a great way of keeping fit as it is very cardio intensive. You also work a lot  of muscles making it an all round winner!

Fitness DVD These are a great way to work out. They range in price from £5 all the way up to £100. You can just pop them on when you have a spare 20 minutes (some workouts are even shorter) and do a routine when you fancy.

Stairs –  Do you have stairs where you live? Why not workout on them? Either run up them or workout on the bottom few steps.

Lack of Equipment

Don’t let this make you think that you can’t workout. A lot of fitness routines don’t even need any fancy equipment. If any mention that you need weights then just substitute them with a bag of sugar or tin of baked beans. If you really think you do need equipment then check out second hand shops, eBay, Gumtree or ask friends and family if you can borrow any of theirs.

No Time

Ah, that old chestnut! Yes I get that most of us are busy, I really do. We live hectic lives and there never seems to be a moment to spare. The thing is, I bet you can find 20 minutes in your day to squeeze in a workout. Here are a few tips;

a) Get up 20 minutes earlier

b) Miss 20 minutes of TV each day (go on, you’ll not miss much!)

c) Use your lunch hour – instead of checking out the shops or eating at your desk spend half of it going for a jog or a cycle

d) Do you drive or catch the bus to work? Or even the train? Park up or get off a stop early and walk/jog the rest of the way. Or if you don’t live that far away why not build up to walking/jogging/cycling all the way? Just thing of the money you’ll save too!

Just simple little changes in your routine, although they may seem small, will really help you in the long run to get in shape, lose weight and feel great about yourself.

I know it is easy to trick yourself into thinking you can’t workout – I’ve been there and done that. I always had an excuse for everything. The thing is, your body deserves your time and attention, you’ll thank yourself for it one day!

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Boulevard Road Race 2013

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Bicycle racing is a funny thing.

The beauty, to me, is actually in what comes before the race. Sometimes you feel shitty waking up. You close your eyes 3 hours too late, sleep fitfully and wake up 4 hours too early, before the sun, to prepare yourself to face incredible competition and pain without the promise of winning or even any return.

You do this because, after a while, it becomes intrinsically fun, and impossible to explain why so to anyone who hasn’t done it.

You get used to the routine, the ritual; making sure you get a good meal the night before, your shoes are in the right place and your clothes are clean. Eating a proper breakfast, meticulously going over your bike with the utmost care, making sure it’s spotless and working perfectly mechanically. I suspect half the race is the preparation for it, and as good as you think you’ve got the process down, there will always be something you forget, miss, or realize you needed afterwards. And you never feel one hundred percent ready for the race once you’re standing at that starting line. It’s just the nature of the sport.

Once you’re standing in the starting bunch, in the slow seconds before the sound of the starting whistle, all the preparation you did, all the mental psyching-out you gave yourself fades away, and you’re left with your legs, the road and the racers around you.

There are moments in a bike race that happen in slow motion, and replay in your mind. A slide-out crash you barely avoid in a hard corner. The wind whistling past, and the sound of dozens of freewheels all sounding at once through a turn. A moment of feeling perfectly in tune with the machine. All these are accompanied with the nervosa of being in a bike race, and realizing that the person who punishes everyone else sets the pace. You’ve got to have your wits about you.

The Boulevard Road Race, held near the border of San Diego’s outlands and the California / Mexico Border, is a popular road race that has been held at the beginning of February for a number of years. This was the first road race for 6 of our team members, and one of the first races we have all done together. Road races are more uncommon than criteriums in Southern California, so we took our chances, not having experienced one before.

It was brutal. High winds, heavy gradients and a pelting sun, along with a 5000′ altitude splintered the field. Climbing uphill against gusts crushed the wills of many riders, causing a number to opt out of even doing a second lap. 25 miles into the 45 mile ride, our team had gone from solid and frosty to Alexis involved in a crash, Gabriel and Beto flatted out on the road and the remainder of the team, Pedro, Andrew and Aaron strung out, riding individually solo through the course. It was a disappointing day for the team, but thankfully aside from some scuffs, none of us are seriously injured, save our egos!

We all learned today, about teamwork, strength and just how far we have to go. If anything, failure is one of the strongest motivators – but I don’t think we failed today. We learned, and now that we have a goal to shoot for as a team, we will be approaching our race training with even more dedication than before. It’s a constant process. Most importantly, we had fun racing as a team for the first time. That’s really the best thing about it.

Some post-race team member photos:

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