In my previous blog post, I shared a great COVID-19 update from Vitality, so it is only fair that I share an update on how I am progressing.
I have been a bit down on myself of late , looking at my weight and the self imposed pressure I’ve placed upon myself and motivation was, for too long, missing.
Thankfully, words from Professor Greg Whyte (he’s on my bookshelf) came back to inspire me.
I’ve been so frightened of failure and its inevitability that I’ve forgotten that while some things are outwith my control, the ability to improve my health lies within me.
My confidence and a level of consistency have gradually returned and while I haven’t really made much use of the Vitality Rewards (although I have just activated my Peloton membership now that I am feeling a little bit fitter), I have made some progress.
I can do this. This is Mission Possible.
To Measure is to Know
If you have ever read my first blog for the British Medical Journal, you’ll recognise that I fare better when I measure my baseline and my progress. A scale is good, but with me undertaking more strength and cardio work (more on that in a wee bit) it doesn’t provide a full picture.
Thankfully Vitality have once again responded to the COVOD-19 crisis with a welcome move.
For £12.50 (free to Vitality Health members), partner provider Bluecrest will send me out a pack to undertake some home measurements, including a blood sample, while I will have a video call with a Vitality Nurse in two weeks.
I also have a blood pressure monitor at home and having spent the last seven weeks at home as a family, I am conscious of the risk factors of high blood pressure and part of my efforts to move more and eat more healthily is driven by my desire to address this marker, especially during this COVID=10 period.
However, to get started and to keep myself accountable, I am publishing my current measurements. I am hoping to see some progress over the next few months and I’ll update monthly.
Mission Possible Stats
|Skeletal Muscle Mass||95.9|
Put the Kettle(bell) on
If not yet using the Peloton and Jessica Ennis-Hill apps from Vitality, what have I been doing to stay active and get fit?
Teresa and I have rediscovered our love for swinging. No, you filthy animals, not that type of swinging. It’s swinging kettlebells.
There’s something about swinging a heavy weight between your legs, thrusting your hips forward (again with your dirty mind) and generally lifting, pressing and pulling a kettlebell that I don’t seem to feel with a barbell. A good routine helps and Teresa and I now swear by Bodyfit by Amy videos on YouTube. They are short (although I need to add five minutes to earn Vitality points) challenging and over the past few weeks, we’ve both seen progress.
I’ve moved from an 8kg kettlebell to a 10kg and I reckon I’ll soon need to move up or use a heavier weight for swings and squats. Teresa is moving much better, is looking more toned and we are both having fun training with each other.
However, I have always enjoyed a class atmosphere, so when given the opportunity to train with celebrated trainer and blogger Elle Linton via Zoom, I decided to give it a bash (literally, as I hurled my kettlebell to the floor during warm-up).
Image by Anna Rach Photography
On Tuesdays at 7.15pm (see here for her full schedule) she delivers a 30 minute kettlebell interval session suitable for all levels. Using Zoom (for now, as I have a cunning plan for her), she is able to watch us and guide us just like in a pre-COVID-19 class.
At only £3.50 it is excellent value and adds a little variety to my workouts.
One of the things that I want to do more of is support small businesses during this period of lockdown and social distancing and while YouTube is a great resource, the personal touch of a live trainer adds value and does help, with me at least, with consistency (you cannot be accountable to a video).
I will be supporting Personal Trainers and eventually Yoga instructors in my own area, but Tuesday nights with Elle will become a fixture. Elle is knowledgeable, encouraging and a fun trainer to work with and if you want to book a session with her, I would highly recommend it. Feel free to join me this Tuesday (although numbers are limited).
With Kettlebells now seemingly a tradable commodity and worth more than oil, a milk carton is a hand alternative if you don’t have a kettlebell or, if you fancy something different, look through Elle’s schedule for a class that suits you.
All the Ladies…
With Amy, Elle, Peloton and Teresa (and maybe soon Jessica), I am confident of seeing some good progress over the next few months. I just need to be consistent and keep enjoying what I am doing and believing in Mission Possible.
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