Does the idea of physical activity scare you? Perhaps you haven’t put on a pair of trainers since school? Were you once quite active, but work, life, family got in the way? Perhaps you’re not even sure that you’ve ever enjoyed a sport or physical activity, or maybe you’d just like to find some other people at the same level that you can start being active with.
And now you’re thinking maybe, just maybe I’d like to start doing something…..
- First things first, grab a pen and paper, and…
- Write down why you want to have a go (as many reasons as feel right to you – you don’t have to share them so they can be any reason – maybe you just want to know why everyone seems to be doing a particular activity)
- Write down what you would like to achieve
- Write down what it will feel like to achieve this
- Is there anything that is stopping you from doing this?
- Apart from finding an activity is there anything you need to sort out first?
- Keep this paper safe as it is really important to come back and look at it regularly.
- What activity would you like to try?
Laura’s story about how she started running:
I have always struggled with exercise as an adult. I am one of those people who spend a fortune on a gym membership but never go. In January 2017 I joined Slimming World in an attempt to lose weight as I was probably 3 stone overweight and had struggled with this for about 15 years. I have a hip condition which means that I suffer from chronic hip pain and I had no doubt in my mind that carrying excess weight was exacerbating this. I kept trying different exercise classes but soon got bored when I wasn’t getting the instant results that I hoped for. Prior to joining the Run4life programme I hadn’t done any exercise for a year and this really started to bother me, I had no confidence and my body ached all over from lack of activity. My weight loss journey was going fairly well however had really slowed down and I felt that this was linked to my lack of activity.
When I saw the Run4Life zero to 30/35 minute programme I was keen to sign up but in the back of my mind I was worried that it was going to be another thing that I started and didn’t complete. I dragged my partner along for support and together we turned up to our first session in January 2018. It was amazing to be around so many people that were in a similar position to ourselves and the instructors that volunteered their time were incredibly supportive and inspiring.
Running is not something I had ever tried before and I felt that with my body shape and achy joints I wouldn’t be able to do it but miraculously as the weeks went on I found myself able to keep up with the course’s progression. I loved the fact that I could do my homework at any time of day whenever it suited and I could do this anywhere no matter where I was. We started turning our homework into a social thing and inviting friends along. I am not saying that I enjoyed every moment because that would be a lie there were times when I wished I had never started. I was part of the Run4Life Facebook group and I found this really encouraging to see other people in the local area who were experiencing the same journey as me. This helped me to realise that it was ok that I was struggling with my breathing and that there were strategies to manage this and that it was ok that at times I absolutely hated running but that it was worth it for the buzz when I had finished. It took until I was at the 30 minute mark towards the end of the course that I really started to enjoy my outings and I am pleased to say that I have continued to run 3 times a week since. I completed my first Park run on Easter Saturday 2018 and was absolutely thrilled to complete the course without stopping at a very respectable time of 36 minutes. I have completed one every week since and have managed to take about 3 minutes off my time.
I could cry with pride when I think about what I have managed to achieve with my running journey so far. If you had told me 6 months ago that I would be a ‘runner’ I would have laughed in your face. I plan to continue running regularly and completing the weekly Park Runs and I have also signed up for the Race for Like 5k in July 2018. I never thought I would be someone who would want to run any further than this however I may be tempted to sign up to the Bristol 10k next year as I was so inspired by those who took part this year. I feel like running has introduced me to a whole new community that I never new existed and the health benefits have been incredible in terms of my weight and my joints. If there is anyone out there who is thinking about taking up running but is unsure my advice would be to just go for it you have got nothing to lose.
Have you had a break from physical activity for a while and have now started an activity whether for the first time or getting back into it? Would you like to share your story with others to help inspire them to start being active? Please email: ActiveCity@bristol.gov.uk
Read more inspiring stories from Run4Life here
These are activities specifically created at a beginner/ low fitness level to help ease you into taking part.
Also have a look at our Free activities directory to see what tasters are available.
If you offer activities which are great for people just starting out and are already listed in our directories please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are not listed in our directories please download the relevant form, complete it and email it to us: Sports Club Form , Community Activities Form