Improving mental health through fitness
While the primary focus for Xercise4Less Hartlepool member Michelle has been to improve her physical health and lose her target weight, she has also found fitness has helped to enhance her mental health. She explains how she has struggled, and how working out at the gym has improved her confidence, morale and state of mind.
“My mental health is an ongoing battle. Some days are good, and some are bad. But going to the gym helps so much. It is time that I get to myself, time where I’m not running around after my daughter, or sorting something out for my hubby, or doing housework. And I always feel better after a couple hours at the gym. The little victories are fantastic, like adding another minute to my running time or another notch up on the weights. Those little things help me keep going especially on the bad days. “
Seeing results can be a fantastic source of motivation to continue training. For Michelle, she has tracked her progress and is able to achieve more in her sessions than she could before. Even the smallest improvements can have the biggest differences.
“I have an underactive thyroid, pcos, depression, and anxiety, so there is a lot to keep on top of. My physical health has improved no end since I started at the gym. I’ve gone from being able to run for 3 minutes to over half an hour. I can now do squats with 25kg instead of 5. And I can manage a whole ten mins on the stair machine, where I struggled to do one when I started.”
“I am also a lot happier with myself. My self-confidence has always been on the low side, by a lot, but since starting at the gym I am happier with how I look, with how my clothes fit, and how I feel in myself.”
Gaining positive results thanks to Xercise4Less fitness classes
As well as providing you with all the facilities and equipment you need for a solo workout, we also offer a range of fitness classes to help further improve your fitness. Plus, fitness classes are a great way to meet like-minded people and feel part of a team.
“Classes are new to me. I’ve never been one for group exercise where people can see me, especially if I don’t know what I am doing. But one day after a couple of months in the gym I didn’t know what to do and there was a class just about to start.”
“My favourites have to be BODYPUMP and spinning. I’ve never done any serious weightlifting before, so going into BODYPUMP was all new to me, but I love it. It is so great to see the improvement every week. I forget that there are other people there, so I don’t feel self-conscious at all. “
Whilst Michelle hasn’t always seen eye-to-eye with fitness classes, she has come through the other side and finds them a great way to relieve stress.
“Spinning and I have a love/hate relationship. I hate it because it is so hard, but I also love it because it is so hard. I’ve also tried out the punching bags for the first time, too. They are fantastic. There is a lot of stress in my life at times, and I’ve loved being able to work out that stress on the punching bags.”
Balancing the gym around a hectic family life
Balancing your busy life with a weight loss journey can be extremely difficult. Sacrifices have to be made along the way in order to achieve the best results. Michelle has a small child to look after, as well as making sure her disabled husband has everything he needs on a daily basis. With help from her family, Michelle is able to get some breaks throughout the day to get her gym sessions in.
“Currently I go to the gym mainly in the mornings. My little one started nursery last year, so I drop her off, and then head to the gym, and pick her up afterwards. During the school holidays I end up there in the evenings after she has gone to bed. That is easiest for my husband to handle, as he is disabled, so we work our days around me looking after him and our daughter. “
Fantastic progress, Michelle!