Happier family and a healthier, more chilled out me, with David Lloyd

Photo: Professional Images/@ProfImages

I don’t know about you but managing work, friends, family, kids, a significant other, a dog and a home is pretty tricky sometimes, in fact, let’s be honest, most the time it’s a massive parentshaped juggling act with lots of balls dropped.  I have so many intentions I feel like I have been pursuing for years, especially when it comes to maximising health and happiness, but trying to do it all at once can be tough. One month into our David Lloyd Leisure club membership and I feel like I am edging closer to some of those goals, in fact it’s turning out to be a rather pivotal piece in the old juggling act. As I explained in my last post, I really wasn’t sure how this would work for us, but I am beginning to eat my words.

When David Lloyd Leisure invited us to try out family membership, they asked us to set some intentions, so here are ours. I’ve also answered a couple of questions followers have asked me.

1. Quality Family Time

With kids clubs and facilities, David Lloyd is designed to work for the whole family, rather than just the parent who wants to get fitter. Swimming in the heated indoor or outdoor pool has really taken the sting out of Sunday nights and cheered up ‘hump day’ Wednesday, we love the fact the kids return home squeaky clean, sleepy and often fed and watered. Family life feels easier on those days. We have often stopped for tea at the club, the menu options have helped us to keep on track with our healthy eating goals.

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2. A new idea for a date night

It’s not easy having quality time as a couple with kids, especially as they get older. Last night we had a babysitter, so we decided to go to the club together, to test out the adults outdoor jacuzzi area, the indoor hot tub, steam and sauna. It soothed away the day’s stresses, before we headed out rejuvenated for dinner and drinks.

After an outdoor and indoor hot tub we lay chatting on the hot beds, although next time I will time it for when Aquarobics isn’t on. We could also see if we can time our next visit with the free kids’ club.

25.6.15 - Nottingham. The David Lloyd Leisure Nottingham West Bridgford Club. Photo: Professional Images/@ProfImages

25.6.15 - Nottingham. The David Lloyd Leisure Nottingham West Bridgford Club. Photo: Professional Images/@ProfImages

3. A change of scene for work

Rather than feeling guilty for taking time out of my working day to exercise, I’ve benefited from the break and from working in the environment of the business lounge afterwards. Having someone make you a healthy lunch is great too, as was having fellow blogger, Emily pop along to keep me company.

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4. Getting fit!

After falling into a routine as a family, it was time to start thinking about the gym myself, I really enjoyed the Synergy360 set up when we tried it on our first visit – with viprs, tyres, trex, kettle bells, punch bags and a mini trampoline – basically it’s a play area for grown ups.

Testing the Synergy360 set up with fellow bloggers Emily, Jenny, Morgana, Alice and Amanda

Testing the Synergy360 set up with fellow bloggers Emily, Jenny, Morgana, Alice and Amanda

I really want to use my membership to make a physical difference, I have been ‘super fit’ a couple of times in my life and I woke up today feeling motivated to go there again.  I have been wanting lose the weight I gained after taking medication a few years back. It was scary how fast it piled on, although I haven’t gained any for years now, shifting it is a struggle. I run twice a week and have done for years, but it’s clear that my body is used to running and great at it, but it stubbornly refuses to let go of any fat. I need to find a way to topple the balance back to weight loss.

At first my Synergy360 workouts took the joy out of running the next day. Then at my induction yesterday, Matt helped me come up with a gym routine that would get results without rendering me completely unable to enjoy running the next day. Today I feel energised and toned, I can feel that my muscles are returning and it’s a great feeling. I am going to plan my gym work outs in my diary, by planning around running, and booking some Synergy 360 classes I think I can stay committed for the next 5 months.

The big news is today I signed up to do the Nottingham Robin Hood half marathon again in September. Last year, my first, went really well, but I regretted not doing more cross training like resistance work or swimming to complement my runs. Matt also reminded me I can join the Thursday evening running group, which is a great option if the See How She Runs crew are busy. Bring on the Half Marathon! You can see how I got on last year in this post: Women Runs Her First Half Marathon.

We did it! #seehowsheruns #530 #Nottingham #run #running

Boditrax

Matt also talked me through the amazing Boditrax machine. You stand on it, grip the sensors and in 30 seconds receive instant analysis of your health and fitness status with 14 key results about your current physical status. Amazing! You can see how muscle and fat is distributed, check out your metabolic rate, see how much fat is stored around your vital organs and much more. It motivated me so much more than the scales ever do.

As I expected, all the running has given me lots of muscle, but there is still lots of fat to burn. One stat I found fascinating was my metabolic rate, it’s rated by age and mine is currently 11 years older than me, so I have been looking at ways to combat that – more resistance work, more intervals, steady eating and even more exercise.

Matt helped me set some targets on the machine too, small achieveable goals, so next time I log in I will see my stats against my goals and progress.

Have a look at the video to see more of what the machine can do:

 

5. Headspace

25.6.15 - Nottingham. The David Lloyd Leisure Nottingham West Bridgford Club. Photo: Professional Images/@ProfImages

Swimming has really helped to give me headspace, especially in the outdoor pool, although indoors is lovely too.

The yoga we did at the introduction event blew me away. I have done lots of yoga over the last 20 years but recently keep complaining that I don’t have the patience for it. So it was like the teacher had looked inside my head and created the class just for me.

We spent the session focussing on being patient and the difference between how patience and impatience feel. It all suddenly fell into place, patience is calm, centredness, impatience is this hugely wobbly state in which confidence, motivation and enjoyment slowly begin to stagnate.

It’s a metaphor I took away into my life. We ran three errands so smoothly after we left David Lloyd that day. Later, instead of losing it when we couldn’t find my daughter’s camera charger or when she wanted to ice cupcakes at the end of a really long day, I simply applied patience.

I was in the now in each of those tasks and while not my natural choices for ways to spend my time, impatience was banished and they all became more pleasureable. The feeling of calm in me was wonderful.

I loved the dimmed lights, the gentle instructions, the music, the spiritualness of it, several times I had to gently ease my mind back from beach holidays we have been on.

Reading this back now I am cross I haven’t been back to yoga and I can see it is the missing link for me. I am going to fit in one class a week.

6. Social

I have lots of local friends who I keep bumping in to and meaning to arrange catch ups with – the kids always seem to see a friend they know when we go swimming.

 

You asked me…

Lots of people have asked me whether it is ‘worth it’, well, in my last post I was honest about my initial reservations about joining. A month into our membership, the biggest thing I notice is how varied our intentions are and how many different areas of family life the club has affected, because David Lloyd is so much more than a gym.

With anything in life you have to weigh it all up and work out the benefits, but on the whole I am being gently convinced of all those. If money was no object I would definitely be a member, sadly it isn’t, but as time goes on I sense there will be a tricky decision to make at the end of six months, because it is helping us to meet intentions in many areas of our life.

Other local friends have asked me about the ‘culture’ of David Lloyd, like them I always wrongly assumed it was full of ‘ladies what lunch’ and cliques. Actually the clientele are very mixed, from teenagers meeting up with friends, to freelancers grabbing a work out and a change of scene, to couples meeting after work, to families, to retired people meeting for a game of tennis – and that keeps the atmosphere varied.

Of course there is no escaping that health clubs are an adjustment if you aren’t used to public exercise, I was a little irked by a woman who asked, very politely, if I could move so she could pass in the changing rooms – while I was trying to extract myself from my sports bra – I am fairly sure there is an unwritten code about not speaking to people when they are half dressed. Joking aside, on the whole everyone is very polite and minds their own business. My first few visits to the gym floor felt a little intimidating, but the staff are really helpful and soon put you at ease.

My confidence is growing, I will be back later this year with a new PB in the half marathon, a happier family and a more chilled out and fitter me. Let’s see if we can knock a few years off that metabolism too!

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