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Fitness Virgin: Sticking to the New Years Resolution


Here’s the first instalment of Claudia Harrington’s  new column ‘Fitness Virgin’, where she will share her pain, sweat and tears as she transforms herself from ‘sloth to svelte’ for 2015 (her words…we promise)! In her first column, Claudia shares her plans for getting fit this year and gives us her top tips on how to make sure you meet your new year fitness goals…..

Calling all fitness virgins! Now, it is that time of year again. I am sure that dreaded combination of three words has already left your lips- New Years Resolution. Each year I carefully dream up how I will dramatically improve myself and become the most fit, fabulous and well-dressed version of Claudia the world has ever seen. But the truth of the matter is by January 2nd I am already slouched on the sofa, wearing forgiving, stretchy leggings with an empty pot of nutella in hand.

Image Credit: Sweaty Betty
Image Credit: Sweaty Betty

However, this year I am determined to transform myself from sloth to svelte and I am going to be taking you on the journey alongside me. Currently the most form of exercise I get is following Victoria’s Secret models on Instagram. Whilst this leaves my thumb super toned from endless scrolling, my bottom is left more akin to that of Adrian Chiles rather than Adriana Lima. So to anyone else who is in a similar situation, fear not-  you are not alone.

To keep myself from getting bored and to keep the fitness plan intact I am going to be trying out a new form of exercise each week, helping you and myself find out the best way to get fit and  stay fit whilst studying here at Exeter. From Bodysoc to the latest fitness DVDs, I will be trialling them all to give you the most effective way to get that dream bod for the minimum effort.

However, to start off here are my top tips for fellow fitness virgins:

  • Be realistic

There is absolutely no point setting unrealistic goals for yourself. Whilst you may like the idea of going for an hour run every day at the crack of dawn, if it is isn’t attainable you will only be disappointed with yourself when you don’t achieve it.

  • Get a Routine

Exercise for many is not a fun prospect, but putting it on the timetable alongside your lectures makes it something you simply have to check off.

  • Start Slow

You are not going to be Paula Radcliffe on your first run, so pace yourself. Setting short and long term goals is a great way of keeping focused but not pushing yourself too hard.

  • Don’t Compare Yourself

In a university like Exeter where there seems to be more BUCS tracksuits than chairs in your lectures, it is easy to compare yourself to your sportier friends. However, this will reduce your self-confidence and motivation. Take note of your progress each week and compete with yourself for a more effective representation of your improvement.

  • Enjoy it

You are much more likely to stick to your exercise regime if you are not hating every second of it, so find something that suits you. If being surrounded by others encourages you, then a group class is probably more for you, but if that thought fills you with dread then a quick youtube video in your room may be better. And if all else fails and you hate it, think of the end goal. That perfect beach bod is worth the 30 minutes of exhaustion.

Claudia Harrington, Fitness Columnist

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