Favourite ways to exercise
Danni Darrah shares her suggestions for easy ways to exercise that everyone can enjoy.
Despite being an avid 5-day-a-week gym goer for the last three years, the beginning of lockdown saw my (and I’m sure many others’) workouts plateau and flail with the incomparable monotony of life and lack of space to train. And so begun a prompt search to fall in love with moving my body all over again through a myriad of sports and outdoor leisure activities. I couldn’t tell you what prompted me to pop a skipping rope in my Amazon basket, (it certainly wasn’t the thought that I’d be good at it) but not a day goes by that I regret the decision. In addition to it being a brilliant way to improve co-ordination, focus and endurance, I fell in love with seeing myself progress.
Seeing my confidence sky rocket as a result, I criss-crossed my way into a battle house to add boxing into my fitness diet. As an uncompetitive sport, boxing is underrated. Writing as a university student going into her third year (with the predictable stress, sleepless nights and dissertation that it brings), having a sport that keeps you centred in the present is an elite form of escapism and for me, boxing does exactly that. It is this escapism that I became addicted to when exercising – discovering an aspect to love about exercise, despite inflicting physical pain on yourself every day, will ultimately dictate how disciplined and motivated you stay. Weight training at the gym post-lockdown gave me the escapism I had so desperately needed to clear my head and keep myself grounded. A form of exercise that is now gaining the recognition it deserves, weight training accelerates fat burning and strength in a consistent and reliable way.
Having a sport that keeps you centred in the present is an elite form of escapism.
However, not everyone wants to be a gym junkie or a HIIT addict and with good reason too. Many studies conducted discuss the benefits of low intensity exercise. Surprisingly, walking has been proven to be just as good, if not a better activity for cardiovascular health than running – perfect research to find when living somewhere as serene and beautiful as Exeter. Along with the seemingly never-ending back to back Zoom lectures, my lockdown consisted of discovering hidden havens all within walking distance (if you like lengthy walks) of the town centre. A personal favourite of mine is the Exe Trail from Exeter to Exmouth, gliding easily along the coast, through Topsham and Lympstone Village, this is a perfect route for a walk or a breezy bike ride.
Moving your body in different ways and staying active is a privilege and a blessing. It has become common knowledge that exercise is a (mostly) free and natural remedy for stress and low moods. Therefore, finding a way to enjoy it should be an exciting time for anyone!