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As part of our Jurlique Wellbeing Challenge, pilates teacher and fitness guru Leah Simmons has created an exclusive fitness plan for you to take on over the next four weeks. As part of this challenge, she guest blogs about her own personal fitness journey, relationship with food and some great tips along the way.*

There’s a widely-trusted ideology that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit. For some reason, 21 is the “golden number” that will switch something from being a conscious thought to being part of your everyday life. Want to get up at 6am? Do it every day for 21 days and you will start bouncing out of bed before your alarm goes off. Trying to drop that 3rd cup of coffee? Avoid it every day for 21 days and it’s gone.

But what about exercise? Something that you need to make time for in a life that is already stretched beyond what we think we can manage? How do we turn exercise from being a chore into something that we actually look forward to? I mean we know it’s good for us. We are fully aware that we should be doing it. So how do we turn that THOUGHT into an ACTION?

Let’s look at some of the most common reasons people come up with why they CAN’T exercise. “Oh… such and such goes to the gym 5 times a week… I couldn’t possibly do that.” “Mrs X has a personal trainer… I just can’t afford it.” or (my personal favourite) “I JUST DON’T HAVE TIME.”

In a society that is overrun by 24-hour gyms, personal trainers and in-your-face social media it’s easy to get disheartened and feel unmotivated. But let me remind you what exercise actually is: the act of MOVING your body… Let that sink in for a minute. MOVE. YOUR. BODY. So…. walking? Yes. Swimming? Absolutely. Dancing? Yeah! As well as running, skipping, surfing, skating, jogging, stretching… need I go on? The amount, how much you do and how you do it is entirely up to you.

Change your thoughts about exercise and you will change your relationship with exercise. The more you do things that you enjoy and that make you feel good, the more frequently you will do them. And slowly but surely you will start to incorporate them into your everyday life. You’ll have more energy, you’ll feel great and it won’t feel like a chore. And it just might give you the motivation you need to seek out something more… whether it’s a specific gym class you’ve wanted to try, or a sports team you’ve wanted to join. You will soon realise that it’s actually not that hard to make time for the things you want to make time for.


Leah’s Top 5 Ways to Incorporate Exercise into your Daily Life

Plan a walking meeting at work. Suggest taking a walk to a colleague and have a chat around the park instead of sitting in a stuffy meeting room! Make this a regular thing!
Park 500m further from your office than you normally would and walk the rest of the way. That’s an automatic extra 5km you’ve then walked per week (1km to and from your office)
Play a game where you hold a forearm plank for as long as you can during the ad breaks of your favourite TV show. Challenge yourself to hold your plank longer each time.
Use 2 x bottles of water or 2 x cans of soup as hand weights and do this mini arm workout in your kitchen. Try going for 10 x bicep curls, 10 x straight arm raises to the front then 10 to the side, 10 x shoulder press, 10 x bicep curl to shoulder press combo, then hold both hands over your head and do 20 x tricep dips. Repeat sequence 3 times.
Put on 3 of your absolute favourite songs from when you were young (the daggier the better) and dance to them like no one is watching.
Check out the Jurlique Fitness Challenge for fitness tips, how-to’s and a four week calendar to get you started.

Download the Jurlique X Leah Simmons Fitness Challenge here


*The views contained in this Blog are those of the author and do not represent the views or opinions of Jurlique. You should seek medical advice before commencing any exercise regime.