I was not looking forward to this half term - Arabella is away with her father and Pascal is in France and so I am left to my own devices.....7 days home alone. Unlike Macaulay Culkin I am not going to sit around eating pizza and ice cream sundaes, and I bloody hope I won't be fending off scary burglars!!
Part of it is nice - I get to have a lie in, watch crap TV (hello Kardashians), have a facial and plenty of me time - this may sound incredible to most mummies who are dying for a break but then again it is extremely lonely. I already can't wait for the normality of next Monday night when I have both Arabella & Pascal home.
Other than my gorgeous friends, the one thing that really gets me through these times is the gym. Even if I really really don't want to go, I force myself as it gets me out the house, I see friendly faces and I always feel better after exercise. I release lots of endorphins which pushes any sad feelings away and it makes me more motivated to do something rather than just sit on my arse. Plus as I am already paying a monthly fee, it does not cost anything.
I have already written about my favourite classes Body Pump and Body Attack. Another class I do regularly is Spinning which is indoor cycling. I have to admit I absolutely hate it until about 3/4 of the way through the class, when the end is in sight, and I then start to appreciate what a good work out it is and I am pleased I have done it. It is a vigorous exercise session that burns plenty of calories (apparently around 400-600 depending on your shape/size/ability) and it keeps your muscles in great shape.
I don't know if you have seen a class or taken part before, but the bikes are all lined up in a studio, the lights are dimmed, the music is pumping and there are "disco" flashing lights (I sometimes think these are going to give me an epileptic fit even though I am not at all epileptic)!
Here is a picture I found on the Internet to give you an idea.
The class I do is 45 minutes long and there are 7 exercise tracks (I count these down to get me through it). You can adjust the resistance on your bike making it harder or easier and the instructor will tell (shout) what you need to do - from pedalling as fast as you can for a set time to adding resistance so you can "climb a hill". It is certainly a class that makes you sweat!! You basically are pretending you are riding your bike outside on different terrains - hills, dips, flat etc.
It is not easy, for first timers the seat can be painful on your bottom, but if you persevere it is worth is as it is a great work out. Each track is different so you have some variety, sometimes you are in your seat, other times you are cycling standing up or even doing little jumps. It is just important to make sure your position is correct but that is something a teacher will help you with. Plus it is up to you how much resistance you add on so you do have some control....you can ease up if you feel you are about to die.
Some people love spinning - my friend Vicky came to a class with me the other day and she is 7 months pregnant! I find that inspirational as I would be knee deep in chocolate if I were her!
Give it a go and see what you think. I will be doing it tomorrow, hating it most of it but patting myself on the back when I am finished, feeling both invigorated and proud!