Exercise is something that has helped me greatly throughout my life. I have always been active and as a child, through to 16 swam competitively, training 10 times a week.
When I was at my lowest after the move from London, I wasn’t exercising and found myself eating the wrong things at the wrong times. It’s so easy when you are over tired and up with a newborn to reach for the biscuits. However after seeing some photos of myself I decided it was time something changed.
My first step was to join Slimming World, I will blog about my Slimming World journey at a later stage. Then after losing 3 stone it was time to tone and regain my fitness. I saw a new exercise class being advertised called “Bounce” the promotional video looked insane but so much fun! Fun and exercise was exactly what I needed so I booked on.
I invited one of my Slimming World friends to come along with me and together we stood anxiously waiting for the class to begin. I was feeling so out of my place in my old tracksuit bottoms and dusty trainers. Two vibrant women came to the front of the room and demonstrated the moves. Both of them looked super fit and strong with the energy of the Duracell bunny. I started to panic I hadn’t exercised in years and this looked really choreographed for somebody with zero co-ordination like myself!
As the tracks began blasting and we all followed along with the instructors I couldn’t help but laugh and smile. It was crazy! After 3 tracks we stopped for a break and Jess and Hana the instructors made time to come round for a quick chat (if we could manage it!) This is something they still do today and something I always feel adds a real personal touch to their classes. The atmosphere is that of a party with disco lighting and some amazing tunes both current and old school. It felt like a rave without the alcohol and vomiting.
Bounce is a combination of dancing, circuit type exercises, toning exercises and high cardio tracks. A typical class starts with a warm up and 3 tracks all varying styles, then a quick break followed by another 3 tracks. The last part is 3 tracks followed with toning exercises which can be gruelling but definitely have helped shape and tone my body!
Nine months on I am still attending twice a week with Hana and Jess as instructors. The atmosphere is still identical to that of my first class. Unlike a lot of exercise classes I have attended, Bounce is never the same. Week after week a different class awaits ensuring it is never boring or repetitive.
Physically I have noticed a huge difference in my fitness levels. Looking back to that first class I could barely keep up with the tracks and had to stop several times to catch my breath. I ached for days after but kept pushing myself to attend and gradually the aching became less and I was able to keep up with the tracks.
My mental health has also been positively affected by Bounce. Starting a fresh in a new area, away from my friends and family with 3 children under 5 was a challenge mentally. Bounce gives me a break from home and the opportunity to have fun and some space to clear my mind. I go home feeling refreshed and calm. Also any pent up aggression is soon released in the sprint and boxercise tracks rather than on my husband!
I highly recommend anyone wanting a high energy, friendly class to sign up to their nearest Bounce class. I feel so disappointed if I have to miss my weekly classes as I look at them as my little break each week and my “me” time. I believe it is so important to have that time whoever you are especially those with young families. Mental health is just as important as your physical health and exercise is proven to improve mood.
I would love to hear what types of exercise and activities you use to improve your mental and physical fitness. Please feel free to leave a comment and share your experiences!