Think pink dumb bells gathering dust; yoga mats in attics; running shoes - good as new. See where we’re going with this? Hands up anyone who never signed up for a class and then ghosted? Gyms count on our annual disappearing acts. Otherwise they’d build them bigger. 

Here’s how to stick with the programme and reap those rewards – even during those more challenging times of the month:

Explore your motivation. Psychologists speak of ‘intrinsic’ and ‘extrinsic’ motivation. That’s the difference between ‘want to’ and ‘should’. No surprises for guessing that the ‘want to’ activities are the ones we stick with. The trick is to find something that we love doing.

Remember it’s a marathon not a sprint - well, not literally – but maybe someday? The point is to have realistic expectations and work steadily and surely towards your goals. Don’t be disheartened – many of us will never do a triathlon but we can build fitness levels with a regular park run.

Maintaining Your Exercise Routine

Don’t overdo it – but do it! Burnout happens when we schedule too much exercise and don’t leave time for rest. Muscles fibres tear as we exercise. Only during rest can they knit back together, stronger. How long we need to rest for depends on intensity of exercise, fitness and age but we don’t need to veg out; a relaxing walk or swim can feel great on a recovery day.
Become aware of how the menstrual cycle affects energy levels. ‘So over that pole fitness class?' Don’t hang up your shorts just yet. You might just be experiencing a dip on the monthly menstrual rollercoaster. In the run up to a period, stress hormones rise and happy hormones drop. However, endorphins from exercise make us feel ok again. And while some of us may look for comfort in chips bags and chocolate bars, it’s better to stabilise blood sugars with food which releases energy slowly, like brown rice, pasta and bread, legumes and nuts. Gentle exercise is fine at this time. Yoga seems to work especially well with women’s bodies. 

Eat like an athlete. We can’t expect our bodies to do amazing things without giving them amazing fuel. Protein builds muscle so think chicken, fish, lean red meats, lentils, beans and nuts. Iron helps blood move oxygen around so choose red meat or leafy greens in combination with a source of Vitamin C such as tomatoes. Omega 3 fatty acids help joints stay healthy so try two servings a week of salmon, mackerel or trout or add some walnuts and flaxseeds. Cleanmarine For Women contains phospholipid rich Omega 3’s sourced from clean and sustainable Antarctic krill as well as lots of stress-busting B vitamins. 

Tired? Do something about it. By that we mostly mean sleep. But if sleep’s not doing it for you, consider getting more fatigue-fighting riboflavin (beef liver, almonds, spinach) and thiamine (fish, sunflower seeds) and B12 (meat, fish, eggs) into your diet. If especially stressed, tired or recovering from illness, consider supplementation with a high-quality source such as Cleanmarine For Women.