Exercise had never really been part of my daily life before last September. I would have the odd bike ride, (under duress) and occasionally have a "granny swim" but apart from that I was pretty much a couch potato. My mother became ill last August and as a result of blocked arteries and she almost lost her life. This was just the wake up call I needed. I saw an article about the 5x50 in my local paper and decided to give it a go.
I started walk/jogging in the woods where no one could see me, I did some cycling (even buying a proper light weight road bike) and then finally ventured out onto the street after several weeks when I had built up to running for longer. Every day I was out rain, hail or shine I could hardly believe how my attitude had changed. When I got to the end of the first 5x50 I knew my life had changed forever. I had learned a valuable lesson in commitment. Not commitment to anyone else, only to myself. After all who else really cared if I completed the challenge or not??
After the first challenge I had my cholesterol checked. It was above normal. Now I had learned about commitment it was time to set myself another personal challenge: To lower my total cholesterol and BMI to within normal limits. Since then I have followed a low fat diet and exercised at least 5 days a week.
Around Day 15 of the challenge this month I had my cholesterol rechecked -
I have lowered my cholesterol by almost 20% back within normal limits with a very acceptable ratio. Since starting running my weight has dropped 13kg and my BMI has gone from 26.9 down to 23. I have gained 4% skeletal muscle and lowered my body fat by over 8%.
It's hard to explain how my life has changed. I have more energy. I feel younger and now I love running. I'm never going to be Mo Farah but I love the feeling of being outside in the fresh air where I feel free. I love that my body is able to carry me now whenever I feel like running. I am 2 dress sizes smaller and need a whole new wardrobe (although all I seem to wear is my work uniform, running gear and pyjamas so no need for much else!!!)
As this years challenge approached I began my own recruitment drive inspiring friends and family to change their life and take up the challenge. 15 people signed up some of whom were not taking regular exercise at all before. This also feels amazing.
I know now as I pass half way through my second 5 x 50 that moving more and eating less is definitely my life now. So far this challenge I have ran 20/26 days with 6 bike rides. I would never have believed I could run this often and my body be okay with it. Learning to read my body and know what it needs is also a new experience for me and I know I'm getting better at this all the time. I am very much enjoying feeling younger and fitter than ever before. My body craves healthy food and I'm also sleeping better and feel full of energy and vitality. All of this started for me last year September 9th as I took up the 5x50 challenge, a challenge that was to change my life forever.
5x50 Challenge started with a vision to make people who are inactive become more active. Challengers become part of something that inspires, motivates, encourages you to live a healthier lifestyle. 5x50 Challenges are open to all. Individuals or groups regardless of age, health condition/ disability or fitness level can take part.
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