We recently featured Ella Gibson and her involvement in competitive sport but this week, we’re focusing on the other side of sport and exercising for health on a daily basis.
Our very own Marketing Officer and general business buff, Claire Jones, has just returned from maternity leave and has kindly offered her very own hints and tips of how to stay healthy as a busy working parent. Read on to find out more and get inspired on how to incorporate exercise into your daily life
Name: Claire Jones
Education: B.A Hons History from Oxford Brookes University; Level 6 Professional Diploma in Marketing
Work: Marketing Officer, Centre for Sport (and Baby and Toddler Swimming Teacher for Turtle Tots)
Favourite way to relax: Watching a good box set once the children are in bed, going to Pilates classes and drinking prosecco with friends!
Best song to train to: I can’t pick just one as tend to listen to a classic 90’s dance workout mix on Spotify when I’m in the gym.
Describe yourself in three words! I’m going to use fours words and say ‘Mum on a mission’!
Did you play many sports / were you active growing up?
I was very sporty growing up and we always had active holidays (walking, cycling etc.). I swam competitively all the way through my teens (I like to think I was pretty good) and played rugby for a local club. I do often wish that I had carried on swimming to see where it had led but I don’t have any regrets.
What barriers do you face trying to exercise as a mum?
Time. Energy. Motivation… Mostly fitting exercise in to my daily routine, although I only work part time. When I’m not in work, I have two beautiful girls to look after. By the time I have got them into bed the last thing I feel like doing is going out to the gym. I also lacked motivation for a while but I think this went hand in hand with tiredness in the early days of being a parent. However, I am pleased to say that in the last couple of months I have found my motivation again and am doing more and more exercise (and my baby girl is sleeping through which helps!).
What type of training do you participate in and what do you enjoy about it?
Having recently moved to the countryside my main source of exercise at the moment is walking… and I love it! Whether it’s a walk across the fields down to the river, through the village to the local shops or the early morning pre-school drop off, my FitBit is counting more steps every day. Working in the Centre for Sport also helps as I am able to use the gym during my lunch break. I have recently started a weekly Pilates class which is brilliant.
What do you hope to achieve now you’ve started training again?
Getting fitter and losing weight is my main aim. I want to be able to keep up with my very active nearly one year old and four year old as well as get my body back for myself. I’m sure it’s a cliché but I was fitter and healthier before becoming a mum and it’s time to get that back. I also want to be able to show my girls that being active is fun and that eating healthy food is important, although I’m still going to enjoy a glass of Prosecco and slice of cake every now and then!
Have you noticed any changes/benefits of training on a regular basis?
Already I have noticed that I am losing weight which is great. With the walking it is just lovely to be outside and in the fresh air, plus you get to see so much more. I’m also more generally feeling much better in myself and the more I do, the more I want to improve!
What’s the best thing about training at the Centre for Sport?
It’s convenient for me, the gym staff are always happy to help out and recommend some workouts to do and I can go with friends. Myself and two colleagues have formed a ‘ladies that (go the gym at) lunch’ group on a Thursday so we help to keep each other motivated.
What advice would you give to someone in a similar position trying to juggle maintaining a healthy lifestyle with a busy family life?
Eliminate guilt. It’s definitely a parent thing but guilt seems to be a part of my everyday life now; whether it’s sitting the girls in front of Cbeebies so I can get the washing out or worrying how bed time is going without me (when I sneak out to my Pilates class). I am trying to teach myself that actually, it’s all OK, the kids will be fine and doing some things for myself is better for everyone in the long run.
So there you have it, some great advice from Claire letting us know how she manages her exercise routine around a busy work and family life. Like she mentioned, the Centre for Sport’s gym instructors are always here to help, so if you need encouragement to boost your motivation or activity levels, book a PT session or request your personalised exercise programme today.
Head to the Gym pages of the website or pop into the Centre for Sport on the Frenchay Campus to find out more.