Working Out Every Day: The Verdict

By Emilie. 7 things we learned from running every day in January.

For the past 31 days I’ve been living in a parallel universe where I’m one of those people that works out every single day. Y’know, the ones that get up an hour earlier to go for a jog in the pitch black or that vacate their al desko lunch to go *shudder* pound on a treadmill for twenty minutes. That’s because I’ve been doing Run Every Day January. Now, while I’m normally someone that works out around three times a week, exercising EVERY day felt like a huge physical and mental challenge. However, I was up for that challenge, at least in theory. Here’s what I learned…

1) The big one: you might not actually lose weight. Despite daydreaming about the pounds melting off, it didn’t happen. I didn’t lose a single pound. Whether that’s increased muscle mass or because I wasn’t overly strict with my diet, I don’t know, and I also don’t really care. But I guess it did make me realise that if I ever did want to drop a bit of weight for a holiday or big event, exercising alone is not enough. I might actually have to say goodbye to my old friend, the Chinese takeaway. Huh.

2) Excellent gym gear is a must. Sometimes the only thing that would get me out of the door was the thought that I could wear my cute new Alice Liveing Primark leggings and little padded jacket. I know, I KNOW, so shallow. But also true.

3) The term fresh hell was invented to describe the treadmill. Never in my life do I want to spend another second pounding on that machine waiting for my 3k quota to be over. Maybe it’s just the fact that the one in my gym faces onto a brick wall, but I just can’t deal. Give me pouring rain and pitch black mornings any day.

4) You might actually miss the gym. The squats, the PT screaming at you to push through the burn… I did actually miss it. Doing cardio all the time really made me realise that I like to mix up my workouts, which is also best for your body. Win win.

5) It’s true what everyone says: exercise is bloody fantastic for your mental health. For me, I find running is a great way to calm the noise inside of my head. When I get back from a run I feel all zen and calm and chilled. You can’t beat that feeling.

6) You will become excellent at squeezing exercise into all those times where you would previous have said, “Oh, I don’t have time to exercise.” I got up a 6am (with a hangover), went to the gym at lunch and dragged myself outside when all I wanted to do was hibernate on the sofa. When doing it is non-negotiable you realise you can actually push through – this was a bit of a game changer for me.

7) And finally, you’ll realise that you can do anything you want to. Yes, I’m ending it on a proper cheese on toast point, but fuck it, if I can actually run for 31 days on the trot in bloody January then I reckon I can do pretty much anything I set my mind to. And that’s a pretty powerful thought. Watch out world.