Wanderlust: Expat Life & Style in Thailand April / May 2015 - The Health & Wellness Issue - Page 42

HEALTH & well-being Lessons in Exercise by Gill Morris Photo: Shutterstock I don’t pretend to know everything about exercise. Indeed I am not a gym instructor, nor an expert in the field of fitness. What I do know I’ve learned on my own path to fitness — a path I’ve drifted from and come back to over the years. Here are my personal tips to getting fit for expat women living in Thailand. RUNNING Running was my first love, but it wasn’t love at first run. When I first started running, I began with a short jog around the area where I lived. It lasted all of 10 minutes, and for the following few days my muscles were so sore it put me off. I didn’t go again for a while. In 2009 when I moved to Thailand, I picked it up again by running around the local park. Again, it was slow going, but I kept at it this time and realised that I was improving in quite a short space of time. When I told my friends at home that I love to run, they all thought I was crazy. 40 WANDERLUST But then a couple of them started to run, and they now realise why I love it. It’s a great all-round exercise that will get you fit. It’s also good for the mind. You can get lost in your thoughts and really think things through on a run. Everyone has different reasons why they run, and indeed they will all have different goals. My thinking is: if I can do 5k one day, I can do it the next day; if I do any less than 5k, it annoys me. My friends choose to run for distance and time. One of my friends enters trail runs with his target being a certain number of kilometres clocked per month. TIPS FOR BEGINNING RUNNERS 1 TRY IT! A lot of people are afraid of running. But you need to try it to find out if you might just love it. 2 KEEP AT IT 3 THINK ABOUT WHY YOU RUN Don’t get disheartened if you can’t run far, particularly when you first start. You will improve over time. If improving your distance is your goal, then stick to that. If it is time, then focus on your time. Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing. It’s your workout! WALKING Walking is my second love. I visited New Zealand in 2008 and walked through farmland, over snow-covered mountains, and through green countryside, and my love of walking was born. After that, I just continued to walk everywhere. I would walk 5 miles to work, www.wanderlustmag.com