This feels like an appropriate moment to say: none of my reviews (so far!) are sponsored or the result of freebies – if I’m lucky enough to do any sponsored posts in future, I will of course say so. But for now, if I gush about something, it’s because I genuinely love it. So with that said, on with the gushing 🙂
As a young’un, I was pretty active. I went horse-riding once a week and did a lot of walking. Then I came to uni, and discovered nights out and lie-ins, and got a part-time job in a call centre, which involved sitting down for hours. And suddenly the muscles in my right leg decided enough was enough. They hurt so much I couldn’t sit through a full lecture without having to randomly stand up, out of the blue, which was a little embarrassing. I went to the doctor and was referred for physiotherapy, and it turned out my hips were slightly out of alignment and my right leg was shorter than my left, meaning it had to work a lot harder to keep up. They’d probably always been that way, but without doing any exercise the muscles had gradually weakened. With hindsight I think the final straw was that I brought my car to Aberdeen in 2nd year, so my right leg was constantly working pressing the accelerator or brake, while my left sat there slacking and occasionally pushing the clutch. Anyway, the physio taught me some stretching exercises to do, for half an hour every day to start with, and then just as required, and I got better.
Fast forward to a few years later, now a proper grown-up with a full-time job, and my gym-loving colleague convinced me to join the nearby gym. I decided to try out the Les Mills BodyBalance class – a mixture of pilates, yoga and tai chi, set to music. I enjoyed it and started going pretty regularly. My colleague came along a few times, and to quote his Facebook status after his first class, “Don’t let the name fool you!” – it’s tough, especially on the abs and legs, but I came out of each class feeling amazing, and found it a little bit easier every time. Sure I ached for a couple of days, but it was a good ache.
And gradually I started to notice myself doing things that I hadn’t been able to do before. Like sitting at my desk for two hours without having to get up and do a little dance around because my back / neck / limbs had seized up. Or like reaching for something in the kitchen using just my arm and torso, rather than taking a couple of steps towards it. I started sleeping better. Basically, I started to feel like a person in her 20s, rather than an old lady!
So yes I would definitely recommend BodyBalance if you can find a class near you. It’s a great work out and quite fun, the music really keeps you going and the instructors know their stuff. I have also tried a Les Mills BodyAttack class, but honestly it was a bit much for me! As well as regular BodyBalance I now run and cycle and do an occasional Step class when I can, but my goal is to keep myself fit and supple rather than to lose weight, so I’m happy to keep it to a fairly moderate level. I’ve also tried a pure yoga class and it was ok, but I find I get bored quickly trying to do any exercise without music to push me on.
Has anybody else tried Balance, or have any other recommendations for me?