I've never been great at the whole fitness thing.
I used to swim when was younger, and that was then replaced by dancing.
My parents weren't the kind of parents to let us just laze around in front of the tv all weekend so we would go for walks and be out in the fresh air.
I'm happy walking to and from places where that's an option. In fact, in my first job out of university, I used to walk to work, which was 3.5 miles each way!
Anyway, I think what I'm trying to say is I've always had some kind of activity going on, but I've never had a 'regime' of my own, where self-motivate and actually do the work myself.
When I left school and university and the dancing stopped, I realised no one was going to tell me what to do any more, but that in itself didn't push me to change too far.
When I lived in Darlington, there was a pay-as-you-go gym and I think I went a grand total of three times in the two years I lived there.
I went through a phase of thinking I was going to be a runner, but just find it so boring and can't get into that 'zone' people who enjoy running talk about.
About 18 months ago, I started exploring the world of exercise videos on YouTube, and things began to change.
I could do it at home.
I could so it whenever suited me.
There's SO MUCH content on there you can't get bored.
And - possibly best of all in my current situation - it's free.
It's absolutely incredible how much inspiration, knowledge and advice is available on YouTube which is free for us to access.
I was still using these fairly sporadically though, with videos from the likes of Blogilates and Tone It Up, who I do still follow today.
About 6 months ago, everything shifted again as 3 channels I love completely changed my outlook on fitness and made it something I wanted to actually make time for.
I now tend to do videos about two to four mornings a week, and am trying to improve my consistency and up that to four to five a week.
For the first time, it's something I make time for and I'm beginning to feel a difference and enjoy what I'm doing.
Here are those three channels:
I honestly cannot praise Lucy's channel enough. She has now started doing monthly challenges which are amazing to follow along with. A couple of months ago was a 4 minute HIIT routine 6 days a week, last month were 100 rep workouts, and the theme this month is 'Tone Every Zone'. Her videos are usually between 4 and 10 minutes long, but my goodness you can feel them work. Her years of experience and expertise are clear, and I love reading the comments, especially from young girls, for whom she is teaching a positive message of fitness and strength.
I just adore Carly. She's that girl you want to be friends with (her weekly vlogs are some of my favourites), and her message is so real and so accessible. I've followed her channel since before she took her qualifications to become a personal trainer and seeing her do what she loves and transform into an even happier person has been so inspiring. Carly's exercise videos follow a similar model of short bursts which deliver big results, and it's clear that she caters to all abilities. She also does a lot of content about health, motivation, mindset and eating which are informative and realistic - she's a big champion of the fact you can still enjoy your life and your food whilst making positive changes.
Although not a fitness channel, Anna has been one of the YouTubers most responsible for my changed outlook on fitness over the last 6 months. She works out with Lucy, which is how I discovered Lucy's channel, and has gone through that journey of being someone who never particularly found a routine she could stick at, to being someone who loves exercise and feels amazing for the changes she has made. Listening to the way she speaks about fitness and health made me realise the changes she was making were so doable, and as someone whose videos I love in general, hers is an example I want to follow.
So there you have it. Let me know if there are any more great channels I'm missing out on!