FitBits - fitness for fun and wellbeing: January 2018


Sunday, 14 January 2018

5 ways to beat the January blues

Monday January 15th is meant to be Blue Monday, whatever the hell that means. Are we all skint, fat and feeling down at how dark and cold it is? Or is this just another marketing ploy like Black Friday and Cyber Monday to get you to buy shit you don't need and feel bad about yourself and your life when there's nothing actually wrong?

I actually love January. I'm a sucker for a fresh start and love setting goals.

I'm feeling motivated, inspired and excited to kickstart a new year and make this one my best yet - but I'm lucky because I know what I want this year and have set some goals to achieve it (still haven't written about my 2018 goals have I. Bad Tess).

And OK, I might also be a little bit skint and a little bit fat but I'm not sad at the cold dark mornings and shorter days. I love winter training.

Here's how you can beat the January blues and stick two fingers up to Blue Monday:

Release your inner child

The first time I went trampolining wasn't until I was 30 years old and quite frankly that was 25 years too late. If you're looking for basically the most fun you'll ever have as an adult, find a trampoline park, borrow / take your own child or another fully grown human being and JUMP AROUND.

It's the BEST freedom, you'll get an awesome workout, and leave sweaty, invigorated and full of beans for the rest of the day.

Watch the video above and read my post here about when I went to a trampoline fitness class with This Girl Can.

Get outside 

Especially if the weather's wet and wild. There's no better way to feel alive than to get battered from all angles by the elements. To have your breath taken away by both the scenery and the gale force winds that snatch the air from your lungs. 

Everyone loves a crisp winter's day but don't be afraid to get out for a walk, run or ride when it's stormy. Moments like that make the food and warmth that follows all the more welcome.

Read about when we walked the Quiraing on the Isle of Skye in 50mph winds. 

Get on your bike

I honestly believe cycling should be prescribed by doctors to improve mental wellbeing. In fact, all types of exercise, any way of moving your body. 

But cycling in particular - I don't think I've been happiest ever as when I'm riding my bike. 

There are a few rules in life:

If it's sunny, don your shades and ride your bike. 

If it's raining, put your waterproofs on and ride your bike. 

If it's cold, wet, windy, and you can't see more than two feet ahead of you - grab some mates, find the South Downs or similar trails and ride your mountain bike. 

Mountain biking doesn't care about the January blues. 

My first ever mountain bike ride was on a wet, grey, miserable winter's day, adventuring with a bunch of other lunatics across the South Downs Way from Brighton to Eastbourne. It was absolutely epic and you can read about that here

Read more of my mtb-shaped adventures below if you're looking for inspiration to get on your bike this winter: 

If road cycling is your thing don't let the winter put you off cycling to work. Remember there's no such thing as bad weather - just the wrong kit! 

If you're female and need help getting confident on the roads, find your nearest Breeze ride.

Get to the gym 

If you really can't bear to get outside you don't have to - take refuge in the gym and join the other nutters lifting heavy things and feasting on endorphins at 6am on cold dark mornings :) 

Book a PT to make yourself work harder and bust out your best gym face to show him it's working. 

(I'm working with Brighton PT Pete Dudley twice a week at the moment and loving the results - will blog this ASAP so stay tuned!)  


Take some time out 

You can't always be on the go - sometimes it's nice to snatch an hour or two just for you and no one else. Make a date with the mat and get to a yoga class - I say this every time I write about it but I 100% need to make more time for yoga and meditation. 

This beautiful space is Studio iO in Brighton - the city's most amazing place to practice. 

It's so easy to get caught up in the day to day rat race that it seems we don't have time to switch off but really - we do - we just have to make time. 

Take your 'me time' one step further and try floatation if you really want to reset and recharge. 

Read about my first ever floatation

Remember - don't get caught up in feeling however popular culture is telling you to. Take ownership of your January and the rest of your 2018 - set some goals, take steps towards some dreams and go get what you want. 

The January blues is a trap - don't fall for it!


How do you beat the January/winter blues? 

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Thursday, 11 January 2018

How does exercise make you feel?

FitBits | How does exercise make you feel? Tess Agnew fitness blogger

Someone in the office said I was 'dedicated' to fitness this week. It's not the first time I've been told that. I've been called 'disciplined' numerous times. Been labelled 'hardcore' more than once. 

"You're so good," they say. 

I often get asked if I ever sit still. Is there any sport I don't do, or anything I won't try? How do I stay so motivated to keep fit all the time? 

The truth is, I'm not always motivated. Sometimes I really and truly just 




But mostly I'll think of how I feel afterwards. I'll think of those endorphins, and that fire in my belly that stays with me for the rest of the day. 

I'll remember the awesome sunrises I've seen that were there just for me, and the silent, sleepy streets where just for that run, that ride, that bootcamp session or class, the city is mine and no one else's - even if I'm exercising with other people. 

FitBits | How does exercise make you feel? Tess Agnew fitness blogger

I'll think of the group of friends I'm meeting and how I don't want to let them down, or the PT appointment I made (unless like today, I forget to set my bloody alarm and wake only when he texts me to see where I am!). 

I'll think of how much more productive, focused and energised I am once I've moved my body, even just for a little bit. 

FitBits | How does exercise make you feel? Tess Agnew fitness blogger

It's not just my body that loves exercise, my brain does too. I learnt to love exercise not because of the weight I lost, or the changing reflection in the mirror. 

I started to love it because of how it made me feel. Because of what it taught me about myself. 

It brings me so much more than the weight loss and 'perfect body' I was in search of when I started.

It's brought me self-belief that I can do anything I want to. It's brought me a sense of belonging - in my body, in my city, in my physical and online network of friends from Brighton and beyond. 

It's taught me to try, helped me to grow, allowed me to explore my real sense of self. 

FitBits | How does exercise make you feel? Tess Agnew fitness blogger

Living an active lifestyle isn't something I'm 'dedicated' to, or 'disciplined' in - it's a part of me. It's who I am. And it has been since I changed my life in 2011 when I finally gave up smoking

I shared a tweet and Insta post earlier asking people how exercise makes them feel and we're all on the same page. View the threads here and here if you want to join the conversation. 

People said exercise makes them less lethargic, less prone to illness, it helps them reconnect with themselves and nature. Some said it helps their depression and alleviate anxiety. 

It calms racing minds, melts away stress, makes us feel awesome, shows us we're strong. 

It brings health, happiness and the best high you'll ever feel - you just need to find something you actually enjoy doing. 

I wrote the below when I spoke at the Sussex Sport Awards, but ICYMI, here's how you can learn to love exercise... 

How to love exercise

FitBits | How does exercise make you feel? Tess Agnew fitness blogger

The key to finding the joy in exercise is finding something that you love.

Something that's fun and silly, something that makes you laugh. Like trampolining, or skateboarding.

Or something that's challenging and rewarding, making you push your boundaries and achieve new things. Like running your first marathon or learning to swim as an adult so you can become a triathlete.

Something that let's you make new friends, learn new skills, get outside, and get out of your comfort zone. Like joining a new team sport.

Living an active life doesn't have to be about hitting the gym for hours on end (unless that's what you love doing, of course).

It's about lighting that fire in your belly (however big and wobbly it is) that makes you come home beaming about the great time you had in that class, on that run, at that cycle ride, even though you didn't want to go in the first place - but made yourself do it anyway.

Find something that you can't wait to go back to.

Something you want to get better at.

Something that inspires you to try.

Try ALL THE THINGS until you find the above, and I promise you, you'll wonder how you ever lived your life any other way.


How does exercise make you feel? 

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