In collaboration with Maxi Nutrition.
I love blogging. I really do.
What began as a hobby, a method of procrastination from writing Open University assignments has blossomed into full time self-employment. I’ve met so many wonderful people and have experienced so many fantastic and unusual things I wouldn’t otherwise have met/done because of blogging. It’s a creative outlet, it lets me share my ideas and passions and receive feedback from others with similar passions. Plus, sometimes, I even get paid to write stuff.
It’s all pretty fantastic.
Except for the unbelievable amount of time I spend sitting on my backside!
I fight a constant battle against what blogger Jonathon Fields has coined SMEGS—Social Media Expansive Gluteal Syndrome. Creating content for a blog is time consuming. Typing, formatting, editing photographs, research, typing, typing, typing and then all of that social media stuff so people will actually find and visit your blog – it takes up a lot of time, and it’s all done sitting on one’s backside.
I asked some of my fellow food bloggers what they do to keep fit. How do they balance creativity, working, writing and exercise, and their responses may surprise you.
Tracey Knatt – It’s Not Easy Being Greedy
For me health and fitness is very important, especially having once been a few stone overweight. I try and balance out my diet with the 80/20 rule but sometimes it balances the wrong way. My weekly diary on my blog speaks about when I am eating more healthily.
As my boyfriend doesn’t like sweet stuff, I do tend to give away my bakes as much as possible – usually by taking them to work for colleagues, and occasionally requesting small donations to charity for a slice of cake.
You can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet and so the focus for me always has to be on food (I always prefer to eat rather than drink my calories so try and stay away from too much booze), but I also have been a member of a gym for 4 years and try to go 3 times per week – I have a couple of work friends who are my gym buddies, and that really helps motivate me to get up at 5.40am to go to the gym before work (my blog is my hobby).
Choclette – Tin & Thyme
As a food blogger I spend a lot of time thinking about, writing about, photographing, growing, buying, preparing and eating food. This doesn’t leave a a lot of time for much else. Luckily, I love to be outdoors and feel a need to be active for at least some part of the day. In the summer I get a fair amount of exercise walking to and from our plot, which involves a steep climb as well as whatever gardening activity occurs. It’s not so easy in the winter, but unless there is torrential rain, I always make sure I get out and have a decent fast walk – usually in the rain and the dark. And of course, living in Cornwall, we have some stunning places to go and get a proper long walk at weekends, weather permitting. So although, I spend rather too long sitting at the computer, I do make some effort to stay active.
Monica Shaw – Smarterfitter
For me it’s all about getting the right start. Every morning I do 30-60 minutes of exercise, be it swimming, yoga, walking or a group exercise class (spinning, CrossFit, pilates… really, they can be fun!). It wakes me up and sets a tone of positivity that follows me for the rest of the day. Breakfast is also a part of this “right start” morning routine. I usually go for a smoothie, bircher muesli, or simply porridge with fresh fruit. To keep the good vibes and high energy going, I try to get outside at least once per day during daylight hours for a short (or long) walk. And I like to stockpile my freezer with healthy delicious winter warming meals. Red lentil soup, veggie chilli, and dal are a few favourites. Most importantly, I leave room for indulgences! If I stick to nutritious wholesome eating for the vast majority of the time (85-90%), I can actually enjoy the occasional treat without having to worry. And I do mean enjoy. There are no guilty pleasures in my house. Just pleasures!
Jemma – Celery & Cupcakes
For me, healthy living is all about enjoying the food you love to help nourish your mind, body and soul. Deprivation doesn’t factor in my every day, but making the right choices for my body and adopting an approach that focuses on balance really works for me.
Life would be boring without chocolate and cake and my more rounded perspective towards health and fitness allows me to enjoy these foods and reminds me that all foods are good and should be enjoyed to the fullest.
Sus Davy – Rough Measures
Because I live on the canal, I find myself outdoors a lot more, whether its walking, running or cycling. I like swimming in the winter as it’s not weather dependent! If I have been blogging and baking a lot, I share my treats with my friends and family, so I don’t end up eating everything I make. I make sure I drink 2-4 litres of water a day also.
Sally Prosser – My Custard Pie
I didn’t start my blog with the intention of eating out at all. I’m a home cook and love going out to dine at a friend’s house rather than a fancy restaurant. But due to the proliferation of restaurants in Dubai and the success of my blog my inbox is always full of generous and tempting invitations (and I’ve been very lucky to experience some amazing meals). I try to decline most but often realise that I’ve accepted too many when I look at my diary. This sounds like an enviable problem to have but eating out more than once a week soon puts extra centimetres on my waistline and saps my energy levels.
I have three ways of dealing with this. Firstly to just say no and give myself a break to get back to sensible portions and a healthy balanced diet of home cooked food. Secondly to only accept invitations which have healthy choices and to taste dishes rather than polish them off. I hate food waste so have to force myself to leave things. The third thing is to step up the exercise – when I’ve been out late the night before it’s easy to skip formal exercise.
My routine is an hour brisk dog walk plus half an hour on the step machine in the gym and it’s the latter that I need to focus on. As I work from home, I try and set a timer every hour and get up from my computer to run up and down stairs a few times!
Elizabeth Atia – Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary
I never used to have to worry about my weight. I was always one of those really skinny people and I never felt the need to diet until after the birth of my second child when the post-baby weight just wouldn’t shift. Since then I’ve managed to maintain a pretty steady, healthy, if somewhat slightly more plump than I’d like to be weight except for that one time, post injury, when I was unable to exercise and I ballooned up by two stone (28 lbs!). I lost that weight through an extreme home exercise program, but it’s still a constant battle to balance eating, exercise and blogging.
My main motivator is my Fitbit One. I try and take at least 10,000 steps (5 miles) per day and the little reward badges you get for making specific lifetime achievements is quite satisfying. I gained my Cloud badge the other day – I’ve climbed over 8000 floors since I got my FitBit in February 2015.
My biggest hurdle is to mentally motivate myself to get off my backside and actually do the exercise. I know it makes me feel good, and it’s worth the effort, but sometimes I feel one needs the mental strength of a professional athlete to sustain regular exercise long term. Maxi Nutrition have some great tips on how to increase your mental strength when it comes to exercise.
OTHER TIPS FROM THE FOOD BLOGGING COMMUNITY
- Walk, walk, walk – walk as much as you can and leave the car at home! – Tin & Thyme
- I do squats when cleaning my teeth. Adds up to another 30mins a week. – Fuss Free Flavours
- I donate samples to Food Bank or local homeless shelter, also freeze what I make in smaller helpings for later or give out baking to school staff room or staff room at work.- Utterly Scrummy Food for Families
- I make sure I am active for an hour a day, 5 days a week, and keep my diet to 80% healthy meals and 20% indulgence. – Hungry, Healthy, Happy
- I alternate squats, butt crunches or balancing on one leg with my eyes closed (fab for the core and balance!) while I brush & floss every night. – Cook Sister
- I save my expensive shower gels to use after going to the gym. Small rewards and all of that. – Fuss Free Flavours
- I workout in the kitchen too. Doing squats whilst waiting for the kettle to boil or doing lunges whilst waiting for the vegetables to cook – it all adds up. Oh and sometimes I do wall squats whilst eating my porridge. A 10 minute walk squat hurts. – Hungry, Healthy, Happy
- When I go on a press trip I always take running shoes and try to hit the hotel gym every day, even if it is just for 30 mins. – Cook Sister
How do you keep fit? Do you have any tips to share? Let me know in the comments below!
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Image of woman walking down outdoor trail at sunset via Shutterstock.