5 hours ago
Going South: The perks of keeping fit
January 26th 2013
Imogen Edwards-Jones is not only channeling Beyonce, she even broke out in a run this week. Pursuing her task to be a gym bunny, she finds there's more highs than lows
W10 Fitness is now my second home. I have now become such a gym bunny bore I can tell my lats from my glutes, and from my gut; and actually between you, me and the mirror, in my knickers, when I breathe in, clench, and lift my bosoms away from navel, I do look rather a lot better. Not brilliant. But better. The bikini can languish in that drawer for quite a while longer yet, but the one-piece might soon eventually, get an airing. And since I am permanently dressed in gym kit (I have to work out four times a week to keep this baby going) I am now SO fitting in at the school gate!
As school gates go, mine is quite a tough one. I was stupid enough to send my child to one of those Veruca Salt Schools where Elle Macpherson is a parent. Yes. Elle. It is not that splendid for one’s self esteem to go head to head with The Body at 8.30am on a Tuesday morning. But now that I am stitched into my Sweaty Betty and ancient yellow trainers, I can swish past her fragrant physique as she works the pavement in a leather jean.
I have also noticed other perks. There is nothing like doing 75 step-ups four times a week to make running up the stairs to find a Kit Kat a bit of a doddle. I can also pick up my three stone toddler without making that ‘ouf’ noise which usually accompanies the middle-aged as they flop down onto a sofa. I even did a run the other day. Not a whole one. But I was late (as usual) for something, and found my steps quickening, faster I went, and then suddenly I was running. It took me a little by surprise, I grant you, but it was definitely more than a fast walk. A jog. You’ll be relieved to hear I only managed the length of the pavement before I stopped. My arse was wobbling too much. There is only so much two layers of Lycra can contain.
Mentally, it has also been a bit of a game changer. As someone who is rather prone to moments of morose depression after hours and hours of sitting typing at a screen, it is extraordinary what one hour of lifting some weights, riding a bicycle and boxing a punch bag can do to your mood. Even after rather a lot of red wine, chatting and fagging the night before, all it takes is some leg lifts with Jean Claude, Adam Jones or Rob Coles for the fug and the cloud to clear. In hangover terms I’d say they are marginally more effective than a bacon sandwich.
There is, however, one problem when it comes to having feel-good factor coursing through your veins. It can sometimes go to your head and give you terrible delusions of body grandeur. For much like a postpartum woman squeezes herself into a pair of skinny jeans two weeks after giving birth because she can see her feet for the first time in six months and she can just-about-almost-nearly do up the zip; when you have lost a bit of weight and put on some rather thrilling muscle, it doesn’t mean you are Beyonce.
At a recent party, four martinis in, ‘Single Ladies’ suddenly popped up on the gramophone and I found myself jazz-kicking my way to the dance floor, sporting a wedge and black mini skirt (already wrong, I know). Now just because you CAN do a floor squat and wriggle your arse left and right as you “Oh! Oh! Oh!” back up again, doesn’t mean you should. The next day I woke up needing four Nurofen, a wheelchair and a brand new identity. I haven’t been able to go to the gym since.
W10 Fitness, Unit 3, 69 St Marks Road, London W10 6JG. Tel: 020 3489 5428
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