It seems that when I switched from face-to-face to online personal training sessions when I moved to Spain, I was in fact setting myself up well for weeks and weeks in lockdown. Little did I know how it would really benefit me when I was confined to my little flat in the heart of Barcelona, unable to stretch my legs for weeks on end.
Online personal training is accessible for anyone with an Internet connection. It really is that simple. For people who claim that they don’t have the time to exercise or go to the gym, or they simply don’t enjoy the gym environment, this is the perfect solution for you. Believe me, I was one of those people, but I’m a changed woman now. We provide tailored translation services for our clients and online PT does the same for me, in the comfort of my own home. Often the workouts that I do require little or no equipment and even though I’m now at an advanced stage of my training, that doesn’t mean that I need my own state of the art gym in my home, but if you have the space for it then who am I to stop you? A gym is definitely on the cards when I move into my dream home. But for now, I’m coping just fine with a few sets of different weighted dumbbells, a kettlebell, an ab roller, a resistance band, and a standard exercise mat. Nothing fancy, but I have a completely new body shape and the abs (I wish) to show for it. However, before I introduce you to my wonderful PT and friend back in the UK, I want to go back to the beginning of my journey and explain why I enlisted the help of a PT in the first place.
It’s exactly a year since I decided that, after sitting at a desk day in and day out since September 2018 while I was getting my business off the ground, it hadn’t done my mental or physical health any good. I wasn’t moving enough, my Fitbit constantly reminded me of that fact and while I may have gone to bed mentally exhausted after working with words all day, I was rarely physically exhausted. This wasn’t helping my sleep quality much either and whoever said “sleep is for the weak” didn’t run their own business. We need sleep and running a business certainly requires a respectable amount of sleep every night. I had this sudden urge to move around and stretch my body on a daily basis, just as much as I stretched my mind. After finishing my Masters in Translation Studies at Durham University in September 2018, my body was no longer a temple. The student lifestyle isn’t conducive to a six pack or peak physical fitness. I went into the university year feeling great after completing my first half marathon and loving every minute of it. I came out of the year unable to run another one and wanting to get back into shape. After taking six months out to start my business (the best thing I ever did), April 2019 was where my love for keeping fit really began.
Meet Jennie-Marie Glover, my PT and one of my biggest cheerleaders. She believed in me before I even believed in my own fitness journey, do you know how rare a quality that is to find in a person these days? I knew she was the right PT for me when she hugged me goodbye after our first taster session. Yes, hugging is that thing that some of us used to love doing before social distancing arrived. Fast forward seven months and I decided to move to Spain and Jennie came with me via FaceTime.
As translators, we are often chained to our desks and if we are freelance and work from home, we are dangerously close to the kitchen. This is more of an opportunity than a threat though because you have the opportunity to eat exactly what you want…you just need to make the right choices. You won’t be falling into the trap of those office workers who need a McDonalds, or a bacon butty run to get them through a Friday. Or will you? Unless you live in Windsor Castle with Lizzie and have 52 bedrooms and 92 offices, your walk to the fridge or the bathroom just isn’t enough to keep you fit and healthy. This is where online PT comes into its own. You just need to take a few steps from your desk to your mat and your fitness journey can begin. Now how is that for a commute? A very worthwhile one, let me tell you.
I have seen so many benefits to my training; yes, there are the physical benefits, but for the purposes of this blog post, I’m interested in what this training has done for my business specifically, as I’m sure you are. There is so much science behind the benefits of exercise and let me tell you, it’s all true. If you are a morning person, you can work out before you start your day, if you are a night owl you can work out after work. Or if you want to mix it up and sometimes work out at lunchtime (yes freelancers should have those too), the possibilities of ‘when’ really are endless. We are often told that for some of the most successful people in business, rising early is key to their success. However, our office is a lot closer to home, so we don’t need to set our alarm for the crack of dawn. Just because the Apple CEO starts his mornings at 3:45 am and the Oprah Winfreys and Michelle Obamas of the world have been known to rise at the crack of dawn, doesn’t mean that you have to. The whole point of online PT is that it’s on YOUR terms, it’s your home after all.
Now let’s get to the juicy bit, the benefits to my business and to yours. When we think about the value of exercise, we tend to focus on the physical benefits but over the past decade, social scientists have gathered compelling evidence suggesting that there is another, more immediate benefit of regular exercise: its impact on the way we think. According to the Harvard Business Review, and let’s be honest those guys really know their stuff, studies indicate that our mental firepower is directly linked to our physical regimen. And nowhere are the implications more relevant than to our performance at work. Consider the following cognitive benefits, all of which you can expect as a result of incorporating regular exercise into your routine:
- Improved concentration
- Sharper memory
- Faster learning
- Prolonged mental stamina
- Enhanced creativity
- Lower stress
This sounds like a recipe for success for any freelance translator to me, or any small biz owner for that matter. Exercise has also been shown to improve your mood, which has serious implications for your performance in your home office. Building business relationships and fostering collaborations is fundamental to what you do, so if you are in a better mood, this will really help you to connect with your clients more and directly influence your success. That all important conference call for an exciting new project will go swimmingly, and you will be as cool as a cucumber when your client needs you to turn a tricky legal project around within 24 hours. Challenge accepted!
There is also evidence suggesting that exercise during regular work hours may boost performance. Have you ever been envious of those people who have access to free weights or a yoga studio at the office? Don’t be envious because you can be one of those people. You are living the dream…once an online retailer has delivered your limited equipment right to your doorstep.
Something I read recently on the Harvard Business Review is that “instead of viewing exercise as something we do for ourselves—a personal indulgence that takes us away from our work—it’s time we started considering physical activity as part of the work itself”. Preach! I couldn’t have put it better myself. The alternative of processing information more slowly, forgetting more often, and getting easily frustrated are certainly not conducive to a successful business model.
There is no right or wrong way of incorporating exercise into your routine…that’s the whole point. It has to be right for YOU. It’s your body and your business, but if you incorporate exercise into your working day, it makes it a lot easier to make time for it. Therefore, that old chestnut of “I don’t have enough time” no longer works. Remember, this is time away from your desk so that you can invest in yourself and your business. If you aren’t well, neither is your business, as you are your business. Just imagine the added value to your business; a sharper, faster, more creative translation machine, otherwise known as you.
I train three times a week with my PT, but I’m kind of addicted to the #indoorphins and the overall feeling of being a hot, sweaty mess, so I exercise most days in quarantine. The beach is just 7 minutes away, so I need to make sure that my beach bod is literally ready to go once I’m released from captivity. Sometimes I train in the morning and my PT kickstarts my day…literally. I then sit down at my desk (ouch) with my first cup of tea of the day with a renewed perspective and raring to go. Other times, at the end of the day, I shake it off by getting up from my desk creaking and groaning (yes, even though I do have an ergonomic chair) and working out the day’s frustrations through a few burpees or 100 (ouch).
First and foremost, and before you go any further, you must read this disclaimer. I’m a legal word nerd and a lawyer at heart, so you didn’t think I would just dive right into it, did you?
You must ensure that you warm up and warm down properly before and after this workout as those muscles needs to be stretched out before AND after you attempt this workout. You must also ensure that you seek professional medical advice if you have any existing medical conditions, coronavirus or if you have simply never exercised before. This video is not an invitation to get off your sofa and injure yourself so please read the legal disclaimer below before you carry on reading and watching.
The information contained in my blog (www.legallyginger.law.blog) and through Jennie-Marie Glover’s website (www.jennie-marie.website) is for educational and informational purposes only, and is made available to you as self-help tools for your own use.
Nicole Fenwick and Jennie-Marie Glover (“we”) strongly recommend that you consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise programme. You should be in good physical condition and be able to participate in the exercise.
We are not a licensed medical care provider and represent that we have no expertise in diagnosing, examining, or treating medical conditions of any kind, or in determining the effect of any specific exercise on a medical condition. You should understand that when participating in any exercise or exercise programme, there is the possibility of physical injury.
If you engage in this exercise or exercise programme, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Nicole Fenwick and Jennie-Marie Glover from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of this blog post.
Now I’m going to pass you to Jennie, you are in safe hands I promise.
You can do three rounds of the following workout- 30 seconds work and 30 seconds rest, or you can push yourself and do 45 seconds work and 15 seconds rest for each exercise. If you are feeling adventurous because you are at an advanced level, you can do each individual exercise for 1 minute with as much rest as needed or you can choose to do 10/12/15 reps of each exercise.
- Squats- – These target the glutes and quads.
- Bulgarian split squats- These target the glutes and quads.
- Press ups- – These target the chest, back and triceps.
- Leg raises- These target the glutes.
- Leg raises to the side- These target the abductor and glutes.
- Side touches/Russian twists- These target the obliques.
If you fancy some HIIT, you could try:
- 10 squats
- 10 press ups
- 10 burpees
- 10 lunges
- 10 crunches
However, you won’t see me demonstrating the HIIT workout on the video because quite frankly, no one wants to see that.
If you fancy a snack after breaking a sweat over something other than a temperamental CAT tool, why not try one of the following:
- Mixed seeds and nuts
- High protein yoghurt
- Green apples and grapes
- Chopped vegetables such as carrots, celery and peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
I think we can all agree that these are way healthier than your secret quarantine stash. Drinking lots of water is also a great way to flush out toxins and supports tissue repair, focus and helps to flush fat out.
Now here is the fun part. Here is a video of me doing a chair workout. As you can see, I have an ergonomic chair. This is particularly important and is worthy of its own blog post. I’m also using some dumbbells, but I know that not everyone will have these to hand at the moment so use whatever you can get your hands on. Those of you in the UK can reach for the trusty tins of baked beans, whereas others can use tins, bags of rice or potatoes, 8 litre water bottles etc. I know that I’m not the only one who has got creative with their makeshift weights, as I spoke to a fellow translator who was hoping to source some sand to supplement her exercise regime. Get creative!
Overall, start small and steady and do not try running a marathon at home. I have been using the Pomodoro technique recently and so perhaps, a good way to ease yourself in might be to use the Pomodoro technique’s 15 minute rest rest/reward to stretch those legs by treating yourself to the toilet on a different floor or purposefully drink water by the glass so that you have to move to get a refill.
So, there we have it. Some great advice from someone other than me to mix it up a bit and you get to see a legal translator sweat over something other than rendering a French contract or a perplexing trademark application into coherent English. Priceless!
And just in case you still need another reason to stay fit and healthy, the healthier and fitter you are, the better the chance you have of fighting off the nasty coronavirus virus. Exercise is a no-brainer now, right?
Don’t let a thing like isolation keep you from being fit and healthy, neither your body nor your business will thank you. I would love to hear what you think to this workout or even better, share your selfies or a video of you doing the workout. It’s not a competition, just a way that we can all hold each other accountable, regardless of where we are in the world. Plus, we could all do with a good laugh!
If you want to pick Jennie’s brain about anything, please visit her website and get in touch with her. She is also from Yorkshire, so she also has that friendly Yorkshire charm and is always willing to help.
I would also love to hear your thoughts on what you are working on or blogging about and what content you would like to see in my blog. You can find me on all the usual types of social media or drop me an email at email@example.com. I don’t bite, I promise!
Take care of yourselves and drop me a line if you fancy a chat.