Taking on a new fitness challenge by Joanne Jones

Some of you may already be aware, I am not the fittest of persons and avoid exercise like the plague as I do enjoy my rest days. That is until last month when I was chatting to my husband who wanted us to be able to do more things together, that did not involve food and drink when he suggested we start riding bikes… Eeek!

It was the 70’s the last time I had been on a bike, and I don’t have many happy memories as I fell off a lot and have plenty of scars on my knees to prove it. However low and behold, I came home from work one week to find a second-hand bike, new helmet, lights and a bell waiting for me! So there was no going back now!

We waited until the weekend when we were both free to go out on our first adventure. We are fortunate as we live in such a beautiful area where there are lots of bike paths. We started slowly, well very slowly for me as I was very wobbly to begin with, but soon started to gain confidence, and we managed 3 miles on our first outing. Boy did my thighs ache though, and a new seat was definitely needed to be purchased, but it was exhilarating, and I was shocked at how much I really loved it.

We go out each weekend now and go further and further each time, and I can feel my confidence growing. It’s great to be spending time together as well as toning up and getting fitter too. However, I still haven’t mastered what all of the gears are for yet, but that’s just work in progress.

A bike rack has now appeared, and it looks like we will be taking the bikes away with us when we go camping later next month! We intend to get out even more and build our energy levels up so that we can go further afield and enjoy all that this beautiful country has to offer, and I am also looking forward to the light nights for an evening bike ride too. I am entirely sold, and glad I took the plunge and gave it a go. I hope I can inspire others to do the same or try something that is outside your normal comfort zone. If I can try something new, anyone can.

I have done some research and learned there are also some great benefits to cycling:

  • Improving cardiovascular function – cycling is an aerobic activity, which means your heart and lungs will benefit as well as your leg muscles.
  • Muscle strength and tone – cycling will build muscle tone, especially the quads, glutes and calf muscles.
  • Increases mental wellbeing – cycling triggers the release of endorphins, the feel-good chemicals in the brain, and increased health and fitness brought by regular cycling contributes to a generally happier outlook on life.
  • Increased energy – cycling builds stamina, muscle strength and overall physical endurance, so for many new cyclists, it’s an unexpected benefit to having more energy for day-to-day things.
  • Cycling can take your mind off problems, or give you a chance to think about them in a calm way.
  • Family fun – cycling as a family is a fun way to spend your free time, and a great bonding experience.

If you would like to have a go, all I can say is go for it, as just like me you will be pedalling your way to more confidence and lots and lots of fun!

For more ideas on what exercises you can do when on a VLCD click the following link.

Have you got any hobbies or new found interests that involve exercise? Share them below to be in with a chance of winning a set of Bluetooth Scales! Our favourite comment will be chosen on Thursday 14th March 2019 at 4 pm!

By Joanne Jones, Customer Care Advisor


  1. I have always tried to keep as fit as I can but now almost 70 years it’s not always easy what with all the aches and pains of getting old. So my husband and I have started Nordic Walking. The poles help me balance and give me confidence. We go out into our local forest where there are designated walks and have built up to 5.5 miles distance. It’s great to be active and with the weight loss as well I feel totally motivated and pleased with myself.

  2. Oh yes I down loaded a tabata app you pick what exercises you want to do its on a timer for 1 minute intervals.
    Best bit about it is you can do as much as you want or as little as you can manage. As I have my phone with me all the time I know I can workout anywhere anytime.. it sends reminders of what time you picked for that day as a good time and it tracks it all.
    You can see what you’ve done eg leg raises or situps and what you’ve not done. It creates accountability.

  3. I have started this plan many times but never stuck to it for more than a week. I am now on week 4 and have started walking to school with the kids every day taking the dog on longer walks and doing gymnastics with my 3 yr old on a Saturday morning. I am determined to lose this weight and het fit for our 1st family holiday in 10 years.

  4. I havent exercised for a year. Started slim and save and have gone back to the gym aiming to do some circuits and also do some light aerobics 2 to 3 tines a week. I am also using my fitbit and trying to get 10000 steps a day in as my job is quite sendentry. I was lucky if i was getting 3000 to 4000 steps a day in prior to this.

  5. I took up running in January. I’m upto 6.5k and I’m no longer run/walking I’m actually running. I’m so proud of myself and not bad for 48. Iv done a couple of 5k park runs and I’m looking for a race for life run to do in memory of my wonderful nan. I couldn’t have done this without loosing the weight with this diet.

  6. Great inspiration….I’ve tried to find exercise opportunities which fit easily with my lifestyle, I’ve started horse riding once a week, something I hadn’t done for 30years, 40 mins swimming lengths whilst my children have their lesson and walking or cycling to school instead of driving helps us all have a positive start to our day and a nice chat on the way to school…all positive and sustainable activities..

  7. As a newbie and trying hard my new fitness idea involves little steps, parking further from the door at work and the shops and during the working day getting away from my desk to walk about and go to the office upstairs or the other unit across the road

  8. I started my most favourite fitness in 2012. My work colleagues invited me to participate in the charity bike ride London to Paris ! I immediately said yes, went off a purchased my road bike and haven’t looked back since. I’m terrible at running as it puts a lot of strain on my back but the cycling works a treat!

  9. My fiancé is just starting this plan and we’ll be going out for walks at the weekend with our 2 children. I walk the nursery run 6 times a week and I’m planning on doing a 30 minute walk into our town centre once a week.

    I’ve bought a new sling to carry my 12 week old so I can get out and about more during the week and we’re also starting baby swimming lessons this week.

    Once we’ve got a bit off we’ll dig out bikes – we live in Cornwall and used to get out and about on them regularly.

  10. I am not a exercise person at all one of the reasons because of my weight i find it alot harder. Few months ago my boyfriends mother introduced me to a place which did these exercise pods called VLine, its a treadmill in a pod that uses vibration heat and a vacuum to help keep you fit its great for cellulite aswell. I did a trail and fell in love with it the heat helps my back pains too. I love it because even though its only half an hour you feel like you’ve done a proper gym work out without all the joint pains. I now do this twice a week my fitness programme has improved and this matched with my weight loss so far has helped the pressure on my joints.

  11. I’ve recently started playing lawn bowls with my neighbour Barry. It’s a great way to socialise and the light exercise keeps me active. We’re thinking of joining a team to compete in tournaments in the summer.

  12. I enjoy taking my grandchildren to the local woodland trail, they really enjoy it, especially when it has rained and there are lots of puddles!
    We end up raking up hundreds of steps by the end of the trail.

  13. Can’t wait. I’m sure I’ll get the chance to hop on a bike one day, just not at the moment.
    I’ve been looking to buy a bike for a couple of years, just not got the bottle to do it just yet.
    But at least with S&S I’m now a few stones closer 🙂

  14. I am same with avoiding exercise. For me I try to go for lunchtime walks when at work and find an excuse to go shopping with my 8 year old at weekends.

    I enjoyed pilates at home when I last dieted so will get back into that once I have shifted a stone or two 🙂

  15. My favourite hobby is bikejoring with my two rescue Alaskan Malamutes – this involves putting them into a special racing harness , attaching a bungee line which is then attached to a bikejor arm to the handlebar stem and off you go!
    You need to teach them left and right, slow down ( for corners ) on by ( for passing ) and most importantly STOP!
    Malamutes can pull heavy loads for a long while, it’s what they’re bred to do, but my two are so pleased I have lost another 3 stone recently as it means I pedal faster so they can now run faster and thrill me even more.

  16. I have lost 8 stone with SnS and I can honestly say it’s changed my life completely. Some are changes of which I dreamed of, wearing nice clothes, enjoying shopping, feeling more confident and feeling so much healthier and being more involved with playing with my small children. But some I never saw coming…. a new found confidence to try things I never would have dared at 18 stone.

    It started with joining a gym because that’s a big deal when your 18 stone (5 foot 2) and so incredibly unfit you feel like your entering a world in which you don’t belong and it’s so hard. Being as red as a Ribena Berry, sweating and out off puff feels shameful. Catching glimpses in the mirror of yourself whilst rowing or running made me cry. But once you start to see the changes in your body and the difference in your fitness these feelings start to fade and instead feelings of pride and self-worth.

    It motivated me on the hard days of simplicity, the more I moved the more I could stick to plan. I dared join in with classes, body pump, body combat and body attack and I even started to feel that sense of euphoria that people describe because of the endorphins (really thought that was a myth) And my weight continued to drop and after a year I hit my goal of 10 stone. I’ve now maintained since last April and I’ve had the best year, setting myself fitness goals and activity challenges.

    I’ve tried rock climbing, sea kayaking, park runs, several 5k series, adult gymnastics sessions, boxing classes, clubasize, boogie bounce, surfing (really awful at this) and my absolute favourite stand up paddle boarding. I would have never dreamt of these at the size I was, but I needed to start somewhere and so glad I did as it was the key to making SnS work for me and it has enriched my life in ways I never imagined.

    Set yourself a small challenge, find something fun and enjoy yourself, it’s been a game changer for me and my key for maintenance. Xxx

  17. Well done Joanne! Looking fab! I spend a lot of my time being a Football Mum. So, when my eldest goes to football training through the week, me and some of the mums have started to walk while they train. It really makes a difference walking while chatting, you don’t feel like you are exercising!
    Non exercising, I started crochet 4 weeks ago and keeping my hands busy is stopping me from eating!
    This time, I will finish this weight loss journey.

  18. Well done Joanne for getting on your bike. Activity is sometimes a challenge with a combination of arthritic knees, weight and age. My aim has been to just move more. Do stretches whilst cleaning, vacuum, mop etc, get up every half hour and take a short walk to get the knees moving. I consider any movement a bonus and I can tell when I do incorporate more movement the scales are kinder. So to everyone, you can do something. I hope as the weight goes I can do more, maybe bike ride, swim and I do fancy yoga. Exciting times ahead. If I can do something, everyone can. Good luck.

  19. Well done Joanne!
    One of the benefits I’ve found to being 5 stone lighter (thanks to SNS) is that I have been able to jog! I have tried in the past to do the couch to 5k app and every time have ended up with such bad shin pains I have given up, I had pretty decided running wasn’t for me until in January this year after losing 5 stone I decided to go along to our local park run, my son needed to get fit and it is free for anyone to go along, my husband and other son also came and it has now become our Saturday morning routine, I have even managed to actually jog the whole 5k without stopping to walk, I’ve gone from it taking 41 mins the first week to being able to do it in just under 34 mins. My aim now is to run 5k in under 30 minutes and I have even (gulp) signed up to a 10k race in May – although I am already wondering if this is a bit ambitious!
    I would recommend park run to anyone as you can walk jog or run depending on your fitness level but it is such a brilliant atmosphere and everyone is so encouraging, I am hoping I can keep it up and get stronger fitter and keep the weight off.

  20. I’ve taken up gardening! We bought a house in September and have only recently had the time to get work started on the garden. Currently taken a patio up and next job is to dig the entire top layer out (filled with gravel ATM

  21. Hi I decided to take up swimming in the sea, so in January i started a Facebook group for outdoor swimmers in the Isle of Wight. There are now over 140 members (Not all swimming yet!) And swimming has become a slightly addictive pastime with an added bonus of making loads of new friends.

  22. I’ve just started Fight Klub, a drum and bass boxing workout, it’s in the dark with laser lights and the instructor MCs the workout. It’s really good fun and reminds me of the old days when I used to go clubbing!

Leave a Reply