How I Sweat: Meet Kay
Welcome to How I Sweat, where we catch up with members of the incredible Sweat Community to find out more about their lives and why they choose to Sweat.
“The support within the Sweat Community is like nothing else,” she says, reflecting on the friendships she has formed with inspiring women from around the world.
“Most of my friends in real life are not into fitness, so it’s really important for me to have these wonderful people that understand fit life and share that journey. There is so much encouragement about self-love that I have taken a step back and looked at myself differently - accepted what I have considered flaws in the past. Wear the damn bikini - even in your fifties!”
Kay, who is now in her mid-fifties, is retired from the busy repair business she managed with her husband for 30 years, but says her number one job has always been raising her three awesome children, who are now all grown up with kids of their own.
She and her husband then made a lifestyle move to the coast of Australia, where she kept herself busy with workouts and creative pursuits like her home-based sewing business for babies and toddlers.
“I don't have time for boredom and often wonder where I found the time to work. There's always something to do around the house, garden or farm. There's animals to feed and care for and a huge expanse of garden to maintain, as well as catching up with family and friends and spending time with our eight grandchildren.”
She might have had significant life changes and setbacks (like a shoulder surgery), but Kay has no plan to slow down anytime soon.
This is how Kay sweats.
My fitness journey and why I Sweat
Since my early twenties, walking has been a big part of my life. I've walked almost daily since then, mostly early in the mornings so I could be out and back to get ready for work and get my kids ready for school.
Walking is my time to think and plan and set myself up for the day ahead. I still love walking and I fit it into my morning as often as I can.
As I was approaching my fifties, walking was no longer enough and I was floundering, trying to find something more. I wasn't even sure what “more” was until my youngest daughter introduced me to Kayla Itsines’ programs.
That was the beginning of something that has changed my life and pointed me in a direction I had never previously considered. I started out one week at a time and even took my workouts on the road with me on a motorbike trip. In the first week or so, I was too self-conscious to work out outside of my house, so I parked it until I was home to start over. And start over I did.
Those first days, weeks and months were memorable. At first, I could barely do a single push-up. Sit-ups were a no-go unless my feet were propped under something. Burpees? LOL. But I kept going and with every workout, I got stronger.
I was like a lot of people initially in that I was focused solely on losing weight, but as I continued, my focus changed. There was, and still is, something completely satisfying about getting stronger and growing muscle.
When I started Kayla’s programs, all the way back in January 2016, I didn't realise the impact it would have on the quality of my future.
Daily back pain, knee pain and all sorts of body aches I'd been accumulating over the years made me skeptical of my ability to commit. But once I restarted, I focused on one workout at a time. Then one week at a time.
Four weeks passed. Eight weeks passed. Suddenly I had finished the whole 12 weeks! I was so proud of myself for actually completing the entire program that I started it all over again!
Somewhere along the way, everything stopped aching. It wasn't like a switch had been flicked, it was just a conscious realisation one day that I didn't hurt anymore.
I've also come a long way mentally. That lack of confidence I had felt when working out in front of people was a thing of the past when we went on our next motorbike camping tour around Australia.
I squeezed in a skipping rope, a resistance band and half a yoga mat (there's not a lot of room for extras on motorbikes!) and worked out in campgrounds, public parks, motel rooms - wherever I found space. And yes, I often had an audience. I was even approached on a couple of occasions enquiring about my workouts!
By this stage, I had built a new habit - one that has improved my life infinitely. It’s improved my health, strength, stamina, balance, confidence and most importantly, my ageing. As we age, we lose muscle mass and being sedentary only speeds up this process.
My favourite way to Sweat
I'm not sure when I officially joined Sweat, but so many of my online friends were posting and sharing on Instagram, I just had to find out what all the noise was about. Another excellent decision!
As the app has grown with new trainers and programs, curiosity would often get the better of me and I would try a new program, but I always find myself coming back to two programs - PWR and Strength and Resistance.
Do I plan on slowing down?
I don't have any intention of stopping any time soon. I have had two major setbacks over the last few years, but both times I made a plan to do what I could while healing and restart with weights as soon as I was cleared by my doctors. Sweat has come on several trips with me over the last few years, too!
If I could share any advice it would be…
- Look after yourself. Any effort invested will be rewarded with more energy and better health.
- Drink plenty of water, starting first thing every morning to rehydrate.
- Motivation does not have your back. Discipline gets your workout done each day.
- Find a Sweat program that works for you. If you enjoy your workouts it makes it easier to follow through with them. But don't keep switching programs. CONSISTENCY with daily workouts and good nutrition gets results.
- Find the time of day that suits YOU to work out. If you keep making excuses and suddenly it's bedtime, maybe you need to set an alarm and start your day differently.
- Don't let comparison steal your progress. You are on your own journey, keep travelling forward.
I wake early naturally, often around 4 or 5 am. Once I'm dressed, I kickstart my brain and body with 2-3 glasses of water. If you don't already do this, you should try it! Rehydrating after sleep is the simplest way to make a big difference to your day.
Now I'm ready to head out to the gym room and start with my go-to warm-up - spinning on the stationary bike and some stretching. I'm such a creature of habit that Mondays will always be leg day. Lower body is my favourite split!
This is the workout that usually takes the longest and leaves me soaked in sweat, and I try to finish every workout with yoga recovery stretches. Then it's my second favourite time of day - breakfast.
Nourishing my body through food is as important to me as getting in my strength training. I choose to eat an anti-inflammatory diet as that’s what works best for me.
Tuesdays are usually for chest and triceps - my least preferred area to train because I seriously hate having sore triceps! If I’m really not feeling it, I'll swap it with Friday’s upper-body workout.
One of my favourite pastimes is motorbike riding with my husband, and although fit life and riding life complement each other in almost every aspect, having sore arms isn't one of them!
Depending on what time I start, I'll finish off with stretching and a 15-minute HIIT workout or head out for a 5 km walk if I have more time.
Wednesday is usually an active rest day. This could be a longer yoga session and a walk, or even a jog, depending on how I feel. I have learned over the years that my body will treat me well if I treat it well.
Once Thursday comes around, I'm looking forward to another lower-body session. Glutes and hamstrings are a great option. Another Sweat-inducing workout that I love!
It’s Friday and it’s another upper-body day - back and shoulders usually. There's something deeply satisfying about a good back and shoulder workout. It usually leaves me shattered, but feeling kickass strong.
Of course, there are days that can be hard. Really hard. There are days when I could just walk away. No one would know. There's only me. But, I would know. Walking away is an option, but the only person you are cheating in the end is yourself.
Saturday and Sunday
Weekends for me involve an attempt at a sleep-in, some more yoga stretches, and a run or a walk. If I feel like doing something more, there's so much to choose in the On Demand section of the Sweat app.
Because I love early starts, I'm usually finished by 7 am and that leaves my weekends open for whatever else we have planned - usually riding or family time. We also have e-bikes which we ride locally or take to one of the nearby beach towns to ride the paths, stopping for a picnic breakfast along the way.
How do YOU choose to Sweat?
No matter what you’re juggling in your day-to-day life, what form of movement you enjoy the most, or what time of day you can squeeze it in, Sweat can fit into your lifestyle.
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.