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Photograph your fitness journey

So lockdown is over. But what effect did it have on your fitness journey?

We’ve heard many tales of the anecdotal “lockdown stone”. In recent research by King’s College London and Ipsos MORI, 48% of respondents admitted to putting on weight during lockdown. Many of these people are now emerging from lockdown, determined to put the lockdown stone behind them.

There are also many people who took up a new form of fitness during lockdown. During the first lockdown, around a million people downloaded the NHS Couch25K app, a 9-week running programme which trains complete beginners to run for half an hour by the end. Others took to online workout videos and fitness classes to keep themselves active during this time.

The big question for people in this group is whether they will be able to keep up their enthusiasm for exercise now that things are seemingly on the road back to normality again. Some are already finding themselves beginning to struggle, and need a bit of extra help to stay on track.

Whatever stage you are at, did you know that photography can be a significant factor to support your fitness journey? Whether you are about to start a new fitness regime, need to get back on the wagon again, or want to celebrate how far you’ve come, documenting your progress is really important.

Let’s take a look.

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Starting your fitness journey

We’ve all seen those fitness websites and competitions that proudly display before and after photos. And sometimes you do wonder if they are a true representation, or whether a few effects might have crept in too! But having before and after photos of your own fitness journey - and of significant milestones along the way - is really helpful.

First things first. These are your photos. You don’t have to show them to anyone else at all. Ever. Unless you decide later that you want to. So banish from your mind any thoughts about the photos needing to look good for Instagram or whatever. This is photography that captures the real you, and the truth of how you felt throughout your fitness journey.

It’s a great idea to buy a notebook, one of those stylish hardback ones works well. Or you can get specific fitness journals; just Google it and a range will appear. There are also various apps on the market - for example Fitstream - that enable you to add photos to track your fitness progress.

Whatever tool you use for your journal, start off by deciding your goals and put these at the front of the journal, then add your first photo - the Before photo.

It’s then up to you how often you fill in your journal. You might want to start off putting something in there every day, to get into the habit. You can always reduce the frequency later on if it becomes too much.

Some of the information you might want to include is:

  • Current weight and any change
  • Exercise done
  • Calorie consumption
  • Quality and duration of sleep
  • How you are feeling, both physically and mentally

But remember that you are creating this journal for you, so include anything else you find helpful too. Whether it’s inspirational quotes, personal achievements, helpful articles or perhaps new things you are finding out about yourself as you move towards your goals.

The same applies to your photography. Don’t feel you have to stick to standard types of fitness photos such as clothes starting to look baggy as you lose weight, or evidence of muscles beginning to develop. Also include quirky photos that mean something to you, and will remind you later of where you were at. For example you could include a series of photos of your scales or your tape measure, showing the numbers changing as you go. Or how about the place you like to exercise, or what you wear when you do so: it would be nice to remember those faithful old trainers in years to come! Food photography is very on trend these days so maybe also include photos of some of your favourite healthy meals.

Anything can earn a place in your fitness journal, as long as it helps to tell the daily details of your story. Details that you will enjoy recalling in future but which would otherwise be lost.

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Getting your fitness back

If you have been through a period where you have drifted away from the fitness goals you had achieved, the sooner you start clawing your way back, the better.

It would be really helpful for you also to start a fitness journal. Start by stating your goals then explain what has caused you to drift away from them. Also think back to how you achieved your goals the first time round. Are you going to try the same things again, or do it differently this time?

It’s good to set a timescale for when you want to be back at goal again. This needs to be challenging but also realistic. A timescale that will stretch you but not cause you to give up in frustration. Ideally try to tie your timescale into some other milestone, such as a special event, family celebration or holiday. Just so that you have something to focus on.

Other than that, most of the above section - Starting your fitness journey - also applies to you, so give it a read and start getting your fitness journal together.

Celebrating your fitness success

If you have already achieved your fitness goals, congratulations! That’s great news and deserves to be celebrated. The same applies to you if you are still on your journey but are nearly at its end.

Celebrating your success is important for two reasons.

  • Firstly, you deserve it. You have worked hard and that should be recognised. It’s easy to forget all the hard work and not realise how far you have come. (Hence the importance of the fitness journal!). So seize the moment and celebrate before the memories begin to fade.
  • The second reason to celebrate is that it makes things more real. And makes you more likely to stick to your goals. If you make a big fuss about having lost weight, or run a marathon, or whatever else you have achieved, it won’t easily be forgotten. If you start to slip back into your old ways, there will be plenty of people around you to prod your conscience and help you to get back on track again.

So go ahead and celebrate!

As part of this, why not head to your nearest Venture Studios for one of our fabulous photography experiences? Bring all your fitness stuff with you and enjoy an hour’s fun photoshoot showcasing all your achievements. You will then get the image of your choice to take home either in a stylish frame or stunning wall art. What a wonderful reminder of your fitness success!

You can book your photography experience online or call your nearest Venture Studios.

We look forward to meeting you very soon, and finding out all about your fitness journey. We will then help you to capture your memories of this by creating some amazing photos that you will treasure forever.

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