Jessica-Duffin.jpg

Hi! I'm Jessica

I'm a writer, podcaster and mentor empowering others to live and thrive with endometriosis.

Exercise with XHIT

Exercise with XHIT

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I've never been much of a sporty spice. I was seriously crap at rounders and I never managed to do the horrendous jogs at school because of knee problems (thank God). Yet over the years I've had my love affairs with various forms of working out - once upon a time I was on my exercise bike for three hours a day (obviously, not a healthy approach to it!), I've had stepper machines, cross trainers and mini trampolines all in my bedroom at different stages. I've also gone on several yoga courses (though I feel like I never get any bendier) and even attempted swimming, though promptly gave up when I realised I was slower than the slow lane.

Since breaking a whole heap of important bones when I was 17, I've been limited in terms of what exercise I can do, including running and using an exercise bike (I did however, ignore that advice when I went through my obsessive 3-hours-a-day stage). Several years later and now with endometriosis in tow, it's whittled down to pilates. Either I'm in too much pain to do anything more vigorous, I'm too tired or I simply can't afford it. Endo can really affect your life on so many different levels, the pay cut I have taken and the reduction in hours over the past year has meant I've really had to cut back on my spending, so paying for my yoga classes was no longer an option. Of course when the pain is bad you can barely move from a fetal position or stand up, let alone get out to the gym or attempt a downward facing dog! Finally, my biggest challenge is the fatigue. Endo has really really knocked me flat these past two years and I've been tired since I was a teenager. I've gone through stages where I've dragged myself to the gym in the morning or after work, only to find within days or weeks that I'm crying at work or feeling negative about everything in life just because I'm so freaking exhausted.

But guys, there is light at the end of the tunnel! Whilst this year has consisted mainly of gentle walks and short bursts of 10 Minute Solutions Pilates, I've recently discovered XHIT Daily. Pre-op I may not have managed it (though that's not to say you can't), but I've made some serious lifestyle changes recently - I've had my operation, major social events I was stressing about have now been and gone (weddings, weddings, weddings) and I've changed jobs (again), changed my salary (again) and have started giving myself some breaks. These changes have really begun to have an impact on my mental energy, which slowly slowly seems to be seeping into my physical capabilities. As a result, I've been more determined to try and attempt some harder work outs to not only improve my body shape, but improve my stamina and support my mental health.

What I really like about XHIT is that they're short bursts of activity, 10 minutes at a time, which is how I like to work out giving that I don't have much free time or energy. Sometimes I'll just do one workout if that's all I can fit in, but most of the time I do two or three, but of course, you can tailor it to you. The other bonuses are that you can do them at home, so when I am feeling good I can just roll out my mat and get going and stop when I don't - getting to the gym is sometimes enough of a workout when you're battling a chronic condition! I also like that these feel really hard hitting, I'm seeing results and I feel like I'm doing and achieving more than I was when just doing very slow pilates, but it's manageable for my body. I'm working on the mat, with no equipment except very small weights and the majority of movements are small and adaptable.

So below I've listed some of the more gentler work outs by Rebecca Louise and some harder ones if you're feeling up for it. These are the ones I like and have used so far, but let me know if there's some I've missed! I haven't really tried any of the other trainers on their channel, but I like Rebecca Louise's work outs and finds that she explains them clearly. If you're used to more chilled and calm workouts, be prepared!

I like this leg workout as some can be quite fast and aggressive, with jumping movements and a lot of pressure on the lower body. This is pretty slow and steady, so works well if you're body isn't feeling 100% (not sure I've ever experienced 100% though tbh...)

Another low impact one for the legs. It's quite short, so you may want to combine it with something else.

This is a good one for when you're lower body is just saying no, but you still feel like you could work out! It feels fairly high impact to me and I've noticed my arms looking slimmer and more defined since following this.

Even though I really felt an impact from the Kim Kardashian workout, I can't lie- it was tough! To me, this seems a little gentler and a bit more endo-friendly in my opinion.

Whilst all her ab work-outs are actually freaking amazing, they're all kinda tough (okay, really tough), so it's probably worth going on the channel and selecting which one you like best. I found this one a tad easier than the others and some of them are really active, which might not be ideal for endo. However, if you feel you're able to do them, have a look through and try some out!

So those are my fav videos so far and I've really been feeling the benefit mentally and physically, it definitely feels good to be getting active again. However, please listen to your body and remember I'm not a doctor, personal trainer or nutritionist - I'm just a girl talking about what works for me! If you've had surgery recently or you're having a tricky time with endo, adhesions, etc, it'd be worth speaking to your doctor about the impact exercise will have on the area and following their guidance.

I hope this post was useful - I'd really love to hear what exercises you do and what you find helps you physically and mentally when it comes to endo! x

Lush Spa, London

Lush Spa, London

Pre-Op Preparation and Post-Op Recovery Tips

Pre-Op Preparation and Post-Op Recovery Tips