We recently interviewed some women about their First Triathlon. They ranged in age from 20 to 58, and from being sporty since childhood to being lazy, overweight and “eating too many pies, drinking too many pints.” “How did you feel at the end” was the one question that drew a unanimous answer. They felt great. The training and raising of their fitness levels was a reward in itself – but finishing a triathlon had knock-on effects on their mental state, their spirit, their overall wellbeing. Let’s look at why this is.

A goal was set and it was achieved. A training regime was undertaken – sometimes very structured, sometimes not so much – but it was thought about and incorporated into their lives. For most of our respondents it was tough. They overcame and succeeded. Knowing that they could succeed here meant they could succeed in other areas of their life. As the first 4-minute-miler Sir Roger Bannister says: “Sport is not about being wrapped in cotton wool. Sport is about adapting to the unexpected and able to modify plans at the last minute. Sport, like all life, is about raking risks.” Most things in life are NOT as challenging as a triathlon. As your ability to overcome challenges increases, your self-confidence increases and so does your self-esteem.

Being fitter and healthier simply makes life more enjoyable. You have more energy for other aspects of your life, you are more likely to eat healthily and think about rest and hydration and generally “caring” for yourself. And you will catch that bus!

Endorphins. Think of them as EnDolphins. If you’ve ever felt that sense of joy and wellbeing after some exercise or activity – these are the little critters responsible. Endorphins are mood-enhancing, pain-relieving brain chemicals. The Canadian Journal of Applied Sports explains that endorphins“…would reinforce behaviour conductive to the perpetuation of their elevation” Which basically means once your endorphin level has been raised by an activity you are going to want to do it again. Endorphins have a beneficial effect on the body even at a cellular level apart from giving you a guilt-free high! And according to the Better Health Channel regular exercise can also increase your serotonin levels – which can stave off depression and anxiety. But if you’ve ever done any exercise – you’ll already know this. It makes you feel good.

Remember “The five S’s of sport are Stamina, Speed, Strength, Skill and Spirit – but the greatest of these is spirit” Ken Doherty, Decathlete

So – start sensibly. Set measurable, achievable goals and begin your journey. Spirit, too, can be built.

______________

Find out about the Active Women’s Fitness: First Triathlon Package

______________

Read interviews from first time triathletes.

______________

Have you tried group fitness in Greenwich? Be active with a great bunch of people just like you! Register for your free class!