In praise of jogging

While I was all bundled up:-)

After the coldest December ever in history or whatever it was, we thought we could do with a hand getting outside and getting active again. Greener Leith is delighted to welcome Tracy Griffen – local Personal Fitness Trainer to the blog to provide us with an extra bit of motivation.

A few weeks ago Ally from Greener Leith asked me to contribute a fitness article to the Greener Leith blog, so I figured the first part of the new year is a good time to do it!

A word of introduction, I’m Tracy Griffen, a Personal Trainer originally from Australia (no comments on the Ashes please) who has a found a home in Leith. I have a wee studio on the corner of Leith Walk and Balfour Street (next to Leith Cycle Co.), and I love getting outdoors with my clients and in general to blow the cobwebs away. Leith Walk may not seem the most obvious place to run a fitness business from, but in my mind it’s ideal. Leith has brilliant access to public transport links (let’s not mention the tram word) and is an easy walk from town. It also has cycle paths and many parks an easy jog away. My personal favourite is Pilrig Park at the end of Balfour Street, and you can find me there many days.

So main purpose of this first guest blog is to encourage fellow Leithers to get outside and enjoy the fact that we are so close to everything. I have to admit to feeling somewhat smug when the snow came, as I could pretty much walk everywhere. And that’s one of the fabulous things about living in Leith, is that it’s very easy to get around. Whilst Leith Walk may not be the most cycle-friendly route into town, there are many back streets that are quiet, and an easy cut through if commuting up the hill. Invest in a Spokes map (£5 from good bikes shops or online) to work out the quietest route for you.

Now is a good time to start planning a fitness programme for 2011, but a word of advice, start easy and then ‘ramp it up’ as your fitness levels improve. Too many folk at this time of year go flat out dieting and extreme exercising, and burn out by mid-January. Set yourself a spring or summer goal and work towards it.

After all, the weather and light levels are still a bit rubbish, but if you stick with a realistic programme (say, half an hour to an hour three times a week), you’ll be in the habit of exercising by the time the days start getting longer. I personally find running around Leith Links in the dark nights good fun and I have never encountered any aggro. The street lighting around the Links ain’t bad, and you’ll see a number of other nutty folk (ahem, I mean joggers) also out getting a bit of fresh air. If you do run in the dark, be sure to tell someone your route, wear some high-viz and take a phone.

I’ll be posting more Leith related fitness info over the coming months, and please do feel free to drop me a line at [email protected] if you’ve got any health and fitness activities. Personally, I’m up for trying laughter yoga one of these evenings I’m not out running around Leith.