Shared complaining, sweaty faces: how working out together gets you going

Kirsten van der Kolk is a power woman, mother of two and former Olympic Gold rowing champion. Previously she wrote about kicking off the year with the goal to start exercising more. Read about her experiences below.

After a short intermezzo spent back home in a windy and wet Holland, I am back in Spain again: the land where all good resolutions are transformed into healthy habits. In the fuss of everyday life -taking care of the kids and doing work- I noticed the difficulties of actually doing my exercises. I couldn’t find the proper time or place for doing them. Finding a routine is even harder. Again I am using the occasion of the training camp with my team. Away from home, so I have time to work on the healthy exercise routine.

Daily seven-minute workout
Every day I create a moment to do the seven-minute High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This means that on a daily basis, everything is about energy management. Finding a fixed moment per day to do the exercises. Preferably in the morning, before lunch time when you are still full of energy. After a three hour morning coaching session with my team, a cup of warm coffee the only thing on my mind. Once I feel warm and awake after the caffeine shot, I know I have to take this moment and make the most of it.

Kirsten sitting on an imaginary chair strengthens the pelvic floor muscles

Kirsten sitting on an imaginary chair strengthens the pelvic floor muscles


Doing sports together is motivating
Speaking from experience of my athletic career, I know that working out together with friends is motivating… It helps push you and remind you to exercise when you have a buddy appointment. Shared complaining feels less daunting then go through it by yourself. Nothing is as satisfying as a sweating friend working out with you. The result of working out together with the other coaches was much more satisfying then working out by myself. In the end we did not only one session of 7 minutes, but two! My motivation to do the 7-minute workout, inspired the other coaches, and my room mate. It was not so difficult after all. On training camp we mainly coach the team whilst sitting in the rowing boat. At home we coach the team from cycling along the boat. The workout we usually get from cycling is now wasted. Doing the 7-minute work out together means you compensate for the missed workout.!

Sprint to the bathroom
After the morning coaching session, we coaches went back to exercising  in our hotel room. Whilst I was enthusiastically jumping and doing the high knees exercise this resulted in a sprint to the bathroom! My fellow coaches couldn’t stop laughing.  What began as a run, became a sprint for keeping dry pants. Then I realized the pity of not wearing my beautiful Carin Protect underwear…

In the end this experience highlighted how important it is to do my exercises on a daily basis. Not just for reasons of becoming fit and healthy physically, but also to do my Carin exercises faithfully. Until that time my running shoes remain in the closet.

Kirsten van der Kolk, power woman , mother and Olympic rowing champion.

Kirsten van der Kolk, power woman , mother and former Olympic Gold rowing champion.

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