Inspirational Stories

Have you ever read something so inspirational your life changed from that moment? Ever listened to a person pour out their emotions and feel motivated to better yourself?

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“I had a relationship with fitness but it was sporadic. I took fitness seriously in spurts: when I needed to enlist in the military. Before that, I ran track in high school but not seriously. When I was discharged, my health took a nose-dive. I did not feel good about

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“By day I work within the NHS and by night I’m an Inclusive Dance and Zumba Instructor. Growing up, I was super active. I loved playing sports. Hockey was my main sport and I started off by pulling around an old sawn-off hockey stick of my dad’s from when I

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“I’ve not always had my disability, in fact, growing up I was extremely sporty. I did karate lessons, signed up for every event at sports day, ran charity runs and eventually even got into my county Badminton team! That was an amazing achievement for me as despite my love of

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Rob McMurdo

“From being 5 For 22 years I played football, week in and week out. I started to lose the excitement that football gave me and so aged 28 I gave up. I searched for something to get me excited – swimming, cycling, rowing and nothing did..  Then aged 29 having

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Shweta Minz

“I have always been fit and healthy but things turned sideways when I was diagnosed with “invisible disease” which people know as “hypothyroidism”. My weight started piling off and had very less energy for anything. Later, my sedentary lifestyle made it even worse and I started feeling like a prisoner

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Our first collaboration Our first collaboration is with Active Suffolk and their This Girl Can ambassadors. Humans of HIIT was born as result of the pandemic. Motivation was low and routine non-existent. Humans of HIIT brings the motivation to be active through your inspirational stories and are pleased to have

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“As a boy growing up I was always fit, running around riding bikes and roller blading which I still do. As I grew up the busyness of life started to creep in. Work more work, marriage and children. I then started a business. Back in December 2018 I had my

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“Since becoming a Mum, my attitude to fitness has changed dramatically. I want to be a positive role model for my daughter showing her that fitness is a way of life and makes us feel strong and healthy and that size doesn’t matter.  When I was growing up my family

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“My name is Gareth, I’m English, but live in the Netherlands. I have always loved sport and continually enjoyed being outdoors. Sport and the outdoors provides a hobby and a release from the daily grind and demands of working life. It regulates my mind, makes me happy and can de-stress

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“I wasn’t really sporty. I spent most of my primary school in choir. I loved it because there was less effort. However; I became adventurous when I joined high school. Started off with field hockey which ultimately introduced me to running Running wasn’t my favorite but I loved field hockey

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“I was an athlete throughout my childhood up through high school. Played multiple sports. Even after high school I stayed active for several years playing flag football. It wasn’t until my late 20’s when I got married and my wife and I started our family that I found every excuse

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“I’ve struggled with my mental health since my early teen years. I lacked a lot of confidence and self belief growing up. I tried pole dance for the first time when I was sixteen, despite being told I wasn’t allowed to by a negative influence in my life. I removed

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Throughout school I was obsessed with sport, I played as much as I could, my whole life was consumed with playing some game. I was immensely competitive and still am today. From 11 I played for 2 rugby teams, ice skated 4 to 5 times a week, If not we

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  “Growing up I was extremely fit and active. I loved the way it made me feel and loved the competitive element too. I represented the school in running and badminton. Which I loved. Running and dancing were my staple ‘go to’ activities of choice. Every week I would take

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  “After graduating, I worked 6 days a week overseas and literally never found the time to exercise; any spare time I did have I was just exhausted & physically needed to rest. My diet was poor and to be honest, I lost my interest in boring exercise classes. I

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  “Growing up I always loved being out on my roller skates, sometimes whilst my brothers pulled me along from their BMX bikes! I basically wanted to be in Starlight Express! In school I hated PE, I wasn’t popular and didn’t enjoy any of the activities offered, so I didn’t

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  “I have always enjoyed sport although I wasn’t the best at typical school sports like netball and hockey. I gave them a go but was never good enough to make the teams. I always wanted to do the typical boys sports.. football, cricket. I’ve always loved running and cross

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  “I hated sport at school. It was a mixture of being forced to do it & undiagnosed arthritis, asthma & Crohns Disease. After having my first child I slowly started to become more active & found it had a physical benefit to my medical conditions. I was reaping the

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  “I was always active and outdoorsy as a child, part of the school orienteering team, competing to a regional level with the athletics team in high jump and enjoying horse riding whenever I could fit it in. I then went to University and events here led to me being

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  “I’ve never been sporty and don’t consider myself to be – I laugh when my friends call me that! But after trying out lots of different sports in adulthood, I finally found that I like running. It has given me the confidence to do things without worrying about what

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“From playing U10 football to starting skateboarding at the tender age of 28(!), I have all always been an active person. A lot of my fond childhood memories are of times when my brother, friends and I were outside the house being mischievous little rascals and having a lot fun.

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“I’ve particularly been into cycling since I was a child, mainly distance road cycling as I feel a sense of accomplishment after going further than I did before. Although I enjoy cycling, it doesn’t provide the benefits of weight bearing exercise and strength training and that’s where @davidjameswellspt comes in.

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My relationship with physical activity is one with a late start and a lot of twists and curves. I am a 39 year old camera assistant, skydiver and tunnel flyer who used to fake stomach aches to avoid gym class as a kid. I was the skinny, uncoordinated girl who

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“I started training for my sport when I was 14 years old and I’ve enjoyed it ever since. Due to my sport being high risk, I’ve had different injuries and through my course at university I’ve learnt how to overcome them and different ways to prevent them. I love exercising

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“3 years ago I hated all sports and exercise because I got really badly bullied so I had to do something about it . One day we had England women scrum half Leanne Riley come into our school with a local club to do a lunchtime session with us. I

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I was relatively active throughout my childhood. I played soccer and a lot of driveway basketball. I stayed out from morning until night and ran around the neighborhood. I didn’t really struggle with weight as a child or even a teen. I did however gain a lot of weight my

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“Sports were like a lifestyle to me from childhood. There were times where I was more anxious about sports meet in my school than the exams that are supposed to happen the next day. I was very much attached with running and volleyball. With multiple medals and trophies in 100

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Having spent the majority of my 20s overweight and unfit and I decided I didn’t want to spend my 30s the same way. I wasn’t really sure where to start with getting fitter. Initially I started with a bit of running and a friend suggested a personal trainer – David

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I definitely wasn’t a very active kid. I thought of myself as someone who wasn’t athletic. A few years ago I had a change in career that made me reevaluate my priorities. One of those changes was joining a gym. Now I am studying to become a trainer, I’m excited

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Humans of HIIT Zara

I started educating myself about fitness and nutrition about 3 years ago, and even then, I have experienced many highs and lows. In the past, I have weighed so much less than I have now, constantly counting calories, eating low carb, weighing everyday. You name the diet, I will have

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I have a strange relationship with sports – I started out really disliking sports, or rather disliking how bad I was at team sports. But as I became older, sports, exercise and fitness became something that I could fall back on in my most significant times of hardship.  Growing up,

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“Depending on who you ask they would say my journey is complete or only beginning. I see it as a consistent journey. I started my weight loss portion of my journey in 2010. I can not tell you my exact starting weight as I had become far too ashamed and

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“For as long as I can remember I’ve always been involved in sports. Athletics on Mondays, swimming with my mum on Fridays, family bike rides on Sundays and of course playing football at every opportunity I had. As most young boys do, I harboured ambitions of becoming an elite sportsman.

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“I started trying to lose weight at the end of 2018. I was 312lbs and didn’t even realize I had gotten that big. My blood pressure was out of control and even with me taking 3 medications at age 28 it could not be maintained to what is considered “normal”.

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“The year before falling pregnant I was at my very fittest, running 5km in 25 minutes and 10km in 52 minutes. I ran or went to gym classes 6 times a week, as well as eating a fairly healthy diet. Exercising during pregnancy has been a challenge, at the beginning

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“I fell in love with the look of muscular and toned bodies back in 1992 when the U.K. introduced their version of the television series “The Gladiators”. From the age of 17, I weight trained on and off for years, though never took it too far. Then in January 2019

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“Fitness for me started out as competition, it is now the main ingredient for my balanced lifestyle. Movement has always been ingrained in me. Growing up, my brother and I were competitive athletes. Exercise was the motivator to pursue a career in healthcare, and now is my biggest addition to

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“Growing up I was always at a pretty healthy weight, but I was never a very active person. I got married at the age of 19 and just a few months after I got pregnant with my first child. Back then there was no social media to help guide me

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“From the ages of 6-16, I did gymnastics recreationally and loved it so knew when I went to Uni I wanted to carry on with the sport. Unfortunately the University I went to didn’t offer gymnastics so I did trampolining and things went from strength to strength. From training to

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“My school days were some of the toughest moments I have been through in my life. When I started playing sport I could escape all these negative feelings then becoming ‘good’ at sport meant people would talk to me more. My love for sport grew from that, leading to my

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“I grew up in a heavy family from the American Midwest — think Big Macs and Thanksgiving dinners. I knew no other lifestyle other than sedentary. Of course I had heard of exercise, but it wasn’t for me. I didn’t like to get sweaty, I was busy, I had other

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“For me, sport has always been a way of bringing people together and really helped me when I moved to London 2 years ago. Whilst I had some friends, I still felt lonely and wanted to give my all to this big adventure I had started. One day, I simply

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“The journey has been a roller-coaster full of ups and downs. Specially when you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism, gaining weight is something so easy that you have to control your body no matter what. It also hit me that I don’t want to be a person someone needs to take

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“I started participating in physical activities at a very age of 6 years. I was in the athletes team of my primary school and was a great performer, got many certificates for good performance and I remember each time I had a competition on sports day my opponents would beg

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“I found my confidence in fitness! I wasn’t always the confident person you see today. I had a secret love of physical activity growing up, but all schools focused on that time was team sports and athletics and never felt worthy of participating because I wasn’t slim enough and was

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“I’ve never really been an active or sporty person, I found hobbies that would keep me going but they never revolved around a fitness lifestyle. Getting into my teenage years I remember feeling overwhelmed with “perfect bodied” girls all over the social media which made me think “wait, shouldn’t I

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“I always hated exercise as a child. I never made it on to any sports teams, and PE was my least favourite lesson at school by far. I came to associate exercise with humiliation and failure. I ran intermittently as a teenager, but always gave up after a few weeks.

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“My fitness journey began at four years old when I stepped on the ice for the first time. From that moment on, I fell in love with figure skating and I competed for 13 years. At the end of senior year of high school I was no longer able to

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“When I was 3 I was diagnosed with a brain tumour and a neurological condition called hydrocephalus. Growing up this impacted my mobility.I spent a lot of time in hospital, had tonnes of brain surgery and put on a lot of weight. But when I was 14 (against the odds)

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“I’ve never been a very sporty person. I was overweight as a kid and was always picked last for PE. Luckily my metabolism kicked in when I got to about 15, and I lost all the excess weight, so I never turned to exercise really until I finished University. I

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“I am an avid footballer, it’s been my favourite sport ever since I was a child. I was gutted that I couldn’t make it as a pro. I channeled my passion into giving back to the youth as I was involved in youth work in my church. I organised regular

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“20 stone is when I started losing weight seriously. I always struggled to maintain a healthy weight even as a child. I was completely oblivious to how heavy I was. Takeaways and processed food was my food of choice and working as a travelling engineer, sandwiches and pasties were my

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“I dreamt of playing football when I was young but I didn’t dream of being a footballer; women’s football in the early 00’s was barely a sport let alone a profession. But I still loved it… Growing up exercise always centered around football, if it wasn’t football, it was team

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“Throughout my life I have constantly battled with my weight. I was a heavy teenager and never felt comfortable to take part in sports or physical activities. Getting older, I fluctuated due to dieting but my fitness was never a priority, only what I looked like and a number on

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“I’m a mature student that has thrown himself into university life. I am a student night manager, university sports exec vice chair and President of the American Football club. I have also just been voted in as Development Officer for the University of Portsmouth Students Union, plus I have a

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“I may work in sport however I have a love-hate relationship with training as I have always been someone who trains because of weight gain and loss. I only really became involved with sport at the end of secondary school due to a few amazing teachers who helped me to

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“I grew up on a farm, so I was always outdoors and active at an early age. Throughout my school years I was very successful in competitive sports, with track and field being my main focus. I have a twin sister who competed alongside of me, and it really became

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“Going to boarding school, rugby was a huge part of our daily life. I was training and playing during the week for school and then for the local club at the weekend. Every evening we were in the school gym, trying to get bigger and stronger – it was about

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“My relationship with sport and exercise has been rather mixed throughout my life. I was never particularly sporty as a child. I enjoyed sprinting and doing the long jump. I went to school in the 80’s to mid 90’s and still remember very clearly waiting to be picked for teams.

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“Taking part in physical activity has always been something I have enjoyed; a kick about in the park with friends, playing tennis, outdoor adventure activities. Whatever it is, I’m always up for getting involved. However, life changes. The things we once had time for have become lost, and the challenge

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“I learnt to love working out in my 20s. Fitness and high intensity training can often feel like an elite club, reserved for skinny influencers or 200 pound body builders. And, in fact, there is an entire industry based on making women feel shitty so they feel like they need

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“My appreciation for fitness probably started later than most. l was a chubby kid growing up so I didn’t really get into sport until starting senior school. That’s where I found out rugby was my calling as size was an actual advantage! I loved playing the sport and joined our

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“As a child I only really did sport to stop putting on weight, I was a tennis and swimming coach but more because kids are meant to get involved in these hobbies, not because I enjoyed it. Fitness wasn’t really my thing despite growing up in a family that walked

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“I’ve always been fit. I grew up playing every sport you can think of, my family went to a sports hotel when my brother and I were kids and we were sent off with friends to outdoor activity holidays when we were old enough to go alone. Sports have been

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“Exercise, I always hated it. I wasn’t a fan of gyms or running and then I started to lose weight & now exercise is my go to. I’m training to run 5k as I used to jog before but didn’t have a clue what I was doing and I have

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“I started running a year ago and it has completely changed my life! I didn’t before because I felt like I couldn’t. I felt like I wasn’t ‘fit’ enough. And that I’d be the slowest. I have ran 4 half marathons with my best time at 1 hour 49 minutes

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“I’ve always been a sporty and active person, at school I used to do everything from dancing and swimming to netball and hockey, but I’ve always struggled with keeping my motivation levels up. At uni I played netball, but throughout I could feel my fitness levels dwindling – moving from

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“I was an active person doing photoshoots almost everyday. Travelling to different locations and getting on the floor for angles of shots. In April 2018 i woke up with back pain and then by the end of the week I couldn’t stand or move my legs. It was terrifying .

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“For me, I’m not as active now as I used to be, but playing sport has given me so much more than health & fitness, and has shaped both my life and my personality in a really positive way. Most of my weekends have been filled up by lacrosse, ever

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“I’ve always been someone who’s more interested in running around and being outdoors than working or watching TV. I barely scraped through school because I was more interested in playing rugby than doing my homework, but at uni I found a better balance. I used to do a HIIT class

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“As a kid I was very sporty, mainly football, gymnastics and cricket. I never made the school footy team as our weekly football was a coach ride away and the smell of diesel made me sick, hence never at my best. However in an after school club, where we played

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“Before I joined Humans of HIIT I dreaded the thought of exercising, always feeling so unmotivated and uncomfortable within myself. Social media played a big part in this as well for me with so many people in their fitness communities whether that’s gym partners, running groups or boot camps, I

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“I’ve always enjoyed exercise, but I’ve never been particularly good at conventional sports. I joined little league as a kid and had to quickly come to terms with the fact that I didn’t have the pace of a midfielder, or the technique of a striker, so centre back it was.

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“From a young age, Tennis was my thing! From the age of 4, I would play tennis a few times a week for fun, then gradually as I became older, I was training up to 4-5 hours a day, 6 days a week. I would train on and off court

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“After spending most of my adult life drinking and smoking a lot and generally not being very active bar a bit of football here and there, I for some strange reason felt I could run the London marathon 2020 and decided to apply through a charity place. I chose to

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“I was never into sport or exercise in my early teens. When I started college I noticed that I couldn’t remain a slim shape and was gaining a bit too much weight. I started to develop insecurities, and would stress about my body daily; this essentially started an unhealthy relationship

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“My relationship with sport had a rocky start to say the least; the day after I learned to run, I fell and broke my toe- somewhat foreshadowing later events. I started off with minis rugby at age 6, and also had been doing casual swimming lessons. Unfortunately when I was

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“When I was 17 years old, I had a difficult decision to make. Do I give up dance and go study law at University or try to make a career out of teaching dance? I chose not to go to university, as dancing was all I ever knew and loved.

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“I was born and raised in Romania, I am an amateur boxer and as many men my age, a fighter by nature. After a series of unfortunate events on the streets, an older and wiser friend of mine who was a Taekwondo Balcanic Champion, decided to take me to a

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“I’m not a runner! I’m never running when I can walk! I’ve even walked two marathons through the night in my bra.. Then in December 2017 our best friend died in tragic circumstances. At his funeral the celebrant said as a tribute to David set yourself a challenge. So I

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“Age 8 I was diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis, I wore a back brace 23 hours a day until I was 15 years old. I couldn’t swim anymore, play sports, and even PE was off the cards due to discomfort and having to be out of the brace to do it.

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“I have always been a regular gym-goer, middle-distance runner and part-time crossfitter, so when the world went into lockdown, I’ll admit, I was a little anxious about getting my daily exercise in! (A very little worry in the circumstances, I know). I had used HIIT as a workout method before-

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“At secondary school P.E. was my favourite lesson, even by the age of 14 when 80% of the other girls were getting out of it every week claiming they had “period pains” I still loved it (this was also when I realised I got on a lot better with guys)!

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“I’ve always been a pretty fit and healthy person; very active and not one to sit inside and watch Netflix on a day off. Technically I am what old fashioned scales (like BMIs) would call overweight, but I’m healthy and very comfortable. In 2018 I completed my first marathon (narrowly

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“Growing up I avoided sport at all costs, skipping every sports day and regularly producing notes with reasons not to attend P.E. I started running at 24 after losing 2st at slimming world and realising that I could eat off-plan providing I ran a 5k each day. I became a

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“I’ve always really enjoyed being active – from rounders and benchball, to netball and hockey, to boxing and dance – but “active” doesn’t typically look like me. Being overweight, I often felt underrepresented – especially in a scene that is also not as diverse as it could be. Many view

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Exercising has always been a part of my life because as soon as I could walk I was kicking a football. However, once I stopped playing football at 18 I felt like I had a void whereby I didn’t have a sport to play but wanted to stay fit. Fitness

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I used to dream of being a footballer, the dream had started and I was playing… I was the fittest I had ever been… this all came to an end due to peer pressure. When I was younger you couldn’t be different and girls couldn’t do what boys did, girls

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“Being active is something naturally engrained in who I am. Even on the laziest of Sundays I will struggle to sit still. I’m not necessarily exercising, in fact I’ll actively avoid traditional exercise but I am probably finding some new way to get onto the sofa, jumping over it from

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“After doing several half marathons, we decided to step up to full marathon distance. London was set to be the first one for both of us and training was going well. Unfortunately, current circumstances meant it was postponed to October. With so many charities struggling for funds currently, we decided

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I wanted to be a professional footballer. Shock. I had a great childhood that was filled to the brim with activity, a different sport every night of the week. I just didn’t know I was bang average at all of them, rather than the baller I dreamed of becoming. My

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These inspirational stories are from real people with real relationships with physical activity and working out. We will be forever grateful for their courage to share their story with the world because they want others to be more active.

Check out the latest story or read by category. We have stories related to exercising whilst pregnant, weight loss, fitness and mental health, life changing impairments or injuries, and a wide range of sports.

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Humans of HIiT is a not for profit organisation aiming to work with partners from every industry to ensure we can inspire everyone to be active. We believe through sharing stories we can inspire then connect people to activity.

If you would like to find out more, please drop Alex an email at hello@humansofhiit.co.uk

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