I was never an athlete. I danced for a bunch of years as a kid, and then joined cheerleading as a pre-teen. Then a fall at a game in 1993 busted my knee for good and I gave it all up.
I then became the anti-athlete. I did everything that I could to AVOID physical activity. But in my early 20s, I quickly and suddenly saw the pounds creeping on, and I ran to the nearest ladies only gym and signed up. I then became OBSESSED with working out.
Never one to practice BALANCE or MODERATION, I worked out 6 days a week, taking step classes, spin classes, and spending hours pumping away on the elliptical while chatting with friends. I would sweat out long tequila nights with a fast-paced aerobics class on a Saturday morning. But as everything else that becomes an obsession in life, the shine would wear off and I would fall off the elliptical (or “the wagon” as most call it).
It wasn’t until I became a wellness professional that I realized how important movement is to your long-term health.
Check it out.
Aerobics. Increasing your heart rate gets everything flowing. Circulation. Endorphins. Toxins. Oxygenation. I have a love/hate relationship with aerobics. I LOVE how I feel after I’ve gotten in a good, sweaty workout. All of the toxins are on the outside instead of the inside. The endorphins are pumping and I’m just happy. But I HATE doing it. I hate the actual doing part. The sweat. The work. The feeling like my lungs are going to burst. It’s HARD. The good news is that you can choose to do this any way you want. You can dance. You can climb. You can speed walk. You can swim. There are so many ways to get your heart rate up and running. The CDC recommends doing the equivalent of 150 minutes to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week for full health and wellness benefits.
Strength Training. Pumping that iron improves your flexibility, bone health, and balance. The cool thing now is that you can build a home gym for relatively little money. Grab yourself some resistance bands, a couple of sets of weights, and get pumping. Or if you’re a gym person, consider taking classes that build weights and resistance training into their program — such as pilates. Aim for 2 days a week of weight lifting or resistance training all major muscle groups to gain the full benefits.
Stretching. This is really an activity that is overlooked for the benefits. Flexibility. Bone health. Balance. Mobility. Stress reduction. Decreased risk of injury. Stretching should be part of your daily routine, as it can be done any time, anywhere. There are a number of free YouTube videos that you can find, or just engage in stretching as you’re watching your favorite Netflix show. From yoga, to Tai Chi, to simply bending over and touching your toes, stretching is what keeps you limber and makes the other 2 activities possible.
According to the CDC, maintaining an “active” lifestyle in line with the above recommendations leads to various health benefits, including (but not limited to):
Lower risk of all-cause mortality
Lower risk of cardiovascular disease mortality
Lower risk of cardiovascular disease (including heart disease and stroke)
Lower risk of hypertension
Lower risk of type 2 diabetes
Lower risk of adverse blood lipid profile
Lower risk of cancers of the bladder, breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, lung, and stomach
Reduced risk of dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease)
Improved quality of life
Reduced risk of depression
Slowed or reduced weight gain
Weight loss, particularly when combined with reduced calorie intake
Prevention of weight regain following initial weight loss
Improved bone health
Improved physical function
Lower risk of falls (older adults)
Lower risk of fall-related injuries (older adults)
Now, if you’re like me, you’re reading this and your chest is tightening and you’re already shaking your head. I get it. I hate exercise, too. That’s why I don’t really talk about “exercise”. I talk about MOVEMENT.
Today I walk my pup 5-6 days a week when the weather is good, subscribe to multiple YouTube yoga channels (depending on how I’m feeling), and stretch daily. I also take trial classes at gyms that I’m interested in — mostly specialty gyms because I am not really into walking through stinky, smelly gyms. Wind Wellness is one where I can take yoga and aerial classes, and Club Pilates is great for getting in and out with no fuss. It’s also important to me to have a moderate-sized buy in, meaning that I will NOT let those memberships go to waste because of the monetary investment, and I love that I can cancel them at any time that they are no longer serving me.
After I talk to my clients about their food, the next thing we talk about is incorporating movement. And many of my clients do not exercise already, so this can feel like a huge mountain to climb. There are so many negative emotions attached to exercise, and some people have really deep issues with it (like being chosen last in gym, not being able to touch their toes or climb the rope in the physical fitness test, not being picked for a team, etc.). So there is certainly some mindset work that we have to do around that.
But if you can find a way that you like to move your body, that your body also likes, then you can have the perfect partnership between your mind and your body to start building some of that into your daily routine. And I’m here to help you develop a plan around movement that will feel like you can do it — starting with one day a week — and I’m there to hold you accountable to yourself and your goals.
Don’t know where to start? You know where to find me!
I’m now booking new clients and would LOVE to work with you. Book your free 20 minute initial consultation with me TODAY to see if we are a good fit!
In person and remote consultation options available.
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