Thursday, July 15, 2010

"You're lucky I'm here!"

This will probably sound like a bit of rant on my part but I have to write or I will explode.  By now just about anyone who knows me is aware of the fact that I love teaching my indoor cycling and boot camp classes as well as helping people reach their potential in physical fitness.  I get up at 5 am Monday to Friday to do this because I love it.  It's my job, but really, I can't call it a job, it's too much fun to be work.

There are days when getting up is more of a challenge but I know that there are people expecting to be motivated, pushed, guided and complimented on their physical fitness progress.  Feels good and that's what I bring to them.  On days when my mood is off by a few hormones I begin by listening to uplifting, fun music before I even get there and hopefully my spirits will lift and all will be well or I'll just fake it because it's not about me.

Today there were a few women in class who shared the mood and demonstrated their distaste for anything active throughout the entire class.  I approached them and tried to guide them to ensure they were performing what little they were doing, properly and maintaining adequate form. I felt like I was showing my daughter how to do the dishes and she was doing them wrong hoping I would just give up on her.  Except these are professionals in the military and pouting is so unbecoming.  Exercise is an issue for them on good days, then why go to the gym when you're feeling crappy? Oh I know, to make sure everyone knows you're having a bad week and maybe we should feel pity.

Well, everyone comes to class expecting to be motivated and a lot of the motivation comes from other members of the class.  If two people are pouting, whining, and not performing then it's likely that the others will follow (or push them out of the way), therefore it is counterproductive to go to a class you know is demanding and act like a five year old about to throw a tantrum.  I don't force anyone to come to class. I don't call you or your boss if you don't show up.  You, as an individual, are the only person responsible for taking that first step but if you don't feel well then stay home and rest, let your body recover and try again another day.

The point of my title is to say that one of the ladies insisted she could not do knee repeaters on the floor for 30 seconds and I said "of course you can, here lets do them together!" To which she replied, "NO I CANT! (yes, she shouted), my ovaries are on fire, you're lucky I'm even here!"  Really? No, I'm not. While I enjoyed having a lot of people in my class and really love seeing my regulars, the presence of one particular individual over another has no bearing on what I am there to do, which is to help you, guide you, and motivate you, but obviously that was not going to happen with this lady.

I think everyone should take note of their own attitudes when they know they will be in a social situation.  No one benefits from you being there doing partial workouts, doing the exercises wrong, acting grumpy, whining, and complaining.  If your mood is one that can only contaminate then please, stay home, rest, meditate, pray, whatever you need to do to help lift your mood before you have to face society.

I am lucky that I have an optimistic outlook on life and once I write or discuss an issue that bothers me I pretty much just let it go because my goal is to not let others dictate my mood or quality of my day.

Stay Well,

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Never stop moving

Do you think you need to be in the gym to get a good workout?  Why? Because the magazines, your friends, the local trainers tell you so?  Well that's wrong.  The gym is a great place to find structure, motivation, gain knowledge, and of course, get a great workout using someone else's equipment.  If the gym is free to you, even better.  However, you don't need to walk into any facility to get and stay physically fit. 

Physical fitness means that you are able to perform physical activities outside of the norm.  Cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility and body composition are all components that have to be worked on to improve and/or maintain a certain level of fitness.

If you've been off the workout wagon too long or just never really started it is extremely important that you begin, NOW! There's no time like the present.  Leave the excuses behind.  I've heard them all and barring an illness that keeps you off your feet or specific Doctor's orders, there really isn't much you can't do to stay active every single day.  You don't have time? Well, then maybe later you'll have time to be ill, how about that?  You're tired? Hmmmm, maybe it's because you need to become physically active and give your nutrition an overhaul.  Are  you sleeping? Do you drink enough water?

One excuse I've heard often is "I'm so out of shape, I don't want to walk into a gym the way I look."  Well guess what? Going to the gym is what will change the way you look. You're not there to impress anyone, you're there to get healthy.  However, like I said earlier, you don't have to go to the gym to get started. 

Try this:

1.  Walk.  Free, easy, don't need transportation, enjoy music or digital books.  The benefits are endless with walking.  Start by walking away from home for 10 minutes and see how far you go, then turn around and come back.  There, 20 minute walk, DONE!  Next time try to get to the same place in less time.  When you cut that time in half walk at the same fast pace for 10 minutes and see how much further you go...and so on. You get the idea.  Before you know it you are walking an hour at a moderate to fast pace and getting a great workout.  It wont be long before you find yourself jogging that walk.

2. Bike.  Like walking, it's free and easy, do it any time of day.  All you need is a bike, helmet and a reflecting belt or vest (for safety).  Follow the same walking program, hit some hills and watch yourself go further and faster each time.

3. Kids.  Yes I know, when you have kids things are a little more complicated. Or are they? Kids are little energy machines.  They just go, go, go.  So take them to the pool or beach and play WITH them, don't just watch them play. Go to a park and play WITH them, get dirty. Take them on a walk or bike ride. Go play basketball, volleyball, soccer wherever, you don't need a special field or equipment.  Have you tried WiiFit? Believe me, it's quite the workout. With kids, anything active goes and that is your chance to get in a workout and spend quality time with the children.

4. Home Fitness. Finally, I know this is difficult, use the library or go to FitTV, or purchase videos with structured classes to get you started at home.  Sometimes it's hard to get motivated to exercise at home but all you need is an hour and sometimes less time to do a cardiovascular workout. Start with a short class and move up from there.

I have to mention ACCOUNTABILITY here because I believe it is important to be accountable for what we do or say we're going to do.  Either get a buddy to do this with or share your progress with your family and friends.  You will get lots of free motivation, exercise tips (take them or leave them), and most important, you will have the support of those around you.  Getting back to fitness doesn't have to be some secret.  The more people know the more likely you are to continue doing it because you feel accountable to someone other than yourself.

Keep in mind that physical fitness is not about being a size zero; it's not about getting a six-pack or even about fitting into a 2 piece bathing suit.  It's definitely not about burning off that "momma pouch" just below the belly button or getting rid of your God given hips.  Some things are there to stay and you just have to learn to work around them (no pun intended.)  So get moving and don't stop. Invest time in you now and later you'll be able to invest more time in others.

Stay Well,