Is it really possible to love exercise, if you’re not a a fitness junkie by nature or a born gym rat?
“The benefits of consistent exercise are endless, so I definitely encourage those in search of fitness they love to start on the journey. Exercise improves your mood—your brain becomes wired to associate physical exertion with an overall feeling of well-being. It’s pretty simple—you just feel better when you exercise.”
Rachele shares three important paths to take to heart to find fitness you love. I can tell you her words ring true. She tuned into a path of fitness for me that I’d never considered—and one my body was trying to tell me, but I just couldn’t hear it (more on that below).
3 TOP TIPS TO FINDING FITNESS YOU LOVE
1. Love your workouts
“I have clients who LOVE Zumba, and others who would rather forfeit an appendage than attend regular Zumba classes. Personally, I love the way that running feels, but not the way that my joints feel when I run. My best advice is to try something new—and just keep trying till you find that fit. Should you ditch Crossfit and start taking Barre? Well, did you enjoy Crossfit? Do you see results you want? Does it work with your schedule, body, finances?”
2. Be kind and loving to your body
“Your workout should “hurt so good,” but not harm you. I’m all about pushing yourself to your personal limits, but in order to do so, you need to listen to your body. Our bodies are amazing. They can do anything that we tell them to do. Years of pushing myself to my limits has helped me to understand my own body and recognize those limits in others.
3. Throw out negative self talk
Don’t get down on yourself if a new form of exercise isn’t working out. Replace the negative thinking with compassion, much like compassion you might express to your children. Be patient with yourself and your limitations—like you would advise one of your children to also do so. For example, think of how frustrated kids become when trying to learn something new … from something as simple as walking to the complicated dexterity that might be required to play the violin. We’d never tell our kids to just give up. Or say ‘Why don’t you go have a slice of cake and watch TV, because you’re right: playing the violin is impossible and music is dumb anyway.’ That’s crazy, we’d never say that. You might, however, tell them to be patient, to keep trying, to slow down and that they’re going to get this.
The journey is real.
I’ve been looking for fitness I love (and that my body basks in) for the last year. I’ve tried most everything it seems. Some of it has worked, but a lot hasn’t. My biggest problem was that jumping into fitness had taken a big toll on my knees, and I was getting quite frustrated. Rachele took my fitness case on, looked at the exercises that I was doing (and how my knees weren’t getting a lot better), and she saw a red flag. “What if we take the weight off your knees and stretch out the area instead of compressing it? No impact, no added weight, no added stress. You need to work smarter, not harder.” And it was clear to her that I was never going to reach that sweet spot, where I’d associate exercise with “feeling good,” when I was often associating exercise with pain.
“I knew if we could get some of your stabilizing muscles sharing the workload, it would lead to decreased pain for you … whether that just meant standing up straighter, engaging your core, and sinking into your knees less, or strengthening the stabilizing muscles in your knees to prevent further injury,” Rachele explained.
So after looking at many possibilities, she zeroed in on Pilates Reformer … and, yes, I’m loving it (above, bottom right pic). Now, Reformer might not be for everyone, but for me, I’m thinking it may just be ‘my thing.’
So you see, sometimes it just takes awhile to find fitness you love, and exercise that works for you. And it often comes to light when you take a step back, reflect and listen to what your body is trying to tell you. Thanks, Rachele, your insight is always a beautiful thing.
(Stay tuned for more on my Pilates Reformer experience by the way. I’ll be sharing a window into that world, as I immerse myself in the method of “Contrology” three times a week for the next 8 weeks.)