Learning to Love Exercise
By Kyle McAvoy, NP
In my line of work, I see many women each day, yet a common thread that emerges all too often is frustration with weight (too much, especially that dreaded ‘muffin top’), stress, feeling tired and generally overwhelmed. Guess what? It’s all related!
In my role as a provider, I try to elicit details of a person’s diet, stress management techniques and exercise routine. Most importantly, I have learned NOT to make assumptions: Many people still don’t know how to eat ‘cleanly’ or how to incorporate exercise into daily living. Not surprisingly, women who eat well and exercise regularly tend to look and feel better and younger, plus handle life’s stress with more grace.
So often I hear:
“I don’t have time to exercise”
“I get bored”
“I have bad knees”
“I just hate how I look: I can’t imagine putting on a bathing suit/workout clothes.”
Have you uttered any of those? But then again, these are often the same women who are at their wit’s end with weight and fatigue issues.
The solution is obvious: Exercise! But the path back can be difficult for many. I love this kind of challenge: Helping people find what works for them to get them back to feeling good, balanced, energized, and alive.
So many people hear the word ‘exercise’ and they want to run, but not outside…to the couch! It can be a bit daunting for someone who has never been very active or for others who have adopted a sedentary lifestyle. Many of you have gone from worrying only about yourself to spending so much time worrying about everyone else, you’ve lost your own sense of self along the way. I get it!
But it doesn’t have to be insurmountable. Here are my 2 main tips:
- Start small.
- Set some (attainable) goals.
Let me give you some REALISTIC suggestions:
–Get a fitness app for your smart phone: There are some great ones out there! One that I use all the time is ‘endomondo’: this is a sports tracker with a GPS that makes fitness fun, helping you to measure your progress over time: I used it to train for Portland to Coast and it helped me to walk my fastest mile ever! Some others are ‘adidas-mi coach’, ‘couch to 5 k’(one of my co-workers is using that one: helping her to walk/jog and get moving!), ‘nike-fit’ …the choice is endless. Pick something that works for your lifestyle: they really make exercise fun!
–Find a group or a friend and start working towards a goal together. Last year I formed our PTC team and some of the women had NEVER participated in any kind of formal exercise or events. Guess what? They loved it and came back this year stronger and fitter than ever.
–Try something new or revisit something you loved as a child. Take a dance class, try stand up paddling, yoga, pilates, barre work, sea kayaking: There are no limits to the opportunities out there.
Trust me: exercise is the one thing that if you do it with any sort of regularity and dedication, it will give back to you in many ways: You will feel stronger, calmer, more flexible, confident, fit, leaner, and happy. And your memory will improve, as well as your cardiovascular health and hormonal balance.
So what’s stopping you? As always, we would love to hear what you are doing as part of your personal balance plan. If you want to chat one-on-one, call the office to schedule an appointment. Everyone is different, but at the end of the day, we all want to look and feel our best- let’s find the solution that works for you- together!