Wednesday, July 6, 2022

More than a Weight Loss Tool—Exercise Makes You a Better YOU!

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Everyone knows exercise is important—it strengthens your cardiovascular system, helps keep weight off, and even improves sleep. But knowing the health benefits isn’t always enough to get us to put on our sneakers and hit the gym.

When I ask women why they don’t exercise, the number one reason I hear is: “I don’t have time.” Trust me, I get it. Mom, entrepreneur, coach, wife, writer, chef, dog-walker—these are all hats I wear on a daily basis, so I know what busy feels like. And I know how tough it can be to fit exercise into all that hustle. But I also know that I’m a better me when I manage to squeeze in a sweat session.

With just a few minutes of exercise each day, you’ll actually be more capable of completing your other day-to-day activities—you’ll have more focus and energy for even the most mundane ones. Why? Exercise increases energy and immunity, not to mention the requisite physical strength to tackle daily tasks. But there’s a catch, you only see these benefits when you actually workout. Bottom line: Exercise needs to be a priority.

My philosophy on exercise is that more isn’t always better—BETTER is better. Spending more time working out is not necessarily better than being more efficient while working out. Which means, you really can fit it in! A quick 15-minute session with a kettlebell is all you need to improve your strength, balance, and mood.

If kettlebells don’t ring your, um, bell, then find something else you love. Pure enjoyment is really the thing that keeps me exercising. Honestly, if fitness isn’t fun, why bother doing it?!

There are tons of different ways to work up a sweat and make fitness fun. Yoga, bike rides on the beach, trampoline jumping, rock-climbing—just get out there and mix things up. Exercise can bring pleasure and a much needed change of pace from our ordinary, everyday routines. Most of my clients have a hard time sticking with a fitness routine because they’re bored, but I promise it doesn’t have to be that way!

Trying something new can be intimidating, but those little pangs of fear in your gut are good for you. Doing something you’ve never done before builds confidence.

I remember the first time I stepped into a weight room. I was 17 years old and had just started working as an administrative assistant at the YMCA (I knew way back then I was interested in building a career around exercise!). I was one of the only women brave enough to step into that room, and I had NO CLUE what to do. I picked up a few things, and put them back down again, with no plan or purpose, terrified someone would call me out for being a fraud. But I had done it—I had stepped through that door! And I kept doing it—even though I didn’t fully get what I was doing until I started studying to become a personal trainer years later. Today, I confidently squat and deadlift alongside men three times my size, but I’ll never forget the initial intimidation I felt and the pride I still have for feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

If the idea of weight lifting unnerves you, or seems too intimidating, start small. Head to the free weight section of the gym, grab a kettlebell, and have a ball (or should I say, “bell?”)! I guarantee you’ll notice a better YOU in no time!

What do you think? Does working out make you a better partner, parent, co-worker, or friend?

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