Fitness, some of us are addicted, some of us love it and some of us hate it or should I say loath it.  Seems like we should all love fitness, right? Full transparency, I struggle with this one. I want it to come naturally. I guess to a certain degree it does but sometimes I feel if I never exercised again I probably wouldn’t hate myself for it.

Recently, someone I know was asked “what do you enjoy for fitness” and the answer was “I don’t know”.  Is that how many of you feel? You just haven’t found what you like to do to burn those calories?  Mainstream society says we should go to the gym, who reading this HATES the gym? You hate the gym, you go to the gym.  You hate people watching you, you feel insecure, you feel bad about yourself? I’ll repeat it, you hate the gym, and pretty soon you don’t go to the gym anymore.  There’s got to be something better right, well there is.

I can go on and on about this topic but I’m going try and stay the course. There is so much more than the gym, it’s out there but you’ve got to find it! I have come to understand that I need variety. It’s almost shameful to tell you what I’m involved in just to keep it exciting and fun for me. Really, most everything I do is chalked up to accountability.

I am a member at the MUSC wellness center where I do some workouts on my own. Most weeks I work out with a ladies group, taught by Katie St. Clair, 1-2 times/week, I go to Orangetheory Fitness (OTF) 1 time/week, and I just started cycling with a ladies group in town, called the Charleston Cycle Chicks, a couple of times/month.  It’s a lot of different things but it works. It keeps me engaged and again bottom line it keeps me accountable. I can moan and grown about all of these.

The ladies know I hate doing 15 reps of any weight lifting exercise and 20 reps well, it’s a total drag but I do it.  I’ll say this twice, I hate…did you hear me, I hate burpees but I do them. A 1000 meter row at OTF is a killer!  Really I just want to get off the rower, head home and go back to bed but I do the 1000 meter row. The bike, I really enjoy it but my saddle at the end of 25 miles is OUCH! Each of these challenges me in a different way, and when it’s all said and done I feel good about that.

How does one find their fitness?

I asked for some help from some pros. Jennie Brooks, founder/owner of Longevity Fitness Charleston says “it’s important for people to connect with their bodies and what feels good for them.” She goes on to say that ‘there is a workout for everybody. Try all types of fitness styles; pilates, spinning, boxing or TRX.” When  on vacation or traveling Jennie likes to try out fitness studios.  If she can’t pop into one she’ll hit the outdoors with a run or some quick, simple exercises just to get some movement in.

The other advice she has for you “be consistent so it becomes part of your lifestyle, you want to be exercising on a daily basis”.  Remember, I just talked about how to build a habit and how this is a lifestyle transformation not a quick fix. Again, full transparency, yup I’m guilty of consistency. Especially when I’ve got a lot going on in my day.      

Founder/owner of Total Approach, Katie St. Clair had so much to say about this topic! She’s got some great advice and if you would like to read her entire article head on over to her Facebook page Katie Stuart St. Clair. In short, just like weight and wellness, exercise is all about your WHY, planning, goal-setting, mindset and building habits. Katie says “when your mind shifts to seeing exercise as a gift rather than a chore you know you have embraced the important aspects of exercise.”

She has 3 reasons to help you create long-term success with any exercise you choose.

  1. Make sure it keeps you happy
  2. It should make your body feel amazing 
  3. It should help you move better and prevent pain

Katie goes on to remind you that exercise can be anything. Think of yard work, walking the neighborhood with a friend or doing a high interval training class. Maybe zoning out on a cardio machine with your favorite music in your ears, or dancing with your kids is what you like.  

Now what?

Katie suggests writing a list of all the things you think you might be interested in therefore getting yourself engaged. Decide that you will try each of them. If you are feeling intimidated don’t let that stop you! Ask a friend or family member if they will join you.

Sometimes things just fall in your lap. I bought a bike so I could ride around with my husband, then I started receiving emails from the store I bought my bike from. One email listed a “ladies only” ride, hummm I thought to myself, this is interesting. I checked it out, but honestly I didn’t think I could ride that fast or that far. The ladies encouraged me to come out because that is how you get better, you have to challenge yourself. Scared to death, I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know anyone, I was feeling shy and didn’t know much about what I was doing but I surprised myself.  I did the entire ride and rode well!  Wow, I was proud of myself…that’s the feeling that keeps you going back for more.

Over the years I’ve done all sorts of things. That’s just it, you move from exercise to exercise because you change and develop. I’ve done yoga, pilates, water aerobics, HITS, and FIT club (females in training), taught by the one and only Jennie Brooks. In addition, I’ve done running, the cardio and weight machines, spinning, Tae-bo and a few other classes at the gym. How did I get into all of those different things, some was my own curiosity and  some, friends encouraged me to try.  As a result, all of these different things got me moving and engaged with my body and I made friends along the way.

What I love about fitness and movement

Going on vacation with my husband and family is a blast. Fully enjoying our surroundings is what it’s about. We love to bike, hike, swim, snorkel, kayak, walk, paddleboard, and run. Because I have been consistent with fitness, we’ve been lucky enough to hike Huayna Picchu at Machu Picchu and the Pitons in St. Lucia. We have snorkeled with the beautiful fish of Hawaii, and we’ve hiked gorgeous trails in Oregon. We have kayaked the clear blue waters of Lake Tahoe and out to Chinaman’s Hat on Oahu. Paddle boarded in our waters at home, biked the awesome wineries of Napa Valley and swam with the Manatees on the Big Island of Hawaii. All of this, makes fitness worth it!

Drop me a comment below, I would love to hear from you!

 

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