For those of you that have followed my blog, you know that I have a strong commitment to my health. I eat well (most of the time), exercise as often as I’m able (not as much as I’d like), and I stay focused on the positive. Throughout most of my life, I have experienced few health issues other than pregnancy and delivery and few minor things here and there. However, a couple of weeks ago, I found myself in a situation where I listened closely to my body and realized it wasn’t happy.
Since starting my job last February, there is no doubt my activity level isn’t where I’d like it to be, but I squeeze in exercise 3x per week. I have held pretty tight to eating well, though many meetings that include eating out make it tough, even if I feel like I’m making the right decision. There’s been stress in my life, recent passing of my Dad and situations at work that come with the territory, but all in all, I feel pretty good. However, two weeks ago, that all changed.
I woke up and found myself nauseous and dizzy. Dizzy spells are not uncommon with me, I blame it on the barometric pressure. But nausea never accompanied my “dizzies”. I sat down in front of my make-up mirror and felt clammy. Not hot flash clammy, heart attack clammy and then I looked at my clock radio and couldn’t read the time. I knew something was wrong. I said to my husband, “Something is not right, something is not right.” We immediately went to the ER. By the time I got to the hospital and into a room, my speech was all but gone and my body felt like dead weight. I could barely move my legs, arms and head. Panic set in and I knew I was likely experiencing a stroke. My grandfather suffered a stroke in his latter 30’s and part of my commitment to health and fitness was to avoid that scenario, but here I was. The nurse kept asking me questions and my effort to say one word was the most difficult thing I can recall doing in recent history. And then the thoughts started going through my mind, “I’m never going to walk again. My husband is going to spend the rest of his life taking care of me, and I’m the healthy one!” Every negative scenario ran through my mind. I’ve never been more frightened than I was that morning.
I had a CT scan, MRI, loads of blood work, and on and on and they found nothing. By late afternoon, my speech was back to normal and my strength had returned as well. What happened? What caused it? The fact that the weakness in my body wasn’t bilateral ruled out a stroke. Ultimately the neurosurgeon called it a, “Seizure phenomenon.” Hmmm, well that doesn’t tell me much other than they don’t know what caused it. I ran a half marathon two days prior, could it have triggered something? The stress over the past year, could it be that? Who knows?
What I do know is that I didn’t ignore symptoms just because I take care of myself. We know that women die more often from heart attacks and strokes because they ignore the symptoms. No matter how healthy you are, listen to your body, pay attention to abnormal feelings and get them checked out.
The one thing that was found was a bump in an artery in the brain scan they want to check out. But I’m also following up with an internist per a suggestion from a friend that isn’t happy with the “phenomenon” diagnosis and thinks I should exhaust all avenues. Likely not a bad idea.
I have always taken pride in how I care for my health, but we know many people that have been as healthy as a horse yet dropped dead of a heart attack or some freak accident. So, was this a life altering experience? Will I start paying closer attention to my bucket list? Well, yes and no.
1. I don’t do bucket lists because I spend too much time stressing over checking things off! I’d rather follow what’s in my heart and make it happen.
2. I realize that the stress in our lives is often brought on by assumptions and unrealistic perceived outcomes. Reduce stress by reducing assumptions and stop trying to write the future.
3. I realize that no matter how healthy I am, the body gets tired and high intense exercise and a strict diet isn’t’ always what’s best for the body or mind, it needs a break from time to time. I need to know that taking a walk instead of heading out for a run is fine too and some days better for my mind/body. That gelato, or chocolate that I’ve been avoiding is not the end of the world if I cave in and enjoy. I’ve been teaching for years that moderation is the best way to live. I need to heed my own advice vs. my all or nothing compulsions.
4. Tell your family you love them every day and try to spend more quality time with them. My kids spent two solid days with me at the hospital. We played games, we reminisced and laughed, a lot. If you haven’t downloaded the app from the Ellen Show, Heads Up, do it today. It’s a blast for all ages.
5. Slow down! Even as I type, I type fast and hard. My personality is somewhat like a bull in a china shop, not always, but more often than not. I push hard and when I have a task to complete, I give at least 100%. I need to learn that slow and steady works sometimes too. Assess situations, and don’t view every task as a crisis that needs immediate handling.
6. Ask for help. Women are the worst at that. I have always been someone that would rather do it all myself, despite the challenges. Heaven forbid I should look weak, right? Well actually for me it’s not the case. I’ve been on my own for so long, I just learned to do everything myself. Life is give and take. I can’t do it all and I shouldn’t expect to do it all (See #2). Ask for help and offer help, it’s a pretty solid way to live.
7. An attitude of gratitude. I have written in many of my blogs my gratitude for being able to go out and run when I feel like it, or exercise whenever I want because I have full use of my body. How lucky I am. After this recent scare, now more than ever, I am incredibly aware of how grateful I am for the ability to speak (maybe my family doesn’t love that one!), the ability to move without restriction and the strength to do every day tasks without limitation. I’M THE LUCKIEST GAL IN THE WORLD!
Moral of the story: No matter how healthy you are, especially women, never, ever ignore unusual symptoms. Your body is trying to tell you something, LISTEN! There is no guarantee that being healthy means you’re immune from illness or disease. Live every day like it is your last, love with your full heart, be kind to yourself and others and move your body because you can.
Here’s to never wishing for more time, rather making the most of it.
By Nicki On March 23, 2014 1 Comment
After only 6 weeks in my new position, I hear the voices of my clients from the past (my clients from the fitness world). Client after client would swear that they just didn’t have time to exercise and eating well was near impossible due to eating out for business meetings. I rarely bought it and believed if they wanted it bad enough,they could make the changes.
As I write this, I have become my client. Working 12-14 hour days, my flexible schedule no longer exists as I’ve become a product of work hard, exercise later. This past week as I found myself feeling a little “off” after once again eating out. I now have a much better understanding of my clients challenges. Here’s what I’ve learned so far.
You really have to want it. My day starts around 7:15 a.m. or so. If I want to get a workout in, I need to be up at 5:00 a.m. and in the shower by 6:00 a.m. I have chosen to set aside M,W,F as my exercise days, but right now I’m lucky if I hit two of those days. Thank God for Saturday and Sunday, those are my make-up days. I do commit myself to no less than three days of workouts with a feeling of exhilaration if I can make four. Who’d a thought? After 30 years of listening to what I thought were excuses, I now get it. However, I do the best I can knowing that staying committed to my workouts allows me to perform optimally both personally and professionally.
Oh the food. I now average eating out about 7-9 times per week. Additionally, there is always food at the office, not necessarily healthy food. Although I don’t eat any of the left-overs at the office there’s still eating out. I thought I had it under control. I never eat anything fried or processed. I stick to “clean eating” as best as I can, but the bottom line is that restaurant food tastes good for a reason, the secret ingredients whatever they may be. Even in salad there likely lurks something that may not be good for you. After years of eating most all of my meals at home and being largely in control of what I put in my mouth, that has all changed. After this last week of once again feeling “off” after eating out, I’ve realize I simply need to keep the fridge at work stocked with healthy food. When eating out, make it minimal such as a side salad, or small bowl of soup (ugh the sodium) and then come back to the office and eat what’s in the fridge. P.S. Why do hotels that have fixed menus think when you order vegetarian it means pasta and cheese? Just throw a bunch of veggies on a plate and I’m happy. Interesting perception.
Breakfast is still the most important meal. Because my time is crunched, I’ve been grabbing a Larabar with some fruit. I was used to better quality such as oatmeal, eggs, green smoothies, leftovers from dinner. I need to get back to that.
The weather has sucked. There is no doubt (I’m sure psychologists have research on this) that a long, cold, snowy winter changes food cravings along with the desire to exercise. Oddly enough, during the time of year when we need it the most, we don’t do it. Guilty as charged. I do hope once summer hits things will change. I live four blocks from work and have walked to work a total of one, yes ONE time. Why? Weather along with meetings where I need my car. It stinks. Once the weather shifts (if it ever does) I will get back to walking.
At the end of 6 weeks, here’s what I’ve discovered. As a country we don’t design life around healthy living, we design it around convenience which means too much fast-food and too little exercise. For years I believed that no matter how busy your life, you can and must make time for health. I still believe that however, my reality has altered. A little bit of something is better than a lot of nothing.
- So how about you? Do you squeeze in the time to care for your health or do you find that it’s just too hard? If it’s the latter, I feel your pain, but do what you can to make it work, even if it’s just a few short walks here and there. Let’s not let work trump our quality of life, it’s short enough as it is!
Here’s to never wishing for more time rather making the most of it.
By Nicki On January 6, 2014 6 Comments
O.K, I have to admit that every January I cringe when I see the ads for weight loss. The miracles abound and the “real” answer to weight loss woes are simply a click away. Too much belly fat? There’s a program for that. Excess holiday weight gain? There’s a drink for that. Get abs of steel with 4 simple steps. My response to all of those secrets to success is bull$&@*! After 30 years in the health and fitness industry I ask that you read the rest of this post knowing that what I’m sharing with you is fact. No hype, nothing earth shattering simply the honest to goodness truth about weight loss, why people are overweight and ultimately what the ONLY solution is.
First, let it be said that I made the conscious decision to sell my fitness business and walk away from the industry after 30 years. I was fried, frustrated and felt it was time to move on and find my passion and purpose somewhere else. I’m sharing that with you so that you understand I have no ulterior motives other than to motivate you to walk away from any “too good to be true” ads and prevent you from parting with good money for bad solutions. So, here we go.
1. Diets don’t work, period. Yes, yes, yes, we’ve all lost weight on them, self included but for the long-term they do not work. What works is CHANGING your diet. Each day,bit by bit, small change by small change.
2. Say good-bye to fried food, fast food and fake food. You can’t expect to make these changes over night, but I can assure you, if you get rid of the 3-f’s your body will respond in kind, i.e. you’ll drop some lbs. and feel significantly better.
3. Ignore the television ads and 3 minute solutions in magazines. Here is what you should always remember, if there were truly a drug, vitamin, piece of equipment that really helped you lose weight successfully, it would be on every news program, on the front of newspapers, etc. There isn’t one so the next time you see an ad that shares “Millions of people have already bought our product and been successful” they’re likely lying.
4. Here are the ONLY things you need to know to reach a healthy weight, reclaim your health and potentially get off of medication: Eat less, move every single day (even if it’s only 15 minutes), drink more water, limit alcohol, get a decent amount of sleep and love yourself. That’s it, that’s the secret, that’s the miracle.
Books, magazines and ads can spin weight loss any way they want to, but the truth is #4 is the ultimate solution. Of course, your expectations need to be in line with your lifestyle. In other words, if you like having that occasional glass of vino, you know that exercise daily may not happen and you still love your Friday night pizza, don’t expect miracles. But if you’re still eating better, drinking more water, moving more consciously (even if it’s getting up from your desk every 30 minutes to grab a drink of water) you’ll be ahead of the game by years end.
O.K. I feel better. Do you?
Here’s to never wishing for more time, rather making the most of it. Happy 2014!!
By Nicki On November 4, 2013 No Comments
About 8 weeks ago I was at a community event and ended up fracturing my toe. Fortunately, it wasn’t a sprawled on the ground spectacle, rather a moment of internal screaming, followed by a variety of stars and then an out loud, “Sh@t! That going to leave a mark!” Then I realized something far more serious. I was in the throes of training for a half marathon, I just broke my toe. Double sh@t!
Let’s go back a bit. I never thought myself as competitive. As a kid, I loved letting other people win. Perhaps being the youngest of three girls I figured I didn’t have a chance, so I just gave in.
That all changed when early in my twenties I was at a karaoke contest. You would have thought that the lives if my children were on the line. I was going to win that contest, period. I concluded that my competitive spirit had been stifled far too long and was ready to make up for lost time.
Fast forward, I love winning. Seems silly but nothing makes me happier than winning. Be it a business venture or family card game, I’m in it to win it.
Since running my first marathon more than 10 years ago, every race I run to win my age category. People in my running circles remind me that it’s about the finish. Internally, I’d roll my eyes and think, yeah, yeah, yeah.
I have written some columns and blogs about respecting my body and honoring its limits as well as its possibilities. But I don’t always heed my own advice, I tend to focus on the possibilities and um, winning. However, fracturing my toe set me back, significantly. Since then, I’ve become obsessed with making up for lost time.
However, this past week I completed my longest run before tapering prior to the 1/2 marathon November 10th. Early in to my run I noticed a young woman (I live on a college campus) walking with two canes. Immediately after that I saw a young man wheeling down the college walkway in a wheelchair. It hit me. The fact that I can just lace up my running shoes and go run is a gift. I have no limitations. O.K. so a broken toe, really?
I decided to acknowledge my setback and not head in to next week’s event to win (my age group) rather simply to finish. Sometimes just finishing the race has to be enough. I’d rather finish pretty than win ugly.
As of today, I’ve trained the best I can. I appreciate that the real win comes in the training and my dedication to finish the run. As much as I love to win, I suppose getting to the starting line is a win. Finishing is simply the bonus.
Here’s to many brilliant finishes!
By Nicki On October 24, 2013 6 Comments
Recently, a friend of mine wrote a post about exercising as we get older. The gist of her piece was realizing that you don’t have to kill yourself to be in shape. But when does that realization hit? Is it triggered by the pain following an overzealous workout? Or simply an internal conversation reminding you that pain isn’t necessarily the conduit for a fit body. For most of us, it’s likely the former versus the latter.
At this stage of my life I’m no longer interested in working out to be a mean, lean fighting machine. I work out to feel good and to fight gravity as much as possible. I work out because it’s my medicine of choice. I can either pop pills or exercise. I exercise because I feel better mentally and physically. I work out because exercise keeps me young, agile and strong. I work out because I’m a very responsible person and working out is being responsible not only for myself, but for those I love.
So why is it that many people still don’t exercise? During my 25+ years in the industry, the following were the most popular reasons people didn’t exercise.
1. It’s too time consuming
2. I’m too old and the pain is not worth it.
3. It’s too hard
4. I don’t get results
5. I can just change my diet and I’ll be fine.
Here is my response to the above.
1. It’s too time consuming. According to research boomers spend about 27 hours a week on the internet. Yes, 2-7. My friends, that’s a part-time job! Exercise requires 30-60 minutes a day. If you can carve out time for the internet, favorite television shows, etc. you can make time for exercise. Use the internet as incentive. “After I walk for 30 minutes I can then check out the internet.” Remember, too much sitting can be deadly.
2. Too old and painful- Not buying it. I know hundreds of men and women well in to their 70’s and 80’s that exercise every single day. Some suffer from arthritis, some from old sports injuries, but they swear that if they didn’t exercise the pain would be significantly worse. They also shared that because of exercise they are medication free. You’re never too old to move.
3. It’s too hard. You should never exercise to the point of pain. Exercise should be energizing. If you’re a beginner, please don’t take an advanced class thinking it will be more effective, it won’t. Start off with baby steps. If you take it slow and easy, you’re likely to stick with exercise. If you beat yourself up, you’ll quit. Use common sense, don’t let ANYONE tell you how hard to push yourself. You know your body, honor it and challenge it appropriately.
4. No results. The greatest revelation I had a few years ago was the understanding that exercising for unrealistic expectations (perfect body, perfect abs, legs, etc.) is an exercise in futility. I have seen more people give up exercise because they weren’t getting the results they wanted. Nine times out of ten, the expectations of my clients was completely unrealistic. Here’s the best reason of all to exercise, it’s good for your health. If you feel better you’ll look better. Magazines or television shows that make promises or show incredible results are not to be believed. No two bodies are the same and the truth is, the older we get, the more realistic we have to be about exercise. Realistic expectations are key in maintaining a healthy, rewarding relationship with exercise. I exercise to be engaged in life and live more fully. I owe my energy to exercise.
5. Change your diet. Granted, 65% of weight issues with people are nutrition based. However, exercise is absolutely vital. I’ve seen many people just diet and never exercise. They have terrible muscle atrophy, brittle bones and many problems that come from too little movement. A combination of a healthy diet (not deprivation) and regular exercise is the secret to good health. Personally, I get in about 7-8 hours of exercise a week. And that’s not all in the gym, it might be mowing the lawn, intense yard work, etc. If I’m active above and beyond walking out to get the mail, it counts.
Please note, there are days when I don’t feel like working out, my life will not end, it will go on with or without my workout. I’ve learned to cut myself some slack when I skip a day here and there. However, missing more than 2 or 3 days is a warning sign, pay attention. Unless of course you’re sick.
There really is no reason to skip exercise. I always used to tell my clients that a little bit of something is better than a lot of nothing. Don’t compare, don’t create unrealistic expectations. Treasure your body, marvel at it’s potential and treat it with the respect it deserves. That my friends is the secret to a beautiful relationship.
Here’s to never wishing for more time, but making the most of it.
By Nicki On October 7, 2013 9 Comments
Me: We need to talk. Let’s have a seat, this conversation is long overdue.
For years you did everything I wanted. You got up every morning without pain or creaks. You ran up and down stairs with little effort. We took an exercise class and you responded with the good kind of sore which prompted me to do it again. At which point you made it very clear, too much exercise and you don’t get along. I got the message.
For quite some time we worked together liked a fine tuned machine. I did anything I wanted physically and you accommodated. But all of a sudden you stopped. I found myself questioning activities, wondering if you would come along for the ride or teach me a lesson by making the next day’s simplest of tasks painful.
Provide specifics you ask? Why sure.
I used to run like there was no tomorrow. No discomfort or pain, I just ran. Recently my hips hurt, I get twinges in my knees and well quite frankly, every morning I wake up it takes a good 10 minutes to work out the stiffness. Honestly, I’m not so sure you get how frustrating this is for me.
Another example. you know how I love to write, I’ve been writing for years. All of a sudden the joints in my hands are sore after too much tapping on my keyboard. Hey, if you want me to give up writing, you’ve got another thing coming. But come on, a little reprieve would be nice.
Most recently I was out in my garden doing some weeding and there it was, the back pain everyone talks about. I’ve always been good to my back, so why the zinger? Was it something I said?
So, it seems that if you’ve got a beef with me, now is the time to get it off your chest so we can continue this relationship and feel good about it. O.K. I’m done, now it’s your turn.
Body: Well, I’m not quite sure where to start but let’s start with basics. I think I’ve given you a pretty good ride so far. Despite the periodic abuse during your younger years, you’ve been pretty good to me. But the running, you never should have done that marathon. That pretty much did me in. I can only support you so much before I have to kick in “conserve mode” in order to preserve you for the next 50 years.
I feel like I’ve been more than fair to you. You still run, you still take stairs 2 at a time, and you’re pretty active. At the halfway point in your life, that’s impressive.
Rather than telling me everything I’m doing wrong, how about a pat on the back for what I do right? I think we have a great understanding. You take care of me, I take care of you, pretty simple. If there’s aches and pains here and there, get over it, some of my other body friends are in far worse shape. But that comes from the partnership, they don’t have a very good one with their owners. I think we have a pretty good one.
After all these years, we’ve worked well together and I foresee that relationship continuing as long as you keep on respecting what I can do and honoring what I can’t. All body’s have limits and though I certainly like to be challenged from time to time, don’t be stupid. I’m the only body you’ve got. Treat me well and I will reciprocate.
Me: I stand corrected. Thanks for all you’ve given me. I look forward to a long, healthy relationship. And most of all, I’m lucky I have you. Thank you.
(Reprinted from MoMentumNation 10/7/13)
Here’s to never wishing for more time, rather making the most of it!
By Nicki On September 30, 2013 14 Comments
My friend and I were out for breakfast the other day and we started talking about the importance of self-care. We discussed friends our age that due to self-care negligence are suffering from a number of maladies. We then discussed the perception by others that just because we both work out doesn’t mean we love it, it simply means we’d rather not deal with the consequences if we don’t.
After 20 plus years in the fitness industry I saw my share of clients who suffered with a number of preventable diseases most common, high blood pressure and diabetes. The truth is that for many of them (other than Type 1 clients) the diseases were 100% preventable. 100%! Yet, after years of neglect, the body begins to shut down and many feel it’s too late to intervene. It’s never too late.
I was never an athlete. I wasn’t raised being active and never did much of anything until at the young age of 16 I found myself 50 plus pounds overweight. I started reading and implementing what I learned about nutrition and exercise. One year later, I lost the extra weight and never felt better.
The hardest part of being or becoming a healthy weight is maintenance. I can say with certainty that the way I felt 50 pounds heavier, versus the way I felt after, set the stage for a lifelong dedication to exercise and eating well. To this day, I continue learning. There are also plenty of times I need to push myself to exercise, like now I should be running, I’m writing. I’ll go, I’ll go.
Along the way I’ve picked up some nuggets that help me stay on track and get my butt out of bed on those mornings where my toasty bed begs me to stay. See if some of these may help you.
1. We all want to feel good. Regular exercise combined with a healthy diet feels good.
2. We all want to look good. There is no doubt that exercise and a healthy diet result in looking vibrant and well.
3. We all want to fully engage in our lives. I have seen too many people avoid certain situations because their weight kept them from participating. Life is too short and the older you get the more you realize it. Becoming engaged starts with becoming active.
4. We all have moments where we just don’t want to. There are times when you need to accept you don’t want to and move on or times you need to kick yourself in the arss and just do it! You need to understand the difference between giving your body a day of rest or giving up on your body.
5. Unrealistic expectations are the undoing of many well intentioned exercisers. None of us, no matter how we exercise will ever have a perfect body, ever. So what? Exercising automatically kicks up self-confidence. When you move more you feel better about yourself. Let that be enough. It’s not a competition.
6. Have fun. For the love of God, find something you enjoy. And don’t say, “There’s nothing I like.” If you say that it’s because you haven’t found it yet. Maybe you don’t like crowds, so stop joining a gym. Maybe you don’t like exercise clothing, don’t wear it. You don’t like running? Biking? Swimming? Then don’t. There’s plenty, literally hundreds of options. Create a list, try everything, dancing,. martial arts, hiking, whatever. Find something. If you can’t, call me, we’ll talk.
7. Make the most out of your life. The truth is that if you really, really want to feel your best, you must care for yourself the best. No one can take better care of you than you! So many people give, give, give and forget themselves in the mix of things. Carve out some me time, even if it means 15 minutes of stretching before bed. You will limit the quality of your life if you don’t take care of yourself, period.
8. Find a role model. My role model is a gorgeous woman who is likely now in her 70’s and has been an active woman since I met her over 20 years ago. She’s always got a smile on her face, a kind thought to share and is regularly active. She’s impressive. I want to be her when I’m her age.
9. Be a role model. If any would have ever told me that someday I’d be a mentor for exercise I would have laughed, a lot. By changing your life, you may inspire someone else. Trust me, if you’re struggling with eating well and getting active, there are likely people around you who struggle with the same. Be the change, start the movement and watch the lives you can change, beginning with you.
10 Set a dream activity. Ever wanted to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro? Go on a safari in South Africa? Bike Australia? Participate in a fundraising walk? Create the steps to make it happen. It will be so cool when you do. I know because I’ve done it.
I hope this helps if you’re at a crossroads with getting yourself on a healthy track. Please don’t wait until January 1st, because statistically those resolutions are short lived. Baby steps today, climbing mountains tomorrow, why not?
Here’s to never wishing for more hours in a day, rather making the most of them!
By Nicki On September 1, 2013 12 Comments
When I owned my training studio, I would often tell my clients that exercise is not a punishment, it’s a privilege. My clients would give me an odd look as ask, “How’s it a privilege? It’s not fun.”
Well, I suppose it’s all in how you look at it. I am one of those people that takes stair steps two at a time. Every time I reach the top of the stairs I am thankful for the strength, agility and balance to be able to do that. Being active is not only good for your health, it’s also a way of honoring a body that allows us to do so much.
The fact that I am healthy and able to be active is something I never take for granted. Every time I go out for a run, walk or bike ride I am grateful. I was reminded of this just a couple of days ago when I fractured my toe.
My daughter had just agreed to train with me to do her very first 1/2 marathon. Thrilled at the opportunity to train with my daughter, we set out our training schedule and ran our first 3 mile training session last week. The next day was an off day, so I did a bit of strength training, looking forward to our next training run on Saturday.
However, the running Gods had different plans for me. While out with friends on Friday, the rain slicked up the grass and I banged the crapoli out of my toe on a makeshift walkway. Yes, I saw stars.
I limped back to my crew and was reminded I had to walk about a mile or so back home. I complained the whole way wondering if it was a sprain or actual break. Either way, treatment is simply ice and patience. Ugh.
I woke up to a black and blue foot, discomfort and pain that was not even suited for walking much less running. My daughter had to go out on her own while I stayed at home “resting”. I don’t like to rest, it makes me crabby.
So here I am, 3 days post injury and wondering how quickly I can get back to running or even walking pain free. Every day I think about how much I miss my running and realize that exercise of any kind really is a privilege. And like other things in life, sometimes you don’t appreciate what you’ve got until it’s gone.
Exercise- punishment or privilege, what do you think?
Here’s to never wishing for more time rather making the most of it!
By Nicki On August 19, 2013 No Comments
I’m in love, again. Romance between me and the world of fitness has been reignited. After recently attending IDEA World Fitness Conference, the largest health and fitness conference in the world, I’m giddy with excitement knowing that after years of wondering, where the fitness love is for a boomer, I’ve found it!
For 10 years I was a speaker at this conference, but this year I attended as press. So cool. I was able to learn, mingle and sample new fitness gadgets with no worry of a pending lecture.
In the last few years the fitness industry has been heavily influenced by research touting high intensity exercise as your best defense against extra pounds and aging. I don’t know about you, but this gal has taken a few of those crazy high intensity classes and I left feeling every bit my age.
For those that love the Cross Fit, Insanity, P90X knock yourself out. The beauty of age is wisdom and I know that jumping around as if my knees had brand new shock absorbers is a bad choice. Further, if my wisdom is slow to engage my bladder jumps in and says, “No!” (TMI?)
What I discovered at this conference is although crazy exercise programs are alive and well for those naive enough to think they’re indestructible, there are programs out there for people like me. In the words of Cindy Lauper, “Girls just want to have fun!” And this girl is no exception!
I need to like what I’m doing, and if I’m going to be consistent with exercise it has to have a likeability factor. If you’re not enjoying what you do, seek out something else. I loathe when someone says, “Walking is for weenies.” When I hear that my impulse is to challenge them to a walk-off, but I stifle myself.
It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do something every single day, even if its only 15 minutes. Do what you enjoy and embrace the opportunity to connect with your body. As I get older, I find myself participating in activities that make me stronger and more flexible without feeling like I have to compete with kids 20 years my junior.
So keep your eyes peeled for new programs coming your way including indoor SUP training created by Laird Hamilton. I had the unfortunate position of getting a photo with him. Some body has to do it! Cardio Bounce (old school mini tramps amped up) and of course the plethora of dance classes, no coordination required. Well maybe a bit, but you can fake it.
Although I’m a runner, I am we’ll aware of my limitations and at this years fitness conference it seems fitness pros are getting it and offering classes that are not only fun, they’re inspiring and appropriate. What a concept.
(Original post 8/13/13 – http://www.momentumnation.com/fitness-love-for-boomers/ )
Here’s to never wishing for more time, rather making the most of it!
By Nicki On April 8, 2013 8 Comments
“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” This quote is from a very famous 1976 movie called, Network. I was a teen when this came out and I recall seeing Peter Finch brilliantly deliver that famous line as Howard Beale. Now it’s my turn to use it.
It’s April, spring is a comin’ and with that comes the excess of weight loss ads. Even on my Facebook page there’s a push for a green tea bean and how to burn 30 lbs of belly fat per month effortlessly. It’s killing me. Quite honestly, I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!
Right around the time Peter Finch was given his Academy award for his role as Howard Beale, I entered the health and fitness industry. I was four. 🙂
Although awareness about obesity has certainly increased, obesity back in 1976 was 8.7%., and today it is 34.7% . Obesity and its related diseases costs our country 190 billion dollars in healthcare and lost productivity. Yet, health clubs and diet programs grow in popularity right along with the American waistline.
The thing that leaves me scratching my head is why those that desperately need health clubs don’t go. Given my experience from a personal and professional perspective, I can answer that question, intimidation, unrealistic expectations, fear, feeling out of place, indifference from staff and lack of the truth. Now before my health and fitness friends shout at me, there are a number of very honest, ethical health and fitness professionals and clubs I admire. I just wish there were more. However, with every great, honest health and fitness pro, there are 5 behind him or her waiting to push the latest fad diet, supplements and God knows what else.
I was in business for 20 years doing everything I could to educate, motivate and inspire my clients to get healthy the old fashioned way. I hope I made a difference to some. But, thanks to The Biggest Loser and uneducated fitness pro’s that promise 20 pounds in 20 days, my honesty and real life approach was trumped all the time.
- Consumers have got to know at this point that anything that sounds too good to be true- is.
- Consumers have to know that it starts with taking a long, hard look at lifestyle and realizing that things have to change, not overnight, but change must occur.
- Consumers have to know that beating yourself up mentally and physically is NOT the way to achieve good health, it’s quite the opposite.
- Consumers need to know that there are health and fitness professionals out there actually interested in helping clients go through the process, safely and effectively so that weight loss isn’t temporary but sustainable.
- Consumers have to understand, work is involved and at times it’s hard. Then it simply becomes a question of whether or not you’re ready. If anyone tells you weight loss is easy, they’re lying.
- Health and Fitness clubs have got to know that for someone walking in to a health club overweight and out of shape, it is terribly intimidating. Please have someone working the front end that gets it, not someone who is bored with their job and intolerant of incoming guests.
- Health and fitness clubs need to welcome and respect those that can’t withstand an initial hour-long class that includes squats and lunges as their first class. (I see this all the time).
- Health and fitness professionals have got to denounce the fast-n-easy weight loss scams out there, stick together and create an alliance for ethical health and fitness practices.
- Health and fitness professionals can play an amazing role in the health and wellness of our country as long as they understand what the deconditioned client needs to be motivated and ultimately successful. It’s got to be a solid partnership.
- Health and fitness professionals have an obligation to put clients first and “do no harm.” Check out IDEA’s Code of Ethics.
I have to say, I dread this time of year as much as I do December, resolution season. Weight loss adverts ad nauseam.
If you’re currently frustrated because you didn’t stick to your goals, don’t be, 98% of people don’t. Instead be more realistic. Don’t buy in to the promises of fast and easy weight loss, thinner thighs in thirty days because aside from all those promises it’s really about you and your health. The only reason you should change your lifestyle if you’re currently inactive or dealing with excess weight is y our health, period. I’ve kept 50 pounds off for over 30 years, not because I’m a rock star but because I remember what it felt like to carry that extra weight and I know what my body feels like now, it’s a marked improvement. At almost 52, I’m medication free.
Save yourself money and frustration. If you need help getting on track and staying there, hire a qualified professional that doesn’t make ridiculous promises. Find someone who puts your health first.
If you remember nothing else when those crazy weight loss commercials come on, remember these three things:
1. If diets worked, obesity would be non-existent. 2. The only way to get yourself healthy for the long-term is find a way to move everyday, even if it starts with a walk around the block, and focus on eating less food with more nutritional value.
3. It’s weight loss season and the hype is here, don’t get sucked in.
Here’s to a healthy spring and a healthy you.
Here’s to never wishing for more time, rather making the most of it!