Like I’ve written before, I do not enjoy exercise just for its own sake. Sure, I recognize the benefits to health and fitness. To be motivated, I need to be entertained in some way. Music or video doesn’t do it. I would rather hike up and down a mountain all day than get on a treadmill for 30 minutes. Exercise has never been my highest priority. If I am given a choice between social/happy hour or a dinner with fun people and a workout session, the exercise session will never win. I’ve never been nor will I ever be a gym rat.
Since I embarked on my transformation last fall, I have been spending small, but consistent, amounts of time on a classic NordicTrack and performing sit-ups and push-ups. When I reached a weight I historically considered sustainable, but still had (have) 8-10 pounds to lose, I decided to move to phase 2. I needed to step up the exercise, much as I dislike it, to meet my weight and fitness goals.
I knew the big box gyms wouldn’t work for me (been there, wasn’t impressed), so I researched alternatives. I found a locally owned gym that specializes in customized, personal training options. I took advantage of a marketing offer and gave it a try. The first meeting was an information and requirements gathering session. Erik, the gym owner (also a trainer), asked questions about my fitness background, eating and exercise habits, current weight and fitness goals, and schedule availability. He recommended a trainer and we scheduled the first gym session.
I admit, I was feeling a bit cocky about what I accomplished on my own over a long, long, winter in the Upper Midwest. The first couple of personal training sessions involved assessment and refining of goals – setting a baseline. When I came to the first, real workout session, I came face to face with reality. Yes, I had accomplished great things on my own. However, I had gaps in my flexibility and was out of balance with quadricep (dominant) and gluteus muscles. In the short time I’ve been working with Chris, the personal trainer, I have learned more about body and muscle awareness than I ever did from participating in gymnastics and swimming/diving in my youth. I have also learned how to keep my now slightly arthritic and spurred right shoulder loose and increase its strength. With just a couple of personal training sessions and applying those concepts at home, I am already experiencing positive changes. I’m filling the gaps and learning the skills to maintain more complete body fitness. Admittedly, personal training services are not inexpensive. If a person partners with a friend or small group, the services become much more reasonable.
The fitness industry has changed significantly since the 20th century. For example, I discovered the foam roller. It’s a very simple concept – use a firm foam cylinder to massage tight muscles. In the past, I was always very flexible; but, it seems 25 years of sitting at a keyboard has changed that and I am now working to regain posture and flexibility.
When used properly, a person can obtain the equivalent of a deep tissue massage with a foam cylinder. Below is one example, but there are many more.
The local sports retail chain sells one size and brand for significantly higher cost than online retailers. Shop around – you will not be sorry. It’s the greatest thing!