Seems a silly question – the media are always telling us we should be more active, there are government guidelines for how many minutes a week we should be doing, most people have had a gym membership at some point.
But actually, why exercise? Why do something you keep being told you should do? I for one hate being told what to do, so why do I exercise?
I run because it makes me feel better. I cycle because it gets me out into nature so I see beautiful scenery and wildlife. I swim because while I’m focusing on not drowning I can’t worry about anything else in life. I do short exercise sessions like the ones I give to my Jumpstart clients because sometimes there isn’t the time for anything more, and I enjoy being out in my garden doing something active. I walk with the dogs because it clears my head.
I don’t go to high octane classes that I perceive will make me feel bad about myself (I have little coordination!), I try not to compare my speed to other people’s. I exercise because it fuels me. Just like eating healthy food, it makes me feel better. I exercise in the time I have available – some days that’s just 15 minutes. Some days it’s more.
And why am I a personal trainer? Because I want to help other people find their little bit of peace through exercise. I want to enable others to feel better, happier, brighter in life. Join me!
One of the reasons I love being a personal trainer is when clients see real benefits to their health through the work we do together, and the extra effort they put in between sessions. I always want to make fitness fit into my clients’ lives, and I would always rather know they’re doing 10 minutes here and there than ask so much of them that it becomes prohibitive. So here are some examples of clients who are really feeling the benefits:
Client A (I’ll keep everyone anonymous) has had medical people keeping an eye on her for a while in terms of her weight and the effects on her hormones, as well as possible type 2 diabetes. We have been working together for 8 weeks, one session a week and I give her short sets to do in between times, we’ve also made some small but manageable changes to her diet. At her last hospital visit she had lost 7% body fat. That is amazing. I am so proud of her achievement. She had tried all sorts of diets and the like, but nothing had worked because it had been too big, too much. Unsurprisingly the doctors are all very happy with what they’re seeing, and it sounds like she’ll be monitored less closely going forwards, as she’s at less risk.
Client B had lost a fair bit of weight before we met, but still had high blood pressure. She and I see each other weekly and she does a lot of walking as well as some small sets of the exercises from when we see each other in between times, and the last time she saw her Dr her blood pressure was back into the healthy range. All from getting more active.
Client C has long suffered with low energy and as such has always shied away from exercise, believing that it would zap what little energy she does have. Since doing some short sets in her home in her own time she’s finding she already has more energy and her muscles are working with her, not against her.
I can’t put into words how happy this all makes me. I love that finding ways to help people fit activity into their lives can make such big differences. For me, exercise is all about how it makes you feel, and I want that to always be positive. If a client, therefore, comes to me saying they hate a specific thing, we won’t incorporate it. If they know that exercising after a certain time of day means it won’t happen, we find ways to make it work in the doing time of day. Tiny little things that make exercise work for you, not against you. I don’t want it to be a chore. I don’t want you to fail. I want you to feel better, happier, healthier. And with Jumpstart (and me!) you can. Promise.
“I don’t have time to get to the gym”, “I’m too busy to go for a run”, “How on earth do you find the time to fit your training in?”. These are all things I’ve heard (and sometimes said) a million times. I get it, I hear you, we’re busy, we all have so many things competing for our time (and yes, Holby City is as valid a thief of time as work, kids, family) that exercise can fall by the wayside.
Not everyone considers 5am to be a sensible time for a run – although if you can get out there at that time you’ll be amazed at the birdsong you get serenaded by – so how do I encourage clients to fit exercise into their busy lifestyle? By breaking it down and adapting it. By making it so simple that you can’t not do it. By fitting it in to their life, not mine.
An example: one client commutes to London, so leaves the house before 6am and doesn’t get home until 8pm. What sort of fool would I be to expect her to get up even earlier to exercise or have any energy left when she gets home? I’d be a very unrealistic PT! So we adapt the exercises – rather than walk up the stairs at work can she run 3 steps in each flight, when sitting down to her desk can she slow the movement down so her quads really work, when waiting for the kettle to boil can she do some bicep curls with the bottle of milk, when brushing her teeth can she do some lunges in the bathroom. All suddenly very doable, very manageable. Suddenly time is available everywhere.