Since I began Rising Sun Fitness, I have signed my newsletters with 3 important words, “Let’s Move More.”
Nearly 2 decades later, I feel even more strongly about that sentiment.
I have seen it over and over again, and it is such a simple and obvious statement that it seems almost silly to be making a big deal about it. But here it is:
The MORE YOU MOVE:
*the healthier you are
*the more resilient you are to injury, illness
*as you age, you are available to be more active with grandkids, activities that you want to do
*this in turn creates a cycle of MORE MOVING, healthier, more resiliency, etc.
It is frankly amazing to me.
Let me begin with an example. A woman years ago was doing my bootcamp twice a week. She was maybe approximately 60 years old at that time and had been a runner. Ahhhh, yes…. It was Mary. Famous to Rising Sun Fitness Mary. (Mary has given me permission to write about her awesomeness and she has nicknamed herself the “oldest living bootcamper”). Mary began with me and kept asking for alternatives to the exercises I was giving. While I do give alternatives to exercises for injury, etc…. I declined(!) to give Mary alternatives, because I knew she had the potential to move in the way that she wasn’t able to when she began. After some time, she began doing 2 foot jumps up onto the curb! She began doing pushups on the stability ball. She DID. IT. ALL. I smiled a lot at this. She grumbled a lot. But I didn’t care, I was so happy to see how resilient her body was getting. Due to job changes, seasons/ not wanting to get up early, she switched to once a week bootcamp. She stopped running in the cold, but supplemented it with elliptical. She was still coming to class once a week, but the change in her movements WAS CLEAR. She came back to two times a week and she bounced back to her old movement! It actually amazed me to be able to see such a tangible change, and then a rebound back. That is the only “catch” about fitness- you lose it if you don’t keep it up!
Now here is the HIGHLIGHT: This is what really prompted me to want to write this post. I have a group of women who approached me a few years ago wanting a class that was “for their age group.” They are 60-75. (I also asked their permission to write about them). Their group is called “PRIME MOVEMENT” as I thought that was relevant as being in the PRIME TIME in life, right??! So anyway, we began simply, as I assessed where they were starting from and we did good basic, full functional fitness all in a 40 minute class. And, of course… then I began…. As I always do… “sneaking” things in! They have progressed to AMAAAAZING workouts that blow my mind sometimes! This group of women (before Coronavirus when they were in my house) were doing pullups on the TRX, BOSU ball balancing on one leg, wall squats single leg, squats over the step, dips with feet up on the stability ball. It blows my mind sometimes- they do it all—we warm up shoulders, hips, knees, quads, we move front to back, side to side, balanced, began introducing full body pushups, began doing them on the stability ball, began doing them during coronavirus with feet UP on a CHAIR! WHO DOES THIS??!! FIT PEOPLE! We move diagonally (which I sneak in and haven’t told them that this is also good for brain wave activity!), we touch the floor in lunges WITH WEIGHTS (so do you see that getting up from the floor is a breeze once you are used to bending down to the floor and getting up WITH WEIGHTS!), we do side plans, jackknives on the stability ball, planks on the stability ball, single leg sit downs. We move our feet quickly, in different directions because AGILITY is NOT JUST FOR ATHLETES! Agility allows you to react quickly to a mis-step, to catch yourself before falling, to be RESILIENT! Twice a week, they move in all ways, and my heart melts with happiness that they are taking amazing care of themselves. This is the epitome of MOVING MORE, and it matters SO MUCH!
OK, so WHY DOES THIS MATTER?
It matters because:
*when you unexpectedly trip, or lose balance, or fall- a fall is a side lunge or a front lunge- do you have the agility to move your feet fast enough to catch you? If you get your foot there, do you have the strength in your legs and hips and back to support you and bring you back to a standing position?
*If you haven’t circled your shoulders and opened up all angles of your shoulders, twisted, it doesn’t feel very good to twist and turn around while reversing out of a parking lot space, does it?!
*when you need to use the bathroom in a less than ideal situation, can you hold a wall squat for a minute?
*Do you have the balance, body awareness and core strength to lift a box onto a shelf that you need to slide it onto?
*Do you have the confidence of working out regularly in your ability to move in various ways, to take a big step up, to step OVER something… maybe while carrying something. This is ALL in our daily lives.
*Do you take the time to FULLY BREATHE- to allow the full expansion of your breath? The movement of the diaphragm fully connecting with all of the muscles through the belly, chest, upper back, intercostals that allow you to BREATHE! Do you know if you don’t practice breathing well, you won’t be doing it?! It seems so simple, but until you have gone within, silenced your schedule, and watched how your body is breathing, you may be missing on this huge health advantage of calming the nervous system, signaling to your body that you don’t need stress hormones running rampant through your bloodstream!
So, I write this because fitness, living well, feeling good is my passion.
I write this because it is easy to discredit the benefit that can come from a daily walk, from moving in various directions. It is easy to think that maybe you are not really where you “want to be” for fitness, so maybe you should give up. It is easy to think that since you aren’t in a fit place right now, that it is too hard or scary to begin.
But, I promise you, fitness is for everyone. In every place, in every day. And the benefits are tangible, real, and spread to all aspects of your life.
You don’t need to train for a triathlon (but you could!) But, we can ALL MOVE MORE, move differently, be open to challenges which will AMAZE you… (or at least me!)
For those doing the distance challenge: I am so inspired by your willingness to get out there every day, or nearly every day. I’m honored that you were open to picking a goal and then committing to it! I’m humbled to be part of your fitness journey😊