Exercise – a topic you either love or hate to talk about. Either way, it’s important to acknowledge the positive effect it has on our health and wellness. It affects our heart health, mood, energy and ability to keep up with kids. The American Heart Association defines exercise as, “any movement that makes your muscles work and requires your body to burn calories”. They also state that staying active is one of the most important things you can do to prevent heart disease and improve your personal well-being. The American Heart Association & CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. You can knock that out in just 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. What do we mean by aerobic exercise? Aerobic exercises get your heart rate up and your blood pumping. It is any physical activity that involves steady, rhythmic movement of the legs and arms. Regular aerobic exercise conditions the heart to pump blood to the whole body. Examples include brisk walking, running, swimming, bicycling and dancing. There are a lot of different ways to create movement, what matters is that you find something that works best for you.
If you haven’t met or coached with me before, there is something you will learn very quickly- I could talk about exercise all day long. Any type, any intensity, and duration- it’s all good. I don’t discriminate or push anyone into doing what I love because that is the key. YOU have to love it. I do believe that there is something out there for everyone, but a lot of people haven’t discovered what they enjoy yet.
The reason I love exercise so much is because of what it has done for me mentally. It’s a physical action but mentally, a run provides me with clarity, peace, gratitude, centers my faith, I get more creative… the list goes on and on. I snap chat Brooke a lot on my runs because I get SO many business ideas during them. I try not to text and run but occasionally I will make a note on my phone during a run because I have BIG thoughts that I don’t want to forget. If I am stressed, I run. If I am feeling down on myself, I run. If I am feeling anxious, I run. I typically am training for something but the motivator that gets my butt out the door on the treadmill is my mental health. I always feel better when I run. For some people that could be yoga or strength training, it could be boxing or swimming. The beauty of it is that there are a million benefits other than bettering your mental health so I can’t stop talking about it.
Personally, I have the mission of running a marathon in all 50 states. I’m 19 in (thanks Covid) can’t wait to run another. I’m loving the experience of seeing our country this way and am surprised by the beauty and kindness in a lot of places I would have never visited. Like Boise, Idaho? Not sure if I would have carved out 4 days there in another circumstance but it was so beautiful, great food and beer, and the friendliest people I’ve ever met. With 19 different marathon experiences under my belt, I’ve had all kinds of weather, injuries, terrain, and have seen some strange things. I’ve been in multiple ruts where I don’t feel like training, was pregnant multiple times and took a lot of time off, had some injuries so I have even trained running barefoot. I plan to keep you all posted on the progress with my 50 states, 50 marathon goal of mine!
I had plans to run one of Andrea’s 50 states with her, but unfortunately life had other plans for me. After working my way up to running 18 miles outside, in the dead of winter, my body decided it had enough. One morning in the midst of training, I woke up with a bulging vein on top of my ankle bone – another medical mystery to add my story.
The pain progressed as the days continued and I visited urgent care, the ER, a vascular surgeon and as a 24 year old… a vein clinic. Since August, I have had two procedures to close up the biggest superficial vein in my body. It turns out that thanks to training, genetics and awful luck, the valves in my vein not only stopped working properly, but the bulge they created attached itself to a nerve, shooting pain from my ankle all the way up my leg to my hip. Running was my therapy, exercise was my escape, both which were ripped away from me. My body was challenging me both physically and mentally, forcing me to pause and turn inward. As I slowly began (and still am) my healing process, I learned how to listen to my body and be creative in the season of life I was in. I developed a love for a type of practice, I never thought imaginable – yoga.
Andrea – I love getting creative with exercise. The more flexible you can be with location, duration of time, and equipment needed, the better. You only have a minute until your food is warmed up or the coffee is done brewing, squat it out! You’re waiting 30 seconds for the shower water to warm up, do as many push-ups as you can! You’re in your hallway walking to your kiddos’ room, fit in 20 walking lunges! You’d love a 30-60 min walk because you set that goal for yourself but you really only have 15 min before your next meeting? Fit in a brisk 10-minute walk outside or on the treadmill. You will be surprised how these little, repetitive exercises in these little pockets can boost your energy, productivity, and make you stronger.
As a parent, time for exercise can be difficult to find. I highly recommend carving out at least 30 min/day for yourself to move your body but on those chaotic days where it seems impossible, get flexible with time. While studying to become a personal trainer, I learned and value the scientific evidence that even 10 minutes (not even 1% of your day) of exercise can improve the health of your heart. You can strengthen your heart and you can build strength in short windows.
Most people think about cardio when they think about getting fit and the most underrated practice to feel good in your skin, especially for women, is STRENGTH TRAINING. Everyone wants to know how to boost your metabolism and I can tell you the answer does not start and stop with cardio. The bottom line, gold star, secret key is that the more muscle you have on your body, the more calories your body burns naturally, like while you’re sitting in a chair, throughout the day. Even if it’s without equipment, even without a gym membership, you can build muscle. I also think a lot of women worry about getting bulky and not looking feminine. It’s an unfortunate path that women’s thoughts go when I talk about strength training. You are not going to look like Rambo or the Hulk if you figure out how to do 20 push-ups in a row. You may have a more sculpted and sexy back and arms, but you will not look like Hulk. You’ll feel more confident and capable of moving or lifting heavy things in your everyday life and prevent so many injuries as you age. Pick an exercise you want to be capable of completing with proper form and fit as many as you can in little pockets in the day and you’ll be amazed at how strong you feel. I started with squats before or in the shower and now I do 100 at a time, no problem. I’m running faster than ever, and my quads look pretty legit now. It’s just about challenging your body regularly. Simple stuff, really. If you want 10 min exercises you can do without equipment, hop onto our website and fit them in your day!
Life is too short to hate your workout. Try different forms of exercise until you find something that you enjoy. It’s important to remember that when you’re starting out that anything is difficult so give yourself time to feel the benefits of getting your heart rate up, getting stronger, and feeling more confident in your abilities. Also, if you have any conditions or feel uncomfortable starting a workout routine due to health concerns, make sure to consult a physician first.
We thank you for joining us in the fearless pursuit of self-discovery and growth and hope that you transform our lessons into your gold.
Andrea & Brooke
Behind the Scenes Video
3 Gold Stars
1. Find a practice that you enjoy – experiment with different types of movements
2. Move your body 30 minutes every day – (walking, dancing, cycling, etc.)
3. Pick an accountability buddy to check in on your exercise goals (coworker, partner, friend, journal, etc.)
- Do you like exercising alone or with somebody and why?
- What kind of movement or strategy can you adapt that will make time pass quickly during exercise?
- Who could join you in a conversation, competition, or activity surrounding movement?
Piece of Gold
Check out our 10-15 minute workout videos (no equipment needed) below and contact us for personalized plans or personal training sessions at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Listen to your truth and go chase your gold.
– Gold Ivy Health Co.