Since I’m a Pilates and Fitness professional, most people I meet are surprised to hear about my general aversion to exercise. Yes, you heard that right – it’s more in my nature to curl up on the couch and read than it is to move!
How did I get into movement as a career? Partially because I discovered how much better I felt and functioned when I took a little bit of time in my day to exercise. Whether lifting weights, doing Pilates, walking, doing intervals and cardio, or even a little stretching, I can feel a very direct connection between the time I spend in my home gym area (aka my living room) or a studio, and how I feel and perform.
This was true when I was 20 and is still the case at 56.
If you’re waiting to exercise, here are some reasons you may be telling yourself, and my responses.
1. I’m weak or frail
There’s a particular client who takes my Strong Bones community classes online, who is quite thin and “frail,” and has osteoporosis with a spine compression fracture. It’s been over a year together, and she does everything. Squats, deadlifts, planks, push-ups, single-leg bridges…. all the things!
She doesn’t only feel stronger and better, she’s clearly able to do things now that she couldn’t do last year. And she feels more competent when she’s gardening, grocery shopping, or playing with her grandkids.
The only way to become stronger is by exercising. If you’re weak, exercise will make you stronger, even if you start slowly and gently.
2. I have arthritis or other chronic pain
As we age, our body does start to break down with a much slower recovery. I personally have a lot of arthritis in my hips, knees, and spine, which does cause some pain and inflammation.
However, I have pain and inflammation whether I exercise or not. When I don’t exercise, I get weaker, moving gets harder, and my joints hurt. When I exercise, my joints get a little movement and lubrication, and my muscles get stronger to help support my joints through movements.
Back pain? Strengthening your back and abdominal muscles will help you. Knee or hip pain? Again, strengthening your legs, glutes, back, and abs will help with movement and strength. Neck pain? Same!
While exercise might make you sore for a day or two, it should help lessen inflammation, help you move easier, and can ultimately slow joint degeneration.
3. I’m too stiff
Moving more will help stiffness and tightness anywhere in your body. Once you have some strength, you can then work a bit on flexibility and mobility.
Tight muscles are often weak muscles and making them stronger will help them loosen up (I know, it sounds odd, but it’s true). As your body gets stronger, your muscles will start to work together in a better way, and you’ll be able to move in ways that may be unavailable to you right now.
If you’d like to start exercising right now, I invite you to check out my online Strong Bones Pilates Studio, where I offer safe and effective osteoporosis-friendly classes, programs, and private training to help you get stronger faster.
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