Friday, June 24, 2011

Extolling the Virtues of Exercise

So today I met two women in the locker room after my Body Pump class. They were just coming in from an aqua class. I'm not sure how we got started talking about the classes, but I mentioned which one I just was in and it turned into a very lengthy conversation about painful knees and the variety of classes at the fitness center.

One woman, who seemed slightly older than I and fell into the overweight category was talking about how she didn't do a lot of classes because of her knee. While it is true that you don't want to hurt yourself doing exercises, I also know this is a very HUGE excuse not to exercise as well as I should. And then I started telling her how she could fit it in, how I do not to hurt my knees. She wasn't going to the Body Pump class because the squats and lunges hurt her knees. (this is less than 10 minutes of a 60 minute class) I told her to just go get a drink during these (I have done it on days where my knees were really achy) I too started out exercising only in the pool because it was "safe" and fairly easy. But like anything it gets BORING after doing the same things over and over. When I mentioned that I have lost 40 lbs just these last few months, she shockingly asked "HOW?". I told her by going to the classes and eating well. If you do it, the weight comes off.

The biggest key to my exercise success (currently) is modifying when necessary but getting out there and doing it. I ask questions of instructors about modifications when I can't do a movement they are doing. If I hurt a lot, I stop, then resume at what I can do. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. I sometimes think we set ourselves up for failure with an all or nothing attitude. Some days we will naturally give it our all. But for the days when we don't have it in is, some is enough.

This woman said she might try some of the classes I do, because it would be less intimidating with someone she knew (and another fatty - to be honest). I hope she does for her sake. Then she could open her world up a lot and perhaps be more successful.

I'm happy I'm in such a place right now that I can be an encouragement to someone else who needs it! Happy Day!


  1. That is awesome!! :) I hope you see her @ a class soon, that would be so cool.

  2. This is great. I so agree w/ you. I have knee issues at times too & i still do it. There are certain moves in zumba & in bootcamp, where my knees kind of hurt. It's not that bad & i haven't really had major knee issues, it's just something new i'm feeling. But whenever i invite someone to bootcamp who says, "I can't... knee problems", i think - "you know...we have SEVERAL people in bootcamp with knee problems. Our trainer gives them modified versions of certain moves to do so they won't hurt their knees". Classes like that are available!! You're right, it's NOT all or nothing.

  3. Yeah, without exercise, my weight drops off even slower than it does right now... ^^

    I don't know how far-spread this advise is, but fish oil (omega 3 fatty acids) has done wonders for my knee. It used to hurt so much I couldn't keep up with my running/exercise routine (at least 30min every day, alternating running and strength training, and workout videos for the rainy days) for more than three or four days in a row, and then I read that the fish oil sold for prevention of cardiovascular diseases also helps with joint pain, so I tried it - and it's great! Currently I am trying vegetarian omega 3 fatty acids (not because I am a vegetarian, but because they didn't have any others when I ran out of capsules), and it seems they work just as well. ^^