18 Mar Confession Time: Getting back into Exercise
There’s no denying it, exercise makes life better. Not only does it benefit our physical health, it also assists with emotional health, mental clarity, social wellbeing and creativity.
Exercise had always been a big part of my life, and a few years ago I couldn’t have pictured life without it. When I gave up my gymnastics and acrobatics training I got into running and gym work, and it was the best I’ve ever felt. If I had to skip a session I would really miss it.
Confession time: I have no excuse excuse for stopping. It happened when we moved out of our share house and became home owners 3 years ago. We adopted our dog Kimmy at the same time, and since then our daily walks have been my only form of consistent exercise.
While walking is fantastic, I have really noticed the change in my body without any strength training. At first it was subtle- if I tried to help someone move furniture or lift a heavy box I felt weak. Then I just started to feel weak generally. Last year I had some lower back and hip issues that resulted from the lack of strength in that area. I knew it was time to get my strength back- only now it all seemed like hard work!
I made many half hearted attempts at getting back into a gym routine during this time. The gym used to be my favourite place, but I knew that things had changed and the gym just wasn’t going to do it for me anymore. We’ve all heard it 1000 times: you have to enjoy the exercise that you’re doing, or it just won’t work.
I have enjoyed experimenting with a few new things, and here is some of the exercise that I have been enjoying recently:
Yin Yoga does not build strength, but boy is it a good stretch! Yin focuses on stretching the fascia, which is the connective tissue that covers our muscles. It’s a restorative style of yoga, and I consider each class a mini-myotherapy session rather than an exercise session. No fitness is required because 95% of the class is spent lying flopped on the floor. You hold each pose (stretch) for 3-5 minutes, and this class really forces you to slow right down. You don’t need to worry about how you look, since the focus isn’t on form, and the same pose can look different for everyone (plus, everyone has their eyes closed so they can’t see you anyway). There are men and women of all ages and fitness levels in the class, and everyone walks out feeling relaxed and totally blissed out. These classes make me feel grounded and ready to handle whatever the week throws at me.
My professional opinion: As a myotherapist I can say that most of my clients would benefit greatly from this type of yoga. If you would like more information about whether it could be right for you, feel free to get in touch.
Walking my dog
This won’t ever change- my girl needs her walks! I really enjoy this time together. When I recently was feeling some resitance about going for our walks, I realised that it needs to be first thing in the morning- it’s such a nice time to be out, and then it’s done for the day.
My professional opinion: This one is a no-brainer, I don’t need to tell you that walking would benefit almost everyone. If you have an injury that you’re not sure about, please contact us for further advice.
I was cynical about this one! I have had mixed reports from clients about KX, some swearing by it and others telling me that they “weren’t sure if it was helping or hurting”. There are 12 people in a class at KX, and you are taken through your paces on a reformer bed.
I have always wanted to try pilates, and when I saw that there was a KX opening near my house in Mitcham I decided it was time. I arrived at my first beginners class nervous: my muscles had never been weaker, it hadn’t been too long since my back and hip issues.
I loved the class- the instructor was fantastic, she explained everything well and although the class was challenging, I felt supported the whole time and I left feeling great. I felt that it was a good all-over work out- as a myo this is important to me. I don’t think it’s a good sign to finish an exercise session feeling like you used some muscle groups and not others. I walked out of the class standing up straighter and buzzing with endorphins (oh, how I missed that feeling!). I can see myself happily staying at the beginners level for a long time.
My professional opinion: If you have good body awareness and do not have an injury or major problem area, this could be good! However it is important to recognise that this type of pilates class is a fitness class, and is not at all a rehab class. For clients needing rehab, I recommend 1:1 pilates with a physiotherapist, or 1:1 sessions with an exercise physiologist before graduating to group pilates classes or gym exercises on your own. Again, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
This is working for me right now. I am excited to be at the stage where I really look forward to my exercise again. I am however open to the idea that this might change. I plan on being quicker to experiment with new things next time!