The Power of Fitness

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Jennifer Cooreman for Flashy Fit

By now, most of us have heard about the benefits of exercise.  Unfortunately, the disease fighting, youth boosting, mood enhancing wonders of physical activity aren’t always enough to break through our stubborn refusal to establish regular exercise routines. According to the CDC 80 percent of Americans don’t get the recommended amount of exercise.

It’s easy to find excuses to sit on the couch, avoiding exercise at all costs. But learning about the true benefits of exercise might offer the motivation you need to start your journey towards health.

Read on to learn how exercise can benefit your mind, body and soul:

Exercise is scientifically proven to boost your mood. When you add consistent movement to your life, you’ll notice how much better you feel almost instantly. Your body will start to function more efficiently, you’ll flood your brain with natural mood enhancing neurotransmitters, and improve how all the systems in your body function. Even better? Exercise slows the aging process by creating healthy bones and muscles.

Not only will regular exercise help you look and feel better, a consistent program will help you decrease risk factors for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and a host of other maladies we’d all rather avoid. To learn more about how exercise helps you stay healthy, check out American College of Sports Medicine  (ACSM) fact sheets.

Some get discouraged when they start an exercise routine and don’t see immediate results. But exercise is an excellent example of the old adage, “Sometimes the best changes can’t be seen, they can only be felt.” Don’t hobble yourself with unrealistic goals or demands on your body when you begin your exercise program. Outside change will come, but it takes time. To stay motivated, focus on the benefits of exercise you can’t see: the increased endorphins and attention, healthier sleep patterns, and slow building of bone density.

Need more reasons to incorporate exercise into your daily life? Exercise helps rid us of less-than-productive emotions, including stress and anxiety. It increases positive emotions, happiness, confidence, and relaxation. Even your brain function changes when you exercise!  Physical activity has been proven to improve memory, decision-making skills, and your overall capacity to learn, all while helping to prevent cognitive decline later in life.

For longer term rewards, including that six pack you might be hoping for, stick with a consistent exercise routine and stay motivated by playing the long game: remember what a powerful impact you’re having on your health when you exercise, and you’ll be one of the 20 percent of Americans who actually gets the optimal amount of physical activity.

If you haven’t had a consistent exercise routine in a while, begin by making an appointment with yourself. Treat exercise just as you would any other important commitment, and stick with it! At a minimum, shoot for 3 strength training sessions per week and some kind of movement you enjoy (walking, yoga, etc.) on your non-strength training days. It’s also a great idea to check in with a personal trainer if you’re just starting out or have questions about your strength or cardio routines. Trainers can help you find the right balance of cardio and strength training, avoid injury, and meet your personal fitness goals, all while keeping your routine fun and fresh.

If you do not have time to do cardio as much as you’d like, another goal is to shoot for 150 minutes of activity per week. Scientists have found that the benefits of exercise are cumulative; so if you don’t have time for a full on 30 minute routine, take a short walk at lunch, add an extra walk with the dog in the evening, add a few planks or other core strengthening exercises while you’re watching television. Every little bit adds up to a healthier, happier you!

Need help finding an exercise routine you enjoy, or advice from a personal trainer? FlashyFit is a community of women which offers support, expert advice, and realistic suggestions for making physical activity a daily part of your life. If you have not joined the community or started your first set of Flashy Fit cards start right now!

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How Do I Get in the Best Shape of My Life?

How do I get into the best shape of my life? It’s an excellent question really. Pity there are so many conflicting answers. If you’ve spent time researching, you’ll have run across advice such as:

  •  Cut out sugar, processed foods, and practice hot yoga
  •  Run in the mornings, don’t eat after 6 pm, and forgo all fats, sugars, gluten, and alcohol (Then cry alone and in misery as you watch the pounds melt off!)
  •  Weight train two hours a day, up your protein intake, and purge your diet of anything remotely resembling real food

While we’re still scratching our heads over the fat-free or the all- bacon- and -egg diet, our worlds are rocked by the news we’ve had it wrong all along! The answer is… chewing and probiotics! Stabilizing your blood sugar. Making friends with your body! No, wait. Actually, it’s all about high intensity training, core strength, and unicycle riding.

Here’s the great news: there is an answer to your question, and it’s simple. To get yourself in the best shape of your life, stop looking for a magic bullet. Don’t expect your body to go too far too fast or it will revolt with injuries, lack of motivation, and a slowed metabolism.

Begin by being kind to yourself. You can’t get in the best shape of your life until you make peace with the body you have right now, this very second. Then, admit you have room in your schedule to move at least twenty minutes every day. Because you know you do.

Next, stop eating foods with a zillion ingredients you can’t pronounce. Titanium Dioxide, Glyphosphate, and Butylated HydroxyAnisole? If you can’t make a cake with them or wouldn’t have found them in your grandmother’s pantry, don’t put them down your gullet.

Finally, find some like-minded friends; ones who will encourage you when you want to quit (because of course, you will). They’ll remind you that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, and urge you to put the cupcake down. They’ll wisely counsel you you to buy some cute workout clothes now, dammit, not when you’ve reached your weight loss goals! Because you deserve it!. And with your tribe of sensible friends, you WILL get in the best shape of your life. Because it’s never too late.

Getting into the best shape of your life isn’t easy, but it isn’t impossible. It takes common sense, long-term commitment, and avoidance of  anything that sounds too good to be true (You hear me, Cayenne Pepper Cleanse ?). If you’d like help achieving your fitness or weight loss goals, and getting into the very best shape of your life, get in touch with us at FlashyFit. Because we get it. For real.

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Kim Turner is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer (National Academy of Sports Medicine) and a Group Fitness Instructor with AFAA (Aerobics and fitness Association of America) with a passion for fitness and healthy living. Kim created FlashyFit for women 40+ who want an affordable, fun, flexible fitness program they can do anywhere, anytime.

Kim founded In Due Course Training Inc., a corporate training and development firm over two decades ago. In Due Course has been hired by industry leaders in banking, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications and hospitality to deliver and implement training strategies for sales, customer service, systems and management. Kim’s success is a result of her ability to effectively collaborate with her clients to design hands-on learning experiences. This talent has served her well while creating FlashyFit!

Kim, originally from Toronto, Canada, lives in Fenton, MI with her husband Ron. When not at the gym, you’ll find her paddle boarding, kayaking, running a half marathon or exploring a new country on her bicycle.

By Jennifer Cooreman

Jennifer Cooreman, Director of Content at Inbound Lead Solutions, is an award winning writer who is passionate about creating accessible, inspiring, engaging content. She helps companies design targeted, optimized campaigns, generating natural brand awareness along with a dedicated following. You can learn more about her writing by visiting The Attentive Soul or find her on LinkedIn.