OK, if you've read any other of my postings, you already know the answer. But I'm actually asking myself the question based on a new Beachbody workout program called "Insanity." I broke down and bought it (after selling off some of my other BB programs) because I need to up my cardio. And as much as I love Spinning (and, oh, how I do!!!!!), I want to add some weight-bearing exercise. I am, after all, 40, and If I were to listen to all those calcium supplement ads, why, the calcium is just leaking from my body like sand through an hourglass! My poor old bones are starting to resemble Swiss cheese!
I also want to feel like an athlete. I've always told myself that I'm just not very athletic, I'm too clumsy, too uncoordinated, etc. And while that may be true for things like downhill skiing or any organized sport involving a ball, I have been working out, doing yoga and Pilates for a couple of decades now.
I've also realized that if I wanna get some of this weight off, it's cardio that's gonna do it for me. When we lived in L.A., our house was at the bottom of a hill. Almost every day, I would go for walks around our neighborhood and get my heart pumping. These days we live on flat terrain, which is not nearly as much fun.
Finally, I was chatting with a client yesterday during class. She is in her 60's, and loves doing Pilates. We talked about how much stronger we are, and it got me thinking; I was NEVER this strong when I relied solely on weight training. I couldn't carry pieces of furniture up 3 flights of stairs like I did 2 days ago. (WG has a big girl bed, finally! It's actually a Click-Clack from Ikea; folds into a couch, but much more comfy than a futon.) I couldn't do pushups. I still can't do unassisted pull-ups, but I'm getting better. I can lift my kids, who are not exactly tiny, without throwing my back out.
These days it seems that everyone is all about the heavy weights/low reps/low cardio to lose weight. And if it works for ya, go for it! (Although I worry about the low cardio part. The heart, after all, is a muscle, and needs work, too!) But since I'm FINALLY learning to listen to my body and trust my instincts, I'm gonna continue with lots of cardio, light weights, yoga, and Pilates.
Which means NOT following the Insanity program exactly as it's laid out. The idea is to do the program 6 days a week for 60 days for "Insane!" results. But I'm not looking for a quick fix. And I still need to be able to teach my own classes. I even went to the Beachbody website for advice. No one has responded. So I'm gonna be my own expert.
For years I have been looking at these young, nubile celebrity trainers as my guides. The problem is, who knows how their programs will affect them as they age? Instead, I'm looking towards those who are older than I am. It's no coincidence that many yoga and Pilates experts and teachers are in their 50's and beyond. Joseph Pilates himself died not from frailty or illness, but from smoke inhalation! (OK, no one said he was a role model for good judgement: his studio caught fire and he kept running back in to save his equipment.)
Tony Horton, the creator of P90X, says that the reason he can continue to work out as hard as he does at the age of 51 is because he regularly does yoga. Teachers of the Lotte Burke and Bar Methods teach well into their 60's and beyond.
So, for me, FINALLY, it is no longer about the latest trend, the "hot" celebrity workout, the pants I wore pre-pregnancies, or the miracle cure, or even what worked for that lady over there. It's about taking care of myself, darn it! It's about staying healthy and being here for my kids. Having a full, enjoyable, hopefully long life with Hubby and my family.
Oh, and keeping all my teeth. REALLY gotta cut down on the sugar!
I also realize that I want to inspire my clients to do the same. I'm NOT the go-to gal when it comes to weight loss advice. I have been self-conscious about that, especially when a client tells me they want to lose weight. But I'm hoping to be the go-to gal for healthy living and a healthy outlook. To be the one to show people that being healthy isn't about physical appearance.
I'm subbing a couple of classes this week for a master Pilates trainer at Equinox. I always get nervous about subbing for her, because she is AMAZING. She's been teaching for 30 years. She knows her stuff, and I cannot possibly compare with her. BUT, I have my own strengths, and I will call on those for the classes I sub. Like anything else, it comes down to self-confidence.
And I think I'm finally gettin' me some o' dat!