I’m interested in all things health-related. Whenever there’s a segment on the radio about food as medicine, recipes, whole food, healthy eating and exercise especially, I’m all ears.
I was listening to Anna Louise Bouvier chatting about bodies and exercise during her usual segment on ABC Radio as I drove through traffic the other day. She is the creator of physiocise, the highly successful education and exercise class system for bad backs. She also comments on all things related to mind and body wellbeing. A woman after my own heart!
What I was most interested in was the discussion about whether you’re a “stiffy” or “loosie”. That’s in relation to flexibility and how your body moves when you exercise. It seems most elite athletes and sportspeople are “loosies”.
Where do you see yourself fitting on this spectrum? Are you a “stiffy” or a “loosie”? Does it have an impact on whether you exercise or not and what you choose to do?
My perception and experience of my body certainly has affected my choices over the years. I started ballet when I was 5 years old and struggled with getting my leg up onto the barre for the next 8 years. It wasn’t my height. It was because I’m a “stiffy” almost in the extreme. I was a good runner and tennis player, but when it came to stretching and touching my toes, that has always been a no go zone.
For years my stiffness stopped me from doing yoga, lifting weights and lots of other exercise where I perceived I had to be flexible.
About 5 years ago I came to terms with my stiffness and started to exercise within the realm of what my body was willing and able to do. I found that I could enjoy Pilates and yoga without trying to push myself to the limit. The result is my body is moving better than it ever has.
I’ve given up my fear that my body isn’t up to it. I’m lovingly taking on new forms of exercise, working within my limits.
Today I had a fitness assessment and am really looking forward to starting a weights programme to strengthen my muscles. Being a menopausal woman, this is even more important than it was before. I’m taking on doing this within my limits as well, having had a chat with the instructor about it.
What I’m most aware of is, it is important to ask your body what exercise it needs and likes and chose exercise that you’ll enjoy as well as get value from.
You don’t have to push yourself with the latest workout. I recommend you choose the workout that works for you and mix it up, say with some weights and walking, cycling, swimming or running, adding some Pilates and/or yoga, stretching for core strength and suppleness.
The most important thing is to move every day, for 30 minutes or more and do some cardio activity a couple of times a week. There is no formula that works for everyone. Have a play and see what works for you.
If you’ve got any feedback, let me know.
Jill Keyte is passionate about health, vitality and making a difference to people who want a natural, quality life where they are well, fit, energised and feel vital. My knowledge comes from my wellness training and and life experience.