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Why do they do it? (Exercise, I mean)

I ask all of my clients what they want to achieve from exercise. Now, my demographic is not the 20-25 year old gym goer with a crop top to fit into. It’s more like a person recovering from some nonsense that life has chucked their way. Many of my clients may be recovering from surgery, cancer and injury; many more may be coming to terms with fibromyalgia hypothyroidism, diabetes, arthritis, back pain and unfortunately the list goes on.

The age range for my clients is vast, from mid 20’s to late 80’s and they will have a specific reason for choosing me over A. N. Other Trainer. That reason is always the same. I suppose you could call it my Unique Selling Point. It’s because I’ll work their body alongside their condition. This means that we accept said condition, map out expectations or potential changes and seek the maximum improvement possible within those parameters. It doesn’t mean that the condition will limit us. Rather, we’ll work around it and accept the minimum intrusion from it. At my most callous, I’m saying “Yes, you’ve had a leg amputated. So what?” True Story.

The ability range of my clients varies enormously as a result. Ability can be affected by lifestyle, longevity, injury or illness. The only way to tailor a programme under these circumstances is to pare all exercises back to their basic joint and muscle actions and rebuild them to suit the client. So you may receive a move from me that you can’t find online or in a book. We may bastardise a yoga hold to include a mobilising component or strip down a kettlebell exercise to provide dynamic stretching. Last week I happily made 4 alterations to a stretching move for one person and this is not unusual. Come into any group class and you’ll see a variety of different moves going on. This is almost always because I’ve spent time with the group members 1:1 and I know specifically what they need from each move and how to provide it.

Okay, so people come to me with specific needs but once those needs have been overcome why do they stay in sessions and groups? Why do people exercise aside from their specific health requirement? I’ve been asking my clients for their secondary reason this week and they’re closer to what you’d expect. To de-stress, to remain supple, to maintain a good quality of life, to increase energy levels, to reduce stiffness, to keep up with kids and grand kids, to make it round 18 holes of golf, to walk out of the theatre without the hips and knees groaning, to enjoy the next monroe, to avoid buying a “fat” wardrobe. My husband very sweetly said it was to be able to grow old with me. All together now – Awwwwwww!

Why do you exercise? And why do you avoid exercise? Maybe you know someone who says they can’t exercise because of their knee/back/blood pressure etc. Would they read this article if you shared it? They won’t elicit sympathy from me but they will find a safe and effective pathway to better health, comfort and fitness.

Enjoy Good Health!

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