Written by 10:00 am Physical Wellness

Work It All Out

If you’ve been a friend of the newsletter for a while, you certainly know about my relationship with exercise: I love it.

I love the way it makes me feel. I love all the health benefits. I love that I can use it to beat stress, to stay lean, to work my heart, to get outside, and to remind myself that our bodies are so strong—and so sacred at the same time.

I consider myself lucky that I’ve always had a good relationship with exercise, starting with my youth until now. And I also consider myself lucky that I live in Park City, Utah, where not only do I get to enjoy incredible activities outdoors, but I also often get to work out right alongside international Olympic athletes, since so many of them live here. Talk about motivation. Seeing the skiers, snowboarders, and so many others train is truly inspirational. (Yes, I admit that maybe I worked that much harder when I saw a member of the Brazilian bobsled team squat what seemed like the weight of a tractor trailer.)

I get my motivation from so many places, and for me, working out next to those people is a great inspiration.

If you’re having trouble getting going or lacking the mojo to start or return to a routine, look for your inspiration: What pushes you? What inspires you? Why do you want to get stronger or leaner? What new things could you do with a stronger, healthier body?

The answers are so different for everyone, but I urge you to find your WHY—and lean into that WHY. Because that WHY can be the very thing to get you going. And once you take that first step, the second one is a whole lot easier.

What Can You Do?

Someone recently asked me who I thought the fittest athletes were. While so many are exceptional and it’s really hard to rank them, my mind immediately went to biathletes—the ones who cross-country ski and then shoot. To be able to go that hard aerobically and then essentially stop and calm down enough to be able to take a steady shot, that to me is just a quadruple wow.

But here’s the thing. You don’t need to be ultra-fit to reap the benefits of regular exercise. Heck, you don’t even need a gym to get in a good workout. Your body is a perfect vehicle to do all kinds of bodyweight exercises that can work your muscles, as well as your cardiovascular system. For example, you could do these exercises with no equipment (a simple online search can show you how to do them if you don’t know):

  • Squats
  • Pushups
  • Step-ups
  • Planks
  • Wall sits
  • Running in place (or around the block)
  • Jumping jacks

You can package them in so many different ways—by changing how many you do (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps is a good baseline), how much or little rest between exercises, or cycling through the circuit more times.

My point: As long as you have physical capability and medical clearance to do a few basic moves, you can start something. Something builds to something more and to something even more and to something that becomes a regular part of your life.

What’s in it For You?

Certainly, we’re all inspired to workout for different reasons—a longer life, a smaller pants size, swimsuit season on the horizon.

But it’s always worth a reminder to go over all the ways that regular physical activity can improve your body. Some of the main ones:

  • Heart: Cardiovascular health—heart rate, blood pressure, disease prevention—improves with exercise.
  • Brain: Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, and that has an impact on function, memory, and more.
  • Bones: Consistent exercise improves bone mass.
  • Lungs: Exercise improves lung capacity and function.
  • Muscles: Stronger, stronger, stronger.
  • Mood: Endorphins help with pain and stress relief.