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Ok, is walking enough? The short answer is Yes and No.
I know that’s a really annoying answer, but that’s why I’m recording this episode for you. To lay it all out so you know without a shadow of doubt what you should do and what you can do to feel your best right now and for many years to come.
A month or so ago, we did a really fun photo shoot for the company. We asked some gals in their 50s, 60s, and 70s to join us for the shoot and model for us. They were wonderful! We had Dana, Paula and Benna - and Paula and Benna know each other from their neighborhood walking group.
A couple years ago, some of the ladies in the neighborhood organized a daily walking group that meets every morning and goes for a 2-3 mile walk, rain or shine. It’s fantastic!
But over the course of the few hours we spent taking photos of movements I frequently have women do in my programs, simple stretches, strengthening movements, and balancing positions, each of the ladies said over and over again, “I need to do this more. Wow, this feels good - I should be doing this. This is definitely something I need to work on more.”
And later, Benna and I were chatting and she said, “We walk every day, but is that really enough? Are there other things I should be doing, too?”
The problem is that many women, like Dana, Paula and Benna, want to feel fit, healthy and active for as long as possible, and they’re carving out the time to walk everyday and they’re very consistent with it. Which in itself, is highly commendable.
However, they might not realize that their body needs more variety. Or if they do realize it, trying to add that variety in feels overwhelming. Where do you even start? So walking…well it’s better than nothing, right?
What are the best things to do? Should you lift some weights? Should you do yoga? Should you get your heart rate up more on the elliptical or try to jog more? There never feels like a clear enough answer of what you’re supposed to be doing.
Which is why we all will default to the path of least resistance, which is something that’s familiar and simple to do. For most women this is walking everyday, for others it’s going through the old exercise DVD’s, for others it’s showing up to that same class you’ve been going to for years.
But the problem is that you don’t feel like your body is actually achieving its potential. You do a movement and think, “Wow, that was hard. I’m not in as good a shape as I had thought.” Or you find yourself saying things like the ladies at my photo shoot were saying, “This is definitely something I need to be doing more.”
I hate that fitness is so confusing for you. My goal is to ALWAYS simplify it all, but in a way that still gets you results.
I came across a popular YouTube channel for 50+ women that was at-home workouts that were simple to follow along with, but just two minutes in, I could see instantly that it was just random bouncing around with movements that got your heart rate up and gave you the impression that it was a good workout. But when all is said and done, you never really trained the big key aspects of your fitness! And so after months of this, you’re left wondering why your body is still dealing with random aches and pains, is still not as resilient as it could be, and is still not in very good shape.
So let me go back to the question I posed at the very beginning: Is walking enough? If you remember, I said Yes and NO.
When I met her, she was 61 years old and religiously walked every single day. But she constantly dealt with hip pain. Her doctor said she was starting to lose muscle mass. And she had zero balance and realized she had this continuous fear of falling.
I started working with Beth and slowly add to her walking times with these functional movement routines (just like what I described - in fact, she did my Jumpstart 30 program). And after just three weeks, she felt like all the things that were nagging her body were beginning to disappear and she was even starting to feel muscles again.
What a cool feeling!!
But don’t stay there forever. I don’t care how old you are, you need to start gradually incorporating movements that target all 6 aspects of your fitness. And if you’d rather not figure it out on your own, I would love nothing more than to lead you through my Jumpstart 30 program, because I will make sure we do it all in a safely designed progression.
Alright friend, thanks for hanging out with me today! Listen, I don’t ask for much, in fact all the tips and value I give you on this show are all completely free to you. But one thing I’m going to ask from you today is that if you haven’t yet, please just go leave us a 5-star rating and a short review on your listening platform, especially if you’ve been loving this. I read every review, I appreciate your kind words so much, and it really does help us grow the show.
Thank you so much, and I’ll meet you back here on Friday for another Ask Megan episode.
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