FRESH Start Fitness

Keeping FIT the FRESH Way During Winter

Winter can often be a challenging time to stay committed to the fitness routines we’ve developed during other, more pleasant times of the year! Between inclement weather, the “winter blues” many of us can often experience, and our slower metabolisms - fitness isn’t always top of the mind!

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Trisch Richardson, FRESH Start Certified Coach & Master T-Tapp Trainer in Indiana, shares her secret to staying fit in the winter (and in any other challenging times!)...she calls it...

...Sneaky Fit to the Rescue!

Here’s what she shares...

I will often “curl my core” against a wall when my lower back is sore, especially from a long day of standing or walking. Of course, it’s not always easy to find a suitable wall wherever I am! So, just lean against any door after closing it. I used to do it only when I was alone - but after awhile I just didn’t care!

If you have never curled your core against a wall, here is the short version

(I share a longer version in my online programs)

  • Stand against a wall, feet out about 4-5 inches

  • Bring belly button up towards the rib cage (it won’t really go up that high, it’s the activation you are after)

  • Now use the tummy muscles to flatten the lower back against the wall, tucking to accommodate as needed

  • Keeping the core activated to flatten back against the wall, lift the ribs without arching away from the wall

  • Shift knees out, weight off big toe

  • Big inhale, exhale BIGGER! (Note: It WILL be tough to inhale big, do your best!)

  • Step away and kick out

Of course, there are many other ways and methods of squeezing fitness into the cold and blustery days of winter.

You can walk indoors to a Walking Program DVD, stretch to a yoga video via Youtube, or use a jump rope in the living room! There’s free weights, stretchy bands and kettle bells - the options available to us are truly endless these days!

The key is to KEEP MOVING, recruit an accountability buddy to encourage you, and reward yourself with a healthy protein smoothie or extra cup of tea or even a square of dark chocolate for your commitment to fitness through this extra-tough time of year!

To have an instant group of fitness accountability buddies around you, join us in the FRESH Start Club (it’s free!)

We check in often with each other on our realistic yet challenging “small steps” FRESH Living Goals! We’d love to have you with us…find out more and join us HERE.

Run If You Can, But If You Can’t…WALK!

I have so much admiration for runners.

In my mind, they rank right up there with Olympic athletes, professional sports players and marathon marvels! I mean, the PUSH they have for the goal is phenomenal. I love their stories, and to see them BURN as they push past the pain and reach their goal, and they reach it FAST! But can I admit something to you?

I’m so NOT a runner.

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I admire them from a distance.

A LOOOONNGG distance, because they run right past me in all their marvelous strength as I walk with my fur baby every morning. Their fabulous calves popping, their breath coming out in puffs, with a look of determination and purpose on their face. Meanwhile, I’m walking. I’m a brisk walker, and science says that counts for something, and in my walking, I’m hoping science is right.

I tried to become a runner once.  “They” told me I could do it, that anyone could run and that I just had to “work my way” up to it. Boy did I find out different. There was a real problem.

You see…I really don’t like self-inflicted pain!

This may not be the case for everyone, but for ME to train as a runner, I quickly figured out that it took PAIN. And lots of it! I suffer from chronic body pain, mainly from a lower-back genetic condition that affects me daily.

I  also deal with an autoimmune disease that weakens my body. So the running quickly inflamed and irritated conditions I had already been dealing with for a lifetime.

I pushed through it initially, but by the end of the second week, with no relief after using all the known methods of reducing the inflammation and treating my pain, I decided not to become a “runner” after all.

Disappointment in my “failure” soon took over…

You see, runners seem to have their own club, and they just…well, they “get” each other. They get to be part of 5ks and wear stickers on their cars that have secret runner’s codes. They wear cool bibs and branded t-shirts and fancy running shoes. They are in a league all their own. And for me to get invited to this elite group, I had to run! And I just couldn’t.

At first, I was operating in an ALL or NOTHING mentality…

Since I couldn’t run, I decided, I just wouldn’t bother being active at all. I had failed, so I shrunk back from fitness altogether for a time.

Don’t we often do that? Go all in or nothing with these things? Hebrews 12:1b talks about running our appointed race in “patient endurance” and “active persistence.”

So I couldn’t really RUN, but did that mean I was to sit down in a huff and not do ANYTHING active for my health?

No, I decided, “patient endurance” in my understanding spoke less of speed and MORE of tenacity.

“Active persistence” told me that hanging in for the long haul and doing it ACTIVELY was a good goal.

So I couldn’t run. I still can’t run. But I CAN walk.
 

So that is what I began doing.
 

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I parked further away in the parking lot and walked to the store. I walked the kids to the neighborhood park. I walked to my daughter’s school around the corner.

Then I began to feel stronger…and even a little more muscular! Yes, just walking!

Soon, I set a bigger goal for myself and committed to walking 30 days straight for a half-hour a day. I took off on my challenge, walking with my fur baby, my hubby, my daughter, my son…anyone who would walk with me!

Some days I walked for 45 minutes, sometimes, for an hour! I walked uphill, downhill, on pavement, on dirt trails. I walked early in the day (my personal favorite!) and late in the evenings.

And as I walked, I felt myself breathe better, feel better, and best of all, WANT to make other choices to live healthier!

As I write this, I’ve walked well past that original personal 30-Day challenge I set for myself…and I FEEL SO GREAT!

I’m not in any additional body pain, and in fact, have even seen my back pain diminish a bit!

My prayer life is stronger as I’ve had those powerful moments alone with God and nature as I walk.

My knees feel great, my weight has dropped a bit, my leg muscles (and even butt!) are LOOKING better than ever…and it’s all from walking.

Just walking.

I learned that even though I wanted to run, and run well, it just isn’t MY PERSONAL appointed race during this season of my life.

I still admire the runners as they pant past me in their awesome running shoes.

I still look to their secret society with a twinge of jealousy. But I am secure in my achievement as a walker. I know I am doing my very best right now as I walk every day.

As Hebrews taught me, I CAN and WILL walk briskly the appointed race set before me, and do it with patient endurance and active persistence!

FRESH Living Friends: What about you and your fitness story? We would love to hear your lessons learned and moments of joy in your personal fitness journey!  Share in the comments below!