Get moving!

JUST BE - Bernadette Sembrano (The Philippine Star) - September 19, 2015 - 10:00am

The thing with Internet and social media, you can never ever escape from your past. Your past will forever haunt you. Lo and behold, a friend forwarded an old picture of myself and it scared me.

Kidding aside, it made me feel proud of what I’ve achieved in this journey towards fitness.

There is no overnight transformation — and better health should be your primary motivation. At least, that’s what it did for me.

It was an ordeal to get moving. More than the workout, it was getting started that was very problematic. I read books like The Best Life Diet by Bob Greene and absorbed practical tips like, you should not skip a workout for three consecutive days. The first day is okay, the second day is still fine, but you must work on the third day. No excuses.

I’m not Bob Greene, okay, but I can relate to many of our readers who think of sweating as a form of torture. Just conceiving it is mental anguish. The first step to better health is in your head.

Throughout the years, we’ve created habits. We just have to unlearn some bad ones and make new and good habits for our health. That simple.

Commit to move regardless of what it is. We start with what’s available: Our feet, a reliable pair of rubber shoes and walk. I advocate walking because that is the most basic form of exercise, obviously accessible and it won’t cost us anything.

When I was just starting, I got myself a cheap pedometer, less than P1,000, just to make me more aware if I’m moving enough; 10,000 steps a day will make you lose weight. Guaranteed! I did say that losing weight should not be our focus, right? I’m trying to motivate you and now that I have your attention, let me say that walking is good for our heart, because it improves circulation, and it helps us focus.

So walk whenever you can, take the stairs and enjoy it.

Find a fitness buddy and get inspiration.

Making good healthy habits is hard just as it is. Worse, if  you’re surrounded by people who share different health goals. Normally I am a soloista when it comes to exploring a new workout, but you will encounter people who are like-minded, and they will help you sustain your exercise. I’ve made friends at Plana Forma, it’s a barre workout that I’ve been attending. It’s a mix of barre exercise, yoga pilates and cardio. It’s hard (but effective) and safe. All instructors are passionate and competent. We share each other’s energy in class, even with just a gaze of moral support. Throughout the years, I’ve attended group classes like bikram yoga, body combat and zumba, and I’ve also tried circuit training... now plana forma and pilates. Our interests evolve, and that’s also a good thing to prevent our bodies from plateauing.

Make your workout count by focusing on the proper form, and more importantly so as not to injure yourself. It would be a pity if you injure yourself in aspiring for better health and I have friends who have injured themselves in yoga. If you can afford it, get a personal trainer. A good one. I need to emphasize that. I’ve tried several trainers in the past before I met Teacher Ole of Options Studio and I appreciate his attention to detail. Teacher Vinia and Kit are also quite good. I have seen improvements — longer muscles, improved flexibility and better form. Just when I thought that I’ve reached my peak, I realize I can still be better.

I’m moving forward now by encouraging people to have a better lifestyle. Statistics shows that lifestyle diseases like obesity, hypertension, heart disease and diabetes are on the rise because of how we live — the fast-food diet, and we’re simply not moving enough. Cost of healthcare is impossible, so does it not make sense that we take care of ourselves? Bawal magkasakit.

I’ve met people who’ve dropped their vices like cold turkey because of stroke. Why wait for that to happen? Do yourself and your family a favor, please move!

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