We've seen a surge in body positivity and body acceptance in all forms of media. #bodypositive has over five million posts on Instagram. More brands are featuring women of varying sizes and shapes. Yet, the underlying message remains, especially in relation to the fitness industry, that to be considered fit/healthy, you must look a certain way. Most fitness programs aimed at women are linked to aesthetics. Get that beach body. Work for the perfect round butt. Develop goddess quads. Get rid of belly fat and sculpt your abs.
I don't have six pack abs and I don't want them. But I feel like I'm expected to.
Fitness goes beyond appearance. We know this. Yet, aesthetics is what large portions of the fitness industry use to drive sales. The hard, shiny bodies and exposed toned torsos are what is equated to being healthy and fit. It is what we are supposed to strive towards.
Let's say no. Leading a physically active lifestyle and engaging in a purposeful exercise program is about MORE IMPORTANT THINGS.
We exercise because:
Many other amazing mental, emotional, and physical benefits aren't listed here. Once I started exercising because of the way it makes me feel and the health benefits rather than chasing after specific body part shapes, I found it much easier to get moving. I stopped making as many excuses to skip planned exercise. As a result, my body did change and I ended up with some of those specific body part shapes after all.
So go for a walk. Dance. Lift weights. Do yoga. Move your body. Do it for yourself - not because you are trying to change to fit some sort of “ideal”. Create goals that work for you and your body. Your fitness journey will be much more pleasant if you do!
Welcome to the Reuna Fitness LLC blog! Below I'll share a little more info about myself, my fitness philosophy, and my goals for this blog. Thanks for reading and I hope you will return!
Finding Fitness - Shannon
As a teen, I was one of the shy, clumsy ones. I did not play sports because I didn’t like to be yelled at by peers; I also lacked the confidence to try. In college, I took a physical education class only because I had to for credit. I felt awkward and incapable. Remember Billy Blank's Tae Bo on VHS? I did that one summer. I tried other at-home programs on and off after college. Nothing ever stuck.
Years later, my friend, Maria, encouraged me to try a spin class at the YMCA. My lungs burned and my legs became jello. IT. WAS. HARD. But I returned. I tried new exercises and new classes. It got a little easier (but never easy!). Thanks to the encouragement and accountability from a friend, I was able to step out of my comfort zone and make changes. I discovered my keys to sticking with exercise: the right kind of exercise (to my surprise, I loved group classes!), social support, and self-confidence. I learned to love how it felt to move and challenge my body in different ways and I knew I was capable of it.
Jazzercise entered my life in 2013. A year later, I became an instructor. I love being a Jazzercise instructor and everyone who knows me, knows that! I decided to become a personal trainer because I wanted to learn more about fitness and the human body. I wanted to work more closely with women striving towards a healthier/happier/”fill-in-the-blank”-ier version of themselves. I wanted to help other women find their keys.
Reuna Fitness Philosophy
Every woman deserves time each week for self-care. This includes moving your body in purposeful ways that make it work and feel better in day-to-day life. You don’t have to kill yourself for hours at the gym or run for miles and miles each week to improve your health. Focused, consistent, progressively challenging, (and even somewhat short!) sessions are sufficient! Add that to more daily movement in general and you are set! Self-care also includes adequate rest, eating nutritious foods, and enjoying indulgences in moderation. To be honest, for me, it’s dark chocolate most days of the week! Like they say, it’s all about balance!
Three reasons for a blog
1) So. much. fitness information. I hope to help cut through some of the noise and provide accurate and relevant posts. I will include scientifically-backed information. I will give my honest opinion, when appropriate, and I will make it very obvious which of the two I am presenting.
2) I used to love writing. I want to see if I can love it again.
3) Reuna Fitness LLC is a baby business. I need to help it grow.
So that’s it. Hope you visit again. If you’d like more content from me, subscribe to the Reuna Fitness LLC monthly newsletter at the bottom of the home page. It will start sometime in May!