A few years ago...okay, like 20 years ago, I took “before photos” while on an exercise and diet kick (back before I figured out this consistency thing). I had intentions of exercising my way to a “fit-looking” body. I had it in my head that working out would make me look better (aka closer to the mainstream culture version of an attractive, healthy body). Well, I suppose I never found that reason compelling enough because I quit exercising consistently before getting to that "after photo"-worthy body.
Twenty years later, I don’t quite have the "fit body" you often see in after photos. My belly isn’t flat and fat-free. I'm not as lean and muscled as a lot of trainers I see online. But I AM fit (for the life I want to live). I exercise consistently, I’m stronger than I’ve ever been, I eat a nutritious, satisfying, non-restrictive diet. I enjoy it. Exercise has become more about how I feel and less about how I look.
We have a problem in the fitness industry that perpetuates the idea that only lean-muscled bodies are fit and the primary motivation for exercising is to look fit (not necessarily be fit). Some are moving away from that ideology or at least some areas of industry are giving it lip- service. I still see A LOT of social media posts emphasizing exercise as a means to shape your body rather than having a healthy body that works well so you can do life. This is why before & after photos can be detrimental.
Before you get upset and think, "But training does shape your body!" Of course it can. But for the average middle-aged American who spends 12+hours a day sitting while balance and muscle mass is declining, getting up to move and train purposefully shouldn't be dependent upon desiring a more svelte physique (which is what before & after photos often drive into our heads). Photos can be a tool for some, however, I'll not use them unless a client specifically requests. Here's why:
I'm often asked for advice about at-home workouts. Several women have used a modified Reuna Fitness Starter Package for that purpose: to learn how to develop at-home workouts that support goals using simple equipment. For those looking to add some new elements to your at-home workout space this year, I've got a few recommendations. These are all products I've used and feel they are worth the money and space but feel free to shop around for similar equipment if you've got a favorite brand. I'm not getting paid for any of this ;)
I love rubber mini-bands because they are inexpensive and versatile for both lower and upper body exercises. They travel well and can be stashed almost anywhere if space is an issue at home. Last year, I bought a few of the wide Fabric Booty Bands and found that they are more robust and they don’t slip or roll when performing lateral walks or other lower body exercises. A variety of fabric bands can be found on Amazon even though I don’t necessarily agree with marketing that contains phrases like “beach booty” and “perfect bottom”. My bottom is always a beach booty, thankyouverymuch!
My knees are relatively healthy and happy but they aren’t so happy on hard surfaces! When I want to do kneeling exercises and or spend some time stretching and moving on the floor, I get out my thick purple yoga mat. I watch for sales and got mine for $15.19 online.
In addition to dumbbells, consider adding a few kettlebells to your at-home workout space. They add a new element to strength training and cardio exercises without taking up a lot of room. For beginner/intermediate exercisers, the weights available are plenty challenging.
Your at-home self-care collection could use a foam roller or two. I prefer the 36 x 6 plain one. I use it regularly on my calves, quads, and upper back. If you are unfamiliar with foam-rolling, e-mail me and I’ll send you some information or join the Reuna Fitness Circle on Facebook to find a video demonstration.
The Basic Amazon Bench is a fantastic simple bench. Inexpensive and sturdy!
All the balls: medicine balls, soft medicine balls, slam balls and stability balls. Each require relatively little space and add variety to strength, core, or cardio sessions. You don't have to have all the types like I do.
Last but not least, a planner! I personally enjoy using The Happy Planner (found mine at Michael’s). Although my phone is always with me, my preference is still to write it all down: appointments, client sessions, to-do lists, and my own workouts. Maybe someday I'll switch to an app of some sort but for now, I love my paper planner! "The discipline of writing something down is the first step towards making it happen." -Lee Iacocca I'm sure it applies to typing it out too! The key is getting the tasks at-hand somewhere you can see them and track them.
So that's a small list of some of my favorite fitness things for at-home exercisers. If you are an at-home exerciser that's become bored or you aren't quite sure how to put together workouts with all of your fitness stuff, the Starter Package or other coaching options may be for you! Let's talk about where you need guidance; the initial consultation is always free.
Join me in the Reuna Fitness Circle on Facebook for exercise and motivational videos and posts and a small community of women working towards improved fitness and wellness.
“You’re a personal trainer?” “Yes, I am.”
When you hear the word female personal trainer, and you are on social media at all, you probably envision a fit, fairly muscular woman. You may see gleaming six pack abs and video or photo evidence of her glutes as she squats down in front of the camera. That’s what I envision too, thanks to Instagram! The Reuna Fitness Instagram feed on the other hand is sorely lacking in booty pics and not a single ab in sight, much less a six pack. Some may wonder, “Is this woman a personal trainer at all?”
I know, right?
I admit, I’m not the best at creating alluring content at this point….it’s a work in progress. Even so, you won’t be seeing my abs (or lack thereof) or a close up shot of my posterior any time soon (um, never). Those images simply don't align with me or my message.
I am a fitness professional regardless of what one may glean from my social media content. American College of Sports Medicine CPT, Girls Gone Strong Pre & Postnatal Coaching Certification, Precision Nutrition Coaching Level 1, AND certified Jazzercise Instructor. That’s part of the equation.
What else makes me a personal trainer? I am invested in helping women new to exercise establish a strong foundation that allows them to continue those healthy habits into the future. I am one of many voices helping to shift the focus from weight & aesthetics to function and how she feels. Weight loss/maintenance or achieving a more toned appearance will likely always be the number one reason women hire a personal trainer or start a new program. I understand because I have those motivations as well. But I will strive to highlight the many other reasons to invest time and money into personal fitness. We all deserve to move and strengthen our bodies, improve health and mobility, and enter a room with confidence. This CAN and should be separated from the number on the scale or on the tag on our jeans.
I will always start off with a free initial consultation because my training style and what I offer may not align with a client’s goals and desires. I feel very strongly about the importance of exercise and movement for ALL women and it is crucial to find the right fit for long term success.
What’s “Reuna”? (RAY-oh-na)
Two reasons I chose this word:
1) Pretty much every other fitness and health related word out there is already in use.
2) Reuna is Finnish; it means edge or margin. This word fits my introverted side. I prefer the edges rather than being out in the middle. The edge is my comfort zone. We all know about that comfort zone. It’s nice and lovely but it’s not good to stay there too long...not if you want to change or grow or do any of those fabulous things we do as human beings. Interesting fact: Reúna in Spanish means get together. I love the juxtaposition. One reminds me of my introverted tendencies and speaks to the discomfort needed to become who I want to be and the other reminds me of the importance of connection and the significance of relationships in health & fitness endeavors.
So there's a re-introduction of sorts since it’s a new year.
If you thought about working with me one-on-one, or would like to create a small group for training, now is the time to get that consultation and discuss your options. 2019 is the year of more for Reuna Fitness LLC and I hope you will be a part of it!
Women should not use heavy weights. Women should only use heavy weights. Do cardio to lose body fat. No, don't do cardio. We hear a lot of noise about exercise online. Some fitness professionals and exercise enthusiasts loudly proclaim the "one right way" and put down other programs or methods, often discounting the benefits of exercise beyond weight loss or aesthetics... meanwhile over 75% of Americans do not exercise enough or at all.
You don't have to use barbells. You don't have to go running. You don't have to join a gym or studio. You don't have to do high intensity workouts. Not if you don't want to. All you have to do is move your body consistently. How you do this is up to you. If you are cleared to exercise, you have choices that can work right now. You know you should exercise. You know why. It's the how and when that gets tricky. Whether that is via group classes, joining a gym, at home, outdoors or with a trainer, you can find one that fits.
Committing to consistent exercise is an investment of time and (often) money. It is worthwhile to explore your options.
The main considerations: