This week I was invited to speak with the Canadian Multicultural Education Foundation. It was an opportunity to answer their membership's burning questions about exercise and physical activity.
The question that stood out for me the most was about exploring something new…
If I want to join an exercise program, how do I pick the right one?
Believe it or not, I field this question a lot in my practice. Here are my top 7 suggestions:
Watch - you can gather a great deal of information about a program by simply watching, not participating. This may seem counterintuitive for me to say. Of course, I want you to move your body; yet, I'd rather you see what happens in a program before you invest in joining.
Check the price - speaking of investing, doing your homework in terms of what you get with the program is essential. I see lots of free programs that can't run as people who register don't have enough "skin in the game" to really commit. While others can be too expensive for what you actually get. Typically a group program would be between $10-20 per class. If a class is greater than $25, it would likely be a more specialized class and it would depend if that is what you are looking for and if you want to spend that much. You really do get what you pay for!
Speak - talk to the organizer, the facilitator and/or the instructor be forehand. If you have any questions about the suitability or commitment or any other outstanding questions, talk to who is running the program. This is an opportunity to learn more about what you are getting into. AND if you can speak with a current participant in the program, even better.
Read - the internet is full of people's opinion. Maybe look for a Google Review or read testimonials on the program's website to get a full understanding of whether the program is a good fit. A little bit of research online can go a long way. It is sad to say that an organization or business who doesn't have an online presence may not be the program you want to pursue.
Consult your schedule - does the program currently fit in your schedule? If you can only attend once and a while, is it worth for you to join at this time? By taking a look at your calendar, it helps you plan the program into what is already going on in your life. Work on the logistics before registering. Find out if there is a drop in option and if you could purchase a package of single use passes instead if you can't commit to the entire program.
Qualifications - do you know what qualifies the instructor to teach the program? Every different kind of exercise modality does take a certain amount of knowledge and experience to teach. It also takes a certain skill set to work with different populations (e.g., pregnant women, children, people with disabilities etc.) as well. If you need more attention to detail, be sure to find an instructor who is well-versed in your needs.
Try - ask the organization if you can try a class at a reduced rate. Once you've done all your homework and you've determined you want to participate, now it is time to try the program for one session. By trying the class you can see if you are welcomed in the class, are comfortable with the movements, the space and/or the time of day. By trying once, you can save your time (and money) if the program isn't the right fit for you.
Isn't it funny that there are things in our lives that drive us bananas?!
You may chuckle when you hear what I have to share today as it really isn't that big of a deal.
Makes my head spin?
I like to look at it from the perspective that words matter. And in the exercise world, words and meanings get intertwined to the point that they are not even used properly.
Big deal, Lisa! Or is it?
My main frustration happens when words are misused and they derail people. If we are not on the same page about what something means then many barriers and resistance can arise. When words are used correctly, I am able to help provide a framework to show people what is possible.
Some words hold heavy weight for people and you can probably guess what big "E" word I'm talking about.
So today in my next instalment of Physical Activity QuickPlays, I am defining some common misunderstood and misused terms in the physical activity space.
Click the video to learn more!
Physical activity is different than exercise which is different from physical fitness.
My hope is that from this video you are able to see that words matter. You can be a physically active person without exercising a day in your life.
Let me say it again…
You can be a physically active person without exercising a day in your life.
Walk with it for a moment. Ponder it. And acknowledge that you are and can be a physically active person. Big "E" word included or not.
I am here to support you in your physical activity (and all that it entails) journey.
Stay well and happy moving,
Over the past week or more, I've been reflecting on the idea of evolution and change.
Taking the time to really zoom into the parts and zoom out to see the big picture.
Change, although not always by choice (i.e., 2020-21 anyone?), can be unsettling and exhilarating all at the same time.
Take for example, the change of parenthood. All of a sudden there is this human being who you are responsible for.
Can you prepare for the change?
Can you be flying by the seat of your pants?
When I zoom in even further, I am reminded that as a mother for over 10 years now, I have seen so much change.
Later on this month, I'm teaching a workshop on motherhood and group exercise. My presentation is laser focused on the things I know - the exercise physiology and anatomy of the moving mother. However I am also drawn to speak beyond the biological factors and bring to the workshop the psychological and sociological influences of mothers being physically active.
The components of biology, psychology and sociology combined make up the Biopsychosocial Model. Now I'm not expert on all three aspects of the framework, yet it is intriguing to keep them in perspective. It is very interesting to explore how these three components are all intertwined in a zoomed in perspective.
Taking a zoomed out approach to motherhood, it allows us to see the bigger picture of the evolution of physical activity for women.
Although on paper when looking at physical activity statistics, we can see adherence numbers fall at certain times in a female's life. Notability at puberty, entering post-secondary education, starting a career, pregnancy and motherhood, menopause, retirement, and caring for loves ones. I've seen and hear it from many women over my 22+ year career.
This infographic from the Canadian Women and Sport, can show it much better than the written word. When I first saw this infographic, I stopped in my tracks. Stop and take a look at the ever changing terrain of physical activity for women.
This email could take you a day to read if we explored all the zoomed out twists and turns of women's physical activity journey.
But one thing is certain. It is change.
Life can change your physical activity, physical activity can change your life.
If you are intrigued, I invite you to consider joining me on Thursday February 17 where I will expand on the context of motherhood and group exercise. It is going to be fun!
Stay well and happy moving,
A quick note from me to give you the earlier bird news that I am starting a bi-weekly virtual therapeutic yoga class in February. It will be focused on either shoulders or hips depending on the week. You are welcome to do both groups if you are interested too.
I haven't shared this group with anyone yet and I want YOU to be the first to know.
Okay - maybe my fellow training colleagues over the past eight days of training know about it. Yes, I'm coming off of a huge 50+ hour training week! My colleagues aren't the ones though that I'm wanting to help. It is YOU!
Here are the details:
Bi-weekly Wednesdays at 12:05 PM MST for 50 minutes on Zoom
Before joining the group, we will develop a plan for you in an initial appointment. This gives me a chance to tailor your movements to you and we can tweak/change/add/omit in the class setting.
The class is limited to 6 people only.
Initial assessment is $150. Each class is $25.
But I like a good deal so I've built a package for $180 which includes your private initial appointment, your tailored plan and four classes. That's a savings of $50 on the initial appointment AND $20 on the four classes. You have the option of picking which class best suits your needs - wanna work on your shoulders or hips - you choose!
With the small class size, I can only work with so many people. If there is a ton of interest, I will look at setting up another class in the future! If you are interested and this time doesn’t work, email me back and let me know what day and time works in your schedule.
My motto is start from where you are today. Let's get started.
Stay well and happy moving,
Missed my most recent newsletter? Don't worry, I've got your back. Find all my exclusive letters here on this private blog. ~Lisa