Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Workouts are for Women :)

I cannot say enough about what P90X has done for my life. I've only consistently done it for this past week (though I've tried to follow something similar in Nairobi, when I didn't have it). Already, I feel a significant improvement in my posture and carriage, more flexibility, and less stress. I had been trying for awhile to find a physical activity that worked for me, from rugby (yes, I did rugby) to running to workouts you'd find in magazines. I am happy to say that I have found one. I want to encourage all the women in my life (men too, but especially women) to find something that works for them and stick with it. In addition, I'd like to bust some myths.

1. Workouts make you look manly: Look ladies, if you're not pumping steroids, you don't have that much to worry about. You can do pull ups, lift weights, and do crunches all day long but you still won't gain a manly physique. We don't have the testosterone for that. Actually, if you lift weights, as a women, you typically go for a lighter weight and more reps, so you'll get a long, lean look. In addition, you'll have a more developed shape and better posture. Strength training also helps us keep our bodies strong for childbirth and builds and maintains bone density (preventing osteoporosis). Finally, it can work to prevent heart disease and a variety of cancers. What's not sexy or feminine about THAT?

2. Workouts are boring: Not all workouts are as seen on TV. Go for whatever turns you on. Do you like kickboxing, yoga, ballroom dancing, swimming, running, or cycling? Go for it! Of course, don't forget other aspects of your fitness. You may love cardio, but strength and flexibility are important components. At the same time, you can find fun ways to incorporate all components. Talk to your doctor or a trainer at your local gym.

3. All workouts are too intense and I'm too out of shape: I cannot emphasize the following enough. START SLOWLY!!! The only reason I can do P90X is because I was already in relatively decent shape to begin with. I had to walk everywhere, I was waiting tables (manual labor if there was any) and I was going to the gym at least three times a week. Even if you get outside for a walk for thirty minutes, you're already making change. Some movement is better than none and, if you start at a level too high for you, you put yourself at risk for injury. There are light options. Again, talk to your doctor or a trainer about these.

4. I can just lose weight with a pill or diet: First, unless this is to improve a medical condition and was prescribed by a good doctor (not one who simply wants to make nice with Big Pharma), skip the pills. They're dangerous, they've got side effects and you just don't need them. Second, yes, diet is important but not a fad diet. You need to eat a balanced diet (with whole foods), supplement for what you're not getting (vitamins and good workout drinks are helpful), and drink tons of water. At the same time, it's not everything. Exercise does even more to help maintain weight by increasing metabolism. It helps you maintain your shape and works well with a good diet. Bottom line: if you want it, you have to work for it. That's the only way to get lasting results.

Ladies, I ask you to consider the following. We are more likely than men to get osteoporosis, are at risk for heart disease as well as a variety of cancers and are the only ones who will participate in childbirth (the most arduous work a woman will have to do in her life). Wouldn't it be nice to keep our bones intact, prevent diseases that can strike us down before our times, and have an easier time bringing some bundles of joy into the world? I don't know about you, but I want to run after my grandkids and lift them up when I'm old. I want to be around for the crazy adventures I plan throughout my life. And, if I can look great in my grad dress in the meantime, that would be awesome. Hence, I keep up with my P90X. Let's bring it!!

1 comment:

  1. I'm totally with you on ALL points. Me and my friend are on the P90x journey right now and try to stress to everyone how great fitness can impact your life. We've encountered those same complaints and say the same thing you say. good luck with P90! we're blogging about it at - would love for you to follow!