No Pain, No Gain ... NO WAY!

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I was in my early 20’s during the 1980’s Jane Fonda era of fitness. The premise was “No Pain, No Gain”. In retrospect, this was a very dangerous way of thinking and I have the achy knees to prove it. If only I knew then what I know now. Exercise shouldn’t hurt. I used to work out so intensely that it left me exhausted. I prided myself on doing back-to-back advanced aerobic classes. Now I’d be lucky to make it through a single aerobic class. Does that mean I’m out of shape? Of course not! Part of the reason for the change is aging but I still consider myself in good shape and extremely healthy. How do I do it? I walk the dog for at least one hour every day at a fast pace. In the winter, dog walkers have the luxury of taking over the local golf course – all 18 holes. In the summer time, when the golfers have the “nerve” to take back their golf course, I find a ravine so I can enjoy nature while my dog runs at full speed chasing squirrels and playing with other dogs. I also exercise with a personal trainer twice a week. Twice a week is manageable for me. My trainer pushes me harder than I would work out by myself at a gym. And it’s motivating to work with him because he’s got a great sense of humour and he’s drop dead gorgeous. Did I mention that he’s a Calvin Klein underwear model as well as a personal trainer? That's his photo on the right! Why is fitness so important in our lives? Exercise can improve your life for the following reasons:
  • Improves your mood.
  • Combats chronic diseases such as heart disease and osteoporosis.
  • Helps you manage your weight.
  • Boosts your energy level.
  • Promotes better sleep.
  • Can help put the spark back in to your sex life.
  • It’s FUN!
In today’s Globe and Mail, they note that 50% of Canadians think they are getting enough exercise. However, in reality, only 15% of Canadians are achieving the recommended amount of exercise (150 minutes) each week. Furthermore, they note adults spend 70% of their waking hours sedentary. And children are not faring much better because 62% of their waking hours are spent sedentary. So what are we going to do about it? Remember, exercise shouldn’t feel like torture. The goal is to find a way to exercise that feels fun for you and to make sure you’re doing it on a regular weekly basis. What do you have to lose … besides excess weight? What’s your favourite form of exercise? Are you managing to meet the weekly recommended amount of exercise? How about your kids? What sports are they involved in?

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  • Dear Patricia,
    It’s so true – some people are being taught exercises that are extremely dangerous. The long term effects can be very painful. I hope you decide to purchase a bike soon so that you can get outside cycling. I traded my old race style bike 2 years ago because I hated leaning forward so much. I’ve now got a bike with higher handlebars, a nice wide seat and fenders. I think I look like the old granny in the opening scene of the Wizard of Oz who was stealing Dorothy’s dog when I’m riding my new bike but I don’t care … it’s comfortable.
    Your mom is an inspiration to us all! Good for her to be active and enjoying her life!!!
    Best regards,

    Karyn Climans on
  • My kids used to complain that walking was boring. They wanted something with more speed; hence skiing etc. Glad to hear your kids like walking with you. It’s a great way to spend time with them and you’re setting a fantastic example. So sorry to hear abut your dog! We lost one in October as well from cancer. Breaks my heart!

    Karyn Climans on
  • Hi Karyn,

    Walking dogs are my favourite, though i don’t have a dog anymore since my latest died :-(

    But instead of dogs, i walk out with my two kids lol..its soooooooo awesome to walk with them, sharing laugh, fresh air, and it keeps all of us healthy.

    Thanks for sharing

    Kind regards,

    Kimi@German-Indonesian blog on
  • Hi Karyn

    I have always loved walking and swimming. When I was younger I used to cycle a lot but don’t own a bike now. Would like to start cycling again as I know that is good exercise. Our champion Aussie cyclists attest to that :-)

    It’s easy to sit in front of the laptop for hours and suddenly realise I haven’t been too active today! Trying to build in breaks and exercises throughout the day….could do better lol

    As far as the “no pain no gain” my physiotherapy (I think you may call them physical therapists) friends would despair at some of the exercises people would tell them they were doing. Some trainer (not well-trained obviously) would have them doing all sorts of things that were harmful long-term. They saw the results when they came through our rehabilitation unit!

    Sadly our society here in Oz is getting as unfit as all other first world countries. Obesity, heart disease, diabetes is more prevelant today than it was a few decades ago. I aim to stay fit and healthy. My elderly Mother still goes for a brisk morning walk every day and she was told with her arthritic joints she would be in a wheelchair years ago. She determined she wouldn’t and still does her exercises that were given her nearly 40years ago! She made right choices and is reaping the reward.

    Patricia Perth Australia

    Patricia@lavenders on

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