Exercise: A Small Change for a Big Difference

I hate to exercise. Getting “in shape” feels like a temporary and elusive condition. Gyms don’t work for me. I won’t show up and I don’t like that feeling of not knowing what to do whether it’s working the equipment or what the next thing I should be doing.

I tried personal training too. It solved the “what to do” part but it quickly became boring. I need to find motivation to exercise. For me,

  • if I am meeting a friend
  • if I have an appointment set up
  • if I am helping someone with their exercise goals

I think half the battle is just figuring out what your exercise motivation is.

For many years, I did yoga because my friend was newly certified and I wanted to support her. The benefit to me was not just coffee together afterwards but finally being able to touch my toes!

Zumba worked for me too because it was held at someone’s house so it felt like a dance party with mom friends. I’d show up for kickboxing because I’d train privately with my kids’ karate instructor. And for years, the combination of Zumba, kickboxing and yoga worked.

Until I hit perimenopause* and all of a sudden, my pants didn’t fit. I found that perimenopause hit me out the blue by attaching an unwelcome tire around my waist. Getting rid of a dozen pairs of pants helped because there’s nothing more irritating than pants that are too tight, or worse, not being able to get your pants on! But, there was still the extra weight to deal with.

When my mom friend Penny suggested we try boxing while we were waiting outside the school for pick up, I was all for it. Her older brother had gotten really fit by boxing in the Bronx near where he worked and she wanted to get in shape. Also, she swat the air in a pawing motion to simulate boxing that made me laugh. “No!” I’d cry. “Punch through it!” Clearly, boxing lessons were in order!

It was surprisingly easy to pull a mom group together from just the moms hanging outside the school at pick up. Stella wanted to get back to pre-baby weight. Lydia thought it sounded fun. Katherine plays every sport on the planet. I was in charge of setting it up since my dad friend Mike was a golden gloves boxer and “knew a guy.”

We picked the new year for the start date. I make one phone call (after Penny nagged me) and we were all set up to start the next morming at the boxing gym in town that we all drove by but never entered. It looked ominious as it was located in a industrial warehouse, picture perfect with barbed wire.

Nonantum Boxing Club

Still we showed up. And this was the key small change for me: we were in a group, doing this new thing together. After our first week, Penny (a previous world class swimmer) said that we needed to it more often. Once a week was just enough to get us sore for several days so each class felt like day 1 again.

So we added more sessions. Some of us went twice a week; others three times a week. Our boxing gym also offered cardio boxing classes. Penny and Katherine tried them and reported back, emphasizing the crazy difficult exercises they did like doing push ups while walking their feet up a wall. Or the fact that there is no scheduled rest time. Slowly, they lured us to try them too.

Nonantum Boxing Club, a small change, boxing for women, boxing for kids,

After several months of frequent training, we were hooked. We were quickly improving. Our skills grew to include offense and defense. We weren’t getting as tired and it was, on so many levels, fun! Our instructor no longer joked with my boxing dad friend Mike that we were the Real Housewives of Newton. When summer rolled around and our group dissipated, he bade us “not to be a stranger” at his gym.

And, our bodies were changing. New muscles emerged in our arms and shoulders as we learned to hit properly. The killer abs workout started to flatten our mid section too.

My one small change was to form an exercise group to learn to box. And that small change lead to more small changes. I’ll be posting on those excercise changes as part of the One Small Change sponsored by Puritan’s Pride.

I’d love for you to join me in making one small change towards better health. Would you consider some this these changes and their benefits?

  • Quitting smoking can add an average of a decade of life expectancy
  • Adding 20 minutes of walking to your daily routine lowers the risk of high blood pressure by 7.2%, high cholesterol by 7% & diabetes by 12.3%, over 6 years
  • Drinking 2 cups of water 30 minutes before each meal can lead to a 44% greater rate of weight loss over a 12-week period
  • Snacking on fruits or vegetables twice a day can lead to a 10% weight loss over 6 months
  • People eating at least 2 cups of fruit a day are 30% less likely to have a heart attack or stroke
  • Getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night can decrease the risk of weight gain due to sleep loss by 15%
  • Meditation and deep breathing exercises for 15 minutes a day for 3 months can decrease Cortisol, the hormone associated with physical & mental stress

I going to make a few more small changes. I want to go 5 rounds of sparring with my boxing trainer when I turn 50. It’s not too far off. And when that happens, I just hope my pants fit!

Puritan’s Pride began over 40 years ago, with the mission of making the finest quality nutritional supplements available at the best value to their customers. Today, the company remains true to its original commitment and serves over six million loyal customers. Puritan’s Pride manufactures more than 1,400 vitamins, minerals, herbs and other nutritional supplements in their state-of-the art facilities located throughout the U.S. As part of the company’s commitment to quality, Puritan’s Pride only uses ingredients from suppliers that meet their Quality Assurance Standards, as well as Good Manufacturing Practices food quality standards.

* Perimenopause means “around menopause” and refers to the time period during which a woman’s body makes its natural transition toward permanent infertility (menopause). from the Mayo Clinic

Make one small change and you can improve your health.  Start today. Puritan’s Pride wants to help. Pledge your change and enter to win $2,000, plus products to support your healthy lifestyle.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Puritan’s Pride. The opinions and text are all mine.


By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom

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