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Feel Good Fitness

This month Fitness that makes you feel good, we’re honouring the movement that drives you — and debunking the idea that you have to look a specific way while doing it.

At the age of three, I was a gym rat.

Growing up with a single mother meant accompanying her everywhere — to work, hair appointments, choir rehearsals, and, yes, even the gym.

My mother worked for a utility business during the day and taught aerobics at night. Teaching those classes was her passion — it was the thing she most looked forward to, her go-to stress reliever, and the place she felt most at ease.

I went to the gym’s child care centre by default. I have great recollections of crafts with the teens who supervised me as young as lycra leotards and leg warmers, and of passing the time by watching racquetball matches with my nose pushed against the glass of the courts.

Fitness has always been a part of our lives, as far back as I can remember. It was more than a pastime, a habit, or an obligation; it was a way of life for us. That lesson was a gift in and of itself. See more

Fitness that makes you feel good

Leaving the mirror in the room

Furthermore, my mother’s fitness journey taught me that true fitness is found when you just look in the mirror at one thing: your smile.

My mother, believe it or not, was once a Shape Magazine success story after losing a significant amount of weight. But, as it often does for so many of us, losing weight for the goal of appearing a specific way proved tough to maintain over time.

My mother didn’t think she looked like an aerobics instructor in the 1980s, which I know she struggled with. She didn’t consider herself to be the pinnacle of fitness and was always afraid of being judged for it.

My recollection, on the other hand, recalls something different. People who took her classes admired her enthusiasm, energy, and musical taste. They admired her friendliness and acceptance of everyone who entered the room.

They continued to attend her classes because of the positive atmosphere and community she fostered. You could see my mum was having a great time teaching those classes.

It wasn’t about looking “the part” that motivated her — or others she trained — to get into shape. It was her joy, rather.

Making fitness a lifestyle

My fitness path as an adult has taken unexpected turns that I could never have predicted. While a knee injury kept me from pursuing a career as a professional dancer, it led me to the Pilates studio, where I discovered a new love – first as a rehab client, then as a student, then as an instructor, and finally as a master trainer.

It’s always struck me as odd that my work path followed in the footsteps of my mother’s passion – it’s obviously not a coincidence.

As a participant, trainer, and editor, I’ve tried a variety of fitness regimens throughout the years. I’ve learnt over and over again that if you don’t love what you’re doing, you won’t do it. And the only way to ensure you’ll continue with it is to create a lifestyle centred on healthy movement.

The best fitness is the fitness that makes you feel happy.

We wanted to focus on more than simply the advantages of exercise this month as we examine the concept of feel good fitness, while there are many. We all know that being healthy makes us happy, but happiness is also a determinant of fitness.

I believe that moving in a way that feels good to your body is the ideal exercise for you since you’ll crave it and want to do it again and again. Rather than forcing a habit to form, the habit will emerge on its own.

With that in mind, this month we look at the benefits of non-gym activities including dance, hiking, and tai chi, as well as physical therapist Marcy Crouch’s passion for horseback riding. Read more

Traditional HIIT, cycling, and yoga courses, on the other hand, provide huge advantages to your body, mind, and spirit.

Everyone benefits from exercise, regardless of their appearance. To that purpose, we’re putting a twist on the typical #fitspo imagery. People that show that fitness is for everyone, regardless of size, race, age, or ability, inspire us.

Fitness is a state of mind, not a physical appearance. It’s a way of life, and when we accept it as such, we allow ourselves to take rest days, exercise whenever and wherever we can, and appreciate our bodies for what they can do.

There’s a technique to exercise that will make you feel happy no matter where you are or how much money you have. That is the key to unlocking all of the benefits that exercise has to offer.

Here’s to discovering delight in movement. May it serve as a reminder of the potential and strength that we all possess.