Within the fitness industry, it’s quite common for personal trainers to weigh their clients, do BMI calculations, or take measurements (skin folds or measuring the circumference of hips, arms, etc.) as a way to measure progress and determine “success.”
Good health is often determined by what we look like physically. And while studies do show the correlation between obesity leading to an increased risk of chronic disease, I have also come to learn that health is not always so black and white.
Most scientific studies of health fail to accurately show the complexity of human behavior and how traumatic experiences, mental and emotional health, a person’s happiness and energy levels, and social and economic environments impact overall health. They also fail to recognize that everyone is on their own journey and that the sum of our being doesn’t just come down to what we look like on the outside.
As a personal trainer and nutrition coach, I believe in a holistic view of health. I think that the emotional, mental, and spiritual elements of health are just as important as the physical. And I think “healthy” looks different on every body.
Health isn’t just about maintaining the “right” weight. It’s about feeling good in your own skin and being energized throughout the day. Good health is about believing that you are enough, just as you are.
A number on the scale does not change this.
5 Reasons to Move (That Have Nothing to Do with Weight Loss)
01 | To boost our moods & increase energy levels.
Movement gets your heart rate up big time! As your heart rate increases, your breath rate increases with it. You start taking in more and more oxygen and circulating blood all throughout the body at a quicker rate. Without getting too technical, movement literally increases your energy at a cellular level.
So if you’re feeling that afternoon slump, don’t just turn to a quick sugar fix or another cup of coffee. Turn to movement instead!! Go for a walk, do some mobility moves at your desk, take 5 minutes to stretch, add in a couple of squats, or dance to your favorite song!
On my Instagram page, I’m always offering new mobility flows and movement ideas. These videos might give you some good insights into simple ways to get moving!
Also, when you move, endorphin hormones are released. These feel good hormones increase mood and overall happiness at a cellular level, while lowering cortisol and serotonin hormones, which are related to stress, anxiety, and depression.
Dear friend, your mental health matters. The quality of your thoughts matter. Your stress level matters. Your relationships matter. You being able to celebrate life and live life to the fullest matters!
We as individuals are so unique. There isn’t just one body type or one ideal image of beauty. So much of my mission at The Fit Flamingo is to help all women feel good in their own skin. I loving using movement as a way to help people heal pain in their bodies and feel empowered to conquer their biggest life challenges. The benefits of movement go far beyond weight loss!!
That’s why you won’t find a scale in my Studio space. I never weigh my clients! We don’t move for weight loss/maintenance (although it usually is a byproduct of consistent movement). Rather we move for these 5 reasons:
>> and before we go any further, know this: I tend to use the word “movement” instead of “working out.” Here’s why: I find it beneficial for our mental health when we focus on simply moving our bodies. You may have a lot of fear or stress around the idea of working out. But movement is so simple and fun. Movement includes dancing, stretching, weight lifting, running, skipping, yoga, walking, spinning, mobility, and anything and everything else that moves you through the air!
02 | To heal pain in our bodies.
Movement is magic. The best way to release pain in the body is through movement. Mobility is my go-to method for helping my clients unlock those achy places in their bodies that are always in pain. Mobility is the ability to move a joint through its full range of motion. When we’re in pain, it’s often because our range of motion is restricted and tight. Mobility helps us open up those tight areas in the body.
PS - Did you know that our emotional health can have a profound impact on our physical health? Most physical pain can be linked to an emotional experience. Read more about the physical and emotional connections by clicking here.
03 | To increase self-confidence.
Confidence is not something that you are born with! Link most things in life, it’s a skill that is learned and developed through time.
The best way to increase self-confidence is to show up and do the thing you said you were going to do. Being intentional with your time and having integrity builds confidence.
We can only learn through action. For example, you can think about improving your health and do lots of extensive research on the topic. But the only way to actually improve your health is to do the work.
Confidence is the same way! Be resilient enough to show up for yourself. You are capable of doing hard things! It’s time to prove this to yourself!!
Move a little every day. The more consistent you are, the more confident you will become.
04 | To reduce stress and boost the immune system.
Did you know that stress suppresses your immune system? When you’re stressed, the body releases high amounts of a hormone called cortisol. It revs the body up so that it’s prepared to respond to fight-or-flight situations. Although this is an essential survival mechanism in times of danger or threat, a constant state of stress will keep your body in a perpetual fight-or-flight state. When we’re stressed, cortisol is king. And when cortisol is king, other hormones that are essential for things like digestion, growth, cognitive function, and fighting disease are put on the back-burner.
Movement allows us to shake off all our anxious energy and when we move, our body creates more feel-good endorphin hormones. They help to improve stress levels and our quality of sleep, which directly impacts the way our immune system responds to disease and other foreign invaders.
05 | To have fun.
If you’re not having fun then what’s the point!!
Movement gives my clients and I the opportunity to be creative, express ourselves in new ways, and escape the heavy weight of stress and perfectionism.
We listen to really good music, dance our way through rest breaks, and celebrate every tiny victory.
Having fun is always a top priority whenever I move! Plus, the more fun you have when you move, the more likely you will be to make movement apart of your every day life. Instead of moving out of obligation, we can learn to move out of joy, self-expression, and connection!
Dear friend, I hope this most reminds you of all the incredible benefits of movement that have absolutely nothing to do with weight. You are so much more than a number on a scale. It’s time we set ourselves free from expectations that could be causing us more harm than good.
With love & light,
Your trainer - Madison.