Why Exercise Is The Path To Happiness & Health
Though my approach on training has shifted since my professional volleyball days, I’ll always see myself as an athlete. I don’t train to stay lean; I train because it’s how I feel strong. (And how I keep up with everyone in my house!)
Now that I have kids and am over 40, I understand how working out has supported me emotionally and physically over the years. But still, it’s not like I fly out of bed every day saying, I just can’t wait to train!
It’s just that I have totally accepted and lived by how training makes me feel good and clears my mind.
These days, I have a more creative approach to exercise, which is to understand the body, how it moves, and how we can make it move better and for longer.
When I work out, I mix it up. I play volleyball once a week. I also do the ElliptiGo, a standup bicycle that I ride over hills. I love it because it’s safer and more challenging than a stationary bike. Since you’re standing up, you really have to fire your glutes.
My husband and I also created a kind of ballistic pool training – XPT. For example, you can take two dumbbells and do a squat jump off the bottom of the pool, come up to the surface, take a breath, and do that for 20 reps. There’s no impact on the knees. Plus, being in water and regulating your breathing is pretty amazing for the body.
This training is very hard, and you have to work on your breathing to do it. It’s really unique because you go hard without risking injury.
I also teach a circuit class called HIGHX. It combines functional movement (cardio, resistance) and balance, which is a really effective way to get people moving.
I have every kind of person in my class: teenage girls, 60-year-old men, deeply conditioned people, etc. Even though the moves are rigorous, no one’s going to hurt himself.
I make sure to take care of my body after training, too. My husband and I have a big barrel sauna and a cold tub that we use. It’s important to do that kind of therapy before you get hurt, not just to treat an injury.
When you train in a way that pushes you, but that also allows you to modify the movements so that you don’t hurt yourself, you do your body and mind a lot of good.
To me, training is a path to happiness and health. If you have issues in your life, you can get things right by starting with your body; things will make more sense for you when you move your body on a regular basis.
Here is a video of XPT: