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“Warming up an old car is much like warming up a body”

This winter season is truly showing Georgians what being cold to the bone really means. Yesterday after being outside for the 5AM and 7AM bootcamp sessions in 30-degree weather it was time for me to train with my personal trainer. It was so cold that it took me forever to warm up. Although I could have started lifting weights immediately I knew that without proper warm up I could put myself at risk for injury and the aches and pains that sometimes come with exercising. I realized that warming up an old car is much like warming up a body to exercise and at 46 years old, my body needs time to warm up!

Doing warm up exercises before your workout is important in many ways. A good warm up will gradually increase your heart rate, increase circulation to your muscles, tendons and ligaments, and mentally prepare you for your workout. You want to physically prepare your body for the demands of a strenuous workout by gradually increasing your body temperature.

At the beginning of every New Year, I see an influx of people running to the gym. Most of these people have been inactive for a major part of the holiday season. Because many of them have unwanted weight they decide to just jump back into fitness, trying very hard to get the weight off that would normally take 3-6 months in just a 2-4-week time frame. We live in a society where we want instant results. Jumping back into health & fitness is much like warming up an old car…. they both take time! For those of you who grew up in the Midwest like myself (Detroit) or those who understand what it means to live through a “true” winter season understand you cannot just go jump in a car turn the ignition and drive away into your destiny.

Preparation is key, this means waking up extra early to clean the snow off the car, start it up, turn on the defrost and the heat on while you continue to get prepared for your day. To prepare for the winter season you must put extra fluids in the car for it to cooperate. Of course, we are now spoiled with 2-car garages, automatic car starters, and seat, mirror & steering wheel warmers; however, you still must use the technology in advance to make for a happy car.
Speaking of happy, warm up exercises are also important as a form of mental preparation. Your mind needs to ease into the warm up and as you progress to core workout, serotonin (happy hormones) are being released. Yesterday morning, many clients were not happy about working out in the cold however one client, Marica, who is usually very bubbly and full of joy had a complete attitude. She didn’t want to talk to anyone and a smile you were not going to get. About midway through the workout I couldn’t help but notice Marica killing her sprints and she ended them with a smile and some laughter. This is what Marica posted later that morning on her Facebook page,

“Baby!!! This morning I had an attitude. I’ve been out of bootcamp for two months. It was 32 degrees outside and I wasn’t feeling it. I didn’t want to do the warm-up exercise or nothing. I’m thinking the whole time I can’t complete this trace (running) around the parking lot. Why is Rodney running so fast, but I did it. Tasha then starting yelling (oh I see you smiling now). I’m always hard on myself and I must get out of that mindset. You can do anything if you put your mind to it, Happy Thursday everyone!”

As we finish up our third week of bootcamp many clients have expressed, “I am in so much pain even the hair on my head hurt”, “I am exhausted, drinking all this water, I am going to the bathroom more and more, when will I feel normal again?”. I get so excited when I hear these kinds of things because to me it’s your body telling you THANK YOU for waking it up again, for using muscles you have been neglecting for months some even years!

Like an old classic car that has been sitting in your driveway or garage for years, it’s your pride and joy. You clean the outside often and many people pay you many compliments on the exterior, however when they say crank it up let’s go for a ride, you quickly realize it’s going to take more than the turn of a key to get this classic running smooth again.
So, stop beating yourselves up, give your body a chance to warm up and get the blood flow pumping. Sounds crazy but enjoy every new ache from those Gliders, every breath you catch from doing the NO MESS Countdown and all the healthy nutrients you intake to make your body flow more frequently than some desire. Soon you will start waking up feeling refreshed and moving on without hesitation. Everything needs a little extra TLC so don’t neglect to care for the one thing you can never buy another one of…your body! Can I Get It! Get it! Get It? No Mess

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