I’m a health and nutrition writer, but I’ve never enjoyed exercise. Oh sure, I walk with my dog and I play doubles tennis, both of which help me break the occasional sweat. And I sign up for gyms and never go to them just like most everyone else. But whenever I get my heart rate up, I just want it to go down again tuit de suite!
Let’s just say that I DON’T have the heart or attention span of a champion.
But once I hit perimenopause and started to develop a menopot, I got serious about strengthening my core, not to mention my bones.
I knew that buying DVDs and joining gyms wouldn’t do the trick, at least not for me. So I signed up for Monday sessions with a personal trainer to lift weights and do Pilates. Ann Marie isn’t just any trainer, though. She’s also a massage therapist, which is the key to my success—she gives me a quick massage at the end of every session, which keeps me coming back.
Basically, I found the right trainer for me. Beyond the motivating factor that I “pay to play,” she pushes me gently but not beyond where I’m willing to go. (Other trainers have been too gung ho and “high five” for my liking, and when I tell them if they push me too hard they’ll never see me again, they don’t believe me!) She also pays attention to my specific goals and trouble spots—bruises and muscle pulls from tennis, developing my core strength, working on my balance, etc. Best of all, she gives me a quick stretch and that wonderful massage after every workout. I also enjoy socializing with my workout partners and Ann Marie, an extra incentive on those days when I’m cranky or suffering from “Sad Monday” syndrome. And as much as I hate to admit it, I always feel better emotionally after I exercise. In recent weeks, as we’ve added interval training to the mix, I may even have flirted with a runner’s high.
The payoff: After five years, I’m still working out with Ann Marie on a weekly basis, the longest I’ve ever stuck with exercise. I don’t have the arms of Madonna or Michelle Obama, but thanks to weight-lifting, my triceps are toned enough that I can wear sleeveless shirts. (And no, that isn’t me in the photo!) I still have more weight than I’d like around my middle, but it’s more solid than before and I can finally do both sit-ups and push-ups.
Working with a trainer has also motivated me to get more active in other ways—to the extent that people are starting to call me, a bookworm, athletic! I’d say that’s well worth the $50 a week I pay to Ann Marie to keep me motivated.
If you live in southwestern Connecticut and you’re looking for a trainer, here’s Ann Marie’s contact information:
Ann Marie Provenzano
Personal Best Training
Image courtesy of Creativecommons Stock Photos/Dreamstime Stock Photos