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    Hello in There

    BT 3.24 fix_Page_22_Image_0001We’re talking about Inside Out Fitness. That means your exercise routine is internally motivated and directed. That means you can feel your body’s desire to move, and it tells you what to do. But, many of you have spent too much time listening to “the experts,” so you can’t begin to hear your own body’s wisdom.

    Well-meaning people are often telling you what they think you should be doing. What to eat. What is required to get fit. What you “should” do. Thirty minutes at such and such a heart rate. This form of training is best…no wait…this is best…no wait…now this…yikes!

    Traditional fitness programing often pits you against your body. I think your exercise reluctance is an appropriate response to all of that noise. The climate in the health and fitness field can be off-putting. It’s no wonder you and so many others get stuck in that awful rut of wanting to exercise, but not doing it.

    In contrast, Inside Out Fitness helps you to build a partnership with your body so that your well-being increases. I tell my clients: “You are the expert on your body. I am your guide, and together we will find what works best for your body.” Inside Out Fitness is not a quick fix; it helps you to find your own rhythm so that you can keep moving for the rest of your life. Imagine that, being a lifelong exerciser and feeling great about it!

    The approach draws from your body’s own wisdom, but how do you find it? How do you hear it? And how do you follow it? The first step is to realize that your body does know what it needs, even if you can’t hear it just yet.

    Next, begin with a friendly-feeling small exercise step. The best way to learn something new is to start small, and that’s what we’re going to do together. I have built my business and my reputation on the power of small steps. I have a whole catalog of small step exercises that specifically help you to reduce pain while you improve your strength, stamina and/or flexibility. (Search for me on YouTube for the exercise videos). Friendly-feeling small steps are the best because they are not intimidating. They take very little time, and you are not likely to injure yourself.

    For the purpose of this column, we are starting out with a small exercise that works for most people. It can be done anywhere, and is useful and appropriate for most bodies. Today we will do the shoulder roll.

    At this point you might be thinking, “OMG, I can’t believe she wants us to do a shoulder roll and call it exercise or fitness.” Those thoughts would be a natural response to all of the fitness conditioning that you have been subjected to over the years. Just relax and give this new way a try. The purpose at this point is for you to move your body and hear its response. You are developing a skill to listen to your body when it comes to exercise.

    So take a deep breath, let it out and then roll your shoulders back and around, gently and slowly. How does that feel? Do you get a sense of relief, or well-being? Does it feel nice on your body? Is your body asking for another one? Practice this deep breath and shoulder roll combo and see what you notice. I’ll see you in 2 weeks. Until then: No shame, no blame, just your next small step.

    Cinder Ernst, Medical Exercise Specialist and Life Coach Extraordinaire, helps reluctant exercisers get moving with safe, effective and fun programs. Find out more at