The following article features four fitness experts who share their personal perspectives on the importance of exercise and how it has influenced their lives.
Brian Nguyen, a 46-year-old athletic performance coach, and speaker based in Los Angeles, California, says that he exercises to honor life. For Brian, the loss of loved ones has inspired him to keep himself and others moving. He believes that our bodies are not owned, but rather borrowed for this human experience. Therefore, he wants to keep his body clean, tuned up, and running on great fuel. He says that he has a morning ritual where the first two hours of his day are for him. This self-care routine allows him to love himself as best he can, so he can also do it for others.
Colleen Saidman-Yee is a 62-year-old yoga teacher, studio owner (Yoga Shanti) for 23 years, and author of “Yoga For Life” from Sag Harbor, New York. She practices yoga to release daily stresses and difficulties from her muscles and to reverse her reaction to stress. She also practices yoga to keep her body supple as she ages and to develop intimacy with her body. Colleen emphasizes the importance of practicing yoga with kindness and compassion. She suggests that exercise should not be used to beat yourself up or to prove that you are “better” or “enough.” Instead, it should be done with the goal of developing a deeper understanding of yourself.
Ridge Davis is a 31-year-old certified personal trainer based in Los Angeles, California. Ridge believes in the saying “How you do one thing, you do everything.” He says that exercise provides structure and momentum throughout his week and is the foundation of his productivity and creativity. Ridge’s energy level and ability to serve others are severely compromised if he skips a workout or becomes less active on a particular day. He always does his workout first thing in the morning, which allows him to feel accomplished and mentally sharp. If anything changes throughout the day, his workout is already locked in, so he is not stressed about fitting it in.
Charlee Atkins is a 35-year-old founder of Le Sweat TV based in New York City. She says that she exercises because of “successful aging.” She did not listen when people told her how the body changes as we age when she was in her twenties, but she started noticing changes in her thirties. She realized that strength training is what makes an impact, both for weight loss and from a performance perspective. Charlee has a 10-minute mobility routine that she does every day. She has found that she can work out less, maybe two to three times a week, by being consistent in her mobility routine. Her workouts are everything she does for her app, Le Sweat TV. In addition to her daily mobility, she also films three to five classes, 20 to 30 minutes each, per week for her app.
Brian, Colleen, Ridge, and Charlee have different reasons for exercising, but they all agree that exercise is an important part of their lives. They all have different ways of fitting exercise into their busy schedules and different motivators that keep them going. But they all share the same message that exercise should not be used to beat yourself up or to prove that you are “better” or “enough.” Instead, exercise should be done with kindness and compassion and with the goal of developing a deeper understanding of yourself.