Fitness Today for a Better Tomorrow: It's Never too Late
article & photos by jamie blotske
Our culture has often misconstrued busyness for productivity. While the two can co-exist, they do not always work well together. Beyond our daily routine, there are many outside factors that pull at our attention. Like a ripple effect, one ring flows into another until it becomes a struggle to balance it all. Oftentimes, our own self-care ends up at the bottom of the priority list. And so, it’s important to periodically check-in and see where we can reduce busyness and increase productivity, especially as it pertains to the impact that busyness is having on our health.
It could easily be argued that productivity begins with mental and physical health, and we know by now that physical activity and overall health go hand-in-hand. To help us find the balance between fitness and life, we checked in with physical fitness guru, Chantel Oakley, ACE-certified Health Coach, CEO of Chantel Oakley Holistic Fitness, YMCA instructor, lifetime athlete, and mom of four boys. It’s fair to say that she knows a thing or two about finding the balance between fitness and life.
Time, or lack thereof, tends to be one of the greatest barriers to carving out time for exercise. Chantel hit the nail on the head when she said, “Often, when life gets busy, we get stressed and compressed for time. The first thing we usually eliminate is exercise.” Which makes sense because I know when I’ve spent the whole day being busy, I’d rather do some sit-downs than sit-ups. “The truth is,” Chantel explained, “that is when we need exercise the most! Consistent exercise has been proven to control weight, combat health conditions and diseases, improve mood, boost energy, and promote better sleep (to name a few)." Bottom line, a regular workout routine contributes to overall wellness, productivity, and feeling good.
By the Numbers:
It is recommended…
- Adults get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week
- Adults include 2 days of muscle-strengthening activities per week
- Children ages 6-17 should aim for 60 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per day
- Along with muscle- and bone-strengthening activities 3 days per week
-Diana Romano, Oklahoma State University Extension Assistant Specialist
Don’t be overwhelmed by the numbers, though, because Chantel has some excellent words of wisdom for us, starting with:
One Size Does NOT Fit All
Finding the right exercise routine can be a daunting task. Not all workout programs are created equal, and we must find our path to success. "I think the simplest way is to adopt what I call a Just Do Something mentality," Chantel explained. "The idea is to look at your week, plan the days you are going to exercise in advance, then establish how much time you can REALISTICALLY devote to your workout." Some days that might be 15 to 20 minutes, and that's ok! "If I only have 20 minutes to squeeze in a workout, I just do something for 20 minutes. My clients who have adopted this mentality have seen great success in implementing exercise into their life consistently," Chantel noted. Isn't that what it's all about? Creating a habit that becomes a lifestyle should be the ultimate goal.
For those who want to elevate their workouts without the cost of a monthly gym membership, Chantel suggests looking into budget-friendly resources; there are plenty out there to choose from. "I offer a virtual fitness subscription. It is like having a coach, from your phone, assigning you workouts and teaching you philosophy for the same price as a couple of Starbucks coffees a month!" She went on to say that social media is another budget-friendly resource, with unlimited amounts of fitness content on platforms such as Instagram or YouTube. If you've got the time and want to sort through it all, you can save money by putting together your own training plan, adapting it to whatever level you need, from beginner to advanced.
No Pain, No Gain
We've all heard the saying. It is often associated with increasing weight on the bench press or the amount of incline on the treadmill, but it can also simply mean taking that first step towards a healthier you. Sometimes the pain is in picking up the phone to call a trainer, putting on the shorts to go for a walk, or getting in the car to head to the gym. But little by little, the pains turn to gains, and before you know it, fitness is as much a part of your daily life as brushing your teeth.
We all have to start somewhere, and more times than not, the starting line isn't so scary when you have someone to join you. There is power in numbers and community. When asked about fitness in the Billings community, Chantel said, "My goal is to remove the narrative of shame and guilt from the fitness journey, remind people that they are strong and can do hard things, bring people together in community, and make fitness FUN!" Along those lines, she has big plans to host unique fitness events throughout the year, open to the entire community, to get people moving and laughing! One of those events is right around the corner, and you do NOT want to miss out!
You can stay up to date with events and other fitness-related information by following Chantel on Instagram (@chanteloakley) or her website (chanteloakley.com).
UPDATE: The Lighten Up: Fitness is Fun Under the Lights August event that appeared in the August issue has been postponed until further notice.
Jamie Blotske and husband, Chet, have three small children and happily call Billings their home. She is extremely passionate about the great outdoors. She is a graduate of MSU-Billings with a bachelor's degree in Outdoor Adventure Leadership. Her family is currently in pursuit of hiking in all 50 states, and you can follow along on the family blog (thebackpackingblotskes.com) or Instagram (@thebackpackingblotskes).
30 Ways to Mix Some Movement into Your Day
Do you find it challenging to commit to an exercise plan but want to adopt a healthy lifestyle and keep active throughout your day? Even if you only have a few minutes, try these 30 ways to squeeze in some time for movement, no matter if you’re at home, at the office, or on the go!