Happiness as exercise to movement
Author: Barbara Wilson
Happiness has to be teaching a group fitness class. It is definitely the best part of my day. Why? I have been a fitness professional for over 20 years plus and have experienced many changes across the years like fluorescent lyrca high cut leotards (la Jane Fonda) leg warmers in 35-degree heat, those John McEnroe headbands and wristbands, early morning famous OZ aerobics on commercial TV channels, the ab roller, high low new body with little light hand weights…
Gym fashion has certainly changed from Lorna Jane’s inception, to Rock wear, now Ryder, Lululemon (I must add I bought an ensemble in Brisbane recently, pricey but well worth it) I don’t know if it sits tight due to my squat program or its fashion engineering! No sagging, no need to hoist them up repeatedly, no fading, and definitely eye appealing ...
We have gone from aerobic studios hahooooing, clapping, all in synch to the tempo of aerobic beats 4, 8, 16, 32
Mambo spin, indecision on the step boxes, swaying, shaking those booties, shoulder and all the rest! I'm sure many of us remember!! It’s a shame I disposed of all that clothing but I did keep boxes and boxes of the music. Rhythm Express, Music in Motion…you were icons.
Today we have pre-choreographed classes, boot camps, walking and running groups, personal trainers, TRX, mums and bubs classes, senior group’s, cycle, pump, high, low, mid… the list is endless. A class or program for anyone; from 60 people or more to individualised sessions. The fitness industry is alive and awaking from before dawn to late evening. Not to mention all the social media personalities, foods, equipment, lifestyles…it’s definitely not a one size fit’s all anymore.
But back to what makes me happy as…in this industry. Its my group exercise classes I lead after so many years and industry changes. Group exercise is fun, time efficient, challenging the mind along with releasing stress, burning calories, toning muscles…the list is endless. Remember when you participate in any form of exercise we release hormones called endorphins. In these classes it elevates your mood, increases energy, makes your muscles stronger along with all the cardiovascular benefits. It improves one’s self-confidence, psychological, physical and emotional wellbeing. It is suitable for all ages, genders and fitness levels.
The music steers and motivates you (many sing along) we all know the power of music has on individuals. It brings all people together to have fun whilst getting fit. It creates a sense of family, building friendships and motivates one to turn up next week and work harder (the group exercise effect)
My job is to engage, model, inspire, make everyone feel included (remember I’m a normal person too). Eye contact, learn names, wave, smile…. We all have our unique style. Yeah, I’m loud, passionate, enthusiastic, inclusive and in love with this job. So, what? Do you what to see a drab, uninspiring individual who yawns with no rapport, no welcome and finishes early. You can work at one’s own pace, substitute a move, lower option or more difficult options. There are so many classes to try.
Many participants have been with me from my very early days as a younger instructor. I guess you could call me am experienced instructor. Funny though not wanting to sound narcissist but I am in the best shape of my fitness career at the age of 50. Through participating in some fitness challenges over the last 3 years I have rediscovered heavy weight training along with what I eat. Your diet is 70% important to 30% exercise. I am stronger physically (which is shown in my body shape muscles} and definitely mentally. We need this as our world is like a volcano waiting to erupt. Work (I do have a full-time job), traffic, family, children, partner, sports. The world does not stop. We are open 24 hours a day (including gyms) We access information at our fingertips on hand held devices. We order food, catch an Uber, bank, socialise from this device. So why are our lives so exhausting??? Maybe that’s for another article.
My class participates have witnessed me get married, have two kids (yes, I taught all my classes and did my own training and weighs during this period) We share laughs, getting the routine wrong, our sweat has united us, the claps at the end of a routine or session is euphoric!
I am a normal person. Mum, educator, instructor, writer, partner, sister, aunt, daughter, friend…I’m not a body builder, a competitor, iron women, spartan (secretly I would love to be) and I’m definitely not a runaway super model.
I’m a woman who works out and leads exercise to music classes; Body Combat, Attack, RPM, TRX, Aqua, Circuit, Power hour, Boxing…and I love it! Why! The participants! Their passion, brutal honesty, their dedication turning up week in week out, rain, hail or shine. Giving their best, sharing 1 hour of pure satisfaction time for THEMSELVES!!! Leaving behind the world outside the door. No diets, no fads, no calorie counts, no extreme measures.
I love ALL my classes including the fill-in ones. But the Saturday Boxing group of experienced, amateurs (some had never put on a pair of gloves) young and mature have shown something unique. We have developed a special bond where we go out every Christmas with our partners as a group. Everyone is welcome! This class is not a push over and they are masters of jabs, uppers, hooks, never do they complain. The zest is believable! The friendships are endless! No boundaries are crossed; I am still the instructor and they are the participant’s in this class.
This is what Happiness as …. Is to me! In summary exercise is powerful and should become a way of life, health, mind and body.
Remember it raises HAPPINESS! The key ingredient here!
Happiness as….movement to music!