Times of crisis generally enforce personal shifts and change, and some of us deal with change better than others. I’m generally really good with change – as long as it doesn’t mess with my personal routine. I am 52 (almost 53), often sit for seven hours a day, and like most of us, I carry a fairly intense daily load: relentless, tight business deadlines, client demands and requests that I’m not good at saying no to, endless problem solving to deliver to the highest standards, and trying to be a really conscious single parent. Around six years ago, my stress levels were rocketing, and my psychologist strongly advised me to make regular exercise a priority.
Of course I made every excuse in the book as to why it wasn’t an option … my schedule, I couldn’t stand the gym, and to be more precise, couldn’t stand exercise. Besides, nothing I’d done before had really worked for me, so there had been no incentive to incorporate exercise into my daily routine for the long term. My excuses didn’t cut it; if I didn’t get moving I was at serious risk of adrenal fatigue or even complete burnout. That really scared me, so I started reaching out to see if I could find an exercise option that would finally work for me in the long term.
Through my research, I was introduced to functional movement (I’ll get into this in detail in my next post) and was intrigued. A believer in functional medicine, it sounded like a potential solution. As I did a bit more digging, I learned four good reasons for making movement your medicine:
- It reduces your risk of chronic disease, such as heart disease, diabetes, strokes, high blood pressure and more
- It maintains or improves your mobility, stability, flexibility and strength, improving bone and muscular health, reducing risk of injury
- It improves your brain health and memory, your mood, and decreases feelings of depression, anxiety and stress
- Improves relaxation and sleep quality and for some, an added benefit is it improves your sex life
One Friday evening after work, I took the plunge and went to Jannie Claassen’s “Move-and-Stretch” class. It was a revelation. There were people of all ages, but most extraordinary was how the older ladies and men were in fantastic shape; strong, flexible, balanced and healthy. They were doing things with ease that I was struggling to do. Chatting after the class, people told me they’d been training with Jannie for years – some of them for more than twenty! That class totally changed my relationship with exercise and revealed what my body should be able to do and how it should feel. I couldn’t believe that I loved it, and I loved that I could feel a difference even after the first class.
Jannie’s integrated functional movement routines quickly became a habit. Regular classes helped me manage my stress more effectively, radically reduced my aches and pains (I even managed to stop the afternoon ibuprofen), and definitely helped with my sleep.
I really wish you could meet Jannie in person. He is a true healer with enormous energy and knowledge. The integrated functional movement classes he teaches have changed so many lives. Including mine. In fact, Jannie and his Integrated Movement Routines (IMRs) have made such a difference to my life that I believe they’re worth sharing. So I took the plunge and built a whole new business around them to make that possible!
Now I find time to do one of his routines most days, at home and when I’m travelling. Knowing how great it makes me feel, I’ll never look back. I made movement my medicine – I know it could be yours too.
If you’re interested in these routines please have a look at TheOptimal.me