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Motivation for Fitness and the Ways We Can Move

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Season 4, Episode 4  | February 17, 2020

Being “fit” looks a little bit different for everyone. In this episode, we discuss the importance of moving for your unique body and motivations, the importance of mechanics and consistency, the components of a well-rounded workout regimen, and why fitness is about so much more than aesthetics. Our guest is Maggie Fazeli Fard, RKC, MFT-1, senior fitness editor at Experience Life, an Alpha Strong coach, strength coach, and kettlebell trainer.

Woman Tying Tennis Shoes.

01:04

Our guest on this episode is Maggie Fazeli Fard. Fazeli Fard is the senior fitness editor at Experience Life, an Alpha Strong coach, strength coach, and certified kettlebell trainer.

01:25

Fazeli Fard defines being fit as living a proud, respectful, movement-filled life. There are many different aspects of fitness: Whether you’re dealing with a chronic health condition, have a disability, or are a star athlete, you have the opportunity to be either fit or unfit.

02:07

People typically dive headfirst into exercise without first doing an assessment of where they are. This is an approach that often backfires.

04:03

Fazeli Fard and Life Time Talks co-host David Freeman both discuss how they go about working with training clients, helping them to determine — and move forward from — their starting point. An essential first step is identifying the client’s “why.”

07:18

For many, aesthetics is a primary reason for working out. That tends to be the focus in our society, but if you can understand your “why” and identify with yourself first, that can be a game changer. Health is about so much more than aesthetics — it’s about what’s going on inside of your body.

08:38

There’s no bad goal. If you want to pursue aesthetics, there’s a coach out there who can help you do that. But you want to make sure that’s not at a cost to you, whether that’s a physical or mental cost.

10:50

The pursuit of perfection isn’t realistic — there is no such thing. We idealize this optimal physical representation of health, but what that looks like has changed so much throughout the ages. And your individual body may not be set up to perform or look like who you idolize — but that doesn’t mean you can’t perform well and feel good about yourself.

11:56

There’s been a movement toward functional fitness, with the intention to really help people live the length of their lives the best they can. It’s also a fitness approach that’s often more sustainable for people.

13:45

A lot of people go all in on one type of exercise — cardio, strength, yoga — but there’s a real case to be made for a balance of all of those pieces. Especially if you want to function the best you can.

16:27

Recovery is something we’re increasingly hearing about — and it may not mean what you think it does. It’s not taking the day off from movement; rather, active recovery plays an essential role in a well-rounded fitness routine.

19:22

It’s critical to first establish proper form and consistency in the mechanics of your movements, then you can add more reps and more intensity. Begin with a focus on quality, then you can add quantity. And what perfect form looks like for you may change depending on your life stage or circumstances.

23:56

What does it really take to make fitness progress?

25:26

Fazeli Fard is very much of the opinion that we all need to move in one way or another every single day. That doesn’t mean high-intensity workouts every day, but several times a week. Then, on the other days, partake in active-recovery workouts.

26:35

There are a lot of internal health improvements we can experience from regular exercise.

29:11

The community aspect of fitness can be extremely powerful and a big reason why people keep up with fitness, wanting to do and achieve more.

30:34

It’s important to ask for help. Fazeli Fard’s first strength coach likened not asking for help with your fitness to trying to get your law degree using only the public library as a resource. You might be able to pass the bar, but you’re really going to struggle. We can make it much easier for ourselves.

34:32

The one non-negotiable healthy-living habit that Fazeli Fard incorporates into her daily life.

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Transcript: Motivation for Fitness and the Ways We Can Move

Season 4, Episode 4  | February 17, 2020

Jamie Martin

Welcome to Life Time Talks, the healthy living podcast that’s aimed at helping you achieve your health, fitness, and life goals. I’m Jamie Martin, editor-in-chief of Experience Life, Life Time’s whole life health and fitness magazine.

David Freeman

And I’m David Freeman, the signature program lead for Life Time’s Alpha program. We’re all in different places along our health and fitness journey, but no matter what we are working towards, there are some essential things we can do to keep moving in the direction of a healthy, purpose-driven life.

Jamie Martin

In each episode we’ll cover the foundational elements of healthy living, including fitness and nutrition, health issues like sleep and stress management, and mindfulness and community.

David Freeman

And we’ll be talking to experts from Life Time and beyond who’ll share their insights and knowledge, so you’ll have the tools and information you need to take charge of your next steps. Here we go.

[Music]

David Freeman

On today’s episode, we’re going to be talking about fitness but not in the traditional sense. We’ll be covering the motivations for movement that go beyond the health club or gym and taking a look at all the different aspects of fitness and why we move.

Jamie Martin

Today’s guest is Maggie Fazeli Fard, the senior fitness editor at Experience Life magazine and a long-time colleague of mine. Maggie is a certified kettlebell trainer and strength coach with a personal interest in trauma and formed movement and biofeedback training. She is also an Alpha Strong coach with Life Time.

David Freeman

Super excited to have Ms. Maggie here today. What does fitness mean to you?

Maggie Fazeli Fard

Oh, that is a huge question. To me, fitness encapsulates being able to live your life in a way that you are proud of. Because there are many different aspects of fitness, and you may be dealing with a chronic health condition, you may have a disability, or you may be a star athlete with the whole world ahead of you, but in any of those aspects, you can be fit or unfit. And to be fit, I think, is living a proud, respectful, movement-filled life.

Jamie Martin

One thing that people often do is they’ll dive headfirst into exercise and working out without really doing an honest assessment of where they are. Why does this approach often backfire with fitness?

Maggie Fazeli Fard

Absolutely. So, it can be really exciting to start something new, whether you’re jumping into your fitness journey for the first time or trying something new in your program, if you don’t know where you are, you can’t get to where you want. It’s like me saying I want to get to Chicago, but I’m lost in Nova Scotia, right, like I need to know what my exact starting point is, and that’s where assessments become really useful.

I think that there are really important big picture assessments to do working with a coach to kind of understand your range of motion, your strength, your basic fitness level — doing a metabolic assessment, knowing your heartrate zones, and then on a day-to-day basis, doing assessments like checking your heart rate variability, just checking your heart rate, biofeedback testing, that can include range of motion testing just to know . . . everything that we do is moving, nothing is neutral, right, everything we do is moving us in a positive direction or a negative direction, and when you are doing anything related to fitness, in particular, you really want to be moving in that positive direction, you don’t want to break your body down, you don’t want to get hurt, you don’t want to hit a plateau. So, by doing these assessments, you can keep moving in that positive direction knowing when you need to adapt just to stay on course.

Jamie Martin

So, I’m going to pose this question to both of you because, David, you’re in this, you’re in day-to-day coaching as well, how do people do this, tell me a little bit about how you each approach working with the different clients that you have and helping them find out where they are right now, like David, what approach do you take?

David Freeman

Number one, if you were to come in and actually want to train with me, my first question would be why. I completely turn it into an interviewing session, but at the same time, I listen more than I talk, so I start to discover in that discovery process why they’re here, what they’re trying to do it for, and I have them dive deep. It seems uncomfortable, but you’re getting to the nuts and bolts of what it is that they’re trying to do because it’s so much more than just the 5 to 10 pounds, and when you get to the why and you understand exactly what it is that they’re doing, you write that down, you have them write it down, and then we dive deep into that why.

From there, in that foundational piece, we focus on the mindset the whole time because all these exercises can be done anywhere, right, squats are squats, pushups are pushups. What we’re trying to do is create habits, so when we have that now as our foundation, now we have the execution of what it is that we’re going to do, and that’s the plan behind it, but we make sure that they write it down, and I write it down, and then from there, they put that “why” somewhere that they’re going to see daily because whenever it’s that day that it’s raining outside or they don’t feel like doing it, the go back and they see that “why.” So, it doesn’t matter if it’s six months or a year down the road or next week, they know exactly where to go back to is that “why,” and I always say it: I’m accountability, you’re responsibility. So, regardless of how much it is that we’re doing, I’m going to hold you accountable, but you’re the one that’s responsible for what it is that you’re trying to do.

Jamie Martin

I love it. How about you, Maggie, when you’re working with clients in a training setting?

Maggie Fazeli Fard

Agreed, it really comes down to that first conversation and then the continued conversations, the continued checking in. The reason that somebody might walk in, they might not even know their “why” initially, and so, as coaches, the best coaches that I have had personally are the ones who have helped me figure out what the underlying purpose is that I . . . David, you always talk about living a purpose-driven life, and our fitness is not excluded from that. And to help people understand that it’s not that 5 or 10 pounds, it’s not the new PR in the 5K, there is an underlying reason for wanting all of those goals to be achieved, and then that underlying “why” might change, right, circumstances of life change, and so as coaches, what we want to do is stay really connected to the people that we’re working with so that we can adapt how we hold them accountable in case their why does change.

David Freeman

It’s an emotional connection.

Maggie Fazeli Fard

Yeah.

Jamie Martin

Yes.

David Freeman

Hands down. If I was to tell you right now if I put Journey on, “Don’t Stop Believing,” it takes you back to a moment and it’s an emotional connection. So, those 5 to 10 pounds, there’s a reason behind it, whether it was high school and they felt like they were at their best and they were at their peak, like there’s a reason behind whatever it is that they want to do, and you got to find out what that is through that emotional connection.

Jamie Martin

Yes, and sometimes it’s going to take some digging.

David Freeman

Oh, yeah.

Jamie Martin

And like there is some resistance, I’m guessing, when people come in, it’s like I’m just here to workout, right, I’m here to like figure out like how to move my body, and I want to get stronger, which in some ways leads into our next kind of question, and so like a lot of times fitness is about the aesthetic, for a lot of people, so how do we help people move away from that as a primary reason for working out, I mean, does that just go right back to the why or is it diving deeper into something else?

David Freeman

You can attack this in two different ways, but the way our society is built right now, it’s everywhere, right, that’s what is appealing, right, to the most. When you go on social media, when you go on TV, when you go out, that’s what you’re seeing, so therefore, you’re trying to emulate what you see. The visuals go back . . . and this was on one of our earlier podcasts with Jen, is like first, you have to understand who you are and identify with self. And it’s not about the comparisons, it’s about what you value and what it is that you’re trying to do. And once you can identify that, that’s your game changer, because it’s no longer a comparison game. So, that’s how, like, it’s not the aesthetics, it’s more of what’s going on on the inside. Are you good up here mentally, are you good inside as far as with blood pressure, cholesterol, and all those other things — health matters.

Jamie Martin

Right.

David Freeman

Right.

Jamie Martin

Start with health.

Maggie Fazeli Fard

I think that we are at a point where the pendulum has swung really far back and forth. For a while, aesthetics were, as a culture, I think, the primary reason that people would get into fitness, and if they didn’t have that aesthetic goal or they didn’t think that they could achieve that aesthetic goal, they wouldn’t necessarily go down that fitness path. And then there was the really big boom in understanding functional fitness and the role that fitness plays in our health. And what I would like is there is no bad goal, it’s if you want to pursue aesthetics, and that is really all that you care about, more power to you, you will for sure find a coach that can help you do that.  But, at what cost? And there can be a health cost to the pursuit of aesthetics, there can be a mental health cost as well. And there’s the sort of celebrity culture. We have talked about that before.

There are the celebrities that are in movies, on TV, on Instagram, and then we have the personal celebrities in our lives, right, it might be the fit friend in our group, it might be the group of coaches at the gym that we go to, and we start to see them as these emblems of perfection, and we think that the aesthetics and the function go together, and if only we looked like them, then we also perform like them. And then that becomes this really tangled web of what is my value, what is my worth as a person, as a human being, if I can’t function, because if I can’t function, I’m somehow lesser, and if I’m not functioning well, then I’m never going to look the way that I want to look. And it’s so messy, I think, for a lot of people to dig their way out.

Jamie Martin

And to move away from using that celebrity culture or these role models as emblems of fitness and what we’re all aspiring to.

Maggie Fazeli Fard

Yeah.

Jamie Martin

And I mean, they may look perfect from our point of view, but there is no such thing, right, like this pursuit of perfection is something that isn’t realistic for any of us, regardless of who we are.

Maggie Fazeli Fard

Because there just is no perfect. We idealize this optimal physical representation of health, and that has changed so much through the ages. Every single body type has been an emblem of health. And the reality is, I mean, just us sitting in this room, we are people who are never going to look the same. And so if I idolize David and say I want to look like you, I want to perform . . . like that is really not a realistic thing. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t perform well and feel good about myself. It sort of goes back to the assessments and figuring out your “why.” You have to meet yourself where you are because it doesn’t matter what somebody else is doing if it doesn’t actually apply to you.

Jamie Martin

One of the things you mentioned already is this ideal of functional fitness, and we talked about this a little when you defined fitness, but I think this move back towards functional fitness is so critical in culture right now. So, can you talk a little bit about functional fitness? David, feel free to chime in as well, but why this approach is often more sustainable for people?

Maggie Fazeli Fard

Functional fitness, what we’re really looking for is people being able to live their lives as best they can. Thanks to just like the longevity of people these days, we want to stay healthy for as long as we are alive, and we happen to be living longer, and fitness plays a huge role in us being able to do that — not just in staying alive, but living a life of quality and a life that matters. To be able to do that, you want to be able to function as well as possible, and that might mean that, yes, at 50, you might not function as well as you did at 20, or vice versa, you might be a whole lot more functional than you were at 20.

Jamie Martin

If you exercise 7 hours a week doing these things is a way to prepare us for that next . . . you know, when I’m out doing the 90 percent of my life.

David Freeman

What you’re doing at the age of 35, I want you to be able to do that if not more at the age of 50. The functionality behind opening the door as you entered into the studio today, when you sat down in that chair, like the squat that you had to do to do that, it’s the functionality that matters. And don’t get me wrong, yeah, doing all these other things such as lifting weights and loads, yes, that’s great, too, but calisthenics, body weight movement, moving your body in a space, functionality is number one, and then you can start to add the different fun things to that as well.

Jamie Martin

Right. Okay, so a lot of people are all in on one type of exercise, like you’re a cardio endurance person or you’re a strength person, or I’m a yogi, right, like we kind of create some of our identity around what we can do in a health club, but there is a real case to be made for a balance of all of those pieces, so let’s talk about that a little bit.

Maggie Fazeli Fard

I think that that actually goes back to the question of functionality.

Jamie Martin

Right.

Maggie Fazeli Fard

How specialized do you want to become? If you are a professional athlete, you are going to be very specialized, and the cost of that might mean that you are losing some functionality in the rest of your life when you’re in season.

For the majority of us, we want to have an athlete mentality, but the reality is that we are not athletes. And so becoming overly specialized, the cost probably isn’t worth it. So, if all that you are doing is one particular style of strength training, for example, like trying to go to failure every single time that you go in the gym or every single day you are running your 5K in the morning when you wake up, and you get stuck in these ruts, one, it’s hard to sustain, and it’s hard to be consistent and it’s hard to meet new goals, but it can really take a huge toll on your body and your mental health along with it.

Whereas, if you have variability in your training, let’s say you do different types of strength training and you go for walks as well as go for runs, incorporate some mobility work every day, it will in the long term be more functional and you will feel better and perform better in everything you do.

Jamie Martin

Yes.

David Freeman

I always use this with a lot of my athletes, I’m like you got to taste the rainbow, Skittles, right, it’s all these different flavors.

Jamie Martin

I don’t know where we’re going.

David Freeman

Yeah, think about it though, variety.

Jamie Martin

Right.

David Freeman

It’s oxymoron, consistent variety. So, I’m not saying every day you have to do something different, but variety is key within the consistency. So, every Monday, yeah, we’re going to squat every Monday, and the consistency behind you understanding the movement, the movement patterns, so your body gets used to it, so you can create change. And then we go all the way back to when we first were learning how to ride a bike, the same concept, you keep getting on that bike, you keep falling off, you keep getting back up, that’s the consistency for you to actually master a movement, then you start to increase load, and then more intensity and things to that nature, so it’s a saying as far as mechanics first, and then the consistency within the mechanics, then and only then you get intensity. Does that make sense?

Jamie Martin

Totally.

David Freeman

Yeah.

Jamie Martin

Totally get that. So, the other thing that we’re hearing more and more about is recovery and how that is such a critical part of any fitness regimen, and that seems counterintuitive. People are like I don’t want to recover, I don’t want to take time off, but recovery doesn’t mean what we thought it meant, you know, I mean it’s not sitting on the couch, for instance, we’re talking about active recovery. What role does active recovery play?

Maggie Fazeli Fard

Active recovery is really important. We are not actually getting stronger when we are lifting weights, we’re not getting faster when we are doing hill sprints, it’s in the off time, it’s in what happens in the hours and days after we complete that workout that our body can rebuild and be better than it was before. And the big pieces of recovery that I always stress and that David always stresses is sleep. You really need to get your sleep, and you need to be fueling your workouts, as well. You need to make sure that you are eating enough and eating good quality food that will help your body rebuild.

David Freeman

Maggie hit the nail on the head there. So, whenever you’re working out, you’re breaking down your body, and whenever you’re recovering, you’re building up your body. And we have so many resources and tools within the four walls of Life Time, but when you think of recovery, it can be a massage, it can be going to the sauna, it can be doing laps in the pool, it could be a walk, right, so, so many different ways that we can recover. It can be yoga, meditation, so it’s all around you. Think of it as active recovery.

Jamie Martin

Right, and I think that’s where we don’t want people thinking that it’s like we’re taking the day off, we’re not doing anything that’s tied to physical activity. I think we want to debunk that, right, like there’s some aspect of movement that we want to get in our daily lives.

David Freeman

Yeah, I would say we have our active recovery day in some of our programs, it’s the least attended day because individuals . . .

Jamie Martin

That’s so interesting.

David Freeman

Yeah, it is to me, too, and I was like this is the cream of the crop right here, this is what you guys need more of. And so many of them say, ‘I could do that on my own,’ but they’re not doing it on their own. So, we have this slated in the programming on purpose for you guys to learn the best practices, but it’s our least attended day, so hopefully that changes, especially after this podcast.

Jamie Martin

Right. Hear that everybody, we need those active recovery days. One thing we talk about with nutrition a lot is quality over quantity, right, and that’s a fitness thing as well because so often you hear like we’re going to do more reps, more counts, you know, and obviously it depends on what kind of working out you do, but why do we need to think about quality, you talked about movement patterns, what other factors are important when we’re thinking about how we move and the quality of our movement?

Maggie Fazeli Fard

Sure, it really goes back to what David was saying before that mechanics and consistency in mechanics and then adding intensity. And again, because we get really excited, particularly when we start something new, it’s very tempting to jump straight to intensity. I think that you can make up the mechanics as you go, but once you go out of order, if you jump to intensity first and try to come back to the mechanics, you lose the consistency piece of it. If you ramp up the intensity, let’s say I had no experience in an Alpha Strong class and jumped in to try to do tipping pullups, which uses hip generated momentum to get your chin over the bar, but I can’t actually do a pullup, but I can sort of swing my way into a kipping pullup, if I hurt my shoulder doing that, I’m not going to be able to show up for the gym for a few weeks, and now I’ve lost the consistency piece. And what’s wonderful in Life Time programs and in many programs across the country is this real emphasis now on mechanics first, get your form dialed in. And back to the question about perfection, perfect form is whatever form is perfect for you, and that can change from day to day, and particularly, as you improve, your ideal form will change. So, my squatting form now versus 10 years ago what would’ve been the best I could do then, it looks different than the best I can do now because I’ve practiced and gotten better. And because I didn’t jump straight into the intensity, I’ve been able to keep consistent and actually make those improvements.

David Freeman

And to dial into the nutrition piece, the consistency is huge. Everybody’s body is going to operate differently based off how they’re being fueled, so what we want to do is be able to educate you with the resources, right, because it’s not a one size fits all, what works for me might be different for you, Jamie, and then for Maggie. So everybody’s body utilizes fuel sources differently, so what does that look like, and giving you the resources and the individuals who specialize in these areas to make sure you’re equipped with that, so we look at foundationally what we said earlier, sleep, right, is your foundation, nutrition, right, then exercise, but everybody focuses on the exercise and thinks they can out train a bad diet and sleep, and then they come to us after the results are not achieved and saying this isn’t working, and what we said is what you’re doing outside of the four walls is what’s not working, so that’s why we go back to the accountability and responsibility piece that we talked about earlier.

Jamie Martin

Absolutely. Well, I was just thinking about mechanics for a second because I think about how people’s body’s change over time, which you noted. You know, I think about, you know, my example, for instance, is I squat very differently than I did prior to having two kids, you know like how my body changed after a pregnancy, for instance, is very different. You know, if people have had an injury, if they’ve had a health condition that affects their mobility and they’ve been immobile for a while or they’ve been out of the gym, that is all going to affect how we move, right, and how we do that, and it can be really frustrating and humbling to have to take that step back, in some cases, and focus on those mechanics. That’s something I’m personally going through right now, and it’s been kind of frustrating but also eye opening when you take that time to kind of go back to the basics of mechanics and building that foundation.

Maggie Fazeli Fard

It can be really tempting in those moments when your body has changed for some reason to feel like you’re broken and to feel like there is something now wrong with you. I speak from personal experience, I had a back injury a number of years ago and went to my coaches and wanted them to fix me, and it took a really long time for me, and I think that people will be able to relate to this, to wrap your head around I am not broken, it’s just a different set of circumstances that I have to work with now, my starting point is different. So, even if the place that I want to get to, even if my goal is the same, my starting point is different, and I need to give myself a little bit of grace and a little bit of room because if I’m not willing to do that, well then, what can my coaches possibly do. That has to start with us, as exercisers, I think.

Jamie Martin

Yeah, taking that kind of ownness and accountability within your own habits, within that. So, one thing that we need to talk about is how much effort it really takes to make fitness progress, so let’s speak to that a little bit because I think it’s like, oh, I can exercise three days a week, and I’m going to make great progress, or I exercise five days a week, and that’s just my routine, let’s talk about that, what does it really take to make fitness progress?

David Freeman

Let me tell you another little tidbit that I always put out there. If we want to learn a new language and I told you that we’re going to practice that language twice a week, how long do you think it’s going to take for that language to be learned?

Jamie Martin

You’re not going to learn it.

Maggie Fazeli Fard

Forever.

David Freeman

Oh, you can learn it, it’s just going to take a long . . .

Jamie Martin

Like bits and pieces of it.

David Freeman

Right.

Jamie Martin

Right? Broken.

David Freeman

I mean, we all probably took whatever electives that we took in high school and in college, and we had our touches with whatever that subject was. By the end of the day, you have to be well versed not only those days that you’re in school with it but outside of school, submerge yourself within the culture, whatever it takes. So that’s why I would say the effort, I don’t want to put a number to it, it’s like the effort of how bad do you want it kind of will determine exactly how you’re going to achieve it, and I’m not saying that by all means necessary that you got to go crazy at going after that goal but just understand the more touches you have with it, that’s the effort that it’s going to take for you to arrive there, though.

Maggie Fazeli Fard

I will put a number on it. I am very much of the opinion that we all need to move one way or another every single day. That does not mean going to the gym and killing yourself in a metcon workout every single day, but maybe two or three times a week going really hard, four or five days a week going hard enough to get breathless.

On the other days, do a recovery workout, focus on mobility, go for a walk, go for a hike. And that doesn’t mean spike your heart rate walking so fast, it’s however fast you would walk if you were walking a puppy, right, puppies are sort of scurrying about, but it’s not a sprint, but every single day.

I think that if you are new to exercise, you can maybe get away with two or three times a week and see progress every week for a month or so, but beyond that, you’re not going to reach your goals in all likelihood, and you’re not going to feel as good you would. You truly will feel better if you find a way to move your body every day.

Jamie Martin

You bring something up here with saying like you will feel better, so I think there’s something about fitness that we often overlook like, yes, we talked about aesthetics already, but there’s a lot of stuff going on in the body, like when we have a regular exercise or fitness routine, there’s like things that happen and change from hormone changes to, you know, we might sleep better as a result of our program. What are your thoughts on that, like what are some of the other benefits that your clients and others and that research shows people often see when they have a consistent exercise routine?

David Freeman

Energy levels are elevated, they’re happier, which is a great thing. Family is now feeling the effects of that high energy and happiness, so a lot of these positive elements you start to see from individuals that start to become more and more active. They start to build up confidence that now goes into the job field. Now, they want to be more active and be more present within their job. It’s just a domino effect of all these great things that start to happen from becoming active, and they start to come out of their shell.

Maggie Fazeli Fard

And what I’ll add to that is actually the two things that came to mind first for me personally. One is that I am far less clumsy than I used to be. I just have like a better sense of where I am in space at a given time, and that, I mean, I have few farer injuries because I’m not like tripping over things or just walking into my desk standing up, I know where my body is, and that has translated into a sense of self and sort of a power that I didn’t have before that I can take into any environment, and the other thing that came to mind, and David you’ll be able to speak to this as well, is a sense of community.

The people that I have met through working out because there’s something really cool about sharing a space with somebody while your both are all doing something really hard. It forms a connection, so before you even speak words to each other, you’re somehow bonded just by the level of effort and the shared space, and oh man, my sense of community has increased so much. The depth of my friendships has increased, as well.

David Freeman

Yeah, tribe is powerful. Being part of a team over the years taught me personally a lot about commitment, sacrifice, and thinking outside of self when you have other individuals that depend and rely on you. So, when you’re in that community, it might not be the extreme of playing professional football or saving somebody’s life in the military, but it’s the sense of us going through something together, it is common means, and there to support one another, it is a powerful feeling, so yes, I would agree the community aspect is probably number one of why people keep coming back and wanting to continue to achieve and do more.

Jamie Martin

Well, and within that, you know, you think about you’re putting yourself in a vulnerable space, in some cases, you’re willing to try new things, and you have people there to cheer you on and lift you up, in many cases, and when you can be vulnerable within a community like that there’s something very courageous about that, I think, and it just builds you up in a way that you may not have expected within that. Anything else that you would want to add, Maggie, in terms of fitness, I mean, one of the things we did talk about is why it’s important to ask for help?

Maggie Fazeli Fard

One of my coaches . . . actually, my very first strength coach, he described not asking for help as trying to get your law degree using only the public library as a reference. You might be able to pass the bar, but you’re really going to struggle. In the gym, you’re doing essentially the same thing if you’re not asking for help, but now you’re under physical duress. We can make that easier for ourselves.

There are so many resources available within the clubs, online, there are coaches that you can connect with. It might feel like you’re spending more money than you have initially, but that investment up front, use a couple of sessions with a personal trainer to enroll in a small group fitness class to really learn how your body moves and maybe help identify your goals to help streamline that “why.” Oh, there is nothing that compares to having that, and the more you learn, the more you realize that you really do need sort of continuous support. I think every coach has a coach, every trainer has a trainer, you won’t find a good professional in this industry who isn’t continuing to educate themselves and getting assistance with their own programming, and so why should a new exerciser be any different.

Jamie Martin

And you mention there are so many resources out there, whether it’s an article, whether it’s talking to somebody when you walk into your health club or gym and just asking questions even if it’s just a question about can you just watch my form on this, you know, I just need you for five minutes.

Maggie Fazeli Fard

And trainers . . .

Jamie Martin

Have somebody take a video.

Maggie Fazeli Fard

Trainers are there to help.

David Freeman

Yeah.

Maggie Fazeli Fard

If you walk into a Life Time, you can walk up to anybody who works there and ask for help, and they will help you. It doesn’t have to be a huge commitment. If you don’t know how to use a piece of equipment, please ask. You don’t have to struggle with it or avoid it all together when that might be the thing that you were going to end up loving, so it doesn’t hurt to ask ever.

David Freeman

Yeah, in today’s society, what I’ve noticed within the fitness industry is if somebody is there to help, the assumption is they want something from me, and when you look at it, I understand it from . . . I like how you worded it because it is, it is an investment. And right then and there if I say, hey Jamie, this is what we’re going to do, it’s not something you can hold, it’s something that is an imaginary thing that I said I’m going to help you with. So therefore, it’s not like going to Starbucks and getting the coffee that you know you’re going to drink and you know exactly what you get from that coffee or the shoes that you like, and you get to put them on and walk out, it’s something that you have to wait for, in time you see it.

And that’s where there’s usually a disconnect because people want it so quickly, right, and I always draw this parallel of when someone comes in and they say they want to achieve something of weight loss of 20 pounds and this timeframe they want to achieve it in, let’s say it’s three months, and I just come back and I say, how long did it take you to gain the 20 pounds, and they say like two years, and then I let them hear themselves again. I say, you want to lose something that took you two years in three months, then they start to have the aha moment. So, it goes back to just understanding when you have fitness professionals asking you what it is that you need help with, look at it as an individual that’s trying to help you because just like with anything, if you’re in a store and you’re about to buy something, you usually have is there something I can help you with, people have been burnt, so therefore, it’s just a stigma now that you’re trying to sell me something. No, it’s something simple, we’re just trying to help you.

Jamie Martin

Yes. We’re just helping you move forward in some way, shape, or form even if it’s just that first introduction to the equipment or it’s helping you do that first squat — whatever it might be for you on your fitness journey.

So, Maggie, before we let you go, one thing that we’ve been asking all of our guests is when it comes to your own healthy living habits what are some of the things that are non-negotiable for you?

Maggie Fazeli Fard

The main non-negotiable is actually to make sure that I’m eating vegetables every day. At every meal is actually the goal because I know that I feel better if I’m getting a variety of vegetables throughout the day, and I’ve learned that, and I try to stick with it.

One that I’m a little bit less good at sticking with, but I want to make non-negotiable is sleep. I operate best in the like 8- to 9-hour window, and that is . . . everybody listening is probably groaning, that is really hard to achieve, but I have like a set bedtime and I stick with the bedtime. Whether or not I actually fall asleep it varies from day to day, but I don’t keep screens in the bedroom, I don’t have a TV, phone doesn’t come in, so it does increase my chances. And then what I mentioned before is finding a way to move every day, even if it’s a 20-minute walk.

Jamie Martin

Do you have a favorite way of moving? I mean, I know you do a lot of things, I know you personally, so?

Maggie Fazeli Fard

Yes, I do a lot of things. I guess strength training is probably tied with walking and hiking, those are the main big ones.

Jamie Martin

Well, thanks, Maggie, for joining us today. We’ll have to have you back another time.

Maggie Fazeli Fard

Thank you, I’d love it. 

[Music]

David Freeman

Thanks for joining us for this episode. As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on our conversation today and how you approach this aspect of healthy living in your own life, what works for you, where do you run into challenges, where do you need help.

Jamie Martin

And if you have topics for future episodes, you can share those with us too. Email us at lttalks@lt.life or reach out to us on Instagram @lifetime.life, @jamiemartinel, or @freezy30 and use the hashtag #LifeTimeTalks. You can also learn more about the podcast at experiencelife.com/podcast.

David Freeman

And if you’re enjoying Life Time Talks, please subscribe on iTunes or wherever you get your podcast. Feel free to write a review and also let others know about it, too. Take a screenshot of this episode and share it on social or share it with your friends, family, work buddies, life coach, you get the gist.

Jamie Martin

Thanks for listening. We’ll talk to you next time on Life Time Talks.

[Music]

Jamie Martin

Life Time Talks is a production of Life Time — Healthy Way of Life. It is produced by Molly Schelper with audio engineering by Peter Perkins and sound consulting by Coy Larson. A big thank you to the team who pulls together each episode and everyone who provided feedback.

We’d Love to Hear From You

Have thoughts you’d like to share or topic ideas for future episodes? Email us at lttalks@lt.life.

The information in this podcast is intended to provide broad understanding and knowledge of healthcare topics. This information is for educational purposes only and should not be considered complete and should not be used in place of advice from your physician or healthcare provider. We recommend you consult your physician or healthcare professional before beginning or altering your personal exercise, diet or supplementation program.

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