Guest Blogger – Katie
Katie is an SFIC certified fitness instructor, as well as a licensed Zumba, Zumba Kids, Zumba Gold and Zumbini instructor. She is a former elementary school teacher, a mom and a wife, and importantly for this post, a UWO Music Grad.
But wow! What a weekend! Yes, campus is beautiful and residence is still fun. I dragged Annie all over campus and exposed her to the Music Building, Talbot College and even more exciting, a double bass! I told her more than she ever wanted to know about the area and imparted lots of my unique wisdom like, “Hey! That field used to be a field!” But most importantly, our passion and drive to MOVE ALL THE PEOPLE was reignited!
We listened to Professors and Doctors discuss cutting edge, not even published yet, research studies and realized that the science behind activity and aging was fascinating. I learned about sarcopenia, the loss of muscle as we age. It starts at age 25. Yes, 25! And as terrifying as that is, we also learned how regular moderate to vigorous activity can drastically slow the inevitable process. We learned how activity boosters immune systems and can make an almost ineffective flu shot effective again! How activity stimulates brain function, mood, slows the progress of dementia and decreases chronic pain! As exercisers this all makes sense to us, but this was real scientific proof backed up by many, many studies.
I think my biggest take away, besides some exercises that are seriously going to hurt my participants this week, is that even people who are meeting the weekly minimum requirements for activity can still be living what is considered a sedentary lifestyle. I’m a huge culprit. I do my work out, then teach a class or two, and then go home and sit on the couch for a few hours. Or I run around all day and then collapse as soon as the kids are in bed. “Sitting is the new smoking.” We heard that a lot of times this weekend. I’ve realized the importance of encouraging people to move outside of class time. To go for short walks as possible throughout the day, or even to stand up during commercial breaks. Hey…it adds up! Yesterday the CCAA sent out an article suggesting 2 minutes of walking for every hour of sitting. Easy! Frankly, my family is a little sick of me making them stand up already, but we’ll get used to it!
I knew I loved working with this demographic, and I knew I was passionate about the results they can achieve through regular activity. But now, after this weekend, I feel humbled and full of joy that I have been given the opportunity to help people discover the benefits for themselves. A number of times this weekend I had goose bumps listening to the results of studies. And as I sat (and periodically stood) at home on Sunday and absorbed what I had learned, I realized that there is no other place in the world for me. I’ve been brought home, to the best and greatest job in the world, and I am overwhelmed with love and joy.