The Key to Exercise – Finding An Activity That Fits You

Written by Bettina M. Straight, Employee Engagement  & Communications Consultant at LifeBridge Health

After my bariatric surgery in July of 2010 I knew I needed to incorporate exercise into my new lifestyle. The scale started moving in the right direction due to my new eating patterns and exercise was my ticket to even greater health and weight loss. TRUE CONFESSION: For the first 6 months I didn’t do any formal exercise. First of all, shame on me - but it’s the truth so I’ll own it. What I did do, however, was move more than I did when I was morbidly obese and that in and of itself helped for awhile. I took the stairs more, got up during commercials to do some dishes, change the laundry, straighten up something upstairs… it all helped me get my body moving until I was ready to do more.

In March of 2011 my partner forwarded me an email about a class called Drums Alive that was taking place at a local gym. Armed with a pair of drum sticks you stood behind an exercise ball that was on a stand and you drummed to music. It sounded fun but I was not a member at that gym and didn’t have the $65 a month it cost to join. Fast forward two short weeks and Groupon had a deal for 5 yoga or Drums Alive classes for only $12 and it was at a fitness center just 10 minutes from my house - no membership required! I had no excuses, so I made the purchase and the next week I vowed to go.

The first thing I noticed when I walked into the class was that there were women of all shapes, sizes, colors, ages, and experience there. Some were fit and 50 and some were getting fit in their 20s. Some looked nervous and a little unsure of things like me, and others were chatting with folks they knew. I went alone and told myself it was good that I was doing something just for me and that I could handle one class, couldn’t I? Who knew I could fall in love with a class in only one hour!

Bettina with Patrick Leonard, Owner of Universal Fitness and Drums Alive Instructor.

Four months later if you need me on a Tuesday or a Thursday (or Saturday’s if we’re in town) you had best put on some shorts and a t-shirt and meet me at the gym!  Two to three times a week I am squatting, lunging, jumping and drumming along with others who have found Drums Alive to be their key to exercise. It took me 2-3 classes to get into the routine and I admit, I felt really uncoordinated at first, but it didn’t take long before I caught on and was keeping up. Our instructor Patrick doesn’t stop for 45 minutes and by then I am completely drenched, breathing hard, and enjoying that wonderful endorphin kick that exercise gives me.

View of the drums.

A few weeks ago I was picked to come in front of the class and “drum a song” with Patrick and it reinforced my interest in becoming a certified instructor, an idea that is both thrilling and seemingly insane to me considering I’ve only been at it for a few months. I am by no means a gym rat, a hard body, or a fitness guru. What I am is a woman pushing 40 who has found an exercise that is fun, challenging, low impact and calorie burning that keeps me coming back.

Here's a video of Patrick teaching a Drums Alive class at Universal Fitness in Baltimore (Bettina is also in the video):

My treadmill in the basement never stood a chance - being in a group class is the most effective way for me to exercise so I’m going to stick with it. Every week I invite friends to join me and every now and then a familiar face will show up but even if they don’t - I’m the one welcoming new faces to my Drums Alive class, knowing that it might just be the work out that makes it all click for someone like it did me.

For more information on Drums Alive visit:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/03/15/AR2011031502594.html

Read Bettina's previous post titled Taking Back Life One Pound at a Time

To schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained physicians and find out why LifeBridge Health is Baltimore's premier health care organization, call 410-601-WELL.

Print this entry

2 Responses

  1. Good for you! I agree finding something you like is what works. Drum's alive is so much fun. I am a Zumba addict personally. I am sure you feel so much better now that your fit. Congrats!
  2. Maddy
    Yay you! Go grrl! What a happy story. Mine is eerily parallel insofar as I never thought I'd become a fitness instructor just shy of turning 51. And how what I do involves others, spreads joy, camraderie and probably there's a bit of DNA flinging going on as we perspire :-) All that to say, I FEEL YOU, GRRL! You look fabulous, healthy, vibrant and shiny. So great to see you thusly. Keep drumming. Keep moving. I have discovered that it truly is the fountain of youth. love, Maddy

Leave a comment

*

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

LinkedId

Instagram

Follow Me on Instagram
  • As a sponsor of #Baltimore's 2017 Light City festival, #LifeBridgeHealth was thrilled to join city leaders, including Mayor Catherine Pugh, for today's announcement about the bigger, bright and bolder festival coming this spring. It was excited to hear about the amazing art, music and cultural events that are planned. #LightCity2017

    lifebridgehealth: "As a sponsor of #Baltimore's 2017 Light City festival, #LifeBridgeHealth was thrilled to join city leaders, including Mayor Catherine Pugh, for today's announcement about the bigger, bright and bolder festival coming this spring. It was excited to hear about the amazing art, music and cultural events that are planned. #LightCity2017"
    14
    0
  • Congratulations to our January #LifeBridgeHealth SuperStar #employees! These employees have been nominated by their coworkers for going above and beyond, every day. We appreciate all that you do! Thank you. #TeamLifeBridge From top left to bottom right: Jill Horn of #CarrollHospital; Catherine Oyedeji-Ojo of #SinaiHospital; Sylvester Campbell of #Levindale; and Donna Miller of #NorthwestHospital

    lifebridgehealth: "Congratulations to our January #LifeBridgeHealth SuperStar #employees! These employees have been nominated by their coworkers for going above and beyond, every day. We appreciate all that you do! Thank you. #TeamLifeBridge 
From top left to bottom right: Jill Horn of #CarrollHospital; Catherine Oyedeji-Ojo of #SinaiHospital; Sylvester Campbell of #Levindale; and Donna Miller of #NorthwestHospital"
    17
    0
  • #Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot (second from left) stopped by #SinaiHospital today for a tour. He is seen here with Dr. Jonathan Ringo (Sinai Hospital interim chief operating officer), Neil Meltzer (LifeBridge Health president and CEO), Martha Nathanson (LifeBridge Health vice president of government and community development), George Mitchell (Neighborhoods United president) and Dr. Scott Brown (chief of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Sinai). #LifeBridgeHealth

    lifebridgehealth: "#Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot (second from left) stopped by #SinaiHospital today for a tour. He is seen here with Dr. Jonathan Ringo (Sinai Hospital interim chief operating officer), Neil Meltzer (LifeBridge Health president and CEO), Martha Nathanson (LifeBridge Health vice president of government and community development), George Mitchell (Neighborhoods United president) and Dr. Scott Brown (chief of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Sinai). #LifeBridgeHealth"
    27
    0
  • This week in our #TeamLifeBridge spotlight, meet our Health Information Management Coders. This hardworking group of professionals is responsible for assigning codes that describe a patient’s care and diagnoses. These codes are then stored and used to support billing, quality reporting, and reimbursement programs. #LifeBridgeHealth #EmployeeAppreciation #Healthcare #Employees

    lifebridgehealth: "This week in our #TeamLifeBridge spotlight, meet our Health Information Management Coders. This hardworking group of professionals is responsible for assigning codes that describe a patient’s care and diagnoses. These codes are then stored and used to support billing, quality reporting, and reimbursement programs. #LifeBridgeHealth #EmployeeAppreciation #Healthcare #Employees"
    16
    3
  • Why was #WBALTV 11 talking to members of a local #motorcycle club at #NorthwestHospital? On January 11, tune into the 5:00 pm news and learn how this club is helping women with #breastcancer. This story is part of #BuddyCheck11, our partnership with WBAL that encourages you to check in with a buddy on the 11th of each month to remind each other to perform a breast #selfexam. #LifeBridgeHealth #Prevention #Cancer

    lifebridgehealth: "Why was #WBALTV 11 talking to members of a local #motorcycle club at #NorthwestHospital? On January 11, tune into the 5:00 pm news and learn how this club is helping women with #breastcancer. 
This story is part of #BuddyCheck11, our partnership with WBAL that encourages you to check in with a buddy on the 11th of each month to remind each other to perform a breast #selfexam.
#LifeBridgeHealth #Prevention #Cancer"
    20
    2
  • Shoveling #snow is a moderate-intensity #exercise that often results in injury when done incorrectly. To avoid injury this season it’s important to take the extra time to be prepared, and use proper form and equipment – your legs, back and heart will thank you! #Winter #InjuryPrevention #WednesdayWisdom

    lifebridgehealth: "Shoveling #snow is a moderate-intensity #exercise that often results in injury when done incorrectly. To avoid injury this season it’s important to take the extra time to be prepared, and use proper form and equipment – your legs, back and heart will thank you! #Winter #InjuryPrevention #WednesdayWisdom"
    16
    0
  • #LifeBridgeHealth wishes everyone a healthy and joyous 2017! #NewYear

    lifebridgehealth: "#LifeBridgeHealth wishes everyone a healthy and joyous 2017! #NewYear"
    17
    0
  • Let’s meet this week’s representatives of #TeamLifeBridge: our Telecom Department! With 15 operators and two team leads, the #LifeBridgeHealth Telecom Department is available 24/7 to provide a wealth of information to our customers. We appreciate all that you do and the 24/7 commitment you make to our organization. #LifeBridgeHealth #EmployeeAppreciation #EmployeeOfTheWeek #HealthCare #CustomerService #Spotlight #Appreciate #WorkHard

    lifebridgehealth: "Let’s meet this week’s representatives of #TeamLifeBridge: our Telecom Department! With 15 operators and two team leads, the #LifeBridgeHealth Telecom Department is available 24/7 to provide a wealth of information to our customers. We appreciate all that you do and the 24/7 commitment you make to our organization. #LifeBridgeHealth #EmployeeAppreciation #EmployeeOfTheWeek #HealthCare #CustomerService #Spotlight #Appreciate #WorkHard"
    19
    0
  • #LifeBridgeHealth teams are showing their caring this season! In the spirit of the #holidays, the entire Therapeutic Recreation Department of #Levindale decided to cancel their annual #giftexchange and instead bought #gifts for a local family in need! They say they hope their contributions bring some #holiday cheer to their adopted family! (not pictured: Amanda Bojan, Shellia Lavezzary) . . . #GiveBack #HolidaySpirit #CommunityOutreach

    lifebridgehealth: "#LifeBridgeHealth teams are showing their caring this season! In the spirit of the #holidays, the entire Therapeutic Recreation Department of #Levindale decided to cancel their annual #giftexchange and instead bought #gifts for a local family in need! They say they hope their contributions bring some #holiday cheer to their adopted family! (not pictured: Amanda Bojan, Shellia Lavezzary)
.
.
. 
#GiveBack #HolidaySpirit #CommunityOutreach"
    14
    0
  • Our #LifeBridgeHealth employees and patients had a great time getting into the holiday spirit at our annual facility #holiday parties. On behalf of our team, we'd like to wish everyone a very safe, happy, and healthy holiday season. . . . #SinaiHospital #NorthwestHospital #Levindale #Celebrate #HolidayParty #EmployeeParty #OfficeParty #Healthcare #Maryland #2016

    lifebridgehealth: "Our #LifeBridgeHealth employees and patients had a great time getting into the holiday spirit at our annual facility #holiday parties. On behalf of our team, we'd like to wish everyone a very safe, happy, and healthy holiday season.
.
.
.
#SinaiHospital #NorthwestHospital #Levindale #Celebrate #HolidayParty #EmployeeParty #OfficeParty #Healthcare #Maryland #2016"
    26
    0