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
  • Congratulations to the #LifeBridgeHealth SuperStar employees! These employees have been nominated by their coworkers for going above and beyond the call of duty, every day. Thank you, for all that you do! #TeamLifeBridge [From top left to bottom right: Dujon Williams of #CarrollHospital, Gladys Cox of #NorthwestHospital, Timothy Squire of #Levindale, and Sean Curran of #SinaiHospital] #EmployeeAppreciation #HealthCare #Maryland

    lifebridgehealth: "Congratulations to the #LifeBridgeHealth SuperStar employees! These employees have been nominated by their coworkers for going above and beyond the call of duty, every day. Thank you, for all that you do! #TeamLifeBridge
[From top left to bottom right: Dujon Williams of #CarrollHospital, Gladys Cox of #NorthwestHospital, Timothy Squire of #Levindale, and Sean Curran of #SinaiHospital] #EmployeeAppreciation #HealthCare #Maryland"
    23
    0
  • To celebrate #RandomActsofKindnessDay, the Employee Activities Committee at #SinaiHospital and Interim COO Jonathan Ringo, M.D. joined forces to greet employees on their way into work, to give them a delicious cup of hot chocolate! Thanks to all the employees who stopped by and joined us! #RAKWeek2017

    lifebridgehealth: "To celebrate #RandomActsofKindnessDay, the Employee Activities Committee at #SinaiHospital and Interim COO Jonathan Ringo, M.D. joined forces to greet employees on their way into work, to give them a delicious cup of hot chocolate! Thanks to all the employees who stopped by and joined us! #RAKWeek2017"
    21
    0
  • #DidYouKnow #Heartdisease doesn’t only affect men. It is the leading cause of death for women as well as men in the United States. To help educate our community about this disease, Dr. Bridgette C. Provost of BW Primary Care, a #LifeBridgeHealth partner, spoke about the misconceptions of heart disease in women at our “Girls Night Out” community event on February 2. #HeartMonth #HeartHealth #KnowYourNumbers

    lifebridgehealth: "#DidYouKnow #Heartdisease doesn’t only affect men. It is the leading cause of death for women as well as men in the United States.
To help educate our community about this disease, Dr. Bridgette C. Provost of BW Primary Care, a #LifeBridgeHealth partner, spoke about the misconceptions of heart disease in women at our “Girls Night Out” community event on February 2.  #HeartMonth #HeartHealth #KnowYourNumbers"
    18
    0
  • #DYK Every 40 seconds someone has a stroke in the U.S., but 80% of all strokes are preventable. #WednesdayWisdom #KnowYourNumbers (📸 credit: @american_heart)

    lifebridgehealth: "#DYK Every 40 seconds someone has a stroke in the U.S., but 80% of all strokes are preventable. #WednesdayWisdom #KnowYourNumbers (📸 credit: @american_heart)"
    11
    0
  • We had a great time decorating cupcakes today with @hopeforhenry today! #ValentinesDay

    lifebridgehealth: "We had a great time decorating cupcakes today with @hopeforhenry today! #ValentinesDay"
    19
    0
  • What's happening here? #LifeBridgeHealth is getting ready to launch our latest #employee engagement survey, and we're peeling back the curtain on how it all works. We're doing a video with our survey consultant to explain how his company gathers employee feedback while keeping individual responses anonymous. #behindthescenes #staytuned #Maryland #employeeappreciation

    lifebridgehealth: "What's happening here? #LifeBridgeHealth is getting ready to launch our latest #employee engagement survey, and we're peeling back the curtain on how it all works. We're doing a video with our survey consultant to explain how his company gathers employee feedback while keeping individual responses anonymous. #behindthescenes #staytuned #Maryland #employeeappreciation"
    17
    0
  • As part of our #employee engagement initiative, we asked employees to share with us what they like best about working at #LifeBridgeHealth. Here's what one #SinaiHospital employee had to say. #Healthcare #Hospital #LoveWhereYouWork #DoWhatYouLove

    lifebridgehealth: "As part of our #employee engagement initiative, we asked employees to share with us what they like best about working at #LifeBridgeHealth. Here's what one #SinaiHospital employee had to say.

#Healthcare #Hospital #LoveWhereYouWork #DoWhatYouLove"
    18
    0
  • One of #CBS News’ favorites, #CharlieRose, is to undergo heart surgery. @LBHealth Dr. Christopher Kwon takes the mystery out of the surgery and tells us what we should all know tonight at 5 pm on CBS #Baltimore. #Maryland #HeartHealth #HeartMonth

    lifebridgehealth: "One of #CBS News’ favorites, #CharlieRose, is to undergo heart surgery. @LBHealth Dr. Christopher Kwon takes the mystery out of the surgery and tells us what we should all know tonight at 5 pm on CBS #Baltimore. #Maryland #HeartHealth #HeartMonth"
    21
    0
  • The new signs are here! Check out these bright banners around the #SinaiHospital campus highlighting some great achievements, including the U.S. News & World Report rankings for the hospital itself as well as the Departments of Neurology and Neurology. #LifeBridgeHealth #Maryland #Healthcare #Hospital

    lifebridgehealth: "The new signs are here! Check out these bright banners around the #SinaiHospital campus highlighting some great achievements, including the U.S. News & World Report rankings for the hospital itself as well as the Departments of Neurology and Neurology. #LifeBridgeHealth #Maryland #Healthcare #Hospital"
    41
    1
  • #LifeBridgeHealth has gone red! Today the staff across our facilities wore red to support the #AmericanHeartAssociation and their fight against heart disease and stroke! #GoRedWearRed #HeartHealth

    lifebridgehealth: "#LifeBridgeHealth has gone red! Today the staff across our facilities wore red to support the #AmericanHeartAssociation and their fight against heart disease and stroke! #GoRedWearRed #HeartHealth"
    24
    1