As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been interested in alternative medicine, nutrition, and a healthy lifestyle. Those interests drove my decision to become a chiropractor and complete my certification in acupuncture. But, I think it’s safe to say that the majority of Hoosiers would agree that clean eating, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle aren’t prioritized in Indiana. I’ve lived in Indiana most of my life, and the truth is that I don’t follow a strict diet 100% of the time. I love the occasional tenderloin (If you’re not from Indiana, let me educate you. A tenderloin is a huge, breaded, salty, fried piece of pork tenderloin commonly eaten on a hamburger bun [For the record, my mouth is watering as I type.], and if you ever visit Indiana, eating a tenderloin should go on the To Do list.). We probably eat pizza once a month, ice cream is the food I could never go without, and I don’t love exercising.
In fact, up until 45 days ago, I hadn’t regularly exercised since March of 2014. My first baby was born in October of 2014, and my second was born in March of 2016. A month and a half ago, my weight was within a few pounds of pre-pregnancy weight, but I felt weak and was still utilizing the rubber band trick to button my pants (My fellow moms know!). I’m a mobile chiropractor and acupuncturist, so I haul around a 50 pound portable chiropractic table and lift it in and out of my SUV between appointments, which was a struggle. A little over a month and a half ago, I made the decision to start exercising again. I wanted to be stronger and more toned, but I also wanted to get into the habit of exercising to positively impact my health over the long term and set a good example for my kids.
Remember when I said I don’t love exercising? Don’t get me wrong…I love taking walks, dancing, and yoga, but the thought of going to a gym for an hour or two to lift weights and jump on a treadmill sounds about as fun as watching grass grow. When I decided to start exercising again, I remembered that a friend mentioned a program called Bikini Body Mommy to me a couple of years ago. (Read more in depth about it here, but there are several free 90 day challenges and 6 week challenges that you can stream, and none of the workouts are longer than 20 minutes since they’re High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts. I’m not affiliated with Bikini Body Mommy, by the way; I just love the program!) Half-way through the first 90 day challenge, I’ve noticed that I look forward to working out every day. Why? Because I’m no longer struggling with lifting my portable table in and out of my vehicle. My daughter likes “exercising” with me to “Body Mommy” videos. I no longer have to use a hair tie to button my jeans! As an added bonus, exercise has taken my normally anxious mind down a notch. Of course I’m not saying that everyone should start a 90 day Bikini Body Mommy challenge or adopt HIIT as their go-to form of exercise. It’s just what has worked well with my schedule and I’ve enjoyed.
As a last note on HIIT, I recently encountered an entry on HIIT in the Official Disability Guidelines Diabetes Chapter, which included some pretty exciting and interesting information. Should you decide to add some HIIT to your life, here are some fun facts to motivate you:
- HIIT boosts human growth hormone production
- HIIT significantly improves insulin sensitivity, boosts fat loss, and increases muscle growth
- Studies on the impact of HIIT on patients with type 2 diabetes found that HIIT improved 2-hour glucose tolerance, improves cardiac structure and function, and decreases visceral fat.
- ***It was noted that adverse events associated with exercise primarily relate to undiagnosed heart disease, so screening for heart disease is recommended.***
The moral of the story is that I wish I would’ve made it a priority to find 20 minutes a day to exercise years ago. Very few people don’t have 20 minutes a day. Even if it’s not HIIT, go on a walk, or dance in your living room for 20 minutes. Your body and mind will thank you!