On June 4th we celebrated our 6-month anniversary of opening Active Health Solutions. The mini-milestone passed without too much fuss for us as we’ve been thinking ahead and planning for the summer and beyond. For the past month we’ve started collecting comments and ‘wins’ from various members of our community for our Success Shrine, and these have been making us think about our values and WHY we do what we do.
Teaching in the academic field of Kinesiology (the study of human movement), we have always taught our college students about exercise – what it means and the various components. The basic first-year textbook lists the definition of exercise as “the planned, structured, repetitive movements of the body designed to improve or maintain physical fitness.” Yes, technically this is what we know exercise to be, BUT, this word “exercise” can evoke such negative feelings for people. And yes, technically this what we are doing at AHS, but we are hearing much more positive comments from our participants.
Our classes are designed to work on the various components of physical health – cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance (and strength), flexibility, and balance – that will support our community of movers in a way that helps them live life with some quality. The BEST comments that we have heard lately … which proves to us that we are doing what we intend to do (and to stand by our values) … are the ones that are some sort of version of the following:
“I come here and I see progress, but I don’t kill myself in class.”
“My class isn’t overwhelming but I know it is helping me because I feel so much better.”
“I am able to work in my garden for 6 hours without being exhausted. And I haven’t been able to do that in years!”
And these comments are just the tip of the iceberg, we love hearing the wins and can’t wait until our sticky note poster of Success Stories is completely filled up (and then we’ll get another one going!).
We are excited to celebrate right along with our participants. We are redefining exercise for our special group of people. To improve your health and daily function, exercise does not have to be so hard that you are in pain or you are too exhausted to do anything else for the rest of the day.
In our classes we do a lot of corrective activities and focus on trying to move our body different ways. Much of our lives involve repetitive movements in the same direction and pattern. In addition, the exercises we choose often repeat these patterns. The benefits we want our members to experience include improved strength, mobility, and capacity (think about your ‘energy levels’) to allow them to participate more fully in their life outside of our facility. We would like everyone to be able to include more movement in their overall day – not just participate in a 1-hour exercise class. We believe passionately that exercise is NOT the only kind of movement that we need for good health. Exercise represents a small portion of the full spectrum of movements that our bodies are capable of and it is so important that we use our bodies in as many ways as we can for as much of the day.
And every week we add some new people to our growing community of movers. We love the learning and the progress and are thrilled to be evolving to meet the needs of our participants while streamlining our WHY. It is only making us stronger as a community – which incidentally, is a goal of exercise!