Now that you have learned about Denise’s background, Denise explains how her approach to health is different as a result of her unique expertise, tips on how to stay healthy while at work or working long hours and advice on how to start a fitness routine later in life.
You’re a physical therapist and a fitness instructor. How is your approach to health different as a result of your unique expertise?
My work experience allows me to work with people of different ages, backgrounds and abilities. Quite often, my PT and fitness programs and progressions overlap. And certainly both have an impact on the choices I make in my own life. Because most of my physical therapy patients are older, I often see the repercussions and benefits of the lifestyles that people have led, including choices of food, exercise, work responsibilities, body mechanics and postural alignment. This insight is infused into my teaching style, where I’m often seen as conservative and overly concerned with postural alignment, breathing and less aggressive progressions. However that doesn’t believe that a workout should be “easy”, for myself or others…just safe and effective for each person!
You work with companies to develop corporate wellness programs – how can women stay healthy while at work or working long hours?
It’s very important for individuals to infuse activity, proper posture and alignment and correct movement strategies while in their working environments. If a job requires prolonged sitting, I recommend taking intermittent walks, standing breaks and performing chair stretches to increase circulation, range of motion and changing one’s alignment. When sitting at a desk, ensure that your work environment supports correct postural alignment and the best possible organization of your environment to avoid unnecessary bending, lifting and rotation. Additionally, choose a chair that offers back support and allows your knees to remain over your ankles while your feet are on the floor. If your job requires prolonged standing and walking, ensure that your shoes offer good support and comfort. Take the time to stretch your ankles, hips and back, as well as standing tall with beautiful posture! Most of all drink plenty of water and remain hydrated!
What’s your advice for someone who wants to start a fitness routine later in life?
My advice is that it’s NEVER too late to start a fitness routine! Make it fun and make it personal! By this, I mean, choose a routine that you will enjoy doing and adjust the moves and exercises so that you feel simultaneously challenged and successful. There are many different fitness programs available, including ones that are dance based, use light weights, performed in a chair or require a trained professional to guide and instruct you. Additionally, start gradually and build up your endurance, strength, balance and mobility. There is no need to be exhausted or injured! My favorite saying is that “it’s better to finish and say ‘I could have done more… rather than saying ‘I over did it and now I’m paying for it”.
What do you tell your clients to keep them motivated?
I remind them of the benefits of including activity in their lives, including improved heart health, flexibility, decreased osteoporosis and improved ability to participate in all facets of life…for the rest of their life.
What is your favorite fitness routine/go-to workout when you’re short on time?
If my day is jam packed and I can’t get to my normal workout, I squeeze in 1-5 minute bursts of jogging in place throughout my day. This may sound crazy, but it increases my heart rate, boosts my metabolism, and certainly elevates my mood.