Guest: Shay de Silva
Guest Bio: Shay de Silva is an NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Nutrition Specialist. Learning how to work out anytime, anywhere, with no equipment, completely changed her life. Between endless meetings and jet lag, it was often difficult to find time (and energy!) for hour-long gym sessions. She spent a lot of time looking for a workout program that fit her busy lifestyle. Workouts that were short, intense, and varied so as not to get bored. Shay’s search motivated her to launch Fastfitnesstogo.com.
Shay DeSilva talks about her motivation to develop her own fitness routines and to launch Fastfitnesstogo.com.
Health Professional Radio – Motivation to Develop Her Own Fitness Routine
Neal Howard: Hello. You’re listening to Health Professional Radio. I’m your host Neal Howard. We hear a lot about staying healthy, eating right, but when it comes to being healthy and staying healthy, what we hear the most about is exercise, exercise of all sorts—weights and swimming and running and skiing—all sorts of exercise. But we’re also busy. We’re a very busy society. We’ve got things to do and well, there are a myriad of excuses as to why we don’t exercise—we don’t have the time, it’s boring, it’s sweaty, it’s messy, there’s no place to do it, there’s not enough room.
Well, our guest in studio today, Ms. Shay De Silva, is here to dispel some of those myths, some of those excuses, and tell us how we can stay in shape no matter where we are, no matter what we’re doing. How are you doing today, Shay?
Shay De Silva: I’m doing great. How are you?
Shay: That’s right. You can exercise anywhere. That’s one of my main points that I like to get across, is you don’t need to be in a gym. You don’t need any equipment. You can be sitting at work at your desk, you can be laying in bed in the morning, you can really get in a workout anywhere.
Neal: Now, you are a certified personal trainer and nutritional specialist through the NASM, correct?
Shay: That’s correct.
Neal: And also the founder of fastfitnesstogo.com. Could you talk a bit about the website? Why did you launch Fast Fitness to Go?
Shay: Well, I had always been into fitness and exercise, and really relied on my daily workouts just to sort of stay focused and grounded for the day, reduce my stress levels. And I was working as a consultant, so I was traveling all the time. The jet lag was awful, and I just couldn’t keep up with my workouts. So I was tired, I was cranky, I was gaining weight, I was looking for a solution, and I really couldn’t find one.
There are tons of videos that you can find on YouTube. Some have equipment, some don’t, and I just found that it was a lot of digging to try to find something that worked for me, and–
Neal: Those late-night commercials? [laughs]
Shay: Right, exactly. I was just trying one thing after another, and nothing just seemed to do it. I would get bored, I would find out I needed to buy something, I would be on a two-week long trip and realise I forgot my sneakers. And so two years ago, I decided enough is enough, I’m going to get certified as a personal trainer and make my own program. And that’s what I did.
Neal: So basically, it’s not like you were never into fitness. You were a fitness … well, you were into it. I wouldn’t say a junkie, but you kept fit, you kept on the go, and you were exercising in the traditional sense, but it became overwhelming, too much to try and incorporate exercise with your busy schedule. So I just want to be clear that it’s not like you just woke up one day and said, “You know what? I want to exercise while lying in bed.” It’s not like that.
Shay: You’re right. I definitely wouldn’t say I was ever a fitness junkie. It was more one of those things that I just … my days were better when I exercised, and so I would go to the gym in the morning, just like plenty of people do, and eventually life got in the way. And all of a sudden, I couldn’t go to the gym. There was no time. And all of a sudden, it became clear to me how people …
I always thought, “Oh, how do people have all these excuses? It’s so easy. Just go to the gym in the morning,” until you’re in that situation and you realise, “Oh, it’s really not that easy. It can be tough,” and it shouldn’t be.
Neal: I’ve been in the gym. I’ve played ball. I’ve run. All sorts of things in an attempt to stay fit, at least a little bit flexible. But you get that tired feeling. That motivation factor sometimes just isn’t there, and you skip a day, and then you find out a day turns into a week. What can you do when you’re feeling tired and unmotivated?
Shay: The first thing to do is to do something. So if you don’t feel like you can go and do a full workout, maybe stand up and do 15 or 20 jumping jacks, or go for a walk around the block. So something to get you motivated. And there are plenty of articles written about how if you do that, then you’re more likely to do a full workout. And that’s true, but even if you don’t do that full workout, moving your body is always better than not moving your body, so just doing something.
And then finding … most people are motivated by music, so I always tell people, “Find a playlist that you like. Have it be something you look forward to. And on those days that you don’t want to workout, maybe you at least want to listen to your favourite music, and that can be a big motivator for getting started.”
Neal: Music does move the body. Now, I interrupted you, and I apologise. You were about to fast forward. You were talking about your motivation for launching the website and becoming a certified personal trainer. Now, in my mind, becoming a certified personal trainer involves traditional exercise—the stretching, the jumping, the moving, the sweating. How did you transition from the traditional exercise to exercising … I guess, hiding-in-plain-sight exercising? [laughs]
Shay: Well, so just to be clear, I do include a lot of traditional fitness moves in my videos. So the foundation of the programme is a membership area where people log in, and there are 50 full-body workout videos, 20 to 25 minutes, and they’re pretty intense workouts. So they’re meant to replace an hour-long gym session, and you do the jumping, the stretching, the sweating. But, the thing that I wanted to be different than your average fitness site, where you go on and they have those traditional exercises is, first of all, mine have no equipment, no weights.
So you don’t need a chair, you don’t need a wall, you don’t need a mat, you don’t need anything. But if you can’t do those workouts on the days when you are really busy, there are still other things that you can do. So it’s not an all-or-nothing situation. If you can’t do those videos one day, sure, you can work out while you’re sitting in your airplane seat or while you’re lying in bed at night. You can do a few stretches. So it doesn’t have to be that either do this programme or don’t do anything at all.
Neal: So you have options based on what may be going on in a person’s life that particular day or that particular week or on that particular business trip, right?
Shay: Mm-hmm, exactly.
Neal: When you’re unmotivated as far as exercise is concerned, or maybe you’ve just grown tired of the whole … you know, the weights and the time going to gym, the changing of the clothes and that sort of thing … and you’ve been doing this for a while, maybe your whole life or maybe on into your thirties and forties, you just kind of settle into some bad habits as far as exercise is concerned. Now, how do you turn that around?
Shay: Well, a lot of people, when they all of a sudden realise they have this bad habit they want to change is they try to just go cold turkey and say, “Okay, every day now I’m going to eat a healthy breakfast,” or go to the gym every day.
Neal: Drink a lot of water.
Shay: Drink a lot of water. Exactly. So whatever that habit is that you’re trying to change, you need to really make it fit in with your current lifestyle and what you’re used to. So you might drink that extra water or do your workout for a few days, but eventually, it won’t work unless it fits in with what you’re doing. So one of my favourite books is The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, and so what he explains is that you need to come up with a trigger and a reward.
So let’s say, for your example of drinking water – let’s say every morning, you wake up, you have some coffee, you feel great, and then you go off to work. So your trigger would be you woke up, normally you have the coffee. So right before that, you have a big glass of water, and then maybe that coffee is your reward. So you’re fitting that extra glass of water into something you’re already doing.
Neal: So you’re not just … at least psychologically, having a negative attitude about, “Well, I just have to cut this totally out,” or do this totally and nothing else. At least you’re kind of sliding into it and weaning yourself from a bad habit and turning it into a beneficial habit, yeah?
Shay: Right. And also, making it something that you’ll remember. So every morning, you know you’re going to wake up, you know you’re going to have that coffee. So putting the glass of water in between the two, it makes it easy to remember. If you go and take a sip of the coffee before the water, it’s an easy association in your head, so that you don’t forget.
Neal: Now, on your website, you’re offering access to videos, access to information. You have a blog that you do, yeah?
Neal: Now, do you offer tips and tricks? Are there things that a person could just go to your website and at least begin to start on a healthy regimen?
Shay: Oh, absolutely. At least once a week, I post a new video with a new move, and then I also post a tip. The tips that I write about are usually things that people have written in to me about that are struggles and that they’re having trouble with. So my goal is to be putting out information that’s genuinely helpful and that people can act on. So not just putting what I think is good for fitness, but giving action items – “Okay, here’s something you can do today and see if it works for you.”
If it does, great. If not, okay, then move on and try something else. Which is also important when anyone’s doing anything health- or fitness-related, is keep trying new things until you find what works for you. So what works for me might be totally different than what you like and what works for you.
Neal: You’ve taken everything, every aspect of life into consideration, and not, say, “You have to lift weights,” or, “You have to run.” You can do whatever fits your schedule and your lifestyle.
Shay: Right, right.
Neal: You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio. I’m your host, Neal Howard. It’s been a pleasure to have in studio today Ms. Shay De Silva. She’s a certified personal trainer, and she’s also launched fastfitnesstogo.com. It’s a site where you can go and have access to her videos and learn a little bit about her personal style of training and getting one into the best shape that they can get into. It’s been great having you here with us today, Shay.
Shay: Thanks for having me, Neal.
Neal: Great, and I’m looking forward to more conversations with you, and I’m hoping you’ll come back.
Neal: All right. Transcripts of this programme are available at hpr.fm.