Presenter: Neal Howard
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 discusses ways to eliminate boredom and other commom obstacles to exercising.
Health Professional Radio – Eliminating Boredom in Excercising
Neal Howard: hello. You’re listening to Health Professional Radio. I’m your host Neal Howard. Glad that you decided to hang with me and my guest in studio today, Ms. Shay De Silva, certified personal trainer. Shay’s philosophy is that just because you have a busy schedule, you’re on the go, you’ve got things to do, you’re taking care of patients, you’re a caregiver, or maybe you’re just someone who’s lost a little bit of motivation as far as exercising and staying in shape goes. Well, Shay is here today to tell us that there’s really no excuse when it comes to getting in shape, yeah?
Shay De Silva: Yes, that’s right.
Neal: A lot of times, the first thing that pops into a person’s mind is weight training. If you play sports, if you run, if you’re on a team, sometimes if you’re in a marching band, there is weight training, and it seems to be the staple of getting in shape. But some people, they just don’t have the strength for it, they’re afraid of it, or they may be in rehab or have suffered some type of accident or maybe in a nursing home, some physical therapy. What about getting in shape without the weights?
Shay: There’s so much you can do with your own body weight. Just about everyone—at least adults—weight at least 100 pounds, which is plenty of weight to build your strength.
Neal: So just using your own body weight? So you’re carrying, basically, your gym equipment around with you.
Shay: Exactly. So there goes one excuse right there. You don’t have any equipment. Like you mentioned, you’re in rehab, maybe even you’re just at home and you don’t have any equipment. You can use your body to work your arms, to work your abs, to work your legs, and really get a good strength workout in without any weights.
Neal: Now, are we talking about actually moving the arms and the legs and things of that nature, or are we talking about, say, being immobile or sitting still and just kind of working small, little movements? What type of movements are we talking about?
Shay: Well, both. It really depends, one, on your fitness level and, two, what you’re trying to do. So you can do some of the … for example, a push-up is one that you can do – a full push-up like we’re all use to do. You can do a modified push-up on your knees. You can also do a push-up against the wall if you can’t put any weight on your wrists. So I work with a lot of people who are either very overweight or who have wrist injuries and can’t handle that amount of weight on their wrists.
So if you do it against the wall, that’s a modification. Or you can also do it, like you said, without moving your body. You can hold the high push-up position. You can also hold that position against a wall. And so, finding out what position challenges you but also doesn’t make your injury worse or cause you to get injured. So it’s really going through the different movements and finding the modification that makes it challenging enough for you to really be working your muscles, but not so challenging that you’re getting hurt and can’t work out for the next week.
Neal: So you find a happy medium as far as the resistance factor goes, just enough to keep things moving, to keep you on a path to where you can handle a little bit more resistance or a little bit more challenging position or movement on down the road.
Shay: Exactly. And that’s one thing, too – that people do need to be careful when they’re doing body weight exercises. Because so often, they think, “Oh, I’m not using any weights. This will be so easy.” And within five minutes, you can hurt yourself if you’re not careful, because they are challenging exercises, and you are carrying a lot of weight. So you think, “Oh, I’m not using any weight,” but you are. You need to consider the fact that your body is weight.
Neal: Now, having a little bit of experience as far as physical therapy with an injury, it seems to me that the average visit, once you sign in and you’re asked about “how are you doing since our last visit,” you’re going to be in there about half an hour or so, maybe less. What about the time factor when it comes to getting some benefit from these really non-traditional exercises that you’re talking about?
Shay: Well, I can’t really speak in terms of physical therapy. I have been through it myself many years ago, but in terms of trying to actually improve your fitness in 25 minutes is I would say 9 out of 10 people, when I tell them they can do it, they say, “Oh, there’s no way.” And so that’s one of my challenges, is you go and actually do one of the workouts on my website, what you see is that you go really quickly from one exercise to the next.
So you’ll go quickly from an upper-body workout or exercise to a lower-body exercise to a cardio exercise. And so you’re keeping your heart rate up for that entire 20 to 25 minutes, whereas a lot of people, if you go to the gym, you’ll see someone strolling along on the treadmill, then they’ll walk around a little bit, then they’ll think about which exercise they want to do next…
Neal: Mm-hmm, [indecipherable 05:11].
Shay: Right, exactly. And so they think they’re getting an hour-long workout, but really, they’re probably getting less than a 20-minute workout, even if they’re working out longer than that, because their heart rate’s going down in between all the exercises. Their body’s fully recovering, they’re not really pushing themselves.
Neal: So if you’re in that type of shape, in less than half an hour, you’ve just blown that “I don’t have time” thing totally out of the water, because you’re talking about less than half an hour, getting a great benefit from one of your workout regimens.
Shay: Right. And if you’re not in that great a shape, you probably don’t even need the 20 to 25 minutes. So if you are in physical therapy or you’re just trying to improve whatever body part’s injured, you really probably don’t even need the full 20 to 25 minutes. Because in that situation, you don’t want to push yourself to the point where your muscles are trembling and you’re out of breath.
Neal: We were talking briefly just about physical therapy specifically, and knowing that you’re a certified personal trainer and not a physical therapist—you’re like myself, you’ve had a little bit of experience with it—but what would you say to the health care professionals that are listening who are involved in some type of physical therapy or maybe a caregiver for the elderly?
What would you say to them when they’ve been using traditional methods and the client or the patient is complaining of boredom or “it’s too hard for me”? Are there tips, tricks that the healthcare professional could benefit from, maybe steering away from the traditional exercise that they’ve been using?
Shay: Yes. So preventing boredom is a big one. It’s so easy to get bored, whether you normally love fitness or you hate it, you have an injury or you don’t. So some of the big ones are to mix up the exercises. So if you’re working with someone and you have been doing the same movements over and over, and they genuinely hate it, so you tell them to do this one exercise … and I understand that sometimes the ones that people like the least are the ones that are best for them.
But at least mix in a few that they really like, or come up with something totally new that they might like, so at least they know that each session won’t be something completely miserable, especially if you’re going to ask them to do something on their own. So let’s say you show them exercises in your office and then you say, “Okay, now go home and do these once a day.” Well, if they hate the exercise, I guarantee you they won’t do it. So even if it’s the best exercise for them, if they won’t do it, it’s not helping.
Neal: It’s not going to benefit – you can lead a horse, yeah? [chuckles]
Shay: [chuckles] Right, exactly.
Neal: So when it comes to eliminating or at least reducing the boredom factor with your patient or your client, maybe of your techniques are the perfect way to go.
Shay: Yeah. And finding out what interests people. So let’s say you’re working with someone and they really love knitting, maybe their reward for doing their workout that day can be that you get them some new yarn. Or just something that … make it personal. So it will be different for everyone, what excites them and what doesn’t excite them. So just keeping that flexibility around the entire programme.
Neal: So not so much just a psychological reward, but if it’s something actually tangible that has nothing to do with them trying to get them into a better exercise habit, right?
Shay: Right. Exactly.
Neal: Right. That’s some really great information. You’re listening to Health Professional Radio. I’m Neal Howard, your host. Our guest in studio today has been Ms. Shay De Silva. She’s launched fastfitnesstogo.com. It’s an informational website and also a website that offers you access to her videos, her workout videos that employ the traditional sweating and getting up there and actually moving the body, and also offers options as to what you can do to stay in shape when you’re not in a position to really work it out and you don’t have the space, the weights, or maybe the time or the room.
There’s always a way that you can move your body and stay in shape. At least that’s what Shay De Silva is saying, yeah?
Shay: [laughs] That’s right. You can work out anytime, anywhere.
Neal: All right. It’s been great having you here with us today.
Shay: It’s great being here.
Neal: Transcripts of this programme are available at hpr.fm.