Why Exercise Works: Fitness A True Gift

by Marla on January 14, 2012 · 40 comments

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Little girl in red shirt playing in a playground

I have this awesome friend from Telluride named Chris Rauchnot. You might remember him from last summer. He is the one my hubs and I went mushroom hunting with. Chris and I met a number of years back at the Telluride Elks Club for the annual spaghetti cook-off and we hit it off immediately. We have lots in common, some of that being our passion for healthy living, snowy Colorado winters and exercise. We love the outdoors and clean + delicious food.

While poking around Facebook this morning I stumbled on this post by Chris. I will uses his words exactly. I stand behind them 100% they are highlighted in orange.

Little girl ice skating in a grey tutu.We are gonna take a good look at the power of fitness + exercise.

In a tiara, tutu, shorts, ski pants, leggings. No matter what your outfit…get moving. When you can the benefits are beyond your wildest dreams. Climb a tree or a boulder, rock that hula hoop, ski a chute. As Nike says: Just Do It.

By the way here is Chris. He has more energy than anyone I know & he is totally fit! Together we have more energy than 20 pots of dark roasted coffee…

Wild mushroom hunt in Lizard Head Telluride, COHere is what Chris has to say…

Happy New Year everybody! This is the time of the year when people set new fitness goal and try to implement change in there lives. Most peoples new fitness goals won’t make it to Feb, so here is a new way to look at this year…
“Fitness is not a goal but a gift”

Amen. Thank you Chris. Agreed. Most people start the year with great intentions and by Valentines Day all bets are off.

Fitness: It’s a gift that makes us more active and present in our own life. 

Agreed, the deep exhales and inhalations alone will help set you free of any of lifes worries and concerns.

Little boy in black tee shirt playing with a hula hoop. A gift that makes us more active and present with your family, children and pets.

Being present with those we love is essential to great relationships. Together lets turn off the TV, close the laptops, turn off the cell phones and get active.  Can we try this for just 30 minutes? Before you know it an hour will pass.

It’s the gift of empowerment. To live a fuller life.

No matter what baggage I walk in with before I exercise it is always gone when I leave. Most of the time I cannot even remember what was bugging me so much! Exercise fills me up like nothing else. I notice the same for my children.

It’s the gift of optimal health, feeling alive and strong.

It is a well recognized fact that getting that blood flowing, working your muscles and getting your heart beating is much better for you than a sedentary lifestyle. No matter what your age.

Telluride Yoga Center, Colorado USA

It’s a gift to find a sport or activity you love that energizes you and gives you hours of enjoyment.

Find it. No matter what it is. For me my exercise passions have changed throughout the years. It used to be running marathons was my thing. These days yoga works for me. One constant throughout my life is a love for long walks. These days those walks are usually accompanied by a large camera. It is fun to take pictures & exercise!

One of my all time favorite sports is skiing, I do it whenever I can. Being in the snow invigorates me like nothing else. Like Chris says…find your passion and run with it.

Skies with jewels on them and Buddhist prayer flags

So this year find something physical you love to do and immerse yourself.

There’s a big difference between doing what you love and just setting a goal that doesn’t have deeper meaning.

Brother and sister on bikes in the summer.

Thank you Chris for your awesome words of wisdom & for letting me post them here.

Find your happy place through exercise. Visualize where you are and where you want to be. No matter where I am I see my favorite mountains, they are great form of inspiration!

Don’t let those speed bumps in life get you down. They are not obstacles only incentives to push harder…

Fall, autumn, Mountain Views in Telluride Colorado USA

Looking for a great new workout? Chris invented an awesome one called Playground Pump you should check out. This workout uses standard playground equipment as resistance & stretching mechanisms. It is a bunch of fun exercises that you can do in 30 minutes or less. And it works. You can easily alter the workout to work for you, no matter what your fitness level. It takes advantage of readily available equipment, gets you outside and incurs no gym membership fees.

Playground Pump is available in a handy fit deck & an iPhone App too!

Another nice thing I love about Playground Pump is that you can bring your kids and pets to the park & do a little something for yourself while you are there. Easy peasy.

When it comes to fitness my theory is if it hurts you and damages your body find something new. You only get one go around with your body, so use it carefully. Running used to work for me & now it does not. So I stopped doing it. Do something you love so you stick with the program…but don’t let it injure you.

Little girl in striped shirt crossing the street in Telluride.








What is your favorite way to stay fit?

By the way I am giving away two Playground Pump Fitness exercise kits on my Facebook page. Head over there for a chance to win one!

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Damaris @KitchenCorners January 14, 2012 at 9:37 am

Great post Marla. I used to be super active pre-kids. I used to dance ballet, do gymnastics, play volleyball and all other sorts of fun things. Then I had a baby and I let exercise flip through the cracks. Last year I did the couch-5k program and I loved it. Now I’ve really been enjoying running. I can tell I’m a better mom, a better person, a better me, when I get exercise. Instead of using my spare time reading parenting books I should have been up and moving – it definitely would of made me a better parent.


2 Marla January 14, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Da, you are a great parent & I know you do everything you can to be your best! Workouts don’t need to be long nor too strenuous to reap the BIG benefits. Do what you can when you can. Try not to let the things you used to do bug you too much. Life changes, we change & it will continue to do so. Just live it & have fun along the way. xo


3 Rosa January 14, 2012 at 9:59 am

I wish fitness clubs would be more accessible. They are far to expensive for me… You sure are a fit lady and your friends sounds amazing.




4 Angie January 14, 2012 at 10:18 am

So true. It is a gift but you have to love that gift in order to reap it’s rewards. I hate running, and I just can’t seem to get to the gym. However, going on a hike on a beautiful day or doing chris’ playground pump with a friend is doable and fun. You have to find what makes you happy to stick with it! Love that yoga shot of you!


5 Marla January 14, 2012 at 4:10 pm

That’s it Angie. It really can be that simple to find the peace, joy & rewards in exercise if we just find what works for us. Does not matter what your pals do, gotta find what formula works for your mind, body & soul. xo


6 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. January 14, 2012 at 11:42 am

so true!!! What incredible photos. WOW


7 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga January 14, 2012 at 11:57 am

I’m loving this post for the gorgeous pictures of your kids and you doing yoga and for the message. I see people on the street when I’m running and sometimes they look miserable. Like the run is just killing them or in yoga they are forcing themselves to do things that aren’t doing their bodies and favors or they’re emotionally not connected with the practice or what they’re doing; and I just want to say, hey you don’t “have to” do this. Find something you love more, and then do that…it’s okay!

For me, running and yoga are my loves and although I’ve tried so many new things over the past decade or so, that’s what I always come back to b/c they leave me feeling fulfilled.


8 Marla January 14, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Ahhhh Averie, fulfillment. You get it. I also have a hard time watching folks suffer with workouts that might not be suitable for them. Hopefully one day they will find the balance, peace, love & connection to the true meaning of fitness. I am so grateful that I found yoga. It centers me in every which way. That is saying a lot for an over achieving, over thinking gal who used to pound the pavement waaaay too much. However, that seemed to work for me back then so I guess it’s all good!


9 Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers January 14, 2012 at 12:20 pm

What a wonderful post! It’s sunny outside, going to get out there and enjoy it! I think my dogs would benefit with a quick jog around the block. Thanks for the inspiration.


10 Marla January 14, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Jennifer, taking your pups out is the perfect way to get exercise for all of you. Have fun out there!


11 TheFromagette January 14, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Your little girl on the ice… SO darling. Do they make that skirt in adult sizes :)


12 Marla January 14, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Rachel, I believe we could squeeze ourselves into the larger girls sizes. Maybe a size 14?! I saw similar ones at Target & we got this one at Justice. Soooo fun huh! She loves wearing that thing :)


13 Ann January 14, 2012 at 6:09 pm

This IS a great post! While I have made the resolution to exercise and I have a goal – I also am having a GREAT time with it! I can’t wait to participate more fully in my own life because I’m more active!


14 Marla January 15, 2012 at 4:36 am

Ann, that is so the truth of it. “Being more present in your own life” is the key. Great attitude girl! Do you have a certain goal beyond the exercise? Are you training for a particular event ~ or sticking with the goal of resolutions?


15 Valentina January 14, 2012 at 6:56 pm

went to yoga today for the first time in 6 months! was amazing!!! 😀


16 Marla January 15, 2012 at 4:37 am

Congrats Valentina! That is awesome. Girl, you always look so fit when I see you I figured you exercise daily…then again maybe you do, perhaps just not yoga :)


17 Jen at The Three Little Piglets January 14, 2012 at 7:59 pm

I’m a big fan of running around the beach with my kids – it’s a win-win because we all get exercise and fresh air without really feeling like we’re exercising!


18 Marla January 15, 2012 at 4:38 am

Jen, that is the ultimate way to stay fit! Love the combo of exercise, giggles and being with the kids :)


19 CheekyChic January 14, 2012 at 9:17 pm

I love to sweat! I love to push my body to the limit and I love the time to myself at a gym without my kids for an hour. As a family we’re usually into outdoor play but in Texas it’s SO hot in the summers. This year we got an xbox Kinect. It’s so fun to play games with the kids that involves a lot of movement and competition.


20 Marla January 15, 2012 at 4:42 am

Shawna, I have seen folks work up a sweat with those X-Box games. I know your Texas summers are brutal…sounds like you have found great alternatives. Everyone needs something to do no matter what the season! Used to LOVE the feeling of dropping kids off at the gym while I grab a quick workout. When they were smaller it was my only hour alone & I would make each & every second count!


21 Katrina January 15, 2012 at 5:47 am

I really love this post Marla! You have such inspiring words. Without exercise in my life I know I wouldn’t be as happy. Also, your kids? ADORABLE!


22 Lana January 15, 2012 at 2:48 pm

I grew up in town where no one I knew exercised, but everyone was very fit and active. My mom organized her friends and taught them yoga and calisthenics. The men met every weekend to play soccer or shoot hoops, and everyone went everywhere on foot or riding bikes. We started skiing at an early age, and spent weeks in the mountains in our cottage. Summers we spent running through the forests, swimming at the pool river or the ocean (while on vacation).
Nothing was considered “exercise” or work, and everyone did it for fun.
So, I agree with you and your friend:everyone can find something active they love to do and do it for pure pleasure and fun – for me, nothing can beat the endorphins of a downhill run:)


23 Marla January 15, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Lana, thanks for bringing such joy to this topic! You get it girl. I wish the folks around here took advantage of the natural beauty & did not rely so heavily on the gyms. Then again if they love the gym & it gets them to workout then that is cool too. I am more like you, would much rather be outdoors soaking in all the fresh air & beauty.


24 Marina {YummyMummyKitchen.com} January 15, 2012 at 10:08 pm

I totally agree with this. I feel just yucky if I don’t get to exercise. And I can’t wait to take my daughter ice skating!


25 Sommer@ASpicyPerspective January 16, 2012 at 7:10 am

I’ve been doing bikram yoga and the insanity workouts. They. Are. Not. FUN.
But I feel fantastic when I’m done and that’s what matter to me. :)


26 The Texas Peach January 16, 2012 at 8:24 am

What a great post Marla! Exercise is key to improving our quality of life. You really do have to find an activity you enjoy. Running is my favorite form of exercise. I always feel so much better after a run, especially if that run is outdoors and not on a treadmill.


27 Kathleen January 16, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Your posts are the BEST! My favorite way to stay fit is through circuit training. 😀


28 Kristen January 18, 2012 at 8:27 am

Such a great article and great words of wisdom from Chris. Thanks for sharing!


29 Andrea DiGeronimo January 18, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Love the exercise post and the ideas that exercise is for your happiness and your peace and is a gift to yourself. Not just a empty goal. Great perspective!

We did some east coast skiing last weekend. It was actually good conditions, not too icy, and a lot of fun. Kids did awesome. Hoping to get to Colorado in March for more family skiing. Until then it will be gym, pilates, yoga, weights, and dance.

Amazingly beautiful pictures, as always. Hope you are well.
xxo, Andrea


30 Marla January 18, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Hey Andrea, glad you guys found some snow and got to ski it! Finally Telluride/Colorado is getting some much needed white stuff. I can’t wait to get out there to ski. The kids are counting down the minutes :) Glad you enjoyed this post and the baked blueberry oatmeal too. Loved catching up with you today.


31 Andrea DiGeronimo January 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm

p/s I made your blueberry oatmeal recipe this morning… it was soo delicious!!!


32 Nancy@acommunaltable January 20, 2012 at 10:39 am

Outstanding post Marla and a great way to view “exercise”!! I like to mix it up – sometimes I just want some quiet time on the treadmill with my headphones on and sometimes I want a loud and obnoxious Zumba class – or yoga, or cardio barre…
But you nailed it – find something that is a positive experience and then “just do it”!!!


33 Lucy January 20, 2012 at 11:04 am

Thanks for sharing THE GIFT! For me it’s pilates and spin – oh and hiking – yesterday found a whole new route in Fryman Canyon that was beyond beautiful – no need for fancy gyms – which most of the time are too smelly for me!!!


34 Allison [Girl's Guide to Social Media] January 20, 2012 at 7:35 pm

As a distance runner, I cannot imagine a life without fitness or a life without overall well being.


35 HeatherChristo January 21, 2012 at 8:23 am

great post Marla. I am in a rut and this is a good reminder. When I am in a good place, I love taking 4-6 mile walks every day, or a nice long vinyasa class. I force the weights- I hate them but are the only thing that stops the jiggle!


36 Marla January 22, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Heather, so true about the weight lifting. I don’t like to do it very much either – but you are correct it does firm everything up. I have learned to blast through a weight routine so I can get to all of the other stuff that needs to happen throughout the day! Yoga classes seem to tie it all together & they can help keep great muscular shape too.


37 Esi January 22, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Love this post. Glad I’m reading it after doing a hike and three Pilates workouts :)


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