By Fred Devito, Founder of Exhale & Core Fusion
It is so personal. Why do YOU exercise?
Most will say that having a movement practice is one of the cornerstones to a healthy lifestyle based on being in tune with your body on multiple levels. A lifestyle that promotes longevity incorporates all things healthy, including food choices, supplements, and vice control. It gravitates towards a clean environment, not only where we live, but where our food, water, and air come from as well.
A sound movement approach should challenge you physically on all levels: strength, flexibility, cardio, and functional fitness, along with solid and sound stress reduction techniques that clear your mind, calm your nerves, and center your spirit.
A movement practice is personal and your choices should be based on what is the easiest thing for you to stick with when life gets in the way. If you are the type that embraces the intensity of movement from a competitive mindset, then you probably lean towards sports, games, or competing in your fitness classes following leaderboards or results posted that place you amongst your peers.
The passion for competing and winning is instilled in us at an early age when sports in middle school and high school also dominated the curriculum in Physical Education classes. Great stuff for the athlete, but a nightmare if you were not very coordinated or competitive by nature.
As we get into our 30's, the body starts to pay for the physical abuse of competition and some might question if there is another way to exercise and that answer is YES!
You don't have to physically beat yourself up with a "beast-mode" mentality, and when your wisdom starts to speak louder then your ego, you will allow yourself to "coast" when needed. Your movement evolution will be based more on self-love than self-indulgence. You will start to work on things that you need, not just the things that you are good at doing in the gym.
If your body has lost suppleness and elasticity because you played competitive tennis or rode a bike etc, for 20 years, then you need to make flexibility training a priority, if you want your body to respond and rebound, so to speak.
The type of exercise that I am describing is called "mind body movement," and these experiences are not competitive, they are personal. It is not based on winning, which is an ego-driven energy, but more on pushing yourself to work hard from a place of wisdom. A deeper knowing that if I do this… I will have specific results based on living a longer, more pain-free, and healthier life.
Mind Body classes were birthed at Exhale 12 years ago when we opened our doors, and now, 29 properties later, we still base our entire program on the mind and body being connected through the breath when you are moving through a workout. You are single-minded, internal, and completely focused. Challenging yourself to step out of your comfort zone and into the working zone.
We like to say, "If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you."
These types of classes are humbling for the ego, as you will need to deal with your frustrations and physical limitations as a human being. You will also soon discover that with perseverance, consistency, and patience, you will evolve to a higher level of fitness.
Anti-aging characteristics such as muscle density, bone density, muscle elasticity, joint integrity, and range of motion are all addressed in a barre class at Exhale, and these areas, when improved, will keep your body youthful and give you the energy of someone half your age. (And this applies to the men out there too!)
So be it barre, cardio, HIIT, Yoga, Pilates or anything else — moving from a place of self-love and holistic care should keep you feeling youthful for many years to come!
A member of the founding Exhale team and co-creator of the company’s highly publicized Core Fusion program, Fred DeVito is EVP of Mind Body Fitness Programs. He is responsible for recruiting and training the teachers for the proprietary Core Fusion programs, and directing the Core Fusion teacher training curriculum, program quality, and safety. As a lead trainer and fitness expert in the barre and well-being industry, Fred has been featured in The New York Times, Fitness Magazine, New York Magazine and Shape Magazine. Along with his wife, Elisabeth, Fred has created, choreographed, and starred in 11 Core Fusion DVDs, and has contributed to many online classes on Yogavibes.com.