The REAL truth about exercise

By Claudia Smith, bfit Studio owner/instructor

For real change, there is no substitution for hard work. Darn.

It’s also totally true that “old habits die hard.” We sort of know this, but, when we want to get stronger, healthier, lose weight, etc., it’s so easy to be seduced by the false claims – especially that tempting phrase, the “quick fix.” Now there’s a phrase for you – first of all, it assumes we’re somehow broken.

In reality, the human body is remarkable and responsive with an endless capacity for change. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. More insidious is that “quick fix” dismisses the inherent joy and value in the process itself, hard though it may be. A quick fix robs us of the pleasure of that process and our exercise-woman.jpgaccomplishments. So, beware the following fitness claims:

  • there is NEVER a quick fix (even with surgery)
  • there’s no one form of exercise that is the “magic bullet”
  • there’s no such thing as “longer, leaner muscles”
  • you will not acquire a body exactly like your instructor – EVER
  • no form of exercise can guarantee “automatic” weight loss
  • there is no gizmo, gadget, DVD, or machine that will transform you

These claims raise our hopes, set our expectations high, and, without fail, lead to disappointment and blame. Exaggerated claims trigger the pursuit of the “next best thing” and relegate movement to that other modern phrase — “working out” — a sometimes joyless, repetitive, obligatory activity with a focus only on “results.” Yuck. It’s great to have goals, but, if the journey is not satisfying, we will give it up.

In truth, physical activity can be so much better than that, and it can exceed our wildest expectations!  Watch your child play outside. The human body is made to move and, somewhere along the way, we lose that appeal of physical challenge for its own sake. It manifests itself in different forms for everyone, but it’s there for the taking.

Being 100% in charge of your body and physical activity is empowering. Right now, whether it’s exercise-girl.jpgone-on-one with a trainer, a buddy, a team, or by yourself, there are so many types of exercise, sport, and physical challenge out there. (More on that next month!) Do only what you enjoy, even when it’s hard. Play, garden, walk, try Pilates, lift something really heavy, kick it at Crossfit, sprint across your yard, conquer boot camp, run with a friend, throw a ball around, dance in your living room, Zumba up a sweat, start your yoga practice, try a barre class @ bfit…you name it! It’s no secret that the benefits of physical activity are astronomical and the only side effects – our real and unavoidable “results” – are looking and feeling better.claudia-bfit.JPG

From modern dance to motherhood to a degree in human development, Claudia Smith has come full-circle by recently opening bfit, a unique fitness studio on Block Ave. in downtown Fayetteville.  Along with co-owner, Tara Kelsey, bfit offers personal training and small classes, pulling from a variety of movement disciplines, including pilates and bodyweight training.  With a passion for movement and a desire to unleash this in others, bfit offers unlimited opportunities for physical development, increased body awareness, and good old-fashioned fun.  Get the details @  (Next month: Barre-Tending!)