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Hispanic Health

Join Chef Leticia’s Club to Make Exercising More Fun

Photos: Courtesy of Leticia Moreinos Schwartz

You don’t like to exercise? Welcome to that club — fortunately, it’s one I don’t belong to. I’m here to try to convince you to join my club, of those who love to exercise. 

When we look back several generations, exercise was not a part of people’s daily routines. It’s only been in the past 40-50 years that studies have started to show that exercising is one of the most important things we can do to live a healthy lifestyle. 

We know that much, in theory. In practice, there are still millions of people who find all the excuses not to do it. Recently while doing some casual research I conducted with some of my friends, all ranging from 35 to 55 years old, I noticed there are three groups of people who don’t like to exercise:

  • You could find time, but you don’t like it, so you don’t exercise. 
  • You are too busy (sure we all are) and don’t make the time to exercise, therefore you don’t. 
  • You work a crazy schedule (to say that you’re busy is putting it mildly) and don’t have time at all, so you don’t exercise. 

Whether you fall into any of these groups, the bottom line is you don’t exercise.

We all know the many physical benefits of exercising (e.g., better sleep, lower risk for disease, weight loss), and physical activity is also one of the most effective ways to stabilize your mood. 

The great news is that it’s never too late to start! Even if you lived half of your life without exercising, studies show that starting in your 30s, 40s, or 50s still comes with tremendous benefits.

Reversing the trend

If procrastination has been lingering, there is one way to combat it: discipline. And then once you start doing it, all of a sudden you start enjoying it.

With exercise, it’s the same thing.

The right workout

When looking for the right type of exercise, I recommend trying everything under the sun until you find the one that you can relate to. Allow me to share a little of my own experience in finding my passion for spin:  

My husband is a cyclist and has always enjoyed exercising outdoors. While I find there are plenty of reasons to love cycling outdoors, I’ve always battled ear and sinus infections, and felt extremely sensitive to the effects of a strong wind blowing in my face. An hour of road cycling would leave me feeling exhausted and lethargic.

One day I decided to try indoor cycling with my father, who’s in his 70s. We were in Brazil and I loved it. Soon after that, I was on a work trip to Los Angeles and tried my first spin class at Soul Cycle. It was the beginning of a huge passion — as big as cooking. 

I have been in the culinary industry as a chef, cookbook author, and food stylist for the past 20 years. I’m a performer at heart, and all my passions run on high adrenaline, like cooking and spin. 

For me, spin is so much more than an exercise. When I ride, I have an encounter with my soul; it’s a spiritual thing. It’s transcendental. It changed the way I think about life and work. 

Through the motivation I found on the bike, I gained the strength to face obstacles, to go through the hardest moments of life, and realize that I’m strong.

But the greatest discovery I found through spin is the one that I value the most: My health is my wealth. I feel so fortunate each time I hop on that bike. When I ride, all problems seem to find a solution. Even if it’s not right away, I find the strength to brave them. 

Now that we’re facing the pandemic and many of us are working from home, we have a bit of extra time on our hands. After nearly 18 months of social distancing and health fears over COVID-19, will you continue to be part of that club of those who don’t like to exercise? You have a historic opportunity to change clubs. The time is now. 

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