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  • Mary-Sue Cowell

Coming Clean

I have to come clean today I have something that I have done that I am proud of and want to pursue further but have been afraid to put it out there! I am a Certified Personal Trainer and I have been for a couple years.


Health and fitness has been an area in my life that has been important to me in different ways over the past 20 years of my life. I have trained for a variety of events including Muscle Model Competition, FEM Sport, a half marathon and a 10K. I have been a member of a variety of gyms and workout spaces, enjoyed some group fitness classes, even swimming and yoga. One thing I have not been able to give up is having a personal trainer and lifting weights. Cancer and time (some might call this aging) has given me a new appreciation for my health and fitness choices. I have learned overtime that our bodones are fascinating and amazing vessels. More important to me now (oh the things I would tell my 20 year old self) is not how I look or how much I weigh but how I FEEL in my skin.


When stress rides high and life happens what brings you back into your equilibrium? For me this is exercise, specifically lifting and I truly believe that is (part of) what has brought me stability following my cancer and surgeries. By stability not only do I mean physically but mentally as well. There is something about lifting and feeling the strength in my body that re-sets my system. Strength is important to ME.


During stressful times or amidst a busy schedule a workout or some form of exercise is often the thing that we sacrifice and cut out of our schedule in order to "have more time" to do something that "has" to get done. What I have been trying to do and have personally found that by just starting the workout gives me an opportunity to choose. If I am feeling the pressure or stress of other commitments I try to commit to 10 minutes of my workout, if I still feel like I need to do that other thing after I have given it 10 minutes I can choose to bow out. More often then not I continue with my workout (it may not be a full hour) but I do a workout. I have to focus on the activity and my form and I get a break from my busy brain. Then I get a boost of endorphins and I am off to the races so to speak. Workouts allow you to sweat, release toxins and get some of those feel good hormones that help balance the stress. The results for me are a sense of strength, satisfaction and energy boost allowing for a fresh start in tackling all of the things life throws at us. I would love to say that with a workout the streessors go away but they do not. What does happen overtime is a habit of self care forms that ultimately helps you deal with those stressors in a helathier more efficient way.


My challenge to you is to not skip the workout! Even if you do not have an hour...whoever said you need an hour to workout anyways... or you need certain clothes you get through the day without a sports bra on you can do a quick workout without one as well! I have worked out in my socks without a bra. You just need some space to get started. Shut the office door or give your kid a snack and some playdoh or better yet have them join you and off you go. Taking care of yourself will make those around you want to do it too.


Here is a 15 minute bodyweight circuit workout for you to try. (Ensure you are cleared to exercise before trying). Rest as much as you need (walk in place take deep breaths) and choose modifications that match your ability as you go. Drink some water.


Set your timer on your phone to 30 second intervals or if you have a workout timer put in a 2 minute warm up with 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest.


Warm up 2 minutes walking/jogging/dancing on the spot.


1. 30 sec squats (deeper or lower to the ground the more difficult, knees over toes & bum back)

30 sec rest

2. 30 sec alternating reverse lunges (knees over toes chest tall)

30 sec rest

3. 30 sec push ups wall/knees/feet

30 sec rest

4. 30 sec walk/dance/jog/jumping jacks on the spot

30 sec rest

Repeat 1-4 3 times

Cool down 1 min walk


The key to this is to enjoy the movement if bodyweight workouts are not your thing and the sun is out put your sneakers on a go for a walk or find that yoga video and give it a go. Find what works for you and do it for you and how you feel, not how you look Or what the scale says. I would love to hear from you about what type of movement you enjoy.

#StandingSTRONG in life through functional fitness.

Contact me for your personal training needs.




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