Acupuncturist, Mom and former pro-snowboarder Zoe Meininger shares some of her insights with Real Fit Mama this week.
Read on to find out her best kept secrets for getting back to the gym after having her daughter 2 years ago and how motherhood has changed her body for the better.
RFM: What do you do for exercise?
ZM: I surf, I do yoga, I work out at the gym, and I snowboard. I also hike, and I’d love to get a new mountain bike. Oh, and I rock climb.
RFM: What do you do when you’re at the gym?
ZM: I’ll take a zumba class or a kickboxing class to get warmed up; then I run on the treadmill for about 20 minutes. I am also about to add in a weight-lifting routine.
RFM: How many days a week are you doing this?
ZM: I’ll usually go to the gym a 3 days a week when I have my daughter – the gym I go to has a daycare where she plays for a couple of hours while I work out. On the days when she is in school – 2-3 days/ week – I usually head to the beach for a surf session. If my husband is home, we’ll go for a hike as a family – we’ll throw her on one of our backs and pop her in the Ergo carrier. I try to be active in some way every day. That’s why we live up in Topanga Canyon, CA – I love to be outside and breathing fresh air.
RFM: How old are you?
ZM: I am 39 years old.
RFM: Why do you exercise?
ZM: I like to keep moving because its good for my mind, body and soul, and it keeps me from strangling people! Hahaha! I know it sounds funny, but there is some truth to that – it’s just really important to move. It keeps my moods balanced and it makes me feel happy. It’s also great for stress relief, and it’s something I just love to do.
RFM: Are there any other specific ways it positively impacts your life?
ZM: If I’m not active, I really notice a dip in my emotions and mood. I get more easily irritated with my daughter and my husband. Exercise helps me to be a more patient, flexible, and positive person in my daily life. It helps me with my overall physical wellbeing – for example, it helps my digestive system. In my acupuncture work, it helps to release the stress of working with other people’s energy.
RFM: Do you experience any drawbacks to exercising or any challenges?
ZM: As long as I listen to my body and go at its pace, respecting the days that I can’t push it as far, I don’t experience any drawbacks.
RFM: How does your history as a competitive snowboarder affect your current life?
ZM: It enables me to handle anything that life throws at me a lot better. Doing anything competitively helps to focus your mind and to focus on what you are doing. It has also helped me to be able to deal with loss and losing as well. It makes me a more balanced person all around. When I was younger I felt a need to compete all the time. I have really let that go, and moving my body is something I do just for myself and for fun as opposed to trying to prove something to someone else.
RFM: Do you have any specific goals in terms of your workouts?
ZM: I am committed to continuing to move my body almost every day, to being healthy and to giving back to my family, to myself, and to my patients. To keep myself healthy is an overall goal, whether just eating well or getting out into nature. If i’m staying balanced in my own wellbeing, its the best way to be in a place to give to others.
RFM: In the past decade, you’ve moved from being a pro-athlete to being a mom – how has this shift into motherhood changed your relationship with your body?
ZM: The mentality of being an athlete for so many years developed the masculine side of me that goes along with being so active and so competitive. Becoming a mother has definitely brought out my more feminine side. I feel more balanced and less competitive. I am more in touch with my emotions. I am more able to listen to my body as opposed to pushing it and running on overdrive all the time. I feel more intuitive.
RFM: What advice would you give someone who is starting a new workout plan, or Moms and Dads trying to get back to the gym?
ZM: It’s always more fun to train with a friend. If you can find someone that’s fun to spend time with, they can hold you accountable as well. Accountability can hold you to your plan when you want to quit. If you can set small goals – even just getting yourself to the gym, that can help to get you into a routine. After I had my daughter, I would just put on my clothes and go to the gym with no expectation or pressure on myself to complete a big workout or even finish a class. Over time that builds the habit. I would say to myself “I’m just going to get dressed, put on my workout clothes, and see what I feel ike once I’m there.” Then once your’e there you might find yourself having fun in different things – maybe a class or maybe just a small workout. Sometimes I would just paddle out in the water with no expectation on myself to catch a wave. Showing up is the key. Just put on your shoes and fake it till you make it.
RFM: Finally, what is your favorite workout music?
ZM: Led Zeppelin
To find out more about Zoe you can check her out at http://zoeacupuncture.com
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