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Network Health Blog

Learning to Love Exercise

weight lifting

Exercise can be a scary thing, especially if it’s something you haven’t done in quite some time. This is how Anne Rappert felt when she started the Healthy Jumpstart challenge. However, she quickly learned that exercise can help you feel better and more energized. Anne explains, In the beginning of my journey, the thought of exercising made me cringe since I could barely walk across the room without being out of breath. Now when I can’t get my workouts in, it really bothers me.”

With not having exercised in the last few years, we wanted to make sure she felt comfortable with the machines at her gym. We had Anne go through an equipment orientation with the Heart of the Valley YMCA. This orientation took her through all of the equipment that the wellness center had to offer. Once she completed the orientation, we got her started on some of the Matrix Weight Machines. In a few weeks, we realized that Anne was ready for more challenging exercises and heavier weights. I started Anne out with a lot of body weight exercises. The approach behind body weight exercises is being able to learn proper form of the exercise without any additional weight. Once I felt she was ready, we added some weight through dumbbells, medicine balls, weighted barbells and resistance bands.

In order to be successful at the gym, you need a plan of attack for what you are going to do when you get there. Anne and I meet once every two weeks for an hour to discuss how this journey is going for her as well as how she is feeling with her exercise. At these meetings, we discuss how the exercises are going and what ways we can either make them more challenging or change them up to give Anne more of a variety when she exercises. When asked what makes her most successful at the gym, she responded: “When I go in with a plan of what I’m going to do, I understand what cardio and strength training I will do ahead of time. This keeps me on track and successful.”


Another helpful technique we use is group support.  Anne and myself invited Julie Cleaves and Cassie Ashman to work out with us. Julie is Anne’s nutrition coach and Cassie is helping us document Anne’s progress. Together, the four of us go to the YMCA a few times a month to all exercise together. It helps that I’m not just training her, I’m working out with her. We all support one another and push ourselves harder than we would on our own. Through this experience, Anne has learned she is stronger than she realized. She’s capable of doing things she never would have tried before. One example is her Zumba classes. Previously, she never thought she could do Zumba for an entire hour and enjoy it. This has changed now that Anne tried it. She loves Zumba and she gets in a full hour of exercise while having fun.

Group support, variety of activities and exercising at your own pace are just a few of the tips that are helping Anne achieve her goals. Make sure to leave a comment below and share your tips for learning to love exercise.



  1.  Jeanine says:

    So nice to see the progress! I love following this!

  2.  Sally says:

    Way to go Anne. What a great support team.

  3.  erin K says:


  4.  Georgia says:

    Anne, you are looking good, And you are inspiring me – perhaps someday I will be able to touch my toes like that without bending my knees :).

  5.  Cynthia Cruz says:

    Anne it is so inspiring that you are making such progress. When you left work the other day I thought you looked thinner and here I read that you have lost weight! AWESOME!!!

Comments are closed.

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