Exercise: What’s your favorite?


Regular exercise was my first foray into my natural preventative health passion. Before I knew or understood anything about eating well for health, I learned to love exercise. I could tell by the way I would feel during and afterward, that my body loves to move, and therefore I would keep moving!

I confess: I am an exercise junkie. I use that term only because it is true, sometimes to my own detriment. I have now learned more moderation with exercise. Sometimes, the chronic fatigue that results from my auto-immune disease, kicks my butt and insists I don’t work out too hard or too often, and sometimes, that I don’t work out (in the formal sense) at all. I have to thank many paleo podcasts and books for reminding me of this lesson and helping me accept and understand it as it applies to my life. Although it is my job and my education to know and teach this lesson for other people’s benefit, it’s been hard to accept and adapt it to my health needs. You know the cliché saying that doctors are the worst patients? Well, I guess, so are physical therapists! 😉

I began formally “working out” around 8th grade. I had started with the recreation team soccer, having begged my parents to let me join (it would interfere with my usual weekends involving Ukrainian cultural events and obligations, so this was a huge triumph for me, and super sweet of my parents). Around that same time, I began a self-created weight lifting stick figure workout design (pictured below), an occasional Gilad: Bodies in Motion episode on ESPN, and the Cindy Crawford “Shape Your Body” VHS.


Over the years, with Ulcerative Colitis, I naturally developed a love for exercising alone, in the privacy of my own home, or in the great outdoors. I don’t think I need to explain in any great detail why one would like to exercise alone when they have IBD, but for those who don’t know, it’s related to certain symptoms, especially with things like yoga, abdominal work and pretty much anything moving your torso.

My favorite mode of working out is to DVD’s; they are inexpensive and can be done at home with a little required equipment. Besides the desire for private workouts, I also loved DVDs because I grew up in NJ, where the weather seemed to be crappy more often than not, and DVDs allowed me to always get cardio and strength training in year round.


There are certain trainers’ DVD’s I keep in the running all the time, they are: Denise Austin, since college in the late ’90’s early ’00’s, Chris Freytag, and Leslie Sansone. Occasionally I’ll throw Amy Dixon, Jennifer Galardi or Jillian Michaels into the mix. I love Rodney Yee for yoga and Gilad for throwback fun (the 80’s/early 90’s styles are ridiculous, but the workouts are still good).


What are your favorite ways to work out?

2 Responses to Exercise: What’s your favorite?

  1. Judy Abe says:

    My favorite growing up was Reebok Step (circa ’92). I was so addicted! Thank you for sharing your passion for motion, Natalia! By the way… I love the muscles drawn on your stick figures : )

    • natalia says:

      Haha. I still have my Reebok step and use it occasionally! Lol, those drawings are NOT exactly anatomically accurate

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