By Tamira Madsen
Certified natural trainer Raquel Sanchez is co-owner of FORWRD Training, a gym that offers programs in strength and healing. Sanchez has been teaching online classes, group and one-on-one sessions through Google Classroom during the pandemic and we talked to her about why it’s important to keep moving — even at home — during this time.
How do you start working out when you haven’t worked out in a long time, and it’s not part of your regular regimen?
Walking outside really makes a difference. Just start to move. You don’t even have to do it every day, [but] every day is great. But if that’s too much pressure, move for just 10 minutes once a week. And then the next week do it twice. Go outside — fresh air is good for you.
How do you motivate clients?
It is hard. The liking it part (of working out) is totally psychological and mental. That’s not something you can push someone into. They just have to experience it. You (as a trainer) just have to provide a space for that experience to occur with positivity. I’m teaching students about their bodies and making them more aware of how their muscles work.
I tell students to honor their bodies where they are and focus on their cues. I’m not holding them to a standard. It’s OK to be where they’re at. Have patience to go where you can go, and don’t worry about going fast.
What about those that do work out regularly — any advice for them?
The biggest piece of advice I have right now [during the pandemic] is, just don’t be too hard on yourself, and you may not be at the level you were at before all of this happened. Find your new level. It’s OK if you can’t do the things you used to do, whether it’s because you don’t have the equipment at home or your body hurts — just don’t be too hard on yourself.
What’s a go-to piece of equipment that’s great for at-home workouts?
Kettlebells don’t take up a lot of space. You can apply that strength [from kettlebell exercises] into everyday movement as well. It helps to heal your hips, your spine and helps with flexibility. [Personal trainer] Steve Cotter has really good YouTube videos on how to do basic kettlebell workouts.
What suggestions do you have for working out at home?
Stretch, mobility and stability exercises are the best for at-home fitness. I would recommend body weight [exercises]. Think of [movements] that are functional;
things that you do every day. Just being able to lift something moderately heavy out of the way is [something] you should be able to do, and being able to sustain that capability later in life is what you want.