“Coach Aimee Sturges” is motivating people of all ages, shapes and sizes in 805 to embrace a healthy attitude – not just a resolution!
“Attitude is the secret ingredient to the best health and fitness plans”, says Aimee Sturges, a health and physical education expert working in 805 to motivate children, teens, adults and groups to get real about their goals. And real is one thing Aimee knows about – she has four young children and looks like a million bucks - that means she has to be realistic about her goals, her limited time and what her kids are actually willing to eat! She is able to pull it off because she has an incredible passion for health and fitness and she wants to share it by motivating others to live healthier while being realistic, honest and patient with themselves.
Aimee’s education - including a master of education in health and physical education – gave her the knowledge to teach others, but her broad experiences coaching and teaching people of all ages have given her a profound compassion and drive to meet people where they’re at when it comes to fitness and nutrition. She has taught young children, coached varsity high school sports, given motivational and educational talks to adults and crafted fitness instruction tailored to cancer survivors. She’s so passionate that she even donates her time to offer a yoga-stretch class to the teachers of her children’s school - Madrona Elementary in Thousand Oaks - two afternoons a week. She says if she can impassion the teachers she can reach the kids and then the whole family. Aimee’s goal for her students and clients isn’t perfection… it’s positive change, something we are all capable of!
Attitude is Key
When I asked Aimee about New Years resolutions, this is what she asked me to share with you; “It’s important to have the mindset that you are improving your lifestyle and making health and fitness a bigger priority… not just focusing on a goal of losing weight, that rarely works.” Aimee went on to explain that attitude is crucial to success because if you get down on yourself for getting off track, or eating poorly one day, it’s that attitude that jeopardizes your success – not the fact that you were temporarily derailed. If you are patient with yourself and have the attitude that no matter what you will get back up and start again, then you can succeed!
How to ‘stick with it’
Coach Sturges’ top two tips for sticking to a resolution:
- Find a way to integrate your new choices – eating well and exercising – into your everyday life in a realistic way. This will set you up for success!
- Find someone to work the plan with you such as a walking buddy. Join a dance or tennis class at the park and rec, join the YMCA with a friend, or hire someone like Aimee to work with you to create a program that is tailored to your exact needs.
Taking this first step of committing to something with someone, to keep you accountable, is a huge factor in success. And success breeds success because you will love how you feel about yourself when you are successful!
Small changes add up to big results
Aimee shared some tried and true ways we can all improve our health without feeling like we’re in boot camp:
- Take your favorite recipes and creatively improve them, converting them into more nutritious foods. Reducing sugar in a dessert recipe is often unnoticed and replacing sour cream and mayo with Greek yogurt reduces fat and increases protein.
- Stay hydrated – make drinking water fun by using a straw, getting a cute water bottle and adding ice and lemon. Keep it with you as you work, watch t.v., etc. - you’ll look and feel better too!
- Get the sleep you need – your physical and emotional well being depend on it, your body needs to recuperate. 8-9 hours a day!
- If you struggle to integrate exercise into your busy life: before you allow yourself to get into the shower each day, do a 5-10 minute micro-workout. Getting your heart rate up, your metabolism jump-started and your brain awake will improve how you feel immediately and motivate you to make better choices all day! Aimee was hesitant to suggest any specific activities because everyone is at a different level of fitness. If you have no idea how to even start such a thing you can call Aimee for simple ideas that are tailored to your goals and current fitness level.
What Motivates the Motivator?
So what keeps someone who inspires others, inspired themselves? Aimee answers this by saying, “when I have the privilege of working with someone who really doesn’t believe they can do it – and I’m able to encourage them and reinforce their success - the greatest reward is seeing their personal growth, knowing I was a part of that positive change!” Newbury Park resident, June Parker understands the power of motivation. June, who is 77 years old was living a sedentary lifestyle, “I was doing absolutely nothing and thought walking was boring, I hated exercise”. Last year June was gifted four sessions with Aimee as a birthday gift from a friend. “She got me started in a whole new lifestyle and I feel energetic and confident”. June now swims at the YMCA two days a week, does a stretch class two mornings a week and walks on the weekends. “Aimee encouraged me. Taking care of myself is a priority in my life now”, June commented. Aimee’s philosophy is summed up in her business mission statement: “ My mission is to be a positive role model by projecting a positive, can-do attitude. I want to inspire, encourage and motivate others to set and maintain their goals.”
The Business of Educating and Motivating
To Contact Aimee:
Body Stewardship – Aimee Sturges
To Inquire about the Cancer Survivor Fitness program - free to qualifying applicants and includes a 12-week membership:
Miller Family YMCA – Newbury Park
Katie Beck – Executive Director