Maggie Anderson works as a writer and teacher. She has been a part of the Faculty Staff Fitness Program for the past 2 years.
Synergies: What is your fitness routine?
Maggie: “I try to do some kind of movement every morning. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I take Dee’s 7 a.m. weight training class. On the other mornings, I alternate between a short run, yoga or a cycling class at Dixon.”
Synergies: What types of activity do you enjoy the most? Is there anything you really want to try?
Maggie: “I love all kinds of activity. I love lifting because I almost immediately feel stronger after doing it. I love team sports, like basketball, because I’m competitive. I love yoga for quiet mornings, long bike rides or hikes for spending time with friends, and running if I need to get outside and clear my head.”
Synergies: What is your fitness philosophy?
Maggie: “My fitness philosophy is that something is better than nothing. Even if I feel too tired or rushed in the morning to do my normal routine, I try to take at least 10 minutes to do a few yoga stretches and get my body moving.”
Synergies: Why are you active? What affect has that had on your well-being?
Maggie: “Honestly, a large part of why I’m active is that it keeps me pain free. I spend a lot of time sitting for work and have struggled with hip pain over the past two years. I realized that the pain was coming from a combination of tight and weak muscles, and once I started regularly lifting weights, the pain went away. I used to run regularly, but now I try to do a variety of activities so that I’m really pushing my body past the kinds of movement I would normally get.”
Synergies: How long have you been active?
Maggie: “Being active has always been part of my life. I grew up on a farm and would play and do chores outside as a kid, and I went to a tiny school – there were 18 people in my graduating class. If you were athletic at all, you played all the sports. I did volleyball, cross country, basketball, track and softball. I’ve had on-and-off periods of activity ever since, but I expect being active will always be part of my life. As an adult, I’ve trained for several half marathons and bike tours, and I enjoy outdoor activities with friends. I now have a pretty steady and regular routine of activity.”
Synergies: Have you had any challenges or obstacles you’ve had to overcome in regards to physical fitness? If so, how have you addressed them?
Maggie: “I injured my ankle/Achilles tendon in a bicycling accident about five years ago, and recovering from that injury was tough. I had to learn how to be patient to slowly build back my strength and to adjust my workouts to something my body was able to handle.”
Synergies: What advice do you have for people who are thinking about becoming active or who are struggling to fit it into their busy lives?
“I would advise people to think about what motivates them. For me, it’s important that I have a sense of accountability, which is why I like Faculty Staff Fitness classes. Dee always notices if I’m not in class and haven’t warned her in advance and will reach out. I find that very motivating. Other people might be motivated by some kind of a reward, working out with friends, competition or taking a break from being around others. I think the most important thing is to figure out what does it for you and find a workout routine that incorporates what you like.”
Synergies: What is your favorite healthy food?
Maggie: “I try to eat healthy, but I also try not to focus on food too much other than eating a lot of vegetables and trying new things. I feel like as long as I’m active and paying attention to how I feel when I’m eating and not totally overindulging all the time, I’ll be all right.”
Interview and answers complied by Kinesiology student Jerick Haynes.