The Joy of Movement
Not a Runner
There's no one 'right' form of exercise. The best exercise is the kind you enjoy: if you love moving a certain way, you'll be more motivated to repeat it day in and day out.
I tried running. I genuinely believe it's a great form of exercise and for many it is a lifelong and rewarding endeavor. But not for me: I tried running and it just didn't stick.
I love the variety of high intensity interval training (HIIT) and strength training, and these are my main forms of daily exercise. I'm so drawn to the rapid change-ups in a HIIT session, and constantly look forward to the next movement.
I feel uniquely alive when I exercise. The endorphin rush, my heart pounding in my chest, and thinking: "OK, I can do just ONE more burpee, just ONE more push-up." It's so satisfying: I'm sweating, I'm exhausted, and I feel incredibly accomplished. That's the joy for me.
The Joy of Movement
I started gymnastics at a young age, which sparked my lifelong love of movement. Being physically strong and capable really boosts your confidence, which is so important as you grow and develop.
I wanted to be a positive lifestyle influence on myself and family, so I did my undergrad in Health Promotion. Around that time, I started working at a women-only health club, where I taught my very group fitness class.
As an introvert, I was scared to death to take on this water aerobics program, but the sweet women attending the class were the perfect audience to start with. They smiled and encouraged me from the shallow end of the pool the entire hour. After teaching that first class I was hooked: that was 25 years ago.
I have been coaching group fitness in some capacity ever since! What I love about the evolution of group training is that nowadays, there's a format for everyone. There's Zumba, CrossFit, Pilates, TRX, Cycle, etc. All fitness levels and all ages have the chance to discover their joy of movement.
The Birth of @FitDitts
My Instagram account @FitDitts started a few years ago when I provided a local recipe-blogger friend some workouts for her exercise page. Her readers started asking whether I had a personal account, and I figured I should make one! My last name is Dittman, which is where the catchy "@FitDitts" name originated.
The goal of my platform is to help people fall in love with fitness. To fall in love with the way it makes you feel, inside and out.
My active family is made up of me, my husband, and our 5 children (ages ranging from 9 to 24). We're on the move year round: we snowboard in the winter and wake board in the summer. I am almost 49 years old, and I have every intention of keeping up with my family for years to come!
My 'why' for my daily exercise routine is that I want to continue to be involved in doing fun and active things with the people I love the most. Maybe my 45 minute HIIT session isn't super enjoyable every day, but I know it translates into hiking to the top of a mountain with my kids. When I taught my 9-year-old to ski, I was able to pick him up and plop him back on the slopes with relative ease.
All that strength training, all those HIIT workouts, all the mobility practice: it ALL translates to staying physically capable of doing the things I love.
Perfectionism is Poison
If I could say one thing to my teenage self, it would be "Believe in yourself." I was introverted and shy in high school and it was hard for me (and sometimes still is!) to try things I thought I would be "bad" at.
Take my gymnastics experience: I was so worried about not being the best, that I would skip my competition. I wouldn't even tell my parents when the meets were, and when my coaches asked me why I missed I told them I was sick. My lack of self-belief at that age definitely limited me.
I recognize now that this stemmed from a tendency toward perfectionism. What I've learned is that perfectionism keeps you from trying new experiences, and it robs you of opportunities. Nowadays, I remind myself and my followers: you don't have to be the best, you just have to try. Do it even if you suck!
It Starts With One Step
I want all women to know that you don't have to be "good" at exercise in order to start. No matter your age, fitness level, or abilities: don't let the fear of imperfection prevent you from moving.
Every workout is progress. It doesn't matter if its 15 minutes or 60 minutes. It's a snowball effect: you may not think a 15 minute workout makes a difference, but if you exercise in small and consistent increments, all those little "snowflakes" form one giant snowball. And if you keep at it, you'll look back 5-10 years from now and realize you've made leaps and bounds of progress.
Just like life, some days your fitness journey will be 3 steps forward and 2 steps back: but you're still in motion. It's that very momentum that propels your fitness goals and experiences throughout your life. You'll never know what heights you can reach unless you start.
Jani on Perspective
"Perspective Fitwear caters to all healthy bodies: not just one body type. Perspective is very much about fitness for everybody and every body. I love that."
Follow Jani on Instagram at @fitditts for at-home workout programming, fitness journey tips and insights, and reviews of all her PFW gear!