Exercising for Longevity with Coach Thad Hubbell Transcript
The information in this podcast does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should not be used as a substitute for healthcare from a licensed healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare provider for individualized treatment or before beginning any new program.
Host: Hello and welcome to Well Wisconsin Radio, a podcast discussing health and wellbeing topics with experts from all around the state of Wisconsin. I’m your host Renee Fox. And today my guest is Thad Hubbell, a WebMD health coach and certified personal trainer, with 25 years of experience working with exercise beginners to professional athletes.
Thad, thank you for joining us today to talk about exercise for longevity.
Guest: Thanks for having me, Renee.
Host: So, we just started a new physical activity challenge for the Well Wisconsin program. And it is called Move for a Million, where anyone who’s participating in this challenge, they are encouraged to move in different ways that work for them and their lifestyle. So, as we are focusing on, you know, doing many types of movements, I’m curious to get your perspective if there are certain types of exercises that are more beneficial for our health.
Guest: Oh, great question. So, well, first of all, if you’re looking for that movement, you’re going to have to get steps in. So, you think of your exercise that way first of all, right? So, mine may not translate over. Um, but putting the science aside, I’m always, I always tell people do what you enjoy first. So, we can look at what’s, you know, more beneficial for our health. But step one is do what you like, because if you don’t like it, you won’t stick with it, right? So, find exercise that you do like.
Anything that elevates your heart rate is where you’re going to get conditioned. So, if you can get your heart rate elevated, um, that’s going to be more beneficial for you. And, then you have to think about your goals. So, as a trainer all these years, I want to know what do you want to accomplish? It’s like we log in for work or we clock in, right?
And why is that? Because you’re going to get a paycheck. So, the whole point is, you have to know there’s going to be some benefit that you’re trying to accomplish from that, whether it’s weight management, or you just want to get open the pickle jar, and you want to get stronger. So, that’s going to tailor what you’re going to do with your exercise, if that makes sense.
So, you may be more apt to I need to get into strength training because I need to get stronger or we talk balance work or my core or back issues or whatever that is, pick your exercise based on what your goals are, what you’re trying to accomplish. So, you can see the results from it.
Host: Oh, that’s fantastic. We do have a great conversion chart too.
So, we might have a lot of people cycling out there doing other things to improve balance and they can definitely convert that into steps too. So, it’s a, it’s a fun way that you know, folks can participate in, in ways that work for them. You know, as we start aging and getting closer to retirement, you know, I hear people talk about making plans to really stay active for their future, you know, whether that means spending time with family, or maybe they have goals to travel around the world. What exercises, if we are in this stage of life, you know, what exercises should people focus on to prepare their bodies for an active future and really be able to maintain that?
Guest: Oh, that’s excellent. And it’s neat hearing that we’re promoting, just like we do with finances, is exercise.
So, you can have the money saved up, but if you don’t have the ability to go do those active things, it makes it miserable, right? So, yeah, you gotta think a decade ahead. So, I’ve always trained people that what you’re doing now is going to carry over, you’re going to see that ten years from now. Um, with what you’re doing.
So that’s really smart, um, thinking that way. Pretty much any exercise is going to be beneficial, first of all with that. But as we age, certain things you want to look into is core work. For sure. So, if there’s, um, any, especially back issues can be a big one that come around. So, core work is going to be a big one, a big one, a nasty word, arthritis that comes in.
And I’ve told many of my clients that they, oh, my knees bothering them. If they’re over 40, I always remind them the doctor’s going to tell you, you have arthritis. So, but we want to know, can we do something to minimize that? Um, and so anything, any specific things to work around your joints. So, usually I tell people go to their doctor and see if they can get some exercises or even see a physical therapist, um, to start working on those issues now preventatively instead of waiting another 10 years.
Get those joints stable. And that’s my background as a joint stability specialist is working with people to enhance those joints. But a big one too people don’t think about is balance work. So, anything that that could be small things like brushing your teeth on one foot. Sounds ridiculous, but anything, as we age, we start to lose balance.
So, balance is important, core work’s important, keeping ourselves strong, our joints strong, um, for just in general that we can stay active, go upstairs, things like that, um, would be some big things I would recommend with that.
Guest: So just tailoring it that direction.
Host: Yeah. Um, can you talk a little bit more about, you know, core work and some exercises, um, that could be beneficial to strengthen our core?
Guest: Yeah. Uh, well, everybody that’s listening can actually do one right now while they’re listening to this podcast. So, keep breathing. Don’t stop breathing. And Renee, try this as well.
Guest: I want to see how you feel about this. But actually, take your navel. Keep breathing. Take your navel. Pull it into your spine. Sit up nice and tall. Hold that in. Keep breathing. Keep pulling it in. And now see if you can hold that the rest of the podcast. You say, so no, I’m kidding. You don’t have to hold it that long, but that is an example of a seated plank that you’re, you’re hitting the because everybody thinks about the six pack abs, right?
And they think about the crunches and that, well, that helps you get out of bed, which is important. But then there are other layers in the core. Our core is so strong. It’s like plywood. So, there’s multiple layers. There’s layers that go up and down. There’s ones that go diagonally in different directions and then a deep musculature that, that, that one we just worked pulling the navel in will actually make your waistline smaller. And we might just got two more listeners there hearing that one. So, pull that waistline in is a big thing there that can make the waistline smaller and that’s a deep musculature. Yep. So that’s now you can take it from there.
You can do planks. You can do crunches; you can do all kinds of different exercises. You can go back to your portal, especially if you’re talking core work. Um, I’ve actually done a back health daily habit that is a great one that they could plug in, people can plug into and learn about how to do some exercise with the back. We have all kinds of great daily habits so you can do that as well and find things for yourself.
Host: Oh, that’s fantastic. Yeah, I love the daily habits and folks can find that when they log into their Well Wisconsin portal. Um, great ideas and recommendations. Thanks, Thad. So, will exercising or specific types of movement actually help us live longer?
Guest: It doesn’t feel like it when you’re doing it, right? Sometimes. But yes, all the studies say yes, it does. Uh, if you think about it, um, not only are you conditioning yourself, which is good, and people don’t realize this, your heart is a muscle. So, if your heart gets stronger, then that’s beneficial. It’s going to improve lung function, um, which is good, even brain function, but things we don’t think about a lot of times with exercise, unless you have a condition and I’m actually one of the condition management coaches, um, that everybody has as well.
So, you may, this can help you manage blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, and all of these things come into play. So, we may not think about those numbers so much, but exercise is a, it’s a medicine for a lot of these things. So, it can really help you, um, live longer, manage conditions. Um, I have people tell me they, they get the scare that my doctor says I have, you know, prediabetes and boy, exercise is a great way to help manage that blood sugar. So, um, we do that on coaching calls all the time, um, with population of people that may have these conditions and we’ll work with them to try to get them exercising to do that as well, so yep, it, it does help us live longer for sure.
Host: Fantastic. I love looking at, um, exercise like medicine too as a prescription. So, um, appreciate you talking about the chronic condition management coaching program too. And anyone interested in that can just get started by that first, um, coaching call. Just log into your portal and schedule an appointment.
Um, so I’m curious too if, you know, folks out there are, you know, maybe they’re injured or experiencing some chronic pain. Um, can you talk a little bit more about, you know, how you were, would get started if that’s the situation for you?
Guest: Okay, well step one, I would say talk to your doctor. Yeah, um the first thing if you’re dealing with chronic pain or an injury. Even as a trainer, with all my experience, if someone comes to me, I want to know what’s their doctor say. And I and I need basically a hall pass that says, okay, here’s your restrictions, here’s what we don’t want to do and things like that.
So, definitely you want to work with your doctor, and you want to tell them your exercise goals. So, if you have diabetes or things like that, you want to talk to them about, um, or a knee issue. I want to run a half marathon. They need to know these kinds of things if you’re thinking of training for it. Um, but simplest form, if the doctor says, yep, you’re good to go or limit these few things. The number one thing I would tell somebody is anything that’s pain free is important. So don’t do anything. We always heard that adage, no pain, no gain, right? That means, oh, I’m sweating. My heart rate’s up, this is hard. That doesn’t mean knife stabbing pain in a joint. Okay, so if you’re feeling sharp pains, doing more isn’t going to make it better.
In fact, pain is really a good thing. It’s our body telling us, hey, don’t take me there. And it’s very important. So, um, limit your range of motion with anything you’re doing. Maybe change up the exercise for that area. Um, you can ask your doctor about physical therapy options are always good. Um, and I know with the Chronic Pain Management with Fern, that’s another option you can look into, um, as well, um, with that.
So, some things to go with, I mean, you can still always say you can eat around the bad spot of the apple, if that makes sense. So, it doesn’t mean you throw the apple out, right? You just, you eat around it, and we can do that. So, there’s a lot of things. If you have lower body issues, maybe you start with upper body exercises. Okay. I’ve even trained people that, um, they’ve had bunion surgery, things like that. They’re still coming in the gym and we’re working upper body. And we’re just leaving the lower body alone. So, a lot of things you can do with that with chronic pain.
Host: Yeah. Yeah. Great examples. Um, so if someone’s just wanting to maybe try a new exercise or, you know, spice it up and change their current exercise routine, um, are they ever too old to get started? And what tips would you have for, you know, taking that approach?
Guest: Well, now that I’m 50, for sure, we’re never too old to exercise. So, believe it or not, I’m a marathon instructor, and I have, I have a lady that walked her first half marathon at 62 years of age.
Host: Oh, that’s fabulous.
Guest: So, no, your body does not know that.
What it does know is we need good warm up, we need good cool downs, um, we need to watch our progressions on what we, what we’re doing. The number one thing that can injure us is our, is doing too much at one time. So, watching what you’re doing, reading your body. Hopefully we do better at that at 50 plus than we did in our 20s, but those are things to look at.
But no, you’re never too old to get started. Um, the neat thing is, if you were an exerciser, and you’ve taken the last decade off and you’re getting back in, you actually will rebound quicker than if you’d never done it because the body remembers that. Just don’t, in your head, think you are 20 and go back to what you were doing when you were 20.
And just work yourself back and see where it can go. But, um, no, all the studies show, even with things like marathons, people in their 60s can still run the pace on average as people that are 19, 20 years old.
Guest: If they want to for things like marathon. So no, you can stay conditioned and still stay healthy as you get older. That’s the neat thing about it.
Host: That is really exciting. So, I know you teach some group coaching classes and that’s a new style of coaching that is just now available for Well Wisconsin participants this year. Can you tell our listeners a little bit more about this style of health coaching and what type of physical activity options are available?
Guest: Yeah, no, they, they are great classes. Um, what I recommend when you come on, come on, be ready to talk. They’re different, they’re different. So, it’s, it’s more, I, I like, you don’t want to just hear me. It gets real boring. So, you know, the group gets to talk, people, you learn from other people. Okay, so, somebody may be doing something, um, differently and you can, you know get feedback from them or you may have something to offer the group. So, they’re meant to be very participatory. So, you can get involved on the topic, um, talk about it. And we obviously, uh, facilitate, you know, what you’re doing with that as well. And we have some really great exercise classes. So, they change around.
So, we have fun. And if you have done any of these, at the end, we have a survey, and we always want to know ideas. So, we’re always coming up with new classes and ideas, and if we hear enough people talk about it, um, we turn it into a class, which is fun. But we have everything from exercising without equipment, quick workouts, and don’t worry, these are not going to be Beachbody workouts.
These aren’t going to be anything that you can’t go back to work from this. You can actually do it while you’re working. We’re going to show you some stuff. So, some of them are, um, they demonstrate and some of them are just educational, but you can learn exercises, um, with no weights, with bands, dumbbells, all different kinds of things that we do as well.
We even have yoga classes, um, that we’re doing as well that you can try. Um, and I even do one that’s out there here and there is ask the trainer. So it’s a full half hour. You’ll pay big dollars for this at the gym if you go in, right? You can come and ask me for free on anything you might be doing. So, no they are great classes that you can utilize and hear from other people as well that might be trying to do something.
Host: Oh, that’s exciting a lot of different options.
I’m curious to hear a little bit more about the ask the trainer class. What are some top questions that you get asked on that session?
Guest: Well, I get a lot from people, joint issues. Yeah, so people are trying to work around like we said earlier they’re trying to work around a bad knee and they’re wanting to do that maybe on weight loss I might hear some things on weight loss sometimes. And sign up for these classes because every once in a while, in a blue moon, you may be the only one to sign up for the class and you get the whole half hour. So, don’t think so even even you may get the whole class, which is really fun for somebody if they get that.
But, um, the neat thing is, is what I find is someone may ask me a question and someone, you come in with your questions you have and someone else asks, oh yeah, I had, I want to know that as well. So, the question you haven’t even thought about, someone else that’s joined the class may be saying and you catch up.
But it can be anywhere from weight management, I want to get conditioned for something, or joint issues are usually a lot of times, um, what I hear. Mostly.
Host: Yeah. Awesome. That’s great. Exciting new class. So, some people, you know, might have some barriers too, you know, that really make exercising a little bit more difficult.
Um, can you talk a little bit about overcoming barriers and also touch on some new specialty coaching programs, um, that are available to Well Wisconsin participants this year and some things that, you know, might really help um, folks overcome those obstacles.
Guest: Oh yeah, definitely. Um, well, we all have barriers at some place, so I talk to people all the time, even the best. I talked to somebody earlier today that they were they said they were checking boxes on their exercise, which is a scary thing. So, they were very fit, but they’re feeling like they might be losing what they’re wanting to do. Um, with that, that’s a great time for a coaching call because that’s one thing we try to do is help you figure out even if this is what’s always neat, even if you’re doing everything picture perfectly and you feel confident, we like to come in and say, what can throw you off?
Because that can be big. Is what are you looking down the road that might throw you off? Because that can happen to all of us. Even me as a trainer, um, these things come in. Um, now it depends what the barrier is. So, um, if, if it’s just stress. Or it’s depression. Um, we do have mental health coaching. Stress, uh, stress coaching that we do as well. Um, that you can go with. Um, and sometimes help break through that barrier before you even start with an exercise program. Um, it can be a big one.
If it’s weight management, we do that with coaching as well. Um, the Positively Me program is a great option to go with. So, okay, we’re going to really focus on the weight and really touch in that area, um, that we can work on it.
Um, and like I said, we have diabetes prevention with the, um, condition management. Onduo is another great option you can go with. Um, to help manage your blood sugar in the process of other goals that you might be dealing with. So, I may talk to somebody that has diabetes or asthma, but they want to lose weight, well we can also help them manage their condition, um, with that as well.
Now, you said a big thing about barriers, it depends what the barrier is, and I always recommend to people is start small. So, don’t we just got through with resolutions, right? And everybody has five things they want to work on at one time. And I say, which one is the biggest one to get started with that you know you 100 percent can do?
And, if that was the exercise I just told you, pull that navel in, do your plank. If that’s where you start, do that regularly. And then, add to it. So, start small, don’t overwhelm yourself. And then you can always go to the next step.
Host: Yeah, really great advice. Um, so, um, back to the Move for a Million challenge that we have going on.
I know it can be a barrier, um, for people living in Wisconsin, just, um, having really cold temperatures or snow this time of year. So, curious if you have any advice and recommendations for people to, um, stay active, maybe try something new, and again, just finding that joy in movement, um, that works for them?
Guest: Yeah, I, I don’t live in Wisconsin, but if I did, snowshoes. I would, I am adventurous, and I would have my snowshoes. I wouldn’t be shoveling. I’d be doing snowshoeing instead. So, uh, I don’t get that as much where I live, but if I do, I would, uh, definitely, I do, I do own snowshoes. So, I would say it’s a great one. Cross country skiing, so those are the outside versions. Um, obviously shoveling snow. They always warn about that every year, don’t they?
As being an activity, you got to pay attention. So that does count as activity, but just like anything else, you may have to do it like setting reps. So, you may have to say, okay, I’m going to shovel for five minutes. I’m going to take a five-minute break and then shovel for another five minutes. Um, that’s okay.
There is, well, since COVID, there’s so many online options as well. So, there’s so much stuff you can do online. Um, now you can stream, look at your, um, cable programs, things like that. Because a lot of times there’s a lot of streaming videos, um, that you can do as well to get your activity up. There are people that I talked to that actually maybe don’t have like a Peloton bike. But they get the Peloton app, and they maybe do some exercise sessions on there as well.
We don’t typically recommend YouTube, but if people find something on YouTube they really like and they’ve been doing, we don’t tell them don’t do it. So, it’s one of those things where you just find whatever motivates you activity wise, it can get you doing something small and then always keep in mind, you can break it up through your day. So, even on a busy work day, you can write down your exercises on a three by five card and so I’m gonna hit these eight exercises by the end of the day and I got a workout in so it doesn’t have to be all at once and spending all that time at one time, you could break it up through the day. You have your band sitting in front of you and you do exercise here, there and piece it all together at the end of your day.
Host: Oh, I love that. Um, and I am a big snowshoeing fan. Um, so it’s one of my favorite ways to stay active and we are actually having a snowshoeing workshop on March 1st for anyone participating in Well Wisconsin.
So, they can join us at, um, Devil’s Lake State Park and just you know, get connected, sign into the portal, learn a little bit more about how to register for that event. So, definitely a fun way to stay active. And this is a great opportunity for anyone who’s never tried snowshoeing and just wants to learn the technique and just give it a try.
So, we welcome anyone to join us for that event. Um, and I’m also curious, you know, as I interact with people, sometimes I’ve heard, um, participants in our Well Wisconsin program say that, you know, they’re maybe a little hesitant to talk to a health coach and just not sure, you know, what that experience is going to be like. Any, um, just recommendations or can you talk a little bit more about like what to expect in that first coaching call if someone’s ready to explore, um, just health coaching and tap into some of these new specialized programs?
Guest: Oh, beautiful. Yeah. Well, first of all, as a trainer, I put on my health coaching hat when I health coach. So, I walk beside you. As a trainer in a gym, I just tell you what to do and you just do whatever I tell you to do, right? As a health coach, I walk beside you. What’s going to work for you? And we co-create a goal.
But the first step is we don’t judge. So, I am behind a desk eight hours a day. So, if that’s you, hear me, I understand you, I feel your pain, it’s brutal, and I do it as well. So, we don’t judge, and I always tell people the best time actually to have a health coaching call, and some people dread picking up that phone on the second call when they did not reach their goal that they wanted to do, that is actually the best time to pick up the phone because we’re going to regroup with you. Figure out what didn’t work and what do we have to do now to get you there? Or where do you feel, what did you learn from it, right? So, we fail eight times, and we learn a lot from that. And then that ninth time, okay, how do we, how do we go from there?
And we’ll work through the whole year with you to help figure out what’s not working. Where do you think you go from here? And that’s okay. So, we always want to pick up the phone when it’s high success. When you’ve lost the five pounds since the last call. Boy, I want to talk to my health coach now, right?
That is great. But if you haven’t lost one pound, that’s okay, too. Let’s figure out where do we need to go from here, and that’s kind of what we do. So, we’re not going to judge you and we’re going to come beside you and we can feel your pain on a lot of these things as well. So, we even have coaches that were ex-smokers and they were inactive. They had joint replacement things like this. So, we understand what it’s like to go through what you might be going through
Host: Yeah, I love that. Thank you so much. Do you have any final words of advice for our listeners as they’re either working on this Move for a Million challenge or just, you know, trying to change up their exercise routine or plug into a coaching program?
Guest: Yeah, it’s progressions. So, if you’re doing nothing, do something. So, you don’t have to be, you don’t have to be at 10,000, everybody says at 10, 000 steps. You don’t have to be at 10,000 steps. Step one is take out the roadmap. If you’re lost, you don’t know where you are, what’s the first thing you do? You pull out the map or now the GPS.
I got to find out where I am before I know where I’m going. Right? So find out where you are, um, with what you’re doing and then figure out where do I want to go and what’s reasonable. What can I accomplish and then you can work it up from there. Next thing you know you look back and say well look how far I’ve come. I did not realize I’ve gone that far. So, it’s one step in front of the other and small steps are gonna be greater than setting a huge goal. Especially in January, I have to remind everybody that it doesn’t have to be gigantic even if you don’t get to the million, I ask people, how would you feel if they’re doing nothing?
How would you feel if you got even to a quarter million or half a million? And they feel great. Or the same thing with weight loss. I know you want to lose 50 pounds. At the end of the year, how are you going to feel if you lost 30? Well, I haven’t lost anything the last 10 years. So don’t, if you don’t even hit your goal, don’t worry about it. It’s am I better today than I was yesterday is what you want to look for.
Host: Great recommendations. Thank you so much, Thad. I really appreciate you joining us today.
Guest: Well, thanks for having me.
Remember the Million Steps Challenge from years ago? We listened, we knew you loved it, and it’s back. Except now, it’s about way more than steps, just move for a million. That is, move the equivalent of a million steps in ways that work for you. Because there are so many ways to move our bodies, why would we leave anything out? Get started today by logging into Well Wisconsin at webmdhealth.com forward slash Well Wisconsin and click Get Moving Now on the Move for a Million card.
WebMD Health Coaching connects you with a real person who cares about your well-being. Aside from supporting you with your goals related to physical activity, nutrition, sleep, and stress, we also offer coaching specialties that are more tailored to your individual needs than ever before, like mental health, special weight management, group coaching, and more.
Hear what fellow coaching participants had to say about their experience.
“You know, just to comment back on the value I find in these coaching calls. It’s not so much that I need any one call to completely redirect my efforts or, you know, trajectory of where I’m going in my, my health journey, but just the fact that, you know, I, I feel like I have a handle on where things are going, but these calls serve as you know, a third party checking in and a reminder and some confirmation or affirmation that, uh, you know, I am doing the right things and, and someone else, you know, showing that, uh, you know, appreciation for, uh, what, what little successes I’m having in my health journey is, uh, really beneficial. So, uh, I do value these calls. I look forward to them and, uh, you know, it’s a pleasure to, to be able to have a conversation with somebody about, uh, you know, private health concerns and have them, uh, you’ll provide some constructive feedback and again, uh, appreciation for the small successes along the way. Because, you know, this, this journey isn’t just, uh, step 1 and then step 20, there’s a lot of steps in between and, uh, a lot of appreciation itself. So, thank you very much and I hope to continue these calls.”
“For the last, uh, year and a half, I’ve been working with people from WebMD, um, as my life coach, and I really appreciate all the things and comments that they have made. They are very, very cordial in, in what they say, and, they’re also positive, and I thoroughly enjoy hearing all the positive things, rather than me thinking negative thoughts. So, um, I would recommend this program to anybody, especially those that have diabetes. Um, it sometimes comes, becomes overwhelming at times, and we just need to have somebody let us know that it’s okay that, you know, we have to make decisions and we take one step at a time. And I, uh, I honestly think that having somebody or some program like this in your life is a blessing. So, appreciate everything that they do for me.”
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- Join the Well Wisconsin team for a snowshoeing workshop on Friday, March 1 at Devil’s Lake State Park at 9 am, 12 pm or 3 pm! Whether you’re new to this sport or experienced, connect with fellow Well Wisconsin participants, friends, family or colleageus for this workshop. We’ll cover the basics of the sport and then lead a guided snowshoeing adventure. Click here to register.