Laura Hansen has always tried to stay active.
After an unplanned year away from the gym, the Omaha woman decided she needed to take care of herself. She found a gym family at Better Bodies Fitness & Training.
While some days are harder than others, she hits the gym four days a week. Her personal trainer and gym family help hold her accountable.
“This gym just feels like home to me,” Hansen said. “I made time for me. I needed to take care of myself instead of being in my own head.”
The workouts have helped her mentally and physically. The mom of two has learned to modify certain moves to accommodate a neck problem and arthritis in her wrists. Regular exercise also keeps Hansen, a hairdresser, limber at work.
She’s down 20 pounds, but has shifted her focus from weight to body fat percentage.
“I’m really practicing acceptance of where I’m at,” Hansen said. “I’m trying not to get hung up on the scale numbers.”
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Q: When did you start working out and why?
A: I’ve always worked out. I took a break for a year. I realized, which I’ve always kind of known, as far as it being good for my physical health, it’s just really helped me mentally.
Q: Describe your workouts. How many days per week do you exercise?
A: I’m at the gym four days a week. On Mondays, I do an aerobics class. On Wednesdays, I take a circuit-style class combining weights and cardio. I work out on Tuesdays and Thursdays for half an hour. Sometimes I take a class those days, too.
Q: What is your current fitness goal?
A: I want to drop 2 more pounds. But really, I want to stay fit and keep coming (to the gym). I try to eat clean, but I could do better.
Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment?
A: Being consistent. It’s a challenge sometimes. One day I don’t want to go, or maybe something came up and I couldn’t go. Or you take a vacation and have to start again.
Q: What has been the toughest hurdle and how did you overcome it?
A: I hate burpees. They can be a hurdle during a workout. And sometimes on a cold winter day, you don’t want to get up at 5:30 a.m. and go.
Q: What helps you stay on track?
A: My trainer, Leeanna Carr. Now I’ve developed friends in the class. They will text you if you don’t show up. It kind of becomes your family in some ways.
Q: What do you do when you aren’t in the gym?
A: I hang out with my family and dogs. I meet up with friends for lunch, a movie or a glass of wine.
Q: What is the piece of equipment, supplement, clothing, etc. that you can’t live without?
A: My tennis shoes.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who is just starting their fitness journey?
A: Remember, it’s going to get easier. Stay with it. Start slow. For me, getting a trainer was one of the best things, because she’s become my friend, too.
Gymgoers share what motivates them, pet peeves and their proudest accomplishments
You never know who you might run into at the gym.
There's the man who's exercising as he waits for a heart transplant. Or the woman who's made Jazzercise workouts part of her life for more than 30 years.
Some workouts see moms accompanied by babies. Elsewhere you'll find folks well into their 90s who stick with exercise.
Check out their stories.