Client of the Month: Dana H.

Meet Dana H.!  Dana, a regular client of our Edina studio, is truly an inspiration when it comes to dedication, commitment, and her positive attitude she brings to the studio.  You may see her regularly at those early 6am classes with a smile on her face ready to get her shakes on!

How long have you been coming to the barre and what inspired you to try it?
Jenna taught my first barre class 2 1/2 years ago. I was more than a little intimidated at first, everyone seemed so young and fit and I thought it was really hard. But I saw Jenna and other instructors doing the classes too and still challenging themselves and it seemed to work for lots of different fitness levels so I just kept coming back.

Tell us about yourself! Work? Hobbies?
I am a psychiatrist and I am trained as a geriatrician and I still work 3 days per week. I plan to retire completely in the next 1-2 years.

What are your favorite barre benefits, mental and/or physical? Challenges?
Barre has been a great way to counter aging and to stay ready for biking, hiking, and skiing. I feel much stronger and I have more endurance.

I hope all the younger women who do this work out realize how important it is to keep it up even after they don’t care so much about how they look in a bathing suit anymore. It’s just so critical to have that core and upper body strength as well as the legs and hips as you go into your post-menopausal years. Data really supports that exercise is even more important the older you get.  I do feel my age and limitations, some days more than others, but I remind myself how much better I feel now than I did 2 1/2 years ago.  I like to see more older women showing up and I want to encourage them to just keep coming back. But I really like the mix of ages, fitness levels, post-partum, post-menopause, dancers, athletes, and not so athletic. I appreciate that the instructors can be challenging but not judgmental and the workout can still be just as hard as it was when I started.

I forgot to mention, too, how supportive my husband has been. He’s seen me start work out programs over the years and not stay with them and he’s been really impressed with how I have stayed with this one – and he likes the results, too. He thinks I look great but he sees also how I can keep up with him better when we bike or ski and how I have more energy.

How do you balance work, family, hobbies, etc. and still have time for barre?
I try to be disciplined and get to 3-4 classes per week which seems to be the magic number for me. I’m in 2 book clubs, travel, have a lake home in Wisconsin that I want to get to on the weekends.  Both of my sons are in their mid-20’s and they’re pretty independent now.  In the past it was all about getting to their games and tournaments, so I try to channel that into time for me. I think kids should see their parents setting that example so at least I’m doing it now. They think it’s great and my son with his first job gets to the gym regularly which makes me happy.

Do you have a favorite class format or instructor?
I don’t have a favorite instructor and I enjoy that they each have a different style and each class is different, you know what’s coming in general but you don’t get bored. I typically do the regular barre classes because I like the stretching and cool down built in.

What does “barre strong” mean to you?
Barre strong means I can try new things, like a bike trip, or a ski race, or a hiking trip, and look forward to it now because my body and mind are ready. It’s great to be able to wear sleeveless dresses, too!

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