Fitness: Back to Basics
Functional Movement Specialist Matt Lovitt takes a step-by-step approach to fitness.Fitness consultant and trainer Matt Lovitt integrates physiology, nutrition and neuromuscular training into the offerings at his Metairie studio, Pure Fitness. Along with seeing clients one-on-one during the day, Lovitt holds group classes at night.
Lovitt, who began his career working with physical therapy patients and hospital weight-loss clients, focuses on sharing corrective exercises that improve overall health. As a certified Functional Movement Specialist, he designs movements and workouts to improve mobility, strengthen muscles and joints, and ameliorate pain issues.
On Staying Motivated: When it comes to exercise, “I like to put some kind of stake on it,” Lovitt says. “I’ll have a definite period of time during which I’ve got to get somewhere. Maybe it’s a run, or it’s a race or some kind of competition I have to be good for.” Accountability is the key here; accordingly, Lovitt also commits to weekly workouts with several partners.
On Food He Loves: Lovitt prefers grass-fed meat, and he eats a lot of vegetables, though the dishes he cooks vary from day to day. “I eat Paleo-style if I’m lifting weights,” he says. “If I’m not working out that day, I’ll eat like a vegan — lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, quinoa.” He stresses the importance of eating “real” foods, or those that come from the earth, not from boxes. “If the food is living, it’ll give you energy,” Lovitt says.
Client Success Story: A 78-year-old client came to Lovitt for help. He wanted to travel, but inflexibility and reliance on a cane made taking trips uncomfortable and sometimes impossible. Lovitt showed the client some “primal postures” — basic stances that help maintain bodily alignment. Then, he worked exercises into the postures, in much the same way that babies develop mobility and strength. “Being able to move better improves your quality of life,” Lovitt says. These days, Lovitt’s client no longer relies on a cane, and he can take long trips without worry.
Advice for Readers: First, Lovitt suggests getting a movement screening. This evaluation will highlight any trouble or pain points in the body, and allow your trainer to customize a workout to improve mobility and strength.
Second, choose a form of exercise that you find fun or engaging. “If that’s intramural sports, a group workout class or working out with a friend, make some kind of weekly commitment that you enjoy,” Lovitt says.
Finally, Lovitt emphasizes the importance of setting a single goal instead of trying to jump into every fitness goal at once. “The biggest hurdle is not, ‘Did you do the right type of exercise?’” he says. “It’s: ‘Did you do anything, period?’”
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