» B d o

Personal trainer
Bonni Gellman, 53, shows
you how to l
your body
after a health scare
Photos: Laura arsiÈ. hair and makeup: Kelly Meredith for TRESemmé Hair Care/judyinc.com. top and pants: lululemon athletica
By nancy ripton
Bonni Gellman has always been fit. An avid
cyclist, she follows a strict vegetarian diet and
has never smoked. But, at age 47, she was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. A routine
mammogram missed the carcinoma, and
by the time Gellman discovered a lump in
her left breast the cancer was advanced.
Over the next two years, Gellman endured seven surgeries. Overwhelmed
by fear and exhaustion, she still had the
will to get up and move. Although exercise can’t prevent you from getting sick,
says Gellman, “it does give you the
strength to heal.”
Because working out was so crucial to
her recovery, Gellman decided to end
her long-standing career as a vice-president in a retail business and focus on
helping others reconnect with their bodies after illness. She became a certified
personal trainer and opened The Power
of One Training, a private studio in Toronto that helps people “build strength,
confidence, balance and coordination”
after a major health scare.
“Being sick forces you to look at exercise differently,” says Gellman. Before
an illness, a workout may have been a
10-kilometre run; now it might be relearning how to walk up a flight of stairs.
Gellman has created the following
workout for More readers to guide them
back to fitness after a health setback.
forward »
February / March 2012 / More / 79
❹ “The pressure’s on”
Technique trick
Keep your shoulders
down and relaxed
❸ “Weight of the world”
❶ “Reach for the sky”
Why it’s important Breathfocused movement is a great way
to release tension and boost circulation. Simple actions help your
mind trust your body again.
How-to Stand with your feet
shoulder-width apart and arms relaxed at your sides. Inhale through
your nose for four counts, then exhale through your mouth. Repeat.
Cross your wrists in front of your
body (A) and inhale as you separate your arms so your body
looks like a T (B); continue raising
your arms until they are extended
straight up (C). Circle them down
in front of your body (D). Repeat
four times, then reverse the direction and repeat four more times.
You’ll see results in Shoulders,
arms, core muscles and back
Need a challenge? As you lift your
arms upward, bend both knees
and lower your body into a halfsquat. Once your arms are extended overhead, straighten your
knees to return to standing position. Increase the number of
reps to six.
Why it’s important Once your initial wounds heal, you can push
your body a little more.
How-to Stand with your feet hipwidth apart, holding a two- or
three-pound dumbbell in each
hand with your arms at your sides.
Lift both arms out to the sides,
stopping when the weights are in
line with your shoulders (A). Rotate
your arms so your palms face upward. Bend your elbows and touch
the weights to your shoulders,
keeping the upper arms parallel to
the floor (B). Press the weights
Why it’s important To be truly body
aware, you need to connect with
your core. Strong core muscles are
essential to a strong body.
How-to Lie on your back with your
legs extended and toes pointed.
Interlock your fingers and lightly
support your neck with your hands
behind your head. Bring your left
knee into your chest, leaving the
right leg extended on the floor with
a pointed toe. Lift your shoulder
blades off the floor as high as you
can, looking up at the ceiling (A).
Rotate your torso to the left, bringing your right elbow toward your
left knee (B). Bring your torso back
to centre; slowly lower your shoulders, then return your leg to the
floor. Repeat on the opposite side.
Continue alternating sides for
12 repetitions. Take a 30-second
break, then do 12 more reps.
You’ll see results in Abdominals
and obliques
Need a challenge? Keep your legs
extended two inches off the floor
throughout the exercise.
straight up overhead (C) and hold
for a count of four. Reverse the
movement, bringing the weights
back down to your shoulders with
the elbows up and out to the sides.
Extend your arms so they make
a straight line with your shoulders,
then rotate your arms so your
palms are face down. Slowly lower
your arms to your sides to return
to start position. Repeat for 12 to
15 repetitions.
You’ll see results in Shoulders and
upper arms
Too difficult? Try one arm at a time
or skip the weights at first.
Technique trick Focus on your breathing. Breathe
in on the lift, exhale on the rotation, inhale
to return to centre and exhale on the descent.
Technique trick While your arms are
extended straight above you, keep
your shoulders down.
❷ “Rise and shine”
Technique tricks Tuck your pelvis in and
squeeze your glute muscles as you rise
and descend. This will help maintain
balance and tone your butt.
80 / More / February / March 2012
Why it’s important Illness
and strong medications can
make the body unstable.
Finding your centre helps
you find balance.
How-to Stand with your
heels together, feet turned
out and hands on your hips
(A). Rise up on your toes,
lifting your heels as high as
possible (B). Hold for four
counts, then slowly return
your heels to the floor. Your
heels should be touching
again at this point. Repeat
25 times.
You’ll see results in Core
muscles, glutes, thighs
and calves
Too difficult? Lightly touch
a wall or grasp a railing
for balance.
❺ “Over and out”
Technique trick
Focus on lengthening your torso
as you bend.
Why it’s important This exercise releases tension and relaxes your body.
How-to Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Exhale as you bend
forward from the hips, keeping your
back as flat as possible with a slight
bend in the knees (A). Pause for
a few seconds, then continue to roll
down, placing your fingertips or
palms on the floor (B). Hold for two
seconds, then bring your hands behind your calves and your chest to
your thighs. Press your heels firmly
into the floor as you tilt your tailbone
toward the ceiling (C). Hold for eight
seconds, then slowly roll up to return
to start position. Repeat six times.
You’ll see results in Lower back,
glutes, hip flexors and hamstrings
Too difficult? Keep a slight bend in
your knees. M
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