Fitness buff Natasha Saddleback took her love of exercising and healthy living to the Montana Band Women’s Wellness Conference held Wednesday, May 18 and 19 at the Montana Band office.
She was one of several keynote speakers, as well as leading breakout sessions that were part of the conference last week.
Saddleback’s goal is to get women fit through a simple change in diet and exercise.
Saddleback has spent several years taking part in regional and national fitness competitions, in some cases as the only First Nations person, and has created a way for First Nations women get into a healthy lifestyles. She has first-hand experience of how her personal outlook on life changed once she started exercising and she has been featured in several fitness magazines with her work over the course of her career.
Starting out at the local gym, Saddleback received positive feedback from other trainers to continue and since then she has travelled all over the country. While preparing for a fitness competition is not easy, Saddleback’s focus is to show that First Nations women can compete at high levels.
She wants to share her training skills with other women. To do that Saddleback mentioned there is a special gym for women-only on the Samson reserve that allows some privacy while getting into a new fitness routine. She suggests women often spend too much time taking care of others while they forget about their own health.
“You will see how much better you will feel if you just take that little bit of time for yourself,” said Saddleback.
She advises starting small by giving up pop and taking short walks. As training continues, she said the next thing to remove is snacks such as chips and to increase the length of walks.
The new gym is also a way to get comfortable with the idea of exercising and to receive some advice on best practices. Saddleback said she is available at lunch every weekday to help out.
Saddleback’s biggest focus is to get women started and once they do that, they will want to continue with it.