Roxanne’s countenance is bright and warm, inviting and engaged. With a lifelong value for health and wellness, she has given her life to creativity and holistic living, and it shines through her. This personal passion has overflowed to inspire and lead others in self-love, wholeness, and joy.
Defying Western culture’s often dismal view of aging, Roxanne has a special way of encouraging and empowering women to bring their full selves to the table unapologetically. This, of course, is the fruit of a life of grit and grace gleaned through her own unique journey. This is the vibrancy of aging gracefully. She embraces a daily rhythm of self-discipline and hopeful perspective, her personal approach to silencing the inner critic.
Roxanne creates space through her diverse range of work to be a voice of encouragement, whether that be in the beauty industry, personal coaching, or motivational speaking. As a Chopra Meditation Instructor, Health Instructor, and Total Well-Being Coach, Roxanne is passionate to guide others in personal growth and confidence. She earned her BA and Masters in Parapsychic Science and challenges society’s perspective on beauty norms. With over 60 years of modelling under her belt, she holds the second longest career in the fashion industry today and has paved the way for so many to discover their own inner strength and beauty.
Today we speak about renewing her relationship with movement, and finding confidence for longevity.
Tell us about your history with movement.
I have always been interested in movement. I was about ten when I saw my mother do yoga, and it intrigued me. I started to copy what she was doing. She stopped doing it, but I continued; I was having back spasms at the time as I was growing so quickly, and I had a bit of scoliosis with debilitating back pain. Yoga was the only thing that gave me relief, and I could not believe that all I had to do was stretch a certain way or hold a certain pose to feel so much better! I never stopped doing yoga. Over the years, it has corrected my scoliosis, so it has been tremendous. That is my basic beginning, and from that stemmed interest in all kinds of movement.
What is your go-to movement practice at the moment?
I like to mix it up because I know that it’s best for the body to not always do repeated patterns of movement. Yoga for sure, and then I like to do weights and dance. So those three I kind of rotate.
What have you learned about health and fitness within the different avenues you’ve worked (as a model, writer, speaker)?
I find that being a model and traveling a lot, I can do it anywhere and anytime, which has been really important. I’ve found that more and more hotels have very nice gyms, and sometimes other models or crew from the work that I’m in will do it together. More and more people are discovering that it’s really important and have incorporated it into their life. So, I can travel, but that doesn’t mean I have to forfeit my routine, which is really nice. Not only does it make me feel more prepared, it makes me feel more satisfied that I’ve done something for myself even though I’m so wrapped up in work. I’ve learned that even though I’m busy, it doesn’t mean I have to forfeit what’s important to me.
That seems to be the hurdle people hit—not having enough time, traveling, being out of routine, but the beauty is that you can adapt and find different rhythms and spaces wherever you are.
Yes! And like you say, it’s an excuse! I travel with a resistance band—they take up no room and don’t weigh anything. I can always utilize it no matter where I am. I don’t have to go out, or sometimes I don’t want to go to the gym, so I just do it in my room. In my profession, I discovered that it’s a really great way to keep me active and it makes me feel so prepared the next day. I’m still taking care of myself!
Are there any surprising lessons you’ve learned about health and fitness as you’ve grown older?
Yes—I think through science we’ve learned more about the human body, and what’s surprising is that they say now that it takes only twenty to twenty-five minutes. That’s all you have to do a day, and you can sustain your level of health. Decades ago we always thought the more you worked out the better—‘If I just hit the gym for an hour and a half’—but actually, we are finding that’s detrimental because you’re exhausting the body and making these micro-tears in the muscles. That’s not what you want to accomplish, especially because we would go at it every day, and that’s not right. So that was an amazing revelation; sometimes when I work out for twenty minutes, I’m just feeling warmed up and that’s ok—I could continue if I felt like it—but sometimes I don’t want to because of the time frame or I’m tired, but I know I’ll feel satisfied just the same because twenty to twenty-five minutes is all you need. That was a big ‘aha moment’ and a huge difference from how it was before.
So true! Even just a short stretch in the morning can change your whole mood and set your day off to a good start.
That’s all your body needs! That blew my mind.
How does movement add to or inform the priorities for the current season of life you’re in?
I learned that if you exercise every day, it’ll add hours to your life. I mean, if that doesn’t add in to a priority on the list, I don’t know what does! I’d like to live a little bit longer! Just working out thirty minutes to an hour to add hours to my life, that made it more of a priority. It’s an easy way to live a longer, healthier life.
What benefits have you experienced through your movement practice?
Movement helps you with rest and getting better sleep, helps you deal with tension and just with life, so you do have to listen to your body. When you’re younger, let’s say you just had children, of course you need more rest, but that’s not an excuse not to exercise. If you alter your routine—say you stretch more—then you’re actually helping the body to get a deeper rest. So, it’s important to listen to your body in the different phases that you’re in and keep up the routine of exercising regularly, but just alter what it is you’re doing.
For me personally, I find that it’s brought me to be more disciplined. To get on that yoga mat. To make time to do my thirty minute workout. Discipline is not only for exercising, but it spills over into other areas of my life, so that’s an added bonus.
Is there a movement practice, sport, or activity that you’ve yet to try but want to in the future?
Yes! I’m so glad you asked. Kickboxing! Have you ever tried kickboxing?
I’ve done a few of our classes with Farinaz Lari—she’s so encouraging and sweet, and really helps you in the beginning stages to feel confident. So definitely check those out!
Yes! That is on my list, I will definitely try that. I never have and I’m looking forward to moving my body in new ways.
P.S. Try a free class with Farinaz here!
“This is the vibrancy of aging gracefully.”
We believe that movement isn’t just a fitness class or going to the gym, it’s also walking to the park, carrying grocery bags, and playing with grandkids. Or taking advantage of the little moments in your day, like the time it takes to make coffee, to have a little stretch. This is something we’re always trying to remind people. Movement doesn’t have to be a chore. It is easier than one might think to incorporate into your life. Are there days you feel it is harder to get going? And what do you do to motivate yourself?
We always have that chatter in our head that dissuades us from doing what we know we should—always. There’s always the rational, ‘well, I’ll do it later, well, my hip hurts,’ and it’s constant. Not only towards working out, but procrastinating on a project, or doing something that you know you need to, and it’s funny how we do that consistently. I think we reach a point where we realize: ‘wait a minute, that’s something that I can override.’ That will always be there—that chatter—and we don’t have to listen to it. So once you realize that, then you realize, ‘you know what? I always feel better after I work out. I’m smarter than this little active chatter is saying to me.’ It’s like when you go into nature and you come back out of the walk, you don’t say, ‘ah, I wish I hadn’t done that.’ Right? You’re always satisfied that you do it! Just like the gym, you come out and you always think: ‘that felt great!’ You never say, ‘ah, what a waste of time.’ So you know this! And that is a motivating factor, because you know you don’t have to listen to that mind that is for some reason telling you to just keep quiet and sit and not do it. I don’t know why it’s there, but we know that we don’t have to listen to that and we know that we feel better. So I tell myself that too.
You have to work out a lot in order to reach that point where you say, ‘I can’t wait to work out!’ That does happen, but typically I think the opposite is more true than not, where it’s a push. So, you get yourself in the right outfit, and you’re more apt to stretch more if your pants aren’t tight. You’re going to move more if your hair is not in the way. You get into the right mode and hopefully the right location but you just stop believing what that chatter is saying, because you know better. You know you’re going to feel best after you’ve done whatever it is that you’re working out on.
But let’s say you’re not in the gym, which is what Movement by NM is all about. You can take these little snippets of moments and create something of an exercise. I love the idea of being in your kitchen and you’re making your drink, like you always do every morning, waiting for the percolation, the boiling water, or whatever it is. For people who have a hard time with exercise or working out, maybe just change the verbiage. Think of it as moving in a different way. Here I am standing, like I do everyday, and I might do a lateral move. That’s not a normal position; it takes a little bit of thought, so I’m just going to stand here and I’m going to move differently. So, if you approach it from a different mindset—for people who have a hard time motivating themselves—think of it as just a different movement where you just stand, shift your weight, or just swing your leg back and forth or side to side. Even stand there and swivel your hips. Just keep moving your joints in a different way, and I think what happens is you realize, ‘this feels really good.’ Just literally a minute of moving the body in a different position, a different angle, also shifts your mind. And afterwards you think, ‘well that was easy, that felt good, and I’m going to do it next time.’ So it’s a little step that builds, and as we know, little steps make big improvement over time.
Your lifestyle, work, and hobbies all seem to have a creative aspect. Have you noticed how movement and fitness enhance these creative outlets and interests in your life?
It helps me get unstuck. Being a creative, there are moments where you feel it’s not coming. You’re wondering, ‘where is that inspiration?’ Movement helps the blood circulate, helps the blood flow, helps the endorphins get released. That’s where creativity begins to flow. So, not only does exercise help with getting better sleep, release of tension, better mobility, and helping you heal if you fall or sprain, it also helps with the creative aspect of coming up with new ideas or being inspired to try something different—all outside of exercise. Whether it be writing a paper, a blog, or a book, it helps the whole body come alive and feel sparked with new ideas. You hear people say, ‘I have to leave my computer and go for a walk.’ It clears the mind. Sometimes it’s hard to go for a walk, if you’re in a busy city or it’s winter, but there are so many ways to just move.
You carry such bright confidence—what would you say to the ones who are struggling with motivation?
There is so much you can do in your chair. Doesn’t that sound nice for people who consider themselves lazy? You don’t even have to get out of your chair! Forward bends, back bends, twists. You can raise one leg and hold it and that’s still exercising your muscles, and core. It’s tremendous. So that could be looked at as a fun thing to do for people who are turned off to the whole idea of exercise.
I’m so inspired by people on social media who are ninety or one-hundred, and are still doing amazing things with their bodies! The body isn’t meant to slow down and stiffen up. It’s up to us to keep it mobile, to keep it flowing, and it will respond. Imagine later in life being able to still move like you can now. That is a huge motivating factor, but you have to work at it. Everything you want is worth working for.
Roxanne Gould is a speaker, model, author, and coach. She resides in Oregon where she pursues a vibrant life, offering wisdom and guidance to live a natural, holistic lifestyle of fitness, meditation, beauty, and aging gracefully.
“Sometimes it’s hard to go for a walk, if you’re in a busy city or it’s winter, but there are so many ways to just move.”