How did you get involved in health and wellness and how has it changed your life?
Growing up in the 1970s, we had a home gym. My mom also took me with her when she taught yoga classes. Although, it was not mainstream at the time, my parents went with their instincts and raised us to integrate daily exercise and the highest nutritional principles and practices that have become commonplace today. Back in the 1970s, people taking supplements or green powder and adhering to this holistic lifestyle were labeled as “health nuts.” I was the only child (other than my siblings) to eat homemade brown bread and drink carrot juice in school. The other kids made fun of us because we did not eat meat and potatoes — we ate fresh wild salmon and legumes. We never had soda, sugared cereals, or deli meats. We also valued exercise. I became a certified aerobic instructor when I was in high school and a master trainer in college, certifying new instructors and presenting at industry trade events.
When I was a teenager, I wanted to open a boutique fitness center. With loans and family support, I purchased the gym that I worked in. Over the years, I continued to apply my skill set to various areas of the industry, creating fitness programming for international fitness brands, writing about health and wellness, and hosting fitness videos and radio shows. Being involved in the fitness industry for so long has changed me in the best way, because it gives me an opportunity to fulfill my life passion — to educate, motivate, and entertain everyone! The most important lesson I have learned from my parents and from the industry is to always be humble, smile, and just show up! I aspire to make a difference in the wellness space and to help our country leave the obesity epidemic and become the fit generation!
What suggestions do you have for women who want to stay in shape even as they age and enter menopause?
Women need to understand that their metabolism does not slow down because they age — but rather because they have passively allowed it to happen. If the body’s inclination is to slow, that just means that we need to overcompensate by moving more. Yes, it is true that after menopause the body’s ability to regenerate changes. However that only means that you need to try harder to give the body what it needs: better nutrition, customized movement prescription, and the right team of wellness professionals. The best way to stay in shape is to try not to miss a day! My saying is, “a day without a workout is a day without sunshine!” When you miss out on exercise, the next day will be harder and your energy sources will be depleted. Just like filling up your car or charging your cell phone you need a daily dose — a daily dose of oxygen!
What is the best advice would you like to share with us?
Three things come to mind. First is to follow your passion — don’t wait for anyone or for any excuse. Another great tidbit of advice comes from a 95-year old client I trained in my 20s. She said that “when you are not unhappy consider yourself extremely happy.” I didn’t get it at the time but what she meant was the importance of learning that there is no occasion that is bigger than simply of knowing you have everything you need in this life — just you! As the years went by her advice became more important to me. When I was a little girl my grandpa repeatedly said that “when you have your health you have everything.” So today, I am honored to be a health expert and it is a privilege to work with others.
What are you looking forward to at NY Health & Wellness?
I look forward to growing with the first ever customized team approach to wellness. This Center is so incredibly innovative — especially in the way that a team of experts from across the board all collaborate to create wellness prescriptions and programs for each client. The ability to have fitness plans, medical blood work, customized supplementation, on-going evaluations and up-to-the-minute health information is unique. Yes, it is test and measure, however, the information that we have access to changes everything. I look forward to the documentary video production of our clients, seeing the changes on every level and simply being part of this brilliant team.