Susan E. Harmon AFAA CPT/ ACE Fitness Nutrition Specialist/ B.A Media Studies/

I’ve been looking for a way to give back to my community, but I was always busy with work and family. I’ve coached sports, worked with elderly and volunteered, but I never realized my true calling until I became a Personal Trainer. As a teen I struggled with a unhealthy body image, now I pride myself on healthy lifestyle and balance. In the past I dabbled in unhealthy habits, such as over exercising and skipping meals. I went thorough so much struggle and realized I never want to live that way again.

I’ve been so lucky to turn my life around and achieve my goals of winning fitness competitions, becoming a trainer and being signed by a modeling agency. I still always have the goal in the back of my mind to always have balance and be happy with my lifestyle.

I realized I also had a great desire to help people achieve their fitness goals. When my brother passed away in December of 2013 from a rare form of lupus (a chronic immune disease), my mission for health and fitness became even more clear. Why did he have to fight this terrible disease for the past decade? Doctors, physical therapists, natural medicine, diet and exercise could not save him. He did so much before he became sick and he taught me to live my dreams and give back. I want to help people now more than ever.

I realized there are some very serious health and fitness issues that I want to draw attention to. These issues are close to my heart and I want to push people fight for their rights to have the best health possible.

Total Access Gyms

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed by the US Congress over two decades ago. It provides equal opportunity for persons with disabilities, at work and public places. The only area where I feel there is not enough options is at the gym. Why is it, that gyms have parking spaces and showers, but very limited choices for a disabled client? Why aren’t more gyms investing in total access gym equipment? The UK requires that all gyms have the total access equipment, why not the US? This has been going on for too long… I am writing my Congressman! I urge my fitness friends to do the same! Please share this social issue!

I am incredibly drawn to this issue because my brother, who passed away from Lupus, was disabled. I want to share this social issue in his memory. He always said that he could’t imagine going to a gym because it was so difficult for him to maneuver the machines and weights.

Every individual on the planet has a right to be fit and workout wherever they want to. The idea is to bridge the gap and have a better quality of life. It will happen.

The equipment has seats that swivel around. They are the same cost as the regular equipment and can be used by both able bodied patrons and disabled patrons. These gyms CAN afford the equipment! I feel if they can’t they should be required to make the adjustments!

Obesity Epidemic

The United States has the highest rates of overweight and obesity, with fully a third of the population obese—a rate projected to rise to around 50 percent by 2030! – Harvard Public Health. It is vital that you guide friends and family to better choices. Prevention Magazine says, “weight gain in adults is stealth.” We gain about 1-2 lbs per year and those pounds are adding up! Here are some tips to get some amazing transformations in 2015!

We need to help our friends and family fight the weight gain. Get them into the gym and find a mode that works for them. Encourage friends and family to eat low glycemic index foods and watch their portions. The rate that mot people exercise will slow any weight gain, but to lose weight most individuals need to be on a managed program. I took the biggest loser certification and I use the 4-3–2-1 training style and my clients are losing 3-6 lbs per week. I stress the importance of cardio and we do light weights because they are more comfortable with that. Making other people happy makes me happy

Corrective Exercises

Corrective exercises have become so Important to prevent injuries, because they keep the body in the proper alignment. Our culture has become more and more reliant on technology to communicate and make things easier. The advances are amazing, but the result is a society that is shaped by furniture and devices.

Health and fitness professionals are now noticing a decrease in the physical functionality of their clients, this is a new state of training, in which the client has been physically molded by furniture, gravity and inactivity – (National Academy of Sports Medicine)

Corrective exercises have gained attention because it involves stretching, self myoflacial release and strengthening of muscles that are weak. Muscles become tight due to stress and some are weakened due to lack of activity. It is the job of a personal trainer to identify these imbalances and help the client to strengthen weak muscles and stretch tight ones

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