Monday, April 5, 2010

My Post Crescent Interview on Weight Loss & Fitness Trends

Nikki Kennedy; Easter Weekend

Like so many of you, she was determined and not afraid to work at & for her health!

I always enjoy sharing my opinions about my passion.

Here is a portion of my recent interview with the Post Crescent in the Living Well Section on Saturday, April 3.

'If you spend any time in group fitness classes at the Heart of the Valley YMCA, you’ve probably run into Nikki Kennedy in recent months. The Darboy woman frequents the place at least five days a week for boot camp and dance-based group fitness classes.

There’s good reason she’s so devoted to her exercise regime. Since October, she has dropped some 30 pounds — a goal many set but few achieve.

Many have noticed her trimmer figure and asked how she got it. 

“I think they want to hear it was some magical potion,” Kennedy said. “They’re a little disappointed when they hear diet and exercise.”

Kennedy also had a secret weapon: Stacy Summers. The Appleton mom of four teaches fitness at the Heart of the Valley and Apple Creek YMCAs and provides nutrition coaching through the YMCAs’ Funky Weigh Down classes and her own business, The Healthy Weigh.

Regarding many women’s desire to lose weight and get in shape, Summers said, “It’s amazing what they can do when they’re willing to have a little faith in themselves and be persistent and consistent.”

Kennedy, she added, fell solidly in that category: “Her heart was there, and she was willing to work hard.”

If Kennedy’s success inspires you — or if your 4-month-old New Year’s resolution is languishing — you might reinvigorate your workouts with one of the following approaches.

Each was among the top 10 fitness trends predicted by American College of Sports Medicine-certified health and fitness professionals for 2010, and each can give your workouts a results-oriented boost.

Strength training

While strength training hardly seems trendy, it is nonetheless important. Said the ACSM in its trends message to the media, “Strength training is an essential part of a complete physical activity program — for all physical activity levels and genders.”
Unfortunately, women focused solely on calories burned per hour are tempted to neglect this element of fitness — even trainers like Summers. “I personally am a cardio junkie so I have to make it a point to get in my strength training,” she said.
The benefits definitely make doing so worthwhile. “As we get older, we’re losing our bone density, our muscle mass,” Summers said.

Those losses not only mean greater likelihood of injury but also lead to a lower resting metabolism. That, in turn, can contribute to the upward creep of the scale familiar to so many women of a certain age.

While the ACSM trends focus on exercise, Summers emphasizes that anyone looking to emulate Kennedy’s significant weight loss must go beyond working out more. 

“Exercise is great for maintaining your weight, but if you want to lose weight, it’s got to be about what’s going in,” she said. In other words, what you eat matters, too.

Kennedy knows that to be true. With Summers’ nutrition counseling, she lost her first 12 pounds in seven weeks — two pounds better than Summers’ 10-pound guarantee. The Funky Weigh Down class, she said, “completely has opened my eyes with how I grocery shop, with how I deal with the food choices I make for my family.”

To anyone longing for Kennedy’s results, Summers said it’s critical to make your health a priority, to choose an exercise — trendy or otherwise — that works for you, to keep an eye on nutrition and to do all of it with devotion.

“I wish there was an easier answer,” she said. “They really have to want it for it to happen.”

Lisa Strandberg:

On the Web

To see more of what’s hot in fitness this year, search for 2010 fitness trends at

To learn more about Stacy Summers’ weight-loss philosophy, visit her blog at'

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