How much we can miss the unhealthy/unhelpful autopilots in our lives if we do not look at what we do and why. So much suffering can come from it. Like, with that very thing – where does the work end? What defines our success? One can run ourselves into the ground. For what? Chasing after our worth, trying to obtain it, versus realizing it’s within us, inherent, right here, right now. Undiminishable.

Worth has to come from within. (And, it does). Otherwise, we will spend our lives – correction – we will waste our lives – trying to “get” it.

I am learning in a big way this very lesson and truth. My business success does not add to my worth .. my fit body does not add to my worth .. not my prettiness, not my learning, nor my intelligence, nor my kindness, nor even how many people I help or lives I touch.

We can increase the value we have available to share with the world, improving all of our experiences.

But our inherent value will not and cannot change.

I will share more thoughts on this.

Just wanted to be real with all of you.


What does Elf on the Shelf have to do with your health, fitness, and wellness?


What does Elf on the Shelf have to do with your health, fitness, and wellness?

Did you have one of these guys when you were growing up? I did not, but I was relayed the story and concept of it the other day – Elf on the Shelf. If you weren’t exposed to it as a kid, I like to think of it as a parental genius move. Basically, the elf sees all. And he reports to Santa as to if you’ve been good or bad. Every kid wants Santa to know how good he/she has been so they get the toys they want for Christmas, right?

So, then we grow up and realize that Santa was only as real as we believed him to be. But what if we still had an elf that would hold us accountable to be “good,” or, in this example, to do the things that take us towards what we really want (versus what we want right now) and keep us from doing the things that take us away from what we really want?

Accountability is huge. If you have an idea of a goal such as increasing your fitness, improving your health and overall wellness, accountability can be the gel that really makes you stick to your guns. Someone who is going to check in and ask you if you did what you said you were going to do and if you did not do the things you said you were not going to do.

Who in your circle can be this accountability for you? Perhaps your significant other or another family member? What about a close friend? It can be anyone, but the result has to be this: they have to hold you to what you say you want and are going to do about it. Firm love can be difficult for some people. Choose wisely.

Can I help you stick to your health and fitness goals? Wherever you are, whether a newcomer to exercise and healthier eating, or a seasoned athlete – we all need accountability at times. As a holistic personal trainer, I work specifically with the goals and habits of each individual client to take them to where they want to go.

I’d be happy to have a conversation with you about it to see what I can do to help you stay on track and get to where you want to go! Reach out to me and let’s chat.

Talk with you soon!


What’s the Big Deal About Breakfast?


You’ve likely heard that breakfast is good for you. Why, specifically? When you wake up in the morning, your body is in a fasted state and your blood sugar level can be low. Your blood sugar level helps fuel your brain and all of your other muscles. Breakfast helps to replenish it. It gives you a chance to get healthy nutrients in at the start of your day to fuel you all day long.


If you skip breakfast, you can be setting yourself up to overeat later in the day. Or turn to high-fat, high-sugar snacks and foods. This is a big reason why studies have shown that people who eat breakfast are leaner and generally more healthy than those who skip it.


Also, your metabolism rises with each meal, in order to process the food that you have taken in. This is why it is also often recommended, if possible, that you eat smaller meals throughout the day, instead of two or three big ones. Dieting or cutting calories by skipping meals can actually be more detrimental to weight maintenance or weight loss because it causes your body to go into a type of starvation mode, where it hangs on to everything it can, and also drops your metabolism to work as efficiently as possible to manage the energy (calories) that it does have.


Do you eat breakfast? Many people skip breakfast because they’re rushing in the morning, maybe hit snooze a few too many times, and at that point don’t have time to get a meal together before they’ve got to be out the door.


Next week I’ll share quick and easy balanced breakfast options and ideas for you!


As a holistic personal trainer and health coach, I include nutrition coaching within my work with my clients to help them to align their eating habits with their goals in a way that is enjoyable and sustainable long-term. What I offer is more than personal training, but lifestyle transformation.


If I can be of help to you in your health, fitness, and wellness journey, reach out to me! I would love to hear what it is you want to accomplish and where you are today.


Talk with you soon!

Exercise: The Value of Slow and Controlled Movements


There’s a misconception out there on exercise: that it has to be hard and fast in order for it to be effective.


This may sound funny when you hear me talking about the benefits of HIIT – but this is a totally different thing.


One of the most common barriers to consistent exercise (as in, creating a more active lifestyle) is the concept that it does have to be hard and fast. And I want to tell you – this is not the case. In fact, slow and controlled movements are HIGHLY beneficial – let’s explore this!


Slow and controlled movements do a few things:
  1. They protect you from injury
  2. They prolong time of tension on the muscle – further developing strength.
    1. Muscle burns calories. When you have more muscle, you burn more calories.


Now, I’m not talking about becoming Herculean. Although, if that is your goal, you can certainly do it. I’m talking about building an amount of strength and muscle mass that tones your body, makes you stronger overall, and burns more fat.


Think about it – maybe you can do 5, 10, 15 push ups without thinking about how slowly or how quickly you’re doing it. Much of that work is based on momentum, versus strict muscle work. However, slow that tempo down (let’s say, count for 3 seconds down and then 3 seconds back up), and you’re strictly causing the muscles themselves to lower you and to push you back up.


The time your muscles spend under tension has a GREAT deal as to your strength, endurance, and productivity if building muscle is your goal.


Funny thing, too – maybe you can bench press a lot of weight at a 1-1 tempo (one second up, one second down), but drop to a push up for a 5-5 tempo (5 seconds down and 5 seconds up), and it’s a whole new game.


Exercising for muscle building does NOT have to be hard and fast. In fact, it should be a bit slower to truly engage the muscles to work on your behalf. Use muscle, not momentum. This is a big principle that I consistently use with my clients in the studio and remotely.


If you’re in a place where you’re not experiencing the progress in your fitness routine that you really would like to see, reach out to me. Let’s have a conversation about how we can switch things up to get you the results you are spending your time and energy for!


Support Suicide Prevention in Richmond this Saturday!

I’m proud and excited to be supporting Richmond Out of the Darkness Community Walk for suicide prevention this Saturday morning at Deep Run Park! Sign up, support, participate, and stop and say hello!

Check it out here!

Chain Reactions of Change



Let’s talk about lifestyle change. The real stuff that lasts. And what really goes on in it.


You have a goal, and you really want to see it come to pass. Let’s say it’s weight loss, but it can be anything, really. It could be pursuing a promotion or a deeper more enriching family life. You know why – you’ve dug deep to find the real heartstring reasons why this is important to you. You’ve identified specific habit changes to take you there.


Chances are, those habit changes may look something like this (for weight loss): getting up a bit earlier to get exercise in, planning meals in advance and following that plan, skipping happy hour to get a workout in and go home to rest and eat healthy, and so forth.


Changes create chain reactions.


If you’re getting up a little earlier in the morning, you will probably have to go to bed a little earlier. You may have to miss a TV show you were enjoying. You could record it to tune in at another time that would work better for you.


Planning meals in advance will take an amount of time to do. Prepping those meals will, also. Executing and following that plan means saying “no” to spontaneous food outings that would wreck that plan.


Skipping happy hour for a workout is a double win in terms of a healthy body and growing your level of personal wellness, but it also means missing out on time to further develop relationships with coworkers or catch up with friends. Look for other ways that you can still connect with others if the relationships are important to you – suggest a group walk or workout, grab coffee instead of alcohol (just not the 500-calorie sugar-laden latte!) There are many other activities that can still foster relationships while not wrecking your progress.


Finally, when you are making lifestyle changes like this, the group of people at work or otherwise that you were associating with may not be supportive. In fact, it may make them uncomfortable. Then again, they may be supportive or may even join you in your efforts! You never know until you do it. But be aware and prepare that as you grow towards that which you want to see in your life, your group of associates may change, also. It’s not a personal thing, it is just how it goes. Don’t be upset if it happens, and don’t feel that you need to be any certain way for anyone. Even true friends may support you but not hang out with you as much anymore if you’re not, for example, going to happy hour with them after work, but rather, going for a walk, run or bike ride, or taking a class at the gym.


Prepare by seeking out new relationships. Ask questions about fitness to the healthy people around you. Seek out support. The more you can hang out with people that have the life/lifestyle that you desire for yourself, the more that it will stick into your own life.


If I can be a support to you and any changes you wish to see in your life in terms of your health, your fitness, and your overall wellness, please reach out to me. We are not islands! 🙂 We all need the support of others, especially when we are looking to accomplish changes and big things.


Probiotics for Your [Gut] Health

You’ve likely heard a bit of the buzz around probiotics lately. They’ve become increasingly popular since the mid-1990’s, with more and more people trying them today.


Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are commonly known as friendly, good, or healthy bacteria. These are the good bacteria that we hear about – the kind that keeps our immune system healthy, helps us to properly digest food (especially starches), and helps us to absorb nutrients.

Research is increasingly linking digestive health to overall health. It’s now estimated that over 75% of our immune system resides in our intestinal tract, with over 500 species of bacteria present.

This good bacteria can be found in raw and fermented foods, for example: yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha.


I remember when I had my first bottle of kombucha – which is an effervescent, fermented tea that can be combined with other ingredients such as ginger or fruit to flavor – I related that effervescence to that of soda and thought to myself, “why would anyone drink soda ever again?” I’m currently working on home-brewing my own batch of kombucha, something I began back in 2014, but had stopped when I moved at some point. (Home-brewing is very simple and easy and rather fun to see what fruits and flavors you can combine it with!)


To learn more about probiotics, check out this article.


Have a wonderful Friday! 🙂


How To Exercise When You Have No Time

A big challenge around fitness is TIME. You’re likely busy, as we all are. It’s funny – we all have 24 hours in a day, and we fill them ALL with SOMETHING. With all of your other obligations and commitments, how can you fit in exercise when you’re making it a priority in your life?

First, I want you to think optimistically and solution-oriented.

Then, may I turn your attention to the concept of high-intensity interval training (a.k.a. HIIT). You’ve probably heard of this as it’s a buzzword in the exercise world right now. One of its downfalls, in my opinion, is that word: “high-intensity” is generally translated into “too much or too hard for me,” particularly if you haven’t been exercising regularly to begin with.

How can we overcome the time hurdle, all the while making it not only safe, but enjoyable for you to exercise?

Everyone has their own current fitness level. We all vary in that level. What is intense for you, may not be as intense for the next person because they’ve been training their fitness, and vice-versa.

You don’t need to be anything or anywhere other than right where you are to start.

High-intensity interval training is exercise that alternates between episodes of intense exercise and periods of less intensive physical activity, or recovery.

Intervals. Doing something difficult for a defined amount of time (anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes) followed by doing something not-so-difficult for a defined amount of time (anywhere from 15 seconds to 2 minutes).

What this might look like:
  • 30 seconds of squats followed by 1 minute of walking
  • 30 seconds of plank followed by 30 seconds of rest
  • 1 minute of dancing followed by 1 minute of rest
  • 1 minute of jogging followed by 2 minutes of walking
  • 1 minute of burpees followed by 30 seconds of rest
Do, rest, and repeat. You can do a number of these within 10 minutes. You can group pairings of these exercises (and many more, of course) to make a 30-minute workout.

Did you know that 30 minutes twice a week can yield great results?

Exercise doesn’t have to look like anything other than moving your body in an active way. The other variables are discretionary. You don’t have to follow a trend, you can find things that you enjoy doing. That is a huge key to sustainability and long term success.

If you’d like to further explore putting together a specific plan based on your goals and where you are right now, reach out to me! Let’s have a conversation about it.

Group HIIT Workout

Join us for a group workout!

Join us this upcoming Monday for the next one! Here are the details!


Date: Mondays, July – October
Time: 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Where: 8 N Robinson St (The Richmond Wellness Studio)
Cost: $10

We meet at the studio and head over to Byrd Park/Fountain Lake – lots of room there.

If it is rainy, depending on how many people we have, we will head to the Carillon/Dogwood Dell and workout in the amphitheatre or stay around the roundhouse in Byrd Park, so we won’t get as wet.

It’ll be bodyweight HIIT/circuit training, full body – think: push-ups, lunges, squats, hops, lots of core work, lots of movement, a good amount of sweat, group camaraderie, lovely fresh air and beautiful scenery!

Opening it up to the community too – so, bring a friend!

This is a one-hour workout and we return back to the studio at 7 pm.

Will include stretching and warm up beforehand as well as cool down and stretching afterwards, included within the hour.

Would love to see you, if you can make it! All you need to bring is yourself, workout clothes and $10.

Master Your Fitness Info Session

Master Your Fitness Information Session

Click here to register!

Ever since I created Richmond Wellness, my mission has been to teach what I’ve learned to my clients so that you know how to move your body, how often, and how to fuel it best. I’ve wanted to make it personally sustainable for you – so that one day, you won’t need me but for a resource to bounce questions off of.  

I’ve created a curriculum to do just that – to help you to create movement and eating habits that work for you and that empower you with a greater level of health and fitness. 
Truly, you’re about 90 days away from a radical life change. Whatever it is you’ve been dreaming of – more vibrancy and energy, easier movement in day-to-day life, a higher level of fitness and mobility, a sharper mind, greater creativity, and the confidence to not be concerned with how you look in public – no matter what you’re wearing. 
Realistically, the entire process of lifestyle change, done right, takes about a year. From there, you keep on growing, but you’ve got a lot of great habits in place that you’re feeling great about. 
If you invested a year of your life to figure out how to master yourself and your fitness in order to enjoy it the rest of your life, would it be worth it? Would it be worth the investment to give up countless hours, days, and weeks of fretting over the scale or tight-fitting clothes? 
I’m putting together an information session so that you can learn more about my curriculum and my process and explore whether it’s what you’d like to, and are ready, to do. I’ll be sharing a date and time soon. In the meantime, is this something of interest to you? If so, would you let me know? It will help me to propose a day and time to hold the session. The session will be $15 to attend and will last 90 minutes. You’ll leave with valuable information and some tools to get you started (or continued) on your own fitness journey. 
And remember: fitness isn’t just physical – it’s mental and spiritual as well! This curriculum will inspire you to dig a little deeper and really figure out what’s going on that’s been holding you back from the health and fitness you desire. 


Date: Thursday, October 12th, 2017

Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm

Cost: $15 per participant

RSVP or ask questions by emailing aubrey@richmond-wellness.com!