Tips from an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer

As a Personal Trainer, when I speak about strength training and weight lifting, a lot of people picture big guys throwing around weights. There are so many more benefits to strength training than a six-pack, and they have nothing to do with how we look!

You may never have thought of lifting weights as a meditative practice. But it’s a focused time to count breaths and reps that can quiet even the busiest monkey mind. …

Do you have a high achieving performer on your team that is talented, hard-working, and intelligent; but remains silent in group meetings and freezes in crucial calls? Freezing happens, but for some, freezing is a frequent obstacle to professional well-being. Every employee wants to feel seen, heard, and celebrated in the workplace, but for some, sharing ideas, thoughts, and accomplishments creates a total body and mind shut down.

They could be experiencing “destructive perfectionism.” Brené Brown defined this kind of perfectionism in her book, The Gifts of Imperfection, as ‘a self-destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought:


Are you navigating learning new tools working remotely, skilling up after layoffs, or shifting careers entirely? Instead of the long lectures and group discussions reminiscent of the traditional education of childhood, you can create your blended learning environment at home using a variety of learning styles. Here are my top 4 tools for visual learning:

1. Mind Mapping

This can simply be done on paper or created digitally. MindMeister is a great virtual tool, directly linking websites and resources inside your mind map. What kind of things would you mind map? Brainstorming, writing essays, taking notes, learning a language, planning an event, studying…

For much of my life, I saw self-care as treating myself to something special like a massage, a fancy yoga class, or an amazing dinner out at my favorite Vietnamese restaurant. Real #treatyoself moments.

They made me feel amazing for the next few hours, but shortly after those warm fuzzy feelings dissipated, I didn’t feel any better. I was looking for a practice that I could employ anywhere anytime, all on my own.

The truth about self-care is that it looks pretty boring from the outside. Consistency and habits? Sexy, I know. But, giving back to myself every day is…

…or at least it didn’t change me in the way I thought it would.

I had dreamed of solo backpacking through Southeast Asia for years on end. I had huge expectations for how it would go and how it would end. I’d leave my whole life behind, travel the world, and come back with doors wide open to clarity and transformation.

Or, so I thought…

Instead of opening new doors, I was forced to examine what’s been behind the doors I’ve tried to walk away from for so many years.

I’m a recovering perfectionist and Type A person. Since I…

photo source: Dissolve

It’s Monday evening, your usual time to go to the gym. However, today you have your period and all the symptoms that come along with it — headache, cramps, and fatigue. In what feels like a choose your own adventure, you contemplate the following choices:

A) Nothing will stop me, I’m going to my normal workout, no excuses!!

B) Perhaps some light yoga? Moving is always a good thing.

C) Or, do I stay at home on the couch with my favorite Netflix show?

We’ve all been there. Or if you haven’t, perhaps you train with someone who has.


Eating is embedded in your identity as a member of your community, family, and society. But, when does it become a solace for your emotions and distress, instead of a source of celebration and fuel?

artwork: findizzcreate

Emotional Hunger vs. Physical Hunger

Not all hunger is created equal. Pause to check in with your body’s sensations and look at the indicators below:

Beyond providing great health insurance and popular perks such as free gym membership and a snack stocked kitchen, does your company really need a wellness program?

Great health insurance is a must for bringing and retaining top talent. Popular perks are nice add ons. But, what I’m here to discuss today is the real question to ask about employee wellness:

How can we make employees happy, present, and engaged, so that they will feel great and do their best work?

The Quick Stats on Employee Engagement

- Only 33% engaged at work

- 51% NOT engaged at work

- 18% actively DISENGAGED

→ Actively disengaged employees…

You start out having all the time in the world to play as a kid. As you grow older, play is fused with socializing and networking activities, connected to goals of furthering your social and professional life. While this is a natural response, it isn’t necessarily the most effective or enjoyable way to live your life.

What is “Play”?

Play is “engaging in an activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.” The main intention is to engage in an activity purely for enjoyment. The resulting benefits are just bonus:

Engaging in play releases endorphins, aka those feel good…

Negative self-talk is that little voice in your head, running in the background like a broken record. That little voice telling you “I’m not enough,” or “I’m flawed,” or “They’ll see right through me and not like what they see.”

Your programmed record is multi-layered and built over many years. It’s deeply rooted in the stories you’ve been told growing up, from within your family, friends, and society. Stories you didn’t intrinsically create.

As you’ve navigated life, each experience that ended in disappointment or failure may have reaffirmed those stories, creating deeper roots; while the positive experiences were “just luck”…

Melissa Schwartz

People Operations & Culture, Wellness Coach, & World Explorer.

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