Blog Post: October 12th 2012

Mrs. Vanessa Woznow was kind of enough to host E3 Fitness on her radio show on 100.5 co-op radio. The hour long segment is entitled the “Story Telling Show” and is described as women’s storytelling in all its variations: novels, short stories, mythology, and people with experiences they want to give voice to. Check them out at: http://www.coopradio.org/content/storytelling-show

or on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Storytelling-Show/83938902474

For those of you who missed the show (probably because I was so nervous I opted to tell NOBODY) here is the script that was prepared beforehand (the show didn’t go exactly by the script but had the same general idea).

September 30th 2012:

Good evening and welcome to The Storytelling Show on Vancouver Co-op Radio CFRO 100.5 FMMy name is Vanessa Woznow, and I will be your host for tonight, Sunday September 30.

It’s quite incredible to think that we are on the cusp of October, newly into the Autumn season as we are. The weather is still warm enough for shorts and sundresses – and it’s been quite a long time since I last remember prancing about barelegged in the sunshine this late into the calendar year.

Today I had the awesome opportunity of running in the Surrey International Half-Marathon. Running in large scale races is always such an invigorating, inspirational experience. You are surrounded by hundreds, if not thousands of other runners, all out for the same reasons: to have fun, to push themselves, to take part in something they’ve trained and prepared for – sometimes ad nauseaum – and to bask in an amazing athletic accomplishment.  It’s just such a rush, such an energy high to take part in race with such a diverse group of people – including the oldest marathoner in the world. At a spritely 101 Fauja Singh completed the 5k race today, and I’m not sure about you dear listeners, but I very much hope to be as active as Mr. Singh when I close in on the century mark in age.

On the topic of athleticism, and the importance of moving our bodies – no matter what our age – I am very excited to introduce my guest for this evening. She is no stranger to health and fitness in both her personal and professional life. Jackie Collins is a certified exercise physiologist, and is the founder and owner of E3 Fitness here in Vancouver. She graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2007 with a Bachelors in Human Kinetics and is a functional movement systems provider. Jackie has worked with some of Canada’s leading preventative health management clinics,leading physiotherapists, Naturopathic Doctors and Exercise Physiologists in Vancouver, as well as the Canadian Forces, Primary Care Paramedic Association and The Greater Vancouver Transportation Police Service, implementing and coordinating their fitness requirements. Jackie is also active in philanthropic initiatives and has helped raise over $100,000 towards the BC Cancer Foundation through various cycling and running events throughout the province. With a focus on healthy culture and community, her goal is to inspire the world through health and fitness, one person at a time.

Throughout the show, I will be chatting with Jackie about her work as an exercise physiologist, her commitment to promoting health – as both a cultural and community-based narrative, as well as her experience as a young entrepreneur here in Vancouver.

 

So my first question for you Jackie is have you always been an active person, throughout your childhood/teenage years? Or was it more one day you woke up and decided this was a path you wanted to pursue?I am fortunate enough to have participated in various sports since I could barely walk. My parents put me in gymnastics, jazz, ballet, swimming, and the list goes on. I attribute the activities that I did when I was young to my passion for health and fitness today.

Was athleticism something encouraged by your parents? Were you an active family together?

My parents were an immense encouragement all my life. Specifically my Dad who volunteered his time to coach me in various sports and took the time to take me out to practice with him and teach me all the necessary skills. He was my softball coach for 10 years along with coaching me in soccer.

How important is it to instill the idea of health through physical activity at a young age?

Instilling the importance of staying active at a young age is incredibly important – Keeping children active fosters growth and development, and teaches them how to work with others in a team environment. Children don’t necessarily have to be the best at their sport or the most athletic in order to be successful. It’s more about teaching them team work and the importance of staying active.

 We keep hearing about how so many Canadian youth aren’t getting enough exercise. Do you think there are any “right” solutions to this problem? Or is it a combination of a number of factors playing into this dearth of physical activity?

I think there isn’t just one “right” solution out there nor do I think there’s one contributing factor. A few contributing factors include:  

1. Time: Kids having too much homework or the parents not having enough time to take them out to play).

2. Over reliance on technology: Technology is now more accessible in the home and on the go making it easier to spend time on their virtual lives then in their real ones

3. Space: Many people are choosing to bring up their children in smaller houses or apartments especially in Vancouver. Also, many parents may feel it’s not safe for their children to play outside.

 Some solutions include: Limiting T.V and video games and getting creative. For example: Playing “hide and seek” for preschoolers, going on family walks, going skating outside when the weather is cooler.

 Physical activity should be fun and parents need to be role models.   

 You graduated from UBC in 2007 with a Bachelors in Human Kinetics. What drew you to this program?

 Growing up being immersed in various sports and activities it only seemed like a natural progression. When I started the program I wasn’t quite sure where it would take me but I knew it was a passion of mine. UBC has a wonderful program  (which is now called Kinesiology) and I met a lot of great people (students and teachers) along the way.

 Could you tell us a bit more about exercise physiology?

My Title “Exercise Physiologist” is a certification received through CSEP “Canadian’ Society for Exercise Physiology” – They are the principle body for physical activity, health and fitness research and personal training in Canada.

 Exercise Physiology is the identification of physiological mechanisms underlying physical activity. We improve and maintain one’s health and fitness, we rehabilitate heart disease and other chronic diseases and/or disabilities and we guide and counsel athletes and others interested in athletics and sports training.

Was it during your time at school that you began to get involved in the fitness community here in Vancouver?

I was active in the community at the time through my various sports leagues I played in, however, I didn’t get into the training end of things until I graduated and received my CSEP – CEP designation.

Had you always thought about starting your own business? What made you want to branch out on your own?

Ever since starting in the fitness industry it was my main goal to start my own business. The last company I was with helped mold me and made me a better trainer and after 5 years at that company I decided I was ready to venture out on my own and do my own thing.

Your business is E3 Fitness. Could you tell us why you chose this name?

The name E3 Fitness actually came to me while on a hike with my family in the interior. We were brainstorming names and I liked the idea of an acronym to go along with the name. E3 stands for Energy, Endurance and Education – All important aspects of fitness and what I strive to achieve in my clients.

What would you say has been the biggest surprise in terms of starting your own business?

No big surprises yet… I understood that more time would have to be spent doing the accounting and administrative end of things, however, I’m enjoying the challenge and am incredibly happy with my decision.

What is the greatest “pro” in terms of being a young woman entrepreneur?

I think the biggest “pro” to being an entrepreneur in general is that I have the flexibility and freedom to create my own hours, run my business the way I want to and meet a ton of fabulous people along the way.  

You have been involved with a number of different organizations – the Canadian Forces, The Primary Care Paramedic Association, as well as you experience local physiotherapists and naturopathic doctors – these experience must give you a very nuanced and multifaceted understanding of exercise programs, and the importance of individualization or “tailoring” you work to the needs of others. Could you talk a bit about this?I have been lucky enough to work with a diverse group of professionals in my career and take pride in the fact that I have this network of knowledge at my disposal. I am always keeping an open mind to different practices and therapies in the industry as it is important to keep not only myself educated, but my clients as well. I am constantly trying to help bridge the gap between personal trainers and specifically physiotherapists. It is important to work together with a patient to make sure they have the best possible program that is suited to their specific needs.

The study of our bodies in relation to physical exercise is something that I think is really important, but often times overlooked. Individuals make the first really important step – to start moving more, whether it’s working out, or running, or biking to work – but then they kind of stop there, and not really think about the whole picture, how this activity is impacting their entire body, for the good or the bad, and what we need to be doing once we’ve finished the activity – be it stretching, refueling with food and drink. Do you find this in your work? Why do you think this is?

I constantly run into this with my clients – specifically with proper post exercise nutrition and stretching. I honestly think that people need to be educated on the benefits of proper nutrition and a cool down and understand the effect it has on the body.

For many people, just doing a workout in itself – Getting their heart elevated and getting a good sweat requires time and energy. Once they finish, it is very easy to just get up and continue on our day.

Again, It comes down to proper education and understanding of the benefits to stretching. Not only is stretching beneficial for proper flexibility, which will decrease your chance of muscle strain, ligament sprains and other soft tissue injuries, but it also improves circulation, balance and coordination and will help alleviate pain.

Working with individuals as they start and progress through a fitness journey must be incredibly inspiring. What is it like to accompany them through this experience?

Seeing my clients achieve success in their workout program and achieve goals that they set out for themselves is incredibly inspiring. It reminds me why I love being a personal trainer and why I do this in the first place. Seeing people’s lives completely change for the better is a euphoric feeling and inspires me to work harder and to always strive for my next goal – whether it be in the gym or out on the pavement on my road bike. My clients keep me motivated as I motivate them. 

It can be difficult to remember that a commitment to a more physical lifestyle is just that – a lifestyle change – and not a quick fix. And yet we live in culture that is almost defined by instant gratification. I imagine it must be difficult for some people to reconcile these two competing philosophies?

I am constantly bombarded by the newest “fad” workouts and weight loss programs. Clients are always asking me – “what do you think about my friend who is on this new particular 10 minute ab program”. I just simply tell them that long-term outlook is crucial to success and that Consistency is key – when it comes to training there should be no merit for instant gratification.

 It is important to set a goal and begin with baby steps. Have patience and keep yourself accountable. This is sometimes a hard thing for people to swallow but reality is that in order to be successful long term you need to have perseverance and discipline!

Through your work with E3 you strives to inspire, engage and encourage your clients to reach their full potential. Before we go to break, could you share with us a favourite memory or experience of working with a client or clients?

I have one particular client that I have been seeing for a few years now. He came to me initially having almost zero history of physical activity – minus the occasional swim or bike ride with his children. He had grown up in a family where fitness was not priority. His initial goal was to be able to run a 5km charity race with his daughter and he ended up really enjoying himself. He then continued to train on his own while sticking to his strength and conditioning routine with me. By the end of the year he had completed his first half marathon and was so excited that he wore the “congratulations” medal you get at the end of the race for a week straight. I’m pretty sure he slept with the thing around his neck. He was showing off his hard work to complete strangers in the gym and on the street. It just goes to show that there is no end to your goals and that with hard work and determination you can achieve success.

 

 What would you say is the biggest misconception people have in terms of exercise or getting fit?I think one common misconception with weight loss and getting fit is people seem to think that any weight loss is “good weight loss”. Typically you see this with the Atkins diet. Well congratulations, you just have successfully dehydrated yourself by completing your body’s carbohydrate levels. Losing 10lbs of water has nothing to do with how your body will look long term.

 In order for your body to look it’s best you must either reduce your body fat, gain some lean mass or a combination of both. This is done by consuming less calories than you burn by a balanced, low calorie diet and a complete exercise program.

 Are there particular fitness myths that seem to be more prevalent among women?

Women commonly think that if they lift weights they will “bulk” up. This is not the case: In general, women do not posses high enough testosterone levels to achieve extremely pronounced muscle hypertrophy (increase in muscle size). In actual fact, strength training can produce some amazing results.

 Weight bearing exercise has been proven to increase bone density, improve the immune system, lower blood pressure and heart rate and provide a huge boost in confidence as strength, balance and muscle tone improve.

There seems to be an overarching idea that health equals thinness, or even thinness trumping health – and it seems as though this is reaching young and younger parts of our population. Do you encounter this within your profession?

 

All the time. People think that being thin is healthy; however, this is not always the case. I sometimes see many people skipping meals or over exercising in order to achieve a certain weight. We have to remember that “scale” weight is not an accurate indication of health. In fact, I tell many clients to get rid of the scale all together. I try to focus more on my clients energy levels, clothing size and remind them how important it is to eat nutrient dense foods, stay away from sweets and exercise regularly but know your bodies limits.

What are some ways that we, as a population could move away from this thinking?

By educating and explaining the differences between healthy leanness and undesirable thinness.

It can be difficult, or even scary, to make the decision to begin a lifestyle change – say start running or make a change in diet – people might not know where to start. What might you recommend to someone interested in starting down a new path?

You need to make sure that you start with a plan and make sure you give yourself all the necessary tools to follow through with that plan. Hiring a personal trainer is a great start and couple that with a nutritionist or Naturopathic doctor is even better. It’s important to progress in a new routine gradually in order to prevent yourself from falling off the bandwagon.

I sometimes get new clients coming in see me and telling me that they are prepared to commit to working out 7 days a week and cut out carbohydrates completely. This is just not realistic, especially if they are starting from scratch. Know your limitations and make sure that any changes you make can be lifelong.

If someone is looking to work with someone, what should they be looking for in a fitness and health professional?

I would recommend that people start by going to their local fitness facility or gym of their preference and watch some of the certified trainers work with their clients there. Get to know what sort of style you prefer in a trainer and what type of personality you would mesh best with. You want to make sure that your trainer is attentive and that they listen to you. You also want to make sure that they have the proper education and qualifications along with experience in the field. Most gym’s will post bios of their trainers on the wall or online.

 What are the pitfalls or traps you would caution individuals to avoid when starting out?

Don’t aim to high too soon. You want to progressively ease your way into an exercise program without running the risk of burnout, boredom or exhaustion. Find something that you enjoy doing and that you see yourself continuing in the long term.

What is the process you go through with a new client?

I will sit down with them for half an hour to review intake forms. These forms have such information as current activity levels, goals, current injuries and/or limitations, expectations.

The next session I will take my clients through what’s called a “functional movement Screen” this assesses any movement imbalances someone may have and makes sure that the person is fit to start training. This tool is also used as a tracking device in order to see improvements down the road. It measures strength, flexibility and balance.

Then, depending on the goal of my client we may do body composition testing, fitness testing or any other specific measure of a fitness baseline.

There can be a fine line between “pushing through” and “not listening to your body.” This may be particularly tough for individuals just starting out. How difficult can it be to balance between these two areas?

You need to make sure you are always listening to your body and making sure that you stay healthy.

Common “red Lights” when working out include the following:

–   Failing to complete your workout consistently

–   Your joints, bones or limbs hurt (a little bit of soreness is ok but you need to recognize pain from soreness)

–   If exercise is causing you to become consistently fatigued and less energized

I also wanted to talk with you about your fundraising endeavors. You’ve helped raised a significant amount of money for cancer research – over 100,000 dollars with the BC Cancer Foundation. How did you get involved in these initiatives?

It started out with a co-worker of mine talking about this great ride that he had did from Vancouver to Seattle to raise money for cancer research. At the time I hadn’t done much bike riding but figured it sounded like a new challenge and something I would enjoy. I’m now on my 3rd year of the ride on the Terminal City Titans team and through the help of family, friends and clients I have successfully raised a lot of money for the BC cancer foundation.

What other projects would you be interested in getting involved with?

Nothing in particular at the moment. Long term I would love to start up a boot camp once or twice a week where all the registration money goes towards the a local Vancouver charity.  

Going forward, where do you see your projects/businesses going in the future? What do you want to see come out of your ventures?

I have always toyed with the possibility of starting my own personal training gym, however,that is a very long term goal. For now I am going to continue to work on building my private business and continuing to educate and inspire my clients.

And as final question, I have to ask: Yoga? Yay or nay?

Definitely “Yay”. So long as the yoga is coupled with some sort of longer sustained cardiovascular routine where you are elevating your heart rate above 65% of your maximum and a weight bearing exercise routine for example: Strength training in the gym. It is important to have a balance of strength, stamina and flexibility in order to have a complete exercise program.

 

 

Well, that’s all the time we have for tonight.Thank you so much for tuning in.

A huge thank you to my guest this evening, Jackie Collins. If you are interested in getting in touch with Jackie, information on her business E3 Fitness will be posted on our facebook page.

Join us here on The Storytelling Show every Sunday at 9 o’clock on Co-op Radio or listen live on coopradio.org/listen where you can download and stream past shows.

You can send us feedback to storytellingshow@gmail.com, follow up on Twitter at storyshow and like us on facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

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