Friday, September 24, 2010

Interview with Marta Fernandez, Certified Physical Trainer

Making Friends with Movement
Interview with Marta Fernandez, CPT
Bay Area Physical Trainer
Interview by Jeanne Courtney, MFT

Bay Area physical trainer Marta Fernandez talks about the importance of exercise that's enjoyable, sustainable, and tailored to your individual needs. If you'd like to meet Marta in person, you can contact her at the number below.

First of all, Marta, I'd like to know what made you decide to become a physical trainer.

I have always enjoyed exercise and participating in endurance events where I had to challenge myself. When Personal Training became a viable career option where I could help people find the same joy in exercise that I have, I realized this was the path for me.

How is working with a trainer different from a woman exercising on her own or with a buddy?

Working with a trainer is very different than a woman working out on her own or with a friend. I am able to provide expert guidance on the type of exercises that are most appropriate for each person based on a fitness assessment. I design each workout to specifically meet each woman's needs based on their age, fitness level, injuries, muscle imbalances and goals.

As a therapist, I'm interested in what makes people feel good and what motivates them. Based on what you've seen, what kinds of attitudes or incentives help women enjoy exercise and keep doing it?

Finding activities they enjoy and having fun while exercising are keys to help motivate people. I find that people often start to feel better and have more energy when they follow an exercise program specifically tailored to their needs which helps keep them on track.

How did you become interested in using a Health at Every Size approach?

I began educating myself on Health at Every Size when I first heard of it and it made so much sense to me. I have seen first hand women and some men struggle and go on dangerous diets and work out like maniacs only to quit because of not being able to reach some unrealistic, unsustainable weight.

A lot of women have negative feelings about exercise, in particular, thinking of it as a punishment for gaining weight. What advice do you have for turning exercise into a positive thing?

This can be hard for women who have diet histories and who have had exercise suggested to them only as a means to weight loss. I think it is tragic that women lose touch with the sense of enjoyment, pleasure and power that comes with moving! I help women reclaim these things which turns exercise into a positive, and not punishing, thing.

What if a fat women has been ridiculed -- or is afraid she will be -- for exercising in public, or for wearing swimsuits or workout clothes? Can you suggest what to do about self-consciousness so it won't get in the way of exercising?

What to do about self-consciousness when exercising is very individual. For some they may want to find times, places or environments where they feel safe. For others, they may want to claim their right to be active in workout clothes or bathing suits in public spaces.

Are there any types of exercise that are more suited to or safer for fat bodies?

Again, that is a very individual thing. I never assume that a fat woman can't do a certain exercise or that a thin woman can just by virtue of their size which is why I always start with an assessment to determine each client's fitness level and abilities.

Is there anything else you would like to say to women of all sizes about exercise and taking care of our bodies?

Exercising and taking care of our bodies go hand in hand. Exercising also helps our mood, we are happier when we are active. We can't have one without the other so make it a life long habit and make it fun!

Finally, can you describe the services you offer and tell people how to contact you?

I provide personalized exercise programs to help my clients achieve well being by addressing whatever issues are getting in the way of that. I can be reached at 415-265-8777.

Thank you, Marta, for those insights about exercise at any size.

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