Sept. 25 is National Women’s Health and Fitness Day, and Andrea Weibel of Ashland has suggestions for staying healthy and active throughout the year.
Weibel is a personal trainer, manager of the Warehouse Gym in Ashland, a chef, a wife and a mom. She also finds time to be the organizer of the Women’s Wellness event in Ashland that takes place every year in July.
“The event is organized to inspire women to exercise and to eat healthy,” explained Weibel. “Over the years, we have incorporated self-defense classes and sitting down to eat a healthy meal together.”
Throughout the duration of the event, women will exercise for a full hour. This hour is filled with many different forms of exercise, ranging from Zumba to crossfit.
“We encourage them to try everything so that they can find something that they like so they can incorporate that into their lives on a daily basis,” she said.
This incorporation and finding an exercise someone actually enjoys is key to staying active and healthy all year.
“You’ve gotta find something you love in exercise,” she said. “If you hate running, you won’t stick with it.”
This “sticking with it” is the same with eating healthy. Weibel warns against crash diets, instead encouraging people to look at what is actually in their food and what they are eating.
“Eating well has to become part of your life,” she said. “You’re watching portions and what you eat every day, it can’t start and stop.”
Being a chef, she is able to understand where her family’s food comes from more closely.
“I know how to cook from scratch, so we don’t buy prepackaged and processed foods. It’s healthier when it’s made at home - we can watch the fat, sodium and sugar we put into our meals.”
Weibel shares this love of cooking and real food with her clients in the gym, as being healthy is as much in the kitchen as it is in the weight room.
She explained that her grandmother was the inspiration for her to decide to attend culinary school, and that she met her husband while they were both in culinary school. Now, having a background as a chef, she can take those delicious meals her grandmother made and transform them into modern, healthier dishes for her own family.
“When you’re raising a family, you eat what the kids eat,” she said.
This is what really inspired her to become a personal trainer. Before this, she was a pastry chef for 12 years.
“My health wasn’t the best toward the last couple of years I had the bakery,” she said. “As a chef, I have to taste everything, and owning a pastry shop meant what I was tasting wasn’t always the best for me.”
So she took her life in another direction. She closed the bakery and obtained her certification as a personal trainer. Now, she encourages others to strive for a healthier lifestyle as she has.
Weibel stressed that everyone has time for exercise, whether they belong to a gym or not.
“You need 150 minutes of exercise a week,” she said. When you break it down, that’s only 5 days a week for 30 minutes a day. When you put it like that, there is no good excuse for skipping exercise! Everyone has 30 minutes they can put aside in their day.”
For this National Women’s Health and Fitness Day, follow Weibel’s advice by starting with those 30 minutes of exercise and a healthy, home cooked meal. Share your health and fitness day celebrations with us on social media with the hashtag #ThriveInThe419!