What has happened to the fitness industry?

The “New” Fat Loss/Fitness Industry

This is a POWERFUL guest blog post, courtesy of fellow fitness professional, Dan Wells.

What’s wrong with the fat loss industry? Lots of things. This one really lit a fire 🔥 under my a*s this week.

A certain Free Challenge program is making its way around the country. What is happening is destroying the industry. It’s destroying people’s relationships with their food and their image and is leaving a scattered trail of people who are now worse off then when they first started, here’s why……

Challenges are great, sometimes. The big problem is it creates an all out extreme effort and restriction mentality. This is translated through extreme caloric restriction and going to extremes with workouts, going 6 days a week and sometimes 2 times a day because the general public is taught that more exercise is better and less food is better and if they hit their goals, they will win a prize. This could be furthest from the truth and I believe is a contributing factor to why people fail in the long run.

Challenges are destroying people’s mindsets and are only perpetuating ideals that ultimately lead to unhealthy, non-sustainable lifestyle and ultimately, huge failure rates with massive rebound mentality. Even if a facility promotes not going to extremes, the average person rarely understands that extremes are not necessary for great results and ultimately do what they “think” is best, eating 1200 calories, working out to extremes.  I know this doesn’t work any better, I get my clients better results in just 3 days a week than 4, 5 or 6 days a week without going to extremes.

The free 6 Week challenge costs around $500 and if the contestant reaches a specific goal (which are very unrealistic) they get their money back.  Imagine what this is doing to people. A facility where I live ran it and only 3 out of 20 some reached their goals, eating 1200 calories and extreme exercise 6-7 days a week. For women especially, this is not only damaging their mindset but also their hormones and metabolism which is important to fat loss for women.

All while some guy is making millions of dollars off of this pretending to be some pariah helping save people’s gyms or helping them make money at the expense of real people who have real goals and real hopes.

I understand this post might not be well received by some.  But I am a professional who has mastered the long term sustainable results game with out going to extremes. Who has seen and fixed hundreds of damaged women and men and understands that workouts for fat burning is the least important thing to focus on. (Workouts don’t actually burn fat like most people thinks it does.) What matters more is what happens the other 23 hours out of the day.  It is my duty to call bullsh*t and stop looking the other way.

We need to do better, we need to teach lifestyle, learned strategies and behavioral modifications. We need to stop with the rah rah and give people what they really need, not orange lights, HR monitors, recycled meal plans or promises of 1000 calorie burn workouts. Not burpees to death just because they are tough.

Instead, quality training and nutrition that evaluates and meets each individual where they are at, and then progresses them from there. Yes, that’s hard to do and that’s where most places stop. That’s just not good enough anymore, at least not in my book.  People’s lives and health are at stake here and too many places are playing God but can’t deliver what it takes to truly improve people’s lives, mindset, health and fitness. It’s time for change, it’s time for the industry to get better not worse.  I’m not saying don’t do challenges, just recognize the psychology of the general public, and prevent them from going to extremes.  I know I started my business to change people’s lives and that means going beyond the norm and standing for quality not quantity.

At Wise Women Fitness, we take your health and fitness seriously, one baby step at a time.  Want to learn more?  Come visit us and take a tour of the studio.

Until then, stay healthy, stay educated, and stay informed!

Yours in health,


Click here to read what some of our ladies are saying about WWF.

midlife women

Fitness after Fifty and Beyond.

Fitness after Fifty and Beyond
What’s holding you back?

We are all familiar with the phrase, “for a woman of your age.”  As in, you look pretty good (for a woman of your age).  You have a nice figure (for a woman of your age).  We’ve heard it a million times and so we believe it!  The message is clear, you are doing OK for an old fart.  “Wise Women Fitness’ mission is to remove this myth once and for all!”, says owner and personal trainer, Lynn Valaes.  “So many of my new clients walk in with the thought that they have limits based on their age, and while we do take their current fitness level into consideration when getting started, we do not talk about limits!!”

New research is proving that regular exercise is a big factor in not only improving the quality of life for older women but for longevity as well.  Exercise has been shown to reverse the signs of aging on the brain in cells at the mitochondria and in telomeres levels which are known indicators of longevity.

 “We’re also dispelling the myth that you have to work it till it hurts to have success,” says Valaes.  “Our whole method for success is to go at a pace that is comfortable, the whole point is just to get moving, not kill yourself doing it!”

Regular exercise can easily become a part of your weekly activities, especially for pre/post-menopausal women who find more time on their hands as their family obligations change.

What’s more, studies show that if you believe you are doing something beneficial by moving a bit more, your brain actually returns the health benefits, simply by your beliefs!

But science also tells us, it has to be enjoyable to be effective.  The old idea that you have to expend energy to lose weight has been flipped to the benefits of the energy that you get from exercising that makes the difference.  As Valaes puts it, “Our mind is a powerful thing when it comes to feeling well, a stressed-out body will hold on to weight.  Exercise produces endorphins that make us feel good, our brain tells our body we are healthy, and it answers with weight loss and a positive outlook!”

Let Wise Women Fitness put a smile on your face, one step at a time.  Come visit us for a free evaluation!

Click here to read what some of our ladies are saying about WWF.

3 generations

Tips for Staying Healthy as you Age

The 4 Best Ways to Age Well

Thinking about getting fit and staying healthy as we age can seem overwhelming. With all of the information overload on the web and social media, many feel a bit lost as to where to start and on what to focus. The following are simple (yet never easy!) steps to follow while addressing the best way to stay well as our bodies age.

  1. Nutrition: Yes, you are what you eat! We’ve heard the bad news about foods that can make us sick. But the good news is we can now focus on foods that can actually make us feel better. Following a balanced non-inflammatory diet, can not only keep us well, it can reverse previous damage! Plenty of high-fiber fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will not only help you feel better, it can fight disease. And don’t forget to stay hydrated. Dehydration is common and can cause a lack of energy and brain power in older adults. Water is also good medicine!
  1. Exercise: We all know it is an integral part of staying healthy during the aging process, but we seldom considerate fun.  Exercise can be more than fun, in fact, it can be euphoric! Even simple exercise programs cause your body to release endorphins which stabilize moods to fight anxiety and depression. It’s also a way to become part of a community which is next on this list!
  1. Community: As we age our relationships change. The kids leave the house, there may have been a divorce or death of a partner. With these changes comes a shift in our connection to others. Staying social is a key component to staying happy and healthy. It’s important to connect regularly with friends and family while making an effort to make new friends. Humans are tribe-like and need to be with others to stay well especially at the later stages of life.
  1. Sleep: We’ve all heard it’s important to get a good night’s sleep but more and more studies show that lack of sleep can make us sick. The following are some tips that can be helpful to those who have trouble sleeping: naturally boosting melatonin levels at night by avoiding artificial light (tv, computer, phone) at least an hour before bedtime. Make sure your bedroom is cool, quiet and dark. Go to bed at the same time every night and include a calming ritual of meditation or a bath.

Wise Women Fitness knows the upheavals in dealing with the aging process.  In many cases, women who join our program say they feel better than at any other stage in life.  We encourage women to challenge themselves in a gentle way and at their own pace. There is no reason that we should feel any less energetic and healthy in our later years.  Taking these 4 steps is a good place to start!

Click here to read what some of our ladies are saying about WWF.

Live with intention

Living with Intention: 5 easy steps to get started

Living with Intention: 5 easy steps to get started.

Does the term ” live with intention” sound familiar?  It seems to be the buzz these days. But what does it really mean?  Well if you ask Mary Anne Radmacher, author of “Live with Intention” it can be best explained in a simple poem.


Now let’s break it down to 5 steps to jump start our practice of intention:

  1. Identify your perfect day. Who are you with?  Where are you and what are you doing? This practice helps us envision our life as we would most want to see it. Many have benefited from creating a vision board.  It’s a fun exercise of identifying pictures from magazines that are meaningful to you and creating a collage. The finished product should be displayed somewhere in your home that you will look at it often.
  2. No more compare and despair! Many of us have the “social media addiction.” And experts say it’s a sure-fire way to get caught up in comparing ourselves to others. We see their smiling faces on an island somewhere in paradise and immediately think they are happier and richer than us. Comparing ourselves to others almost always leaves us feeling less than.
  3. Face your Fears. The greatest thing that holds us back in all facets of our life is fear. Anxiety levels, especially in women, are said to be at their highest these days. Staying present and dealing with one issue at a time is a good way to overcome our fears. Give yourself permission to not think about things that are in the past or future. Focus only on the here and now.
  4. Stop Overthinking. Women are the greatest offenders of this! And it is easily explained. Men’s brains have several boxes, most men only open one box at a time, therefore able to focus more on what’s happening in the present. Women have boxes too but the difference is we usually have them all open at the same time causing overthinking! Again, the answer is being mindful, staying in the moment.
  5. Nurture your inner child. We all carry with us our experiences as a child. Many were neglected or abused. Even if you had a “normal” upbringing, there are always lingering effects of our childhood that can haunt us today. Recognize your inner child, get reacquainted with her and be the advocate she needed all those years ago. Soothing her will ultimately help your grown-up self-heal.

As it is with learning a new language or picking up a new hobby or sport, it requires a lot of practice and these steps require your daily attention.

Working on these steps will help you get started as you journey along the happy road of living with intention.

Cheers to living with intention!


Mindfulness: A Practice to calm your thoughts

Mindfulness: A Practice to calm your thoughts

The practice of mindfulness has been around for centuries and yet many are discovering its incredible benefits today.  In a nutshell, mindfulness is staying in the present moment and it requires practice.

Although some find it difficult at first, the concept is quite simple, keeping your mind only on what’s in front of you.  A friend described it like this: “what are you thinking about when you take your morning shower?” she asked. My answer was “well a million things, what emails need to go out first thing, who’s going to pick up the dry cleaning later today, did I call that person back etc.” She then told me that I should actually be thinking only of what I am doing in that present moment. For example, if I’m washing my hair I should be thinking about washing my hair!  What a concept I thought!

Being mindful simply requires that you keep your mind from wandering. Some call it “the monkey mind” or “the hamster wheel” when we allow our thoughts to leave the present moment and go to the future or the past.  Mindfulness has been proven to help those with PTSD syndrome and anxiety. There a number of ways to practice mindfulness such as being aware of your breathing, mindfulness exercising and eating practices. One mindfulness practitioner put it like this “stay where your feet are!” How many times have we found ourselves having to ask someone to repeat what they said to us? That’s usually because we are not being mindful of the person speaking. We are thinking about something else. Being mindful definitely takes practice. One friend said, “I now give myself permission not to think about anything unless it is a task or a thought that is in my present moment.” “Once I got the hang of it, the freedom is amazing!” she said.

At Wise Women Fitness, we use the practice of mindfulness while getting fit.  Exercise is a great way to practice mindfulness, helping our clients to stay in the moment and feel more at peace! Interested in learning more about our services?  Give us a call today for your free evaluation!


Make 2018 your Resolution REVOLUTION!

Get your mind, body and spirit ready for a REVOLUTION!

Give yourself a New You this New Year!

Increased bone density, good mental health and a longer life span are just a few of the incredible benefits of getting fit.  Fifty-plus women have unique issues when it comes to taking care of their bodies. Many menopausal and post-menopausal women present with health issues that can easily be reversed with exercise and diet.  Even a moderate exercise schedule can not only keep the weight in check, but it also lowers the risk of stress, anxiety and depression, all of which tend to show up during and beyond menopause.

“I have literally seen clients change, not just their appearance, but their outlook on life, with increased self-acceptance and good reports from their doctors,” says Lynn Valaes, owner of Wise Women Fitness in south Tampa. “I have also found that women in their 50’s and 60’s are longing for companionship, particularly after the children leave the nest.  Wise Women  Fitness gives these women an opportunity to bond and form a tribe,” says Valaes.

So are you ready to make your new year’s resolution a revolution in 2018?  This new year will bring some new programs to Wise Women Fitness.  Clients can attend a workshop, work out together in small groups, take a Zumba Fitness class or have private one-one training sessions.  Private training programs are custom-made to fit each individual’s needs to include work on improving muscle mass, strength, balance, and coordination.  Studies show that women can enjoy a good quality of life after menopause without hormone treatment. Most importantly, exercise is the key to staying healthy; Osteoporosis, the greatest ailment in older women, can be kept under control with exercise. Blood sugar levels can be stabilized and, in some cases, exercise can reverse the damaging effects of diabetes. Decreasing the risk of heart disease and cancer have been attributed to a consistent exercise regimen as well.

Valaes tells many of her new skeptical clients, “Even if you have never lifted a weight or done a sit up in your life, we can gently ease you into a new freedom of feeling fit!”

Come join the fun and get fit in 2018!  Call us at Wise Women Fitness to schedule your free assessment today!



Discover the Real You

Why you shouldn’t have permission to accept yourself for anything less than you are.

There’s a BIG problem spreading throughout world society in the last number of years, and like most ‘big problems’…it started with a lie.

For quite a while now it’s become the culturally acceptable norm to condone, and even celebrate, habitual and consistent overeating and under moving by giving us the simple permission to… “Accept and love yourself for who you really are”.

It’s a great sound bite, and probably looks good on a hallmark card, but it’s based in about as much reality as the Easter Bunny whose eggs you’re still enjoying in August.

The problem doesn’t lie with the intent or the journey, but with the destination.  You see, I’m all for accepting yourself for who you really are, AND loving yourself as well…so long as you have the very first clue WHO that “real you” actually is!

Watch the video below to find out why we won’t give ANYONE the permission to accept themselves for anything less than who they REALLY are.

Paul McIlroy, CSCS, BSc,
Creator of the Amazing 12 Program


75 Healthy Recipes to Add to Your Arsenal

75 Healthy Recipes to Add to Your Arsenal

Ever have trouble figuring out a healthy meal for dinner? Well here are 75 healthy suggestions for you to add to your recipe arsenal. Even if you are vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, or Paleo, there are plenty of offerings on the list for you. Click here to start cooking!


5 second rule

Mel Robbins’ “The 5 Second Rule”

The 5 Second Rule and how this can change your life!

Have you ladies heard of Mel Robbins and the 5 Second Rule? If not, you need to check her out.

We all have struggles and make excuses for why we don’t exercise, eat right or be kind to ourselves on the inside.
Just like you, I have struggles and I make excuses for why I don’t do stuff. My biggest challenge is procrastination and I’m constantly working to overcome this self-sabotaging behavior!
The 5 Second Rule is my new “go to” to help me conquer my procrastination.
Try this next time your brain tries to derail you from doing what you know you should do!
With love and in health,




Imbalance and Injury

Imbalance and Injury:   Live an efficient life, inside and out of the gym.

We’ve all been hurt at some point in our lives. Whether it is physically, mentally, or emotionally, it’s not a fun state to be in.  However, the majority of us are moving through our daily lives imbalanced which puts us at greater risk for physical injury.  Muscular imbalance is overlooked when we are working out.  We all want to look our best and feel our best but loathe the feeling of being sidelined by an injury. We count the reps and sets, watch the clock, but we may be forgetting a critical part of our workout – proper muscle activation.

Imbalance occurs when one muscle group must compensate for its weaker counterpart which typically comes from favoring a certain movement pattern.  In this day and age, we have become robotic.  No matter what career we have, there is a certain level of monotony in our daily movement patterns.  This creates an issue when one muscle group constantly performing the action becomes much stronger, and typically tighter than its non-firing, weaker counterpart.  We know by now that too much of anything is not necessarily a good thing.

Training your brain to overcome the imbalance is not an easy feat and typically easy exercises will seem harder as one half of your brain is working hard to balance out the other.  Years ago, at one of my lifting competitions, I was blindsided by a muscle pull in my hamstring during a warm-up set.  I pushed through only to find myself sidelined for several weeks following the meet as my whole kinetic chain was off and the muscle pull became more severe with each lift.  After months of foam rolling [which can be read about in my previous post HERE], sports massages, and many long boring single joint work to address imbalances, I was back in the gym and training again and now I’m even stronger than ever!

Some days it’s easy to get down on myself for overlooking imbalances and thinking I could be so much stronger without injuries or painful tension knots but I must remember, we are only human and the body has an amazing capability of healing itself when provided with the right tools – MOVEMENT!  With movement and mobility comes mental and physical strength as well as balance, which is a feeling that cannot be beat.

Now I can’t say injuries are 100% avoidable, but the severity of them is.  YOU have control of your diet, exercise, and rest and recovery regimens.  The best results that I have found with my clients as well as myself, is a well-balanced workout which incorporates foam rolling, dynamic warm up to activate the muscles to be used, doing equivalent work on both your anterior and posterior chain [front and back side] along with a cool down and stretch.  While it may seem tedious, believe me when I say that you do not want to be out of commission for a long period of time when you’ve got goals to accomplish.

Sometimes calling on the help of a fitness professional will not only keep you accountable, but is a set of eyes that can spot imbalances and address them accordingly. We here at Wise Women Fitness are here to help show you how to efficiently accomplish a balanced workout in just 60 minutes, a couple of times per week while targeting different joints and energy systems.

Remember, if it comes down to it, take the extra five minutes to make sure the muscles trained have had a sufficient stretch.  We spend too much time racing to our next plan and not enough time caring about the body that will get us to that plan.  Movement is medicine and sometimes with an injury you can do more harm than good by cutting off movement all together.  When something acts up on your car you don’t drive it into the ground or neglect it all together, do you? So why not listen to your body and respect it… it is your most permanent home for the rest of your life.

Questions, comments, and new members for the Wise Women Fitness family are always welcomed!

In strength,