THINK being a fitness trainer is a glamorous life?
Think again. There’s more to it than prancing about in front of the class dressed in snug-fitting Lycra.
Karen Candy from Fareham gave me the lowdown.
A black belt in tae kwon do when she was a young girl, she still practices this Korean martial art.
She’s also a highly qualified personal trainer and fitness instructor for a variety of programmes.
Now, as a wife and mother nudging middle age, she seems to be just getting into her stride.
Her sleek good looks, toned body and infectious enthusiasm inspire her students to shape up.
When she’s instructing classes like body combat or group cycling, leading by example and surrounded by younger people, she says she feels 18 again.
This fitness instructor is also a woman on a mission to help the less fortunate.
She nurtures her personal training clients and specialises in providing training programmes for people afflicted by diabetes, obesity, and other conditions referred to her by GPs. She provides rehabilitation exercises for cancer patients too.
Just as passionate about nutrition as about fitness, she believes sensible nutrition should be everyone’s priority.
Karen works early mornings and late evenings.
Outside the gym she studies and learns choreography to deliver fresh ideas and variety.
This keeps her clients and classes moving forward.
But all this activity comes at a price. It’s not easy, hurrying to and from appointments while balancing work and golden time at home.
Luckily, she has a husband and son who are hugely supportive.
Wanna-be fitness instructors shouldn’t expect to make millions, Karen warns. They can keep fit while getting paid. This can be great for young, single or unattached people, full on about what they do.
But it’s a tough, busy life which she wouldn’t recommend to mums trying to juggle employment with home and family life.
They need constant support and understanding from those around them.
After the over-indulgence of office parties, blow-out Christmas dinners and the excesses of New Year’s Eve, many people will resolve to turn over a new leaf and get fit in 2017.
They could do worse than joining a gym, a walking group, a swimming club or seeking out a dedicated personal trainer to put them back on the road to a healthy, happy lifestyle.
Stuart Reed is a musician from Fareham.