Can you make a positive change in someone else’s life?

For this week’s post, I want to continue discussing motivation. More specifically, how it relates to physical activity. I currently teach a lecture class that focuses on the principles of physical fitness. On this week’s lecture, we have been discussing motivation and how fitness professionals can motivate the inactive to adopt the behavior of being physically active. I created a discussion board where students share a personal experience on how they’ve been able to motivate others to exercise or just be more active. It has been amazing to read the responses and made me realize that individuals who are already active have so much power within their hands to touch other people’s lives. If you are already enjoying physical activity and have already an established exercise routine, you have that power to motivate others to do so. You can make a difference in someone else’s life. You may not even realize how powerful is this, but it is. The distressing statistics will tell you so. According to 2015 the National Health Interview Survey, inactive individuals, ones who engage in 0-10mins of physical activity account for 31.9% of the U.S population. Insufficiently active who accumulate more or equal to 10 to less than 150 mins of physical activity account for 19.4%. When we refer to physical activity, we are just talking about physical movements like walking to the store, lawing the yard, walking to the park. It doesn’t particularly involve exercise with higher intensities. In addition, a sedentary lifestyle has been linked with chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. In 1992, the American Heart Association declared that “regular aerobic physical activity increases exercise capacity and play a role in both primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease…Inactivity is recognized in the American Heart Association Statement on Exercise as a risk factor for coronary artery disease” (Pate, 2012, p.31). In relation to diabetes, regular physical activity improves long-term sensitivity to insulin. It consistently lowers blood glucose levels in diabetic and pre-diabetic patients. As you can see, regular physical activity is a must in every person’s life. But you who already enjoy being active, you could make a difference and change someone’s life for the better. I encourage you to do so, to step up and just motivate someone else in your circle to move and be active. Maybe just educate them about the benefits of exercise or how good it makes you feel or role model the behavior by posting pictures of you exercising on your social media or challenge your friends or family members to work out with you or just showing tough love and reminding them of what they could lose if they don’t exercise. YOU can make a difference! 🙂

People Putting Hands Together


Part C. Background and Key Physical Activity Concepts. In: 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee. 2018 Physical Activity Advisory Committee Scientific Report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2018, pp. C-11 – C-27.

Pate RR. Chapter 2 – Historical perspectives on physical activity, fitness, and health. In: Bouchard C, Blair SN, Haskell WL (eds.), Physical Activity and Health (2nd ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, Inc., 2012, pp. 21-37.

How to stay motivated no matter what happens in your life

Just recently I have experienced mixed feelings and thoughts. For one part I’m excited that I’ve been committed and working on my goals. I have a loving husband who supports me and cares about me deeply. I’m grateful that my parents and closed ones are healthy and happy. I love my job and the fact that I get to help and educate college students in what I love the most, fitness. My body is fit and healthy, and I’m in the prime of my life where I feel I can accomplish so many goals. I have so many reasons to be grateful, and every day I reflect on this. I’m happy to be working on my goals and dreams like working on my doctorate program and writing this blog. However, with my everyday activities, I’m always on a mission and doing things that I miss to think back and reflect. This causes me to question my actions and wonder of the way I’m doing all this. I question myself and feel confused. Can you relate to me? Have you ever thought and wonder why are you here or at your job? Why are you doing the things that you do? Is it anything else out there for you? Well, I’m here to tell you that yes, there is. There are three things I believe you should reflect on and question yourself whenever you have these thoughts:

  1. Purpose
  2. Impact
  3. Gratefulness

Purpose is the driven force for anything you would do in your life. Purpose is the reason you exist and do everything you do. It is related to others and giving back. For example, my purpose is to “educate, help, inspire, and motivate others to be fit, happy, healthy, and accomplish their dreams.” I know it is pretty long, but this is what I strongly believe and keeps me motivated through the highs and the lows. Every person has a purpose and a reason for being. It is crucial that you find yours. This will give direction to your life and actions and guide you when unsure or in moments of disappointment or despair. Questions you should ask include: why are you here? What drives you? What is the one thing you will do even if it is for free?

Impact relates to others and making a difference in people’s lives. Impact is giving back to others and helping them with your skills and qualities. It is providing a service to others. There is nothing more fulfilling than the feeling you have when you have helped or touched someone’s life in a positive way. I know you have experienced this before at some point in your life. If you feel like you are not making an impact right now in your life, you need to make changes and figure out a way to accomplish this. Think about sharing a skill you are good at like if you are an expert at playing the piano, maybe volunteer your time and teach others how to play it or teach private lessons?

Gratefulness reflects the appreciation you have for your current state of life. There is always something to be grateful about. Gratefulness is an amazing feeling and one that is imperative to have. There is just something about being grateful that causes other negative feelings to disappear. This means counting your blessings and just embracing what you currently have and acknowledging that you can change your current state of life if you truly desire. Here is an exercise, whenever you feel unmotivated or disappointed about your life, take out a piece of paper and just write down (don’t analyze) your top 10 things of why you are grateful in your life. Don’t stop until you have written these reasons. As I’m typing this, all of my previous thoughts of insecurity I had when I started writing this post have disappeared. This is another proof of how powerful this feeling is!!

I hope I have provided you with some insight and inspiration. Honestly, not until recently, I have been able to accept my purpose and acknowledge my desires to truly make an impact. This blog is a reflection of this. My sincere desire is to be able to help you in any way I can 😊

Group pic of our wedding 🙂 family and friends, so much to be grateful for!

Keep On Moving!!

So my previous post focused on providing you with ideas and sample workouts. Today I will focus on the importance of staying in track and making sure you keep yourself accountable.

Remember, consistency is the key when creating adopting a new habit. You want to make sure you keep coming back to your workouts no matter the circumstances that you may encounter in your lifestyle. It is important that you are patient and do not beat yourself if you missed a workout. I always say this: “it’s more important that you come back and keep trying than never come back.” Here are some of my suggestions:

  • Keep a journal: writing the days and times you exercised will allow you to see what you actually did and provide you with a visual on specifics such as the length of the workout, the intensity, the type, and more. You will also be able to see the days that you didn’t workout and possibly encourage you more to stay committed.
  • Set a specific time and day to exercise: Set a specific time and day to exercise. In this way, you are unconsciously setting your mind into committing to this activity. It also allows you to have a clear picture of when in the day you will exercise. It is important that you write this down in your calendar or save it on your phone. Again, this will make it more clear and specific in your mind. You can also set reminders with your phone.
  • Use technology to your benefit! Download fitness apps that will provide you with workouts to follow such as the NTC app. You can also check out youtube videos. You can find a variety of workouts to choose.
  • Most important….KEEP ON MOVING!!!! I can’t stress this anymore! You need to stay active and keep on moving. Maybe you are too busy in the day and you don’t get a chance to “exercise” like going to the gym or doing a workout. Just keep yourself moving like walking around through the day instead of sitting for too many hours. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you feel like you are sitting for too long, get up and move!! Don’t stay sitting for too long!! Here is where I “lecture” you. The reason why I say to keep on moving is due to the vast research and evidence supporting that a sedentary lifestyle has a direct link with incidences of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some types of cancers. Yes, being sedentary increases your chances for chronic disease and mortality!! A sedentary lifestyle means that an individual DOES NOT engage in regular physical activity on a regular basis. Just FYI, physical activity means any movement of the body that uses energy such as going up the stairs, mowing the lawn, cleaning your apartment or home, taking out the trash and any other household activities. Exercise, on the other hand, has a purpose and goal such as jogging for 30 mins or taking a spin class.  
  • And my final question to you is: are you gonna keep on moving?!!

How to Exercise on Your Own-Part 2

On this post, I will share the last two steps of exercising by your own 🙂

Related image
  • Step 4: Decide what exercises you will do and create your exercise program
    • If you are not able to enroll, take a group exercise class or have a personal trainer, then your other option will be to create and design your own workout routine.
    • Make sure you include the following:
    • Always have a warm-up and cool-down
    • Warm-up:
    • Warms your muscles for the workout and gets you ready for what’s to come.
    • Make sure you include exercises that are similar to what you will be doing. Ex: if running, then choose a light jog/walk.
    • Make sure you choose exercises that use major muscle groups such as squats, lunges, jumping jacks.
    • Intensity should not be too high. You can include some cardio exercises to get blood circulation to your legs
    • You can include dynamic stretching
    • Cool-down
    • Brings your circulation back to normal
    • Brings your heart rate back to normal
    • Lower intensity exercises
    • Stretching
    • Conditioning:
    • You perform the exercise that produces fitness benefits, such as calorie burning, building endurance or muscle strengthening
    • It encompasses the main portion of the workout
    • Aerobic activities include: running outside or treadmill, elliptical, stairs inside or outside, jump rope, cycling
    • Each of these activities will have a warm-up and cool-down
    • If using a treadmill, elliptical, bike, or stairmaster, you can pick one of the workouts offered by the machine
    • Or
    • Design your own workout
    • Here is a sample running workout I created for you. It is designed to run on a treadmill
    • Remember, on treadmill 5% grade (incline) means to add 5.0 on the incline, 10% grade is to add 10 on the incline, 15% grade is to add 15 on the incline
    • This workout is based on your fastest pace being 6mph. This means that the fastest pace you can run in one minute is 6mph.
    • Sample Workout #1: Running on the Treadmill
    • 30min workout at 1% grade (incline)
    • Warm-up: walk/jog for 5 mins 2.5mp to 4mph
    • Conditioning: 20mins
    • 4mins: 1min jog/run 4.5mph-1min walking recovery-Repeat X 2
    • 4mins: 1min run 5mph-1min walk-Repeat X 2
    • 4mins: 1min run 5.5mph-1min walk-Repeat X 2
    • 4mins: 1min run 6mph-1min walk-Repeat X 2
    • 4mins: 1min run 5.5mph-1min walk-Repeat X 2
    • Cool down: 5mins 2.5mph (make sure you stretch at the end of the workout)
    • Sample Workout #2: Running Outside-Track and Field
    • You can use your local high school or college track and field.
  • Warm-up: walk/jog for 2 laps
    • Conditioning:
    • Run one lap-walk one lap-Repeat x 4 to 5 times. If performing 4 times, you’ll walk/run approx 2 miles. If 5 times, you’ll walk/run approx 2.25 miles. 1 lap is about 0.25miles
    • Cooldown: walk and stretch
    • Sample Workout #3: Run Outside-Track and Field and Stairs: If the track and field has access to stairs, use them too!
    • Warm-up: walk/jog for 2 laps
    • Conditioning:
    • Run 2 laps, stairs 5 times (climbing to the top of the stairs and coming down)-Repeat the laps and stairs X 3-4 rounds
    • Cool-down: walk and stretch
    • Sample Workout #4: Cross-Training-Stairs, jump rope, and run
      • I personally love doing this workout since it is very simple and provides a great burn. You only need a jump rope, stairs, and space to run
    • Warm-up: 5mins walk/run
    • Conditioning: 5min intervals
    • 5mins run, 5mins stairs, 5 mins jump rope-Repeat X 2-3 times
    • Cool down: walk and stretch
    • This is total leg killer!!
These are the “cardiac stairs” I run at CSULA!
This is my jump rope and fanny pack!

  • Circuit Training Workout
    • circuit workout consists of a series of exercises performed one right after the other with little or no rest in between. The word circuit refers to the series of 8 to 12 exercises that make up the workout.
    • Circuits can be based on repetitions and time. For example, you can do each exercise for 12 repetitions or each exercise for 30secs
    • Cardio Based Circuit: body weight
    • Warm up: 5mins-squats, jumping jacks, lunges, high knees-30secs each X 3 times
    • Conditioning: 5 mins-Every Minute on the Minute (complete exercises in the 1 minute time; if done before 1-minute strikes, break) 
      • 20 skater jumps-R & L (right and left) one rep
      • 30 modified V crunches
      • 20 Burpees
      • 30 Lunges-R & L-one rep
      • 30 Push Ups
      • Recovery 1 min
      • 5 mins-Every Minute on the Minute
      • 20 Jump lunges-R & L-1 rep
      • 30 Mountain climbers-R & L-1 rep
      • 30 Squat Jumps
      • 40 Bicycles-R & L-1 rep
      • 30 High Knees
      • Here are pictures of some of the exercises
Skater Jumps
Modified V-crunches
Jump Lunges

Step 5: Repeat and Repeat

  • The key is consistency, and for you to continue to exercise. I know there will be times where life happens, and you may miss your workouts. This is OK!! 🙂 what matters is that you go back to your workouts!!
  • Even if you absolutely don’t have time to go to the gym or workout on your own, stay active by making small changes like:
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible
  • Park far when going to the mall or grocery store
  • Whenever you feel you are sitting for too long, stand up and move. Get a potty break, move around, start cleaning your apartment or home and do something!
  • Organize fun and healthy hangout activities with your friends like going hiking or working out together.
  • Making these small steps can make a huge difference in your lifestyle and the MOST important thing is that you are taking control of your health and doing something about it!! 🙂
  • Remember, exercise should be fun! Find an activity you enjoy and commit to it!! You got this!!

How to Exercise on Your Own-Part 1

Following up my first post about setting SMART goals, I wanted to write about how do we actually make these fitness goals a reality. In this post I will refer to exercise goals; if you are one of the individuals who has always wished to exercise but for some reason you haven’t been able to continue with your exercise routine in the long term, this post may provide you with new insight. I have come up with five steps to help you exercise on your own. I will discuss the first three on this post and include the last two on the next post. I really hope you find this information to be helpful 😊

Steps to exercise on your own:

  • Step 1: Make a decision to commit to exerciseYou are the only who can make that decision. I really want you to think about the why of exercise and getting in shape? It is not just about the achieving outside looks or possibly helping you get to an immediate goal like fitting on your wedding dress or losing weight for your high school reunion. You gotta think more of a personal and deeper reason that will help you stay motivated. A lot of the times we get excited and start a new years resolution but as the months go by, life starts to get on the way and all of the excitement wears off. I want you to think into yourself and reflect on why is it important for you to stay healthy and be fit? Is it to be able to carry your grocery bags up the stairs and not feel out of breath? Is it to be able to play with your young children and don’t feel exhausted? Is it to be able to just have more energy through the day and don’t drink as much caffeine? Is it so you feel like you accomplished something you never thought you could? Is it to lower your blood pressure and chances of getting heart disease? Or your doctor has warned you that change needs to happen? Everyone has his/her own reasons; you need to find one that speaks to you and will become the driving force of your actions. Once you found this reason, it is time to do and get into action.
  • Step 2: Look over your weekly schedule and set specific times a day to exercise. Add it to your calendar.
    • Start small: 1-2 times per week is a good start for beginners if you are already exercising 2 times per week, commit to adding one extra day. I recommend adding one or two extra days to what you are already doing. Adding more than this can build up into burnout. Your body needs to get used to the new routine. You can stay with this new routing, making for about 4-5 weeks. If you feel like this has been good with your schedule and want to add another day, then do it. If you feel you struggle with this routine, then I will stay with it and NOT add any more days.
    • 30 mins is a good start for an exercise routine. For beginners, start with this time and add after 4-5 weeks
  • Step 3: Decide where will you exercise
    • Will it be at a gym? school? Park? Beach? Group Exercise Classes?
    • You can workout anywhere.
    • In addition, your community can offer a variety of options to exercise
  • Here are some to suggest:
    • Parks and recreation classes: check your local parks and recreation website. Most of the times these classes run for 10-16weeks at an affordable price. These classes can range from sports relates, swimming, aerobics, kickboxing, Zumba, and more. If you live locally, here are some links you may find helpful:
    • City of El Segundo Parks and Recreation fitness classes:
    • City of Long Beach Parks and Recreation fitness classes:
    • Adult school or community colleges: same as your local parks and recreation. Here are some links for local places:
    • City of Downy adult school:
    • City of Huntington Beach Adult school:
    • Join a gym: check your local gyms! Most of them would offer group exercises classes and cardio and resistance training equipment to workout on your own.
    • High school or local track and field: Check your local high school track and use to workout!
    • Parks, beaches, and just the streets (running): you can run outside or if your local parks offer stairs, you can use them! Stairs provide a great leg workout.
  • On the next post…Step 4 & 5



As a personal trainer and kinesiology educator, goal setting is the first step I encourage my clients and students to take. Nothing really would happen if you don’t set goals and give direction to your desires. There is something about putting ideas in a paper that allows your subconscious mind to help you get there. So, let’s get a paper and pencil and write SMART goals!! SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant/realistic, and time-bound. Please note this acronym has been used largely by personal trainers to help their clients reach their fitness goals, but you can use these concepts in other aspects of your life.

S pecific

M easurable

A ttainable

R elevant

T ime

Specific: as the word says, your goal needs to be specific and detailed. The clearer it is in your mind, the better chances you’ll have to accomplish them. This helps your subconscious mind to have a clear picture of the outcome on how to get there. For example, you would not say: “I want to be healthy.” This could mean a lot of things such as eating more vegetables and fruits or losing weight. You will need to make your goal specific by saying: “I want to lose 5 pounds of body weight.”

Measurable: this means that your goals need to be measured. In other words, how will you know if you are getting closer to your goal? You need to find a way to measure it. For example, if you want to lose 5 pounds of body weight, you can measure it by getting weighed at the start of your fitness program and weigh yourself midway to your program and at the end of it. In this way, you will know how far are you from your goal and if there are any adjustments, you will need to make. If your goal is related to diet, you can measure it by keeping a food log diary or using a diet app.

Attainable: This relates to the question, is your goal within your reach? Will you be able to accomplish it? Often times, when we start an exercise program, we get so excited that we want to work out as much as possible, and we may end up doing it for 5 days straight for the first weeks. Nevertheless, this takes a hold on our bodies, and we may end up becoming injured or burnout. Thus, stopping the program and not going back. I always state: “small steps at a time.” I want you to really think within yourself and ask this question: Is this goal within my reach? Can I commit to this? Will I be able to include it on my busy schedule? Now, it is crucial that you understand that this is not a race. You need to be patient with yourself. The only person you are competing with is YOU. Do not get discouraged and think to yourself: I should be doing more or am I being lazy? I rather you commit to something small than something big and then you dropping it. Please remember, that this a journey, the journey to be healthy and to exercise for the rest of your life and not just for a temporary goal. It took time for you to gain that weight or be where you are; thus, it will take time to lose that weight. Patience with yourself and perseverance are crucial.

Relevant/realistic: this relates to attainable. I usually explain them together since they work hand in hand. Realistic refers to picking goals that are within your reach. The questions you need to ask: will this goal fit with my full-time job? Will it fit with having a job, school and friends and family? Will I have enough time for it? Is it realistic to my lifestyle? It is crucial that you answer these questions and pick modest goals that you know you can commit; otherwise, you may be setting yourself for disappointment. Again, I rather you start small than big. Slowly but surely.

Time: this relates to a time frame you think your goals will take. Goals can range from 1 week, 1 month, 6 months, 1 year and longer. It is up to you to decide the time length of your goals. I recommend to set one to six-month goals since they call for immediate actions. It also adds more urgency that you need to get into action as soon as possible.

So, how do SMART goals sound like?

Here are examples of some SMART fitness goals that can help you get you started with yours:

“I want to lose 5 pounds of body weight for the next 3 months.”

“I want to pack my meals every Tuesday and Thursday for the next 16 weeks.”

“I want to exercise two times per week after work every Monday and Wednesday for the next month.”

“I want to meal prep for the week every Sunday afternoon for the next 4 weeks.”

Please not that within each goal, you will have weekly objectives that will assist you with the bigger goal. You can use this exercise to assist you:

Long term goals:

1. I want to lose 5lbs of my body weight in 3 months.

Short term objectives (What small things will you do to accomplish your long term goals?)

1. I will commit to go for a walk this Thursday after work

2. I will write a grocery food list today of food I will need to buy to prep my meals.

3. I will buy vegetables and fruits and pack them on my lunch this Tuesday and Thursday

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Hello everyone! let me first introduce myself. My name is Isabel; I’m a fitness professional who is obsessed about exercise and motivating people to do so. I have seen the amazing benefits physical activity brings to a person’s life, and I want everyone to experience it! I also want to help as many people as possible by sharing my knowledge and experience in the field which is why I created this blog.

I’m originally from Lima, Peru. I came to U.S.A at the age of 15. At first, it was a challenging adjustment due to the language barrier; however, once I started college, I made new friends and felt ingrained into the culture.

Besides exercise, I love education and learning. I’m always looking for opportunities to grow as an instructor and person. I graduated from California State University Long Beach with a B.S. in Kinesiology option in Fitness and M.A in Kinesiology option in Sport Management. I’m currently working on my online EdD in Kinesiology from University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In addition, I’m a certified ACE personal trainer, health coach, and functional movement specialist. I also specialize in group exercise and teach almost everything but yoga. My certifications include Les Mills Bodycombat, Bodypump & GRIT series, TRX, Schwinn indoor cycling, Pop Pilates, and Zumba fitness.

In terms of my work experience, I’m an adjunct faculty for the Kinesiology departments at California State University Los Angeles (CSULA) & East Los Angeles (ELAC). I teach a variety of lecture and activity classes related to exercise physiology, health and fitness, cardio kickboxing, and Zumba fitness. I LOVE teaching at these schools and working with college students. I feel so blessed to be able to inspire and educate these students and make a positive difference in their lives. To top it off, I also teach at commercial gyms such as 24 Hour Fitness and Equinox. I enjoy the opportunity to meet new people and motivate them through exercise.

I also have an awesome husband who is very supportive of all my craziness! We enjoyed our times working out at Orangetheory, watching movies at home or going on dates.

As I mentioned briefly, I wanted to create this blog to share my knowledge and experiences in my field. I want to pass the word about fitness and living a healthy lifestyle. I also want to let you know that anything is possible if you set your mind into it. I have been focused on learning how to accomplish my goals and dreams. I love reading about successful people and learning about the strategies and skills they have. I’m on this journey now to accomplish all of my dreams and want to share my experience with you in hopes I can inspire you to do it too! Thank you for reading this!! 

“Do what you love and love what you do!”