Archive for January, 2012

Sheila Kalas and Laura Coombs on KET

Monday, January 30th, 2012

“One to One with Bill Goodman” features Sheila Kalas and Laura Coombs.

Bill Goodman, host of “One to One” on KET, interviewed Sheila Kalas and Laura Coombs about getting fit and healthy, and staying that way.  The show, episode #704, aired in January 2012. Watch the 30-minute show online at

After the show, Bill continued the conversation with Sheila and Laura. He asked them for more tips on nutrition and fitness. That video is on Bill’s blog in a post called “We All Need More Exercise” at

Sheila is a personal trainer and the owner of Fitness Plus. Laura is a personal trainer at Fitness Plus and the faculty head of the Personal Fitness Training certification program at the Lexington Healing Arts Academy.

Health information comes to us from all angles and it can be confusing. Laura advises getting back to the basics. “It can be as easy as eat less and move more,” she said.

Sheila suggests looking at the world of fitness as gray, not black and white. Instead of feeling defeated before you even start, just start. Something is better than nothing. “Early mortality rates are reduced greatly with moderate exercise,” she said.

They both offer tips and information on diet and exercise, the personal training industry, recognizing and removing barriers to fitness, healthy eating habits, and personal accountability.

“Own your own body and take responsibility for it,” said Sheila. “You’re the only person that can make it better or worse.”

Click to play video from KET

Trainer Tip: 2012 Success Plan by Laura Cooms, ATC, CSCS

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

Fitness Plus trainer, Laura Coombs

What are your goals for 2012?  Many of us use the New Year to re-charge our focus on self-improvement of some kind.   The 5 steps below can help you stick to your resolutions and keep you motivated long enough to make a real change this year.   I’m a fan of lists, so get your pen and paper out and let’s make a plan!


Preparation before Action. Gather your tools!  Many people dive into a goal dreaming about the end result and don’t take time to plan.   List 10 things you’ll need for success with your goal.  If you want to lose 20 pounds this year, your list might include a good pair of walking shoes, a pedometer, a water bottle, a subscription to a fitness magazine, a personal trainer, an exercise DVD, a food journal, an exercise buddy, a specific time of day and weekly schedule for exercise, and a commitment to eating more veggies.   This step can also be used to consider your potential barriers to success and remove them!  Make time to remove excuses.  See your doctor if you have aches or pains that prevent you from exercising.   Get a new cookbook and learn how to make vegetables delicious.   Make new friends who are active if your current mode of social networking involves sitting, eating, or drinking.  If you have kids at home, choose exercises that are family friendly like walking, dancing, going to the playground, or playing ball.

Being vs. Having. “What would Dara do?”  My fitness role model, Dara Torres, crosses my mind every time I reach for a cookie, head for the couch, or blow off my workout.  Instead of focusing on HAVING arms and abs like hers, it helps me to focus on BEING the girl that would opt for a nutritious snack, an energizing run, or a visit to the weight room.    Similarly, when we think about BEING that person who loses 20 pounds, we “be” that person who stands up a little taller, pulls our core in a little tighter, drinks water instead of soda, eats veggies instead of sugary carbs, and chooses to walk instead of sit.  This mentality also prevents a relapse to old behaviors once we meet our goal.  It motivates us to continue toward a new goal when we meet our current one.  Instead of just HAVING buff arms and abs or a 20 pound weight loss, we end up BEING someone with excellent habits and behaviors long beyond our target goal.  What are 10 things you can “be” while working toward your goal?

Approach vs. Avoid. Be a “yes” man (or woman).  Saying yes, or approaching, positive behaviors is better for our psyche than trying to avoid negative behaviors.  Basically, approaching makes us happy! Encouraged! Proud! On the other hand, avoiding makes us feel deprived, anxious, and punished.  APPROACH 10 specific things that will help you reach your goals, like 30 minutes of exercise/day, 5 veggies/day,  plenty of water, and a weekly visit to the farmer’s market, vs. focusing on avoiding laziness, avoiding sweets, avoiding soda, and avoiding fast food. The outcome will be the same, but you’ll feel more motivated to continue.

Process vs. Outcome. Stay in the moment.  Stop obsessing about the outcome. In my experience as a trainer, people who maintain excellent health and fitness for a lifetime are the ones that really enjoy the process.  We like the challenge of making our plate colorful or our running stride quiet or our muscles contract through a full range of motion (OK…maybe that’s just me).  Try focusing on your workout PROCESS by paying attention to your breath, your energy, your power, your balance, your posture…instead of focusing on the outcome of losing 20 pounds.  You will be more motivated to eat right and exercise if you find a way to enjoy the process.  What are 10 PROCESS goals you can set for yourself?

Why? Why? Why? Get invested.  We are more motivated by goals that have deep meaning.  Yes, I want to look like Dara Torres, but that won’t always be enough to motivate me.  Ask yourself, “Why MUST I accomplish this goal this year?”  List 10 reasons why it has to happen now.  I MUST workout like Dara Torres this year because it will prevent heart disease and cancer, which both run in my family.  I MUST workout like Dara Torres this year because I want to continue climbing the mountains of the Adirondacks and not get injured.  I MUST workout like Dara Torres this year because I have 10 nieces and nephews who are counting on me to chase them around the playground.  On a day when you’re feeling uninspired by your goal to lose 20 pounds, your list of meaningful reasons behind your goal will motivate you.   This list may also help you to uncover complimentary paths to your goal, like hiking and playing on the monkey bars more.  Why (x 10) are you going to meet your goal this year?

Hopefully the wheels of motivation and success are turning now.  Take a look back at your lists every month and make adjustments/additions as you proceed toward your goal.  Have a healthy, happy 2012!


Laura Coombs is a Certified Personal Trainer at Fitness Plus and is the Personal Training Faculty Head at Lexington Healing Arts Academy.  Her class “Lifestyle Fitness Coaching” combines the elements of personal training with exercise psychology and behavior modification.  She can be reached at