Fitness Files: Sara Haley
Sara Haley is a certified trainer and instructor by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), a certified Pre/Post Natal Exercise Specialist by the American Fitness Professionals & Associates (AFPA), and a proud member of the American Pregnancy Association (APA). She has additional certifications to teach/train: Cross Fit, will Power & grace™, Kettlebell Concepts, JUKARI: Fit to Fly and Fit to Flex, Urban Rebounding, Schwinn Cycling,TRX, and more.
In addition to her expertise, Sara brings her clients and followers her energetic personality and devotion to making exercise fun and rewarding, so that it can become less of a chore and a part of a healthy lifestyle. Continue reading to learn more about Sara and how she motivates herself and clients through mind and body techniques.
NMF: Has fitness always been a major part of your life or was there a catalyst/point in your life when you made it more of a focus and priority?
SH: I would say “moving” has always been part of my life. I’m essentially a dance chick turned fitness chick. I moved to NYC in 2001 to pursue a dance career and taught fitness classes, to support myself, on the side. I picked it up easily because teaching and cueing came naturally to me from my days teaching dance camps for Universal Dance Association. Right away, after I began teaching group exercise classes, I could see changes in my body and in how strong I felt. Moreover, it was no longer about me - I was effecting other people, whether it was just making them smile for an hour or actually helping them meet their weight-loss goals.
My “big break” came in 2007 when Reebok & Cirque du Soliel recruited me for their Women’s Global Ambassador team. I was originally on a team of about 25 women that eventually became a team of about 5 of us who helped create workouts for the two brands. The combination of fitness (Reebok) with dance and theater (Cirque du Soleil) was such an ideal fit for me, as it combined all the things I love. I worked for Reebok for seven years developing content, training instructors, creating fitness DVDs, and being their spokesperson for media events. This was what finally made me jump into fitness full time.
NMF: What are a few of your go-to healthy snacks/drinks that help keep you on the straight and narrow?
SH: I’m a huge HINT water fan. I love it becomes it provides just a taste of something with no preservatives, sugar, or calories. They also make HINT Fizz which I love because it has some carbonation, which sometimes satisfies my soda cravings. I also keep a big bowl of fruit in the middle of my kitchen island, with bananas and apples, so that it’s visable when I want to grab something. I also almost always have a Trader Joe’s small bag of almonds in my person.
NMF: At Nadia Murdock Fit our motto is “Train Your Mind, Change Your Body” so we must ask: How do you train your mind and stay motivated?
SH: I love it! The motto on my first website was “Change your Body, Change your Mind, Change your Life!” so I 100% agree!
This is a great question to ask, considering I’m about to have a baby in 3 weeks and yes, I’m still working out. Repetition equals results. I’ve always believed this since as a dancer it’s what you do. You go in and perform exercises at the barre to give you a strong performance base. Athletes run drills to get them ready for their games. It’s the same reason parents try to enforce certain bedtimes. You are training your brain (through your bodies actions) to want and need something. I’ve spent nine months of my pregnancy working out as often as I can or my body will allow. My mind and body know that I am healthier and happier when exercise is part of my day.
I also teach an amazing class called willpower & grace® (www.willpowermethod.com), that focuses a lot on the mind/body connection. My good friend and mentor, Stacey Lei Krauss (who you should also interview) created it. She also believes repetition equals results and her method proves it, but moreover it trains the mind by encouraging students to use willPower to create results. willPower is making a decision or creating an outcome using the power of your mind. So decide what you want and then take action . . . guess what? It usually works!
NMF: How do you change your body? What are your fitness favorites?
SH: You change your body by keeping it excited and challenged. That’s why I personally do NOT believe in only training in ONE method. I dabble in everything and I encourage everyone to do so. I’ve tried everything from dance cardio to cycling to CrossFit to barre classes to hot yoga. My favorite group fitness class is cardio dance. It just makes me so happy. My favorite piece of equipment is the Ultraslide®. It is the only tool I’ve found that allows you to train laterally which changes the shape of your legs & butt. Plus, there is so much core work you can do on it. (If you’re not familiar, you can check it out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2d1_E_dQHw ).
My favorite exercise is the Burpee. I love that you can work your entire body and get your heart rate up all in one move.
For more information visit: http://sarahaley.com/
Training minds and changing bodies!
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