SLB Spotlight Meet Andrea
Andrea Metcalf is a certified personal trainer, TV personality and author. Highlights include over a dozen appearances on the NBC Today Show, featured contributor on Oprah.com and being a runner-up for trainer of the year with IDEA. Andrea is part of our Fit and 50 story, and has written numerous SLB stories and videos including What Stretching Can Do For You. Find Andrea’s classes through Studio Fuse.
Tell us how you got into health and fitness for a career?
I started teaching fitness classes when everyone wore a thong leotard with tights underneath it, Reebok high top gym shoes and wore a terry cloth headband! That was more than 3 decades ago. But really I loved teaching. It was fun getting people to move, sweat and smile and so rewarding that it became my career path.
Have you changed your workout emphasis over the years–changing the ratio on cardio to strength training as you’ve gotten older? And if so what do you recommend for others as they age?
My workouts have changed so much. Just last year I had a double knee replacement. I think I wore them out sooner than most due to my choices in exercise, years of gymnastics and overall overuse. But I didn’t realize that my knees were so bad until I had a ruptured disc in my lumbar spine. I was bending over without bending my knees, and all the stress was in my back. I could hardly walk 2 blocks and sitting my knees would ache. Now Pilates, biking, walking and paddle sports are part of my workouts. I also golf more and have hung my running shoes.
The key is to listen to your body and do what feels right for you. I pushed through the “pain” but it led to more injury. If you feel pain, get it checked out and work on rebalancing the body to decrease it. Walking is a great way to keep in shape, but also remember that doing the same thing can lead to overuse; you need balance. Simple stretching, weight bearing movements and core stability are key as we age.
Least favorite cardio, and why?
I have always said the best form of exercise is the one you like… So I don’t have a least favorite because if I didn’t like doing it, I wouldn’t do it. Keep in mind that we are all made up of our past experiences, there are many people whose bodies are built better for some exercise than others. So just because running isn’t for me, there are many people who can enjoy it for their whole lives without pain or injuries.
Describe a typical day in terms of how you build a workout routine into it and meals/snacks you might prepare.
My days are based on my business. I teach 3-5 a day Monday through Saturday and take Sundays off from teaching. The workouts I lead I participate in about 60 percent of each class. I like to teach visually the form and then connect with my students to make sure they are doing things correctly and feel their muscles working. Meals many times in the morning are grab-n-go. Water, a protein drink, apple or banana and cup of tea make up my morning routine. Lunch is usually a salad, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or something fast, too. But dinners are light and typically fish or chicken.
Favorite snacks ( especially recently in light of spending time at home ) are air popped popcorn, hummus, a Honeycrisp apple and watermelon. YUM!
What’s the No. 1 Mistake people trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle?
Consistency is the biggest mistake and then probably second, giving up after one bad choice on the rest of the day, week, month or year. Each day and meal is a new beginning to make a healthier choice. Little by little, taking smart bites is key to making changes. I’m not perfect. I make emotional choices or comfort choices, but I try to practice mindful eating where I am aware and present making the choice in what I am eating.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I do feel the positive outcome for myself is more awareness, patience and a time for reflection. So for that, I am grateful. I know that exercise helps boost immunity and reduce stress so what we do is important and I hope that more people are becoming more active during the lockdowns. After all, who wants to just be inside all day!