For those of you who do not know me, my name is Jennifer and I have been director of Lifeline Personal Training and Post Rehabilitation Services for the past 20 years. I provide in-home certified personal fitness training for clients in the midtown and downtown Toronto region, including Forest Hill, Rosedale and my own neighborhood, the Annex. At some point, you will probably see me biking around the city to see clients, or running through the streets of the Annex or Forest Hill. I am an ACE Gold Certified Medicala Exercise Specialist, a AAHFRP-Post Rehabiliation Conditioning Specialist, and an ACE-Certified Personal Trainer. I also have a Master of Social Work degree and am an Ontario Registered Social Worker. In fact, I also maintain a small psychotherapy private practice as well! Sometimes I am asked why I decided to go into this field. I was in graduate school, studying social work, when I had the realization that I should marry my two passions: counseling, and physical activity. I knew that I was someone who had to be passionate about my work, or I would not survive. My epiphany - this is truly what it was! - has resulted in 20 years of helping countless individuals vastly improve their quality of life. I was lucky that early on, I had mentors from whom I learned a great deal. I questioned everyone I knew or encountered who worked in rehabilitation, from massage therapy to chiropractic, to physiotherapy to medicine, to naturopathy. Everyone I met in these fields was a repository of knowledge from which I could learn and absorb, in the days before Google and Wikipedia became easy research tools. I am honoured that I am now in the position to provide consultation to others in the health and wellness field.
I became interested in working with people with medical conditions after breaking my neck in a bicycle accident in November of 1996. In the weeks following the accident, I made two decisions: one, that if I regained my strength and function I would become a long-distance runner; and two, that I would focus my practice on working with people who faced medical barriers when trying to incorporate physical activity into their lives. This is the result: for the past 18 years, I have specialized in certified personal fitness training for people who are new to exercise, returning to exercise, and those with medical problems. Every program I design, whether addressing low fitness level, overweight, injuries, cancer treatment side effects, arthritis, back problems, knee problems, movement disorders, brain injury, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, autoimmune disorders, and others, is evidence-based and draws from what research has been shown to be safe and effective for specific health problems. I incorporate comprehensive initial and ongoing assessment, therapeutic and corrective exercise techniques, mental health counseling, as well as taking a close look at what motivates each individual. The most perfectly designed exercise programs are not useful if my clients are not able to problem solve how to change their lifestyles, and incorporate what I recommend. In my other life, I have three boys who are ages 12, 10 and 9, a wonderful husband whom I met on a bus in the mountains in Spain in 1998, and an adorable cat named Bentzi. As a sub-elite long distance runner who has struggled with many health problems – back and neck pain, asthma, knee problems – of my own over the years. Having experienced chronic pain, I have tremendous empathy for people who are currently in this situation - and am fascinated with how to enable people who live with chronic pain to adopt a more active lifestyle. Click read my article "Exercise programming for Clients with Fibromyalgia in the CAN-FIT-PRO Journal. Click read my article "Sport-Specific Training for the Older Adult Client", in the IDEA Fitness Journal