Fit Followers is a recent addition to that will serve to recognize people I know who are truly an inspiration to me. These are friends in my community who have set goals for themselves and have attained them through nothing short of sheer fortitude and determination. You may recognize their faces from my classes or from the local area. They are inspiring beyond their fitness. I hope my introducing you to them motivates you too.

Name: Erica Landes

Occupation:  I am a personal trainer, fitness nutritionist, bootcamp instructor and group exercise instructor. I also run a company called Wise Whistles, which creates stylish safety whistles for kids and adults alike. This summer will be my first summer working at Sesame/Rockwood Day Camp as a swim instructor for kids ages 2-5. However, my most important and rewarding job is being a Mom to my daughters, Ella and Sienna, whom are 4 and 1. They especially love when I take Linda’s class at the gym so they can help set me up!

Owner, Wise Whistles

Age: 29

Hobbies/Interests:  Besides my obvious love in living a healthy lifestyle and hitting the gym everyday, my background and oldest passion lies in the performing arts. Growing up (and even now) there’s nothing I’d rather do than sing, dance and act. I have a Bachelor’s of Music from Berklee College of Music and I’ve even been a wedding singer! I also love the visual arts, including photography, painting, and ceramics. My creative past has definitely lead me to be a better instructor, as it’s a lot like performing on stage and putting forth your best effort. To truly enjoy putting together a motivating playlist or workout circuit doesn’t hurt either!

What does a normal week’s workout look like for you? I try to mix it up whenever possible so I don’t get bored, but right now my routine is reflected heavily upon both my daughter’s school and nap schedules. That means that even if I can hit the gym each day, it’s usually a shorter workout or at a less than ideal time. Here’s a sample of an ideal week’s workout schedule:

Monday:  Spinning

Tuesday:  HIIT cardio/Strength Training with a Barbell or Dumbbells

Wednesday:  Spinning

Thursday:  Linda’s 8:30am weight and cardio class; kettle bells/Battle Ropes/Stairmaster/Medicine Balls/Mat Work/Bosu/Cable Machines

Friday:  Spinning or a toning class.

Saturday:  HIIT or cardio Bootcamp

Sunday:  I’ll take a toning class. I’ll usually warm up on the Treadmill or Stairmaster beforehand. I used to run a lot, but I have found that Spinning or the Stairmaster offer me a greater challenge and better results without the pounding on my knees. If I can’t get to the gym, my favorite thing to do on a Sunday is take a Hot Yoga class before dinnertime.

Why do you work out ? One of my favorite quotes I live by is “I work out because I don’t have time NOT too.” When I take too long a break from exercising I can notice a difference, not only in my muscles or my energy levels within my body, but in my spirit as well. I’m lucky that I am one of those people who not only knows how important working out is for my health, but who truly enjoys every aspect of it. From the challenges I place upon myself to meet specific fitness goals, to the comradery of group classes, everyone is there for the same reason, to be the best version of themselves (and of course to have fun!) Most importantly, it is a huge stress reliever.

What motivates you? My daughters! They are my number one motivation for staying healthy and showing them how important it is to take care of yourself through diet and exercise.

What quality or characteristic do you possess that makes you the most proud or confident? That I’m driven. I’ve always had the drive to do whatever really matters to me, even if that means putting in a lot of practice, time or effort. And even though many things haven’t worked out the way I intended it to, at least I know that I’ve tried my best. You should always have “the eye of the tiger”. You need to be tenacious to survive!

Future fitness goals:  I would love to do a half marathon or a Tough Mudder type race. I would also love to get certified in more areas of fitness, such as Yoga, PiYo, or Urban Rebounding.

How does fitness impact or improve your quality of life? Fitness makes a huge impact on my physical and mental health. It keeps me calm and centered on days when I might be feeling overwhelmed. It gets me revved up and excited on days when I have special events. It has helped me stay healthy and fit through both pregnancies.