While having a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. workday schedule was once universal, that is no longer the case for many Americans. And between company hours and leisure time, finding an opportunity to exercise can be a consistent challenge.
But what if the exercise comes to you? That question is part of the inspiration behind Elan Fitness and Nutrition, which offers wellness coaching for individual clients, local community centers and, most commonly, corporate offices throughout Northern Virginia.
As a registered dietitian and certified personal trainer, owner and Centreville resident Thea Boatswain is able to provide clients with a variety of health and wellness offerings, which many businesses, both small and large, inquire about on a daily basis.
Here, Boatswain takes us through a typical day as a full-time business owner, personal trainer and nutrition coach in Northern Virginia.
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Each day, Boatswain has a client at a different time. Whether it be an individual training session or a company class prior to the start of the workday, it typically is scheduled between 5:30 and 7 a.m. The one ritual that does stay consistent?
“After the workout I have to take a nap because I am so not a morning person,” says Boatswain with a laugh. “I typically nap between 7 and 8:30 a.m., eventually starting my day around 9.”
Time to catch up with what she missed through the night.
“Usually, for an hour or so, I check emails and speak with my assistant to see if we have new appointments,” says Boatswain. “We usually get a few inquiry emails from the website, whether that be for online coaching or corporate fitness.”
11 a.m.-1 p.m.
“I usually have a midday class that I have to leave my house in Centerville for around 10:30 a.m.,” Boatswain explains, as most of her training sessions are in corporate offices in Washington, DC, Tysons or other areas of Northern Virginia. “Most are between noon and 1 p.m., so within that block I am training in some kind of boot camp or strength training method at a corporate site.”
Due to her busy schedule, Boatswain makes an effort to stay an extra half hour or so after each training session with clients to get her own workout in.
“Yesterday, I had three classes throughout the day, and each time I stayed 30 minutes after and did legs in the morning, arms in the afternoon and core at night,” says Boatswain. “The clients actually like when I stay in their facilities because they like to know that I practice what I preach, and it’s also a time where they can ask me questions about best health practices.”
In the afternoons, Boatswain either heads to the office or a nearby coffee shop to wind down and plan for the coming week, write a blog post or two and take a few calls for the company’s online coaching program.
Through the program, titled Direct Access, Boatswain and the other trainers at Elan Fitness lead clients both online and over the phone through a guided fitness plan that fits into their own schedule. Each individual has a goal that Boatswain assists her clients in getting to, whether that be weight loss or eating more balanced meals.
“Some days I have one or two coaching calls and others I have over four,” says Boatswain. “We do biweekly phone calls where I see what behavior has changed and whether or not the goal is being accomplished. I make sure they are feeling comfortable with their fitness and nutrition habits within the 15- to 30-minute phone call.”
Before finishing up for the day, Boatswain leads company teams in workouts ranging from boot camp to spinning to Pilates.
In addition to workout classes, Elan Fitness offers nutrition services and wellness seminars to companies in the area. Often times during a lunch break or an evening session, Boatswain will lead a lecture on how to maintain a healthy diet or share recipes for easy-to-make lunches in the office kitchen.
“There was one day where a former client had us do 15-minute nutrition consults in a six-hour span with each employee, so they could see where their overall nutrition was as a team,” Boatswain explains.
Following the evening lesson, it’s time to head home for the day.
“When I get home, that’s my real downtime,” says Boatswain. “I make myself go to sleep around 10:30 p.m. but I am really a night owl so at the end of the day I am wide awake.”
Once Boatswain shuts her eyes for the day, it’s time to get some rest before she does it all over again in the morning.