Q & A with personal trainer Shannon Hutsler

Kharissa Forte

A new school year has arrived. It’s time to settle back into the routine of lecture, eat, homework, eat, sleep (maybe), eat. Student life can take a major toll on our bodies. Think about it; we’re not eating as healthy as we should. Finding time to work out is scarce if not impossible. This may be your first go at college life; I’m sure you’re familiar with the dreaded freshman fifteen and would stop at nothing to avoid it.

Shannon Hutsler, a personal trainer at Swinney Recreation Center, provides some helpful health tips for this upcoming semester.

Hutsler is a 23-year old UMKC alum. She earned a BFA in Dance with a Modern Emphasis. Shannon desires to one day own her own dance and fitness facility. Sweet, humble and in shape, Hutsler offers the need-to-know about staying (or getting) fit.

Q: How do students know how many calories they need to maintain their weight?

“There is a specific formula that trainers and dieticians use to calculate how many calories each person needs to consume on a daily basis.

The formula is individualized depending on weight, height, gender, activity levels and goals to lose, maintain or gain weight.  Just like many formulas, it is just a guideline and individuals may require more or less than the equation suggests.

There are so many useful tools online, but it is always a good idea to have a professional calculate your data.”

Q: What are your top three tips for avoiding the freshman 15?

“My best advice would be to shoot for balance in all areas of your life; good health should be easy.

Eat lots of veggies and watch out for dressings and condiments.

Find time for at least 20 minutes of activity every day.

It can be a 10-minute walk in between classes and then a circuit of jumping jacks, push-ups and sit-ups later that night during the commercial breaks of your favorite television show.

Make activity a habit and make it enjoyable. You can bust your bum to “Insanity” workouts every day for a week, but check back in a month later and there’s a good chance you’re not doing much at all.

If you aim too high – or for perfection – your dropout rate skyrockets.

Shoot for “good” and along the way your standards for “good” will rise without you even noticing.

Lastly, identify your “bad” habits like vegging out in front of a “Keeping up with the Kardashians” marathon.

Don’t forbid these things because you’ll only want them more. Instead, save them for a reward after a killer workout.

While you wait for a reward, keep your indulgences small and remind yourself you can always have a little more tomorrow.”

Q: How much do trainers cost and what do they offer?

“Great news: personal training at Swinney Recreation Center is one of the most affordable personal training options in Kansas City. Get five hour-long, individualized sessions for only $160. You can pay using debit, credit or even your student account.”

Q: What are some easy, quick exercises for students who have pretty tight schedules?

“I love circuits. One of my go-to quick circuits is 30 seconds of jumping Jacks, 45 seconds of split squat jumps, 15 push-ups, 50 bicycles and one minute of planks.

I can complete the whole thing once in less than five minutes.

If I have some time, I’ll repeat it up to five times, no equipment needed.

Jumping rope is also a great exercise that can be done almost anywhere. Jumping rope burns 10 calories a minute.

That’s 100 calories in 10 minutes.”

Q: Do you have any healthy snacks or recipes to share for students with busy schedules?

“Keep your healthy options stocked and easily accessible. Wash and cut your produce as soon as you buy it, so that when hunger attacks it’s an easy and smart choice.”

Q: What other good resources do you recommend?

“Sign up for Roo Wellness. It’s a brand new health and wellness initiative free for students offered by Swinney Recreation Center.

We will provide tips, tools, tricks and classes to members throughout the year to keep them healthy and on track.

Sign up by emailing your name and phone number to [email protected]! You get a free T-shirt, too!.

[email protected]