Meet Danna Solomon, Home Bodies trainer to Dover, Newington, and Durham NH and surrounding areas
by Danna Solomon
I’ve always been interested in fitness and exercise, but haven’t realized how passionate I am for it until recently. I was an athlete in high school, but never took exercise seriously until I joined the rowing team at the University of Vermont. Even though the team was considered a club team, it took me from being a junior varsity athlete to an elite athlete competing in some of the most prestigious races in the country such as the Head of the Charles in Boston and the Dad Vails Regatta in Philadelphia. After graduating, I had to figure out how I wanted to stay in shape without having a coach and a practice plan every day.
That’s when my interest in fitness really started to take off. I began reading articles and watching/taking advice from the trainers at the gym I joined; however, being part of a gym was a short term investment at the time since I took a year and went to Costa Rica to teach English. While there, I continued running, but I needed to come up with a way to get in weight training and different varieties of cardio work, without access to a gym. I started using my imagination to create workouts with bricks, rocks, benches, etc. and soon people (mainly the women) around the small village I lived in saw what I was doing and were curious. They asked me to lead some workouts on the town soccer field and soon I was doing a small group training session about once a week and not even realizing it! Soon enough I saw women in the town running or walking on their own and they started telling me how much better and healthier they felt. The satisfaction of helping these women and hearing them say how much they enjoy the results after the hard work they put in made me realized that my future wasn’t going to involve teaching in a classroom setting, but instead was going to involve fitness and nutrition.
Since being back in the U.S., I have become a coach at UNH for the crew team and learned much more about how the body moves and how to design workout plans for a team. I am working with the novice women’s team; these women all come from different athletic backgrounds with some of them never being on a team or in a gym to some being on three different varsity teams throughout high school. The majority of them have never set foot in a weight room and I look forward to taking on that challenge during winter training to really help them develop the muscles needed to being strong elite rowers.
With a new client, I talk about their previous experiences with exercise and/or nutrition programs to find out what works and what doesn’t for that person. It’s also important to find out what kind of goals he/she has, both short term and long term.. Since everyone is different, I believe there is no “one-size-fits-all model” and will utilize everything (whether it be a stability ball, free weights, bands, body weight or just plain chairs and tables) to create an effective plan to maximize results. I enjoy making exercise fun and different each session, to get rid of the idea of “boredom” that is often associated with going to the gym and doing the same thing every day. I enjoy doing circuit training and intervals to maximize the work being done and minimize the time needed. I believe that nutrition and fitness go hand-in-hand and everyone’s body needs fuel to work the best it can. Food should be considered fuel and depending on the stresses the body undergoes, everybody needs different fuel. I’m also a realist and know that of course, we can’t be expected to cut pizza and ice cream out of our lives forever. Everything should be taken in moderation.
Unfortunately, I have not been rowing as much as I would like to, but am happy that crew is still part of my life. Someday I hope to be back on a team, or owning my own boat, but until that day comes, I am training for triathlons and plan on competing in a few this coming spring and summer. I also enjoy snowboarding, hiking, snowshoeing, and pretty much anything else that involves getting me outdoors and being active."
Danna's Qualifications and Certifications
• American Council on Exercise (ACE) personal trainer
• International Sports & Fitness Trainers Association (ISFTA) personal trainer
• TRX suspension training certified
• Red Cross CPR/AED
• Captain of UVM rowing team
• Assistant coach to UNH rowing team
Danna Solomon is our Home Bodies personal trainer available to Dover, Newington, and Durham NH, and any locations within 30 minutes of Dover NH.