Meet a Health Hero: Dan Goldstein
» You can vote for Dan here September 22nd through 28th. Mark your calendar!
Name: Dan Goldstein
Role: Trainer at SWEAT Fitness
Who or what motivates you to be healthy?
I love to share my passion for fitness and motivate others to reach their goals. My involvement in fitness activities and staying healthy has transformed my life and has given me the strength and resilience to succeed through lifetime challenges and events. I believe in this so strongly that I teach fitness to others and feed them with my positive energy to improve their physical conditioning, self-esteem and happiness with themselves, their families and work. I am motivated by the wellbeing of others and when I can help people achieve the fitness dreams they thought they could never reach, I feel totally accomplished.
Describe a health or fitness related turning point in your life.
In May of 2000, I experienced a traumatic change in my life as I went through an unexpected separation and divorce. During this emotional struggle, my son Michael was six years old and I was feeling anger, pain, confusion, low self-esteem, guilt and many other negative feelings that are typical of this tough situation. At the time, I could have taken the easy path of using self-destructive ways to alleviate the pain I was feeling such as drugs and alcohol. However, I knew that I needed to stay strong for my precious son Mike, since he had no fault in the situation, and I could not hurt him or affect his future life. Therefore, I opted for a change in lifestyle focused on health and fitness which helped me cope with this turning point in my life. When I was not at work or with Mike, I spent my time taking group fitness classes, running and lifting weights. In a short period of time of being surrounded by the positive energy of a local health club, I was feeling better and happier with myself and I was able to relieve my negative emotions of anger and anxiety. The transformation in my emotions allowed me to think, analyze and understand the situation I was going through, which resulted in a constructive approach to our divorce process, create a longterm friendship with my ex-wife and provided Mike with security, love and care during the critical stages of his life.
What “policy” would you institute to make Greater Philadelphia a healthier region?
The Greater Philadelphia region is well known for its fabulous restaurants, bars and food establishments. The only problem is that it is so good we all get fat! As a “policy,” I would request that food vendors and restaurant owners in our area openly provide nutritional information of their menu items, including food and drinks. Currently, some health-conscious restaurants have calories displayed on their menus which help as a guide to make appropriate food and drink selections based on the recommended daily calorie allowance and the intensity of workouts. But in the majority of the food establishments, we are consuming huge portions with large amounts of calories, fats, and carbohydrates that far exceed our daily allowances. If restaurants provide nutritional information, it will help the customer decide on what to order or how much to eat and how much to take home to keep a healthy and balanced diet. Also, the waiters and staff should be trained on the nutritional facts of the menu items to provide useful health information to their patrons.
What’s the most important part of your health or fitness regimen?
To have FUN!!! If you don’t enjoy the fitness activity you are performing, it won’t last, and the couch/bag of chips/TV combo will be more attractive. Find the best fitness activity that works for you, from walking to playing a sport, to taking dance classes, yoga, running, biking, swimming, group fitness classes, martial arts, lifting, etc. There is a fitness activity out there for each of us and, independent of your age and fitness conditions, it is never too late to start. If you participate in a physical activity that is fun and enjoy doing it, it will become part of your life and it will make you feel better and happier. I teach a series of high intensity group fitness classes where I welcome everyone, and it is my responsibility to make sure they are safe and performing at their fitness level. But my main goal is for everyone in class to burn their calories with a smile, and this “painful fun” is what creates an addiction for participants to return and create a longterm relationship with the class.
What is your number one piece of health-related advice?
We have only one chance at the great gift of life, and we need to enjoy and appreciate it with our families and friends. The Greater Philadelphia area has many organized fitness related events and the majority is for great causes. So my number one piece of advice is for everyone to set a challenging fitness goal for next year by signing up for a 2016 organized event which could include walking, running, biking, or a combination of activities. Once you sign up, you are committed to make a change in your lifestyle since it will involve eating better and following an exercise routine. Talk to friends, family or fitness professionals to set a training plan for the months to come, and train together to make it fun.
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