January 22nd, 2015 / posted by paularath

Personal trainer 5

When choosing a personal trainer, the ultimate question is: Does the trainer work for you? Are you making progress toward your goals? Are you motivated? Are you looking and feeling better? Do you look forward to your sessions or are they yet another chore?

Well, it may take a while for you to figure out if all this is working.

While it’s difficult for a non-medical person to determine whether a personal trainer is qualified, there is one thing you can check out: professional certifications.

Personal Trainer 3

The field of fitness has a surprising number of letters in its alphabet soup. Trainers can be certified by dozens of organizations. However, all certifications are not created equal. Some require nothing more than a high school diploma and CPR certification, while others demand science degrees and stringent exams and annual re-certification exams. Some forms of exercise offer a weekend of training for which participants earn a certificate; others require years of training and hours of interning before those letters can come after their names.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) generally is accepted as the gold standard for fitness certifications. ACSM exams require formal training in exercise science, physiology, kinesiology or physical education.

Other respected credentials are issued by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) American Council on Exercise (ACE)  and Aerobics & Fitness Association of America(AFAA). 

American College of Sports Medicine

Regardless of your age or health history, it’s important to ask a trainer if he or she has current CPR certification.

Insurance is another issue. A health club generally carries insurance for any training done on site. An independent trainer must self-insure. In either case, ask before you sign on.

Personal Trainer Pilates

If the trainer seems to offer the same advice and workout plan to several people, beware. A trainer should never offer cookie-cutter recommendations.

Also watch out for trainers who push nutritional supplements. Many of these are pyramid schemes or money-makers for the club or trainer and they may actually be detrimental to your personal health.

Bottom line: Do your homework before trusting someone else to help you take care of your body. And remember, you are paying for the trainer’s time, so make it all about you. This is not a narcissistic attitude, it’s just a practical and fair approach.

- Paula Rath




January 20th, 2015 / posted by paularath

Personal Trainer 1

We’re just three weeks into the new year, but, sadly, a lot of folks have already given up on their resolve to get fit.

Sometimes we set goals that are too optimistic, and ultimately demoralizing. Sometimes we overdo it and get injured – and discouraged – right away. Soemtimes we make our workouts so humdrum that we get bored and lose all motivation.

Who can help? Well, a personal trainer may be the answer. A good trainer is an expert in the field of fitness. He or she spends years in school, in sports and in the gym learning what makes an effective exercise program.

But how do you find the trainer who can help you achieve your desired level of fitness? The ideal way is to ask a close friend who has similar goals to yours and has had great results with a trainer. Otherwise it’s a good idea to talk to a fitness consultant at your gym to help you find the trainer who will best suit you and your needs.

If you have specific health concerns, such as low back pain, a history of orthopedic injuries, heart disease or diabetes, find out which trainer has experience with these issues.

Glynis Ramirez is among Honolulu's  experienced and trusted personal trainer.

Glynis Ramirez is among Honolulu’s experienced and trusted personal trainers. She works at The Honolulu Club.

The relationship between trainer and client is an intimate one. You’re dealing with sensitive issues of body perception, weight, nutrition and exercise.

An extensive interview is recommended. It’s also helpful to watch the trainer working with someone in the gym. Do you want your body to look like the trainer’s other clients’? Or do they look like a Schwarzenegger when you would rather look like Pitt? What do you want to emphasize: cardio, balance or strength?

Listening is a key quality in a trainer. If the trainer is more interested in telling you what he or she knows than in listening to your needs and goals, that’s a red flag.

If you have a health history that might affect your workouts, discuss it up front. Ask the trainer to contact your doctor or physical therapist for guidance and recommendations. If you’re just beginning an exercise program, it’s important to get clearance from  your doctor.

Ask the trainer about their personal experiences. If they have sustained injuries similar to yours, and have lived with the pain, they may have more compassion and understanding.

Professional certifications can tell you a lot about a personal trainer’s level of expertise. Tomorrow we’ll address some of the certifications to ask for, as well as some things to watch out for when choosing a personal trainer.

- Paula Rath

January 14th, 2015 / posted by paularath
Courtesy of Spinelli Kilcollin

Courtesy of Spinelli Kilcollin

There is a growing list of Honolulu-raised Punahou grads who are making it big in the highly competitive world of high end jewelry design.

To the names Bliss Lau (Bliss Lau, New York) and Misa Hamamoto (Misa, Los Angeles), now add Yves Spinelli (Spinelli Kilcollin, Los Angeles). Each of these talented designers has caught the attention of fashion media, stylists, It girls and celebrities.

Now Spinelli Kilcollin has hit the pages of both Vogue and Elle magazines.

I have known Yves since he was a little boy. He and my son, Duncan, have been friends since about second grade at Punahou.

It’s not surprising that Yves has a unique, eclectic personal style and great taste. He is, after all, the son of Ces and Antoine Spinelli, stylish owners of Antoine Salon and a couple of taste makers who are always on Honolulu’s Best Dressed lists.

A Spinelli Kilcollin bracelet in Vogue magazine.

A Spinelli Kilcollin silver linked bracelet in Vogue magazine, center bottom.

Although he studied jewelry design at Punahou, Yves always had a talent and proclivity toward music and he moved to L.A. with the idea of honing his musical skills. As a day job, he worked in luxury fashion at the iconic boutique, Maxfield. In the late 2000s, he worked his way up to manager of Maxfield Bleu, where he was able to get up close and personal with the world’s most exciting up-and-coming designers of clothing, accessories and jewelry.

Spinelli Kilcollin featured in four pages of a Vogue photo spread.

Spinelli Kilcollin featured in four pages of an Elle photo spread. See the rings on her left hand.

Yves yearned for clean, architectural jewelry, so in 2010 he decided to create his own collection. He began with a set of linked rings of different thicknesses which could be worn many different ways, either stacked or spread across several fingers. His friends and colleagues loved them and he began taking orders.

Another page in Elle's editorial featuring Spinelli Kilcollin.

Another page in Elle’s editorial featuring Spinelli Kilcollin linked rings and bracelets.

The first retailer to launch Spinelli Kilcollin was Maxfield. Now the line is carried in more than 20 luxury boutiques in the U.S. and Europe.

The sleek, minimalist, chic collection has caught fire.


Stylist David Vandewal of Elle clearly loves Spinelli Kilcollin's silver linked rings and bangles.

Stylist David Vandewal of Elle clearly loves Spinelli Kilcollin’s silver linked rings and bangles.

One might surmise that Yves has a well connected PR person working with him top pitch the fashion media, but no, he makes all the connections personally – or the fashion media discover Spinelli Kilcollin for themselves through friends and celebs.

Not surprising. It’s quite an eye-catching line amidst  the ornate jewelry we have been seeing in recent years. A sleek, chic addition to U.S. fashion…and it’s made in L.A.

Bravo, Yves!

- Paula Rath

Jewelry designer Yves Spinelli

Jewelry designer Yves Spinelli


January 5th, 2015 / posted by paularath

CHAI Dreamcatcher Workshop

My husband Jerry is from Las Cruces, New Mexico. He grew up surrounded by Latino and Native American cultures. So it’s not surprising that we have several Dream Catchers, including one that his daughter, Dacia, made for us.

The dream catcher symbolizes protection. Native Americans believe that a dream catcher can safeguard a sleeping person from bad dreams.

Native American lore says the night air is filled with both good and bad dreams. When a dream catcher is hung either near or over a bed, it can catch dreams as they flow by. Good dreams know how to pass through the dream catcher, slipping through the outer holes and sliding down the soft feathers, while bad dreams get tangled up and trapped, perishing with the first light of a new day.

A dream catcher makes an ideal gift for children, grandchildren or as a baby shower gift to protect little ones from bad dreams.

Learn to make a dream catcher, jumbo-sized or regular, in a workshop at CHAI Studio on Sunday, January 11.

Jumbo dream catcher workshop: 11 a.m., costs $75

Regular dream catcher workshop : 2 p.m., $25

To register: call, visit or email CHAI Studio: (808) 536-4543 or visit shop.chai-studio.com.

CHAI Studio is located at the far Diamond Head makai end of Ward Warehouse, across from Menchie’s.

- Paula Rath

December 31st, 2014 / posted by paularath
The Pilates 100.

The Pilates 100.

Ah, New Year’s Resolutions. That January 1 ritual we all love to hate.

More often than not, our resolutions are overly ambitious, especially when they relate to health and fitness. And an unrealistic goal can lead to unnecessary anxiety and frustration. The result can destroy any motivation and momentum brought on by hopes for change in the new year.

Unless you ease into lifestyle changes, you’re heading for a quick burnout. Over the years, I have asked trusted health and fitness professionals to give us their thoughts on resolutions that are realistic, sensible and doable. Here are a few:

Dave Chong, co-author of “Eating the Rainbow” and a professor of health promotion and education

Chong says typical resolutions are “extraordinarily vague, such as ‘lose weight,’ ‘be more active,’ or ‘make more money.’” That makes it difficult to determine when a goal has been achieved.

He recommends the S.M.A.R.T. method for setting new year’s resolutions:

S =Specific




T=Time defined

For example, extrapolate “I want to be more active” to: “I want to walk at least 5,000 steps per day, four days per week, starting tomorrow and consistently maintaining it by the first day of next month.”

Portlock on a small day, photo by Christopher Skapik.

Portlock on a small day, photo by Christopher Skapik.


Nicole Kerr, Nutritionist, co-author of “Eating the Rainbow,” www.nicolekerr.com

Drop the ‘diet’ mentality. “It doesn’t work. Look at the first three letters of the word; they spell ‘die’ and that is exactly what you are doing – dying to get back to eating what you really want. Quit buying the latest diet book hoping for a quick fix and look at overhauling your eating practices slowly so they become habits.”

Focus on one small change at a time. This works for the whole family. Start with beverages first. With sodas and juice drinks averaging 150 calories for 12 ounces, it’s so easy to pack on the pounds with these nutritional zeros. Are you drinking a can of juice a day? If so, go every other day, then one every two days. Just work on beverages for the entire month, then go on to the next nutritional issue and start slowly with it as well. For example, portion sizes. Keep your beverage habit up while incorporating this new one.”


Photo courtesy Getty Images

Photo courtesy Getty Images

Josh Humphrey, personal trainer, Northshore Workout

Keep it basic. “Most people don’t feel good about themselves after the holidays and they say they have to drop 50 pounds or get to a certain dress size by such a time and gotta do this and gotta do that and it becomes a chore.” They put too much pressure on themselves and that doesn’t work.

Find a workout buddy or hire a personal trainer. If you have someone waiting for you, you have to show up. It brings accountability with it. With a buddy, you can challenge each other. With a trainer, you’ve got somebody pushing you to improve.

Surround yourself with health-conscious people who will contribute to your new lifestyle. Have you ever noticed that heavier, out-of-shape people seem to hang out together – and eat together?

Consider your quality of life. “When writing your goals, think not just about how you look but in terms of, ‘I want to go on hikes with my grandchildren.’”

What you eat matters. “Diet is 80 percent of fitness, guaranteed. Instead of eating out, start cooking yourself and go to the store with a list of healthy foods to shop for.”

We’ve all heard it until we’re green in the face: Eat more vegetables. But, hey, it’s a tried-and-true way to better health.

Eat five small meals a day, rather than three large ones.


Resolutions Yoga

Patricia Haft, Creative Ftiness.

Divide your goals into daily and monthly goals.

A few examples of daily goals:

  • I will try to stretch my body for at least 10 minutes a day.
  • I will try to move my body for at least 20 minutes a day.
  • I will try to take a “breath” or “meditation” break two times a day, where I sit quietly for at least five minutes and practice deep breathing.

An example of monthly goals:

  • I will establish a consistent fitness regimen scheduled into my calendar and follow it as I would a business appointment. I will review it at then end of every month.
  • I will schedule lunch as a daily appointment with myself or a friend so I always take a break.
  • I will be mindful daily of how I treat my body and never berate myself for not having done well.
  • I will find appropriate ways to congratulate myself on successes. For example, a bubble bath instead of a hot fudge sundae; a new pair of jeans instead of a big dinner at a fancy restaurant.

It is with sincerity and resolve that I wish you all the very best in 2015.

- Paula Rath