Hard work pays off for Isle of Wight personal trainer

Disappointing weather hasn’t deterred Jo-Anne Munt from her cycling, running and kite-surfing routine.

The Isle of Wight-based personal trainer, 46, finds that one of the misconceptions people have about her job is that it automatically keeps her ultra fit.

“It does keep me to a certain level of fitness, but I do also have to do my own workouts too the same as everyone else,” she explains.

It would also be easy to assume that she has always been a health and fitness diehard. In reality – it was, she says, more of a gradual progression.

“I used to smoke and eat pizzas! I had no idea. I did enjoy cross country at school, all be it with a cigarette down my sock,” she recalls.

It was when her personal circumstances were at a low ebb and she was “very much in a shell”, that exercise began to play a more significant role in her life.

Her eating habits improved over time, and she started swimming and running which led to enrolling for classes where an instructor encouraged her to become a professional.

She explains: “I started attending a small circuit training class in East Cowes. The girl who ran it said I should think about working in the fitness industry. I had never thought about it, just enjoyed keeping fit. I had hardly any confidence at that time.”

After qualifying in 2006 as a fitness instructor she started working at a lottery-funded community gym.

“It was a tiny place, only 5 people per session. I also ran a weekly circuit class for the over 50s that was quite popular,” says Jo.

She gained the crucial level 3 personal training certificate in 2008 and is now based at a leisure club in Cowes and also visits clients at their homes or at the beach or park.

“I love working outside and at people’s homes,” she says. “It’s pretty challenging in small spaces, thinking on your feet, making sessions fun and enjoyable. Running on the beach, how lucky am I then!”

With her work ethic and love of mountain biking, stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking, Jo’s life may sound impossibly active, but she is down to earth and committed to helping clients begin a healthier life.

“I love seeing people start to enjoy their exercise, embrace a new lifestyle and leave each session happy.”

Naturally, she continues to undertake courses to extend her knowledge and increase her skills, and has recently become a qualified Pilates instructor.

She has also passed instructor courses in suspension training, boxercise and spinning.

And having gained a GP referral qualification she can train people who have been referred to exercise by their doctor.

She has even trained to teach hoop exercise – working out with a hula-hoop to trim the waistline and improve core strength.

“To be good at my job it is essential to stay up to date and continue learning, plus I love it,” she enthuses.

One thing she has never qualified as is a miracle worker: “People sometimes think exercise can erase bad eating habits, or that seeing a personal trainer is enough. It’s not! I can only advise!”

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