Catalyst 4 Fitness

From the Blog

Real People Doing Great Things – Karen H

Real People. Real Progress. Real Fat Loss.

Since opening Catalyst 4 Fitness, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some incredible people. Each has her/his own story, obstacles, and successes. One of these women is Karen Holbrook.


Tell us about yourself.

My husband, Ken, and I will be married 40 years this August. I’m 61. We have a wonderful son, Bret. Bret is in a serious relationship with his girlfriend of 2 years, Maggie, and they, while not yet officially engaged, are “planning” for a future wedding. Both Bret and Maggie want children, so I am looking forward to future grandchildren.

My education is in nursing; and I had over 14 years of clinical experience at a local hospital. For the past 22 years (and currently) I have been in various leadership roles at a national health care company. For the past 3 years at my company, I have been the campaign chairperson, during the month of February, for American Heart Health month; our purpose is to promote education and information to bring awareness that heart disease is both preventable and controllable. This is personal for me, as my mother’s quality of life was severely compromised by heart disease during her later years; I therefore have a genetic predisposition for heart disease, as well as high blood pressure. Being active and controlling my weight are important for me to prevent the heart disease that runs in my family


Have you always been active? What do you enjoy doing?

I have always been active and am pretty good at self-discipline. However, I have learned that I will stick to a regimen only if I truly enjoy it. I love to walk outside, especially in the early mornings (6 am). I do intervals of jogging in my walks, but I am not a runner. I find these early walks, as much as stress relief, as exercise. I also have found that I enjoy strength training and have included hand held weights in my weekly exercise.

About two years ago, my friend told me about Sharon’s Boot Camp. I decided to try it and started going once/week. What I really like about Sharon’s training is that it is a total body workout…it is hard, but do-able at your personal best. After about 8 months, I added a Metabolic Explosion Training class. These are very effective workouts in a moderate amount of time. I can make myself finish, because each move is 40 seconds and Sharon really motives you to finish. Before doing Sharon’s classes I was beginning to feel some discomfort in one of my knees and one of my shoulders. I was attributing these aches to “aging”. After 4 weeks of class, these discomforts went away – strengthening the muscles has been such a benefit.

Because I enjoy strength training with weights, I have also had Sharon provides me with an effective Workouts to Go program using hand weights and body weight. I do these 2 to 3 times a week at home; after 3 months, Sharon guides me on a new routine.

What are your greatest fitness/health accomplishments so far? I have more energy and stamina. My sleeping patterns have improved. I have even made Sharon’s brag board on several occasions. But I can honestly say that I cannot believe I can do a push up! In fact I can do 25 push ups at a time. I never thought I would see this day.

In addition, I have maintained my health goals. About 3 years ago, the high blood pressure that runs in my family, hit me. With only a low dose anti-hypertension medication and consistent exercise and weight management, and a healthy diet, I have controlled my blood pressure. Also in the past year, I have reduced my overall cholesterol by 28 points.

What do you enjoy most about fitness/being healthy? Feeling good, having energy, sleeping well, look forward to the day.

What are your goals? Maintaining my cardiovascular health, weight management, build endurance and strength, have energy, stay active.

What motivates you to maintain a healthy lifestyle? Stamina, like to travel, being active, outdoors. Grandchildren in future.

What advice would you give to others who are hesitant to start? Those who are having trouble committing? Those who need accountability? Find what you enjoy doing and what you can push yourself at doing. Do it when you are at your best. Make it a habit… it becomes something you look forward to.

What is the best part about working with Sharon? These are very effective workouts in a moderate amount of time. Sharon ensures that you perform the move to get the most out of the exercise. I love the variety, especially in her studio. Sharon keeps it fun and is very motivational.

What is the worst part about working with Sharon? It is a little bit of a distance for me, as I live in Northern Kentucky, but it is worth it.



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