Angie's List personal trainer inspires a healthy culture

Angie's List personal trainer inspires a healthy culture

Every Tuesday and Thursday at 1 o’clock, my Angie’s List troops gather in a gravel parking lot for Boot Camp. It would be nice of me to simply let them leisurely stroll into the fitness facility, but nice is not what I’m into. They come to get an intense one-hour workout, so I make them do walking lunges. After all, no one likes a saggy bottom and my motto for many years has been, “Don’t let your meat loaf.”

Boot Camp is filled with squats, jump squats, lunges, planks, pushups and anything else I can throw in there to make even the strongest buckle, bringing some even to tears. And to my amazement, they come back every week for more.

Our philosophy at Angie's List is to provide the tools where employees are encouraged to care about and improve their health. Not only does it create a culture of wellness, but it also helps to lower insurance costs for the company. Studies have shown that for every dollar companies spend on a wellness plan, they reduce medical costs by about $3.27.

Angie's List takes its wellness plan beyond what most companies have by offering a fitness center and classes such as Pilates, Yoga and Zumba throughout the week. We've seen a rise in the number of men taking the Yoga class lately. I thought they were going because there are so many pretty women in the class, but they've told me they actually go for the workout.

I try to create as many opportunities for employees to eat healthy by offering fruit for sale, creating a Cooking Club that meets once a month and highlighting healthy recipes in my weekly fitness newsletter, But nothing has been more well received than the Angie's List garden that we cultivated this year. Nestled quietly between two parking lots, the garden provides fresh vegetables for employees to enjoy. If they need some tomatoes, peppers, or even squash, all they have to do is walk between a Chevy and a Volvo to pick up a healthy snack.

The core value of being healthy is alive and well, pun intended, at Angie's List, and I'm proud to be a part of it. I enjoy motivating others to take charge of their health, and I hope this column — with topics such as prostate cancer awareness, introducing natural anti-inflammatories into your diet and how to strengthen weak muscles after surgery — will be a source of inspiration for you, too.

Kelsey Taylor is an IFPA certified personal trainer, sports nutritionist and strength training instructor with more than 11 years of experience. For the past three years, she's worked at Angie's List as a wellness director/personal trainer for 400-plus employees.


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During a boot camp class at the Angie's List fitness center, employees do three sets of dumbbell swings. Other boot camp exercises include push-ups, jump squats and reverse lunges. (Photo by Brandon Smith)
During a boot camp class at the Angie's List fitness center, employees do three sets of dumbbell swings. Other boot camp exercises include push-ups, jump squats and reverse lunges. (Photo by Brandon Smith)

Wellness director Kelsey Taylor shares the benefits of starting a wellness program and encourages other companies to get moving on their own fitness goals.

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