Fitness Expert
On this episode of Prepped & Polished Radio, I interview Lee Kennon of Kennon Fitness in Newton-Wellesley, MA. Lee talks about his four-year stint in the Marines, his work as a Certified Fitness Trainer and Coach, and his overall mission to help teens and adults discover the true meaning of pushing oneself beyond any limit one ever imagined possible.

Tutoring and Test Preparation

Lee Kennon is a Certified Personal Trainer by the American Council of Exercise with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from UMass Boston. He served four years in the United States Marine Corps.

Transcript (PDF)

Full Word-for-Word Transcription

Announcer: Recorded live.Alexis: Hi there, and thanks for joining us for the Prepped and
Polished radio show. I’m your host, Alexis Avila, licensed
guidance counselor, private tutor, and founder of Prepped and
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Joining our show today is Lee Kennon. Lee is founder of Kennon
Fitness, based in Newton/Wellesley, Massachusetts, where he
helps people of all ages reach their fitness potential.

Lee is a certified personal trainer from the American Counsel of
Exercise with a Bachelor of Science in business management from
UMass Boston. Prior to this role, Lee served four years in the
Marines where he learned to push himself to new limits, both
physically and mentally.

Lee is a competitive athlete in Brazilian jujitsu and running and has
competed in grappling tournaments all of New England and has run
countless races from 5K’s to our very own Boston Marathon. We
are delighted to have Lee on the show. He is going to share with
us his wisdom and tips for getting into better physical shape
and teach us how to stay in shape for life.

Before we start, I want to make sure our listeners have our contact
info. Our e-mail is Radio@Preppedandpolished.com. If you would
like to submit a question at any time, you can use that e-mail
address. Often our listeners will have questions as they are
listening or afterwards, we always appreciate hearing from our
listeners, so you can e-mail us at any time at
Radio@Preppedandpolished.com.

Lee, are you on the line?

Lee: Hello, Alexis, I’m on the line.

Alexis: Thank you, thank you so much for joining us today. How are you
doing today?

Lee: I’m doing well, thank you for having me.

Alexis: My pleasure, my pleasure. So, Lee, I’m not sure our audience
knows that in addition to the grappling, you also compete in
some mixed martial arts and boxing competitions.

Lee: I do, yeah.

Alexis: So, what’s your record?

Lee: My amateur boxing record is actually 1 and 0, so undefeated with one
match, and mixed martial arts I just do that recreationally and
I do training with that. With grappling, I’ve gout about 34
bouts under my belt and I am about 22 and 12 with that.

Alexis: Wow, that’s great! More wins than losses is always a good
thing.

Lee: There you go.

Alexis: Lee, can you start out by telling us, what is Kennon Fitness,
and how you came up with your company?

Lee: Yes, what I do is I do personally training as a private industry
between the Newton, Wellesley, West End and Needham areas, and I
worked for the Beacon Hill Athletic Club for about five years as
a trainer and group exercise instructor there, and
simultaneously started branching out on my own to do a private
business where I meet people in their homes and their home gym
set-up and help them work out and design exercise regimens, as
well as I do group training sessions at public parks and tracks
in the surrounding areas as well.

So, essentially I go from house to house throughout the course of the
day with all my clientele, and help them basically better
themselves physically and have a better outlook on health and
fitness. Some people, it’s just who want to get into better
shape overall. Some people are very, very out of shape and need
a lot more assistance with something very specific, and some are
half-beats who just want to fine tune or more efficiently
structure their exercise regimen.

I came up with the concept just because as far as traveling around,
there are also a lot of people who don’t have time to go to the
gym or don’t belong to a gym or have a better set up in their
own homes, or also prefers to have somebody come, not wanting to
be in front of other people. You name the reason, but it’s a
very convenient thing to have a trainer come to your house if
you have the time.

Alexis: Excellent, yes, definitely, especially in this fast paced
world.

Lee: Absolutely.

Alexis: So, here’s just a question I came up with. Why fitness, Lee?
Why is it important for people to stay in shape. Are there
benefits outside from just making you feel better just
physically?

Lee: Well, absolutely. Your body essentially is your temple, and you only
get one body to carry around with you for the rest of your life,
so as far as just trying to look good or just feel good, there
is also a lot of health risks that you reduce by staying in as
good a shape as you possibly can along with your day to day
lifestyle. I mean, especially with like the younger population
now.

Over a third of child and adolescents are considered obese or
overweight by our national average, and that’s the highest it’s
every been. Over the past 30 years or so, it has just about
tripled in it’s number. So due to this, being obese and having a
sedentary lifestyle has an increased risk of type 2 diabetes,
heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, several
different types of cancers, just to name a few. Depression,
overall mood, by just having a much better outlook on your
health and fitness, as well as your lifestyle, it affects
everything.

It affects your entire life, life expectancy, diseases later on in
age, so it’s not just feeling good. That’s like honestly just
one of the smaller parts in terms of staying in shape and being
healthy.

The reason I got into it, when I was in the Marine Corps, I really
enjoyed the fitness aspect of everything we did with the
training and the conditioning, and I really took a liking to it,
so I started my training and my studies while I was actually in
the Marine Corps, for the last year of my service and applying
coming back to Massachusetts. At the age of 23, I actually got
started as a personal trainer.

Alexis: Wow, so it sounds like the Marine Corps, the philosophies there
really inspired you to continue the work outs.

Lee: Absolutely.

Alexis: It sounds like you kind of answered some of these questions
already, but I’m just kind of curious. Have you seen from your
experience working with people collectively, are people starting
to get more in shape now, as opposed to like five to ten years
ago, or are people a little more sedentary? What do you see?
What have you been seeing?

Lee: What I’ve seen personally, and this is just from my own experience,
not based on any national averages or what anybody else would
say, is that I have seen an increase in physical activity
lately, within the past five or ten years. Because a lot of the
health risks, they are no secret any more, and people are very
aware of them. Just about anybody knows somebody who has been
affected by a health risk or a disease due to having high blood
pressure, high cholesterol from smoking, from not being active,
from being overweight or not eating well.

So, it’s definitely seemed to catch on lately and people are starting
to kind of turn the corner. So, it’s moving in the right
directly from my knowledge and from what I have been witnessing,
at least in the Greater Boston area. So, it’s very encouraging
in that respect. But, it doesn’t speak for the entire country,
other regions demographically. There are some areas where it
has been declining, but not so much up in here.

Alexis: Right, right. So, I’m sure you are pretty busy, because in New
England a lot of people are usually on the go.

Lee: Absolutely.

Alexis: It’s really valuable to find someone who can really kind of
help them get motivated.

Lee: That’s my job.

Alexis: Definitely. Since a lot of our audience members are teens, can
you tell us a little bit, can you tell us why it may be
important for say, a teenager, to start exercising at a young
age?

Lee: Absolutely! Well, as far as a teenager is concerned, actually a lot
of kids participate in sports, but not all do. Participating in
a recreational or competitive sport is very helpful to be
physically active and to be moving around and to prevent and
reduce a lot of these risk factors of a lot of these disease and
all these issues caused by not being active.

But, it’s great to start as early as possible, at a younger age,
because it reduces a lot of the risk factors later on in life.
So typically speaking, children and teenagers who are obese or
sedentary, these lifestyle factors and these habits spill over
into their adult life as well. So, by systematically changing
that pattern and those habits at a younger age, it does help to
reinforce later on in life a healthy lifestyle, an active
lifestyle, as well as not having to try to play catch-up in your
40s or 50s when it’s almost too late, and your doctor told you
that you are in a really bad place physically and now you have
to do all this physical activity and try to basically reverse as
much of the damage done in your lifestyle as possible in a short
amount of time.

So, by catching it early on, it’s ideal and it doesn’t have to be
over the top or crazy. The American College of Sports Medicine’s
recommendation is that at the very least you need to have,
everybody needs to have, at least 30 minutes of physical
activity on most days of the week. So, that four days a week
range. And that’s just a bare minimum, that’s just to reduce the
risk of a lot of these life threatening diseases.

And a lot of people do get at least that, and physical activity can
be anything from playing basketball, outside walking around,
anything of that nature, jogging, etc., dancing. But the younger
you start, the better, ideally.

Alexis: Right, right. And without giving away all your tips and
secrets, can you kind of like paint a little picture of what you
might do during a session with say, a teenager, to keep them
kind of motivated, versus like working with one of your adult
students.

Lee: Definitely, and the younger the age, the more different it has to be,
because like with children for example, it’s very difficult
because you have to make any physical activity seem like play.
You want a child to grow and develop the right concepts about
being healthy and having a healthy lifestyle without pushing
them into thinking it’s a chore, and they will lose interest and
not want to do it. So, it’s always like play with kids.

With teenagers, it all depends what their personality is like and
what they enjoy doing. There are tons of different ways to do
cardio, tons of different ways to strength train, different ways
to do flexibility training. So, some people like to play
basketball, some people like to run, some people like to ski,
some people like to swim, etc. Some people don’t even know what
they like because they are not physically active enough.

With teens, I introduce as many different activities as I possibly
can and try to find out what sticks and what they enjoy the
most, and that has the highest rate of success. So, trying to
get somebody to do something they absolutely dread and hate on a
day to day basis is very, very difficult, and is not a realistic
long term solution to being physically active.

Alexis: Absolutely. Yes, that makes a lot of sense. In kind of looking
at some of the older demographics and getting them to work out,
what are some tips you have for people who say, might struggle
getting off the couch? We have so much eye-candy out there with
the reality television, just kind of sucking you onto that couch
and watching for hours. What would you suggest?

Lee: As far as…taking the first step is the hardest part. Getting into
an exercise regimen, a fitness routine, the hardest part is the
beginning. Once you basically start maintaining and getting the
momentum moving, it’s a lot easier to carry on and you basically
train your body and your mind to get used to the physical
activity. So, that first step is literally, just getting off the
couch.

The whole concept, like couch to 5K, once you get started, the
hardest part, the first four weeks is generally the hardest
part, and after that it really does start to get easier. You
start to feel better on a day to day basis. Your mind, your
whole attitude towards things changes, and when you start to see
changes and results, especially in your emotions, it really is
encouraging, as well as in your body.

So, it really is just that first step, walking in the right
direction, even stepping foot into a gym or going outside on a
walk. Never try to bite off more than you can chew or do too
much too fast. Easing into any type of regimen is the best way
that has the highest rate of success, and sitting on the couch
for extended periods of time really is the American Way, and
it’s absolutely awful and something we really need to change.

Alexis: I’m sure that you’ve given tips to some of the more sedentary
clients that you have, so do you offer them, the people who are
kind of like working until the late hours and don’t really have
that exercise time, do you offer any tips for what you can do
just in your house? Like in front of the TV or something?

Lee: There’s a lot of different things that people can do, just with a
little bit of space. The number of exercises, the number of
workouts you can do in a small amount of space is limitless. One
of the things with not having enough time, and this is something
I hear a lot, people not having the time to work out, it’s a
very common excuse. Because most people who don’t have time to
work out due to their work schedule, have time to do a lot of
other things that are not related to them actually being at
work.

People have time to watch television, for example. People have time
to go to sporting events. People have time, you know Patriots
game, Red Sox game, which is great, and I enjoy that, too. But,
a lot of people also can wake up earlier, just a little bit
earlier, just half an hour earlier can be something just to get
a body moving.

People who go to work until very, very late, that is understandable
as well, but even during lunch, if you have a two hour lunch
break, there is no reason why you can’t put on some sneakers and
go outside and do something. As far as the space in your house
goes, trying to get just some full-body workouts in, in a living
room is still something that can be done, just with some of the
furniture that is around you and is accessible to you. So, more
times than not, with people who don’t believe that they have
time, if you really reevaluate your work schedule, you can find
ways to squeeze in half an hour here and there during the week.

Alexis: That’s really inspiring to hear. In the whole talk about people
making excuses, it’s so true. I mean, there is 24 hours in a
day, right?

Lee: Absolutely. I mean we can all make excuses, every single one of us.

Alexis: Absolutely. Okay, well that sounds awesome. I really, really
appreciate you coming on and sharing your expertise with
everyone. Thank you so much, Lee!

Lee: My pleasure, Alexis. Thank you for having me.

Alexis: Sure. Okay, well this wraps our show today with Lee Kennon of
Kennon Fitness. Please visit Kennonfitness.com. I’m going to
spell this for the audience, it’s K-E-double N-O-N fitness dot
com, to learn more about Lee’s company. And if you want to
change your life in a dramatic way, where you will feel healthy
both inside and out, I highly recommend calling Lee. Thank you
for joining us on the Prepped and Polish Radio Show.

Do you have difficulty getting off the couch and staying motivated? Care to comment on Lee’s tips and advice for keeping teenagers healthy in today’s fast-paced society?

Post your tips/comments below.

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