Friday, October 23, 2020 by Gabrielle Martin
All About Anna, of @AKAYFIT and ORANGETHEORY HINGHAM:
Kay attended the University of Maine Orono for two years, where she studied Kinesiology, before transferring to the Massachusetts College Of Pharmacy And Health Sciences (MCPHS) as a premed student. Kay is currently in her second year of her studies at MCPHS.
During her time at the University of Maine, Anna took the incentive to obtain her personal trainer’s license; after a 14-week course, she became certified under the American Council of Exercise (ACE) in August of 2018. Anna also taught Zumba And other group exercises on-campus at UMaine’s New Balance Student Recreation Center; she says she especially appreciates the hands-on aspect of educational exercising.
She also says she one day hopes to become a physician’s assistant (PA) with a concentration in sports medicine, working with athletes or individuals who need orthopedic surgeries. Anna cites being inspired by the eye-opening technology available at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Boston.
Kay is also a three-time half-marathon runner, and it all started with 20 minutes on the treadmill at Planet Fitness. Anna insists that she “was never a runner,” but by the end of her senior year at Hingham High School, she wanted to try a 5K (3 miles).
“My goal was to at least get to the first mile, first mile and a half without walking,” Kay shares, and that’s exactly what she did. Anna went on to do the Fourth of July Road Race, followed by a Fall 10K (6 miles). She says, “I just kept going! I already did it once.”
She did another again after that, then signed up for her first half-marathon, Boston’s Run to Remember; Anna describes this as “one of the most challenging, most amazing experiences” of her life. She shares how inspired she was by her fellow runners.
“I wasn’t running for time, or for place,” she explains. “I just wanted to run to prove that I could. So, once I did it once, I signed up for a second and a third!”
RECOMMENDED AROUND-TOWN RUNNING ROUTE: HINGHAM HARBOR AT SUNSET.
“Running down by the Harbor when it’s cool, at seven or eight in the evening, is amazing!” Anna insists.
She also says, “It’s all about small goals, and building up.”
Anna admits even she had difficulty maintaining her fitness routine at the beginning of quarantine: “There was a definite adjustment period into the pandemic, I’d say of one to two weeks of downtime. Everything was just so uncertain!”
Additionally, as an Instagram influencer, Anna tells me she’s appreciative of the platform she has on social media: “I’m all about body positivity and working out to feel good,” she says.
“The thing about working out to achieve a certain look, with that image in mind–that wasn’t ever my goal; I needed an activity for mental clarity, something where I could just zone out. That’s what I get when I exercise: I move my body around and clear the air, clear my mind. That’s what drives me the most: the mental clarity, the headspace.”
ANNA x ORANGETHEORY: “ORANGETHEORY IS A BIG PART OF MY LIFE.”
On Kay’s winter break in 2018, she returned to her hometown of Hingham and began Coach Training for Orangetheory here; by January of 2019, Anna had officially become an Orangetheory Coach.
She would return to teach at the studio that upcoming summer, and has been working there since: Kay tells me she continued to teach classes at Orangetheory Hingham up until they closed for the coronavirus.
Anna is currently in the process of relocating from the Hingham Orangetheory to the Brighton location of the Florida-based fitness studio franchise. Each Orangetheory offers hour-long classes of high intensity interval training, which Anna explains as “working out for short bursts of extended effort with recovery time in-between.”
She says, “It’s half cardio, half resistance training: half of the time, you’re on the combined rower and treadmill, the other half of the class you’re on the weight floor.”
What Anna really wants to emphasize about Orangetheory is you decide: so many aspects of the workout are up to you. There are multiple options and modifications for each aspect of the group routine. “We coach with effort, not numbers. There are three different efforts: base, push, and all out.”
ANNA’S ADVICE: “START SMALL!”
“You don’t want to shock your body. It’s really hard, too, because a lot of people have fallen into a pattern of inactivity and now they’re looking for a quick or easy fit. The thing is, making big, intense changes to your routine will leave you exhausted because your body will be unprepared and overworked. It won’t adjust properly.”
“That’s why you should start small: when you make small changes with your fitness or food, those smallest adjustments will help you make bigger ones more regularly.”
When you start to see yourself succeed, update your schedule: “Gradual increases and small successes will keep you motivated!”
FOR WHEN YOU’RE NOT FEELING IT: “I GET IT, BUT GET IT DONE.”
Kay admits, “Sometimes I’ll be sitting in my car in the parking lot, dreading the workout ahead of me, but I know that at the end of the hour, I’m going to feel better; I’m going to feel good that I did it. And then I go and do it. I just turn my music on and go get it done.”
GO-TO WORKOUT SONG? “‘LOSE YOURSELF’ BY EMINEM.”
She says her second favorite, “in a very different direction, is ‘I Wanna Dance By Somebody,’ by Whitney Houston. I ran three half marathons, and that’s my go-to for when I’m really hurting, at mile ten or eleven. It’s guaranteed to give me my second wind.”
WORK OUT FOR THE RIGHT REASONS: “DO YOUR BEST TODAY, AND FOCUS ON TOMORROW, TOMORROW.”
“Our bodies are always changing. My motto is–not even just for fitness–take your life one day at a time. That’s why I try to focus on those small challenges: What can I do today that will set me up for success?”
AFTERCARE WITH ANNA: “YOU DON’T GET STRONG IN THE GYM, YOU GET STRONG IN YOUR SLEEP.”
“Sleep! Make sure you’re resting, stretching, giving yourself that time to meditate to level yourself out and reset your body. I know it’s super hard, especially with back-to-school, but you should be getting seven to eight hours a night. It’s all about sleep and hydration, and then nutrition.”
WORKING FROM HOME/WORKING OUT FROM HOME: ANNA'S 15 MINUTE ROUTINE, "TABATA"
Perform each exercise for 30 seconds with a 15-second break in-between. Repeat 4x.
- 30 seconds, burpees (no push-up)
- 15 seconds, rest
- 30 seconds, lunges
- 15 seconds, rest
- 30 seconds, squats
- 15 seconds, rest
- 30 seconds, plank
- 15 seconds, rest
SHAKE IT UP: “JUMP ROPE FOR TEN MINUTES!”
Anna says: “You can do this in-between phone calls, video conferences, or sending an email. It’s good because it gets your heart rate up and gets you moving throughout the day in an easy way!”
SWAP IT OUT: If you want to swap out your 15-minute routine for something with weights, Anna actually created a 5-day at-home full body workout plan for those with no equipment. She is selling it for $25. You can contact her over Instagram if you’re interested.