This week we’re talking to Jackie Younker, one of the Active8 Bristol personal trainers who specialise in working with clients that have cardiovascular disease and a range of other medical conditions.
Jackie worked as a nurse practitioner in cardiac surgery as well as lecturing at UWE’s Nursing School before joining Active8 as a specialist cardiac rehab trainer in 2016.
She has a wide range of clients of all ages and is one of the few personal trainers in the region who works with clients who have congenital heart disease.
What made you join Active8 as a personal trainer?
“I’d been a client of Damion’s for some time, and the opportunity arose in 2016 to join the team at Active8 as a specialist cardiac rehab trainer. Active8 isn’t a traditional gym environment, and I always found it a great place to train.”
How did you make the change from cardiac nursing to a personal trainer?
“I’m actually still registered as a nurse and undergo annual re-education. I took a Level 4 in Personal Training specifically to train people with medical conditions and I am a Level 4 Cardiac Exercise Instructor.”
Do you have a typical client type that you work with?
“Not at all. I have a wide range of clients of all ages. The common factor with most is some form of congenital heart disease or a cardiac condition. I work with older and younger clients and clients who have had some form of cardiac event and can be recovering post-surgery. This also includes clients who have suffered from strokes, orthopaedic clients and those with pulmonary issues.”
What sort of personal training do you provide?
“There is a specific way to train people with cardiac issues. We follow careful guidance and monitor heart rates as well as using bespoke feedback tools. The exercises themselves are similar to usual personal training: it’s all about getting clients moving, whether they are able-bodied or with certain issues.”
Do you use specialist equipment with your clients?
“Not as such. The equipment at Active8 is very much about functional fitness, and this is exactly how I use it with clients, in a safe and controlled manner. It is all about copying usual daily routines and natural movement: it certainly isn’t a traditional weight-lifting environment.”
What advice would you give potential clients with heart conditions?
“Work with a professional, and get personal recommendations before you start any kind of fitness programme. The vast majority of my clients come from client referrals, and I love my work as a Bristol personal trainer for clients with heart conditions or other medical conditions.”
To find out more about Jackie and the team of Bristol personal trainers at Active8, please visit here.
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