Meet Hanna, Skimble‘s featured Trainer! Changing people’s attitude towards fitness one client at a time, this Swedish-based trainer takes fitness to a whole new level. We recently had the chance to chat with Hanna Aakjaer and learn more about how she fell upon this career path and has never looked back.
Tell us a bit about your background.
Hanna: I’m originally from Portland, Oregon, but started training when I was living in Northern California. I have a sports background that started out with gymnastics and have tried just about everything from dance to rowing since then! I have a degree in biochemistry from the University of Oregon and am currently doing my Ph.D. in Biophysics in Gothenburg, Sweden. I’m all about the scientific background behind health and fitness – I believe that having a true understanding of how and why our bodies move the way they do leads to better and faster results – so yeah, science is my jam 🙂
Since you’ve been living in Sweden, how do you stay active during the winter months?
Hanna: Great question! Luckily, where I live in Sweden it doesn’t get super cold. But with snow and ice, it certainly makes running and outdoor workouts a bit more challenging. I always do a lot more hot yoga, indoor rock climbing, and sign up for fun gym classes during those times. I love to use the winter months as an excuse to try new activities – for example, this winter I started Muay Thai. It’s such a great workout, both physically and mentally!
What inspired you to become a personal trainer?
Hanna: Gosh, how much time do you have? I think the moment that it really ‘clicked’ for me was the first time I led a fitness class. I was doing it as a volunteer for a sports group I was part of and had just put together a fun workout for us all to do together, but as the leader I took the role of motivating and making sure everyone was doing the exercises correctly. I have no words to describe the sheer joy and fulfillment I felt after finishing the class and seeing all these exhausted participants smiling ear-to-ear. So proud of what they had accomplished, and simultaneously so happy and hopped up on endorphins. Knowing that I had contributed to this incredible feeling I knew they were experiencing – I walked home that evening feeling like I had unlocked the secret to never having to work a day in my life. From then on, I’ve had that same feeling of pure joy every time I train a client or lead a class. What really drives me is helping those that don’t naturally think they enjoy fitness, to find their joy and happiness in movement – no matter what form that may take (it’s SO different for all of us!).
What’s your favorite thing about being a personal trainer?
Hanna: Watching a client achieve a goal that they initially told me they couldn’t, and seeing the incredible end results of hard work and dedication. That’s what it’s all about for me.
What are your training specialties?
Hanna: I have a specialty certification in Corrective Exercise and the Functional Movement Screen. I really love to get creative and personal with workouts so every level can enjoy fitness and get the results they are looking for. I also specialize in women’s fitness – building strength and toning workouts specifically for women.
How did you first hear about Workout Trainer?
Hanna: A client of mine here in Sweden said he had tried it and enjoyed using it, he wanted me to be a trainer in Workout Trainer so I signed up right away 🙂
What’s your favorite feature in the app?
Hanna: The free workouts and video library are so extensive! It’s really easy to find a fun workout for the day – there is just no excuse not to get in some movement each day when you have this app.
What keeps you motivated to stay fit yourself?
Hanna: The feeling that my body can do everything I need it to keeps me motivated. To me, there’s nothing better than waking up every morning with energy, a smile, and no pain in my body… Maintaining fitness & strength, daily movement, and healthy eating habits are how I make sure I feel that way every day.
What’s your favorite kind of exercise?
Hanna: Woah, no, I can’t answer that! All of it! I’ll give you my top 5: running, metabolic resistance training, Muay Thai/Thai boxing, biking, hot yoga, and hiking. Ok, that was 6….
Finally, can you share a secret health/fitness tip with the Skimble community…
Hanna: It’s not all about what you do, it’s about how consistent you are. You don’t need the absolute perfect workout to achieve your goals, just a consistent program that continuously challenges you. In my experience, a motivational buddy or coach is the #1 way to stay consistent. Like on those days when all you want to do is go home after work and plop down on the couch – having someone there to say “Hey – just move for 15 minutes first and see how you feel afterward.” – is exactly the kind of motivation you need in your life!
Thanks for sharing with us, Hanna, we’re excited to see what the future will bring for you and your fitness career!