By Claudie Benjamin
We can all do with a periodic refresh of our lives and Natasha Nesic, a Personal Trainer/Nutrition Expert, who owns Work Life Fitness, is undertaking this in a big way.
She began the first week of February 2021 by moving into a spacious new studio. And, it’s at 50 West 72nd Street–The Ruxton. “I love the Upper West Side and living in the center of creative, intellectual people.”
Mostly Natasha coaches her clients online during this pandemic period, however for a select few clients she conducts coaching sessions in-person and is always extremely conscientious of sanitizing, masking and social distancing precautions. Her clientele ranges in age from kids to 90-year-olds. Shifting her home-run business to a larger studio apartment is important because it facilitates demonstration of exercise techniques, so that clients can observe correct positioning while she explains how to execute the movement for optimal results and immediately feel its benefits in the act of moving. What if a participant has questions? Natasha feels taking questions and answering them are a hugely important part of the process.
Natasha grew up in Westchester. She took dance and horseback riding lessons and read fantasy novels at home. “Now, it’s more about how do you train for that,” she says. “How do you turn someone into the superhero they always wanted to be?” It wasn’t until she was in college that she felt challenged to integrate exercise nutrition and mental activity. She earned a B. A. at Mount Holyoke College in Cultural Anthropology and completed a Master’s of Fine Arts in Non-Fiction Writing at Sarah Lawrence College. She moved to the Upper West Side in 2015 and for the past three years had been living at the St. Agnes Residence on West 74th Street, a former convent turned into a residence for women, that has retained many of its earlier furnishings and religious artifacts.
Helping other people identify goals that will help them feel happier with themselves is a key part of Natasha’s professional commitment. She’s there to guide, not to intrude. Basically the forced sedentary condition of this COVID period has changed our bodies beyond a possible gain of a few pounds. Since we’re not running out all the time to grab a coffee or climb stairs, the change away from being out on the pavement of city streets is affecting our skin tissue, bone density, and impacting our muscles. ”Not only do we want to turn things around, but we need to fortify ourselves.”
Understanding what’s going on inside the body both in terms of movement and nutrition is important for people if they want to make positive change. Natasha is frustrated by the judgmental attitude that appears on posts and blogs. “The point is to be supportive about working to change rather than critical of problematic habits.”
“Some people consider dietary habits intimate. I respect that,” she says. Talking about her own nutrition-related goals, she says that at the end of last year she decided to re-evaluate her food choices without extraneous influence from social media. “I took a complete break from Instagram and allowed myself the pleasure of going to grocery stores, cooking, and experimenting with food on my own terms in order to make sure that I was experiencing any significant changes in energy, mental clarity and focus without the placebo effect. It was immensely successful because I’m now able to counsel clients on more food options than ever before.”
Along with coaching and consulting on nutrition, Natasha writes on these subjects on Medium.com, (linked below), and moonlights as the health and fitness expert for Teamuse.com.
Does the trainer have her own trainer? In fact, yes. ”Since 2014, I’ve been schlepping up to Westchester every weekend to train with a Taekwondo Master and assist the little kids’ classes. It’s worth the schlep,” says Natasha, a 1st-degree black belt who is working towards becoming a Master herself.