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Posted January 21, 2014 at 8:02 a.m., updated January 21, 2014 at 8:02 a.m.


WEV client and owner of Raw Workouts in Ventura, Vertity Sommers demonstrates correct posture while lifting.

With the start of a New Year, it is a natural time for people to set goals they pledge to achieve in 2014. Popular resolutions include fitness on two fronts: physical and financial fitness.

Here are some tips from WEV clients to help one keep to fitness resolutions this year (and beyond):

Verity Somers – owner of Raw Workouts in Ventura

Tip #1 – Let go of all expectations

If there were no preconceived notions as to what skinny looked like, what would you strive for? When I ask my clients, “What are your goals”, the individuals who answer, something to the effect of, “I want to lose weight and get in shape, but I’m not obsessing over it” are, by far, my most successful clients. The people who continually ask, “When will I see results?”, “When will I look like her (pointing to some random celebrity in some trashy gossip magazine)”, are my least successful clients. When you take away the outcome all you have left is the process, which is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. Learn to trust and be patient with the process. Without it, you’ll get nowhere. That is a guarantee.

Tip #2 – Work to your fullest potential

A recent study shows that 85% of humans are not putting full effort into what they do, in fact, much less than that. Laundry is being washed and not dried, kids are being dropped off half way to school, peas are being served without carrots. In short, total chaos reigns. So ask yourself, “If you CAN do something, why aren’t you?”. As soon as you answer, tell yourself, “That reason isn’t good enough”, then get to work.

Tip #3 – Correct your posture

Having good posture is the most crucial element to a pain-free life. It is, in my opinion, the most overlooked problem when it comes to health as a whole… AND… It is one of our most difficult, yet completely fixable, problems. Set a reminder in your phone every hour of your day from 9-5. Label this reminder “Posture Check”. When the alarm sounds, evaluate your posture, then FIX IT. You’ll be amazed at how often you slouch (if you don’t already know) AND you’ll be that much closer to breaking those bad habits and getting your body in proper alignment. Your posture tells your entire story in a glance… make it an awesome one.

Maria Durant – owner of Dance 4 Wellness in WestlakeVillage

Tip #1 – Listen to music that evokes positive feelings and memories

For me, that music is Salsa. Salsa’s invigorating rhythms allow me to release any anxiety from the day before so that I can start fresh each day.

Tip #2 – Take a Ballroom or Latin Dance Lesson to connect with yourself and others

Remember that dance is “the universal language of the soul,” and in a society obsessed with social media, we desperately need that connection to each other that our grandparents’ generation knew so well.

Tip #3 – Be open minded to new forms of exercise at any age

Even if you feel you have two left feet, try more creative forms of exercise like ballroom dance. At Dance 4 Wellness, we offer everything from Social Survival dancing to Salsa and even Tango. We teach the healthy, ages 7-97, but also those afflicted with Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Parkinsons,’ to name a few.

Daniel Yoshimi & Jennifer Yannella- owners of Capoeira Sul da Bahi and Brasil Arts Café in Santa Barbara

Tip #1 – Martial Arts or dance? Try a Capoeira class

Capoeira is a martial art which combines music and dance. It burns more calories then running or cycling and is a lot of fun! It burns an average of 700 calories per hour and is one of the best butt workouts ever! We offer Capoeira classes everyday.

Tip #2 – Consider a Boot Camp

It’s fast, fun, challenging and you are going to get in shape no matter what. You can burn between 600 to 900 calories during each session – no pain no gain! We offer classes Mondays & Wednesdays at 6:00pm.

Tip #3 – Juice for longevity

This is one of the biggest trends on the fitness area. Combing vegetable juicing with any other sports activity will help you keep away from adding on extra weight. Make sure it’s fresh, organic and packed with more vegetables than fruit, since vegetables have less sugar. This will be a great addition between meals or even a substitute for a meal. Brasil Arts Cafe has a full menu on Organic vegetable juices to check out!

On the financial side, nonprofit, Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) has been providing guidance to entrepreneurs and small businesses since 1991 and is ready to help businesses get a jumpstart in 2014. WEV’s flagship 14 week Self-Employment Training (SET) Course begins in February in Ventura, Oxnard and Santa Barbara and free orientations are being offered throughout January.

WEV’s SET course covers the most important aspects on how to start, operate or expand a small business. Course topics include finances, marketing and sales, public relations and advertising, legal and insurance issues, record keeping, and how to write a business plan. Participants leave the course with a complete business plan including a marketing plan, a cash flow projection, an operations plan, and a core network to help sustain the business.

Those interested in taking the Self-Employment Training course must first attend a free one-hour orientation. Those interested can register for a free orientation at or by calling (805) 667-8004. Courses start in February. Please contact WEV at 805-667-8004 if you are interested in learning more but cannot attend the orientation offered on Jan. 21.

Remaining orientations take place:

Tuesday, January 21st from 12-1pm in Ventura.

About Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV)

WEV is dedicated to creating an equitable and just society through the economic empowerment of women. Since 1991, WEV has been providing training, technical assistance and microloans to primarily low-income women. WEV offers a continuum of programs to help both women and men start, stabilize and grow small businesses, including the Self-Employment Training (SET) program offered through WEV’s Women’s BusinessCenter. WEV’s service area includes Santa Barbara and VenturaCounties, with offices in Santa Barbara and Ventura. WEV’s Small Business Loan Fund provides start-up and expansion loans of up to $50,000 to pre-bankable microenterprises. For moreinformation, visit WEV’s Web site at

This story is contributed by a member of the Ventura community and is neither endorsed nor affiliated with Ventura County Star

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