Welcome and Hello!

If you have landed on this page, Welcome to S.M.A.R.T. Fitness Studio’s online presence. Here you will find information about exercise and fitness and health. Today however, I simply want to say Hello.” If you haven’t visited the Studio in person yet, I hope to meet you soon. You’ll like it. The Studio is comfortable, inviting and encouraging. And...there’s no other studio like it in West Philadelphia.

Located at 2499 North 50th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19131 (the Ground Floor of the Bala Apartment building), we offer Spinning and other types of Group Fitness classes. Did you know that the benefits of exercise lingers throughout the day? You continue to burn calories after your workout is done. Use this benefit during the day when you are eating instead of when you are sleeping. Then again, perhaps evening classes are better for you to de-stress after a hard day’s work. Whatever time of day, make sure you get your workout in! Check out the “classes” link on this site and click on classes. Our instructors are awesome and committed to giving you a rewarding experience.

Oh…I didn’t mention that Personal Training is available. Working with a Personal Trainer can create a specific workout plan just for you based on what you want to achieve. Contact me directly and we’ll set up a time to talk about your health and fitness goals.

So, “Welcome” and “Hello” once again...

Feel free to reach out to me via email or text (267) 713-9403 (or in person) with your comments about the class schedule, the website, or something else you may want to ask or say.

And, I hope you find the blog posts below helpful and informative!

Best regards,

Debra Williams, ACSM-CPT




When it comes to the list of health and fitness benefits of Spinning®, the list goes on and on. From the improvements that show up in the mirror, like slimming down your waistline, to the invigorating experience a Spinning® ride offers each time you hop into a saddle, there are few things the Spinning experience fails to provide.

When in need of a challenging workout, innovative equipment, or a flat-out fun experience, look to Spinning and start enjoying these 7 benefits of indoor cycling:

1. Burn Calories

The benefits from Spinning meet a long...


Following a plant-based diet is becoming increasingly popular. While this is widely regarded as a healthful choice, many myths abound.

Until fairly recently, vegetarianism was generally considered a fringe lifestyle choice in the United States, and veganism even more so. Anything on the fringes of society tends to inadvertently encourage myths and misconceptions.

Also, deciding to avoid animal products sparks rage in some people. This anger manifests for a range of reasons, which are beyond the scope of this article. Suffice it to say that if a sizable...


Tips for making major progress through small shifts

Over 75 percent of adults 55 and older are either overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But losing weight at this age, after decades of engraved habits, can be daunting.

Thankfully, studies suggest that making small, simple changes — rather than overhauling your entire eating and exercise patterns — can reap big payoffs.

When researchers at the University of Colorado Denver instructed people to shave 100 calories a day from...


Sensitive knees can be a challenge for walking, but it is a recommended way to maintain your function and reduce your symptoms. If you have knee pain due to osteoarthritis or other causes, you don't have to let that keep you from starting a walking program.

A regular program of walking can reduce stiffness and inflammation and it won't make most chronic knee conditions worse. Walking is the preferred exercise by people with arthritis, and can help you improve your arthritis symptoms, walking speed, and quality of life,...


The end of your period is something some women want to celebrate, but the process of that can drag out for 10 years or so (known as perimenopause) before finally reaching menopause, a time many of us associate with weight gain. Even active, healthy women may gain weight in the years leading up to menopause, but it isn't inevitable. Learn what you can do to manage your weight during menopause.

Why We Gain Weight

The reason we gain weight is a matter of calories in vs. calories out⁠—as in, there are more coming in than going...


A new virus being called the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has been identified as the cause of a respiratory illness outbreak first identified in China. The virus is a type of coronavirus — a family of viruses that includes respiratory illnesses such as the common cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).

Because this virus is so new, not much is known about it yet. Public health groups, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are investigating. Check their...


WPPM 106.5 FM or SoundCloud

Hey Guys and Gals,

SMART Fitness did its first radio interview on Tuesday, January 14, 2020. It was live on WPPM 106.5 FM from 6-7pm. "Community Voice Talk Show."

If you didn't catch it (you probably didn't : - ) you can listen to it on SoundCloud.

SoundCloud Link:



As we all ring in the New Year, many of us will be making resolutions for healthier living. Whether it involves losing weight, exercising more or finally getting around to scheduling those doctors' appointments, health and wellness issues will continue to be a priority in 2020. To help you start out the new year right, here are three of the biggest health trends expected in 2020:


Cauliflower has been getting the star treatment in the world of healthy eating for a while, but 2020 might be the year of the sweet potato,...


Yes, citrus fruit, which includes orange, lemon, grapefruit and lime, is known to be a great source of vitamin C, but that’s not all.

Citrus Power

These juicy, colorful fruits are full of good-for-you nutrients and are one of the best ways to boost the flavor and nutrition in your juices.

I’m always talking about how lemons and limes in particular can help elevate the taste of your juices, but oranges, tangerines, mandarins and more can also help make great-tasting juices.



Throughout evolutionary history, fear has helped humans stay safe and thrive. But in the modern world, many fear responses — such as phobias — are, at best, unhelpful and, at worst, debilitating. Yet, accumulating evidence shows that mindfulness practice could help us unlearn these responses.

The practice of mindfulness — the purpose of which is to help an individual focus on stimuli occurring in the present moment — is gaining momentum across countries and cultures.



2020 brings a new year and a new decade of wellness. A lot of fitness trends have come and gone throughout the 2010s. The good news is that a fresh decade is upon us, and it’s already looking like it could be your healthiest and happiest year yet!

There’s also a change in focus happening: Instead of just working out to get a six-pack, the mental benefits of exercise are equally important, if not more so, than the physical. Here are two fitness trends to watch for in 2020 that I have can definitely get behind to get the maximum benefit.



DeStress Monday HAPPY NEW WEEK!

Stress doesn’t recognize age, status, success, or failure. It’s a universal emotion that, for better or worse, binds us all together.

We all live with varying degrees of stress, but it’s possible to mitigate its effects by learning and practicing destressing techniques. Understanding how to identify and handle stress can ease internal tension and bring joy to your life.

And you can start right now.

The DeStress Monday Refresh is a series of stress-relieving practices designed to help settle your mind (through deep...


Zumba, a popular dance and aerobic-based exercise fitness program, will help you improve not only your physical health but also your emotional health — especially if you’re a couch potato.

Zumba Fitness was developed during the 1990s as a Latin-inspired cardio-dance workout that uses music and choreographed steps to form a fitness party atmosphere. While many of the types of dance and music featured in the program are Latin American inspired, classes can also contain everything from African beats to country to hip-hop and pop....


Engaging in daily physical activity or mindfulness meditation may be almost as effective as a flu vaccine.

In addition to getting a flu shot, you may want to exercise or meditate consistently to help protect yourself against winter colds and the flu.

New research shows that simple preventive measures like engaging in daily physical activity or mindfulness meditation may be almost as effective as a flu vaccine for lowering the odds of succumbing to an acute respiratory infection.

“The results are remarkable,” said lead study author Bruce...


1. Keep Moving to Maintain or Improve Joint Health

Many people with arthritis resist regular physical activity or exercise because they fear it will increase pain or further damage their joints. The body is supposed to move; our joints allow for movement! In fact, movement eases joint stiffness, reduces joint pain, strengthens the muscles which surround the joints, and help us maintain a healthy weight. The benefits are real, so keep moving!

2. Joint Protection Is Important for Optimal Joint Health

It is important for...


A diet can help you lose weight, but you can use body composition exercises* to keep the muscle along the way. It's not as complicated as it sounds. You just have to combine body composition activities and cardio exercise with a diet full of lean protein to encourage weight loss and shape a stronger body.

Smart dieters use lean protein for weight loss. Why? Because lean protein foods help you to feel full longer and help you to feel more satisfied. The result is that many dieters eat less during the...


You should if you are trying to lose weight. You can calculate your energy balance and figure out how much to eat each day when you know your number. You need to reach a negative energy balance to lose weight.

To reach a negative energy balance, you need to make sure that you put less energy in your body than your body uses. That means that you need to consume fewer calories than you burn each day. But to do that you need to know how many calories you...


A bowl of oats is a blank canvas, ready to be paired with a truckload of other high-quality, nutritious ingredients.

*If you don't like oatmeal see below for Healthy Alternatives to Oatmeal

In a world of green juice and chia seed pudding, this age-old dish is the original, and perhaps most powerful, superfood!



Have you ever started a fitness program and then quit? If you answered yes, you're not alone. Many people start fitness programs, but they may stop when they get bored, they don't enjoy it or results come too slowly. Here are seven tips to help you stay motivated.

1. Set goals

Start with simple goals and then progress to longer range goals. Remember to make your goals realistic and achievable. It's easy to get frustrated and give up if your goals are too ambitious.

For most healthy adults,...


While exercise injuries are common when first starting out, there are seven simple things you can do to help avoid them:

1. Have a Routine Physical

It is always a good idea to see your doctor for a fitness test before starting an exercise program. Any new activity can place stress on your body, particularly your joints and cardiovascular system.

2. Get a Personal Trainer

If you just don't where to begin, find a personal trainer who can get you started safely and...


As difficult as it may seem, there are some simple and effective ways to stay fit after age 50, 60, or 70! These five simple tips can help you get (and stay) fit.

Lift Weights

Weight lifting may be the single best way for older women to maintain overall fitness and stop the slow creeping fat gain. Building strength with weight training is possible at any age, and some studies show women in their 70's building significant muscle by lifting weights 2 to 3 times per week.

Walk Regularly

Walking has consistently been shown to...


There is an endless array of strength training programs and theories out there, much of it geared toward bodybuilders and advanced exercisers. If you’re just getting started, it’s quite easy to become totally confused by all of the anatomical terms and gym jargon. We’d like to fill in the gap by giving you the foundation of any safe and effective strength training routine. You’ll learn the names of the major muscle groups and the exercises that target them, the difference between sets and reps, the elements of proper form, and the basics of frequency and progression.


beginner weighttraining (2).jpg

As you grow older, an active life is more important than ever. Even as the world tells you it's time to retire, relax, and take it easy, your body is craving for you to keep moving. And though you may be ready to retire from your 9-5, don’t hang up your walking shoes quite yet. The truth is that if you really want to enjoy these golden years and get more quality time from them, your best strategy is to exercise regularly.

The American Council on Exercise reports, “As you grow older…regular exercise can help boost energy, maintain your independence,...


The transition from a sedentary lifestyle to an active one is a physiological marvel. Whether you are new to exercise or are a longtime athlete, understanding what happens to your body during those first few minutes of exercise will help you stay safe, comfortable and motivated. You'll also be able to get the most out your warm up and entire workout.

Why Do I Feel So Out of Breath?

If the first 5 minutes of your workout are the hardest, you aren't alone. That feeling of early fatigue during exercise is actually quite normal. In fact, it happens to even highly...


A personal training & exercise studio is a more intimate setting for working out with a personal trainer or small group of individuals in group fitness classes. While everyone knows what a gym is, that doesn't mean that working out at the gym is right for everyone. Many people grow tired of the same gym setting year after year. This is the biggest reason why so many people are turning to personal training and exercise studios to get more personalized fitness training. Plus, it can be hard to have personal training sessions at a typical gym...


  1. You don't know how to start an exercise program
  2. You are not seeing results when you workout on your own
  3. You are bored with the same old workouts
  4. You need to be challenged

  5. You need accountability and motivation
  6. You have a specific illness or injury and want to work with an experienced trainer to avoid any further problems
  7. You are training for a sport or an event
  8. You want supervision and support during your workouts
  9. You want to learn how to exercise on your own
  10. You would...
abs image.png

We may not always be able to control how our abs look, but we can control how strong they are.

Six-pack abs look good, but strong abs can make you feel good. A supported spine makes daily activities easier and protects you from back pain and injury. Moving beyond crunches, beyond the six-pack, can show you what your abs can really do.

The Truth About Abs

Ab myths have been around for decades, perhaps even centuries, all due to that singular goal...


Activity/fitness trackers are ideal for any minor or major fitness goal. This includes training for running events (like3Ks), losing weight and/or just keeping fit in general. These devices acts like a personal trainer that you carry around.

The best way to ensure that your fitness goals are fulfilled is through tracking your daily activities and consistently measuring your performance....