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Women Leading in Central Mass: Fitness Guru Lin Hultgren

Monday, July 08, 2013


Fitness pro and entrepreneur Lin Hultgren does more in a day than most mortals do in a week.

Worcester native Lin Hultgren describes her week: "Eleven-plus fitness sessions, researching and preparing for Advocacy Bootcamp in DC and trip to Capitol Hill, obtaining documents and attending meetings for my son's transition into college, formatting exercise programs for a book (or two), brainstorming for an exercise video, being a landlord, being a Mom, and still finding time to partake in video shoots, photo shoots, attend fundraisers and spend time with my son and awesome friends!”

This is typical for the woman who lives what she teaches. Hultgren has enjoyed a successful career in the performing arts with dance and theater troupes including New England Repertory Theatre, Hammond Castle, First Night performances and medieval festivals including King Richard’s Renaissance Fair. She has also performed one women shows and a show entitled Magic in Motion with dancing, sword balancing and firespinning. Now she is taking the fitness world by storm.

SW: How did you decide to move into fitness from performing arts?

LH: In the early 90's I became interested in fitness education and took several courses of study to prepare for the ACE Certification Exam. I became certified in 1995 and in 1997 I created 'Fitness To You', a Fitness Delivery Service providing on-site fitness programs. This enabled me to bring exercise education to those outside of a gym or fitness facility and accommodated my schedule as a single Mom and sole caretaker for my stroke disabled Mom.

SW: You took a break from all of your careers at one point. What brought that on?

LH: When my son became school age I focused on fundraisers and advocating for the school's needs. I designed a playground while at Vernon Hill School, and successfully wrote a grant proposal for Lowe's Toolbox for Education, and followed through with a few years of fundraising efforts and networking. The results are the playground which now stands on Providence Street. During this grant research project, I discovered the discrepancy between the National Listing for student teacher ratio for class size (25/1) and the reality of it (43/1) and consequently succeeded in having the fourth grade class size reduced. One thing always leads to another.

SW: Just reading about your week makes me tired! How do you fit everything in?

A.D.D helps. Just kidding. Well, sort of. I do what I can. I think that most woman have an inborn talent for multi-tasking. My goal in life has been to be effective and to make a positive difference, even if it be only in my small world that surrounds me. I just put one foot in front of the other and follow the pathway which opens up. I am passionate about everything and passion is a GREAT fuel. Also the exercise component, which is a large part of my daily life is energizing.

SW: You are an ACE certified fitness trainer. What is your philosophy on physical fitness.

Fitness to me is a state of health and well being for the body, mind and soul. The combination of qualities, which make up our physical, mental and spiritual health, enable us to function at our full human potential. I stumbled across a LOT of research which indicated that physical activity was in direct correlation with advanced thought processes and brain activity. Healthy food choices and physical activity are the key to quality of life and longevity. When it comes to exercise there is no such thing as too little or too late. And today is the first day of the rest of your life.

SW: How do you get started if you are out of shape?

Do what you can, when you can and feel good about it. Everyone has time to do some exercise if they make the commitment to do it. In the time it takes to make an excuse and say " I'm too busy, I don't have time to exercise" you could have done three repetitions of an exercise. I especially recommend that office workers or others who are seated most of the day get up every twenty minutes or so and move around a bit. There are several exercises you can incorporate simply by using your desk and your chair. You really don't need to don exercise clothing and make a trip to a gym to make a positive difference in your life by adding some movement. I know you've heard it many times—stairs instead of elevator, park farther away from your destination. These little changes alone can make a difference in your health and well being.

SW: What is Advocacy Boot Camp? Can you talk about your trip to Capitol Hill?

Yes, I have been invited by The Washington Coalition for National Public School Options as a result of my advocacy on behalf of public school options, specifically for the virtual school option here in MA. There are many children who are unable to attend a brick and mortar school, often due to medical reasons. This school option has become a blessing in our life and I have experienced firsthand how life-changing it can be for students who are unable to attend and succeed in traditional school. An educational lifeline for these students, the virtual school offers an important psychological benefit. It restores the self-esteem that comes from a sense of accomplishment.

Over the past 2 years I have researched, pioneered and sent a barrage of emails and letters educating and advocating for the virtual school option to become a reality here. I must thank Governor Patrick and his administration, the DESE and the Greenfield Superintendent and School Committee for their vision in accepting and creating this public school option. I am honored to be one of the first ever attendee's invited from the Commonwealth to attend this Conference and Advocacy 'Bootcamp'. I just heard back yesterday from Senator Elizabeth Warren's office that she has made time to speak with me on my visit to Capitol Hill and I am thankful and excited.

SW: What is “Feminine Fitness,” which is listed as your speciality?

Feminine Fitness is a term I use to describe one of my fitness programs. It's a total body workout of core, sculpting and strengthening with compound exercises utilizing weights, bands and a stability ball. It features a series of lower body exercises to tighten and tone traditional female 'trouble' areas and keep cellulite in check. Also lots of oblique work for the nice tapering of the waist. The goal is for long and lean muscles and overall toning. One of my clients just recently said that she loves this workout as she feels that she is getting a very strenuous and effective workout, but without all the quick movement and risk for injury she's experienced in bootcamp workouts.

SW: What advice do you have for older women trying to get in shape? Is is possible even into the 60’s?

Yes, it is NEVER too late to make a positive difference in your health and fitness level and consequently your life. I myself am past the 50 year mark but don't tell anyone. (Laughs). My best advice is to know that it IS possible. It's like anything else. You just need to make up your mind to do it and to take the small and steady steps necessary to work towards that goal. Commit to be fit! Exercise is cumulative. It all adds up. Even 10 or 15 minutes a day. Find something you enjoy. Even better, find someone to do it with you.

Walking, dancing, tennis, golf, yoga, swimming and bike riding are all fun and great ways to exercise. There has got to be something you like that will keep you motivated and moving. And there are SO many fitness and activity DVD's out there. Hopefully, someday soon mine will be a choice as well. Anything you enjoy you are more likely to stick with so join an exercise group and it becomes a social event as well. And remember, your body hears everything your mind says, so keep a positive mental outlook. Do what you can, when you can, and feel good about it.

SW: You have had some accomplishments as a model and an actress. Are you still following that career path as well?

Yes, for the past few years I've been making pilgrimages to LA for film acting training which is far different from my past stage training and experience. As my schedule has allowed, I have enjoyed working on several projects - pilots, documentaries, commercials, music videos, student and small budget films, as well as being on set as a 'background artist' in several feature films here in Hollywood East. I love it. This is my self enrichment and my 'fun'. Thanks again to Governor Patrick for not capping the film budget here.

Most recently I've played an 'Elegant Gambler' in the short film Hit and a 'Cougar' in the film The Element. I danced for 15 hours in five inch heels, two days in a row, in the dance floor scene on the set of The Heat. For the Hallmark Channel Movie 'The Makeover', I crossed the same bridge in Boston PubIic Garden 32 times, as a pedestrian passing Julia Stiles and David Walton and participated in an election Rally on behalf of Mr. Dolittle running for office. I actually did get to chat with Henry Winkler in 'Here Comes the Boom'. And in Adam Sandler's 'Grown Ups Two' I was an audience member in the recital scene sitting three rows behind Kevin James and Salma Hayek for 5 hours. David Spade and Chris Rock were hilarious off screen. I was a concert go-er in Larry David's filmed on the North Shore. Last month I did a commercial here for Viva Bene Italian Restaurant. A few weeks ago I worked on the 'Georgie Porgie' Documentary, an amazing local musician/celebrity in RI who opened for the Rolling Stones when they first came to the US. He also gained worldwide fame for refusing to cut his hair in the 1960's after being thrown out of school for it, took his case to the Supreme Court and won. Last weekend, I did a video shoot for a music video for the Kerry Keefe song 'Baptism' featuring blues legend James Montgomery.

SW: You have made it your mission to help people to obtain health and physical fitness. What are you currently doing to work with that goal?

I feel that I'm fulfilling my commitment to enrich quality of life for others every day by working with my clients and teaching my classes. I'm offering inspiration, education, motivation as well as the implementation of safe and effective exercise programs I've designed, enabling all who want to improve their health and fitness level to exercise and attain their fitness goals. I try to make fitness fun and enjoyable and I believe I have succeeded. I haven't had time to create a website however you can read some of my client's reviews at http://www.ideafit.com/profile/lin-hultgren

All of my programs are non-impact and modification friendly, offering a joint-friendly comprehensive workout for all levels. I pride myself on creating adaptive exercise programs for those who have injuries and disabilities. I offer my personal fitness training in private residence and also have small group fitness programs on-site in offices for employee health & schools for teachers. In addition I teach public classes for the Auburn Recreation Department as well as for the Worcester Public Schools and Nightlife Program. I have been brainstorming with Richard Roberts of Genesis Photographic Studios & Media Relations locally and beginning to format an exercise DVD.

With more than 25 years of leadership experience, Susan Wagner has been known for driving events, initiatives, launches, and openings through her company Susan Wagner PR. In this challenging economy, she has begun a new division to offer affordable start-up packages to new and emerging small businesses and non-profit organizations that include professional writing services, websites, collateral, marketing, social media grassroots outreach and regional PR campaigns.


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