I met Jennifer after doing considerable research for the right personal trainer. I suffer from chronic low back pain from a herniated disc and osteoarthritis in other joints. I know for my health I needed to find someone that was going to have the expertise and the experience, but be sensitive to the limitations that my body can handle. I started working with Jennifer over 3 years ago and I have never looked back. She has done wonders for my core and building muscular strength. She is very well versed with understanding limitations and dealing with pain. She works me hard on the good days and takes it easy on the bad days. She is an excellent trainer and a wealth of knowledge. My husband also has enlisted her services, and he does not have any physical restrictions; and has found her to be an excellent addition to his workout routine - providing him with strength training and core body conditioning. She has given me confidence to trust her and my body, the expertise to push me to become stronger and work harder, but most of all the motivation to carry on. I would recommend her to any of my family and friends, most especially if you suffer from chronic pain or have physical restrictions that need to be considered.
6/5 stars all the way!
Nancy G., Project Manager
Working with Jennifer was a life changing experience for me. She took great care in creating a workout and lifestyle plan for me which was both practical and yielded fantastic results. Jennifer took the time not only to understand my workout and fitness needs but also created a comfortable and supportive environment. I feel stronger and more capable than ever, and would highly recommend Jennifer’s services to anyone who is looking for some support and guidance in taking the best care possible of your body.
All the best to you Jennifer.
Rosie E., Student
Jen is so dedicated to her clients. I have mobility and chronic pain issues, and Jen has been such a support to me. She spends so much time learning about your specific condition and takes lots of notes. Her exercise prescriptions are thoughtful, knowledgeable and impactful. I was so pleasantly shocked to receive an email after our first session with a detailed description of everything we had talked about, my progress and the exercise prescription (with images and detailed directions specific to my body). Jen sends this after each session, and always focuses on the “wins” to encourage and empower. She is also amazing at holding space for the challenges I experience in my life, and at making me feel seen and heard. Thank you Jen!! I am getting stronger with your support.
Chantal W., Social Worker
As much as I enjoy going to the gym, I have a tendency to injure myself when I am working out by myself. Big classes with one person standing at the front shouting out the routine don’t suit me either. Any gain I achieve by visiting a gym regularly is lost during my recovery time. I need oversight. I chose to work with Jennifer because she has an eye for safe routines that prevent injury. She creates workout programs that suit the needs of your body, that fit your lifestyle and and can be incorporated in any space - at home, in a gym or on the road. I deeply appreciated Jennifer’s advice, patience and attention to detail.
I've been ill with an undiagnosed chronic fatigue disorder for over a decade and nothing my doctors could do improved my health. Exercise had made things worse, with exertion being my number one trigger. Somehow, Jennifer knew how to design a program for me that does not make me worse. In fact, when I do her program, I feel better. Thank you Jennifer.
Chris C., Lawyer
I contacted Jennifer several years ago because my fitness had started to slide. I had done a half marathon four years before and knew I wanted to feel strong, healthy, and energetic again. I have systemic inflammatory issues, and a bad knee, and needed someone who understood how I could achieve my goals without causing injury. I wanted to make changes that would last for the long term, and Jennifer’s focus on coaching resonated with me.
Jennifer’s calm, gentle, and supportive demeanor really motivated me to get on track with my health. We focus on weight training in our sessions together, but she also designed a cardio program that I do on my own, that she updates regularly. When I have periods of time when I don’t exercise, Jennifer is never judgemental and just encourages me to focus on the future instead of dwelling on the past. She is a really great listener, too, and I always look forward to our sessions, and feel amazing after.
Inderjit T., Finance Professional
Jennifer Salter has been working with me one-on-one for several years as I work through the effects of four back surgeries. Because of my back problems, I cannot walk unaided, nor have I ever been one for physical activity beyond that which was required to raise our children. Jennifer is professionally qualified in the area of rehabilitation and keeps up to date with the latest in her field. She is very dependable and always on time. She is extremely capable when it comes to working with me to determine the best ways to regenerate my mobility. She has also helped me with ideas for pain management, and given me suggestions that I can bring to my doctor. She also also connected me with other professionals and clinics that might be able to help my situation. Beyond our initial plans, Jennifer keeps meticulous notes of what we discuss and what we are doing to get stronger and she always adjusts the plan to what I am capable of on a given day. I am extremely comfortable working with Jennifer and happily recommend her services to anyone requiring a personal trainer or rehab specialist in Toronto.
Miriam T., Retired Educator
With extensive knowledge and an ability to hone in on what my recovery needs from COVID-19 were, Jennifer provided me with a rehabilitation program that has been immensely helpful. I have gained much physical strength since working with her, and I have learned so much from her. Most importantly, she gave me hope after a long illness, and that has made all the difference!
Isabel R., Social Worker
In 2018, I contacted Jennifer to face my fears about exercise. I was born with a congenital heart defect called tetralogy of Fallot, and was missing a pulmonary valve. I spent a lot of time in the hospital as a baby and child, and underwent additional open heart surgeries in 1993 and 2009. I also have had other life-saving procedures done over the years, including the insertion of a stomach tube to give me additional nutrition that I required in order to grow. There are other health issues I contend with as well: generalized anxiety disorder, especially related to exertion or anything related to my heart working harder than it usually does, vision issues, GERD, reactive airway disease, bronchitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and chronic pelvic and chest pain. I lead a full and successful life, but knew that I wanted a child and that being a mother was something I had to prepare for in a different way than other women. Even though I have had a number of challenges medically speaking, I am fundamentally an optimistic person and believed that with the right support I could become a parent with all its attendant physical demands.
Jennifer was exactly the right person to help me. She took a full assessment of my situation and created a comprehensive plan that included an exercise program that we slowly built up over time, counselling on strategies for dealing with stress, anxiety, and work demands, support for the chronic pain I experience, and tips on how to motivate myself to exercise on days when I just did not want to. Jennifer completely believed that I could increase my fitness level safely, as anyone else could, with the right approach. She gave me hope that I could do something I never thought I could do. Shockingly, I started to see some definition in my core and arm muscles, which I never expected.
Last month, 2.5 years after meeting Jennifer, I gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Thank you, Jennifer, for giving me the confidence to believe that my body could do such a thing!
-Jackie R., Journalist, Podcast Host and Disability Activist
I began working with Jennifer a few years ago with a goal to manage my chronic pain shortly after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Right from the beginning, Jennifer impressed me with her knowledge, positivity and warmth - I was instantly at ease. She created a program that addresses my specific needs and adjusts it as those needs change. I appreciate her creativity when it comes to using what I already have in my home to workout - doorframes, chairs and even my kitchen counter. Plus, she understands what it's like to have chronic pain and never pushes too hard, regularly checking in to see how I'm feeling. And no matter how much (or little!) I'm able to accomplish during a session, Jennifer is always encouraging, which keeps me motivated. I wouldn't say that I'm someone who enjoys working out, but I honestly look forward to my sessions with her. Since starting with Jennifer three years ago, I've dramatically minimized the frequency of flare-ups and reduced daily pain levels. Jennifer's expertise and support has made a huge difference in my life, and I cannot recommend her highly enough.
Andrea M., Communications Consultant
We are a mature couple in our 70s and have been working with Jennifer since the start of this year. After a thorough assessment, Jennifer created a customized training plan for each us incorporating our individual needs yet allowing us to work out together, thus taking advantage of the partner training package. After a few wonderful sessions in person in the comfort of our home, the arrival of COVID-19 threw a monkey wrench into our plans but with Jennifer's help we transformed these sessions into en vogue Zoom and Face Time workouts. Jennifer is an excellent trainer and a very nice person to work with. Her expertise in personal training is augmented by her background in social work, which manifests itself in all facets of the sessions. We are happy to recommend Jennifer's personal training and are looking forward when we can resume our in person sessions again.
Marietta and Erich H., Retired Librarian and Professor
I started working with Jennifer while I was undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Even though I had done no exercise training before, Jennifer made it easy to get started and more importantly she made it possible to maintain exercising as part of my life over a long period. She is very knowledgeable about exercise but is also knowledgeable about what kind of routines suit each person’s personality, health circumstances, and lifestyle. Her kindness and her friendly manner have made something I was dreading doing sustainable, tolerable and often enjoyable.
Jennifer, you are amazing at your job and I am grateful.
Alison M., Data Scientist
I am 67 years old and developed Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2015. Up until then, I was a very active person. Rheumatoid Arthritis is an inflammatory condition which causes painful swelling of the body's joints. Due to the pain, I had to stop my usual exercises except for swimming and taking short walks. When the Covid pandemic hit, I could no longer go to pools. I wanted to find an alternative form of strengthening exercises to do at home that would not cause injury to my joints. Fortunately, I discovered Jennifer's website! Along with her extensive credentials and years of experience, Jennifer combines her deep understanding of the human body and medical conditions with an open, warm, empathic approach to helping her clients improve their strength and flexibility.
Working with Jennifer has been a true collaboration. She has taken the time to really understand my situation and together we have identified my goals. Her initial assessment was very thorough and I can see how dedicated she has been to designing a program adapted to my specific needs. Along with her extensive knowledge of scientifically based techniques, a huge part of Jennifer's artistry as a trainer is her ability to "tune in" to individual clients by truly listening to them - something I greatly appreciate. I also appreciate the fact that she has provided me with a detailed summary of each of our sessions including pictures demonstrating the various exercises she has taught me. She has also made herself available to respond to any clarification or concerns I may have between our sessions.
When I started working with Jennifer, I had the tendency to try to do too much but she taught me that a gradual approach is the best way to go to reach my goals and not injure myself. She helped me find a pace that works for me. She has supported and encouraged me through the whole process and I am delighted with the progress I have made. I am now able to do exercises that I never thought I would be able to do. I have looked forward to each and every session and I feel more hopeful and stronger in the face of a very challenging medical condition. I am deeply indebted to Jennifer for helping me to get here and for cheering me on! She's the best!
Ruth M., Psychotherapist
Jennifer is my fitness personal trainer and I work with her to help build up my core and muscle strength.
As an older adult, I recognize the need to offset aging, a weakening body and balance issues. I also had a low back problem which had to be taken into consideration. Jennifer is extremely competent and patient, and with her guidance and experience, I am improving my physical health and well-being in a safe manner without any injury. I would highly recommend Jennifer because she is very qualified and dedicated to her clients and is most reliable. She also makes the work-out fun, which is a good thing!
Vivien S., Real Estate Broker
I highly recommend Jennifer's personal training services. This past summer, I injured my foot and learned that I'd be in a cast for at least two months followed by extensive physio in the fall. I reached out to her soon after my accident to find a way to safely incorporate strength and cardio training during the phase in which I'd be on crutches and limited in terms of mobility.
I was in great hands from that point onward as Jennifer is a true professional. She conducted a careful and thorough initial assessment interview, and from there, we set up a series of weekly training appointments in my home. I was sent a detailed followup following our first meeting and she continued that practice after each of our appointments during the rest of the summer.
More importantly, Jennifer is a lovely person and was a critical component of my healing process. She encouraged and supported me during a very difficult time, and every week, she modified my work-outs to challenge me and to take into account my evolving situation (for example, when I was able to move from non-weight bearing to weight-bearing on my foot). When you work with Jennifer, you quickly realize that she cares about her clients and she's highly invested in their progress. I should also mention that she's very busy - a sign of her success - and she kindly found a way to work me into her schedule on short notice.
Rachel M., Portfolio Manager
Jennifer is a fantastic trainer. I had breast cancer, and soon after I finished treatment I sustained what the doctor thought was a patellar insuffiency fracture. I started to see Jennifer in order to deal with my knee injury. The knee has improved immensely, and in addition I’m now doing upper arm weight work with weights I could barely lift a year ago. And I just hit a one minute plank! Jennifer matches the program she designs to your needs and your motivation level, which is where her health coaching background comes into play. She also changes everything up to keep it all interesting. Thank you Jennifer, for all your help over the past year.
Lisa F., Lawyer and Software Consultant
Following knee replacement surgery, I began working with Jennifer Salter for rehabilitation. From the first time we met for an assessment I knew that Jennifer would be able to help me regain strength, balance and agility. Her work ethic is impeccable. She is not only excellent at her job but truly desires to help her clients in all aspects of recovery. After each session she prepares a detailed and meticulous summary of the exercises and preparation for the next appointment. I highly recommend Jennifer and intend to continue working with her on a permanent basis for ongoing personal training.
Lindsay W., Artist
Jennifer was referred to me by a friend. I loved the idea of having the convenience and flexibility of training at home so I reached out. She created a customized training plan that takes into account the low back issues that I’ve been struggling with for years. Incredibly knowledgeable and educated in the area of health rehab, I know I have a safe, progressive and realistic program that works for me. Especially important to me is her comprehensive, whole person approach to creating my program and helping me stay on track. This really comes through when I’ve had health set backs. She has taken the time over the past 2 years to get to know me well, therefore is aware how best to motivate me to stay positive, especially when I am in pain. We’re definitely in this together. Thanks Jennifer!
Lisa R., Life Coach
I reached out to Jennifer because I was ready to become more physically active following a long period of inactivity. I suffer from low back pain that seemed to worsen whenever I attempted exercising on my own. Consequently, I avoided activity for several years, fearing it would worsen my back pain.
Over the past two years, Jennifer has built a personalized program for me to regain strength and confidence. Her encouragement and knowledge have helped me tremendously. I am now much more active than I have been in years and have fewer and shorter periods of back pain. I look forward to our sessions and always feel so much stronger after our workouts. After each session, Jennifer always asks how I feel. I always respond with "Great!" because it is the truth - seeing Jennifer makes my day.
Kara B., Ecology Consultant
I developed chronic back pain issues about one year after a challenging twin pregnancy. The MRIs showed that I had herniated discs in my lower lumbar region and was diagnosed with a “degenerative disc condition”. I went to many different physiotherapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, and naturopaths, but could not get any sustainable pain relief. I went from being a physically active person who ran half-marathons to being scared to walk more than 20 minutes for fear of exacerbating the pain. The pain prevented me from biking, hiking and running, all of which were major sources of happiness in my life. The pain increased to the point that I had to take time off work, which is not something I ever contemplated having to do.
When I met Jen, I had been dealing with chronic pain for over 3.5 years and was at a very low point emotionally and physically. I felt hopeless about my situation and was emotionally burnt out from trying different treatment modalities without any sustainable relief. Jen became my “pain therapist” and helped treat the pain in a holistic way. She helped me understand my pain better, guided my recovery through gentle/targeted exercises and stretching, connected me with other practitioners who could assist in my recovery efforts, and emotionally supported me throughout the process.
I can truly say that working with Jen has given me my life back. I am now pain free apart from occasional flare-ups that can be managed. I have regained confidence in my body and have resumed normal levels of physical activity. I am immensely grateful to Jen for changing my life and my relationship with my body.
Bushra R., Lawyer
Working 1:1 with Jen over a series of sessions retrained me and my muscles, significantly reducing my pain and improved my sleep.
I was ready to do anything. I worked privately with Jennifer after spending months in significant pain. I had hurt my back badly and spent months working with chiropractors, acupuncturists, physio. I am a considerably active and physical person and I found myself very limited in physical activity and scared that I was going to hurt myself again.
I had been referred to Jennifer from a good trusted friend who had also worked with her privately after a back injury. I was really intrigued by her holistic approach and very in depth assessment and weekly planning. We set goals each session and worked slowly together on reprogramming my muscles to work properly for every day movements. I was not expecting her to give me guidance on my sleep habits but she did and it helped!
Jennifer was very up front and transparent from day one that she could not promise to eliminate my pain but that we would work together to hopefully reduce it significantly and give me the exercises I could continuously do to proactively minimize repeat occurrences.
I am grateful that I got to meet Jennifer and learn from her. I know it will serve me well. I also got some good soup recipe ideas!
Lori L., Consultant
Jen added hope into my life when I thought there was none to be had. I had been off work for 3 months before I found Jen. My desperate Google search: “personal trainer, mental health”. I was desperate to find ways to help ease the psychological pain I was in and try to work towards a life worth living. Despite having tried to go to the gym on several occasions prior over the years, it was always with the goal to lose weight. It never stuck. This time was different. It was for my mind and I needed a partner.
I emailed Jen and she quickly responded. We talked. She got me. She said all the right things and I met her shortly after our first call. Our first session was a sort of “get to know you”. During that first meeting, Jen patiently listened and offered a wealth of information about the effects of physical fitness on mental health, reinforcing my decision to reach out. We agreed to commit to a month of sessions. I was hesitant to say the least, but hopeful. How could physical fitness help me, really?
It did. Jen knew exactly how to reach me, how to teach me and how to take the fear and intimidation out of going to the gym. Thankfully, the gym was in my building only a few floors down. Even still, it took me over a month to start going on my own, outside of our sessions. Over the course of our time together, Jen was patient and gentle but pushed when she knew I could handle it. I get overwhelmed easily and so a slow intro to weights and cardio was exactly what I needed. Jen educated me on both. I left each session feeling heard and feeling accomplished.
I started noticing the impact each workout had on my mindset. For the first time in my life, now 42, I was motivated to go down and do our workout on my own. I was so proud! And so was she. Genuinely. Each week the structure of the workout changed just enough to keep me motivated, i.e. not overwhelmed, while also pushing me forward. Unfortunately, after 3 months together, I moved to Montreal. I moved a couple of months ago and Jen continues to send me articles and info having to do with my particular situation.
Jen is one of a kind. Incredibly well versed in her field, hard working, committed, and genuine. Thank you, Jen. Our sessions helped me get through days when every second was being counted and at a time when the mere thought of leaving the apartment was unbearable. Our time together helped build confidence and give me hope. Miss you and THANK YOU!!!! XO
PS: Please move to Montreal
Robin, Business Consultant
I am 90 years old, and had not engaged in formal exercise before I met Jennifer. I had a low level back pain for some years and decided last year to do something about my problem. I telephoned Jennifer and she introduced me to an exercise regimen which quickly cured my back pain. I have now been free of pain for almost a year.
Jennifer is punctual. She arrives for each appointment on time and, although she never rushes through the exercises she manages to complete the treatment on time.
She is knowledgeable about bones, muscles, ligaments and associated parts of the body all of which lead her to design an appropriate regimen for treatment of problems associated with them.
I recommend her to you without reservations.
Basil S., Retired Lawyer
Hi Jennifer--just getting back from a New Year's day run and feeling so grateful for the work we did together last year! It's hard for me to believe that on a day where sweatpants and the fireplace would be more than acceptable day-long companions, I actually wanted to run!
Looking back over the last year I'm amazed at how much I've changed and how much our work together has changed me.
Your completely non-judgemental approach (I remember telling you right off the bat that I hated exercise and you didn't bat an eye!) was the first success. I remember telling you after our first session that it was the first health-related interaction I'd had that left me feeling good about the things I was already doing to support my health. That strengths-based approach was key to my successfully integrating exercise into my life.
You also helped me take the time to build strength and flexibility and to incrementally increase my cardio fitness so that being fit felt like it came naturally -- and I never got injured. You had an amazing ability to consider my physical and psychological strengths and limitations when building my plan month to month.
After about 3 and a half months of strength-building/corrective exercises you had me starting to run 30-second intervals and 3 months later I ran a 5km obstacle course race! And here I am a little over a year later and I'm reaping the benefits of the best health investment I've ever made.
Thank you so much and I hope more and more people like me get to benefit from your vast experience and skills in the upcoming year.
All my best, Linn (MSW)
Linn C., Writer and Editor
I have been working with Jennifer for three years. I contacted her initially because I wanted to increase my strength and fitness level, but was not sure how to go about this due to chronic neck and back pain resulting from a car accident. I had a whiplash injury and hoped to strengthen my neck and back muscles. Even though I haven't been able to strengthen my upper body the way I had hoped due to chronic pain in those areas, Jennifer has focused instead on lower body and core work. She was clear from the beginning about the pain management capacity of regular exercise of any sort. I am happy to report that my legs are stronger than ever! Jennifer has also encouraged me to use pain medication as needed, and explained how important it is to treat pain as its own condition. To this end, she also encouraged me to see an osteopath to try to find the root cause of my neck/back problems. She has never given up in her quest to help me improve my pain status, and has made - and continues to make - a multitude of suggestions. I appreciate Jennifer's expertise in working with clients with special needs and count myself lucky to be part of her practice.
Alanna Z., Lawyer
I was referred to Jennifer by my physiotherapist, in order to prepare for a knee replacement. I am 77 and have advanced osteoporosis, scoliosis, and a bad knee. I also have rotator cuff issues and a fracture at the top of my humerus. I have days when my back and shoulder are "screaming" at me and the idea of exercise seems impossible. But I knew that I had to get stronger if I wanted to have success with my knee replacement. I worked with Jennifer for six months in preparation for my surgery and she was wonderful - understanding, supportive, caring, careful, and knowledgable. My orthopaedic surgeon was very happy with the program Jennifer designed to get me ready. My knee replacement ended up being successful, and I know that working with Jennifer was a big part of that. Jennifer - my deepest gratitude.
Stefanie W., Retired Nurse
I contacted Jennifer after struggling with a form of Chronic Fatigue that made exercise and any form of exertion difficult. Jennifer was incredibly thorough when we first met, and I felt I was in the very safe hands of someone who wasn’t going to push me beyond what my health allowed and could help me regain some of the fitness and confidence I had lost. Jennifer and I worked as a team to discover what worked for me, and what didn’t. We were able to create an exercise routine that worked around my fatigue while improving my strength and fitness. She has been a huge help in finding solutions to my very specific fitness problems. Thank you Jennifer!
Heather H., Designer
As a 67 year young active women, I was disappointed in learning that my osteoporosis was worsening. I had heard about Jennifer from my naturopath and others and contacted her. We have worked together for almost three years and in that time I have gained an incredible amount of strength and flexibility. I am constantly surprising myself at my ability to do push ups, lunges, squats and using 12 pound weights for bicep curls. And this is only the beginning! As Jennifer told at the beginning of this wonderful relationship,“You will be stronger than you have ever been in your life”. I do believe it !
Lani A., Retired
Jennifer has been my personal trainer for years. One of the many things I like about working with her is that I have complete confidence that I won't get hurt. Besides her immense amount of knowledge, she really listens.
Caroline C., Social Worker
I am 40 and have suffered from neck and upper back pain for most of my life, which in recent times also led to headaches. This has been a bit of a mystery as I never had an accident or anything in particular that would cause this. By the time I contacted Jennifer last year, I was taking Advil every night or I wouldn't sleep. I should also say that I have to sit and often work at a computer for long periods at work, which I am sure contributed to my neck problems. I had tried physio but some of the exercises the therapist had given me seemed to be making me worse.
From the start, I was impressed at Jennifer's complex understanding of chronic pain, and how it is usually multi-factorial. She talked extensively about how important it is to give the body time to adapt to new ways of moving, and that going to too fast can cause the nervous system to rebel. She also said that dealing with a chronic pain issue requires many different interventions. To this end she made many recommendations that included movements to avoid, getting an ergonomic assessment at work, a referral to a trusted osteopath, and asking my doctor for a strong anti-inflammatory for flare ups. She was clear that the sedentary nature of my job would cause me more and more problems as I get older, if I didn't become stronger and change how I move.
Due to Jennifer's program and other recommendations, my neck pain is now under control. I am able quell flare ups quickly and no longer feel trapped by chronic pain. I exercise as regularly as I can based on my busy schedule, and have been inspired by Jennifer's own story of overcoming chronic pain. Thank you Jennifer.
Eli S., Lawyer
I am 72 and have a history of strokes. My son contacted Jennifer to see if she would be able to help me with becoming stronger in my everyday activities, as well as help my balance and gait which have been affected by the strokes. My memory and cognition have also been affected, and my son was hoping Jennifer would be able to work well with me in light of her experience with older adults. I have a lot of anxiety as a result of these issues, and I was really hoping to find someone who could help me find good ways to be active.
Jennifer has been coming to help me on a weekly basis for three years. She brings an upbeat, positive attitude to every single session that also helps to lift my mood. She has me do many different types of exercises, including ones that work on strength and ones that work on improving my balance and gait. She always demonstrates what I should be doing, even if it is something we have done many times before, just in case I have forgotten. She never makes me feel badly if I can't remember. I should say, though, that due to her careful instructions over the past many months, I DO remember almost all my exercises! I can even hold a plank for 45 seconds!
Jennifer has also sent me emails with information about her observations, that I can bring to my doctor, and encouraged me to include cardio to help with the cognitive changes I have been facing. She has also encouraged me to be totally honest about how I am feeling with medical professionals (for example, not making things seem good when they are not), so I can get the best care possible.
I always look forward to my sessions with Jennifer, and feel much, much better both physically and mentally afterwards.
When I found Jennifer online, I was starting to feel desperate. I had been diagnosed with myofascial pain syndrome, probably related to an accident I had many year ago, causing extreme pain in my mid (thoracic) back. Nothing I was doing was working. Physio, exercise, myofascial release therapy, massage, even medication - it seemed like I had tried it all. I am doing my PhD and have no choice to sit for longer periods of time than I would like, contributing to the problem. I really wanted to get back to exercise as I was quite certain this would help, but every time I tried I made myself worse. I was intrigued by Jennifer's expertise working with people with chronic pain, and when we initially spoke it was clear that she knew what she was talking about. She spoke about a concept called "graded exposure" - something I am familiar with from my field of psychology - and how I would need to retrain my central nervous system to accept exercise again, and that this would take time. She also told me that it was critical that I do as much as possible to manage my pain to stop the pain feedback loop that happens with people in my situation. Essentially, she explained, the more my body was in pain, the better it would become at pain - so cutting off this process was necessary. She encouraged me to stop treatments that were making me feel worse, and to consider other options for medication that might reduce my pain, so that I could learn to move again.
One of the best things about working with Jennifer is her multi-disciplinary approach. She is also a social worker and a great listener, and found a way to help me be positive about my capacity to get better. She is even knowledgeable about many of the medications used to treat pain and gave me some ideas to bring to my doctor. When she assessed me, she noticed some biomechanical issues - instead of framing this negatively, she said it was actually a positive thing because these were all issues that could be addressed by the right exercises, and by retraining how I moved. She also told me that under no circumstances should I do any chest work at all, which had probably been causing my mid-back area to seize up, or swim, as this would do the same thing, even though other professionals had told me that swimming is gentle and would be OK for me. This approach worked and I have continued to get stronger. My pain, while still there, is much more manageable than before and I exercise every day, following Jennifer's plan. Nothing in her exercise program has ever caused a flare up and I credit her with helping me learn how to move again.
I have just completed my PhD dissertation proposal, something I could not have imagined six months ago! Thank you Jennifer!
Eric K., Psychometrist
I am 27 and have been dealing with juvenile psoriatic arthritis since the age of 13. This is an inflammatory arthritis condition that causes joint pain and swelling, and has resulted in reduced range of motion in both my hands and ankles. I played competitive ringette and hockey before I was diagnosed, and have always enjoyed being active and feel better when I am. Due to the stress of having this condition I have also struggled with anxiety and depression. Several years ago the medication that had been helping me function fairly normally stopped working, and my symptoms worsened. Once I found another medication that worked I wanted to begin the process of getting fit and strong again. I knew I needed a trainer who had experience with medical conditions and joint issues, as gripping can be difficult for me which means that I am not a candidate for typical weight training programs. I also wanted to work with someone who understood the psychological challenges that come with dealing with a chronic health problem. And I wasn't in the best shape because of the pain I had been in before finding a new med.
I found Jennifer one year ago through an online search and am so happy I did! She takes all the different issues and potential limitations into consideration during our sessions and find ways to work around them. She has even found a way for me to do planks and squats despite reduced ankle flexibility, and incorporate all kinds of techniques that have enabled me to get stronger and not get hurt doing so. She has always been positive and hopeful about what I am capable of achieving. I even started running, with her encouragement and expertise, and did a 5 km race last fall! I feel SO much better, Jennifer, thank you so much for everything.
Gillian H., Digital Media Consultant
You probably want a fabulous, warm and motivating trainer... Well I can tell you Jennifer Salter is your trainer! I have had various injuries including knee surgery, a broken foot, shoulder injury, abdominal surgeries and an autoimmune disease. Jennifer has always been very empathetic and knowledgable and continues to provide safe sessions for my body. She accomplishes this safely by doing a very thorough assessment and a personal individualized program with exercises and goals specific to you!
It has been amazing working with Jennifer. I am very grateful for her professionalism and our sessions. I would recommend Jennifer to anyone looking for a caring and motivating trainer. You will not be disappointed!!!
Melissa U., Business Owner
Jennifer has helped me a great deal with her thoughtful and careful exercise program. I was stiff and sore on a daily basis and my knees were hurting on steps. Not any more after her great tailored exercise program. She even helped me to lose weight.
Bev B., Writer
I wanted to write to you to express my appreciation for your support as a fitness trainer. Since I began working with you three years ago, I know my strength, capacity and knowledge of my body have really improved and my body confidence has greatly increased. But it’s your encouragement and wise advice as a trainer that I really want to talk about.
Since I retired a year ago, I have had some challenges – a rotator cuff strain, a bit of a back problem, and even a bout of pneumonia. If I had been working out by myself, I know these would have become major issues, not minor setbacks. How important it is to work with an excellent, attentive and truly intelligent trainer.
Of course, your knowledge of bodies and anatomy for every age is excellent. You've complemented my doctor’s and physio’s advice with your own knowledge and experience. Frankly, I expected no less.
But it is your support and your sensitivity, the way you have been slow, strategic and careful as you helped me to work through illness and injury, that I want to talk about. I know my own character and have no doubt that I would have worked too hard too fast, anxious to get back to my previous strength level. But it is the way you have encouraged me with clear but appropriate targets that has made all the difference. You always kept me focussed on sensible goals and gave me confidence to achieve the next level of fitness at each of our sessions. I can’t believe how much I look forward to those sessions, but I do. Thank you.
Sue C., Retired Consultant
If someone had told me two years ago that I would consider my exercise regimen to be a highlight of my week, I would have laughed. If they had gone on to say that I would write a testimonial to my personal trainer, I would have fallen out of my chair. But here I am, doing exactly that, and it is a tribute to Jennifer Salter and the way she has of making me feel that she is focused exclusively on me and completely attuned to my physical needs and abilities.
I was a typical middle-aged guy when I found Jennifer online five years ago: 55 years old, reasonably healthy but out of shape, with a great job where I sit way too much. Over the years I have tried exercising but it never lasts; dieting but I end up back where I started; and working out with trainers, but I found that each had his or her own “thing” and tried to make me fit into that plan, regardless of who I was or what I could do.
Having moved to Toronto from the States and started walking more by virtue of living in the city, I decided to take the next step and formalize my exercise routine. I searched online for a trainer who held him- or herself out to specialize in people who look like me, and Jennifer’s website promised exactly that. When I reached out, Jennifer was responsive and very considerate in her reply (and always is). The first time we met, Jennifer assessed my physical condition completely and really listened to what I said in terms of what I was aiming to do, what concerned me, and what I felt I was capable of.
Working together, Jennifer has designed a weight training plan that works for me and has gently but firmly pushed me to levels of fitness I have never experienced before. She also designed a cardio program that I do weekly to strengthen my heart. I still can’t believe that I look forward to these sessions, challenging as they may be, and that is totally because of Jennifer. Somehow I feel like I am getting together with a friend, where we discuss books, TV shows, our children, current events … only I am lifting weights instead of an Aroma latte.
What impresses me most about Jennifer, however, is that she is always watching me, correcting my form and educating me about how my muscles are being used and why I am feeling what I am feeling at that moment. She is attentive to my needs on that particular day (for example, if it is a gray day so I am more low energy than usual) and compensates. She also teaches me about how my body works (and yes, how it changes as I age) and is unfailingly happy to answer any question I may have, no matter how tangentially related. I could go on but you get the point.
Thank you, Jennifer, for putting me on the path to a long, healthy life!
Mark R., Managing Director
I have been suffering with back and hip pain for over five years due to an uncommon arthritic condition. I had been to physiotherapists, massage therapists, osteopaths, etc. and never found anyone who truly understood my condition or knew how to treat it. In addition, I had never worked with a personal trainer as many exercises are contra-indicated for my condition and I was afraid that a trainer would push me to "get fit" in a way that would do more harm than good. A friend of mine referred me to Jennifer, assuring me that she was "not one of those" types of personal trainers. She was right. Jennifer is a knowledgeable, caring, supportive and dedicated trainer who does not push you to do anything that might be harmful for your body. Her goal was to help me get stronger and within a few short weeks, I was noticing differences in my energy level and overall strength. Nothing crazy. Just what I needed! Thank you Jennifer! You are truly unique in how you approach your clients.
Dana S., Speech and Language Pathologist
I contacted Jennifer after I developed chronic pain in one hip. My efforts to exercise on my own only made the pain worse. Jennifer worked with me slowly and patiently and after a few weeks, my hip improved significantly. I am continuing to work with Jennifer to maintain my pain free status and to improve my health and physical shape.
Jennifer is a thorough professional and also has a very lovely and supportive way of working with me. I always feel better after working out with her and feel motivated to exercise consistently between appointments.
Thank you Jennifer!
Ida B., Lawyer
When I retired in my early 60s, I promised myself that I would get fit. Not that I was not active while working but I wanted to be athletically fit. To this end, I started working out on the stairs at Casa Loma. I had my own ideas of how I should go about doing this and at the end of six years my knees were done for, or so I thought.
At the same time I was also dealing with a number of injuries that had become chronic, not just wear and tear from the stairs but injuries that I did not look after before because I was working and did not have the time. In addition to all this, age is now creeping up on me, I am dealing with type 2 diabetes and I have osteoarthritis in all the wrong places for someone who wants to be mobile. The icing on the cake is that I also have issues around sleeping. All told, I am a bit of a mess.
But, despite all the physical problems my brain still sometimes gets it right and it said to me, what you need is a personal trainer! Jen entered my life and it changed for the better.
We have now been working together for seven years and in that time my ability to run injury free has improved immensely. Before, when I was working on my own, I would get to a certain point, injure myself, and have to start all over again. Now, because of Jen’s training, injuries have become rare and for the most part minor, needing only a very short time off from running.
My body, thanks to Jen, is in better shape now than it was when I was in my 40s, 50s and early 60s. I feel much stronger, mentally and physically. Who knew that after years of telling myself that I could not run because my knees were bad or something else hurt that I could actually run 10K on a regular basis! I could not have done this without Jen.
As for sleep, Jen had a number of really good ideas; most of which I put into practice and my sleep, while not perfect, has improved substantially.
I could go on endlessly about how great a trainer she is - which she is - and how she knows all the right exercises for me to achieve my goals, but the reality is a lot of people can do this. Rarer, but far more important, is her ability to read me as a person. By this I mean that she has the ability to know when to push me and when to hold me back, how to encourage me when things are not going as well as I think they should be, and to be there when I need her.
This intuition, or insight, or empathy or whatever it is you want to call it makes her more than just “a personal trainer”. She is the one who keeps me on track, creating the environment in which I can achieve goals I never have believed I could achieve. With Jen I do not feel like I am growing old and more than that I cannot ask for!
Robert H., Retired
After a particularly bad back spasm (triggered by exercise) left me incapaciated for several days, I was uneasy getting back into my exercise routine. Working with Jennifer was the key to my success! Through her assessment and the program she developed, I was able to regain the confidence needed to return to an active lifestyle. She has given me important insights into how my body works, and what it needs to be healthy. Thanks Jennifer!
Emma K., Consultant
I am writing you with an update. I am still doing my daily exercise routine and, despite some ongoing pain, have been able to kayak and swim all summer. As the Buddists say, "Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional". I find that I have much better upper body strength, especially for lifting the kayak out of the water. So I don't have to drag it over the rocks and damage the keel!
Jennifer, you are a first-class professional. I have truly benefited from your experience, good listening skills, and adept instruction. Your advice and individualized exercise programme have helped me learn how to manage my back pain and remain active as I approach 70. Thank you!
Rosalind G., Professor
I suffer from an autoimmune disorder, a non-threatening heart condition, as well as anxiety. Needless to say, it is very hard for me to exercise and feel safe at the same time. Jen is a hero to many like myself. She is not only the most unique personal trainer but she is also one of the brightest individuals I have ever come across.
If you or anyone you know if suffering from mental or physical disabilities that make it hard to work out, or are just looking for a personal trainer who goes above and beyond to put health and safety first, Jennifer Salter is your answer. She is a saving grace to me on so many levels.
Jordane C., Educational Consultant
Three years ago, I suffered a concussion caused by a workplace accident. Since then I have had post-concussion symptoms, including an inability to focus on the task at hand, poor concentration, loss of decision-making and multi-tasking skills, shoulder and neck pain on my left side, vertigo, and nausea. In addition, I developed an acute sensitivity to light and noise, which really affected my gym routine.
The gym is not only where I go to remain fit, functional, and to maintain a strong sense of independence regarding my body. It is where I go to clear my mind, and has been pivitol for my mental health. In a way, for me, it is active meditation. For this reason, I was at a loss after my accident. When I was able to slowly make my return back to the gym, I realized that I was not able to function as I had before the concussion - I could not focus on any given exercise, or plan a routine. I was easily distracted by the next machine, muscle, and weaved my way through the gym without a purpose. At the same time, I was trying to acclimatize my new "concussion" senses to the lights and noise of the gym. It seemed time to quit the gym, and this caused me tremendous sadness - I knew that my mental health and aging would be affected. A chiropractor caring for me throughout this process knew how important the gym was to me, and recommended Jennifer. She said that Jennifer specializes in working with people who have disabilities and injuries.
I can say wholeheartedly that Jennifer gave me back my gym life with her guidance, planning, patience, confidence, and sensitivity to my symptoms. We started wtih a complete physical and symptomatic assessment, and from that she created a program focused on my physical fitness needs as well as my post-concussion symptoms. It was a program I could work through in the quiet studio room of my gym, away from the distraction of others working out and the enticement of the machines. I have to say that initially I struggled with the program as I thought it was too easy for me. Jennifer explained that this was exactly the idea - to slowly work through my concussion symptoms while keeping me active. She continues to modify my plan as time goes on. I have regained lost strength, and remained totally focused, while following her program.
Jennifer has a wonderful vitality and happiness about her that immediately motivates you. She takes you into a happy space before you even start your workout. Thanks to Jennifer, I did not quit my gym membership and continue to work out regularly. I trust that she understands my strength and weaknesses, and my desire to grow. She gently pushes me back if I want to do too much, and motivates me to move forward if I am stuck.
Having worked out since my teen years, and now in my 50s - I can't thank Jennifer enough!
Susan P., Administrator
Hi Jennifer - Our members were very grateful for the information you provided during your presentation on exercise for people who have fibromyalgia. It was informative and motivating. Your clear examples of how one could develop a realistic exercise routine with professional guidance was well-received. Thank you for sharing your insights!
-Jana Saracevic, Coordinator, Toronto Fibromyalgia Support Group
Jana Saracevic, Toronto Fibromyalgia Support Group
About a year and a half ago ago I started having some health problems which prevented me from exercising the way I wanted to. Even walking became a problem and I had to start avoiding stairs and longer walks or I would have fatigue and pain in my legs for days. I wanted to get back in shape but worried that my health issues would be exacerbated by working out. I decided to try and find a personal trainer who was experienced and I would feel comfortable working with to get healthy.
I started working with Jennifer almost a year ago and it's been a steady improvement in my leg strength and endurance. Jennifer worked with my health issues and helped me build strength at an appropriate pace for my body. She encouraged me when I was anxious about exercising. I always felt like I was in expert hands. Her upbeat demeanor and positivity have been a part of every session. Jennifer took the time to research my symptoms and help me with possible resolutions - much more than just a personal trainer!
This past Labor Day I was able to go on a four hour hike in the woods and not be worried about how my legs would feel. I felt strong and healthy and able to enjoy the day. This was not imaginable a year ago!
I look forward to working with Jennifer for a long time to come and seeing myself get stronger and healthier. Thanks Jennifer!
Ann C., Health Services Manager
There was nothing in the way of material things I wanted for my seventy-fifth
birthday, so my partner suggested that she would pay for a number of sessions
with a personal trainer. It would be my job to find someone to work with
though. I was pleased with the idea and began to search the Internet looking
for the right fit while making sure to avoid the corporate fitness industry. Very
quickly up came Jennifer’s website on Google. she sounded like the right person
for me from the start, everything seemed positve except that her site says that
she specializes in working with people with particular medical conditons. That’s
not me, at least not yet, so I wondered whether she would consider taking me
on. We spoke on the phone, she arrived at my home for a very thorough
assessment, and here I am five months later feeling stronger, healthier, more
flexible, and more energetic than I have in decades.
Jennifer is highly professional, knowledgeable and personable. She has skillfully
created an individualized program which both of us feel is right for me, one that
is neither too easy nor too difficult, and she has provided me with the
motivation to work hard at it on a daily basis. Although none of my friends
have yet to work with Jennifer, you can be sure that many of them have heard
me sing her praises.
Bob B., Retired Teacher
Jennifer was recommended me to by an old friend, who found her to be unlike any other trainer. Although I am a generally very healthy 53 year old, I had injured a muscle (I think) in my groin a year before I contacted Jennifer while doing an advanced exercise video, causing pain and instability. I had been running but eventually stopped exercising completely as I had no idea what would make me worse or better. And then, to complicate matters, I fell on my elbow and dislocated it while walking my dog, which caused pain and lost range of motion. I was a real mess and started feeling my age. Jennifer did a very thorough assessment and seemed very insightful as to how I could become active again. She was positive about my prospects of getting back on track with regular exercise.
Fast forward 8 months: I am weight training several times a week and can run 10 kilometers! Jen’s thoughtfulness, attention to detail, copious recommendations, and ability to come up with solutions on the fly has resulted in me feeling stronger and more toned that I have in many years. In addition, Jennifer is an avid runner and knows a lot about coaching, and has given me specific running workouts that I have helped me train for an upcoming 10 km race. I now feel fantastic and I can’t thank Jennifer enough.
Michele H., Filmmaker
I knew of Jennifer through a mutual friend, as an amazing runner with really fast race times. As a serious runner myself, I was impressed and hoped that she could help me improve my race times as well. Jennifer met me at a local track where she came prepared with pre-planned interval training/track repeat workouts that were designed to help me achieve a specific finish time for an upcoming half marathon. She also coached me on race strategy and how to approach races mentally – she explained that physical ability is only one element of successful racing. As well, she refined my strength training program. I really enjoyed working with Jennifer, especially her passion for running, and her belief in my ability to improve.
Nicki C., Social Worker
I started using Jennifer as a fitness coach approximately seven years ago as I wanted to improve my flexibility and strength. Jennifer conducted an assessment and developed a plan to help me reach my goals. During our ongoing sessions I have found her to be very positive, supportive and knowledgeable and I always look forward to working with her. She has gradually introduced additional exercises, and increased weights and repetitions in a safe manner and I have been pleasantly surprised with what I have been able to accomplish. I have also noticed that my stamina and comfort level have greatly increased when doing activities such as hiking and kayaking.
Laurie H., Human Resources Professional
I'm very fortunate to have Jennifer in my life. The energy and expertise she brings as my personal trainer has motivated me in ways that last beyond our sessions. Not only am I stronger and fitter, but I now confidently attack physical barriers that might have stopped me before. Jennifer's boundless energy and positive approach motivate me to power through workouts I would never have dreamed I could do mere months ago. I simply love how she challenges me to be the best I can be.
Nathalie C., Executive
Last year, my partner and I worked with Jennifer on the advice of our chiropractor. She designed an exercise program for us that addressed ongoing problems that include knee injuries, back pain, and arm injuries - exacerabed by our work as seasonal professional gardeners. To my great surprise, last Boxing Day I hurt my back but it lasted only a few days as opposed to months like two years before. I credit this to the exercises that I have been doing, thanks to Jennifer, that have strengthened my body.
Angela H., Professional Gardener
I am a solidly built (not obese!) 72 year old guy. Jennifer designed an exercise program for me to increase my flexibility and strength. I have been working with her since the summer of 2015 and over time I have been able to feel the improvements.
Jennifer makes sure that I do the exercises safely and the appropriate number of times. She cheerfully answers all my questions.
Amazing insight: She watched me walk for about two minutes and then taught me how to walk correctly ... heel-to-toe, not on the balls of my feet as I had since I was a child. This has significantly reduced my arthritic knee pain.
The mere fact that Jennifer is coming for the next session is a powerful incentive for me to regularly do my exercises because you really want to please her.
David D., Retired Chartered Accountant
When I started working with Jennifer, I was feeling stiff, weak, and lethargic, but I was unsure how to go about implementing an exercise program that would suit my fitness level without causing injury. Thanks to her gentle encouragement and steady incremental steps, I am now able to see and feel the difference; slowly but surely I am noticing improvements in my strength, flexibility, and endurance. I have more energy and confidence, and I am motivated to work on my own. Putting Jennifer’s sage advice into action is helping me (re)discover many resources within myself. Thank you, Jennifer!
Caryl C., University of Toronto Professor
After fighting with myself to regain hope and motivation, I decided to go online in search of someone who, hopefully, would understand my health issues, and I found Jennifer!
I was so very impressed with her background and the testimonials on her website, that I called my cousin to say that I felt I had found the key to attaining my goals. My cousin said, “She’s the person who I have been raving about to you for the past year, as she is my trainer, too!” My cousin has a history of mobility issues and would never have continued with a rehab therapist if she had not experienced results.
Signing up with Jennifer has been the “turn around” for my health and my outlook on life. I am 68 years old, with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. Within the past six years, I have had a C1-C2 spinal fusion, two back-to-back hip replacements, and now am in need of rotator cuff surgery.
Over the past few months, I had lost my motivation and had become so deconditioned that I was unable to get up off the floor without the assistance of a chair to grasp. A few months ago I tripped on the street, and a stranger actually stopped his car, and helped me up and over to the sidewalk. It was a frightening realization of my weakness, as well as an emotionally crushing episode.
I have only been working with Jennifer for the past two months, and I am now able to use the strength I have developed to lift myself up from the floor to a standing position! It feels like a miracle, but the reality is that with Jen’s thorough assessment, she has developed a personal program that truly focuses on my complicated needs – a successful plan with which I am increasing balance, functionality, and independence.
I have a trip planned in the next two months, and I look forward to it with encouragement and confidence. I know my balance will continue to improve, my legs will continue to get stronger, and that I will have the stamina and aerobic conditioning that is necessary for me to travel now and to live independently for the future.
Sandi G., Retired Teacher
Jen has been my trainer for the past 20 years. I am now in my mid 70s, and working with Jen enabled me to improve my downhill skiing to a level I could not even attain when I was younger. In fact, in my late 60s, I was able to do tough runs that I couldn’t do when I was younger. I am now winding down my skiing and playing more golf, and Jen continues to keep me strong and flexible. In addition, I am able to stay active with no problem when I play tennis or bike. I like the consistency of the exercise program Jen has designed specifically for me and the fact that she takes every part of the program seriously. She understands what I need to do to improve my skiing, golf, and my fitness level in general.
Arnie C, Businessman
I have been working with Jennifer from Lifeline Personal Training for two years now. Although I am a basically healthy 46 year old, I have children and a very busy, demanding career and wanted to get into better condition to protect my health for the future. As well, I have had quite painful lower back issues that required medical attention in the past, and did not want to perform any exercises that would compromise my safety and re-aggravate my back. I had become very nervous to lift weights for this reason.
Jennifer has designed a thoughtful, comprehensive exercise program that has enabled me to increase my strength greatly. I can even do squats and lunges under her watchful eye! She is a wonderful coach and I look forward to our bi-weekly sessions for the motivation, encouragement, and information she provides. She has given me the ability to weight train without injury. I am much stronger, and I have her to thank.
Andrew A., Professor
After working with Jennifer a number of years ago for back and hip problems, I knew I could turn to her when I experienced a new flare up of neck and shoulder issues. (Over several months of trying to cope with an elder parent’s decline, I had not been exercising and had lost weight and muscle strength, exacerbated by ongoing insomnia and chronic pain.) With Jennifer’s encouragement and support, and a gentle, guided program of resistance training and stretching, I am regaining muscle strength and flexibility, and the ability to cope with the bad days with more humour and optimism. Jennifer’s deep understanding of health and wellness, coupled with her magic touch, have helped me turn my life around – once again!
Lorie T., Writer
About six months ago I decided to invest in my health. At 51, I was overweight and suffered from pain in my hips and back as a result of early-stage osteoarthritis. Even getting up from the couch and walking to the kitchen hurt! I knew I had to take action if I wanted to have the active, vibrant life I envisioned for my future. So I decided to hire a personal trainer. The problem was, it seemed that all the trainers I contacted online, and at local gyms, didn’t have the experience and knowledge working with older women with my particular health issues. Then I found Jennifer at Lifeline Personal Training, and what a difference it’s made in my life. Jennifer came to my house once a week and we worked through routines that have helped me reduce weight and increase strength. As a result, the pain in my hips and back has decreased as well. Personal training is one of the best investments I have ever made, and it was a wonderful experience working with Jennifer who truly cared about helping me improve my health and achieve my fitness goals.
Sandy F, Journalist
I wish to commend you on your article titled "Aerobic Power and Functional Independence in Older Adults" in the latest CANFITPRO Magazine.
I teach many older adults from very fit to very frail in Milton. I loved the easy way you explained VO2 max, and how it is never too late for people to improve. I will be giving out copies of this article for my classes. I hope you and CANFIT continue to do more interesting articles like this - my thanks to you!
I am in my early 60s, and have been referred to Jennifer twice over the years by my family doctor. On both occasions I greatly benefited from the exercise programs she created to suit my needs, as well as from her general advice on fitness. She was able to work around a chronic hand injury, as well as shoulder bursitis creating chronic pain. In fact, it is because Jennifer suggested I have an MRI that I have a definitive diagnosis of my shoulder problem.
Overall, I found Jennifer to be knowledgeable and thoughtful. She is also a good listener and a very caring person. I believe she would be a wonderful trainer for a person of any age, whether the person's goal is to improve general fitness or to deal with particular physical conditions.
Annie N., Lawyer
Jennifer is a pleasure to work with. She is energetic, informed, encouraging, and positive. She is always quick to point out improvements and is watching me for proper form to be sure I am not causing inappropriate stress to my body. The changes I have seen and felt since I started working with Jennifer are amazing. Jennifer just e-mailed me and the subject line was “awesome workout last night, just wanted to tell you!” She made my day. Jennifer’s knowledge and caring manner make her a wonderful personal trainer.
C.C., Social Worker
Just thought I should let you know that today - on my 68th birthday - I ran 6.3 km with my daughter. It was a nice, slowish run with inclines and stairs. It was brilliant, and I had such a good time.
I could not have asked for a better birthday present and I certainly not have done it without you so, to you…an enormous, gigantic, very big thanks for keeping me up and running (literally!).
Roy H., Retired
I am 79 years old and have been working with Jennifer for 2.5 years. While I have a very busy and active life, I have several medical issues including a knee replacement, osteoarthritis in the other knee, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and a mild aortic stenosis. The thing I appreciate most about my time with Jennifer is the care and consideration she shows toward me while I am exercising. There is never a time when she is not paying extremely close attention to whether my body is in the correct position. For this reason, I feel completely safe while I am in her presence.
Overall, I feel much more confident and competent physically since we began working together. I am an avid hiker, and I have found that since working with Jennifer I respond more favourably to the challenges of hiking, especially climbing hills. As well, my posture has improved and I find that the aches and pains I experience from sitting through the many meetings required by my activist work dissipate much more quickly than before.
I intend to continue being active and engaged with the world, and I thank Jennifer for contributing to my ability to achieve this goal!
Christine M., Community Activist
Retired Mental Health Program Coordinator
All I can say is - thank you for the guiding me through the last year of building up my strength, my energy, and my new ways of walking!
I clocked myself on my holiday and I was walking 8 - 15 kilometres daily through a lot of it. Not just gardens, hills and steep cobblestone village streets, but also urban walking on hard sidewalks and concrete. Happy to say I made it without a problem - no back problems, no knee problems. I also was able to handle a heavy suitcase, so weight training is working.
But mostly, I felt confident about the holiday and its many different paths. And I can't thank you enough Jennifer - this is what I was building to. I look forward to our next year and what it brings.
Suzanne C., Project Manager
Jennifer Salter is the best physical fitness trainer I've ever visited. For anyone with a physical limitation caused by age or illness, I would recommend her without reservation. She's intelligent, insightful, and caring, and most importantly, by observing her regimen, I've been able to alleviate pain and build strength - at the age of 69!
Geoffrey H., University Professor
I am a 68 year old woman who desires to remain as active as possible. Jennifer at Lifeline PT was very helpful to me in guiding my recovery after being deconditioned following a medical condition in which dizziness interfered with my balance. Over the course of many months, I benefitted from Jennifer's approach of sensitive coaching and individualized program development. I am now able to return to community-centred physical activities.
Lillian M., Retired Social Worker
As a long time sufferer of chronic debilitating migraine headaches and muscle spasms in the neck and shoulder I had tried all kinds of ways to keep my body as strong, supple and healthy as possible. I was constantly running into road blocks of flare ups and long stretches where exercise was very difficult or impossible. These left me right back at square one more discouraged than ever.
Jennifer started working with me a little over a year ago. I had a bit of a cynical attitude, not expecting much because of my past experiences but also not wanting to miss an opportunity to feel better. She started me off working way below my strength capability in order to build up my core slowly without giving me a flare up. Because Jennifer works with people with various chronic pain issues she had an understanding, and interest and compassion for what I was dealing with. Gradually, bit by bit, I increased the reps and endurance backing off and adjusting things when I was not feeling up to it. Now I have a life long strength and endurance program which works!
Jane W, Artist
It was very good to see you and have our last session. Thank you for the information and for sending along the extra pictures….I really appreciate it.
It was really great meeting you and getting the guidance in developing a fitness program for and my son and I. It's very empowering to be gaining the knowledge on how to best to exercise. Thank you for the extra information you shared with me, it's so very helpful. I so appreciate how you explained everything and had so much patience in going slowly through out the sessions. I really appreciate your encouragement and support around the fibromyalgia and my other health issues.
Thank you for everything and I hope we'll stay in contact.
Miriam, Child Care Professional
I struggle with depression and I feel like part of getting better mentally involves having a healthy body. I decided to hire a personal trainer to help me follow that path. Jennifer was a knowledgeable, sensitive guide through the various exercises, and took extra care to make sure I wouldn't injure myself. Now I feel confident that I know how to work out properly, and look forward to being more energized!
Stephen M., Artist
We were looking for a trainer above the rest, someone who viewed well-being broadly and holistically, and was committed to their clients and working with them towards their goals for well-being. Jen understood the range of concerns we had, including chronic knee issues, pre- and post-partum health and rehabilitation and chronic shoulder pain. Jen is a true professional, and it is a true pleasure to work with her - we are so very glad we found her!
Meg G., Andre D., Architects
Jennifer - It is with sincere thanks that I am writing you this letter of appreciation for the time you spent with some of the members of the Miles Nadal JCC. In your engaging presentation entitled "Healthy Back, Happier Life", I know that you helped to make a difference in many of the participants' lives. The musculoskeletal changes in our bodies as we age can have a profound effect on a person's quality of life, and you showed sensitivity and an understanding of the aging body that will undoubtedly help many people.
Colin Blayney, MES, Coordinator of Active 55+ at the Miles Nadal JCC, Toronto
I am a 65-year-old arts administrator, an active walker and lover of Pilates. I wanted to expand my fitness routine to challenge myself, and stay fit and strong in the future. But as someone who has had major back and ankle injuries in the not-so-distant past, I was hesitant about weight and fitness training.
I followed Jennifer's website and newsletter and felt she offered scientifically-based and realistic advice. When I contacted her over two years ago, I wasn't sure how far I could go, but Jennifer's calm and intelligent manner, her sound and safe coaching, and her customized program have been wonderful for me. I am working harder, doing more, and challenging myself more than I ever expected. And she's made it fun, too.
Jennifer is extremely knowledgeable and dedicated to learning. I look forward to our semi-monthly sessions with great enthusiasm, but she has also designed a program that I can carry on by myself in my small condo. I can already see the changes in many things - like the ease of going upstairs now, or in my form at the computer. I feel better and more confident about undertaking many things.
Thank you Jennifer. You are so much more than a trainer!
Susan C., Consultant and Administrator
Jennifer has been great at adapting exercises and approaches to work with both my goals and my body's challenges (I struggle with ongoing Repetitive Strain Injury/muscular/tendon issues in my forearms). Jennifer balances setting up challenging exercises with encouraging me to listen to my body and work within my capacity. She's also set up preventative exercises and strategies such as using ice to minimize my flare ups. She's incredibly knowledgeable and a delight to work with. I've found her very accessible and always willing to answer questions. She takes her job seriously and is an excellent ally in my training program.
Sunny D., Performance Artist
I have been working with Jennifer for over two months and I am delighted with the program she has designed for me. Jennifer is passionate about exercise and health and it shows in the energy and enthusiasm she brings to our sessions. She makes each workout challenging and, most importantly, safe. She places a high value on correct form and always checks in with me to see if any exercise hurts my knees or back. If it does, it is immediately stopped or changed. I've gained more confidence and a better understanding about what I can do to avoid injury and re-injury.
Jennifer is a treasure trove of health and fitness knowledge, which she happily shares whenever I ask. Her professionalism and enthusiastic commitment to me as her client has set a great foundation for me to exercise safely and continue with a healthy lifestyle.
Thank you Jennifer - you're the best!!
Toni L., Manager
I have referred many patients of mine to Jennifer with great confidence after their physio issues have been resolved. Jennifer tailors a comprehensive, safe and appropriate exercise program to meet the needs and goals of her clients. My patients have been extremely pleased with Jennifer's professional and caring manner and their improved strength and fitness level while working with her.
For this reason, Jennifer comes highly recommended.
Pam Honeyman, PT, Physiotherapist
I am a 62 year old grandmother and was not in a good place when I started working with Jennifer at the end of 2012. Having had back surgery and shoulder problems, I was hesitant to work with a fitness trainer - but Jennifer came highly recommended. She customized a program for me and since working with her I have seen amazing results. I feel fitter, stronger and my shoulders are improving dramatically. Jennifer is a dedicated, knowledgeable, young woman and I look forward to my weekly workouts. I would highly recommend her.
Liz K., Retired Business Owner
I am a 62 year old retired secondary school teacher who led a very active life until I contracted Lyme disease and two of its co-infections in 2008. I wasn't diagnosed until 2010 and by that time had lost considerable muscle mass, experienced profound fatigue, seizures, tremors, peripheral neuropathy and loss of mobility. Working with Jennifer Salter has been invaluable to my recovery process.
When I first starting working with Jennifer four years ago, she thoroughly researched my illness and continues to keep abreast of disease-related issues. An excellent diagnostician, Jennifer designed an individualized program for me and has modified it as needed, ever mindful of my fragility. Jennifer is a natural educator. She meticulously explains her treatment regimen, monitors me closely and patiently corrects my technique. Between sessions, she diligently keeps up correspondence - answering questions, providing relevant information and following up on concerns. The consummate professional, Jennifer sets appropriate client-therapist boundaries while maintaining a warm and supportive relationship. Her encouragement has provided me with hope and her program is helping to restore my strength. Jennifer is more than a rehabilitation therapist - she is a coach, mentor and lifeline.
Lynda L., Retired Teacher
I have worked with Jennifer for the last eight years, and it has been an excellent experience. I came to her with a chronic hip problem that left me quite weak. She designed a strength training program that I am able do by myself in my basement, and has increasingly challenged me as I have grown stronger. My hip has improved due to her regimen (in conjunction with other treatments). The best parts are that I am in less pain, feel much stronger, love how I am starting to look, and love it the most when other people notice my newly defined muscles!
Gina B., Writer
Although I am in my early 30s, I have struggled with exercise my entire life due to an abnormal heart rate caused by a condition called Postural Orthostatic Hypotension Syndrome. I have signed up at various gyms and exercise programs, only to learn quickly that most people in the fitness industry have no clue what they are doing. I searched and searched for someone qualified to put together an exercise program specific to my needs and struggles. Finally, my naturopath referred me to Jennifer Salter from Lifeline Personal Training. I worked with her for two years and she was truly unbelievable - knowledgeable, thorough, and supportive.
Working with Jennifer has helped change my life and set me on the path to good health. For me it is a long journey, but I am grateful to have Jen to support me along the way!
Jordy F., Teacher
Jennifer has consistently shared her knowledge and expertise with my clients. She is current, energetic and always professional. There is not another trainer I would trust to help my clients with exceptional training needs.
Linda McCharles, RD
I have been working with Jennifer Salter from Lifeline Personal Training for two years. I am 72 years old and struggle with lupus, osteoarthritis, and chronic sciatica/hip pain. Jennifer is extremely knowledgeable about the human body as well as different medical conditions so that there is no fear of injury when exercising with her. I would highly recommend her to anyone with similar problems.
Lynn D., Retired
After a year of inactivity, trepidation and pain due to a back injury, I hired Jennifer to help me develop core strength and set me back on a healthful path. Jennifer's thorough professionalism, coupled with her optimism and encouragement, gave me the confidence to proceed.
Marsha C., Administrative Specialist
In February of 2011, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. By June of that year I had gone through four surgeries which included a reconstruction. As I was healing, I found out that I could not exercise the way that I used to. For this reason, I embarked on a journey to find a trainer who would understand my circumstances and help me get back into good physical shape.
During our initial meeting, Jennifer assessed my physical capability as well as what my desired end goal was. When we met the second time, she had created an initial exercise routine that helped me build up my strength and flexibility. As I grew stronger the program became more aggressive and to my delight I was able to manage nicely.
We were also able to do this from my own home which made it all the easier. I would highly recommend Jennifer for her professionalism and capability. She is able to assess the situation, keep you motivated and is a real pleasure to work with!
Patricia S., Human Resources Executive
Thank you so much for attending our North Toronto Fibromyalgia Support Group meeting in April of 2011. It was a pleasure having you.
It was obvious to everyone present that you were well prepared - by virtue of the research you presented, and your years of experience specializing in exercise for people who have health problems. Your knowledge on the subject of fibromyalgia and chronic pain was evident, and the group found what you had to say both interesting and insightful. In addition, the exercise recommendations you made were extremely well received, as was the tailor-made handout.
I recommend Jennifer as a presenter to any group interested in learning more about how to exercise safely with fibromyalgia and chronic pain.
Vicki Sterling, Coordinator - North Toronto Fibromyalgia Support Group
Jennifer is a highly qualified personal trainer with expertise in working with people who have medical problems. I feel confident referring my patients to her for fitness support.
Dr. Amanda Guthrie, ND Naturopathic Doctor
Jennifer's expertise made a huge difference to my recovery from a broken ankle this spring. She recognized that the exercises that I had been given after my cast came off were not suitable and could stress the joint and cause further damage and delay healing. Her exercise program was tailored to my specific needs, and gradually introduced over several weeks so it was easy to build up my strength and make it part of my routine.
I would absolutely recommend Jennifer as a personal trainer to my patients or anyone else with a chronic condition, disability or special needs. She is professional, very knowledgeable and conscientious.
Dr. Victoria Dale-Harris, DMV, ND - Veterinarian and Naturopathic Doctor
I'm a single mother with a full time challenging career and very little time to work out. Jennifer has been my personal trainer for over nineteen years. With Jennifer's help I've managed to enhance and maintain an excellent level of fitness. The program Jennifer designed for me, along with her encouragement has been the key to my success. I highly recommend Jennifer.
Julie L., Film and TV Producer
After two years of debilitating muscle pain in both hips and upper back, countless visits to physiotherapists, chiropractors, massage therapists and alternative practitioners, and further injury from pilates, I had almost given up hope. Jennifer gave me back that hope. With her deep knowledge, experience and insight, she designed a flexible and accommodating home-based program, uniquely tailored to my problems. Her enthusiasm, understanding and great sense of humour keep me going, even on the bad days. In just a few weeks, I have already seen improvements in posture and muscle strength, and I finally feel I'm on the right track. I couldn't have come so far, so soon, without her.
Lorraine T., Environmental Consultant
Jennifer conducted a seminar at our firm for over 30 attendees over two sessions on Back Health. She is a great and knowledgeable speaker! She communicated valuable information in a professional and easy to understand fashion. I would recommend Jennifer and her seminar without hesitation.
Nancy S., Lawyer
Jennifer - thank you for your help in developing an exercise program that took me to the next level. When I came to see you I was already exercising, but needed a boost in my program and some fresh ideas. You helped to push me further while always maintaining your patient and encouraging manner. You developed a careful and detailed program for me that helped me with my sore knee but still allowed me to progress. I really enjoyed our sessions - thank you!
Naomi B., lawyer
I hadn't exercised in a long time and was concerned about my ability to start again. Jennifer came to my home and developed a specialized program to meet my needs. She also helped boost my confidence and get me back on track. Always positive and encouraging - I would highly recommend her to anyone seeking to start (or re-start) an exercise program.
Brenda V., Manager
As a business owner, I appreciated that Jennifer could adjust to my schedule for training sessions. After an initial assessment, Jennifer customized a program for me that accommodated my diverse sports activities which include running and competitive sailing. Jennifer worked with me to perfect my technique and monitor my progress closely. After only three sessions I found my fitness was improving. I ran in the Toronto Sporting Life 10K and produced a personal-best time!
Rob M., Software Developer
I connected with Jennifer right away, knowing she'd be perfect to help me start working out again after nursing a back injury for so long. She's been wonderful. She is very knowledgeable and careful with my condition. She really listens to my concerns, and makes decisions specifically based on my needs. I have made enormous improvements since I started working with her and look forward to our sessions.
Faith S., Business Owner
Jennifer is one of the best trainers I have ever worked with. I am currently facing a serious health challenge and have utmost confidence in her capabilities as she helps me navigate through this circumstance. I respect and admire her deep knowledge and strong expertise in her field. I also appreciate how thorough she has been in assessing my fitness level and general health and how she approaches every session. She motivates me to do my utmost best while remaining empathetic and sensitive to my special needs. And she's an enjoyable companion! I strongly recommend her services.
Teresa P., Communications Consultant
I have had the pleasure of training with Jennifer for the past decade and can recommend her highly on so many counts. She brings a high level of energy and dedication to her clients, constantly improving on how she plans and delivers her workouts. She is a great motivator, setting short term goals to keep you inspired even on the days when you are sure you have nothing to give. Recently I participated in a 5 day, 500 km bike ride and thanks to her help I was ready for the challenge!
Marilyn G., Business owner
Following a diagnosis of asthma in my 60's I was hoping to remain physically active in a safe way given my new health considerations. At that time I was recommended to Jennifer and Lifeline Personal Training.Jennifer gave me the confidence to engage in a weekly workout that balanced safety and progress and kept me feeling fit. I am now in my mid 70's and she continues to motivate me to work out to the best of my ability, always respecting any new limitations but coaxing the best out of me. Jennifer combines a high degree of professionalism and enthusiasm and I enjoy our time together.
Carol S., Retired
I am an active person and avid runner, but I wanted some help to improve my core strength and tighten my abdominal section. I hired Jennifer to develop a personalized and structured abdominal program for me. I wanted a program that I could do easily at home, and that targeted my lower abs in particular. Having had 2 C-sections and lower back surgery, I wanted to make sure that whatever I was doing would improve my strength and tighten my abs without injuring my back.
Jennifer interviewed me to understand my needs at a deeper level, and then came prepared with an excellent and varied program that I could do at home. She went through all the exercises with me to ensure that my form was correct and that the exercises were appropriate. She provided detailed illustrations of all the exercises and step by step instructions for doing them independently.
She ended the sessions with some fantastic stretching and massage. I was extremely satisfied with Jennifer's work and would recommend her without reservation. She's a true professional who cares deeply about her clients and their well-being.
Ingrid M., Senior Policy Analyst
Jennifer is the consummate professional. Not only has she taken several different courses, all of which enable her to train people with a myriad of needs and conditions (I am a prime example), she is also continually studying, reading, as well as attending meetings and conferences to enlarge her knowledge base and extend her ability to enable others to become physically fit. Jennifer has a positive personality.She is warm, friendly, compassionate, and supportive - a pleasure to work with. Given her personality and professional approach, I recommend her unreservedly.
Judith A., Retired High School Teacher
Prior to July of 2007 I was a healthy, active 67 year old. At that time I required abdominal surgery which I had understood would require a hospital stay of 7 to 10 days.Three and a half months later I got out of the hospital! For three of these months I did not have anything to eat or drink except intravenously.I was so weak when I finally got home that I had trouble just getting out of a chair.
Fortunately a friend recommended Jennifer to me indicating that she had lots of experience in rehabilitation (including with seniors). We met and I immediately felt that she could help me.I was right!Jennifer designed a strength and exercise program for me that was "gentle" enough that I could manage it without getting discouraged, and that did not cause discomfort in the area of my surgery and yet enabled me to regain my strength. I am now a healthy and active 69 year old.
Thank you, Jennifer
Sheila F., Retired legal consultant
I first met Jennifer in 1991 when we were both working in the social service field supporting individuals with developmental disabilities. I always remember how much Jennifer loved working with people and was interested in the field of Social Work. At the same, Jennifer would speak about her passion for fitness and exercise- an area that I was much less passionate about. Jennifer went on to pursue her MSW.
It was a few years later that I heard Jennifer had received her MSW and had started her own business as a Certified Exercise Specialist and Personal Trainer. It was also at this time my husband and I were planning a family. With my history of back pain (due to scoliosis and back surgery as a child), I needed to be in stronger physical form to meet the challenges of pregnancy.I knew that Jennifer was the perfect answer to what I needed. After my consultation, she created an exercise program that specifically focused on my needs at that time, keeping in mind my limitations. Jennifer's attention to detail, her professionalism, expertise and education in the field was evident and it was a wonderful experience for me.
My successful pregnancy and delivery to a healthy son occurred 10 years ago. I have continued to see Jennifer for 19 years. Jennifer's business has continued to grow and flourish and her continued educational development has furthered her expertise in this field.Her approach to fitness and her diverse clientele is what I feel separates her from others in the field. Although many of her clients are very fit athletes, many others are individuals with a variety of health concerns.Jennifer provides excellent service to each and every one of her clients.
Jennifer's passion for exercise, fitness, and overall good health has given her the determination to excel in what she loves to do. Now, as a mother with 3 young children, she has continued to move forward as a motivator and industry leader in the field of fitness and health. I wish Jennifer continued success!!
Sandy T., Manager
What can I say but thank you for your support and encouragement in my fitness journey. After bariatric surgery and a 120 pound weight loss 8 years ago, I wanted to tone up and make exercise a regular part of my life. The personalized program you designed has helped me become stronger, more flexible and confident, and I always enjoy our sessions tremendously. This is the first program I have ever maintained and it's because you adjust it based on my needs, and made me realize that getting fit comes one small step (or one pound barbell) at a time. One-on-one personal training worked for me because of your expert flexible coaching. Thank you!
Ellen H., Nurse