Heather Binns: “5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”

Dr. William Seeds
May 10, 2020 · 13 min read

I’ve coached thousands of people worldwide to help them find their athlete within. I enable them to shatter self-imposed glass ceilings to reach their fullest potential and unprecedented levels of fulfillment. By offering both live virtual and in-person coaching, I’m able to help change the lives of individuals in both a personal and corporate setting. I’m best known for helping people shed fat and becoming strong while creating a lifestyle that can be sustained forever.

As a part of my series about “5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Heather Binns

Health & Fitness Strategist, Heather Binns, is on a mission to inspire people to shatter self-imposed glass ceilings to reach their fullest potential and unprecedented levels of fulfillment. Heather is best known for helping people shed fat and building strength by customizing the latest valid and reliable techniques and strategies with meticulous attention to form. She endorses a positive mental attitude among her clients to create an ongoing sense of accomplishment backed by undeniable and realistic results.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the story about how you first got involved in fitness and wellness?

I’ve actually been involved in fitness since I was a child as an athlete in school but officially got involved career-wise in 2006 when I first became a Certified Personal Trainer. I worked in the corporate world for over 10 years and bounced around from job to job trying to find something that I would truly enjoy doing day in and day out.

After each workday I would go for a run with friends or workout at the gym on my own. Back then it was mostly guys in the weight room and I was usually one of the only women in there with them lifting weights. I remember watching what they did and copying it since I had no idea what I was doing, but I really enjoyed feeling strong, tough and powerful.

One day a friend of mine suggested I become a personal trainer. I researched the position online as I rarely paid attention to them at the gym and decided to try it out. A well-known big box gym was hiring so I submitted my resume, went to an in-person interview and got hired on the spot with absolutely no experience. It’s kind of scary that I was probably hired based on looking healthy and fit, but it was the start of my new career in the health & fitness industry and I have been here ever since! You can learn more about me at www.HeatherMBinns.com.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

That’s a tough one as I feel it’s a tie between becoming a best-selling author and Quilly Award Winner from the National Academy of Best-Selling Authors in 2012 for my book “Results Fitness,” and being voted as one of the top personal trainers in Los Angeles for four years in a row on LA’s HOTLIST by the people of LA.

Being on the red carpet in 2012 was quite an overwhelming experience that I will never forget. Then being voted a Los Angeles Top Trainer helped me realize (I tend to hold myself to extremely high standards), that I was truly gifted in what I do and 100% capable of helping change people’s lives for the better!

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

Something that is funny to me when I think back about it, and my husband can also confirm this, is how I was so strict in following “textbook” guidelines for training my clients. I was so set on not making any mistakes, that instead of focusing on what the client’s goals were and the possibility of boredom with simple movements, I used to start all of my clients with the same two exercises no matter what their level of fitness: single leg balance and single leg balance and reach.

I was so “black & white” and wanted to make sure everyone could properly perform these two balance and stabilization exercises before progressing them further, that I probably lost many clients sooner than I should have because I was boring the hell out of them.

It was good that I was making sure I progressed everyone safely, but I’m sure many of them, my husband being one of them, probably wondered what the heck I was having them do by standing on one leg balancing and then reaching that leg in and out. Yes, these two exercises can be very beneficial for some client needs, but not necessary for everyone to start at such a basic level. It makes me laugh just thinking about it now.

Can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fitness and wellness field? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?

Sure! As I mentioned, I previously spent more than a decade working in the corporate world and then began my health & fitness career in 2006. So, I’ve been in the health & fitness industry for over 14 years!

I was voted one of the top five personal trainers in Los Angeles four years in a row and am one of America’s PremierExperts®, which is a designation I received in recognition of my personal accomplishments and expert knowledge in fitness. In addition, my private fitness coaching center, Renov8 Fitness in North Hollywood, California, was also voted one of the top gyms in Los Angeles.

I’m an avid speaker and presenter and have appeared on the KTLA morning news, CBS Channel 8 news, Every Way Woman Talk Show and also featured in Spartan Life Magazine, VoyageLA Magazine, Los Angeles Sports & Fitness Magazine, My Fox LA’s HOTLIST, the Money For Lunch Radio Talk Show and the Financial Safari Radio Talk Show.

I’ve coached thousands of people worldwide to help them find their athlete within. I enable them to shatter self-imposed glass ceilings to reach their fullest potential and unprecedented levels of fulfillment. By offering both live virtual and in-person coaching, I’m able to help change the lives of individuals in both a personal and corporate setting. I’m best known for helping people shed fat and becoming strong while creating a lifestyle that can be sustained forever.

Some of my corporate clients include Disney, Nike, Kaiser Permanente, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, American Heart Association, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the City of Los Angeles, Maxim Health Systems and many more.

Also being a best-selling author and Quilly Award Winner from The National Academy of Best-Selling Authors for my book Results Fitness in 2012 propelled me further in my career. Through a combination of persistence and trial & error, I successfully converted my once part-time side hustle into a full-time six-figure business.

I am a very determined individual with a plan, a strong belief in my talents and a deep desire to be my own boss. I left my high-paying corporate job to finally realize my dream of helping others improve their lifestyle through fitness — something truly dear to my heart.

I also focus on business development training and strategic consulting for emerging health & fitness entrepreneurs and established fitness business owners. I truly endorse the adage of making a living doing what you love day in and day out, while still making sure to save time for self-care. And for me, one of the biggest aspects of my self-care is being a competitive obstacle course racing (OCR) athlete and placing 25th in my age group at the Spartan Race World Championships in 2019.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

To be honest, there is not just one person who has helped me along the way to become successful, but many people. I am a firm believer in having a mentor help you see the bigger picture while being fully engulfed in your own world. Having someone guide you and providing constructive feedback is key in being successful and realizing your dreams, which is why I love consulting and mentoring others in a business sense and not just a personal sense in the health & fitness industry. A trainer needs a trainer and a coach needs a coach!

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, exercise more, and get better sleep etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the 3 main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?

I actually feel there is one top thing preventing most people from achieving success in their own health & fitness, and that is their mind. I know it sounds cliché, but our mind is a powerful thing and “mind over matter” really does come into play every single day of our lives.

Now I’m not just talking about pushing through pain as pain is one of our body’s indicators that something is not right, but instead about getting outside of our comfort zone, both mentally and physically, to really achieve success. Our bodies are capable of so much more than we know and it’s empowering when we experience moments of struggle that are then turned into success.

For example, while I was training to become a volunteer wildland firefighter for the City of Los Angeles in 2019, we had two days of outdoor training that were so mentally and physically hard for me unlike anything I had ever experienced.

The reason it was so hard physically is because my wildland firefighting boots were digging into my heels the entire time we were hiking up and down the mountains for approximately 6 hours each day while carrying 45+ pounds of gear. If I had my trail running shoes…no problem, but that was not the case.

I prepped by hiking in them on my own with socks recommended by other firefighters, covered multiple spots on my feet with moleskin, and laced them up a special way to help them be more comfortable. I even wore them around the house molding them more to my feet after soaking them in hot water, but it just wasn’t enough.

Not to be too gruesome, but at the end of day one, the skin on my heels was completely gone down to the nerve endings and even some of the nerve endings were damaged and even gone. I wasn’t sure how I was going to be able to handle the second day of training, but I knew I had no other choice but to push through because I am not a quitter.

On that second day I remember falling behind in the crew after a handful of hours and feeling so embarrassed because I didn’t want to be the one holding anyone back. Inside I was crying from extreme pain with every step I took, but I hid it as much as I could. It was one of the most mentally challenging days I have ever had in my entire life!

But you know what? I did it! I finished and successfully completed my week of training and served as an LAFD volunteer wildland firefighter with Crew 3. I wasn’t fully aware of how powerful my mind was until this experience. I had to mentally push through, and yes in this case it was pain, but for all good reason. I realized that my body was able to endure more than I thought it could, thanks to my mind, my perseverance and my determination.

Can you please share your “5 Non-Intuitive Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”? (Please share a story or an example for each, and feel free to share ideas for mental, emotional and physical health.)

  1. Knowing your true self — If you don’t know the type of person you are, what drives you, what motivates you, what frightens you and what excites you, how will you ever truly become who you are meant to be?
  2. Treating failures as opportunities — Another cliché statement I know, but without failure, there is no success. You must learn from failure and realize that sometimes failure leads to opportunity.
  3. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses — This coincides with #1, but you must be aware of your “areas of growth” so you can work on improving them. At the same time, you must know what your strengths are so you can propel yourself forward using them.
  4. Testing the limits of your mind and body — Like I said earlier, our mind is a truly powerful tool and we should focus on getting outside of our comfort zones in order to effect change.
  5. Connecting with things and people you love — We are heavily influenced by our surroundings, so we must be fully aware of those we choose to spend out time with and what we spend our time doing.

As an expert, this might be obvious to you, but I think it would be instructive to articulate this for the public. Aside from weight loss, what are 3 benefits of daily exercise? Can you explain?

  1. Improved sense of self — Exercise improves our mood, our attitude, allows us to think clearly and brings about a rush of endorphins that make us feel good.
  2. Discovering hidden strengths — We’re able to see how strong and powerful we can really become by doing exercise we enjoy.
  3. Relieving stress — Exercise is a big stress reliever for the same reasons I just mentioned.
  4. Longevity — It goes without saying that when you exercise and keep yourself healthy and fit, you are more apt to live a longer, more fulfilled life.

For someone who is looking to add exercise to their daily routine, which 3 exercises would you recommend that are absolutely critical?

In order to answer this question, I need to know details about the client, their goals and their past medical history. There are no “best” exercises as everyone’s body is so different. Each person has specific goals and specific body complications that need to be considered when designing a training program such as imbalances, limitations and dysfunctions.

In my experience, many people begin an exercise regimen but stop because they get too sore afterwards. What ideas would you recommend to someone who plays sports or does heavy exercise to shorten the recovery time, and to prevent short term or long term injury?

Focus on self-care which includes:

  • Get enough sleep every night
  • De-stress every day
  • Maintain appropriate hydration levels so your body functions properly
  • Add mobility work to your training program
  • Make sure your training program includes functional exercises based upon your sport and lifestyle
  • Strength train (i.e. lift weights) so you can be strong
  • Improve flexibility through active, dynamic and static stretches and exercises
  • Prevent over-training and burn-out

There are so many different diets today. Can you share what kind of diet you follow? Which diet do you recommend to most of your clients?

I actually focus on long-term realistic nutrition principles versus diets, which people usually just start and stop. I believe in making changes slowly so they can build into habits and making the right food choices a majority of the time while enjoying splurges in moderation. That’s realistic and achievable long-term.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?

Yes, I was introduced to Mike Michalowicz’s book Profit First a couple years ago, which led me to make some major changes in my business. Those changes helped relieve stress and position my business in a more financially fit state. It then led me to becoming a certified Fix This Next Advisor based on his most-recently published book, Fix This Next. Now I am able to help other small businesses identify their most vital need in order to grow in the future.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

This is a great question and for me it would be to help one million people “find their athlete within” whether it has been buried for a while or never been found! You see, everybody is an athlete no matter who you are. If you have a body, you are an athlete. The key is figuring out what type of athlete is within you and I’m not just talking about sports.

It’s important to find out what you enjoy doing to keep yourself physically active, which tends to lead into progressing in your fitness levels. That in-turn leads to discovering new adventures that you may one day find yourself doing such as running a race, completing a triathlon, crossing the finish line of an obstacle course race, throwing a javelin, and more…the possibilities are endless.

It all starts with moving your body more in an activity that you enjoy. And I’m proud to be known for turning those that hate running into seasoned runners ☺

“Find Your Athlete Within” has been the tagline of my business since I founded it in 2008. So, in essence, I have already started the movement #FindYourAthleteWithin. Thanks for the idea; I’m going to keep it going!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

One of my favorite quotes that I created many years ago is “Live Feeling Fitnessly-Fulfilled.” Discovering activity that you enjoy and gets you to move more often leads to feeling fitnessly-fulfilled, whatever that may be for you. I felt it was very universal and could be applied to everyone. This quote also ties in nicely with my tagline “Find Your Athlete Within.”

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them :-)

I would love to sit and talk with Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. I think he is down-to-earth, smart as hell, and would bring out in me a new way of thinking. His voice is committed and commanding yet he has a humorous personality. All-in-all, I think he is a great human being that I could definitely enjoy learning from and being in his presence.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

I am on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HeatherBinns.CPT, on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/heathercpt/ and on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/heatherbinnscpt/.

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Dr. William Seeds

Written by

Board-certified orthopedic surgeon and physician, with over 22 years of experience, specializing in all aspects of sports medicine and total joint treatments

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.