10 Tips For Keeping Active At Your Work Desk: Health & Fitness Entrepreneur, Katie Grimes, Tells All!

There is no greater sense of empowerment that comes with being and feeling fit and healthy. The ladies of the iLab are busy working girls, and we know it isn’t always easy to find the time to get a workout.  Women’s iLab sat down with Katie Grimes, a certified Balanced Body University Pilates Mat instructor who has been coaching over 8 years within the Boston area, to learn about how the ladies of the iLab can balance a healthy lifestyle. We also discussed Katie’s experience as a female fitness entrepreneur, what inspires her, and how she stays motivated.


Working Girl, Jessica Biel, in Valentine’s Day

10 ways working girls can stay active at their desk:

  1. Take the stairs. Skip the elevator.
  2. Sit with your legs uncrossed at your desk
  3. Sit up straight
  4. Elbows and wrists are at equal height
  5. Your feet should touch the ground when you are sitting
  6. Bring your screen up to eye level; not higher or lower
  7. Walk around or outside the office. Emails great and all. Try walking and talking with your colleagues
  8. Hungry? Why wait until 12pm? If you are hungry at 11am for lunch then eat at 11am and have a small meal mid-afternoon so you aren’t starving when it comes time for dinner.
  9. Skip the bouncy ball pilates chairs; they don’t do anything but make for a great happy hour game of kick ball
  10. Smile; it’s contagious.

Tell us about your experience as a female entrepreneur.

My experience as a female entrepreneur has been nothing less than challenging and has had its ebbs and flows. I’ve been in business as a part-time Pilates instructor for 8 years. It’s always a conversation starter as you are interviewing for Full-time positions because everyone wants to be stronger, leaner, faster and they want you to tell them how to. While an employer may express excitement that you are well rounded on paper, they aren’t thrilled when you are out of the door once the time clock has punched 5:30 and all your work is done to go to work [for someone else]. I’ve had to play it safe with employers and balance my part-time work with my employer in mind, rather than my own balance in mind.

How do you find the time to balance working out, a healthy lifestyle, and a full time career?

Finding time to work out is hard when you have a full time career! When you have a full-time role, part-time, and add in your own workouts, it can be exhausting. One thing I learned: plan accordingly one week in advance; scheduling my own workouts, what I will eat during week, when will I grocery shop, and what my playlists and classes will be structured like. If it’s on the calendar, I will commit to it.

I also take classes outside of my own to educate myself and to spice things up now and again. I never teach the same class twice and that goes for the playlists too. Changing your bodies requires changing your habits. The only habit to keep is to keep coming to classes and the results will show for themselves.


How did you make the decision to start your own business in health & fitness?

My mom started her own business with the goals in mind to be able to financially and emotionally support me as I was usually by myself after school from a young age. Owning her own business was something I looked forward to for 2 years leading up to it; knowing she would be home with me when I got home from school. I was always inspired that she taught herself how to build her brand, diversify her products, and educate herself. With that in mind, I had a natural instinct to always want to help her and a curiosity to be well rounded that would stick with me throughout my 20’s.

richard simmonsI got into the health and wellness industry solely because of my dad. He taught all types of fitness classes throughout the 90’s. Say yes to spandex! He was a performer, who related to his audience and built relationships with people, who wanted to know more about how feel good about their bodies. I spent most of my youth in fitness clubs; learning the operations of the club, mingling with members, and peering through the glass doors of my dad’s classes; I even helped put away the STEPS after class. That’s right, he taught Step classes. For all those born after 83’ Step was THE class to take in the 80’s and 90’s where you literally stepped up and down off of fitness step to the classics of the 80’s and 90’s and let’s not forget the leotards!

My dad encouraged me to get certified as a Spinning instructor after graduating college, where I had been teaching dance classes part-time. I needed to earn some extra cash even with my first full-time job out of college. Surprise, surprise! You don’t make the salary of a CEO when you get out of college. $50 for 1 hour of work; I could handle this and I did!  I contacted every local health club in the Boston area and taught at least 10 classes/week the first year. Rookie mistake!  I got burnt out a year later and had to scale back to a few classes a week. I had such a passion for teaching that I was teaching as often as I could; to build credibility, to get more experience, and to get my name out there. That’s where I met some incredible instructors like Jennifer Phelan, Jessica Lopez, Marc McDonald, Pia Lalli, Jon Malone, Dawn Leaness, Laura Stevenson, Sarah Sturges, Astrid Bengtson, Hanneke Hugo, Andrea Isabelle Lucas, Antonio Salvatore Aniello, Robin Marino …and the list goes on.

What keeps you motivated?

TowelsMy clients are an inspiration in themselves; whether it’s changing their postural stance, becoming more confident in their appearance, or disciplining themselves to come to class each week. It reminds you of why you do what you do. Essentially, you are coaching someone to help them maximize their potential and to achieve their results. I am providing an outlet to do that. When you commit to something by putting it on your calendar and attend consistently; it becomes a habit. Try something new for 30 days and your body will crave it.

Right now, my legs are craving the burn I feel from cycling; the wind in your ponytail, exploring new parts of your community, and that high you feel after you have just completed an hour of something that you wouldn’t have done on your own. You instantly smile. Whether that smile is on your own face cause you know your client is achieving their results or it’s your client who is smiling, you know it’s working. I have one client, who literally smiles every time I come over to give her a corrective cue. It’s contagious. I’m encouraging her to work harder; to connect her abs towards her spine; and she’s smiling…and instantly, I am smiling.

Do you have a piece of advice for other women out there building their own brand?

It takes time and effort to craft your skill set since you are coaching all types of people who learn differently and whom have all sorts of personalities.  I play by one rule. What goes around comes around. I take time to promote other instructors, who teach the same class as I do, whether it’s through social media or word of mouth. I also spend quality time these instructors one on one to share industry knowledge; latest trends in music, fitness, or partnering up to offer a kick-ass class.

Women need to support women and men, for that matter. If we just listen and keep an open mind; we will always learn something from one another.



Katie Grimes

Katie Grimes

Katie Grimes is a certified Balanced Body University Pilates Mat instructor who has been coaching over 8 years within the Boston area and will be riding in her first Pan Mass Challenge event. Katie has been a proud supporter of the PMC since her dad, 60, starting riding 13 years ago, in honor of many people who have come in contact with this disease. The Pan Mass is leading the charge to beat cancer. Last year, 100% of rider-raised revenue went directly to support the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s tireless commitment to finding a cure.

Please join Katie, the #everybodyfights,  and #womensilab team for the #EVERYBODYFIGHTSCANCER Charity Event. Together, we will get closer by the mile to FIGHT cancer. Prizes will be awarded to attendees. #everybodyfightscancer #everybodyfights #womensilab #panmasschallenge #pilatesbykatie 




“It’s great that you know all of our names and the class is small enough, where you can help each of us individually as we learn. It’s also nice that it’s not an intense environment like other classes I’ve taken in the past, where people are afraid to laugh or make mistakes.” – LC, 2013

“I like that your class is designed so people at all levels can participate. I have never done Pilates and the way you teach class, shows everyone a basic move and then while we’re doing the exercise you explain different ways to make it more challenging (with the option of staying where we are too). You cater the class to ALL levels, which is awesome. I also like that you are very focused on technique and form” – KT, 2014

Originally posted 2014-07-16 08:00:07. Republished by Blog Post Promoter