Working Healthy

Healthy Tech: Amy Manker

Although Pennsylvania nail tech Amy Manker ate a healthy diet, her body had become weak due to lack of exercise and years of long hours spent sitting down. On the hunt for an exercise she didn’t loathe, she discovered cardio hooping, thanks to her daughter.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your career.

I have owned Amy’s Nail Classes in Shrewsbury, Pa., for almost 20 years. I’m known to be a workaholic. Not only do I see clients for at least eight hours a day, but I also spend an hour in my office before and after going to the salon, which is probably why I have neck, back, and shoulder issues.

What are your health challenges?

Three years ago, I entered physical therapy due to the severe pain in my neck that wasn’t getting better despite going to massage therapy. I learned that even though I’m thin and eat right, I didn’t exercise so my body frame was weak.  I can’t do any exercise that’s hard on my feet because I also have a neuroma in my toe, which causes pain if pressure is applied to the foot. Another challenge is that my free time is limited.  However, I never want to go back to where my physical body was three years ago, so exercise is now something I consciously make time for.

What was your plan of action?

I realized something needed to change, but there was also a reason I didn’t work out: I hated it! My search began for some sort of exercise that was fun. Around that time, my 19-year-old daughter started hula hooping with friends, which seemed like a fun way to exercise. She started to encourage me to join a cardio hooping class at our local YMCA. Now, I make it a priority to go to a formal class two times a week and hoop on my own whenever I can fit it in.  I also love that I’ve introduced some of my friends and family to cardio hooping — my mom is 75 and loves to hoop with me. It’s great motivation when people invite me to go. I have been hula hooping for almost three years and will keep going as long as I can.

What’s your advice for other techs?

There is no simple trick to losing weight or getting fit. You have to eat healthier and exercise more, period.  We all know that so we have to stop making excuses and find an exercise that we love, or at least like and can tolerate.  Eating healthy as a nail tech is hard, but I try to preplan meals at home and make sure I have healthy leftovers for lunch the next day.  And I always take an hour for lunch. I may not need the full hour to eat, but I need it for my mental health, and that is absolutely as important as physical health.

Are you a healthy nail tech? Every month, NAILS will feature one nail tech in a monthly column devoted to shining the spotlight on your health and fitness success. If you would like to share your success story (overcoming health issues, weight loss, or any health-related triumph) with NAILS readers, email nancy.kirk@bobit.com to find out more about how YOU can be featured as a NAILS Healthy Tech.

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