Michael Edwards (Cardio Mike) is the general manager of Genesis Health Club in Leavenworth.

Michael Edwards (Cardio Mike) is the general manager of Genesis Health Club in Leavenworth.

1. Michael, you recently volunteered your time to conduct an exercise session for those at the Alliance Against Family Violence. Why did you decide to do this?
It was for a great organization and I love teaching group fitness!
It gave me a reason to get out of the office for a bit, burn some calories, relieve some stress and have some fun.

2. How long have you been in the health and fitness business and what attracted you to this line of work? What are the greatest benefits of exercise for a person in any stage of life?
I have always been athletic and energetic. As a coach and former business owner, I liked inspiring people to accomplish things. When I was presented with the chance to work at Genesis in 2006, I saw it as an amazing opportunity to reach out to people. Not to mention the positive fun environment change from my former occupation as a Corrections Officer.

3. Do you believe that volunteering your time to help people learn about exercise will provide them with the incentive and motivation to make working out a regular activity in their lives?
I hope so! It does take about three weeks to create a habit and start a routine, so if my efforts spark interest and show how fun and beneficial that exercise can be than I've accomplished my goal.
I give them a good workout for an hour where we burn calories and again, have some fun.
I always hope that will help incline them to continue with a healthier lifestyle either at Genesis, on their own, or anywhere else.

4. How would you advise someone who doesn't have a lot of time and inclination to exercise to begin working out? What regime would you suggest to ease into the process? I would advise them to start with the bare minimum of what people who stick to a program do, which is just two times a week. They could just do body resistance and walk, run or jog for cardiovascular training.
As for the duration on the exercise session, they could start with 15 minutes and increase the time as their stamina increases.
The little allotted time will also create value to make more time as they start to burn fat and find themselves feeling better with more energy.
Results usually prompt people to see more value in the time they have put in, and incentivizes them to make more time for exercise.

5. What is the most satisfying part of donating your time to help people stay fit and healthy?
Their enthusiasm when they are having fun burning calories.
At the end of the day, it's the best feeling in the world knowing you have helped someone help themselves and see substantial results.
I call it proactive healthcare. It is amazing what pitfalls you can avoid by exercising on a regular basis and how you can add so much more to your quality of life.

— Rimsie McConiga