“My passion is driven from wanting to help people get fit without getting lost in the fads,” says business owner and health fitness specialist Maria Beall. She was once a size 14 and now fits into a size 2. She uses her personal story to encourage clients to care about their health and not give up on their goals. “I believe that health and fitness can happen at any size.”

Maria enjoys teaching a variety of fitness classes, but her favorite is anything that includes dance. She loves getting her class participants to move together to the beat of invigorating music. “I believe if Americans danced more, like they do in other cultures, our obesity rates would be much lower.” Maria also takes time to participate in events that benefit wounded veterans. “There is a local veteran’s hospital nearby, and when I can I visit patients whose families rarely come and see them.”

After 25 years in the fitness industry, Maria’s advice to other fitness professionals is to look to the future because nothing stays the same. “Do not rest on your laurels,” she advises. “Fitness is so fast-paced now and attention spans are short, so always have fresh ideas, learn new research, get certified with more than one organization and keep your clients’ needs first.”