Certified holistic health coach and personal trainer Erica Bell has lived on three continents — so far — on the continuing path of her entrepreneurial endeavors.
Bell supplies her clients with guidance in lifestyle, nutrition, mobility and stability, and strength and cardio training, both in person, when possible, and through commentary shared and videos viewable on her Facebook page.
Originally from Argentina, Bell moved to West Virginia in 2005 and worked at a graphics and web design firm she founded. After she undertook a marketing position with the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg, her longtime passion for promoting holistic paths to wellness became a compelling professional pursuit, she said.
“They hired me as their marketing manager, and, within the last two years there, I became more involved with wellness, fitness and nutrition. I give credit to the WVSOM for introducing me to osteopathic and holistic medicine. I had access to their library and found myself fascinated by holistic medicine. It makes so much more sense — incorporating mind, body and spirit, we can function in a much better way.”
Bell decided to get her certification as a wellness coach and personal trainer. “I got my master trainer certification with Beachbody and P90X Live!” she said.
Bell began teaching her fitness and wellness techniques to different age groups around the Lewisburg area, in gyms or one-on-one sessions.
“When it comes to coaching,” she said, “it’s more like life coaching, not just fitness or food. ... You can’t do much with the body if you don’t know the mindset of what your body needs and work with that.”
Key components she teaches are proper breathing, hydration (that means water as your primary liquid of choice) and movement.
Bell prefers the term “movement” to “workout” — because the latter word often accents the often distasteful first syllable: “work.” “Stay away from the word ‘workout,’” she advises her clientele. “Think about movement. I tell clients to make a list of things they liked to do when they were a kid. Find the type of movement that makes you happy and start somewhere that’s an easy fit into your schedule.
“Many people think movement is something we do just for appearance, but movement is what our bodies need to do every day. When people sit for long periods, their muscles become shorter and tighter and then they have muscle pains. A lot of times, people don’t realize if we don’t move, we get cravings. We think the body is asking for food when it’s actually asking us to move. ... It’s therapeutic and helps us reset our breathing,” Bell said.
Fueling the body properly, though, is vital for achieving and maintaining optimum fitness, she said. While in West Virginia, Bell shared her nutritional recipes and cooking acumen through Erica’s Kitchen, which originated on Instagram and soon spread to preparations in, and later deliveries to, clients’ homes.
Much of her take on food intake stems from her Argentinian upbringing. “In Argentina, we sit down, relax and share the food. There’s nothing ‘to go’ and rushed.”
She accepted a position with a Northern Virginia marketing firm in March 2019, but she still offers fitness tips on her Facebook page, and devotedly practices what she teaches in and around her Great Falls, Virginia, home.
She said she hopes to launch a new wellness project in coming months to continue her entrepreneurial path of advocating and advancing healthier lifestyles.
“I don’t think I’ll ever leave the wellness side [of my career],” Bell said. “It’s close to my heart, and I love teaching what I’ve been researching for years and consolidating it into simplified, curated information for others.”
Bell can be contacted at 304-646-5969 or via her Facebook page, @ebmindful (which includes access to several of her videos).