Below you can learn more about the staff that makes up Inspirefit. Every one of our staff members is fully trained in health, wellness, rehabilitation and the most effective ways to achieve better health and fitness. We are lucky to have such a passionate team to work with. To schedule an appointment with any of our team members, give us a call.
BCom, ChekHLC1, PTS, GCS
Holistic Lifestyle Coach/Trainer/President
Richard's interest in health and fitness started at 11 years of age when his father brought him to the gym for his first workout. The original goal was to improve his muscle mass and strength for hockey and football. At 15, he was progressing well, so well that he decided to enter his first bodybuilding competition (Novice Ontario Junior), in which he placed 2nd. Since then he has won or placed very high in many competitions (see below).
In the 1990s, Richard began to focus more on helping others of all ages, shapes and sizes achieve their fitness goals as a personal trainer. In 2004, he opened Inspirefit Personal Training and Wellness Studio, where he has developed a wellness system and philosophy that has been successful and lifestyle changing for many people!
Credentials and Certifications
Richard has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from McMaster University (1990) and holds the following certifications:
(All Neutron events are drug tested and
for "natural" bodybuilders only.)
Hobbies and Interests:
Please Call 905-330-6221
Valerie has been a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) for seven years, graduating from the Canadian Therapeutic College. Through continuing education, Valerie is up to date with the most modern massage therapy techniques. Valerie's specialties include:
Massage therapy has many benefits. They include:
Call Valerie at 905-330-6221 to book an appointment!
Dr. Salem Rao,
BSc, Ph.D, PTS, Pro Trainer (Can-Fit-Pro)
Throughout his career in Environmental Microbiology and Eco-Toxicology, Dr. Salem Rao has been involved in education, research and publication. An incomplete list of his accomplishments includes the following: Dr. Rao addressed some key issues of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA). He also played a major role in the establishment of the Great Lakes Microbiological Program. Through his research, he has made significant contributions to Canadian science and technology. He has also performed duties as adjunct professor at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. Dr. Rao has also published over 100 research papers and authored three books in the microbiological field. He has also been admitted to The Royal Society of Health, is a member of the World Council for Global Co-Operation and was the recipient of the United Nations Citation Award.
Although the accomplishments and awards listed above are quite admirable, Dr. Rao has continued pursuing new challenges, including his connection with the health and wellness industry. He has exuded passion in his second career...at the age of 77!
Shortly after his retirement at the age of 65, Dr. Rao came to the realization that the stresses of his career had taken their toll, leading to problems with his physical health. He had become tired, unhealthy, overweight and out of shape. Dr. Rao decided, at that moment, that his focus would now be on the improvement of his personal health and wellness. Three years later at age 68, he had totally transformed himself, dropping his body fat percentage from an unhealthy 26 percent to a svelte 10 percent! He felt great in mind, body and spirit – a total transformation. Dr. Rao was so ecstatic about his own accomplishment that he wanted to set an example for others to follow. He would show people how it was possible to transform one’s self in such a positive way, even at an age of almost 70 years! He began entering his story and photos into various challenges. He even entered Masters Bodybuilding Competitions, placing as a finalist in at least three competitions!
Dr. Rao did not merely want to be an example to people; he wanted to help them on an individual basis, by educating and motivating them. In 2006, at the age of 71, Salem became a Certified Personal Training Specialist with the Can-Fit-Pro, one of the largest and most reputable health and wellness organizations in the world! As a personal trainer, Dr. Rao has helped many of his clients achieve the goal of improved health and wellness. In addition, Dr. Rao became certified as a Pro Trainer with Can-Fit-Pro in 2008. As a Pro Trainer, Dr. Rao has the responsibility of teaching courses and administering exams to prospective personal trainers. Even in the relatively short time he has been involved in the health and wellness field, Dr. Rao has been recognized for his abilities and his accomplishments.
Can-Fit-Pro awarded him the “Rookie Pro Trainer of the Year Award” for 2008. He was also nominated for the “Participants Choice Award” for the year 2011, and then proceeded to win it in 2012 as the top Pro Trainer at the age of 78! Also, in 2012, Salem was nominated for the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award for his tireless services to the community.
In closing, although you can separate the pre- and post-retirement careers of Dr. Rao into distinct genre, there are dramatic similarities. In combining both careers, Dr. Rao has shown his concern and passion for improving health and wellness for both the environment and humanity as a whole. The impact he has had in both careers is utterly amazing!
In meeting Dr. Rao for the first time, it doesn’t take long to notice his passion for both careers. He has a warm and gentle, approachable personality along with his wisdom that enhances his ability to teach and help others reach their goals. It is easily illustrated that in everything he does, Dr. Rao wants to make a difference!
Counsellor: Overeating, Emotional Eating, Addictions
Heidi offers alcohol and drug counselling as well as counselling for emotional eating and overeating.
She has an Honours Degree in Psychology, a Post Graduate Certificate in Addictions Counselling, graduate course work in psychology and is a Certified Canadian Addiction Counsellor through the CACCF.
Alcohol and Drug Counselling
Are you worried about your use of alcohol or drugs? Is your family worried and pressuring you to quit? Is your health or job being affected? Or maybe you want to get your substance abuse under control but not completely stop. Whether your goal is to cut down or quit, we will work together to find a solution and create a plan that best works for you so you can move forward in your life. I also provide counselling and addiction education to spouses and family members as they support their loved one experiencing substance abuse issues.
To best meet the unique needs of every person I see, I use a combination of therapeutic approaches in my counselling sessions. I’ve come to see that substance use isn’t the problem – it’s the solution. People often use substance to cope with issues that are much deeper.
I provide a safe space where we can explore this together and find an alternative solution. I offer Saturday and Sunday appointments as well as some morning and afternoon sessions during the week. I also offer assessment services for individuals wanting to attend residential treatment.
Emotional Eating and Overeating
I offer counselling and wellness programs for individuals who want to transform their relationship with food by harnessing their motivation, breaking the cycle of emotional eating and developing the mindset, habits and self-love needed to make healthy eating goals stick long-term.
My passion for healthy eating was sparked by my own personal weight loss journey that started in 2016. I was able to lose and keep off 60 pounds without food restriction, rigid dieting or excessive exercise. After decades of struggling with weight, I learned that the secret to sustained weight loss is mindset and habit re-creation.
My clinical background in addiction counselling has enabled me to create innovative healthy eating programs based on highly effective strategies that are designed to break and reprogram the most challenging eating habits. I will teach you the most effective methods and step-by-step processes to make your eating goals stick once and for all.
Are you interested in learning more about my services? Call me at 416-858-2356 to book a free 20 minute consultation!
Holistic Nutritionist, Reflexologist, Iridologist
Sonia Paolini’s passion for health and wellness started 20 years ago. She adopted a lifestyle of fitness and using what nature provided such as whole foods, herbs and oils to help keep the whole body balanced. After receiving her certification as a Holistic Nutritionist, she became fascinated with different ancient modalities to encourage the body to heal itself by tapping into the body’s innate healing abilities. This led her to get certified in reflexology and iridology, which are modalities that initially are commonly used in the Eastern countries.
Reflexology is a touch therapy that focuses on the reflexes located on our hands, feet and ears. This therapy encourages the body and mind to be put in a state of relaxation because the body cannot heal when we are emotionally and physically stressed.
Iridology is the science of analyzing the iris of the eye, which reveals a person’s constitution, tendencies of tissue weakness, toxicity and inflammation in the body. Using iridology as one of the assessment tools, Sonia can provide a personalized dietary, supplementation and lifestyle recommendations based on client’s health goals.
Good health is crucial if you want to experience all that life has to offer you. Let Sonia be your guide to your journey to better health…. a better you!
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Physiotherapy – New!
Inspirefit is now offering on-site physiotherapy!
Physiotherapy can be of benefit for people suffering from various chronic pain issues and people dealing with injury and surgical rehabilitation and recovery. Our qualified physiotherapists will assess patients and develop a plan of treatment which will then be administered by qualified staff.
Additionally, most private health insurance benefits will cover physiotherapy treatments (up to various limits), and all initial assessments will be free of charge!
Examples of issues that can benefit from physiotherapy treatment include: