Published in Bodyfit magazine

Recently we've had tons of requests to give out 'expert comments' for fitness magazines. Erika was mentioned in July's edition of the Bodyfit magazine -- check out these tips on how to keep fit whilst on your summer holidays :-)

Bodyfit - July 2014 Issue Erika expert comment

My personal fitness & lifestyle blog

I know many of you have wanted to follow my personal training blog and some have managed to follow one that I no longer update.

Here's the correct blog to follow -

I've told all my 1-to-1 clients recently to start up a blog on WordPress -- please let me know your URL even if you're not a private client and I'll follow you! It's a great idea to keep a blog on your fitness progress as it allows you to regularly reflect on your actions and choices.

I'll be publishing Blogfitters' blogs soon too so you can all read them!!

For now, join our Facebook community here and good luck on reaching your fitness goals!


Body fat % testing

Fit as Hel: The Simple Life got a question the other day on Facebook - I thought to share it here in case anyone's been wondering how to get their body fat percentage tested reliably.

By Kulchada _____________

Hi Erika,
What would be the best way to measure fat and/or muscles in body ? I did once last year with Elixia , where they came to promote their fitness at our work place. The machine was something like we stand with bare feet on, and only hold the sticks. Not sure how accurate would that be but I would really to measure again. Unfortunately, I am not their client. Are there any places you could suggest to go and try and not too pricey ? Thanks for your any recommendation in advances. ....Regards, Kulchada ....PS: I came across your blog when I searched for body fat measurement in Helsinki.


By Fit as Hel: The Simple Life

Hi Kulchada! Thanks for your question.

The bioelectrical impedance devices (scales/hand held devices...) give you a very rough estimation and I wouldn't particularly recommend them. Some give you a more accurate reading than others, but they're often dependant on so many factors you simply can't control them. I've used BodyStat in the past (it's about 1000€ for the machine), but in the end it didn't end up being very reliable either, although I was made to believe so by a gym manager.

Caliper tests (skin fold method), on the other hand, can be a better way of testing your bf% -- although this won't give you 100% accurate results either. However, it does become a fairly reliable way of tracking progress if done by the same professional every time. This method includes pinching your skin with specialist calipers and measuring the mm's of fat in certain areas of your body -- then inserting these numbers into a scientifically developed formula which comes up with an estimation of your bf%.

It's also possible to give out an estimation of your body fat percentage just by looking at your picture (where stomach & legs are visible). This is obviously not going to be the most reliable way of doing it, but for example women who've got visible abs would likely usually be below 15% body fat.

I use calipers with my clients and would happily do your measurements properly if there weren't around 2,000 km distance between us .

Did this help at all? I'm sure if you look up a qualified reputable PT in Helsinki they'll be able to do your skin fold measurements. And don't hesitate to drop me a message if you've got any more questions!

Hope you're having a great weekend.

Best regards,
Erika Helsinki

about a minute ago
Fit as Hel: The Simple Life

Oh, and I forgot to mention that it IS possible to have your bf% accurately tested by the hydrostatic method (submerging you under water), but this is a vvvvvvery expensive method.

Gym goer: Make this important decision

I was training at the gym last night. When I train on my own I get 'in the zone' and block out the world by listening to high energy music. I avoid eye contact and fully focus on the workout - usually lasting just 15-20 minutes.

It's now January. The gym is suddenly full of people with great weight loss and fitness goals. I have nothing but huge appreciation and respect particularly for the highly overweight people who have decided to do something about getting towards a healthier weight by improving their fitness. It is sometimes hard to be in an environment where it's very easy to feel self-conscious.

There are, however, two problems here.

1) I was distracted numerous times last night by seeing people do exercises with VERY poor form. This makes me sad as it can result in serious problems -- e.g. imbalances, injuries, back pain and problems with your joints. The adverse effects can be long term and you really don't want to go there.

2) Just being at the gym doesn't mean you're getting a good workout. So many people waste tremendous amounts of time hopping from one cardio machine to another, when they could get far better results 10 times faster (long term cardio actually encourages your body to store fat around your middle section).

If I'm not occupied I'll always do my best to interfere - correct people's technique and give them tips for better (more effective) workouts. You may understand though that it's not always easy - you can't just go to someone and say "you don't seem to have a clue about what you're doing and your form is shit."

Do yourself a favour and hire a reputable personal trainer who can teach you to work out safely and effectively (and help you with better lifestyle + nutrition). It’s an investment in yourself – your health is invaluable and you might as well get results while you’re at the gym. Nothing tastes as good as feeling fit feels. Clients actually often SAVE more money in the supermarket after hiring a PT than what it costs to hire one – a win-win situation!

Well done to those who’ve made the decision to get fitter this year – stick with it! This is also easier with a PT who’s keeping you accountable :-).

Questions? Ask.

Take care of yourselves.

/Erika xx

Testimonial from Suzanne

How utterly heart warming - just received this in the email inbox.... Thanks Suzanne & see you in January for more sessions!


I have just had my last session at the gym with Erika.

I had been going to the gym for a while on my own but soon realised I wasn't getting any further forward. I am 52 years old and had been telling myself that what I was doing was enough for my age and ability. I also had an issue with my right knee that was holding me back a bit from pushing myself any harder.

I enlisted Erika's help, and it has transformed the way I look at my time at the gym! I now know how much I am capable off and that in itself has made a huge differnce to how I feel in myself. Having followed all Erika's advice and workouts, I feel so much healthier and fitter. I have lost weight and toned up, my blood pressure has dropped too.

I enlisted the help of a PT to help me get fit and in Erika I know I have the right one for me! She has always been there if I needed a bit of extra encouragement and support, and i know I can always count on her if I'm struggling!

I look forward to working with her in the future for sure.