Cincinnati, OH (PRWEB) October 13, 2011
SparkPeople.com, America's largest diet and fitness website, is proud to announce that its Fitness Expert and Managing Editor Nicole Nichols has swept two major awards sponsored by Life Fitness, a global leader in commercial fitness equipment manufacturing, and the American Council on Exercise, (ACE®), the world's largest nonprofit fitness certification, education and training organization. "Coach Nicole," as she's known at SparkPeople.com, was selected by a panel of judges from among hundreds of entrants as Life Fitness and ACE's top Personal Trainer to Watch. In addition, she won Life Fitness and ACE's "Fan Favorite" competition on Facebook by receiving the most votes (more than 3,500) from the general public among the 40 semi-finalists in the Personal Trainer to Watch competition.
At SparkPeople, which has been called "The Facebook of Dieting" and "The Online Program that Works" by Fortune and Good Housekeeping, respectively, Coach Nicole helps people of all skill levels integrate simple but powerful fitness techniques into their daily lives. With her encouraging, positive, down-to-earth persona and attainable physique, she is beloved by SparkPeople members and YouTube viewers alike for fostering comfort and taking the intimidation out of exercising. Her online workout videos have been viewed more than 15 million times on YouTube. She has also designed and taught health programs on eating disorders, body image and self-acceptance.
"I couldn't be more surprised or thrilled to receive these honors from these two great organizations and the individuals who voted," said Coach Nicole. "To me, this recognition shows two emerging trends in personal training. One, there is room in the personal training profession for people like me who don't have a 'perfect' or ripped physique, but can still serve as healthy role models and help others achieve fitness at any size. And two, that the Internet has become a very powerful source of fitness support and information, and a great vehicle for trainers like me to spread their messages and change countless lives. With so many great trainers vying for this award, it's hard to imagine that I would have won if I did not have the amazing platform of SparkPeople.com, whose blend of health and fitness tools, content and community has helped millions of people reach their goals for free."
"We couldn't be happier that two different audiences – professional fitness experts and fitness enthusiasts nationwide -- reached the same conclusion: that no one is more capable of helping people get fit and healthy than Nicole," said Chris Downie, Founder and CEO of SparkPeople.com. "In large part, the Fan Favorite vote reflects the passion of our members for Nicole and the broader SparkPeople approach to which her work is so integral. Members frequently tell us that our free, flexible and supportive program actually makes weight loss and healthy habits fun, and useful as springboards for achieving other goals. It's great to see one of our experts gain national recognition for what our entire team does every day: work passionately and authentically to improve the health and lives of millions of people."
The Life Fitness and ACE honors come in the wake of another accolade: Coach Nicole was one of three grand prize winners who received the most votes in about.me's billboard contest, which had more than 30,000 entrants. The AOL-owned web hosting site, which provides centralized access to all activity across a member's social media sites, is featuring Coach Nicole on a Times Square billboard through early November.
Coach Nicole's first major workout DVD, "SparkPeople: 28 Day Boot Camp," was produced by Acacia and will be sold in Target stores nationwide starting December 27.
Headquartered in Cincinnati, SparkPeople.com is a multi-platform media and technology company with a network of leading health, fitness and food websites and mobile applications. Its mission is to spark millions of people to reach their goals. SparkPeople is employee-owned, with one outside minority investor, AOL Founder Steve Case. With over 11 million members in more than 100 countries, SparkPeople's websites, which are free to join, include SparkPeople.com, BabyFit.com, dailySpark.com, SparkRecipes.com, SparkSavings.com and SparkTeens.com. SparkPeople provides free mobile apps for diet and fitness as well as healthy recipes for the iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry platforms. SparkPeople attracts more than 7 million unique visitors (Google Analytics) and nearly 250,000 new members a month. According to comScore, SparkPeople attracts more unique visitors than any other diet and fitness site, and is one of the most active healthy living and food sites. SparkPeople Founder and CEO Chris Downie's book, "The Spark," was a New York Times bestseller in 2010. "The SparkPeople Cookbook: Love Your Food, Lose the Weight" by World Master Chef Meg Galvin has been in the Amazon Top 100 since launching on October 4, 2011.