Dr. Nina Cherie Franklin

For more than 20 years Dr. Nina Cherie Franklin (“Dr. Nina”) has been on a mission to make healthy living approachable, sustainable, and, above all, enjoyable for ordinary people. Whether tackling the topics of weight management, fitness and self-care or disease prevention, her goal is to help others carve out their own individual paths to long-lasting success.

Holding multiple degrees in exercise science, nutrition and rehabilitation, and numerous specialty certifications in the health, wellness and fitness arena, Dr. Nina’s expertise stems from a solid foundation of scientific research, hands-on experience, and industry know-how.

A sought-after consultant, speaker and author, she has worn professional hats in the corporate and commercial fitness industry, academia, medicine, nonprofit sectors and the blogosphere. Well-known for her unique perspectives and reputation for talking the talk and walking the walk, Dr. Nina has built authority as a trustworthy expert for both consumers and businesses alike.

Dr. Nina’s secret sauce is her ability to leverage decades of hands-on experience to provide practical, actionable advice, ideas and insights that resonate with people wherever they are in life.

It’s not that I’m saying things that have never been said or doing things that have never been done. It’s that I combine real science with real-world wisdom to offer perspectives that encourage people to think outside the box and be more proactive about their health and lifestyle choices.

A natural born educator, she starts by teaching others to navigate through the never-ending maze of confusing and conflicting information, pseudoscience, fads, hearsay, gimmicks and other mainstream health, wellness and fitness trends. She then arms them with more realistic, readily useable strategies that better suit their unique needs and circumstances.

Dr. Nina is especially passionate about helping people in low-income, impoverished and underprivileged areas help themselves by overcoming their own personal and environmental barriers to healthy living.

I pride myself on helping people realize that even in the face of real and perceived barriers, a few simple changes to the way they eat and the way they live can go a very long way.

A native of the South Side Chicago neighborhood of Englewood, she herself was raised in a poverty-stricken family plagued by poor housing and poor health.

At the tender age of 12, Dr. Nina had already begun struggling with anxiety and depression, food addiction, and obesity. By the age of 15 she was on the brink of homelessness, having lost everything she owned to an apartment fire. She had also witnessed her grandmother and over a dozen other family members succumb to preventable, lifestyle-driven chronic diseases ranging from high blood pressure to heart disease to cancer, all before the age of 60.

When Dr. Nina’s mother was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at the age of 45, it really hit home.

This was the point at which she chose not to suffer the same fate as her many loved ones. Dr. Nina began to distance herself from negative family and peer influences and embrace a healthier lifestyle. Using her mother’s diabetes education materials as a guide, she started by simply cutting out junk food, making lots of vegetable stir-fries, and moving more. Ultimately, she was able to lose 65 pounds in just six months.

Embracing a healthy lifestyle has nothing to do with having means, discipline or willpower. It’s about truly being ready to make positive changes and become the very best version of yourself.

The experience itself was life-changing and instilled an unwavering appreciation for health, wellness and fitness—A level of appreciation that would eventually unearth her passion and path to professional fulfillment.

Credentials

Education

University of Illinois Chicago (UIC)

PhD in Kinesiology, Nutrition and Rehabilitation

With translational research concentrations in integrative physiology and vascular biology, Dr. Nina largely examined the physical and physiological impacts of various lifestyle interventions (diet, exercise, and manual therapy) on cardiovascular disease, stroke and metabolic disease-related risk factors among sedentary, overweight and obese populations.

University of Illinois Chicago (UIC)

MS in Movement (Exercise) Science

With rigorous concentrations in clinical and applied exercise physiology, the bulk of Dr. Nina’s training was centered on exercise prescription for individuals with chronic illnesses (cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, diabetes, and neuromuscular diseases and disabilities) in addition to athletic and non-athletic populations.

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)

BS in Kinesiology

With areas of specialization in exercise physiology and sports nutrition, health promotion and disease prevention, Dr. Nina’s undergraduate studies were largely focused on physiological mechanisms by which physical activity and other healthy lifestyle behaviors prevent disease and positively influence health outcomes.

The Soma Institute

Diploma in Clinical Massage Therapy

With specific areas of focus in pain management and physical rehabilitation, Dr. Nina’s training was primarily centered on the assessment and treatment of soft tissue injury and dysfunction using specialized techniques ranging from deep tissue massage to neuromuscular therapy to trigger point work.

Certifications

American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

Exercise Physiology

An advanced exercise physiologist, Dr. Nina is trained to administer exercise stress tests, vascular ultrasound, and other non-invasive cardiovascular diagnostic assessments; evaluate various parameters of overall health, with special attention to cardiovascular function and metabolism; develop individualized exercise prescriptions to enhance physical fitness; and design customized exercise programs to meet healthcare needs and athletic performance goals.

National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB)

Clinical Massage Therapy

As a licensed clinical massage therapist specializing in the assessment and treatment of soft tissue injury and dysfunction, Dr. Nina has been NCBTMB certified for nearly 15 years. The Board Certification in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (BCTMB) is a separate credential above and beyond entry-level massage therapy state licensure and represents the highest attainable certificate within the massage therapy and bodywork profession.

American Council on Exercise (ACE Fitness)

Health Coaching

A coach with expertise in the areas of exercise science, nutrition, health promotion, rehabilitation and behavior change, Dr. Nina provides personalized guidance and ongoing support in the major areas of health, wellness, and disease prevention. Specializing in weight management, self-care, personal health and fitness optimization, she helps clients uncover their own unique goals, define a customized action plan, and guide them in putting the plan into action.

American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

Group Exercise

As a group exercise instructor with advanced degrees in exercise science and over 20 years of experience in health and fitness, Dr. Nina specializes in delivering safe and effective instruction for a variety of group exercise formats including cardio kickboxing, step aerobics, indoor cycling, resistance training and strength conditioning, sport-specific training, and water-based formats including aquatic resistance training and sports therapy.

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