Revitalize your approach to fitness by changing your scenery! A client of mine was determined to incorporate running into her routine, but said it felt like a chore rather than a joy. After a simple shift in perspective, we explored the idea of running at a nearby park. Weeks later, she reported that the simple act of changing her environment, driving to a picturesque park down the road, had turned her runs into a truly enjoyable experience. Your workouts don’t have to be a burden — you can find the perfect backdrop for your journey to wellness!
Today, more than ever, wellness is at the forefront of societal discussions. From mental health to physical well-being, women are making significant strides in bringing about change, introducing innovative solutions, and setting new standards. Despite facing unique challenges, they break barriers, inspire communities, and are reshaping the very definition of health and wellness. In this series called women in wellness we are talking to women doctors, nurses, nutritionists, therapists, fitness trainers, researchers, health experts, coaches, and other wellness professionals to share their stories and insights. As a part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Kim Gensler.
Kim Gensler, a Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach and Board-Certified Health & Wellness Coach, is the visionary founder of Impilo Health & Wellness. With a background as a former safari guide and professional photographer, Kim brings a unique travel-inspired approach to her wellness program, helping individuals naturally and holistically overcome weight issues, digestive troubles, fatigue, and other chronic symptoms. Through her Micro Habit Technique, she guides clients towards a ‘chronic disease prevention-proof’ lifestyle, resulting in a revitalized, energetic, and fulfilled sense of well-being.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
I’ve always chosen a path less conventional, veering away from the traditional ‘American Dream’. My adventure began as a young anthropology student at Colorado State University, where my summers were spent meticulously cataloging chipped stone in Wyoming, uncovering dinosaur fossils in South Dakota, and excavating bison bonebeds.
In 2009, my journey led me to South Africa, where I studied to become a safari guide, ventured into the hospitality industry, and captured the world through the lens of my camera as a professional photographer. For an incredible 14 years, I guided travelers on transformative safaris, managed lodges, and explored the globe.
The year 2020 marked a pivotal moment. As I reflected on my life, one truth stood out: my deep-rooted dedication to health was the cornerstone of my enriching and fulfilling life.
In high school, a car accident left me with a broken back and persistent health challenges. Traditional treatments proved insufficient, offering little relief. I grappled with psoriasis, weight fluctuations, and digestive issues for years until the breakthrough of Functional Medicine.
Functional Medicine zeros in on root causes, advocating healing through tailored diets, lifestyle adjustments, and natural remedies. Embracing these principles sparked a remarkable transformation. Pounds shed, psoriasis faded, and my gut health significantly improved.
Recognizing the profound impact of gut health, I committed myself to mastering Functional Medicine practices. This dedication propelled me towards the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy, accredited by the esteemed Institute of Functional Medicine.
In 2022, I returned to Colorado, drawn by the desire to be closer to my friends and family and to embark on a new chapter as a Functional Medicine Health Coach and Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach.
My approach to Health & Wellness is profoundly influenced by my personal life experiences and enriched by the invaluable tools and techniques I’ve gained through my certifications.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
I had just returned to the US, and during a fun gathering with friends and family, an interesting story was told about someone’s journey of connecting with previously unknown relatives through 23andMe. This hit home because, having been adopted at birth, I had spent over 15 years searching for my father. Little did I know that the solution was right under my nose — I had already taken the 23andMe DNA test out of curiosity about my genetic predispositions.
So that night, on a whim, I paid a bit more to unlock my ancestry, and within seconds, I uncovered the incredible news that I had a half-brother! Through him, I not only found my biological father but also discovered one more half-brother, opening a whole new chapter in my life.
Returning to the US from my life in South Africa was a tough decision, one that I wrestled with for over a year. However, in the process of letting go of the past and embracing this new beginning, I learned to trust the journey and release negativity. This created more space for the positive and allowed opportunities to flow into my life, making this transition all the more rewarding.
It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about a mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Navigating expectations is an integral part of any journey. Looking back, I realize that my most significant misstep was believing I could establish a self-sustaining business in my inaugural year. It’s easy to get caught up in the rush of ambition, but I’ve come to understand that success often unfolds in its own time — in business and in health. Embracing the learning curve and allowing room for growth has been a pivotal shift in my approach. Today, I recognize that setting realistic, measured expectations is a powerful catalyst for long-term success in the ever-evolving landscape of entrepreneurship.
Let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
There is a health crisis plaguing the US, where 6 out of 10 adults are shackled by chronic diseases, and 4 out of 10 carry the burden of two or more. The good news is that most of these ailments can be prevented through simple yet powerful diet and lifestyle changes. But, let’s face it, transformation is tough, especially when you’re surrounded by the allure of junk food, inundated with pharmaceutical ads on TV and media, and weighed down by the constant societal pressure to conform.
The modern world has piled on expectations, leaving us overcommitted and overwhelmed, with little room for self-care. It’s a recipe for disaster, and it’s time we took charge of our well-being. Health Coaching is a newer profession gaining momentum in the medical industry. We are allies in navigating the treacherous waters of behavior change, providing unwavering support and accountability that can make all the difference.
Even research shows with weekly support and accountability, you have a staggering 95% chance of achieving your health goals. Health Coaching is so effective that it’s even covered by most insurance, including HSA & FSA accounts. Imagine a world where living past 100 is the norm, where you can explore the world with boundless energy well into your golden years. That’s the transformation I’m here to help people achieve, one client at a time.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing?
1 . In a modern world dominated by screens and digital distractions, reconnecting with nature becomes an essential touchpoint for rediscovering our inner selves and finding true fulfillment. Each morning, I get up and drive 5-minutes down the road to a nearby park with my German Pointer, for a 35–40-minute hike. This ritual not only sets the tone for my day but invigorates my body, creating a space for mindfulness that amplifies my productivity. It’s a daily gift to myself that pays dividends in well-being and purpose.
2 . Revitalize your approach to fitness by changing your scenery! A client of mine was determined to incorporate running into her routine, but said it felt like a chore rather than a joy. After a simple shift in perspective, we explored the idea of running at a nearby park. Weeks later, she reported that the simple act of changing her environment, driving to a picturesque park down the road, had turned her runs into a truly enjoyable experience. Your workouts don’t have to be a burden — you can find the perfect backdrop for your journey to wellness!
3 . Make a conscious choice to steer clear of processed foods and their impostors. This includes steering away from artificial sweeteners like Stevia and Monk Fruit. Processed foods are stripped of the vital nutrients our bodies crave to thrive, and they can wreak havoc on our gut lining, opening the door to intestinal permeability, also known as leaky gut, a gateway to autoimmune and chronic ailments. It’s crucial to treat food as your medicine, a powerful fuel that your body deserves. Don’t just eat to stave off hunger; savor every bite as a nourishing source of vitality for your adventurous journey. And remember, health is your compass on the road to discovery!
4 . Prioritize cherished moments with friends and family. The impact of regular social connections and a strong sense of community on our health is well-documented. Just take a look at some of the world’s longest-living communities — you’ll find that vibrant social ties are a cornerstone of their longevity. Make it a ritual to gather with your loved ones on a regular basis. Let the richness of these connections be a non-negotiable item on your health journey. In fact, elevate it to the top of your to-do list, right where it belongs. Your health and happiness deserve this investment, and the memories you’ll create together will be treasured souvenirs for years to come.
5 . While you’re on your health journey, it’s crucial to consider the environment you’re in. Many aren’t aware of the hidden toxins lurking in everyday products like skincare, shampoos, and detergents, which can have a detrimental impact on our health over time. To combat this, I recommend the user-friendly Healthy Living EWG App to my clients.
This invaluable tool rates household products, guiding them towards safer alternatives and helping them gradually detoxify their surroundings. Remember, no matter how clean your diet or how active your lifestyle, a polluted environment can impede your wellness journey.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
As I ventured into the world of wellness, I took a unique path. I spent time researching ‘keywords’ to understand what people searched for most when it came to their well-being. What surprised me was that the keyword ‘travel’ ranked far higher than any specific symptoms.
Fueled by this discovery and my own passion for adventure, I had an epiphany: why not blend the thrill of travel into the realm of wellness? Tackling your health goals doesn’t have to be like scaling Mt. Impossible. It can be exhilarating, enlightening, and endlessly motivating.
My mission is simple: to revolutionize the way people perceive health and wellness by infusing it with the spirit of travel and adventure. Throughout my program, individuals will embark on a transformative journey, uncovering fresh and vibrant facets of themselves, where well-being and wanderlust go hand-in-hand.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- Embrace the liberating truth that you don’t need to conform to a one-size-fits-all mold! While it’s essential to find your niche, it’s equally crucial to infuse it with your distinctive flair. Being unique means carving out a space that’s authentically yours, a place where your individuality shines through and sets you apart from the crowd. This is where innovation thrives, and where you make your mark in a way that’s entirely your own.
- Recognize that your journey is a unique, unfolding tapestry, incomparable to anyone else’s. It’s all too easy to get caught in the trap of measuring your progress against others, but this only hinders your own growth and self-discovery. Embrace the individual path you’re on, with its triumphs and challenges, as it’s this very journey that shapes your story. Celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how big or small, and know that each step forward is a testament to your personal strength and resilience. Remember, comparing yourself to others robs you of the chance to fully appreciate and honor your own remarkable journey.
- Just as social connection and community are pivotal in maintaining good health, they hold an equal significance in the realm of entrepreneurship. Building a network of like-minded individuals, mentors, and fellow entrepreneurs creates a support system that can be instrumental in navigating the challenges of business ownership. These connections offer opportunities for collaboration, exchange of ideas, and emotional support during both triumphs and setbacks. They provide a space for learning and growth, fostering a sense of belonging and shared purpose. In the world of entrepreneurship, a robust community can be a source of inspiration, motivation, and invaluable resources that can drive success and sustain it in the long run.
- Confidence is the cornerstone of success in the world of business. Stepping into your own power and embracing self-assuredness is what sets successful entrepreneurs apart. Observing accomplished businesswomen, one common trait that stands out is their unwavering confidence. This attribute isn’t just a personal trait; it’s a driving force that influences negotiations, decision-making, and the ability to seize opportunities. Confidence shapes how you present your ideas, interact with clients and partners, and ultimately, how you steer your business towards growth and prosperity. It radiates assurance to your team and clients alike, inspiring trust and forging strong professional relationships. So, recognizing the power of confidence as an indispensable tool in my entrepreneurial journey, is what propelled me towards my goals.
- In the realm of business, honing in on your messaging is nothing short of paramount. It’s imperative to get crystal clear about what you want to convey to your audience. As the age-old adage goes, when you attempt to address everyone, you end up truly speaking to no one. Precision in your messaging allows you to resonate with your target demographic on a deeper level, establishing a genuine connection and building trust. It ensures that your unique value proposition shines through, distinguishing you from the noise of a crowded market. When your messaging is precise and resonant, it speaks directly to those who are most likely to benefit from your products or services. So, take the time to refine your message and watch as it becomes a powerful beacon guiding your business towards success.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health, and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
In the realm of health coaching, numerous vital topics require attention, yet if I were to single out one as paramount, it would be sustainability. At its very heart, sustainability forms the bedrock of effective health coaching. It embodies the art of guiding individuals towards lasting, meaningful behavior changes that endure far beyond the immediate horizon. It’s about fostering habits and choices that not only enhance personal well-being but also contribute to the greater health of our planet. Sustainability, in every sense, is the linchpin of a truly transformative health journey.
I’ve encountered countless inquiries about becoming a Functional Medicine Practitioner, but my answer has consistently been a firm ‘no’. We already have an abundance of voices dictating what individuals should do, yet what’s truly lacking is a genuine support system that stands alongside them, providing unwavering accountability throughout their transformative process.
Thank you for these fantastic insights! We wish you continued success and good health.