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ACE certified personal trainer

Stefania Xytakis lightening bolt

Verified 1 Review
location-icon Virtual Training Only
vaccinated COVID-19 Vaccinated

About Stefania


I'm Stefania. Originally from the East Coast, I made my way to Maui ten years ago, must be the island roots in my blood. I've lived by the ocean eversince I could choose my dwelling place. It's taught me humility, discipline, and perseverance. 

When I came to the island, I joined a local canoe club where I learned invaluable information about Hawaiian history, culture and present-day struggles that changed the way I view the world. 

It was straight from the canoe to the surfboard where my love of water became a soul connection. Learning to surf at the age of 25 is no easy feat. I had my work cut out for me. I surfed and surfed often and the more I delved into the surf culture, I realized it doesn't promote longevity. Lots of waves, lots of beers and no talks about how we can surf into old age. I admire the aunty's and uncle’s, in their 70's, still out in the lineup. They earned that through a lifetime of diligently prioritizing all aspects of their health. 

So, here I am. After taking time away from the water to unfreeze my shoulders, moisturize my skin and round out my passions, I got to thinking. How can I be surfing ‘til I'm 70?

 The answers lie in our values, our daily routine, and our social support.

As a Kinesiologist from Longwood University, intuitively, I always knew something was missing from my education. That something was Behavior Science. It wasn't until I became an American Council on Exercise (ACE) Certified Health Coach that I was introduced to this alluring field. I became so enthralled, I continued onto becoming an ACE Behavior Change Specialist (BCS).


As a Health Coach specializing in overhead water sports, it's important to me to be as water competent as possible. Along with being a BCS, I'm an American Lifeguard Association Certified Professional Lifeguard.


Now that surfing is in the Olympics, there's more science coming out about the biomechanics of the sport and what we can do to surf better, longer and forever. One thing is for sure, being on the water, adds an extra layer of intensity that hasn't been able to be studied until the invention of wave pools. Even then, we can't truly mimic the natural environment. According to the surf doctor's, rest, nutrtition and regular checkups will keep you on the water for longer. Those are big topics. What keeps you from paddling out? 

The socioecological model is at the forefront of my work. That's because environment and social support play a significant role in our ability to succeed. Individuals can only thrive so much on our own. Unfortunately, we don't always have the support we need at work or home. That's where I come in.  Together, we take a methodical approach to keep you doing what you love.

(All the food you see is made by me to portray my values of variety and balance in diet.)


My favorite client story

A current client injured her ankle, so we created a lighter routine until it healed. After two weeks, she was ready to go back to her more strenuous program. She expressed excitement by exclaiming, "I miss doing squats!" As a health coach, this brought a gigantic smile to my face because it means she feels in control of her movement goals and we're tailoring these goals to her unique life circumstances.

My favorite exercise


My favorite quote

“Probably the biggest insight is that happiness is not just a place, but also a process. Happiness is an ongoing process of fresh challenges and it takes the right attitudes and activities to be happy.”

— Ed Diener, American psychologist, professor & author

My training philosophy

I believe you're the expert on your own life. I believe there's many ways to thrive, which is why it's hard to start, even when we know we need to make a change. I believe our environment and social support significantly impact our ability to be successful. I believe in taking the time to understand your situation, your vision and your values.

My training experience

*Private swim lessons, 1-50 years old (2021-present)
*Self-taught adult surfer (2014-present)
Group wellness class instructor (2018-2020)
Outrigger canoe competitor (2013)
ACSM Certified Personal Trainer (2010-2015)
Philadelphia marathon runner (2010)

Areas of Expertise

  • Nutrition
  • Stress Reduction
  • Wellness
  • Strength Training
  • Injury Prevention

NCCA Accredited Certifications

ace certification ACE Certified Health Coach

Additional Certifications

CPR/AED/First Aid, ACE Behavior Change Specialist


BS in Kinesiology, Concentration in Exercise Science

Who I Especially Like Working With

Bariatric, Beginners, Middle-aged, Overweight/ Obese, Post-rehab

Medical Conditions Experience

ADHD, Ankle Injury, Arthritis, Autism, Autoimmune Diseases, Cardiac Rehab, Chronic Pain, Diabetes, Hamstring Issues, Hypertension, Joint Replacement, Limited Mobility, Obesity, Scoliosis, Shoulder Issues

Working with Nia has been great, I would recommend her to anybody. She works with me to help me set attainable goals while keeping me in the driver's seat. She is supportive and always professional. She is respectful of the time we have together and always makes the most of it. She is knowledgeable and helpful in finding additional resources when needed, I have achieved more than I thought would have been possible in the time I've worked with her and am so happy having met so many of my goals in a short amount of time.

Emily S.

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