Some of South Florida’s most dynamic fitness experts and influencers strike a healthy pose—and share the secrets of their transformative lifestyles.

Photography by James Woodley
Creative Direction by Melanie Smit
Art Direction by Evelyn Suarez
Shot on location at Margaritaville Beach Resort, Hollywood Beach

 

 

Paige Held

Founder/Co-owner, Yoga Joint / Locations from Boca to Fort Lauderdale
Website: yogajoint.com / Instagram: @paigeheldyoga

Why is fitness so important in your life?
A long time ago, I read a quote: “A person who is fit is capable of living life to the fullest.” I realized that being fit is not just about exercising your body, but your mind and soul as well. This is why I fell in love with hot yoga. A huge component of yoga is the breathing. We practice a breathing technique called ujjayi, a diaphragmatic breath that stimulates the prefrontal cortex of your brain, which is the CEO of your body. If you strengthen this, you make better decisions, you have more clarity and energy, and you sleep better. In yoga, we are holding our own body weight in planks, down dogs and pushups; this allows you to gain strength and definition and also strengthen your joints. Plus, through yoga, you gain flexibility in contrast to most exercises, which deplete flexibility.

What distinguishes your workout routine?
I always say to my clients that the best way to stay in shape is to never get out shape. By that I mean, even if you only have 10 or 20 minutes, do something instead of nothing. I practice what Yoga Joint dishes, meaning that I take yoga and Core 45 (a Pilates and high-intensity interval training class that takes 45 minutes and is designed for everyone—young, old, injured or in peak performance shape). Core 45 targets strengthening the core and elevating the heart rate to build endurance and keep us at a metabolic, fat-burning state for 24 hours after the workout.

In addition to exercise, how else do you try and lead a healthy lifestyle?
There is a saying in the fitness world: “Abs are made in the kitchen.” Besides genetics, 80 percent of fitness is food. I make sure I eat whole fruits, vegetables and lean protein—along with drinking a lot of water. I practice this daily with “cheat meals” sprinkled into the weekends. I eat healthy as a celebration of health, rather than a punishment.

Words of wisdom: “Do you expect to get gas once in your car and have it run forever? Well, why would you expect to work out a few times and stay healthy for a lifetime? Change your mindset and change your life. Take time for you. You won’t regret it.”

 

Kenzie Mariano

Personal trainer, Broward County
Website: km-fit.com / Instagram: @kenziemarianofit

Was there something in your past that inspired you to become more passionate about fitness?
To start, I was always the black sheep in the group most of my life. On top of that, I was overweight. These two combined caused me to feel insecure and, a lot of times, depressed. I slowly started to get into fitness when I was a teen. I first became passionate about running; I could run for miles, and it felt unreal. It was like my escape from reality. I started training with a few different coaches in the gym around this time and began to learn the basics of weightlifting. By college, I was 20 pounds lighter, I’d gained muscle, and I was confident as hell, happy and addicted to the fitness lifestyle.

What distinguishes your workout routine?
My whole thing is, don’t settle for a cookie-cutter routine. It’s nearly impossible for thousands of people to follow the exact same diet and workout plan, and achieve success. The fastest way to achieve your goals is through a personalized fitness program crafted specifically to meet your unique preferences, requirements and lifestyle. This is what I do during in-person and online training. I do a mix of functional training, high-intensity interval training and circuit training to help you reach your goal as fast as possible. A big part of my training has to do with helping my clients not just reach that societal “perfect body” look, but to be the best, happiest and healthiest person possible.

In addition to exercise, how else do you try to lead a healthy lifestyle?
I’m a big advocate for mental health. I think having a healthy mindset is everything. With a strong, healthy, positive mindset, you can literally accomplish and succeed at anything in life. Along with physical exercise, I use meditation, yoga, reading and journaling to strengthen my positive thinking and overall mental health.

Words of wisdom: “Find your ‘why’ and remind yourself of it each day. We all have a purpose and reason; use that to push yourself to live a healthy and fitness-oriented lifestyle.”