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