Welcome to Wellness Wednesday! This article is part of a series of weekly wellness stories written to help inspire healthy and happy living in our wonderful readers. Be sure to check back every Wednesday for the latest in fitness, nutrition, natural beauty and lifestyle tips to help you be your best self!
It's no secret that the stars of our favorite TV shows look amazing, but it is a mystery how they're able to stay in such great shape with hectic work schedules, frequent travel and personal lives to juggle. We wanted to know exactly how actors and actresses do it, so we called a few of them up to find out! Here's what we learned.
Kym Johnson, Dancing with the Stars
The professional ballroom dance champ and author of 'The 5-6-7-8 Diet' is all about making her workouts fun. Dance-based workouts, which she writes about in her new book, are "so much fun you don't realize you're working out," she said when we chatted. The other secret to her fitness routine? Simply getting up every day and starting her healthy habits. "5-6-7-8 in dance also means let's start, and that's the key to any diet or healthy living thing. Just start trying to live a healthy lifestyle," the dancing queen advised.
But what about all her travel, between publicity appearances for her book, Dancing with the Stars seasons and going back to Australia to see her family? "I spent most of my younger life traveling with a dance show," Johnson said, "so I had to adapt to that lifestyle quickly because I put on weight quickly." To combat weight gain that can come with eating lots of meals out, she recommends several exercises that can be done in a hotel room, like a three-minute ab workout or a five-minute upper body circuit. "They're quick workouts because I'm on the go all the time," Johnson admitted.
As far as diet is concerned, the dancer is a fan of "simple little things." "I love simple Greek yogurt with honey and some berries," she said, "and I make my own little trail mix, which I have in my bag and can take anywhere. Or if I'm at home, I like rice crackers." Johnson is also a big proponent of teas and warm drinks like hot water with lemon, which she says can help make you feel more full, especially if you're feeling hungry at night.
The final piece of Johnson's fitness puzzle is, of course, that she loves workout gear. "I'm sort of into some of the Australian designers," she said. "L'urv has really fun flamingo tights with a matching top, and they really actually fit well...You can't go wrong with Nike as well, and Carbon38 has really great stuff on their website, too."
Jen Widerstrom, The Biggest Loser
The TV trainer, who saw a finalist and winning contestant through the last season of The Biggest Loser, is all about efficiency when it comes to working out. "I am a big advocate of effective training," she said, "and what I mean by that is that you've got to maximize." Widerstrom preaches full body movements with weight -- what she calls 'big picture movements.' "Big picture movements equal big picture results," the trainer said, which she generally achieves through circuit training.
The other big thing for Widerstrom? Motivation -- and not just motivation to look good. She looks for clients who have motivation driven by more than just body image. "It's got to be about something deeper for them," she said. "It's got to be about being capable in your day or feeling a part of something in your day that's not about you...The workout has to be bigger than the waistline."
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But the waistline, of course, is still important, which is why the weight loss guru is all about one-ingredient foods like almonds, chicken or broccoli. "If you grab a box of Lucky Charms, I would go so far as to say that there's more than one ingredient in there," Widerstrom laughed. "If you stick to one-ingredient foods as a guideline, you're putting food into your body that it asily identifies and can break down and store. One-ingredient foods are accessible for your body, easy to identify, easy to digest and really good fuel." The trainer's go-to healthy snacks include boiled eggs, edamame with salt, an apple, and tuna fish salad when on the go.
What's her favorite workout gear? "Reebok is kicking ass these days," she said. "I love their tights, they're all crazy patterns that are fun, sit well and aren't too long."
Amir Arison, The Blacklist
Don't think we've forgotten about the super-fit guys we love to see on television. Amir Arison, who plays Aram on the hot new hit series The Blacklist, stays fit thanks to his trainer at Fitness 360. "I see him twice a week when I can, and I try to work out at least one or two other days on my own, whether than be running or floor work," he said. Consistency is key for Arison, who considers exercise like therapy. With his trainer, he focuses on core work, cardio, calisthenics and free weights.
The actor has an awesome philosophy when it comes to food: "I try to listen to my body," he said. "I feel like when you get in better shape, you and your body get more in sync and you're more in control of your desires." Part of listening to his body means that he grazes throughout the day, rather than eating three big meals, and he snacks on nuts and trail mix, especially when he's shooting for The Blacklist. Arison also sticks to a low-carb diet, stays away from dairy and cheese and avoids processed sugar, opting for Stevia or agave if he needs a little sweetener.
While exercise and nutrition are important principles of Arison's overall approach to healthy living, his third tenet is sleep. "Sleep is the thing I work the hardest at keeping regular," the actor said, which he believes helps keep your stress in check and makes everything else fall into place.
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Andrea Navedo, Jane the Virgin
Navedo, who plays the amazing Xiomara on Jane the Virgin, is another one of our fave TV stars with an enviable figure. "I work out at least three times a week," she said, "but I try to do more than that." The actress isn't one to keep her workouts boring, though. She does everything from hopping on the elliptical and taking exercise classes to salsa lessons and private pilates. She's also a big walker, which she says is how she learns her lines! "I'm a multi-tasker," she laughed.
Unlike most of us (ugh), Navedo is someone who just naturally doesn't crave unhealthy foods. What a concept, eh? "I'm not a junkfood person," the actress admitted. "Naturally I'm not drawn to sweets, and I won't eat McDonald's." She keeps an eye on her salt intake, "because otherwise I'll retain a ton of water and get high blood pressure," she said. To curb her sodium intake she avoids eating out frequently, which automatically eliminates a great deal of salt, fat and carbs. Navedo stressed that she needs to eat protein between meals, too, so she keeps jerky in her purse, and will also snack on raw almonds.
The actress, like most of us, likes to workout in Lululemon gear. "I love their pants," she said. "They suck everything in just around the mid-section and they last a long time -- I had a little sticker shock the first time I bought them, but the three pairs I have now I've had for two or three years, so to me it's worth it."
Her other favorite brand of workout gear? 20Legz. "I have these cheap leggings that wash well and are only $20. The brand is this female Latina entrepreneur, nothing fancy-shmancy. I love supporting her because this is her own venture, and I actually do love them and wear them. Gina [Rodriguez] wears them, too!"
It's safe to say that if we want to follow in the footsteps of these celebs, we need to keep our workouts exciting and frequent, start snacking on healthy foods like almonds and invest in some chic fitness apparel (although we may have that one covered already).
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