It’s been quite a journey, since meeting Misha as my Dancing with the Stars partner, and dancing has changed my life completely – and for the better! Even after having children, my body’s in the best shape of my life, and it’s all thanks to dancing! I focus on dances that help maintain a great core, throw in muscle toning exercises, make sure I eat a well balanced diet, and do yoga daily for its muscle lengthening stretches and mindfulness practice. It might sound like a lot, but by incorporating dance moves and yoga into your regular routine, you too can have a leaner body in no time!
1. A great night’s sleep
I like to make sure I get up on the right side of the bed – by getting a good night’s rest! This allows me to wake up feeling refreshed and relaxed, while helping to maintain good posture. To do this, the mattress needs to be firm and I use build-able foam pillows that don’t sink throughout the night, giving my back and neck great support. It keeps me standing long and tall, and also gives me the best form for my dancing.
2. The best fuel
You’ve probably heard this millions of times, but when everyone says something there’s got to be some truth in it – you only get out what you put in. This is absolutely true and the right diet is so important for a healthy body and mind. Easy things to remember are go easy on the carbs (try to skip the fillers like rice, bread, couscous or potatoes), keep up the quality protein (especially good for muscle recovery) and vegetables, and drink plenty of water. My B.O.D Squad with nutritionist Jessica Cox are absolutely genius at creating the best meals and snacks, like my almond & date bliss balls, naturally sweet smoothies, and incredible kale, lemon & olive pesto. It’s my go-to for a quick snack on rice crackers, or for a super simple pasta dinner. If meal planning isn’t your thing, these easy and delicious recipes are going to turn you into a kitchen champion!
3. Core and Cardio
I learnt pretty quickly that dancing was a great way to work out when after 5 minutes I had danced up a storm (and a sweat)! Dancing engages your key muscle groups which are what stabilise us and our spine, and are key to looking trim and lean. Gone are the days of hundreds of sit-ups or crunches – with dancing you can have fun while getting in that workout your core needs! With high intensity workouts, like dancing, the right kind of stretches help support your body and keep lengthening those muscles! Incorporating yoga poses into your daily stretches are an easy way to start out – try to include some good core poses like planks or boat poses. Remembering to focus on your core will not only help you look great, but work the muscles that stabilise that spine and keep you looking long and lean!
4. Long, lean muscles
Don’t be afraid of weights! As you exercise, your muscles will lengthen, and you want to get the absolute most out of them. For example, when you extend your arms, make sure your extensions are full otherwise you’ll end up only working a short section of bicep and not end up with the long, lean muscles you’ve been working for! It’s also really easy to incorporate into your existing exercises, by using cans or water bottles as weights, and something I encourage everyone to do (if possible).
5. Rest and relax
An important part of my routine, and my B.O.D program is to listen to your body! Just as important as your workout, your rest days allow your muscles to heal and rest, as well as your mind, making your exercise much more beneficial. With your mind and body in harmony, you will not only be ready to catch life’s curve balls, you’ll also develop long, lean muscles and feel great. What could be better than that?!
image credits: Bayleigh Vedelago