Chalene Johnson on fitness, health and happiness
As the weather turns cooler and beach days come to an end, it can be easy to lose motivation and let our fitness regime fall through the cracks. That's why we asked world-renowned wellness expert Chalene Johnson for advice on how to stay motivated and refreshed this fall.
As a fitness mogul, motivational speaker and successful podcaster, Chalene is taking the wellness world by storm. She is known for her personalized approach to health that encourages a more simplified, happy and fun-loving lifestyle. Chalene is the creator of Turbo Jam, Turbo Kick and PiYo workouts, as well as the 131 Method program, which aims to create long lasting change in habits and mindset. With over 30 years of experience under her belt, it's no wonder we asked her for some wellness advice!
Take us through your daily work out routine.
"I do something to honor my health everyday. I used to believe the only work outs that really mattered were the ones that left me feeling destroyed. But with age comes wisdom! I'm 50! (Insert Molly Shannon impersonation here).
I make it my goal to move my body with intention everyday, even if it's just a walk on the beach. Most days I lift heavy weights of train my muscles with a body weight workout like PiYo. Several days a week I follow my strength work up with a series of HIIT or Burst drills. Low impact, high intensity interval training prevents injuries increases your cardiovascular conditioning in half the tine!
Research shows high intensity training enhances your bodies ability to burn fat up to several hours post work out."
There are so many diets and fitness fads out there - how do we know what really works?
"I know what works for me and I pay attention to it. I don't identify as a Paleo person, Keto girl, Vegetarian or any other label. When we label ourselves we make our diet a part of our identify. Doing so leads us to ignore common sense and ignore advances in nutritional science out of fear of losing our identity.
Rather, I am an informed eater. I change my diet every 4 to 6 weeks (diet phasing). I eat primarily unprocessed foods, but if I walk a glass of wine or chocolate - I eat it! I make informed decisions about my nutrition. I love food, people and freedom. It's impossible to enjoy these things if you're being held prisoner by your diet or body image.
I call this the 131 Method - also the title of my latest book!
95% of people who set out to lost weight by cutting calories and exercise more, gain it all back and then some. We know this. Yet, month after month women try this approach. We're all different. Stop dieting and focus on your gut health and the weight will come off without the struggle."
What are the best workouts to do to tone up?
Just about anything other than steady cardio. The notion of "toning" relates to looking firm or defined. To achieve this, you need muscle. To build muscle and a leaner physique you need to incorporate strength training and a healthy approach to food.
Cardio like running, steady state cycling, stair climbing and walking is great for your heart and that's a good thing! But if your goal is to firm up, you should prioritize strength building workouts and consider incorporating burst or intervals into your cardio routine."
Everyone has low-energy days. How can we motivate to exercise when we’re not feeling our best?
"Step one: Make a decision to change your physical and mental state. Decide you have high energy and your mind and body will follow.
Step two: Protect your positivity! Don't open your email or social media. Don't let others hijack your agenda.
Step three: Create a high energy playlist for just such occasions. I have one entitled "happy, happy happy." It's my go-to when I'm feeling "meh" or not in the mood to do something I need to do."
As a business owner and entrepreneur, how do you find time to hit the gym?
"It's a non negotiable for me. I do it first thing every morning and I think of it as something I do for my team, my family and my overall health. I am more creative, productive, patient, confident and energetic on the days that I exercise. My husband and I have build 7 figure businesses in a variety of industries. There is no way I would have been able to do that and raise a family and do all of the things that I love it I hadn't made my health a priority. I exercise because energy begets energy and it's my superpower!"
If your goal is to lose weight, what should the ratio of diet and exercise be?
"Nutrition first and foremost. Then rather than exclusively focusing on exercise, focus on overall health. We all know plenty of people who barely eat and exercise for hours and they can't lose weight. In recent years, we've learned hat gut health has more to do with weight loss or weight loss resistance than anything else.
To improve gut health we need to know how to avoid foods that cause us inflammation (sometimes even healthy foods) and we need to optimize overall health. That includes: exercise, rest, environment, sleep, minimizing exposure to toxins, mental health, relationships and reducing stress.
People want it to be a simple equation - eat this meal plan and do this work out. But wisdom tells us it's more individual than that. We are all so different. True clarity and long term success comes when we learn how to eat for our unique needs!"
"The secret to living a crazy ridiculous fun filled life boils down to belief in yourself, creating a plan for what you want and sticking to it even when you don't feel like it."
Learn more about Chalene at chalenejohnson.com!