We know that getting into shape isn’t always easy. So, keeping with our Spring Into Action theme, we recently sat down with WBFF Bikini Pro fitness model Muna Breitem to find out her secrets to staying healthy and fit. Read on to hear what she had to say about getting in shape and staying motivated. And check out our Spring Into Action contest below where you can win a $1000 prize pack to help get your body and home fit for spring.
1)You obviously have a gorgeous (and enviable!) body. What do you do to maintain your figure? How often and how long do you work out each week?
Thank you! I’ve made fitness a part of my life. It’s not something I do on the side, it’s essential. This means I work out at least 5 times a week, for about 1.5h-2h each time. I also watch everything I eat, but not in the way you would imagine. I don’t eat less, I actually eat more than most people, 5 to 6 times daily. The most important aspect to my diet is making sure I get enough protein, although I do stay away from excessively fatty or sugary things. That’s really only the gist of it.
2)Starting a workout routine can be very overwhelming. What do you suggest as a simple way to get started?
Try to ease into it over a period of 3 to 6 months. An overly complex workout routine can discourage beginners, so I suggest at least 30 minutes of cardio (treadmill jogging, for example) with some light weight training. Even three times weekly, hitting a different set of muscles each time is enough to start making a difference within weeks. But the nutrition needs to match the efforts at the gym. No amount of training will overcome bad eating habits. After that initial period you can add more intense workouts and more complex weight training sessions, which should always be setup under the supervision of a qualified personal trainer if you’re new at this.
3)It’s easy to get off track with a regular exercise routine, especially for those of us not working out for a living! What do you suggest to both stay on track and to get yourself out of a slump?
At first, the hardest aspect to getting in shape is always mental. You’re doing something different and your body protests in all kinds of ways, whether it’s hunger pangs or achy muscles. It’s hard to get the will to keep going once the initial motivation has faded. What has worked for me is to ignore motivation altogether. I’ve made fitness as much a part of my life as showering and brushing my teeth are. These are not things you need to motivate yourself to do; you just do them because how could you not? It’s the same for fitness. You clean the dishes, you take the garbage out, you shower once daily… and you go to the gym. Rain or shine, in the mood or not, you just do it. Once you start being able to see fitness this way, and you do it long enough, it just becomes a part of your life.
4)If someone has limited time to work out, what are the “must-do” exercises? Are there certain exercises you just can’t live without? Why?
On a time crunch it’s best to go to complex, whole-body exercises since these hit multiple muscles at once. Things like back squats and deadlifts are very efficient and can accomplish more per unit of time than more targeted, muscle-isolating exercises. Also, cardio is excellent because it stimulates your entire body and increases your metabolic rate, which burns more fat while promoting good cardiovascular health. And if you’re in a hurry, High Intensity Interval Training can achieve the results of longer cardio sessions in half the time.
5)What is the best advice you have ever been given? You know, the life-changing kind!
The best advice that I’ve ever been given is not to aim for perfection, but to aim for progress. Perfection is hard to define, and can become a moving target. Progress on the other hand just ensures that you’re moving in the right direction, no matter what the end goal is.
6)What’s on your iPod at the moment/ gym playlist?
My music taste is very diverse, depending on my mood. But my gym playlist consists of Muse, Queen, the White Stripes, and Eminem.