Before the big move Hub met this great American couple, Ky & Shanna, who were also living in Copa. He also mentioned that Shanna is a professional fitness trainer, runs her own fitness company 360Fit, and teaches great fitness classes on Ipanema beach. I was really excited to meet her and Ky and gab about health and fitness. We have since become great friends and not only have they shown us the best suco spots in Copa, but Shanna has been kickin' us into shape. She's an amazing trainer and I really admire her healthy lifestyle. With the holidays next week and our departure to America, I wanted to take this opportunity to pick her brain about getting fit in Rio, staying healthy over Christmas and how to train with a baby on board.
What is 360Fit
The name 360Fit came from the idea that fitness is not just one part of your day (when you go to the gym), it's about all the factors in your life that impact creating this new healthy and fit lifestyle. With my clients, my focus is on creating a healthy lifestyle, creating a fitness routine that makes sense for their work/home life and nutritional goals that get people eating more natural [foods] thus causing them to lose weight healthily. My studio in New York City and my classes on the beach in Rio are purposefully without exercise equipment and gimmicks, an environment where athletes and people new to fitness can all benefit from my workouts. I generally only do body weight resistance exercises or use a few things like light dumb bells or resistance bands.
Why did you start 360Fit?
I started 360Fit with one main goal in mind: to teach others that everyBODY can be fit and that you can workout anywhere without having to feel tied to a gym. For many people, just going to the gym takes a huge toll on their self-esteem and the intimidation factor of working out is actually what prevents them from living a healthier, happier life. It can be a very emotional journey for those who have insecurities or illnesses, have always been overweight and grown uncomfortable with looking in the mirror, have never been athletic or taken a gym class before.
You moved from NYC to Rio de Janeiro. How have you managed to maintain 360Fit?
I now have created most of my business online, which includes a virtual program where members can receive daily or weekly workouts with recorded exercises they can use in the gym. I also do one-on-one personal training sessions through Skype and FaceTime with clients from all over. Basically, clients set up their mobile device in the room at an angle where I can see from their head to their toes and I train them just as if I were in the same room. I am able to see their knee alignment, make sure they are keeping their toes forward, and I can even listen to make sure they are exhaling at the right time during the exercises.
What are the benefits to online fitness training?
Online training has opened up many doors and offers a lot more flexibility. For example, I work with a woman in Brooklyn who gets home from work, tucks her children into bed and then turns her iPad on five minutes later for her training session. Before she was always trying to find time to get to the gym after work, but then had to miss out on that important time with her kids. People find the ease of being able to keep up with their workouts while they travel one of the biggest benefits. They can do their virtual workouts in their hotel room, the gym or even outdoors. I have more flexibility with my own travels as well. I went back to New York for work for about 3 weeks. All of my clients who live in Rio were able to continue with their regular times to train by using the virtual system.
Have you noticed a difference between your Brazilian clients and your American clients, particularly the women? It seems in Rio women really value their curves and have a healthier body image.
This is a very interesting question because while Brazilian woman are much more comfortable with curves, I still find that they can be critical of their bodies. Unfortunately, I think this holds true for women around the world. Even the most beautiful women I have worked with can always find something they believe is a big imperfection. I do think media does and always has portrayed women in an unrealistic way and made us feel that things we never even noticed about our body shape or skin make us imperfect.
Rio food is very tasty, but also very fattening. Lots of fried foods, steak and sweet treats out here. How do you stay healthy in this environment? Anything you avoid altogether?
Since moving to Rio I learned to cook! When you cook at home you have so much more control over what is going into your body. It is very hard to make healthy choices in a restaurant, there aren't options like a hearty salad as a meal and it can actually be hard to find greens on the menu. They do have the kilo buffet places, which have a lot of freshly cooked food and here you have many more options. In general, I tend to stay away from red meat, soda, cheese and heavily fried foods.
What’s your food vice in Rio?
That would have to be acai! There are a ton of anti-oxidants in acai, but they [Rio] prepare it like a sorbet, so the syrup they use contains a lot of sugar. So I do little things like have them make it with less syrup and add strawberries or substitute the syrup for honey.
Christmas is just around the corner and I’m heading to the States next week. Let the indulging begin! Do you have any tips for me and others who want to pack it in without packing it on? How do you manage during the holidays?
It's easy to say to people don't overdo it, but it's not very likely. The best way to go is to plan to indulge. Prepare for it by really eating clean and getting your workouts in weeks before the travels or holidays begin. And while you still might go for that pumpkin pie or second glass of eggnog, try to first fill your stomach up with the healthy choices. By the time you get to the temptation foods, you aren't quite as likely to stuff yourself. My rule of thumb is during a big family meal, I try to fill half of my plate with green foods so a good portion of what I eat will be healthy, leaving only a quarter of the plate for my protein and a quarter for starchy foods.
You are pregnant, congratulations! Is it okay for women to workout during their pregnancy? How are you planning to exercise throughout your pregnancy?
Women who regularly workout can absolutely workout during their entire pregnancy, if their doctor has okayed them. Women who workout during their pregnancy are shown to have easier births and recovery. If you are not someone who works out, but want to start once you’ve discovered you are pregnant, I would highly recommend talking to your doctor first. Then find a fitness professional that is prenatal certified; they will help you with how to work out properly during your pregnancy.
Prior to getting pregnant I was running about 3-4 times a week, strength training a few days and playing soccer at least once a week. I slowed my workouts down to what my body felt like doing, which was nothing more than brisk walks about 4 days a week and shorter strength training days 3 days a week.
Do you have any advice for women who want to exercise whilst pregnant?
My number one advice for pregnant women is to listen to your body it knows what to do! When your body tells you to rest, it is giving those signs for a reason. I felt great during my first trimester, but I also was very tired. During your first trimester your body is doing an enormous amount of work, giving most of your energy to your fetus, and chances of miscarriage are at their highest. Sometimes this is particularly challenging for athletic women who regularly workout at an intense level. You can continue with the same workouts you always do, but should you? Listen to your body.
The best way to get in touch with me personally is through the 360Fit Facebook page or my website. I personally will answer any email messages that come through and respond to posts. Additionally you can follow @360Fitgirl on Instagram and Twitter and I put all sorts of workouts up on my YouTube page.
Thank you Shanna! You heard it here first friends and family...now put down that Christmas cookie, get moving and hold off on feasting until next week!