‘Tis the season of feast over fitness, but don’t trade your workouts for holiday gatherings. Combine the two instead to help keep the pounds off, advises celebrity trainer Jeanette Jenkins, who released two new fitness DVDs this month: “Power Yoga” and “Blast the Belly Fat.” Jenkins, whose client roster includes Tia Mowry, Kelly Rowland and Queen Latifah, spoke with ESSENCE.com about yoga, ab-sculpting exercises, and staying fit over the holiday season… ESSENCE: What was the motivation behind Power Yoga? JEANETTE JENKINS: While I was teaching yoga to my clients, like Tia Mowry, Kelly Rowland and Paula Patton, I realized I needed to create a DVD to share these exercises with everyone else. With yoga, you lengthen muscle fiber to create long, lean muscles. It’s also a great de-stresser. The meditative element and breathing exercises allow you to be in the moment and improve mental health. And it’s fun to do with a loved one. I have yoga sessions with Paula and [husband] Robin Thicke three to five times a week. They love it. ESSENCE: How does “Blast the Belly Fat” help shrink your waistline? JENKINS: The number one question I’m asked is “How do I get the fat off of my stomach?” The best way to do that is with cardio and strength training that targets the abs. Moves like cross body jacks, lunges and ab-defining exercises will help shed those pounds around the waist. “Blast the Belly Fat” is a core-focused workout. The DVD is 69 minutes, but it’s split into circuits. So if you only have time to do one circuit, you can still get a good 15-20 minute workout. ESSENCE: What’s the best way to stay in shape over the holidays? JENKINS: Schedule your workout in the morning, even if you’re on vacation with family. Get your day started by getting your endorphins up. Since most the holiday celebrations happen in the evening, make sure you have a healthy breakfast with eggs and green vegetables for protein and fiber. Or try a green juice made of spinach, apple, lemon and a little ginger. It’s good for your immunity system and helps decrease risk of getting sick. Also, get your family and friends involved. Do active things with them. Get everyone to go bowling, ice skating, or even get them dancing in the house. Put on some music and get everyone to do the family Soul Train line. Play the Wii video games or play touch football outside. Keep it fun. ESSENCE: What’s the secret to getting fit like a celebrity? JENKINS: Healthy eating is always a big factor along with incorporating yoga into your exercise routine. I’ve been working with Tia for about a year and a half and I’ve seen a total transformation in her because we added yoga to her regimen. You can really get a lean and flexible body from yoga. But more importantly you have to commit and be consistent. You have to be dedicated to reaching your fitness goals.
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