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Expert Q and A: Kathy Smith’s Fitness Secrets

An interview with fitness guru Kathy Smith.
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What are some healthy foods/snacks you recommend for people who don't have a lot of time to cook?

"Not enough time" is the No. 1 excuse I hear as to why people don't exercise or eat right. But a healthy diet doesn't have to involve a ton of time cooking.

The key is preparation. Spend a Sunday night stocking up for the week at the grocery store, and preparing everything so that you have an easy grab-and-go situation for the remainder of the week.  

Bake a tray of skinless chicken breasts with your favorite spices so that they're ready to throw on salads anytime you want.  Chop up bell peppers and other veggies ... so you have easily accessible snacks.  

Make a big pot of steel-cut oatmeal that you can refrigerate and pull out every morning for breakfast. Throw in some fresh berries, stir in some protein powder and a splash of skim or almond milk, and you've got a perfectly balanced morning meal.

 

What's your guilty splurge food?

Blueberry pie a la mode; Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey ice cream; and I love chocolate.

If someone has just 20 minutes a day to exercise, what should they focus on?

[Be] consistent. ... Twenty minutes really adds up when you're doing it six days a week year-round, but doesn't amount to much if you're only doing it a couple times a week.

Start with 20 minutes of something you love to do, and build on that. So if you feel like dancing, dance.  If you'd like to try yoga, start there.  

The other key aspect is intensity. It's important to make those 20 minutes count.

Compound exercises that work upper body, lower body, and core simultaneously not only save time, but they send your calorie burn through the roof.  

If you're pushing yourself, 20 minutes can actually be more effective than a longer, less intense workout.

What are your top fitness tips for women over 40?

If there's one piece of advice I can give to women of 40, it's to start strength training.

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