The former volleyball star and fitness icon shares her top workout tips and ways to make exercise a priority for a healthy, balanced life
Fitting healthy eating and workouts into a busy life is an exercise in balance. And while that term means different things to different people, Balance Bar—a brand of nutritional energy bars—is trying to help people achieve more of it with their new campaign, The Balance Project. They’ve partnered with former beach volleyball star Gabrielle Reece, a fitness entrepreneur, author, wife, and mom of three, who knows a thing or two about finding more balance in the everyday. We had a chance to chat with Reece about how she fits workouts into her hectic life.
Get It Done in the Morning
“I’m a morning girl,” says Reece. “If I don’t get a workout done in the earlier part of the day, it goes by the wayside.” While she sometimes does easy stretching in the afternoons, she reserves mornings for rigorous training, doing her HIGHX routine three days a week, and strength training in the pool three days. Yep, you read that right. Reece and her husband Laird Hamilton bring dumbbells into their pool for low-impact, high-intensity training.
Pre-workout, she fuels up on peanut butter and a banana. Post-session, she blends up a recovery smoothie with greens, maca, bee pollen, whey protein powder, unsweetened almond milk, and frozen fruit. (Psst! Check out our Diet Doctor's guide to How to Make Healthy Smoothies.)
Make it a Team Effort
Any athlete (or former athlete) knows how much motivation teammates can provide. “There were so many days I didn’t have gas in the tank, but my teammates made it fun, they inspired me,” says Reece. That’s why she brings that element to her training. In a new program she’s bringing to 24 Hour Fitness locations, participants will be working with teammates and a coach. Plus, says Reece, it’s an easy way to connect with friends when you’re both super busy. “It’s such a positive way to spend time together,” she says. (The Bring-a-Friend Workout can get you started.)
When in Doubt, Take a Walk (or the Stairs!)
Not every day has to be a rigorous workout day. In fact, on the day we chatted, Reece had just finished walking stairs. “On some days, getting outside for a walk is more beneficial than pounding yourself on a treadmill,” she says. “You’re outside, breathing fresh air, and alleviating stress…it’s all a part of fitness.” Want to start walking more? Here's Why You Should Join a Walking Group.