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We'll admit it: we love fitness guru Tracy Anderson's sometimes zany but always inspiring fitness advice. In anticipation of her new dance cardio DVD, she previewed some of her high-energy routine for Gwenyth Paltrow's goop newsletter. Along with the 5 minutes of choreography, Anderson gives a thorough run-down of some of her best tips to get you into impressive, spring break-worthy shape. Just in case you're tight on time today, we compiled the CliffsNotes version of her philosophy, including some of the more, shall we say, creative notions.
1) Consider enrolling your child in golf lessons: "Start your child at golf at three, and there's a good chance he'll become an incredible golfer if he follows the rules."
2) You're probably not exercising enough: "With my method, I really like people to execute four to seven days a week; I feel like six is the magic number.
3) Rethink your warm up: "Research shows that static stretching before your workout actually inhibits your ability to connect and control. My warm-ups are designed to stretch you enough: I created the free dancing arm patterns to start pumping the blood through your body and warm up your brain, which is essential for anyone who likes to multitask and needs to be forced to focus."
4) Don't always go for the heavier weights: "Training muscles by lifting heavy weight creates a cycle of repairing, rebuilding, and ultimately, muscle growth. Yes, this creates strength—but in isolation, and in a compartmentalized way. I pair certain resistances with certain movements for certain people very carefully—after all, our muscles are tools to create incredible art with our bodies."
5) Yes, you should invest in a Vitamix: "In addition, my favorite way to drop weight when you're exercising every day is to replace breakfast with my wellness shake, which you blend with a pitted date, ice, and water in a Vitamix. Then, have another shake for lunch made with fresh nut milk, spinach, and two scoops of my wellness shake, followed by fish, steamed vegetables, and purple rice for dinner—along with a glass of red wine and an organic chocolate bar."
6) Stop counting calories: "Counting calories often leads to a very stressful relationship with food, rather than a healthy lifestyle. It's far more productive to focus on the quality of the food you're ingesting, and whether you're spending real energy working out every day."
7) Know your number: "I do think it's important to weigh yourself every morning with a digital scale: Knowledge is power, and not something to run from."
8) Consider positive dieting language: "Calorie counting and incorporating the negative word “cheat” into your diet on the day you're supposed to be enjoying something isn't positive. Cheating isn't enjoyable on any level."
9) She's really into blood tests: "I'm passionate about two things when it comes to food: Eating organic, and getting a blood test to check for legitimate allergies."
10) And most terrifying of all: "There are remarkable studies linking Schizophrenia and gluten: If you have a sensitivity, it's essential that you change your lifestyle."