If you ask Charlee Atkins to describe a typical day, she’ll tell you that no two are ever the same. But one thing she can count on? Starting every single one with a grateful heart—and a live workout. The 34-year-old personal trainer has a mission to help others live a healthier life, and to do that she’s been leading daily a.m. fitness classes on her social account and her app, Le Sweat TV.
“Since we got the stay-at-home orders, things really kicked into high gear,” she tells Women’s Health. “And as much as the workouts are helping consumers, they’re helping me, too. People will ask all sorts of questions, and it forces me to really zero in on my craft and really understand what my clients want.”
But how does Atkins keep her energy up day-in and day-out for her more-than 128K social media followers? Here, the 10-year New York City veteran offers up tips for staying motivated and shares the must-have items that keep her on top of her game.
WH: What time are you out of bed in the morning, and how do you start the day?
I usually wake up between 6:30 to 7:30. a.m. Since working exclusively from home, I’ve emphasized getting enough water. So, the first thing I do is pour myself a tall glass and take my MitoQ 5MG supplements. It’s a special targeted formulation of the antioxidant CoQ10, which is naturally occurring in the body, but can start to decline after 30. Taking it makes me feel like I’m giving back to my body, which is a perfect way to kickstart the day. Since including MitoQ in my morning ritual, I feel more energized and ready to make it through sometimes extremely long days. It helps really get things going, which brings me to my mobility practice.
What’s that look like?
It depends on the day. Some mornings, it’s just foam rolling and working with a lacrosse ball. Other days I do CARS, or controlled articular rotations, which are basically active rotational joint movements. For me, I really feel like it’s a form of self-care, the mobility stuff. I can’t start a day without some form of it. It’s my way to reset and calm down.
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Do you have any tricks to staying organized when you’re leading five or six back-to-back workouts every day?
Again, it’s really in the morning routine. After my water, MitoQ, and mobility work, I take my coffee and peanut butter toast and sit down to go through emails. This helps me feel organized early on. I can see the messages I need to address immediately–like partnership inquiries, inquiries for the app, or timely customer service questions. Then, I get into the workout work, as I call it, where I build the workouts I’m going to teach based on how I’m feeling that day.
What would you tell someone who doesn’t feel like they have time to work out?
Get it done early, so it’s out of the way. And take a live class whenever possible. When you have to be there at a certain time, it helps keep you accountable, as opposed to an on-demand class where you can log on and off as you please. If you were going to a group fitness class that started right at 8 a.m., that would be your only opportunity. Approach at-home fitness the same way, and program it as a part of your schedule.
Best piece of advice you’d offer someone that’s new to fitness?
Start with something short, like a 20- or 30-minute workout. Most people think it’ll take an hour plus out of your day, and it doesn’t need to. Once you start moving, it’ll be a little easier to keep moving.
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