Lindsey: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started in the fitness industry?
Gina: I’ve always been a dancer at heart. Ever since I can remember, music and movement have been a major influencer in my life. I have been a ballroom & latin professional dancer for over 20 years, with wins in the US Open Youth Latin Championship and in more recent years I was Australian Salsa Champion. Though when I retired from competition, I wanted to find a way to keep fit, but I hated going to do boring gym workouts. I instantly fell in love with group fitness programs like Les Mills Body Jam and Zumba so I became a group fitness instructor and found my new creative outlet. More recently, becoming a certified personal trainer, my focus shifted to the importance of helping people keep fit in the long term and how I could utilise my dance skills to achieve this. Now I am passionately creating my own dance fitness programs!
Lindsey: What motivated you to create fitness DVDs?
Gina: After years of teaching high impact fitness classes, my body was feeling it! I also noticed over the years, regular fitness members had started to drop off with injuries and so I felt that there had to be something out there that wasn’t so jarring on the body, I honestly found very few FUN programs available to me. I had already been experimenting in my classes with my own freestyle choreography and when I noticed more and more members loving my style, I created my own class. However, there was only one of me and I wanted to share my program with a much bigger community. A couple of years later, I took the plunge and thought that I could best spread my message by bringing my workouts to people at home no matter their geographic location. That’s how our first DVD came to life!
Lindsey: I recently had the opportunity to review your newest fitness DVDs, and really enjoyed them!
Do you have any plans on the horizon for new DVDs?
Gina: Absolutely! My mind is always ticking and I already have some ideas in the pipeline. I never want our community to be bored so variety is the spice of life! In the meantime we are sharing our free weekly workouts on our website www.spreadthesmile.com.au for everyone to have fun with and stay motivated!
Lindsey: Does your fitness routine focus mainly on walking & dance or do you also participate in other types of fitness? Can you share with us your typical routine?
Gina: I love my cardio! So yes walking and dancing are definitely my favourite go to workouts but I also am huge believer in maintaining strength and tone through weight training and body weight exercises. In addition for my flexibility and my mind, Yoga really helps centre me. So I like to vary my weekly workout routine by attacking all 3 elements cardio, toning & flexibility.
I typically will have my cardio days by teaching my group dance fitness classes 3 times a week and an easy walk on weekends. I like to do a circuit style workout at the gym twice a week involving weights, bodyweight exercises and the cardio machines. I also add a yoga style session at home once or twice a week depending on how I feel. So I keep my workout super varied and flexible but I do workout almost everyday or I feel lethargic! If I don’t feel like working out then walking is usually my go to or I’ll just have a complete rest day.
Lindsey: We all have so many personal & professional responsibilities that keep us all very busy. How do you balance it all?
Gina: It’s hard! But the more I find myself doing the things I love and when they don’t feel like a chore, the easier it is to get clarity. I also find that since I start my day most mornings at 6am, it helps me maximize the time in my day. I must admit working on SMILE with my Husband helps me tick both personal and professional boxes together. But in all honestly it’s a work in progress and one side does tend to take over and sometimes it’s just about even taking time out once in a while to completely zone out and recharge. A great tip I use when having personal time is to switch off from devices even if it’s just about doing that while you’re having dinner just to give you some separation and give yourself full attention to that time. Nobody’s perfect and I’m always trying to learn better strategies to find balance, like I said, WORK IN PROGRESS LOL.
Lindsey: What prioritizing tips can you share to help us fit in our workouts, stay consistent, and reach our fitness goals?
Gina: I have 3 main tips that help me stay on track: Number 1: If you enjoy your workout then you’ll stick to it! This applies to your way of eating as well. If you find it a chore, whatever it is, you’ll never stick to it in the long term, so whatever you do find something you enjoy and keep your routine varied so you stay motivated and you won’t be bored. Number 2: Make lifestyle changes gradual and keep them small, so that you don’t even realise the changes are happening, before you know it, your previous habits will be booted out! Number 3: Reward yourself for your efforts! I always give myself a treat meal (or two) or I’ll go get a massage because I’ve put in the work. Whatever it is, you need to thank yourself for showing up and trying to be the best version of yourself, so whatever it is show your body some love!
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