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Jennifer Hudson’s fitness and exercise tips

Read how you can apply the singer and actress’ tried and tested tips on how to get (and keep) moving

Art Streiber

Want to know the secret to Jennifer Hudson’s amazing 37kg weight loss? We’re revealing 30 of them! Here, in Jennifer’s own words, are the fitness and exercise tips that helped her take off the weight. And as an added bonus, Elizabeth Josefsberg, the certified personal trainer who helped lead Jennifer through the Weight Watchers programme, gives expert advice on how to make Jennifer’s tips work for you too. We’re picking up where we left off with Jennifer’s healthy habits. We’ll also be sharing her three top tips for weight loss in general.

 

Fitness

20. Jennifer Says: I usually try to do 30 minutes on the treadmill, but these days, I am struggling to get to 20 minutes. I am doing everything to distract myself. I listen to music and watch TV. [It’s the] same with my resistance training. I have to negotiate and bargain with myself! I just keep reminding myself how much I want this and what the rewards of the activity are.

What You Can Do: When motivation starts to wane in your exercise routine it is time for a change. It’s probably boredom and repetition that are making it seem difficult to complete even a shortened version of your work-out. Make an effort to find something new to try. Ask a friend to attend a dance class with you, get a new fitness DVD or try a new weight machine. The active part of your weight loss can’t be an afterthought and will require the same focus and innovation that you apply to your food plan.

 

21. Jennifer Says: I got a new set of weights that I can use when I travel. They break apart, and I pack them under my clothes in my suitcase. I love them and use them any chance I get.

What You Can Do: Travel for work or play should not be an excuse to abandon your active lifestyle. As you pack for any trip, make sure you include your trainers and work-out clothes. That is the first signal that you will continue to be active on your trip. You can pack a fitness DVD, use the hotel gym or pack light fitness equipment such as bands or hand weights if necessary. Don’t forget, there is no better way to see a new city than by walking or jogging through it.

 

22. Jennifer Says: I don’t know what it is about the song Everybody Needs Love from my new album. Every time I listen to it, I want to get to working out. It gets me excited and makes me want to drop down and do push-ups.

What You Can Do: Music is a great motivator. Make your own ‘work-out’ playlist and continue to update it. A great song can get you moving and help you get through the toughest work-outs.

 

23. Jennifer Says: Lately, everyone keeps telling me that I look so fit. I really have not changed a lot about my work-outs. I still love to get outside every chance I get for my walks and jogs. I couldn’t figure out why everyone thought I looked more toned until it hit me. I have a one-year-old. He is crazy everywhere. I run after him all day long. I think it is the best work-out I have ever got!

What You Can Do: All movement counts. Every small shift that you make to move more in your day will help you towards your goals. Take a careful look at where you might be able to be more active, especially with your children. Build the habit of doing active things together as a family. You will be building good habits for yourself and passing them on.

 

24. Jennifer Says: I began walking after the birth of my son. It was all I could do, but it was my start. Every day I got stronger and every day I wanted to do more. Now I run. Yes, you heard me, I run! I never thought I’d get to where I am now, but it happens in baby steps.

What You Can Do: Start slow. It is critical that you do not push yourself too hard in the beginning. If you become injured, it can sideline you for months and will make sticking to healthy eating very difficult. Start with walking. It is an excellent addition to a healthy eating plan. As you get stronger you will be able to add speed and endurance, but in a measured and slow way. Be sure to track your walks or work-outs so that you can see just how far you progress over time.

 

25. Jennifer Says: I like to exercise now in a way that I never have in my life. I make time for it as much as I can with this crazy schedule I have, so you can too!

What You Can Do: Take an honest look at your days, hour by hour, to assess where you can make time for adding activity. The top excuse for not being active is lack of time, but if you take a true look at how you are spending your days, as if you were looking at a friend’s schedule, you will find some blocks of time to add even just thirty minutes several times per week.

 

26. Jennifer Says: I really notice after a few days of resistance training that the scale gives me funny numbers. I like the results I see in my clothes and the compliments that I get about my arms looking toned, but having the numbers on the scale go up and down is annoying. My [Weight Watchers] leader told me that this is normal. When you add strength training your body can hold on to fluid as it heals and builds muscle. I notice that when I take a couple of days to rest, the swelling goes right down and I am happier with the number on the scale. But I am not quitting because I like feeling strong and fit!

What You Can Do: As you add or increase your activity you may see strange fluctuations on the scale. This is simply your body reacting to change and healing the muscle tissue that has been torn and is regrowing. Understand that the process is an important one and that the scale is not the only measure of success. At these times take body measurements and use loose clothing as a gauge of your true success. Also know that lean muscle burns more kilojoules at rest, so by building some you will be creating a more efficient burning machine.
27. Jennifer Says: I don’t like being confined to a gym. These days, if I can’t get some reps in on my weights, I get out and take a walk; I feel so much better when I’m outside. And the time passes so much more quickly because I look around and enjoy seeing what’s going on instead of staring at the same machines in the gym.

What You Can Do: Create a real repertoire of activities that you love. Alternate them so that you are constantly challenged and enjoying your active life. Involve friends and family, when possible, for more motivation and accountability.

 

Food for thought:

Treat yourself

28. ‘You shouldn’t deprive yourself. Just get out of the diet mentality of “I can’t have this and I can’t have that.”’

Enjoy small indulgences

29. ‘Chocolate is my reward. Every day I have to have a moment where I have chocolate.’

Get moving

30. ‘When you think about it, you think yourself out of it. So I don’t think about it, I just say, “Jennifer, get up and go.”’

 

Five readers will win a copy of Jennifer Hudson’s inspirational book, I Got This: How I Changed My Ways And Lost What Weighed Me Down.

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