Fitness trainer Nancy Anderson offers words of advice for keeping your family healthy.
Family fitness is an important topic for trainer Nancy Anderson. She’s not only passionate about helping moms lose the “baby fat,” but she’s developing a new program specializing in all stages of motherhood—from preconception through pregnancy and beyond.
“Everything I teach and include in my programs is completely evidence-based and grounded in research,” says Anderson, who is also a celebrity trainer, nutritionist and CEO of Nancy Anderson Fit, based in Dallas, Texas and Newport Beach. “I also take a unique and targeted approach to addressing common issues faced by childbearing and postpartum women, including pelvic floor weakness, postural imbalance and so on.”
The mother of two boys—Kenzie, 3, and Leo, 2—has a considerable Instagram following (@nancyandersonfit, 58.7k) and remotely coaches more than 1,000 people every month through her programs, including 30 Day Slim Down, 10 Day Detox and Post Pregnancy Ab Rehab. But she doesn’t consider herself a social media influencer.
“Truthfully, being an influencer isn’t a part of my business at all,” she says. “Although I’ve had the opportunity to be one many times and am often confused for one, I do not do any paid ads nor sponsorships on my account.”
What she does post about is her programs and products she believes in.
“So many women in my community are looking for safe and sustainable ways to lose excess fat—whether it’s before or after they’ve had kiddos, or even if they’re child-free,” she says. “My top tip is to take gluten, dairy and sugar out of your diet. This simple step is one of the keystone’s of my 30 Day Slim Down plan, followed by thousands of mamas every year who see—and share—incredible results, both physical and mental. The 30 Day Slim Down also offers research-backed breastfeeding modifications for women who are still in this critical stage of motherhood.”
Some other tips she offers for families? It’s never too early to get kids exercising.
“For children specifically, I think the focus should be activity-based rather than ‘workout’ or ‘exercise’-based,” she says. “The way I see it, we want to help our children spend less time in chairs and establish a healthy relationship with activity. Early on, we do this through play—fun outdoor games, getting into nature, etc.—which is something kids naturally do. This builds a foundation for a healthy lifestyle that our kids can take with them into adolescence and adulthood.”
To keep fit as a family, she recommends getting out, staying active and leading by example.
“I always remind my community that kids model their parents, especially in the early years,” she says. “So if your kids see you making exercise and healthy eating a part of your lifestyle, your kids will learn to make it a part of their lifestyle, too. Some of this also comes down to pure logic: Don’t allow junk in your kitchen or pantry, because if it’s not there your kids won’t eat it. I’m always sharing plenty of fun and simple ways to hack some common ‘kid foods’ into healthy, clean and nutrient-dense alternatives.”
She says some of her family’s favorite activities are playing on the beach, chasing waves, building sand castles, hiking, riding bikes, fishing and going for evening walks after dinner.
“My husband and I have been doing this with our boys since the very beginning, so it’s refreshing to see my kids get bored in front of the television and beg to go play outside,” she says.
Of course the holidays can present numerous opportunities for families to overeat and overindulge in unhealthy food choices.
“First, get in the kitchen and start experimenting with whole food versions of popular holiday meals,” she says. “As an example, I recently shared a recipe on my Instagram account for clean buffalo wings—a big hit with the football-loving boys in my house.”
During the holiday party season, she says, never go to a party hungry. Also, never start a meal with sugar and carbs.
“Fill up on protein, healthy fats and veggies first—then if you actually want a small amount of dessert you can save some room for that,” she says. “I also remind people that balance is key around the holidays—you don’t want to Scrooge yourself when it comes to enjoying a special treat every now and then, but you don’t want to use that as an excuse to go overboard, either.”
Even when indulging, make smart choices.
“If you’re going to indulge in a treat, make sure it counts so you can actually enjoy it without the guilt,” she says. “A single serving of a special homemade dessert? Sure. A store-bought cupcake? Maybe not. People have to make this decision for themselves and be conscious about why, what and how much they’re eating.”
Another piece of advice she offers to busy moms like herself is the concept of mental presence.
“In all seriousness, being a business owner and trainer to over 1,000 people a month is super tough. You literally can work 24-7 and still have a to-do list as long as your arm,” she says. “My advice to myself and others is just be present. When you’re at work, be fully present at work. When you’re at home with your family, put down your phone, quiet your mind down, and just be fully present with them. It’s hard and no one is perfect, but I do the best I can.”
By Jessica Peralta