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6 Palm Beach County Health And Fitness Experts Share Their Wellness Secrets

It’s said if you don’t have your health then you don’t have anything. Here, six of the county’s top health and fitness experts weigh in on everything from feeling sexier in your own skin to tippling nutritiously.

Tiffany Bowers

Founder and creator, Tribe Studio Jupiter

Fifteen years after relocating to Jupiter from Baltimore, Maryland, Tiffany Bowers opened her popular fitness studio. Group classes range from kettlebell and kickboxing to cardio-dancing set to hip-hop and Latin rhythms.

Four exercises perfect for everybody’s body.

1) Planks, because you’re activating so many muscles at the same time. There’s core activation during stabilization and if you’re doing it right, you’ll be connecting to your hamstrings and glutes. 2) A deep sitting squat where you drop your booty behind your heels a little. Keep your knees stacked over your ankles for proper form. 3) A slow lunge that makes you work against gravity. Take a four-count down to the heels then drive out strong on a single count. 4) A basic tabletop pose where you raise a hand and leg on the diagonal will give you major glute activation and will work your lower back muscles.

Make friends with weights.

I tell my clients, “You know you have the right weight in your hand when you can barely finish the set.” If you’re really looking to make a difference, the weight has to be taxing on your muscles but not so much you’re dying during the first few reps. Grab a couple weight increments and try them during the set. The goal is to feel your muscles burn, not to hurt yourself.

Warm up and recover.

Pouncing on muscles before signaling to the body what’s coming can cause pain later on. That’s why warm-ups are so important. Muscles also need to cool down and return to their regular shape. We offer foam-rolling classes and incorporate recovery into our cool-downs to relax the fascia. This stretchy connective tissue causes soreness if it’s not loosened after a workout.

Three ingredients you’ll find in her kitchen.

1) Eggs. They take two seconds to scramble, and they’re perfect if you don’t have any time or you’re starving.  2) Greek yogurt. I use it instead of sour cream, and I’ll add it to food or sauces for a richer or creamier flavor. 3) Non-GMO popcorn. I love to munch, so popcorn is my go-to. I’ll heat a little coconut oil in the microwave until it’s liquidy. In a regular paper bag, I’ll mix a quarter cup of Arrowhead Mills, salt and seasonings like cayenne pepper and the oil. Heat it for 2.5 minutes in the microwave and you have this huge batch of seasoned, organic popcorn that’s only about 150 calories.

Barb Schmidt

Owner, Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life Boca Raton

Barb Schmidt has been practicing mindfulness for more than 30 years. Mentored by meditation experts like Deepak Chopra and the Dalai Lama, she’s spoken about reinvention at TEDx Talks, wrote a best-selling self-help book and hosted wellness workshops at Boca Raton Regional Hospital.

Look outside less.

Look inside more. I love this idea that we’re totally connected to the outside world and we’ve forgotten who we are and our ability to regulate our own stress. Meditation reminds us we’re amazing human beings and that we can only control what’s inside us.

Meditation is free.

You don’t need to spend money on incense or candles or a vibrator chair to meditate properly. It’s simply about being with yourself, in the present moment and harnessing the ability to stop listening to your thoughts.

Practice being present.

In the morning, before you get out of bed or pick up your phone, close your eyes and breathe for a minute. Maybe name something you’re grateful for. By connecting with your breath, you’re connecting with you. When you start to feel stress or anxiety, bring your attention back to your breath. It will interrupt your thought cycle and help you to relax.

Reap the rewards.

If you have a hard time falling asleep because you’re feeling stressed or ruminating about your day, remind yourself you’re living in the present, not the past or the future. Take some deep breaths as a way to come back to the present moment. Stress is so common that many companies are incorporating meditation into their corporate culture. Being mindful also improves focus and concentration. You’re also giving fuel back to your body by reducing anxiety and giving yourself a break from overthinking.

Jacquelyn Quesada

Founder, Studios Etc. Palm Beach and West Palm Beach

Jacquelyn Quesada knows fitness goals are best achieved in a supportive and progressive environment. Specializing in cycling, Labarre and Labarre Pilates, she owns three fitness studios and recently opened a new location at Grandview Public Market.

Team spirit.

Statistics have found people work 70 percent harder in groups than they do one-on-one. People energetically feed off one other and while we share a “we’re all in this together” mentality, the goal is always to be stronger than the last time you were there.

Cue the clothing.

I recommend wearing high-waist leggings no matter how small or curvy you are. In Pilates and barre classes, wear fitted clothing so we can make sure your form is correct. For cycling, layers are fine. You’re working out in a black room with no lights, so if you take your top off, no one’s going to know.

Fat is your friend.

Sugar makes you fat, not fat. It also causes your glycemic level to rise, which results in weight gain. Juices are loaded with sugar, so if you’re going to juice, add straight greens and don’t put juice in it. Some people will disagree, but that’s how I operate.

Create a relaxing sleep ritual.

I have a work phone and a personal phone I won’t bring into the bedroom. Before I go to bed, I like to rub Dreaming Oil by Farmaesthetics on my hands and chest. I’ll also make a drink with Sleep Inner Beauty Powder by The Beauty Chef that’s super calming. That’s my ritual.

Jules Aron

Author and wellness expert, Pretty Zen West Palm Beach

A wellness expert certified in yoga and qigong, Jules Aron has authored four cookbooks, including Nourish and Glow: Naturally Beautifying Foods & Elixirs, loaded with holistic, craft cocktails and deliciously nutritious meal recipes.

Play detective.

There’s so much greenwashing going on because of the wellness boom. Companies are monopolizing on it by tagging products with words like “natural” and “sugar-free” that essentially mean nothing. These products have been modified and our bodies no longer know how to process them properly. That’s why understanding a label’s nutritional facts is essential.

Get cooking.

I like bringing ingredients home and having fun with them. Put some good music on, open a bottle of wine and pick a recipe you want to try. Or, play around in the kitchen and make a couple recipes so you’ll have extra stuff for the rest of the week.

Follow the rainbow.

Dark, leafy greens are incredibly nutritious. Keep an assortment of fruits and veggies you can switch out. If you buy apples and bananas one week, then buy oranges and plums the next week. You’ll be eating a rainbow and getting different phytonutrients with health-protecting qualities.

Give cocktails a nutritious twist.

Infuse alcohol with healthy ingredients like super foods or herbs and spices. For a flavorful boost, mix club soda with a squeeze of lemon, lime or orange. If you’re at a bar and it’s not busy, ask the bartender to muddle some fruit for you. Otherwise, you can muddle your own fruit with the curved end of a spoon.

Angela Tompkins

Owner, Core Inspired Living Palm Beach Gardens

Angela Tompkins has been developing healthy lifestyle options for clients since 2007. Five years later, she teamed up with companies like GE Healthcare and The Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority to create opportunities that stimulate employee productivity and lower health care costs.

Take short breaks.

If you have a desk job, taking short breaks will help you feel more productive and refreshed. Research from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education also found people who brainstormed while walking generated more ideas than those who remained seated.

Commit at least two times to a new fitness regime.

Starting a new class like kickboxing or Zumba can feel awkward. But don’t give up because you didn’t master the forms or steps in the first round. Try it a couple times, it may be the perfect fit for you.

Accountability feels good.

If you have difficulty sticking to a routine, find a buddy. This accountability partner will hold you responsible and keep you on track.

Slow down for lunch.

When we eat at our desks, we can feel rushed, distracted by deadlines or what’s hovering on our computer screens. It’s important to not eat too fast, chew properly and savor our meal. Slowing down and being mindful of how our food tastes will leave us feeling more fulfilled.

Andrea Rogers

Founder and creator, Xtend Barre Boca Raton

In 2008, Andrea Rogers launched Xtend Barre, an adrenaline-fueled technique that combines dance, ballet and Pilates. A former dancer and choreographer, her workouts have spawned 170 locations and 61 stand-alone studios around the world.

Connect with your body.

Whatever workout you choose, you have to be connected to the why behind the movement. I constantly call out in class, “What are we focusing on right now?” And they’ll call back, “We’re feeling our glutes,” or “We’re pushing through our heels.” I want them to understand why they’re performing the movement.

Use yourself as motivation.

Clients often want my advice for staying committed. I ask them, “How will you look if you stay faithful to this routine and don’t give up?” Visualizing how you want to feel and appear are great motivators for achieving personal health and fitness goals.

Go full out.

I always encourage clients to go full out in class. It’s a dance term that means using all your mental and physical energy. If you really push yourself to the limit, your results are going to come quicker.

Not a meal planner? No problem.

I wish I could say I meal plan, but that’s not me. I cook three times a week and use a program called Fresh Meal Plans. It’s not a diet system; it just has real fresh food. Some people get so overwhelmed with cooking healthy they don’t take the first step. I like the plan because it’s simple and I don’t feel guilty about not making everything myself.