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How to Get Fit Without Joining the Gym

Easy ways to add exercise to your life

Man and Woman Running up Hill, Get Fit Without the Gym.

As a former competitive gymnast and a cheerleader for the L.A. (now Oakland) Raiders — a job that required me to dance in high-heeled boots for much of my 20s and 30s — I'm often dealing with a tight lower back, hamstrings and hips. I especially feel this in the morning, so it's helpful to do stretches while I'm in bed. A few side twists, hamstring stretches and leg circles make it much easier for me to get up.

I went to Hollywood to pursue acting. Then I was asked to train Jessica Alba in gymnastics for Dark Angel — and that was the start of my fitness career. Halle Berry often uses my 3-2-1 workout, which includes three cardio segments, two circuit-training segments and one core segment.

I'm a total gym rat, but I also love taking my clients outdoors. Changing your environment helps keep you motivated. But you don't need a trainer to get moving. Here are a few quick exercises to try on the next sunny day.

Aquatic abs

At the swimming pool, throw in a little abdominal work. Support yourself with the pool's edge and crunch your legs toward your chest.

Step up your health

When climbing stairs, boost your stamina — by taking two or three at a time. On a hill, stretch your strides.

Reverse course

If you have painful knees, try walking backward for a bit on your next stroll. This builds quadriceps strength with less joint stress.

Push it

When you pass a park bench, stop and do a few leaning push-ups against its back, to strengthen your shoulders and chest.

Beach body

Sand offers resistance and cushioning. At the shore, try broad jumps or lunges.

Los Angeles trainer Ramona Braganza, 54, has sculpted some of Hollywood’s hottest physiques, including Scarlett Johansson’s and Anne Hathaway’s.

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