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This past year, we were introduced the term “quarantine 15.” With gyms just reopening and life beginning to resemble some sort of normalcy, we’re ready to go outside. And here’s the tea sis, this summer is going to get what body we give it. But that doesn’t mean the warm weather isn’t a great time to incorporate healthier living into your life with some fitness gems from actress, fitness trainer and life coach AJ Johnson.

We caught up with the Couples Retreat star, who dished on some health best practices that will help you kick-off summer the healthy way. And yes, it begins with drinking lots of water…

2019 Essence Black Women In Hollywood Awards - Arrivals

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HelloBeautiful: AJ, your body is sick. What are some healthy best practices you do on a daily basis to stay fit?

AJ Johnson: Consistent water intake. Meditation. Some form of movement-dance-yoga-hiking-weight lifting

HB: Abs are made in the kitchen, what are some of your favorite summer foods to eat while working out?

AJ: Salads-raw veggies with an added protein, no dressing. Fish (white fish). Use citrus juices to season. NO condiments (they hide fat sugar and sodium)

HB: What advice do you have for those who think they don’t have time to get in shape because summer is practically here? What are some physical things they can do and foods they can eat to feel lighter?

AJ: For most people “in shape” is a 2-3 month process. Release the “in shape by summer” pressure if you have not started. That pressure is stress and stress helps you gain unwanted weight. At this point, in shape by end of summer would be the goal.

To help the process-avoid processed foods-anything with a life of more than 3-4 days is the devil. Focus on fresh fruit (low sugar fruits like melons and berries), fresh raw veggies and water.

HB: Can you give us a summer workout plan that can jumpstart our reader’s routine?

AJ: Commit to eating clean then move…DAILY!! bike riding, online workout videos, dance videos, hiking, walking. In the pandemic a lot is now offered virtually-create a routine that you love and enjoy to help you stay consistent.

HB: What is a great way to lose belly fat? To pump up your booty or to get rid of the back fat under your bra?

AJ: Both areas are 90% food. Avoid added fat sugar and sodium, follow the above advice above.

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The Big Summer List: 21 Tried & True Beauty, Hair & Body Products You Need

Summertime Fine: A Guide To Choosing The Best Swimsuit For Your Body Type

Getting Your Summer Body In Shape Involves Not Stressing About Your Summer Body  was originally published on