Fitness Friday: Former Miss Brooklyn Shares Her Fitness Tips

Keelie Sheridan - Sweat = Success
Diet and exercise are 100% co-dependent and equally important in getting into swimsuit shape. No amount of exercise will compensate for a poor diet, and no amount of calorie cutting will mask poor muscle tone or high body fat percentage. I did a combination of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) using serious strength and fat burning moves- kettlebells, sandbags, ropes, body weight exercises and cardio (mostly running). The biggest changes happened when I started lifting weights. Many women are afraid of "bulking up" through weight lifting, but our bodies are just not designed to do that. Don't be afraid of heavy weights- muscle burns fat and takes up less space so you'll look toned and tight (not bulky). Additionally, my job as a dance and drama teacher kept me very active, and I commuted to work on foot (a mile each way). I strength trained approximately 4 days a week and did some form of cardio 5 or 6 days a week. I ate a really clean diet of lean protein (soy, chicken, eggs, legumes), whole grains and lots of leafy vegetables. My simple sugar intake was pretty low- most of the sugar I consumed came from fruit.

Now that I no longer have to be in a swimsuit on-stage, my focus has shifted from results-oriented fitness to simply enjoying the activities for what they are. I truly enjoy running and strength training and challenge myself by signing up for races and endurance events like the Tough Mudder (I've completed 2!). I began my lifestyle, fitness and nutrition blog, Sweat Equals Success, which has introduced to me a supportive and inspirational community of fit and healthy people. Learning about nutrition and healthy cooking has become a huge part of my life. I was recently featured on Shape Magazine's website, and I shared the following advice: Think about health as a journey instead of a destination. You don't magically arrive at "healthy" and then put it out of your mind—it's a daily promise to keep your body and your mind as happy as possible so you can enjoy life as long as possible.

Keelie Sheridan is the author of "Sweat = Success," is an actor, dancer, teaching artist, writer, MFA Acting student, athlete, adrenaline junkie and foodie living in Brooklyn, NY.  Keelie once held several pageant titles, with one being Miss Brooklyn 2009, an official preliminary for the Miss New York and Miss America Scholarship Pageant.  I had the privilege of being the Miss Brooklyn Executive Director during her reign and it was amazing to see her work hard to while training for the pageant where she placed in the Top 5.  I. Love. Her. Find her.  Follow her.  Tweet her.

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