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The ever-evolving fitness industry is constantly throwing new theories, products and workout trends into the mix. For those too busy to incorporate a trip to the gym into the daily grind, or who want to go with a less expensive option than a gym membership or private trainer, technology has taken a front seat and fitness apps are more popular now than ever. Brooke Burke just launched her new fitness lifestyle app and it stands out from the pack with shorter, yet highly-efficient, targeted fitness routines that yield incredible results.
The $31 billion gym, health and fitness club industry is now getting a run for its money as fitness technology gains traction. Last year, wearable technology, for example, neared $6 billion and so far this year, smart fabrics, including interactive textiles, have reached sales close to $2.6 billion. Fitness apps are also seeing a surge in popularity, but how do you know which one is right for you?
Over the years, Burke’s nearly 4 million social media followers have continuously asked the 46-year-old wife and mother-of-four, TV host, author and fitness enthusiast how she’s managed to stay fit while also balancing the demands of family and career. To answer, she developed Brooke Burke Body, which consists of bite-size, “stackable” workout programs, ranging from 5-30 minutes, that can be done anytime, anywhere, with or without equipment. With the app, users will have access to hundreds of workouts for every part of the body, in addition to nutrition tips. “I know there are a million reasons not to workout. It’s often difficult to carve out the time,” Burke says. “The shorter workouts mean spending less time working out, yet getting better results. Time will no longer be an excuse.”
In better shape now than she was in her twenties, Burke discovered a way to specifically target and combat the areas women find the most challenging, but her approach is vastly different. Her movements are intense, but she isn’t into the high-impact, fast-paced exercises that a lot of other fitness professionals push. She doesn’t like sharp, jarring movements. “I prefer a total body workout consisting of compound movements that push harder and create a deep sweat with enough variety to keep it interesting. Sometimes slowing things down and getting really specific will target the difficult-to-reach trouble areas that women struggle with the most.”
She discusses the HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) concept, which she uses in her intense cardio burns for maximum fat-blasting results. With HIIT, she brings the heart rate up and then drops it down low. “This is a great belly fat burning concept. It’s about training smarter and more efficiently and spending less time to get optimal results.”
Burke chooses to align herself with companies that support fitness and women’s health and has had a successful career with multimillion-dollar endorsement deals with the likes of Skechers and Kimberly Clark. But, she wanted to be sure to give back, as well. After choreographing four workout DVDs with Sony, she began donating her time and has taught her signature Booty Burn class in Malibu, CA, for five years. Teaching inspired her and she wanted to have an even broader reach. “I know that so many people simply don’t have access to my class. I want to share what I’ve learned with everyone.”
It was while on vacation with her family in Europe earlier this year, that Burke’s idea to help others turned into a huge passion project. She wasn’t able to get to a gym, yet found ways to exercise from wherever she was, even if she had limited time to do so and the idea for the app was born. A believer that fitness is a gift and should be affordable, she’s keeping the cost low at just $7.99 per month.
Each week, she will share a five-day workout plan with Brooke’s Workout Week specifying the workouts she plans to do. And, for those doubting the efficiency of a five-minute workout, do not underestimate the power of her routines. “I totally believe in working out to the point of muscle fatigue and embracing the burn. It’s not about how long you exercise. It’s about what it takes to get you to that place when the muscle response is the burn and then going beyond that. That’s what will change your body.”
Despite her healthy lifestyle, in 2012 she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, which forced her to face her own mortality. “Cancer threw me for a loop. I realized that I’m not completely in control or invincible. It was shocking news, especially for me considering I’ve always made health and wellness a top priority in my life.” An advocate for women’s health, she never misses a physical or a mammogram and says the experience made her passionate about sharing the knowledge of health with everyone. “Yearly physicals are a must,” she says. “Preventative health can save lives.”
It would be a misconception to think that Burke’s thin frame is simply genetics. In fact, she comes from a family that struggles with weight management, obesity and addiction. “I wasn’t led by example. I learned early on that the one thing I can control is how I take care of my body. And, it’s not solely about looking better by any means; it’s very much about feeling better. Women need to learn to love their bodies regardless their shape. It’s about changing our inner dialogue and embracing the ever-changing stages of mother nature and taking care of ourselves from the inside out.”
The truth, she adds, is that we have to learn to find our confidence at any size and any age. “I think beauty comes from deep within and it really is about how we feel about ourselves. It doesn’t matter what anyone says about us, it’s what we say about ourselves that really matters. And, feeling good is a catalyst for success in so many areas. True results are a marriage of mind, body and spirit.”
In her twenties, she measured her food, counted calories and worried about the scale. She’s successfully traded all that in for a healthy lifestyle. The self-proclaimed foodie believes in eating clean, but with a little “wiggle room”. Her food choices are sustainable, yet enjoyable and she believes we all need cheat times. “Break the rules a little bit! If I want to have a glass of wine and a Margherita pizza, I’m going to have it! I give myself the freedom to enjoy life and this is, in part, why I exercise.”
This year she started to introduce high energy fats – the good fats – into her diet, including avocados, olive oil, MCT oil and coconut oil. She’s currently experimenting with intermittent fasting; eating an early dinner and then giving her body a break. She prefers working out in the morning and has one must-have: coffee. She adds butter or MCT oil – back to those good high energy fats – to her coffee, which acts as a meal. “Who would’ve thought we’d be putting butter in our coffee?” she asks, laughing and referring to one of her favorites, Bullet Proof Coffee. The concept of which, she explains, allows her to skip breakfast and count down her intermittent fasting hours until her next meal. “It actually fills you up and helps you burn fat! Everyone I tell this to that doesn’t live in Los Angeles thinks I’m crazy…until they try it!”
These fats, she explains, fuel the brain and body in addition to burning fat. “We need fat and we used to be afraid of it. I eat red meat, fish, chicken, soups and salads. I like to keep it fresh and healthy with a lot of greens. I drink a lot of green tea and stay hydrated. I believe in discipline and portion control and would say I’m a conscious eater.” She avoids high carbs, sugars, saturated fats and packaged food. “The trick is to find the foods you enjoy. With fitness, it’s 90% what we feed our bodies.”
Up next for Burke, a partnership with Sweat Yoga early next year to do live-streaming workouts so people around the world can get fit right alongside her. In addition, she’s hosting and co-producing the award-winning educational CW television show Hidden Heroes, airing its third season in January, and a new digital TV project I Dare You for TV Land, and she’s the founder and creator of Baboosh Baby and co-CEO of Modern Mom.
“My goal is to build a community,” says Burke. “We need to make the time to take care of ourselves. It’s really about sweat equity: how much are you willing to invest in yourself?”
Originally Published on forbes.com