Those sculpted biceps. Those impossibly defined abs. Those dripping-in-swag dance moves that have the Internet weak at the knees. Ciara is, without exaggeration, the picture of good health—with a warm, irresistible magnetism to boot. So it comes as little surprise that Equinox has tapped the 33-year-old singer, dancer, and mother of two to be their new ambassador, with a stunning Nick Knight–lensed campaign video launching tomorrow, sure to go viral and inspire a healthier and happier New Year for all.
But while Ciara, who is in the midst of working on her seventh studio album while raising her family with husband and Seattle Seahawks star Russell Wilson, is by all accounts superwoman, even she strives to one-up her personal growth, from her fitness regimen to ensuring a spiritually fulfilling everyday. “I want to live my best life and for me, fitness and overall health is a large part of what that means,” she says simply. “You feel so good when you push yourself to be better, especially when you don’t feel like doing something. The reward is even greater on the other side of all the hard work you put into it. You always want to be your best you, right?”
Here, Ciara gets refreshingly candid about the five ways she plans to level up her health and wellness in 2019.
Target a Muscle Group or Healthy Goal—And Make It Your Personal Mission
“I have diastasis recti, which is when your stomach muscles split post-pregnancy. I had it after my first pregnancy, and could feel a difference compared to my abs before I ever had a child. But the second time it was really noticeable because my muscles were actually laying differently. Immediately, I changed my workout to focus on that and the gap between my muscles began to get tighter and tighter. It was a tried-and-true testament to the [benefits of honing in] on a specific area. And at the moment, I’m all about the glutes [laughs].”
Stay Balanced and Consistent
“Consistency has been game-changing for me because you realize when you stay on top of it, you don’t have to work as hard. If you’re maintaining, as opposed to playing catch-up and overexerting yourself, it really is easier—mind and body. It can be difficult because my life is a real balancing act from my career to being a mom and wife, so I have to have a health plan that’s fit for my lifestyle. Especially when I travel, I try to plan in advance as much as possible—from knowing where the nearest Equinox is to trying to keep up with more health-conscious decisions.”
Keep Building a Diverse, Nutritious Diet
“Especially when you’re traveling and not getting enough sleep, food can be a comforting thing. I mean, I’m a Southern girl, so I have to work even harder at my food choices because I love the things that are so good but so bad for you. I want to continue challenging myself to be more in tune with what my body needs because if you’re really listening, it tells you what it wants and what it doesn’t want. For example, I want to make sure I’m moving away from the foods that make my body feel more weighed down at certain parts of the day, as well as focus on being more open-minded and leaning into lighter protein options, like fish, and definitely eating more vegetables. There are a lot of great greens out there beyond broccoli, like beets, which I never used to eat! I’ve been trying to experiment and explore more with food. It’s fun when you’re trying to be health-conscious because you get to mix it up and be creative.”
Pencil In More “Me Time”
“I’ve become a big believer in scheduling time for yourself because I’ve realized that sometimes your daily schedule, especially mine as it pertains to my career and family, can [consume you]. So I try to maximize self-care time by unplugging. If you have your cell phone in your hand during moments that are supposed to be for yourself, there’s going to be a text or email that comes that you have to respond to. It’s never not something, right? So I really try to carve out time for those moments as best I can. And then going to the gym [gives me that] feeling of, I’m working on me, working towards being my best self.”
Make Wellness a Family Matter
“There’s a lot of athleticism in our household and [Russell and I] do a lot of things together. We find even more ways to be motivated because we can work towards our individual goals together. When I was losing my baby weight, it was so amazing having my partner right there beside me, cheering me on. And it’s cool [because] your kids get to see you in action, and in turn, they really have a better shot at practicing better health habits because they’re exposed to it. Our household is always on the same page health-wise—and we want to keep leveling up on our choices in the New Year.”