Fitness is a passion and a way of life for model, actress and sports radio personality Karen McDougal. The first-ever female cover model for Men's Fitness credits a healthy lifestyle for a fulfilling life and successful career. "Fitness has made kept me healthy, happy and youthful!" she says. "But everybody has the ability to achieve the same results. It just takes knowledge and discipline." The good news is that Karen is happy to share her health and wellness secrets with you. "I want everyone to have the tools to reach their goals to experience the best life possible!"
How important is what you eat to how you feel?
"Diet is critical to feeling good and being healthy. Eating well maximizes your potential to perform at a peak level physically, mentally AND emotionally. My four meals a day are sensible and fairly clean. I always start with a good breakfast — a bowl of oatmeal with brown sugar, protein powder and almond milk. My other meals center around lean chicken, salmon and a daily shake with protein powder, spinach, blueberries, a veggie powder and coconut water. I allow myself one coffee a day and three-to-five green teas! When I'm weak, I allow myself a snack. But it's important that you have a high protein and nutrient-filled diet to fuel your body and give you the energy to take on your daily tasks. Keep alcohol and soda to a minimum…and you'll lose weight AND feel better. Tip? Give yourself one cheat meal a week to keep your body from craving and YOU from binging."
How do you work in working out?
"I hit the gym five times a week and rotate body parts to focus on. On Monday and Thursday's I do 10 minutes of cardio and move onto working my lower body with squats, lunges, hamstring curls, and other leg exercises. Tuesdays and Fridays I do 30 minutes of cardio and then work my triceps and biceps with free weights and cables. On Wednesdays I make sure to do 30 minutes of cardio and then work my shoulders, back and chest. The results are amazing. My doctor marvels at my heart health. It helps keep a positive attitude and overcome depression. It helps me feel healthy from the inside out."
How do you combat the aging process?
"I'm a big believer in moisturizing and protecting your skin. During the day I use a high sunscreen to protect my skin. It helps reduce wrinkles and makes your skin soft, strong and smooth! Also make sure to use a moisturizer to keep the skin fresh, and prevent dryness and flaking. At night I make sure to wash off my makeup and use a face and eye cream to allow the skin to breath and rejuvenate while I sleep. Adequate rest is critical for you body and brain to achieve peak performance … and for you to be at your best to take on the day!"