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Courtney Hope Shares Her Fitness Secrets

Have you ever struggled with your weight? “Yes, I had an eating disorder when I was younger. I was filming in Bulgaria and I ended up getting a parasite in my stomach and I was really sick. When I got home, I just never got better, so there was a lot of stuff I couldn’t eat. I was always in shape because I’m a dancer and as I was losing weight, I was looking more ripped and people were complimenting me on it, so when I did get better, I was like, ‘I have to stay like this!’ I wasn’t really eating and for a short time, I had bulimia. Then one day I went, ‘What am I doing? This is not who I am.’ So I started eating but overexercised. It wasn’t until I was about 22 that I found my groove because I learned more about fitness and nutrition.”

How would you describe your approach to nutrition now? “Right now, it’s about moderation in food and a healthy lifestyle. I’m in touch with my body, so when I eat something that makes me feel sluggish or tired or bloated, I know to avoid it. That’s an easy guideline for anyone to follow. I also have a few allergies, like to gluten and dairy, so I shy away from those, and I stick to whole foods as best I can, which includes veggies, fruits and proteins. And of course, I drink lots of water.”

How has your exercise routine changed since the pandemic? “I love going to Cardio Barre classes, but going to classes doesn’t really exist right now. So we [she and beau Chad Duell, Michael, GH] transformed our game room into a full-fledged workout room with my Pilates machine and I bought a Bowflex Max Trainer, which is like an elliptical/ StairMaster for my cardio. I also do a little strength training with some weights.”

What’s your go-to smoothie recipe? “I always start with a vegetable vanilla milk, then add a protein powder. If it’s a fruit smoothie, I’ll add banana or mangoes or blueberries, or I’ll do an avocado or kale smoothie with flaxseed powder. The protein powder I have is chocolate, so it stays sweet. If I do need a little extra-sweet, I’ll put in a little bit of organic honey.” What healthy snacks do you gravitate to? “I’ll have half of a rice cake with some sunflower butter or I’ll have fruit or I’ll make chia seed pudding or I’ll cut up a banana and put coconut yogurt on the slices, drizzle them in chocolate, then freeze them.”

Courtney’s Top Three Tips

• “I think one of the best things to have is a set of lighter hand weights. You can always do high reps with low weights and get that toned look. Also, getting some exercise bands help and they don’t cost a lot of money. You can get a set of them for $25-$35. You can put them on doors, then on your arms and legs, and do outer thighs or glute exercises.”

• “There are so many [exercise apps] available depending on what kind of workout you think is best for your body. I’m a dancer, so I have a couple of apps that are more dance-based.”

• “You can use a gallon jug of water for lifting weights or put books in a backpack to wear on your back and front for weighted squats. If you don’t have the space for a treadmill or StairMaster, get outside and move around for cardio. Just keep moving.”