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  • Writer's pictureDev Friedlander

Let's Get Moving!

Shortly after the 1996 Olympic games which were held in my hometown, Atlanta, I had an illusion that I too, could achieve athletic grandeur. I wanted to become an Olympic champion. I began my dream by trying out a gymnastics camp for a week. When I failed to do a cartwheel on the balance beam, I moved on to ice skating, then field hockey. I fell short in each one of these sports, my grandiose dream slipping away.

Giving it one last go, I put my efforts into track and field, hoping I had inherited the “speed gene,” from my father. Excited to finally earn my first medal, I signed up for a city-wide race, competing against other girls in the area. I did not come in fifth, or even seventh, but last, dead last. A few months later, I conceded my Olympic dream.

I could not make my legs run fast, nor keep my balance on a beam, or any of the other skills needed to be an Olympic champion. There was a consolation prize, I had gained a stronger body and clearer mind. Movement was fun, even if I didn’t win any medals to hang up on the wall.

I decided to keep training with my father on Sundays for more races. The point was never to win, but to finish, wearing with pride the t-shirts that were handed out at the end. I also went walking with my mother, enjoying the lovely foliage and pretty views that would turn up on the trails. As I got older, I branched out into other forms of fitness such as swimming, cardio, strength training, and yoga. Honestly, I did not care what form of exercise I was doing, so long as I was moving for at least thirty minutes.

My day begins with exercise, no exceptions, except for Shabbat. For those thirty to forty minutes, I unleash my inner athlete. There are days when I am able to push myself to move fast, and days when I can be nothing but slow. Days when I rule my dumbbells and days that they rule me. But for those thirty minutes I am strong, I am fierce and for a short time, completely invincible. And every morning I tell myself, “Let’s get moving.”

Below I interview three fitness experts, Tova Eastman, Chaya Lev, and Sarah Friedlander, about their perspectives and recommendations on how to best stay fit and healthy in our busy modern world.

Reaching Your Fitness Goals

Some Tips from The Experts

Tova Eastman is a personal trainer and a fitness nutritionist specialist. As her family grew along with her personal training business, she found herself with less time than ever to exercise and prep healthy meals. Determined to keep up her level of fitness and health, she started implementing shorter more frequent workouts, meal prep hacks, and instilling deep habits to ensure that she could lead by example and prioritize her health, even as a busy, working mom. Tova is the creator of Ignite Fitness Academy, a 1-1 online coaching program designed to help her clients reach long term health and fitness goals while building a sustainable lifestyle.

What is the best workout moves for staying in shape?

Tova: The best question is, how can I be my healthiest? The answer depends on the fitness goal a person is trying to achieve, but overall, I’d say that there is no one best workout or exercise. You need a balance of strength, cardio and stretching. The aim should be to work your entire body, to create over all fitness. HIIT workouts (high intensity interval training) cover a lot of key fitness components such as enhancing endurance, muscle building, and calorie torching. The key is to move and stay moving, at your own level and pace.

How long is the perfect workout?

Tova: There is no such thing as the “perfect” workout length. It depends on the exercise style and intensity, but seeking perfection is the beginning of most people's downfall. However long a person realistically has for fitness is what they should be focusing on. Build a habit of movement. Fifteen minutes is great if that is what you have. Most of my intense HIIT workout can be completed in thirty minutes or less. The key is to move as much as you can, in the time you have available.

What you are feelings about exercise for weight loss and diet culture?

Tova: Exercise is essential for weight loss, but so is proper nutrition. You need a fusion of both to reach your fitness goals. Diet culture on the other hand is hugely detrimental! Restriction of food groups, deprivation, and yo-yo dieting can lead to malnourishment and disruption in metabolic function. None of which will help a person reach their fitness goals.

Food is not good or bad. What is nourishing for your body? That is what’s important! Part of my lifestyle transformation program, Ignite Fitness Academy, focuses on building a healthy lifestyle by growing a healthy mindset. I coach my clients to take slow, but steady steps, so they can develop and maintain healthy habits for life.

Three Favorite Fitness Tips for Reaching Your Fitness goals-

FOCUS ON WHO YOU WANT TO BECOME. Most people focus on the results they want to get, and this is their downfall. When you set goals, knowing the results you want is important, but those who reach their goals can only stay there, long term, by performing the ACTIONS that are necessary to become the type of person they see themselves being when they reach their goals.

Avoid “Maintenance Mode.” Maintenance in fitness & health, just like in relationships is an illusion. You have to be constantly working on growth or you end up sliding backwards. If you find yourself feeling too comfortable, that's a sign that it’s probably time to take the next small step outside your comfort zone.

Motivation & Accountability – No one is always motivated. Those who reach their goals don’t rely on motivation, but rather, they build deeply ingrained habits and have strong sources of accountability to keep themselves on track when motivation is lacking. Children have teachers, writers have editors, and athletes have coaches. When it comes to building lifelong healthy habits, often working against years’ worth of unhealthy habits, having a coach/mentor to guide you and hold you accountable is often an essential success factor!

To learn more about Tova and her fitness program Ignite Fitness Academy, please visit:


Facebook: @ignitefitnessforwomen

Instagram: @ignitefitnessforwomen

Chaya Lev is the creator of Chaya Dance Movement, which focuses on movement as a way of healing. She created the fitness program after an experience with breast cancer and double mastectomy, embarking on an amazing journey to full health of the mind and body through music and dance.

What is the best workout moves for staying in shape?

Chaya: Core based. I believe if your core is strong, then you can do anything! I love ab work and I love using the breath to help keep my clients on target, through tough core exercises and tough times in their lives. The plank is my favorite because you get to connect to the earth, the body, and the breath.

How long is the perfect workout?

Chaya: For me there is no perfect length. However, in order to grow we have to leave room for new things and experiences. That is why I offer 45 minutes to one hour 15-minute sessions.

What you are feelings about exercise for weight loss and diet culture?

Chaya: I think exercise should be something that makes you feel good! I do not believe in diets... look at the first three letters…, (die) no good for me. I much prefer a healthy lifestyle. That is the best way to live.

Three Favorite Fitness Tips for Reaching Your Fitness goals-

1. Stay focused on you.

2. Stay consistent

3. Stay strong and disciplined but don’t be too hard on yourself. Working out should be fun, especially with the right moves and music.

To learning more about Chaya Lev and her fitness program Chaya Dance movement, please visit:



Instagram: brownsugarjew22

Sarah Friedlander is a certified yoga instructor and wellness coach in Efrat and Gush Etzion, Israel. She has group classes and private clients. Sarah became passionate about the health and wellness benefits of yoga. Her specialty is helping people feel and be their best. She primarily teaches vinyasa yoga, a very mindful and flowy yoga that is accessible to all levels. She also teaches private clients using chair yoga which is great for many with mobility and/or injuries and other concerns.

What are the best workout moves for staying in shape?

Sarah: That is really going to depend on you, your personality, and your goals. There are two questions to ask yourself when determining your best workout:

1. What are your fitness and wellness goals?

2. Do you want strength, mobility, or stamina?

There is also the emotional component, such as mindfulness or self-love. What type of movement do you love? It is worth exploring and trying all different kinds of workouts to find what really inspires. It could be dance, swimming, yoga, kickboxing, martial arts, walking with a friend. Once you find the movement that you love, it will feel much easier to find motivation, space, and time to do it.

How long is the perfect workout?

Sarah: Again, this depends on your fitness and wellness goals, as well as your current fitness level. For example, a brand-new runner might want to begin doing a shorter walk/run/jog before attempting a full 5k. The same goes for yoga. You can start with a beginner’s level workout and work your way up. I find 75 minutes to be optimal for my yoga classes.

My class formula time breakdown as follows:

10 minutes - Breathing and warm up.

40 minutes - Faster-paced part of class with cardio, strength-building, stamina, & balance work.

10 minutes - Cool down yoga poses

10-15 minutes - Restorative yoga, meditation & guided imagery (savasana)

What are your feelings about exercise for weight loss and diet culture?

Sarah: I am so happy that today there is more dialogue about some of the harm that strenuous exercises and diet culture can cause. For far too long, weight loss and diet culture has been extremely toxic and damaging (not to mention, unproductive in the long-term). We need to change our outlook about diet and exercise. We eat and move our body because we love ourselves.

Our diet is our eating lifestyle, and it needs to be sustainable and nourishing. Food nourishes our body by delivering essential nutrients and energy. Likewise, we need to look at movement as nourishing our bodies instead of punishing it by burning calories. Movement and exercise is something that enhances our health, energy, mobility, strength, stamina and more. We do it because we love our bodies and ourselves.

Three Favorite Fitness Tips for Reaching Your Fitness goals-

  1. Do what you love: Life is about pleasure. Make sure you are doing things in your life you genuinely enjoy.

  2. Know Yourself, and be honest of where you are at: What is going to keep you accountable? It doesn’t matter how cheap/free and convenient something is if you aren’t doing it! So, what do you need to reach your goals? A workout buddy or accountability partner? Signing up for a weekly class? Hiring a private yoga instructor or personal trainer? An investment in your health and wellness is the best investment you can make.

  3. Make yourself a priority: Your health and wellness matter because, you matter. When you have good health and wellness, so much in life is easier and more enjoyable.

To learning more about Sarah Friedlander and her Yoga and Wellness program, please visit:

Website: www.


Facebook: @SarahFriedlanderYoga

Instagram: @sarahfriedlanderyoga

Phone: (IL) 0504278648

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