Celebrity fitness trainer, author, and former U.S. Marine Erin Oprea has trained some of the fittest names in music, including Carrie Underwood, Kelsea Ballerini, Jana Kramer, Maren Morris and many more. A nine-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Oprea completed two tours of active duty in Iraq and made history when she was appointed to lead the first female platoon attached to the infantry in a war zone. She is an active member of the People Health Squad, advising on health and fitness to People magazine’s millions of readers. Here she talks to Health & Wellness Magazine.
H&W: Your ‘10 Rules” To Live By If You Want To Get Healthier’ is full of great ideas. You and many other fitness and health experts offer lots of sensible advice on healthy living, so why are so many people still overweight and unfit?
E.O: We live in a world where instant gratification is the norm and it’s easy to have. Hungry? Drive-thru. Bored? Turn on the TV or check your phone. We have so many easy options! Eating clean to get lean and working out to get fit are not easy options in the short term and most people don’t think about their long-term health.
What are the main reasons people fail to maintain their diet or fitness regime?
There are lots of reasons – lack of discipline, not wanting it badly enough, too busy, too many excuses. And I’m not saying that people don’t want to be healthy or fit. They just don’t want it badly enough to commit to it. I often hear people say that they can’t work out because their knees or whatever are bad. Your knees may be bad, but what about the rest of your body? There are plenty of exercises you can still do to get and stay fit. Plus, there are great supplements like Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides that have amazing effects on your joints. I take it every day and my knees don’t bother me anymore.
What can they do to combat this? How can this attitude be changed?
You have to really make the decision that you want it and figure out why it’s important to you. Do you want better health to keep up with your kids? Do you want better health to avoid a health condition that runs in your family? Do you want to look good in a swimsuit or your wedding dress? Figure that out, and then commit to it. Take time to plan your workouts and your meals. You’ve heard it before – fail to plan, plan to fail. Plan to succeed, then hold yourself accountable. Work with a trainer, workout with a friend, join a support group or use any of a lot of apps available to help you. I’m currently hosting a game on StepBet and will start another one soon. That’s a great way to hold yourself accountable. If you need help planning your meals, my Menud app has a meal planning section that even makes your grocery list for you. You don’t have to go it alone. There are lots of tools available; find one that works for you!
In a World that wants ‘instant gratification’ doesn’t this makes the whole concept of ‘long term’ healthy living plans a difficult ‘sell’?
Unfortunately, it does. People tell me all the time that eating healthy and working out is expensive. But, so are chronic illnesses. And people expect to get into shape overnight. You didn’t put weight on overnight and it’s not going to come off overnight, either. You have to be patient, keep eating clean and working out. The results will come.
Personal Trainers are not within most people’s budget, what’s the next best way to keep fit?
My philosophy is that the world can be your gym. You don’t have to have a ton of expensive equipment! You can walk your 10,000 daily steps for the cost of a good pair of shoes. For me, my jump rope is my favorite piece of equipment. You can find great jump ropes and not spend the world for them. Remember, you can’t out exercise a bad diet; so, eating clean and giving your body the fuel that it needs is super important.
Are your ‘celebrity clients’ all super motivated, or are they like the rest of us somedays…’not in the mood’?!!! How do you change their minds?!!
All of my clients are human, so, sure, some days they are just not feeling it. However, they’ve made the commitment to themselves, and to their current and future health. They know that the only thing to do is to, well, do it. As I said before, having an accountability partner helps and, in addition to coming up with challenging workouts for them, I hold them accountable.
Give our readers and idea of your ‘typical day’.
I am up and ready to rock at 3:30 every morning with my belly growling ready for my crockpot oatmeal, egg whites and berries. I eat that while I’m drinking just a little bit of coffee and watching the news. I drink one of my beet shots and pack my lunch bag so that I have plenty of healthy options available during the day. Then I take five minutes to get myself ready before I head out the door to meet my first client of the day.
I work with my clients in their homes usually about 10 people throughout the day, and when I’m driving in between, I eat, hold meetings and give interviews on the phone. If I have any extra time throughout the day, I stop and do Tabatas nearby.
I usually get home at around 5 or 6 o’clock, but my day doesn’t stop there. On Mondays, I host virtual training sessions that include a workout and Q & A session. When that’s done, I get in my own workout, then I eat a clean dinner with food that we prepped on Sunday. Other nights, I have meetings or soccer games. During all of this, I squeeze in time to work on my book. I usually go to sleep at 10 or 11, then hit it all over again!
Do you have a new book planned, tours with other well known Fitness Experts..what are your future plans?
Actually, I am in the process of writing a follow-up to my book, The 4X4 Diet, and it’s going to be A-MAZING! I can’t wait!
I also plan to keep on kicking butt in my one-on-one training sessions because I really love doing that. And I have some group workouts coming up, starting with a series in Chicago in June.
Baseball, Ice Hockey, Football, Basketball, Soccer??..which is your favorite sport to watch-and why?
Definitely soccer! I grew up playing it and have played it my whole life. Plus, both of my sons play it and I love going to their games.
More fun facts:
- If you could eat only one food for your next meal, what would it be? Eggs or Oatmeal.
- What is the last book you read? Fifty Shades of Grey.
- What would be your perfect career outside of Fitness Training? Being a full-time Marine or an event planner.
- Favorite musician or group? Nelly.
- Favorite movie of all time? G.I. Jane.
- If they made a film of your life which actress would you want to play your part? Demi Moore.
- What is the one thing that can always brighten your day? A good workout or flowers.
- Favorite Quote? “The whole world is your gym”.
- Favorite Nashville restaurant? St. Anejo is my favorite, but I can use my Menud app to help make good choices at thousands of restaurants across the country.
- Who/what inspires you most and why? Oh, that’s easy – my kids, does that sound corny? Whatever, they do. They remind me to keep doing what I love and they always make me feel better when I’m down in the dumps.
Buy Erin’s best selling book today:
The 4 x 4 Diet: 4 Key Foods, 4-Minute Workouts,
Four Weeks to the Body You Want
Erin’s unique 4 x 4 diet shows readers how to get clean by reducing the 4 major hitches in most diets: sugar, starch, sodium, and alcohol. She also tells readers how to get lean, using her 4-minute tabata workouts: 8 repetitions of 20 seconds of high-intensity moves, then 10 seconds of rest. Within 4 weeks, the average person will be able to reduce bloating and belly fat; gain increased muscle definition in the arms, legs, and stomach; improve cardiovascular endurance; and break sugar and sodium addictions. Complete with meal plans and recipes, The 4 x 4 Diet is perfect for anyone looking to streamline their body and lifestyle.
Available on www.amazon.com. Price $17.64 Hardcover.