America Ferrera is done punishing her body through exercise.
“My relationship with working out used to be about fixing flaws. For years, I was in a cycle of beating myself up,” Ferrera told TODAY Parents. “It took me a lot of work to transform that relationship into one that is based in deep gratitude for the ability to move my body in ways that make me feel strong, joyful and alive.”
“Moving our bodies because it brings us joy is something we want to model for our kids,” the mom of 4-year-old son, Sebastian “Baz,” and 2-year-old daughter, Lucia, added.
Recently, Ferrera rediscovered her love of the Latin dance workout Zumba when she partnered with Zumba for Beginners. The choreography is so much fun that Ferrera forgets she’s even exercising.
“I’ll wake up the next day and I’m like, ‘I didn’t realize I was working that part of my arm, or that side of my abs,’” she explained. “You’re getting a full-body workout.”
Another perk: She can occupy her kids with an art project while she streams a 30-minute Zumba class from home.
“I get that boost of energy and that bump of endorphins,” the “Superstore” alum said. “Then I can get back to whatever is next on my schedule.”
Ferrera shares her two children with her husband, director Ryan Piers Williams.
During a 2020 appearance on “Conan,” the Emmy winner opened up about how she and Williams differ in terms of their parenting styles.
“I’ll listen to ‘Wheels on the Bus’ and read them ‘One Fish, Two Fish, Green Fish’ and Ryan will listen to Cardi B., or whatever he wants to listen to,” she joked.
Ferrera said she’ll make Baz sit at the table and finish his meal, but Williams isn’t as strict. He’s been known to let the little boy eat in the bathtub to avoid a tantrum.
“Because he’s distracted and having a great time and just shoves food in his mouth,” she quipped.
When reflecting on her fitness and parenting journey with TODAY, Ferrera said she’s learned to “let go of the idea that it has to be perfect.” It’s a notion that she thinks other busy parents might find helpful.
“If you miss a day, who cares? If you miss a week, who cares? If you had a busy month — and this happens to me a lot — and your workout time is just not possible for that month, let it go,” Ferrera said.
Just pick it back up when you can.
“Don’t let the past weigh you down,” Ferrera said. She suggested starting with a 15 minute online class.
“Whatever time you have, take it,” she said. “Let go of the idea that it has to be a full one-hour class in order for it to be beneficial to you. That’s been helpful for me because then I just show up for what I can show up for, and I let that be enough. It keeps me coming.”
Rachel Paula Abrahamson is a lifestyle reporter who writes for the parenting, health and shop verticals. She was previously a senior editor at Us Weekly. Her bylines have appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, and elsewhere. Rachel lives in the Boston area with her husband and their two daughters. Follow her on Instagram.
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