TSC: Who are you? Name? Age? Where do you live? Married/kids? Occupation?
RB: My name is Rebecca Brookstein. I am 34 years old and married to the most incredible guy Joshua Brookstein. We have a 2 year old son named Jack and a baby girl on the way! I'm an indoor cycling instructor at Flywheel Sports and a photographer specializing in families and couples.
TSC: When did fitness first become a part of your life? Have you always been an athlete? Did you start working out as an adult? Did you workout earlier in life and start up again? If so, what and why?
RB: I have been involved in athletics since I was little. I come from an incredibly active and athletic family. My brothers and I were always involved in something. Basketball, softball, and soccer were my mainstays through college. My interests evolved after graduating college from team-oriented to individual sport and competition, initially discovering distance running culminating in the thrill of completing the NYC and Philadelphia Marathons. Soon after, I found indoor cycling, at a time in my life when I was looking to work through injury and also find a workout that fulfilled me on a deeper level. I was hooked pretty quickly and knew I had to become an instructor and pay that feeling forward.
TSC: What is your current workout routine? How many days a week/hours a day do you workout? What types of workouts do you do? All one type or switch it up?
RB: Currently I carry a pretty hefty teaching load. Maneuvering teaching and pregnancy has been much different this time around than it was during my first one. Every pregnancy is different so I try to listen to my body as best as I can. If I realize I need to take time in between teaching, I do it. But, if I am feeling good I love to hop into another instructor's Flywheel class, do a Flybarre, or hit up a yoga session. I like supplementing the cycling with different types of activities to keep my workouts interesting and challenge my body in different ways. Before having kids, I definitely worked out more hours per week. Now, more than ever, quality over quantity is the priority when it comes to workouts outside of teaching.
TSC: How do your prioritize fitness and wellness in your (busy) life?
RB: This is certainly hard. Between my photography business, chasing after a toddler and teaching cycling I have to get creative in my schedule so my fitness doesn't take a backseat completely. It means waking up a little earlier or finding someone to watch my son a little longer. It may even be a family workout all together. Being fit and active not only helps my physical and mental health, but also helps me to be a more focused, energized, and present mother.
TSC: Why is working out/fitness important to you and your lifestyle?
RB: I have always inherently enjoyed being active, but as I have gotten older I have realized several truths about the importance of fitness in my life going beyond having fun. It is now about achieving long term success in life. Maintaining a regular exercise regimen lets me stay healthy mentally and physically, ward off health problems, maintain a healthy weight and promote a positive mindset. Once I got married, and had my son, the importance of health and fitness grew even further. To be healthy for my family is a top priority. I want to teach my children about having a healthy lifestyle, a healthy body image, and to find joy in being active. I want to be a parent, and hopefully one day grandparent, that can continue to keep up with her children and grandchildren. Working out during the pregnancy is also critical. It helps control excess weight gain, keep symptoms at bay and sets me up for an easier labor, delivery and recovery.
TSC: What other aspects of healthy living do your incorporate in your life? Wellness? Sleep routines? Meal prep? Favorite healthy places to eat out/recipes readers should try?
RB: These days, sleep often seems like the holy grail at the end of a long day! Though it is more scarce at the moment getting at least 6-7 hours of sleep regularly keeps me going during the day. Anything less than that and I really feel it catch up with me. Everyone is going to have a different biologic clock on their need for sleep, so it is really important to listen to your body's call for rest to promote the needed recovery for the next day. Sometimes I laugh that my meal prep time is spent more for my son than myself or husband. But, whether it is prepping at home or picking sometime up I always try to keep it as fresh, colorful and preservative-free as possible. During pregnancy it is imperative to have a healthy diet. YOn average, you only need a supplemental 300 calories per day during pregnancy and once you are feeling well enough to have a wide variety in your diet I like to add the calories with healthy snacks throughout my day such as almonds, berries, Rx bars, or yogurt. I also try to incorporate safe seafood options such as cooked salmon or tilapia. Not only is the protein good for you but healthy amount of iodine helps aid your baby's brain and nervous system development.
TSC: If you could share one thing with readers of The Sweat Chronicles what would it be?
RB: Always try to make time in your life for health and fitness. Each day we don't meet our goals is followed by a day of new opportunities. I'm constantly negotiating the challenges of what that means. Sleep gets scarce and time gets tight. However, in the long term it is the best thing you can do for yourself and for your family. I want to encourage pregnant women to speak to their doctors about maintaining a fitness program throughout pregnancy. It is totally natural to be nervous but I want mothers and mothers to be, to try to not be afraid of being active, and to keep their fitness routine if given the OK by a doctor to do so. To listen to their bodies and allow health to always be a priority.