Muhammad Ali’s youngest daughter is Activia’s newest spokesperson. The busy mom of two sat down with SheKnows to share her favorite exercises and tips for a happy, healthy New Year. Listen in!
For Laila Ali, looking your best on the outside starts with what you’re putting inside your body.
The former Dancing With the Stars contestant says she tries to eat as clean as possible. “People are like, ‘What’s clean?’ And that’s just eating foods that are from the earth, foods that are unprocessed. Lean meats, veggies, fruits, nuts, whole grains,” she explains.
Laila also believes in making healthy meals at home and is working on her very own cookbook. “It’s really about making smart choices every day and doing something you can do long term, that’s not a fad. For me, it’s all about what my body can digest, because when you feel good on the inside, everything else pretty much falls into place.”
The Activia spokesperson says focusing on her core is a top priority during workouts. “Especially women who’ve have children, we always want to keep our core tight,” she explains, adding that you don’t just have to stick to typical crunches to get a tight waistline. “I like doing leg lifts, whether they’re on the floor or on a bench. Lifting your legs really works your lower abdominal muscles. Standing crunches work too, and Pilates is great for your core. I really focus on having that form and tucking my butt, squeezing my abs, keeping my shoulders back and down, no matter what kind of exercise I do.”
Laila’s exercise of choice is running, whether outside or indoors. “I like to get out and run where I can think and just put on my iPod and just go. When I want to do a full-body workout and I don’t have a lot of time, I have a treadmill workout that I do that’s a combination of walking and using my arm weights, and then I’ll take up the incline and do some sprinting. It’s usually 20 to 45 minutes, depending on how much time I have, so I’m working my full body and I’m keeping my heart rate up, burning fat, toning, all at the same time.”
And just like the rest of us, she has to make working out a priority, even if that means sacrificing sleep. “Sometimes before the kids wake up, I’m waking up at 5 so I can get my little workout in, and then by the time they’re up, it’s done, it’s over, I feel good and can go on with my day,” Laila explains. “We’re all tired, so that excuse doesn’t work!”