By David Raterman, Correspondent
May 24, 2013
A Miami Dolphins cheerleader for three years, Andrea Ocampo-Haley is now involved with a different sport: as the arena host for the Florida Panthers.
The lifelong dancer does Zumba a few days a week, burning up to 600 calories per class. A native of Colombia who grew up in South Florida, she also weight trains, focusing on her lower body.
As she says, “I’m Latina so I definitely have the hips I want to keep in check.”
Q: Why do you keep fit?
A: It’s really important to take care of our bodies when we’re older, and important to start when we’re younger. But performing is the No. 1 reason … I also want to be healthy for my family, to do my best as a wife and future mother. And the whole self-esteem thing. That’s an uphill battle sometimes.
Q: What’s your workout routine?
A: Dance fitness is my go-to. It’s what I know I can commit to, get excited about, since I have a background as a dancer. At least three times a week I dance, doing Zumba classes for one hour. You can lose up to 500-600 calories per class, depending on how hard you push yourself. And salsa dancing is an amazing workout.
I like to do free weights at home and at the gym. Two to three times a week I go to Busy Body of Boca Raton. I concentrate on lower body. I’m Latina so I definitely have the hips I want to keep in check. Lunges and squats, lunges until I cannot walk anymore. And floor exercises as well. I also do upper body: biceps and tris and shoulders.
If I get really busy and can’t make it to dance, I get a run in. I hate running, but I have to do something. I’ll run at least 30-45 minutes to get my heart rate up.
Q: Was it tough being a Miami Dolphins cheerleader?
A: Yes. When I got recruited for the team, I was 19 and not educated on how to stay lean and healthy. It was an uphill battle where I had to be skinny all the time. Little by little, I started educating myself about fitness. We practiced three or four hours a day, and I learned eating chicken nuggets is not the best diet.
We had conditioning on top of dance routines. First hour was optional conditioning. Then we practiced high kicks — the famous kick line. We had a total of 15 dances per season.
Q: Does your family keep fit?
A: My husband has always been into fitness. And my parents are relatively healthy. My mom lost a lot of weight a year ago. Nice to keep [fitness] in the family and motivate my mother.
Q: Do you have any physical problems that hinder exercise?
A: My back is something I fight with because of my dance background. I try not to push that during workouts. It’s not a problem but something I’m aware of.
Q: Do you smoke or have any other health vices?
A: I definitely don’t smoke. I don’t drink much — a glass of wine from time to time. Only thing I battle is chocolate. I have a sweet tooth. Chocolate is my love-hate relationship. I crave it so much but try to have it [only] on weekends.
Q: What’s your typical daily diet?
A: It varies, but throughout the week I try to be organized with my food. Smoothie for breakfast Monday to Friday … protein bar or almonds around 11. Lunch at 1 or 2, maybe a turkey sandwich. Protein with everything I eat. Maybe an egg-white omelet with spinach that I’ll bring with me. Then a protein bar around 4 o’clock. For dinner, I try to stick with chicken, fish. I love red meat so I’ll have that, too. Brown rice or salad with it.
Q: What do you drink?
A: I try to stick with water except the smoothie. For that, I use Silk Fruit & Protein juice and put in spinach, banana, strawberries, soursop — that’s a Hispanic fruit.
Q: Any advice for South Florida residents looking to get fit?
A: To create a healthy lifestyle, you need to educate yourself regarding types of food that are best for you.
City of residence: Delray Beach
Height/weight: 5 feet, 2 inches; 108 pounds
Occupation: Florida Panthers arena host