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Laker Girl Fitness Profile: Annika

How did you prepare for Laker Girls auditions this summer?

I stepped up my workout routine by doing extra cardio and really focusing on stretching, since flexibility is important at auditions. I also worked on increasing my stamina since the first day of auditions is a very long day and requires a lot of energy.

What other styles of dance do you do outside of Laker Girls rehearsals to maintain your skills?

I love taking hip hop and jazz classes, and I really need to get back into ballet too!

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Do you do anything outside of dance to stay fit (ie swimming, biking, etc.)?

I love doing cardio at the gym, and I also love hiking when I get a chance to go.

Take us through your typical workout. Do you use weights, cardio, flexibility exercises? If so, please describe.

I start out with 30-45 minutes of cardio on the elliptical machine. Right after that, I stretch because I like stretching when my muscles are still warm. From there, I move on to my favorite weights/resistance exercises–squats, lunges, sit-ups, and various exercises on the large exercise ball.

What do you eat to stay healthy/maintain energy?

I love having eggs with avocado, and fruit on the side for breakfast. It starts my day off right and gives me the energy I need to get going. My favorite lunch is a turkey sandwich or a fruit smoothie, and for dinner I love having a fresh piece of fish with asparagus and couscous! I love having original tart flavor frozen yogurt for dessert because it’s only about 90 calories per serving and absolutely delicious!

Talk about the importance of stretching, yoga or Pilates in your workout.

Stretching is absolutely essential as a dancer, and I love doing it because it is calming and relaxing for me. I love Pilates because it strengthens my core, which in turn makes me a sharper, stronger dancer. Yoga is extremely therapeutic and beneficial for me too. Its simplicity makes it great for beginners too.

How do you balance dancing vs. other fitness related activities?

I like to workout at the gym every other day (the days we do not have practice), so that I’m active everyday and I can alternate activities.

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Who made you aware of the importance of staying fit?

Honestly, I picked it up on my own when I was in college and realized I had gained about 8 of the Freshman 15. I’m pretty self-motivated because I like feeling fit and in good shape. But, I’m also inspired by the trainers at the gym because of their dedication to fitness.

What do you find a “nutritional snack” during the day? In addition, tell us about your favorite meal to eat that you find healthy for your lifestyle.

I love, love, love Fuji Apples–they are a sweet, nutritional snack and they fill me up just enough to hold me over between meals.

What advice would you give to Lakers fans about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle?

I would say to make diet and exercise equally important–they go hand in hand and both are necessary for a healthy lifestyle. Don’t jip yourself by only doing one or the other.

Do you have an everyday helpful, healthy tips for any of the Lakers Fans?

Drink lots of water!! It gives you energy and is so much better for you than soda and most other drinks. It also helps with portion control because it fills you up.

More Laker Girl fitness profiles, here.

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