Muevete! The 3 Fundamentals for a Fierce Fitness Routine

Meet Phoenix Carnevale, Latina.Com's new fitness guru! We'll be asking her to fill us in on everything we need to know about going from flabby to fabulous. She can be found regularly on the New York morning news circuit (Fox 5 News, CBS News, NY1 and CW11) discussing the latest in fitness trends or showcasing one of her classes. She's also been featured on national programs like 20/20 and Lifetime Women's TV Next Stop, New You! Check out Phoenix's great advice about what it takes to build a kick butt workout:

Carnevale assured us that while genetics will always have an effect on our weight and body type, there are always ways to enhance the beauty of our curves through proper diet and exercise. There are 3 main elements of fitness that any complete workout should address:

1. Cardio
2. Flexibility
3. Strength

This is an all-star team that works together to build a complete and healthy fitness plan. Here’s why they are important:

Cardio vascular exercise is anything that gets that heart of yours pumping. You need to elevate your heart rate between 60-80% to really burn calories and be effective. Carnevale suggests dancing, running, cycling, and kickboxing as great ways to get in some cardio exercise. You can do cardio to test your stamina in long, uninterrupted durations, or you can practice it in short bursts through intervals. Grab an iPod, go with the ritmo and get your booty shaking to your favorite songs. Phoenix suggests grooving to some old school hip-hop which always helps her get through tough cardio sessions.

Flexibility can be gained by stretching and through activities such as yoga and pilates. Carnevale points out that increasing your flexibility and stretching what feels tight on your body will help increase your mobility. This will help you move better and decrease your chance of injury. Better motion and comfort means you will perform whatever movements you choose to do to the best of your ability, making them more effective and allowing you to see results quicker! Phoenix also stresses that increased flexibility enhances your ability to carry out your fitness goals and helps you to relax.

Strength training and weights are super important for fat loss as well, Carnevale stresses. Instead of starving your body to shed fat, you can build muscles and increase the amount of energy you expend. Weight training builds muscles and muscles are hungry machines that will continue to feed on your calories even when you're not working out. Yup, you heard right, by building muscles you are helping keep your body in shape by increasing your metabolism. Carnevale explains even more simply that the more muscular you are the higher your metabolism will be. Chicas, this is so important. Building muscles means that your body will burn fat even when you aren't working out. Maravillosa! Thanks Phoenix!

Be sure to stay tuned for Latina's new FITNESS videos!

If you live in the NYC are check out Phoenix in action at one of her classes! Visit www.nyhrc.com or www.equinoxfitness.com and search for classes by intructor name.

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About this author1

Mariela Rosario,

I'm a raging opinionista and I love to share my ramblings on everything from pop culture to food to stuff that makes me laugh & cry! I've worked in all types of media (TV, film, print) and was previously the online editor at Latina magazine before joining Mamás Latinas. On most nights you can find me working my way through my library of cookbooks or playing with my puppy Lola (my only child so far). I have a wonderful hubby who shares my passion for any and all kinds of travel. Together, we've formed a semi-professional wine drinking team.

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