31 Jul Fitness Instructor Q&A: Meet Rya
This week we had the opportunity to chat with Rya, a fitness instructor based out of South Carolina. We love Rya’s approach to health and wellness and we are so happy she was willing to share some of her secrets with us.
What sparked your interest in health + fitness?
I played travel soccer growing up until about high school when I had knee surgery. I really enjoyed being active but had to find a new way that worked for me. In college we were able to take gym classes for credit and I would try to take one a trimester. I took anything from kickboxing to Zumba, just trying to find my niche. I was never one who could just go to the gym and have any idea what I was doing, group classes were more my style! After college my best friend introduced me to barre and I’ve been hooked ever since! Getting older my body and metabolism aren’t quite like they used to be which has heightened my awareness about what I am eating/drinking to fuel my body and how I am using that fuel!
Three things people may not know about you
I am a Pediatric Oncology Nurse full time- my other passion!
I grew up in Rochester NY!
I have a HUGE sweet tooth!
Do you have a special morning routine?
Nothing super special although I try to read my daily devotional before getting out of bed each morning, it helps me to set my mind right before the craziness of the day sets in! If I am working it typically goes like this: wake up, daily devotional,shower and get ready, pack my lunch (hopefully meal prepped on Sunday) let my pup out and hit the road with her. She goes to doggy daycare and I head to work!
Favorite outdoor activity in Charleston
This is a toughly because there is sooo much to do! I’d say lately it’s been going for bike rides, especially after work when it’s not 100 degrees out! But, I also really love being out on the water whether in a boat or on a paddle board!
What is your go-to cheat day meal or snack?
oh man… I’d say ice cream is one of my biggest downfalls! Or anything sweet really… cinnamon rolls from the best pastry shop in town on Sunday morning! Yummm
Barre! I love that it is ever-changing, no two classes are the same and you can always push yourself. It is very much a mental game when your legs start shaking your mind has to tell you to keep going!
Do you stick to a particular diet?
I try to eat pretty paleo based but I am not super strict. I know what triggers me to feel terrible so I try to stay away from those foods and if I splurge I know I’ll face the consequences! I don’t eat red meat or pork (except bacon… because, Bacon!) but that’s just a personal taste preference!
Any good exercises you can recommend for doing at home?
So many! It all depends on what your goals are! My go-to’s are the Tone it Up girls Karena and Katrina, they have a ton of workouts and daily moves online! Whatever you do it is super critical to make sure your form is correct so you don’t injure yourself! I think the most important thing about exercise, in general, is to find something you enjoy doing, even if it is a love/dislike relationship! If you despise it so much that it is a struggle to even motivate yourself to do it, chances are you will find any excuse not to do it or stick with it! It might take some trial and error to find it, but if you enjoy doing it then it’ll be something you look forward to rather than something you dread! Start small, if it is going to be a lifestyle change take baby steps to get there and don’t feel discouraged in the setbacks, use them as motivation to keep pushing forward!
Are you working towards any personal goals?
Always! Non-fitness related- I am currently working towards obtaining a Masters degree in Clinical Nurse Leadership and am about halfway through! Aside from that I am constantly striving to be the best version of myself both inside and out but trying to embrace and enjoy the journey along the way! I think at some point we all fall off the bandwagon and right now I am focused on hopping back on; making meal prep a priority and trying to do something active at least 5 days a week whether that means taking a class, walking my pup, going for a bike ride or just some at home strength training. This last year I have been so tunnel vision focused on school that I have allowed my passions to fall to the wayside. I am eager to tap back into those by traveling more and finding ways to give back to others! So far I have trips planned back home to NY to see family and volunteer at Camp Good Days for kids with cancer, to Colorado for hiking, adventure and live music and to Honduras with an amazing organization called Humanity and Hope!