Category Archives: Fitness

Outdoor workout: just me & a bench



Good Morning Fit Friends
As the weather improves we migrate towards outdoor activities! As Chicagoans we celebrate every warm sunny day as if it were our last… and lets face it, you never know if it will rain, or snow, or sleet so you have to take advantage! I got out to do my first real outdoor strength training workout yesterday. It felt great to work outside and all I used was my body weight and a park bench! I did 2 sets of 10-12 reps of each exercise! Check it out!

Split Lunge


Make sure your knee stays over your ankle as you drop your back knee towards the ground. Keep the shoulders over the hips and core tight to maintain balance!

Decline Push-up

Hands are just wider than shoulders. Keep thighs, core and butt tight as you bend the elbows to lower towards the ground. Maintain your straight body position as you push back up and at the top pull one knee in between elbows. Repeat using alternating legs!

Bench V Crunch

20130515-063256.jpgHips toward the front of the bench. Squeeze the legs together as you lift the knees toward the shoulders. Drop feet toward the floor on your inhale while maintaining a tight core and not arching the back. Exhale to crunch and lift the legs to the starting position!

Step Up

With one foot staying on the bench, push thought the heel to stand on top. Slowly lower yourself back to starting position and land softly!

Triceps Dip

Sitting on the edge of the bench, fingers face forward, and arms are straight. Slide hips off the bench and start to lower body to floor until elbows bend to a 90 degree angle! Exhale to push up to the starting position!

Why this Rocks?!

Outdoor workouts are great… No gym or equipment is required .. Just you! Plus you can catch some rays, people watch and get a killer bod at the same time! Staying fit outside is not just fun and active, but also its FREE! You can’t be free am I right?! So soak up that vitamin D and get your workout on!! That’s pretty rockin’!! Xoxo Ss



Living Your Fitness: physical activity



Hi Fit Friends

Recently, I was thinking about how we go through our lives. Everyday we wake up and do any number of things ( go to work, school, travel, run errands, make appointments,etc)! So many things to do, but, there are only so many hours in the day right ?
Right! So, how do we “fit” the fitness in??
Incorporate it in your day!

Schedule it: if you can consistently keep your workout time in your calendar you are more likely to get your workout in. Where can you fit in an hour? 30 minutes? 15 minutes? I like to encourage my clients to make it a part of their life just like brushing your hair or taking a shower … its just something you do.
Does that mean you have to go to a gym?? NO WAY! You can workout in your own home (videos, DVD, wii fitness games, yoga, calisthenics, etc).
I love to encourage participation in a group setting, whether a class or sport, groups keep people positively accountable because when you don’t show up other participants notice “missed you last week!” I don’t know how many times I have members tell me their vacation plans because they don’t want me to wonder why they weren’t in class! And you know what?! I LOVE IT! Plus, isn’t it fun to have fit friends who miss you and want to see your beautiful face?!


Use every opportunity to stay active in your everyday!
– Take the stairs
– Deliver in-office emails in person,
– Park further away and walk
– Take a walk during lunch or after dinner with friends, your spouse, or family!
– keep walking til the bus catches up with you rather than wait at the bus stop
– when you walk the dog add in bursts of speed to challenge yourself
– play a rowdy game of tag (or whatever) with your kids

These are just a few activities that can help you keep a fit lifestyle while still living your life. Which activities you choose is up to you … Find something that suits you, challenges you or that you enjoy and you are more likely to stick with it! Small life changes can make a BIG difference! Keep going, keep moving, keep Rockin’ on!!

Circus Practice!



Hi Fit Friends
I try many different types of exercise because I love to challenge myself and see what I can achieve with my body! As some of you know I started taking aerial arts classes at The Actors Gymnasium almost 3 years ago! Now I practice my skills numerous times weekly and perform on occasion! Here is some video of my recent practices!

Why This Rocks?!
Because … Well.. Circus is awesome… And hard! Like the saying goes ‘practice makes perfect’ and I am practicing my butt off !!

Tales of a Zumba ® Instructor: The Clothes



20130307-190225.jpgHi Fit Friends

As you probably know I’m a Zumba® Fitness Instructor! Every week I teach my classes and give my students a safe and effective workout with this amazingly fun format! I LOVE to dance and inspire people to a healthier them..but secretly, or not so secretly,one of my favorite things about this format is the clothes…. Aaaaaahh! There…I said it. I am a Zumba shopaholic ! I love it .. The colors, the style, altering the clothes. It is just so fun and funky and can make the class that much more fun! Take a look at some of my in class fashions!









Why it Rocks?!
Because Zumba® Fitness is all about the party and the party starts here! While its not necessary to wear the clothes to have a great time; it enhances the party atmosphere with fun, colorful, and creative outfits for both the student and instructor!

Want your OWN Zumbawear™? Go to and save 10% when you use my code SYMPHSAVES !!

You can see more pics if you follow me on instagram (@symphomaniac), Facebook, or twitter @symphonysanders

Winter Woes Workout



Hey Fit Friends

I don’t know about you but here in Chicago right about this time of year we are longing for summer. When the temperature was above freezing and the warm sun beckons you to go outside! In remembrance of that time I wanted to share an outdoor workout I did this past summer in the park! Who knows, it might bring that weather back sooner than we anticipated! Do the exercises one after another, try to do 2-3 sets of all exercises with a 30 second break between sets!! Enjoy!

We begin with
Alternating Reverse Lunges
10 on each side
Starting with the feet hip distance apart step back with your right foot keeping the heel off the floor, drop the right knee toward the ground, keep the knee under the hip, return to starting position, repeat on other side!


Spider-Man Push-up
5-7 on each side or to fatigue
Begin in plank position, lift one leg to hip height, bend elbows and bring lifted leg to the elbow, return to plank, repeat on other side!


Squat Jump
10-15 repetitions
Start with feet shoulder distance apart, squat with the hips pulling back and down, keep the knees over the toes as you sit, spring upward and jump straight up, try to land softly as you return to your squat, repeat one after another without breaks

Why This Rocks?!

Because it couples strength training with heart pumping plyometrics, incorporates bodyweight exercise, and challenges the whole body! Don’t be surprised when this workout has you huffing and puffing at the end!


1. How physical? 8

2. Calorie Burning? 8

3. Sweat Factor? 9

4. Coordination/Awareness? 6

5. Health Benefits? 8

Circus and aerial arts



In 2011 I was looking to try something new…I love trying new things especially when it comes to fitness! A couple of my fellow actor friends had been doing aerial arts/circus training and of course I thought ‘that sounds awesome’!

If you have ever seen cirque du soleil you know the magic of finely crafted and executed aerial arts. The combination of strength, flexibility, and artistry amazes and excites millions around the world.

So I signed up for a beginner class at The Actors Gymnasium in Evanston,Il! My class was led by Sylvia Hernandez-Distasi a lifelong circus artist. I was excited to try this 10 week class and learn a new skill! I had been a fitness professional for over 10 years with a background in dance and gymnastics I should naturally succeed right? Wrong! This class was one of the most challenging things I have ever done. Climbing was hard and exhausting…it’s like junior high all over again trying to get up the rope , seemingly impossible! What’s worse is that is only a basic skill to get to the tricks… I was discouraged, and very sore. Also, it hurts .. Yes your muscles but also rope burn, bruises, and material squeezing you in various uncomfortable ways. But, I stuck with it; every week we tried a new apparatus (static trapeze, Spanish web, Lyra, silk knot, and silks)and the second half of the session we got to try them all again … And surprisingly I had improved(ever so slightly)!

I decided to stick with it and do another session. I kept plugging along, learning new tricks, increasing my flexibility, finding grace in my movements, and overcoming fears! I began to be able to do tricks with less effort and even string more than one trick together. A year and a half later I was ready for a new challenge. I enjoyed the class so much and I wanted incorporate the performance aspect! I signed up for the summer intensive which is a 6 week circus intensive that meets 4 days a week for 2 hours a day. You learn skills (dance, aerial, contortion, and ground acts like juggling or globe walking) to create a circus act to be performed In a showcase at the end.

I had an amazing experience..I plan to continue performing when I can and developing more skills and tricks. If you have ever wanted to run away with the circus find a class near you. Chicagoland boasts a number of great training facilities the Actors Gymnasium, Aloft Loft, MSA, The New York Trapeze School! Take a class, challenge yourself, rock your body!



Jump into July: Setting and Achieving your Fitness Goals


There are many reasons to start a fitness program; From trying to become fit or achieving a new level of fitness! No matter what the reason, NOW is the time to start. Its not to late to get that beach body, drop those last few pounds before your wedding, or even to heal your body. Summertime is the perfect time to start a workout regiment. The days are longer, the weather is more temperate, and the overall outlook on life is generally better which leads to a better attitude towards nutrition, health, body image and awareness.

We are going to use the month of July and parts of August to showcase the progress of different styles of workout and fitness programs, along with the qualities and benefits each program has. The participants we follow all have different strengths, weaknesses, body types, and goals.

Here are a few of the fitness programs we will be sharing and discussing

  • Bridal Boot camp
  • Restorative and Therapeutic Yoga
  • Cardio and Abdominal workouts
  • Longterm fitness regiments

Join us as we document the progress of Rocking Your Life Fit

Zumba Fitness


Ever tried it?! Or wanted to try it but didn’t know what to expect?!
It’s an exhilarating, effective, easy-to-follow, Latin-inspired, calorie-burning dance fitness-party™ that’s moving millions of people toward joy and health.

Heres how it started!!
As a fitness instructor in his native Cali, Colombia, Beto’s life took an unexpected turn one fateful day in the mid-’90s when he darted off to teach an aerobics class and forgot his traditional aerobics music. He improvised using his own mix of music from tapes he had in his backpack (salsa and merengue music he grew up with). Spontaneously he created a new kind of dance-fitness, one that focused on letting the music move you (instead of counting reps over the music). Energy electrified the room; people couldn’t stop smiling. His class loved it! And on that day, a revolutionary new fitness concept was born – the Zumba ® Fitness-Party.

My Zumba journey!

I went to a fitness convention in 2007 and first experienced Zumba. I was smiling and laughing and sweating the whole time … Unfortunately it didn’t occur to me that i should get certified to teach it. I started teaching in 2010 and now it is one of my favorites because it’s fun and I love music and dancing!! Enjoy!

Check out my class or find a class near you on