Christina Sinclair, a local fitness instructor, new mom and founder of Beach Babe Fitness, shares her tips for balancing health and motherhood.
Section by Bria Balliet
When Laguna Beach native Christina Sinclair moved to Los Angeles to attend college, she never imagined where that decision would take her. While pursuing an acting career, she began taking barre classes and quickly fell in love with the Pilates-meets-dance workout. She became a fitness instructor and has been recognized as one of LA’s top 20 barre instructors.
Now settled back in Orange County (and less than six months after giving birth to her first child), things are busier than ever for the new mom. Between a partnership with a brand-new workout routine called Towel-Toning, motherhood and teaching at gyms all over south OC (including Art of Fitness in Laguna), Christina is learning to juggle a career, a healthy lifestyle and a bundle of joy. It’s not easy, but she’s proof that it is possible to be fit, happy and a great mom. It just takes balance.
Laguna Beach Magazine: What encouraged you to make fitness and teaching your vocation in life?
Christina Sinclair: I was an actor … and it just got to the point where I was getting more joy out of teaching than I was out of auditioning. … I was like, “What am I doing? Isn’t it about being happy?”
LBM: What was it like being a full-time instructor while carrying your son?
CS: I taught up until two days before I gave birth. I told myself I would teach up until my due date. I was supposed to teach [the day I went into labor].
LBM: How did you keep yourself motivated to workout during your pregnancy and, now, as a new mom?
CS: I was so exhausted throughout my entire pregnancy. … That was the hardest part of staying motivated—the exhaustion. [But] because I didn’t have a choice—because it was my job—teaching and exercise was the only thing that made me feel better. So, I always encourage people to set a schedule … and [maintain] that schedule. … [Keep] it in your calendar as much as you would a meeting for work. You can’t just not show up—that’s your commitment so you can’t really make an excuse for it.
LBM: What are some tips for moms-to-be for working out?
CS: Throughout your pregnancy, you can [typically] continue doing what you’ve been doing in the past. There’s no reason to cut back, especially not right away. [Listen] to your body, and if something is uncomfortable, don’t do [it].
LBM: How do you keep a healthy diet when the life of a new mom is so busy?
CS: I feel like if you’re working out really hard, you can eat more and give in to those indulgences more, … but pay attention to the quality of the food. I don’t pay much attention to the quantity [of what I eat], but I pay attention to the quality.
LBM: What’s the biggest challenge of having a career in fitness?
CS: We all have off days. Even if I’m not feeling good or motivated … [I] have to bring that energy or else [the] class isn’t going to be a good class.
LBM: How do you balance work and the new baby?
CS: It’s really hard. … There are just not enough hours in a day, and that’s the hardest part about being a mom. It’s hard to sacrifice the things that you love. … It’s almost like you can choose to do everything 50 percent or you can cut back and really [focus on] your priorities. He’s my priority now.
ACTIVE MOM MUSTS
Even with a little one in tow, these products will keep you motivated and moving.
Getting in shape before and after baby is a challenge. Here, Christina Sinclair of Beach Babe Fitness recommends a slew of must-haves to help new moms and moms-to-be stay fit while looking their best.
The comfy Zippy Balance Capri, $84, at Athleta, Fashion Island, Newport Beach, accommodates weight fluctuations, letting you wear them before and after baby. (949-717-6650; athleta.gap.com)
Christina loves exercising with her Toning-Towel, $35, available online, which helps engage all the muscles in the body during workouts. (949-290-8046; toweltoning.com)
The flattering yet functional Melissa top, $70, at The Spa at The Resort at Pelican Hill, Newport Coast, features a peplum detail that hides a post-baby tummy as your body is bouncing back into shape. (855-315-8214; pelicanhill.com)
Made from recycled blown glass, the BottlesUp 22-ounce water bottle, $29.95, at Ritual Yoga, Laguna Beach, keeps you hydrated during class. (949-715-7005; ritualyogaarts.com)