Fitness Files: Ashley Johnson
Ashley Johnson is a dancer and instructor that shares her passion for both in her new fitness DVD "Sweat.Shape.Party!" Feat. "Own the Night" by Shaggy and Honorebel. Ashley infuses music and dances you love to hear and see in the club, she has a passion that shines through in her teaching. As a mom and fitness entrepreneur I had to interview her for my Fitness Files! Continue reading below to learn more about Ashley and her workouts.
NMF: Has fitness always been a major part of your life or was there a catalyst/point in your life when you made it more of a focus and priority?
Ashley Johnson (AJ): I started becoming strongly interested in fitness in high school from what I remember, but I had been active in taking dance classes, acting in stage performances and running track prior to that interest blooming. As a youngster, I used to dance and workout to fitness DVDs and mimic the instructors I watched. I started teaching dance classes in the 10th grade in high school. The dance director took me under her wing as my mentor and trained me to become a dance instructor.
I believe this was the pivotal point in my life where the wheels hit the pavement and I was able to apply my love for dance to my love for teaching, that I realized I had. My life started to change. Fate had it that I was practicing my dance choreography in an empty fitness studio one day at a gym I was a member of, and the group exercise director saw me dancing and asked if I would be interested in teaching dance aerobics. That moment led to me studying for and getting my first fitness certification. That's when I started teaching fitness.
So, in many ways, fitness has always been a part of my life because as a dancer I spent a lot of time being athletic, stretching, toning, eating right and maintaining my body machine. I could never have imagined this was the direction fate would have me go. I am so in love with everything fitness! That is why I created my first fitness DVD Sweat.Shape.Party! an energy infused dance aerobics workout. I have always been inspired by other fitness DVDs and I wanted to produce my own. I figured there are other people out there like me, single parents, other instructors, and the everyday hard working individual who would appreciate a fun, upbeat workout that would inspire them.
NMF: What are a few of your go-to healthy snacks/drinks that help keep you on the straight and narrow?
I have to have a very high protein diet to stay balanced. To keep my muscles strong and from getting fatigued. I like to drink non-lactose protein drinks daily, with 25-40 grams of protein. I also like to snack on hummus, baby carrots, mandarin oranges, granola bars, and yogurt. I love chicken, turkey, and steak. I do not eat a lot of bread or sugar, but I do substitute sugar for honey in my tea and coffee. I take a multi-vitamin every day and L-Carnitine for a healthy metabolism, energy and heart health. I like to drink probiotics for digestion and kombucha for cleansing.
I do eat salads, but not every day. When I make a salad I prefer dark leafy greens over iceberg lettuce. I like to set my dinner plate up with a protein, and two vegetables or a starch and a vegetable. I love onions, lemon, and garlic as flavorings of choice, and I substitute table salt with sea salt and use olive oil instead of vegetable oil.
NMF: How do you train your mind and stay motivated?
AJ: As a fitness instructor self-motivation is absolutely mandatory. You are the leader of the class and the role model who sets the example. Who do I run to when I need mental encouragement and a boost of energy? I run to my motivational speakers like TD Jakes and Eric Thomas. I pray to God for guidance and strength and I meditate. I have also found that spending time working on my class choreography and music helps me feel excited and upbeat about.
My daughter is also a source of strength and motivation. Knowing that ultimately, as a single parent, I have to be a strong role model for her. I have to fall and get back up. I have to work hard and be optimistic about my goals. I have to encourage her when I am tired physically and mentally.
Physically my motivation to stay fit and healthy are a combination of my awareness of self-worth and my class members. My students do not realize how much they motivate me while I am teaching. When I see them smile, clap, yell “woo”, I get double pumped up. I encourage them and they encourage me back by working hard to reach their goals. I work hard to keep my students happy and healthy, also knowledgeable about the kinesiology of their bodies.
NMF: How do you change your body?
AJ: If a person is looking to change their body drastically they must start with a physical and diet change simultaneously. Drinking a lot of water, generally half of your weight in ounces daily also helps with weight loss. A daily fitness regimen that is manageable is also key because a lot of people run from fitness workouts because they seem to hard and not within grasp. They also feel that the results may be too far out of reach. What I suggest is instead of it's of going super hard on a workout a few times a week, is to try 20-30 minutes a day for 4-5 days a week. This way the work is done over a longer period of time, the recuperation is realistic and the manageability of the workout is within reach. I have learned this approach brings noticeable results of weight loss and muscle tone.
Doing your workouts with that regimen and mixing weight training with cardio will yield results in 30-40 days from my experience. A person will need to also detox before going into a full-blown workout and diet regimen. The reason I suggest this is because a person body will need to be able to absorb necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in order to get into optimum shape. Detoxing one’s body is the first most important step in correcting a diet. Also, I like the subtraction method when finding the right diet. Subtract everything except for the absolute mandatory foods like organic vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins. Introduce other foods like starches and grains a little at a time. See what works for your body especially when working out heavily. Your body will tell you what it likes. I am not a big fan of dairy milk as I have noticed it causes mucus, bloating and digestive issues in most people. It may be best to take dairy completely out of your diet when cleansing. Overall, changing one’s body is completely achievable and should be done to become the best version of yourself. I am here to help you if you need it! Find my live classes, videos and my first fitness DVD on all of my social media outlets listed here.
NMF: What are your fitness favorites?
- Favorite shoe - Memory foam sneakers
- Favorite class - Dance aerobics is my top favorite and I love the genres of VOGUE, Hip-hop, and Dancehall. I used those genres in my fitness DVDSweat.Shape.Party! Weight training comes in second, as I am addicted to toning my muscles in an overall goal for my most attractive figure.
- Favorite equipment - BOSU Ball, Dumbbells
- Favorite Protein bar flavor - Lemon
For more information visit:
- Website: www.AshleysFitnessParty.com
- Instagram: @Ashleysfitnessparty
- Facebook: @AshleysFitnessparty
- Twitter: @ashfitnessparty
- YouTube: www.Youtube.com/ashleysfitnessparty
- Snapchat: @ashfitnessparty
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