Health Features

What’s Your Routine? – Kathryn Sansone

Kathryn Sansone is proof that busy moms do have time to stay fit and take care of themselves. As a mom of 10 (ranging in age from 10 to 28), the St. Louis native has remained committed to staying active and promoting a healthy lifestyle among women—she was even backed by Oprah herself!

“Taking care of yourself is not selfish, it’s beneficial,” she says, comparing it to the airline policy of putting on your own oxygen mask before placing one on your child. “As women, we constantly do things for other people and don’t put ourselves as priorities.” To change this mindset, Sansone says you have to treat working out like any other appointment and schedule it on your calendar. “Find the time, whether that means sacrificing sleep to do it in the morning or bringing tennis shoes to work to walk over lunch.”

Sansone credits her parents, who were both into fitness, for initially inspiring her healthy lifestyle. “My dad was a star football player, and I played sports in high school and college,” she says. “There was always a focus on eating healthy, which is important as a family.” She says her husband Jim got her interested in weightlifting, and she eventually became certified as a personal trainer. Sansone now has only unofficial ‘clients’ (friends who ask for help), but she maintains her certification to stay current on trends and education.

Today, she uses her expertise to inspire busy moms around the world. Her first big exposure came in 2002 when Oprah Winfrey invited Sansone on the show after meeting her in the audience; the following year, Oprah and Gayle King interviewed her at home for a Mother’s Day feature for O, The Oprah Magazine. Soon after, she wrote her book, Woman First, Family Always, and started shapeupmom.com to promote various lifestyle products. It was through her work as a spokesperson that she determined there was a need for a protein supplement specifically for women. “As a weightlifter, I’ve always used protein shakes as a meal replacement or a post-workout snack,” she explains. “Women need far more protein than they actually get, especially as they age; it’s great for lean muscle development and it makes you feel fuller faster.” Sansone worked with local company Reliv International to develop GreekGirl Beauty Protein, a nod to her 100-percent Greek heritage. “Growing up, I always made Greek yogurt with my ya-ya that we flavored with honey and vanilla, so I used the same for my product.”

Sansone says the all-natural powder, available on Amazon and at all Supplement Superstores in Missouri and Illinois, also works to enhance a woman’s skin, hair and nails through its nutrients and vitamins. “It’s a holistic approach to what a woman needs to be healthy from the inside out,” she says. “There’s a reason pregnant women glow and look amazing—they get what they need through prenatal vitamins!”

The main advice from Sansone: find a fitness regimen that works for you and take baby steps. “And everything in moderation,” she adds. “That will sustain you for the longest amount of time!”

the routine
Working out gives me peace of mind. My routine varies, but I usually do full-body weightlifting and 30 minutes of cardio five days a week, either at home or at the gym. My cardio is either on the treadmill, stair stepper or bike; I like to switch it up! On the weekends, I exercise with my husband or kids, which is fun. To help with my back and neck issues, I’ve started functional training once a week, which focuses on strengthening the core to make sure everything around the spine feels good and doesn’t hurt.

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