Fitness trainer for A-list celebs has tips on making exercise fun in February

Fitness trainer Ramona Braganza is shown in this undated handout image. (Photo provided by Ramona Braganza)

Just call it “Frustrating February.”

You’ve made your New Year’s fitness resolution, you’re one month in and you’ve stalled. Or you’re like most and you’ve given up altogether.

Trainer Ramona Braganza, who has helped A-list celebrities like Jessica Alba and Halle Berry stay in shape, says it’s not too late to work on those now-defunct plans. In fact, it may be the very best time.

“Start over again,” she says. “It's not too late because you're actually at the start of two good months of winter. It’s actually the time to make it interesting, enjoyable and new.”


Braganza understands a busy schedule.

She splits her time between Brockville, Ont., and Vancouver, while also maintaining a client list of Hollywood superstars. That means Braganza flies wherever her clients need her to be, often rotating her time all over the world -- from Los Angeles to India.

Braganza says starting fresh 30-days in can be overwhelming, but it’s about the fitness journey. Make it exciting for yourself, she says, set an intention or a goal -- then break it down.

“Either one-month goal or a three-month goal, short-term goals are really important,” she explains. “Say you have a trip coming up in spring break or an event, then you can actually start from now until then and break it down into smaller segments.”


Braganza says winter months can feel like they drag, but it’s actually a great chance to add social, outdoor activities like skating or snowshoeing.

She says if you’ve stalled, reach out to others who can get you motivated.

“Maybe try something that is not what you would normally do and a shorter version of it, because that at least gives you a taste of what it is,” explains Braganza. “Add the fun factor, bring your kids into it or a friend into it ... Have a new challenge for the next six weeks.”


She says she tells her clients that even 20 minutes a day of sweating it out is better than nothing.

Start small, says Braganza. If you don’t drink enough water, focus on that for a day. If you don’t eat well, track your food in a diary and see where you can improve. If money is a factor, keep things cheap by getting out for a daily walk or downloading a fitness app to exercise in the house.

“It's not like we need a ton of money or we need a ton of time. That's just excuses,” she grins.

Braganza says when she was training Anne Hathaway ahead of the 2009 Oscars, she was doing tiny workouts -- even with Hathaway’s hair and make-up team in full action around them.

“Arm curls, bicep curls. Why? Because her arms were going to show,” she explains. “Just doing that connects you with your muscles and makes you feel like you tried your best to look good.”

In the end it’s about finding what drives you and keeps you accountable, whether that’s a gym class, a family activity or meeting up with friends.

“That really is going to make your fitness environment fun rather than a drag,” she says. “And I think that's up to us to make fitness fun.”