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Julianna Peña in Workout Gear Throws Punches

“Isa’s camera skills are so sus lol."

Julianna Peña is throwing punches – in her workout gear. In a new social media post the mixed martial artist trains with a punching bag, showing off her strong body in exercise clothes. "Isa's camera skills are so sus lol," she captioned the Instagram video, giving props to her daughter's camera skills. How does she approach diet, fitness, and self-care? Here is everything you need to know about her lifestyle habits. 


Fueling Up Before Workouts


"Properly fueling up before and after a workout is a key factor in my muscle development. Eating foods that keep my blood sugar levels consistent throughout my workout has also been a key aspect of increasing endurance. As a rule, my preworkout meals are always prepared with protein and low-to-medium GI [glycemic index] carbohydrates," Julianna told ESPN. She usually makes a chicken breast with roasted sweet potatoes, caramelized onions and garlic broccoli and eats it 60 to 90 minutes prior to exercising. 



Julianna pounds pavement to get in shape for MMA. "I love to run.  All my workouts are what I do for and in camp," she says. According to the Mayo Clinic, running is great for cardiovascular health, muscle building, and weight loss. "For every mile run, the average person will burn approximately 100 calories," they say. 


Strength Training

Aside from running, "strength/conditioning/lifting weights are others that I do.  I train 2-3 times a day except on Sundays when I'm not in camp. I train MMA a few times a week but not nearly at the pace I do while I'm at camp," she told the magazine. According to the Mayo Clinic, strength and weight training help reduce body fat, preserve and increase lean muscle mass, and burn calories more efficiently. Strength training may also help you:

  • Develop strong bones
  • Manage your weight
  • Enhance your quality of life
  • Manage chronic conditions
  • Sharpen your thinking skills


Swimming and Yoga

Julianna has two other go-to forms of fitness. "I love to swim and do yoga if I get the time," she adds. Swimming is a good way to get regular aerobic physical activity, according to the CDC. Just two and a half hours per week of aerobic physical activity, such as swimming, bicycling, or running, can decrease the risk of chronic illnesses. In addition to the many physical benefits, there are multiple studies supporting the mental health benefits of swimming as well. As for yoga, Harvard Health cites the many benefits. "Researchers found that people who practiced yoga for at least 30 minutes once a week for at least four years, gained less weight during middle adulthood," they said. "People who were overweight actually lost weight. Overall, those who practiced yoga had lower body mass indexes (BMIs) compared with those who did not practice yoga. Researchers attributed this to mindfulness. Mindful eating can lead to a more positive relationship with food and eating."


Cardio Kickboxing Led Her to MMA

"When I was 19 years old, my sister asked me to join a women's cardio kickboxing class with her and I needed to lose some weight, so I joined the class. It came naturally to me and I wanted to explore it more. I immediately fell in love with it. And when I eventually started winning fights, the joy combined with the rush of winning solidified my obsession for MMA," Julianna told Athleisure Magazine.

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