Some people say that Reema Chanco-Waldie was born to be fit. The TV host, actress, restaurateur, and now health and fitness trainer attributes her physical prowess and love for exercise from her parents. “They loved playing and watching sports,” Reema says.
In fact, the active life was a family pastime. Reema’s mother and father played squash at their neighborhood pelota court. Her kuya played basketball for his school, De La Salle Santiago Zobel. Her older sister played volleyball in high school and also danced for The Sharon Cuneta Show in college. And her youngest brother used to play frisbee.
Reema, on the other hand, entered gymnastics. “I think I loved it more than it loved me,” Reema jokes. “I wanted to be in the more serious program but wasn’t good enough. Gymnastics taught me early that your biggest obstacle is yourself and what you put in training is what you get out of it.”
Her experience in gymnastics eventually led to her joining athletic team activities and sports in school, like cheerleading and basketball. It was only when Reema was in De La Salle University that she wasn’t as active in sports due to her hectic academic schedule.
After graduating from college in 1997, Reema hosted several TV shows, such as the sports programs GAME, SportsDesk, and Rookie Manual. She briefly, but successfully, delved into show business in 2017, playing Rosa, a badass gun-slinging villainness in the movie AWOL. Proving her talent for multi-hyphenation, Reema is now also busy running her Wingman Restaurant branch that she handles with her husband Erik. They’ve even started a food delivery service called Who Needs Rice.
But sports and fitness are still heavy in Reema’s blood.
These days, Reema plays basketball and ultimate disc. But her main passion is being a fitness trainer using suspension training and other fitness routines. She has a little area in her house for sessions and holds group classes every Saturday in Dance Manille Studio in Alabang Hills.
“I’ve embraced the path of wellness since childhood when I joined my first gymnastics class at seven years old,” Reema shares. “My journey as a fitness trainer started when my friend Babette asked me to help her lose weight. I took that challenge seriously, designed a program for her and committed to be her workout buddy for the first months.”
As Reema was losing weight, she found herself enjoying the “responsibility” and from then on, she was hooked. Word of mouth and publicity from a few articles online helped start her little studio at home and launch a few group classes in different studios. “It’s my ninth year this year [being a fitness trainer] and I can say that there is no slowing down for me,” Reema says. “I love what I do and I love helping people.”
To prove it, Reema is sharing five workouts that you can do anywhere in your apartment. Each exercise should take at least 45 seconds to a couple of minutes with 15 to 30 seconds of rest halfway. Since there are 2 to 3 sets for each exercise, this series takes around 10 to 15 minutes. You can do these exercises whether or not you own a TRX home kit.
1. “Planking is [good] for the whole body and is great for the core,” says Reema. If you have the TRX kit, insert your toes into the foot cradles and go on all fours. Without the kit, just anchor your toes firmly on the floor. Make sure your hands are below shoulder level, engage your core and then suspend your knees into a plank position. Make sure you squeeze your buns the entire 45 seconds.
2. Handstands (“My personal fave!” says Reema) are awesome for the whole body. Face the TRX, insert one foot into both foot cradles. Put both hands and the other foot on the floor and extend the leg on the TRX towards the ceiling. Find your balance and then kick up the free leg to an assisted handstand. Hold it as long as you can. Repeat on the other leg. Without the TRX, you have two options: one, ask a friend to hold your foot for you until you can find your balance enough to do the handstand, or, two, anchor your foot against a wall and inch it higher until you can hold your balance to do a complete handstand.
3. “Wall-Sits are good for the legs and glutes,” says Reema. Stand with your back against the wall, keeping your shoulders and back against the wall. Lower to a sitting position. Keep your feet hip-width apart and knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Make sure your knees don’t go over your toes and distribute your weight equally on both feet. Essentially, if you do it correctly, you’d be assuming the position of a chair. Hold for a minute, rest for 30 seconds, repeat 2 to 3 times.
4. “Jump Rope is good for cardio, legs and coordination,” says Reema. Jump rope for one minute, rest for 30 seconds, repeat 3 times.
5. “Ab Crunches will work on your core and abs,” says Reema. Lay down, place your hands behind your neck or crossed on your chest. Look up while you raise your upper body towards the ceiling. Your legs can be straight down or lifted inches off the floor. Do 3 sets of 20 reps and rest for 30 seconds in between sets.
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