(Cover and story photos credit: Allan Garcia)
Every week, the Louisville Women’s Sports Network highlights a local woman by asking her six questions about her health and fitness routine. This week’s guest is Alison Cardoza. If there is a woman you’d like us to feature, email suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tell Us a Little About Yourself
My name is Alison Cardoza and I am an American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) certified personal trainer and group exercise instructor at Baptist East Milestone Wellness Center. I graduated from the University of Louisville in 2004 with a degree in exercise science and sports medicine and a minor in health promotions. My passion in life is to stay fit and healthy and help others achieve their personal goals in physical fitness. I also love teaching dance to children and adults.
I am a former University of Louisville Ladybird and NFL Indianapolis Colts cheerleader. With my experience, I help athletes prepare for cheer or dance teams. Along with personal training, teaching dance classes, and preparing dance choreography for teams or clients, I am married to John Cardoza and we have a beautiful, nine-year-old daughter, Alexa.
Six Questions About Your Fitness & Health
1) What is your weekly training/exercise routine?
My weekly exercise routine consists of dance, dance, and more dance! While I am training girls for the high demand of NFL and college dance teams, I am dancing right along with them. I am also teaching wedding line dance classes. Clients come to me with the interest of wanting to learn the latest line dances played at wedding receptions such as the Wobble, Cupid Shuffle, and more.
Every day, I do take time to myself to weight train. The results from weight training are so beneficial. Strength is gained and endorphins are released. I love to wind down my days with stretching. It releases so much tension. I feel so relaxed.
2) How do you prepare for a workout?
I prepare for a workout by eating a healthy breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! I then head to the gym to train clients for most of the day. I usually get a break in the day and take that time to workout myself. I love to turn on music that gets my body energized and take a nice long walk or light jog to warm my body up. I then will begin my weight exercise routine. I make sure to eat healthy snacks throughout the day to keep me fueled. I eat a lunch packed with complex carbs and end the day with a healthy, light dinner filled with protein.
3) What do you eat, drink or do for quick energy?
For quick energy, I love to snack on nuts and avocados. They are great sources of protein and essential fats that my body needs to get through the day. Sometimes it’s hard for me to just drink plain water, but I know that is the healthiest choice. I will flavor it with lemon or lime juice to give it a kick! I have recently been hooked on drinking Mamma Chia Organic beverages, a drink loaded with Omega-3, protein and fiber.
4) What is your daily nutritional meal plan when training?
My daily nutritional plan when training consists of a healthy breakfast in the morning. I usually eat whole wheat toast and steel cut oats. I try not to be tempted by my nine-year-old daughter’s breakfast choice, a strawberry Pop-Tart! I make sure to eat small snacks in-between my main meals. I love to snack on fruits or veggies. For lunch, I make sure to eat a meal with complex carbs and protein. Baked fish or a veggie burger is what I typically grab. For dinner, I try to avoid eating out at restaurants or fast food places. I like to cook healthy meals at the beginning of the week and grab it for dinner throughout the week. Laura’s Lean Beef Tacos or a salad loaded with fresh veggies is my go-to. My week is busy, so I need quick, planned-out meals that I can grab and go! Pre-planning these meals helps me stay on track.
5) What do you snack on between meals when training?
Between meals when training, I love to snack on protein energy bites. They are quick and easy to make. I usually make these on Sunday so I am ready to go for the week. They consist of oatmeal, honey, flaxseed, peanut butter, vanilla, and a few chocolate chips!
6) What are your fitness & health goals?
My goal as a health professional is to continue changing lives for the better. I love not only being able to help a client improve physically, but mentally as well. My goal as a personal trainer is to enhance the health and well being of my clients and provide them with a rich and rewarding experience. For myself, I want to continue to challenge myself as a dance instructor and choreographer. I learn something new every day from my clients, and they better me as a teacher. I hope to continue this fast-paced, active lifestyle I am living for quite some time. Weight training, dance cardio workouts, and healthy eating is my magic potion to a long, healthy, stress-free life!