Get fit and healthy with these exclusive tips from former Olympic gymnast Marisela "Chelly" Cantú, who made history by becoming the first woman to ever win the Telemundo reality competition Exatlón.

Por Lena Hansen
Febrero 17, 2021

Marisela "Chelly" Cantú, the first woman to ever win Exatlón, has proven she is limitless. "I feel proud to represent brave, decisive, hardworking, and disciplined women," she tells People CHICA. "It's an incredible feeling to be an example for all those women who don't believe in themselves and are afraid to dare to achieve big things." Motivating others is now her mission.

The former Olympic gymnast, who represented her native Mexico during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, joined the fourth season of Exatlón Estados Unidos as a sports commentator, offering in-depth interviews with participants in the fierce sports competition. She also shares her fitness tips and videos on Instagram at @ccfitness2021. Here, she shares a few tips on how to get your dream body and improve your health without having to hit the gym during the pandemic.

Credit: Courtesy of Telemundo

"Being an inspiration is a lot of responsibility," she says. "Many times you can be easily judged because you can't make mistakes and have to do everything perfectly." Although being a public figure brings pressure, receiving messages from people whose lives she has positively impacted "motivates me to keep growing as a person," she says.

Credit: Courtesy of Telemundo

If your New Year's resolution was to lose a few pounds and embrace a healthier lifestyle, she recommends doing cardio exercise before you have breakfast. This could be walking, jogging, running, riding your bicycle, or working out on an elliptical machine for an hour. When it comes to nutrition, she says, "What's important is that we learn how to eat. I don't recommend doing miracle diets. Instead, doing balanced diets and drinking lots of water every day. The best thing is to prepare your own meals and avoid buying fast food."

She loves doing sit-ups, burpees, abs, and kicks from the comfort of home or in the open air while connected to nature, and really enjoys boxing. Exercising is vital in her life. "It has so many physical benefits to improve circulation, have more resistance and muscular strength, and to help improve bone density," she explains. Working out also pumps up your immune system, leading to fewer diseases; helps you maintain a healthy sugar level in your blood; and "reduces stress, anxiety, and panic attacks." Cantú says it also improves her mood and makes her feel accomplished: "I start out my day happier."

For more with Chelly, look for the March issue of People en Español, on stands Friday.