South Miami native Yara Martinez has had recurring roles on several TV shows, including TNT's police drama "Southland" and A&E's new action-packed "Breakout Kings." She was born in Puerto Rico to Cuban parents and moved to South Miami as a child, where she stayed through college before moving to L.A. To stay primed physically and mentally, she spins, shadowboxes and does The Bar Method five days a week while eating healthy (and drinking some red wine occasionally).
Why do you keep fit?
Obviously I'm an actress, so the way you look is important for the roles you want to play, especially for a lead role. You have to maintain a look. And emotionally, [exercising] keeps me in a better state. It helps me release negative energy when I go sweat.
What's your workout routine?
It varies. When I'm in the zone, I go five times a week: spinning, shadowboxing and doing The Bar Method, which is for strength based on ballet and yoga. Spinning is my most common [activity], and I do it for 45 minutes. Boxing is for an hour, and Bar Method is an hour. I don't do weightlifting. Bar Method is what I go to for my muscles.
Do you do any recreational activities that are fitness related?
I live in Los Angeles so every once in a while I go hiking like everyone else here.
Are you physically active on your TV shows?
I did a role on [NBC's] "Chase," where I played a fugitive on the run. I did a lot of running through the woods, a stunt jumping off a cliff, shooting people. It was definitely physically active.
Does your acting lifestyle make it easy or tough to keep in shape?
My schedule varies a lot, so it's hard to find [workout] classes. And I tend to have a lot of visitors, so you tend to go out and eat and drink a little more. So when that happens, I try to walk everywhere, be active some way. It's hard to sneak in the routine. That's definitely something I'm learning how to balance.
Did you play any sports in school?
I did ballet for 10 years, was a cheerleader and was on the dance team. Cheerleading is definitely a sport. I joined cheerleading for fun in high school, and it was way more intense than I'd realized. I went to Our Lady of Lourdes Academy and was a cheerleader for [Christopher Columbus High School in Miami].
When I was younger I used to water ski and went to sailing camp in Coconut Grove.
Do you have a personal fitness philosophy?
If I can release negativity while I'm doing it, that's great.
Does your family keep fit?
My two sisters are definitely active. And my dad. He lives in San Juan, [Puerto Rico], and swims and jogs around San Juan. And my sisters jog in Tropical Park. I hate jogging but we live close to Tropical Park so sometimes I go with them. Both of them did a half-marathon.
What's your typical daily diet?
I like to do all my shopping at the farmers market and try to eat organic fruits and vegetables, fish. That's during the week. And during the weekend, I like to splurge. I definitely eat more sweets, go to brunch with friends and don't worry what I'm eating. I love to go out to dinner with friends and have a bottle of wine, so I let myself go.
I try to figure it all out, a balance with fitness, but I'm still figuring it out.
What do you drink typically?
A lot of water. I don't have a problem with water. I try for 3 liters a day, room temperature. I don't drink soda or juices. Every once in a while I'll have a fresh-squeezed juice. And red wine. I keep it very biblical.
Do you take any vitamins or sports nutrition products?
A women's multivitamin, and I take a tablespoon of flaxseed oil because it's good for your skin. And I recently discovered an acidophilus probiotics thing for your stomach.
Where did you acquire your fitness and nutrition knowledge?
Definitely not from my family. I think, honestly, living in L.A. you can't help but be surrounded by all these health gurus, and all your friends have worked with a nutritionist so it becomes a way of life. You try things and see how your body reacts.