Twenty years after she won her Olympic gold medal in figure skating, fitness remains a priority for Kristi Yamaguchi.
But the 41-year-old California native — who skated out of Edmonton’s Royal Glenora Club in her glory years of 1991 and 92 — admits that keeping fit is more challenging these days.
“It’s definitely harder. It’s more of a conscious effort than before,” she says in a phone interview from her home in the San Francisco Bay area. “It’s not something I obsess over, but it’s something that I’m conscious of.”
“It varies. Today, I did a little bit on the elliptical for some cardio, and some core exercises,” she notes.
“Sometimes I’ll just work out with my husband (retired NHLer Bret Hedican, who won a Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006). We have a workout regimen that we do together. We use very little weight — small hand weights — and then a lot of bodyweight, isometrics and stuff like that.”
Whether it’s by herself or with her hubby, Yamaguchi usually works out at home.
“Bret and I will work out in our garage, where we have a little bit of equipment,” she adds.
And occasionally, she calls a girlfriend and the two meet at the gym for a “workout date,” which typically means cardio and core work.
Yamaguchi strives to exercise two to three times a week for 45 minutes to an hour each session.
“If I get that, that’s great. Sometimes it’s one time a week where I actually get to work out. It just varies,” she explains.
“Sometimes I’ll let it slide for a couple weeks, especially in the summer for going on vacation, but then I really feel like I need to get back into some kind of activity because I think my energy level is better and you just feel better.”
Yamaguchi also hits the ice “once or twice a week” with her youngest daughter, who has taken up figure skating.
“I just do some fun skating around and easy stuff,” she says.
“It was pretty intense when I was training and even skating professionally. Now it’s more of, ‘OK, I just want to continue with an active lifestyle and be as healthy as I can.’ ”
Indeed, fitness is an ever-present part of her life, even in business.
Yamaguchi recently launched her own line of activewear called Tsu.ya (from her middle name Tsuya).
The line, designed to be both functional and fashionable, was unveiled with a limited 18-piece edition for fall featuring yoga pants, leggings, jackets, Ts and tops.
“I’ve been an athlete my whole life,” she says. “Now I’m in that arena of busy mom and looking for this type of wardrobe to take the place of some of the other clothes that don’t get worn as much.”
A portion of the fashion line’s proceeds will be earmarked for Yamaguchi’s Always Dream Foundation, a children’s charity the skater founded.
Tsu.ya follows on the heels of last year’s fitness DVD release of Kristi Yamaguchi: Power Workout. The DVD, produced with celeb trainer Erin O’Brien, features three 10-minute circuit workouts, along with an abs and chest segment.
In 2010, Yamaguchi served as a TV correspondent at the Vancouver Winter Olympics.
In 2008, she won ABC TV’s Dancing with the Stars.
And Yamaguchi shows no sign of slowing down.
Besides plans to expand Tsu.ya, the best-selling author is penning another book.
Yup, this mom keeps busy. But she’s never too busy to keep fit.
“If you’re taking care of yourself,” she adds, “you’re going to feel better and be able to take care of everyone else better.”
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