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Dancing Queen: Chelsie Hightower's Stay-Fit Secrets

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You've watched her kick, leap, and cha-cha her way to fame (in heels no less!). Now steal the moves that give Dancing with the Stars pro Chelsie Hightower strength and grace.

Chelsie's Fitness Tips

Chelsie Hightower is always on her toes. As one of the principal dancers on Dancing with the Stars, she spends 10 hours a day perfecting her moves. "When you're watching us on TV, you don't realize how technically and physically difficult dancing is," says Chelsie, 21, who has been paired with rodeo star Ty Murray and former Bachelor Jake Pavelka in previous seasons of the show. "You're doing extremely fast movements. It's difficult mentally, too, because you'll be thinking about 10 different steps at once."

As she twirled and leaped around the set at the FITNESS photo shoot, Chelsie shared with us her energy-boosting, stay-fit secrets.

So many celebrities have lost weight on DWTS. Why is dance such great exercise?
Because it works every part of your body. And even though it's hard, it's fun, so that keeps you going. Dancing has a lot of other benefits. It also lifts your spirits in that it loosens you up, makes you more outgoing, raises your confidence level, and relieves stress.

Besides practicing for the show, what's your typical workout routine?
I like to mix things up by taking jazz, ballet, and contemporary dance classes that are an hour and a half each. I also do the P90X Ab Ripper X DVD. Plus, I walk uphill near my home in Beverly Hills, stopping to do some lunges and push-ups to keep my heart rate up.

 

What's your hands-down favorite exercise?
Hiking. I grew up in the mountains of Utah, and my fondest memories are of camping with my parents and five brothers, waking up at 6 a.m. and climbing to the peak of the mountain. In Los Angeles, I go to Runyon Canyon. It's not anything like Utah, but it still reminds me of home.

Did you step up your workouts when you heard you were going to be in FITNESS?
Totally! I was on vacation with my family, so I hadn't eaten healthy for two weeks. When I got the call from my publicist, I was like, "That's so amazing!" But then 30 seconds later I thought, "Oh my gosh, what did I just commit to?" So I got busy: I ate six small meals a day with plenty of veggies and protein. I also went to the gym at least once a day, if not more.

How do you eat healthy when you're on the road?
I typically order a salad with chicken. You can get that anyplace, including fast-food restaurants. And I always carry almonds and red seedless grapes with me for snacking.

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