“Watch your posture.” With Dr. William Seeds & Robert Brace

Watching your alignment, form, and posture. Your posture on a daily basis is going to decrease any pain you may have and help you appear more confident. With proper form and posture, you will look longer and you will look leaner without having lost a pound. Asa part of my series about the 5 Lifestyle […]

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Watching your alignment, form, and posture. Your posture on a daily basis is going to decrease any pain you may have and help you appear more confident. With proper form and posture, you will look longer and you will look leaner without having lost a pound.

Asa part of my series about the 5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing, I had the pleasure of interviewing Robert Brace.

Known in the fitness community as the Mind-Body-Soul Connector and selected by as one of the top one hundred voices in wellness for 2020, Robert Brace is a celebrity wellness expert, motivational speaker, former soloist ballet dancer, and star of the Food Network’s weight-loss reality show “Fat Chef.”

In 2008, he founded what is now known as Brace Life Studios (BLS), New York’s destination for mind-body transformation. As a visionary fitness expert, he has the innate ability and personal mission to help people connect the dots between mind, body, and soul. Brace believes that true fitness begins within and that by infusing “inner work” with physical workouts, his clients are able to realize substantial and sustainable results. Brace’s 360-degree approach to fitness is based on his own journey and multifaceted background in dance and ministry.

While attending college on a dance scholarship, he experienced a terrible back injury. Facing the potential loss of his scholarship, Brace discovered a process to heal quickly and returned to peak performance. His personal transformation serves as the foundation for the principles used in his signature “28-Day Challenge” private training program. At the core of all of Brace’s teachings are innovative exercises that reinforce mindfulness, spiritual nutrition and intelligent bodywork. He is also the creator of the Ballet Burn Out workout and Brace Supermodel Ballet Body Workout which he launched with client and Victoria Secret Model, Alicia Rountree.

Robert is also an ordained minister and author of “The Magic” a celebration of the wellness journeys of women of color.

An accomplished motivational speaker, Brace has inspired thousands with his story and engaging workshops. Additionally, as an ordained minister, he has delivered Spirit-led health and wellness seminars to various non-profit organizations and congregations. Robert has shared his knowledge on media outlets such as the Good Morning America, The View, The Food Network, Shape Magazine, Self Magazine, New York Daily News, Bloomberg Business Week, &

When he’s not guiding clients toward whole-body wellness, Brace enjoys spending time with his beautiful wife and two daughters.

Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the story about how you first got involved in fitness and wellness?

Icame to New York from London. I was a dancer. I was on scholarship and I needed a way to make money so I went to a gym where they were looking for personal trainers. I had no clue what that was but I walked in and said I can stretch and I have a dance degree. They took a chance on me. I was paid all of seven dollars an hour. This was 1995. I pursued my ballet career and kept training and people soon started to seek me out. People who wanted a long, lean dancer’s aesthetic, like models. Then in 2011, I did a project with comedian Mark Malkoff where I helped him get six-pack abs in 28 days. He did it, we filmed it and, at the time, it got close to a million views. I received a lot of requests for that program which I turned into an infomercial. I was also scouted by the Food Network for a program called Fat Chef, where we traveled the country training overweight chefs, which also raised my profile. Because I also have a background as an ordained minister, my program offered both physicality and spirituality. So a combination of the ballet, the 28-day challenge, and the mind-body-soul connection led me to open my own space, which is the Robert Brace Studio in New York City and it’s where I am today.

Can you share the most interesting story or stories that have happened to you since you started your career?

I once helped someone who was on The Biggest Loser. She was an at-home winner. She came to me because most of the people on that show (and they don’t tell the public this) end up gaining back more weight than they lose. What she said to me then was, you need to focus on more than just the weight loss, you need to reach people on a soulful level. That experience really drove home for me the importance of mind-body connection.

Another was the passing of three close friends due to obesity-related issues. That inspired me to do more than just help high-end clients, but people who couldn’t necessarily afford me or people who don’t have access to the kind of gym I own. So I do a lot of work with non-profits and people struggling with addiction and recovery.

Can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fitness and wellness field? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?

While on scholarship in London, I suffered a crippling back injury. I was told if I didn’t heal over the summer, I would lose the scholarship. At the time, dancing was the only thing I wanted to do. That whole summer, all I did was focus on deconstructing movement, working on my physicality and basically training my body to heal and excel as a performer. I healed my body but those principles fuel what I do today. There’s attention to form that you don’t find in other places. I also end every class with a guided meditation to address the mental wellbeing in addition to the physicality of the workout.

We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, exercise more, and get better sleep etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the 3 main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?

The bottom line is, the information doesn’t change people. It has to be a change in conviction and beliefs. Once you connect the fact that your goals and desires — whatever you want to do in life — is connected to your health and wellness, you’ll be motivated to change. Find out what your WHY is and go from there.

Everyone also has to figure out where they’re at and start from the right place. Don’t compare yourself to others.

Lastly, everyone needs encouragement. Find a person or program who will meet you where you specifically are at.

So the three blockages would be 1) falsely thinking information will change things 2) comparing yourself and your journey to others and 3) not having the right encouragement.

Can you please share your “5 Non-Intuitive Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”?

The first thing is the breath. Breathing exercises, although they seem simple, can radically transform your stress levels. There is one called vegus breathing where all you need to do is find a comfortable place. Breathe in through your nose for five seconds, filling your belly and chest with air, hold it for one second and breathe out, pushing all of the air out of your belly for five seconds. Repeat that five times. That’s called vegus breathing and it’s clinically proven to turn off physical responses to stress and anxiety.

The second thing is the guided meditations. For many people, meditation can seem overwhelming. If that’s where you’re at, choose a guided meditation where the person leading the meditation will guide your thoughts, engage your mind and get you to a place where you’re letting go. It can help you deal with so many real-life issues.

Interval training. It hits so many different things. To explain, interval training is short bursts of high-intensity activity followed by short amounts of rest. Its effective because it increases your metabolism for up to 48 hours which means even if you don’t burn a lot of calories during your workout, over the next 48 hours, you’re going to be burning more calories than you would have. It’s a faster way to lose weight and lose body fat. You’re taking in more oxygen which increases your brain capacity and because it’s an intense form of exercise, it increases your serotonin which increases your joy and feelings of calm and wellbeing.

Weight training. Women, please get rid of the notion that weight training is going to make you bulky. Unless you’re consistently lifting super heavyweights, that will not happen. Weightlifting is going to increase your metabolism, it will improve your joints, it’s going to tone and define your body and make you feel stronger. The endorphin rush is going to calm you and give you a sense of peace.

Watching your alignment, form, and posture. Your posture on a daily basis is going to decrease any pain you may have and help you appear more confident. With proper form and posture, you will look longer and you will look leaner without having lost a pound.

The right nutrition is always going to improve your lifestyle. Less processed food and more unprocessed food will give you the energy you need, not just to get through your workouts, but through your day. Feeding yourself properly is self-love. Taking care of yourself will help you realize how important you are.

As an expert, this might be obvious to you, but I think it would be instructive to articulate this for the public. Aside from weight loss, what are 3 benefits of daily exercise? Can you explain?

When you move, your body produces serotonin, which makes you feel more joy, which gives more oxygen to your brain and generally makes you a nicer person to be around.

Second, it increases your endorphins, which have been clinically proven to battle anxiety and depression as effectively as prescription medication.

Lastly, It’s fun. Everyone needs joy in their lives. You’ve got to find a way to move that makes you feel good. It might be dancing, it might be running, it might be playing golf. Find a way to move, it will increase your joy. And if we’re moving together — whether it’s in a class or a game or dancing together — it’s simply joyful.

Many are unable to go to the gym or take a class right now because of all the coronavirus-related closings. What are three exercises that people can do to help them stay calm and fit during this challenging time?

You can do a squat anywhere. A squat is going to engage multiple muscle groups: your thighs, your core, and your back muscles. You’re going to be strengthening those parts of your body as well as doing cardio. That’s a staple.

So it is a plank. If you do it correctly, you’re going to strengthen your core, improve alignment and engage your legs, your glutes, and your shoulders.

Run in place for 20 seconds followed by a ten-second break. Jumping jacks for 20 seconds followed by a ten-second break. Mountain-climbers for 20 seconds followed by a ten-second break. If you do those three sets twice that will help get you the toning and get the cardio that you need.

There are so many different diets today. Can you share what kind of diet you follow? Which eating tips do you recommend to most of your clients? Especially now with so many people working from home and having the kitchen/refrigerator right there?

Right now, I think its most important to try eating healthy and sustainable with as many unprocessed foods as possible. Fresh fruits and vegetables are still available; unfortunately, they don’t seem to be what people are picking up when they go to the grocery store right now.

We have to get away from the idea that carbs are bad or evil. A healthy amount of good carbs — brown rice, quinoa, whole what pasta — are important in the diet. Especially if we’re going to be stuck like this for a while.

Portion control is key. Eat until you’re almost full. If you eat until you’re full, that’s too much. It takes a minute for your stomach to tell your brain that you’ve had enough, so stop before you feel completely full.

If your plate is full of different colors — veggies, lean meats, healthy grains– you’re in the right direction. That’s what’s going to help you these next few months.

For people who might have extra time to read right now, Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?

The Alchemist by Paulo CoehIo. It’s the story of someone who goes on a journey looking for his destiny. He goes through all of these experiences only to find out his destiny was in himself already. So many times, we look for things outside of ourselves to inspire us when, really, we have everything we need right where we are. We just need to make the most use of the opportunity.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

What I want to start and what I’m working on starting is solidifying an actional, practical mind-body-soul movement. When we talk about mind-body-soul it can become so ethereal, so “out there” and undefinable. Those connections are very clear to me. Peace, love, joy, gratitude, those are so-called spiritual qualities. But we can access those qualities simply by moving. When you move, it increases serotonin which gives you joy. You move, it increases endorphins which gives you a sense of peace. You move, it prioritizes the function of the brain which gives you a sense of control. You move in groups, it increases oxytocin which gives you a connection to those you’re moving with. If you’re not moving your body, you’re only accessing those soul-level qualities at 50 percent. If we can get people to think that way, and not move their bodies because of what they don’t like about themselves…think about the diet industry, which is anti-body or the beauty industry, which is anti-age. They motivate us from what we don’t like about ourselves rather than from a place of enhancing what we love about ourselves.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

It’s a soccer quote. I used to be the smallest kid on my soccer team. And when people ran toward me, I would want to run away. My coach would scream at me from the sidelines: “Go to the ball!” So in my life, if a challenge looks big or overwhelming, I don’t look at the circumstance, I look at the ball. What do you want to accomplish? Focus on the ball and not the outside noise. The goal and not the circumstances.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

It has to be Barack Obama. He embodies such hope, such inspiration. He did something many people thought was impossible. For that moment in time, he embodied the best in all of us. To just sit and listen and understand and learn from him would be amazing. I’ve heard his wife speak twice.

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