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Gabrielle Reece: 'A Lot of Moms View Fitness as a Luxury'

Gabrielle Reece wants moms to look at fitness in a whole new way.

Although the pro volleyball player might have more of a professional stake in staying fit than the average mom, this 45-year-old mother of two girls with surfer husband Laird Hamilton and stepmom to Hamilton's daughter says it's nevertheless something all moms need to work in to their busy schedules.

"Taking care of yourself and maintaining your health is not a luxury," Reece tells mom.me, "nor should moms feel guilty for taking the time to work out."

Reece, who has recently been named as host of NBC's new competition reality series "Strong" and is working on The Balance Campaign to promote fitness and healthy eating, talked to us about staying active, body image and what her rules are for Halloween candy.

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What have you noticed is the biggest obstacle for moms when it comes to getting fit?

Time. All moms could probably agree that between school pickup, the grocery store, laundry, homework help—there's never enough time in the day. I think a lot of moms view fitness as a luxury instead of a necessity. It's something that's at the bottom of their list for when they're able to finish the never-ending to-dos. Going to a spin class or taking 45 minutes for yoga might seem like something we'd do on a vacation, not in the busy life of a mom.

What are your tips for staying disciplined with fitness when you're balancing motherhood, work, kids' activities, etc.?

I want moms to start thinking of fitness as a normal part of their every day. Schedule your workouts as though you're scheduling an important work meeting or a parent teacher conference at school. You wouldn't skip those, so don't skip your workout. When you start looking at your calendar and actually penciling in a run or a gym class, you'll be more apt to find the time. Sometimes it means waking up an hour earlier or going for a power walk during lunch.

Schedule your workouts as though you're scheduling an important work meeting or a parent teacher conference at school. You wouldn't skip those, so don't skip your workout.

The holidays are coming up, and there will be lots of amazing food. What are some tasty alternatives that you go for instead of all the fatty stuff?

It's important to not view the holidays as a free pass. Yes, you're going to be surrounded by delicious food at home, at work and at parties. But that doesn't mean you should indulge in everything. Think about what food you truly enjoy. Is it your aunt's special pie or a favorite family recipe for stuffing? You can have a little of what you love, even if it's not on your normal diet plan, but then stick to healthier options for the rest of your meal.

If you're worried about being too tempted at holiday gatherings, have a nutritious snack beforehand so you're not showing up starving. A Balance Bar cookie dough or a Balance Bar chocolate mint cookie crunch will satisfy your sweet tooth and give you the protein boost you need to bypass a platter full of calorie-heavy desserts.

Body image is a huge topic with girls. How do you encourage your daughters (ages 12 and 7) and stepdaughter (20) to stay fit and healthy without worrying about their weight or what they look like?

My girls are very active and love being outdoors, whether it's surfing, biking or playing tennis. I want them to understand that their bodies allow them to do these things they love. The more they take care of their bodies and give them the fuel they need, the more fun activities they'll be able to do. It's less about focusing on how your body looks and more about what your body allows you to do.

MORE: Gabrielle Reece Isn't (Always) Submissive

Halloween is coming up. What do you all usually do as a family for the holiday? Are there any rules when it comes to costumes or candy?

Being too restrictive can have the exact opposite response you want. My rule is trick or treat and then enjoy whatever goodies you want. Forty-eight hours later, all the sugar gets tossed and by then they have had more than their fill and barely notice the candy exodus. Life is about balance, and that can even mean allowing some sugar craziness during special times so kids don't feel denied and then you end up having a bigger issue later.

Looking ahead to New Year's resolutions, what's been your most challenging resolution?

I've always struggled with getting enough sleep. It's something I'm constantly working on. With my schedule being especially busy lately, it's been even harder to relax and get the quality of sleep I need. My New Year's resolutions will include focusing on relaxing and rest. Sometimes I find myself overscheduling and overdoing it, when I really just need some down time.

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