The Workout Trifecta: 3 Types of Workouts to Do for Weight Loss and Better Health

What kinds of workouts should I do for weight loss?

Are you wondering what kinds of workouts will help you achieve your fitness goals? Although I will always emphasize the fact that a combination of healthy eating, lifestyle habits, and consistent workouts are the golden combination for losing weight and building muscle, the TYPES of workouts you include in your regimen can make a huge difference when it comes to getting lasting results. So here are 3 types of workouts you should do if you want to lose weight and/or get healthy.

Type #1: Strength Training

Strength training involves creating the necessary tension in your body to break down and repair/build muscle. When we talk about “toning up,” “getting lean,” or “getting stronger,” strength training is the first type of workout that comes to mind. There are two kinds: body weight training and equipment training.

Bodyweight Training

Like it sounds, bodyweight training involves using the weight of your body as a tool for building strength. This is great for people who:

  1. Are just starting out with strength training. It gives you the opportunity to learn how your body works and become familiar with a vast range of exercises that will help you achieve your goals.
  2. Have minimal access to equipment. This is ideal if you work out at home or are constantly traveling, since it may not be practical to have a ton of workout gear.

FYI – try not to think of bodyweight training as the “easy” version. There are a wealth of exercises from beginner to advanced (think of pullups, pushups, and squats).

Equipment Training

In contrast to bodyweight training, equipment work utilizes some form of external tool to create muscular contractions. The different kinds of tools that can be used during exercise is almost endless. It includes but is not limited to: resistance bands, bosu balls, free weights, weight machines, towels or sliders, etc. A few benefits to using equipment include:

  1. The ability to target specific muscle groups you may not be able to work effectively with bodyweight alone.
  2. Faster gains in strength and muscle size overall.
  3. Reducing pressure in the wrists and shoulders (since many bodyweight moves involve loading them).

Neither one is better than the other. Both equipment and bodyweight training have huge benefits. I recommend that you perform some combination of the two from two to three times a week.

Type #2: Cardio Training

Cardio for Weight Loss and Health

A cardio workout is defined by whether or not it raises your heartrate. That’s why the first thing most people think about when they start a new workout routine is running. It’s a tried and true bodyweight cardio exercise that can be super effective at helping you increase your endurance and/or lose weight. But FYI, it’s not the only thing. Here are some other types of cardio that might strike your fancy:

  • High Intensity Interval Training
  • Spinning or Cycling
  • Dancing
  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Cardio Kickboxing
  • Plyometric Training

Besides weight loss, a few key benefits of regular cardio include lowering your blood pressure, reducing stress, improving sleep, and boosting your mood. And get this… it doesn’t have to be that hard to be considered effective! With cardio, consistency is the key. About 5 or 6 days a week of low intensity cardio or 2 to 3 days of moderate to high intensity cardio should do the trick!

Type #3: Mobility and Flexibility Training

Flexibility is defined by your ability to move your body through a certain range of motion, such as going into a split or touching your hands behind your back. Mobility, on the other hand, involves you using muscular contraction to get through those ranges. Key to both is making sure that these movements are pain-free. Unfortunately, most of us spend more time sitting or standing in one place each day than we do moving. Here’s what can happen over time:

  • Our muscles become tight and weak
  • Our range of motion becomes limited
  • We experience muscle and joint pain
  • Our bodies become more susceptible to injury in the case that we try to move beyond our current range of motion.

This is why training mobility and flexibility is key to maintaining a healthy, happy body. Good workouts will include these elements during proper warmups and cooldowns. However, a dedicated session of yoga or stretching two to three times a week can allow you to move better during other workouts. Plus, you may experience additional benefits, such as reduced anxiety, enhanced focus, improved balance, improved heart health and feelings calmness.

Find the Combo that’s Right for You

Although no one combination of strength, cardio, and mobility/flexibility training will make the perfect routine for everyone, simply having these three elements will provide you with the basic structure you need to maintain a comprehensive fitness regimen. While strength and cardio training are necessary for weight loss and body composition goals, mobility and flexibility work provide essential building blocks for optimizing workouts and recovering from them.

Want Access to All Three Kinds of Workouts On Demand?

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    The Urban Dance Fitness Power Half Hour Collection

    Dance Fitness Power Half Hour with Transform with Nadia

    Remember that one time I went live on YouTube? Truth be told, that was my first time ever teaching a LIVE dance class online! I had no idea how it would go and I was SUPER nervous about it. But I decided going in that my goal was to have a TON OF FUN and to help everyone following along have an awesome time too!

    Watch The Replay on YouTube

    The cool thing about going LIVE on YouTube is that the video is still available for all to see on my channel. I looked back at it for the first time today and I have to say… mission accomplished! It WAS fun. So, if you’re in the mood to dance hit the play button and follow along:

    Own The Collection

    Did you like the dance session? This collection is now available for purchase on Vimeo! You can get the whole album with all 8 routines or purchase each routine individually. Click this link to head over to vimeo now to purchase the collection.

    The Dance Fitness Power Half Hour Collection is $30 on Vimeo! Individual routines are $10.

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    Want to know whenever a new offering is released? I send out announcements. Plus, I share great tips and tricks on how to exercise, eat well, and live a happy, healthy life through my mailing list. If you’d like to receive my newsletter and notifications whenever I teach or release something new, enter your name and email below.

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      Gift of Affirmation FREE Audio Collection

      Gift of Affirmations Free Audio Download

      In the first days of our GoFundMe Campaign, the Transform with Nadia Digital Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Studio Project has received SO much support! In lieu of your generosity, I wanted to give back with something I feel can be helpful to so many people. That is the gift of affirmation.

      The Gift of Affirmation Audio Collection

      I originally wrote and spoke these affirmations during a daily self-love challenge in my private Facebook group. I wanted to make them more accessible to the public, so I re-recorded them and put them up on SoundCloud for anyone to access. You can listen to them below or on via the SoundCloud app.

      Did You Like This Collection?

      If you enjoyed this collection, please consider backing our GoFundMe project. If you’ve already contributed or are unable at this time, the best way you can continue to show your support is to share this project with your friends. I want to continue to put out transformative content so that I can help individuals live happier, healthier lives. Click here to head to our GoFundMe Page.

      Love & Light,


      Black Hair: DIY Hair Serum for Curly Kinky Types

      Make Your Own Hair Oil for Black Hair Curly Kinky Types

      When I did the big chop about 5 years ago, I started searching for ways to take better care of my hair and my body. Part of that involved cutting out products that conduct ingredients which were harmful to my curls as well as my health. But that meant a higher price tag than I was used to. Enter the world of DIY haircare. I learned real quick that I could make a reliable hair serum on my own at home for much less. I share all the ingredients and my routine below.

      DIY Hair Oil

      When I make my hair oil, I tend to use what I have on-hand. Since I have quite a few essential oils right now, I got to experiment a bit. It’s my favorite combination yet.

      Carrier Oils

      A carrier oil is what you use as the base. They tend to be less potent in terms of smell and are safe to use at full strength. Think of natural oils that you use to cook with. Many of these can be used as carriers. Here are the ones I put in my latest hair oil.

      • 1/8 Cup Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
      • 1/4 Cup Organic Avocado Oil
      • 1/4 Cup Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

      If you choose to use these same oils, make sure to give it a quick smell before you use it. EVOO tends to have an herby scent. The last thing you want is to walk around smelling like a salad 😜 As for the coconut oil, since it’s solid at room temperature, you’ll have to heat it at a low temp before you mix it into the rest.

      Essential Oils

      In comparison to carrier oils, essential oils are more potent. They have strong properties. Apply them directly and they may be too strong for your body to handle. The result can be an adverse reaction, such as a rash. But mix them in using small doses and they are safe. These were the ones I used in my hair serum.

      • Organic Lavendar Oil
      • Eucalyptus Oil
      • Tea Trea Oil
      • Sweet Orange Oil
      • Organic Lemongrass Oil

      I didn’t measure the exact amount of each oil I added. It really depends on which smells you prefer, but about 20 drops should do you right. Once you add all the ingredients together, stir it well and leave it to sit for about 30 minutes or more before use.

      Most Important: The Pre-Wash Routine

      The recipe I shared above is simple enough, but if you really want your hair to feel soft and look shiny, having the right oiling routine is key. Once you’ve made the oil, use it as pre-wash conditioner. Here’s how:

      1. Loosen your hair and apply generous amounts of oil. Make sure to be thorough. If you have enough oil, you can even pour it over your scalp. Just make sure not to drop any. It can make a huge mess!
      2. Tie your hair up in buns or cover with a hair wrap. Leave it like this for up to 4 hours. This will allow the oils to soak in and work their magic on your hair and scalp.
      3. Untie/Unwrap and water wash. Rinse your hair out with warm water. Take this opportunity to scrub your scalp with your finger pads. Also, make sure to run your fingers through it to release some of the loose knots. This step will make detangling SO much easier!
      4. Shampoo 2-3 times (or more depending on your hair type).
      5. Detangle. Your hair should still be pretty moist from the oils. Use I large tooth comb to get out any tighter knots.
      6. Squeeze dry. Try to avoid using a towel to dry your hair, since that will suck up the moisture. Instead, wring out well with your hands. If you feel that it’s need, apply a small amount of oil afterward to add shine.

      Hair Care Is Nutrition

      As a nutrition coach, I know that nutrition is not just about what you put in your body. It’s also about what you put ON your body. Making your own hair oil might not be EASY, but it’s better for you. Once you get in the habit of making this recipe, feel free to experiment with your own. And let me know what you think by liking, sharing, and leaving a comment below!



      Food Rationing: Nutrition Habits that Come In Handy During Pandemic

      If you’re financially strapped and/or looking to conserve so you can feed a large family and/or make your resources last, don’t stress out. The healthy nutrition habits in today’s blog will help you survive on what you have during a pandemic. Instead of looking at it as food rationing, I like to call it optimizing my nutritional intake.

      The Solution: Postpone Eating Until You’re Hungry

      One of the strange things about modern society is that we tend to eat during certain TIMES instead of when our bodies really the sustenance. This often leads to overeating and overloading our digestive systems, which cannot handle the constant influx of food. Here what you can do instead:

      Drink Water First

      First thing in the morning, drink a glass of water with lemon. This will help prepare your stomach for digestion and stimulate bowel movement, which should happen before you eat. Lemon is also a great source of vitamin C, which can boost immunity.

      Practice Discernment

      Cravings tend to arise for a variety of reasons.

      • Boredom
      • Sadness
      • Anger
      • Loneliness
      • Dehydration
      • You saw an ad on Facebook…

      So if you find yourself reaching for something, take a moment to pause. Ask yourself, “Am I really hungry or is something else going on?” If the answer is yes, then grab a bite. But if the answer is no, drink some water and wait a bit.

      Eat Smaller Portions

      Most of us are used to mega-sized meals served at restaurants, so we tend to use the same practice at home. More often than not, these amounts are disproportionate to what our bodies actually need.

      Pro tip: Try using smaller bowls and plates. This will automatically reduce your portion size. When you’re done, wait about 10 minutes before you add more to your plate. If you’re still hungry then, have at it!

      Eat slowly

      If you’re like me, you can down anything on your plate in about 5 minutes flat. Not only does this create a horrifying mess for your digestive system, but it also causes you to overeat. It takes your body about 15-20 minutes to send your brain the signal that you’ve had enough, so if you scarf too fast, by that time it will be too late. A few strategies you can use include the following:

      • Count the amount of times you chew. Experts recommend between 10-30 times before you swallow. That way everything is broken down and your saliva has time to soak in to help the digestive process.
      • Put your fork/spoon down between bites. This way, you are not tempted to use what I call the “snow shovel method” while you eat.

      Get In Plenty of Micronutrients

      What we often experience as “hunger” is actually our bodies being undernourished, even though we are fully fed. Most of us aren’t getting the recommended daily amounts of vitamins and minerals for our bodies to function at 100%. During tough times, we need to be more diligent and selective with how we feed ourselves.

      • Eat plenty of organic veggies (mostly green). They contain the MOST amount of micronutrients. Low sugar fruit are a welcome addition too. You can get these frozen to reduce the cost.
      • Consider adding green juice or a greens supplement. These give you nearly all of the nutrients you need without having to store and eat huge amounts of fruit and veggies.
      • Take vitamin C. As I mentioned above, it is known to be super effective at boosting your immune system. Combined with your greens, you’ve got a potent, natural energy elixir for your body.

      Eat More Fat

      Foods that are higher in fat not only help your body absorb the micro-nutrients you’re taking in, but they also keep you fuller, longer. Here are a few great sources:

      • Organic nuts and seeds – I particularly love almonds and walnuts, but chia seeds are also high in fiber and they help fortify your gut.
      • Fatty fish – Salmon and tuna are great options and contain Omega
      • Cooking & Drizzling oils – a few with awesome nutritional benefits are extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and Organic Ghee (clarified butter). In addition to cooking with them and drizzling over salad, you can use them to dip small amounts of bread or consume a tablespoon straight up before your meal.
      • Fatter cuts of meat – Many people who are dieting drastically reduce the fat in their meats, but chicken thighs and beef chuck are not only cheaper than leaner options, they are also more tasty and satisfying.

      Remember that this is NOT the time to focus on maintaining a slim figure (although that may be a natural result of implementing some of the tips in this blog).

      Focus On Your Behavior

      Even though we don’t have control of the pandemic, the one thing we can control is control our behavior during this time. Set yourself up with habits that will sustain you, even when there are less resources to go around. And if you see others struggling, help them navigate this new routine too.

      Love & Light,


      PS – Have you already put some of these practices into place? Which ones are you tackling first? Let me know if the comments.

      PPS – Feel free to SHARE this post on your favorite platform so others can take advantage of these tips too!

      E-Book: 5 Simple Ways to Boost Your Immunity

      5 Ways to Boost Your Immunity with Transform with Nadia

      In the middle of cold and flu season, it’s almost inevitable that you’re going to get sick at some point. But you can give your body the best chance possible to fight off illness and/or infection quickly and as painlessly as possibe.

      I put together a short e-book with 5 main ways that I personally use to stave of the sickies. Not only do these habits keep me strong and healthy during the coldest, dreeriest times of year, but they also help me feel stronger, more energized, and emotionally and psychologically balanced year round.

      During this time when there are so many people looking for ways to stay healthy, I wanted to provide support in the way I know best.

      Click Here to Snag the E-Book.

      5 Ways to Boost Your Immunity Ebook by Nadia Santiago Fitness Coach

      PS – I share a TON of other useful content in my private Facebook group. Click here to head over and join the community!

      Fully Fed But Undernourished?

      🥐🤔🍩😲🍨 🤒🥨😞 🍸

      “I’m constantly eating, but I still feel hungry.”
      “I’m eating healthy foods, but I’m tired.”
      “I’m sticking to my diet, but my cravings are off the charts!”
      “My diet is healthy, but I keep getting sick.”
      “When can I eat NORMAL food again??”

      If you’ve ever found yourself saying something like this, you are not alone. To be honest, growing up I survived on pizza 🍕 pasta 🍝 and peanut butter cups 🍫(sorry, no peanut butter cup emoji 😜) Don’t believe me? Ask my mom. She’ll tell you the truth!

      PS – Mom, if you’re reading this, rice and beans aren’t that much better…

      Fact: Most people are NEVER taught how to feed their bodies appropriately. Did you know that about 87% of Americans in the U.S. aren’t getting the amount of vitamins and minerals their bodies need on a daily basis? To top it off, about 65% are considered to be MALNOURISHED.

      Even those who don’t pass the clinical threshold of being malnourished (read: undernourished) are at increased risk for developing digestive disorders, infections, autoimmune diseases, hormonal issues, mood disorders, and life threatening conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. Their bodies also have a hard time recovering from injury or illness due to a weakened immune system. Kids are the MOST at risk. Poor nutrition from a young age can result in long term brain damage and stunted growth.

      I have 4 nephews, so as an aunt, this is scary for me. I’ve experienced what it’s like to be mentally and physically ill. It wasn’t until years after I became a fitness professional, when I got my certification as a nutrition coach, that it clicked for me just how simple it can be once you get into the habit of eating to nourish your body rather than chasing the hunger pangs.

      I’m SO passionate about this topic because I had some very dark, soul sucking periods in my life and I want to help others find the sense of happiness and the feeling of vibrancy that I was able to create in my own life.

      That’s why I’ve put together a new online program specifically for work-from-home moms and grandmas who want to learn how to nourish themselves and their families. The program starts on March 30th and is a 60 day deep dive into creating habits that increase your energy levels, improve your mood, and help you build a healthier, happier life 🥰 It’s a remote program, so you can join from anywhere in the world.

      I’m looking for 5 women to join me at a HUGE DISCOUNT, help me work out the kinks and get amazing results I can use as a case study! Spots are already filling up, so if you’re interested, comment below asap with “I’m ready to learn more!” and I’ll reach out to you with the details.

      Sleep versus Working Out

      Your face when I ask the question “Would you believe me if I told you that getting the right amount of #sleep each night is more important than working out?” 😱🤔😏👎👏😂

      I get it… This is not a popular sentiment, but the fact of the matter is that sleep is fundamental to a host of bodily functions. You may not want to hear this, but the truth is… Skimping on your shuteye (meaning you consistently sleep for less than 8 hours a night) can…

      1) Dampen your immune system
      2) Damage your brain
      3) Make your body susceptible to digestive disorders
      4) Increase your cravings for foods that are high in sugar and devoid of nutrients.
      5) Cause irritability and mood swings
      6) Hamper your ability to think clearly

      Listen… don’t get my words twisted. #StayingActive is essential to maintaining a #healthy#happy life. But everyone thinks it’s the MOST important thing when in fact, it’s one piece of a larger puzzle that is your #health and #wellbeing.

      Plus, it’s easier for most of us to hit the gym for an hour than it is close the laptop, silent our phones, shut off the tv, and get to bed an hour or two earlier. Is it worth risking your health over though?

      FYI – Sleep is just one of the topics I’ll be covering during my new online program that starts on March 30th. This program is specifically for work-from-home moms or grandmas who want to learn how to nourish themselves and their families in 60 days for increased energy levels, improved mood, and a healthier, happier life 🥰 It’s a remote program, so you can join from anywhere in the world.

      I’m looking for 5 women to join me at a HUGE DISCOUNT, help me work out the kinks and get amazing results I can use as a case study! If you’re interested, comment below and I’ll tell you how to get more details.

      Practice. Not Perfect.

      Let’s be honest… Yoga can seem really intimidating for those who are just starting out. So many of the pictures we see are of super experienced instructors/yoga models twisting into pretzels or balancing on one arm upside down… It’s easy to think “I can’t do that” 😔💔

      Trust me when I say that #yoga isn’t about looking perfect in the postures. It’s about 1) Learning how to move your body in ways that lubricate your joints, 2) finding the best way to breathe so that you release your anxiety, think clearly, and connect to your heart, 3) Learning to nourish your body, mind, and spirit in ways that make you feel #strong 💪😁 #centered, and at peace with yourself 🙏😇

      You don’t need a fancy #yogapractice to get there. All you need is a little bit of time each day. 15 minutes. Even as little as 5!

      It may seem a bit awkward the first day. That’s totally normal. But at the end of it, you’ll be able to say you started. And that, my dear, is worth celebrating.
      Aim for consistency. You deserve it.
      Light <3


      PS – I’m super excited to let you know that I’m putting together a new online program that starts on March 30th. This program is specifically for work-from-home moms or grandmas who want to learn how to nourish themselves and their families in 60 days for increased energy levels, improved mood, and a healthier, happier life 🥰 It’s a remote program, so you can join from anywhere in the world.

      I’m looking for 5 women to join me at a HUGE DISCOUNT, help me work out the kinks and get amazing results I can use as a case study! If you’re interested, comment below with “tell me more” and I’ll message you with the details.

      Courage: Become Strong from the Inside Out

      Clarity starts with setting goals that matter. With Nadia Santiago

      In today’s world, with the internet and social media being at the center of most of our daily lives, it can feel we’re small fish swimming in a sea of sharks and whales. You don’t have to look far to find people who seem to be more intelligent, more beautiful, and more successful than you are.

      The Trap of Self-Judgment

      When we’re so caught up in the external world, we start to judge ourselves for not being strong enough, skinny enough, healthy enough, flexible enough… and so we start to think that fundamentally, we are enough. Those thoughts can reap havoc on your self-esteem, your confidence, and leave you feeling paralyzed. Like you’re so far behind everyone else that you’ll never catch up.

      Yogi Confession: Falling Into the Trap

      There was a time in my life when I fantasized about being the type of woman who woke up in the morning feeling happy, energized and driven to create change in the world. The reality? I woke up each day feeling unmotivated, exhausted, and disappointed in myself.

      If you were looking at me from the outside, you probably wouldn’t have known all this. I had everything going for me. I was working on my PhD in Psychology, had an amazing group of friends, and an idea of how I wanted to move forward with my career and my life. But I wasn’t happy.

      Truth: I didn’t like myself.

      When I looked in the mirror I saw a woman who was tired, lazy, and plain. I didn’t feel worthy of recognition or (on the relationship side) of love. It took me a long time to realize that if I wanted to become that energetic, driven, and courageous woman I dreamt about, that needed change.

      Be Courageous: Look Within

      Any endeavor to create a happier, more fulfilling life begin and ends from within. How you feel about yourself can either enhance or crush your spirit. If you are constantly judging and belittling yourself, be courageous. Admit that you’ve been holding yourself back and begin to make a shift. Get started with these three practices:

      • Accept What Is. Your life may not be ideal right now. No matter how badly you want that to change, it won’t happen this instant. In moments when you feel frustrated, disappointed, or ashamed practice acceptance. Take a breath and say “This is my reality right now and that’s okay. I’m working to better myself.” Bonus: Allow yourself to feel grateful for being self aware and willing to learn and grow into a better future and better self.
      • Build Yourself Up. Negative self talk is dangerous to the health of your spirit and your psyche. So any time you notice that you’re putting yourself down, hard stop. Replace it with something positive like “Actually, I’m amazing. I’m beautiful. I’m strong.”
      • Develop a Sense of Faith. There are going to be days when your goals and dreams seem impossible to reach. In fact, that might be an every day reality for some. Just know that faith is a muscle you can develop. Work on it every day and eventually you’ll become a believer.

      Transformation Starts With You

      If there’s one key message I want to leave you with in this blog, it’s this:

      You don’t have to look outside yourself to become the person you want to be. It all starts from within.

      Just remember to be gentle with yourself. Allow yourself plenty of space and time to grow into the person you want to be. I did. And the result has been better than I ever could have imagined.

      Out of the three practices mentioned above, which will you try first? Let me know in the comments section.

      Love & Light,

      Nadia <3