Fit Feature: Melissa Cholger, of Traverse City

Melissa L. Cholger, 30, of Traverse City, is a certified yoga instructor as well as a department assistant to the cardiothoracic manager at Munson Medical Center. She said she enjoys hiking with her dogs, yoga, Pilates, as well as biking, running and kayaking.

“I work out to be able to climb any cliff or bluff to take in a stunning Northern Michigan sunset overlooking Lake Michigan,” she said. “The beauty of Northern Michigan is great motivation to keep moving and to always be taking in new sites. I also work out for the mood enhancing benefits.”

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She said she eats a primarily whole foods diet, sticking to fresh produce, proteins and natural carbs. However, there are times when she indulges.

“Sometimes something will just sound good and when I do make the conscious decision to indulge, I pay particular attention to how each bite tastes and feels and I enjoy it thoroughly without guilt,” she said. “Everything in life is about moderation so I do indulge, mindfully, and I remember the 80/20 rule which means eating whole foods at least 80 percent of the time.”

She said her healthy lifestyle has helped her in mind and body.

“The more I exercise, the more I want to eat healthy, which makes me feel lighter on my feet which makes me want to be more active,” she said. “It’s a healthy cycle to be in and it makes me feel great inside and out. Most importantly, my goal is to always develop more mental strength, emotional intelligence, and spiritual connection. For me, yoga is the foundation for all of these things.”

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