Exclusive: Julianne Hough's Top Advice for Building Your Strongest, Fittest Body

Actress and dancer Julianne Hough’s enviable figure and always-positive attitude are more connected than you think.

Though the 29-year-old says she’s definitely a snooze button-hitter, taking the time to work out in the morning is one of her biggest secrets for exuding such positive energy.

“If I don’t work out in the morning, I’m just like, ‘Dangit!’ and I’m so lethargic the rest of the day,” she tells PopCulture.com. “It gives me life, it gives me energy. I feel like I’m so much more alive and so much more clear and just a happier person.”

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For those who, like Hough, need a little extra push to get up and work out, she says her Fitbit Alta HR is the perfect motivation.

Up Next: Julianne Hough's Motivating Workout Will Make You Want to Hit the Gym ASAP

“Having a Fitbit holds you accountable which is a really strong thing, especially if you already struggle with getting out of bed,” she raves to fellow snooze lovers. “It holds you accountable because you’re in a competition with yourself or you can connect through the app with friends, so it’s fun and motivating to make it like a game.”

As a dancer, Hough has always been active and conscious of fitness, but it wasn’t always such a welcomed staple of her day.

“I did not like working out [in my early twenties] and when I did, it was for how my body looked on the outside and I compared my body to other people’s,” she admits. “But the minute I got out of my head about what I looked like and more like, ‘How do I feel right now?’ it completely changed. And it actually made my body be more consistent.”

“There is no way you can sustain a lifestyle of depriving yourself or going through these quick fixes or being very strict about your diet,” she adds.

For the former Dancing With the Stars pro and judge, her sustainable routine includes maintaining a healthy, consistent diet without “trendy” plans or cleanses, plus keeping herself enthusiastic about fitness, admitting that her “attention span is pretty limited.”

💦💜🖤 @mpgsport *Sweating it out in my *Audition 2.0 Capri leggings *AMA light support strapped back bra

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The uber-fit newlywed enjoys dance cardio, boxing, CorePower Yoga, cycling and Pilates, but her go-to for seeing results and feeling strong is to focus on small muscle building with wrist weights and ankle weights.

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Though some women swear off using weights with the fear of getting “bulky,” Hough debunks this myth — and her insanely toned, lean body is proof.

“I tend to do longer reps for a longer period of time with 3-5 pound weights, and it’s a constant movement so it’s not super stagnant,” she advises. “It gets those little muscles that are hard to get to, that you don’t even realize you have, and that’s what creates the dancer body.”

For busy people who juggle careers and relationships, Hough, who recently married NHL player Brooks Laich, says it’s all about committing yourself to what’s important and creating the time to make it happen. For her, that means working out in the morning when possible — and getting creative when it isn’t.

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“I work out while I’m brushing my teeth, while I’m making dinner,” she says of jam-packed days. “I do little things around the house while I’m there or if I’ll be out all day, I’ll just do a couple little exercises on my own to get my body moving.”

For the dancer, that could mean holding the side of the wall for calf raises, knocking out a few squats or lunges, or squeezing in some side oblique crunches while standing around — all of which her discreet, stylish Fitbit Alta HR tracks right from her wrist.

Hough, an ambassador for Fitbit, says the wearable device has helped her keep active on both those busy days and lazy ones.

“It’s a constant reminder that I can move and get up and do something, more than I ever thought. I’ll be like ‘Man, I’m so busy today, I can’t do anything,’ and then I realize I actually have a lot of downtime when I think I’m busy and I’m actually not,” she says.

“Maybe I could take a 5-minute little break and go to the bathroom, come back and do a few squats. It’s a constant reminder to keep moving, or if I’m sitting down for too long to get up and have a conversation while I’m walking around,” she adds.

But overall, she instructs, “Healthy living is where is all starts: in order to have a clear thought, make good choices, be positive, be a great example for your family or friends and be courageous enough to take risks… It’s about your strength and your heart and courage and choices.”

Photo credit: Instagram / @fitbit