"I'm just like everyone else," says Eva Mendes. "I do not enjoy going to the gym, but I do it because I have to do it for my mind, for my body, for my soul, and for my career."
That fitness is not on her list of fun things to do makes the actress a relatable spokesperson for Reebok EasyTone, the athletic-wear brand's line of toning apparel and shoes. "What I like about EasyTone is that they help me fit more exercise in when I'm running around," Mendes explains in our recent interview in L.A. This association is new, but her personal history with Reebok dates back to owning a pair of pink high-top trainers in high school; she now confesses to owning 12 pairs of EasyTone shoes.
the clothes make you work
"Easy" may be part of the Reebok toning technology name, but don't make the mistake of thinking this is clothing that works hard for you. In fact, it's apparel that makes you work harder. Seriously. I took my Renew sneakers out for a proper walk on the weekend. Most intense walk ever, and it wasn't because I was trying. I want to wear these shoes everywhere. They worked muscles that usually slack off during a casual stroll.
Although the shoe looks like a regular sneaker, the EasyTone shoe sole features an air chamber that compresses as it hits pavement. It simulates the balance ball movement, creating an imbalance that forces the wearer to work a little harder as she walks.
"You're already going to be out there running errands, running around with your kids or your dog," notes Mendes, who says she wears hers to walk and hike with her seven-year-old Belgian Malinois, Hugo. "So why not use a shoe that helps you out and tones you up a bit while you're doing it?"
The snug-fit clothing features high-tech tension fabric bands at the shoulders, between the shoulder blades, at the torso, and, in the pants, at the hamstrings, to create muscle resistance as the wearer walks or runs.
walk the dog=yes, spinning class=no
"The thing I love about the clothes is that they support everything, give you a nice shape, and remind you to maintain your posture," says Mendes, who, despite having no love for workouts, hits the gym three or four times a week with a trainer, and somehow finds time for yoga with an instructor, too. In fact, she has a two-hour workout scheduled for the end of the interview day, the second of two days of press. "I'm an end-of-day workout person," she says. "It's kind of backwards, but I'm just not a morning person," she admits, adding that her ideal day would start at noon.
When it comes to workouts, Mendes isn't about the newest hot programs. "I switch it up, but usually go back to what's been working for me, a trainer for weights and a trainer for yoga," she says. "That combined with cardio and my walks -- that's what works for me."
What tops Eva's workout list? "Walking, hiking with my dog, anything in the outdoors -- not anything, that's not true because then I'd skydive, what am I saying?" Spinning classes are on her list of least-favourite exercises, as are squats and lunges. But squats and lunges she has to do, she says, because they're the best for toning the butt and thighs. "It's the only thing that works. They're not fun, but you get toned."
chocolate: won't give it up
"Caffeine," she answers immediately in response to a query on how she keeps her energy up. The actress also has a weakness for chocolate; at a dinner during last year's film festival in Toronto, a group of Canadian beauty editors took note when Mendes emerged from a private dining room at C-lounge on Wellington to request seconds of a rich chocolate mousse. "I won't give chocolate up. I'd spend extra time in the gym," she insists.
"You've got to sweat for it," Mendes says about staying fit. "It's wonderful if you have great genes, but most people have to work for it. It's a metaphor for life. What you put into your workout, you'll get back."
"Less is more," says Eva about workout makeup. For her "can't-live-without" beauty must-have, see what Eva Mendes puts on her face before she hits the gym.
Image courtesy of Reebok. Reebok EasyTone shoes and apparel are available at select Sport Chek locations across Canada. A version of this story appears in today's Metro News.