Welcome back to Covey's Expert Confessional Series! Here you'll get an inside look into the everyday lives of industry leaders. Our esteemed guests will draw on their years of experience and wealth of knowledge to share tips and tricks you won't find anywhere else.
Covey Expert Confessional: Daniela Brito, Women's Wellness Specialist and Fitness Coach
Among the many lessons the past year has taught us, one of the most valuable to remember is the importance of taking time for yourself. By devoting your time and energy to things you're genuinely passionate about— whether that be saving the environment, signing up for a marathon, or perfecting your sourdough recipe— you can find greater happiness and a sense of purpose.
For lawyer turned women's wellness specialist Daniela Brito, shifting her focus from a high-stress job in the finance industry to women's wellness caused a ripple effect. Not only did the career change bring Daniela direction, but it's brought her friends, family, and clients a renewed sense of optimism as well.
"The most important thing is to find your why," said Daniela. "Find the real reasons behind your fitness goals because your enthusiasm for exercise may not last long, and you will need to see what will endure in the long run. If your goal is only to change your body for a season or an event, it will be pretty hard to stay motivated once you achieve that goal. Take your time to set up your real intention."
A sustainable fitness routine is less about weight loss and more about holistic wellness. Daniela considers self-care "one of the foundational pillars" of her life and believes that self-care comes in three parts: mind, body, and soul. She's a firm believer in the power of meditation, regular exercise, and learning from those in your inner circle.
Inspired by Daniela's optimistic take on fitness, we asked for her expertise on all things wellness, workouts, and holistic women's health. Here's what she had to say:
How did you get started in the women's wellness industry?
I used to work in the finance industry as a lawyer, and I reached a moment in my career where I was not happy anymore. The company decided to start a fitness challenge between employees to encourage team building and minimize stress. I joined the challenge, and I won!
It was a pivotal moment in my life that helped me identify my passion for health and fitness. Not long after, I quit my job and became a fitness coach specializing in women's health and wellness.
What is your why behind the work that you do?
My goal is to help women— especially women over 40—make fitness a core part of their lives. A sustainable fitness routine can genuinely transform someone from the outside in, making them more confident and accepting of their changing body.
Who is someone that inspires you personally and professionally?
Viola Davis is one of the most hardworking, talented actresses of my generation. She is also widely recognized for her advocacy for human rights and equal rights for women, particularly women of color. I absolutely love her.
She inspires me in so many ways. She had a tough childhood, growing up in poverty, and even faced hunger. But she did not let it crush her. In fact, it fueled her and pushed her to do better for herself. The world finally started to notice her when she was 43-year-old.
Self-care is an important part of holistic women's wellness. How do you practice self-care?
Self-care is something I take very seriously. It comes in three parts: my mind, my body, and my soul.
I practice meditation every day to clean up my mind. I treat my body as a temple, exercising and nourishing it very well. And I make sure to spend quality time with my family, doing the things I love and continually learning to enlighten my soul.
Which steps of your daily routine will you never skip?
Meditation in the mornings, and skincare in the evenings.
For those of us who are beginners, what are the first steps we should take in our fitness journey?
First, visualize your new routine. What does it look like? And more importantly, how will it make you feel?
Then, plan your workouts around what makes you feel motivated and energized. Find activities that you enjoy doing, and do them at the time of the day that works best for you.
Be realistic and find an accountability system that keeps you honest. This could be anything from working out with a partner or friend, hiring a personal trainer, or tracking your workouts in an app. Decide what works for you and get the ball rolling.
If you had to break down the perfect workout routine into three simple steps, what would they be?
1. Always warm up with mobility work— exercises that move your body through its entire range of motion. Mobility exercises not only prepare your body for your workout, but they also enhance movement function and overall performance.
2. Focus on form, not weight. Choose a weight that tires the targeted muscle group by the last two repetitions while still allowing you to maintain good form. Align your body correctly and move smoothly through each exercise.
3. Cool down by stretching. Letting your body ease back into its natural resting state allows your body to remain limber and injury-free.
What is one workout secret that you'd share with your closest friends?
Deadlift for life. The deadlift, in my opinion, builds up the upper and lower body like no other movement. I have clients from 20s to 60s, and all of them deadlift.
Besides that, the deadlift is one of the safest weight-lifting exercises you can perform if you use the proper form and technique. It works more muscles than any other exercise, burns fat, increases core strength, and improves stability. This leads to better posture and fewer injuries by increasing your muscles' strength around critical tendons and ligaments.
What's the best piece of advice someone else in your industry has given you?
The fitness industry is filled with trendy workouts that are unsustainable in the long run. Every now and then, some miraculously exercise or training program emerges that promises to make you look terrific "in just three days." Do not fall for it. Trust your knowledge and keep things simple and effective.
What motivates you to keep going?
The desire to get older while staying mobile, healthy, and strong. I can't wait to see my eight-year-old daughter grow and participate in her life.
A covey is a group of birds who flock together, and that is the inspiration for our brand. Who is in your Covey?
My family, my childhood friends from Brazil, and a few close friends I made in the fitness industry. We are grateful for our relationships, and we prioritize each other.
To keep up with Daniela Brito and see her best workout and women's wellness tips, follow her on Instagram at @daniela.wellness.