Photo: George Kontaxis

Looking for some fitness motivation to get you back into the gym and in shape? Welcome to Fitness Focus! INSCMagazine’s fitness and motivation feature column

Fitness Focus! will feature some of today’s hottest Instagram  fitness models, fitfluencers and trainers, in the realm of lifestyle, modeling and fitness motivation, with a touch of style, class, quality in-depth writing and eye-catching images.

2018 is barely a month old, and whatever New year’s resolutions to get fit, lean and trim may have either stuck through the harsh January winter, or may have melted away amidst the brief heat wave that many are thawing out from under.

To quote James Purfoy’s Marc Antony in HBO’s Rome, Winter does not last forever. Spring comes, snows melt. Snows always melt.

Much like icy snow melting, so can those excessive holiday pounds gained from Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. With it being a new year, we have all made the bold and overused resolution of getting back in shape, going back to the gym, getting fit and trim for the beach, etc.

Photo: Peter Gonzales

With February right around the corner and spring not far behind it, it’s time to get motivated for that perfect bid to rock for spring break. If you need some motivation, Look no further than New Mexico-born and bred fitness model and trainer, Kristin Maruska.

A forty-something dark-haired stunner, the first generation Hungarian-American Maruska is a certified Mixxedfit, AFAA and IFTA personal trainer in Zumba, group fitness and kickboxing, is as easy on the eyes as she is hard in the gym.

A self-described tomboy growing up, Maruska loves her sports as she is a big hoops fan, most notably of LeBron James and Kevin Durant. Below is my Q and A with Kristin as we talk working out, fitness fads to watch for in 2018, UFO sightings and the difference between lobos and wolves.

Photo: Peter Gonzales

Name: Kristin Maruska

Age: 43

Height: 5’4

Birthplace: Santa Fe, New Mexico

Measurements: 32-25-36

Social Media Links: Facebook Page: Kristin “Get Fit Stay Fit” Marushka | Instagram: @getfitwithkristin

What kind of model are you (IG, fitness, bikini, lingerie): I primarily model fitness and bikini but enjoy fashion and artistic genres.

Fitness Certifications (if applicable)

  • Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA)
  • Step/Kickboxing/Group Fitness
  • Interactive Fitness Trainers of America (IFTA)-Personal Training
  • Zumba ® Basics I, II, Toning
  • Mixxedfit ®
Photo: Peter Gonzales

Tell us all a little bit about yourself? I was born and raised in New Mexico and continue to reside there. I am a speech-language pathologist and have always had a passion for fitness. That passion stemmed from a love of sports through out my life. Growing up, I was always somewhat of a “tomboy” and loved basketball.

I started playing basketball in third grade and can remember not being able to go anywhere without my basketball. I would even sleep with my basketball. Through the years I was involved in volleyball and track and as an adult I played slow pitch softball.

It was only recently that I began competing in bikini fitness competitions. I am an artist in development and am currently working on a collection of oil paintings (in may spare time-so I finish maybe one painting a year hahaha). I love to dance and adore dance fitness formats. I have been a group fitness instructor since 1998 and have AFAA, IFTA-Personal Training, Zumba ® and Mixxedfit ® certifications.

I have an amazing family, love to travel and I have an adorable little Pomeranian named Buddy. I am a Mexican food junkie when I am not prepping for a show and absolutely love rice krispy treats and Dunkin Dark coffee.

Since you’re from New Mexico, seen any unusual lights or UFO’s? Hahahaha!!! No aliens, but plenty of rattlesnakes!

Photo: Peter Gonzales

Not sure if you’re a big sports fan of New Mexico State, can you please explain what the hell a Lobo is? I am a HUGE sports fan and do enjoy getting out to see the New Mexico State Aggies. Sometimes it’s really just fun to tailgate or hang out with friends. Oh and the “Wolves” are in Albuquerque (University of New Mexico-UNM).

Any fitness and workout resolutions you have? My fitness resolutions are to keep consistent with a routine, work on more definition in the abdominal area and definitely to keep building my glutes and hamstrings. you know with bikini competitions, the judges always want higher, rounder conditioned back sides. So that’s the goal!

Photo: George Kontaxis

What fitness and workout trends do you see becoming huge in 2018? My fitness resolutions are to keep consistent with a routine, work on more definition in the abdominal area and definitely to keep building my glutes and hamstrings. you know with bikini competitions, the judges always want higher, rounder conditioned back sides. So that’s the goal!

I see quite a bit of group trainings and online fitness programs being popular this year. I also see boot camp style classes and gyms making a comeback this year. HIIT is definitely hot right now!!!

What first inspired you to become a personal trainer and fitness model? My first true inspiration in becoming involved in group fitness was actually an aerobics instructor that reached out to me after I had taken a few of her classes. She told me I should become certified to teach. I had no clue what that meant and little did I know that I would still be teaching classes 20 years later. She was the spark that got me thinking I could help others as she helped me. Those kind and positive words planted a seed in my head that changed my fitness life.

My fitness education is continuously evolving and I enjoy sharing new formats with others to keep fitness fun and exciting. For example, I was thrilled when Zumba ® and Mixxedfit ® came on the scene because I love to dance (e.g., salsa, merengue, bachata, hip hop) and these formats included these styles.

As I embarked on my first fitness competition, I did all of my own training and nutrition and did a lot of research on my own. So in that process I realized I truly enjoy lifting. To better educate myself, I decided to get my personal training certification so that in the event that people would potentially want help, I would be able to help them achieve their goals and make changes in their lives.

Fitness modeling has actually just evolved and I enjoy creating images of strength, beauty and individuality.

Photo: George Kontaxis

Thoughts on the growth of fitness, glamour and bikini modeling via Instagram and social media? Fitness is definitely growing via social media at light speed. It seems the digital age continues to make its way to the forefront.  maybe this contributes to the increase in the industry. It definitely can make it easier for people to have access to great fitness programs.

Social media definitely allows for the glamorous angle of fitness which is great! why not? It allows for a variety of types of fitness models as well that have broken through the typical boundaries and physical limitations of modeling. It seems that fitness models can have extremely different shapes, heights and dimensions and each one is equally beautiful. Fitness models represent the various real body types that are out there in the world that people can attain.

As a model, do you feel that more can be done by those in the industry? Why and why not? I believe you must realize your own strengths and amplify them. Be confident, but not arrogant, and realize you are your own kind of beautiful that does appeal to people. Every “body” is different and that is what makes this industry so diverse. Of course, people want to see six pack abs and big glutes, but our bodies are so different and the fitness industry has been able to offer a variety of looks from soft and voluptuous to ripped and shredded yet equally as beautiful. Overall being comfortable in your body and projecting that outward in a positive light will take you much further than a pretty face and a bad attitude.

Photo: George Kontaxis

What type of clothing do you model? Which one do you enjoy modeling for the most? I typically like to get creative with my outfits and love themes that revolve around sports such as basketball, football and tennis. Of course I love fitness apparel, bikinis and dresses.

Where has been your favorite place to shoot? That is such a tough question because I love shooting outdoors just as I enjoy shooting indoors. I have to say one of my favorite places to shoot was out in the West Mesa in Albuquerque. My good friend and photographer, Peter Gonzales, and I went out and just had a blast to see what we could create both athletic and aesthetic.

What is the most exciting aspect of modeling? I truly enjoy the creativity of modeling. To me it is another genre of art because you are projecting an emotion through an image. You are bringing life and projecting feelings into a picture that could potentially inspire someone to do something amazing.

Photo: Peter Gonzales

What does being a fitness model mean to you? For me being a fitness model means so many things to me but here are a few. First, I want to look and represent the image being promoted. second, I want to make sure I represent a positive and credible image and overall presence in the area of fitness and health. it also means that I can hopefully inspire others to live a healthy, active and balanced lifestyle.

How did you first get into it? Fitness modeling evolved for me after I began competing in bikini fitness competitions. I had always had an interest in art, but more so being the artist not the subject. I have always thought the human body is beautiful and with each competition as my body was changing. I began to enjoy the photoshoots and the artistry behind what goes into it. 

How long have you been doing it? I have only been involved in fitness modeling for a couple years but wish I had explored this area a long time ago!!! It is actually a lot of fun!

Photo: Peter Gonzales

Obviously, since you’re from the Southwest, but what cold-weather training and workout tips do you recommend? Here in New Mexico we do get some cold weather too and any winter sports would be great for total body conditioning and endurance. Snowboarding and skiing are excellent ideas for fitness and fun! As far as typical training tips, I recommend giving yourself a little more time during your warm up to make sure your body temperature is elevated before performing your workouts as well as sufficient stretching post workout.

Athleisure? Fashion or fitness fad? Well, I love the idea and look so I hope it is fashion that is here to stay. I enjoy comfortable and stylish athletic clothing and love this idea. If it is a fad, well so be it, but I will continue to rock the “athleisure” look as long as I can.

With winter now here, what fashion and fitness tips and trends do you have for looking good and staying in shape when the temperature drops? Winter fashion for me includes warm leggings and comfy sweaters and definitely cute booties (shoes) Hahahaha! I also just bought a couple pair of low rise True Religion skinny jeans (love them-they make your backside look so amazing) and some freddy leggings by Livify.

Fitness tips and trends during the cold days include spinning and group fitness classes inside for sure. I also recommend just getting it done as soon as you get up if you can. I just bought a spinning bike for the house, so I can get my cardio done as soon as I get up. if I wait too long I talk myself out of it, or I get so busy I cannot get it done. So, if you get it done early, the rest of the day is open and free to get other daily life things done.

Photo: Paul Nuff

What is THE one hot fashion item that you must have/or get this season?I am obsessed with high waisted workout leggings right now! pair that with a cropped hoodie and you’re all set!

What is your workout and fitness secret to staying in shape?My secret is easy…I make fitness part of my daily schedule and plan out what I am lifting each day, etc. I actually write it down. then I adjust my carb intake depending on my activity level for the day (carb cycling).

What’s on your workout playlist, right now? I actually really love podcasts! The mixes they create for you and my favorites are dj playboy (pitbulls podcast), dj rolemodel and club 93.1 jamz are great work out podcasts and they are free on top of that!!! I do have humble-kendrick lamar; glorious-macklemore; options-pitbull; strip that down, and run up…

Photo: Paul Nuff

Fave music?Hip-hop and Latin are my favz!!!e.g., feels (danny dove re-rub) mi gente j, balvin & willy william

Pumpkin spice, Salted Caramel or Peppermint Mocha? I am a pumpkin spice gal! Just love it!!!

What swimwear trends did you feel were big this summer? Definitely the sporty-strappy swimwear, the bandage bikinis and monokinis have been a big hit as well as the high cut, one piece swimsuits being very sexy.

Photo: Paul Nuff

What was your go-to swimwear style that you HAD TO have. I always have a basic black bikini with a scrunch bottom and a brightly colored neon bikini. I love bright orange and coral so those are perfect anywhere I go.

What fashion trend and accessory do you see becoming “it”? Body suits, big necklaces and mini backpacks. I am loved the variety of body suits and cuts that were available. 

Within the industry, who is your modeling inspiration? My fitness heroines are Ashley Kaltwasser, Michelle Lewin and Jesse Hilgenburg. My fitness model inspiration is Karina Elle. They all have very different body structures, heights and fitness focuses but all are beautiful in their own way! Fitness does not have an ideal type in my opinion and there are so many beautifully different women that inspire people in different ways.

Photo: George Kontaxis

What is your secret to staying in shape? My secret is simple…I am consistent and prepare my foods or food menu ahead of time to avoid being so hungry that I want to eat whatever is available. I schedule in “refeeds.” That’s a better word than “cheat” meal. Those are definitely needed physically and help mentally too.

I plan working out/exercising into my weekly agenda and stick to the plan. It is so easy to make excuses and take time off and get lazy, but in the long run it is more difficult to restart. Maintaining your schedule will reduce frustration and you won’t have the roller coaster fluctuations and pitfalls.

As someone who has is petite, yet toned and defined, what do you think best exudes sexiness and confidence? I think that knowing what your best features are and playing those up will help with confidence! I think confidence begets sexiness and they feed off each other.

Photo: Paul Nuff

What is your opinion of the whole “shaming” issue that seems to permeate across social media and how have you handled it, if any haters tried to call you out? In this digital and cyber world we live in it allows us to push boundaries in every aspect from photography and creativity to bullying and overall “hating” as you said. It is easy to “shame” others when you do not truly have to be accountable for what you say or post.

If people would only realize that social media is just social media and a medium for all types of “attention” then you can let it roll off your back if someone makes a negative comment. Not every post is to be taken to heart. You cannot let negativity manifest into your head because then you will begin to doubt yourself, your goals, your dreams and your self-esteem will plummet.

I do see that people can become very mean and hurtful and make personal verbal attacks on others. What this comes down to, in my opinion, is a lack of confidence. That lack of confidence creates that evil jealousy which can cause a lot of drama. When I encounter “haters,” I first consider the source and realize that some people really love drama and like “to stir the pot.” In reality those people that “hate” on you really are only doing it because they are lacking something in themselves and also because they do not have to be accountable for their comments on social media.

If you engage with that type of person it will harm you more than it does them. Those people are just not happy in their own situation and probably need a little help working on themselves. If people continue to “hate,” I just block them totally…there is really no need for someone to be following me to be mean to me.

Photo: PG Photography

Aside from those toned and athletic legs of yours, what would you say is your best feature? My smile. I get many compliments on my smile. I once read, “The best curve on your body is your smile” and absolutely loved this quote. As far as body parts, I think my arms overall are my favorite.

Outside of modeling, what are your hobbies? I love art and when I do get a chance to paint I work on oil paintings. I enjoy dancing so any chance I get, I’m out with friends. My favorite thing to do is travel.

Sports question: Who are your favorite teams and clubs? I love basketball and instead of favorite teams I have favorite players. So I really do admire Lebron James no matter where he goes as well as Kevin Durant. These two are some of the most talented individuals around. Of course the legends are always going to be amazing, like Michael Jordan, but new talent is impressive. I also love Serena and Venus Williams. Those girls are talented and work extremely hard day in and day out!

Photo: George Kontaxis

What are your favorite cities to travel to? I absolutely love beaches and by far, the Hawaiian Islands are my favorites. There is so much to do and not do all at the same time. It’s as peaceful and adventurous as you want it to be and that’s just my style. Some days it’s all about the adventure and some days it’s all about relaxing and enjoying that peace.

What advice would you give to women aspiring to get into fitness and modeling? As far as fitness as a profession, I encourage learning as much as you can and becoming certified as soon as possible so that you can expand on that knowledge. Also, don’t be afraid to be a student of group fitness classes. It is amazing how much we can learn from taking fitness classes. Focus in on what your strengths are as a leader and amplify them. Overall, be kind to people and treat people with respect.

As far as modeling, get out there and practice. Take some classes or research modeling tips and poses and start getting comfortable in front of a camera. Learning your best angles and features will help you create your looks. Build a diverse portfolio of looks so that you do not get locked into just one style/genre. Overall, have fun enjoy the journey you are embarking on.

Photo: George Kontaxis

Special thanks to Kristin Maruska for her time and assistance during the Fitness Focus Q and A interview. Email us at if you feel that you have the look of being our next Fitness Focus! babe.

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