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Jordin Sparks on her wellness “Aha!” moment after winning American Idol

Everyone knows Jordin Sparks as the voice-of-an-angel darling who won American Idol in 2007 and went on to release top singles like “No Air,” “Battlefield,” and “Tattoo.”

Now, Sparks is poised to release her next album, “Right Here, Right Now,” on August 21, which includes the already-released single “Double Tap.”

And she appropriately held the song-release party at SoulCycle, (get it? Double Tap…Back) where she showed off her fitness skills on a yellow bike.

But Sparks, who lives in Los Angeles, was not always a wellness aficionado. “After I won Idol, a lot of stress came from traveling, and being in new climates, not getting enough sleep, no exercise, etc.,” she says. “I started feeling really weird, and finally the light bulb turned on for me.”

We found out how Sparks got her sweat on, and what her workout and wellness habits look like now:

Tell us about your wellness “Aha!” moment. I got really sick in fall of 2010 when I was on Broadway. I got back to Los Angeles and learned I had walking pneumonia. I could barely walk without catching my breath, and I was in the prime of my life. It’s been five years, and I’ve made an effort to be healthier in all areas of my life.

More reading: 6 fitness instructors share the Aha moments that made the healthier

Jordin Sparks

Wow! What do you do to work out now? I love to do pretty much anything other than running: hiking, Latin dance, circuit training…anything that will get me out. My aunt took me to a dance class when I was 15 years old, and I’ve liked it ever since. I try to go every day, but if I can’t, it’s maybe three times per week.

Is that routine hard to maintain when you’re constantly traveling? In your hotel, you can target any area with your own body weight. Especially if you have DVDs, and on Youtube you can find so much stuff. Plus, being on your feet adds so much. In New York City, I’m constantly walking around. Another tip is to bring your food with you….I always have apple chips and sugar snap peas on me. But I don’t deprive myself. I guess it’s the cliche: yes, I want dessert, so I’m going to work out a little harder the next day.

What about when you’re home, do you like to cook? I love to cook. Before I left for work today, I made a roast in a crock pot. Then when I get back, dinner will be served. Then I’ll freeze it and save it for later. I may also make some great tacos with it.

More reading: What’s your favorite motivating workout mantra?

That’s impressive. How does music motivate you during your workouts? For me, music is always important. I love finding new things and working it into my playlist. Anytime I’m doing anything, there’s music. Even growing up, writing a book report, whatever it was, music was on. It’s definitely a motivator with workouts. If I do the treadmill, the tempo might have to be more intense. It goes by faster. I tend to not be very good at the treadmill, but I just keep telling myself to put one foot in front of the other. —Jamie McKillop

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(Photos: Michael Kovac, Instagram/JordinSparks)