How This Fitness Influencer Balances Filming Instagram Workouts for a Million Followers With Running a Business and Practicing Mindfulness

Image via Senada Greca.

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Senada Greca is a fitness influencer with over 1.7 million Instagram followers who also runs her own business providing workout programs. Greca was born in Albania, moved to New York as a teenager, and now lives in Navy Yard.

The business school grad originally began her career in finance and sales while filming workouts for Instagram and building her fitness business on the side. She’s recently dedicated herself full-time to her fitness group—aka the “Crush It” programs and meal plans she creates with a team of nutritionists.

Greca fell in love with health and exercise as a child in Albania, climbing trees and playing outside, and then transitioned to sports and marathons as she got older. These days, she’s all about strength-training, with some yoga thrown in for active recovery.

Health and fitness have played a huge role in Greca’s life and helped her find her path: “I used to be a shy girl, always afraid of others’ opinions and impressions,” she says. I have come to consciously appreciate what eating healthy and exercising can do for my body and my mind, my self-esteem, and my confidence.”

Here’s how the full-time fitness professional gets it done:

“I wake up at 5:45 AM, drink a large glass of water with half of a lemon, and start my workout at 6 AM. Currently I strength-train six-to-seven days a week, with one of the days being an active rest day. I sincerely believe that a body in motion stays in motion. By 7:30 AM, I am ready for coffee [and] a bit of nature time while walking my dog, Bud. Weather permitting, I’ll sit outside in gratitude and gear up for the day. The rest of the day involves checking in on my Crush It Crew over our private Facebook group, filming the daily workout, responding to emails and DMs, and working on my two additional businesses that will soon launch. Creative workouts have always been my signature, so once the pandemic hit, it was fairly easy to reconfigure and create home workouts with limited or no equipment. The work day at times doesn’t end until 9 or 10 PM, as I also work with companies that are Australia-based, so the time difference makes for a bit of an added challenge.

“Of course, proper nourishment is a critical part of staying healthy. My breakfast consists of either eggs or protein-loaded oatmeal. Lunch is a protein, such as eggs, turkey, or fish, [as well as] greens. I prepare [the protein] ahead of time so as not to interrupt the flow of the day. For dinner, my partner and I enjoy cooking together on most nights. Occasionally, we do enjoy walking downstairs and hitting some of our favorite restaurants [in Navy Yard to support] local businesses, especially during these challenging times.

Being a business owner doesn’t allow for a set schedule. The concept of a 9-to-5 and a weekend is foreign, with the work day [often] lasting for 12-plus hours. Having said that, I am mindful of incorporating pause and rest during the week and enjoying time with friends and family. I am a big believer in also including mindfulness practices such as yoga and meditation. Yoga is where my body and mind connect. 

“It is during these times that one’s own ability to overcome disease comes into question. My father battled COVID for five weeks in the ICU, and is slowly recovering. So controlling the controllable [and] prioritizing our health while our physical and mental health are in jeopardy have been [goals] for myself and my online and offline community.

“I have learned over the years to not rely on a fleeting feeling such as motivation, which a lot of the time can be dictated by someone’s mood. I have created a daily habit of working out, which ensures I stick to an exercise regimen. I know that working out is my daily therapy. It keeps my body healthy and my mind sharp and clear. Working out has helped me overcome things like anxiety and depression, so I make sure that I [do it] whether I feel like it or not. Because—let’s face it—we all have those days [where] we just don’t feel like lifting a finger.

“I can unwaveringly state that exercise and eating healthily has changed my life. On a very personal note, as a teenager, I suffered from eating disorders, followed by depression and anxiety. Food was my enemy, and cardio was the weapon to combat that enemy. Once I understood that food and exercise can live happily together and support a healthy life, body, and mind, not only did I free myself from these burdens, but [I also] gained a newfound strength, determination, and love for life.”

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Home & Features Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She’s written for The Washington Post, Garden & Gun, Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Del Ray.