For Teresa Giudice, working out became a vital way to pass the time in jail – and in the end, she says, it helped her get in the best shape of her life.
“I tried to stay busy. I would work out three times a day. That was my thing,” Giudice tells PEOPLE in an exclusive interview hitting stands on Friday.
Her day started out with daily yoga sessions (the prison held two classes each morning in the TV room), then different workouts depending on the season.
“In the wintertime I would go to the gym and in the spring and summer I was constantly on the track walking or running,” says Giudice, 43, of running Danbury Federal Correctional Institution’s picturesque outdoor track.
• For PEOPLE’s full coverage of what’s going on with Teresa Giudice and her family these days, visit PEOPLE.com/Teresa
Giudice – whose new memoir, Turning the Tables: From Housewife to Inmate and Back Again, written with PEOPLE Staff Writer K.C. Baker, hits shelves Tuesday – says she also did exercise tapes by Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper.
RELATED VIDEO: Joe Giudice on Teresa’s Life in Prison – Including Her Beauty Regimen
Prior to prison, Giudice hadn’t been a yoga fan, but says, “Yoga changed my life! It got me though this whole ordeal, and I can’t live without it now.” She’s already been spotted out taking classes with her sister-in-law Melissa Gorga, and has plans to become a teacher.
“I already signed up to get certified as a teacher,” she says, boasting that yoga helped “change my body. I was bigger. Now I’m leaner and more toned. I think I only lost 8 lbs., because it’s mostly muscle, but I’m a size 2 now.”
• For much more from Teresa Giudice, plus an exclusive interview with her husband Joe as he prepares to serve his own prison sentence, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE Magazine, on newsstands Friday
Giudice says she’s “really happy” with her body, but her husband Joe, 43, has one small complaint.
“He likes my body. I just lost my ass, and he’s an ass man,” she says. “My husband says, ‘You gotta do squats!’ ”
Giudice has another idea.
“I’m like, ‘I could get implants.’ He’s like ‘No, I won’t even touch it.’ I’m like ‘Why? I have fake boobs, and you touch them.’ ”