Working out has become something that I really look forward to every day. When I transitioned to a freelance schedule, the first thing I did was start scheduling in my workouts like I would with meetings. I was always trying to get to the gym, but treating workouts like meetings has made me so much more accountable, and now I go… at least five times a week. Another key to sticking to your exercise routine is finding a time that works best for you. My favorite time of day to exercise is lunchtime. I’ll never be an early-morning person, and working out during lunch provides the perfect mid-day boost while freeing me to attend morning and evening events.
Today, in collaboration with CALIA by Carrie Underwood I am excited to share my five favorite workouts in New York. And guys.. CALIA is amazing. I have a ton of their stuff and am blown away by both the quality and the styles. So cute, but still very functional.
1. Exhale Core Fusion. Core Fusion is hands down, my #1 workout. My body looks and feels its best when I am going 3-4x a week, which is what I try to do. It is simultaneously the most miserable, satisfying, and effective hour of my day. My girlfriends and I joke that it’s pretty much the closest thing to liposuction in workout form. If we are being honest, I don’t actually enjoy the whole hour. There are parts of class that I truly hate, and I swear that I’ve actually blacked out during thigh and glute work. It’s that intense; I’ve walked out of class with my thighs still shaking. That said, it gets a lot better with time, and it’s the most effective workout I’ve done. Since going regularly, I am stronger, more flexible, and standing much straighter. In addition, I’ve gotten leaner and feel a lot more toned, even just after a month of going consistently.
2. Soul Cycle. Okay. I’m going to get myself into trouble here, but guys… I have a lot of feelings about Soul Cycle. I love it but I hate it. It’s my favorite workout to actually do as it feels fun and I love the music… but it makes me so hungry that I end up not losing any weight when I’m doing it. This summer I found myself going a lot (sometimes I’d go 5x a week!), but my clothes were fitting tighter. Obviously, working out isn’t only about losing weight, but it wasn’t giving me the long, lean body I craved. (Barre + Yoga are great for that.) So now I only let myself go once (mayyybe twice a week). My favorite instructors are Charlee and Sunny in New York. (For the Chicago set, take Hallie W, aka Corals and Cognacs!)
3. Yoga. I really, really love Yoga Vida. There’s something really special about the huge room and large group setting. The classes are fast-paced so you break a good sweat.. almost to the point where you could consider it (light) cardio. I leave feeling long and strong… and so much more relaxed than when I left. They also have great restorative classes which are basically the equivalent to adult nap-time (if nap-time helped to open up tight hips). My favorite class to take is the Sunday night 7pm candlelit session (there’s no better way to wind down the weekend.) I also really love both Heather + Katelin’s classes – they are hilarious and also run Yoga For Bad People, which runs the coolest retreats (I’m saving up to maybe go to Cuba with them this April…)
4. Chaise Fitness. I love Chaise for the same reason that I love Soul Cycle. It’s really, really fun. But it also gets you super toned. It’s sort of a mix of Pilates + barre moves. The class goes by really quickly as you are moving the entire time and doing a lot of various movements. I am an Exhale devotee but when I’m feeling bored from barre, I will mix things up with a Chaise class. (If you go, Cat Scanlon is my favorite instructor – she is so upbeat and awesome!)
5. Flex Pilates. In my opinion, this is one of the hardest workouts in the city (second only to Brooklyn Body Burn!) Admittedly, I’ve only gone a handful of times, but every time I go, I can’t even laugh the next day! It works every inch of your body, and you’ll use muscles you didn’t know you had. Their reformer is a torture device – in the best possible way. If you need to get into incredible shape in a quick amount of time, this is the one to do.
photography by Lydia Hudgens.
Created in partnership with Calia by Carrie Underwood (and thank you to Exhale for letting us use their space to shoot!)