What is your typical weekly workout routine?
Aimee: I typically use the gym at my parents’ apartment building 2 to 3 times a week (or as often as I can fit it in), where I run about 3 miles on a treadmill and do some weight training/conditioning. I box once a week at Mendez Boxing Gym with my trainer, Jason Lee. And then I try to fit in 1 or 2 times a week of getting out of my comfort zone and trying new classes or activities that I learn about through friends, social media or through PR contacts. Most recently, I’ve tried Orange Theory Fitness, Chaise Fitness, Bari Method and the jump board class at Karen Lord Pilates.
Stephanie: It really depends on where I am mentally and what I’m doing workwise. I tend to go to extremes so I get really obsessed with something and do it all the time. It takes me a while to burn out on it, but I hit that mark over the last year with some of the things I had been doing. I took a mini break from everything and just allowed myself to live differently. These days I’m slowly getting back, but normally I like to get in a workout 4-6 times a week. Sometimes 2 days. I love yoga with Krissy from Sky Ting, once or twice a year I do an intense month of Bikram, I run, and occasionally will see Jason at Mendez Boxing for some intensive training sessions. I prefer a routine but am happy with whatever can work with my schedule.
What does exercise add to your life?
Aimee: Exercise gives me energy and helps me concentrate. It provides a release for stress and a refuge from things I am trying to avoid but also gives me the mental fortitude to attack those things I would otherwise avoid. After finishing a workout I feel stronger and tougher physically. Mentally and emotionally.
Stephanie: I grew up pretty active. I studied ballet a few years intensively, played soccer and ran track in middle school. I got lazy during high school and that continued through college years. I tried lots of things in my late teens and early twenties – like fencing, getting a trainer at the gym, yoga and Pilates, but didn’t have a regular program and could barely run half a mile on the treadmill. Like many, I found exercise and running again during a time of stress in my mid-twenties, and I’ve never looked back. What it added then was a major release. Having a goal – like running 2 miles, and then 4, and then 6…and so on…was really good for me to focus on and took my mind off of things that were really stressful and unpleasant. What it adds now is still the same release but also a real time to disconnect from my phone, my computer, and because fitness has become so popular, it helps me connect with others.
When the day is packed, what’s a quick fix that gets you sweating?
Aimee: Jumping rope for 10 minutes, or even just 5 minutes before getting in the shower in the morning. Or in the evening, playing freeze tag with my 4 year old. Multitasking the workout with quality family time.
Stephanie: The steam room at Equinox. Seriously. I think sitting and relaxing in a steam room is just as important as sweating it out with movement. And if there isn’t anyone in there with me I’ll often do some stretches that I’ve picked up from Bikram yoga. There is an Equinox a few blocks from my office (where I freelance) so I go sometimes before work or during lunch. Luckily I work in a great environment that allows and actually encourages me to leave for lunch breaks, which was not always the case and took some time getting used to!
And of course, there is always time for a quick run and in a pinch 20 minutes will do.
How does food play a role in your workouts?
Aimee: I have a complicated relationship with food right now. I’ve had an undiagnosed stomachache for months on end. So now, I am trying a gluten-free, nightshade free, dairy free detox. In general, I eat well (I’m Korean and love Korean food which is healthy overall), but I also don’t beat myself up over eating things that other women in their ’40’s avoid like the plague. I think balance is usually key and helps keep things in check. Now if only this stomachache would go away.
Stephanie: I know I’ll feel like shit during a workout if I eat shitty food in general. But because I’m human, I still sometimes eat shitty food (which to me is anything fried and greasy). To be honest, I basically eat what I want to eat, and luckily I don’t worry too much about it anymore. My only rule is to not eat anything heavy before a workout. If I am going to eat a regular meal it will be after the workout, even if it’s in the evening.
Share your secret weapons: group fitness classes, personal trainers, videos?
Aimee: If you can afford it, I think personal trainers are amazing. I think the motivation factor to get you to a workout combined with expertise and personalized attention can’t be beat. If you can’t afford a personal trainer, very small group classes are best, where you can expect a certain level of attention to your form and technique.
Stephanie: A personal trainer is key, but has to be the right one for you and your needs and goals. Jason at Mendez, Joe Holder at S10, the guys at DOGPOUND are all great and offer amazing personal attention.
What are your favorite clothing items/brands to work out in?
Aimee: I wear my husband’s muscle tee hand me downs (Nike, Adidas, Puma) with Gap or Nike bottoms. I usually wear Nike shoes for fitness and Adidas for athleisure.
Stephanie: I’m a Nike and Outdoor Voices loyalist, but I’ve been given items from other brands and usually do not discriminate if it fits well and is functional and comfortable.
My favorite item would be my Nike bodysuit. I bought a spare just because I love it so much. Second to that would be their Swift running tights that they do not make anymore, and unfortunately both of my pairs fell apart from wearing them too much. In their place, I now wear Outdoor Voices leggings, and I LOVE them.
Has exercise always been an important part of your life?
Aimee: Not really. My father is extremely active and has always made it a part of how my family vacationed, but I wouldn’t say it was necessarily a priority in our house the way academics were. In my past life as a fashion girl, I exercised sporadically. I would go through phases of intense activity followed by periods of extreme laziness.
Walk us through a typical day that includes some exercise.
Aimee: Each day is so different, I just try to fit it in wherever and whenever I can. Some mornings, my husband and I trade off the early morning exercise slot while the other gets the kids ready for the day and school. Other days, I sneak in an afternoon class between meetings. It just depends on how the day shapes up.
Stephanie: Wake up. Take vitamins: D, Multi, Fish Oil, and often times a tablet of Berocca, I have my friend’s husband bring me boxes from the UK, since the American version has caffeine in it.
I’m not as good with drinking lemon shots with olive oil, but I go through periods of doing this to alkalize and lubricate internally. Or apple cider vinegar shots. Then coffee, walk the dog, and head out for a run or to the gym. Shower, and then eat. Or depending on how hungry I am it could be the other way around. And then work. Because I am not on a regular program lately, everything varies, but that is the ideal.
How do you incorporate fitness into your life when traveling.
Aimee: Running is usually the most cost effective and efficient workout for me when traveling unless the hotel has a decent gym.
Stephanie: I always bring workout gear on any trip, but I don’t make it a top priority to work out when on vacation because I am on vacation. But I usually get in at least a few sessions of something from running to yoga to jump roping. And if I don’t at all (which is rare), I don’t kill myself for it. The easiest thing to do when traveling is run, it’s the best way to see a new city, and if I’m in a place where Nike+ operates, I might try to take advantage of a group run with them, so I can see the city through a locals eyes.
Share a beauty tip that you swear by. Anything that has helped you that you’d love to hear about from a close girlfriend.
Aimee: Stay hydrated! Drink lots and lots of water! Avoid the sun! I also try to wash my face and shower in cold or lukewarm water. I think my skin feels less dry that way (I have extremely, extremely dry skin). I find that if I shower immediately following a workout, a cold or lukewarm shower can actually feel nice and not so jarring.
Stephanie: Using micellar water to cleanse my extremely dry face. Has vastly improved my skin texture!
Top 5 picks from CAP?