TSC: Who are you? Name? Where do you live? Married/kids? Occupation?
KT: My name is Kendra. I live in NYC. I am an actress and yoga instructor at Y7 and around the city. I’m not married, and have no children.
TSC: When did fitness/yoga first become a part of your life? Have you always been an athlete? Did you start working out as an adult? Did you workout earlier in life and start up again? If so, what and why?
KT: Being physically active has always been very important in my life. When I was younger I was a total tomboy with a ton of energy and I wanted to do anything and everything that involved being active. Still, as a kid, I never thought of it as “fitness”. It was when I began swimming competitively in junior high that I started to take fitness more seriously. I was addicted to the adrenaline rush that I got from competing the minute I stepped up onto the diving block, and if I was going to compete in something I was going to be the best. Although I could have continued to swim in college, I opted to follow my artistic leaning instead, and it was from there that I found a different appreciation of fitness in yoga. Up until this point, yoga was something that I had only dabbled in, but in college I started to really begin exploring the practice and all of the positive effects that it had on my life.
TSC: What is your current workout routine? How many days a week/hours a day do you workout? What types of workouts do you do? All one type or switch it up?
KT: There is nothing routine about my life, and as a result there is nothing routine about my workout schedule. I don’t really focus on how many hours or days a week I exercise, but instead I try to gauge how my body is feeling and what it needs depending on the week. A typical week will include 3-4 yoga classes, a couple of 3-5mi runs in Central Park, and then a day or two of something completely different such as boxing, barre, bouldering or a quick 45 min spin or HIIT workout. I don’t like things to get monotonous.
TSC: How do your prioritize fitness and wellness in your (busy) life?
KT: In order to learn how to really prioritize my overall health and wellness, I have had to learn find balance. Although this seems like a simple task there are many things that influence “wellness” in my eyes: happiness, sleep, workouts, nutrition…. Getting a workout in and eating well is challenging for everyone, but for me it is essential that I make it a priority so that I can live my best life. Still, acknowledging when I need to rest instead of pushing for that extra workout, or allowing myself to indulge in a desert or a cocktail instead of obsessing about being “healthy”, is just as important. Another key component in all of this is sleep. Sometimes, when I am feeling like I’ve been spread a little too thin, it is more important for me to prioritize rest over my workout or a night out with friends/family/boyfriend. Still, saying “no” to social engagements is VERY difficult for me because there are few things that I enjoy more than spending time with the people I love. All in all, for me balance is key. I don’t beat myself up if I have a glass (or two) of wine or if I only work out four days one week instead of six. I don’t think there is a one size fits all with fitness and wellness J
TSC: Why is working out/fitness important to you and your lifestyle?
KT: If I do not do something active at least 5 days a week my mental, emotional, and physical health suffer. It is as simple as that. I like feeling strong and healthy and energized.
TSC: What other aspects of healthy living do your incorporate in your life? Wellness? Sleep routines? Meal prep? Favorite healthy places to eat out/recipes readers should try?
KT: As I mentioned before, preparedness is key. When I leave my house I usually have a change of clothes/shoes in my bag, ready for whatever workout opportunity might arise (planned or unplanned). Similarly, what I put in my body directly affects my fitness and wellness. As a result, if I know that I have a busy day ahead of me I prepare myself by bringing healthy snacks (an apple, boiled eggs, health warrior protein bars etc.) that I can graze on throughout the day until I can sit down to a healthy meal. If I don’t plan, and I end up putting crap into my body, I feel the difference. Beyond that, I try to get somewhere between 7-9 hours of sleep, meditate regularly, and make smart choices when I go out to eat.
TSC: If you could share one thing with readers of The Sweat Chronicles what would it be.
KT: First and foremost, be gentle and kind to yourself (and others). We live in a society that has such high expectations, and as a result I find we are constantly being made to feel like we are not good enough, not doing enough, haven’t achieved enough. The truth of the matter is you are enough and you are exactly where you are supposed to be. It is not easy to change the way that we have been taught to think from a very young age, it is embedded in us, but if we can start to reprogram our thinking, we can begin to create the space to allow our lives to happen. I like to think quality over quantity. If we can stop grasping and holding on to the idea that our career, income, or marital status etc. are directly related to our self worth, and start believing that we are enough regardless of what these “quantifiers” supposedly say about us in relation to someone else, happiness will come. In the words of Rumi “Let yourself be silently drawn by what it is you really love. It will not lead you astray.”