Lea Michele can pinpoint exactly when her wellness awakening began: She was on the Glee Live! In Concert! tour, on the road for months at a time, performing in front of sold-out stadiums. “It was really important for me to find out what works [to stay healthy],” she says, “because when you’re traveling so much, and then you’re getting on a stage performing for 17,000 people, you have to take as best care of yourself as you possibly can.”
Seven years later, the Emmy-, Golden Globe-, and Grammy-nominated celebrity is a poster child for healthy living. Join the ranks of her five million Instagram followers, and she’ll grace your feed with superfood soup recipes, high-vibe beauty tips, and all the #fitspo. “I feel that by educating myself and trying a bunch of different things, I’ve really come to a place with my wellness for my mind, body, and spirit where I feel like I can talk about the things that work for me and I have enough experience to back it all up.”
“For me, I can’t be at a gym with fluorescent lights and pounding music playing. I have to have a workout that is good for my soul as well as my body.” —Lea Michele
So in a recent phone interview with Michele, I asked the star to share her workout philosophy. Get ready: Her advice might just add a new level of significance to all your sweaty endeavors.
Rather than hitting the treadmill, the Scream Queens leading lady says she always opts for a higher-minded workout regimen. “For me, I can’t be at a gym with fluorescent lights and pounding music playing. I have to have a workout that is good for my soul as well as my body,” she explains.
Michele says she often turns to SoulCycle (“I’m a SoulCycle girl through and through!”) and CorePower Yoga, where she says the heat runs just as high as the inspiration. “It’s really about having a workout that makes me feel inspired and has an emotional effect on me as much as it does a physical one. And I don’t think that there’s a SoulCycle class where I haven’t laughed, cried, screamed,” she says.
But as much as she craves the boutique fitness scene, Michele admits that she finds the most solace outdoors—hiking the trails surrounding Los Angeles. “When I moved to LA, I was so blown away by just how incredible the hiking trails were, and how easily accessible they were. What a great way to get a workout, but also have a sort of spiritual experience at the same time,” she says. “With hiking…not only are you getting a sweat and you’re getting to work out, but you’re also really calming your mind.”
“With hiking…not only are you getting a sweat and you’re getting to work out, but you’re also really calming your mind.”
Whether she’s hiking solo or with friends, Michele says a killer playlist can help keep her motivated. “I love listening to music when I hike,” says the fresh-air enthusiast. “For me, as a singer, music has always been my greatest form of therapy. There’s nothing like listening to a great Coldplay song and being outside. That, for me, is the greatest sort of spiritual experience: Getting to the top of the canyon here in beautiful California, listening to music—that’s really how I get inspired.”
Michele also has healthy travel down to a science: These are her top 3 strategies for staying healthy on the road and the 7 essentials she always packs in her carry-on.
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