Living Stress Free | Kayla Kleinman
Exercise can be a great way to escape all the stress of daily life. For Kayla Kleinman, it becomes more than just an escape. It became a career. Putting the focus on ways to make her body feel good, she helps others to do the same. Training shouldn’t be something that drains you, but it should energize you and make you feel better than ever and that is exactly what Kayla has mastered!
As I mentioned earlier, Kayla began her approach to fitness as a way to escape the stress she was facing. Luckily for her, it turn out to be something she was quite passionate about. “I grew up as a super active kid growing up. I was a dancer, I took karate classes and I even worked out with my friend who was a personal trainer leading up to prom in high school.
I first became super passion about fitness though when I was in college. I was a very stressed out theater major studying in a rigorous program at NYU. I started going to the gym as a way to escape. It was the only place that I didn’t have cell service and I found it very relaxing to go there and work out.
For that hour I was alone I was not stressed out and I wasn’t worried about anything else I could just be with myself. I started to notice how different I felt because of this. Yes my body was transforming but more importantly I really noticed how it helped me emotionally. I’ve always been someone who is super anxious, who get stressed out really easily and I found that working out helped me really cope with all of those feelings and manage my stress in college,” Kayla says.
Kayla approach to fitness is unique. She doesn’t see it as something she HAS to do, but something that she enjoys doing and she feels that should be the case for everyone. “My fitness philosophy has really shifted over the years and I now focus on doing what feels good in my body. Yes, I could obsess over the science of what I’m doing or feel like I have to do the hardest, fastest, most effective workout out there. But I find I feel my best when I’m doing the workouts I love, not what science tells me I should be doing. Right now in my life that’s more low-impact workouts like barre, yoga, yoga sculpt and strength training,” Kayla expresses.
Life isn’t perfect for anyone and Kayla is no exception. However health and fitness has brought about a lot of positive change! “I’ll be honest, while my life has been far from perfect I do feel really fortunate that I haven’t had to deal with any major obstacles having grown up in a super supportive environment.
When I am going through more difficult patches in my life, though, I really lean into wellness. I make sure I’m going to yoga classes. Taking the time for myself to workout, eat decently. I’ll go for a lot of walks. I’ll reach out to my support system. I find all of these things together help,” Kayla explains.
Outside of just feeling great, Kayla has also had so great moments along her journey. One of the best being crossing the finish line of the NYC Marathon in 2015. “I was SO not a runner growing up. I used to walk the mile run in high school. But I was determined to run a marathon and conquer 26.2 miles around the city I love. Crossing that finish line felt like the ultimate culmination of all that hard work. I learned that I can do hard things. I am so much stronger than I think I am. And my mind is pretty powerful,” Kayla says.
Think about the 80/20 rule: If you get 80% of your impact from 20% of what you do, what is that 20% for someone just starting?
Find a workout that works for YOU. Ignore what influencers, celebrities, your friends are telling you you should do. Did you love dancing growing up? Hit up a cardio dance class. Maybe you’ve always loved bike riding — go for a bike ride or take a spin class. Even something as simple as walking can make a huge difference.
Also focus on working out in a way that works for you life. I’ve always said that the best gym to join is the one you’ll actually want to go to. Sometimes that means the gym closest to your home.
Why do you think a person’s mindset is so integral to their success?
It really is SO important and most of the battle. I know for me my mind gives up before my body does. As I learned while marathon training I had to really get my head in the game before I could expect my body to follow suit.
In your opinion, what are the most overrated and underrated exercises?
Overrated: that weird thigh master machine gyms have. Why?
Underrated: Bodyweight exercises in general. Planks, push-ups, squats, I love ‘em all and you can get SUCH a good workout without any equipment.