Exclusive: Julianne Hough Has a New Way For Us to Stay Fit While Social Distancing

Erika Janes

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If you’re not quite living your best life at this particular moment in time, Julianne Hough understands — and she’s here to help. The multi-hyphenate star (Hough is an actor, singer, and of course, dancer — hi, triple threat!) and founder of the KINRGY fitness platform is social-distancing like the rest of us, but frankly, she might just be better at it. For Hough, quarantine has meant discovering the joy of a new fitness routine, embracing an honest-to-god lunch hour for pretty much the first time ever, and — oh yeah — kicking off a new project that promotes wellness while giving back.

Hough has partnered with Light + Fit to launch a new Slack app called Working Well that helps remote workers stay physically and emotionally fit. The plug-in provides daily movement reminders and wellness tips as well as workout videos (including Hough’s KINRGY) and meditations. But the app doesn’t just benefit those who download it; as part of the partnership, Light + Fit is also donating $200,000 to the Movemeant Foundation, a nonprofit that supports fitness and wellness instructors impacted by COVID-19 closures.

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For Hough, the partnership couldn’t make more sense. “You know, whether it’s [being] physically fit, mentally fit, emotionally or energetically fit — I believe that that is the key to helping us connect to ourselves so that we can relate to others and experience the world in a better way,” she tells SheKnows exclusively. “Especially during this time — when we’re so in the mode of being on our own, but at the same time still trying to hustle and do work and stay connected — we have to be able to prioritize our well-being and do it in a fun way that helps us connect to people. So this partnership for me is just everything that I believe in and what we need right now.”

SheKnows spoke to Hough about the partnership, her personal quarantine experience, and being a lifelong learner. And if we kinda wish we were quarantining right along with her at home in the hills of Los Angeles, well, who could blame us?

SheKnows: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us.

Julianne Hough: Oh, heck yeah! Are you kidding? Human interaction!

SK: Tell us how you’re staying active while social distancing? And what you’re doing to stay emotionally fit?

JH: I’ve been really fortunate that over the past few years, I’ve worked on finding my own routines and rituals that have helped me stay present and physically fit. I created KINRGY, which is a movement, breathwork, and energy-based workout class, and I’ve been doing that a lot. But also, for the first time ever, I’ve gone running around my neighborhood in the hills. And, you know, just hearing the birds, and the colors are more vibrant… [I’m] really taking an opportunity to take it all in. And honestly, with this Working Well plug-in that we’re creating for Slack — this gives everybody an opportunity to be able to be reminded to drink that glass of water, or get up and move for 15 seconds. Maybe do this breath work for a few minutes to get reconnected, so that the stress of what’s going on doesn’t take over.

SK: You mentioned you’re running now. Has quarantine inspired you to try anything else new?

JH: Yeah. So I started running and I realized that I never really enjoyed it because it felt like something that I had to do to be fit. And I’ve realized that my morning run actually has nothing to do with that — it has to do with being out in nature and taking in the air and the beauty. I have met so many neighbors that I have not known, and [now] it’s like my morning ritual to say hello to my new buddies that are just around the corner. Now, I never want to miss that morning run because it’s part of how I want to start my day.

The other thing that I started doing is, I love to cook, but I’ve never really had the opportunity to actually cook lunch because I’m usually at the office and ordering in. And I’ve actually taken 45 minutes to an hour every day now where I cook my my lunch and I go outside and sit and just enjoy eating.

SK: At the same time, now it seems like everyone’s picking up a new hobby, baking all the bread… are we failures if we haven’t learned a new skill in quarantine or started a fitness routine?

JH: Look, I’m about to get philosophical, but the world literally had so much pressure on it because we were on this hamster wheel just going, going, going, going, going, that it literally was like, y’all need to get home and leave me alone so I can heal. Right? And now that we’re inside, we’re so used to the hustle that we’re placing our value on our achievement. So there are people that are getting massively creative, [but] some people just need to rest, you know? Everybody is unique and it’s not about comparison. Otherwise, we’re doing the exact same thing that we did when we were out and about in the world, which is comparing and judging ourselves for not doing enough. And at the end of the day, we’re all enough.

SK: This is a really tough time for a lot of people — parents, especially — who are working remotely, homeschooling kids, and more. What’s one tip you’d give to help everyone who’s feeling burned out be healthier each day?

JH: This is my belief: movement, breath, and imagination. 

If people just move their bodies, put on some music, dance around, and really take in the breath; breathe in deep into their body, fill it up with oxygen and just like feel that gratitude of, ‘I am alive.’ That’s what I mean by imagination — just picturing some really amazing thing that you’re grateful for while you’re breathing and while you’re moving your body.

It can be 30 seconds or it can be 10 minutes. But to be able to move, breathe and activate your imagination with gratitude or love or something that makes you feel at peace. I think that it would be great. And what’s so great is this Working Well plug gives you those tips.

SK: Tell us how you got into energy healing… What prompted your interest in alternative therapies and the broadening definition of wellness?

JH: Being curious. I’m a very curious person and I’m a student for life. And, you know, I really believe in mind, body, soul; or mind, body, spirit; or mind, body, energy. I believe in wellness. I have done so much work on my physical body and on my cognitive self and my awareness and my mindfulness. And I really do believe we’re moving into an age of energetic health. And what does energetic health even mean and how can we raise our energy? I’m just really curious about how how our energy level affects our thinking and affects our body and affects our self-worth — and being able to shift those belief systems.

All of these things are just forms for me to live my most extraordinary life, to light myself up, to give me perspective on the kind of life that I want to live versus feeling like it’s out of my control. So, especially during this time, it’s not about positive thinking — it’s about it’s about feeling alive, and making choices from that place.

This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.

Looking for more at-home workout options? Check out these 15 free online yoga videos, below.

Launch Gallery: 15 Free Online Yoga Videos for At-Home Practice

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