We all wish for new beginnings throughout our lives, which is perhaps why the allure of fresh starts in the New Year permeates our conversations in January. The desire to be a better version of ourselves can manifest in a number of ways, from a new lease on life to the more obvious craving to look and feel healthier as we take on another year. For those seeking the latter, we’ve explored some of the local offerings in fitness, wellness and aesthetics that may help you achieve a renewed energy and look.
Getting in shape is at the top of most resolution lists, and in a city so full of decadent food and flowing drinks it can be a challenge to shed pounds and build muscle. Fortunately, the city has a number of fitness professionals and a variety of approaches to exercise that all have their own appeal.
In just three years, Barre3 has grown to three locations across the metro area. Incorporating isometric holds, small range movements and large dynamic movements, Barre3 workouts build toned muscles, increase metabolism, help you lose weight and build balance in your body, according to Owner Kendall Carriere.
“Whatever you like to do – biking, yoga, hiking, running – Barre3 will help you do it better,” she says. Carriere stresses that Barre3 is for everyone, men and women, and that a Barre3 workout will differ from other barre studios.
“Our signature approach to teaching gives clients a rewarding endorphin high and a deep muscle burn without pain in areas of the body prone to injury,” says Carriere. This month, Barre3 begins its biggest challenge of the year, B3 ALL IN, for those looking to reset their fitness goals for the year. The challenge involves taking five classes per week, utilizing Barre3 recipes and online breathing workouts.
Romney Studios, located Uptown on Magazine Street, offers Pilates, Cycling, Lagree Fitness Megaformer, Boxing, Barre, Yoga, Gyrotonic and a few other programs all under one roof.
“We have expanded and carefully curated our programs to what we feel are the most effective, efficient and long-term options for a strong, balanced and limber physique,” says Erin Romney-Cazes, Founder and Owner.
Pilates is a big focus for the studio and according to Romney-Cazes, Pilates clients are some of the strongest thanks to the practice’s core-strengthening techniques.
“They are less prone to injury as they have better strength around the joints where a lot of injuries happen. Not to mention every single move we do utilizes the core of the body, so the stronger that area is, the stronger you can be in any and every other sport,” she says.
Results come quickly from Pilates, she adds, saying if a person commits to at least three days of concentrated Pilates they will noticeably feel better within 10 sessions, look better within 20 and enjoy a completely new body by 30 sessions.
Another popular way to challenge the body and mind is through CrossFit NOLA, a gym with an approach focused on constantly varied, functional movements performed at a high intensity.
“What this means is we’re a gym that focuses on pushing, pulling, getting up and down and moving things safely and efficiently,” says Allison Vertovec, Coach at CrossFit NOLA. “Each day there’s a new ‘WOD,’ (workout-of-the-day) and members rarely do the exact same things twice. Every workout can be scaled and adapted to the needs of the member participating and all our coaches are trained to work with people of varying degrees of strength, range of motion, agility, coordination, etc.,” she says.
According to Vertovec, the variety and regular challenge to do something you’ve not done before are two of the biggest draws to CrossFit. Additionally, community is strong within the gym, where friendships regularly result from people meeting.
“CrossFit builds on strength, coordination, flexibility and even balance – all of which are applicable to performing tasks in real life,” says Vertovec. Free introductory classes are available weekly and Fundamentals (the four-week, eight-session foundational class) is available for 50 percent off this month.
While challenging the body with workouts is one way to freshen your look and health, there are also benefits to working on your body in other ways – by taking care of it through therapeutic techniques and with nature and nutrition. Building muscle is one way to improve health, but it might not cure all of your aches and pains – especially the ones that come from how you sleep or work or stand throughout the day.
While making a resolution to get regular massages may sound to some like more of an extraneous treat than a beneficial practice, massage is better for your health than you might think.
“I think what surprises clients the most about massage is that it’s not just some fluffy stuff; it can actually take away months worth of pain that was simply caused by a tight muscle,” says Latasha Benjamin, Owner of Fleur De Touch. According to Benjamin, people often spend unnecessary money at the doctor’s office trying to solve a pain that regular massage might solve instead. She stresses that not all massages are “created equal,” though, as massages in a spa setting are generally meant to promote whole-body relaxation whereas licensed professionals in a clinical setting are trained to find and focus on problem areas.
“A good massage can relieve stress, loosen knots and take away tension that can cause so much discomfort. It only takes one hour and it can make the rest of your week that much more enjoyable,” says Benjamin.
Essential oils, aromatherapies, soaps, bath salts and teas are also generally lumped under self-pampering and considered a luxury, when in reality, the herbs they incorporate are effective methods for healing the body and improving health. At Rosalie Apothecary, located in Mid-City, Owner Christiane Wurmstedt celebrates all things natural with a large selection of organic bulk herbs, culinary spices, medicinal plants and liquid extracts. The store offers essential oils, resins, soap, bath salts, candles, flower waters, books and more in addition to hosting a growing schedule of classes. One-on-one health consultations are available in a variety of packages.
“I am very passionate about herbal medicine and I’m perhaps equally as passionate about eating nutritious and unprocessed foods. To me, the two go hand in hand,” says Wurmstedt.
The first class of Rosalie Apothecary’s Herbal Medicine series is “Kitchen Medicine,” which focuses on the medicinal benefits of common culinary herbs. The spice rack is a great place to start exploring herbs medicinally and according to Wurmstedt, a tea made of fennel is great for digestion and/or nausea and rosemary, thyme and sage can all help keep a cold away.
While changes to your lifestyle will help you move toward the younger-looking, more energetic you, there are a number of ways other local professionals can help you feel renewed with beauty and aesthetic enhancements.
At About Face of New Orleans, skincare is the focus and whether you’re interested in a makeup lesson to enhance or your look or a facial for hydrating the skin after a month of holiday parties, you’ll find a plethora of recommendations on improving your glow.
“To make a more dramatic change, I always recommend a series of chemical peels. Doing peels every other week for a series of six in conjunction with the correct at-home regimen will make major changes in the skin,” says Jaime Schultz, Licensed Esthetician. In winter months, popular skincare products include Glo Skin Beauty’s Restorative Mask, Daily Hydration Serum and Lip Revival as well as Patchology’s FlashMasque Hydrate Sheet Mask.
“What’s surprising about being an esthetician is just how rewarding it is. Some people may think, ‘It’s just a facial,’ but when a client sees the results after months of dedication spent trying to fix whatever their concern might have been, it’s beyond rewarding to see them feel more confident,” says Schultz.
For a low-maintenance, subtle change Khoobehi & Associates likes to recommend Botox and fillers to enhance the skin in a minimally invasive way. Non-surgical, these procedures have little to no downtime and can make a visible change almost instantly. Additionally, the private practice of plastic surgeons Drs. Kamran Khoobehi and Jules Walters and dermatologist Dr. Sophia Mai offers a variety of skin care products.
The practice generally recommends the use of skincare products to further enhance any treatment sought at the office. For more dramatic enhancements, the practice offers laser treatments, plastic surgery and more.
At Facial Plastic Surgery, Dr. Sean Weiss also provides a number of treatments for subtle and dramatic changes, including both surgical and non-surgical treatments for facial aesthetics. One procedure he recommends is ThermiTight, a neck lifting and tightening procedure for those who want minimal improvements of the neck, jawline and jowl areas. The procedure takes about an hour.
“After ThermiTight, patients will initially see a slight tightening of the skin in the lower face and neck. This will be followed with three to six months of additional tightening that will significantly improve the contours of the jawline and neck,” he says.
For a more dramatic change, Dr. Weiss offers local anesthesia facelift and necklift done in-office. Another popular option is Dr. Weiss’s combination therapy for healthy, glowing skin that incorporates microneedling, platelet rich plasma and laser therapy.
Note: St. Charles Avenue magazine doesn’t advocate plastic surgery except under certain conditions. Please consult your doctor before undertaking any medical procedure.
600 Metairie Road, Metairie
5235 Magazine St.
611 O’Keefe St.
5619 Magazine St.
540 N. Cortez St.
8422 Burthe St.
1309 Magazine St.
Fleur De Touch
134 N. Broad St.
3201 Toulouse St.
About Face of New Orleans
702 Metairie Road, Suite 1b106, Metairie
Khoobehi & Associates
3901 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie
4500 Magazine St.
Facial Plastic Surgery – Dr. Sean Weiss
2201 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite 408, Metairie
814-FACE (3223), SeanWeissMD.com