Everyone loves a good workout, right? Well ok, maybe we don’t always LOVE it – but staying healthy is important at every stage of life, and in a city like New Orleans with so many great ways to indulge and have fun, it’s even more important to find ways to balance that out with some healthy habits.
The good news is that gone are the days when working out meant a mind-numbing jog on the treadmill or fighting for your turn with the 15 lb. dumbbells at your big box gym. No matter what your workout style is, our city has something to offer, from cycling studios to Pilates to boxing classes. We’re highlighting a couple of great local studios – Romney Studios and Hour Blast – that offer some of the hottest and most unique workout options to advance the wellbeing of women throughout the community.
Romney Studios is located on Magazine Street and owned by Erin Romney. Romney offers classes in Pilates, RIDE cycling, Lagree Fitness Megaformer, barre and boxing. “We are five boutique studios under one roof,” Erin said. “At Romney, we see fitness not just as one modality but many, all combined to challenge and change the body. To us, health is wealth.”
Erin started the studio in 2005 because nothing similar existed in New Orleans. “I wanted to create a workout experience that could deliver what I get when I travel to NYC and LA, but not force me to have to travel all over the city paying high membership fees to get it,” Erin said.
Romney Studios is different because it bucks the current fitness trend of boutique fitness studios that offer only one type of workout. Erin said traveling to multiple studios and having to maintain multiple expensive memberships in order to get the necessary cross training can be time consuming and costly.
“Our location has three different levels,” she said. “We have some of the strongest clients in town because they diversify their workouts through all of our programs…Your body needs to cross train in order to prevent plateau, to shock it into being a fat burning machine and to prevent repetitive use injuries.”
Romney hosts a diverse crowd and Erin said that each hour is different. “Clientele range from high school kids to folks in their 80s. Each studio has its own vibe and energy that is really cool.” She said that the studio is designed with wellness in mind including big windows for a light, bright interior with tall ceilings and light wood flooring, creating a clean large space to move in. The third location on Magazine Street was designed by Erin’s father, who was recently named one of the top architects in the country.
Hour Blast Gym. Photo provided by: Katy Roubion
Hour Blast has multiple locations throughout Metropolitan New Orleans. The newest location downtown is co-owned by Active members Katy Roubion and Meredith Charbonnet. Hour Blast offers fun, fast paced, high intensity interval training in one hour classes that combine cardio and strength/resistance training. Katy started doing Hour Blast because she loves to run, and Hour Blast was a natural fit. “I always had trouble motivating myself to lift weights and do abdominal work on my own,” she said. “When I started going to Hour Blast, I was forced to work outside of my comfort zone and do those exercises.”
Katy said she was surprised by how strength training improved her running and by how quickly the classes pass.
“I am never looking at the clock thinking, ‘When is it going to be over?’” she said.
Hour Blast caters to a variety of clients throughout the city, and offers lower intensity options in each class.
“We offer a walking, jogging and running option in each class to fit a variety of fitness levels,” Katy said. “Our instructors will motivate you to work harder than you’ve ever worked before, encouraging you to get stronger, faster, leaner and overall more enthusiastic about exercising. It is truly a full body workout!”
Katy said Hour Blast is different from other workouts because it’s the most efficient. “In one hour, you will get cardio and strength training while increasing and decreasing your heart rate for maximum calorie burn,” she said. “We all have busy lives and Hour Blast will achieve all you need in one hour.”
The newest location is downtown on Baronne Street. It opened in May 2016 to a warm neighborhood welcome.
“The downtown community has welcomed us with open arms and we love being in this quickly growing area of town,” Katy said.
Erin and Katy find inspiration from the people around them. Erin said that other women inspire her to stay in shape and live a healthful life.
“I love to see strong, in-shape woman over 30 who have had children!” Erin said. “When I see a woman who is in shape after having multiple children and hormone changes – and on top of that has very little free time – then I’ll have what she is having because I know that struggle! I’m blessed every day to be around such women. I even get to see these same women who start their journey at our studio and over the years have become the strongest women I know.”
Katy said her kids inspire her fitness goals and desire to have greater wellbeing in her life. “I want to stay fit and healthy so I can have the energy to play and run around with them.” She also said she loves having more energy after workouts so she can get more done and sleep better.
Erin and Katy offered sage advice when it comes to getting the most out of exercise.
“When it comes to working out, find what you absolutely love,” Erin said. “If you don’t love it, you won’t stick with it long.”
Katy’s exercise advice is to stay positive no matter what workout you choose.
“Eighty percent of exercise is mental, so you need to tell yourself you can do it. And you will,” she said.
The exercise gurus are looking forward to the holidays and parties while maintaining balance.
“My advice before heading out to a holiday party: try to eat at home before the event so you don’t get there hungry and gorge on possibly unhealthy food,” Erin said. “Then, find the veggie tray, fish options or salads for the healthiest choices.”
Katy reminded us to try to maintain a routine throughout the season.
“Even though the holiday season is busy, we all need to make it a priority to stick to our regular exercise routines as much as possible,” Katy said. “We all splurge during the holidays – just don’t let it spiral out of control. If you have a bad day or two, do your best to try to get back on track.”
Romney Studios is located at 5619 Magazine Street and on the web at RomneyStudios.com. Hour Blast has multiple locations in Metairie, Uptown, Lakeview and Downtown. You can find it on the web at HourBlast.com.