WORK OUT WITH...

ESTHER GAUTHIER, THE FOUNDER OF AQUA

 

Esther Gauthier, founder of Aqua Studio

Sharon Feiereisen

 

Inspired by an aqua cycling class she took in Paris, Aqua Studio founder Esther Gauthier left a successful career in photo production to launch a luxury boutique fitness studio modeled after the same workout in New York City. We chatted with the French entrepreneur to find out about what makes cycling in water unique, her go-to snacks and more.

 

Best summer getaways? 

Upstate NY – Accord, Rosendale, New Paltz – and the Northfork

 

Best trip you ever had for your health and fitness and what did you do?

I haven’t done this recently, but I am dreaming of a yoga retreat right now. Anytime we go away though, it is almost always about health and fitness for me anyway. I always bring my running shoes and my yoga mat e. The fitness trip I remember the most is one week of waterskiing in Portugal with my family. Waterskiing is very important in my family. Generation after generation, we all water-ski.

 

Cycling is a huge trend right now. To what do you attribute that?

Cycling is accessible to a wide public and aqua cycling is even more accessible. Our demographic goes from 16 years old to 80 years old.

 

How is cycling in water different?

The natural massage that you get from the water while cycling is what makes aqua cycling so unique and the extra resistance of water makes it a high performance workout while being very therapeutic for your body.

 

What should someone who is unfamiliar with Aqua be prepared for when trying it for the first time?

When coming for the first time, you should wear a supportive swimsuit (I recommend a sports bra with a bottom). During your first class you should be focusing on learning the right postures and perfecting them and engaging your core to keep your body up. It is crucial to learn the smooth pedaling technique to master the art of aqua cycling and push yourself harder. 

 

Do you think it's important to balance out cycling with something else? 

Pairing aqua cycling with a strength and tone routine such as the megaformer, ballet classes, or pilates is the best combo to our classes. You get an amazing cardio with aqua cycling, which gets your blood flow going, trims off the fat, and burns calories. Then, you sculpt with a pilates class. 

 

How often do you suggest doing the workout for it to be effective?

I recommend aqua cycling at least 2 to 3 times a week and as often as you like. The beauty of aqua cycling is that while it is high intensity workout, it is also very gentle on your joints and muscles so you could come to class every day if you’d like with no risk of injuries.

 

What muscles does Aqua work?

It’s a full body workout. That’s the beauty of our cycling classes. You work your arms and core as much as your legs and buttocks. That’s also what makes our classes so unique compared to a regular cycling class. We use the water in a very creative way to work all muscles of the body. 

What’s a typical workout week like for you?

AQUA 2 to 3 times a week, yoga on Thursday morning with Serene Social, running at the park on the weekend, and some pilates classes or megaformer classes here and there.

 

 

What are your go-to workout shoes? Accessories?

I like the Nike Free running shoes, but change them out often with my Asics. I like to wear headbands and bandanas to pull my hair back.  

 

Favorite healthy eatery in NYC?

Sun in Bloom, Souen, and Butcher’s Daughter, 

 

Favorite healthy snack?

Zen berry and chia seed pudding – they make a delicious one at Le Pain Quotidien.

 

Guilty pleasure?

Eclair au café (I am French…).

 

What a fitness myth that drives you crazy? '

The more you sweat the harder the workout'. I remember a test that was made on a crowd of cyclists: an easy cycling class with AC off versus a hardcore cycling class with AC on. Guess which class the students though was the hardest? They were drenched in sweat in class #1 so they assumed the workout was more intense in class #1 when it reality, it wasn’t.

If we looked in your fridge, what would we always find?

Avocado, grapefruit (or fresh grapefruit juice), homemade almond milk, fruits and vegetables which vary depending on the season.

 

If we looked in your gym bag, what would we always find?

Arnica oil, Pure Pitz deodorant, and Christian Dior Rose balm.

 

How does maintaining a healthy lifestyle effect your everyday life in a positive way? I haven’t been sick in ages… Considering the amount of stress I go through with running my business, I am often amazed by the level of energy I have. My immune system is strong. I do not get colds or stomach pain very often. The more I workout and eat healthy, the more energy I have. It helps me make the right decisions at work, be more efficient, sleep better, handle the challenges of life with more pragmatism and clarity… It is not always easy to be healthy, but when you understand the impact it has on your life, you can never go back.

 

GINA BRADLEY, THE FOUNDER OF PADDLE DIVA

Interview with Gina Bradley of Paddle Diva

By Sharon Feiereisen

If there’s one trend that has noticeably taken off in the last few years it’s undoubtedly Stand Up Paddle Board Surfing (SUP). Lucky for us Paddle Diva founder Gina Bradley tells us that SUP is easier than it looks. We chatted with the East Hampton-based workout maven to find out more about what to expect when doing this growingly popular sport, her favorite snacks, and more.

Best summer getaways?

Into the bays and waterways of Long Island on my SUP. I try to find a new place to discover every week!

Best trip you ever had for your health and fitness and what did you do?

SUP Surfing in Ricon, PR. SUP is a challenge but fuse surfing into it and you've got a recipe for staying in prime shape! It's not joke, you have to have everything working correctly – there is no wiggle room. I find I get in my best shape after a week of hitting the waves

Playlist go tos?

I’m an outside exercisers I listen to the sounds that surround me not music. I like the quiet that comes along with the times most people want music, even in the car!

Stand Up Paddle is a huge trend right now. To what do you attribute that?

The ease of learning is a big reason this sport is so popular, also lighter, less expensive gear has made it more attractive to all. I continue to believe that the key to the success of this sport is to encourage woman to try it and watch them become addicted!

What kind of strength is it important to have in order to be successful?

The most important strength to have for SUP is the willingness to learn! Your core strength will follow. Many clients come to me and say they have 'bad balance' which is rarely true, everyone has balance, SUP is like walking as long as you look ahead and where you are going you will stay on the board and glide gracefully along.

What should someone who is unfamiliar with SUP be prepared for when trying it for the first time?

I recommend watching the Paddle Diva videos on YouTube so you can be prepared and understand how easy the sport is. I like to have clients practice going from a kneel to a stand. This is how we get you up and paddling, so if you can do that, you are ready for your class!

What’s a typical workout week like for you?

I mix it up; I never do anything the same. I live to workout and workout to live! I love mountain biking, windsufing, trail running, power walking on the beach, TRX fitness classes, Yoga, and of course I SUP year round. One of my favorite local SUP things to do is long, one way down wind paddles!

Have you tried wearing VPL for your workouts?

Yes, I loved how the outfits felt, wet or dry they were amazing.

What are your go-to workout shoes? Accessories?

I paddle bare foot! So my go to shoe is often a flip-flop! The accessory I can't live with out is my 'neckerchief' it's a tube like neck gater in cotton. I wear it for all my workouts once the temps drop!

Favorite healthy eatery in the Hamptons?

I live in East Hampton year-round; my favorite healthy spot to get food is Provisions. You can find me there just about every day for lunch after a workout! Steamed Greens and Beans. It's my staple!
 
Favorite healthy snack?

Bannana and organic almonds.

Guilty pleasure?

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream with Richardson's caramel sauce and pecans.

Favorite pre and post workout snack?

Water and raw nuts.

What a fitness myth that drives you crazy?

If you exercise you can eat anything you want. You body is a machine, YOUR machine and paying attention to what you put in is so key to overall health and wellness.


If we looked in your fridge, what would we always find?

Kale, ginger, organic Pineapple juice and parsley.


If we looked in your gym bag, what would we always find?

My reusable water bottle and a swimsuit… You never know when the ocean calls you to take a dunk!

How does maintaining a healthy lifestyle affect your everyday life in a positive way?

I feel great every day. I try to spread my infectious energy to everyone I meet. I love being polite and positive to every single person I meet throughout my day. I live under the premise we are all doing the best job we can at any given moment!

Jessica Bellofatto, KamaDeva Yoga Founder

 

By Sharon Feiereisen

 

We caught up with Hampton yogini Jessica Bellofatto, the founder and director of KamaDeva Yoga in East Hampton, to find out about the ins and outs of Stand-Up Paddleboarding, her favorite healthy snacks, and more.

 

Can you tell us about your favorite summer getaway?  

Summer is a really busy work season for me so I don't actually 'get away' that much, but for me, all I need is my paddleboard or surfboard and I 'get away' on the water.  Away from people, traffic, cell phone, computer, I find total joy being on the water.  

Best trip you ever had for your health and fitness and what did you do?

The best trip I have ever had for health and fitness was when my boyfriend and I co-hosted a yoga, surf, SUP and nutrition retreat in Costa Rica.  He is a chef who uses only organic food.  His mantra is 'local food with global flavors.'  In addition to daily yoga, surf, and paddleboard sessions, we sourced the most amazing veggies, fruits, and fresh caught fish from farmers markets and ate the most incredible food I have ever tasted.  It is so awesome when one is eating to support an active lifestyle and when that food is not only delicious but completely healthy and nourishing to the body and spirit as well.

Playlist go-tos?

I should have been born in the 70's-  Neil Young, and The Grateful Dead.

Stand Up Paddle is a huge trend right now. To what do you attribute that? What kind of strength is it important to have in order to be successful?

I think that SUP is a high trend right now because it is actually very accessible and totally versatile.  You can go for a leisurely paddle with friends, and even carry your dog or child on the board and just be outside and on the water, or you can take it up a notch and go for a strong distance paddle and get an amazing workout.  

What should someone who is unfamiliar with SUP be prepared for when trying it for the first time?  

When trying SUP for the first time, I always say a sense of humor is key, and don't be afraid to get wet!  When a newbie is trying so hard to balance on the board and NOT fall in, the whole body is tense, the feet get crampy and most likely they will fall in anyway…. someone who is relaxed will have an easier time of it.

How has the fitness scene in the Hamptons changed these past few years?

There are lots of studios now like Tracy Anderson, Barry's Bootcamp, and the big spin studios that for some weird reason people will pay a LOT of money to fight for a space and sweat it out with a whole bunch of other people inside on a beautiful day.  No offense, but I don't get it.  I would much prefer to get and stay fit playing, whether it be an open water swim, a bike ride outside, a run at the beach followed by a jump in the ocean, or a SUP Yoga session….  

What’s a typical workout week like for you?  

I run outdoors several days a week-  one distance day, one track day with friends doing speed work, and a couple of other weary 4-6 milers…  I paddle at least 2-3 days a week, I surf whenever possible, and I practice Yoga daily, whether it be 20 minutes at home upon awakening, or on my Boga Yoga board.

What are your go-to workout shoes? Accessories? Gym bags?  

For running I love Newtons; for accessories my camelback hydration pack is a go-to and for paddling, also a trucker hat to keep the sun off my face and it floats if you fall in!

What kind of yoga mat do you use?  

Manduka prolite.

Favorite healthy eatery in NYC?  

I love Angelika's Kitchen and Candle Cafe

Favorite healthy spots in the Hamptons?  

Anything out of my boyfriend's garden- he basically grows all of our food….  we also have chickens, the best eggs in the Hamptons!  

Favorite healthy snack?  

Kimchi!

Guilty pleasure?  

Dark chocolate and red wine, together!

Favorite pre and post workout snack?  

Raw cashew butter and sliced banana with raw honey on sprouted toast – It’s the best pre workout snack ever! Afterwards, I love a homemade coconut smoothie; I chop a coconut and use the water and meat, blend it up with raw cashews, raw cacao powder, banana, Udo's oil and whatever else strikes my fancy.

What a fitness myth that drives you crazy?

I think that people think that if they spend money on a trainer or a lot of money on classes they should lose weight and be 'fit.'

If we looked in your fridge, what would we always find?  

Whole coconuts, homemade raw fermented sauerkraut, raw milk (yes straight from the cow), and KALE!

If we looked in your gym bag, what would we always find?

Young Living essential oils, my IPOD, and everything under the sun for whatever comes up that day- swim gear, paddle gear, run gear, yoga gear!  

How does maintaining a healthy lifestyle effect your everyday life in a positive way?  

A healthy lifestyle makes me happy…it's as simple as that.  When I am eating well and moving my body, I feel good, and that carries over into everything else I do.