A Fitness Pro Shares the 5-Minute Morning Habit That Helps Her Take On the Day

In this installment of The Wellness Confessional series, we’ve got the awesome Alanna Gardner: By day, she’s an individual and relationship therapist practicing at Philadelphia MFT, and she moonlights as a fitness instructor at both Flywheel and SLT. Tired just imagining her schedule? Same. Below, she spills on the daily practices that help her to do it all.

The Wellness Confessional: Alanna Gardner

Alanna Gardner

The first three things I do when I wake up are …

Instantly when I wake up, I pray and practice gratitude for the day ahead. I then reach for my journal. I’m currently using the Five Minute Journal. It’s a great way to practice being reflective and mindful at the start and end of your day. I then meditate using the Headspace app.

Morning workouts or evening workouts?

I’m a whenever-I-can-get-a-workout-in person. Due to my current schedule filled with clients, events, meetings and classes, I just do my best to fit in my own workouts when I can. Typically, I have been gravitating towards noon or 12:30 classes at Flywheel, SLT, or Unite Fitness.

The gym-bag essential I can’t live without is …

Deodorant. Gotta stay fresh even when you’re flexing!

My go-to post-workout products are …

I’m loving this Revitalizing Face Toner I’ve been using from Jacq’s Organic. I’ll spray some of that on my face and give it a good wipe post-class if I have to quickly change and go back to work.

Without fail, my fridge is always stocked with …

1. Almond Milk, specifically the New Barn brand. It’s great for coffee, matcha tea lattes, and smoothies.
2. Spinach. A simple go-to veggie that can be cooked or consumed raw. Serves as a great base for my smoothies, salads, or just as a side, sautéed up.
3. Fish of any type. Quick, easily thawed and prepared protein source!

An indispensable part of my wellness regimen that has absolutely nothing to do with fitness is …

Meditation and journaling. Having a sound mind and spirit is just as important as having a strong body—and oftentimes you need to have the mental and emotional fortitude to push you through a challenging workout!

My go-to motivational mantra is …

“Show up and show out” is a phrase you’ll often hear in my classes. It’s something that I try to encourage others to do as well as something I personally live by. To me, it means you literally have to show up and be present in each moment while really making the most out of it. We don’t get too many moments to really shine in our lives so when they do finally show up, you have to meet them and own them because you’ll never get that moment to shine again!

The best fitness discovery I’ve made in Philadelphia is …

Three Queens Yoga. I love the vibe, the instructors and most importantly the space—beyond gorgeous and instantly puts me at ease! I never leave feeling disappointed and I love the different workshops they hold also! My second favorite wellness find is the Lululemon in Fishtown. They hold so many amazing workshops that are informative and interesting and different from other spaces in the city.

My ideal treat-yourself self-care day in Philly would look like …

My ideal self-care day in Philly would be to wake up early and hit an SLT followed by Flywheel. Quick shower and change and head over to Rescue Spa for a massage and facial. I’d then head over to Lacquer Lounge for a mani/pedi combo followed by lunch at Mission Taqueria. I would love to sit outside in the sun and read/meditate for a bit, possibly hit up a class at Three Queens or Corepower Yoga and end the night with dinner at V Street.

The best piece of wellness advice I’ve ever gotten is …

Drink water. It’s simple, but honestly some of the most simple health concerns like headaches or hunger could simply be dehydration! Plus, water keeps your body functioning well while also making you look and feel good.


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 Photo Courtesy of Alanna Gardner