The Wellness Confessional: Sean De Wispelaere

In this installment, Sean De Wispelaere, vice president of operations at MSBC Thrive (yep, those are the folks behind the killer Thrive programs at City Fitness outposts) dishes on why he prefers podcasts over workout playlists, why he literally walks on rocks first thing in the morning and more.

Wellness Confessional: Sean De Wispelaere

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

Walk on my rock board (yes, literally a board with rocks glued on it) for 10 minutes while I listen to an audiobook or podcast. The rock walking is super good for your lower back in that the nervous system has a lot of connection points to the bottom of our feet. Getting out of shoes and on undulating surfaces helps to keep these nerves happy. I.e. better chance for a healthy lower back. Also, a nice jolt to get the day going. Then I make coffee.

Morning workouts or evening workouts?

Fitness people tend to work out between 1 and 3 p.m. as our training spaces are usually slow and we have some time to ourselves. Even though I don’t train clients much anymore, I guess that never wore off. With that said, I do think that most people who are trying to groove a new habit have a good shot at making it consistent if they can get it in during the a.m. hours. Less things can come up during the day when you knock it out it in the morning. But, plenty of people do well in the p.m. as well.


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

My iPhone loaded up with good podcasts or audiobooks. Music is great, but fitting in an hour of straight mindset growth during physical goodness is just a great feeling after.

My go-to post-workout products are…

A good protein powder can be nice for convenience. I’m a fan of Vega Sport for this as the vegan powders tend to be easier on people’s stomachs … and over the past year they are actually starting to taste good.

Without fail, my fridge is always stocked with…

Mineral water, because hydration is critical and the elevated pH is good to help reduce inflammation; matcha green tea for the afternoon caffeine vibes—a mild caffeine bump is much better than coffee for enhanced sleep quality; I eat out a lot so I am sure that there is also always a leftover salad or three in there at all times.

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

Flexing the mind on a regular basis via self-education. Business and leadership-type books tend to be something that keeps the mind in a healthy place. Additionally, learning a new skill per year forces me out of my comfort zone which has proven to be a gift every single time I do it. Currently, learning video and video editing this year has been a prime example of that.

My go-to motivational mantra is…

“Wherever you go, there you are.”

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

City Fitness | Thrive. I know, I’m biased, but that program is good for everyone for every single reason.

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

A Coffee at Alchemy Coffee, meet up with thought leaders at a WeWork for some Kaizen-like discussion, Thrive session, Whole Foods hot bar.

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

How you treat one thing is how you treat all things. Cheat out on a rep? Think about that in other aspects in your life.

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