A Philly Fitness Trainer’s Argument for Working Out in the Morning

Meet the Wellness Confessional, our series where we ask health and wellness rockstars in Philadelphia to dish on everything from their gym-bag staples to their motivational mantras. This month, Kate DeGennaro, Philly fitness renaissance queen—she’s the face behind the Instagram account @barelybrewed, an instructor at SLT and Flywheel, and a yoga teacher—dishes on how she convinces her clients to wake up for early-morning workouts, the black bean brownie she can’t live without, and where she goes to pamper herself silly.

The Wellness Confessional: Kate DeGennaro

Kate DeGennaro
Photo Courtesy of Nick Swanson
The first three things I do when I wake up are …

Usually I’m up before 5 a.m., so naturally, like any sane person, I scream out “Why me?!” When the self-loathing subsides, I jump up, wash my face, pour already brewed coffee from the fridge over ice with almond milk, and change into my work suit … otherwise known as an overpriced sports bra and pants without pockets.

Morning workouts or evening workouts?

I prefer to work out in the morning. Everyone knows it’s hard AF to work out before work; however, I like to remind my clients that it’s even harder to work out after work when the sun is out and three of your friends are headed to Bok Bar. Set two alarms, pack a bag, bring your lunch, and get your workout in before your work day. You won’t regret it.

The one thing in my gym bag I absolutely can’t live without is …

I can’t live without Goodwipes Body Wipes. I work out for a living. I’m never not sweating. These wipes help me look a little more presentable to the public.

My go-to post-workout products are …

Obviously Goodwipes, Lush Dry Shampoo, Glossier Moonstone Haloscope Highlighter, and hand sanitizer … I fight the flu all year long.

The three items I always have stocked in my fridge are …

I would die without avocados. I live on Hu Kitchen’s ridiculously overpriced quinoa puffed dark chocolate, and I always have a haul of fresh vegetables. (My secret veggie shop is Iovine Brothers Produce in the Reading Terminal Market.)

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

Massages. So often we associate a massage with a special occasion or part of a road-race recovery. However, I truly believe a massage a month helps flush out the body and aid in healing any life-related stress and anxiety. I’m a sucker for the experience at Rescue Spa. You can go early or stay late to enjoy their steam room, free products, and sauna amenities.

My go-to motivational mantra (because we all need one) is …

“No one is watching you.” I find that so often we do things for the perception of others. We push ourselves in a class to impress someone across the room. We buy a style of swimwear that is “supposedly” in. In the gym, at work, at a bar, do everything like no one is watching.

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

P.S. & Co. is heaven on Locust Street. Without their Chocolate Bean Brownie, I would never survive my period. (Yes, I’m referring to my menstrual cycle.) I also LOVE the organic and natural attention to skin and hair removal at Green City Beauty on Pine! I learn something new and regenerative every time I’m there!

My ideal treat yo’self self-care day in Philly would include …

A morning class at SLT (my drug of choice); a La Colombe OAT MILK draft latte; a Rescue Spa massage; shopping at Lululemon for a new “work suit”; reading and responding to my neverending emails at Elixr in Graduate Hospital; dinner at Pizzeria Vetri.

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

Wellness is the total package: You can’t strengthen your body without strengthening your mind. Every day is a wellness journey, so take it one day at a time and find yourself somewhere in between a kale shake and a cupcake.

 


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