My Morning Routine

Brush teeth, floss & tongue scrape THEN water. Benefits of tongue scraping: improved taste, fresher breath (so much odor-causing bacteria lives on your tongue), improved overall health (removes harmful bacteria that inflames your gums and prevents cavities). My tongue scraper – here.

Skincare – vitamin c + spf. I love my sunday riley ceo cream for vitamin c – it is SO glowy & dewy and just gives your skin a beautiful brightness. my go-to spf right now is the acrure brand day cream with spf 30. it is lightweight and doesn’t leave a white cast like a lot of spf’s do. It is also one of my favorite clean beauty brands.

Daily stoic reading & journal: I pick from either a gratitude journal, my let shit go journal, or just free writing. Daily stoic has a meditation for every day of the year, inspired by philosophers and inviting you to think and act more stoically.

Meditation: I find on YouTube for free, there are tons for specific things that could be on your mind.

Get outside: walk or just stepping into grass in backyard. I try to walk for 45 mins – 1 hour every day and has helped my mental health tremendously.

Vitamins: probiotics on empty stomach; multivitamin, fish oil, b12 & SP cleanse with food. Benefits of taking probiotics on an empty stomach: taking probiotics when stomac acid levels are lower can help ensure that more healthy bacteria survive and colonize the gut, where they can support your gut health and immune system.

Breaky: ideally outside, fruit first (promotes higher metabolism).

Exercise or stretch. I’ve been loving Solidcore reformer pilates classes. I book through ClassPass (1 month free here). Or I do the peloton stretches, spin classes or weights classes. Peloton has a free 60 day membership here – you can use it on your phone or ipad, you don’t have to have the bike. I am for weights 3-5 times a week.

Finding a Therapist

May is mental health awareness month, and in honor of that I wanted to share some tips on finding a therapist. Going to a therapist has truly been life changing for me, it’s more than just talking about “trauma”, it is helping you find coping mechanisms for things that happen in your daily life. Setting boundaries, having healthy relationships, prioritizing your mental health and energy – I could go on and on.

Some ways to find one:

I personally went to my insurance website and found therapists that were under my coverage plan and reached out to see if they were taking new clients. I also found a lot on @psych_today website where you can search for tons of therapists, which insurance they take and if they’re taking on new patients. My therapist is actually in Houston and we do virtual appointments, and I pay my $20 co pay.

@talkspace accepts insurance and non insurance patients.

@betterhelp is a virtual therapist network and ranges from $60-90/week (billed every 4 weeks).

@terapify Spanish speaking online therapist network $30 for 50 min sessions.

Find therapist interns – psychology students working on their degrees have to have a certain amount of hours providing therapy & you can sometimes find these folks for lower costs.

@capitalareacounseling has a sliding scale, which is super helpful.

Plumeria counseling center in Austin provides sessions for $70.

A lot of companies started offering free sessions or created access through an EAP program, so definitely check what your company has to offer.

Universities sometimes provide free or less expensive sessions to students.

Using an FSA or HSA. some companies add $$ in there for you or match – for mine I designate the amount I want to go in there during my open enrollment period & you can choose the amount it would be for therapy on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis. those funds come available starting January 1.

I still have friends that go & pay out of pocket $100-200/session bc they love that specific therapist, so obviously an option.

Austin Wedding Dress Stores

Don’t hesitate to try on a ton of dresses! It may take quite a few to figure out which style fits your body best, your venue, and the vibe you are going for. You will likely want to have selected your venue and wedding date prior to dress shopping. It is also OK to wait a bit before looking. If you plan on having a longer engagement you could change your mind on the style if you look to early on. A good rule of thumb is that it takes about 3-4 months for the dress to be made, and you want to have it at least 60 days out to have enough time for alterations. Set a budget, look for inspiration on Instagram, bridal magazines and research designers you like. Then, you can see which stores carry the styles and designers you prefer.

Austin Favorites:

  • Unbridaled is definitely a favorite to capture true Austin style!
  • Serendipity is a little more pricey and upscale.
  • Blush Bridal has a large selection but have heard mixed reviews on service.
  • Blue Bridal a tried and true Austin staple.
  • Second Summer for used but inexpensive dresses! – check out our podcast for a cool story on this place!

If you are open to traveling for other stores:

  • BHLDN (Anthropologie’s Wedding Line) has a store in Houston, or they have trunk shows that come to Austin, but they are few and far between. This line is also a little less expensive ($1-2k), whereas most of these other stores will be more like $3-5k. 
  • Lovely Bride in Dallas, has very BHLDN and Unbridaled vibes. 
  • Grace Loves Lace – a new Australian brand called that just opened in Dallas. Check out their accessories too, even if you don’t pick one of their dresses the accessories they have can really add something different to your look!

Pro Tip: Get a few bridesmaids and family to come with you. Make a few appointments for one day, bring champagne, and pick a fun place for lunch or HH after to celebrate!

Tailors

Most stores you buy from can tailor in-house. These tailors are also great options if you want to design your own wedding dress from scratch (still can be just as pricey as buying one). Otherwise here are a few that come recommended by recent brides in the area:

Pro Tip: If you need your dress cleaned before the wedding (i.e. a sample sale or trunk show dress), CALL IN ADVANCE, there are a lot of cleaners in the area that turn down dresses for specific reasons if they have fringe, beading, delicate detailing, etc. and you don’t want to be stressing about that right before the wedding. If you’re in a bind and no one will clean your dress – go to Five Star Wedding Gown Specialists in San Antonio. They will clean any dress with any detailing and do a phenomenal job. Make a day out of it and go to the JW Marriott!

Wedding Hair & Makeup

Get hair and makeup trials! Creep their Instagrams! Do you research! No one wants a hair or makeup fiasco on the big day. Make sure that the photos they are showing you are true to the style you’re looking to achieve. A lot of these stylists can do both hair and makeup so can be an easy one stop shop for all of your bridal needs!

A Few Favorites:

Hair:

LoLa Beauty – This is a full team of artists that can all do both hair and makeup making it a speedy and seamless process with a spectacular end result. Lauren is an absolute angel, Diana is a goddess when it comes to makeup and Ashley did my hair for a wedding recently that was the best I have ever had. They use airbrushing and all of the best products so you look flawless!

$275 Bridal Hair, $90 for Bridesmaids/Family; Makeup – $300 Bride – includes trial, $100 Bridesmaids/Family

LoLa Beauty – Hair & Makeup

Kiss By KatieKatie is in Houston but travels to Austin frequently for Wedding and Event makeup. She does both hair and makeup – creep her instagram, her work is phenomenal. She also does airbrushing!

$200 Bride Hair/Makeup (or $300 for both), $150 Trial ($225 Trial for Both), $125 Bridesmaids/Family (or $200 for Both services)

Mint SalonMint is on North Guadalupe and focuses on hair, not makeup. Ask for either Danny, they are both amazing!

Makeup:

Erica Gray Beauty – Does both makeup and hair. Has a lot of experience in high fashion makeup and styling as well.

Makeup $150 Bride, $80 Bridesmaids/Family (Hair – same pricing)

Erica Gray – Makeup
She N He – Photography
Hummingbird House – Venue

Makenzi Laine – Amazing! She books up fast so reach out ASAP, does both makeup and hair. 

Makeup $150 Bride (+$100 Trial), $90 Bridesmaids/Family (Hair – $130 Bride, $90 Bridesmaid)

Hannah Kirkland MUAHannah has an eye for how to enhance your natural features while also making sure you are defined enough for tastful photos. Her and her sister, Jessica, are a dream team and do wedding services in the Austin and Houston area frequently. 

Makeup $95 Bride (+$85 Trial), $85 Bridesmaids/Family

Blush & BangsBrooke Hampton the owner is a good friend of 365 fam, and does amazing work!

Makeup $130 Bride, $90 Bridesmaids/Family (Hair – $130 Bride, $90 Bridesmaid)

Pro Tip: Try airbrushing – at first I was skeptical because I didn’t want a cake face but it is about medium coverage, can be layered, and is waterproof!

Local Austin Gifts

Get creative here, and utilize all the unique gifts and vendors Austin has to offer!

Gals:

Antonelli’s Cheese Class or Gift – If you haven’t been to one of these before, it is SO cool. The classes take place in the Cheese House where they have different class themes whether it is a general Cheese 101 of 7 cheeses, Cheese & Chocolate pairings, Cheese of France – the options are really endless! About 2 hours long, this event is BYOB and you can grab the wine or beer they would suggest pairing with the menu from the Cheese Shop across the street. This is great for a date night, girls night, team building events, really anything. A bit more about their Cheese Classes here. This makes for the perfect local Austin gift that will surely be an unforgettable experience. Antonelli’s is perfect for picking up the most beautiful cheese (and/or charcuterie) boards for any of your wedding events as well. 

Also – they make Cheese Wheel Wedding cakes!! An amazing idea for a non-traditional wedding cake. 

Antonelli’s Cheese Class

Watercolor ATX Art – local artist who does amazing work on local places, customized maps, pets, etc. – Custom Art $40-60/piece.

Mana Culture Jewelry – so cute and unique, $20-80/piece.

Amanda Deer Jewelry – very dainty gold plated pieces, $20-80/piece.

Pro Tip: Check out Le Garage sale, it happens twice a year and a lot of local vendors have their products at a very steep discount. Easy to buy in bulk for groups!

Dudes:

Guys Pro Tip: Guys care less about nostalgic gifts so try to think about something your they would actually use. These are all pretty safe bets that a guy would get and actually enjoy.

Sock Club – A local Austin group that makes customized socks or just super fun patterns $15-25/pair.

Salt and Time – Classes, charcuterie, or house made sausage – $10-20 for a few links, $100-150/class.

Yellowbird Hot Sauce Sampler ~$20.

Austin Shaker – Custom shot glasses and small whiskey bottles – $10-20.

Beauty, Fitness, & Wellness in Austin

Nails:

Coated – Color Selection

Diamond Nails (S Lamar – Middle Range Pricing)

Queen Spa (S Lamar – Middle Range Pricing)

Great Nails & Spa (S 1st – This place is a party!)

Lacquer (S Lamar – Pricier)

Fitness:

Personal Trainer at your gym (we love Lifetime – $80/month membership, Equinox – $170/month membership, and Golds – $40/month membership)

SpinRide (take Allie’s class) $25/class and SoulCycle (take Gustavo’s class) $30/class

PilatesSolidCore (nothing will make you as sore as SolidCore, Pilates is great for really toning the body) $30/class.

BarreMOD Fitness is a great local option and they have locations on N Burnet and S Lamar, $23/class.

Hot Yoga With WeightsCorePower Sculpt, $20/class  (take Taylor), and Wanderlust YoStrong (take Gustavo!) $28/class.

Perspire Sauna Studio – Sweat it out! This place has multiple infrared sauna rooms with TVs and you can go with friends, $40/session.

Pro Tip: Sign up for Class Pass. you can do $50 or $100/month membership packages that allow you to go to a ton of different studios in the Austin area (and other large metropolitan cities), so you can keep switching up your workouts to achieve the best results. They also recently added wellness activities to their package as well allowing you to get massages, facials, and others within your monthly membership!

Beauty Treatments:

Check Groupon for these!

Laser Hair Removal, Dermatology, Botox

Teeth Whitening 

  • Your dentist can do this for you, a lot of them actually run specials when you get engaged and will do it for a discount. Also, this is a good time to think about Invisalign if needed, and then get whitened after.

Spray Tans

  • 360 Tans – Two locations, north and south.
  • Laurel Corinne – Get the Sunless Body Blend for the best spray tan of your life.
  • Hush Hush – A cult favorite, on W 6th. Great color selection.

Pro Tip: Try showering twice before the big day, it will help make sure the spray tan doesn’t transfer onto your white dress!

Facials/Massages:    

Lake Austin Spa – Steam room, sauna, and hot tub

The W Away Spa – Ask for Wendy, and go to the rooftop pool after!

Milk & Honey Spa – Try a Lymphatic Drainage massage, relieves bloating and really defines muscles and bone structure in face.

Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa – Go for a couples massage! Definitely make a day out of this resort (or a weekend).

Pro Tip: For my brides, try using a Beauty Checklist at least six months before the wedding. It will really tell you when to try out your spray tan, whiten your teeth, get massages, facials, etc. That way when the month of the wedding comes, you know exactly what you need!

Best Gyms in Austin

Castle Hill Fitness

Castle Hill has everything you would want in a gym—150+ group fitness classes, steam rooms and saunas, pools, a large gym, Pilates reformer studios, spa treatment rooms, a clean locker room with showers, childcare, acupuncture, and more. They offer all of this while still being an approachable local neighborhood gym with a welcoming staff and a no-frills attitude. When we think of Austin gyms, Castle Hill is the one that combines the perfect amount of everything.

Castle Hill underwent a huge a transformation of their gym spaces in 2020. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, they have divided their common gym spaces into personal workout pods. Members reserve pods through the website and app, and each pod contains a variety of equipment, sanitizing supplies, HEPA air filters, and physical barrier walls. Short video here. Castle Hill also added a large virtual schedule, on-demand fitness library, and outdoor classes to their pandemic era group ex programs. The large sauna, eucalyptus steam room, and hot tub are now reserved as single-occupancy Recovery Pods. Castle Hill still offers an array of spa services, personal training, and Pilates reformer instruction.  They offer all of this while still being an approachable local neighborhood gym with a welcoming staff and a no-frills attitude. When we think of Austin gyms, Castle Hill is the one that combines the perfect amount of everything.

COVID-19 Precautions: Castle Hill requires reservations, temperature screenings, and masks while inside. They have a dedicated contact tracer on staff and have added 100+ HEPA air-purifiers in their buildings. Full list here.

Locations: Downtown (12th and Lamar) and Westlake (Westlake Drive and Hwy 360)

Favorite Instructors: Virtual fitness instructors Jeremy and Veronika will keep you fit from anywhere. On-Site try Pilates with Brooke or any of their Yoga teachers. Jess Clark also teaches there, and she is one of our favorite instructors in the city!

Cost: $89-199/month – discounts for couples and families. They also offer a free 7-day trial for all new visitors.

Parking: In parking lot or free on street

Castle Hill Fitness Pods

Equinox

Not only is Equinox a super nice gym, they are known for their classes. They take instructors from the best studios like SoulCycle, CorePower, Barre, etc. and bring them to Equinox. Complete with a eucalyptus steam room, cafe and juice bar, personal training, state-of-the-art equipment, and a perfectly central location—this is a place to be and be seen.

LocationSouth Congress (closer to Riverside)

Favorite Instructors: Miguel Romero (Best Butt Ever), Matt & Kiley (Athletic Conditioning, Upper Bod & Abs) Miguel Hernandez (cycling), Jamie Rouso (Stacked), Jess Clark (Metcon & Precision Run), Gustavo Padron (Yoga & Athletic Conditioning)

Cost: $150-180/month (Depending on if you go with the Early Bird Special)

Parking: Free parking for two hours in the garage

Equinox

Lifetime

Lifetime is like a spa—the South and North locations even have a pool and eucalyptus steam room! You can truly spend all day here; they have child care, basketball courts, tons of classes, etc. This place is a dream! They also have a ton of classes from yoga, spin, barre, weights, and personal training.

Locations: South (William Cannon and Mopac), Downtown (West 5th – where the old Pure used to be) , Arboretum (Quarry), and North (45 and 183)

Cost: $40/day pass

Downtown: $129/month for young adults under 29 years old, otherwise $149/month

South & North: $99/month for young adults under 26 years old, otherwise $109/month

Arboretum: $119/month for young adults under 26 years old, otherwise $129/month

Parking: Free parking in garage or lot

Lifetime Fitness – South

Golds Gym

Golds is a great budget option with over 20 locations, decent facilities, and frequent discounts.

Locations: 20!

Cost: $40/month – option for paying $20/biweekly, frequent discounts that run and a lot of employer discounts here (be sure to ask!)

Parking: Depends on location but all are in parking lots or garages for free

*Classes and open gym time on ClassPass for 1-3 Credits. 

Onnit

This is more of a CrossFit style gym with fewer machines and more weights, kettlebells, ropes, bands, and more. The group fitness classes really challenge you in a full body HIIT type workout, building lean muscle. They also have a sports recovery area,  which includes Cryotherapy machines and an infrared sauna. They offer nutritional guidance, and also have a nice cafe in the facility.

Location: South – 35 & 71 (St. Elmo & Friedrich Lane)

Favorite Instructors: Juan, great at improving your form and will always push you to the limit!

Cost: $150-200/month

Parking: Free Parking in lot

*Classes on ClassPass for 5-8 Credits. 

YMCA

Another budget friendly option with multiple locations in Austin, and membership discounts for lower-income members.

Locations: Townlake, Southwest, East, North, Northwest, Cedar Park, Buda (Hayes), Dripping Springs, and Bastrop

Cost: $30-60/month depending on number of members and Income

Parking: Free parking in lot

TruFusion

Tons of classes! Over 65 class types and over 240 classes a week featuring Yoga, Barre, Pilates, Bootcamp, Cycle, Kettlebell, Battle Ropes, Boxing, and TRX.

Location: South Lamar near Target

Favorite Instructors: Megan and Kay (Hot Pilates), Miguel Romero (Kettle Booty)

Cost: $30 for First 30 Days (Unlimited), $50-150/month depending on how many classes you want to take per month

Parking: Free parking in lot

*Classes and on ClassPass for 5-7 Credits. 

CRUX Climbing

This place is more than just rock climbing—they have Yoga, Circuit/Bootcamp workouts, and multiple climbing classes.

Locations: South Austin – South Congress by Cosmic Coffee; and Central Austin/Highland – Opening Mid-2020

Cost: $17/day pass or $70/month

*Classes on ClassPass for 4 Credits. 

CRUX Climbing

Diet, Health and Wellness in Austin

It is true what they say, “abs are made in the kitchen.” We can’t talk about fitness without talking about some of the most important facets of living a healthy lifestyle: diet, health, and wellness. Below we cover  healthy lifestyle habits, local restaurants and delivery services, and a few general tips for living your best life in Austin.  those in our city.

Diet

The word “diet” is falling out of fashion. Now-a-days, it really is about living a healthy lifestyle versus adapting to some fad diet and hoping it sticks. The 80/20 rule is easy to remember and understand:.Eat healthy 80% of the time with foods that work for you and your lifestyle. The other 20% of the time, indulge a little bit. Allow yourself that cookie, that slice of pizza, that frozen marg (@polvos). Without those mindful indulgences, you’re creating an environment where you are sure to go off the rails and abandon a healthy lifestyle all together because it was just “too hard.”

Some of our favorite healthy lifestyle tips are below:

Protein

Eating adequate protein is imperative to maintain muscle mass. Having the right balance of protein, fat, fiber and carbs is ideal for maintaining or losing weight/fat loss. Calorie counting can sometimes be a triggering action for those who have experienced disordered eating in the past, but for me personally it was helpful for a few months to track my macros (my protein intake, carbs, fat and fiber) to learn more about the food I was consuming. Once I started to learn the best ways to consume food for my body specifically, what works best for my digestion and balancing my blood sugar, I then was able to move away from counting macros, and simply living a balanced lifestyle.

Fiber

Yes, fiber. Vegetables. Wheat Bran (Gluten). Legumes. Fiber is crucial to a healthy diet and lifestyle. Women should aim for 25+ grams of fiber a day, and men should aim for 30+ grams of fiber per day. Eating fiber and protein at each meal ensures a regular metabolism.

Vegetarian

It shouldn’t be a surprise that masses of people have switched to a vegetarian diet in recent years. There are a variety of reasons to do this, including concern for animal rights and the environment. Studies have shown that vegetarians are less prone to common diseases such as heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes as well. An article published by the Huffington Post showed that vegans and vegetarians had a significantly longer life expectancies—on average more than eight years longer than the general population. Blue Cross Blue Shield has also published several reports showing that vegetarians also have a lower risk of obesity, hypertension, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease.

Overall this is a great way to live a healthy lifestyle. You can still find protein sources outside of meat with eggs (for vegetarians, not vegan), a variety of legumes, and grains such as black beans, chickpeas, quinoa, and others. This is also a very fiber rich diet which, as we listed above, has major health benefits as well. One of our favorite vegetarian/vegan recipe creators is The Minimalist Baker. Her recipes are very inventive and based on common dishes we all know and love, making becoming a vegetarian a very approachable change in diet. Of course living in Austin, there are so many restaurants that adhere to this lifestyle too. Below you will find a list of some of our favorite vegan/vegetarian restaurants.

Minimalist Baker – Vegan Enchiladas

Austin Staples for a Healthy Lifestyle and Diet

Snap Kitchen

Not a meal prepper? Us either. Snap Kitchen makes it so easy to eat healthy throughout the week. You can stop by one of their 13 Austin locations (including inside any Whole Foods), and grab breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and snacks for the week. They are all pre-packaged and microwavable making it super easy for the office. They are very affordable too ($3-11/meal depending on size), and offer low-carb, Keto, and vegetarian lifestyle plans.

Snap Kitchen

Grocery Delivery:

Getting groceries delivered to you to saves time. H-E-B and Whole Foods have great pre-made options too, so you can even utilize these services for office deliveries to make it easy to stay on track during the work week. Grocery delivery also helps you order only what you need works best if you plan ahead for cooking for meals that week. It also helps to cut costs on groceries by not throwing extra things in your cart as you pass by them in the store. We also love being able to add things to your grocery list throughout the week with ease!

Amazon PrimeNow Grocery Delivery – Spend $35 and the delivery is free! Download the separate PrimeNow app to scroll through options at your local Whole Foods. Since Whole Foods and Amazon merged, bringing the less-expensive 365 Every Day Value Brand, it is honestly cheaper than you think to buy your groceries there. Use Code: 10PRIMENOW for $10 off your first order.

H-E-B Curbside Pick-Up or Delivery – Curbside: $4.95 shopper fee; Delivery: Shopper Fee + $5 Delivery Fee. I love using the HEB app because you can find so many coupons to help save money. Can also order H-E-B with Favor (this includes Alcohol)!

Instacart – Order from Specs, Total Wine, Wheatsville, Natural Grocers, Sprouts, Target, H-E-B, Central Market, Randall’s, Costco, Sam’s, CVS, Petco, and Tomlinson’s. Super fast delivery times. Great when you’re in a bind—place the order before you leave the office and have groceries delivered to your house within an hour! Deliveries as low as $3.99. Use this code for $10 off your first delivery. 

Healthy Dining Out

Vinaigrette – Tons of great salad options. (South Congress)

Citizen Eatery – Vegan. (North Burnet)

Honest Mary’s – Build your own grain bowls. (Arboretum location open, Rosedale coming soon)

ATX Food Co. – Vegan trailer. Order online & Pickup or from multiple delivery services. (Barton Springs)

Blenders & Bowls – Acai bowls. (5 Locations – Downtown, Westlake, Eastside, Domain, Guadalupe)

Bouldin Creek Cafe – Vegetarian. (South 1st)

Whole Foods Salad Bar – a TON of toppings to choose from. (Multiple Locations)

Picnik – Very clean, farm-to-table, optional vegan cuisine with approachable known dishes. (Trailer on S. Lamar & Restaurant on N. Burnet) Pro Tip: Try their butter coffee, the fat in the butter and MCT Oil (a form of coconut oil), help make the caffeine last longer and leave you less jittery. #keto

Salata – Build your own salad. (Arboretum)

Joann’s – Powerbowl. (South Congress)

Fresa’s – Kale Caesar, Power and Super Bol’s, Brussels, Beets. (South 1st Restaurant & 6th and Lamar Drive-Thru) – Pro Tip: Substitute chips for carrots & jicama sticks with salsa, queso and guac!

Poke Poke, Poke Eatery and Malibu Poke – Lean raw fish poke dishes. (Multiple Locations) – Pro Tip: Sub greens for rice, and at Malibu Poke – try their cauliflower rice!

Juiceland and Daily Juice – Smoothies. (Multiple Locations) – Pro Tip: Sub cauliflower for banana and diminish 90% of the carbs in your smoothies.

Steeping Room – Great salads and vegan options. (North Lamar and the Domain).

Flowerchild – Counter service, quick healthy dishes. (Downtown – 2nd Street, and Domain Northside)

True Food Kitchen – Same owners as Flowerchild, sit down restaurant, local healthy dishes, can order vegan. (Downtown – Seaholm, and the Domain) Pro Tip: Get the Edamame Dumplings!

Counter Culture – Vegan. (East Cesar Chavez) Pro Tip: Try their pizzas, tacos and burgers! They’re awesome even if you are not vegan.

Curcuma – Vegan Food Truck. (East Cesar Chavez)

Sweetgreen – Build your own salad. (Coming Soon – South Congress, next to Equinox)

Health and Wellness

What exactly is health and wellness? We hear these words often but what do they truly mean? Wellness is really just being more aware of things you can do to be living a healthy lifestyle, and making positive choices. A study by UC Davis identified eight areas of wellness: emotional, physical, environmental, spiritual, social, occupational, financial, and intellectual.

Emotional Wellness

Emotional wellness is also your mental wellness. This would include self-care and relaxation in order to decrease stress levels. Increased stress = increased cortisol levels, which have been related to weight gain. Be sure to take time to relax, put your phone down (reduce blue light), sleep when you’re tired, listen to your body, and practice self care. Self care could be going to the spa (take a water taxi to Lake Austin spa), or it could be taking a warm bath (with a lush bath bomb) and reading a book to relax and ease the mind. Take mental health days when you need them, talk to a therapist or counselor (UT Psychology program offers a free clinic to the public with UT doctorate students offering counseling services for a fraction of the cost), and look into meditation.

Meditation: There are a few places in Austin that are great for getting your feet wet in the meditation space. Check out Meditation Bar near MoPac and Steck ($30 introductory offer for first week – unlimited, or $18/class drop in), Kadampa Meditation Center near William Cannon and Manchaca (they also have events), or downloading a guided meditation app like Headspace. Headspace makes it super easy to wake up and have a few minutes of guided meditation. Practicing mindfulness and reduce stress before going into your busy day.

Physical Wellness

This goes into taking care of your body and health. This includes exercise and fitness, diet, seeking help when needed (going to the doctor, having regular physicals and bloodwork), and getting enough sleep.

If you don’t believe in modern medicine and don’t like the idea of shots and drugs, you should definitely check out Ayurvedic Medicine. Listen to this podcast by Skinny Confidential where they interview Sahara Rose, author of the book Idiots Guide to Ayerveda. In ayurvedic medicine, there are three mind-body types or “doshas” – Vata, Kapha, and Pitta; basically three substances present in your body and health exists when there is a balance between those three bodily elements. Once you find out which type you are, you can create a lifestyle routine around it. This can include recipes for your dosha type, and specific home healing remedies. You can take a quiz here to figure out your dosha, and explore from there!

Environmental Wellness

This is really respecting our planet and taking steps to protect it. Interact with nature—Austin has so many places where you can do this: hiking, biking, walking the trail, getting out on the lake or river, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, swimming; going to the park, and, if you have a dog,  taking them for a walk or hike; running outside, etc. Check out our post on best outdoor workouts in Austin. There are ton of great places to explore and it will really build a strong environmental consciousness by raising your awareness of the environment you’re in.

Environmental wellness also includes your immediate space around you. Think about more plants in your home and work space, high-quality filtered water, clean air (changing your AC filter), and more natural light.

Rowing Dock

Social Wellness

It is important to have a social aspect of your life whether it be with family, friends, coworkers or others. This creates a support network of encouraging relationships with peers, and intimate romantic relationships. The key here is to surround yourself with people who are lifting you up, not bringing you down. It’s a new year and it is OK to reevaluate relationships and truly see who is adding value.

Being in a socially happy place also creates a sense of belonging, increasing overall happiness and physical health, which also leads to more motivation and productivity in your life. If you’re new to Austin, get involved in a group. This could be an active group like a gym (check out our post on best gyms in Austin), running club (check out Loop Running Supply), co-ed sports like kickball (Club WAKA is great) or softball. It could also be a spiritual or religious group; or getting to know more people in the workplace who could become friends outside of the office.

Spiritual Wellness

Spirituality can mean multiple things—relaxation or religion; aligning our values with our actions. This goes hand-in-hand with emotional wellness, and creating a set of beliefs and values that give meaning and direction to our lives. Meditation, yoga, prayer—these could all be examples of practicing spiritual wellness. Check out some of our favorite yoga studios, here.

Occupational Wellness

This is committing to a work environment that is supporting good health and productivity and allowing for a positive work-life balance. Through this, we still want to feel fulfilled in our jobs, and as though our careers are progressing. An article by Allwork says that occupational health is a leading factor of good health, especially considering that people spend over 40 hours of their week in the workplace. Austin has some of the best occupational wellness workplaces in the country, including companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Dell, and many others. Working in open spaces, collaborative environments, social aspects of the workplace with group outings and team functions, flexible time off, less stress (remember, stress = increased cortisol = weight gain) and increased ability to grow in your career. All of these things contribute to a strong occupational wellness and are important in overall health. Check out this article on Glassdoor with the top places to work in Austin, that outlines details about work life balance and positive reviews from employees.

Intellectual Wellness

Intellectual wellness is all about continuing to learn and grow, using the resources around you to become a more intelligent individual. Reading (join a book club with friends, or even try a virtual group like Oprah’s book club), continuing education through professional development classes  sign up for a classes at ACC that might interest you like, painting, pottery, etc.) or workshops around the city (like a free money management class). Check out any cultural events in Austin, or community activities. Join the nextdoor app, and see what community activities could be going on right in your own neighborhood. The Austin Public Library also has events going on at multiple locations every single day.

Austin Central Public Library

Best Outdoor Workouts in Austin

Austin has some of the best outdoor workout activities. Between our hiking and biking trails; lakes, rivers, and greenbelts; paddleboarding, kayaking, and swimming—the options are truly endless. This is also a great budget option for workouts!
We also love the social aspect of outdoor workouts. One of our favorite companies, The Loop Running Supply, has group running workouts on Friday mornings at 6 a.m., and Wednesdays at 6 p.m. These are 3-5 mile runs that take off from their store underneath the Gables Park Plaza on the corner of Cesar Chavez and Sandra Muraida Way, in the Seaholm District. They are perfect for people who want to run with a buddy, and have a level of accountability within the group. You can also get a ton of affordable, quality brands of fitness attire in their store!

The Loop Group Run

Kayaking, Canoeing, and Paddleboarding

Kayaking and Canoeing are the perfect combination of a leisure activity and exercise. Paddleboarding is not only fun, but also a great way to build core strength. It’s perfect for warm days where you can get some sun, too.

Our favorites:

Congress Avenue Kayaks

One of the things we love about CAvK, is the multitude of offerings. See below for all of the ways you can get fit on Town Lake with Congress Avenue Kayaks! Located at Waller Beach in Town Lake Metropolitan Park (near Rainey), makes it just a short ride to the Congress Avenue Bridge.

  • Rentals: Single, Double, and Triple Seater Kayaks; Stand Up Paddleboards
  • Pricing: Single – $12/hr (+$7 additional hour), Double – $15/hr (+$7 additional hour), Triple – $25/hr (+$15 additional hour); Stand Up Paddleboards (SUP) – $20/hr (+$15 additional hour),
    • Also offer half-day rental deal for kayaks at $25
  • Additional Offerings:
    • Guided Sunset Bat Tours ($50 for Double Kayak – this would be great for friends/family visiting!)
    • Guided Downtown to Barton Springs Tours ($30/person, Saturdays and Sundays at 10 a.m., 2 hours)
    • Yoga classes, private lessons, and a free Kids Kayak Day one Saturday a month starting in April (Facebook signup).
Congress Avenue Kayaks

Barton Springs Pool

Barton Springs Pool is the fourth-largest spring fed pool in Texas with a constant 68 degree water temperature making it one of the best places to swim year-round. Here’s a fun fact: Robert Redford learned to swim here. We say that bodes well for your athletic aspirations. If you want to get in shape and live your best Austin life while you do it—swimming the length of this civic treasure should be a go-to.
2131 William Barton Dr.
Austin, TX 78746
(512) 974-6300

Barton Springs Pool
Photo – Austin Chronicle

Roy and Ann Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail

The Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake, a lush, urban path that meanders along the water’s edge and passes by skyscrapers, neighborhoods, ball fields .and cultural attractions. It is THE Austin workout and a great way to fall in love with fitness and this fabulous city at the same time. The 10-mile trail is Austin’s most recognized and popular recreational area.
900 W Riverside Dr.
Austin, TX 78704

Walnut Creek Greenbelt

A popular spot for both hikers and mountain bikers, Walnut Creek is an explorer’s dream. There are tons of unmarked paths, so you may get a little lost; but that’s more fun, right? With multiple winding paths and few obstacles, undertaking part of the trail is perfect for beginners. The hike offers plenty of overlooks, so don’t forget to stop and smell the roses on the way up. And of course, cool down in the beautiful creek on the way down.
2611 Park Bend Dr. 
Austin, TX 78701

Walnut Creek Greenbelt

Spicewood Valley Trail

This 1.3 mile hike is a great workout and wonderful way to get your heart rate up outside of a gym! It is also very convenient —the perfect not-too-long, not-too-short hike for an evening outing with a friend. Plan for a little over an hour to complete the hike.
The high points are definitely the man-made waterfall and the awesome stonework that you get to see.
Location/Parking:
183 South on Spicewood Springs Road
Right onto Scotland Well Drive
Right onto Middlebie Drive & look for parking
Start of Trail – Just Across the street from Mountain View Park

Best Bootcamp Workouts in Austin

I love incorporating bootcamp workouts into my weekly routine. Building muscle not only allows you to burn fat, it helps you burn calories even days after a workout. Below are my favorite bootcamp-type workouts in Austin.

Barry’s

This one is a real butt-kicker. It is half cardio – running intervals on a treadmill; and half weights on the floor. You can also choose to do double treadmill or double floor as well.

Locations: New Location Coming Soon (Currently at 524 N Lamar Blvd Suite 300, Austin, TX 78703)

Favorite Instructors: Annette & Kolbie!

Cost: $32/class or $100 for 3 classes for first time members

Parking: Garage attached

E+E Fitness

These are bootcamps and cardio kickboxing classes in an open gym-like bootcamp facility. Your first bootcamp at E+E is $6, or your first kickboxing class is $10. Their goal is to “Elevate + Evolve” community fitness by challenging members to learn new things while also creating a fun, approachable group class.

Locations: East 6th (E&E Fitness)

Favorite Instructors: Cody Wescott (also at Equinox!), Paige Harrell (so positive!) Patrice (her classes are TOUGH), Zeik (also teaches kickboxing)

Cost: $30/class or $160/month ($80 for first month – special running right now)

Parking: East 6th/E+E – Street Parking

*Classes are 4-8 Credits on ClassPass.

E+E Fitness

Stronghorn

Stronghorn is an outdoor group fitness workout hosted in a variety of locations around Central Austin. Each location has a different schedule. See info below to figure out which ones you can attend. They have a donation based Saturday community classes at Zilker park, too!

Locations: Six – All Around Downtown

Duncan Park – West 9th Street

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday – 6:15-7 p.m.

Frost Tower – 5th and Congress

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday – 12-12:45 p.m.

300 West 6th – 6th and Colorado, in the building where Gloria’s is located

Monday, Wednesday, Thursday – 7:30-8:15 a.m., 11:30-12:15 p.m.

500 West 2nd – 2nd and Guadalupe, near Google, Flowerchild, North, etc.

100 Congress – Cesar Chavez and Congress

Personal Training

111 Congress – Cesar Chavez and Congress, in the building with Fareground

Group Fitness – Coming Soon

Favorite Instructors: Jess (owner), Garret (also does personal training)

Cost: $80/month

Saturday Community Class at 9 a.m. at Zilker Park – Donation Based (bring a mat)

Parking: Zilker and Duncan park – free parking, Downtown buildings – you’ll have to find street parking, these are likely for most people who work in the downtown area and can walk over before, after, or during their work days

*Classes not on ClassPass at this time. 

Stronghorn

Camp Gladiator

Similar to Stronghorn, this is an outdoor group fitness class held in locations all over Austin. Bring a mat, a set of weights, and water. These are TOUGH workouts but you will see results quickly, and get super toned.

Locations: Over 50 in the Austin area, check out the website to see the ones closest to you on days that work for your schedule.

Favorite Instructors: There are hundreds!!

Cost: $75/month

Parking: Dependent upon location

*Classes not on ClassPass at this time. 

Crossfit

Each CrossFit gym is its own franchise so they are all a bit different. The traditional Crossfit classes include a Workout of the Day (WOD) and weighted reps. The South Lamar location has some awesome bootcamp classes like HIIT and Tabata that we love. Take a class with Chad!

Locations: 41 Locations in the Austin Area

Favorite Instructors: Chad at South Lamar!! (came from Castle Hill, also does personal training and super tough bootcamp classes)

Cost: $20/class, depending on studio and how many classes, can be $75-200/month – For Kraus Fit (Chad) specifically it’s $60/month for unlimited!

Parking: Depends on Location, most have free parking in front of studio or on street

*Classes are 4-7 Credits on ClassPass.

CrossFit SOLA – Chad Kraus

Athletic Outcomes

This circuit, group-fitness facility is easily accessible from Central Austin and the East Side.

Locations: East Riverside

Favorite Instructors: Brittaney (aka Dr. B) and Kat (so warm and welcoming, but will also push you super hard, her classes are great!)

Cost: $20/class, or $170/month

Parking: Parking in lot

*Classes are 4 credits on ClassPass.

Athletic Outcomes

Orange Theory

These are circuit workouts with a strong focus on cardio intervals on the treadmill that mix in weighted workouts in between.

Locations: 26 Locations in Austin area!

Favorite Instructors: Hundreds in Austin – we like Alexa and Kate at the South Lamar location!

Cost: First Class Free – $59/month for 4 classes, $89 for 8 classes and $159 for unlimited classes

Parking: Depends on location – Downtown they validate parking and South Lamar there is a parking garage

*Classes are not on ClassPass at this time.

F45

45 minute circuit-style HIIT workouts. They do Cardio classes M, W, F, and Resistance classes Tue, Thurs, with Hybrid classes on Saturdays & Sundays.

Locations: 10 Locations in Austin – Westlake, North Shoal Creek, Oak Hill, Domain, Parmer & 183, Four Points, Jolleyville, Lakeway, Round Rock, and Cedar Park

Favorite Classes: Roman and Panthers

Cost: First Class Free – or $34/class, or $50/week

Parking: Free Parking in Front of Studio

*Classes are not on ClassPass at this time.

9Round

Check out these 30-minute kickboxing workouts! There are different trainers every day and there are not specific class times. This makes it very easy to go in and get a quick (and tough) 30-minute workout for any schedule.

Locations: 11 in Austin – South Lamar, Airport Blvd, Far West and Mopac, Braker and 183, 620 & 2222, Lakeway (620 & 71), West Parmer, Cedar Park, Hutto, Round Rock, Leander

Cost: $89/month for unlimited

Parking: Depends on location – free parking in lots or garages

*Classes are not on ClassPass at this time.

Knockout

They have 45-minute and hour-long kickboxing classes that combine boxing, body weight exercises and HIIT training intervals that work your full body. Try the Kickboxing & Killer Core class!

Locations: West 6th – Across from Clarks (Between Walsh and Pressler)

Favorite Instructors: David Garza (also owns Love Cycling)

Cost: $25/class, $165/month unlimited

Parking: Free Parking in front of studio

*Classes are 5-7 credits on ClassPass.

Knockout