Ashley Graham Loves A Sweaty Workout — But Her Favorite Wellness Practice Is The Exact Opposite
One scroll through Ashley Graham's Instagram, and it's clear the model and body activist loves to move. From one-on-one training sessions at the gym to aerial yoga classes and on-set dance sessions, Graham keeps her fitness routine in check with the right formula of rigor, fun—and most importantly, shares the model, recovery.
At the adidas x Parley "Run for the Oceans" 5K run and celebration on Thursday, we caught up with the workout enthusiast to discuss her love for intense workouts and her even greater appreciation for the recovery and wellness practices that keep her balanced, relaxed, and in motion while leading a busy life.
The gym is her happy place.
"I love working out and love being active," shares Graham. Her workout of choice? Weight training interval, cardio exercises, boxing, and some personal training to keep her motivated and on her toes. "I feel my best when I go to the gym five days a week and work with my trainer at Dara Hart at NYC’s Dogpound," she told mbg. She might prefer a sweaty and challenging workout, but she insists that balance and post-recovery exercises have helped her go the extra mile on her fitness journey.
Breath helps her connect mind and body.
The mind-body connection for Graham has been key to her workouts. "The greatest reward working out offers is knowing that when my body works out, my mind feels well. I’m not as anxious or irritated, and I’m calmer and feel more equipped to make good decisions about food and life in general, she said. "In other words, I'm not quick to snap on anyone."
Breathwork is also integral to the model's fitness game. "It calms me down. Now I’m ready; now I’m chill. Even as I work out, I remind myself to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth—it really helps me to push through that last 20 minutes of exercises."
Foam-rolling all-day, every day.
In addition to breathwork, Graham also counts myofascial release as integral to her recovery routine. "I like to foam roll myself, but I also see myofascial release therapist Alan Willoughby when I’m in Los Angeles. It's been huge for my recovery game, and I don’t even get massages anymore." Another tool in her arsenal? The theragun, a popular new percussive therapy device that helps with muscle recovery and knot tension.
Gratitude is at the core of her wellness ethos.
Even gratitude and prayer play a big role in Graham’s wellness routine, as the two help keep her in check when leading a busy life. "I think bringing gratitude into your life every day has huge impact every day. It takes all the emphasis off of you and brings it back to all the people you’re impacting."
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Krysten Peck is a freelance writer specializing in arts, wellness, brands, and visual storytelling. She received a bachelor’s degree from Dickinson College, and has done editorial and social media work at AOL, MTV News, and BuzzFeed. A city dweller with island roots, she's hooked on all-things ginger and likes to play in the kitchen. When she does exercise, she's usually chooses high-intensity activities like dancing, HIIT, and spinning.