Andia Winslow is as versatile an athlete as they come.
The Seattle native has played golf professionally, trained with Olympians in track and field and tried to compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics in the skeleton, a bobsled-esque winter sliding sport.
When not training or competing herself, Winslow is all about living a healthy lifestyle, from consulting with gyms on classes to advocating about heart disease prevention in women for the American Heart Association to working with clients as a professional trainer. She’s also the founder of The Fit Cycle, a web video series about incorporating fitness into your everyday routine, and has a series slated to air this month on Oxygen about how to work out in your office.
And for the month of August, you can catch her leading the new class The Games, an Olympic training-inspired workout, at select Crunch gyms in Manhattan.
We spoke with Winslow about her approach to fitness and how she leads a healthy lifestyle.
You call yourself a fitness activist. What does that mean to you?
Well, actually, I was given that name by Kevin Powell. He’s an activist himself here in the city. For me, inherent in the word activism is action — that’s the whole point of activity, vigorous activity. My goal is really to help encourage people to be well, and that it’s not beyond their reach. I’m making it fun, making it accessible and relevant to everyone.
That opens you to be very creative.
Sports can be intimidating to a lot of folks. We try to bring music and culture into it. To do that, you’re really speaking people’s language — “Wow, this beat is heavy,” “This track is my song” — that leads them to maybe walking a little faster. It’s helping them understand it’s all synergy between the movement of the body and the beats, or the murals they see on the wall.
Do you have a certain workout routine?
My routine is the anti-routine. It’s pretty much anything and everything at this point. In the summer, I walk and bike everywhere — upward of 100 miles a week of walking, biking, running. I’m taking gymnastics these days. In the summer time, it’s playing games, playing badminton, running with the dogs in the park, that stuff makes me happy in the summer. In the winter, I do spinning, rock climbing — anything that gets me moving and feeling alive.
How do you prevent injuries?
The more diverse the workout, the less potential for injury. I don’t want to have any overuse. I just really mix it up. The foundational stuff I’ll do when I can’t be outside as much. If I’m competing, I’ll be doing a lot of my weightlifting and foundational building in the off-season. During the season, it’s more about mobility, maintenance.
Are you competing in anything right now?
Right not, I’m not competing in anything. Next year, I will be competing in golf again. I’ll play mini tournaments to start, get acclimated into competing in golf, and try to qualify for the [LPGA] tour again. Hopefully I’ll be playing on the big stage once again.
Golf isn’t something you think of as needing to be physically fit to play. What’s crucial for that?
You don’t have to be particularly fit, but the folks who really dominate are those who take it very seriously as athletes. Your core is very important in golf for your rotational swing, your lower back, your hip flexors and glutes — you want to be steady and solid.
Where do you train in the city?
I used to coach at Chelsea Piers — I was an instructor, that was my home base. In Brooklyn — Marine Park [Golf Course]. I might ride my bike — I try to multitask. It’s a beautiful facility with great views at sunset. I highly recommend going on a date there.
Where else do you work out in the city?
I usually go to the places where I’ve worked. I’m a senior coach at Mile High Run Club, I’m on sabbatical now. I also taught at Aqua Studio in TriBeCa. I like things that are eclectic and different — really I’m open to trying anything. Studio 26 is another place I go to. It’s a really quiet, beautiful, organic studio — it’s green, has bamboo floors, a living wall, skylights. It’s a really great spot for wellness and also training — trainers can bring their clients there. I have clients there. It’s a magical, wonderful, whimsical oasis in New York City. It’s one of my favorite spaces in New York City to get work done and be away from the rush and the crowds.
What’s your personal style as a trainer?
My first goal is to educate people, not just give them directions. I’m stern, but have a really dry, caustic humor. I’m coming from the world of professional athletes, I’ve trained with the best coaches. I’m bringing a sense of high-level performance, merged with science and also fun. I make it memorable. Every training session with me is memorable — and not just because it’s hard and you die, but because you learn. And my playlists — my playlists are on point and everyone knows.
What’s your diet like as part of your healthy lifestyle?
I’m a vegetarian — I’ve been that way all my life, since I was 4 years old. I don’t really know anything else. I don’t diet personally, I don’t do any kinds of restrictions besides not eating meat. I don’t drink alcohol, I don’t smoke, I’m just pretty clean. But I do like chocolate and I do like desserts. It’s a balance. I enjoy eating from the earth and I enjoy people who cook well with flavor, who put love on top.
You’re in LA a lot. How do LA and NYC compare as far as wellness goes?
I’m trying to live a bicoastal lifestyle more and more these days. On the West Coast, we’re raised outside. There, people get together to go hiking, or go to the mountains to hike. Organic food and sourcing of food may be a little bit bigger out there, the land is right there. But I think New York has done a great job with community gardens and accessing fresh food and vegetables. I was surprised when I got here. There are a lot of resources here if people make an effort. Staten Island has a really beautiful park, Queens has Cunningham Park, which I think is underutilized. There’s a lot in New York City, folks just have to take a moment and research and they will be right in the middle of the forest.