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SOUL WELLNESS

10 Science-Backed Reasons to SOUL Through the Holidays

t might be the most wonderful time of the year — but it’s also the busiest, by far. But rather than let your self-care routine fa-la-la-la by the wayside, why not take control and clip in for a cardio party? Here’s why tapping it back with the pack can keep you happier and healthier than ever…



1. You can bond with your family…
Studies show that individuals can form strong social bonds over the love of a particular sport or physical activity, so reconnect with your relatives like Rockstar Augusta Preiseros, who recommends booking a bunch of bikes and clipping in together! “Every ride at SoulCycle has been more than a great workout. Wednesday night rides were my workout date night with my husband,” says Preiseros. “Every ride with my mom, my best friend, brought us closer than ever before. Every moment with her is a cherished one. I am blessed to work with her, shop with her and of course, ride at SoulCycle with her.”

2. Or escape them.
Nothing says, “me time” like some strategically planned push-ups, sprints and one epic SOULful moment, allowing you to reset, refocus and release your stress in the studio. Unfortunately, many of us may feel strapped for time when legions of extended family members descend upon our households. But Dr. Eric Endlich, a Boston-area psychologist who specializes in fitness and health, advises everyone to tend to their wellbeing first and foremost. “In personal finance, the standard advice is to pay yourself first; on an aircraft, they tell you to put on your oxygen mask first,” Dr. Endlich says. “And when it comes to family, you need to practice self-care first… otherwise, you’ll have nothing left in the tank to care for others.”

Unsure how to gracefully slip out to SOUL for 45 minutes of reflection and relaxation? Try these tips from Dr. Endlich:

1. Give your family a heads up before they arrive. “I’m really looking forward to spending time together. My only commitment is my usual workout schedule at 8:00 AM, but that shouldn’t impact our time much.”
2. Let others know your class is at a specific time; it will sound more like an obligation than abandonment. “See you soon. I’ve got to rush to make my 4:30 PM class.”
3. Don’t ask permission. Your visitors won’t be asking you permission to take time away from the group to shave, shower or floss their teeth. Why should you need their permission to stay healthy?

3. Burn off the stuffing...
There’s a reason the SOUL community loves its Turkey Burns — there’s some SOUL science behind it! “When we exercise, we increase our metabolism and balance blood sugar, which can help to decrease unhealthy cravings and allow us to tap into our body and feed it in a more balanced way,” says Dr. Frank Lipman, M.D., a board-certified internist and founder of bewell.com. Whether you’re clipping in before the big feast or powering through your post-holiday turkey-coma, your body and SOUL will thank you for the extra release.

4. And the pie.
We don’t discriminate against other sweets and treats though. Just ask Bay Area instructor MK Hurlbutt

A photo posted by MK Hurlbutt (@mkhurlbutt) on


5. Celebrate with our community.
Sometimes, the family you choose is just as important as the one you’re born into. The American Journal of Health and Behavior reported that who you sweat with and where you exercise has a direct effect on your psychological state. The takeaway? Pushing your pace with the pack will leave you happier and healthier than hitting the gym alone.

“We are one. Call us a cult, a crew, a tribe… call us high on endorphins or cardio addicts. Call us followers of our inspired instructors and collectors of covetable, heart-pounding playlists. I call us family,” says rider Danielle Schubert. Who better to kick off the holidays with than all of your loved ones?

6. Have fun before the holiday chaos kick in.
Holiday shopping hasn’t reached the extreme, party invites aren’t rolling in yet and, well… we all still have a moment to breathe before we wrap up another year and sprint into 2017 stronger than ever. A study from The Medical Journal of Australia found that a lack of exercise contributed to cases of clinical depression and anxiety, and that prescribing physical activity and a healthier diet improved those cases. Thwart your stress and take the time to let loose in a cardio party.

7. Detox before you re-tox.
Celebrate at that unofficial high school reunion a little too hard? Never fear! A little cardio party will have you feeling brand new… just in time for your next celebration. “Because the skin is our biggest organ, sweating increases the natural detoxification process,” says Dr. Lipman. So no need to go to the extreme with a juice cleanse — just tap it back and let your liver and kidneys do the work they’re meant to do!

8. You can thank your body.
We thank our family, friends, coworkers, teachers, landlords and everyone else in between… but don’t forget to appreciate yourself this holiday season. In fact, a study called Exercise and Self Esteem determined that physical activity can be successfully used to increase feelings of self-worth in individuals. Clip in and remember to tell your mind, body and SOUL how grateful you are.

9. You’ll get a dose of pre-travel zen.
Remember those endorphins you learned about in high school? They’re real, and can have a long-lasted effect on your nerves. According to Dr. Endlich, tough workouts (we’re looking at you, 90-minute challenges…) can even burn off excess tension, putting you in a better headspace for your journey.

“When there are things you can’t control, such as possible turbulence during a flight – or in the atmosphere of the family home – it’s a relief to have a gym routine where you control how you spend your time,” says Dr. Endlich.

Plus, tapping it back won’t just relieve some of your jetsetting jitters — it will keep your limbs in tip-top shape while you get from point A to point B, too.

“Working out before traveling helps to get your blood circulating,” says Dr. Lipman. “When we sit for long hours, our bodies tend to tighten up. A nice cardio workout before traveling and some light stretching after travel will help keep the body agile and flexible.”

10. Because the turkey’s in the oven and you’ve got the time.
What else are you going to do for two to five hours?

Questions or comments? Email SOULlife@soul-cycle.com! Want to ride? Grab a series HERE and book a bike!
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