Ever since Pretty Little Liars debuted in 2010, Lucy Hale has been one of our favorite actresses. And when it comes to her wellness routine, she’s tops there too — thanks to a fitness and nutrition regimen that’s intense yet still balanced.
Happily for Us, the admiration is mutual! The star recently opened up exclusively to Us Weekly about all things health — from her workouts to her thoughts on meditation to the food trend she’s currently obsessed with and the workout she’ll be leading with Training Mate founder Luke Milton at Propel Co:Labs Fitness Festival on Saturday, July 20, in Santa Monica, California.
As you may have guessed, one of her current favorite workouts is Training Mate, the 45-minute high-intensity interval training (HIIT) class originally founded by Milton in Australia. “I think so many people get scared of fitness because they think you have to be an ideal body type or that people are going to yell at you in a class,” says Hale. “But what I love specifically about Training Mate is that it’s a group fitness environment, people of all shapes and sizes, people who work out all the time, people who never work out and you can kind of make it as hard or as easy as you want.” And the atmosphere is always light. “The teachers are frickin’ awesome and they make jokes and laugh the whole time,” she says, “so there are ways to make fitness fun.”
That’s important for the 30-year-old Katy Keene star. “I don’t know why I initially got into exercise, but it’s been over, you know, the course of my life I’ve always loved it,” she notes. Recently, though, she’s begun to push her limits, “finding out I’m way stronger than I am, trying new things, different classes, but it really, it just makes me feel good,” she explains. “I feel better about myself. I feel better about situations … just better about life in general when I’m consistent with [exercise] and, really, I can tell a difference within a couple of days if I’m not active, so I really try to make it a priority no matter what’s going on in my life.”
Also in her workout repertoire: more group classes — “I love SoulCycle,” she notes — plenty of outdoor activities and a personal trainer. “I work with a trainer almost every day when I’m off,” she shares. “He mixes it up with boxing and we’ll do sprints and I don’t know — he’s always throwing something my way!”
But hiking is one of her true loves. “That’s the glory of living in L.A.,” she says. “It’s beautiful all the time, so you can always be outside and that’s also my advice to people who don’t like exercise: Just get out and take a walk and the vitamin D is good for you.” Hale notes that she’s been doing more yoga for “the stretch element.”
She also looks out for her mind. “I really have recently gotten into trying to meditate, even if it’s for a few minutes,” says Hale. “I think for me, it’s just about turning my phone off — not turning it off, putting it on silent, let’s be real — and just kind of sitting in silence.” She notes that taking the time for a daily practice isn’t selfish, it’s self-preservation: “It’s really important to shut off, allow yourself to breathe, even for a second every day. I try. I’m trying … that’s my form of self care.”
And she understands the importance of taking a break! “Let’s be real, there are days where I’m like, ‘Screw it. I’m sleeping in,’” she says of exercise. “It kicks my day off in the right way if I start every day with it, but listen to your body. If you need to sleep, sleep. If you have an injury, don’t even think about it. Take time off. Don’t be afraid of being uncomfortable, but know your body.”
As for food, “I’m like super-L.A. in the sense of, I am doing the cauliflower rice thing and I mainly follow a pescatarian diet pretty much year round,” Hale shares. “I’m constantly trying to eat more whole foods and knowing where everything comes from.” So even if she wants steak, “I’ll go have it,” she says, “but know where it’s coming from.”
She also enjoys the bounty of fruit and vegetables available in the California summer: “The produce is just amazing, so I am trying to cook more, you know? So I know what I’m getting!”
As for those home-cooked meals, “I’ve been experimenting with zucchini noodles, which is really fun,” she tells Us. And for breakfast, she keeps it simple. “I love overnight oats. That’s always my breakfast every morning is some form of oatmeal,” she says. “Oh, you know what I do in the summer? Acai bowls. Every day. So good. Nothing is better.”
With reporting by Carly Sloane
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