How to live The Sweat Life and have a healthier 2015, according to founder Aly Teich
If you care about your health at all, then you need to incorporate The Sweat Life into your daily routine. The Sweat Life is an online community for health and fitness junkies and anyone who is passionate, or even curious, about living a more fulfilled life. Every week the site provides a new video featuring a workout or health trend. And don’t worry, they try the workouts — or really weird kale flavoured drinks — for you, to let you know what you are getting into. They prepare you for everything.
The Sweat Life also provides excellent written content from a variety of experts and health devotees, who give you the whole truth about everything. No bias here. Founded by Aly Teich in 2013 (who is in stunning shape), she promotes the fact that there is no best workout or diet. There is only what works best for you. Following a ten-year career in television and media (that included a staff job at Late Show with David Letterman), she left it all behind and switched to health and wellness when her mother was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer.
Aly came up with the video content for the site when she was trying to explain the distinct difference between two spin studios to a person that really couldn’t comprehend it. She looked for a video online to help her, but really found nothing. “That was my “AHA!” moment,” Teich told us. “When I thought – 10 years of television production experience and a passion for health and fitness – ‘I can do that!’ A few days later I pitched it to my now Director, Lacy Wittman, and a few days after that we roped in our now Director of Photography, Ryan Stumpe. A week later we were shooting the promo. And a month after that The Fhitting Room took a chance on us and let us into their studio with our cameras, where we shot our very first episode!”
The original written content component came about when Teich was accompanying her mother to chemo one day. “Chemo days were always extremely long, so I would bring all sorts of reading material to keep myself occupied,” said Teich. “Since I was always passionate about health, I would bring many of my favourite health and fitness magazines (many we all read). On this one particular day, I looked around the room at all of these women, just fighting to live, and then looked down at my magazines which had headlines splashed across the front of them that said things like, “How to Lose 10 Pounds in a Week!” and “Get your Best Bikini Body…EVER!” It was in that moment I realized there was a serious disconnect in the conversation of health and wellness – not only amongst women, but between all of us – and I knew then I wanted to be a part of helping change that conversation.”
Your Coffee Break was lucky enough to chat with Teich about the creation of The Sweat Life, her career path, and her tips for living the best life you can.
I had a ten-year career in media – mostly focused in television – but worked on all parts from print, to events, to marketing – you name it and I’ve likely done it. My first job out of college was for Late Show with David Letterman. I then went on to work in production for a sitcom his production company was producing. After that show was cancelled, I moved to LA to work for CBS, and then ended up back in New York years later, and worked for many more great media companies such as Tribeca Film Festival, LeadDog Marketing, and Conde Nast.
Describe a typical day at work for us or do you not have a typical day?
I don’t really have a typical work day as I wear so many hats for The Sweat Life, my days change depending on which one needs the most attention. Additionally, when a company is just getting started (or even after it has been established), there are always unforeseen hurdles and happenings one cannot predict! However, if I had to try a pick my most typical day it would likely breakdown as the following:
6 am-7 am: Wake-Up, Check and answer emails. Check social media. Post social media.
8 am: Head to workout No.1 of the day.
10 am: Meet with people behind workout No.1 and post social media
11 am: Catch up on the 8093289034802894038934 emails that have
compiled while at workout and meeting.
12 pm: Lunch meeting or midday workout.
1 pm-4 pm: Writing/reading content for the site.
4 pm: Prep for evening workout.
5 pm-7 pm: Evening workout or workout event.
8 pm: Meet with people behind evening workout.
9 pm: Dinner.
9:30 pm: Catch up on emails and write.
11:30 pm: Bedtime!
Were there a lot of naysayers when you said you were starting a company in health?
Yes and no. People seemed to get the concept from the start as it was a clear hole that needed to be filled in the market, and considering my experience, I was a logical candidate for trying to pull something like this off. I also just don’t leave a lot of room in my life for naysayers. However, the reality is there will always be naysayers, it’s just a matter of whether you choose to listen to them or not. Not only is it a huge risk to start a company, period, but I was creating something that nobody had done before, so there is even greater risk in a concept that has little proof. As for starting something in health, I think it’s such a “hot” industry right now, that didn’t really seem to be a concern.
What is your favourite thing about your job?
I think creating something from nothing feels like the biggest accomplishment. One year ago this was all just an idea in my head, and now we have shot over ten episodes, built a website, and shared about 60 or 70 articles from an amazing group of contributors.
I also feel like I have already had the chance to inspire some people which feels really amazing. I receive more emails than I would have thought at this point from people telling me how I have inspired them to start working out again, or get back to their healthy routine, or start one for the first time. I also get a lot of emails from people going through the cancer journey in one way or another sharing their stories and appreciation for me sharing mine. That just makes all of this worth everything!
On an every day level, I just love trying new workouts. It’s so incredible to get to experience what other people have also turned from an idea into a method or a product. I am inspired daily by the people I meet!
What are some big trends we are going to see in health and fitness next year?
The treadmill is making a major comeback, outside of just Barry’s Bootcamp. I also think fitness and health, in general, will become more and more individualized, because it can be now. I think we are going to see more people moving away from big box gyms into boutique fitness. It’s all becoming completely a-la-carte. Lastly, I think as people are getting healthier they are looking to push themselves more — so we see more and more intense workouts popping up, like Tone House here in New York. I think workouts will become shorter. Everyone is always crunched for time, and as HIIT (high intensity interval training) becomes more popular, it’s truly possible to get an amazing workout in 30 minutes, be showered, changed, and eat all within the time of your lunch break!
What is your goal with The Sweat Life? Where would you like to see the brand in five years?
My number one goal with The Sweat Life is to empower and motivate people to be the healthiest versions of themselves – inside and out! Fitness and health should be something that is fun, a gift, a treat, but I think it feels like a punishment to so many. If we can present this lifestyle as something that is not only attainable, but that is fun, I think we will have accomplished a lot.
On a corporate level, we certainly have many goals, but it is still too early to tell what direction this ship is going to sail. One of our more immediate goals is to grow beyond New York City. I’ve always wanted to be bi-coastal (hint!).
What is your favourite work out?
Ah! Everyone LOVES to ask me this question, and I hate answering it. Why? I just don’t find it helpful for people to know what my personal choices are in my own health routine, as I always encourage people to find what works best for them – which may be completely different from what works best for me! What I will say is I try to do things which balance off whatever I am currently working on for Sweat Life. A lot of my focus is keeping my strength, endurance, and keeping myself from getting injured. I like to keep it balanced.
What advice would you give to a woman looking to start her own business?
DON’T DO IT!!!!!! Kidding. I would say that you have to be 150% sure that you are willing to give 150% of yourself day in and day out – forever. When you start a company there is very little (if any) separation from work, so you MUST love what you are working on as you will always be working.
The holidays can be a tough time to stay in shape and healthy. Any tips for busy working women?
Yes, it’s the same advice I give for most things – everything in moderation. Staying healthy during the holidays doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the fun (or the chocolate!), but it also doesn’t mean you should take a month off of your health! Try to always think about what’s “worth it” and what’s not. And I don’t mean this in a counting calories sense – I more mean, will you enjoy that pastry enough to make the massive stomachache and grogginess worth it? Or is this party fun enough that it is worth losing those extra two hours of sleep I could really use, the workout I’m going to skip, and that hangover I am going to have all day tomorrow!
Do you have any tips for keeping your health in check whilst balancing a busy lifestyle? Let us know in the comments below!