We are continually amazed and impressed by the health + wellness influencers we meet in New York City and beyond. Meet our latest crush – Aly Teich, founder of The Sweat Life. Aly’s goal and purpose is to help people lead healthier lives by bringing her extensive fitness experience and passion into one place – The Sweat Life. We sat down with Aly to learn more about The Sweat Life, her wellness journey and what’s to come!
Food + Mood NYC: You are a vision of all things fitness! Please tell us about The Sweat Life and how it all began.
Aly Teich: I started The Sweat Life after my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer in 2010. While our family was about as “prepared” as anyone could be for a cancer journey (my father is a doctor, my brother is a Chinese medical doctor, my sister-in-law has her PhD in Social work focused on oncology, and the list goes on), and we knew that getting my mother threw cancer would take more than just traditional oncology, even we felt lost in the system and just generally overwhelmed. I would constantly wonder how people with had no medical knowledge would navigate such a journey. I then started to pay attention to what was out there to help people navigate health IN GENERAL, and realized that even the ever-expanding boutique fitness space was just completely confusing, overwhelming, and intimidating for most people – and that 1-5 hours a week that someone is spending moving or working out their body is an EXTREMELY important health decision, and wondered how people were making any sort of informed decision about where to work out. So The Sweat Life started as a video series where I went and tried different workout studios and let people SEE what the experience would be like and meet the people behind the method. The goal was to make people feel more prepared and less intimidated when they decided to go try something. I also like to say, we are like Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives for health, wellness, and fitness (if you are familiar). Along with the videos series, we created a website to share more stories of people in the space, inspiring health journeys, and information about health and wellness in general. While our Instagram is most popular right now, we are looking for the video series to make a comeback, and still continue to try and make the world of health and fitness just a little more approachable and relatable.
F+M NYC: Is The Sweat Life just a fitness destination or is there a holistic component to it?
AT: While The Sweat Life is mostly focused on fitness, there is also a holistic component to it – largely because I am the voice behind much of the content and I, personally, take a holistic approach to my health. We discuss everything from nutrition, to acupuncture, to infrared sauna, so mindfulness practices, to mental health, and more. I truly believe one can not exist without the other.
F+M NYC: You have a huge following on Instagram, roughly 74,000 followers! What do you think attracts people to become your followers?
AT: I think there are several factors that have made The Sweat Life popular. First, I think we offer an inside view into an industry that has become incredibly overwhelming. Since I go and try EVERYTHING in health and fitness, it’s an easy way for people to explore the space through me without spending all of their time or money on trial and error. Second, I have always prided myself on keeping things real, honest, relatable, and authentic – and I think in the current landscape of highly-curated and filtered social media platforms, people feel like we represent them. I always strive to share moments in health and in life that help people feel less alone in their own journeys and empower them to live their most authentic lives as well. Instagram can often make people feel inadequate when they are comparing their lives to other people’s on a daily basis, and I think (or hope) our platform does quite the opposite – as we empower people to be perfectly imperfect in life and in health – just as we ALL are (no matter how good your filter is).
F+M NYC: Do you have any plans to grow and expand The Sweat Life and its content?
AT: As mentioned above, we are currently working on Sweat Life 2.0 (as I like to call it). My priority is to bring our video series back to life, as I think it’s more relevant and more needed than ever (remember, we were VERY early in this trend back in 2013). We are circling around some other ideas as well, but you’ll just have to stay tuned for those!
F+M NYC: Besides physical exercise, how do you take care of yourself on and off the plate?
AT: As I said above, my motto is “Do the best you can as often as you can.” I’m most certainly not perfect when it comes to healthy living, but I also don’t put the pressure on myself to do so. With that said, I eat a mostly plant-based diet. I focus on eating whole foods as much as possible. I prioritize sleep over almost everything (which has changed my life). I have daily mindfulness practices. I take time to rest and recover. And I hydrate like it’s my job!! I also go to acupuncture, physical therapy, emotional therapy, and do a weekly infrared sauna.