Local Pilates and spin instructor Erin Romney offers tips for better fitness.
Erin Romney, founder and owner of Romney Pilates Center and Romney Ride, was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was there that she found a love of sports, and she stayed busy skiing and hiking. And while she says that she misses the mountains, she also reveals that she has found her soul in New Orleans.
As a college swimming athlete, Romney worked out three to four hours per day. She knew that she wanted to stay active after college, so she started taking Pilates and spinning classes at the gym. After taking those classes for years, she knew that she wanted to get involved as a teacher.
She started teaching Pilates in college on the weekends in Salt Lake City. She then moved to New Orleans and began teaching at a physical therapy clinic, gyms, homes, her kitchen floor and even at a bar. Then, in 2005, she opened Romney Pilates Center. “I knew what I wanted to be surrounded by: natural light, space to move in, beautiful art, motivating music, top-quality equipment, and working with other talented instructors that were innovative and passionate,” she says.
Over the years, the studio has evolved quite substantially. What started out at about 1,000 square feet has expanded to nearly 4,000 square feet today. There are two large, fully equipped rooms for Pilates. “One room is for traditional Pilates and the other is for our new B.L.A.S.T. reformer program,” Romney says. “It is designed for the person looking for a full-body strengthening and lengthening program that will change their body quickly. We also started out in our tiny space with five spinning bikes. Today, we have 26 bikes in our Romney Ride cycling boutique that offers an indoor cycling experience unlike any other in NOLA — stadium seating, amazing sound system, dramatic lighting.”
Although Pilates has always been the studio’s main focus, Romney has also been passionate about spinning since college. “I loved it and became instantly hooked,” she says. “I knew the physical benefits from spinning, but it wasn’t until I went to my first rhythmic cycling class in New York City that a beast was awakened inside me. I knew I wanted this type of program to be a part of our studio. We started Romney Ride two years ago, and it has become one of our most popular programs. We are going to be adding more to the program, such a bike computers that will track your personal stats during class.”
On Staying Motivated
“‘A little each day goes a long way’ is something I constantly think about,” Romney says. “You don’t have to be preparing for a marathon every day to be improving your health. I also know the slippery slope that not working out takes you down: poor food choices; a more sedentary lifestyle; health complications; muscle loss; and an increase in body fat. Tip: Find something you enjoy! If it’s Zumba, go shake that booty; boxing, go punch that bag; cycling, go rock that bike. Whatever it is, if you enjoy it, you will stick with it longer and have greater success.”
“I try to minimize dairy, gluten and recently sugar,” Romney says. “It’s always been a dream to offer organic, cold-pressed juices at the studio, and we have partnered with a great company called The Pressery that has allowed us to offer healthy juice options to our clientele. I do try to have a more substantial breakfast before I start my day. It’s usually scrambled eggs and gluten-free toast with avocado slices. My recent guilty pleasure is these raw, gluten-free, dairy-free tarts from Whole Foods. They are incredible!”
“Very recently, a client approached me and told me her story,” Romney says. “She has been coming to the studio for over two years and has lost over 100 pounds! Private Pilates sessions allowed her to deepen her knowledge of her body and strengthen it to a level where she could then join classes regularly. It was from there that the physical exercise jumpstart and confidence boost happened that motivated her to change her diet and alcohol intake that transformed her life drastically.”
“You are only as strong as your core,” Romney says. “Pilates is probably the best jumpstart to any and all physical activity. It’s like building your strength from the inside out. You can’t lift as heavy as your potential, move your fastest or hold your spine up long without a strong core and proper form. In Pilates, not only are you developing core strength and correcting imbalances in the body, but you are learning the proper and most efficient way to move and hold yourself. That knowledge is power.” 5619 Magazine St., (504) 895-1167, romneypilates.com