wellness theories

Instafamous Model Adrianne Ho on How Exercise Should Make You Happy

Adrianne Ho.
Adrianne Ho. Photo: Courtesy of Sweat the Style

If you never thought someone could look great working out in Supreme, meet Instafamous model Adrianne Ho. Founder of the site Sweat the Style, Ho makes dripping in sweat look aspirational, not to mention sexy. She recently collaborated with PacSun on a streetwear-influenced athleisure collection called Sweat the Crew. Read on to learn about how Ho’s diet change beat her asthma, her favorite workouts, and how you can be happy and work out. 

How I start my mornings: Usually with a run. I’ll do a loop, I’ll grab a coffee, I’ll stop by the farmers’ market and get some groceries for the day. I like to run to my destination and back so I blend it into my routine. Then I will usually do a harder workout in the afternoon or evenings.

If I don’t have to work or have meetings, I’ll wake up around eight. I kind of like to have my sleep. I need eight hours. I usually have eggs in the morning, scrambled eggs, or I’ll do a fruit smoothie or Greek yogurt. It has a lot of protein with granola and fruit.

Wellness to me means: Being as close to nature as possible. So that the food you eat isn’t processed, it’s organic, and it’s local whenever you can. Exercise is really important to get your blood pumping and to detoxify yourself. Also, just being happy. Wellness is being happy with yourself, your life, and the things around you. That means either being proactive about changing something in your life that’s hindering you, or being accepting of something you can’t change and embracing it.

How I sweat: In the evenings, I like to take a class, especially high-intensity interval training. I use ClassPass. Sometimes classes can be a little expensive, so you can take everything and see what you like. I love classes because you can get together with people. There’s a set time so you don’t have to push it back. You learn new skills. You can have fun. Sometimes being around other people is a motivator.

Or sometimes I play tennis, go for a hike, or something like that. I work out maybe five times a week, at least. Even if I don’t do a heavy workout, I always get a run in. It might not be that long, but I need to do it to ease my mind. I have a lot of energy so I need to get it out some way.

Photo: Courtesy of Sweat the Style

On eating: I try to limit processed foods — anything in a wrapper and anything that comes out of a box. I try to do local and organic, if possible. If you go organic, local, and from scratch, you can’t really go wrong. I’m half-French, half-Asian, so I love to eat. I love heavy foods, so having to model really forced me to learn about alternatives. Exercising gave me the opportunity to still eat the things that I love but still be able to fit into the clothes I have to wear.

Growing up I had really bad asthma. I always had an inhaler. I have so many memories of sitting at the kitchen table and everyone doing all this stuff, and I was just sitting there. But then I started cleaning up my diet and learning about the things I should be eating, and I haven’t used an inhaler in maybe six years or seven years. I used to have to carry it on me all the time. I would never travel without it. Now I live here and asthma is never an issue.

I think it’s from a combination of exercise and diet. I was eating processed foods. I didn’t really know anything about organics. I was probably having too much dairy. I would keep thinking I was doing something good for myself and I probably wasn’t. Like all that time, I thought I was being healthy but I’m eating this salad covered in Caesar dressing.

On vitamins: I take vitamins when I’m really running on empty or I’m doing a ton of things at once. Yesterday I took vitamins because I knew I was flying to New York. Normally I feel like I eat pretty healthy, so I get all the vitamins I need from my food. Probiotics are important to take once a day just to keep your gut and your stomach clean and make sure all the enzymes are working, so I take those. If I’m sick I take echinacea, vitamin C, a multivitamin, and then sometimes homeopathic pills. I remember my mom always coming to me with a spoon of some oil, saying, “This is fish-liver oil,” and I was like, “Uhh,” and now I’m, like, taking it myself.

How my wellness journey has changed: It has been more focused on being happy and content. It’s become more about being the best version of myself than trying to be somebody else. When I was younger and especially when I started modeling, there were standards of beauty that I felt like I had to fit into. As I mature, I’m more and more happy with the way I am, and I think that is reflected in my approach to fitness. Modeling was great because it pushed me into that direction. I had to exercise. I had to learn about food and my body and the ways things affected how I feel. It forced me to love it, learn so many new things, travel, and adapt my lifestyle to living in different cities and countries.

My wellness struggle: I probably struggled more when I started modeling and had to learn about how to exercise in an effective way, how to learn to eat, and relearn all the things that I grew up thinking I knew. Once I started doing that I realized, Oh my God, my energy’s so much better. I have way more energy. I feel good. My skin’s better. I’m more fit than I was before. So I think at this point, I’m pretty good, after I went through those dark years of trying to figure it out.

My wellness advice is: If you want to eat something like fat, do the best version of that and go the organic route. But just eat it, exercise the next morning, and forget about it. Don’t lament on it. That’s what happens to us especially when there’s a lot of pressure. That’s why with this collection, I just wanted these clothes to be really fun, really cool, something you can wear all the time and it’s like you can put some of this on and be proud and happy to exercise.

Fitness should be a reward. You should be happy to exercise because it’s good for you in the long run, you’re extending your life, and you’re protecting yourself from getting injured or getting sick. That approach is a much healthier approach. The worst feeling is when you’re like, “Oh man, I have to lose five pounds.” It just never happens and you start to resent the fact that you have to exercise. We should be excited to exercise, excited to be active and make it part of our lifestyle, because that way you can actually have control of your health and the way you feel.

Photo: Courtesy of Sweat the Style

This interview has been condensed and edited. 

A Fitness Model on Happiness Through Exercise