Some people have a hard time finding a fitness class they like; we love so many fitness classes, we have a hard time deciding which gym to sign up for. Enter FITiST: A new company started by fitness enthusiasts Neda Talebian Funk and Caroline Levy Limpert that lets New Yorkers sample classes from several studios, gyms, and instructors without committing to multiple membership fees and class packages. Think of FITiST as your travel agent, but for exercise: You pay them a single fee based on the number and type of classes you want to take, and they get you into the city’s best boot camps, pilates, yoga, spin, boxing, and strength training classes.
Plus, their mix-and-match approach is not only good for your wallet; it’s good for your butt: By taking different kinds of classes, you challenge your muscles more than if you settled into a routine with just one, and FITiST has called in experts to help develop plans that cater to your exercise goals. They even have an expert board of sports MD’s and nutritionists, personal trainers and other renowned experts who’ve put together the optimal mix of classes for each plan.
We wanted to know more about the women behind the business, so we talked to the founders — former marketing gurus Neda Talebian Funk and Caroline Levy Limpert — to find out more about the fitness fanatics behind the program:
How did you become such fitness fanatics?
Neda Talebian Funk: It’s a value I grew up with. I was always into sports growing up – in high school, college – then after college I couldn’t participate in team sports anymore. I started going to gym and running marathons. Fitness has always been a huge part of my life – my family is very fit, my husband is very fit – I’ve never known it any other way.
Caroline Levy Limpert: My parents always said I was born with a ball in my hand. From an early age, I was on the soccer field, basketball and tennis courts, and on the softball diamond. When I went to Dartmouth, this athletic sensibility transitioned to running. Running allowed me to get the same endorphin high from playing sports, but do it without a team and a coach. Plus, I could always see new things. Today, I still am a committed runner but the multitude of classes in NY allow me to once again channel my inner athlete and feel part of team.
What motivates you to work out, even when you’re busy, too tired, or would rather sleep in and go to happy hour with your friends?
NTF: I know that working out will make me feel better than a little nap or happy hour. Plus, it makes me more focused and efficient.
CLL: First of all, if you workout in the morning, you can always still make happy hour! I love the feeling of a great sweat, a hard class, a new challenge. My workout is the time I commit to me (my body and mind) and it motivates me to tackle anything in my day.
How do you recover from an off-week?
NTF: I ease back into things. I listen to my body and take it easy until I feel like I’m 100% again.
CLL: I just got back from a week of vacation in Portugal with a group of friends, and although I had many beautiful runs by the sea and through the vineyards, I also enjoyed many a bottle of wine and lots delicious meats and cheeses. My goal for next week is get back into my routine, take some performance classes for strength and interval training, and lay off the port.
What’s the one thing we should all do right now to be healthier?
NTF: Two things: eat well and try to be active everyday.
CLL: Drink lots of water and always take the active route. New York is amazing because you can always take the stairs, walk a few extra blocks, etc. to make your life an active one.
What tips do you have for women who are intimidated to try out new classes or types of exercise?