For Julianne Hough, fitness isn’t a hobby—it’s a lifestyle. The Dancing with the Stars judge is constantly on the move, whether she’s on a long walk with her two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, snowboarding with her family, or taking dance classes to prep for a spring tour with her brother, Derek. And, naturally, the Fitbit ambassador is tracking each and every step that she takes.
"When I hit 10,000 steps, I know that I definitely did what I set out to do for the day,” Hough told InStyle when she stopped by our New York City offices this week. "But really, any number of steps that you’re able to get in is great. Sometimes it’s so hard to get up and move around enough—especially when you’re traveling and flying on a plane. I’ve found that the best thing you can do is go to Disneyland, because you literally get about 20,000 steps in a day.”
In addition to talking step counts, Hough dished on all things fitness, from her favorite gym playlist and diet approach to her pre-wedding workout plan (she’s engaged to hockey player Brooks Laich). Scroll down to find out eight things we learned while chatting with the star.
1. She likes to mix things up when it comes to her fitness routine.
"At least three times a week, I try to do weight training or something like Body by Simone, Tracy Anderson, or Anna Kaiser,” said Hough. "I also try to do yoga twice a week, which is almost more like active recovery. Then I throw in a SoulCycle class, and I'll go running or hiking on the weekend and try to get the dogs out. My brother and I are going back out on tour this spring, too, so I'm going to try to do dance classes on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. My step count's gonna be legit.”
2. She keeps herself motivated with thoughts of the post-workout energy boost.
"For me, it’s not necessarily about how my body is going to look, but how I'm going to feel," said Hough. "So when I'm exhausted and I really don't want to work out, I just remind myself that even though I don't want to do it, I've never finished a workout and thought, ’Man I'm so mad I did that.’ I’m usually so glad that I did it, because then I feel more positive and I have more energy throughout the day.”
3. She dresses for the gym—whether she’s heading there or not.
"I’m definitely a leggings kind of girl—I don’t know who isn’t,” said Hough, who recently designed her own athleisure line for MPG Sport. "I like them to be a little bit longer than the three-quarter length but not quite hitting the ankle, so just right in between. And then outside the gym, I’m really into athleisure and jogger-style fashion. I like feeling cozy but still cute, plus being able to run errands or go to a meeting in what I’m wearing.”
4. She gets pumped up with a sweat-worthy soundtrack.
"Spotify’s ’Today's Hits’ playlist is always a go-to for me,” said Hough. "I’ve also been on a major Jon Bellion kick lately. His music is so anthemic—he's definitely my favorite right now. And then my fiancé listens to "Fit Radio,” which is pretty cool, too. Sometimes listening to one full song can get repetitive, so it only plays about forty seconds of each song and then switches seamlessly to a new one.”
5. She does Fitbit challenges with her family.
"My dad has the Surge, and he and my brother just took a trip to Belize,” said Hough, who sports a Fitbit Flex 2 of her own. "The whole time they were there, my dad was sending me his stats. And I was like, ’That's not fair! You guys are walking around everywhere and doing all this touristy stuff, but I'm just hanging out!’ He said, ’You could do it.’”
6. She doesn’t expect to make any major pre-wedding changes to her workout routine.
"It's funny—people ask me if I’m going to be super into working out for my wedding, but I feel like that’s just kind of how I am in general,” said Hough. "So I’m not really changing anything in my routine, but I’ll definitely be kicking some butt beforehand. Also, I don't want to look too different from how I already look when we get married. People always say that you shouldn’t do a hairstyle or makeup that's so not you for your wedding, because then it just doesn't feel like you—and I feel like working out too much is along the same lines. You want to look like yourself, because your husband-to-be fell in love with you the way you are. It's your perfect wedding day with the person you're going to marry, so you should just enjoy it rather than be stressed about how you look.”
7. She doesn’t count calories.
"Over the holidays, I was having cake and chocolate and muffins and mashed potatoes and gravy—but I couldn’t eat as much as I wanted to because I had my wisdom teeth taken out. I just ate until I was full, which made me realize that I usually eat more than I need to. I do love to cook, but I get lazy and Postmates things a lot. I have to start making dinner myself more. All my fiancé eats is chicken and vegetables, so I've learned to get pretty creative with that—but it does bore me out of my mind, so I try to mix it up a bit by adding different flavors and vegetables. Right now, I love spaghetti squash.”
8. She plans ahead.
"I actually made a vision board for 2017, and I had ’Health’ listed as one of the topics,” said Hough. "On it was: consistency, more home cooked meals, exercise, sleep, and also just being aware of my endometriosis. Those were my top five priorities for this year.”