In Chill Chat, Bustle sits down with stars to chat about all things wellness, from their workout playlists to their most reliable self-care hacks. Here, Cody Rigsby reveals how he keeps his mind and body healthy in the midst of a busy teaching schedule.
Cody Rigsby believes that “winding down” shouldn’t be reserved only for nighttime. “I try to unwind and disconnect at the beginning of my day,” he tells Bustle. “That means just turning the alarm off, having some water, making breakfast and coffee, maybe meditating. But I carve out at least 30 minutes before I connect with my emails and social media.”
The 34-year-old Peloton cycling instructor, who just finished competing in the finals on Dancing With the Stars, knows that unplugging is essential for his overall well-being — especially since being “connected” is such a large part of his job. Rigsby has a million followers on social media (more than any other Peloton instructor), hundreds of thousands of whom regularly tune in to take his live classes, and people profess their love for his workouts on dedicated Reddit threads.
Right now, Rigsby’s doing Dry January as a way to reconnect with himself (though he started on Jan. 2: “I party on Jan. 1, so I wanted to set myself up for success,” he says). His partnership with Pure Leaf tea makes the monthlong break from alcohol easier: The brand’s unsweetened black tea with lemon fits right into his go-to mocktail recipe, the “Fierce and Flouncy” — the berry and citrus-flavored alcohol-free version of his favorite cocktail. “I throw some blackberry Bubly on top and a little bit of lemonade, but that can be optional if you’re looking for a sugar-free option. But I don’t mind a little pop,” he says.
Here, Rigsby tells Bustle about his wellness rituals, recovery regimen, and favorite music to dance to.
What’s your overall approach to wellness?
No matter what I do within wellness, whether it’s with fitness, eating right, meditation, or a beauty regimen, my approach is to really be my best self. When we get busy, we go into a self-drive where we’re doing the tasks and not thinking about, “Are these things in alignment with who I am? Are these things making me a better person? Are these things bringing me joy?” I always focus on bringing joy and being intentional with what I do.
What would you say is your most out-there wellness ritual?
Maybe this isn’t “out-there,” but what I’ve missed over the past two years is dancing. I love to go out and dance with friends and just move — that’s something I consider wellness. Sometimes, when I don’t have a social outlet or my schedule is busy, I will still put on music and just literally dance like no one’s watching. It’s good to remember to be silly and have fun — even when you’re by yourself, and even if you look bad dancing.
What’s your go-to dancing song?
That’s hard. Obviously, I’m going to put on Britney Spears sometimes. I’ll put on Whitney. Or anything old-school like Donna Summers — something disco.
How do you like to de-stress?
If I have the time, I like to cook. There’s something really therapeutic about that. If I don’t have time, taking a hot shower and putting on my potions and creams before I get in bed is always a good take-care-of-me moment.
Obviously, you cycle a lot. What’s your favorite workout to do off the bike?
Which would you pick between yoga and Pilates?
Yoga. Pilates is the hardest workout ever, and sometimes I’m not ready for that challenge.
How do you recover so your body is able to do all of this exercise?
Nourishing my body with good foods and prioritizing sleep. Sleep is the biggest thing for me — the moment I don’t get sleep, I can feel it the next day. Even if I’m not tired, I’ll turn off the TV and get into bed at 11 or 11:30. And I think once you prioritize that, things like stretching, meditation, and yoga start to fall into place because you have the energy to do them.
Would you prefer a bath or a sauna?
I literally cannot fit into a bathtub because I’m 6-foot-3, so I’m going to say sauna.
What do you need to get a good night of sleep?
I put my phone away an hour before going to bed so I’m not mentally stimulated. It’s a huge help. I’m ordering an alarm clock so I don’t have to worry about setting my alarm — I know it’s very old-school but I think it’s cool so you can put your phone in a different room. My room also has to be very dark: If any sliver of light gets in, it’s a wrap for me.
What’s the best wellness advice you ever received?
Drink two glasses of water in the morning. Drink it as you’re making coffee, and it’ll help jumpstart your day.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.