These Game Changers Are Reshaping How We Think About Being Active

34 under 34:The Rising Stars in Health

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These enthusiasts understand that fitness is so much more than weight racks and treadmills. In a space known for get-slim-quick gimmicks, these five trendsetters have set themselves apart through inventive workouts, chic apparel, and a booze-free morning dance party.
In partnership with Fitbit
Sarah Levey
Photo: Courtesy of Y7

Sarah Larson Levey

Sarah Larson Levey

Turned off by the yoga scene in NYC, Levey created her own candlelit, heated vinyasa flow set to a hip-hop playlist. She held her first pop-up class in Brooklyn and soon after opened Y7 studios all over NYC and L.A. Levey says her intention has always been to provide a "safe space" for yogis to experiment. Yogis are encouraged to go shirtless—sports bras only. The result is a judgment-free zone (no mirrors), a rigorous workout (planks are a class staple), and a badass soundtrack.

What's your desert island album? "Big Sean, 'Finally Famous.'"
If your house is on fire and you can grab only three items, what do you take? "I would grab my dogs, Wrinkles and Zoe; my crystal; and my Acne boots."
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Roz Mays
Photo: Sharon Goldberg

Roz Mays

It took only one pole-dancing class for Mays to be hooked. That was nine years ago. Now she dances, teaches, and inspires the hell out of everyone who comes her way. “Even if you can't see the light in yourself, be the light for somebody else,” Mays says. “Be that person who is relentless in their optimism and supports others no matter what.”

Mays says pole dancing is like “medicine mixed up with the applesauce”: It has all the benefits of a workout with none of the bad taste some people get from endless reps and sets. For her, pole dancing has become a way to see progress and gain strength, without getting obsessed with aesthetics. “I’m strong,” she says. “And that’s just as sexy as if I have a nice ass.”

What piece of art in your home do you love? "A Van Gogh poster of a cafe at night."
What’s your favorite place in the world? "On stage with Beyoncé. That hasn't happened, but I need it to."
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Coss Marte
Photo: Courtesy of ConBody

Coss Marte

Coss Marte

It’s tough to picture the fit, good-humored founder of ConBody as an overweight drug dealer who spent seven years in prison. But that’s where it all started. While Marte was incarcerated, he began running. Then one day a fellow inmate approached: Could he run alongside? It wasn’t long before Marte had a small group training along with him. That vision kept him going. “While I was in solitary confinement, I would imagine training thousands of people,” he says.

Once he got out, Marte quickly built a clientele and opened his own studio, employing former inmates like himself. “I feel humbled when people tell me that I’ve inspired them to change,” Marte says. “And when I give someone an opportunity who is looking for employment, they’re so appreciative. It’s a great feeling inside.” He also just launched a streaming service, so you can try his prison boot camp workout anywhere.

What is the background on your phone? "It's me and my son. I'm holding him and kissing him on the cheek."
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Tyler Haney
Photo: Courtesy of Outdoor Voices

Tyler Haney

Tyler Haney

Clothes for doing things. Seems so obvious, yet it’s that breezy mantra that launched Outdoor Voices into stardom in just two short years. Haney launched the brand, which takes its name from the classic mom reprimand "use your indoor voices,” while still a business student at Parsons.

With its subdued palettes, heather fabrics, and timeless cuts, the clothing quickly attracted a devoted following (everyone remembers that Lena Dunham Instagram post, right?). And though the clothes still have all the sweat-wicking properties you’d expect from any recreational brand, it’s also easy to live in them outside the gym.

"If you can't be the light in yourself, be the light for somebody else. Be that person who supports other people no matter what part of their journey they're at." - Roz Mays

Matt Brimer
Photo: Courtesy of Matt Brimer

Matt Brimer

Matt Brimer

What started out as a one-time morning dance party with 180 friends has since grown into worldwide series of wild 6 a.m. events. "It was the most warm, magical, and healthy party," Brimer says of that first event. "And people loved it." Today Daybreaker is all over the U.S., plus in far-flung cities like Paris and Shanghai. But the sentiment is the same: "We want to be a global force for good will, inclusion, health and wellness, and presence," Brimer says. That last part is important. Don't expect mimosas. Despite its rave-like setting, the parties include green smoothies and lots of coffee. Most recently, Daybreaker helped kick off the 2016 football season by holding an event in the Broncos's stadium. What's next? A festival, apparel, and continuing to "break down barriers between people around the world," Brimer says.

What do you eat for breakfast? "Bulletproof coffee—coffee with ghee and sometimes turmeric and other health supplements."
Are you naturally a morning person? "I’m a creative, and that time after dinner when the world has started to shut down, when you don’t have emails bombarding you, that’s when I like to work."

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