Mindy Kaling Talks the Joy of Working Out When You Have a Busy Schedule and Her Partnership With Propel

Mindy Kaling shared her tips to prioritize fitness with a packed calendar and her wellness must-haves.

By Marenah Dobin May 03, 2022 6:49 PMTags
Mindy Kaling PropelPropel Fitness Water

We interviewed Mindy Kaling because we think you'll like her picks at these prices. Mindy is a paid spokesperson for Propel Fitness Water. E! has affiliate relationships, so we may get a commission if you purchase something through our links. Items are sold by the retailer, not E!. Prices are accurate as of publish time.

We all know what we're "supposed to do" when it comes to exercise, but sometimes knowing that isn't enough. Life can get in the way, calendars can fill up, and "I'll work out tomorrow" becomes the norm. Instead of viewing fitness as an obligation, Mindy Kaling looks for "small pockets of time" where she can fit in a little bit of movement each day, with the mindset that it all adds up. Mindy teamed up with Propel Fitness Water for the Joy of Working Out Campaign, also known as JOWO.

Whether you are a habitual fitness enthusiast or if you can't imagine finding "joy" in working out, this campaign is for you. Propel's JOWO movement emphasizes that fitness doesn't need to be overwhelming or intimidating. Instead, it's about doing what's best for you, which can change from day to day.

Propel will embark on a multi-city tour starting May 7 to provide free fitness classes, $100,000 in grants to inspiring trainers, and giveaways for exercises who share their Joy of Working Out.

Mindy said, "If there's one thing I've learned about working out, it's that I always feel happy and joyful after I do it. I love that Propel Fitness Water is giving us that extra boost, by bringing people from all over the country together this summer to work out in a positive and inclusive way. We want everyone to get their JOWO back!" 

Mindy shared her insights on prioritizing fitness, her must-have wellness products, her love for Propel, and her favorite aspects of the JOWO campaign. 

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Propel Fitness Water

E!: What makes Propel Fitness Water your go-to water?
MK: For me, it's important that Propel Fitness Water's products fit into my lifestyle, which is a busy one. I love that I have options, whether it is powders on the go, different flavors, or the convenient one-liter bottles so that I can get my electrolytes and stay hydrated for my workouts and the rest of my day without getting bored.

E!: Tell me your campaign with Propel and this Joy of Working Out mindset.
MK: What's been so exciting about working with Propel Fitness Water is that I feel like in comedy, my job is to spread joy. I try to have a message of inclusivity and I really love that Propel is doing that with this campaign. You know, it recognizes that everyone can be at different levels of fitness, including myself on my own journey postpartum to get back in shape. We can all come together and find joy in movement. I've been loving it. Thanks for talking to me about it.

E!: Of course. How does being a good example to your kids play into your healthy habits and taking care of yourself?
MK: Having kids has completely changed the way that I think of fitness. In my 20s, I had this very certain idea of what "being fit" really meant. You had to run a seven-minute mile and eat this amount of carbs and proteins. It took me a long time realize that there are lots of different ways to be fit.

I grew up without parents who worked out. They were trying to establish themselves in this country and they did not put a premium on their own health and working out. So, I think it's been great to show my kids that part of my life. I like that they see me on the yoga mat. My daughter stretches with me on the yoga mat and I really love that.

Bowern Printed Rubber Yoga Mat

E!: You mentioned that you and your daughter are into yoga. Which yoga mat do you recommend?
MK: I love this yoga mat from Bowern because it's latex-free and so colorful and the colors won't fade in the sun!

Net-a-Porter has this yoga mat in three prints. 

E!: The Propel campaign is recognizing those fitness instructors and giving grants to personal trainers. I would love to know more about that.
MK: One of the most fun days I've had on set pretty much ever was when I got to call in and Zoom these trainers from all over the country and tell them that they got this grant for $25,000 which is such a generous grant that can completely change their entire business. It's been great and what's cool is that Propel chose people who are all different shapes and sizes with specialties in different types of movements.

I think in LA we have a certain idea of like what a trainer should look like and what was great about Propel is they have a very correct and open-minded way about what a teacher looks like in terms of fitness and I loved it. It was so much fun and it meant so much these trainers. So, that was a really great day.

E!: There are so many trainers with different body types that have built up an audience on TikTok. TikTok has encouraged so many people, especially kids to get up and move. I think it's a great thing that Propel is incorporating TikTok into this campaign. 
MK: I think that's completely right. TikTok has done a lot for movement and dance. Learning a dance that you saw on TikTok and spending two hours working on that lines up with Propel's message of the Joy of Working Out. It is joyous to be able to nail a memorized routine that is just so fun. It's on trend and you feel like you're part of a culture. That's great. 

That's something I didn't even start doing until the pandemic, just like a lot of us. I think it's great that people are working out without even thinking they are working out. I was a little intimidated at first, frankly. But, now I think it's so much fun. My daughter is a little young to even know what TikTok is, but I'm actually looking forward to doing these  things with her. I have seen these celebrity parents, like Courteney Cox and her daughter bond over learning dances together. I'm hoping that my daughter is one of those teenagers. 


Propel Fitness Water

E!: You are incredibly busy. Do you have any tips for prioritizing health and fitness in your schedule? 
MK: My life is much more full with actual calendars since I've had kids. And you know it's funny when I was in my 20s, and even my 30s, I would go to a 90-minute spin class on a Saturday or Sunday because I was free and could od whatever I wanted. And then, I would hang out and walk around LA, maybe get a smoothie. I had all this time and it was so decadent.

Now, I don't have that time anymore. So, I try to find these little pockets of time where I can move my body. Just looking for small windows of time and making the most of those has completely changed things for me. I find ways to make sure I enjoy working out too. I will go on a two-mile walk after dropping my kid off at school and call a friend from high school to catch up on the phone. It doesn't feel like I'm working out, but I am, and I enjoy that I get to socialize too.

E!: That's a really great approach. I need to remember to look for those little pockets of time. That's much less intimidating and more doable.

Courtesy of Propel Fitness Water

Mindy Kaling's Fitness and Wellness Must-Haves

Crossrope Get Lean- Weighted Jump Rope Set

E!: Do you recommend any products to help you work out while you're on the go or traveling?
MK: Jumping rope is just about the hardest workout you could imagine, so I love that I can bring these Crossrope jump ropes with me sometimes because they're cool and very easy to pack.

JLab Studio Pro Bluetooth Wireless Over-Ear Headphones

E!: What headphones/ earbuds do you use while you work out?
MK: I found that earbuds feel weird inside my ears, so I love a good pair of headphones that are sweat-resistant, like these from JLab.

These are available from Amazon with four color options. 

Ouai Super Dry Shampoo

E!: Do you have a go-to, dry shampoo that you use after working out?
MK: I have fine hair, so I need to use a dry shampoo after a workout if I plan on not showering. This one from the Ouai is so good!

This dry shampoo has 21.4K+ "Loves" from Sephora shoppers.

Old Navy Performance Scrunchies 2-Pack for Women

E!: What's your go-to hair tie to keep your hair secure while you're active?
MK: I love these Old Navy scrunchies with reflective tape piping on them. Not that I'm running in the dark but who knows? Now I can. I also prefer scrunchies to hair elastics because they're gentler on my hair.

Propel Fitness Tour Dates

  • Los Angeles (5/7-5/29 @ Grand Park), featuring personal trainer and former Hollywood stuntman Xavier Quimbo
  • Baltimore (6/4-6/26 @ Patterson Park), featuring SweatDC's Gerard "Coach G" Burley
  • Houston (7/9-7/31 @ Buffalo Bayou Park), featuring Radical Body Love's Laura Burns
  • Detroit (8/6-8/28 @ Dequindre Cut and Valade Park), featuring Live Cycle Delight's Amina Daniels

If you're looking for more fitness-inspired shopping, The Bachelorette alum JoJo Fletcher shared budget-friendly activewear picks from Amazon.

(This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.)

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