Founder of the popular XYZ indoor cycling studios, Belinda Koo has made it a mission to help others to make exercise part of their lifestyle and improve their health. Over the last four years, Belinda Koo has inspired more than 28,000 individuals to embrace cardio through spinning at XYZ, and also launched One Ten Foundation, a social enterprise committed to helping Hong Kong’s youth in dealing with depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. Furthermore, the powerhouse is currently also Managing Director at UBS Wealth Management, a Fellow of the fourth class of the China Fellowship Program and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO OPEN XYZ?
Cardio exercise is very important to me. From a young age, I was aware of the need to protect and nurture my heart. I had to dedicate myself to a daily cardio workout in order to strengthen my heart and I hope to be able to create a space for others to do the same too.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
We’ve created THE ART OF XYZ, which is a lifestyle and wellness brand. Currently I am launching Sojournal, a travel brand that allows people to gain experiences on “the outside” to create change on “the inside”. We believe that travel has the power to transform people and open up their minds and hearts to travel with a mindful eye, which will bring about these transformations.
DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN THREE WORDS
Balanced, eager to learn and easy-going.
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG?
BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN
At times when I was struggling and wanted to give up, my closest mentor told me, “A rolling stone gathers no moss.” This has been embedded in me ever since and helps me power through even the toughest of times.
FAVORITE HOLIDAY DESTINATION
I love travelling – big cities such as London and detouring to Berlin and exploring smaller cities in Europe. To get away, I would choose the Philippines to recharge.
See also: Top 10 Wellness Retreats in the World
3 THINGS YOU WOULD PACK
A good book from my “to-read” stack, essential oils and crystals for meditation.
YOUR TRAVEL ATTIRE
Straw hats, kaftans, and multi-purpose activewear that I can work out and go out in.
FAVORITE ‘ME’ TIME TO DESTRESS
I usually draw a bath with bath salts and essential oils.
YOUR FAVORITE SPA
In Hong Kong, the Landmark Mandarin Oriental has a very Zen ambiance, or Four Seasons for their plunge pool.
HOW DO YOU STAY FIT AND HEALTHY?
You have to make the right lifestyle choices. Everyone has the same 24 hours a day. The biggest investment you can make is in yourself. I try to maintain a well-balanced exercise routine with cardio, toning and strengthening workouts, and watch what I eat. Fitness and wellness need to be prioritized, so you can look after yourself and make that worthy investment.
I like any workout that makes me feel good after and helps to prepare me for outdoor activities. You have to be comfortable about your physical state and agility, in order to be able to raise the bar and step outside to engage in more adventurous sports. I love hiking and water activities as well.
FAVORITE ACTIVEWEAR BRAND
I wear a variety of brands depending on what workout I am doing. I love supporting boutique brands, which are available at Caelum Greene.
YOUR BEAUTY SECRET
I am learning about affirmation, acceptance and self-love. Finding the strength to offload and let go any emotional baggage that doesn’t serve me, instead of just putting it aside or blocking it out.
YOUR SIGNATURE SCENT
I love Frederic Malle perfumes.
FOOD YOU CRAVE
I have a sweet tooth! Cacao milk chocolate is my weakness.
WHAT KEEPS YOU UP AT NIGHT?
I get very excited about any new ideas or new projects I am launching.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Books! Reading biographies and understanding others’ life journeys.
ON YOUR PLAYLIST
David Sylvian and Ryuichi Sakamoto.
WHO DO YOU FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM?
Too many to name! Anything fitness, wellness, travel-related is a must.
WEBSITES YOU REGULARLY VISIT
Travel websites to gain inspiration on where to go next.
SOMETHING YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT
Music is my drug. I definitely need my headphones.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR XYZ?
We have just launched a new class type called BREATHE. This is based on slower, more mindful movements on the bike in a candle-lit room. It strikes a nice balance with our other classes.
See also: Fitness Queen Hannah Bronfman
YOUR SECRET TO SUCCESS
You have to do something you like, something you are passionate about, something you are happy to do.
YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE
“A wrong mind-set is like bad soil that restricts a plant’s growth. Similarly, limiting beliefs about ‘what we deserve’ hinder our growth. They stop us from being abundant in every area of our life.” ~ Hina Hashmi