I'm definitely someone who checks social media before I get out of bed most days, even though I've been told so many times that this isn't necessarily a healthy habit. But when it comes to Instagram Stories, I'm pretty picky about which users' posts I open up that early in the morning. If you are ever in need of a pep talk, a smile, or some inspiration to be your absolute best self, Jonathan Van Ness' workout Instagram Stories are just about the cutest way to start your morning full of excitement. Van Ness is clearly feeling himself as he dances around the room in a series of videos posted on Jan. 24 during his trip to Japan, which is such a great model for how jazzed on life I want to be at the start of my day.
What's even more impressive about JVN, though, is that his killer moves aren't just an attempt to get out some extra, post-coffee energy. In fact, he wrote on his Instagram Story that the place where he's staying in Japan doesn't even have a coffeemaker, which would probably send most people into a lethargic, grumpy start to the day. But not Van Ness. Instead, in his ever-optimistic way, he seems to see this as the perfect opportunity to pump himself up with movement instead of caffeine. I personally usually abandon my workout routine whenever I go on a major trip abroad, but this icon stays true to his love of balance (both figuratively and literally), and he always manages to find unique ways to get his body moving, whatever the circumstances may be.
In the videos uploaded to his Instagram Stories, just a few hours after waking himself up with a dance routine fit for any pop star, Van Ness can be seen hitting the gym with fellow Queer Eye stars Antoni Porowski and Bobby Berk. Now, I could gush about JVN's dedication to both fitness and staying true to his beautiful personality for days, but the magic is captured in one video clip that shows Van Ness doing a single leg squat. In typical JVN fashion, he manages to turn something as normal as a lower-body exercise into the perfect opportunity to show off his dance moves. "When the spirit hits you," he wrote across the top of the video, and that's a perfect description of the joy he appears to feel in the middle of the set. As he bursts into some enthusiastic dance moves, "breathin" by Ariana Grande reaches the chorus in the background, and perfection is achieved.
The thing is, if you're super discouraged trying to do the same old workout routine you do every week, you can take inspiration from Van Ness' incredible attitude and bring some fun back into exercising. For the Queer Eye star, that not only means random dance parties, but also a healthy yoga practice and working to become a "figure skating prodigy," as he calls himself in his Instagram bio. In fact, finding any little way to keep moving seems to be just as important for keeping his spirit strong as it is for giving him quads strong enough to send him flying across the ice. "My yoga practice is so important. And it's not necessarily just yoga—getting up and moving and getting sweaty is really important to my well-being," he told Shape in a November 2018 interview. "It has to happen. I can't get my bullsh*t deflector up unless I work out."
Voguing to your favorite Ariana bop might not seem like a workout, but Jonathan Tylicki, director of education for AKT boutique fitness studios, explains that dancing is actually an incredible way to engage more of your muscles than a traditional cardio routine would. "With dance, you move your body on all planes, versus doing a repetitive motion like more typical exercise," he tells Elite Daily in an email. "This significantly improves your coordination, balance, and focus. The act of recalling a routine strengthens your neurological synapses," he explains, "which improves both your short-term and long-term memory."
So the next time you feel like another squat rep would just crush your spirit, or you simply find yourself suddenly out of coffee, follow in JVN's beautiful footsteps and opt for a sweaty dance break.