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Lea Michele Starts a Workout Craze, Praises Her 'Powerful' Friends and Might Go Blonde! (Wait, What?)

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She sings, she dances, she inspires her Instagram followers to get fit — what can’t Lea Michele do? The star has been Instagramming up a storm from various gyms in New Orleans, where she’s filming Scream Queens (premiering Sept. 22 on FOX), and after challenging her followers to get fit with her, she’s seen “an incredible response” from fans who are joining in her journey.

Lea Michele pilates photos
Courtesy Lea Michele


“I’ve just been having so much fun because this is genuinely how I live my life,” Michele, 28, tells PEOPLE of fans joining her fitness journey on Instagram after she posted the above photo, asking “Who’s with me?”. “Everyone has to do things at their own pace and in their own way, but if someone can take one bit of education from this, then I’ve done my job.”

But there’s one exercise in particular (introduced to her by her good friend and costar, Emma Roberts) that’s to thank for her fit and toned summer body. “Pilates has been such an amazing change in my body,” the actress reveals. “I think you kind of always have to re-adapt to how you’re feeling [and] where you are in your life. This is working for me right now and I’m very excited for it. It helps me do a better job at my job and it puts me in a good mood and makes me feel strong. I really love that.”

And she’s not stopping there. She’s also doing yoga, hiking, TRX and even spinning — though she wasn’t initially one of the craze’s ultraloyal followers.

“A couple of years back I tried SoulCycle and I found it really hard,” says Michele. “I don’t know if it’s that I’m a little bit older now, but I’ve been doing spin in New Orleans and I’m really loving it.”

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She’s also enjoys helping others to “live a happy and healthy lifestyle,” which is why Michele is helping to launch pharmaceutical company Allergan’s #ActuallySheCan campaign, meant to create a social media platform for women to talk about health care issues. “The same effort that I’ve put into fitness is the same thing that I’m doing with this campaign, to show people the importance of spreading education, for everyone to take care of yourself, to have good health and achieve all of your goals.”

Michele draws a lot of her strength from the “powerful women” in her life, saying “I feel like I’ve been really lucky to have found such a great group of girlfriends. I feel like competition and negativity grow hate — it’s such a common thing that you see — and I’m so grateful to have such a strong, supportive group of girls around me,” from her fellow Scream Queens to longtime good friend Kate Hudson, about whom she says, “She lives her life every single day with such happiness and more than anything she’s so confident in her skin, and I really do believe that she enjoys every day on this planet.”

RELATED VIDEO: Four fitness gadgets that make working out fun!

So now that she’s fit, confident and happy, what can we expect next from the star? Maybe a big hair change! “Jane Lynch said to me at work one day, ‘Don’t be one of those girls that dyes your hair blonde,’ and I was like ‘Oh, I would never, Jane. I’m never going to dye my hair blonde,’ ” she says. “But last night I thought maybe that ‘bronde’ thing that’s happening right now — the brown-blonde. I think I’m gonna wait until Scream Queens is done though!”

Should she go blonde? Are you joining her fitness challenge? Share below!

— Nicole Sands