How 11 Women In Wellness Stay In The Game |
Whether you’re a gym enthusiast or just getting started with fitness, staying on track can be a challenge. We sat down with the capital’s leading fitness experts to find out how they make exercise a way of life…
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“Fitness has changed my life and my relationship with my body; I’ve gone from having zero body confidence to growing into a strong and content young woman. If I set myself a fitness-related goal, there is no substitute for hard work and consistency. Training six days a week and averaging around 25k steps a day, recovery is hugely important, too. I try to nail my sleep, minimise stress and prioritise nutrition – as a vegetarian, I take a protein supplement daily to ensure I have everything I need to train hard and recover harder.” – Laura Hoggins, strength training coach and author of Lift Yourself


“Walking is the ultimate exercise for a healthy mind and body. Unlike high-intensity workouts, which can raise inflammation and cortisol levels, leading to increased body fat, walking is anti-inflammatory, boosts gut health and burns fat. It is the most underrated form of exercise – I aim for at least 10k steps every day. Clocking in around eight hours of sleep is also a non-negotiable for looking young and staying fit – when we sleep, we produce 80% of a certain hormone that keeps you young and burns fat.” – Yalda Alaoui, founder of Eat Burn Sleep


“In order to feel good and be healthy long term, you can't see fitness or good nutrition as optional, it needs to be a core part of how you live your life, and the more you train and adopt it into your mindset, the easier it becomes. I'm dedicated to living a life that's full of energy and because of that, I don't see working out as a chore. It's the thing that allows me to do and experience all the things I love. I never compromise with my health and I don't make excuses; If I'm going on holiday, I work out. If I'm busy at work, I work out. When you make that shift, everything changes.” – Rhian Stephenson, CEO of Psycle London


“If something is going to be a habit, you have to enjoy it – that’s my number one rule with training. If you don’t find pleasure in something, it isn’t going to last. For example, I don’t like running but love training in the gym, and listening to my body every time. I train around four or five times a week for between 45 minutes to an hour – if I’m feeling energetic, I’ll lift heavier and go for longer, but if I’m not feeling it, a lower impact session helps my body recover. Remember there is no one rule that fits all, so tune into your body and decide what’s right for you.” – Charlie Launder, founder of Bumps and Burpees


“When it comes to fitness, throw the rule book out the window and refuse to be confined by convention. If the only time you have to exercise is the middle of the night – work out in the middle of the night. My midnight runs have become a non-negotiable as I find the peace and quiet of the empty streets and open roads the perfect place to clear my head. At the same time, if you feel fitness infringes on your social life, treat it as an opportunity to see friends. Having had ADHD since childhood, exercise has proven to be one of the few times I can truly switch off. Remember exercise is a celebration of what your body can do, not a punishment for what you ate or drank.” – Hannah Lanel, founder of The Fore


“Get in the room and let the rest happen for you. Fitness used to be about physical goals for me, but now it’s all mental. A workout like Barry’s is so immersive, I call it my meditative running hour – it’s my hour of ‘me time’ to escape work, parenting and busy London life. Working out in the morning changes my mindset and my entire approach to everything I have to tackle that day.” – Anya Lahiri, Barry’s Bootcamp Master Trainer


“I don’t have any rules when it comes to working out but this hasn’t always been the case. For years, I let my workouts dictate my days, setting a timer on a machine that told me I just had to keep going. Since diving into the group fitness scene, I’ve found a way to breathe, enjoy and not set standards on myself that would have me crashing and burning on day three. It’s important to find balance and make your workouts more meaningful. It's wonderful to have health and fitness goals, but spending an eternity chasing perfection isn’t what life’s all about.” – Ashley Verma, founder of Define London


“You don’t have to prove something every time you break a sweat. If you make your only options ‘as hard as possible’ or ‘nothing’ you’re likely to choose ‘nothing’ more than you’d like. Exercise doesn’t rule my world like it used to, and I now mix it up with classes at Boom Cycle, Pilates at Studio Lagree and runs along the Thames. Always prioritise nutrition, too, and remember your body needs fuel to workout effectively. So often when I was younger I would beast it in the gym without eating enough, and then end up run down with a cold, defeating the whole purpose of exercising in the first place.” – Hilary Rowland, co-founder of Boom Cycle


“Though I don't believe there's one secret to being healthy and fit, I do believe doing something you enjoy is key. I get asked all the time if yoga is my only form of exercise, and the truth is I’d go mad if it was my only form of movement. I like to mix up my training with dancing, strength training, surfing, gymnastics and hiking. Fitness has moved on so much further than running on a treadmill or a basic yoga class at your local community centre. We are exposed to so many classes both online and in person and with a little bit of confidence, you could try something new and fall in love with movement.” – Cat Meffan, yoga teacher and fitness blogger


“My workouts have to be time efficient, interesting and challenging, keeping my body guessing, as well as stress-reducing, leaving me energised and inspired for the next session. I make sure I get in an effective workout every fourth day to keep my body in ‘fat melting’ mode. I’m also a huge advocate of taking magnesium within 30 minutes of a workout – it’s the fastest way to reduce the natural uplift of cortisol a workout can produce. When cortisol lowers quickly post-workout, belly fat melts away more effectively.” – Niki Rein, founder of Barrecore


“Moving your body is a gift and a privilege. As a lifelong dancer, movement has always been a part of my life and every day I take a moment of gratitude. I love moving my body for the strength and joy of it – it provides the best mental and emotional release, and helps me feel strong and empowered in other areas of my life.” – Kendra Kemerley, senior instructor at SoulCycle

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