January 21st 2016
How I stay fit: Camila Fernandez
November 26th 2014
GTG caught up with makeup artist Camila Fernandez to hear all about how she leads a balanced but brilliantly healthy lifestyle
As a professional freelance makeup artist with 3am call-times and 12 hour working days, Camila knows a thing or two about the difficulties of squeezing in a healthy lifestyle around a busy and hectic schedule.
Looking to catch a bit of mid-winter fitspiration we caught up with Camila to hear about her journey into fitness so far and to find out about a few of her own personal tips, tricks and mantras on how she stays on the fit, healthy straight and narrow.
What's your overall approach to health, fitness and nutrition?
My overall approach to fitness, health and nutrition is all about striking a balance. As I entered my mid-twenties I had the dawning realisation that I wasn't a whippersnapper any longer and gradually my focus diverted from hanging out in clubs where my feet would stick to the floor, to fanatically running outdoors. Upon joining a running community (Run Dem Crew) I found myself training towards half marathons and with that came long weekend runs and a new set of health conscious friends. Exercise is now such a big part of my life not only in terms of trying to keep in shape but if I go a week without managing to do any, I feel sluggish (and quite guilty!).
How much is fitness a priority in your life?
So for me it's all about keeping mindful but also not denying myself any of life's pleasures. I'm no Paula Radcliffe or Jessica Ennis but I do try to keep my fitness levels fairly maintained, not only in terms of my shape but also to keep oneself sane in the mania of working in London. Six months on from running the marathon I'm starting to get itchy feet again and I can feel the running bug returning...
Does nutrition play as big a role in your life as keeping fit does?
When it comes to nutrition I'm a real foodie with a pretty major sweet tooth. I try to remain health conscious and eat fresh fruit, veg and fish but I also won't deny myself a high calorie BBQ smothered burger from Patty & Bun (which is the best burger I've ever tasted by the way).
I'm actually a month in on the 5:2 diet, which so far is going really well. I started with the hope of shifting a few pounds, but also because of the wide range of long term health benefits that it's supposed to provide (lower cholesterol levels, insulin sensitivity, reduction in age related diseases and cancer). It’s also great because even though you can’t have cake on your fast day, there’s always the option to have it tomorrow - and as I do love my food so much it's this kind of knowledge that helps me keep on track and makes it more sustainable than other faddy diets I've tried in the past.
In a typical week what is your workout schedule and why?
On average I work out around three times a week, although when i’m training, like I did for the London marathon earlier this year, I ramped it up to four to five times a week. I mainly take classes like Barry's Bootcamp (HIT training), swimming at my local lido in London Fields, Psycle (spinning) or circuit training and weights at my local gym.
How do you squeeze fitness in around your busy schedule?
My schedule is so changeable as a freelancer so it’s hard to follow any sort of structure - but I do have the advantage of going to classes during off peak when they aren't so busy.
I love a good long sleep so I find it really hard to work out super early and try to opt for 9.30am classes or if I'm working during the day then i'll go later in the evening. Also in terms of swimming the lido is unbearably busy earlier in the day with people going before work so if I can, I like to go early afternoon on my days off when it's peaceful and calm.
What tips would you have for anyone looking to train for a half or full marathon?
Training for a marathon can not only be pretty daunting but also knowing how to approach it can be pretty overwhelming. The internet is heaving with so much (often conflicting) information and advice meaning I felt uncertain about what was the ‘correct’ way. Luckily being part of Run Dem Crew provided me with friends who'd run countless marathons before and so everyone was able to give me their own personal tips about what had worked for them, in addition to stuff i'd read about. Two recommendations in particular really stood out for me:
My friend Bangs (who is also a blogger for women's fitness site www.spikesandheels.com) recommended I use running guru Hal Higdon’s training regimes. He has plans for every ability, but I chose the Novice 2 program.
Another pal sent me a blog by a fellow Run Dem-er who has run the London Marathon in 3 hours 15 minutes! He had some amazing tips on recovery, training and staying injury free that was all written in a concise and digestible style.
Other things I learnt were that during training stretching properly was really important, (I used this video to help me) although interestingly I was also told to not to overdo it after a long run - as apparently the muscles can become loose and pliable which can lead them to being overstretched.
For tips on race day I’d suggest to take an Imodium - you could be on the road for a LONG time and you don't want to get caught short. Also make sure to carry some ibuprofen in your bum bag as you might need this during your run - an example of this is when I went over on my ankle on a water bottle at mile 6 - not cool. Chafing during running can also be a really unpleasant side effect, so invest in some Body Glide and never wear new kit on race day, make sure you wear what worked best for you during your training. If it's cold it can be beneficial to take an old jumper you don't care about and discard it along the way!