I’m 40 and the founder of sustainable women's activewear brand Contur ; I live in Manchester with my husband and two daughters, nine and seven.
I used to work in recruitment and suffered with low body confidence, so I looked for shape-enhancing activewear that made me feel great and worked across all the different exercise I did, from boxing to pole dancing to HIIT.
I couldn’t find anything that suited, so I created Contur to enhance women’s natural curves as they work on their health and fitness. Being a qualified fitness and aerobics instructor with a degree in sports and exercise science I understood the key requirements of what I needed and went from there.
I actually haven’t taught classes since I was pregnant with my first daughter in 2009 but would love to get back into it when I find the time. I currently train six days a week doing a specialist weights programme, HIIT, spin and yoga.
I lead a very fast-paced life with long hours, juggling work and children which can be challenging, so following a healthy lifestyle which keeps me energetic and feeling strong, is my priority for myself and my family. I find if I don’t switch off properly my mood and energy can really go downhill.
I’m a big believer that our wellbeing directly affects our actions and emotions, so it’s important for me to achieve optimal wellness in order to limit stress, reduce the risk of illness and ensure positive interactions
I spend about 60 per cent of my personal monthly disposable income on wellness, and I’m a member of two gyms; one where I do strength and HIIT classes, and another where I do my own training and use their spa.
Gym memberships: £230
I’m a member of boutique gym Strength and Performance , which costs £130 a month. Here I focus on a strength and conditioning program four times a week which is designed to help you get a stronger, leaner, more athletic physique. The primary focus is to accelerate results for a specific goal focusing on the four main power building exercises: squats, deadlifts, overhead presses and bench presses. Once a week I got to HIIT classes which target bodyfat. I have signed up for a triathlon in May so am currently working towards this goal.
When I want to work out on my own, I go to David Lloyd in Cheadle and plan my own circuit session which will be based around the indoor skiing machine, air bike, rower and then various exercises like press-ups, pullups, squat jumps and lunges. I also love the battle ropes too. I will then work on my swimming before relaxing in the jacuzzi and steam room. I am a big fan of the steam rooms and try to use these two or three times a week.
Speaking of pampering, I have a facial once a month at EKO Beauty which specialises in vegan and organic facial treatments and is based in Didsbury close to where I live. I normally have the Signature Hydrating Mukti Facial , which is a full massage, cleanse and tone which uses an Antioxidant Superfood Oil which contains lots of naturally occurring vitamins. It also uses the Marigold Hydrating Crème which helps to soothe and calm skin, reduces the effects of dehydrated skin, increases oxygen flow and leaves the skin appearing relaxed, plump and hydrated. I think if you have a good diet, drinks lots of water and have sufficient sleep your skin should look good but have found with age and stress this facial really helps to give me that glow, plus we need to look after our skins - it’s the largest organ in our body. Having a facial is also important for me as one of the few times I really switch off and unwind for myself.
I also have monthly reflexology; I find this to be so effective in promoting deep relaxation and wellbeing. It helps me to reduce stress and is key to optimising good health and building resilience. I go to Kate Kingham Wellbeing which is close to where I live who is fantastic. She also does great massages.
Pole dancing, £40
Pole dancing is something else I find to be relaxing as it helps me really switch off. It’s a great strength-based activity but is also amazing for confidence and self-esteem. We do it as a group and often hold photoshoots which act as a great motivator.
Gym gear, £0
I wear all my own brand, Contur . All the fabric is recycled and the production is in London which was important for me to be a truly British brand
I love these vegan supplements and mix it up every month. I'm currently using the Sleep Box which provides all the vitamins and minerals required to promote better sleep naturally. I do struggle to get to sleep as I often work late and can find myself constantly glued to my phone, so I have been switching it off an hour before bed and reading.
Wellness books, £20
I find wellness books give me some much-needed calm, motivation or positivity. I am currently reading The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k by Sarah Knight.
Healthy brunches, £50
Once or twice a month I catch up with gym buddies for a post-workout healthy brunch. I love Foodwell in Manchester as there's so much variety on the menu and it's a lovely environment. They offer healthy food and juices and there's a yoga studio on-site too.
The bottom line
Going to the gym is the thing I would have to keep if I was strapped for cash. Exercise is my passion, I love feeling strong and find challenging myself by working out gives me the focus and dedication I need in other areas of my life. I couldn’t cope without my gym memberships and also enjoy spending time with like-minded positive people which is good for the soul.
Leading a balanced healthy lifestyle is so important to me and is about feeling both physically and mentally fit so I can be a great role model to my children and enable me to perform to the best of my ability.
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