Daily life can be pretty demanding- the era of 9-5 working is long gone, domestic chores have a tendancy to pile up and that’s before you’ve squeezed the school run or a social life. Every woman feels it, but putting a workout in your agenda can be liberating and energy boosting rather than a time drain- just ask the following six women. They’re strong both in business acumen and body...
Need a little inspiration or encouragement in the workout department? Discover how six enterprising women fit in fitness
I usually have time twice a week for a ‘proper’ workout but either way I’ll stretch out for 5 -10 minutes at least once a day. I’m always power walking around London to various meetings and appointments so that keeps my heart rate up and my fitness in check too! Getting outside and moving your body is intrinsic to combatting the city lifestyle of too much sitting and time spent indoors - one of the ‘10 things to do today’ included in our bestselling cookbook The Art Of Eating Well .
If I’ve scheduled a workout I love sports like tennis and martial arts or dance classes, but these usually require a lot of forward planning which can be difficult with my schedule as it’s ever-changing at the moment. More often than not, it’s a quick run around the block or to the park in the morning and a YouTube yoga video at home!
I really love classes. Following a teacher is a great way to switch off from your own thoughts and be in the moment. It also means full commitment for an hour or so without being easily distracted or drawn away by ‘emergencies’ as can happen on your own time. I love the music from dance and circuit training type classes and the wonderful group energy from a good yoga class. With all this said I’ve just joined FRAME in Shoreditch who cater for exactly my type of feel good workouts. So I’ve been booking in and heading up after a day’s work, often with my supper of a stew or soup in a flask so that I can enjoy a hot meal straight after in the chill out area. That’s the beauty of a Hemsley and Hemsley Sunday Cook-Off - a little batch cooking on a Sunday afternoon means I’m prepped for most meals in the week and I’ll usually snack on a Paradise Bar on my way to the class - made from coconut and a little dark chocolate they’re the perfect sustainable energy snack!
I’ve always been quite sporty. I used to run and high jump for my school but didn’t have the competitive edge to continue on with it. I’ve only begun to actually enjoy running in the last 5 years when I was ‘taught’ how to run again by barefoot expert Lee Saxby . He helped me become lighter on my feet and I soon lost the niggly shoulders and knees. I LOVED rounders when I was younger and have recently enjoyed tennis, surfing and snowboarding holidays. I also learned some Kung Fu at university and later trained for a month in Muay Thai in Koh Samui - unfortunately I broke my hand which put a stop to that, but I can still pull out a few impressive kicks!
Working out helps to connect you with your body and inspires you to want to nourish and look after yourself with good food. With so much of my day to day taking place on the laptop or reading, researching and being on the phone, exercise gives me the chance to apply more natural movement and posture and pump fresh blood and oxygen round the body - clearing my head and body of any negative energy. This reminds me - I spent 15 minutes skipping outdoors with Jaden, my flatmate’s 7 years old son (which also makes him my flatmate!) the other evening. He has just learned to skip and thinks that he’s teaching the adults at home how to do it. Having a go at skipping again brought out howls of laughter, squeals and a sense of rejuvenation and energy. Great for me who had some more work to do but not so good for Jaden who had to go straight to bed!
Rebecca Hopkins, co-founder of Balance Me
I work out once a week with a personal trainer (first thing on a Monday), do two 5k early morning runs (fits in with my family/work), one Iyengar yoga class per week (evening) and tennis with my husband at the weekend when the children are having a lesson. I like the variety of class yoga, running alone (without music as I like to think) and training with a professional.
I have always been sporty and played a lot of team sport at school and university. If I keep fit I stay healthy and sleep better. In between children, who have a two and a half year age gap, and building the business it became harder to fit in but with a little effort I make it work and I find I operate much better when I’m fit. It also makes me happier. I just have to be organised and get up very early some days!
When I exercise in the morning I am much more alert during the day and I don’t have a lot of time at the end of the day as I like to spend this time with my children. I feel better physically when I am fit and it does make me healthier
Louise Galvin, A-list hair colourist and founder of Sacred Locks
I love pilates and yoga, I tend to alternate between the two and have two fabulous London based centres: Carme Farre at Studio Carme for pilates and Saskia Vidler for a yoga session at home. Saskia also runs classes at the TriYoga centre.
I now take my classes alone, I suffer with hyper-mobility and so to prevent injury I prefer one-to-one classes. The days I do not have a class I will go through some stretches at home and try to walk to as many appointments as I can. My days of big studio classes are gone. When we are away for the summer there is nothing I like more than getting up and walking for a couple of miles along the coast
I have always been active and as a teenager I loved tennis. With my children getting older and now having tennis lessons I will definitely be playing more in the summer. For seven years after having children, I had all but given up any formal type of exercise through lack of time and energy. My only real exercise at that time was walking but that was weather and children permitting! I am not a huge fan of gyms but can really feel the benefit of strengthening my body and enhancing my wellbeing achieved through pilates and yoga. I have also taken time out to look at my nutrition and the supplements I take and am feeling better than I have done for years.
I am definitely feeling the positives of being physically stronger, I think having three children quite close together takes its toll on the body, this coupled with years of standing to do hair colour had really affected my posture and I had recurring neck and head tension problems including crippling migraines. These are all but alleviated now having improved my core strength, alignment and general feeling of wellbeing. That has a knock-on effect in that I have more energy which helps when looking after seven children ( I have three children and four step-children!). I try to build time into my morning routine before I get on with my working day.
Kara Rosen, founder of Plenish
I work out two-four times a week depending on my schedule. I really love a combo of running, as that helps with stress relief, heavy weight training for feeling strong and empowered and yoga for feeling grounded and stretching out the weight training and running.
I'm a super social person so always prefer running or working out with a buddy, although it's quite challenging to coordinate schedules at this stage in my life with a business and a small child, so I end up working out solo whenever I can squeeze it in - usually before work. I work out with a trainer named Ben Chow twice a week and we focus on weight training like deadlifts, squats etc. On the weekend I'll try and squeeze in a run outside and/or a yoga class at Jivamukti . I feel best when I get in four workouts a week, although It doesn't always happen.
Although my parents were super sporty growing up, they both ran, and played lots of tennis, I grew up in Manhattan where sports (presumably due to the lack of space!) was never a big part of school, so really only experienced sports in summer camp and I was never very coordinated, so didn't excel at any team sports! As I got older, post university, I started running to relieve stress, and took my first yoga class after 9/11 which helped me with anxiety - and I've tried to keep relatively consistent ever since.
If I squeeze in a workout before getting into work, I feel like I've already succeeded and it gives me some extra mojo that lasts all day. I find myself more patient and even keeled post- workout - which is always appreciated by the husband!
Nichola Joss, celebrity beauty therapist and global brand ambassador for Sanctuary Spa
I work out every morning at home, 30 minutes first thing every morning. My favourite type of exercise is walking because we’ve got a dog, but workout wise it’s yoga and pilates. I prefer to work out alone as it helps me to focus more but I do also have a personal trainer for one to one work.
I’ve always been sporty- I used to play hockey and netball until I was in my mid 20s so exercise has always been a regular and daily thing. I think exercise gives you energy, it clears your mind, it gives you a sense of wellbeing, it stimulates your adrenaline so it makes you feel good – it’s all encompassing.