Want to look like THIS? We ask our June 2014 cover model Sara Fennell to share her fitness secrets.
The gadgets/websites/apps I use to boost my health and fitness are twistmetoned.com and the twistmetoned app. They offer guidance and accountability to keep you on track.
My focus is on my health and wellbeing all year round. I don’t like the way I feel when I am inactive and eat unhealthy so I naturally stay in shape year round by just keeping my diet clean.
To keep my health and fitness on track in the colder months I enjoy joining a class such as yoga or kickboxing, which gives me a social environment and also a scheduled date and time to be there. Fitness is a daily part of my life, no matter what time of the year it is but it does get more difficult when the weather is cold and it gets dark out earlier.
To fit in a workout when I don’t have time or make a workout work harder by increasing intensity I add plyometrics as super-sets to other exercises. My other go-to is plyometric circuits. They are fast, intense, full body and great for burning fat. As an example, doing the following back to back with no rest for four rounds, with one to two minutes’ rest between rounds: 10 jump squats, 10 jumping lunges, 20 lateral bench jumps, 10 burpees.
For comfort food I definitely love chocolate, as I am sure most women do. When I am not getting ready for a photo shoot or competition I will allow myself to indulge in something about once per week. Allowing yourself something small once per week won’t affect you negatively; it’s when that habit becomes daily or a few times per week that it will inhibit your ability to lose fat. When I am staying tight with my diet I’ll turn to a chocolate protein powder if I really need to.
For most of the time I stay away from wheat, dairy, refined sugars, processed foods, sweeteners and non-organic foods. When I do ingest them I really notice the negative effects they can have. Wheat, dairy and eggs make me bloated, lethargic and retain water.
Nutrition is a huge aspect of my life, not just for staying in shape, but for my health as well. Educating yourself on what you are putting into your body can be the most valuable thing you can do for yourself.
Time management is key to not getting too stressed out. Plan your day accordingly, and also schedule in the time for your own needs (e.g. a workout). I enjoy being busy but I also take the time at the end of the day for relaxation and down time. Keeping a very simple life, free of drama, and limiting negative people keeps my mind calm.
One of my favourite relaxing things to do is taking Epsom salt baths. I also love just being in my bed, whether it’s relaxing with a book or doing some work on my laptop.
I love starting my day in silence, alone, before the crazy day begins. Every day I grind up fresh organic coffee, sit and watch it brew and then enjoy my morning cup all by myself.
Feeling comfortable in my own skin has taken many years to achieve, especially for my off season. Being in the fitness industry we willingly put ourselves out there in order to be judged on our bodies, which can be hard mentally, especially as women. I have learned that focusing on my health, and what I expose my body to, is more important than how I look. But by making healthy choices, I naturally stay in shape all year round. I may not be photo shoot ready, but I still feel good.
What I see in the mirror changes from day to day. I believe most people’s perception of themselves changes daily and is harsher than what others see. If I am doing all the right things in life for my health, then I feel good about myself when I look in the mirror. I can be satisfied with my perception knowing that I am active and eating right.