Katie, head of training at FLY LDN, takes us through her top self-care tips, making exercise work for you, and how to get your butt moving while living under lockdown. You can find her and her team teaching yoga, Barre, and Low Impact classes online right here.
Fitness has always been a huge part of my life
As the head of training at FLY LDN, exercise is obviously a huge part of my life. I used to work in the entertainment industry, but I’ve been a fitness instructor and personal trainer for four years now. For many years it was part of my role as a dancer to keep in shape. It’s been ingrained in me from an early age how to look after my body. Exercise is part of me and who I am but I do definitely see it as a career now, and like any job I need to remind myself to do things for me and find elements of exercise that are good for my body. So because I generally teach quite high intensity classes I need to reverse over doing that by going to more yoga and other chilled classes. Even treating myself to a massage more often to allow my body to recover is a big part of self care.
Home workouts are all the rage during lockdown
So thankfully it’s business as usual for me! Because I’m teaching live classes every day I tend to do almost all of the class every time so that has definitely helped me stay motivated.
Lockdown has of course still had an impact on my ability to stay active. I usually rack up about 18,000 steps a day on my iWatch when I’m out and about teaching and running to PT sessions. So not being out and about like that makes me feel a bit more sluggish than I’m used to. I’m finding it hard to sleep and I feel really groggy when I wake up in the mornings recently.
The silver lining is my new-found appreciation for the outdoors. Because we’re allowed outside for one exercise a day I’m taking so much joy in a nice walk, jog or bike ride and really taking in the beautiful outdoors. I live on the Thames so there are so many gorgeous walks along the river I’m exploring. I appreciate that outside time so much and I hope to keep that up when we go back to normal living.
I’m all for listening to your body and paying attention to what it needs
I am definitely a go with the flow person. I don’t like putting pressure on myself as we have enough pressures these days as it is with the busy lives we live. I’m lucky that I enjoy moving and exercising and I usually naturally crave to do some movement so I just listen to my body. Some weeks I’ll work out and go for a run in between teaching classes, some weeks I’ll have naps in between teaching. It really depends how I feel that week and I know listening to my body is so important for recovery and my mental health.
Usually when I’m on my period I tend to not push my workouts as I feel very lethargic and bloated. The most I’ll do is stretching and mobility at home in my pj’s and probably have a wee cry. With my job, I do have to power through the times when I’m feeling crappy, so many times after teaching a class I’ll just lie in the studio, cuddling my stomach, wondering how on earth I made it through teaching all those classes back to back.
If you want to work out more but are struggling to get into the habit of it, my top tip would be to stop putting pressure on yourself! If you’re forcing the motivation you’ll only last a week of working out. Think to yourself, how much have I moved today? Do I feel a little stiff and sluggish? Working out will always make you feel better! The endorphins after are the best natural high.
Find something you love doing
Prioritise moving your body in literally any way that feels good. Don’t always focus on the physical aspect, just know that movement is as good for you mentally and emotionally as it is physically. That always helps me. Also ask a friend to do it with you (virtually)! I love working out with my friends. It always motivates me, gives me a giggle and lets me keep in touch with people.
We don’t teach this at the studio but I love to teach boxing. There is just something about people getting on some boxing gloves and they all turn bad ass! You can see it in their face, body language and the energy they give in class is always 10/10. Find something that makes you feel good about yourself like that!
My period saviour is… all the chocolate! Always a winner, really. Also just drinking endless amounts of water really helps me.
My go-to comfort food is… spoonfuls of peanut butter!
My must-have product is… A sticky yoga mat with the right amount of thickness – if you want to get into working out at home, it’s a game changer.