How to: Feel confident for big life events and the warmer season ahead

It’s not uncommon for clients to be working towards a set goal of wanting to look good and feel strong for an event, a wedding, or an upcoming holiday.

When this is the case, I like to go back to the core principles that looking good and feeling good are intrinsically aligned. My principle is grounded in  creating a lifestyle to build healthy habits and exercise into your daily routine. I also encourage my clients to move in multidirectional ways and to challenge their body’s muscular skeletal system and brain.

In my 40-plus years of training, teaching and professional dancing, I have gained invaluable information and knowledge on how to get my clients in the best shape for upcoming events. Today, I’m going to share this with you.

You will have seen a lot on my social media in the past few weeks around the incredible ladies I train attending award shows and the Oscars. What I can tell you with absolute certainty is that none of these clients only spend a few weeks before these events pushing themselves hard – instead, they hone in all year round on creating their lean, strong and powerful bodies – which inevitably makes them feel more confident and look more radiant as a result. So really, it’s not a secret – it’s consistency that achieves these physiques.  

So, let’s get into how we do it.

Step 1: HIIT training

Instead of rushing to the gym a couple of times a week and pounding it out for an hour on the treadmill, try to do a 20/30 min high-intensity workout 2/3 times a week, depending on your stage and ability. You can even do this from the comfort of your own home.

HIIT is an effective and efficient way to work our bodies, as you will burn a lot of calories /sugars but still hold on to that important muscle mass. Your body works in an anaerobic way with HIIT, so you will continue to burn calories all day long. Maintaining our muscles is vital for our hormonal health and to keep our metabolism fired up, as muscles burn calories!

Some things you can do to incorporate more anaerobic exercise could also be an early morning power walk, adding in some interval training e.g...a fast jog for 30 sec every few mins, press ups or tricep dips on a nearby bench, or step-ups on a nearby step.

Or if this is impossible, do a 20-minute home workout before your day begins adding in challenging moves to get your heart rate up. Including weights to your sessions is also a good way to get the cardio system working. I have a wide range of workouts available on my app to give you some inspiration.

Step 2: Habits

Allow yourself to set a routine, and respect the time that you spend on yourself in this way.

There are a lot of these type of workouts available online (including my own!) if you need a guide, they are short but effective, so easy to add into a busy workday.

If you work in an office or at your desk most of the week, adding movement into your day can make a significant difference, e.g., power walk to the bus or tube, or walk further and faster if you park your car somewhere to drive home. Get breathless - as this works the cardiovascular system, keeping our lungs and heart healthy. Alternatively, just getting up and down off your chair doing some squats every 30 minutes can help activate your legs, glutes and abdominal muscles.

Take a work phone call outside if possible while you do a quick 15-minute walk and try to get up from your desk, do this as often as you can throughout the day.

Step 3: Food

Try to swap your gin/vodka and tonic for one of those alcohol-free versions occasionally, and instead of tonic add sparkling water, load it up with fresh mint or cucumber to make it more exciting.

Swap your carb-heavy meals occasionally for alternatives like spiralling courgettes instead of pasta or slicing and roasting a cauliflower instead of chips or potatoes.

Add protein (plant as much as possible) to all your meals as this keeps you fuller longer and the body has to work harder to digest it (as an example, I love to add mushrooms and cashew nuts to my stir fry’s and mash beans with leeks for an alternative to mashed potato).

And a final tip, try to avoid snacking throughout the day, just stick with your mealtimes. 

Step 4: Posture

This one is more of a mindset – but it’s something we regularly work on in my workouts anyway. Posture, alignment, breathwork and the all-important – CORE.

When we stand straighter, roll our shoulders back, engage our core and breathe well – we instantly become more confident and poised. The correct posture also allows us to be in balance with our muscle groups so we continue to build strength in our core muscles. It’s a little ballerina secret and also the secret weapon for a stronger body. In classes, you’ll often hear me talk about the importance of core work and alignment – especially in my technique and ballet sessions. This is because it’s imperative to a stronger foundation and body but also makes us stand taller and look stronger. Try a few of these sessions and watch the difference when you next put on that dazzling summer dress or wedding guest outfit…

If any of the above sounds confusing or you don’t think you have the time to implement these steps, don’t worry! Head to my app for a wide range of on-demand workouts, as well as an end-of-week stretch session for when the time is right for you.

If you are just beginning with online training and my method, please feel free to leave out the weights and just focus on the movement patterns. I have all ages and stages of life on the app and the feedback is always positive.

You can also book a consultation with me so we can speak about your goals before you get started. Just join one of my LIVE sessions. 

And if LIVE isn’t your thing, try my on-demand workouts instead, when the time is right for you, updated every week.

To sign up for my sessions – click here.