Alice Liveing radiates that very particular energy that only comes from a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
A personal trainer, best-selling author, and fitness influencer with a huge following, she’s become one of the biggest names in the wellness sector, with good reason. And it doesn’t hurt that she’s also one of the loveliest people you could ever meet, too.
In collaboration with Yakult, the little bottle on a mission to inspire happiness and wellbeing, we sat down with Alice to find out more about her journey into wellness and picked her brains about some of her simplest and most manageable pieces of advice.
And she did not let us down.
Discover Alice’s best bits of wellness advice, her focus on gut health, and her inspirational fitness journey below.
Talk us through your journey into wellness.
I fell into it unexpectedly. My previous career was in theatre, and I trained as a dancer. I was training really hard for long hours every day and living on chocolate bars and Diet Coke.
In my second year, I realised that if I wanted to have a long career, I needed to have my body functioning at its best. So, I started using social media as a way to learn from other people and recognise how important exercise and diet are, and then I started to do my own thing.
I overhauled my diet and started strength training, which is something I’d never done before. I decided to train as a PT as something to do alongside my work and trained clients – I just loved it and haven’t looked back since.
When you think of your life before and after your commitment to wellness, what feels different?
There are two sides to my journey.
The first side was being obsessed with the aesthetic. It was quite a disordered approach to health. Many women can relate to when you start a health journey or lose a little bit of weight and feel a bit better, that feeling can be quite addictive, as well as when people start telling you, “oh, you look amazing!”
I realised that my pursuit of health wasn’t actually that healthy. I was exercising too much and I wasn’t eating enough. I was surviving, in order to reach this body ideal that I had.
I had to readdress my relationship with exercise and food to understand what health means to me.
I believe health is a multifaceted thing – it’s about good sleep, good relationships, a healthy functioning period, a good relationship with exercise, the ability to have a balanced diet. All these things make up a much bigger picture of health.
I would say I started my proper journey with health and wellbeing when I took a step back and rebuilt my understanding of health, exercise, and diet.
For people who want to go down the wellness road, what are your key pieces of advice?
We know that there are certain things that are good for us, so I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here.
We know exercise is good for us, as well as a good amount of sleep, good sleep hygiene, and eating a balanced diet. These are all things that are important.
When it comes to finding a balance with those things, it’s about what you get from it.
When you look at your plate, have you got a variety of foods on there? You can think about what’s there, but you don’t have obsess about every little thing on your plate.
When it comes to exercise, find something you enjoy. From research we know that a long-term relationship with exercise is the best one, one that’s sustainable and realistic.
When I say to set realistic goals, that doesn’t mean exercise every day a week, but maybe two or three times that you set aside to do something you enjoy.
Exercise is really important, but so is the amount that we move every day. Exercise and movement are two very different things. All the movement you do outside of exercise is linked to weight maintenance and our long-term health. Look at how you can get movement into every day. It can be going for a walk or cleaning the house or low intensity yoga or mowing the lawn. There are so many ways that we can move our body without having to go to the gym.
I’m the biggest advocate of decent sleep every night. Sleep underpins so much of our health, from brain function to recovery. I always try to get my clients to get a better sleep routine. It’s hard to stay off your phone before bed, so I try and read ten pages of book before I sleep and that’s a non-negotiable for me.
How do you prioritise your gut health?
Our gut is so important to our overall health.
Our gut thrives off diversity. I try to have lots of different colours on my plate. I can fall into the habit of having the same meals every day, but it’s so much better for your gut if you have a varied diet. I try to eat a lot of grains and pulses too, like quinoa and lentils.
IBS and gut issues can be affected by factors like stress, so for me personally, if there’s a day when I’m stressed, I can feel it in my stomach and breathwork helps me to take care of my digestive system.
The other thing is eating too quicky – that’s a big mistake. Not chewing your food properly can cause indigestion and malabsorption. Be sure to take your time and enjoy your food.
Any changes that someone makes to their lifestyle should be something that enhances their life and makes them feel better – you really have to find what works best for you!
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