Raleigh for Health

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Media personality and wellness expert Lisa Raleigh gives Modern Athlete a snapshot into her active lifestyle while sharing tips to stay healthy, balanced and stress-free.

As a young girl, Lisa’s passion to help people started with her toy dolls spending their days in the play-play hospital ward where she nursed them back to health. As a junior gymnast and avid ballerina, strict exercise, bed rest, intense training and a controlled diet was all part of her life. Today, she uses that experience to assist others in managing their wellbeing.

MA: Is it easy to fit in your own personal training regime in your line of work?
LISA: Being my own boss is wonderful in terms of flexibility, but it’s a lot to manage because I spend hours at a desk, in meetings, on shoots, all while managing staff. But I have also learnt how important my health and fitness are, so I work it into the day. I’m self-disciplined, so I can happily squeeze in a massage or a run and know that I’ll finish my work later. And when people see me doing workouts or new fitness things on TV, it’s a lot of stop-start shooting. People think I’ve just done an intense class, but its minimal shooting at different angles and not at all what your own workout would be.

MA: So have you managed to find the right dose of ‘me time,’ too?
LISA: Setting non-negotiables is probably my best strategy for keeping some order and consistency. I make sure that I get seven hours of sleep every night. I make sure that I exercise every single day for at least 20 minutes. I also have a vegetable juice every day to get as many nutrients in as possible. With those set in stone, the rest of my day is completely flexible in fitting in work meetings, admin hours and family time.

MA: You’re an expert on stress management, so what simple tips can our readers use to find balance in their schedule?
LISA: Build a support system. Give time to your strengths, ask assistance with your weaknesses, and delegate properly. Tell friends and family about your goal, to gather encouragement. If you join a class, a club, a fitness WhatsApp group, it can help. What also works is finding your own personal outlet. For me, it’s finding my creativity in my jewellery design for my brand, the Noble Collection. Everybody needs something relaxing that fully absorbs their attention. I also advise people to be realistic with their goals. You can’t give yourself a month to run Comrades or two weeks to lose so many kilograms. The faster you acknowledge flaws, the quicker they can be dealt with. Don’t be fearful of them – they won’t go away. It also helps being an early riser.

MA: Have you also learnt what foods fit well with your lifestyle?
LISA: I’m a vegetarian for ethical reasons, but coincidentally my body doesn’t happily digest meat proteins. I flourish with vegetarian protein options like eggs, beans, nuts, seeds and tofu. I take the low-GI approach and it works for me. I think people need to actually pay attention to how they’re feeling instead of what they look like. People need to do a lot of research and eliminate what makes them feel bad or tired.

MA: What training do you enjoy most?
LISA: I practice strength training with heavy weights, but if I’m short on time I will do body weight exercises that are high intensity with very short rest periods. I love kettlebells, interval training and compound movement that uses an overall body movement, but I never stick to the same routine and I like to experiment. I absolutely love running and use it as a way to explore new environments when I’m away travelling. It’s so easy as well – you just put on your shoes, hook up your iPod and go. I do prefer shorter distances, though. I feel more invigorated if I do shorter, high intensity run or sprints.

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