Every month we will interview one of our experts at the YMCA Club, so you get to know a little more about the people that make your club so special. This month, meet Teresa Waite, we caught up with our very own West End star, got inside information on how to beat Christmas countdown stress, why she loves the YMCA Club and her secret recipe for staying fit and healthy all year round.
1. What do you like best about your workspace and why?
The YMCA has a fantastic range of space and equipment: from the wide-open sports hall - perfect for flipping tyres and sprinting, to the more intimate studios -ideal for quieter, focused core and stretch sessions. But more than that, it's a work space with a wonderfully energetic and supportive atmosphere. There's a real community here, with members of all ages and experiences. Also, being in the heart of central London, I like how convenient it is for dinner and a show after a strenuous workout.
2. What do you love about your job?
I love being active, not sitting at a desk tapping away on a computer. It is a genuine pleasure for me to come to work. I am inspired by the determination and achievements of YMCA members. I love helping people reach their fitness goals, and I always aim for clients to end their sessions feeling better than when they started.
3. It’s November! What are your top 3 tips to help us all to keep our health and fitness on top of our list in the countdown to Christmas?
Don't let "the countdown" cause stress. The lead up to Christmas should be fun, as should your workouts. November is a good time to reconsider your exercise programme, to try something new to boost your metabolism so you can enjoy the festivities guilt-free. Just because you don't have much time doesn't mean no exercise. Fit it in where you can. I recommend quickie workouts fitted around your busy schedule if you’re pushed for time. You can achieve a lot in just 20 minutes if you train intelligently with focus and intensity. Try to prioritise your fitness first thing before work, shopping and parties. I like starting the day with a few minutes of exercise before leaving home. A few rounds of squats, press ups and mountain climbers, or even just a plank can kick start your body's engine, putting you in an active frame of mind.
4. Share at least one of your personal top secrets for keeping fit and healthy.
My secrets for keeping fit and healthy are to be physically active every day and to get some fresh air even if it's cold and damp. London has many lovely green spaces. A short walk in the afternoon is a great pick-me-up. I always have a healthy snack in my bag - usually almonds and a piece of fruit, to keep me from being tempted by less-healthy options. During my workouts I often set myself mini challenges, trying to progress a little each time.
5. What are your top tips for aiming to feel good about yourself on a daily basis?
For me, feeling good about yourself is all about mind set, focusing on how I can make a difference, rather than dwelling on difficulties. Oh, and exercise - a good sweat always brings out my happy hormones.
6. What has your job taught you about yourself?
It's taught me that I am strong, physically and mentally, and that age is no barrier to strength and fitness.
7. What health and fitness app do you use to help you or your clients to keep on track?
I am seriously a bit of a technophobe. I use Deezer to download music for a run and the BBC weather app to decide how many layers to wear when exercising outside. Some of my clients track their meals with My Fitness Pal and I find that Gymboss is easy enough even for me to use for interval timing.
8. If you had a doppelganger living another life, in another world, what would his/her dream job be?
In another lifetime, my very far-fetched dream job would be starring in a West End show. Luckily, I get to take centre stage every Monday during my lunchtime circuit class. That's much more in keeping with my talents!