Set your inner superhero free at the Run2Cure Neuroblastoma

Mark your calendars for the annual Run2Cure Neuroblastoma held on Sunday 4 June 2017 at the Domain and Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney (7am-1pm).

neuroblastoma 

Set your inner superhero free for Neuroblastoma Australia’s 5th Annual Run2Cure Neuroblastoma where participants will raise funds for vital research at the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia and Cancer Council NSW for the devastating children’s cancer.

Neuroblastoma is the number one cause of cancer deaths in children under 5 years of age. Since 2012, Run2Cure has raised more than $430,000 for research – but further funding is needed to continue this research to help improve the lives of and outcomes for patients.

So, how can you help?

The Run2Cute Neuroblastoma is a unique fun run for all ages and abilities, consisting of a 1km Little Heroes Walk for children aged 5 and under (where kids, big and small are encouraged to come as their favourite superhero). There’s also a timed 3km, 5km and 10km run. By participating, you will help fundraise for the event – with 80 per cent of proceeds going to support much needed research.

Lucy Jones, Co-founder and Chief Executive of Neuroblastoma Australia, is exceptionally passionate about raising more awareness about neuroblastoma and funds to help support research into the harrowing disease that took the life of her beautiful daughter, Sienna at only two and a half years of age.

Lucy says: “We don’t need a miracle to find a cure for neuroblastoma, we just need the help of the community.  Via events such as Run2Cure, we can help raise critical funds that will help us move closer to finding a cure and give children with neuroblastoma the chance to live long and healthy lives that they deserve”.

After winning Gold in the Modern Pentathlon at the Olympic Games in Rio last year, Chloe Esposito is now throwing her support behind Run2Cure Neuroblastoma to encourage others in the community to register and take part in the fun run.

 

“I am really inspired to support the families affected by this awful disease by helping create as much awareness and raising as much money as I possibly can for research into neuroblastoma.  I hope people will join me in making this year’s Run2Cure the most successful yet,” she says.

Join Chloe, along with your family and friends and get involved! Register today.

 

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Health and fitness talk with cover model Jenna Douros

Known for her child-like energy and athletic training style, Jenna Douros is taking the fitness world by storm. We caught up with our May 2017 cover model to talk about health, fitness, and inspiration. 

ON CAREER

I have never been one to sit still. When I was younger, I always excelled in physical activity – from rollerblading, gymnastics and athletics, to making obstacle courses in my backyard.

I feel I have progressively put my stamp on the health and fitness industry over the past seven years by showcasing my authentic personality and sharing my passion with my community daily. My fitness career has taken me places I never thought it could: I have trained with and interviewed a number of celebrity fitness professionals from around the globe, I’ve travelled and trained, made an impact on so many people’s lives and I’ve represented some of the world’s most reputable brands and companies. It still completely blows my mind. 

ON BRAND REP’N

Most recently, I have joined Reebok as a Reebok Athlete. As a company that has partnered with some of the world’s most talented athletes and celebrities, I’m so humbled to play a role in the direction and influence of such a reputable brand. For me, representing the brands I endorse is far more than just an opportunity to showcase my unique, diverse and versatile style of training; it’s an opportunity to promote health and wellness to the world. I love pushing people to find their true potential, break boundaries and find their inner strength.

ON FITSPIRATION

My global influence helps me to espouse a healthy lifestyle using my own everyday experiences and habits. I created my online community ‘Jenna Douros – Lift Into Life’ to help women find ways to challenge themselves daily, and boost their health, confidence, wellbeing, self-worth and values. As the Lift into Life community has grown, more and more males have been jumping on board. It warms my heart to know that I have been able to have an impact on people’s lives, through encouraging movement.  

ON BEING MYSELF

I always remain true to my core values and beliefs. I’m an energetic and expressive character, with a wild imagination when it comes to fitness. I’m independent, individualistic, original and innovative. I’m determined, goal-oriented and a challenge junkie. I am a sucker for punishment and love throwing myself into situations that will put my capabilities to the ultimate test.  

ON ‘CHEAT’ MEALS

When my husband asks me what I want for dinner, I answer with “a big bowl of Sultana Bran”!

ON BODY IMAGE

The female body is a beautiful thing that comes in all shapes and sizes driven by an array of goals and circumstances. Most women feel some kind of pressure during their lives to look a particular way, whether that be driven by celebrities, peer pressure, unacceptable comments, bullying, compliments or health. I have felt all those pressures, but now what I do is for me. I make sure I look after myself both physically and mentally, and I love women who carry themselves with pride and confidence. 

ON GOAL SETTING

First, set the goal – be specific, clear and detailed. Next, mentally prepare yourself. Maintain a positive mental (and emotional) relationship with what you are aiming to achieve; visualise your goal – feel it, see it, love it and believe it; create a Wish Wall with images relating to your goal so it’s often in view.

Check out our full cover model Q&A in the May 2017 edition of Women’s Health and Fitness magazine.

 

Facebook/YouTube: Jenna Douros – Lift Into Life 

Instagram/Twitter: @jennadouros

Photography: Tina Nikolovski

MUA: Jolina O’Hair // @Jolina.OHair.MUA

 

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A bikini competitors’ advice on fitness, training and nutrition

Bikini competitions aren’t for everyone – they require a lot of hard work, discipline and protein! But there’s something to learn from those that take their diet and training to the next level.

We caught up with 23-year-old amateur bikini competitor Shae Jorgensen to talk training, diet, overcoming injury and her journey to the prestigious Ms Fitness Australia stage in June.  

My journey to bikini competitions

I have been involved in sports since I was about seven years old, but I started training at the gym more seriously when I turned 16. I love the feel-good endorphins following a workout – how it makes you look is just a bonus! 

I started competing in bikini competitions because I wanted to take my training to the next level. Bikini competitions push me both physically and mentally, and I’m always looking to improve and progress my physique and fitness levels. For me, there is no ‘end date’ – it’s a lifestyle and I’m always a work in progress! 

My greatest achievement

After suffering a spinal injury last year with two bulging discs, doctors said I wasn’t going to be able to compete for a long time. I was determined to get back on that stage and I did exactly that: after just four months of spinal rehabilitation, I stepped back on stage and competed. I consider it my greatest achievement in the sport because I displayed determination despite the odds not being in my favor; I had the will power to keep pushing forward and do what I love. I’m very proud of that.

Bikini competition pros and cons

The hardest part of competition preparation is social outings, especially when food is involved. It’s where discipline is vital to your success: it’s so tempting to just eat a piece of cake at a birthday party, but once you’re disciplined enough to say no there’s a real sense of satisfaction. It’s all about keeping your eyes on your goal. 

My nutrition 

I eat a wide variety of foods and don’t cut out any food groups. The main foods I eat during strict comp prep would be lean meats, sweet potato, green veggies and salad, eggs and avocado.

My favourite ‘cheat’ meal would have to be pancakes and ice cream! But I also love a decent big brekky.

My training

My workout schedule is a combination of weight training, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and low-intensity steady state (LISS) cardio. My training changes day-to-day, so I’m never bored and I’m always keen to get to the gym. 

My weight training sessions are usually a whole body super-set workout that keeps my heart rate high, as usually I’m trying to lean down heading into a show. 

My favourite body part to train is definitely booty! After my spinal injury, I wasn’t able to train my lower body for an extended period of time, so it has given me a whole new appreciation for being able to move properly again. My favorite exercise would have to be squats!

My best piece of advice 

Make sure you’re doing it for you! Also, remember that every other athlete on that stage has put in the same amount of effort to their diet, training and posing, so always be mentally prepared for either outcome – win or lose, be proud of yourself every step of the way.

What’s next for me

My next goal is to compete in my first interstate competition in Perth, Western Australia in June 2017: the inaugural Ms Fitness Australia! It’s the first ANB (Australasian Natural Bodybuilding) all-female show and a pro card is up for grabs, so I’m really excited to be apart of history.  

What I love about competing in the ANB, and especially Ms Fitness, is that it combines my love for fashion, glamour and bikini modeling with fitness. For me, there is no better way to showcase all my hard work over the last 12 weeks (and beyond) then dressing up and feeling beautiful.

For example, the registration night will be a red carpet event, complete with heels and gowns, and an opportunity to meet all the other competitors from around the country. As a girly-girl, it’s a real treat for me and something a little bit different from most comps I’ve been involved in.

I’d encourage anyone keen on fitness, training and nutrition to set the goal and get involved! If I can do it, anyone can. 

 

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Meet the mind behind the Queen of Lean

 

We chat to trainer, coach and powerlifting champ Amanda Brown of The Queen of Lean about her fitness journey, finding balance and advice.

 

After a three and a half year hiatus travelling the world post Year 12, a young Amanda Brown knew her calling was in the health and fitness industry.  A Certificate 3 and 4 in Fitness and a mountain of other courses later, this successful trainer, coach, powerlifting champ and physique competitor now owns one of the most popular gyms in Melbourne, The Queen of Lean Headquarters, and is helping females transform their bodies (and lives) on the daily. 

 

I knew I wanted to work in the fitness industry because health had always been one of my highest values and I knew I could make a positive impact as a coach. What I love the most is working with women to empower them with the knowledge of the quickest and healthiest ways to achieve results.  

Getting lean isn’t about flogging yourself or eating less but rather about creating balance. No gimmicks, just good nutrition, and well-executed strength training. Your body is designed to be in homeostasis and it’s just about using the right tools to get there. 

The Queen of Lean Headquarters is all about creating a safe place with the support, high-end coaching, nutrition and personalised training that women need to transform their health and get results.

We don’t use a one-size-fits-all program – instead, we tailor the process to you. Every new client gets a one hour initial planning meeting to work out their optimal nutrition, hormonal profiles, sleep and stress, and we do a BioSignature measurement to work out fat and lean muscle percentages. We then check in with the client every two weeks to reassess, alongside one-on-one training and group classes. 

I think the key to my success is working hard and just going for it. We all have fear and doubts, but I’ve taught myself to keep going despite set backs or emotional hurdles. 

My everyday nutrition fuels my metabolism by eating frequently – think five times per day. My diet is paleo based with meals focused on meat, vegetables and good sources of carbs such as sweet potato, rice and quinoa. I also love coffee, dark chocolate and a glass of red wine. 

My training has a strong powerlifting focus and I live for the weights! I train four to five times per week, with each session consisting of compound lifts, such as the squat, deadlift or bench press, followed by accessory work targeting any weaknesses. 

I relieve stress by ensuring I get enough sleep and prioritising my nutrition. I take a good natural sleep stack which includes magnesium, gaba and ATP science supplement Cort-rx. No matter how busy I am, I never let my training slip. Powerlifting is something that I love but it’s also a massive stress reliever.

Now that the business is humming, 2017 will be all about expanding our reach. Following the success of our 12-week Project Bikini transformation program (which ends in a beach photo shoot), I would love to take a similar program to Bali! Plus we are launching an awesome series of free seminars for women who would like to know more about the secrets behind achieving results. The info is up on our website as we speak. 

My hero is my husband. He supports me and believes in my dreams as if they’re his own. He’s my best friend and my rock.

 

Top transformation tips

» Set a goal and make sure it is centred on your daily habits to avoid getting overwhelmed.

» Sleep well.

» Fuel your body with amazing nutrition.

» Strength train with a minimal dose of cardio.

» Work with a coach who knows that they’re doing! Everyone needs a good mentor. 

NEXT: Looking for more motivational stories? Check out our interview with Retreat Yourself Box founder Kate Williams.

 

 

 

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How create the perfect yoga space

 

Yoga is all about creating inner peace and balance and your environment plays a huge role in this. Create the perfect space that finds the sweet spot between style and function.

Interior designer for Mood Design, Anastasia Dinos shares her six tips:

 

1. Pick a base colour: When it comes to colour, a neutral palette evokes a calming, peaceful and pure emotion, and is the perfect blank canvas on which to add your own personality. Think dusty pink, light sand, grey or off white – it doesn’t need to be stark white. 

2. Light it up: To encourage natural light, keep windows free from shades or heavy blinds. Depending on the external view you may need some privacy – light sheer fabric curtain or bamboo Venetian blinds are good options. If natural light isn’t possible, use candles, lanterns, or table or floor lamps during practice. If using ceiling lights, install a dimmer to create an intimate and private ambiance to the space and always avoid fluorescent or incandescent bulbs – at least during practice.

3. Furnish flurry: Furniture should be minimal and not take up too much valuable floor or mat space. Opt for sustainable or raw materials such as bamboo or up-cycled materials wherever possible. Continuing with the principle of respecting nature, introduce some plant life. A living and breathing element in any internal space evokes a calming and grounding mood. If you don’t have a green thumb, choose something low maintenance like a succulent, but speak to your nursery about the best option for you.

4. Let it sing: A yoga space would not be a yoga space without the sound of the ‘om’ or spiritual chanting in the background. All you need is a small portable wireless speaker and any smart device connected to Spotify or Pandora. A quick search for ‘yoga’ will give you hundreds of playlist options to choose from.

5. Simple scents: Aromatherapy (or ‘yogaroma’ as it’s also known) is optional, but is lovely for really deepening the experience you’re trying to create. For example, lavender is known to evoke a calming and relaxing sensation while lemongrass energizes and uplifts. If you are using oils, a simple oil burner in the corner of the room will do the trick; you can also dab some oil on your pulse points (wrists, neck, behind knees) to really enhance the feeling.

6. Personalize: Finally, let’s add a bit of you to the room. If you’d like some colour, introduce it through your yoga mat, towel, window curtain and any ornamental decor around the room. A small buddha statue or nepalese hymn bowl would fit in perfectly. Remembering we’re all different and so is our energy, so which colour you select it really up to you. For example, if you’re feeling flat and need some uplifting energy use a red mat, or if you need to slow down, try green.

NEXT: Discover the benefits of yoga.

 

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Walk all over breast cancer at the 2017 Mother’s Day Classic

Get your team together to support the National Breast Cancer Foundation at this year’s Mother’s Day Classic.

 

This year, the Women in Super Mother’s Day Classic (MDC) is celebrating 20 incredible years of fundraising and raising awareness for breast cancer research and it’s time to get your team together for yet another fun walk/run.

As the major fundraiser for the National Breast Cancer Foundation, the MDC has contributed more than $30 million to breast cancer research with more than 1.1 million people walking and running more than 6.5 million kilometres.

On Sunday May 14 2017, more than 105,000 Australians in more than 100 locations around the country will come together for the next MDC classic, united by a common goal.

For MDC regional event manager Allison Hunter, who has staged the Kalgoorlie-Boulder MDC, her passion goes beyond her personal connection to the cause.

“I have close friends who have had breast cancer and the MDC for them is a day where they feel part of the community,” she said. “To see the support of the community on the day, to see everyone in pink, even the guys, on Mother’s Day is amazing. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.”

Following her incredible work, her efforts and contributions to the community were recognised this year when she received the citizen of the year award.

“A close friend who is there to support in both parkrun and MDC Grant Wholey put my name forward for the award, I was quite surprised to win it. I was a bit lost for words because I feel like I just do the best for our community,” she said. “It really is an honour to receive the award, and it shows that if you feel your community is in need of events then follow your heart.”

Registrations are OPEN NOW.

Ways you can help:

  • Put together a team – http://www.mothersdayclassic.com.au/teams/about-teams/become-a-teamcaptain/
  • Fundraise – http://www.mothersdayclassic.com.au/fundraise/about-fundraising/
  • Volunteer – http://www.mothersdayclassic.com.au/volunteer/volunteer-now/volunteer-roles/
  • Start a local event – http://www.mothersdayclassic.com.au/event-info/start-your-own-mdc-event/

MDC fun facts

  • In 1998 the first event attracted 2500 people, by 2014 that number had hit 135,000.
  • The 2016 event attracted 108,000, who walked and ran in 97 locations. 
  • Oldest competitors in 2016 – A 96-year- old lady named Jean from Sydney
  • In 2016, MDC participants walk or ran a combined 473,772km on Mother’s Day.
  • Largest amount raised by a single fundraiser in 2016 – $20,124

The MDC is proudly sponsored by ME Bank.

Stay up to date with all the action on the MDC Facebook page.

 

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Meet Kate Williams of The Retreat Yourself Box

From humble beginnings, this young entrepreneur has been encouraging Australians to practice self-care and self-acceptance from home with her lush subscription Retreat Yourself box while simultaneously providing small businesses a platform to follow their dreams. Kate Williams caught up with WH&F to provide insight into creating the career, health routine and life you really want.

I suffered from disordered eating in my late teens and early 20s, and I was determined to find out why and where these behaviours stemmed from. I soon discovered that so many people measure their happiness by the way they look rather than how healthy they feel and how much fun they’re having.

I went on to study holistic health and became a personal trainer with the hope of teaching others the importance of self-love.

The Retreat Yourself (RY) box is designed to inspire healthy living on every level. Many people can’t afford the time or money to go to a health retreat, so I decided to bring the retreat to them: each box contains in-season, natural and organic pampering products from young Australian entrepreneurs who are following their dreams. The included RY magazine is full of healthy recipes, yoga and fitness sequences, informative articles and a complete retreat plan – it’s all about prioritising self-care and recharging your batteries.

In my opinion, self-love is more important than anything else. When you act out of love and care for yourself, you’ll make healthier food choices and honour what your body needs. It’s great for your own wellbeing, but it also makes you a nicer friend, parent, sister, daughter, employee and co-worker. 

One of my favourite products featured in the box is the Pure Deo Co natural deodorant – it smells beautiful and feels lovely on your skin.

I’m a big believer in nutritional balance and listening to my body. I’ll start the day with a green smoothie, have a big salad for lunch and some form of protein and vegies for dinner. If I feel like a treat, I won’t deny myself: I’ll eat it, enjoy it, and then get on with my life. 

My favourite healthy meal is homemade Vietnamese rice paper rolls. They’re so fresh and delish!

I exercise every day but, again, I make sure I listen to my body. My routine is always changing, from walking my dog or yoga to high-intensity interval training, stability or weights sessions. I spend a lot of time snowboarding during winter and in summer I like to surf.

I relieve stress by heading to the beach with a good playlist and my pup. Nothing beats the feeling of sand between my toes and the smell of fresh ocean air to de-stress. It helps put things into perspective and is a reminder of how insignificant my worries are in the greater scheme of things.

I balance a busy business and personal life by being organised and keeping lots of lists. I also make sure I’m mindful: it’s important to stop and take time to reassess. This may seem counter-intuitive, but stepping back gives you the energy to push on and provides the opportunity to assess your life and rejig things accordingly.

My heroes are my parents. They have shown me that I can achieve anything I put my mind to, encouraged me to chase my dreams and just let me be myself!  

My 2017 will be filled with lots of travel and personal development, while I continue to grow and nurture the beautiful community we’ve created with Retreat Yourself. I’ll also be concentrating on new and exciting events, so watch this space! 

NEXT: Looking for more inspirational stories? Check out our motivational section.

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Meet our April 2017 cover model Torrie Wilson

 

We chat to athlete, model and entrepreneur Torrie Wilson as she graces the cover of the April 2017 edition of Women’s Health and Fitness magazine.

On the relationship with food

I spent many years trying to avoid food and trying all sorts of diets. Once I began a healthy relationship I got leaner than ever. Funny how that works.

On eating for pleasure

It’s great to enjoy your food, but once eating becomes an outlet we enter the danger zone. When I have a craving, I don’t deny myself because I eat healthy all the time and know that I will feel usually satisfied with just a little bit of it anyway. It’s when we eat the whole box of something that we get into trouble. It’s actually possible to make yummy healthy food too!

On fitness fuel

Eating a healthy diet gives me the energy I need for workouts, which is the best reason to eat clean on a daily basis. If I have a sluggish day, because we all do, I am not afraid to have some coffee before a workout! On occasion, I will drink a half serving of a pre-workout formula, but I try not to make that a daily habit. I feel like once we get into the rut of taking a bunch of caffeine and such to workout, it becomes a snowball effect and eventually we are running for Red Bull twice a day. I know this because I have definitely had phases where that happened! 

On cheat meals

I don’t really do cheat meals or days. If I want something I have it. Doing it this way, I can usually have a few bites of something and be over it. I have learned to listen to my body and definitely believe in enjoying life. Eat healthy most of the time and don’t go crazy when you have something considered a “cheat”. And never beat yourself up over it; that just creates a weird relationship with food.

On favourite foods

I love eggs. I eat the same thing most mornings: two eggs over-easy on toast. I’m also obsessed with Mexican food. Usually if I have it, I just make sure I order a lot of healthy protein with that yummy tamale and mostly fill up on that first.

On nutrition mistakes

This list could go on forever! Doing the no-carb diet was horrible for me! I know it’s great for some people, but my body needs carbs. I had so little energy that I walked around all day with my eyes half closed as if I had narcolepsy. The biggest mistake is probably trying to starve yourself in desperation to lose weight. It slows metabolism to nothing and your body eats hard-earned calorie-burning muscle. I’ve done that too. Not pretty.

On food epiphanies

It’s not our enemy! Eating healthy does not have to be boring at all, and the more you try to avoid something, the more energy you give it and the more you want it. It’s not easy, but once you get to that healthy place it all makes sense. 

On fitness 

Working out makes me happy. I love a good sweat and feeling accomplished after a great sweat session. It’s fun to push myself and set new goals and I am definitely in my element when I am pushing through a great workout. I love HIIT workouts using weights and bodyweight and I love making up my own (and sharing them on torriewilsonfit.com). I also do love cardio. I use it as my time to brainstorm ideas as the blood is flowing.

On intimacy 

We all need love, not just from a romantic relationship. Love comes in many forms. The fast pace of this world and the social media frenzy has taken a toll on intimacy these days and I think it’s important that we all make a big effort to remember to be in this moment with people we care about. Happiness stems from a lot of things on the inside, but a big key is surrounding yourself with genuine people that care about you.

On passion 

It’s important to feel passionate about something. That something may change often and that’s just fine. Just make sure there is something that lights your fire and gets you excited about life. Something to look forward to. If you don’t have something to be passionate about, I suggest you start by being curious. Checkout things that you never thought about…take classes just to learn something new. Maybe something you never thought twice about will end up lighting your fire.

On beauty and self-care

It’s important to take care of yourself and feel good. God gave you this amazing gift of a body and taking care of it is your responsibility. If you feel good, it carries out into pretty much every aspect of your life.  If you feel crappy, it also carries out into pretty much every aspect of your life as well. But beauty is not everything and looks fade. I make a point of remembering that inner beauty is more important than outer beauty. I’ve met some of the most gorgeous-looking people who are so ugly on the inside that it makes the whole package ugly.

On balance

Balancing everything in our lives can be downright difficult, but I always look at like this; if you don’t find a healthy balance, eventually an outside force is going to do it for you. That outside force can often be in the form of something negative like illness. Find a way now or regret it later.  

NEXT: Looking for more inspiring stories? Check out our collection of cover model interviews here. 

 

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