Continuing our “Meet Our Team” series, hear from Senior Content Executive Laura Betts, as she discusses all things fitness…
Have you always been into fitness? What inspired you?
I’ve never been anti exercise, but my passion for fitness definitely developed as I got older. I was an overweight child – at 12, I weighed about 10st, so, as I got into my teens, I realized that I wanted to make a change as body image inevitably became more of an issue. So, since losing 3st when I was about 13, I’ve been heavily into healthy eating and exercise. It was at age 17 that I joined a gym and fitness became a steady part of my life. I now train at home now though, as it’s so much easier. Equipment is my own and I just love doing HIIT workouts (which you can do anywhere really) and using my Max Trainer and strength equipment.
Working at Fitness Superstore since 2013 has made me look at fitness in a different light too. As I have to research health and fitness as part of my job, I’ve been educated more about different types of exercise. I’ve become more open-minded and my workouts are more versatile. I also feel I eat even better than before.
Have you ever taken part in any fitness events?
This is something I definitely need to get more into. I’ve run the odd 10K and attended a fitness day in London, which involved a set of workouts back to back, including a hardcore boot camp, circuit training and HIIT, but I’d like to do more. I’ve always loved running, so I may sign myself up for a half marathon this year. I’d also like to have a go at Tough Mudder or the Spartan Sprint as they look like fun, as well as hard work!
Why do you train, and how often do you train?
I train to make myself feel good both physically and mentally. If I don’t work out, I get a bit grumpy and I think that’s because exercise helps relieve stress. I genuinely enjoy working out and currently exercise 5 days a week. This includes roughly 3 HIIT workouts (about 20-25 mins each) with strength training, body weight training, Max Trainer workouts and one session is solely strength training. I make sure I work my core and abs 5 days a week too.
Do you have any specific training goals?
After having my first baby, my goal was to return to my previous shape. I had spent a couple of years working hard on my fitness to get the toned look I wanted, and visible abs, so I just wanted to get back to that. And I did! It didn’t happen really fast. Although I was back in my pre-baby clothes after a month or two, I wouldn’t say I was fully back to my previous body shape till about 7 or 8 months. I worked hard to get there and it paid off.
What’s your favourite exercise?
Two years ago, I would have said running, and this would be because of the escapism of running. However, after having my little girl, I don’t have the same amount of time to dedicate to exercise, so I discovered the brilliance of HIIT training. I love HIIT workouts and strongly believe these were key to helping me get back in shape after pregnancy.
What’s your post-workout snack?
Anything with tuna! Sometimes just tuna. Alternatively, some overnight oats, which will usually be packed with fruit. I love the stuff.
Name your ultimate guilty-pleasure food.
I don’t often indulge when it comes to food, but I do love a glass or two of red wine on a Friday night. I do have a sweet tooth so on the rare occasions that I do indulge it, I’d probably treat myself to a slice of cheesecake or chocolate brownie at a restaurant. Generally, I prefer my “treats” to be healthier and have a lot of recipe books by foodies like Deliciously Ella. I love her sweet potato brownies!
Do you have equipment at home?
Yes, I do. I don’t go to a gym anymore as it’s far more practical to work out at home. I have the Bowflex Max Trainer M5, which is just the best thing I ever bought! I’ve had it for over a year now and still use it religiously. I also have a selection of dumbbells, kettlebells (6, 8 and 10kg), resistance bands and a barbell and weights.
Tell us a surprising fact about yourself.
I have an irrational fear of holes. Can’t bear them. And I’m related to JFK.
What’s your favourite way to chill out?
In front of the TV with my husband and a glass of wine. I adore time with our little girl but, as lovely as that time is, I wouldn’t call that “chilling out” time!
If you were to release a fitness DVD, what would it be called?
Laura’s Total Body Blitz
Who’s your fitness idol?
I wouldn’t say I have an idol, but I do follow Emily Skye and Kayla Itsines on Facebook.