We spoke to nutritionist and Pilates expert Ruth Tongue about some of her health, fitness and motivational tips and tricks that keep her active and happy.
What health and fitness apps do you swear by/use all the time?
I’ve actually been the Nutrition consultant and editorial lead on an amazing new app called Curb – it’s one of the few apps to provide personal recommendations tailored to all aspects of your life rather than just generic advice. It’ll be in the app store soon so watch this space!
What’s your favourite activity/workout? Why do you love it?
As a Pilates teacher I’d have to say Pilates as number 1 but I’m also a bit of a fitness flirt in that I like to keep my options open and keep trying new things – this works for my body as it keeps challenging it. I love the new ClassPassas this means I can do yoga one day, a HIIT class the next and anywhere in London.
Five songs currently on your workout playlist?
Missy Elliot Work It, Warren g Regulate, All that Jazz (Chicago), Rihanna We Found Love, Whitney Houston I Wanna Dance With Somebody (embarrassed much).
Trainers of choice?
I’m working on my new Nike ids! Nike frees definitely and thinking an aqua/mint green for summer.
Do you have any favourites when it comes to workout wear?
For Pilates and Yoga I love Wellicious as the material is so soft and gorgeous and the design is really feminine.
For the gym or running I love Lorna Jane Active or trusty Nike.
Favourite healthy meal? If you can share the recipe with us that’s even better!
I have a bit of a peanut butter obsession so my go-to super quick mid week dinner is a satay stir-fry made with peanut butter, soy sauce, fresh ginger and buckwheat noodles.
And when you’re treating yourself, what do you eat?
I don’t like to put foods in ‘good’ or ‘bad’ categories so I tend to have a little of what I fancy most days. To satisfy my chocolate tooth I’m eating loads of raw cacao at the moment – in porridge, smoothies, brownies or just the raw nibs with shredded coconut as a snack. Oh and yes am quite partial to a glass of wine (or three).
If you could give our readers one tip on how to have a healthier 2015, what would it be?
Go back to basics – everything falls apart when you haven’t had enough sleep, your healthy eating goes out of the window, your workout routine disappears and your hormones go all over the place. Sleep is the key to health so make this priority and everything else will become a lot easier (this is a note to self for 2015!)
What makes you smile/happy?
Sunshine, friends, dancing, food and a glass of bubbles!
You’re having a busy day and you can only spare 20 minutes to work out, what do you do?
I love Pilates Anytime as I can do any Pilates class in my bedroom and get inspiration for my classes. Or when I’m mega busy and have a few minutes before work I’ll just do some medicine ball workouts for less than 10 minutes.
How do you motivate yourself to get up and work out when you’ve had a long day/you’re feeling down/you’re warm in bed and it’s cold outside?
I always tell myself I’ll just do five minutes and then by the time I get my kit on and get going it always turns into at least half an hour. I also always try and imagine how I’m going to feel when I’ve finished and know that I’ll feel in a better mood and like I’ve achieved something – even if it’s just a ten minute workout.
What new fitness trends do you think will be big in 2015?
I think it’s great that we’re finally realising that less is often more when it comes to fitness so I think we’ll see more and more shorter, intense classes on offer. Having lived in the south of France last year I’m also a huge fan of SUP (Stand Up Paddle) and SUP yoga so I’m hoping this is going to grow in this country too (though it’s not quite so appealing on the Thames!)
What do you find is the biggest mistake people make when it comes to exercising?
Having the ‘all or nothing’ mentality and overdoing it. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a workout – it won’t take you back to square one. And don’t underestimate the importance of rest days – listen to your body and if it says ‘I need this day off from exercise’ take it, or go and do a gentle class rather than another intense session. Your body will thank you for it and you’ll work out better in your next session.
What does an average workout week look like for you? Talk us through it
It’s so varied from week to week as my exercise attention span is zero – so for example this week I did a Bikram yoga class, a Pilates video at home, and a class at 1Rebel (who have the best changing rooms in London). Next week I’m teaching on a retreat in Mallorca so it’ll be Pilates, Pilates, Pilates and hopefully some swimming in the sea!