Today we’re keeping our ‘Five Minutes’ chat close to home and talking to our very own Erika Wiseman. Erika is one of our bright and bubbly Wellness Educators at Body Kinect, delivering our HEAL and Energise programs.
A naturopath, personal trainer and all round healthy nut, Erika shares what a healthy lifestyle means to her.
Tell us a little bit about how you ended up working in the world of wellness and exercise?
I have been working as a naturopath for nearly 9 years, so becoming a personal trainer was more an addition to what I was doing than a change of direction. I think it occurred for 2 main reasons.
1: As a naturopath I had a lot of people come to see me for weight loss, and dietary treatment although was a big part of it. I could only give really generalised advice about exercise, and I didn’t know if that would be followed through.
2: I was spending a lot of time exercising, and thought it would be great if I could spend some of my working time doing what made me feel great, and encourage others to do the same!
So it was a natural progression…
Having worked with people who are often experiencing mental illness, what benefits have you seen when clients begin to focus on their daily eating and exercise habits?
It has stood out to me that clients can go from feeling overwhelmed and anxious about making changes, to becoming inspired and empowered. An increase in confidence and belief in themselves seems to result in a big shift in enthusiasm and the development of healthy habits. Not to mention the benefits across the board that come when clients feel better about their physical appearance.
What does a healthy diet look like for you?
I need to eat at least every 3 hours, so prefer to opt for smaller more regular meals. I have been a strict vegetarian for 25 years, and at times vegan so I have to be organised to make sure I get enough protein, and I certainly feel it if I don’t. The food I make is fairly simple and I always use herbs and spices to liven it up, as well as for their health benefits. I am partial to the odd treat, so enjoy experimenting with healthy raw desserts. That means high nutrients, great taste…
What’s for dinner tonight?
Grilled tofu with cooked and raw veg, and quinoa. This is my fallback dinner and I always experiment with sauces and flavours.
What’s your philosophy on exercise and what does a workout involve for you?
Listen to your body and maintain variety. I am fairly active most days for work anyway, or ride to work, so my exercise isn’t always a formal workout. I walk my dog once, or usually twice daily too, so sometimes I will choose a pilates class over cardio. I try to fit in weight classes a couple of times a week for the bone strength benefits, but they aren’t my favourite! So I balance that with exercise that I do love, in order to stay inspired.
What does your morning routine look like?
Up at 5:30am to instruct boot camp, then home to eat, take it slowly and onto my next job. OR up early anyway to do uni work before I go to work. My internal alarm is set for 5:30am even if I want to sleep in, and if I miss that there are animals wanting breakfast that early….
What’s on your workout playlist?
Something fast and loud- Razorlight, Arctic monkeys, Kings of Leon. Or something old school and silly.
What do you do to care for you mind?
Make sure i take time out by myself regularly, play in the park with my dog & laugh, stretch and breathe deeply!
What new skill would you love to learn?
I want to learn to play the piano again. I could when I was a kid and think it would be quite therapeutic.
What are you proudest of?
I used to feel very anxious about public speaking, to the point where it limited what I could do with the study I had done, and my work progress. After a lot of challenging myself and working on this I now spend a lot of time lecturing and really love it. There was a point where I never thought that would be possible, and I am proud of myself for that.
What advice would you give to someone who is trying to improve their health and lifestyle?
Start with small steps. You don’t want to injure yourself or burnout by going too hard if you have not been exercising for a while. Any small changes are going to beneficial, and ALWAYS get injuries diagnosed, never ignore pain.
What words of wisdom resonate with you?
Inspiring words to just be yourself, by Dr Seuss, who I loved as a kid:
‘Be yourself because the people that mind don’t matter and the people that matter don’t mind’
What do you love most about the work you do with Body Kinect?
Helping clients gain confidence in the fact they will benefit from even small changes is a fantastic part of my job. It’s great meeting and working with new people- engaging and watching them realise they can challenge their health barriers and feel better about themselves is very rewarding.