Sharron Davies is an ex-international swimmer, Gladiator, TV presenter and Olympian; not to mention mum (and grandma). She has dedicated her life to staying fit in order to compete and to stay in shape. As she launches 'Sharron Davies Training' on January 1st, she chats to Craig Maplesden about how the new
business works, her tips on how to get fit and keep
motivated, as well as affordable leisure...
A lifetime dedicated to health and wellbeing
Thank you for taking the time to chat to me, and congratulations on the launch of your new business ‘Sharron Davies Training'. Can you tell me a little bit about the new business and why now was a good time for you to launch it?
Sharron Davies training.co.uk is launching January 1st 2022, it's been a passion of mine for years to come up with an online program that works for everyone, and with the growth of working at home, not to mention Covid, now is the right time.
It's a HIIT program, 4 x15 mins a week, so just one hour - using the least amount of time to get results. There are challenges, stretches, and motivational tips on the site too, but the main point is you can train alongside me with demos, muscle groups and countdown clocks. You can do the session anytime, anywhere, with absolute no equipment. Therefore, removing the excuses and making it simple. It takes three months to make or break a habit, so initially sign-up is for three months, then it comes a rolling monthly fee - all for the price of a cup of coffee a week.
We also have a charitable pay forward Charity, we want to work with refuges and shelters to offer exercise for those that cant afford to get to a gym. So for those that can, they can buy one for our donation section; and of course we want corporate members too who are promoting stay at home working for their staff members.
There will be plenty of people considering a new fitness regime for the new year. How long does it take to form the habits required, and what tips can you give readers to keep them motivated and not ditch the plan before January is out?
The site has motivational tips and advise, but no one can do the exercise for you. However, I’ve designed a program that's as simple to follow as possible, removes the excuses… and quick to do.
Weight loss has to be connected to eating habits, but of course high increase in cardio will do that. A perfect training program will include weights, cardio-vascular and HIIT, as well as stretching. Most people don't have time (or inclination) to do that much, that's where Sharron Davies Training comes in.
When did health and fitness become a major part of your life? Was it always fun, or where there times when it was the last thing you wanted to do?
I was a junior international at 11, my first Olympics was at 13, so I can’t remember not doing sport. However, I put on 3 stone when I first retired so have done yo-yo diets and rebelled against exercise - I hated it! Once I lost the weight (which took me two years) I swore never to do that again.
The pandemic has highlighted the need for all of us to consider a healthier way of life. Not just fitness, but a balance between regular exercise, a healthy diet and a good nights sleep. Can you tell us about your own fitness regime and what your thoughts are on plant-based diets and intermittent fasting to name a couple of lifestyle choices.
The pandemic has highlighted how we really, really must take stock of where we are going with our sedentary lifestyles. The countries with the worst covid figures are the ones with the worst obesity issues. We have to start taking responsibility for our own choices.
I’m a firm believer in moderation and the adoption of long term habits that can make positive changes in your life. I’m not keen on diets, and prefer to reduce meat, eat more fish, eat colourful, don't eat late and drink very little alcohol. Refined sugar is the devil and lack of exercise effects the mind as much as the body.
What are you thoughts on social media. Do you think we (especially children) use it too much and can the images of a ‘perfect life’ put too much pressure on the younger generations?
Social media seems to be a necessary evil these days, but I wish it was regulated far better. I think we can correlate an increase in mental health issues with social media, and I’m honestly not sure how we fix it. The virtue signalling, blame and victim culture we are now in, is a huge problem.
"Physical exercise have always been extremely important to me, but being able to get out into nature and appreciating people over things is vital to my mental wellbeing."
You were just 13 when you represented Great Britain in the Olympics. How did you deal with the pressure of performing at such a high level, at such a young age? What did that experience teach you about yourself, and how do you manage pressure?
I loved being at the games at 13, there was no pressure as there was always going to be another chance for me at a games when you are 13.
It’s much harder when expectation arrives, and the media are great at heaping it on. I think I grew up prepared to fail, learn, train harder and go again - this has been incredibly valuable.
How important has health and fitness to your own wellbeing, especially as far as mental health is concerned?
Physical exercise have always been extremely important to me, but being able to get out into nature and appreciating people over things is vital to my mental wellbeing. Nature has a way of releasing endorphins, the 'feel good' hormone. Most people lack endorphins.
Do you think that because fitness was such a major part of your life at an early age, the habits were formed early and it just became a natural thing for you to continue?
Absolutely, we program our young for the rest of their lives, it's almost subconscious. It's so much easier if we have that programming early in our lives, but it can still be done later in life.
My absolute passion/dream would be to help more people create good habits for life.
When you aren’t working out or helping others improve their fitness, how do you like to spend your downtime?
I’m now a grandma and i still have a 14 year old sporty son who needs ferrying around, so work, events, my website. I've invested in a company called Paragon that produces eco friendly, inexpensive polymer covers for sporting buildings. We are losing a lot of facilities across the UK, so I am passionate about protecting these.
If you could be sports minister, or PM, for the day. What would you put into place so that children had a healthier start in life?
If I were Sports Minister i would get sports facilities on government local authority mandates, as they are in many other western countries, so they have to provide affordable leisure services for everyone across the UK.
We also need to go back to competitive sport in school, life is very competitive and we aren’t doing our kids a favour not teaching them resilience.
'Sharron Davies Training' launches on January 1st 2022. For more details of how Sharron can help you become a healthier you, click the link below or follow here on social media...