Health + Fitness

How To Get Out Of Your Health Rut

by Rosie McKay

Want to start 2018 in good health? Rachael Finch tells how to break an excuses mindset, her fitness tips and a do-anywhere HIIT workout ...

If you follow Rachael Finch on social media you would know she is one busy lady - she has a family, her own fitness program, a activewear line and ambassadorial roles that see her travelling a lot. However the other thing you would know from following Rachael, who is also a certified health coach, is that she is super passionate about health and wellbeing. Her fit and strong body and glowing skin testament to her dedication to eating well and working out - even with such a hectic schedule! 

Here we chat to the busy career woman and mum of two about her tips for maintaining fitness even if you travel a lot, how to break an excuses mindset and get a step-by-step rundown of how to do one of her new HIIT workouts from the Westin Let’s Rise Workout Series.

You travel a lot - what are some of the things you personally do to keep healthy on the go? As someone who travels a lot, what are the three things you never leave home without?

I try to be active every day, and my exercise habits are always different. They can change depending on the day, my energy levels, how I feel and my work schedule. Some days I stick to yoga or light stretches, other days it might be a workout in my hotel room, or a run outside.

I also take supplements daily to stay healthy. I use magnesium to help relax muscle tension and to sleep better at night. I will also take my turmeric, cinnamon and maca powder, to make my Melrose MTC coffee every morning, which helps me feel clear, focused and mentally alert. 

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What are your tips for breaking an excuses mindset ie I can’t get fit because I travel too much?

Nearly 3 in 4 travellers globally report they have trouble maintaining their routine on the road and more than 65% exercise less on vacation. I know it can be hard to fit it in! My best tip for travellers is that being healthy doesn’t always need to include an hour-long gym workout.

In my suitcase, I pack a resistance band. You can do a lot with the band and it helps you target different muscle groups, do push and pull exercises, legs, core and more.

I also like to pack a skipping rope. It’s easy to use, lightweight and a great way to burn some calories wherever you are.

When I make the effort to move my body and fit in exercise during travel I feel so much better during and after my trip.

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Why did you choose to use HIIT as the basis of your Let’s Rise in-room workouts in partnership with the Westin? What are some of the great results this type of training gives?

It’s about finding what works best for you, which is why I just created the Westin Let’s Rise Workout Series. The in-room workout videos provide travellers with quick, 15-minute exercises they can squeeze into their busy schedules. Alternatively, some people don’t feel comfortable in a gym and in-room workout videos allows travellers to exercise in privacy. Also if you’re new to exercise, start slow by simply walking or going for a slow jog.

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The workouts are designed for both men and women, from beginners to advanced.

I designed the workouts to be short but effective (8 – 15 minutes long) for even the busiest people to fit it in their schedule. The beauty of HIIT workouts is that even 15 strong minutes can help your wellbeing and work multiple muscle groups.

Can you talk us through a typical workout? Do you have to be super-fit to do themes

The workouts are designed for both men and women, from beginners to advanced.

Each of the exercises in the Westin Let’s Rise Workout Series have been designed to be easy to follow, and I explain the movements throughout. Of course, any questions pertaining to specific exercises, techniques or benefits should be directed to a health care professional.

Here is a guide to do one of my Westin Let’s Rise Workout Series HIIT workouts. Do each move for 30 seconds, resting 15 seconds in between. Repeat for three rounds. 

Move 1: Burpee variation with wide feet

“This is an exercise with four moves. We’re going from a standing position to a jump, down to a plank to work that core and then in one quick move, kick those feet out to each side to work the thighs. This works the whole body in one dynamic exercise. If you can’t do the full movement, do a jump and squat.”

Move 2: Twist & punch combo

“Time to work the upper body. Legs hip width apart, fists up, punch each hand to the alternate side, so left hand to right side, and so on. Really twist your torso, punch out strong. Keep those knees bent so you’re sitting low and also activating your legs.”

Move 3: Squat kicks

“A lower body workout. Sit down like you’re sitting in a chair, without going too deep. Keep your chest high and eyes straight ahead at a single point to focus. Squat down, back up and kick one legs out at a time from the hip, watching that your knees don’t go over the toes. If you can’t kick it out, stay in the squat.”

Move 4: Full sit-up

“Let’s hit those abs. Lie flat on your back, bend your knees up towards your chest, with feet flat on the floor. Keeping your neck straight and hands gently supporting the back of the head, with a strong core sit up though your legs and then come back to the floor.”

Move 5: Mountain climbers

“One of my favourite full body moves. Come down to a plank position and support your weight on your hands and feet, keeping your back and legs straight and strong. Now bring your right knee up to your hands, then push it back and alternate to the left. Push through as fast as you can.”

Move 6: Frog jumps

“Frog jumps now; aim to jump as wide as you can in your room. With feet hip width apart, jump up, propel yourself forward as far as you can, come down onto the flat of your feet softly. If you prefer, replace the jump with a strong step and into the squat. Make sure that core is locked in.”

Move 7: Grid iron runs

“Let’s get our quarterback on! This is a great cardiovascular workout that will really get your heart pumping. We’re going for four narrow runs and then four wider runs. Think light on your feet but control your bounce.”

A study found that people that travel a lot are also reportedly more stressed – what are your top 3 stress-busting tips?

I always like to think ahead and plan to take something with me if I know there aren’t going to be any healthy options. For example, I might take some nuts, fruit or bliss balls with me on the plane, or left-overs from dinner to my shoot. I want to keep my energy up throughout the day and avoid the 3pm slump. I try to stay as in tune with my body as I can and listen to its cues to let me know what I need to eat. 

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1.     Move your body. In any way you love.

2.     Meditate. Or just breathe.   

3.     Take a 10-20min bath with Epsom salts.  

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Why are you so passionate about helping others maintain their health and well-being?

Because everyone deserves to be the best version of themselves and enjoy life. If we're not mindful or grateful of what we have and where we are, we can blink and miss it all! I love being able to help people find more energy, love and joy in their life - that's what gets me out of bed every morning.

Like me, Westin is passionate about others’ wellbeing, and helping others stay, move and eat well, so partnering with Westin for the new in-room workout series was a no-brainer.

What’s your one piece of advice to someone in a health rut?

Start slow and take small steps every day to make healthier changes. Rome wasn't built in a day. I work every day to become stronger, healthier and happier and will be doing so for the rest of my life. If today you make an effort to drink more water, do a workout, or get into bed a little earlier, that's a great start! 

The Westin Let’s Rise Workout Series launches into Westin’s hotels in Australia and Fiji in December, 2017. Curated by Rachael Finch, the videos are designed to help travellers maintain their health and wellbeing while on the road


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