Instagram star, Shona Vertue’s health secrets
Aussie born – London-based Certified Personal Trainer and Yoga Teacher, Shona Vertue is the epitome of glowing health, with just the right amount of sass. Throughout my eternal quest to meditate on top of the wellness mountain, Shona caught my eye – and 42,000 odd others on Instagram – with her relatable approach, and of course – that body!
The Vertue Method
Shona describes her unique method of marrying strength and yoga training as “A delicious fusion of kettlebell circuit training, yoga and meditation.”
The holistic system was refined through extensive strength and conditioning training with world-renowned coaches: Charles Poliquin and Paul Chek, while studying with internationally acclaimed yoga teachers: Sharon Gannon and David Life (founders of Jivamukti Yoga).
During her down time (I’m feeling lazy just writing this!), Shona scored herself qualifications in Chinese Massage and Dry Needling Therapies, alongside various nutrition courses.
One look at Shona’s taut physique, perfect handstands and muscular endurance, you immediately want to know the secret to her healthy glow. This is what she shared with the Juice Daily:
Uplift your soul and your butt, balance your strength and flexibility and stay hydrated.
Have I always been super-duper healthy? Super yes – duper no.
There’s always room to improve and I’m constantly learning. I was lucky to have very health conscious parents. They helped me see the value of a healthy body through their own lifestyle practices, and constant reinforcement of the importance of it.
I also, like most gymnasts, started on the fitness journey very young. I remember my dad making me protein shakes with two raw eggs when I was a kid. He was ahead of the times!
Eat for nourishment AND enjoyment
I eat for nourishment – always. While macronutrient balance and calories in vs. calories out is valid science, I believe the optimal way to maintain health is to eat for nourishment AND enjoyment.
I don’t know about you, but there is nothing enjoyable about counting calories/weighing food for the rest of your life – in fact, to me that’s neurotic and boring.
Less pants, more plants
I coined this phrase because it’s catchy and a good way to live. Everyone will benefit from a practice of both these things.
I want to influence people towards a more plant-based diet in a more positive and catchy way. Not only is it better for the environment and seems more ethical generally – it is just better for our bodies.
Meat is often the focus of every meal, and many people neglect their veggie intake because of it. ‘Less pants, more plants’ is a win-win situation for everyone, isn’t it?
I hate soft drinks. I just feel like they have no place in this universe. They should be abolished along with taxes, pants and discrimination.
If you eat real food, an abundance of greens, get enough protein and stay hydrated, things usually work out. If they don’t, seek a dietetic professional – not an Instagram fitness bunny.
My breakfast …
Typically consists of a big fat pile of green veg with some clean protein, which is usually an egg.
My indulgences …
I do love an authentic crème bruleé, tiramisu and a salted caramel chocolate tart. Preferably all at once!
My health and wellness top 10
Lots of greens
Reading from a book (remember them old things)
Time in nature
Training towards a skill, rather than just aesthetics (of course we want to look good naked, but if your focus is being able to do a chin up, you will develop ‘toned arms’ and ‘better abs’)
Reducing the amount of time you spend comparing yourself to others
I believe that both yoga and strength training are equally important, in the same way that exercise and nutrition are equally important.
A good balance of both is required to ensure efficient biomechanics. Poor biomechanics leads to injury and in some cases, can affect the health of organ tissue.
Beyond all that, it just feels good to be both strong and flexible – so if the science of it doesn’t interest you, at least the thought of feeling damn good in your body motivates you to value both.
It’s also worth reinforcing that diet is 100% important and exercise is 100% important. I wish I had a sexier answer, but the truth is that you shouldn’t neglect either.
My training no no’s …
Being yelled at or sworn at while training. Bootcamps that try to ‘motivate’ people with negativity kind of disgust me.
The short answer to spot reduction is no, not really.
You certainly can’t lose fat on your inner thighs by doing 100 reps on the adduction machine, or lose fat on your triceps by doing 100 tricep kickbacks.
This has been disproven by various studies, and any time you see that ad on TV promoting a six-pack by simply using an ‘ab cruncher’ – you know it’s 100% certified BS.
Our hormones do greatly influence the distribution of body fat.
There is science in fat patterning and it’s correlation to hormonal levels. For example, we know that chronic levels of cortisol can lead to fat storage around the belly and visceral fat.
However, I don’t believe in taking carbohydrates out of the diet in an effort to drop body fat on ‘insulin’ site.
I believe this is an over-simplification of the way body fat and hormones work within the body.
I promote general health
Make sure you’re covering the basics. Until you can say that you’re ticking all these boxes, then there is no point questioning spot reduction.
Are you getting enough sleep?
Are you staying hydrated?
Do you move your body every day?
Do you strength or weight train?
Are you eating plenty of green vegetables?
Do you eat enough protein?
Are you still binge-drinking alcohol every weekend?
The key to health is true happiness, and that true happiness comes from a commitment to your own self-love and self-worth.
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