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Celebrity Health - Davina McCall

Davina McCall talks to Your Healthy Living about her latest workout programme and the benefits of a sugar-free lifestyle.

Presenter and fitness guru Davina McCall is one of the most familiar faces on our TV screens today. Beginning her career with MTV in the 1990s, she went on to form a long association with reality TV show Big Brother as its presenter from 2000 to 2010, before going on to front numerous other shows from Channel 4’s The Jump to ITV’s Long Lost Family.

Now, at the age of 50, the mum-of-three has just released the latest in a long line of workout programmes, called Toned in 10, and she’s looking better than ever before. Davina’s glowing appearance and toned figure can also be attributed to the fact that in 2015 she gave up refined sugar and is now committed to eating healthily. Her book, Davina's 5 Weeks to Sugar Free, offered readers a simple to follow diet plan to help ditch the sweet stuff and follow a more healthily way of eating. This was followed by Davina's Sugar-Free in a Hurry and Davina's Smart Carbs. Here she talks to Your Healthy Living about her latest workout programme and her newfound love of healthy eating.

Does eating healthily come naturally to you?

It does now and I think that’s a really important message that I want to get across as eating healthily used to be denying myself something. It doesn’t mean eating cardboard and not getting joy out of things; it means that you eat the right foods and crucially the right amount of food. That’s why I’ve enjoyed doing my book Sugar Free Family. My lifestyle has been a journey and I have now achieved a balance.

Tell us about your new fitness programme, Toned in 10.

It’s a totally unique, brand new kind of workout and is about blending different fitness techniques in order to get the best results for your entire body. Each section will tone, strengthen and give definition to your muscles whilst working on flexibility and endurance. We focus on developing core strength alongside some cardio in order to burn those calories. We’ve broken the class down into 10-minute sections so that you can personalise your workouts and create classes that fit your mood and how much time you have. I think it’s our most effective workout yet. It’s really changed my body.

Do you have any advice for how to follow the programme?

Please, please don’t forget to do the warm up and cool down. It’s really important. Do try to exercise at least three times a week, because anything less is just not enough to make a difference.

How do you keep yourself motivated?

I get asked about motivation so often and I think that is one of the hardest things when you start working out. It’s so important to feel motivated. The first thing I always say to people is sign up for something. It doesn’t matter if it’s a walk or a 3K run – just sign up for something and get fit for it and the minute you’ve done it sign up for the next thing. I always have two or three things a year in the diary that I have to stay fit for. I make sure I do them with friends so then you can get fit together – it’s much more fun.

What is your advice to people that are struggling to get motivated?

Getting motivated is as easy as making a decision. “Trying” is a word that I hate – you are either “doing” or you are “not doing”. But trying is a horrible no man’s land, so make that decision to “do” and that will start your motivation and kickstart it for you.

Are you at your ideal body shape?

I am where I want to be now. This year I have lost about half a stone and I am going to try and stick to this. I often fluctuate – this is where I feel the most comfortable and confident. Please don’t worry if you put on a bit of weight when you work out – it’s perfectly normal. Muscle burns fat and you need to build muscle to burn the fat.

It is widely reported about the benefits of exercise for mental health. How have you noticed the changes in yourself since exercising?

I talk about this often on my Instagram page because I feel the benefits mentally and physically after exercise. Sometimes if I’ve trained really hard I get a real sense of joy and euphoria, so it has a profound effect. Especially in the winter it’s really important to keep the motivation going; keeping it going helps the endorphins and the dopamine that you get from a hit of exercise. It will help keep you happy during these winter months.

What is your next fitness goal that you would like to achieve?

I would like to do a Disney half marathon in Florida dressed as Arial. The mermaid tail might be a problem. Ha ha!

You have never looked better. Are there any trouble areas you have to work harder at?

Definitely my bum, legs and calves. I have to work very hard on those.

What has been your fitness highlight to date?

I would say that I think seeing the impact that I’ve had on people is always really humbling and always inspires me to keep doing what I’m doing. Helping other people whilst making myself feel good is a win-win.

Davina: Toned In 10 is available to own on DVD and digital download now.

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