The Instagram logo

Celebrity Health - Mel C

A photo of Mel C

"My new fitness challenge"

Shaun Curran speaks to former Spice Girl Mel C about fitness, fatty foods, and the perils of turning 40...

Q: You regularly keep fit – what sort of activities or routines do you subscribe to?

Mel: "Well I am Sporty Spice, you might have heard! I’ve always been active – even as a kid I was athletic. At school I was into gymnastics, I was on the athletics team and I always danced, so being active has always been a big thing for me. But sticking to routines can still be difficult. I find being connected to a gym is the best way to ensure you have a proper structure to fitness. I probably started going in the early 1990s – a bit of running, a bit of yoga, a bit of martial arts... those types of things. Competing is a good thing for me too – against myself, against other opponents – it gives me a goal."

Q: Do you train extra hard when you’re competing?

Mel: "I do when I’m working towards a competition. I met a company called RG Active and they train people for specific events – so that could be triathlons, marathons or something completely different. The guy who runs it, John Brame, is absolutely brilliant. He is a triathlete himself and sends me programmes to follow. So Monday might be swimming drills, Tuesday a long, slow run, and so on; it’s all very specific. And I try to follow it as much as I can. When I do, it really pays off. I did my first half marathon last year and I followed my training plan to a tee, enjoyed the race and clocked a really good time. I put that all down to training well and eating well."

Q: What’s your diet like when you’re training?

Mel: "The great thing about training really hard is that you can eat lots! That’s a massive benefit. And what I learned above all is that you have to fuel. I’m wise about nutrition and I eat lean protein, but my focus is on good carbs. I have three good meals and snacks. I don’t like being hungry – I want to keep the fire burning!"

Q: You have adopted the 80/20 diet. Why have you done that?

Mel: "Well, the 80/20 is common sense, isn’t it? I try to create a good work/life balance, but like most people that can feel impossible, at times. But my working head is usually Monday to Friday, so across those days I will eat really well, healthily, sensibly, and will try not to drink. And then at the weekend I do what I want. That’s the way it’s meant to be, isn’t it?! That’s not to say I’m going to throw away all that good work by delving into really fatty stuff like a burger and chips, but I do believe in treats – they’re good for the mind... for the soul. We can’t always deny ourselves."

Q: Do you take any vitamins and supplements?

Mel: "I have probably taken every vitamin available to man at some stage, and probably all of them at the same time at one point too. But, you know, it can get a bit silly, not to mention expensive. So I actually had some blood tests to see if I’m deficient in anything, because if I wasn’t, then what was the point? So now I just take an omega-3, vitamin D and calcium, and magnesium. I also have a probiotic that is specific to me, but my advice would be to go and have a test if you can afford one, because otherwise you might well be chucking stuff down your neck that you don’t actually need."

Q: You recently turned 40. Have you noticed any changes to your body?

Mel: "Yes, since I turned 40 everything has gone wrong! Joking aside, when I was competing last year I was the fittest I had ever felt – I felt great. But my body is older, so it is harder getting up in the mornings, and I do tire a bit more easily. It also takes me longer to recover, and I feel I’m a bit more susceptible to injuries. That’s what being 40 has done to me, but it represents a new mental challenge, and I’m glad of that."

Q: Has becoming a mother helped your general wellbeing?

Mel: "Yes it has. I am more relaxed since I became a mum. I don’t get so worried about what other people are saying about me or things that are out of my control because, honestly, they don’t matter any more. And when you’re in quite a good place mentally, you do wonder if those sorts of things were ever worth worrying about. But yes, motherhood has been very good for my wellbeing. And it has made me want to be a good role model for my daughter Scarlet, in order to allow her to grow up with good self-esteem, and to look at her mum and see an honest person. That’s hugely important for me, as I think it is for any parent."

Read other celebrity health articles here...