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Celebrity Health - Melanie Sykes

A photo of Melanie Sykes

Shooting star

Liz Parry talks to model and TV presenter Melanie Sykes about how she stays in such great shape and finds out about her new-found love of clay pigeon shooting

Q: If you don’t mind us saying so Melanie, you’re in great shape for a 42-year-old mum of two! Have you always been a regular gym-goer?

Melanie: "I’ve always been slim but not necessarily fit. After I had my second child I found it harder to lose the weight. I started training when I was about 38 as I decided to start looking after myself before I hit 40. Before that I used to do yoga but I’d never been much of a gym bunny. I started going running as I found it was good for clearing my head but my knees didn’t like pounding the pavements, so then I tried the gym and I found it worked for me."

Q: Did you find that you caught the fitness bug after you started training?

Melanie: "The more I worked out the better I began to feel. I got talking to one of the trainers at the gym who told me that it’s not just about exercise, it’s about changing the way you eat as well. When I started eating more healthily I really noticed a change in my shape – I started to get a lot more definition – and that’s why I kept on with it. It’s the only way to get results. People say to me “you’re so lucky to look like that” but it’s not luck – a lot of effort goes into it. There’s no secret to it – it’s a life choice. It’s all down to you at the end of the day. Everyone has the potential to be fit and healthy."

Q: So, what does your exercise regime involve?

Melanie: "I try to go to the gym about three or four times a week. If I’m busy I’m lucky if I go twice, but I do try. I also have a personal trainer who comes to the house to train me which is a lot more intense. I probably work a lot harder in that hour at home than I do at the gym. I do a mixture of cardio and weights. I like to use the cross trainer and the exercise bike but I don’t use the treadmill any more because my right knee just can’t hack it."

Q: Is it ever a chore or do you really enjoy it?

Melanie: "Sometimes of course it’s a chore, especially if you’ve been working all day. But the results make me go back and after the hour’s up I always feel so much better. Sometimes I love it but other times I’m literally clock-watching. It’s like that for everyone, though, isn’t it? Even athletes must get tired of doing it."

Q: You’ve recently taken up clay pigeon shooting. How’s that going?

Melanie: "Yes, I’m being taught by Peter Wilson who won the gold medal in the double trap at the London 2012 Games. It’s been going really well. While I’m shooting I’m so focused that I don’t think of anything else during that hour – it’s like I’m in a little oasis. I’m a bit of a stress-head and it helps to calm me down. It’s my dream to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio."

Q: So tell us a bit about your diet. Do you always eat healthily or do you allow yourself a few naughty treats?

Melanie: "I eat everything in moderation. I don’t deny myself some of the naughty things in life. I love chocolate, pork scratchings and white wine so I’m not going to deny myself those things. But if I’ve got a photo shoot coming up I’ll make sure I eat more healthily and I’ll reduce my carb intake. I’m required to look a certain way for work so I can never overindulge completely and I wouldn’t want to anyway. I love cooking but I have to have a recipe book – I’m not one of these creative cooks. It’s all Nigella and Delia Smith – they help me to get some really nice meals on the table."

Q: Do you take any supplements?

Melanie: "I take fish oils as they’re good brain food and keep me sharp – I swear by them. I don’t really take herbal remedies but I’ll have a few drops of Rescue Remedy before I do a live show as it helps to calm the nerves. I’ve taken Evening Primrose Oil in the past for PMT and I’ve found it to be helpful. Before a workout I’ll have an Active Woman Activate shake as it really helps to boost my energy levels and afterwards I’ll have a Refuel shake as it’s a good way of putting stuff back into your body that you’ve burnt off."

Q: Do you follow a specific beauty regime to look after your skin?

Melanie: "No, I’m quite basic when it comes to beauty regimes. I clean my face with wipes which tends to horrify most beauty types and I always moisturise. I don’t bother with scrubs but occasionally I’ll do a face mask. I drink lots of water and I always clean my make-up off before going to bed. One thing I do love is having spa treatments – facials and massages – that’s a real treat."

Q: What would you say makes you happiest in life?

Melanie: "I love having time to just chill out and do nothing. I love reading and going to the cinema. But what makes me happiest is hanging out with the kids (Roman, aged 11 and Valentino aged eight) and going down to the coast with my fella, Jack."

Q: What does the rest of the year hold for you?

Melanie: "There are a few projects in the pipeline. I’m really focused on the clay pigeon shooting and I’ve got a new series of Let’s Do Lunch with Gino and Mel coming up, which is always good fun. There are plenty of things to keep me busy!"

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