Whether it’s pilates moves, bliss balls or breathing exercises, Steph Prem seems to have all sorts of wellness tips and tricks up her sleeves. In a chilled out chat with former Olympian, pilates Studio PP founder and most recently Medibank Live Better Ambassador, Steph casually pulls out enough sage words that I’m hanging up the phone ready to go get Summer.
We don’t know about you, but with Summer literally around the corner, and a tough year behind us, we’ll take all the pearls of wisdom we can get. We wanted to share Steph’s practical, soul-soothing tips with you too:
So Steph, what was the most important thing you did for yourself during a lockdown? For a lot of people physical exercise was something that improved through lockdown. I had to put my whole business model (running Studio PP) online and teach virtually and it meant suddenly I could reach more people. And then as a Live Better Ambassador, I could help with physical and mental wellbeing Australia-wide. Both roles kept me healthy, fit and finding new ways to live better and live creatively from home.
Will you do anything differently out of lockdown? I eat very healthily, but I found the routine of my physical and nutritional health improved when I was eating from home all day. I realised how much I love cooking and preparing good food. When you’re working 50 hour weeks it can be very difficult to enjoy cooking and when you’re eating out you tend to eat and drink more. So I want to keep the routine, with an 80/20 rule, 80% being routine.
How are you going to prepare for summer? A big part of my strategy is to go a little slower and not say yes to everything. I want to keep routine physically, mentally, emotionally, and keep the balance lockdown helped me find.
What tips do you have for those who need a little extra motivation to get started with self-care? I don’t believe in motivation. I think it’s my sporting background. Motivation is fleeting and unreliable. If we’re all looking or waiting for it all the time, it’s not just going to turn up in those times of need. It’s got to start with discipline, to turn up for yourself on the good days and the bad days, to stay consistent, to not hit snooze, to get up and move every morning. Replace extra motivation with extra discipline, and you’ll be amazed with the results you’ll get.
And be kind to yourself! I used to push my threshold as an athlete – I injured myself so badly I couldn’t get through 20 mins of exercise. I had to pull back and nurture my body both mentally and physically. I try to instill this in others, that you’ve got to come at this with kindness. The alarm going off in the morning isn’t something bad or cruel, it’s you giving yourself permission to look after yourself.
What are your three favourite ways to move? Pilates, pilates, pilates! First thing in the morning in particular, it’s all about moving the body so I have good function and functionality for everything else in the day.
What’s been the most popular Live Better workouts? The Live Better hub helps people with workouts, mindfulness, cooking sessions, and coaching on all sorts of levels. The most popular class I’ve done is the Stretch and Restore class – watch it on Youtube here. It’s all about foam rolling and stretching, and I think it is so popular as people are looking for ways to wind down and look after themselves.
We’d love your meal prep secrets! I love a Sunday meal prep session! I set aside a couple of non-negotiable hours on Sunday and I map the meals out in advance so I know what I need to prepare. I know I need to be nutritionally on my game if I want to feel good during a busy week and having everything I need at arm’s length helps! My advice is to keep a backlog of nutrient-dense recipes that are easy to prepare and freeze. Things like slow cooker meals, frittatas and bliss balls (check out Steph’s recipe herehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WO-qBsw8goM.
Check out more of Steph’s classes, recipes and more at Medibank’s Live Better.