03 Sep Meet Lisa Raleigh – fab and fit!
We recently caught up with the incredible, rebounding, health and fitness celebrity Lisa Raleigh. Lisa is full of energy and glowing beauty, she is just a total health and fitness inspiration for moms and busy ladies, but is also a veritable font of knowledge on health, wellness and nutrition. We caught up with her to find out more.
Lisa how did you wind up in the health and fitness industry?
I’ve always had a passion for wellness and helping people. In fact, when I was a little girl, one of my favourite things to do was line my dolls up in a row and pretend to “feed” and take care of them.
At school I was very sporty and when I wasn’t in the classroom, I spent most of my time focusing on Ballet, gymnastics and athletics where I got my Natal colours for running and I competed at SA Champs many times for gymnastics.
However, when I was around 15 years old, I felt immense pressure to be at a certain weight and suffered from an eating disorder. I was banned from competing in gymnastics for a season, and at the time I thought it was punishment, but in fact, I got the wake-up call that I needed. I soon realised that my health was way more important than my physical appearance and that I needed to fuel my body with the right, nutritious foods to achieve results on the sports field and just in my life in general.
Although I went back to competing, I learned a valuable lesson from a young age – and that was that it’s good to have goals and dreams and to push yourself to achieve them, but never at the expense of your body and personal wellbeing.
Fast forward to a few years later, and there I was fresh out of school, having studied nutrition, wellness and personal training, ready to help people transform their lives. And I haven’t looked back since!
Tell us more about your bounce back classes – why rebounding?
Although I’ve always loved pushing my body and experimenting with different fitness modalities, it’s taken me years to find the “one” all-round exercise that offers the biggest benefits in the least amount of time, and that’s fun too. I can finally say, that it’s rebounding.
It’s truly one of the most effective, enjoyable, and time-efficient exercises to get fit, tone up and lose weight for both men and women. Rebounding has been a love of mine for years, and I’ve always had a rebounder in my house to incorporate into workouts. The health benefits are just too enormous to ignore, and I find you just get a little extra magic from a rebounding session than from almost any other form of exercise.
I have covered these points extensively in my Bounce Back manual – check it out here…
What is your one fitness tip or exercise for really busy ladies that will make an impact without spending hours in the gym?
I would say get on a rebounder of course! It’s just phenomenal for busy people because just 10 minutes on a rebounder is equivalent to 33 minutes of jogging – in effort and intensity but without any jarring on the joints and muscles. This also means you can rebound more often without having to take rest days for the body to recover. Rebounding is a restorative exercise!
Then, it’s also important to include one or two strength training workouts into your weekly routine. This will help to build lean muscle, change the shape of your body and keep your metabolism revving for hours after your workout. Remember, muscle uses up more energy than fat, so the more muscle you have, the harder your body has to work.
How crucial is diet to one’s fitness levels?
From my experience, ‘energy in equates to energy out’ so performance is directly linked to the fuel (food) you choose to put in your body. If you’re not eating a wholesome, nutritious diet, you can’t expect your body to work at its optimum capacity- not just for exercise, but for normal functioning too. If you think about a car that needs regular maintenance and the right fuel to keep going, it’s the same for the body.
When it comes to diet, I think it’s important to keep your blood sugar levels stable and to follow a low GI diet (rich in slow-release, complex carbohydrates and high fibre foods) because you want to ensure that your energy levels remain stable the entire day. It’s not ideal to have to manage those mid-morning or mid-afternoon energy slumps – because that’s when you tend to crave more caffeine, sugary drinks or processed snacks and your healthy eating plan goes straight out the window.
In addition to diet, I would also say that hydration is key. One of the biggest reasons people feel lethargic and run down with symptoms such as ‘brain fog’ and headaches is because of mild dehydration. Remember the body is made up of around 80% water and needs adequate fluid to transport important nutrients throughout the body – to all the major organs, muscle groups etc.
Which item in your wardrobe are you totally obsessed with right now and why?
There are two items in my wardrobe right now that I simply can’t live without. Firstly, my ripped pair of Freddy jeans are just the best. I have a pair in white and charcoal grey and they’re just so comfortable. I literally feel like I’m wearing tracksuit pants, yet they look super stylish.
Another favourite item in my wardrobe is my Fit Kicks … my feet never get sore when I wear them! I can do rebounding classes, run errands, see clients and chase after Bella in the park, and, if I’m wearing my Fit Kicks, my feet feel great.
Where would we find you on your day off (if you have one)?
I rarely get a day off, but when I do, you’ll definitely find me in a spa being pampered! I’m a real girl that way and love having holistic treatments done – like reflexology, sports massages and facials. Then afterwards, I would choose to go for a healthy lunch somewhere with a nice, relaxed vibe and a beautiful view- where I could choose a fresh salad, or healthy vegetarian meal.
One of my favourite vegan spots in Jozi is Leafy Greens in Muldersdrift. It’s such a treat to go there! Not only is the food excellent but it’s tucked away in a tranquil garden with beautiful green trees all around. You just can’t help but relax.
Bucket List travel destination, and why?
I love to travel and am lucky that I’ve been to many places in my lifetime. Currently though, I’m dreaming of a Greek island getaway. Nothing beats the Greek islands in summer. Besides the advantages of glorious weather, the sea and pristine, white beaches, I’m a huge fan of Greek food and the Mediterranean-type diet. As a vegetarian, I’m spoilt for choice with the wide variety of cheeses, olives, breads (pita is my favourite), fresh foods and salads. White sandy beaches. Beautiful white buildings.
If you could have dinner with anyone (dead or alive) who would it be, and why?
Although I have quite a few role models and really admire iconic women such as Maya Angelou, Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Ellen Degeneres, I would love nothing more than to sit at a table with Sheryl Sandburg. I just love her ethos and philosophy on life and how she’s focused on raising the bar for women in the workplace. I have also read pretty much all her books. In fact, after hearing about how she lost her husband and then reading her book, Plan B, I sobbed for hours!
Not only is she the COO of Facebook (which I’d love to hear more about), Sheryl is also the founder of Lean In, an international organisation aimed at empowering women to achieve their ambitions.