Health Expert Series 4

Welcome to the 4th edition of the Health Series!

This month we are going to hear from MY VERY OWN BOXERCISE INSTRUCTOR Marie! She has quite similar views on health to mine, so I was very excited to read her answers! I hope you will be too.

Here we go:


Name, age, occupation: Marie Zena Barton, 36, Head Coach at HIITme Health & Fitness

What does health mean to you?

It may sound a bit silly but to me personally it’s about feeling alive and functioning physically and mentally with good energy. I want to wake up feeling good in the morning not tired and just getting up and going through the motions. I want to wake up with purpose and feel motivated.

For me if I am feeling like this most of the time then my health is in pretty good form. As a Group fitness coach & PT trainer I want and need to have good health and energy. I think there is nothing worse as a client to turn up to a class or PT session where the instructor has no energy or enthusiasm about them.

How do you achieve this level of healthy?

It’s not always easy we all live increasingly busy stressful lives. For it to work for me I need to plan organise and execute!:o). I find it easier if I make a plan and stick to it, which is easier said than done, but when you do that, it works and it is then my routine. I always work better at everything if I make it part of my daily/weekly routine

Why is it important to be and live healthily?

Wow that’s a big question………. it’s so important for so many different reasons!:o)……. I don’t think a lot of people really know what good health means or how much it affects everything in your life when you are not feeling on good form and in good health.

A lot of people think that if they are not ill then that must mean that they are healthy, well no I don’t think so……. bear with me here I don’t mean to sound patronising, I just think that so many people are running on autopilot trying to get through the day and get all the tasks done that need to be done and never putting themselves and their health at the top of that to do list. It is my personal opinion and experience if you improve your health through exercise and good nutrition it massively impacts your life in so many more good ways than you expected.

Imagine doing everything that you need to get done with a lot more energy, enthusiasm and happiness, wouldn’t it be so much easier and enjoyable? That’s why I think living and being healthy is so important, it makes such a difference to how you feel.

Why are you an expert?

hhhhmm “expert” another big word that can mean many different things to people:o) Can I change that question to What makes you good at your Job?

Well once you get past being qualified of course then it’s about the fact I really like my job and I want people to really feel the benefits of exercise. I like to keep up to date with what is going on in the health and fitness world. I think it is a very interesting time, slowly more and more people are becoming aware of the importance of exercise for more than just the purpose to loose weight which is an important factor. I love to see the change and progress in people and see how much better they feel about themselves.

What is your top health tip?

Exercise of course!:o) There is more to health than just exercise but I think it such an important part as that is often one of the first steps that people take in their aim to improve their health and that first step is the most important…..

…. But don’t just find any exercise, find an exercise that you genuinely like. There is no use taking up running just because you want to improve your health and fitness if you hate running…….we all know how that’s going to end. Don’t be afraid to try some different exercises before you find what you really like….. and find an exercise in a group format, it is more fun and makes you much more likely to stick with it if you are accountable to other people too:o)


So? What do you think?

Do you agree with her definition of “being healthy?”. I certainly do 🙂 I too want to wake up with purpose and feel motivated.

Can you find that exercise routine that you will stick to? Is group fitness classes your thing? Or do you prefer going to the gym or for a run? Maybe a personal trainer is what you need?

Tell us in the comments below!

Get in touch with Marie here and visit her website here. She can also be found on Facebook; JessBoxing, Bootcamp and Kettlercise – all group fitness classes you MUST try!

ACTUALLY, all her classes start THIS WEEK and you can try out a class for FREE! I really urge you to try one of them, they are GREAT!! Just EMAIL Marie now! 😉

Health Expert Series 1

Everyone has a different opinion about health and what it means to them. I am starting this monthly series to open up the discussion about what health means to you and maybe to learn from other people and their point of views.

This month I am starting with myself. I have interviewed myself and you can find the answers below. Every month I will interview a new person that I think has something interesting to say about health and what it means to them.

I hope you will enjoy this series and will participate in the discussion. Health affects us all, also you! This is a subject you should have an opinion on 😊

Here we go:



Name, age, occupation: Anne Louise, 35, Holistic Health Coach & Boxercise Instructor

What does health mean to you?

Health, to me, means being happy and feeling good about all areas in my life. Everything from eating the right foods and exercising, to having healthy relationships and the right career needs to be in balance before I would call someone truly healthy. I need to be happy with myself on the inside and on the outside

How do you achieve this level of healthy?

I try to eat healthy and exercise regularly. But this is not enough. I constantly work on self-development and try to improve areas in my life that I am not happy about. I clean up my toxic relationships. I find ways to handle stress and to get a good night sleep! If I find that a job or project is draining my energy, then I need to find a way to change it. When you come home from work, you should feel happy and energised! If you feel down and drained, then maybe the job you’re doing is not right for you!

Why is it important to be and live healthily?

I think it’s important to feel good in your body and to be able to live life to its fullest every day. I think too many people settle in life and don’t know that life could be so much better if they changed a few things. I don’t ever want to settle in life. What’s the point of living, if its not going to be a good and happy life?

Finally, I think it’s important to live healthy to prevent disease and aches in the future. We are getting older, and older, but what about quality of life? When I get old I still wish to take care of myself and to be active. In old age, I want to be self-sufficient and I believe by living healthy now I up my chances of that happening.

Why are you an expert?

I started my student career in nursing school and though I quickly found out that this was not my calling, I still learnt a lot about health and disease-care. Thereafter, I studied biotechnology engineering, where my main focus was how nutrition affects the body. In other words, I studied what happens in the body when we eat and when we change what we eat. Finally, I studied Health Coaching, where I learnt over 100 dietary theories and studied the world’s top health and wellness experts. My education has equipped me with extensive, cutting-edge knowledge in holistic nutrition, health coaching, and prevention.

I now work as a Health Coach, where I help my clients find balance in their life and teach about how nutrition and lifestyle affects health and overall wellbeing.

What is your top health tip?

Health can mean so many things and the important thing is to find out what it means to you. How do you feel good in your body and what needs to happen so you become truly happy and well balanced in your life? You are important! Remember that and always be kind to yourself and others!

Do you want to be part of my Health Series? Please email me. I would love to hear from you!

What is Boxercise?

About 6 years ago a friend of mine had found this new fitness program, which she loved, and she insisted that I try it out. For months she was trying to get me to come but it wasn’t until one day when I ran out of excuses that I put on my fitness outfit and dragged my unwilling body to this gymnastics hall.

The class was called Jessboxing! What was that? I’m not really into violence so I didn’t quite understand why she was convinced that I would love it.

After the warm up, the instructor, Jess, asked us to partner up and to put on our gloves and pads. One becomes the boxer and the other becomes the pad-holder. Jess explained how to throw a straight punch and then started the clock. For one minute non-stop the boxer punches the pads. Uf, one minute was long! Then some ground work, like squats or something similar for 30 seconds for both pad-holder and boxer, and then back to punching for one minute. Then we swap!

That sounded easy enough, but will it hurt? How hard can I punch? I don’t want to hurt my partner!

I put on the gloves and threw my first punch! Woaw! That feels cool! It turns out, you can punch pretty darn hard and it wont hurt neither the pad-holder nor myself. This is the beauty of this sport. You get to punch and kick, but in a controlled manner, so you don’t hurt anyone and you get a full body work-out.

The class went on and we learnt about hooks and uppercuts, kicks and knees. Finally after 1 hour I was beat! Almost literally! I was sweating like never before and I had the biggest smile on my face! I knew this was not going to be my last boxing class!


This past weekend I was in London to become a Boxercise instructor! While we were there, we also added on a Kick-boxercise class, just for the hell of it 😉

I can now offer YOU awesome amazing boxercise classes. So if you are intrigued and want to try out, please do reach out to me. I will give classes myself and I have partnered up with HIITme Jessboxing. Check out their website too! 


Learn more about Boxercise here.



My life as a non-smoker


This March will be two years since I last touched a cigarette. It was disgusting! It felt like my lungs collapsed when I inhaled and it tasted BERK… When I put it down, I knew that this was going to be my last cigarette.

I’ve been told many times that “once a smoke, always a smoker”. I for one am curious to see if that truly was my last cigarette.

I suppose it could go either way. Both my parents were smokers. My dad quite around the time he became a dad and never took it up again. He is today one of these annoying non-smokers that are bothered immensely by smokers. Sorry dad, but it is annoying! My mother didn’t smoke during her pregnancies but she’s what I would call an emotional smoker, meaning when life got hard, she picked it up again. I can totally relate to that! Once in a while, when I find life to be particularity hard, I still get the urge to want to light up! I then remember how painful it was and I quickly discard that idea. But the thought is always there. Maybe this is what is meant by “once a smoke, always a smoker”?

I started smoking when I was around 13 or 14. All the cool kids in school were doing it and since I was definitely a cool kid 😜, I was doing it too. Truth be told, it did help my social life a lot! I could strike up a conversation with anyone! Just go and ask someone for a light or sharing tricks on how to keep the cigarette dry when it was pouring down! Anything worked, as long as I had a smoke in my hand.

Naturally I was told about the harmful effects of smoking, but I didn’t care. When you are young, you are indestructible. All the sickness and such would never happen to me! And I knew how my parents had quit smoking, so I just figured I could quit whenever I want!

During most of my twenties I was on the pill. I had heard about complications with women who took the pill, were smokers and over 30. So my idea was to quit smoking when I turned 30.

I did quit when I turned 30, but it only lasted for two or three weeks. So that didn’t work. I had cut down drastically but I was still hooked!

A year later on 19 May 2012 I took the little infamous strip test and two little blue lines showed!

Shit shit shit!

My first thought was not “oh my god I am going to have a baby”. No, it was “oh shit, now I have to stop smoking!”.

It was difficult but I did it. I did it for me. I did it for this little thing growing inside of me. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I were to smoke. I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself. And that was stronger than the urge for smoking!

Needless to say, I feel much better today as a non-smoker as I ever did as a smoker. I am in so much better shape and exercising is so much more enjoyable, now that I can breath properly. Nonetheless, I don’t think I would change it though if I could. Being a smoker helped me manage some of my anxieties. I also met people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise – sad, but true.

There is one very interesting change I have noticed. I used to have quite a temper and get very angry. The first thing I would do would be to grab a cigarette. I was so worried about how to handle these rage fits without cigarettes. But as with so many things in life, it turns out I didn’t need another coping mechanisms for my rage. It seems that as cigarettes faded out of my life, so did the rage.


I am a happy non-smoker today, but I still remember what it was like to be a smoker and hear from non-smokers. They were really annoying. My dad was really annoying.

Sadly, I do find it smells unbelievably bad and disgusting that I prefer not to be around smokers. So even if I don’t want to, I have become my dad! I am sorry for all the smokers out there, but I have turned. Being a non-smoker is so much better than being a smoker!

There, I said it!

Finally, if you are sitting with this wish to stop but you think you could never. Then I have news for you! If I can do it, then so can you! Believe me!

Tell me about your struggles and maybe I can help you. Email me or comment below.

Let me know what you think of smokers in the comment section below.