A pair of raggedy trainers, a T-shirt you found rolled up under the bed and some leggings you think you may have worn to your school disco circa 1995 is not an outfit worthy of a great workout.
Here, we chat to the new UK Ambassador of Triaction by Triumph, doctor and personal trainer Hazel Wallace about why wearing good gear is integral to exercising well.
Hi Hazel – can we start by asking you to describe your job?
I’m a doctor, author, personal trainer, blogger/influencer, and a businesswoman. This year, I’ve taken time out of my full-time training as a doctor to work as a locum, or part-time doctor, in order to focus on my business, The Food Medic, write my second book The Food Medic For Life and work as a doctor in the media.
Phew! That’s a lot going on. Can you describe the transition from doctor to PT to food author?
I started my blog while studying medicine at university, and I also trained to be a PT while studying for my medical finals – so, they all happened parallel to one another. There was no transition, as I found a way to merge all of my professions, qualifications and passions together to create my own portfolio career. I’m very lucky that they complement one another so nicely, as there is a huge connection between medicine and health, and food and fitness, and I like to think of myself as one of very few people who do both.
Can you describe a normal day for yourself?
No one day is normal. If I’m working at the hospital, it’ll be a 5am start and I’ll finish at 5:30 or 7:30pm on a long day. I’ll try to squeeze in a gym class before heading home to make dinner. The days I work from home are spent recipe-developing, planning content, answering emails, going to meetings, and presenting at different conferences and events. I love that my job varies from day to day, but it makes planning ahead in terms of workouts, meals and my social life tricky. But I wouldn’t change it for the world.
What have been your career highlights so far?
Hands-down qualifying as a doctor. But outside of my medical career, I’ve achieved some pretty huge things: becoming a bestselling author, winning Best UK Wellness Blogger at the Pure Package awards and signing up as a UK ambassador for Triaction by Triumph.
Do you work out regularly?
I train on my own two to three times a week and once on the weekend with my girlfriends. We like to try out different classes, but my favourites are F45 and UN1T in London because they are cardio and weight-based circuit routines. I find working out with friends really motivates and empowers me because we’re all cheering one another on. We all have different strengths and weaknesses, but as a team we’re pretty strong. This philosophy also resonates really well with the new Triaction campaign surrounding the empowerment of women both in and out of the gym.
Do you think having good exercise gear in general can motivate you to workout, both physically and mentally?
Absolutely. If you rock up to the gym in your boyfriend’s baggy T-shirt and old sweatpants that you wear to decorate in, you aren’t going to feel ready to train or be well equipped to perform. Investing in good gym kit and a good sports bra is investing in yourself and your health.
What do you wear for your favourite workouts?
For yoga, it’s seamless leggings and a non-wired sports bra, such as the soft Triaction Free Motion Bra. Then high-waisted leggings (for squat control) and a comfortable bra that offers support for any movement, such as the Triaction Extreme or Hybrid Lite Bra, when weightlifting. Then, whenever I go for a run, I go for compression leggings, Asics trainers and the Triaction Magic Motion Bra, which has a soft-touch magic wire that gives all the support of a traditional underwire.
Would you say having a well-fitting support sports bra is the foundation of any good workout?
Wearing a well-fitting bra is important regardless if you’re working out, but if you add the impact of jumping, running, bouncing and exercises like burpees to the mix, it’s a no-brainer that you need to protect your chest. Also, poorly fitted bras can cause skin irritation – particularly with vigorous movement and sweating.
Do you think it’s quite common for women to put up with badly fitting sports bras when it’s unnecessary?
Most women take their day-to-day bra a bit more seriously than their workout bra. Most sports bras also have generic sizing, so it is very difficult to find a really good fitting bra. This is why I love Triumph because their sports bras are actually fitted in conventional bra sizes.
Finally, there one overarching wellbeing fact you think everyone should know?
As a doctor and PT, I’m passionate about the benefits of fitness outside of appearance. If exercise was a pill it would be the most widely used, inexpensive and effective form of prevention and management of disease. When you look at the stats, exercise can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke by 35%, type 2 diabetes by 50%, colon cancer by 50%, breast cancer by 30%, depression by 30%, and so many other conditions. We don’t shout about that enough.
Triaction by Triumph is available online at uk.triumph.com and at selected Debnhams, House of Fraser and John Lewis stores.
Win £500 worth of Triaction by Triumph
Motivated by Dr Hazel to give your workout wardrobe a much-needed overhaul?
Triumph is offering one lucky Stylist reader the chance to win £500 worth of Triaction sportswear. Whether you’re after a new sports bra for that spinning class or some workout leggings for your next run, for your chance to win, all you need to do is answer the following simple question:
Oh no, you’re a little late!
Sorry, the promotion closed about 2 years ago. Don’t worry, you’re still a winner to us. We have loads of other competitions running every week.