At 29 (just!), Jenna Anians is the Founder and President of Tribesports, a social platform for sports people. She works in Hoxton, East London, and lives with her boyfriend Jonny and her workout buddy, two year old Vizsla, Olive (below).
Why do you keep fit? I’m a big believer in healthy balance. Healthy living helps me to keep a clear mind and good focus. I’ve always loved sports. I was never been the best at any of the sports that I played growing up, always the team social secretary, rarely the team captain! After school and university I moved away from team sports to focus on more individual pursuits (swim/ gym/ yoga/ cycling/ fitness classes), but one way or another I’ve always been fairly active.
I like the level of body awareness that being fit and active promotes. It is only through being active and eating well that you can truly appreciate the effect that not doing so has on your body and your mind.
Describe your body I am 5’2” tall and weigh about 124 pounds. I’m fairly athletic, but always working to improve my physique. I cycle a fair amount and have serious power-calves!! When I was younger, I hated my muscly legs. I longed to have slim and willowy pins like a model, now I’m really proud of them – anyone can be blessed with slim legs, it takes effort to gain muscle!
Ever been overweight? I had puppy fat as a young teen, but I’ve never been overweight per se. Like many teenage girls there was a period when I felt I was overweight but on reflection, I really wasn’t – I was a perfectly normally proportioned 5ft 2, size 8 teenage girl. There was a period when I would wake my mum at 5am each day and have her drive me to the local gym so that I could workout and swim for an hour and a half before school, then at lunch i would run (around 2.5 miles) followed byteam sports training after school. The dedication was great, but I wasn’t eating right, so what I was doing was probably a little dangerous. I wish there had been a stronger message of #fitnotthin back then, its such an important, positive reinforcement for young women.
Typical training week? I am an early riser – I like to use the first few hours of the day to get ahead. I cycle to and from work daily, which is 11 miles in total. We have turned one corner of the office into a mini-gym. We have a routine whereby the whole team ‘downs tools’ at 4pm for 10-15 minutes of exercise together. Lately we’ve been taking the ‘8 minute abs workout’. Check out the video, it’s pretty hilarious – 80’s workout motivation at its best!
In honesty, aside from cycling and team workout there is nothing typical about the way I train. I am a real ‘life hacker’ with my fitness routine – I fit exercise into my day where I can and I am a total magpie when it comes to trying new fitness crazes (most recently the P90X 60-day Insanity workout). I love Bikram and I try to run with the dog a couple of times a week. My latest focus is CrossFit, I have just joined CrossFit Hackney and am committed to a minimum of two 8am sessions per week – fingers crossed I will have mastered the pull up by Christmas!
Is there a person that is instrumental in your training? The Tribesports community are an incredible source of motivation. Posting a workouton Tribesports and receiving encouragement, feedback and improvement suggestions from people all over the world is a huge boost.
Fitness and Body role model? I think Victoria’s Secret model Adriana Lima is awesome (@AdrianaLima) – I love how she shares her pre-show fitness routines and diet plans through Twitter to show the hard work that goes into achieving her incredible physique.
There is also a user on Tribesports, Kaye D – the progress that she has achieved over the last couple of years is awesome. She turns forty this year and to celebrate she has taken on the Challenge to cover 4040 human-powered miles. Impressive!
What’s on your playlist? Here are some of my current faves from the ‘now that’s what jenna calls music’ workout playlist :
Favourite piece of kit or equipment? I like material that feels good against my skin and doesn’t feel restrictive. I am very excited to get out there in my new Tribesports gear, especial the open-back detail tank and the performance capris. In terms of equipment – it would have to be my Cannondale Synapse Sora Triple, she’s beautiful and rides like a dream!
Describe your diet I don’t follow a strict diet and am a strong believer in moderation; ‘a little bit of what you like does you good.’ I juice a lot, make smoothies and only ever cook with fresh natural ingredients. No ping meals, in fact I hate the microwave – how to take the love out of cooking.
Breakfast – Yoghurt and soft fruits with acai honey in the week – fresh juice or a smoothie at the weekend.
Lunch – Salad or soup, or if I have had/am planning a big workout that day, pasta or a sandwich – the work day is busy (I know its not a great excuse) but often lunchtime eating comes down to convenience.
Dinner – I will usually make pasta (fresh fusilli pasta with oil, chilli, tomatoes, courgette pecorino, fresh parsley and black pepper is a favourite), salad or some form of meat and steamed veg.
Favourite recipe? I make a lot of salads. I tend to go over board with the ingredients. If there isn’t at least 5 flavours in there, im not happy! This is my Harissa Chicken Couscous Salad (Ingredients: Harissa Chicken, Pancetta, Couscous, pomegranate, spring onion, fresh peas, radish, red onion with Tzatziki drizzled with olive oil and lemon).
Do you take supplements? I’ve just got back into a daily routine of drinking Mega Greens. It takes a couple of days to get used to the taste but I find it really helps regulate my system and freshens up my skin.
Healthy product you can’t live without? Water, at least 1.5 litres per day. If im not hydrated I just don’t feel right.
Health mantra? No matter how slow you go – you’re still lapping everybody on the couch.
What gets you motivated? I find having a challenge helps to keep me on track – something to work towards. However, I’d be a fraud if I said sometimes I didn’t give in, reach for the Ben and Jerry’s and flick on 24 for a good fix of Jack Bauer.
Guilty pleasures? Ah the list is long. Prosecco with my girlfriends, ice cream, fresh crusty bread, chocolate… I also love to go out for breakfast (hands down the best meal of the day). I have a breakfast club with a few friends; we meet up a couple of times a month and are working our way around London’s top breakfast spots. I can highly recommend the Duck and Waffle (incredible view!) and the Hoxton Breakfast Club (warning on this one: be prepared for a big feed!)
Energy tips? I never feel more energized than after a Bikram class. Also getting up early to fit in a workout is a real energy booster to start your day. I find it a whole lot harder to talk myself into working out at the end of a long day.
What is the best bit of health advice you ever got? For motivation-by-logic, I really like a tutorial that Dr Mike Evans, an American physician put together encouraging people to carve out just 30 minutes each day to do something active. It makes perfect sense, is well delivered and if we’re honest, it is something that each and every one of us can absolutely manage. Here’s his video, appealing people to limit their daily sitting, sleeping and working to just 23.5 hours.
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