Personal trainer and fitness Vlogger, Carly Rowena is mostly known for being an incredible role model in fitness and for trailblazing open and honest discussions around all things health and wellness. We were lucky enough to catch up with Carly recently to ask her a few questions about the industry including how she feels about fast fashion, body confidence and the best way to approach a new fitness regime.
Here's what she had to say:
When did you first discover your passion for all thing’s fitness and health?
‘As a child I’d always be moving, I loved moving my body but wasn’t particularly sporty. It wasn’t until I turned 18 and could join my local gym that I discovered weights and how incredible it felt to feel strong, It helped me feel independent, powerful and it soon began to transform my body from something that was quite shapeless into a figure that suddenly filled out my clothes and helped me feel much more feminine.’
Since your journey in fitness began, you have become an established personal trainer, what would be the most important advice you’d give to someone who’s looking to start out their fitness journey?
‘Take your time. We’re a species obsessed with quick fixes and fast results. If I could start my journey again i’d slow it all down. We forget that small changes make huge differences and for most of my clients I get them to focus on one new habit per week. Week 1: Up your water,
Week 2: Walk 40 minutes per day.
Week 3: Add an extra vegetable to your normal meals.
Week 4: Go to sleep 30 minutes earlier.
By the end of 4 weeks you have 4 new habits, all of which will have made a healthy impact without having to ‘remove’ anything from your life. Too often we focus on removing all the fun things like chocolate and wine but I like to encourage my clients to keep the fun things and instead add in new healthier habits.’
In addition to being a PT, what drew you towards a career as a blogger, youtuber and all round lifestyle influencer and which came first?
‘My story is a little backwards, I actually started YouTube as a way to discover my own talents. I was always ok at most things but not great at one thing which made it really hard to know what career route to take. YouTube was a way for me to play and deep dive into subjects and styles I loved and luckily as my following grew it was my audience who actually made me realise that fitness could be my career! I feel so thankful that YouTube helped me realise my potential as a trainer but that social media helped me reach people worldwide!’
We love following your super fun and empowering social media posts and stories. How do you manage your daily work routine in addition to being a wonderful Mummy to Jax. You must be incredibly organised!
‘Can I say I’m completely winging life? Haha! Everything is a juggling act and truth be told you never realise how many hours there are in a day until you become a mum. I love spending time with my daughter and want to show her a positive work ethic but try to keep laptop time to a minimal when she’s awake and focus on completing those tasks when she’s asleep. 5am has become my best friend, it’s my power hour to get everything done before the household wakes up. My mental health depends on me having some time to myself and I’m lucky because a small workout does the trick, I usually move my body before 7am when she wakes up, that way I know I’ve accomplished something, even if that’s the only thing I accomplish that day!’
What are your main thoughts around fast fashion VS sustainable fashion in terms of how you think we can all improve our buying habits?
‘I’m lucky that I learnt very early on that material possessions don’t increase my happiness. Sure I love a new outfit for a girls night out or upcoming adventure but I get far more excited to fall in love with a piece that’s going to stay in a my wardrobe for a long time. I remember watching a documentary that said the current fashion industry creates items to be ‘in fashion’ for just one week, meaning you’re out of date the following week which constantly makes us feel like we need to update our style and it really hit me. Being sustainable in all areas of my life is important, I want my daughter to live in the same beautiful world that I was so lucky to enjoy as a child.’
Fast fashion, low quality gym wear is a huge contributor to environmental pollution. What tips would you give about making the swap to sustainable gym wear?
'I remember when I first started in the fitness industry, there really was only four activewear brands to choose from, now there’s hundreds. While I understand that money/budget is a factor to the items people choose your workout wardrobe really gets put through it’s paces and for that reason its actually much more cost effective to purchase a new pair of leggings or sports bra that’s going to last you. Some of my favourite outfits are over 7 years old!’
What does body confidence mean to you and how do you make sure this message is shared with your followers?
‘Body confidence isn’t a size or shape, it’s a feeling. I don’t know about you but spending more time naked, smiling instead of frowning at the ‘imperfections’ of your skin and dancing on the bad days. It’s normal to go through periods and moments of having less confidence because no-one is perfect, life isn’t a destination it’s a journey and one you’ll never be this young again so don’t waste it at war with yourself.’
What are your top tips for staying mentally healthy during this time?
‘Log-off as much as you can, spend more time looking up than down at your phone, surround yourself by nature and people who lift you up, instead of bring you down. I also LOVE the app Synctuition, it really helped me out of some serious funks during lockdown!’
Finally, we absolutely loved your YouTube Vlog “What I ate, bought and wore last week’ and your review of Scultura’s Debutto Gym Leggings and Balletto Top. What do you like most about our brand and why?
‘Oh I just love your brand! Everything feels so slinky and leaves me feeling like a ninja, which is just the kind of motivation I need before a CrossFit workout!’
P.S. We also love the app Synctuition - the advanced relaxation program, in fact we downloaded it after seeing a post on Carly's insta stories recently. We're already feeling the benefits. Why not give it a try too!