Where there’s a will
Top training tips, quick tricks and takeaway curries…how Emma Willis stays in fab shape
You look amazing. Can you tell us what you do to stay like that?
I’ve worked really hard, actually. I went on a fitness retreat in Ibiza last year and it really changed my outlook on health and working out. It was part of a six-week plan to get myself ready for the new Venus razor shoot. After having Trixie (Emma’s third child), I didn’t want to rush back into anything. I think after you have a baby, you shouldn’t rush. You should just let it happen when it happens. But this time I knew I wanted to look my best, so I had an end goal.
What about fitness back home?
We’re really lucky: (husband) Matt and I have a trainer. He’s one of Matt’s best friends, and he just comes over and we do lots of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and boxing, and I’ve started going to Pilates. But it’s tricky for me to get to classes at the moment with the kids.
Matt’s fitness mad, isn’t he? Does he give you advice?
You’re right – Matt’s obsessed with fitness. He and his friends talk about fitness, supplements and nutrition all the time, and before I went on my retreat, I’d be like ‘Oh, shut up!’ He’d tell me I should be taking fish oils or some other kinds of supplement, and I’d be like, ‘Oh, leave me alone!’ But now I know it makes sense. I’d never looked into it before. I just plodded on but after Ibiza, I changed my attitude, and now Matt says, ‘See – told you I was right.’
Do you eat well as a family?
We all eat healthily and fresh, and we cook. But I do love a good curry takeaway, too. It’s all about balance. I’ve educated myself to a certain point, but you’ve got to be realistic and live your life.
Did turning 40 change the way you felt about your body?
It didn’t really bother me. I think I felt 40 was just a number. For me, it’s not about having a perfect body – I want to be strong and active as I get older, and to do that I need to look after myself. Getting to 40 makes you think time is ticking by. I can feel my back weakening more often now, and carrying, giving birth to, and nursing three babies take their toll on your body. Then you see your parents getting older and having aching knees or ankles, so I think if I act now and look after myself, I should still be strong at 60, 70 and more. So it’s about preparation and preservation.
Number one body-confidence tip?
Being comfortable and accepting yourself are so important. I’m not interested in fitting into a certain dress; I just want to be healthy and look after myself – and be able to pick my grandkids up!
Any quick fitness tricks?
There’s always a 15-minute HIIT routine you can do: 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off, or 40 seconds on and 20 seconds off – whatever works for you, and fits into your day. I also find that when I’m walking round with Trixie, I’ll do things like take her to the mirror and bounce her up and down, so I’m doing little squats.
Fave bit of body?
I like my arms. They have shape, they have muscle and tone. I do boxing and light weights to get them this way.
With three kids, your mornings must be busy. How do you get out the door on time?
You’ve got to prepare. I do as much as I can the night before – have a bath, shave my legs and wash my hair – then in the morning I just brush my teeth and put on mascara and moisturiser.
How do you pamper yourself?
I love having a pedicure, You can never do it as well yourself.
Any beauty bad habits
I don’t sleep in my makeup but I do leave my mascara on and I also like to pick it! I’ve watched my Mum do it for years, and now I do it too. Like mother, like daughter!
Read the full interview in the Jan/Feb issue of DARE, available in all Superdrug stores.