In light of International Women's Day, we interviewed some of the most influential and inspirational women working in the wellness industry - and we were spoilt for choice! Eliza Flynn is a health & fitness writer and personal trainer specialising in pre & post-natal health. In this interview, Eliza chats about why her dad is her biggest inspiration and shares her top tips for breaking into the world of personal training and writing...
What does working in the wellness industry mean to you?
The saying ‘health is wealth’ is absolutely true. I’ve seen friends and family work themselves pretty much to death, and ironically when illness comes, we have no choice but to make time for our health. I’ve been in this situation too. I suffer from stress-related eczema and experienced anxiety before and it’s all because I wasn’t looking after myself properly. Even though I was considered ‘fit and healthy’, I neglected the third, just as important, part of the ‘health triangle’ which was my mental health. The mind can very much impact the body, both negatively and positively. I work in the wellness industry because I’m passionate about raising awareness.
Who are you inspired by and why?
I’m particularly inspired by my father - for me, he’s the epitome of good health. He’s in his mid-seventies and still very active, playing tennis every week, going for regular long bike rides with his wife on their tandem (you may see them around Richmond!), he researches the best foods to eat for optimal health (and fasts every week), is looking to start up another business in the health industry and is clued up on most of the latest health discoveries. Best of all, he’s not averse to indulging in comfort food so has a healthy balance. He used to be a doctor so he’s very good at working out whether health claims are likely to be accurate or not.
What tips would you give other women wanting to get into your business?
Be passionate about what you do and do what you can to learn about the industry! If you’re looking to get into writing, start by speaking with online and offline magazines about opportunities to be involved, whether that’s from helping out behind the scenes or submitting article titles. Alternatively, you can start your own blog. For those looking into personal training, it’s all about the experience. Your qualification will get you a part of the way there, but every single client is different - from their attitude towards fitness, to their eating habits, to their goals, to their mobility, injuries and a thousand things you could never anticipate. The more you train people, the more knowledgeable you become about providing the best possible programs. If you’re looking for experience, ask if you can assist at bootcamps or train people for free.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
There’s still so much that we don’t do to support women in our society and I think it’s fantastic that we have a day where we reflect on what we have achieved, look to what we aim to achieve and recognise the wonderful men and women who together, and alone, are making strides forward, pushing for greater equality. Especially as a mum to a young boy, I am constantly striving to demonstrate in my actions and words how to instil gender equality as a natural way of thinking. I learn a lot about myself too, and some of my automatic thoughts have surprised me so I am making conscious efforts every day to promote fairness and equality through small actions and deeds.