Why exercise is so important to Davina McCall

Davina McCall - Why exercise is so important to Davina McCall - Exercise - Diet & wellbeing - allaboutyou.com

Just thinking about Davina McCall's schedule makes us feel tired! The energetic presenter swam, ran and cycled 500 miles from Edinburgh to London in 2014, raising over £2,239,931 for Sport Relief. Skip to 2015 and she's been presenting celebrity wintersport contest 'The Jump', has launched GetFitWithDavina.com and said a resolute 'no' to sugar with her book '5 Steps to Sugar Free'.

Raised by her grandparents, Davina McCall spent her early 20s on the party scene, and her former heroin use continues to rack up the column inches. She worked a number of unusual jobs in her youth, including a brief spell as a backing dancer, before going on to present Big Brother for a decade, becoming the face of a new genre of reality television and a household name in the process.

With the help of husband-and-wife personal trainers, Mark and Jackie Wren, McCall launched the first of her ever-popular fitness DVDS, The Power of 3, back in 2004. The intervening 10 years has seen a shelf-ful of follow-ups and, today, if possible, she looks better than ever.

Whilst as a child she might not have been too sporty – “I did a bit of ballet but I had to leave in the end because I couldn’t keep my tummy in and my bottom in at the same time!” – today Davina represents a good slice of the home-fitness industry. But the energetic presenter freely admits, “I didn’t even think about getting fit till I was about 30.”

“I used to dance in nightclubs nonstop then I stopped going out so much, put on a ton of weight and did bits in the gym,” she remembers. Davina admits that even then, “I was a ‘read a magazine on the treadmill’ person…” It was in her mid-30s that she sought out her long-term trainers: “they’re the people who really turned it all round for me.”

With the exercise DVDs an overwhelming success – “probably because I spend the entire DVD struggling just like everybody else is struggling,” she offers by way of explanation – Davina has used her newfound love of exercise to raise a lot of money for deserving causes. From sponsored cycles for Action Medical Research to last year’s incredible Beyond Breaking Point feat, when Davina commits to something, she’ll absolutely give it her all.

Her ultra-triathlon from Edinburgh to London demanded a relentless training schedule, including a dreaded ‘Workout Wednesday’, when she’d endure a four- or five-hour training session. She is happy to invest time and effort into her physical challenges: “The rest of the week I was doing maybe an hour and half training, or a couple of hours' bike ride at the weekend, and trying to fit in two or three other sessions of about an hour.” But when footage emerged of an exhausted, tearful Davina being helped out of the freezing waters of Lake Windermere, part way through the challenge, the nation worried she’d gone too far – included her concerned husband who, after seeing her on telly, drove six hours to meet her. But Davina recovered quickly, and “an hour and a half later I got my cycling kit on and got on my bicycle.”

We can’t all become fitness fanatics, but it’s hard to deny that a spare seven minutes exists in even the most hectic of schedules. Davina’s latest fitness DVD involves micro-exercise sessions to whip us back into a healthier shape. It’s nothing on last year’s dreaded ‘Workout Wednesday’ but sticking to the quick session can make all the difference.

Exercise aside, Davina has taken up a new call to action: nutrition. Describing herself as someone who “would never diet” the mum is championing a sugar-free lifestyle, calling the white substance “the worst evil, worse than any fat.” That said, she’s not one for fad diets. “I thought the cabbage diet was hilarious, I mean, talk about farty bums!” And when it comes to low-calorie diets? “I cannot eat just 500 calories in one day; I would murder someone!” she laughs.

Ditching the sugar is often credited as bringing a new lease of energy, but Davina seems perky enough as it is. Between presenting, working out, her family life, a decade-long loyalty to Nutrisse, and her charity work, it’s surprising she had time to stop. Hers has been a long and varied career; the Big Brother days, gameshows, an attempted sitcom and her indomitable charity work. And there's no sign of that stopping any time soon, as Davina has a positive view of the future: “I feel like I’m at an age where lots is happening and I could do lots of different things,” she says.

The new DVD Davina: 7 Minute Fit is available now

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