Naomi White: London Workouts & Croatian Wellness

Words Vaara & Naomi White Photography Various

She’s regularly found at BOOM Cycle putting London’s fitness fanatics through their paces. This week, Vaara caught up with the communications specialist and fitness instructor, Naomi White to talk fitness, life balance and the new Croatian destination you should also be exploring.

What's been your journey into fitness?

I have managed to carve a career that is something I am passionate about, both in life and work and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I am one of the lucky few who can honestly say, I love my job! I first started out in PR over 6 years ago and I became a freelance communications specialist 18 months ago, focusing on health and fitness. Additionally to my everyday job, I also teach at London’s hottest spinning studio, BOOM Cycle.

Favourite workouts? 

I like to vary my training and include everything from cardio to weights for all round body performance. It’s vital not to exhaust your body physically and mind mentally doing the same monotonous workouts.

My weeks always shape up a little differently due to diary commitments, but below is an idea of how I train:

Cardio: I teach at BOOM Cycle 5 times a week, this is a fun way to workout and keeps my cardiovascular strength up.

Weight training: because a large proportion of my workouts are cardio based I try to get to my local Virgin Active to incorporate weight training twice a week. Here’s an example of a lower body weights session (allow 1 hour to complete and if inexperienced, do this with the instruction of a PT):

-3x6 barbell front squats

-SS (superset, follow straight into this from the first set) 3x12 barbell sumo squats

-4x 8 deadlifts

-3x 10 leg presses

-4x 12 leg extensions, hold each set for 10 seconds after the last rep

I always then like to add abs to each session and tend to head to the TRX for a round of knee tucks and pikes to feel the burn!

If I don’t manage to get to the gym in the week, I try to head to Barry’s Bootcamp once a week. My favourite days are Thursdays for the ab workout with Hannah Luck and Sunday, with the full-body with Jay C.

Stretch & relaxation- lastly, I enjoy yoga to de-stress and to give my body the stretch that is so necessary after cardio and weight-training. I have been hitting up Frame gym for a while now, my favourite class is basic yoga on a Wednesday or Rocket Yoga on a Friday.

Post-fitness refuel? 

I would say I eat quite a lot as I am pretty active daily. I have been working closely with a company called Fresh Fitness Food, who deliver freshly prepared meals tailored to your needs right to your doorstep daily- it’s a serious life-saver for someone on the go. More specifically, I find the best way to refuel after a workout is with a BOOM Cycle shake, my favourite pick is the Green Machine, packed full of good fats, protein and greens for an essential vitamin boost.

Below is my version of the recipe which is easy to re-create at home:

-8oz of Rude Health coconut milk

-1 cup of banana (frozen tastes so much better!)

-4 ice cubes

-1tsp of spirulina

-1tbp flax

-1tbp Lucy Bee coconut oil

-1 ½ scoops Neat Nutrition vegan vanilla protein

Combine all of the ingredients and blitz

A life in balance?

It’s quite tricky to find that life/work balance, especially as fitness is a huge part of both for me. I like to get away every now and again to where I grew up, in the New Forest, it gives me time to recoup, refocus and revive outside the hustle and bustle of London.

Fitness follows me wherever I go, but I always make sure that I enjoy what I do, you should never feel like a workout is a chore. We all have days where the gym is the last place we want to be, so when I have times like this I try out a new class or take a day of rest, my latest fitness find is XtendBarre in Marylebone- I may not have the grace of a ballerina but I certainly felt the burn!

For me personally, there’s no better way to live a life in balance than taking a few days away to clear my head. Recently I had the pleasure to visit the newly launched wellness destination on the Obonjan island in Croatia for 3 days with a close friend, which I can only describe as a hidden gem.

The Details:

A short private boat ride away from the mainland, you are immediately transported into captivating scenes of natural beauty, Croatia has always been a destination on my bucket list and it certainly didn’t disappoint! A previously uninhabited island, it's now a summer-long wellness retreat, with the capacity to host up to 455 guests in its Forest Lodges and Bell Tents, with options ranging from a few nights, to a few weeks. Focusing on wellbeing, Obonjan offers a variety of its interpretations including yoga, music, art, talks and day trips - essentially, with a bit of something to satisfy most tastes. 

We were lucky enough to stay in a luxury tent for our 3-day trip, packed full of all of the amenities. It was a luxury camping experience like no other! Our stay on the island, although short, was relaxing and just what I needed after weeks of business travel and organized chaos.

Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts if you plan on visiting Obonjan:

Do- expect serene settings, crystal clear waters (the coast is rocky with little sand) and beautiful scenes, it can easily take your breath away

Don’t- expect everything to be perfect, the island is very much a wild natural destination, so arrive with no expectation and you won’t be disappointed! 

Do- set your alarm early for the morning yoga, it was the highlight of our trip. During our stay the lovely Pip Edwards guided our practice, she also instructs here in London too Pip Edwards 

Don’t- expect a coffee before 9am. Sadly the bars and restaurants weren’t open to serve a morning boost, but this is something the organisers are set to improve. I do recommend taking your own teabags if you are staying in the luxury huts, there is a kettle.

Do- tuck into the pizza, it’s freshly baked and so delicious!

Don’t- forget your trainers, you will find you clock up a few miles venturing across the island during the day. Take advantage of the natural hike paths Obonjan has to offer!

Do- have a massage in the Zen Den to give you a whole new lease on life.

Don’t- be afraid to ask, if something isn’t available the staff were always on hand to accommodate things where possible, even a little avocado!

Do- take a day trip if you have the opportunity to, sadly we didn’t but we wish we had.

Don’t- waste any time! If you only have a few days pack in as much as you can, book into every class and enjoy the moment.

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