Q&A with PT Ashley Hunt

20 April 2017 by
First published: 22 November 2016

Stuck in a routine of energy drinks and junk food? Get some expert advice in this Q&A with PT Ashley Hunt to find out how the PT and wellness coach transformed her lifestyle.

 How did you get into health and fitness?

I discovered fitness completely by accident. Rewind back to my university days and I was sleeping most of the day, up all night, living off crisps and energy drinks. I hated exercise. It wasn’t until a friend dragged me along to a pole fitness class that I realised exercise didn’t have to be boring! I quickly knew I wanted to share it with others – to empower them to take control of their health and fitness, and discover the many ways this could impact the rest of their lives for the better. I became a personal trainer, however, I knew early on that exercise alone wasn’t enough. For that reason, I’ve always incorporated wellness coaching and meditation in all the work I do with my clients.

How has fitness shaped your lifestyle and helped your health?

Unfortunately, I juggle an undesirable concoction of autoimmune conditions. This year my health took its biggest hit as I developed Rheumatoid Arthritis. I have absolutely no choice but to confront my conditions and take care of myself the best I can. I think of my unfortunate health circumstances as a blessing. I have to look after myself, otherwise my pain becomes unbearable. It’s only because I am healthy in mind and body that I am able to cope with my health situation. It’s a two-way street.

How has being a PT and wellness coach changed your attitude towards health?

If I’m honest, I was probably my most fit before I became a personal trainer. Training clients can be exhausting because you’re constantly demonstrating or doing the workout with them. I find it gives me little time to focus on my own fitness goals. On the other hand, I’m constantly trying to be a positive influence on my tribe. I’m always preaching about balance and self-care; I owe it to my clients to look after myself as much as I convince them to look after themselves.

What are the main challenges you’ve faced as a wellness coach?

We live in a fast-paced world and people want quick results. I am all about going deeper to discover the values and motivations behind your goals, and then working closely with you to set a realistic plan of action to make sure you reach them. This approach is often too confronting for people who just want a quick fix. Changing your lifestyle is tough and takes time, but I’m here as your personal cheerleader the whole way to support you and keep you on track.

What inspired you to produce the e-book ‘The Essential Guide to Wellness’?

I realised that I was sharing the same practical advice every day, with clients and other people who would ask for guidance. An eBook is such a great tool because it allows you to reach more people and, in turn, help more people discover healthy habits and create a healthy lifestyle.

You’re the content manager of Balance Festival. What is it and how did you get involved?

Balance Festival is the newest wellness event for Londoners seeking a healthy lifestyle. It’s for everyone, from the hardcore gym bunnies who do yoga every morning and regular juice cleanses, to the confused dad who knows being healthy is important but doesn’t know where to start. Everyone will benefit from coming to Balance Festival and discovering the latest innovations across the food, fitness, wellness and travel sectors. Expect one-of-a-kind, boundary pushing workouts, live music, delectable culinary experiences, inspiring talks and much more.

What are your tips for trying to balance wellbeing with a busy lifestyle?

We don’t have to make sacrifices. It’s ok to exercise once a week. It’s ok to forget to meditate. It’s ok not to eat superfoods every day and it’s ok to eat gluten too. We put so much pressure on ourselves that it has to be all or nothing. It doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to be perfect all the time. Small changes mean you are more likely to make long term changes. Go easy on yourself. You are a work in progress.

What are your top 3 health and fitness tips?

  1. Your health is an investment (the one with the biggest pay off)
  2. Do less with more focus
  3. You are enough.

What can we expect in the future from ‘Ashley Hunt Wellness’?

My focus is to release more guided meditations. Meditation has been so important in keeping me healthy over the years, I suffered from anxiety and insomnia from when I was very young. I want to show everyone how important it is to our overall wellbeing. Look out for more online courses, meditation workshops and eBooks.