Renee Norman & Jenna Smith are qualified Personal Trainers, Holistic Health Coaches and together they founded the online fitness program Real Health NZ.
Their mission is to empowering women to feel their best through movement. Each week Ren & Jen stream 6 live workouts via Facebook to their community with heaps of different types workouts and advice on how to return to exercise postpartum. This inspirational pair do all this while caring for their four babies.
We caught up with Ren & Jen for an inside look at their personal wellness journeys, how they juggle life and what keeps them motivated. They also share their favourite morning smoothie recipe. Grab a kombucha and join us for their inspiring story.
What does health & wellbeing mean to you both?
Having the energy to do all the things in life that we love!
Daily movement, nutritious foods - YES! But, I’m a big believer in the saying ‘It's what we do everyday that matters more than what we do every once in a while!’ Eating cake at a party, coffee and slice with friends, or a glass of red on a Friday evening is in my books essential to health and wellbeing - it's for the soul!
How did you start on your wellness journey?
Ren: I was brought up in a family that really valued physical exercise and sport so it’s in my blood! Over time my passion for exercise has increased particularly since becoming a Mum. It was and still is my little reset, it makes me feel like I can take on anything. It’s something that I want every mum to have in their tool box of tricks to help them get through the hard days.
Jen: Like Ren, I too learnt the benefits and value of sport & exercise at a young age. It really is just who I am. I knew early on my life would be focused on helping others learn the values of sport and exercise and I know I'll be doing it forever.
The ripple effect that comes from a person taking control of their exercise and wellness is what lights me up. It starts with you putting just a little time into yourself and it filters onto everyone around you.
What has been your biggest wellness struggle?
Managing being a mum, a business owner and our own wellness, has definitely been our biggest challenge to date. It’s an ongoing challenge! Long gym sessions and hot yoga are a thing of the past that’s for sure!
Our priorities shifted significantly when we came to be mums, so figuring out the balance and our new norm when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle is something that we are constantly evaluating.
There are some days when prioritising self-care is easy but there are many days when it seems impossible. But on the days when it feels impossible we remind ourselves of our motherhood mantra - "To care for others, we must care for ourselves."
And, your biggest win?
Combining our passion and creating Real Health NZ. An incredible community of women committed to feeling their best through movement.
How do you overcome setbacks and stay motivated?
We are sure you would have heard the saying “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” Maintaining motivation is hard, it comes and it goes, and even for us we still have times when our motivation falls flat. That's where having exercise as a habit is important.
Our top two tips to creating a habit are:
Have an exercise cue, something that each and everyday triggers you to do your exercise. For us, it’s putting on our exercise gear.
Having a strong reason why exercise is important to you. For us it’s to set a good example for our girls and to be the best versions of ourselves. We know exercise does this! Keeping an intrinsic motivating reason at the forefront of exercise is incredibly important particularly for the days when the motivation is low.
What would your ultimate healthy day look like?
Ren: For me it's a sleep in!! #dreaming
A walk around the Mount with a coffee in hand! Quality time with friends or family and some deep chat. A HITT workout followed with stretching.
Jen: A slow morning with a healthy breaky then a walk to my fav cafe for a cheeky latte! Just not being woken at 5am by my wee ones haha!
Spending a decent chunk of the day outdoors with my family - no place I'd rather be! 20 minutes on my mat flying through a good sweat session. And dinner around the table with loved ones! Food, family and good chat - nothing better!
Is there one thing you do that has made the biggest difference for you and your health?
20 minutes of exercise everyday. Each day it looks different. Some days it’s yoga, a walk or a high intensity workout but 20 mins everyday is a non negotiable for us.
We are also big believers in starting the day with a quality breakfast, in our experience this kicks the day off on the right foot. One healthy choice always leads to another!
Where do you get your healthy eating inspiration from?
Ren: I have been loving lots of inspiration from Krissy Ropiha from @hernourishedkids I think her account has such great inspiration to make healthy eating fun for kids and adults too! Check her out!
Jen: My go to girls for healthy recipes are local kiwi girls Megs & Soph! All their recipes are so good, super yum and easy.
We both love to start the day with a nutritious filled breakfast smoothie!
Real Heath NZ Nothing Naughty Berry Smoothie
1/2 cup mixed berries 1/2 frozen banana 1 cup almond milk 1 tbsp chia seeds 1 tsp LSA 1/2 tsp maca powder 1 tsp collagen powder (we use Nothing Naughty)
Blend in a high speed blender and enjoy!
Thanks heaps Ren & Jen for sharing your story with us. 🙏 You are impacting so many women with you passion for fitness, your down to earth attitude and your fabulous online programmes.
If you're keen to bring exercise into your day you can workout with Ren & Jen live for just $10 a month. You can join the here.