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Featured Wellness Professional Meet Kelly MacDonald

Kelly is a Les Mills Personal Trainer, specialising in mobility, corrective exercise and rehabilitation. As an accomplished Gymnast, she has traveled the world competing for New Zealand. In 2014, Kelly represented New Zealand in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. There are SO many valuable insights squeezed into this interview with Kelly…let’s dive in! 

In one sentence, can you describe what wellness means to you? 

Wellness to me means prioritising lifestyle, nutrition, training, mental health, relationships and self care. It is also having the ability to set goals and achieve them and help as many people as possible in that process. It is also having all these aspects of your life in balance — whatever that means for you.

What are the top three wellness practices you incorporate into your week and why?

1. Infrared Saunas – these help me so much, when I go regularly (2-3 x a week) my skin is so much clearer and they help me manage my hormone health, my period is back and regular ((had a 3 years hiatus during my gymnastics career), my digestion and gut health has not been an issue since I started and my body recovers so much better from all my training. 

2. Weight Training – My body is naturally very flexible so needs a lot of support around the joints to make sure it’s strong and has long term strength for my job, I’ve had so many injuries in my gymnastics career that the only way to keep it 100% healthy and strong is to make sure I’m stimulating the right muscles to support my joints and frame.

3. Supplementation – these days we never get all the micronutrients we need to thrive from just food, adding in Multivitamins, fish oils, magnesium, zinc, pre/probiotics & many more specific supplements prescribed to me from my Holistic Doctor help these deficiencies and keep me working at 100% – my job is very demanding and requires my full attention at all times, so if I’m feeling slightly off it could mean the difference between a client feeling successful or unsuccessful in my session. I always love to give my best effort especially for my clients so having these 3 practices scheduled into my week keep me performing and giving my best back to them.

Describe your role in the wellness industry. What does a typical day look like for you?

I’m a personal trainer – because of my background in Rhythmic Gymnastics I specialised in Mobility, Corrective Exercise & Rehabilitation. I typical day involves getting up early to start my client sessions at 7, then I like to stack them back to back until about 12/1pm, sessions range from 45mins to 1hour, after this I’ll train myself and/or take a mobility/stretch class and the afternoons are spent doing admin for my clients and my subscription based website – where I sell ebooks on training/rehabilitation and have 50+classes on stretching/mobility and rehabilitation.

What inspired you to choose your current career in wellness?

It seemed like the most natural fit for me, following my gymnastics career I dived into hospitality, specifically wellness focused cafes, restaurants and supermarkets, during this time I got a scholarship to become a personal trainer and attain certificate 3&4 in fitness, I started at Les Mills Britomart as a Gym floor instructor in January 2017, I started my own business as a personal trainer in July, I’ve been there ever since and never looked back. I’ve always followed my passion in life because I got told at an early age by my mother that if you find your passion in life you will never be lost and if your turn your passion into a career you’ll never work a day in your life.

If you could turn back the time and talk to your 18-year old self trying to navigate life and your career direction, what would you tell them?

Exactly what my mother told me about following my passion…

“if you find your passion in life you will never be lost and if your turn your passion into a career you’ll never work a day in your life”

I’d also tell baby Kelly to not be so worried about what everyone else is doing or what they think, we all have our own path and ultimately if your follow it in the most authentic way possible it will always lead you in the right direction.

What is a trend you’re most excited to see evolve in the wellness industry?

Programs, classes and courses to support injuries and our societies raging endocrine system – we live in an over stressed world where most people suffer from an overload of cortisol (stress hormone) causing more inflammation and damage, so therefore doing classes that increase stress or cortisol will not be helpful for our holistic wellness overall. I love seeing Breathwork & Meditation Workshops, Soundbaths, Restorative Stretching and down-regulating classes – I hope this becomes more and more common in the coming years as our world needs more wellness practices that support this.

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