Australian Olympic snowboarder Steph Prem, who quit the slopes after a back injury in 2010, is now a Pilates and fitness instructor, and ambassador for Priceline.
We were lucky enough to speak to the wonderfully bubbly Miss Prem at the recent Priceline Beauty Prescription Live event, a showcase of all the newest and latest ranges from Australia’s most trusted health and beauty experts.
Do you have a quick workout routine that you do if you are on the go and strapped for time?
Absolutely, I have a yoga mat in my living room that sits in front of the TV, so every time I sit on the couch I see it and it reminds me that I should do something for myself. I will either put it out in front of the TV or have it out in the morning and I will do at least three to five Pilates stretches. If I don’t get it done first thing in the morning I will do it before I go to bed. It increases blood flow to the body, increases your endorphins [your happy hormone] which is a great way to kick start your day so you are in a better frame of mind. Or, if you do it before bed, it’s about taking that time out to care for yourself, even if it’s just for five minutes, it calms the mind and lowers stress in the body.
What is the most common question you get asked when it comes to women who are trying to stay fit but might be finding it difficult?
Weight loss always plays a huge part, which is sad. The direction the fitness industry is going in at the moment is very aesthetic so people are very focused on how they look as opposed to how they feel, which is very scary. It’s all beauty from within. The huge thing for me is educating women that health and fitness shouldn’t be so reactive it should be proactive and women shouldn’t be waiting to ask those questions [about fitness and health]. A healthy lifestyle should be something we all look at, it doesn’t have to be [a regime] of hitting the gym and killing ourselves and depriving [our bodies]. Sadly, the fitness industry is somewhat promoting deprivation and struggle which is not what it should be about.
What would you say to women who might be finding it hard to get back into fitness?
I work with a lot of these women and the number one thing to do is to not procrastinate and to turn up. Turning up is the first thing and then I can help you do the rest. For those who are struggling on their own and are low in motivation; start small, it’s all about baby steps and small goals. Yes, you may have a long term goal, but [the main point] is to get started. That could be just walking to the train station or walking your dog, getting active. Trying to [incorporate] some activity and movement into your everyday life. That simple act of movement everyday has a huge increase in wellbeing, mood, lowering stress levels and decreases your risk of disease.
Do you have a motto you like to live by?
My life motto is let’s be more proactive and not reactive about our health. Let’s ask better questions and let’s live a healthier lifestyle. This is what I’m hugely passionate about and this is what I live for.
Do you have a female fitness inspiration?
I have so many but for me my female inspiration comes a lot from older women. With the current fitspo trend, there is too much emphasis on the 18 to 21-year-old-body being promoted [as the desired body image]. This is frightening for a 30+ woman and it’s also unachievable for women, mums, and everyday working women. So I admire women like Priceline’s Sisterhood ambassador Ita Buttrose, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow; women who live and breathe a healthy lifestyle. That’s my kind of inspiring woman.