Bringing Health into Fitness with Health Coach and Personal Trainer, Ali Watts- EP018

 In Podcast

Achieving balance is an ongoing struggle– be it work/life balance, the balance of training with recovery time, or simply  holding Warrior 3 for several breaths in yoga class. But the rewards are big when we get centered and dedicate our time and energy among all of the things that are important to us. The overarching theme of the Ali Fitness podcast is bringing health into fitness, working toward that balance between pushing yourself as an athlete and treating your body well to facilitate long-term well-being.




The tables have turned, and this week our host, Ali Watts, is answering the questions! In addition to the podcast, Ali is a personal trainer and nutrition coach. Located in Discovery Bay, Hong Kong, she teaches yoga and kettlebell classes and runs a bootcamp. A qualified Health Coach through Primal Blueprint, Ali is on a mission to help people transform their bodies and minds as they bring health into fitness.

Ali has lived in Australia, Japan and Hong Kong. Her undergraduate degree is in Japanese and linguistics, and she has a master’s degree in English as a Second Language. She is currently working toward a second master’s in nutrition. With ten-plus years of experience in the health and fitness industry, Ali is prepared to discuss the concepts of Primal health, the secret to her flexibility and strength, and the pros and cons of competition. She also shares her advice around self-image and fitness, the significance of downtime, and her take on time and money. Listen and learn the best functional exercises for your body – and your mind!

Topics Covered

[2:20] The challenges of centering both your personal and professional life around health and nutrition

  • Requires supportive partner
  • Never personal train, tell spouse what to do
  • Live by example
[3:49] Ali’s work around health and nutrition

  • Runs boot camp, kettlebell class
  • Online 21-day transformation course
  • Serves as personal trainer, nutrition coach
[5:57] The concepts of Primal health

  • Move throughout the day
  • Adequate sleep (more than seven hours)
  • Eat whole foods, good fats
  • Primal movement (occasional sprints, avoid chronic exercise)
[7:39] Ali’s interests around health and fitness

  • Cycling, weight training, swimming and yoga
  • Adventure races, rock climbing and hiking
  • Research and reading
  • Family time
  • Work to achieve balance
[10:45] The importance of variety in exercise

  • People can get caught up in single sport
  • One action only is not service to body
[12:07] The lessons Ali learned from participating in an adventure race

  • Not as strong as thought
  • Consequences of sleep deprivation
[13:15] Ali’s health and fitness in her youth

  • Followed brothers
  • National soccer team
  • Fit but not healthy
  • Not a natural athlete
[19:33] The objectives of the Ali Fitness podcast

  • Perfect medium to combine love of exercise and learning
  • Help people educate themselves
  • Bring health into fitness
  • Interview experts in field (athletes, doctors, etc.)
[21:34] Ali’s take on trends in fitness and nutrition

  • Concerned by idea that quick fix will solve everything
  • Diabetes, obesity stats prove that trends haven’t proven useful
  • Paleo/Primal principles two million years old
  • Seek long-term, sustainable change (vs. trends)
[24:55] Ali’s advice around self-image and fitness

  • Don’t compare yourself to others (always someone better)
  • Don’t worry about what other people think
[27:13] The secret to Ali’s flexibility and strength

  • Training, nutrition and genetics play very small part
  • Motivation is the key
  • Enjoy the process
[29:40] The significance of meditation and downtime

  • Often overlooked
  • Recovery allows for benefits of training to take effect
  • Meditation provides balance
[31:22] Ali’s guidance for people who are intimidated by exercise

  • Change the way you think
  • ‘I am fit, I am strong’
[32:52] The pros and cons of competition

  • Can teach lessons about self, teamwork
  • Helps work toward goal, catalyst for significant improvement
  • Not healthy to train only in preparation for race
[37:13] Ali’s greatest frustration as a coach

  • Clients who hang onto negative self-image, don’t reach potential
[38:45] Ali’s best advice for women

  • Under 40, don’t over-exercise and look after health
  • Ali endured eight years of IVF because body was starving
  • Make decision now as to what’s more important
  • Over 40, don’t just accept weight gain
  • Work out what body is telling you
  • Don’t compare yourself to others
[42:18] The value of weight-bearing exercises for women

  • Vital for bone density
[43:00] Ali’s best advice for men

  • Consider blood tests to determine what is going on with body
  • Can get fitter, stronger as age
[44:06] The value of weight-bearing exercises for men

  • Prevention of osteoporosis (increasing prevalence)
[44:42] Ali’s take on training and competing with men

  • Trains with men in cycling because few women cyclists in Hong Kong
  • Enjoys training with men because push to get better
  • Some men would mind, be threatened by competing against women
  • Ali’s training partners don’t have much ego
[47:41] The best functional exercises

  • Turkish Get Up
  • Primal Movements
  • Pullups
  • Pushups
  • Plank
  • Squats (one-legged)
[49:02] Ali’s view of time and money

  • Given more of either, we’re likely to waste it
  • Better to be happy with what you’ve got
  • Work toward effectiveness (vs. efficiency)
[50:54] Why Ali’s perfect day is today

[52:12] Ali’s personal mantra

  • Balance (both physical and psychological)
  • Give family as much time, energy as clients
  • Harder to achieve as get closer to dharma
[54:19] Ali’s favorite podcasts

Learn More About Ali Watts

Ali Fitness

Ali’s 21-Day Transformation

Contact Ali

Resources Mentioned

Housemates by Alison Watts

Tim Ferriss Podcast

Hay House Podcast

Joe Rogan Podcast

Pacey Performance Podcast

Sports Coach Radio

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History

Supplements I recommend




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