This month we chatted with Canary Wharf member and lifestyle coach Angela Shurina about all things health and fitness. Want a workout routine you can actually commit to? Angela’s got all the intel. She tells us the best time of day to workout, what she thinks of snacking and how NASA astronauts stay fit. We also discussed how challenging it’s been for people like Angela to move to a new city over the pandemic and how The Collective has helped her make new friends.
Angela, tell us a little bit about yourself and why you decided to move into The Collective?
I’m originally from Russia/Siberia however, for the last 10 years I’ve been living as a digital nomad in different places around the world.
As a nutritionist, health and lifestyle coach, I help people improve people’s habits around food, exercise, stress management and sleep cycles; to have lots of energy, look great, feel confident and invest in long-term health. I’m always studying and passing ideas on to my clients.
When I made the move from Russia to London, it was important for me to become part of a community of unique, smart, ambitious, techy, travellers and nomads, into health, fitness and self-care. This was the biggest reason why I chose to make The Collective my home. Being a part of a community and having strong relationships is essential for human well-being.
The second reason was being able to save time on commuting between work, gym and home: the convenience of having everything in the same place. I also like the idea of having someone on hand to fix the heating, being able to meet people and having the option to change rooms which allows my mind space to wander.
The gym, pool and sauna allow me space to exercise and relax, the communal kitchen is where I can cook with the close friends I’ve made here (I can’t imagine how I would have made friends living anywhere else during all the lockdowns). The office spaces help my workflow; I can book out meeting rooms for interviews; the variety of spaces allow me to shoot content for my digital channels; the playroom and cinema room to relax with friends, watch Star Trek or play a game of poker; the laundry room to easily clean everything and, a sunroom to do an inspirational reading from.
When it comes to fun and efficient city living, I don’t think it can get any better. I’m kind of addicted!
If you were to recommend a daily workout routine to effectively boost mind-body performance, what would that be?
That’s my favourite question to answer.
I have a very effective fitness routine to engage all the major muscle groups which take 5 minutes or less, a method that I have researched straight from NASA. The more frequently you do this routine within your week the better, NASA recommends doing this every hour or, as frequently as possible. I personally do this 12-15 times a day, it requires no equipment and produces great results.
Angela’s 5-Minute Home Workout:
The physical benefits of this 5 min daily workout are:
- Keep the body fit by increasing blood circulation to all organs, tissues and our brain.
- Improved blood-sugar balance
- Promotes and maintains a very efficient metabolism
- Creates and maintains higher energy levels.
- Counteracts the negative effects of sitting for long periods and immobility.
What advice do you have for anyone looking to boost their metabolism?
There’s no single ‘magic’ formula for boosting your metabolism, but the main things to focus in on are:
1) Increasing your activity level with exercise
2) Improving your nutrition with a better diet
What is important is maintaining consistency. The more consistent we are, the better our short and long-term results. The best way to stay consistent with new healthy habits is to start small. Often I hear of people going on wild juice detoxes which then leads to yo-yo binge diets and more extreme workouts which in turn, leaves us utterly exhausted and we end up quitting because we can’t maintain these extremes.
I suggest starting small, perhaps it’s a walk that you do every day, start eating more fruits and vegetables with your meals and then gradually replace those processed foods with whole foods over time. I would even suggest eliminating snacking between your meals and replacing that with non-caloric drinks like water or herbal teas.
When it comes to the topic of fasting, it definitely helps but only when done consistently. My recommendation here is to start slow, quit snacking, eat dinner more than 3 hours away from your bedtime and ensure that there is a 12-hour gap between dinner and when you eat breakfast the next day. It’s simple and it works.
When is the optimal time within a day to workout and, why?
The best time to work out is between 4-5 pm. This is the time when our biological systems (body temperature, heart rate, metabolism) are primed for exercise. This is when I have noticed the best results.
Doing a ‘fasted workout’ in the morning, before having eaten will empty your glycogen/energy reserves stored within the body, ultimately helping you achieving fat loss too. But from my experience, true fat loss happens when you are energy deficient at the end of your day which is why I recommend working out between 4pm - 5pm.
What is important to note is that no exercise routine or fasted cardio will outrun a bad diet and overeating.
I recommend moving as often as possible, especially after your last meal of the day as this will help you tap into the body's fat reserves overnight.
Are there any fitness clubs you run for members living at The Collective Canary Wharf?
Yes! I run the Collective Walking Club which is a fitness and movement group. We go on an evening walk for 45 minutes around the docks from Monday to Friday at 7pm and on weekends, we go at 3pm. Due to the current lockdown measures, we walk in pairs, randomly splitting, keeping distance whilst keeping fit together.
The members are loving it. Many are regulars and we have new people joining our walks all the time. It’s a great way to add movement into your day, but also to meet people, especially now that all the gyms and fitness facilities are closed for lockdown.
Running a club like this has proven to be a great way to make new friends, learn from each other, share challenges, get advice or, just have someone to listen to you. Fitness is a great tool for both physical and mental wellbeing.
This past year with lockdown restrictions has been challenging for us all. Having just moved to London, what has it been like making friends in London since moving into The Collective?
It’s definitely been one hell of a year.
I honestly don’t know how I would have made it without The Collective. The fitness equipment and smart TV access into the shared spaces have been great for my regular online workouts. Even with restrictions in place, I have been able to meet people and make new friends here with ease, this has been incredibly helpful seeing as I’ve only just moved to the UK and had zero connections here.
The community leaders and staff have been there for me to make sure that I was doing well and adjusting to the new environment.
Members of the community have shown me kindness by introducing me to other members and showing me how to adjust.
My Christmas (even though I am new to the whole Christmas thing) felt very homey thanks to the events team who arranged a community cook-off for members who didn’t get the chance to go home this season. The small details like getting together to put up a Christmas Tree can make all the difference in times like these. It's so much better than staying by yourself in some rented apartment where you can have zero communication with your roommates for days! Here at The Collective, you really do feel like you are part of the community (not just on paper) but in your heart too.
If you would like to see more health and wellness tips from Angela, follow her on Instagram.