Keeping fit and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a surefire way to feel your best, but how do the celeb lot do it? Is it a fancy juice plan? A PT to the stars? Sauteed kale that's been whipped up by a personal chef? Or do they have plenty of wellness tips that the rest of us could steal to help us on our own wellbeing journey? Believe it or not, it's often the latter. We speak to celebrities and influencers to find out exactly how they stay fit, look after themselves inside and out and ultimately feel great.
This week it's all about Below Deck's Courtney Veale, one of the latest addition to the stew staff. Courtney is really into fitness (from being a qualified PT to coming to dancing throughout childhood) and is always showing glimpses of her wellness journey on the 'gram.
Courtney chats to Closer Online about staying motivated, self-help books and how she maintains her healthy lifestyle whilst filming Below Deck...
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What's your favourite way to keep fit?
It changes depending on how I'm feeling, to be honest, but I love going to the gym. I have a personal trainer two or three times a week with who I really like doing heavy weighted training, just because I feel like I can’t really do that on my own.
I also love yoga, focusing on my breathing and breathwork stretches. I love going for walks and being outside, as well.
When filming Below Deck, how easy is it to stay fit and live a healthy lifestyle?
When we're filming Below Deck, it's probably even harder than when I'm on a normal job. It's so much more intense with the cameras being there and with everything being on a time schedule. We'll finish work and then have a certain amount of time to flip the boat like we would on a normal boat. Then we'd have to be ready by like 6:30 pm to go to dinner.
I'll always try to go for a little run or do a quick HIIT session or something like that. I'm always stretching, using booty bands and doing resistance band workouts in my cabin because you don't need a lot of space for that.
Nutrition comes into it a lot, as well. If you try and fuel your body with good nourishing stuff, it's not as bad when you don't work out as much and you don't feel as guilty for it.
I've swapped to deck now and even though stewardessing was also very physically demanding, I feel like being on deck is even more so. You're running around constantly, a lot of the days you're so tired, you kind of feel like you'd been doing a workout anyway.
How did your fitness journey start?
I was a dancer from quite a young age, so I was properly into dancing and performing from the age of 11 and did that until I was about 19 or 20. I went to a professional dance college, where they really nailed into our heads how important fitness was. Ever since then, I've been into the gym and fitness.
Actually getting my own training certificates and stuff was actually due to COVID, really. I was working on a yacht where we were all in quarantine, so we had all this free time. I had all the money I'd made from yachting so I trained up to get my personal training certificate. That way, I could use it on the yachts while learning on the job, too.
Fitness has always been a big part of my life. I feel like it's helped me mentally so much. It has such a good impact on my mental health, so that's why I really try and keep in a good routine.
What helped you really progress at the gym?
I honestly think social media and seeing people post workout videos on Instagram. It helped to be able to see the different techniques and how you should be doing things. I feel like that's probably had the best impact because I was learning so much from it.
I know everyone has negative things to say about social media, but I do feel like it's free guidance for people when they can't afford personal trainers. I couldn't at the time, I definitely wouldn't have been able to afford a personal trainer two or three times a week.
I've always kind of been in shape, but I feel like I was just doing what I thought I should be doing in the gym. Spending hours on the treadmill, not lifting weights that were too heavy because I thought I would get super big and muscly and bulky. Now I know that no too be true.
What do your week in workouts look like?
At the moment, it's a bit intense because I'm going away again at the end of the month, so I'm trying to train hard and be focused. But typically, I always try and go to the gym like, five, six times a week. That does include either gyming on my own, or with one of my PTs. I'm not very good at doing cardio anymore, I get in there and the last thing I want to do is cardio, so I do more weight training.
I go to yoga three times a week but I also try and do some yoga at home, especially in the mornings. Doing a stretching session after lifting heavy weights can be important, because you can kind of feel like you lack mobility after that, especially if you don't really stretch.
I think walks are so beneficial, going for a walk is really underestimated. Sometimes the last thing I want to do when I wake up in the morning is go to the gym and if I am feeling that way, I'll just go for a walk. After I've had the fresh air and all the positivity has gone to my brain, I'm like 'maybe I will go to the gym.' Yeah, I feel like a walk is probably the most underestimated activity you can do.
What are your daily wellness habits?
Getting up in the morning, having a nice shower and making yourself feel nice, even if you're not leaving the house. Just getting dressed and having a nice healthy breakfast to start your day off normally.
I love to go on a walk. I love reading at the moment, but I like to read while I walk. Nobody can get their head around it, but I literally love it! Some people might love going to the gym to do cardio, or they might love going for a walk up a mountain.
Are there any books that you would recommend?
I've just read Women Don't Owe You Pretty (£14.99). Oh my god, it was amazing. It's literally mind-blowing some of the stuff that we just say and do, so casually. She really makes you think about it, and you're like 'I can't believe I'm actually saying that'.
You have no idea how it's going to affect somebody else and you've got no idea what people are going through. It talks a lot about privilege and everything, too. It was really eye-opening.
I read a book called The Mastery of Love (£11.99) last year and it's all about loving yourself, it's very spiritual. That was really a good read as well, it just made me feel good inside. I think people get super lost in social media at the moment. It does have the ability to kind of put you into a downward spiral, I think if you get too into it.
What gym essentials are always in your gym bag?
So I always have my AirPods (£119), because music gets me through some days.
Also, water! Nothing beats a bit of water. They're probably my top three.
How do you stay motivated?
Honestly, if I don't have the motivation that day, then sometimes I just don't have the motivation. I've really started to listen to my body a lot more recently, and I feel like that's been having a massive positive impact.
I actually end up wanting to go to the gym, and I want to do more because I'm not putting pressure on myself to go every single day or making sure that I go six days a week. I feel like there is a lot of pressure on us. You're scrolling on Instagram and it's like, 'Have you been to the gym today?' and I'm like 'No, I don't want to!'
I do feel like people put a lot of pressure on themselves to go to the gym and honestly, if I'm not feeling it, then I think some days you can't always be really motivated. I just think we do just have to listen to our bodies.
Do you have any fitness influencers that you follow that inspire you and your fitness journey?
I love Morgan Rose Moroney (@MorganRoseMoroney). She's Australian, she used to be a gymnast, but she's more of a fitness influencer now. She still does a lot of gymnastics and handstands and everything. Whenever I see her posts, you can see that she actually loves it rather than just posting pictures of her looking great. She motivates me a lot.
I've got quite a few friends at home, who I look up to for inspiration. One of my best friends here, Bobbie (@BobbieBeFitGym) is only 23 and she's started her own female-only gym. She's constantly posting, she loves it, she influences me so much.
She's just one of those people that seems to be always motivated and you're like, 'how?' It definitely motivates me as well. When you see her posts, I think you can see how much she enjoys it and how hard she's worked for it.
Favourite healthy snack? Cashew nuts are my go-to snack at the moment. I also love celery with soft cheese or hummus.
Usual bedtime routine? I'm usually always in bed by 10 pm, but asleep by 11 or 11:30 pm. I'll try leaving my phone downstairs and read a book instead of scrolling.
Something that’s always in your fridge? Oat milk. Especially the 6pk OATLY Oat Drink Barista Edition (£9.90)
Quote you live by? It sounds really cliche, but you only live once. You've just got to do everything that you can.