Charlie has hosted everything from football to marathons, the World’s Strongest Man to the Brit Awards and was recently the world’s first female live boxing anchor. She is passionate and outspoken women’s rights campaigner, specifically on sexual and domestic abuse.
1) Has it always been important for you to fit exercise in your schedule? If so, why?
I exercised from a very young age without really realising what ‘exercise’ meant. I walked with my Nan and Grandad from the age of 5 for miles, I used to love seeing the trees, horses, the post office we used to walk too which was over 2 miles away from their house. My mum used to go to aerobics when I was 5 too, at that time she was a single parent so I used to go with her and dance around at the back of class! I saw how happy it made my mum and I just loved it. We also walked everyday because we didn’t have a car. So it was ingrained in me from a young age that exercise was such a positive and natural thing to do. I did martial arts at primary school age and then started running when I got to secondary school and took up boxing when I was in my teens. It has always been a major part of my life. I think it is so important to teach this at a young age because it becomes part of your life and who you are. Exercise as adults seems to come with so many negative connotations and pressure especially when it comes to body image. It makes me so sad, exercise should be part of all our lives because good health is essential to living especially. I was critically ill 16 months and given 24 hours to live. The doctors both in Brazil and England said if I hadn’t have been so healthy and my heart so strong I would not have survived. Exercise has also kept me mentally going from a young age, it was my savour through depression and is now through PTSD.
2) What does your current exercise routine involve?
This really does vary on what I have on. My stable tends to be running. All you need to run is a pair of trainers and you can do it anywhere. I travel quite a lot in my job and the first thing I ever pack is running trainers! I do weights and body weight strength exercises. I’m a big advocate for strength and conditioning training because it protects our body especially was we get older and I love feeling strong! I do pilates too which helps with muscle imbalances and reduces injury. I have recently incorporated some yoga postures into my routine too. I throw in some boxing as well, mainly because I love boxing but it is also is such a great workout for everything and it gives you such a high. I mix up what I do to be honest. I love cycling and swimming as well but I haven’t been on a bike since I was ill in Rio. It is a mental block that I am going to overcome this year!
3) Do you think that exercise (in its broadest sense) has played any role in your success?
Yes! Yes! And Yes! I could write a whole essay on this but in a nutshell it has 100% played a role in my success. From a young age it helped me figure out who I was, I had very low self-esteem when I was younger and exercise has and still does help me believe in myself, it taught me self-discipline, strength, determination, hardwork, dedication, how to manage my time. I could go on and on! It also helped me so much with my mental health and to problem solve and make decisions.
4) When and where do you like to work out best? (morning/night – home/gym/outdoors)
My life isn’t very regular and structured, every week is different so it very much depends on my schedule. I think it is really important to adapt otherwise it becomes a negative pressure. I do though love doing exercise outdoors.
5) has exercise/fitness always been a part of your life, if not, when did it become a part of your routine?
Whoops sorry I answered this above!
6) Who is your role model?
I have different role models that inspire me in different ways and have done throughout different stages in my life. My mum is a very big part of my life, we have been through a lot together. My Grandad was a great role model for me, he encouraged me to be me. I also used to read Muhammad Ali’s books when I was a teenager, his voice was a huge inspiration for me to fight to have a voice. I loved Kelly Holmes when I was a kid, she inspired me to train hard, I used to want to be an Olympian. I think also even if we have or have had some people in our lives that aren’t the best role models, we can learn from them, what we don’t want and what and who we want to be.
7) What is your favourite health/fitness quote?
Oh gosh this is a tough one as there as so many great ones that I relate too. I like ‘Don’t ask me why I run… Ask yourself why you don’t.’ And I’m not sure if this is a quote from somebody else or me but when I came out of hospital and ran for the first time all I could think about was how lucky I was to be alive and to be able to run so ‘I run because I can.’ One that I think about a lot, it is not necessarily exercise related but I apply to training or any kind of challenge or event. ‘Control the Controllables’ and I know this concept is used a lot in sports psychology. I was said it at the beginning of a 10k race that I was speaking at and quite a lot of the runners especially first timers said it helped them a lot. It helps me!