Nadia James

Gemma Linaker
20th July 2019
Amy Merrywest
5th July 2019
1) Why is it important for you to include exercise in your busy schedule?

As a woman running a tech startup on my own I have to be so vigilant about mentally and physically staying my best. Physical health and mental health go hand in hand so for me when I prioritise my physical fitness I’m prioritising my happiness.

I live a busy life though so finding a good balance can be difficult. I try to at the very least keep my body active throughout the day even when I’m not in exercise mode. I always take the stairs two at a time, I count them as lunges ;). I opt to walk when plotting my travel journey if I have the time. I take walk breaks throughout my work day. I try to follow small habits like that consistently as well as keeping my diet balanced so that I’m not making it harder to see the results from my exercise.

2) What does your exercise routine involve?

My exercise routine mainly consists of yoga. I like to mix things up though. I go through phases where I add running, weight training, swimming, dancing and more recently rock climbing into my routine.

3) Do you think that exercise has played a role in your success?

Absolutely, exercise has been a pivotal part of my success. As an entrepreneur, one of the biggest threats to your success is burn out. If you don’t have the mental capacity to perform, there’s no one to do your work for you. Working endless hours, forgetting to eat, letting your exercise regimen go–you’re eventually left with very little fuel to keep you going.

I was 25 when I started my first business. I had less than £1000 in savings so I moved back into my parent’s house. I’d left a well paying job at a renowned company. Luckily my family was supportive of me, but not having that same freedom to go out and come home as I please, or have people over, or buy things I like could’ve easily gotten in the way of my dream.

When I made the decision to take a chance and seriously pursue being an entrepreneur, I knew it would be important for me to keep my stress levels low. At my previous job we all had gym memberships so I’d gotten into the habit of practising yoga consistently with my co-workers. Being back at home with little money, joining a yoga studio was too expensive so I found yoga classes on YouTube that I would wake up and do every morning in my bedroom or in our garden.

4) When and where do you like to work out (morning/night – home/gym/outdoors)

This is an interesting one. I love to exercise outdoors but not as much when in a busy urban environment. So living in London, I tend to exercise indoors either at a gym or a yoga studio. When it comes to time of day, I love working out in the morning especially in the summer months when the sun is out and the days are longer.

5) Has exercise/fitness always been a part of your life?

Yes from a very young age. As a small child, we always played outside and turned simple running games into adventures. I have more scars than I can count from my bike, roller blades, you name it. Growing up I was very involved in sports and dance. I ran track and played tennis for school teams. I practised different types of dance from jazz and ballet to African and modern.

6) Who is your role model?

I have so many—there are so many people pushing society forward that I look up to massively! Most of them tend to be women though if I’m honest. One of my longest standing role models is Maya Angelou. She has such a way with words, her poem “Phenomenal Woman’’ really stuck with me as a teen. When I was a young girl I gravitated towards behaving as what some might call a ‘tomboy’. I didn’t realise until later in life that I was reacting to what society was telling me— that women aren’t as strong and tough—by emulating boys. Maya Angelou’s poetry helped me realise society was lying! Women are so strong and tough, just because we paint our nails doesn’t mean we can’t be world class athletes or whatever it is our heart desires. If anything, we’re stronger than we even know because we must always be so resilient to pain and hurt.

Another woman I admire very much is Phoebe Waller-Bridge. She’s the writer behind the game-changing TV shows, Fleabag and Killing Eve. There’s a scene in her show “Fleabag” where the main character is talking with a woman who’s just gone through menopause. This women proclaims to the lead character that  she finally understands what it means to be a woman—that to be a woman is to survive pain. We live with cramps, sometimes we bleed, maybe we give birth, then we’re hit with menopause—pain is part of our biological makeup. We go through these things and we don’t lose our sanity. We perform the same jobs and duties as men, and you know what else, we make it look easy. We’re incredible.

7) What is your favourite fitness quote?

“Don’t stop until you’re proud.”

It’s so easy to take the easy route when it comes to taking care of your body and your mind. As women we’re taught to prioritise others over ourselves, that’s why the whole notion of self care is so transformative! When we look at fitness through the lens of self care we’re no longer getting fit for aesthetics, we’re doing it for our peace of mind and inner enrichment. When we set goals that we want to work on for our own happiness, stopping isn’t even a question.

To find out more about Nadia please check out Kinde