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Me and my health: Yvette McGaffin on her lifestyle



Fighting fit: Yvette McGaffin trains every day, often at her own Reform Studios

Fighting fit: Yvette McGaffin trains every day, often at her own Reform Studios

Fighting fit: Yvette McGaffin trains every day, often at her own Reform Studios

Fighting fit: Yvette McGaffin trains every day, often at her own Reform Studios


Fighting fit: Yvette McGaffin trains every day, often at her own Reform Studios

The 32-year-old native New Zealander runs Reform Studios in Belfast (Holywood Road and Lisburn Road) and Edinburgh. Yvette lives in Belfast with her husband Neal and their dog Floyd.

Q: Do you take regular exercise and if so, what?

A: I train every day, ideally in one of our team's Reform classes if I can nab a space or there's a late cancellation. Reformer Pilates is an evolution of traditional Pilates techniques using a resistance sprung machine that offers more support to the body. This allows the user to isolate and target specific muscle groups while increasing strength, balance, flexibility and co-ordination. It creates a fantastic balance through the body which in turn helps avoid injury. Alternatively, I'll jump on a cross trainer I have at home or nip out for a run if the weather's nice. I love going to other reformer Pilates studios when I'm away from home.

Q: What's the worst illness you have had?

A: Touch wood I've been quite lucky over my 30-odd years, barring a little keyhole surgery on my knee when I was dancing professionally.

Q: How healthy is your diet?

A: I have a pretty balanced diet and am pescatarian by choice. My body doesn't process meat well and I feel better without it. I'm a believer in everything in moderation. On a typical day I'd have peanut butter and banana porridge or scrambled eggs on sourdough for breakfast. For lunch, I'm a big fan of Umi falafel or if I'm on the run I'll pick up a quinoa salad from M&S. I'll prepare a fillet of salmon, asparagus spears and brown rice for dinner. As I eat relatively healthily, I never worry too much when I get some downtime at the weekends. For a treat I'll dine out at Sakura or for pub grub in the Plough in Hillsborough.

Q: Any bad habits?

A: Probably not getting enough sleep at times, I like to have a cut-off point in the day but it's not always that easy. I try my best to be in bed for 10pm as I have an alarm call at 5am and start teaching classes at 6am. We don't have a TV at home, but we watch Netflix on our laptop and it can be so easy to watch episode after episode of a programme when you're really getting into it. When I have really long nine-hour teaching days, I'll take a 90-minute nap in the afternoon to recharge and refresh.

Q: Do you drink and/or smoke - if so, how much?

A: I don't smoke, but I enjoy the odd glass of red wine. A glass or two isn't too bad a vice to have.

Q: Do you take any health supplements?

A: I take magnesium to aid sleep and body repair, and vitamin D spray because the sun isn't always guaranteed here unfortunately.

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Q: How do you take time out?

A: I love to take our Bernese mountain dog walking round the country and he travels with us everywhere. My favourite walks are around Minnowburn and Shaw's Bridge where there's some really cool treks so close to home. The Mournes are a short drive away, where Neal and I have climbed many of the peaks. We tend to only take Floyd to the smaller summits as he can get a bit out of breath. If we can get away, I love being so close to so many European destinations and cultures. I haven't seen the Swiss Alps and all their mountainous villages. I'd love to visit Brittany and go for big long of drives across Scandinavia, but a real treat would be heading to Henning Island, part of the Whit Sunday group of islands.

Q: How well do you sleep?

A: Like a baby but just not for long enough sometimes.

Q: Do you worry about getting old?

A: No, it's like the advice in Baz Luhrmann's Sunscreen song: worrying is as effective as solving an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum!

Q: What is your go-to product/habit that keeps you feeling healthy?

A: For mental health, always talking things out until the issue is solved. To calm the mind, you need to work the body, and so making sure daily exercise is a habit I guess. When it comes to exercise, sometimes the hardest part is turning up. At Reform, once you're in our hands, our instructors work with the client to nurture their potential. The reformer is your own little island and it won't be long before you'll become addicted.

For more information visit www.reformstudios.uk

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