A head shot of Denise Lewis holding her shot of Symprove

Denise Lewis’s 5 Daily Non-Negotiables to Start the Day Positively

Ahead of the Paris Olympic Games we caught up with Olympic champion and presenter Dame Denise Lewis to dig into her morning non-negotiables, find out why routine is key and get her tips on how to push through when things feel tough. 

How does routine keep you resilient?   

Having simple strategies or a routine keeps you focused and in the moment which builds confidence, which builds good habits and therefore gives you a coping strategy. 

What about if you find it hard to stick to something? What would you do? 

Start off with one thing that you know makes you feel good, it's a good habit to have whether it be exercise, or one nutritious meal a day, or one yoga appointment, or catching up with someone to walk and talk. If you just start with one of those processes and do it weekly or daily, I think it just helps you feel like you’ve accomplished something.  

How do you push through when it feels tough?  

I think for myself I hate feeling like things are spiralling out of control. I break it down into what can I action in this moment to make me feel like I've got all the strings in my hands. I try not to focus too far ahead of myself because that's when I start getting unnerved. I think pushing through things when it feels difficult is always a challenge, therefore you need to rebalance that feeling of headwind by doing something that alters the state of the mind. For me it would be the exercise routines that I employ.

My non-negotiables don't move, it's not like they’re not flexible, but they have to be in, and I need to do these things to make me feel whole again and grounded.

1. I can’t start the day without Symprove

First morning non-negotiable is absolutely Symprove, that goes in very early. I run down around 7-7:30am and I take my shot and then I start getting Troy ready for school. For me Symprove is something that you can rely on that allows you to be the best version of yourself.

2. My morning cup of matcha

I love OMG matcha so I’ll just blend some of that with some almond milk and that will be my first sort of food intake of something else apart from Symprove. That’s the start of my breakfast routine.

3. Get my movement in

Then it will be some form of exercise and usually this is the top of my week. So, Monday it will be a routine called ‘Look Better Naked’, which I do with my PT online and so I will absolutely make sure I start the week well. So, putting in all the good stuff to make me feel like I'm ready for the week.

4. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

I think if you're rushing around at the weekend sometimes you can forget to hydrate. Sometimes you’re on the road, or you've caught up with family or friends or you’re doing sort of football activities or rugby or any outside activities with the kids, and you’ve had maybe a glass of wine or two. I just like to make sure I rehydrate myself, so my body feels tip top for the week.

5. Lists

The to-do lists are made on a Monday and so I try to tick some of those off in the week. In the mornings usually is where I think I'm best in the office before I get drawn into either work commitments, or phone calls or putting the washing on or walking the dog. I try to do the list for the week and tick off any of the errands and things that I need to get done. I'm not inherently a morning person, I'm quite nocturnal but I think as I'm getting older, I think I just try to switch that up a little bit and put some morning goals in place or things to do in place and tick them off.  

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