Singapore #Fitspo of the Week: Natalie Dau

Strong is the new sexy and fitness is the new party. With society leaning towards health and fitness, Yahoo's #Fitspo of the Week series is dedicated to all inspirational men and women in Singapore leading active lifestyles. Know of any who deserve to be featured? Hit me up on CherylTay.sg and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (cheryltaysg).

Name: Natalie Dau             
Age: 43
Height: 165cm
Weight: 59kg
Occupation: Co-Founder of Urban Remedy
Status: Married with one 6-year-old daughter
Diet: Follows a very specific set of macros and calories to balance out the carbs, protein and fats; tries to eat clean and avoid sugar (except for cheat meals)
Training: Runs 5 mornings a week, trains strength at The Pit 2-3 times a week, a few HIIT classes a week too

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What kind of sports did you do as a kid? 
Basketball was my main focus sport competitively, but growing up we did everything from tennis to swimming, athletics and even dancing (although that was definitely not my strength).

Have you always been more of a cardio or weights person?
I prefer running and am not a huge gym lover to be honest. I have dabbled over the past 10 years in everything from CrossFit to triathlons. But I started going to Pure Fitness 18 months ago and loved it – I use weights more consistently now and it changed my body shape, something that running couldn’t do.  

I am now going to the The Pit, which is challenging me even more and building strength. I love using weights as you can see measurable differences. Females (and males) shouldn’t never be intimidated – it’s just important to get someone to teach you the right form and technique at the start.

How do you maintain that six-pack for your age? Spill the secrets!  
I think it truly is a combination of food and training – not one thing alone works.  And you are never too old to have one, I am living proof.

Was there any point in your life that you didn't feel confident?
I think as I have gotten older I care less what people think.  I had a very bad run for a while – I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and then a year later I ended up with Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and had to wear those awful medical stockings 24/7 for two years! I was also pregnant during this time so did not feel good about myself at all.

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Are you satisfied with your body now?  
If we are all honest I am sure that there is something we all want to change about our body; I am no different. I always say it’s a work in progress. But I feel fit and strong which I don’t ever take for granted and I’ll continue to work hard.

What kind of comments do you get about your body?  
I always get asked “How do I get your arms?” Sadly there is no magic pill. When I explain what training I do and my approach to eating, most people don’t want to have to commit to doing that much (which of course is fine too).

How do you balance work, family and keeping fit?  
We are an active family so when my six-year-old daughter gets on the school bus every morning at 7am, Matt (my partner) and I head straight off for a run together. At least, then if work is crazy I know I have done something for the day. Luckily we all love exercising so we try and do it as a family as much as possible. It also sets a great example for our daughter to be healthy and have fun doing it.

What are misconceptions about fitness in today's society?  
I think people put pressure on themselves to follow someone else’s results instead of focusing on their own journey. What works for one person isn’t right for the next, so my advice is always focus on yourself and don’t worry what your neighbour is doing.

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Let's talk about your pregnancy.
I put on about 11kg during pregnancy and exercised the whole way through. I was doing triathlons leading up to it so I kept up the running and swimming throughout and then when I was too big to run, I was walking an hour a day to keep active. I lost the weight pretty fast as I was back running after about four weeks, building up slowly and steadily from there.

Why should people make an effort to lead an active lifestyle?  
I think the general population want to live longer and have the best quality of life possible. The only way to do this is to stay active in some way. It doesn’t mean running a marathon for everyone, but it does mean being able to physically do basic things, which have gone by the wayside due to how long we sit at desks for. I also think it’s about balance – you have to have fun in there too!

Anything else you want to add?  
My top tip – find something healthy you enjoy doing and keep doing it.  If you hate running, try yoga and vice versa. Try a few things until something clicks and then aim to get better at it. People are always more successful at sticking to something if they like it and are improving!

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