Michelle Bridges on her biggest life learnings

Australia’s wellness queen, Michelle Bridges, has lived and breathed it for decades. She shares her top tips for health, fitness and mindset on Body+Soul’s Healthy-ish podcast, revealing her key to the ‘fountain of youth’.

The crux of health and wellness is learning to treat your body right and make lifestyle choices that support great overall wellbeing. So who better to take some crib notes from than accomplished fitness coach Michelle Bridges, who has been living well for most of her adult life.

Speaking on Body+Soul’s daily podcast Healthy-ish, Bridges says the most important thing is to find what works for you – and ensure that it is sustainable within your lifestyle and chapter in life.

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Match your workout with your chapter

“You’ve got to figure out what works for the chapter that you’re reading right now. Like, the chapter I was reading in my 20s is very different to the one I read in my 30s,” Bridges tells host Felicity Harley on the Healthy-ish episode Michelle Bridges on her biggest life learnings.

“It has to be flexible. It’s got to be able to work with you and where your priorities lie.”

Condition while you’re young

Bridges says that your 20s and 30s are the perfect time to put in the hard yards, and that this early conditioning will help set up for a healthier future.

“I buckled down in my 20s and in my 30s, and I’m reaping the rewards of that now,” she says.

“I feel like in your 20s and 30s you’ve got the energy, you’ve got the capacity and you may not have as much responsibility, like children. Go for it, I say, because you will reap the rewards later down the track rather than feeling like you have to catch up.”

Bridges adds that this time in life is an opportunity to reboot, regroup and detox if necessary suggesting we try to ‘roll your sleeves up’.

Weight training is a ‘fountain of youth’

You heard it here first – throw out all your wrinkle creams.

Bridges says that you can’t beat weight training. “You’d be bonkers not to do it. I love that word,” she adds playfully.

“Any exercise [is good], but I would certainly make sure that you have some weight training in your repertoire…it’s like an insurance policy for the rest of your life. Bones, bone density, muscle strength, muscle flexibility, neurological pathways, and how you hold your posture.”

“But doing any kind of exercise is going to help. With keeping your balance, flexibility, stability, and also keep you mentally healthy as well. Like, I don’t know anybody that’s come back from a walk and said, ‘You know, I just feel like shit’.”

Family and friends are her everything

Discussing her hacks for better mental health, Bridges says her friends and family are her rock.

“For me, family is the key, you know. I start to feel a little bit like off balance, and I’ll call my mom, or I’ll call my cousin,” she says.

She also makes sure to leave time for herself everyday, whether that’s getting in a workout, getting her hair or nails done, or some other form of self-care. She also tries to get in some meditation where possible.

Get out of the house

Given the mess that was 2020, we’ve never felt so cooped up. Bridges says getting out of the house when you’re not feeling 100% is so important, and something she learned from her mum.

“My mom’s always like, ‘You know what, Michelle, I was a single mom. When I was feeling a little bit down, I’d pack you girls up, I’d pack up some lunch, and I’d take you to the pool. You’d jump in the pool and swim and I’d sunbake and we’d have a day out that wasn’t that expensive’,” Bridges recollects.

“I think you’ve got to get out. It’s so easy to stay in and become a little bit closed in. I live on a property so I’m quite isolated…but hey, you can feel isolated in your apartment in the middle of a city.”

Time to pop your cossies on guys!