TV presenter, actress, radio star and author, Laura Whitmore, needs little introduction. Women’s Fitness catches up with the Irish-born media personality to talk about her career, embracing body confidence and why she is such an advocate of outdoor exercise.
Finding time to get to interview Laura Whitmore is tricky. Not because she is a difficult person – that couldn’t be further from the truth – but because her work schedule is so jam-packed she has little time outside of it to chat. And that strong, warm Irish voice is one so familiar with her army of fans, it’s no surprise she is one of the most in-demand women in the industry.
The 37-year-old is absolutely no stranger to the limelight, of course, as she has been a familiar face on the TV and radio for the past decade. Having fronted numerous shows, including ITV2’s I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and Love Island, as well as hosting her own Sunday morning radio show on BBC Radio 5 Live, Laura Whitmore’s career is certainly very impressive.
But her accolades don’t end there, as just last year the mother-of-one swapped the screens for the stage with her West End debut, the thriller play 2:22 A Ghost Story, which led to her receiving rave reviews for her acting. And then there is her crime podcast – which she presents with her husband Iain Stirling – not to mention her book No One Can Change Your Life Except For You (Orion Spring, £8.99), so it’s no surprise Laura Whitmore has little spare time outside of her work commitments.
And yet despite her busy schedule, Laura Whitmore still has time to keep fit by spending plenty of time in the fresh air, opting to do a dog walk or yoga in the garden over spending time at the gym. Indeed, running or walking whilst talking to a friend or listening to a podcast helps her reconnect with nature and gives her some much-needed headspace.
Fortunately, we were lucky enough to find a gap in Whitmore’s schedule, to ask her just how she manages it all. Because the busy working mum, who lives in North London with her husband and their one-year-old daughter, certainly has a lot to juggle. Here’s what she had to say…
Laura Whitmore, you are so busy – how on earth do you manage to fit everything in?
‘I have to be good at juggling. I’m actually far more efficient when I have a busy work schedule as I am very good when it comes to being organised and multi-tasking. My mother instilled that in me – good Irish genes she passed down to me. I also feel so blessed by all the work opportunities that come my way, I just run with it as I absolutely love what I do.’
When it comes to running, you have spoken in the past about not being a fan of the gym. What do you like to do to stay as fit as possible?
‘I definitely am not somebody who enjoys going to the gym. I’d much rather do a dance class or have a boogie with friends. I am always very active in my day-to-day life; even when I was in the theatre show, I was running up and down loads of stairs to my dressing room, and one thing I love about living in London is that it is such a brilliant walking city.
‘I absolutely hate sitting in taxis in Central London when the traffic is at a standstill. In fact, my agent laughs as they offer me a car to transport me sometimes from one meeting to another and I refuse them. I’d much rather walk as I love the fresh air.
‘Being outdoors also gives me time to be in my own headspace and enjoy nature, and I’ve actually learnt a lot from walking with my dog. There’s something so sweet and simplistic about the fun they have when running around, chasing a ball and playing with other dogs. I love that playfulness. I find it very calming, especially when my life is so hectic.’
So, is keeping fit and active important to you?
‘I love keeping fit but it has to be fun. I’d much rather do a dance class with friends than slog it out at the gym. I need exercise for my mind, as well as my body. It’s important for me to keep fit, as juggling work and being a mum means I need to have all the energy levels I can so I can manage both. Wherever I am in the world, I always like to have a pair of trainers in my bag so I can run on-the-go, in between meetings and get to places quicker.’
You’re a huge supporter of women feeling comfortable in their own skin. Why is body confidence so important to you?
‘I am all about body confidence. In my job, I’ve obviously been scrutinised a lot when in the public eye, and I’m totally against it when people decide to comment on my body. I posted a photo on my Instagram recently and a follower thought they had the right to say I looked far too skinny and was a terrible role model for girls – this made me so angry.
‘It is not right to say things about our bodies – you never know what is going on in people’s lives. To say people are too thin, or too fat – I dislike all of that. We should all feel comfortable in our skin, no matter what size we are. The narrative has changed so much when it comes to body shape. I know my body has gone through a lot since having a baby. People have no right to make bad comments.
‘I also carry this message through in the activewear clothes range I collaborated on with dare2b. My collection, in conjunction with the leading sports brand, features all sizes to suit everyone. The most important thing for me was to ensure comfort was taken into account, as I know (particularly when I have been dressed up for work, doing red carpets and TV work), all I want to do is be in a mum bun and relax at home in comfort.’
What is the best life lesson that you have learnt?
‘My daily mantra is “no one can change your life except for you”, and I love it so much that I actually gave my book that title. It’s something that I say over and over in my head. I’ve been doing it for years, and even post notes on my wall so that I can read them when I am at home or getting ready to go out. Those words are very important to me as, if I feel powerless in a situation, then this motto helps a lot.’
Discover the benefits of exercise for mental health and wellness
Laura Whitmore’s workout wardrobe
‘I love the Canton Green Mantra Bra Animal Print set (top and bottoms), as the colour is amazing.’
Discern Lightweight Tee (£25)
‘This long-sleeve turquoise top is a great piece if you want to layer up. It is thin and light enough to exercise in, and to wear while walking the dog.’
‘This fleece, in mesa rose or turquoise, is gorgeous. Super comfy!’
‘My favourite moves’
Whitmore loves keeping fit in the great outdoors. Here are her favourite activities for spring.
Walking: ‘I love walking. It gives me time to think and listen to a podcast. I am a huge fan of crime series, as it is a topic so far removed from my day-to-day life. Obviously, Iain and I have our own crime podcast but I love to listen to all sorts.’
Active living: ‘I’m not a gym bunny, but you can often find me running between jobs to avoid traffic jams. I’ll often take a pair of trainers with me to work in case I need to get to meetings quickly.’
Yoga: ‘I love doing a bit of yoga when I have the time for it, which is not often, unfortunately.’
The Dare 2b x Laura Whitmore Edit is available at dare2b.com
Words: Suzanne Baum