Maeve Madden, personal trainer, bestselling author and queen of lockdown workouts, tells us why it’s so important to maintain good gut health…
How is life after lockdown?
Maeve Madden: ‘Still very busy! I’ve recently been diagnosed with long Covid and there are days when all I want to do is sleep.
‘However, I’m pushing through and working hard on my new Queens Don’t Quit fitness platform, which runs 20 to 22 live workouts a week across a huge range of activities. This includes pre- and post-natal exercise, Pilates, yoga and even breathwork!
‘Subscribers are still increasing. I think that’s because so many women have discovered just how fun, flexible and effective home fitness can be.’
What motivated you to do live workouts during lockdown?
Maeve Madden: ‘I actually started doing them before the first lockdown kicked in because I was quarantining in the hope that I could get home to Ireland from London (I didn’t). Plus, people were already nervous about the safety of gyms.
‘Thousands of people joined in with me early on and we just stuck out lockdown together. I did so many because there wasn’t much else to do, plus it was so much fun! I’m still doing a few free live workouts a week for people living in countries where restrictions are still in place.’
What’s your diet like?
Maeve Madden: ‘In the past, I really suffered from disordered eating and it’s taken a long time to get over that. I’m an intuitive eater now, and I very much take my hormones and the different phases of my cycle into consideration.
‘I eat when I’m hungry, listen to when I’m full and, if I’m craving something, I’ll eat it. I don’t restrict anything as I’ve learnt from past experiences how that can lead to binging.’
Why is talking about gut health so important to you?
Maeve Madden: ‘When I first started talking about my IBS and bloating issues a few years ago, it wasn’t a thing to show before and after pictures of your belly. However, I decided to share my experiences to try and normalise conversations around gut health.
‘I encourage women not to suffer in silence because pain and discomfort could be your body’s way of signalling to you that something is wrong. It’s not doing it for the craic, like, “Here you go, here’s another bloat party”!
‘By preaching that on social media, I’ve had so many women tell me they’ve been to the doctor and had a diagnosis for something they were previously ignoring. Social media can be a really powerful thing.’
What are your tips for maintaining a healthy gut?
Maeve Madden: ‘Millie Mackintosh recommended that I try a probiotic supplement called Symprove a few years ago to help with my bloating. I’ve been taking it ever since. It really helps to relax my gut and keep me regular, especially when I’m feeling stressed.
‘I also eat lots of fibre, get plenty of sleep and take steps to manage my stress. I also do different types of exercise, including yoga and weights, to help me feel strong from the inside. It’s not just about nutrition; it’s about managing your lifestyle to create a healthy balance.’