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Five Minutes With AJ Odudu

4 MIN READ • 4th December 2022

The TV presenter, personal trainer and fitness blogger chats to us about all things healthy ahead of taking part in the Great Manchester Run

How do you balance work vs social life?

I just try to incorporate all aspects of my life into everything, but one thing that is essential is to keep a diary and to know what you are up to and when you are meant to be doing it. I also make sure I give myself time off to relax. When I do this, I make sure I give myself an entire morning or afternoon off.

What do you do to unwind?

I like to unwind by travelling and having weekends away. Most of the time when I am unwinding I like to be around friends and family, which allows me to fully switch off and get away from work. As my mum still lives up in Lancashire, I tend to take myself back up north when I unwind. I often find that an early night, helps me unwind – getting to bed before midnight is a dream.

What is your daily routine like?

I don’t tend to have a daily routine, as it changes every day. However, if I am working out I tend to get up around 7am, do my workout (whether it’s a run or a fitness class). I will then get back, have breakfast and go for a shower, before heading off to the 4music studios to read through the scripts, present the live tv show. Once this has finished I may go off in evening to DJ at an event or to see friends. I’ll then return home and the before you know it, the daily cycle begins again.

What do you eat on a daily basis?

Again this varies each day, but the for me the biggest meal and most important meal is breakfast, especially if I am working out that day. I usually wouldn’t eat anything big before a workout but when I have finished, my usual breakfast is avocado on toast, poached eggs and a slice of bacon. I would then follow this up with muesli and a chocolate croissant. If I am not working out that day, I tend not to a lighter breakfast of Bircher muslie or porridge with fruit as I’m less hungry.

What tips would you give to someone wanting to live a more healthy lifestyle?

Take things slow. Lots of people take on too much too soon, dieting and excessively working out in the first month of their new gym membership. This causes fatigue and is actually demotivating as it is a new routine they can’t maintain. It is much better and healthier to take it one step at a time and build your routine – in the first week someone may do one yoga class, in the second week they may do a yoga class one day and then go for a run two days later, in the third week they may do their yoga class and run but add in an at home body weight workout towards the end of the week. If you build it up like this, you’ll be leading a healthy lifestyle and routine that you can stick to before you know it. Getting and keeping fit is a process. No need to rush.

What is your exercise routine like?

My exercise routine is varied yet regular. I tend to work out at least three times a week (a 5-10k run, a Body pump class and a Pilates class), and each activity will last about 40/45 minutes. If I am struggling to slot these workouts into my schedule I tend not to stress as I know I am always active. Whether its walking to a meeting, being the first one on the dance floor on a night out with friends, opting for stairs over escalators, I know that these small daily habits equate to a lot when trying to get fit.

What is the wellness tip you swear by?

The tip I swear by, but sometimes struggle to keep to, is to make sure you get enough sleep. Good sleep allows you to combat sugar cravings, enables your muscles to repair post workout and is energy boosting. It also makes you feel happy so catch some Z’s.

What are the three beauty items you swear by?

Dry shampoo – no greasy hair here, not even in a rush
Concealer – hides all sins and makes me feel confident first thing in the morning when hitting the gym
Deodorant is a must- smell good feel good.

What are your top three exercise moves for beginners?

The three I would recommend are: donkey kicks – easy to master and great for a perky bum, star jumps – brilliant cardio exercise to get your heart rate up quickly and helps improve your for coordination too and finally push up’s on your knees – works your core and arms and once you’ve mastered it on your knees you can progress to full push ups with your knees off the ground.

How do you stay motivated?

I know that once I have worked out, I will feel so much better afterwards. I am mindful of the rewards that come with exercising and these benefits spur me on. A power playlist motivates me during most of my runs and I love exercising with friends, as it’s a great opportunity to catch up with mates at the same time as getting a workout. Top marks for multi-tasking.

AJ Odudu will be pacing the Great Manchester Run on Sunday May 20th, taking on the role of a Duracell Bunny Pacer to help participants run for longer. Follow @DuracellUK on Twitter to keep up to date with AJ’s progress.

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