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Frankie Bridge: “A good chat or laughing with a group of friends is the best medicine”

4 MIN READ • 14th August 2022
Daniella Gray by Daniella Gray

“Can you hear me?”. The words so many of us have uttered in makeshift offices and spare rooms in the last few months, but when a celebrity has some time during a car journey to chat, you take your chance. Although not the conventional H&W method of interviewing stars, I don’t let Zoom audio technicalities get in the way of my 30-minute window with the presenter, author, mum-of-two and not to mention all-round multitasker (see: above), Frankie Bridge. And, despite the patchy signal to begin with, I actually felt very connected to her. She’s bubbly, candid and definitely isn’t afraid to be vulnerable when discussing subjects like mental health. Just turn the page and see for yourself…

Can you talk us through your current routine?

“It changes all the time, but that’s how I like it. I’m on the Loose Women panel at the moment, which means I have to leave the house really early, and once I’m back, I’ll pick up the boys [Frankie’s two sons Parker and Carter with retired professional footballer Wayne Bridge] from school. After a full day, I don’t really feel like doing an intense workout, so a dog walk with a podcast is good enough for me.”

How do you keep your workouts exciting?

“I used to be someone who needed an exercise class to get a good workout in, but that all changed when I discovered fitness platform RWL (resultswellnesslifestyle.com). I wanted to get back into fitness in a way I was going to enjoy, so I put a request out on Instagram back in lockdown for a fun dance workout, and got tonnes of recommendations for RWL. I’m one of those people who needs to mix up my workouts, so sometimes I’ll do weights with Cecilia [Harris, Co-Owner of RWL], a step class or boxercise and on the days when I can’t be bothered to train, I’ll do one of the dance workouts because I know it’ll get my heart rate up and I’ll still get a sweat on.”

What’s your relationship been like with fitness in the past?

“From being in The Saturdays, I’ve danced from a very young age and that was something I enjoyed for years; I didn’t have to worry about keeping fit or toning up because it did that for me. And to be honest, going to the gym used to feel like a real punishment, so during lockdown I had this big wake-up call and understood that’s not what exercise is about. I realised that I didn’t have to go to the gym for an hour, an hour and a half every time, so now I say that I’m going to commit to 30 minutes – if I do more, great, if I don’t, then at least I’ve moved my body.”

And you’ve recently created your own programme ‘results with Frankie: Health & happiness’. What can you tell us about that?

“I wanted to enable people to train like me – just picking and choosing the workouts I want to do. It’s not a set schedule of what you’ve got to do Monday to Sunday, so you can do a dance workout, barre or weights, and it’s got some really handy recipes like easy tray bakes for busy families. The mindset elements were also key, as I believe your mental health is just as important as your physical. If you’re not feeling like you want to work out or just generally feeling quite down about yourself, it’s so much harder to get the motivation to keep it up. Overall, the programme is about consistency and enjoying something that’s going to help you to stay well.”

You’ve been very open and honest about your mental health journey. Why is it important for people to speak out and how would you encourage others to do the same?

“I only realised that so many people suffer from mental health problems in some form by speaking out about it. It was scary at first, because I thought that people were going judge me. I had this life that I wanted from a really young age, and even when I achieved all of those things I had worked hard for, I was still fundamentally unhappy. I felt as though I owed it to young fans of The Saturdays to say, look, I have this amazing life and still have this illness that makes me feel like this, so it just shows that it can affect all walks of life.”

What keeps your happiness at a good base level now?

“Work helps to keep me mentally active and there’s no let up with kids obviously! They’re constantly ‘on’ so there’s never really an opportunity to let my mind wander. I understand that when you’re having a down day, exercise isn’t always the easiest thing to do, so that’s why going for a walk feels slightly easier on those occasions. Also, a good chat or laughing with a group of friends is the best medicine.”

On that note, how do you manage to make time for yourself with two young kids?

“It’s difficult, especially in the school holidays. There’s still always this guilt that’s ingrained in you as a parent when you take time out for yourself, but it’s really important because if you’re in good spirits, it rubs off on the kids and I feel like you can be a better parent that way.”

Who does the cooking in your house?

“Wayne and I are pretty uninventive when it comes to cooking; we’re more of a chuckit- all-in-a-pan kind of couple! I’m quite a lazy cook, and when I’ve been at work all day and the kids are in bed, the last thing I want to do is to come down and start making dinner. That was also an important area of focus for the Health & Happiness plan. I didn’t want to offer recipes that took three hours, they had to be quick, easy, nutritious and fit around family life. I actually wanted to make the halloumi wraps from the programme the other day, so I popped into Waitrose and got everything apart from the halloumi – that‘s the kind of cook I am!”

Finally, do you have any advice you would give to your younger self?

“I know it’s an obvious one, but I wish I cared less what other people thought of me. I think when you’re in school, you’re worried about being popular and you want people to think you’re cool or to be told you look nice, but everyone finds their place, whether that’s in a social aspects or career-wise. I wish I knew that when I was younger.”

Results With Frankie: Health & Happiness is available now, resultswellnesslifestyle.com, £19.99 a month, and RWL’s Summer Shred 4 Week Challenge is available now, £19.99
Meet the writer
Daniella Gray
Editorial assistant

Being able to write about everything that's important to me (exercising for mental wellbeing and delicious food, of course) to help people meet their health goals is pretty special. Before emails, I'm usually in the front-room with a dumbbell and on weekends, there's nothing better than the Kent countryside for a leisurely stroll.

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