Cecilia has been training with me over the past 12 months. A student at the University of Bath and finishing her final year, Cecilia wanted to get fit, lower stress levels and use exercise to develop a healthy lifestyle during her final year of study.

Despite high stress levels associated with final year students causing over indulgence in sugary and junk foods and alcohol, Cecilia always turned up to the gym happy and excited to exercise and followed a healthy diet. Even when she worked in the university library through the night, Cecilia would turn up in the gym next day for a workout happy and motivated.

It’s her positive fabulous attitude that gained her the August client of the month.


A big fan of hitting things, Cecilia loves to workout on the pads. We developed various combinations to test her cognitive learning as well as practising some famous fighter combinations including Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and Wladimir Klitschko knockout combos.

Added into the session were some bobbing, ducking, swaying and weaving moves to enhance the physical demands of the workout.

Cecilia may have missed the pads a couple of times but she always insisted that it was a mistake and apologised – Hmm!

We added some resistance training to strengthen the core and maintain good mobility to combat the issues related with sitting down studying for hours each day.


As we know from research that has been well documented, exercise is a big stress reliever. Exercise causes an activation of the immune system. Cortisol and adrenaline stress hormones are released through psychological stress. Exercise reduces these stress hormones by stimulating production of endorphins which are chemicals in the brain that elevate moods and are natural painkillers.

And aerobic exercise will positively change your physiology and moods. It counters depression and stress through these chemical releases of good feel hormones. PLUS, exercise will increase stamina, shrink your waistline and as a result, you’ll ¬†feel better about yourself.

It’s not just the gym where you can only experience these ‘happy’ hormones. Take a walk, run or bike ride out in the fresh air and soak up the additional advantages of vitamin D which help regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. Vitamin D keeps your bones, muscles and teeth healthy.


Mental stress can produce physical symptoms. When the body is stressed, muscles are tense and this can result in headaches, back and neck pain. It can also produce symptoms such as a dry mouth and the feeling of a lump in the throat. Intestinal issues can occur from stomach cramps, anxiety, chest tightness, hyperventilating, fainting, heartburn, overeating and diarrhoea (just to name a few).

Due to this excessive release of stress hormones in the body, people can suffer from insomnia, gain weight and have memory impairment. Not great for revising.

So the answer is moderate exercise and healthy eating. It will keep you fresh, improve your mood and help you to be more productive when revising and studying. And you’ll always bring a smile to the gym, just like Cecilia.


Cecilia has now moved to the ‘big smoke’ (London) to begin her new job. She is committed to keep active as her life is about to get even busier.

As we change our life routines, certain levels of stress occur and we find ourselves unable to exercise at the gym. However, there is a solution. You don’t need to go to the gym. You can use your legs and walk, cycle to work or go for a jog. It doesn’t have to be hard or even long. Just moving is a great coping mechanism when you have big life changes.

And eating a healthy diet of natural fats, protein and limiting carbohydrate / sugar intake will help you to sleep better, produce growth hormone and increasing your energy levels.

Cecilia is continuing to work on her ‘down time’ by exercising as she settles into her new life.

Well done Cecilia. Wishing you the very best for your future and keep on smiling.