Meet Emily Turnbull, the brains behind Energise with Emily, ahead of our (Re)energise expert webinar next month.

Emily Turnbull is an energy coach based in Hertfordshire. She works with clients who want to develop healthier habits around exercise, nutrition, sleep and stress management to make them feel fitter, healthier and more energised.

We are delighted to be hosting an expert webinar with Emily on Wednesday 17 February. Before this we wanted to get to know her a little better...

How did you come to set up Energise with Emily? Can you tell us a bit more about your journey?

Before I became an energy coach, I spent 16 years working as a lawyer. The demanding and highly intellectual job was very stressful, and I’d often struggle to switch off. Exercise was my go-to for getting through stressful days, but I would often feel overwhelmed and unable to relax.

A diagnosis of breast cancer in 2014 made me rethink what I perceived to be a healthy life. I realised that having good energy is about more than just ticking exercise and healthy eating boxes. Although they are hugely important, having good energy is about feeling physically, mentally and emotionally strong.

When I left the law in 2016 to become a personal trainer, I quickly realised that I could help people more holistically by introducing strategies that go beyond improving fitness and strength. That’s when I had my “a-ha” moment - when it dawned on me that what the majority of people want is to feel more energised. When you peel back the layers of why people sign up for a PT or do a juice cleanse, the desire to have better energy is almost always at the heart of it.

When did you realise that energising was so important in your own life? What drove you to make those changes? 

I always thought I had good energy because I was good at pushing myself. It was after I had children in my mid-thirties, and when the stress of a demanding job and a long commute started to catch up with me, that I began realising that I wasn’t as good at managing my energy as I’d thought. However, it was my breast cancer diagnosis and treatment that was the pivotal moment for me. It was then that I realised that mental and emotional energy is as important as physical energy and that having good energy requires action in all three areas - heart, body and mind.

Your work is focused on (re)energising women, why is this so important these days? 

I know a lot of women who feel overwhelmed with everything that there is to do - and I’ve been one of them! I think many women take on extra things because they want to help and support other people, but they often do so at the expense of their own energy and self-care. Sometimes we need to say no (nicely!) and put ourselves first.

How can better energy levels make a busy life easier?

In so many ways! When you’re energised, you feel better about yourself and you’re more likely to make healthy lifestyle choices. You’re able to cope with stress better. You’re more productive and focused. Interestingly, I find that the better my energy is, the calmer I am too.

Adopting healthier habits can be difficult, what are the key lifestyle changes to consider if you want to become more energised?

Start with small steps and build on them. To develop habits, you need to be consistent with your actions. A good test of whether you can stick to something is to ask yourself two questions:

  1. Can I start it tomorrow? 
  2. Can I see myself doing it in a year?

 If the answer is ‘no’, then you need to scale back your ambition and think of something more realistic. You want to set yourself up for success and then build on that success with incremental changes.

How has your experience of working as a personal trainer influenced your energy coaching approach?

I think the biggest thing I learned from working as a PT is that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to exercise and nutrition. Not only because our bodies are all wonderfully unique but because our circumstances, lifestyles and mindsets have a huge influence on our wellbeing.

Maintaining energy is even more important because of the pandemic and lockdowns, what are some simple changes women can make to start their energy journey today?

Starting your day with a few energising rituals can help you to get you going in the morning. My personal favourites include doing a short yoga sequence, drinking some warm lemon water, and practising gratitude and doing affirmations. Taking breaks throughout the day to get up and move about, ideally outdoors, can really lift your energy. Focusing on your breath is also really important - just a few deep breaths in and out can make a big difference to how you feel.

What are the most common issues that your clients seek help for? How can these be helped?

Lack of sleep is a big one. Many of my clients struggle to get enough sleep because they’re often trying to get things done until after midnight, whether that’s working or doing jobs around the house. Not only are they missing out on actual time in bed, but they are also making it much harder to settle into a good night’s sleep because the brain is busy. Exposure to blue light from screens also makes it much harder to sleep. I encourage all of my clients to try to establish regular sleeping patterns and to create a proper winding down routine before they go to bed - including no scrolling on phones or tablets! 

Afternoon energy slumps is another common challenge and I’m always trying to work out the cause of this. When I start working with clients, I get them to track their energy throughout the day, along with their food intake, so I can see how their energy levels may be affected by food choices. Sometimes it’s just a case of tweaking lunch choices to something more energising or suggesting a small energising snack just before their usual afternoon slump time. An afternoon slump can also be a signal that the body and brain need a rest which can be remedied by a quick walk in the fresh air or doing some mindfulness and breathing exercises.

Balance and moderation are important when it comes to becoming energised. How can we make sure that we do not resent new fitness and lifestyle changes?

It’s so important to find a balanced and healthy lifestyle that works for you. You should enjoy whatever exercise you do, otherwise, it’s much harder to stick to it. The same goes for nutrition - if you don’t enjoy the food you eat or it’s too complicated, you’ll get bored or fed up.

What are your top five tips for becoming energised?

1. Establish regular sleeping patterns

2. Drink plenty of water

3. Take a daily relaxation break

4. Exercise outdoors

5. Move as much as possible

Save your space at the expert webinar with Emily by signing up here.

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Information written by the talkhealth team