There’s never been a better time to rethink your approach to fitness and wellness, and no one knows this better than Nalu. While we’re all at home in lockdown, now is a great time to recenter yourself, set realistic yet challenging goals, and motivate yourself to take the leap into your health journey.
The soulful singer-songwriter is here to help by revealing her tips to leading a healthy and happy life prioritising both physical and mental wellness. From her dynamic workout regimens to her nutritional cooking techniques, the spiritual musician is all about balance.
Nalu spoke exclusively with GLAMOUR SA about her unique approach to holistic health, why she practices wellness all day everyday, and how hitting the gym allows her to be the best version of herself so she can soar in her career.
GLAMOUR: What sparked your passion for fitness and living a healthy lifestyle? Was this always important to you, or did a certain instance in your life inspire it?
Nalu (N) Growing up, I always loved the art of dance. I started dance classes at the age of 4 and throughout the years I learnt various styles including ballet, modern dance, contemporary, Latin American and hip-hop. Dance made me feel good - I knew that I was serving and replenishing my vessel through this. At the age of 18, my dance career abruptly ended when I dislocated my knee during rehearsals for an upcoming show.
I had a knee operation and then redislocated it a few months later after going back to dancing too soon. After my second injury, I realised that I had to make a shift in my fitness and lifestyle regime. I couldn’t dance professionally anymore so I had to find new ways to take care of my body and feel good doing so. I started gyming, swimming and last year, I started pole dancing. These forms of fitness are light on my knees and still leave me feeling good and refreshed afterwards. Despite the disappointment of no longer being able to dance professionally, I’m blessed to have a healthy body.
GLAMOUR: What is your current fitness regimen, and your nutrition plan you use to stay in shape?
N: I start every morning with yoga and I go to the gym around 3-4 times a week to do cardio, running and resistance training. I also have pole dancing class once a week. In the mornings, I eat a light breakfast like muesli and yoghurt or some fruit. I don’t like to be too restrictive with my eating plan, however, I try and feed my body just as much as it needs. My body is super sensitive to heavily processed foods so I usually cook my meals at home so that I’m aware of what’s going into my body. I cook with coconut oil and stick to foods that are high in soluble fibre, high in protein, healthy fats, whole grains and probiotics.
GLAMOUR: Knowing that the time factor is a major deterrent for many people, how is it that you are able to manage the demands of your music career and still make time to incorporate fitness into your lifestyle?
N: One’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing are all interconnected. I know that if I haven’t done my morning yoga or if I’ve skipped gym one too many times - I will feel the physical change and this affects my headspace. Healthy body, healthy mind - it’s not a cliché for no reason. I make time for fitness in my daily life because of my career. Being in a good space during writing and production sessions really serve my creative process.
GLAMOUR: What new music have you been working on recently?
N: I’m busy putting together a couple projects that serve different purposes, sonically. It’s been a lot of fun experimenting with my sound and challenging myself to create outside of what I know. In doing this, I’ve been able to refine my art through expanding my creative skillset in order to bring my ideas and messages to life. I am so excited for my listeners to experience and vibe with the new music.
GLAMOUR: How do you think that exercise and fitness can be therapeutic?
N: I use my fitness practices to set my intentions for the day. During yoga, I meditate and recite my soul affirmations. During cardio and resistance training, I channel my physical and mental strength. Celebrating my body and mind through fitness is an empowering experience.
GLAMOUR: Who or what gives you the most inspiration and motivation to achieve your fitness goals?
N: I have a couple fitness gurus in my life whom I look up to. My cousin, who is also my gym partner and unofficial trainer, teaches me a lot about how to take care of every part of my body, to have a holistic approach to my fitness regimen, instead of merely tackling the parts of my body that I’d like to improve on. I look up to my yoga instructor and pole dancing teacher who both motivate me to push myself and redefine my limits after every session. My physical health and the wellbeing of my spirit are both incredibly important to me and this keeps me driven to nurture them both.
GLAMOUR: How would you describe your philosophy or motto on health and wellness?
N: I am balanced. I appreciate the good things in life. I grow from the bad things. I am gentle with myself. I move with love.
GLAMOUR: How do you prioritise your mental health with your fitness regimen?
N: My mental health and fitness regimen are one in the same. I don’t prioritise one over the other - they serve each other. Through meditation, yoga and exercise, I acknowledge where my spirit is at and draw strength from it. Physical expression is an act of self love. I feel deeply connected to myself through this. It helps me find clarity in my headspace and move forward with confidence.
GLAMOUR: How would you define wellness?
N: Wellness is soaking oneself in unconditional love.
GLAMOUR: What tips would you give to someone wanting to live a more healthy and mindful lifestyle?
N; Drink plenty of water. Be kind to yourself. Breathe. Do daily physical activity. Keep a gratitude journal. Spend a few moments outside everyday. Breathe. Eat what makes you feel good. Take mental and stretch breaks. Drink herbal tea. Set goals for yourself. Express love to those close to you. Breathe. Engage in some creative outlets. Cook a meal for yourself. Dress up for yourself. Keep nature close by. Breathe.
GLAMOUR: What are the three beauty items you swear by?
N: Liquid liner, vaseline/lip gloss, sulfate-free and paraben-free conditioner with natural oils.