5 minutes with Weengallon & Tawood trainer, Ashleigh McNaulty

This week we caught up with Ashleigh McNaulty, our inspiring Active Farmers trainer at Weengallon and Talwood! Ashleigh joined the Active Farmers network earlier this year and is providing a terrific service to her community. 

Let's get to know Ash, her story and all about Active Farmers @ Weengallong & Talwood!

Can you tell us a bit about you and where you grew up?

I grew up on a farm 85km north-west of Goondiwindi. I was always a very active and energetic child, even making my younger sister ‘workout’ with me when I was in primary school! I went to boarding school in Toowoomba where I still enjoyed plenty of sports and physical activities such as volleyball, basketball, gymnastics, cross country etc. In high school I didn’t actually like the theory side of HPE (health and physical education). It wasn’t until I finished high school that I became interested in the science of physical and mental health associated with exercise and healthy eating. I began doing lots of my own research and was hooked and wanted to learn more so I completed my cert III and IV in fitness through Australian Institute of Fitness, graduating with my master trainer certificate. Ive always enjoyed ‘giving’ to others and I found being a personal trainer you get to give in so many ways. I'm also studying my bachelor of primary education online and hope to be able to bring more health and physical education to our rural schools as well. 

Coming from a rural background, how does providing a service aimed at the rural community resonate with you?

Coming from a rural background helps me to connect and empathise with my clients. I understand how much my clients appreciate the service I provide because I appreciate it too! I enjoy getting out, socialising and exercising with my groups just as much as they do. 

As we approach the cooler months can you tell us how you keep motivated?

I don’t so much believe in motivation, if you are waiting to feel ‘motivated’ in winter then you’ll never get up early and exercise (I won’t anyway)!! I believe in planning and dedication. Plan your week out, set alarms, reminders and get accountable for your weekly goals. If you have short term and long-term goals you’ll have a reason for keeping ‘motivated’. Goals need to be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time based. 

Have you got some tips about getting yourself to class when it’s cold and dark?

When that alarm goes off in the morning, I bet you won’t feel motivated because it’s dark and freezing, but if your dedicated and have goals you really want to reach, you’ll get up anyway. Just don’t overthink it when the alarm goes off, don’t snooze, get straight up, you could wear your gym clothes to bed, have everything you need set out the night before, then you just have to walk out the door! 

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What advice would you give someone considering coming to your Active Farmers classes?

Come! There is no harm in trying. Everyone is super friendly and it's a really fun and supportive environment. If you are unsure about anything then give me a call. 

Can you talk a little about what to expect at your classes?

At our classes we do a lot of talking and laughing! We begin by walking, dynamic stretching and fun warm up games. Our workouts target the entire body and include boxing, kettlebells, weights, cardio and body weight exercises. All workouts are designed so everyone can complete them at their own pace and level. Modifications can be made easily for those who have been sick or injured. We finish with a cool down and some more talking! You can expect to leave feeling accomplished, energised and with a smile on your face. 

How important do you think exercise and socialising is for the rural community

I think its very important, now, more than ever. Technology is increasing and farming is becoming less laborious, thus, farmers are seeing less people and doing less exercise than past generations. "The rate of suicide outside Major cities is 66 per cent higher than within them". In our rural communities, I’ve seen far too many people affected directly and indirectly by suicide. There is a clear correlation between physical activity and mental wellbeing, so get out, exercise, socialise, come to our Active Farmers class! 

To get in touch with Ash and find more about her services click here to be redirected to her Active Farmers page or click here to view her website, Ashleigh's health & fitness :)