Elsa Pataky was well-versed in the healing powers of nature long before lockdown had us all rediscovering the simple joys of green parks and rugged coastlines.
Since trading in the urban buzz of Hollywood for the quiet beauty of Byron Bay six years ago, the actress has cemented her status as an authority on health, wellness and mental strength, publishing her first book, Strong: How to Eat, Move and Live With Strength and Vitality, and contributing to husband Chris Hemsworth’s wellbeing app, Centr.
We spoke to the mother-of-three about the lessons she has learned in lockdown, and the wellness rituals she relies on to feel balanced every day.
1.Find your daily routine
Pataky believes that the three key pillars to living healthier and happier are movement, nutrition and mental fitness: a trio that has been underpinning the structure of her lockdown days.
“I make sure I organise my time during the day and I follow a similar routine every day. For instance, I always try to fit in my exercise in the mornings – it doesn't need to be full-on workouts, but any type of movement,” she says. “I try to make sure I do at least three to four workouts a week, mostly HIITs (20-40 min of intermediate training). The days I don’t, I would either surf or go horse riding.”
A post shared by Elsa Pataky (@elsapatakyconfidential) on Feb 14, 2020 at 5:32pm PST
2. Make time to meditate
Mental fitness is a focus come evening. "Once the kids are asleep, I try to meditate for 10 to 15 minutes, and I make sure I read and unwind before going to bed. At home we always try to put our phones aside just after dinner and we don't check them before bedtime, so we properly disconnect from the world for few hours,” says Pataky.
3. Practice balanced eating
When it comes to nutrition, Pataky's approach will sound familiar to many. "I make sure I eat as balanced and healthy as I can, although of course I have my cheating days," she says. "I do love cooking fresh fish in the oven or the grill, although my favourite moments are to cook and bake with my children. We always try to do it once every few weeks – from pizzas in the oven to yummy cookies."
4. Work as a team
For many, the lockdown period has been a time for self-reflection, and Pataky's key takeaway is sure to chime with plenty of weary parents. "Being my kids’ teacher, activities instructor and mum, as well as spending every second with them, has definitely made me more patient in general," she says, citing good teamwork as the key to maintaining sanity.
"Chris and I have been a great team I believe. We would split the tasks and have a schedule that we would try to follow as much as possible with the kids. From teaching them the school lessons, to trying to do some extra activities, to playing with them."
5. Embrace an easy beauty routine
Unsurprisingly, Pataky's beauty routine is low-key and considered, with a focus on natural ingredients. "Every morning after my shower, I moisturise my body with the Hemp Seed Hydrating Body Moisturiser from Swisse and I make sure I apply a cream containing at least SPF50 to my face," she says.
Her evening routine is equally effortless, incorporating just a couple of well-chosen products. "At night before going to bed, I make sure I clean my face, removing my make-up thoroughly, and I usually apply my Dior serum and a moisturising cream from La Mer."
6. Be smart about supplements
Clearly, Pataky was a natural match for supplement brand Swisse, which launches in the UK this month. "Swisse is a brand that sources all its ingredients from nature – it’s what inspires them to explore and find world-class ingredients to create their products," she says. "I have a strong connection with nature and I believe this makes me really connected with Swisse itself."
Pataky's personal supplement routine includes Swisse Women’s Ultivite Vitamins, which she takes every day. "It helps nourish my body, fill nutritional gaps and support my energy production while I am on the go," she says, also name-checking the Hair, Skin and Nails vitamins. "I combine these with the Energy Ultivite vitamin C effervescent, which boosts the immune system."
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