Before BRIE BENFELL became a fitness influencer and mum-of-all-trades, she was singing and dancing her way through life – first as a little girl and then as Marilyn Monroe at Universal Studios Singapore! However, much has changed for this American-born, UK-raised lass since her daughter Theadora was born more than a year ago. After emerging from the strife of new motherhood – with everything from anal fissures to weight gain as battle scars – Brie went on to develop a workout routine that puts the rest of us to shame and launch The Anjea Way and also Thrive Fitness SG, to help others with their body transformation.
Today, the fitness influencer is racking up thousands of views just by flexing on IG in gym wear and matching co-ords with her little one. Here, she shares her workout routine and top tips for looking fit and fab – even if one likes to indulge in a bit of Shake Shack!
Describe yourself and your foray into fitness. I grew up dancing, and staying fit and healthy has always been a priority from a very young age. It’s now a huge passion of mine. I’ve launched The Anjea Way to guide mothers through their pre- and postnatal journeys, as well as Thrive Fitness SG, a company offering personal training services.
What brought you to Singapore?
My work. I auditioned in Los Angeles for a contract at Universal Studios Singapore. I booked the job and moved soon after with the love of my life, Matthew. That was six years ago. Today, I’m also an actor, presenter and entrepreneur.
Congrats on being a fitness influencer and a new mom! What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt since having your daughter?
Thank you so much! I respect my time more than ever before since Thea came along. Things that once were so important to me like my career, for instance, aren’t anymore (and vice versa). Success is still important but family comes first.
So I have re-evaluated things in my life and have made many changes for the better. It feels incredible and I have my little angel to thank for that!
What does a typical day look like for you?
I always start my day with an early morning walk in the Botanic Gardens with my daughter and treat myself to an iced latte. It always puts me in the right mindset for the day. If I’m not working on many projects or focused on business, you’ll find me singing and dancing with my daughter or taking her on adventures around Singapore.
What are some of your favourite spots in SG to get your sweat on?
I am a little biased but – apart from the Botanic Gardens – Thrive Fitness SG is my favourite place! My body transformation after giving birth is something I never thought was possible but I have never felt stronger.
I also love Pilates by VIVA because incorporating Pilates into my workout routine helped with my postpartum recovery too. It’s the most beautiful studio in Singapore.
How do you stay in shape as a fitness influencer and what’s your workout routine like?
I put an hour aside each day for working out, and I do that about five times a week! I do it for my health and to stay as strong as possible. I eat well but I always treat myself (I love my Shake Shack and wine). You can have the best of both worlds, in moderation of course! I love weight training, reformer Pilates, boxing and yoga.
What’s your advice for someone who’s about to embark on their fitness journey?
If you can afford it, I recommend finding a personal trainer. You’ll learn the correct technique, watch your strength grow with each session and gain a skill from it. I also recommend finding a friend to start your journey with you. It’s great when you have someone that can help you be accountable, and you can keep each other’s spirits up and inspire one another throughout your journey.
What’s the first thing you’ll do, post-COVID?
Our families have yet to meet our daughter so we plan on seeing them. What an emotional, unforgettable reunion that will be – it’s something I think about every single day!
Being a mum has inspired me to support other mums out there. So I am really excited to launch Anjea, an online trimester-based programme with expert-led advice and guidance on workout routines, nutrition, physiotherapy and much more!
Follow fitness influencer Brie Benfell on IG: @briebenfell
This article first appeared in the October 2021 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!
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