Monday 26 January 2015

Shaping up for Saturdays

Una Foden may be busy combining a chart-topping career with life as a new mum, but she still finds time to exercise, writes Tanya Sweeney

Exclusively available from Life Style SportsReebok Sports Essentials Tank Neon, €18; Reebok Sports Essentials Tank Blue, €18; Reebok Delta Printed Legging, €45; Reebok Pure Yoga Pant, €46; Reebok One Series Trainer, €100

The Saturdays star Una Foden might be right in the thick of the glittering pop industry, but when it comes to keeping in shape, the Tipp-born beauty is decidedly back to basics. "I read all these interviews in celebrity magazines about people's diets, and they're talking about all these little seeds that they eat, and how and when they eat them. Like, it's not that complicated.

"I'm lucky that I don't have a sweet tooth, but I love a bag of chips or crisps every so often," she adds.

"If I don't get to have a hearty meal at 6pm, I go a bit mad. I really enjoy food.

"I like to start the day with a probiotic drink followed by a banana if I am on the go, or a soya cappuccino in the morning. I love to drink tea in the afternoon with a digestive biscuit or slice of toast, and then for dinner I love chicken, fish, or meat with vegetables or salad and rice, potatoes or pasta."

It's a decidedly realistic, sensible and unpretentious regime, but then Una has long grown up with plenty of energy. Delve into the background of Thurles-raised Una Healy (her maiden name before marrying rugby star Ben Foden) and the child significantly explains the woman.

Before studying both nursing and primary school teaching, Una admits that sport was a huge part of her life.

Exclusively available from Life Style SportsReebok Sports Essentials Tank Neon, €18; Reebok Sports Essentials Tank Blue, €18; Reebok Delta Printed Legging, €45; Reebok Pure Yoga Pant, €46; Reebok One Series Trainer, €100

"As a child, I was a competitive champion swimmer from the age of six until I was 14," she explains. "I lived in the pool. I was also part of the local athletics club. In school, I was on the hockey team. In fact, I was more into sport than music growing up. I was still quite girlie, but when I was in the Croke's Athletic Club, we'd be running around fields with cow poo. That's about as muddy as it ever got.

"It's in the family, too – (track and field athlete) Paul Hession is my cousin, while my mum's sister was a marathon runner."

Reebok Sports Essentials Tank Neon, €18
Reebok Sports Essentials Tank Neon, €18
Reebok Sports Essentials Tank Blue, €1
Reebok Delta Printed Legging, €45
Reebok Pure Yoga Pant, €46
Reebok One Series Trainer, €100

And now that she's at the top of her game in the music industry, Una readily accepts that staying in shape is an intrinsic part of the deal.

"I remember one gig I did when I came back after the baby," she recalls (Una gave birth to daughter Aoife Belle 19 months ago). "It was a big one in Thurles, and I was so out of breath dancing around because I wasn't as fit. That's when it hit me that I needed to be fit for singing. And even if you don't dance about like we do, fitness is great for your lung capacity as a singer. We also have a lot of photoshoots and I like to feel body confident."

Una's not the only working mum in the Saturdays, either: both Frankie Sandford and Rochelle Humes have become first-time mums in the past year. And while they get in shape with daily choreography sessions, they still find time to bond over their post-baby bodies.

"We are always slagging ourselves off," she smiles. "I remember saying to Rochelle, 'wow, you've snapped back into shape', and she was like 'hey, the Spanx are holding me in'. On my wedding day, I wore a pair of Spanx. They were nice ones though, the sexiest pair you could hope to get."

Pinging back into shape may have looked effortless for Una, but she admits that, despite a few hard yards in the beginning, slow and steady eventually won her back her enviably flat stomach.

"It's the hardest place to lose weight from," she reveals. "It was very squidgy for a long time, but (the abs are) back now. But it took over a year. I remember a physio telling me I was one of the lucky ones, as a lot of women just lose their ab muscles after a baby."

"We're encouraging her to go to little classes, like Baby Gym or Monkey Music, but it's more about making friends than pushing her into sport or anything."

With an athletic mum and a professional athlete dad, it stands to reason that Aoife Belle is one active toddler. Famously, Una met her scrum-half husband through their respective agents, and despite her athletic background, the pair didn't initially bond over a mutual love of fitness.

"It's definitely his job to be sporty and fit, but I don't ever get to see that side of things unless I go to the games," she explains. "When I see him on the pitch, I get really excited and proud, but when he's at home, he just wants to relax, so he's a bit of a slob to be honest. I only see him sitting down with a cup of tea or packet of biscuits. Apart from the odd round of golf that we do together, it's very relaxed."

Irish Independent

Promoted articles

Also in this Section

Promoted articles

Top Stories

Most Read

Independent Gallery

Your photos

Send us your weather photos promo

Celebrity News