If fitness is a priority for you in 2021, you’re in excellent company. For the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex, a solid exercise routine has not only been a cornerstone of their lives since marrying into the royal family but a lifelong pursuit. And the good news? Their routines are relatively easy to emulate.
While exercise and fitness are important to both Kate and Meghan, working out matters to them for two different reasons, says Roberta Fiorito, co-host of the Royally Obsessed podcast. In an exclusive interview with Bazaar.com, Fiorito says that competition motivates Kate, while Meghan is more interested in wellness and the connection between the body and the mind.
Kate: it’s all about competition
Naturally athletic, Kate grew up playing sports as a child and often engages in physical activity at royal engagements (competing against her husband, Prince William).
“We know Kate is so competitive and so outdoorsy,” says Fiorito. “She’s talked about how much she loves the outdoors, and any time there’s a sporting event she and William can participate in, they’re super competitive.”
Fiorito says one of Kate’s favourite activities—especially during lockdown–is to go for a run in the grounds of Anmer Hall, her country house in Norfolk. “This is something she’s probably keeping up even in the cold weather with all the time they’ve been spending at their Norfolk home,” she says.
Kate also takes advantage of Anmer Hall’s swimming pool and tennis courts while in residence, according to The Daily Mail.
Keeping with the trend of enjoying sport-focused workouts, the duchess is also a fan of skiing, cycling, and rowing, as evidenced when she participated in the inaugural King’s Cup regatta with William in August 2019. At home, Fiorito reports that Kate has an indoor rowing machine to help her maintain her skillset even when she can’t get on the water. “It comes naturally to her because she practises,” Fiorito adds. “She works out every day and is also really into planking, which makes sense because her core is so in shape.”
Fiorito says fitness is not about physical appearance for Kate, but instead about promoting a healthy lifestyle to her three children. “For her, a lot of it is setting a good example for George, Charlotte, and Louis, saying ‘Look at how important exercise is – I do it every day,’” she says. “Kids take up habits from being led by example, and Kate shows them how a healthy lifestyle looks and feels.”
Try Kate’s workout yourself
Working out like Kate can be as easy as going for a walk or run outdoors, wherever lockdown may find you. If you don’t want to work out alone, grab a partner and engage in a voracious tennis match. Or, if it’s too chilly to get outdoors, try using a medicine ball or planking inside the comfort of your home, and challenge yourself: according to The Daily Mail, Kate can hold a plank for more than 45 seconds, and does at least 10 reps.
Meghan: it’s all about wellness
For the Duchess of Sussex, working out is less about competition and more about centring herself and finding balance. As such, many of Meghan’s workouts are solo endeavours— perfect for this socially distanced world we are currently living in.
“Meghan is obsessed with yoga and is really into the wellness and meditation side of working out,” says Fiorito. “While Kate is more rigorous in her workouts, Meghan is into more calming, meditative practices.”
Pilates is also a favourite of Meghan’s — she has called it “hands down the best thing you could do for your body” — as is taking her dogs on walks and runs.
“As she has gotten older, running has become hard on her knees, so she doesn’t run outside as much as she used to,” reports Fiorito. “But, in 2015 she said she was planning to run a marathon, so she’s probably still running. She said once that ‘Running has always been my form of moving meditation, which I relish because it allows me to get out of my own head.’ She finds it meditative and restorative and has written about it on The Tig [her former lifestyle blog].”
But, above all else, Meghan’s favourite form of exercise is yoga. Her mother, Doria, was a yoga instructor, and Meghan has been practising since age seven.
“Yoga is her thing,” confirms Fiorito. “She’s definitely still maintaining it, even when busy. She’ll opt for little 15-minute increments throughout the day—anything she can squeeze in. With little Archie running around the house, I’m sure there’s not a lot of time, so whenever she can squeeze in Pilates or yoga for little bits of time she can get, at the end of the day she’s had a full workout.”
As Meghan, Prince Harry, and 20-month-old son Archie are currently locked down in their Montecito, California home, Fiorito says she has ample amenities on hand to stay fit. Those include a pool to swim laps in, an indoor gym, a wet and dry sauna in the home, and a playground outside for Archie.
“Their house is really very conducive to lockdown exercises, and I’m sure she’s been keeping up workouts at home,” she says. “Who knows? If we ever go back to studio workouts, we might see Meghan venture into Santa Barbara and do yoga.”
In her former career as an actress, Meghan trained with Toronto-based Craig McNamee while in the Canadian city filming Suits, according to Women’s Health. The pair would embark on full-body workouts for 45 minutes, three-to-four days a week.
“Meghan’s fitness definitely takes a priority; she’s very focused on her health,” McNamee told Women’s Health. “When she gets to the gym, there’s no real complaining. She gets down to business right away and really enjoys it.”
And, though she – like many of us – might not always be motivated to exercise, she never regrets it once she’s done.“My health, my state of mind, the feeling you have after a workout – all of these things drive me to step onto my mat or go to the gym,” she told Women’s Health. “Sometimes the idea of working out sounds absolutely dreadful, but I always remind myself of how good it will feel afterwards. Euphoric, almost.”
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Try Meghan’s workout yourself
For a Meghan-inspired workout, Fiorito recommends turning to an online streaming service like Obé, which packs a full workout – including yoga and Pilates – into a 28-minute session. (Fiorito herself uses the service.) Former trainer McNamee told Women’s Health that Meghan likes a lot of variety in her workouts, so he would break up their sessions into four parts: five minutes of cardio (like the treadmill), five minutes of stretching, 30 minutes of circuit training, and five minutes of cool-down stretching.
“For Meghan, it’s all about the link between the body and the mind,” adds Fiorito. “Calming the mind and strengthening and lengthening the body – the link between those is what Meghan likes.”
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