She was dubbed sporty spice for a reason! Mel C sold over 100 million records when she hit the big time as part of 90s pop Spice Girls, and she’s always been associated with fitness thanks to her moniker and those famously toned abs.
At 42 (no, we can’t believe it either) the mum of one looks better than ever, but what does she put it down to?
We take a look at her diet and fitness secrets, and you’ll be relieved to know that you can try all of these yourself!
1. A passion for sport!
Speaking to The Sun newspaper, Mel gave an insight into where her passion for all things fitness came from: ‘I got my nickname Sporty Spice because I have always been sports mad,’ she said.
‘I remember when I was 14 I broke the school record for the high jump – I even beat the boys, so it really was girl power from a very young age.’
But it wasn’t until one of her Spice Girls bandmates that Mel found a passion for the gym: ‘I love all sports but it was Geri Halliwell who introduced me to the gym back in 1994.’
It’s something that Mel’s kept up since her days in the Spice Girls; but after suffering a knee injury during a judo match for Channel Four programme The Games in 2003, Mel was forced to stick to swimming and cycling following surgery.
Sporty by name, sporty and by nature: Mel rocked sports gear during her Spice Girls days
2. Everything in moderation
A girl after our own hearts, Mel’s as much of a sucker for an alcoholic drink and piece of cake as the rest of us, but she knows that too much of a good thing isn’t good for the diet so she sticks to the mantra of everything in moderation.
‘I love to have a drink and I love cake but it’s just about everything being in moderation, isn’t it,’ she says. ‘I try to follow an 80:20 rule where I’m good 80 per cent of the time but once I get to the weekend, bring it on I say. I think denial is a dangerous game to play because you end up wanting what you shouldn’t be having so it’s all about balance like everything in life.’
‘I love to have a drink’: Mel doesn’t cut out everything from her diet
3. Vary your diet (and eat more veggies!)
No one likes the idea of sticking to the same boring salad every day, and Mel’s the same. When it comes to mixing up her diet, she trys to keep it interesting.
‘I’ve been trying to be more varied with the fruit and veg that I buy. I think it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut of eating the same thing week in week out.’
So what sort of things does she stock up on? ‘I’ll always have almond milk in. I love Rude Health’s it’s delicious,’ she told health brand Organic Burst. ‘I have lots of cereals, grains and pulses to make my own granolas, risottos and dhals. I do eat meat but I’ve started cooking more vegetarian recently.’
For Mel, it’s all about feeling good. ‘Eating well makes me feel good, I have a very active daughter and sometimes it’s tough keeping up with her,’ Mel says. ‘I’ve learnt looking after myself helps me look after her and I am enjoying teaching her about nutrition, she’s a great eater.’
4. Try super foods!
Our instagram feeds are often filled with pictures of green juices, and Mel’s not afraid to try the latest superfood for a health boost either. She says: ‘I love Organic Burst Maca root on my cereal for extra energy. I use the Baobab in my smoothies for its potent antioxidants.’
What’s her go to recipe for an added health kick? ‘I’ve been trying more green smoothies with spinach or kale and adding some wheatgrass,’ she told Organic Burst. ‘My favourite breakfast at the moment is quinoa porridge made with almond milk with raspberries, goji berries and cacao nibs, it’s awesome!’
5. Sign up to a challenge
Having competed in her first triathalon back in 2011, Mel’s no stranger to a gruelling training regime. She says: ‘I only started doing triathlons in 2011 and I was just bitten by the bug. It was something that I quite fancied having a go at, but I was scared of the unknown. Then I thought, “No, sod it, I’m going to do this”.’
Whether you’re competing in a triathlon or just pumping yourself up for a 5km run, read on if you really, really want to get fit like Mel C. This year she’s teamed up with homeless charity Shelter to back their Vertical Rush challenge. In doing so, the 42 year old has shared her top fitness tips.
Mel C’s top fitness tips
1. Drop it like a squat
Improving your lower body strength will give you a big leg up on race day. Try setting yourself a daily squat target and increase by a few each day in the run up to your race.
2. Jump it up
Incorporate jumps into your workouts using steps, boxes or benches. Increasing your explosive strength will give you the power and speed you’ll need to keep up the pace.
Mel C keeps in shape by competing in triathlons – look at those abs!
3. Spin to win
Stamina will be the difference between making it to the end and collapsing in a breathless heap. Sign up to a spin class to stretch that stamina to its limit.
4. Let’s get vertical
Interval training will get you ready for the bursts of energy you’ll need to improve endurance and fight off the dreaded stitch. Find a hill or steps to race up, jog down, and repeat.
5. Keep it cool
Know your limits. Have rest days, vary your training, and be sure to give your sore muscles some TLC after a hard workout, with lots of stretching, hot baths and even a cheeky massage.