Summer is nearly here and it is a great time to clean up our fitness goals. Who better to speak to the V&M community than all round super cool Inge Sildnik! You might have seen Inge performing some of the top stunts in Hollywood movies like Transformers 5, Pacific Rim, Gods of Egypt, Mad Max-Fury Road or The Great Gatsby. Or… you might have seen her performing graceful manoeuvres in one of her aerial Yoga Classes across Sydney. 

Hope you enjoy this week’s interview and that Inge’s pure passion for health, wellness and fitness rubs off on you. I know it has for me… 

Later… I’m off for a walk. 

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Photos: James Horan

As a personal trainer, yoga instructor and stunt actress specialising in horse riding, martial arts, gymnastics, fighting, precision driving, water, aerial and height stunts it is clear to say you are an elite athlete. How do you keep your body, mind and spirit in top condition?

I know it sound cliché but I love what I do and I think this is a major help in keeping my mind and spirit in top condition. I enjoy my work so to me it does not feel like work. It’s a lifestyle. I exercise every day………yes every day, I eat clean, fresh and nutritious rich foods (most of the time 😉 ) and this keeps my body in good condition.

The V&M community are not all elite athletes but many are currently or will in the future need to prepare their body for intense periods of stress, endurance, fatigue and emotional hardship. What strategies do you use when preparing to challenge your mental and physical strength?

I think the mental and physical work together. Your mindset has a great deal to do with your physicality and vice versa. From a training point I continually mix things up, so my body is always being challenged, this keeps it interesting and I don’t get stale. If I need to specialise in a certain area I get help with my training from other experts in a required field. My preparation may also depend on the amount of time I have before something is coming up, that’s why I always maintain a good base level of fitness. I love Yoga, and try and get on my mat as much as possible. For me it helps both my mind and body, it helps me to “get out of my head” accept where I am at that day both mentally and physically and encourage my own journey. I also have a great group of friends who continually support and encourage each other, whatever life stage we are at, so we are very lucky.

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What does health and wellness mean to you?

 Health and wellness to me is not just about being fit, or looking a particular way. It’s about feeling good and being able to do all the things you enjoy. Being as happy within yourself as you can be. Yes sure we all go through times where we are not as happy within ourselves but finding and doing things that make you happy. Regular exercise, good healthy eating, time with your family, friends or taking time out for yourself or resting when you need.

What motivates you and can you provide any strategies for busy people to assist them in reaching their own health and fitness goals?

 I love seeing results. I know that many things are not instant and take time. Life is a continual journey, and my goals are always changing depending on where I am at in my life. I also do like a bit of healthy competition, which I think can spur me on a bit more.

 You need to set goals. Make them realistic and achievable. Sit down and write them out, make yourself accountable for them. Work out how to achieve these goals and seek help and guidance from people who are specialist in their fields whether its nutrition, exercise, counselling as they can really help. These may be small daily goals, weekly monthly or a year’s time from now. You need to plan your steps on how to get there. I like the quote “if nothing changes, nothing changes”. It may seem harsh but stop making excuses and just start. I truly believe in finding something you enjoy doing as this will make it easier to stick to. If you want something you have to make the time for it. Put it in your diary and stick to it. The feeling when you finally start seeing, experiencing or feeling a difference is such a great reward. Allow yourself to fail even if its time and time again, this is how we learn, don’t judge yourself or beat yourself up if it does not work the first time, start again. Surround yourself with people who support your journey, tell your family and friends your goal so they understand and may be able to help you reach it. You don’t have to do it on your own.

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What are your favourite healthful (not traditional working out) activities?

 I am an active person anyway and have been all of my life. Most of the things I do although most people may consider a workout I don’t. But for me things like taking my dog for a walk, riding my horse, going waterskiing (in summer) or snow skiing (in winter) may not be traditional.

How would you describe your approach to food?

For me food is a fuel. “energy in, energy out” I need my body to get enough nutrition to sustain my training and fuel my body. But, I still want my food to taste good. This is obviously different for everyone as we all have different likes and dislikes. Most of the time I have a very balanced diet and try to include a little bit of everything. It may also depend on the type of training I do as what my body needs. I eat lots of fresh food as close to it’s natural state as possible. I’m a grazer so I eat small amounts all day.

What are your best tips for including more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet?

I love fresh fruit and veggies so for me it’s not hard. As I’m usually super busy during the week, so I generally buy a big bunch of veggies on the weekend, cut them up in preparation for my week. This makes it so easy to grab a handful and munch on them for a snack or put them in a salad or make for my dinner. The pre preparation is really helpful. This also stops me from grabbing something not so healthy. Invest in a good juicer/ blender/ nutribullet, make a juice or smoothie combining veggies and fruit together. Eat what is in season, try and include as much colour in your diet as possible.

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Are there any books, films, or organisations that have forever changed the way you look at health, wellness or nutrition?

Steve Grant from Fit For Films is a guru when it comes to nutrition. He has helped me get ready for film roles, and generally improve my overall health. He looks at your lifestyle, diet, exercise, injury, mental state of mind, sleep habits, daily stresses and helps design a nutrition plan to get reach your goals.

Exploring the depths of yoga has also been an inspiration as to the way I look at my own heath and wellness from a spiritual, mental and physical side.

Modern day science is amazing to. The development of such treatments like stem cells. I think the more we can fuel and heal our body naturally the better.