My health and fitness


As a qualified beauty expert, my consultation involving thousands of clients always involved, not just skin analysis and questions but lifestyle and health state analysis as well, so I am very aware that the words ‘health’ and ‘fitness’ must be personalised, and also gauged against the expectations or needs of an individual person.

I think that nowadays the image of a ‘perfect shape’ is used too much in the media. It is important to remember, or know – if you didn’t already – that in order for them to keep their shape (which is practically unattainable for us), they can travel the world with personal chefs, PA’s that have lists of dietary requirements that are emailed to hotels and venues and handed to them at regular intervals, as well as gruelling fitness regimes with world-renowned personal trainers to keep them in that shape.  It is actually part of their full time job with hours a day dedicated to it.

So, for me, in the real world, keeping healthy and fit is about working within your limitations to achieve a balance that will allow you to hopefully do the things that you enjoy, and feel good about yourself without comparing yourself to stereotypical peers and celebrities. To be healthy and fit is different at different ages and different health states, and you also may have different challenges such as mobility issues. For example, you can be extremely healthy and fit in a wheelchair and you can be unhealthy and unfit being fully able-bodied!

As we come into the New Year I, like most people, am guilty of gaining a few pounds because of the excesses of Christmas but oh – wasn’t it enjoyable?  All those cakes, mince pies, chocolates, snowballs, toffees etc. etc.!!!4

Part of the ageing process is realising that this thing called ‘age’ does actually catch up with you, you realise that diet and exercise is essential to just feeling comfortable in your own shell. The vanity of younger years has gone but the survival of your body, just to keep up with your lifestyle, is essential.

Over the years I have had many medical problems which I still fight, as many of you do too, which means that the body shape and weight that I had when I was younger is medically inadvisable and it is a matter of trying to keep in control of my body and fitness state as much as I can, to allow me to be fit for work, hobbies and home.

Stocksy_txpb791d74dm5E000_Large_261136When the weight creeps on, my best friend is definitely the Vitamix. If I tell myself to go on a diet I will just eat more chocolate! So, my mind-set is that I will let myself eat whatever I want as long as I eat more fruit and veg first. A morning smoothie, often two pints of liquidised or Vitamixed fruit and veg, sometimes with some oats in or muesli, that I can use as a liquid breakfast and stops me feeling so hungry later on in the day.

We all know that when you are trying to lose weight, breakfast is the most important meal of the day but I cannot sit down to breakfast. From the minute I get up I am on the go with the farm and animals, and I always have a list of jobs and work to do that never ends – like everyone!

I find the Vitamix a complete meal in a liquid that I can carry around with me, in the stables, while getting ready for work, and then drink in the car on the way to work. It’s the perfect way to start the day more healthily. I also find it a very quick and easy way of eating more vegetables without having to peel, chop, prepare, cook and serve which takes longer than just throwing them in the Vitamix and drinking them. I don’t really follow the recipe book, although it does have some great, inspiring ideas. I just tend to go by taste and keep a lot of frozen fruit in the freezer – or if the bananas start to go brown, I peel and freeze them and save them for the Vitamix. If I am making a sweet Vitamix I might add nuts, cereals, bananas and pineapple to improve flavour. Ps: Pineapple, banana, oats, soya milk is a like a liquid Pina Colada but very healthy and delicious!

If I’m making a more vegetable-based one, I might tweak it by adding root ginger, carrots or apples to give more flavour and sweetness. I also find Vitamix really quick and easy to make a soup and then, with my rule of ‘you can eat whatever you want as long as you eat these’ each day, I find myself not feeling as hungry and my sweet tooth diminishes – as long as I can avoid the garage chocolate and crisps. It really does help to eat some food at home before you go to the supermarket or to have something in the car that you are eating before you fill up with petrol.image14

Exercise-wise, I maintain the fitness level that I have (which is ok but could be improved) with six horses and two dogs. When you don’t see me at work I am mucking out, riding, dog walking, fencing, etc. so I am always on the go.  As I have got older, this definitely is not enough and if I wish to lose that extra bit of weight, I do need to either add a gym workout to this (yuk!) or I do the dog walk twice – two circuits round the field instead of one or 3 instead of one – time allowing.

As my knees and joints are increased in weakness due to injuries of mine, and I can feel my knees being a bit wobbly – a sign is that I can’t walk from the dressing room to the studio in my high heels, I take them off and go barefoot or Emu’s – which means I need to strengthen my knees again.  I tend to do this by using the stairs at work instead of the lift and stopping for a couple of minutes between meetings and doing some exercises on the stairs with some very funny looks from co-workers!

Also, when I am dog walking I will specifically over-bend my knee and make sure they are fully locked which helps to work my weaker side. This usually results in my husband saying ‘what were you doing round the field? – you looked funny!’

I find it easier to do more exercise when I am doing something I was meant to do anyway as it’s almost impossible for me to find more time to do different exercise.


  1. joyce pate January 7, 2016 at 4:17 pm -  Reply

    Alison I have tried all you advice and used the items you suggested for puffy eye but nothing works as you can see by the presenters who have everything at hand. The only product that I swear by is a product called “Eyesential” it’s only a temporary product but it last for anything up-to 10 hours it far out-passes anything that QVC sell for removing puffy eyes and bags can I suggest that you approach the buyers and request this product to sell in the beauty hours—-try it yourself on your eyes and see the difference it makes.
    Thanks Alison

  2. maria king and January 13, 2016 at 5:46 pm -  Reply

    Was very impressed with Alison Youngs blog about health and fitness and I will try smoothies and more exercise

  3. meg January 13, 2016 at 9:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison,
    I’m pushing 30, and having just discovered Liz Earle am finally embracing a skin routine that does not irritate my sensitive/dry skin. Could you recommend an exfoliator for my face that won’t irritate my skin but clear the dead stuff away and help brighten my complexion. I think the scrubs I have used in the past – a St iVes, Benefit, and Elemis scrubs haven’t worked wonders on my skin and have often taken more off than needed and left me very red faced. I have also tried the Liz Earle but this also is not agreeing with me.
    I would love to know your suggestions…..

    • Fifi January 31, 2016 at 11:24 am -  Reply

      I hope you don’t mind me replying instead of Alison but I am a long term viewer of QVC Beauty and Alison’s shows and had noticed that you had not had a reply for quite a while. Can I suggest that you try Gatineau Radiance Gommage? It is a lovely liquid enzyme exfoliator, with no particles in it, so it is ideal for sensitive skin, and it leaves a lovely glow to the skin after it is removed. I have sensitive skin as well and have used it several times with no problems. It has a lovely smell, you apply a small amount to the face, spread it all over, massage until it becomes an oil-like texture, you can leave it for a minute or two if you want, and then wash off with water. On contact with water it becomes a lovely milky texture, you can wipe this off with a cloth or cotton pad. One tube lasts for ages, but they have a duo on offer at the moment as well so even better value there for you if you wish! Good Luck! (Elemis also does an enzyme exfoliater called Papaya enzyme peel, but I prefer the Gatineau one).

  4. joanne February 3, 2016 at 2:07 pm -  Reply

    hello Alison love your shows, so I would like some advice please, I have got graves disease (over active thyroid) my face although I have been told I don’t look my age people think I am younger my skin is terrible have tried lots of products from qvc have purchased just recently a set from elemis the cleansing balm, the apricot toner, and the ultra rich marine cream and at this time have used it for about 2 weeks now and my skin looks awful any ideas on what else I could try or do I keep persevering with elemis any ideas Alison would be great thanks joanne.

  5. jo collins February 16, 2016 at 12:27 pm -  Reply


  6. Chrissie April 1, 2016 at 10:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison. Could you please give me some advice as to the order of items for the facial routine. I use cleanser, toner, serum, then not sure if I should use Prolagene then moisturiser or the other way around. I am 68 & have normal skin with an oily T zone. Thank you.

  7. Joan May 10, 2016 at 10:43 am -  Reply

    Hi Alison I am 68 years old and you may think at this age I really shouldn’t be bothered about wrinkles however, I am and really need advice as to how I can reduce/minimze the appearance of them I have tried speaking to presenters on air and left messages to no avail hence this email in the hope you can advise me. My skin is quite sensitive and have tried many of the top brands but cannot find one that works for me. I have a Clarita electronic facial everyl month hoping to receive your advice. I know just how Joanne feels I have the under active thyroid!!

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