Lorna Jane Clarkson shares how she prioritises health and wellbeing while running a global business

Lorna makes her health and wellbeing a priority, to ensure she can bring her 'A' game to work.

By Fiona Ralph
Thirty years after launching her business, Australian Lorna Jane Clarkson has grown her eponymous activewear brand from a few handmade gym outfits, sold to attendees of her aerobics classes, to an international lifestyle company encompassing over 200 stores in 17 countries, wellness programmes, books and an influential digital presence.
Following the opening of the brand's first two New Zealand stores in Auckland last year, we asked the 54-year-old how she prioritises her health and wellbeing while running a global business.
What does an average day look like for you?
I wake around 5am, get my workout done, have breakfast, catch up on any international emails which came through overnight and head into the office between 8 and 9am.
No two days in the office are ever the same (which I love) and on any given day I could be writing, designing, on a campaign shoot or in marketing, strategy or creative meetings.
I try to leave the office by 6pm most days and go for a walk with my husband, Bill, and our dog, Roger, to catch up on each other's day before dinner.
I then love to finish the day with some yoga or meditation, before going to sleep to wake up and do it all over again!
How do you find time to stay healthy with such a busy lifestyle?
I just make it a priority. I know how great it feels to be fit and healthy and I want to feel this good for the rest of my life. My philosophy in life is 'active living'.
Some days I do more exercise and don't eat so well and other days my food is great and I only find time to walk my dog… but I always do something that benefits my health and wellness every day and I am committed to bringing good energy and positivity to whatever the day has in store for me.
What do you think the success of your brand can be put down to?
If I had to pick just one thing it would be authenticity. Since day one, I've always done things my own way and I've never tried to emulate anything another brand is doing.
I think Lorna Jane's authenticity is why we have such an incredibly loyal customer base and why we have been able to continually grow and expand our brand into new markets.
Where do you call home?
I'm actually a bit of a nomad right now and divide my time between Brisbane, LA and Byron Bay. But Brisbane is where we call home because most of our family and friends are here and this is where our head office is located and where we started Lorna Jane.
We spend roughly two-thirds of our time here (escaping to our beach house at Byron on the weekends) and the rest of the time in
LA where we have a home and an office in Santa Monica.

How do you remain inspired while dealing with the pressures of running a global business?
Honestly, I love every part of having my own business and, hand on heart, I have to pinch myself on a regular basis to believe that I really get to do what I love, with the people that I love, every day – and call it work!
Yes, there's a huge amount of pressure when you're running a business, but it doesn't happen all at once (at least it didn't for me). It builds over time and you increasingly adapt to that next level of intensity until it becomes your new normal.
If I could have seen everything I do now when I first started Lorna Jane, I think I would have run a mile! But as the business grew, I learned and I pushed myself. And by pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and upping the intensity over time, I've been able to grow both personally and professionally.
What does being healthy mean to you?
Being healthy is essentially taking care of yourself so that you can think, feel and be at your best every day.
Our health is the one thing that we can ALL invest in, and I honestly believe it's the ultimate investment we will ever make. Without good health it's difficult to enjoy anything else in your life, which is why I'm so passionate about promoting all things health and fitness.
You are passionate about encouraging women to be fearless. Why is this so important to you?
We're a fearlessly female brand and our entire mission is to inspire and support women to live a life they love through active living – and that's reflected in everything we do. We have a really strong community of like-minded women who support and encourage each other to be fit, healthy and fearless in their lives.
For me, being fearless is about doing what I know is right even when it scares me. It means standing up for who I am and what I believe in, even when it isn't the popular view. It means being comfortable with stepping into uncomfortable moments because I know they will push my life forward. And it's about following my heart even when people tell me I'm crazy.

Lorna Jane’s top five wellness strategies

1 First and foremost, I commit to the daily practice of Move, Nourish, Believe – not just some days but every day! It makes being fit and healthy really simple because all you need to do is move your body every day, nourish with good food and believe in yourself.
Trust me, when you wake up every morning with a commitment to this practice, being fit and healthy becomes so much easier to achieve.
2 I manage my stress. There's no escaping stress in today's world, but managing it is essential for good health and overall wellbeing.
So I have a regular yoga practice (three times a week), I meditate for 10-15 minutes every morning and I allow a little time between meetings on days when I am super-busy to get outside and refresh.
3 I protect my sleep – sleep is equally as important as fitness and nutrition when it comes to wellbeing so I make sure that I'm getting my 7-9 hours per night.
I also don't have caffeine after 11am and try to keep to the same wake and sleep times every day. On those nights when I'm finding it difficult to get to sleep I drink calming tea and take a hot bath.
4 I wear activewear – maybe I'm a little biased but I'm a firm believer in wearing activewear every day to inspire you to make your health and fitness a priority. Sounds strange I know, but it's actually proven to make a big difference!
When you wear activewear you're more comfortable, you naturally do more incidental exercise like taking the stairs and your mind associates wearing activewear with being active, so you're more motivated to make that class at the gym or go for a run. I lay out my activewear the night before so I can get dressed right away and head out for a morning walk or to an early class – no excuses!
5 I drink plenty of water – and that's about 2-3 litres a day – because water is without doubt the number one ingredient for good health. It boosts your metabolism, reduces food cravings, detoxes your body and keeps your energy levels high.
Water is also the oldest and cheapest anti-ageing potion on the planet, and our bodies need it in abundance for every one of our cells, tissues and organs to function at its best.

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