Maralina Leaitua is a Crossfit trainer at Ludus Leaitua in Sydney’s Inner West (www.facebook.com/AdrianLeaituaStats) which she operates with her husband Adrian.
Maralina runs quite a few classes aimed at mums and enjoys helping other women achieve their fitness goals.
She is a mother to four girls, Leticia- 15, Leasi- 9, Lily- 4 and Lyla- 3.
Here she tells us how she manages work and a household with 4 kids- plus shares her tips on staying fit and healthy.
ML&S: How do you find balancing work and being a mum of 4?
Maralina: I think it’s very challenging to find a balance and I am constantly trying to achieve that. Sometimes the scale is tipped in favour of the kids and sometimes in work. I try to work my hours around my children- as they are my priority.
ML&S: What surprised you most about motherhood?
Maralina: How much it changes your view on life. BC (before children) you are so care-free and think you are indestructible. After children, you have these little beings that depend on you- so you start driving your car a little more carefully.
ML&S: When did you begin working as a trainer?
Maralina: My husband and I started doing CrossFit training in 2012. Adrian has many years of training experience at an athletic level in different sports- including swimming, rugby and MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). I had never done any type of serious training before but once I started CrossFit- I became addicted. Now we train and coach others with the same fitness goals as us- from our box.
ML&S: What are your tips for mums who haven’t exercised for years since having children?
Maralina: Just get there! The hardest part is to actually turn up to training. A lot of people feel intimidated to start because they are not fit or may not be at their ideal weight. Just remember that everyone started exactly like you and have the same goal- to get fit!
ML&S: What do you think is the most beneficial part of exercise for mums?
Maralina: There are so many advantages for mums who exercise. Not only is it great for fitness, it’s also beneficial to your health and well-being. Exercise releases endorphins in your body that increase self-esteem, energy levels, your sex drive, reduces anxiety, helps with sleep and is wonderful for stress relief.
ML&S: What are your tips for women training post-baby?
Maralina: Post-baby I would firstly make sure you have your doctor’s approval before starting. Next I would recommend to ease into exercise. If you can, try to find a training buddy as this can help with encouraging each other and making each other accountable (even on those rainy days) and stick to your exercise regime.
ML&S: How many hours a week of training should mums aim for?
Maralina: It really depends on the type of training you are doing and what your goals are. People who are training at athletic levels are training 3 times a day and others may train 3-4 times per week. Training a little bit each day is ideal.
ML&S: How do you keep your energy levels up?
Maralina: Keeping your energy levels high can be hard when you have so much going on in your life. For my family, we try to eat healthy to help sustain our energy levels and get the best recovery from our workouts. We follow a “mostly” Paleo or clean eating plan.
ML&S: What would you like your girls to learn most from you?
Maralina: I would hope that my girls grow up to know their worth so they can achieve whatever they desire in life.
ML&S: What activities do you enjoy most with your kids?
Maralina: Our life is usually pretty crazy busy. Our kids are very active and do a combination of CrossFit, tennis and soccer- so I really love our down time with my family. My kids love putting little singing and dancing shows on for us. Sundays we usually try to relax, snuggle up and watch movies together.