Our October member of the month is total super Mum Leigh Braun! Part-time Occupational Therapist, sports coach, taxi.. the list goes on! Leigh leads a busy life with 3 gorgeous kids under 10! Life is full on but she always makes time to get her body moving and is testament to that fact that being busy is no excuse not to look after your health! In Leigh’s words “I want to be a good role model for my kids, to show them the importance of exercise and eating well to achieve a good balance in life.” Love your work Leigh!


Tell us a little about who Leigh is:

I am a 39 (oh my goodness nearly 40) year old working mum. My husband and I have 3 beautiful children, Stella 9, Rosa 7 and Leo 3. I work part time as an Occupational therapist in a DHB funded, home-based rehabilitation service helping patients achieve their goals of returning to independence with their day to day tasks. I love my job and get real satisfaction from giving back to people in the community, especially the elderly who have worked so hard for their families over the years. My twin sister lives close by and she’s the one who got me into Real Health NZ. We have many laughs over epic fails with some of the exercises and our growing list of aches and pains as our bodies are ageing. We recently ran the 10km fun run in Whangamata in under an hour which was a great accomplishment for us.


What does your 9-5 looks like:

I like to start my day early, and get out the door to work as early as possible, mostly 7am. My husband manages the kids drop-offs in the morning so I can finish early and manage the girl’s activities at the other end of the day. The week is pretty busy with swimming, netball, hockey, and dancing, I’ve coached and taxied the kids around a lot this winter! My days off work are focused on spending time with my youngest and fitting in some exercise. My twin sister and I try and get in a couple of short runs a week, my husband usually watches the 6 kids (mine and Katie’s) while we are out.

Current health/wellness goal:

My goal is to try and keep to a routine that includes time for myself, including exercise and time to push pause on the world around me. I also want to be a good role model for my kids, to show them the importance of exercise and eating well to achieve a good balance in life. I have been trying to include my girls more in cooking dinner, getting their suggestions and showing them how to prepare fast healthy meals. 


Biggest challenge you currently face:

I am really not a big fan of winter so find it hard to motivate myself when it’s dark and cold. I love the extra hours of daylight now it’s daylight savings and am enjoying the milder weather to get out walking the dog and bike riding with the kids.


Your wellness mantra:

I don’t really have a mantra, but something I try and stick to is never give up. If you commit to something you should try and see it through.


Your go to breakfast:

I am a brown/grainy toast girl in the morning. It’s usually pretty quick and juggled with making the kids breakfasts too. I have recently started enjoying a tumeric and ginger tea as soon as I get to work which helps me stave off the coffee cravings for another hour or so.


Fav way to get moving?

I enjoy fresh air, so as much as possible to like to combine my exercise with being outside. I am not very flexible and find balance work tricky! The stretch sessions always give me a good laugh which is quite a good way to finish a workout.


What does true Health & Wellness means to you:

With my Occupational Therapy background, I have always been a believer that you must have a holistic approach to your life! This enables to you to recognise your weaknesses but also your strengths to allow you to achieve your goals. Not everything is always going to go your way but if you can focus on a balance between physical health, mental health and maintaining a good support system of friends and family you can’t go too wrong.


Inspired by:

My sister Katie is a huge motivation for me. She is totally amazing, being a single mum, juggling full time work and 3 gorgeous kids. It is a reminder to me everyday how lucky I am to have a close family! It reminds me to work hard to be fit and healthy so we can be there for each other. 


What does RHNZ mean to you?

I am so happy to have found a programme that allows me to workout in a flexible way, combined with the other forms of exercise I am involved in daily. Real Health NZ recognises real, everyday kiwi lifestyle and provides a positive approach to wellness. I am looking forward the new boot camp coming soon! I will need it after our overseas holiday where I am sure we will enjoy ourselves a little too much!

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