Who's That Gal: Jenny Hanway of BFX Studio
Name: Jennifer (Jenny) Hanway
Hometown: Guildford, England (just outside of London)
Current 'Hood: Newton Centre
What titles you hold! Ex-professional dancer turned Personal Trainer, Biosignature Modulation Practitioner, Barre Teacher and Group Fitness Instructor. Do you have a favorite role?
My favourite role is all of them! Through my knowledge and experience in the areas of fitness, nutrition and wellbeing I can use a holistic viewpoint with my clients which I believe is the key to becoming your healthiest, happiest you.
You strongly believe in four key elements of wellness: nutrition, exercise, lifestyle and supplementation. Can you speak to how each of these play into the life of us gals, especially that of 20- and 30-somethings?
Absolutely - these days we are all busier and more connected than ever, and we need reminding that if we do not have our health we are unable to show up as our best selves for all the exciting things that this time offers! Fuelling our bodies with the right foods, creating strong bodies that are capable of anything, and using lifestyle strategies to help deal with pressure and stress helps us to be our best at anything life has in store for us.
Did we read your website correctly in that previous clients of yours include that of the British Royal Family?! Tell us more!
Ooh - gossip! I was part of the original team at barrecore, the first barre studio in the UK (founded by Niki Rein, Gwyneth Paltrow’s ex right hand woman), and our first location was in Chelsea which is a neighborhood very close the royal palaces. A member of the royal family came to take one of my classes, and then asked to train privately with me. I’m sworn to secrecy on who it was, but I can say she was super polite and friendly, and always tidied her own equipment away and said thank you!
What makes Boston a great place for your work and message?
I love the energy in Boston, and it’s becoming a great city for health and wellness, with its prevalence of runners and quickly growing boutique fitness scene. I’ve also seen some really innovative wellness companies and events evolve in the last year such as MoveWith and The Well Summit which have enabled practitioners such as myself get our message across to a very receptive audience, and build like minded community.
You take a digital detox every Sunday. How did this begin and how has it changed your life?
Social media for anyone in the fitness or wellness industry has become a necessary part of the job to enable us to reach a wider audience. It’s a fantastic tool as it allows us to reach people outside of our circle. However it can be both a blessing and a curse, as it’s so easy to mindlessly scroll through Facebook or Instagram without even really looking at anything.
Social media and the internet is an integral part of my job, but even I can take one day off a week! I can’t say I’m completely internet free on Sundays as sometimes I have to use it for research, but if I post on my blog on a Sunday I’ll try to schedule to post in advance, and only check my emails once to see if there are any client schedule changes for Monday.
It means that I can stay a more connected with what I am doing at least one day a week, and stay ‘in the moment’ a little more, whether that be research, writing, hanging with my husband or playing with my cats. And quite honestly, there are only so many pictures of fancy Chia Pudding even I can scroll through....
For the typical city girl on-the-run, what is your top fitness tip? Top nutrition tip?
Fitness Tip: get strength training! Lifting weights is the best way to get into amazing shape for both fat loss and muscle definition. It can be a little intimidating at first if you don’t know your way around a barbell, so I would suggest booking a session or two with a trainer like myself who can show you the ropes, or try our ‘Lift’ class at BFX - a small group training class designed to help your become comfortable training in a gym environment, and to give you a kick ass workout!
Nutrition Tip: get organized! Spending a little time at the weekends grocery shopping and food prepping can save you money and time in the long run, and means you have healthy, nutritious food to hand at all times, which will prevent you from making bad choices when you get ‘hangry’!
Can I add a Wellness Tip? Sleep - it is the underpinning of everything!
You hold workshops every few weeks. How can our readers get involved?
I would love for them to come along! We meet at a great space in Back Bay, and I aim to make the workshops informal, intimate and lots of fun! I speak about topics that are prevalent in the Wellness industry, give lots of practical advice and suggestions, and there is always a gift bag at the end! 10% of ticket sales go to The Greater Boston Food Bank, a cause that is very important to me. Info and booking for my workshops can be found here!
Your recent workshops were about goal setting and clean eating (on a budget). The next (February 23rd) is about “Glow(ing) for it!” How can gals do this? What about in the long term?
Glow For It for me means having glowing skin, shiny hair, strong nails and lots of energy! There are hundreds of ‘Glowing Skin Smoothie’ recipes available on the internet, but there is a lot more to it than that, including having great gut health and getting enough rest and relaxation.
To start I’d suggest cutting out processed food, take a good quality probiotic once a day, make sure your diet is high in plant fibre (blend a bunch of green veggies such as kale, spinach, chard with half an apple, a squeeze of lemon of juice and some filtered water once a day), and make sure you are getting enough sleep.
How often do you teach at BFX? How does BFX stand out from other fitness studios in town?
I’m at BFX Monday through Thursday (I work from home on a Friday), and spend my time teaching classes, training clients and working with my Thrive (Nutrition and Wellness Clients).
For me BFX stands head and shoulders above the other studios in Boston for two reasons: the smart programming of all the classes to ensure our clients get amazing results and the education, experience and dedication of all our trainers and instructors.
What is next for you and your brand?
There are two focuses for me in 2016: to grow the Thrive program at BFX Back and our studios in New York, which will entail me training other practitioners, helping them to learn and grow in this field, which is so rewarding, and outside of BFX to continue to spread my message through working with clients online, speaking and writing, and I plan to launch a series of online nutrition, training and wellness guides by the end of the year.
Must-have workout gear: Amazing pants - I’m loving the lines from Boston locals Crane and Lion, and of course the most flattering leggings from my girl Kelly Brabants. And a great sports bra changes everything.
Favorite winter hangout in Boston: My house, I’m such a homebody, especially in the winter (I’m still not acclimated). If I’m not there you will find me at BFX in Back Bay which is my second home.
Must-play jam in one of your classes: The UK music scene will always have my heart, and one of my favourite new artists is Raleigh Ritchie (who plays Grey Worm in Game of Thrones). The cool down track in each class is alway my favourite as I can really go out of the box, and ‘Stronger Than Ever’ is my must play at the moment.
Your 2016 Resolution: It was to give up coffee for January, but I’ll be honest, I lasted 6 days! I’m trying to develop a meditation practice which I have always found challenging, but the main one is to have more fun, which is so good for your health and wellness!
Three words to describe your style: ‘Athleisure’, always. I don’t need three!
Currently reading (since we’re a book club): Fiction: The Danish Girl - I’m much more of a reader than a movie goer; Non-Fiction: Super Genes by Deepak Chopra - I saw him speak at the Berklee Center last year and he is such a shining light in the Wellness field, he really makes difficult concepts so easy to understand.
Come meet Jenny tonight, at Ladies Lounge!