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Ash Barty’s game plan for the “challenging times” is ace



Words of wisdom from the rising star of Australian (and indeed world) tennis scene, Ashleigh Barty.

Did you know that Ash Barty was just 21 when she became the highest ranked Australian player? Add to her CV the fact that she already has seven Women's Tennis Association (WTA) singles titles and ten WTA doubles titles under her belt, there's little doubt she's our brightest rising star. We can't wait to see what she does at the 2020 Australian Open.

Apart from considerable her success on the tennis court, her behaviour off the court has earnt her just as much admiration from fans; openly sharing her mental health battles, being named a National Indigenous Tennis Ambassador, and now campaigning for greater sun safety awareness through her partnership with Banana Boat.

We recently had the opportunity to quiz Ash on the all things motivation, sun safety and her tennis pro tips for attending the upcoming Australian Open.

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Where do you find the motivation to stay on top of your game?

It’s all about balance and finding a way to enjoy what you are doing, even during the challenging times. Surrounding yourself with positive people who help you stay motivated and remind you of your goals is also important. If I’m not 100% I definitely listen to my body and make sure I’m taking extra care of myself.

One what she'd tell her 13-year old self

Enjoy the journey – the ups, the downs and the in between. And believe in yourself.

On her sunshine-filled childhood and being sun smart

Growing up in Queensland being sun smart is something you learn from a young age. It is sunny nearly all year so getting in the habit of wearing a hat, drinking plenty of water and wearing sunscreen is so important. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve used Banana Boat sunscreen, my parents were always strict with my sisters and I and made sure we had sunscreen on before playing outside…. Knowing when and how to apply sunscreen is also a big factor for me staying sun safe, I’ll put it on 20 minutes before I go out in the sun and I’ll reapply every two hours – often more frequently when I’m training, playing intensely or in quite hot conditions.

On the very real risk of melanoma

I get my skin checked every year. Living in Queensland and with my life on the tennis tour and constantly being in the sun it is very important. It’s so important to know how to stay safe in the sun, especially in Australia. This is one of the reasons I wanted to partner with Banana Boat, to help raise awareness in Australia about being sun smart and that wearing and reapplying sunscreen is important to help keep you protected from the harsh Australian sun.

Skin cancer is something that affects so many Australians and people who are in the sun regularly like me have to be extra careful and aware.

On enjoying the Australian Open like a tennis insider

The Australian Open is an amazing event. There is so much to do as a fan, more than any other Grand Slam. The ground passes are great value and allow fans to go and watch different matches. I would recommend buying a ground pass in week one, watching plenty of tennis, eating at some of Melbourne’s best restaurants on site, and wearing plenty of Banana Boat SPF50+ of course.

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B+S LIVE: Heart-starting HIIT with Sam Woods



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Kayla Itsines is giving away 4-weeks FREE access to SWEAT



Kayla Itsines is offering free access to her fitness and health programme SWEAT for four weeks, so everyone can stay healthy and happy while in self-isolation.

It’s true. The Queen of fitness is opening up her popular SWEAT app to new members for free for an entire four weeks. It’s the perfect news we need right now while we’re all adhering to the government’s strict social isolation and gathering rules.

The Australian personal trainer made the announcement to her 12.4 million followers on Instagram, noting the decision is part of SWEAT’s ‘Stay Strong Initiative’ as a response to the current coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve partnered with and made a contribution to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization powered by the United Nations Foundation. This fund supports the World Health Organization’s efforts to prevent, detect, and respond to the pandemic,” the fitness influencer wrote.

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“It’s SO important for all of us to make our health a priority during these tough times, so to help women across the world stay strong, we’re also giving all NEW members one month of FREE access to SWEAT, and this offer is available for a week.”

The programme usually costs $19.99 per month (or $119.99 for a yearly package), so it’s a pretty sweet saving and a perfect opportunity to try new workouts at home that millions of women – AKA, the #BBGcommunity – around the world already swear by.

SWEAT is globally available via iOS app and online, and offers a curated range of workouts from five leading fitness trainers (hi Kayla, Kelsey Wells, Chontel Duncan, Steph Sanzo and Sjana Elise), meal plans, recipe collections, shopping lists and nutrition tips.

Regardless if you’re looking for HIIT, strength, yoga or even post-pregnancy workouts, you’ll find it all on the SWEAT app.

If you’re keen to give it all a go, all you have to do is register online here or via the app, but you better be quick because this offer is only available for the next week. And if you aren’t a new member but would love to support Kayla’s ‘Stay Strong Initiative’, you can donate to the United Nations COVID-19 Solidarity Fund here.

Now there’s no excuses not to SWEAT.

More essential coronavirus reading:

Read up on what the government lockdown means for you, understand why Aussie doctors are up arms, be aware of the 'hidden symptom' of COVID-19 carriers, prepare yourself for the long-term mental health effects of the pandemic, get your sweat on at home with these free online workouts before reviving your over-washed hands with this DIY balm, and then console yourself with these unexpected joys.

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Everyday objects you can use to create your own home gym



Gyms have closed down to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Here, fitness expert Sam Wood reveals which everyday objects you can use for a fat-burning workout.

For regular gym-goers, not being able to stick to your usual training routine or have access to equipment might seem like a complete and utter nightmare.

Whilst I can completely understand that there’s no real substitute for a fully functional gym, there are plenty of every day household objects that can be used to create an effective workout. You just have to get creative.

1. Wine Bottles

Social distancing might make you want to crack open a bottle of red more than usual but put the bottles to better use as a substitute for hand weights and prepare to curl that pinot!

Just be careful not to drop them.. or drink mid set.

2. Soup cans/tinned beans

Canned foods are the perfect substitute for hand weights. Feel the burn with high-reps of exercises like bicep curls, shoulder press, tricep kickbacks and hammer curls.

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3. A full backpack or carry-on suitcase

With travel plans out the window, put the bags to good use by doing all of your strength lifts with a packed backpack or carry on suitcase. Squats, deadlifts, pressed and even rows holding the handle can all be done with a backpack or roll on bag.

4. Couch

Chances are your couch will be getting quite the workout if you’re self-isolating so you may as well use it for a real workout too. Glute bridges, couch squats, tricep dips and decline push-ups can all be done with nothing but a couch.

5. Paper Plates

No sliders? No worries. Paper plates reduce the friction between the floor and your foot so a standard lunge can be made even more difficult if you slide forward into lunge and slide, slow and controlled to return to standing. They can also be used for mountain climbers, pikes, single leg knee tucks and single arm wheelbarrows- just to name a few! If these aren’t sturdy enough, go for a good Tupperware lid.

6. Coffee-table book

Russian twists, weighted sit-ups, leg lowers with book held above your head… put those books purposely bought for decoration to good use by incorporating them into your workout.

If you fall in love with home training like so many people do, of course it’s great to make a very small investment in some dumbbells and bands. But if you want to test out training at home with zero spend, these recommendations are a great place to start.

Sam Wood is a fitness expert and founder of 28 by Sam Wood.

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