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How She Does It -
Tanya Hornick

Nadia Tucker

Posted on July 20 2016

Every week we interview women about how they incorporate active and healthy habits into their lives. We believe there is no one-size-fits-all approach to health and fitness, so we aim to capture the variety of ways women choose to be active to give you ideas and inspiration on how to live your best active life. 

Tell us about yourself

My name is Tanya Hornick. I am a 38 (almost 39) year old wife, mum of one, and full-time executive manager. I live in Brisbane, Queensland with my husband, our five year old daughter and our dachshund. As a family, we do our best to live active and healthy lives, and our philosophy is support one another and never give up.

I am also an Ambassador for MoveMore Fitness – an outreach community of online Movers encouraging others to Move More and find their way to a healthier lifestyle.

What does active living mean to you?

Active living to me is having FUN and VARIETY and always MOVING! Sometimes I think we get caught up in the fact that active living means going to the gym or doing a hardcore workout for an hour. I have come to realise and believe that a well-invested 10 to 20 minutes can pay dividends and that doing a combination of training, Pilates, yoga, running and strength makes for a stronger me. I aim to do something active each day, whether that means going for a long run, running intervals or stairs, a reformer Pilates session, or going for a bike ride, hike or playing hopscotch with the family.

What do you like to do to stay active?

I love reformer Pilates, yoga and running. However, you will also find me in our backyard or garage knocking out a body strength training session.

My one thing that I have started over the past few years is to walk/climb a mountain on my birthday. This I love – the thing about climbing mountains is that the climb gives you the opportunity to reflect on your journey – the year that has been – the ups, the downs and everything in-between. The summit lets you take in the view and celebrate your accomplishments. The descent is like a charge into your new plans and goals for the following year. 

Have you always been active and healthy?

Pretty much. I am not what you would call a natural athlete, although I have been active since a young age, and could hold my own on the squash court when I was in my teens. I have “dabbled” in all kinds of fitness in adulthood.

Prior to falling pregnant I did ballet and ran, but after having my child my active lifestyle went on the back burner for a while. When I went back to work I found myself in the position of rushing to get everyone out of the door of a morning, running from meeting to meeting at work, getting to doctor’s appointments, rushing home to get dinner ready, baths, bed, and somewhere in there trying to find quality time with my husband, before trying to prepare for the next day and collapsing in bed. After almost a year of this I realised that I was running on fumes. I needed to put myself at the top of my to do list, and take care of myself, so as to actually have enough energy and give my best self to my family, work and life. It was like what you hear a flight attendant saying “you need to put your oxygen mask on first before you help others”. I also needed to change that picture in my head of SuperWoman – lets face it we are all SuperWoman in our own unique way.

So began my renewed active healthy journey. Over a few years, with the support of my husband and daughter, I have figured out what works for me and us.

What is your weekly routine (if you have one)?

The thing that I have figured out is that I have to give myself time and be flexible - everything changes. Whilst a routine is good, I realised that a sick child, work priorities, etc., may gazump my scheduled session, and that is ok, just reschedule and don’t beat myself up.

I sort of have a routine. Typically on Mondays and Wednesdays you will find me on the reformer at Studio Pilates at 5am (this means I get up at 4.05am) and follow that up with a run along the river (anything from 2 to 6 km). One lunch time per week you will find me running stairs and one morning per week you will find me running 400m intervals at the local oval. I am a fan of the RUNch, a 30 minute run at lunch. I like to do a long run on the weekends and I seize the hour when my daughter is at yoga on a Sunday afternoon to do yoga myself with a girlfriend. My goal is four run sessions per week, two reformer Pilates sessions and one yoga session per week, everything else is a bonus.

What daily habits keep you fit and healthy?

There are a couple of habits that I use to keep me fit and healthy:

  • Stretching every day, at least 10 to 15 minutes every morning and every afternoon.
  • Nutrition and healthy eating are high on my priority list, and lots of water. Lots of fruit with breakfast, especially berries, kiwi fruit, pineapple and bananas, at least then I know I have had my daily quota of fruit. Nuts are high on my list in the afternoons, especially walnuts, almonds and cashews.
  • Making the working week lunchtimes active – 30 minute walk or run, even a lunchtime barre or hot yoga class time permitting.

What is your best active living hack?

Stand more, sit less. Having a desk based job can make it challenging to be active and healthy, and we have all heard that sitting for prolonged periods isn’t good for us, so I make a conscious decision to stand at my desk (when I am at it) for at least two hours per day. If I am at home I do chores standing up.

Start each day with a grateful heart. Starting each day with three grateful thoughts is a huge part of me starting each day with a positive mindset. These thoughts can be simple. There is so much to be said for gratitude and its impact on attitude, and your best active and healthy life. Always wake up and smile!

What does a sample workout look like for you?

It is hard to say what a sample workout looks like for me, beyond the fact that no matter what I am doing it always starts and ends with 10 to 15 minutes of stretching. Each run, be it long, time trial, intervals or stairs, it starts with stretching and a one minute plank to make sure my core is activated, and ends with more stretching. The same goes with yoga and Pilates.

Favourite healthy meal?

At the moment I love a good acai bowl topped with lots of fresh fruit, buckinis, coconut and bee pollen - I am in heaven.

What is the best ‘side-effect’ of staying healthy and active?

Happiness. Is there anything better? Exercise = endorphins = happiness.

What inspires and motivates you?

That’s a good question and it changes, but really it all comes down to being the best version of me, so that I can be the best mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, colleague, person that I can be. I am motivated and inspired by my husband who has worked hard for several years towards his black belt in Tae Kwon Doe; by my daughter; and by many others. Everyone has a story and if you take the time to listen and hear their stories you too will find inspiration and motivation. I am very grateful to have a supportive family and supportive friends who inspire and motivate me every day, but ultimately my biggest inspiration motivation comes from me.

How do you overcome negative thoughts?

I believe in positive self-talk. When I am on a run or finding something difficult I have a few key sayings that I say to myself over and over again. I really believe in that saying “what you believe is what you achieve.”

The other part of this is surrounding myself with positive people and sharing love and kindness to others. Positivity breeds positivity.

How do you manage days or periods where you are not as motivated?

We all have them right, not every day is a bed of roses, and on those days I am kind to myself and show myself some self-love and self-care. Sometimes it is about figuring out what it is that is causing it. I find that sometimes as much as I don’t want to, a run will actually help me figure things out – I call it adrenaline meditation, plus I always feel better afterwards. The other one is to lay down look at the sky, close your eyes, take five deep breaths then open your eyes again – it is amazing what perspective this gives you and how energising being outside and connected to earth is – great for getting yourself going again.

What do you do to treat yourself?

New activewear, seriously! Is there any better motivation, treat or reward than new active wear? It makes you feel and look good when you workout. It also makes for fun workouts – and everyday wear really.

Top 3 songs on your workout playlist?

I actually don’t listen to music when I workout or run; having said that I sing to myself when I am running or on a long walk from time to time – usually the last song I heard before I started. I like listening to the symphony of my breath and feet on the pavement. I am an avid counter and often count to myself to find my rhythm, particularly when I am running. The songs that I like at the moment are “Shake it off” by Taylor Swift and “Try Everything” by Shakira.

What is your active truth?

I believe in 80:20. Everything is about balance, too much of something and not enough of another, be that food, exercise, whatever, does not make for a happy healthy body and lifestyle. I also believe in having a day of rest, usually a Saturday because I am busy taking my daughter to swimming and ballet and doing the groceries.

I also believe that nutrition makes a huge difference, no amount of exercise will deliver the results you are looking for, whether that be a quality workout, tone and definition, etc. if you are not fuelling your body with good healthy nutritional food. I am talking about good clean and simple eating and portion control. When I eat right I lead my best active life.


Thanks Tanya! You can follow Tanya at @tanyasactivehealthyjouney on Instagram.