As a member of the “First Family of Fitness,” Diana Mills is surrounded by motivation and inspiration. Les Mills workout formats are wildly popular worldwide, from BODYPUMP to BODYCOMBAT—and the repertoire has expanded to yoga and more. And while Mills loves to move, walking to the gym, the office and everywhere else (she recently sold her car), Mills is a new mom and has days when sleep deprivation leaves her exhausted and stressed. From experience with her first three children, she’s learned the secret to a busy and fulfilling life, so 24Life asked her for insight.
24Life: What does regeneration mean to you?
Diana Mills: I love the concept of regeneration because I believe fitness is such a powerful tool for this—at any age and any stage. We can reset our minds, age and bodies with exercise—whether it’s post-pregnancy, as we enter our golden years, or if we are not in a great state mentally. Wherever you are, it’s never too late to use exercise as a tool to regenerate and improve.
24Life: How do you make time for it?
DM: My life is full on, so regeneration is incorporated into everything I do. I only eat the most nourishing foods that help my body heal, my workout regimen is designed to balance strengthening work with mental health and fun, and I practice mindfulness to make sure I am always on track. When we stop, we begin to stagnate and decompose.
24Life: With four kids and a demanding career, how do you get through a tough day?
DM: When I am exhausted and stressed, I want to eat rubbish food and my mind is foggy. So I bring more awareness to my needs on the days I am exhausted—I eat more mindfully and do more cardio exercise for the endorphin boost. I also let people know! Going into a meeting, when I say straight up that I am a little foggy because of lack of sleep, I find I am less stressed about not making sense or keeping up—and put my trust in others’ empathy.
24Life: Has motherhood influenced your work in other ways?
DM: Well, I am a mother to four now. I came back strong and determined after my last pregnancy and started creating post-pregnancy workouts for our LES MILLS On Demand at-home streaming service—these are available free online and definitely worth a look if you or a friend is expecting. I then created two new programs: LES MILLS BARRE and LES MILLS TONE, a 3-in-1 workout combining cardio, strength and core. I have also been getting involved with BORN TO MOVE (Les Mills’ programming for children). It has been an amazing challenge and a joy to help front this wonderful content for kids!
24Life: You’re also a public figure as part of the Les Mills fitness phenomenon. How do you maintain balance when you have a high public profile?
DM: I live in New Zealand, where, outside the gym, I am very low-profile! I am also often quite introverted and prefer to live in an internal headspace. When this happens, I work from home. When I’m overseas [traveling for work], I love it—the sheer joy and shared passion of meeting instructors from around the world who share my love for fitness is NEVER a drain. I would stand and chat with them for hours longer than the crew let me if I could!
24Life: What’s the best advice you’ve given or gotten?
DM: Be quiet. It sounds harsh, but the truth is, we are always striving to be more/be less/be happy/be humble/be grateful/be heard. … But just being quiet allows for so much more presence in our bodies. When we are quiet we hear more, we can truly listen to what people are saying, and it brings calm.