“I’m living the dream!” Lancashire teacher trades lesson plans for nutrition plans with well-being business Hero Lifestyle
Four years ago, Helen Kimber was working as a secondary school teacher when a realisation hit her: she was following her passion. “I'd been a teacher for about 15 years and my wings were clipped,” she explains. “I just thought ‘this isn’t working for me anymore’.”
Having always had a passion for and an academic interest in nutrition, Helen had completed a Masters’ degree in nutritional medicine before going on to teach the subject, but she nevertheless felt like she could be doing more to help people directly. “I wanted to be using my brain more,” she says of her decision to quit teaching. “I needed a change.
“I’ve always been fascinated by the amazing machine that is the human body,” Helen, 56, adds, having gone on to establish Hero Lifestyle, an award-winning nutrition and wellbeing business. “I’ve also always been interested in nutrition and practised yoga, so I set about getting my yoga and personal training qualifications and then set up the business in 2019.”
Helping people achieve and maintain their fitness goals and optimal health standards, Hero Lifestyle has seen Helen work with everyone from professional athletes to regular people looking to be healthier. Creating bespoke nutrition programmes, Helen works with clients on enabling them to develop a completely new and far healthier relationship with food.
Having also been practising yoga for over 25 years and teaching it for 15, Helen also incorporates yoga, mindfulness, and even personal training plans into the programmes she develops, focusing not only on the nutritional, but on mental and physical health as well. She also runs classes ranging from outdoor yoga to menopause awareness for businesses.
“It sounds a bit cheesy, but Hero Lifestyle’s USP is ‘be your own hero’,” she says. “It’s about helping people unlock potential they don’t even know they’ve got: don’t aspire to be like someone on Instagram who’s photoshopped to within an inch of their life, work to feel brilliant in yourself. Be your own hero, work on yourself, and treat yourself with care.
“I work with people one-to-one on nutrition because you can’t out-exercise a bad diet and you have to feed the body with nutrients rather than count calories,” Helen adds. “I work with lots of people with eating issues, so I coach them about what they’re providing their body with whilst also working on physical fitness and mindfulness.
“It’s about lifestyle and mindset changes rather than seeing how much weight someone can lose in so many weeks - it’s tiny changes which people can work into their routine easily but which soon becomes a habit change. People say I’ve changed their lives, but they’ve done it - I’ve just given them the knowledge and tools, which is where the power is.”
From her one-on-one work with individuals seeking to improve their lives to group yoga on the beach and delivering workshops in corporate settings to encourage businesses to be more attuned to their staff’s well-being, Helen says she loves her work. “I’m never going to be the next Alan Sugar, but it gives me so much joy,” she says. “I’m living the dream!”