Nathalie Emmanuel is best known for her starring roles as Missandei from Game of Thrones, or computer hacker Ramsay in the Fast & Furious series. Both are enormous franchises with millions of fans, and Nathalie is on both big and small screens all over the world. That's a lot of pressure to look her best.
Whether you're a movie star in the public eye or posting on a public platform like Instagram, it can generate an unhealthy sense of self. One study, published in the journal New Media and Society (opens in new tab), studied 'ideal' body images posted on Instagram, which had been placed under filter or doctored in some way to make the subject look better. These Instagram images made people who looked at them dissatisfied with their own body.
However, when shown these filtered, "ideal" Instagram images side-by-side with a "real life" picture, the study participant's felt much less bad about themselves. In the same way, over time, Nathalie's become far less image-conscious, revealing all in a recent interview with Women's Health (opens in new tab):
“You know how on Facebook it shows you a memory of yourself from six years ago or four years ago? A picture came up on my phone, and I went, ‘I look so great!’ But I also remember that at the time [of that photo], I thought I was overweight and needed to do all these unhealthy things.”
While staying fit is a requirement for any blockbuster actor, Nathalie sets herself technical fitness goals instead of achievements based on waist size or appearance. According to the interview (opens in new tab), her latest goals are:
- Do a pullup
- Improve running endurance
- Build up shoulder strength
- Hold a pincha yoga pose
Learning how to do pull-ups and building up shoulder strength is a great goal for anyone looking to get fitter and stronger. You don't have to have access to movie-star trainers or even a gym to achieve it: you just need a set of the best fitness bands or best adjustable dumbbells, and a pull-up bar.
These simple, versatile home fitness items, combined with calisthenics, can really help you boost your strength and get yourself that first pull-up. Resistance bands and free weights can help build strength in your arms, back and shoulders over time, while you can also perform negative pull-ups on a bar to train the right muscle groups:
Building muscle in your back and shoulders can change your body's muscle-to-fat ratio, or body composition, which improves your resting metabolic rate. A little more muscle will help you burn more fat, ensuring you stay fit and healthy whether you're training for a movie role, a senior looking to fight muscular atrophy, or even someone who just wants to set themselves the goal of their first pull-up.
You could follow Nathalie's example and try setting yourself technical fitness goals, such as doing a pull-up or running a 5K, rather than setting a goal focusing on weight or appearance. See where it takes you!
Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and is currently Fitness and Wellbeing Editor at TechRadar, covering all things exercise and nutrition on Fit&Well's tech-focused sister site. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.
Strengthen your core and improve performance with this 10-minute ab workout
Workout This short, intense bodyweight ab workout builds mid-body muscle in just 10 moves
By James Frew • Published
Build muscle all over with just six moves and one resistance band
Workout Try this weights-free session anywhere, anytime, to build strength and boost your metabolism
By Harry Bullmore • Published