Sweaty Betty founder Tamara Hill-Norton shares her secrets to staying in shape—and the famous 'bum-sculpting' leggings that she wears to do it.
By Tessa Trudeau
Tamara Hill-Norton started her activewear company 20 years ago with one goal in mind: to empower women. Today, the Sweaty Betty brand—renowned for its innovative fabrics and 'bum-sculpting' leggings—is an uber-popular fitness outfitter that helps women of all shapes and sizes feel strong, both in and out of the gym.
Regarded for her realistic, no-nonsense approach to fitness, Hill-Norton has woven that same way of thinking into everything Sweaty Betty does, operating on the understanding that wellness is more than just working out and eating right—it's also about attainable goals and celebratory post-gym cocktails. Here, the athleisure trailblazer and mother of three shares with us her exercise routine and why balance—cake and all—is key.
What motivates you to stay healthy?
Feeling better mentally and physically. The mental benefit of exercise is the biggest thing for me and what keeps me going. I no longer set physical goals like triathlons [the fitness fanatic took up triathlon training just before turning 40]—I just know how good it makes me feel holistically to exercise.
You define a 'Sweaty Betty' as "someone who works out but definitely likes cake." Can you elaborate on that?
I know this sounds boring, but don't over-think it—you should have everything in moderation. I try to stay fit wherever I am and make it fun by going for a family run or trying a class in a new city. Plus, don't beat yourself up when you do have that piece of cake. It's all about balance.
You also say that "life would be boring if it wasn't a mix of green juice and cocktails." What's your go-to cocktail when you want to keep it healthy-ish?
What is your current fitness routine?
I try to do some sort of exercise every day, whether that's an hour of swim training, our office run club or a yoga class. This is my switch-off time and self-care moment, so it's really important for me to schedule it in.
Are there any new exercises you're excited to try?
I love trying new classes when I come to the U.S., and I've heard amazing things about Solidcore, which mixes up reformer Pilates with boot-camp-style exercises. I'm definitely going to go next time I'm over.
What are your favorite Sweaty Betty pieces to work out in?
It has to be our Power Leggings—they perform for every workout I do, from yoga to HIIT [high-intensity interval training], and they are super stretchy and flattering. Our Zero Gravity Leggings are also amazing; they're made from this incredible Italian fabric that really sculpts the bum.
What is the best piece of health advice you've been given?
Eat more when you move more, eat less when you move less.