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Politics student Anna is a fitness role model

Nine consecutive hospital operations as a teenager didn't stop her. Now she is one of Denmark's most successful bloggers

She had been suffering for years and did not know exactly what was wrong. Then, aged 14, Anna Warrington was diagnosed with a complicated hip injury. Throughout her teenage years she was back and forth to the hospital, on average one surgical operation every year.

Today, at 26, she is doing a master’s in political science at the University of Copenhagen. And she is a blogger, a popular one, and has accumulated more than 11,600 followers on Instagram. You can find healthy recipes on a SU budget, tips for your student life in Copenhagen and inspiration for living a healthier life.

“Everyone struggles with something,” she says to the University Post, with characteristic modesty.

Becoming an Inspiration

“I think a lot of people have something in their lives that is very challenging. So I wanted to use my story to motivate them. Even though you can’t do things perfectly you have to have a positive outlook and you can still do something. So I wanted to motivate people to live a healthy life but in their own way,” says Anna.

Photo: @annawarringtondk, Instagram

“Sund på SU” or “Healthy on a Danish study grant” is the motto of Anna Warrington’s popular blog which was named the third best fitness blog in Denmark in 2015 by the Aros Business Academy. Since 2013, Anna has shared with the world her fitness tips and her recipes that helped her maintain a healthy, fit body and a happy mind. The recipes also include vegan and vegetarian options, as well as desserts.

“I thought ‘well, I’m born with this, it sucks, it’s not fair’. But I can’t really change that and it’s out of my control. But it is within my control to be as positive as I can.”

Her injury has not only been an inspiration for her, but for many others to change to a healthier lifestyle. At the age of 16, she decided to embrace her illness and the surgeries, by giving her body the opportunity to heal through exercise and through a healthy diet.

“After each surgery, I went back to the gym and did my rehab. I started with the lightest weights of one or two kilos and then I gradually started training a lot. A year later I would have another surgery and then I would just start all over again,” she explains.

Photo: @annawarringtondk, Instagram

“I thought ‘well, I’m born with this, it sucks, it’s not fair.’ But I can’t really change that and it’s out of my control. But it is within my control to be as positive as I can. And it’s also under my control to be fit and work out so I can give my body the best possible condition”.

Unrealistic goals lead to failure

Anna has a different approach when it comes to fitness and diets than most health magazines. She does not believe that a person should put themselves under extreme regimes to live a healthy life. For her, setting unrealistic goals is the main reason why people fail in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and staying fit.

“Your healthy life style should fit your life style and not the other way around. It has to feel easy, it has to feel fun and you actually have to enjoy it, or else you are not going to stick with it.”

“There has to be a balance. I would never live a crazy diet life. I think part of being healthy is to also have a bit of chocolate now and then, for example. That is not what is going to make you overweight.”

For students who are trying to change to a healthier and fitter lifestyle, Anna’s advice is to integrate new habits slowly.

“Your healthy life style should fit your life style and not the other way around. It has to feel easy, it has to feel fun and you actually have to enjoy it, or else you are not going to stick with it.”

Photo: @annawarringtondk, Instagram

She, for example, indulges in sweet potatoes. “You can cook sweet potatoes in many different ways. I have made desserts, sauces, and other dishes with them. And the best thing is they are cheap. I love sweet potatoes!”

Empowering women

Her health and fitness recommendations, of course, are all oriented towards a student budget.

Anna is an ambassador for the Danish sportswear brand Hummel and will soon start an internship with UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, in New York City.

In New York, “I will be doing many different things,” she says. “I’m going to help them do the annual report of the status of women, I will be going to the meetings in the economic and social council and, of course, help out at the office. I’m really looking forward to it,” she says.

You can check out Anna Warrington’s blog here and follow her on Instagram @annawarringtondk for delicious healthy recipes, fitness tips and topics about student life in Denmark.

universitypost@adm.ku.dk

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