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The Power of Movement with H-Kore's Vanessa Valenzuela

What’s the one thing that motivates you? The Mag’s new “The Power Series” invites industry leaders to discuss the “power” of one initiative and how it’s crucial to everyday life, whether work or play. This month, H-Kore’s Co-Founder Vanessa Valenzuela talks to us about the power of movement.

In life, you must keep moving – in every direction, in every aspect. This is the idea behind H-Kore, and also a huge part of my personal philosophy.

My biggest “move” so far was relocating to Hong Kong nine years ago. Back in London, I had a career in Speech Pathology and Developmental Psychology. Later, I became a stay-at-home mom to my two young daughters. But that changed again when I moved to Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is such an energetic, ever-changing, constantly moving environment. It’s got an irresistible energy that invites experimentation and attracts business ventures – one that I couldn’t deny. At around the same time, my friend (and now business partner) Vivienne Fitzpatrick, who previously worked in banking, was also looking for a new momentum. My little ones were older then, and I was ready to dive back into the professional world. So we started thinking…

We noticed something missing in Hong Kong. We were both huge fans of Lagree Fitness back in London, but it wasn’t offered here. Lagree is a progressive strength training workout on Megaformer machines that balances stability, resistance and control to build up your core. It’s an experience!
If you have a good idea, then go for it! I’m Mexican, so moving around, meeting new challenges, and seeking adventures are at my core. So in 2011, we brought Lagree to Hong Kong through an exclusivity license and set up our first boutique studio in Central. The “H” in our name stands for our “hardcore” workouts, and spelling “core” with a “K” gave our company the same initials as our beloved new city. And, H-Kore was born.
Movement means flexibility, but not just in the physical sense. We’ve had to be flexible to cater to the clientele when we set up our outlet in Taikoo Place. In Quarry Bay, our studio is an escape from the daily grind. It’s fantastic to be part of a close-knit community, and to participate in events such as Discover Taikoo Place. Here, everyone can find motivation from one another, to move forward together.

Sometimes, it’s resistance that moves you forward. Embrace the shake, as I like to say! During workouts, it means your muscles are firing. Even when met with intangible challenges in life, it’s the same: embrace the hardships, believe in your passion, and take a risk! Vivienne and I knew we had a product that works, but we had no notion of how to run a fitness business. But we thought, let’s try it. It’s about learning through the process.
Speaking of movement…we need to balance our sedentary working lifestyle. That seated position has compensated our bodies with so many injuries and dysfunctions, even limiting our mobility. So, get moving! Look inward and forget about the external world: finding that mindfulness improves sleep, stress levels, and eating habits…it’s all intertwined. Being active shifts everything so that everything looks better.
The body is fantastically adaptable. But once we adapt to something, we go into auto-pilot. Always keep it fresh – even if you go on holiday and come back to your regular workout, you’ll still feel differently. Tweaking your usual routine will give you a fresh flow of blood, and a new sense of achievement.

Start by finding your happy place with the 90/10 rule. You want to be challenging yourself to an extent, but still be able to perform 90% of what your goal is. The best fitness regime is the one that you like doing, so make that commitment to it, just like you would schedule in an important business meeting or doctor’s appointment. It’s all about you.

Even if you’re struggling – in whatever it may be – just keep moving. Find a way to keep taking the steps, and find your own balance of stability, resistance, and control. Every little bit counts. Let’s go!

Looking for more inspiration? Find out why the arts are so powerful, according to Swire Properties’ Fiona Ma.
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