Healthy Hedonism


Tara Margulies is a member of the new generation. Young, active, driven and managing to find the balance between health and the party life. She’s a calisthenics expert, handstand, yoga and spin instructor and pole dancer. Here she discusses how she balances a healthy hedonistic lifestyle.

Healthy hedonism, a topic that seems to be becoming more and more popular. Essentially the two words contradict each other. Health is all about making choices that will benefit our future selves, whereas hedonism is all about immediate satisfaction. So how can we strive to find a balance of both?

I have been big on sport my entire life, from gymnastics when I was younger to running, cycling, yoga, weightlifting and aerial sports since. I’ve been through all the fad diets, gone gluten-free, tried carb cycling, cut out carbs completely, you name it. I was even tea total for two years when I was at university because I was under the impression that I had to choose between progress in my chosen sport and drinking alcohol, even on occasion. Having come full circle, I know now that that’s not the case at all.

I love keeping fit and living healthily, but I’m also really passionate about music. I love going out to see my favourite DJs and I love going to music festivals. When I tell most people this they just don’t see how it fits “but, how can you be healthy and go out and drink and party as well?!” The way I see keeping fit is that it’s about meeting like-minded people, being part of a community and having a great time. How is that any different to club nights and music festivals? Obviously working out and eating well is better for your body than getting drunk and dancing around to really loud music… but I think they’re equally good for the soul. I feel that completely alienating things that you love doing because they’re “unhealthy” is unhealthy in itself.

The same goes for drinks with friends, family, colleagues or similar. We know that drinking every day isn’t good for us, but denying ourselves a drink or two every now and then isn’t good for us either.

I try to make everything that I do a conscious decision, that way it doesn’t make sense for me to feel guilty about it. The phrase ‘detox and retox’ is everywhere at the moment and I don’t agree with the message at all. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, this is the movement of “ok so we went out last night and got hammered, let’s do a brutal morning workout so that last night won’t have any effect on us at all”. Yeah. Right. The only problem is that by doing so, we’ll end up looking at exercise as punishment, and therefore end up hating it.

If I could give anyone a single piece of advice on how to stay motivated to exercise for life, it would be to find a sport or form of exercise that they enjoy. If we place enough importance on exercise, we’ll be able to go out and have fun but continue to exercise and stay healthy at the same time. A great way to keep on top of regular exercise is to find someone who will do it with you. If you have someone counting on you to turn up to class or for your morning run, you’re more likely to get up and go.

It’s all about finding a way in which we can strike a balance between our healthy habits and not-so-healthy party antics. The way that I’ve found this balance is by finding a sport that I’m passionate about that which gets me out of bed in the morning (sometimes even if I’m horrendously hungover). I also make a point to choose my battles, I say yes to nights out but I also occasionally say no.

Health and hedonism: both are important, both are achievable. It’s finding the right balance that works for us all individually that’s the challenge, but once we find it we are golden.

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