From competing in Spartan races to living the ultimate #sweatlife as a lululemon ambassador, Avey Cortes is one of Hong Kong’s most inspiring fitfluencers.
In our ongoing column featuring Hong Kong’s health and fitness community, read on to find out how his fitness journey began and what being healthy means to him:
Hello! What do you do?
My name is Avey Cortes. I was born and raised in Hong Kong, but have lived and worked in Australia, UK and the US before returning to HK in 2011. I currently coach (private and group) fitness classes and work on building community, marketing and events. You can find me most days at HIT45 if you’d like to join a sweat session.
What’s something not many people know about you?
My guilty pleasure is Dunkin Donuts! 🍩
How and when did your fitness journey begin?
I’d always been relatively active growing up with long-distance running but I really found my groove after joining a group fitness class after university. Ever since then, I’ve been moving, jumping, pulling, pushing in any way that I can.
Eventually, I realised that my passion for movement and fitness was so great that I wanted to share it to inspire and help others. I believe that fitness is an ongoing journey so I’m constantly trying new things, classes and courses.
What was your very first workout?
I’ve done so many workouts now that I can’t remember the first one. But I do have fond memories of when I first joined a gym in Hong Kong and did a group class with my sister – it involved barbell weights and a lot of squats. It couldn’t have been too bad as I kept on going back.
How many times do you work out a week now?
I try and mix up my movement routine on a regular basis by training at different times with different disciplines. I like to have one constant and that’s usually a long (40-45 mins) high-intensity workout involving cardio and strength training. I throw in some yoga or pilates to complement this and I’ve also recently become fond of boxing.
Why do you work out?
I’m in my element when I’m moving and sweating. I find that I can learn so much about myself and others in just one sweat session, due to the discipline, determination and mental performance. If I don’t move, I feel lazy and lethargic.
What’s your favourite workout and why?
I like long workouts in either a circuit or chipper format – brutal combination of movements at high volume that seriously test both your fitness level and mental performance. It’s like a mind game and you work methodically through each exercise. You’re dead by the end of it but there’s such a sense of achievement.
And the least favourite?
I don’t have a least favourite but I gravitate towards more “yang” types of exercise like HIIT and Crossfit so it’s one of my challenges to implement more “yin” practices like yoga.
Something you have yet to try in the fitness/wellness space?
I am getting more and more curious about meditation and would like to implement this into my own routine. I am looking forward to trying out to Ikigai in TST – I like that the space offers different modalities that all cater towards balance.
Favourite treat day meal?
I’m a sucker for snacks – my go-to’s are potato chips and dips.
Any athletic brands/products you swear by?
Lululemon of course! I live in their Surge 4″ shorts – I think I have one in every colour. They also make amazing pants for men – my favourites are the Shadow Lite and Commission Pants, which are so comfy for day-to-day wear.
And finally… what’s your personal definition of healthy?
Healthy to me is doing the best you can. It’s personal. It’s what works for you. Whilst dairy may be the devil to one person, it may be the healthiest thing another person eats. Running might be your go-to sweat, but could tear apart another person’s knees. So instead of trying to live by what is the “healthy” thing to do (aka. what is trendy), educate yourself and define what healthy means to YOU.
Follow Avey on Instagram @aveyavey
Know of someone healthy in Hong Kong who should be featured here? Email us!