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“5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing” with Dr. William Seeds & Yoann Demont

To be honest, I don’t think there are any “must-do exercises” that one should add to their daily routine. It really depends on the individual. For fitness and mindfulness beginners, I would recommend downloading a yoga app and starting with the beginner level at home. You basically have a set of 8–10 positions, and need […]

To be honest, I don’t think there are any “must-do exercises” that one should add to their daily routine. It really depends on the individual. For fitness and mindfulness beginners, I would recommend downloading a yoga app and starting with the beginner level at home. You basically have a set of 8–10 positions, and need to hold each for 20–30 seconds with a 10 second break in between. You may also need to buy a yoga mat if you don’t have one. Then, I would recommend the same for a full-body workout. Right now I do two yoga morning sessions, two abs morning sessions, and two arms morning session. The body workout lasts a maximum of ten to fifteen minutes so you can’t tell me that you don’t have time to exercise in the morning! Finally you can cycle and run to work. I used to run every morning from my flat in Finsbury Park to the office in Camden (around 30 minutes). Nowadays I go running only on Sundays to eliminate my Saturday night hangover!


As a part of my series about “5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Yoann Demont. Yoann is a French entrepreneur and cofounder of Pop & Rest– a wellness and travel startup based in London. He is interested in topics spanning entrepreneurship, healthy lifestyles, sports, and technology for good.


Thank you so much for doing this with us Yoann! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the story about how you first got involved in fitness and wellness?

Of course! I first got involved in fitness and wellness when my life became more hectic, around five years ago. I’m originally from France and I moved to London to improve my English and to change my career. London has a much more fast-paced environment than the small city where I came from. At that point, I had just turned 25 and I realised that I needed to take better care of my mind and body. It’s essential for an entrepreneur to maintain good wellbeing or you will slowly destroy yourself! Actually that’s what happened to me when I was juggling work between two companies in 2015. Burnout, panic attacks, and a poor lifestyle… I had it all! Eventually, I overcame these issues by putting my fitness, sleep, and wellness first.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

Difficult to answer! I have been lucky enough to experience many jobs and meet many interesting people throughout my career. If I have to share one example that is related to entrepreneurship, it’s the story of building our company, alongside my cofounder, Mauricio Villamizar. We created our startup back in late 2016 with no savings and no experience as startup founders. We made lots of mistakes! We were both broke and had to share the same room for several months. It was a tough period for us. However we didn’t give up, as we believed in our startup mission and vision. This experience has taught me some priceless lessons: to stay patient and remain optimistic.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

The most humorous mistake was proceeding too quickly and investing in the wrong product initially. This often happens to first-time entrepreneurs who lack experience. Eventually, you learn from your mistakes and you try to improve every element of your business. At Pop & Rest, we have improved the sleep and wellness experience we provide to our customers. We decided to focus on our sleep and meditation pods as opposed to building a new mobile app.

Can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fitness and wellness field? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?

I try to have an impact on people’s lives wherever I can, by sharing my own experience and providing the best wellness and travel service. In order to be labelled as “an expert”, I first had to educate myself about fitness and wellness. I am still learning and improving my daily routine. I read as much as possible, and I like to follow influencers on Twitter including pro athletes, sleep scientists and mental health experts. If I can help even one reader with this interview, I will be super happy!

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My mum has always pushed me to take care of my mind and body, while my dad was pushing me to work hard. She likes to share fitness, nutrition and health tips every time I go back home to France. When we were children, she would always make sure my siblings and I had our five daily fruits and vegetables. With my dad, they encouraged us to take up all kinds of sports too! I did swimming, football, tennis, aikido, and basketball until I was 18 years old. My parents devoted a lot of their time to take us to training and watch our games. I will always be thankful for this. If I can give one piece of advice to parents, it would be to invest time in their children’s activities. These crucial moments are so important for their growth!

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, exercise more, and get better sleep etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the 3 main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?

The first blocker is actually processing the large flow of information. It’s great to be aware of all of these things, but it can become overwhelming. It’s hard to change everything at once, that’s not to say it’s impossible. For example, I recommend focusing first on sleep and nutrition and then moving onto fitness. Another blocker is the lack of motivation. Some people are “followers”, so it means they need to follow a leader to stay focused and motivated in order to achieve changes in their life. I recommend hiring a personal coach, or finding a friend, flatmate or work colleague who’s into fitness and wellness that can help and maybe exercise with you. Lastly, I would say that changing habits is a long process. It requires determination and lots of patience.

Can you please share your “5 Non-Intuitive Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”? (Please share a story or an example for each, and feel free to share ideas for mental, emotional and physical health.)

Ok let’s take these one at a time…

  1. Sleep well. This means, stop checking your phone before bed. As humans we need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep… every night! If you want to make successful changes in your life, you need your batteries to be fully recharged.
  2. Try to practice mindfulness. Being mindful means being present in the moment. For example, I eat breakfast while looking out over birds and nature every morning to raise my awareness.
  3. Stay positive! What’s the worst that can happen if you decide to hit the gym today for the first time? Asking yourself questions like this may help build your self-confidence and remove the fear of trying something new.
  4. Be grateful. This follows on from the previous tweak. First thing in the morning or just before bed, try to think of three things you’re grateful for. What makes you happy in this life?
  5. Connect with people. I am not talking about Instagram and Snapchat here. I mean going outside to meet and talk to people in your local park, pub etc. Also, many studies prove that being kind to others will in turn make you happier. Think about that next time you are stopped by a homeless person or when you see someone having a hard time in the street or on the tube.

As an expert, this might be obvious to you, but I think it would be instructive to articulate this for the public. Aside from weight loss, what are 3 benefits of daily exercise? Can you explain?

The one benefit I always highlight first is “mental fitness”. Exercising regularly, especially in the morning, is good for our brain. As you may know, physical activity triggers brain chemicals that make you feel happier and more relaxed. Daily exercise is important for one’s mental health. A second benefit of daily exercise is that it builds a routine. As an entrepreneur, I need to have a defined routine to stay healthy and feel in control of my life. Finally, I would say that daily exercise brings some sort of self-satisfaction. If you use an app to work out at home, you’ll get the app rewards as you progress which in turn will make you feel great because you are achieving something good for yourself.

For someone who is looking to add exercise to their daily routine, which 3 exercises would you recommend that are absolutely critical?

To be honest, I don’t think there are any “must-do exercises” that one should add to their daily routine. It really depends on the individual. For fitness and mindfulness beginners, I would recommend downloading a yoga app and starting with the beginner level at home. You basically have a set of 8–10 positions, and need to hold each for 20–30 seconds with a 10 second break in between. You may also need to buy a yoga mat if you don’t have one. Then, I would recommend the same for a full-body workout. Right now I do two yoga morning sessions, two abs morning sessions, and two arms morning session. The body workout lasts a maximum of ten to fifteen minutes so you can’t tell me that you don’t have time to exercise in the morning! Finally you can cycle and run to work. I used to run every morning from my flat in Finsbury Park to the office in Camden (around 30 minutes). Nowadays I go running only on Sundays to eliminate my Saturday night hangover!

In my experience, many people begin an exercise regimen but stop because they get too sore afterwards. What ideas would you recommend to someone who plays sports or does heavy exercise to shorten the recovery time, and to prevent short term or long term injury?

Sleep! My first tip is to make sure you have enough rest after a long day exercising and working. Even though I exercise daily and I work long hours, I switch off around 10pm to get my 8 hours of sleep. You can also try power-napping at lunchtime if you have a late fitness session. To prevent any type of injury, I recommend starting slowly and building up your exercise routine as you progress. Using a fitness app that has incremental training is helpful in this regard. If you have the budget, I suggest starting with a personal trainer in order to understand better what you should and shouldn’t do. It’s important to exercise properly with the right equipment.

There are so many different diets today. Can you share what kind of diet you follow? Which diet do you recommend to most of your clients?

I don’t really follow a strict diet. I am not a vegan but I like to cook and eat vegan meals sometimes at lunch, or with friends on the weekend. I eat meat and fish only once or twice per week. As I try to maintain a healthy lifestyle, I avoid sugar (I rarely drink fizzy drinks), and prefer cereals, fruits, and yoghurt. During winter, I eat soup almost every day, especially the ones made from my mom’s recipes!

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?

If I can flip the question, I’d like to mention a movie instead: Pursuit of Happiness. It tells a great story! I have watched this movie so many times. I know it’s not directly about fitness and wellness but this movie inspires me to stay positive, determined, and hard-working. When I was struggling with my mental health, watching this movie helped regain motivation. If you want to change your habits, you will need perseverance. In regards to a wellness related book, I’m currently reading Why We Sleep. It’s good to help gain a better understanding of the importance of sleep.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I like what I see with all the climate change strikes! Many communities have come together to urge governments to take immediate action for our planet. It’s not new, but if I could I’d start a movement on my own, or better still, collaborate with other activists like Greta Thunberg.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

“Strive for greatness.” In my day-to-day occupation, I’m driven to build the best product and provide the best service to my customers. In life, I try to have a positive impact on people by spreading good vibes and helping when I am able to make a difference.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

As a huge basketball fan, I would love to have a conversation with Stephen Curry or LeBron James! Both are great athletes and successful entrepreneurs. There are also many great investors that might find Pop & Rest’s sleep pod concept interesting. Check us out!

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

You can follow me on twitter @Yyo_Dt. Thank you.

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you continued success in your great work!

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