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Exclusive: Kate Ferdinand stuns in figure-hugging Tesco activewear as she chats 'crazy' life with 5 kids

The children's book author's new line blends comfort and style

Kate Ferdinand close up shot wearing shearling gilet and beige jumper for F&F
Katie Daly
Lifestyle Writer
26 December 2023
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Kate Ferdinand has had her hands full this year. Not only has the 32-year-old written a children's book and welcomed a new bundle of joy, little Shae, into her family with husband and former footballer Rio Ferdinand, but she is now flying the flag for fitness-loving mothers in her new activewear line with F&F. 

As she prepares for the launch of her stunning new collection, the author of How to Build a Family and podcast host chats with HELLO! about what drove her to create a fitness wear line that caters for every woman, and how she still makes time for fitness in her jam-packed life with five children.

Kate Ferdinand wearing cream tracksuit by F&F at Tesco© F&F
Kate has been rocking her comfies

Welcoming a new baby

Kate and her family are still adjusting to life with their newest addition who was born in July. The TV personality and her husband Rio also share a son, Cree, three, and Kate is a stepmother to Rio's three older children – Lorenz, 17, Tate, 15, and Tia, 12. "As you can imagine, it’s a busy household!," the new mother tells us. 

Kate Ferdinand looks gorgeous in black dress as she joins handsome Rio© Getty
Kate is married to former footballer Rio Ferdinand

"Life can be crazy with five kids and not everything goes to plan, but we each get our little moments together. It’s not realistic to think you can plan a full day of activities with each child, sometimes it’s as simple as sitting in bed together or going for a walk and having a little catch-up, I try not to put too much pressure on huge activities but more just being there for them as someone to talk to and spend time with."

Kate with her four kids© Instagram
Kate is a doting stepmother

The author has been open about the tough time she had with the birth of baby Shae who was born with congenital pneumonia and spent time in special care. Fast forward five months and her family is settling in nicely with their newest addition. "We’ve got a completely new normal now, everything changes when a new person comes along as there’s a new way of doing things and a new set of needs, and you’re settling into a new routine that the whole family has to adapt to," Kate says. 

"I’m feeling good, we’re getting more sleep and touch wood Shae sleeps mostly through the night! Trust me, the minute sleep starts to come, you start to feel more human. I’m enjoying life with five children, it feels crazy to say we’re a family of seven!".

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Her post-partum experience

Kate has revealed that though Shae's arrival wasn't easy, she has had a positive post-partum experience this time around. "It’s much better this time than it was with Cree," she admits. "Don’t get me wrong, there are still lots of crazy emotions and hormones at the beginning, but Shae has really settled in and we’re all feeling so content and happy. I struggle sometimes with the logistics and being there for everyone, making sure everyone’s okay, but we’re all really enjoying having Shae, she’s just so happy and it’s such a joy that she’s here."

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Her activewear line with F&F

Embarking upon new journeys has become a habit for Kate and her family this year so now really is as good a time as any to launch a fitness wear line with F&F. "I’m super excited, it’s a massive deal to me," Kate reveals. "I really love being fit and healthy, it’s a huge part of my day-to-day life. I’m constantly in gym clothes, especially when I’m out and about on the run, doing errands or getting the kids to different places. 

Kate Ferdinand in green sports top and leggings for F&F© F&F
Kate is a keen gym-goer

"To launch a range like this with a brand like F&F couldn’t be a better fit for me," she adds. "It’s affordable, inclusive and accessible and I’m super excited for you all to see it."

Over the last five months, Kate has been repeatedly reaching for the comfiest pieces in her wardrobe. "I’m always in the gym or in my comfies at the moment, I don’t get to go super glam very much with a five-month-old baby!," she confesses. "I love that the clothes are all made with a super soft fabric, meaning they’re so comfortable and feel really nice to wear all day."

She doesn't just consign the pieces to the gym either – an added benefit of pieces that blend comfort with style. Kate tells us: "I love all of the collection, but if I’m doing the nursery drop-off or errands, I love the all-black look, I’d say that one has to be my favourite. The fabrics feel really premium and it’s just so easy to throw on. I love feeling put together without having to worry about what I look like because I know I’m going to feel good in it."

Kate says she even wears her pieces of an evening, on a date night with Rio for example. She reveals: "Another favourite of mine is the contrast borg jacket, you can dress it up or down so it feels a bit more dressy than something for the school run, but it’s still nice and easy. It’s also super cosy so a great option for a day out with Rio and the kids."

Kate Ferdinand in skintight leggings and loose beige fluffy jumper for F&F© F&F
The borg jacket is her go-to

Kate is a self-proclaimed fitness fanatic

Launching an activewear collection is a natural step for someone as fitness-obsessed as Kate. The star admits that her self-discipline and motivation for getting active is something she has always possessed. "It does come quite easy for me as I’ve been working out since secondary school, so it’s always been part of who I am," she recalls. "The motivation is that I always think about how I feel afterwards. Of course, we all want to look good but I know that the benefits of working out are so great for me and my mind, it’s true that you never feel worse after a workout, so I just try to think about that any time I’m not quite feeling it."

Kate Ferdinand wearing black sportswear and zip top holding rings © F&F
Kate loves keeping fit

The star has even been known to share her workouts with football pundit Rio with her 1.4 million Instagram followers. "Me and Rio are at completely different levels in the gym," she says, "but there’s nothing like a bit of healthy competition. I love working out with Rio, we spur each other on and really push each other. It’s also just a nice way to spend time together by going to the gym, we have a catch-up and a workout and I love it."

Kate and Rio in gym with Cree© Instagram
Kate and Rio love to workout together

The pair's shared passion for fitness also plays into their family life as a whole. Kate tells us: "For us, being fit and healthy and taking care of ourselves is part of our lifestyle and it runs through to the kids too. The kids all have their different interests, Lorenz and Tate are into football and Tia loves horseriding. 

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"Cree actually loves being in the gym with us!," she continues. "I think it’s important to set a good example and teach them a healthy lifestyle as kids follow in your lead. If we show them that it’s important to make healthy choices and take care of themselves then we hope they’ll continue to do as we do."

Kate with her children's book© Instagram
Kate has written a children's book this year

Even Kate, who shares her passion for fitness online and takes to staying active so naturally, has said she has taken time to adjust to her post-partum bodily changes. The new mother tells us: "I’ve just had a baby and after a baby it takes some time to get used to your body, getting to know it and all its changes. I’m not feeling super confident at the moment, but I’m feeling good because I’m taking care of myself and eating healthy food, and I’m moving more. 

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"Of course, I have days where I don’t feel amazing, days where I’m not fitting into the pre-baby clothes and I doubt myself," she continues. "But it’s normal for everyone to have hang-ups and it’s something I’m working on. It’s about being kind to myself. We all know we look back at times when we didn’t feel great in ourselves and think, 'God I looked good there!'. I just want to make sure I’m healthy and strong, and in turn, that will help me to feel good."

Kate and Rio standing in car park© Instagram
Kate and Rio wed in 2019

Helping her feel good, alongside rocking her empowering activewear line, is taking her own fitness obsession with a pinch of salt and never forgetting to enjoy life. "To be honest, I don’t do diets. I tried all the fads when I was younger, however now it’s just about eating healthy the majority of the time and eating whole foods, trying to steer away from lots of processed foods," she explains. "I eat healthy 80% of the time, and I very much need my three meals a day. I love eating and like to feel good, but I’m not against treating myself! I love chocolate, sweets, but all in moderation."

The F&F ACTIVE collection, curated by Kate Ferdinand, can be found in selected F&F at Tesco stores. Available in sizes 6-22, starting from £10. 

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Interview by Kate Thomas

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