Tag Archives: Workouts

Join a running group to boost your training

I love running but when I go out on my own, I’m a plodder, grinding out the miles while listening to podcasts. Good for the mileage but does little to enhance my run performance.

Hill reps, intervals, power moves would all, I know, help build my speed and endurance, but they hurt. So if I’m going to incorporate them effectively into my running regime, I really need to have someone there making me do them – and making me do them properly. No cheating when it gets tough.

The answer? Get a PT (costly solo solution) or join a running group (less expensive, more sociable). I opted for the latter, a new RunTogether group led by Wimbledon’s enthusiastic and inspirational health coach Anna Desogus, who I already know from my work on the @HealthyMerton healthy workplace programme. The group was set up in association with central Wimbledon yoga studio Jiva Health, so keep an eye out, as there may be some useful run + gait therapy + yoga sessions scheduled soon…

Find out more about Healthy Workplace services here

Runners' feet

Raring to RunTogether: high vis recommended on a frosty Wimbledon night

The first session took place last night. Anna kicked our training off with a 7pm safety briefing, then we took a slow jog to a safe cul de sac where we performed a series of power/strength moves: exactly the kind of thing I would never do when running alone. Duly warmed up, we head for a secluded residential area just off Wimbledon Hill for a hill reps session that challenged every one of us.

It was perfect: better runners could aim for more reps, while the less experienced/ambitious among us could go at our own pace, performing fewer circuits yet still pushing ourselves. No one was left behind, and Anna was super-effective in instruction and motivation. An hour later, we were all back in central Wimbledon for a final stretching session then home in time for supper. Brilliant.

Fancy joining Anna’s weekly Monday night RunTogether session? It caters for all levels of running (you must be able to run for at least 10 minutes), with a varied programme incorporating a dynamic workout as well as pure running, making it the perfect complement to your usual run sessions. Thoroughly recommend.

Find out more (and book your place): Anna’s Raramuri running group
Personalised nutrition, health, coaching services: Anna Desogus Health Coaching

Wash Wizard cleans up on workplace workouts

wash wizard

Magic! Your workplace wash-mate

Workplace health and wellbeing is a big part of business for me at present, and encouraging staff to stay active through the working day is one of the ways in which companies can help build motivation and productivity.

But what if you’re not lucky enough to be in a building that offers showers for a post-workout freshen up? Picture the scene: you cycle to work, grab a lunchtime run or a midday gym session. Mind cleared, but body sweaty. No time or facilities to take a shower.

Options? Wet-wipe-wash or sweaty desk all afternoon. Neither is great for you or your workmates.

Good news! I just road-tested a third option, and it’s quick, discreet and – critically – effective. Wash Wizard is just perfect as a workplace post-workout clean-up. It’s a simple idea: a tightly-rolled sponge impregnated with sweat-busting aloe vera foam that takes up almost zero space in your work bag.

wash wizard

Wash Wizard: discreet and effective

Simply splash with water from your bottle to activate, swipe the bits that need freshening up, and you’re ready for the rest of your day. No need to rinse or towel dry, and it’s fragrance-free so suitable for both sexes.

At £7.99 for a pack of five, Wash Wizard is my latest affordable gymbag essential (brilliant for camping, sailing trips, overnight train journeys and festivals too).

Find out more about how your business can harness the  power of wellbeing at work to benefit both your staff AND your bottom line via our healthy workplaces service.

Philosophy on the run

Philosophy-on-therun_webWhy do you run? To maintain a healthy heart and joints? Lose weight, build muscle? Boost feelings of wellbeing and self-esteem? Throw in a joy of exercising outdoors, and that’s my motivation for running pretty much nailed.

Yep, there’s a lot more to running than simply pounding the pavements. US-based running philosopher Mark Rowlands would agree.

His latest book is Running with the Pack: Thoughts from the Road on Meaning and Mortality. That’s one thing I forgot to mention – a good running session is perfect thinking time. If you’re on the same wavelength, Mark’s School of Life Philosophy on the Run day on May 11, 2013, is your chance to spend a day running and thinking, discussing and debating while you work out in the parks of South west London.

As well as sharing Mark’s philosophies, you’ll also benefit from a workshop to improve your running technique plus the luxury of taking the time to actually think about how keeping active feeds both your mind and your body.

Sounds perfect.

Meet you at the barre

 

Barretoned workout

Barretoned

Anyone who tells you a ballet barre workout is easy is, unequivocally, a liar.

Barre workouts are tough. And I mean that in the best way possible. I’ve tested a couple of barre-style workouts in my life, once on holiday in Chicago (yes, I’m that person who loves working out on holiday), another time at home with a DVD. But until I tried a class at Barretoned in Notting Hill, I didn’t realise that those were run of the mill ballet-fusion workouts rather than proper, hold-it-until-your-muscles-shake-and-seize-up ballet barre workouts.

Again, I mean that in the best way possible. Very rarely do you come across a workout that  challenges your muscles in a totally new way, a workout that you can feel is changing your body for the better by the second. I loved it. My triceps? Not so much.

So what did we do? A lot of tiny isometric movements to challenge our muscles at the deepest of deep levels. And I mean tiny. Like anyone watching would have had no idea we were actually working out, tiny. Also, we did a lot of hip tilting to get our abs involved, which I found surprisingly difficult. Really, I found the whole workout really difficult, but so good because I love a really good, tough workout.

After the first exercise – where we hinged our bodies forward and held our arms straight back behind us and pulsed inward slightly – my arms literally, literally  seized up and I almost had to leave class with my head bowed in shame. I actually thought I wasn’t going to be able to continue, my arms were already so sore, five minutes in. And I’m considerably fit. I lift weights, run, do yoga, Pilates, TRX, you name it I do it. Except for Zumba. I hate Zumba.

Add to this the fact that the studio was faultless – free lockers in the changing room for anyone to use, plush carpet in the studio to protect our knees and elbows during floor work, and clean, stocked showers to freshen up in after. If you’re looking for a seriously good new workout studio in town, you simply must try Barretoned.