Last weekend, I voyaged westward to Bath for a distinctly British wellness escape. For years, I’d sampled the Instagram candy that was geotagged from this beautiful Georgian city, once revered by the Romans as the only hot springs in the UK – but this was my first IRL trip. VisitBath asked me to pop down for a weekend to experience the wellbeing benefits of this UNESCO World Heritage site for myself, so I jumped at the chance! What I found was an intoxicating blend of fresh air, relaxing proportions, historic significance, aesthetically arresting architecture, and a pace of life so wholly different to London (yet just 1hr 20 mins away on the Paddington flyer) that it was hard not to cut loose the stresses of the working week! Click more to see the key highlights of what I unearthed!
Stretching your lower body after a run isn’t just ‘nice-to-do’, it’s essential. You claim an array of benefits including the reduction of tightness in your largest muscle groups, alleviation of potential pains (including DOMS and the dreaded knee pain), the correction of muscular imbalances and even the improvement of actual running technique! Of course stretching after other forms of training (e.g. weight training) is also beneficial, so this post is by no means exclusive to running! The menu for available stretches is a broad buffet indeed, but in this post I wanted to showcase a specific few you might not have seen before, using a tennis ball or indeed a ‘physio ball’ like the one in my pictures. These therapeutic little spheres come in different shapes, sizes, and densities, and much like the foam-roller they enable a sort of self-massage. It’s a simple, cheap and hugely effective way to hone in on your specific needs, anywhere, anytime on the go, or at home. Dressed head-to-toe in Saucony, I went out for a 6k run around the basin city of Bath on a recent blog trip (full review coming soon!) and then dispatched this 5-stretch routine upon my return! Click MORE to get the full routine and give it a try yourself – all you need is a tennis ball! (more…)
Salad isn’t boring, it’s just chronically misunderstood; this recipe is a refresher on how to get the most out of your relationship with it! It’s a protein-packed dish which takes mere seconds to throw together and packs a host of flavours as well as some unusual textural surprises. It’s light, lean, nutritious and also works as a great post workout meal. For the piece de resistance, I’ve added some fresh, plump, juicy raspberries! The low GI sweetness of these little red cones compliments the crunchy textures and savoury flavours of the broader dish fabulously, and overall makes it taste fresher and lighter. What’s more, the colour renders the dish less drably green by introducing some visual variation to excite the eye as much as the taste buds! A beautiful, timely reminder that spring is on its way which is a big deal for us Swedes I hope you love it too; on the off chance you prefer something more carby, I’ve provided an alternative ‘progression’ of the dish, invoking the timeless formula of the whole grain wrap… Click MORE for the full recipes and how-to… (more…)
London is arguably one of the world’s greatest cities, but living and working here, Londoners can become blind to its rare brilliance. Precious gems like Trafalgar Square, Parliament, The London Eye, The Mall (etc), are casually tarred with the ‘tourist’ brush, and avoided for fear of disrupting ‘the daily mission’. It’s a superfast-paced city in which to work and live… but it doesn’t have to be that way! In what is the first ever staycation Active Escape review to feature on FitnessOnToast.com, I recently spent 3 cosy days inside the walls of the palatial Corinthia Hotel London investigating something genuinely innovative; the Brain Power Experience. It’s been designed in conjunction with the hotel’s Neuroscientist in Residence, and was totally transformative for me! It worked, and conclusively proved the hypothesis that you can enjoy an exceptional and differentiated wellness break whilst at home in this frenetic city, emerging revived and fired up! Click more to see what your own restorative well-being program could involve… (more…)
It’s February already, which in England means that statistically, it’s raining 60% of the month and the average temperature is a mere 5 degrees. So it’s cold, it’s wet, and the lack of sunshine adds insult to injury! Amidst this gloom, what could be better than a piping hot, hearty home-made soup to defrost your cold body?! This fool-proof recipe is one of my absolute go-to dishes which is both homely and comforting, and delivers all the nutrients your body will need to fight the effects of winter. The lentils are a supreme source of vegetable protein, not to mention that it works out to be a mere 25p per serving, and even if you ‘luxe’ your soup, you’ll struggle to spend more than £1.00 per serving. Click more to discover how quick and easy this classic winters recipe is, and up your soup game today! (more…)
I’ve written previously about how the high street is quickly transforming itself into an involving, curated experience with department stores leading the way; what was once a drab array of shopfronts shifting stacks of ‘inventory’ has been magically re-imagined into museums of retail, dusted with both technology and human intrigue, in equal measure. There are digital installations, interactive experiences, and products that can speak to consumers like never before; and without exception for decades, nobody has performed this ever-changing ‘theater of retail’ better than Harrods, the world-class epitome of both Britishness and Luxury. When they asked to me to help design their January campaign ‘Happy New You‘, I was overwhelmed. The trend I’d identified almost 4 years ago in this early blog post has gone full mainstream, and now I had the opportunity to style the 2017 Fitness Looks for Harrods on their 5th Floor Sports department! Click MORE to see what I came up with…
Last year, almost 23 million people on this planet boarded a cruise liner for their holiday, and every year, another 1.6 million more people will catch on. It’s twice as popular in the US as it is in Europe, so much so that a whopping 5% of their population casts off every single year! Aside from the Poseidon Adventure, I’d never seen the inside of a vessel this large, so when I was invited aboard by Cunard, my interest had been piqued to see what this experience is all about. Specifically, I wanted to know whether one could live a healthy holiday on the ocean. I was lucky enough to spend an entire activity-filled day on board one of the world’s most famous ocean liners (together with the lovely Emily from FashionFoieGras), The Queen Elizabeth, Cunard, to experience some unique fitness activities – a mini active escape if you wish! Click MORE to see what we got up to…
This Monday is known as Blue Monday, a statistically miserable day by virtue of things like rain, dark, cold, work, abandoned resolutions, fatigue etc. I recently attended a fascinating TEDx talk by Professor Adrian Williams, a 30-year-practised leading authority on Sleep, based at London’s Guy’s & St Thomas’ hospital; I was reminded of sleep’s unsung value to our lives. Consequently, to combat Blue Monday, I’ve decided to revisit the theme of ‘the importance of sleep’ and have added a few bonus bits & pieces! I think most of us recognize we can benefit from it, but we don’t approach it in a structured way. The appropriate length and quality of sleep allows your body to function at peak efficiency both mentally and physically, and it’s just as valuable as regular exercise and wholesome nutrition. A good night’s sleep can improve overall health and make every aspect of the subsequent day more productive, so I’ve detailed what I think are the key reasons why we should all invest more time in our rest! In this post, I’ve also collaborated with Philips to test their Wake-up Light, as getting up is the part of sleep I find the most difficult! Click MORE to see it all… (more…)
Last night, the CEO of electronics giant Huawei delivered the keynote address over at the Consumer Electronics Show in the Venetian, Las Vegas. He talked live to tens of thousands of people about a future where we move beyond the smartphone, toward the Intelligent Phone. To coincide with this, Huawei asked me to think about how I’d want my intelligent phone to look in 10 years time, from a health & fitness perspective. I jumped at the chance as I hold strong views on it. You might already feel that today’s smartphones are god-like remote controllers, ruling over our entire lives, and maybe my future aspirations for it will sound as crazy as the concept of Facebook would have seemed in the ‘90s. Regardless, my view is that it’ll be a blend of digital doctor, nano-nutritionist, mechanical butler, cyber security guard and Artificial Intelligence unit all in your pocket. It will help us live longer lives, and enjoy higher-quality, safer lives. It’ll take care of the trivial so that we can focus on what’s most relevant to enriching our lives. It will be a complete game changer for humanity. A bold and dramatic claim; click more to see why…
Happy new year, dear reader, and I hope that 2017 holds fabulous things for you! Around this time of year, people think about making changes, both small and large. One of the most frequent emails to hit the FitnessOnToast inbox is from curious subscribers asking about working as a personal trainer; very often, the sender is thinking about changing their career, considering qualifying as a PT (Personal Trainer) or has been working in the job for a while and is looking for advice about shifting direction. REALITY CHECK! Whether you just want to know what your PT goes through, or if the romantic lure of the PT-life is tempting you, read on, as it’s seriously tough! I’ve been a PT for over a decade and whilst my career has taken unexpected turns, I have often tried to share my advice, for what it’s worth. I think that for many people considering this shift, it’s a case of ‘the grass is always greener…’ This post will talk about some of my experience-based perceptions about the career of a Personal Trainer, warts and all!