Road biking through undulating vineyard topography, and during the more stationary moments, unwinding at the glorious Château St. Pierre de Serjac; as far as active press trips go, this was set up to be highly compelling! In the event, it was *so* compelling that I scribed a piece for Women’s Health on the affair (which should go live very shortly, so do keep your eyes open). The experience was extremely well balanced; road biking is unexpectedly demanding from an aerobic perspective, and the Château St. Pierre de Serjac is just a heavenly sanctuary in which to relax; that exquisite channel in the middle where those parameters meet is what governs a highly successful active break! As an aside, if you do read this and think ‘hmm, I could quite imagine myself giving that a shot’, I would strongly urge you to wear padded bib shorts, as road biking saddle soreness is orders-of-magnitude more intense than gym-induced muscular soreness! 😫. Find my full review of Road Biking and Château St. Pierre de Serjac below.
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The training cycle is tough on the body, and with successive workouts-and-showers, nothing takes a much of a gruelling battering as the hair. As such, and in direct response to several curious, hair-conscious reader enquiries over the years of scribing fitnessontoast.com, this post is fully dedicated to hair health. I may be a highly qualified professional when it comes to training and the likes of sports massage, but I’m only an enthusiastic amateur on matters pertaining to the hair. As such, I’ve done the heavy lifting for you, and picked the brain of multi-award-winning superstar hair artist Siobhan ‘Shivvy’ Jones for all the choicest pro-tips. Shivvy is a L’Oréal Professionnel teacher & Guest Artist, hair stylist on X Factor, Next Top Model, and artist to the likes of Little Mix, as well as being the Owner and Creative Director of Rose & Wild Hair, her delightful new studio in Fulham where we shot these pics! Those are some of her professional credentials, but beyond that, she enjoys heavyweight repute for setting the tone on colour technique and trends in the fashion industry. If like me you wash your hair too frequently post-training, Shivvy’s insights will help you to find and get the perfect tone, products to use and much more! Read on… (more…)
Happy New Year, my good reader! If you’re anything like me, you’re most likely not new to the whole fitness thing; you’ve possibly been training for years, and you might even be in groundhog mode with your regime – which would be totally normal, we all visit that place! Hitting a plateau can be super confusing because you probably don’t know what’s causing it. The sorts of questions swirling around your mind are likely; am I not training enough, am I training too much, am I training the wrong way, in the wrong place, with the wrong people, wearing the wrong clothes, listening to the wrong music (etc.)? Well fear not, dear 2019-ready reader, for this post contains my top 7 simple tips to help you to break through that training plateau! Click MORE for your download to start the year the way you mean to go on – in blitz mode! (more…)
Les Sources de Caudalie is one of those rare hotels to enjoy the mysterious ‘Palace’ designation – a hyper-prestigious mark of distinction bestowed upon just 24 hotels, all of which are in France. Unclear as to what it officially means, to me it represents an endorsement that an operation has proven itself a practitioner of the finest haut hospitalité that the French call their Art de Vivre. Whilst the hotel itself is really quite special, there were two other major components to the site which rendered my stay here totally memorable and unique; the world-class ‘Grand Cru appellation’ vineyard on site, and the shrine to the French beauty house Caudalie, itself stemming from the vines. When choosing a place to stay, one must select the appropriate property for the geography; Les Sources de Caudalie masterfully bottles the essence of this region into one exceptional package. For a wellness escape to Bordeaux, it is a sublime choice, and this post reveals the magical experience I found there!
I’m a bit of a gadget fiend and love playing about with new fitness devices – one I’ve been excited to trial since its announcement is Fitbit’s latest iteration, the Versa. Several of my Personal Training clients use its predecessor the Ionic, and they are without exception, big fans. So when I was recently invited to Barcelona by Fitbit and Deezer for a wellness weekend to put the Versa to the test, I couldn’t wait to give it a shot! Together with a group of passionate journalists who’d coalesced from all across Europe, we participated in a series of fitness experiences on the beach, as well as a host of other activities. Since then I have been wearing the Versa every day back in London, and am happy to bring you 10 of my favorite bits so far! Click MORE to see them all…
I recently had the excellent fortune to visit a charismatic, cozy, alpine bolt-hole named Les Fermes de Marie, nestled within the charming cobblestoned town of Mègeve, high up in the mountains of the French Alps. If you fancy going on a little ‘last-minute spring skiing weekend’, then perhaps read on to discover a little of the magic behind this outstanding traditional mountain destination!
To me, sleep has long been ‘everything’, but others have been coming round to this stance, as already, sleep is emerging as quite the hot topic in 2018, with several national newspapers drilling down into its favourable effects our constitution; as health and well-being (quite rightly) occupies a growing mindshare of ‘the Zeitgeist’, it seems only natural that society will begin to challenge that age-old travesty of sacrificing sleep to ‘look committed’ to a cause. We may, in our machismo, think of it as a bank account that can be raided, as a currency which can be exchanged for kudos, or perhaps as an unproductive use of our 24 precious hours, but times – and attitudes – are unquestionably changing. Sleep is fast being seen as an indulgent luxury of which we should consume more, not time wasted but time well invested, and even perhaps as a currency to be spent of its own accord. The tide is beginning to turn, it’s no longer as socially unpalatable to prioritise one’s own recovery, to have an early night, or even (heaven forbid) two in a row! The nation has begun a long overdue conversation about this topic; recovery is on the agenda more than ever before, whether you’re into fitness or not. This post is in collaboration with Tempur, and highlights the so-called Holy Trinity of Recovery; Sleep, Stretching and Sports Massage! Click MORE to read on… (more…)
Skiing is a grueling full-body aerobic workout, and regularly puts thousands of calories to good use every single day… However, in my younger days, I can only remember it as an uncomfortably awkward experience for the unfortunate, suffering mountain-goer. As a skier, you’d have to tolerate some serious unpleasantness to survive the week; the sweaty boots would imprison and crush your feet and always inflict shin splint, the skis weighed a ton, chairlifts were slow and unreliable, the clothes weren’t really weatherproof, the food was terrible, the chalet beds were paper-thin and yielded a pitifully un-restorative night’s sleep… and I shan’t touch upon the neon all-in-one “fashion” monstrosities! Thankfully, times have changed unrecognizably, for ’skiing’ has radically upped its game, and nowhere on the planet has this alpine art de vivre been more finely honed than Courchevel. I ventured to the warmth of Hotel Le Saint Roch in Courchevel 1850, to deliver the first Alpine Active Escape I’ve covered on this blog, and the refined experience I discovered there has transformed my understanding of pure joy on the pistes! Click MORE to see the full experience…
Happy New Year dear reader; I shall kick off 2018 with some travel-related food for thought… Australia has long been at the top of my bucket list, kept on that list thanks to the mammoth pilgrimage required to reach the complete opposite point on the planet. For many travellers in the Western hemisphere, it’s a trip you might only ever make once (if perhaps at all); for others, a single visit and they decide to undertake the permanent move East. It is an enchanting and diverse land, but there’s too much to cover in a single post, so I’ll break it into two digestible bits; this is Part 1, and recounts a sublime week at Qualia on Hamilton Island, part of the Whitsundays, blessed with turquoise crystal waters, dusted with powdered white sands, and fringed by lush tropical forest. Totally repaired since a dreadful tropical cyclone wrought devastation upon the islands some 7 months earlier, The Whitsundays are Australasia’s answer to The Maldives, but with one unbeatable competitive advantage: the Great Barrier Reef. Click MORE to see what exotic treasures I found there…
Under a week to go until a BIG focal day in many people’s annual calendar, and if you’re anything like me you’ve left your seasonal gift shopping perilously late! Fear not, my dear disorganised reader, for here’s my snappily-titled “Christmas Eve Emergency Health & Fitness Top 10 Present Idea List” (phew!) which I whipped up for just such an eventuality – perhaps it’s one to send your other half for those last-minute ideas! So here we go, please Santa may I have… (more…)