Lifestyle post alert: I went along to the semifinals of the Aegon Championships at Queens Club on Saturday and despite suffering some classic British summertime showers between sunnier spells, the experience reaffirmed my love for ‘tennis-as-cardio’! The generally accepted wisdom is that you can burn c. 4-500 calories during an hour of tennis, which might not be as significant as a hardcore ‘hill-sprint’ session, but a) it’s mentally engaging so the hour races by, b) competitively compelling, c) sociable, and d) the actual calorie burn varies ALOT with factors like temperature, humidity, experience levels, player weight etc, so 500 cal doesn’t need to be the ceiling! Click MORE to see pictures from my day! (more…)
I’m super excited to announce that at 19:00 GMT tomorrow evening, I’ll be hosting a quick Google hangout ‘panel discussion’ about Fitness Technology for Argos! This is a huge year for ‘fit tech’, with some enormous innovations out there, so we’ll be discussing 4 intriguing pieces of kit – pros & cons. On the panel will be Liina from Mind Over Matter, David from MensRunning, and Lori from Wild and Grizzly who’ll be sharing their thoughts too! For those wondering whether or not I have a comically deep baritone voice, tune in at 19:00 (GMT) on Tuesday 6th January (tomorrow) via the LINK HERE, and have your say during Q&A! 😀 Faya x
The battling ropes might look easy, but when executed correctly your whole body will be screaming in fabulous-workout-pain! I find that they challenge me in ways that are totally unlike other equipment, and can yield transformative results from a ‘toning’ perspective. They’re ‘tough fun’, can help develop power, explosiveness, muscular and cardiovascular endurance, build functional strength and toast fat! By design, they’re slightly too cumbersome and heavy to take around with you anywhere in the Prada – so on this occasion I opted for the Omnia installation at my local Virgin (no, these are not paid links, just good practise!). Find out why and how, here… (more…)
To my mind, hiking is a vastly under-appreciated form of exercise. It has so much to offer and can be properly addictive! I’m focussing on this topic as a fun, alternative way to access cardio, courtesy of a recent hike along the Tizi ‘n M’zik Pass in the breathtaking and rugged Atlas Mountains on my recent blog trip to Morocco. Here are my 10 reasons why hiking is such a supreme form of physical and mental exercise! I’m also very excited to feature Striders Edge on the blog for the first time – an apparel brand whose ethos complements what I typically look for in fitness fashion – sport-specific functionality, chic-appeal and technical innovation. Click MORE to see the whole post…
1) WHY CYCLE ?
Cycling is one of my favourite ways to travel around as it not only gets me there, but I can do some bonus cardio training in the process. It burns calories (c. 120calories per mile), elevates the heart rate, lowers blood pressure, eases the risk of cardiovascular disease and it’s pretty soft on the environment too! Compared to running, which puts a lot of strain on the body (especially the knees), cycling is very low impact exercise and is kinder to your joints. It builds stamina and strength, with fewer injuries along the way. If you’re worried about losing precious muscle mass because of the cv, cycling actually develops muscle, especially in the lower body as power is generated by the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes, which will fuel additional calorie burn even after the journey has ended. It will also stimulate the production of HGH (human growth hormone), and remember, muscle burns more calories at rest than fat, so this is exercise that keeps giving!
2) THE BIKE ?
In the pic above, I’m on what I think is the Ferrari of bicycles; the sleek, curvaceous, sexy ‘Pinarello’ FPQuattro. This exceptionally serious road bike is built for speed, it’s ultra lightweight (the frame weighs a feather-light 1.1kg!), and has a carbon chassis honed in a wind tunnel to perfect the aerodynamics! I don’t own it, I was merely lent it for the day, but this is my idea of a dream bike!
3) THE ROUTE ?
These days there are so many gadgets to kit out your bicycle with. There’s the low-tech mudguards / mirrors / bags / bells / comfort-saddles… but I like the more high-tech functional stuff. The Garmin GPS is my way of keeping track of my routes. I think it has enhanced my cycling performance by making my training far more productive; it enables measurement of the heart rate, power, speed, altitude and even position in London’s cafes to remarkable accuracy. Not only will you know where you are but also exactly how far you’ve been or need to go; and you can race your ghost if it’s a regular route, which encourages progress! The GPS is route-tailored meaning it will select the right route for your specific training, e.g. endurance, long distance, hill rides etc. So in essence, I think it helps you to cycle smarter!
And once at home after a long relaxing, hot shower you can sit down with a cup of tea, download and analyse the data on your computer, and figure out exactly how to improve your performance for next time. You can even create an online profile and connect with the social media world to share and receive info, courses and routines etc. They’re not cheap, but I think they’ve revolutionised my cycling experience, and my ability to get a good workout from it!
4) THE COMMUNITY ?
Just as there are running clubs, so too are there cycling clubs! In the same way my motivation is boosted by doing a group class at the gym, it’s the same with cycling; find a cycle group in your local area and go for a trial session. Training in a group will improve your cycling giving you the tools and focus you need whether you’re looking to train in the lead up to an event/race or just for general fitness. I find it’s nice to have a deadline or goal in mind, so why not discover charity bike rides! A friend (and cycling-novice!) took part in her very first charity ride last year – London to Paris – and she absolutely loved it, describing ‘a massive sense of camaraderie’, and ‘feel good you just can’t beat!’ She did add it was a very intense 4days and added that you must, must prepare well ahead of time.
It’s dangerous on the roads, so maybe join an ‘advanced road safety’ group which teaches you how to stay safe in the mental London traffic! It also explains bike maintanence which is crucial for trips and newbees.
Cycle buddy links cyclists up with other cyclists in the same area for training rides or mountain biking. The website encourages you to log your ride to share routes and training experiences.
Happy cycling! Faya x