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…)
If you’ve been following the musings of Fitness On Toast for a while, you might know that I often focus on the importance of sleep to complement a healthy lifestyle. It’s one of the key inputs that many of my Personal Training clients seem to minimise! To further my understanding of sleep, I recently took part in a fascinating research study to find out how sleep can enhance sporting performance and indeed overall fitness. Bensons for Beds, the UK’s leading bed specialists, have teamed up with The Sleep School, founded by the UK’s leading sleep expert Dr. Guy Meadows, to create a new data-driven resource, which aims to help everyone achieve a peaceful night’s sleep, in a natural way. This post reviews the test, and includes an interview with Dr. Guy, digging into the theory a little more! (more…)
In this post, I’m in the heart of Soho, New York (on 45 Crosby street to be precise) at c. 6:30 am, soul searching… on a bicycle! SoulCycle is a class I’ve been meaning to try for ages, having seen countless friends & clients back in London rave about it. So here I am, a bit too excited to be booked in to the super-early-morning class (though theres one even earlier!), burdened with jet lag and crammed into a miniature studio along with a large group of seriously energetic pre-office New Yorkers. Here follows my review, but since guests aren’t permitted to take any photos inside the studio, I thought I’d include these amazing photos of the view of New York, all taken from the roof terrace of my stunning hotel, The Mondrian. I wore the lovely new collection from an old favourite, Striders Edge for my SoulCycle class, and a pair pink summery Asics trainers and for a cheeky drink on the terrace too! See more BELOW…
Happy Sunday! Just a quick update from me – I’m very excited to announce that I’ll be writing for the beautiful Xenia Tchoumitcheva‘s luxury web-mag, CHICoverdose.com. For those of you unfamiliar with Xenia, she’s a fiercely-determined, highly-accomplished, super-smart and quite striking businesswoman / supermodel, who’s site assembles & showcases all sorts of wonderful treasures from around the world!
Faya 🙂 x
Originating from deepest Russia as a tool farmers to weigh-up their crops (and get ripped in the process), the humble kettle bell has been around since the 1700s. These days, I’d argue that they’re capable of delivering a versatile and explosive full-body workout, which builds power and burns fat. The position and thickness of the handles (hanging directly under the wrists) unevenly distributes the weight, which means you need more strength in your grip, better co-ordination & more core engagement, as the weight is far more difficult to control. It also develops muscles through the arms, the shoulders and the other stabiliser muscles too. Dumbbells, as a comparison, are centred and therefore nicely balanced – kettle bells are inherently unstable, as their handles stick out comically from one side of the sphere & act like an additional pivot point control. Here’s a breakdown of one of my faves, the kettle bell swing…
Stella McCartney is a fully-fledged fashion deity; that much was evidenced by her clean sweep at the Met Gala, reconfirming to the world just how on-trend, in-vogue and utterly a-la-mode she is at present. If an alien had landed in New York that night, they’d have presumed that Stella McCartney designs everyone’s clothes, everywhere, all the time. Capsule collections by big names, for big brands are commonplace these days, but they don’t come much bigger than Adidas by Stella. In fact, after 9 seasons, and with 135 current pieces available to buy right now, one must ask at what point is it no longer a capsule collection, but rather a legitimate standalone brand?!
To date, I’ve not featured any of the ‘Stelladidas’ range on FitnessOnToast.com, but every innocent scroll through my bookmarked sportswear websites will always be punctuated by the compulsion to linger longer at the Stella section. What I regularly find so intriguing about her creations is…
I was recently invited along to the launch of Under Armour‘s new running shoe, the SpeedForm Apollo, which goes on sale this coming Friday (28th February), and is their updated follow-up to last year’s SpeedForm RC. The UK fitness advertising landscape is a homogenous onslaught, but this Under Armour offering is newness at its best, and as an obedient consumer, I just LOVE a bit of newness!
For the event, Ian Dickinson (Under Armour Head of European Footwear) flew over from their Netherlands base of operations, and I had a chance to pick his brain on the brand’s history, its ethos, to learn how it’s approaching the ultra-competitive footwear market, and to discover some of the drivers behind the technological innovations underpinning this Apollo shoe.
First off, I have to declare that I like these shoes. A lot. What strikes me first, as an objective viewer (I have no biased interest to declare), is the fluidity of its sleek lines; there’s a gentle suggestion of the natural ‘foot’ anatomy, right from the contoured upper which hints at ‘toes’, to the smoothly sculpted heel basket which has been scooped-out to fit snugly, right down to the full-on ‘footprint under-sole’.
Besides the obvious fact that it comes in a cute girly pink and a gorgeous aqua blue for men (I’d prefer this option personally), it feels like a really strong running shoe under foot. It includes technical features you can actually feel as a wearer, such as being super lightweight, having a ‘medial stability bar’ to offer a bit of extra midfoot support and prevent it rolling around when you land, and yields a deeply cushioned, well-supported ‘ride’. One of my favourite features is that it’s completely one-piece, whilst being ultimately breathable (featuring an impossibly airy blend of meshed fabrics which form a pseudo-skin layer), and not having any seams or stitches which gives it a second-skin feel and reduces the ever-debilitating ‘blister rub’. Also, unlike many other big brand shoes, it’s manufactured entirely in a clothing factory – out of the same fabrics as lingerie, which brings a whole new sense to the word ‘racy’ 😉 !!
I’ve been giving them a good going round the running track in Regent’s Park, and I really do like them; the seamless sensation is a massive plus, as I don’t get distracted or annoyed having to stop and adjust. I kind of forget the shoe is there at all, which I can only imagine is the highest form of praise you could offer to a ‘running shoe’ designer 🙂 Some more pictures below… Faya x (more…)
Winter has well-and-truly hit in London – brrrr! – and now that Halloween is out of the way, the long run into Christmas is underway! I’m going to be posting plenty of ideas to help you stay on the seasonal ‘straight-and-narrow’, but in the meantime, it’s just about cold enough to get me thinking back to the summer.
In these pictures, I’m wearing another great tennis affair from my friends at Monreal London; I love the simplicity of the block white dress with the subtle blue detailing, and the elasticated rouching at the waist – comfortable, flexible and great for tennis. They were shot on the beach at Pamplonne, and Club 55 St. Tropez; to get there I stepped aboard a gorgeous specimen of a Riva ‘Super Aquarama’, and was motoring towards the restaurant at 55 knots! Once there, fresh grilled sea-bass and some fresh greens.
On this chilly London day, I REALLY miss the toasty sun of holiday, but luckily it’s only c.250 sleeps until the next dose of summer comes along 🙂
See MORE PICTURES from the day here. Faya x
It’s the Halloween time of year again, and just throwing it out there, but I guess you might be finding it harder to stay on the fitness ‘straight & narrow’ as we run into the festive season, consuming a bit more alcohol than normal, chomping on some salty sweets and let’s not forget all the sugary ‘trick or treat’ fare. You might even have some war wounds after running around town late one night chasing bats dressed up as Batman – cape, knickers at minus 2 degrees? Sound familiar? HAVE NO FEAR – Fitness On Toast’s healthy (& seasonally on-trend) Pumpkin Soup to the rescue – it’s ultra hydrating and nutrient-rich to make up for all the sugary sweets, alcohol and salt in which you’ve been overindulging! Plus it’s packed with minerals and vitamins to help recover from a heavy night out or just a little man-cold. Read MORE for ingredients & ‘How To’, here! (more…)