I want to share an extremely rare behind-the-scenes experience I recently had with Cirque Du Soleil in Finland. They’re the world’s largest & most profitable circus troupe, and I’ve been fortunate to have seen several of their shows – and have been uniformly delighted by their exceptional choreography, their enchanting imagination, and their unbridled connection to the human soul. In Helsinki, I viewed Toruk: The First Flight, at Cirque Du Soleil ahead of the London premier, which debuted last night, on the 23rdJune. For a few magical days, I was immersed in the world of Avatar, as this Cirque iteration breathes new and unusual life into James Cameron’s remarkable epic. I watched the show and spent a full day backstage meeting and interviewing the artists about their gruelling lives as world-class performers (click MORE for the full interviews), worked alongside the costume designers and makeup artists, tried out the equipment with the performers, and experienced what life as an Avatar at Cirque Du Soleil might be like for a day. I left with new levels of respect and humility for the raw talent of these super-humans. Read on to see for yourself why this is one show you (and the family) NEED to catch!
🚨 Fashion post alert! 🚨 I recently fell in love with this look I was sent from the new DKNY Sport collection. I was en route to an event at the Edition Hotel – a “sacred cacao ceremony” with meditative gong vibrations (more on vibrations and sound baths HERE) with some utterly glorious, crisp January London weather. My photographer and I managed to snap some impromptu pics in Fitzrovia. The oversized jacket is rendered in the most gorgeous inky velvet material which catches and plays with the light in a wonderfully intriguing way. Paired with subtly matching velvet leggings and my Adidas Superstars it’s the sort of sporty look I’d happily wear in or outside of the gym. Due to the oversized nature of the proportions, it’s also super comfy and all-enveloping, but the pluming nature adds more of a relaxed-yet-luxe sporty aesthetic. Whilst it was sunny it was uber cold, so I layered up, wearing a DKNY hoodie and the perfect polo underneath to keep my neck warm! I love an oversized jacket and this one I think is a classic – I’ll have it for years – paired with a pair of jeans, tight leather pants with sneakers, heels or boots. I’m trying to say that its versatile. I also love playing with proportions; wearing something super duper oversized on top always makes the legs look proportionately smaller which I love as a silhouette. Click MORE to see the rest of our shots and some shots from the choco-meditation ceremony! (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…)
FitnessOnToast.com has always been a warm, friendly, inclusive place to share helpful, optimistic, focussed material. Well, NOT TODAY motherfos. This Gym Etiquette 101 post is motivated exclusively by burning rage and shall act as a form of cathartic therapy for me! I go to the gym on a regular basis, between 3 and 5 days per week. I consider the gym to be a shared space in which many people pay a fee to be allowed its use. However, my observation over 15+ years of gymming is that many people believe ‘once I’m a member, it’s my space’. They’re often disrespectful to the equipment, staff and other members, are messy and all too often, just really, really loud – just to name a few pet peeves. For me, I think of it as a privilege to use the gym. Yes, one pays a fee – sometimes a substantial one at that – but it’s not your property, or your private space. The better I look after the equipment, and the more respectful I am to other members, the more enjoyable and easier their time will be using the gym. In return, I’d expect the same consideration from others. So, without further ado here’s my TOP 10 of things that drive me up the wall every single time I go to the gym! Maybe you can relate to a few of them – alternatively, feel free to add your own irritations in the comments section below. I’d love to know if I’m the only one who feels this way. (more…)
Over the past 3 years, I’ve authored some of my most in-depth blog posts about each successive version of the iconic Apple Watch since it revolutionised the health and fitness tracking landscape back in 2015 (see review 1, review 2, and review 3); personally I’ve enormously valued the advances it’s enabled for me, arming me with data and awareness, reminding me to act, keeping me in contact with the community around me – and it did this whilst integrating seamlessly with my own ‘life technology stack’ in an un-intimidating, user-friendly way. Now, following an overwhelmingly impressive trip to the Steve Jobs Theatre in Cupertino, California, I have been introduced to my latest wrist companion, Apple Watch Series 4… Click MORE to see my full perceptions about this fascinating piece of kit, which represents a big hope for the future! (more…)
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…)
Last month, I was incredibly fortunate to meet some of my country’s top Alpine athletes at the HQ of Ski Team Sweden in Åre. Amongst them, I spent some time with Matts Olsson, a World Championship medalist and one of the top male FIS World Cup competitors from Sweden, with a specialization in Giant Slalom. He’s an ultra-experienced hand on the circuit, powering through 9 seasons, and has just had one of his best in 2016/17 with two podium finishes. It struck me that the younger members of the team really look up to those who’ve given battle alongside the international legends of the sport, and Matts wears his experience with great wisdom and humility. It was with great pleasure that I sat down to ask him about his training, his mental approach, his diet, and his ethos on competition! Here’s what I learned… (more…)
Life is stressful but I’ve long believed it’s possible to steal back a little bit of balanced calm, and often at some of the most unexpected times throughout the day. There are several ways to give oneself a physical and mental healthy nudge to keep going… one of my favorites is meditation. Everyone’s daily pressures differ, and mine come in the form of juggling personal training clients, meetings pertaining to this blog, and a few other projects I have on the go. For me, seeking a moment of tranquility to escape the relentless chaos is best served through a moment of meditation on the go; I even practice on the tube between stations, because there’s no bad place for it. Read the full post to see some of my top reasons for taking some time to include this discipline in your day too.
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…)