I spent last weekend in the company of one of the greatest Swedish icons; no, not Björn Borg, ABBA, or the Chef from The Muppets – but Volvo! Throughout my childhood in Karlskrona (southern Sweden) literally everybody’s parents drove this marque, including mine. Our country has a reserved, understated national culture, and it’s a point of humor that the populace differentiates its individuality by buying the *newest* Volvo. Now though, the exquisite, silky and muscular aesthetics of this freshly-launched beauty, the XC40, make our old 1990s Swedish 240 estate look about as aerodynamic as a cube! Our weekend at The Grove was themed around the classically Swedish concept of Lagom (there’s no direct translation but perhaps conjure Goldilocks and her ‘just right’ porridge), and part of my role was to lead a group of fabulous lifestyle press around a 30-minute HIIT workout on the ‘wellbeing’ part of their experience. Click MORE to read my thoughts on this car, to see how we got on with lagom, and to get a little BTS from the event!
I recently visited The Grove Hotel in Hertfordshire for a friend’s wedding, and after the festivities were over, quickly found myself wandering the vast countryside grounds which are home to a perfectly manicured, internationally renowned championship golf course. Given that it was a perfect, dewy English autumnal morning, I thought a few photos were in order – which gave me the perfect excuse to dive into one of my favorite exercises in a little more detail. The humble ‘Press Up’ is probably the most common exercise that comes to mind when you ‘word associate’ about ‘fitness’. Perhaps there isn’t even a person alive who hasn’t done one at some point. It is a totally core staple of the fitness diet and this post digs into the top 5 benefits we can all get from this wonderfully versatile exercise… [MORE]
I’m still splashing away in the pool, learning to swim the front crawl for the fabulous cause that is Sainsbury’s Sport Relief, kicking off on March the 23rd 2014 at the epic Olympic pool. Anyone can take part and if swimming isn’t your cup of tea there’s also the cycle / marathon . You’ll be getting fit for 2014 (the classic resolution) whilst raising money for some of the poorest in the world. Why not sign up?! Check it out HERE!
You might notice that whilst I’m rattling on about swimming, I’m not in a pool in these pictures (shot outside the newly re-opened Kenwood House, just at the top of London’s Bishops Avenue, aka Billionaires Row). Yes, it’s hard to swim through air, but this post is actually about training the small stabiliser muscles that comprise the shoulder; it’s usually these smaller ones that are susceptible to strains in the pool, and are often neglected when you train in the gym. To build them up and prevent injury, there are a few simple exercises you can do with just a trusty resistance band…
As per my previous post here, the Sport Relief Swimathon March 2014 is just around the corner and I’m burning off my early dose of mince pies in the pool – whilst raising cash for an awesome cause! ‘HOW ARE YOU GETTING ON WITH THAT, FAYA?’ I hear you ask? Well, one minor setback is that I can’t swim… the front crawl (which is the mandatory stroke)! Thankfully, Charlie to the rescue! She’s a fantastic and painfully-tough swimming coach who also happens to be a sports therapist working with Watford Football Club, & will be coaching me all the way into the Queen Elizabeth Olympic pool.
This post contains a ‘Progress Report’ from week 1, as well as the BENEFITS OF SWIMMING, as I see it. As the months go on, I’ll be blogging about my aquatic experiences & fitness tips/tricks along the way, as well as running through the stretching routines, land training, injury-prevention exercises, nutrition, etc. (more…)