During a recent Leg Session (one of my favourite body parts to train), I decided to do some ‘plyo box squats’. The word plyo – a contraction of ‘plyometric’ – basically means ‘jump training’. A simple practise, yes, but an awesome weapon in the fitness arsenal, due to the amount of muscular and cardiovascular exertion it generates. This is a little post on the benefits on plyometrics, why box squats are so fantastic, and how to execute them correctly! Also included are some step-ups – oldies, but goodies 😀 (more…)
This post is all about the benefits of one of the most fundamental and primal moves our skeletons are capable of performing; the humble, time-honoured squat. Few exercises compare for their ability to employ so many muscles simultaneously, and few yield such a wealth of physiological benefits. This post details my top 5 reasons to squat! Click MORE to read on…
Living and working everyday in the health & fitness world, my ‘uniform’ so to speak, is activewear; I’m in it all day long, every single day, so I’m always on the lookout for something different, comfortable, exciting, inspiring… This post, shot amongst the breathtaking and tranquil gardens of the Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat (still one of my favourite places in the world) highlights an outfit from my latest fitness fashion find, Charli London. Click below to see MORE 🙂 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…
As you might have guessed, I’m Swedish (well, half Swedish). Ours is a modest nation, and we don’t boast about too many international icons but one of the country’s spirit-rallying figures is undoubtedly Björn Borg; we all get behind his legendary accomplishments even though they took place long before many of our births. He’s almost the personification of the Swedish flag to the nation; a great ambassador for our national achievements.
With that in mind, it was with enormous excitement that I was recently contacted by the Björn Borg clothing line, popularised in the UK for its adventurous and quirky underwear, but very much under-appreciated for its heavyweight performance sportswear credentials. They invited me along to their SS14 press event (hosted at the Piccadilly showroom, and staffed mainly by tall, striking models – sigh), and offered some new-season samples to be reviewed. This is a dangerous juncture, and I must declare a waiver of my strict impartiality for this – I feel a certain bias, especially when the clothes’ colours are blue and yellow ;)! Read my thoughts HERE:
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…)
This post focuses on tips & tricks for correct running technique. A couple of weeks ago, on a blog trip (a.k.a ‘excuse for a mini-holiday’) to the perma-sunny Quinta Do Lago, in Portugal’s Algarve, I indulged in some long, peaceful runs along the gorgeous sweeping beaches. I’ve always loved long distance running, and without sounding like a total hippie… (more…)
This post is about an alternative, healthy ‘burger’ recipe which takes inspiration from a recent blog trip to New York. ‘When in Rome’ do as the New Yorkers… with that in mind it seemed right that on my monumental ‘cheat day’ I should go overboard and indulge in a proper American burger, milkshake & fries! If you read this blog regularly, you’ll know this is a VERY rare occasion indeed! I headed to the grand opening of Shake Shack in Grand Central Station, which I’d heard so much about (great PR!). To celebrate it I wore my favourite gold burger ring by GoldieRox – gorgeous jewellery celebrating junk food, best of all with 0 calories!!! (On that matter, in America most menus now include ‘calories’ which is really helpful!)
I was fully aware that this meal would rack up some seriously naughty numbers but I was blown away; I consumed 1870 calories in just one meal, which is pretty much what I would typically eat in a day!!! Going to Shake Shack was certainly a bit of a fun outing, and I believe you do have to enjoy and live life a little now and then, but this serves as a reminder of just how easily you could be consuming a VAST amount of the wrong kind of calories without even realising it. In the event, I could only manage a half of my portion (still 935 calories), and since my body isn’t used to it, I struggled for the rest of the day. I’m much more at home with a healthy alternative; my previous healthy burger recipe included a tuna steak; this alternative is my nutritious, low-fat, low-sugar and lower-calorie ‘Skirt Steak Wrap’ (pictured below), which weighs in at a nutritious 485 calories, bursting with vitamins minerals and quality protein. See MORE pictures, ingredients and ‘how to make it’ below…
It’s October in New York and this day was a scorcher – 27 degrees! Since there are a few fantastic jogging routes around the gorgeous Central Park, I thought I’d go for a little explore; my ‘fitness curiosity’ got the better of me, and that turned into a 40 minute jog, after which I decided I wanted to finish off with some legs!! This post documents that leg routine, and be warned, it’s pretty gruelling, targeting all major muscles – hamstrings, quads and glutes – to tone, firm and strengthen thighs and bum! Unlike some of my previous leg posts, having just been jogging for the last 40 minutes this workout included no weights, just a park bench and some steps! That extra bit of added cardio should get you sweating and avoid shivering in the chilly ‘autumn’ weather! Really challenge yourself by keeping the rest period to a minimum – Weights not required, the combination of leg exercises is utterly exhausting!
Whilst we’re on the topic, if you’re thinking about taking up running I think it’s worth keeping a log book. By recording your performance you will be able to see how you’re improving and to potentially help avoid injuries, typically sustained when you try to go all-out for no reason. Analysing patterns can help you learn how your body responds to different intensities. Are you pushing your body too hard too soon, or may the opposite be the case? Are you letting your body recover properly? There are lots of apps to help you with logging your runs – so many that I plan to write a post about them! If you’re thinking you don’t take your running that seriously – try to at least record the distance, time and pace. Getting into the habit might just inspire and motivate you to run that extra mile, when the incremental exertion is the greatest 🙂 My favourite thing about it? You get to set yourself / your friends challenges and to enjoy the fresh air whilst getting to know the city & countryside – sounds perfect! 🙂
Click below to see the full routine, shot in Central Park, New York.