weight loss

Join Kate's 30-Day Clean Eating Challenge!

Within a supportive, private Facebook group, Kate's challenge will comprise a series of realistic, easy to understand and implement recommendations and lessons for lifelong changes.

Here are just some of the things you’ll learn:

  • The emphasis is on small, bite-sized lessons, which are drip-fed to you one per day

  • How to loose fat and keep it off

  • How to maintain a healthy weight, so you avoid the risk of health-related diseases

  • How to supercharge your energy levels

  • Why whole foods keep you satisfied for longer, so you’re less tempted by eating junk

  • How to meal plan so you always have healthy food options

  • How to make healthy snacks, so you don’t graze on junk food when you’re hungry

  • Some of the best healthy food blogs that make life simple

  • How to identify food triggers that are (subconsciously) keeping you from your goals

  • Food swaps for cravings, so you can eat more of the foods you love without piling on the pounds or worrying about your health

  • Healthy breakfasts for busy mornings

  • How to use herbs and spices to power up your food and make them taste amazing

  • Some recipes suggestions to add variety to your life

  • How to strike a happy medium with your diet

  • Some facts about sugar, salt and fats, the good, the bad and the in between, so you'll be in a much better position to look after your own health, and the health of your family

  • Plus loads more...

It costs £30, just £1 per day, and will start on 7th January 2019!

If you would like to take part in Kate's 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge, or would like to know more, please drop us a line.

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

The Big Mince Pie Burn Off! UPDATE

Mince pie burn off.jpg

I'm delighted to say that we can run all 6 of our Mince Pie Burn-Off BootCamps over the Christmas period - wahoo!!!

We're now able to keep the bookings open right up until it's all over. So do please book yourselves and your friends and family on. Have a look at the times and dates below, then head over to our Boot Camp page to book your place.

With 1 more sleep to go until the big day, the time has come for the hard-working HA team to enjoy some time off with our families (and dry out our mats, de-tangle our resistance bands, polish our kettlebells...etc).

We'll pop onto facebook (hafitnessLtd), twitter (@ha_fitness), Instagram (@hafitness, @hafitness_wimbledon and @buggyfit_wimbledon) occasionally, so do drop in and let us know how you're getting on.

Thank you so much for all of your support in 2017. We'd like to wish you and your families a lovely Christmas and an amazing 2018!

Eat, drink and be fit,

Heather and The HA fitness Team x

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

Our Top 5 Tips To Beat The Christmas Bulge!

Over the next few weeks, journalists will thoughtfully inform us about the amount of weight the average person should expect to put on in December.

Don't be one of those statistics! Scroll down for our top 5 tips on beating the Christmas bulge, sign-up for our Mince Pie Burn-Offs and get your name down on our January HIIT BootCamp!

1) Make Those Treats Worthwhile

You actually don’t have to drink a gingerbread latte topped with freshly whipped cream, gold stars and a gingerbread man, every time you pass a coffee shop.

But if you do fancy one of those festive coffees, then go for it. Pick a time when you can sit down and really enjoy every last one of those syrupy, creamy mouthfuls. It's a complete waste of indulgence if you just grab one and go though. Have it once for an indulgent treat, and make sure you allow time to truly appreciate it.

2) Pass-On The Indulgent Love (tactfully)

People always feel obliged to bring chocolates and treats whenever they visit friends and family at this time of year. However, when these treats land on your kitchen table, don't feel obliged to consume all of them. Discreetly re-gift, or feel virtuous by donating them to a food bank or soup kitchen. Basically, your goal is to remove them from your house before you get chance to rip open the cellophane wrapper.

3) Don't Give Up

Parties, broken routines, travel and stress means that most of us are less active and eat more during December. It's OK to accept that this might happen. But try to avoid going down the “I’ve blown my diet, I may as well keep going” route. Make some healthy choices, fit in some exercise and you'll feel much better for it.

4) The Shops Are Only Closed For One Day!

Avoid stockpiling crisps, nuts and snacks for that just-in-case-someone-pops-around moment. Especially if there's a good chance you might polish them off yourself because "it’ll be a shame to waste them". Buy the things you’ll need and remember that visitors rarely come empty-handed (see Top Tip Number 2).

5) Don’t Passively Load Up On Extra Calories

Here are a few simple festive swaps you can make:

- Buy or make open top mince tarts as these can have around 50 calories less than mince pies with lids on.
- Choose satsumas to graze on rather than nuts. If you can't resist the nuts, buy ones with shells on, you'll eat a lot less of them.
- Avoid drinking creamy cocktails, Baileys and sweetened mulled wine. Stick to the fizz or wine.

Good luck and don’t forget to sign-up to our Mince Pie Burn-Offs and January HIIT BootCamp!

Heather and the HA fitness team x

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

Now there's an idea...

Avoid frantic Amazon searches, tedious queues & sardine-style shopping. Relax & breathe. We've got Christmas sorted with 3 very different gift ideas!

1) The Gift Of Fitness

HA gift voucher.jpg

Our very flexible HA fitness vouchers can be purchased for any value and used as full or part payment for personal training, classes, Boot Camps or a mixture of all of our HA fitness services.

So whether you need a gift for a regular exerciser, or someone who'll appreciate being nudged in the right direction, we can help. And there's free delivery on all orders. Get in touch & let us know who you'd like to treat.

2) Personal Styling And Shopping Vouchers

Charlotte loves gift voucher.jpg

Our most glamorous personal training client and Wimbledon's favourite stylist, Charlotte Broadbent, has a limited number of personal styling and shopping vouchers available this Christmas.

Charlotte says... "Discovering your true colours and most flattering shapes is an experience you'll never forget, for both women and men. Buy a present this year that actually makes a difference.

We wear 20% of our wardrobe, 80% of the time so it's time to detox that wardrobe, piece together new outfits, sell on your old clothes and find the confidence to shop for your perfect colours and shapes."

Get in touch with Charlotte at Charlotte Loves, to find out more about her gift packages.

3) Family Photography Gift Certificates

Julia Boggio.jpg

Long-term friend and client of HA fitness is the multi-award winning photographer, Julia Boggio. She's one of London’s top family portraiture photographers and is based right here in Wimbledon.

Julia says... "2018 will be a year to remember, which is why a gift certificate for family photography would make the perfect present this Christmas."

Get in touch with Julia at Boggio Studios, to find out more about her gift packages.

Happy Shopping!

Heather and the HA fitness team x

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

Little Black Dress Challenge!


Following on from the success of our previous challenges, we've teamed up with local nutrition expert, Marcelle Dubruel, to bring you another great healthy eating & exercise plan, just in time for the Little Black Dress season!

How Does It Work?

Once you've signed up, you'll be invited to join our LBD Closed Facebook Group on the 27th October, where you'll meet your fellow participants. You'll then be able to download your healthy eating plan and get ready to start. Your LBD Challenge runs from the 1st to 30th November.

Over the weeks, within this private group, you'll share your journey, motivating and inspiring each other along the way.

What's Included?

  • A wide range of healthy, balanced, easy to prepare and no-hunger recipes
  • Weekly workouts from the HA fitness team
  • Nutrition and exercise support, answering any questions you may have
  • Membership of our closed Facebook group
  • Daily motivation, inspiration and guidance, helping you to make healthy eating fit around your lifestyle
  • Party survival tips, including what to eat and drink whilst also having fun
  • Bonus Treat Friday - there's cake!

How Much Does It Cost?

  • It's just £65 for the Challenge, and you get to keep all of the recipes.
  • Sign-up with a challenge buddy / introduce a friend, and enjoy a discount. If you sign-up together, it's just £110 for two (you each pay £55).

How Do I Sign-Up?

Head over to our Bootcamp page to book your place, or drop us a line for more info.

And it's not just for girls! Guys are welcome to join the challenge too (Black-Tie Challenge doesn't quite have the same ring to it).

Happy Training!

Heather & The HA Team

P.S. Don't be a plump pumpkin, purchase your class passes online today!

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

Early mornings aren't that scary!!

Early morning.jpg

For the last couple of years, we've kicked off October with our Early Mornings Aren't That Scary campaign. This year we'll be working even harder to get the message out there, so please help us to spread the word!

The aim of the campaign is to get as many people as possible in the park at 6.15am during October.

If you've never been to one of early morning sessions, you're welcome to give it a go for FREE during the month of October (even if you've already come to some of our other classes).

Choose from:


  • 6.15 - 7.00am Wimbledon Village Studio (Cardio Blast)
  • 6.15 - 7.00/7.15am Wimbledon Park (Fit In The Park)


  • 6.15 - 7.00am Wimbledon Village Studio (Yoga/Stretch class)


  • 6.15 - 7.00am Wimbledon Village Studio (Cardio Blast)
  • 6.15 - 7.00/7.15am Wimbledon Park (Fit In The Park)


  • 6.15- 7.00/7.15am South Park Gardens (Fit In The Park)

Don't be spooked by the early morning wake up, come join us and see the difference it makes to your day!


Posted by Heather Waghorn.

Early Morning Cardio Blast Classes

Cardio blast.jpg


6.15-7.00am - Monday mornings
6.15-7.00am - Wednesday mornings

What Is It?

A high energy, fast paced BootCamp designed to burn fat, boost cardio fitness and build muscle strength. Both fun and effective, we'll interlace HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) with innovative circuits and calorie burning workouts.

Who Is It For?

Everyone! We warmly welcome all abilities and offer options for every level. All we ask is that you give us everything you've got for the 45 minutes you're with us!

Where Is It?

Hill Place House, 55a High Street, Wimbledon, London, SW19 5BA

There is free parking at that time in the morning, and a place to get changed too.

How To Book?

To pay for a drop-in class head over to our BootCamp page. To book a slot using your HA fitness pass or as a Boot Camper, drop us a line. Make sure you do book in advance as we are limiting numbers (it's a bit different from being in the park!).

Come along and give us a try - you won't regret it!

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

Set Your Alarm For Early!

good things - sweat.gif

Put down your Sunday night glass of wine. Get your kit ready and go to bed early. Because we'd love to see you in the park or studio at 6.15am tomorrow morning! You'll feel amazingly smug after your workout, and you'll glow all day. It will be worth the early start. We promise!

This week you can choose from the following early morning sessions. They all start at 6.15am and finish at either 7.00am or 7.15am.




You're welcome to use your class passes at any of these sessions. Or you can drop-in to the park for £10 a class or the studio for £12 (you need to pre-book for the later).

See you in the morning!

Heather and the HA fitness team

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

5-day bootcamp next week anyone?

As we all seem to be waking up really early at the moment, it seemed a good idea to put on an early morning 5-day HIIT BeachBody Bootcamp next week in South Park Gardens!

The goal?

To make the most of those extra hours awake, and to do some last minute work on that beach body!

Tempted to join us?

Just give us everything you've got for 45 minutes, everyday, for 5 days. Our fast-paced workouts will blast away that extra winter weight. The back-to-back sessions will both challenge and motivate you.

Who should come?

We welcome both men and ladies of all abilities to join us. It'll be a fantastic and fun way to boost to your summer fitness whatever your current level.

How does it work?

HIIT BeachBody BootCamp will run every morning from 6.15 - 7.00am in South Park Gardens from 26th June to 30th June. If you miss a class, you're welcome to make it up at our Saturday session either at 7.45am or 9.00am.

How do you sign-up?

It's just £45 for the 5 days. Book your place now!

Bookings will close for this BootCamp end of play tomorrow (Friday). This gives us the weekend to plan an amazing week for you!


Posted by Heather Waghorn.

BodyBlitz 30 Day Summer Challenge!

Our New BodyBlitz 30 Day Summer Challenge Starts On Monday!

Hot on the heels of our successful BodyBlitz 6 week challenge, we bring you our NEW BodyBlitz 30 Day SUMMER Challenge.

Follow our healthy eating plan and fitness routines for just 30 days and see the difference in time for the summer.

Read what some of our original BodyBlitzers have to say:

“I have really enjoyed the support and sharing on the Facebook group…… without a doubt spurred me on - I never would have done my 10k run last week so definitely feeling fitter.”

“Have just done a big shop, and the trolley is looking quite different to the way it would have 6 weeks ago!”

“Weight loss has been slow but steady for me - I would say half a stone….. And definitely more Fitness in my life”

“Lots of lovely new recipe ideas to repeat too”

“Breakfast, lunch and dinner all ticked today and tasted like gourmet cuisine”

“Just done workout. Dripping in sweat. What a killer. Great workout”.

“Am loving the new found feeling of being organised where food is concerned.”

“Thanks to all for the support and tips and yummy food pics too!”

Tempted To Join Us?

Our BodyBlitz 30 Day SUMMER Challenge runs from Monday 12th June 2017 to Tuesday 11th July 2017.

Sign-up by Friday 9th June to join our private Facebook Group where you will have access to the Summer Challenge Plan. It costs just £65.

Sign-up now or drop us a line to find out more.

P.S. Follow us on Facebook (hafitnessLtd) for our latest news, offers, photos and top tips from the team!

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

Have you plans for the long weekend?

If not, here's a little help for planning your next 3 days...

Saturday in Wimbledon will be a "mostly dry day with sunny spells developing, and just the odd light shower possible" (Met Office).

So join us tomorrow for Fit In The Park in the sunshine!

Sunday's outlook is "bright and breezy, but with a chance of rain later." So head out for a walk/jog/run in the morning and maybe plan a healthy casserole for the evening (best leave the BBQ in the shed).

It's then going to be "rather cloudy on Monday with some rain, clearing later with winds easing."

We're not running any classes on Monday, so maybe enjoy an easy morning and a bike ride for the afternoon (pack your waterproofs just in case).

We're then back up and running again for a "mostly dry Tuesday with sunny spells".

Check out our full Fit In The Park and Buggyfit timetable here, and then buy your class passes online here.
P.S. This weather report was from the Met Office website...so don't blame me if it rains all weekend!


Posted by Heather Waghorn.

South Park Gardens - Fit in The Park - Summer's coming, we're outside tonight!

Fit In The Park will be back in the park tonight! It's a fantastic way to start the week. We get a lovely mix of both men & women of all fitness levels coming along.

For those of you who don't know it, South Park Gardens is just a 5 min walk from Wimbledon station. If you're driving, there's free parking in Effra, Faraday & Clarence Roads after 6.30pm (some of the other roads are metered at this time). 

So get those trainers on & join us at 7.30pm tonight for some outdoor fitness fun. You can use your HA fitness class passes or drop-in. All details are on our website.

If you can't make it tonight, check out our timetable to find another class that suits you. Don't forget, we've also got lots of exciting courses and BootCamps coming up. Check our web page for more information.

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

NEW HA fitness Body Blitz 6 week challenge!

NEW HA fitness Body Blitz 6 week challenge!

We've teamed up with Marcelle Dubruel, a Wimbledon nutritional therapist specialising in weight and health management.

Marcelle has developed a healthy and tasty eating plan for boosting your metabolism alongside our fitness workouts.

Ready to get your summer body sorted? Join our 6 week Body Blitz challenge and shimmy into summer.

HA Fitness Body Blitz Challenge is good for those who:

  • Want to feel energised, slim and healthy.
  • Would love to shed a few unwanted inches.
  • Are determined to feel “jean” fabulous by the summer.
  • Recognise the winning combination of exercise and balanced eating.
  • Enjoy healthy, family friendly eating for boosting metabolism.
  • Mean to get round to healthier living but life keeps getting in the way!
  • Welcome the support and guidance on just what to do!

HA Fitness Body Blitz Challenge comes in 3 parts:

1. The Meal Plan

A large range of options of tried and tested breakfasts, quick lunches, simple dinners and yummy snacks.

2. Exclusive membership to a closed Facebook Group

You'll be supported throughout the whole 6 weeks within the group. This is where it all happens...

  • All questions are welcome, especially the ones that may feel silly!
  • You can put your hand up and ask for help when you need it.
  • There will be support, encouragement and motivation from your nutritional therapist, Marcelle.
  • You'll be able to share your journey with like-minded Body Blitz enthusiasts, including Heather.
  • We'll give lots of guidance to make the challenge work for you in your lifestyle.
  • You receive Extra Facebook Group Bonuses, including Workout Wednesdays and Treat Fridays!

3. Commitment, support and accountability to exercise

We're asking you to do at least 3 workouts a week, every week, for the duration of the 6 week challenge. These can be at an HA fitness class, personal training session, or on your own (you'll get one workout every Wednesday in the Facebook Group!).

HA Fitness Body Blitz Challenge Housekeeping:

This exclusive challenge is only available to HA fitness personal training clients, holders of HA fitness class passes and current BootCamp members.

The 6 week challenge runs from Monday 24th April 2017 to Sunday 4th June 2017.

Cost: £85

Payment is required in full by 19th April 2017.

Payment secures your place and activates your membership. You will be invited to join the closed HA fitness Body Blitz Facebook group where you will have access to the pre-challenge resources.

Sign-up now! Or drop us a line for more info.

You'll easily get your workouts done at any of our Buggyfit or Fit In The Park sessions. Check out our full timetable for all the details.

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

Thinking about a Guiness?!

Happy St Patrick's Day!

It's St Patrick's Day today, and that can only mean one thing. Guinness tonight and it's Mother's Day next weekend!

Is Guinness really good for you? Well, a few years ago I wrote this little article about how much iron it contains and how far you have to run to burn-off the calories in one pint. Read it and you might thing twice about having some of the black stuff!

On to Mother's Day. I think we can all agree that a healthy mum is a happy mum. And everyone in the house benefits if mum is in a good mood. So why not buy her one of our Gift Vouchers for Mother's Day? Or book that amazing woman in your life onto one of our BootCamps or courses (see below).

If you have a new baby in your house (or you know someone that does) we're celebrating Mother's Day by offering Free Trials at all of our Wimbledon Buggyfit classes throughout March. Head over to our blog for all the details.

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

Will Exercising Before Breakfast Make Me Thin?

Cardio Controversy

Some research suggests that if you exercise first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, it may encourage your body to burn a greater proportion of fat as fuel.

The theory goes that your glycogen stores are depleted from fasting during the night. If you get up, don’t eat anything and immediately start exercising, your body then has to burn more fat as a source of energy.

Fat Chance!

Before you jump out of bed at 5am and head directly out for a run, there are few reasons why this isn’t necessarily a good plan.

Firstly, by skipping breakfast and going straight into your workout, you’re likely to tire sooner than if you’d munched on a banana first. 

Flagging energy levels may result in a shorter or less intensive session and you ultimately burn fewer calories. It can also have a ruinous effect on any type of endurance training.

On top of that, you could end up being so hungry following your workout that you scoff more calories than you would do normally!

Let Not the Sands of Time Spoil Your Breakfast!

Admittedly not everyone can stomach food first thing in the morning and then go straight into a workout. A smoothie or piece of fruit with water might be a wise option. It’s really what works for you.

What I’m trying to get across is that the timing of your cardio workout is not an important factor in fat loss.  The key is to burn more calories than you consume overall. Do this by exercising as much as possible and follow a healthy balanced diet.

My ideal is to get up early, eat a banana wrapped up in a piece of bread, and wash it down with a glass of water. Then get dressed and head out for a run.  It gets the workout done plus you glow with that feel-good factor and a smug sensation all day!


Posted by Heather Waghorn.

Chocolates or flowers this Valentine’s Day?

GUEST BLOGGER, Laura Clark from LECnutrition, discusses what to do when a small 'snack' slides down into the category of a 'small meal'.

The age old saying of a little of what you fancy does you good, might often be in our minds when we justify tucking into our favourite treats that we simply can’t resist. But are we also plagued by thoughts that we ‘shouldn’t’ be snacking on that something ‘naughty’ if we want to lose those few pounds. So what’s the truth, can we or can’t we?

Snacking as a habit is not necessarily a bad one. It has been proven that regular eating (having something to eat every 3-4 hours) is important for regulating metabolism and helps to avoid over eating at meal times. Generally regular eaters have also been shown to have better control over their weight.

The truth is there’s no reason why a little of what you fancy everyday can’t be part of your healthy balanced diet for weight control but what exactly is ‘a little’?!

As a guide, a snack should contain around 100-150kcals. Anymore than this and you’re heading into ‘small meal’ territory and risk taking in more calories than your body needs. 100-150kcals is equivalent to up to 6 chocolate fingers, 3 small squares milk chocolate or even a penguin bar! Chocolate is well known for boosting mood due to the chemical release triggered in the brain and sometimes after the toughest of days it’s the only thing that will hit the spot!

However, before we order our loved ones to buy the biggest box they can find, let’s remember it doesn’t necessarily hit the mark when it comes to combating hunger or providing our bodies with essential nutrients. A diet yoghurt, plain popcorn or half a pita bread with hummous would provide a similar number of calories and a whole lot of nutrition to boot!

For further advice or support with your weight management goals, contact Laura. Telephone consultations are available for busy Mums!

07917 473 181

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

Weight Matters

Beware Of That Torturous Device Lurking In A Corner of Your Bathroom

Do you own a set of dusty, antiquated bathroom scales with a simple needle and dial that allows for a certain amount of optimistic user error? Or maybe you’ve invested in a bells and whistles body composition monitor, complete with WiFi that sends your precise measurements directly to an app on your iphone? Whatever the level of technology, you’re more than likely to have some sort of weight measuring machine tucked away somewhere.

However, no matter how much money you’ve spent on them, bathroom scales are often fickle contraptions that can leave you feeling either deeply offended or over-the-moon, depending on the numbers that they reveal. If this sounds all too familiar, then beware, those numbers are often paint a confusing picture.

The Naked Truth

Surprisingly, when most people glumly stare down at the scales, they don’t account for the actual weight of any food or drink that they’ve recently devoured. It sounds obvious, but the heaviness of whatever you’ve consumed will be included in your recorded weight, as if you were holding it all in your hands, until you eventually excrete it from your body. The same goes for any clothes that you’re wearing.

For women, different times of the month can make you feel bloated and your jeans more of a struggle to do up, even if you have been angelic with your food and exercise regime over the previous few weeks. The best way to manage this is to acknowledge the fact that you may go up and down 3 to 4 pounds throughout your cycle. Learn what your personal levels of fluctuation are over time, and stay positive, as commiserating with chocolate every month certainly won’t help the cause!

Free Yourself From The Daily Insults

If you’re one of those people who regimentally jumps on the scales every morning, then you’re likely to set yourself up for failure at least once a week.

However, just because you’ve put a pound on in the last 24 hours, it doesn’t mean that your weight loss programme is a complete disaster and that you should wave the white flag, giving it all up for a large slice of cake. It’s just a natural blip, and, as your weight goes up and down all the time, you should be back on track in a day or so.

It’s more sensible, however, to weigh yourself on a weekly basis. Plot this figure on a graph, so that you can smooth out any fluctuations, and then look at your monthly moving average. You could also print the graph off and stick it on your fridge to keep you focused. It might all sound a bit nerdy, but at least you’ll be a healthy and slim-looking nerd!

As a guide for weight loss, you’re looking for a general downward trend of 1 to 2 pounds per week. Anymore than this, and you’re likely to be losing muscle mass, and will probably put all of it back on again. Any less than this, and you could possibly be trying a bit harder!

A Balancing Act

The easiest way to do an accurate weigh-in is to get yourself on the scales first thing in the morning, in your birthday suit, before breakfast and after you’ve been to the toilet.

When planning your weigh-ins, it’s worth noting that mid-week assessments will typically give you more favourable results than on a Monday morning after an excessive weekend!

If you’re also measuring body composition (the percentage of body fat, muscle and water), you’re likely to be de-hydrated first thing in the morning, which will affect your readings. Although your actual amount of body fat will not change throughout the day, your overall body fat percentage will, as your water levels fluctuate. It’s therefore recommended to measure your body fat percentages in the early evening, before dinner, and when your body is fully hydrated. Don’t forget that your hydration levels are also affected by exercise, heat and alcohol (even if you can still read the numbers!).

Body fat levels change slowly over time, and so again, you need to be looking at the long-term trend. If you’re looking to loose weight, you should be aiming to drop around 1% to 2% of body fat each month.

If this all sounds complex, and you switched off a couple of paragraphs ago, the most important thing to remember is consistency. Do your best to duplicate your weigh-in conditions every time. This means the same time of day, what you’ve eaten and drunk, the amount of clothing, whether it’s pre or post work-out etc. Remember, the harder you train and the healthier you eat, the better the results.

Don’t Be a Slave to The Numbers

If you’re watching your weight, but are now put off by using bathroom scales, then there is another way. 

My personal preference is how my clothes are fitting, my level of fitness, how much energy I have and how healthy, strong and lean I feel. Your own perceptions can be the most valuable tools to help you track your weight. A full-length mirror and trustworthy friends are also good sources of information!

If you prefer something more mathematical, you can also take body measurements with a tape measure and body fat callipers. Provided that they are used correctly, preferably by a trained professional, they will give highly accurate readings of your size and body fat. Although, be prepared to be prodded and poked a little!

The Bottom Line

Scales are useful tools for watching and controlling your weight over a period of time, however regular weigh-ins aren’t the only or necessarily best option, and there are many other ways of monitoring your health.

And finally, a word of warning about result fixing techniques, like putting the scales on a slope to achieve a favourable weight, or jumping on and off them as quickly as possible to limit the damage.  It’s called cheating and we’ve seen it all before. If this sounds familiar, do give us a call, as we’ll certainly be able to help put you back on track again!


Posted by Heather Waghorn.

Avoid Gaining Excess Baggage This Holiday

If you’ve spent the last few months working hard to get your beach body ready for action, the last thing you want to do is see the pounds pile back on whilst you’re on holiday. Here are a few tips to avoid turning from beach babe to beached whale:

Count Your Cocktail Calories

Depending on how it’s made, a large Pina Colada can contain more calories than a Big Mac (490 calories), so make shrewd choices when you’re checking-out the cocktail list.  Better still, rather than a cocktail, opt for spirits such as vodka, whiskey or gin and have them on the rocks, or with a low calorie mixer, sipped not gulped!

Drink plenty of water to keep you both hydrated and feeling full. Add lemon or lime and ice-cubes to make it more appealing. Never use alcohol to try and quench your thirst, an ice cold beer may taste refreshing, but it won’t do your hydration levels or waistline any good!

Select, Seduce And Stay Slim

Holidays aren’t the time for strict diets, so do allow yourself some treats. Calorific indulgences should, however, be something that you’re really going to enjoy, rather than just a stale bit of sweet bread, so spend time selecting the best treat you can possibly find.

Don’t rush, holidays are all about slowing down and taking it easy. Allow yourself to be seduced by your food, enjoy everything about it including the presentation, aroma, texture and taste. By literally savouring every mouthful, you’ll end up eating far less and enjoy your food a lot more.

Restaurant Rules

In the restaurant, avoid munching on the mountains of free bread that you’re given. Save yourself for your meal, it’ll taste much nicer if you haven't already binged on tastless snacks first. If you’re waiting for a course to come, use the time to re-fresh your palette with some sin-free water.

Try not to have a starter, a pudding and a high calorie alcoholic drink all in one sitting. Opt for one out of the three or just go for the main meal. Remember that a couple of cocktails and a dessert everyday could add half a stone to your waistline by the end of a week!

If you’re on an all-inclusive holiday, keep reminding yourself that just because it’s all paid for, it doesn’t mean you have to eat it all. And don’t take the “all-you-can-eat buffet” idea too literally!

It’s All About Balance

Finally, try to make some healthy choices everyday, but make sure it doesn’t become a chore that ruins your holiday. Make a concerted effort to balance out any extra calories that you take on, by being as active as possible. Plan to swim and walk everyday, and take advantage of any fitness classes that might be going on, or a gym that you could use.  

Enjoy your holiday, have fun and don’t forget to pack your trainers!


PS. You’ll find some more holiday tips in my 2008 article: Forget Credit, You’re The One Who Should Be Crunching This Summer

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

Waist Assessment

It’s no secret that body fat likes to make itself at home on your tummy, thighs and bum. However people who predominantly carry fat around their middle (as opposed to elsewhere on their body) are more prone to health issues such as type 2 diabetes and heart problems.

Working out your risk level is simple, as all you need is a trusty tape measure and the instructions below. You can do this by yourself at home, and no one else needs to know your measurements!

Measure your waist

On one side of your body (rather than the front), measure halfway between your lowest rib and the top of your hipbone (iliac crest). This is roughly in line with your belly button. Stand up and breathe out when you do this. Make sure your tummy muscles are completely relaxed, let it all hang out!

For women:

Ideal: less than 80cm (32”).   
High: 80cm to 88cm (32” to 35”).
Very high: more than 88cm (35”).

For men:

Ideal: less than 94cm (37”).
High: 94cm to 102cm (37” to 40”).
Very high: more than 102cm (40”). 

Measure your hips

Next, measure your hips at their widest point, the bum (ie. where your buttocks protrude the greatest). It's important not to cheat and pull the tape tight when doing either of these measurements!

Your waist-to-hip ratio

Divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement. A ratio of 1.0 or more in men or 0.85 or more in women indicates that you are carrying too much weight around your middle. This puts you at increased risk of diseases that are linked to obesity, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Focus on improvement

Anyone who is carrying excess weight, regardless of where on the body, would benefit from adopting a healthier lifestyle. Set some realistic weight loss goals, and focus on improving your measurements, rather than dwelling on what your “norm” should be.

You only have one body, so look after it!


Posted by Heather Waghorn.

Exercising The Winter Blues

Hands up who has looked out of the window recently and been turned cold by the thought of exercise? You could be forgiven, but think again because maintaining or even starting a new fitness regime in the winter is actually proven to boost your immune system, stave off winter blues and set you up perfectly for wearing those skimpy summer clothes.

There are in fact loads of reasons why it’s worth getting kitted-up and braving the chilly conditions for a workout. So, from what to wear to how to tell if you’re well enough to do exercise, here are just a few tips from Kate Dorward, HA Fitness Personal Trainer, to help motivate you into action.

Avoiding Winter Weight Gain

The average person puts on 7 to 12 lbs (approx 3 to 5 kg) each winter, mainly thanks to Christmas excesses and because during the short, cold and miserable winter days, we crave comfort foods to lift our spirits. Added to that, exercise often takes a back seat in extreme weather conditions. But just because it’s winter doesn’t mean going into exercise hibernation.

Winter does boast cool, crisp, bright days where a layer of shimmering frost has never made your local park look more magical, but even when it’s not like that and it seems like it’s been raining non-stop for as long as you can remember, there is reward for braving the elements. Those who make the effort to get out for a walk or a run on these days will testify that they often get the most satisfaction from their achievement.

Not only does getting out of the house to do some exercise get you safely out of reach from the biscuit barrel, it will help you boost your energy, blitz body fat and beat cravings.

Be Prepared

The key to ‘enjoying’ exercise in inclement weather is wearing the right kit.

Wear several layers, including a hat and gloves, to keep you warm, especially as you warm up and cool down. During the main section of your work out you should get pretty warm, so make sure your top layers are light so they can be easily stowed or tied around your waist. If it’s raining, a cap to keep the rain off your face, and a water-proof coat are a must, as once you’re wet you will cool down very quickly.

Spend longer warming up to avoid injury, and think about keeping your cool down short, perhaps completing stretches from the warmth and comfort of your home.

Get Your Baby Prepared Too

Taking your baby out in the worst of the weather might seem odd, but fresh air is always good for little lungs and a healthy dose of oxygen does wonders for relaxing babies.

Provided your little one is layered up too and has a hat and gloves, as well as a snuggly suit and/or cosy toes to nestle into, then they should be happily cocooned in their buggy. Always have your rain cover to hand, not just  to avoid getting wet but also because it will protect your baby from the chilly winter wind, which can make it feel colder than it really is.

The Ultimate Cold Busting Remedy

As already mentioned, exercise boosts your immune system. Regular exercisers are proven to suffer from fewer ailments and to bounce back better following illness.

What if you already have a cold? Is it safe to exercise or should you cosy yourself in at home until you feel better again? Of course it’s down to you to decide, but the general rule of thumb is that provided you don’t have a temperature and your symptoms are from the neck up, then a bit of fresh air and some gentle exercise are helpful ways of helping clear a stuffy nose.

If you are running a fever, or are experiencing symptoms from the neck down, then you are excused and a date with the duvet is perfectly legitimate and necessary to get you back on your feet.

Mum’s have the added worry of their little ones health. If your baby has a sniffle is it wise to expose them to the icy air or will that make them worse? The same rule applies: provided your baby is not running a temperature and is only suffering a mild head cold, then getting them out of a stuffy environment and into the fresh air is generally regarded as a good idea.  As mum’s ourselves, we can also vouch that a change of scenery is always helpful in calming a grisly tot feeling a little out of sorts!

Summer Is Just Around The Corner...

A final word: if you’re currently hiding under thick baggy jumpers, remember there are fewer than six weeks until spring. So if you want to be ready to shed the layers and wear your skimpier wardrobe with confidence, now is the time to start putting in the effort!

Kate Dorward
HA Fitness Personal Trainer, Wimbledon Buggyfit Instructor and Mum of Ella and Freya

Posted by Heather Waghorn.