winter training

Last call for HIIT Boot Camp - January 2018!

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The lovely Claire is kicking off our first HIIT BootCamp of 2018 in Wimbledon Park tomorrow morning!

If you're still making your mind up about coming, now's the time to throw caution to the wind & commit!

We start tomorrow in Wimbledon Park at 6.15am (finishing at 7.00am).

Training over 5 consecutive mornings, you'll get a full body workout, combining strength, cardio, endurance, core & functional movement. You'll scorch calories & be challenged from head to toe.

But I'm not feeling very fit?

Don't worry. We'll be offering different levels to suit all abilities. Beginners, weekend warriors & serious fitness freaks are all welcome.

What if I can't make every session?

No problem. You can make up a class at one of our regular Fit In The Park classes.

But I don't want to go on my own?

You'll be introduced to all of our Boot Campers on the first day. We'll then work hard to ensure an inclusive, motivating spirit and strong sense of comradeship during the week. It'll be great fun too!

So when is it? 

  • Monday - Friday: 6.15 - 7.00am

Where and when is it?

How much does it cost?

  • £45 for each 5-day Boot Camp.

How do I book?

Happy Training!

Posted by Heather Waghorn.

Ready for Action!

Happy New Year!

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It's that time of year when your inbox is full of "Unleash The New You" and "New Year, New You" emails. Well, here's another one, but it's short so do bear with us...

We're kicking off 2018 with our 6.15am Fit In The Park class in Wimbledon Park tomorrow morning. Why don't you join us? It'll be fun and you'll burn loads of calories, we promise.

If you can't get to that one, we're in South Park Gardens at 6.15am on Thursday, so no excuses!

Our Buggyfit classes are back in the park this Thursday too. Meet us in South Park Gardens at 9.30am and then 11.00am in Wimbledon Park.

Check out our full Buggyfit and Fit In The Park timetable, and then head over to our purchase page to buy your passes online.

If you've been tempted by our January HIIT Boot Camps in Wimbledon Park  and South Park Gardens, but haven't signed up yet, do it now!

Going skiing? Join our Ski-Fit Boot Camp to get the most out of your trip, reduce your risk of injury & be more confident on the slopes.

If you missed out on a place on our BoxFit Boot Camp, we are hoping to add another class to our timetable starting next week. Reply to this email and let us know you want to hear about it first.

Lots and lots and lots more to come.

Wishing you & your family a fantastic 2018!

Heather & the HA fitness team x

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.

Don’t Hibernate this Winter, Train Outside!

The weather at this time of year is often used as an excuse not to exercise outside; it’s too cold, too wet, too windy, and/or too dark. All excuses I’ve heard and, I have to admit, occasionally used myself. But all it takes is some planning and a bit of extra kit, and you’ll get a huge sense of satisfaction and generally feel great and smug for doing it.

Copious benefits to the mind, body and soul!

If you spend most of your time in an office, and go to work in a car, train or tube, then surely the last thing you’d want to do at the end of the day is to head off to another artificial people container for a workout?

Isn’t it time your body saw the light?

If you head outside, you’ll feel more energised and be more inclined to be active. There’s nothing like a battling against the elements to really focus the mind on what’s important, and help relieve you of the stresses of the day.

Unlike in the gym, you can take in different scenery everyday, providing diverse views and stimulus for your workouts. You’ll get to appreciate the change of seasons, see the colours and shapes of the landscape transforming, and get to meet some interesting people along the way!

Challenge yourself

Training outside can work your body in ways that a gym workout will never achieve. It asks more of your body as a whole. Different surfaces offer different challenges. Grass, gravel, mud, stones and tree roots all intensify the workout, increasing the demand on your core, and the muscles and ligaments that stabilize your body. Your balance, co-ordination and proprioceptive skills will rapidly improve, as you encourage your body to do more complex movements over difficult terrain.

The weather also adds an interesting challenge, and the wind can be both your friend and foe. If you push hard into the wind at the beginning of your run, it will give you a helping hand on the way back!

No more smelly changing rooms!

Outside training also means that you’re likely to come straight back home afterwards. You don’t have to worry about packing a gym bag, remembering change for the locker, forgetting to bring clean underwear, getting verrucas, and sharing grim changing rooms.

You can come back to the comfort of your own bathroom, use as many towels as you like, and not having a stranger’s bum in your face when you’re putting your socks on!

And if that hasn’t convinced you…

Think of all the germs that circulate in the air conditioning at a gym. You’ll be taking in big gulps of them during a tough workout! But when you’re outside, you can fill your lungs with lots of healthy, natural fresh air and get a rosy glow to your cheeks too!

And exercising outside is free!

I’m a Londoner, I live nowhere near the countryside!

Londoners should actually find it easier to access ‘The Great Outdoors’, than anyone else in England. In a recent study published by the Audit Commission*, 92 per cent of footpaths and rights of way in London that are in or lead to open spaces and countryside are considered ‘easy to use’, giving you good access to some amazing green spaces. The overall average for England was 76.3 percent, so no excuses!

*The Best Value Performance Indicator 2006-2007, Audit Commission Local Government Compendium

But what about the cold and rain?

Read my article on There’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing! to find out how to protect yourself from the elements. And just think how nice that lovely warm shower will be when you get back, you’ll appreciate it so much more after a challenging run outside!

Safety comes before fashion at night

Make sure you wear bright coloured clothing or reflective gear if you go out in the dark and on a gloomy days. Florescent hats and gloves are a popular option, and are stocked by most running shops.

Share the pleasure & the pain

When it's dark, make your personal safety a priority and don't go out alone. Workout with a friend or trainer, or join an outside exercise class or running club. Stick to well lit, populated areas and be aware of what's happening around you. 

It's also more fun to train with other people, and you're more likely to push yourself further and less likely to wimp out when the weather is really bad!

Warm up first

Finally, you need to look after your body a bit more when you train outside. You're at greater risk of pulling muscle when running in the cold, so warm up slowly. Some people prefer to warm up inside first before they head out.

Posted by Heather Waghorn.