Walking for Fitness, Fun and Charity

women running

I am a massive advocate of walking. Apart from the fact that scientists have discovered a daily brisk walk can delay the ageing process by 12 years, it’s a great weight-bearing exercise so perfect for keeping bones healthy. And – if you do it fast enough – it helps keep the wobble under control. There are even more fabulous benefits: For me, walking every day means I keep my fitness levels fairly constant, my dog gets his exercise and I can guarantee that if I leave the house feeling under the weather, I’ll return after a walk (rain or shine) feeling much brighter. It’s a natural, free happiness booster and as I mentioned here in my last post, I want to bring more of them our way!

Team SOLE Shine Walk training
Team SOLE Shine Walk training

The social aspect of walking is always a bonus – unlike jogging and running, you can hold a conversation with your friends without panting and having to stop mid-goss to get your breath back! That’s why this year, I wanted to take my usual choice of charity walk/run up a notch. So instead of the 5k Race For Life, I’m pleased to be joining a team of great women (including my gorgeous daughter, Aimee, below) to take part in the Cancer Research Shine Night Walk. I’ve opted for the 13 mile walk through London at night rather than the full marathon 26 miles because…well…because I’m a scaredy cat!

Me and Aimee at Race for Life
Me and Aimee at Race for Life

I’m really looking forward to the walk, as well as catching up with the team, but I just hope I’ve trained enough and that my niggly hip doesn’t cause me too much trouble.

One thing I can be sure of though, is that my feet should be comfortable because our team have been sponsored by SOLE whose unique orthopaedic footbeds and footwear adapt to the body to offer optimal support. They have sent our team a range of footbeds, the softest, bounciest socks I’ve ever worn (can socks be bouncy?) and some fab flip flops which look great with my tanned toes!

silver flip flops sole

Shine Walk Bits

Of course, walking to raise money for the Cancer Research charity is the main point of the Shine Walk and I’m delighted to be part of the hundreds of walkers who are going to do our best to help kick cancer’s butt!

If you’d like to donate, it would be much appreciated and you can click on mine and Aimee’s page here.

Thank you everyone and wish us luck! xx 

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Fitness Review on SpeedFlex 30

Speedflex fitness

I’m fortunate that as a beauty and wellbeing journalist, I’m often asked by PRs to try a variety of products, treatments or classes that might be suitable for review in one of the publications I write for – or also on my blog. And with Glowology beginning to pick up the pace and get noticed in the industry thanks to my lovely followers and readers – that’s you! 🙂 – I can report back on the things that I’ve enjoyed and that I think you – as 40+ gorgeous, glam women (and men) – would be interested in knowing about. So, last month I was asked to try out a revolutionary new fitness class, Speedflex 30 and here’s my take on it…

Disembarking at Bank Underground Station at lunch time felt a bit like walking onto the set of Wolf of Wall Street. I felt decidedly under dressed in my Sweaty Betty day glo vest and sporty capri pants and hoped the SpeedFlex HQ wouldn’t be too far away. With the smartly dressed throng around me and with my rather ample thighs and tummy not quite under control in all that lycra, I felt as if I was doing the walk of shame! So, sunglasses on, I power walked the 5 minutes to the gym to give myself an air of confidence.

I soon realised that this was a gym like no other I’d visited before – there were no free weights, Stairmasters, rowing machines or bicycles but simply 2 spacious studios each housing seven black, rather stylish machines which looked totally unfamiliar and fairly space-agey. I found myself humming the theme to Star Wars as friendly fitness instructor, Hayley got me set up with a strap on heart monitor which would display my heart rate on a studio screen in order to check my progress during the workout. I was intrigued!

After a comprehensive consultation and a demonstration of the machines, the class began to fill up with such a wide variety of types I felt I could almost have been standing in a supermarket queue rather than a trendy studio in the heart of London. My surprised expression, prompted Hayley to explain that because the machines are hydrolic – meaning they respond to the force of the user as opposed to the addition of weights – the system allows for a professional athlete to train alongside a pensioner and there is no risk of injury. Ahh, that explains it! And the major benefit of these machines means there is no damage to muscles and little to no soreness after workouts. That’s a major plus for me as I’m often known to be limping around moaning about aches and pains for days (weeks) after a hard fitness class.

speedflex crunch

I enjoyed the atmosphere of the small group class – especially as we were all so different in shape, size and age that there was a feeling of friendliness and encouragement rather than competition. The athletic fitties haven’t been overlooked at Speedflex though as I noticed a beefcake competition in full force in another studio…well, it was hard not to look!

My thirty minute class consisted of circuits using each machine for a duration of 20 seconds with a buzzer indicating when to change. I huffed and puffed my way around, pulling and pressing, squatting and stretching against my own resistance, realising I could work as hard or as little as I wanted depending on the effort I put in – the machine matched my resistance. Moves such as arm lifts with kettle balls and crunches were interspersed between machines to ensure a full body workout. There was a point when I looked up at the class screen only to see my heart rate was blank – I knew I’d been working hard but I didn’t feel like I was a gonner quite yet, so I was relieved when I realised my monitor had simply unhinged itself! Phew…

phew

After the thirty minutes was up, Hayley congratulated us all for working so hard and called out our progress statistics – the monitor showed us how hard we’d worked individually in which particular section of the workout as well as how many calories we’d burnt. I had squatted, lunged and military pressed my way to burning up a whopping 500 calories in 30 minutes with the proof in black and white. I’d heard Speedflex could become addictive – and now I understood why!

This is the ideal exercise for people who have a lot of weight to lose but don’t know where to start, those who have been injured and are trying to get back to health as well as those who just want to work as hard as they can without the risk incurring or aggravating injuries. The fact that the class was only 30 minutes was a bonus as I felt it eliminated the excuse not to give it a go due to time restraints.

For information contact www.speedflex.com. Each class costs £30 or £150 per month. 33-36 Lombard Street, London EC3V (0844 543 363)

Let me know if you give it a try it!

Jog On – From Couch to 5k

lisa jogging

I’m not a natural jogger by any stretch of the imagination, so when Best magazine asked if I’d like to write a regular blog about my experiences of training to get from couch to 5k, I had to think twice. What if I couldn’t do it? I’m okay at fooling myself – a little quicker than average walk to the end of the road then stopping for a coffee and croissant because I’d just ‘been good’, is about my norm. But if I agreed to Best mag’s challenge, I knew my Leo pride wouldn’t allow me to let real readers down – which meant I had to really try! So I took up the gauntlet and surprised myself…

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