If your new year’s resolution is to get in shape, then read on. Here you will find fitness tips and advice plus details of local classes that can help you on your way to achieving your fitness goals.


Kettlebells – big calorie burner


Kettlebells are cast iron weights, ranging from 5 lbs to over 100 lbs, shaped like a ball with a handle for easy gripping. The kettlebell originated in Russia and was popular in the U.S. decades ago, but has hit a resurgence in the last few years with a flurry of classes, videos and books. The reason? Kettlebells offer a different kind of training using dynamic moves targeting almost every aspect of fitness – endurance, strength, balance, agility and cardio endurance.
The idea is to hold the kettlebell in one or both hands and go through a variety of swings (e.g., the one-arm swing), presses (e.g., clean, push and press) or pulling motions (e.g., the high pull). Some movements have you changing the weight from hand to hand as the weight swings up or as you move laterally, requiring you to stabilize the body and engage the core in a whole new way. Other moves require power from the legs and hips to move the weight, giving you integrated whole body movements that are often missing with other types of training.


Kettlebells are great for full-body conditioning and they offer big results but with less time spent in the gym. They are also a major calorie burning which is a bonus ☺ (In a recent study conducted by the highly respected American Council on Exercise, participants burned approximately 20 calories per minute-that’s 1,200 calories per hour.)


If you want to take your fitness to a new level, or you’re actually serious about losing those pounds, burning those calories and actually toning up, then the Kettlebells are definitely for you.


Many thanks to Chiltern Cross Fit for providing the above. 


Pilates – for a long, lean & toned body


pilatesPilates is a body-conditioning method that works in a different way to other fitness techniques. Targeting the deep postural muscles, it works by building strength from the inside out, rebalancing the body and bringing it into correct alignment. It helps to reshape your body which will become longer, leaner and more toned. It will also improve your posture, achieving the perfect balance between strength and flexibility, and is a great way to relieve unwanted stress and tension. Ideal for athletes looking to enhance their performance and avoid the risk of injury, it is equally suitable for the first time exerciser. Its slow, controlled approach means that it gives longer-term results – and it is especially recommended by medical specialists for those with back problems.


Many thanks to Body Control Pilates with Sam Sidley for providing the above.


Nordic Walking / Ski Fit – great for all ages and fitness levels

nordic walking 

Nordic walking is the fastest growing fitness activity in the world with over 10 million enthusiasts now regularly taking part in what was originally used by super fit cross country skiers as a way to stay fit during the summer.


It’s suitable for all ages and fitness levels, simple to learn and really sociable. By using the specially designed poles, you can use all the major muscles in the body and burn significantly more calories than walking or even jogging. The poles also reduce the pressure on the knees and joints and the gentle upper body movement is great for easing back and neck pain too.


And if you are planning a skiing holiday, why not consider a six week “Ultimate Nordic” Ski Fit course, created by leading winter sports experts and focusing on Weight Transfer, Balance, Co-ordination, Muscular power and strength, Agility, Flexibility and Cardiovascular fitness. It is clear that Nordic Walking is not just a “walk in the park”.


Many thanks to MCL Fitness for providing the above.


Zumba – Calorie burning fun!


ZumbaAre you ready to party yourself into shape? That’s exactly what the Zumba® program is all about. It’s an exhilarating, effective, easy-to-follow, Latin-inspired, calorie-burning dance fitness-party™ that’s moving millions of people toward joy and health. The catchy music takes your mind off of the exercise and you don’t realise how hard you are working. You don’t have to know how to dance, just move your body and follow the instructors lead. Classes are suitable for all ages & all levels.


Many thanks to Zumba for providing the above.




Click here to see listings & reviews of all local gyms and fitness classes and join in the ‘chatter’ about getting into shape, click here.