How to Start Running

run it never gets easier you just get strongerLots of us don’t enjoy the prospect of exercising indoors in a class or gym environment or even at home, least of all when the weathers nice. We want to do “outdoorsy” things and be active. Or we see regular joggers and runners heading off down the road and think that we would love to be able to run but it’s just too hard or we just aren’t fit enough or our joints can’t take it, truth be told you wouldn’t be running for your joints benefit so if you want to take care of them then eat right stretch and keep mobile maybe supplement if necessary but there’s no reason your joints should be an issue.

Before I go off point with this I’ll anticipate people may dispute my last statement and explain in advance people with underlying health or joint issues may be limited but it really depends on your expectations and requirements i.e someone with a form of arthritis in their knees and hips may be limited or may find it painful at times but that’s where the approach should be altered not the exercise excluded.. if you can walk you can run!

So how to go about it? Well you crawl before you walk as you must walk before you jog and jog before you run, don’t rush it, treat it as a hobby or discipline lean the basics before you master the art. The depth to this point is largely misunderstood as well when I say learn the basics we could be talking walking running in the pool we could be looking at correcting gait and lower limb function or developing a stronger core to support the joints involved instead of it being an over night thing it becomes a life long development or interest but that’s much better than just trying to do it to lose weight! So if you want start running and once started want to keep running I’ve listed a few pointers I would consider.

  1. Start by walking: it’s the best way to start using and building the muscles you will later rely on. It will help develop strength endurance of theses muscles as well as build your cardio vascular capability and it will help de-stress and find the right head space.
  2. Listen to your body: if it doesn’t like the way your doing it, it will tell you, don’t be afraid to turn it back a little if you move forward too quickly.
  3. Jog/run at a pace that is comfortable: kind of following on from number 2, the biggest hurdle I come across with beginners or returners is the need to adapt a pace to fast to be maintainable or controllable, so start real slow and let your cardio vascular system catch up.
  4. Get some support: it’s really difficult to actually know what’s happening with the body, it will give you lots of different signs to be interpreted in many possible ways.. my biggest regret is not relying on a physio more through my training, once a week/fortnight/month could make all the difference.
  5. Don’t just join a club: whilst the motivation and support will be great their is no guarantee that will be enough, or even the best approach for you, for many reasons running is good for you but it can also be bad so don’t just use one source of info or advice refer back to number 4 and number 2.
  6. Consider rest and recovery the most important part of development: exercise breaks the body! It doesn’t fix it, if you’ve been to FitFarms you will of heard me say that.. and it applies especially to runners. Something about the buzz they get when they find their stride next thing you know you can’t keep them out of their running shorts, every night and twice at weekends.. it’s great to see but for really sustainable development your rest and recovery is key without it. Your body will break.
  7. Don’t just run: it is a physically stressful exercise also one dimensional and as discussed in number 6 addictive, you need variety and broad development so consider other activities that will rest your muscles or at least use them in a different manner whilst still helping you improve, 2 prime examples are boxing and swimming two amazing cardio vascular exercises that do not use the body in the same way as running.
  8. Get the right shoes: I still can’t figure out what’s best for me.. less support or more, sometimes I feel better in my barefoots sometimes in my £20 amazon specials but that’s me and I have two guaranteed options there make sure you figure out what’s best before you start putting any real miles down.
  9. Choose different distances and tempos: so many clients I speak to always work on the same pace and trying to improve distance or time, I’m sure the pro’s probably do this already but I feel the info is not being carried as well to the amateurs and part timers, just because you can run 5k in this time doesn’t mean you have to, keep your body guessing and allow it to build in more dimensions. Sprint work, jog walk, run, intervals, hill climbs, treadmill, stride patterns and gait work, road or off.. just some of the variables..
  10. You don’t need carbs!: really I just threw this in to round it off to 10 but a lot of the full time runners will swear they need the sugar or they can eat processed carbs because they’ll burn it off when they run.. just because it doesn’t show on the outside doesn’t mean an over indulgence of crappy processed sugars won’t hurt you inside. The frightening thing is you probably won’t realise until it’s too late. By all means enjoy your food as I would say to anyone treat yourself and live 80/20 I’m not saying you shouldn’t touch these things just don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need them for exercise.. you body already has it covered!.. to follow this blog will be one with some possible exercise routines to play with in order to get you up and running.

Health and Fitness editorial by the FitFarms team. FitFarms specialises in Fitness and Weight Loss Holidays for people of all different fitness levels, shapes and sizes. Check out our next courses here

Image credit: Shecanandshedid.com

FitFarms Legs, Bums & Tums Exercise

You earn your body












  • Perform exercise 1
  • Perform exercise 2 followed by 1
  • Perform exercise 3 followed by 2 & 1
  • Perform exercise 4 followed by 3, 2 & 1
  • Rest for 1 minute between blocks.

Block 1:

  1. 3 step squat, x 6
  2. Single leg Romanian dead lift (alternating legs), x 6 each side
  3. Round the world lunges x 6
  4. Kneeling to standing (alternating legs) x 6

Block 2*:

  1. Kneeling bridge x 12
  2. Single leg kneeling bridge* x 12
  3. Supine glute bridge x 12
  4. Single leg glute bridge* x 8

Block 3: Repeat Block 2 with the opposite leg

Block 4:

  1. Side lying abduction x 12
  2. Side lying hip flexion x 12
  3. Side lying abduction x 12
  4. Side lying abduction (2/2: pausing 1/2 way up & 1/2 way down) x 6

Block 5: Repeat Block 4 with the opposite leg

Block 6*:

  1. Supine toe taps (alternating legs) x 12
  2. Supine leg extension* (alternating legs) x 12
  3. Flutter kicks x 12 (6 up & 6 down)
  4. Supine leg lower* x 6

Block 7:

  1. Quadruped in/out abs x 6 each side (change leg 1/2 way)
  2. Moving plank (or 30 second plank hold) x 3 squares: forward, side, backwards, side
  3. Breast stroke x 12
  4. Donkey kicks (double or single leg) x 6


*Block 2: The left leg in front for exercise 2) & raised for exercise 4) will work the right leg.
Alternate between the right & left legs if having difficulty performing exercises on the same leg.
If exercise 4) is difficult perform the standard glute bridge only lifting one leg once positioned at the top of the bridge.

Block 6*: Exercise 2) is a progression of exercise 1) if difficult perform by sliding legs away along the floor.
If exercise 4) is difficult perform single legged, bending up the opposite leg keeping the foot in contact with the floor


Check out FitFarms exercise courses for 2018:

Image credit: Quoteslifewiki.com

There’s Snow Reason to Not Exercise

HobbyHere’s one of our London Fitness Camp all rounder routine for when you have the time but not through choice..

Warm up.. Neck rolls, shoulder rolls, arm circles, side to side reaches, hip rolls, hip hinge, deep squat, side lunge to runners lunge.. 30-40 seconds each.. or a minute to 1:30 if you fancy a real good warm up..

Fitness Camp Movement practice .. 5-10 minutes of each (not fitness or strength related it is not necessary to be out of breath while doing this) Prone position play In the press up position keeping either your hands or feet in one place try to move in as many different directions as possible make yourself as small as possible or as long.. move 180 degrees around shift forward and back and side to side Kneeling play..

In a kneeling position reach as far forward and behind as possible try to make each point of a clock face. Core strength and conditioning.. (1 minutes per exercise stopping to reset every time your back starts to ache or you feel you have lost the held position) Dead bug Bird man V-sit hold (Stretching into the rotation of the movement, don’t accept your natural finish point try to squeeze through it)

Supine alternating reach Sit back reach behind Treadmills Full body challenge .. 40 seconds work 20 seconds rest x 2 Rolling press ups / Hindu press ups Single leg squat thrusts Squat to centipede Hip lifts/glute bridge Table op glute bridge with dip ext

Weight Loss Boot Camp Resistance band arms and legs (20 reps per exercise 2-3 sets 20-30 seconds rest between)

Good mornings + deadlifts Squats + shoulder press Reverse flyes + over head squats Wood chop + side lunge upright row Cardio to finish.. (30 seconds per exercise start with 1 then take 10 seconds rest then do 2 and take 10 seconds rest then 3 etc until you’ve done all 5 in a row and then do it in reverse by removing one exercise at a time

Do this 2 times through for around 15 minutes work Sprints on the spot Jumping jacks or power jacks Front kicks or squat kicks Floor to ceiling Skaters Cool down as warm up.. (I personally don’t think we need static stretches at the end of a fitness camp workout so my warm ups are generally similar to the cool downs this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use static stretches during your weekly or monthly plan..

Hope you guys enjoy this and get in touch via our Facebook page or FitFarms website if you have any questions.




Image source: www.pinterest.com.au/ldkelley2

FitFarms for Families at London Fitness Boot Camp

Fitness FamiliesOne of our most popular courses is the FitFarms for Families programme. They run during the school holidays and have become very popular. The next available one is at FitFarms London Fitness Boot Camp which is in easy driving distance from the M25 and is already 50% occupied.

On the latest spring half term course we had 8 children and 9 adults from England and Ireland. These style of fitness camps are important to be experienced by both the child and parent so when they go home to their normal lifestyle they can support each other towards their weight loss and fitness goals.

Kim the FitFarms holistic weight loss boot camp dance instructor was in charge of the majority of children’s sessions. She did some simple dance step classes, agility using cones and some games style exercises using balls.

The children were all fantastic and one day even went walking in the snow. It was absolutely freezing but they dressed up well in hats and gloves and off they went into the snowy distance.

The next FitFarms For Families course is on May 25th and is at our London holistic weight loss boot camp. It’s easy for driving and if you do decide to drive we have plenty of free parking at the weight loss and fitness camp.

FitFarms Curry Fish Recipe

Fish Curry Recipe







Prepare an amazingly delicious Curry Fish Recipe.

This preparation will serve for 2 people.


  • 350g mixed fish
  • 400g cauliflower
  • 1 TSP curry powder or paste
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger
  • 3 TSP chopped coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/3 fresh chilli
  • 1/2 lime zest and juice
  • 6 TSP coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Boil the cauliflower and over cook to make pure
  • Drain and add the rest of the ingredients and blend until it’s a paste.
  • Mix with the fish and cook for 5 to 6 minutes.

You can serve with purple broccoli and sugar snaps.

Image example from Barnali’s Kitchen https://youtu.be/KmUzZNHDWdM


Balance in Health and Fitness

Balance and fitnessBalance is what we teach at the FitFarms Weight Loss Retreat

And I don’t mean the kind that allows you to stand on one foot whilst catching a ball!

Balance in life is something that seems to be slipping away in most areas of our lives and society these days. It seems to be our nature to want to be one end or the other but never happily balanced in the middle.

If your thinking of choosing a healthier lifestyle or making some major changes to improve your quality of life, try not to think of the extreme or most direct path in a hope to achieve your goals the quickest. In my experience at the FitFarms weight loss retreat it doesn’t last instead think of the most scenic route the most enjoyable approach the pace and path that allows you to enjoy your efforts and allows you to learn about the world and the people around you rather than brushing it all to the side whilst trying to hit the finish point first.

Obviously, I can’t speak from experience in all walks of life or career choices etc but from a health and well-being point of view I think thanks to the thousands of clients at the weight loss retreat that I’ve had the pleasure to meet through FitFarms and the successes a realistic amount have had it seems to be the most manageable and maintainable approach. If it is a lifestyle change you are wanting to make and not a quick fix then consider balance before anything else.

Image credit: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/240450067577959749/

Fitness Goals: Having a Specific or Clear Idea of What You Want!

Positive Goal ExerciseHere at FitFarms weight loss and fitness retreat we feel one major reason for all the confusion around what is right and what is wrong with regards to achieving your goals/targets is that we don’t actually know! The conditioned thinking is that there is a one size fits all approach and so we don’t think too much about what “losing weight” or “getting fit” actually means to us. But we have options! Different ways of achieving our goals some more effective and some less but if we don’t consider our options we will never know which way suits us best.

So if you have time sit down and think to yourself “what kind of exercise or activity would I PREFER?” If I had the option? Then take a look at my explanations below to see if you can start to form a concept of what you would actually enjoy doing instead of what you need to do.


Exercise vs Activity vs Movement

So first of all exercise is not natural or functional.. whatever equipment or adaption we use. At no point when squatting down to pick up your shopping or an item of the floor do you intend on doing it 8-15 times and then repeating after a pre selected rest time.

Exercise is a way of improving the performance of your physical structure or the neurological management of said structure. It just so happens that the more honed the bodies systems the better it should in theory look and feel.. so we associate exercise with improving aesthetically but it’s not always so.

Activity is more natural, when you think of activity what springs to mind? Sports? Walking? Swimming? Bike riding? It challenges the body’s ability to adapt to unknown external variables like uneven ground, a hill, water resistance or even wind resistance. Exercise relies on restricting the variables so that pure performance can be improved I.e. Typically 1 or 2 planes of movement, fixed positions or machines. We find it easier to run on a treadmill because once we are used to it the pace and incline are preset and we are in control of any changes to that, where as activities typically are not so controlled so our bodies and brains become more adaptive. A rugby player may be more powerful and stronger on the pitch or in circumstances where a movement must be adapted but a weightlifter or power lifter would be stronger/fitter on gym equipment.

And then there is movement. A way of maintaining the bodies and the brains ability to adapt to everyday life. Things like hip mobility, correcting posture, improving freedom of movement through all planes and axis, an understanding of how the body is designed and using movements to help maintain a greater quality of life better neural function it involves less stress on the physical and neural functions of the body but helps to balance and correct issues born of improper function, imbalance and historical overuse. It could be as little as 20 minutes morning stretches and mobilisers to as much as a complex movement challenge using hand to eye coordination and in even load and all three planes of movement but it doesn’t need to be physically stressful.

So before deciding what your routine should look like consider the above explanations and which you like the sound of best?

Image Credit: www.pinterest.com.au/explore/motivational-fitness-quotes/

FitFarms Quick Fire Fitness and Fat Burn Work Out – SECTION 2

Better YouThis is the second part of the FitFarms quick fire fitness and fat burn work out series.

This is a no equipment basic idea to a routine, assume a 10-15 minute warm up has already been completed.





Section 2 – Pre Exhaust

Target muscle groups: Chest shoulders triceps core

  • Press ups
  • Plank
  • Press up Low position hold
  • Hindu press up
  • Mountain climbers
  • Wide to close press up
  • Incline press up
  • Decline press up
  • Dips
  • Archer press ups
  • Treadmills

As above pick 3 and circuit them for 20 reps each for 5 minutes without stopping ( or trying not to stop!


Image source: www.pinterest.com.au/cjones0168/workout-motivation/

FitFarms Quick Fire Fitness and Fat Burn Work Out – SECTION 1

You got to burn to shineThis is a no equipment basic idea to a routine, assume a 10-15 minute warm up has already been completed and if you need ideas on that check previous blogs and our YouTube channel for a few.

As with most exercise plans for fat burning or fitness specifically the exercises aren’t as important as the affect they have on the individual so next to our exercises we have put a 0-10 scale 10 being the hardest you could manage for that time period or rep range this way you know you can replace the exercise with one more suited to your level of fitness. Higher or lower? Once completed a cool down of 5 minutes minimum would be encouraged and if time is an issue we have written in sections so you can remove or focus on certain sections to cut down on time.

30 minutes progressive overload routine using non equipment exercises (which can be easily swapped for equipment based exercise if you so wish) enjoy!!

Section 1 Pre Exhaust

Target muscle groups: Glutes hamstrings calves

  • Hip lifts (heels to bum)
  • Kneeling hip extensions
  • Good mornings
  • Hip lifts (legs slightly straighter)
  • Kneeling negative leg curls with weight or partner keeping feet on floor
  • Prone alternate straight leg lift and squeeze
  • Standing calf raise with support if necessary
  • Lunge position calf raise on back leg (lean against wall for added resistance)
  • Repeat on opposite leg
  • Heel lifted squats wide or sumo stance.

Pick 3 exercises 20 reps of each in a circuit and continue to repeat for 5 constant minutes (no rest!)


Image source: Pinterest.com.au/pin/443604632015780882/

FitFarms Dorset Fitness Course Review Day 1 – November 2017

Blog 1 FitFarms Nov 2017It’s another long drive down to our Dorset site as our FitFarms Fitness Course is going to be starting this afternoon and it usually takes me about 3 hours and 30 mins but, it never does its always longer!

Anyway, I’m using the FitFarms bus at the moment because I’m carless after my car accident a few weeks ago. So, I’m all loaded and ready to get down to lovely Dorset.

I pull up on to the boot camp site with a dead bum and really wanting a coffee as I see Andy hanging out the window waving at me and pointing which cottages we are in.

Coffee pot on as we sit down and plan the course before all the Fitness clients start arriving on site.

We have a quick look around just to make sure that everything is ok in the rooms for the guests so they can arrive on site and have time to rest before the fitness course starts that evening.

After an afternoon of all the boot camp clients arriving and unpacking, it’s time to start my stretch class. Reason I always do a simple stretch class for all the fitness holiday guests is most will be stressed as a lot do travel great distances to do our FitFarms Fitness Courses and it’s a good idea to calm down and get settled into new surroundings for the week. It also gives me a good idea if there are any problems with postures and which areas to work on most.

Class done and all the clients head off for dinner which Steve has been preparing all afternoon then its chill time for us FitFarms Team and Guests before the course starts bright and early Saturday Morning.

Let the Fitness Course begin!