fitness exercise

Here at FitFarms we don’t just believe in exercise, we believe in MOVEMENT

Here at FitFarms we don’t just believe in exercise, we believe in MOVEMENT

When people talk about a healthy lifestyle the emphasis is often placed on exercise. And it makes sense in a lot of ways.

Exercise has many benefits, for example:

  • It builds strength and endurance
  • It can lift your mood, increase confidence and relieve stress
  • It is fun and social

For these reasons we do a lot of exercise during every FitFarms course. During the week we will introduce you to lots of different exercises such as yoga, resistance training, HIIT training, aerobics, kettle bells and boxercise. The aim is to give you a wide variety so you can start to get an idea of what types of exercise you enjoy and which ones you will want to carry on when you get home. All the classes are fun, relaxed and our trainers make everything accessible, so no matter what your fitness level you can give it a go.

That said we also take a very holistic approach to health, which recognises that being healthy is much more than being able to do lots of push ups and squats. It doesn’t matter if you exercise every day or only a few times a week – if your body doesn’t feel good during your everyday activities (walking up and down the stairs, getting out of the car, carrying your kids) then that isn’t true health.

We want to give you the tools to achieve better whole-body health, and not just improve your fitness (but don’t worry, your fitness will definitely improve too!) thats why we emphasise MOVEMENT and not just exercise.

What is the difference between movement and exercise, and why does it matter?

Movement is anything that your body can do. And by anything, I mean anything. Digging in the garden, walking to the shops, getting up and down from the floor, playing with your kids. These are all movements. And they all count towards improving your whole-body health.

Exercise is a sub-category of movement, and it’s great for all the reasons mentioned above, but its not enough. Our bodies evolved over thousands of years to expect lots of and lots of low-intensity movement spread continuously through the day. If you exercise for an hour a day thats great for your fitness but it only makes up around 5% of your day. Five percent! That’s hardly anything!

Frequent, varied movement over the course of the day will improve the health of your muscles, the mobility of your joints and the density of your bones. Even if you have a desk-based job this kind of movement profile is possible with a little effort and lateral thinking. During the week at Fit Farms we show you how to improve your mobility and flexibility and you will get lots of ideas for movement breaks to take during your day at the office. We even run a Dynamic Workstation workshop to help you set up your workspace to better facilitate movement.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s get moving!

Special blog post editorial from one of our FitFarms Health and Fitness instructors.

Weight Loss Retreat Exercise Routine Breakdown

Weight Loss Retreat Exercise Routine Breakdown

Here’s a Breakdown of the Weight Loss Retreat Exercise Routine developed by the FitFarms Team, as reported by Andy Baker.


9:15 am: Introduction to Fitness Workout with Zu
All the basics in a continuous routine designed to build up a sweat and teach important techniques that will be regularly used and revisited throughout the week..(45 minutes)

10:00 am: Carry your Excess Circuits with Ian and Andy
3 rounds of the same circuit first time to practice technique and control second time with additional weight to emphasise the bodies struggle with excess bodyfat and the third time to understand how much easier things are when the weight comes off! Each station is a minute long and each circuit is continuous rest is taken at the end of each circuit ( 90 minutes)

11:30 am: Snack

11:30 am: Introduction to Yoga with Ian
An hour of your basic yet extremely beneficial yoga movements and techniques, improving flexibility and core and full body strength and improving cognitive functions like balance, co-ordination and concentration, ideal for those who have always wanted to try or for those who are stressed either physically, mentally or emotionally. (60 minutes)

12:30-1:30: Lunch with…….. Food! 😉

1:30 pm: Introduction to Boxing with Andy
Covering the basics from stance, guard punching technique and pad work, this class takes the discipline of boxing and utilises it as a highly enjoyable fitness routine working the whole body and improving upper body strength and endurance. (60 minutes)

14:30 pm: Interval Training with Zu

30 seconds of slow pace either walking or jogging and 30 seconds of fast pace, jogging or running. Interval training is a fantastic way of improving your fitness and getting aerobically and anaerobically stronger. We used the road outside of our campsite which stretches on for roughly about a mile between bends, turnings or junction so it’s easier to gauge how far you’ve done but any stretch of road or type of terrain will be fine, even car parks are common place for such training. (45 minutes approximately)

15:15 pm: Snack

15:30 pm: Abs and Core with Andy

For this class we worked through the basic bracing and breathing techniques trying to engage our core muscles whilst breathing in a deep and controlled manner, then using this we added varying resistance and difficulty through a combination of arm and leg movements placing strain through the core muscles in many different ways. (45 – 60 minutes)

16:30 pm: Stretch with Zu

Bringing the intensity down before dinner, and allowing the muscles to relax and release after the impact of the say so far, a full body stretch focused on improving the mobility around the pelvis and core area. (45 minutes)

17:30 pm: Dinner …

18:30 pm: Introduction to Resistance Training with Ian

The basics are as good a place to start as they are to finish, so our introduction to resistance is a class built around basic techniques such as squats, deadlifts the prone position, shoulder press, bent over or upright rows etc used in a circuit to provide both opportunity to exercise and chance to understand the importance of correct position and movement. (60 minutes)

19:45 pm: Snack….



6:45 am: Wake Up Workout with Zu
It’s time to get the blood pumping and loosen off those muscles stiff from the day before, Zu’s fitball class is a great way to start the day, with easy movements and fun social atmosphere and some good wake up music the exercises will allow your muscles and joints to feel free of pain and able to move normally again. (60 minutes)

7:45 am: Breakfast

8:15 am: Fitness Workshop with Andy

A brief chat, about balancing your workouts, the benefits of each aspect and how to identify and improve on your own weaknesses and strengths. (60 minutes)

9:15 am: Local Walk with the Whole Team

The walks are a great way to recover whilst active or to push a little further, a great chance to think and clear your mind, or in the case of clients on this course a good chance to ask questions get to know the team and the other people on the course and to get away from the campsite into the beautiful countryside.
(1:30 hrs – 2:30 hrs approximately)

11:30 am: An Introduction to Tai Chi with Ian

The perfect chance to clear your mind and concentrate on one thing, fluid movement! And introduction to tai chi allows you to refocus and realign whilst considering a spiritual perspective, relaxing and releasing stress and recovering from previous exercise. (60 minutes )

12:30 pm: Lunch…

13:30 pm: Zumba with Sue

A fast paced simple dance routine designed to get you hot and sweaty to the upbeat music, a mix between several forms of dance as well as some aerobic moves all to the beat of the music (60 minutes)

14:30 pm: Bells and hoops with Andy and Zu

The class is split into 2 halves, one half of the group will learn about kettlebells and the other will learn how to hula hoop, half way through they change over, both types of exercise are very core orientated and a great way to tone the tummy as well as other areas of the body, whilst kettlebells are very technical hula hoops are very rhythmical so both take a little practice to get right. (60 minutes)

15:30 pm: Snack and Bus to Pool

16:00 pm: Swim and Aquafit with Zu

A chance to ease the aching muscles and still get a little more exercise out of you, for the first 30 minutes it’s swimming time at an active but comfortable pace, after which Zu will take you for an Aqua session which is great for active recovery or as a joint supportive exercise relieving the pressure and reducing damage across the joints (60 minutes)

17:30 pm: Dinner…

18:30 pm: Resistance training with Andy

In this session we covered three different structures of weight training, a great way of targeting the muscles to increase the breaking down and rebuilding of muscles in order to develop tone not size or bulk and by placing the session at the end of the day it allows for maximised muscle recovery through the night, the structures we used in this evenings session were.. Super sets, Tri-sets and drop sets as detailed below.

Superset: 2 exercises working on either the same or opposite muscles, I.e 2 exercises for chest or 1 exercise for chest and 1 for back, he idea being to double the intensity of the set without reaching complete fatigue.
Tri-set: similar to the above except with triple the intensity of one set and more scope available with regards to exercise.

Drop-sets: again there are lots of ways to complete this structure but with limited equipment the best is as we demonstrated, pick 4 or so exercises and complete them in a circuit one after the other with each exercise reducing the rep range.. I.e. Shoulder press (25),upright row (20), lateral raises (15), reverse flyes (15) are the four exercises and the numbers in brackets are the reps for each exercise. (60 minutes)

Should you be doing yoga?

Many fitness and exercise trends have come and gone over the last few decades but it seems as though yoga’s never really been displaced from its position at the top since it first gained popularity in the modern fitness circuit. Now yoga’s longevity might seem like a full-on recommendation but before you start unrolling your mat, make sure that you’ve covered all the bases about what you need to know about yoga.

Yoga Instructor
First off, be aware that there’s no universal credential system for yoga instructors. Yoga studios adhere to their own specific hiring practices and without universal standards this means that though unintentional, there may be untrained instructors who slip through the cracks.  According to experts, being observant about how your yoga instructor starts a class will clue you in on how good of a teacher he or she is. If the instructor asks whether the students have any injuries and adjusts the instructions to help the student out, you’re probably good to go.

Yoga Classes
It’s also important to know that there a several kinds of yoga classes and it’s essential that you familiarize yourself with what goes on in a particular class before you sign up. After all, there are some classes that will see students performing their stances in hot and humid rooms. This may lead to dehydration and overstretching, the latter of which may damage your cartilages. If you insist on doing hot yoga, be careful and make sure that you keep yourself hydrated all the time.

Mens Yoga
It’s also worth knowing that women tend to have more elastic bodies, and according to a column in the NYTimes, the trouble starts when yoga instructors push men to do the exact same stances as women. Men are generally built with more muscle, making them comparative inflexible. In this case, it might be better to go with all-male classes as programs are structured to emphasize muscle building, instead of focusing on flexibility. More