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Ditching the Elevator and Using the Stairs for Fitness

Ditching the Elevator and Using the Stairs for Fitness

Stairs for Fitness. Photo Credit RedBookMag

I just recently moved into a walk up apartment building. Living on the 10th floor, I always thought that the most convenient way to get up and down my flat was to take the elevator. While waiting for my ride, I noticed the usual signage posted near the lift doors saying “If you’re going up 2-3 floors, we recommend you take the stairs. It’s good for you.”

Seeing that I wasn’t in a hurry and that the lift was taking too long to get to the ground floor, I considered the suggestion and entered the stairwell. The ten floor challenge was on.

A few agonizing steps later, I found myself panting and literally crawling to my apartment door. After hydrating myself and getting some time to catch my breath, I vowed that conquering the ten floor walk up my apartment would be my next fitness challenge. I’d include walking up the stairs into my slowly growing fitness regimen.

Looking for a convenient workout that hardly costs any money and can be done throughout the year? Try stair climbing.

It’s convenient since most multi-storey buildings have elevators: schools, offices and even condominiums. Since the stairs are indoors you can easily climb them most of the year. You won’t have to postpone your workout even if it was raining or snowing outside. You won’t need any special equipment so there are no added costs. A good pair of running shoes and regular workout clothes are all you need.

Imagine all these benefits and I haven’t even begun to expound on the health and fitness part of the equation!

Research into stair climbing have documented its numerous health benefits: weight loss (in fact, studies have shown that you burn twice the fat in half the time than if you run); and muscle toning (not just of your lower body, but also of your arms, particularly if you use hand railings that help you pull your arms up). There is also the added benefit of less impact on your legs, ankles and knees. Other fitness benefits were validated through the two research presented below.

A study published in the journal Preventive Medicine monitored the health of 22 sedentary college-age women who began climbing stairs over the course of seven weeks. At the end of the study, researchers found that these women enjoyed better health outcomes in various categories: reduced heart rates, lower oxygen uptake and blood lactate levels.

Similarly, a Harvard Alumni Study discovered that men who averaged climbing at least eight flights a day enjoyed a 33% lower mortality rate compared to their sedentary counterparts. What is more amazing is that these findings are even better than the 22% lower mortality rate reported for men walking 1.3 miles a day.

Now I’m on my second week since adding stair climbing into my daily regimen. I’m happy to report that my endurance has improved considerably – I don’t pant as heavily as I used to. I’m a convert to this simple lifestyle adjustment and will continue to advocate it for other people interested in a low impact, affordable and all-weather fitness regimen that has proven medical and fitness benefits. I’d definitely advocate stair climbing for fitness!

Maintaining a Fitness Regimen for Busy Professionals

Maintaining a Fitness Regimen for Busy Professionals

Fitness Exercise Regimen for Busy Professionals. Photo Credit HealthMeUp

Most people, especially young professionals, with hectic schedules are prone to skipping a workout plan that they created altogether. Due to filled-up calendars, family and other personal obligations and work-related matters, it is so easy to have an inconsistent fitness regimen.

Thankfully in this busy and fast-paced world, the busy professionals have a lot of options to maintain that exercise routine while still being able to do their job as much as it requires them to. For a start, gyms and fitness centers that are closer to work are rapidly increasing making it convenient for the busy yuppie to head straight to the gym right after work. These places also close at much later hours, allowing the hardworking employee to still workout even if it’s two hours past the normal office hours. There are a number of fitness programs that are designed for the busy individual, depending on their fitness concerns. Given these terms, there are still a number of reasons that hinders many professionals to maintain an active lifestyle.

Barriers. Some of the most common reasons why professionals skip their fitness regimen are their impossibly busy daily schedules, leaving an illusion of not having ample time to work out. Another is that they are too tired to attend that spinning class after a series of meetings and client calls at work, leaving not enough energy for them to exercise at the end of the day. Another is that they need to spend more time with the family so instead of attending the 90-minute Yoga class, they will just go home straight after work to play with their dog or watch TV with their partners while munching on pizza.

Addressing these fitness concerns. By educating yourself that your health should be one of your top priorities, it will be easier to find time and energy to get back on track and attend the next Zumba class after work. Addressing these “barriers” should be a cinch when you know that you’ve prioritized your health above all else. Set aside time for exercise, whether it’s a 30-minute run around the neighbourhood or a full one-hour cardio workout at the gym. If your job requires you to travel often, bring portable workout gears like resistance bands, light dumbbells or Yoga mats with you. Download apps such as Map My Fitness to help you keep track of your progress. If you feel like you have no energy to work out, you should focus on nutrition and make sure you get enough rest and sleep every day. Make working out a family affair by attending fitness programs together. This way, you get to spend time with your loved ones while keeping an active, healthy lifestyle.

Have a plan on hand. Ask the help of a professional fitness trainer to help you map out your road to fitness success. Plan ahead. It’s easier to maintain a fitness regimen when you already have a workout plan on hand. The plan consists of which workout program you will have to do this week, how much time do you need every day, where is the nearest gym and fitness center that you can go to. If at times you don’t think you can squeeze in an hour of working out, you may do some alternative exercise in the form of walking instead of taking a cab, skipping the elevator and taking the stairs, or perhaps doing some 10-minute workouts like lunges or squats while you’re at work.




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)

Report from the Holistic Weight Loss Boot Camp – 07 July 2014

Report from the Holistic Weight Loss Boot Camp – 07 July 2014

So today is a pretty emotional one for the group.

They wake up get their results, have a final breakfast together and then say their goodbyes.

All before 9am and I think especially because this group has gotten on so well it is a little like the last day of school in the final year.

Everyone remembers how that felt, right? There is lots of picture taking, lots of hugs and promises to keep in touch, it’s amazing how much of a bond has been formed over this past 4-7 days, later on we will be welcoming another group, still fresh with the sense of achievement shared by those we sit having breakfast with this morning.

So for us today is a surreal experience a difficult one to explain, this evening we will be looking at a whole new set of faces sitting in the same spots as the guys and girls we have just spent an intense and full on residential weight loss retreat week with.

group weight loss retreat

Tonight we will start all over again with a new group of people looking for either, the right answer, a kickstart, a boost, a life changing experience or just a plain old weight loss holiday, we will get to know them share their stories try to understand what has lead them to this point in their lives, do they want our help and support or just our motivation?

Tonight we will begin all over again but again tonight will be the start of a complete lifestyle overhaul for some people, a life changing experience for others or just a really good holiday with lots of fun exercise and lots of great tasting food and lots of new friends to be made!

Once the new weight loss camp group have arrived we begin the introduction and ice breaker, this week we have a typically diverse group of people but untypical is that it is our second mixed week in a row, so it will be less of a transition for us from the 1st week to the 2nd.

This second weeks group have all arrived and seem very friendly, as always there is a certain nervousness within the group but the fact that we have a few lovely gentlemen and some girls on their second week in a row will help to ease the tension much quicker.

As the welcome and icebreaker session proceeds it is clear that we have some real characters in this group and it has the making of a fun filled experience, it’s amazing how easily people settle and relax into their surroundings once you encourage them to open up a little.

Tomorrow will be the real start to the week, for tonight it’s all about getting comfortable! So enjoy guys and girls you have a big fitness and weight loss retreat day ahead of you!



FitFarms Customer Review – 04 July 2014

FitFarms Customer Review – 04 July 2014

Below is what happened in one of our recent fat camp weeks, as reviewed and reported by one of our customers.

The review article below highlights the details of the customer’s week camp experience at FitFarms from exercise programmes, learning nutritional diet menus, accommodation and the consultants.

At the back end of 2010 I went through a very particularly difficult time and I felt completely lost. I was really struggling and I found myself wanting to do something that was totally for me and to help me get back on track physically and mentally. I knew a spa wasn’t going to cut it. After a lot of research I found the FitFarms website. I thought this was just what I needed so I decided to go for it. The hardest part at first was getting there as I had never travelled on my own and I needed to get a flight and a train as I live in the beautiful island of Jersey. I was going on my own but sharing with another lady and we had made contact before we went. I am still in contact with her to this day and also a couple of other ladies who I met there.

When I arrived at FitFarms the staff were so friendly and welcoming. However they were straight with us in what we should expect on our week at FitFarms. We were shown our rooms and they were such a great standard. After we had settled we had a meeting and had to get our measurements done and if I remember correctly we had to do some small tests like flexibility, run/walk a mile etc so at the end of the week we could see how much we improved. We had dinner and were shown our list of what we would be doing the next day. I never thought in a million years I would get through the day. The first 2-3 days were a struggle and boy did we ache. Even going to the toilet was an achievement in itself. I remember being told by the staff that it would get easier. Because everyone who attended were in the same boat we all laughed about it and really encouraged each other. It was an amazing atmosphere every day. You really do get to meet some wonderful people from all different levels. By Day 3 or 4 we could walk and exercise much better and it really started to feel good.

The experience for me wasn’t just about exercise and eating healthy, it was also mental and I had a real breakthrough while on the course thanks to the Life Coach who was there at that time and I started to feel like me again (but a better version). The week was great fun even if at times we thought we would never do it. By the of the week everyone had made huge improvements and accomplished so much.

I enjoyed it so much I wanted to continue my journey and when I returned home I decided to do a diet and fitness course. I completed that but I didn’t feel it was quite what I was looking for. I eventually hired a health coach and through her I changed my whole life for the better. I have now gone on to train as a Health Coach as I think it is so important that as many people can see what they can achieve through living a healthier lifestyle. I am just about to turn 40 and I have never felt happier and fitter and I hope to help other people feel the same way. And it all started out with a trip to FitFarms, an experience I will never forget and I do think of often.

Getting Fit for a Deadline: Holidays, Weddings and Events

Getting Fit for a Deadline: Holidays, Weddings and Events

Special Event Diet & Fitness – Image Credit to Wonderful Oxfordshire Weddings

The motivation of a deadline

Getting fit and healthy is something we all intend to do as most of us are aware that eating right and staying healthy leads to happier healthier self. Deadlines are a great inspiration for wanting to look our best, whether it’s a wedding, holiday or event.

Ways to achieve your goal

  • Set yourself goals that are achievable
  • Plan out a week by week fitness and nutrition schedule
  • Exercise
  • Nutritional Content
  • De-stress
  • Keep it simple
  • Make it sustainable

Things not to do

  • Eat pre-packaged diet food
  • Use diet pills
  • Crash diets
  • Starve yourself
  • Excessive exercise





Image Credit to JSR Chartered Accountants

Set yourself realistic goals for the time you have
Various elements can impact on losing weight or getting fit so be realistic about what you want and CAN achieve to avoid negative feelings of stress, pressure or failure.

The length of time, nutritional intake, exercise and changes you can make within your lifestyle will have a direct result on what you are physically capable of accomplishing.

Planning a fitness schedule
6 months will allow for a long term outline of what you want to achieve each month and can lead to radical results whereas a couple of weeks you can provide smaller yet effective changes such as lowering heart rate, reducing fatigue and firming areas of your body will be made. If weight loss or fitness is to be achieved in this short amount of time then a boot camp is the best option for seeing those results.

Find exercises that will be most beneficial and that you will enjoy
It can take a while to find exercises you enjoy, so it’s good to try a range of classes to ensure you find something you are most likely to continue with. Fitness camps are ideal as you can try out a number of exercises and fitness and dance classes in a short time. This will leave more time to get the results you want.

Understanding fitness and the impact certain exercises have on your body is essential to tailoring your plan to target parts of your body you want to improve.

Nutrition plays a big part in both losing weight and getting fit so it’s essential to get it right. Avoid faddy diets, weight loss meals and processed food and focus on getting the correct balance of nutritional content to maintain blood sugar levels and provide enough energy throughout the day.

There is a lot of information online which can be confusing so check our website for tips and recipes from health professionals.

Our fitness camps have nutritional therapists and kitchen staff on site that provide delicious, healthy food while offering invaluable advise, cookery workshops and demonstrations.

Things to keep in mind
It is important to remain focus and not get stressed when life gets in the way, any change is good even if it’s just correcting bad eating habits and doing 20 minutes of exercise so remain motivated. Improving your fitness levels and nutrition is a big, positive step and it is important to find what fits best in your life and works best for you.

Remember that fitness and nutrition is a lifestyle so find a plan that will work for you after the event to continue all the hard work!

Explosive Renegade Movement Exercise by Andy of FitFarms (Video)

Today we have Andy Baker and Ian Thompson from the FitFarms holistic boot camp team showing the right technique for an Explosive Renegade Movement.

This functional fitness exercise is a series of techniques that we will be showing you from the Derbyshire and Dorset retreat. It combines the standard fitness press up with a windmill. Then after this is complete there is the explosive side step which sets up the opportunity to do the same on the other side keeping the exercise balanced. Make sure there is a good balance with the movement and your feet are around two feet apart. When you are completing the windmill look up to the weight. Also make sure there is a good core and shoulder alignment. Then watch for the full jump which adds more explosive power to the fitness exercise.

This is a complex move so make sure you warm up correctly before you start the exercise.

Half A Turkish Get Up Fitness Exercise by FitFarms’ Andy (Video)

Technique video clips from the holistic weight loss boot camp is showing us how to do the half Turkish get up from the side position using a four kilo gram weight.

This is also an advanced technique so if you are trying this outside a structured weight loss camp environment we suggest that you break the fitness exercise into smaller stages. You open up the hip from a straight leg and then advancing the technique you manoeuvre yourself into a straight sit up. Make sure you keep the weight above your head which will help improve your postural muscles. If you repeat this exercise two or three times and then bring in the hip lift right at the end. Good fitness form is to stabilise the shoulder and bring in the gluteus and hamstring muscles.

Good luck with this exercise as it is difficult but when done correctly it is very rewarding and helps with your general weight loss and fitness.

Renegade & Upright Row With A Kick Back Fitness Exercise

One of Andy’s favourite exercise positions is the renegade and here he is demonstrating it at the holistic holistic weight loss boot camp in the Peak District.

It’s the second series renegade complex in the standard renegade position. You will note that he is ensuring maximum core stability. The functional fitness exercise also goes into a high pull into a windmill, to row and eventually into a kick back. It is an advanced complex especially in the core area. Ian explains that you can just take one of the exercises to practise. You can then start putting all the different fitness techniques together until you master the sequence. With this exercise it is also important to change sides so you train both sides of the body otherwise you will create an imbalance in your body. Always remember to keep symetery and the core is fully engaged throughout the exercise.

Before you start this fitness exercise make sure you test the weights to get the correct weight which is not too light or too heavy.

Your Skin and Weight Gain

Your Skin and Weight Gain

Weight Gain Skin Diseases – Image Credit to Viral Detector

We are truly into our great British summer and if you are sensible you will be applying sun cream to your body to help prevent skin diseases. Today we were out on a fitness walk at the peak district weight loss camp and I was reminding them to put cream on and then we got onto the discussion of how having extra weight affects your skin.

So do we appreciate our skin, perhaps not until we get older and the signs of ageing start? However, our skin has very important functions. It keeps our body together by encasing our organs and protecting them from injury, viruses, and bacteria. Without the sweat glands on the surface of our skin we would not be able to control our body temperature. Hair also helps to control the body temperature, it also alerts us to touch and heat. Some health conditions can be detected by changes to the skin and hair, such as diabetes and thyroid problems. Weight gain can change the efficiency of your skin.

The skins natural reaction to increased temperature on the surface is to secrete sweat in order to cool the area down. During weight gain there are more likely to be folds in the skin around the groin, waist, and torso. Retained moisture in these areas can encourage the growth of fungi and bacteria, which in turn will lead to infections, and skin rashes. Fluid retention can build up in the legs, putting strain on the veins in the legs, this can cause dermatitis, varicose veins, and skin ulcers. The feet are more susceptible to calluses and corns due to an increase in weight. A healthy diet and weight loss can improve the efficiency of your skin.

Foods rich in omega-3 have been credited with increasing the health of your skin, this can be found in tuna, salmon, walnuts. Canola oil, and flax seed. Reducing the intake of simple carbohydrates, sugar, and food rich in starch will help to reduce insulin spikes, as these spikes can cause skin irritation and effect the skin ageing process. Good hydration is also important to healthy skin so make sure to drink plenty of water which also helps with weight loss.