A Week in the Life of a Model, Personal Trainer & Fitness Instructor (Part III)

Happy Monday team! I hope you have a great week to come. Here’s the last segment in my “Week in the Life of..” which covers what I got up to once I landed back in London from my location shoots and back in my training world last week…

Day 6 – Almost there! (Faaaabulous Friday)

Contrary to the madness that has been this week, I have just a few clients booked in for the afternoon today at Eqvvs Personal Training.  I take the morning to sort through my admin for the week before training myself at Equinox. I’m back on my usual nutrition regime now; being back on home turf makes it so much easier to control. I’ll always be the first to admit that I stick to similar meals in the week. It’s what I know works for my body and makes me feel good. So on that note I have my overnight oats for breakfast (for recipe see here).

My 'Grab & Go' Overnight Oats
My ‘Grab & Go’ Overnight Oats

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Then for lunch I have some eggs and avocado on rye bread with spinach before heading out for the day. I try to eat at home where possible or take a packed lunch with me so I know exactly what I’m eating. With the right food in me I’m feeling full of energy and ready for my training at Equinox.

Easy Eggs & Avo

Post lunch I make my way to Equinox for a quick and punchy full body strength training session. For my session I mix it up a bit. Today I’m training alone and I fancy hitting an 8-12 rep range and focus on predominately full body moves. Having been out of the train game for a bit I want to get straight back into training those major muscle groups. I do a mixture of full body, back, chest and leg exercises. Following it up with some core and arm work. As it’s a Friday and I happen to be at Equinox (e.g. the BEST place for shakes) I allow myself a cheeky nut butter shake to tide me over for the afternoon post workout.

Little PT tip…post workout is incidentally one of the best times to get nutrients into your body. I like to eat a mixture of carbs and protein as soon as I can after working out. If I finish training and it doesn’t happen to be near a meal time then I’ll have a snack of some sort, like a banana or apple and almond butter or my NEAT protein shake. If possible it’s best to have this within a 60 (max`90) minute window of your workout. This is a time where your body most efficiently makes use of the nutrients to recover, repair and replenish your body. Therefore making your recovery that much more efficient and your training that much more effective. I also swear by eating more than an hour before workouts to make sure you have the energy you need to push your body to the max. If you don’t eat before you train (or are on a very restrictive diet) it’s like trying to get your car to run without putting any petrol in it.

Apple & Almond Butter is one of my favourite snacks!

For the afternoon I head into Eqvvs to see my regulars. It’s so nice to see my clients again. Although it’s only been a week you get used to seeing people on such a frequent basis so it somehow feels as though its been longer. What I love about my PT sessions is that I get such a vast array of clients. I get to know so many really interesting people. I train girls, guys, youngsters, fiesty and fit golden oldies, or those just wanting to keep their health ticking over. Some want more general fitness and overall health improvements, whereas some have a specific goal in mind. Recently I was working with a young male client of ours whose sole focus was to get into the army – so we drilled him in the ways he would need to pass the fitness examination with flying colours. It was so rewarding and a proud moment for all of us when he did!

I love my job not only because I enjoy giving people the training, knowledge and confidence to push themselves out of their comfort zones and into amazing results, but  the fact you can see the difference you’re having on someones life. Whether it be something super short term; like they perhaps came in having had a bad day and leave on a much happier note. Or more physical long term improvement, like seeing their range of movement increasing. Maybe they couldn’t squat at all before and now they can. Of course you inevitably see the fitness and strength gains and amazing posture differences too. You also see general life perspective and happiness level changes too. It’s an incredible thing the effects that exercise can have on someones life. How wonderful is it then that you can have that influence, provide that helping hand, that stepping stone to happiness and health? I happen to think it’s pretty awesome!

Image: Lucie Yoga, Rue LaLa Online.
Image: Lucie Yoga, Rue LaLa Online.

My three client sessions for the afternoon seem to fly past. We chat and banter whilst still getting the work done. Soon I’m on my way home. I can’t wait to be at home tonight with my boy and doing absolutely nothing! We both adore cooking so we make a lovely dinner of tomatoe and basil sardines followed by sole, asparagus and a parsnip and sweet potatoe gratin. Delicious!  It’s a Friday so we’re sharing a lovely bottle of vino rouge and finishing dinner with some cheeky choccys.

Day 7 – What a week!

Sweet Saturday. We made it! I have just the two clients this morning. I know todays going to be a busy one so I factor my training into my work. I pop on my Adidas PureBoostX’s to give them a whirl. Luckily both clients are at the same place and in close proximity to ours. I run 2 miles to meet them for their sessions. Train them for a couple of hours, then run 2 miles back, trying to beat my first round for time. Although the running is staggered its great to get a quick bit of speed training in when I know I might not get a chance to do anything else in the day.

Time to Test These Bad Boys - Adidas PureBoostX
Time to test out these bad boys! – Adidas PureBoostX

The reason my Saturday is so hectic is because …I happen to be getting married in August…and today is my dress fitting. GAAAAAH! The excitement. My bridesmaids and mum together in arms hit the bridal boutique for a super special day. We oooooh and aaaah over the pretty shoes and THE dress before having a lovely lunch at Browns Brasserie. At which, we manage to book our hen party “bantz”. We’re heading to Barcelona for Sonar festival in June and cannot wait! All that was needed was the accommodation booking. Soon we were all booked up and lunched out and were heading home. I finally to see “that” fiancee of mine! We spend a lovely evening together and are finally free to enjoy our work free Saturday night and Sunday. Phew! What a full on, but all very fun week!

Sunday – Full circle 

From Stockholm to Marseille to London, it’s been nuts. We finally have a day off together. Today we decide to chill and do all the things we love to do. Namely…cooking, training and chilling out together! We have a leisurely morning scoffing healthy home made pancakes (see recipe for which here!)

Healthy & delicious pancakes!
Healthy & delicious pancakes!

Before trying out a local gym hang out “Bounce Gym” for some double trouble training together. The gym happens to be awesome so we spend a while having fun with the space. Todays workout looked a little something like this:

Hypertrophy training – 8-12 reps – Full Body

A1 Barbell Back Squats x 3 sets

B1 Deadlifts x 3 sets

C1 Single Arm Rows x 3 | C2 Arnold Press x 3

D1 Rope climb x 2 | D2 Rope pull x 2

E1 Ski Erg 60s x 3 | E2 Sprints x 3

 

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Love the space at Bounce, Wimbledon!

It’s super fun to have a training partner to banter off of. It helps when there’s lots of fun new toys to play with too.

We enjoyed our session at Bounce before going out to lunch at our favourite coffee hangout: Bean&Hopps in Earlsfield. Baked eggs and eggs benedict down we head home to chill for the rest of the afternoon.

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Bean&Hopp’s Dreamy Baked Eggs & Flat White

We make home made turkey meatballs and courgetti for dinner and prep our food for packed lunches for the week. Not only does this save us money but keeps our nutrition on point for the week. We cook up some turkey breasts and sweet potatoes for easy grab a go salad options for when we’re on the run in the week. We simply have to add some spinach and jobs a good’n! Luckily there’s meatball left over too (winner!) so they will also be for lunch at some point. Before we know it Sunday has been and gone, but you know what they say…a Sunday well spent brings a week of content. I feel ready and raring to take on another busy week ahead!

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Left Over Turkey Meatballs for Lunch – Winner!

It’s been a great week. I’ve seen some amazing places. Worked with some truly awesome people. All whilst seeing my #fitfam – my class and client regulars, as well as new fitness faces. It’s fair to say this week isn’t a complete reflection of my ‘regular’ modelling come training, come teaching week. The nature of the jobs means that ‘regular’ just doesn’t factor into it. Each week brings new fun adventures, challenges and craziness but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m so blessed that I can explore the world with my job. Meet some truly inspiring, motivational people. I love that I can teach and train people to use their bodies to their absolute best leaving them feeling healthy, strong and most importantly happy! Even more importantly for me as a model I want to show people that models are like any other person. They bare the brunt of some pretty rough stigma. I’m on a one women mission to get models and non models alike feeling amazing in the skin they’re in. Doing the best with what they have and embracing what they have – hence the tone what YOU own, not anyone else.

I hope you’ve enjoyed a little insight into the world of a model, personal trainer and fitness instructor. Stay tuned for lots more to come on the Tone What You Own blog in the form of recipes, workouts and general wellness advice! I’m looking forward to lots more fun fitness adventures to come!

Till next time…have a wonderful fresh, fabulous, shiny new week!

Sending health & happiness,

Kim x

 

 

A Week in the Life of a Model, Personal Trainer & Fitness Instructor (Part II)

Day 4 – Yoga sur la plage! Shoot day 2 – lets go!

Yesterday (then Tuesday) was a pretty epic day of traveling. Stockholm to London. Kill a couple of hours or three at the airport. Fly from London to Marseille ready for my next location shoot. My long day of travelling all finished with a crescendo of a crazed French taxi driver taking me to my hotel in Marseille. He was driving to the beat of otherwise extremely relaxing jazz music but clearly on a death wish. I told him j’adore le musique – perhaps less j’adore the fact that I was sure he was trying to kill me en route. With hotel mix ups and tanning/hair expeditions aplenty, I was finally settled into my hotel for the a second shoot location. I got some well earned kip and started the day ready to shoot with Zakti Activewear (now Wednesday). I briefly know the team having cast (model terminology for auditioned) with a couple of them in London. Everyone is wrapped head to toe in ultra warm clothing – luckily I included. We all mentally prepare ourselves for what we have been told is to be a very cold, Kimmy semi-naked day out on the beach. What fun! Fortunately, we’re in luck, the sun is shining! Not getting too excited mind…it is still winter after all. A fresh 8 degrees celsius.

We head down to the beach, it felt cold, but not utterly miserable as I was expecting. The team are in high spirits. The beautiful scenery is enough to put a smile on anyones face. Our target is 8-10 “looks” for the day. For the unfamiliar “shooter” that seems pretty manageable. Factor in lighting changes, lens changes, finding ‘the’ shot, multiple angles, outfit changes in the crew van or any place we can find kind enough to let us borrow “les toilette’ and you see that’s actually a ton of shots to get done – and its definitely not all as glamorous as it appears! Usually on shoots the aim is around 6-8 looks. So we have our work cut out for us. We crack on. First up yoga outfits, later it’s all fun and games in bikini’s.

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Marseille looking marvellous!

We actually manage to fly through the shots. Must because I’m such a great model 😉 (haha joke!) And thank God we did fly through them. The very kind and considerate crew of Zakti all the way from the art director to the photographer get that it’s freezing cold outside (contrary to what it looks like in the shots). It’s 8 degrees (tops) with a biting wind chill. The crew with their multiple layers feeling the chill were kindly very attentive to the fact that Kim, in her bikini clad get up would be freezing her bits off! Especially when I had to kick around in the extremely chilly sea!

For each look we would go for short and punchy rounds of shooting before quickly shoving me in Uggs, blankets and giant (oh so) beautifully cosy jackets! It’s (unsurprisingly) a big thing to try not to look cold in the shots – not a good look. This is something I’ve slowly learned how to endure and hopefully portray warm and fuzzy vibes in shots. With the looks rapidly being ticked off the list it wasn’t long before lunch time.

It was so nice to actually take in the scenery, and taste that infamous French seafood. I had the BEST sea bass dish. We were advised to trickle olive oil on the fish before eating it which is a nifty little trick. Super delicious! You could tell it was the the good and fresh stuff! I pretty much live for food so I alllllways get excited for lunchtimes on set. Especially when the food is this good. I’ve also been promised (if I’m very good and bash these last few semi-clad shots out) that I can have my oh so longed for French crepe. So with that in mind, I’m obviously on a mission to finish the shoot no matter how cold it gets and get my hands on the good stuff – forgetting the fact I did kinda just eat but you know…when in Francais!

A little more shooting, a lot more freezing and ta-dah we were done! I told the director she was my new favourite person on the planet – purely for the fact that she made allowances for pancake time into the shoot / travel schedule. We grabbed a crepe with the team. The standard Nutella was my go-to choice. Obviously epic.

Oh good, my mad taxi driver friend is back to take me to the airport! We (very rapidly) make our way to the airport. Then I’m soon on a plane home to London. I can’t wait to get back to my little London flat. Sadly my fiancee isn’t back quite yet but he will be soon. I’m actually really looking forward to getting back into my gym game. My schedule has been so full on I haven’t managed to squeeze a workout in. I haven’t worked out since Saturday, which might not be for some but is a pretty long time for me given that it’s Wednesday. Usually I don’t like to go any more than 2 days without a workout but needs must, such is life! In my head I know I’ll be back raring to go again in the gym tomorrow. Beating  myself up about not working out isn’t doing anyone any good.

On the plane home I grab my all important notepad and get planning for my classes and personal training sessions for the rest of the week. No rest for the wicked hey!? I’m excited to get back to my ‘other job’ having had a few days out of it. I land late Wednesday evening. The nature of the fitness industry is not on my side – oh silly hours you are not always my friend. No sooner do I land from my Marseille shoot, and coseying up to my bed at the stroke of midnight than I’m setting my alarm clock for 5.30am for teaching my early class…ouchy. Good job I love my job.

 

Day 5 – Home and back kicking people’s butts for a living   

So for those not particularly in the fitness training / teaching world (if you are soz to state the obvious!) ….the way these things work is that you’re either employed by a gym where you teach and personal train people. Or you freelance and go to many different gyms. With the modelling, personal training, teaching (and blogging!!) all sitting along side one another, it makes sense for me to freelance in different gyms. A natural part of this is that you inevitably end up moving around different studios at different points in your career.

My big new move was recently saying goodbye to teaching at Core Collective (even though I loved it so and will miss my regulars a ton!) and on to teaching my favourite HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) style classes at (for what to me as a I learnt in New York, I call “Gym Mecca”); Equinox. Having been teaching there for the past 2 weeks I’m slowly settling in and absolutely loving life teaching there. Clients are raring to go and take their fitness extremely seriously. Giving me that extra kick up the butt to be on my A game and continue to develop as trainer. I also get to make this (below!) insane place my little fitness home, extra bonus points my training partner (Tara) trains there too – winning!!

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‘Gym Mecca’ – Equinox, High Street Kensington

First up I’m teaching my 7am class at Equinox called “Stacked!”. Completely my sort of in your face, in your space style of class that I love teaching. With a multitude of fitness ‘toys’ at your beck and call, we’re armed and ready to sweat by the bucket load. “Stacked!” as its called is an awesome structured HIIT class which uses pyramids of exercise to fatigue your muscles. I can’t wait to see some of my already regular clients and new faces a like.  A healthy 7am dose of HIIT training and we’re done.

The rest of the day I’m training myself (much needed after my break). I train with my training partner Tara as much as I can (God I’ve missed her – even if she does make me squat till I can’t feel my legs), and today we’re in training at Equinox. I’m back on home training turf, which means WE’RE back! Tara & I (aka #TwoToned) mixed up our strength training today with a full body workout. Back Squats for 7, 5 and 3 reps twice over, pull ups 7, 5, 3 twice over – we even had a cheeky bit of fun adding a weighted belt to the pull ups today – exciting! Add in a killer leg press finisher & we were Romeo DONE! It’s good to be back Blighty!

We  also have a great bit of banter with uber sporty Scott Ashley and Alex Nicoll we find also training at Equinox. They also happen to be on a double trouble type gym sesh. We helpfully assist them to add some more load to their leg presses. Making for a super fun workout all round. Especially for them! 😉

 

We finish up after an unusually luxurious hour and a half of training (we like to make our workouts short and punchy!) I sit down to a shake and a bit of work at the Equinox cafe before teaching the 12.30pm Tabata (also at Equinox). It felt great to be back. My classes kicked butt today!

Personal training clients are booked in for the rest of the afternoon at my PT clinic Eqvvs Personal Training so it’s on to them next. After that I’ll be teaching my 2 HIIT classes at Grace Belgravia (till 8.30pm)….wowser – a casual 15 hour day. Good job tomorrow is looking like its easing up (for now at least!). I’m very ready to see my boy and very ready for bed!

So with that, we are almost done with my week in the life of, I hope you’ve found it interesting! Stay tuned for the last of my week coming next up on the Tone What You Own blog.

Happy almost end of the week!

Sending health & happiness,

Kim x

 

 

 

5 Tips for Staying Strong All Winter Long

 

We’ve all been there. Gym kit on (or very close to being on), finally gearing yourself up for that run, you look out the window…it’s dark, cold and ultimately all very un-alluring. So it’s back to the sofa I guess?….Not so fast! Here’s my top 5 tips for staying strong all winter long – even when it looks like the apocalypse is upon us outside!

  1. Stop overthinking it 
    • Usually it looks worse than it is. More often than not it’s a case of sacking it up and getting out there. Once your outside getting the blood pumping, the endorphins flowing and breathing in that fresh air, you’ll start to get yourself into your workout. Sitting inside glaring out the window watching each rain cloud come in (or not!) isn’t doing anyone any good. The intention to get an outdoor workout was there but we all too easily let the doubt in our mind conquer us. Essentially by the time you thought about starting and had a little dither about it, you may as well have gone and got it done. Even if it was a quick 15 minute run, or perhaps some sprint training, chances are you’ll feel a world better for doing it than not.
    • Where your dedication will prevail is in your ability to remain un-phased by external forces that you have no power over. If you let the weather dictate your workouts then your leaving achieving your goals to chance. Although a bit of a cliche…summer bodies ARE made in the winter. There’s a reason why the fitness buff’s you know are in the gym throughout the year. “Rome wasn’t built in a day…but they worked on it every single day” – and that’s not just the days leading up to your big summer holiday!
  2. Incorporate it into your day
    • Doesn’t the time just seem to fly by? How are we almost mid January already? There barely seems enough time to get work and the household chores done, let alone a bit of down time – so when on earth can we fit in that workout? The struggle is real! A great way of getting your workout in (especially in those cold, dark winter days) is to somehow incorporate the workout into your day. If you find a formula that works for you, it will be that much easier to sustain
      your fitness regime. If you can, run or cycle to or from work. Pack your gym kit the night before and hit the gym early doors before work or straight after work.
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      My commuting running adventures!                                                             Instagram: @kimhartwell 
    • Personally I find it that much harder to get the motivation up to go to the gym once I’ve come home and got settled with that lovely warming (not to mention homely) cup of tea. The other week I knew the only opportunity that I would have to workout would be to run home from work. I was so busy in the day that I wouldn’t get a chance to go to the gym. I knew the second I got home the chances of me going back out for my workout were pretty slim. So, 7 miles later I was home. I had a real sense of achievement. I managed to get the workout in. I scaled quite a nice distance through my mileage home. Saw some good sights, beat the time it would have taken on a stuffy tube and saved that travel card fare! Happy days! If you prepare for this sort of thing, pack your bag (lightly), take some headphones, take a backpack; it isn’t all bad. Time saving fitness – now that’s my sort of workout.
  3. Layer up
    • My dad once told me: “there’s no such thing as bad weather; just bad outfit choices”. It’s a phrase which made a remarkable amount of sense to me and one that I use when training outdoors. You’ll only be cold if you’re not appropriately dressed for the occasion. If its raining wear a waterproof. If it’s windy wear something that works as a wind breaker. If its cold, layer up! Chilly hands? Wear some sweat wicking gloves. I see a surprising amount of people neglect this on cold winter days. Our bodies actually like working out in temperatures around 7-10 degrees celsius, so now it’s just YOU that needs convincing! And that rain? Our bodies are made of about 70% of the stuff! Sooooo that rainy run isn’t going to be all that bad for us after all!
  4. Tune in
    • For me I find it difficult to really get going and get into my runs or outdoor training (or indoor for that matter) without some good music behind me to motivate me. Check out my Spotify Playlists for my music to help get you raring to go and get you on the way out that door!
  5. Have a plan B
    • OK I get it…sometimes, THAT rain and THAT wind just ain’t gonna fly today. Have a back up option so there’s no getting out of your workout for the day. Can’t run? Have that back up bodyweight workout plan as your plan B. Need inspiration on what you can do without a gym and inside? Have a look at the Tone What You Own Bodyweight Workout for inspiration.

Above all else…have fun with it. Get muddy. Get sweaty. Get a little soggy! Take on the challenge and win. Get that summer body from the fruits of your winter labour and feel darn good ‘n’ proud about it. Till next time…Happy workouts my winter warriors!

Sending health & happiness,

Kim x

 

 

 

 

10 Moves For Your Butt You Can Do With Just a Chair!

No gym, no problem. Pull up a pew and try these butt exercises for simple, effective butt toning from Crystal Stein (superstar Equinox trainer in NYC) and Self Magazine. Compiled and written by Bari Lieberman at Self Magazine. Demonstrated by yours truly! 🙂 Also available at: http://www.self.com/body/workouts/50-shades-of-glutes/…. Your everyday chair never looked so good! Watch out Bey, our bodies are gonna be to bootiliscious for you! 😉

Sending health & happiness,
Kim x

Crystal Stein, American College of Sports Medicine Health and Fitness Specialist, Level 1 Precision Nutrition coach and a Tier 3+ trainer at Equinox in NYC, created the ultimate go-to resource for lifting, firming, tightening and toning your backside. For these moves you’ll need a sturdy chair and small, looped resistance band. Add a few of the exercises below to your current total-body routine (perform 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps).

Seated Band Push

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Sit on the edge of chair with legs hip-width apart, feet flat on floor and band looped just under knees. Allow knees to cave in, then push against band to bring knees in line with ankles.

Band Kicks With Chair
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Stand facing chair with band wrapped around ankles. Rest hands on chair seat and walk feet back until spine is long and wrists are directly below shoulders. Kick left foot back on a 45-degree angle and slowly return foot to start.*

Single-Leg Sit Squat
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Sit on chair seat, extend right leg in front of body and lift a few inches off floor, this is your starting position. Drive through left heel to stand without lowering right foot. Pause at top, then push hips back to sit down.*

Advanced Step-Ups
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Stand facing side of chair. Lift right knee and place right foot on chair. As you step up, raise left knee to hip height. Pause at top, then lower left foot to floor and bring right foot down and behind body taking a big step back. Bend both knees lowering into a reverse lunge, then drive through left heel to return to standing.*

Band Jumps
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Stand tall with band around ankles. Begin jumping moving feet in and out in various directions to create resistance. Continue for 20 seconds, rest, then repeat.

Hip Thrust with Band
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Place band just below knees and sit on floor with feet flat on floor hip-width apart and back facing chair seat. Prop torso on chair seat so edge of chair rests along bra-line, this is your starting position. Lower hips toward floor, then press through heels to raise hips in air lowering upper torso against chair seat. Slowly lower hips back toward mat.

Lateral Step-Up With Lifts
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Stand facing side of chair with toes pointing forward. Lift left knee and place left foot on chair seat. Stand on left leg and slowly kick right leg behind body keeping hips facing forward. Lower back to starting position.*

Split Squat
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Stand two to three feet away from chair with back toward chair seat. Place top of right foot on chair seat. Bend left knee aiming to get thigh parallel to floor. Drive through left heel to return to standing.*

Single-Leg Hip Thrust
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Lie faceup with left foot resting on seat chair, right leg extended toward ceiling. Push through left heel to drive hips off floor, pause at top, then slowly lower butt toward mat.*

Lateral Band Walks
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Stand with feet hip-width apart and band wrapped ankles, keeping a slight bend in knees. Take a step to right with right foot then bring left leg in, bringing feet no closer than hip-width distance. Continue taking steps to right, then reverse directions leading with left foot.

*Repeat on opposite side.

Credits: Kim Hartwell at Wilhelmina Fitness; Hair by Leah Bennett for NEXT Artists using Oribe; Makeup by Leah Bennett for NEXT Artists using Nars.

Apparel: Athena Crop Top, $60, Outdoor Voices; Warmup Leggings, $100, Outdoor Voices, Nike Air Zoom Structure 18, $120, Nike.

Another Level of Yoga

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Photo: OM Factory Yoga NYC

Yoga is moving to a new level and it may just be the way to make your fitness take flight…

Though yoga has a longstanding stance in the well-being industry, it’s the ‘anti-gravity’ or ‘aerial yoga’ that’s having a moment. Yoga as we know it is a firm favorite amongst the celebs, but it’s the aerial yoga that has the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Natalie Portman, Mariah Carey and Pink coming back for more.

What could be more blissful than yoga I hear you ask? Being cocooned in your own little silk ‘hammock’ whilst doing yoga, that’s what is! The bonus is that as wonderful as it sounds to melt away your worries in your own little silk cocoon, aerial yoga is as much challenging and invigorating as it is great for relaxation.

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Photo: Om Factory

The good news for us that didn’t quite get born with the ‘ultra bendy acrobatic gene’, is that you don’t need to be an acrobat to navigate through classes. Classes flow similarly to a yoga class but the ability to freely float in the air brings a whole new dimension to the yoga practice. On entering aerial yoga studios (like the one pictured at Om Factory Flight School) you’re greeted with large pieces of fabric bolted into the ceiling. These pieces of fabric create a wide, stretchy, hammock-like contraption suspended from two points. By suspended your body in the hammock you can achieve traditional yoga poses but also deepen them without overstressing the joints as you float in air; minimising the weight on your spine and joints.

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Om Factory NYC Yoga – Union Square

Throughout class you’ll do moves similar to those that you would come to expect in a normal yoga class but with an aerial twist; e.g. the “Flying Downward Dog” and the “Flying Pigeon”. The “Flying Boat Pose” is also a corker for getting a great ab workout! You’ll get a full body workout as you use your entire bodyweight to help you stretch deeper into poses in addition to helping you navigate up and into the hammocks.

By incorporating aerial yoga into your workout regime you can benefit from numerous perks: increasing flexibility, joint mobility and releasing pressure on your spine which helps to lengthen muscles. Inversions are also a great aspect of the aerial yoga. By hanging upside down suspended in the air; it allows the boost of blood flow to the heart and provides all the benefits you would get from yoga inversions; without the compression to the neck and spine.

The great part is that you feel like you’re having fun the whole time so time literally flies past. Even if you wouldn’t class yourself an ‘avid yogi’, this class provides enough fun and challenge that even the not so ‘yogi of heart’ can enjoy it.

Why not take your yoga up to a new level?

Sending health & happiness,

Kim x


OM Yoga Factory NYC holds Aerial Yoga classes at both its Midtown and Union Square locations. It offers beginners a stepping stone in with their foundation classes. In addition the studio also offers many other acrobatic, circus style and standard yoga classes.

Find out more information at: http://www.omfactorynyc.com/ 

OM Factory Midtown – 265 W 37th St, 17th Fl, New York, NY, 10018

OM Factory Union Square – 873 BROADWAY, Suite 202, New York, NY, 10011

Surf’s Up NYC!

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“Everybody was surfing, surfing usa!”. You’re not imagining New York are you? Although New York has ‘some’ surf to offer up, west coast probably has us nailed on the sizzling hot surf destinations. Fear not aspiring surfers of New York; Chelsea Piers has the latest surf inspired classes aptly named “SurfSet” to get you wave ready in no time.

IMG_2663Surfset classes will get you conditioned in a way which not only helps with your surf practice, but also just happens to build a smoking hot bod! You’ve seen those sexy surfers with blinding washboard abs – probably no coincidence my friends. Surfing is well known for its total body conditioning and toning as well as being a whole lot of fun. That’s not even mentioning that this cool little class is nestled in Chelsea Piers famed for its mind blowing sports facilities – it’s enough to make a gym nut go weak at the knees (and that’s not after leg day!)

Even if surfing isn’t particularly your ‘crack’, you might still want to check it out. This class offers a fun and creative way to hone every part of your body. You’ll spend the class on the “RipSurfer X” – sounds scarier than it is. It’s basically a surf board on mini stability balls; meaning you’re constantly challenging your bodies stability (like the real life surf). The unstable surface means that your ab and postural muscles have to constantly be engaged to keep you steady. This means even if you don’t feel like your working your core, you probably are. Don’t worry there’s plenty of core specific work in class too!

Throughout the class we did squats, lunges, bunny jumps, single leg movements, plenty ‘surf style chatarungas’ or ‘nose downs’. Throw in some unstable push ups and SurfSet is a match made in fitness heaven. It serves up all round fitness performance benefits; working the core, balance, agility, muscular strength and endurance, aerobic conditioning and explosive power. Throughout the class they play epic surf videos which is enough to get anyone super stoked about surfing in general and make you feel like you’re in the moment. Couple the fitness benefits with the energy and originality the class brings, its a sure fire place to check out when your in the city. Surf’s Up!

Sending health & happiness,
Kim x

SurfSet is on Classpass (the cities go-to fitness studio membership) or available to Chelsea pier members.

http://www.chelseapiers.com/sc/sports-training/surfset.cfm

62 Chelsea piers, #300, New York, NY, 10011

Banana ‘Nice’ Cream

FullSizeRender(1)So TGIT (Thank God It’s Thursday) is a thing. Thursday. That fabulous day when you’re so close to the weekend you can almost taste it. It’s the new Friday, bringing all sorts of naughty little cravings that you usually manage to keep at bay till your Friday night. Innocent as it sounds, it could be wrecking havoc with reaching your fitness goals. If you’re regularly reaching for junk on a Thursday night, that extends your slightly relaxed ‘weekend eating’ to a 4 day junk fest.

If you find yourself craving a little something sweet, here’s my simple, healthy recipe to keep you on the health wagon (till Friday at least). My friends go nuts for this substitute ice cream; super easy and surprisingly delicious banana ‘nice’ cream. You could even go crazy and have it on a Monday!

Banana ‘Nice’ Cream (makes 1 serving)

Ingredients:

  • 1 ready frozen ripe banana
  • 2 tbsp non fat plain Greek yoghurt (Fage is my personal favorite)
  • 2 chopped dates (stone removed)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp of almond butter (optional)
  1. Blend the frozen banana and yoghurt together using a food processor
  2. Add the chopped dates and cinnamon
  3. Serve in a bowl adding the almond butter on top if desired

Take that Thursday! You can have your sweet treat and eat it without completely demolishing the hard work you’ve put in all week. Enjoy!

Sending health & happiness, Kim x

Are You Getting Enough?

Are you getting enough

So no one could ever accuse you of having a lazy bone in your body. You’re the definition of the Energizer bunny, the superhero, the “do everything” type. Up at the crack of dawn, down to the gym, before hop skipping to work. Not to mention that huge to-do list you attack outside the office. Suddenly your skip in your step is a weary foot shuffle. You’ve been at the gym for months and worked hard to keep to a healthy diet, and still… no progress. Sound familiar? Here’s the one thing you’re superpowers are missing…SLEEP!

Just chill for a second. You can only do so much. You are only one person. One of my favorite sayings a yoga teacher once told me was: “you’re doing the best with what you’ve got”. So those niggly non-critical emails and texts might not get replied to today. So you may have to skip the drink with a friend to go to the gym. So the gym just might not happen today. Beating yourself up and stressing about it will only make matters worse for your body.

If you’re struggling to meet your fitness aims then sleep could be a major factor. Although nutrition and exercise are undoubtedly the key to weight loss and needed to ‘tone what you own’, sleep is the number one most important factor. Fitness and nutrition without sleep is like superman without his ability to fly. If that early morning gym session turns your 8 hours kip to more like a 5-6 hour one then you’re probably best to catch up on those zzz’s, you’ll start seeing more results in no time, here’s why….

Top 4 reasons sleep is THE most important thing for a better body:

  1. You need energy for your workouts to get your best performance. If you’re taking in less calories your energy is already lower. Combine that with not getting adequate sleep then you’re going to really struggle to bring your A game to your workout.
  2. When we sleep our body is rebuilding the torn muscle tissues that we create during exercise. Sleep is fundamental for your bodies recovery. Sleep ensures your body repairs itself properly so that you don’t run the risk of overtraining. It also means you don’t start your next workout off at a disadvantage.
  3. Sleep loss has been shown to increase stress in the body. Cortisol secretion is higher, which in turn breaks down the bodies tissues. This means it can cause muscle mass loss; so the very muscles you’re trying to build are being decreased.
  4. Sleep deprivation is responsible for a number of hormone and metabolism changes. This has an effect on appetite and hunger. Those who have struggled to sleep the night before may still feel hungry even when they’re full because of this.

By no means is this a ‘get out of gym free’ card, but its certainly something to ponder if you’re run ragged most of the time. Studies have shown that many overweight people are sleep deprived – coincidence? Not likely. Sleep is the single biggest way your body can reward you for all your fitness and nutrition efforts.

Make sure you’re getting as close to 7-9 hours sleep a night as possible, your inner superhero wants to fly!

Sending health & happiness,

Kim x

Kimmy’s Overnight Oats

Having been away for a lot of the summer it’s so nice to be back in my apartment cooking my favorite healthy foods. As a personal trainer and fitness model people often ask me what I have for breakfast. Breakfast is one of the most important parts of a healthy lifestyle, it gets you set up and ready for whatever the day has to bring. Breakfast is an absolute must if your looking to get in shape. It stops you over eating later on in the day and ensures you start your day with a nutritious punch fueling mind, body & spirit.

One of my firm favs is “Overnight Oats”. Super simple, super tasty. They just need a touch of prep the night before, but no fuss, no muss in the morning…you’re off out the door ready & raring for your day! It’s great for breakfast to eat at home, as a “grab-and-go” brekkie or even as a healthy airport bite if you’ve got an early flight to catch – although from previous experience; better to eat it pre security check!

Here’s how I make this breakfast beaut:

Overnight Oats (makes 2 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of steel cut or rolled oats
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1 chopped banana
  • 1 tbsp of cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp flax seeds
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • Handful of blueberries

1) Place in a bowl: oats, almond milk, banana, cinnamon, chia seeds & flax seeds
2) Stir ingredients
3) Leave to rest in the fridge “overnight” (geddit!?)
4) Hey presto; in the morning add almond butter & blueberries

Done deal. That’s it! Super simple, super easy, super healthy. You’ll be surprised at how delicious it is. Much better for digestion too. Massive everyday winner.

Sending health & happiness, Kim x

Drop Down Under and Get Your Eagle On

yoga213

Heading down under for some Sydney sunshine? Then make sure you don’t miss a Tone What You Own (TWYO) favorite; Hip Hop Yoga at Yoga 213. Here’s why….

Ever thought you would get Jay-z or Snoop along side you at your favorite yoga studio, just going with the flow?  Well that’s exactly what goes down at Yoga 213 with their rather awesome ‘Hip Hop Yoga’ affair. They give you classes dedicated to the love of yoga and all things hip-hop. Not only does the yoga make you feel darn right fantastic, but you can catch those extra happy UV rays on the balcony outside the studio pre or post class.

Getting all ‘eagle-y’ to Dre might be a little unorthodox? Yes. But for those who love to “tune in while they tune out” this hip hopping yoga studio is a crazy cool little gem right in the heart of Bondi Junction. Playing hip hop tunes new and legendary, it will definitely get you wiggling your tail feathers mid eagle and coming out with a zen-y smile on your face.

With intro classes starting from $25 for 10 days or $99 for a month of unlimited classes, you’d be ‘cray cray’ not to  check it. So why not “drop down and get your eagle on” at Yoga213? Also available in Melbourne.

Sending health & happiness,

Kim x

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http://www.yoga213.com.au/sydney/

Shop 4 / 360 Oxford Street Bondi Junction, NSW, Australia 2022              Ph.(02) 9386 5771