Tag Archives: Fitness

Tips and Tricks for Winter Golf

It has been incredibly mild recently, and ideal for value Winter golf practice as you benefit from the Winter Green Fee prices. Peter Smith our Golf Director has some additional tips to make the most this season.

Golf Course Nov 2015 cropped

Playing golf in the Winter is a completely different game, as the cold air means that the golf ball does not travel through the air as far and with wet fairways, when the ball lands it hardly runs, so you need to think about your club selection a lot more to compensate for the conditions. Here are my top considerations for golf in the winter months.

Because the ball does not travel as far as in the warmer Summer months, it may be necessary to club up by one or two, for example, if you normally hit an eight iron 130 yards in the Summer, you may need to hit a seven or even a six iron to cover the same distance as your eight iron in the Summer.

When chipping on to the greens again you may need to adopt a chip and run approach, as when you hit a high chip onto a green in Winter, the ball makes more of a pitch mark and will come to rest much quicker, leaving your ball much further from the hole than you wanted.

If you are playing golf when the course is frosty or frozen (which looks unlikely to ahppen at the moment!) and everything appears white, then it is often a good idea to play a ball with a different colour than white, to make it easier to find. Many people play with yellow or orange golf balls in these conditions.

and then there is the consideration of seaonal ‘rules’. During the Winter months most golf clubs bring in ‘Winter Rules’ for golf for two main reasons. Firstly, the ground conditions are much wetter either through rain or by dew. Secondly, the ground due to its softness, make the ball collect mud and dirt.

Therefore the ‘winter rules’ help a golfer rather than penalize a golfer, so that they can play their best golf when playing on a much wetter playing surface.

Check out our Green Fee tariffs and book today.

How To Stay Healthy Over The Festive Season

Christmas is a time traditionally given to overindulge as Christmas drinks, office parties and family get-togethers fill our December calendar. Our Fitness team offer their tips to make sure you stay feeling healthy and great over the festive period.

Healthy

Plan your workouts
Set a goal and get yourself organised. Look at your schedule for the busy time and plan your workouts around any events you might have. If you leave it until the day you are most likely going to think of an excuse and not go to the gym, remember that any workout is more healthy than no workout. If you have time try to fit some exercise before or after your party/event. Work hard and keep motivated towards your goals.

Over the festive season there will be a gym challenge to help motivate you and push you to work harder in your gym workout; this in turn will help you towards your overall goal.

Set limits
If you know you have a busy week try and control what you have to eat i.e. portion sizes, controlled carbs and eating until you are completely full. You don’t need to have three courses each time. Volunteer to be the driver one evening you’ll cut out lots of calories by skipping alcohol or have a non-alcoholic drink every other drink. Again go back to planning, plan what you will have to eat throughout the day and take it with you, this will help cut out the snacking and help you remain healthy. Set a limit of how many times you’d like to use the gym and try to integrate that with your schedule.

Christmas is also a time to relax so even if you haven’t got a busy schedule still try and get to the gym, drink plenty of water and keep to your goals.

Stick to it
As difficult as it’s going to be, stick to your plan and remember what your goals are. You can always come and speak to the Fitness Instructors for advice and if you want to change up your programme, to make your workouts more challenging and enjoyable over the festive season we can arrange that for you. Ask your friends and family to keep you motivated as well with all aspects of your workouts and healthy diet.

Most importantly, enjoy yourselves this festive season. Being in control will help you do this and maintain your healthy regime!

Change Your Routine to Keep Seeing Results

You’ve set yourself a hard gym routine to help get you through the summer season, now it’s time to make a change to keep on seeing those results. Phoebe McCully, a Senior Fitness Instructor at our Health Club, gives us some top tips.

 Matrix gym cardio suite at Donnington Valley

Sticking to the same routine can be very easy and comfortable, but at some point, your routine may not give you the results you want, so you need to shake things up. Changing your workout routine can be a motivator and may make things more interesting for you.

You work hard in the gym trying to find the routine that suits you. You start the routine and you notice that it is helping you make the changes that you want, so you stick with it. However, after a few months you may notice that the changes you liked to see have stopped appearing. The reason this happens is because repetition means the body can adapt. It will know what to expect and will then use less energy.

So here aresome signs that you can look for when deciding if you should change up your routine.

Do you get bored in the gym? Are you noticing fewer results? You find the workout less challenging? If you have answered yes to any of these questions then you need to mix things up!

Instead of just spending your amount of time on the treadmill, or cross trainer at a constant speed, I recommend our clients try our new ‘Sprint 8’ software. It is designed to help improve fitness levels, and burn away fat. It will be hard and will kick-start your body into making those changes again.

Mix up your strength routine by adding in a super set, to challenge your muscles even more. Finish the reps on the exercise that you are doing and then go straight into another one for the same muscle group. Super sets will help improve your endurance and build muscle.

If you make changes you will keep seeing results, and you will stay motivated. Try to make a change every four to six weeks. To help you make the right changes, why not book in for a review with the Fitness team? We would be only too happy to help and you never know how it will change the way you feel about your routine fore the better.

Summer Holiday Essential Tips

Feeling your best before going on a Summer holiday is essential. Here are three major tips from our Spa Manager Hannah Henley-Thrift to ensure you are ready for anything!

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With such busy lifestyles, getting body-ready for sunny climes before we go away often seems like a lot of effort. However, the results really are worth it! Envision yourself feeling great on holiday and follow these following tips for tanning, tinting and slimming.

Firstly, a healthy radiant glow will set the tone. A perfect tan comes with precision preparation. It might sound an effort but it will pay off! Exfoliating the body 24 hours before your tan is essential. For the best results apply your chosen body scrub to dry skin before showering, pay particular attention to dry areas, for example the elbows, knees, ankles and knuckles. Don’t forget any hair removal should also be done 24 hours before a tan but can be done after your exfoliation. Products containing oils should be avoided as the oil can remain on the skin resulting in a not so even tan.

If you are new to tanning, try a gradual tan which builds up as applied or get it applied professionally. For a long lasting tan, we treasure the Vita Liberata range – their pHenomenal (two to three week) tan is a tinted mousse making application very easy and giving you an instant glow.

For a flawless look throughout the summer tinting your eye lashes is a simple solution, rather than worrying about your mascara smudging. (IT is also great for swimmers and gym goers for the same reason! Eyelashes and eyebrows can be tinted and will last four to six weeks. A vegetable-based dye is used by your beauty therapist and applied to the desired area. A variety of colours is available and this will be discussed at the consultation stage. A patch test is required at least 24 hours prior to your appointment, so don’t forget to plan this into your pre-holiday calendar. (Another one for the list!)

Slimming
We are a massive fan of Thalgo’s Ocea Draine detoxifying products. Recommended before starting an intensive slimming regime, it triggers the elimination and weight loss process. This ten day intensive course will help you reach your goal – or just feel less bloated and trim.

Happy holidays!

Trim up for holiday, hit those target areas

The sunny weather and social season is upon us and in the back of your mind you will have that niggling wish you’d done those extra couple of minutes in the gym, attended that spin class or lifted a heavier weight. Phoebe McCully our Senior Fitness Instructor helps you make that change.

Trim up for holiday

If you always do the same routine in the gym, your body won’t make the changes you want to see. Yes you might have seen some positive developments in the beginning but as you go on, your body adapts to what you are doing and will plateau. So make a change and get the results you want.

Try a different cardio machine that will work you harder. For example if you always tend to use the treadmill switch to the Stair Climber, you’ll feel your heart rate pick up, helping to push those fitness levels higher. The Stair Climber will also help add some toning work to your legs.

Try a different exercise for the muscle you want to train. By changing your routine around, you will find that you will be bringing other muscles in to play that you wouldn’t have used before, helping you get that shape and toned look you have been fighting for. There are many different exercises you can use to tone and strengthen each body part. For example, if you always do squats to help train your lower body, why not try a walking lunge? It still trains your lower body as well as hitting different areas.

Try swimming; this is also a great form of all-round exercise. It’s ideal if you want to be more active and stay healthy, whatever your age or ability. Swimming can help tone muscles, correct posture and improve core stability. Try to vary your strokes to eliminate boredom and ensure every muscle group gets a workout.

Try a class

If the thought of pushing weights or different exercises bores you, then classes are surprisingly easy and addictive alternative – and prove results.

If your target area is to train and strengthen your core, then come along to one of our abs classes; you will come away with new ideas. Aimed at giving you an intense workout to strengthen the core abdominal and lower back muscles, it will help you get over that plateau. Or for better body tone and shape, Body Toning class will sculpt the entire body, helping you burn fat, gain strength and produce lean muscle.

This month why don’t you try and get yourself out of your comfort zone and make the changes, so you get to see the results you want?

Circuits Class

What’s involved in a circuits class?

Each circuits class is an hour long and starts with a spinning warm-up . Then, each person picks their first station performing the exercise for 30-45 seconds. There’s just enough time to have a breather (15 seconds) before moving to the next station. Once you’ve completed a whole round, it’s time for another 5 minutes of spinning before the second round of the circuit begins. The class ends with a short abdominal workout and some stretching.

Benefits of circuits classes

  • Works all parts of the body
  • Exercising as a group – increasing motivation and team spirit
  • Personalised advice from an instructor on how to avoid past bad habits
  • High intensity interval training makes you burn calories up to 48 hours after the workout

Why not join us for one of our circuits classes are currently taking place from 6 -7pm on Mondays and from 10 -11am on Sundays?

To enquire about Health Club memberships at the Donnington Valley Health Club & Spa, call 01635 551188 or send an email tohealthclub@donningtonvalley.co.uk.

Decline Push Ups

This great exercise which targets the following muscle: Pectoralis Major (upper pecs)

Again like other exercises we have mentioned in previous blogs you can do this at home if you cannot make the gym. So lets get training before the summer!

Starting Position

1. Use a bench and place it in a flat position, then place your feet shoulder width apart on the bench raised up on your toes.

2. Your body should be in a straight line with your arms in line with your chest, arms fully extended in a push up position.

Movement

1. Slowly let your arms bend bringing your body towards the floor, and stopping before you touch the ground.

2. Hold for a moment with your abs contracted. Return to the start position by straightening your arms and using your pectorals.

Tips

• Try contracting your abs before you begin the movement.

• Come down slowly at the start of the movement and explode on the way to the top.

Enjoy this exercise and let us know your feedback. Alternatively pop down toDonnington Valley Health Club and let us know.

Fitness Team
Donnington Valley Health Club & Spa

Ball Pull-In

This month we have put together an exercise to target the rectus abdominis and transverse abdominis muscles (your core). Ideal to try at home with a fitball or at the gym, this is a great exercise for your abs and will help tone your tummy.

Starting Position:

Get into a press up position, placing the exercise ball on the lower part of your shins.
Your body should be in a straight line.

Movement:

Slowly pull your knees in towards your chest, allowing the ball to roll forwards under your ankles. Hold for a moment with your abs contracted. Return to the start position by straightening your legs and rolling the ball away from your body.

Tips:

  • Try tucking your chin into your chest during the movement.
  • Keep your back as straight as possible.

Have a go and let us know your feedback!

Fitness team
Donnington Valley Hotel & Spa

Squat Thrusts

Four-Count Squat Thrusts

To start this simple exercise stand tall with your arms by the side of your body. Lower your body into a squat position as per our images below. Keep both hands in front of you on the floor, jump your legs away from your body so that they are straight and the weight of your body is over your hands (a plank position). Simply return your legs back to you hands back into the squat position again and jump upwards to straighten out your body, back into standing position. Try to do about 10 of these and then repeat twice more.

This is such a great exercise to do at home as no equipment is necessary. If a beginner try to do as many as you can, and with practice you will become stronger and able to perform more.

If this routine is performed regularly you will develop strength and mobility in your hip joints and knees. Not only this, but you will gain strength in your pelvic and abdominal areas. This is all key to help you improve your performance at high speed sports.

If you would like more information on exercise tips or to book a personal training appointment, contact Donnington Valley Health Club on 01635 551188.

Fitness Team
Donnington Valley Health Club and Spa