Tag Archives: Health and Wellness

New Year’s Fitness Resolutions

The New Year is always a good time for reflection on what you achieved last year. Look back at what you accomplished fitness-wise and decide what you will do to make those changes. Here are some tips from Senior itness Instructor Phoebe McCully to help you stick to your new resolution.

Be Realistic

This is one of the most important tips to think about and remember when setting your new fitness resolution. If you go straight in and set yourself a huge goal of losing a stone in a month or jumping straight in to 7 gym sessions a week you might find yourself slipping off the path you set yourself on.

Decide what type of challenge you want to set yourself for the new year and then break it down into smaller step by step amounts which you will achieve, keeping you motivated and on the right path.

For example if you’ve set yourself the goal to run 10k, don’t jump straight in and try and run the 10k, if you don’t succeed you may end up de motivating yourself. Set yourself chunks, first session run 2k, then 3k then 4k and so on. Or run the first 3k, walk 1k, run 3k, walk 1k. As your fitness improves you’ll see that you will be able to make more of a dent in the 10k before you have to walk.

Being realistic isn’t just a tip for those wanting to start fitness; those of you who have been using the gym for years will still need to be realistic when planning your new personal workout targets.

Make a Plan

Once you have decided on realistic new targets for your fitness, it’s time to get organised. By creating a step-by-step guide to reach your aspirations, it will set you up for success.

If you don’t make a plan, you are more likely to stop going to the gym and end up doing nothing. With the colder temperatures lingering about, it’s beneficial to have a specific schedule that you can work with – meaning no excuses not to come.

When you set your schedule remember to set yourself rest days, if not you may end up burning yourself out and setting yourself back to where you started.

An example of a plan could be to attend a mixture of cardio and strength classes so you work a variety of different muscles. If you prefer to train on your own you could split the different muscle groups into different days. This way you won’t feel like you have to rush your gym session to fit in each area you want to train.

If you’re new to the gym you could start by attending one fitness class a week and as you feel yourself getting fitter you could pick it up to two classes a week and so on.

Reward Yourself

We need to remember to reward ourselves when we reach our little targets that help us get to our main goal. By rewarding yourself it will keep your mind on the right path, and it’s always good to make yourself feel good about what you have achieved.

When you set your plan, decided what your rewards will be when you reach that particular goal, this will help you stay motivated and focused on getting there.

Remember you can always come and talk to one of our fitness instructors in the gym for advice, if you feel personal training sessions are what you need to help you get to your goal, then come and speak to one of us today.

Play Golf To Relieve Stress

In this modern time, where people work longer hours and with tight deadlines plus longer commuting times, we all need some way to relieve the stress of our working lives and sometimes our personal time, so how does golf help? Our Golf Diretor Peter Smith tells us more.

Golf

Playing golf for stress relief is even suggested by some doctors. Many club golfers would argue that the four or so hours spent each weekend out on their favourite course is their way of putting themselves back together again for the week ahead. For some others golf causes stress!
If you don’t get too wound up with not always playing the perfect shot every time (even the golf professionals don’t play every shot perfectly) then golf is very good for you as a whole.
You are out in the fresh air, even though that fresh air may include some moisture here in England, for four and a bit hours once or twice a week, you are exercising by walking the course (even if you take a trolley and don’t carry your clubs) and by swinging the golf club while playing each shot. Some players however get more exercise as they play more shots, which is not the aim of golf, as less is more from a scoring point of view!
You are also surrounded by nature, there are different birds, insects and often deer to look at while you play the course and depending on the course you play, the views across the valleys or even from tee to green can be magnificent and enjoyable.
The interaction and communication between playing partners coupled with the banter and laughter is also excellent for relieving stress, though laughing at a colleagues bad shots may not help their stress levels.
So to keep you sane, improve your cardio vascular activity and to have a good laugh, get yourself out on the fairways and play some golf.

Mum-To-Be with Little Butterfly

Little Butterfly London is Britain’s first organic-certified luxury skincare range for “babies” only. Our Spa offers the products to take away and treatments to enjoy here. Hannah, our Spa Director, tells us more.

Mum-To-Be

Dewdrops at Dawn, Bubbles in the Breeze and Fall into Dreams are some of newest products we have introduced to the Spa this month. These names are just an insight into the beautiful new range that is “Little Butterfly”.  The most precious natural and organic ingredients are generously blended to delight the senses and nurture delicate skin. Created in London and manufactured in England, Little Butterfly London has an air of elegance, with chalky pastel hues, fine wooden closures and luxurious cartons. Delicate skins deserve the kindest, safest skin care. All products are suitable for newborn and eczema-prone skin and are free from mineral oil, paraffin, parabens, SLS, silicones, DEA, TEA, PEGs and artificial fragrances.

The products in the range are:

Dewdrops at Dawn (Body Lotion)

Bubbles in the Breeze ( Top to Toe Wash)

Soft as Moonlight (Nappy Change Cream)

Floating on Clouds (Bedtime Bath Milk)

Fall into Dreams (Mother and Baby Massage Oil)

For the “Mum To Be” there is the Dreamy Pregnancy Massage available as a 55 minute or 80 minute option and suitable after the 14th week of pregnancy. This heavenly treatment incorporates the Mother and Baby oil with a full body massage which has been designed to soothe, calm and relieve the strains of pregnancy. For the mum to be that is experiencing disturbed sleep, aches, pains and puffiness, this dreamy massage will give you a moment to rest and restore. A new, “Fall into Dreams Mother and Baby Massage Oil” will be opened and used for your treatment, allowing you to take the rest of the product home with you; to nourish, soften and promote peaceful sleep for both you and baby.

For more information please contact the spa on 01635 551188.

Spa-rkle for Christmas – Prepare for Party Season

We are now entering the party season, the time when going out on “a school night” is actually acceptable, whether it be a night out with friends or the annual Christmas work do. Often it means treating ourselves to a new party outfit or two and a pre party pamper treat. Hannah our Spa Director offers top tips to prepare.

Spa

To prepare your skin for the festive season, ensure you drink a lot of water, 2 litres a day is the recommended intake. If over indulging is on the cards your water intake should be increased. There are ways to help the skin feel more hydrated and therefore be refreshed, glowing and allow make up to have a flawless finish. At home you can exfoliate your skin once or twice a week to remove any dead skin cells and use a hydrating mask once or twice a week to combat dehydration and infuse the skin with much needed nutrients. In the spa treat yourself to the collagen smoothing facial which will give your skin a collagen boost and correct the signs of ageing as they appear. The collagen mask smoothes fine lines and has a plumping effect, after the treatment your skin will be radiant and its collagen reserves restored.

To prepare for the LBD at home, skin brushing and a good body exfoliation will help to increase the circulation and leave the skin looking radiant and feeling smooth. In the spa the Thalgo slim and sculpt treatment is perfect for targeting stubborn unwanted curves and cellulite. You can combine this treatment with a full body exfoliation to save having to worry about how to reach your back or those difficult-to-reach areas. If you want to add a nice shimmer to the skin use the Polynesia Sacred Oil which gives a lovely gold shimmer as well as hydrating and nourishing. The other alternative is to have a spray tan or apply self tan at home. In the spa we use the Vita Liberata spray tan, an organic luxury anti ageing brand, with three different strengths of tan. You can choose from a touch of colour, a week away or even a two week holiday tan.

On-trend colours for make up this festive season are very much plums and purples and shimmers are back. A smoky eye is sultry and seductive, apply a shimmering, mid tone eye shadow to the moving part of the eyelid, use a brush to blend from lash line to socket line, use a darker shade on the outside corner of the eye, sweeping along the lash line and slightly into the socket line, add a little under the lower lashes, working inwards. Line the eyes with eyeliner to the lash line, for a more dramatic look apply to the lower line as well. Finish the look with mascara on the upper and lower lashes.

For nails, add sparkle to the ring finger or a touch of glitter to all nails.

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?

Uncomplicated British Beauty: delilah

Every woman wants to feel special every day with minimal make-up fuss. Last Monday, the delightful Rupert Kingston introduced delilah, his luxury beauty brand, to our product range.

Delilah Cosmetics
Uncomplicated British beauty from Delilah Cosmetics

Remember that understated glamour you feel every time you don a new colourful lipstick or every time you wear your favourite perfume? That’s how luxury and select make-up range delilah made us feel last night.

And as we learned, there’s no reason why we can’t feel that way all (or most!) of time with the right products. Borne of twenty years international experience in beauty buying and make-up artistry, delilah was carefully formulated in Italy from the finest ingredients. This capsule collection offers women a touch of understated luxury that they can enjoy everyday.

Importantly, delilah does not contain parabens, those modern-day nasties which recent research attests is no good for our skin at all. Instead, the products feel great, lightweight, and let your skin breathe.

Rupert offered a host of excellent tips and tricks as well, such as always to wear an SPF (I’m so guilty of forgetting but skin will be grateful in the long-run), that a brow pencil can so easily enhance your look, and that your choice of make-up brushes can dramatically enhance the application. Invest – or choose wisely initially – for long term gain.

Touching and feeling the products really brought this to life – the packaging is gorgeous and feels on a par with YSL or Chanel – very important in making a product feel extra special. With a host of pretty corals, daring poppies for the lips, warm browns, peacock greens and sultry purpose for the eyes, Rupert also aided our decision on choosing colours. Essentially, while the ‘barely-there’ is great, if you feel daring, don’t be afraid to wear colour!

The main takeaway was that make-up should be fun, easy, and make your skin look good (rather than being obvious). And delilah products very much did the job. I’m placing my order right now.

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.