My kitchen workout!

It can be hard to stay fit over the summer. Even though the weather is better (or should be!), school holidays and a general lack of routine can interfere with your fitness schedule. As an expat I know that many families spend weeks away from home living out of suitcases while staying with friends & family. This is not conducive to maintaining a regular work out schedule. Exercise classes cease during the school holidays and it can be hard to find the motivation to workout on your own. Even when you are actually on holiday, it is easy to find excuses not to exercise – too hot; too busy; or “I’m on holiday”etc.!

For my own benefit as well as yours, I have put together a short exercise routine which requires no equipment – you can do it in your kitchen or anywhere else for that matter. With a 3 minute warm up it takes 10 minutes; add in another set of each exercise (their are 10) and it will take 17 minutes … not much time at all even when you are busy lying by the pool. It won’t make you super fit but if you have moderate fitness it will help you keep your hand in over the summer – try to do it 3/4 times week & find time for some active walking as well.

My kitchen workout!

Warm up 3 minutes – walking or running on the spot with arm rotations & /or lateral and front raises; shallow squats with arm rotations; arm punches with heel to gum kicks.

  1. squats x10
  2. Forward lunge x 10 each leg
  3. Wall squat 30 second (or more if you can!)
  4. Backwards lunge x 10 each leg
  5. Side bends x 10 each side
  6. Press ups x 10 ( use a wall,work surface, stool or if you’re feeling strong the floor)
  7. Triceps dips x 10 (use a sturdy chair)
  8. Knee to elbow with squat x 20 i.e. 10 each alternate side – squat then on the rise lift knee towards elbow
  9. Full plank 30 seconds +
  10. Mountain climbers 30 seconds (or until exhaustion!)

Repeat! x1 x2 …

Tips; don’t forget your posture – lift your rib cage, engage your abs, look straight ahead; drink some water but try not to stop between each exercise; take a minute at the end of each set if you need to.

Don’t forget to spend a couple of minutes stretching afterwards.



Charity donations

During the remainder of 2016 I will be donating 10% of my earnings to Lumos – a charity supported by the British Embassy Paris.


Thames Path Challenge

On 13th September I am Nordic Walking 50km along the Thames Path. I am doing it with my eldest son, Haydn. We are raising money for the UCL Amyloidosis Research Fund because we want to help raise the profiles of both the Charity and the disease itself. Amyloidosis is a rare and life-threatening disease caused by abnormal deposition and accumulation of proteins in the tissues of the body. Early diagnosis is essential. Unfortunately, the disease is often misdiagnosed or diagnosed too late.

My brother, Haydn’s uncle, Jeremy, died of Amyloidosis in March this year. He lived in Germany (with his wife and 3 young children) so although his treatment took place at the Amyloidosis Centre in Heidelburg, he did visit the Royal Free Hospital last summer for tests and advice on his next course of treatment. Ironically, the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead is the hospital he was born in 53 years earlier. Any advances in the research of Amyloidosis will benefit sufferers worldwide.

Here is the link to my Just Giving page.

I also attach a link to the UCL Amyloidosis Research web page in case you would like to find out more.


What is Nordic Walking?

Nordic Walking has grown into a popular way for people of all ages and fitness levels to gain fitness, tone up, lose weight and improve their health. Unlike when trekking or rambling, Nordic Walking poles are planted behind you in order to propel you along. This engages the upper body and makes you feel lighter on your feet, which has four major advantages.

  • You use 90% of your major muscles so your upper body gets toned as well as your legs and backside!
  • You can burn 20–40% extra calories by using the poles – this can really help with weight loss
  • It takes the pressure off your knees and joints and is great for back and neck problems
  • You can get the most out of even a fairly short walk!

However, in order to gain the maximum benefits from Nordic Walking it is essential that you learn the correct technique from a qualified Nordic Walking instructor.