Fitness

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I love my Sony waterproof MP3. It has completely changed my experience with swimming.

Sony Waterproof MP3I mean I’ve always loved swimming but there are times when it is difficult to enthuse about going back and forth in a single lane, in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction. The repetition of the strokes and the not really going anywhere can seem quite tedious when my head isn’t crammed with thoughts I need to work out.

But since I bought my latest gadget, I can completely zone out to my favourite tracks and take the tunes under water with me. Some health clubs play music in the pool but there’s no real point in trying to lose yourself in the music when your head is under water half the time.

I’ve also worn these headphones in the shower and in the steam room. I’m taking them everywhere with me now.

So if you are looking for a way to kickstart your swimming, then I’d suggest giving these a go.

The key to making sure they work properly under water is to make sure you fit the right earplugs in. There are a few sizes to choose from and remember that you need to make sure the earplugs are big enough to stop water from seeping into the ear. If water does get into the headset, the mp3 recovers quickly enough.

Eyebrow threading at Strip Wax Bar.

Loving the new spin studio at my gym!

I also love my new eyelash extensions by Boudoir Lashes!

Tommy’s Margarita at 86.

The Wellesley Hotel opens in Hyde Park later this year. The building used to be the legendary jazz club Pizza on the Park – and its jazz legacy is set to continue with this stunning art deco boutique hotel, which will also be a massive draw for cigar fans. Watch out!

Street art in Clerkenwell.

Saturday morning cupcakes from Storm in a Cupcake, Chelsea’s latest cupcake shop.

The John Williams’ 80th Birthday Concert was amazing. The concert kicked off with Superman’s theme tune and ended with Stars Wars. In between, there was a string of Williams’ classics. Schindler’s List was hauntingly beautiful whilst E.T., magical.

Last night, I returned to Barbarella after the launch party, for dinner. The food was fantastic and the atmosphere was yet again buzzing, so there was no way we were leaving after the food. We stayed and danced the night away instead!

And right now, Sleepless In Seattle is on in the background. Love!

So we did it! Team Donna Ida cycled from London to Brighton yesterday in support of Jeans for Genes. We battled against the elements: either we were too hot or we had to endure heavy rain and strong winds – and we persevered.

There were 16 of us as we climbed the hills which we also descended at high speed at the other end.

We left Clapham Common around 9am yesterday morning and arrived in Brighton at 6’ish in the evening. I have so many memories which I have captured in my mind, such as seeing the lights of Brighton pier as we approached the seaside as well as the arduous concentration needed to climb Ditchling Beacon: a steep mile long hill that had me counting ‘one potato, two potato …’ to keep me focused on pushing up the hill. I did almost stop when I looked down at the view below and cycled into the kerb but I kept on going, much to the dismay of my limbs.

So far Donna Ida’s Summer of Sport has raised over £9,000 and there is still plenty of time to increase that figure as we countdown to Jeans For Geans Day on 5th October 2012. You might have seen a few celebrities sporting their t-shirts but if you’re not aware of what this charity is all about, click here to take a look at their website.

In the meantime if you’d like to sponsor Donna Ida’s Summer of Sport, here is the link – and of course, please feel free to share it around. Thanks so much in advance and I hope you’re all having a fab Bank Holiday! x

I feel like I’m forever changing gyms but so far I haven’t found a gym that I’ve wanted to stick with, perhaps until now. For the last year, I have been a member of Virgin Chelsea and whilst it is literally four minutes from my door I have felt somewhat restless about moving, since returning from my Easter holiday.

The main reason is the swimming pool. Even though it’s a lovely pool and great to stretch your muscles in, I have been wanting something a bit longer for a while. That’s what happens when you spend every day for two weeks, swimming off a tropical island in The Philippines I guess!

Another reason is that the classes can get very busy, which means you have to be there super early to snag yourself a token. There are a few other reasons but I’m not going to bore you with a list. The point is that I’ve switched gyms and I feel so much better for it. I’ve moved to Virgin’s Kensington Club which apparently a few Chelsea folks tend to do – and I love it there.

The swimming pool is not only longer but it also has a spa vibe with loungers and a fabulous jacuzzi with jet streams to pummel your back after a hard day. There are heated recliners to relax on and generally, the gym is much bigger. Oh, and the changing rooms are very nice indeed.

The Kensington Club is also undergoing a bit of a refurb at the moment, which is due to take a couple of months. But once it is finished, there will be anti-gravity yoga and the spin studio will have surrounding images to visually take you outside.

Finally, the added bonus is that I can still visit Virgin Chelsea if I want to. I did this lunchtime because I love their Wednesday lunchtime spin class. In fact, with a Virgin Kensington card you can use most of the other Virgin gyms anytime you want and that includes the Chiswick Racquet Club which has an outdoor pool and plenty of tennis courts.

So as you can imagine, I’m very excited to have the best of a few worlds right now: the convenience of something on my doorstep when I need it and somewhere to escape to, which is only a short bike ride away.

I have a feeling that I don’t have to move gyms for a while now. Whoop!

I have ten weeks to train for my London to Brighton charity cycle ride, which means it’s time to really get myself into gear.

Admittedly, the weather has only recently improved to make outdoor cycling a less arduous task. But I have decided to stop making excuses for myself because come rain or shine, I’ll be on that bicycle to Brighton on the 25th August anyway.

So, I’ve come up with a training schedule which I just wanted to share with anyone who is thinking of doing this ride. I’ve been scouring the net for training schedules and the most comprehensive one I have found is by the British Heart Foundation, which you can download here.

Inspired by the intermediate schedule and thankfully relieved to see that it is ten weeks long, I have come up with my own version which I can incorporate into my busy week. If I think about it realistically then gym sessions would be easier for me to keep up over the ten weeks, with a weekly outdoor cycle ride to train my stamina. So, this is what I’ve come up with:

Week Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
1 Rest 45 min. Spin Class 5k Run 45 min. Spin class 45 min. Spin class Aerobic Class Rest
2 3 hour long ride (easy pace) 45 min. Spin class Gentle Swim 45 min. Spin class 45 min. Spin class Aerobic Class Rest
3 3 hour long ride (easy pace) 45 min. Spin class Gentle Swim 45 min. Spin class 45 min. Spin class Aerobic Class Rest
4 3 hour long ride (easy pace) 45 min. Spin class Gentle Swim 45 min. Spin class 45 min. Spin class Aerobic Class Rest
5 3 hour long ride (easy pace) 45 min. Spin Class Gentle Swim 45 min. Spin class 45 min. Spin class Aerobic Class Rest
6 3 hour long ride (easy pace) 45 min. Spin Class Gentle Swim 45 min. Spin class 45 min. Spin class Aerobic Class Rest
7 3.5 hour long ride (easy pace) 45 min. Spin Class Gentle Swim 45 min. Spin class 45 min. Spin class Aerobic Class Rest
8 4 hour ride (easy pace) 45 min. Spin Class Gentle Swim 45 min. Spin class 45 min. Spin class Aerobic Class Rest
9 3.5 hour long ride (easy pace) 45 min. Spin Class Gentle Swim 45 min. Spin class 45 min. Spin class Aerobic Class Rest
10 3 hour ride (easy pace) 45 min. Spin Class Gentle Swim 45 min. Spin class Rest EVENT!

I started this schedule yesterday and cannot wait to get back on the bike next weekend. It’s been over a year since I have taken my road bike off its wall mount so it’s about time!

*To find out more about my London to Brighton cycle ride, please click here and if you would like to sponsor me, please click through to Donna Ida’s Just Giving page, here. Thank you in advance!*

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