Let’s get physical
Bored of yet another run or gym session? Here are 11 of the best classes in Berkshire to help you find your fitness mojo. Shredding anyone?!
Set yourself fitness goals in 2019? So determined am I to shift my wobbly bottom, I’ve signed up for Red January – organised by mental health charity Mind – to exercise everyday for the whole month. But I want to be fitter, stronger and leaner for the whole year! The secret to sticking to it, is not getting bored. At Muddy we’ve been having a nose around to see what’s out there to inspire you to get into your groove. Ready, steady, GO!
OK gym bunnies, if you love the following a dedicated programme of cardio and weights, this one is for you. Shredding is an intensive workout that burns fat fast and creates muscle definition. Say hello to the guns. But be warned, you’ll feel the pain to get there. The Shredquarters in Reading is relatively new, offering bespoke training to help you reach your goals. All you have to do is turn up, low weekly costs, no contracts, and each class feels like a PT sesh. The training is insane, you will be challenged, it will be hard, but Operation Smoking Hot will be well on its way
If you find pilates a bit slooooooow, Reformer Pilates could be the ticket, a machine that looks torturous with its pulls and levers but has an incredible effect on the body. Available at the awesome Bootcamp Pilates in Windsor, they offer energetic, no-impact stretching and toning workouts that help to lengthen and strengthen your muscles. If you want to mic it up, Power Flow Yoga, Barre class and a Mum/Dad and Baby classes are also available.
OPEN WATER SWIMMING
Brrrrrrrr! Open water swimming is big in Berkshire, well we do have lots of rivers and lakes to splash about it in and since the Brownlee brothers won us over at the Olympics, we’re all leaping into our lycra. If you want to dip your toe into the icy water, head to Bray Lake Watersports, near Maidenhead. It runs regularly open water swims (loops of 150m-1km) in a friendly and safe, yet challenging if you need it to be, environment. The centre’s onsite swimming experts are also on hand to give coaching and advice whether you’re a novice or pro. They also run paddle boarding, windsurfing
IN THE ZONE
Knackered and no time for anything extra in your life? I hear you. Why not let the fitness class come to you. DVDs are sooooo last decade, embrace the online fitness community. Anna at My Fit Zone has a phenomenal website with video workouts that are so varied, there isn’t a hope in hell of getting bored. They’re also different lengths, so if you can squeeze in 10 minutes one day and 30 the next, no problemo. Plus Anna gives nutritional advice, tons of healthy recipes, live online and IRL group classes and personal training. It’s a healthy lifestyle of eating and training, rather than diet and exercise.
Wanna look as hot as Jen Aniston, Jessica Biel and Madonna? Take up hot yoga and you too can perspire profusely in the art of mind and body perfection. Muddy award-winning Inspire Hot Yoga in Maidenhead has a state-of-the-art studio, heated to a perfect 40 degrees. Breath Yoga, is the perfect beginners class – slower paced and less intense – focussing on alignment, linking movement and breathing. It’s excellent for upper body strength, stamina and core strength. Prepare to tune out, tone up and detox.
New mums/ dads/ grandparents or friends just giving their knackered mate an hour’s rest, grab the baby and out you go. No need to find a gym with a creche, wrap ’em up, because the tiddler’s coming too. Buggy Beat, run by the lovely Jo Asplin of Willing Spirit Exercise, is an outdoor cross training class covering cardio, strength and flexibility training that takes place in local parks, all year round. You do all the hard work, the baby gets lots of fresh air and you meets lots of new people. Pay as you go or in blocks of 6 or 10 sessions.
Coming to a lake near you, SUP (stand up paddle board) yoga is the newest addition to the yoga world. I’ve tried it on holiday once and although it initially seemed an impossible ask to do yoga poses on a moving board, it was actually achievable once you got the hang of it. Great for your core but also for your mind as doing yoga outside and on water is very contemplative. You can join a class Horseshoe Lake in Sandhurst to give it a try but it can only be a matter of time before it’s widely available.
That’s climbing to you and me! Climbing centres are cropping up across the UK as an alternative to the routine of the gym, not least because it’s a mental as well as physical challenge. Try Oakwood Climbing Centre in Wokingham which has hundreds of different colour-coded climbs and we’re loving the sound of it! There’s also a good climbing centre in Reading.
To really put a spring in your step, how about a trampolining fitness class? If you’re bored with watching your kids have all the fun, bounce along to Jump IN in Newbury for one of their classes, combining traditional aerobic steps, dynamic sprints and “power sports” elements on trampolines. Apparently NASA believes it to be the most effective and efficient means of exercise and it’s fun, really fun so excuse me whilst I bound off like Tigger to a class (er, here’s hoping my pelvic floor exercises have worked!).
FITBACKS AND BUMPS
Things I wish I had done while pregnant: not eat for 2 and exercise more. A little body maintenance goes a long way. Not only will it help alleviate the aches and pains associated with pregnancy, your core won’t be entirely shot to pieces and you’ll have a pelvic floor that doesn’t give in every time you sneeze Newbury Wellbeing Centre offers Fitback and Bumps – a prenatal and postnatal exercise class with a qualified physiotherapist. You’ll spend time working on your posture, pelvic floor and there’s every chance you’ll have a flatter stomach once you’re baby has popped out.
Kapow! Boxing is perfect for a total body workout helping you get fitter, stronger and more kickass. It also improves balance, co-ordination, reactivity and agility. Try Go 12 Rounds at Gecko Fitness – a 36-minute high energy boxing circuits class. Learn real boxing skills (watch out Mr Muddy), burn a ton of calories and the every class is different – so it never gets dull. Still not convinced? Here’s the knockout blow, the Victoria Secrets models swear by it. And they don’t look too shabby.