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Welcome to the Wahanda Expert Panel - your insider guide to the world of health, beauty and wellbeing. Each month, our experts will be sharing professional tips and advice exclusive to Wahanda - giving you the lowdown on the latest beauty and fitness trends. We can't wait to learn what they have to say...
Here to guide you through January with her pick of the best bootcamps is Katy Young, Deputy Health and Beauty Editor at Harper's Bazaar. With ten years' experience as a beauty journalist under her belt, Katy is also dedicated to finding new fitness solutions in her spare time. Over to Katy!
On the beach
Just thinking of the beach is enough to make you want to whip into shape pre summer. So where better to do the body prep than on Holkham Beach - one the UK’s most beautiful spots? The group workouts are tough (promising to burn up to 700 calories per session), but if you want to learn the best exercises – these sessions are developed by professors at Loughborough University to pack a punch – and give yourself the best fitness kick start, look no further than Liberte’s overnight bootcamp, which teams up with the gorgeous Hoste Arms pub in Burnham Market as your bed and super healthy breakfast.
Heartcore Pilates isn’t for the faint hearted – but if you want to change shape and get strong fast, sign up to these hour long classes of no more than six (they do a complimentary taster session before you sign along the dotted line). Whether you’re a newcomer to exercise or not, I promise you a body change in less than ten sessions.
In the park
Fit for a Princess – for girls only – do great one hour workouts at a park near you. Developed by Janey Holliday, a self confessed exercise hater, these group sessions of basic cardio are all about making exercise fun, and friendly, and it’s a formula that works. Expect a surge in strength, rising fitness levels and a drop in pounds.
The great escape
Wild Fitness take dream teams of nutritionists, trainers and motivational experts to some of the most beautiful locations all over the world – from Africa to Crete – to get back to our hunter gatherer origins when we were strong, lean, fast, agile and fertile, and that all starts by getting outdoors and moving, eating and living ‘wild’ and using nature as our tool. Bootcamps are never more than 14 people, lasting 3 to 21 days, but for mind and body changing effects that last forever.
The French fancy
They say that French women don’t get fat – maybe Camp Biche has something to do with it? Set in a 11th century hilltop mansion in South Western France, these week long bootcamps include great outdoor workouts with plenty of leg toning walks through the spectacular hills. You can also expect to lose between 8 and 30% body fat, despite a surprisingly healthy dose of the finer things in life (including local food and wine) - but it’s all served with a new approach to eating healthily, which you can expect to stick long after you return home.
The yoga alternative
It has to be Yeotown – based in the already mind and body balancing North Cornwall. Not only will you be trained by the glitterati of the yoga guru world (and by sunrise and sunset on the beach if it’s warm), but you’ll also be fed by the in house nutritionists, whose beautiful organic food will also leave you feeling clean, lean and energised. Do look at the calendar, as they also do great retreats to detox and boost fertility – or, if you’re a stranger to yoga, they do excellent taster weekends.
Anyone who’s done a bootcamp will extol its mind, motivation and body benefits; but don’t take it from me, because there’s sturdy science to say so too.
Working out in groups...
...backs up the fact that exercise can be your happy pill. Working out with other people boosts our mood so much, ‘that it’s linked to a decrease in tension, anger and depression,’ explains the European Centre for the Environment and Human Health.
Working out outdoors…
...boosts our mood and confidence, so get out of the gym and get green because getting fit where there is an abundance of trees and grass will keep your mind fit, confident and happy too. Add water to the equation – whether it’s by a lake, river or the sea – and you can expect to increase you happiness even more, say studies in the Environmental Science & Technology Journal.
Workout out outdoors…
...helps burn more calories. Running outdoors not only activates more muscles (particularly the core, as the uneven surface means we have to maintain our balance) - it also helps burn 10% more calories than running on the treadmill, as we naturally use more energy to propel ourselves along the the ground. Studies by the European Journal of Applied Physiology showed running on sand burns a further 80 calories more per mile – plus, as sand takes nearly 100% of the impact, it’s easier on your joints.
... also creates more air resistance, which, say the experts at Liberte Fitness, also means we burn more energy.
Working out in the sun…
...boosts levels of vitamin D, which is essential for our overall health, a healthy sleep pattern and our mood.
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