FITNESS, STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING
One of London’s original (and, in my view, best) reformer Pilates studios has gone online. From core‑strengthening mat Pilates to barre classes and “Ritual” – a blend of Pilates, yoga and ballet-style exercises rumoured to be favoured by the Duchess of Sussex – Heartcore’s expert trainers will help you to get long, lean and toned. £5 classes via Zoom, heartcore.co.uk
TRX Suspension Training
The first TRX was created by Navy Seal Randy Hetrick in 1997 from a jiu-jitsu belt and some parachute webbing. Since then the pulley-like equipment has been used by everyone from supermodels to professional athletes. By counteracting gravity with your bodyweight, it’s a fast, effective way to tone muscle, build strength and increase mobility – all in a small space, inside or out. TRX Home 2, including a one-year subscription to the training app, £169.95, trxtraining.co.uk
Auro Personal Training
Dubbed a “personal trainer in your ear”, the Auro app has hundreds of workouts covering everything from walking and running to strengthening, yoga and stretching. While you can listen to its music, there’s also the option to overlay sessions with your own Spotify playlist. Sync it with your Apple Watch to get heart rate-based data and monitor your progress. 14‑day free trial, then £11.99 per month via the Apple App Store and Google Play
If you’re looking for a real challenge, Olympic Triathlon and Iron Man coach James Beckinsale is at hand. His Gold Package includes a personalised programme, delivered via professional athlete-training platform Training Peaks, one-to-one virtual sessions, digital Zwift bike races and meditation exercises – as well as unlimited access to him via Skype, WhatsApp and phone. Gold Package, £235 per month, jamesbeckinsale.co.uk
If you can’t get out to your regular physiotherapy sessions, or worse, if you injure yourself, Technique Physiotherapy has a team of accredited experts on hand to carry out musculoskeletal assessments via Skype or Zoom. They’ll furnish you with self-massage and foam-rolling techniques, along with a bespoke programme of exercises to help you manage aches and pains. £49 for 45 minutes, techniquephysio.com
A unique method developed by US-based physical therapist Lara Heimann, who has combined physiotherapy, kinesiology and neurology into a whole new practice. Everything, from beginner to advanced work-outs, is now available via her live-streams and video library. Trust me when I say your glutes will burn, your posture will improve and your mind will rediscover the art of focus. After a month, you may even perfect a handstand. $39.99 per month, movementbylara.vhx.tv
Those suffering from back issues or sciatica can get expert advice from leading spinal experts at The Mayfair Clinic. Its Back In Shape membership area provides access to tutorials and progressive workout videos to help strengthen your back and core without injury. Seven-day free trial, then £15 per month, themayfairclinic.com
Specialist Pain Management
Aching, tight shoulders, necks, wrists and hips are likely to feel worse when we’re spending much of the day sitting at home. Richmond Stace, specialist in chronic and persistent pain, is offering Skype sessions where he’ll carry out an assessment, then deliver a programme of exercises, relaxation, visualisation and mindfulness to help manage your condition. £140 for one hour, specialistpainphysio.com
MENTAL WELLBEING, RELAXATION AND SLEEP
Better Help Therapy
According to the Global Wellness Summit, demand for “teletherapy” has leapt since the outbreak of Covid-19. Better Help gives you access to licensed psychologists, therapists and counsellors, matching you to the right person after an initial assessment. Contact your expert via message, phone or video conferencing. From $40 per week, betterhelp.com
The Insomnia Clinic
One in three of us suffers from sleep problems at the best of times. With upset routines and increased anxiety keeping us awake at night, a Zoom session with a specialist could help you fall asleep faster, wake less frequently and feel more rested come morning, via a range of CBT techniques developed specifically for insomnia. £90 for a one-hour consultation; £189 for the four-part Sleep Well Live Better course delivered via video, theinsomniaclinic.co.uk
The Breath Guy
Richie Bostock has trained leaders from Deloitte, Harvey Nichols, TedX and the Cabinet Office in optimal breath work. Helping to reduce anxiety, induce greater calm and focus – and improve lung function – his digital group sessions have recently become a daily essential for many of his 31,000 Instagram followers. Free, Instagram Live @TheBreathGuy
The Kaizn Method
Who doesn’t need to build resilience right now? Performance coaches Alex Potter and Jono Remington-Hobbs help you to rise to the challenge by mastering your home-based day, and unlock new opportunities for personal and professional growth. £1,250 for a course of two three-hour private sessions, £99 for a four-week Art Of Challenge group programme, kaiznmethod.com
Strala Yoga & Tai Chi
Created by former classical ballet dancer Tara Stiles and her husband Mike Taylor, a mind-body medicine Harvard alumnus, this method (backed by Dr Deepak Chopra) fuses different forms of yoga with tai chi, qigong and traditional Chinese medicine to activate the body’s chemical relaxation response – even in times of challenge. I can personally vouch that you’ll feel amazing after just one session. Series start from $45, stralayoga.com
SKIN, HAIR AND NUTRITION
Adonia Medical clinic Virtual Facial
Stress, sleeplessness and being stuck inside spell all kinds of trouble for the skin – especially for anyone who’s already prone to flare-ups of acne, rosacea or eczema. Which is why dermatologist Dr Ifeoma Ejikeme has created a virtual facial consultation. After an aesthetician assesses your skin online, you’ll be sent a “prescription” of products suited to your skin before your expert walks you through a facial via video tutorial. £150 for a consultation with Dr Ejikeme, redeemable against treatments or products. Facial treatments from £80, adoniamedicalclinic.co.uk
Hershesons Hair Appointments
Professional blowdries, cuts and colour might be beyond reach. But Hershesons is offering private online consultations to help you deal with visible roots, grow out your fringe and fix disastrous kitchen-scissor haircuts until you can get to a salon. £10 for 20 minutes, redeemable against your next in-salon appointment, hershesons.com
Nutritional therapist Eve Kalinik is taking her one-on-one sessions online. She assesses individual needs, then offers tailored meal plans, recipes and supplement suggestions to help alleviate a range of heath complaints. As she believes that 70 to 80 per cent of our immunity stems from the gut, there seems no better time to start. An electronic version of her book, Be Good to Your Gut: The Ultimate Guide to Gut Health, is included. £295 for initial one-hour consultation, £150 for 45-minute follow-ups, evekalinik.com
Facetoned Facial Workout
When that regular facial or fillers appointment is impossible, try Pilates – but for your face. Pilates teacher Carme Farré teaches facial fitness to lift the neck and jawline and smooth wrinkles. All you’ll need is clean skin and a good facial oil. From personal experience, nightly workouts helped to ease anxiety and stress headaches. From £11.99 per month via the FaceToned app, facetoned.com
Curtis Brown Creative Writing Workouts
Research consistently shows that creative activities can increase the level of the feelgood hormone dopamine in the brain. This Weekly Writing Workout, led by one of the world’s major literary agencies, gives you access to tasks, professional tips and pointers on everything from starting your novel to pitching it. Free, curtisbrowncreative.co.uk
Co-created by songwriter, composer and producer Quincy Jones, these sessions are an opportunity to learn from Emmy- and Grammy-award-winning artists how to play everything from Coldplay to Beethoven via Miles Davis on a keyboard or digital piano at home. From $17.99 per month, playgroundsessions.com
Opera and Ballet
The Royal Opera House has created a programme of full‑length productions – from Peter and the Wolf to Così Fan Tutte – to be broadcast via its Facebook and YouTube channels (free, but donations welcomed). Likewise, Sadler’s Wells’ Digital Stage platform provides access to a free programme including Deluxe by the BalletBoyz and Rumpelstiltskin. roh.org.uk, sadlerswells.com
Oxford University Tutor Takeover
As part of a new “Curious Minds” campaign, the Department for Continuing Education has unlocked the Bodleian Library’s Digital Collections, a Mathematics Institute Public Lectures programme of YouTube lectures – and every other day will feature a Tutor Takeover, whereby a leading academic recommends podcasts, articles and other knowledge sources to keep your mind occupied for months. Free, conted.ox.ac.uk
THERAPEUTIC GADGETS TO GET YOU THROUGH
FaceGym Pro by Xtreem Pulse
This face tool uses electro-stimulation to strengthen underlying facial muscles and lift the skin when used for just 10 minutes, three times per week. £495, facegym.com
Flow Neuroscience Headset
Combines electro-stimulation with app-based behavioural therapy to manage the symptoms of depression. On subscription for £65 per month, flowneuroscience.com
From a wearable AI stress-buster to algae-based supplements, here’s how you’ll be staying fit and healthy this year.
We’ve long understood that to keep our bodies taut and youthful, exercise is required. Carme Farré is one of a growing number of fitness instructors suggesting we should be doing the same for our faces. GQ tried it out…
Exercise is rarely a sexy state of affairs, but face pilates – yes, you read that right – might win the award for most deeply unattractive fitness endeavour. At one point in my first taster session I turn to my instructor for help making sure I’m doing the exercise correctly: with a dopey smile designed to work out muscles in my jaw, I have the strange look of Animal from The Muppets. This, depressingly, might have been the best looking of all the faces I was asked to pull.
Yet when my instructor, FaceToned’s founder Carme Farré, shows me before and after photos of her regular clientele, it almost makes it seem worth it: People’s jaws look changed, their cheekbones more defined than it seemed possible. Skin, too, is now clearer and healthier. “If you have an arm that doesn’t exercise you will see the skin a little bit, you know, older. if you start toning that muscle, after four-six weeks, you will see the skin fill up with muscle underneath,” explained Farré. “This is the same in the face.”
Farré describes what she does as like a “mini facelift” and “natural botox”, and when you see the results it’s hard to disagree. She also shows me pictures of her in her twenties, and her now, on the cusp of 47. There are startlingly few differences. It might sound borderline inane, but when people look this good because they’re working out their faces, maybe it’s time to listen.
Farré opened her (full body) Pilates studio in 2013: she trained with Alan Herdman and BASI – the former a more rehabilitative version, the latter more athletic – and then when Eva Fraser, who is a long standing figurehead in the world of face exercising. Fraser didn’t respond to a request to speak for the story, but there are videos of her – looking frankly luminescent for her 80s – teaching volunteers what to do: watching Alison Hammond doing it on This Morning in 2010 is a particular highlight.
Farré was 35 when she first went to a facial exercise class and fell in love with it. “it wasn’t a beauty concept or anything,” she said, “it was just: actually yes. If you work your muscles in the body, why wouldn’t you do the same with the face?”
FaceToned, her current system, exists in a couple of forms: one on one classes in her studio, and then an app which you pay to join the way one might a gym membership or telefitness app (it costs £19.) It contains recipes developed with nutritionists, and a Foundation Program of six weeks with 15-minute tutorials for facial workouts. There are also live webinars that people can join, participating in real time with Farré but with your own face invisible to all involved (which, I cannot stress enough, is a huge relief.) She has also done group sessions in person, she says, but “they tend to be quite giggly.”
Facial exercises, Farré argues, are a crucial way of battling the signs of age. “Aging is not about wrinkles, its about sagging,” she says. “You see a face that is very tight, and it has a few lines, looks younger than a face that has no lines but its sagging.” But it also has benefits outside of cosmetic change or just general fitness: she says it’s excellent rehabilitation for people with Bell’s Palsy or whiplash injuries.
Carme’s studio is a basement in Notting Hill, small and square, entirely mirrored, and stuffed to the gills with reformer pilates equipment. For our session she sits me down at a small white vanity and sits behind me on a balance ball. She pours me a water- I’ll need it, apparently- and she starts by getting me to cover my face in a serum.
Then the workout begins. Farré starts with the jaw and neck every time, “because it’s the number one concern of clients when they come to the studio.” We start with a simple exercise, placing my tongue against my top lip and pushing forward with the former, and resisting with the latter. “In pilates there is always two forces,” she explains, “one that presses and the other one that goes against.” After the first round she asks me how I feel, and I’m amazed at how much effort my face has exerted just to keep certain parts in place, to move things without other things following. The face is full of these chain reactions, she explains, where we move parts of the face because we feel it’s required to achieve something else. In one, we try and find ways for me to open my eyes wider without moving my forehead at all.
Part of me wonders if it only felt like my face looked ludicrous at the time because of how new it was. Watching back footage of my session I… was entirely correct to think I looked ludicrous. Even the most basic exercises look like I’m very unsubtly trying to work something out from inside my back teeth. What was perhaps most interesting was seeing the differences in between me and Carmé’s facial musculature: some exercises she would do would expose taut, powerful muscles in parts of the face it’s very easy to forget we have muscles in. The same one, done by me, simply looked as if I was gurning. Perhaps the most unpleasant to see reflected back at me involved me putting my bottom lip over my top, and then pulsing a smile up and down, focusing on the corners of the mouth. Catching sight of myself in the mirror, I honestly looked like the face of a Chinese guardian lion. That being said: I came out feeling like my face had been through the wringer, which is a sign I probably did get a real work out.
According to a 2018 study from Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, facial exercises were shown to make a sample group of middle-aged women look younger. Based on the before and afters Farré showed me too, it’s also effective for men. Farré says her male clients have loved it, and while I can’t promise I’ll be signing up for the app tomorrow, it’s clearly having the desired effect. If you’ve been looking to combat the signs of aging, facial pilates might just be the answer you’ve been looking for: just make sure you do the exercises behind closed doors.
Jo and Sarah answer real questions from readers: to put your query, go to beautybible.com
Q I’m noticing my jawline getting a bit lax with the suspicion of jowls forming and a little pouch under my chin. I would love to stop them in their tracks but not keen on anything invasive. Do facial exercises work and would they help?
A The short answer to your question is yes and yes! Facial exercises do work and they would almost certainly help your neck and jawline as well as toning the lower half of your face. And of course you can extend the workout to the upper half too.
The legendary Eva Fraser was the first practitioner we know of to create a set of exercises that would tone the 40-plus pairs of facial muscles to help counter the downward drift as we age.
Technology is on the side of learning and practising facial exercises, which really helps as you can see so much more detail. The FaceToned® Facial Fitness programme is a recent online entry to the arena. Sarah had a taster of FaceToned recently and was impressed.
FaceToned is the brainchild of former banker turned Pilates teacher Carme Farré. Now in her forties and a mother, Carme wanted to devise a programme both for her clients and herself, and to make it available online so that everyone could try it for a moderate subscription. As she says, we devote hours to exercising our bodies but apart from perhaps a spot of facial massage when we apply product, our faces – the first part everyone sees – tend to get left out.
If you think life is too short to stuff a cherry tomato, exercises like repetitively pulsing your tongue against the roof of your mouth and doing micro movements with your lips may not be your bag. But Sarah had to admit, albeit a tad reluctantly, that 15 minutes working out with Carme had a real effect. Of course it didn’t miraculously hitch up facial sags and bags but the workout did leave her with a bright, pink-y complexion, wide-open eyes, a feeling of muscles coming alive and a general air of uplift.
Before launching online this spring, Carme had been teaching and refining her FaceToned programme with clients for five years. She promises that, if you exercise regularly for 15 minutes three to four times a week using the online modules, you’ll start seeing real benefits after four weeks. Many subscribers actually choose to practise up to six times a week. In a survey of 33 women who signed up for the FaceToned online programme, 28 said they found it fun and intend to complete the course. Subscribers are also positive about the live weekly webinars.
In Carme’s experience, the majority of clients using the FaceToned method regularly notice the following improvements after eight weeks:
· Improvement and definition in the jaw and jowls (which is the number one concern, she says)
· A more toned and defined face overall with tauter skin
· More volume in cheeks
· Some reduction of lines and wrinkles on forehead and laugh lines around the eyes.
And finally watch that space, ie the website, because a FaceToned app will be launching in October this year.
Beauty Bible loves…
Fer à Cheval, from £4.50.
With soap having a massive revival, you may have spotted creations by Fer à Cheval popping up in stores near you. (Gorgeous stockists include Flint in Lewes, Long Barn in Winchester, Stiffkey Stores in Norfolk, Objects of Use in Oxford…)
Or you may have spotted it on your French travels, of course. Fer à Cheval (it means ‘horseshoe’) is the oldest and biggest soap company in Marseilles, still making soap in the traditional way, to an age-old recipe and traditional techniques passed down through generations of master soap-makers.
Fer à Cheval , from £4.50. If you prefer liquid soaps, there’s a wonderful range of those – scented or non-scented
The big, blocky Savon de Marseilles-embossed olive oil soaps are the most traditional, of course (and very reasonably priced), but they now also offer all sorts of beautifully-scented soaps including Lavender, Rose Petals, White Tea & Yuzu, Seaside Citrus, Aqua Tangerine (we’re particularly loving that one). No single UK website stocks the lot, but the French website ships (and Cotswold Trading has a good selection, in the UK).
If you prefer liquid soaps, there’s a wonderful range of those – scented or non-scented (as above) – and for your inner #instacleaner, a great range of home cleaning options that are definitely a step up from Fairy.
We think it’s definitely a lucky day, the day you discover Fer à Cheval.
- Pilates teacher Carme Farré designed the exercises to help defy ageing process
- Exercises work deep into the core facial muscles and more superficial ones
- Technique focuses on four common concerns: Neck, cheeks, eyes and forehead
Face Pilates is the newest craze which can help smooth out fine lines on the forehead and tone sagging skin below your chin.
Pilates teacher Carme Farré, 47, from London, devised the exercises which she teaches to hundreds of her clients in her private studio, and has also created an app, FaceToned®, which guides you through the movements.
Using special techniques, demonstrated by Carme, the programme shows how to work deep into the core facial muscles and then more superficial ones surrounding your face, creating natural definition and a more taut and toned appearance.
She told Femail: ‘It is based around the theory that we work out the muscles in our body regularly, yet the muscles in our face tend to get forgotten. By toning the facial muscles, we start to reduce fine lines and loose skin. The technique focuses on the four most common concerns: the neck, cheeks, eyes and forehead.’
Piltaes teacher Carme Farré, 47, from London, came up with the exercises to help us defy the ageing process
Carme reveals that we should work the exercises into out beauty routine – cleansing our skin, applying a serum to moisturise, doing the exercises and at the end, applying an oil to massage.
‘For the massage, I recommend using a Gua Sha or Face Roller as it helps to increase the blood circulation and improve the results of the exercises,’ Carme admits.
The Pilates teacher, who has been doing the exercises herself for over 10 years, says that you only have to do them for 10 minutes a day and, ‘once you have learned the techniques, you can do it at home, in the car or on the train. ‘
Here Femail reveal four of the key exercises, which you should do every day…
Carme reveals that we should work the exercises into out beauty routine – cleansing our skin, applying a serum to moisturise, doing the exercises and at the end, applying an oil to massage. Pictured: Carme doing the advanced exercise that tones the neck, cheeks and jowls
For: Advanced exercise that tones the neck, cheeks and jowls
Method: Lengthen the neck upwards and bring the chin up slightly holding your collarbones with your hands, and slightly pulling down.
Now bring the chin forward and slightly up so to hold the top lip with lower teeth, then try to touch the tip of the nose with your lower lip.
Now, lift up the corners of the mouth and pulse up and slightly down as if smiling for eight counts. Hold this position for eight counts and then relax.
Perform three times.
Carme shoes how you should tone the ‘youth triangle’ of the cheeks and lower eyelids
For: Tones the ‘youth triangle’ of the cheeks and lower eyelids
Method: Lengthen the neck, place both index fingers next to the outside lower area of the eyes and slightly pull to the sides up towards the temple.
Keeping this position, squint and relax as you pulse the lower eyelid eight times, making sure that the upper eyelid does not move.
Then keep the squint for eight counts and relax.
Perform three times.
For: Tones the forehead, softening wrinkle lines
Method: Place both index fingers just above eyebrows and hold them firmly in place.
Pulse the forehead up and down eight times, while resisting with your index fingers. Then keep the lift for eight counts and relax.
Perform three times.
For: Tones the core, neck and lips
Method: Lengthen the neck, bringing the tip of the tongue between the top lip and teeth, pressing against each other.
Keeping the pressure constant, circle the tip of the tongue right, down, left and up four times and then change direction.
Perform three times.
Talking about why the exercises work she said: ‘I always loved working out and when I discovered facial exercises, it was a revelation for me.’
‘It made complete sense to me that exercising your facial muscles could lead to a more youthful appearance in the same way as we when we exercise the muscles in the rest of our body.
‘I started facial exercise at 35, but FaceToned® is suitable for anyone of any age who wants to prevent ageing, tone up or rehabilitate their facial muscles.
‘Exercise is one of the most powerful anti-ageing methods possible for the body, and the same is true for the face.
‘By exercising our facial muscles, we can increase muscle tone and volume, thereby leading to a more youthful appearance.’
The FaceToned® app is now available in the Google and Apple app stores
Many people take up Pilates to work out the muscles in their body, but the muscles in the face tend to be forgotten about.
That’s where facial Pilates comes in. Pilates teacher Carme Farre has created the FaceToned facial fitness programme, a beauty routine that tones the muscles to lift and rejuvenate your overall facial appearance and slow down the natural signs of ageing.
“By toning the facial muscles, we start to reduce fine lines and loose skin. The technique focuses on the four most common concerns: the neck, cheeks, eyes and forehead,” Carme said. “FaceToned is all about embracing ageing whilst exercising your face, in the same way we exercise to maintain a healthy, functional body.”
How is it different from other facial fitness techniques?
Carme took key Pilates principles and developed exercises to train the facial muscles. The system is designed to give structure to the face and tone up the ‘core’ muscles, leading to a more defined jawline, lessening of double chins, fuller cheeks, smoother ‘laughing lines’, and softer wrinkles in the forehead.
“I always loved working out and when I discovered facial exercises, it was a revelation for me,” noted Carme. “It made complete sense to me that exercising your facial muscles could lead to a more youthful appearance in the same way as when we exercise the muscles in the rest of our body… Exercise is one of the most powerful anti-ageing methods possible for the body, and the same is true for the face. By exercising our facial muscles, we can increase muscle tone and volume, thereby leading to a more youthful appearance.”
FaceToned members can access weekly webinars, tutorials, recipes, workouts and the six-week programme, based on five days of exercise per week, via the website or app.
During this unusual, unprecedented and unsettling time, many of us are experiencing some level of anxiety, stress or worry.
Some of us are having to juggle children with working from home (without the help of childcare), while others are worried about potentially not having work at all, and others might be facing the possibility of losing loved ones.
All this worry takes a big strain on our mental wellbeing, and it doesn’t help that we’re spending less time outdoors, less time in the sun, less time exercising, and of course less time with friends and family.
So, given the situation, we think it’s more important than ever for us to look after our mental wellbeing.
With searches for ‘positivity during hard times’ up by 6705 percent on Pinterest (compared with two weeks ago), many of us are trying to make the best of things, while searches for ‘self care at home’ have tripled too, indicating that people are looking for new ways to stay positive and take care of themselves.
Aside from eating healthy, going outside for an hour of exercise a day if we’re able to, and staying in touch with family and friends online and over the phone, there’s plenty more we can do to manage our stress.
Here are some sure-fire ways to get your mood up at home.
1. LET THERE BE LIGHT
Now that we’re spending less time out and about, the decreased exposure to natural light also negatively impacts our mood, mental health, motivation, productivity levels and sleep/wake cycle. Bright light has been shown to immediately increase levels of alertness, boost mood and improve performance, so we recommend investing in a bright light therapy lamp, such as Vitamin L lamp by light therapy experts Lumie.
Having a light box like the Vitamin L at your desk could directly help to improve the way you are feeling. The slimline bright light for SAD and wellbeing promises to improve mood, energy and focus. It has warm white LEDs to create a particularly authentic sunlight effect and a rippled diffuser for a soft, comfortable light.
Lumie Vitamin L, £75, available from Lumie, Amazon, John Lewis, Boots (online) and Selfridges
2. DO SOMETHING GOOD
We think there’s no better mood lifter than doing something good for someone else. Of course, if you’re fit and healthy and haven’t already signed up to volunteer with the NHS then that’s one route to go down. But there’s something you can do from the comfort of your sofa too.
Give a Knit teaches you how to knit or crochet a teddy bear, and once the bear is finished it will be donated to HIHFAD, a UK registered charity supporting displaced children in Syria. Plus, it’s been shown that knitting has lots of mental health/mindfulness benefits too, so win-win.
Purchase a Bertie Bear Kit from giveaknit.co.uk for £15, or download a pattern for £4
Read Also: The Prettiest Notecards For Staying In Touch
3. HOME FITNESS
Now that your home has become your office, why not make it your gym too? With gyms and fitness establishments closed, searches for ‘workout from home’ are up by 400 percent week on week, as we’re all looking for ways to stay fit and healthy from the comfort of our homes.
The change to our daily lives has already impacted our physical fitness, as Fitbit released their data detailing the global step count decline around the world.
‘Physical activity is great at reducing stress and anxieties, so do workouts at home: there are plenty of great online workouts to try for free. Many are adapted so you don’t need much space or any equipment. Remember to do exercises that get your heart and lungs working and get you out of breath. Aim towards 150 minutes a week. Also remember to do some resistance exercises: these are where you lift anything heavy or use your own body weight – such as doing press ups or squats – to fatigue your muscles,’ recommends NHS GP Dr Dane Vishnubala.
So how do we keep fit when we’re house bound? If you have kids, you’ll have heard of Joe Wicks’ youtube channel offering free PE sessions for kids. But he’s not the only one offering free workouts online. Pilates teacher and founder of her youtube.Carme Farré, is offering free online 30 minute full body Pilates at 4pm daily, in order to help everyone stay fit and healthy. Watch along on
L1VE FIT are offering a free 12 week subscription, while physiotherapist Lyndsay Hirst teaches clinical Pilates for back pain, posture, wellness online. Not enough inspo? There’s plenty on Instagram too. Digme Fitness are offering ongoing free virtual live HIIT and Yoga classes via their social channels every day, and FLY LDN are running live barre, yoga, Pilates and low impact classes at 8am, 12.30pm and 6pm daily on Instagram Live (@fly_ldn). Sweat It (@sweatitlondon) are also offering full body and targeted workouts on Instagram Live, streamed from their trainers’ accounts, with a class schedule and Instagram handles for the trainers posted at the start of each week.
4. ALL THE GEAR
If you’re going to be doing indoor exercise, you’ll need some kit. See our roundup for fitness equipment, or at the very least make sure you’ve got some clean indoor trainers to do your workout in. Plus, it’ll do you some good to get out of of your dressing gown and slippers, promise. Superga‘s comfortable, light and simple sneakers are perfect for light exercise and are easy to keep crisp and clean.
5. COMFORT ZONE
As most of us are going to be spending significant time in our PJ’s and loungewear over the next couple of months, we may as well be super-comfy. Thermo-regulating tech sleepwear and loungewear brand Dagsmejan are scientifically proven to help you sleep better and for longer – very important to boost immunity, keep healthy and lessen stress!
Made from merino wool and Tencel from eucalyptus, Dagsmejan’s Stay Warm collection is twice as soft and four times more breathable than cotton.
The cosy ‘Stay Warm’ top & bottoms are £84 each
6. HOME MASSAGE
So we might not be able to call round a masseuse any time soon, but that doesn’t mean we can’t indulge ourselves with at-home massage. From back massagers to foot massagers and even eyezone massagers, there are plenty of massage tools out there – and at affordable price points too – so there’s no excuse not to treat yourself.
7. LOVELY LAVENDER
Psychotherapist Nick Davies says: ‘Having a warm bath for at least 20 minutes, especially with Epsom Salts will help relax all of your tired, stressed, anxious muscles, which in turn helps stimulate your ‘parasympathetic nervous system’ (which is automatically engaged once the danger has gone, and produces calming chemicals which in turn relax our busy minds and help us sleep better.’ Ramp relaxation up a notch by infusing salts with a little lavender. Dr Teal’s lavender scented epsom salts will put the ‘ahh’ in b-ahh-throom.
Continue the lavender theme in the bedroom with Heyland & Whittle’s Sleep Easy Gift Set, consisting of lavender and chamomile pillow mist, a room diffuser and scented candle. The lavender scents will soothe your mind, and take away any tension you’re carrying from the day. The gift set also comes with a free Lavender Soap of 45g.
£19.99 from Heylandandwhittle.co.uk
Read Also: Explore Sandra Bullock’s Coastal Chic Home
For a kick-start to your morning, try a shower steamer; a fragrant and fizzy steaming tablet that you place on the floor of the shower, then just turn on the warm water, step in and inhale. It comes in a pack of 8 tablets, bursting with uplifting peppermint, rosemary and ginger scents.
£7.99 from Prezzybox
Ever heard of a shower head that can infuse your shower with essential oils while simultaneously eliminating hard water? A favourite among A-list celebrities, Vitaclean’s Vitamin C showerhead removes shower water impurities and toxins to restore skin and hair to their natural lustre. The shower head has anti-bacterial properties, it neutralises chlorine, limescale and bacteria build-up from your shower, all while also infusing antioxidants and essential minerals, meaning it can help to heal cracked, dry patches on the skin, improve the appearance of fine lines and give both the skin and hair a soft and silky feel. You can also add aromatherapy scents.
Vitamin C Aromatherapy Filtered Showerhead, from £59.99
For aromatherapy at home, try the Ellia Gather Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser. Simply add a few drops of your favourite essential oil and inhale the mist. The product promises to keep stress levels to a minimum and concentration levels to a maximum.
Read Also: Stunning Shower Room Ideas
9. CHANGE FOCUS
Take your mind off things by picking up a new hobby, like gardening. Hydroponics is one of the fastest growing (excuse the pun) horticultural trends, and Ikea has a complete hydroponics collection for cultivating plants indoors all year round. The Växer range includes LED lights, nursery and sprout boxes, cultivation insert sets and growing media, including starter plugs, pumice and fertiliser, all mounted in a stylish cultivating unit.
Gardening not your thing? Fine tune your cookery skills with a new recipe book. Bite-sized philosophical notes, meaningful questions and a focus on small but joyful daily rituals all go to prove that this new cookbook from environmental foodie Heather Thomas is much more than a mere catalogue of vegetarian recipes. Consult her blog of the same name for an insightful look at holistic eating, ways to connect with nature and hearty, seasonal cooking.
The Mindful Kitchen by Heather Thomas, £20, Leaping Hare Press, waterstones.com
10. DON’T WORRY, BE APPY
Meditation and mindfulness are also hot topics right now, with ‘Meditation tips for beginners’ trending on Pinterest. When it comes to wellbeing, mindfulness and meditation apps, there’s plenty out there – and many of them are free.
Pinterest have launched a new feature called the Today Tab – a fresh source of daily inspiration with curated topics and trending Pins – as a way to help keep people positive and inspired during the week. There’s everything from kid-friendly baking ideas, self-care tips and trending Pins, with content refreshed daily. And, to make the content as relevant and helpful as possible, Pinterest have liaised with the World Health Organisation and the Centres for Disease Control to showcase expert, accurate information.
With Scandinavian countries topping the World Happiness Report (yet again) this year, for the eighth year in a row, the Scandinavians clearly know a thing or two about happines – we say take note!
Catharina Björkman, Swedish lifestyle expert at Contura explains: ‘Mindfulness, meditation and gratitude rituals have been shown to improve overall health and happiness. Mindfulness teaches us to take time out of our busy lives to think about the positives in our lives, refocus our attention on what matters and create a more calming environment by being more present in the moment. Meditation also teaches us to be aware of our own thoughts and feelings and be in tune to the world around us. Just 15 minutes’ meditation before work or during the commute can make a huge difference. We recommend the Calm app.’
NHS GP Dr Dane confirms: ‘Apps such as Headspace or Calm are great introductions to short focused meditations. Or simply lie down flat on your back, let your arms and legs go floppy and close your eyes. Focus on your breathing and slow it down as much as you can. Just let everything go for 5-10 minutes. If you’re worried you may fall asleep, simply set an alarm so you can completely relax. This is surprisingly refreshing!’
NHS app Thrive is free and helps prevent and manage stress, anxiety and mental wellness. The thrive app tracks your mood and teaches you methods to take control of stress and anxiety. Users can learn relaxation techniques like meditation and deep-breathing to help cope better with stressful situations and manage negative thoughts during this uncertain time. Thrive also recently introduced a webinar series covering topics such as stress, anxiety, coping with remote working, dealing with life-changes and isolation to help thousands of employees during these unsettling times.
And finally, as if all that wasn’t enough for our download lists, Music Zen is an app that’s free for all (until the 31th May), and provides users with a range of features to support mental health. The app offers a variety of relaxation practices, including guided meditations, audiobooks, breathing exercises, and even relaxing games that are simple to play and have been designed to reduce stress and anxiety.
Hip & Healthy founder, Sadie, went to the launch of the new Face Toned beauty app and came away with a whole new philosophy on anti-ageing.
I used to think that a concoction of SPF and moisturiser and a balanced diet (with an extra helping of antioxidants) was all you needed to arm yourself in the battle against ageing. That was, until I met Carme. Carme is the incredibly youthful looking founder of Facetoned – a workout programme designed to work out the muscles in your face, build collagen and keep you looking younger for longer. You can read all about Hip & Healthy experiencing a Face Toned Class with Carme here.
But now, to experience FaceToned yourself, you don’t even need to set foot in their trendy Notting Hill studio as Carme has just launched the FaceToned app – designed to bring her amazing face workout to as many people as possible and from the comfort of your own home. Judging by Carme’s own face – the results are pretty amazing. And when she explained to us the science behind why it works so well it feels like a no-brainer: the Pilates-based exercises work deep into the core muscles and then the more superficial ones, creating natural definition and a more toned appearance. It also helps the production of collagen and boosts the natural detoxification process too.
The app allows you to personalise your workouts with weekly online live classes webinars, and you’ll have access to more than 50 recipes to help nourish your skin and muscles. You’ll also have access to the FaceToned Foundation 6-weeks/5-days programme and free live face-to-face webinars to answer questions, get helpful tips and do a live workout.
Discover more here.