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Healthy Habits: the "Change One Thing Challenge"

Healthy Habits Photo



22 May 2013


Here at Moose X-Training, we’ve been thinking about our daily routines, our habits, all those pieces of our day that make up the way we live our lives.  You know… how we get to work, when we exercise, the food we eat, whether we push a trolley or carry a basket, and the snacks we subconsciously grab.  We realized a lot of these actions we do out of habit; we run on auto-pilot.


Now it might seem pretty unimportant: taking the stairs or the lift tomorrow isn’t exactly going to be a life changing decision! But, when you see all the parts as a whole it becomes clear that the micro-decisions we make could have a big impact on the way we feel and the way we live.  Going on a health kick doesn’t need to mean tripling your workouts or throwing out everything but lettuce in the fridge. It could be as simple as replacing one thing and committing to it.   


We listed all of our daily actions and tried to work out how many we do because we actively want to and which ones we do simply out of habit.  We invite you to do the same. 


Here’s a list of actions we’re going to be more proactive about… and hopefully a little inspiration for you as well. 


  • Take a multi-vitamin once a day
  • Go Veggie/Caffeine free/Alcohol free one day a week
  • Take the stairs instead of the escalators/lift (a serious challenge on the tube commute….and my personal favorite!)
  • Exercise in the morning
  • Walk to work (or maybe just through a park on the way)
  • Use a basket instead of a trolley
  • Snack on raisins and nuts instead of chocolate
  • Don’t add salt
  • Try something new
  • Smile more
  • Sit up straight
  • Wake up to music
  • Try to get one more hour sleep per night


Furthermore studies have shown that increasing your exercise is proven to enhance your ability to form positive habits.  So, go for a run, take a walk, or go for a bike ride.  At the very least, get yourself to the gym.  And, if you just can’t commit to any of those, call on the MOOSE who will bring personal training to you…where you want it, when you want.  No more excuses!





Spring Fitness Tips...




3 April 2013


The sun has finally made an appearance! In the last post, we talked about the benefits of outdoors exercise, and now is the time to break away from that boring gym routine and reignite your motivation.

A spring fitness plan might be a challenge if you have been indoors for a few months and struggled to haul yourself off the couch. You have a better chance of reaching your fitness goals if you start slowly, choose enjoyable activities and increase your activity as your fitness level improves.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Be realistic. If you have taken a step back in your fitness regime over winter, don’t try and do an hour of cardio, six days a week. You’ll only get frustrated and will be more likely to give up on your routine. Set realistic goals that will build you up to your desired level of fitness.
  • Bring your regular gym workout outdoors. One fun way to freshen up your exercise routine is to take your typical workout outside. Treadmill runner? Hit the river path or park for your jog. Class regular? Look for outdoor classes in London Parks. Try to set a goal to take your workout outdoors at least once a week – a change of scenery will do wonders for your motivation.
  • Train and sign up for a race or an event. Spring is the ideal time to train for an event. There are a lot of summer events to take part in whether you’re a walker, runner, cyclist or looking for something even more challenging like the Tough Mudder. Adding positive goals to your fitness routine will give you an added reason to get fit besides losing weight, and it’s great fun and an accomplishment to complete a challenge.
  • Spring clean your pantry. Throw away foods with low nutritional value, like chocolate (yes, even that sixth Easter egg you’ve been hiding), chips, sugary cereals etc. Load up on low GI, healthy foods that will give you energy and help you stick to your workout routine and fitness goals.



Time to spring clean… your exercise routine!




13 March 2013


Outdoor exercise provides many benefits


It’s just about that time of year to dust ourselves off, emerge from our hibernation and stretch our limbs outdoors! Some of us may have been motivated enough to get to the gym over winter, and that’s admirable. But let’s face it – it’s so much more inspiring to be able to breathe fresh air and feel the sun on your skin when you’re working out.


And if you need any more convincing, there are loads of reasons why outdoor exercise is more beneficial to health than sweating it out in a crowded gym. Here are just a few:


  1. Mental health: Outdoor physical activity has a 50 percent greater positive effect on mental health than going to the gym. Researchers from Glasgow University found that walking, running, biking and other outdoor activities in green space lowered stress. Outdoor exercise has been associated with greater decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression when compared to indoor activity. Even just five minutes of exercise in a green space can improve mood and self-esteem.


  2. More energy: Exercise itself is sure to reinvigorate you when you're feeling sluggish, but fresh air can up the effect. Just 20 minutes outside can rev you up as much as a cup of coffee… and is far more beneficial.


  3. Higher Vitamin D Levels: After the winter, we could ALL use some more of this mood-boosting vitamin. It also plays an important role in improving how our bodies are able to fight off disease and infection. It may be especially helpful for people with a few pounds to lose, since overweight people are almost twice as likely to not get enough vitamin D.


  4. More activity: It has been observed that people who exercise outdoors are more likely to stick at it. The fresh air, the sunlight, the scenery and the open space all seem to inspire more activity. It’s simple - the more you enjoy your workout, the more likely you will be to do it again.


So now that the weather is getting warmer, put these benefits to the test. You’ll be happier and healthier for the effort!



Tips on catching better... zzzzzzz


Sleeping woman


27 February 2013


We are never short of excuses to justify our sluggish attempt at working out– too much drinking, too full, too hungry, too tired…the list goes on. But what’s the most common reason holding you back from having the best workout ever? A bad night’s sleep. 25% of the UK population suffers from some form of sleep disorder, which means there are quite a few sleepyheads out there not functioning to their full potential. We have a few tips this week which should help you get that great night’s sleep you’re in desperate need of.

1. Ban the use of laptops, phones, iPads and TV before bed.

This is something 99% of us are guilty of and it is a serious disrupter of sleep. The more our brains process images from our personal handheld devices the longer it will take for our brains to “switch off”. So make it a household rule – ban the use of all electronic devices one hour before bed. Not easy to do especially if you’re like us and constantly need to be working or doing something. If you are antsy before bed and need that extra something to do, then reading a book is a good alternative.

2. Schedule your sleep for the same time – every day.

We are great at scheduling meetings, hangout sessions and play dates with our kids; why can’t we schedule our sleep? This is a hard one to tackle every day, especially for busy professionals or people with young families – but it is key. And by “every day” we mean every day – weekends, holidays and days off inclusive. Make it a priority.

3. Go easy on the caffeine during the day and alcohol and night

Cup of coffee in the morning = not a problem.  Cup of coffee in the late-afternoon/evening = bad idea. Ingesting stimulants like coffee, sugar and alcohol should always be done in moderation, especially towards the late-afternoon/evening. And although alcohol does make you feel relaxed and sleepy, it can massively disrupt your sleep. So in the evening put down that nightcap and go for a small cup of caffeine-free herbal tea instead.

4. Get active during the day

You hear us preach this day-in and day-out but we do it because we love you: a proper exercise regime will do you wonders. Exercise helps in a variety of capacities, and can promote healthy sleep. But be strategic with what time you exercise – exercising too close to bedtime may leave you too energetic to fall asleep.

Sleep deprivation can have terrible long-term effects on your body and mind, so make your sleep a priority. And always seek professional medical advice if your sleep issues continue.

PS - Quote MOOSEBLOG on your next purchase and receive 10% off everything on offer at Moose X-Training!


Benefits of Kickboxing for Women


Kickboxing woman


20 February 2013


Ladies, think kickboxing is too rough and un-ladylike? Think again! For women, kickboxing is the ultimate total-body workout.  It strengthens, tones and reduces fat – and all in one go.  Kickboxing also improves flexibility, coordination and gets your cardiovascular fitness levels in tip-top shape. Kickboxing quite literally kicks your butt into shape. There are plenty of reasons why both men and women should add kickboxing into their workout mix.  But today, ladies – this list is dedicated to you.

It’s the “Total Package” workout: 
Kickboxing engages the entire body, not just the usual target areas. This combination of martial arts techniques and heart-pounding, calorie-burning cardio will turn any “jiggly bits” into sculpted perfection.

One of the more well-known facts about kickboxing is that it can be used as a form of self-defence.  After a few classes you’ll gain confidence in your punching, kicking as well as bobbing and weaving skills. With the techniques you pick up from your kick boxing class you’ll be well-equipped and empowered knowing that you can defend yourself in a dangerous situation.

Promotes relaxation: 
Get that extra endorphin kick you’re in desperate need of with a kickboxing workout. Can you think of a better way to work though the day’s frustration than punching and kicking? We didn’t think so.

Works on your outside beauty – and as well as your beauty within! 
There’s no better feeling than accomplishing a challenging workout.  After a session of intense kickboxing working your entire body, you’re guaranteed to feel more confident which will help you truly appreciate the awesomeness of *you*.

Now, are you convinced this isn’t just for men?  So get off your rear and start kicking some serious behind.

PS - Quote MOOSEBLOG on your next purchase and receive 10% off everything on offer at Moose X-Training!


The Buddy System


Workout couple


13 February 2013


With Valentine’s Day looming, have you noticed everyone and everything pairing-up these days?  We’re all about strong, independent people here at the MOOSE but sometimes we do think there is strength in numbers. Especially in winter, when we'd much rather be curled up underneath the duvet waiting for spring instead of working out and battling the elements outside. If you’re in need of that extra little shove to get you out and exercising, then a workout buddy is your solution. Here are a few reasons why you need a workout buddy in your life:

1. Time will fly by.

How is it our lives seem to speed past quicker than Usain Bolt but when it comes to working out, time...just....drags...? We guarantee if you exercise with a friend, your workout will whizz past you in a blink. And on a good day you won’t want to stop. 

2. You're less likely to bail.

Did work drag on longer than you were expecting? Or does a glass of wine with a friend have more appeal than a run to de-stress? It’s easy to reschedule again & again your own workout when our professional or personal lives gets in the way. But when someone else's workout depends on you, you will be less likely cancel or search for excuses.

3. Catch up on all the goss.

The social aspect of a workout buddy should be more than enough reason to get you out there and active!  We hardly get to spend enough time with our friends anyway, so why not swap your usual hang-outs for a run in Hyde Park?

Don’t get left sitting on the side lines alone!  Get up, get active and go find yourself a workout buddy.

PS - Quote MOOSEBLOG on your next purchase and receive 10% off everything on offer at Moose X-Training! 


Make your Workout a Good Habit – Part Two


6 February 2013


Between our work, families and relationships we can come up with hundreds of reasons not to stick to our workout regimes. In the second and final part in our blog series we explore simple solutions and motivations to help you lose the excuses and get you active and moving around.

1. Find a workout buddy

We will explore this further in our next blog, but it’s worth giving a quick shout out to the beloved workout buddy. Our busy lives keep us away from the people we care about most; why not recruit one of them as a workout companion?  Gossip, joke and laugh together while helping each other reach your fitness goals. Matching workout outfits are optional.

2. Use it as a pick-me-up

Do you know what's a healthier alternative to those lattes you use to stay awake? A workout in the fresh air!  Breathing deeply and filling your lungs with fresh oxygen is an effective (and free!) way to give you an energy boost. If you make your workout a priority, you'll start craving a run instead of that morning latte or midday Kit Kat.

3. Treat yourself

Daily life put our minds through a lot of stress, disappointment and anxiety.  So come on, give yourself a break! Set realistic goals and once you achieve them, treat yourself.  Book flights to visit your friend in Barcelona, go on a mini shopping spree in Sweaty Betty or top up your account with 20 tokens to train with the MOOSE.  Achieve your goals = reward.  Easy.

SO. Feel ready to give this whole workout routine a go? Stick to our advice and trust us, your body and mind will LOVE YOU.

PS - Quote MOOSEBLOG on your next purchase and receive 10% off everything on offer at Moose X-Training! 


Make your Workout a Good Habit – Part One


30 January 2013


Broken New Year’s resolutions got you down? Need a little motivation to help you get focused back on your 2013 workout goals? That makes you and everyone else. The hardest part of exercising is making it to the first 0.01 seconds of the start of each workout. Lucky for you, we have a two-part blog series which will help make your workout one of the few remaining good habits you have left (ha!).

1: Write it down

Got big ideas on what you want to achieve this year but feel a bit overwhelmed?  Write it down!  Writing a plan will help you see the big picture and also help you set realistic goals. That way you can assess what's achievable and what's not.  

Goal 1: Workout minimum three times a week
Goal 2: Run an eight minute mile
Goal 3. Qualify for the 2014 Team GB women's speed skating team.

2. Prioritise

First eat breakfast, then get ready, then go to work. We can manage that five times a week, why can't we stick to our workout plans? Perhaps you can push "work out" to the front of your schedule for you early birds, or block of 1-2pm in your calendar and disappear from your desk with your trainers over your lunch break. Timing is everything here so be strategic AND realistic about your schedule; only you can determine what times work best for you.

3. Mix it up

A variety of activities will not only keep you interested and excited about your workout, but it's essential to keep up with our changing schedules. Work near a yoga centre and know you're going to be stuck in a boring meeting until 7pm tomorrow?  Throw your yoga gear in your bag before work and pop down to the 7.30pm class.  Not meeting your friend until later but too bored with work to hang around? Go for a quick run in the city before meeting up. Try a few different activities a week  like Pilates, cycling, swimming  and see if that doesn't keep you interested and at a loss for excuses.

Sounds pretty easy, right?  So your mission this week: dust off your trainers and put these tips to the test!


The MOOSE Beach Workout

 24 July 2013


You’ve worked hard all year.  You’re exhausted!  Basking in the sun on a sandy beach with glittering blue water sounds pretty perfect….until you get there.  And then you’re bored.  Right?  Here are 10 simple exercises to get you feeling fit and looking fab… and entertained.  Come on now, earn that ice cold beer you are craving for lunch.


1. Warm Up Run:  Start with a 25 minute run along the water’s edge where the sand is more compact. This is not easy, so cut it down to 10 minutes if you’ve reached your limit.  And, remember to stay hydrated!


Run on the Sand

2. Sumo Squats: 
Standing up straight, head up, shoulders back, legs wide apart, slowly squat down until your knees are just over your big toe. At this point slowly come up to starting position. 14 reps.


Sumo Squats


3. Press-ups: Feet on the ground with your hands on the second step. Keeping your abs tight and head down, slowly bend your elbows until you are two inches from the ground. Then slowly pressup into starting position. 14 reps.  


Press Ups on Steps


4. Step-ups: Find a bench. Place your left foot on the bench while your head is held up and shoulders are back. While you are lifting your body up to the forward (left) leg, the back (right) leg will lift up into a knee raise. Slowly lower your right foot back to the ground, switch and repeat on the opposite leg. 10 reps on each leg.

Step Ups


5. Walking Lunges: Take a long stride forward with your left leg; at the same time slowly bend your right leg until the right knee is about to overtake the left knee. At this point take a long stride forward with your right leg and repeat the exercise (in a walking motion). 10 strides.

Tricep Dips


6. Triceps Dips: Hands are placed on the bench, shoulder width apart, legs are placed forward with the knee bent. Lower yourself down, keeping your elbows tucked in until your glutes are five inches from the ground. At this point slowly lift yourself back up into starting position. 12 reps.

Triceps dips


7. Plank: Facing face down, keeping your elbows under the shoulder joint, lift your body up from the elbow to the tip of your toes. Every other part of your body is off the floor, keeping the abs tucked in nice and tight and your head in a neutral position. Hold this position for 45 seconds and slowly relax back to flat floor position. 45 seconds.



8. V Sit Up: Laying back down with your whole body flat, slowly lift your legs off the floor and then the upper body until you form a V-shape in this position. Slowly lower your body back to flat position. PLEASE NOTE: if you have a weak lower back, please miss this out. 12 reps.

V Sits


9. Crunch: Laying flat down on your back, with your knees bent and feet on the floor, place your hands crossed over your chest and slowly lift up five inches from the ground. Slowly lower your body back to the floor. 20 reps.



10. Rest and repeat all exercises again.


Do all the exercises in a circuit format; so you do one set of each exercise, then repeat two more times. Try it three to four times per week, always warm up before you start and stretch after each workout. Just think how you’ll be the envy of all of your friends when you return to work – relaxed, tanned, AND trim!


Detox it out


16 January 2013


January is diet and detox month for many people. After the good times of Christmas and New Year, palates are jaded, digestion is sluggish and skinny jeans don’t look so skinny when on. Some give up alcohol and this year there’s been a big push to turn January into a month long ‘Dryathon’. No booze for a month and raise money for charity at the same time! Are you currently in the process of going dry? We like the idea of giving our liver a rest and have done our bit, but a whole MONTH? We do love our pinot...


For others, a full-on detox of your diet can turn into a round of tinctures and herbs from the health food shop while sales of juicers increase as people contemplate 5 day juice fasts. Of the latter, we’re not convinced. Upping fruit and veg intake is excellent, but trying to work and manage a busy life is not easy without the energy that comes from proper meals, and is more of a short term ‘fix’ for something that should be a long-term lifestyle change. No real food for X-amount of days?! The thought of living on just carrot juice suddenly makes the Dryathon option a lot more tempting.


Generally, most forms of denial or extreme modification to our day to day lives usually lead to tears and desperate cravings for black forest gateau. The safest option is to keep on working out and limiting the takeaways to once month or so. Just keep using that juicer, and don’t exile it to the back of the kitchen cupboard come February. It’s a modification that definitely tastes good with the right fruit.