feature-image-mbfdAre you up for a challenge?

2016’s New Years resolution was to learn how to love my body (which you can read here), and even though I’m still not 100% there I can definitely say that I have learnt to embrace, and love, my body shape more than this time last year. I think this partly comes with age, having spent the last 30 years in my body I’m only just realising that the time I spent fighting against my natural body shape and genetics, is time I’ll never get back. And although I don’t regret those years (what use are regrets anyway) I know that I’ll never again have the body of my early 20’s – but that’s okay. The other part comes with training for goals rather than aesthetics.. I admire my body more for being strong than I do for looking good naked. And the best thing, the more functional my body, the better it looks! 

So this year I thought I would go down a different route when setting my New Year’s resolution. Instead of resolving to have a better body, get rock hard abs and hit a certain weight, I’m resolving to have more fun with my workouts by mixing it up a little and trying something new each month.

I’ll still be Crossfitting several times a week but at least once a month I will take on a new challenge. I’ve always wanted to try boxing, aerial silks, stand up paddle boarding, reformer Pilates and pole, and 2017 is the year I plan to make this happen.

So where do I start?

A couple of months back I heard about a brand new company, MagnaPass, through which you can book on to various classes across Manchester without having to be signed up to a membership. Now those of you in London are probably already familiar with the concept with the popular class pass but this is something brand new up North and has opened my eyes to a world of fitness classes and motivation that I never knew existed.

I caught up with founder Adam to find out more…

supporting-image-mbfd

What is MagnaPass?

MagnaPass allows you to discover new and exciting active experiences near you, for a more boutique and better quality way to be fit and healthy! We are the central platform for everything our wonderful partners have to offer, whether it’s yoga, rock climbing, HIIT or water sports, a MagnaPass will allow you access to it in your city.

What inspired you to start the business?

Me and my co-founder Sean were frustrated with our experiences in budget, chain gyms, and always thought there must be an alternative to them. The level of training is pretty poor with the majority of budget style chain gyms instructors, we knew there must be better quality elsewhere. You see on social media all these weird and wonderful ways of being active and fit that we’d love to try, but thought there wasn’t anything like it close by.

The fact is, there is plenty of cool activities going on around you that you’re just unaware of! Unless you do extensive searches and a lot of deep digging, you won’t find any of them! So we thought, let’s partner up with the hosts and get more people along to their sessions, and help people get access to better quality fitness experiences to reach their goals!

How does it all work?

We try and be as flexible as possible with our members. First you sign up as a member (completely free), and you get the option to just pay-as-you-go for classes or for block bookings, or purchase a MagnaPass that can be used for over 200 classes at a better rate, which can be redeemed at any time. Classes range from £8-10 on PAYG, but with a MagnaPass, you’re able to get a rate of less than £5 per session.

Why choose a MagnaPass over a regular membership?

Well, with a regular membership, you get access to cold warehouses with no guidance, and nothing motivating you to actually go. Chain gyms make their money by people purchasing a membership, and tying you into contracts without you actually turning up. They advertise classes but over 90% of them are just videos on a wall. There’s so many things wrong, and you won’t reach your goals in the process.

With us, you get guaranteed access to all the sessions we host, covering a wide range of activities and experiences. We have a much more flexible membership structure which can work out cheaper for you, and essentially gets you what you want. Plus, the range of activities on offer is insane! All from better quality teachers and studios that are all in your area – we didn’t know that there is that many quality studios and facilities in Manchester until we got them to Partner with us, and we’re adding to this list weekly!

We’re much more geared towards independent and boutique, quality offerings over poor quality budget locations. I mean, would you much rather go to a session where you’re pushed to your limit and people high-fiving you after, or sit on a machine feeling demotivated, and wondering why you’re there?

What type of classes do you offer?

We feel there is such a great mix of classes and sessions that anyone can find something that they’d enjoy. We’ve got a wide range of good quality sessions in yoga, HIIT, strength and conditioning, to more adventurous activities such as rock climbing, water sports, animal movements – there’s a lot of diversity we want to incorporate into our MagnaPass and hopefully shock people across the country to realise that these activities actually occur nearby!

Your website also has a great blog, what inspires and motivates the team to write this?

I actually chain them to the laptop until they write something good….

… I’m kidding – I think we all have a passion for the vision we’re trying to create. We’re all about quality, healthy and boutique offerings that are going on nearby. Whether it is healthy eating joints, events, new classes and Partners, we want to let the world know!

What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into fitness for 2017?

My advice for 2017 is to make the experience enjoyable. No one really enjoys going to the gym on their own, so try new activities and get fit in alternative ways; you don’t have to follow the status quo which we know leads to nowhere. Your body and mind will thank you for experimenting and finding something new to achieve.

I’d also say persistence is key, it doesn’t happen overnight, and surround yourself with like-minded people who will push you to your goals! This time next year you’ll be thanking yourself for allowing you to try new experiences too.

If you could only do one MagnaPass class for the rest of the year, what would it be?

You’ve caught me off guard, this is a tough one! I enjoy a number of different things, last year I really got into my water sports, kayaking in particular at the Helly Hansen Centre, but I also like deep stretching at yoga with any number of our Partners. But, to choose one in particular, I’d have to go with some HIIT with the Lean Fitness guys, they know how to make you put a shift in!

Finally, what more can we expect to see from MagnaPass in 2017?

2017 is where things will really start to take off. You can expect plenty more features on our site, mobile apps loaded with more ways to break a sweat and engage your lifestyle with the fitness community. You can expect plenty more activities we can give you access to that will leave you with no doubt that you’ll leave that cheap gym membership to rest. We’re also throwing plenty of events with our Partners throughout the year, across the country – it’s going to be a hell of a ride and we’d love you to be involved!

2016 was our warm up, 2017 is our cup final!

If you’re based in Manchester and would love to find out more about MagnaPass you can visit their site here. Plus exclusively to My Big Fit Diary readers we have a special offer code. Simply use ‘MYBIGFIT20’ in the MagnaPass store for 20% off – and maybe I’ll see you there!

healthy-christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

It’s also the most indulgent time of the year with an estimated 6,000 calories being consumed by the average person on the 25th December alone*. So it’s no wonder we all look forward to Christmas day when, as I like to say, ‘calories don’t count’; but the difficult part is not letting this run into the New Year and ruining your progress from 2016.

To give you a helping hand I’ve listed my Top Tips below for keeping healthy over the Christmas holidays.

Be Mindful

Now nobody wants to be a bore around Christmas time saying no to each and every treat that is quite literally thrust into our face, and to be honest, who would want to. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be mindful of what we are consuming. Yes, allow yourself that mince pie or that glass bottle of champagne but make sure it’s what you really want to indulge in and you’re not just eating for eating sake. Set proper meal times where you sit down as a family, and take the time to focus and really enjoy what’s going into your mouth – you’ll feel far less guilty for it!

Keep Hydrated

Whether we intend to or not, Christmas is definitely a time for over indulgence. But that doesn’t mean we should forget the basics. Overeating and drinking alcohol can leave the body dehydrated leading to dry mouth, headaches and tiredness. In order to help your body flush out toxins aim to drink at least 2 litres of water throughout the day; and if you’re drinking alcohol, think about matching one glass of water for every alcoholic drink – trust me, your head will thank you for it in the morning.

Check out my top tips for staying hydrated this winter here

The morning after

You’ve had one two many wines the night before and wake up feeling more than a little bit groggy. Do you A) Head straight for the leftover pizza you started eating on your way home, B) skip breakfast, you can’t face eating, or C) Make a healthy brunch and down a pint of water? If you answered A or B then it’s time to rethink your hangover routine. Getting in a well balanced meal will help your body to recover and stop you craving sugar all day, try a 3 egg omelette with a side of veggies for a protein and fat boost which will perk you up in no time.  

Sleep Is King

If there’s one thing that should be non negotiable it’s sleep. We’ve spoken many times on the blog about sleep, and I believe it really is the key to keeping your mind and body healthy. Try and keep some sort of resemblance of a routine going over the festive period; and if you’ve been up all night partying it’s definitely worth skipping the gym and hitting the sack, otherwise you’ll probably feel worse for it the next day. 

Check out my top tips for a good nights sleep here

Stay Active

It’s important to keep your body moving over Christmas – and no, I don’t mean multiple trips to the kitchen for another mince pie – I mean raising your heart rate a little and getting a bit of a sweat on. If you struggle to get to the gym, even a 10 minute at home HIIT session will keep you feeling fit. Likewise, if you’ve worked hard all year long and are in need of a little rest period then don’t feel like you have to go to the gym, instead go for a stroll on Christmas morning with the family before you tuck into that box of quality street, or wake up and hit the yoga mat on boxing day morning for a few sun salutations.  

 

 

Be Kind to Yourself

At the end of the day, you only live once! If you do over indulge just make sure your next meal is healthy and well balanced and forget about the previous one. You’ll feel far less guilty and stressed if you just learn to forgive yourself.

So go eat, drink, be merry and enjoy this special time of year with your loved ones. And if your plan to stay healthy(ish) over Christmas goes horribly wrong – there’s always next year!

*Metro

img_2436

I don’t know about you, but I just love Autumn!

The crunch of freshly fallen leaves, LONG BATHS, lighting your favourite candles, HALLOWEEN, Bonfires, that extra cup of coffee, COSY SCARVES, smashing conkers, CARVING PUMPKINS, wearing bobble hats, sipping your daily PSL, pumpkin spice everything, WARM APPLE CRUMBLE, cinnamon, random walks, SITTING BY THE FIRE, switching the heating on for the first time that year, THE WALKING DEAD, butternut squash, toffee apples (shhh!), CHUNKY KNITS, Oh and not forgetting it’s nearly Christmas … I could go on.

And if I’ve not got you in the mood for Autumn already, then maybe these pumpkin spiced cupcakes will do it.

View Post

core-class-3

This time last week I spent a lovely Autumn’s morning at the incredible Hale Country Club & Spa, where I was invited by My Protein to celebrate the launch of their new Active Women Range.  

On arrival at the venue we were taken through to the lounge area where we were greeted with coffee, pre-workout shakes; and the chance to meet some fellow bloggers. It was lovely to see that My Protein had invited a range of bloggers, from fitness & food to beauty & fashion – proving that protein isn’t just important for the super fit bikini bod competitors, but for your every day active woman.

View Post

img_5698

About four months ago we successfully walked up Snowdon on what was probably the hottest day of the year. It was long and it was sweaty but it was so much fun and as we reached the summit we were already thinking about our next adventure. Scafell Pike.

Scafell Pike is quite simply the highest point in England, sitting (or rather standing) at 978 metres above sea level. Located in the beautiful Lake District National Park in Cumbria, where the surroundings quite literally take your breath away. It’s such a peaceful and magical place which made me fall in love with Britain all over again.

For all you budding walkers, climbers and adventurers out there read on to find out everything you need to know about completing Scafell Pike, from where to stay to what route to take, right through to where to have your celebratory meal.

View Post