Tai Chi – Moving Meditation

Watching experts practice tai chi is mesmerizing. They move like dancers in slow motion, perfectly balanced, perfectly graceful. Every movement is considered, every posture precise: it’s like a moving meditation. …

Stretching – for a strong, supple body

A stretched body is a strong, supple, flexible body. In the past stretching was the Cinderella of the fitness scene, something to race through before and after a workout. But …

Yoga 101- how to start your practice

Yoga is no new craze. In fact it’s one of the oldest systems of exercise known to humankind – at least 3,000 years old and possibly even older. Yet, amazingly, …

Be kind to your back

My back has always been my weak spot, my Achilles’ heel if we’re going to mix metaphors. It’s hardly surprising as I’ve spent most of my adult life hunched over …

Teamwork: the key to fitness success?

Is teamwork the missing key for getting fit?  I think it could well be, for many people.  See, there I was, running up a hill, a steep hill, carrying a …

5 ways to better buttocks

Nowadays when we ask ‘Does my bum look big in this?’ we’re often hoping the answer is ‘Yes’ as celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian champion the trend …

Yoga to suit your personality

Everyone knows yoga gives you lean limbs and a bendy back.  But significant new research shows that it can supercharge your mind and emotions too. In a recent Oxford University …

5 ways to get lean strong arms

It’s nearly summer and the shops are full of t-shirts and skimpy tops.  However it’s been estimated that three out of four women in the UK will be worrying about …

Agony answers: What is a beach-ready bikini body, really?

Q: I dread summer. I’m overweight and every time I look in the mirror I feel sick. The idea of wearing shorts or – shudder – a bikini fills me …

How to lose weight sensibly and keep it lost

Still looking for that magic weight-loss bullet?  Check out  The Body Retreat.  I met trainer Julie Brealy years back, when I did something nasty to my Achilles and my pal Trisha recommended her …

Why do we kill ourselves with food and drink?

So I’m lying in bed, scanning through my body.  It’s the start of a meditation practice I picked up from Arnie Mindell but today I’m not meditating, I’m just observing.  Yup, the torn …

Five flat stomach myths & how to get toned abs

Don’t laugh but I went shopping.  And I bought…a bikini.Now I haven’t possessed a bikini since I was eighteen. But there was this Monsoon voucher I’ve had for about seven …

The Natural Year begins…living in tune with the seasons

I loved writing The Natural Year. The aim was to produce a book that would act as a friend throughout the year, not badgering or hectoring, but offering suggestions, inspiration, …

The Body Retreat: smart and supportive de-stress and weight-loss

The Body Retreat’s Stress Re-Set retreat is a four-night retreat that aims to balance body, mind and emotions through an immaculately thought-out programme of diet, exercise, mindfulness and behaviour modification.  …

Ten ways to love the cold

Yes, it’s freezing out there but, while it’s tempting to turn up the heat and huddle by the fire, maybe we’re missing a trick. There’s been a sudden plunge in …

Ti Sana – detox spa with a dose of science in Italy

Ti Sana has the ambiance of a monastery: an ancient but very smart monastery. Set in the heart of a small Italian village, midway between Milan and Lake Como, the …

Kaliyoga: sociable accessible yoga in Spain

A warm breeze is caressing my skin and I’m almost drunk on the sweet heady fragrance of orange blossom and jasmine. Lying in a hammock at Kaliyoga in the foothills …

Ayurvedic healing at Austria’s Schloss Pichlarn

I love Ayurveda, the 5,000 year old system of Indian mind-body spirit medicine.  In fact, I love it so much I wrote an entire book about it.  Yet I hadn’t …

Breakfast – how to super-power your start to the day

Breakfast.  We all know it’s supposedly the most important meal of the day – but how do you super-power it when you’re busy?  Now the thing is, I eat pretty erratically …

Do you really have to exercise? Of course not.

I’m pretty sure that, if I didn’t exercise, I would go crazy. When you’re working out hard, you simply don’t have the capacity to churn stuff over in your head.  Yes, I …

Fasting – the ultimate weight-loss plan?

The very latest eating plan is simplicity itself.  It requires no fiddly recipes, no special equipment and no complicated rules.  You don’t need to combine anything, count anything or measure …

Power Plate: Shake your way to fitness

The trouble with getting toned is it all takes so much time and effort.  So when Madonna let slip that her uber-toned body was down to no-sweat sessions on a …

Supercharge fitness and melt fat with the mighty kettlebell

It looks remarkably like a cannonball with a handle and dates back to 18th century Russia. Meet the kettlebell. Used consistently over centuries by the Russian military, it’s now shrugged …

Zumba – fitness dance craze taking over the world

The music is thumping, an infectious Latin American beat. The sweat is pouring as the crowd, moving as one, shimmies and shakes, weaves and waves. It could be Havana but, …

Are lava shells the new hot stones? No, they’re much better

Nothing much surprises me when it comes to massage. I’ve been pummelled with hands, elbows, feet; on the floor, in swimming pools, on beds of hay.  But when I heard …

Hooping – the fun way to fitness

The woman spins round and round, two hoops undulating around her.  It’s haunting, mesmeric, hypnotic and I start to understand how a snake must feel when it’s being charmed.  Hooping …

Bosu – great home fitness kit

It looks rather like a blue mushroom or a Fitball sliced in half.  The BOSU Balance Trainer is not a thing of beauty and I’m eyeing it with deep suspicion …

Walking – how to get fit, lose weight & live longer

Forget all the trendy fitness fads, give up the gym and get walking. The ultimate workout, walking is simple, effective and totally free (all you need is some decent footwear). Why walking is so good for you. How to get started. Tips on technique, motivation and safety.

Fitball – bouncing your way to fitness

Home exercise is always appealing. It’s cheaper than the gym and the opportunities for complete public humiliation are greatly reduced: in the privacy of your drawing room nobody can see …

Cryotherapy – for pain relief, insomnia, depression

Cryotherapy is the coolest therapy on the planet – literally. Testing out the Big Chill in Austria and finding it highly impressive for pain relief and energy boosting.