I’m writing this in a coffee shop just before going off skiing, I’m super excited that finally my ski holiday is here! By this time tomorrow I’m hoping to be enjoying clear blue mountain skies, inhaling alpine air whilst whooshing down the slopes perhaps inelegantly but at least with gusto. To get to this point though there’s actually been a fair amount of physical preparation along the way. And by that I don’t mean hand to mouth co-ordination in practice for après ski – I mean some strengthening exercises for my less than youthful ageing carcass.
Unfortunately a few years back I sustained quite a nasty knee injury from a tumble whilst trying to keep up with a herd of testosterone-fuelled males hurtling down the mountain like a pack of feral wolves chasing a rabbit and whilst I’ve had lots of rehab and I’ve recovered, I decided to prepare better this time. You see this year I’m 40 and although apparently life begins at this age I need to take better care of my body!
Sadly once we start to get older our ligaments and tendons aren’t as elasticated as they used to be and our bones aren’t as dense, therefore we’re more prone to injuries in activities like skiing. So this year I’ve focused on key strengthening of my glutes (bottom), quads and my core. So I’m hoping that whilst my knee is a little weaker and my body a little older, that preparation will prevail on those slopes tomorrow and I’ll find my little ski stride once again.
Before embarking upon a career in TV, my background is actually as a sports scientist. I graduated from the prestigious elite sports institution of Loughborough University with a 2:1 in Sports Science and that was confirmation that I’d apparently learned in layman’s terms, all about the body, the way it works and moves and how to maintain it. There is in fact a dissertation out there on something so unearthly boring like the effect of the Bernoulli Principle on the fluid dynamics of the butterfly stroke. Out of all of the lectures, workshops and lab-based experiments, one key conclusion for every sport, activity and movement was that a strong core was paramount. And so here I am 20 years on still living by those same rules; you see CORE IS KING.
The core is a complex series of muscles that takes central place within the body linking the upper and lower limbs. All movement either involve the core or passes through it, no matter if your vacuuming the house or swinging a golf club. Most medical experts and sports scientist will agree that keeping our core strong and functional is paramount to movement and everyday activities. Whether you’re a keen DIY-er, gardener or love an afternoon down at the tennis or bowls club, your core plays a role in all those actions. When you actually dig deep into the function of the core we know it can also help support muscles in the back and improve stability and balance. It can help prevent injury and takes the weight of some of the other muscles. And very importantly our core plays an essential role in helping us maintain good posture and support the spine. You see, CORE IS KING. So how do we strengthen our core? There are lots of gentle exercises we can do such as planks, sit-ups, leg raises and bridges that all help (when done properly) – and I’d always suggest that we should be doing these 2-3 times a week if you’re capable (seek GP advice if you have medical issues). But also remember that the abdominals play a key role in engaging the core and we should focus some of our energies on strengthening these stomach muscles. So let’s make strengthening these abs really easy with an ingenious bit of kit. As part of my training I’ve been trialling the Ab Core Trainer 2 which is designed to provide a targeted work out for enhancing abdominals and really doing all the work for you. It’s a 25 minute workout programme which progressively increases exercise intensity in stages as time elapses, and automatically stops when the workout is completed.The beauty of it is that it can be used discreetly under clothing making a workout possible anytime anywhere – I’ve even used it when cooking, watching TV and doing chores around the house. This version is actually 60% more powerful than the last but still ultra-thin and chargeable via USB. The great news is that you can really feel it working once the adhesive pads are in place and the unit is on. It feels rather weird at first, but you get used to it after a while and know that it’s put your abs through a tough workout whilst you have simply got on with your daily life.
Let’s be certain – this isn’t a weight-loss device but can help with toning and of course improving that all-important core. If you’re purchasing this it would be wonderful to use as part of a nutrition plan so you can really see results. So whilst I’m not wandering around sporting a six-pack, I certainly feel lots stronger through my core as a result. They say that summer bodies are made in the winter and spring so there’s no time like the present. Why not try it for 30 days – it launches here as a TSV on Thursday 15th March 2018 and comes with two pads, one control unit and the USB charger. Perhaps try it in conjunction with Bodyblade or the Pineapple Gym Whole Body workout at just £13.
Did you know that QVC now do lots in the way of health & fitness from supplements to active wear, and equipment to fitness based tech. Check out our website for more. There’s a great healthy liquid supplement that I’m loving Your Zooki Vitamin Zooki by Zooki – it’s a liquid supplement packed with essential vitamins. You can have a teaspoon a day on its own, add it to a smoothie or drizzle it on your breakfast for an extra boost without having to swallow big vitamin capsules.
Now enough of all of that, because I need to close up my iPad and head to the slopes. Be good until next time.