Ways of Staying Fit

As you know, we’ve recently had some public unrest in London – a lot of stealing, damaged property and many buildings set ablaze. One of the things the rioters really had an issue with was my local Nuffield fitness centre, down in Norbury. I am still trying to think what was it so “appalling” about a place where people of all colours and nations go to work out, swim and relief their daily stress levels. Obviously something in this equation stirred them up and they just decided to burn the damn place down.

I mean, we’re not talking about a government building, a Council office or God knows what other official place that the rioters could have destroyed as a sign of protest for their tough lives, or whatever. No sir!  Among others like JJB Sports and computer stores, the Nuffield fitness centre was “the evil of all evils”. A place that imminently demanded tearing down. Now that the centre is closed for refurbishments for at least 3-4 months, we can sleep better at night. “The evil” has been defeated.

All jokes aside, in order to train in the gym, I would have to travel almost an hour to a neighbouring Nuffield branch. Which is not doable, having a part-time job and a toddler to look after. Days are getting shorter, windier and rainier in London, so running in the park is not really an option; unless you love running up against gusts of wind and cold showers. So I had to rethink my strategy, feeling kinda guilty for just sitting on my behind on the grounds that I had nowhere to train.

After thinking and rethinking my fitness routine strategy for getting that hot summer body we’re all secretly dreaming about (yes, yes, I know. Some of you lucky ones already have it and you don’t even have to work that hard!), here is how my workout sessions will look like in the next weeks and months:

1. I caved in and took my friends’advise and got myself the new Tracy Anderson’s Metamorphosis series. I’ve been hearing about the wonders of her method for a long time now. So I figured it was time to see it for myself. I resisted trying it out for a long time, because part of her workout is a dance cardio session. And I am not big on dancing. I wish I was, but I am as gracious as a beached whale. Seems that I have two left feet, I miss most of the steps and my arms flap aimlessly like the wings of a dying bird tumbling down from the sky.

Nevertheless, I tried her mat workout a couple of times and I love it. At first it seems easy, but after the 100th repetition, of an arm or leg lift you literally feel you’re going to break down and sob like a kid who’s toys have been taken away from.

So ladies and gents, 3 days ago I started Tracy’s Metamorphosis 90-day program. So far I’ve managed to go through the first 15 minutes of the cardio and the full mat workout and feel I might have a chance at actually completing it, if only I disciplined myself.  The music she’s dancing to is upbeat trance. When I feel I can’t jump anymore, I just close my eyes, pretend is 2004 again and I am dancing in one of the London clubs like Brixton Academy or Camden Palace, to the rhythms of Tiesto, Armin van Buren or Tony de Vit. Tracy says you don’t have to be a dancer to become good at her routine. I really hope I won’t get out of this with a bruised ego.


2. Have you ever heard about a website called YogaGlo? It’s fantastic! It’s basically an online yoga experience in HD video that provides the experience of being in the class at your home.  For just 12 quid a month you can have access to various types of yoga classes from beginners’ to more advanced. The advantage over the yoga DVDs is that routines never repeat. You can always choose a new class or new technique to work on.



3. A friend of mine told me about  the 8-minute abs workout posted on youtube by the people from Passion 4 Profession. This one is more focused on the abs, but you can find similar workouts for the other parts of the body. She told me she saw a real improvement in her core area  after a couple months of doing the routine. As you’re getting better at this, you can move up to level 2 and 3.

So this is it, in a nutshell, my options for keeping fit during the coming winter months. Of course, I wouldn’t rule out a jog in the park when the weather allows it. The other thing I would love to try is dance classes. And then, maybe, just maybe, I will be able to see some slenderness and rhythm in my legs.

How about you? What’s your favourite fitness routine? I look forward to hearing about new, fun and ideally, enjoyable ways of having a slender body.

Related Posts
A Tale of Dubrovnik
Every You Every Me…Now
Raw Chocolate Extravaganza!

4 Discussion to this post

  1. John says:

    I stumbled upon your blog, whilst looking for some news, on the progress of refurbishment at Nuffield Norbury. I share the same predicament i.e. miss my local gym and was compelled to post.

    However, I did not suspend/cancel my membership due to my misguided loyalty after having it as a part of my life for the last 20 odd years. I have decided to take this opportunity and visit some of their other sites, albeit occasionally. I discovered that they are much more professional, efficient, cleaner and well run than their counterpart.

    Although, it saddens me to say… when the club re-opens, it will probably occupy the same neglected status within the corporate portfolio and the emphasis will be on churn-rate rather than satisfying an army of loyal members.

    On a positive note, they might hopefully do something about the people who cannot lift weights, throwing them on the floor and sending shockwaves through the changing rooms below or the people who hog the machines talking useless nonsense into their iphones or the ones who are only there for banal chatter/backslapping and the usual handshakes, you know the types.

    With reference to your comment on ‘upbeat trance’ – it is the flavour of music in the gym for me. Furthermore, it is one of the reasons I go for a workout – so I can feel that I am in a club! and invested in a pair of headphones that cost more than my mp3 player.

    AVB and Tiesto are good and consistently put out some good sets. Tony de Vit is a no-no, Sorry. My top choices would be Digweed, Oakenfold, Warren, (Samey) Seaman or Deep Dish (Sharam/Dub), amongst many others, as they construct a set with more sophisticated, layered, melodic sound more suited to doing a cardio, weights, circuit, stretch routine and fit the tempo/duration of a set. If you want to get adventurous try John ‘OO’ Fleming for some added BPM, and put some mileage on your shoes or those abs crunching.

    My favourite new way of keeping fit: Drumming!

  2. Maria says:

    Hey John,

    Thank you for your note. I must admit, I think the same about the Nuffield centre, but convenience makes you turn a blind eye to the mishaps. We are planning to move at the beginning of next year so who knows if I will ever make it to Norbury again. Unfortunately, Wimbledon or Wandsworth are too far for me.

    And really…isn’t it everywhere the same, with people dropping their weights from up above, scaring even those of us doing Zumba or Yoga next door? 😀

    Thanks for the musical recommendations. I will be sure to try it.
    Please stop by from time to time and good luck with your training.


    • John says:


      Thanks for the reply.

      I hope you don’t forget Norbury, even when you move.

      I agree in part and disagree with some comments e.g. dropping the weights, as I have been one of the culprits years ago and feel ashamed. However, I insist, that this does not happen everywhere! Although, if you feel it is not a problem – then it gives me a passport to misbehave, on this simple premise:

      “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
      George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman (1903) “Maxims for Revolutionists”
      Irish dramatist & socialist (1856 – 1950)

      Since my last post on your comment, I am finding that people in other places are much more respectable and polite, as for the gym staff – that is debatable.

      Please forgive my musical rantings – they were in no way, whatsoever, meant to be patronising and understand it is a matter of personal taste. I only replied because you struck a chord.

      I truly hope that you don’t see this post from someone who feels to be subscribed – I am just another guy from Norbury and share the same

      Sincerely, I wish you all the best and will visit you every now and then; although, I am sure you will not miss me, as you are very talented and will survive wherever you go….


      • Maria says:

        Dear John,

        You are welcome to stop by any time you want. No obligation whatsoever :-). I promise I won’t consider you subscribed to my blog.

        As for the Norbury gym, I’ve just received a letter announcing me they are reopening the premises in January. Will have to decide if to terminate the membership or give it another try. 🙂

        I appreciated your “musical ranting”, so no need to apologize.
        Good luck with everything!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *