3 workouts to get you beach ready

by Christina Agnew,

As the weather hots up for the summer and you're beginning to stock up on skincare travel essentials, minds are turning to looking our best on the beach. As Radiance fitness expert Dalton Wong says "you can't out-train a bad diet". But assuming you are already eating a clean and healthy diet and perhaps squeezing in a 3-day Greens Cleanse, here are our new favourite workouts to really sculpt your perfect figure.

1. Barry's Bootcamp

We have friends who are absolutely obsessed with this super intense, whole body workout. Be prepared for some strong encouragement from your instructor. There is no slacking in this class. But it burns a huge number of calories per hour and gives you a real endorphin high. The studio is based near Euston and you can recharge with a dairy free protein shake from the Fuel Bar after your class.

2. BarreDance at barrecore

This class fuses dance-based conditioning with fat-blasting and heart-pumping moves, to loud, stimulating music. Barrecore's brand of highly effective barre focused traning was brought to the UK from the US by Niki Rein, a personal trainer who started out with Tracy Anderson in LA. Commit to four sessions per week at the Chelsea studio and you'll be proudly displaying a famous "Barrecore bum" in no time!

3. Power Plate at Good Vibes

If you're short of time, this 25 minute class is ideal. Small class sizes means it feels more like personal training, with results to match. If you haven't yet tried a power plate, you must! There's nothing quite like trying to walk down the stairs after a few short bursts of intense squats on the plate the day before... Also, nobody looks better in lycra than Good Vibes founder Nahid de Belgeonne. She's the best advertisement in town for the benefits of a regular power plate workout.

Q&A with Christine Sundt – Choreographer & classical Pilates teacher

by Christina Agnew, , link
Staying fit and healthy is in Chrissy Sundt's DNA, having started life at the Royal Ballet School and grown up as a strict vegetarian on an organic farm. After injury sadly forced her out of her professional ballet career she became a superstar choreographer and one of the best classical Pilates teachers that we know. In fact, Christina trained with Chrissy throughout her first pregnancy and credits those Pilates sessions with helping her stay in shape and recover quickly. Chrissy always looks incredible and is a total inspiration to us, so we couldn't resist a quick Q&A.
How has your ballet background affected your current approach to health and fitness?
Ballet is a very exacting art form and having trained professionally since the age of 10, it has allowed me to bring an enormous amount of knowledge to my teaching. When I was training the focus was very much about hard work, precision and attention to detail – all of which I have taken on into my approach to working with clients. What I have tried to get away from is the negative reinforcement that often comes with a classical dance training so that now my big focus is positive reinforcement and to have some fun! 
What is your favourite way to work out these days?
I try to vary my workouts so I do a combination of: ballet, yoga, Pilates, swimming and Barrecore. With this combination, I continuously challenge the body without stressing out the body or working the same muscle groups and joints in a repetitive way. I also ski during the winter months which I love because the air is so clean and I finally step out of the studio environment and into nature - this is something I think we all need to do to get away from our busy urban lives.
What is the best way to improve posture?
Good posture gives you confidence and if you walk tall you will notice you immediately look slimmer and your clothes sit better. So the simplest way to do this is to find little ways to remind yourself to sit or stand tall, draw your shoulders lightly down your back and draw your abdominals in and up, these actions will immediately make the spine nice and long and you will look 3 inches taller!
How can you strengthen your core at home if you don't have time to hit the gym?
I often say to clients that if they draw their abdominals 'in and up' every time they receive an email or text message I would very quickly be out of a job.  The action of drawing them in and up, sitting or standing tall and maintaining that for longer and longer periods will help to strengthen the abdominals and create more tone.  I also encourage clients to at least learn the Pilates Abdominal series so that they can just grab 10 minutes in the day to lay down on a mat and do them at home or in the office. Go online to powerpilates.com and you can download beginner workouts which you can use to guide you through these simple beginner exercises. All you need is a mat and your laptop and you are away!
How would you describe your food philosophy?
Organic, fresh and simple to prepare! I grew up as a strict vegetarian and on an organic farm, so the focus has always been on eating fresh organic fruits and vegetables that are seasonal and grown in a way that is local and sustainable. I have been a Pescatarian for the last ten years and I apply exactly the same rules when choosing what fish to eat. I usually do a cleanse 2 or 3 times a year just to reset the digestive system. I often do this after Christmas or other times that may have been a little more indulgent than usual like a holiday. I think it really helps to kick start those healthy habits and really think about how you fuel your body every day.
Which three items are always in your fridge?
Fresh berries, salad and probably some Norwegian organic salmon. (I am a good Norwegian after all!)
How do you press the reset button after a stressful day?
A hot bath with Epsom Salts is great for relieving tired muscles and detoxifying the body. If I have the energy then a yoga class is a lovely way to de-stress and de-clutter the mind after a long day. Otherwise I will lay on a foam roller (a rolled up bath towel works well if a foam roller isn't available) and lay on it for 10 minutes, its fantastic for opening the back and chest which along with some deep cleansing breaths really helps.
What is your key to happiness?
'Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness' Joseph Pilates. (I'm afraid I can't put it better than that!)

Q&A with Midi Fairgrieve, Radiance's Executive Nutritional Therapist

by Clare Ward, , link

Midi Fairgrieve is Radiance's Executive Nutritional Therapist. She has an unrivalled depth of experience with juice cleansing, through her years of work as a private practice nutritional therapist in the UK and as the founder of Detox International, a company that has pioneered juice cleanse and holistic healing residential retreats. 

How and why did you move into nutrition as a profession?

I came to a point in my life when I was 30 when nothing I was doing was making much sense or making me happy any more. I really came to a complete full stop; physically, mentally and emotionally. After receiving wonderful support and healing I started to be drawn towards helping others in this way. I didn’t really know which direction I would ultimately take but I came across a course in holistic nutritional medicine and it was as if a light bulb went on inside me. I left my job as a radio producer with the BBC and everything seemed to unfold in magical ways as I retrained in natural medicine.

Why did you become interested in juice cleansing in particular?

Again, it was a light bulb moment when I was studying detoxification during my nutrition training. It made such sense that cleansing and detoxifying was at the root of healing. I have always been holistic in my outlook and so when I understood the huge power that detox has to change people on all levels, I wanted to work in this way. I was magnetically drawn to detox.

How often do you cleanse?

I have a fasting day once a week. It’s not a strictly no food day, we eat fresh fruit and vegetables, either as juice, salads, steamed vegetables or soups. But nothing else; just fresh fruit and veg. I always feel the benefits the next day.  It helps me keep my weight in check and as an older mother I am looking to the long term health benefits that intermittent fasting is known for, such as stabilising blood pressure and blood sugar, warding off arthritis, keeping the mind sharp and the body flexible. I hope to be fit and well and active in my 80s and 90s. I’m in my early 50s now and rekindled a childhood passion for horse riding 2 years ago and have my own horse. I want to be able to keep riding into my old age and paying attention to diet is a key part of that.

What is your normal diet?

It’s pretty predictable during the week days – breakfast is fruit, bee pollen and home-made yoghurt. Lunch in winter is freshly made soup and in the summer a variety of salads. In the evenings it can be anything from fish to chicken to vegetarian, but always freshly cooked and always plenty of vegetables.  At the weekends we often eat out once or twice which includes sea food and sometimes even pizza! I am a great believer in balance in all things.

Do you find that you eat differently living in Spain than you did in the UK?

Yes! When I was living in Edinburgh I could easily buy organic food and in this part of Southern Spain it is almost impossible to get hold of. We grow our own fruit and veg now which helps. Eating out is a challenge in a very meat based society, but I am not a rigid eater and love all food so when I’m out I eat meat or fish as they are usually the only options in Spain.

What are your can't-do-without fridge and cupboard foods?

I love butter! I always have lentils and chickpeas somewhere. Onions and garlic are always at hand and form the base of everything I cook. Lemons are also a must for me as they are so versatile from hot water and lemon as a cleansing drink to livening up a fresh juice and bringing depth of flavour to a soup or a stew. I trained as a Cordon Bleu cook when I left school and my early cooking skills have made cooking and eating a joy for me as I can make food quickly and also love eating all types of food.

What is your favourite juice combination?

Carrot, apple, ginger and orange.

What is your best piece of advice for someone embarking on a juice cleanse for the first time?

Just do it! Be aware that you may feel a bit toxic during a juice fast as toxins are released but that’s a good sign. The more often you juice fast the less ‘uncomfortable reactions’ you will have as the body becomes clearer. Rest, rest, rest and drink filtered water.

What are the most noticeable changes that you see in your clients from doing a juice cleanse?

The biggest changes are on the non physical level. People will often leave a detox retreat and make radical changes to their lives. Perhaps change their career, re-train in something new, even give up work altogether for a while and travel. Other changes might be separating from a partner or spouse which they hadn’t had the courage or energy to do before or taking more time for inner peace and joining a yoga or meditation class. Taking time out to retreat and detox is a chance to listen to our inner voice and when we hear ourselves, it can have life changing results. The body benefits too of course, such as weight loss, clearer skin, greater vitality, and for many people, they overcome a chronic condition, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia and IBS. Detox slows down the aging process at cell level so every part of us benefits.

Do you have any helpful little rituals when you do a detox for yourself?

I detox once a year on a 7 day retreat and love the feeling afterwards. During the retreat I tend to sink into a headache for the first day. Rest is probably the thing I try to do most when detoxing. In terms of helpful rituals, you can't beat drinking clean water and getting out into nature. 

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