The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Bucks & Oxon Edition

Category: Fitness

On my soapbox

18 Jan 2017

OK, it’s time to clamber back onto my soapbox. Actually, can you just bear with me while I do three sets of tricep dips off it first? As is the drill in January, I’m using this relatively quiet time of year, undistracted by mulled wine and stilton, to ramp up my health and fitness. Eating a bit less, moving a bit more, trying to jiggle into my lycra leggings that I’m sure didn’t feel like tighter than clingfilm this time last year.

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Let’s get physical! (um, not like that)

5 Jan 2017


Really need to do something to counteract those 8,000 mince pies? Us too. But breaking out that neglected Lycra (or in Hillary Swank’s case, that itty bitty bikini) is flippin’ hard, especially when it’s cold and dark outside and Netflix is emiting its siren call. But look people, there are ways of eassssing yourself, Muddy style, into a non-terrifying new year fitness regime. Steve Carvey,  triathlete and superstar PT at the awesome  David Lloyd Oxford gym, has some properly helpful, insightful tips for Muddy readers whether we’re gym bunnies,  freeformers, or morning-dodgers (hit the snooze button, I’ll get up when I’m good and ready). 

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Want buns of steel? Visit this woman

30 Sep 2016

Here is Melissa Scott, a woman with the kind of body tone that you only see on SAS army training programmes and the kind of ‘get on with it’ mentality that lazy knackers like me regard with a wide-eyed wonderment.

I have been trying to get to one of her classes for months and months – honestly! –  but my dodgy back has not been playing the game, so I’ve had to cancel a few times.

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Muddy tries: Boditrax at David Lloyd

15 Sep 2016

Sometimes you just need to front up to the stats. I’m talking about body composition, muscle mass, fat (inside and out), metabolic burn, dehydration levels, all the stuff that I’ve been going ‘la-la-la’ very loudly with my fingers in my ears while Mr Muddy pours me another drink and I lose my arm in the Dorito’s Chilli Wave packet.

The gloriously chi-chi David Lloyd Oxford is one of the only gyms in the area to have the latest Boditrax machine, a supertech piece of kit that if I was a member I’d feel compelled to step on every time I went – I can see it would be so addictive watching my visceral fat levels drop with *cough* all that exercise.

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First look: Beyonce’s promo for her new fitness line

1 Apr 2016

I’m just coming to the end of a bout of extravagant food poisoning, brought on by some naughty little French mussels. That’s my excuse not to do any exercise at the moment (oh come on, be fair!) but seeing Beyonce’s hot-of-the-press promo for her new fitness range has me feel a bit twitchy – not necessarily to sweat it out admittedly, but definitely to buy some of the clobber.

Wanna see the vid? 

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Want to try a great spinning class?

31 Dec 2015

Good news ahoy if you’re looking to get fit this year and are partial to spinning. I came across Cat Booker last year during my Muddy Stilettos Awards and have been keeping my beady eye on her business since. Cat is one of those personal trainers who really made waves in London before moving out into the countryside – she managed the gym floor at a whopper city health club, has taught most types of fitness classes and is now a European Master Trainer for Total Gym & GRAVITY, Pilates Diploma Course Leader, Presenter for Spinning® & Level 3 Coach.

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4 week fat loss group that actually *works*!

18 Jun 2015

A collective depressive sigh blew through Haddenham in mid Bucks a few weeks back when the personal trainer who I call Fitty Steve – only because he has a very low resting heart rate – got married.

Steve is an ex pro footballer who has spent the last nine months getting Haddenham’s middle aged wobblers into the sort of shape that the Victoria’s Secret Angels can only dream of (well, nearly).

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Smart fitness and eating tips

23 May 2015

As you can imagine running Muddy, I get sent loads of info from various businesses and their PRs, and the sheer volume of emails means that I’ve become adept at working out when to press the delete button, often in the first paragraph!

One email that was immediately favourited rather than sent to its virtual death today was one from Sandra Brooks, the Thame-based PT I mentioned a few weeks back, who was a Muddy finalist in this year’s Awards, and who has just started an online health, fitness and well-being (and if you want, weightloss) programme called Dropit21.

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Gym bunny

24 Feb 2015

I’ve pretended to exercise in a lot of swanky gyms in my time but I think for sheer beauty Stoke Park’s new £500,000 refurbished gym tops the lot.

Yes yes, that may sound a little shallow if you’re the type of fitness nut who scrutinises the make of a dumb-bell, or can work one of those faffy triathlon-style heart monitors, but most of us choose a gym based not only on the equipment , but on the look of the pool (oh come on, it can’t just be me!),  steamroom/sauna, the classes on offer and whether there’s a decent cafe in which to order the exercise-busting frappuccino after your workout.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Bucks & Oxon Edition