COVID-19 updates

(updated 21st March 2020 – changes in purple text)

Please find details below regarding changes being made to taylor-made fitness in light of the current situation with coronavirus COVID-19. For the latest Government advice on coronavirus, please click here

I am currently in the process of updating my website to reflect the changes that have been made to taylor-made fitness with regards to coronavirus COVID-19. Please bear with me until everything is fully functional again!

Fitness Pilates and Hi-Li fitness circuit classes:

With effect from Monday 16th March, all in-person group classes have been temporarily suspended and will be delivered as live-streamed or pre-recorded sessions. I have set up a virtual studio in my home so everything is good to go. I will be adding a variety of class options in the coming weeks – please let me know if there is anything you would like me to include.

Please try to carry on with your regular movement practice at home – even if we can’t be in the same space, we can still be collectively exercising at the usual times – physically distant but socially cohesive!

I am going to make a change to the way class bookings are made during this period, so that you will have more flexibility while your finances may be less certain. With effect from April 6th, I will offer monthly subscriptions which will give you access to all my live-streamed and pre-recorded online classes. I hope that you will be in a position to continue supporting me during these changing times, so that taylor-made fitness can still be there to support you once everything is more settled.

I had planned to take a week off 6-13th April but this is currently under review as I’m not sure where I’d go!! I will keep you posted nearer the time and set-up the classes accordingly.

Wellness walks:

At present, I am planning to continue with the Wednesday morning walk as usual and will add an extra walk session on Fridays (details below). In these difficult times, assuming we are not symptomatic, we can all benefit from getting outside and breathing fresh air.

Managing our mental health will be even more vital over the coming weeks and walking is my favourite way to do that. I will be walking and you are welcome to join me if you’d like to.

  • Wednesdays 9-10.30am – meet outside The Old School Hall, Back Road, Sandhurst, Kent – wear wellies or suitable walking boots as all potential routes from here are muddy at present! Dogs welcome.
  • Fridays 9-10.30am – meet by Iden Green pavilion – this will be a circular loop along the quiet lanes; less muddy but also less off-lead options for dogs.

We are lucky to live in a rural setting where we can be outside and away from direct contact with others, even if we are walking in a small, spread-out, group. Here is an article about whether it is still safe to walk, in case you have any concerns: coronavirus and walking

Please note a change to the start time on Fridays (9am instead of 9.15am)

Please do not attend a walk session if you have any COVID-19 symptoms as outlined here or have been in contact with anyone who has these symptoms

There is no charge for these sessions but if you’re planning on joining us please email/text me on the day so that we know to wait for you before setting off. For your own peace of mind, please bring hand gel if you have any as there are no hand-washing facilities available (except puddles perhaps!)

Personal training:

Personal training sessions will continue to be delivered in-person although the following processes will be followed:

  • clients will use their own mats and equipment for their sessions – I will no longer be bringing any items with me and will build sessions around whatever equipment clients have access to
  • I will use hand gel before and after each session as well as using anti-bac wipes on the controls of my van
  • sessions will take place outside at safe distance; where this is not possible we will need to move to live-streamed sessions

PT clients must notify me if they have any COVID-19 symptoms as outlined here or have been in contact with anyone who has these symptoms.

I will be in email contact with individual clients to agree how to proceed and we will continue to review as the situation develops. In the event that clients think they have been potentially exposed to the virus, personal training sessions will need to move to live-streamed sessions. Obviously the same applies if I think have been exposed to the virus.

Sports & clinical massage:

We now have guidance from the Sports Therapy Association which is as follows:

“After spending most of the night reviewing the current Governmental guidance, I have arrived at the conclusion that now is the time to cancel all non urgent appointments and unnecessary social contact , as we are not classed as Allied Health Professionals – that means all clinic appointments, home visits, pitch side commitments and training nights. I’ve shared multiple sources of information over the past few days all of which classifies our role as high risk. I hope that we can look back in several months and say we were wrong and guilty only of overreacting.” Gary Benson Founder of STA

In line with this guidance I feel that my decision to stop offering hands-on treatments from Monday 16th was the best one to take.

Please rest assured that even though I cannot treat you in person at this time, I am still available to offer help as required via online and telephone contact. As well as creating some general self-care release videos that you can use at home, I am also able to offer individual guidance via Skype or Zoom so please reach out if you need my help.

If you have an existing massage voucher, the expiration date will be extended accordingly.

My commitment to you:

This business is my livelihood and my only source of household income, so for sure these are scary and worrying times, as they are for many of you I know. But, more than being my income, this business represents my heart & soul and I am feeling very sad and worried about what might happen to it right now. I know I’m not alone. I know we will get through this. But I’m taking a moment to acknowledge the sadness too.

Today I have been lifted up by the emails & texts of support from all of my lovely clients – thank you so much, it means the world to have that contact. Thank you for your on-going support in uncertain times.

Please keep in touch. Please keep walking. Please (if you can) keep to your usual class schedule at home. Please look after yourselves and your loved ones. Please take time to look up at the sky and plant your feet in the soil. Please take time to lie on the floor and breathe deeply.

I am going to try to keep myself busy creating class content for you and I’ll send regular emails so that you have plenty to keep you busy too. I also plan to complete my L4 Sports Massage course (which is all online) so that I’ll have new skills to share soon. If I get really stir-crazy, I might pack up my dog and a tent and go off-grid for a while…

Hopefully I will see some of you on walks but if not I am here if you need anything – fitness ideas, massage self-care advice, online support, virtual cake & coffee mornings, shopping errands…please shout if you need anything from me at all Jx

Gift vouchers

I’m not ready Christmas this early in the year, but I have had some questions about gift vouchers so here are the options available in case you like to get organised in advance.

massage therapy

Massage gift vouchers & packages:

Regular massage offers many benefits including reduced pain, improved mobility, stress-reduction, better sleep and a sense of general well-being. Giving the gift of massage will definitely improve your popularity!

I have three options available for sports massage vouchers –

I have created a 4 session package which is great for someone who has an on-going soft tissue concern, where an initial course of several treatments within a shorter space of time will help to reduce symptoms.

This voucher will give the recipient four treatments over the course of 10-weeks, taken at intervals to suit their schedule, and it will earn you a whole lot of brownie points! If you are buying this as a Christmas gift, the voucher can be dated to start from 6th January 2020

I also offer a 10 session package which can be a gift voucher for someone else, or a gift to yourself! I have a special offer available when one of these options is purchased by 29th November, giving 11 sessions instead of 10 at no extra charge.

If you are buying it as a Christmas gift it can be dated to start from 6th January 2020; if you are nearing the end of a current block of 10 sessions, the start date can be amended to follow-on immediately afterwards, so that you can still take advantage of the 11 for 10 price.

I can also set up a gift voucher for any specific amount to be off-set against future treatments. Please get in touch to arrange this bespoke option.

taylor-made fitness

Personal training packages:

I have recently introduced a 10 session package for personal training and this can also be purchased as a gift voucher. Please make sure your recipient will appreciate your gift before purchasing! Please get in touch to discuss and purchase this bespoke option.

Please let me know if you have any questions at all about any of the voucher options or packages available Jx

happy birthday tmf

happy birthday tmf

I’ve never been big on birthdays but it seems rude not to celebrate the 8th birthday of my little business and all the ways it has made my life more whole.

The date is a bit woolly because actually taylor-made fitness started a little bit before this, and in terms of planning a lot sooner than this date, but I choose to celebrate on 1st October because that was the date of my first proper early-morning bootcamp in 2010. A few of you that were with me then are still with me now, and I am truly grateful for your continued support.

bootcamp barre pilates

(from bootcamp to barre)

Having a small business is a bit like having a dog in that I can look back at all the times it has been there while life has taken shape. Over the past eight years two of my children have left home, various pets have arrived, two grand-children have been born, my Mum has passed away and I like to hope I have grown a little too. As all of life has unfolded, I think that taylor-made fitness has undergone its own unfolding, reshaping, growing, changing and settling process.

On a personal level, 2018 has without a doubt been (and perhaps continues to be) my toughest year, and there have been many times that I have wanted to run away. One of the things that has kept me rooted has been my business and all of the fabulous people that are involved in it – ie. you. I know I haven’t always been at my best this year, and feel so grateful for all your patience and kindness along the way, but I hope that the time we have shared has still added value to your life and helps you to feel better about your body.

At the start of this year a friend advised me that this was my time to be fallow. I didn’t fully understand what she meant at the time but as the year has unfolded I realise that she was so right. I have tried to live quietly and gently, giving myself space and time to get used to my changed family dynamic and I feel as though I’ve recently started to turn a corner, ready to look ahead again. As I’m writing this my 2019 diary is sitting next to me on the dining room table and I’m ready to take taylor-made fitness onwards into a fresh new year…

What next?

Before I wish away the end of 2018, I’m going to make some tmf birthday celebration treats for PT and class clients on Monday, and maybe you could start thinking about how you want to spend the remaining 94 days (& counting) of this year…

  • what are you going to do with them?
  • what needs to happen to bring you’re year to a strong finish?
  • what can you do today to help you get where you want to go?

Here’s to birthdays, and celebrating progress, and looking back & looking forwards, a little bit older and hopefully a little wiser Jx

antiperspirant vs deodorant

I’ve been wanting to write a post about antiperspirant vs deodorant for ages and every time I sit down to write it I chicken out because it seems like a slightly bizarre thing to be writing about. But it is also something I feel quite evangelical about so I’m going to do it anyway!

The back-story:

Before I went to university I decided that I didn’t want to leave a boyfriend behind at home, so that I could experience all that uni-life would offer without pining for someone who wasn’t there. So my then-boyfriend soon became my ex-boyfriend, and off I went – young, free and single and determined to stay that way…

One week later I met the most amazing guy (ever!!) and not long afterwards we were living together, which was how it stayed for two years. So much for being young, free & single!!

One of the things about the amazing guy was that he was an eco-warrior, light-years ahead of his time and he was absolutely passionate about looking after the planet as well as his body & soul.

I used to laugh at him for always rinsing the washing up before it was dried, but he insisted  that chemicals in the washing up liquid were damaging to our bodies, and so I kept laughing and he kept rinsing. In the years since then I have often smiled because I always rinse any washing up that I’ve done by hand and I now believe that he was right all along.

The other ‘eco’ thing I remember about him is that he only used deodorant, never antiperspirant, because he believed that disrupting the body’s natural sweat mechanism was hugely damaging to the body. I didn’t change my behaviour on this one until fairly recently, but I have often read articles (like this one) debating the pros and cons of antiperspirant vs deodorant which brought about a gradual change in my thinking.

The present day:

I started experimenting with deodorant, rather than antiperspirant, late last year but the problem was that I couldn’t find a product that I liked enough to make the swap permanent. I tried a few brands (roll-on or stick – I don’t like aerosols) but they felt horrible on my skin. And then quite by chance I came across an online discussion and saw someone recommending a brand called Native. She said it was a brilliant product and that the company offered free shipping, so I took a look.

The first time I looked I didn’t buy anything because I saw the company is based in the USA and assumed they wouldn’t ship to the UK, or at least not for free. But on a second look I realised that they do ship free to the UK so I ordered and received my delivery. [Please don’t shoot me down for the air miles thing – I figure the plane was coming here anyway!!]

And then I didn’t use my Native deodorant for a while because I didn’t really think it would work. And then I started using it sometimes. And then I started noticing that my skin felt a bit sore on the days I used the antiperspirant instead. So now, I just use my Native deodorant all the time.

The trade off is that I do sweat a bit more – of course that’s actually the whole point, letting my body do what my body needs to do – but given that we have had some pretty extreme temperatures lately I am super-impressed by this product.

It is made from natural ingredients, contains no aluminium and is paraben-free. It has ingredients to absorb moisture and others to eliminate odour-causing bacteria.  It feels really nice to use (not sticky), it smells great (there are loads of options to choose from) and it lasts really well (which more than offsets the slightly higher cost).

So there you go. My thoughts on antiperspirant vs deodorant in case you are thinking about making the switch too.

I think the amazing guy would be very impressed, and probably quietly amused, to know that I have finally caught up with his thinking on this one, along with so many other things. If only I’d had the wisdom to listen to him all those years ago…

Jx

(PS I didn’t laugh at all his advice. I took it very much to heart when he told me that brandy was a great soother for a delicate disposition after too much cider the night before. It worked every time!)

what can Barre Pilates do for me?

What can Barre Pilates do for me?

Over the past 24 years I have taught (and attended) a very wide range of fitness classes and during that time I have often changed my mind about which class is my favourite. Like most things, fitness classes go in phases (I think I always knew that slide was never going to last!!) and gradually evolve as new options come along, and that is one of the things I love most about this industry.

Regardless of the variations available I have always tended to prefer low impact classes – I think I just like to keep my feet on the ground!

barre pilates

And although I have never been inspired to dance, I somehow always knew that I would love the discipline of standing work at the barre. So I tried it…and I do! So I trained to teach The Barre Pilates Method and I thought I’d share with you my thoughts on the benefits you can expect from Barre Pilates.

  1. it’s a low impact class which is kind to your joints, whilst toning and strengthening the muscles which support your joints; but don’t be fooled – you will still sweat because we will overload the muscles with full-range and part-range movements
  2. it’s a standing class (with about 10 minutes of mat-work at the end) which means that is great for bone loading; as we age we naturally lose bone strength so any exercise that is weight-bearing actively promotes our bone health
  3. barre pilates exercises focus on your butt, legs and core to strengthen and tone these areas of your body for better functional movement patterns in your everyday life; your butt and core are key to supporting spine health and reducing non-specific low back pain and it is important to include a focus on these areas as part of your regular fitness routine
  4. you can work at your own level so it doesn’t matter whether you can perform a deep knee bend in plié or not; you will be guided through each exercise and work within your fitness level and experience, resting when you need to
  5. we focus on your posture throughout the class to help you to find a balanced alignment in your body; this in turn promotes improved breathing patterns, improved recruitment of core muscles and improved pelvic floor function
  6. each class includes stretching and flexibility exercises during the workout and at the end of the session; stretches are used to target specific muscles but also to promote a sense of relaxation and well-being after the workout

Barre Pilates is a great addition to your regular fitness routine, and a perfect complement to other classes that you do. If you want to give it a try, I’d love to see you at the barre!

 

Jx

self care

Written in November 2017:

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about #selfcare & what I can add to my life to fill up my bucket over the next few months. I think over the course of 2017 I lost the balance of work & life a little bit and I don’t want to continue this way.

I’m very aware that if I’m not careful the things I add will start to feel like stuff-that-has-to-be-done which of course takes away the joy of doing them… The hours I work don’t leave much time for regular extra-curricular things so I’ve decided to focus on adding ‘ad hoc’ things I can do when I feel able to. My goal is definitely to add quality but not quantity. I already have enough quantity going on…!

In the context of my own life, I was already thinking about how important #selfcare is when I had a conversation with a client one evening and was quite saddened by something she said.

She has recently experienced some leg pain and after some successful soft tissue work with her last week, I advised her on a couple of simple release exercises she could use during the week to keep her feeling more comfortable. She has been frustrated by her limited ability to exercise and is keen to get back to running. We were catching up on her week, and talking about whether she had done any of the releases I had suggested and she said that she had literally not had the required two minutes on any day since I had seen her last!!

Really??!

We had a pretty light-hearted chat about where she might have found those two minutes each day, but I really hope the message was loud & clear:

if we never put ourselves at the top of our own to-do list, we’ll never be at the top of our to-do list!

My lovely (& undeniably very busy) client had put everything else on her list – stroke the dogs, sort through the post, organise the children to practise their music, make the dinner, a large G&T…and I’m not in any way saying that those things are not important BUT I am definitely saying that those things are not more important than her leg. I hope she heard me – I’ll be checking with her next week for sure!

Self-care comes in all shapes and sizes.

If we ignore our body when it is in pain, the pain is not going to go away, and it will probably get worse and require more time in the long run.

In the same way, if we ignore a lack of balance in our work & life, it probably isn’t going to become any more balanced…

What shape does your #selfcare look like?