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Saturday, 20 August 2011

Rani's physical health - I love my gym!

I've been a gym member for over a decade and in 2010 when I wanted to find a new one I did a thorough survey of all the good gyms in West London. Some of the prices were astronomical.

The one I settled on is part of a set owned by Charlie Bourne, called "Eden Fitness" in Ealing.

The main reason I joined was because this gym offers a class I haven't found anywhere else; Total Cardio, which is 45 mins of interval training on three separate machines- the treadmill, the crosstrainer, and the cycle. Sometimes we play the Fish Game on the rower. It is such a simple concept and so many gyms have dedicated cardio sections I am really surprised not to find it anywhere else.

The second thing about Eden is the amazingly high level of hygiene- the facilities and cloakrooms are always clean and the pool area has a special "saunarium" -ideal for relaxing.

But I think what is really adding to the quality of my life is the standard of the staff. Reception people are chatty and friendly.

I adore all my instructors in the cardio teaching team; Carlos Newton,Paul Stribling, Matt Fox, Steve Perkins, Roz Gerber, Darren Carroll and Gavin Mehta. It has taken me quite a long time to appreciate how prodigiously talented my instructors are as they don't do any hard selling on special trainer sessions -I just found out they are good by talking with them and having classes with them. Each of them has a different technique -so the blend of working out with them all over a fortnight is a perfect, heady cocktail. They all keep an eye on me when I am on the gym floor -proactively checking
my posture etc as opposed to some instructors in other West London gyms who practically ignore members.

Gavin has been introducing me to kickboxing over the last few weeks and since he is a martial arts specialist I am hoping to get some self defence training from him further down the line. After returning from India last year and seeing how the Special Protection Group, in common with other international military units, study Krav Maga, I approached Gavin. He has devised his own form of self defence suitable for someone like me- using techniques from many established styles, including Krav Maga.

Lastly, I love my yoga teacher -Shanti Gill -who teaches a special class of Chiyoga- a blend of Tai Chi and yoga- as well as the more intense forms the rest of the week. If I concentrate, I can feel my mind going into a meditative state during Chiyoga.

During the English riots last week, Charlie Bourne, his wife and around eight others spent the night on the couches of the reception area to protect the premises in case of attack so we didn't lose access to the gym though the hours were shortened on the worst days.

I lost some fitness toward the end of 2010 and during the first six months of this year while I was writing intensively so I will need to work hard over the next few weeks to return to form.

Eating right will be my biggest challenge!

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