I had a love hate relationship with exercise. I love how it makes me look and feel but hate actually having to do it. That was until I discovered Home Hiit. A way of exercising that doesn’t take a lot of time, and you don’t need any equipment or lots of space.
But before I tell you about why this has worked for me, I want to take you back to where it all began. I am a social media junkie; I can easily while away time admiring other people’s photos and reading their posts. Instagram is a fairly new favourite, not only do I love the gorgeous photographs; I also love learning something from other Instagrammers.
During one of my Instagram sweeps I came across @liveinfitnessretreat Clare La Terriere posts short videos explaining how you can exercise quickly and effectively at home. The videos are totally compelling. Clare is a woman in her fifties, a mother to three children, a fully qualified Personal Trainer and Pilates teacher and she is in amazing shape. Not only was I in awe of Clare, I also found myself thinking I can do that. Now, it’s not very often that I find myself wanting to jump about the living room, but I did.
I immediately sent Clare a message and asked if she ever came to London could we meet up. If I’ve learnt one thing in my fifties it’s to seize the moment, approach people who you admire and don’t be afraid to ask. Little more than a week later we had lunch together. I discovered Clare’s approach to exercising was so simple but I wanted to know if it really did work.
Clare explained to me that she would be a wealthy woman if she had a pound for every time someone said to her ‘if only I could come and stay with you for a few days I would understand how to exercise and eat healthily.’ So, Live In Fitness was created to offer short residential courses designed to get you exercising if you never have before, back on track if you’ve come off the rails, and also to help you lose weight should you wish. Most people complete the course with a friend, or close relative. Clare invited my daughter Charlotte to experience the course with me at her home in Norfolk. There was absolutely no persuasion needed, we literally couldn’t wait.
We arrived in the village of Bircham Newton and pulled up at Clare’s beautiful farm house. Over a cup of tea Clare explained that we would exercise twice a day and she would teach us a Home Hiit routine that we could take away and use on a regular basis. We would also be able to add to this from her workout videos already available online. After our workout we would take a long walk on the beach and in between we would be enjoying some delicious food and still have time to rest and unwind.
Once we had settled into the spacious and beautifully decorated bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, we changed ready for action. You need leggings or fitness trousers, a sleeveless top (you will get hot), a good sports bra and supportive trainers. We then joined Clare in her studio and she explained the principles of Hiit, High Intensity Interval Training. We were to work hard for 30/40 seconds followed by 20 seconds recovery period. The idea is to get breathless so you are working without oxygen forcing the body to burn fat rather than muscle. Following the warm up you complete 8 different exercises so that your total routine only takes 12 minutes. This routine was followed by some stretching exercises incorporating the principles of Pilates.
After lunch of homemade soup, bread and almond butter, we went for a long walk on the beach. Norfolk boasts some of the finest beaches in the country, the air is fresh and you instantly feel relaxed there.
We found our early evening exercise session easier than the morning, once we knew what to expect. After a delicious supper of fish curry and some healthy raw brownies, we were ready for bed.
The following day we repeated the exercise sessions and found that we were really starting to enjoy the discipline, mainly because it was fun, the music was great and because you only work intensively for less than a minute it’s completely ‘do able’. Smoothie bowls for breakfast and toast with almond butter set us up for another beach walk. We felt completely at home in Clare’s farm house, and enjoyed another delicious meal in the evening and then relaxed in front of the fire watching Strictly Come Dancing. The conversation flowed and both Charlotte and I had already decided this wouldn’t be our last visit.
Clare is extremely patient and understanding of your capabilities, she takes into account everything from your age, fitness levels and your expectations. She will create a programme that’s right for you and one that you can easily follow at home. This is a personal one to one experience where it really is all about you, so you get the best out of the course.
Before you leave, Clare shows you how to correctly carry out each exercise which you record onto your phone. This means that you have a complete routine for future reference. If you’ve struggled to start exercising by yourself before, or give up easily because you’re not motivated, this is the course for you. Clare keeps in touch after the course and continues to offer advice and support. Both Charlotte and I enjoyed every minute we spent with Clare in Norfolk and we’ve even started planning our next visit.
Spending the weekend with Clare has transformed my views on exercise and I now realise that I don’t need to exercise for a long period of time to get good results. I also don’t need an expensive gym membership or lots of equipment. I have kept up the routine and lost 2.5lb without trying, my body looks more toned and I generally feel much fitter.
We spent two nights at Live In Fitness. Normally the course would be three nights, giving you 7 supervised exercise sessions, accommodation and all meals provided. Prices start from £800 for one person and £1000 for two people.
For more details visit Live In Fitness Retreat