Our top 10 stories of 2013

Happy new year!

With the launch of Valley Leisure Lifestyle last autumn, we thought we’d take a look back and recap your 10 favourite stories from 2013.

Helen and NIc

Here’s what you might have missed:

1) Helen’s story: ‘This is the best thing I have ever done’Helen's weight loss before and after
Valley Leisure member Helen has one of the most inspiring stories we’ve heard, and has managed to turn her health around in a big way.
Check out Helen’s story and find out how it’s possible for anyone.
Read here.

2) Ask the experts: why should I do yoga at Christmas?Michelle Oliver virasana posture yoga
It’s not just important at Christmas: modern life can be stressful for anyone, with increased pressure to spend money and time – when we really just want to hunker down.
So how can we calm down and relax during these busy times?
Yoga instructors at Andover Leisure Centre, Michelle and Zoe, tell us why it’s always a perfect time to try something new.
Read here.

3) Fit in 30mins: The X:Ten workout
Jungle gyms fitness
It’s the oldest excuse in the book: ‘I don’t have time to exercise.’
Luckily, that’s no longer true.
With the help of Stu and Jake from The Rapids gym, we show you all the exercises you’ll need to fit a full-body workout into just half an hour.
Read here.

4) Fit in 30mins: The Tabata review
Tabata class Andover Leisure Centre
Tabata is the latest big craze in fitness – and we reckon it’s here to stay.
Classes consist of 30 minutes of high intensity activity with rests, designed to give you high calorie burn and an amazing cardio workout.
We asked long-time class and gym user, Ruth Tarrant-Rolfe, what she thinks makes Tabata different.
Read here.

5) Susie’s story: ‘The London Marathon is my life’s ambition’Susie Currie London marathon training
Valley Leisure member Susie Currie has set herself the daunting challenge to run the London Marathon in April.
We caught up with her to talk fundraising, training, and avoiding injury.
Read here.

6) Ask the experts: why should I do Pilates?Pilates class The Rapids Romsey
Whether you’re really into your fitness regime or just starting to give it a go, you’ve possibly stumbled across Pilates a few times and not felt too sure about how it can benefit you.
Forget the ideals – that Pilates is just for lean-limbed individuals with perfect balance and core – and discover that it really is for everyone.
We caught up with our Pilates expert at The Rapids, Adam, to find out just some of the incredible benefits.
Read here.

7) Superfoods vs a balanced diet: which works better?
Balanced diet
If you’ve even so much as looked at a fitness or lifestyle magazine in the last few years, you’re bound to have heard about the magic of superfoods.
But how much do they actually help us more than regular food?
We spoke to our experts to find out what the deal is with superfoods.
Read here.

8) Shellie & Ed’s story: ‘We finally found what we were looking for’Shellie and Ed
Fitness fans Shellie and Ed love The Rapids so much they moved here from Australia!
Find out what keeps them coming back.
Read here.

9) Recipe of the month: bright smoothies
Healthy smoothie recipes
Smoothies are all the rage right now, and for good reason – they taste so good and are great for your health!
We’ve teamed up with John, assistant manager catering and events, from Andover Leisure Centre to bring you some fun, juicy, and – most importantly – easy smoothie recipes.
Read here.

10) Catching up with our triathletes
Craig and Graham finish the VLT
In September, assistant manager Craig and lifeguard Graham from The Rapids took part in the VLT – a standard distance triathlon spanning across Test Valley.
We gave them a few days to recover before chatting to them about how they did.
Read here.

We can’t wait to keep bring you inspiring stories in 2014, and love hearing how your fitness goals are going.
If you’d like to talk to someone about setting a goal, make sure to chat to a member of the gym team next time you’re in.

And if you’d like to try something new, you can find Andover Leisure Centre‘s fitness timetable here and The Rapids‘ fitness timetable here.

Good luck and best wishes for the new year!

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