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We have a wide range of articles about fitness, health and events at Active.

Read one of our many articles below by clicking on the title and after you have finished, let us know what you think by submitting a comment. What fitness techniques have you tried that have worked or failed? Is there a new kind of fitness class that we don't currently provide? What more could we do to help you achieve a healthy lifestyle?

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An oasis for body and mind

Controlled breathing, concentration and a carefully structured series of stretches, moves and poses create an holistic workout that brings the body into a state of harmony and balance.

Like all the Les Mills programmes, a new BODYBALANCE class is produced every three months with new music and choreography.

What will Bodybalance do for me?

  • Improve joint flexibility and range of motion
  • Increase your core strength
  • Reduce your stress levels
  • Provide a lasting sense of well-being and calm
  • Focus the mind and raise consciousness levels through controlled breathing

Describe a typical class

Each class follows a set sequence of exercise disciplines and is made up of 45 minutes of simple, yet challenging, exercises followed by 10 minutes of relaxation and meditation. Your instructor takes you through the moves and shows you options to suit your fitness level. If you haven't done any yoga or group fitness before, please take it easy. Use your first few classes to learn the poses and moves and how to get the most out of your workout. Don't hesitate to have a word with your instructor if you have any questions.

T'ai Chi warm-up
Easy, flowing moves from the ancient Chinese exercise discipline let you leave your day behind, centre yourself and warm the body.

Sun Salutations
A traditional yoga sequence warms your body more deeply, stretching and strengthening key muscle groups.

Yoga Standing Strength
Poses such as Warrior Pose and Triangle Pose strengthen and tone the body.

Concentration and focus allow your mind and body to meet the challenge of balancing poses.

Hip Openers
Focuses on strengthening for greater flexibility and freedom of movement in the hips and lower back.

Abdominals and back
Uses exercises from yoga and Pilates to strengthen core abdominal and back muscles.

Twists and Forward Bends
Poses and stretches create suppleness and flexibility in the hamstrings and back.

Relaxation and Meditation
The final 10 minutes deliver the mental and physiological benefits of meditation and enhance the effects of the exercise you have just completed.

DurationExercise Type Intensity Burn rate Equipment Music Results
55 minutes Yoga, T'ai Chi and pilates inspired Low intensity up to 340 calories Yoga mat optional Latest soulful, calming and inspiring tunes Improves joint flexibility and range of motion, tones and shapes, enhances mental well-being


What do I need to bring?
You should wear comfortable workout clothes - and no shoes. we do the class in bare feet because you need to feel full contact with the floor for the balancing and postural work. In colder weather, you may also need to bring something warm to wear for the relaxation and meditation sequence. Some clubs may ask you to bringa yoga mat, and you may prefer to do so anyway - however, this is not essential.

How often should I do Bodybalance?
You'll feel real benefits from coming to class just once a week, but coming three times a week is ideal.

When will I notice results?
It usually takes about three classes to understand the feel and structure of the class and moves. You may experience some mild muscle soreness at first, but this will quickly pass and be followed by noticeable strength anf lexibility gains and postural improvement. From the very first class, you should start to experience the stress-reducing and spiritually renewing benefits of BODYBALANCE.

Written by Les Mills at 00:00

Want to be lean, strong and unstoppable? Try Bodypump

This 60-minute workout challenges all your major muscle groups by using the best weight-room exercises like Squats, Presses, Lifts and Curls.

Great music, awesome instructors and your choice of weight inspire you to get the results you came for - and fast!

Like all the Les Mills programmes, a new BODYPUMP class is produced every three months with new music and choreography.

What will body pump do for me?

  • Shape and tone the muscles
  • Improve general fitness and well-being
  • Increase body density (important in avoiding osteoporosis)
  • Burn up to 560 calories per class
  • Give a sense of achievement

Describe a typical class

You'll use a step platform, a bar and a selection of weights to suit your fitness level. If you're new to resistance training, or if you're out of shape, you should start with light weights.

After a few classes, you'll know how much weight is right for you. If you're unsure, ask your instructor.

  1. warm-up
    Get your body moving, using light weights only
  2. Legs/Squats
    Use heavier weights in Squat moves that target the big muscle groups and burn lots of calories.
  3. Chest
    Lie back on the step to work the chest, shoulders and triceps.
  4. Back/Gluteals/Hamstrings
    Target the back, glutes and hamstrings with lifts and presses.
  5. Triceps and Biceps
    Isolate and tone the arm muscles in these two tracks.
  6. Legs/Lunges
    Target the legs and shape and tone the butt.
  7. Shoulders/Arms
    Target the entire shoulder area and arms
  8. Abdominals
    Build support and strength in the core.
  9. Cool-down/stretch
    Stretch the muscles to increase flexibility and reduce risk of muscle soreness and injury.

Bodypump Tips

Your instructor is there to make sure you do everything correctly, but try to remember:

  • Good posture is the foundation of all exercise - especially weight training
  • Focus on learning the right technique at the beginning.
  • Work continuously at perfecting your technique.
  • Don't overdo the weights - start gradually increasing them after four to six weeks.
  • Perform the movements with control - smooth actions, not jerky.
  • Always keep your joints slightly bent - don't lock out.
  • Keep focused on the working muscles and stabilise the others.
  • Listen to your body - it will tell you if something is not right.

Some muscle soreness is natural in the days following your first class. This will quickly disappear as your body adjusts to working out with weights.

DurationExercise Type Intensity Burn rate Equipment Music Results
60 minutes Weights-based resistance training Moderate to high intensity up to 560 calories Barbell, Plates and height adjustable step Latest hard-hitting and inspiring tunes Increases strength and endurance, tones and shapes, helps maintain bone health.

What do I need to bring?

Comfortable workout clothes, training shoes, water bottle, towel and attitude! We supply anything else

How often should I do bodypump

We recommend two to three classes a week. Your body needs recovery time between workouts so rest at least one day between classes.

When will I notice results

Once you've started BODYPUMP, your muscles will quickly adapt to this type of workout and you'll notice strength gains as your body gets used to lifting weight. As your strength improves, you'll start to see fat loss and improved muscle tone. Don't overdo it - if you start to increase the weights too quickly, you could suffer injury. Physical activity isn't a quick fix - it should become a part of your lifestyle.

Written by Les Mills at 00:00

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