THE POWER OF PILATES

Grab your grippy socks – something’s afoot in the Pilates world. Despite being more than a century old, the fitness system is going through a boom in the UK. And the place where it’s at is not on the mat but on the reformer machine.At the end of 2015, Heartcore (heartcore. co.uk), the London studio that’s renowned for its Reformer Pilates programme, announced the opening of its 8th studio, cementing its popularity as a boutique class with a growing fan-base. Meanwhile, Form Studios (formstudios.co.uk). an up-tempo form of reformer Pilates that uses a portable machine called a MOTOR, is introducing a 35-minute Lunchtime Body Blitz class. And Hollywood’s Studio Lagree (studiolagree.com), known to many as “amped up Pilates” for its fast pace and unique Megaformer machine, has just launched in London and Guildford – with plans to open more UK sites in 2016.But why the boom? Well, the benefits are obvious. Not only will reformer Pilates give you a toned turn, A-list arms, lean legs and a pert derriere, but it’s also a great way to counteract all the time you spend slumped over your desk at work, as it stretches and strengthens postural muscles.In fact, a beginner reformer class is a great place to start if you’re new to exercise as it teaches you to engage your core muscles and have better body awareness. Perhaps this should be one for the resolutions list?

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GET TRACKING

Gym memberships may not be needed as more of us turn to wearable workouts. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) annual fitness forecast recently polled wearable technology as the trend that’s gone straight to the top. And fitness experts agree that wearable devices such as fitness trackers can be a really good investment, especially at this time of year when we’re looking to reach a new workout goal. Not only are the devices great for activity aims – monitoring step count, distance, speed and other data – but they’re also able to track diet goals. Recent research from Jawbone suggests this is key for weight loss, as those who achieved impressive weight loss logged data on 75 per cent more meals than those who didn’t lose weight at all. Try syncing the Jawbone UP3 (£129.99; jawbone.com) with its Smart Coach app.

THE POWER OF PILATES

ESCAPE THE CITY

Need to flee the concrete jungle? Following the launch of its new London flagship store, outdoor-kit company The North Face has created a new outdoor workout community – #Never Stop London – which provides free fitness events for all abilities. The community hosts a weekly Tuesday workout, monthly Thursday skills session and city escape on the last weekend of each month (open to city and non-city adventurers alike). And it’s not all exercise – while the Tuesday workout is geared towards preparing you for the outdoors, the Thursday meet aims to broaden your outdoor expertise. The weekend break will enable you to put your training and expertise to the test. Want to join the outdoor crowd? Head over to the Never Stop London Facebook page and get involved.

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