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Getting fit in Kent

PUBLISHED: 11:35 16 June 2011 | UPDATED: 19:33 20 February 2013

Getting fit in Kent

Getting fit in Kent

Our intrepid columnist has just completed a four-week challenge to see how much difference improved diet and exercise can make before the summer holidays

Getting fit in Kent

Our intrepid columnist has just completed a four-week challenge to see how much difference improved diet and exercise can make before the summer holidays

Fighting fitness

First up was Maidstones Adventure Bootcamp, three one-hour sessions a week with a mixture of cardio, core-training and targeted exercise for the whole body. The outdoor setting, exercising with a group, and knowing the fitness instructor would be calling me if I failed to turn up provided the motivation I needed.

Next up was joining a gym, but although Virgin Active in Rochester had everything state-of-the-art equipment, classes, swimming and leisure facilities and the induction went fine, my motivation to go back as many times as I should waned quite quickly.

So I booked myself in with Pip Lawrence of Snodland for a personal training session. We ran, did some exercises together, then boxed. The plus side is that you get personal attention tailored to your exact needs, and motivation every step of the way. For me, this was a step too far, so I settled back to bootcamp.

Diet and nutrition

I started by making simple changes: giving up biscuits, chocolate and cakes in favour of more fruit. I also consulted a nutritionist, Victoria Shorland of Eat to Live, who practices in Folkestone and Faversham.

Victoria took time to get to know me and my eating habits, took a full medical history and told me it was time for a radical rethink. She gave me a list of foods I should be eating, told me to cut right back on wheat and advised me to take Omega 3-6-9 and Vitamin B complex.

Within three days my bloated tummy had shrunk, I wasnt craving bread as I expected, and I felt healthier! Four weeks on, Im still sticking to the advice and watching the weight come off at a steady pace of one to two pounds a week.

Safe tanning

Im as pale as they come so rarely bare legs in summer, but figured fake tan might provide the (safe) answer. We tried out three options.

Fake Bake Airbrush Instant Self Tan

Easy-to-use spray which gives an even, all-over tan. The spray is coloured so you get instant results and can see where you missed.

Price: 27.50

Verdict: 9/10

Famous Daves Gradual 10

This gradual tanning lotion is easy to apply but the first application seemed to make no difference whatsoever. However, beauty experts are raving about this brand, so maybe worth trying another product in the range.

Price: 14.99

Verdict: 3/10

Fake Bake Mouse Instant Self Tan

I didnt realise this was a temporary instant tan until the morning after I applied it and it all ran off in the shower! But easy to use and a quick fix. Just dont get caught in the rain.

Price: 24.50

Verdict: 7/10

The final result

In four weeks I lost over an inch off my waist, almost half a stone in weight and trimmed up my whole body. The nutritional advice plus the fitness bootcamp were the key for me, but everyone is different.

I have a long way to go and it wasnt all achievable in four weeks, but Im already confident enough to show more flesh this summer - although not without a little help from Fake Bake!


Adventure Bootcamp

01932 863240

Virgin Active, Rochester

0845 260 0071

Pip Lawrence, personal trainer, Snodland:

07981 225799

Victoria Shorland, nutritionist, Eat to Live, Folkestone and Faversham:

07789 512825/01303 249588

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