For those who haven’t heard, ‘flexercise’ is the key to getting fit and having fun in the process. If you’ve been hiding under a stone, then what this means is – as perfectly coined by Ruby Warrington in Grazia – is that: “Flexercising allows you to dip in and out of everything to keep things interesting”. There are new and creative ways of getting into – and staying – in shape which are easily accessible, and affordable. But how many of us are taking advantage? In one week I have done a hefty swimming session, got ruined at two spin classes, been for a glutes-busting cross-country run, and squeezed in a weights session. And I’m feeling pretty bored. There is so much more out there I have yet to incorporate into my training schedule. Doing the same thing all the time is, to be frank, dull as hell, and it’s vital to keep your muscles guessing.
As an obsessive spin addict – I have to get my ‘hit’ at least three times a week – I have experimented with numerous classes, but usually those focussing on audio. I work as a music consultant for a central London spin studio and am a DJ, after all, so it’s only natural that I would lean favourably to classes with a strong music focus. But, what I have been missing out on, are the classes which take you on a visual journey. So it was time to break my MyRide virginity.
MyRide is a spin studio experience that, thanks to amazing technology and fitness innovation, takes you on on a virtual cycling adventure across stunning terrains and landscapes, globally. The screen is high resolution, and at times so realistic you might get a little dizzy when turning those mountainous corners. Although this provision is not new – it has been around for several years – today was the first time I had dared to try it.
As I am currently out of London, holed away in East Sussex working on my Ph.D – and hanging out with my elderly mother – I have been encouraged (well, a little forced…) to explore what the local fitness institutions have to offer. And I have been more than pleasantly surprised. The Freedom Leisure Group have surpassed my expectations of what I wrongly assumed would be basic, under par leisure centres in Sussex sleepy towns. The first spin class I went to at the newly renovated Crowborough site put me right through the fitness ringer – more hardcore than many of my London classes. And today I zipped through the countryside to try out the new MyRide studio at the Hailsham centre. Not as flash as some of the gyms I am used to in shmancy London Town, perhaps, but that aside what this centre does provide is excellent fitness provisions for the local area, particularly with the older community. There were a bunch of ladies having a right laff at bowling when I arrived.
The impressive MyRide studio is tucked away down in the basement – the hidden gem at the heart of the centre. I can’t tell you precisely what roads across the USA and Europe we went on, but to my surprise what it did ignite was memories of places I have visited over the years, in the UK and overseas. One moment I thought I was in Copenhagen visiting a relative, and the next I thought I was in North Wales, Devon, the South of France and Sydney. I knew perfectly well this wasn’t the case, but it was lovely to have been able to project a plethora of fond memories onto the screen. 60 minutes and 720 calories flew by and I can now say I am putting flexercising to the test. The beauty of MyRide is that it not only adds colour and variety to your workout, but is a great way to boost the confidence of new riders to help get them out onto the road.
MyRide? Make it YourRide. It’s time to throw a bit of colour into your training schedule. Right, what’s next? I think I’ll try my hand at Yoga Rave…