Fun, Friendship and Fitness Goals

9th March 2018

Optima Magazine chats with Shylen Gondhia, director of fitness haven The Northwood Club, to find out how he and his team are anticipating the key wellness trends for this coming year…

1. Square up to squash…
Once regarded as an ‘old-school’, squash is regaining prominence in a big way. Named as number one by Forbes Magazine in a list of the top 10 healthiest sports, squash provides a total body workout that burns 1034 calories an hour, much more than tennis, football, running and other similar forms of exercise.
The Northwood Club has its roots firmly cemented in this discipline, as it was born a squash club fifty years ago. Specialist coach Ewan Denny says: “It builds your agility, your flexibility and your stamina. We’re getting more interest from young people who try it and say ‘this is a great game’. I encourage people to play with different partners to learn from them: better players will bring on new or less confident players.” Ewan explains that the sport is becoming so popular that the club is now competing in local leagues and will soon be introducing a squash academy. “We lay on drinks and food after matches, which also makes it brilliantly sociable.”

2.Box your way to fitness…
Boxer Fit is a hugely popular class, incorporating the training principles of boxing, including footwork drills, hitting pads, skipping, shuttle-runs and sit-ups. It’s aimed at men and women of all ages and fitness standards, and since it doesn’t involve sparring (physical contact with an opponent), it makes for a fun, challenging and cathartic workout: perfect after a busy day at the office. Former boxing professional and world light-heavyweight champion John Conteh is a member of The Northwood Club and believes the focus involved in this kind of activity is invaluable. “Fitness is all about commitment, and how much you’re prepared to put in. It’s an individual decision, but there’s a buzz that comes from being in a room full of like-minded people.”

3. Build your strength…
‘Functional training’ is the latest watchword for people aiming to get fit and build lean muscle, and, when performed at high intensity, is ideal for maximizing the amount of work done in the shortest time. Shylen is really excited to be launching a dedicated functional training area at The Northwood Club to offer an exciting new workout with monkey bars, gymnastics, weight lifting and rope climbing. An inventive obstacle course, it’s designed to take you outside your comfort zone – and promises to deliver the results of outdoor military style fitness without the rain, mud and 6am starts.

4. Be more targeted…
Health and wellbeing can only be optimised when integrated into daily life, but sometimes we all need an extra bit of motivation to work that bit harder. The Northwood Club offers ‘boot camp training’ with a specific aim – whether that’s to tone up and look good on the beach during your summer holiday or to lose weight for a special occasion. Head Trainer Tom Currell will be presenting a series of ‘body transformation seminars’, along with other specialists in the field of movement, nutrition and training, with the aim of fast-tracking your fitness goals.

5. Give back to your community…
Charity giving is on the increase, and while that may seem more of a social trend than a fitness one, the fact is that people who join The Northwood Club are just as attracted to its friendliness and community spirit as much as what it can offer them in the way of exercise. “We have a relaxed country club feel,” Shylen tells me. “People who join us on their own soon start chatting to others and making friends.” He is delighted to be taking that sense of cohesion a step forward with a new philanthropic initiative in March. “We’re doing a Spinathon – a non-stop four hour indoor cycle, with all the proceeds going to Colnbrook, a local specialist primary school that supports children with specific needs.”

6. Embrace a holistic approach…
One trend that shows no sign of diminishing in popularity is the demand for yoga, in all its manifestations. The Northwood Club offers classes in vinyasa flow, astanga, meditation and more, in a separate quiet area, away from the more high-octane classes. Shylen believes it answers a real need for a way to deal with the stress of every day life. “I like to think of us as a holistic one-stop shop for all your fitness, wellness and relaxation needs.”

The Northwood Club is Darwin Wellness’s flagship health and fitness club.
To find out more, visit:www.darwinwellness.co.uk

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