Green Exercise

fitness training outdoors for women

Everyone has been talking about the green wave since the recent elections. It seems everything is going green, our cars, our energy, our meals, and now we have green exercise. I didn’t realise it had a name until recently, but it seems exercising in nature has been dubbed green exercise. And I’m all for it!
I think being outdoors is the best place to exercise. You have loads of fresh air to increase the oxygen flow to the body and give you more energy and, I believe, just being outside in nature is good for the mind and the soul. And I’m not alone in thinking this.
Scientists have also been investigating the impact of green exercise and found that it has several psychological and physiological benefits. It is reported to improve mood, attention, heart rate, blood pressure and cortisol compared to exercise in built, man-made environments.
There have been lots of studies into this and there are more studies looking at how green exercise can help with stress or anxiety.
Before I moved to Ireland, I never appreciated the weather in the way I do now. Irish people have a very special and unusual relationship with the weather, it’s a favourite topic of conversation and determines so much of what people do. For some people it’s a barrier, or an excuse, not to exercise, but I don’t think it should get in the way of our fitness. Unless there is a weather warning, there is no reason we can’t get outdoors to exercise, and I think it’s great for our health and wellbeing.
That’s why I love this time of year. My outdoor classes have restarted and, given the brighter evenings and warmer days, everyone is happier to be outside working out. Where possible, I will also do my one-to-one sessions outside.  
I’ve always been an outdoors person. In Sweden you will often pass cafes and restaurants where buggies are parked outside with small babies wrapped up and sleeping in the fresh air, even in winter.

fitness training outdoors for women
I think the rain is the most likely thing to put people off exercising outdoors, and, unfortunately, we seem to be getting a lot of it right now. I actually think it can be quite nice to have some rain, especially if you are pushing yourself hard. It will help cool you down and if you’re going to be sweating anyway, what’s the difference? If you do get wet while training, it is important, however, that you have a change of clothes or change as quickly as you can so you don’t catch a chill, but other than that, you need to embrace it.
I got quite lucky recently when I was heading for the gym to do some leg work. It was a beautiful day, and I decided to make a u-turn to head for the mountains instead. It was a cold but sunny and bright day. It was a glorious day to be outdoors and I walked up the mountain, exercising my legs and glutes, breathing in the fresh mountain air and soaking in vitamin D (wearing my obligatory sunscreen obviously). I went home afterwards feeling energised and slept really well that night.

fitness training outdoors for women
People often talk about the mid-afternoon slump, usually around 3pm. This is partially because you have raised your sugar levels at 1pm with lunch and then you stay sitting around at a desk for the afternoon, as the sugar hit dips many people will reach for the coffee, but a quick walk outside is far better for you.
If you are thinking of going to the gym and the weather is nice, why not see what you can do in the park.
Are there steps? Great for the glutes. Take two at a time or run up and down. A hill will do well for this too.
Is there a park bench? Use this to do tricep dips, or push ups using the upright piece at the back.
Is there an empty goal? You could use this to do pull ups.
I know it’s exam time and we should be having a mini heatwave right now, but we’re not. But don’t let that stop you. Get up, get out and make the most of the outdoors – especially in the summer months.

Get in touch – 

Call me – 0862457355

Leading by Example

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My eldest daughter, Alice, was recently named the top scoring gymnast within her club. I was, and still am so proud of her. She works hard at her sport, she trains 6 times a week and, in 2017, Santa generously brought her a beam to practice on at home.
I have always encouraged my children to be physically active and to eat well. They know that when they get a treat, they are only allowed to eat it at certain times. We have normalised healthy eating, eating broccoli received the same reaction as eating bread and, now, some of their favourite foods include cottage cheese, avocado, peppers and cucumber.
In Ireland, and worldwide, obesity is becoming more and more of a problem, for children and adults. Every parent wants the best for their kids, and when it comes to health and wellness, it’s important that we lead by example. If they see us eating take-away every night, this will become their normal.
It can be hard getting back to fitness when you’ve just had a baby, I know, I’ve been there. I also hear, from so many people, that fitting in a fitness routine is hard when you are running your kids to and from various activities. Again, I understand this, but I believe that if you want something enough you will find time for it. And, the added benefit of you sticking to your fitness regime is that you will be creating a living legacy for your children who will see this as a normal part of life.
For new mothers, I run mother and baby classes that are designed to ease you back into shape. Having a baby takes a toll on your body, so it’s important to take the right approach to returning to fitness and I can guide you through this. For more information please get in touch. 
I also work one-to-one with parents, in their homes, showing them how to incorporate exercise into a daily routine.
Think about how you might make exercise part of your family lifestyle?
Bike to school – is it possible for you and your children to cycle to school together? If they are very young, this could be a good foundation for getting them to cycle long-term and release you from school drops in their teen years – you’ll both be grateful in the long run.
Down-time blast – so, you’ve dropped them to music, dance, hurling or football. Whatever it is, they are occupied for the best part of an hour. Rather than driving home to come back again, or waiting in the car park, can you fit in a run? Is there a gym nearby or a class? Even a walk around the block is a good use of your time.
Exercise together – get the kids on the bike while you run alongside. Go skating as a family, play a game of football, or imitate your toddler. Researchers found that toddlers, daily, expend the same amount of energy as a 249-minute stint in a boxing ring, a 30-mile run, or a cycle of 82 miles at 12-14mph!
At the end of a long day at work, followed by an evening picking up kids and various household chores, it can be so tempting to flop down on the couch for the night. As tempting as that may be, I would encourage you to think about using that time to fit in some exercises. You can plank and keep one eye on the television. If you usually curl up as a couple, why not push each other with a plank challenge, or back to back squats. You can use your partners legs to ground you during leg lifts and vice versa. You might feel silly at first, but keep the long-term objectives in mind and remember, you’re not just doing this for you, you are also doing it for your children. We make many adjustments in life to give them the best opportunities in life, this is a win-win situation for the whole family.


Get in touch – 

Call me – 0862457355


How New Year’s Resolutions become resolutions for the year

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New year, new me… is that you? I think it’s all of us if we are honest. Who doesn’t wake up on January 2nd (nobody thinks these things on the 1st) and think, okay, it’s a new year, a fresh slate I can be a better person, whether it’s being a kinder person, fitter, slimmer or healthier. According to research, 73% of Irish people said they made an effort to eat more healthily in the past 12 months and 67% said they exercise more.

Over the years, I have found that when people say they want to be fitter, slimmer and healthier these are very vague ideas. They are aspirations, certainly, but without any solid grounding. You want to be fitter, great! I wholeheartedly encourage this, and I am here to support you, but what a couch potato and a gym bunny consider fit are two very different things, so which one are you aiming for? Some people want to be slimmer. If you are overweight then, maybe, this should be on your list, but there are very many slim and unhealthy people, and is that what you want? Or, is it to be healthier? Again, what exactly does that mean? How, when 2020 rolls around, will you know be able to say – yes, I’m healthier.

You need to be able to measure your success. Everyone’s goals will be different. For someone who only eats junk food it could be as simple as eating one piece of fruit a day. If you have a healthy diet, it might be about exercising twice a week. Whatever it is, your goals should be SMART. This a business acronym, which I usually hate, but it’s very relevant to setting goals around health and wellness, so please don’t dismiss it as jargon.

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SMART objectives are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-specific. 

Specific – what’s the end objective: I want to lose 10 kilos.

Measurable – how will you know you’ve lost the weight: bathroom scales. Note there are differences in scales and you weigh more at night than the morning so make sure to compare like with like.

Achievable – do you have 10 kilos to lose?

Realistic – are you putting the right resources in place to achieve this? Can you find the time to exercise and eat well? Will you go out every weekend and finish the night with a kebab or a spice bag in hand? Be honest with yourself.

Time-specific – set an end date: by my holidays in June.

The other important thing to bear in mind that you don’t have to do everything in January. New year’s resolutions are year-long resolutions. So, if you’re goal is to lose 10 kilos it doesn’t have to happen in the space of four weeks. That’s unrealistic, unwise and unhealthy. You should set smaller targets on the way to your end goal and you can tick off as you go. Aim for 1/2 kilo a week, unless of course there is a deadline. In which case, you can ramp it up. But aim low to start. If you hit your first target it will spur you on to hit your next, instead of aiming too high, missing the target and feeling like it’s not worth trying at all. Little by little you your small achievements will build into big ones. And, every time you meet your smaller targets you will get a massive confidence boost that will keep you motivated to move on to the next stage.

You can also build rewards into your targets. When you hit the 1o kilo mark, buy yourself a new top, something you wouldn’t normally buy yourself. But not food, try not to think of food as a reward because it can get complicated and too many food rewards could undo the good work.

We are now into the second week of the new year and most people (hopefully) still have their resolutions firmly in mind but it’s from this point on that many fall by the wayside, and begin to slip. For some, this is enough to give up completely. But, if you have fallen off the wagon already, that’s fine. Get back on. Reassess your goals and begin anew. If you fall off the wagon in June, do the same thing. That’s the problem with new year’s resolutions, we think we can only make them in January, that’s why we need to make resolutions for a new year, and you can make these any time you like. Just keep your SMART objectives in mind and you can begin to make your new year’s resolution a new habit for the year.


Contact me if you would like some help with any of the above:

Group Class Review – Horizons Montessori School

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From Horizons Montesorri School

After Christmas in Horizons all of the staff were feeling a little sluggish and finding it tricky to maintain the energy levels required to run around with our gorgeous little pupils, so we decided to call in help in the form of Hanna, our fitness guru!

Hanna soon had us laughing and moving and put that pep back in our step. We all loved the classes, not only did every muscle ache at the end of each session so you knew you had worked hard, but it was the variety in every class. No two classes were ever the same, Hanna always had something new, from boxing to resistance bands, from squats to lunges, we never knew what would happen next. This is the reason why we all lookedforward to each week, and we could all see and feel the difference, very quickly.

Thanks Hanna for leading us all back to a healthier lifestyle and encouraging us all the way with your good humour and constant encouragement, and we forgive you your ‘Swedish seconds’ !!! We look forward to working with you again, and we would highly recommend this programme to any other small business as a way of team building and keeping fit!

Get in touch with Hanna –

ShapeUp Cracking Christmas

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Cracking Christmas

Tis the season to be jolly…with Halloween over and Christmas in our sights, our social calendars are already filling up with awards nights, Christmas parties galore, dinners and drinks with friends and all the usual family events. It’s a time of indulgence but also a time when our routines can go out the window. The dark mornings and nights do nothing to encourage us outdoors either, but with so much rich food and drink being consumed it’s more important than ever to keep an eye on your fitness so you can enjoy your downtime and avoid heading into the new year with a few extra pounds. Here are some tips to help you stay on track:


Stick to the schedule

If you prefer working out in the evening, the silly season is likely to impact you most of all. The many Christmas dinners and drinks can get in the way of post-work workout. If this sounds like you, now is the time to put your workouts in the diary. Mondays and Tuesdays are often the quietest, so why not schedule a workout for one of these evenings. Put it the diary so you don’t forget when making plans.

If you can’t fit in your usual routine during the week, is there potential to fit in a workout during the day? Perhaps you could go for a run, swim or the gym during lunch. Can you cycle or walk to and from work to replace a lost workout?

Another option is to move your workouts to the morning. This might sound like the worst thing if you’re not a morning person, but much like the physical training you are doing, getting up early is all about training. Once you get into a routine it will become second nature. Start by leaving your phone/alarm on the other side of the room so you need to get out to turn it off and disable the snooze button!


Drink water!

We need to drink water every day, it’s central to our health and overall wellbeing. But, during the Christmas season when we tend to drink more alcohol than usual, it’s even more important! Set yourself a goal of drinking a glass of water between your drinks. If you’re in a round and you don’t want to miss out or mess with the system get a drink AND a water. It costs nothing extra and it will help with the recovery afterwards.

Alcohol is also an easy way to tot up the calories over the course of an evening. Below is a breakdown of some calorie counts per drink according to

Glass of red wine (250mls) 170
Glass of white wine (250mls) 166-236
Glass of rose (250mls) 178
Spirit & soft drink 124
Spirit & diet soft drink 80
Spirit & juice 126
Pint of larger 164
Pint of stout 210



Treat time

Don’t think of me as the Grinch, I think everyone should enjoy some of the delights the season has to offer, but it’s about managing these. A danger for many is the workplace treats – boxes of biscuits and chocolates – that are on hand all day long. If you know you won’t be able to resist, then try to at least manage your consumption. Pick out four of your favourites early in the day and have them on your desk. That’s your allowance and you can eat them when you like but that’s it! This will make you more conscious of what you’re eating and help avoid absentmindedly eating a box of miniature sweets while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil.


Make exercise a new Christmas tradition

There are lots of events around the city that will have you feeling festive and fit. Why not make these a new tradition with friends or family? Some of these are also fundraisers, so you can feel twice as good for getting off the couch.

Santa Dash, Clontarf, Dublin

Dec 2 at 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm

5k and 10k. For kids and adults.


12ks of Christmas, Kildare

Dec 8 at 10:00 am – 3:00 pm


Goal Mile, nationwide

Dec 25,


Fat Turkey Run, Sutton, Dublin

Dec 29, Dec 27 at 11:00 am – 5:00pm



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