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Ministry Does Fitness with Primark

Ministry Of Sound in London with it's epic club nights has been making people move since the 90s.  Now it has upped the action with the launch of a new slick gym space called, (no not Ministry Of Fit) Ministry Does Fitness. It has a variety of strength, cardio and yoga classes, a banging playlist (naturally) and a bar that offers a lot more than just protein shakes.

Skinny Prosecco

I took to The Arches to experience it's Ministry Of Sweat to test out the new Primark fit kit which is summery, pretty, affordable and, as I thoroughly road tested, can handle sweat in its stride.  Exercising has become the new clubbing for fitness enthusiasts like me, if only there were more bachelors to buy my Lucozades.

Primark Fitness Clothing

During the strengthening circuit class my Primark fit kit passed a few of my all important tests: the supportive test; my sports bra fit correctly and my little bumps stayed put.

Ministry Does Fitness
Bear Crawls Primark

The squat test; leggings didn't fall down when I was bear crawling, squatting and running so my underwear stayed well and truly, underwear.

And the stretch test: comfortable to wear and flex in.

Shoulder stretch Primark

Great class, nice clothing and fun with all my mates. Who fancies a gym and tonic?

XOXO

Where: The Arches, Ministry Does Fitness, Arches 80 and 81, Newington Court, SE1 6DD (Near Elephant & Castle Underground Station).

How Much: £14 a class but they also have package deals 

What I’m Wearing: Primark bra (£6), Primark jacket (£10) &  leggings (£7)

This blog post was brought to you in collaboration with Primark | #PrimarkSetGo

 

WIN! Life On The Run | Saucony

School run, coffee run, late to work run, training run: it all counts so three cheers for Saucony’s brand new Life On The Run collection, a range designed for the everyday runner. Their Freedom ISO trainers are definitely ticking my boxes.

Saucony Life On The Run Collection

Plush Cushioning? Tick!

I run outside on hard surfaces and thanks to the cushioning, they soften the impact of each and every running stride.  They're like running with pillows on your feet... without looking clinically insane.

Skipping Lunge Exercise

Lightness? Tick!

Your feet are already supporting your entire bodyweight so why trouble them with extra weight from a shoe? These shoes hug your feet like a second skin.

What to wear when running

Look banging? Tick!

Great fit, grip and breathability are all winners, but worthless if the shoe looks like naff.  Thankfully the Freedom ISO Saucony trainers beautifully achieve the marriage of style and functionality so you may kiss the bride!

Saucony ISO Freedom Running Trainers

Three big boxes ticked! Here’s a video of me in action, sporting the new Life On The Run range and showing it’s true versatility.

COMPETITION TIME

This sounds cheesy but I genuinely get inspired to run by friends, family, health reasons and all of you! Be it here, when I bump into people out and about or on Twitter and Instagram, you guys really motivate me to keep on moving so I've teamed with Saucony to give you and a friend the chance to WIN the Life on the Run Freedom ISO trainers, worth £140 each!

HOW TO ENTER

All you have to do is comment below, sharing your fitness goal for this year or a fitness tip and if you're on Instagram, tag a friend on my Saucony post. Winners will be announced on Sat 11th March 2017 so go go go and good luck!

What I’m Wearing: Saucony apparel and trainers.

This blog post was brought to you in collaboration with Saucony UK

*If the winner’s sizes aren't available when the competition is drawn alternative product of the same value will be supplied.*

The Beginners Guide To Aerial Yoga

Anti-Gravity or Aerial Yoga uses silk hammocks to support your body and suspend you in mid air allowing you to do challenging stretches you’ve never done before.  It’s like being a trapeze artist without the threat of plummeting to your death in front of a large crowd of people, which is good with me. 

Dancer Pose Yoga

I absolutely loved my first Aerial Yoga class at The London Dance Academy and so thought I’d share my 4-step guide to aerial yoga for beginners. Get ready to fly!

STEP 1. Don’t Eat Or Drink Within 2 Hours Before Class 

In class you’ll be twisting, turning, hanging upside down, swinging and literally spreading your legs. Avoid feeling queasy by taking it easy on the food before class.

Standing Splits Aerial Yoga

STEP 2. Sit Back

Postures that look like they’re not of great benefit are doing more than you think. My favourite one was the chair pose which is said to help relieve lower back pain and improve posture.

Chair Pose Aerial Yoga

 STEP 3. Try Every Posture

It’s easy to look at certain demonstrations and doubt that you’d be able to do it but you shouldn’t feel intimidated. Moves that look intricate to begin with are quite often the postures that you find yourself in seconds later as the teacher takes you through them step-by-step. There’s a lot of room for progression and poses that you find difficult on the floor become much easier in the hammock. I mean just check out my upside down dancer pose; I couldn’t do this on the floor!

Aerial Yoga Pose

4. Don’t Be Afraid To Let Go

There were certainly times in class that I strongly doubted that the harness was going to be able to carry my 10.5 stones of body weight and instead rip the ceiling down.  I like to take the roof off when DJing but when it’s your body mass that’s responsible it’s just embarrassing.  Thankfully, the harness is designed to hold up to 2000lbs in weight which is the equivalent to 10 baby elephants, though holding any more than 4 elephants at a time means the range of positions they can do is extremely limited. So as the Frozen princess sings: Let It Go!

Anti-gravity yoga

So there you have it. A class great for your body, mind and Instagram feed. Happy Swinging. 

XOXO

What I’m Wearing: Primark top &  leggings

Yoga Matt by Primark

This blog post was brought to you in collaboration with Primark | #PrimarkSetGo

Country Comforts : Thyme Luxury Hotel

Last weekend I pulled up on acres of the Cotswold Countryside to Thyme Luxury Hotel, dressed head-to-toe by Primark in my favourite Cammo combo.

Primark Fitness OOTD

Good job as before I checked in, we were putting the fit kit to the test; skipping, squatting and burpee-ing our way through a one hour fat burning HIIT class. It was no wonder I was feeling Sheepish afterwards.

Sheep Sofa

Next it was time to check into my cottage which was cosy and lovely. With a welcome letter, a bag of gifts and a posh suite to myself, it was like I was on a honeymoon!  Just without the inconvenience of a husband.

Thyme Hotel Cottage
Luxury Hotel in The Cotswolds
Thyme Luxury Hotel

Lunch in the barn was next on the agenda and it was filled with all the goodness I needed. Kale, rice and fig salad with a squash and feta cheese tart was on the menu. Yum!

Healthy Kale, rice and fig salad
Squash and feta cheese tart

After scoffing lunch it was time to head to Thyme Hotel's Cookery School to bake a carrot cake that was free from refined sugars. The cake was delicious, though in a Great British Balls Up I messed up my sugar icing, so had to abort that part of the mission. The icing on the cake not so much.

Homemade Carrot Cake

After cake we had a 40 minute yoga flow class in Tithe Barn. I received motivation from the bright Primark yoga mat, though at times I felt it was somewhat repetitive.

Motivation Monday Primark Yoga Mat

Here’s me doing what the mat told me to.

Yoga Tree Pose

A three course dinner at Thyme Hotel's very own Country pub around the corner called The Swan was followed by a massage, nightcap and in my cosy cottage. I put my feet up by the fire and drifted off.

The Swan Pub in The Cotswolds

The next morning head gardener, Beverly gave us a tour of the grounds. As we walked I picked up some chicks:

Thyme Farm Chickens

Met a fat pig that resembled a cow;

Pig Cow Farm

Sniffed some fresh veg;

Gardener

and squealed with excitement when Beverley told us that Gary Barlow and Kate Moss live locally and often go to The Swan pub! So that's that then: Thyme Luxury Hotel really is a perfect place for a five star nature kick. 

Primark Puffa Jacket

If you ever fancy a quintessentially English getaway then this peaceful place is fit for a Princess... in wellies. After all, how many farms have Cow-Pigs? 

Thyme Hotel have a few rooms and packages to choose from (I had a cottage called The Dairy) and you can see all the options and get in contact here.

xoxo

If you enjoyed this post, please SHARE it for me. Yay!

Hen Party Ideas

Yoga mat, water bottle, skipping rope & towel by Primark

What I'm wearing: Blue and red puffa jacket, leggings and all activewear by Primark

This blog post was brought to you in collaboration with Primark | #PrimarkSetGo

 

 

I'm Running The London Marathon

I’m running this year’s London Marathon on Sunday 23rd April and I’m both excited and terrified in unequal measure (currently the excited to terrified ratio is 1 to loads). Yes, I enjoy running. Yes, I have good fitness levels already.  But I’ve never ran 26.2 miles in one go before and I’ve never had to face the potential humiliation of being over taken by a novice dressed as a chicken.

Run London

Over the past 5 years I’ve attended many marathons and have become very good at them.  Spectating really is an underrated discipline. I’ve watched from mile 8 where the runners look strong, happy and totally at one with their costume (or at two if they’re a donkey).  But I’ve also watched from mile 25 where the scenes are somewhat different. Bleeding nipples, tears of pain, sweaty banana suits peeling off, and, if your spectating skills aren’t as tuned as mine, you might accidentally look down and clock some soiled undies. So I know what I’m getting myself into.  My three main priorities are; 1) don’t hurt myself 2) don’t ruin a pair of undies and 3) to trip anyone dressed as poultry.  

Tower Bridge London

So why am I taking on such a challenge?

Five reasons:

1) There’s really something special about thousands of people coming together to run for fantastic causes in one direction: forward.

2) My spectating coach says I’ve pushed spectating as far as I can.

3) I watched my friends over the years try and fail to win a ballot space so now that I have one I can’t wimp out!

4) My friends that have ran it have all said “you see the city how you’ve never seen it before”. Perhaps they missed out "through squinted eyes and a layer of sweat" ...but I'm still keen to see it for myself.

5) The feeling crossing over the finish line.  It will be my biggest physical achievement to date and I can’t wait to cock my head back and scream at the top of my lungs “Thank f*** that’s over!”

The London Eye

As a complete Marathon novice I’d really value your support; training tips, podcast and music suggestions to listen to whilst I’m running, recovery tips and motivation so Tweet me @ajodudu or follow my progress on Instagram @ajodudu . Currently I keep telling myself this:

The London Marathon

But I need positive mantras coming out of my ears!

Big thanks (?!) to adidas for getting me a spot. Closer to the time I will announce a charity that I will be running for but until then...send help!

Virgin London Marathon 2017

If you liked this blog post please SHARE. 

XOXO

 

 

Chewton Glen Luxury Treehouse Escape

When Next invited me on a wellness stay at Chewton Glen luxury treehouses I bit their arms off. My dad never made me a treehouse as a kid, something about not having a tree.  Also I think the only time I get to relax and keep still in London is when I’m on an escalator. This trip away sounded an absolute dream.

Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa

So I hopped on a train to escape the intensity of the big smoke and after a 15 minute drive from New Milton train station I arrived at Chewton Glen Luxury Hotel & Spa. A man took my bag and placed it in a ‘luxury golf buggy’, which looked nice but was hard to discern why it was deemed so luxury. I then jumped on and it was indeed a smooth drive to my quarters, all 30 seconds of it.

Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa Treehouses
Chewton Treehouse

When I got to the treehouse it was absolute perfection. I had a roaring fireplace, two floors to myself, a collection of sweet locally sourced treats and a hot tub that was ready to jump in. So I jumped in. Naturally all previous plans to leave my room were now vetoed so I ordered room service instead. The room service guy told me that loads of celebs had stayed there before, including George Clooney!  Sadly the pillow just smelt of lavender.

Chewton Glen Bedroom
Chewton Tree House
Open Fireplace Chewton Luxury Hotel

After the best night sleep I woke to find that my breakfast had been delivered in a hamper through a secret hatch. How cool?! I ate it on my stunning terrace overlooking the New Forest.

Breakfast Hamper
Breakfast
The New Forest

Once I’d finally torn myself away from my Treehouse, I walked through Chewton Woods to Highcliffe beach. It was only a short walk which was just as well as it was -2 degrees!  Thankfully due to my bright orange sleeping-bag-esque coat I was snug as a bug. Plus visible at a distance of 50 miles.

Chewton Glen Forest
The New Forest

The weather was so bright and beautiful that I couldn't resist a little coastal run. 

Coastal Run

I didn’t forget to stretch- I felt like a Ninja Warrior. I looked like one too.

Warrior Pose Highcliffe Beach

And as I was with all of my blogger friends, we posed along the beach.

Highcliffe Beach

During my active stay I did yoga and took a full body workout class in Chewton’s Gym Studio. Small, but had everything you need. I was lucky enough to use the spa too. Well, the tin did say luxury.

Chewton Spa

One relaxing facial and pedicure later I was back in my treehouse to change for dinner in the main hotel. Their smoked salmon was particularly delicious.

Smoked salmon

On my final morning I packed, had breakfast and took one last dip in my hot tub.  It's not everyday a girl gets her own hot tub, it's just a shame George Clooney didn’t extend his stay: it had plenty of room for two.

New Forest
Next Multi-Coloured Long sleeve swimsuit

If you fell in love with Chewton Glen Treehouse & Spa through the photos as much as I did in real life, then add it to your bucket list and get yourself booked into this paradise. After all, how many hotels have a secret hatch?

Chewton Glen have a few Treehouses to choose from (I had a treehouse loft) and you can see all the options and get in contact here.

Happy adventuring!

xoxo

If you enjoyed this post, please SHARE it for me. Cheers!

Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa

You can see me in action at Chewton Glen over on my YouTube channel too. 

What I'm Wearing: Coat, swimwear, trainers and all activewear from Next

New Look Fit Kit

There’s nothing like a brand new fit kit to incentivise your workouts.  Thanks to the nice people at New Look I’m now covered in bold prints, matching co-ords and slogan tees which are light and comfortable. New Look has managed to create a range that is performance focused whilst looking completely awesome and very ‘now’, and what’s more, I got to be apart of their campaign video!

The shoot was one of my favourites I’ve done in ages for many reasons. For one, I got to hang out with two of my best fit friends Adrienne and Kim. Adrienne taught me a badass dance routine in between takes. If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen on my story.

Adrienne London, Tone What You Own

Then, I got to punch a bag. I never knew I’d feel so smug afterwards!  That bag will think twice now before giving me a dirty look.

Boxing + New Look

Plus, I got to take home my favourite pieces from the collection, including the Marble Print Leggings and top below.

New Look Marble Print Leggings and Top

Life’s too short for a boring fit kit and I think New Look got the memo. What do you think of the collection?

XOXO

This blog post was brought to you in collaboration with New Look

Paul & Joe Striped Suit

AJ Odudu

Not one to blend into the background, I thought I'd step out to DJ in London at the Instyle Magazine Project 13 Party, wearing the most stripes and colours possible. 

Paul & Joe Striped Suit

I paired my 70's style Paul & Joe suit with New Look boots and Roderick Vere Sterling Silver letter pressed necklace.

Striped Suit Paul & Joe

And I even stuck some marble print nail art to my finger tips purchased from Primark.

70's Suit

Catch up on all the fun by clicking here or by following on Instagram and Twitter.

XOXO

Photographs by Patricia Mirembe Make up by Wande

Instyle Magazine's Best Fitness & Wellbeing Blogger

Thrilled to announce that I won Instye Magazine's Best Fitness & Wellbeing Blog in the Project 13 Awards. I've not won an award since I was 8 years old (it was a Mars bar FYI) so a huge thank you to everyone who voted.

AJ Odudu Insyle Magazine

To me, winning is beginning and I'm so glad I started AJODUDU.COM, now an award winning site. EEK!

Instyle Project 13 Award Winner

I receive an actual trophy in London soon but in the meantime, here are images from the winners magazine photoshoot which was awesome. Shot in London by two of the most talented photographers around Luke + Nik, I got to jump around in a posh, red frock worth over a thousand pounds (which I of course had to give back to the stylist :)

Instyle Magazine AJ Odudu

These images were published in Instyle Magazine's final December print issue 2016 along with a lovely little interview.

Final Issue of Instyle Magazine
Luk + Nik

You can check out my online interview with Instyle magazine, where I share some realistic fitness motivation tips, gym wear hacks and confirmation that I do indeed, eat!

Thanks again for the votes.

XOXO

Photography by LUKE + NIK

5 Things You Must Do In Malta

I recently took a trip to Malta to check it out. I’d never been before and didn’t expect much, yet absolutely loved it. If you're fortunate enough to take a trip there, here are 5 things you must do in Malta.

AJ Odudu Malta

1. Visit Valletta

As the smallest capital city in Europe it’s easy to walk around within a few hours and is filled with quaint cafes and wine bars.

Velletta Malta