Fitness Blogger

Heart Rate Hotel | Fitbit Charge 2

The past few weeks I’ve been sharing my life with the Fitbit Charge 2.  Normally my heart is kept well away from strangers as it’s prone to breaking and emptying itself after a bottle of Pinot to whoever will listen.  But this little Fitbit fella looked pretty and seemed harmless so I brought him along for the ride as I prepared myself for the Shoreditch 10km run on the 8th of October.

fit bit charge 2

My new workout partner’s specialty is he can measure your heart rate any time of day, and since he is always dutifully by my side, use this information to calculate all kinds of nifty diagnoses on how I should be working out. My Fitbit, or Fabricio as I call him, can tell me my resting heart rate over breakfast so I know how my general fitness is doing.  On my morning run to the office he gently points out if I am going too near my maximum heart rate, no one wants to be too flushed when doing the morning hello’s. 

fit bit

The genius of my new companion is working within specific heart rate Zones.  A heart rate Zone is a particular range your heart rate can hit whilst performing a certain type of activity.  Of course all hearts are different, some have had far fewer deep wounds than my patched-up old thing, so the ranges are calculated using your age.  Your maximum heart rate = 220 – A, where A is your age.  So my maximum heart rate was… Ha, nice try.

activity tracker

Fabricio split my activity up into 3 heart rate zones:

1. PEAK

85-100% of your maximum heart rate.  This is when I’m really going some.  Typically a spin class when I’ve got two guys either side of me- there’s only going to be one winner in that situation and it’s usually me ;) 

2. CARDIO

70-84% of your maximum heart rate.  I’m within this range when I’m jogging to work.  The
perfect pace to get me to the office without a sweat, plus my bloodstream is usually still processing an extra-tall Latte.

3. FAT BURN

50-69% of your maximum heart rate.  This can be anything from my hot yoga class to a
particularly tense episode of First Dates.

fitbit charge 2

I’ve been working within these zones for the past two weeks and it’s given me so much confidence that I’m on track for the big race.  It almost becomes an addiction, I find myself checking in with Fabricio at any spare moment, he’s always there for whatever my heart desires.  So do yourself a favour, get yourself a Fitbit and check in to the heart rate hotel.

run

 XOXO

This blog post is brought to you in collaboration with Fit Bit

Spirit Of Accessorize Activewear

Chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool was the criteria for my recent trip to Ibiza and that's exactly what I got. From floating on inflatables in the hills of Jesus, to paddle boarding in Cala Vedella, to dancing my socks off in Amnesia, to eventually finding some zen on the beach, Ibiza was just the break I needed and thankfully, unlike some trips in the past, I didn't come back broken!

AJ Odudu Accessorize

When away, I practised some yoga on Cala Bassa beach.  The mornings there are beautiful, peaceful and a great place to stretch before a long day of Ibiza action.

Stretching is a good way to relax and improve your flexibility and I love a standing lung (aka warrior II in yoga terms). It stretches your back, abs, hip flexors, bum, legs and helps with balance too. Hold the position for 90 seconds and even your arms will be toned up in no time. 

Yoga Warrior Pose

I was stretching out in the new Spirit of Accessorize activewear range. Comfortable, practical and in this case, very floral! This collection is all about being the best you can be whether heading to yoga class or exploring the great outdoors. There’s even a handy inner key pocket on the elastic waist of the leggings for the times when you're not on a beach but in the gym. 

zip detail in accessorize

When it comes to workout gear, it’s important to buy clothes that don’t restrict your movement or rub, so not only are these tights playful and stylish, they’re also stretchy and lightweight, clinging comfortably to your figure and working with you as you bend into the trickiest of positions, including the tree pose pictured below.

Yoga Tree Pose

Tree Pose stretches the thighs, groins, torso, and shoulders. It builds strength in the ankles and calves, tones the abdominal muscles and even helps your balance. I mean, you try standing on a rock on one leg. It's harder than it looks. Lose your focus and you'll end up in the sea!

Yoga in Ibiza

I love this floral matching combo but for a more understated look, there’s sporty-chic marl designs in leggings, tops, hoodies, sweaters and crop tops too. You can even complete your look with their jewellery, water bottles and tote bags that pack a style punch.

Hand stand wearing accessorize

No doubt you’ll be excited to get to class and show off these looks soon, so I'll see you there!

XOXO

This blog post was brought to you in collaboration with Spirit of Accessorize. You can shop the full range here.

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

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

Top 5 Buddy Workout Benefits

Like most people, I can quickly become bored when doing the same fitness routines over and over, so my secret to keeping on track is to opt for fun ways to stay active that never really feel like working out. A great and very simple way to achieve this, is by working out with a friend.

Buddy workout Tasha Greene

According to research from go ahead! we’re 74% more likely to stay on track with our fitness goals if we do them with a friend. Because of this, the team at go ahead! has teamed up with a squad of fitness and wellness experts (including little ol' me) for their go ahead! Summer Buddy Project.

The project encourages people to ‘buddy up’, to help make sure they stay motivated to keep on track with their healthy intentions. With this in mind, here are my top five buddy workout benefits: 

1. More motivation to get up and go if you're meeting a friend

You're less likely to cancel on your mate for a fit date than cancel on the gym if no-one is there to meet you. Nobody likes a flake (unless it's literally made out of chocolate).

workout buddies

2. You get more out of your workout

 A bit of friendly competition helps you push each other to stretch your limits. You're more likely to do an extra rep or run a little faster with your friend.

3. Train together, stay together

Exercise can actually create a greater bond between you and your friend (catch up on all the gossip whilst sweating together) and studies show couples who work out together are happier in their relationship.

partner wall sit

4. It's a confidence boost

You're more likely to venture into that intimidating weights section of the gym, or try a new fitness class if you've got a friend with you for moral support.

5. It's fun!

You can definitely have a giggle with your mate during exercise, even if you're simply cracking a strained sweaty smile during a spin class.

So there you have it; pop on your gym kit, grab a buddy and enjoy your workout!

fun fitness with friends

For even more tips check out the go ahead! Twitter and Facebook pages, as well as right here,  on my Youtube Channel and daily fitness updates on my Instagram!

XOXO

This blog post is brought to you in collaboration with go ahead! :)

Buddy Up: The Best Partner Workout

I'm delighted to announce that I have joined forces with Women's Health Magazine to share brand new fitness and wellbeing content as part of their #WHSquad. I will be featuring all kinds of tips and tricks to help you on your fitness journey, including fun exercises.

Tandem Bicycle Crunche

I know how tricky it can be to find motivation to workout so how about you grab a mate and train together? That way you can catch up on all the juicy gossip, work up a sweat and encourage one another at the same time. Bingo!

Try the six body weight exercises that I did with my friend Carly Rowena below. You'll need nothing but a partner. 

XOXO

Top 5 Running Tips

As the dates for the London Marathon come closer it's not uncommon for people to feel inspired to pound the pavements to improve their fitness. Running is hands down one of the greatest ways to keep fit. It's the best aerobic exercise for physical conditioning of your heart and lungs, as well as a great way to relieve stress, tone your entire body, lose weight and quite simply, it's convenient.

Whether you're a seasoned running pro or early in your journey, sometimes we all need a bit of encouragement. So grab your running shoes as I give you my top five tips to get you running happily ever after.

Adidas Boost Trainers White

1. Find Fitness Motivation

The first hurdle to confront is motivation which, unsurprisingly, is easier said than done. I challenge you to write down some goals. Maybe you’re training for the London Marathon or Great North Run, maybe you want to shift a few pounds or it could be that you want to simply be fit. Write them down and stick them up on your mirror or somewhere you look often, as a daily reminder. On a more immediate note, try keeping your fit kit by the door before you go to bed, as quite often it’s the thought of exercising and lack of preparation that puts us off.

Quad stretch adidas

2. Improve Your Flexibility

Tight hamstrings? Sore back? Stiff hips? Loosen up! You don't have to be a bendy yoga bunny but your flexibility is important when it comes to running. During your runs, your flexibility enables your joints to move through their full range of motion, helping your muscles work more effectively and therefore, boosting your performance whilst reducing your risk of injury. Quad, cobra and standing lunge stretches will improve your flexibility greatly and if you can make it to a yoga or pilates class weekly, even better.

Marathon Training

3. Boost Your Endurance

Naturally when we fatigue our running form weakens. We curl up our shoulders, hunch our backs, our arms tend to flap by our sides and our breathing pattern becomes irregular. Weakening our technique means our performance suffers whilst putting us at risk of injury. However, improving our stamina reduces all of those side effects, enabling us to run for longer before fatigue kicks in. Try combining strength training with cardio whilst reducing your rest times in between workout sets, in order to boost your endurance.

Stretch adidas

4. Get Stronger

Running is a high impact workout and high impact exercises aren't always kind to our joints. Luckily, strength training will increase the ability of your bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles to withstand the high impact of running. Weight training dramatically increases the strength of your muscles when done so safely and even adding small amounts of resistance to your workouts with a resistance band will strengthen your muscles. The stronger you are the better you get.

 

Plank Core Workout

5. Improve your Stability

When running, muscle strength in your hips and glutes are really important for stabilisation and your core strength is important for your posture and so the stronger and more stable you are in these areas, the better your running form and performance. Try push-ups with your feet on a medicine ball, a one-legged squat reach, single leg dead lifts and raising one leg off the ground when planking.

If you want to find out more, I created an entire workout series of workout videos to get you ready to run which can be found by clicking here.

Happy running!

XOXO

Photographer: Sam Travis

AJ Odudu adidas UK

 

 

 




How To Train To Run | Workout videos

Running is one of the best forms of exercises out there. It keeps your heart healthy and your mind focused. But did you know that a few tweaks here or there to your training can make the world of difference? I teamed with adidas to create a series of workout videos designed to make bad runners good and good runners great. On your marks, get set, go!

Train to Run Flex Workout

Flex it out this week with AJ Odudu's Train to Run workout. Incorporate these moves into your routine and you'll be off to a flying start.

Posted by adidas Women on Saturday, January 9, 2016
Train to Run Strength Workout

Push your limits with AJ Odudu's final workout. Designed to work your arms, legs and core, it's time to dig deep and show what you're made of.

Posted by adidas Women on Saturday, January 23, 2016
Train to Run Stability Workout

It's time to work that core. Get those abs fired up with AJ Odudu's stability workout.

Posted by adidas Women on Saturday, January 16, 2016
Train to Run - Endurance Workout

January's here and it's time to hit the ground running.AJ Odudu is bringing you a workout a week to get you ready. Week one - improve your endurance.

Posted by adidas Women on Saturday, January 2, 2016

Half Marathon Race Plan with Barry's Bootcamp

Over the last three weeks I have been training with Barry's Bootcamp in preparation for the Royal Park's Half Marathon, which took place over the weekend. Here's a little bit about my journey.

Barry's Bootcamp AJ Odudu

I've only ever ran one half marathon before. I'd trained for months by simply running for miles on pavements, usually carrying a bag containing my laptop and spare clothing, as I'd journey from A to B. All I did was run and needless to say I was bored.

Admittedly I found this dull routine to be very effective (running a time of 1 hour and 37 minutes on race day) but in fact, all of that running was too strenuous for my body. I was constantly exhausted and often injured my knees. My back was sore, I was limping for a week after the half marathon and all in all it took quite a while for me to recover.  

What possessed me to sign up for another half marathon a year later after feeling so shoddy the last time was the charity I ran for, Tommy's. But when I signed up for the Royal Parks Half his year, I wanted to remain injury free by taking on a different training approach, regardless of the great cause.

AJ Odudu Tommy's Charity

I wanted to focus on strength and weight training (something I'd skipped the previous year) whilst incorporating short but fast runs to increase my cardiovascular strength and improve my stamina whilst maintaining my energy levels throughout the days.

Whilst I do maintain my fitness levels all year round I've been out of the country a lot, skipping training sessions and so when it came to race focused preparation, I had less than a month to train. I was so nervous but in this dilemma was born a challenge; How To Get Race Ready in 4 Weeks with Barry's Bootcamp.

I'd done Barry's Bootcamp before, picking up classes here and there and knew that Barry's master trainer Anya Lahiri sessions where brutal but brilliant. She knows exactly how to push her clients so I took all of my training advice from her.

AJ Odudu Instagram

How many training sessions did I do?

Although Anya had advised me to take 4 classes a week for 6 consecutive weeks, because of work commitments abroad I could only attend 4 classes a week for 3 weeks, and they weren't consecutive.

Who did I train with?

Anya mainly. She is Barry's Bootcamp master trainer in London and does the 8:20am slot at Barry's Central in addition to numerous slots at Barry's East. When I couldn't attend her classes I took Taylor's class (he has hardcore treadmill sessions too) and Sandy's class (with challenging leg sessions).

How fast did I run half marathon last year?

Last year it took 97 minutes for me to run the 13.1 mile half marathon course with a few injuries and 2 weeks recovery needed.

How fast did I run the half marathon this year?

I ran it in exactly the same time of 97 minutes despite less race preparation. This time I ran injury free and with no need for 2 weeks off exercise. 

Royal Parks Half AJ Odudu

Why did Barry's Bootcamp work?

During the 30 minutes of high intensity treadmill series in each Barry's Bootcamp class you move through sections of intervals, hill work and sprints which challenge both your endurance and your speed. The treadmills are specifically designed to absorb impact when you run on them. Much safer than pounding the ground and thus preventing injuries caused by big impact.

Barry's Bootcamp Treadmill

There was also the addition of strength training, which is the key to remaining injury free. The 30 minute strength sections would include compound movements (such as dead-lifts, squats, pull-ups, chin-ups, bench press, and step-ups. These exercises target functional movement) bodyweight exercises (such as lunges, planks and push-ups which build the core strength you need to prevent injuries and get stronger) and hip straighteners (exercises focusing on the glutes and hips; two of the most important stabilising muscles that are used while running).

Barry's Bootcamp Resistance Training

So there you have it, proof that runners need to do more than just run, that reducing injury rate isn't that difficult and that Barry's Bootcamp is both a safe and effective workout.

Barry's Bootcamp East London

Here marks my next challenge with Barry's Bootcamp: Six Weeks To A Six Minute Mile. Stay tuned!

xoxo

How Much? £20 per individual class but prices vary between £14-20 depending on the class package

How long? Each class is one hour long

Where? Barry's Central is a 2 minute walk from Euston Station and located at 163 Euston Road
London, UK NW1 2BH
 

Barry's East is located at 2 Worship Street (entrance on City Road) London, UK EC2A 2AH | It's a 5 minute walk from Moorgate Station and 10 minutes from Liverpool St and Bank underground stations

Would I recommend it? 100% YES.  You can book a class by clicking here.

WORKOUT WITH FRIENDS

I find that recently, the easiest way to hang out with my friends is to workout with them. We meet up, exercise for an hour before catching up over a healthy post workout breakfast or lunch before going about our business. It's the best! Here I am with my friend Tasha Green doing wall-sits...

MOTIVATION MONDAY

running...

WORKOUT WITH FRIENDS

gazing into each others eyes (she's such a babe)...

HOW TO STAY MOTIVATED AJ ODUDU

and laughing at the fact that we are totally (and intentionally) wearing matching outfits.

workout with Tasha Green

Fit dates are awesome! Get involved.

XOXO