Beginners Guide to Bouldering at the Climbing Wall

Hey guys,

Hope you’re having a wonderful week! So if you’ve been following my journey (1) Thank you for all your support so far!) 2) You’ll know that I’m darn right barmy about bouldering (and climbing in general!) I climb 2-3 times a week at the climbing wall if I can. More and more this is turning into getting on ACTUAL rocks (galah excitement central), outside and all over the world! What this means is that I get a lot of people asking me, how to get into it and where to start. If that’s you, I have the perfect thing for you. Here’s my Bouldering for Beginners 101 Vlog to get you started. Why not try it as something fun and new to try this weekend?!

 

I’d love to know if you find this useful and how you get on. Just remember to warm up and cool down before and after your climbs to keep you safe and injury free.

You can also find out some more tips and tricks from my Q&A with bouldering legend herself Shauna Coxsey on my previous video in association with Red Bull. Rock on gang! Let me know if you have any questions or topics you’d like me to cover next!

Till next time. Happy climbing!

Sending health & happiness,

Kim x

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No Likey to Bikey? Get confident riding in your city!

One of the most common answers I get to my “you should ride there on a bike” (frequent!) comment is “I’m scared to ride it”, “I don’t like the idea of riding around in a city”, “I don’t feel confident enough”. This is sadly predominantly from a lot of my ladies. If you know me you know I’m never off my bike. Noteably more so when I have a Canyon bike to my name! Sadly when I look around at the traffic lights at other cyclists, 90% of the time they’re men! Come on ladies we got this too. 

Loving life on my Canyon Bike

It’s hands down the nicest most efficient way to get around. More often than not it beats the bus, tube or car! So buh byyyye smelly sticky space invader tube, hello, fresh(ish!) air and commute based workouts. Just 30 mins of cycling to and from work 5 days a week adds up to a kushty 5 hours of exercise, which doesn’t really even feel like exercise when you’re cheating your tube ride home. Oh and you save yourself a ton of money! You. Are. Welcome!

Heres my 5 top tips for how to start riding your bike around town, whether your a girl or a guy!

  1. Get yourself a bike! It doesn’t have to be a fancy bike (less devastating if it gets stolen anyway!), but one you feel comfortable riding, and one that does the job it needs to. Get yourself a D lock – work out how to use it (it’s not as hard as you think it will be). Practice a couple of times before you leave the house. Before you know it you’ll be locking up your bike without thinking about it. One important point to note is that you need to place the D lock around the BACK wheel, INCLUDING the rear frame to keep it safe. Bare in mind it’s smarter to park in more obvious public spaces than dark alleys where thieves have more time to tamper!
  2. Map your route first – Knowing roughly where you’re going helps a lot. Google maps has a lovely little bike icon that maps out the best route for you by bike.  Our dear friend Boris in London (that funny shaggy little/large politician) has worked a treat for cyclists! London’s “Cycle Super Highway” (see signs that say “CS…”) are just what we need around busy city like London. Start watching out for the blue cyclist signs and soon enough you’ll see pretty much everywhere you look there’s a completely different world for cyclists than motorists. My main thing I was “scared of” read: used as my biggest excuse to not cycle (along with 20 odd others – rain OBVS a fantastically constant one) was the HUGE roundabout near ours. We’d driven around it enough times for me to think – my God you must be bat shit
    crazy to try and cycle around this (and thereafter London in general). Hey…what dya know…I don’t have to cycle in the roundabout (bit) at all, yes I go around it, it’s on my route to work but the cycle highway allows me to hop, skip and a cycle on the pavement NEXT to the mad crazy bat shit roundabout, notably not in it. So that’s that excuse out then. The only qualm is if there isn’t a Cycle Superhighway on your route…usually there is some sort of lane and if not…I’m afraid it’s a fly by the hair of your seat type jobby…but I promise that gets less terrifying the more you do it! If you drive the rules of the road are basically the same.
  3. Practice in the park first, even better go with a friend whose more clued up on the road. I recently took my Mum on a short loop along the river and into Battersea Park. She got to practice riding on roads and built her confidence up in the park itself. Just note with riding in parks there are often signs that tell you where you can and cannot cycle (you can be fined if you cycle in the wrong areas).
  4. There are a lot of courses available to you to help build your confidence. These provide a safe learning environment, try Cycle Confident or TFL.
  5. And before you ask….YES you need to wear a helmet – its your brain. Protecting you brain and your life is always cool,

My Mum getting her confidence up in Battersea Park

There is SO much more to see in your city on a bike. Get out there, enjoy it! Find more of my tips on my blog post: Breaking Bike! Including how the bike lanes work and giving you (even more!) reasons why you need to get on your bike.

Don’t wait till tomorrow, start today! It’s beautiful weather for it! Stay safe. Have fun!

Sending health & happiness,

Kim x

Photo: Geoff Waugh

 Bike provided by Canyon Bikes

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IGO Adventures Scotland Expedition

Hey my good time gang!

Hope you’re enjoying this wonderful weekend. So a couple of weekends back I was lucky enough to be taken away with the IGO Adventure team to bonny Scotland! It just happened to be one of my favourite adventures to date!

55km covered. Canoeing, hiking, trail runs, bonfires, yoga, mountain summits! What a weekend of EPICNESS. Check out what went down in my vlog with the (also epic) Alice Rickard. Find out what we got up to in the Vlog below:

This was just a mini version of the epic adventures that IGO get up to. There next trips include, Montana and Iceland. They’re also re running the fun with the Scotland trip so if you like what you see you can get involved here!

Whether you’re going near or far, get out there and enjoy natures outdoor gym! What adventures are you guys getting up to this year? I’d love to hear all about them! 

Sending health & happiness, 

Kim x

With special thanks to the incredible team at IGO Adventures for showing us this wonderful adventure. Also to Columbia and Manduka for making sure we were kitted out for it.

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What to Do on Your Paris Mini Break

Perusing like a Parisian

Oh we do love to have a potter around gaye Paris, not least when the sun has got his happy little hat on. Last week my best girl pal and I hopped, skipped and jumped on to 11am Eurostar from London to Paris. Simply in Paris for the joy of exploration and living as the Parisians do (with a side of tacky touristing!) We were there for what I consider a great amount of time to see a lot of the main sites of Paris; 2nights and 3 days. We covered a fair feet but had ample time to soak up the atmosphere of the city blooming beautifully into Spring. Here’s a low down of what we got up to and the gems (not worth missing!) that we found along the way. 

Day 1

We opted for the simple and slightly more affordable stay at the Hotel Des Nations located on Rue Monde not far from the Latin Quarter. The hotel offered impeccable service and exactly what we needed in terms of a basic clean comfortable room for our 2 nights stay.

Daytime

Checking in Wednesday afternoon we grabbed the first chance we had to go and explore the French cuisine. Taking a short stroll around the Latin Quarter we found a gorgeous square where Cafe Delmas took our fancy. We hadn’t looked up where to eat at that point we just stumbled on the restaurant. Between us we ate a selection of steak tartar, cheese, red wine, frites – could we be any more French!? Sitting with the sun shining down we people watched whilst gazing into the square.

 

A short walk later we strolled along over the river to Notre Dame, taking in all of its beauty as we went. A friend had recommended Les Marais as a top spot for hip and trendy restaurants, bars and shops which was short walk from Notre Dame. Catching a glimpse of the extremely innovative “pompidieu centre” – which shows a phenomenal building described as being “inside out”, think all the workings of a building but on the outside. Quite the feat of engineering and architecture. The sun beamed down on us so we didn’t want to spend hours queueing to enter the museum – if we had more time it would have been a nice option to explore. Us Brits – never ones to miss out on sunshine opportunities you know! We meandered our way through the Parisian streets through Les Marais, catching a drink by the river Seine at Le Saint-Regis – perfect people watching territory. 

Evening

We had spoken to our concierge about the local burlesque offerings, curious to explore. We were recommended the Lido show on the Champs Elysee. So after a quick freshen up we were tottering or way down he Champs Elysee – a street of pure beauty and bustle! Gazing at the Arc De Triomphe before chomping on nutella and banana filled crepes (when in France right!?) we then made our way to the show.

Wow la Lido, what a show! I can certainly say I’ve never seen anything quite like it. There was “a lot” to be seen – think many many beautiful topless (and basically almost pantless) girls ferociously shaking what their mumma gave them. Chuck in some acrobats, contortionists aplenty, gymnastics, you name it. It made for a pretty entertaining, if a little peculiar show! We finished the night with yet more wine and cheese and head to bed ready for day 2.

Dancing with Musee du Louvre

Day 2

Daytime

Full of beans ready to explore our second day in Paris, we head for happily yet more French cuisine – pastries! It was quite magic sitting back a relaxing with a pastry and a coffee in a quintessentially Parisian coffee shop. Le Sully was an obvious local spot, just off the river, the perfect place to start our day people watching and planning our next steps. 

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We were blessed with wonderful weather so after breakfast we took a stroll along the River Seine, all the way up to Musee du Louvre. Ever iconic and the home place of the great Mona-Lisa painting. After we strolled passed the Hotel De Ville, back the Les Marais (inadvertently getting lost trying to find the Sacre Couer, don’t ask!). From Les Marais we walked all the way up to Montmarte. We choose to walk as much as we could in the day, which was especially nice given the sunshine, but the Metro proved a very efficient and easy means when we did ride it. By the time we reached Montmarte (and detour!) we were hungry for lunch. So lucky that we knew to go and visit Pink Mumma’s. What a spot!!! I couldn’t recommend this place highly enough. Gorgeous building, filled with gorgeous interior, enter glass and plants everywhere. Divine Italian cuisine. A true gem of a find in the city. Next we finally found the Sacre Couer, walked the many steps to see it up close and personal and take in the fabulous views of the city.

From our trip to Monmarte we found ourselves heading to tourist hotspot the Eiffel Tour, but choose to admire its beauty from a far as part of the scenery vs fighting off the tourist crowds to go up it. It really is a sight of true beauty and architectural genius. Breathtaking, no matter how many times you’ve seen it. It’s also surrounded by the most beautiful gardens, perfect spot for a picnic. 

Evening

The evening took us to trendy hang out Canal St Martin. We sipped wine at trendy wine bar (and restaurant le verre voile. We originally went for dinner but it was super packed out. We were allowed to sip wine on the street, becoming completely immersed in the buzz of the city at night. We later ate at the Fuxee, which also proved a nice choice for dinner.

Shakespeare & Co Independent Book Store

Day 3

Day time

Already on the last day we decided it would be wrong not to make the most of another patisserie. The pastries are to die for! Nothing like what we get at home. French has got to be my all time favourite food! All of the beige, all of the YUM! After grabbing a pain au raisin to go we found ourselves back near the Notre Dame. There we found the most incredible coffee and bookshop Shakespeare & Company. An absolute must see if you’re in the city. The cutest book shop filled with little rabbit warrens of book cases after book cases. People reading and coffeeing to the hearts content. We grabbed a matcha latte whilst looking over the Notre Dame. 

Paris really is the most beautiful city. When you get a chance to sit back and take it all in you see the French Revolutions influence on the buildings.The whites and greys of the buildings dazzle in the sunshine. The city is simplest form of chic from building to building. Speaking of chic, the capital is is obviously also very well known for its fashion. Wrong then to leave without browsing the Rue Saint Honore and the Place Vendome. Iconic fashion areas with top fashion houses and brands aplenty. Nearby Angelina’s also proving a wonderful stop off for their renown hot chocolate and cakes (we had the mille feuille which was to die for). Good for lunch too and definitely worth the visit.

A speedy trip back through the Luxemburg gardens, a glance at the Pantheon and we were then on our way back to Gare Du Nord – ready physically (but not really emotionally!) for our trip back to London.

Want to get your fitness fix whilst your away?

Wanting to dabble in the French fitness scene? Why not try Chez Simone on the gorgeous Rue Ravioli? The perfect place to grab a boxing, circuits, yoga or pilates class. Then eat and chill in their beautiful cafe and lounge area. Another glorious option is a run along the River Seine, sightsee as you get your sweat fix, what could be better?

My Paris Take Home?

I can honestly say I didn’t ever feel the instant attraction to Paris in previous visits. My view was completely changed on this trip. I saw it in new light; with the help of the sun shining gloriously and seeing a new less touristic view of the city. By walking we really got to appreciate the local culture. We certainly made the most of the cuisine! It was an easy city to navigate once you found your barings. Uber works exactly the same as home for those late nights getting back, the French were (dare I say surprisingly) friendly and welcoming, the Metro was easily understood. Beautiful architecture. Wonderful sights. Incredible city vibe. Paris you’ve managed to win me over with your romantic charm. I can’t wait to go back! 

I hope this can help give you a little insight into what a potential mini break could look like in Paris – especially if you’re in the foodie way of life! Please let me know any questions you may have or recommendations for the future – I’ll certainly be racing back soon! 

Sending health & happiness,

Kim x

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April Adjusts: Fix Your Plank to Chaturunga

Next up in APRIL ADJUSTS with myself and @sophia.bc : PLANK to CHATURANGA

So, 2nd up in our #AprilAdjusts campaign is Plank to “Chaturanga” (half plank). It’s a staple transition in vinyasa classes, and otherwise, are poses in their own right. When students, or any yogi, gets tired and lacks the strength or awareness of how to do these properly, or what an ‘easier’ variation is, you end up putting a lot of stress through the delicate front parts of the shoulder joint (ligaments, tendons, rotator cuff). Shoulder pain is such a common yoga injury – and it really shouldn’t be!
.
Main points to consider:
PLANK
💫Hands under shoulders, with hands spread.
💫Push up and away from floor, so rounding upper back between shoulder blades.
💫Curl tailbone under you, so deep core engages.
💫Legs are super strong and engaged (bum, hamstrings, quads, calves).
💫If you can’t keep tailbone curled, then drop to knees without moving position of toes or hands – push hips forward, lift chest, pull shoulders down, then curl tailbone, so straight line of energy from knees to crown of head.

HALF PLANK
Maybe you can hold full plank, but not half plank, and that’s when shoulder injuries happen. So maybe now, drop to your knees and then lower to half plank.
💫Literally keep the same shape in the body as full plank – legs strong, tailbone curled, so lower back stays in a neutral position.
💫Bend elbows no more than 90º and draw them into side ribs (or take this pose all the way to the floor).
💫Actively pull your shoulder blades down your back body, feeling side body muscles engage, and muscles between shoulder blades.
💫If you collapse your hips on the way down, do this pose on your knees! Chest and hips must stay the same level as you lower, with the collar bones spreading apart, so the shoulders don’t roll in.
.
These are tough poses, so take the time to build strength and awareness of which muscles are engaging to keep the shoulders and lower back safe, by doing them on your knees for a while. It halves the weight your upper body and core need to deal with! If you have any questions, or need other options for these postures, just let us know!

Sending health & happiness,

Kim & Sophia x

||APRIL ADJUSTS with @kimhartwell @sophia.bc ⭐️PLANK to CHATURANGA⭐️|| So, 2nd up in our #AprilAdjusts campaign is Plank to “Chaturanga” (half plank). It’s a staple transition in vinyasa classes, and otherwise, are poses in their own right. When students, or any yogi, gets tired and lacks the strength or awareness of how to do these properly, or what an ‘easier’ variation is, you end up putting a lot of stress through the delicate front parts of the shoulder joint (ligaments, tendons, rotator cuff). Shoulder pain is such a common yoga injury – and it really shouldn’t be! . Main points to consider: PLANK 💫Hands under shoulders, with hands spread. 💫Push up and away from floor, so rounding upper back between shoulder blades. 💫Curl tailbone under you, so deep core engages. 💫Legs are super strong and engaged (bum, hamstrings, quads, calves). 💫If you can’t keep tailbone curled, then drop to knees without moving position of toes or hands – push hips forward, lift chest, pull shoulders down, then curl tailbone, so straight line of energy from knees to crown of head. HALF PLANK Maybe you can hold full plank, but not half plank, and that’s when shoulder injuries happen. So maybe now, drop to your knees and then lower to half plank. 💫Literally keep the same shape in the body as full plank – legs strong, tailbone curled, so lower back stays in a neutral position. 💫Bend elbows no more than 90º and draw them into side ribs (or take this pose all the way to the floor). 💫Actively pull your shoulder blades down your back body, feeling side body muscles engage, and muscles between shoulder blades. 💫If you collapse your hips on the way down, do this pose on your knees! Chest and hips must stay the same level as you lower, with the collar bones spreading apart, so the shoulders don’t roll in. . These are tough poses, so take the time to build strength and awareness of which muscles are engaging to keep the shoulders and lower back safe, by doing them on your knees for a while. It halves the weight your upper body and core need to deal with! If you have any questions, or need other options for these postures, just let us know 🙏🏼 #AprilAdjusts #Yoga #Alignment

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