blogs Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 en hourly 1 Sweaty Betty wins Britain's Healthiest Employees 2014! /sweaty-betty-wins-britains-healthiest-employees-2014/ /sweaty-betty-wins-britains-healthiest-employees-2014/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /sweaty-betty-wins-britains-healthiest-employees-2014/ Last year, Sweaty Betty was named Britain's Most Active Company. In 2014, the team has upped the fitness ante even further, so it was with great excitement that we collected the prize for Britain's Healthiest Employees (an award presented in association with PruHealth, Mercer and The Sunday Telegraph). 

Practising what we preach is at the core of all we do at Sweaty Betty. Walking the walk (or running to be more specific) is key for the team; finding inspiration and motivation in each other, from new 10K PBs and conquering a headstand in yoga, to crossing the finish line of your first triathlon

Image courtesy of The Sunday Telegraph
To support the team's personal training, the Sweaty Betty Support Office is a hub of exercising activity. Yoga, Cardio Pilates and run clubs are held weekly, with extra workouts from our library of online classes to Insanity DVDs and squat challenges frequently taking place in the on-site studio. Running social media campaigns such as #HealthieSelfie and spotlighting team workouts with weekly blogs on where we're training that week; even the summer parties have an air of friendly competition with sports day races such as the egg-and-spoon and relays. 

Outside of the office, everyone has their own interest in health and fitness. With a team full of yoga teachers, marathon-runners, competitive cyclists, Barry’s Bootcamp addicts, personal trainers, rock climbers and rowers, it was with great pride that Sweaty Betty scooped the prize for Britain’s Healthiest Employees 2014; proving to the world that #TeamSB well and truly practice what they preach...and do it in style.

As for in-store, each boutique plays host to at least two weekly workouts, such as Boxing Yoga, Body Blast and HIIT, available free of charge exclusively to SB customers and supported by a variety of online workouts.

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Talking health with Hemsley and Hemsley (part 1) /talking-health-with-hemsley-and-hemsley-part1/ /talking-health-with-hemsley-and-hemsley-part1/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /talking-health-with-hemsley-and-hemsley-part1/ They've been featured in Vogue, have been the focus of countless articles at home and abroad, and have been cooking up a healthy storm on Saturday Kitchen; it's safe to say that Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley have well and truly taken the world by storm. And that's before the mention of their new must-have cookbook, The Art of Living Well.

Renowned for their organic and nutrient-rich recipes that promote overall wellbeing, Sweaty Betty sat down with the healthiest of trendsetting duos to find out all on their favourite snacks, workout routines and number one tip for healthy living.

What inspired you to launch the Hemsley & Hemsley brand?
We started as private cooks for people and our mission was simple - to help people feel better (more energised, happier and healthier) through delicious and nourishing food, made with real ingredients.
Have you always had a healthy lifestyle?
Jasmine: We grew up with a Filipino mother and a father in the army, living in army barracks in the UK and Germany. We were used to eating frugally and adventurously, and although our mum was efficient, everything was made with love and care. She cooked intuitively, based on what was in the fridge and cupboards. She didn’t actively teach us but we picked it all up along the way.
Melissa:  I’m the youngest so I lucked out as mum and Jasmine used to do all the cooking, and all I had to do was lay the table. I was only when I moved out that I realised if I wanted to eat the same good food, I’d have to start putting into practise what I had absorbed over the years.
Jasmine: We’ve always been very active and involved in sports since we were young.  Even now, we both love tennis, yoga and long walks. I haven’t been for ages but snowboarding is always a great holiday and if I see the sea, I HAVE to swim in it!  
Melissa: My best friend and I love to dance, so we’re fans of any type of dance classes – from Latin and rock’n’roll to ballet or hip-hop. Classes are great fun because once you’re in the door you have to commit. You switch off from your own life and just listen to the teacher.
Jasmine: We both got into meditation about five years ago too. We began to experience just how important sleep and active relaxation are for health. Keeping the mind on an even keel is as important as the food you put into your body and the exercise you do.

What was the motivation behind releasing your own cookbook, The Art Of Eating Well?
We wanted to talk about why eating well is almost a lost art. Many people have lost the art or never been taught. Wellness begins from within, so we need to get creative in the kitchen rather than relying on convenience and packaged health foods. Food has become so complicated in recent years. With so many different ideas of what’s healthy and what’s not, it’s become easy to lose your way on what eating well really means. We help navigate through all the confusion and take it back to basics by focusing on real, whole foods, enabling you to tune into your body and find what works for you. Simply put; The Art of Eating Well is mindful eating and enjoying the foods that make you feel good from the inside out. Our book guides you with delicious recipes to eat well and feel better. It’s not complicated and once you start, you’ll want to eat and feel like this for life.
Eating well should be part of your lifestyle. We don’t believe in short fixes, fads or depriving ourselves. We do not do low-fat - in fact we champion saturated fat, such as coconut oil, butter and egg yolks, as a vital nutrient - and we are all about eating quality meat and two veg! Every bite should be delicious AND have maximum nutrition per mouthful, so our recipes avoid gluten, grains and refined sugars. We have a completely holistic approach to eating so it’s about how we eat as well as what we eat.
What are your favourite snacks for pre/post-workout?
Anything with coconut, like our Coconut Tahini Bliss Balls. Or some leftover smoothie from breakfast or a mug of hot bone broth with an egg yolk whisked in for easy-to-digest nourishment.

Stay tuned for part 2 of the Hemsley + Hemsley interview, and an exclusive recipe!
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Glöanna: A Sweaty Success! /gloanna-a-sweaty-success/ /gloanna-a-sweaty-success/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /gloanna-a-sweaty-success/ They came, they ran, they did yoga in the park - and that's before the prosecco and sushi brunch...

If you weren't in Battersea Park last Saturday, you may not have heard that the world's first 5K yoga run, Glöanna, had landed in London. 500 women descended on the start line for their shot of prosecco, before heading off to run the scenic 5K route. The course was littered with quirky motivational signs saying everything from 'Breathe, Laugh, Repeat' to 'You're Alive - Woo!', with a live DJ soundtrack to keep the spirits high. Post-run, the Glöanna (and Sweaty Betty) ladies hit the mat for an al fresco yoga class, stretching out their muscles and relaxing into savasana. 

Finally, it was time for sushi and celebrations! From browsing the healthy food stalls (the best of which were Wheyhey protein ice cream, VitaCoco and Bounce balls!) to hula hooping while sipping prosecco, the event was fun-filled and a big success. And the goodie bags full of Sweaty Betty treats went down a storm too.
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Where We're Training This Week AquaCycling NYC /where-were-training-this-week-aquacycling-nyc/ /where-were-training-this-week-aquacycling-nyc/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /where-were-training-this-week-aquacycling-nyc/ Always keen to try a workout that takes the traditional to the next level, this week saw the Sweaty Betty USA team take their training to the city's first and only cycling studio offering workouts in a pool. Hugely popular in Europe and now in NYC, the team got kitted up in their swimwear ready to test this new must-try fitness class.

Walking into the three-storey boutique studio in New York City's TriBeCa, the light and airy decor (high ceilings, exposed brick walls and wooden tiled floors) and tranquil vibe make the team feel instantly relaxed. Designed as a mix between a chic loft-style penthouse, high-profile fitness space and wellness-promoting spa, this is undoubtedly one of the coolest and most beautiful studios around.

Changed into their swimwear and ready to go, the Sweaty Betty team climbed onto their spin bikes submerged in a pool of water, feeling a little dubious about this upgrade to their regular spin class. The workout itself is held in a pool beneath a high glass ceiling that allows natural light to pour in, while evening classes are candlelit for added atmosphere. Simple white tiling around the edges means the music echoes artfully around the studio as the team spin to the beat.

While spinning focuses predominantly on the legs and core, this fusion workout gets the entire body moving. The usual ride styles are used here too (e.g. sprints and transitioning from sitting to standing), with the addition of a move that involves floating behind the bike, treading water with your arms while your feet are still strapped to the pedals.


Set to a pumping soundtrack (each instructor has their own style and music that varies from Beethoven to chart-toppers), the class was particularly intensive on the arms - with exercises being performed both in and out of the water. This included two types of tricep dips; one off the bike using your seat, and another that involved pulsing your arms above your head while keeping the legs moving on the pedals.

A favourite move of #TeamSB was when they were instructed to slide off behind the seat into the water and hold on to the handlebars, forcing them to pedal in a more horizontal seating position. Compared to their regular spin classes, the team found AquaCycling much more technical in terms of mastering the correct positions to ensure you feel the effects of the workout in your core and legs. Due to the added resistance of the water, Aqua Studio say that this innovative workout can burn up to 800 calories per class, and tone parts of the body much more effectively that normal spinning. An impact-free workout that doesn't put any stress on the joints, their trainers inform the team that AquaCycling not only promotes better circulation and sleep, but also enhances flexibility and recovery.
So how did the team feel afterwards? "Super invigorated, and even though I've worked out hard, my muscles still feel nicely stretched out and relaxed. I'd recommend this class to everyone wanting to experience something unique and to add another level to their weekly workout."

Shop Sweaty Betty swimwear here, or for sale swimwear, click here.

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'Why I do Vinyasa yoga...' /blog/why-i-do-vinyasa-yoga/ /blog/why-i-do-vinyasa-yoga/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /blog/why-i-do-vinyasa-yoga/ Meet Lex. Not only is she a fantastic yoga teacher who has spent time practicing on 3 different continents around the globe, but she is also 6 months pregnant and the instructor behind the SB Support Office's favourite Vinyasa Flow yoga class.

With so many disciplines of yoga to choose from, Sweaty Betty sat down with Lex to find out how and why Vinyasa yoga became her practice of choice; finding out her thoughts on pre-natal yoga, nutrition and where she teaches in London.

The Journey To Vinyasa

It was all thanks to her Mum that Lex discovered yoga 14 years ago. Aged 17 and on holiday in Florida, it was hot and sweaty Bikram that was Lex's first foray into the world of yoga. 

"I came out of my Bikram class feeling so clean and serene in both body and mind; almost newborn," recalls Lex. "I completely fell in love with yoga."

While yoga studios were fairly common in the US, back home in London, the choice was much more limited. Despite the lack of options, Lex found a studio and continued practicing the sweatiest discipline of yoga for the next five years, before moving across the globe to Sydney.

It was during a trip to Florida just before the move, that Lex discovered Hot Vinyasa Flow. Her favourite Bikram studio had changed its specialism to Vinyasa, and it was a more dynamic, flowing class than any yoga she had done before. "I found the combination of breath, movement and continuous flow amazing," explains Lex. "Especially as it was such a change from the regimented series of 26 poses that I had been used to with Bikram."

At her new home in Sydney, Lex found herself a Vinyasa studio; becoming more dedicated to the practice with every class she took. She explains, "I loved it so much, it made me feel so alive, balanced and free.”

Becoming An Instructor

After two years practicing in Sydney, Lex decided it was time to take her love of yoga to the next level. Knowing the limited options that were waiting for her in London, she headed back to Florida, where her yogic journey had first begun, for a month intensive teacher training course.

​Training every day from 7am until 10pm, Lex describes the month-long course as the best thing she has ever done. "Yoga completely changed me and my lifestyle. The training breaks you down and builds you back up to be your best possible self."

"I started teaching Hot Vinyasa Flow full-time as soon as I arrived back in London; renting spaces wherever I could, until I managed to get into a newly-opened studio, Breeze Urban Yoga, where I still teach part-time today."

So Why Vinyasa?

As for why Vinyasa is her practice of choice, Lex explains, "Vinyasa makes me feel alive. It strengthens, stretches, opens and helps you let go. When I move with my breath, it’s like a dance that connects me with my body and clears the mind."

"Working in a fairly static job where I spend a lot of time sat at a desk, I love to roll out my mat at the end of the day and get everything moving again; blood flowing, sweat dripping and body opening."

Lex deems her Type A personality (unable to sit still, with a fast-paced lifestyle) as her reason for being magnetised to the dynamic disciplines of yoga. Alongside her own Vinyasa practice (both at home and in studios), Lex also tries to take a more grounding yin yoga class once a week to help slow her down. 

Pre-Natal Practice

As Lex is 6 months pregnant, this insight into the life of yogi would not be complete without enquiring as to how her practice has changed. She says, "I have practiced through the whole of my pregnancy, and plan to keep on practicing right up until the end if I can. Obviously I have to modify certain poses and listen to my body, but yoga has really helped to keep me balanced throughout the last 6 months."

"Being pregnant means that yoga is no longer about pushing myself into more advanced poses; but about dedicating my practice to my baby boy. I've become much more selfless in my practice. I'm feeling amazing at the moment, and I'm sure that's all down to my practice." 

Pre & Post-Yoga Nutrition

Lex is a strong advocate for a clean and nutritious diet, particularly fruit. She says, "I love fruit and a wide variety of it too, from apples to mangosteens!"

As for pre and post-practice, Lex explains, "It’s best not to eat pre-Vinyasa, so I avoid food at least 2 hours before class. Afterwards, I love to re-hydrate with a coconut water and snack on some fruit like watermelon or a juicy orange."

Shop the best-selling Vinyasa Yoga Capris - back in stock now with 100% opacity and high-stretch capability. Pair with the new seamlessly-engineered Anusara Yoga Vest (supportive and sweat-wicking) for the perfect Vinyasa ensemble. And don't forget the must-have accessories: yoga mat, gripper yoga towel, gripper socks and foam roller.

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How to get Ironman-ready, as told by an Olympic triathlete /blog/how-to-get-ironmanready-as-told-by-an-olympic-triathlete/ /blog/how-to-get-ironmanready-as-told-by-an-olympic-triathlete/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /blog/how-to-get-ironmanready-as-told-by-an-olympic-triathlete/ The season of intense sporting competitions has well and truly begun. With Ironman soon to be landing in the USA's Colorado and Bolton, UK, and the London Triathlon just a few weeks away, Sweaty Betty sought the help of two-time Olympian and inspirational triathlete Michelle Dillon to find out her recommendations on kit, taper training and re-fuelling during the race.

What are the key things to look for in terms of kit, when completing a triathlon?
Kit is a very important part of the race. You need to be comfortable, able to move and breathe freely in what you are wearing. Look for pieces that enable good movement, are crafted in quality materials and feel comfortable. Colour and prints will ensure you look great as well!
What are your most memorable triathlon successes?
I have been European Champion at Olympic Distance, World Bronze Medalist at Triathlon Olympic Distance, British Triathlon Champion, Multiple World Cup Triathlon winner, World Duathlon Champion (Run/bike/run) and 6th at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. 
How do you recommend easing your training for the taper? How would this differ between preparing for an upcoming Ironman or the London Triathlon?
I would recommend easing your full training schedule 10 days to 2 weeks before your big race. This enables you to absorb the work you have previously done and to freshen up. Ironman training will likely mean longer steadier miles during training - in this case, you should ideally cut this right back during the taper. Training for an Olympic-distance triathlon usually includes a mix of fast and slow sessions, so during the taper it's good to cut back on both but still keep some speed. This keeps the muscles firing without overdoing it.
Are you currently in training for any event?
Coaching is more my focus now. I do still swim, cycle and run but not so much competitively anymore - I leave that to my athletes! However, I was recently training for a 10km road race and I do regular park runs over 5km. Fitness is part of my life and I enjoy training every day.
Do you have any tips on re-fuelling during and after race day?
It's important to fuel your body before and during the event, and recover well afterwards. On race day, I would recommend using a MaxiNutrition Viper Drink during the bike leg, MaxiNutrition Viper active gels on the bike and run, and have a 250ml MaxiNutrition Protein Milk within 20 minutes of the end of the race to enhance your recovery. Day to day, one of my favourite drinks is Vita Coco (coconut Water) to help keep you hydrated and refreshed.]]>
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The life, food and style of a professional ballerina... /blog/the-life-food-and-style-of-a-professional-ballerina/ /blog/the-life-food-and-style-of-a-professional-ballerina/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /blog/the-life-food-and-style-of-a-professional-ballerina/ After the success of Sweaty Betty’s collaboration with the prestigious English National Ballet (ENB) this year, the team headed over to the home of ENB last Friday to chat to one of their rising stars; finding out all on her diet, training schedule and outfit picks for rehearsals.

Image Credit: Alison McWhinney in Kinder Aggugini. Photograph: John Davis. Styled by Fabio Immediato  
Based in London’s Kensington, the ENB dancers were kind enough to allow the SB designers to watch the rehearsals for Giselle and Coppélia as they gather inspiration for Spring Summer 2015. Sketching and brainstorming complete, they headed into the green room to chat to principal ballerina Alison McWhinney, to find out how long she’s been dancing, what she looks for in dance kit and what she eats to fuel her rehearsals.
Meet Allison…
“I started dancing when I was aged four in Australia, doing ballet classes after school,” explains Alison. “Then from the age of 13 to 15, I danced full-time during the day and did distance education in the evening. I came to England when I was 16 to audition for ballet school, and was offered an English National Ballet School scholarship. After a year, I was invited to join this company, and I’ve been here ever since!”
Poised, elegant and incredibly strong; Alison was awarded this year’s Emerging Dancer title alongside her partner Junor Souza.
Doing six full days of ballet per week would be more than enough exercise for the average individual, but for a rising star in such a world-renowned ballet company, this is supplemented with Pilates to help strengthen the core and enhance flexibility. To “make the most of the performance,” Alison makes sure she finds time to do weights and cardio alongside her ballet, with a personalised workout schedule from the ENB trainers. Alison is also a keen swimmer, but due to busy rehearsal schedules, this is often saved for the four-week break during the summer that the dancers have off.
When asked about nutrition and what she eats to fuel such long days of rehearsals, Alison says, “I try to be as healthy as I can. My day-to-day diet does vary according to what rehearsals I have and how heavy my day is going to be, but I always start the day with breakfast; cereal or toast, a fruit smoothie and a cup of coffee.”
“After my morning class, I re-fuel with a banana or cereal bar, and then after the first set of rehearsals I will have a salad or sandwich with an apple, depending how soon after lunch I have another rehearsal and how strenuous the morning has been. Mid-afternoon, I might have an apple and some protein if I need it. When I get home after a day of training, my go-to foods are nuts, crackers and crisps. Dinner will be a healthy balance of carbs, vegetables and protein; pasta or rice with chicken or beef, plus salad.”
Alison’s key pieces for dance rehearsals are a leotard with tights and leg-warmers. While she may begin rehearsals in a jumper, by the end she will most often have removed her layers and be down to a simple vest or cami. Rehearsing for up to 22 consecutive shows at a time (over Christmas), Alison says, “Long days of rehearsals mean we are sweating a lot, so I need my kit to breathe, and be able to go for as long as possible.”
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Where We're Training This Week: Cycling the globe... /blog/where-were-training-this-week-cycling-the-globe-1292/ /blog/where-were-training-this-week-cycling-the-globe-1292/#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /blog/where-were-training-this-week-cycling-the-globe-1292/ After a week in Yorkshire, the Tour de France arrived in London yesterday; putting on a show for the 20-deep crowds that turned up to support the world's largest annual sporting event. Now in its 4th stage (with 17 still to go), the peloton is geared up and ready for the 163.5km ride from the French coast at Le Tourquet-Paris-Plage to Lille Metropole.

As with any much-hyped event, the hordes of people resolving to take up this dynamic sport will have multiplied overnight. For Sweaty Betty designer Laura, however, cycling is nothing new, and neither is the self-set challenge of riding intense distances across the country.

Currently in training to cycle from Land's End to John O'Groats, Laura shares her cycle schedule and the past week's rides, exclusively on the blog.

On Friday 22nd August 2014, Sweaty Betty designer and all-round workout fanatic Laura will be cycling the incredible 913.1 mile route from Land's End to John O'Groats.

Before deciding to tackle the UK's toughest long-distance cycle ride, Laura would average around 30 miles per week on her bike. For the last 6-8 weeks however, she has upped her training exponentially; cycling up mountains in 30-degree heat to prepare herself for what's to come...

The Rides

Last week while on holiday in Majorca, Laura put her rental bike through an intense 56-mile ride across Sa Colobra Bay, which included a 'horrific' 2,500 ft / 6-mile mountain climb. With the heat quickly rising from 20 degrees at 7am to 30 degrees by lunchtime, pedalling up and over a series of mountains was a serious challenge that burnt over 3,500 calories. The lack of shade made the rides even harder; causing Laura to drink nearly a litre of water during the 6-mile incline. Fortunately, there were beautiful sea views to keep Laura entertained, and thanks to an early 7am start - her 5-hour ride was over by midday, and she still had half the day to relax by the pool.

The following morning, Laura eased herself back in with what she calls "a little 20-miler", before another 50+ mile ride that afternoon around the stunning vistas of Majorca. 

As if these distances weren't enough, Laura is planning to up her mileage to 100-miles (and 8 hours) per day to get route-ready in time for 22nd August. Her current UK training distances equal 120-miles over 2 days of training. Last Saturday's 70-mile ride, for example, took her from her home in West London, out to Walton and then back in and down to the Surrey Hills, near Dorking and Leatherhead. With the return loop taking her back up to London, this 5-hour ride burned over 2200 calories, while Sunday's 50-mile stint saw Laura pedalling down to Windsor in a 3.5 hour route down to Berkshire and back up to London.

While the long distances have, so far, not caused Laura too much of a problem, she is conscious that during the John O'Groats route she will also be carrying 10 days worth of clothing; although she admits to limiting herself to just one spare cycle top and shorts, one long-sleeved top, a lightweight pair of trousers and a waterproof.

The Route

The Fuel

When cycling such long distances and burning so many calories, keeping energy levels up is imperative, so Laura stops to refuel her body every 25-30 miles...

- Breakfast - porridge with peanut butter and honey
- After 25-30 miles - dried fruit, nuts and a banana
- Another 25-30 miles later - a Nak'd bar or other cereal bar
- Lunch - salad with sweet potato and bacon, with a banana & almond milk smoothie

Whether cycling in the heat of Majorca or the mild summers of the UK, it goes without saying that keeping hydrated is absolutely essential.
The Outfit

A streamlined, sweat-wicking cycle top is key for comfort during long rides. With its anti-chafe seams, built-in bust support and silicone gripper hems, the Zoom Tri Top is Laura's first choice. The matching Zoom Shorts, with their padded seat panel and quick-drying, high-stretch fabric complete this high-performance look. For warmth and protection from the elements during winter, Laura wears the All Weather Jacket (now in sale), but for a more summer-friendly, lightweight layer - choose the shower-resistant Protector Jacket that packs away into its back pocket for convenience on-the-go.

For visibility, entertainment and quenching your thirst in style, Laura recommends a reflective arm blinker, media armband and water bottle.
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Tamara's Scrapbook: Goodwood Horseracing /blog/tamaras-scrapbook-goodwood-horseracing/ /blog/tamaras-scrapbook-goodwood-horseracing/#comments Fri, 04 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Tamara /blog/tamaras-scrapbook-goodwood-horseracing/ Sweaty Betty's founder and creative director Tamara is forever in-the-know on what's happening in the worlds of fitness and fashion. Whether it’s trialling the latest classes, road-testing new activewear, attending industry events or styling up the latest collections in her own, sports-versus-fashion way, each week we will be sharing the latest from Tamara's scrapbook.

Last week, Sweaty Betty's fashionable founder spent the evening at Goodwood as part of their Friday Nights series held throughout June. With style-conscious attendees everywhere you looked, the evening of horseracing included a DJ set by Zane Lowe and an outdoor party, with the beautiful South Downs as a backdrop.

Image Credit: Goodwood Racecourse
With most of our weekends spent running on the beach in West Wittering and overseeing the design of our new house, I was looking forward to heading over to Goodwood race course for one of its Friday Nights events in June. 

Image Credit: Goodwood Racecourse

Running later than planned due to work and school commitments, we arrived at the beautiful race course just as the sun was setting to find our friend had won £1000! With the champagne flowing in celebration, it was set to be a great night. The dress code suggested linen suits and Panama hats for the men, but as I knew it was going to be chilly, I also opted for a "trouser suit" look of cream tailored trousers with a green linen cropped jacket, and a beautiful vintage cream silk blouse that I had bought from a friend's collection of Italian couture. A Panama hat topped off my look. The hat had actually been given to me years ago by our production team on a shoot in Ibiza, and it goes everywhere with me!

The races created just as much excitement as you’d expect from high-level horseracing, but it was the post-race event that was particularly memorable. An outdoor party with a DJ set by Zane Lowe, there were around 2,000 people dancing and drinking into the night. It was such a fun evening, made even better by us turning up with friends in their VW campervan - aptly named Betty!

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Where We're Training This Week: Padel Tennis /blog/where-were-training-this-week-padel-tennis/ /blog/where-were-training-this-week-padel-tennis/#comments Thu, 03 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Sweaty Betty /blog/where-were-training-this-week-padel-tennis/ While the rest of sporting world is split between the football in Brazil and the tennis at Wimbledon, the Sweaty Betty ladies headed to Edinburgh Sports Club to try out Scotland's first Padel tennis courts - opened last week by the world's best Padel player, Juani Mieres.

A little-known sport in the UK (there are just 7 clubs in England with specifically-designed courts), Padel is garnering more and more popularity in the US, particularly in the fitness-loving states of New York and Los Angeles. Here, Sweaty Betty gets the lowdown on what Padel tennis is, why it's becoming big, and what the Edinburgh team thought of the game... 

The sport...

For Spain and Argentina, Padel is the country's biggest sport - ranked above even football and tennis in both popularity and players. Described as one of the world's fastest growing sports, it has quickly spread across the globe to Melbourne, Paris, Belgium and Canada, with over 12 million people now playing the innovative hybrid sport.

Predominantly a doubles game, Padel is often compared to squash thanks to its enclosed court, although these are often outdoors. Just like squash, the ball can be played off the walls, while the ball itself and the scoring system are more akin to tennis. Where the game differs from both tennis and squash is in the racquet (solid and stringless), the size of the court (2/3 the size of a tennis court) and the style of the serves; played under-hand rather than over. Possible plays include volley, smash and ground-stroke.

The timeline...

1969 - Padel is invented in Acapulco, Mexico by Enrique Corcuera.

1974 - Padel (Pádel) arrives in Marbella, Spain as a friend of the sport's creator introduces the game to friends - it quickly catches on, so he takes it over to Argentina the following year.

1992 - The first Padel Tennis World Championships are held in Madrid. Since then, the championships have been held every 3 years - once in Calgary, Canada and once in Toulouse, France. All other Championships were hosted by Mexico, Argentina or Spain. Of the 11 Padel Tennis World Championships that have been played, Argentina have won the gold medal at 8 in both men's and women's. Spain have won the other 3.

1995 - Padel is played in the Pan-American Games as an exhibition sport for the first time.

2011 - New York City gets its first Padel tennis court.

2012 - Padel arrives in the UK, courtesy of David Lloyd's Chigwell club.

2014 - The first Padel tennis court opens in Scotland, and the Sweaty Betty Edinburgh team are soon there to test it out.

Image credit: Total Padel UK

The review...

The team at the Sweaty Betty Edinburgh boutique are always game for trying out a new workout, especially when it's something new in town.

After going over the rules of Padel and the different ways to hit the ball, they learned how to volley, serve and backhand; plus how to use the walls to their advantage. With their instructor’s patient teaching style and good sense of humour, the class was so much fun that the team soon mastered the basics, and didn't want it to end.

The SB ladies really enjoyed the session and would highly recommend it - watch this space, they'll definitely be back!

The outfit...

Get into the tennis mood with the Advantage Tennis Skort - sweat-wicking and quick-drying with built-in shorts and ball pockets. Brighten up your outfit with the beautiful ombre print of the lightweight Athlete Vest that is soft and sweat-wicking for maximum comfort. A visor to keep the sun off, breathable trainer liners and a water bottle completes the Padel-ready look.

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