The Times teams up with Matt Wolstenholme to get Brent fit

Matt Wolstenholme will show you how to get fitter and healthier (Pic credit: Jan Nevill)

Matt Wolstenholme will show you how to get fitter and healthier (Pic credit: Jan Nevill) - Credit: Archant

With Brent among the worst boroughs in London for heart disease, diabetes and obesity, many residents will be looking to give their health a boost this year. Matt Wolstenholme, who is one of London’s most sought-after trainers, will also be showing readers how they can increase their health and fitness without the use of a gym – both inside and outside the home. In this first column Lorraine discovers that training outdoors can be much more fun than expected.

They say summer bodies are made in the winter so I cannot allow the weather to stop me from training.

I’ve decided not to train in a swanky gym with all the mod cons but in a park – Roe Green Park in Kingsbury to be precise.

So no matter what the weather – I will be there.

Granted it’s only been two weeks but after just two sessions the difference is noticeable.

In my first ever session, on a wet Saturday morning, I was required to do a variety of high-intensity exercises which looked a doddle at first but I soon realised were anything but.

My idea of getting fit was usually going for a two-mile run in the morning or, if the weather was very bad, on a treadmill.

Most Read

I’d work up a sweat, the adrenaline would be pumping and the endorphins would have kicked in by the end.

But Matt told me high intensity exercises like short sprints and squats are very good ways of getting fit and great fat-burners.

It initially seemed like fun to run to a cone and back and then to a second cone and back and then to a third and fourth cone.

But Matt likes to mix it up and like any good personal trainer he managed to do so while keeping it fun.

I was required to do squats between each cone and run back.

Squats don’t feel like it while you are doing them but they are your best friends when getting fit as they are one of best form of exercises out there.

I also did burpees, which incorporates a squat, a jump and the dreaded plank.

There is currently a plank challenge being circulated through social networking sites Twitter and Facebook.

The minimum time for you to do is two minutes, gradually escalating to five minutes after 30 days.

I managed 26 seconds – so things have to get better.

I finished off the hour-long session by doing some boxing. I knew it was a hard sport and wow, from now onwards I salute all boxers for their stamina. To last a three-minute round takes some doing.

Left, right, upper cut and ducking also takes a lot of thought and effort – a lot of effort.

The great thing about all these exercises was although I did them outdoors they can be done in the comfort of your own home – but be prepared to be unable to move 48 hours later.

I was so sore that simple things like raising my arm or laughing were excruciating.

Delayed onset muscle soreness – or DOMS as it’s more commonly known – is a good sign, it means muscles are getting stronger.

It was a pleasurable pain and I can’t wait to feel it once again.

For more on keeping fit visit Matt’s website at