Healthy Hotlist: On your bike

Laugh in the face of rush hour traffic by free-wheeling down the cycle lane on this lightweight commuter bike, the Loft 3i.

Designed with functional minimalism in mind, this model is built to handle the rigours of the streets, and the upright riding position provides optimum speed, comfort and control.

An all-weather wonder from The Electra Bicycle Company.

Loft 3i in Mint Mojito, £500, at

Kitted Out

Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag – and swap it for these innovative No Excuses ‘fitness ready’ gym bags by La Pochette.

Plastic-free and stylish, the sleek pouches are waterproof, odour and stain repellent and antimicrobial, ensuring your wet kit can be carried around without fear of smells or leakage into your day bag.

Light as a feather, they are made from recycled plastic bottles, are washable at low temperatures (with your kit inside; bonus!) and are crease-free on air drying. Ideal.

La Pochette No Excuses gym pouches (20318484)
La Pochette No Excuses gym pouches (20318484)

La Pochette No Excuses Cashmere Walnut large and small bags, £55, at

Give Me Strength

Navigating the path to adulthood in the 21st century can be a tough business, with teenagers exposed to unrealistic body images and visions of so-called ‘perfect’ lives on social media, which can leave them feeling inadequate.

As an antidote to this, personal trainer Sarah Burch, has launched a new fitness class – Strong As A Girl – which, by focusing on endorphin-boosting exercise and mental wellbeing, aims to build self-confidence, resilience, social skills and positive body images.

Created exclusively for girls aged 11-16, the sessions combine cardiovascular and resistance training through fun and games.

“Strong as a Girl provides a safe and trusting environment at a time when girls may be experiencing exam stress or feeling the pressures of everyday life. Exercise is proven to help alleviate some of these worries,” explains mum-of-two Sarah, who is the founder of Savvy Health and Fitness.

Strong As A Girl classes run on Mondays at The Ellesmere Centre in Stetchworth, 6-7pm. Find out more at or call Sarah on 07961812931

Climb Every Mountain

A fearless team from Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa has conquered the gruelling Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, in memory of former colleague Robbie Massam, who died earlier this year.

Spa manager Rebecca Randall and operations manager Kieron Bales, supported by friend Vicky Wilkinson, trekked 25 miles through the Yorkshire Dales - summiting the peaks of Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-Y-Ghent – in less than 12 hours.

Their valiant efforts raised almost £900 for East Anglian Air Ambulance, which relies on charitable donations to keep flying 365 days a year.

Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa staff take on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge in memory of a colleague (20318391)
Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa staff take on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge in memory of a colleague (20318391)

“It was an incredible experience, which was physically and mentally challenging but we loved every minute,” the team told Velvet. “The weather was perfect, the views breath-taking, and the team-spirit amazing.”

Brothers In Arms

Two sets of bicycling brothers have clocked up hundreds of miles to raise vital funds for Arthur Rank Hospice Charity, which cared for their relatives.

Tony and Danny Rudd pedalled from London to Paris in September, raising more than £4,000 in memory of their mum Rita Ann Rudd. Whilst a month earlier, Alex Levitt-Powell and Dan Powell, who grew up in Linton, took on the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100, collecting £1,000 towards a grand total of £3673.68 raised in memory of their Grandfather, Don Roope.

Tony and Danny took on their epic 300-mile cycle cross two countries in four days to show their appreciation for the ‘wonderful’ staff at the Cambridge hospice, who cared for their mum in her final days. Tony explains: “Every penny raised was through sheer determination to finish in honour of our Mum.”

Cycling brothers Alex Levitt-Powell and Dan Powell (20318426)
Cycling brothers Alex Levitt-Powell and Dan Powell (20318426)

Alex Levitt-Powell, a seasoned runner decided to switch to cycling, roping in brother Dan for the strenuous 100-mile ride, which they completed in 5 hours 57 minutes. Explaining his motivation, he says: “A few years ago, our Grandfather passed away beautifully while in the Hospice. What stood out was that the Hospice and its staff gave very personalised, patient-led care. Grandad had his wishes met and was able to carry on doing his thing rather than being beaten by his illness. Ever since then I have wanted to help them in any way I possibly could.”

Find out more about Arthur Rank Hospice Charity at

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