Sam Murphy: On your bike

I was a bit dubious when I first heard about a heart-rate monitor especially for cyclists - after all, they have hearts, lungs and limbs just like the rest of us. But the beauty of the new Polar CS300 is that it can be worn on your wrist or mounted on your handlebars - so as well as transmitting heartrate data, it receives information on your average, actual and maximum speed and distance covered. Other useful features include the 'OwnCal' facility, to track calorie expenditure per hour and per km cycled, so you can balance time in the saddle with stops for tea and cake. And unlike standard heart-rate monitors, the speed sensor enables the CS300 to halt recording if you stop, so it can give more accurate time, speed and distance statistics. (Away with thee, inner nerd!) Because it can be worn on the wrist like a standard heart-rate monitor, it can also be used for other sporting activities. The CS300 costs £124.50.

For stockists, call 01926 310330, or visit

Social climbing

If I asked you if you wanted to hang and chill at the weekend, you'd probably think I was trying (and failing) to sound über-cool. But as it happens, I'm referring to a climbing and yoga break in the Peak District. According to Jacqui Sread, director of Beyond Retreats (which also runs yoga/skiing and yoga/golf trips), the weekend tends to attract novice to intermediate climbers who also have an interest in yoga, rather than yogis who want to go climbing. 'The gritstone crags of the Peak District are packed with interesting, easy routes neighboured by more challenging grades, so it's perfect for beginners, people wanting to refresh old climbing skills or those with indoor experience wanting to try the real thing,' she says. The yoga element of the course helps to improve flexibility and strength. 'Yoga also teaches us to draw our focus inwards, to control our breathing and to tune into our innate reserves,' says Sread. 'Employing similar techniques in climbing allows us to master fear and channel adrenaline.' The course runs from September 15-17 and costs £325, including B&B.

For more information, call 020-7226 4044 or go to

Away from your desk

According to research commissioned by the British Chiropractic Association, 32% of us spend more than 10 hours a day sitting down, and 30% of us don't even leave our desks for lunch. Given that we are so attached to our workstations, you'd think we'd give a little more thought to how they are set up - but a quick glance around the average office would suggest not. Slumped torsos, craned necks and twisted spines abound - and that's just me. Luckily, help is at hand in the form of an assessment by Londonbased Physio At Work.'The aim of the assessment is to identify factors that could cause current or future health problems, or hamper work performance,' says director and chartered physiotherapist Bronwyn Clifford. 'This could include anything from poor posture to the design of the work area or the equipment used.' The visiting physiotherapist/ergonomist will pick apart your RSI-inducing work environment for around 45-60 minutes. The service costs £200.

For more information, call 020-7723 4700, or visit

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