Finished with those old trainers? Don't chuck them out! Nike wants to recycle them. A pilot scheme in London and Manchester enables you to deposit clapped-out trainers (of any brand, too) at Nike Town, Oxford Circus, London, the Nike factory stores at Salford Quays and Cheshire Oaks, and at Manchester United Football Club (match days only). They will then be spirited away and broken down into a substance called Nike Grind, which will be used to make sports courts and tracks. The scheme is set to go nationwide next year.
On the right track
It may not take a rocket scientist to tell you that listening to the Rocky theme, The Eye Of The Tiger, while running on a treadmill would be more motivating than jogging along to, say, James Blunt's Beautiful, but it does take a psychologist to prove it. Recent research from Brunel University reveals that listening to the right kind of music could enhance your sporting performance no end - helping you go on for up to 20% longer, sharpening your focus, diverting your mind from feeling fatigued, and improving your chances of sticking with exercise long-term. Tempo, not genre, is the crucial thing, apparently - ideally, the beat should be synchronised to your workout pace.
I admit, I was primed to scoff at Figure Fit - and you can't blame me. You exercise lying down, and in a pair of socks, for chrissakes. How hard can it be? The answer is, surprisingly hard. The one-to-one sessions take place in special see-through 'pods' that are heated precisely to human body temperature (37C) and equipped with pulleys and straps - it's like Alien 3 meets Pilates. Thankfully, you get to recover afterwards with 15 minutes in an 'ozone cabin'. While that all sounds a bit outlandish, it's utterly everyday in its birthplace, Italy (where there are 250 centres), as well as in many other European countries. The workout itself is sound enough - using low-intensity, high-repetition exercises to improve endurance, strength and tone in specific muscle groups - but perhaps the greatest benefit is the undivided attention you get during the workout, ensuring your technique is spot-on. That, and the fact that you can work out in bedsocks. Figure Fit costs £34-£52 per session, depending on how many you buy; it's for women only. For a free consultation call 020-7352 9352 (figurefit.co.uk).
One not to watch
Dame Kelly Holmes knows a thing or two about fitness, so it's no surprise that she's releasing a DVD that will tell us all how to do it properly. But I'd wager that she didn't get those washboard abs and streamlined thighs from this particular workout. After a few warm-ups and a laborious stretch routine - halfway through which I lost the will to live - the circuit session itself lasted about eight minutes, which isn't long enough even to burn off a finger of Kit-Kat. There is no instruction or option to repeat it a number of times, though Dame Kelly does give tips on walking and running for fitness (which you can't exactly do in your front room). In fact, a lot of the information on the DVD - such as the stuff about choosing footwear, what to eat, what equipment to use - would have been more suited to a book. It's not wrong, it's just dull. Kelly Holmes - First Steps To Fitness DVD is released on Boxing Day (£17.99, Warner Vision).