Exercise and the F-word

On Tuesday morning I found myself engrossed in a conversation on ABC 702 between Wendy Harmer and Martha Lourey-Bird (Exercise Scientist), discussing family fitness (conversation here.)

So many families are embracing sedentary lifestyles these days – watching TV, playing computer games, glued to their iPhone’s – which is causing heaps of health and social issues.

It was great to hear Martha’s views about the importance involving kids when it comes to choosing activities and how to focus on the positives when it comes to exercise.

For kids/teenagers who are wired to their screens, a great idea is to head to the park and play some touch footie, cricket, soccer, hockey, netball, etc. Or another suggestion, which I thought was awesome, was to get them involved in training for an event with you. Make it a joint challenge – enter a charity event, fun run, parkrun. Not only will this give them a sense of purpose, but the training will stretch over a number of weeks, which will enable them to get into a routine.

Children are great imitators, so give them something great to imitate

The benefits of training as a family are vast – physical health, mental health and also bonding the family. If you have traditionally chosen a sedentary option over the weekend (i.e. watch sport on TV), why not make a small change and try something active – take the dog for a walk, ride your bikes around the lake, meet friends in the park for a walk. Setting positive lifestyle patterns is so important.

Our values at Beauty of Exercise is always FUN! Whatever we do, we make sure to have fun. If it’s getting up in the dark, running up hills, chasing our buddies around the lake – it’s all fun! And the key thing with having fun is to surround yourself with like-minded people to have fun with.

So, the moral of the F-word — always keep it FUN! And remember, your children become what you are… so be what you want them to be.

~ Beauty of Exercise

City2Surf 2016

Join us for the WORLD’s largest fun run – the City2Surf 2016. The legendary 14km race starts in Hyde Park, passes through the beautiful Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, and finishes at the world famous Bondi Beach. A must for your race calendar – Sunday 14 August 2016!


Our 10-week training program, starting on Sat 4 June,  is open to all abilities with the aim of getting fit, strong and ready to conquer Heartbreak Hill.
Each program is based on 3 x quality runs per week – these sessions are targeted to suit the whole group:

Tuesday 06:00-07:00am
Low intensity base run to build a solid cardio fitness base.
Thursday 06:00-07:00am
Mixture of strength and power intervals, incorporating hills – to build speed and power.
Saturday 10:00-11:00am
Endurance run, focusing on building up the distance so that we can comfortably complete the 14km course.

What is included?

  • Periodised 10-week training plan based on achieving your 14km distance
  • Individual training program delivered via Training Peaks
  • Face-to-face coached group session for three quality runs (speed, strength and endurance)
  • Analysis and feedback on training data
  • Goal setting
  • Mental skills and strategies
  • Race nutrition and recovery
  • Race tactics and guidance
  • Race weekend logistics
  • Motivational support
  • Access to private Facebook page
  • Membership of a like-minded Community
  • Discounted BEXI race singlet

What is cost of the training program?

  • 14km Race-FIT Package – 2 x $150 ($300)

What is excluded?

  • Race entry fee
  • Travel & logistics

Be part of this iconic race – register to train with us today! 

Let running become your ‘happy pill’

Running MentalI have been a runner for many years. It has helped me through many ups and downs. Relationship break-ups, moving countries, losing my job, making friends… and then meeting my gorgeous husband (luckily a runner too!).

Running has given me the opportunity to manage the huge number of stresses in my life and allow me to feel confident about myself. So when I hear of people embracing running as their ‘happy pill’, I truly get it!  The psychological benefits far outweigh the physical benefits of running. Which is why so many women are lacing up their trainers and hitting the paths/trails.

With so many mental and physical benefits, let running become YOUR happy pill.

Top 5 health benefits of running
  • Maintain healthy weight
  • Strengthen muscles, ligaments and joints
  • Prevents heart disease, stroke and diabetes
  • Builds strong bones – decreasing risk of osteoarthritis
  • Lowers blood pressure, raises good cholesterol, boosts immunity system
Top 5 psychological benefits of running
  • Controls depression
  • Manages stress
  • Improves self-esteem
  • Manages fatigue
  • Achievement of achieving a goal

I was never ‘taught’ to run in my early years. In fact, I was a firm believer that you could not change your running style. I was SO wrong! 360 degree turn later, I can now confidently say that running can indeed be taught. Once you have the tools and knowledge, you can embrace proper running technique. And so begins your love affair for running.

What is covered in our 5km-FIT learn-to-run program?
–  Assumes a low fitness base
–  Progresses slowly and steadily
–  Alternates between walking and running
–  Focuses on correct technique – running style
–  7-10-week structured program
–  Supportive private on-line community
–  Explore important topics relating to running, i.e. shoes, safety, injuries, more

Running shows the mind who’s boss.

If you’ve ever thought about running, let this be your sign. We would like to invite you to join us for a FREE taster session to show you the benefits of running.  We have had over 100+ women complete our learn-to-run program and who are now running on a regular basis. Some have even gone on to run half-marathons and marathons. This could be you.

Are you ready to take the next step?

Click here to register for our FREE taster session 

~ Debbie Solms | 
Beauty of Exercise

Get Hatched or go Bad!

We’ve had a booming start to 2016 – and pretty soon our first term is going to be over. Boom, just like that! Which is why the topic of our blog is so timely.


“We cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.”


What does this mean?

In order to progress, we need to change.  We all love our day-to-day routines – wake up,cup of tea, breakfast, kids to school, head to work… etc. But if we all lived our lives following the same status quo… well, guess what?! We are going to get what we’ve always gotten – fact!

My story

Heading into 2016, my life was pretty hectic. Running a business, prioritising family, moving house (stress!), focusing on health/fitness… the list was endless. Whilst I was trying to advocate a balanced lifestyle… I was the one running ragged. My head was deep underground (or Facebook rather) and the important things in life were passing me by. I needed to take control and make some changes.

Affecting change

Change is hard! Especially when it comes to taking a step back from something that you have loved and nurtured for over 5yrs. Our BEXI community means the world to me – it is my second-family. I have forged some incredibly deep and meaningful friendships. But I knew that I needed to take a step back in order to progress forward.

Running is my passion – I live it, I breathe it, I love it!  This is going to be my main focus moving forward. Coaching beginner runners; athletes training for half-marathons/marathons/ultras; and writing on-line programs for those who have their own personal goals.

Triathlon is my other passion – there is something really special about this sport. I am going to be partnering with recognised coaches to coach beginner triathletes – Sarah Anne Evans & Sue Bennett. Building confidence across the three disciplines (swim, bike, run), progressing to sprint/olympic and eventually long course distances. We will also be writing on-line programs for those who have their own personal goals.

Strength & conditioning classes are the key change. These classes will be relocated to our partner, Active Lifestyles, Collaroy. Marcel Soares is a recognised Holistic Coach & Exercise Specialist. He has a wealth of experience, particularly with athletes recovering from injuries. I feel truly confident that my BEXI athletes will be extremely well cared for by Marcel and his team.

What next?

Our Summer term comes to an end this Friday (8 April), we will have a short break over the school holidays and then reconvene on Tues 26 April for our Autumn term. In the meantime, our Race-FIT and Tri-FIT athletes will continue training for their upcoming races. On Sunday we will be cheering our BEXI runners taking on the Canberra Half-Marathon — go team!

On signing off, I want to say a heartfelt thanks for all your support over the past 5yrs. I’m feeling energised and excited about the upcoming new term and look forward to supporting you little by little, until a little becomes A LOT!

~ Debbie Solms ✘
   Beauty of Exercise



parkrunSun RunSwim


Holistic Life

As I get older…or rather… wiser, I have begun to understand the true benefits of leading a holistic life.  A life that nourishes both the body and mind.

In my earlier years, life was all about training, racing, competing, pushing hard… and striving for the podium. Don’t get me wrong, it had its benefits.  But, in this day and age – life is full-on and in the fast lane! Trying to achieve too much, push too hard, please everyone… when in fact, we need to slow down and do the things that are important to us.

I’ve started this ‘holistic’ journey – and still have a long way to go. Yoga has become a regular practice for me – I love my Yin Yoga practice. This is my time to relax and recharge — in fact, I get excited when my yoga days come around.

I have embarked on a 6-week meditation program to help me slow my mind and show me how to live in the present moment. One of the key lessons I have learnt on this meditation program is to become aware of your breath in any situation. This will instantly bring you into the present moment. While you’re driving, sitting at your work desk, or talking to someone – take in a few deep breaths, become aware of your breathing, and you will then become aware of the present moment and of the situation you are in.

Being aware of your breathing doesn’t put you into a trance – it simply makes you more aware of life itself. Things slow down, your mind becomes clearer, you feel calmer, you relax… suddenly life doesn’t feel too challenging. This is the beauty of meditation…


Slowing down, aligning, balancing, nourishing, achieving. If like me you have started to feel overwhelmed by life – try embracing meditation. Download an app (Headspace, Buddhify, Giant Mind… lots of others) and start embracing a life that will improve your health and wellbeing. All you need is a few mins each day.


Debbie Solms
Founder Beauty of Exercise

Australian Running Festival 2016

Our first coached program of the 2016 season is the Australian Running Festival in Canberra on 9th-10th April 2016.  We love this race – Canberra offers cooler temps, autumnal colours, iconic buildings, great atmosphere and an awesome course.


We’ve planned three training programs for this event:

Distance Program Duration # Coached Sessions Starts
42km | 50km 16 weeks 32 sessions 19 December 2015
21km 12 weeks 24 sessions 16 January 2016
10km 10 weeks 20 sessions 30 January 2016


Our programs are prepared in blocks and provided via Training Peaks. This allows us to provide individual plans that best suits your needs and goals, as well as giving us the feedback and analysis tools we need. You will be able to log your workouts, analyse your pace, heart rate, power and other useful performance data.

Each program will be based on 3 x quality runs per week and 2 x cross-training sessions. We will meet twice p/week to train as a team – endurance run (Sat) and interval training (Tue). The additional tempo run will be done at a time that is convenient to you.  All our training is done in a friendly, supportive and encouraging environment.

What is included?

  • Periodised training plan based on your distance (10-16 weeks)
  • Face-to-face coached group session for two quality runs (endurance run and intervals)
  • Analysis and feedback on training data
  • Goal setting
  • Mental skills and strategies
  • Race nutrition and recovery
  • Race tactics and guidance
  • Race weekend logistics
  • Motivational support
  • Access to private Facebook page
  • Membership of a like-minded Community
  • Discounted BEXI race singlet

What is excluded?

  • Race entry fee
  • Travel, accommodation and meals

What is cost?

Program Cost
10km Race-FIT $300
21km Race-FIT $340
42-50km Race-FIT $370
Race-FIT participants can upgrade to our Unlimited 2 Term package to benefit from additional discounts.
Total cost can be split into 2-3 x monthly instalments.

Register today – I can and I will! 

Canberra Marathon

Explore Meditation

Meditation offers us a simple and effective channel to help regain and maintain our balance and reduce our stress levels.

Our 6-week program will provide you with the techniques to enable you to embrace a meditative state. You will gain an overview of the different approaches to meditation; discover which type of meditation best suits your needs and how different techniques can be useful at different times. At the end of the 6-weeks, you will leave the course with all the tools you need for your own daily meditation practice.

Benefits of Meditation

  • Helps regain balance in our lives
  • Reduces stress levels
  • Develops self-acceptance
  • Improves concentration
  • Develops confidence
  • Bolsters our immune system
  • Brings us closer to the people we care about

When does the program start?

Tues 09 February 2016
Narrabeen Beach SLSC

What is the cost of the program?

$140 for the 6-week period
Group size restricted to 15 participants

Our program is delivered by the fabulous Macarena Astrain. Maca loves to empower people reach their full potential through energetic work and meditation.

Reserve your place today!

2015 BEXI Achievers

Congratulations to the following BEXI athletes who achieved some amazing successes in 2015. We’re all incredibly proud of you!

Overall Achievers 2015

Kelly Therkelsen Biggest Achiever 2015 Melbourne Marathon – Trained on her own. Never missed a session. Always delivered on her training program. Adopted a super-healthy mealplan. Great attutide, believed in herself. Committed to change her bad habits. Transformed and blossomed in front of our eyes!
Melanie Spong Best Transformation Embraced a totally new way of life – lost lots of weight, transformed her life, attends parkrun regularly, initiates meet-ups for running, joins others for training runs (often very early!)
Katie Jacka Best Beginner Runner  Committed, enthusiastic, embraced running, progressed to intervals, now has sights on half-marathon, involved family in parkrun
Inger DeOliviera Most Races in a year  Busy mum, commits to training, very reliable, always there, focuses on races, keen to try new events
Paul Rainbow BEXI Champ  Always there, planning events, taking photos, very reliable, social organiser, motivates people, inspires people, swims with B&B, manages parkrun, embraces our BEXI community
Kelly Therkelsen November Challenge  Hands-down the one person who has totally embraced this challenge. Trying new recipes, creating new combos, converting her whole family into healthy eating, restocked entire kitched with wholefood ingredients, managed to produce winning family meals, often on a budget (big winner!), embraced the exercise programs, Strength-FIT (with kids), Friday run club. Her body has changed shape in front of our eyes – she looks fitter, healthier and absolutely gorgeous. Kelly has inspired so many – to eat healthy, to run a marathon, to achieve goals. Well done Kelly – we’re so proud of you!
Liza Dukino BEXI Chief Motivator  Always puts BEXI first, lives and breathes BEXI, supports every event, comes to training regularly (despite living miles away), best refreshment stations ever, organises events for us, ensure everyone is looked after, motivates/inspires team, lives BEXI values, wears heart on sleeve, our BEXI Superstar!

Specific Event Achievers 2015

Kristin Prescott Sydney Coastrek 2015 Leading the team, organising the training, managing the logistics, motivating the team, drumming up support, flying the flag
Belinda Gremmo |
Steve Crosby
Canberra Marathon 2015 Total commitment to training. Great camaraderie/support. Ran together on race day – crossed the line together in 3:58. Awesome time for first marathon!
Amanda Green Canberra Half-Marathon 2015 100% Commitment. Trained with fast runner, pushed hard in every session. Totally delivered at every training session and then on race day – 1:44 for first half-marathon.
Jonathan Green Gold Coast Half-Marathon 2015 100% Commitment. Made training a priority in business work-life. Well supported by wife, Amanda. Attended every session. Completed homework runat 5am before heading to work. Achieved goal of  1:58!  Despite having the sub-2hr pacer run past him 🙂
Suzanne Elliott Gold Coast 10km 2015 Puts a lot of effort into training – when she gets there! Busy mum, high flying executive. First BEXI runner to achieve a negative split at a race – 28:32 | 28:21. Awesome!
Inger DeOliviera Oxfam 100km Big dreamer! Never phased by the enormity of huge events. Always willing to try new things. Total commitment, despite having 2 very young kids AND a job that requires LONG hours. You will find her pounding the streets at 4am, just to get her run done.
Inger completed a huge number of races this year – Canberra Half, Coastal Classic, Oxfam 100km, City2Surf, Gold Coast Half, Melbourne Half!!!
Tiffany Crosby |
Katja Wong |
Cass Warner
Ironman Sunshine Coast 2015  Total commitment to training. Focused at every session. Always kept their eye on the end goal. Never faulted. Great camaraderie – always supporting each other. Special mention to Cass who had to pull out due to injury. Very gracious right to the end, supportive and believed in her buddies. There on race day to cheer her buddies for 6-7hrs.
Felicity Douglas  Blackmores Half-Marathon 2015 Tough year. Lots going on with family, work, business. Always remained focused on her health. Encouraged by her BEXI friends around her. Set goals and always delivered. Has inpsired so many! Including her family! Hubby ran Gold Coast Half Marathon with her. Kids regularly join her with fun runs – Bridge Run, Pub Run, Mudge Festival, MS Fun Run, Santa Dash, etc. That alone should bankrupt the family!! Outstanding role model for BEXI community and the wider Northern Beaches community.
Kelly Therkelsen Melbourne Marathon 2015  Trained on her own. Never missed a session. Always delivered on her training program. Adopted a super-healthy mealplan. Great attutide, believed in herself. Committed to change her bad habits. Transformed and blossomed in front of our eyes!
Peita Hillman |
Sam Brown |
Nicole Tognetti
 Pinkie Triathlon 2015  Having the courage to push themselves beyond their comfort levels. Trying a new sport. Feeling the fear and then doing it. Never letting the fear get in the way of making the start line and achieving success. Very well done!
Michelle Savage New York Marathon 2015 Keeping her eyes on the prize. Never doubting that she would make the start line. Never doubting that she would finish! Always believing that she would come back home with a huge medal… and all the stories to share.
Katie Jacka |
Melanie Spong
5km-FIT Beginners These two ladies have been hugely inspirational. They joinined our beginners learn-to-run program in Term3 (winter) and formed a great friendship – supporting each other each week, meeting up for training runs, cheering each other at parkrun, encouraging each other to enter different races, committing to join our Run-FIT training.
Melanie for joining those training for Blackmores Half-Marathon — meeting at 5.45am. Joining regular Friday run club, etc.

Achieve8Achieve 5



Achieve 7





Jump-into-January 2016

Beat the post-Christmas holiday sluggish slump!

Know that feeling of ‘over-indulging goodness’ of the festive season?  Sluggish, unfit, unhealthy and unmotivated?

Join us for our 30-day ‘Jump-into-January’ challenge and we’ll help you jump-OUT of your bad holiday habits and jump-IN to your new healthy habits. We’ll boost your health, fitness and energy levels – leaving you feeling ready to embrace 2016!

What will you get when you sign up?

  • 30-days of deliciously, healthy, family-friendly meal plans
  • 30-days of fabulous, fun exercise challenges – for all fitness-levels
  • 30-days of health tips to energize you in 2016
  • 30-days of amazing support to keep you accountable
  • Weekly access to our group exercise classes
  • Weekly video interviews of members sharing their top healthy tips
  • Weekly adventurous wildcard challenges that will encourage you to try new activities
  • Weekly motivational intentions to inspire you
  • Prizes for those who achieve success along the way
  • Much more…

Who is this program for?

  • anyone who would like to beat the bad holiday habits
  • anyone who would like to create new healthy habits
  • anyone who would like to lose weight
  • anyone who would like some motivation to get started
  • anyone who would like be held accountable
  • anyone looking for support from a small group of amazing individuals

How does it work?

Each week you will be receive a link to a program of activities for the week. The program will include meal plans, recipes, workouts, motivational intentions, wildcard challenges, healthy tips, video interviews and much more. You will also have access to a private supportive on-line community who will support you every step along the way.

Group training sessions are as follows:

  • Mon 9.30-10.30am
  • Thurs 6-7am

How much does it cost?

$80 (normal value $300) – jump-on-it-now!

FREE for BEXI members who have registered for our Unlimited 1 or Unlimited 2 Term training packages.

What next?

Jump-into-January 2016 – register today!

» Full list of 2016 training programs

Ouch… my back hurts!

I hear this all too often. What starts off as a dull ache, then soon becomes an accepted part of our day-to-day lifestyles… until finally the pain becomes unbearable. This should never be the case!

Our backs are one of the most important components of the human body. So when I hear of clients who are struggling with back pain, I really want to stress the importance of looking after our bodies – hence today’s blog.

What are the main causes of lower back pain?

  • Daily lifestyles – picking up kids, moving heavy objects, physical labour (lifting, pushing, pulling, etc.)
  • Sedentary lifestyle – lack of movement to strengthen & nourish the spine, soft tissues and ligaments
  • Poor posture – slouching in a chair over-stretches the spinal ligaments
  • Stress – poor sleep, diet and little exercise causes muscle tightness
  • Poor training techniques – performing exercises incorrectly will affect your lower back

By the time we reach middle age (40yr+), our bone strength, muscle elasticity and muscle tone have started to decline. The discs in our spine become drier and less flexible, making them less able to cushion our vertebrae. Which makes it all the more important to take greater care of our backs and nourish their wellbeing.

How should we relieve our lower back pain?

  • Prevention – by avoiding placing undue pressure/weight on our backs
  • Regular exercise – to strengthen and nourish our spine, soft tissues and ligaments
  • Foam rolling – our thoracic spine, glutes, hamstrings (avoid lower back)
  • Pilates/yoga – to improve strength, flexibility and suppleness

I’ve included a few simple stretches and strength-building moves designed to support your back and help relieve pain. These exercises should be part of a regular program to help strengthen our backs. We’ve got one body and a whole lot of living to do — let’s look after ourselves.

Nurture, nourish, exercise and strengthen our bodies – it will love you for a very long time.

Debbie Solms
Run Coach | Personal Trainer

Lower Back Exercises and Stretches

Spinal twist Hip Flexor Knee to chest
Plank Cobra Back Exercises