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Waff is a revolutionary fitness system that focuses on balance, posture and core coordination to deliver a whole body workout, with a difference. I recently caught up with Anne-Sophie Chapoton who has brought the Waff concept to Australia.
What is Waff Fitness?
Focusing on balance, core, posture, coordination and relaxation, Waff can be best described as ‘exercise on a waterbed’. Fun and effective, it is a perfectly balanced physical, mental and emotional workout.
Low-impact and adjustable to different fitness levels thanks to the mini, medium and max Waff designs, the Waff is an approachable workout incorporating exercises from Pilates, yoga and physiotherapy-driven functional movements. Waff is at the crossroads of what we like to call ‘soft fitness’.
The concept is warm and cheery and you can really have a laugh at yourself when it comes to balance activities but there is no zoning out, it demands total body awareness and focus. And that’s where your physical, mental and emotional workout comes from.
How did you find out about Waff?
I was a Waff user at first in France when I was training for heptathlon events. My coach was using the Waff with us from training to recovery and rehabilitation. I then got lucky and got involved as a model in video demonstration exercises and I slowly saw Waff growing and reaching Europe, Canada and the US, and in moving to Australia I saw a unique opportunity to bring it here.
What are the health benefits to using a Waff over other exercise equipment?
It’s fun and the cardiovascular benefits of the workout are superb and also for the core-based, balance challenge that the Waff provides.
Waff increases sensory input by introducing permanent unsteadiness so the user must constantly recruit deep stabilising muscles of the pelvis and spine just to stand on the Waff. Taking it further, adding core-based exercises on the Waff will enhance the recruitment of such muscles. The Waff will not only provide immediate feedback about the unstable pelvis or limbs, it will also provide more of a challenge. The participant will be firing more stabilisers to maintain the stability on the unstable board, thus making the exercise more challenging.
Another advantage is that the Waff is an ergonomic cushion. No matter what position a person may be in the Waff has been adapted to the form, shape and size of the human body. So it adapts to the user independently of his/her age, morphology, fitness level, and disperses pressures away from the weight bearing points (joints) that can generate disorder or pain (arthritis will not stop your ability to maintain your physical condition).
What advice can you give people looking to get into a new exercise regime?
Take it slowly and don’t be overwhelmed. It takes time for your brain to create and store new internal blue print of the newly learned sensation that will help you to move more efficiently and safely.
Is this exercise suitable for post natal or pregnant women?
Yes absolutely. Although I do recommend you follow a specific Waff pregnancy class or start with one on one sessions to individualise the exercises according to your specific need.
What are the 3 things that you do in your day to stay healthy and active?
The first thing I do every day when I wake up is going for a walk, a run or some exercises. This is, for me, the best way to kick off the day in the right way. Some of my clients were not confident at the start but 100% of them are now admitting that their energy levels are much higher since they became active early birds.
I also have to admit that being French, I love my food. So I try to cook everyday so I know exactly what I feed my body with and most importantly I always take my time to eat! No eating on the rush otherwise I know that around 4pm I will feel hungry and be tempted to snack.
The last one I would say is going to bed at a fixed time every day and have a bedtime ritual. By doing so my body naturally starts to slow down and is ready to sleep. I make sure that past a certain time, some emails can wait 6 or 7 hours and be sent in the morning.
You have some good partnerships with other local businesses – what can they bring to your Waff clients?
Yes we have a really good partners in the inner west such as Boobs on the Run, iMove Physio, Running Science just to mention a few. To be honest, I don’t like to pretend to know everything. If a client has an injury, I am not a doctor, so relying on a health professional advice is number one priority. But also, I am quite specialised in what I do, and I don’t preach the “you only need to do what I do to be healthy”. I think mixing things up is best for your body, which is why being able to refer people to other great exercise professionals is offers my clients the very best service.
Favourite spots in the Inner West?
This is a hard question as there are so many beautiful spots. But I have to admit that the little beach down at Birchgrove Oval with the view to the Harbour Bridge is one of my favourite spots. I just find this view so calming.
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