*Prices are per person based on twin share accommodation, low season. Prices, itineraries and inclusions are correct as of 16 Feb 2018 but subject to change without notice. Standard booking conditions apply as per Intrepid website www.intrepidtravel.com
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be challenged. Be intrepid. Some people take holidays to relax, put their feet up and take a well-earned rest. But youâ€™re not some people. Challenge yourself to an Intrepid Cycling or Active trip, and come back in better shape than before you left.
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On the cover
24 Say what?! This tiny word will upgrade your life 48 Score your best. body. ever! The hot workout you have to try 52 Why your booty needs a wake-up call Yep, sleepy butt syndrome is a thing 60 Pedal perks Get strong and sculpted on your bike 70 Win! A cycling holiday in Bali 92 Carbs, decoded How much you really need on your plate 94 Healthy Easter treats 98 20 game-changing beauty hacks Expert tips to try 4
IN FORM & ON POINT.
Keep your form in check and your outfit on point in new season compression from SKINS. Available now at theiconic.com.au or on skins.net
Quick hits The latest health news and trends at your fingertips 24 The power of no And how to say it 26 How to stay balanced at Easter We asked the WF experts for their tips
30 Recharge your emotions Turns out energy is more than just physical 32 For the win Competitive much? Find out how it can be good for you 34 What’s your #lifemotto? Australia’s highest-ranked female boxer shares 35 Month of mantras Mini hits of inspo
72 Sunny side up Sally Fitzgibbons has a menu with plenty of summer vibes 78 Bite club The latest fun foodie finds 80 The breakfast club AM treats from The Wholesome Cook 84 Shrink your waste Fridge goals and nutrition gains right here 86 Just add water We pay homage to the humble cuppa 90 Carefree cooking Easy-as recipes from The Zero F*cks Cookbook 92 Get carb savvy Love them or leave them? Behold the expert advice 94 A sweeter Easter Hot cross buns your bod will actually thank you for
38 Blast off! Add this fat-burning workout to your Easter plans 42 At a stretch Insider info on why skipping that cool-down is a no-no 44 All-over toner Challenge your bod from tip to toe with this sweet move 46 Can you kick it? We know girls run the world, now here’s how to rule the footy field, too 48 Pilates, upgraded Enter your highperformance mat work makeover 52 Reboot your glutes Sleepy butt syndrome is an actual thing. Find out how to avoid it for good 54 Glute gains Get a firm behind 58 Back on track Broken up with your trainers? Recover your running mojo
60 Enjoy the ride We bust some of the biggest bike-related myths around 62 Go your own way Here’s the wheels and ride style for every type of girl 64 Upcycle All of the smart cycling tips, from a stronger ride to a comfier seat 66 Pedal power Want to smash your next ride? Try this weighty workout 68 Slick kit What to wear on wheels – coz looking good = pedalling faster 69 6 weeks to race ready Got an event coming up? Try this long-ride plan
98 Best-ever beauty secrets We asked the pros to spill their best tips 102 Gym bag heroes From gloving up to yoga class, consider your look sorted 106 Brow wow Get yours on fleek 110 Style files New prettifying products
114 High-flying fitness We round up the hotel gyms worth flying for 119 On the move Inspo for your next trip 120 Stay golden Where to eat, stay, play and more on the Gold Coast 122 Moving mountains Biking through Tassie’s incredible Blue Derby Trails
126 Decode your dreams Snooze secrets 128 The lowdown on reiki Feel amazing just from lying down? We’re in!
Ed’s letter Trending now The hottest stories on womensfitness.com.au 14 Cover girl Renae Ayris talks fitness 96 Subscribe Get WF and save! 124 Next month Mark it in your diary 130 Fit-girl hacks Skill up for your ride
Photography Trent van der Jagt Art direction Brooke Lyons Styling Jess Pecoraro Hair & Make-up Sarah Damichi/DLM Model Renae Ayris Renae wears Nimble activewear crop top, $69, and top, $59, nimbleactivewear.com; Lorna Jane shorts, $68.99, lornajane.com.au; Kmart Holland Vintage Cruiser Bike, $149, kmart.com.au
CHILL OUT YOUR OWN WAY
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+3.0 tonne braked towing capacity when fitted with an optional genuine Isuzu UTE tow bar kit. ^5 years/130,000km whichever occurs first, for eligible customers. Excludes accessories. >The Capped Price Servicing Program (“CPS Program”) applies to Eligible Vehicles with a Warranty Start Date on or after 1/1/15 at Participating Isuzu UTE Dealers only. The 5 years Capped Price Servicing covers the first 5 Scheduled Services for 16.5MY and later vehicle models for up to 5 years/50,000km (whichever occurs first). CPS Program is subject to change. For full terms & conditions and current pricing visit isuzuute.com.au/service-plus.
Expert panel Meet the pros lending their expertise to our pages...
What makes you feel super fit? “Nailing crow pose – if I can hold that balance, I can do anything !”
EDITOR Penny Carroll
“Finishing a run – even if it’s only 15 mins. Runner’s hig h is a thing !”
DESIGNER Cynthia Lau
“A killer workout with the BUF girls”
FASHION EDITOR “New gym clothes! Jess Pecoraro I mig ht not physically be fitter, BEAUTY WRITER Constantina Demos but I do feel fitter” DIGITAL CONTENT MANAGER
“When I’m not quite as breathless as I usually am after a g narly PT session”
DIGITAL COORDINATOR Tess Mol
Kate Wood chiropractor
Dr Claudia Lee general practitioner
Brad McIntosh physiotherapist
“I have leopard print tig hts. I’m basically Beyoncé”
ART DIRECTOR Brooke Lyons
SUBEDITOR Rebecca Hanley
Libby Babet personal trainer
Caitlin Reid dietitian
Belinda Kirkpatrick naturopath
Blake Worrall-Thompson PT and wellness coach
Kate Kendall yoga instructor
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“Getting back into running”
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Women’s Fitness is published by Citrus Media, Level 2, 59 Buckingham St, Surry Hills NSW 2010 under licence from Dennis Publishing Limited. All rights in the title of this magazine belong to Dennis Publishing Limited absolutely and the title of this magazine may not be reproduced, whether in whole or in part, without its prior written consent. Certain content used in this magazine belongs to Dennis Publishing Limited and is used under licence. © Citrus Media. All rights reserved. Printed by Bluestar Web, 83 Derby St, Silverwater NSW 2128. Distributed by Gordon and Gotch in Australia and New Zealand. Price in Australia $6.95; price in New Zealand $7.99 (inc GST). All prices quoted in Women’s Fitness include GST and are approximate and in Australian dollars unless otherwise stated. Citrus Media accepts no responsibility for damage or loss of material submitted for publication. Please keep duplicates of text and illustrative material. For all subscription enquiries, visit subscribe.womensfi tness.com.au; email email@example.com; or phone (02) 8227 6486 between 8am and 6pm (AEDT) Monday to Friday. Correspondence should be addressed to: Women’s Fitness, PO Box 161, Hornsby NSW 1630.
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CONTRIBUTORS Sam Bailey, Sabrina Rogers-Anderson, Carmel Sparke
Available now where all good books are sold
Ed’s LETTER Introducing Mary Hoang
Go for it!
‘sporty’ – but hey, there I was, running out in my footy boots on Saturday afternoons, part of a team of cool and super-athletic women. It made me recalibrate my sense of self, and that felt good. See what I mean about comfort zones? They’re at their best when you’re outside looking back in. On that note, this issue is full of encouragement to switch off cruise control. Whether it’s joining a footy team (head to page 46 to find out more), dusting off your old mountain bike for an adventure (check out the cycling special from page 60), or getting confident with saying no (you’ll find our guide on page 24), there’s plenty of inspo to get you out of your comfort zone this month. The best bit? You might just meet an exciting new you on the other side. Enjoy the issue!
“A couple of mornings a week you can find me at the pool, swimming laps bright and early. I love the feeling of gliding through the water – it gets me into my body, out of my head, and grounded for my day. It’s such a gentle, soothing exercise, like a moving meditation.”
HOW DO YOU DO SELF-CARE?
“My life is pretty full-on juggling The Indigo Project, seeing clients and teaching, so I use the power of music to help me relax, contemplate and reflect. My other go-to self-care strategy is immersing myself in the kitchen and cooking up a storm!”
WHAT WORDS DO YOU LIVE BY?
Penny Carroll, Editor Follow me: penny.carroll Follow WF: womensfitnessmag
rts? Drop us a line on pe ex F W e th of e on Got a question for firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get it answered! 10
WHAT’S YOUR WORKOUT FLAVOUR?
“‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’. The reality and magic of life are only to be found through having experiences and as humans we can be afraid of feeling emotions and making mistakes. I encourage myself to face challenging situations and feelings in the knowledge that it builds my character, and opens me up to the beauty of being human.”
PHOTOGRAPHY TRENT VAN DER JAGT
LET’S TALK ABOUT COMFORT ZONES. More specifically, wriggling out of them. At the risk of sounding like an Insta meme, I’m a big believer that the juiciest parts of life are waiting outside your own idea of “I’ve got this”. It’s the reason I keep going back to hip hop dance classes, and it’s absolutely what motivated me to sign up to my local AFL team last year. I’d never played footy before, and apart from the odd game of school netball, I didn’t really do team sports as a kid. So, diving head-first into a full-contact sport with a bunch of complete strangers was beyond intimidating for me. And – spoiler alert – this story doesn’t end like one of those Disney movies where the complete klutz morphs into a goal-kicking star. Turns out I kinda suck at footy. But! I kept trying, I slowly improved, and I never regretted that snap decision to give it a go – not even when I sprained my ankle. Why? Because even though it was hard, I learnt SO much. Namely, that you can always bust a bad mood with some goal-kicking practice; that what you gain from anything is directly proportionate to what you’re willing to put in; and that surprisingly, being tackled to the ground isn’t nearly as hard to take as a football flying into your face at full speed. My biggest lightbulb moment? That it’s never too late to rewrite your story. I may have never considered myself particularly
This month we’re welcoming a new face to the WF expert panel – psychologist Mary Hoang. She’s the founder of The Indigo Project (theindigoproject.com.au), a Sydney psychology and mindfulness practice famous for its naptime classes, so obviously we’re on board with her brand of wisdom! Over to you, Mary…
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O W O N ... T RE NDING N
Let’s hang out together!
Insta friends, tag #WFLoves and #WomensFitnessMag to show us how you’re reading the issue. We’ll reward our fave snap with a prize…
PACKED WITH HEALTHY FATS AND HIGHPROTEIN GOODNESS, THIS CARAMEL SLICE IS A DESSERT YOU CAN ENJOY SANS GUILT. DON’T MISS THIS RECIPE!
Need a dose of vitamin sea? Dive into this list of weekenders guaranteed to reduce your stress levels and boost your health and wellbeing – science says so!
Congrats, @nutritionandfolk, your sweet bath set-up has won you a White Wolf Nutrition pack including Protein Powder, Energising Fat Burner and a shaker, valued at $171.97. whitewolfnutrition.com
WHY YOU NEED A WORKOUT WIFE
Everything is better with friends, including exercise. Head to our site to find out why you should buddy up for your next sweat sesh.
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WORDS TESS MOL PHOTOGRAPHY GETTY IMAGES, THINKSTOCK
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Former Miss Universe Australia Renae Ayris is a babe about town and a boss in the gym – here’s how she breaks a sweat…
Hey Renae, what do you love about a good sweat sesh? Staying fit is so important to me. It helps me not only physically, but mentally, too. I love the endorphins I get after I’ve worked out, and it’s rewarding seeing results after all my effort. What does your workout routine look like? My go-to workout is metabolic conditioning – it incorporates compound movements with as little rest as possible! It’s time-efficient and maximises results. My weekly goal is to do three to four ‘MetCons’ a week and on the other three days I like to do an hour’s power walk. But I’ll always listen to my body and I’ve learnt that it’s okay to rest when needed. How do you stay motivated to train? My main motivation comes from knowing how I feel when I’m exercising regularly – it puts me in a better headspace. But I do have days where the last thing I feel like doing is exercising. On those days I put my earphones in, blast my favourite music and go for a short walk, so at least I’ve done something. I believe consistency is the best policy!
Have you ever had a lightbulb moment about exercise? I’ve discovered I work a lot harder when I’m in a group environment. I’ve started training at a group-training gym and I find myself surrounded by fit people, which pushes me harder. Perhaps it’s the competitive side coming out in me! This month’s our cycling special, and you look pretty comfy on a bike! If you could ride anywhere in the world, where would it be? My favourite place to cycle is Rottnest Island in WA. It’s the only form of transport there and the beaches are some of the best I’ve seen.
PHOTOGRAPHY TRENT VAN DER JAGT
What makes you feel powerful? Using weights in my training helps make me feel strong and powerful. As I slowly add weight to each exercise, I notice that I’m getting stronger, not only in the gym but in my everyday life – it might be as simple as only having to make one trip from the car with groceries, instead of two.
ULTRA MARATHON (60km) GREAT OCEAN ROAD MARATHON (44km) HALF MARATHON (23km) GARMIN PARADISE RUN (14km) MIZUNO 6km RUN GREAT OCEAN ROAD REAL ESTATE KID’S GALLOP (1.5km) THE LORNE HOTEL GREAT OCEAN WALK (5km, 10km & 15km)
SATURDAY MAY 19 & SUNDAY MAY 20, 2018
LORNE AND APOLLO BAY, VIC
5 Reasons To Run The Great Ocean Road The Great Ocean Road Running Festival is one of the most scenic and stunning runs you will ever complete. Forget running around your local park or through the streets surrounding your house; get ready to experience stunning panoramic ocean views, Victorian sunny beach landscapes, and a festival of music and entertainment all in one weekend.
It’s Just You, The Road, And The Run.
Experience panoramic uninterrupted views with no tour busses or traffic in sight. This truly is Australia’s most stunning runs, winding along the Southern Ocean. When else will you get to experience a Victorian tourist destination with zero crowds or congestion? You won’t experience a more iconic Australian event.
There’s Seven Events, So There’s Something For Everyone.
Whether you’re the type to challenge yourself with a long-distance run or prefer a gentle nature walk, the festival caters to all ages and fitness abilities. It’s fun for the whole family.
Choose from the marathon or the ultramarathon. What’s an ultra-marathon? Think 60kms from Lorne all the way to Apollo Bay. With incredible views, this stunning course is unparalleled to any other around the world. Loved by tourists and Aussies alike, your next big challenge awaits.
It’s Not Just About The Run.
The event is all about family, friends, and a good time. Spanning over the 19th and 20th of May, the festival includes live music featuring a jam packed line up of musical acts, wellness sessions featuring free yoga, and even a kite festival for the kids (and the big kids at heart). Can it get any cuter?
If You’re A Serious Runner, This One’s For You.
Have A Relaxing Weekend Away In Ocean-View Accommodation.
Attend on just the Saturday or the Sunday, or stay the whole weekend in beach front accommodation. The Great Ocean Road Running Festival has put together a range of awesome travel packages and a list of accommodation locations, so the work is already done for you.
Grab your mates or the family and enjoy a memorable weekend away on the 19-20 May 2018. Find out more at:
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LiveFIT TAKE THE STAGE
WORDS SABRINA ROGERS-ANDERSON PHOTOGRAPHY GETTY IMAGES
Need an excuse to splash out on those Mama Mia! tickets? Here’s one: A study by University College London and the University of Lancaster in the UK found that going to the theatre can be as good for your heart as 28 minutes of cardio! The researchers measured 12 audience members’ heart rates at a West End performance of the musical Dreamgirls and found that they increased to between 50 and 70 per cent of their maximum for an average of 28 minutes. According to Dr Joseph Devlin, head of experimental psychology at University College London, these heart rate changes are similar to those experienced by professional tennis players “during bursts of highly intense exertion such as long and fast rallies”. That’s your workout for the day sorted!
HITS Enjoy a healthy body and mind with the latest in good living
How to bust a workout rut
Hop to it!
Treat yourself (or somebunny special) with one of these sweet Easter gifts
CLEVER BUNNY Zazzle Smart Rabbit Easter Mug, $23.40, zazzle.com.au 18
NO FILTER NEEDED Design Mondo Woodsy Rabbit Print, fr. $35, hardtofind.com.au womensfitness.com.au
SWEET TOOTH Too Faced Chocolate Bar Eye Shadow Palette, $70, mecca.com.au
Same old workout routine, same old playlist, same old… snoooore. When you’re stuck in a workout rut, every sweat sesh feels like a snooze fest and you stop seeing results. Feel like it’s time to hit refresh on your routine? Why not try a 12-week fitness challenge? According to a recent survey by the Fitness Show, 55 per cent of respondents had completed one in the past 12 months and 90 per cent of them highly recommend it. There are 12-week challenges for all fitness levels, so do an online search and pick one that feels right for you. If you struggle to stay motivated, try posting your progress on social media: 51 per cent of respondents said they post their fitness efforts online, and 44 per cent are inspired by fitness peeps they follow on social media. It pays to stay connected. @womensfitnessau
Obsessed with a new sport? There’s an app for that
Try this… Berry smoothie bowl Serves 1
You’ll need… 200g frozen berries cup Greek yoghurt cup almond milk cup oats 1 tsp honey 1 tbs each of desiccated coconut and chia seeds, to serve kiwi fruit, to serve
Place frozen berries, yoghurt, milk, oats and honey in a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer smoothie mix to a bowl and top with coconut, seeds and fruit. Serve immediately!
CYCLEMETER (free, iTunes & Google Play) Track all your stats – splits, intervals, laps and more – with what has been billed as the most advanced mobile app ever designed for cyclists. YOGA STUDIO (free, iTunes & Google Play) Access 70 yoga and meditation classes with HD video, as well as a library of over 280 poses. MYSWIMPRO (free, iTunes & Google Play) Choose from hundreds of customised swimming workouts on your phone or use your Apple Watch to automatically detect your workout.
Get up, stand up
You hit the gym five days a week, so you’re active enough… right? Erm, no. Australians sit for an average of 10 hours a day, increasing their risk of illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer. Before you ditch your desk chair, take heart: a study at the University of Western Ontario in Canada found that students who set timers and text reminders to get up from their desks had turned those cues into habits after six weeks. They took breaks from sitting once an hour on average after completing the study, whereas they previously sat for 90 minutes without interruption. Alerts, set!
The number of germs per 6cm2 on an average piece of gym equipment. Don’t forget the wipe-down! womensfitness.com.au
Sign up, show up and sweat it out at one of these coming-soon events
@erinireland Food reporter Erin Ireland will make you consider giving up meat for good with her mouth-watering snaps of delish vegan dishes.
The Fitness Marshall Love to dance? Head to The Fitness Marshall YouTube channel for a series of catchy cardio hip-hop videos created by Caleb Marshall. He’ll have you LOLing at his hilarious commentary while you work up a sweat!
TREAT YOUR EARS
Food Psych Podcast Registered dietitian and nutritionist Christy Harrison is passionate about helping people learn to love their bodies. Each episode, she speaks to leading experts in the body-positive movement for tips and insight.
Tough Mudder, Qld
The world’s best mud run is back! Round up your mates and choose between the 16km full course, the 9km half and Australia’s very first Toughest Mudder – an epic eight-hour race through the night. toughmudder.com.au
Ultra-Trail Australia, NSW
Formerly known as The North Face 100, Australia’s premier trail-running event is a 100km race with breathtaking scenery, but isn’t for the fainthearted. There are also 50km, 21.6km and stair-climbing events. ultratrailaustralia.com.au
ADD TO SHELF
Smart Girls Screw Up Too by Bella Zanesco (Wiley, $29.95) High achiever Bella Zanesco went from burnt-out business executive to world sailing champion and wellbeing strategist in three short years. The wisdom in her book will help you audit your life and make long-lasting changes.
Great Ocean Road Running Festival, Vic
Soak up spectacular views as you run along the iconic Great Ocean Road. There’s a distance for everyone: 60km, 44km, 23km, 14km, 6km, as well as 5km and 10km walks. greatoceanroadrunfest.com.au
Stadium Stomp Adelaide, SA
You can run, but can you climb 6000 steps? Put your legs (and stamina) to the test at Adelaide Oval. There’s also a 1000-step short course, or if you're especially full of beans, Stomp Unlimited where you stomp till you drop. stadiumstomp.com 20
Gold Coast Running Festival, Qld
Grab a friend or gather a group to tackle the half-marathon, 10km, 5km, 2.5km run/ walk or 1km kids’ dash on the beautiful Gold Coast, kicking off at the iconic Cbus Super Stadium. gcrunningfestival.com.au
Melbourne Coastrek, Vic
Explore the magic of the Mornington Peninsula – rugged coastline, spectacular bays, secret bush trails, historic sites – in the 30km or 60km events and complete an incredible personal challenge with your friends while raising funds to restore sight. melbourne.coastrek.com.au @womensfitnessau
Mind your weig ht What if you could lose weight without moving a muscle? Researchers at McGill University in Canada reviewed 19 studies that used mindfulness interventions for weight loss – involving either formal meditation, informal mindfulness training targeting eating habits, or a combination of both – and the results were surprising. By the end of the program, participants who had received lifestyle-change interventions based on diet and exercise had lost a greater percentage of bodyweight than the mindfulness participants. But at follow-up examinations, the mindfulness group had continued to lose weight, whereas lifestyle-change participants had re-gained some of what they’d lost. But don’t ditch your gym just yet – the researchers suggest a mix of both, adding mindfulness to lifestylechange programs.
COMPILED BY SABRINA ROGERS-ANDERSON PHOTOGRAPHY THINKSTOCK, GETTY IMAGES
Say yes to yolks
If you’ve been sticking to egg-white omelettes to boost protein and slash kJs, it’s time to throw in the yolks. University of Illinois researchers found that people who consumed 18 grams of protein from whole eggs following a resistance workout had a 40 per cent greater post-workout muscle-building response than those who ate the same amount of protein from egg whites. Plus, egg yolks are chock full of essential vitamins and minerals that aren’t found in whites. They’re one of the only naturally occurring food sources of vitamin D, which helps to build strong bones and muscles.
Stop snack attacks
Tend to overeat when the sun goes down? Reducing stress could help control your cravings. A study at Johns Hopkins University found that levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin not only rise in the evenings, they increase even more when you’re under pressure. The effect of hormones on appetite is greater for people who are prone to binge eating. If you start to feel peckish after dinner, try going for a walk, doing a short bodyweight workout or using a guided meditation app to lower your cortisol levels.
Who’s that girl?
The good news: women’s sport is taking off in Australia following last year’s successful Women’s Ashes series. The bad: one in two Aussies can’t name a current female athlete, according to recent research from the Commonwealth Bank. Yet 47 per cent of Australians are more interested in women’s sport than they were a year ago and 68 per cent think kids should be exposed to more female sporting role models. “If we had more female sporting heroes on television, young girls would be encouraged to pursue sport as hobbies or careers,” says Australian women’s cricket team all-rounder Ellyse Perry. Keep your eyes peeled for these top-ranked athletes at the upcoming Commonwealth Games, to be held on the Gold Coast from 4 to 15 April. ASHLEIGH GENTLE: The WTS secondranked triathlete has all eyes on her to bring home the gold. EMMA MCKEON: One of our most successful swimmers at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Emma will be chasing multiple medals at the Games this year with a suite of strokes in her competition kit. CHARLOTTE CASLICK: Hopes are high that star player Charlotte will lead her team to victory in the women’s rugby sevens.
What a fizzler
Do you regularly reach for an energy drink pre-mid-afternoon slump? So do nearly one in three Aussies aged 18 to 24. University of Waterloo researchers found more than half of Canadians aged 12 to 24 who had consumed energy drinks had experienced a negative health effect: 25 per cent of these 22
Chasing a PB? Read this…
Want to shave a minute off your 5K run time? Eat more red meat, chicken and beans. Scientists at Ohio State University discovered that a specially prepared blend of five common minerals and nutrients helped women drop their 5K times by almost one minute, pedal further on a stationary bike and increase their number of steps on and off a bench. Because young women generally eat less meat than men and lose important nutrients through menstruation, they often have micro-deficiencies that can have a negative effect on how cells work during exercise. So, the researchers theorised that supplementing minerals and nutrients that are commonly low would significantly improve women’s workout
had a fast heartbeat, 24 per cent had difficulty sleeping, 18 per cent had headaches, and 5 per cent had nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea. Yikes. And the one in five Aussies aged 18 to 24 who mix alcohol with energy drinks? These drinkers consume more alcohol, take more risks than straight alcohol users and are more prone to psychological distress. Try these better boosters instead…
performance – and they were right. Keen to boost your run? Try adding these foods to your diet. ■ IRON: Iron-rich foods include red meat, chicken, leafy greens and lentils. ■ COPPER: Boost your copper intake by eating shellfish, whole grains, beans, nuts and potatoes. ■ ZINC: Oysters contain more zinc than any other food. If they’re not really your thing, try red meat, chicken, beans and wholegrains. ■ CARNITINE: Derived from an amino acid, carnitine can be found in red meat, fish, poultry, milk and cheese. ■ PHOSPHATIDYLSERINE: Made up of fatty acids and amino acids, this hard-to-pronounce nutrient is in tuna, chicken, soybeans and white beans.
■ Need a mid-morning kick? Reach for a skinny latte sans sugar. ■ Try iced tea. Place two teabags in a jug and add four cups of boiling water. Remove teabags after 3-5 minutes; sweeten with honey. Stir in six cups of ice cubes until melted and add lemon slices. ■ Order vodka, lime and soda – the soda water keeps you hydrated.
THE POWER OF NO Learning to get comfy with this little word could change your life for the better
LiveFIT SAYING NO IS TOUGH. IN FACT, FOR SOME OF US, it’s damn near impossible. And there’s good reasons for that – particularly if you’re a woman. We’re raised to believe that saying no is rude and that it’ll cause trouble – which, let’s face it, is something most women aren’t exactly encouraged to do. Plenty of us have also absorbed the idea that saying no will hurt other people’s feelings or that it means we’re “difficult”. But, saying yes when we really want to say no is a mistake and one that will harm us in the long term, says psychotherapist Lesley McPherson. “Eventually, resentment will seep in,” she says, “because if we say yes when we actually mean no, we aren’t listening to our truth.” Learning to say that one little word will also give you a sense of freedom, unshakeable confidence and self-respect. Sound good? Read on for our guide to getting comfy with saying no.
KNOW YOUR WORTH
WORDS KELLY BAKER PHOTOGRAPHY GETTY IMAGES
“It’s hard to voice true feelings and advocate for yourself when you don’t believe you’re of much value,” says Karen R Koenig, author of Nice Girls Finish Fat (Simon & Schuster, $22.99). “People who feel like they’re second-class citizens tend to accept whatever they get and avoid reaching out for more. Building yourself up by speaking up and saying what you mean not only reinforces your value in your own eyes, but also encourages people to treat you respectfully.” If you’re confident and comfortable within yourself, it will be easier to say no when you want or need to. A simple way to start working on that is to pay attention to your self-talk, says Sydney counsellor Sean Parker. “Listen to what your inner voice says to you,” he recommends. “Is it kind and supportive? If not, ask yourself if that’s how you would speak to a good friend. It sounds a bit simplistic, but you have to learn to be your own best friend. Encourage and be gentle with yourself.”
If you struggle with getting out the word, then it might be helpful to rehearse at home. Life coach Simonne Lee suggests standing in front of a mirror and roleplaying. Yes, it will feel weird, but it will eventually begin to feel more natural. “Look yourself in the eye and say, ‘No’ or, ‘No, thank you’ and pause,” suggests Lee. “I’m not going to lie, it will be very uncomfortable at first, but you’ll be in the privacy of your own home so there’s no need to worry. Gradually, saying no will become more comfortable.”
Try not to apologise when you do say no, particularly if you’re opting out of a social event or even a date. A study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology found that saying sorry when you turn down a social invite can actually have the opposite effect of its intention. “Contrary to popular belief, apologies don’t soften the blow of rejections,” says Dr Gili Freedman, lead author of the study. In fact, those who are given a rejection containing an apology actually report higher feelings of hurt than those without a side of sorry. The reason for that, says Dr Freemdan, is that many of us feel that we should forgive someone when they apologise. But if they’ve just said no to an offer, we may not want to forgive them – at least, not just yet. So say no, but skip the apology. You can always do it at a later date when any intense emotions will have eased.
HAVE A GO-TO RESPONSE
If you tend to say yes when you’re put on the spot, you need a well-rehearsed phrase to fall back on. Something like, “I’d love to, but I’ll need to check my diary,” or, “I think I may have something on, so let me get back to you,” will work beautifully if you’re turning down a social invite. Explain that you’ll have a definite answer within 24 hours. This will give you enough time to consider whether you want to say yes – or a thanks, but no thanks. And if you want to say no – say it! While you’re thinking it over, try not to feel guilty. This can be hard, particularly at first, says Parker. If the guilt starts to creep in, remind yourself your decision to say no means you’re honouring your own feelings. “Tell yourself that you exist and that you matter – because you do,” he says. “Say yes to that. Say yes to you.”
Still can’t bring yourself to say the N word just yet? Practice makes perfect. Shut your eyes and imagine a situation where someone has asked you to do something that you’d rather not agree to. Then, see yourself saying no. Listen to yourself saying the word several times over. See the expression on your face; hear your voice. Imagine saying, “No, no, no.” “Try these imaginings for a week,” suggests Duke Robinson, author of Too Nice For Your Own Good (Grand Central, $19.80). “Or, for a change, visualise various situations relevant to your own experience and watch yourself saying no in each one. And then enjoy revelling in your growing self-respect,” he adds.
LISTEN TO YOUR GUT
Life changes, and fast. A variety of situations will come up on any given day and you’ll be required to pay attention to your feelings and more importantly, respect them. When you need to make a decision, ask yourself how you feel on a gut level. “It will provide you with your biggest clue,” says McPherson. You may be tempted to overthink, but try not to, she advises. “Stay with your feelings,” McPherson tips. “Be clear about what is good and right for you.”
FOCUS ON OUTCOME
Saying no with grace is a skill, but once you learn it, life will quickly change for the better. At first other people may be surprised, perhaps even a little taken aback. But, says Lee, “By learning to say no you’re respecting yourself. Other people will respond by respecting you also.”
Yes or no? Learning how to say no doesn’t mean it’s always the right answer. Sometimes, saying yes will mean a great deal to a close friend or benefit your career. On those occasions, it’s totally okay to compromise, says McPherson. “When you practise being true to yourself, your confidence will grow,” she says. “Then you will become more clear about when to say no and when to say yes. It’s okay to say yes and to compromise – just not to the complete detriment of yourself.” Refer to this handy cheat sheet when you’re feeling confused… ✓ SAY YES TO… New opportunities, like a challenging job or a spontaneous holiday. ✗ SAY NO TO… Staying in your comfort zone. ✓ SAY YES TO… Friday nights in after a big week at work. ✗ SAY NO TO… FOMO. ✓ SAY YES TO… Doing a good deed for someone you care about. ✗ SAY NO TO… Putting yourself last in line for those good deeds.
Love this? Search for more like it on womensfitness.com.au KEYWORDS: CONFIDENCE SUCCESS @womensfitnessau
E D IT T H E E X P E RT
HOW TO STAY
From chocolate overload to life overhauls, our experts are here to help you navigate Easter time
MARY HOANG, PSYCHOLOGIST
CHECK IN WITH YOU
“Easter is the first real break that many of us get after diving headfirst into the year. A lot of my clients are still just getting into the groove of 2018 at this point, and the Easter break provides a great opportunity to check in on your mental health goals. Good mental health is not just about understanding your mind and emotions, it’s looking at the whole picture: what you’re eating, how you’re moving your body, learning how to chill, as well as play. An awesome frame of mind is a 26
product of supportive relationships, indulging in a creative pursuit or learning something new, finding a way to give back or joining a community of like-minded people. Perhaps it’s time to join that mindfulness course or to see a therapist about how you can supercharge your self-care and kick ass in 2018. You don’t have to wait until life gets tough before you engage preventative measures to keep stress and anxiety at bay. More and more people are seeing psychologists to ‘level up’, ignite their potential and find meaning. Whatever you implement, know that simple changes can be super effective in managing your mental health, helping you to feel more connected and fulfilled.”
LIBBY BABET, PERSONAL TRAINER
ADD IN THE GOODNESS
“If you’re already active but worried about extra treats over Easter, try adding these two actions to your Easter fitness list. First up, on days you’re at an event or family gathering, swap one of your meals (I like breakfast) for a super-green smoothie that will help fill in any nutritional gaps from the sweet and starchy treats on offer. Here’s a quick recipe I love: Start with a glass of icy water; next, add two handfuls of washed baby spinach, plus one handful of other mixed greens (bok choy is a favourite, or kale, cucumber or collard greens), a wedge of avocado to thicken it all up, then sweeten the taste with a few small chunks of frozen fruit (pineapple, banana, berries, or mango are all great) and one scoop of protein powder – of course, I recommend our vegan, gut-friendly BUF Girls BeYOUtiful protein powder in vanilla and coconut flavour, but it’s really up to you! The second action is to take a night walk. After you finish dinner, head out for a half-hour brisk walk to boost metabolism, help digestion and burn a bit of extra energy too.”
LiveFIT KATE WOOD, CHIROPRACTOR
CAITLIN REID, DIETITIAN
MAKE A PLAN
“To stay balanced at Easter, you need to plan, plan, plan! Schedule in your training sessions and stick to them. Work out all your meals for the week of Easter as well as the week after, then spend an hour doing the grocery shopping so that your kitchen is stocked with healthy options – think vegetables, fruit, wholegrains, lean meats, fish, dairy products, nuts and seeds. Prepare a few meals in advance so you always have something to eat if you don’t feel like cooking. And enjoy your social events but when it comes to Easter eggs, hot cross buns, indulgent desserts and celebratory drinks, watch your portion size.”
KATE KENDALL, YOGA TEACHER
SAVOUR THE SWEET
“What’s the one thing most of us think about at Easter? Chocolate! So take that thing that brings you sweetness and savour it. Take a moment before eating to look at the chocolate, honour all the labour
BELINDA KIRKPATRICK, NATUROPATH
NOURISH YOUR BODY
“Life is all about balance – especially during special holidays or family occasions. I usually recommend that my clients try to choose healthy foods and lifestyle choices 80 per cent of the time. Or
that went into making it (you may even look at the label to see where it came from), smell it and then savour your first bite – really tasting the flavour and even allowing it to melt on your tongue for a bite before swallowing. A few things could happen here – a) by eating slowly and savouring you are less likely to overeat; and b) you’re way more grateful for the goodness you’re taking in.”
if they are working on a particular health issue, they might be better aiming for closer to 90 per cent. The one thing to remember is to drink plenty of water, even when you’re socialising – aim for around 30ml per kilo of bodyweight daily. If you know you’ll be enjoying a special Easter lunch or celebration with family or friends, try to drink lots of water and choose healthy foods with plenty of salads and
GET INTO GRATITUDE
“One great tip to try over Easter is to eat a meal before indulging, then enjoy every bite of chocolate you do eat with love and gratitude. If you want to take it a little further, use the time off to start a gratitude practice. Start with thanking yourself and someone else each night before you go to bed. You can simply think it, or write it down in a dedicated gratitude journal. Next level is to thank someone personally each day, week or month. This might be a phone call, text, email or even a social media post. Giving thanks raises your vibration, making you feel better. It also impacts the person you’re thanking! It’s a win-win. It doesn’t take much time to be grateful, but it can have a huge impact on your life. Give it a try, start now: I’m grateful for…”
fresh veggies in the days leading up to and after your event, and then just enjoy yourself while you’re there. If you’re trying to stay on track and not sure what foods will be offered at your event, it’s a good idea to offer to bring a fresh salad or a platter of veggie sticks with hummus or beetroot dip, to ensure you have some healthy options to enjoy and don’t get too stuck into the cheese platter!”
WORDS SABRINA ROGERS-ANDERSON PHOTOGRAPHY GETTY IMAGES
Want to crank up your brain power, fast? A quick burst of exercise is all you need. Researchers at the University of Western Ontario in Canada found that just 10 minutes of aerobic activity was enough to measurably boost parts of the brain responsible for executive function, such as decision-making, problem-solving and focus. Study participants either sat and read a magazine or did 10 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise on a stationary bike before being asked to complete an eye-movement task. Those whoâ€™d worked up a sweat had faster reaction times and their responses were more accurate â€“ with some experiencing up to a 14 per cent gain in cognitive performance! Yep, sometimes less really is more. 29
EMOTIONS Newsflash: energy isn’t just physical…
WORDS CHARLOTTE HAIGH MACNEIL, PENNY CARROLL PHOTOGRAPHY GETTY IMAGES
TIRED, DRAINED, OR STUCK WITH A CASE OF THE ‘BLAHS’? Whatever you call it, when your energy is dipping, it’s natural to start wondering whether you’re sleeping enough or eating the right foods. But you might need to look a little deeper. Research by Boston psychotherapist Mira Kirshenbaum shows that only 30 per cent of our energy is physical. The remaining 70 per cent? That comes from the way you feel. “We need complete energy – an energetic mind and heart and soul in an energetic body,” Kirshenbaum says in her book, The Emotional Energy Factor (Delacorte Press, $20). “You’re not just a body. Emotional energy is not an adrenaline filled, run-around-like-a-nut kind of energy. It’s an aliveness of the mind, a happiness of the heart, and a spirit filled with hope.” Like our physical energy, emotional energy is easily drained. “Almost anything that can cause a positive or negative emotional state can lead to emotional exhaustion if it’s unrelenting,” explains psychologist Gemma Gribb (gemmacribb. com). “Think of the five-year-old who has had such a wonderful time at her birthday party she ends the day in tears. Or the bereaved person who has experienced so much grief she feels numb.” When your energy bottoms out too often, you could experience “lack of mental clarity, poor problem-solving and low resilience,” says Cribb. “This means that we are less likely to deal optimally with any challenges that occur in our lives. We also lose our ability to fully engage and connect with our life experiences.” If you feel withdrawn or irritable in social situations, exhausted whenever you have time to yourself, and generally wired and jittery, it’s likely your emotions could womensfitnessaustralia
ThinkFIT use pepping up. And you’ll be happy to know that the more you do it, the more you’ll get. “Unlike physical energy, which runs down as we get older, emotional energy can increase the more you learn what works best for you,” says Kirshenbaum. Read on to find out how to reboot yours.
THE ENERGY DRAIN: OVERCOMMITTING YOURSELF
We all do it – pack out the diary with coffee catch-ups, meetings and favours to others. It’s great to help out the people we love and stay connected, but learning to nourish yourself is just as important.
RECHARGE IT: CHOOSE THE RIGHT KIND OF ‘ME TIME’
Yoga, meditation and walking in nature can all be highly restorative when you’re feeling stretched thin. But they’re not necessarily for everyone, says psychologist Honey Langcaster-James. “If you’re an extrovert, you get your energy from other people, so for you, being alone for too long can Shamanic healer and spiritual actually be draining,” she explains. Notice how you life coach Skie Hummingbird feel after you’ve been with recommends having regular salt a lot of people – like at a scrubs to help rid yourself of negative friend’s birthday dinner. energy and let your inner emotional If you feel excited and vitality shine through. “You can motivated, you’re probably make your own with olive oil an extrovert. If you feel tired and sea salt,” she says. and long for time alone, it’s likely you’re an introvert. Plan your downtime accordingly. Introverts will find it healing to have a night in reading and soaking in the bath; extroverts will be more restored by having friends over for a meal.
SCRUB YOUR SOUL
THE ENERGY DRAIN: DEMANDING RELATIONSHIPS
If you’re surrounded by energy sappers, you’ll feel tired and overwhelmed a lot of the time. You can spot someone who’s a drain on you by noticing how you behave with them – if you can’t be your authentic self, that’s a bad sign, says LangcasterJames. You might feel like you need to “walk on eggshells” to avoid conflict, adds Cribb. “Unhelpful relationships are often the culprits for draining our emotional reserves,” she says. “These are one-sided relationships when you are helping or giving to someone who is not giving you anything back; being around people who are always negative, complaining, blaming or critical; and high-conflict or unpredictable relationships
where you feel you always need to be ‘on guard’ to defend yourself.”
RECHARGE IT: SET SOME HEALTHY BOUNDARIES
Of course, you can’t always avoid energy sappers – you might have to work with them, or they may be family members. But you can build boundaries to protect your emotional energy. “Having healthy boundaries is essential to maintaining our emotional energy,” says Cribb. “We need to be aware of our feelings and the amount of energy reserves we have and actively take breaks to care for ourselves and engage in experiences that emotionally nourish us. This may mean saying no to the people or activities that place demands on our time and energy.” In some cases, you may need to end what’s become a toxic relationship. But at the very least, it can help to put emphasis on your positive friendships and spend as much time as possible with those who make you feel upbeat and confident.
THE ENERGY DRAIN: STRESS AND WORRY
Whether it’s about work, health, money or family, “Chronic stress and worry can drain emotional energy,” notes Cribb. And no wonder – it takes a lot of energy to keep your brain looping around in circles, imagining worst-case scenarios.
RECHARGE IT: TAKE ACTION
“It’s good to get into the habit of limiting the drains on your emotional energy, which may mean learning how to better combat worry,” says Cribb. One of the best fixes for stress and worry is to stop thinking and start doing. Make a plan to deal with whatever’s on your mind, and if it’s not likely to happen, let it go. “Wise worriers only put their mind to solving problems that are likely to come up – for example, an exam that’s on the horizon,” Cribb explains. “They will then make a plan of how best to deal with that situation and put in strategies to minimise the difficulty of the situation, like studying ahead of time.” Another effective trick is to book in time to think about your worries. “‘Worry time’ can help during times of stress as it encourages compartmentalisation of worry,” says Cribb. “Set aside 30 minutes a day to write about your worries and remind yourself that you’ll do this as a way of not worrying outside this window.” The best bit? You might find you don’t need to return to that worry after all. @womensfitnessau
FOR THE WIN
Experts reckon a little competitiveness can boost performance at work and in sports, but is there a line?
ThinkFIT WHERE DO YOU RANK ON THE COMPETITIVE SCALE? For some, a morning run around the block can become an Olympic event; for others, the idea of competing for the last spot in a Tuesday night barre class is enough to bring them out in a cold sweat. The truth is, most of us have a bit of this trait – after all, the desire to be more successful than others is what’s helped us evolve. Now experts are saying a competitive spirit can be the key to winning in all areas of life – as long as you learn how to harness it for good.
WORDS ERICA BUSH, PENNY CARROLL PHOTOGRAPHY THINKSTOCK
WAY TO GO
Competitiveness isn’t just for athletes and that guy who tries a little too hard at bootcamp. According to research in the book Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, about 25 per cent of people are unaffected by competition and 25 per cent wilt in a competitive environment, but a solid 50 per cent of us thrive on it. It might not sound like the most attractive personality trait, but it plays an important role in everyday life. “There are many positive aspects of highly competitive people,” says psychologist Maz Miller (walkdifferent.com.au). “They’re motivated to achieve, they’re goal-focused and they try harder when they’re working alongside others. This [helps them] improve and learn new skills simply by having a go.” Another perk of competitiveness is its ability to break new ground. “Studies have shown competition fuels creativity and even improves the quality of the work produced,” says Top Dog co-author Ashley Merryman. “In order to beat a competitor, you have to become innovative [and] the skills that make you a great competitor – such as a willingness to push boundaries, trust your instincts, problem-solve – those are the same skills needed for innovation.” At work, it can help us improve, as we assess colleagues’ skills and effort then try to exceed them. If you want to compete, you have to grow. And, notes recruitment expert Phil Sheridan, “Competition helps us work more closely with one another, releasing chemicals in our brains that deepen the bonds we form.”
competitive streak might not feel like an asset. “There are two aspects of our personality that have an influence on how motivated we are in competitive situations. One of those is the need for achievement and the other is fear of failure,” explains Miller. “Although nobody ever enjoys losing, losing can be more damaging to some than others.” If your drive to compete comes from a need to avoid failure, competitiveness isn’t exactly your friend. “If driven by a fear of failure, when you lose you end up feeling bad about yourself. As a result, you start to doubt yourself and develop a low selfesteem,” Miller says. “It means that you never really get to enjoy what you are doing and are often very anxious when you’re competing.” At its most dangerous, it can see you pin your self-worth on your job/sport/ fitness journey. And if something goes wrong along the way – an injury or a missed promotion, for example – your sense of identity goes out the window with it. “That’s a dangerous place to be on so many levels,” Miller says.
If you want to make competition work for you, you need to ensure you’re focusing on the right goal posts. “Winning is great, but competition should also be about selfimprovement,” says Miller. “Rather than solely focusing on numbers, wins and scores, keeping track of your personal progress is really what it’s all about. And speaking of personal progress, be realistic! No matter what you’re trying to improve, whether it’s sport, career, studies or exercise, you will go through ups and
WINNERS AND LOSERS
In sport and in fitness, the drive to compete and achieve can be the magic ingredient that pushes you further than you ever thought possible. The problem with competing is that there can only be one winner. And if you’re a sore loser, having a womensfitness.com.au
downs in your performance. The key is knowing how long to stay down, what to learn from the situation and how to deal with it,” she adds. One trick that can help is to develop a ‘growth mindset’, a concept pioneered by Carol Dweck, a professor of psychology at Stanford University in US. “Her research describes two mindsets that we can all relate to,” notes sport and exercise psychologist Dr Tracey Devonport. “A ‘fixed’ mindset is where people believe their abilities are fixed, that they have a certain amount of intelligence or talent and that’s that. They don’t handle loss or mistakes well. On the other hand, people with a growth mindset believe that through effort and learning, they can become smarter or more talented.” If you can shift your mindset to one of growth, you’ll recognise that setbacks are just stepping stones on your journey. “While both those with a fixed and growth mindset may be competitive, those with a growth mindset find success in learning and improving, not just winning,” explains Dr Devonport. And if you’re just not that competitive? Trust us – it’s no big deal. “The thing with competitiveness is that you will most likely notice that you are competitive in some aspects of your life but not others,” Miller says. “You might be competitive at work but when it comes to your fitness journey, you don’t care as much. Many people have reasons for participating that have nothing to do with achievement. They focus on friendships, personal respect and the endorphins you get from movement. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this! If your need to achieve in one area is low, recognise it, accept it and enjoy what you’re doing for reasons other than winning.”
Join the contest
Want a recipe to develop your competitive spirit? Maz Miller walks us through the steps
1 2 3
You do you The first stage of developing competitiveness is the autonomous competitive stage. You just worry about you – for example, if you’re running, you’ll focus on your own plan, running style and times. womensfitnessaustralia
Compare the pair In this stage, you start directly comparing your performance with others. Who is faster, stronger, better? You might have downloaded Strava and you’re tracking what routes others are running, and how quickly.
Happy balance Now you can use stages 1 and 2 to achieve your goals. Know when it’s appropriate to compete and compare yourself with others, and when you should just worry about your own self-improvement. 33
ThinkFIT W HA T ’ S YO U R # LI F E M O T TO ?
Hard work beats talent
when talent doesn’t work hard
GROWING UP, I HAD NO IDEA I WOULD BECOME A PROFESSIONAL BOXER. I’ve always been athletic and I played lots of sports during my school years – dancing, netball, water polo and running to name a few. I’ve always admired sportspeople and I absolutely loved watching the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games. But I was a latecomer to boxing. I got started in my local gym’s boxing fitness classes! I think female combat sports are taking longer to be accepted by the public because they’re traditionally male-dominated. Strong physical contact between women is still a taboo. And the small number of female boxers is largely due to the fact that in some states, boxing was outlawed until as late as 2009 – that’s not very long ago! But the rise of popularity in MMA [mixed martial arts] and the expanded media coverage of sports such as UFC [Ultimate Fighting Championship] are helping to shift the public’s acceptance of female involvement in combat sports. All I want is for male and female boxing athletes to have equal opportunities because gender inequalities shouldn’t exist in any facet of life. Women and men now fight the same timeframe in amateur boxing competitions – 3 x 3 minute rounds – so there’s no difference in the hard work they put in during the fight or the lead-up. 34
But one problem that still exists is the limited number of weight divisions for women. There are 10 weight divisions in men’s amateur boxing and this year there will be six divisions for females at the Commonwealth Games, which is a great improvement from 2014’s three divisions. Limiting weight categories creates major health and safety concerns when competitors cut weight or fight in divisions they’re not big enough for. Since the last Commonwealth Games, I’ve dropped one weight division from
After enduring tough preparation camps and failing to achieve my two-year goal plan, I was feeling lonely, unhappy and disappointed. I questioned whether I wanted to continue boxing and I was in a dark cloud for a few months. Fortunately, a caring and positive coach as well as close family and friends made the recovery a little easier. It comes down to a resilient personality, a true passion for the sport and people in your close circle to help guide you to make the best decisions. Representing your country is a huge
“After failing to achieve my goal, I was in a dark cloud. You need extreme passion to chase a sporting career” middleweight to welterweight – although in the 2016 World Championships I fought at light heavyweight, so technically I’m now fighting two divisions lighter. Since making the drop to welterweight, I’m unbeaten domestically and internationally. I’m extremely excited and quietly confident that I have the skills, ability and drive to win gold at the Commonwealth Games! But, just like every other high-level athlete, I’ve had highs and lows throughout my career. Missing out on qualifying for the Rio Olympics in 2016 was the most difficult challenge I’ve had to overcome.
honour and achievement – it’s something I’m extremely proud of. But although women’s sport is getting more attention and media coverage, we still have a long way to go. You need extreme passion and drive to chase a sporting career. Most sportswomen in Australia either aren’t paid or only receive a small salary. At the end of the day, I’ve always been a big believer in working hard. You don’t have to be naturally blessed – academically or physically – to be successful. If you create a plan and consistently work hard towards it, you will be successful. @womensfitnessau
AS TOLD TO SABRINA ROGERS-ANDERSON PHOTOGRAPHY LYNDON MARCEAU
Australia’s highest-ranked female boxer, Kaye Scott, can’t wait to fight on home soil at the Commonwealth Games
MONTH OF mantras Looking for some daily inspo? These mini motivational hits will do the trick. Cut them out and stick them around your home or office
SUCCESS IS A SERIES OF SMALL WINS
EMBRACE all that is you
YOUR POTENTIAL IS ENDLESS 16
Kindness is magic 21 THINK ABOUT WHAT COULD GO RIGHT
26 You deserve a whole sheet of gold stars
Don’t be busy,
WORK OUT HARD AND BE NICE TO PEOPLE
Take every risk, drop every fear 20
Do a little every day
The future is exciting
Do it with all
ENJOY THE LITTLE THINGS
Do that thing
If you never try you’ll never know 14
Bad days build better ways
GIVE YOURSELF TIME 10
LET LIFE SURPRISE YOU
Be so good they can’t ignore you
BE THE PERSON YOUR YOGA MAT THINKS YOU ARE
yesterday NOW tomorrow 9
The ocean cures all
ACTUALLY, YOU CAN 6
25 GO WHERE YOU FEEL THE MOST ALIVE
What she tackles
29 WHEN IN DOUBT, RUN IT OUT
All you need is sleep
Take a chance you might just grow
oves on Instagram to show Fl #W g ta sh ha e th se U ! Spread the love around us all the different ways you’ve gotten creative with these little messages. womensfitness.com.au
s s e n t i f t s e g g i b e h t join a i l a r t s u a n i y t i n u comm AL I R T E E R F Y A D 7HA T I W D E T R A T S GET
SIGN-UP IN-CLUB OR ONLINE AT WWW.ANYTIMEFITNESS.COM.AU *Offer valid for first time guests who are local residents or workers 18 years & older only, however, 16 & 17 year olds may trial an â€œApproved Clubâ€? - see anytimefitness.com.au/ approved-clubs (photo ID required). Offer subject to satisfactory completion of pre-exercise screening & to standard temporary/guest membership terms. Not valid with any other offers. Not redeemable for cash. Not transferrable. Limit 1 offer per person. Where the trial pass permits use outside staffed hours, a refundable deposit may be payable for an access card. Further provisions may apply. See Club for details. Offer expires 31/05/18.
BeFIT PUSH IT!
WORDS SABRINA ROGERS-ANDERSON PHOTOGRAPHY GETTY IMAGES
Do you ever wish you were one of those girls who pedals to work every morning on a cute vintage bike with a huge smile on her face and the wind in her hair? Well, it might be worth wheeling out your pushie, because in addition to looking adorbs, youâ€™d be getting a great workout too! Yep, cycling to work can be as effective as going to the gym when it comes to shedding kilos, says a recent study from the University of Copenhagen. Overweight participants who rode a bike to and from work for an average of 14km per day lost nearly as much weight over six months as those who hit the gym for 35-minute, highintensity workouts five days a week. And compared to another group who exercised at a moderate intensity for 55 minutes, five days a week, the cyclists shed an extra 1.6kg. So, adding a couple of days of bike commuting to your weekly routine could have a positive impact on your health â€“ and help you meet your life goals, too. Want in? Flip to p60 for our get-started guide to cycling.
WE ALL DESERVE A TREAT EVERY NOW AND THEN. But if you’re the kind of person who likes to earn yours, make this high-intensity workout your gym sesh of choice. Hitting every bit of your bod with a mix of strength and cardio moves, it’s designed to boost metabolism, encourage fat burn and make you feel good – regardless of how many Easter eggs you’ve enjoyed! HOW TO DO IT: Start with circuit 1 and do 10 reps of each move as many times as you can in 2 minutes. Rest for a minute then repeat for four sets in total. Use the same format to smash out circuit 2. Finish with a cool-down – and a little chocolate. YOU’LL NEED: Kettlebell, 2 x dumbbells, barbell
t s off! a l B The perfect accompaniment to all those chocolate bunnies? This energising, fat-burning workout
2 TUCK JUMP
GREAT FOR: STOMACH, HIPS, THIGHS Technique your chest at the highest ■ Jump up as high as you can point of your jump. ■ Land softly and repeat. and bring your knees towards
1 GOBLET SQUAT
GREAT FOR: BOTTOM, THIGHS Technique bottom out behind you as ■ Holding a kettlebell close low as possible. ■ Push through your heels to your chest, bend at the back to the start and repeat. knees and hips to lower your
d As you land, loa straig ht up into another jump
Keep your knee s in line with your toes – don’t le t them collapse in
3 PUSH-UP RENEGADE ROW
GREAT FOR: ARMS, CHEST, CORE, UPPER BACK Technique your body in a straight line. ■ Start in a straight-arm plank ■ Push yourself back up to the position with each hand holding start, then row one dumbbell a dumbbell, then bend your arms up to your side. ■ Lower back to the start, and to lower your chest to the floor, then repeat on the opposite elbows moving behind you rather arm for the next rep. than out to the sides, keeping
Keep your hips square!
GREAT FOR: STOMACH, THIGHS, SHOULDERS, REAR UPPER ARMS to the floor as possible. Technique ■ Hold a barbell in front of ■ Extend your legs to stand your shoulders with your up and use the momentum to elbows high. push the barbell overhead. ■ Bend at the hips and knees ■ Lower the barbell to the to lower your bottom as close start and repeat.
No time for the gym? Keep fit over Easter with one of WF PT Libby Babet’s movement snacks. “A movement snack is the perfect way to get the endorphins flowing or break up a big day,” she says. Here’s a few tasty ideas… WALK IT Try a power walk around the block to get your heart rate up. SKIP IT One minute of skipping rope = instant energy. TABATA IT Choose an exercise move, smash it out for 20 seconds, take 10 seconds rest and repeat until you hit four minutes. GOOGLE IT Head to YouTube and punch in “BUF Girls 5-Minute Energy Booster” for an easy, awesome workout.
Keep your chest proud and neck neutral as you lower down
Search for womensfitnessau on Spotify to get this workout’s matching playlist!
CRAB KICKS 1 JUMPING
GREAT FOR: CORE, BOTTOM, THIGHS Technique ■ Start with your hands and feet on the floor, facing up, and your hips high. ■ Kick one leg as high as you can, then jump to switch legs. Repeat this continuously, keeping your hips as high as possible.
E nsure your fing ers face forwards 3
2 MARCHING PLANK
GREAT FOR: CORE, REAR UPPER ARMS
Technique ■ Start in plank position on your forearms, with your body in a straight line. ■ Move up onto your hand
on one side, then the other. Lower back down to your forearm on the side you started with, then the other. ■ Repeat fl uidly. ■
3 LUNGE WITH ROTATION
GREAT FOR: BOTTOM, THIGHS, CORE, SIDES Technique ■ Holding a weight in front of your chest, take a large step forwards and bend both knees to about 90 degrees, with your back knee just above the floor. ■ As you do this, twist your upper body to the side of your front leg, bringing the weight with you. ■ Push back up to the start and repeat on the opposite side. Alternate sides with each rep.
WORDS AMANDA KHOUV PHOTOGRAPHY DANNY BIRD; GETTY IMAGES
GREAT FOR: ALL OVER! Technique ■ Crouch down to place your hands on the floor by your feet. ■ Jump your feet back to bring your body into a plank position,
then immediately jump them back to the start. ■ Jump up as high as you can, then land softly and go straight into another rep.
p to Add a push-u n ra your plank fo ge extra challen
h c t e str Before you walk out on your next cool-down, read this
BeFIT IS IT JUST US OR DOES STRETCHING lack a little flex appeal? When it comes to things we want to do in the gym, loosening our limbs doesn’t often make it onto the wish list. We’d rather swing a battle rope, pull up on bars, slide on the reformer or slam a medicine ball. Yep, from lifting dumbbells before limbering up, to leaving a spin class midway through the last track, plenty of us are guilty of bypassing the stretch section of a workout. “The majority of people only give stretching a cursory effort, as they believe the hard work has been done,” explains personal trainer Richard Tidmarsh. “It’s still seen as the ‘ugly duckling’ of fitness, but getting mobile before training, and stretching afterwards, is a key component of increasing performance.” From heavier lifts to speedier sprints, stretching has a lot to offer your body. But hitting the mat to do a few quad stretches won’t cut it – in fact, a growing bank of research reveals that we may be stretching the wrong way. Time to re-adjust everything you thought you knew about stretching…
WRODS SARAH IVORY PHOTOGRAPHY THINKSTOCK
There’s no doubt about it, a proper warm-up routine – one that increases blood flow to the muscles and tissue, while raising body temperature – will get your body prepped for exercise. But what constitutes pre-workout ‘stretching’ has changed. Where once the advice was to perform static stretches (holding a stretch for a period of time), the guide is now to avoid them ahead of working out because it could hinder performance. One study even reports stretching in this way could reduce strength by as much as 30 per cent. Instead, dynamic stretches will mobilise muscles. “Making sure we can move happily through our full range of movement before a workout makes good sense,” says trainer Brit Williams. “For instance, squatting your bodyweight before hitting the squat rack allows the hips to move more obligingly when you add weight to the bar. Try doing a deep squat after you’ve sat at a desk all day – your hips will be tight, your feet will roll in and your shoulders will round.” Dynamic stretching (also known as mobility work) is at its most effective when it’s sports-specific – so runners may want to warm up the hip, knee and ankle joints with a series of lunges; swimmers may like to work the shoulder joints with some arm circles. But even this kind of stretching has its limits. “A small amount of dynamic stretching is good as it increases body awareness and provides a greater sense of coordination ahead of a workout,” says stretch coach Hannah Crampton, “but too much can loosen muscle and hamper strength.” So what is too much? Nobody knows, because it depends on how you’re built, how you train, what your goals are and even how you’ve spent your day (note: desk workers should spend a little longer warming up stiff muscles). The key is to know not all stretch work must be done
before the main workout. “Stretching during a workout enables weight lifters to work the antagonist muscles,” says Crampton. “For example, as the bicep (agonist muscle) contracts, the tricep (antagonist muscle) lengthens. If you’re doing bicep curls, stretching the triceps in between reps to give you extra length across the back of your arm will enable you to contract the bicep further.” It’s an easy way to adapt your stretching.
What about the end of your workout? Instructors ensure you do a series of static moves before leaving class, and common sense tells you you’ll feel sore tomorrow if you don’t cool down. But here’s a fun fact – stretching after your next session won’t necessarily stop you from feeling achy the next day. One study of 36 exercisers reveals those who cooled down after working out experienced the same amount of pain (caused by micro tears to the muscle) over the following 48 hours as those who hadn’t stretched off after exercise. And not everyone needs to be extremely supple either – another experiment shows that 10K runners with tight hamstrings tend to be faster than those with more flexible
hamstrings, as tighter leg muscles produce more energy (in the same way that an elastic band pings back when pulled and released). But there is still a place in your exercise plan for a good stretch session. “Muscle memory requires you hold a stretch for at least two minutes to increase muscle length,” says Williams, “so picking two or three stretches relevant to your workout will be more beneficial than briefly touching on multiple muscles. Tricep stretches after a spin class? Probably one of the silliest, most-common workout faux pas I’ve seen. If you’ve worked your legs, a pigeon stretch will be beneficial. If you’ve done a tough upper body session, spend some time in child’s pose, arms forward, to stretch out the back muscles.”
The newest way to cool down is at a stretch class. This growing trend ensures fit bods look after their muscle fibres – not just because arduous exercise shortens them, but because daily activity tightens muscles and impacts sports performance. “I do a lot of work with fascia rather than specific muscle groups,” explains Crampton. “It’s a big plane of tissue that runs across the whole body. For example, the back plane of fascia runs from the soles of the feet to the crown of the head.” Give it a good stretch with a straight-legged seated forward fold. Trying to ease hamstring or calf tightness? You won’t get far unless you work on the tissue that runs under the feet. “We spend our lives squeezed into shoes that don’t allow our feet to move with full mobility,” adds Crampton. “This can leave us feeling tight in places that shouldn’t be tight.” Stretch classes have psychological plus points too, including boosting the release of the happy hormone dopamine, improving sleep and reducing stress. The perfect excuse to hit the mat.
3 ways to stretch it out Make time for one of these stretch sessions
Yin yoga Expect to spend up to five minutes in seated poses such as pigeon and forward fold as you work through common tight spots. womensfitnessaustralia
Online fix Need a quick stretch? Head to blogilates.com for a bunch of quick and easy full-body stretch and mobility workouts.
Daily practice Download the Get Bendy eGuide from ellefitactive.com for daily stretches and express sessions to combat back pain or stress. 43
ALL-OVER TONER PO W E R M OV E
Work your body from head to toe in one sweet move
IF THERE WAS AN AWARD FOR OVER-ACHIEVING exercises, this move would win all the gold stars. It’s trickier than it looks, so it’ll give you a mental challenge, and it’s a legit all-over toner, hitting your lower body, upper body and core in one go. Once you’ve got the hang of the reverse lunge and press, you’ll be laughing all the way to the gains bank. “This advanced exercise targets multiple muscle groups over multiple joint
angles,” explains strength and conditioning coach Dan Lawrence. “It’s a great way to work the body as one integrated unit, so from an athletic standpoint it’s fantastic.” As well as adding to your athletic prowess and working your bottom, legs, shoulders and triceps, this move will also fire up your core. Why? Well, your body has to maintain an upright position while offset loading (bearing more weight on one side than the other) as well as staying
stable while you do the lunge and press movements. That’s a big job for your abs – and a big win for your body of work. YOU’LL NEED: A dumbbell
S ta r t 1 x 10 re ing out? p Need a s each side challen ge? 3 x 8 rep se Almost ach side p 4 x 10 re ro? p each sid s e
HOW TO MASTER IT: ■ Hold a dumbbell in front of your right shoulder. ■ Take a large step back with your right leg and lower into a lunge until your back knee is just above the floor and both knees are roughly at 90 degrees. ■ Push the dumbbell up overhead, then lower it back to your shoulder. Drive your right foot back to the start. ■ Do all the reps on one side before repeating on the other.
Keep your abs tig ht as you step back
WORDS AMANDA KHOUV PHOTOGRAPHY DANNY BIRD
REVERSE LUNGE WITH PRESS
Can you kick it? Yes, you can! Women’s footy is on the rise – and it’s your turn to get in the game
BeFIT WANT TO GET SUPER FIT, DEVELOP NEW SKILLS and make a bunch of buddies at the same time? You might want to try joining a football team. Yep, the time is so right for chicks to get in on the footy action: the AFL Women’s is just wrapping up its second successful season, our rugby sevens women’s team has been on a winning streak since scoring gold at the Olympics, and in the wake of a World Cup win for the Jillaroos, the NRL announced a women’s comp to launch later this year. What does it mean for you? Plenty of femme fitness heroes on your screen, inspiring you to give what’s long been considered a ‘boys only’ sport a go. We asked a few players in the AFLW and Australian Sevens why you should join in…
WORDS PENNY CARROLL PHOTOGRAPHY GETTY IMAGES
Whatever code you’re into, you can expect your fitness to fly through the roof when you start playing footy. “I’m biased, but I think AFL is the best sport in the world because there’s so many components you need for it,” says Katie Brennan, captain of the Western Bulldogs and Priceline Pharmacy ambassador. “You need to have endurance, power and speed, you need strength and core stability, and you have to be agile. I think that makes it a very interesting pursuit because you’re never fit enough and you’re never strong enough.” In rugby, strength and speed are also key components, to steel your body for collisions and to out-pace opponents. Then there’s the skill work: in all codes, you can expect to develop sharp catching, passing and kicking skills, tackling tactics and awesome agility. It all adds up to an amazing workout for your body and brain. And don’t worry if you don’t know the rules or the techniques – learning it is all part of the fun. “Literally anyone can play, you’ve just got to put your mind to it,” says rugby sevens player Demi Hayes.
Women’s footy isn’t a light version of the men’s game – there will be tackling! Scared of contact? You might just surprise yourself, says Brennan. “Tackling is probably my favourite part of it all,” she laughs. “You can surprise yourself how hard you can go at the footy and how much you can be physical out on the field. It’s lots of fun. As women we can be powerful and strong out on the field.” It’s hard to imagine if you’ve never watched her compete, but Australian Sevens star player Charlotte Caslick admits she wasn’t always comfortable
with the physicality of the game. “I was definitely scared when I first started, I was really scared of tackling and rucks,” she confesses. “It’s something I had to really embrace. I spent countless hours with one of my teammates, just tackling each other over and over again until we learnt to love it!” There are strict rules and umpires monitoring every game to ensure player safety. But if you’d rather get to grips with a footy minus the biff, try a non-contact version like AFL 9s or touch football.
One of the biggest perks of football is the team environment. Join a local club and you’ll instantly make a bunch of new friends. “One of my favourite things about the game is that you can share the moments, the ups and downs with your teammates,” says Brennan. “As a leader in my team as well, I love celebrating the wins of others and seeing them develop. It’s such an amazing feeling when you can assist them in taking it to another level.” You’ve got to have your teammates’ backs on the field, which makes football an awesome bonding experience, says Caslick. “In rugby you need the girls on the field working with you because as soon as one person switches off, it leads to a try or a turnover,” she explains. “Everyone’s skill sets are magnified because there’s not many people on the field but you’ve got to help each other out and work together.” And when you win? It’s the ultimate group high. “The camaraderie of playing alongside some of your best mates in a large team environment is what I really enjoy,” says Abbey Holmes, Adelaide Crows player and Team XBlades athlete. “There’s nothing better than achieving alongside your best friends.”
You might just want to play for fun, but if you have your eye on a sporting career, women’s football is now a real pathway to success. Instead of switching to basketball, netball or soccer to chase sporting glory, you can aim to play for your country, at the Olympics in rugby sevens, or as a paid athlete in the AFL and the NRL. For Hayes, who rose quickly through the ranks to the national sevens squad after starting out in touch football, it’s a dream come true. “I went to the same school as
LEARN THE LINGO AFL
Handball: The classic AFL pass – hit the ball with your fist to give it to your teammate. Mark: When you catch the ball from on high – not easy! Specky: Short for spectacular, it’s when a player jumps onto an opponent’s back to compete for the ball.
Knock-on: When the ball unintentionally moves forward after coming into contact with a player above the waist. Avoid! Try: The main method of scoring, it’s when a player places the ball down on the ground in the goal area with pressure. Ruck: A loose group (or scrum) that’s formed around a player.
[teammate] Emilee Cherry, and I saw rugby sevens being named in the Olympics – it’s every childhood dream. That’s why I wanted to make it so bad,” she says. Her hard work paid off – at just 20 years old, she’s now a full-time rugby player travelling around the world to compete. “Just get started and give it a shot,” suggests Brennan. “Once you get more serious, then you can start to have a think about different pathways and where it might take you. The beauty of AFL Women’s is that you can take it all the way to the top now, and it’s so powerful for young women to see that.” Hayes agrees, saying the popularity of the AFLW has given all women’s footy codes a boost. “It’s awesome to see how many girls want to step up the competition around that,” she says. “And it’s beautiful to hear how many girls we inspire.” Love this? Search for more like it on womensfitness.com.au KEYWORDS: FOOTBALL SPORT
afl, playnrl.com or y. la p to e lin on d ea Want to play? H rugbyaustralia.com.au to find your local team. womensfitnessaustralia
PILATES, UPGRADED Give your mat work a makeover with this fusion workout that helps you hit your cardio, strength and body goals
IF YOUR REGULAR FITNESS ROUTINE involves heart-pumping HIIT sessions with a side of Pilates to stretch it all out, this workout will make your day. It’s a smart mash-up of HIIT and Pilates designed to rev up your fat burn, build your strength and tone your whole body in one go. Known as the Get SET method, this fusion workout is the brainchild of celeb PT Sam Eastwood, who’s used the moves to help A-listers get in shape. “It’s grounded in Pilates, but it brings an element of HIIT into the frame,” Eastwood explains. “If you stick to this workout regularly you can expect improved core strength, a stronger back, better flexibility and longer, leaner muscles.” Sounds good to us! Get started with these seven moves. HOW TO DO IT: Perform 3-5 sets of each move, following the reps or times suggested, and taking rest in between sets if you need.
1 JUMPING SQUAT
GREAT FOR: BOTTOM, THIGHS Technique ■ Stand with your feet wider than hip distance apart and squat your bottom down low, like you’re reaching behind you for a chair. ■ Now place your arms out in front of you, exhale and as you jump up, push your arms down. ■ Return to the squat position with arms up and repeat. Do 10 reps.
Don’t let your knees fall forward over your toes when you squat
LEG SWEEP, STRETCH AND SQUAT
GREAT FOR: THIGHS, BOTTOM, BACK Technique ■ Standing straight, lift your right leg up behind you pointing your toe, then sweep it across and behind your body, placing your toe on the floor like an extended curtsey while squeezing your butt. ■ Bend both knees, lining your back knee up with the back of your front heel and hinging your upper body down over your thigh. ■ Stand up, squeeze your inner thighs for a beat and reach your leg back to the starting position. Repeat on the other side. ■ Do 5-10 reps each side.
3 SIDE PLANK AND PULSE
GREAT FOR: CORE, SIDES, BOTTOM, HIPS, BACK, SHOULDERS Technique hips are stacked on top of one another ■ Start in a side plank, resting on your right and lift just your hip bones an inch more forearm. Push the floor away and really towards the sky. ■ Pulse your hip bones towards the sky and hollow out your armpit. Make sure your
down again, ensuring that you exhale on each lift. You should feel your entire side working here. ■ Do 5-10 reps each side.
4 DANCING PLANK
GREAT FOR: SHOULDERS, CORE, STOMACH Technique ■ Start in a plank position on your hands, pull your tummy in and engage your core. Release your left leg, inhale and move your left knee forward into your body towards your forehead. ■ Exhale, push it back out to the start position and repeat on your right side. ■ Do 5-10 reps each side.
5 BRIDGE POSE
GREAT FOR: BOTTOM, THIGHS Technique ■ Lie on your back, arms by your sides and your knees bent. Pull in your lower
belly and close your upper ribs. Your whole body should be as straight as an arrow. Push down through your feet and
lift your bottom off the floor. Hold the position for 30 seconds. Roll back down, rest and repeat. ■
6 CAT ABS
GREAT FOR: STOMACH, CORE Technique ■ Start lying down on your back with your head and shoulders off the floor, your abs engaged and legs lifted straight up with your toes pointed. Your lower back should be pushing into the floor.
Exhale as you rock your body up towards your toes. Then inhale to rock your sacrum (the large flat bone between your tailbone and lowest part of the spine) off the floor smoothly and slowly. Continue rocking back and forth for 10-20 seconds. ■
WORDS AMANDA KHOUV PHOTOGRAPHY ADAM LANGDON
Digital content manager Odette Barry gave this Pilates mash-up a go I’m always on the lookout for new ways to sweat, bend and move and this quick circuit was the perfect way to break up a busy work day. Fave move: Definitely the bridge pose – hello, getting horizontal and isolating the butt muscles! Close runner-up was the double pigeon stack. Getting my knees close together and wrapping my leg closest to the floor further around towards my butt gave me a strong stretch that my glutes crave from too much running without stretching. Toughest part: I’m not a cat person and admittedly my dog sat on me during the cat abs move so maybe it was harder than it needed to be. It was a tough slog to create a smooth movement – perhaps I need a little more ab stamina! Final verdict: Pilates is always a surprise package for me. I love high-intensity workouts so I’m pleasantly surprised when I feel the burn with slow and intense movements. This sesh is a good balance of both.
Keep the movement slow and controlled
TRIED & TESTED
DOUBLE PIGEON STACK
GREAT FOR: BOTTOM, HIPS Technique ■ Put your left foot next to your right hip, place your right leg on top and move your right foot around to the opposite hip. Now try to stack your knees on top of each other, bringing your top knee down as far as you find comfortable. ■ Hold the position for 30 seconds before repeating on the other side.
To make this harder, lean forward and place your arms out in front of your body
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REBOOT YOUR Life is sending your butt muscles to sleep! Here’s how to wake them up for better body results
GLUTES THIS JUST IN: WE’RE LIVING IN THE MIDST OF A WEAK BUTT EPIDEMIC. All those hours sitting on your booty – at a desk, in a car, on a train or on the couch – are leaving us with inactive glute muscles that are literally a pain in the backside. “Modern lifestyles are very sedentary – driving instead of walking, sitting at a desk or plonked in front of the TV,” explains personal trainer Jim Crossley. “Sitting for long periods of time like this sends your glutes to sleep and overstretches the muscles, which leads to the muscles adjacent to the glutes becoming active to compensate.” It’s such a widespread (ha!) problem, that experts have even coined it the ‘Sleepy Butt Syndrome’. Okay, it’s worth a chuckle – but it’s also worth taking seriously. Why? Because a weak and lazy butt holds you back in the gym and in life. The glute muscles are the largest muscle group in the body. Made up of the gluteus maximus, medius and minimus, the trio of muscles work together to aid a plethora of movement. The gluteus maximus, which makes up the bulk of the buttocks, controls your hips. You need it to kick your leg out to the side or to extend it behind you, for instance. The gluteus medius and minimus, located under the gluteus maximus, aid this movement and 52
BeFIT TAKE A STAND
Does your workplace offer standing desks? Working on your feet, even for part of the day, could help avoid pain and injury. If not, why not ask your boss (maybe don’t flag a perky butt as one of its KPIs though!).
help to keep your pelvis in line. And if they’re not firing correctly, then other muscles will be forced to overcompensate. “If a group of muscles is ‘under firing’ and weak, there’s usually another set of muscles that are picking up the slack,” says health and fitness expert Gideon Remfry. “In the case of underactive glutes, it tends to be the quads [front thighs] that compensate.”
WORDS SARAH IVORY PHOTOGRAPHY GETTY IMAGES
Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean you’ll simply end up with shapely thighs – it’s far more likely that your whole body will be left feeling sore as a result of picking up your butt’s slack. “A lot of back pain is actually caused by having a sleepy backside,” reveals Dr Rangan Chatterjee in his new book The 4 Pillar Plan (Penguin, $35). “Our buttock muscles not only help hold our skeleton up, they also play a critical role in the functioning of our biomechanics.” In fact, Dr Chatterjee is quick to point out that our glutes are connected to a whole chain of other muscles, from the shoulders to the feet. “If they’re not firing appropriately, that puts stress on other parts of the body.” It’s not just sedentary folk who should be worried, either. You might hit the gym on the reg, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have underdeveloped gluteals. Sure, you squat every week – but how do you know you’re doing the move correctly? “I see a lot of clients who have weak glutes and sub-optimal technique when doing moves such as squats and lunges,” says Remfry. “These are excellent (and butt-toning) moves but, when dynamic moves are performed under load with inactive glute muscles, it’s a recipe for creating muscular imbalance. Instead of engaging the glutes, these moves are then managed by the front of the thighs (quads) and the lower back.”
REWIRE TO FIRE
So, how can you switch on your derrière and make sure it does its fair share? Firstly, muscle control must begin with brain-tomuscle fibre communication (also known as neuromuscular adaptation). “All movement starts in the brain,” says Good Vibes yoga founder Nahid De Belgeonne. “If you can’t sense a muscle fully, we call it ‘sensory motor amnesia’. To gain control, you need
to reboot brain-to-body communication.” In other words, consciously think about engaging your glutes when performing exercises that require them.
It’s not all about how much you exercise. What you do when you don’t work out counts, too – and data shows that most people spend an average of eight to 10 hours parked on their backside each and every day. Woah. “The postural impact of sitting directly impacts our butts,” says Remfry. “It can shorten our hip flexors and stretch the glute muscles, which, in turn, switches off the all-important core muscles.” Your mission is to spend less time sitting each day. Start small – stand up on the train, for example, or get off the bus early and walk a little further to work. If you work at a desk most days, set reminders on your phone to get up and get moving every hour. And maybe consider bypassing that Netflix marathon this weekend – your butt will thank you for it.
One of the purposes of a warm-up is to enhance muscle engagement by boosting brain-to-muscle communication, readying your body for the workout to come. Before doing any sort of glute exercises (especially if you’re planning on doing some weighted squats or deadlifts), get your glutes firing with activation moves. “Glute activation moves are specific warm-up movements that aim to wake up the glute muscles and invite them to engage,” explains Remfry. Think lunges, glute bridges and kickbacks. It’ll make for a far more efficient, safe and comfortable workout.
Glute training is pointless if you can’t perform the moves properly. Poor hip mobility can prevent you from being able to achieve the perfect squat technique, for example. Spend some time on mobility moves such as hip openers, and foam-roll your entire glute area, to increase your range of movement before doing a booty-boosting workout. Regular yoga classes can also help your body limber up and open up through the hips.
’s focused workout that eut gl a r fo e ag p e Turn th guaranteed to wake up your sleepy butt womensfitness.com.au
SO NOW YOU KNOW JUST HOW IMPORTANT it is to get your booty working as hard as you do in the gym (quick recap: it’ll see off pain and injury and supercharge performance). Ready to finally get those glutes firing? Get around this bootyiful workout. This routine hones in on your glutes and thighs, waking up those big (and, let’s face it, a little lazy) muscle groups with targeted movements that lift and tone. It finishes off with a mini core blast, because hey, you can’t build a strong booty without a strong centre! Yep, you’ll feel the burn in this one, but the rewards are pretty peachy. Bottoms up! HOW TO DO IT: Warm up before the workout, then perform each exercise for the recommended time for your level. Rest for 20-30 seconds between moves. When you’ve finished one round, take a breather then repeat for another two sets. Cool down with a stretch – there are three to try over the page. YOU’LL NEED: A resistance band Star tin g ou t ? 3 0 seco nds eac h move N eed a c 4 0 seco hallenge? nds eac A lmost h move pr o 4 0 seco ? nds eac h m ove
GLUTE GAINS This workout will kick your butt into gear
Keep the knee of your standing leg slig htly sof t
GREAT FOR: BOTTOM, REAR THIGHS Technique ■ Stand tall with your feet together. ■ Bring your right knee high up in front of you, then kick your leg back behind you while leaning forward at the hip. ■ Return to the starting position and repeat on the other leg.
BAND 2 RESISTANCE DEADLIFT
GREAT FOR: BOTTOM, REAR THIGHS, LOWER BACK Technique ■ Holding the ends of a resistance band in both hands, step on the centre of the band and stand tall, with your feet shoulder-width apart. ■ Keeping your legs and back straight, with just a slight bend in your knees, bend forwards at your hips and reach down until you feel a stretch in your hamstring muscles. As you’re performing the deadlift, ensure there is no slack in the band. ■ Return to the starting position and repeat the move for your allotted time.
DOWNWARD DOG RAINBOW
GREAT FOR: BOTTOM Technique ■ Begin in a downward dog position with your back straight. ■ Kick one leg back and complete circles from your hip. ■ Lower your leg back to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
Keep your neck in a neutral position 1
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4 RESISTANCE BAND SQUAT GREAT FOR: BOTTOM, FRONT THIGHS
Technique ■ Knot the resistance band into a loop and place it so it sits around your knees. ■ Stand with your feet hipwidth apart, facing forwards.
■ Perform a full-body squat, ensuring that you push your knees outward and keep your chest up. ■ Return to the starting position and repeat.
Mak e it toug h er with a pulse at t he bot tom of the squat
Don’t overarch your lower back at t he top of the mov e 2
BAND 5 RESISTANCE GLUTE BRIDGE 1
GREAT FOR: BOTTOM, REAR THIGHS, CORE ■ Raise your hips off the floor Technique ■ Begin by lying on your and squeeze your glutes while back with your knees bent keeping your body from knees and feet flat on the floor, then to shoulders in a straight line. ■ Pause at the top and then wrap a resistance band over return back to the start your hips, holding the handles position. Repeat. by your sides.
6 FIRE HYDRANT
GREAT FOR: BOTTOM, CORE straight and look forward. Technique ■ Begin the exercise on ■ Keeping your knee bent, all fours, with your knees raise your leg out to the side directly under your hips and until it’s parallel to the floor. ■ Lower your leg back to hands directly below your the ground and repeat on shoulders. ■ Keep your back and neck the other side.
Try to k eep yo ur hips square here
RESISTANCE BAND REVERSE CRUNCH
GREAT FOR: CORE Technique ■ Begin by lying on your back and loop the resistance band under your feet with your legs extended in front of you.
■ Bend and lift your legs towards your chest. ■ Push against the band as you straighten your legs back down to the starting position. Repeat.
Draw your belly but ton to your sp ine 2
8 OBLIQUE CRUNCH GREAT FOR: CORE, SIDES Technique ■ Begin in a crunch position and drop your knees to one side, keeping your legs bent at a 90-degree angle. ■ Keeping your shoulders level with the
Recovery zone floor, crunch them up off the floor. ■ Lower back to the start and repeat. ■ Perform all reps on one side then drop your knees to the opposite side and do the same.
g ether Keep knees to sides while switching
WORDS AMANDA KHOUV PHOTOGRAPHY DANNY BIRD
Your butt needs a good stretch after this workout
Figure 4: Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Place your left ankle across your right thigh to create a figure 4 and reach behind your right knee to pull your legs towards you. Hold; repeat on the other side. Seated twist: Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out. Bend your right knee and place your foot on the floor near your left butt cheek. Twist to the right, placing your right hand on the floor behind you. Hold; repeat on the other side. Pigeon pose: Start on your hands and knees, then lower your left leg behind you and bring your right knee to your left wrist, lowering your hips to the ground. Hold; repeat on the other side.
TRACK If youâ€™ve lost your love for running, these expert strategies will get you moving again
BeFIT IT HAPPENS TO THE BEST OF US: ONE MORNING YOU wake up and you Just. Don’t. Feel. Like. Running. Hey, it’s okay. Like any relationship, there will always be bumps in the road. Anything from a change in weather to a new release on Netflix can get in the way of your running motivation, and it can happen to anyone. Yep, even pros sometimes struggle to muster up the energy for a solid sesh. “Training was tough when it was my sole job, but I’m now a working mother and know how hard it can be [as a hobby],” says former Olympic sprinter Katharine Merry. What you need is a foolproof plan to up your enthusiasm when it dips. Here’s our six-step guide to getting your motivation back and your sneakers on.
Get yourself a goal
Running will seem a lot more exciting if you’re working towards a race or a goal distance. “Having something to work towards makes it much easier to motivate yourself to run,” says Andy Baddeley, a former 1500m champ turned running coach. “Ideally, you’ll have a long-term goal (to race your first 10K or to finish a marathon, for instance) that you then break up into several medium-term goals, which might be to complete a certain number of Parkruns or to run a certain time, or even simply to run three times a week for a number of consecutive weeks.” Find a schedule to follow that will help you to reach your goal and you’ll be far less likely to hit snooze next time your early morning alarm sounds.
WORDS SARAH IVORY PHOTOGRAPHY GETTY IMAGES
Find a buddy
“Arranging to meet someone for a run has always been the single most motivating factor for me,” admits Baddeley. We couldn’t agree more: this little hack ensures you get up and go for a run when you’re not really in the mood. Running may not seem that appealing at first, but Baddeley often finds training with a buddy or a group a lot more rewarding. “The power of a shared experience is really valuable. Knowing that
someone else is expecting you to be there, even if the weather is awful, makes a huge difference and gives you a timetable to stick to.” Running coach Perry Agass is also on board. “Buddying up can be a great way to stay motivated. You’re less likely to cancel when you’re not feeling up to it and you’ll get some social time, too.”
Listen to your body
Now for the disclaimer – sometimes you run out of motivation when your body needs a break. If you think this could be the case, take time off rather than push through a mental barrier. “If I learnt anything as a professional athlete, it’s that injury is part and parcel of sport,” says Merry. “Even the smallest niggle can become a severe injury if ignored.” If the idea of going for a run feels tougher than normal, ask yourself whether you feel physically comfortable. Do you have the same spring in your step as you usually would? Are you running freely and without overly tight muscles? “Knowing how to rest appropriately and using relevant rehab for your body, from ice baths and massages to physiotherapy, is a core part of training,” adds Merry. “Only recently, I suffered with a minor calf tear that saw me off running for 10 days – it was tough and I was so tempted to hop on the treadmill but I held back because I wanted to get back to training as normal.”
Get the tech
Training technology has come a long way. You can track your current and average pace, heart rate and lap splits via a wrist watch, and functional fabrics will keep you warm and dry on bad-weather runs. And then there are training apps that act as a PT in your pocket. Baddeley says tracking apps, such as Strava (strava.com) or Garmin Connect (connect.garmin.com) can make tough runs a lot more rewarding. “Using an app such as Strava to track your run, and share with friends afterwards, can be a great way of letting people see your progress – and it can also make you accountable for staying on track.” These apps often have a ‘like’ or ‘kudos’ function, which gives fellow runners the chance to congratulate you and comment on your training progress – hello, major confidence boost!
“BUDDYING UP CAN BE A GREAT WAY TO STAY MOTIVATED. YOU’RE LESS LIKELY TO CANCEL”
5 your time
Don’t assume running will simply happen when you have a spare moment. Set the day and time you want to run, so you can make a plan to fit it in around work, fun or family commitments. “Be strategic when it comes to your training schedule,” suggets Agass. “It can be far too easy to arrive home from work and get settled on the couch.” Play with your routine and find a time that works for you. “If you’re planning a pre-work run, set out your running gear the night before,” adds Agass. “Early sessions will get you pumped for the day.” Not a morning person? Try bringing your kit to work and running during your lunch break, or jogging home.
Recharge your batteries
If all the above fails and you’re not injured, you might simply need a bit of time off from running. “One of the most important things to keep in mind is that life is about balance, and running can be exhausting,” explains fitness expert Emma Frain. “Just remember that our bodies need time off. If you’re constantly trying to push for that extra K, something may eventually give. Because your motivation comes from your mind, a negative mindset [such as thinking that you’re not really loving running right now] directly impacts your motivation and will result in you finding it easier to give things up.” If you’re not enjoying your training as much as you used to, don’t sweat it. Rather than fighting the feeling, it may be best to give yourself a break from your running routine. Embrace the opportunity to try out a different kind of workout, such as yoga, swimming, Pilates, dancing or cycling. That way, when you’re ready, you’ll come back to the running track better, stronger and happier than ever.
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THE RIDE Forget everything you thought you knew about cycling – we’ve busted some common myths to get you back on your bike
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WANT TO SPIN AROUND THE WORLD? Point your GPS to womensfitness.com.au to discover a few of the globe’s most incredible cycling destinations.
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CYCLE SPECIALPOWERED BY GIVEN THE CHOICE BETWEEN RUNNING AND CYCLING, hands up if you’re more likely to pound the pavement than jump in the saddle? While helmet hair is no girl’s BFF, the benefits of bike riding for the body, brain and heart totally outweigh any bad hair day. But, it seems we need a little nudge to get back on our bikes – participation in women’s cycling in Australia has dropped from 33.7 per cent to just 29 per cent in a year. We say it’s time to take your fear down a gear! Consider your cycling excuses busted…
YOU THINK: IT’LL MAKE ME BULKY…
Bootylicious, maybe. But bulky? Nope. Just as lifting weights won’t make you look like Arnie, regular cycling is more likely to get you sculpted than stacked. “The reason riders can become bulky is when they exert a lot of power to gain speed quickly,” explains Kate de Beer, national participation manager for She Rides, an initiative of Cycling Australia. That’s for the velodrome. On an everyday level? “Recreational cycling doesn’t lead to bulky legs or bums – if anything, it leads to lean, toned muscles, great legs and a good core, as you have to engage your middle to stay upright, making it a great full-body workout,” de Beer says. We’re sold!
YOU THINK: BIKES ARE SO EXPENSIVE...
Forking out a month’s worth of rent on a bike is hard to take. But if you want to give it a whirl, there’s definitely a bike for your budget. “If you just want to commute, you can get a great one for under $500,” says de Beer. Just make sure you get the componentries right. “Look at the weight (lighter bikes are easier to pedal), frame size and gearing. If a second-hand bike is lighter and has better componentry, as long as you’re not fussed if it has a few scratches on it, then it could be better and cheaper,” says Jacinta Costello of Melbourne cycling club Ladies Back on Your Bike (ladiesbackonyourbike.com.au). As you begin to reach goals, you might consider investing in your ride. “Think of it like an 18-year-old driving their parents’ Porsche. What would you aspire to if you’re already riding the best there is?” says Joanne Palazzetti, cycling
coach and director of Turbo Studio (turbostudio.com.au) in Sydney. “Set targets to achieve; only as you reach those goals step up to a more expensive option.”
YOU THINK: IT’S DANGEROUS
Riding roadside looks like risky business, but did you know compared to driving or catching public transport, cycling can reduce your risk of death by up to 41 per cent? A new study published in the journal BMJ found those who commuted on bikes lowered their risk of heart disease by 52 per cent and cancer by 40 per cent – the two current leading causes of death. So if you’ve got a helmet and health benefits on your side, why so nervy? Well... Australian road rules aren’t necessarily welcoming to new riders. “In NSW, the law says that anyone 12 years and over must ride on the road – which, as a newcomer, can be a horrifying thought,” says Palazzetti. She recommends beginning off-road and getting your skills and confidence up first. “Look for a reputable group with a ride leader that can instill good ride habits.” As you become experienced, riding safely will become autopilot, but for now, remember to “ride in a straight line, always look over your shoulder and know how the brakes work – if you only use the front brakes you will fly through the air,” says Costello.
YOU THINK: IT’S TOO HILLY
Haven’t you heard? Incline training is in! Not only is it the ultimate endurance workout, but riding uphill boosts aerobic fitness, muscle tone, upper body strength and your circulatory
system. In short... it makes you next-level fit. But it begins with baby steps. “In the early days it can be terrifying, so you need to manage your expectations and think about what is achievable in the first month,” says Palazzetti. “Establish an easier route in the early stages – if your house is near a busy road, chuck the bike in the car, drive to flat terrain and begin with some easy Ks, then introduce a hill at a time. Gradually with time, increase the speed at which you go up the hills.” Worried you haven’t got enough force to power the pedals? Try an e-bike. “Electronic bikes are power assisted, so while you still have to pedal, they go three times the distance,” says Costello.
YOU THINK: IT’S UNCOMFORTABLE
We won’t sugarcoat this one, riding will give you a sore tush. But according to the pros, it’s all about the right kit. “Not all saddles are equal – a good bike shop will offer test saddles to try,” says de Beer. “I recommend trying a few until you find one that works for you.” What you wear also matters. “In cycling we wear padded shorts called ‘knicks’ – they take some time to get used to but having a pair will help your sit bones be more comfortable over a long period of time,” says de Beer. Riding the correct way helps too. “Sit right back on the seat and have your seat angle-checked – sometimes it can be too upright or too far down,” says Costello. “The right bike set-up is important for your comfort. Have a qualified bike shop assistant or physio specialist set it up.” (Turn to page 64 for some expert bike fit tips.) And just as you would after any workout, add a cool-down stretch to help your body bounce back.
Fuel for the road
Inspired? You’ll need to eat right to power those pedals! Brekkie up! Try to eat around three hours before a long ride. This may mean an early start, but it will set you up. Stick to a brekkie that’s not too heavy.
Think thirsty If you’ve got a big event on the horizon, start hydrating the day before and make sure you keep it up during and after the ride itself.
Refuel on the go Heading out for a few hours? After the first 90 minutes, have a snack every hour. Try bananas and muesli bars, and save gels for the final push.
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Whether you’re more of a baskets-and-baguettes kinda girl or a speedy sister, there’s
IF YOU’RE A THRILL-SEEKER… GO MOUNTAIN BIKING
Do you love an adrenaline rush? Worship the great outdoors? Mountain biking could be your thing, as it’s all about cycling on off-road surfaces such as through state forests, national parks, fire trails, disused rail lines and fire roads. “Mountain biking is the perfect cycle style for anyone who loves the great outdoors and is happiest out in nature,” says Kate de Beer, national participation manager for Cycling Australia’s She Rides. Bonus – all trails are graded according to difficulty and steepness, so you can decide on the sweat/skill factor at the beginning of the ride, rather than halfway through!
DO IT! Look up a trail in your area on international mountain
biking database, trailforks.com, or check out the Diamonds in the Dirt competition for women riders of all levels, held at the Awaba MTB Park, on the NSW Central Coast. For more details see rockytrailentertainment.com.
IF YOU LOVE HELPING OTHERS… TRY A CHARITY RIDE You’re that girl who’s always raising money for a good cause. You love doing stuff that keeps you fit and helps others – so why not pedal up to your next challenge and enter one of the many charity cycle rides around the country? These can vary in distance from an hour’s cycle to rides stretching over hundreds of kilometres. Longer rides are known as bike challenges, and they can be tough, so rope in a training buddy and go in prepped, so you’re not ready to sell your bike after the first hill.
DO IT! Raise money for kids’ cancer in the Great Cycle
Challenge in October – set yourself a target distance, track it with an app or GPS and ask friends and family to sponsor your rides. Sign up at greatcyclechallenge.com.au.
RIDE IT! Avanti Giro F 1 Women’s Road Bike, $599.95, avantiplus.com.au
RIDE IT! Scott Contessa 720 Bike, $799.99, scott-sports.com
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OWN WAY a cycling style for you. Find your perfect match and your perfect wheels…
IF YOU’RE COMPETITIVE… TRAIN FOR A TRIATHLON
IF YOU’RE OH SO CHILL… TAKE A CYCLE TOUR
DO IT! A series of races for newbies is the Triathlon Pink, with
DO IT! Victoria’s self-guided Pedal to Produce route is a beautiful ride through 35km of mainly flat rail trail and quiet country back roads in north eastern Victoria’s King Valley wine region. Starting at $95 per person, the cost includes bike hire, lunch, wine tastings, a route map and transfers by the crew from Tour De Vines. Check out tourdevines.com.au for other tours around Australia, New Zealand and beyond.
We get it, we do. You’re a runner, you can swim, you’re handy on a bike, and you’re ready to put it all together in one epic test of speed and endurance. “Triathlon is the perfect sport for anyone who loves a bit of competition served with a side of real physical challenge,” says de Beer. “There aren’t many things that are more challenging than mastering three sports – swimming, cycling and running – and then doing them one after the other.”
WORDS CARMEL SPARKE PHOTOGRAPHY THINKSTOCK
events in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast – check out triathlonpink.com.au for details. Or, if you’re ready to step it up, enter the 2XU Triathlon Series. Head to 2xutriathlonseries.com.au to sign up.
RIDE IT! Avanti Giro C 1 Women’s Road Bike, $1799.95, avantiplus.com.au
If life is all about the journey and that journey involves plenty of gourmet refuelling, gather a bunch of buddies for a relaxed ride and plenty of laughs through the countryside. “There’s no better way to get a taste for cycling than pedalling through beautiful wine country and enjoying all the delicious spoils,” says de Beer. “It’s a great low-impact workout that engages most of the major muscle groups and can burn through some serious kilojoules.”
RIDE IT! Malvern Star Wisp 1 Women’s Heritage Bike, $399.95, malvernstar.com.au
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UPCYCLE Push your ride (and your bod!) to the next level with these smart tips
Find your fit
Before you get in the saddle and ride away, make sure your bike is set up for you. Why? Not only will it ensure you enjoy your rides, it’ll help reduce injury and supercharge your performance. “Comfort comes first, because without comfort you’re not going to be happy, you’re not going to ride long distances and you won’t get fitter or faster,” explains physiotherapist Paul Visentini, a bike fit specialist and member of the Australian Physiotherapy Association. “Injury prevention is important because if you do five rides and get a sore knee, that will stop you enjoying cycling and progressing. Then performance will come from that. Every rider wants to go faster!” If you’re serious about cycling, it’s a good idea to see a bike fit pro to assess your body and your wheels. And Visentini suggests checking in every six to 12 months to keep on top of any changes. In the meantime? Here are some handy hints to help you have a comfier cycle. SIZE IT UP: “To make sure the bike is the right size for you, check the manufacturer’s website – they’ll have a graph showing height or leg length vs frame size, so you can make sure you’re close to that range,” Visentini says. RATE YOUR RIDE: “If you’re just starting in cycling, you’ll have a more conservative fit: you’ll be sitting upright and your bars will be closer to you. For a racing fit, you’ll be bent over a lot more, the bars will be lower and further away, and the seat is higher.”
WATCH YOUR HEAD!
Make sure you protect your brain with a quality helmet whenever you ride. We love this cutie: Nutcase Pink Lemonade Helmet, $119.99, nutcasehelmets .com.au
REACH OUT: “Make sure you’re not straining to reach the handlebars when you’re on the bike. If you’re reaching too far forward, that’s a problem.” RIGHT HEIGHT: “A quick way to check seat height is to sit on the bike with your heel on the pedal at the bottom of the pedal stroke and your knee straight. Then when you put your toes on the pedal, you should end up with a small bend in the knee.” 64
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You need to factor in rest and recovery after spending quality time on your bike so you don’t burn out or risk injury. “One of the most common mistakes I see is people doing too much too soon,” notes Visentini. To help your legs stay fresh, factor in regular recovery rides where you cruise at an easy pace, especially if you’ve been working hard on hill sprints or cadence. Get into a habit of foam-rolling your thighs and lower back after rides to ward off any stiffness, and down a high-protein snack post-saddle to help your muscles repair.
ON THE ROAD: FEEL THE BURN
Supercharge the fat-burning credentials of your bike
Freeride: Take your feet off the
pedals and freeride downhill. This will work your upper-body muscles to keep you balanced. Great for building your chest and arm strength.
Sprints: Bike-based sprint intervals
WORDS WORDS SARAH SARAH IVORY, IVORY, PENNY PENNY CARROLL CARROLL PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTOGRAPHY CREDIT GETTY TO GO IMAGES HERE PLEASE
are among the best ways to burn fat. Add some short sprints into your ride to make the most of your workout.
Stay fluid: Cycle in smooth
circles by pushing down with the ball of your foot and pulling through, up and back around. This helps you cycle better for longer.
ON A MOUNTAIN BIKE: TACKLE THE TERRAIN Take on bumpy rides like a pro
When heading towards a bump, lift your backside off the saddle, so that your limbs are taking your weight and are able to absorb most of the shock. Move your body back and down so that any forward movement has less of an impact. Mountain bikers call this the attack position.
Gravel: It goes without saying that wheels have less traction on a loose surface, which means your wheels are vulnerable to sideways movement when you turn corners. The answer? Don’t go too fast, avoid using your brakes in gravel patches and try to stay as upright as you can. Ruts: Steer well clear of any
cracks in the path. Best-case scenario, they’ll veer you off course. Worst-case scenario, your wheels get trapped in a groove and you get sent over the handlebars. Plan your route and stay alert.
A word of warning – you don’t know how deep a puddle is just from looking at it. Cycling through puddles can be hazardous, or at the very least, will give you a soaking. Try to avoid them and slow down before you dive in.
IN A SPIN CLASS: REV IT UP
David Finnimore, founder of new indoor cycling studio Cycology Club (cycologyclub.com), offers up this advice
Dress the part:
“Comfortable clothes are essential. We recommend that our clients wear compression leggings and find that most will ride simply with a supportive sports bra up top. It gets hot, so less is more!” womensfitness.com.au
Watch your form:
“Especially when you’re starting to tire, so that you’re not using up too much unnecessary energy. Be sure to follow the instructor and make use of any mirrors to check your technique.” @womensfitnessmag
Find your rhythm:
“Rhythm riding is riding to the beat of the music, at one with the room. Once you connect with the beat, just try to stay on it, even if it’s all you do for your first couple of rides. It will make complex rides easier.” 65
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IF YOU WANT TO LEVEL UP YOUR RIDE, get off your bike. Yep, one of the best ways to build power for the pedals is to hit the gym. Cyclists need epic lower-body strength, endurance and fast-twitch muscle fibres to ride long distances, climb hills, win races and push through when the going gets heavy. Plus, a rock-solid core and strong back will keep you steady in the saddle. So whether you’re cycling to and from work or shaping up for a big race, try these smart gym moves for a faster, comfier and Startin more powerful ride. g ou t YOU’LL NEED: Barbell, kettlebell
WHY IT WORKS: This big move strengthens your main cycling muscles: glutes, thighs and lower back. Technique ■ Keeping your knees soft but legs straight, hinge at the hips to take hold of a barbell on the floor. ■ Push your heels into the floor and extend your body to an upright position, keeping the barbell close to your body throughout. ■ Lower and repeat.
? 3 x 10 Need a reps challe 3 x 1 5 r e ng e ? p Almost s pr o ? 3 x 20 r eps
Search for womensfitnessau on Spotify to get this workout’s matching playlist!
2 JUMPING LUNGE
WHY IT WORKS: The jumping action builds explosive power in your legs for fast cycle sprints. Technique ■ Start in a lunge position with both knees at 90 degrees, back knee just above the floor. ■ Jump up as high as you can, extending both your legs and then switching them mid-air. ■ Land softly with your opposite leg in front and repeat.
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POWER Training diary
3 KETTLEBELL SWING
WHY IT WORKS: It builds power and endurance, and hones posture. Technique ■ With soft knees, hinge at the hips and drive your bottom out behind you to take hold of a kettlebell in front of you. ■ Drive the bell backwards through your legs, then extend hips and knees to drive the bell up to shoulder-height. ■ As the bell drops back down through your legs, hinge at the hips and soften the knees to repeat in a fluid motion.
Aussie cyclist and Wiggle High5 team member, Annette Edmondson, 26, is prepping hard for the Comm Games…
My training includes… Gym weights, core stability work, yoga occasionally and stretching whenever I remember! Weights build strength, while stretching and core work assists with fluidity and comfort on the bike. My go-to move is… A squat with a bar. It uses every muscle and it makes me feel strong. When I’m training for hills… I’ll use a low weight and high reps. And when I need speed… I do explosive squat jumps.
WORDS AMANDA KHOUV, PENNY CARROLL PHOTOGRAPHY DANNY BIRD
4 RUSSIAN TWIST
WHY IT WORKS: This rotational move builds a rock-solid core and strong lower back, helping you better handle your bike in bumpy conditions. bring the kettlebell towards reclined, holding a Technique ■ Sit with your feet lifted the floor, then twist the kettlebell out in front off the floor and your other way, reversing the of your chest. ■ Twist your upper body to upper body slightly movement. Repeat fluidly.
My fave post-training snack is… A chocolate protein shake. My workout playlist includes… Anything upbeat!
Keeping your core engaged makes this easier on your back
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1 Pearl Izumi jersey, $69.99, pearlizumi.com.au 2 Rapha crop top, $90, rapha.cc 3 H&M bag, $14.99, hm.com/au 4 Six30 shorts, $89.95, theiconic.com.au 5 Polar A370 Fitness Tracker, $299, polar.com 6 Rapha shoes, $485 7 S’well bottle, $25, swellbottle.com 8 Rapha mitts, $90, and 9 cap, $35.
SLICK KIT 68
Fact: looking good makes you pedal faster…
PHOTOGRAPHY TRENT VAN DER JAGT STYLING JESS PECORARO
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6 WEEKS TO RACE READY TUESDAY
10 min warm-up (alternate 2 min easy to 30 sec high); main set 30 min (3 x 5 min max effort* and 5 min easy spinning); 5 min cool-down
10 min warm-up (alternate 2 min easy to 30 sec high); main set 45 min (3 x 10 min sweet spot** and 5 min easy spinning); 5 min cool-down
Hills session Steady ride + 2 x 5 min climbs with sprints***
Recovery day, so take it easy!
you ride hard and recover quickly,” says Holt. “Thursday’s sessions focus on sweet spot work to help you hold your speed for longer. Saturday is about climbing and pushing over the top, and Sunday is a bonus session.” Get it done and you’ll be queen of the road. Let’s go!
10 min warm-up (alternate 2 min easy to 30 sec high); main set 30 min (3 x 5 min max effort and 5 min easy spinning); 5 min cool-down
10 min warm-up (alternate 2 min easy to 30 sec high); main set 45 min (3 x 10 min sweet spot and 4 min easy spinning); 5 min cool-down
Hills session Steady ride + 3 x 5 min climbs with sprints
Endurance ride**** Keep the first 15 min easy then steadily build up the pace until the end
ride on the hardest of courses.” Each week has three key sessions focusing on a different area of fitness, plus a bonus Sunday session aimed at general riding at an easy pace to give your body a form of active recovery. “Tuesday is a high-intensity session focusing on VO2 max intervals to help
10 min warm-up (alternate 2 min easy to 30 sec high); main set 30 min (4 x 5 min max effort and 5 min easy spinning); 5 min cool-down
5 min warm-up (alternate 2 min easy to 30 sec high); main set 45 min (3 x 12 min sweet spot and 5 min easy spinning); 5 min cool-down
Hills session Steady ride + 2 x 5 min climbs with sprints
Endurance ride Keep the first 30 min easy then steadily build up the pace until the end
WEEK 6 WEEK 5 WEEK 4
GOT A BIG RIDE COMING UP, OR A RACE YOU WANT TO TACKLE? Maybe you just want to get fitter and quicker for your daily commute. This six-week plan will get you there, says cycling coach Simon Holt. “This plan will build your fitness and strength to complete an 80km
10 min warm-up (alternate 2 min easy to 30 sec high); main set 30 min (3 x 5 min max effort and 5 min easy spinning); 5 min cool-down
10 min warm-up (alternate 2 min easy to 30 sec high); main set 45 min (3 x 10 min sweet spot and 5 min easy spinning); 5 min cool-down
Hills session Steady ride + 2 x 5 min climbs with sprints
Endurance ride Keep the first 30 min easy then steadily build up the pace until the end
10 min warm-up (alternate 2 min easy to 30 sec high); main set 30 min (5 x 5 min max effort and 5 min easy spinning); 5 min cool-down
10 min warm-up (alternate 2 min easy to 30 sec high); main set 45 min (3 x 12 min sweet spot and 4 min easy spinning); 5 min cool-down
Hills session Steady ride + 3 x 5 min climbs with sprints
Endurance ride Keep the first 30 min easy then steadily build up the pace until the end
10 min warm-up (alternate 2 min easy to 30 sec high); main set 30 min (4 x 5 min max effort, 5 min easy spinning); 5 min cool-down
10 min warm-up (alternate 2 min easy to 30 sec high); main set 45 min (3 x 10 min sweet spot, 5 min easy spinning); 5 min cool-down
Hills session Steady ride + 4 x 5 min climbs with sprints
Endurance ride Keep the first 30 min easy then steadily build up the pace until the end
*Don’t go out too hard in the 5 min efforts. Pace them so the final minute is stronger than the first **Sweet spot should be hard, but a pace you know you can complete 10 minutes worth of; the same effort you would need for a steady incline ***Find a hill that is 5 min in length. Ride sweet spot until you are about to crest the top then max sprint for 10 sec ****Take enough food and drink, but most importantly, enjoy the ride!
! n i W COMPETITION
A cycling holiday in Bali for two! HOW TO ENTER
To be in the running to win this awesome holiday, head to intrepidtravel.com/ womensfitnesscycling
HOW’S THIS FOR AN AWESOME FITNESS ADVENTURE: you and your best buddy could be heading to beautiful Bali to explore the tropical island on two wheels! We’ve teamed up with Intrepid to give you the chance to score this epic eight-day adventure, which wheels around some of the island’s best spots in the highlands and on the coast. Hit the road in Ubud and wind your way south, taking in lush green rice fields, smouldering volcanoes, family-run warungs, community projects, caves, temples and tiny villages. With the chilled-out beaches of Lovina and Sanur on the horizon, and a slew of activities on offer throughout – such as a hike up Mt Batur – it’s guaranteed to be an unforgettable journey.
Your prize includes ■
Return flights for two
Breakfast each day, plus one lunch and dinner A bike to ride, plus transport around Bali ■
EatFIT LIE TO ME
Here’s a neat trick to avoid overeating: tell yourself you’ve eaten a bigger breakfast than you actually have. In a recent UK study, participants who thought they were eating a four-egg omelette for breakfast felt less hungry two hours later, ate a smaller amount of pasta at lunch and consumed significantly fewer kilojoules throughout the day than participants who thought they were eating a two-egg omelette. (In reality, all the participants ate three eggs!) So, ask your flatmate to make your breakfast and lie about how much food she put in it. Or try another of these science-based tricks to help you eat less. 1 USE A SMALL PLATE Researchers from Clemson University in the US recently proved a piece of advice you’ve heard many times before – you’ll eat less if you use a small plate rather than a large one.
WORDS SABRINA ROGERS-ANDERSON PHOTOGRAPHY GETTY IMAGES
2 COUNT YOUR BITES The same group of researchers also discovered that participants who received feedback on the number of bites they took ate less overall than those who didn’t get any feedback. 3 FILL UP ON FRUIT AND VEG A 24-year study of more than 133,000 adults found that upping fruit and non-starchy vegetables – such as berries, apples and cauliflower – leads to weight loss.
DF = DAIRY FREE V = VEGETARIAN VG = VEGAN. GF = GLUTEN FREE DECODE OUR RECIPES: DF GF womensfitness.com.au womensfitnessaustralia @womensfitnessmag @womensfitnessau
Make this recipe the nig ht before and keep it in the fridge overnig ht, then just grab and go in the morning
CHAI BIRCHER MUESLI SERVES 2
1 cups natural muesli 1 cups chai tea, made with 2 tea bags 1 green apple, grated, sliced tsp ground cinnamon tsp ground cardamom (optional) tsp ground ginger (optional) 1 tsp honey 1 tsp pure vanilla extract coconut yoghurt (or yoghurt of your choice), to serve 1 Combine all the ingredients except the sliced apple in a small bowl or jar, then cover and leave overnight. 2 Serve the bircher muesli topped with the sliced apple and a dollop of yoghurt.
Sunny SIDE UP
The warmer days may be on their way out, but ultimate surfer girl Sally Fitzgibbons has a menu to keep those summer vibes flowing 72
EatFIT These make a great portable snack or onthe-go brekkie
SMOKED SALMON EGG MUFFINS WITH ROAST TOMATOES SERVES 2
extra virgin olive oil, for greasing 3 wholegrain wraps 4 organic eggs 3 tbs milk of your choice pinch of chilli flakes sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 100g smoked salmon, chopped 2 tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley 12 cherry tomatoes on the vine 2 handfuls of rocket 1 Preheat the oven to 180Â°C and grease six holes of a cup capacity muffin tray with olive oil. 2 Encase the wraps in foil and place in the oven until warm and soft, about 5-10
minutes. Cut each wrap in half. Whisk the eggs and milk together with the chilli flakes and a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. 3 Line each muffin hole with a wrap half to make a cup shape (this is a bit fiddly but they donâ€™t have to be perfect). Divide the smoked salmon and parsley between the wrap cases and then pour in the egg mixture. 4 Place the tomatoes (still on the vine) on a baking tray. 5 Cook tomatoes and muffins for 15-20 minutes until muffins are set (cover with some foil if the edges are browning too much). Serve 3 muffins per person with the roast tomatoes and rocket.
This is the perfect way to enjoy a pad thai with confidence there are no nasty ingredients
CHICKEN PAD THAI SERVES 4
150g rice stick noodles 2 tbs tamari or soy sauce 1 tsp fish sauce 2 tsp coconut sugar 1 lime, juiced, cut into 4 wedges 1 tbs coconut oil 400g chicken thigh fillets, cut into 2cm pieces 1 long red chilli, finely sliced 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced 1 red onion, sliced into thin wedges 1 carrot, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks 2 handfuls of snowpeas, trimmed and cut into thin strips 2 organic eggs, lightly beaten 2 handfuls of bean sprouts 3 tbs roughly chopped raw, unsalted cashews
1 Soak the noodles in boiling water for 5 minutes, then drain and set aside. 2 Combine the tamari or soy sauce, fish sauce, coconut sugar and lime juice and set aside. 3 Heat the coconut oil in a wok over high heat. Cook the chicken for 3-4 minutes until browned on all sides, then remove from the wok. 4 Reduce the heat to medium and add the chilli, garlic and onion to the wok. Stir-fry for 1 minute, then add the carrot and snowpeas and stir-fry for a further 2-3 minutes. Add the noodles and the sauce and mix well. Add the chicken, then slowly pour in the eggs and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the bean sprouts. 5 Plate up with the chopped cashews and lime wedges to serve.
EatFIT SPICY FISH TACOS SERVES 2
2 tsp smoked paprika tsp chilli flakes 200g flathead tails or firm white fish fillets, cut into strips 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 corn cob, husk removed red cabbage, shredded 2 radishes, trimmed and finely sliced 1 handful of coriander leaves, finely chopped juice of lime 4 large cos lettuce leaves DRESSING 2 tbs coconut yoghurt (or yoghurt of your choice) juice of lime jalapeno chilli, finely diced
1 On a plate, sprinkle the paprika and chilli flakes over the fish and add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and turn to coat the fish well in the spices. Leave in the fridge. 2 Set a steamer over a saucepan of simmering water. Place the corn cob in the steamer and lightly steam until just tender, about 2-3 minutes. Cool under running water, then cut off the kernels. 3 Combine the corn, cabbage, radish and coriander in a bowl. Add the remaining olive oil and the lime juice. 4 To make the dressing, combine the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat and sear the fish for 1-2 minutes on each side or until just cooked through. 5 Serve the salad in the lettuce cups, topped with the fish and the coconut yoghurt dressing.
These spicy fish tacos donâ€™t get much easier, or tastier! The lettuce cups make them lig ht but you could replace them with corn or wholegrain tortillas 75
EAT LIKE SALLY
Pro surfer and all-round wonder woman Sally Fitzgibbons shares her summer-lovin’ food philosophy
What flavours = summer to you? Fresh figs, mango, fresh fish and anything on the barbecue. How do you keep the summer vibes going all year round? I’m lucky in that my contest schedule takes me pretty much on an endless summer, which is awesome as I get to buy those summer fruits like blueberries, raspberries and mangos all year round. They all sing summer and you can incorporate them into salads with some fresh protein.
COOKIE DOUGH VANILLA PROTEIN BUTTONS MAKES 9 SMALL BUTTONS
cup rolled oats 3 tbs vanilla pea protein powder (or your favourite flavour) 3 tbs melted coconut oil 1 tbs nut butter (peanut or almond is good) 1 tbs honey 3 tbs dark chocolate chips (at least 60 per cent cocoa) 1 In a food processor, blend the oats until they reach a flour-like consistency, then add the protein powder, coconut oil, nut butter, honey and 2 tablespoons
of the dark chocolate chips. Blend to form a dough. 2 Line a plate or baking tray with baking paper. Using a tablespoon of mixture at a time, roll into 3cm balls and place on the tray, leaving a few centimetres around each one to allow for spreading. Using your palm, gently flatten each ball so it forms a button. Press the remaining chocolate chips into the top of the buttons. 3 Place the buttons in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to harden. Store in the fridge for up to a week.
What food rituals do you follow? I follow the seasons with eating fruit and veggies every single day, so whatever is in season is what I eat.
Your ultimate tip for healthy eating? It has to become your everyday philosophy and it all begins by shopping right. When you indulge, what do you go for? A healthy vegan treat with a cup of herbal tea will do it for me every time!
These protein-packed buttons are a perfect addition to your bag on a weekend hike, or for a post-workout snack. The oats and protein powder combined will keep you powering throug h! womensfitnessaustralia
PHOTOGRAPHY ROB PALMER
How important is food in fuelling your performance? It’s everything! You can do all the training you think is necessary, but if you haven’t provided your body with the best fuel then it just won’t hold up. What you put in is what you get out.
EatFIT PUMPKIN AND CRANBERRY LOAF MAKES 10 SLICES
Weekend bake-ups are so good for the soul! This loaf will keep for a week in the fridge, or slice and freeze it for up to a month
Find more delish recipes in Summer Fit All Year Round by Sally Fitzgibbons (Pan Macmillan, $34.99).
butternut pumpkin (about 280g), peeled and diced into 2cm cubes 3 tbs freshly squeezed orange juice 1 cup almond meal 1 cup rolled oats cup buckwheat flour 1 tbs psyllium husk tsp sea salt 1 tsp baking powder tsp bicarbonate of soda 1 tsp ground cinnamon tsp ground nutmeg 2 organic eggs 3 tbs coconut oil, melted 3 tbs maple syrup 3 tbs walnuts, coarsely chopped cup dried cranberries 1 tbs pumpkin seeds 1 tbs chia seeds cup strawberries, hulled and sliced tahini and/or honey, to serve (optional) 1 Preheat the oven to 180Â°C. Grease a loaf tin and line it with baking paper. 2 Place the pumpkin in a steamer set over a saucepan of gently boiling water, and steam until very soft, about 12-15 minutes. Transfer the pumpkin to a food processor or high-speed blender, then add the orange juice and blend until smooth. Set this aside to cool for 5 minutes. 3 Combine the almond meal, oats, buckwheat flour, psyllium husk, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until pale. Add the eggs to the dry ingredients, along with the pumpkin purĂŠe, coconut oil and maple syrup and mix thoroughly. Lastly, fold through the walnuts and the cranberries. 4 Spoon the mixture into the loaf tin and smooth with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds and chia seeds. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean and the loaf is slightly browned on top. Leave in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn it out and allow to cool before slicing. 5 Serve 1-2 slices per person with sliced strawberries and drizzled with tahini and/ or honey, if using.
BITcElub The latest fun foodie finds
MAKE IT LAST
If you’re keen to reduce food waste (check out page 84 to find out why you should be), you’ll like FreshPaper, a compostable sheet that helps to extend the life of fruit, veggies and bread. From $9.95, freshpaper.com.au
Love nut milk, but not so nuts about the strain on your wallet? Enter Ulu Hye Nut Mylk Base, an organic, multi-nut paste that can be blended with water to make fresh nut milk (10 litres of it!) whenever you want it. Sold! $29.95, uluhye.com.au
Love is served
We adore anything funny lady Ellen does, including these sweet side plates. Ellen DeGeneres for Royal Doulton Blue Love set of four plates, $49.95, minimax.com.au
TAKE A SIP
Hungry like a wolf
If that describes you after a workout, refuel with protein. Add a scoop of White Wolf Nutrition’s Vegan All-In-One Pea Protein in Creamy Vanilla to a banana smoothie for a delish way to tame that tummy growl. $39.99, whitewolfnutrition.com
Fruity beauty Fi Water in Pear & Vanilla flavour, $3.95, drinkfiwater.com
Electrolyte elixir Bee Hydrated Honey Water in Replenish, $4.99, beehydrated.com.au
Probiotic boost rok Kombucha in Passionfruit Rap, $4.99, rokkombucha.com.au
WORDS PENNY CARROLL PHOTOGRAPHY GETTY IMAGES
Need more incentive to hydrate? Try these flavoured drinks
WOM E N ’ S FITN E S S promotion No bu t ter, n no problem o oil, ! Just sub it ou t w C h obani G it h re ek Yogur t fo r a bet ter ba ke
BANANA BREAD MAKES 12-16 SLICES
A BETTER BAKE Forget banana breads loaded with oil and butter – this a-peeling recipe uses Chobani Greek Yogurt for a healthy and delish twist!
2 cups flour 1 tsp baking soda tsp baking powder cup walnuts, chopped tsp salt tsp cinnamon 1 cup mashed, overripe banana, plus 1 whole banana, to decorate 1 cup Chobani Plain Low-Fat Greek Yogurt cup pure maple syrup or honey 2 tsp pure vanilla extract 1 Preheat oven to 180˚C. Grease a 9×5cm loaf pan, or line with baking paper. Set aside. 2 Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Whisk wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Pour wet into dry, and stir to form a batter. 3 Pour batter into the prepared pan. Slice banana lengthways in half and press into top. Bake for 30 minutes, then turn off the heat and let sit in the closed oven for 10 minutes. Remove loaf from oven and allow to cool.
THE BREAKFAST CLUB
Rise and shine with these crazy good (and good-for-you!) morning eats from The Wholesome Cook, Martyna Angell
SMASHED PEAS, AVOCADO AND BROADBEANS ON TOAST SERVES 4
2 cups podded fresh or frozen broadbeans 2 cups fresh or frozen peas 4 tbs lemon or lime juice 1 tbs olive oil 4 tbs freshly chopped dill 50g feta (optional) 4 slices of sourdough bread of choice 1 large avocado 4 eggs, poached
sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 2 tbs micro herbs (optional) 1 Place broadbeans in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Cook for 5 minutes, add peas and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, then drain. To peel broadbeans, when cool enough to handle, pinch one end of each
broadbean open and squeeze gently on the other end to pop bean out. 2 Gently mash peas and broadbeans with a fork. Drizzle with lemon or lime juice and olive oil, add dill and mix well. Crumble in feta, if using. 3 Toast bread and serve topped with broadbean mixture, avocado and an egg. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with micro herbs, if using.
EatFIT YOGHURT WAFFLES SERVES 4
2 eggs 1 cup Greek-style yoghurt or coconut yoghurt 60g butter or coconut oil, melted 1 tbs honey, maple syrup or rice malt syrup cup almond meal cup rice flour 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda to serve, any of the following: whipped cream or yoghurt of choice coconut flakes nuts fresh fruit
1 In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add yoghurt, melted butter or coconut oil and honey, maple syrup or rice syrup and whisk to combine. Add almond meal, rice flour and bicarbonate of soda and stir to make a thick, uniform batter. 2 Heat a waffle iron according to manufacturerâ€™s settings, dollop in about cup of batter per waffle, spreading to edges. Close waffle iron and cook for 2 minutes, or until waffles are golden. Serve warm with your chosen toppings or cool and store in fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days to eat as a cold snack.
To up the fibre rg e content, g rate a la apple and add it to the batter with on 1 teaspoon of cinnam womensfitness.com.au
SAVOURY TAHINI MUFFINS MAKES 12
3 cups finely diced pumpkin (about 400g) 1 tbs olive oil pinch each of sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper 2 cups ivory teff flour 2 tsp baking powder zest of 1 lemon 2 tbs finely chopped flat-leaf parsley 1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp ground turmeric 2 eggs 120g feta, crumbled, plus extra to sprinkle on top 1 cups Greek-style yoghurt cup hulled tahini cup coconut oil, melted cup pumpkin seeds 1 Preheat oven to 220°C (200°C
fan-forced). Line a 12-hole standard muffin tin with paper cases. 2 Toss pumpkin in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a baking tray and roast for 15 minutes, or until just tender. Reduce oven temperature to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). 3 Sift flour and baking powder into a large bowl, add lemon zest, parsley, cumin and turmeric and mix well. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, feta, yoghurt, tahini and coconut oil. Fold wet mixture into dry ingredients until just combined. 4 Add roasted pumpkin and lightly fold through. Divide muffin mix between paper cases, sprinkle on pumpkin seeds and bake 25-30 minutes, until a skewer inserted in a muffin comes out clean.
Plate up Nutritionist and author Martyna walks us through her smart take on eating
TAILOR IT TO YOU: I believe in ‘bioindividuality’, that is, that we’re all different and no single diet fits everyone the same. It’s less about following new food trends, and more about tuning into your own body and finding real food that will best work for you. GO WHOLE: When it comes to having a healthy breakfast, pack as many nourishing, real food ingredients into that mealtime as possible – it starts the day right. These can include greens and vegetables, mushrooms, nuts and seeds, fruit and fermented foods like yoghurt. TRY A LATER START: Sometimes, especially after an evening of indulgence the night before, I like to skip breakfast to extend the overnight fast and give my digestive system a chance to rest. I’ll often then have my first meal in the early afternoon – it’s a lifestyle choice that helps me feel better. The important thing to remember here is that it’s all about doing what works for you! BUCK THE TRENDS: One of the biggest common misconceptions around food is the value of cutting out whole food groups, just because it’s trendy. While in some cases – such as coeliac disease – it’s downright necessary to cut out trigger foods, and reducing our overall added sugar intake is important, restricting your diet because it’s trendy is not!
These lig ht and bouncy, nutrientdense muffins can help support women throug h PMS
Teff flour c health, in an improve bone cre boost the ase circulation, imm and optimis une system e dig estio n For more great recipes, pick up The Wholesome Cook: Recipes for Life’s Seasons by Martyna Angell (Harlequin, $49.99).
HAM, LEEK AND EGG GALETTE
PHOTOGRAPHY MARTYNA ANGELL
1 cups brown teff flour 1 tsp xanthan gum 90g cold butter, chopped pinch sea salt flakes, plus extra to serve 1 egg yolk 1 tbs lemon juice cup chilled water, plus extra if needed 1 tbs olive oil or coconut oil 1 leek, white part only, washed and sliced finely 120g ham, chopped roughly tsp dried thyme freshly ground black pepper, to taste 50g baby spinach leaves cup grated cheddar 4 eggs
1 Place flour, xanthan gum, butter and salt in a food processor and process until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolk, lemon juice and water. With processor on low, slowly pour in liquid. Process until mixture comes together in a ball, adding a little more water if necessary. 2 Turn pastry out onto a sheet of baking paper and knead until smooth. Shape into a 30cm round, wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge to chill for 30 minutes. 3 Preheat oven to 190°C (170°C fan-forced). 4 Meanwhile, heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add leek and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until
softened. Add ham and thyme, season with pepper and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Stir in spinach, cook until just wilted, then set aside to cool. 5 Remove pastry from fridge. Slide a baking tray under baking paper. Leaving a 2.5cm border around edge, top pastry with half the cheese, then scatter on ham mixture. Using back of a spoon, press filling apart gently to make four shallow cavities for eggs. Crack an egg into each cavity. Using a spatula or knife, gently lift and fold in edges of pastry to enclose filling. Sprinkle remaining cheese over your tart and bake for 20-25 minutes until pastry is golden. Place baking tray on a wire rack to cool, then cut and serve.
WASTE Bad news, guys: weâ€™re tossing out a bunch of nutrients with those tired veggies and out-of-date groceries, says WF dietitian Caitlin Reid. Hereâ€™s how to score fridge (and wellness) goals instead
EatFIT NEXT TIME YOU HEAD TO THE SUPERMARKET, consider this: one in five of the grocery bags you bring home will end up in the bin. This adds up to a yearly total of $1,050 worth of wasted food – or, if you look at it another way, enough cash for a whole new fitdrobe. Collectively in Australia, we’re putting 5 million tonnes of food in landfill each year – enough to fill 10,500 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Even if you’re super careful about food waste, you’ve probably put leftovers in the fridge on occasion only to find them a week later growing mould. Many of us have also purchased fresh fruit that has spoiled before we have a chance to eat it, or made a meal only to see plans change and half the food go uneaten. Yep, there’s a good chance we’re all throwing away more food than we realise. While some of the food we discard, such as tea bags and banana peels, can’t be avoided, there’s plenty that can. In fact, 25 per cent of the rubbish in our garbage bins is made up of avoidable food waste – that’s food we purchase with the intention of being eaten but instead discard. We’re primarily throwing this food away because we don’t use it in time. In most cases, we simply look at the date on the packet and discard it if the date has passed, without checking to see if the contents are still edible. While wasted money is one issue with food waste, the environmental impact is also a major concern. Discarded food ends up in landfill, where it breaks down and contributes to greenhouse emissions. Food waste costs millions of farm animals’ lives, accounts for billions of dollars worth of human labour and uses large amounts of fresh water to produce food that is never eaten. It wastes resources, clears forests and wetlands unnecessarily and costs the Australian economy $20 billion each year. But there’s one other side effect you might not have considered: when you throw out food, you’re also tossing out a lot of important nutrients.
PHOTOGRAPHY GETTY IMAGES
Food that winds up in our rubbish bin contains many of the same nutrients we’re missing from our diets. In 2012, US researchers calculated the nutritional value of 213 foods that were wasted at the retail level and in homes. Their research revealed that wasted food contained approximately 5,040kJ, 146g of carbohydrates, 33g of protein, 6g of fibre, 286mg of calcium, 2mg of vitamin D and 900mg of potassium per person, as well as other key nutrients.
“The five most-wasted foods in Australia contain many of the key nutrients we’re missing” While the nutrient data of wasted food in Australian is unknown, we do know that the five most wasted food items are bread, bagged salad, milk, bananas and meat. These foods contain many of the key nutrients that are wasted in the US. Meat is rich in protein, bread and bananas contain carbohydrates and fibre, and bananas and leafy greens are packed with potassium. It’s the most perishable items that we’re more likely to throw out and these foods just happen to be the most nutritious. By reducing food wastage, not only can we have a positive effect on the environment and save money, we can also improve our nutrient intake and potentially boost our health at the same time.
Waste less, score more
If you want to cash in on the nutrients you’re tossing and do your bit to help Australia reduce its waste, there are a few healthy habits you can adopt.
PLAN MEALS: Spend time each week planning what meals you’ll eat and create a shopping list. Whether you live alone or in a large household, food planning will save you time and money, and makes you less likely to cave in to unhealthy takeaway, too. Meal planning makes it easier for you to actually eat the food you buy, reducing the likelihood of a crisper full of shrivelled vegetables at the end of the week. CHECK YOUR KITCHEN: Know what food you already have in your fridge, freezer and pantry before you go shopping, so you buy only what you need. Keep your kitchen user-friendly and don’t over-stock with food. You’ll be able to easily see what food you have and be less likely to have a pantry and fridge full of food past its use-by date. STORE IT RIGHT: Storing food the right way will help it to last longer, giving you more time to eat it and freeing up space in your rubbish bin. And when you don’t get a chance to eat food, make use of your freezer. Everything from leftover pasta and casseroles to bread and fruit can be put in the freezer to be eaten at a later date. Label and date the foods you freeze.
WATCH YOUR PORTIONS:
Cooking more than you need is one of the biggest contributors to food waste. While leftovers can make a great lunch the following day, they also tend to end up in the bin. Planning your portions will help you to reduce waste and ensure a healthy, balanced diet. As a guide, standard portion sizes per person include 150g of raw meat (about the size of the palm of your hand), 130g of uncooked fresh pasta or 75g of rice and 1-2 cups of cooked vegetables.
REPURPOSE FOOD: Don’t let leftover vegetables go to waste, instead repurpose them into nutrient-rich meals and snacks. Turn leftover or tired herbs and veg into delicious dips and enjoy with veggie sticks like carrot, celery and capsicum. Vegetables are also great in frittatas and soups, which can both be frozen. Salads like coleslaw can contain anything from carrots and cabbage to apple, onion, snow peas and capsicum. SET UP A COMPOST: Make a compost by placing a bin or compost heap in a well-drained and shaded area. You can compost fruit, vegetables, garden clippings and dry leaves. Just make sure it doesn’t get too much sun and stays moist. REDUCE YOUR PACKAGING:
Choose foods with the least amount of packaging – they’re more likely to be healthy whole foods. Shop more regularly for fresh food or buy longer shelf-life items in bulk and portion them out. This makes it easier to freeze in portions and only use what you need in recipes.
WANT TO GET REALLY WASTE SAVVY? Get educated! Hit up foodwise.com.au and womensfitness.com.au for more ideas to reduce your waste.
r e t a w Put the kettle on, dig out your favourite teapot and get ready to discover why a cuppa is a gift to your health
LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE HUMBLE CUPPA – AT ITS SIMPLEST, it’s a little bag of leaves dunked in hot water, but it has the power to make you feel safe, warm, nurtured and refreshed, all in one sip. And now research shows that your morning pick-me-up offers some powerful health benefits, too. Tea is the most highly consumed beverage in the world after water, and whether you take it black, white, herbal, fruity or spiced, it can do your body good. “Drinking black, green, oolong and herbal infusions all tick a lot of boxes when it 86
comes to our health – from reducing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, arthritis and obesity risks, to protecting against cancer, as well as having oral health and hydration benefits,” says tea researcher Dr Tim Bond. Not bad for some dried leaves! Want to know how a cuppa can boost your health? Put the kettle on and get ready to drink up the benefits.
BREW IT FOR…
Antioxidants – the molecules that help prevent the damaging effects of oxidation
on cells in the body – play an important role in our diet. And while all teas contain good levels of these nutrients, green tea is the standout. “The primary health-boosting quality of green tea is undoubtedly its content of antioxidants,” says nutritionist Cassandra Barns. “These include a type of flavonol called catechins, of which the most abundant is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Catechins have been found to have anti-inflammatory activity, anti-cancer and anti-ageing properties.” You’ll also score antioxidant @womensfitnessau
Brew it yourself
Try mixing up one of the delicious herbal blends from Infuse: Teas to Cleanse, Nourish and Heal
WHAT ABOUT THE CAFFEINE?
A cup of black tea contains around 55mg of caffeine, while green tea has about 20mg. For reference, a standard cup of coffee will give you around 100mg of caffeine.
compounds called polyphenols from green tea. Dr Stephen Hsu, a cell biologist in the Medical College of Georgia Department of Oral Biology, has determined that polyphenols help eliminate free radicals (the molecules that cause oxidation) while safeguarding healthy cells. For a powerful antioxidant hit, whisk up a serve of matcha. The EGCG content of this powdered green tea is more than 100 times greater than that found in a standard green tea infusion.
BREW IT FOR…
A mug of tea might not look like a powerful tonic, but growing research suggests it can help tackle some of our biggest health dilemmas. “Data pooled from a recent ‘super study’ [by the Department of Neurosurgery, Shanghai Seventh People’s Hospital, China] found that regular tea consumption [three cups of black tea daily] reduces the risk of coronary heart disease by 27 per cent, and the risk of suffering a stroke by 21 per cent,” Dr Bond explains. Meanwhile, research by the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) found that drinking three cups of tea, three cups of coffee or a combination of both daily reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by around 42 per cent. Add a little cinnamon to your cup and you’ll get even more blood sugar benefits. “Recent research suggests cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels and help prevent type 2 diabetes,” says Paula Grainger, co-author of Infuse: Teas to Cleanse, Nourish and Heal (Octopus, $24.99).
BREW IT FOR…
Whether you want to lose weight or maintain where you’re at, black, white and green tea can help you reach your goals. Researchers from Germany labelled white tea as a “natural source of slimming womensfitness.com.au
antities Scale up the qu ck in and k eep a sto an air tig ht jar
Sweet sleep tea
Like a lullaby in a cup, this sweet blend will relax your mind and body for a restorative night’s sleep. Drink a cup an hour before bed so the herbs can work their magic before your head hits the pillow. Just leave out the hops if you have depression or an oestrogenic condition. To track down these herbs, visit a health food shop. MAKES 1 LARGE CUP 1 tsp dried chamomile flowers 1 tsp dried linden flowers tsp dried catmint leaf tsp dried passionflower tsp dried hop flowers 1 twist of orange zest pinch of dried lavender flowers
Bring a kettle of filtered water to just below boiling point. Stuff a spacious tea ball or infuser with all of the herb mixture and place it in a large mug. Pour over some boiling filtered water to fill the mug, allow it to steep for five minutes, then remove the infuser from the mug. Serve.
substances” after it was found that an extract of the tea effectively inhibits the generation of human fat cells (adipocytes) and stimulates fat mobilisation from mature cells. Green tea has also been found to be effective. “Green tea may support weight loss in several ways: increasing thermogenesis (kilojoule burning), increasing fat oxidation (burning of fat for energy), reducing fat absorption, and even reducing appetite,” says Barns. Black tea, too, was found to inhibit weight gain by an average of 640g and reduce waist circumference by 1.88cm, according to the Department of Nutrition at the University of Oslo.
BREW IT FOR…
Did you know you can support bone health with your daily English Breakfast? “It’s been found that EGCG can decrease our numbers of the cells that break down bone – and increase the numbers and activity of the cells that build bone,” explains Barns. Green tea is great for bones, but according to Dr Bond, black tea can also reduce the risk of fractures, particularly in
women. “In an Australian study, the consumption of three or more cups of black tea daily was associated with a 30 per cent reduced risk of osteoporotic fracture,” Dr Bond explains. “It’s thought that the flavonoids found in tea may have contributed to these benefits.”
BREW IT FOR...
High levels of fluoride make tea an unsuspecting dental hero. “Tea is a natural source of fluoride, as the tea plant absorbs fluoride present in the soil of tea-producing countries,” explains periodontologist Professor Robin Seymour. A recent study published in Nutrition Bulletin reviewed fluoride levels in 49 different tea bags and found that levels ranged from 0.72 to 1.68mg per serving – around a quarter to half of the Australian adequate intake for women. Why the difference? “The level of fluoride in tea leaves will depend on where the tea is grown, with countries such as Kenya being particularly good for fluoride-rich soils,” Professor Seymour adds. Green tea has also been recognised as
Find more great tea recipes in Infuse: Teas to Cleanse, Nourish and Heal by Karen Sullivan and Paula Grainger (Octopus, $24.99).
having potent antibacterial activity against several of the bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay – so much so that it can even be used as mouthwash. Oh, and it’ll keep your breath smelling sweet too. “Several studies have found that green tea can help reduce bad breath thanks to its natural disinfectant and deodorant activities,” adds Barns. Take that, coffee!
BREW IT FOR…
When it comes to digestive issues, herbal tea can help restore balance. “Almost all herbs work to detoxify the body to some extent, improving and soothing digestion, and ridding your organs of toxins to ensure they work at optimal level,” explains Grainger. “When you’re feeling sluggish, tired and run down, a cup of healing herbal tea may be all it takes to get you going again.” The best tummy-soothing infusions? Peppermint is an effective pain reliever for IBS, while fennel can help relieve bloating; ginger helps ease nausea, indigestion and motion sickness; while rooibos has been praised for improving digestion. If you’re
Fruity antioxidant burst With vitamin C to detox and a burst of antioxidants from the berries, this tea boosts the immune system, reduces inflammation and fights free radicals. MAKES 1 CUP 300ml filtered water 2 tsp dried elderberries 1 tsp dried bilberries 1 tsp dried hibiscus 1 tsp dried hawthorn berries tsp finely grated orange zest lemon, for squeezing honey, to taste Pour the measured water into a small saucepan and heat it to just below boiling point. Drop in the dried berries and flowers and the orange zest, then reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. Simmer gently for five minutes until the berries are soft and start to burst. Strain the mixture into a cup and use the back of a spoon to press as much liquid out of the berries as possible. Add a squeeze of lemon, to taste, for a fresh citrus zing and vitamin C boost, and a little honey, to sweeten.
EatFIT feeling a little, ah, backed up, “Rhubarb root and yellow dock gently stimulate movement, while cramp bark, chamomile and aromatic spices prevent pain,” says Grainger.
When hot water is added to herbal teas like the one below, the dried flowers swell and grow up to five times their original size, so make sure to use a big teapot. Make it a clear one for an extra pretty tea time!
BREW IT FOR…
Feeling stressed? Can’t focus? Worried? Put the kettle on! We often naturally gravitate towards a hot cup of tea in times of stress, and research shows it has a real soothing quality. “The primary reason that [black, green or oolong] tea is a good choice when we’re stressed is thanks to its content of a natural substance called L-theanine, which is virtually unique to the tea plant,” Barns explains. “L-theanine has been found to have a relaxing effect on the mind, reduce anxiety and help with concentration. It’s thought to do this by increasing alpha waves in the brain, which are associated with being ‘calm but alert’ – that is, increasing relaxation without causing drowsiness.” Not surprisingly, herbal tea is another great resource for tense times. “Many herbs can have an effect on emotional
health, easing anxiety, depression, sleep problems, mood swings and symptoms of stress,” says Grainger. Want to give your grey matter a boost? Studies also suggest that the catechins in green tea can reach the brain and help protect neurons (nerve cells), as well as reducing decline in brain function. “It’s reported that the catechins in green tea help prevent build-up of amyloid plaques and phosphorylated tau proteins – processes that occur in people with Alzheimer’s, and lead to a decline in memory and cognitive function,” Barns explains.
Four essential brews to keep in your kitchen GREEN TEA Made from: Camellia sinensis leaves – the same used in black tea, minus the drying and oxidising process. How to brew it: Avoid using freshly boiled water – it can scorch the tea and leave it bitter. Allow the water to cool to 70-80°C; infuse 2-3 minutes. Try it: Tetley Green Tea, $4.60, tetley.com.au MATCHA TEA Made from: Green tea leaves that have been finely powdered. How to brew it: Gently whisk a teaspoon of matcha powder with nearly boiling water and serve with a dash of milk and a drizzle of honey. Try it: Little Wildling Co Minty Matcha, $22, littlewildlingco.com BLACK TEA Made from: Camellia sinensis leaves that are withered, oxidised and dried to create a strongly flavoured drink. How to brew it: Use a teaspoon of loose leaf tea per 220ml of boiling water and steep for 3-5 minutes. Try it: Mayde Tea English Breakfast, $37 (120 serves), maydetea.com
This fragrant medley helps you chill. The aromatic sweetness of liquorice soothes and opens your senses for a feeling of absolute peace.
WORDS ERICA BUSH PHOTOGRAPHY THINKSTOCK, INFUSE: TEAS TO CLEANSE, NOURISH AND HEAL
The tea bar
MAKES 2 CUPS 2 tsp dried chamomile flowers 1 tsp dried rose petals and buds 1 tsp dried calendula petals tsp dried linden flowers and leaves tsp dried elderflowers 2.5cm piece of dried liquorice root, chopped tsp fennel seeds 2-3 dried lavender sprigs 1 thin lemon slice, halved manuka honey, to taste (optional)
HERBAL TEA Made from: A variety of herbs – the most popular include peppermint, chamomile and lavender. How to brew it: Add a tea bag to boiling water and infuse for 3-5 mins. Try it: Pukka Herbal Collection, $7.95, shop.pukkaherbs.com.au
Put the herbs in a mortar and gently crush them with the pestle until roughly combined, then transfer to a warmed teapot. Bring a kettle of filtered water to just below boiling point, pour 600ml hot water over the herbs and replace the teapot lid. Steep for five minutes, then strain into two warmed mugs. Top each mugful with half a lemon slice and stir in a little nourishing honey.
Carefree cooking Keep life simple with these easy veggie dishes
Yumi Stynes is a busy mum and broadcaster so she has no time for fussy food. Here’s how she keeps stress off the menu...
DON’T GET COMPLICATED If you can stop yourself from overcomplicating ideas around food and nutrition, you can do pretty well. The thing I always say to my kids is, “You can totally eat a bit of junk, but don’t start with that. Start with what makes you feel bright.” I make sure there are lots of bright colours, serve large portions of the green thing and not too much of anything deep-fried or meaty.
SERVES 6 WITH LEFTOVERS
850g broccoli florets 3 tbs olive oil zest and juice of 1 lemon, plus extra lemon juice to serve salt and pepper 100g (2 cups) baby spinach 150g feta, cubed 400g tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed 1 tbs macadamia oil or olive oil 1 Preheat barbecue or grill pan to very hot. 2 In a large bowl and working with your hands, toss the broccoli florets through
the olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice, then season generously with salt and pepper. Spread the broccoli over the barbecue hotplate or pan and cook for 10 minutes, turning at 3-minute intervals, until charred all over. Don’t be afraid of a little bit of blackness on the broccoli – these are the most delicious bits. 3 Add the spinach, feta and chickpeas to a serving bowl and mix everything together well, then tip in your cooked broccoli, drizzle over the macadamia oil, add a big squeeze of lemon and give everything a last toss. Serve.
SERVE SOMETHING RAW I have a rule: always serve a meal with something raw. A few slices of cucumber, some cherry tomatoes or a couple of wedges of orange. It looks beautiful and takes zero cook time.
PHOTOGRAPHY CHRIS CHEN
Chargrilled broccoli salad
LOSE THE GUILT Keep things on hand that you like and are good for you, and don’t feel guilty about eating them! I know people who will ‘save’ the expensive blueberries until they go off, meanwhile eating the ice-cream. Your body deserves delicious, healthy things.
EatFIT Nailed-it cauliflower SERVES 4–6
3 tbs olive oil 1 whole head of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces, including the stem and inner leaves 1 tbs sweet paprika 1 tbs ground turmeric 1 tbs sumac zest and juice of 1 lemon salt and pepper 1 Preheat the oven to 175°C. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over a high heat. 2 Add the cauliflower to the pan, sprinkle over all the remaining ingredients and fry for 10 minutes, mixing and stirring as you go, until everything starts to smell and look amazing. Season the cauliflower to taste with salt and pepper. 3 Transfer the cauliflower to the oven (either in the original frying pan if it’s ovenproof, or in a baking dish) and roast for 30 minutes, or until charred and sweet, crunchy and soft – one truly delightful vegetable.
The best miso eggplant SERVES 8 AS A STARTER OR 4 AS A MAIN DF
4 medium eggplants, halved lengthways 60ml peanut, canola or olive oil 2 tbs sesame seeds GLAZE 2 tbs mirin 2 tbs sakè 1 tbs sugar 2 tbs white miso paste
For more easy recipes, pick up a copy of The Zero F*cks Cookbook by Yumi Stynes (Hardie Grant Books, $39.99)
1 Preheat the barbecue or a grill pan to medium– hot (not a raging-inferno-of-hell hot). 2 To make the glaze, mix all the ingredients together in a small jar or bowl. 3 Score neat criss-crosses no more than 5mm deep into the cut side of the eggplant, then lightly brush all over with the oil. 4 Place the eggplants, skin side down, on the chargrill plate of the barbecue, close the hood and cook for 8 minutes, then turn the eggplant halves onto the cut side and cook for a further 8 minutes with the hood closed. If your barbecue doesn’t have a lid (or you’re using a grill pan) cover the eggplants with a baking tray. 5 Flip the eggplants one last time, brush the cut side with the glaze and sprinkle over the sesame seeds. Cook for a final 3-5 minutes, or until looking glossy, charred and much smaller than when you started. Serve hot, eat with a knife and fork and don’t be afraid to eat the skin – that’s the best bit.
GET CARB SAVVY Confused about carbs? Nutritionist Susie Burrell is here to set you straight
FORGET FAT AND SUGAR, THE MOST BAFFLING FOOD GROUP on your plate would have to be carbohydrates. For a start, they go way beyond bread and pasta! And then there’s the debate about whether to love them or leave them. Yep, it’s complicated. The good news is, carbs aren’t bad for you, it’s simply about the type, how much you need and how much you’re actually eating…
PHOTOGRAPHY PATRICK MACKEY;
Carbohydrates are primarily found in plant-based foods including bread, rice, breakfast cereal, fruit, starchy vegetables and sugars. They contain 16 kilojoules (4 calories) of energy per gram, and the simplest form of carbohydrate is glucose. Carbs range from mixes of simple sugars to hundreds of individual sugars which form more complex carbohydrates, such as breads and cereals. Carbs are also grouped according to their glycaemic index (GI). This refers to how quickly a carbohydrate releases glucose into the bloodstream. Carb-based foods that release glucose more slowly into the bloodstream – such as legumes, wholegrain bread and stone fruit – are low GI foods. High GI foods – like white bread, rice and tropical fruit – release the glucose they contain relatively quickly. Generally speaking, natural sources of carbohydrate as found in fruit, starchy vegetables, legumes and wholegrains are the best sources of carbohydrate. Here they’re consumed as part of whole foods, offer a range of other key nutrients including fibre, vitamins and minerals, and are less likely to be over-consumed the way refined carbs (including processed cereals, white breads and biscuits) are. womensfitnessaustralia
EatFIT THE RIGHT SERVE So, how much is too much, and which carbs
should you be eating? Traditionally it was recommended that active people base their intake around carbohydrate-rich foods simply because carbs are the primary fuel for the muscle. The more active you are, the greater amount of carbohydrate your body will require to fuel your muscles. Modern thinking has changed slightly: while you might be relatively active for some parts of the day, many of us also spend many hours sitting, which means our carb needs are significantly reduced. The amount of carbs we need largely depends on how much we move: if you spend all day on your feet and are quite slim, you will need more than someone who sits all day, doesn’t work out and who has insulin resistance. Similarly, on days you train for an hour or more, you’ll need more than on a sedentary day when you barely leave the house. A high-carb diet is useful for those training more than two hours a day. A low-carb diet is useful for those who lead sedentary lifestyles, training less than an hour a day, or wanting to lose weight. You might think you’re eating low-carb, but you could be eating the wrong balance of carbs throughout the day. Perhaps you’re not eating enough at breakfast and then overdoing things with heavy rice salads at lunch, or extra snacks, coffees and juices throughout the day. The timing and proportion of the carbs you eat are as important as the total amount.
PHOTOGRAPHY PATRICK MACKEY;
WHAT ABOUT WEIGHT? As carbs are the primary fuel for the
This is an edited extract from Losing The Last 5kg by Susie Burrell (Hardie Grant Books, $19.99)
muscles, it’s a common belief that eating fewer carbs means that you automatically burn more fat. While this is somewhat true (the body prefers to burn carbs in the form of glucose as its primary energy source), if carbs are restricted to a significant extent your body will shift to burning fat but will also slow metabolic rate over time. This means that initially you will get good results from a strict low-carb approach, but over time, as your metabolic rate reduces, your body will burn fewer kJs overall. This is why you might have had great success initially using a low-carb approach but found it difficult to maintain. An average active female will lose weight consuming 100-140g of total carbs per day. Any less tends to see halted weight loss results as the total amount of fuel is a little too low. Once you gain some insight into how much carbohydrate you’re taking in, you can adjust the amounts depending
on your body goals. For example, if you’re consuming just 100g of total carbohydrate each day, you may need an extra 20-40g, while if you’re consuming a lot more than this, you can cut back a little. A foodtracking app will help you stay on top of it.
GET THE BALANCE RIGHT These tips will help you understand your
carb intake and make it work for your body. ■ The more grains the better The more grains your bread, cereal or crackers have, the better they will be for you. Grain-based products have some of the lowest GI values, so are digested slowly and will leave you feeling full for longer. ■ Measure your serves The main issue with rice, pasta, noodles and breakfast cereal is not the amount of carbohydrate that they contain, but how much of them we eat. Aim for just - 1 cup of cooked carbohydrates with your meals. ■ Go for smaller slices Have you noticed how much bigger slices of bread are getting? Some of the slices are so large they don’t fit in the toaster. Choose the smallest slices of bread you can find and you will be eating up to 20g of carb less every time you eat two slices of bread. ■ Choose cereals carefully Muesli, oats and bran are among the few with a low GI. Ditch the flakes, rice cereals, honey- and choc-flavoured varieties. ■ Eat carbs and protein together The GI of carb-containing foods is heavily influenced by what foods you eat with them. Lean protein from meat, fish, low-fat dairy or beans with your carbohydrate will naturally lower the glycaemic response.
These foods all offer 20g of carbs per serve (yep, even juice and milk!) 1 medium jacket potato cup sweet potato corn cob cup cooked rice cup cooked pasta cup kidney beans/chickpeas cup quinoa 2 slices low-carb bread 1 piece of fruit 1 regular milk coffee 250ml juice @womensfitnessau
r e t s Ea
Hit the kitchen to whip up a healthy twist on your favourite Easter treats
Choc-coated f ig & hemp seed bliss balls MAKES 12
2 cups Brazil nuts or hazelnuts 1 cup dried figs cup sunflower seeds cup cacao powder cup sultanas 1 tbs maca powder tsp quality salt 1 tsp vanilla bean paste cup melted coconut oil cup agave (or maple) syrup (optional) cup currants cup hemp seeds or sesame seeds 120g 70% dark vegan chocolate, finely shredded
y, as The figs make these bliss balls chew y well as adding the crunch of their tin seeds. Coating them in chocolate just makes them ridiculously good! 94
1 Blend nuts until coarsely ground. Add remaining ingredients, except currants, hemp seeds and chocolate; blend until combined. All the fruit should break down into a rough, paste-like texture. 2 Add currants and hemp seeds and hand-mix with a spoon. 3 Form mixture into 12 balls. Chill mix in fridge while you melt the chocolate. 4 Bring 2.5cm water to a simmer over medium heat. Place chocolate in a stainless steel bowl set on saucepan to melt (ensure the water doesnâ€™t touch the bottom of the bowl). Once 90 per cent of the chocolate is melted, remove bowl from heat; stir occasionally until melted. 5 Balance a ball on a fork and, using a spoon, coat the ball in the melted chocolate and place on a plate. Repeat until all the balls are coated in chocolate. 6 Place balls in the fridge to set. Serve chilled, as the texture is quite fudgy and chewy! Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month.
For more healthy treats, see Hungry For More Crazy Good Vegan Food by Angela Amores (from $39.95, organicpassion catering.com)
Activated hot cross buns with cinnamon ‘butter’ balls
PHOTOGRAPHY ANGELA AMORES
MAKES 10 BUNS
1 cup buckwheat kernels 1 cup quinoa 3 cups filtered water, plus extra, for rinsing and blending cup cold-pressed macadamia oil 3 tbs maple syrup 2 tsp cinnamon powder tsp quality salt 3 tbs coconut sugar 1 cups gluten-free self-raising flour, plus extra, for shaping 1 tbs gluten-free baking powder cup currants or sultanas maple syrup, for glazing TO DECORATE cup arrowroot cup gluten-free self-raising flour 2-3 tbs filtered water CINNAMON ‘BUTTER’ BALLS cup vegan margarine
2 tsp ground cinnamon 3 tsp xylitol or coconut sugar 1 To activate the grains, soak the buckwheat and quinoa in filtered water overnight or for 6-8 hours. Preheat the oven to 190°C (170°C fan forced). 2 Place soaked buckwheat and quinoa in a wire mesh sieve, rinse under running water and drain. 3 Place oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt and coconut sugar in a blender. Add drained grains and remaining ingredients (except flour, baking powder and currants). Blend until smooth (this could take up to 5 minutes; add an extra 2-3 tablespoons of water if not blending). 4 Pour dough batter into a medium mixing bowl. Fold in the flour, baking powder and currants. 5 Divide dough into 10 balls. The balls are a little sticky, so lightly tap each ball
in some gluten-free flour and shape it into a slightly square, roundish bun. Place on a flat baking tray. 6 To make the crosses, combine the arrowroot and self-raising flour in a small bowl. Add water slowly to form a thick-ish paste. 7 Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a small, round nozzle and pipe crosses onto the buns. 8 Bake for 20-25 minutes or until buns are light golden. 9 To make cinnamon ‘butter’ balls, place all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix with a fork until well combined. Place in the fridge to firm up. Create ‘butter’ balls using a melon baller. 10 Brush buns with a little maple syrup to glaze and serve warm with a cinnamon ‘butter’ ball on top and some jam or maple syrup. You can also toast the hot cross buns if you prefer.
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WORDS SABRINA ROGERS-ANDERSON PHOTOGRAPHY GETTY IMAGES
You put in the hard yards at the gym, but you probably neglect to strengthen one crucial body part: your face. Yep, researchers at Northwestern University in the US found that a facial exercise program can help women look up to three years younger in just 20 weeks. After performing a series of facial exercises daily for eight weeks and every second day for another 12 weeks, middle-aged women appeared more youthful with fuller and firmer upper and lower cheeks. Fat pads under the skin thin as we age and the face loses its shape, but facial exercises can counter this effect by bulking up the muscles underneath the skin. Want to give it a try? Start with this exercise: THE CHEEK LIFTER Open your mouth and form an â€œOâ€?. Position your upper lip over your teeth and smile to lift your cheeks. Place your fingers lightly on the tops of your cheeks, release your cheek muscles, and then lift them back up. Repeat 10 times. To watch facial exercise videos, search Happy Face Yoga on YouTube.
1 Tap it out
Is your skin looking dull? Get a glow by applying your serum using the Korean patting technique to boost circulation and increase product absorption, says Time Bomb skincare expert Michaella Bolder (timebombco.com). “Use your index and middle fingers to take some product and tap it all over your face and neck. Keep patting into your skin until it’s totally absorbed.”
2 Nail postgym hair
After a workout, wash your hair, work a smoothing product like Muk Haircare Hot Muk Smoothing Serum, $24.95, mukhair.com, through your lengths, then twist your locks into a loose bun. When you shake it out, you’ll have loose, natural waves.
beauty secrets These little-known tricks will change everything!
3 Lip service
4 Freshen up
Don’t toss your dried-out prods just yet, says Sheri Vegas, founder of Makeup Weapons (makeupweapons.com). “If your cream eye products, like gel eyeliners, brow dips and cream eye shadows, start to dry out, all you need to do to fix them is add a few eye drops to the product and leave it overnight. In the morning it should have soaked in and look as good as new!”
Need a dewy glow on the go? Enlist your trusty lip balm to do double time as a highlighter – just dab a little on your cheekbones and the bridge of your nose for a quick fix.
5 Hit the spot
Got a pimple? Head to your medicine cabinet. “Aspirin contains anti-inflammatory acetylsalicylic acid. Crush a pill with a little water, then apply the paste to the spot for 10-15 minutes to reduce redness,” tips dermatologist Dr Anjali Mahto. (Just don’t try this one if you’re allergic to aspirin!)
6 Water works
Try this skin-loving hack from model/author Abigail O’Neill (abigailoneill.net). “If I’ve been ‘too busy’ for exercise, I use hydrotherapy – the lazy girl’s exercise! It gets the blood pumping and detoxifying. You can achieve benefits simply by taking repetitive hot and cold showers, or baths with therapeutic ingredients like raw cacao, seaweed, Epsom salts and oils.”
7 Keep it soft
Next time you’re having your bikini line waxed, especially if it’s around your time of the month, take rosehip oil with you. The week around menstruation, hair is tough to remove, so it might feel more painful. Rosehip oil will soften and soothe your skin and prevent chafing. Try A’kin Weightless Rosehip Oil, $39.95, akin.com.au. womensfitness.com.au
8 Cool touch
“Store your moisturiser in the fridge. The cool temperature will help refresh your skin, soothe any dry patches and reduce redness and puffiness,” says dermatologist Dr Nathan Holt. @womensfitnessmag
10 Layer your moisturiser
9 Cleanup job
Are your make-up brushes harming your skin? If you don’t wash your make-up tools, you could risk bacteria build-up, which will lead to breakouts. Gross. Make the clean-up job easy with the coconutty Eminence Organic Skin Care Natural Brush Cleaner, $24, eminenceorganics. com.au
Try this trick for lush skin from make-up guru Bobbi Brown: “Layer moisturisers. I like to use a moisturiser that really absorbs into the skin and is hydrating, then I use one that’s richer and more balm-like that sits on the skin to protect it. I also use a lot of virgin coconut oil on my face and body. I slather it all over – it smells like the Caribbean and feels good, too. I also use an oil to take off my make-up at night, as it leaves a nice cushion.”
11 Tweezers at the ready…
Before you get plucking, dab your eyebrow area with a ball of cotton wool or a washer soaked in warm water. It’ll soften the skin, making it easier to remove the hair.
13 Fake awake
Didn’t get enough beauty sleep? Paint your cheeks, not your eyes. A little pink blush on the apples of your cheeks is an easy way to perk up a tired face and draw attention away from your drowsy peepers.
14 Matcha magic
Did you know that matcha green tea is great at fighting lacklustre skin, thanks to properties that help it boost your skin’s circulation? We love The Body Shop Japanese Matcha Tea Pollution Clearing Mask, $35, thebodyshop.com.au.
12 Level up your lemon water
Turn your morning hot water and lemon routine into a skin detox with this cleansing infusion from Danielle Copperman, author of Well Being – Recipes And Rituals To Realign The Body And Mind (Octopus, $35). Heat 1 litre of water in a saucepan and bring it to the boil. Add 2 handfuls of fresh lemon balm leaves or lemongrass, 90g raw beetroot, 5g chopped liquorice root, 2g rose petals, 2tbs fennel seeds, juice and zest of a lime, 15g sliced turmeric and a handful of dried hibiscus flowers. Simmer or steep off the heat for 30 minutes to one hour. Serve, or allow to cool completely before straining the liquid (or leaving the ingredients in for a more intense flavour) and transferring to a container to store.
17 Smooth finish
15 Quick dry
Cut hair-drying time in half with an Aquis Lisse Luxe Hair Turban, $44, mecca. com.au. Like a moisture magnet, the fabric wicks wetness away from your hair, getting it drier quicker and reducing friction so your hair stays smooth and shiny. Small and lightweight, it’s a total life-saver.
16 Lock it in
“Apply moisturiser when your skin’s still damp after your shower – it’ll penetrate the skin better, locking in the moisture,” says dermatologist Dr Alexis Granite.
Got a little fuzz around your hairline? It’s cute, but sometimes you want a slick finish. In that case, “Spray an old toothbrush with hairspray and use it to smooth baby hairs in place,” says Zoë Foster Blake, author and founder of Go-To Skincare (gotoskincare. com). Done!
18 Top it off
WORDS YANAR ALKAYAT, PENNY CARROLL PHOTOGRAPHY GETTY IMAGES; THINKSTOCK
Bad hair day? Your solution might be to throw your locks up into a topknot and be done with it, but for a more styled fix, try this tip from hair stylist Lynne O’Brien of Sydney’s Beautiful Mess salon (beautifulmesshair.com.au): “A topknot can look too severe and doesn’t always do much to disguise greasy roots. Instead, to give it a bit more shape, pull down a few little pieces around your face and neckline and pull out the bun a little. It’ll look more styled and frames your face better. And a bit of dry shampoo never goes astray either!”
19 Make scents
Colds and flu can leave you looking ugh. Fight off germs, clear your sinuses and boost beauty sleep with some aromatherapy. Add two to three drops of essential oils of grapefruit, tea tree and eucalyptus to a diffuser or oil burner in your bedroom before bed. The antiviral, decongestant properties will work their magic overnight.
20 Better bronze
Avoid those orange streaks by mixing your self-tanner with body cream before you swipe it on. It dilutes the product, making it easier to apply and gives you a more natural finish. Need a faux glow for your face? Add Le Tan Liquid Sun Tanning Drops, $19.99, letan.com.au, to your day cream. Genius!
Gym bag s e o r e h Fresh style picks for your next workout
Put your opponent off her game with your on-point gym kit
1 Pretty Little Thing crop top, $30, and 5 cycling shorts, $38, prettylittlething.com 2 Unit Nine boxing gloves, $135, unitnine.com.au 3 The Upside crop top, $79, 4 top, $89, 6 leggings, $129, theupsidesport.com 7 Herschel Supply Co. bag, $119.95, herschel.com.au.
1 Lorna Jane top, $59.99, lornajane.com.au 2 Roxy bikini top, $49.99, bottoms, $49.99, 3 backpack, $69.99, roxyaustralia.com.au 4 Local Supply sunglasses, $79.95, localsupply.com 5 Vorgee Aqua Towel, $24.99, vorgee.com 6 Bonds shorts, $34.95, bonds.com.au.
STYLING JESS PECORARO PHOTOGRAPHY TRENT VAN DER JAGT
1 Lorna Jane bag, $89.99 2 Unit Nine towel, $25 3 Breathe by Jean Hall, $14.99, hardiegrant.com/au 4 Lululemon yoga block, $19 5 leggings, $129 6 top, $69, lululemon.com.au 7 Stylerunner yoga mat, $89.95, stylerunner.com.
Lig hten up a heavy weig hts sesh with a cute print
1 Crumpler waistpack, $129, crumpler.com/au 2 Cotton On Body crop top, $24.95, cottonon.com.au 3 Local Supply sunglasses, $79.95 4 Totally Buf by Libby Babet and the Buf Girls, $34.95, bufgirls.com 5 Unit Nine skipping rope, $9 6 Dunlop dumbbells, $8 each, bigw.com.au 7 Adidas shoes, $130, adidas.com.au 8 Lorna Jane leggings, $96.99.
Brow WOW Perfectly sculpted arches can be a total game-changer. Here’s how to get yours
SCIENTIFIC FACT: EYEBROWS PREVENT SWEAT and oils from running into your eyes. The arch shape diverts rain or sweat around to the sides of your face, keeping your eyes nice and dry. Beauty fact: eyebrows help to shape your face. If your brows look more like distant cousins rather than identical twins, the balance of your face could appear to be a little off. “It’s a face-changer for everyone,” says Lien Davis, a Sydney-based brow artist who runs her own brow-shaping business, Brow Confidence. “Your eyebrows are the only feature that you can effortlessly alter to enhance the balance of your face.” So considering the big impact these tiny hairs can have on the overall look of your face, it’s super important to make sure your brow game is on point.
they’ve most likely experienced wax that was too hot or the same hairs that shouldn’t be removed have been continually tweezed or waxed, which damages the follicle, and they just don’t ever grow back.” It also doesn’t help that our eyebrows have the slowest growth rate of any area on our bodies. On average, the eyebrow growth cycle can last 12-15 weeks. That’s a long time to wait for your dream set of Cara Delevingne-style arches. But it’s not all doom and gloom: “The best way to grow your brows back is to stop removing hairs for a couple of months,” says Mutze. “You can also condition brow hairs with products or serums that contain ingredients like keratin, which work to condition existing hairs and in the process stimulate the skin underneath and encourage growth.”
Hands up if you’ve been a victim of a bad eyebrow wax? Unfortunately, most of us have walked into an eyebrow appointment with high hopes and left horrified by hairs that have been removed from all the wrong places. For some genetically blessed women, their brows will grow back with a vengeance. For others, it could mean long-lasting damage. “It’s a trauma thing,” says Hannah Mutze, Benefit’s national brow artist. “For women whose eyebrows never grow back, 106
After giving your brows the right amount of time to regenerate, it’s time to sculpt them. Davis is an expert in reshaping, known for creating ‘the ultimate brow’ and boasting a coveted client list that consists of the who’s who of the beauty world. A bit of rule-breaker, Davis believes in removing hairs with tweezers only – strictly no waxing or threading – for absolute precision. She rejects conventional brow shapes often pitched to women based on their face shape. “I’ve never seen anyone who looks good with overly flat, angular, rounded or thin brows,” says Davis.
THE EYES HAVE IT! Lush lashes will complement
your perfect brows, so don’t forget to give them some attention. Try out one of these eye-popping lash trends:
Do you have short lashes and yearn for longer ones? Extensions are for you. They last around a month and will add natural-looking fullness and length to your lashes.
If you’re lucky to have lengthy lashes but are after a little lift, then try a perm. The treatment is effective for around six to eight weeks. Perky lashes for two months? Yes, please!
For fair lashes, a tint is a godsend. You’ll look as though you’ve just swiped mascara on.
“Your eyebrows are the only feature you can effortlessly alter to change the balance of your face” 107
Add to kit
PLAY BEFORE YOU PAY
Looking to reshape your brows but not sure what you’re after? Try Benefit’s virtual Brow Try-On Experience to shift your arch, thicken your brows and play with the colour. benefit cosmetics.com
“That’s why I’ve created this ultimate brow shape that can be slightly modified to suit the person and their current situation.” Davis’ version of the ultimate brow is a soft, angular shape that has a consistent thickness from the start to the arch and then softly tapers to the end. The result is a natural, well-groomed brow that has a slight arch in it to open the eye area. If you can’t fill the ultimate shape with hair then Davis enlists the help of specialised cosmetic products to complete the look.
“I use cool tones and steer away from red and orange tones,” says Davis. “Especially for those who have almost black brow hairs, there’s no way on earth you can use brown on those hair types.” Davis also suggests not getting ahead of yourself. If you’re starting out and still learning how to apply brow products, then stay away from pencil or crayon as they can be intense. Instead, opt for a powder which is easier to apply and will offer the same results. Davis loves Laura Mercier Pomade and Powder Brow Duo, $35, shop.davidjones.com.au. A quick fix for those who have sparse and fair brows and aren’t keen on pencil or powder is a brow mascara. By brushing the hairs up with some coloured mascara the brow will instantly appear fuller and fluffier. If you have a bit of a shaky hand and are prone to making mistakes when using brow products, don’t sweat it. Concealer works like liquid paper and will erase mistakes, and save you from having to wipe the brow and start again. Outlining the edge with a touch of concealer will also work as a highlighter and help the shape of the brow pop.
These products will help you get the perfect shape
Both Mutze and Davis agree that filling your brows with powder or pencil is a great way to get your desired result of perfectly balanced brows – but only when the job is done correctly. Mutze suggests not trying to reshape your brow, rather just work at filling in the gaps to even them up. “A big thing to pay attention to is the formula of the product you’re using, be it pencil or powder,” advises Mutze. “Some formulas are designed to adhere to hairs while others are designed to adhere to skin. Obviously if you’ve taken too many hairs then you’re applying product to skin, so you need something that sticks to skin and will give you lasting power.” Mutze’s go-to product is Benefit’s ka-Brow!, $42, benefitcosmetics.com.au, which is a cream gel buildable waterproof colour (important ’cos if it rains or you sweat it out at the gym, your eyebrows will safely stay in place). Another major factor to take into consideration when it comes to choosing a brow product is colour. The last thing you want is to try to seamlessly conceal a hairless patch, only to make it stand out by not having matched the shade correctly. 108
For some, filling in brows every morning can seem like a chore. Enter feathering, which is a technique similar to tattooing, except the noisy tattoo gun is replaced with a hand tool called a microblade. The blade has tiny needles on the end of it that are dipped in pigment, which is then deposited into the skin by swiping the blade across the brow, creating crisp strokes identical to the hair. And while this may sound like the dream solution to all your brow woes, Mutze and Davis advise against it. “If you’re going to go down this path, then definitely do your research, seek a professional and check out reviews,” suggests Mutze. “There is the danger that it’s a more permanent solution and if you’re unhappy with the final shape, it’s tricky to change.” Davis says that you shouldn’t go for a permanent fix unless you’re sure you don’t want to go down the path of learning to correct your brows with professional grooming and trying out pencils, powders and mascaras. Hey, we’ll take any excuse to play around with new beauty prods!
1 Bourjois 3-in-1 Brow Palette, $24, priceline. com.au 2 Benefit ka-Brow!, $42, benefit cosmetics.com 3 Tweezerman Slant Tweezer in Geranium, $32.95, adorebeauty.com.au 4 Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil, $42, benefitcosmetics.com 5 Rimmel London Brow This Way Fibre Pencil, $10.95, priceline.com.au 6 Models Prefer Brow Serum, $12.99, priceline. com.au 7 Luma Beyond The Brow Grooming Gel With Fibres, $16.95, priceline.com.au 8 Laura Mercier Pomade and Powder Brow Duo, $35, shop.davidjones.com.au 9 Maybelline Brow Precise Perfecting Highlighter, $14.95, priceline.com.au
WORDS CONSTANTINA DEMOS PHOTOGRAPHY GETTY IMAGES
Fake it till you make it Permanent fixes
D I S C OV E R T H E F L AW L E S S C O L L E C T I O N L I Q U I D F O U N DAT I O N A N D C O N C E A L E R
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FILES d The prettif ying products an cool kit worth your coin!
Ever wonder why your freshly straightened tresses don’t stay that way for long? It could be because your flat iron’s plates aren’t heating evenly. GHDs all-new Gold Professional Styler, $280, ghdhair.com/au, has dual-zone technology, which keeps the plates at a sizzling 185°C as you style.
Back to black They look chic in the gym, at brunch and even on flights – is there anything black leggings can’t do? Actually, no. SKINS A400 Nexus leggings, $189.99, skins. net, can also help you warm up faster, perform better and reduce DOMS. Amazing!
Get your kicks
Put your best foot forward in these new sneaks
LIFT OFF Heading to an F45 sesh? Nike Metcon 4, $200, nike.com/ au, are perfect for lifting, functional movements and conditioning. womensfitness.com.au
ON YOUR MARKS If you’re a shortdistance runner, opt for a lightweight shoe like Reebok Print Run Next, $140, reebok. com.au. The 3D foam = resilient cushioning. @womensfitnessmag
CASUAL COOL Into low-intensity cardio? Try Adidas NMD_R1 STLT Primeknit, $260, adidas.com.au. The sock-like upper is perfect for long walks.
LookFIT SUPER DRY
We’re calling it, dry conditioner is the new gym bag must-have. While dry shampoo acts as a mattifier on your scalp, dry conditioner works on hydrating the lower part of your hair, making it look instantly healthier. Paired with dry shampoo, it’s a match made in heaven. Give these a whirl: 1 Sephora Coconut Dry Conditioner, $10, sephora.com 2 Drybar Detox Dry Conditioner, $31, sephora.com 3 Aveda Sampure Thermal Dry Conditioner, $35, aveda.com.au
5 mins with Michelle Jenneke
The Australian hurdler talks kicking nerves, beauty musthaves and that warm-up dance…
No matter what the season, a spritz of Marc Jacobs Daisy Twinkle, $89, myer.com.au, will have you thinking it’s summer. The fresh fragrance is a juicy burst of wild berries mixed with hints of violet leaves.
WORDS CONSTANTINA DEMOS PHOTOGRAPHY THINKSTOCK
Bored of make-up flaking off your dry skin? First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Tint Cream, $44, sephora.com.au, is your new BFF. The mousse-like tinted moisturiser is packed with hyaluronic acid to boost moisture for 12 hours of lush hydration.
Swipe right Whether you’re breaking a sweat in a HIIT
session or at Pilates, prevent clogged pores by wiping away dirt, oil and sweat in one refreshing swipe with CliniqueFIT PostWorkout Face + Body Cleansing Swipes, $26, sephora.com.au.
On managing nerves: “When I was younger, nerves used to affect how I was racing. I eventually grew out of it. Now I’m confident in the work I do off the track.” On her game face: “I usually pop on a little foundation and some mascara and by the end of the race, I’ve sweated it all off. But, it makes me feel good!” On everyday beauty: “I train outdoors so I’m constantly applying sunscreen. There’s nothing worse than when your lips get burnt, which is why I was so excited when Blistex released an SPF50 lip balm. It’s always in my training bag.” On her signature dance: “It started in 2009 at Nationals. I was exhausted and I still had the final to race. There was some music playing and I just started jumping around. I ended up making a massive PB!”
Blistex Ultra SPF50+ Lip Balm, $3.95, priceline.com.au womensfitness.com.au
Yes, you can take control of your cravings! BY BELINDA KIRKPATRICK, M. REP. MED, BHSC (NAT) Hands up if you’ve ever had one of those weeks where you’ve hit your training goals, stuck to a healthy eating plan, and even put your juicer to hard work every morning, only to be struck so badly with a craving for a cupcake with pink icing that you’ve had to make a mad dash for the bakery? You’re not alone. While it’s OK to indulge every now and then, if you’re regularly finding yourself wondering where the whole block of chocolate went, it’s time to look more closely at what you’re craving and why. Chances are, it has something to do with your hormones, because when your hormones are out of balance, you can experience unstable blood sugar levels, low levels of happy hormones, fatigue, and nutrient deficiencies. The good news is, once you know what’s causing your cravings, you can make teeny tiny adjustments to prevent them so they don’t derail your hard work. Here’s how...
IF YOU'RE CRAVING... A PACKET OF SALTY CHIPS [SALTY FOODS]
A BLOCK OF DAIRY MILK [CHOCOLATE]
It might mean... you’re deficient in minerals such as zinc, iodine or iron. These minerals are often depleted when we are stressed or pushing our adrenals too far. The Pill also can cause zinc deficiencies, while heavy menstrual bleeding further reduces our iron stores.
It might mean… you're low in magnesium, plus chocolate cravings seem to be worse around menstruation. Chocolate also stimulates the release of happy hormones such as dopamine in the brain, which keeps us wanting more – it’s addictive!
Curb the craving... Boost your intake of essential minerals with pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, sesame seeds, red meat, oysters, and nutrient-dense sea vegetables such as nori, kombu or dulse flakes. Be sure you add a little rock salt to food if you eat an entirely unprocessed diet.
Curb the craving… Ensure you are drinking plenty of water and getting some form of gentle exercise daily (how many steps do you take?). Load up on magnesium-rich foods such as seeds, dark leafy greens, figs, avocados, fish and lentils. Try making your own bliss balls (sugar free treats made from nuts and raw cacao) from my new book, Healthy Hormones, for a chocolate hit if needed!
BUTTERY TOAST [CARBS] It might mean… you’re about to get your period. Cravings for sugar and carbohydrates during your period may be due to a combination of unstable blood-sugar levels, low chromium levels, fatigue, and low levels of the happy hormone, serotonin. Curb the craving… Stabilise blood sugar levels with regular snacks that include protein and good fats every three hours such as apple with almond butter, hummus and celery, yoghurt with berries or a homemade healthy muffin. Increase cardio exercise to release endorphins and try drinking 1-2 cups of cinnamon tea daily. Studies have shown cinnamon tea can reduce sugar and carb cravings by controlling blood glucose levels.
For more information on balancing your hormones naturally and 50 delicious hormone-friendly recipes, check out Healthy Hormones: A practical guide to balancing your hormones, by Belinda Kirkpatrick M. Rep. Med, BHSc (Nat) and Ainsley Johnstone, out now wherever books are sold. See your GP and complementary health professional if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.
TravelFIT FITCATION 101
Keen to book an active holiday, but not sure where to start? Raymond Viola, travel specialist at Health and Fitness Travel (healthandfitnesstravel.com.au), shares his tips for the perfect fitcation. 1 LIST YOUR GOALS “Before you choose a destination, make a list of the top three things you want to do or achieve, such as learning a new skill via expert coaching, or focusing on healthy eating at a wellness retreat.”
2 PREPARE YOUR BODY FOR THE JOURNEY “There’s a misconception that you already have to be fit and healthy to go on an active holiday. That’s not always the case, but working on your fitness and improving your diet before you head off will help you ease into your holiday.”
WORDS SABRINA ROGERS-ANDERSON PHOTOGRAPHY GETTY IMAGES
3 KNOW YOUR LIMITS “There’s a fitness program to suit every level, so don’t risk overworking your body on your holiday. Find the right balance for you, and be as active or relaxed as you need to be. Don’t risk injuries for the sake of competing with others – or with yourself!”
FITNESS These next-level hotel gyms are worth travelling for…
AHHHHH, HOLIDAYS. Cheeky sleep-ins, lazy mornings by the pool, delicious food you don’t have to prepare yourself, cocktails at the hotel bar… what more could you ask for? While vacays are the perfect time to relax and indulge, it’s all too easy to bring home a few extra kilos as an unwelcome memento of good times had. If you’re keen to keep your fitness on track during your next trip, book a hotel that comes complete with a kick-ass gym. These hotel health clubs are so good, you’ll want to plan your entire holiday around them.
Urban retreat: THE LANGHAM, MELBOURNE
Total indulgence: LA MAMOUNIA, MARRAKECH
La Mamounia is one of Morocco’s most sought-after hotels with its lavish Moroccan design and exceptional amenities. The gym fits right in with the overall aesthetic thanks to its dark mood lighting and floor-toceiling windows overlooking the eight acres of lush gardens that surround the hotel. You’ll find nothing but premium fitness equipment, as well as yoga, Pilates,
aerobics and spinning classes to whip you into shape. Need some one-on-one attention? Try a private sesh with a PT or head outside for a jog with a professional coach. If you still have some fuel in the tank, there are indoor and outdoor pools, two clay tennis courts, a boules pitch and table tennis. mamounia.com While you’re there: Head to the nearby souks (markets) for a sensory overload you won’t forget. You can buy everything from food and kaftans to leather goods and ceramics, but learn to say no to forceful vendors before you splash the cash.
Take in stunning views of the city and the Yarra River as you make use of the cutting-edge equipment at the Langham’s fitness centre. Wifienabled touch screens on the cardio machines allow you to post a sweaty selfie on Insta or go for a virtual run down the streets of San Fran. Done with the treadmill? Try out a circuit, HIIT, fusion boxing, Pilates, yoga or meditation class instead. After your workout, cool off in the 15-metre pool that looks out onto the CBD or enjoy a rejuvenating soak in the saltwater spa. If you’re still not relaxed enough, head to the private steam rooms and saunas located in the change rooms. langhamhotels.com/melbourne While you’re there: If you can drag yourself away from your new digs, walk or jog from the hotel down to the Yarra River and through the spectacular Royal Botanic Gardens. You’ll feel at one with nature in the middle of the city. @womensfitnessau
If you’re one of those travellers who clicks on the ‘gym’ tab before you check out the rooms, get around the latest trend – mini in-room gyms. Chains including Hilton and Westin are jumping on board.
Future dreaming: W SAN FRANCISCO
When you set foot in the revamped FIT Gym at W San Francisco, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into the future. With a striking central skylight that bathes the gym in natural light during the day and colour-changing lights that create a fun nightclub vibe as soon as the sun goes down, this 24-hour facility has something for everyone. There are yoga and Pilates classes available, but you probably won’t want to leave the main gym area with its cool murals and eye-catching décor. When you’ve finished working up a sweat to the beat of FIT’s pumping playlist, chill out in the central lounge area with a refreshing concoction from the self-serve juice bar. Shots, anyone? Oh, wait… wsanfrancisco.com While you’re there: Walk 40 minutes from the hotel to Pier 33, where you can take a ferry to visit Alcatraz Island and the high-security federal prison where Al Capone and other notorious criminals were held. 116
PARK HYATT TOKYO You’ll never want to leave the gym and aerobics studio at Park Hyatt Tokyo’s Club on the Park. Overlooking the city and Mount Fuji from the 47th floor of the hotel, it’s decked out in all the latest Life Fitness gym equipment and features a stunning lap pool. The incredible array of classes – aqua walking, dancercise, trampoline, circuit training, total body conditioning, mat
Pilates, yoga and more – will keep things fresh throughout your stay. Forgot to pack your gym clothes? No sweat – hire some on the premises. tokyo.park.hyatt.com While you’re there: Cycling is a great way to take in the sights and sounds of this bustling city. The Community Cycle system allows you to hire a bike at one of the many docking ports dotted around the city and return it to any port within that designated area. Day passes go for around $18. Visit docomo-cycle.jp to register. @womensfitnessau
TravelFIT Tropic wonder:
ANANTARA KIHAVA, MALDIVES If you’re going to sweat, you may as well do it in a tropical paradise. And with activities like Muay Thai boxing and aerial overwater yoga (which involves being suspended over the ocean in a soft fabric hammock!), you might not even go near the gym – though it’s there if you want it. Try diving, snorkelling, kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing, sailing and big game fishing. For days where you prefer to stay dry, there’s tennis, yoga, beach volleyball, badminton, pétanque and table tennis. When you’ve done all the exercise you can take for the day, relax by the Kihavah infinity pool where the Sunshine Butlers will cater to your every whim or head to the Anantara Spa for some relaxation. While you’re there: If you’re lucky enough to be staying in one of the over-water pool villas, you won’t need to go anywhere at all… except perhaps from the infinity pool to the private sundeck, or over to the glass-bottomed bath with views of the fishies. kihavah-maldives.anantara.com
CORINTHIA HOTEL LONDON
BodySPace at ESPA Life at Corinthia is a hotel gym like no other. Created by wellness consultant Stephen Price and celebrity trainer David Higgins, it features state-of-the-art Technogym equipment that allows users to virtually run the New York Marathon on the treadmill and receive feedback from a virtual coach via a mini digital display on the strength equipment. If that sounds too techy for you, BodySPace’s first-rate trainers can provide you with a personalised program to help you achieve any fitness goal, from running a marathon to increasing your full-body strength. But you’d better start saving your pennies: a one-hour PT sesh costs around $212 and the three-month Total Fitness program sets you back about $5620. corinthia.com/london While you’re there: The world-famous London Eye, which towers 135 metres above the Thames, is just a 15-minute stroll.
Big city cool:
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The Shangri-La chain of hotels is all about the wow factor and the recently renovated Dubai chapter is no exception. The health club impresses with its top-notch cardio and strength equipment, highly qualified personal trainers, belly-dancing classes and private swimming lessons. There’s also a movement studio for yoga, tennis and squash courts, indoor lap pool and rooftop swimming pool with views of the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. If all that training leaves you tired and achy, head to the CHI spa for a range of revitalising massages and body therapies. We hear the Detoxifying Dead Sea Mud Wrap is to die for. shangri-la.com/dubai While you’re there: Step out onto Burj Khalifa’s observation deck 555 metres above street level (the highest in the world!), shop your heart out at Dubai Mall, and then dance the night away at the uber-posh Armani/Privé nightclub. womensfitness.com.au
& y p you know p a h e r ’ u o y it f I
Scream out loud!
With over 50 free shows and performances daily, up-close animal encounters and hundreds of food favourites, this year’s Sydney Royal Easter Show will have you more than happy! From bulls and birds to ponies and puppies, plus woodchopping, awesome fireworks and the new Greatest Show Spectacular there’s over 12 hours of fun packed into every ticket.
Pre-purchase yours today and save* at eastershow.com.au *On selected tickets only. Online fees apply. Public transport included in the ticket price for Sydney metropolitan lines only. A separate station access fee is payable from airport stations.
E H NoT Om ve the world! Get out there and explore
Dreaming of perching at a Parisian cafe? This beautiful guide book will inspire you to head to the city of light. Sundays In Paris by Yasmin Zeinab, $29.99, Hardie Grant
WORDS PENNY CARROLL PHOTOGRAPHY KAI LEISHMAN
The cutest way to keep track of your travel goals has to be this DIY paper globe. Fold it up and leave on your desk to remind you to keep exploring. Papier Tigre paper globe, $29.95, milligram.com
FRESH TRACKS If youâ€™re looking for a new hiking adventure, make tracks to The Grampians Peaks Trail in Victoria, where the first stage of what will eventually be a 13-day route is now complete. The three-day, 36km walk takes in the pretty Venus Baths before leading you to the summit of Mt Rosea (read: epic views). Plan your trek at visitgrampians. com.au
Calling all yogis!
Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific is now offering yoga and meditation on board its flights. The Travel Well With Yoga inflight program is a series of poses and meditation practices you can do in your seat to stay comfy and calm in the air. Nice one!
Howâ€™s this for a workout with a view? The Sydney Opera House is hosting its popular Sunrise on the Steps exercise program again this autumn. Head to the famous sails for circuit sessions (Tuesdays and Thursdays) and yoga flow (Wednesdays and Fridays), until 18 May. $25 per person, sydneyoperahouse. com/sunriseonthesteps
As host city for the Commonwealth Games this month, the Gold Coast is in the spotlight. Here’s a guide to doing the glitter strip your way
PLAY: Nab a spot on the deck at Garden Kitchen and Bar at The Star and enjoy a cocktail (or a mini bottle of bubbles from the Moët vending machine!) and some lush crab cakes. star.com.au/goldcoast
HIKE: Springbrook National Park is less than an hour from the city and is full of beautiful trails. Start with the Twin Falls loop, a 4km track through Gondwana rainforest. FLY: Get a bird’s eye view at TreeTop Challenge in Mount Tambourine. There are 11 ziplines to choose from, over nine acres of bush and rainforest. treetop challenge.com.au
The Gold Coast more than delivers! Get ready to live your best life
STAY: Set up camp at The Star Grand, just a skip away from the action at Surfers Paradise. Recently revamped, the hotel’s luxe, high-tech rooms come with a pillow menu and a ‘Cloud’ mattress topper, so you can be guaranteed sweet dreams. Allow some time for the pool, too. star.com.au/goldcoast
SWIM: Beached as? Cool off in one of the Gold Coast’s watering holes instead. Framed with tropical foliage, the Cougal Cascades in Currumbin Valley is a set of natural swimming pools linked by a small waterfall, which doubles as a wild waterslide for the brave!
Retreat to the Gold Coast hinterland for a refreshing dose of greens 120
If you’re feeling extra…
WORDS PENNY CARROLL PHOTOGRAPHY THINKSTOCK, TOURISM AND EVENTS QUEENSLAND, GOLD COAST INSIDER/PADDOCK BAKERY
SHOP: Head to Pacific Fair. This sprawling mall features an open-air mix of high-end and highstreet boutique shopping around the spectacular central water feature. pacificfair.com.au
If you’re a nature lover… @womensfitnessmag
If you want to work out…
You’ll be spoiled for choice, cos this beach city is all about active living SURF: Naturally, the best way to work out here is on the waves. Paddle out at Snapper Rocks in Coolangatta for an epic surf sesh, get your L plates with a lesson at Currumbin Alley or soak up the cool serenity of Tallebudgera Creek on a stand-up paddleboard.
DINE: Want to splash out on a special meal? Visit Kiyomi at The Star. This one-hat restaurant does modern Japanese tapas – think melt-in-your mouth sashimi, succulent wagyu and caramelised miso-glazed toothfish. star.com.au/goldcoast
If you’re a gourmet foodie… womensfitness.com.au
Whether you want haute cuisine or #health, feast on these delicious dining options womensfitnessaustralia
WALK: Take the Oceanview track in Burleigh Head National Park for incredible vistas. If you’re lucky, you might spot whales or dolphins. SWEAT: Tap into your animal instincts at Iron Zuu in Burleigh. This unique, high-intensity workout blending free weights with primal movement was born right here on the GC. thezuu.com.au
SIP: Coffee lovers, make tracks to The Paddock Bakery in Miami. This pretty cottage café serves up excellent espresso along with freshly baked sourdough and açai bowls. paddockbakery.com
REFRESH: Need to reset your system? Mr Bengel in Palm Beach is a haven of health, with good-for-you treats like a quinoa bowl loaded with veggies; buckwheat banana pancakes and smoothies just the way we like ’em: green! mrbengel.com.au
i a t n u o m
WF’s Constantina Demos gears up for thrills and spills on Tasmania’s Blue Derby trails
I HAVE A CONFESSION TO MAKE: THE LAST BIKE I OWNED was a Christmas present. It had sparkly tassels hanging from the fuchsia handlebars. I was the proudest bike owner, but it didn’t last long. After a few father-daughter rides, with the last one resulting with me in the emergency room getting stitches, the bike was left to collect dust in the garage. It’s been 16 long years since I last jumped on a bike, so to say I was the least qualified person on the WF team to go on a mountain biking trip in Tasmania is bang on. But I’m always up for an adventure. “We say to people who want to come riding with us that to enjoy the experience they should have a moderate level of fitness [tick], be able to ride a bike [umm, tick?], but most of all have a sense of adventure [big tick],” says Tara Howell who, along with her husband Steve, owns Blue Derby Pods Ride. Both avid mountain bikers and Launceston locals, Tara and Steve have created a three-day mountain biking experience paired with luxury accommodation nestled in the heart of the Blue Derby mountain bike trail network, offering a true ride-in, ride-out experience. Derby is a tiny country town with a population of around 200 that’s been getting lots of attention since the Blue Derby trails were installed in 2015. The now world-famous trails cost a whopping $3.1 million to build and they run for over 100 kilometres, catering to all levels of mountain bikers from beginners (green trails), to intermediates (blue trails) and experts (black trails). In their first year, the trails welcomed 25,000 riders and in 2017, 50,000. Derby has fast become the mountain biking capital of the country.
BACK TO BASICS
We’re an intimate group of three (Blue Derby Pods Ride hosts no more than eight riders at a time) and before we’re allowed to push off, one of our guides, co-owner Steve, gives us a rundown. I realise a quick 122
read of Mountain Bike Riding for Dummies wouldn’t have gone amiss, but Steve assures me I’ll soon get the hang of it. Our group splits into two and while the more experienced riders head off to tackle some blue trails, I get ready to take on my first challenge: the car park. It’s here I get the feel of the bike and practise the two main positions: the ready position, used on easy terrain, and the attack position, used to respond to any challenges on the trail. Once I’m familiar with the positions, I’m ready for a green
WHAT GOES UP…
By the time we’re on the trails again I’ve forgotten everything I’ve learnt. Steve is showing me how to get over a branch on the ground: get in attack position, look to where you want to be and make sure your wheel hits the branch at a perpendicular angle. I push off, hit the branch, and then look ahead to see another branch coming my way, panic, brake, and end up flying over the handlebars. I soon realise this fall won’t be my last. In fact, I lose count of my spills over the three days, and while the first one was a shock, by the last day I’m bouncing back. The biggest victims were my exercise tights – not one pair survived without a hole. We finish the day rolling down Flickity Sticks, a trail designed for daredevils. There are countless berms – a tight descending corner that has a banked outer edge – and locals are whizzing around them, yelling a joyful “yiew!” as they go. It’s only at the end of the trail that I work up the courage to make my way around one. The second day of the three is easily the most challenging. Again I ride, again I fall. Feeling defeated, I retreat to the
“I LOSE COUNT OF MY SPILLS OVER THE THREE DAYS BUT BY THE LAST DAY I’M BOUNCING BACK”
trail. Chain Gang is a small 500m loop of undulating hills that an infant could surely manage. But I struggle. The brakes are sensitive and I hesitate with every turn and hill, locking my back tyre. It takes a few laps before I feel confident enough to upgrade to the Rusty Crusty and Axe Head trails. Together they cover almost 3km, which doesn’t sound too daunting, but throw in some switchbacks (FYI, a switchback is a turn on a hill that is too steep to be climbed without zig-zagging, also known as your legs’ worst nightmare) and you’ve got a challenge. When I make it up my first switchback I let out a sigh of relief, before realising it’s followed by another, and another, until the top of the hill. By the end of the set my legs are pleading me to stop. Lunchtime is a welcome relief for my thighs and, surprisingly, shoulders. I seemed to be strangling the handlebars, causing lots of tension. Thankfully, a picnic featuring the finest Tassie produce is the perfect fix. The Blue Pods Ride menu has been designed by local chef Daniel Alps, with even the beverages locally sourced. Craft beer comes from Little Rivers Brewing Co and the wine from Devil’s Corner and Tamar Ridge.
accommodation. The hub – a communal dining and lounge space – is a haven of comfort. There’s foam rollers, a reading nook and a deck with bean bags boasting views of Cascade Valley. The private sleeping pods look over the forest and feature a plush queen size bed to rest your weary body. With no phone reception, the pods allow you to really switch off. “The experience itself is about guests having a moment of great realisation,” explains Tara. “That might come on the bike or in your pod. It’s all about taking in the world and the precious surrounds we have.”
THE FINISH LINE
Starting the last day well rested, I’m ready for one final challenge. On the itinerary is a 20.6km blue trail called Blue Tier, boasting views to the north coast, crystal clear streams and myrtle beech forests. Our guides promise it’s a 70/30 split of descent and ascent. My legs are rejoicing and I’m finally getting it. I fly around berms, ride up switchbacks, pedal through streams and over branches (without falling!). I even find myself quietly shouting “yiew!” to myself as I come around a berm, feeling like an almost-mountain-biker at last. @womensfitnessau
DO IT YOURSELF
The three-day Blue Derby Pods Ride package includes transfers, accommodation, all meals and beverages, gear and shuttles and starts from $1,750. Book at bluederbypodsride. com.au.
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The annual WF running special is back! Weâ€™ve got fresh motivation to get you out the door, moves to make you run stronger, and a smart plan to score you that PB. Donâ€™t miss it!
RelaxFIT STRESS SOLUTION
The verdict is in: stress can actually make you sick. Scientists at Michigan State University have discovered that when a protein known as CRF1 is subjected to stress, it sends signals to immune cells and causes them to release histamines, which can trigger illnesses ranging from asthma to irritable bowel syndrome. While this breakthrough finding could change the way we treat stress-related diseases in the future, prevention is still the best medicine. Try these quick and easy stress busters to keep calm. 1 HANG TEN From a lunchtime walk to an impromptu HIIT session, moving for 10 minutes will provide you with a stress-relieving dose of endorphins.
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2 LIMIT YOUR SCREEN TIME South Korean researchers found that spending excessive time on your smartphone can alter your brain chemistry and make you more susceptible to mental health issues. 3 SAY â€˜OMâ€™ Bring your stress levels down in as little as five minutes a day with a guided meditation app such as Headspace or Calm.
WHILE YOU WERE
sleeping Ever wondered what your dreams really mean? Here’s how to unlock the secret life of your slumber
AS YOU SNUGGLE UNDER YOUR DOONA, ready for a relaxing night’s shut-eye, your brain is firing up for a busy night of dreaming. By morning you’ll have had around five dreams, even though you’ll only remember your last one before waking. They can seem pretty wacky, but dreams are actually a fascinating sneak peek into your unconscious mind. And if you take the time to tap into what they 126
mean, you may end up winning at (waking) life – and no, we don’t mean by dreaming up the right Lotto numbers. “Dreams are incredibly powerful because if you can decode them, you will catch your unconscious mind at its own game, and you’ll gain insights and wisdom through that,” says dream therapist Jane Teresa Anderson. Her new book, The Dream Handbook (Hachette, $19.99),
shows you how to interpret your dreams for a happier, calmer way of living. Want to make your real-life dreams come true? Then read on to find out what happens when the lights go out.
Believe it or not, we all dream – for as much as two hours a night – but the real trick is remembering all of them. We tend to recall @womensfitnessau
RelaxFIT “Dreams address problems and conflicts you meet in waking life, looking to make sense of it all” only the dreams we’re having just as we wake up from a sleep. Dreams are your unconscious mind’s attempt to process the events, people and experiences that have happened over the last 24 to 48 hours. “The point of dreaming seems to be to update your mindset,” says Anderson. “Dreams address problems and conflicts you meet in waking life, looking to make sense of it all.”
WHY SO WEIRD?
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When you dream, the emotional parts of your brain set to work sifting through the events of the last couple of days. Meanwhile, the rational parts of your mind are deactivated, so they can’t butt in to edit the images, which partly explains the weirdness factor. “It’s not the logical part of your mind, but the deeper unconscious part, that is creating your dreams,” Anderson explains. Dreams also show you what you fear, and your body experiences that fear as a real adrenaline rush, which is why they can seem so frightening. But they’re not all scary, and if you look a little closer at these night-time movies, Anderson says you can learn a lot about yourself, as they reveal your unconscious mind at work. “This gives you the power to understand your mindset so deeply that you can make changes and basically live a bigger, better, richer, more meaningful life,” says Anderson. Your job now is to sleep more (um, yes, please) so that you have more dreams, remember them better and then figure out what they might mean to you.
YOUR DREAM DECODING PLAN
If you want to better understand your dreams, start with these nighttime rituals.
Get more sleep Yep, more shut-eye
really does equal more dreams. If you sleep for the magical eight hours a night, you could expect to have about five dreams in that time, which become more vivid, interesting and longer as the night goes on. You know the drill for better slumber – put screens away an hour or two before bed, create a darkened, cool space to sleep in, and actually get to bed at a reasonable hour to give yourself more opportunity to catch those essential zzzs.
Encourage recall So, now you’re sleeping like a baby, how do you work on remembering dreams better? There are a few techniques that work, starting with reminding yourself to remember the dream, just before you go to sleep. Try not to jump straight up, instead set two alarms, the first 10 minutes before you really have to get moving. Snooze peacefully so you can hopefully recall snippets of your dream. Another technique is more drastic, but it can help with recall. Drink lots of water before bed, so you will have to wake up to go to the toilet, giving yourself the chance to catch a dream. Write it down Buy a beautiful journal, keep it by your bed with a pen and commit to writing something in your dream journal every morning. Even if you can’t recall the dream, the act of writing will eventually jog your memory. “Write down whatever you remember – it might just be a little bit, but that act of writing it down will help it come back,” says Anderson. Choose a dream After a week, pick
out one dream to work on. In your dream journal, use the right hand page to record the dream and keep the left free for interpreting the action.
Decode the dream Start by summing it up in one sentence. For example, “I dreamt I was trying to climb a mountain, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t reach the top.” Then simplify that again into an even vaguer sentence, such as, “I was worried about not achieving something.” That vague sentence will probably relate to something that has happened over the past few days. Dream alchemy Now reimagine your
dream, and get yourself to the top of the mountain so that you feel really good about it. This is what Anderson calls “dream alchemy”. “This trains your brain to get on top of whatever is stopping you from achieving what you want to achieve,” she explains. “It’s a two-step process. The first is interpreting the dream, and then having understood that, the second step is applying the dream alchemy, which is the exercise to reprogram the aspects of your mindset that you’d like to reset for better outcomes in your life.”
Your dreams and their symbols are unique to you, but there are many dreams we share. Check out this list of common dreams and interpretations
YOU’VE LOST SOMETHING PRECIOUS Decoded: Your way forward may be blocked by the loss of self-esteem, identity, a lover, a job, health or wealth. You may be feeling under-valued, or experiencing a loss of personal power.
YOU DREAM ABOUT STORMY WEATHER
Decoded: You could feel blocked by anger or grief you have denied or not expressed, or may feel threatened, burdened or fearing change.
YOU GO ON A CAR JOURNEY
Decoded: You may feel as though you are driven by beliefs or motivations that are not serving you well.
YOU’RE RUNNING LATE Decoded: You might be held back by a fear of failure, perfectionism or are needing approval.
YOU’RE UNPREPARED FOR AN EXAM
Decoded: You may feel tested in one area of your life, reacting with attitudes straight out of school, including worries about performance or feeling judged.
YOUR TEETH ARE FALLING OUT
Decoded: You might feel insecure and unable to speak up and have your say.
Reiki N ON T HE LOWDOW
Tune in to this high-vibin’ relaxation practice
THERE ARE MASSAGES – AND THEN THERE’S REIKI. If you’ve heard about this Japanese relaxation technique, you might assume it’s just another form of massage. But, while it is about feeling super chilled, and touch is definitely involved, reiki goes a whole lot deeper than your average spa date. More of a hands-on wellness practice
than a muscle-easing treatment, reiki taps into the universal energy supply to help soothe stress and pain and promote harmony and healing, both physical and emotional. Intrigued? Got questions? WF’s art director Brooke Lyons just happens to be a reiki master (you can follow her on Insta @brookesreikiroom), so we asked her to walk us through it…
RelaxFIT “Reiki treats the whole person – body, mind, emotions, spirit. Reiki treats them as one”
WHAT IS REIKI?
Reiki is a deep relaxation technique – and then some, says Lyons. “It’s a non-invasive, gentle, hands-on healing modality that you can use to support and enhance conventional medical treatments,” she says. Like the ‘chi’ in tai chi and the ‘prana’ discussed in yoga, the ‘ki’ in reiki refers to a universal life force or energy. It’s this energy that reiki practitioners channel to promote relaxation and balance within the body. “When you’re in a state of deep relaxation, your body is able to begin the healing process,” Lyons says. “Reiki treats the whole person – body, mind, emotions, spirit. Conventional thought sees these as separate, but reiki treats them as one.”
SO, HOW DOES IT WORK?
“A reiki practitioner has energetic attunements so that the reiki energy can flow through their palm chakras into the electromagnetic field and body of the client,” explains Lyons. “The practitioner is like a straw – universal energy flows through them to the client.” Is your head spinning yet? A little high school physics refresher might help. Remember E = mc²? We’re all made of energy, and every atom in the universe is in a constant state of vibration. What reiki aims to do is tune your vibrations like a piano. “The concept of entrainment tells us that when two objects come together of similar vibration, the object with the weaker vibration will start to match the object of stronger vibration. This is basically what happens in a reiki session,” Lyons says. “The client vibrates at a lower frequency, while the reiki master vibrates at a higher frequency because of their attunements and meditation practice. When we’re sick, tired, stressed, eating poorly or thinking negative thoughts, our vibrations are lowered. Having a reiki session clears and strengthens the body’s energy pathways and raises our vibrations.”
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WHO IS IT BEST FOR?
If you like to relax, you can benefit from reiki, says Lyons – it makes a great form of self-care. It’s also useful in times of high stress (think exam time, work pressure or deadlines), and it can assist with managing chronic pain, post-surgery recovery and grief. It’s a complementary therapy that’s increasingly becoming accepted in health care facilities – for example, at Perth’s Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, it’s the most
accessed complementary treatment for cancer and leukaemia patients.
IT SOUNDS A BIT OUT-THERE…
Is it all a bit too woo-woo for you? Try to keep an open mind, Lyons says. “Reiki can be as spiritual or scientific as you want it to be,” she notes. “Will your practitioner call on some form of source consciousness to assist in the session? Quite possibly. Will they say it out loud? Probably not. Reiki masters are well aware of the differing views of their clients, but they also know that what name people give to universal energy is semantics. God, chi, the universe, quantum physics… whatever you call it, it’s all doing the same thing: promoting harmony within your body.”
WHAT HAPPENS IN A REIKI SESSION?
Much like a massage, a typical reiki session will involve a quick chat with the practitioner about your needs, plus relaxing music and a massage table. But, unlike regular massages, you’ll be fully clothed for the experience. After removing shoes and anything restrictive like a belt, you’ll be asked to lay down on the table to receive your reiki – which may or may not involve physical touch. “I always check to make sure the client is comfortable with my hands being placed lightly on them,” Lyons says. “If they have any touch issues, my hands stay a few centimetres above. A reiki practitioner doesn’t need to physically touch you for you to receive reiki energy, it’s just more comfortable for the practitioner to rest their hands on you for an hour-long session. The practitioner will place their hands in different positions along your body – each hand position can last between three to 10 minutes, and a standard reiki session lasts about an hour.” Expect the unexpected during your session. It’s common to feel emotional or even cry as you receive reiki; you might fall asleep, burp, tingle, feel hot or cool spots, or see different colours. “Everyone processes the energy differently, and you
will find every session is different,” Lyons says. “On the whole, your session will be one of deep relaxation. Some practitioners use crystals as part of their sessions, some use a pendulum to check your chakras. I always finish with a herbal tea to reground the client and make sure they don’t float off and have a car accident on the way home.”
After a reiki session you may feel a bit down or teary – this is totally normal, says Lyons, as you’ll be dealing with any emotions that came up in your session. “After 24 hours, you should feel more energised,” she says. “Some people have the most incredible night’s sleep the night of their session, others have intense vivid dreams. Everyone is different and every reiki session is different.” You could also experience detox-like symptoms in the days following the session. It helps to drink lots of water leading up to and after a reiki experience to help your body process the energy.
HOW TO GET A TREATMENT
Want to give reiki a try? Look for a practitioner who is either a reiki master or at least holds a Reiki II certificate. “Any good practitioner will happily show their certificate, which will also tell you their reiki lineage – that is, how their training can be traced to the founder of reiki, Mikao Usui,” says Lyons. “But I think the most important thing in choosing a practitioner is that you feel comfortable with them. You want to relax completely during your session, because the more relaxed you are, the more you will benefit from the experience.” Ask around for recommendations from friends, yoga teachers, or at your local metaphysical shop. “Then follow the practitioner for a little bit on Instagram or Facebook,” Lyons tips. “Do you resonate with their energy? Do their posts inspire you? This is a great way to find someone you click with. Also check their website or Facebook page for reviews. And give them a call for a quick chat before you book.”
iki practitioner in your re ed ifi al qu a n w do To hunt area, check out reikiaustralia.com.au womensfitnessaustralia
The lastWORD C KS F IT- G I R L H A
How to change a bike tyre You could outsource the job, or even better, learn to DIY and get back in the saddle right away… AFTER SHOPPING AROUND FOR WEEKS, you finally bought the bike of your dreams and all the gear you need to be a serious cyclist. As you strap on your helmet and prepare to attack the track you’ve been eyeing for months, images of you winning the Tour de France flash through your mind. You set off on your first adventure and find yourself smiling as the wind blows through your hair and the sun warms your face. Then, all of a sudden, hissss! Thud, thud, thud… Oh, nooo. You have a puncture. Enter this DIY guide to getting you back on the road.
your way around. Then, slowly work the other side of the tyre onto the rim, being careful not to pinch the tube. STEP 3 Once the tyre is seated correctly on the rim, attach the pump head to the valve stem and inflate the tube to half the desired tyre pressure (you can find the recommended psi on the sidewall of the tyre). Check that the tyre is still seated properly on the rim and that there aren’t any bulges, and then inflate the tube fully. Now you’re ready to get back in the saddle. Happy pedalling!
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STEP 1 Take the wheel off your bike. Insert a tyre lever under the bead (the stiff edge of the tyre) and slide it between the tyre and the rim (the outer metal hoop of the wheel) until one side of the tyre is sitting outside the rim. Remove the other side and pull out the flat inner tube (the balloonlike structure that sits inside the tyre). Run your fingers along the inside of the tyre to feel for anything that may have caused the flat and remove it. Store the damaged tube away for repair. STEP 2 Inflate the replacement tube slightly. Place one side of the tyre onto the rim and tuck the new tube inside the tyre, starting at the valve hole and working
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Published on Jul 5, 2018
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