TRAVEL TIPS AND BBQ ESSENTIALS, WE’VE GOT YOUR BACK THIS HOLS
WHAT TO EAT AND WHEN FOR OPTIMUM LIFE PERFORMANCE
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS JAMES MORRISON AIMEE FULLER
S N O I S S E F N O C A G YO OUT UR WORK O D N A , E MAT FROM TH S E C N IE XPER AD OUR E E R ? IE B W YOGA NE
PLUS! BEN COOMBER | MARK LAWS | KURTIS STACEY | THE LEAN MACHINES | NUTRITION | WORKOUTS | RECIPES | TRANSFORMATION | EVENT LISTINGS
Blue skies are a great motivator when it comes to health and fitness. Lighter evenings and mornings, too… just makes getting outside, or dragging your ass to the gym that little bit easier. So, this issue is all about seizing the moment and doing what you can to achieve the best version of yourself. From ways to upgrade your summer, to how to stress less, or use weights to boost your confidence, or even use your DNA to train more meticulously, we’re hoping that by making little changes with our help, you’ll be feeling fitter and healthier in no time. Then there’s our exclusive interview with James Morrison. The singer has had a rough ride in recent years, but he’s used fitness to fight his way back. Now, he’s back producing music his fans love, and feeling amazing in the process. It’s a fascinating read. And if you’re after further motivation this month, follow Ruth Garbutt’s transformation. She’s finished her 12-week challenge and is feeling great, but is now in need of a new wardrobe. If you’ve been following her journey on this pages or on BESTFIT TV, you can see the final results. Enjoy the mag, and keep an eye for news of BESTFIT TV series 3, we’re coming back for more!
He’s been through testing times, but the singer is back on form and feeling fitter than ever
LATEST HEALTH & FITNESS NEWS UP YOUR GAME, WITH YOUR DNA THE YOGA WORKOUT RECIPES OF THE MONTH JONNY BENJAMIN AIMEE FULLER
W www.bestfituk.co.uk @bestfituk
10 TIPS TO HELP YOU STRESS LESS SECRET EATING, AND HOW TO BEAT IT
CONTRIBUTORS Andy Thompson (design), Will Hughes (sub), Ben Coomber, Jess Davies, Richard Edwards, RF123, Mark Laws, Alexandra Legouix, The Lean Machines, Claire Bloomfield, Rex Images, Shutterstock, Kurtis Stacey
TEL 0113 322 4400
BESTFIT is published in the UK by BESTFIT Media. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved. While every endeavour has been made to maintain accuracy in the magazine, BestFit can take no responsibility for errors. All opinions expressed are the opinions of the writer expressing them, where stated.
TRANSFORMATION: PT 3 Ruth Garbutt makes it to the end of her 12-week challenge, and the results are in! How’d she do?
MEAL PREP LIKE A PRO
On Sundays, we do anything we can to forget that Monday is around the corner. However, according to a recent study, more of us are now choosing to meal prep. A survey of 1,009 UK adults by AppliancesDirect. co.uk revealed that more than half (56%) of Brits will spend time to prepare their meals for the week ahead. Why? To save ourselves on average around £27 and three hours’ worth of time each week. Not too shabby, especially if you tally that up over the year. The study also showed that about a third of us choose to meal prep as a way to eat healthier during the week, to help us reach our fitness goals. If that isn’t enough to convince you, 19% of respondents also suggested meal prep helped them waste less food. Every little helps! Brits save ourselves on average around £27 and three hours’ worth of time each money by prepping meals.
THE PERFECT WORKOUT
Working parents are the ultimate multitaskers, juggling career success with the most important job of all – parenthood. So why are mums so much more stressed out than dads? According to new research, working mums are 18% more stressed than other people. If you’re a mum with two little ones, you’re more likely to be 40% more stressed than others. So how can we reduce the stress and help mums out? Charlie Rosier, co-founder of Cuckooz Nest – a London based, flexible workspace with an integrated crèche – suggests companies must invest in things like subsidised childcare, alongside flexible working. We couldn’t agree more. If you’re a mum with two little ones, you’re likely to be 40% more stressed than others.
Have you got to the gym and realised your headphones are at home, and felt like your world was ending? Yeah, us too. Music can make or break your workout, and can be the motivation you need to work out at all. A recent study by MINDBODY revealed that 25% of us use ‘general lack of motivation’ as the main reason we might not hit our fitness goals this year, so music is important. Making the right playlist can be a nightmare, though. If you’re looking for energetic, pumpinducing beats, why not try Pinnacles by Four Tet, Freaks by Timmy Trumpet, Run Boy Run by Woodkid or Play by Jaz Jones. Other good additions include Losing It by Fisher, Differentology by Bunji Garlin and Old Friend by Elderbrook. You’re welcome! MINDBODY revealed that 25% of us use ‘general lack of motivation’ as the main reason we might not hit our fitness goals this year.
We’re certainly not a nation of hopeless romantics, especially when we work out. A new study from MoneySavingHeroes.co.uk discovered that two thirds (66%) of us don’t want to use the same gym as our partner. When asked why, 61% said they felt too self-conscious to work out in front of our other half. Even more disheartening perhaps, is that 40% admitted they went to a separate gym so they could check out other people without worrying about their partner catching them. Overall, most of those who responded to the survey agreed that the gym was a great place to meet new people, with 34% even suggesting people could meet potential love interests. We won’t suggest trying to find a new partner at the gym, but having a few pals to work out with makes sticking to your fitness plans a lot easier. 61% of us said they felt too self-conscious to work out in front of our other half.
RUN ON AN INCLINE
We’re not all built to run. If flat-running doesn’t interest you, have you considered running on an incline? We spoke to Fight City Gym to find out why it needs to be part of our routine. A big reason for us is building strength – running uphill changes the behaviour of muscle engagement, and needs a lot of strength to maintain. The more you do it, the stronger you get. You’ll also get faster, by developing the explosive power in your leg muscles. High-speed interval sprints are perfect for this. Added bonuses include burning more calories, and reducing your risk of injury – increasing treadmill incline by 3% reduces the impact on your legs by 24%. And finally, incline running lets you workout for less time, because you get twice the benefits than flat-running offers. We’re in! Increasing treadmill incline by 3% reduces the impact on your legs by 24%
SHORT-LIVED LUNCH BREAKS
We love going on holiday, but we hate flying. What makes it worse are all the potential risks to our health. Blood flow can be restricted causing Deep Vein Thombosis, and our blood can absorb less oxygen leaving us with headaches, sleepiness and anxiety. How can we tackle this? Simply by moving our body. FRAME fitness shared with us their top tips on making the best use of your time and space. Before you make a bee-line for the bar, try doing a few laps of the terminal before you fly. Stretching is also a must, so find a seat and do some seated hip-openers, seated twists and even a meditative seated savasana. The most important thing to remember? Stay hydrated – the cabin environment can be up to three-times dryer than the Sahara desert, meaning caffeine and alcohol and probably off the menu too. Happy travelling!
In Britain, we see ourselves as hard workers, whether our job is labour-intensive or desk-based. But recently we’ve been taking this too literally. A study by Sodexo and UKActive found the average lunch break has fallen to just 22 minutes, with one in five employees not leaving their desk at all during lunchtime. When asked why, people blamed their workload and the uninspiring lunch options available to them. If you’re vegan, there are typically even less tasty options for lunch time. Thankfully, the team at Itsu have been working on their vegan offering. Their newest bento box includes edamame beans, avocado, rainbow veggies and sushi rice, meaning you get everything you need to avoid the 3pm slump and power on until home time. Who said being vegan had to be hard?
YOU’RE STRONGER THAN YOU KNOW After enduring a string of personal adversities, James Morrison is a changed man and an artist coming of age
est loved for chart hits like You Give Me Something, Broken Strings and You Make it Real, Morrison has returned to the music scene with a renewed energy and enthusiasm despite his journey being blighted with heartache. Whilst still reeling from the deaths of his father, brother and nephew all in quick succession, Morrison was dropped by his record label in 2015.
Morrison, now 34, and his partner also endured two miscarriages before the traumatic premature birth of their second daughter Ada-Rose last year. Back with brand new material and preparing to hit the road, Claire Bloomfield caught up with the awardwinning English singer-songwriter after four years away from the spotlight…
How does it feel to be out there playing new music and connecting with the fans again after experiencing a difficult few years, both personally and professionally? Music has always been a hobby. It’s a way to sort of forget about stuff and it definitely helped during that time. I was still writing the odd song here and there and getting into the studio when I could.
The fans are already singing the new songs and the album has only been out a month or so, it feels good. It means that people are listening to the album and they’re going down just as well as my classics like Broken Strings.
You know first hand that the music industry can be brutal. Does it all feel worth it when you see the fans responding to your new music in that way? Yeah, I feel validated in all of the decisions I’ve made in making this album and the songs that I’ve put on there. It was a bit scary to go down a route of, ‘I just want to make this album for me’. I wanted to get back to that feeling of, ‘I’ve proud of this music, whatever’ so that if it didn’t do well I could live with it. The last album I put out didn’t do that well and a lot of the decisions that were made were not mine. It just felt like it was someone else’s mistake and I had to live with it.
“I didn’t really trust my instincts, so if I went into a session with an idea and they said ‘We don’t like it’ then I would take that to heart and think, well, they must be right. Now if I like something then I don’t care what they say.”
You were in your early 20S when you released your hit debut single You Give Me Something back in 2006. How has your approach to making music changed since? I think having kids, going through a traumatic pregnancy and losing my dad all made me think that life’s too short to let other people make the decisions. It’s my music, it’s my life and I’m sacrificing time with my family to do it, so it’s got to be on my terms. I didn’t really trust my instincts, so if I went into a session with an idea and they said ‘We don’t like it’ then I would take that to heart and think, well, they must be right. Now if I like something then I don’t care what they say.
By your own admission, the tracks on your new album are more personal than ever before. What were your inspirations? I wanted ‘Power’ to feel like an uplifting song for my other half because she was feeling down after she had the baby. It upset me that she was in a weird place with herself and I wanted to tell her everything that she is to me. The lyrics go, ‘Don’t underestimate your power, you’re stronger than you think…’ I needed to hear that as well after what we had been through. She plays that song a lot in the car and she said just the other day that she cried listening to it when she heard the lyrics properly for the first time. She said it really does work and that it makes her feel great. I hear her singing it to herself in the shower [laughs].
You’ve also developed an interest in sport in recent years but it hasn’t always come easy… I was never into sport when I was
“I always get really fit on the road. I’ve got time to work out and I usually run every day that we have a show. I hate running, it’s so boring…” a kid. I didn’t like football and I didn’t even like boxing back then, I never used to watch it either, really. I didn’t like running because I could always taste blood at the back of my throat. I was born with bad lungs and my lung capacity isn’t the best, so naturally I don’t like exasperating them.
We hear you hit a health kick about three years ago. What prompted the change to your lifestyle? It was mainly because I was turning into a skinny fat bloke [Laughs]. I was eating lots of chocolate, donuts and fresh bread because we had just got a bread machine. I had no muscle and a massive gut and I thought: ‘right, I need to sort this out’. My mum said to me, ‘you’ve got a bit of a belly’ and that’s when I knew because she would normally stick up for me. I started working out to get rid of my fat and then I realised that you have to keep it up [Laughs].
Are you still finding the time for regular workouts between studio sessions, media commitments and family life? I go when I can. I like going to the gym, it sorts my head out, and especially when I’m thinking a lot, writing songs and using my brain. Doing exercise balances me out and now I miss the endorphins when I don’t go. It gets me down.
Aside from hitting the gym, what are you other sporting interests? Snowboarding is something I got into about seven years ago. I like to go as often as I can. I had planned to go earlier this year but couldn’t find the time between promo for the new album.
I took up boxing when I was on tour a few years ago, too. My backing singer was a bad-ass boxer. She trained me up for three months. She kicked my ass in the gym and she’s possibly the hardest woman I’ve seen kicking a punch bag.
and then possibly off to Australia and America later in the year. I’d like to put together an EP later this year, another early next year and then maybe an album. I want to keep the momentum going. I feel like I’ve cracked how to make a decent album now.
Is it challenge to stay fit when you’re on the road? I always get really fit on the road. I’ve got time to work out and I usually run every day that we have a show. I hate running, it’s so boring but I make myself do it. I do around 200 press-ups, too. My kids aren’t with me disrupting my meal times when I’m tour so I can get three decent meals in per day. When I’m at home I end up eating loads of chocolate late at night but that doesn’t really happen when I’m away on tour. I use it as a time to get fit, drinking loads of water, flush all of the crap out of my system and a healthy – or hearty – breakfast. I always get really hungry after a gig even if I’ve already had dinner. I end up eating sandwiches or something that the catering team have rustled up. I smoke as well. If I’ve got a few shows in a row then I’ve got to watch how much I’m smoking, get out for a run and drink plenty of water – otherwise you can’t get through it.
Now that you’re back in your stride, what are your plans for the rest of the year? I’ve just announced a new 12-date UK tour that kicks off in October. I’ll be in and out of England and around Europe across the summer
James Morrison’s new album You’re Stronger Than You Know is out now.
WORK OUT PLAYLIST SAME IN THE END – SUBLIME ANOTHER WAY TO DIE – JACK WHITE AND ALICIA KEYS FORTUNATE SON – CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL ALL MY LIFE – FOO FIGHTERS ON A MISSION – KATY B BACK IN BLACK – AC/DC KASHMIR – LED ZEPPELIN BAGPIPES FROM BAGHDAD – EMINEM RAPPER’S DELIGHT – THE SUGARHILL GANG HIGHER GROUND – STEVIE WONDER
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Genius Craft Lager
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Crafted from the finest pilsner malts and Styrian Golding hops, Genius is matured with Australian Galaxy and Ella hops for a subtle citrus aroma. If all of that confuses you, trust us when we say it tastes delicious. Each can has less than one unit of alcohol, and less calories than an apple, although you can’t count it towards your five-aday. This is smart drinking at its finest. Price: £1.90 per can / £22.80 12 cans www.geniusbrewing.com
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Playbrush toothbrush Getting kids to clean their teeth remains one of life’s greatest challenges, which is why Playbrush is a lifesaver. An interactive electric toothbrush that connects via Bluetooth to game apps, it means children can play games with their toothbrush and learn the importance of dental hygiene. The result? Your offspring could be brushing for twice as long as those with traditional toothbrushes, and could be more likely to brush twice per day. From £24.99 store.playbrush.com/en/home
S-150C WORKS 2019 AXS EDITION
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A truly outstanding all-round bike from a leading British bike design company that specialises in MTB and urban cycles. The S-150C boasts award-winning geometry and suspension, plus the ability to switch to 650b wheels with 2.8” tyres with ease, and still have bags of mud clearance. This bike can be whatever you need it to be. £6,000 www.cyclesurgery.com
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ITâ€™S IN YOUR DNA Time to gain that extra one per cent, and use your own DNA to take your game to the next level
UNTIL RECENTLY, DNA TESTING HAS LARGELY BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH THE MEDICINE – BUT NOW THE FITNESS INDUSTRY IS ALSO GETTING IN ON THE ACT, USING THE UNIQUE PROFILE OF A PERSON’S DNA TO CREATE FITNESS PLANS AND PATHWAYS THAT ARE COMPLETELY TAILORED TO THAT INDIVIDUAL. One of the leading companies in this field is Atlas Biomed, with the company pioneering what effectively amounts to a ‘DNA Test Kit’ enabling athletes and non-athletes alike to deep dive into the kind of data and information that can provide a priceless insight into health traits, now and in the future. DNA testing is playing an increasingly important role in helping sports people and teams at the very highest level gain the extra one per cent required to get one over on the opposition. In football, for example, the Egyptian national team – a side that contains Liverpool’s prolific Mo Salah – have been using DNA testing as a means of identifying times when players are potentially susceptible to injury. In the wider world, the test can include an examination of optimal recovery time after aerobic exercise or weight sessions in the gym. All of which allows coaches and fi tness trainers to organise bespoke sessions best suited to the needs of those individual players. A DNA
test, for instance, may fl ag up the possibility that a player is less suited to high-intensity training in the gym and is more likely to get injured when embarking on such a session. Other tests could include analysing the impact that a substance like coffee might have on an individual. The more susceptible a person is to caffeine, the more they can moderate and manage their intake. Such is the speed at which the technology is developing that some leading figures predict that it might be possible to identify someone who is likely to be an elite athlete before they have even kicked a ball or run a lap in anger. That might sound scary to some but in the fi tness industry it represents the potential for a complete revolution in the way training is structured. All of this technology, of course, was pie in the sky as recently as 15 years ago but as DNA testing develops and becomes more mainstream then the packages available become more and more affordable – not just to clubs at the elite level in sports like football and rugby but to individuals like you and I. Atlas Biomed’s ‘Listen to Your Genes DNA Test kit’, currently covers areas such as the disease risk influenced by genes and lifestyle; carrier status and the child risk of hereditary diseases; vitamins and nutrients metabolism and food intolerances; athletic
predisposition to performance and injury; DNA ancestry, origins and Neanderthal genes; and unique personal traits determined by genes. It short, it’s as comprehensive analysis of your DNA as you’re likely to find. Something that BESTFIT’s very own Faris Fisher recently found when he took a test on BESTFIT TV. As well as finding that his DNA did not make him predisposed to early greying – a fact borne out by his immaculately coiffured hair – and that people of his body type only suffered from average body odour when sweating, the test also revealed some eye-opening information concerning his health over both the short and long-term. As well as supplying information on
areas such as testosterone levels, the DNA test kit also provides information on how changes of approach can help tackle and manage the different areas identified. “The nutrition tab told me I was low in iron and vitamin E,” he says. “But there are easy fi xes and I’m able to work around my health.” This kind of testing clearly has the potential to not just help with those who have an active interest in fitness, it can also help health professionals to take positive steps towards assisting those most in need of information around nutrition and the management of long-term conditions. DNA testing, it seems, is here to stay – and it could transform the fi tness industry as we know it.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS YOUR BREAK IS BOOKED AND THE BAGS ARE PACKED, BUT BE SURE TO FOLLOW THESE TOP TIPS TO HELP YOU SURVIVE THE TRAVELLING AND FEEL ON TOP OF YOUR GAME THROUGHOUT YOUR STAY
“CHIA SEEDS CAN BE EASILY PACKED INTO A SUITCASE AND CAN BE CONSUMED AS A SNACK OR SPRINKLED OVER YOUR BREAKFAST” Treat yourself in moderation A holiday isn’t complete without delicious food and some treats, but a common trap is enjoying too many of these treats that you usually keep to a minimum in your daily routine back home. If you spend your whole time away eating sugar-filled treats and consuming too much alcohol, your energy levels are likely to be compromised due to the dips in your blood sugar levels. So, where possible, aim to reduce the amount of biscuits, sweets and junk food. Mindfulness in your pocket You’re finally at the beach, ready to relax and forget about the worries that you left at home. Alas there’s still that niggling feeling that perhaps you should check your emails just in case… Sound familiar? Slow down and spend some time focusing your attention on the present moment – experiment with the brand new mindfulness platform, ThinkWell LiveWell. It can help you become aware of how you think, how you feel, what you do, and then decide what you want to change, and how – it can help you keep on track. Chia seeds for the win Lily Soutter, London’s leading nutritionist, stresses the importance of fibre and recommends you take yours with you. “On average, the UK population are only consuming half their recommended daily fibre intake. Whilst abroad this figure may drop even further! Fibre is essential for healthy digestion and preventing constipation. Chia seeds can be a fast-track way of increasing intake; just 2 tbsp. provide 11g fibre. These little seeds can be easily packed into a suitcase and can be consumed as a snack or sprinkled over your breakfast.” Prepare with your probiotic “Definitely take a probiotic supplement up to two weeks before departure, but it is never too late to even start when you arrive at your destination,” suggests
Dr Marilyn Glenville. For travel it is easier to have a freeze-dried probiotic that only gets activated when you swallow it, rather than one that needs refrigeration. Keep hydrated It’s easy to become dehydrated whilst flying, as the air inside a plane cabin is very dry, so make sure to drink plenty of water. The one bottle of water supplied by the flight attendants on long-haul flights won’t be enough, so to avoid the hassle of constantly having to ask for water, bring along your own filtered water bottle and refill it with tap water on the plane. When sunbathing, drink before you get thirsty, and go easy on the Strawberry Daiquiris!
Care for your skin Long-haul flights are known to take a toll on skin. To make sure you reach your destination looking fresh and rested, hydrate your skin at regular intervals throughout the flight. Invest in some high-quality natural moisturiser. Take the time to move Get up and walk around the cabin – it will help to keep your circulation going as often as you can. Even though there may not be anywhere in particular to walk apart from up and down the aisles, moving around the plane once in a while is much more conducive to getting some healthy rest. Stay active You spend 50 weeks of the year going to the gym or doing whatever exercise you do, so don’t let it go to waste for one or two weeks. Add some lengths to your ‘bombing’ in the pool, and walk off your overindulgences after meals. And hey, some press-ups on the balcony when you wake up won’t hurt when it comes to showing off the bod around the pool.
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BEN COOMBER EXPLAINS THE IMPORTANCE OF GETTING THE BALANCE BETWEEN PERFORMANCE AND RECOVERY
FINDING THE RIGHT BALANCE
s a performance nutritionist, I am always testing new theories on myself and experimenting before doing so with my clients. For me, there are only so many roads you can truly walk down with a client if you have not been down that road yourself. For example, in the worlds of bodybuilding or triathlon, many will argue that you cannot truly prep someone for a competition without having done one yourself. Of course, science is science, but part of the battle with coaching others isn’t the science itself, but the application of it. Coaching is all about listening and finding a way to get a successful outcome, and the key point is experimentation with the strategies we use. I don’t often work with high-level individuals in sports I haven’t competed in or experienced myself. This serves two purposes: first, I can’t really be passionate about a sport I’m not familiar with. And secondly, if I can’t identify with where the client is at and how they feel in the environment we’re trying to optimise through coaching, what use am I when my client is struggling? So, in that vein, are you testing and applying your work to yourself? Over the last 18 months I have accelerated this journey of experimentation and if I was to single out the biggest area of
contention right now, it’s the balance between recovery and performance. We are all looking to train as hard as we can, but everyone has a set recovery capacity, whether that is genetic or environmentally driven. Many try and exercise intensely for many hours a week, but their recovery capacity doesn’t allow it. How do we know this? Because it’s affecting daily energy levels, DOMS and overall feelings of wellbeing. It’s hard to argue against the idea that sleep is the #1 integral factor for exercise recovery. This means that if a person’s environment doesn’t allow them to always sleep well, they are not going to be able to push their training. This is because a decline in sleep quality or duration causes a decline in central nervous system (CNS) activity, and thus our ability to apply force and effort – and this is compounded by impaired CNS recovery from hard training. So, if we sleep badly, then can’t train effectively, should we exercise at all in that state? What we must appreciate here is the context that person lives in every day. Are they elite? Are they pushing for the 1% edge over the competition? Do they need to push hard today, or can they do it tomorrow when they are feeling more rested? The reality for most of us is that we like to keep fit, we like to challenge
our body, and we like to get the best out of this life. But if you don’t get the balance right then it can deregulate your sleep, you might get tired during the day, you might not be able to concentrate on work… you’re just not as good a human outside of the gym. With many clients I see that there is an element of anxiety around reducing training volume. Some feel they won’t be as fit, some feel they will put on weight, and others worry they’ll lose part of their identity. These are all mental battles that are fixed with functional strategies and an alignment with the science of nutrition. This is then a broader conversation around physical and mental health and having lots of things in our lives that stimulate us, that we enjoy, and that allow us to grow as people. And sometimes this is part of the coaching process, helping your clients get back in touch with these things if training intensity and frequency needs to drop.
TUNE IN, CHILL OUT TADASANA (MOUNTAIN POSE) How to: Stand with your big toes touching and heels slightly apart. Lift your chest and roll your shoulders down your back, palms forward. Finish by adding the slightest tuck to the chin (Jalandhara Bandha) and lengthen the crown of your head toward the sky. Find your Ujjayi Pranayama by breathing in and out through your nose while constricting your throat. Stay here for 5–10 breaths. Benefits: Ironically, this is one of the hardest asanas for us humans to do because essentially we need to stay still... and we’re not so good at that, are we! We love to fidget. Standing grounded in this mother pose will improve our patience and focus as well as our posture whilst strengthening our core, legs and buttocks.
Life can be crazy, hectic and unpredictable. Just when you think you have it nailed, something comes along and throws you offkilter, challenging your fight or flight response. We become anxious, reactive, and our overall mental and physical wellbeing takes the hit. So staying grounded, or knowing how to ground yourself is vital. This workout from Alexandra Legouix is here to help…
ANJANEYASANA (LOW LUNGE WITH EAGLE ARMS) How to: Step one leg way back and land on your toes. Extend your arms straight in front of your body. Drop one arm under the other. Bend your elbows, and then raise your forearms perpendicular to the floor. Wrap your arms and hands, and press your palms together (or as close as you can get them). Lift your elbows and reach your fingertips toward the ceiling. Keep your shoulder blades pressing down your back, towards your waist. Lift your chest towards the ceiling, draw your shoulders down whilst gently leaning away from your eagle arms. Move toward a 90-degree angle in your front leg. Engage your abs. Benefits: This pose gives the hamstrings, groin, quadriceps, and hips a good stretch, and also allows a full range of motion in the lower body. The addition of eagle arms demands deeper mental attention and focus and, by the nature of squeezing and unwinding the upper body, the pose encourages harmony of the left and right side – therefore restoring balance as well as loosening off tension and stress from the wrists, arms and shoulders.
VRKSASANA (TREE POSE) How to: This is one of the simplest yet most effective of the balance poses. Take a moment to feel both your feet root into the floor with your weight distributed equally on all four corners of each foot. Begin to shift your weight into your right foot, lifting your left foot off the floor. Keep your right leg straight but don’t lock the knee. Bend your left knee and bring the sole of your left foot high onto your inner right thigh. Press your foot into your thigh and your thigh back into your foot with equal pressure. This will help you keep both hips squared toward the front so your right hip doesn’t jut out. Focus your drishti (gaze) on something that doesn’t move to help you keep your balance. Breathe while holding the pose, and then change sides. Benefits: Oh how much do we love the Vrksasana tree pose! Not only is it a great hip opener, it strengthens the legs, buttocks and core. This is the truest rooting pose – hence the name – and it really can bring on a wonderful sense of inner calm. It teaches you to be strong yet light – rooted without being rigid. The key is to feel rooted in your legs and feet, but relaxed and easy on top. Solid and graceful. Really imagine you are a tree!
BALASANA (CHILD’S POSE) How to: Begin by sitting back on your heels with the knees hipwidth apart and the palms on the thighs. The torso is then lowered toward the thighs while the arms stretch forward and the forehead and palms rest on the floor. Become aware of your breath. Feel your back body rise with your inhale and draw in with the exhale. After several breaths, focus your awareness on the inhale traveling down the spine and the exhale traveling back up. Finally, expand your awareness laterally by feeling the ribs open and expand with your inhale and contract with the exhale. Benefits: The ultimate ‘self check in’ pose. This is a restorative, gentle and restful posture which has calming benefits for the body and mind. The name is derived from the Sanskrit utthita, meaning ‘extended’, bala, meaning ‘child’, and asana, meaning ‘pose’. In need of even more rooting or grounding energy? Bring your arms out in front of you, palms down, and press your hands into the mat. Focus your awareness on your hands, forehead, and feet pressing into the earth.
SUKHASANA (EASY POSE WITH A TWIST) How to: Sit in easy pose with the legs crossed. Place the left fingertips on the floor in front of the crossed legs, and on the exhale, open the right shoulder and rest the right fingertips on the floor behind. Maintain length in the spine. Keep the shoulders relaxed down. Breathe while holding the pose and change sides. Benefits: Reduces anxiety, tension and stress and, as it is a twist, it encourages a gentle detoxification at the same time.
PASCHIMOTTANASANA (SEATED FORWARD BEND) How to: Bring both legs straight out in front of you and root your sitting bones into your mat. Sit up tall, flex your feet, and inhale, sending your arms straight up towards the sky. On an exhalation, lead with your heart and reach your hands toward your toes, folding your body forward and relaxing your head and neck. Keep in mind it’s important to find length first, and then fold forward. Benefits: This is a great pose that has many benefits. It calms the brain and can help ease depression. Stimulates the liver, kidneys, ovaries and the uterus, and aids digestion. For women it can really help with menstrual pains too.
BADDHA KONASANA (RECLINED BUTTERFLY) How to: Lie on your back. Let your arms open wide with your palms facing up. Draw the soles of your feet together, sliding them up toward your groin and letting your knees fall open. For the ultimate relaxation in this pose you can place a pillow or yoga block under each knee for support. It is lovely to lie on a pillow, and you can place an additional folded blanket underneath your head for comfort. Benefits: Gorgeous pose that stimulates the kidneys and uterus. This is a great Yin Yoga pose because of its ultimate hip and groin releasing qualities and the fact it is super calming and a real opening pose. A great pose to do just before your final savasana (corpse pose).
Conclusion It’s so important to leave your ego at the door when practising yoga, so don’t be too proud to practise any poses or balances near a wall if it helps. Aim to just ‘be’ in the pose. Remove any demands and expectations – take the pressure off your shoulders and accept where you are at in your practice as
fully as possible. Remember, your balance, flexibility and strength will vary from day to day depending on your energy levels, sleep, the food you’ve eaten, the external demands on your life – so be compassionate with yourself. Don’t just assume you’ll magically glide in to a pose just because you
did yesterday. Be playful and patient, use props if you need them, and if you fall, try again. And enjoy the process – the falling and trying again journey helps us to develop patience and persistence, humility, and good humour. With time, practice, and patience, you will make progress. Namaste
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Inspirational campaigner Jonny Benjamin MBE tells Paul Dargan how yoga – and mindfulness as a whole – has played a crucial role in transforming his mental health and wellbeing.
As mental health continues to be discussed more openly and honestly, and as part of a wider project with classroom communication app ClassDojo, which engages primary school kids in mindfulness initiatives, Jonny Benjamin’s past few weeks have flown by in a flurry of events, interviews and meetings. In fact, since the 31-year-old ascended, somewhat involuntarily, to became one of the most recognisable and relatable faces in health and wellbeing, his life has taken on a whole new meaning. “Way back in 2008, I was rescued from the edge of Waterloo Bridge by a passer-by, Neil Laybourn, who has gone on to become one of my best friends,” he begins. “I tracked him down many years later [his story was followed in touching Channel 4 documentary Stranger on the Bridge] and now we work together to help those struggling with the pressures, anxieties and emotions of life.
“I’ve been on a huge journey of discovery since then, but it’s true to say that the day I discovered the power of mindfulness was when everything began to make a lot more sense.” And while mindfulness can be approached and accessed in a number of different ways, Jonny says fitness, exercise, and yoga in particular, have always taken him to a place of genuine contentment. Jonny, who has been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, and who recently launched charity Beyond Shame, Beyond Stigma, which specifically targets young people, says that despite delivering in helping others across a number of different initiatives and projects, his own wellbeing is still something he needs to work at every day. “Getting healthy, mentally, has been a battle every bit the same as getting fit, physically,” continues Jonny. “There are no quick fixes and you need to dedicate yourself to both, respect both, and learn how they interact. “For me, I’ve always found the use of exercise as both a benefit in its own right, and also something of a distraction technique,” he says. “So when I am doing something like yoga or running, I’m not in my head, I am in my body. When I am stretching I have to be in my body; I am focusing on the stretches and working my muscles. “That means after perhaps just an hour of yoga, I come out and am so much more in my body. It means I am not consumed by the thoughts or
whatever is going on – I am present and grounded and in turn that gives me confidence and self-esteem. Sometimes I know my head can be a pretty negative and critical place to be in, and coming out of that through something like yoga can be such a relief.” Jonny’s pursuit of physical exercise as a way of tempering the conflicts in our minds has seen him embrace hiking, climbing sheer rock faces and even, when back in the suburban clamour of the capital, there is still a path to escapism through running. “Running the marathon with Neil was a momentous experience, and for me it provided the ultimate evidence that what I had been training all that time in the lead-up wasn’t my body at all, it was my mind. “Getting past ‘The Wall’ was probably an achievement all in itself, even outside of running 26 miles. That felt like a very special moment because it endorsed everything I had believed in up to that point. I was justified in putting my faith in mindfulness, and that’s why I’m so passionate about it now, and have continued to build on it.” Sure enough, as a supplement to that process, and to any form of physical exercise, Jonny says yoga is ever-present. “My favourite thing is Restorative Yoga – it’s really slow and really gentle and you can hold it for a long time. It’s a really amazing feeling
when you do the stretch and that’s why they call it restorative, because it helps the muscles and releases so much tension in our bodies. That tension is held there unless we can find out a way to locate it and free it.” Jonny has also taken up Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), which work in a similar way. “If you tap the body of your ribcage on the sides, the pain is unbelievable because we hold that much tension and energy. You will be surprised how much emotion is held there. “This is another example of a technique that is supplementing my exercises and my mindfulness. I tell people, these aren’t one-stop solutions; they are a series of ideas that, individually, can move someone to build strength and positivity. It’s as though you’re constructing your own toolbox, and there’s still a huge gap in this awareness of mindfulness. “Starting in the schools is important, because this is where we can nip in the bud some of the problems that, if they are not detected, can be allowed to fester and grow, just as they did with me. “But beyond that, understanding the mind and using techniques such as yoga to connect the brain with the body, can make huge differences to our wellbeing. I can honestly say they have been life-changing for me and I’d encourage anyone to try them.”
ClassDojo’s A Mindful Moment took place in primary schools all over the world. It is hoped the onward path of this mindfulness initiative will help children, their parents and other adults draw closer links between mind, body, wellbeing and happiness.
5GAINING MUSCLE REASONS YOU’RE NOT
GOING TO THE GYM BUT NOT GETTING THE GAINS YOU’RE AFTER? IT COULD BE YOU’RE MAKING ONE OF FIVE SIMPLE MISTAKES… For the majority of people going to the gym, the end goal is to build muscle and tone up. While you may have done your research and watched plenty of workout videos online, many people still make a variety of common mistakes that can lead to hampering gains and slowing down their progress. London-based Fight City Gym reveal the five reasons you’re not gaining muscle.
1. YOU’RE NOT EATING ENOUGH One of the main causes of not being able to build muscle is not eating enough and, more importantly, not eating enough of the right food. Everyone bangs on about the importance of protein, but carbs and fats are just as important when it comes to growing muscle. You should aim for 2.2g of protein, 5.5g carbs and 0.9g fats per kg of body weight per day in order to see real results.
2. YOU’RE NOT GETTING ENOUGH REST
3. TOO MUCH CARDIO
You may think that it’s all about the training, but getting enough rest is often overlooked by gymgoers. Everyone has a busy lifestyle nowadays, leading to less sleep and not giving our bodies enough time to recover. In order to effectively recharge, you should aim for at least eight hours of sleep per night, but just generally listen to your body! If you feel like you need a rest and a day off from training, then take a day off and relax those muscles.
Many people dream of cutting fat alongside building muscle, which involves including a lot of cardio-focused workouts. While they burn fat, they can actually slow down the development of muscle mass too. If you are looking to cut and gain, it’s best to integrate HIIT cardio sessions into your workout. The short and intense exercises get your heart rate up and help maintain and continue muscle growth.
4. NO CONSISTENCY If you don’t stick to a solid workout regime, your body will not respond to your exercises. You need to work every body part at least once a week, every week. Similarly, being consistent with your diet and rest patterns will lead to your body developing in the ways you wish. Regularly taking a week off or going out and binge drinking will only set you back on your fitness journey.
5. WRONG TECHNIQUE If you want to build muscle, there’s no point in getting the lightest weight possible and maxing out on your reps. The hypertrophy rep range is between 8-12 reps, so you should be consistently pushing yourself to lift heavier not more. Set yourself targets to achieve, and when you can easily do three sets at a certain weight, increase it by 5% to give yourself a true challenge.
DINNERS DAME JESSICA ENNIS-HILL HAS TEAMED UP WITH MINDFUL CHEF TO SELECT SOME DELICIOUS RECIPES FOR BUSY MUMS AND DADS AND PARENTS-TO-BE. EACH MEAL PROVIDES GREAT-TASTING FOOD THAT IS NUTRITIONALLY BALANCED. WITH THE AIM OF MAKING HEALTHY EATING EASY IN 2019, EACH DISH HAS NO MORE THAN 10 FRESH INGREDIENTS THAT CAN BE PREPARED EFFORTLESSLY.
METHOD 1. Dice the red onion and roughly chop the coriander. 2. Heat a medium-sized frying pan with 1 tsp oil on a medium heat, add half of the red onion and cook for 5 minutes until soft and slightly coloured. Then add the rice, spinach and half of the coriander, cook for 3 minutes then leave in the pan to keep warm. Season with sea salt and black pepper.
MEXICAN-STYLE STEAK, AVOCADO SALSA & BROWN RICE Our tender flat iron steaks come from heritage breeds of cattle raised in Yorkshire. Theyâ€™re seasoned with our signature Mexican spice blend, seared, then served with an avocado relish and generous portion of spinach rice. INGREDIENTS FOR TWO 2 x 150g flat iron steak, 120g cherry tomatoes, 40g spinach, 1 avocado, 1 lime, 1 red onion, 1 tbsp Mindful Chef Mexican Spice mix, medium handful of fresh coriander, 250g steamed brown, Basmati rice, sea salt & black pepper, coconut oil / olive oil
3. Rub the steaks with the Mexican spice mix, a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Heat a second frying pan with 1 tsp oil on a medium-high heat. Cook the steaks until golden brown, 2-3 minutes each side for medium rare or 4-5 minutes each side for well done. Cover and rest until serving. 4. Meanwhile, to make the avocado salsa; cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters. Peel and de-stone the avocado, cut into small cubes. In a small bowl mix the tomatoes, avocado, remaining chopped red onion and the remaining chopped coriander, season with sea salt and black pepper. Squeeze over half of the juice from the lime. 5. Thinly slice the steaks. Spoon the rice onto two warm plates, top with the sliced steak and serve the avocado salsa alongside.
RED THAI AUBERGINE & CHICKPEA CURRY This creamy fragrant red Thai curry is simmered with protein-packed chickpeas, soft chunks of aubergine and red pepper, alongside nutty black rice and crispy green beans fried with coconut. INGREDIENTS FOR TWO 240g chickpeas (drained), 80g green beans, 30g creamed coconut (sulphites), 1 aubergine, 1 lime, 2 tbsp red Thai curry paste, 2 tomatoes, 2 tsp desiccated coconut (sulphites), 4cm fresh ginger, 100g black rice, sea salt & black pepper, coconut oil / olive oil METHOD 1. Boil a kettle. Rinse the black rice and place in a saucepan with 500ml boiling water and a pinch of sea salt. Simmer for 25-30 minutes until cooked. 2. Peel and finely chop or grate the ginger. Cut the aubergine into 2cm pieces and roughly chop the tomatoes. Trim the green beans and slice in half widthways. 3. Drain the chickpeas. Dissolve the creamed coconut in a jug with 200ml boiling water. 4. Heat a large pan with 2 tsp oil on a medium heat, fry the aubergine for 5 minutes, then stir in the ginger and the red Thai curry paste. Cook for a further 2 minutes until the aubergine has softened. Add the creamed coconut, chickpeas and tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Season with a pinch of sea salt. 5. Heat a frying pan with 1 tsp oil on a medium heat and add the green beans, cook for 5 minutes, turning frequently. Then add the desiccated coconut and cook for a further 2 minutes. 6. Drain the black rice. 7. Serve the red Thai aubergine and chickpea curry on two warm plates alongside the black rice and the coconut green beans. Squeeze over the juice from the lime, to taste.
We all live busy lives, and it can be difficult not to become overwhelmed by stress at some point either at work or at home. Ahead of stress awareness month, in April, we’ve highlight just how big a problem it is, and what you can do to alleviate it…
Reduce your coffee intake to two cups a day, or drink decaffeinated if you want more. Also, avoid fizzy drinks that contain caffeine and stimulants.
Disconnect Turn off your work mobile/email when you leave the office.
DEFINITION: The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) defines stress as: ‘The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure or other types of demands placed on them. It is the body’s natural response to a demanding situation’.
According to HSE figures, more than half a million workers suffered from workrelated stress, depression or anxiety (new or longstanding) in 2016/17. The main reason for this, according to 44% of those affected, was workload. A lack of support, or bullying, accounted for 27%.
Of the six in ten employees who felt stressed because of their work, those employed in finance, government and healthcare are under the most strain.
3,000 A survey of 3,000
workers conducted by employee benefits platform Perkbox found that work was the biggest cause of employee stress, followed by family pressures (45%) and money worries (45%).
Eight hours sleep will help, but also two hours of relaxation each evening. “’Me time’ is really important,” says Andy Magill, Vitality’s Head Wellness Coach. “Whether it’s reading a book, spending time with friends or family, or going out for a stroll, if you make time for fun and relaxation you’ll be in a better place to handle life’s stresses.”
According to Happify, 85% of stuff we worry about doesn’t happen. And when things do go wrong, 80% of people admit to having handled them better than they thought they would!
78% Volunteer. By giving away time, you can make more of the time you do have. According
Having a giggle increases endorphins released by your brain, cools your stress response and soothes body tension. Even smiling reduces the intensity of your body’s response to stress. Spend more time with those who make you laugh, or watch/listen to more comedy.
This doesn’t mean having a salad each day. “It’s about keeping your diet varied and rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, legumes and fish,” says Magill.
The most strained is sales: almost 80job function people claimed th % of sales stressed by their wat they felt was closely follow ork. This ed personnel (76%).by HR
Geographical hotspots for stress include the Welsh capital, with 70% of workers claiming they felt pressured. Wolverhampton (64%) came second, and London third (59%).
Yoga and tai chi are excellent, but there are many ways to be more mindful, including apps designed to help you spend more time connecting to yourself, and which can reduce everyday stress by as much as 39%. Therapeutic massage can also relieve deep muscular tension, and levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
The stress of taking out a mortgage reduces 8% of firsttime buyers to tears (which worked out to be 27,000 people in 2016). In addition, one million borrowers (one in 10) say that the ordeal of securing their first mortgage has discouraged them from ever switching to a better deal, despite potentially being able to save thousands of pounds.
The great outdoors lowers stress hormones and heart rate, and can improve mood and immunity. Exercise, exercise, exercise!
Recently, researchers from Brigham Young University studied the effects of exercise on memory under conditions of stress. They found that running in particular could have a protective effect on the brain, thereby decreasing the impact of chronic stress on memory. Even adding ten minutes to a daily walk can help.
to Happify, almost 80% of people who volunteered last year said that it had lowered their stress levels.
THE BBQ SEASON IS UPON US – DUST OFF YOUR COOKING APRONS AND GRAB YOUR ‘TWANGERS’, SIMON BANDY FROM HEALTH PLUS IS HERE TO HELP US GET BUSY ON THE BARBIE MAINS Bung another prawn on the barbie Shellfish contain zinc, which is one of our more common deficiencies. You can find out if you are deficient by buying a liquid test. It’s a clear fluid that you hold and swill around your mouth for 15 seconds. People who consume a diet high in oysters and shellfish will experience a metal taste in their mouths. Those with a deficiency will taste nothing as the liquid reacts with zinc levels. Zinc is vital for sperm production, so get it on the grill! Steak out Lean red meat is a good source of protein and iron. Men shouldn’t have as much iron in their diet as women so be aware of portion sizes. Choosing a steak over carbohydrates is great for those watching their weight and trying to avoid a ‘dad bod’, as the body uses more calories burning protein and it helps repair broken down muscles. SIDES Green means lean Green leafy salad leaves like spinach are a good source of antioxidants such as lutein, which have been associated with good eye health. These little leaves are also a source of iron, so really pack a punch. Rice, rice baby Grab a side of rice salad, particularly if it’s made from brown rice. Unlike white rice, which has been husked, the brown variety contains more B vitamins which help the nervous system play a role in helping to break down food to be used as fuel. Time to ketchup Burgers and sausages are possibly the most popular
choice for the chargrilling season, and obviously topped with lashings of tomato ketchup. Don’t hold back on an extra-large dollop, as tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant, and it’s thought that a diet rich in it is helpful for lowering the risk of prostate cancer in men. Go nuts! You might spot some nibbles to snack on while the food is being cooked. Opt for a handful of pistachios as they are protein rich and contain arginine – an amino acid – which helps increase blood flow around the body. VEGAN Mayonnaise, but not as you know it Follow Your Heart do a range of vegan products,and their egg-free, 100% natural range of Vegenaise has all the flavour of the real thing. It comes in six varieties: Original, Organic, Grapeseed and SoyaFree, as well as two exciting flavours, Sriracha and Organic Garlic Aioli. Creamy, delicious and versatile, the range is also gluten-, dairy- and cholesterolfree, and contains no added nasties. Used for dips, dressings, sandwiches or wraps, these mayos will take your favourite vegan recipes to the next level. Crowd cheesers Follow Your Heart also do a range of sliced and shredded dairy-free vegan cheeses, which melt just like real cheese and also add a flavoursome punch while you’re at it. The brand’s Mozzarella rivals its dairy counterpart in both taste and texture, and is perfect when shredded on top of your salad or burger. While you’re there, try the Medium Cheddar, the Pepper Jack or a slice of Smoked Gouda... all of which will upgrade your burger in an instant.
KURTIS STACEY ON THE ONE BODY PART MEN LOVE TO WORK THE MOST…
ve been training and working in the fitness industry for over 10 years now and there is one body part that is mentioned to me more than any other (in men): the chest. We all want more size, width and more shape. I believe with muscle groups like the pectorals we have to absolutely punish them, hitting the muscle group from all angles and exercises from pressing movements, such as heavy weight pyramid sets, to slow controlled cable crossovers, working that specific muscle group twice – if not three – times a week! If you enjoy working out to your complete maximum then this month’s workout is definitely for you. I have designed a workout just for the chest that will rapidly increase hypertrophy while increasing upper body strength. I consider these to be the two fundamentals of rapid muscle growth (along with the correct nutrition, of course). I know more than most what it is like to struggle gaining size and definition in the chest. Being naturally slim, it wasn’t until I started training with former Mr England, Mr Germany & Mr Europe that I was able to develop the physique I aspired to achieve. This was achieved with punishing sets and reps, alternating sets, different training principles and nutrition. The workout (right) is one I would do twice weekly paired with a decent biceps workout. Give it a try and let us know your thoughts!
Sets & Reps
Incline Bench Press
Flat bench Press
Horizontal Bar Dips
5 sets x 8-10 reps
Cable Cross Over’s
5 sets x 8-10 reps
5 sets x 8-10 reps
5 sets x until failure
MARK LAWS LISTS FIVE REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD TRY ‘SEMIPRIVATE’ OR ‘SMALL GROUP’ COACHING
irst of all, what the hell are ‘Semi-Private’ and ‘Small Group’ coaching sessions, and how do they work?
Semi-Private Coaching sees between two and four clients all training at the same time. Each with their own individual programme and paying around 40-60% of a normal 1-2-1 PT rate. Small Group Coaching sees between five and eight clients all training at the same time. Each with their own individual programme again and paying around 20-40% of a normal 1-2-1 PT rate. You might think that you prefer 1-2-1 PT the most, but read this column to the end before making your mind up.
1. It has been well documented and scientifically proven for many years
that human beings are more likely to adhere to something if they are part of a group. This means that by training with other people you are less likely to cancel sessions, less likely to be late, less likely to turn up in the wrong frame of mind – therefore the chances of you achieving goals and succeeding will be dramatically increased immediately. 2. 1-2-1 personal training can be quite awkward at times, for both parties. I’ve delivered tens of thousands of these sessions and almost every single one will have had an awkward moment where either I (the PT) has run out of small talk or they (the client) has had a shitty day and just doesn’t want to talk about things. Being part of a group means that if you want to be a bit quieter some days then you can be, if you want to be more chatty you can be, and if you want to meet
new people and make new friends then you certainly can. Being closely connected to a few more people makes the gym a much more fun place to be. 3. It is nice to have a personal trainer because they tell you exactly what to do and when to do it. But there will be times when you go on holiday, times when they go on holiday, times when you are working away and times when they/you are ill and cannot get to the gym. If you rely on them 100% then during the 5-10% of the year when they are not there you will be screwed. A poor PT teaches you to be completely dependant on them. A great coach teaches you to be self-sufficient, so you can spread your wings and cope by yourself… just in case. Being part of a small group gives you a little bit more independence, whilst improving your competence and confidence around the gym. 4. A busy personal trainer might be doing 30 sessions per week. If they are good they will have clients doing three sessions per week which means they can usually only help 10 people at once. Also, if they really are good they will be able to keep their clients for years. A PT that is worth giving your money to will be able to count how long their clients have been with them in years and will probably have a waiting list. 5. There is an elephant in the room here…1-2-1 personal training is expensive. £30-40 per session soon adds up. Let us not forget that you should be doing three sessions per week to stand a chance of making any real improvements. At £40 a session you could soon be £500 a month out of pocket which is a fair chunk of cash for anyone. You could be saving a fortune, getting more sessions in, improving your independence, increasing the likelihood of success and allowing more of your friends/family/ colleagues to benefit from their expertise too. Seems like a no-brainer to me.
YOU’RE WORKING HARD ON YOUR FITNESS BUT ARE YOU EATING THE RIGHTS THINGS AT THE RIGHT TIME? LET BESTFIT POINT YOU IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION…
s we begin to turn our attentions to our summer holidays, there’s very little that will get in the way of our workout regime. Yet what we eat before training (preworkout nutrition) and what we eat after (post-workout nutrition) can have an impact on our training session and our overall progress. Technically, it should be easier than ever to get the food we need
to fuel our habits, for pre- and post-workout meals, shakes and bars are increasingly available. Sales of functional nutrition bars alone have increased by almost 400% since 2010. But just what should we be eating before and after we get down to business? Sophie Thurner, a registered nutritionist and qualified personal trainer, explains…
POST-WORKOUT PRE-WORKOUT “If you have a meal before you work out, it should consist of carbohydrates, to increase muscle glycogen and allow time to fatigue, and protein, to reduce muscle protein break down when working out. Whether you have this in liquid form or as a solid meal/snack depends on your personal preference and how much time you have before your workout. If you have an hour or less, it is advisable to have a shake (sip it, don’t drink it all in one go, otherwise you will run the risk of gastro-intestinal discomfort. If you have more time, you may prefer a meal/snack, ideally to be taken two-three hours prior to the workout. “There are some supplements that will improve your performance when taken before your session. The most commonly researched and consumed is coffee; a cup of coffee before your workout or as part of a pre-workout shake can enhance the way our muscles use energy – sparing glycogen reserves – can temporarily increase strength, and speed up recovery post-workout, if taken in combination with carbohydrates as it accelerates the rate of glycogen replenishment (important if you work out frequently). “Another useful supplement is magnesium; this is involved in many different aspects of muscle function and exercise including energy productions, oxygen uptake, muscle contraction, muscle relaxation and electrolyte balance. Some of us do not get enough magnesium in our diets and low levels may impair physical performances and exercise capacity, and this is associated with muscle damage and cramps.”
“Any food consumed after you’ve worked out should ideally consist of carbohydrates (to replenish muscle glycogen thereby enhancing recovery) and protein (to enhance muscle recovery and muscle protein synthesis post-exercise). Think 20-25g of high-quality protein, which would be sufficient to stimulate maximal protein synthesis; high quality means easily absorbed protein that contains all essential amino acids. Generally speaking, animal-based protein, such as dairy, eggs, meat and fish, covers that more easily, however a vegan protein shake or a meal containing beans, legumes, pulses and wholegrains will get you there too. “The post-workout meal should ideally be eaten within two hours of the workout; maximal recovery and repair would be achieved if eating within 30-45 minutes of finishing your workout. Having a balanced meal is always preferred. This is because you take in additional micro-nutrients and other important components. Fibre is essential, not only to feed the good bacteria in your gut, but also to provide roughage to encourage bowel movements. It has also been shown to increase feelings of satiety. A solid meal digests more slowly, meaning it will keep you feeling full for longer, while eating regular solid meals encourages healthy eating patterns; sitting down to have a proper meal has shown results in high meal satisfaction than consuming an on-the-go shake. The act of chewing is part of a well-functioning digestion process and releases important digestive enzymes such as amylase. “It’s therefore advisable to opt for solid food rather than a shake. If you are unable to have a meal post-workout due to time and convenience, it is possible to wait longer. As long as daily caloric needs are met across the 24-hour day period, your body will get everything it needs to perform as optimally as you can.”
12 WEEKS. 1 GOAL.
THE RESULTS ARE INâ€¦
RUTH GARBUTT STARTED A TRANSFORMATION PROCESS TO HELP HER FEEL BETTER ABOUT HER BODY. TWELVE WEEKS ON AND SHE’S REACHED THE END, AND SHE’S PLEASED WITH WHAT SHE SEES AND FEELS… “I don’t miss it at all!” laughs Ruth Garbutt, who has now come to the end of her 12-week transformation. And yet while she laughs at her own initial response at coming to the end of the process, she’s far more positive about the overall effect. Those of you who have been following Ruth’s progress in this magazine or by watching BESTFIT TV will know she had one goal: to lose 10kg in 12 weeks, and to feel confident about her body after having had two children. So, let’s cut to the chase… did she do it? “You know what? I actually lost 7kg, which is less than I wanted at the start of all this, but I’m really happy with it. I think that’s the most important thing I’ve learned in this process; that things change, and that as you learn more your goals might change too, and that’s ok.” Ruth went big in her first four weeks in an effort to boost her results. As
a result, she got ill, which hampered her training. And in the last phase of her transformation, she obtained a shoulder injury, which prevented her from training her upper body. She’s learned a lot from that, but more importantly she’s now reaping the rewards of 12 weeks of hard graft.
THE CHANGES “I could notice the difference in the shape of my body as I was going along thanks to the Shapewatch
app, although there was a lot of times when I thought I should have been losing more. Yet I really noticed the difference in week 10, when my old clothes started fitting,” explains Ruth. “There were times throughout the process when I thought my results should be better, times when I wasn’t trusting the process. However, by week 10 the results were really prominent. My old clothes started fitting and I actually needed more smaller clothes, which was brilliant. That, for me, is what it‘s all about. I’m now training a lot since the transformation ended but I’m not looking at my weight. It’s more about how I look and feel, and getting rock hard!”
STAGE 3 “I actually really enjoyed the last four weeks even though they were supposed to be the hardest,” she explains. “The weights increased but that’s the way I’ve always trained, so I was comfortable with
family. My husband is an athlete and he gets it, so he gave me the freedom to do what I needed to do and that acted as extra motivation. When you take on something like this it’s hard, but you’ve just got to do it.
that. I used to love pushing myself on the squat rack, and so having to lift heavier was good fun for me. There were also other things that made life easier. I like to train on my own, and at the start of the process I found it hard having people watching over me, and having to share my journey in the magazine and on social media. By phase 3, I was doing watt bike sessions on my own, and training more on my own… and while I continue to use a PT twice a week now, I love having that mix. I use a PT to push me, and then train on my own to have some me time. It’s a perfect mix. “I found the first four weeks the hardest of them all,” she explains. “I really enjoyed it all at first, but I felt under pressure to lose the weight and put myself under unnecessary stress. In the last four weeks, I had more knowledge about the taining, the nutrition, the process. I made myself more accountable. I knew I could take a day off if I wanted to, that it wouldn’t ruin anything, but that
if I did that, I would need to stay active and keep the calories off.”
TRAINING SINCE “I haven’t stopped training, but the intensity has changed. Yet that doesn’t mean my fitness journey is over, far from it. When you take on a 12-week transformation you know that it’s going to be extreme. I was training every day, spending four days on the weights, three doing cardio and constantly staying active to try and kill the calories. It was hardcore. I had to sacrifice a lot of time, time with my husband and
“Now, a typical session is shorter, maybe less intense, but still good enough. A session is now 50 minutes long. I might do a 1k watt bike challenge, maybe spend 20 minutes on the bike and then spend 30 minutes doing weights. That’s enough for me now. And when I’m not training, I’m always active. I’m active with my kids and my family. Having a family is tiring and so I can’t expect to train at the same intensity as I did over those 12 weeks all the time. You’ve gotta do what you gotta do to match your lifestyle, or it’s not sustainable. Now, I might still go to the gym every day, but it might involve a yoga session, or a stretch… I know my body and what it needs, and this transformation has armed me with that knowledge.”
THE SUPPLEMENTS “I found the supplements so useful in the 12 weeks, but I’m already continuing to use them now it’s over. The Cellucor® C4® Sport really helps me get to the gym, and through whatever session I choose, when I’m not feeling at my peak. Being a mum, I’m tired. A lot. And so for those days when I’m not firing on all cylinders, it helps me train. That in itself acts as a good motivator because I know I can still train even
when I don’t feel like it. “And I made no secret of my admiration for the Xtend® Hydrasport™ BCAAs. It really helped me when I was experiencing sugar cravings, and it kept me hydrated when I was really pushing myself. We now make sure we always have that in our cupboard, for both my husband and I; it’s part of the family now! I might not be training to the same intensity, but I will still use it.”
THE NUTRITION During the 12-week transformation, Ruth’s meals were supplied by Lean Lunch. Prepping food takes time, so how has she found that since her transformation finished? “That’s been easy, to be honest. Look, I might not have the time or the space in my fridge to include all the ingredients I was eating, but I’m eating well, and will continue to do so. My husband is an pro athlete, so we’ve always eaten well, that’s just how our home operates. I’ve learned a lot about what my body needs to fuel itself and so I’m eating slightly differently and prepping when I can,
but it’s hard to do those things with a family. I’m definitely not as strict as I was in those 12 weeks but I eat clean and prepared food six days a week, giving me a day to maybe have a cheat meal or a treat with the kids. We’re never going to be that family that has fried fast food. A treat to us might be a Nandos with chicken and hummous, we just don’t do the pigging out thing. Even Easter came and went without too much chocolate. Wine, though... that’s been my only downfall. I avoided it for most of the 12 weeks, maybe falling off the wagon one weekend, but I felt so bad after only about five drinks that it put me off! That said, wine was the first thing that came back into my life when the transformation finished. That’s my vice.”
SHAPEWATCH “From the first time I used Shapewatch, I loved being able to see and monitor the shape of my body. In the app, you start with an avatar of your body shape. You can really see your body in front of you, not in the mirror or in a picture, but a proper image of your shape. And that shape, over time, changes. You can see the change, and
that’s the biggest motivator of them all. It’s like watching your body improve in real time. It’s not just about numbers, weight loss and measurements, it’s more than that, and for women that’s really important. Numbers can be stressful and daunting, I know that first hand. “You don’t want to be measuring yourself and weighing yourself, and feeling that disappointment if those numbers don’t match your expectations. I loved the fact that you can see your evolution, it simplifies the numbers. Knowing you’ve lost 10cm off your waist,
that was my biggest thing. To lose the baby fat, to feel healthier and to know that what you’re doing is working was so important.”
RECOMMENDATIONS So, you’ve read and seen Ruth’s journey. Should you follow her lead? “I recommend anyone to do a challenge like this, whatever stage of life you’re at. My best advice would
be in that first two weeks is to trust the process and don’t stress about the numbers so much. I went too hard at first and was run down, I trained too much and became sick. I learned the hard way! But I wouldn’t change it because I’m now as close to the body I want, and I’ve reached this point because of the transformation. Just give yourself the time to evolve, don’t worry about it.”
really handy because she was in a
calorific deficit, and so the BCAAs “RUTH LOVED USING THE increased her protein synthesis, She’s finding these have really been aiding her XTEND HYDRASPORT BCAAS,” which increases the recovery, wastage and on curing her sweet tooth fix! SAYS ADAM HAINES, the muscle. She found these really RUTH’S aided her recovery, and her use the ForC4 more information about “Ruthcured doesn’t Pre-Workout every day,the but “RUTH ISPT. USING, AND LOVING, THE SCIVATION sweet tooth fix! Shapewatch, visit: if she’s struggling for energy – she might have had a XTEND HYDRASPORT BCAAS,” “She had this throughout a hard www.shapewatch.com long day with the kids – she can take this 45 minutes SAYS day to ADAM. top up her electrolytes “Ruth didn’t use the before C4 Pre-Workout her session and that helps push her through her
and to maintain her hydration every day, but if shesessions,” was struggling For more information about Lean adds Adam. “She’s taking these throughout up her levels. She’s not a huge fan of the day to fortop energy she can take this 45 Lunch, visit: www.leanlunch.co.uk electrolytes andand to maintain hydration levels. She’sa session drinking water because her these minutes before and information that For more about the Shapewatch, visit: not aflavoured, huge fan they of drinking are helped water her and because will helpthese push her through her Fitness Space gyms are UK-wide. www.shapewatch.com are what flavoured, they’re helping her get what she needs. get she needed. These are sessions,” adds Adam. Visit: www.fitnessspace.com For more information about Lean Lunch, visit: These are really handy because she’s in a calorific www.leanlunch.co.uk deficit, and so the BCAAs increase her protein Fitness Space gyms are UK-wide. Visit: www.fitnessspace.com synthesis, which increases the wastage on the muscle.
available exclusively at
Aimee Fuller The two-time Olympic snowboarder wants to keep pushing the boundaries in her sport Aimee, the PyeongChang Winter Games were last year and we have three years until Beijing 2022, so what does a Winter Olympian do in between Games? So, about a year to a year-and-a-half before each Olympic Games you compete on the FIS World Cup tour in attempt to qualify for the Olympics. This tour consists of around 12 competitions. Prior to PyeongChang I competed in about eight or nine events, which was enough for me to finish fifth in Slopestyle and third in Big Air, and that secured my qualification. That’s pretty much perfect prep. How do you reflect on last year’s Winter Olympics; you do all that preparation and then face mega windy conditions… It was a real shame. They ran us in the worst ever possible conditions known to man! It was pretty
dangerous and there was a lot of politics around whether or not it should have been run. It was pot luck whether or not you were going to be affected by the wind. It’s not the way I imagined the event going, but that’s what can happen at the top level of any sport. It’s about keeping your head held high and rising for the next event. What’s your favourite trick to perform? My favourite trick to perform has to be a backflip purely because it’s not scary for me anymore, it used to be, and it feels amazing. It’s the trick I always dreamed of doing when I was younger, so to be able to do it now feels awesome. It’s such an amazing feeling of freedom when you’re pulling it off because there’s no fear. Which snowboarders or athletes do you look up to?
My peers. I have a lot of respect for people who push the boundaries in my sport. Anna Gasser is a great example; she’s a phenomenal athlete and her approach is amazing, like no one else. She got it going on! What do you want to achieve in snowboarding? The ultimate goal was to be the first person to double in a contest, and I did that in the X Games in 2013. Now, my goal is to be able to keep my snowboarding going for as long as possible by keeping my mind and body healthy. I’ve got two Olympic Games under my belt and I’ve already surpassed what I thought a girl from Kent using dry slopes could achieve! Where’s your favourite place to go snowboarding? Absolut Park, Flachauwinkl, and in the UK The Snow Centre at Hemel Hempstead. You’ve spent most of your life snowboarding or doing motorcross… what is it you love about highoctane sports specifically? I love speed! That has to be part of the addiction. I used to love going fast and trying to find the lines and transitions in motorcross, which then of course transitioned into snowboarding and, in particular, finding the right transition with the right landing. When I discovered that you could also do tricks… that attracted me to snowboarding. I like pushing my body into different shapes and going hard. You obviously require high levels of fitness for snowboarding, but what about motorcross? Were you into health and fitness growing up? Growing up, I could say I wasn’t into health and fitness so much, but it was just about being active. And because I was always moving, I guess that’s what kept me fit and healthy and gave me a good grounding for snowboarding. I did motorcross between the ages of eight and 12, and again from 14-16. I was snowboarding from 12, but
also doing basketball, gymnastics, lacrosse, rollerblading… you name it, I played it. I spent most of my childhood dripping in sweat doing some form of sport! You’ve done loads of other things, like cycling a leg of the Giro D’Italia… is there anything else you’d like to tackle? I’m doing the London Marathon this year with Tag Heuer for Cancer Research UK. Coming from a sport that requires explosive strength and fast-twitch fibres, I’m having to completely transform my training until the marathon. I have been working with biomechanics specialist Anthony Fletcher at Equinox, London. It’s different, and I am enjoying the fresh perspective on learning new techniques.
TRACKS TO WORKOUT TO ALL I DO IS WIN – (FEAT T-PAIN, LUDACRIS) DJ KHALED GOIN’ CRAZY – DIZZEE RASCAL, ROBBIE WILLIAMS ECHO HOTEL – THE ECHOCENTRICS HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE – CALVIN HARRIS, DISCIPLES OOH LA LA – HI-LO HOW’S YOUR BODY – CALIPPO KERALA – BONOBO MAN WITH THE RED FACE – MAERK KNIGHT, FUNKAGENDA MUSIC IS MY LIFE ‑ ADAM F TELL ME WHY – MARCUS SCHOSSOW
How intense is your training when you’re gearing up for a snowboarding event? Give us an example of a typical day? A typical day would involve being on snow. I’d have a big breakfast to start, then maybe ride from 9am-1pm. That’ll be a pretty intense session, so I’ll be hammering out as many tricks as I can, then focusing on perhaps one major trick that I want to learn or execute. We’ll then come back down for lunch, maybe do some yoga and stretching. You might then focus on your strength in the afternoon in the gym. Generally speaking, it’s about keeping your body as fresh as possible for that snowboarding morning session. You do a lot of HIIT training, but also yoga. Give us an idea of the range of training regimes you follow… I do a real mixture! I do one cardio session a week to build a base for my recovery. When I’m in the gym I do a lot of explosive movements, developing my power and strength but also focusing on my mobility, agility and stability. Yoga is my time to chill out and focus on my weaknesses; it’s my prehab tool to sort any niggles. I prefer yoga to boring gym rehab. I like to work on my flexibility, which obviously helps my snowboarding. Everything I do is intense, so I use my yoga time to chill. What’s the one must-do exercise for anyone looking to prepare for the slopes? I would say glute activation and stabilising through your core. If your glutes and core are firing, they’re your protector muscles to help you take any knocks. Give us an idea what a typical day’s nutrition looks like when training? I’d have a big breakfast, C Press Super porridge is my go to. On the slopes, I always have a Barebells bar in my pocket to keep my energy up throughout the day, and I hydrate with Coco Fuzion Coconut water; its higher potassium content [than water] is essential for my performance.
IF YOU’VE EVER HAD ANY OF THE BELOW THOUGHTS DURING YOGA THEN YOU’RE NOT ALONE, SAYS ALEXANDRA LEGOUIX…
CONFESSIONS FROM THE MAT 9.50am: Its GREEN! The light is green Madam Peugeot driver... Go, go, go damn you! I am so late! Ok... moving... I will make it... I can be five minutes late at a push and they’ll still let me in if I’m quiet I’m sure...
goooooood. Yes, yes, yes. Grrr. Flying. Woop. Gosh, I love yoga.
10.02am: Morning! Sorry, sorry, is it ok? I promise I’ll sneak in quietly. Thank you, thank you! 10.04am: Hmm, okay, I want to be near the mirror... I wonder if I can squeeze in there... No I won’t go there, she’s too good... Ok there is good... Ok let’s do this... Sorry, sorry... Quick, relax... Oh god they are already moving... 10.22am: Oh come on body, wakey, wakey. Why are you so stiff today?! Grrr... 10.30am: OK, this is good. A few sun salutations down and I am on a roll. I’m floooowing, my energy is up, I feel good... I’m actually quite good at this yoga malarkey... yeah, look at me... And I don’t look too porky either. 10.35am: Holy crap. Why can’t I balance? What is wrong with me?! Jeez, I am wobbling so much more than everyone else. Look how good everyone else looks! 10.42am: You’re not breathing. C’mon ujjayi breath, work your magic... 10.50am: Oh, I feel good. This feels
11.12am: Wild thing. Yes, I agree Lynette. Such a good teacher you are. I am ‘embracing my wild thing’. Damn, I am on fire today. Go me... This year is going to be a good year. Things are going to change... I can really feel it... 11.15am: What. Is. That? My back. Ouch. No, please don’t go... Stay with me, body... We can do this... Breathe, breathe... 11.15... Already? Ok, almost at the end. Awesome... Lying down time soon... God, I really am ready to lie down... 11.18am: Another THREE vinyasas??? Jeez... 11.21am: Ok I am actually dying...
10.53am: I love this pose...
11.22am: Please can we lie down now?
10.54am: I hate this pose...
11.23: SWEAT... I actually can’t see...
10.55am: I have definitely put weight on... Yep... they are new love handles... maybe I can tuck my top in a bit... Not sure about this top actually... Damn, how is it possible to sweat this much...
11.26am: Aaaaand lie down... yes, yes, yes... quick, relax...
11.02am: ‘Mula Bandha?’ Which one is that one again?
11.32am: Huh? What? What’s that? Oh! Yes, sorry, namaste! Gosh, I was in such a deep sleep! Ok, c’mon. Up we get.... Ah yes, heaven. First yoga of 2019. I feel good. Ah well done body... Gosh I feel proud of doing that... That felt gooood... well done me... ok I am definitely going every day... This is my year... 2019, I got this... Boom.
11.06am: Oh god. I am so rubbish today. I wish I had done more yoga in January. Why didn’t I do more yoga? I swear I wouldn’t be so bad if I had just done more. 11.09am: Stop thinking. Breathe, breathe... Focus on your breath...
11.27am: Relax... your body... breathe... Relax... Do that ‘sinking through the floor thing’...
Namaste yogi pals
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COLUMNIST WE’RE ALL GUILTY OF GYM FAILS, EVEN THE LEAN MACHINES BOYS. HERE, THEY REVEAL THEIR SIX BIGGEST MISTAKES, AND WHAT THEY LEARNED (SO YOU CAN TOO!)
HAIL THE FAILS! 1. LOW-CARB DIETS Both of us were on very low-carb diets for a long time. We weren’t doing it for any other reason than we felt it was the right thing to do to get lean! Yes, we got lean, but it had nothing to do with reducing carbs, it was because we were reducing the amount of calories in our diet. And it was a really miserable experience! Every single diet works because of a calorie deficit, no matter how it’s manifested. It’s easy to get confused by this kind of stuff, and we clearly did. 2. JUMPING FROM PLAN TO PLAN Everyone needs a plan. And when you have one, stick to it! I remember going to the gym and seeing what others were doing and then copying them, ditching my plan – which was tailored for me, my body and my needs – for something else because I thought it looked good. I’m sure we’re all guilty of this one, right? Yet you need to give your plan time to work, then analyse the merits and the downfalls before you move onto something else. If you stick to a plan and it’s terrible and doesn’t work for you, then it can still be a success because you’ve learned what doesn’t work for your body. 3. MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY I used to think that my way was the only way. I used to stick my head in the sand and believe I knew the best ways to train but I soon found there are lots of different ways to do it. I used to be surrounded by a bodybuilding culture and so that’s what I knew, but now I like Crossfit
stuff too, and indoor climbing, and gymnastics, yoga… I used to be so one-dimensional and not open to trying new things. Big mistake! 4. THINKING THAT MAKING MISTAKES IS WRONG Nobody aims to make mistakes, obviously, but everything I’ve learned has come from making one. If things are going well for you, you’ll stay on that path. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right path. Somebody might have spent their whole life doing something the same way and they might have had a degree of success doing it like that, but someone else might have failed a few times and had more success. Failure isn’t something to seek, but it’s sometimes the only way to learn. 5. CARING WHAT OTHERS THINK I went to a commercial gym for
the first time the other week and I forgot how those places can sometimes make you feel insecure. But they shouldn’t! I was using the bench press and I had two huge dudes watching over me, whether it was because they were waiting to use it or they were checking out my form, I don’t know. I’m sure they didn’t care what I was doing, and I didn’t really care what they thought, but there was a small part of me that wondered what they were thinking. I’m sure people don’t judge, but it can feel like that… so it’s important to switch off those self-conscious thoughts! 6. ASPIRING TO BE THE WRONG PEOPLE When I first got into training, I based all of my motivation and my training on someone I saw in a magazine who looked absolutely amazing. You see it all the time now; celebrity or pro workouts or ways to train, and you copy those sessions. I’ve been lucky enough to meet a lot of people in those said magazines and one thing I’ve learned is that some people are genetic freaks, others might use substances, or they might not live the same sort of lifestyle as we do, i.e. they might have all the money and time in the world to train. You simply cannot compare your situation to others because you don’t know the back story, or their situation.
SECRET EATING SINS Whether youâ€™re a Weekend Wolfer or a Sugar Shoveller, weâ€™re all guilty of a secret eating sin from time to time. Diet guru Terri-Ann Nunns reveals our most common bad eating habits, and how we can beat them once and for all.
THE SECRET SNACKER Guilty as charged: A biscuit here, a packet of crisps there, you’re a Secret Snacker if you just can’t resist reaching for sugary and high-fat snacks between meals.
What to look out for: You’ve eaten well all day and you fancy something naughty but nice just before bed. It’s guilt-free because it’s out of hours right? Wrong!
What to look out for: A common trait of a typical Secret Snacker is to eat super healthy meals and then undo the good work by caving to temptation and indulging in sweets, crisps and/or fizzy drinks.
How to beat the bad habit: If you really need a nice treat before bed, opt for something low calorie, but tasty. Think a low-fat hot chocolate drink, warm skimmed milk with honey, or a Weetabix with milk and berries.
How to beat the bad habit: Swap your sinful snacks for tasty but healthy bites to tide you over until your next meal. Graze on items such as nuts and fruit, switch fizzy drinks for diluted juice and crisps for low-fat alternatives such as baked lentil crisps.
WEEKEND WOLFER Guilty as charged: You have the discipline of a saint throughout the week, but lose all control when school’s out. From dirty kebabs to bottomless brunches, it’s the weekend and you’re ready to indulge!
THE PORTION PIGGY Guilty as charged: You may avoid snacking and try to eat a fairly balanced diet, but when it comes to portion control you like to load up on your favourite foods.
What to look out for: Weekend Wolfers are guilty of unravelling all their hard work throughout the week with a blow out over the weekend. The problem is, that accounts for over a third of your weekly food intake…
What to look out for: Even the healthiest foods need to be enjoyed in moderation, so try to ensure you don’t overindulge on one food type just because you think it’s healthy.
How to beat the bad habit: Consider delicious but healthy alternatives to takeaways and eating out. Whether opting for a
How to beat the bad habit: Consider portion sizes and eating little and often to ensure you are controlling the amount of food you are consuming in a healthy and measured way. NIGHTCAP NIBBLER Guilty as charged: Call it having supper, enjoying a nightcap or indulging in a midnight feast – regardless of the name, a Nightcap Nibbler just can’t say no when it comes to grabbing a naughty snack before bed.
naked burger, or swapping your French fries to sweet potato wedges, when it comes to maintaining and losing weight, every little helps. SUGAR SHOVELLER Guilty as charged: You avoid full fat at all costs, but when it comes to sugar, you can’t resist going big! A Sugar Shoveller constantly looks for their next sugar kick, be it sweets or fizz. What to look out for: Sugar Shovellers will often skip meals such as breakfast in favour of a sugary cup of tea, full-fat drinks or naughty sweets. How to beat the bad habit: Swap your synthetic sugar indulgencies for healthy alternatives such as snacking on fruit or yoghurt with a natural sugar such as honey or cinnamon. By eating smaller amounts of natural sugars more often, your blood sugar levels will begin to regulate themselves and you won’t get massive cravings for sugar once your body crashes. MAYBE ON MONDAY Guilty as charged: While you have good intentions, the temptation to push the lifestyle change to tomorrow is too much, leading to repeat overindulgences. What to look out for: A common trait of a classic Maybe On Monday is to make bad food choices and justify them with a pledge to eat healthy the following day. The problem is, tomorrow rarely arrives! How to beat the bad habit: Making small changes gradually is often the best way to remain disciplined. Healthy food doesn’t have to mean food that tastes bad – change your mindset and healthy habits will follow.
30hrs free childcare per week Available from September Limited spaces - Book your place
COLUMNIST WILL WILLIAMS IS THE UK’S LEADING MEDITATION TEACHER AND HE REVEALS HOW WE CAN COMBAT THE DAILY RIGOURS LIFE CAN THROW AT US
FIVE MINUTES TO DESTRESS
tress of all forms has its roots in the mismatch between our biological make-up, and the intensity of modern life. And the workplace is obviously one of those places where we feel it most acutely, staring at screens all day, with deadlines and responsibilities putting us under pressure, and occasionally causing our biology to react in ways which surprise, bemuse and confuse us, and ultimately cause us to feel less good about ourselves and the world. Beeja means the ‘seed of infinite potential’ and Beeja meditation is simple, effective, fun and based on ancient wisdom as well as
scientific research. Beeja meditation is different from anything you’ve seen before. Whilst conventional mindfulness reduces stress by eliminating thoughts, Beeja meditation is based on the Vedic principles, which help you to release thoughts, to reduce stress and heighten experience. Your body is given a chance to reset and reboot, as Beeja meditation takes you 33% deeper into relaxation than even your deepest sleep. Beeja meditation is incredibly effective at getting to the root of your stress response and calming your body down, so you are less reactive, more energised and ultimately more
productive. It uses sounds, allocated by a teacher, that will interact with your nervous system to give it the bandwidth it needs to deal with all of life’s dramas, and all of your tasks. 1 YOU CAN MEDITATE ANYWHERE! A common misconception about meditation is that you have to be in total silence. You can in fact meditate anywhere: sitting on the bus or the tube, at the beach, in a park, in the cinema before a film starts, at your desk before a big meeting, on an airplane if you are a nervous flier. Most people will just think you’re asleep! 2 TRY TO MEDITATE ON AN EMPTY STOMACH It’s best to allow 1.5-2 hours after eating before you meditate so your body isn’t too busy digesting food that it can’t slip into relaxation mode. It’s also best to avoid having caffeine before, as it’s very stimulating for your nervous system and can also delay your body’s relaxation response. 3 USE THE WORD BEEJA AS YOUR MANTRA Sit down, close your eyes, and plant your feet firmly on the floor. Feel both feet on the floor and let your awareness drift across all parts of your body. Now start gently repeating the sound ‘Beeja’ in your mind. Be soft and slow and faint and relaxed. Beeja means the ‘seed of infinite potential.’ 4 MEDITATE FOR FIVE MINUTES Do this for five minutes, coming back to whispering the sound in your mind every time you lose track of it (which will happen lots, and that’s ok!). After five minutes, stop repeating the sound, and then take 30 seconds with eyes closed, and think of someone, or something, that you love. Hold that feeling in your heart for this time, and then go about your day feeling a little bit better.
The Effortless Mind by Will Williams is out now priced £9.99 (Simon & Schuster). For information about meditation classes visit beejameditation.com
OUT&ABOUT RIDE THE LAKES THE LAKE DISTRICT 8 September
Ride the Lakes is a challenging cycle sportive that takes in some of the finest roads in the Lake District. With three route options to choose from – 12, 75 and 100 miles – there is a distance to suit every rider, and stunning scenery on offer on each ride. The official sportive of the Tour of Britain’s Cumbrian stages, Ride the Lakes follows roads ridden by the pros in Britain’s biggest professional bike race. Stage
CASTLE TO COAST WINDSOR-BRIGHTON
Saturday 10 August Endurance events company, Fullsteam, has launched Castle to Coast, the UK’s only sportive triathlon, which will take place between Windsor and Brighton on Saturday 10 August. The innovative, non-competitive format is designed to break away from the obsession with time and racing, instead providing a relaxed, inclusive event that focuses on the adventure of the swim, bike and run. Limited to 500 for the inaugural event, it includes a 1.2-mile swim at Eton Dorney followed by a 67-mile open road ride through the picturesque but testing Surrey Hills and a 13.2-mile run up Ditchling Beacon and over the South Downs. Triathletes can enter online from £140 and will receive a finisher’s medal, tech event t-shirt and free race photography. A team option is also available from £180 for three team members. Each member will tackle one leg and your own transport will be required to complete the partly self-supported challenge to Brighton. www.fullste.am
six of the 2018 race sees the riders traverse the Lake District from south to north, culminating in a summit finish on Whinlatter Pass. The climb features as one of several tough ascents in our sportive route, along with the aptly named The Struggle. Explore the beauty of Ullswater, Bassenthwaite Lake and Ambleside and roll alongside the impressive Thirlmere reservoir. Ride The Lakes is a fully supported ride with a hot meal at the finish, the perfect reward for your efforts. www.britishcycling.org.uk/events/home
ALSO COMING UP… EVENTS LISTINGS Pedal 4 Cancer Sunday 8 September
Open to anyone age 14 years and over, this is a great way to take part and cycle the latest bucket list route – London to Cambridge. The ride starts from the world-famous Lee Valley VeloPark and heads out of London through the beautiful Essex countryside. To find out more, and to register, see www.pedal4cancer.bike Run Bacchus Sunday 8 September
Join 2,750 participants running through the beautiful Surrey countryside, and enjoy delicious, award-winning English wine at refreshment stations along the course. Held in England’s largest vineyard, Denbies Wine Estate, in Dorking, you can participate in either the full marathon, half marathon or the newly introduced ‘Bacchus Lite’ 10km. www.run-bacchus.com Azores Triton 18–20 October 2019
The Azores Triton kicks off a global circuit of long-distance races focusing on the three segments of a triathlon: swim, bike and run. The races are run over three days, so one for each of the three sports, and with the respective times added together at the end. There are also three distances to choose from, giving everyone the opportunity to participate. tritonworldseries.com/portugal/
The Wellness Retreat Marrakech This relaxing venue is an intimate, immersive wellness experience at a luxury villa in Marrakech. The Wellness Retreat doesn’t just focus on health & fitness, but prides itself on working with the mindset and focuses on positivity and mental health. thewellnessretreatmarrakech.com The Regena Health Resort & Spa A luxury retreat which provides the perfect escape from the stresses and constraints of everyday life, whilst improving guests’ health and wellbeing. Surrounded by the beautiful greenery of the Bavarian Rhön Biosphere Reserve in the low mountain ranges of the Rhön, you’ll have the perfect conditions to enjoy low-intensity outdoor training as well as an extensive list of recreational activities. www.regena.de
RESTAURANTS Bill’s Leeds
Bill’s Leeds enjoyed a grand reopening in April and now has an incredible new bar and a revamped restaurant. The private dining room is the perfect party venue to meet friends and family while enjoying healthy and indulgent food. bills-website.co.uk Oak Street Café Manchester
Ironman 70.3 April 5, 2020
Competitors swim 1.9km in the Ionian Sea, cycle 90km through picturesque villages and ancient olive groves before completing a half marathon along pristine beaches and cobblestone paths towards The Romanos, a Luxury Collection resort at Costa Navarino. eu.ironman.com/events
An independent cafe in the Craft and Design Centre in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, Oak Street offers a range of inventive dishes alongside good coffee in a tranquil setting. They cater for all diets including vegetarian/vegan and options made with non-gluten ingredients, and they change their menu on a daily basis. www.oakstreetcafenq.co.uk
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Nutrition. Fitness. Health. Wellbeing. Yoga. Workouts. Cycling.