BESTFIT Magazine issue 38

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Finally, some sunshine! The better weather has been a long time coming, so let’s ensure we make the most of it, right? And that means getting outside or going on holiday. In this mag, you’ll hopefully find plenty of motivation for things to do or try. From outdoor event listings and triathlon tips from Lucy Charles, to a sneak look at David Lloyd’s Battlebox facilities or even just inspo for your BBQ, you’ll hopefully find something that helps you make the most of the British summer. If you’re heading off to sunnier climes, be sure to check out Mark Laws’ tips for maintaining all the work you’ve put into your holiday prep! Funny stuff. Many of us will be combining outdoor living with watching the telly as the World Cup unfolds. Yep, the domestic football season might be over but it’s wall-to-wall football as we head into July. Here’s hoping the Three Lions roar. Talki ng of football, we’ve previewed Russia 2018, and also interviewed England hotshot Fran Kirby on the growing demands of the women’s game, and how fitness has been key. Kirby is one of a few top interviews this issue: so be sure to read about how Dermot O’Leary, Deborah Meadon and Danny Howard all stay sharp. Enjoy the football. Enjoy the sun.


Dermot O’Leary on why keeping active and eating well is more important than ever


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CONTRIBUTORS Andy Thompson (design), Ben Coomber, Jess Davies, Richard Edwards, Frank Grice, Rohan Gunatillake, Dr Emma Kirke C.Ostm, Chelsea FC (Kirby images), RF123, Mark Laws, The Lean Machines, Leigh Purves, Rex Images, Shutterstock, Hannah Spearritt, Kurtis Stacey, Valeria_Aksakova/Freepik

TEL 0113 322 4400

BESTFIT is published in the UK by BESTFIT Media. Copyright 2018. 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.

TRAIN LIKE A TRIATHLETE Top tips for whether you run or bike, or both, from Red Bull athlete Lucy Charles



isery might love company, but so does the sweaty Brit, according to a new report from Sport England. The Active Lives Adult Survey revealed that a whopping 8.9 million of us now choose group exercise to stay in shape – almost double that of the 4.9 million swimmers amongst us and more still than the 6.9 million runners we see putting the miles in every day. A major reason for this increase seems to sit with the rise in popularity of interval training, with 2.4 million pledging their love for it in November 2017 – up from the 1.9 million in 2016. Time to smash those box jumps then.



usic lovers and health fanatics alike will be glad to know that attending gigs will boost your wellbeing, according to a study commissioned by O2. The scientific study used bespoke psychometric and heart rate tests at a range of activities including live music gigs, yoga and dog walking. The gigs increased participant’s wellbeing by

21%. Key markers across the happiness spectrum showed improvement including a 25% rise in self-worth and closeness to others, and a whopping 75% increase in mental stimulation. Further research has also shown that a rise in wellbeing can add as much as nine years to our lives. The bottom line? Treat yourself to a live gig once a fortnight – your health depends on it.



here is no doubt in our minds that high intensity interval training is great, but what about those of us who just can’t deal with all the fast-tempo high-impact movements? The fitness industry has come up with a solution in the form of LIIT – low intensity interval training. It focuses on control and stimulation rather than resistance and burn when incorporating slower movements around rest intervals. The result is improved muscle tone and fat loss with much less strain on our joints. We can also support and protect our joints with supplements including glucosamine and ginger, to make sure we keep that much needed bounce in our step.



ad news. Research has shown that 350 million people across the world are affected by depression, making it the leading cause of disease burden by 2030. The good news? There is a natural remedy on hand to help. A recent study found that over-the-counter magnesium treatment had been well received by adults with mild-to-moderate symptoms after just six weeks, and that 61% would use it in the future. So how do we up our intake of this natural anti-depressant? The fastest and most effective way to absorb magnesium is through the skin using products such as Better You, bypassing our digestive system and diving straight into our tissue. A simple remedy for a complex issue.



f you’re a fan of the seaside looking for a healthy summer getaway, consider heading south to Weston-super-Mare. Not you’re typical fitness destination, but having heard about the London Marathon runners training along the Grand Pier we took a fancy to the idea. Fiona Chiplen and Sue Caddy joined in last month’s iconic race to raise money for Weston Hospicecare, and happened to stumble across the Pier during training one day. Having jogged the length of the Pier they then decided to join in on the activities. Attractions such as Dancing Stage Fusion and the Alpine Racer demand high energy and add flavour to your standard workout plan. What better way to spend a British holiday?




hether you enjoy Groundhog Day or not, it seems many of us are living our own reality version. New research commission by natural source water brand Highland Spring found that out of 1,500 adult Brits, 67% admitted to being ‘stuck in a rut’ with their daily life. The stats reveal that 22% of us eat the same lunch every day, while one in five order the same Friday night takeaway. What’s even more tragic is that nearly three quarters of us book the same holiday more than once and will visit our favourite destination a whopping five times. But it’s not just down to habit, as the average Brit will spend six hours every week dreaming of new places, experiences and things to try. Maybe we just need a little push? It’s time to dip our toe in.


ast month the well-debated sugar tax came into play (props to Jamie Oliver) but will it make a difference to the amount of sugar we consume? The Office for Budget Responsibility estimates that the levy imposed on drinks with a high amount of sugar will raise £240 million in 2018-19. Unfortunately, this pales in comparison with the £9.7 billion that obesity will cost the NHS by 2050, and Dr Daniel Bailey, Senior Lecturer in Health, Nutrition and Exercise at the University of Bedfordshire, thinks more needs to be done to combat obesity. “A combination of measures is needed, such as plans to ban the sale of unhealthy drinks in hospitals and campaigns to alter the mind-set towards over-indulging on sugary products.”



e love throwing spotlight on natural ingredients to remind you lot to eat the rainbow, and this time it’s bananas. As one of the best forms of carbs we could choose, bananas offer a shed load of nutrients to help our brain thrive. They are listed as one of the top ten foods to keep us healthy by digital personal training app FizzUp – and with good reason. Not only do they possess a high level of potassium to help us recover post-exercise, they also contain the protein tryptophan, which turns into serotonin in our body to help boost our mood. The low glycemic (GI) index value of unripe bananas can also keep our insulin levels even for a steady flow of energy. Go forth and eat up!



ontinuing this theme of spotlight on food, here’s another one for your radar: the pineapple. According to recent stats this juicy fruit has surpassed the avocado to become the fastest-selling fruit in Britain, with sales having risen 15% over the last year. Never mind Hawaiian pizza, people are getting creative. Mindfulness cafe Yeotown Kitchen and delivery service Batch Organics are both adding pineapple to their smoothies; the Italian North London spot Radici is serving up ‘Grilled Pineapple and Pancetta Pancakes’ for brunch; and the team behind the book Modernist Bread have been adding pineapple juice to their Jewish challah dough to help it braid. So many ideas and not a pina colada in sight!



Ever wondered how Dermot O’Leary maintains such a polished persona on our TV screens? Well, while Simon Cowell’s moisturiser might have a small part to play, the immaculately styled host is more likely to thank a combination of clean eating, a dedicated exercise and good old-fashioned hard graft.


e may delight millions every Saturday morning on his BBC Radio Two show with his caramel voice and penchant for ear-friendly guitar music, but Dermot O’Leary does not have a face for radio. With rugged good looks and muscular physique, the charming 44-year-old multi-platform presenter takes his well-being seriously. And if over two decades in show business has taught him anything, it’s that image is everything, especially in an era where those tuning in are more demanding than ever. “Certainly, as a competitive environment it’s much crazier than it ever was,” he begins. “There are so many different options for viewers these days, but I like to think I have always sided myself with projects that are tasteful, interesting and, more than anything else, entertaining. And keeping in good shape away from work is central to me maintaining my thirst for new projects.” But for O’Leary, fitness isn’t just about looking good. It is an essential requirement when tasked with the rigours of doing live television. Whether one-off events like Sports Relief, the Brits and the National Television Awards, or demanding weekly contracted appearances on shows such as X Factor, the Essex-born star is relied upon to be a thrumming pulse of energy, bringing excitement and pizzazz in even the most tedious moments of light entertainment. For his heralded return to the X Factor in 2016, O’Leary was determined to get in the shape of his life and embarked a strict workout and diet regime. Having often expressed his ardour for outdoor water sports, including fishing, surfing and body boarding, O’Leary began a brutal swimming regime at the now-closed King’s Cross Ponds, followed by an hour


of dry-land cardio. This gruelling two-punch workout is a sure-fire way to burn fat fast, as the cooler temperature of the outdoor water boosts circulation and metabolism allowing for extra calorific burn right through the follow-up workout. On top of this he also plays football once a week and regularly goes running. Dermot has also done more than his fair share for charity initiatives with exercise at their core. He has run the London Marathon on numerous occasions (on his third attempt in 2005 O’Leary completed it under four hours for the first time) and, having proved his athletic prowess, now commits himself to more light-hearted, though not necessarily less demanding, endeavours. In 2012 the loveable star completed Bath’s half marathon dressed as a breast in honour of CoppaFeel!, the breast cancer awareness charity of which he is a patron. And in 2015 he raised a phenomenal £650,000 for Comic Relief after completing a 24-hour dance marathon, declaring afterwards, “I never want to dance again”. “It’s a weird thing when you get involved with a charity, because for the most part you just turn up and have your picture taken,” he says. “I did that for a long time and quite often I’d go home and, not feel hollow necessarily, but would sense that I wanted to do a bit more.”

Naturally, balancing a busy career with athletic ambition requires fuel, so O’Leary eats heartily but clean, consuming plenty of fruit and veg, slow-burning carbohydrates such as porridge and sweet potatoes, and a good spread of lean protein including chicken breasts and yoghurt. He also admits to enjoying the odd glass of wine – but given his Irish heritage, who could deny him that, particularly when accompanied with his favourite foodstuff of all, fish. In fact, so fond is O’Leary of our finned friends, he opened two restaurants devoted to them in Brighton and Poole. Aptly named Fishy Fishy, the menu had a strong emphasis on sustainability and local produce, and while both restaurants have since closed their doors, O’Leary looks back fondly on his stint as a restaurateur, insisting he is always receptive to new ideas. “Variation is key for me. Like most people, I’m interested in so many different things, and I never lose sight of the fact I’m lucky enough to explore these in the public domain. “No matter what I’m doing professionally though, exercise is always the staple I come back to. It’s addictive, makes me feel so good and actually increases the energy I have for work, rather than decreasing it. “Exercise also forces me to hydrate, and I readily feel the benefits of that. I’ve always got a bottle of water with

me and I think everyone should have – it’s so important.” At 44, O’Leary still maintains the boyish demeanour that made him so captivating when he first graced our screens as a T4 presenter back in the late nineties. Given the huge amount of pressure on celebrities to appear young, you couldn’t blame the presenter if he had succumbed to the odd bit of plastic surgery (like perhaps some of his X Factor peers…) but O’Leary credits his glow to a dedicated skincare routine. Starting the day with an invigorating scrub, he applies moisturiser along with a skin serum, finishing up with eye gel. He insists that the secret is the quality of products, and sticks to three very reputable brands: Kiehl’s, Elemis and Clinique. He also has a reputation as one of Britain’s most stylish men to uphold – as dictated by GQ who regularly feature him on their ‘50 Best Dressed Men in Britain’ list – maintaining his own brand of ‘on duty’ suave (impeccably tailored suits often in shades of dark blue)

combined with a more relaxed polo neck and black jeans look when he’s not on screen. But given the success of his Saturday morning breakfast show on Radio 2, could he ever be tempted to make the leap permanently to the airwaves? “I think radio is an incredible medium and it has always excited me. It’s a very different creature to TV – I don’t have to dress up for a start – and it does fascinate me. But I’m in no hurry and am just looking forward to seeing what’s around the corner. I’ve just launched my children’s book ( Toto the Ninja Cat and the Great Snake Escape) and that’s been such a great experience, so I’m keen to keep all options open. “What radio offers emotionally is actually very similar to doing a long run. At the end you’re filled with elation, you’re buzzing and the sense of relief and satisfaction coarses through you… but at the same time you’re ragged, perspiring and desperate to stay away from watching eyes. They’re two very similar things!”


GUIDE TO HEALTHY CRISPS! We’re a nation of avid snackers, and having something to munch on between meals is always of utmost importance. These days we’re much more switched on to what these snacks are, putting down our beloved prawn cocktail potato crisps in favour of a healthier option. To help you make this transition here are our top three picks for healthy crisps – you’re welcome. HIGH PROTEIN: Chirps If you’re taking it easy on the carbs but still crave that crunch, grab a bag of Chirps. Made using Two Chicks free-range egg whites for a high dose of protein, these are also non-GMO, low in fat and suitable for veggies. They promise 30% less calories than other crisps, so perfect for that summer cut. Available in three delicious flavours: Salt & Black Pepper, Smokey Jalapeno and Sour Cream & Onion. VEGAN: Hippeas With the texture of a Wotsit without that nasty cheese dust, these organic vegan chickpea puffs will blow your mind. Made without gluten, corn, MSG or dairy but packed full of plant protein and fibre, you’re guaranteed only the healthiest ingredients. Choose from four flavours including Cheese & Love and In Herbs We Trust. GREENS: LEAFY From the beauty of The Cotswolds comes these nutrient dense and slightly hipster Kale crisps that will add a much needed green boost to your day. Using only the finest slow dried Cavelo Nero in two tasty flavours – Original or Tomato & Oregano. Because whats healthier than kale?




ack in January, it was predicted that 2018 would be a year for adventurous veggies and vegan cuisine. They were right! Plant-based proteins are delivering high levels of activity after veganuary saw a higher takeup than previous years. Gut-friendly food was a big prediction for 2017, but we have continued to see its popularity rise in 2018, from testosterone-boosting kefir, to pickling and preserving probiotics including kimchi and miso and prebiotics such as garlic and onions. How about booze-free beers? With more health-conscious millennials treating their bodies to less booze, the non-alcoholic industry is causing a storm. Nix and Kix are now available in most supermarkets and other companies will be following suit. Premium-flavoured tonic waters and botanical gin alternatives are also available for mocktails and at home parties when you need to cater for the designated driver. When we talk about food trends we should consider the trends in spices as well. Spices for gin and tonic are trending and don’t be afraid to be adventurous. Timut pepper is a hot citrus-like spice from Nepal, and Asda has tipped it as the next big condiment. If you add this to your gin and tonic it will give it a surprisingly good kick. Specialised teas, especially green teas, have seen sales growing in momentum. We may even see tea cafes popping up as opposed to coffee specialists. Have a read up

on this topic as there is a surprising amount of variety and reported benefits associated with different plants. Apparently hyper-local foods are becoming sought-after ingredients. Growing your own or buying local produce is big, and maybe you could check with your neighbours to see if you could swap home-grown products? We all know that eating too much red meat has been found to be detrimental to our health, so finding alternatives that deliver the same texture and taste sensations without

incurring the same possible health issues can only be a good thing. Does such a thing exist? Heme is a cutting-edge food and could be the new environmentally sustainable meat alternative. Apparently in tests it delivers a meat quality, including the bloodiness of rare cooked meat, and the taste to match. Have you started using voiceactivated cooking guides in your kitchen yet? Alexa and other products are helping us out with the instructions for creating culinary genius. Technology is creeping in everywhere. One of my favourite topics is nootropics. Brain food. Gut health is a major focus but turmeric, salmon, eggs and Mexican yams will be making their entrance in our meal plans, all with the aim of enhancing our everyday performance and optimisation of thinking. Lastly, I think that mainstream brands will begin exploration of health-boosting ingredients. For example, we know that Yeo Valley will be releasing a limited-edition baobab and vanilla yoghurt. Now this is an exciting transition!


Nike Epic React Flyknit Another stylish addition to Nike’s growing collection, the Epic React Flyknit running shoe uses foam cushioning to provide a responsive, lightweight and durable fit. Perfect for every (informal) occasion. Price: £129.95

Physical Company EVO Bench A multi-functional single station exercise bench designed to hold six dumbbell pairs, two kettle bells, a slam ball and HD Wave Battle Rope. Offering seven backrest positions for ample versatility, it is perfect for any home gym. Price: £898.80

Samsung Gear Fit2 Pro

B&O Earset Premium quality wireless earphones designed to fit the shape of the ear so as not to impact upon the high quality ambient sounds. Features include an inline remote and microphone, flexible adjustment system and bluetooth capacity. Price: £269

A new, sleek fitness wearable that tracks your heart rate, location, activity and sleep to provide you a complete picture of your fitness journey. Connect to apps wirelessly and listen to music at up to 50 metres under water. Price: £209

OMBAR Raw Chocolate Using only the finest quality raw cacao to retain the rich flavour and natural goodness, OMBAR’s range of vegan chocolate will tickle your taste buds. Flavours include Ecuadorian CocoMYLK and Coconut & Vanilla. Price: from £1.49

Haibike xDuro AllMtn 6.0 An electric mountain bike designed for both trail and single tracks using the mighty Yamaha PW-X system and 500Wh battery. Features include 150mm travel shock on the downhills, RockShox Deluxe RT rear shock and adjustable air pressure. Price: £3,899

HoYo Real-Time Gaming Smartwatch Taking your health and safety to a new level, this wearable houses an Enhanced SOS panic button to be used in lifethreatening emergencies. It also encourages users to workout through its live integrated Real-Time motion-sensor games. Price: £185

Aquabot Water Bottle A BPA-free water bottle with a super soaker-style pump on top for a quick cooling blast on those hot and sweaty runs. The adjustable nozzle has three spray settings and shoots over 25ft. A perfect summer accessory. Price: £29.99

Nivea Men AntiIrritation Body Shaving Stick The first body shaving stick designed specifically for use in the shower, just apply with one hand and shave with the other. The light and foamy formula protects the skin from burning and reddening, meaning no more post-shave irritation. Price: £6

Big Bang Referee 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Prime Beef Bar A top quality range of natural protein bars made with British grass-fed beef, minus the artificial sweeteners and high sugar load. All bars come free of gluten and dairy, and make the perfect post-workout or travel snack. Flavours include Apricot & Carrot and Chilli & Red Pepper. Price: £29.99 (box of 12)

The official timepiece for this year’s World Cup features Satinfinished Titanium and Sapphire Crystal with a 49mm case. It’s also water resistant to 50m and powered by INTEL Wear OS by Google. A sleek and reliable addition to any collection. Price: £4,300

Pretty Athletic Workout Glow Hyaluronic Vitamin Tonic & Hydration Kick Gel Body Moisturiser Athleisure beauty is on the rise and Pretty Athletic and their solution-based range are in the mix. Among their product range are the Workout Glow and Hydration Kick, both designed to help deal with the rigours of exercise on your skin and help you look and feel at the top of your game following a workout or intense exercise. Perfect in these warmer months, of course, but also into autumn and winter when your skin is under daily attack from the elements. The Workout Glow is recommended for pre and post-workout cleansing, and aims to keep your skin looking beautiful no matter how hard you sweat.

It uses gentle coconut-derived cleansing ingredients alongside rosewater tonic to gently clean, nourish and hydrate. Just spritz, wipe and go. Refreshing! It’s 98% natural and also includes calendula, avocado and aloe vera alongside Vitamin E. For further skin hydration and nourishment after working out, Hydration Kick is perfect, particularly for after frequent sweating, showering and exposure to the elements. It uses aloe vera with Sasha Inchi oil and Bergamot to help preserve your skin. Price: £17.50/£24



BATTLEBOX! Time to get outside and enjoy some sizzling fitness results



F you believe in working hard and playing hard, you’ll love the hotly anticipated Battlebox sessions, the ultimate way to get the whole family fitter for summer. Ross Grange, a fitness instructor at David Lloyd, explains: “We have four different types of Battlebox sessions which happen across the week. Battlebox Play, Strong, Athletic and Warrior. Each session focuses around a specific theme where various exercises at eight stations are alternated for 60 seconds with a 15-second rest in between.” Battlebox Play is aimed for families with up to two kids aged eight upwards and one adult. Kids get the chance to come along, play and enjoy structured sessions involving lots of climbing game-based activities. “Families love the class because for the kids it’s almost like playing in their very own secret park,” Ross adds. “Climbing on bars, playing on ropes and enjoying

games which help their competitiveness against their parents in serene outdoor surroundings is such fun.” Battlebox Strong incorporates powerful land movements such as carries and lifts. It uses kettle bells and bags providing an all-round body workout for strength. Athletic focuses on movement and speed, agility, general overall athletic performance and climbing with lots of crawling, while The Warrior is designed to aide training for Spartan-style races. It incorporates lots of climbing and animalistic movements, such as bear crawls, and is a mixture of both Strong and Athletic. Beginners need not be shy of the classes currently being trialled at David Lloyd. Ross adds: “Lots of our members find these sessions relaxing too as there is no music and the only noises aside from the instructor are literally the birds and bees. Using an exclusively built frame, complete with various equipment stations on astroturf in a leafy area of the club, the classes are pure fun! I’d advise anyone to give these sessions a try, no matter what their ability, as each exercise is adapted to the individual’s need. “I would recommend this for anyone hoping to get fit and stay fit. As well as cardio and weight training in the gym, three of these classes every week would be a good workout all around. They’re the ultimate go-to get fit classes ahead of the summer!”


For more information on Battlebox check out

BODY FIT ONLY £39.99 £29.99










! E T E L H T A I R T EA K I L N I A R T

hlete, Red t ia r t K U p runner, to r o ur game… t s o li y c y e c d a n r e g ou’re a ke ere to help you up y r e h t e h W arles, is h h C y c u L Bull’s

“WORKING ON THINGS LIKE STRIDE LENGTH, CADENCE, BODY POSITION AND BREATHING WILL MAKE YOUR RUNNING EASIER AND MORE EFFICIENT” 1. PREPARATION RUNNING: Sounds obvious, but ensure you are wearing the correct shoes. If you are running off-road, trail shoes will give you stability and grip. The other shoes that I have are race flats. They haven’t got as much support in them or as cushioned but they are a lot faster. Also make sure you are wearing breathable layers, you don’t want to be damp when you are running. A heart rate monitor is crucial to make sure that you’re not surging on climbs or slowing down but keeping a nice, even pace. CYCLING: Knowing and trusting your kit is important, especially when you have fast descents and tough climbs. One of the things I swear by is a power meter in my cranks, which gives me all the numbers I need to see throughout a day in the saddle. It means I can make sure I am not going too hard on the climbs or freewheeling too much on the descents. For long rides, you need to make sure you are comfortable and aerodynamic. I use pads on my handlebars which help me with both of those things. Padding in your shorts is crucial… otherwise you are in for uncomfortable ride.

2. REFINING TECHNIQUE RUNNING: Working on things like stride length, cadence, body position and breathing will make your running easier and more efficient. Stay relaxed by focusing on breathing properly, don’t exhaust yourself by taking shallow breaths. Stay nice a relaxed and get the oxygen. Build up your running mileage gradually by setting goals and targets and ticking them off – this keeps you motivated to keep getting better. Mix up where you run – choose from road, trail or treadmill, I find this helps to keep me motivated.

juices flowing. Doing at least one long run a week helps build endurance. This might be the run where you are likely to be bored, so try running with music or with a friend to give you some distractions and extra motivation. But if you are struggling with the regularity of your breathing, focus on the rhythm. If you’re running for more than an hour, carry water with you, ideally in something like a Camelbak to spread the weight around evenly. CYCLING: In order to get the right output, you need to get the right input. Nutrition is key – and entirely unique to each person. It is a case of trying something, seeing if it works for you and then sticking to that formula. I typically have 60-90g of carbs per hour during a ride which makes sure my energy levels are topped up and I don’t have any flat points at any stage during a ride. If I do feel like I need that little bit extra, then I top up with caffeine.

CYCLING: You want the bike to be an extension of yourself so that you can control the power you are putting through the bike. If you are new to cycling, like I was in 2014, it may take a lot of hours in the saddle to feel comfortable. Every week I will do at least one long ride, which is a minimum of three hours but it is good to mix up your training with a spin class and a group ride as well. 3. STRENGTH TRAINING RUNNING: There are loads of things you can do in the gym that are going to complement your running without having to go and do loads of miles. But don’t worry, a gym membership isn’t required, bodyweight squats and lunges are all going to help with your running. The key things that will see you notice improvements when you are running are core strength, stability, leg strength and plyometrics (aka explosive movement). Working on box jumps, planks, side planks and flutter kicks will help you build your core strength. Make sure you do not neglect your glutes, they’re the key to stability. CYCLING: You want to make sure you are supplementing your riding with specific gym work that will help you see improvements when you are out on the bike. I typically spend one to two hours in the gym solely dedicated to cycling. These exercises include leg extensions, hamstring curls, squats. The other key is single leg work because you need to have a good left-right balance. Using turbo trainers – a stationary bike – can help with your cycling strength and if you throw in things like Zwift to the mix, you can make training more exciting by racing in a virtual world. Time spent in the gym is time shaved off your bike split. 4. ACCELERATE PERFORMANCE GAINS RUNNING: The key thing is to stay dedicated to your plan, work up your training gradually and you’ll begin to notice the gains. Incorporating a tempo run – running at near-race pace – into your training can also help get the competitive

NEXT: Focus on other parts of your training, like max interval training between 10-60 seconds. It is also good to find a nice loop and really perfect your cornering skills: doing time trial races can really see what you are capable of and put down your max power output. There is always a percentage to be gained. 5. RECOVERY RUNNING: As soon as your run is finished, focus on rehydrating, stretching, controlling your heart rate with proper breathing and getting warm. Stretch for 10-15 minutes at the end of the run, holding the stretches for 15-30 seconds for each muscle group. If you’ve got a heart rate monitor, use the stretching time to begin analysing your running data. Get some protein on board within 30 minutes of the run. CYCLING: Riding on the road is really gruelling, particularly if you out on the saddle for up to six hours exposed to the elements. It can be very exhausting. You need to stretch out the leg muscles and your back so that you do not stiffen up. Get your nutrition on board within the magic 30-minute window to replace all that you have spent on the bike.

One of the dragons in Dragons' Den, Deborah Meadon says staying active is essential to being successful

“I WOULDN’T CONSIDER MYSELF A PARTICULARLY FIT PERSON BUT I’VE GOT A GOOD CORE AND I THINK STRICTLY SHOWED THAT MAYBE I WAS MUCH FITTER THAN I THOUGHT. MY PARTNER, ROBIN, WAS SURPRISED BY JUST HOW LONG I COULD KEEP GOING" YOU’RE NOW SEEN AS A LEADING FIGURE IN THE FITNESS INDUSTRY – HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT? It’s almost an accidental thing. I’m currently involved in a product called FitMixPro, which is dance music for the fitness industry. It wasn’t originally for fitness, it actually started as a dance music product before we realised we had the ability to manipulate the beats. The perfect beat for exercising is a 32 count. Now we’re the most popular music service for fitness professionals, with over 40,000 users in the past 12 months. That was my first move into the fitness industry and it’s still growing. IS THAT THE PERFECT EXAMPLE OF HOW THE FITNESS INDUSTRY IS GROWING? There’s a real sense of community around the fitness industry. Going to the gym used to be quite an isolated experience and although you’re still getting people doing their own thing, more and more you’re seeing people come together and doing things with other people. There’s a whole piece around community these days and getting together and doing something to keep fit, whether that’s dance-related or fitness-related. Whatever it is, it is community. AND THAT HAS TO BE POSITIVE THING, RIGHT? Definitely. I also think that if you promise someone that you’re going to meet them and go to a class together then you’re far less likely to turn around and say ‘actually, I’m not going to go’. It’s easy on a wet Wednesday evening to think that you can’t be bothered but when you’ve made a promise, you do it. ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE LONG-TERM HEALTH OF THE FITNESS INDUSTRY? I am, definitely. It’s bouyant because it’s an innovative industry and it’s outward looking. You can enter it at so

many different levels as well. You can be a trainer and say ‘I’m going to make a bit of money for working a few hours a week’ or you can be absolutely 100% committed and do it full-time. It’s a very flexible industry and you’ve got people who are never afraid to try things. When you get that, you always have a real chance of success. For me, it’s interesting, it’s vibrant and it’s exciting – you have people giving it fresh energy all of the time. THE FITNESS INDUSTRY ALSO SEEMS TO EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY BETTER THAN MOST INDUSTRIES TOO… It does. The FitMixPro is a classic example of that. I think the main reason for that is that the fitness industry looks around, it doesn’t just look in on itself. That creates an environment where others look at it and say ‘that would work in my industry too’. It’s really positive and vibrant. HOW DO YOU JUGGLE YOUR BUSINESS COMMITMENTS WITH STAYING FIT AND ACTIVE? I love horses. Luckily, I’m one of these people who can’t do anything to do with fitness unless I’m enjoying it. Spinning? Not my thing. My brain has to be active, my body has to be active. I love riding and when I’m in Somerset – and I try to get Friday and Monday here to have a long weekend – I will ride as much as I possibly can. I’ve got six horses so I can sometimes ride twice a day. That’s my go-to core strength fitness. YOU WERE OBVIOUSLY A HUGE HIT ON STRICTLY – HAVE YOU KEPT UP THE DANCING? I do when I can, it’s not all the time but I still love to do it. My husband dances four hours a week, so I will join him whenever I possibly can. I also walk a lot, we’ve got dogs, so that’s a great excuse to get out. Also, when I’m in London, you’ll never see me on an escalator – I walk whenever I can in London. I think that’s something a lot of us can do, you see so much more of a city when you’re on your feet rather than public transport. HOW TOUGH WAS STRICTLY ? I wouldn’t consider myself a particularly fit person but I’ve got a good core and I think Strictly showed that maybe I was much fitter than I thought. My partner, Robin, was surprised by just how long I could keep going. My legs, bum and core kept me going! WHAT PRODUCTS ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING WITH? One of them is a towel, a microfibre towel by a company called Dock & Bay. Again, these types of towels have been around a long time so it wasn’t an obvious investment opportunity but, compared to the rest, these are really cool. They’re well designed, they’re attractive and they’re big but pack down small. They’re perfect for the gym bag and – unlike the others we’ve seen in the past – they’re not maroon. The other is a shaker bottle by a company called Shakesphere. The guy who presented it is a master athlete and clearly knew his stuff. The shape of it makes it really easy to mix and really easy to clean. When he started I thought, 'I’m really not investing in that'. By the end I thought, 'wow'. It just teaches you to keep your eyes and ears open at all times.

100% seasonal organic food brought to your door in weekly boxes. Think of it as hired muscle (the good kind). Fix yourself a pre-gym boost or some post-gym restoration with the fresh fruit and veg in our boxes. And there’s plenty more where that came from. Organic meat, super supplements, and kicky smoothies, all just a click away.

Pick your ‘equipment’ and plan your regime

Try our Nectarine Dream Smoothie Get your protein and fat from almonds and yogurt, and fruity carbs form nectarines and oranges. Halve 2 nectarines and scoop out the stones. Peel 2 oranges and break them into segments. Trim and roughly chop 2 carrots. Put them all in your blender with 35g of flaked almonds and 225g of Greek style yogurt. Add a few ice cubes to the blender and blitz till smooth. Serve straight away.

Start your session Sign up today to get 50% off your 1st & 4th boxes, plus a free cookbook in your first delivery, with code BEST50.* Skip to to get started, or give us a call on 03452 62 62 62. * The half price box applies to fruit & veg boxes, juicing, smoothie, salad, snacking and recipe boxes. Your free copy of the Abel & Cole Veg Box Companion cookbook will arrive in your first box. Offer does not apply to those who have an order or delivery in place with us already. Code must be redeemed by 30th June 2018. Minimum order £12.50, excluding £1.25 delivery. Full T&Cs online.




EACH MONTH, WE SCOUR THE LATEST BOOKS TO FIND YOU SOME OF THE HEALTHIEST AND TASTIEST RECIPES… RADISH AND QUINOA SALAD SERVES 2 474 CALORIES PER SERVING The radishes in this quinoa salad not only add colour but also crunch and heat. The salad can be speedily thrown together for lunch or dinner, and it is even quicker if you keep cooked quinoa on standby in an airtight container in the fridge. (I would highly recommend doing this if you are often pressed for time.) 200g quinoa 200g radishes, sliced (keep fresh green leaves) 1 cucumber, diced 3 spring onions, finely sliced 1 large beef tomato, diced 1 tbsp tamari 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint Juice of 1 lemon 30g pumpkin seeds Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper 1. Put the quinoa in a saucepan with a pinch of salt and cover with three times the amount of water. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 10–12 minutes until the quinoa is cooked and the tail has separated from the seed. Drain in a sieve and rinse under cold running water until cool. 2. Tip the quinoa into a large mixing bowl and add the radishes (along with any fresh green leaves), the cucumber, spring onions, tomato, tamari, mint and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, then mix together. 3. Toast the pumpkin seeds in a small dry frying pan over a medium heat until lightly golden. Scatter the seeds over the salad.


ASPARAGUS AND SPINACH SOUP SERVES 4 393 CALORIES PER SERVING This super-green, super-tasty springtime soup is made using a few simple ingredients that would very likely grow next to each other in a vegetable garden. Add the spinach at the very end, whizzing it up with the asparagus in the hot soup to create a deep shade of green. Rapeseed oil for frying 2 spring onions, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 250g new potatoes 2 celery sticks, diced 500ml vegetable stock 8 asparagus spears (tough ends broken off) 250g spinach Flaked sea salt and cracked black pepper Toasted sunflower seeds, to garnish 1. Heat a little oil in a saucepan, add the spring onions and garlic, and cook until soft. Add the potatoes, celery and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer until the potatoes are softened. 2. Cut the asparagus tips from the stalks, then cut the tips lengthways in half. Chop the stalks. Add all the asparagus to the pan and cook it for 2–3 minutes until almost tender. Add the spinach and cook for 1 minute. 3. Transfer half of the mixture to a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth. Pour this back into the pan. Add a good pinch each of salt and pepper. Reheat, if necessary, before serving hot, sprinkled with sunflower seeds.

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Danny Howard The Radio 1 DJ conquered the London Marathon last month and will be staying fit to help him deal with a hectic summer on tour. Here’s how… You work long and unsociable hours, so how did you fit in your marathon training? With discipline. It was hard when I was trying to fit in DJing, producing music, being in the studio, travelling and doing the radio, working on the record label and, of course, seeing friends and family all around a 17-week training schedule. It’s just about working to a timetable. I actually thought it was going to be harder than it was. For a few weeks I was sticking to Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and just got into the flow of it. How important is music to your training? Very, and it enabled me to multi-task especially on the longer

runs because I could listen to a lot of demos and promos. I listen to other people’s mixes as well get ideas for my own shows and sets. It’s been nice to take time out to do that. Did you make a specific marathon playlist? I made a playlist which was a bit of everything. There’s obviously dance music in there, and some old school indie, hip hop – just a real mixed bag. I tried to do it in order of where I thought I would be at each point in the marathon, so towards the end I put a bit of drum ‘n’ bass in there for some extra audio energy. What do you think makes a good running track?

I think drum ‘n’ bass is a good one and anything over 170bpm is good to get you pumped and in the right frame of mind to just go for it. But I also think, anything with a fast pace and good beat for energy is good, but also music with attitude that makes you feel confident in what you’re doing. Are you a gym goer? My background is the gym. I did a degree in sports science at uni and played a lot of football from a young age, and I was a fitness instructor. So my fitness life has very much been indoors and gym-based. To do a long run rather than a short intermittent gym session is more rewarding, I think, because it’s constant and nonstop, and you can get to the end, take a deep breath and know that you’ve just put in a good session. We’ve interviewed quite a few DJs over the past two years and there seems to have been a shift from the hedonistic lifestyle to a more fitnessbased lifestyle… Yeah 100%, and it’s something I’m doing more of. I can’t get to the gym as much because I’m tired from late nights and early mornings, but one thing I’m always pretty strict with is diet. I think it helps to accommodate the gruelling schedule when you are travelling around. If you’re living on burgers all the time it’s only going to make you fat and bring your mood down. Playing to the crowd... obviously they’re there for a good time and if I’m up in the DJ booth on


stage looking miserable or tired or I’m in a bad mood then it’s not good. I’m not going to say it’s a hard life being a DJ, but we’re only human and we all need sleep and rest to recover. I think that’s why a lot of DJs and artists make sure they eat right and work out every day. It helps to manage the hectic schedule and the demands it puts on them. Fitness festivals are on the rise too… I DJ’d at one last year! If you told me five years ago that this was going to be a concept I would have been like, ‘nah, this is never going to work’. But it does, and I loved LoveFit festival. It had that hedonistic, hippy, out-in-the-sticks vibe, so you got the sense of it being separated and remote and away from everyday life, and in its own little bubble which is great. But people were doing spin classes and fitness classes, and yoga during the day and then raving at night, it was an amazing thing to see. You’ve moved from Saturday to Friday night on Radio 1. How are you finding your new show? It’s a dream come true. There have been legends of dance music on Radio 1 worldwide. Of course, Annie Mac and Pete Tong are both pioneers in the field, and both legendary. They make that whole line-up of music almost like a bible of electronic music so to be part of that, and form part of that line-up is surreal but something that I’m enjoying so much. The thing I loved about doing Saturdays was that I used to get texts from people saying ‘we were going to stay in tonight but know we’re going out because of your tunes’, and that feeling is incredible. Now on a Friday it’s a similar thing, although I’m playing newer music as opposed to hits that everybody knows. Just give us a taste of what you’re going to be doing in the next few months… I’ll be back in Ibiza again, playing a lot of festivals as well, like Leeds and Reading for the first time. I’m doing Creamfields and a festival in Croatia. I’ll be in Ibiza every two weeks, but the UK festival circuit is my favourite time of year.






oliday season is upon us and there’s a good chance you’ll be jetting off somewhere exotic. You may have been working out and monitoring your diet in preparation and now it’s all about to go up in smoke as you blow that good work quicker than your mate Dave can drink his duty-free bottle of vodka. Calories are king when it comes to damage limitation, so here are a few tips to help you on your hols… ALCOHOL I could suggest that you limit your booze intake slightly, but I am not your parents, or your liver. You have worked hard all year and wild horses will not stop you from letting off steam during your holiday. But can you make some sensible decisions to prevent wasting every shred of your workout efforts? I think you can. As appealing as a nice cold beer/cider may be, you are looking at 140–220 calories per serving. Whereas, clear spirits with a sugar-free mixer are as little 50 calories. Ten drinks per day for a week means around 1,500 less calories consumed…but, if you have gone away for a fortnight or have 20 drinks per day for a week that is almost 1lb of fat right there! FOOD The ‘all-you-can-eat buffet’ will probably make up the bulk of your meal choices in most hotels. You can either see this as a personal challenge every single meal, or you can eat as much as you need to feel satisfied. As tempting as it might be to eat until you feel sick

three times per day, plus snacks, I would suggest that there may be a happy medium. Make sure you get a decent portion of a protein source and then prioritise salads and vegetables which you can eat in larger volumes if you feel like you aren’t getting your money’s worth. Avoid dressings and sauces, then select fresh fruit from the dessert trolley and you will reduce your calorie intake slightly. EXERCISE I know, I know, you have trained all

year so that you can look good on holiday and you don’t want to spend the whole week in the gym where nobody can see you. Well I am not suggesting you spend too much time working out, but if you know you are going to be over-indulging in more alcohol and food than normal then it would be sensible to find 15-20 minutes per day to do a quick highintensity blast in your hotel room. If you can find a bronzed senor or senorita to join you then this might not seem as much of a chore as you initially think… ACTIVITY If the prospect of exercising on holiday is something you just cannot bear thinking about, then how about a few lengths of the pool? Swimming is a full-body workout that adds plenty of resistance to every major muscle group. So, for those of you who like to ‘bench to get hench’ or are known to perform ‘curls for the girls’ to get that pump before a night out then swimming might not be such a bad idea after all. REST Let’s be honest, by the time your holiday comes to an end you will have eaten your bodyweight in burgers and Knickerbocker Glories and drank your resort dry of lager on a daily basis. You won’t have lifted a finger to exercise and the only time you went in the pool was when you floated up to the pool-bar on your lilo to order more burgers and beers. Things will not have gone to plan and I could have just wasted my time writing this whole thing, but I can only hope that at least you have got plenty of rest. Ok, you don’t burn many calories when resting, but the physical, psychological and emotional responses could be crucial so that when you get home you are ready to hit the ground running, tidy up your diet and smash out some workouts in the gym… once the sunburn has calmed down of course. BON VOYAGE!!

PLANET FOOTBALL The World Cup is upon us, the world festival of football, and you’ll need to have a read of our handy infographic to be match ready…

EASTERN PROMISE Russia 2018 is the 21st edition of the World Cup, and the first to be held in Eastern Europe.


Thirty-two countries will play in 12 venues across 11 Russian cities with the aim of reaching the 65th game, the World Cup final, which will be held in the Luzhniki Stadium, the largest venue of Russia 2018.



Polish striker Robert Lewandowski was the top scorer in qualifying from Europe, with 16 goals, one more than Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo. Lewandowski’s efforts were matched by Saudi Arabia’s Mohammad Al-Sahlawi andf And UAE’s Ahmed Khalil.

Four million tickets were put up for sale. England fans, who usually travel in large numbers, applied for just 26,670 of these. Russian fans are taking 216,134 tickets.

IN THE MONEY The winner will pocket $38m. The total prize money for the tournament is $400m. It is estimated that hosting the tournament has cost Russia $12billion.

GETTING BIGGER ALL THE TIME This year’s World Cup saw a record number of nations, 209, enter the qualifying stages.



There are eight groups of four nations. The top two teams in each group progress to the last 16.


Brazil are the most successful team in World Cup history, and have won the tournament five times, in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002. Brazilian legend Pele is the only player to have won three World Cups, in 1958, 1962 and 1970.




Northern Ireland’s Norman Whiteside is the youngest player to appear at a World Cup at 17 years and 41 days.

German legend Lothar Matthaus has played 25 matches at the World Cup, more than anyone else. Alongside Mexican Antonio Carbajal, he is one of only two players to have appeared in five World Cups.


Colombia’s Faryd Mondragon became the oldest player to appear at a World Cup aged 43 years and 3 days. Cameroon’s Roga Milla is the oldest goalscorer in the competition’s history, aged 41 years, one month and eight days.


Eight teams have lifted the World Cup. England won it in ’66 of course. With Brazil the record holders, the others are Uruguay, Italy, Germany, Argentina, France and Spain.


MAN In 2014, Thomas Muller covered the most distance. In total, he ran 83,957m. Of the top five players who covered the most distance, four were German (Toni Kroos, Philipp Lahm and Benedikt Hoewedes).


In 2014, Brazil were the most attacking team. They scored 11 goals, five less than Germany, but saw 28 shots blocked, 33 shots saved and 39 attempts miss the target.



Words: Dr Emma Kirke OSTM


Time to swap the burgers and snags for some healthy barbecue options


hen it comes to barbecue season, people are often found soaking up the sun and consuming chargrilled fodder. But what exactly are the pitfalls of this great British tradition, and how can we avoid them without avoiding the sumptuous flavours? We tend to over indulge at barbecues as we get carried away with the amount we cook, and with things ready at different times we graze and monitor our consumption less accurately. The addition of alcoholic beverages means we are tempted to eat more as we drink more. Alcohol can lead to increased calorie consumption. How can we make better food and cooking choices? Firstly, your choice of cooking method can effect the way the food is cooked, and the flavour. Charcoal is traditional and can also be cheaper than gas; it’s the only way to achieve the smoky flavour you have grown to aspire to, and enjoy. Traditional

charcoal can take a while to light and reach peak temperature. Gas however, is almost instantaneously at the correct temperature. Gas can allow the food to be cooked more evenly, which can reduce the possibility of food poisoning. However, there are serious man points for firing up a charcoal barbecue and trying not to cremate your burgers. You may be concerned by information published recently about the carcinogenic effects of burnt food on the human body. This research has shown that grilling meats at high heat could cause the carcinogens heterocyclic amine (HCA) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to form. However, don’t give up on your burgers just yet. Here are some hints and tips for you. Using a marinade could help, so don’t be afraid to throw on some spices, thyme and garlic. Sage in particular has been found to reduce the HCA’s. Reducing the temperature and increasing the amount of time you cook the food for will also ensure its cooked properly without burning the outside. Some may advocate microwaving the meat first to reduce risk of eating uncooked food. Grilling vegetables to make a kebab of half meat and half veg will reduce the meat intake but also, unlike meat, the vegetables don’t harbour the carcinogens in the same way according to research. How else can you switch up your recipes for healthier versions? You could swap out your traditional beef for bison, which is a great source of iron and vitamin B. Also, try grass-fed beef when you can. You could also try ostrich meat burger instead of beef or pork, too. Ostrich has a great protein profile and has even been recommended by the British Heart Foundation as their red meat of choice. Making an ostrich kebab is easy enough; simply chop your veg usually peppers, onions and tomatoes, and slice up your ostrich steak. Thread alternate meat and veg onto a skewer

and pop on the barbecue turning regularly. The sauce is Alpro coconut with fresh mint and cucumber. You could also try your hand at making shrimp or crab burgers, which are an excellent source of protein and will help to reduce your intake of red meat. If you want something lighter, or to accompany your creations, a purple potato salad will offer carbs and a welcome change from the bread buns, plus a starch resistant source which can keep you fuller for longer. You could use Mayola and chives for a vegan dish, while barbecued salmon fillet is perfect for an omega boost. Grilled harissa belly pork is a fantastic alternative to ribs. And if you are feeling like you need a dessert, why not try PB banana Nice cream, or a summer berry pudding? Other than that, enjoy your barbecues, and don’t get burned.




lot of the stuff we’ve been doing on Instagram recently includes workout exercises that can be done together. We’ve had some really good feedback, with quite a few people tell us they’ve been actually doing the challenges. The thing about training with a partner is that you’re sharing the load. If you’ve got these mental games and challenges going on then you share it out, perfect if you’re feeling like you can’t be bothered to go to the gym, or you need that extra bit of support or motivation. Everyone can benefit from working out together, and that can happen in different ways. If you’re squatting heavy, or bench pressing heavy, you really want a spotter to allow you to go for those maximum weight reps where you know the chances are you’re not going to make it but you’ll give it you’re absolute best. Knowing you have someone there is the difference between gritting your teeth

and giving it a go and not. It’s always those last reps that make the difference because you’re pushing your body further than you have done before, the whole idea is to progressively overload the body. So that’s a great way – to have a spotter or partner. Another great way is doing fun challenges or giving incentives to each other. Guys and girls, they love a bit of banter, like ‘the loser buys the protein shake afterwards’ or ‘loser buys dinner’. You can set yourself little challenges, like holding reps longer than each other. For example, last year, we did a rowing challenge together. I went first, Leon went second. I know my rowing time, so I was like ‘beat my rowing time, you’ve got to beat it’ and it pushed him to beat my time. So that’s the powerful thing about being in a team. I trained with him for the first time in a long time yesterday and it’s so much more reassuring to have someone there, someone to talk to. I think most people

in the gym feel that way. A lot of people train by themselves and I think in a lot of circumstances that makes people stand-offish. The counter argument to that, I guess, is when I used to go to the gym with a mate we would end up spending an hour and a half there because we were chatting in between exercises. So, I guess it can lengthen your time in the gym as well, but it’s about making sure you stay accountable for the work you actually do. To do this, you need to choose your partner wisely, maybe someone that shares the same goals as you, or someone who you know is not going to faff about. I know some people worry that if they go with a mate they’ll be there for ages, or they won’t be able to lift as much as them, but actually seeing you doing it helps break it down and brings the fun back into it. A guy messaged me yesterday talking about the fact that he’s going to gym with mates and they’re a lot less fit than him, so he has to stop early. He’s worried about his own progress. Well, he can either start training by himself and risk his motivation or take it on the chin and realise it’s only temporary. One thing I never tolerate is if I see someone giving stick to another person at the gym who is overweight or out of shape, or someone talking bad about them, even if it’s just their mates. If you’ve got concrete evidence that they are doing the one thing they need to do change their lives, and you’ve got the audacity to give them stick for trying to change their lives… I’ve never got my head round that. Help them, then they’ll soon be at your level, and training will be more enjoyable. My attitude towards this has changed. You might see somone out running with all kinds of odd gear on, but at least they’re out there. That’s better than other people do. The third thing is: give your partner challenges a go. They’re always a lot of fun. I think that’s one thing that’s great about social media – there is so much variety on there. I always take a look and find a new exercise I like. There’s always something to look at, and you don’t have to worry about your workouts going stale because of the variety of stuff you can find.



T S FA D R A W R FO Fran Kirby is one of the stars of women’s football, the fastest growing sport in the UK. PFA player of the year and recent goalscorer at Wembley, here she lifts the lid on the women’s game, and the growing fitness demands

What’s the biggest change you’ve noticed in the women’s game? If you ask the girls who have been playing in England for a number of years then they’ll tell you just how much faster the women’s game is getting. It’s a case of people being able to train everyday, train professionally, everyone has gym programmes, everyone does extra training – all that has really added up. The amount of quality training you’re getting has had a huge impact on the fitness of the girls playing the game. Have the foreign players had a similar impact to the foreign players that first came over to play in the Premier League? The foreign players have come in and really improved the standard, they’ve helped bring the standard of play up to another level and I think that will continue, I think things will just get bigger and better. A lot of the managers in the Women’s Super League (WSL) are still trying to bring the young English girls through because that’s what the national team needs but there are also a lot of top foreign players, like Ji So-yun at Chelsea, who has come in and really been amazing for us. The scouting system in the women’s game has also improved so I think we’ll see more and more players from overseas coming in and really adding to the game here. Are you a good trainer, do you enjoy the physical preparation for a match? I love it, in fact I’m often getting told off for spending too much time in the gym. I like to push myself in training, whether that’s doing extra work after training or going to the gym. At the moment our schedule is so tight that time in the gym is limited but I’ll always try and sneak in and do some sessions because that’s the way the women’s game is going – if you’re not at your peak then you’ll struggle to keep up with everyone else.


What area of your game has been helped most by your fitness work? I’ve had previous injuries where it has been difficult to do types of training so that when I did come back I wasn’t as sharp or as fit as I was pre-injury. I was quite small and fragile so I used to get pushed off the ball quite easily. When I was injured, I did a lot of upper-body work, a lot of core work to try and build myself a base. When I did get back in I was able to work on all the other aspects of my game. Is your fitness monitored throughout a match? It is now, yes. There have been times this season when I’ve been hitting peak speeds during the game. I also think I’ve really improved in terms of my power and the way I’m striding out. Every little bit of work I’ve done has helped me build up to the crunch time of the season and massive matches like the FA Cup final. How hard is it to peak at the right time? When you’re playing every three or four days that’s obviously a massive challenge but I also think that it’s something we’ve got better and better at in this country. The FA have definitely helped the women’s team in terms of preparation, particularly last summer, when we had the Spring Series before the European Championships. That really helped

to build a base that we could push on from later in the summer. We were all fitter and stronger as a result. This has been a tremendously long season, though, hasn’t it? For the girls that did go to the Euros, we’ve basically been playing non-stop for almost 18 months, which is absolutely bizarre in the women’s game, in any sport. There’s an accumulation of fatigue and tiredness which hits you as the season draws to a close but the end of the season is when it’s most important to keep battling and pushing through the barriers. The FA are working on the schedule for next season to try and help us in the run-up to the World Cup because obviously it’s another important hugely tournament for us. What are your plans for the summer? We’ve got international camps at the beginning of June, so we’ll have time off from mid-June to mid-July, so there’s a nice little period of rest where we can all spend some time with our families and friends and just get away from football for a little while. This season has been absolutely manic, particularly for Chelsea given that we were involved in the WSL, the Champions League and the FA Cup as well. It will be nice to put my feet up for a bit before getting back on it next season.

Simon Webbe transformation

“YOU NEED SOMEONE TO PUSH YOU BEYOND YOUR LIMITS” Simon Webbe has reached the end of his 12-week transformation. So, is he in peak condition for his wedding? And what has he been doing in phase three?


lot can happen in 12 weeks. For BESTFIT guinea pig Simon Webbe, who has now undergone a 12-week transformation, he’s seen many ups and downs, but has now reached the end. He’s been injured, overhauled his diet for the better and even grown to love working on his legs. Yet his biggest learning is that you can’t beat having someone to push you beyond your limits. “PTs matter,” explains Simon, who was so ravaged by injury to his shoulder that he has had reduce his training in the third phase of his 12week project. “You need someone to push you, and you need a pro; they’re so much more beneficial than training with a friend, particularly in the first six weeks of your plan, when your training to push past your usual levels.” Having a professional has certainly been beneficial in the last few weeks, when Webbe has had to juggle his training around an injured shoulder. “I’ve been pretty down about it,” admits Webbe. “Everything was going so well and on track and then, during a boxing session, I pushed it too far. I couldn’t raise my arm after one session and had to have physio and time off. It was so frustrating.” While Webbe was forced to rest, he continued to alter his diet. “I’ve been intermittent fasting,

so packing all my meals into eight hours a day and then fasting for the remaining 16,” Webbe explains. “It’s been really hard, but now much easier than it was in the first few days and weeks. I’m now doing it for three days on, four days off but I’m not snacking. If I need something, I’ll grab a Pulsin bar or shake. They’ve been a revelation to be honest. I find them a lot tastier than other products. Their protein shakes are easy to mix and less powdery than others I’ve tried, and their bars are tasty. Some shakes and bars can be unpleasant, and they can leave a funny taste on your mouth up to half an hour after having them, but not these. They work well for me, particularly when I’m really busy.” So, is he managing to lay off the booze too? “I still have a beer here and there. I don’t want to not enjoy myself and I give myself a cheat day to do what I want.”

hit it harder in the build-up to my wedding [in June]. I also want to cut out sugar completely.”

SO, WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE? “Losing belly fat,” says Webbe. Not working on his legs then, which he described as the hardest thing in phase one. “Anthony Joshua said ‘never skip legs day’ and they’re without doubt the most important part of your body to train. I never skip legs day now, and it’s even one of my favourites! I know that after a legs session I’ll be burning fat for two to three days. I feel the pain when I’m walking, but I also know that’s my muscles repairing, taking body fat and turning it into the substances my body needs to recover.” So, now he’s reached the end of his journey, what now? “I had to go back to the drawing board a bit in phase 3 because I couldn’t afford to make my injury worse than it was. I worked on my core and legs while my shoulder was injured and now, well I’m having to weave my routine around my work. I’m on tour at weekends with Strictly, so that’ll be my cardio at weekends, and I’ll do my weightlifting in the week. My aim is to lose more body fat, and I’ll

WHAT NEXT? “I’ve no doubt Simon will continue to train and utilise the things he’s learned,” explains Fowler. “The hardest thing he’ll need to work on is to control his diet and his alcohol consumption. He’s very busy, too, so he’ll need to plan ahead to make sure he stays on top of things. I’ve encouraged him to try and hit the gym four times a week, but equally as important to that is getting appropriate rest. Sleep is very important for muscle growth and concentration levels.”

THE PT As Simon approached the end of his transformation, and recovered from his injury, he picked up the pace and engaged in some full-body workouts designed to burn as much fat as possible and increase his resistance to fatigue. “He’s built up his strength, so we were looking to enhance his levels of endurance,” explains PT Jack Fowler. “We’ve had to work around his shoulder at times because a lot of these movements require using that joint. On those days where he was restricted, we worked on his legs, back and chest. Ultimately, Simon’s given me 110% and never moaned. Well, not since he first started working on his legs anyway!”

Simon Webbe - THE WORKOUT 1. FLAT BENCH DUMBBELL PRESS “Using the Bosu ball, keep your feet tucked in for more stability and to engage your core.”




2. SQUAT INTO A DUMBBELL CURL “A whole lower-body exercise designed for muscle endurance and strength.”



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The two flavours form part of a range of seven unflavoured natural protein powders, including four vegan powders and three natural whey protein powders. Essentially, you can choose a protein powder, whatever your diet! The unflavoured Pulsin protein powders can be mixed with anything and are perfect if you want to develop your own recipes. From: £13.49

Do 4 x 10-15 reps on each exercise, then move on to the next one.

3. PRESS UPS WITH DUMBELLS “Like a flat row – but it’s important to not rotate your back so much. Keep your Lats engaged as much as possible without rotating hips, which is what the body wants to do.”




4&5. CONE PUSH THROUGHS & UP AND OVER “This is really simple, and you can use anything instead of a cone, even a tin of beans! Lift your legs up and over and either side, lower abs, maintain your core.”




6. DUMBBELL CURL INTO AN OVERHEAD PRESS This utilises a pulling motion into the body, then a pushing motion above the head. It activates the whole of your upper body and uses biceps, shoulders and triceps. Three hits in one!”




Thanks to Chigwell





eight loss is simple: eat less, right? Not really. If it was, more people would be sitting at their ideal weight, and we wouldn’t have an obesity epidemic. Why? • Processed food everywhere • Alcohol being tasty and part of most social gatherings • Eating out at restaurants

• Not realising the calories in some foods and not realising impact • Eating round a friend’s house • Going a bit OTT at the weekend and ruining a weeks’ effort

1. KNOWING THE IDEAL When I coach someone, I give them a diet plan, a training plan, and guidelines on how to initially implement it. When someone makes the decision to change, and they are in that mindset to change, I want to show them the ideal: a solid weeks’ worth of healthy food and recipe ideas, giving them exact exercises to do in the gym, or how long to run for, or what home workout would be effective. Check out my free podcast Ben Coomber Radio, episode 117… 2. PLAN, PLAN AND PLAN Nothing happens by chance in life.

5. CHANGING YOUR ENVIRONMENT, AND LEARNING NEW HABITS The chances are you have to accept that change is coming. You can’t keep living the same life in the same way with the same habits and expect a different outcome. First, you need to accept that then, secondly, find alternative solutions, and then stick to it long enough for it to become a habit. It’s only going to be a matter of weeks before you establish a new norm. Also, be bold and make environment changes so your new healthy habits can flourish. 6. VALUING YOUR HEALTH As soon as self-doubt or a lack of self-worth creeps in, you say ‘F*** it’, and the binge occurs. Start to love yourself, who you are, and value you, and change can be simple.

• Sweets at the service station that are just too easy to grab

So, let’s explore eight factors which you can change:

4. BEING ABLE TO SAY ‘NO’ You need to know your why, so you can say ‘no’. When I coach, it is my job to empower someone with the confidence and ability to say ‘no’, when usually they would say ‘yes’. Every day we are presented with opportunities to easily overeat in the space of seconds, which continues to keep us not getting what we want.

Plan for it, be bold and implement it, successfully, repeatedly, and success for you can literally be limitless. But your goals are pointless without a plan to get there, so we need to explore point 3… 3. KNOWING YOUR WHY Without knowing why you are going on this journey, you won’t truly be empowered to follow it through. When I went from an obese teenager of 16 stone down to 10.5 stone, I did it because my WHY was ‘If I don’t lose this weight I will not be successful in my career’. That made me relentlessly passionate to be successful with my goal. You need to know your WHY, it’s not enough to try to lose weight and your reason to be, ‘I just want to look and feel a bit better’.

7. KNOWING WHAT IT TAKES TO GET THE RESULTS YOU WANT Whatever your goal, be realistic and know what changes you need to make to make that happen. Be realistic with your goals, and what it’s going to take to get there. Embrace the journey, you’ll learn a lot about yourself, and that’s cool 8. LIVING LIFE AS A FITTER PERSON All the above is change, and some don’t like change. Embrace the new you, appreciate the new you, and inspire the people around you to make similar changes. If you feel you can’t do this alone, get coached by me on my 90-day body and mind transformation program ‘Fat Loss for Life’. Otherwise, for more info and tips you can find me all over social media as ‘Ben Coomber’ or download my podcast ‘Ben Coomber Radio’.


STOP THE 10 MISTAKES YOU’RE MAKING IN THE GYM Many of us will be hitting the gym to get holiday fit, but at what cost? Dr Christian Allard DC, Clinic Director at ProBack, reveals the most common mistakes you’re making, and how to stop making them


MISSING REST DAYS Resting is an essential part of training. A good night’s sleep or even days or weeks off training are essential to allow the tissues to heal. Overtraining is common amongst people who want to achieve too much, too quickly. Work your rest days into your weekly training plan so you don’t feel compelled to do them when they come around. Work hard during the week when you’re in a routine of going to work and then going to the gym, but allow yourself the weekend to heal and have fun.

OVERTRAINING Don’t do too much, too soon. Most people have a sedentary lifestyle and so starting exercise is putting their bodies outside of its comfort zone. It is always best to start slow if you are new to the gym, as you are still developing you muscles and developing your technique. Overexerting your muscles too early on, with weights that are too heavy, is likely to damage your muscles and connective tissues


YOUR DIET Muscles are made mainly of proteins, so they need proteins to regenerate and rebuild, meaning that your diet should be rich in proteins and vegetables. Whenever people try to lose fat quickly, they often opt to eat less but, by not eating, this could create a stress to the body and actually result in putting even more fat on. Eat within two hours of your workout, as this is the time where most of the muscle and joint damage during a workout is repaired.



LACK OF KNOWLEDGE Don’t follow what others are doing. Everybody has different goals, therefore, imitating their workout may not yield the results you’re after. In addition, we all have different body types and abilities and, as such, certain workouts may not be right for you. Copying the workouts of others can also be detrimental if the person that you are imitating does not have a good technique. This can lead to injury and prevent any actual development in your strength and ability. Consider an induction, or a PT.



Proper trainers can make or break your workout as they are essential in helping to absorb the shock and increase your range of movement. You should also ensure what you are wearing is right for the workout you are doing that day. For example, running and gym trainers are designed differently to prevent injury. Running trainers are designed to have more cushioning and support, meaning when you are running on the hard pavement, the impact is softer on your joints preventing injury. Gym trainers allow for a wider range of movement in all directions so you can comfortably and safely have a wider range of movement.


WORKING THE ‘GLAMOUR’ MUSCLES Most people ignore working out the smaller muscle groups and spend far too much time working solely on their biceps, chest and glutes. This leaves some of the smaller muscle groups, including; shoulders, knees and hips, ignored. Doing so can have a negative overall effect on your workout as they would become less able to support the other muscle groups as they become stronger.

THE WRONG TECHNIQUE I’ve noticed in the gym that a lot of people “cheat” when squatting, but doing the correct form will train the targeted muscle to the optimum. HYDRATION


Failure to drink could dehydrate the tissues and slow down the healing process. We have to remember that our bodies are made up of 75% to 80% water and with any form of exercise, you’re bound to lose some of that.


STRETCH Whenever someone does not stretch properly before, after or even during exercise, this could reduce the joints’ range of motion and set in place premature degeneration. You could work yoga and Pilates into your weekly training plan. Not only will they relax you, but they will ensure that you get a good stretch on a weekly basis.


FAILURE TO WARM UP Warming up prepares the joints, the muscles and the tendons and reduces the risks of injuries. A few minutes’ cardio, and stretching out your muscles, should be sufficient. Similarly, you should ensure that you are cooling down to prevent the build-up of lactic acid, which can cause cramping and discomfort, but also to bring your body back to its normal resting temperature and heart rate.



With a scorching summer around the corner, one long-term loyal club member reveals how she turned to exercise to feel beach-body ready again


ACHEL Robinson is hectic – like most mums, yet manages her workload, worries and workouts in one fell swoop. With Edward, seven, and three-year-old James on the go too, this bubbly and inspiring female football coach uses her local David Lloyd gym at Manchester’s Trafford City to make sure she stays focused and fit. “My husband Neil and I have accumulated more than 29 years of club membership between us at David Lloyd and have seen lots of change – all for the better!” Rachel says. “I used the club before I had children, but since the boys were born my use of it has changed. I used to use the gym equipment (mainly rowing machine, bike and

weights) and swam. When I was pregnant, I got gestational diabetes, so had to monitor my bloods four times a day and had a strict diet. I even had to weigh out my bran flakes! I turned to the gym for aqua aerobics throughout both pregnancies in the last trimester, as it was important to exercise. “Now, I regularly do more classes such as Core, Circuits, Body Combat, yoga and Body Pump which are always great and I now work my own fitness sessions around the kids and the family. Not long after I became a mum both times around, I turned to the David Lloyd fitness trainers to regain strength and tone up. I really appreciated being pushed to my limits; they’ve helped me regain my fitness after having

our two children.” Rachel, from Davyhulme in South Manchester, varies her weekly fitness classes and routine, so things are never dull and also enjoys a social life at her gym. “We’re very much part of the David Lloyd community and joke it’s our second home. We go five to six days of the week for various activities. We regularly meet friends for a coffee or lunch, especially with the menu being so good and is also consistently updated. The bar area is a great area to relax with views over the tennis courts and space outside in the summer and the soft play makes life so much easier, as my boys have a lot of energy to burn.” And with the DL Kids Active area thriving, it makes a home-from-

home experience for the kids! “The DL Kids team are brilliant and run so many activities. The boys both love swimming and going to their All Stars Tennis lessons. They also enjoy the presentation evenings which involve trophies, certificates and a magician, making for a great family evening! It is very much about community here at David Lloyd.” And Rachel turned to David Lloyd Trafford City to sponsor the AFC Urmston Meadowside Under7s football team, which her and husband Neil manage. Rachel adds: “Life is good, life is busy. I am about to sit my level 1 FA Coaching Course, so I can run the training sessions for the

Under-6s group at AFC Urmston Meadowside Football Club in addition to the Under-7’s. I’ll be the second female qualified coach within the club so it’s a big step for feminism. I’m always busy; I run in a running group called Solemothers and I’m training for the half marathon in October where I will be looking to raise money for a Cystic Fibrosis charity. This is a cause particularly close to our hearts, as my husband lost his brother to the disorder 20 years ago. My husband and all his friends are completing the Three Peaks Challenge in July for the same cause. Being able to train at David Lloyd – with its amazing kids’ facilities – all contributes towards the whole family leading a healthy, balanced lifestyle.”


WORKING OUT WELL Take time To heal

It is important to take time to recover after having a baby. If your birth was a natural, straightforward experience, you can start gentle exercise such as walking and pelvic floor exercises when you feel ready. But you must wait until after your six-week postnatal check, before starting anything with a higher intensity. For anyone who had a caesarean or other complications, before starting to work out you will need a little longer to recover, so do check with your GP, midwife or health visitor.

Tummy time

Tummy time is not just for babies, it’s essential that your tummy gap (Diastasis Recti) is reduced in size, before embarking on any sort of post-natal fitness. The Diastasis Recti occurs because of excessive pressure during pregnancy, so double-check with your GP or midwife that you have recovered fully – don’t even try to do any abdominal work until you get their green light.

Be kind to yourself

Going back into exercise after giving birth is all about NOT overdoing it and is about being true to your body. Listen to its needs – it has been through a lot. Develop a routine that works for you and your baby. And love yourself.



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5. VANS ULTRARANGE GORE New from Vans, these build on the athlete-inspired UltraRange to create a versatile, slip-on style featuring textile, neoprene, and gore strap uppers. £80


6. IGNITE FLASH EVOKNIT EP WN’S Details inspired by the New York City Ballet add a feminine touch to the shoe. The tooling features IGNITE in the heel, providing a lightweight, comfortable, and cushioned feel under the foot. £75



7. ONZIE RITZ MIDI LEGGING ALL NIGHT LONG Designed with a high rise waist band which covers the hip area and lands just below the belly button. Features velvet stripe and mesh accents around the ankles. £47

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1. FILA IMOLA ZIP SWEATSHIRT Taking you from errands to the track, this sporty performance sweatshirt with a reflective half zip, high neck and a practical reflective zipper pocket will keep you dry when working out. £50


2.ADIDAS JAYSOR SUNGLASSES The jaysor sunglasses pair scratch-resistant lenses with an ultralight frame that has some flex. The Double-Snap Nose Pads™ provide a comfortable fit. £89.95


3. MARLOW JACKET IN NIGHT SKY ORANGE An extremely lightweight, waterproof and windproof packable running jacket. Stay visible in the dark with its bright-orange trims. £195

4. OCEANAIRE MEN’S SLEEVELESS HOODIE So cutting edge, it’s practically vintage. Its angled cap-sleeve to sleeveless cut is the very cut that many sweatshirt-sleeve cutters perfected in the ‘80s. £55

5. OCEANAIRE HYBRID MEN’S SHORTS The high-wicking fabric has a lightweight stretch to keep your movement free and easy, and DryCELL designation that helps keep you dry and comfortable. £40


6. ULTRARANGE RAPIDWELD SHOES A surf-inspired and versatile shoe that provides comfort for long journeys and features a new UltraCush Lite midsole compound. £75

7. MID RISE PRINT 7/8 COMPRESSION TIGHTS Comes with with a wide comfort waistband that now has integrated storage for essentials such as phones, keys and cards. £85



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9.FARAH BELL PRINT SHORT Farah’s swim shorts come with Farah sport print, and are fully waterproof. Includes net lining and drawstring detail. £45




If you have been thinking about cosmetic surgery, make sure you have all the facts at hand, says Reflect Clinic’s Gerard Lambe


ou may have seen Mr Gerard Lambe, one of The Best Plastic Surgeons in the North West, on TV or in the news, perhaps on BBC Breakfast as spokesperson for BAAPS (The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons) or on The Real Housewives of Cheshire, giving a breast surgery consultation with doyenne Dawn Ward and her daughters Darby and Taylor. He operated on Darby and her grand reveal was aired on the show when she appeared at Dawn’s annual Crème De La Crème Ball for the Cauldwell Children’s Charity. The episode also showcased our Crisalix 3D Virtual Reality Breast Enlargement software featured right where you can see yourself (in Virtual Reality) with various implants of different sizes and shapes and in different clothes, from bikinis to ball gowns! Are you ‘beach body’ ready? At this time of year we have a lot of enquiries from ladies as they think about and prepare for their main summer holidays and are a bit nervous about baring all in the sunshine. They may be shy about going on the beach or by the pool because they are self-conscious about their small breasts, or alternatively they may be reluctant to wear a swimming costume or bikini because their breasts are too big. I specialise in breast surgery, including breast enlargements, breast reductions and breast uplifts. I also do Mummy Makeovers (a mix of a tummy tuck, liposuction and breast surgery) with the aim of giving a mother her body back after the rigours of pregnancy, childbirth and breast feeding, if she so wishes.

I also perform a host of other female surgeries on request. Find out more about our Virtual Reality Software!

This software was featured on The Real Housewives of Cheshire and can also be seen on our website www. Our patients love this software as it really helps them choose the right breast implants for them as they are able to “see” their future breasts in Virtual Reality from all angles (including their cleavage). It takes away the guesswork and gives patients peace of mind as they often wonder “Have I chosen the right sized breast implants for me?” The software scans you and then shows how YOU could look with breast implants of different sizes and projections so that you get the look you want, be it natural enhancements or a more obvious boost. You can also discuss your images with friends and family so that you can make a calm and considered decision about what is best for you. What advice would you give to a potential patient? I advise you to do your research thoroughly on the cosmetic surgery option that you are interested in,

either breast enlargement, breast reduction or a breast uplift for example, before coming to see me. When you book your consultation you can then ask me for clarification on what you have read and I can answer any personal questions that are specific to you. It helps if you bring a picture of the “look” you would love to achieve so that we can then have a good discussion about what is suitable for you. Where are you based? We are based at Spire Cheshire (in Warrington) and Spire Manchester (in Didsbury) hospitals but our patients come from Aberdeen to Brighton and internationally from Kuwait, Singapore and the States. How much does it cost? Every individual is different but we are happy to give you a ballpark figure over the phone and an exact price with your consultation (which costs £195). Spire Hospitals offer 0% interest on loans for surgery. How can I get in touch? Our Clinic Manager Jayne is happy to have a chat on 0161 393 3993 in office hours but you can also take a look at our website and complete our contact form at a time to suit you out of these hours.




indfulness is one of those words; everyone from the media to your next door neighbour use it in all sorts of different ways, and we’re told that it’s all very good for us… but what does it even mean? Mindfulness is a natural quality of the mind we all have, and it’s the ability to be aware of what is happening inside ourselves while it is happening. Rather than coasting through the day spending it on autopilot, mindfulness is about being more aware of your emotions, senses and experiences. Mindfulness is different to meditation: while meditation conjures up images of yoga poses, quiet spaces and completely still and silent people, mindfulness is a bit less ‘intense’ and more dynamic and fluid. One big factor that has really led to the recent rise of mindfulness has been the clinical evidence surrounding it. Mindfulness and meditation have been used in healthcare settings to deal with a range of different conditions and there has been the need to have a decent amount of scientific research into its effects and benefits. This research has given mindfulness a legitimacy that it never had before and what started off as a bit of an obscure practice for hippies has now evolved into something done by a huge number of people, from switched-on celebrities, elite athletes and even big businesses. Unfortunately it seems the stress and anxiety levels of the population are at

an all-time high and whilst there are lots of causes, and a range of different approaches to deal with them, many people have found mindfulness particularly helpful. Ultimately what mindfulness allows us to do is create space from our more challenging thoughts and emotions, learning to observe them objectively rather than constantly being caught up in them. As we become more literate in our own stresses and anxieties – the more likely we’ll be able to diffuse them before they grow any bigger. Think of a wildfire, it’s a lot easier to contain and deal with when it’s small than when it grows to be a burning rage. The beauty of mindfulness and

meditation is that you can practise it wherever you are and whatever you’re doing. This is what I call on-the-go meditation or on-the-go mindfulness. With the on-the-go approach, instead of having to find time for mindfulness, it comes to you; whether you are travelling, walking, at work, going to sleep or even when browsing Instagram. Every moment and activity is an opportunity to develop mindfulness, all you need to know is how. The easiest place to start is with what is called body awareness, so during the rest of this column why not give it a try? As you read these words, can you also become aware of your feet on the ground. Those sensations in your feet are happening right now, if you are aware of them, then by definition, you are growing your mindfulness. It’s as simple as that, and over time you can use that simple act of being aware of what is happening in your body and your mind in all sorts of different ways – from better sleep, to better relationships and better understanding of yourself. While I have offered a very basic suggestion here, throughout these upcoming columns I will share more practical ways to get the most out of on-the-go mindfulness in all sorts of different parts of your life. The problem then no longer becomes trying to find time, but simply knowing what to do and remembering to do it. Buddhify was first inspired by my own experience learning how to integrate mindfulness into my busy life. Now, it is so much easier to do that trying to find 30 minutes of quiet in between work, the school run and the inbox.

Based in Glasgow, dad Rohan heads up Mindfulness Everywhere with wife Lucy, making a range of products, all of which present mindfulness in creative yet authentic ways. His first book is Modern Mindfulness, published by Bluebird.



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reetings to another column! This month, I thought I’d discuss enjoyment, motivation, the relationship between the two and the impact they can have on achieving your wellness goals. Enjoying your fitness is the single most important factor on most people’s exercise/health list! When I work out or exercise now, I find an activity or sport that benefits from physical fitness and tailor my workouts to it, and yes it’s usually a sport, as apart from my favourite activity of dancing, most fall under the sports category. That being said, there are a huge number of physically demanding sports to choose from that will also benefit from being physically fitter. I feel that although going to the gym for a full-on workout is satisfying, the majority of gym-based solo workouts are comparatively dull. Let’s take netball, for example; you can easily find a local league with varying levels and work your way up in your own time if you wish. Whilst playing a sport you enjoy you’re also unwittingly taking part in a highintensity workout, as you will run up and down the pitch countless times for an extended period. So, if you play two or three times per week you can get into great shape without feeling like you’re begrudgingly off to the gym to go through the motions once again. And as you get better and play more regularly, physical fitness will probably become a bigger part of the game. The difference now is that when you go to the gym you are going to make

“NEXT YOU PROBABLY WANT TO TAKE YOUR RECOVERY MORE SERIOUSLY AND LOOK AFTER YOUR BODY” yourself better at netball and that is where your motivation changes. Now you might be playing two or three games per week and if you want to fit a couple of gym sessions in then that’s a pretty intense schedule of exercise! But you’re only

doing two gym sessions per week max, and you’re in fantastic shape. Next, you probably want to take your recovery more seriously and look after your body. If, like me, you’re not such a spring chicken, you might start to look at yoga as well to balance out all the shortening of the muscles through the other exercise. At this point you could potentially be physically active every day and of course this leads us to the final piece in the puzzle to make all this exercise possible: your diet! If the foundations of your exercise are right and you’re enjoying yourself and want to improve, you will naturally progress to the right decisions for optimal health and a fun, more active lifestyle. It can be great fun balancing out a schedule of sport/gym/yoga and learning about which foods to eat in the process to give you enough energy to do all that. The other great thing is that it leaves you far less time to socialise in the pub as opposed to on the court, pitch or wherever you choose. Have a little look online at local sports/activities available near you and challenge yourself, it might lead you somewhere you never expected!


Parenting is no joke and trying to manage daily demands while making sure the kids are active can be one hell of a struggle. If you’re looking for an event to accommodate the whole family and get the kids excited in new activities, head along to GoFest – the UK’s family festival of Sport, Dance, Health and Fitness. The event promises something for all ages, abilities and fitness levels with its line-up of around 50 different activities, including fencing, climbing, badminton, squash, netball (and more) as well as dance and fitness classes. Everyone is invited to ‘Have a Go’ at as


22 and 28/29 September The team at Tough Mudder return to one of the muddiest courses in the UK for two weekends of camaraderie fun. Setting up shop in the Holmbush Estate, participants will be faced with a brand new course, including six EPIC obstacles, and a phenomenal amount of mud. Choose either the five-mile Half with 13 obstacles, or the 10-mile Full with over 20 obstacles – either way you can expect to receive a well deserved pint at the finish line. If you’re looking for that added competitive twist, opt for the Tougher Mudder ticket available for the Full event. With this you can take part in the timed first wave of the Saturday event and experience exclusive challenges – the first step in the Tough Mudder Competitive Series. Those taking part will receive unique finisher gear including a tee and headband, an official course time and the ability to win prize money. Plenty of ways to show off to your mates if you can manage to complete the course in good time, not forgetting to help out your fellow Mudders along the way too!

many activities they want to. The whole family can get involved together with the free family coaching on offer from professionals, national governing bodies and local sports clubs. If that wasn’t enough to spark your fancy, there will also be free massages on offer, alongside chill out and music tents, and retail and exhibition areas. Footballs fans can enjoy the giant screens showing the Football World Cup; everyone else can look forward to celebrity guests, masterclasses and a whole host of other entertainment. The summertime sunshine will also accommodate the various outdoor bars and barbecues on site, serving food and drink for all hungry appetites.

ALSO COMING UP... EVENTS LISTINGS Two Moors Ultra 100 Sat 29 September, Lynmouth, Devon

A challenging 100 mile Ultra that will require exceptional self-navigation as you make your way from Exmoor in the north of Devon through Dartmoor National Park, following the recently relaunched Two Moors Way. You’ll run through the night and anyone that finishes inside the 24 hours will receive a special prize. North York Moors Rock Climbing Various dates, Scugdale and Ravenswick

Experience the wild and beautiful North York Moors with a fun day out on the rocks. Choose between the small friendly crag in Scugdale or the old magnesium limestone quarry in Ravenswick, but climbing routes can be provided at either to suit all abilities. All equipment will be provided on the day from the qualified instructors on hand. Race to the Stones 14–15 July, The Chilterns

A 100km or 50km walk, jog or run along Britain’s oldest path. Take a trek back 5,000 years in time as you journey from the Chilterns to the mystical North Wessex Downs. Travel past iron age forts, ancient monuments and stunning landscapes including the ‘Field of Dreams’. Choose to race non-stop for the course record, or complete the challenge over two days with a stay at basecamp. Taste of the South’s ZEN DEN 21–22 July, Chapel Gate, Christchurch

A dedicated health and wellbeing area at the Taste of the South Festival, including taster yoga classes by Yoga Lounge Bournemouth, step-up fitness classes and healthy food and drink stands. Vegans and veggies are well accommodated for with speciality stands, while eco-friendly products will also be available alongside advice clinics and entertainment for all ages. Man vs Lakes 21 July, Lake District

Rat Race is back with a run across the Lake District, crossing the quicksands of Morecambe bay and tackling mountainous terrain before immersing yourself in the Lake itself with a series of short wades, slides and jumps. You’ll then face a bold floating assault

course, before a demanding kayak loop on Lake Coniston. This is not a swimming event, but prepare to get wet. SimplyHealth Great North Run 9 September, Newcastle

Officially the world’s biggest half marathon, the Great North Run will take you on a 13.1 mile route from Newcastle’s city centre to the coast in South Shields, live on the BBC. Those taking part can expect free training plans, chip timed results, exclusive medal and technical tee as well as a goodie-filled finishers’ pack. The Big One 22 September, Sheffield

An exciting day for all fitness lovers, with a timetable jam-packed with lots of different fitness events hosted by world class presenters. Whether you’re a personal trainer, fitness instructor or just a regular gym goer there’ll be something to get involved in. Last years classes included Vibe Cycle, Raunch and Street Dance.

RESTAURANTS North East Chilli Festival 13, 14 and 15 July, Blyth, Northumberland

A three-day festival featuring the very best in food, drink and entertainment including Newcastle’s very own Northern Funk band Smooth and Turrell. Expect a chilli eating competition, stand up comedy, and a kids zone, as well as onsite camping and excellent street food. A summer time must!

OTHER EVENTS Yorkshire Yoga, Health & Wellbeing Show 2 September, Leeds

A full day of yoga classes, yoga demonstrations and a varied host of health and nutrition talks, alongside delicious healthy cookery demonstrations. There’ll be a meditation room, a Yoga flashmob, and Dru Yoga Dance as well as plenty of classes for the kids. Yorkshire Free From Show 1 September, Leeds

Whether you’re living a gluten, dairy or refined sugar-free lifestyle, come along and sample the many tasty ‘free from’ products on offer. Expect offerings like sugar-free chocolate, gluten-free desserts beers, organic wine and savoury snacks.




he latest of my fundraising challenges was the Mersey tunnel 10k. This run entails competitors to run through the Kingsway tunnel in Liverpool, onto the Wirral side of the river and finishing in New Brighton. A 10k distance in total. Ok so you’re probably thinking 10k shouldn’t really be much of a challenge for someone who exercises daily, but I decided to do a little experiment. The last run I participated in was back in June 2017. My goal since then has been to gain more size and focus on weight training and conditioning. So what happens when you do

absolutely no running in preparation for a running event? This was what I wanted to find out. I decided that my preparation this year would be to focus more on conditioning my legs and incorporating a high-intensity circuit in between my weight training sessions. The circuit would definitely get my heart pumping and push my cardiovascular system, but training my legs heavily and more frequently should condition and prepare them for running, right? I started training specifically for the 2018 challenges at the end of January. My sessions would look something like this:

• Mon: legs + shoulders • Tues: chest + biceps + full-body circuit including core • Wed: day off • Thurs: back + triceps + full-body circuit including core • Fri: legs + shoulders + upperbody circuit including core • Sat: day off • Sun: back + full-body circuit including core For me, this would certainly condition my body and work my cardiovascular system, or so I thought. Ok, so now onto the run... The first 5k of the run, I felt like my cardio was taking an absolute beating and I was breathing heavily (which I don’t usually struggle with). My legs, however, had absolutely no issues, this could be due to the fact that the tunnel run is basically at an incline for the first 3k, and I had definitely put my legs through this kind of stress in training with heavy squats, lunges etc. Once I hit the 6k mark I found my cardio actually improved and I became quite comfortable. But then the issue was my knees. I’m sure this was down to being heavier than usual and the repetitive movement of running taking its toll on my legs. Upon finishing the race I felt that my cardio had improved again after hitting the 6k mark and I could have gone on for further than 10k, although the run definitely took its toll on my knees. I’ve given advice in previous columns on how to prepare for a run and also how to gain size, but never at the same time. I would say the program provided is definitely a good blueprint on how to do this. Although, if I were to do it again, I would take out two of the circuits and in their place incorporate a 5-10k run twice a week to prepare my legs and joints for the repetitive movements of running. Also, don’t forget to consume the right amount of calories to gain size.

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