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What a summer it’s been so far, what with the scorching heat and England restoring a bit of national pride at the World Cup in Russia. Glorious scenes. And hopefully we still have many more halcyon days to come. Whether you’re planning on spending them here or abroad, we’re here to help you maximise your summer. From plant-based recipes and tips on when best to eat, to five workouts designed to get your beach body on point, we’re hoping we can help you make it a summer of love for your body. We’ve got an exclusive interview with Amanda Seyfried too. The Mamma Mia! star talks candidly about how she deals with the pressures of being on screen, away from home and everything else. Amanda is a great example of how we all need to take the long-term approach to looking after ourselves. As the Lean Machines agree in their column, quick fixes aren’t the way forward. We have the latest fitness news, fashion, reviews and loads of advice from our team of columnists, plus news ways in which to maximise your David Lloyd membership.

SEA, SAND & SQUATS Some easy ways to stay healthy during and after your holiday


W @bestfitmagazine







CONTRIBUTORS Andy Thompson (design), Ben Coomber, Jess Davies, Rohan Gunatillake, Emma Storey-Gordon, RF123, Mark Laws, The Lean Machines, Leigh Purves, Shutterstock, Hannah Spearritt, Kurtis Stacey

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.


Paddleboarding is gripping the nation, and with good reason. Get lean on the water.



e’re going to harp on about this until it sticks – fad diets are rubbish. A recent study showed that people trying quick weight-loss strategies without knowing how to maintain them, are much more likely to hit a higher weight in the long run. So why do they fail? Not only can they cause dehydration and eventual

snacking – low carb especially – but they can also encourage the body to actually hold on to calories to survive. Some also believe that weight-loss can be targeted to certain areas of the body, and turn to food for comfort when it doesn’t work out. The smart thing to do is aim for a loss of between 1lb and 2lb a week. You’ll get there in the end.



he #glutenfree movement might get your eyes rolling back but this could be linked to a very real, very new condition. Nutrichondria is defined as the “pre-occupation with negative details of one’s diet” and is mostly linked with self-diagnosis of food intolerances or allergies based on ropey evidence. The scariest part? One in three British adults is a nutrichondriac, according to research from DNAFit. That’s right – 32% of us are walking around avoiding dairy, while 24% avoid gluten because we read an article somewhere that told us so. Only 5% of us have actually had a medical diagnosis to back up our assumptions, with 22% instead identifying with a celebrity who ‘spoke out’ about their suffering. We now pay 17% more for gluten-free alternatives, while 40% of us have even snubbed a meal made for us on the grounds of an undiagnosed intolerance. So pack it in guys and gals, gluten isn’t all bad.



he word is spreading on the benefits of an active lifestyle, and women all over the world are now opting for a hiking holiday. Worlds away from lazy beach days in Marbella, this trend can be traced back to Hollywood celebs flaunting their hikes on the ‘Gram. Of 13,500 or so hiking enthusiasts that responded to a survey by the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO), 54% were women. Those aged 18-34 were three times more likely to want a walking holiday than men. This means more women’s walking shoes are being sold – according to millennial trend tracker Smart Lemur – and, we guess, more high altitude selfies being taken. High five to that! (get it?)



new survey by Local Tennis Leagues has highlighted the amazing effects tennis can have on your mind and body. LTL, which runs mixed-sex tennis leagues for adults on public tennis courts nationwide, asked its players how they felt their physical and mental health had changed since joining a league. Ninety per cent said they felt fitter, 86% have improved mood/mental health while 74% feel mentally sharper. A further study by Oxford University also indicates that tennis improves strength, flexibility, stamina and cardio-vascular fitness and, that those who play tennis actually live longer. “Tennis offers its players a perfect mix of heart and lung fitness, muscular strength with balance and co-ordination, alongside enjoyment and social benefits,” says Dr Charlie Foster, one of the authors of the Oxford University report. Time to grab your racket!



eeping physically active is not just key for a better body, but also promises to sharpen and relax your mind. Mental health might still be a touchy subject for some of us but more are realising the importance of a healthy, stable mindset. A national survey from Rugged Interactive revealed that over a third of Brits specifically work out to improve their mental health, with two-thirds of people exercising to “de-stress” and a further 32% saying it helps them “escape daily life.” Of those that work out for mental health, 63% were women. Looks like men might have a longer way to go before recognising the benefits of exercise for the mind.



t’s a guilty pleasure and something that we’ll rarely admit to, but gossiping might actually have some benefits. Research suggests that when you chat with a mate about the lives of others, your stress hormone cortisol actually decreases. It seems that this cheeky pastime is also great for sociability, and can help us build friendships and self-improvement along the way. Don’t get us wrong, negative and mean comments made about others is not cool. Finding out you’re the subject of gossiping can lower your own self-worth majorly, and keeping this is mind when you strike up a convo over the coffee machine at work is key. Happy chatting!



rivers might hate them, but cyclists run the roads across Britain. It might be unsurprising then that one bike gets stolen every six minutes here in the UK, prompting high-tech company VanMoof to launch a theft-proof bike. Riders get a whole range of fancy features, such as bluetooth rider recognition to automatically disable the theft defines system, and progressively louder warning sounds when the bike is tampered with. If someone does try to nab your ride, you can activate tracking mode, which enables the SOS flashing lights, disables all other functions and notifies VanMoof’s Bike Hunters. That’s right, these bikes come with bodygaurds. The stylish unisex X-frame suits all riders between 155cm and 200cm and promises to be city proof. Sounds like a winner to us. Maybe we just need a little push? It’s time to dip our toe in.



e don’t want to cause any upset but your beloved fitness wearable could be lying straight to your face. Inspired by the London Marathon, Which? released data showing that some trackers can be wildly inaccurate, either over or underestimating the distance covered by up to 32%. This might not sound too bad until you decide to do a marathon, resulting in a finish line miss of eight miles. So who should we look out for? Pebble top the list with +17% difference, followed closely by Samsung with -14%, and Apple with +7% difference. The moral of the story? Don’t bet too much on your high-tech fitness accessory getting you across the finish line, but a couple of extra miles couldn’t hurt could it?




EVER WONDERED HOW MAMMA MIA! STAR AMANDA SEYFRIED MAINTAINS HER STUNNING PHYSIQUE AND LUMINOUS GLOW? WELL IT’S NOT THROUGH INSANE EXERCISE REGIMES OR STARVATION DIETS, WITH THE MOTHER-OF-ONE PREFERRING A MORE BALANCED AND WHOLESOME APPROACH TO WELLNESS, WRITES SIMONE LEE When it comes to celebrity fitness, much of the coverage revolves around how the person in question got fit for a certain role, or nailed that post-baby body, or generally got red-carpet gorgeous. But for Mamma Mia! star Amanda Seyfried, fitness is not just important for her work, but her mental well-being too. “First and foremost, I do exercise to promote those good vibes,” she says. And that just might explain why her fitness routine is determined, documented and, most importantly, daily! “It’s just something I crave,” she continues. “It’s the release of stress that I have to feel so that I can get on with the other things, and if I didn’t have exercise, I would definitely be a very different person. “As for the exercise I do, that’s really down to how I feel and, like everyone else on the planet, how much time I’ve got. So that could be using a skipping rope, a bike, a running machine… anything. And when I’m in the zone, I’m in it… which makes up for the times when I’m not, because that really sucks.” Since her treasured breakthrough beside Lindsay Lohan as one of the inanely daft Mean Girls – and being infamous for her ability to predict the weather with her breasts – Seyfried has crafted her trade to become one of Hollywood’s busiest names. Offering up a scintillating portrayal of porn star Linda Lovelace, dazzling us with her

vocal prowess as Cossette in the film adaptation of Les Misérables, and proving her box office potential in the Abba-inspired musical Mamma Mia! (and the recent followup Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again), the New Jersey-born actress is hitting previously untapped heights. With an impressive career that is still very much on the up, you might assume that the 32-year-old, with her huge green eyes, wide smile and sunny disposition, didn’t have a care in the world. But in fact, Seyfried has struggled with anxiety and OCD issues her entire life, only managing to become the master of her demons in the past few years. “It took me a while to stop denying it,” she says. “I finally saw that I needed to address my anxiety and stage fright more directly, and that’s been the best thing I could have done for myself. I’m able to enjoy my life much more now although I still worry about things that I shouldn’t worry about. But I also have good friends and a great family who give me a lot of love and support.” These days, Seyfried is the epitome of calm. By putting fitness and wellbeing at the centre of her life, she manages the stresses of superstardom and the strains of motherhood with complete ease, proving that sometimes being a better person for those around you, requires putting yourself first. For the actress, this usually means running for an hour five times a week, working out three times a week with celebrity

“I FINALLY SAW THAT I NEEDED TO ADDRESS MY ANXIETY AND STAGE FRIGHT MORE DIRECTLY, AND THAT’S BEEN THE BEST THING I COULD HAVE DONE FOR MYSELF. I’M ABLE TO ENJOY MY LIFE MUCH MORE NOW…” trainer Harley Pasternak – often at the Pure Barre gym in New York – before supplementing that physical effort with one or two Pilates sessions at the weekend for the purposes of toning and stretching. This combination of cardio, strength training, and muscle stretching and lengthening is the secret to Seyfried’s lean, toned and strong physique. But while she reveals that running is great for mental clarity, it is the hardcore sessions with Pasternak that thrill her the most. “Having a good trainer, or any trainer, is really that extra motivation, and that’s so vital. Harley has been brilliant for me because he provides the plan, the variation and the technical advice, but more than that it’s an appointment that can’t be missed, and being regimented about fitness, for me, is the only way to stay there.” When it comes to diet, the motherof-one prefers not to embark on any fad trends… so don’t expect her to be swallowing bowlfuls of cabbage soup or chugging back lemon and maple syrup concoctions, a la Beyoncé, even when preparing for a role. Instead, she maintains a stable, balanced, all-year round food plan, with a diet that is low in fat, nourishing, but by no means restrictive. She eats five times a day – three meals and two snacks – with each meal consisting of five components: a low-fat protein, a

healthy carbohydrate, a fibre, healthy fats (or the absence of unhealthy fats) and a sugar-free beverage. Maintaining a health regime over a period of time is never easy, and Seyfried is refreshingly human in her approach: happily admitting to being a sugar addict and seeing cheat days as an essential part of ensuring sanity. In the mornings, she likes to include plenty of raw components in her diet such as a green juice, fresh fruits or a raw smoothie, but prefers to have something more substantial in the afternoon after discovering that a full raw diet was too much to handle. “I tried it and it just took too much out of me,” she admits. “I would be hungry and tired by mid-afternoon – there just wasn’t enough to see me through. Kale, cucumber, oatmeal, blueberries, seeds, salads, shakes… these are all great, but they just

couldn’t sustain me over 24 hours.” In order to play Linda Lovelace in her eponymous biopic, Seyfried was adamant that it was unnecessary to try to mimic the famed porn stars rail thin physique, saying at the time: “She was really thin, but I don’t have the same body type as her at all and if I stopped eating I would look gross… I don’t want to promote unhealthy body types.” Having struggled with her own confidence issues it should come as no surprise that the Ted 2 star frowns upon the film industry’s fascination with flawless beauty. “It’s not real – nobody is perfect and we shouldn’t pretend it is. What is real is your own body and your own plan.” Keeping it real in La La Land is no mean feat, which is why when not working she and actor husband Thomas Sadoski are raising their daughter on their farm in the Catskill Mountains, a couple of hours’ drive from New York City. However, with a career that pulls the talented beauty across the globe with a gruelling schedule and very little sleep, being able to find calm in any situation is vital, which is where the last weapon in Seyfried’s wellness arsenal comes into play: meditation. “It’s a newer thing for me and I love it – I’m high-anxiety so the opportunity to relax my brain as well as motivate my body is a perfect combination. I look at how I was treating myself 10 years ago, even five years ago, and I’m in so much a better place. “Just step back, reassess, and look after yourself.”

A 400 year old former sugar plantation on the paradise island of Antigua, has been converted into a wellness sanctuary and is now open to those of us who want to swap the 24/7 rush hour for hummingbirds and the sea breezes of the Caribbean. Set in the sweeping 26 acres estate of Mercers Creek, the Great House boasts stunning sea views amid swaying palm trees. The experienced staff include nutritionists, fitness instructors, masseurs, yoga and meditation experts. The combination of colonial elegance and privacy amid the beautiful surroundings will work to rid you of the stresses and strains of everyday life. Our team is here to provide you with: Exercise classes Guided meditation Walks of the island Onsite nutritionist Spa and Beauty treatments Recharge mentally and physically at The Great House Health Sanctuary. Quote “David Lloyd� for a special rate.




oes it matter when you eat when it comes to fat loss? This question comes up a lot when dieting to lose body fat. Does meal timing matter? How many meals should you eat a day? Can you eat carbs after 6pm? Should you avoid eating late at night? Is breakfast the most important meal of the day? Will you put on fat if you miss it? The answer to all these questions is no, but also yes! Let me explain… For successful fat loss we know

“Eating behaviour is where meal timing can influence your fat loss”

that we need to lay foundations such as energy balance. That means no matter when or what we eat, we must be in a calorie deficit to lose body fat. This involves creating a negative energy balance by taking in less energy than we expend which, in turn, forces the body to use its stored energy: fat. This, in a nutshell is how we lose body fat. At this level fat loss is this simple but, do you know what is not simple? HUMAN BEHAVIOUR! And do you know what impacts human eating behaviour? Meal timings! It is very easy to say ‘you just need eat less calories than you expend to lose weight,’ but how you implement this in the real world is much harder and more complex. We don’t just eat calories, we eat food. And we eat food socially, for enjoyment, at business meetings, with family, when we are hungry, when we are sad, when we crave something sweet, because we are bored. My point here is that we don’t always eat because we need to, we eat because we want to, and we often eat too much. Eating behaviour is where meal

timing can influence your fat loss. For example, not always, but most of the time if someone is going to over eat it tends to be in the evening. That’s why rules like not eating after 6pm work so well. Calories are not magically more fattening after 6pm, but you are simply more likely to overeat and make poor or even subconscious food choices in the evening while mindlessly eating in front of the TV. Rules like this work well because they are simple and easy to follow. There is no guess work, they are straightforward and uncomplicated to follow and that is why people are drawn to these rules. Having too much flexibility within your diet can actually make it harder to stick to. But understanding why these rules work is a freeing concept. It means that you don’t have to stick to them, but you may wish to implement them with the understanding of how and why they are effective. So yes, meal timing does matter, but this is more from a behavioural stand point than a physiological one. Fat loss is dictated by your calorie balance over time. We usually look at this from day to day

by setting daily calorie targets. When you consume these calories will not impact fat loss on a physiological level, but finding a meal pattern that works for you will make it easier for you to stick to your calorie goal. My advice would be to find a way of eating that makes creating a sustainable energy deficit as convenient for you as possible. You may want to set yourself rules that help you avoid overeating or snacking at times you are most prone to this. Doing this consistently over time will force your body to use its own stores of energy (fat) for fuel. This could mean avoiding eating after dinner if evening snacking is your vice, or you may enjoy a larger meal in the evening and so opt to save some calories during the day for this. How you create an energy deficit is up to you and should be dictated by your preferences, social life, family and work commitments. I hope this advice puts your mind at ease and helps you understand why meal timings do and don’t matter for fat loss.

“My advice would be to find a way of eating that makes creating a sustainable energy deficit as easy and convenient for you as possible”

SUMMER SNACKS Turns out we’re tucking into more snacks than ever. Good news, then, that we’ve found three bars that are better for you than most, eh? Protein Ball Co Lemon and Pistachio All-natural and high protein snacks that come in eight flavours, five of which – Peanut butter, Coconut and Macadamia, Goji and Coconut, Cacao and Orange and Cherry Bakewell, and Lemon and Pistachio – you’ll find in David Lloyd gyms. The Lemon and Pistachio, for example, consists of a handful of raw pitted dates, cashews, flaked desiccated coconut, poppy seeds and vegan plant-based proteins. The balls are gluten free, wheat free, vegetarian and contain no soy, GMOs or added sugars. Mindful Bites Crunchy Bites Nutrient-dense Crunchy Bite snacks that combine the velvety creaminess of nut butters with crunchy glutenfree wafer to be munched on the go. Each pack, which contains two sticks, has less than 1g of sugar (all naturally occurring), so think of it as a healthy Kinder Bueno! Perfect as a light breakfast, a mid-morning or afternoon snack or pre or post-workout. They can be enjoyed by adults and children alike given the extremely low sugar and salt content. Tribe Infinity Bars Tribe’s latest offering follows consultation with 16,000km ultra-runners, transcontinental cyclists and polar explorers. The result? They claim it’s the world’s best energy nutrition. It’s made with Ethiopian supergrain, teff, which is a staple of the greatest marathon runners on earth. The Infinity range is built for optimal slow release energy, and they contain half the sugar of an apple per bar.


Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye Awakening Gel-Cream

Remedy Kombucha One of the tastiest ways to to boost your gut health and overall wellbeing is with Remedy Kombucha, a guilt-free soft drink that’s free from sugar and even has an official tick of approval by the IQS (I Quit Sugar) team. Remedy Kombucha is full of live cultures that can increase the diversity of your gut flora, prevent the growth of bad bugs and supply billions of micro-organisms full of vitamins, minerals and fibre. It also comes packed with organic acids that provide an energy source for the good bacteria in your gut, help regulate appetite, stabilise blood sugar levels and regulate cholesterol, plus anti-oxidants that help the body fight illness and slow down the ageing process. A nobrainer for those of us in need of a digestive pick-me-up. Price: £3.50 (per 330ml)

Neutrogena Awakening Gel-Cream helps you kick start your day with a refreshing shot of hydration that works in three ways. It instantly replenishes the skin around the under-eye area using a hyaluronic gel matrix to boost hydration and strengthen the skin barrier. Price: £8.66

Benefit Chocolate A delicious and well-intentioned range of chocolate offering a boost of protein, energy and vitamins – depending on what you need. Choose between 85% cacao dark chocolate or 40% cacao milk for either selection. The energy bar includes caffeine, making it a perfect midmorning snack. Price: £22 (pack of 15)

Bissell Stain Eraser A portable carpet cleaner designed to clean up spills and stains as soon as they happen. Well-suited to spot cleaning, this compact cordless handheld vacuum is ideal for everything from red wine spills to car seats. Comes with two bottles of stain remover too – bargain!. Price: £99

Motiv Ring A ‘fitness ring’ designed to track your heart rate, sleep patterns and fitness journey. The durable, waterproof ring can also sync with Amazon’s smart assistant Alexa, helping you do to a range of things including finding a lost iPhone. Smart tech keeps getting smaller. Price: £150

TomTom Spark Cardio + Music The most advanced TomTom tracker to date, the Spark boasts features including 24/7 activity and GPS tracking, 500 song storage and heart rate monitor. Keep an eye on your steps, distance, calories and sleep with this reasonable daily tracker. Price: £109.99

Aerodrome 24 Hour Mission Bag Designed in collaboration with David Gandy, this mission bag offers masculine style to reflect a rich English heritage. Using the finest Italian calf leather in rich golden tan shade, you can expect a professional smooth finish for ultimate luxury. Price: £795


The Protein Ball Co. As a nation of dedicated snackers it can be hard to avoid those high calorie sugar-packed products when we get the munchies. Coming in to save the day are the team at The Protein Ball Co, with their delicious range of – you guessed it – protein balls. These balls are gluten free, wheat free, vegetarian and contain no soy, GMOs or added sugars. If you’re an advocate for local produce never fear, these scrumptious balls are made in Worthing, West Sussex and offer three varieties of protein: Whey Protein, Egg Protein and Rice & Pea Protein. Not only are they incredibly handy and pocket-sized, they also come in eight tasty flavours. Our favourites include the vegan-friendly Lemon & Pistachio – made using raw pitted dates, cashews and coconut – and Cacao & Orange and Cherry Bakewell, which you can get at David Lloyd gyms. Price: £1.99

Women’s Adidas SolarBoost An all-purpose performance running shoe that does well for both training and racing. It comes in more stable and lighter than the UltraBoost, designed using a snug toe box and foam cushioning. A neutral shoe for all types of runs. Price: £139.95


Radnor Plus Protein

If you’re struggling to hit your protein intake or need a new way to get your fix, consider what you’re drinking. Those of us on a weight-loss or calorie controlled diet plan might focus on our food without considering what we drink, but this might be one of the best sources we can get. Radnor Plus have designed a tasty beverage offering 12g of whey protein isolate

per 500ml bottle. It comes free from gluten and GM products, using only the highest quality spring water to match even the highest of healthy expectations. If that wasn’t enough to spark your interest, it’s also sweetened naturally with Stevia and suitable for veggies. It makes for an awesome post-workout drink that can be enjoyed on the move. What more could you want from a health bev? Price: £1.49

BODY FIT ONLY £39.99 £29.99












ower Plate is the global leading vibrating platform that helps you Prepare Faster, Perform Better and Recover Quicker. It makes you feel better by stimulating natural reflexes, increasing muscle activation and improving circulation. Built on decades of in-depth science and research, training on a Power Plate enhances any movement, simple or complex. Typically performed on the ground, muscles become more active, more often and significantly reduces stress. These exercises for beginners will provide a full body workout promoting balance, strength and flexibility.

HOW TO EXECUTE • Begin standing in a lunge position, right foot forward. • Lower your left knee to the ground and push your hips forward slightly until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. 1. Time – 30 secs 2. Setting Low 3. 1-2 sets 4. Rest between sets 30-45 seconds GLUTE BRIDGE RAISE PERFORM The most underrated exercise ever invented? It hits your entire posterior chain, from your lower back to your glutes and hamstrings. Benefits include: Improving hip mobility and strengthening your lower back.

IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE… OR IS IT?! Did you know? Whole body vibration technology was first used and researched in the Soviet Union during 1960’s to prepare their cosmonauts for space! CALF MASSAGE RECOVER Sedentary lifestyles can result in decreased circulation and by providing short massage intervention with the Power Plate, local circulation can be improved, reducing the risk of dysfunction and pain, and improving skin quality and tone. Benefits include: Increased flexibility, better performance in daily activities and sports such as running, cycling and swimming.

PUT IT TO THE TEST! Don’t take our word for it. Follow these three beginner exercises and feel the benefits for yourself! HIP DRIVER PREPARE Loosen and engage your hip flexor muscles, which play a major role in your daily mobility. Benefits include: improved performance, and an increase in range of motion - helping with those everyday chores!

HOW TO EXECUTE • Lie face up on the floor, with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Keep your arms at your side with your palms down. • Lift your hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. Squeeze those glutes hard and keep your abs drawn in so you don’t overextend your back during the exercise. • Hold your bridged position for a couple of seconds before easing back down. 1. Time – 30 secs 2. Setting Low 3. 1-2 sets 4. Rest between sets 30-45 seconds

HOW TO EXECUTE • Lie face up on the floor, with your calves’ places on the Power Plate • Slowly allow the feet to turn outwards and inwards. 1. Time - 60 secs 2. Setting High 3. 3 -4 sets 4. Rest between sets 30-45 seconds

For more information on where to buy a Power Plate for your home, visit WWW.POWERPLATE.COM or call 0207 317 5000



Two thirds of us are on a diet at any given time apparently, which is ironic as two thirds of us are overweight or obese. Ben Coomber is here to help you without the fads… DOES OUR OBESITY PROBLEM SUGGEST DIETS DON’T WORK? Maybe. But then a diet is a word that people associate with getting lean, trimming up, dropping some body fat, getting in shape… you get the drift. So whatever you call it, in the person’s head, the aim is the same, it’s just many aren’t getting the outcome they want to get: fat loss. I write this article as I embark on a diet. Yep, I’ve put on a few pounds as a fitness guy and I want to drop them, and in a three-part series I’m going to share that process with you, from a mindset, training and nutrition perspective, as these are the three key areas people need to work on to be successful with a body transformation. Of course, tying in lifestyle, supplements, and a few other random things that affect the journey. The reason I am also doing this is to show you it’s not that hard, at all, if you have the right kind of plan, you can find a way to be consistent, and can control, unltimately, what goes in your mouth. After all, no successful diet was built around a liberal amount of cake in one’s diet. Sure, have a little, but there has to be a limit as cake is pretty darn calorific. Ultimately, consistency is what everyone is struggling with, but why? Why do people struggle so much with sticking to a diet? Let’s list the three main reasons I see as a coach: 1. Someone is too extreme in their approach and thus causes the

desire to binge on foods they are overly restricting themselves from. 2. Someone embarks on something that is not sustainable; it’s just a diet and not change, which links to being too extreme or dramatic with your approach. 3. The individual doesn’t fully know why they want to go on a diet, they just feel they want to lose weight but aren’t truly connected to the outcome; they don’t have a burning and emotive ‘why’ to change. Let’s stick to point no.3 for the rest of this article, the mindset behind a diet. Being honest, we all let things slip a little, and that’s cool. Maybe it’s the summer and holidays are booked, friends are constantly having BBQs and cool stuff is happening all around you, we get busy at work, can’t get enough exercise in, and over time the pounds creep on and we’ve hit August thinking ‘ah, bugger’. This is fine, it happens to us all. What I don’t then want as a coach is people to then think ‘screw it, I’m half way fat, might as well carry on’. This isn’t a person with a mindset that values their body and health, and I need you to be that person. You should want to be that person, after all, without your body and your health, can you really expect to be your best? Unlikely. So my starting point with my diet is my ‘why’. I want to be the healthiest

“THE REASON I AM ALSO DOING THIS IS TO SHOW YOU IT’S NOT THAT HARD…” I can be: I want my abs back, I want to look great in and out of my clothes, or I want my 100% confident self back. As a result of these why’s I have the deep and emotive impulse to change, it causes me to say ‘no’ to the evening box set with ice cream and ‘yes’ to getting outside for a run and cooking a proper dinner. Body and mind transformation does all start in your head, and because I have the right ‘why’, I genuinely WANT it and no-one is going to stop me from wanting it, I create action around my wants. When you are not 100% clear on the outcome you want you will let others dictate, essentially, your life. This means that when you go out for dinner, instead of picking the leaner option and saving room for a drink or two, you get influenced by others and you end up having a burger, ½ a bottle or wine and an indulgent

“…WITHOUT YOUR BODY AND YOUR HEALTH CAN YOU REALLY EXPECT TO BE YOUR BEST?” This is how we create a diet for life, by knowing we are embarking on something we can stick to. We all need rules with our body and health, that is a pure and simple reality. We can’t just eat and drink whatever we want and expect the outcome to be as we dream or see in magazines. We need to have rules that allow flexibility and indulgence at the right time, with a plan, but keep us on the straight and narrow at other times.

pudding just because everyone else is and you didn’t really have a genuine plan for yourself, so you let yourself get influenced by others. When you start with ‘why’, you plan, you create a reason to say no to the wants and desires of others, this is when you empower yourself with consistency. This initial motivation and reasoning then leads to habit, and it becomes more habitual to say ‘no’ than ‘yes’, and saying ‘no’ means you are in control of your decisions, and thus the outcome. Not someone else. Leaving your decisions to others will only lead to longterm frustration and regret, so get focused, know your ‘why’, and take control of your actions that feed into your desired outcomes. With my mindset right now I feel strong, confident and focused on the outcome, so as I navigate a summer of BBQs and events I know what I am going to eat, why, and how to manage a few indulgences by creating some room for extras some days, doing a bit more exercise, and the other tools we have to create more flexibility on a diet.


Mobilisations, activation work, core holds and boxing on the bag, increasing in intensity. Weights session

A1: Front Squat 4x6. 10s rest




A2: Weighted chin up 4x6 1.5 minutes rest, 4 sets B1: Barbell split squat 3x10. 10s rest B2: Single leg hip drive 3x Max reps. 10s rest B3: Hollow abs hold 3x max time. 60s rest C1: Snatch grip Romanian deadlift 3x6. No rest C2: Romanian deadlift 3x6. 10s rest C3: Single arm overhead dumbbell carry 3x20m. No rest C4: Single arm dumbbell farmers carry 3x20m. 1.5m rest D1: 5x20s max sprints on a piece of cardio equipment, 40s rest, 5 minutes total time





n the back of Wimbledon, more and more people are loving tennis this year and an innovative new system, PlaySight SmartCourt, currently installed initially across 12 David Lloyd Clubs, is paving the way forward as a new way to fine-tune tennis skills – whatever your level! With five cameras filming one court at any one time, these can be set to record every move made as well as offer on-the-spot live coaching, plus a full debrief and analytical report afterwards. Melanie Kristall, Racquets Manager at David Lloyd Leeds says: “From a coaching perspective, the visual aspect allows the player to improve at a quicker pace. The player can see exactly what they are doing wrong and not just rely on the coach telling them. From a fun aspect, PlaySight calls “good shot” when a target is hit within the drills section to the speed of your serve. It’s revolutionary to the sport of tennis and I look forward using it with the racquets members.” The thought process behind the technology is that people respond more to visual than thought training. So for example, cameras focus on capturing, then analysing all your work. This is also extensive in its offering and ultrapersonalised. It analyses each person as an individual and uses personal data such as weight and height as part of its criteria. It then works out everything from how many calories are burned in one game, to how your sense of serve is, right through to dissecting your stance whilst serving. Even the seconds of your longest rally and sense of

speed is worked out and broken down to incentivise you. And with match stats and instant video replay, it even records the speed of serve, calling the line and tracks technique which can be later analysed. The player simply logs-in pre-match, before choosing to opt-in. There’s also an optional setting, which allows the system to correct you during a game. As players step off-court, the SmartCourt session is automatically uploaded to the PlaySight network, for the player to review on a computer or phone anywhere, at any time; to playback those epic rallies, cross-court winners and comical moments; reliving the action alone or sharing with friends. It can be used with expert tuition from one of David Lloyd’s tennis coaches to really accelerate your game and help improve performance. Melanie adds: “You can set it to whichever level you like. It can interact with you during a game or you can choose to opt out. There is also a Playsight App and website which allows players to use it on-the-go. This is inclusive within membership at David Lloyd.” Many sports professionals believe this will revolutionise the future for tennis players. Patrick Mouratoglou, who coached Serena Williams, says: “It’s an unbelievable tool that can be used to understand what is happening during matches. And it’s a fun way to do it. Far above what already exists in terms of technology for tennis.” For more information on PlaySight SmartCourt, visit

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DIETING MYTHS UNCOVERED Every day you’re bombarded with advice about how to get in shape, but it’s so often contradictory. Here, health and weight loss consultant surgeon Dr Sally Norton dispels some common myths… Dieting is the best way to lose weight – FALSE Research shows that when women, in particular, want to lose weight they turn to dieting. Unfortunately, research also shows that this is highly unlikely to lead to long-term weight loss, with over 85% of people regaining all of the weight they have lost, and more, by a year after the diet. This can then lead to the misery of yo-yo dieting, which can be harmful for health and is no way to live your life. Make a few changes to your lifestyle and eating habits that you can sustain. You need a good breakfast – FALSE A recent study confirmed that whether you have a good breakfast or not makes no difference to weight loss. Everyone is different – you may be an early riser or a night owl when it comes to sleep, so it is not surprising that your breakfast desires may be different, too. Listen to your body when it comes to eating – if you are having proper nutritious food, your body will tell you when it needs fuelling. If you focus on a bit of protein (as confirmed by other recent research) and avoid sugar and processed carbs then whether you have a quick snack or a feast for breakfast is entirely up to you!

Eat regular snacks throughout the day – FALSE It is often said in dieting folklore that eating little and often stops you getting so hungry and encourages you to burn off more energy. Our bodies weren’t built for constant snacking – particularly on the sort of food we eat nowadays. You are better off getting used to going without food for a few hours at a time – it helps you understand that you are often not eating from hunger, just from habit…and that “hunger” can be ignored for a while without us falling flat on the floor! Recent research backs up this view showing that women who ate two meals or five meals of the same calorie content, showed no difference in the amount of energy they burnt off. Exercise doesn’t really help weight loss – FALSE Yes, in a very literal sense, exercise does not lead to weight loss – if you believe that all an hour of exercise does is burn off 200 calories worth of a 400-calorie doughnut. But it isn’t black and white like that. Losing weight isn’t just about making sure that energy out is more than energy in… we are much more complex as human beings than that overly simplistic model! Studies suggest that exercise can help weight loss in other ways.

Exercise builds up muscle – which burns more energy in the longer term. If we are more muscular, we are more toned, have better posture and thus look slimmer. Looking good makes us feel better about ourselves – and if we feel fit and healthy we are more likely to make healthier choices – which promotes weight loss. We should be stocking up on lowfat foods to lose weight – FALSE The myth that fat is bad has been particularly harmful to our health and waistline. Many fats are healthy in moderation – and yet we are bombarded with low-fat yoghurts, ‘slimming’ ready meals and processed spreads that are bulked up with sugar, salt or chemical nasties that provide little, if any, nutrition. Butter, cheese, full-fat yoghurt and other dairy and animal fats are natural and seldom processed, unlike many low-fat alternatives. Coconut oil is another fat that has recently been enjoying popularity. You are therefore best off focusing on real food – that means avoiding anything processed wherever possible. By doing so you will automatically be reducing your refined carbs, eating natural fats and proteins, bulking up with fruit and veg – and dramatically cutting down on your sugar intake.



If you live near a stretch of water, the chances are you’ll have seen people standing on what look like overgrown surfboards. Welcome to paddleboarding, the fastest-growing sport in the country. Inflatable boards have been a gamechanger, meaning it can be done by anyone, of any age, anywhere, and on your own or with friends and family. Oh, and the health benefits are huge, writes FULL-BODY WORKOUT Even during a leisurely ‘SUP’ down the river or on a lake, your body will use every muscle. You’ll use your legs, back, core and abdominal

muscles to achieve balance, and your arms, back and shoulders to propel yourself forwards. If you move onto the river or into the sea you’ll face waves and currents, which

means your workout will intensify. Start introducing speed or distance into your regime and you’ll soon become a lean machine. BALANCE BOOSTER If you’ve ever tried surfing, you’ll know standing on a board on a wave is a difficult skill to master. Paddleboarding requires standing upright for longer periods, which requires oodles of core stability and strength. Start paddleboarding, and you’ll notice how your day-to-day balance improves. Some first timers can experience extreme wobbling in the ankles and legs. This soon disappears as your body adapts,

which can then help you paddle longer distances or even surf waves. LOW IMPACT If you’ve ever trained for a running event you’ll know how the repetitive movement of running can damage your joints, ligaments and tendons. Similarly, lifting weights comes with risk. SUPping enables you to burn calories without damaging your joints. A leisurely SUP can burn up to 400 calories in an hour. Introduce some surfing and that could rise to up to 750. STRENGTH GAINS Even an hour on a paddleboard in calm water is enough for you to notice soreness in your arms, feet and/or legs. A leisurely SUP will improve your overall body strength, so imagine the benefits of a strenuous session. Your arms are the supporting cast to your core. Even carrying your board to your launching point will boost your biceps. Meanwhile, when paddling, your legs are constantly adjusting to the rocking motion. STRESS BUSTER Exercising outside is a massive and yet simple victory. Add to this the relevant calm of being on water, and the calming sounds of the water, and any stress you’re experiencing should soon disappear. CARDIO GAINS As soon as you start adding distance or speed to your SUPping, you’ll notice how your body’s endurance levels rocket. SUPping against the

tide in the sea or on the river is a fast way to boost your cardio, plus you can lose weight and reduce the chances of diabetes, heart attack, stroke and more. CONNECT WITH NATURE Being on the water is excellent for your mental health. Bask in the glory of your surroundings, be it by the coast, on a river or in a lake, while injecting some vitamin D to help you fend off fatigue, depression, bone weakness, chronic pain and more. Moreover, paddleboarding can take you to places inaccessible by feet or car. CORE OF TRUTH Master the right paddle technique and you’ll be completing the equivalent of an abdominal crunch with every stroke. COMMUNITY Paddleboarding is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, and there are thousands of clubs and groups now springing up around the country. Hook up, join in, and socialise. And even if you conquer it straight away, there are numerous ways to adapt and evolve your involvement in the sport, and the equipment you use. GOOD FOR YOUR HEART Even paddling for just 15 minutes a day will improve your cardiovascular system. And the faster you paddle, the harder your heart will pump. To find out more visit www.busap. or


So it turns out we’re not looking after our feet. According to Vivobarefoot, loads of us suffer from things such as deformities, inquiries or mobility. The answer? Going barefoot, or Toega! Yep, five to 10 minutes a day of flexing your toes can transform your digits. Here are four exercises to try…


Push your big toe down into the floor and raise the other four toes off the floor, aiming for small pulses of the movement. Keep the ball of the foot in contact with the ground at all times. As you improve, aim to hold the other four toes off the floor while pushing down the big toe for up to 30 seconds.

Toe chop

Bend the big toe underneath the foot – using your hands to assist if necessary. This can be uncomfortable, so use a soft surface when doing this exercise.


Keeping the toes facing forwards, sit back on the heels allowing the toes (and soles) to stretch. Once in a relaxed position, push the big toes into the floor repeatedly (pulsing) allowing the body to rock back and forth.

Heel salutation

In the above position, place your hands on your heels and slowly extend the hip and spine as you straighten your arms. Once in this fully extended position, pulse the big toes as before.





“THE FOUNDATION OF EFFECTIVE BODY SCULPTING COMES FROM A HEALTHY DIET WITH RIGHT BALANCE OF ALL YOUR MACRONUTRIENTS…” LADIES, DON’T BE PUT OFF BY THE FEAR OF BULKING UP… USING WEIGHTS CAN HELP YOU TONE UP AND FEEL CONFIDENT, SAYS SCITEC’S MICHELLE BRANNAN For most women, the idea of their perfect body is one that leaves them feeling truly confident, whether in a trouser suit, little black dress or on the beach – and that tends to mean losing fat and developing toned muscle, while retaining femininity. While it’s a cliché – it’s the definition of ‘the bikini body’. But what is the best way to sculpt that body? The answer isn’t hours of cardio on a treadmill and low-calorie dieting. Instead, it’s about understanding the truth about heavy resistance training and eating a nutritious, metabolism supporting diet. BODY SCULPTING TRUTH: LOW CALORIES AND CARDIO AREN’T THE ANSWER Healthy weight loss isn’t a number on the scale. It’s about losing stored fat, while maintaining healthy lean muscle

over the entire body – resulting in a firm, toned, shapely body. Scitec’s Michelle Brannan reveals that many women fall into the trap of drastically reducing calories, while performing hours of cardio such as jogging – which results in a calorie deficit that can actually burn muscle tissue and reduce metabolic rate: “The foundation of effective body sculpting comes from a healthy diet with right balance of all your macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats), inclusive of an effective calorie deficit of 15-25% below your maintenance calories.”


THE FUNDAMENTALS OF FAT LOSS NUTRITION Step 1: Calculate your metabolic rate and subtract 15-25% of the total calories. Multiplying your metabolic rate by 1.55 is recommended to reflect the needs of a moderately active woman who exercises three to five days a week. Step 2: Calculate your protein needs by multiplying your goal weight in kilograms by 1.6-1.8g (e.g. 1.6 x 68 = 109g protein daily). One gram of protein contains four calories. Step 3: Consume your remaining daily calories from a mix of healthy fats and carbohydrates (1g of fat contains nine calories, while 1g of carbs contains four calories). Consuming adequate protein is key because it helps support muscle tissue and metabolic rate when in a calorie deficit, while also controlling hunger. However, the body needs healthy fats and carbohydrates for energy and health. I recommend eating the majority of carbohydrates before and after workouts, when they’re most efficiently stored in muscles as fuel and not as body fat. HEAVY RESISTANCE TRAINING: STRONG REALLY IS THE NEW SEXY Despite much more publicity about the benefits of lifting weights, the concern about developing strength and ‘bulking-up’ remains for many women. The reality is very different – when done the right way, strength training results in a leaner body that’s firmer and slimmer – with research proving that it’s more effective than cardio workouts. What’s more, developing a modest amount of muscle is a women’s best friend when it comes to burning fat.

Perform 1-2 working sets of 4-6 repetitions. Perform in a circuit, super-sets, or individually. • Deadlifts • Overhead presses • Squats • Barbell lunges • Romanian deadlifts • Barbell rows Crucially, I would advise against lifting light weights for lots of repetitions. High rep workouts can activate sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, which tends to give muscles a puffy, bulked-up look, plus less of a metabolic boost. While I wouldn’t advise quitting on regular cardio workouts for their health benefits, I suggest adding 20 minutes of low intensity cross-training after a strength session, when the body is most efficient at burning fat. Ultimately, when it comes to body sculpting results, strong really is the key to sexy.

One kilogram of muscle burns almost 15 calories an hour, so if you build an extra 5kg of muscle, you will burn through an extra 1800 calories each day. I’m a firm believer that the best way for women to train, is to focus on compound exercises that use lots of muscle (such as squats, deadlifts and presses), while using the heaviest weights possible in a 4-6 repetition range with 85-90% of one’s maximum strength. Strength training boosts metabolic rate and targets myofibril hypertrophy, which develops lean, dense, toned muscles – like the professional dancers on Strictly Come Dancing.





Rebecca Charlton The journalist and avid cyclist knows a thing or two about cycling at a high level, and despite swapping the saddle for the mic she’s still training, and mentoring others You love cycling… tell us how that started? Cycling has been a massive passion of mine and it all started relatively young. My parents were both into cycling; track, road and more, and so they were very active, and they introduced me into racing on a track bike at eight years old at the velodrome. I would travel the country racing people my age, so that was my first experience. I was bitten by the bug from there. I loved the thrill of racing. It was a way of meeting friends and having a laugh. I raced right through until I was at university, when I took a break from it, and then started again when I finished uni.

You competed in several disciplines when you were younger. What were the highlights of your early cycling career? I was the only girl racing at the time and so I always went up against the boys; you just didn’t have the role models we have in women’s cycling now. There weren’t many girls racing, so I always went into the boys’ races. When I was 12, I was the first girl to race in a particular boys’ championship. The pathway for young girls is so different now; girls see it as a sport in its own right rather than something they can just do alongside the boys. Victoria Pendleton was a massive inspiration to

me, and now girls – and women of all ages really, particularly adults who might not have had the confidence to cycle before – have so many female heroes and champions they can look up to. As a presenter and journalist, you’re closer to the cycling action than most. Do you enjoy that access, or is there a tinge of regret that you never competed at the highest level? Good question! I love being close to the sport but I must admit, during the first few races I covered, which were for Channel 4, watching Lizzie Armistead in action, I remember thinking ‘I wish that was me’. But I love my role as a broadcaster. I’ve seen what it takes to be at the top level and I’ve made peace with the direction my life has taken. Now I get to combine my passion with what I do best. After university, I thought I had an outside shot at the 2012 Olympics, but I didn’t make the cut and my data when training wasn’t up to the required level, and that enabled me to really concentrate on broadcasting. The level of cycling is so high now that you can’t dip in and out of it, you have to commit yourself fully… the standards are so high. But you still do a lot of cycling, right? I do. When I’m working out I do a lot of training on the Watt bike, maybe an hour’s interval or high intensity training. I’m a huge fan of HIIT training because it helps me utilise what time I do have, and I’ve seen the gains from

it. I first used the WATT bike a couple of years ago when my dad was in a coma after he had been hit when out cycling. He had a broken neck, back and leg and brain damage. The whole family was at the hospital for long periods and at that time I was supposed to be doing the LondonParis bike ride. Thankfully my dad recovered, and when he did he said he wanted me to do the event. The only problem was that I hadn’t done any training! So I went into the gym and did as many HIIT sessions as I could, and it totally prepared me. Now, if I do have any free time, I’ll hit the road for a couple of hours and get the miles in. Good weather helps. I go from from south London and into either Kent or Surrey. You’re into your fitness too… I’ve started doing ParkRun, which I love. My body is used to cycling for hours, but not running so much, and I love the friendly nature of ParkRun. Running helps me keep my weight down. Sometimes when I’m working I tend to eat a lot of rubbish, so running can really help keep yourself at an even level. And you’re on your feet for long periods when working and covering events, so you probably need to be fit to be able to do your job well? Sometimes you work long days and tiring days, so being fit really helps. But also, because I’m interviewing athletes, I like to be able to identify with their training and know what it’s like to suffer and push yourself to the limit. That’s still fresh in my mind, even if not to a pro level, but that really helps resonate with the riders. You’ve just finished covering the ONO Energy Women’s Tour, what’s next? I’m covering a load of domestic women’s races here in Britain. I’m then hosting a programme for BBC Radio 4 which was recorded during the Giro D’Italia, and which takes listeners behind the scenes with the chefs and training teams who will be involved at the Tour de France. We wanted to find out how much fuel is needed to fuel racers.

Which, as we found out doing our piece on the Tour de France in this issue, is a lot! It’s unbelievable. On a mountain stage, a rider can consume up to 8,000 calories, which is phenomenal. And are you training for anything? I’m training for Ride London, which is 100 miles. I’m also mentoring a group of novice riders to take part. They’ve gone from no cycling to now doing about 70 miles. I’ll be riding with them on the day, and they’re trying to raise a load of money for charity. Rebecca Charlton is an ambassador for OVO Energy, the UK’s largest independent energy technology company and proud sponsor of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour:



FAMILY FOODS A s shows like Junior MasterChef have shown us, age is no barrier to getting in the kitchen. With a little incentive, even young novices can cook up a storm. Hotpoint and Currys PC World launched a recipe challenge in April and added in a little twist. One healthy meal, please – breakfast, lunch or dinner – devised by someone no older than 13. With a little help from mum and dad, Britain’s budding cooks came up with some cracking ideas for you to try at home. From frittatas to cod burritos and paneer paired with couscous, judges from the Jamie Oliver’s Cookery School helped to pick the top five winners of this competition…

Cooking is a great life skill. You’re never too young (or too old) to start, and as these budding chefs show, you can spend some quality time as a family while getting creative in the kitchen…

Jasmine, 13

Jasmine’s “Superfood Stack” is going to take a little bit of time to prepare, but the results – a bed of quinoa with vegetables and cod piled on top – are worth it. Make sure you pre-heat the oven before you get started and pay special attention to the cod, spraying it with olive oil and baking for 16 minutes. Edamame beans add extra crunch and a health boost as well; they’re a good source of vitamins and minerals, while grilled courgettes add that little zing to the finished dish.

Lola, 10

Lola came up with a fun sharing dish for the whole family and won bonus points for picking a sustainable fish. Her burritos contains rice and cod and is complemented by a salsa with plenty of chilli for a spicy kick. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got a dish with loads of colour, loads of vegetables and most of the food groups to boot.

Daniel, 8

Who said pizza canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be healthy? Make your own dough, choose healthy veggies and add lean chicken for a wholesome homemade treat that can be served with corn on the cob. A homemade base is fiddly, but so much better than the store-bought alternative. So, take your time with the dough and be generous with the tomato base â&#x20AC;&#x201C; no one likes a bald pizza! Add plenty of mozzarella, chicken and veggies on top.

Aryaa, 5

Paneer is an Indian cheese that’s packed with protein and is even said to aid weight-loss. You can buy it in supermarkets or health stores, and you’ll find it featured in trendy cookbooks. Aryaa and her mum Prerna have paired

the paneer with couscous, plenty of veggies and a lime wedge for good measure. This one’s a delicious wholesome meal that can be completed in just over 30 minutes.

Neave, 4

Neave and her mum devised a spinach, pepper and tomato frittata decorated with tomatoes and cheese. You’ve only got a small list of ingredients to worry about and the prep work takes no time at all, making the frittata a quick and easy meal idea that’s not only versatile, but long-lasting too. Once baked, it can last for several days in the fridge.


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Leigh Purves beats the post-holiday bloat.


ROM cocktails on the beach, to cooking a never-ending supply of carbs during a camper van holiday – when school is officially out for summer and it’s time to let your hair down, it can be a slippery slope to feeling unfit – and fast… So as a working Mum-of-two who loves my gym routine at home, when I recently headed to take on the North Coast 500 in Scotland and go gym-free for ten days with the family, I turned to Tom Wilkinson, Personal Trainer at David Lloyd, Harrogate for some advice on the best ways to make sure I wouldn’t be dreading my return to the rowing machine once home. “It’s crucial whilst on holiday or away from the gym for any period of time, that some sort of exercise is maintained,” Tom explains. “Your body gets used to the workouts and routine on a daily basis. So even if it’s just walking with the family or to the local shops

and back, it is important to keep moving. “I’d advise while being away from the gym, to also be aware of your nutrition; stay mindful of everything in moderation! Try doing the following exercises (right) for 30 seconds, with a 20-second rest in between. Using them as a HIIT-style circuit for three rounds will really pay off. All these exercises can be progressed and regressed, meaning everyone can do them at their own ability. They are very simple. If you can do them on alternate days combined with any form of cardio, you could well go home fitter than before. You may even want to use your break away from the usual gym routine to reflect upon what results you actually want. Many members find themselves stuck in a rut of doing the same classes when actually, they’d benefit from a tweak to their standard fitness sessions.”


A full-body compound exercise, these are brilliant for working out the front of the legs and are great for the bottom. Simply stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips. Look directly ahead and keep focussed on that spot as you squat up and down. S Q U ATS

Reverse lunges

One of the best ways to pert-up the posterior and keep it really toned. Simply stand straight with your hands at your hips. Make a big step backwards with your left foot. Lower your hips so that your front leg becomes parallel to the floor, with your knee positioned directly over your ankle. R E VE RS E LU NGE S



The plank is one of the best exercises for core conditioning, but also works your glutes and hamstrings, supports proper posture, and improves balance. Position the forearms on the ground with the elbows aligned below the shoulders, and arms parallel to the body at about shoulder-width distance. This can be varied to do with straight arms or in a forearm position.

Transitioning plank (low to high)

A great exercise for your upper body and your core. Start on all fours and move to a low plank position. Place one hand on floor, push up to a high plank position before returning to a low plank. Then replace both arms on the floor. Engage the core throughout.



Crunches for abs


These are fantastic for strengthening the abdominal muscles. Lift your head and shoulders off the floor, hold for two to three breaths, then return to starting position. It is important to engage your abdominal muscles and not to strain your neck.

Mountain climbers

This exercise is a sure fire way to fuel nearly every muscle group in your body. Start off in a push-up position, with your weight supported by your hands and toes. Flex the knee and hip, bring one leg until the knee is approximately under the hip, then swap sides.

Tom also reveals his top tips for enjoying happier holiday nutrition. “Try new foods from the destination wherever you are, you can’t beat trying the country’s local delicacies. Fresh fruit is brilliant as a snack and don’t skip breakfast! Swap the fry-up for smashed avacado on wholemeal toast or opt for a continental-style start to the day. And whatever you do, stay hydrated for optimum health.” So with Tom’s words in my mind, I found myself getting one or two stares working out on various beaches


along the way. I alternated the basic core exercises with a gentle jog on other days, swapped frequent Mr. Whippy’s for sorbet, drank Comvita’s Apple Cider Drinking Vinegar to aid digestion and used Scottish Honey in salad dressings instead of my regular dollops of Mayo. And Tom was right. I came home feeling refreshed and fitter than before and soon switched my Body Pump classes for Hot Yoga and the swimming for Synrgy360. Change is good!

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e all want to look good naked and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But when our sole focus is purely on aesthetics we can end up on a slippery slope, which can affect us negatively. From a physical perspective the area that can often suffer is ‘performance’. By performance, I mean your ability to go about your daily life easily coping with the tasks required of your body. There is a huge culture growing within the fitness industry where every other person is prepping for a body-building/physique event. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But when aesthetics are the main goal then your body’s ability to perform (what should be) simple tasks, can often be reduced. There is very little crossover between looking great naked and being able to perform certain tasks. However, having the ability to perform certain tasks can often have an effect on how good you look naked. Think back to old school strongmen from the 19th century. If you don’t know a lot about them then just take my word for it – these guys were STRONG! Stronger at certain lifts than anyone alive today (Arthur Saxon still holds the world record for a lift called the Two Hands Anyhow, requiring the lifter to press one weight overhead

then bend down and pick another weight off the floor and holding both weights locked out overhead – he lifted a whopping 404 pounds!). Not only were they famous for pressing huge amounts of weight overhead but they were able to perform ‘circus tricks’ such as forward and backwards somersaults with 20kg weights in each hand. As if having extreme strength and power wasn’t enough they had extreme mobility, coordination and grace to go with it. They lived and trained before the grandfathers of the inventors

of Facebook, Instagram and Tinder were even born! They had nobody to impress with the way they looked so their sole priority was performance. How could they become stronger than before? Guess what happened when they took their clothes off? They looked pretty good naked as a result. Let me reiterate that wanting to look good naked is absolutely fine, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you will be that good at anything. I’ve humiliated enough big guys in my time to be fairly confident of this. However, training to get better at particular lifts/movements will firstly allow you to perform better at all manner of physical tasks... but if you get good enough at anything then your body will adapt for the better as a result. Have ever seen an overweight person do 20 pull ups? No, is the answer. But if an overweight person is coached in a way that teaches them to do 20 pull ups, guess what... they won’t be overweight anymore. Having a ripped beach body and being able to attract the attention of the opposite sex is one thing, but if that body cannot then perform it could be a huge disappointment.

ON YER BIKE! The Tour de France, the world’s most famous bike race, is back. For the next two weeks we’ll be marvelling at the herculean efforts…


There are 21 stages in total, which comes to a combined distance of 3,329km. The shortest stage is stage 17, Bagnères-de-Luchon to Saint-Lary-Soulan, which is 65km. The longest, at 231km, is stage 7, Fougères to Chartres.

Riders need to consume, on average, between 5,000 and 8,000 calories depending on the stage difficulty. This is close to the body’s maximum capacity for digestion. To achieve this, they’ll eat carb-rich foods for breakfast and load up with pre and post-race snacks, and eat two huge meals after racing. They basically eat from the moment they wake, to the moment they call it a day. During a big climb, riders can expect to consume six electrolyte drinks, three energy bars, two isotonic gels and a caffeine gel.


21 2,215


This is the altitude at Col de Portet, the highest point of the Tour.

The fastest time trial in Tour history is Rohan Dennis’ opener in Utrecht in 2015, during which he achieved an average speed of 34.5mph. The fastest stage came in 2013, when the Orica GreenEDGE team averaged 35.85mph in the team time trial.



Riders can spend up to six hours a day on the bike and just two days’ rest across the whole event.

The median time it takes riders who finish the Tour to complete it.


The number of pedal strokes taken per rider at 60rpm, 486,000 at 90rpm.



Chris Froome us looking to become only the fourth rider – behind Miguel Indurain, Jacques Anquetil and Eddy Merckx – to win four consecutive editions of the tour, and the fifth rider to win the race on five occasions overall.

0 7 0 0

This is the weekly distance ridden by a Tour cyclist in preparation for the event.




Riders can drink up to 10 litres a day to maintain a balance of fluids. And it’s not just water, but sodium and potassium too.



Five-time winner Miguel Indurain famously had a resting heart rate of just 28 beats per minute.

There are 176 riders across 22 teams. The winner will pocket 500,000 Euros. The riders will be followed by 10 doctors, seven nurses, seven ambulances, one motorbike, two medical cars and a radiology truck.


4,000-6,000 The average stage sees riders lose between 4,000 and 6,000 calories per day. This is enough calories to fuel an average person for two to four days. On gruelling days, think mountain stages, they can lose up to 7,000 a day.


On average, riders will burn around 105,000 calories during the whole Tour.

The winning rider will average a speed of about 26mph. This rises to 30mph or more on time trials. If you’re an average cycling enthusiast, you’ll likely reach speeds of 17mph.

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RECIPES HERBY FALAFELS IN SHAKSHUKA Chickpea and coriander falafels nestled into a rich harissa spiced tomato sauce with a scattering of flaked almonds. The falafels are drizzled with a turmeric sauce, containing powerful antiinflammatory properties. 1 1/2 tbsp oil 1/2 tsp turmeric 1 brown onion 1 red pepper 1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp sumac 20g creamed coconut 20g flaked almonds 240g chickpeas (drained) 2 tsp harissa paste 400g chopped tomatoes 4 tbsp chickpea flour Large handful of fresh coriander 1. Preheat the oven to 220C / gas mark 7 and boil a kettle. 2. Dice the onion and red pepper. Roughly chop the coriander. 3. Heat a large pan with 1 tbsp oil on a medium heat and add the brown onion and red pepper, cook for 7 mins until softened. 4. Meanwhile, drain the chickpeas. Reserve 1-2 tbsp of the liquid. In a large bowl, mash the chickpeas until they are all crushed, you can use a potato masher or a fork to do this. Mix in the chickpea flour, reserved chickpea liquid, sumac, half of the ground cumin and half of the fresh coriander. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Form the mix into 12 small balls to form falafels. Place the falafels on a baking tray and drizzle with 1/2 tbsp oil. Place in the oven for 15 mins until turning golden. 5. Add the chopped tomatoes, harissa paste and remaining ground cumin. Season with sea salt and black pepper and cook for 15 mins until thickened. 6. Meanwhile, make the turmeric drizzle; dissolve the creamed coconut in 30ml boiling water and stir in the turmeric with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. 7. Spoon the tomato shakshuka into two warm bowls (or serve in the pan) and nestle the falafels into the sauce. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds, remaining coriander and spoon over the turmeric drizzle.


PERSIAN SQUASH, POMEGRANATE & PISTACHIOS A beautiful dish of roasted squash and baked za’atar spiced chickpeas, studded with pomegranate seeds, chopped pistachios and torn mint. Drizzled with a maple and protein-rich tahini drizzle, high in calcium for strong bones. 120g tenderstem broccoli 1/2 lemon 1 pomegranate 1 tbsp oil 1 tbsp tahini 1 tbsp za’atar 1 tsp maple syrup 20g pistachios 240g chickpeas (drained) 400g butternut squash Medium handful of fresh mint 1. Preheat the oven to 200C / gas mark 6. 2. Slice the squash into quarters, removing the seeds. Leaving the skin on, slice the squash into 1cm thick slices. Place the squash onto a baking tray, toss with 1 tsp oil and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Place in the oven for 25 mins, turning halfway through, until turning golden and softened. 3. Trim the tenderstem broccoli and slice in half lengthways. Slice the pomegranate in half and remove the seeds. 4. Drain the chickpeas. Place in a bowl with the za’atar, a pinch of sea salt and 1 tsp oil. Spread the chickpeas out on one side of a baking tray. Add the tenderstem broccoli to the other side of the tray and drizzle of 1 tsp oil. Place in the oven for 15 mins. 5. To make a maple tahini dressing; in a small bowl, mix the tahini with the maple syrup, a squeeze of lemon juice (to taste) and 2-3 tsp cold water to form a smooth sauce. 6. Remove the mint leaves from the stalks and roughly tear the leaves. Roughly chop the pistachios. 7. Arrange the roasted squash, spiced chickpeas and broccoli on two warm plates and scatter over the pomegranate seeds, chopped pistachios and torn mint. Drizzle over the maple tahini dressing.




here’s never been as much interest in mindfulness as there is right now. Despite this, the majority of people who profess that interest, don’t actually do anything about it and the no.1 reason they give is: ‘I don’t have time’. This is what I call the time problem, and to solve it, you may have to reframe what you think mindfulness and meditation really is. My favourite definition of meditation is ‘doing some kind of awarenessbased technique in order to improve your life’. As definitions go, I think it’s a pretty good one. Do a Google image search for meditation, however, and what you’ll find is much different. You’ll be presented with pictures of people sitting down, probably in a fairly uncomfortable position and most likely in some kind of idyllic location such a mountaintop, forest or beach. And setting aside, what these people are representing is meditation, but it is a particular style called formal meditation. Over the last 50 years in which meditation has grown in prominence in the west, for various historical reasons, it is formal meditation – the eyes closed, seated posture style of practice – which has become our cultural idea of what meditation is. And for all its benefits, the main issue with formal meditation is that it does require putting aside dedicated time, hence the ‘I don’t have time’ refrain. And in a culture where a spare 20 or 30 minutes, let alone a spare and quiet 20 or 30 minutes, can seem like the ultimate scarcity, it’s no wonder that people perceive that they suffer from the time problem. The solution?

On-the-go meditation. On-the-go meditation, the style of meditation where you practice as part of all your everyday activities, has always been part of the mindfulness tradition but perhaps because it is the less obvious style, it is less widely taught than formal meditation. But remember that the definition of meditation has nothing to do with how your body is, or if your eyes or closed or not. On-the-go meditation is in my opinion the most accessible way in, and therefore the main style that I encourage people to try. With this style, the problem then becomes knowing what technique to do and remembering to do it… and that is much easier to solve than trying to find ten minutes on a manic Tuesday between work, the school run and everything else. The best way to start with on-the-go practice is to work out what times of the day suit you best for adding a layer of mindfulness. I’d recommend activities such as when you’re walking around town, travelling to and from work, or eating. Then to meditate during this time, all you then need to do is to use

a basic technique and fit it into what you’re already doing. Good techniques to use include body awareness (simply being aware of what physical sensations are happening while they happen), concentration (placing your mind on one sensation and bringing it back every time it wanders off) and watching thoughts (becoming interested in the movements of your mind and observing your thinking rather than getting caught up in it). Do this for one minute, five minutes, ten seconds even and hey presto, you’re meditating! Another good reason I prefer this on-the-go style is that it means we can start reducing our stress in the spaces and places where we feel most stressed. If you find work hard, try these techniques at work. If you struggle with certain relationships, see how you can soften that struggle by bringing more calm and steadiness to the time you are with those people you find challenging. Then we can start to use the problem to solve the problem and that is much more direct than trying to solve it by shutting ourselves away in formal practice. Formal meditation is still an important part of the picture but my recommendation, especially for people new to this stuff, to start with on-the-go practice and then in time to use formal meditation to help deepen your skills and anchor what you learn. Because a good meditator is a flexible meditator and there is no better way to get flexible than try to do it wherever you are and whatever you’re doing. You might not be able to nail it every time, but you might surprise yourself by how quickly you see results. And hopefully you’ve have some fun along the way. Because as one of my teachers told me: if it’s not fun, then why bother?!

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f you’ve never used an Active Band before, they’re an easy-to-use, versatile and portable exercise tool. They’re ideal for taking to the gym for workouts (many gyms have them now too) and pre-exercise warm ups, and also perfect for travelling with to ensure you can get a quick and functional resistance work out where ever you are. They offer contrasting levels of resistance to deliver a wide variety of exercise variations and progressions that can target all muscle groups. Pretty useful, then, right? We’ve enlisted the help of PT Julie Hayton to create a workout that delivers a full-body workout with minimal kit. With over 15 years in elite sport, Julie is very experienced and well-respected in the design and implementation of functional based workouts for rehabilitation strategies and innovative training solutions. Over to you, Julie!

INITIAL EXERCISE SET-UP AND TEACH STATIC The set-up when using the Active Bands is the most important phase. The aim of the workout is to maintain a good active contraction of these muscle groups throughout the exercises. You can work lower limb and upper limb in isolation but to maintain a good posture and functional contraction for this workout, work upper and lower limb together. LOWER LIMB SET-UP Place the band around the ankles using a band that gives you resistance when your feet are hip width apart. In this stance actively contract quads, glute and hamstrings to create tension – if this is the first time you have used bands, place your own hands on your glutes to feel the contraction. UPPER LIMB SET-UP Place the Active Band around you hands thumbs turned out and keep the arms straight. Take your hands away from your torso and pull your shoulder blades together. This set-up can involve the band being placed in front of you or behind you.

BASIC SIDE STEP – WITH SIDE ARM Basic upper and lower limb set up - Step sideways and move arms out away from the torso at the same time. Step back to the upper and lower limb start position. IMPORTANT: your return step should be controlled and slow. 8 reps each leg

BASIC FORWARD STEP – WITH FORWARD ARM RAISE Basic upper and lower limb set-up – step forward and move arms forward from the torso at the same time. Step back to the upper and lower limb start position. IMPORTANT: your return step should be controlled and slow. 8 reps each leg

BASIC BACKWARD – WITH REVERSE ARM RAISE Basic upper and lower limb set-up – step behind and move arms back and away from the torso at the same time. Step forward to the upper and lower limb start position. IMPORTANT: your return step should be controlled and slow. 8 reps each leg


BENT LEG WALKS Place band around your knees. Basic upper limb set up. Lower limb set-up – sit in to a squat position ensuring the knees are in line with the toes and not rotated towards your midline – keeping arms extended away from the torso squat walk forward for 6 steps and back for 6 steps. IMPORTANT: the aim of the exercise is to keep

CRAB WALK SIDE With forward raised arms band around knees. Basic upper limb set up. Lower limb set-up – sit in a squat position ensuring the knees are in line with the toes and not rotated towards your midline – Arms are raised at 90 degrees from the torso squat walk sideways for 6 steps and back for 6 steps, on every step open the arms away from the centre. IMPORTANT: control the trail leg against the band and do not to allow the knees to rotate inwards.

MOVING PLANK Place one band around the wrists and one band around the feet. Adopt a long arm plank position and ensure as in standing should blades are pulled back and quads, glutes and hamstrings are engaged. LEVEL ONE: move one arm side ways and return to start position – alternate arms – 8 reps each side LEVEL TWO: move one leg sideways and return to the start position – alternate legs – 8 reps each side LEVEL THREE: move arm and leg simultaneously and move side ways – 6 reps to the left and 6 reps to the right.

DYNAMIC PREP Basic lower limb set-up in squat stance. Perform a static sprint step for 20 seconds, rest for 20. Repeat x 2.



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e get loads of people asking us for simple ways in which they can enhance the workouts they’re doing. The key thing to point out here is that what might work for one person might not work for another. We’re all different, our bodies are different and the way we react to certain things is also different. You get the picture. That said; here are four things you can look at to try and make the most of the work you’re doing. MOBILITY So many people are concerned with what reps and weights they’re doing that they overlook the actual range of movement. How many times have you done too many reps or lifted too much with incorrect form, and then struggled to move in the days afterwards? Perfecting your range

of movement is critical to prevent injury and to ensure that you’re able to move and go about your daily life without soreness. And if you only work certain areas of your body, so chest or arms, for example, you’ll find that you’ll get into bad habits, body imbalances and more. HAVE A PLAN This sounds pretty obvious, but you would be amazed how many people go to the gym without a plan. Now we’re not suggesting that you print out workouts and gym sessions and carry them around with you, but it does help to have a notebook or to record notes on your phone. If you don’t, you’ll spend half your workout not pushing yourself. You won’t remember what you achieved in your last session and instead you’ll be relying on guesswork, which will prevent you from progressing.

Planning is essential when it comes to lifting more than you did before; you need to be able to track your progress. PT SESSIONS To PT or not PT, that is the question? Now we know not everyone wants to have a personal trainer, or can even afford it on top of their gym membership. However, from time to time, they can really help. We’re not suggesting for a minute that you sign up to a PT for 10 sessions or for a certain amount of time, but by checking in now and again you’ll be able to refresh your approach, maybe try something different and get some reassurance that you’re doing the right things. Ultimately, personal trainers can give you greater variety, which will increase your motivation. They’ll help you adjust anything if needed and you don’t have to go to your gym to find one. There are more and more outlets using PTs now, from them coming to your home, to doing sessions outside, there are so many options at your disposal. The key is finding a PT that takes your situation in isolation and doesn’t give you a one-case-fits-all plan. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY Your body really is your temple. Listen to it, look after it and above all, don’t ignore it! Sometimes people tend to try and stick to their regime to the detriment of their body. If you usually go to the gym five times a week, don’t worry if you have to miss a session. If you’re aching, rest. Missing the odd session here and there isn’t going to ruin your progression. We all need rest and let’s face it, even the most passionate of gym goers will get ill, injured or might just not fancy it from time to time. You’re only human, so don’t beat yourself up about it. If you’re run down, there’s a reason; let your body relax. If you exercise when your body hurts you’ll only aggravate it further. Getting injured will absolutely halt your progress. Finally, don’t look at everything day by day. Try being consistently good rather than awesome from time to time.


Mindfulness is a hot topic in the fitness community these days, and why not? Our mental health is just as important as physical. You’ll be thrilled to learn then that Adidas have partnered with Wanderlust to bring the Wanderlust 108 festival to London this summer. This full-day celebration in support of the mindful movement will feature a triathlon unlike any other. Three intentional activities will be held in the beautiful surroundings of Battersea Park, starting with a 5K run.


9 September One marathon might not be the same as the next, but have you ever thrown booze into the mix? Whether you fancy yourself a bit of a wine nerd or just enjoy a cheeky glass on occasion, you’ll most likely warm to the idea of sampling some local produce as you clock up some miles through a Dorking vineyard. The Bacchus Marathon and Half Marathon promises the incredible surroundings of Denbies Vineyard and the chance to sample six delicious English wines as you make your way around the course – 12 if you tackle the marathon. There will be several bands playing around the course to keep spirits lifted and legs working, as you keep an eye out for that next drinks station. Food and soft drinks will also be on offer along the way for both runners and supporters. You can look forward to a tasty selection of grub at the post-race hog roast where the party carries on long into the evening. The field is sadly limited to 2700 entries and sells out quick so don’t drag your heels on this one. It’s also important to note that most of the runners who get involved will turn out in fancy dress, so don’t take this one too seriously. Fun in the late summer sun is the aim of this game.

Except you can choose to complete the distance however you choose – walk, hop, skip and dance, they don’t care. You can then join the outdoor yoga flow class, which will be powered by a resident DJ. Don’t be surprised if a dance party ensues. The last leg of this mindful triathlon is a 30 minute soulreviving guided meditation led by world-renowned spiritual leaders. If that wasn’t enough to get your chakras flowing, after the triathlon you can also take one of the scheduled activities on offer. Choose from Acroyoga, AIReal Yoga™, hooping or walking meditation. So if your head is in the shed, make sure to put this one in your diary.

ALSO THIS MONTH... EVENTS LISTINGS The Crystal Maze Live Experience Manchester

The hit 90s TV show has been brought to life, and you can run around, complete all sorts of tricky challenges and finish up in a lovely satin bomber jacket. Be sure to take your wearable; the average player takes 10,000 steps each time they complete the mental and physical challenges. Taste of the South Zen Den Christchurch, 21-22 July

What better way to experience true southern culture than with the Taste of the South festival? For those of us looking for some peace and relaxation, this festival will be launching the all new ‘Zen Den’ for 2018. No Planet B Festival London, 14 August

A four-hour evening jam-packed with talks and music from some of the industry’s most influential health and environmental voices. Held at the Rooftop Studios in London and featuring the likes of Zanna van Dijk, it’s set to be a great evening. RedBull Timelaps Windsor, 27-28 October

Known as the world’s longest one-day road cycling event, the Timelaps challenge will see teams of four cyclists race through the night as the clocks go back. Riders will tackle a gruelling 25-hour race. The twist? At 0200 a ‘Power Hour’ will be activated to switch riders to a shorter course with the opportunity to count their laps as double. A good one for the books. Soul Circus Gloucester, 17-19 August

A wellness festival that puts music at its core, Soul Circus offers a mix of genres and artists for the yogis and wellness enthusiasts in attendance. Start your day with an outdoor sunrise yoga class, mix in a little restorative and uplifting Rocket yoga and soak in the atmosphere during the DJ after-party. Cirque du Soleil Leeds/Manchester 19-23 September/26-30 September

A UK arena tour celebrating nature and coexistence with a fun-filled production for the whole family. With 50 performing artists from 17 countries, and having already thrilled 5 million people worldwide, this show is not to be missed.

Big Fun Run Birmingham, 8 September

An untimed 5km run around Cannon Hill Park, for both you and the younger ones to get involved in. Run for fitness or charity or just to get them out the house. Finishers medal and goody bag included in what promises to be a fun-filled event. St Anne’s International Kite Festival St Annes, 1 & 2 September

A weekend-long event bringing kite clubs and flyers from across the UK together to see off the summer holidays in spectacular style. They’ll be joined by the Al-Farsi Kite Team from Kuwait to paint the skies above St Anne’s seafront will colour fabulous display kites take to the air.

FOOD Manchester Food and Drink Festival Albert Square, 27 September & 8 October

Expect well-known faces, chef demos and special banquets. Albert Square is where you’ll find the bulk of the action, from a massive beer tent, to street food stalls, the chef theatre, brewer talks, and more. Holmfirth Food and Drink Festival Holmfirth, West Yorkshire,24 & 25 September

Returning for its 11th year, this food and drink festival in the heart of the Yorkshire Pennines promises a jam-packed weekend with delicious food markets, live music and entertainment. The food market is open each day with stalls throughout the town, offering a range of mouthwatering delights for all tastes.

OTHER EVENTS World Black Pudding Throwing Championships Ramsbottom, 9 September

This annual competition dates back to the 1980s and sees Black Puddings hurtled at a pile of Yorkshire Puddings on a 20ft-high plinth outside a pub in Ramsbottom. Competitors have three turns in an attempt to knock down as many Yorkshire Puddings as possible. Pub in the Park Knutsford, 7 September

A three-day feast in which Tom Kerridge and his merry band of foodie friends will bring a stellar line-up of world-class chefs, Michelin-starred and top UK pubs and restaurants.





ast week I spent a few days working alongside Liverpool Lifestyles and their amazing team, which is led by Colin Campbell. I spent my time there sharing advice on all things health and fitness, and so thought this would be a good opportunity to also share this advice with you and the BESTFIT community. I was asked by The LGPPO (Liverpool General Practice Provider Organisation) to share my expertise and advice to GPs on ways in which they can encourage their patients to start being more physically active and focus on preventing some of their conditions, rather than medicating them.

LGPPO was established three years ago to give GP practices a stronger and more united presence across the city. Run by local GPs and business managers, it aims to ensure the GP practice remains at the forefront of primary patient care by supporting GPs and practice employees, and by working with health care trusts, hospitals, Liverpool CCG and NHS England. The two-day event consisted of motivational speeches on health, mental health, well-being, fitness demonstrations and one-to-one advice. The speech that stuck with me most (without sounding biased) was given by our lifestyles team member and PHD student Miss Juliette Norman. This piece of

advice is crucial for inactive people wanting to start training or seeking a healthier lifestyle. “A common misconception is that in order to achieve health benefits we must be exercising every day, running 10ks, pumping the weights etc. However, the most significant health improvements come from those sedentary individuals increasing their activity to around 150 minutes a week or 30 minutes a day for five days a week. This activity should be moderate exercise. For example: walking, that would just get us a little out of breath and increase our body temperature. Small changes offer huge improvements in health and well-being.” This simple concept became the basis of my one-to-one advice for most of the day and I will probably use this as a starting point for most of my clients. Basically, if you do more than you are doing now, then you will see results! How simple is that?! Over the two days I focused most of my advice on child obesity and getting younger people into the gym before they adopt poor health issues. It was amazing how shocked some of the GPs were with such simple advice. I also want to encourage all of you parents out there to take this on board and apply it! Whenever you next go swimming or do a class, take your children along with you. As long as they are of a certain age, they can use the bikes, cross trainers and treadmills. They can watch YouTube, listen to music or whatever. So there aren’t any excuses, as there are plenty of ways to keep kids entertained while you strut your stuff in Zumba. I could go on all day about these subjects but I only have a page to do it! So if you have any further questions please get in touch with the BESTFIT team or myself on social media and we can give you advice on all things health and fitness. Let’s make the rest of your life the best of your life.



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BESTFIT Magazine Issue 39  

We're back, and with plenty of things to keep you occupied this summer. We've got loads of workouts, one with a resistance band, another fro...

BESTFIT Magazine Issue 39  

We're back, and with plenty of things to keep you occupied this summer. We've got loads of workouts, one with a resistance band, another fro...