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Something for everyone this month. First up, Rihanna, who we spoke to about new music, being a role model, and world domination. And if that’s not enough to get you to turn to her interview, you can also find out which ten tracks inspire her, and gain an insight into how she works out. Talking of inspiration, we’ve got columnist Ben Coomber going through the hard yards in part two of his transformation. Self-improvement isn’t meant to be easy, and you can follow Ben as he digs deep before his photo shoot for the cover of our next issue. Then, there’s Markus Torgebu… You might not have heard of him, but you might think twice about how much time we spend online once you’ve read how he gave it all up to go and live in a forest for four years. A drastic step, perhaps, but food for thought. Elsewhere we’ve got the Fortnite workout for your kids, tips on how to eat healthy on the high street and simple steps you can take to make yourself and the world we live in more sustainable. Oh, and don’t miss the 10 relaxation tips from around the world! Enjoy.


The global star on being a role model, looking after herself and the music that inspires her


W @bestfitmagazine







CONTRIBUTORS Karen Annie, Andy Thompson (design), Ben Coomber, Jess Davies, Richard Edwards, Emma Storey-Gordon, Rohan Gunatillake, RF123, Mark Laws, The Lean Machines, Leigh Purves, 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.


Need help getting the kids active? David Lloyd is utilising moves from their favourite game



he ‘Centennials’ are starting to blow apart health claims previously believed to be true, starting with our beloved dark chocolate. A student from the University of Huddersfield, studying Sports and Exercise nutrition, used his final year dissertation to examine whether the nutrients of the cocoa bean improved soreness from muscle damage in females. Participants were asked to drink a cocoa flavanol beverage or a placebo and report on their muscle soreness two days later. The study proved no benefits from the cocoa beverage, meaning we probably shouldn’t eat a whole bar of 85% chocolate after a heavy leg day to avoid struggling with the stairs two days later.




e cannot deny that we love a good selfie. Who doesn’t? These days everyone – from your parents to your little sister – is taking selfies. And if you thought those filters might be too good to be true, so is the idea that selfies are harmless. They are in fact damaging our skin. Research from the University of New Mexico and Lipo Chemicals shows that the ‘High Energy Visible’ blue light from your phone can get deep into your skin and cause oxidative stress, leading to early skin ageing. This stuff has also been linked to uneven skin pigmentation, wrinkles and age spots. While there is no substance to protect against HEV light just yet, we might want to think about slowing down on the selfie-taking. Those filters won’t hide the future skin damage.


ids seem to have much more energy when the sun is out, so more clued-up parents across the UK are opting for activity holidays during the summer holidays. According to research from American Express, 23% of Brits chose to take an activity holiday this year. One in ten of us are even warming up for an active trip in 2019. So what’s the deal? When asked why they chose active getaways, 47% of mums and dads said they wanted to encourage their kids to be fit and healthy, while 45% just wanted to keep them occupied. The most popular trips included sports camps at £413 per family, and walking holidays at £391 (travel, accommodation, activities, food and drinks included). Time to rethink that ‘relaxing’ beach holiday next year?



emember the episode of Friends when Monica gives Chandler a terrible massage? Turns out that many of us Brits can personally relate, because we hate the massage that our partners have to offer. In a recent survey, TruBe–an app that allows you to find your nearest fitness instructor – revealed that more than 2 million (5%) of us have been so disappointed by our partner’s massage skills, we have ended the relationship as a result. While most of us aren’t that harsh, 23% admit to telling their partners they like the massage when in actual fact they don’t (and would probably rather get one from Monica). Those of us in the north-east have topped the Local Liars League table with a whopping 37% faking a good time. Who knew so many of us were terrible amateur masseuses?



t’s shaped like a brain and has been proven time again to keep our brain health in check. Now we have even more reason to keep well stocked on walnuts. A new study from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) representing over 34,000 American adults suggests that those who consume walnuts may have about half the risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who do not. Individuals that ate three tablespoons of walnuts each day were 47% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. As an added bonus, diabetes typically comes with elevated blood pressure, cholesterol, or triglycerides, which can increase the risk for heart disease and stroke. Walnuts have previously been linked with improved heart health, making them an absolute must in your regular shopping haul.



t might not surprise you to know that the British workforce spend more time working than anyone else in Europe, racking up a solid 42 hours and 18 minutes each week. Spending this much time with your colleagues is bound to cause a few issues, and new research from Vapourcore uncovers what co-worker habits annoy us the most. Over 1,000 Brits were surveyed, and 43% of them agreed that ’offensive body odour’ was the most irritating habit of all. In second place sits ‘ignoring emails’ with 31% of the vote, followed by a habit that will also get you into trouble at home – ‘not washing up’ with 30% of the vote. If you’re guilty of any of these habits, take a wash and a long hard look at your yourself.





o one really wants to talk about healthy bowel movements, but we’re going to because the NHS has said that the British public only gets around half of the fibre they need each day. Not great, but boosting your fibre intake doesn’t have to be a struggle. First, keep a food diary to see where you’re going wrong. Start making time for breakfast and choose high-fibre options like avocado or beans on toast to get things moving. Oats are also a versatile, low-cost and breakfast-friendly food that will keep you full for hours. If porridge isn’t your thing, or you’re a notorious biscuit fiend, try oatcakes instead. It’s important to remember that fibre is also key to ‘feeding’ the friendly bacteria in our gut to keep our gut lining healthy. A healthy gut is a happy gut, which makes for a happier human.



e don’t want to encourage simple calorie counting as a method of healthy living, but knowing what your body typically burns in a day might help add a little perspective to your routine. A comprehensive infographic from Shake the Weight breaks it down for us, starting with a seven-hour sleep that burns 382 calories. A 15-minute shower will burn through 62 calories, and drying your hair will use 39 calories. Getting to work in the car will use around 60 calories for a 30-minute journey, but walking for the same time will burn 149 calories. At your desk, expect to use 102 calories after one hour of sitting down. This is miles apart from labour-intensive jobs like carpentry or painting, which will burn around 167 calories in just half an hour. Out of work activities vary, with half an hour of trolley-pushing in a supermarket using up 130 calories, and cooking a quick dinner burning 93 calories. If you need motivation to cut the lawn, keep in mind that you’ll likely burn 205 calories after half an hour. You can then put your feet up and watch some telly, which will use up an additional 28 calories after half an hour. Keep in mind that everyone has a different Basal Metabolic Rate, meaning the rate at which your body burns through calories. It’s also important to note that calories from veggies are not the same as calories from sweets, which don’t come with the added nutritional benefits. It’s all about finding that balance.



MUSIC MAESTRO, STYLE SYMBOL, A-LIST ACTRESS – RIHANNA’S BREATHLESS SWEEP OF INFLUENCE ACROSS MODERN CULTURE ULTIMATELY COMES DOWN TO THE POWER AND POSITIVITY SHE HAS ALWAYS ATTACHED TO HER BRAND. Yet turning 30 at the start of 2018 did perhaps soften a little the punchy, carefree demeanour of the Barbadian-born actress (even if her Bad Gal moniker remains). Entering a fourth decade was a milestone she celebrated not by getting engaged, nor announcing a pregnancy or embarking on another new career direction… instead, she made a pledge to strengthen her own steely grip on the promotion and empowerment of modern women the world over. And to do that she’s in the perfect position – after all, Rihanna’s star has never been higher. Her last studio album, Anti, saw the singer soar to the top of the charts again, with over a million copies sold on the first day of release. Critics described the new record as unapologetic and with an uncompromising attitude – much like her, a thoroughly independent and non-conformist kind of woman. “I like to take risks,” she begins. “I don’t want to put something out that doesn’t excite me because I want the public to be excited, too. In whatever art I invest in, it has to really thrill me from the inside, otherwise how can I expect it to thrill others?” As a singer, Rihanna’s cool mystique and sassy attitude has always been a major source of her appeal. Along the way, she’s won nine Grammys, sold over 230 million records, and ranks among the top digital-selling artists of all time. She is a sounding board and a role model for the ambitions of billions, without the ego that accompanies so many others in her position. Rihanna’s attitude to fitness has always been clear – she views it as the basis upon which all her creative projects are constructed. While her rock-hard abs have become a thing of global fascination, she’s not someone obsessed with hard workouts, and believes better in the benefits of mixing up fitness routines with dance programmes, calisthenics and even martial arts. This diverse approach to health allows for flexibility, something that’s vital for someone so frequently on the go and on the road.

“It is flattering when people use the phrase, but I don’t think of myself as a role model, even if I certainly had two incredible forces around me when growing up – my mother and my grandmother. Now they truly are examples of very strong women who inspired me; they’ve helped give me the determination to work hard and build my career. They raised me to be a strong and confident woman and I was lucky to have been educated by them. “Now it’s about women and girls in general – it’s all moved on to be a much more public debate these days, and that’s good. We’re at the point now where I think the accomplishments that women are making are real and so powerful. We’ve come a long way, and everything is possible. Every goal is within our reach.” Rihanna is about as real as they come when it comes to ambition – you only have to look at her movie choices to realise that. She has switched from comic book sci-fi ( Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets), to the more recent comedy heist Ocean’s 8, in which she costarred alongside Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock. She’s also busy with the launch of her lingerie line, Savage x Fenty, as well as overseeing the continued success of her makeup collection, Fenty Beauty. Yet to be able to move forward is only possible for Rihanna when she draws a line under the past, whether the experiences are good or bad.

“I DON’T DWELL ON SUCCESS OR BEAT MYSELF UP OVER FAILURE – I ALWAYS HAVE THE MINDSET OF LOOKING FOR THE NEXT THING AND MOVING FORWARD.” “I feel I’m constantly evolving and I’m a very different woman from who I was even three or four years ago. “Sometimes when I look back at my work, even my most successful songs, I don’t feel a strong connection to them. It’s like they don’t reflect who I am today. But rather than worry about that legacy I just switch it around to inspire me to change my output in future, and we should all do that. “It always all comes back to being thrilled at creativity and ambition,” she adds. “That applies to music and film, as well as to clothes, my tattoos, and my hairstyle. I like the feeling of going my own way and exploring different things… indulging my creative instincts, getting to see the world, experience as much as I can from life. And a little rebelliousness never hurts! “But what I will always say is, hey, this is real life. If you think that you have to be number one all the time you are setting yourself up to be disappointed - you can’t always expect to be at the top.”



Currently single having broken up with billionaire Saudi boyfriend Hassan Jameel in May, Rihanna famously declared to the New York Times that she can’t devote the kind of attention that would enable her to have a relationship at this stage in her life: “Guys need attention. They need that nourishment, that little stroke of the ego that gets them by every now and then. I’ll give it to my family, I’ll give it to my work — but I will not give it to a man right now.” It follows then, that at the heart of what Rihanna preaches is a love of oneself. “Respect ourselves then others will too,” she reasons. “There are so many clashing and colliding influences in the world today, but the very first thing we must listen to is what comes out from the heart, and if that is good and positive then you have not only a platform for everything else, but a way to protect yourself from pretty much anything life can throw at you as well.”

RIHANNA’S FOUNDATION FOR HOME FITNESS Rihanna believes physical empowerment of women has to start with the idea of celebrating curves, shapes and lines, not hiding them as we might have done in the past. With that goal in mind, her personal trainer Dede Lagree has revealed a simple home workout – after all, none of us can make it to the gym every day. It’s a routine that Rihanna used to get back in shape after spells away from the gym. It’s simple but severe, toning fat whilst emphasising natural mass; all the time accentuating the legs, bottom and abs, as a celebration of the female form. LAGREE’S HOME PLAN: • Do one set of each exercise listed below • Take little rest as you transition between exercises. • Take 90 seconds to two minutes of rest in between each round. • Complete a total of four rounds. • Plank to pike: 12 reps • B ear: 12 reps • Lift lunges: 12 reps each leg • Side lunge: 12 reps


Jude’s low-calorie ice cream

The HiLo Protein Bar Calling all self-confessed snackers, or anyone in need of a healthy alternative to the biscuit aisle. We know some healthy snack bars can taste like sweetened rubber, but this one has a texture you’ll love. The HiLo bar is soft and chewy, low in carbs and low in sugar but packed full of protein and flavour. Each bar promises 20g of protein – essential if you’re trying to build or maintain muscle – and less than 200 calories. The HiLo bar also comes with 10g of gut-friendly fibre and eight vitamins and minerals to help maintain your immune system, bones and boost energy levels. With less than 2g of sugar per bar, it’s perfect for those of you trying to avoid the bad stuff while still satisfying your sweet tooth. The flavours currently on offer include Dark Chocolate Mint Crunch and Milk Chocolate Caramel Crunch. If you’re looking for a bargain, use the exclusive BestFit reader discount code BFHL-FSE when you buy from

Jude’s is launching its first no added sugar and vegan flavours for big kids to enjoy. Made using natural sweeteners Stevia and Erythritol, as well as the sugar content naturally found in cow’s milk, coconut milk and vegetable fibre, Jude’s new range comes in four flavours, including Vegan Chocolate and Salted Caramel. £3.95 (500ml)

Peloton Bike Not just any exercise bike. Peloton offers a convenient and immersive indoor cycling experience with a bike that can live stream daily classes from Peloton HQ in NYC directly into your home. The basics package includes 24-hour access to studio cycling classes. Pay monthly option available. $2,245

Box of 5 £10.99 or 50% off with special reader offer

Ordo Pack An oral hygiene home-delivered pack that sends out refills every two months to maintain your smile. The Ordo Pack includes the Ordo aluminimum electric toothbrush with its 25,000 brush stroke sonic power technology, and whitening & sensitive toothpaste. £30 (plus £10 every two month for your refill plan).

Black Leopard Skincare A full range of skincare designed to keep your skin fresh, vibrant and moisturised and free from razor burn. Seven products including After Shave Balm, Eye Cream and Dry Touch Sunscreen for Men. From $7.95 www.


BUNTU Water Bottle

Adidas Ultraboost Laceless Parley Shoes Another win for the planet. These neutral running shoes use yarn made with Parley Ocean Plastic – recycled waste intercepted from beaches and coastal communities. Other features include Continental Rubber for superior traction and Boost for responsive cushioning. £159.95

The Wedgie An inflatable cushion designed to reduce back pain by placing the body in a 90/90 position. Based on scientific research that showed the body’s ability to reduce muscle spasms and rehydrate the lumbar spine discs when in this position for 30 minutes. $49.95

Wearable X Yoga Wear Technical yoga pants designed to enhance your yoga experience and guide you through your flow. Simply attach the Pulse behind the left knee, connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth and you’ll be guided through each pose with gentle vibrations using woven-in haptic motors. $250


We can no longer deny that disposable plastics are no good for the oceans, and reusable materials are needed to keep our planet in top condition. This is the mission of stylish new brand BUNTU, whose timeless collection of water bottles will make the perfect replacement to any single-use plastic bottle you’ve had in the past. Using BPA-free high-grade 18/8 stainless steel, each 400ml bottle can keep your drinks cold for 24 hours or hot for 12 hours using double-walled design for maximum insulation. This also means you wont have to battle with exterior condensation. The leak-proof design leaves you free to throw your bottle into your bag without fear of soggy gym kit or a water-broke laptop. The bottles come with a pretty cool spaceage design, in either cool grey or rose quartz colour. The super strong handle on the lid makes carrying it around with you easy, because constant daily hydration is the aim of this game. Time do your small part for the planet. It beats joining the crew cleaning all those plastics from the beaches. Price: £27

HoMedics Massage Pillow A compact and easily portable pillow with gel massager nodes for that natural touch massage. Use it on your legs, lumbar and shoulders and try out the reverse action Shiatsu massage mechanism to relieve the stress of everyday life. Includes remote control and heat option. £49.99

e’lifexir Natural Beauty

More of us are finally waking up to the harmful effects of the synthetic chemicals hiding away in our skin and beauty products. This has paved the way for new brands like e’lifexir Natural Beauty who use only the finest natural ingredients in their products. Their range includes seven different creams, each targeting a specific area of the body and using natural and organic plant and fruit extracts to protect and rejuvenate the skin. Using active ingredients such as Caffeine, Scotch Thistle Extract and Black Elder Extract, each cream provides rich moisture to the skin. All are certified as natural cosmetics by ECOCERT. The range includes

Push-Up Buttocks sculpting cream to shape and enhance the natural silhouette; Bodylift anti-cellulite and lifting cream that uses Dragon Eye extract to protect skin tissue; Flat Tummy firming cream with additional caffeine for muscle definition; Fitness body contouring cream with Black Elder Extract for improved microcirculation; Actidren revitalising leg cream; Anti-Stretch Marks repairing cream with Scotch Thistle extract; and Push Up Breast firming cream with Centella Asiatica leaf extract to improve skin renewal. Whichever part of your body needs a little TLC you’ll find a little natural love from e’lifexir. £15.99 150ml cream

REVIEWS Avocadeau


The Primal Pantry High-Protein Snack Bars

Everyone is on the look out for healthy snacks or protein on-the-go and, luckily, there is an abundance of choice out there. The question is: where to start? The Primal Pantry protein snack bars are real food. With no less than 15g of complete plant protein in each bar for enhanced muscle recovery, these bars are an essential gym bag snack. Using 100% wholesome health-boosting ingredients such as hemp, almonds, sunshine-soaked dates and coconut nectar, each bar is 100% real and packs a powerful nutrient punch. Whats even better? You have four delicious flavours to choose from. Mixed Berry uses raspberries, goji berries and pumpkin seeds. Cocoa Orange, like all of their bars, is raw and cold-pressed and 27% natural protein with orange peel and cocoa nibs. Cocoa Brownie is perfect for chocolate lovers and uses only the finest cocoa powder, while Double Espresso packs 146mg of natural caffeine from high quality coffee beans. So take your pick and #eatcleantrainmean

A natural skincare alternative to harsh factory made products. The Avocadeau range is enriched with the finest avocado oil to promote anti-ageing, deeply moisturise and keep the skin supple and firm. These products are never tested on animals. From £4

Fitbit Charge 3 An advanced health and fitness tracker that uses 24/7 heart rate and personalised insights to reveal what’s below the surface. Features include smart touchscreen, 50m water resistant capability, all-day activity tracking and calorie burn and up to sevenday battery life. £129.99

Box of 15: £27

Odlo Sports Bra Breast Cancer Awareness Month is fast approaching, so why not grab yourself a new sports bra and donate some money to charity at the same time? Norwegian brand Odlo has partnered with Breast Cancer Haven and a portion of the sales go to the charity. From £30

Evolve Miracle Mask A delicious AHA fruit mask blended with 100% natural fruit acids including Glycolic Acid from Sugar Cane to instantly smooth and plump your skin. Made using Peruvian Maca, an ancient energy booster, to increase cellular renewal and skin radiance. £22








Last month, Ben Coomber addressed nutrition as part of his transformation. This time he deals with exercising which, as he explains, is hard when you’re in a depeleted state… There are three facets to consider when embarking on a body transformation: nutrition, exercise and mindset. When I first started writing this three-part article series to go alongside this body transformation process I thought, as ever, that nutrition would be key in this battle. And while it is (I say battle, as I now feel like I’m in the throws of my diet war, more and more days being a battle) exercise is actually my biggest issue. Depending where you are on a fat-loss plan, you’ll struggle with different things at different times. Getting started, you’ll face motivation and food-prep issues while generally reorganising your life to accommodate for the changes. Then we get into the swing of things and it can all become quite easy because the changes are starting to stick, new habits are forming and we want to do it as we are seeing the benefits. With where I am now – at around 9%

body fat – it’s tough, but the goal is to get ‘cover-model’ ready, so I need to drop another 1-2% body fat and we’re good to go. If you’re currently going from 25% body fat to 12% then this part of the article won’t relate to you right now, but could in the future. Why is this important when it comes to exercise? Because exercise is tough when you’re in a depleted state. I am normally a well-slept, well-fuelled, motivated and happy person that eats well to perform in the gym and on the rugby pitch. But because I’ve had to factor in this extra goal I’ve had to prioritise more and change things as I’ve gone on. When I started this dieting process I didn’t change my training at all. It very much looked like the training program you saw in last month’s magazine, but now I’m more tired, I’ve less energy, I’ve less reserves, my food intake has had to drop a little again to accommodate my new body weight and the change in training, so it’s tough. I can’t train at the same intensity anymore and I’ve gravitated towards a more traditional body building training programme where most of the exercises I’ve picked are because they are easier, take less energy and are performed in a single set manner (I’ll happily take a leg extension over a squat right now). I would usually start my training with 10-15 minutes of movement focused around the muscles I’m going to use, some boxing to increase my intensity and aggression for the session, and then move into some big key heavy weightlifting movements, like squats supersetted with chin-ups, for

“I AM NORMALLY WELL-SLEPT, WELL-FUELLED, MOTIVATED AND HAPPY” example. Because big exercises and minimal rest is becoming harder and harder to do I’ve had to modify my workouts to perform exercises that I simply feel like I want to do, and can do both mentally and physically. This is often where someone on a diet, in the final stages of reaching their goal, might have to change their training or add more on in the form of low-level cardio (one reason people plan in a fasted walk or cardio, simply to up their energy expenditure). Because the intensity of my training has dropped I’m having to do more, I’m burning less calories in those training sessions so now I need to do more, somewhere, somehow, to get that same energy burn. I don’t feel like moving as much or pushing myself as much, so that’s a problem I have to deal with. Thus my training has dropped in intensity – I’ve had to rest longer during sets – and I’m trying to increase my levels of general activity and cardio outside of the training sessions. This is also hard because I can feel my

mind now starting to slow down my body. I can feel it trying to prevent me from walking places and make me lazier. Why? Because it’s trying to conserve energy. It doesn’t want me walking everywhere and training hard because it’s in a depleted state. Why do I tell you this? Firstly, to check that you are not currently training in a depleted state when you shouldn’t be. As a coach I’ve worked with too many people that have tried to improve their exercise performance and progress but have simply not been eating enough. You want to perform like an athlete? Eat like one and only then can you train like one. As they say, you have to fuel the beast, and at the moment I am far from beast-like. This is why you see many athletes that are not super lean. You think they should be, they’re an athlete after all and they should look ripped. But this is often counterproductive to their bigger goal, performance. And thus you might see many athletes with normal-ish amounts of body fat, enough to look and feel athletic, to be nimble and weight efficient, but not so low it affects their performance, just for apparent aesthetic benefit.

“USE EXERCISE TO SHAPE A BODY, BOTH FOR LOOK AND FOR PERFORMANCE…” I can’t wait to get back to my normal training again. I love being able to perform a heavy squat, wait 5-10 seconds then jump into some weighted chin-ups and straight into some box jumps. Rest for 2 minutes and do it all over again, and again, and again. But now I have to perform the squats, rest for a bit, then do the chin-ups, and probably leave the box jumps altogether as I’m feeling far from ‘jumpy’ right now. So aside from my current training predicament and looking at where you’re probably at right now reading this article, how should you exercise to effectively diet? Ultimately, if fat loss is the goal then all we need to do is burn energy to help with losing the weight. Exercise is a tool that makes us fitter, stronger, faster, but also helps create a calorie deficit by burning energy. So you could lift weights, or run, or go to Zumba, or do aerial yoga. Burning energy is burning energy. But some forms of training burn more than others, so that is a consideration worth making. Plus some forms of training are more enjoyable, so always do that because exercise you enjoy is always more sustainable long term. The benefit with weight training is that it helps to preserve muscle tissue by sending anabolic stimuluses that say ‘hey, keep that muscle dude’, rather than burning it for fuel in a depleted state. It also helps sculpt and shape a physique a certain way. So as a

guy, for my goals and for my vision of my body, I want to lift weights as I want decent muscle size; I want to look and feel athletic, so that is a key reason I am lifting weights 2-3 times per week at the moment. I can’t do it anymore as I play rugby and that is where I try channel most of my energy, as that’s why I enjoy and get the most satisfaction from. Otherwise, if I didn’t play rugby, I would probably lift weights 3-4 times per week and the other days simply be active and run, canoe, walk, swim... preferably outdoors, mixing it up with whatever I fancy at the time. So with your training and with your goals consider whether you are enjoying your training, how much time you have or can create, and what you want for your body. Use exercise to shape a body, both for look and for performance. And remember that there will be times that you don’t want to exercise the way you had planned to. You’ll want to change it, or your body will be telling you it’s time to change, and that’s ok. During the summer I like to get outdoors more rather than be in the gym. I like to run or get out in my canoe. Why? Because it’s fun. I’m still exercising, I’m still challenging my fitness, I’m still burning some calories, so for me it’s all good. Modern exercise culture can often feel very gym focused, and while there is benefit to the gym (the gym is a great tool), there are many other ways to get strong, fit and healthy.


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

A1: Dumbbell bench press 3x8 10s rest A2: Cable row 3x15 2 minutes rest, 3 sets B1: Overhead dumbbell carry 10s rest, swap arms, keep going until fatigued C1: Chin-up 3xmax 10s rest C2: Banded face pulls 2 minutes rest D1: Triceps press down 30s rest D2: Sit ups 30-60s rest E1: TRX row 15s rest E2: Incline BW press ups 1.5 minutes rest Longer walk to finish





hat is flexible dieting? Flexible dieting is based on eating sensibly. This approach allows you to eat foods you like and avoid foods you don’t like. It is also built around the fact that if you create a calorie deficit you will lose weight no matter what you eat, therefore there is no reason to avoid your favourite foods or force yourself to eat food you don’t enjoy while trying to lose weight. I think we can agree flexible dieting sounds brilliant! • You get to eat the foods you want; • You can still drink alcohol; • You can eat out; • You don’t need to meal prep; • You can be spontaneous (ooh, what’s reduced in Tesco today); • You can try new foods; • And best of all because of all… it is sustainable long term.

Sounds like rainbows and butterflies, but flexible dieting is hard! And I’m not just talking about understanding macronutrients or learning how to track foods. I’m talking about the self-restraint required. It’s quite easy to say no to something e.g. ‘I’m not drinking at all’ or‘I’m on a diet and it’s not allowed’. That is definitive, it is set in stone, that’s the rule so you stick to it, don’t question it. That actually takes very little will power. However, if you decide that you will have two beers because you

want to and you’ll fit them into your calories for the day, you may find it takes a lot more will power to stop at two. If alcohol is not your bag then imagine this with biscuits. It is quite easy to say no to having any biscuits but it is hard to stop at just one or two. Why? Because moderation is hard! Saying no is relatively easy, that’s why rule-based diets work so well. ‘I can’t have that, it’s not on my diet. End of.’

“Sounds like rainbows and butterflies but flexible dieting is hard! And I’m not just talking about understanding macronutrients or learning how to track foods” But that is a short-term solution. Do you honestly think you can live NEVER eating after 6pm, NEVER

FOOD FIXERS Food allergies are on the rise. Here are three reasons why, and what you can do to help…

The problem: Gut bacteria imbalance The solutions: 1. Introduce fermented food and drinks into your diet. Kombucha is not only the latest celebrity tipple of choice, it also has real benefits for your stomach. 2. Get a pet! Being around animals could provide just the right amount of ‘germ exposure’ to help children develop a strong immune system.

The problem: Less variety in our diets

eating carbs again or avoiding alcohol FOREVER? I’m sure you *could* but why would you want to when you don’t have to!

need to yo-yo diet every few months.

The problem with strict diets is that, by their very nature, they are ‘all or nothing’. You’re on the diet or you’re off the diet. As the name suggests, flexible dieting is not like this.

I don’t think I know anyone who has tried flexible dieting (for more than a few weeks) and gone back to restrictive ‘fad’ diets afterwards. As cheesy as it is, the realisation that if you get the foundations of your diet right you can enjoy flexibility really is life changing!

My long-winded point is that flexible dieting is hard but it is so worth it. Invest time, effort and will power in learning the ropes once and you won’t have to jump on and off diet plans, juice cleanses and meal plans ever again. Just imagine the money and heartache you will save when you no longer

I know that short-term results and minimal effort is appealing but if you invest some time now, it will certainly be worth it in the long run. Understanding how to lose unwanted body fat and not just mindlessly following fad diets will allow you to maintain your results long term.

“The problem with strict diets is that, by their very nature, they are ‘all or nothing’”

The solutions: 1. Increase the variety in your diet. For example, if you’re a bread lover, try and fill up on oats instead. Oats are low-cost and versatile, and are also one of the best sources of soluble and insoluble dietary fibre you can find. They promote regular bowel movements and regulate blood sugar. 2. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. They’re high in fibre, which helps encourage the beneficial bacteria in the gut. And vitamin C and flavonoids such as quercetin in fruit and vegetables may help manage or reduce allergic symptoms.

The problem: Too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3 The solutions: 1. Aim to eat oily fish such as salmon, mackerel or sardines two to three times a week for the omega-3s. Fish is also high in Vitamin B12, which keeps the brain ‘happy’ and staves off bouts of depression, anxiety and brain fog. 2. Switch up your cooking oil. If you normally reach for the olive oil or sunflower oil when you start cooking, switch to ghee instead; a form of clarified butter, which contains butyric acid.




hether you’re a fitness fledgling, regular gym goer or a competitor, Power Plate can help 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. Trusted by athletes, celebrities, health professionals and fitness enthusiasts, Power Plate has been linked to a wide range of health benefits. Try our intermediate exercises designed to help build strength, balance, and flexibility, plus a recovery exercise for the quads. SINGLE LEG BALANCE, FOOT REACH, FORWARD – BACKWARD – PREPARE The single leg balance with foot reach is an intermediate movement in our Prepare category. This is a challenging exercise focused on stability, and it requires core strength, coordination and

balance. Benefits include: whole-body integration, increased mobility/stability.

• Repeat continuously, maintain posture and body control

HOW TO EXECUTE: • Stand on your right leg, knee slightly bent, with left leg slightly raised off the Power Plate (or toe touch as needed) • Place your hands on your sides • Begin by reaching your left foot forward to a comfortable distance, then return to start position and reset balance. • Then reach backwards to a comfortable distance, maintaining balance and return to start. Repeat.

MUSCLES WORKED Whole body 1. Time – 45-60 secs

1. Time – 30-45 secs 2. Setting Low 3. 2 sets 4. Rest between sets 30 seconds

2. Setting Low 3. 3 -4 sets 4. Rest between sets 30-45 seconds QUAD MASSAGE - RECOVER Quad massage increases circulation and blood flow; triggering the immune system to promote a healing response in the tissue. Benefits include: optimised recovery and reduced muscle soreness, promotes effective and efficient movement, can be used before or after running, squatting, cycling and any activity to enhance results.

PRONE PLANK, ELBOWS TO HANDS (GET UPS) – PERFORM This targets the triceps, chest, shoulders and abdominal muscles. Benefits include: total body stability, encourages a strong core, builds arm strength and increases shoulder mobility.

HOW TO EXECUTE • Lie face down on the floor, with your thighs placed on the Power Plate • Slowly move your body forwards and backwards

HOW TO EXECUTE: • Start in a push-up position with hands under the shoulders and the legs stretched out directly behind. • Slowly lower down to the elbows one elbow at a time. • From here, press the hands into the power plate one at a time to return to the starting push-up position

MUSCLES WORKED Quadriceps and lower body 1. Time - 60 secs 2. Setting Low or High 3. 1–2 sets For more information on where to buy a Power Plate for your home, visit WWW.POWERPLATE.COM or call 0207 317 5000

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FORTNITE YOUR WAY TO FITNESS WITH DL KIDS! Meet the new dance class with a difference offering proactive time out from too much technology


lossing’ and ‘taking the L’ are just a few of the funky moves to be included in this brand-spankingnew exercise class sweeping across select David Lloyd clubs this autumn. Following recent research which reveals 56% of parents worried about their kids spending 2 hours and 15 minutes every day playing computer games throughout summer, it seemed like the perfect time to take action. Based on moves from Fortnite: the computer game which has taken

the world by storm, David Lloyd is encouraging kids and teens to swap their controllers for choreography and take part in ‘Emote Royale,’ a unique workout which is dedicated to learning the dance moves from Fortnite. And the classes are designed to be the perfect pace to keep kids aged five years old upwards entertained whilst being active. The victory dances that players use to celebrate within the Fortnite game – known as emotes – have become so popular that everyone from footballers to film stars have

been trying them in the real world. France’s Antoine Griezmann has ‘taken the L’ in his goal celebrations and Will Smith and Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown have been caught on camera doing the ‘floss’. A spokesperson for David Lloyd Clubs says, “We know that kids – and some parents – are huge fans of the Fortnite game, but excessive screen time can pose a problem for kids, meaning they’re not as active as they should be. We’re always keen to introduce inventive classes to our varied timetables and the



SPOOKTACULAR HALF-TERM FUN! Have a happy holiday this autumn

‘Emote Royale’ class has been developed by kids, for kids, to help keep everyone active this summer and bring the popular computer game to life in a fun, active and original way.” On arrival to the class, a Fortnite-themed soundtrack plays and participants begin to tackle 12 dance moves inspired by the popular game. Starting with the easiest moves – the class evolves

to help kids learn the notoriously difficult ‘floss’ and ‘robot’ dances. Once each one has been perfected, the class performs a routine of all 12 moves together and even warms down with dances from the game. The Emote Royale classes will be added to select DL Kids timetables across the country including Manchester Trafford, Manchester North and Leeds.

It may seem like the summer holidays have only just finished as you juggle the school routine yet again. But don’t fear, the October half-term is nearly here and you can breathe a sigh of relief as David Lloyd is offering top-notch care for the kids. Open to members and non-members for kids aged 5–13, bookings for the jam-packed action holiday clubs are ramping up. Family Activities Manager Lauren Metcalf says: “We offer fantastic flexible holiday care, which includes different activities every day. As well as arts and crafts, we follow a Halloween vibe and a special autumnal theme plus activities such as football, hockey, parachute games and basketball!” And there’s the choice to make the days as action-packed or as chilled as you like. Lauren adds: “Swimming and tennis sessions are available every day with our specialist coaches, while our DL Kids team also run a mix of active and creative sessions through the day and offer free play and outdoor play each day. To refuel after our activities children get snacks and lunch every day which is chosen by you each morning. We are going to have some serious fun!” So what are you waiting for?

RUNNING WILD Fancy living in the wilderness for four years? Swedish runner Markus Torgeby did just that, and lived as a recluse as he looked for direction in life. Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s his storyâ&#x20AC;Ś

Images: Markus Torgeby & Matti Rapila Andersson 8

t 20 years old, Swedish runner Markus Torgeby headed off into a remote Swedish forest to live alone and dedicate himself to his one true passion, running. He lived in a self-made tipi in the wilderness, braving the harsh Swedish winters – for four years. His book, The Runner, looks at the modern-day pressures put on young men in particular, and how we actually need to take a step back to our more natural roots, reduce our constant ‘connectivity’ through phones and social media, and touch base with nature. Here, Markus talks to BESTFIT about the importance of quiet, solace, and personal well-being, as well as the transformative nature of running that helped him turn his life around.

DID YOU DO A LOT OF PLANNING BEFORE HEADING INTO THE FOREST? None! I first started this in August 1999, having first thought about it in April or May of that year. I didn’t give myself too much time, I just went and did it.

HOW HARD WAS IT TO JUST UP STICKS AND START A NEW LIFE? In the beginning, when I started to build my camp, I obviously had a lot of things to do. In August, in Sweden, it’s usually quite warm and there are no mosquitos, so everything was pretty easy to begin with. When the base camp was fixed and set up, I had nothing to do so I was restless. That was a little bit hard and I did struggle with that for quite a long time. After three months, though, that feeling just disappeared – the rest of my time there was just amazing.

WHAT WAS THE HARDEST THING TO GET USED TO? Just the solitude. You get used to having people around you, there’s a huge difference between being around people and being completely on your own. After a while I really started to enjoy it.

WHAT WAS THE MOST STRIKING THING YOU REALISED? I was never ill. In all the time I was living in the forest I was completely healthy. Of course, it was tough in the winter time when it was minus 40 and your pee is freezing before it even hits the ground. But when you live so close to your basic needs you make the right decisions because you feel it in your body, you feel it in your heart. When life is more black and white, it feels very good – decision making becomes a lot easier.

HOW EASY WAS IT TO SUSTAIN YOURSELF WHEN YOU’RE FORAGING FOR FOOD? I fished a lot but maybe, once every three months I would go down to the local village and buy oatmeal, so I wasn’t 100% self-sufficient. It wasn’t a problem. I stayed strong all the time I was there. I didn’t lose any weight while I was there. I think if you’re not so stressed in the head then you can get away with not eating everything you would normally. When you’re stressed it’s always important to take better care of the food you’re eating. When you’re stressed, your body uses more energy and more vitamins. That’s my feeling anyway.


HOW DID YOU STAY FIT OVER THAT PERIOD? I was living naturally, which is a great way of staying fit anyway, but before I entered the forest I had suffered a big injury. In the winter I was not able to run but I took my skis with me and for two hours every day I would ski over the mountains. It was probably the best endurance training I could have done. It was hard going but it got me very fit, very strong. When you’re outside in the cold weather your body burns a lot of fat too. I felt like my body was burning a lot more fat than it would ordinarily have done. Training in the cold really keeps you fit, I believe.

HOW IMPORTANT WAS THAT EXERCISE TIME? It was hugely important. To just go off by yourself in the mountains, it helped me to get my thoughts in order, it helped me to really clear my mind too. When I was really, really cold it also helped to get warm! I wasn’t training the way I was before as a runner, I was doing exercise as part of my way of life.

HOW DID YOU ALSO STAY MENTALLY STRONG WHEN YOU WERE COMPLETELY ALONE? Today, you have so much information around you every day. Sometimes in life I think it’s just really important to be by yourself. You are constantly bombarded with things day-to-day and getting away from that makes you feel that you have more possibilities – you have a better


feeling inside of you. I just needed to be by myself. Not everybody, of course, needs four years but to be by yourself for, say, a week or a month – I think that’s something that can really help you as an individual. You see life in a completely different way. Of course, sometimes when you don’t talk to anyone in three months, it seems a little bit strange but going down to the village and having a conversation with someone was enough for me.

WHAT WAS THE MOST FRIGHTENING THING THAT HAPPENED TO YOU? In the beginning, believe it or not, I was really afraid of the dark. It wasn’t a physical thing, it was a mental thing, but it was a really big fight for me. That was a huge battle. There were, of course, wolves and bears in the forest, but they were more frightened of me than I was of them. I was able to handle that fear of the dark after a while, I accepted it and just got on with it. That was a valuable learning experience too.

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO COME BACK? I was really close to my grandfather and a friend of mine got a message to me to tell me that I must get in touch with my father. I thought my mother had maybe died but he said that my grandfather was going to die and that if I wanted to say goodbye I needed to do it quickly. I took the train back home and saw him for the final time. I didn’t go back. I met my wife soon after and completely switched my way of life. Now I couldn’t be happier.


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SUSTAINABLE SWAPS Do your bit for the world and make these simple swaps to restore some natural order to your life, writes Jess Davies The problem: Cling Film Cling Film and foil use a lot of greenhouse gas to produce, are not reusable and can leek nasty chemicals into your food. Swap to: Beeswax Wraps, Beeswax Co A sustainable and stylish way to keep your food fresh. Beeswax Co make their wraps in Stroud using 100% cotton, pine resin, jojoba oil and beeswax from a local bee keeper. The mix of natural ingredients helps your leftovers last longer by sealing it tight but allowing it to breathe. These wraps are reusable, and just need a little cold water and soap before the next use. Once you have maxed out your wrap, you can throw it in your compost – its 100% biodegradable.

perfect for daily life. Buntu are on a mission to not only encourage the use of reusable materials, but also to provide safe drinking water to poor communities. For every bottle sold, Buntu will donate 10% of net profits towards funding a project by water charity drop4drop.

The problem: Harmful cleaning products The chemicals found in regular cleaning products can cause dry and irritated skin.

The problem: Coffee cups No one has figured out how to make environmentally-friendly, sustainable reusable coffee cups just yet. Swap to: Reusable coffee cup, Ecoffee With a slogan like ‘No excuse for single-use’ you know these guys are serious about reducing single-use

The problem: Plastic bottles Plastic bottles are clogging up our oceans, harming sea life and littering our beautiful beaches. Swap to: Reusable water bottle, Buntu Swap your plastic bottle for one of Buntu’s sleek stainless steel BPA-free bottles. Choose either Cool Grey or Rose Quartz to match your style. The leak-proof lid and handle makes this

waste. The Ecoffee cup is made using natural, sustainable bamboo fibre without BPA or phthalate. Choose from a wide variety of colourful designs to suit all styles. These cups are dishwasher safe and easy to use, and don’t come with that nasty plastic aftertaste.

Swap to: Natural cleaning products, Yope A complete range of natural cleaning products that swap out the unnecessary artificial colourants, scents, preservatives, parabens, naphtha derivatives, SLS, SLES and thickeners. Instead, they use vegetable extracts and mild aromas to make sure these can be used on sensitive skin and children. Ninety eight per cent of the ingredients are natural and all products are affordable, so everyone can reap the benefits. The problem: Harmful soap/ shampoo products Many soap and shampoo products are

tested on animals before being sold to us. Mass production can also result in poor wages for the supply chain. Swap to: Lush soap and shampoo bars, Lush An extensive range of handmade soaps and shampoos, made using 100% vegetarian ingredients. Lush campaigns against animal testing, and keeps the amount of packaging it uses to an absolute minimum. Its ethical buying policy ensures fairness for all involved in growing and harvesting the fresh, natural ingredients that make up the recipes for its products. They also smell incredible – a major bonus.

include stevia extract and aloe vera – the more natural, the better it is for our ecosystem. An easy way to do your bit. The problem: Plastic straws Disposable plastic straws are rarely recycled and end up in landfills and our oceans.

The problem: Non-biodegradable tooth brushes 3.6 billion plastic toothbrushes are consumed every year and most end up in landfill or our oceans. They are not recyclable or biodegradable. Swap to: Bamboo tooth brush, Humble Brush Swap your regular toothbrush for Humble. Made from 100% biodegradable sustainably grown bamboo with nylon bristles from Dupont. Even the wrapping is eco-friendly, made from recyclable materials that can be disposed of easily. Pick yourself up some natural toothpaste too. Ingredients

Swap to: Metal straws, EcoStraws EcoStraws are on a mission to replace all disposable plastic straws, and offer an impressive selection of eco-friendly replacements. Choose either classy stainless steel, natural wheat or bamboo. They also have straws made from Borosilicate Glass, the strongest common glass type around. All straws are chemical and BPA-free, available in a range of different styles and sizes and can be used for both hot and cold drinks. The problem: Plastic lunch boxes Great motivation to pack your own lunch instead of buying something out that uses even more disposable packaging. Swap to: Stainless Steel Lunch Box, Black and Blum The first truly leak-proof stainless steel lunch box and it won’t disappoint on style. This 3-in-1 multifunctional lunch box comes with its own steel fork. Not only can you use it for your lunch, you can cook meals in the oven or store pre-cooked food in the freezer with it. It’s BPA-free and comes with a silicone strap and meal divider. The ultimate in ecofriendly lunch wear. The problem: Shopping bags That 5p charge annoys us all, but so does the thought of plastic bags ruining the environment by ending up in landfill.

Swap to: Cotton Shopping Bags, Turtle Bags Organic cotton bags certified under the Global Oganic Textile Standard (GOTS). This means no chemical pesticides or fertilisers are used in the production of the fabric and farmers must work under safe conditions with an agreed minimum wage. The drawstring bags are washable and perfect for picking up some fresh organic fruit and veg from your local market. Or the supermarket, whichever is good for you.

The problem: Tampons 85% of tampons have been shown to contain Glyphosate, the active ingredient in weed killer. Not at all great for the female body. Swap to: Organic tampons/pads/ Menstrual Cup, TOTM A range of tampons, pads and liners that use certified organic cotton to avoid those harmful chemical nasties. The applicator tampon also uses biodegradable sustainable cardboard applicator for smooth insertion. The pads are available for day and night. TOTM also offer a reusable menstrual cup as an even more sustainable alternative to the tampon. But you might want to work your way up to that one. It could take practice.

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

Pick your ‘equipment’ and plan your regime

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

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s soon as the calendar switched from August to September, summer was officially over. Children were preparing to go back to school, the rugby season was about to start and the countdown to Christmas had begun. But nobody seems to have told the weather, temperatures remain high and they are predicted to continue well into October.

headaches, dry skin, dizziness and more. Most of these symptoms can be ignored briefly while you try to get on with your day, but that won’t do you any favours. You will be sweating more than usual, so take extra special care to ensure that you are consuming plenty of water. Sprinkle some rock salt into it to replace any electrolytes lost and the more yellow your pee, the more water you need to consume.

Moaning about the weather is as British as a Sunday roast and over-apologizing, but in stark contrast to the usual complaints about receiving more than our fair share of rain, for the last couple of months we have all been disgruntled about how hot it has been.

2 – MINIMISE THE IMPACT AT HOME During the daytime when the outside temperature is at its highest make sure you close all windows in your house, draw the curtains/ blinds and keep the heat out. In the evenings, as the weather becomes

It was lovely at first to know that it was warmer in Morecambe than Miami, but the novelty soon wore off and we were back to doing what we do best – getting sunburnt and grumbling. Seeing as the warm weather is looking to continue well into autumn I thought it may be a good idea to highlight how you can cope a little bit better… 1 – REHYDRATE If your body is losing more fluids than it is consuming then you can quickly fall into dehydration. This can have many negative side effects such as increased thirst, dry mouth, tiredness, reduced urine volume,

cooler, open up all the windows to circulate the cooler air as much as possible. Can you spend more time downstairs where it will naturally be cooler? Do you need all those light bulbs and laptops on? Finally, can you avoid using the oven to prepare food for every single meal? All of these activities can generate more heat and make it that little bit harder to get to sleep at night. 3 – PROTECT YOURSELF This should be obvious, which means that it is probably the furthest thing from your mind, but it would be sensible to take care of yourself. You can do this by avoiding being out in the sun when it is at its hottest between 11am and 3pm. If you cannot avoid this at all then at least make sure you are wearing loose fitting clothing that covers as much skin as possible. If you cannot manage that then be sure to wear plenty of sun cream… yes, even in October! If you can avoid being stuck on public transport or any other crowded spaces, then that would be a nice little bonus too. All being well, there is no reason why you cannot learn to cope with the unusual weather and save your moaning for just a couple more weeks until the Christmas adverts start…


Our eyes have

100,000,000 Our eyes contain 100 million cells - called ‘rods’ - that help us to see better in the dark. If you’re convinced you have poor night vision, don’t try increasing the number of carrots you eat to better it - this won’t help. If you smoke however, try cutting back, as smoking reduces night vision significantly.


The muscles in the eye are 100 times stronger than they need to be to perform their functions. This might be because we move them so much; in just one hour of reading a book, the eyes make nearly 10,000 coordinated movements.



Our eyes are made up of over 200 million working parts; 7 million are cone-shaped to help us see colour and detail, and 107 million are light sensitive cells. Think of it like this - if the human eye was a digital camera, it would have 576 megapixels.

A-C TO SEE Healthy eyes need plenty of vitamin A and C. Make sure you’re also stocked up on spinach - the lutein and zeaxanthin help prevent cataracts and oily fish, whose Omega-3 fatty acids slow down the progression of wet/dry macular degeneration.

Our eyes heal quickly, taking just 2-3 days to repair a minor corneal scratch. If this seems too long, try placing green or black tea bags on your (closed) eyes - the bioflavonoids in them fight against bacteria and infection. For soreness, mix up warm milk and honey to use as eye drops; for inflammation, use ice wrapped in cloth to place on to your eyes.

1 in 12:


Colour blind One in every 12 males is colour blind. That’s’ about 8% of all men currently suffering from colour deficiency. Unfortunately, the most common form of deficiency - the red-green colour blindness - is actually encoded on to the X sex chromosome. So as guys, we never stood a chance.

20 20 20



On average, we blink 17 times a minute; 14,280 times in a 14-hour day, and 5.2 million times a year. Each blink lasts around 100 milliseconds, making it possible to blink 5 times in one second.


Computer, TV and phone screens can be to blame for tired eyes. We blink less using these screens, causing our eyes to dry out and become fatigued. To prevent this, follow the 20:20:20 rule; look away from the screen every 20 minutes, and focus on something 20 feet away, for 20 seconds.


If you have blue eyes, then you share an ancestor with every other blue-eyed person out there. The first person to have blue eyes - the result of a genetic mutation - lived about 10,000 years ago; back then, everyone else had brown eyes.

Around 65% of our brain is dedicated to vision. Our retinas actually receive images of the outside world upside down; the brain then flips them the right way. Our eyes also have small blind spots where the optic nerve passes through the retina, so the brain uses the information given from both eyes to fill in the gap.

Around 2% of woman are born with a genetic mutation that gives them an extra retinal core within their eyes. This allows them to see 100 million different colours, while the rest of us have to make do with just 7 million; all of these being a combination of red, green and blue.


SECOND During your life, your eyes will see 24 million different images. Each second, your eyes focus on 50 different things, and each hour they’ll process around 36,000 pieces of information.

The average lifespan for an eyelash is between 3-5 months. The upper eye-lid houses around 200 lashes, while the lower lid only holds around 100. There also happens to be tiny little creatures living in them too; called Demodex, these little mites keep the follicles from clogging up by eating up the cells shed by the lashes.

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But everyone has 30 minutes to give to their body, haven’t they? That’s all you need to blitz your body with this month’s HIIT workout. Stop procrastinating and limber up! Work. Kids. Social life. Sometimes our exercise habits can get pushed to one side because, you know, life. Well, that excuse doesn’t really fly anymore thanks to HIIT. Yes, it can be hard travelling to and from a place of exercise and doing a full-on workout or class, but everyone has half an hour to spare. And heck, this workout from PT Catarina Vianna makes it even easier, for this is High Intensity Interval Training as its best… and you don’t even need to leave your house. This workout focuses on short bursts of exercise where you’ll go all out (maximum effort) before a short rest

before the next exercise begins. The workout will be intense and effective in a short period of time. This type of workout has shown to increase cardiovascular fitness and promote healthy blood glucose levels (when done correctly). It will also not only promote quicker results than other types of training but also increase muscular endurance. In fact, it has been shown to increase the resting metabolic rate for the next 24 hours following the workout for a great fat burner! What are you waiting for?

THE WORKOUT Two rounds of four exercises. That’s it. Each round lasts for eight minutes, of which you’ll do 40 seconds of each exercise, then rest for 20 seconds before moving on to the next. Repeat both rounds twice, so total workout time: 32 minutes (without rest between sets), 36 minutes (with rest between sets). Do each set of exercises twice to hit that eight-minute mark.



BURPEE BOX JUMP Perform the beginning of a burpee (in a press-up position, jump both feet together out and in) finishing by jumping onto a box jump, making sure to land softly and in a squat position. Step back down and repeat.




SHOULDER TAPS Hands under chest, closer together than a normal press-up position and feet wider apart (the further apart they are the more stability you will have). When tapping each shoulder (opposite hand to opposite shoulder) pay attention in keeping your hips stationary and engaging your core.




WALL BALLS Squat back into your heels keeping your chest up and use that momentum to throw the ball up against a wall before catching it back and falling into a squat again.




SQUAT JUMPS Attention to weight on heels rather than toes, back straight and chest up. Use power from your legs to exert a powerful jump before falling back into a low squat. Pay attention in keeping your hips stationary and engaging your core.






LUNGE JUMPS Feet hip width apart, make sure your knee does not go over your toes when lunging and use arms to help make the jump more powerful when changing legs.




Press-ups are still king, but sometimes it’s good to mix them up for even greater gains

KETTLE BELL CLEAN AND PRESS Pick up kettlebell from the floor in a squat position and use hips to thrust forward to help bring the kettlebell up to your shoulder. Use a slight bend in the knees to help push the kettlebell overhead. Bring it back down into a squat and change sides.




Man continues to invent new machines and apparatus to help us get fit, but one constant throughout all these advancements is the humble press-up. Simple, but effective, the press-up should remain a staple. However, don’t just churn out the reps… add some variation and notice the difference.

Kettle bells

A simple upgrade is to use a kettle bell or dumbbell for a deeper press. Maximise the movement and watch those guns grow.

MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS Press-up position, back straight and neck in a neutral position. Bring one knee at a time towards your chest, alternating as quick as you can between legs. Make sure hands are under your shoulders.




KETTLEBELL DEADLIFTS Begin with feet hip width apart with a kettlebell on the outside of each foot. Sit back to grab them and stand back up with the kettlebell on either side of your thigh. You want to focus on using your glutes and hamstrings to stand back up rather than your quads.




ABOUT THE PT Catarina completed her personal training qualifications alongside a degree in Psychology at Durham University before going onto doing a Masters in Sport and Exercise Psychology at Leeds Beckett University. Catarina has always been a fan of quick and high intensity workouts to get a sweat on, mixing bodyweight and weighted exercises to help with endurance and strength.

Bosu Ball

Work your core even harder by adding in a Bosu Ball (or any kind of ball, frankly). You’ll notice it gets a lot harder, which means you’re smashing your core as well as your arms.

Hand clap

Instead of simply returning to your start position, push off the ground and introduce a hand clap before then returning to your start position. Tough, right? Good, that explosive movement will build your chest and arm strength far more than a traditional press up. Just so you know, the record is 90 reps in one minute. Best get practising, eh…



Words by @DrEKirkeOSTM

ANTIOXIDANTS An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals, leading to chain reactions that may damage cells. Foods high in this molecule include blackberries, blueberries, walnuts and brewed coffee.

Casein and egg PROTEIN Your muscles adapt and grow stronger between training sessions, so in order to maximise results you have to ensure deep restful sleep and optimize your diet. Optimized Casein and Egg Protein by Multipower is designed to support you through this process.



BCAA BCAAs stimulate the protein synthesis before, during and after a workout. BCAA powder by Multipower contains the essential branched chain amino acids L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine and LValine in a 2:1:1 ratio.

Diabetes Diabetes is a lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar level to become too high. There are two main types of diabetes – type 1 and type 2. Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1. In the UK, around 90% of all adults with diabetes have type 2. There are 3.9 million people living with diabetes in the UK. That’s more than one in 16 people in the UK (diagnosed or undiagnosed).

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Eggs Eggs are a useful source of protein, iodine and essential vitamins and are almost indispensable. Hens’ eggs are the type of egg most frequently used in cooking. Duck eggs, gull eggs and quail eggs are less frequently used and are generally eaten on their own, rather than in baking. Duck eggs are larger than hens’ eggs and richer in flavour, lending a creamy depth to baked dishes.

Glutamine Glutamine is a vital amino acid required by every muscle in the body, and is therefore one of the most important building blocks in forming the proteins that maintain cellular health and tissue repair. It also helps to support your immune system, and aids digestion!

Iron Iron is an essential mineral, with several important roles. For example, it helps to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body. A lack of iron can lead to iron deficiency anaemia. Iron-rich foods include red meat, pork, poultry, seafood, beans, dark leafy vegetables, dried fruit and iron-fortified cereals.

Vitamin K A group of structurally similar and fat-soluble vitamins that the human body requires for synthesis of certain proteins and for controlling the binding of calcium in bones and other tissues. Without vitamin K, blood coagulation is seriously impaired, and uncontrolled bleeding occurs. Low levels of vitamin K also weaken bones and promote calcification of arteries and other soft tissues. Leafy vegetables high in Vitamin K include frozen kale, frozen spinach, mustard greens, spinach, beet greens, swiss chard and broccoli raab.

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Multivitamins are a convenient form of tablet or powder used to provide vitamins that are not taken in through the diet. Multivitamins are also used to treat vitamin deficiencies caused by illness, pregnancy, poor nutrition, digestive disorders and many other conditions.


Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) provide energy and their caloric value is similar to other fats and oils. However, unlike saturated fats, they have important health roles. As their name suggests, they are essential and must be consumed daily because the body has a limited storage for them. Two crucial ones, EPA and DHA, are primarily found in certain fish. ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), another omega-3 fatty acid, is found in plant sources such as nuts and seeds. Not only does your body need these fatty acids to function, but they also deliver some big health benefits.

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Fish Oily fish is known for being a great combination of protein and essential fats. Examples include small forage fish, such as sardines, herring and anchovies, and other larger pelagic fish, such as salmon, trout, tuna and mackerel. Oily fish can be contrasted with white fish, which contain oil only in the liver.

Healthy eating Healthy eating means eating a variety of foods that give you the nutrients you need to maintain your health, to feel good, and to have energy. These nutrients include protein, carbohydrates, fat, water, vitamins, and minerals.

Juicing Whatever you like to call them, juice ‘fasts’, ‘cleanses’ or ‘detoxes’ have taken the dieting industry by storm over the past few years. In exchange for a diet that’s heavy on ‘healthy’ juice (think: a mix of fruit and veg), we’re promised healthy, young, radiant skin, potential weight loss and an improved clarity of mind.

Low carb A buzz phrase, the likelihood is that you or someone you know has tried a ‘low-carb’ diet. However, a low carb/high fat or a ketogenic diet appears to be better than pure low carb, as they won’t leave you lacking in energy. A diet low in carbohydrate without a boost in fats can leave you feeling lethargic and tired. Carbohydrates are multi form and comprise of any of a large group of organic compounds occurring in foods and living tissues, including sugars, starch, and cellulose. They contain hydrogen and oxygen in the same ratio as water and typically can be broken down to release energy in the animal body. Consequently, carbohydrates are the body’s primary energy source.

Nuts and nut butters Sales of nut butters are soaring, especially in the fitness fraternity. A nut butter is a spreadable food made by crushing nuts into a paste. The result has a high fat content and can be spread like true butter. Nut butters include almond butter, cashew butter and, of course, peanut butter. Cashew nut butter isn’t always the best choice for your diet — it is lower in fat and protein and perhaps slightly higher in sugar than peanut or almond butter — but it can still be a healthy snack option, particularly if you are avoiding legumes. Peanuts are part of the legume family and are technically not a nut. Peanut butter shares some health benefits with other nut butters, but there tends to be fewer healthy versions available on the market. Peanut butters are the most often processed with hydrogenated oils and sugar, so make sure you check the label carefully.


Protein Proteins are the building blocks of life. Every cell in the human body contains protein. The basic structure of protein is a chain of amino acids. You need protein in your diet to help your body repair cells and make new ones. High protein foods include meat, fish, cheese, tofu, beans, lentils, yogurt, nuts and seeds.

Riboflavin A yellow vitamin of the B complex, which is essential for metabolic energy production. It is present in many foods, especially milk, liver, eggs, and green vegetables, and is also synthesized by the intestinal flora.


Trans fats Artificial trans fats can be formed when oil goes through a process called hydrogenation, which makes the oil more solid (known as hardening). This type of fat, known as hydrogenated fat, can be used for frying or as an ingredient in processed foods. This is the main fat that should be avoided in a healthconscious diet. Man-made fats or artificial trans fats can be found in some processed foods such as biscuits and cakes, where they are sometimes used to help give products a longer shelf life.

Vegetables One of the most important ingredients in your healthy life. Containing phytonutrients, the more variety in colour on your plate the better spectrum you will be consuming. You can purchase ‘super Greens’ powders now to supplement your diet, especially if it is lacking in any particular area.



Xylitol is a naturally occurring alcohol found in most plant material, including many fruits and vegetables. It is extracted from birch wood to make medicine. Xylitol is widely used as a sugar substitute and in ‘sugar-free’ chewing gums, mints, and other sweets. It can be used as a ‘healthier’ version of a cake or in baking.

Yoghurt Yoghurt was one of the very first ‘health’ foods, and it’s still one of the best. It’s high in the calcium needed to build healthy bones and supplies the B vitamins B12 and folic acid that help build a healthy blood supply. They also contain a ‘friendly’ bacteria which can assist in keeping a healthy gut. However, some yoghurts are high in hidden sugars, so be wise in your choices if you decide to include this in your meal plan. There are also less traditional yoghurts on the market which can be made from keffir, coconut and soy products.


Q-10 Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a substance similar to a vitamin. It is found in every cell of the body. Your body makes CoQ10, and your cells use it to produce the energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance. It also functions as an antioxidant, which protects the body from damage caused by harmful molecules.

Salt Contrary to common belief, we all need a little bit of sodium because it helps keep body fluids at the right concentration and helps muscle and nerve activity. Salt (sodium chloride) is the main source of sodium in the UK diet, but the majority of us eat much more salt than we need. Eating too much salt over time is linked with high blood pressure, which can lead to serious problems such as heart disease or stroke. On average, adults in the UK eat about 8.1g of salt (3.2g sodium) a day. This may not sound like much, but to reduce the risk of high blood pressure, it is recommended that adults should not be eating more than 6g of salt (2.4g sodium) a day.

Unsaturated fats An unsaturated fat is a fat or fatty acid in which there is at least one double bond within the fatty acid chain. A fatty acid chain is monounsaturated if it contains one double bond, and polyunsaturated if it contains more than one double bond. Unsaturated fats are considered the ‘healthy’ fats and are encouraged as part of a healthy diet. These fats can help reduce heart disease and lower cholesterol levels. Example foods includes almonds, avocado, walnuts, sardines, seeds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, salmon and flaxseeds.

Water Government guidelines say that we should drink eight glasses of water a day, however, your size, the temperature and how active you are can all make a difference (so, if you’re exercising a lot on a hot day, you’ll need to drink more). You get about 20% of your water every day through food, so a general rule is to drink 2 litres of water a day. This is the equivalent to three-and-a-half pints. If you’re feeling thirsty you’re already dehydrated, so don’t wait until you need a drink – sip small amounts throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated. You can actually drink too much water it can apparently lead to excessive sweating, insomnia and even death.

Zinc Zinc is actually a metal. It is called an ‘essential trace element’ because very small amounts of zinc are necessary for human health. A Zinc deficiency and its consequences, include stunted growth and acute diarrhoea in children, and slow wound healing. Oysters contain more than any other food (74mg/ serving), but red meat and poultry provide the majority of zinc in the diet. Other food sources high in zinc include beans, nuts, whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals and dairy products.


Suitable for all members of the family aged 6 and above. Also suitable for Vegans. For more information please visit: Splat_UK_Official @Splat.UK @splatoralcare

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AMES Willstrop is clearly a force to be reckoned with. The famous sportsman, who started playing squash aged just three years old and won his first tournament when he was six, exudes confidence, has an insatiable passion for his chosen sport and droves of motivation – all the qualities needed to be an international Squash player.

“It was my Dad, an ex-teacher-turned-squash coach who first got me into the game,” he explains. “Of course when you are young, you look to your parents and their passions and my love of squash definitely came from being around dad. I became obsessed with squash when I was so little. Dad was my role model. I wasn’t taken to Wimbledon – I was taken to Wembley to watch the squash and those players became my idols.” James, 35, who lives in Yorkshire but is originally from Norfolk, is quick to point out how challenging squash can be, yet cites this as one of the many reasons he loves the game. He explains: “The sport can be a battle within 45 minutes, which will reduce you to your knees and that tactical aspect will always be testing. Squash is fastmoving – unlike tennis or cricket. You have to recover with no oxygen running through your body, but the games lets you be very artistic, with lots of beauty involved.” Known as ‘The Marksman’ after his accurate shot placement, he is an impressive 6’ 4” and has changed his views on training over the past few years. “I used to worry much more about training. If I could give my younger self some advice it would be to focus on quality, not quantity,” he says. “Squash is a heavy sport on your limbs. In my 20s I put six hours of training in every day; a session in the squash court in the morning, then some yoga or pilates at my local David Lloyd club. I would then do some afternoon training off-court. Nowadays I tend to restrict heavy-impact, court-based training sessions to three times a week, focusing on the quality. I use David Lloyd gym facilities – I am a big fan of the Prowler machine – it is a phenomenal piece of kit. Sometimes I will also do pilates or yoga classes which are essential

“THE SPORT CAN BE A BATTLE WITHIN 45 MINUTES, WHICH WILL REDUCE YOU TO YOUR KNEES…” for core work. The courts and facilities are fantastic at my local David Lloyd club in Leeds. I also have to be mindful that I travel all over the world, so if I’m jet-lagged or have had a heavy tournament, I have to take it easier with the training.” Earlier this year, James claimed the biggest title of his squash career todate, defeating New Zealand’s Paul Coll 3-0 (11-9, 11-4, 11-6), to win gold at the Commonwealth Games. After his outstanding performance on Australia’s Gold Coast, Willstrop became the most-capped England squash player in history. “After that win, we were straight into doubles, so my celebration was a meal with family and friends,” he explains. “I am vegetarian and that’s my way of doing it. A good general diet is important to me.

“I WOULD NOT ADVISE ANYONE TO GIVE SOMETHING UP – DO NOT PUNISH YOURSELF” I have lived through too many extreme diets – six months without chocolate then I would go mad on it for two weeks. Eat well and refuel with the right foods; carbs and protein at the right time, plus lots of fruit and vegetables. I would not advise anyone to give something up – do not punish yourself. Everything in moderation.” At the time of giving this interview, James was preparing to battle it out at the Open International de Squash de Nantes, in the spectacular setting of Théâtre Graslin. And he’s an expert when it comes to keeping calm: “I get such a buzz from tournaments,” he says. “But I do just want to curl up in a corner sometimes. I try to stay clear headed, focus on the basic things and remember there are lots of people worse off than me. It is all about positive thinking. Sometimes you cannot escape the fact that nerves will get the better of you, but you can only do your best.” Being the best is something that James hopes to continue doing into his retirement years, but hopes to take the energy from the courts into the theatre. “I do love acting,” James adds. “I recently finished being in a play in Harrogate – I adore the theatre and being on stage. There is a huge crossover in skill sets between sport and drama. Who knows, when I retire I’d love to do more acting, alongside squash. Everyone should give squash a go. It’s not just a game for summer but perfect to get you motivated in autumn too.” For more information on PlaySight SmartCourt, visit



Life’s hectic and we can’t always give our bodies what they need. Try these if you need a little help… Udo’s Choice Ultimate Oil Blend This vital source of polyunsaturated omega-3 & 6 essential fatty acids (EFAs) is a perfect blend of flax, sesame and sunflower seed oils, as well as oils from evening primrose, rice germ, oat germ and coconut. All our cells need protein, water, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids (EFAs) omega-3 and 6 to operate at their best. This oil provides a premium natural source of unprocessed, undamaged omega-3 and 6 in a ratio that supports optimum health, and contributes to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels. Healthspan Zinc Defence Lozenges Zinc is one of the body’s most important minerals as it helps to maintain our bones, eye health, fertility and reproduction, as well as our skin, hair and nails. Importantly, it also provides support to the immune system, which is why these Zinc Defence Lozenges are here to help at the first sign of cold and flu. Healthspan suggest that 90mg of active ionic zinc is the optimum level to take. Each peppermint lozenge provides 34mg of zinc acetate, which delivers 10mg of active ionic zinc. Myvitamins Go With Your Gut Our digestive system is one of the most active parts of the body, so it’s important that we keep it healthy. Myvitamins Go With Your Gut is a blend of friendly bacteria that supports your stomach in its digestive processes. Each tablet contains chloride, which produces hydrochloric acid in the stomach to break down proteins in your food and support the function of your digestive system.

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HOW TO EAT HEALTHY ON THE HIGH STREET Ditch the soggy sandwiches and overpriced snacks and chow down on some nutritious grub on the go The high street can be a minefield when you’re looking for healthy, affordable choices. Particularly when you’ve made the decision to leave the office later than planned and storm around in a hangry state, ultimately ending up with overpriced food and drink that is neither good for you nor tasty. But this doesn’t have to be the case! With a little preparation, and nutritional know-how, it’s easy to make the right choices to leave you full, satisfied and feeling good. We get the lowdown from top

nutritionists, who tell us the food and drink they would pick from local shops on the high street… LUNCH For a light lunch that will keep you full and give your brain a boost, why not try sushi.

that are classed as essential fats, as the body can’t make them. These fatty acids help to nourish and repair brain cells, focus the mind and increase concentration. Fish is also high in Vitamin B12, which keeps the brain ‘happy’ and staves off bouts of depression, anxiety and brain fog.

It’s always top of nutritionist Alix Wood’s list of healthy lunches, and she recommends eating it regularly in order to help protect the brain. Fish in sushi is the number one ‘brain’ food. It is rich in Omega-3 fish oils

As most already know, fish is also an excellent source of protein that balances blood sugar and keeps energy stable. This leads to longer spells of satiety, enhanced metabolism and less snacking

(between meals), encouraging steady and safe weight loss. Alix recommends the super salmon light (£4.99) which offers a good variety of salmon sushi, avocado maki and salmon sashimi, and comes in at only 433 calories! Where? itsu stores nationwide Not a sushi fan? Try the Chicken Satay Hot box from Leon (£6.95). Alix says it’s an excellent example of a well-balanced warming meal with a good proportion of protein from chicken, soybeans, seeds, quinoa and millet. The antioxidantrich superfoods, seeds and nuts will all provide essential fats, minerals, vitamins and fibre. The punchy Satay sauce has a mixture of peanut butter, coconut milk, and spices like cinnamon, chilli, turmeric, nutmeg and zesty lime leaves – all immuneboosting warriors! What’s more, this tasty chicken delight is suitable for those on wheat-free, gluten-free and dairy-free diets.

friendly superfood salad loaded with functional high-protein sources of quinoa, spelt and beans. As most of us know by now, proteins are essential to all body systems to build and repair cell tissue, and opting for plant versions provides even more health benefits.

Where? Leon stores nationwide

Where? Marks & Spencer nationwide

Those looking for veggie options, it’s important to check your choice stacks up in the protein side of things, as well as providing as many nutrients as possible. A good option would be the Super Nutty WholeFood Salad from Marks & Spencer (£3.30), a power-packed vegetarian-

DRINK We all know the importance of good hydration throughout the day, the hardest part is actually getting that daily quota! Well, we have some good news. Woods reminds us that all drinks count towards our daily hydration water quota, but some are of course better than others. Fizzy drinks, smoothies and cordial all contain sugar, which may add unnecessary calories, whereas herbal and fruit teas are hydrating and sugar free. She also warns to be wary of caffeine and alcohol, as these increase water loss, and also deplete the body of nutrients.

This salad is a good source of protein, a low carbohydrate, low salt meal that delivers maximum nutrients and flavour for optimal health.

Alix recommends itsu’s Zen Waters ( which are perfect to have if it’s hot – here’s hoping for an Indian summer – as they are refreshing, light and hydrating. Her first choice being the cooling, Cucumber & Mint flavour (£1.49). For those who need a bit of a sweeter lift after a long hot day, Alix says itsu’s Berry Low (£1.49) is uplifting with

a zing of ginger and natural sugar from the stevia plant. The gingerols support digestion and also have antiinflammatory properties too. Where? itsu stores nationwide For those of you who can’t resist a fizzy tipple, why not go for one that’s good for your gut too, like Kombocha. Cassandra Barns comments: “Kombucha is good for our gut because it contains natural friendly bacteria. It’s like a natural probiotic in drink form – but better, because it can provide a much wider range of bacteria than a typical probiotic supplement or yoghurt drink, and also contains vitamins and enzymes that are produced by the bacteria during fermentation.” Where? Waitrose stores nationwide SNACK A whopping 54% of Brits lack fibre in their diet! Are you getting the Government’s recommended 30g per day? If the answer is no, fear not – there are easy and simple ways to introduce more fibre into your diet. Instead of crisps, why not opt for oatcakes with a scoop of nut butter. Barns comments, “Fibre in our diet is vital for a healthy gut and helping with regular bowel movements. Oatcakes are a great choice as they’re made with coarse, wholegrain oats and are high in soluble and insoluble fibre.” Where? Sainsbury’s, Tesco’s and Morrisons nationwide.




SMOKED SALMON & COURGETTE BREAKFAST POTS “Kick-start your day with this protein-rich brekkie, which is very simple to rustle up. I line ramekins with smoked salmon, then fill with a mixture of egg, cottage cheese, grated courgette and parsley. They are then just baked in the oven until set. This little pot will keep you feeling full for hours!” SERVES 2 318 calories per serving 120g smoked salmon slices 1 small courgette (about 125g) 2 large eggs 10g chopped parsley 3 tbsp cottage cheese sea salt and freshly ground black pepper TO SERVE 2 small slices of wholemeal bread 6 cherry tomatoes, quartered

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas 6. 2. Line two large, deep ramekins with the smoked salmon, so the base and sides are covered. 3. Grate the courgette using a coarse grater and put into a large bowl. Crack in the eggs, add the chopped parsley and cottage cheese and season well with salt and pepper. Use a fork to break up the eggs, then mix all the ingredients together. 4. Divide evenly between the ramekins and bake in the oven for 20–25 minutes, or until the filling has set. 5. Toast and halve the bread and arrange on two plates with the cherry tomatoes spooned on top. Season well and serve with the smoked salmon pots. TOM’S TIP “These make a great, super-quick supper, too – in fact, if you’re putting the oven on anyway, they would be great with a jacket potato, too. Just choose a spud that’s as small as your fist and steam a couple of florets of broccoli to serve alongside.”

CHICKEN MEATBALLS WITH ORZO, PARSLEY & LEMON “These simple chicken meatballs, containing chopped dried apricots and topped with parsley and lemon, taste really special. It’s worth making a batch to freeze, too. If you don’t fancy serving these with the pasta and sauce, they are also delicious stuffed into a wholemeal pitta, with a drizzle of Greek yoghurt and lots of chopped salad.” SERVES 2 592 calories per serving FOR THE MEATBALLS about 300g skinless chicken breast fillet (or use turkey), roughly chopped 1 shallot, roughly chopped 4 apricots, chopped 2 tbsp oats 1 medium egg 1 tsp olive oil sea salt and freshly ground black pepper FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE 1 tsp olive oil 2 garlic cloves, sliced 400g can chopped tomatoes 700ml hot chicken or vegetable stock 75g orzo pasta 100g frozen peas zest 1/4 lemon 2 tbsp chopped parsley


1. Put the chicken into the bowl of a food processor and add the shallot, apricots, oats and egg. Season well and whizz everything together until the mixture is minced finely. Use a teaspoon to scoop out pieces of the mixture and roll in your hands – each should be about the size of a golf ball. You’ll make roughly 14–16 balls. 2. Make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a large casserole and fry the garlic for 1–2 minutes until just turning golden. Pour in the tomatoes and stock and season well. Simmer for about 5–8 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

3. Meanwhile, fry the meatballs. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a low heat. Add half the meatballs and cook, turning every now and then, until golden almost all over. Transfer to a plate and then cook the other half in the same way. 4. Stir the pasta into the tomato sauce, then dot the meatballs over the top. Cover and simmer for 11 minutes over a low heat, adding the peas about 3 minutes from the end. Scatter over the lemon zest and chopped parsley to serve.





s the maker of a mindfulness app which contains hundreds of meditations specially designed for different parts of the day, there is one category which is by far the most popular: the meditations for going to sleep. Not only do the buddhify sleep meditations enjoy the most usage, they also receive the most fan-mail, and what we’ve learnt through all those conversations and our research is that mindfulness helps in two main ways: getting to sleep in the first place, and improving its restful nature. It won’t be a surprise to you that getting better sleep is a problem that so many of us are trying to solve. Our daily schedules are often full to the brim and as if that wasn’t enough already, our attention is being constantly stimulated through all kinds of media. All of which means that come the time when we are looking to fall asleep, all that momentum means that our minds are still swimming and so can be a real challenge to settle down. It is also not news to you that sleep matters. Without regular decent sleep, we end up lethargic and unable to act and concentrate at our potential. Just like exercise and eating well, making sure we prioritise sleep is central to our overall sense of well-being. So how does mindfulness help? There are three main ways in which we can use mindfulness and meditation techniques to encourage and improve

our sleep and the first is in quieting our mind. The main reason that people say they struggle with nodding off is that there is just so much mental activity happening at the moment they want to go to sleep. And for sleep to happen, we need to move the nature of our mind to be closer and closer to that of the sleeping mind and a key part of that is quieting thinking down. The most reliable way to do this is to deliberately choose to rest your attention on physical sensations such as your breathing or the feelings in your body. Doing this means that you’re not making too big a deal of all the thinking and other mental patterns that are kicking around and, as such, they lose their energy and start to fizzle out. The second great mindfulness technique for sleep is focusing on the positive. Since our minds can have a tendency to focus on something negative such as worry or anxiety, to nudge them the other way we often have to make a bit of effort to do so. And given

that lying down in bed is actually quite pleasant and comfortable, there are so many ways to do this. Again, they key is to deliberately place your attention somewhere, and in this case you place it on the most pleasurable or enjoyable parts of your experience. So that could be the warmth of the bedclothes around you, their softness on your skin or perhaps the quiet and calm in the room you’re in. Then with your mind filled with a sense of pleasure, even if just a little, you’ll be in a better place to drop off since a happier mind falls asleep quicker than an agitated one. The third way to use mindfulness to help you sleep is what’s called ‘letting go’. If you do have a mind full of worry and anxiety, then the trick is to make the conscious decision to let it go for the night. They’ll be plenty of time to start thinking again the next day, so when you notice those difficult thoughts coming up, feel free to say a gentle but firm ‘not now’ to them. Ultimately all meditation is, is training the mind, and the key to doing that is to be firm but, at the same time, kind. Alongside using these simple meditation techniques at bedtime, we also need to make sure we give ourselves even more of a chance by looking after our environment. That means that ideally you try to avoid too much stimulation before sleep. And if you can do some other activity that you find relaxing, such as taking a bath, stretching or a spot of reading, then that is always a good idea. It’s really up to you to work out what best supports you getting the sleep that you both need and deserve. But when you do establish a good routine, it’ll be a friend for life.

RELAX… THE GLOBAL WAY We’re constantly being told we need to be more mindful, but how does everyone else do it? Here, we look at relaxation tips from around the world FIKA, SWEDEN Z

HOT SPRINGS, ICELAND Y Iceland is situated on one of the most active geothermal locations on Earth. The result is an abundance of hot springs filled with natural ice water heated by the earth’s mantle, like the worldfamous Blue Lagoon. Take a dip and immerse your body in delicious 40°C temperatures and feel the results. Rich in silica, the water is purported to work wonders on conditions like eczema and acne, leaving your skin feeling smooth and soft and your body relaxed.

We all take a break for coffee. But not like the Swedes. Their coffee break – fika – is serious business. In offices and homes around the country, Swedes get together to enjoy sweet treats and coffee. It’s a ceremony of almost religious importance, designed to let people breathe and take a break from the rigours of the day. In Sweden, you don’t drink coffee-on-the-go in a Stryfoam cup, while rushing to and from meetings. Instead, you enjoy your hot drink in the presence of others, with treats and snacks piled high.

LAUGHTER YOGA, INDIA Z Picture a group of people in a park laughing for absolutely no reason at all; no jokes are being told and there’s nothing comedic being projected on a screen – nope, it’s belly laughter for the sake of it. This is laughter yoga, which mixes the science of breathing with the feel-good endorphins of a good old giggle. Practitioners claim that our bodies can’t tell the difference between real laugher and faked laughter. In fact, the only difference is that real laughter is over in seconds. When you choose to belly laugh, you can keep going and going, prolonging the feel-good vibes. Laughter yoga sessions typically last less than 30 minutes and are performed in groups. Proponents of the movement swear that it reduces the stresses of modern life.

CAPOEIRA, BRAZIL Y Set to the beat of a drum and the rhythmic clap of hands, capoeiristas enter into a synchronised dance, moving side-to-side with arms swinging at their waist in a move called ‘the ginga’. This progresses into backflips, cartwheels and choreographed spins incorporating exaggerated leg kicks. Performers lose themselves in the dance. The outside world ceases to matter, allowing capoeiristas to forget about their day-to-day struggles as they move their bodies and exert their muscles for a heady rush of endorphins.

MATE, ARGENTINA AND URUGUAY Y Visit Argentina or neighbouring Uruguay and you’ll notice people clutching a calabash pot with a silver straw sticking out the end. Now and then they’ll sip from the straw, enjoying all the benefits of a caffeinated drink that isn’t tea or coffee. This is mate (pronounced martay), a drink made from the dried yerba leaf, which is ground up and placed in the calabash pot before hot water is added. The pot is shared between friends, while news and gossip is exchanged. South Americans swear by its health benefits (mate can reduce oxidative stress, for one), but they also use it as a way of fostering companionship.

TAI CHI, CHINA Z A Chinese tradition developed in the 13th century, tai chi has been adopted in the West as an antidote to the desk-bound lives we lead. Practitioners learn to balance and untense their muscles through a series of standing poses, but tai chi isn’t only exercise. It’s also a form of mindfulness training, designed to slow racing thoughts and calm the mind. The clever part? By focusing on your body, you’re able to quieten your mind. Practitioners take lungfuls of air through their nostrils and exhale through their mouths, purging negative thoughts and relaxing in the process.

SAGE SMUDGING, NORTH AMERICA Sage (or salvia apiana, to give its medical name) grows in hardy terrain in mountainous regions of North America. What happens when you take a bundle of sage and light the stack? In Native American culture, you’re sage smudging, an ancient practice believed to purify the air and cleanse the spirit. But you don’t need to be a devoted mystic to do it. As the smoke from the sage fills the room, you have a chance to centre yourself and enjoy the myriad health benefits devotees swear by: relief from headaches, blocked sinuses, and even improved mood and memory.


UBUNTU, SOUTH AFRICA Y The idea of ‘ubuntu’ originated amongst the Zulu tribe on South Africa’s east coast and it has spread far and wide. Unlike the other activities on the list, ubuntu is actually a philosophy of living rather than an activity, but a philosophy that can very much be put into practice. In short, treat one another with compassion. Be capable of forgiveness. Be willing to give. And be grateful.

A bowl is filled with water and positioned in the palm of one’s hand. Then, a mallet wrapped in leather is moved around the base of the bowl. The result is a sound likened to the bowl ‘singing’. Welcome to the Tibetan singing bowl. Its distinct, meditative drone signals the start – and end – of a yoga session. The bowl is also used in sound healing, where sonic vibrations are used to heal the mind and body in lieu of traditional medicine. YouTube is awash with the melodic drone of a Tibetan singing bowl, so give it a try.

FRILUFTSLIV, NORWAY (AS WELL AS OTHER SCANDINAVIAN COUNTRIES) X Many cultures across the world believe that a day not spent behind a desk is a day wasted. Not in Norway. Like its Scandinavian neighbours, Norwegians work to live, not live to work. With a relaxed attitude to the office and flexi-time in abundance, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy friluftsliv, a term coined by poet Henrik Ibsen in 1859, one that translates to the ‘outdoors’ or ‘outdoor life’. With fjords, mountains and beautiful national parks, Norwegians will find any excuse to indulge a spot of walking, sightseeing and even camping. Come rain or shine.




MEN’S 1. HYPERTREX FG BOA W13 – MIDNIGHT WIND GREY This AARK sneaker is innovation in action. Fits like a sock and offers ultra-stability. £160-£175



2.NEW BALANCE SEASONLESS LONG SLEEVE SHIRT Get the most out of every season with this men’s Seasonless Long Sleeve Shirt. £tbc

3. ACCELERATE COMPRESSION TIGHTS Compression to reduce muscle soreness/ improve recovery with a waistband designed for comfort. £80


Inspired by top surfers, this versatile shoe provides comfort on long journeys. £75


5. MEN’S UA SPEEDFORM AMP 2.0 TRAINING SHOES Made for the athlete who takes on every type of training – UA AMP technology gives the arch of your foot the freedom it needs. £110


6. BJORN BORG SIGNATURE BLOCKED TRACK JACKET Retro inspired – a regular fit, colour blocked track jacket. £75

7. MEN’S UA CAGE SHORTS Built with MMA in mind – incredibly tough, light, and have incredible stretch. £36



Fitted soft knit fabric with engineered mesh ventilation, mapped to the places you need it most. £45



8 2

WOMEN’S 1. WOMEN’S UA VANISH TANK A smooth performance fabric stretches without sacrificing support. £36

2. JULES SCULPT KNIT TOP A long sleeve top that can tackle anything, thanks to breathable mesh panels. £44

3. FABLETIC DASH SEAMLESS BRA AND LEGGINGS This low impact design makes this Dash bra perfect for all-day wear £26/£40



These Nike Zoom Structure 22 trainers feature lace-up fastening and a cushioned insole. £117.99


5.RAVEN NUBUCK S-E15 VIBRAM DARK BORDEAUX GUM – WOMEN A minimalist design that provides maximum comfort. £150



The women’s Fresh Foam Cruz v2 Knit makes plush comfort even fresher. £80.00

7. WOMEN’S UA VANISH PRINTED LEGGINGS & SPORTS BRA Whatever your goals are, this gear was built to help you keep pushing towards them. £65/£42


8. MANDUKA – THE HIGH LINE LEGGING This High Line legging has a contoured waist that sits at the navel. £82


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THE LEAN MACHINES What are the best videos to watch on YouTube when it comes to workout tips? Gareth, by email What, apart from ours, you mean?! We would definitely recommend our videos, but then we are a bit biased. We like to put all kinds of stuff up, not just workout tips, but also things we feel will benefit our followers. And we know, because of the number of responses and viewers that we get, that they’re striking a chord for people. We just like to put things out there that we like, and to share a tonne of good info with those interested in us. As an example, we get asked similar questions by a lot of people, so we do blog-style videos to inform where best we can. One question

we get asked a lot is: why am I not losing fat? A big mistake people make is that they don’t eat enough calories to lose fat. People simply under eat, and as a consequence they can’t lose the fat they need to get lean. This is a common fat-loss mistake, but it’s about educating people about best habits. We’ve made loads of mistakes too, and we’re not ashamed to share our own experiences so people don’t make the same mistakes as us. We also try and dispel a lot of common myths. We all make mistakes, it’s part of the journey; our job is to make sure people learn from them. How long should you work out to experience change? Becky, via email We all want to see results by exercising, but focusing on aesthetics can lead to bad habits. And we’ve seen it all! The first thing to consider here is your end goal. If you’re looking to build strength, then a 30 or 40-minute workout consisting of 5 rounds of 5 reps is, say, better than an hour-long workout. Another thing to consider is that however much time you can spare will be of benefit. Let’s say you can only manage a 10-minute walk/jog in your lunch hour; that’s still 10 minutes that will help improve your fitness, burn calories, release some endorphins and help you lose fat. You’ll get a buzz from however long you spend exercising. Some people like to spend two or three hours in the gym and that’s their prerogative, but 45 minutes is a sweet spot we

would encourage you to aim for, unless you can do a HIIT session in less time. Those who spend longer in the gym tend to spend a lot of their time chatting, texting… so actually there’s no benefit to be had staying longer than an hour. More isn’t better: better is better! When is my cheat day? Alan, via email This one of the first questions we get asked when it comes to discussing diet. But this shouldn’t be the focus. By focusing on a cheat day, you’re already accepting that you’re going to eat some crap, and that means you’ll need to train to make up for it. Instead of focusing on a cheat day, make yourself more accountable and do things with a better balance. By all means, treat yourself sometimes and train around it when you fall off the wagon, but don’t plan it! Of course, there will be times when you want to stray and enjoy yourself and that’s fine, but instead of planning it or thinking ahead to it, hold yourself to account. It’s all about compromise, and trying to be consistent. Don’t plan to eat good food most days and then plan for bad days; instead, aim to try and eat better more consistently. This way, you’re likely to stay on track for longer.


Friday 21 September Forget sluggish autumn days, dropping temperatures and claustrophobic commutes, the Fabletics x POPfit Equinox solstice party, the final event in their Summer Series, will put a spring in your step (literally as POPfit studio boasts a highly sprung floor!). DJ and presenter Edith Bowman will be curating and DJing the play-list to include some of the best dance floor bangers from this year’s festival and Ibiza seasons. Meanwhile, Steph Burrows, founder of POPfit, has created a unique routine, combining dance, yoga, HIIT and pilates, to compliment Edith’s music and get everyone


Thursday 2 May 2019 We don’t want to wish our lives away, but next year’s challenge schedule is already shaping up to be a good one. If you’re also looking ahead for events to get excited about, look no further than Cumbria for the Lake District 8 Peak Challenge. Sign up to spend two days trekking across this beautiful part of the British countryside to raise some much-needed cash for Meningitis Now. You’ll cover a solid 31km in total, making this a seriously challenging walking adventure. Day 1 will tackle Skiddaw (3,054ft), Helvellyn (3,117ft) and Helvellyn Lower Man (3,035ft). Day 2 will tackle Scafell (3,163ft), Symonds Knott (3,146ft), Broad Crag (306ft) and Ill Crag (3,068ft). You’ll also make your way up the highest mountain in England, Scafell Pike, covering 3,209ft above sea level. If you’re keen to get involved, you can expect a fully qualified mountain leader and highly experienced safety team who will lead you through these picturesque peaks. Accommodation, breakfast, lunch and evening meals are all included, as well as transport, so all you have to worry about is completing all eight peaks. A great opportunity to get your closest friends, family or colleagues together for some serious fundraising fun.

energised for the weekend. Burrows developed the POPfit method in 2017 with the help of her best friend Kate Hudson, founder of Fabletics, one of the leading active wear brands in the world. This party is the last in a Summer Series of events, which have included a unique workout with Carwash, the legendary London disco nightclub. Fabletics and POPfit kicked off their first Summer Series with a unique combination of club classics from the 80’s and 90’s. Next up, they celebrated the 60th birthday of an iconic legend with a specially curated Madonna-themed class that had hair crimping booths, Madge-themed makeup and plenty of glitter. They ensured that everybody got into the groove and released their inner Material Girl.

ALSO THIS MONTH... EVENTS LISTINGS Wild Warrior Derbyshire, 22 September

A 5k or 10k muddy fun run and obstacle race located in a picturesque valley on the outskirts of the Peak District National Park in its seventh year. Expect obstacles such as The Swamp of Doom, Muddy Mayhem, Water Slides, Tightropes, Tunnels, Quick Sand, Giant Walls and Cargo Nets.

Aqua Park Rutland Rutland, Until 23 September

An inflatable floating Aqua Park measuring over 100m x 80m and featuring climbing walls, trampolines, balance bars, rockers and rollers. It also includes some of the UK’s biggest slides.


Gung Ho Inflatable 5k Run Hull, 29 September

An inflatable 5k fun run that has welcomed over 100,000 people since 2015. You can run, walk and jump over this giant inflatable obstacle course – the first of its kind in the UK. This year the course will include brand new obstacles to shake things up. FloatFit Various locations

A 30-minute HIIT aerobics class done entirely on an AquaBase board on water. That’s right, think mountain climbers on water. Created by AquaPhysical, you can search on their website for a class near you. HulaFit Various locations

A hip-shaking, core-tightening workout using hula hoops to sweat it out to an upbeat soundtrack. Classes are held all across London, as well as Essex, Manchester and Leamington Spa. Ask them nicely and they’ll even come teach you and colleagues how to hula fit during your lunch break. Zip Now London London, 9 September

The world’s longest, fastest city centre zip wire located in the heart of the capital. Head to the picturesque Archbishops Park near Waterloo to try out a 225m zip wire that can reach speeds of up to 50kph. Launched from 35m (the height of nine double-decker buses) you’ll get to see the city from a whole new perspective. Sky Garden Sunrise Yoga London, From 29 August 2018

See the sunrise from 36 floors high as you perfect your downward dog, before tucking in to a delicious breakfast. With a dynamic, vinyasa flow style this class is perfect for all abilities.

A new addition to Wellington Street, Six brings together a health-focused restaurant with a cafe and roastery to deliver a farm-to-fork plantbased menu. Using fresh local organic produce from Organic Pantry (Tadcaster) to serve up dishes such as Courgette and Basil Soup, Organic Chicken Satay or the Hot Bhudda Bowl. Beastro Manchester

Serving beautifully crafted British cuisine using North West ingredients from traders such as the Manchester Veg People. Located in Manchester Spinningfields, this place prides itself on being your ‘local eating house’ meaning great food at reasonable prices.

OTHER EVENTS Journey to the Centre of the Eye Anywhere, any time, 24 September - 11 October

A free 10k ‘virtual race’ to experience the world from a different perspective. You’ll be shrunk down to chase a photon of light through the eye and on to the brain – discovering how your eyes bring the wonders of the world around you to light. Run, jog or walk this 10 kilometre event. Bear Necessities Transylvania Trek Romania, 7 September 2019

A five-day trekking adventure to discover the incredible landscapes, wildlife and architecture of ‘the land beyond the forest’ in the Transylvanian Alps. You’ll visit Dracula’s mysterious castle and a non-exploitive bear sanctuary along the way. The Times Literary Festival Cheltenham Cheltenham, 5–14 October

Once-in-a-lifetime conversations over ten days of bookish revelry at the UK’s oldest literary festival. Sporting legends on the bill include cricket maverick Shane Warne, football royalty Kevin Keegan and cycling superstar Sir Chris Hoy.




ver a year ago, I dislocated both of my shoulders. Ouch! Like a lot of people, I thought before seeking the advice of a professional. I did a little DIY (scan the internet and follow the YouTube videos) and after countless hours of research and exercises, I thought I had managed to fix the problem. Shoulder injuries are very common in a fitness environment, especially when lifting weights daily, so I’m pretty confident in saying that we all know someone who has or has had a shoulder problem from training. After thinking I had fixed the problem, I began to notice I was having a reoccurring pain in my right shoulder – not when training, but in the hours following. I persevered with the pain for as long as possible but eventually enough was enough and it was time to deal with the problem once and for all. I was referred by a friend to Lee Gallagher & Jean-Jacques Sillito who specialise in physiotherapy and exercise rehabilitation. What took me hours of research and a lot of

my own time was identified in only one session with these guys! And it just so happens you can’t learn everything from the internet. We devised a 12-week rehabilitation programme (which varies based on your injury) consisting of static strengthening exercises, resistance band exercises, weight-bearing exercises and, finally, strengthtraining exercises. Like most people who train for aesthetic reasons, I would tend to focus on the outside – therefore forgetting about the joints, tendons, stability and range of motion. This had to change. “Rehabilitation after posterior shoulder dislocation can be a slow, painful and frustrating rehabilitation programme,” explains Lee. “With the correct exercise programme, the myth that you cannot regain full strength, mobility and range of motion is untrue. “The rotator cuff includes, supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis and teres minor – these are a group of muscles that attach to the scapula, all four are responsible for rotation, flexion, extension, abduction and adduction movements of the shoulder joint. “Progression of these stages during an exercise programme, allows the shoulder joint to perform fully functional movements, increases joint stability, provides increased strength and power, and regain full range of motion.’’ In this month’s column, I wanted to tell you plain and simple that

you should never be too proud when it comes to your physical health. Just because you read forums and magazines doesn’t mean you know enough to play around with your body until the pain goes away, you may be causing yourself more harm or worse; permanent damage. I understand that we don’t like paying for physio and consultations but if I had met with Lee and Jean a year ago, I would have saved myself countless hours of research and discomfort. My rehabilitation took place over four stages and I have included stages one and two below for readers to practice and incorporate into their training programme. For any information regarding sports therapy you can find me on Twitter @kurtisstaceyKS or contact Lee at STAGE 1 (WEEKS 1–3) – STATIC STRENGTHENING EXERCISES Static strengthening exercises allow the muscles in the shoulder to be activated without the joint moving. 3x10 reps Hold 5–10 secs on each rep 3 times per day 4 days per week • Shoulder flexion • Shoulder extension • Shoulder abduction • Shoulder adduction STAGE 2 (WEEKS 3–7) – RESISTANCE BAND EXERCISES Resistance bands aim to improve strength of the shoulder joint and increase mobility. Mobility exercises will improve range of motion within the joint. 2x15 reps Hold 3–5 secs on each rep 2 times per day 4 days per week • Internal rotation • External rotation • Shoulder extension • Shoulder flexion • Frontal raise • Lateral raise



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BESTFIT Magazine issue 40  

Exclusive Rihanna interview. How to eat healthy on the high street. Flexible dieting. Fortnite fitness. Life hacks to make you more sustaina...

BESTFIT Magazine issue 40  

Exclusive Rihanna interview. How to eat healthy on the high street. Flexible dieting. Fortnite fitness. Life hacks to make you more sustaina...