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So then, Christmas and January. We go out more in December than we do the rest of the year, then we’re all skint/tired/bloated, but maybe also highly motivated, in January. And you’ll no doubt be force-fed endless blogs/ articles about a ‘New Year, new you’ as we enter 2019. You might expect the same from us, but we’re not really about making short-term changes. Yeah sure, if you stay off the booze for a month, or train well for a few weeks, it’s better than nothing, but we’re more about the long game. And yes, the start of a new year is a good time to start afresh, but inside this issue you’ll find some really good practical advice about how to tweak your bad habits and make the changes you need to really make a long-term difference to your life. You’ll also find interviews with Liverpool and England midfielder Jordan Henderson, ex-Special Forces hero Jason Fox and surfer Laura Crane. Henderson is targeting a big year in terms of silverware, while Fox is pushing his mind and body to the limit with another big adventure in 2019. And Laura? Well, Laura’s just one of the new faces you’ll be seeing on BESTFIT TV when it returns to your screens in February. More on that in the next issue… Until then, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year… let’s make 2019 amazing!


The SAS Who Dares Wins and Real Narcos star on adventure, PTSD and pushing yourself


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CONTRIBUTORS Andy Thompson (design), Will Hughes (sub), Ben Coomber, Jess Davies, Richard Edwards, Rohan Gunatillake, RF123, Mark Laws, Alexandra Legouix, The Lean Machines, Leigh Purves, Rex Images, Shutterstock, Kurtis Stacey, Emma Storey-Gordon

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BESTFIT is published in the UK by BESTFIT Media. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved. While every endeavour has been made to maintain accuracy in the magazine, BestFit can take no responsibility for errors. All opinions expressed are the opinions of the writer expressing them, where stated.

YOGA: ESSENTIAL. FACT! New columnist Alexandra Legouix explains why yoga should form part of your plan in 2019

NEWS WINTER SUN The summer might be long gone but we still need to spend time outside. Problem is, none of us want to. A recent study from open water swimwear brand Selkies revealed that most of us only spend 52 minutes outdoors each day, totalling just over 6 hours each week. The study quizzed 2,154 UK residents and found that most of us only get fresh air when we walk to and from the car (46%). Some of us venture out for our lunch break (28%) but most of us would rather stay inside for the warmth (72%). When asked why we rarely went outside, over a third (36%) pointed to a dislike of the cold/wet weather – something you’d think we’d have gotten used to by now. Time to invest in a good umbrella perhaps?






Brits are no strangers to dieting, but a new survey from The Hospital Group shines a light on just how many of us want to drop weight quickly. Nearly 200,000 people in the UK search for ‘lose weight fast’ every month, and nearly 100,000 search for ‘fat burners’ as the quick diet fix. If you live up North, you’re more likely to cut carbs for weight loss. Manchester has the highest number of fad dieters, with around 28,000 of the 510,746 Mancunians searching online for a quick fix, and most of them opting for the low-carb, high-fat Keto diet. If you’re a vegan, you probably live in Bristol. There’s been a 360% increase in Vegan Bristolians since 2006, a third of whom are doing it as part of their quest for weight loss. Don’t tell the animals though!







TO BOOST METABOLISM In the UK we’re no strangers to a hot bath in the depths of Winter, but the benefits may be more than we could ever imagine. A new study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology used ‘hot water treatment’ to improve inflammation and blood sugar levels in people who cannot exercise. In other words, they told a group of overweight men to take regular hot baths. At the end of the trial, the men had reduced levels of blood sugar and insulin levels – both associated with diabetes – and had less chronic low-grade inflammation in their body. The only downside was the apparent discomfort of lying in a hot steaming bath, which might not be such a problem for women. And if the alternative is exercise, we might opt for the bath, especially during the Winter.

SUGAR SWAPS LIFT WEIGHTS FOR A GOOD TIME, NOT A LONG TIME There’s good news for those of us that running (or any other form of cardio exercise). According to new study from Iowa State University, lifting weights for less than one hour a week can reduce your risk for a heart attack or stroke by up to 70%. That boils down to just 5 minutes a day, enough for two sets of bench presses. The results showed that spending more than an hour in the weights room added no extra benefit to cardiovascular health, but gave us even more reason to get a gym membership. DC Lee, Associate Professor of Kinesiology, found in a previous study that those of us with a gym membership exercised more. With the holiday season upon us, a membership might help us prep for the inevitable food and drink overload.




It’s easy to get lost with all the information coming out of the wellness industry, but something we can all agree on is the negative impact that sugar can have on our health. Ro Huntriss, the expert nutritionist and dietician behind the Terri-Ann 123 Diet Plan, talks about ‘free sugars’ – another term for added sugars. These sweet additives shouldn’t take up more than 5% of our daily calorie intake, which means no more than 30g (or 7 teaspoons). That means no morning glass of orange juice (a whopping 16g sugar) and ‘no added sugar’ flavoured water (a jaw-dropping 23g sugar). Instead, look for ‘sugar-free’ products or low sugar foods like bran flakes (4g sugar) and rice cakes (0.2g sugar) and pay attention to the traffic light labelling system – green means go, red means… put it down.


WASTED MONEY FOR INSTAGRAM BODY One of the many reasons to slow down on the sugar is the rapid rise in cases of type 2 Diabetes, where the body stops being able to regulate blood sugar levels. This can lead to problems like loss of vision, heart disease and kidney disease. The good news? Your morning cup of „coffee could be your saviour. A recent study showed less risk of diabetes for coffee drinkers versus coffee haters, plus a reduced risk for pre-diabetes. So what about the coffee haters? No worries, there are many medicinal herbs that can help you balance your blood sugar, like Bitter Lemon, Fenugreek and Turmeric. Don’t forget to add in some big changes to diet and lifestyle, so you can handle the blood sugar balancing act properly.

We have a love hate relationship with Instagram. We love posting a good photo of ourselves, with the help of a few filters, but we hate seeing perfect images of others. This has been proven with research from the University of New South Wales, which revealed that just 30 minutes of Instagram scrolling each day can cause serious unhappiness with our own bodies. As a result, according to another study by MyProtein, we’re spending £124 a month to try and get the body we want - but typically failing to do so. This racks up to a whopping £96,658 of wasted money over our lifetime, and includes fitness clothing, supplements, meal plans and personal training. On top of that, research has also shown that most women attempt three diets each year, costing around £485. Instagram is costing our wallets, and our minds, more than we ever thought possible.








It’s been a big couple of years for you, firstly with SAS: Who Dares Wins , and more recently Inside the Real Narcos , plus the release of your autobiography. What’s coming in 2019? Hopefully a lot more of the same! I like doing investigative journalism and going to places that are a million miles away from what we consider ‘normal life’. I like pushing myself, so hopefully there’ll be more of that.

The Real Narcos is amazing TV. You came face to face with the kind of people you had chased as part of the special forces, and at one point had one gangster pull a gun on you to show you how he used to kill. Were you intimidated? When it comes to criminals and gangsters, there’s a lot of bravado, but it’s really interesting trying to see the world from their point of view. Narcos was an incredible experience. Some of it was a bit sketchy at times in terms of being in awkward situations, but it was as real as you saw it. We were meeting people you really wouldn’t want to be meeting, and it was just me, a mate of mine (ex-military), a cameraman and producer; there was no other support. There were times when it was just me and a bad guy, other times the situation was a bit more intense, so we had to rely on our situational awareness. You seem to like pushing yourself to your limits, whether physically or by putting yourself in high-pressure environments. That’s who I am. I mean, ask me when I’m in the thick of these situations and I’d probably tell you something different, but I like pushing myself. When you take on challenges and you overcome them, it gives you a great sense of achievement. I have to be honest, I miss the tough times when I’m not in them. That’s who I am. Most people will know you from SAS: Who Dares Wins , when you’re part of a team of four ex-military pushing candidates beyond their own limits. Is it as harsh as it looks? I think the edited TV programme actually makes it look easier than it is, because we are brutal with these guys. It’s actually harder than what you see on TV. The thing is, now that we’re four series in, people know what to expect. Those who took part in series 1 had no idea what was coming, whereas now they have a rough idea, so we have to ensure it stays tough and challenging. Obviously, you can’t replicate a military nine-month selection process in the time we have, but we can use elements from that process to recreate some of the brutal experiences you need to overcome. Each season varies in length, but it’s generally 9-11 days of intense hell, whether it’s physical challenges or isolated mental tests. It seems harsh, but the general aim is to prove to people that they can go further than they think. What’s the hardest physical challenge you’ve faced? There are so many. Real-life operations were obviously a mix of mental and physical exertion in intense real-life situations where lives are at stake. In training, it’s all hard, but I remember one part of the selection process which involved marching across mountains. You’re carrying a heavy back pack, it’s often cold, wet and you’re battling against others, as well as your own mind. I remember towards the end, running, walking… whatever I could to keep one foot moving in front of the other, through marshes and across

mountainous terrain. I was at the bottom of a valley and close to the end. I could see the finish but I was convinced I’d blown the time. You don’t know whether you’ve passed or failed until later that day, so I was expecting to see a red mark next to my name. It never came. But bloody hell, that was tough. The unpredictability of a selection process is the hardest thing. You don’t know what’s coming next or when it ends, so you have to stay prepared for anything. There’s a reason why not many people make it. Your book describes some of the operations you were involved in and the mental battles you’ve faced since. How did it feel doing the book? Initially, I didn’t really want to do it, because you worry what people will think when they read it. As part of the process, I made sure I kept re-reading it all, to ensure everything was in there. At times I was whincing at the rawness of it, but at the same time it was a cathartic experience. It was good for me to do it, and if it helps other people open up, then it will be worth it. Are you still battling with PTSD? Not so much. There are things that remind me of some of the experiences, but it doesn’t bother me so much now. I don’t think it was a case of being scarred by the things we experienced; it was more that the collection of events as a whole rinsed me of my emotional energy. The thing is, you train for those situations, and you’re conditioned for them, but ultimately when you’re repeatedly put in situations where there is a real danger of dying, while you accept it, it can take a toll. Do you still train to the same intensity? I’ve not varied my training that much at all, actually. I’m older and I have limits; I might not be as strong as when I was 25, and my metabolism might have slowed, but I still train hard. That’s engrained in you. When you’re away on tours for months on end you’re literally training all the time. Apart from the actual operations themselves, there’s very little to do but train. So, we would wake up early, start the day with a coffee and then train. And train some more. You might be in the gym or playing around with breeze blocks and

tyres in the yard, but you’d just be training non-stop. I still have the same mentality, but I like to mix things up. I do a lot of bodyweight and functional fitness and combine that with resistance training. Fitness is a key part of my mindset. It’s very important, I get narky if I don’t do it! Is it hard to maintain that mindset when you’re not working on operations? Well, the shows I work on require a certain level of fitness, so that helps. I wouldn’t be able to bark orders at others on SAS if I wasn’t in peak condition myself. But I’ve always been fit. My dad drilled that into me and my brother at a young age. Working in TV has given me a new focus. I’m using some of the skills I learned in the military only without getting shot at, so it’s all good! You’ve rowed across the Atlantic and conquered the North Pole, among other things, for charity. They must take a huge amount of preperation? They do, but the rowing challenge in particular really sorted me out. It’s in situations like that you find out who you really are. You obviously train for it, but you can’t predict what mother nature will throw at you, so there

are a lot of times when you just have to try and keep yourself ticking over, be robust and use your endurance to keep you going. Mentally, you have to try and use the knowledge you have from your military background to break situations down and use those skills to overcome what’s thrown at you. Ultimately, in those situations, you’re doing it because you’re trying to raise money and awareness. So what’s next? Well, there’s one thing I can’t talk about yet, but there’s also another challenge. Into The Wild will see a group of us tackling mountains in Canada and paddling the length of the Yukon. I can’t wait. I get itchy feet and I like to put myself in these situations where you also get to see some amazing things around the world. I’ve been lucky enough to travel and see some cool stuff, but the Yukon and Alaska will be a new wilderness to conquer. Bring it on. Jason Fox’s autobiography, Battle Scars, is available to buy now.

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

www.thegreathouseantigua.com bookings@thegreathouseantigua.com

Playbrush Smart Sonic A fully integrated electric toothbrush designed to help kids brush their gnashers for long enough. The toothbrush connects to an interactive Playbrush App via bluetooth and uses audio instructions, feedback and stats to get the kids to play games and brush their teeth properly. £29.99 www.store.playbrush.com


Sorted Supplements It’s about time someone in the wellness industry came up with a hangover cure that doesn’t involve alcohol. Forget hair of the dog, and forget about last night’s drunken antics with an effervescent supplement designed specifically for a fast-paced life. Whether your overworked and tired, jet lagged from your travels or hungover, Sorted can help. Designed using recent scientific research and premium ingredients, you can trust this product to do what it says on the tin. Flavoured mango and certified Vegan, Sorted supplements can be taken once a day to keep you energised and firing on all cylinders. If you’re wondering how on earth this fancy fizzer works, check the ingredients list. It’s made using natural Ginseng to improve cognition and mood, 5-HTP which converts into serotonin and boosts your mood, and Green Tea extract, a natural anti-oxidant with 40% polyphenols. It’s also packed with L-Theanine and Caffeine to improve alertness and concentration, a whole bunch of vitamins to increase energy, and electrolytes to keep your body hydrated. No wonder it can cure a hangover, or the Monday morning struggle syndrome. Time to stock up – the holiday season is here! Price: £9.95 for 10 tablets

CJ SkinHealth Active Cleanse An Active skin cleanser that cleanses, clarifies, exfoliates, tones and softens your skin to leave it feeling fresh, clean and revitalised. Use it alongside the Enhance and Protect hydrating and firming moisturiser, and you won’t need to use any other products on your skin. £18 www.cjskinhealth.com


SWIMS Motion Wing Tip Boot Avoid soggy and sore feet with these lightweight Norwegian-styled boots. Designed to keep you warm, dry, and effortlessly stylish, this modern take on a practical classic fears no slush with waterproof construction throughout and rugged anti-slip rubber. Available in Navy, Grey and Orange. £200 www.swims.com

OneBottle Magic Marble A double walled 500ml metal bottle with a copper-coated layer inside, to keep your water cold for 30 hours or hot for 20 hours. The bottle comes in a wide range of unique and stylish designs, with colours including ‘Avocado Green’, ‘Millennial Pink’ and ‘Black Marble’. From £20 www.root7.com

Muck Boots Arctic Ice Tall Boot Premium wellington boots that will keep your feet warm and dry in temperatures up to -50 degrees. The boots feature 8mm of foam fleece lining wrapped in a soft rubber outer layer, and an outsole made from Vibram Arctic Grip technology. You can rest easy walking on the iciest of pathways. From £165 www.muckbootcompany.co.uk

Nutri-Fill It A re-useable food pouch designed to carry homemade smoothies, yoghurts and just about all pureed food for on-the-go nutrition. Each pouch holds up to 300ml and features an anti-leak Double Zip Lock, so you can avoid bag spills and drama that comes with bringing your own food From £6 (for two pouches) www.eatwell-uk.co.uk

Fulton Cyclone Umbrella The ultimate wind-resistant umbrella - wind tunnel tested to 78mph - that won’t turn inside out when the weather gets nasty. Featuring a patented super-strength construction, lightweight fibreglass ribs and supersize 131cm canopy, you’ll be dry and as a bone in the heaviest of storms. £42 www.fultonumbrellas.com

Apple Watch Series 4 The latest addition to the Apple Watch collection features a thinner body, better heart monitor and great battery life. It comes with a bigger screen and many new health features, including automatic detection of workouts (without you having to tell it) and a cadence monitor (steps per minute). From £399 www.apple.com


GoPro Hero 7 The latest addition to GoPro’s collection will have you booking your next action-packed holiday within minutes of trying it out. The Hero 7 Black offers a whole host of updates to Hero 6, which was already a top-notch camera. Instead of trying to install higher resolution or more frames per second, GoPro has opted to make your videos less shaky. Using new built-in electronic stabilisation

Cafe Du Cycliste Solenne Cycling Top Designed with unbeaten tracks in mind, Solenne is a highly technical cycling jersey with a hood. Constructed from performance fabrics, the breathable yarn and textured finish are paired with signature detailing and gravel collection badge. A premium jersey for any cyclist. £160 www.cafeducycliste.com

technology called ‘HyperSmooth’, you can ditch the gimbal stabiliser and still capture smooth, professionallooking footage. If that alone isn’t enough to convince you, the new GoPro also features improved audio recording. The built-in microphones can capture a more dynamic range without picking up as many vibration sounds. There’s also a new ‘TimeWarp’ function, which uses image stabilisation to create handheld, moving time-lapses, and a built-in live streaming function. It’s also waterproof down to 10 metres on its own, or 30 metres with GoPro’s waterproof housing. This means

the opportunities for incredible, live-action footage are endless. The new camera comes in exactly the same shape and size as the Hero 6, so you’re free to take it with you no matter where you go Price: £377.75 www.amazon.co.uk




hether you’re reading this before Christmas, in the New Year or beyond, it’s important to remember the real reason we get together. Any social gathering, be it with friends or family, often revolves around food and drink. Use my list of tips on the right and remember if you do put on some weight at any point, it is not the end of the world. Plus, there is plenty time to lose it, so don’t beat yourself up about it!.

“It is who is sitting around the table, not how much you overindulge, that makes any event special”

1. TAKE YOUR TIME That means don’t eat in a rush. You are much more likely to over eat and/or not enjoy your food if you eat in a hurry.

to whatever you were doing before your meal. This is especially true at work! It may seem counterintuitive, but taking a break is likely to make you work better after.

2. SIT DOWN AND ENJOY YOUR MEAL Avoid eating on the go. If you can, take a break and sit at a table. Your environment is important. Not only will you be less likely to mindlessly overeat but you will be more likely to take pleasure in your meal and more focused when you go back

3. REMOVE DISTRACTIONS Eat mindfully. That means switching off the TV, putting down your phone and turn your attentions to your meal. 4. ACKNOWLEDGE WHAT YOU ARE EATING This is to avoid mindless eating – are you hungry or just bored?

6. REMEMBER THAT THE PEOPLE, NOT THE FOOD, MAKE CHRISTMAS/NEW YEAR/YOUR PARTY It is who is sitting around the table, not how much you overindulge, that makes any event special.

7. PICK YOUR INDULGENCES AND ENJOY THEM Have a bit of what you fancy but use portion control and choose your indulgences. e.g. ‘I am going to have two roast potatoes instead of six and enjoy a mince pie for pudding’. 8. START WITH VEGETABLES Fill yourself up with some high-volume foods. Vegetables are a good start (assuming they are not glazed in honey or goose fat).

Pay attention to your hunger signals… are you full? Remember that you don’t have to finish your plate if you are not hungry, and that we get most pleasure from the first few bites of food. 5. AVOID SNACKING Or, if you are going to snack, make sure you are choosing wisely, not just the first thing you see. There tends to be a lot of little appetisers around Christmas. Be mindful. That means thinking about what you are eating and thus actually enjoying it.

“Your environment is important. Not only will you be less likely to mindlessly overeat, but you will be more likely to take pleasure in your meal…”

9. STAY HYDRATED Drink enough water. Having a glass of water with your meal won’t mean you definitely won’t overeat, but it will mean you are less likely to. 10. ALCOHOL Not only do alcoholic drinks tend to have a lot of calories in, they also tend to lead to poor food choices and typical high-fat ‘hangover foods’.


FOR 2019?


ECO-KETO EATING The popularity of the ketogenic diet soared in 2018 and we can expect more of the same in 2019, with regimes such as Whole30 and the Keto Reset Diet encouraging consumers to strictly shun all carbohydrates, grains and sugar in favour of vegetables, animal fat and meat. But now a new breed of the eco-conscious are adopting the same high-fat, high-protein principles that work for those on a keto diet but without the need for animal produce. August 2018 saw US-based functional medicine practitioner Dr. Will Cole launch a plant-based keto diet book, The Ketotarian, offering a plantbased solution that claims to ‘boost energy, crush cravings and calm inflammation’. For those wanting to take wellness one step further, the UK has also seen the launch of the first vegan keto meal delivery programme, Nosh Detox. Blogs like meetfreeketo.com, also offer a window into what’s possible.

world of work and the world of working out. With an increasing number of large corporations also putting greater emphasis on the wellbeing of their employees, the focus on the work place has never been so pronounced. More and more companies are seizing on this trend. Designing personalised workout plans for employees, creating bespoke office gyms designed for each space and a rewards programme to increase motivation, more brands are dedicated to ensuring the office space is a healthy one.

STREAMING FITNESS CONTENT The streaming of fitness services could be one of the major trends we see in 2019, with the world of Spotify and Netflix influencing brands such as Technogym. Partnering with Rumble and Scooter Braun Projects, they have created Home 360, a platform providing streamable Rumble classes for running, cycling, rowing and boxing within the home fitness market. Launching in US/Canada in 2019, the Home 360 partnership is set to expand into 100 global countries, including Europe in 2020. Others to look out for include Fiit.TV’s influencerled fitness platform, Peloton’s home spinning streaming service and Mirror, the interactive home mirror which tracks and corrects your workouts. NATURE IMMERSION GETAWAYS With mental health such a hot topic, and rightly so, finding ways to combat issues such as anxiety, stress and depression has become more important than ever before. The rise of nature immersion getaways is a result of scientific studies into the effects of being outdoors, finding it results in both a reduction in cortisol levels (the hormone responsible for stress) and depression. These wellness trips not only allow you to get some well needed vitamin D, but provide an opportunity for exploration and discovery, allowing your mind to clear and relax. THE MERGE OF WORK AND WORKING OUT It’s estimated that as many as 1.27 million people are using co-working spaces across the world – a stat that further blurs the distinction between the

ROWING GOES MAINSTREAM The indoor rowing boom looks set to continue in 2019, with the sport’s ability to deliver the ultimate fullbody workout putting it at the forefront of the fitness revolution. Some have even gone as far as to suggest that Rowing is ‘the new spin’, with MINDBODY reporting a huge rise in indoor rowing classes. GAMIFICATION OF FITNESS Gamification looks set to become increasingly prominent in the fitness world, as personal trainers look to provide a more socially connected and motivating workout. More and more studios are offering a completely new digital experience, incorporating large screens to run a variety of classes, whether it’s creating group competition with team races in an immersive 3D environment, individual performance classes or intensity-based classes. EXERCISES FOR MENSTRUAL HEALTH Gone are the days where a woman’s menstrual cycle is an unspoken topic. Today, the industry is seeing a continuous rise in exercises and classes specifically designed to help ease menstrual pain. With 1.5 million women currently suffering from endometriosis in the UK and an increase in new brands and products emerging to help support them, menstrual health is firmly on the agenda. SPA SERVICES In an increasingly competitive marketplace, the Global Wellness Institute reports that facilities offering spa services account for a much greater share of industry revenues (66%) than those which don’t. From 20152017, revenue growth (globally) has been higher for

turmeric, with research finding that it is this element that delivers the anti-inflammatory and anti-ageing benefits that the super-spice is famed for. Now companies such as Coyne Healthcare are launching mesonutrients such as high dose Bio-Curcumin which is a form of curcumin that features highly in the research. Another mesonutrient to look out for is EGCG, short for epigallocatechin gallate, one of a group of plant phenols also known as tannins that are found in green tea. Brands such as Fytostar are now offering a high strength green tea extract which contains 300mg ECGC per capsule. Other mesonutrients to watch out for include anthocyanins, found in red and purple foods such as cherries, and lycopene in tomatoes.

facilities offering spa services (7.4%) versus those that don’t (0.5%). In 2019, expect to see a greater range of offerings in the workplace as our understanding of wellness increases and evolves. AR & VR Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies are reshaping the ways in which consumers pursue wellbeing – both physically and mentally and at home and in the studio. MINDBODY research into fitness regimes found that almost two-thirds of people (63%) valued flexibility highly when it came to their workouts. A flexible approach to workouts is something that online fitness communities and hubs can offer in abundance, with many brands (such as Fiit) and studios beginning to offer virtual workouts for their customers to take part in when they can’t get to the studio. THE RISE OF THE MESONUTRIENT 2018 was the year consumers learned to separate their macronutrients from their micronutrients, and now, according to nutritionist Rick Hay, consumers not only want to know about the nutrition content of the food they’re eating, but about how to ingest more of the active compounds inside those foods to maximise their benefits – otherwise known as mesonutrients. For example, curcumin is the active ingredient in

BRAIN-BOOSTING NUTRITION 2019 is set to herald the arrival of new, all-natural cognitive supplements that remove the stigma – and addictive nature – of mind-altering drugs. This new category of ‘natural nootropic’ functional drinks and supplements claim to address issues such as brain fog, poor memory, anxiety, lack of focus and even depression. Leading the way is Eudeamon, which manufactures and distributes nutraceutical health food supplements that promote psychological and emotional wellbeing. Form Nutrition is also doing great things in this space, while another brand to take note of is US-based Tru Brain. BRAIN HACKING TECH GETS STYLISH Wearable tech tracks your steps, workouts, sleep and messages, but it isn’t always so stylish. Companies such as Garmin now offer the ability to monitor the body’s stress response by tracking breathing rate, skin temperature and heart rate variability to alert the user of their stress levels rising. Smart jewellery tech and jewellery that doubles as a tracking device is set to evolve the wearable tech market next year too, resulting in items that are not only functional but stylish. Bellabeat is also set to launch the world’s first water bottle that tracks hydration levels. FAT FASTING FOR WEIGHT LOSS Along with Keto, Intermittent Fasting (IF) was one of the diets of choice for those serious about getting health benefits and keeping their weight down during 2018.

spirituality trend and the growth of beauty, facials and treatments that focus on energy healing, rituals and crystals are set to make 2019 the year that the consumer’s skin gets its own chakra-balancing system.

The most popular forms of IF include fasting for 16 hours and having an eating window of eight hours, giving devotees between midday and 8pm to consumer their meals in a 16:8 format, while others also prefer 10:14, starting at 10am and stopping at midnight. Brands such as Bulletproof promote butter-laden coffee as an essential to improve energy levels, while companies like the new and pioneering Ancient & Brave are offering an option to stop hunger pangs during fasting windows with fats that don’t spike blood sugar and which taste amazing. IMMERSION FITNESS AT HOME Peloton has been an innovator in immersion fitness, bringing a boutique gym to the home environment with spin bikes and treadmills that allow users to take part in live classes streamed from their NYC studio. The brand is set to expand their studios to the UK in 2019. Live-streamed classes from streaming service Fiit TV now allow users to join a class in real time and features the leading Instagram trainers as teachers. Other streaming services, like new ClassPass Live, also allow users to see their performance on a leader board against other people’s. Furniture is now turning into a fitness aid too. The Habit Furniture, which calls itself ‘multifunction fitness furniture’, offers a coffee table that transforms into a workout bench, stool that doubles as a dumbbell and felt X-Ball cover that turns a yoga ball in to a comfy chair. SPIRITUAL SKIN Google searches for “crystal healing” have shot up by 40 per cent in the last four years, driven by the

KID’S GYMS David Lloyd gyms are among the mainstream chains introducing more child and family-friendly sessions. Others, such as Third Space, London, is getting ready to launch its own kid’s gym in the second quarter of 2019, the trend for dedicated children’s workouts and fitness spaces is starting to take hold globally. From LA’s The Little Gym to Hong Kong’s Generation Goji, the growth of kid’s gyms looks set to continue. As does the number of apps available to enhance a child’s well-being, with Mindful Powers mindfulness for kids and the Max Mindpower bear leading the way. To help them sleep, the Moshi Twilight Sleep Stories app is a popular choice, as well as the Tick Tock Turtle Clock, while the new Fitbit Ace is designed to get kids away from computer screens and out doing activities. TECHNICAL RUNNING 2018 was the year of mindful running, with the launch of the Asics Blackout Track, which featured no technology, no scenery – just running in darkness. And now 2019 will be the year consumers focus on performance running and the technical nature of their training. At Track Life London, elite trainer Rory Knight and athlete Omar Mansour run trackside every week, coaching runners on speed, agility, technique and everything in order to help them achieve a personal best.










he nights are darker, the world feels colder, the fridge is fuller and your social life is mental.

For a lot of us, winter means gaining an appreciable amount of fat. You’ve trained hard all summer and now you just want to relax a little. That ‘little’ becomes a ‘lot’ and before you know it you’ve become, to quote Eric Cartman, ‘festively plump’. That first January gym session is going to be a real killer! But it doesn’t have to be... 1. GET COOKING Comfort foods don’t have to be high in calories. Use leaner cuts of meat

to make roasts, or lean mince for bolognaise/lasagne, and eat plenty of vegetables. Batch-cook lean chillis or lean pulled pork for your lunches, fall back on the time-tested classic porridge or eggs for breakfast and enjoy a good home-cooked family dinner in the evening. 2. BE MINDFUL Particularly when it comes to social events. You are about to go out for drinks or for dinner more times than you have been for the rest of the year combined, so it’s time to pick your battles. You know how to handle eating out – get the menu ahead of time if you can, go easy

on sides and alcohol, don’t be afraid to make swaps, have a starter OR a dessert etc. Likewise, when it comes to drinking, do what we always recommend – have one or two beers/wines if you really want to and stop there. If you plan on getting drunk, then it’s likely best to stick to spirit and diet mixers to keep calories sensible. Oh, and you don’t NEED a pizza on the way home. Honest. 3. SNACK TO A MINIMUM Whether before or after Christmas, snacks start appearing EVERYWHERE. The main thing here is to keep snacks off your own desk or out of reach at home. Research has shown that the proximity of snacks directly correlates to your likelihood of eating them. If you do have a snack at the office or at home – own that decision. You made the choice, you ate the thing. Enjoy it, savour it, and move on. 4. BE ACCOUNTABLE TO YOURSELF There’s no moral right and wrong here. You want to ignore me and go nuts? That’s totally fine. You WILL gain more fat than you would if you listened, and you WILL therefore need to diet for longer or diet harder in the new year, but if you’re happy with that and you think it’s worth it, then don’t let me stop you. It’s your life and you should be proud of whatever you do. No guilt, no shame, pass the gravy! 5. GET MOVING! Beyond that, it’s time to talk activity levels. As the hours of daylight continue to dwindle and it gets colder we are all far less inclined to get moving. Let’s face it, when it’s snowing and dark, the couch and the fire look a lot more enticing than they did in July. The best advice I can offer is to do what you can during the day. A lunchtime or even morning walk wrapped up in a nice warm coat can be a great change of pace from work life, and your body and waistline will thank you for the effort. Want to do more? Get the right gear and you won’t feel the cold/wet. Try and involve mates so you’re more accountable.

HERE ARE A FEW SIMPLE SWAPS FOR CREATING HEALTHY HABITS THAT YOU WON’T WANT TO BREAK… Forging healthier eating habits isn’t always as hard as it seems, it’s often the simplest swaps that can make a big difference to your overall health. While full-on detoxes and diets can be daunting and unachievable, focusing on making small changes over a sustained period of time can result in noticeable difference long-term:

BEER – GLUTEN FREE BEER Can’t give up the alcohol? Even if you’re not gluten intolerant, switching to gluten-free beer can be a healthier alternative to your normal tipple. Organic and suitable for vegans, CELIA is naturally carbonated, providing a subtle fizz without the bloated feeling associated with drinking lager.



Breakfast is commonly recognised as the most important meal of the day, and so it’s crucial you’re eating the right thing in the morning. Whereas most cereals and granola will contain large amounts of sugar, porridge is full of wholegrain goodness that will set you up for the day; Nairn’s Gluten-Free Scottish Porridge Oats contain nothing but wholegrain oats for a tasty and wholesome breakfast choice.

Ditching the milk chocolate in favour of raw cacao can have a big effect on curbing your sugar hits. Jacqueline Harvey, a wellness expert and author of Body Cycles, says: “Forget milk or white chocolate goodies – opt for dark chocolate instead – the higher the cocoa solid content, the better. Dark chocolate has a lower sugar content and more antioxidant polyphenols that have protective effects on the circulation.”



EVER WONDERED WHAT HEALTH BENEFITS BEETROOT COULD PROVIDE? NUTRITIONIST ALIX WOODS SHARES THE TOP BENEFITS OF THIS NUTRIENTDENSE SUPERFOOD… Prevent winter sniffles Beetroots are full of vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant that boosts the immune system and protects cells from inflammation and free radical damage. Cut the cramps Beetroots are packed with minerals, particularly potassium, which is an essential electrolyte mineral for nerve and muscle function. It helps keep the heart beating rhythmically, stops muscles cramping and weakness. Good for gut health Beetroot is one of the richest sources the amino acid glutamine, which is essential to the health and maintenance of the intestinal tract, especially if the immune system is under attack when ill.



They can seem like a healthier option, but cereal bars can be as bad for you as the chocolate bars or the sweets they seek to replace. Some are around one-third sugar, and they can contain artificial flavourings and sweeteners and unhealthy vegetable oils, too. As a better alternative try oatcakes, with almond butter. The creamy almond butter feels decadent and provides filling fats and protein, and the slow-releasing carbohydrates from the oatcakes will help keep your energy up for longer.

Say goodbye to sore heads and swap your normal flute of prosecco for a gut-friendly kombucha, says nutritionist Cassandra Barns: “We’re learning more and more about the importance of the ‘friendly’ bacteria and other microbes that live in our gut. They’re thought to influence our immunity, mood and weight, as well as our digestion. Traditional fermented foods such as kombucha can be a key way to maintain the healthy bacteria in our gut – in fact, some research suggests that they’re much more effective than taking probiotic supplements for this purpose.”

Can support weight loss Beetroots are a low-calorie, fat-free vegetable, full of energy promoting nutrients that can help give one a lift. Boost brain health Nitrates in beetroot juice increase blood flow to all parts of the brain and a study found that older people who regularly drank beetroot juice had better blood circulation in the frontal lobes of their brains. Blood Pressure Beetroot juice has been found to help lower blood pressure as the nitrates are converted to nitric oxide and help widen and relax the blood vessels, allowing the blood to flow with ease.




IF YOU’VE BEEN LOOKING AT THE KETTLEBELLS IN YOUR GYM AND WONDERING WHAT TO DO WITH THEM, THEN LET GB KETTLEBELL CHAMP ANNA PLUMRIDGE EXPLAIN ALL… THE WORKOUT: Start with 20 KB swings, then add a round of 10 reps per exercise below. All lifts are carried out for a maximum of 10 minutes, in which you aim to complete as many quality reps as possible without placing the kettlebell(s) on the ground. Whoever has the highest amount of reps is deemed the winner. Simple. Effective. Bosh.

Kettlebells. We’re told they’re good for us yet when we look at them like we might as well be reading a book in a foreign language. Unsure how to use them for your benefit? Fear not, we’ve enlisted the help of Kettlebell champion, Anna Plumridge. “Using kettlebells, whether for fitness or as a competitive athlete, gives undeniable positive effects on health,” explains Anna, who has been training with kettlebells for six years, and who competes for England, and coaches other athletes in person and online. “The best way to describe kettlebell sport is ‘endurance weightlifting’,” she continues. “You can develop a strong cardiovascular system, increase muscular strength and strength endurance. It can also help speed up metabolism and reduce body fat. In addition, there is a great emphasis on the strength endurance of the back and legs, and also on overall flexibility, so in many cases this type of training improves posture and decreases the occurrence of chronic back pain.” Sounds good, eh? Full-body workout ahoy…

KETTLEBELL SWINGS There are two movements in the swing; stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hold onto the bell with two hands. Hinge your hips down and back, and then up and forward, finishing at lockout (like a pendulum). When you lockout the legs your glutes should be tight, abs on, legs tight and kneecaps drawn up, shoulders down and back, and with a big chest and tall spine – the kettlebell should move like a pendulum. It also helps to imagine your feet being superglued to the floor but jumping up with effort to standing.

KB GOBLET SQUATS Hold the kettlebell bottoms up and close to the chest. Keep the chest upright, weight through the middle of the foot and sit back into a squat, then return to standing.

KB ROWS 10/10 Place the opposite foot forward to the hand thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s holding the kettlebell. Set yourself in a string position but using the free arm to support on the forward leg. Row the kettlebell, keeping the elbow in and keep a steady pace up and down.

KB SUMO SQUAT Take a wide stance with the feet, toes out. With the kettlebell in between the feet and the chest up take hold of the handle. Lift the bell with straight arms and come to standing.

KB OH LUNGES 10/10 Clean the kettlebell up onto the back of the arm, press it over head so the elbow is locked, arm straight and the weight stacked over the shoulder and hip. Lunge forward with the opposite leg.

KB DEADLIFTS Place the kettlebell between your feet in a hip width stance. Hinge forward and push the hips back with soft knees. Come to standing and squeeze the glutes, then return the kettlebell back to the floor maintaining a flat back and hinging again from the hips.


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RAISE THE BARRE FOR NEW YEAR! Tone, tighten and smile… and banish the winter blues


ORGET that fuzzy head after one too many glasses of plonk at the bar, or the uncomfortable bloat we all know so well after indulging in way too much fun over the festive season. As we focus on feeling fitter for the New Year, David Lloyd is leading the way forward, thanks to their very own Barre offering. And you don’t even need to have ballet experience to take part.

Rachel Woods, Lead Coach at David Lloyd, teaches Barre classes: “The sessions are really good for engaging the postural muscles, such as the back, the core and the glutes. It’s all about strengthening, lengthening and flexibility.

almost like a ballet-inspired exercise routine, not a ballet class itself. We have all ages, levels and abilities and classes are good for your mind as well as your body; members tell me they feel focused mentally and physically after taking part in a class.”

“The first time some people come, they think they need dance experience, but it’s not like that at all. It’s a chance to do something different and learn new skills –

Starting with gentle exercises, in traditional first and second ballet positions – combined with arm movements, the instructor gradually builds up each exercise, to culminate

in three dances at the end of the class. By combining ballet moves – including the Ronde de Jambe and Arabesque – with the use of light weights and a floor mat, the benefits of Barre are plain to see. Mum-of-one and GP Alice Rodwell from north Leeds, is a regular at Barre, David Lloyd and has turned to the classes to boost her fitness levels in time for the New Year. Alice reveals: “I’d heard Barre classes were a great way of achieving the long, lean physique I’ve been after, but with the additional fun and motivation of working out alongside a group of people. “I enjoy the similarities between ballet and Pilates poses – and along with an upbeat soundtrack, it’s so uplifting!” Alice also enjoys the fact that after a Barre class, she can utilise the exclusive family facilities at David Lloyd: adding, “I take my two-year-old daughter swimming and we often stop for lunch afterwards. We love the range of activities at DL Kids, such as arts and crafts and soft play, not to mention the varied menu in the café! It’s also a bonus that Barre classes work well round pick-up and drop-off times at the crèche.” So what are you waiting for? Sign up to feel that full-body workout and beat those winter blues!







BRAZILLIONAIRE’S SHORTBREAD RECIPE FOR RUNNERS - SERVES 12 Ingredients: 75g oats, 75g ground almonds, 75g dark chocolate, 35g coconut oil, 1 1/2 tbsp honey, 70g brazil nut butter. Method: 1. Put your oats into a blender or food processor and blend them until they’re a similar consistency to flour 2. Add your ground almonds and honey to your ground oats and blend again. Add 1 tbsp of water and continue to mix until clumps start to form 3. Press your mixture into a greaseproof paper-lined baking tin and pop it in the freezer 4. For the next layer, melt 35g of coconut oil and mix it with the brazil nut butter. Spread this mixture on top of your almond and oat layer, before putting the tray back in the freezer 5. Break up your dark chocolate and melt it in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, along with the rest of your coconut oil. Once it’s fully melted, take it off the heat, and leave it to cool for a couple of minutes. Spread your chocolate mixture over your brazil nut layer and put it back into the freezer for about an hour.


PROTEIN PEANUT BUTTER CUPS RECIPE FOR BODYBUILDERS - SERVES 12 Ingredients: ½ tin of chickpeas, ¼ cup of almond milk, 120g smooth peanut butter, 1 scoop of protein powder (vanilla-flavoured), 1 drop of vanilla essence, 175g dark chocolate. Method: 1. Place muffin cases in a tin and leave to one side 2. Blend together your chickpeas and almond milk 3. In a mixing bowl, combine your peanut butter and protein powder, mixing until smooth 4. Add vanilla essence 5. Blend the combined ingredients 6. Break up your dark chocolate and melt it together with your coconut oil in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water 7. Once melted, put a teaspoon of your chocolate mixture into your muffin liners, then pop it in the freezer to cool 8. Once the chocolate has hardened (around 15-20 minutes), put a teaspoon of your peanut butter and protein powder mixture on top of each chocolate base. Add the rest of your chocolate mixture on top before putting the tray back in the freezer to set (another 15-20 minutes).

AVOCADO CHOCOLATE MOUSSE RECIPE FOR YOGIS - SERVES 8 Ingredients: 1 large, ripe avocados, ¼ cup of almond milk, 50g chia seeds, 50g cacao powder, 3 tbsp honey, 1 tsp vanilla extract. Method: 1. Peel your avocado, removing the pip and place in a blender or food processor and blend until you have a smooth mixture 2. Add 50g of Chia Seeds and ¼ cup of almond milk 3. Add your cacao powder, honey and vanilla extract and blend again until everything is combined 4. Put your mixture into 8 small glasses and put them into the freezer to cool for at least an hour before serving.

WORK SMARTER Research reveals how work is affecting our stress levels, weight, schedules, joints, mental health and home life. Our experts provide their top tips to help you take the reins when it comes to your healthâ&#x20AC;Ś

1. ONE IN FIVE-MASK STRESS AS A PHYSICAL ILLNESS Research on 1,001 UK employees, who are working full time, found that 56% of employees admitted to suffering from stress and 42% of employees call in sick claiming a physical illness, when in reality it’s a mental health issue. Cassandra Barns, a nutritionist and fitness instructor, explains: “When we’re stressed or anxious, we’re in ‘fight or flight’ mode rather than in ‘rest and digest’ mode.” Hemp could help you deal with your daily stressors rather than running away from them. “Phytocannabinoids are natural substances found in the hemp plant and research has suggested that some phytocannabinoids can have anti-anxiety and calming effects. For this reason, a supplement containing natural phytocannabinoids such as HempCeutix Complete could have benefits for calming our nervous system.” 2. WHITE COLLAR WEIGHT GAIN A survey found that 28% of employees are offered gym passes, workout facilities or wellness benefits, however 63% of this group aren’t taking advantage of them. This suggests there needs to be a shift from after-hours exercises incentives to on-the-clock incentives to get everyone moving. “Exercising is an appetite suppressant. It stimulates the release of feel-good hormones – the same ones which are released by sweet or ‘junk’ foods, stopping the need for the food you are craving,” explains Burns. Not only

can exercise release much-needed endorphins, but it will also speed up your metabolism so you can continue to burn calories at your desk – win, win! “This is because when you exercise your body continues to be metabolically active in order to build the muscles you have trained. This means it requires fuel in the form of calories just to maintain your muscles even when you are sitting doing nothing. So, the more muscle you have, the more calories you use up, and, the more fat you will burn,” explains Dr. Marilyn Glenville, the UK’s leading nutritionist and author of Fat Around the Middle. Grab your colleague and go to a fitness class on your lunch break. “Have a workout buddy or a fitness class that you love, so that exercising isn’t thought of as a chore. Exercising on your own, whether it’s working out in the gym or going for a run, can be a joyless experience. But exercising with others in a class can be motivating and much more fun, especially if there’s great music too,” recommends Burns. 3. WOMEN ARE ‘TOO BUSY’ TO TAKE TIME OFF WORK FOR APPOINTMENTS Shockingly, research by Bupa Health Clinics has found that millions of women are avoiding female health appointments because of a heavy workload. Finding that work-life balance is crucial not only for your wellbeing but also your health! If you find yourself struggling with that

3pm slump, which is resulting in you staying later as it simply takes you longer to complete your tasks, give your body the natural boost it may be yearning for! Find a product with essential vitamins such as, vitamin B12 and iron to provide a natural energy boost, helping you tackle your to-do list. Try products with iodine and zinc which can help support normal cognitive function, promoting a focused state of mind,” explains nutritionist Dimitra Sentelidou. 4. BACK PAIN LINKED TO MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS Research reveals that back pain is linked to mental health problems including anxiety and depression. With many of us sitting hunched over at our desks on a daily basis this is extremely alarming. Jacqueline Harvery, a wellness expert, fitness trainer and author of Body Cycles, recommends getting out as much as possible, even if it is ten minutes here and there throughout your working day. “Get out into nature and natural daylight as much as possible. We can find ourselves going from office to the car or public transport to home, barely venturing outside. There is nothing like a brisk walk on a crisp winter’s day.” 5. CHECKING WORK EMAILS HARMS YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY With many of us turning to freelancer roles, research has found that flexible work boundaries often turn into work without boundaries and this is affecting not only the employee’s health and wellbeing but also their family members. Remember that your health is the most important thing in your life. “Being assertive is invigorating and empowering. It also helps to make lists of what is, or is not a priority, and to tackle the priority tasks first. This will help give you a sense of control over your life,” explains Glenville.

OUR GROUND-BREAKI TO YOUR TV SCREENS 10 new episodes to keep the nation active!

Join Faris Fisher, Kelvin Fletcher (Emmerdale) and Laura Crane (pro surfer, Love Island 2018) as we reveal health/fitness hacks and explore the many ways and places we can stay active. Watch Kelvin train with our guest athletes, or Ben Coomber as he shows us how to eat better. Mother of two Ruth Garbutt takes on a 10-week transformation, while 10 celebrities take on our infamous fitness challenge. All this and more!

Available via Channel 422

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Ryan Thomas

Thom Evans

Gemma Atkinson

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t’s been quite the year for Jordan Henderson. In May 2018, the Liverpool skipper had to watch on as opposing captain Sergio Ramos lifted the Champions League trophy following Liverpool’s narrow defeat in Kiev. Two months later, he starred as Gareth Southgate’s new England side exceeded expectations by reaching the World Cup semi-finals, though the Three Lions were defeated by Croatia despite leading for 63 minutes. Far from being disappointed at coming so close to lifting silverware, the increasingly influential figure approaches 2019 with plenty to look forward to. As things stand, Liverpool are a key part of the title race and are on course for progressing in Europe as they look to go all the way. Meanwhile, England, for whom Henderson continues to star in the engine room, are looking ahead to the Nations League semifinals after edging past both Spain and Croatia. Here, he reveals what makes him tick, why has always tried to work harder and smarter than everyone else, and why he owes it all to kickabouts with his dad.


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JORDAN, YOU’RE A KEY PART OF THE MIDFIELD FOR CLUB AND COUNTRY, CONSTANTLY UP AND DOWN THE PITCH. DOES THAT KIND OF FITNESS COME NATURALLY, OR DO YOU WORK HARD ON IT? I do enjoy the gym, but we have such a small window when we can actually get in there and do a lot. Playing for Liverpool, who are competing in a lot of different

of the season with Liverpool where we plan to be competing for trophies on several fronts.

competitions, we have to play a lot of games each year, often playing two or three matches per week. There is very little time to recover in between, so during the season we spend most of our time just recovering from one match in time to play the next. If there is a break in league fixtures during the season then most of us will be on international duty, which means more training and more matches. So, we only have a very small window during pre-season where we can get into the gym and lift a lot of weights. This year has been busier than most with us getting to the Champions League final and then straight to the World Cup where we got to the semi-final, so I missed nearly all of pre-season and then spent the first few weeks trying to play catch-up. I eased my way back into full training and worked my way back into matches, ready for the rest

DO YOU DREAD PRE-SEASON OR DO YOU SEE IT AS A WAY TO GIVE YOU THE FOUNDATIONS FOR A GOOD CAMPAIGN? No, I don’t dread it at all. Of course, as footballers we want to play football. But at this level we also know that our bodies need to be in top condition to be able to cope with the amount of matches we have to play, and to maintain the high standards that we set ourselves. Pre-season gives us a great chance to lay the foundations that will get us through the long season. At Liverpool, we have such a good group of coaches and sport scientists who do a great job of getting us through the season and that gives us the chance to compete for trophies… although I may not always enjoy the hard training at the time, haha, but I know it is important. HOW IMPORTANT IS NUTRITION AND SUPPLEMENTATION FOR YOU FROM A PERFORMANCE/RECOVERY POINT OF VIEW? Very important, not only to help with our performance but also for recovery. Again, Liverpool are a huge club with a great team of backroom staff and we are very well looked after with the meals that are provided to us. I am also a big fan of Maximuscle Promax bars, to have as snacks in between meals or when we are travelling, and I use Cyclone to help with my recovery. YOU CAME SO CLOSE TO WINNING SILVERWARE LAST SEASON, AND AGAIN IN THE SUMMER. IS WINNING SOMETHING YOUR BIGGEST AIM OF 2019? That is why I am at Liverpool and we are getting close. We have a great team, a great manager and we are confident that we are getting better. The Premier League is the obvious target – it is the best and toughest league in the world to win. Manchester City are world class, Chelsea and Manchester United aren’t far behind, and then Arsenal and Spurs have their eye on the title too. They are all very good teams and we have to do what we can to be better than them.

I ALWAYS GAVE TRAINING 100% BUT IF I WAS ASKED TO GO AND TRAIN WITH THE SENIOR PRO’S I USED TO MAKE SURE I DID SOMETHING TO MAKE THE MANAGER AND THE PLAYERS REMEMBERED ME. THE PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES YOU NEED AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL ARE SO ADVANCED. YOU ARE IN THE MIDDLE, CONSTANTLY BATTLING WITH SOME OF THE FITTEST PLAYERS ON THE PLANET. WHO’S THE TOUGHEST PLAYER YOU’VE FACED? Moussa Dembele at Spurs. He is so strong and tough to get off the ball. Steven Gerrard too – I don’t need to say why he is one of the best players I have ever played with, he just made the game look so easy and was a player I had grown up admiring. To then sign for Liverpool and play with him was very special for me and I learned a lot from him. But probably the best and toughest player I have ever played with or against is Luis Suarez. When he was at Liverpool, and now at Barcelona, he is just world class. He has everything. He is quick, he is powerful and he can keep going forever. His level of skill is second to none, but he is also tough and not shy to mix it up. He was hardly ever out injured, he never had treatments from the physios/masseurs, if he got hurt he would play on and he was just absolute quality. The sort of player you would want to have on your team, not against you. WHAT CAN YOU REMEMBER ABOUT PLAYING FOOTBALL IN THE EARLY DAYS OF YOUR CAREER? I had a ball at my feet from as soon as I could stand up, so I’ve been

playing since I was about one year old. My dad always had me practising in the garden and in the park. I was one of those kids who always had a ball with me everywhere I went. If my mum sent me to the shop to buy some milk, I dribbled my ball all the way there and back. WHEN DID YOU START PLAYING IN A TEAM AND AT WHAT AGE WERE YOU SPOTTED? I started playing in a team when I was five years old and fairly soon after, at around six/seven years old, I was spotted by the Sunderland academy. I then worked my way through the age groups all the way up to the Sunderland first team who I played over 70 times for them before moving to Liverpool. WAS THERE A SPECIFIC MOMENT WHEN YOU REALISED YOU HAD WHAT IT TAKES TO BE PRO? Not really. When I was in my midteens playing for Sunderland I remember thinking that if I wanted to go further I had to be doing more than everyone else. That is when I started doing extra football training with my dad, started working on my strength/fitness and also started paying attention to my nutrition. I had to make sure that I was working harder and smarter than everyone else.

As I got into my late teens I would sometimes be asked to train with the reserves or with the first-team squad. I always gave training 100% but if I was asked to go and train with the senior pro’s I used to make sure I did something to make the manager and the players remembered me. I didn’t put pressure on myself to do anything different, I just made sure that they all remembered who I was afterwards, and it worked because I was soon part of the first-team squad, then playing in the team before moving to Liverpool. YOU CLEARLY LOVE PLAYING THE GAME, BUT WHAT’S THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A FOOTBALLER? The worst thing for me is not being able to see my family as much as I would like to. The Christmas period in particular is traditionally very busy on the football calendar, and I don’t ever complain about having to train on Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve etc. I am in a very fortunate position to be doing something that I love as a job, and my family understand that there are some sacrifices that have to be made to give us the lifestyle that we have. But for all the great things that come from being a professional footballer the amount of time spent away from the family is by far the worst part.


There are three things that are very precious commodities within gyms – time, space and results. They are more precious than usual at this time of year thanks to all the New Year’s resolutions that everyone has made. Well, have a try of my soon-to-be world famous ‘one dumbbell workout’. All you need is one single dumbbell and enough room to swing a cat. If there are no feline friends around, then a 1.5m square will be fine. There are seven exercises to perform during this workout. You will start off with the simplest exercise and gradually increase the complexity. At the same time the number of repetitions will be

reducing as the complexity of the exercise increases. To begin with you will need to use a very light weight, roughly 10-15% of your bodyweight. The first few levels may feel very easy but as the complexity increases that will soon change. The aim of the workout is to be able to perform the entire thing with just one single dumbbell, and to gradually make that dumbbell as heavy as possible. Oh, and the benchmark is to be able to perform the entire workout as quickly as possible with one dumbbell that is 50% of your bodyweight (eg, an 85kg person would be using a 42.5kg DB).


STAGE ONE – DEADLIFT, 14 REPS EACH HAND Start with the DB at the top of the deadlift, resting in front of your thighs with your legs straight. Unlock the knees ever so slightly but do not then change the angle of the knee throughout. Move your shoulders back and imagine your torso from (hip to shoulder) is set in concrete and cannot move. Then push your backside back towards the wall, as if trying to press a button with your buttocks, by hinging at the hip. As your hips move backwards your torso will lean forwards and the DB will lower down towards the floor. Make sure the DB stays in contact with your legs all the way up and down. Don’t go any deeper than you can manage without rounding through your back or shoulders.

STAGE TWO – HIGH PULL, 12 REPS EACH HAND This is a slight development from the deadlift, so as you get to the bottom of the deadlift position you should then bend at the knee until the DB is resting on the floor – this will then be your start position. Ensure that your shoulders are pulled back and that your back stays ‘flat’ as you move into this start position. This is a more explosive movement, which will see the DB being propelled up towards shoulder height as you drive the hips forwards and pull your elbow up towards the ceiling. At the top of the movement you may slightly leave the floor as your ankle, knee and hip all go into full extension. The DB will pause for a split second at the top of the movement but as soon as it wants to go back down towards the floor then reverse the movement and guide it back down safely and quietly to the start position.

STAGE THREE – SNATCH, 10 REPS EACH HAND Same start position as stage two, except this time, instead of driving your elbow up towards the ceiling and stopping you will now allow the DB to continue up towards the ceiling. As the DB passes your shoulder you should learn to drop under the weight slightly so as to reduce the distance the DB has to travel and also to absorb a bit of the force that has been generated. Eventually the Snatch will be a smooth movement from the floor to the ceiling (with the elbow locked out overhead) and the DB will stay nice and close to your body all the way up and down. Again, this is a very explosive movement, you cannot approach the snatch with anything less than 100% commitment. Do not take your eyes off the DB at any point of the movement.

STAGE FOUR – OVERHEAD SQUAT, 8 REPS EACH HAND Snatch the DB up into an overhead position and keep your eyes fixed on it at all times. Place the back of your opposite hand onto your thigh (same thigh as the side of the hand), then ensure your heels are pushing down into the floor and slowly lower yourself down into a squat. As your body lowers down towards the floor allow your torso to turn towards the

DB. This rotation of the torso will allow the DB to stay directly above your centre of mass and will see your body twist beneath the load. If the opposite hand cannot touch the floor without your heels lifting up then do some work on your ankle mobility, trunk strength and hamstring/glute flexibility, but in the short term you can reduce the depth of the squat accordingly. You will also need very good shoulder strength and mobility to be able to execute this movement well.

STAGE FIVE – JERK/PUSH PRESS, 6 REPS EACH HAND Snatch the DB up into an overhead position again, maintaining eye contact as always. For the jerk/push press you will lower the DB down to the rack position at shoulder height, then press it back up to the top position by using your legs to assist. A safe and solid rack position will see the palm of your hand facing towards your face, your fingers should be able to brush your chin and your elbow will be touching your ribs –

learn to land in this position every single time. Keeping the elbow tight against your ribs, lower yourself down a few inches into a squat and then explosively drive the hips forward and press the DB up overhead. The push press is just one single dip of the knees. The jerk is a double dip of the knees (first dip as you lower down into a shallow squat, then you drive up out of the squat and as the DB passes the shoulder you then perform the second dip of the knees so you catch the DB in a squat position).

STAGE SIX – WINDMILL, 4 REPS EACH HAND The start position is once again in the overhead position with the elbow locked. Once you are in this position and your eyes are looking at the DB, turn both feet diagonally away from the DB (eg if the DB is in your left hand and your feet are pointing to 12 o’clock then you will turn them towards 2 o’clock – the foot furthest away may want to turn a little further than the one nearest). Once your feet are in position then push your hips back away from your feet as far as you can, ensuring that you do not bend at the knee (we want to use the posterior chain

as much as possible and bending at the knee will limit this). The back of the empty hand will be placed onto the thigh of the leg furthest away from the DB. As you push your hips back further this hand will slide down the length of your leg towards the floor, but all the while your elbow will be locked ensuring the DB stays overhead and of course the eyes do not lose sight of the DB at any time. Practise this movement with a very light load at first making sure your hips can move in the required fashion and that your hamstrings are suitably flexible.

STAGE SEVEN – TURKISH GET UP, 2 REPS EACH HAND The start position is overhead once again so perform a snatch to get the DB into position one more time, then it is just the simple task of laying flat on your back and returning to the start position without unlocking the elbow and lowering the DB at any stage. The way down is quite simple, start off by balancing your shoe on the top of your fist. If the shoe is locked overhead on your left fist then step back into lunge so that the right knee touches the floor, then place your right hand on the floor, then take some weight on the hand so that you can swing your right leg out in front of you and place your right bum cheek onto the floor, then drop down on your right elbow, then slide the right elbow away from the

body so that your right shoulder (followed by the entire back) is flat on the floor. Now you will be laying flat with your left knee pointing up to the ceiling, left hand with the DB also pointing at the ceiling and the right arm out straight away from the body at a 45-degree angle. The trick to getting up, is to not try and get up. Instead, push your left heel and right elbow into the floor as hard as possible, simultaneously twisting your torso as if trying to push the DB up towards the ceiling. Then simply reverse the movement, up onto the right hand, then lift the right bum cheek and drag the right leg back behind you and get into a lunge, then drive up back into a standing position. Again, practise this movement with no weight/ very light weight before attempting it with a heavy DB.

If you can perform this workout with one single DB that is 50% of your bodyweight then you will be extremely strong, robust and capable of performing pretty much anything that life throws at you with a minimal risk of injury. Plus you will be excellent at showing off too.

Good luck and let me know how you get on by contacting me at mark@marklaws.co.uk or @marklaws2011

e n a r C a Laur

is time she’s th t u b s e g a p ’s rns to BESTFIT tu re e ESTFIT T V. n B ra n C o rs te n Laura e s r pre , as one of ou m a te ity, and why e c th e d th e r fo join h c a be era wapping the s s lk ta nt of the cam e o h fr s , in r e Here re a c a can kickstart e h s g in p o h ’s she

Laura, you’ve been busy joining the BESTFIT TV team ahead of the launch of series 2 in February. Will this be your first presenting role? And are you looking forward to it? I am! I was there last month doing some casting and screen testing and it was all good. I’m really looking forward to doing some presenting alongside the other guys Faris [Fisher] and Kelvin [Fletcher]. To be honest, presenting is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and I’m really excited that it involves sport, health and fitness. I’m going to be doing a lot of work around nutrition, which is really important to me. People get so confused by nutrition, but I’m hoping we can simplify that and show that it’s just about finding what works for you. I’m quite excited to share the things I’ve learned about nutrition, but also to explore more about it. When we spoke to you last time you were living by the coast in Portugal and eating fish on a daily basis. Have your eating habits changed since you’ve moved to London? I still try and get my fix when I’m out and about eating at restaurants, but I definitely eat more meat than I used to. You did Love Island this year; has that experience helped open up new work or life possibilities for you? It has, for sure. It was a big thing for me to do. Prior to going on Love Island I was literally living by the beach whereas now I’m in London and it’s a really big change… but for the better. When I came out of the show I was keen to get into presenting, and hopefully BESTFIT will kickstart the next phase of my career. I went on to Love Island to meet somebody that I could share life’s adventures with, but that didn’t pan out so well. I made a really good friend in there, though, and in terms of other possibilities, things have been really positive since I came out. It’s all good. You used to do a lot of modelling and surfing… are you still doing those things? I’ve generally been busy with work since the finish of Love Island, so I’ve

had less time for surfing, which is a shame. I’m planning on spending next year doing some more travelling and surfing, so I’m looking forward to getting back to that. I have some ambassadorial work lined up, which involves working for brands or showcasing certain destinations on behalf of tourist boards. Those little bits are great. The ambassadorial work sounds like a dream gig. Is it as good in reality? For me personally, having been lucky to enough to travel while surfing, it was something I had my heart set on as soon as I finished competing. I kind of fell into it and I’m really grateful for that. You also have a new YouTube channel coming out… I have and I’m really excited about it. I’m doing a lot of work exploring mental health and in particular trying to show the positive side of those who have come through it, or those who have sought help to address their issues. Loads of people struggle with different things, so we’re just trying to show some of the success stories where people have used sport to overcome their issues. I’ve experienced mental health issues and so this is important to me. I think it’s important to realise that it’s okay not to be okay all the time, but that it’s also important to talk to people. How do you replace surfing when you live in the city? I’m doing loads of gym classes. It’s not quite the same, but I’m enjoying the variation. I also have a PT, so I spend a bit of time with them. There are so many options in London, so I’m just trying a bit of everything. I like to mix cardio and weights. Obviously, surfing is amazing for cardio so I need to ensure I keep that ticking over, but I also love HIIT training and other weights-related stuff. I like to keep things exciting and new. It’s a completely different lifestyle living in the city, but I’m just trying to find the right life balance. I’m generally okay if I know I have a trip on the horizon that involves the beach or getting out of the city.

Nothing beats surfing, though, right? Nothing. I miss it! When I used to come home for Christmas it would be for like two days and I’d really miss it then, so to go weeks and months without doing it is super hard. It’s been a big change not waking up next to the ocean, too, but it’s good to take on different challenges and I know it won’t be long before I’m back there. Some of the TV work I’m going to be doing will involve some travelling, so I’m looking forward to seeing some new places. I’ll no doubt take my board with me when I’m working, so I might be able to sneak some surfing in! Travelling and surfing go hand in hand. Are you looking to return to competitive surfing action at any stage? I can’t see it in the next year, but I’d never say never!

10 TOP



ALL-OUT DETERMINATION FOR 2019… Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s multi-stage fitness routine revealed By Leigh Purves


ew Year resolutions across the Yorkshire County Cricket team are thin on the ground. Except from having one common vision: to be the best level of fitness both in mind and body for when the season starts in April. After a short autumnal break of six weeks, the head-strong players started getting in shape again, alternating running and cardio with strength-based training. And it’s all eyes on the team as Yorkshire’s Emerald Stadium in Leeds is set

to host four of the England Cricket World Cup matches welcoming England, India, Pakistan, West Indies, Sri Lanka and World Cup Qualifier champions Afghanistan in June and July. Yorkshire County Cricket captain Steven Patterson, 35, from Beverley, reveals the secrets behind the squad’s super-high fitness levels: “Obviously our summers are long so we have a short break just before Christmas and then we slowly start to build up to the new season.

To begin with, it’s mainly about general gym work and ensuring we’re all fit and healthy. “We mix up the time training at our base within the stadium at Headingley where we focus on running, with fitness classes and workouts at David Lloyd. We want to focus on cardio and strength training so have been combining various styles of classes.” The squad have been participating in a weekly Blaze class at David

Lloyd, followed by the more holistic Body Balance, which is brilliant for mind, body and soul. Blaze classes take place in a specifically built studio and offer intense cardiovascular training together with strength, boxing and martial arts skills. And thanks to the unique heart rate monitoring, results are obtainable quickly. Whilst Body Balance follows a series of slow, controlled moves which are held in holistic studio space. Steven adds: “Blaze classes are brilliant for our cardio levels and we think it’s great we all get to see our heart rates and results before, during and after. Whilst Body Balance is great for strengthening and conditioning, it’s 100% important for us to be as fit in mindset as it is with physical fitness levels. We play cricket for most of the week for six/seven months, so it’s crucial to be the best you can be both in

mind and body. It’s all about the best performance we can give, and avoiding injuries. It’s a long season for us and ensuring we’re mentally healthy makes us less tired and more alert.” As the build-up to the new season intensifies, so does the team’s levels of fitness training. Leg Spinner Josh Poysden, 27, who recently moved from Warwickshire to Yorkshire on a three-year deal, reveals just how ruthless the sessions are. “We have the skin-fold test where they use calipers on eight different parts of the body and then they test for power,” Josh says. “These include interval running tests which are repeated several times. The fitness tests are key to us individually as well as a team as they highlight which specific areas we need to improve on.” For the players, positive thinking is crucial and the close-knit team are proud of

“WE ALL SHARE A GREAT ATTITUDE TOWARDS FITNESS. GENERALLY, OUR SQUAD LOOK AFTER THEMSELVES REALLY WELL” their attitude and discipline when it comes to their sport. Top order batsman Jack Leaning, 25, says; “We all share a great attitude towards fitness. Generally, our squad look after themselves really well. And we are a tight group of friends as well as teammates, which is very important. At the end of the day, we support each other all the way which is what counts.” Something which Josh Poysden can relate well to. Laughing, despite just completing an intense Blaze session followed with Body Balance, he reveals; “The team are a bit like family to each other. Of course we have banter and tease each other! It’s all part of the profession. For example, there are nicknames. Mine is ‘Dobby’, as in the weedy elf from Harry Potter. I simply don’t have the biggest build in the world but with the help of David Lloyd classes, our training and diet, I am continuing to add weight which is what I want.” And whilst the players have

healthy daily meals cooked for them at their training base in North Leeds, whenever possible, they’re keen to cook for themselves. “I tend to cook a big batch of food on an evening whenever I can,” Josh adds. “We all have to be fairly disciplined and make sure we’re eating the right things which work for our own bodies. I am trying to put on weight so am eating more protein.” And there’s a definite buzz about the team who are both excited and realistic about their year ahead.

adds. “We have a new stand being built, which so far looks amazing. We’ve The Ashes and are hosting four of the England World Cup fixtures! We have younger faces this year, including my own, and we are determined to make Yorkshire proud.” Steven Patterson adds: “We still start every season hoping we can win silverware and the title. It might be tougher this year than previous years as we have a different squad. But we just want to go out there and perform. And be the best we can be.”

“It is an exciting year for us,” Josh

For more information on classes and training at David Lloyd, checkout www.DavidLloyd.co.uk

HANG TOUGH Relieve the dreaded symptoms of a hangover which these top tips from nutritionist Cassandra Barns.

Replenish your micronutrients “The diuretic effects of alcohol can increase loss of vitamins and minerals. In terms of vitamins, the water-soluble vitamins B and C may be particularly affected. Minerals may also be easily depleted, so selenium and zinc can help to protect our cells from free radical damage.”

Drink enough water “This may be obvious, but it can be helpful to have a large glass of water before starting on the alcohol, a glass between each alcoholic drink, and at least one large glass before going to bed. To improve your hydration, it is ideal to drink water that contains extra electrolyte minerals such as potassium, sodium and magnesium. Natural coconut water is ideal.”

Eat something before drinking alcohol “Make sure that what you eat contains protein and ideally some healthy fats, as these stay in the stomach for longer. Good protein foods are meats, fish, eggs, beans and lentils, nuts and seeds. Healthy fats can include olive oil or other good quality seed oils (e.g. flaxseed), avocado, nuts and seeds.”

Help detoxify your liver “The liver is responsible for processing and breaking down about 95% of the alcohol we consume. So try to include protein-rich foods that promote healthy liver function. Particularly important is the amino acid cysteine, which has a specific role in acetaldehyde breakdown and can be found in vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale and cabbage.”




Image thanks to @thatcameraman


ntil 2014, I had done only a handful of yoga classes in my life. I was a professional dancer, personal trainer and fitness instructor. I saw yoga as being slow and boring. I had no idea of the extent of the physical benefits and certainly no idea of the mental benefits. However, that summer I had a fairly innocuous fall whilst dancing, which resulted in a broken spine, dislocation of my pelvis and three prolapsed discs. Utterly shocked at the severity of my injuries, the doctors shipped me off for extensive scanning and it became apparent that I had a severely degenerative disc disorder and facet joint disease. Once I got going again I was desperate to get back to the gym but I was under strict orders – absolutely no weight training, no boxing, no impact movement allowed. Yoga and pilates only.

Urgh, how dull. And yet... that is the moment my life changed for the better. We are a fast-paced, stressed generation. Yoga is scientifically proven to reduce stress and ease anxiety and depression... and all the while you’re sucking on that yoga chill pill, you are building strength, toning, increasing flexibility and easing off the pains and niggles your body has been throwing at you. It’s actually a no brainer and yet so many of you are missing out! For me, Hot Yoga is my ‘go to’. My body craves the heat. My back loves it. I also love that it is a form of cardiovascular exercise without having to run on a treadmill for hours. However, hot yoga might not be for you and that’s fine. There are now so many types of yoga that no matter what kind of person you are, you’ll find a yoga to fit.

If you want a relaxing flow, try Vinyasa or Hatha. If you want a more structured routine, try Iyengar. If you want a strong, dynamic workout, try Power Yoga. If you want to be playful and try your hand at some circus tricks try Acro Yoga. If you’ve always wanted to pretend you’re in Cirque Du Soleil, try Aerial Yoga or an Inversion class. If you’re like me and you love music and dance then hopefully you’ll like a new yoga style I’ve been creating called Aldanyo Flow, which I will launch in 2019. The options are endless. So if you try a class and find it’s not for you, don’t give up. Just try a different style. I am now four years on from my accident. Determined to help my body heal, I practised yoga at least three times a week. My yoga mat was my saviour. The muscles around my spine got stronger and looser and the pain eased with it. I am now able to weight train, box and dance again and I hold yoga responsible not only for such a radical improvement in my physical health and strength but also for, mentally, helping me feel positive about my fitness journey again. We are all fairly bad at keeping New Year’s resolutions but let me encourage you to add yoga to your list and just see how you get on. Most people who practice yoga have their own unique reason for starting it. Most people had wildly different opinions of it before they started. Everyone I know who does yoga now has been overwhelmed by the positives it has had on their life. And everyone I know who does yoga already would agree that they’d never remove it from their life now. Once you’ve discovered what is ‘your kind of yoga’ you won’t want to remove it. Namafrickenste yogis. Part of the Fit for Life series. Keep an eye out for my second DVD being released on 24 December. Instagram personal @alkilegouix Instagram yoga @konasanayoga Twitter @legouix

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BIG YEAR AHEAD 1. Continued rise of the acronym I hate the word ‘influencer’, but there are loads of them in the fitness world and a lot of them are using acronyms for terminology. A lot of these come from CrossFit and metabolic conditioning, which is definitely continuing to grow. Think EMOM (every minute on a minute), AMRAP (as many reps/round as possible); they’re basically just trying to make fitness a bit funkier while remaining functional. I also think this is part of a wider trend in that people are trying to learn more; they want to know why they’re doing what they’re doing as well as what to do. 2. More and more influencers We see a lot of ‘influencers’ who aren’t actually qualified, but by the same

token we also see more and more fitness people, with sizeable social followings, who are adding more qualifications to their skillset. So expect a ton of people to be sharing their knowledge, particularly on Instagram! 3. Travelling for your workout fix This has been huge this year and I don’t see it slowing down in 2019. More and more people are doing not just fitness holidays, but wellness retreats. People might only get two or three holidays a year but they’re choosing to spend one of them training or looking after themselves. It might be that you go to a CrossFit seminar, or head somewhere to do a specific activity, but people like to involve fitness when they’re having a break. 4. Exercise as medicine Amazingly, despite having more information than ever before, and despite the rise in influencers as mentioned earlier, conditions such as obesity continue to rise. As a result, we think we’ll see exercise increasingly used as medicine or as a preventative for a range of health issues. Prevention is always better than cure. I saw an ad on Facebook the other day for slimming injections. They cost something like £200. Are you having a laugh?! Even if you were to buy it, which you wouldn’t, and lose a couple of pounds, which you also wouldn’t, it doesn’t solve the problem around the habits that got you into the position you’re in in the first place. You need to change your habits to change your state. It has to be about habitual and long-term gain. There are no quick fixes! If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

“SOME PEOPLE’S LIVES LOOK AMAZING THROUGH THE EYES OF INSTAGRAM” 5. Guys being more vocal We’re seeing men be more vulnerable, which is great. It could be blokes opening up about their mental health, or talking openly about physical issues, but men are generally opening up beyond the façade of their social media accounts. Some people’s lives look amazing through the eyes of Instagram, but in many cases, this hides other things that are going on. 6. ‘Sustainable living’ There’s going to be a lot more about ‘sustainable living’, which means being sensible about where you buy things from and how they’re packaged. This might just mean reducing the amount of items you buy that come packaged in plastic, or more reusable cups, for example. Expect the fitness industry to be all over this. 7. Less time on social media We work on social media, we can’t disguise that, but I think you’ll see people spending less time on it. You’ve seen with the latest iPhone updates in which you can now track how much time you spend on your phone, and it’s an eye opener! I think people are becoming more aware of phone usage and their mental health. Some people use their phones as part of their training, but others use it to mask what’s really going on ‘upstairs’. We’ve started noticing that all the posts we put up around mental health are getting loads more engagement than they used to. People are happier talking about their mental health than they used to, which is good. So maybe we’ll continue to see either people recognising that they need to spend less time on their phones, or opening up a bit more about their issues.

BEAT THE BLUES REACH OUT TO THOSE AROUND YOU “When it’s an overcast grey day we may feel gloomy and choose to avoid being sociable,” explains nutritionist Alex Woods. “This avoidance may lead to a spiral of negativity. Whilst experiencing prolonged winters and occasional low mood, reaching out and connecting with a friend can improve it instantly. If this is ‘too much’ then connect via text or email and arrange to call or have them call you.”

We’re told the third Monday of January is the most depressing day of the year. Here, our experts have provided ways to help you beat not just ‘Blue Monday’, but any down days you might experience… MOOD FOODS “Feed the brain with essential fatty acids to boost your mood,” says wellness expert and fitness author Jacqueline Harvey. “Turkey is high in protein an contains tryptophan, an amino acid that helps boost dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Healthy carbohydrates such as wholegrain foods, also high in fibre, are comforting, but they will also help stabilise blood sugar levels, preventing mood dips and irritability. In the winter a vegetable soup with barley and other wholegrains is a warming mood booster.”

“EXERCISE PROMOTES THE FEEL-GOOD HORMONE, SEROTONIN, THAT REGULATES MOOD, SLEEP AND APPETITE” LOOK AFTER YOUR GUT AND IT WILL REPAY YOU “Numerous studies in the past two decades have demonstrated links between gut health and the immune system, mood, mental health and endocrine disorders,” says Harvey. “Fermented foods contain high levels of probiotics, which top up the healthy bacteria that naturally live in our intestine. They are known for aiding in digestion, boosting the immune system and cleaning our gut. They’re a key contributor to the health of the gut-brain axis and have a calming effect on the body, specifically helping with aggression. Fermented foods containing probiotics include kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles and live yoghurt. STRUGGLING TO INCLUDE KEFIR INTO YOUR DIET? If you are struggling to include fermented foods into your everyday diet, then opt for a supplement version. “Look for one that contains glutamine, probiotics, digestive enzymes, prebiotics and essential cofactors as well as very specific ingredients, such as ginger, turmeric and Serrapeptase, to work in synergy protecting the gut from inflammation and boosting gastro-intestinal health,” explains nutritionist Martina Della Vedova. “Take before you go to bed; when your digestion is at

rest, you are having a temporary fasting meaning the ingredients in the GI Natural powder can work their magic,” she adds. DON’T RELATE TO PATHETIC FALLACY “Just like weather, exercise has a big impact on mood and a little exercise goes a long way,” says Woods. “It promotes the feel-good hormone, serotonin, that regulates mood, sleep and appetite. By taking a long leisurely walk or having a short burst of interval training alleviates symptoms associated with depression and anxiety. It’s even more beneficial to exercise outside, even in the rain. Even walking on grey days allows UV exposure and regulates circadian rhythm and mood.” BEETROOT CAN ALSO LEAVE A SMILE ON YOUR FACE Incorporating this super food into your life may be more beneficial than you think. “Beetroot powder is a fantastic source of the chemical betaine anhydrous and the amino acid tryptophan, both of which are shown to improve your mood,” says nutritionist Dimitra Sentelidou. “Betaine is a chemical that occurs naturally in the body, but is also found potently in beets. As well as this in order for your body to manufacture serotonin, the neurotransmitter known as the ‘happiness hormone,’ it needs a sufficient supply of tryptophan.” CUDDLE YOUR PET Give your pet a cuddle to start the day in a positive way. “There is a great evidence that having a pet boosts overall health by reducing stress, increasing immunity, improving mood, making us more sociable, increasing fitness and staving off heart disease and major mood disorders,” explains Woods. HARMONISE YOUR BODY AND MIND Hemp, the sought-after natural ingredient, continues to hit headlines thanks to its highly nutritious health benefits. Hemp contains phytocannabinoids,

“Phytocannabinoids are natural substances found in cannabis sativa plants,” explains Della Vedova. “When we absorb them, they interact with our nervous system, brain and immune system. They do this by mimicking – or helping to increase – the activity of natural chemicals produced in our own body known as endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids have effects on many systems and processes in our body, including digestion and appetite, mood, stress response, sensations of pleasure and pain, our immune system and reproduction. So, phytocannabinoids from cannabis sativa are thought to have beneficial effects in these areas.” KEEP DRY Struggling to budge the bulge? We all know that alcohol is an anti-depressant, so not only will Dry January help improve your mood, but it could also help budge the extra chub that you may have added on in the build up to, and over Christmas. “Alcohol stimulates appetite so you are more likely to over eat,” explains Dr. Sarah Brewer. “It also affects judgment and willpower so you are less likely to make healthy food choices. Moreover, it provides ‘empty’ calories that are readily converted into fat in the body.”


Mizuno Endure 24, Bramham Park Leeds - 28th/29th/30th June 2019


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24 hour team relay race - Teams of 2 to 8 runners Endure24 is all about a weekend away with friends, you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to be super fit, anyone who can jog or even walk five miles can take part. Camping, showers and parking for runners, friends, family and supporters is included in the entry fee.

Teams, all female, all male or mixed Friday Night Party Free Technical T-shirt Massive Medals 24 Hour Catering 24 Hour Massage Music Entertainment Free Camping Starts 12.00pm Saturday 29th June






round 70% of the population made a New Year’s pledge to improve their fitness in 2019, and 40% of those will have given up before the next issue of BESTFIT is in your hands. To put that in context, 18 million people will have given up before the end of January. If you are genuinely serious about making a difference, then keep reading and take advantage of advice below. CONSISTENCY IS KING Nothing that is worth having has ever been achieved easily, or quickly. Forget all the ’28-day six-pack’ guides or the celebrityendorsed miracle potions, if you want to make progress then you need to be playing the long game. That can only happen if you are consistent. It doesn’t matter too much early on how hard you train or how much you lift, but just get into

the habit of working out two or three times per week consistently. A PROBLEM SHARED IS A PROBLEM HALVED It can be lonely embarking on a long journey by yourself, so try to find someone to share the whole thing with. It shouldn’t be too difficult to find a friend, colleague or family member that lives near you who may also have made some New Year’s resolutions to stop being so lazy. It is a hell of a lot more difficult to sack off a trip to the gym when you know your best mate has just walked there in the rain after a 12-hour shift and is expecting you to be there. SAFETY FIRST, SAFETY SECOND Regardless of who you are training with they will be better than you at some things, and you will be better than them at others. If by some miracle there is absolutely

nothing that you are better at, then be happy that you are training with someone who can inspire you to improve in many areas rather than trying to break your neck to keep up with them. I can assure you the gap will close more quickly than you think, leaving them nervously looking over their shoulder as you develop and progress… EASY DOES IT When learning new skills, of which strength and exercising both are, it is very important to start steady and to gradually increase the difficulty as you improve. Everything that you do, whether it is in the gym, in a class, in the park or at home should follow these crucial rules. The difficult level should start off SIMPLE and gradually become more COMPLEX. The speed of any movement should start off SLOW and gradually increase to being executed FAST. The amount of resistance for any movement should start off UNLOADED and gradually increase to be LOADED. PATIENCE IS MOST DEFINITELY A VIRTUE I know you are going to want miracle results, I am pretty sure that you want them to happen very quickly and if I was a gambling man then I would certainly bet a few quid that you won’t be overly impressed about me telling you to not try and compete with your mates. But patience is the most important skill you are going to need. If you are staying injury-free, progressing steadily and can get into the habit of training regularly each week, then I promise you that you are heading in the right direction. READY, FIRE, AIM… Whatever you do, stop procrastinating. You might not have a specific goal to work towards yet, you may not have chosen a training partner or a venue to start working out but that doesn’t matter. Just start. Do something. Do anything. Get ready, start… and then you can worry about the specifics further down the line.


In what can only be described as a highly unlikely match, Street Child are putting on the ultimate London Beer Run at Wimbledon Common. That’s right, beer and running, in the nation’s capital. But not just any old beer – if you decide to take part you can expect only the finest craft beer that London (and further) has to offer. What better way to shake off the tail end of winter?


6 April Running can be boring, especially if you don’t care about winning. That’s why the team behind the Gung-Ho! are bringing their inflatable 5k run event to Heaton Park in Manchester, calling out for Northerners to join in on the fun, no matter how much they love, or hate, running. Whether you’re a veteran athlete or a first-time runner, you’ll have ridiculous fun tackling these giant inflatable obstacles. If you don’t fancy doing it alone, grab friends and family – this course is suitable for all ages. The obstacles you’ll face will need teamwork, hard work and a LOT of gung-ho. You’ll climb up and slide down Start Me Up, climb, scramble and fall through Born Slippy, battle with spiky balls in Final Countdown and squeeze through the wall in Danger Zone. There’s plenty of others too, all in just 5km. If you take part, you’ll also get a Winner’s T-shirt and Headband, and will be helping towards BBC Children in Need. Running doesn’t sound boring now, does it?

So get your mates together for 13.1 miles of spectacular trail running, or join in for the 10k. Every two miles you’ll see fuelling stations stocked with a tasty choice of beer to suit your palate, and once you cross the finish line the hopped up fun won’t stop. You’ll be invited to the ‘Halfter Party’ for live music, sizzling street food and even more of the finest craft beer around. It’s the perfect way to celebrate a job well run. The best? You can raise some money for Street Child’s cause along the way – £150, to be exact. Fancy dress is also highly encouraged, so get creative – we expect to see some epic outfits on the day!

ALSO COMING UP... EVENTS LISTINGS London-to-Windsor bike event Richmond 8 September

Cycle from leafy Richmond through the pretty villages of the Thames Valley to Alexandra Gardens, nestled between the River Thames and Windsor Castle. Choose either the 55-mile or 37-mile on-road routes, or the 29 miler. Food stalls, beer tents and entertainment awaits at the finish line. Isle of Wight Challenge 4/5 May

Walk, jog or run along the spectacular southern cliffs, past the iconic Needles and up to historic Cowes in this epic bank holiday challenge. ‘Full Island’ challengers will carry on around to Ventnor and back to our base camp in Chale after an epic 106km journey. There’s a challenge for everyone. Fan Dance Summer Series Brecon Beacon Mountains 6/7 July

Take on this gruelling 24km SAS Selection test march, staged over Pen y Fan – the highest mountain in the Brecon Beacons. It’s the world’s oldest Special Forces test and is used as the first major indicator of whether a candidate has the ability to complete the legendary Selection course. Great North Swim Windermere, Lake District 7-9 June

A fantastic weekend of open-water swimming in the stunning Lake District, hosted at Brockhole on Windermere. Take your pick from 250 metres, 1/2 a mile, 1 mile, 2 miles, 5k or a 10k – there are distances to suit everyone. So bring your friends and family along to join the fun. North London Skydiving Cambridgeshire Various dates

Fancy a go at skydiving? North London Skydiving offer Tandem Skydive trial parachute jumps from just £165 and are perfect if you’re looking to become a professional, or if just want a one-off experience. Once you’re qualified, you can jump with them from just £18. #supbikerun Llandegfedd Reservoir 25/26 May

The ultimate off-road triathlon event that combines SUP (stand up paddle boarding), mountain biking and trail running. You’ll

get a choice of two course lengths – the 3k Warrior or the 6k Barbarian. SUP board hire is available, and the ticket price includes free Saturday paddle board tuition.

OTHER EVENTS Dirty Dancing Alhambra Theatre, Bradford 28 Jan - 2 Feb

A sensational new production for a worldwide smash hit, telling the classic story of Baby and Johnny. Featuring 35 hit songs, including Hungry Eyes, Hey Baby, Do You Love Me? and the heart stopping (I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life. Not to be missed. LS Lowry: The Art and the Artist Salford Museum and Art Gallery 16 January

An introduction to LS Lowry’s life and work, from early life drawings made as a young man at evening classes to his last sketches and mill scenes. The Lowry Collection is the world’s largest public collection of pictures by LS Lowry, covering all periods of his career. Annie Manchester Opera House 2-16 February

Direct from the West End, the classic story of Annie returns to tour the UK in this ‘glorious revival’ ( The Times). Set in 1930s New York during The Great Depression, brave young Annie is forced to live a life of misery before meeting billionaire Oliver Warbucks.

RESTAURANTS Federal Cafe & Bar Manchester

An independently owned Aussie/New Zealand spot in Manchester’s Northern Quarter that has become locally famed for it’s bangin’ brunch. There might be a queue at the door, but once you’re in expect to indulge on dishes like the Turkish Eggs, Acai Bowl, Banana Bread or French Toast (plus much much more!). They’ve also got gluten free bread – ticking all the boxes! Kath&Kin Leeds

Part of the Arc Inspirations string of outlets, Kath&Kin focus on serving locally sourced delicious grub. They serve brunch, afternoon tea, Sunday roasts and everything in between. With dishes like steak frites, crispy buttermilk chicken burger and the revitalise powerbowl, there’s definitely something for everyone.

HealtH & fitness for mind, body & soul Luxury accommodation for group or individual fitness, wellness and sports activities All year warm climate | Stunning scenery | Unrivalled local expertise Let our team help you plan your perfect experience

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hile everyone’s work place and type of work is different, what is common across them all is stress in one form or another. Whether it’s the pressure we put on ourselves, the pressure put on us by other people, or simple trying to get done what we need to in time for the school run. This means there is plenty of need for the awareness, calm and balance that mindfulness can grant us. It’s therefore no wonder that mindfulness training has become one of the most popular new initiatives within workplaces, of all shapes and sizes. In just this year alone I’ve worked with organisations as diverse as a nationwide restaurant chain, a social welfare charity and a Formula 1 racing team – evidence of how wide the interest there is in mindfulness at work. Indeed, in the world of technology, such is its popularity that companies such as Google and Facebook have their own internally designed courses. The reason that workplaces get interested in mindfulness for their employees is typically one of two: the first is productivity – this is when more goal-oriented companies hear how mindfulness training can help people increase their focus and spend less time taken away into distractions. The second is perhaps a little more wellbeing-oriented, and is when companies recognise that there is stress in their employee’s lives and so look to help people learn new skills

to deal with the difficulty, both in the workplace and beyond. When it comes to productivity, what you’re talking about is concentration and focus. And because those words can tend to be a little bit loaded, I prefer to talk about non-distraction, since ultimately when distractions are reduced, what is left is a mind which is able to stay where you want it to. There are two good ways to work on your distractions, the first is to deliberately work on your concentration muscles by placing your mind in one place, such as on your breath, and then when you notice it’s wandered off, to bring it back again and again so that over time you’ll have trained yourself to have a rock-steady mind. The other way is to be a little bit more clever, and instead become interested in how the process works when you become distracted at work. One of the golden rules of mindfulness is that the more aware

we are of our patterns, the less power they have over us. So try to study what really happens when you’re reading an email and the next thing you know you’ve gone down a YouTube wormhole and appear 30 minutes later and haven’t done a jot of work. Because when we see the patterns, we’re able to catch them early on before it’s too late. Another useful golden rule is that work is chaos! It’s something I realised on my first ever day of work and 15 years later I’ve not yet seen any evidence to the contrary. So while I can list out 1,001 techniques you can do to reduce stress, the most important one is to not take work too personally. We can still put everything we have into it, but if we let our work define us, then when things fall apart (which they inevitably will at one time or another), then if we are too closely identified with our work, the risk is that we fall apart too. Another key dimension of bringing more awareness and lightness to work is to really appreciate the social aspects of where you are. It may well be true that the majority of the stress you feel is because of other people but at the same time, the greatest joys will also be in your interactions with your colleagues. So when they do arise, be it a mundane pleasant conversation in a teabreak, to a major victory in that allimportant project, then do soak up the experience as much as possible, letting you feel it all in its entirety. One good way to encourage a real sense of wellbeing with your colleagues is to actually do some meditation with them. Alongside all the meditations that my app buddhify has for stress and for taking an effective work break, there are also some popular ones which are designed specifically for doing with your colleagues. So whether it’s the meditations in buddhify or elsewhere, you might not only be surprised at who around you is also interested in this stuff, but also how positive the effects can be. It can not only help you de-stress, but also bond with your colleagues, helping to build deeper connections with them.



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BESTFIT Magazine Issue 42  

Our December/January issue is out now. Exclusive interviews include Jason Fox, Jordan Henderson and Laura Crane. Plus! – 2019 fitness trend...

BESTFIT Magazine Issue 42  

Our December/January issue is out now. Exclusive interviews include Jason Fox, Jordan Henderson and Laura Crane. Plus! – 2019 fitness trend...