BESTFIT Issue 43

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! K C A B S I V T T I F T S BE



The No.1 Sports & Active Holiday Resort In The World R

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Club La Santa UK’s parent company, Sports Tours International, is protected by the ATOL arrangements when you book your holiday that includes flights and accommodation. Our ATOL number is 2711. Where you book a non-air inclusive holiday (accommodation and we organise your resort transfer), and we act as the principal, your money is financially protected by our ABTA bonding arrangements. Our tour operating ABTA number is V1479. All accommodation only bookings are not covered by ATOL or ABTA arrangements. Save up to 20% offer can be withdrawn at any time. *1) 5% off applies to one-bed “Comfort” apartments only 2) Book online quoting code ‘BESTFIT5’ before 31/03/2019 3) Applicable only on stays between 1/02/2019 until 30/09/2019. 4) Minimum 7 night stay. 5) New bookings only 6) May not be combined with any other discount or offer 7) All apartments subject to availability 8) Discount not applicable to flights, transfers, meals, insurance or other chargeable extras 9) Not applicable on ‘twin-to-share’ bookings.



Monday nights just won’t be the same again. Why? Because there’s a new TV show on our screens, BESTFIT TV, and it’s coming at you from 4 February. Some of you may have caught series 1 last year. Others will read the mag and perhaps have no idea that we’re also turning our content into bite-size chunks for the telly. So what can you expect? Well, we’ve challenged celebrities such as Stevie Ward, Aimee Fuller and Carly Booth to take on the BESTFIT fitness challenge. We’ve also got Ben Coomber, who you should recognise from these pages, showing us how we can eat better with a series of healthy and easy-to-cook recipes. There’s loads more, but we’ll let you see for yourselves. Make sure you catch the FreeSports channel at 8pm for the first few episodes, 7pm after that. As with everything we do, your feedback is welcome. And so to this issue. Just because we’ve been working behind the camera doesn’t mean we’ve taken our eyes off the ball here. We’ve got Paloma Faith, Josh Patterson and all our regular columnists. We’ve got alternative exercises, mood boosters, cheap healthy meals, skiing clothing reviews and a workout to get you slope-ready. Enjoy the mag. Enjoy the TV series.


The global superstar on combining motherhood, nutrition and new music


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CONTRIBUTORS Andy Thompson (design), Will Hughes (sub), Ben Coomber, Jess Davies, Richard Edwards, RF123, Mark Laws, Alexandra Legouix, The Lean Machines, Leigh Purves, Claire Bloomfield, 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.

TRANSFORMATION: PT 1 Ruth Garbutt begins a 10-week journey with BESTFIT TV. Follow her progress here…


Another year, another chance to try something new. According to a recent survey, 2019 is the year that many of us want to take up a new hobby. The study, conducted by questioned 1,463 Britons to see what they wanted to do differently this year. Four fifths of respondents already have a hobby, and most of these are health and fitness related. But for some of us, this isn’t enough – one in six are planning to start something new. It might not surprise you that running came out on top with 17% of the votes, but just behind it was learning a new skill (14%), singing (13%), wild swimming (9%) and fishing (7%). When asked why, most explained that personal development was the reason. Others also pointed to a boost in confidence and a little stress relief. Plenty of good reasons to spread your wings this year.


CRAVINGS, EXPLAINED These cold, dark days make us want to stay in and cuddle up with our favourite foods. The team over at Mindful Chef, a healthy recipe-box delivered to your door, looked at the typical cravings and how to fight them. First up, the ‘last -minute takeaways’ team – those of us working late and leaving no time to cook. We’ll stop at our favourite local late-night takeaway before almost immediately collapsing into bed, but struggling to sleep until 2am. Secondly, the ‘chocolate’ lot – always in search of a dopamine hit from chocolate, so probably deficient in magnesium. Avocados, whole grains and bananas might do the trick instead. Finally, the ‘comfort foodies’ – those of us surviving on caffeine and crisps during the day, and making up for it with whatever our brains are craving (usually a pasta dish) at night. Focus on self-care, like meditation and exercise, to avoid this.




BANISH THE BRAIN FOG Tired, drained and pale? You’re not just an adult living in Britain, you might also be iron deficient. The World Health Organisation discovered that 30% of the world’s population are anaemic, mostly because they lack enough iron in their diet. Why do we need this little mineral? Our body needs iron to produce red blood cells that carry oxygen around our body, so if we don’t get enough we might have a ‘foggy’ brain, shortness of breath or palpitations. Those of us with an intestinal disorder like celiac disease will struggle to absorb iron from foods, and women with heavy periods might also become anaemic. The best way to top up our iron stores? A high-potency iron supplement should do the trick, helping us to adult a little better. We can’t promise it’ll fix your non-existent tan though.

THE ‘GOOD STUFF’ One of the trickiest questions to answer, but one that crops up constantly: are we living our best life? Could we be doing more to live an even better life? The more we watch other people’s lives, the more we worry about our own. A recent study commissioned by Burgen, seeded bread company, found that while 95% of us think making time for the ‘good stuff’ in life is important, one in five spend less than 30 minutes doing things we enjoy. According to the study, our favourites include eating healthy, tasty meals, spending time outdoors and, of course, sleep. Unfortunately these are the things we struggle with the most, thanks to modern day life. TV star Melanie Sykes suggests not saying ‘yes’ to everything, while Harley Street nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert suggests making time to discover new and tasty things in the kitchen. Every little helps!

WHY WE CRAVE MORE DURING OUR PERIOD If you’re a woman that suffers through painful cramps, unexplained mood swings and uncontrollable breakouts as a result of your period, we have some good news. A recent study has revealed that women actually need 100-300 extra calories each day in the week leading up to their period. It’s no wonder you’ve been craving familysized slabs of chocolate, your metabolism is running high. The only problem with a faster metabolism? We might struggle to listen to our body, especially when it’s telling us it’s full. Terri-Ann Nunns, founder of the Terri-Ann 123 Diet Plan, says that overeating during the menstrual cycle can actually make us feel worse. To avoid this, she suggests stocking up on healthy alternatives and trying to notice if we’re stressed, bored or actually hungry before we decide to eat.


January has been and gone, which means a lot of us have signed up to a gym, bought a new workout wardrobe and started stocking up on anything green and edible. But are we chasing the right goals? There’s a long line of research that says our plans for the ‘perfect’ body are doing us more harm than good. University of South Wales discovered that just 30 minutes a day spent scrolling through ‘fitness inspiration’ Instagram posts can make us unhappy with our body. As a result, another study revealed most women attempt three diets, costing £485, every year. A lot of this is wasted cash though, with a different study finding that gym memberships are the most wasted monthly subscription, because half of us (50%) don’t use them. So, apart from ditching social media altogether, what are our options? Joining a gym isn’t the only way to exercise, so find what works for you: yoga, running, chasing your kids around the house. Just get moving.


Easier said than done, we know, but now it’s even more important to find ways to avoid stress – especially during the evening. A recent study shows that we are more vulnerable to stress at night, because our body doesn’t make as many hormones for the ‘fight or flight’ response. So how can we stress less? Treat yourself to a light therapy alarm clock, to mimic the sunrise and wake you up naturally. Also, pay attention to signs that you’re burnt out – you might have a depressed mood that won’t shift, or be struggling to concentrate. You can also limit the amount of coffee you have each day, and focus more on your sex life. Yes, sex is a great stress reliever. For added benefit, stock up superfood supplements like Maca Powder, an adaptogen that can increase energy and, most importantly, reduce stress!




Top golfer Carly Booth took part in our ‘Train With…’ series for BESTFIT TV before returning to the course with one target in mind for 2019: silverware. It’s all in the mind, she says… CARLY, YOU WERE A TOP GYMNAST AND A COUNTY CHAMPION SWIMMER AS A KID, AND NOW YOU’RE A TOP GOLFER… YOU HAVE SPORT IN YOUR BLOOD! HAVE YOU ALWAYS TAKEN AN INTEREST IN YOUR FITNESS TOO? My dad always says that I was in the gym before I could walk. We grew up with a very supportive background. My dad was a wrestler and so he built a gym at the house, so I think it’s always been a part of me since I was born. It’s something I’ve always been interested in and so something I’ve always just done. ONE OF YOUR BROTHERS PLAYS GOLF, THE OTHER IS A STAR AFTER WINNING AT THE PARALYMPICS. WHY DO YOU THINK YOU’VE ALL EXCELLED IN SPORT? My family just gave us all plenty of opportunities and as kids we were all able to try all sorts of sports to see which ones we liked. We were very lucky.

YOU WERE SO GOOD AT SO MANY SPORTS AT A YOUNG AGE, SO WHY GOLF? My older brother Wallace decided that golf was what he wanted to do when he was aged seven, so I think I wanted to follow in his footsteps. I was fortunate to be good at a few sports, but I really stood out at golf at a young age. In gymnastics, I was good, but there were a lot of other talented kids, even by the age of eight years old. Swimming was more a means to an end for the fitness, and so after getting my first golf handicap at eight it just kind of accelerated from there. IS IT TRUE YOU WERE PLAYING OFF 20 AGED EIGHT? HOW DOES THAT EVEN HAPPEN?! It just happened! I didn’t realise it was such an achievement at the time. Ever since then all I’ve tried to do is get better.

A RUSSIAN WRESTLING COACH SAID HE COULD TURN YOU INTO A CHAMPION. THERE CAN’T BE MANY GOLFERS WITH THE STRENGTH REQUIRED TO WRESTLE? Well, when I was doing gymnastics aged five I was surrounded by a lot of wrestling folk because of my dad, who was not only a wrestler himself but who also used to coach. I think the gymnastics gave me a lot of strength and mobility, which really helped with all my sports. I think that’s what helped me stand out at such a young age across the sports I did. WE’VE SEEN SOME INCREDIBLE FEATS OF STRENGTH AND AGILITY ON YOUR INSTAGRAM FEED, LIKE SWINGING A DUMBBELL WHILE STANDING ON A SWISSBALL. HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU SPEND IN THE GYM AND WHAT SORT OF SESSIONS DO YOU DO? It’s a balancing act and I’m in the gym a lot but this year I’m trying to be more focused on my golf swing too. It’s difficult because I’ve had a lot of niggling injuries, which mean I am trying to strengthen those areas of the body, like my elbow, for example, and my left shoulder. A lot of the work I try and do now is focused on those areas and making them more mobile. It’s not just about strength in those areas, but also rotation and flexibility.

WHAT OTHER PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES DO YOU NEED AS A TOP GOLFER? I would say more than the physical attributes, you need a good and positive mindset. You need belief. You need to be dedicated. I guess that’s the same in all sports. THIS WILL BE YOUR 10TH YEAR AS A PRO. WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING TO ACHIEVE ON THE COURSE IN 2019? Every year I aspire to win. I’ve not won a tournament since 2012, so getting into the winners’ circle is my main goal.

WHAT’S YOUR ONE WORKOUT OR MOVE THAT IS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF YOUR WEEKLY ROUTINE IN RELATION TO YOUR GOLF SWING? Any kind of rotational movements are great for the golf swing but also anything that helps you develop your power. AS A GYMNAST YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN INCREDIBLY STRONG, AND SWIMMING REQUIRES STRONG SHOULDERS. HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN STRONG? I would say so. People say I have big traps and I think that’s down to a lot of handstands down the years! I swam for so many years and my best stroke was butterfly, which is the hardest one, so that gave me a lot of power. IS STRENGTH IMPORTANT IN GOLF? I think so. It certainly helps you physically and mentally. Golf can be a long game and so you don’t want to get mentally tired. It all plays a part, particularly in the last few holes when it matters. You need strength, power and mobility as much, if not more so, at the end of your round as at the beginning. Throw in the ability to handle the pressure of needing to make putts and big shots in tense situations, and that’s why we train hard.

YOU WERE THE YOUNGEST SCOT TO QUALIFY FOR THE LADIES EUROPEAN TOUR, AND YOU’RE A TWO-TIME WINNER ON TOUR TOO, BUT HOW HARD IS IT TO STAY AT THE TOP? Well, it’s been six-seven years since I won, so I’m finding it really hard! But look at some of the other players around the world struggling to win, people like Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy; it’s so hard to get to the top, and just as hard to stay there. There are just so many talented athletes out there looking to achieve the same as you and I think you just have to find your way. That’s just the way it is. Every athlete wants to be at the top and only a handful can get there. DO YOU DO ANYTHING TO WORK ON THE PSYCHOLOGY SIDE? I’ve done a bit of profiling recently, to work out what I need, and that’s given me some good information. I think some of it is how you help yourself and it’s as much about being happy away from the golf course as much as on it. YOU HAD A TOUGH YEAR ON AND OFF THE COURSE IN 2018. WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM LAST YEAR? I think when things aren’t going too well off the course they can really affect your game on it, so I think putting a lot of issues behind me will be a weight off my shoulders. I need to not be so hard on myself; I sometimes take things too personally, so this year I’m trying to relax and enjoy myself a bit more, stop stressing over everything!

Huntsman Club


A premium shaving club providing the finest shave to the modern gentleman, from the comfort of his own home. This subscription service will deliver a tailored shave plan to your door either every six or 12 weeks. Included in the box will be a luxury weighted razor handle, Gillette Mach 3 turbo blades, and premium hydrating natural pre-shave cream. £35 per box


Casio Pro-Trek WSD-F20ABUAAB The latest addition to the Pro Trek range, this limited edition smart watch is designed for total appeal to outdoor enthusiasts. It comes equipped with built-in low-power GPS and colour map functionality, and supports a wide range of outdoor and water activities. It can even be used in areas without cellular service. It has a wealth of bells and whistles, including easy-to-read map data that can be downloaded in advance and used with GPS data to track the user’s location and add markers, even when offline. It also has button guards, a protective bezel, and ergonomic side buttons designed to not only withstand tough situations, but be easy to use. All you need to do is use Wear OS by Google™ – which offers a variety of pre-installed apps for outdoor activities – to connect the Casio watch to a smartphone. Additional compatible apps can be installed on the watch from the Google Play store if desired. Price: £349

Bullet and Bone Recovery body wash A cooling body wash to use after exercise instead of your regular shower gel, to cool down and speed up muscle recovery. Made using peppermint and menthol to cool your body down, so you can get on with your day. Other ingredients include magnesium, maca extract and jasmine. £6

Rayleigh Pioneer The ultimate urban utility bike that combines a sleek design with traditional styling. Made using an aluminium frame, steel handlebars and a padded Selle Royal saddle. It’s perfectly suited to city life and built for practicality and style. Plus, the tarmac-friendly tyres make it ideal for your commute. £350

Deskcise Pro The all-in-one desk that adds fitness to your daily routine by keeping you active and productive throughout the day. Part exercise bike, part standing desk – you can adjust easily between sitting, biking and standing. You can also move the desktop forward, back, up or down to suit your comfort. £399.99

Overhang A natural revitalisation and recovery drink, made using an old family recipe, perfected over a century. The tasty and refreshing combination of orange, lime, ginger and milk thistle with added vitamins and botanicals will be just what you need after your workout, or whenever you need a pick-me-up. £12.62 (12x250ml)

Move ECG An analog watch with a built-in electrocardiogram, so anyone with the atrial fibrillation condition never misses an episode. Simply place your fingers on the watch case and in 20 seconds it will record an electrocardiogram. Features a 12-month battery life, for long-lasting support. Not yet released

Saucony Kinvara 10 A lightweight, neutral running shoe that packs a heavyweight punch. It features an EVERUN topsole and flexible EVA+ midsole for a smooth and incredibly energetic ride. The engineered mesh upper is as supportive as it is breathable and will comfortably lock your foot down as you ramp up the pace. £115

Beoplay E8

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Cord free, wireless headphones that come with a Digital Signal Processor for the highest quality, and most natural sound. The batteries allow you four hours of non-stop playing time, but you can top up on the go with the leather charging case. Features also include Bluetooth and compatibility with the Bang & Olufsen app. £269


Carry on the Veganuary diet with Heck’s Super Greens Bangers, made with quinoa, spinach, kale and ginger. They come completely soya, wheat and gluten-free and are also super low in fat. Perfect for anyone looking to curb their meat intake, but not keen on boring or flavourless food. £3

JAM Hang Around

A compact speaker with up to 20 hours of playtime, and a 30-metre Bluetooth™ range. It’s rugged and waterproof to the extent that it has an IP67 rating, which means that it can be dunked 1m under water for up to 30 minutes. It’s also dirt proof, so perfect for kicking back, relaxing and listening to your favourite tunes whilst relaxing or working out outside. The dual drivers and bespoke dual

passive bass radiators pack an awesome punch for its size. You can also pair it with another Hang Around for a fuller stereo sound. The stereo has a built-in cable which, when not charging, acts as a handle, meaning you never have to worry about losing your charger cable ever again. RRP £59.99

Boxing clever If you’re a fan of resolutions, our weekly organic boxes will have you turning over new leaves (as well as roots, fruits and other treats). We’ve taken the hard work out of making healthy and sustainable choices. Now you can shop greener and eat your greens all at the same time. Supporting organic farmers means less artificial chemicals in the ground and in your food. Getting it all delivered weekly by our (surprisingly green) yellow vans means fewer shopping trips and fewer food miles. Seasonal ingredients in minimal (and returnable) packaging means less waste all round. That’s a whole lot of healthy changes in just a few clicks.

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"Really ripe and plump little blueberries without any of the nasties. Perfect for snacks" Saima, Middlesbrough. Blueberries (125g) £3.25

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"So much better than organic supermarket eggs. Eating their yolks is like a mouthful of sunshine." Sue, Surrey. Organic Free Range Eggs, (6 large) £2.90



“…it won’t happen overnight, it always won’t be easy, and sometimes you won’t feel like doing it…” it when you start to see results and you look and feel better! FOCUS ON SMALL CHANGES THAT CREATE BIG RESULTS You would be surprised how seemingly small changes can have significant health and fat loss results. Things like swapping full fat milk for skimmed milk, managing portion sizes, eating more whole foods, opting for diet fizzy drinks, using herbs and spices instead of sauces… these are all small changes to your diet that are enough kick-start your fat loss.


e tend to start the year with great intentions. We tend to eat a lot, drink a lot and do very little exercise over Christmas and New Year. There is almost a week between Christmas and New Year which is like the nutrition equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle, and tends to be full of leftovers, movie days and being cosy indoors. All leading to the vast majority of people gaining weight and feeling sluggish. This pre-empts a drastic lifestyle change. People aim to go from overeating and not exercising to vastly undereating (think shake diets) and trying to get to the gym every day for hours of cardio. Other

forms of unrealistic diet and exercise regimes exist but this encompasses most. Inevitably after a few weeks, if you manage that long, you realise this is unsustainable and give up and go back to old habits. Don’t let yourself fall in to this trap. Follow these rules to make 2019 the year you’re going to get fit and stay fit! SET REALISTIC GOALS Accept that it probably took years of overeating to get you in this position and a four-week diet isn’t going to fix it. Being too restrictive only sets you up for failure. Have realistic expectations of fat loss: it won’t happen overnight, it always won’t be easy, and sometimes you won’t feel like doing it but it will be worth

AIM TO TURN HEALTHY BEHAVIOURS INTO HABITS Great habits to get into include increasing your activity levels, which could mean walking more and leaving the car, or preparing meals for the next day. This could be as simple as pre preparing your lunch and taking it to work. Both of these habits also save money! Win, win especially in January! ENJOY THE PROCESS You won’t stick to something you don’t enjoy. Find a form of exercise or activity that you enjoy, find a way of eating that suits your lifestyle and work commitments, find foods you enjoy eating! If you hate spin classes, don’t go. If you don’t like chicken, don’t eat it. If you don’t like eating first thing, don’t. Create a plan that works for you and fit it around your life, not vice versa! DOING IT THE RIGHT WAY, THE MAINTAINABLE WAY, MEANS RESULTS WILL LAST!






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HERE ARE SOME IDEAS THAT PROVE YOU DON’T ALWAYS NEED TO SPEND HOURS EXERCISING TO LOSE WEIGHT Are you feeling guilty for skipping your morning workout, or did you not quite make it to the gym after work? Don’t worry – you’re not alone. At this time of year, it can be hard finding motivation. But what if there was a way you could burn calories without it feeling like you were actually exercising? “There are some really simple changes you can incorporate into your daily routine whilst sitting at your desk at work or when you’re at home going about day-to-day tasks, which can help to increase the amount of calories you burn,” says Terri-Ann Nunns, creator of the Terri-Ann 123 Diet Plan. “There will be many things that you already do that actually burn more calories than you would ever think – meaning you don’t need to feel guilty about skipping a workout.” Here are ten…

about our morning routine? Walking around briskly, when you’d normally stand still, or squatting when you’d usually sit, can be an effective way of burning calories without thinking about it. The continuous movement means you will burn more calories than you would be being dormant! How many calories can you burn? Research shows you can burn 70 calories for every five minutes you do squats, so 15 minutes of squatting will burn about 200 calories. HOUSEWORK

FIDGETING Good news if you struggle to sit still, as you could be doing yourself a favour when it comes to burning extra calories. ‘Fidgeting’ whilst watching TV, sitting at your desk or eating dinner, and it could be tapping your foot, shaking your leg or always getting up and down, burns calories because your body is constantly moving. How many calories can you burn? Research has found you can burn up 350 calories a day by simply ‘fidgeting’. LAUGHTER Laughter is always a good thing, whether it’s a giggle with friends or laughing out loud at the TV – nothing boosts happiness like a good laugh. But an even bigger benefit of laughing is that you actually burn calories by doing so. Although not by a huge amount, your heart rate increases, causing calories to be burned. How many calories can you burn? It’s been found that 15 minutes of laughter a day can burn 10 to 40 calories. DANCING We’re not talking about a Zumba or intense aerobics class at the gym, we’re referring to the dancing you do when you hit the town and let your hair down! Whether you’re into house, R&B or cheese, upbeat, fast-paced music that you can move to will increase your heart rate and burn calories. So, don’t feel ashamed of your moves next time you head out... How many calories can you burn? Studies show that 40 minutes of dancing can burn around 200 calories. DAILY ROUTINE When we get ready each day we tend to do so in one spot. We stand still when we brush our teeth and we sit down to dry our hair and apply make-up. But what if there was an easy way to burn calories when going

We often hear people say that housework and cleaning the whole house feels more intense than a full body workout. While this may seem a tad dramatic, in actual fact you can burn a serious amount of calories from doing household chores. Cleaning, hoovering and tidying are all physical work and require you to be constantly on the move – similar to if you were working out. This means it’s a really effective and easy way to burn calories. How many calories can you burn? An hour spent dusting burns 166 calories. An hour hoovering burns 175 calories an hour. An hour of ironing burns 157 calories. PLAYING WITH CHILDREN There’s no denying that children are always full of energy and keeping up with them can sometimes prove difficult. Chasing them around the park, playing games with them and even getting them into bed can all contribute to burning calories as when they’re constantly on the move. You tend to be as well, making it a great way to burn calories without even realising it. How many calories can you burn? Research has found that playing with/running after children for just 20 minutes can burn 78 calories.

GET YOUR GREENS IN FIVE QUICK AND EASY WAYS FOR YOU TO ADD MORE GREENS TO YOUR DAY Juice it up Celery juice is a great way to add a wealth of nutrients into your day; it’s light, refreshing, and healing. What’s more, it is claimed to aid in digestion, be anti-inflammatory, cure chronic pain and clear up skin conditions. Get Brothy Soups are a great vehicle for leafy greens, just stir a big handful of spinach into a soup or stew during the last three to five minutes of cooking.

SEX It goes without saying, but getting it on with a partner can definitely contribute to burning extra calories. It’s simple really, as the longer your heart rate is maintained at a higher-than-normal ‘resting’ rate, the more calories you will burn. How many calories can you burn? Studies have found that most couples burn an average of 300 calories an hour while they’re having sex. WEARING HEELS Walking in heels can be difficult enough as it is, so it’s good to know that there really are some benefits from suffering all day. Heels can also be a really great way to tone and shape your legs, as they act in a similar way to fitness shoes that are designed to help with toning the muscles in your legs. How many calories can you burn? Walking burns anywhere from 90 to 200 calories in 30 minutes. A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP Ensuring you have a good night’s sleep and plenty of rest can help you burn more calories when you do come to work out. When we’re tired, we’re more likely to work with less effort when exercising, or even to skip a workout all together. Ensuring you have enough sleep

leads to better performance all round, including in your workouts. How many calories can you burn? Multiple studies have found a connection between sleep and weight loss. Not enough sleep leads to more food cravings and a slower metabolism. TAKING THE STAIRS Sometimes it’s the little things that count, and swapping the lift for the stairs can really have a big difference on how many calories you burn. Try running up and down them on occasion to increase your heart rate and get a mini workout inbetween meetings or when at home. How many calories can you burn? You can burn 102 calories by walking up and down the stairs for 10 minutes.

Kimchi Cabbage counts as a leafy green! Get your daily dose in the form of kimchi, an often-spicy fermented Korean condiment commonly made of napa cabbage. Delicacies from the ocean Sea vegetables have gone from a near obscurity to a popular health trend in a matter of recent months, as seaweed snacks can be found at nearly every local supermarket. Swap it Out Swap out heavy pasta for nutrientboosting courgette spaghetti. Continue to enjoy your favourite pasta meals guilt-free, without the heavy and glutenous carbohydrates of pasta.


Switch HIIT for LIIT and reach for the rower at David Lloyd, writes Leigh Purves


t’s time to mix up your exercise routine and feel fantastic, by trying new tricks when it comes to working out. And at David Lloyd, the February/March fitness trends are taking over when it comes to achieving fabulous results, whatever your age.

LIIT is the latest fitness frenzy, offering a workout at a completely different pace from HITT. ‘Low Intensity Interval Training’ focuses predominately on slow movements and good form, so expect to switch jumping jacks for slowed down squats. LIIT classes are great for anyone new to fitness, or anyone coming back to it after a break, but don’t be fooled into thinking these slowed-down sessions are easy. They’re also good for anyone who’s training at a high pace regularly, to help strengthen the body and recover. You’ll see more LIIT moves filtering through the clubs’ SYNRGY classes, as members reap the fitness benefits from these. And whilst this month sees a surge in popularity of members trying out LIIT, HIIT classes remain high priority too!

rounder benefits of rowing, with boutique rowing studios being introduced across more and more clubs, in addition to the humble rowing machine being incorporated within more activity in classes. “Rowing has the benefit of targeting a large amount of the body’s muscle groups,’ explains Michelle. ‘It works the legs, core and arms, so it’s a real all-rounder. Just like cycling, rowing can be done to music and the intensity on the rower is adapted to make it more difficult, so there’s a lot of scope for a varied and challenging class.” “HIIT classes are so dynamic, varied and intense; they include anything from squat jumps to skipping, boxing to burpees,” says Michelle Dand, Head of Fitness Product and Programming. “Blaze classes, which run from 45 to 55 minutes, combine cardio, strength training and combat and make you work to 100% of your ability for short periods of time,” she adds. “And by combining these with the odd LIIT workout is a sure way of making sure you are on good fitness form.” During the next few weeks, David Lloyd are also targeting the all-

At David Lloyd, members can expect to see rowers become more prominent in existing classes. “Within our SYNRGY classes – small group circuit training classes that focus on cardio, strength, endurance and agility – some clubs will introduce ‘Lift and Row’, combining strength training, with the cardio that rowing offers,” explains Michelle. David Lloyd are also leading the way with wearable tech. Not only can it provide a huge boost in motivation, by giving you a thorough analysis of how hard you’ve worked, but it’s also good for healthy competition, whether that’s with yourself or others. There are now lots of ways to track your fitness, from how many steps you’ve walked in a day on your phone or watch, to how much sleep you had last night. Fitness goers everywhere are looking for ways to make this tracking more and more accurate, so expect to see more along the lines of technology, such as MyZone belts. “We use MyZone belts within our Blaze classes,” explains Michelle. “It means you can see when you are working your hardest and you can track how long you spend in the hardest zone: the red zone. Heart rate monitoring and workout trackers add an extra element to your workout and can be competitive and encouraging at the same time.” And it’s not just tracking exercises

that’s a huge trend for fitness fanatics right now. “This is less about recording your workout and more about tailoring your health and fitness routine, so that it is hardworking and individual,” explains Michelle. “There are some clever features on the horizon. Among the most impressive is the ability to tap into gym equipment, to bring up the relevant info and tracking for that specific machine,” she adds. We can also expect to see Artificial Intelligence (AI) used, to deliver proactive daily health and fitness advice customised to the individual. If you missed your gym session, it could offer some alternative exercises to get in at a convenient time, based around your calendar appointments, or your location – both motivating and personal. Brilliant! And with a a firm focus on keeping the kids active, offering tennis lessons and swimming from early years, through to a strong focus on keeping fit and healthy – aimed at the more senior member – there’s certainly something for everyone this month. For more information check out





I definitely feel there is a dosedependant response from what I have seen in practice with myself and client, and with intense training the need/ benefit only seems to go up and up (I’m taking Daily Dose and Recovery Spray from Awesome Supplements). 3. I’ve eaten higher protein and higher fibrous vegetables in the early part of the day, or implemented intermittent fasting so that I can get by on only eating around 1,500-2,000 calories during the bulk of the day, often saving 1,500-2,000 calories for my last meal of the day, so I can have more flexibility with evening engagements around food. 4. I’m training less often, but with the same volume, with less rest in my workouts. Because I am getting more recovery time I am able to have more intense workouts with less rest. This has meant I’m getting an even greater cardiovascular benefit and also saving time, and time is always something I am looking to save.


he modern world asks a lot of us, especially if we’re not diligent at having boundaries and time out for our body and minds. Work hours can be long, social media is always there, there is always an email in your inbox waiting for an answer, kids demand loads, the list continues. Our management of all of this is the biggest struggle, because it can all easily affect optimal performance.

volume, but intensity, so I have to maintain my recovery to allow me to do this. I’ve found that training 3-4 times a week with maximum intensity is far more beneficial to the body, and the results I’m getting over 4-6 sessions a week that are at 70-90% of my training intensity potential.

I’ve noticed that as I’ve got older, more of my time has been demanded by others. As my business has grown, so have the questions placed at my feet. This then leads to a more troubled mind, which can affect sleep and gym/training performance, so managing this is important. I’ve noticed I’ve wanted to be more social and it’s actually become a bigger part of my work, eating out and being cooked for more and more. I’ve shifted my goals with training, but I’ve still wanted to train just as hard. For me it’s not always about training

1. Turn my phone off for periods of the day. If my phone is off I can’t even think what might be there. It’s off, allowing me either solid periods of deep work, solid training with no distractions, or my full attention on a social or family event.

So what have I seen as the most dramatic changes for my health and performance over the last 18 months?

2. Increasing my magnesium intake to 600-1000mg a day. A 400-600mg daily oral dose, then the rest as topical magnesium post-training. I’ve found the more I’ve taken the more benefits I’ve seen – despite what some research has indicated – so

5. Taking my business active. I’m always looking to increase my overall energy expenditure so it’s easier to maintain my weight, so I take calls then pop out for a walk, do social media or emails on an exercise bike, or take walking meetings. Just wherever I can I take the opportunity to do what I would normally do sitting, but moving. 6. Allowing myself a nap for 20 minutes or a 20-minute awake nap (resting the eyes) when my brain is tired. If I can refresh my brain then my body follows, and this has had a positive effect on my readiness to train, and my overall productivity. 7. I’ve always seen positive benefits to my health and recovery the more vegetables and fruit I eat, so I try and eat a serving of soup every day and a five-portion smoothie per day on top of my normal eaten vegetables and fruit. This means I’m often hitting 10-12 servings per day, and I love the feeling eating this much good stuff in my daily diet has on my health and energy.

GET FIT FOR SKI WITH FOUR SIMPLE EXERCISES YOU CAN DO AT HOME For savvy skiers who want to make the most out of their time in the snow, it’s important to prepare the body, mind and muscles, to avoid the fun being curtailed by sprains, aches and pains. Richie Norton, nicknamed ‘The Strength Temple’ and who works as a trainer at Our Retreat, claims that simple daily rituals can improve fitness, balance and posture; taking you from a nervous novice to master of the mountain. Practising a circuit of exercises that build strength, stability and stamina in the run-up to the trip will lower the risk of injury and increase a speedy recovery.

EXERCISE 1 – SKIER’S SQUATS Stand straight with your feet hip or shoulderwidth apart, keeping weight through your heels to prevent lift; take a breath in to help brace the body before you lower down. If doing this with just your bodyweight, lift the arms to provide a counterbalance, and send your hips back as if you were about to take a seat. Take the movement down as low as feels comfortable, aiming for a neutral spine and an engaged core throughout. Exhaling breath at the top of the movement, then repeat.

EXERCISE 2 – SIDE LUNGE (WITH OPTIONAL TWIST) This is a slightly more advanced lunge that aims to improve range of motion, mobility and strength. Start standing as you would in a normal lunge, chest high, head forward and feet shoulder-width apart. Take a large step out to the side, bending that knee and aiming to keep the other knee straight. Concentrate on pushing the hips back, as if going to sit down, and keep the foot of the bent leg flat on the ground. Maintaining good alignment and braced ‘core’; think neutral spine. You can also add a rotation here if you want to increase your range and feel challenged.

EXERCISE 3 – SPINAL ARTICULATION Promoting movement through the spine is essential to achieve mobility, increase range of motion and help prevent injury, keeping the spine healthy and prepared for the extra wear and tear snow sports often add. Spinal articulation can take several forms, but Richie recommends a Yoga-inspired version that can be advanced depending how much you want to free up the movement. On all fours (table position), shoulders over hands and hips over knees, moving slowly, on the inhale look forward as you lift the chest, drop the shoulders back and raise the hips. On the exhale, drop chin to the chest, push away from the floor to open up the space between the shoulder blades, rounding the back, tucking the tail bone, and releasing the full length of the spine.

EXERCISE 4 – CLASSIC LUNGE Keep your upper body straight, with your shoulders back and relaxed. Keep your chin straight – staring at something in the distance can help – and engage your core. Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at a 90˚ angle. Your front leg should be directly above your ankle, and your other knee just above the floor. Keep the weight in your heels as you push back up to starting.











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KEEP THE FAITH Paloma Faith is back with a fourth album, which is heavily influenced by her pregnancy in 2016. Here, the pop icon talks about the impact of motherhood, the power of the female body, and nutrition If you follow Paloma Faith on Instagram, you may recently have seen her in the gym, complete with boxing gloves, alongside the mantra ‘work hard, play hard’. It’s clear she’s on a mission in 2019: to balance her busy life as a global superstar following the launch of her new album, The Architect , with being a mum, and to do that she’s hitting the gym, and the boxing pads, hard. Here, the singer tells BESTFIT about how she has tried conquering feelings of inadequacy about her body, how hard it is to eat well and enjoy food at the same time and, of course, that new album… You talked recently about how having a baby made you much more confident about any inadequacies. Is this the thinking behind the song, ‘My Body’, from your new album? This song was almost like self-help for me. We all put ourselves under so much pressure to fit into stereotypes.

I am one dress size bigger than before I was pregnant. The amount of sacrifice, not just literally on what I am eating, but also the emotional impact of that level of restriction, and the tension almost, of always needing to watch what you’re eating… that’s the sacrifice it would take for me to go back to being that one dress size smaller. I don’t think it looks that different on camera and I’m actually much happier right now. This song was influenced by that and by becoming a mother. I was realising that all I was doing was berating myself, forgetting that I had created a human life. I feel like people forget to thank themselves or their bodies for what it does for them. All of you’ve got to do is watch something like the Paralympics and see what the body is capable of. A physical attribute has been taken away from those people, yet they’re still able to be a better sports person than you or I.

Images thanks to Skoda

Although we often see evidence of your gruelling workouts on Instagram [@PalomaFaith], we’ve also heard your weakness is Italian ice cream. Has being in the public eye forced you to follow strict diets? Before I was pregnant, all I was eating was steamed fish and vegetables at practically every mealtime. It tasted of nothing. I did it mainly because I was doing an underwear campaign but it lasted for a long time and when I look back

on that time I feel like I never really enjoyed myself because I’m a foodie.


How difficult has it been to juggle an award-winning career in music since welcoming your first child back in December 2016? This morning another childcare person didn’t turn up. She was supposed to be the new nanny and she didn’t tell us she wasn’t coming until 15 minutes after she was supposed to arrive. Now I’ve spent most of today thinking, “I am going to ask my husband to give up work.” It would be easier [Laughs].

The standard-issue bland pop star has nothing to say. This is certainly not the case with you. What gives you the confidence to speak your mind?

Your previous three albums all went double platinum, but what do you think gave The Architect that winning edge to send it straight to Number 1?

I think it’s just something that is part of who I am and my upbringing. My mum is very honest with me and I am just used to things that way. I didn’t realise that that’s not the norm. Quite often people will overhear her in lots of different situations and they really raise their eyebrows.

I think this is the first time I’ve ever really pushed against record label deadlines. In my mind I could not fail with this record because I felt a duty and responsibility to this new person that I had brought into the world.

My mum will say to me, for example, ‘you look exhausted, terrible, do something about your face’. [Laughs] People are shocked but it wouldn’t affect me the way it would affect most people because I am used to it. She turns it into something constructive, it’s never meant to bring me down a peg, and I’m not precious as a result of it.


Your fourth album The Architect is a “social observation record” by your own admission. What inspired you to discuss the topics you’re passionate about in this way? My mother has always been very socially aware, not just in terms of people and human rights, but in environmental issues, too. I was raised with that mentality so it’s been something that I’ve always done. I was raised in that way. I was pregnant when I was writing this record and I was immediately going through this transitional phase where I was becoming much less self-absorbed and started to look at the world around me. I just felt that there was this transitional morphing of almost the inevitability of analysing the world that I was going to bring a new person into.

I am the breadwinner at home and I was not willing to take a risk. I sat in sessions and I tweaked, I really grafted on this one. I am aware of every single sound on every single song in a way that I have never

been before. I think I will continue to do that because I feel a massive sense of responsibility to my family. The clever lyrical vagueness in some of the tracks means listeners can interpret the meaning behind the songs in different ways. Was this always the intention? I wanted to make an album that was accessible to everyone. You can choose to enjoy it on whatever level you want. My die-hard fans who know everything that I want to talk about and who want to have the conversation and they’re interested, they can listen to my commentary and they can realise what I was thinking about and why. At the same time, if someone just wanted to relax and put the album on in the background then they should be able to listen to it also. In my opinion, that’s the way you invite more people to be socially and politically aware. Paloma Faith’s number one album, The Architect is out now.




CHICKEN SHAWARMA SALAD BOWL OMAR SAYS: “Marinating the chicken in traditional Middle Eastern spices makes it succulent and delicious.” INGREDIENTS 2 chicken breasts (skinless), 2 garlic cloves finely chopped, ¼ red chilli finely chopped, Zest and juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 8 radishes sliced, 10 cherry tomatoes halved, ½ red onion finely sliced, 1 cucumber sliced, 2 spring onions sliced, 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley finely chopped METHOD 1. Preheat your oven to 200°C. 2. Mix together the chicken, garlic, chilli, lemon zest and juice in a large bowl. Add the cumin, paprika, turmeric and cinnamon to the chicken and mix well. Place in the fridge and leave for at least 1 hour to marinate. Now place the chicken on a roasting tray and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. 3. Place the radishes and cherry tomatoes in a mixing bowl. Add the red onion, cucumber and spring onions. Mix in the parsley, season with salt and pepper and toss well. Divide the salad between two plates, top with the chicken breasts and serve.


PRAWN LAKSA OMAR SAYS: “If you’re short of time, use a vegetable peeler to slice the courgettes and carrots into ribbons instead.” INGREDIENTS 2 courgettes, 2 carrots peeled, 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 200ml half-fat coconut milk, 300ml water, juice of 1 lime, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 10 large prawns head and shell removed, 1 small bunch coriander chopped, 2 boiled eggs. LAKSA PASTE 1 red chilli, 3 garlic cloves, 1cm piece of ginger, 1/2 onion, 1 stick of lemongrass, 2 tablespoons Meridian Cashew, Butter. METHOD 1. Place the ingredients for the laksa paste in a food processor and blend until smooth. 2. Using a vegetable knife, slice the courgettes and carrots into long noodlelike strands and set aside. 3. Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan over a high heat. Add the laksa paste and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the coconut milk and water, then add in the lime juice and sugar. Bring this to the boil and then immediately turn down to a gentle simmer. Now add the prawns, courgettes and carrots, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle the coriander into the soup. Season with salt and pepper. 4. Slice the boiled eggs in half. Divide the soup between two bowls, top with the eggs and serve.

Cooking for Fitness, the brand-new performance cookbook, is available now priced £19.95.

IS HERE! OUR WEEKLY SHOW IS BACK ON YOUR SCREENS FOR 10 WEEKS. DON’T MISS IT! 10 new episodes to keep the nation active!

Presenters Faris Fisher and Laura Crane (pro surfer, Love Island 2018) reveal health/fitness hacks and explore the many ways and places we can stay active.

Available via Channel 422

channel 64

Channel 551

You can also watch Laura as she trains with our guest athletes, or BESTFIT magazine columnist Ben Coomber as he shows us how to eat better with a range of healthy and easy-to-make meals. Mother of two Ruth Garbutt takes on a 10-week transformation, while 10 celebrities – including Stevie Ward, Aimee Fuller, Shelo McCoy and Carly Booth – form part of our ‘Train With…’ series.


MEALPREPLIKEAPRO! EATING WELL DOESN’T HAVE TO COST THE EARTH. HERE, WE’VE GOT 14 HEALTHY PLANT-BASED MEALS FOR UNDER £10. COOK THEM ALL IN UNDER AN HOUR! One of the biggest things that holds people back from starting a meat-free diet, or trying to incorporate more plant-based options into their meals, is simply not knowing where to start. Diet guru Terri-Ann Nunns has attempted to solve this by creating a new meal prep guide that makes 14 freezable meals, takes just one hour to make and costs under £10. The meal prep guide is suitable for anyone who would like to start making more plant-based choices, whether that be veganism, vegetarianism, flexitarians or pescatarian, or if you’d like to make some plant-based swaps to your diet each week. The plan is designed to help people enjoy a tasty vegetarian, vegan or simply reduced meat lifestyle, without worrying about overloading on carbs, piling on the pounds or struggling for meal inspiration. Designed to work as an easy to use lifestyle guide for

everyone, the Terri-Ann V Plan aims to educate and inspire people to think about making more plant-based dietary choices. TOP TIPS BEFORE YOU BEGIN: • You need to ensure you have enough space in your fridge and freezer to store your meals. Meals can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days or frozen for up to three months. • D ecide what you’re going to use to store your food. You can use black microwavable trays with two compartments and a lid that are cheaper than Tupperware and can be found online. • G et some labels so you can label your foods with name and date cooked. • Check the full shopping list to see if you have any of the items already in your cupboards. Here’s what you’ll be making, the ingredients/ measurements needed for each dish, and the method:


2 tbsp olive oil, 3 shallots chopped, 2 tsp crushed garlic, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 300g spinach leaves, 320g vegan friendly pasta and 45g vegan parmesan cheese. 1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. 2. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until soft and caramelised, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes and pinch salt/pepper. Add in the spinach and cook until wilted. 3. Meanwhile, add the pasta to the salted water and cook as per the pasta cooking instructions. 4. Add the pasta to the pan along with 3 tbsp of the pasta water. Bring to a simmer and stir in the vegan parmesan cheese. 5. After 1 minute, take off the heat and serve the pasta equally between 3 food trays.

2 tbsp olive oil, 1 large onion chopped, 2 tsp crushed garlic, 4 tbsp curry paste, 700ml vegetable stock, 500g stew pack vegetables, 100g can lentils drained, 2 tsp coriander, 30g Raisins and 250g microwave whole grain rice.


1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onions and cook over a high heat for about 6 mins. Stir in the curry paste, fresh garlic and cook for a further minute. Pour in the vegetable stock gradually. 2. Add the vegetable pack then cover and simmer for 5 minutes. 3. Add the lentils and simmer for a further 1520 minutes. 4. Season the curry with salt, toss in a handful of raisins and coriander, then serve into two food trays with the microwave rice split equally.


6 large carrots, 2 tbsp grated ginger, 1 tsp turmeric, a pinch of cayenne pepper, plus extra to serve, 40g wholemeal bread, 2 tbsp dairy free soured cream, plus extra to serve, 400ml vegetable stock and 4 slices of bread. 1. Peel and chop the carrots and put in a blender with the ginger, turmeric, cayenne pepper, whole meal bread, soured cream and vegetable stock. Blitz until smooth. 2. Heat until piping hot. Swirl through some extra soured cream. 3. Take off the heat and serve equally between 2 food trays.


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

Subject to availability.Selected stores only.


1.5 tbsp olive oil, 2 shallots chopped, 4 tsp crushed garlic, 200g of button mushrooms thinly sliced, 225g risotto rice, 900ml vegetable stock, fresh parsley to serve and salt and pepper to taste. 1. Heat the olive oil in a large sautĂŠ pan. Add the shallots and garlic and cook on a medium-low heat until softened. 2. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further minute. 3. Stir in the risotto rice and immediately pour in the stock. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for approximately 30 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked. Add more hot water, if necessary. 4. Once cooked, stir in a handful of chopped fresh parsley and season with salt and pepper. Serve equally between 3 food trays.

125g can of lentils, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 large onion diced, 2 tsp crushed garlic, 2 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 yellow deseeded and sliced, 1 large carrot peeled and chopped into small pieces, 600g can chopped tomatoes, 1 heaped tbsp tomato puree, 300ml vegetable stock, 100g peas, 125g mushrooms, sliced, 1/2 courgette diced, salt and freshly ground black pepper to season, 400g can of kidney beans drained of juice and 500g microwavable whole grain rice.


1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion and garlic together with the chilli and cumin for about 10 minutes or until the onions are soft. 2. Add the peppers, carrots, drained lentils and cook for five minutes, stirring all the time. Add the tomatoes, puree, stock and peas, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. 3. Add the mushrooms and courgettes and simmer for 10 more minutes. Add the cooked kidney beans and simmer for 5 more minutes. 4. Take off the heat and serve into four food trays with the microwave rice split equally.

YOUR FULL SHOPPING LIST: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Onions Shallots Olive oil Crushed garlic jar Red pepper flakes Carrots Spinach leaves

8. Linguine 9. Vegan parmesan 10. Turmeric 11. Ginger 12. Wholemeal bread 13. Sour cream 14. Stew pack 15. Curry paste 16. Vegetable stock

17. Red pepper 18. Green pepper 19. Raisins 20. Coriander 21. Mushrooms 22. Parsley 23. Red lentils 24. Green lentils 25. Chilli powder

26. Cumin seeds 27. Frozen peas 28. Courgette 29. Kidney beans 30. Whole meal microwave rice 31. Tomato puree 32. Chopped tomatoes 33. Risotto rice

You’ll now have 14 meals prepped, meaning you have enough food for a whole week of lunches and dinners. Alternatively, you can freeze your meals so you always have a healthy meal on hand to heat up. Ensure you defrost fully before consuming and that they are microwaved to be piping hot before serving.

The progression game

Keep hitting plateaus in the gym? Joseph Gregorio is on hand to help you keep breaking those boundaries


hen it comes to weight training, the simplest way of knowing when you’re ready to move up in weight is to perform an additional two repetitions of an exercise with a given resistance across two consecutive workouts. THIS IS KNOWN AS THE ‘RULE OF 2’. For example, if you’re currently bench pressing 70kg (154lbs) for a set of eight repetitions, you should be able to complete 10 repetitions (given time) as you continue to build up your strength. If you’re able to complete two consecutive workouts for 10 repetitions, that’s your cue to begin increasing the load. On the flip side, you can increase the resistance load when you can perform your 10RM (10 rep max) for 12 repetitions instead. Now, you’re probably wondering – how much more weight should I load onto the bar? A tried and tested formula for working your upper body is to look at increasing the load by 5kg (11lbs) in total. That’s 2.5kg (5.5lbs) on either side of the bar. So, instead of your working set being 70kg on the bench press, it now becomes 75kg (165lbs). As a result, you can expect your repetitions to drop back down to eight, which means you need to restart the process of building your strength up to 10 repetitions on the new load. In terms of lower-body exercises, where you’re able to lift a bit more, increase the load by 10kg (22lbs) in total. This works out to be 5kg (11lbs) on either side of the bar. So, if you’re currently squatting 100kg (220lbs) for eight repetitions, you should look at increasing this to 110kg (242lbs) once you’re able to complete the former with good form in two consecutive workouts. This may seem like a big jump for most, but it’s

important to remember that your legs are the biggest muscle on your body, so they’re more accustomed to handling greater resistance than your upper body. Of course, the above approach won’t last forever. Over time, you will encounter plateaus, so it’s crucial to know how you can overcome it when it does begin to creep in. You will have to get a lot more creative and utilise different training/lifestyle protocols to overcome it. However, for building a foundation base, there’s simply no excuse for setting achievable, realistic goals and objectives, and measuring your progress over time to get you where you need to be. If you do encounter a plateau, nonetheless, after you’ve gone as far as you can using the above protocol, below are some quick-fire solutions to get you back on track: • Increase training intensity (utilise supersets, dropsets, pre-exhaust, rest/pause and pyramid training to encourage growth); • Alternate exercises (if you’ve been performing the same bench press routine for weeks look at targeting your muscles from a different angle with different equipment); • Change the order of your exercises (when muscles get fatigued in a different order they will adapt in a different way meaning more opportunity to grow); • Get more sleep (training too long and too hard drains your central nervous system – get at least eight hours of sleep every night to improve your overall performance in the gym); • Improve your nutrition (ensure your protein intake is high every day with a minimum of 1.6g–2g of protein per kg of bodyweight; don’t forget to incorporate whole grain carbs and healthy fats in your diet also). For more muscle-building tips, tricks and hints be sure to visit

THE 10-WEEK TRANSFORMATION RUTH GARBUTT IS A MUM LOOKING TO REGAIN HER PRE-PREGNANCY BODY. PT ADAM HAINES KNOWS EXACTLY HOW TO HELP HER DO THAT. THE DUO HAS 10 WEEKS TO MAKE IT HAPPEN… LET’S GO! THE CHALLENGE Ruth Garbutt is on a mission. Having had two children, she’s now looking to eat and train her way back to peak condition. One problem: she feels she can’t do it alone. This is where BESTFIT and friends come in. We’ve enlisted the help of PT Adam who, using Fitness Space gym, Lean Lunch for nutrition, XTEND® HydraSport™ BCAAs and Cellucor C4® Sport preworkout supplements and Shapewatch to track Ruth’s progress, has devised a plan to help her achieve her goal. As this issue went to press, Ruth was embarking on week three… “When I first sat down with Ruth we

went through her exercise history, nutrition habits and lifestyle, and looked at how much free time she has. From there, I came up with this 10-week plan,” explains Adam. “It’s going to be quite intense, simply because we’re trying to maximise her results in a short timeframe.” “My main goal is to lose 10kg, though after chatting to Adam we agreed that I should aim to lose more fat than weight,” says Ruth. “It could be that I lose, say, 7kg, but a lot of body fat, and so still get the look that I’m after. When I started, my body fat was 33% so the aim is to get that down to around 20%. I feel good about it. A lot of the weight I’m carrying is, I think,

hormonal. I have two kids and I only stopped breastfeeding my son about eight months ago and I gained weight after that, so I feel this is the shock my system needs. I seem to be an expert in gaining weight in pregnancies, but less so at losing it! Well, time to change that. The challenge doesn’t scare me at all. “I think a lot of women will be able to relate to my situation. I’m someone who likes to take care of myself but by having kids my body is now facing challenges that I don’t seem to be able to manage. I’ve had two C-sections, which has wreaked havoc, so I need to learn how to train effectively and challenge all the things I thought I knew about my body.

“She’s lost 2kg in the first two weeks and her muscle mass is still retained. At first, I wasn’t sure if she had 10kg of body mass to lose, but she’s on track after week three.”

“Ultimately, my aim is to get my strength back, so I’m really keen to develop my core and strengthen my back. I know how to train and I’m not afraid of the pain, it’s just about doing this alongside cardio, eating well and generally weaving all of this into an already busy life that revolves around two young kids.”

THE PLAN “Ruth’s 10-week programme is split into two-week microcycles,” explains Adam. “In each two-week window she’ll be doing two full-body workouts which will be her ‘bread and butter’. These will work all her major muscle groups and will comprise of mainly compound muscle movements. Then she’ll do two specialisation workouts; for the first two weeks we did arms, and now we’re working on her back. After that, we’ll work on her legs. She’ll also do one or two cardio sessions a week, so in total she’s doing up to six sessions a week. “The cardio sessions are tough, whether it’s a high intensity session with me, which might include functional training, so battle ropes, slam balls and treadmill sprints, or it might be kickboxing session. If she can’t get to the gym, she might do a session on her Airbike at home. That might be low intensity, but it’s still 3040 minutes of work.”

THE STORY SO FAR “We’re in week three and she’s doing really well,” says Adam. “I think she’d find it harder if she didn’t have someone working alongside her and pushing her to progress her weights, but that’s the same for a lot of people. That’s the whole ethos of Fitness Space, and the point of a personal trainer.

“I’ve found the HIIT and the weights really challenging actually, more than I thought I would, because we’re doing a lot of tempo stuff,” says Ruth. “In the past I’ve been used to banging out sets and reps whereas now I’m slowing my reps down. And there are a lot of reps! The HIIT stuff in particular… I’ve felt really unfit. My body is sore too. I was expecting my body to ache, but I think it’s things like having to pick up the kids that really brings home how much my body is aching. I’ve really enjoyed having a mentor help me through it, though. “My body feels a lot smoother already. Less puffiness. I’ve lost 2kg, which is really assuring. I can notice that my clothes are a bit looser.”

THE NUTRITION “We’re very lucky that Lean Lunch are providing Ruth’s meal prep,” says Adam. “They provide her with about 1,400 calories a day. We’ve applied the Harrison Benedict formula [which determines your total daily energy expenditure (calories)]. It uses the variables of height, weight, age and gender to calculate the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and then applies an activity factor. Ruth’s BMR is around 1,690 calories and so her calorie target is 1,700 per day. She’s targeting 125g of protein per day, so she’ll have a lean lunch, then a whey


protein shake to boost her intake, but only if she’s struggling to get enough protein from her food. All of this means she has around 300 calories a day to play around with, and that could equate to a cup of coffee or a snack. It’s pretty flexible and that’s important; that makes it real.” “I’m really enjoying both the amount, and the variety, of food I’m eating,” adds Ruth. “I think a lot of people have this perception around weight loss that you eat less, but I know that because I’m working hard every day I actually have to eat more. I’m eating a lot more plant-based and glutenfree food. There’s a lot of quinoa and stuff like that. The meat I’m eating is very lean too. I’ve always eaten quite well anyway, my husband is an athlete, but I’d hit some sort of wall to making any progress through food. So now I’m learning more about what my body needs, it’s a completely new beginning.”

THE SUPPLEMENTS Ruth is taking two supplements: XTEND® HydraSport™ BCAAs, which have been shown to help support muscle protein synthesis, and Cellucor C4® Sport pre-workout, which providers her with ingredients that support energy, performance, and focus. Ruth uses the BCAAs throughout the day to top up her electrolytes and to maintain her hydration levels. She’s not a huge fan of drinking water and these are flavoured, so help her get what she needs. “I love the BCAAs because it’s dealing with my sugar cravings,” says Ruth. “It’s got a sweet feel to it but no calories and no sugar or carbs. It feels like a treat even though it’s not. It definitely makes it easier to give up Nutella, which was my main concern in this process! It’s definitely helping me deal with the soreness that follows big sessions.” “Ruth doesn’t use the Cellucor C4® Sport every day, but if she’s struggling for energy – she might have had a long day with the kids – she can take this 45 minutes before her session to fuel it,” adds Adam.

Watch the 10-week journey over 10 episodes on BESTFIT TV, which starts 7pm, February 4, on FreeSports. THE WORKOUT THE WARM UP Do 5 minutes on any piece of CV equipment followed by a bodyweight warm up of 10 squats, 10 lunges, 10 push ups and 5 walk outs for 2 rounds.



Reps 10 Weight 7.5KG Tempo 3010 Sets 5

A2: Reps 10 Weight 12KG Tempo 3010 Sets 5




Reps 12 Weight 12.5KG Tempo 3011 Sets 5



Reps 60 Weight 3KG Tempo 2020 Sets 5



Reps 12 Weight 25KG Tempo 3011 Sets 3

C2: Reps 60 sec Weight BW Tempo n/a Sets 3


THE TECH: SHAPEWATCH Ruth is using Shapewatch, a new 3D body visualisation tool that uses augmented reality avatars. It consists of an automated self-serve kiosk unit that delivers scanning results in 60 seconds, and an app, which lives on the user’s smart device. Together, they offer Ruth a detailed, accurate and highly visual account of her key biometrics – including circumference measurements, body fat percentage, lean body mass and waist-hip ratio so she can keep track of how her body changes as she progresses. “Shapewatch projects Ruth’s body shape onto an app, and we do this every week,” explains Adam. “The idea is that over time we can track where Ruth is gaining/losing weight/fat and see how her body’s changing, which is really motivational. We do this consistently every week, at the same time of the same day, to ensure we get the most accurate results.” Ruth can also post her progress to her social networks, which will hopefully help motivate her by holding her to account to her followers.

THE INFO The XTEND® HydraSport™ BCAAs combine the clinically studied dose of BCAAs at a 2:1:1 ratio with a revolutionary Electrolyte – Performance Hydration blend. XTEND® HydraSport™ helps you maintain your electrolyte balance while also promoting muscle growth and recovery. Find out more here: The Cellucor C4® Sport pre-workout contains micronized creatine

monohydrate, critical support for muscle energy. It also contains CarnoSyn® Beta-Alanine, which delays the onset of fatigue, and Arginine AKG, which promotes Nitric Oxide production in the body. Find out more here: For more information about the Shapewatch, visit: For more information about Lean Lunch, visit: Fitness Space gyms are UK-wide. Visit:


Josh Patterson The former Made in Chelsea star is now working on documentaries that showcase the stories of real-life heroes, while undertaking his own challenges We’ve been watching some of your Limitless episodes on YouTube… tell us about it and the thinking behind the project? I just wanted to bring some incredible feats and stories to a wider audience. The idea was to showcase the people behind some amazing achievements. Take Ross Edgeley, for example, the guy who last year swam around Great Britain. I wanted to know why he took on such a crazy challenge. It’s not his first and won’t be his last, but I just wanted to know why someone would do something like that! He said to me that, in life, it’s too easy to ask the question ‘why’, and instead he prefers to ask: ‘why not’? And he makes a good point, because if we all did that we’d probably all do a lot more. And it’s paid off for him because he’s now started to get the recognition he deserves for the phenomenal man that he is.

Talk us through some of the other stories on Limitless that stand out… James Sutliff in the first series… he’s a big lad from up north and was a semi pro rugby player up until a couple of years ago, when he woke up one day without the ability to walk or speak. It had all gone, and since then he has lost the mobility in his hands. It took four years to diagnose his problem, a neurological condition, and he went through a tough time. He was stripped of everything he loved. People thought he was exaggerating his condition and others were telling his girlfriend to leave him – she’s now his wife – it was just really hard. Yet he took this condition by the horns and through years of rehab he is now a fitness model, a PT, and while his speech is still slurred, he continues to break boundaries. He is training people with Parkinson’s, mental health issues and more and in every case, he is improving their life. He is a gamechanger, an inspiration.

biggest adversities imaginable and they’re doing it with a smile on their face. It’s refreshing.

A lot of people will know you from Made in Chelsea, but how did the Limitless series come about? Fitness has always a key thing for me in life in terms of stabilising me. I’d go as far as saying that fitness has probably saved my life, because it has saved me from very severe depression. Fitness gives me purpose, it grounds me, and I owe a lot to it. I wanted to meet people who had also overcome some form of adversity, and fitness seemed to be the means to which people did that. I was surprised no one had showcased these kinds of stories before, so I decided to do something about it. To begin with, I worked alongside a young lad and together we would drive, sometimes in the middle of the night or early in the morning, to create episodes with these amazing people across the country. These people come from all walks of life, are all ages, and they have been affected by all kinds of things, whether it’s physically, mentally, socially or financially. It just goes to show that people can achieve a lot of things whatever challenge they’re facing. People are used to seeing the achievements of mega stars but not real people, and I wanted to challenge that disconnect. You can relate to the people we meet in Limitless, and that’s the point. These people are facing some of the

Explain just what role fitness has played in your life? Fitness and sport in general have always been important. At school I was really enthusiastic about it. I performed at country level at rugby and could run the 100m in a really quick time. I continued playing rugby after school, but all of this came at a really tough time in my life, and it would have been even tougher without sport. I’ve learned so much about myself through sport and fitness, and I continue to do so. I’m now an Adidas athlete and I continue to challenge myself, whether it’s a 10k or obstacle course race. I like to push myself, by trying new sports or big challenges. I took on a boxing match and won and I’m the only able-bodied person to have done the Berlin Marathon in a wheelchair. That was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Do you still suffer from depression and anxiety? It’s something I manage every day and I’m very open about that. Unfortunately, anyone who has suffered from any kind of mental health illness knows it’s not just something that goes away; you educate yourself and learn to deal with it. I consider myself to be one of the most active people in the world, but I have bad days that come without explanation. I’ve learned how to deal with it and as a result, I train most days, I eat well and I’m very specific with the alcohol I drink. I’m 29 and I’m still finding out what works for me and what doesn’t. How do you spend a typical week in terms of fitness? Right now, I’m training for another challenge, a world record attempt which I can’t reveal just yet. I work with specific trainers who essentially are trying to break me so that I’m prepared for the challenges ahead in this record attempt. I basically need to try and train my mind and body to

overcome the moments where I might reach breaking point. I do a lot of classes, one-to-one sessions, but it’s all very intense and focussed. How important is nutrition to you? It’s pivotal to everything I do. Training is key, but I think we sometimes lack emphasis on how important nutrition is. I have a high metabolism and I’ve learned through my training that I need to eat a lot to get what I need. People worry too much about putting too much weight on by eating too much, but it’s all about eating the right food. And that is the case whether you’re active all day or you sit in front of a computer. Sometimes I think there’s too much choice, and too many opinions around. There’s a lot of confusion about what we need to be eating.



LOW-MOOD BOOSTERS A recent study found that feeling anxious, angry or depressed increased inflammation in the body, which in turn can lead to conditions such as asthma, heart disease and arthritis. Here are our top mood boosters and inflammation busters FOOD GROUPS TO AVOID… There are plenty of common foods that we all consume that can cause inflammation. “Avoid common inflammatory ingredients and foods like sugar and manage your caffeine, wheat, yeast, protein (red meat), salt, alcohol and saturated fat intake,” says nutritionist Alix Woods. “Caffeine often causes irregularities in blood sugar and stimulates our stress hormones adrenalin and cortisol. Sugar in any form including fructose, corn syrup, glucose syrup and palm sugar are all inflammatory in nature and cause blood sugar to spike leading to an imbalance in glucose and metabolic function. This often causes weight gain as the excess glucose is stored as fat. Avoid burnt, fried and refined carbohydrates like white bread, white

pasta and white rice. As well as this, consider cutting down on processed foods such as ready meals and takeaways. It is also advisable to be wary of margarine, sunflower oil, canola oil and corn oil.” INDULGE IN… Luckily there are plenty of ways to incorporate anti-inflammatory ingredients into your diet. “Water is the number one anti-inflammatory super food,” says Alix. “Drink filtered water to counter any inflammation or pain within the body as it cleanses and soothes our cells. Add lemon for added alkalinity and flavour. Lemons are an excellent anti-inflammatory fruit. You can also adopt an anti-inflammatory diet, full of green leafy vegetables, berry fruits, omega-3 fatty acids,

olive oil and add spices like turmeric, rosemary, cinnamon and ginger. The best sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3 are oily fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel, walnuts, chia seeds and flaxseeds. Turmeric is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties and is good for all systems of the body. Ginger and rosemary are full of anti-inflammatory compounds and cinnamon has been found to curb blood sugar and cholesterol.” MOOD-BOOSTING SNACKS A great way to boost your mood is with seaweed! “Seaweed snacks are rich in magnesium, otherwise known as nature’s own ‘tranquilliser’, which is essential for relaxation and for maintaining a stable mood. They contain tryptophan, the amino

acid that helps the production of serotonin, our mood-enhancing happy hormone. The combination of magnesium and tryptophan helps to boost mood and promotes feelings of well-being.” HELP HARMONISE YOUR BODY AND MIND “The cannabis sativa plant, from which CBD is extracted, has been used medicinally for thousands of years,” says nutritional therapist Fiona Lawson, who explains how you could help harmonise your body and mind with CannibiGold’s CBD oil. “Today, modern science is uncovering how CBD can help to support the body. Although more research is needed, preliminary studies suggest that CBD can help to improve sleep, as well as reduce social anxiety. Also, the hemp extracts are particularly rich in essential fats, which can help to support everything from your skin to your mood.” MAGNESIUM FOR A NATURAL TRANQUILLISER If you’re a night-time worrier and your head starts swirling with anxieties as soon as it hits the pillow, this negative mood could increase your chances of inflammation. Therefore, make sure you invest in nature’s sleepy mineral; magnesium. “Magnesium is also known as ‘nature’s tranquilliser’,

and can be effective in calming your nervous system, so try where possible to add magnesium rich foods to your diet,” explains nutritionist Cassandra Barns. “These include buckwheat, sunflower seeds, fish and leafy green vegetables.” THE SUNSHINE VITAMIN It is not uncommon to feel low at this time of the year. “A lack of vitamin D, considered the ‘sunshine vitamin’, could be the reason,” says nutritionist and author Dr Marilyn Glenville. Vitamin D receptors are present in your central nervous system and vitamin D can affect neurotransmitters like serotonin, which are linked to depression.” There are plenty of liquid vitamins or capsules for quick absorption.

“A lack of vitamin D, considered the ‘sunshine vitamin’, could be the reason…”

BE GOOD TO YOUR GUT Look after your gut with the help of gut health expert Cathy Moseley

1. Keep gut healthy snacks handy A probiotic or snack bar is small enough to store in your bag and will keep you from impulsively buying an unhealthy snack at the shops.

2. Keep the fibre high to help your digestive system Eat plenty of fibre-rich foods like bananas, apples, dark green vegetables, nuts and seeds to promote movement through the digestive system.

3. Exercise! Healthy gut, healthy mind. A blast in the morning with either a walk or a run starts your day in a great way, both mentally and physically.

4. Plenty of water and less alcohol Think of drinking water as an aid to flushing out everything and pushing through your digestive system.

5. Add healthy fats to your diet Fats aren’t always a bad thing! Some go-to healthy fats are nuts (especially walnuts), chai seeds, flaxseeds, omega-rich fish mackerel, and salmon.

6. Rebalance your stomach acid Add some Apple Cider Vinegar to hot water and drink this instead of coffee to help with the balance. This is a great morning pickme-up for your gut.




n my first blog in the last issue I chatted about ‘why yoga’. I touched on my story and in return, I received some of yours. I have read some interesting, some shocking and some very funny stories and it is fascinating to hear how different people have their own different reasons for why they started. One lady grabbed a mat because as she got older her ‘bones started wearing out’ – her words, not mine. She felt a physical ache in her whole body and as going to the gym was starting to feel too much like a drag, she opted for a gentle beginners hatha yoga locally to her. She finds it soothes her aches, helps stretch her muscles and calms her mind, which is a little concerned at why her body is hurting so much. I might, however, point out that this wonderful lady told me she is the ripe age of 83. I tell you what, if I am able to still even consider yoga, let alone the gym, at 83, I will be one proud lady! I told her this. She told me that was absolute nonsense and that the reason why she is still capable of doing everything is because she never stopped. That told me. What a bad ass. Another story came in from a man who started yoga because his friend from work does it. Apparently this friend had gone from being a very negative and anti-social chap to someone who now practises the ‘law of attraction’, enjoys a tough power class, has ‘ridiculous abs’ and is about to head out to Sri Lanka for

a month to get a teaching certificate as he wants to start teaching classes in the lunch hour at work! And another story came in from a younger lad who started yoga simply because the girls at school were going to a hot yoga class nearby… I’m sure I don’t need to explain more. As a result though, he genuinely enjoys it and loves the fact that he can now do some ‘cool inversions’. This is one of the things that I love most about yoga. It is totally inclusive. No matter what age, sex, religion or ability you are, you can do it – any time, anywhere. Another positive note: I almost had

an equal ratio of men to women contact me. So many more guys realise now that yoga is not the airy-fairy form of exercise it was once misconceived to be. Yoga builds muscles evenly, it helps with exercises such as deadlifts because it substantially increases lower back and hamstring flexibility – in fact as the whole body becomes more supple and stamina increases with a regular yoga practice, it helps virtually all gym-based/weighted exercises. Also, I think that many people get put off by the idea and think that if you do yoga you become ‘hippified’ and have to become a vegan and start wearing loose clothing. By all means do that if you want to, but there is absolutely zero pressure to make any changes to the rest of your life at all and these readers are testament to that. So thank you for your responses and happy yoga-ing. Namafrickenste.

Yoga Made Simple – 4 Daily Compact Workouts for Beginners & Improvers is out now on Amazon, HMV and in WHSmiths. Instagram personal @alkilegouix Instagram yoga @konasanayoga Twitter @legouix

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f you watch our videos, you’ll know that we do a lot of workouts together. Our workouts are the result of us mucking around in the gym and discussing ideas over lots of coffee. They can also depend on what equipment we’ve got at our disposal at any one time or what areas of the body we’re working. Ultimately, we really enjoy it. Why? It’s fun, and we love to challenge ourselves against each other. There are many reasons we love doing these workouts, which we’ll come on to in this column, but the main benefit is that by working out with someone else, it’s easier to be held accountable. People tell us that the hardest thing, whether they’re changing their exercise habits or their diet, or both, is to feel that they have to go it alone. It doesn’t have to be this way. If you’ve got someone else relying on you for, say, attending a gym session, it makes you turn up first and foremost, but it also makes you work harder. It also holds you accountable. You probably value your friends and so you won’t want to let them down. Having that extra motivation to get up and go can be really useful if you’re the kind of person that finds it hard to get to sessions in the first place. Ultimately, the act of simply not wanting to let your friend train on their own can be a really good motivator. If you train with someone who is

fitter than you, don’t see it as a negative thing. You might find that you have to constantly push yourself out of your comfort zone, and that’s good! That’s a great way to push your boundaries. In contrast, if you’re the fittest member of your friendship circle, maybe try mixing up who you train with from time to time, so you push yourself. If you’re the fittest in your gym, consider moving gyms! Another reason to train with someone: it’s more fun! Have banter before, during and after the workout can help push you along. If fitness is a means to an end for you, and you don’t particularly enjoy it, then going with someone else can make it something you do enjoy. You might not enjoy the actual exercises, but you might enjoy the company of that person, or the before and after bit.

Maybe your friend/s don’t enjoy it either, and you can share your misery together! Maybe you’ll come to love it more because of that other person, or maybe you can help someone else enjoy it more. I can’t think of many things I prefer to do alone, and like other things in life, training with other people just makes things more fun, more memorable, more of an experience. It’s character building. We also find it’s nice to have somebody else’s input. It’s easy for us to work out together because, as PTs, we’re full of ideas, but some people might go to the gym and base what they think they should be doing on what they’ve seen others do, or what they might have read in a magazine. They might not have a load of knowledge at their disposal, or that much exposure to the gym. If you go with a mate who might have been to the gym more than you, or maybe had a personal trainer before, they might be able to pass on some of that information and help you get more out of the experience. It’s not just the physical exertion, but you might learn something new, and that’s invaluable. It might be that a mate shows you how to do something differently, which might challenge areas you hadn’t worked previously, or add further layers to what you had been doing. Heck, you might even be able to negate the need for equipment and use each other as gym apparatus! These little things can make a big difference.

TRY SOMETHING NEW Health and fitness holidays are on the rise, which is why BESTFIT TV’s Faris Fisher headed to Club Le Santa in Lanzarote to see what kind of break is on offer in Europe


lub La Santa is an apt name for a pre-Christmas break and it didn’t take us long to realise just why this Lanzarote resort is one of the most popular in Europe, as I jetted in for a brief trip to film a couple of features for the latest BESTFIT TV series (available on FreeSports). There was little time to enjoy the welcome blast of heat that greeted us at the airport, with our schedule including a crossfit class that was due to begin in less than an hour. Club La Santa has over 80 free activities and 500 instructor-led classes per week to take part in – and we couldn’t wait to sample them. It’s too easy to get stuck in a routine when you’re busy with work and I have to admit that, although I admire crossfit, I’ve never had the time to get down to my local box

catch some rays on your down time, there are also three Olympic-size 50m pools, alongside an athletics stadium, tennis courts, bouldering room, golf course and dance studio. In short, if you love sport, then there’s something for all. Take biking as an example. I’ve always had a passion for it, but I’d forgotten just how much fun it could be. And, like everything else here, this isn’t your average bike centre. Unlimited bike use is included in the stay and all of the bikes available are top of the range.

and enjoy a session. Heading out on a sports holiday – however short or long it might be – offers the perfect opportunity to try all those things that you never make time for back home. Crossfit is obviously aimed at getting the absolute maximum out of yourself but there was most definitely a team mentality in the room – everyone was going for it and there was no slacking off from anyone. Everyone was driving each other on. The fact that the exercise was taking place outside in the morning sun,

with athletes on the track opposite, served to motivate everyone further still. Within no time we were on the last round and there was an audible sigh of relief as the final few seconds were counted down. Despite the burn in my shoulders, this workout was refreshing in every sense. Next on the agenda was lunch, coupled with a few hours to spare to explore the complex. The first thing that struck me was the sheer size of the place, with pockets of activities everywhere you look. Not only is there a beautiful leisure pool to

Lanzarote has some beautiful roads and the traffic, unlike the sports on offer at Club La Santa, is sparse. Having not ridden for many years I chose a safe route and headed out to the coast. I was, though, in the mood for adventure and soon found myself off-road. Before long I had travelled 4km uphill and found a dirt track to head back down on. Quite honestly, it was amazing. And although a seasoned biker may not have found it overly challenging, it simultaneously delivered a great rush of adrenaline and a flood of happy childhood memories. In fact, it was so good that I did it again before

heading off to find a pit stop for a coffee. Biking is one of those activities that can sometimes get overlooked on a fitness holiday but I’ll definitely make sure I take advantage of it next time it’s on the menu. My final activity in what amounted to a whirlwind pit-stop was not of my choosing but made in the name of TV. I must admit that I did have some preconceived ideas of what a Body Combat class would entail, and I actually thought I would breeze through it. How wrong I was. While it wasn’t challenging strength-wise, you needed a lot of co-ordination, stamina and speed to keep up. The intensity grew throughout the class and I did look a bit of a fool trying to keep up and get my kicks as high in the air as possible. It was difficult but I did enjoy it and it was definitely a fun finisher to the day. And, with all the activities included, why wouldn’t you try as many of these classes as possible – and have your eyes opened to something new? You can see my failed attempt at looking cool at Body Combat in the new series of BESTFIT TV on FreeSports.

Faris Fisher travelled as a guest of Club La Santa, one of the world’s leading sports and active leisure resorts, offering 80 free sports and activities including aerobics classes, cycling, tennis and Pilates as well as a range of watersports, including windsurfing and kayaking in the nearby lagoon. For more information and booking visit www.clublasanta. or call 0161 790 9890. Prices start from £686 for a ‘comfort’ one-bedroom apartment for 7 nights, which sleeps up to 3 adults and a child under 15 years.





was chatting to a friend of mine about planking techniques recently. The general summary was that a bit of planking here and there won’t hurt, but it isn’t for everyone and it can be a bit embarrassing if you get caught... My friends name is Paul Edmondson. Paul is an Anatomy Trains teacher, Gray Institute teacher and Power Plate master instructor and he knows a few things about the human body! “The question was: “So static planks, good or bad?” To quote a great mentor (Lenny Parracino) there’s no such thing as a bad exercise, ONLY a wrongly

prescribed one. Meaning, is the person made to fit the exercise? This is typical in our industry. Or is the exercise appropriately adapted for the client? Anyway, back to the question, let’s play devil’s advocate for just a second and break down the static plank: 1. Fun factor. Who (especially our clients) really and truly love the ‘hold/brace’ position of a plank for minutes on end? Truth be told they hate it (yawn) and truth be told PTs do too. Moving has a ‘playful’ nature that brings a fun element to ‘planking’ and the variety of options to explore is limitless.

2. Does static serve life’s functions well? We are never still throughout our day, even whilst asleep we move! Every cell, tissue and organ needs motion to survive and thrive (not bracing/holding). Cell function and cell life span demands ‘motion’. 3. If we hold the position and the muscles are in ‘constant isometric contraction’ blood flow cannot get into the tissues and cells of the core/spine, and so ‘cell death’ is an inevitability. But this would take ages for such a catastrophe to happen surely? Think again, 10 secs will starve the cells of oxygen causing death (so the exercise once prescribed for aiding low back pain is actually contributing to CAUSE low back pain). Muscles should turn on/off rhythmically in movement to aid micro and systemic circulation. 4. Also, if the muscles contract constantly in static ‘brace’ this ensures the muscles ‘pull’ (they don’t push) the joints closer together. Over time this leads to over-compression (whereas a movement plank will give much needed tensioning of core myofascia) which will squeeze the disc, potentially causing herniation, bulging disc (for certain dehydration of disc) and as the bones ‘shear’, the pain receptors on the joint surfaces (and fascial tissues) start to make ‘noise’ (meaning pain). So, again, the exercise born with good intention to aid back pain is directly resulting in back pain. 5. Movement has a better ‘proprioceptive feeding’, which means a better transfer into real-life tasks, and communication of more tissues resulting in a resilient and robust core for optimum transfer. In summary, if you love static planking then plank as much as you want. But if you wanted to give up static planking at any time you could… and nothing bad will happen.


Are you a filthy mucker? You’ll ask yourself this question as you tackle the mud-soaked obstacle course of your choice at the biggest obstacle racing weekend in the world. The Rat Race Dirty Weekend will takeover the manicured lawns at the Elizabethan Burghley House, transforming them into a mud-race utopia. Take your pick between the 13-mile Half Mucker and its 150 obstacles, the 20-mile Full Mucker and its 200 obstacles, or the insane 40-mile Dirty Double with its


6–7 July Fancy yourself to be as fit as the SAS? Whether you do or not, you can test yourself against the infamous SAS Selection test by signing up to the Fan Dance. This march is the world’s oldest Special Forces test, used to tell if a candidate has the physical and mental ability to complete the legendary Selection course. Staged over Pen y Fan, the highest mountain in the Brecon Beacons, the AEE Fan Dance Race series event is a gruelling 24km march. It’s also the original version, with provable and undeniable heritage. Founded, organised and managed by veteran SAS & SBS soldiers, you’ll be in good hands. Pre-warning, the route is an absolute lung buster that can also be a battle against the elements. Expect steady slopes, inclines that will have you on your hands and knees, loose stone tracks that require cautious footing, stream crossings and a forested off-road vehicle track. Once you land at the Brecon Mountain Railway line you’ll enjoy a quick tea stop before doing the route in reverse. So buckle up, this one isn’t for the faint-hearted!

eye-watering 400 obstacles. The kids can even join in with the 3/6km Young Mucker and its 20 obstacles. You can expect to wade through Man vs Lake, climb the Knobstacles and tackle the Ewok Village – just a few of the many you’ll face. Once you’ve completed the course you’ll need a good pat on the back and a pint. There’ll be a phenomenal after-party in the event village, where Ministry of Sound will present Seb Fontaine in the muckin’ massive big top tent. You can then crash out in the festival campsite, with glampers and pre-erected tents. No wonder you need the whole weekend! This one’s going to be good.


A spectacular ride offering the delivery of the Tour de France and the hospitality of Yorkshire. Ride the same roads as the pros before they do, and choose from 123km, 78km or 50km route. Vertical Rush Thursday 14 March London

Can you climb 932 steps across 42 floors for one epic experience? If so, sign up to this award-winning skyscraper challenge alongside 999 other runners, in London’s iconic Tower 42 for the charity Shelter. The Nuts Challenge Surrey, near London 2–3 March

A 7-28km obstacle race offering mud, a water assault course, climbing, crawling and other challenging obstacles. Guaranteed to be a once in a lifetime experience. Rabble Various locations Various dates

An hour of immersive team games that include high-intensity intervals for an effective, total body workout. Each session is a remixed team game so every class is different. Pedal for the J’s 5 May Chelmsford

An annual on-road cycle ride through the Essex countryside returns to Chelmsford for its 10th year. Cyclists of all abilities are welcome to join in and raise some cash for the J’s Hospice. Nightrider London, Glasgow, Bristol or Liverpool

its kind. Set in the foothills of the Cairngorm Mountains in Scotland, teams of 3-6 people battle through 54, 36 or 22 miles in 24 hours across rugged Scottish terrain. Donut Duathlon 24 March Paignton

Taking place in the Torbay Velopark, this event offers a fast, flat and completely traffic-free duathlon course. Ideal for all ages, beginners and seasoned athletes, the Donut features a 5k run, 15k bike and 2.5k run.

FAMILY EVENTS Orchid Festival at Kew Gardens 9 February – 10 March

A horticultural paradise inspired by Thai culture, you can see the Princess of Wales Conservatory transformed by floral installations celebrating Thailand. Lego Movie Days 8 February–28 April Manchester

LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre is hosting the ultimate celebration of the new Lego Movie 2. Kids and grown-ups can join Emmet, Wyldstyle and the gang with building activities, character experiences, interactive photo opportunities and more. Blue Planet Live in Concert 19 March Leeds

Sir David Attenborough’s BAFTA Awardwinning documentary explores the mysteries of earth’s oceans, and it’ll be out on a special UK tour.

RESTAURANTS Daisy Green London

Various dates in Summer


A fun-filled and challenging night-time cycling event that offers a great view of the city at night. Choose either the 50km or the 100km route, and raise money for charity.

A collection of cafes and restaurants that bring Australian food and coffee culture to London. Whether it’s your first coffee of the day, an award-winning brunch, or evening dinner and drinks, you can expect a unique, uplifting Aussie experience.

Heineken Race to the Tower 8–9 June Cotswolds

A 53.4-mile double marathon through the heart of the beautiful Cotswolds, this weekend-long event will be challenging but worth it. Complete it in one go or stay overnight in basecamp. Cateran Yomp 8–9 June Perthshire

The Cateran Yomp is the biggest event of

Fress Manchester Manchester

A cafe, restaurant and bar using only the freshest locally sourced ingredients to serve up delicious, wholesome food. Voted the Best Brunch in Manchester 2017, you’d be silly not to try it.





ver the next few months I am going to dedicate my monthly column to the body parts we care about most. I will be focusing on every aspect of these specific muscle groups, cutting no corners when it comes to your workout. Using basic exercises and the same workout principles for every muscle group, I guarantee that if you can stick to these workouts for a period of four to eight weeks you will feel, and more importantly see, a physical change in size and definition. So, let’s begin! When it comes to your workout, keep this in mind: “Exercise is simple science. If you lift weights correctly and with control, your muscle has no choice but to respond. It will respond with growth and definition.”

Below I have given you an example of a workout aimed solely on the arms. You want to be doing 5 sets of 8-12 reps, controlled movements. Make sure the weight is heavy enough every set so that you’re getting a minimum of 8 reps and a maximum of 12. If you can do more than 12 then you need to up the weight. Use this principle for every muscle group and exercise. It may seem simple, but if you look closely that’s over 400 reps and 40 sets, just on arms! In my experience, I found that dedicating an extra day in the gym to focus on the main muscle

“EXERCISE IS SIMPLE SCIENCE. IF YOU LIFT WEIGHTS CORRECTLY AND WITH CONTROL, YOUR MUSCLE HAS NO CHOICE BUT TO RESPOND. IT WILL RESPOND WITH GROWTH AND DEFINITION” groups I want to enhance the most (which for me is arms and core) is important because if you don’t enjoy your workouts then you’re not going to work out to your full potential. I


also incorporate biceps with chest day and triceps with back day – but however you do it just make sure you stick to the routine above for the best results.


• Triceps push downs (straight bar)

• Barbell curls (straight bar)

• Overhead triceps extensions (rope cables)

• Barbell curls (wide grip)

• Single arm push downs (cables) • Triceps dips

• Seated alternating dumbbell curls • Seated single arm concentration curl



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