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Editors Note The longer stretch in the evenings now makes outdoor activities all that more appealing. Hopefully we’ll have a nice Summer to enable enjoyable outdoor pursuits. This is often a time when gyms memberships fall off. Be careful! If you have been in the habit of regular exercising and a regular routine of attending your local gym, it is very easy to slip out of that habit. All the hard work you’ve put in over the last few months might end up being a waste of time. Leisurely country strolls with friends might seem more appealing than sweating it out in the gym. Indeed, it is to be encouraged. Remember though, that whatever workout you were doing in the gym, as advised by a professional fitness instructor, was working various parts of your body and ensuring that you got a good overall workout. Try not to let all that training disappear with the daffodils! Keep going to the gym. You’ll probably cut back on the number of times you go, but make sure you do go at least once a week at the very least. This time of year students are also getting ready for exams. With that in mind we have an interesting article on ‘food for the brain’ along with some delicious recipes from our ‘Resident’ Chef. The importance of sleep is examined also along with features on fitness, weight loss, weight training, and lots lots more for you to enjoy. We’d also like to give a big hello to our overseas readers in Canada, The US, The UK, France and Australia. Yours in Fitness, Derry O Donnell & Philip Ryan

Contact Details: Life and Fitness Magazine Ltd., Curraghgraigue, Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary. Tel: 0504-51945 Email: Web: Life and Fitness Magazine is published monthly by Life and Fitness Magazine Ltd. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the permission of the publisher. The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the publisher. Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Check with your GP before trying any remedies. While every effort has been made to ensure that all information contained in this publication is factual and correct at time of going to press, Life and Fitness Magazine cannot be held responsible for any inadvertent errors or omissions contained herein.

Philip Phelan is the Program Director of Litton Lane Training and he holds a wide range of qualifications and experience. Philips qualifications include certificates in fitness instruction, personal training, resistance training and course tutoring. He also possesses a B. Sc. in physiotherapy (TCD) and a masters in medical science (UCD). He is also the fitness and injury expert with the VHI healthcare website and also acted as the fitness expert on The Afternoon Show in 2007.

Gillian Hynes is a NCEHS qualfied personal trainer. Over the past several years she has worked with a wide variety of clients to achieve their fitness goals. In this months issue she explains some of the reasons why resistance training (in addition to your cardio work) is so vital to achieving your goals and why such training will not make you a musclebound Arnie but will help you achieve a lean, toned and healthy body. Jim O’Shea works as a counsellor from Furze, Thurles. Ph. 087 8211009 . JimO’Shea’s book ‘When a child dies. Footsteps of a Grieving Family’ is published by Veritas. The royalties from this book will go to the Children’s Hospital in Crumlin. Chef Gavan Murphy began his culinary adventure at Ballymaloe Cookery School in 1994. In 2000 his journey took him to Los Angeles, where his interest in health and nutrition flourished, naturally merging with his cooking experience. Gavan has worked as a consulting chef for a multi-national sports nutrition company, as well as a personal chef to the stars, often working in conjunction with celebrity trainers. He created The Healthy Irishman with the hope of educating the public about healthy eating

Catherine Connors-Bevalot has been studying and practising holistic therapies and treatments for ten years. She is a Stress Management Consultant, Time-Management consultant and Holistic Therapist, Trainer & Teacher. She is based in both Paris, France and Tipperary, Ireland. Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009 - 3

Life and Fitness Magazine Contents May 2009 p. 10 - Your workout questions answered p. 12 - Create SMART goals for your fitness program p. 14 - Reality based self defence p. 16 - Say NO NO to Yo-Yo Dieting

p. 17 - Think yourself thin with the right positive attitude p. 18 - Traditional Irish Herbal Remedies p. 20 - Weight Training Feature p. 22 Running - Tips for pros and beginners

Life and Fitness Magazine now available for digital download go to

‘Desire is the key to motivation, but it's determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal -- a commitment to excellence -- that will enable you to attain the success you seek.’ - Mario Andretti

4 - Life and Fitness Magazine -May 2009


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r Aoife Kelly Rose of Tralee enjoying her copy of Life and Fitness Magazine

See Page 8 For How to Win this fantastic prize for Men and Women p. 24 Business Profile - Forever Fitness p. 25 How to choose a Health Club p. 26 Motivated to Exercise p. 28 Swimsuit Season is just around the corner - Simple Steps to make you look Fab p.


Intelligent Dieting and ‘Healthify’ your Cooking

p. 35 News & Events p.


5 Things to do for a better Work/Life Balance

p. 38 How Sleep, or lack of it affects us p. 41 15 Tips for Holiday Eating without gaining weight p. 43 Bereavement Counsell ing - Coping with loss

Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009 - 5


Is food intolerance holding you back? NAME: AGE: SYMPTOM: FOODS TO CUT: HEADLINE:

Pauline Cooper 54 Bloating & Runny Nose Crisps, Butter and Puddings “ I Beat my Personal Best by 18 Minutes after discovering Puddings were holding me back ”

PAULINE’S STORY Despite having a passion for jogging, it seemed the nose of Pauline Collins did as much running as she did. Keen jogger, Pauline, couldn’t understand why her nose was having such a negative impact on her training, and race times were always a little disappointing. Well no more. Pauline has finally got the better of her nasal handicap, and improved her personal best marathon time by over eighteen minutes all by taking a simple home-to-lab food intolerance test.

PAULINE SAYS… “I knew my blocked nose was getting in the way of my running. Often I couldn’t train at all because of bloating but running with a steaming nose just meant I couldn’t do enough proper training. I couldn’t breathe properly which you would admit is crucial to any form of exercise and not just marathon running. At times, I would sound like a steam train, and you would be convinced I was a forty a day smoker. “Someone in my running club mentioned how my problem of the bloating could be down to the food I ate so after three years of trying other treatments I decided to take a food intolerance test. The results of the particular test I took, called a 113 FoodSCAN revealed I had a problem with milk, eggs, butter and puddings. As soon as I cut them out my running completely changed, and I even beat my personal best for a half marathon by over eighteen minutes. “Straight away I noticed my breathing was much better and the nose completely cleared up. The bloating also disappeared and my running felt a lot more comfortable, and without the frequent stops I used to have. I can now train properly with a structured programme and not having to skip sessions because of the problems that had affected me in the past. Injury is something we all live with but I never thought my nose would be the thing that stopped me from running.

offers a negative/positive result to food eaten, which the customer supplies from home and sends off to a laboratory.

In Paulines case, her results identified a positive so she then upgraded to the Second Step, Foodscan 113 (RRP 350). Using the same blood sample , this test identifies the actual food causing the “Without doing the test I am sure I would still be at the back of the intolerance and it’s degree of severity (on a scale from 1-4) pack struggling to make the finishing line. I’m never going to beat Paula Radcliffe but I am enjoying my running more than ever.” Part and parcel of the service are two One-to-One Telephone THE TEST:

consultations with a Bant Qualified Nutritionist.

To take a food intolerance test please call Yorktest on 01-2022701 Pauline took a €30 first Step Home-To-Lab Food Intolerence Test or visit the website from Yorktest Laboratory. From a tiny amount of blood, the test

6 - Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009

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Competition Win footwear from Springboost! We have a Fantastic prize of two pairs of Springboost Footwear to give away to our lucky male and female winners. Simply answer the following question to be entered in the draw by texting LIFE SPRINGBOOST followed by your answer (A, B or C) to 57188. Which Rugby team won this years RBS Six Nations Championship, The Triple Crown and The Grand Slam? A. Ireland B. England C. Wales The cost per entry is €0.60. Closing date for entries 10th June 2009. There is no cash alternative. Judges decision is final. For full terms and conditions contact Life and Fitness Magazine, Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary or email: Good Luck!

Boost your Fitness & Step Into Shape SpringBoost shoes can help increase the benefit you get, whether you are walking, training in the gym, or road running. They get you into your natural posture, so you are working all your proper muscles while relieving pressure on your joints. Keen walker Michael Ryan says that “SpringBoost are the best walking shoes I've ever worn! “ Anne Harrison, who was unsure about all the hype she heard from her friends about SpringBoost, exclaimed “For someone who prefers exercise outside of a gym, the SpringBoost ‘Motion’ shoes are perfect – They really work for me! I feel and look much more toned since wearing these, compared with any of the branded runners I’ve ever worn!” HOW DO SPRINGBOOST WORK? SpringBoost shoes come with 2 Sets of insoles, which are numbered 0 & 2. The number is actually the angle of the insole. 1.

You start off with ‘Insole 0’ which means you are at ‘Zero’ degrees. You will immediately feel the difference when you try on a pair as you are standing in your natural posture, compared to ordinary shoes that misalign your legs and tilt your hips. WOW! No wonder so many of us have bad backs, and knees, and so on.


You can stay in ‘Insole 0’ forever if you want, comfortable in the knowledge that you are in the right posture, and you are using all the right muscles, burning more calories, and toning up your leg & back muscles. But if you want to increase your fitness you can change to ‘Insole 2’ which lowers your heel by 2 Degrees; so every step is like walking up a 2° hill. This doesn’t sound like much, but the benefits to you are fantastic.


The ‘Energy Plate’ is the other unique feature in SpringBoost shoes. This is hidden in the sole of the shoe and is great for boosting the ‘push off phase’ of the step, so you get a faster and more energetic walk. 25% of your body’s bones are in your feet so the Energy Plate is ideal for protecting your feet as well, and keeping your body balanced.


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8 - Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009

For Your Local Stockist Lo Call Pacelli Sports on 1890 882422 or email: For more information on Nordic Walking Text 087-685 9313 or email


Have you caught the Pilates Bug? By Fidelma Conlon, MSc. NTC.

If so, you are not alone! It seems like everyone is either doing Pilates, or interested in starting a Pilates exercise program. Indeed, one of the best things about Pilates is that it works so well for a wide range of people. Athletes and dancers love it, as do older adults, women recovering from pregnancy, and people who are at various stages of physical rehabilitation. So what is it about Pilates that makes it so popular and what is all the fuss about? Pilates is a safe, effective and very sensible method of exercising designed to elongate, strengthen and restore the body to balance. It is based on equipment with the focus on the whole body, working from the core (i.e centre of the body) right through to the extremities. It is the type of exercise that will help you look and feel your very best from head to toe no matter what your age or condition. Pilates improves core strength, help alleviate back pain and other chronic ailments. Pilates dramatically transforms the way your body looks, feels and performs. It is designed to give you suppleness, natural grace and skill that

A Pilates trained body develops muscular power with corresponding endurance, can perform arduous duties, play strenuous games, walk, run or travel for long distances without experiencing undue body fatigue or mental strain. Professional dancers have decades. Top athletes use it for prevention. Hollywood celebrities and supermodels use it to maintain beautiful physiques. Just about anyone and everyone who wants to improve their health and appearance is doing Pilates. There are so many variations on Pilates out there the best advice is Ireland which is based at the National Training Centre, Dublin provides out more information on Pilates teacher training courses contact the NTC on A professional Pilates Instructor must have a comprehensive level of knowledge and understanding of the body’s muscular and skeletal systems to ensure the pilates class or personal training programme is targeting a client’s individual needs. If your health is generally good and you don’t have any complications you most likely will enjoy participating in a class with pain, recovering from an injury etc, it is good to get personal training and Better still, if you think you have what it takes to become an Instructor and teach others, you should contact the Pilates Institute Ireland at 01 8827777. Full details on all Pilates Instructor training courses can be found at Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009 - 9


Your workout questions answered Hi Philip, I had knee arthroscopy carried out in November 2008 which found a "bucket handle tear" of my cartilage, minor damage to both condyles (at least I think that is the correct term) and found the cruciate ligament a little soft but intact. After the procedure, I felt fine and did not need crutches, I was able to begin light gym training 9 days after the operation. I still train 2-3 times a week in the gym but find that I cannot jog without pain in the front of the knee, where both the incisions were made. Is this normal to experience pain when I jog, and if so, how much? If possible, could you give me some advice on what I should be able to do and when? I am 37 years old and realise that age may be against me, but I have always maintained high levels of fitness through running and hurling at a high level, which I am eager to maintain.

joints in general. You would appear to be jogging indoors I presume on a treadmill but I would recommend that you use low or non impact exercise methods for the moment which again will further reduce wear and tear on your knees. Examples of these would be the cross trainer, bike, rower and stepper. You could back this up with a full body weight training/strengthening program which will help to improve muscle strength, increase the stabilization of your joints and control your body fat levels. Swimming would be another suitable form of exercise in your present situation. Finally I would ask if you have been back to visit your surgeon as this would be the first port of call in order to report your continuing symptoms. He/she will advise you on whether a conservative treatment approach of exercise or another surgical procedure in advance of that is advisable. Philip

Thanks Jason

Hello Jason, A bucket handle tear of the cartilage (or the meniscus) is a specific form of damage around the outer rim of the cartilage usually caused by a history of trauma or impact. You mentioned that you played hurling in the past and I expect that you sustained many injuries while playing these games. I also observe that you were very specific in relation to when exactly you were able to resume training after the surgery which would indicate to me that you were trying to get back to your training as quickly as possible. This would normally be a positive thing but I wonder did you give the knee enough time to settle down after this invasive procedure? Because you are now 37 years old I expect that your hurling involvement will be reducing or may even stop. This may not be a bad thing for the health of your knees and may allow you to concentrate on activities which are less stressful on your

From the measurements that you have supplied your body fat is at a low level and your Body Mass Index (BMI) is 22 which is in the centre of the healthy range of 20-25. There are usually two potential explanations for the extra fat in the chest area. The first could be inappropriate exercise and eating habits. According to the outline of your lifestyle that you have given it would appear that you are a regular exerciser and eat a healthy diet so at first glance this would not seem to be the problem. You also appear not to be carrying excess fat in other areas of the body. Another potential reason for extra fat in the chest area is the presence of a condition known as gynecomastia which results in the development of a larger than normal chest area. Gynecomastia is a condition that occurs mainly in teenage boys where they develop extra tissue in the breast region. This is usually lost with age. The condition can also affect older men and can be caused by certain medical issues but in most cases is as a result of extra body weight/fat.

Hi Philip, I have a problem with my chest. I have some chest fat than I cannot lose. I go to the gym about 3 times a week, and do mostly weight training. I have been doing weight training for about a year now. I am 17 years old, of muscular build with 12% body fat, 5.11 in height, 11.3 stone. My chest feels very fatty even though I am slim. I have a very good diet but cannot seem to shift this fat. Can you give me advice on how to lose it please? I have tried cardio and it does not seem to work.

I would recommend that you make an appointment to see your GP in order to rule out any medical reason for the presence of your extra chest fat tissue. If all proves to be clear then you would need to revisit your exercise program and eating habits in order to improve the quality of these. Philip

Thank you. James

Hello James,

Send your questions to:- Food~Fact: Always start the day with a breakfast - providing the body with energy and get up and go. Fact: breakfast skippers tend to be fatter than breakfast eaters and have a lower concentration during the mornings.

10 - Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009


Ask your question! Have you a fitness related question you would like answered? Simply email us at: or by Post to: Life and Fitness Magazine, Curraghgraigue, Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary. Our expert Philip Phelan of Litton Lane Training will answer your queries.

Philip Phelan is the Program Director of Litton Lane Training and he holds a wide range of qualifications and experience. Philips qualifications include certificates in fitness instruction, personal training, resistance training and course tutoring. He also possesses a B. Sc. in physiotherapy (TCD) and a masters in medical science (UCD). He is a qualified Pilates instructor and speaks on topics such as back pain prevention and treatment, in a variety of corporate settings. He has worked in commercial fitness centres and freelance class and client training and he currently works as chartered physiotherapist to underage international football teams. He has trained two county gaelic football teams and a number of club teams as well as Olympic and professional boxers. He is also the fitness and injury expert with the VHI healthcare website and also acted as the fitness expert on The Afternoon Show in 2007.

Workout Tip High-intensity workouts. If you’re just starting out with exercise, it’s best to take it slow. If you’re running or cycling, for example, build up your endurance for at least a month before you get into anything more intense. That means going at a rate where you can easily talk without being out of breath. However, once you have that base of endurance, step up the intensity to step up the effectiveness of the workout.

Quick Tip Compound exercises. Instead of isolating your muscles with exercises such as the bicep curl, you can maximize the time you spend in a workout by doing exercises that work out multiple muscle groups at once. With just a few exercises, you could get a full-body workout. Another benefit is that your muscles are working together as they do in the real world, rather than alone. Some great compound exercises include squats, deadlifts, good mornings, lunges, pushups, bench presses, military presses, rows, pullups, dips, and more. Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009 - 11


Setting SMART goals for your Fitness program by Kate Chesher “If you don’t know where you are going, then you will end up some place else”-Yogi Berra

You have made the decision to join your local Fitness Centre. You are unsure of what to do when you get there so you accept the complimentary assessment with a Fitness instructor, acquire a good pair of training shoes and arrive on time for your assessment. You are thinking the hardest part is behind you, it’ smooth sailing from this point. You have made it to the assessment room taken a seat across from your Fitness con-

strong and ready to relax into, assuming they have it covered from this point, they ask ‘what are your goals for the program and what exactly are you looking to accomplish?’ Uh-oh what do they mean, I joined the Raking your brain for an answer, you state ‘I want to lose weight and tone-up’, granted it comes slightly less well), but good enough, so you think.

my name is Jane Doe and I am 30 years old. Feeling

Setting SMART goals for your Fitness program You have just unconsciously joined a large majority of people lacking focus and will unfortunately be treated as such. More than likely this will result in a lame, cookie-cutter program with limited creativity and even less personality. If this scenario sounds familiar or if you are interested in avoiding it all together, take a breath and let’s go over how to avoid such an encounter. Setting goals and narrowing your focus when it comes to daunting task, the following will help you breakdown your aim so that you can see your desired outcomes more clearly and work with you on a more individualized level. Go on, grab a pen and make a few notes as we work through this.

Setting SMART goals

S Prioritize with this one, start by making a list of all your desired outcomes being as overwhelmed by the amount of things we wish to do making it all too easy to get caught in the trap of trying to accomplish too many things at once and never

achieving any to our own satisfaction. In order to be really productive and actually have more goals realized, the answer is to focus on one thing at a time. For example, if you are making your triumphant return to training following a may be to establish a routine which successfully intertwines your workouts with your regular day to day routine. Perhaps you have been successfully training for some time and would like to develop your resistance training program. By identifying this as your main focus, you can then outline your desired outcomes (whether it be size, strength, tone, or endurance of your muscles) and deliberately train for them. Maybe you are already quite athletic and train regularly but wish to balance your

core training techniques, for example. In this case your main focus becomes developing your core strength while



We all know that being able to see and measure results makes all the difference when it comes to personal motivation. However the measuring stick used will be

dependent on the individual focus. For example, a 40 year old parent of three children, a 30 year old marathon enthusiast and a 20 year old footballer have all been performing a cardiovascular training program for 3 weeks. The parent are not winded anymore after playing with the kids all Saturday afternoon, the marathon enthusiast is seeing improvement on their 5 km personal best and the footballer is impressing the coaches, managers and teammates by being able to maintain consistent pace across an entire match. Each person experiences measurable results, achieves success and therefore replenishes their motivation.



Every good long term goal with have short term goals that lead it. Not only does it make practical sense but it allows you to avoid becoming overwhelmed and losing your focus. For example, a new mother has set a long term goal of rejoining her high-intensity kick boxing class. Her short terms goals are to re-gain her aerobic capacity (starting with lower intensity alternatives (continued on next page)

12 - Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009

FITNESS Setting SMART goals for your Fitness program (continued from previous page)

and constantly progressing to higher intensity activities), then to strengthen all muscles weakened throughout pregnancy, ultimately progressing and preparing her body for her take time, but with consistent baby steps (no pun intended) she will realize her goal. Similarly, an injured athlete must follow the appropriate steps in order to achieve their ultimate goal of return-to-play. Life is a process, we might as well be active participants.



A realistic goal should push you to your limits but not deplete your motivation of break your spirit. With that being said be careful not to sell yourself short. Just as setting goals that are far setting goals too easily attained can elude that you are not very capable. Rule of thumb: Set the bar high enough so that you feel satisfaction upon its achievement. For example, setting a goal to perform 1 hour of training every day, 7 days a week is probably something unexpected keeps you from the gym, it will chip away at your motivation. A realistic goal may then be to perform 1 hour of training 3 times per week for a month. After a month, readjust possibly increasing either the time spent training or the frequency of training per week for the next month and so on.



This is not a race to achieve your goals, this is your life and you should live it. There are plenty of joys and gains to notice and enjoy along the way from square one to realizing your long term goals. It is not all or nothing. However you can use dates and/or events for motivation along the way. For example a 70 year old man may use his daughter’s wedding date as motivation to maintain his training program. The more limber he is, the more times he can sway his daughter around the college student may use spring break as motivation to continue squeezing workouts in between classes, studying and partying, after all beach volleyball is key to picking up on holiday. The ‘little one’ on last year’s squad may use the spring training dates as motivation to train hard all throughout the winter months in new team. Fitness should be something you work towards all your life. By consistently setting SMART yourself trapped by a dull exercise program. Setting SMART goals is about changing the way you think about success. Decide what you consider a success and take steps towards achieving it. They will always be as unique as the individual setting them, don’t be afraid to share them and adjust them. Remember a goal well set is halfway reached.

Quick Tip

Kate Chesher B.Kinesiology (Honours) Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

In addition to a good aerobic exercise, you should add weight training in, which will help balance out the fitness routine and provide you with the best results. If you are not sure where to start, a professional trainer can help get you started on a healthy program. Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009 - 13


Reality Based Self Defence Make Yourself a Hard Target Know Fear In this months self defence article, we'll examine the psychological and physiological properties of fear, find out what causes a fear response and look at some ways you can learn to control that nauseous feeling that builds up in your stomach when faced with aggression. What is fear? The English dictionary informs us that fear is: ‘An unpleasant, often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger’. Everyone reading this will have experienced it, but very few really know how to control these feelings. Most of us go through life being controlled by the feeling of fear. It will, (if you allow it) kill your dreams and ambitions faster than a bullet. How many of you have wanted to leave the job your in? ask the boss for a raise? confront a noisy neighbour? climb a mountain? become self employed? YES….Now ask yourself what is stopping you? One word – FEAR. Of course we need to be sensible and rational before we make a big commitment or change, but the majority of us will put up hurdles as excuses for not progressing in life. So what has this got to do with self defence? Everything. If we are faced with an aggressive predator, the feelings of fear will be immense. My classes teach the student to become comfortable when fear strikes, to welcome it, to understand what changes occur, (both psychologically and physically) to their bodies, to know fear. I suggest that you think of fear as the bodies turbo boost. When the brain senses danger it triggers adrenaline, this being the turbo boost, which then triggers the flight or flight syndrome.

The level of danger governs the level of adrenaline that will be released. Think of public speaking as a typical example, if you were asked to speak to one stranger (in your own living room) for five minutes about your occupation, this will cause a low level of adrenaline release, however if you were asked to give the same speech to group of 100 in an unfamiliar setting, without doubt, the adrenaline released with be considerably more. The same principle applies if faced with aggression. Consider this – you are walking to your car loaded down with shopping bags, suddenly a stranger approaches and offers to help, you will asses him in a second - What clothes he is wearing, Is he wearing a suit? Has he visible tattoos, or scars? Or is he clean shaven and fresh faced? As much as we don’t like to admit it, we do (as the saying goes) judge a book by the cover. Whatever assumptions you make, you will feel adrenaline. However the level of adrenaline released will be determined by your brains perception of the danger level. If he invades your space, levels will be higher. If you are approached by more than one, levels will be higher, if he smells of alcohol, levels will be higher. This is how the mind has become conditioned.

‘People should learn to see and so avoid all danger. Just as a wise man keeps away from mad dogs, so one should not make friends with evil man.’ -


The Fear of Fear

It is often said that we have nothing to fear in life but fear itself. And this is very true. It doesn’t matter what way we anticipate it. Fear of spiders, fear of public speaking, fear of heights, and fear of being attacked on the street or in your home. Fear is fear- it is just a master of disguise. People often get so wrapped up in their fears that, in the end, they become more scared of the feelings that accompany confrontation than they do of the object of their fear. What is often difficult to deal with is the rate at which adrenaline is released. This can be slow secretion (long term), fast secretion (short term), and extreme secretion (often referred to as adrenaline dump). The latter often resulting in the freeze syndrome.

Let’s break this down:

Short Term Butterflies in the stomach or Nausea Increased heart rate Sweating Dry mouth Shakes Loss of colour in the skin Tunnel vision Fine motor skills become difficult to perform Your strength and speed increase Your pain tolerance increases Cognitive thinking becomes difficult as blood is directed to the major muscle groups (flight of fight) Diarrhoea Extreme (More likely with Adrenal Dump) Paralysis - Being frozen to the spot possible loss of bowel and bladder control Memory distortion (tachypsychia) Auditory Exclusion (Deafness) Longer Term Loss of appetite Insomnia Fatigue Loss of libido Irritable Bowel Syndrome General decline in health due to the above symptoms

The key to coping with adrenaline is keeping it within manageable levels. If we experience

14 - Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009


adrenaline release above our personal limit we cannot cope and cease to function properly, experiencing symptoms such as being frozen to the spot or talking rapidly and incoherently, in this state we cannot deal effectively with the situation we may be in. So why does it seem that some people cope with adrenaline and others do not? Everyone feels adrenaline, no exceptions, the only difference is the way we react to it, we control it or it controls us. In order to address this problem we need a way of lessening the negative impact of adrenaline on our ability to handle high stress situations and the key word is DESENSITISATION. This is achieved over a certain period of time, with gradual exposure to your fear or fears. Let me give you an example; I regularly teach a 10 week knife defence course throughout the country. On week one if I was to simulate an knife attack at the level of aggression and realism that I teach on weeks 9 and 10, no doubt certain students would freeze, some would never come back (rightly so) and some would just explode in a red mist of uncontrolled aggression. So gradual exposure is the order of the day. By gradually exposing my students to increasing levels of danger, this will trigger increasing levels of adrenaline - thus causing a certain level of desensitisation. My object is to take the students to an extremely high level of awareness through various reality based drills, so that if they are ever faced with an extremely aggressive knife wielding assailant - they will not freeze. Muscle memory, and a combative mindset is needed to deal with the treat. The fact is that if you want to overcome your fears, you must confront them. This is something we teach on a regular basis, I like to call this exposure therapy. If you want to learn to swim – you have to get wet!

Enter the fear syndrome If like many students who train, just the thought of booking into a self defence course causes adrenaline, my advice is to go for it. Many students who now train with us have unfortunately been attacked in the past. Many people only seek out self defence lessons, after they have been attacked. It is proven that the majority of house owners only fit an alarm after the house has been broken into! Whatever your fears are, whatever is holding you back, you must enter into that uncomfortable zone, only then will you be in control of your own destiny. I am sure many of you will say – easier said than done! But I can tell you I have been there, many times, and I can honestly say if I can do it, anyone can. As a young man I was continually consumed by feelings of fear and self doubt. But in reality that is all they are feelings. Your worst fears never manifest, but many people spend their whole lives, wasting precious time and energy, on negative thoughts. I know I did for a long time. I can say without

hesitation that approaching your fears head on is far easier than spending years of your life battling with depressing thoughts that never materialise. Fear of confrontation In primeval times when mankind had to fight to eat and survive, the feelings of fear was an everyday occurrence that would have felt as natural to him as brushing your teeth does to us. Obviously in today’s society we no longer have to do battle with the sabre toothed tiger for a meal, so the act of fighting or running for our lives is no longer a daily occurrence. So if a situation arises that cause’s adrenaline release, we naturally neither want it, use it or like it. The more demanding the situation is the bigger the adrenaline release, the bigger the release, the better the performance. From a self defence perspective (run of fight), but by the same count, the bigger the adrenaline release the harder it is to control. Subsequently, because many of us never utilise this adrenaline (choosing instead to bottle it up), it builds up like a pressure cooker, causing stress, high blood pressure or it looks for another outlet, such as road-rage, shouting and screaming at your wife/children/ workmates etc. In a confrontation situation, adrenaline is released in many ways.

tion was present- thus causing massive adrenaline dump. This effect can be so intense that many will freeze if faced with this level of confrontation, the reasoning process mistaking it for sheer terror. This is the most difficult adrenaline release to control. Secondary adrenaline

This often occurs before, during or after a confrontation, something may happen that you had not anticipated on, the brain sensing this unpreparedness gives the body a second release of adrenaline that is always mistaken for fear.

In-confrontation fear

If during confrontation you stumble and things are not going to plan, the brain again senses danger and offers another kick of adrenaline to help you out. This is also commonly mistaken for fear, and panic ensues.

Think- confrontation fear When you anticipate a confrontation your adrenaline glands (situated at the top of the kidneys- see diagram) secretes adrenaline slowly, and often over a long period. The slow release is not as intense as the fast release but due to its longevity, it can break down your energy and will control you - but only if you allow it to. Slow released adrenaline can be caused in numerous ways. Anticipation of a best mans wedding speech, a sales meeting, a confrontation with your wife/ husband/boss etc., slow release adrenaline can affect us for months before an expected confrontation. Pre/post-confrontation fear

When we anticipate the consequence of a confrontation, negative or positive, before it even happens, the fear of that consequence, success, failure, embarrassment, often forces the recipient to abort. Pre- confrontation fear This is what I refer to as ‘adrenaline dump’ .This dump effect occurs when no anticipation is present or a situation escalates extremely fast. Think of walking to your car (with your wife/ husband or friend) after a good night out and just as you open the car door a thug wielding a knife rushes from the shadows and holds a knife to your throat, shouting and screaming. The conversation with your friend- just seconds before, was jovial and light hearted but is brought to an abrupt stop by this predator. No anticipa-

Post-confrontation fear- Aftermath After a confrontation, the body often releases more adrenaline in anticipation of aftermath, come-backs, revenge attacks, police involvement etc. The Samurai warriors had a saying “After the battle- tighten your helmet straps” Conclusion: if faced with an assailant demanding your money, car, jacket or any material item that can be replaced, my advice is to hand such items over. Never get involved in a fight for such items that can be replaced. A life is irreplaceable. When defending it, know that the feelings of fear are adrenaline – this adrenaline is there to help. It will makes you stronger, quicker and increases your pain threshold. It is your friend, welcome it - to understand fear, you must first know fear.

Next month we will look at the survival signals of intuition.

Aidan Carroll is the founder and chief instructor of Hard Target Self Defence Systems and Krav Maga Dublin. For more information on upcoming courses visit or call Aidan on 087-974 2566

Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009 - 15


Say ‘NO-NO’ To YO-YO Dieting by Gillian Hynes

There are few women who can put their hands up and say they have never fallen into the trap of yo-yo dieting. It is very easy to get caught in the clutches of this roller coaster ride and as many women have learnt it can be detrimental to their self belief whilst firmly putting them on the wrong side of a losing battle with their weight. How it starts varies but the results all remarkably similar. Picture this typical scenario of how one gets on the yo-yo diet roller coaster.

almost entirely water! But before you go telling yourself you can live with being a little dehydrated to be thinner lets dig a little deeper.

'Susan' who wants to lose a stone for an upcoming wedding, hears about the ‘all new latest craze lose ten pounds in three days diet’ which promises if you eat just the right combination of foods a set of chemical reactions will ensue which will simply make the pounds melt away. So armed with this fantastic new knowledge and surefire way to lose the weight Susan heads to the supermarket to buy this magical medley of food. She spends three days eating beetroot, ice cream, corn on the cob and dry toast and on day 4 Susan is an incredible 9 pounds lighter. Heaven! Bliss! - but not for long. Susan returns to her normal eating pattern and slowly but surely the weight creeps back on and even worse Susan now weighs 1 pound more than when she started. Susan tells herself it is her fault, if she just had self-control the weight would have stayed off. So she goes back on the same diet, only this time she loses just 6 pounds. Ten days after finishing up the diet all the weight is back on plus an extra three pounds over her starting weight. Help is at hand though - a girl in work has just told Susan about a new far better diet, which a friend of a friend did and lost 2 stone in just a month…. Sound familiar? If you say yes to this question you are not alone. It is estimated that at any given time 15 million women in the U.S. alone are on a crash diet!

When you embark on low-calorie, low carb diets you are doing yourself far greater damage than simply needing a glass of water or two. When you are on a calorie restrictive diet, which gives you less than your body requires your metabolism slows. How? Firstly our bodies are a lot more primal than you may think - our minds may be well and truly in the 21st century but our bodies are firmly rooted in the Stone Age. When we embark on calorie restrictive diets our body believes there is not enough food available and in order to conserve energy will slow the rate at which it will burn calories. Secondly the body is always reluctant to burn fat as a source of fuel (it is only under the right circumstances that our body will give up fat i.e. proper diet coupled with exercise) and when faced with this ‘famine’ it is even less inclined to do so and instead turns to our muscle - breaking them down into amino acids to provide fuel for the body. Muscle is metabolically active (meaning it burns calories) so loss of muscle equals a slower metabolism.

So these radical weight-shifting diets are not working for you? What’s wrong with you? Absolutely nothing. What we need to be asking is what is wrong with these diets. Chemical diets and many other diets which promise radical weight loss in a very short space of time have one thing in common - they rely almost exclusively on dehydrating the body in order to deliver on their promises. Carbohydrates are stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen and every part glycogen is stored with 3 parts water. When you embark on these magic weight loss plans you rid your body of its stored glycogen and with, as a result, its stored water. Yup that ‘magic’ weight loss is

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So after you come out of the torture that is a restrictive diet you emerge possibly a few pounds lighter from shedding stored water and with a slowed and confused metabolism. This is why so many women find their weight creeping higher and higher on the scales with each subsequent fad diet they embark upon. So how to get off this roller coaster ride? Start eating a balanced diet - feed your body - ironically only then will you begin to lose the weight you are now punishing yourself over. Of course if you couple this healthy and sensible eating with effective exercise you are well and truly on the right track. The ride may not be as fast and furious as the latest fad diet but I can assure you the results will be a lot more thrilling. Before radically changing your eating habits please seek the advice of your GP or a dietician.


Positive Self-Talk to Think Yourself Thin By Michelle May, M.D. You become what you think. If you're not getting the weight loss results you want, practice more positive self-talk and think yourself thin! Whether you're aware of it or not, you have a mental tape running constantly that affects your moods and ultimately, your behaviour. When these thoughts are negative, outdated or confining, they undermine the process of change-whether you're conscious of them or not. It stands to reason that without an awareness of this mental chatter, you cannot really know why you do what you do so it is harder to change it. Your thoughts are the primary creator of your emotions, which inspire your actions and therefore lead to your results. This thought / feeling / action / result cycle is a "causal loop." In other words, when you think a certain thought, it causes you to feel a certain way, which causes you to act in a certain way, which causes certain results, which then "proves" that your original thoughts were correct. These patterns are often repetitive and self-reinforcing. Thousands of repetitions of a particular experience create auto-pilot thoughts, feelings and actions, and therefore, predictable results. This thought / feeling / action / result cycle applies to all of your thoughts, not just those surrounding food, eating and weight. It applies to your thoughts about your relationships, your career, your finances, your habits and your abilities-any area of your life that is within your sphere of influence. Even when a thought pattern leads to poor results, you can stay locked in the trap because it's comfortable and familiar. Think Yourself Thin The first step to disrupting an undesirable cycle is to start monitoring your internal conversations and become more aware of the results they are creating. The next time you find yourself eating in a way that feels out of control, uncomfortable or unsatisfying, ask yourself what you were thinking before you took the first bite. If you recognize that your

self-talk is inaccurate, ineffective or limiting, you can choose to change it to more positive self-talk in order to change your outcome. Repeating new positive thinking and empowering mantras will result in the rewiring of your brain. Interestingly, you don't even have to believe what you're saying to yourself at first. There's power in simply saying it. Your mind doesn't tolerate incongruence so if your thoughts are telling you something, your brain will find a way to make it true. In other words, "fake it until you make it." When you act "as if" it were true, it soon becomes reality. Let's take a look at an example of negative and positive self-talk that is common in people who struggle with their weight: Change Your Mind: The Inner Critic The Inner Critic is harsh and hypercritical and says things like: "I am weak-willed and I have no self-control." "I am too heavy to be attractive." "I am lazy and too undisciplined to exercise the way I should." You might talk to yourself this way because you believe that you're keeping yourself "in line." But most people aren't motivated by criticism-even when you're the one criticizing yourself. Instead, this hypercritical self-talk causes feelings of inadequacy and hopelessness. As a result, you probably won't do your best or you'll give up easily. The results only prove that the Inner Critic was right and lead to more harsh self criticism. To change this pattern, begin to use an encouraging, gentle inner voice and positive self-talk to motivate yourself toward the changes you want and literally think yourself thin. For example: "It's challenge to turn down tempting food but I know it will taste even better if I wait until I'm hungry." "I look really nice in this dress-especially when I smile!" "I'll feel so much better if I take even just a short, comfortable walk. Everyone has to start somewhere." Banish your negative thoughts before they lead to negative feelings and behaviours. Switch to kinder, gentler, positive self-talk that will coach you toward the results you really want.

Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009 - 17


Traditional Irish Herbs

Ciara O’ Meara is a medical herbalist practicing full time in North Tipperary and is a contributor to the RTE1 show "The Afternoon Show" where she gives advice on simple home remedies and using herbs to treat minor health ailments. Ciara has an honours Science degree in University College Dublin and an MSc in Medical Genetics at Aberdeen University

by Ciara O’Meara One of the most enduring things about herbal medicine is that it is the medicine of the people herbs grow all around us and with a little bit of know how we can use them effectively. The three main herbs in a traditional spring tonic are Cleavers, Nettle, and Dandelion leaf. You’re probably never more than 10 feet from any of these little gems, read on to discover what they can offer you!

Cleavers is one such well known plant it can be identified by its hairy stalk and little hairy seed pods which stick on your clothes if you take a walk through a patch of it. You will regularly find this herb growing in a patch of nettles. It is a very good lymphatic herb; the lymphatic system is our first line of defence against external invaders. Sometimes viruses or bacteria, other times it may be toxins from our environment or those willingly put into our bodies. The lymph system has concentrated battle sites known as lymph nodes at strategic points around the body. These can regularly feel lumpy or sore when the body is dealing with infection. So now we know more about lymphatic system let us take a look at Cleavers or Goosegrass as it is sometimes known. The best way to take this is in the form of a cold water infusion. I have taken it both freshly juiced in small quantities and in a cold water infusion which is wonderful. You will need to find a patch which is in

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an area you know to be unpolluted, pick a sizeable bunch and twist the bunch numerous times so that it resembles a rope. At this point you will have broken some of the stems by this action, place the bunch of herb into a bottle or jug of water and stand overnight. The next day drink this water freely, it may have a mildly laxative action in sensitive people.

Early spring is the best time to catch the new young Nettles as they shoot up. This plant is especially useful for childhood eczema and even some adult skin problems. They are full of vitamin C, iorn and histamine like substances which will be of benefit to hay-fever sufferers (start now!). Again this herb can be taken freshly juiced as such it is a great tonic as you will get the maximum of both minerals and vitamins (some vitamins can be lost by heating the herb). It is excellent for older people who may be frail or anaemic. Equally you can make a soup by boiling the nettles, add a pinch of stock cube or garlic for taste. As well as drinking the juice from the Nettles you can eat the cooked herb itself. Nettle is probably one of the most singularly useful herb, its seeds are useful in cases of kidney problems, while the root can be used for inflammation of the prostate - a medicine chest in itself. In Roman times sufferers of arthritis and joint stiffness would self flagellate purposely by stinging themselves to regain mobility of the joint. If you are brave

enough to pick it by bare hand, this old Irish rhyme might prove useful to you. ‘If you gently grasp a nettle, it will sting you for your pains. Grasp it tightly like a rod of metal, and it soft as silk remains’.

Finally, Dandelion leaf is perhaps best known for promoting the flow of urine it is also a good general tonic due to its high concentration of minerals and vitamins. Another more traditional use is applying the milky sap to warts to remove them, also said to cure a stye in the eye. As part of the Traditional Irish Herbal Medicine it was used for a wide range of complaints, some of which it is not typically used for today. These ‘cures’ and uses varied even from county to county. The young leaves of dandelion are best eaten fresh and make a very tasty addition to a salad. Unlike many conventional (pharmaceutical) diuretics which can remove potassium from the body, dandelion actually is a good source of this valuable mineral. It is a good example of how nature is very complete in its provision of medicine which is in harmony with the human body. Always ensure you have correctly identified a herb before ingesting it. If you are taking medications consult a professional herbalist before taking herbal medicine.


The Association of Registered Complementary Health Therapists of Ireland (ARCHTI ©) The Association of Registered Complementary Health Therapists of Ireland (ARCHTI ©) is the longest established multi-therapy (or pan therapy) Irish Association for fully qualified; insured and accredited Professional Complementary Health Therapists and Practitioners. We bring Therapists from the 4 Corners of Ireland together to be totally representative of an all Ireland organisation. ARCHTI is a voluntary non-profit organisation and we work on behalf of our Members to provide them with support from their fellow therapists; to protect their need to practice with autonomy and promote the desire for voluntary self-regulation in Ireland. We use a support network and referral system which not only benefits our Members but also the General Public and Medical Profession as well as providing information on training and product suppliers. We recommend that people contemplating taking training courses check each one out thoroughly to see if the Training School is responsible, ethical and accredited. Distance learning is not acceptable for registration by ARCHTI. The Association of Registered Complementary Health Therapists of Ireland (ARCHTI) advises to always seek qualified professional medical advice before using complementary therapies. It is necessary that the Medical and Health professions feel confident that when they recommend a Complementary Health Therapist that their patient will receive the best possible care and attention by fully qualified ethical registered Therapists. It is equally necessary that every Member of the Public consulting a Complementary Health Therapist directly be assured they are receiving the best possible attention and treatment.

Irish Therapists! Association Membership And one of the best priced Practitioner Insurance policies in Ireland easily arranged

Phone the Association of Registered Complementary Health Therapists of Ireland



for an Information Pack or log on to their website and download one. • FREE website listings; • Newsletters and Magazines are some of the membership benefits.

Membership of the ARCHTI is very strict and it is only after scrutiny of an applicant’s qualifications from an accredited Training Course is membership considered. Current Insurance Cover is required by each Member. ASSOCIATION OF REGISTERED COMPLEMENTARY HEALTH THERAPISTS OF IRELAND (ARCHTI) Ballydaniel, Camolin, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford. Ireland. Tel: 053-9383734 email: website:


Eating more fibre helps to maintain a healthy digestion, and may also help to prevent chronic disease such as overweight, coronary heart disease and some cancers. We often think of bran as fibre, but there are many different types of fibre, all of which have a benefit to health. Simply eating more starchy carbohydrate foods will start to increase your fibre intake plus choosing wholegrain cereals, wholemeal, granary or soft grain breads and including plenty of fruit and vegetables will all help to achieve a great diet. Fact: On average we eat 4 times as much white bread as wholemeal, and yet bread is one of the major sources of fibre in the our diet. Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009 - 19


Tips For Burning The Fat! by Damien Mase If you're an experienced bodybuilder you'll know that building muscle works in 2 basic cycles. First we have the growth cycle. While you're on the growth cycle your goal is to put on as much poundage as possible! This means eating loads of good calories like protein and complex carbohydrates. You should never feel hungry. The minute you feel hungry, it's time for another meal. Get the picture? The second cycle is what's know as the cutting cycle. This is where you trim off your excess fat to give your muscle definition and a really ripped look. When cutting you want to strip off the fat quickly without losing any muscle size. This means a different workout and much different diet. In this article I'm going to give you my top tips for losing the fat. I'm going to focus on the basics of weight loss. I'm not going to go into different cutting workout, that's an entire article in itself. Some people will find it very hard and frustrating to lose body fat. But if you stick to strict diet and train hard you will do it and it will be worth all the hard work!

TIP #1: Cardio training Cardiovascular exercise is arguably the best way for you to burn fat. Even if you are eating the best diet possible, you will not see the full benefits if you do not do cardio exercise. When cutting you want to up your cardio to around 4 times per week. Start off at about 20mins per session and work your way up to an hour or so. When doing cardio you need to try and stay in the "fat burning zone", which is about 65-70% of your maximum heart rate. To determine your "fat burning zone" subtract your age from 220 and multiply it by 0.65. That is what you want your heart rate to be at.

TIP #2: Eat small meals, more often Today's western society is slowly moving away from the traditional 3 meals per day and there's a vary good reason for that. As

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soon as you start eating your metabolism starts to break down the food. It takes everything it needs from the food including nutrients and energy. When you only eat 3 meals per day your metabolism has a chance to slow down in between meals. This is not good if you're trying to burn fat. You need to keep your metabolism fast throughout the whole day. The faster your metabolism is working the more fat and energy you will burn. Maintaining a high metabolism is imperative to losing weight and keeping it off. It's often a good idea to use protein supplements or protein bars between meals to keep your metabolism up and make you feel full. Some people do not have time to prepare so many meals per day so this is a good option.

TIP #3: Don't eat before bed When you go to sleep your metabolism slows right down. If you eat before bed (especially carbohydrates) there's a good chance that your body will not burn the energy and you will store it as fat. Try not to eat any carbs for at least 2-3 hours before bed. A protein shake is ok before bed because your body will not store it as fat. TIP #4: Up your protein intake If you want to keep all your hard earned muscle (and I know you do!) while burning fat it's very important that you keep your protein intake as high as possible. Because carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy it will always use them up first. Once there are no carbohydrates left your body will turn to it's fat storage. If you do not have enough protein intake per day, your body will start taking protein from the muscles resulting in catabolism (breaking down of muscle tissue).

TIP #5: Drink plenty of water Well, you should be drinking plenty of water even if you aren't trying to lose weight! The human body is made up of 70% water. So to me it's pretty obvious that we need a high daily intake of water to keep the body running efficiently. Water helps transport nutrients that you eat throughout your body. It also plays a role in determining how your cells use these nutrients. If you are not getting enough water intake each day, you are not making 100% use of the nutrients in your diet.

On the other side of the scale water also helps flush your system of waste and bacteria. It's essential for removing toxins from your body. So you can see that water plays a vital role in all bodily functions, so don't underestimate it.

TIP #6: Lower your carbs As I mentioned earlier in this article your body burns carbs first because carbs are the bodys primary food source. So if you do not lower your carb intake your body will just keep burning up the carbs and you will not see any fat loss. As soon as your carbs supply runs out, the body burns fat. Keep your carbs down and your body will start burning fat quicker. Try to eat all your carbs for the day in the morning. This way these carbs will be burnt off during the day and your fat store will start being used faster.

TIP #7: Avoid snacking If you snack throughout the day you're asking for trouble. While there are some health snacks available, most are full or fat, salt and sugar. If you plan your meals for the day you should not even feel hungry or the need to snack. If you cannot prepare enough meals for the day have a protein supplement or protein bar between meals. If you have to distance yourself from tempting items then do it. Just to recap on what we've just been over here are some rules of losing weight and cutting that you should be sticking to. 1. Eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day 2. Keep your protein intake high 3. Keep your carbohydrate intake low 4. Drink plenty of water throughout the day 5. Don't eat carbohydrates before bed 6. Incorporate cardio training into your weekly routine 7. Don't snack between meals 8. Get plenty of sleep every night (including weekends!) No one said stripping that fat was going to be easy, even experienced trainers say that it's harder than building muscle! But if you stick with it, the rewards are fantastic - a muscle bound and ripped body!


Common Weight Lifting Mistakes Made By Beginners The world of weightlifting is huge. There is a lot of information to take in and it is extremely difficult to learn enough even to know what you are doing. As a beginner, jumping into this gigantic pool of knowledge and information can be very discouraging and even dangerous. This article is designed to help you avoid some of the basic mistakes that a lot of beginners run into. I will highlight some of the more common mistakes that beginners make, ranging from what you do in the gym, to diet and supplementation.

So you should perform the upward part of the movement fast, and the downward part of the movement slow. For example, when doing pullups, pull yourself up quickly, and slowly lower yourself down. This puts as much stress as possible on the muscle and teaches your nervous system how to lift a load. Remember that cheating not only hinders your gains, but it makes you look foolish as well. Nobody likes to see some guy screaming as he hammer throws 70 pound dumbbells for his bicep

2. Cheating Cheating occurs when you are using a weight that is too heavy for you to lift, but you continue to lift the weight and sacrifice form to do it. You will see it all the time in gyms, people who lean back and throw their elbows forward when doing bicep curls, people that bounce the bar off their chest when benching etc. This not only limits the gains you can make, but it also can lead to injury. To help avoid cheating, learn how to properly perform an exercise, and train with that form using little to no weight to start. After you feel you have the form down, slowly bump up the weight until you can perform the exercise with the reps you need exactly the same way as you were performing with the little to no weight. Remember that although you should train to failure, you shouldn't sacrifice form to do it. If you want to maximize your training, you should know that on the fast concentric (positive) movement trains the nervous system; the slow eccentric (negative) movement trains the muscle.

You might think that because a bodybuilder is huge and used a certain routine means that you will get huge using that same workout. This is not true. Bodybuilders have been training for years and their routines will most likely be far more advanced for you to attempt. You should also consider the fact that not everything will work for everybody. Just because a guy is big and got good results from doing something doesn't mean that you will too.

6. Starving yourself in order to lose weight

1. Overtraining A common mistake is that having sessions lasting hours long or performing tons of the same exercises several days a week will get you better gains. "Less is more" when it comes to weight training. Remember that your central nervous system and joints come into the picture, and suffer a lot more from the abuse of weight training than your muscles. Your muscles grow when you are resting, not when you are at the gym. This is because when you lift weights, you create tears in the muscle tissue. When you rest, the muscle repairs itself and becomes larger than before. How long it takes to repair will depend largely on your diet and how much sleep you get per night. To help avoid overtraining remember not to take an intermediate or advanced workout routine until you have more experience. About 3 months before an intermediate routine and several years before an advanced routine. Remember that it is also recommended that about every 12 weeks, you take a week off of weight training to heal any of those little nagging injuries and to give your central nervous system a break.

5. Using a professional bodybuilder or power lifters routine


3. Lifting Heavy Early If you are under the age of 18, stick to the 8-12 rep range. Lifting weights higher than this can cause damage to growth. This is because as a teenager the growth plates on the end of the bones haven't yet closed, and performing heavy maximum lifts can cause closure prematurely of these growth plates (epiphysis), and can also cause injuries to the bones themselves. Combine this with the fact that most people starting out will not do well handling the immense load that is associated with low rep ranges, they will usually put themselves at risk of immediate danger, not only growth plate damage. Play it safe, and work with proper form and the results will come.

4. Using the low rep ranges to get big, training high reps to burn fat This couldn't be further from the truth. First off, diet plays the most important role in determining how shredded or how big you are. You can pound all the weight you want, if you eat crap you will look like crap. Second, to train for size, the 6-12 rep range is optimal. The low rep ranges train muscular strength, which helps little in increasing muscular size. Remember that fat burn is achieved mostly by cardio and high intensity weight training. This can mean low rest times, supersets etc.

Yes it sounds silly, but you would be surprised at the number of people that think this way. Dieting doesn't mean that you can't enjoy food ever again, or that you will always be hungry. Split your meals up into 5-7 a day of smaller portions. This keeps your metabolism working and will help you be less hungry through the day. Remember that when you starve yourself, your body holds onto any fat it has and you will lose muscle instead. This is very unhealthy. You will be surprised at the amount of calories you can eat as long as you exercise.

7. Relying too much on supplements to grow Without proper diet and training supplements will get you nowhere. Remember they are called SUPPLEMENTS because they SUPPLEMENT your diet. If your diet is in check and you have done everything you can to ensure that real foods play the dominant role, only then should supplements be considered. On labels of these supplements you will find statements such as "Gain 7 pounds of muscle in 3 weeks" etc. Remember that these claims are usually exaggerated. Before you buy any supplements, do research and educate yourself on what's worth it and what's not. It will save you a lot of money in the long run.

8. Neglecting Carbohydrates and Fats in your diet Carbs and fat are an essential part in any diet, even weight loss diets. This is because carbohydrates are our main source of fuel. Without carbohydrates, particularly complex carbohydrates, the body would begin to use other sources and this could cause problems, such as becoming easily fatigued due to lack of glycogen. Fats are needed as well. Fat is essential to maintain good health. That being said, you should get your fat from healthy sources, such as olive oil and nuts. Remember that trans-fats are bad for you no matter what, and should be avoided at all costs.

Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009 - 21


Participants in the 10k Great Run Ireland held in Phoenix Park on 5th April

General Training Tips 1. Set yourself a realistic target and use a specific plan to achieve it. Start off little and often and build up steadily, getting into the habit of running. 2. It is easier and safer to run with someone rather than running alone. Join a running club if you can or find a running partner. 3. Adapt your training plan to take account of unforeseen illness, injury etc, don't just abandon it. 4. For a longer run make sure you have done close to the distance before the day to give you the confidence. 5. Don't train when you are ill or injured - listen to your body. 6. Go at your own pace if you're new to running. Training plans are great but if you're not a confident runner it's good to go at your own pace, listen to your own body and build a bit of confidence to start with. 7. Get plenty of rest. A good regular sleep pattern helps recovery. 8. Keep a log of all your training - this is great not only because it shows your progression and helps with motivation but it means you can assess what works best for you and what doesn't.


9. Join a gym to help with your general fitness and co-ordination. 10. Rest when you need to, be realistic about your expectations and listen to your body. If you are not sure whether to train ask a doctor, physio etc. It is best to achieve your target later rather than never. 11. Do not compare yourself to others and don't expect every run to be better than the last one. 12. Be aware of cyclists approaching you from behind and try to keep to the right. Try to pay special attention when running with music. 13. Beware of breathing too hard, slow down or walk a bit until you feel comfortable again. 14. Hydrate: Make it a habit to drink water throughout the day. 15. To aid recovery the most crucial time to eat and drink is in the hour immediately after you run. For more tips visit

Drinking tea and caffeinated coffee or soda within 2 hours of a meal will decrease the amount of iron the body is able to absorb from that meal.

22 - Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009


Beginners Guide: To Running A common sense guide to training for new runners: • Build up training steadily and add variety to your training. For example, varying your routes or altering your speed - jog / walk. • Give your body time to adapt to new training demands. Listen to your body. Pushing too hard too soon can lead to injury. • Find a natural starting point by recording your morning pulse rate. Sudden rises in your rate are signs that you are putting your body under too much stress. A good quality heart rate monitor is a sensible addition to your kit. • Settle into a good stretching routine and stick to it. • Take a break from training if you have an infection or illness don't be surprised if you find you can't start back at the same level on your first day back after illness. • Break up your training and offer yourself more than constant running - don't let your training programme become stale. You can always incorporate swimming sessions into your training. These work both your muscles and your cardiovascular system and offer a good respite from running sessions. • Never run through injuries - it only makes them worse and slows down the natural healing process. If you suffer from repeated minor injuries see a doctor or sports injury specialist. Your running style may be adding to your problems. • Remember - it's not the end of the world if you don't run well during race day. Get the most out of each race you do - learn from the experience and come back in even better shape next time. Make sure you get yourself a pair of well fitting trainers that suit your running style and comfortable well fitting clothing that allows your skin to breathe. See our footwear and apparel section for further details.

The Shuttle

Top 10 race day tips How to get the most from your big day * Organisation is the key to a successful day. Take the race start time and work back from it. Allow yourself at least an hour at the start to get used to the surroundings. * Work out your travel plans based on getting to the start for this hour of familiarisation. However long you think it will take, leave a bit more time on top, to allow for on unforeseen hold-ups. Don’t forget that the traffic will probably be heavier than you’d expect, this is the largest road race in the country remember! Train travel can be especially difficult and the later you leave it the worse it will be. * Don’t leave your kit packing until race day. Make sure this is done the day before, with your number fixed on and your ‘ChampionChip’ attached, if required for that event. The more things you leave to race day, the more things can go wrong.

* Try and get to bed reasonably early the night before and in keeping with the theory of not having to hurry on race morning, make sure you get up early. If you normally operate with one alarm clock then get another, leave nothing to chance. Many runners have missed events because their ‘reliable’ alarm clock has let them down, or they didn’t set it properly. Never rely on anyone else to get you up, like a hotel receptionist, they can easily forget! * Definitely eat something on race morning although do not eat to excess. If you eat too much your body will tell you this about half way the course and you will have to stop and sort the problem out. This can be particularly embarrassing if there are no facilities. You should have eaten a big meal of carbohydrates the night before so some toast and tea should be sufficient for breakfast. * Needless to say, make as many visits as you can to the conveniences before the race, even if it’s for physiological reasons. There’s nothing

worse than lining up at the start with a niggling doubt in the back of your mind that you haven’t been enough. * If you’re travelling to the event with someone who’s not competing, then try and get him or her to drive, or at least do the navigating. The more you can free your mind up to concentrate on the race, the better. * Make sure you take something with you to keep warm. A lot of events start early in the morning to beat the heat and there is a real chance you could suffer if you’re not prepared. * Warm-up for 10 or 15 minutes before the start with a combination of muscle stretching and gentle running. Don’t overdo it though. It’s easy to get to the line tired because you’ve been warming-up for too long! * Relax and enjoy it! courtesy of

Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009 - 23


Business Profile The Bernard Dunne Fight - Forever Fit Promotions

by Jason Kenny

Learn a bit about the company who worked in the background to help Bernard Dunne on his way to boxing success. The Company Background

Our company Name is Forever Fit Promotions . Myself (Jason Kenny) and Blue Shinners set it up 3yrs ago. Between both of us we have over 25yrs experience in the fitness industry.

Bernard won and deservedly. He fought with pure heart and courage, and never gave up even if it seemed hairy in the 5th round. He hung on in there and bounced back again in the 6th amazing the boxing community. After knocking Cordoba to the canvas 5

To sweat it out of you and eating “FIGHT”, you need to do something pretty much nothing, once the weight a little extra something special is made you then begin eating again something and whatever you can different, in the case of a race a Put back into your body. higher Octane fuel And a fighter to

times to claim his rightful title of

Unfortunately it is mostly rubbish and has no nutritional value whatsoever. It’s one thing taken punishment Externally but what advantage is it in doing likewise on the inside. You must fuel your body, you must hydrate and re-hydrate. The body

Jason Kenny, Bernard Dunne and Blue Shinnors We Specialise in Strength Training and Conditioning and Diet and Nutrition. We have many clients some of which are high profile. We have been working with the Tipperary Senior footballers Team since September 2008 and they are doing exceptionally well this year coming from 4th Division to be promoted to Division 2, a fantastic achievement in just a year.

The Bernard Dunne Fight

It was a very busy weekend over all. Between press conferences, Magazines, Newspapers and TV. We had to be on our toes.

World Champion. He really tapped into his reserves and produced energy that seemed to most to come out of no where, but we knew differently.

We have been working with Bernard since Christmas, travelling up and down to Dublin to him every Weekend and corresponding by email or Phone. He was a joy to work with and really took on board what we were saying he left no stone unturned. It is not easy changing your old ways of making weight and then fighting on hardly anything. The philosophy in the boxing world is

24 - Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009

fine tune his diet to have a constant supply of fuel feeding every explosive movement and secure mental focus. The Secret? Very simple “A Balanced Blood Sugar Level”

Will also need more than just water but a fluid that carries with it an excellent electrolyte balance with a good carb ratio to fuel your muscles

The Atmosphere in the O2 was electric, and this man fought for his country and not just for his home town, but as an Irish man on his own against the world..

Energy reserves adenosine triphosphate (A.T.P). We all know food is mood and when we are satisfied we focus better. Our concentration is high

We were very privileged to be a part of Team Dunne. He weighed in at 8 stone 9lbs on Friday at 5pm and

And decisions more accurate. Being hungry and having to make some serious decisions is not the best idea in the ring. You can have a Ferrari parked outside your door with a Single coat of paint, lightened race alloys top-notch brembo brakes and if you have no fuel to run it it’ll sit there. Now taking that a step further If you put the wrong fuel in, diesel for example you’d cause havoc with it and it still goes no-where. So to gain an advantage over your competitor, in the Same race or

Stepped into the ring for the fight on Saturday night at 9 stone 6lbs, imagine 11lbs heavier almost a stone in just 30hrs. He was Well hydrated and fuelled. Our job was done but to just sit back and let the champ do his job. I can tell you we felt every blow taken And scurried behind every punch given. When it was over I think between us we both lost 2 stone. It has been deemed fight of the Century and being an avid boxing fan I can tell you I would feel I have to agree.


How to Choose a Health Club Many people hope that joining a health club will be a magic bullet to inspire them to work out. But take a deeper look at what each club offers so you will be joining the club that has the best chance of helping you develop a steady fitness habit.

Location, Location, Location Unless the health club is located nearby or is convenient to your commute, your attendance will drop off swiftly. Sometimes the club without the exact facilities you want will be a better deal due to a convenient location where you are more likely to stop and workout.

Hours and Class or Trainer Schedules What hours and days of the week is the club open? When it is open, how is it staffed? Are the kind of group classes you want available at hours convenient to your schedule? If you plan to use a personal trainer, what hours are they available? If you need to use on-site child care, is it available and what hours does it operate?

Congestion Is the club overwhelmed with clients during the hours you are most likely to want to use it? Will it be difficult to find parking, a locker, or an open treadmill? This may be unavoidable, as most gyms are used heavily before and after work on weekdays. January will always be crowded, so it is best to give them a fair chance by checking this out in other months. Clientele You will feel most comfortable working out around people with similar fitness goals. Some gyms cater to

bodybuilders. Some to those seeking weight loss. Do you feel intimidated by the other clients, like your gym clothes or physique isn't quite worthy?

handball courts, sauna, steamroom, whirlpool. Do they offer massage?


Negotiating a health club contract, with all of its choices, is often very confusing. Be sure you understand the basics:

Do the staff greet you or ignore you? Do they act like knowledgeable fitness professionals or do you suspect they are working a summer job for minimum wage? Do they seem more intent on socializing than assisting you? Are they fully familiar with the equipment and able to give you help and direction? Do they display their credentials?

Safety and Cleanliness Is the equipment kept in good repair? Are the pieces of equipment, mats, locker rooms and shower areas kept clean? Are towels available free, or for a towel fee? If you see a client doing something unsafe, will a staff member intervene?

Children and Guests Parents will often have the best chance of making their health club a habit if child care is available on site. Also find out what guest privileges you have -- is there a fee for bringing a guest, and are you limited to certain hours or numbers of guests?

Facilities and Services Make sure the health club has the kind of equipment and facilities you most want. Do they have enough treadmills, exercise bikes, free weights, and exercise machines of the type you prefer? Do they have a space for you to stretch and use an exercise ball, foam roller, etc? Common items would include a pool, room for aerobics and dance classes, basketball court, racquetball or


* Initiation fees * Contract duration * How it will be billed, and whether it automatically renews if not actively stopped * Extra fees for classes, personal training, child care, parking * Is the membership transferable to other locations? * Are there any time limits on using any bonus items such as personal training sessions? * Will the fees go up after an initial discount period? * Are the fees refundable if you decide to terminate the contract? * Don't be afraid to negotiate a better deal than that which is offered. As with buying a car, ask them to throw in some extras if they won't come down on price. * Do they offer discounts for family members, or credits for referring friends?

Trial Memberships Use any free sessions to really kick the tires of the health club. It may be hard to shake the overly-friendly salesperson who wants to show you all of the amenities, but it is hard to get a good workout with them at your side. If they are annoying, ask them to give you space so you can make an informed decision. They want to make the sale, and smart salespeople will honor your request.

Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009 - 25


Motivated to Exercise? By Conor Jordan Working on people’s motivation and not just their fitness levels can improve your chances of staying in shape

People know that exercise is good for them but still this does not seem to motivate them.

Exercise can seem like an undoubtedly daunting task for any- Nic Jarvis, a renowned coaching expert, argues that “beliefs” one looking to lose weight. Whether it is the prospects of lie at the heart of whether a person successfully takes up and breathless running, heart-wrenching weight lifting or simply adheres to an exercise programme. Self-efficacy or the belief just a lack of energy, motivation is the key to make the first that you can achieve something can be a huge factor in terms step and to keep going once you have started. According to of motivation. recent research studies, 20% of the population are sporty types who are highly motivated, regular exercisers and would rather The three “Cs” model for building intrinsic motivation include: go to a gym for a break rather than relax in front of the Control: if people are empowered to feel they have television. 16% of the population are said to be occasional, control over their lives and actions, they will take responsibilthey know exercise is good for them but drop in and out of ity for their actions. doing it giving way to excuses such as “not enough time” or “lack of energy” being the main reasons they Confidence: Building self-efficacy can be avoid exercise occasionally. 44% have achieve in a variety of ways: vicariously – “Is been found to know that exercise is she can do it, so can I” attitude, experien“Although the “couch good for them but just don’t bother tially – “Wow, I can do this after all” potatoes” segment of the popand that around 1 in 5 of us are knowledge – “If this is all you have got simply couch potatoes, doing no ulation who are completely inac- to do, I’ll give it a go”. exercise and lazing around in tive and positively detest the idea of preference to doing a bit of exerConnectedness: The opposite of exercising, even fitness cise. Although the “couch potaalienation. To feel part of something, toes” segment of the population a fitness club, a corporation, a social fanatics have times when they who are completely inactive and group, a football team, or similar, has don’t feel much like exercising been shown to greatly increase motivapositively detest the idea of exercising, even fitness fanatics have or are just not in the tion. times when they don’t feel much like mood for it” exercising or are just not in the mood for it. I would add that getting and celebrating results Given this, is it any wonder that so few people would be a pretty strong motivating factor too. As an participate in sufficient physical activity to positively benefit- industry we continue to fail to attract and retain new exercise ing their health, let alone their fitness? participants. Instead, we recruit and recycle from within the highly motivated 20% of sporty types. Nic Jarvis points out that the fitness industry must be the only one that gives its Motivation can be extrinsic (from outside the individual) or customer what it things they wants and ahs absolutely no idea intrinsic (within the person). The most desirable and effective whether its customers achieve the results they wanted when form of motivation and it is fair to suppose that the vast they started exercise. majority of sporty types are driven to participate by inner feelings. They are able to set and focus their own goals and There’s nothing wrong with spending huge amounts of cash on have the self-discipline to achieve them. Yet everyone needs shiny equipment and fluffy towels but, unless we begin to some help in terms of motivation. understand our customers’ barriers and motivation to exercise, Some fitness instructors believe that extrinsic motivation is far we will continue to lose the battle to get people off the couch less effective in the long term, and the job of managers, coach- and into regular psychical activity. es, instructors and mentors is to move people from extrinsic The abundance of personal trainers in clubs already provides towards intrinsic motivation. This is entirely true and by this, an effective resource for coaching and supporting clients. With a fitness instructor or a big life changing event can make all the an additional focus on psycho-social approaches, personal different to someone and their fitness regime if they are pushed trainers could begin to reap both financial rewards and a deep the right amount. sense of fulfilment, as clients work more regularly and achieve Even patients who have had a major heart attack, who give up the success they desire. smoking and take up exercise, will revert to previous lifestyles Actively working with people to develop intrinsic motivation once the trauma of the extrinsic motivator (the heart attack) has in clients could have a wider effect on the industry as a whole, faded into memory. Logic would seem to dictate that anyone helping to further extend the market by converting occasional suffering a life-threatening trauma would understand the nega- exercisers into regular clients. It is conceivable that the “trickle tive consequences of returning to negative lifestyle habits. down” concept used in economic theory could equally apply to this newly active customer base.

26 - Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009


Free Bootcamp Training by Frances Flannery With economic recovery on everyones wish list, its time to bootcamp those booties back into shape without busting the bank account. Get fit with FREE outdoor activity this summer by Dublin 15s Meet and Train Group. The FREE training, which is lead by Life Coach Frances Flannery, splits into Walkers, Joggers and Runners ensuring that there is a group to suit everyone, regardless of fitness levels. It is recommended that members invest in a good pair of running shoes and rain jacket and check with their GP before starting. Sunscreen should be worn when training outdoors to protect the skin from the harmful rays of the sun which can cause damage even in low levels of light. The Bootcamp style programme includes 40-60 mins of walk/jog/running. Yoga style stretching afterward plus arm exercises with light dumbbell weights. The group meets Fridays, Sundays and Mondays at Castleknock Gates, Phoenix

Park and all are welcome. Meet and Train offer 100% FREE training in conjunction with Flora Womens Mini Marathon. And Dublin Vitality Center.

For those who need extra help with their fitness and weightloss programme, Frances also runs a unique 4 week Bootcamp programme which combines colonic hydrotherapy, diet, exercise, weekly weigh-in and personal life coaching. The combination of fresh air, good diet, colonic treatment, exercise and motivation are the keys to success. The programme guarantees weight loss by identifying and changing root causes of weight gain. It is available through Dublin Vitality Center.

Email: Dublin Vitality Center, Blanchardstown Village, Dublin 15 Telephone: 018201602 Mobile 087 694 4553

Put your breast foot forward for the Women’s Mini-Marathon As thousands of women across Ireland get set to take part in the annual Women’s mini-marathon on Monday 1st June, Shock Absorber is encouraging them to ensure they have the right sports bra, just as they would invest in a good quality pair of trainers. While women run, jog or walk the 10km course past many Dublin landmarks, the average female runners breasts will be taking their own journey and could travel up to a staggering 600-metres in bounce that is the equivalent of the Dublin Spire stacked end to end, more than five times! Not only this, but the average 36C breast weighs between 250–300 grammes, the weight of four bags of sugar! As the women bounce their way around the course on race day this weight must be

supported properly otherwise, research* has found, they will risk increasing the effects of gravity on their breasts. Regular exercise like running can put great strain on the breasts fragile support structure, which compromises the outer skin and a connective tissue known as the Coopers ligament. Excessive breast movement can cause the Coopers ligaments to stretch and lead to irreversible breast sag. Wearing a regular bra during exercise reduces breast bounce by an average of 38 per cent, however research* shows that wearing a Shock Absorber sports bra reduces breast bounce by up to 74 per cent, making it twice as effective as a normal bra.

Shock Absorber understands women and their exercise needs and are constantly researching and developing sports bras to fit both cup and back size, ensuring they deliver superior structure and the highest possible performance. Shock Absorber bras are available in a variety of styles, colours and support levels with a size range from 28-44” backs and A-HH cup. For sports such as running, Level 4 support is recommended. Shock Absorber sports bras are available through selected stockists in Dublin and countrywide. See for more information.

Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009 - 27


Swimsuit season looms – simple steps to help you look fab!

Dr. Muireann Cullen joined the Food and Drink sector of the Irish Business and Employer’s Confederation in January 2008, to manage the Nutrition and Health Foundation. She has a wide range of dietetic experience spanning research, clinical and private practice, regulatory, public health and industry. Muireann obtained a PhD in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from Trinity College Dublin in 2001. She is both a member of the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute and the Nutrition Society.

Author: Dr. Muireann Cullen

Until recently, we were well covered up - wearing the wool trousers and longsleeved blouses/shirts to work during the cool days of spring (and still are to a certain extent). Now, suddenly all the magazines have titles touting, "Get Your Beach Bum for Summer!" and "Five Simple Steps to a Bikini Body!" with swimwear clad slim and trim models smiling up at us approvingly from the front cover.

You may have tried several times before to lose weight, but without much longterm success. That’s no reason to feel bad about yourself — losing weight is not easy. No magic formula will trim away extra pounds and keep them off. Often fad diets involve omitting certain foods, and sometimes even entire food groups, which deprive the body of essential nutrients and energy. Remember, you can't get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs from any one food source. That’s why, over the long haul, fad diets are not the answer.

Quick Tip Sports Nutrition Tomato juice has more potassium than orange juice or a banana, and the salt in tomato juice can help keep an athlete with heavy sweat losses to stay better hydrated. 28 - Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009

Whilst an online members poll by showed that 52% never went on a fad diet, worryingly 48% have tried such diets with 25% stating they would try anything to lose weight. To lose weight slowly, safely and keep it off requires long-term changes in daily eating (having moderate portions and following the food pyramid) and exercise habits (increasing our level of activity). As a guideline, the faster you lose weight, the more likely you are to regain it. Many experts recommend a goal of losing only about a pound or two a week. A modest reduction of 500 calories per day will achieve this goal. In addition, exercising for a minimum of 30 minutes a day can help maintain weight lost. To increase weight loss you can increase your physical activity. Remember to drink plenty of water especially when physically active. Making sure you drink 8 glasses a day will help you look and feel better as well as helping to stave off the urge to snack as thirst is often mistaken for hunger.

Tips to prepare for the swimsuit season: 1.

Start your preparations now. Since it can take at least 4 to 6 weeks to see results from a diet and exercise plan, this gives you plenty of time to get ready for that swimsuit.


Incentive for success. If you decide to buy a new swimsuit, do it early before all the good ones are gone. This gives you the opportunity to find a suit that fits and flatters your shape. A great way to build your confidence. Balance is essential. Despite what quick-weight-loss diets and books may say, the only sensible way to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight permanently is to eat less and balance your food intake with physical activity. It takes time and hard work but is so worth it!


Plan your meals the night before, so that you know what and when you will be eating, especially on those busy days.

NUTRITION 1. A balanced diet is one that includes a variety of every food group. Please see the food pyramid below for further guidance. Remember that losing more than 2 lbs. per week can be detrimental to your health and the weight you lose in a "crash" tends to return quickly.

a. Check outside for what’s inside. Use the nutrition information per 100g to compare similar products or if in a rush, use the Guideline Daily Amount (GDA) label which can be found on the front of the pack to help you make your food choice. Guideline Daily Amounts (GDA’s) make it easier for people to select and enjoy a mix of foods suited to their individual needs. More and more food labels contain GDA’s so it is important that you can read, understand and use them to make informed choices about the foods to purchase. Looking at the percentages on the label can give you a quick idea of what percentage of your daily intake of fat, salt, sugar and calories are in one serving of the food. Food labels may be some of your best friends when managing your weight and diet.

c. Adults are recommended to take a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity a day, which includes a brisk walk, yoga, recreational swimming, carrying toddlers and climbing stairs fast. The good news is that the 30 minutes can be made up of bouts of 10 minutes or more - therefore you can work towards the 30 minutes even during your working day and lunch break. Every step counts. Include some toning to target your problem areas e.g. arms, tummy, thighs etc. 4. Get the look. If you prefer the tanned look, get a good 'spray on' tan, which looks great. Always use sunscreen. This way you can protect your skin from damage by the sun's ultraviolet rays. Enjoy your bronze skin but remember pale is beautiful and nothing to be ashamed of.

An example of a nutrition label Nutrition information Energy Protein Carbohydrates Of which sugars Fat Of which saturates Fibre Sodium

Per 100g 100kcal 24g 16g 8g 12g 4g

Per 25g

1g 0.4g

0.25g 0.1g

So get out there (in your new swimsuit), ignore the fads, stick to the basics and enjoy the beautiful weather safely with your family and friends!

Organisation: Nutrition and Health Foundation The Nutrition & Health Foundation has a multi-stakeholder approach to addressing the health challenges of our nation, by bringing together industry, government, state agencies, internationally recognised scientists, health professionals and other relevant stakeholders. It’s mission is to communicate evidence based information on nutrition, health and physical activity to encourage an improved and healthier society in Ireland.

An example of a GDA label Per 50g serving

25kcal 6g 4g 2g 3g 1g

Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009 - 29


The Healthy Irishman Gavan Murphy Chef Gavan Murphy began his culinary adventure at Ballymaloe Cookery School in 1994. In 2000 his journey took him to Los Angeles, where his interest in health and nutrition flourished, naturally merging with his cooking experience. Gavan has worked as a consulting chef for a multi-national sports nutrition company, as well as a personal chef to the stars, often working in conjunction with celebrity trainers. He created The Healthy Irishman with the hope of educating the public about healthy eating.

His Philosophy My philosophy for how one should achieve a healthy balanced diet is simply to fuel the body with wholesome natural foods. Your body needs constant refueling to maintain a high metabolism thus enabling the body to burn any excess body fat. To achieve this, I not only advocate but practice eating smaller portioned meals more frequently throughout the day. This keeps your energy levels at a constant and prevents cravings, which ultimately leads to over-indulgence. I don’t use the word “diet” in terms of losing weight; to me it’s a lifestyle that involves making healthy choices based on eating whole foods that are nutritious and delicious.

An Intelligent Diet How well you nourish your brain determines how well your brain performs. It has been proven that by eating the right food you can boost your IQ, improve your mood, be more emotionally stable, sharpen your memory, improve concentration and keep your mind young. Essentially, fats build your brain and proteins unite it. Carbohydrates fuel your brain and micronutrients defend it. So what should you be eating for a healthy brain? Since brains are around 60% fat, a steady diet of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids is crucial to a well-functioning, welloiled brain. These Omegas help keep the blood vessels of the brain stay clear of blockages and allow nerve cells to function at a high level. In layman’s terms, eating these keeps your brain moving and grooving. The goal is to consume more foods high in these omegas while avoiding foods with trans-fats, found in partially hydrogenated oils, margarine and shortening which clog up the system. That means cut out the chips and crisps and add avocados, fish and whole grains to your diet. Not to worry,

30 - Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009

by Gavan Murphy, The Healthy Irishman

you don’t have to look far to find good fats--your local supermarket has what you need to maintain your brain’s supply of fatty acids. Good dietary sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are high-fat, cold-water fish like wild salmon, sardines, mackerel, and trout. That’s why fish are called brain food. Flax seed oil, walnuts, sea vegetables, green leafy vegetables and kiwi are also great sources for Omega-3’s. Food sources of Omega-6’s include cold-pressed sunflower, safflower, corn and sesame oils. A great rule of thumb is to look for the label cold-pressed on oils and salad dressings or in the case of olive oil, extra virgin, ensuring you’re choosing the right omega rich supermarket products. Let’s break it down by our 3 staple meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner, starting of course with the most important meal of the day, breakfast. There are so many studies showing that fueling the brain with breakfast is important for thinking, acting and learning. This is crucial information for school children but let’s face it, all of us can benefit from eating a wholesome

breakfast before juggling our busy days. Good old-fashioned porridge is a perfect way to start the day. I like to pair mine with a few scrambled egg whites to get ample protein and carbs to keep me going. Energy and brain food in the same meal— no wonder I’m as smart as I am! (He says boldly!)

For lunch let’s try something different. Do you find you have trouble getting the kids to eat their veg? How about making a spinach soup? Those leafy greens are chock a block full of the good Omegas while meeting your daily need for a number of nutrients, including calcium, iron, folate and vitamin A. Researchers found that feeding aging laboratory animals spinach-rich diets significantly improved both their learning capacity and motor skills. Motor skills is what we Irish are known for aren’t we?


Spinach Soup Serves 3-4 1 leek (white part only) – ½ lengthwise, rough chop ½ white onion (1 cup) – chopped 2 large garlic cloves 2 tsp nutmeg 1 medium potato, peeled, chopped 1 bouquet garni (thyme, oregano, bayleaf) 3 x 9oz (250g) bags baby spinach 5 cups low-sodium chicken or veg broth 2 tbsp olive oil S&P Photo: Gavan Murphy,

Preheat soup pot on medium heat for 1 minute. Add olive oil and sauté leek, onion, garlic and nutmeg for 5 minutes, covered. Stir occasionally. NOTE: When pureeing hot liquids be very careful not Add broth, spinach and bouquet garni and bring to a boil, to over-fill the blender, as hot liquids will expand when uncovered. Reduce heat to low and add potato. Cook until blended. Use a kitchen towel to hold the lid down. tender, 15 –20 minutes approx. Once softened, remove herbs and blend in batches. Taste and season with S&P.

How to ‘Healthify Your Cooking’ Cooking and Nutrition: From my point of view as a chef, I promote cooking food that actually comes from the ground along with naturally raised meat, poultry and seafood. Some people associate cooking healthy food as boring and tasteless, but I’m here to show you how to cook tasty, easy to do, flavorful and most importantly, healthy food. Cooking changes the way food feels, looks, tastes and smells. Ever smell a fragrant aroma coming from the kitchen that puts a smile on your face? My goal is for you to enjoy eating and cooking healthy food and most importantly enjoy being healthy overall. Food is made up of 2 distinct types of nutrients: -protein, fat, carbohydrates and water -vitamins and minerals Remember the old saying, "You are what you eat?" It’s completely spot on. The body is built from all of the above nutrients and needs all of the above nutrients to function. That said here are my tips for bringing healthy back into the kitchen. Go easy on the butter. Butter is full of saturated fats. You’re better off replacing

butter with heart healthy olive oil, which has unsaturated fats. Your body doesn’t need saturated fats, bad cholesterol (LDL) or trans fats from food so keep these to a minimum. When eaten in moderation, monounsaturated fats (vegetable oils such as olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil and sesame oil and avocados, peanut butter, and many nuts and seeds) can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. Pick whole grains over refined ones. Oats, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, bulgar, & quinoa are all better choices than white rice and white flour pasta. You see, all grains start out as whole grains. In the fields, au natural, whole grains are the entire seed of a plant or "kernel", which is made up of three key parts: the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. Refining and processing these whole grains removes the bran and the germ, leaving only the endosperm. Without the bran and germ, about 25% of a grain’s protein is lost, along with at least seventeen key nutrients. Processors sometimes add back some vitamins and minerals to enrich refined grains, so refined products still

contribute some valuable nutrients. But overall whole grains are healthier, providing more protein, more fiber and many important vitamins and minerals. Makeover Tip: Substitute all-purpose floor in baked goods for whole wheat pastry flour, increases fiber by 4 times! Fiber is rapidly becoming known for its aid in keeping your appetite under control as it makes you feel full longer, and research has shown it also may help lower blood cholesterol. Limit dairy, toss the cream. Dairy is a good source of calcium but it also contains saturated fats. Cream is just full of fat. Try using skim milk in place of cream. By switching to a low-fat or better yet, fat free milk you’re significantly reducing your calorie and fat content by making this simple adjustment. When making things like mash, my favourite trick to get full flavour but less fat is to use low-sodium chicken or veg broth instead of butter or cream. You can zest up any meal such as this with fresh herbs and spices. (continued on next page)

Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009 - 31


Though we may not have the luck of the sun, we do have the luck of the ocean with access to superb Omega-3 rich fish such as mackerel, trout and wild salmon. For dinner let’s go with the wild salmon. It’s easy to get and you can eat it smoked, grilled, baked or stuffed. You can’t go wrong, especially since wild salmon can help do everything including improve your brain matter, your mood,

your synaptic connections, your arteries, reduce your risk of stroke and Dementia and Alzheimer's and much more. Sold! This recipe proves you don’t have to give up “creamy” foods. By making smarter choices in how you prepare them you can turn a full fat meal into a low fat healthy version.

Smoked Salmon Tagliatelle

Serves 4 ¾ lb (350g) Irish smoked salmon 8 ounces (225g) sugar snap peas – cut in half 16 oz (450g) low-fat crème fraiche 2 tbsp chopped chives 12 oz (350g) smoked salmon – cut into ¼” dice 8 oz (225g) dried Tagliatelle (I mixed spinach tagliatelle and regular for the extra benefits—told you I was smart) Squeeze fresh lemon juice 1 tbsp olive oil S&P Simply begin by sautéing the peas in 1 tbsp olive oil for 1 minute on medium low heat. Add in crème fraiche and warm gently, stirring. Do not boil or sauce will split. Just before serving add smoked salmon and warm gently, stirring to incorporate. Meanwhile cook pasta as per the instructions.

Photo: Gavan Murphy,

How to ‘Healthify Your Cooking’ Eat more fruit and veg. Vegetables and fruits are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber and they’re low in calories. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables in a variety of colours may help you not only control your weight and your blood pressure but will also provide a range of antioxidants and vitamins. Eating seasonal produce will ensure the freshest ingredients as will buying locally from your local farmers markets, which makes your choices “green”. Better for you, better for the environment. Choose lean cuts of meat and eat more seafood. Choose lean meats and poultry without skin and prepare them without added saturated and trans fat. Eat more fresh fish (I advocate wild vs. farmed).

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To serve, add fresh chives and cooked tagliatelle. Taste and season with S&P. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

(continued from previous page)

Recent research shows that eating oily fish containing omega-3 fatty acids (for example, salmon, trout, and herring) may help lower your risk of death from coronary artery disease. Shrimp, mussels, clams— they’re all great protein sources without all the fat. Ireland is a superb place for fresh seafood so tuck in! Just remember to prepare them the healthy way. Use less salt! You probably know someone who has to have salt on the dinner table, using it without even tasting the food first. This is wrong on so many levels, from the poor cook to the unhealthiness of the routine. Here in the States our dietary guidelines recommend consuming less the 2,300 mg daily, which is only 1 teaspoon of salt! One easy way to control your sodi-

um intake is to choose low-sodium canned products and broths. Bye, bye sugar. Whenever I need a sweetener for a recipe I don’t reach for the refined sugar, I reach for agave nectar, a natural sweetener extracted from the heart of the agave plant. This nectar does not contain processing chemicals and has a low glycemic index so it’s slowly absorbed into the body preventing spikes in blood sugar. Better yet, it’s 25% sweeter than sugar so you need to use less. Look for it in your local health food store. Now you’ve got the foundation (and some of my tricks) for healthy cooking.


Shop Local There’s a growing trend in the States and that is the rise of farmers’ markets, which I have to say is brilliant. In these metropolitan concrete cities we’ve all relied on the convenience of Supermarkets, which have everything you need under the sun. But I feel there’s something clinical about them and there’s something mysterious about them. This is especially true when it comes to purchasing meat and seafood. Let’s face it the word mysterious is not what you want when it comes to your food. I’m very picky as to where I shop and I ask a ton of questions to the man behind the counter. You have to be proactive if you want the best. When I was back home in Kerry last September I was summoned by the parents to get some steaks for dinner. Off I went to the local butcher. You bet I asked a ton of questions, more out of curiosity than anything else. Local butchers are definitely something I miss. My “local” butcher is about 30 miles away, not making him too accessible in Los Angeles traffic so I rely on Whole Foods quite a bit. What I miss about family butchers is the relationship you build over time, the quality and freshness of meat selection, trace-ability of product and the assortments of cuts available, all of which are second to none when you’re buying from a source who gets it from a local farm. What’s great about Irish butchers is that all the meat and produce have an origin board posted so you know exactly where it comes from, whether it’s local or exported. Brilliant. I had a lovely chat with Matt, the butcher, and sadly he was saying his family business may end with him. The hours are long and his kids aren’t interested in partaking in it let alone taking it over ensuring it stays in the family. The times have certainly changed. I suppose they do but I find local family butchers so special the mere idea of them dissipating is disappointing. It looks like the larger markets are winning. On the flipside, farmers’ markets are on the rise, not only State side but all over the world. We were happily surprised that our visit coincided with Irish Organic Week. Seeing the progress was great--but is it considered progress or going back to our roots? As a child we had a small garden in the back yard where we grew fresh herbs and the usual carrots, parsnips and potatoes. Either way, progress or roots, it’s brilliant. We tried a farmers’ market in Ballyseede outside Tralee. It was a bit smaller than I expected but it was grassroots at its best with fresh cheese, local veg and fresh bread, all organic. We were also able to take an organic farm walk at Ballymaloe, which

was amazing. After that we took a scenic drive down to Ballycotton where we saw the Ballycotton seafood van pull up and load the fresh caught fish. Now that’s what I’m talking about. It seems despite the difficult times, farmers’ markets are proving to be a busy place. Why is it so important to buy local? Local foods systems provide several advantages over conventional and global markets. Buying locally strengthens regional economies, supports family farms, provides delicious, "fresh-from-thefield" foods for consumers, preserves the local landscape, and can help foster a sense of community. Buying locally has also forced me to better understand the relationship between food and its season. The seasonality aspect also gives me reason to try new recipes and experiment with new ingredients and new ways to use seasonal fresh produce.

I came across a site for Ireland’s first dedicated Organic Supermarket, aptly named the Organic Supermarket, located on Main Street, Blackrock Co. Dublin. “The store is an Irish Owned, independent purveyor of fine organic food and wine. Every item stocked is certified organic and handpicked to the highest standard. The Organic Supermarket’s mission is to become the leading retailer of Organic and ethically traded products in Ireland, by providing ground breaking customer service, unique wholesome products, employee pride and environmental respect.” Sounds very much like my favored Whole Foods Market. Can’t tell you how great this is. If we all contribute to the slow food movement by buying from local purveyors, we’ll be feeding ourselves better and saving the environment.

Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009 - 33

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34 - Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009

NEWS & EVENTS Send News to:

Challenge yourself and challenge poverty with Oxfam TRAILTREKKER Four people. One goal: 100km in 30 hours Oxfam TRAILTREKKER is one of the world’s toughest team challenges and one of the most rewarding, as teams have to complete a 100km course within a time limit of 30 hours. And now this international event has arrived in Ireland for the first time. One of the first to sign up for the TRAILTREKKER challenge was Dr Mark Hamilton, presenter of RTE’s How Long Will You Live and BBC Radio 1’s Sunday Surgery. Mark is urging the public to follow his lead by registering for the event: “I’m really looking forward to lacing up my boots for TRAILTREKKER – it’s a great way to meet new people, to get out and to get fit, while helping others in the developing world. Step by step you can make change happen as the money you raise will fund Oxfam’s work all over the world and help make a real difference to people’s lives”. Grace O’Neill, Oxfam Ireland’s Community Events Manager, said: “Teams of four have to complete a challenge combining stamina and teamwork. But it’s not just a physical challenge, it’s a life-changing event: participants are also raising money to help overcome poverty and injustice around the world. For example, €2,000 would provide nourishing food for one month for more than 70 children orphaned by AIDS in Malawi, improving their health and well-being.” Oxfam TRAILTREKKER is already a global phenomenon, with Ireland on course to be the ninth country to host an event. The Irish TRAILTREKKER will take place from 26-27 September 2009, starting in Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor, Co Down and finishing in Carlingford, Co Louth. Participants will journey through 100km of undulating, rugged countryside, trekking together in their teams by day and by night.

Grace O’Neill added: “Along with the physical and mental challenge, TRAILTREKKER offers an opportunity to take in the dramatic cross-border scenery of the world famous Mourne Mountains, the Ring of Gullion and Tain Way, as well as the points of special archaeological interest along the way. Oxfam is delighted to have the event supported by both Newry & Mourne District Council and Louth County Council and hope that together we’ll recruit as many teams as possible!” Full event details are now available at the website: Registration for the event is just €200 per team and participants must also commit to

raising a minimum of €2,000 sponsorship per team. Oxfam Ireland is aiming to recruit 200 teams to take part in TRAILTREKKER 2009 and there will also be opportunities for those who don’t want to walk the 100km but would like to volunteer at the event. Everyone can have a part to play! For more information on how you can get involved, please email or call Oxfam on 01 6350406.

Happy Heart Weekend 2009 - May 14th - 16th

Caroline Moraghan, Keith Barry and Sara Kavanagh lending their support to the IHF and highlighting the importance of Bystander CPR at the launch of Happy Heart Weekend 2009 . (supported by Vodafone Ireland Foundation)

Join our network of volunteers and community fundraisers for our biggest annual fundraising event!

lifesaver and give them the skills and knowledge to give CPR in an emergency, like a cardiac arrest.

Raise vital funds for our CPR 4 Schools programme and help train each transition year student in the necessary skills of CPR. Turn 27,500 students into potential life-savers! Buy a Heart, Save a Life

Get Your Hearts! We are starting to distribute our hearts to our volunteers throughout the country! Distribution has been kindly provided by DPD Ireland, Ireland's premier parcel delivery company DPD parcel delivery

Get involved this May by volunteering or organising an event with your colleagues, friends and family. A donation of €25 can turn an ordinary To order hearts please ring Niamh on transition year student into a potential 01 6346909.

Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009 - 35


5 Things to Do for a Work/Life Balance

By Ellen Shilling

1 - Have clear boundaries between work and home 2 - Environment. Have a look around you, is your desk a mess? 3 - Get organised: Time management. 4 - Watch what you eat and drink 5 - Take up a hobby/ get fit.

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Learn to say no to tasks that will not lead you toward your major goals. d. Learn to file in the wastebasket! Throw out pieces of paper that are cluttering up your desk, chances are that once read, you will not look at them again. e. Develop a filing system. Have it simple yet effective so that anyone can follow it. Then they won’t have to phone you when you’re away on holidays! f. Determine when you’re most efficient. Are you a morning or afternoon person? It’s best to schedule your more difficult tasks for a time when you’re at your most creative. g. Take breaks. Even if it’s only for a few minutes, get away from your desk and have a walk around. h. Avoid interruptions. If you have your own office, keep the door closed when you’re very busy or when you’re at your most creative (see point f above). i. Keep a list of “5 minute tasks”. You can then do these if you have spare time between meetings or other gaps that appear in your workday.

Have clear boundaries between work and home. Leave work on time and don’t take it home with you. It’s too easy to be always available, to have the phone on or worse still, if you have a blackberry or iphone, you’ve constant access to your email. Turn it off once you leave the office. I know it can be difficult but it’s vital for you to be able to de-stress in the evenings and you won’t be able to do this if you’re checking voicemails, texts and emails. It’s also imperative to leave work on time. If you’re constantly working late, there is a significant likelihood that you’ll become less effective even though you’re spending more hours at work.


Environment. Have a look around you, is your desk a mess? Do you groan when you walk in and see your desk every morning? Are you overcome with calm as you notice this years holiday snaps on your partition? Or do you marvel at how your plant has blossomed overnight? It may sound over the top to you but your environment greatly effects how we feel and so how productive we are at work. Make this a positive space. You don’t have to have pictures of your partner all over the place or multiple cacti/ angels, just a few simple things that help you feel at home. Organise your mess as well so that you can easily find documents/ pens/ etc.


Get organised: Time management. Most of us spend 20-30% of our time looking for things showing the need for more organisation. Becoming more efficient users of time will give us more control over our lives and significantly reduce our stress. Simple tips for getting organised are: a.

Make a schedule and stick to it. Do the things you least like to do first thing in the day so that they’re not hanging over you. Then prioritise it. Mark the tasks that are absolutely necessary and those that are of lesser importance. Also add in some time for interruptions and unscheduled events. b. Write down ideas as they occur. Have a notepad and pen with you at all times, and on your nightstand.


Watch what you eat and drink. Cut down on coffee and increase your water intake. When your body is under stress so too is your mind. Review your diet and try to eat three good meals a day. Reduce your intake of sugar and processed foods and eat 5 fruit and vegetables a day. Take a full lunch time and get a walk in if you can.


Take up a hobby/ get fit. It’s so important to have a way of de-stressing your mind and your body. Whether that’s something like yoga, knitting or more taxing like running or going to the gym, do something. It will relax your mind and your body and help you to sleep better.

It’s the simple things that have the greatest effect, so give the these tips a go, I’d love to hear how you get on! To your success! Ellen Shilling BSc RMT ARCHTI Blog: Life & career coach, NLP Practitioner, TAT Professional

Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009 - 37


Getting a good night’s sleep by Catherine Connors-Bevalot

As a holistic therapist and Stress Consultant I always advise my clients of the importance of having a good night’s sleep, and not ‘just’ as a special treat every once in a while. But isn’t it amazing how just a few sleepless nights can truly affect us, both mentally and physically. At some stage in our lives we will suffer from sleep deprivation, for various reasons, such as having a baby, illness, stress, worries, external noise etc. This article will give a general view of sleep and some simple changes you can make in your life today that will enhance your nights sleep tomorrow.

hypothesized that sleep offers important restoration to the brain.

Why do we need to sleep? Like having a healthy diet and drinking water, sleep is so important to keep us healthy, mentally sharp and able to deal with stress more effectively. Sleep gives your body a chance to rest and allows it to prepare for the next day. Although scientists are still not entirely sure how ‘sleep’ works, nor are they sure that they understand all of the functions of sleep, however they have become convinced that sleep is necessary to survival. It has also been

When asked, how do you feel when you don’t get enough sleep? Michael Kane (35) of Bandon, Co. Cork, Ireland had this to say – “Generally I feel ok after an hour or so. Sometimes though, when I’ve had a run of sleepless nights, I can get a day of low concentration and high irritability”.

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The fact is most people do not get enough quality sleep. In order to get a more detailed idea of how we, in Ireland and the UK, are affected by sleep I set up an online survey with some basic questions and even I was surprised with some of the results. Out of all those that took the survey; only 12.7% felt they get enough sleep at night, 50.8% felt they did not get enough sleep and the rest said that from time to time they did get enough sleep.

WELLNESS Catherine Connors-Bevalot has been studying and practising holistic therapies and treatments for ten years. She is a Stress Management Consultant, Time-Management consultant and Holistic Therapist, Trainer & Teacher. She is based in both Paris, France and Tipperary, Ireland.

ents alike. Her treatments suit babies to children, the young to the old, the fit to the terminally ill and all others in between. Her workshops, seminars and treatments are becoming increasingly popular and all of these are carried out with great professionalism and complete care and attention of the client.

Her workshops and seminars are popular with businesses, health centres, adult learning centres, schools and private cli-

Sleep deprivation is a term used when we suffer from a lack of necessary sleep, and the effects of too little sleep are linked with:

Hypertension – High blood pressure Irritability, mood swings and emotional outbursts

KIDS!!! Biggest deprivers of sleep are my three young kids (all under 4). Problem is any one of them can wake us, and on bad nights we’ve all three of them up. A series of sleepless nights can result from teething or colds, etc. I can now cope brilliantly on one night’s lack of sleep (2-3 hours), but 2 or more in a row is much more difficult. Michael Kane (35) of Bandon, Co. Cork, Ireland

Slurred speech Tremors Increased risk of motor vehicle accidents because of slower reaction time (also falling asleep at the wheel) Increase in body mass index – a greater likelihood of obesity due to an increased appetite caused by sleep deprivation (its true folks)

To get the most benefit from your sleep why not try the following –

Increased risk of diabetes and heart problems

Going to bed a little earlier – I know that this is hard for most people and the late evening and night are perhaps the only time we get to ourselves all day. And a lot of people like to benefit from this by watching TV, catching up on emails, reading a book etc. But going to bed earlier (even by 30 mins) can have a big impact on us the next day

Increased risk for psychiatric conditions including depression and substance abuse Decreased ability to pay attention, react to signals or remember new information

“I would say I rarely get enough sleep although I am pretty used to this and it doesn’t affect my general mood, I am aware that if I relax in the evening (any time after about 6pm), I can easily fall asleep. Therefore I rarely get comfy on the sofa until 11 or 12, as I know I’ll start to drift off. I generally work on my PC, or sit in a more upright chair” Ian Lipman (43) of Ipswich, Suffolk, UK

So how much sleep do we really need? This is a common question and the general response is 8 hours. But in reality this is slightly different from person to person. Sleep needs vary depending on age, lifestyle and of course health. The average adult needs between 7 to 8.5 hours sleep per night. According to my survey, only 33.3% get this much sleep per night with most only averaging between 5 to 7 hours (61.9%) and shockingly the rest get less than 5 hours sleep per night. So how do we measure how much sleep we need to get, one trick is to start with 7 hours sleep per night increasing by 20mins each week until you find a time that works for you best.

“I’m ok in the mornings. I quite like the peace & quiet in the morning but I do feel shattered by about 9 pm, I’ve sometimes grabbed a quick nap in the afternoon in the office. Closed my door, put feet on the desk for “5 mins” and only woke up 3 hours later when got call to ask why I was late for a meeting” Frank Keogh (47) of Coventry, West Midlands, UK

Developing a sleep routine – try getting to bed and waking up around the same time every night and morning, this will stabilize your internal clock and you will find that your sleep pattern will improve. (This might be difficult for the first week or so) Try to create a ritual before going to bed, (having a bath/shower, brushing your teeth, reading a few pages of a book), your (continued overleaf)

Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009 - 39


mind will create a relationship with your sleep ritual and sleep so that by the time you slip between the sheets you will already feel sleepy.

“I always sleep with the small windows open and love a cool/cold pillow I turn the pillow over several times during the night” - Frank Keogh (47) of Coventry, West Midlands, UK

Bed is for sleeping – Many people have admitted to me while I was researching this article that they often bring their phones, computers, video games etc to bed with them and end up surfing on the internet or playing their games into the wee hours of the morning. This is not a good idea as these electronic gadgets will stimu- minutes or doing an hour of gardening can late your brain and make sleeping harder. do wonders.

Take a look at your sleeping conditions - Is your bed big enough to stretch and turn comfortably? If not then consider investing in a larger bed. Likewise for your mattress, you may need to shop around to find a mattress that feels right for you. Consider soft, cotton sheets and a warm duvet. Get into the habit of making your bed in the morning time, it’s always nice to get into a made bed as opposed to a crumpled mess left over from the morning. Change your sheets and pillowcases every week. Your bedroom should be clean and clutter free, turn the light off at night and make sure that you have heavy curtains that cuts the morning light.

Avoiding Alcohol, caffeine and smoking before you go to bed - Many people think that a little ‘nightcap’ will help them to sleep better; whereas it may help you fall asleep faster it does reduce your quality of sleep.

some merit to it. Try not to drink too much before bedtime though as your sleep will be disrupted with trips to the bathroom, in my survey 28.6% of people woke in the night because of ‘the call of nature’. Last drink should be about 3 hours before you go to bed.

Unless you do suffer from a serious sleep disorder, making some of these simple changes in your life can really help you have a better night’s sleep. Develop a Caffeine in general is a big NO before bed, good bedtime routine that suits your needs caffeine is a stimulant and trying to have a and stick to it, making these changes today restful night of sleep after a cup of coffee is can help to avoid problems in the future almost certainly doomed to failure. and nothing really beats the feeling of havNicotine also is a stimulant which disrupts ing had a great night’s sleep. sleep, and smokers should be aware that when you ‘have that last cig’ before bedtime your body will experience withdrawal Catherine Connors-Bevalot during the night waking you up and making it hard to sleep.

Exercise during the day - (not within the final 3 hours before bed), aside from the great health benefits, it does help by making it easier to fall asleep and to Try not to eat or drink too much have a more restful night. You don’t have before bedtime - Evening meal in general to start training for the Olympics either, should be light; carbohydrates are generally even just a brisk walk during the day for 20 good and also calcium. The old wives tale of a glass of milk before bedtime does have

My thanks to Frank Keogh, Ian Lipman and Michael Kane for contributing to this article; also I would like to extend a huge thanks to my followers on Twitter for taking my sleep survey.

Top Workout Tips Water. Be sure to hydrate throughout the day. It takes a couple of hours for your body to absorb the water, so you can’t just drink right before exercise. Make it a habit to drink water regularly throughout the day. Mix it up. Don’t stick to the same workout routine for too long, or your body will adjust to the stress level and you won’t be getting an effective workout. For strength training, change your routine every few weeks. For cardio, it’s best to cross train rather than, say, to run every time.

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15 Tips for Holiday Eating Without Weight Gain Are you one of those people who anticipate the holidays, but dread the "inevitable" holiday weight gain? Do your holidays revolve around eating even more than the presents, decorations, travel and company? Avoiding holiday weight gain and eating healthy during the holidays can be a real challenge unless you have a great strategy. These 15 holiday eating tips will help you avoid holiday weight gain and enjoy the season more while eating less.


It is easier to get distracted from signals of physical hunger and satiety at social gatherings, especially if food is the main event. Make an effort to pay close attention to your body's signals.


Be a food snob. Skip the store-bought goodies, the dried-out fudge and the so-so stuffing. If the food you select doesn't taste as good as you expected, stop eating it and choose something else. Think of how much less you'd eat if you only ate things that tasted fabulous!


Think of your appetite as an expense account. How much do you want to spend on appetizers or the entrĂŠe? Do you want to save some room for dessert? Go through this process mentally to avoid eating too much food and feeling uncomfortable for the rest of the evening.


Pace your eating prior to the event so you will be hungry but not famished at mealtime. But ignore the old diet advice of "eat before you go to a party so you won't be tempted." That is absurd! You want to be hungry enough to enjoy your favourites.

someone made it. Deal with Food Pushers with a polite but firm, "No thank you." If you're concerned about hurting their feelings, ask for the recipe or a small portion to take home with you for another meal.


It's common to have candy and snacks lying all over the place this time of year. Avoid indulging in food just because it's there. Grazing unconsciously will lead to many extra calories that you probably won't even remember enjoying.


Before having a cookie, a piece of fudge or other holiday treat that was laid in the break room, check your hunger scale. If you are hungry and you wish to choose a particular food to satisfy you, remember to sit down and eat it mindfully.


At restaurants, the portion sizes are usually huge - almost always "two for the price of one." Request appetizer portions, co-order and co-eat with your dining partner, or have the server package up your meal to go as soon as you feel satisfied. Remember, "super-size" is no bargain if you didn't need that much food in the first place!


Look for opportunities for physical activity - take a walk after dinner to enjoy the lights, take a few laps around the mall before it opens to do some window shopping or take guests to local attractions. Most importantly, delight all of your senses. Enjoy the company, the atmosphere, the entertainment, and the traditions as much, if not more, than the food.


Socialize away from the sight of the food. People who tend to overeat are "food suggestible" so just hanging around food causes them to eat more than they need.


Survey all of the food at a buffet before making your choices. Choose the foods that you really want most at that time and remind yourself that you can have the other foods at a later time.


If the food is so special, give it your full attention rather than eating on autopilot. Eat mindfully by reducing distractions and sitting down to eat - even if it's just a cookie. Appreciate the appearance and aroma of your food and savour one small bite at a time by putting your fork down. You'll eat less food but enjoy it more.


If the food doesn't taste as good as you expected, stop eating it and choose something else.


Since the duration of the meal tends to be extended at social events, you may need to have your plate taken away (or put your napkin on it) once you are satisfied to avoid nibbling unconsciously.


Be aware of the effects of alcohol on your food intake. And don't forget that many beverages contain calories too.


Be cautious of "obligatory eating" - avoid eating just because it is on the table, on your plate, because you paid for it, or because Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009 - 41


Investment Clubs by Ardle Culleton & Susan Hayes

An investment club is a group of between three and twenty people who pool their resources and invest together. In my experience as an Investment Club Coordinator, the idea is attractive for several reasons including people can combine their contributions to amass a larger sum to invest. They may also seek to achieve greater diversification and share costs. However, I have found that for the most part, people create or join investment clubs simply for the learning they glean from discussing ideas with like minded individuals. Investing in the stock market for the first time can be a daunting experience but by having the security of a club behind you can help you to take that step. Novice investors often don’t know where to start but if a group of people come together, their knowledge can coalesce into a plan of action.

A club takes shape as a selection of people interested in the stock market come together and decide on a Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary. The party open a bank account with the officers as signatories. They proceed to open a trading account and I would suggest an online facility to those who want to keep their costs down. Members then decide on how much they want to contribute. The group has a discussion on where to invest and the money is then put into the market. For more information on the mechanics of how this works, check out

42 - Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009

I acknowledge that not everybody will find the idea of shared decision making appealing but for those who may have been mulling the concept over, I have the following tips for you;

reap the gains when the good times return.

3. Share the roles and responsibilities. There is little point in one person assuming the role of Treasurer, for example, throughout the lifetime of the club. An officer will learn a huge amount in one term. If somebody intentionally avoids this or other roles, they are turning away the practical experience that had prevented them investing originally.

4. It is imperative that each member sets up a standing order with their name as a reference for their regular contribution. There could be up to twenty amounts arriving into the club’s account each period and it makes running the club much easier if it is clear who owns what.

1. Put clear guidelines in place regarding the dynamics of the club i.e. what happens if somebody defaults on their regular contributions, wants to leave the club etc. This is crucial as it can prevent several problems in the future if these issues are teased out at the beginning.

Finally, many of the people who have joined my clubs over the years have gone on to open and maintain their own individual accounts. This is testament that people do develop the confidence to invest independently as in the immortal words of Benjamin Franklin

“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” 2. Have a strategy to guide you through the stock picking decisions. 80% of clubs do NOT survive the test of time because the initial enthusiasm can dissipate after a while, particularly if the portfolio is down. By choosing a clear, defined approach that all members believe in, they will stick with it during down periods, so as to

Please e-mail me with any questions or comments and also, we at ILTB give presentations to groups of people interested in setting up an investment club – if you would like to talk to me about this, please contact me at


Dealing with Bereavement by Jim O Shea In my previous article I focused upon the many feelings associated with grief. My challenge to you was to allow those feelings and see them as your friends that help you to heal and to accept the loss you are enduring. In this article I would like to look at the other 3 grief reactions - physical sensations, thought and behaviours. Some of the most commonly experienced sensations are hollowness in the stomach, tightness in the chest, tightness in the throat, over-sensitivity to noise, breathlessness and shortness of breath, muscle weakness, lack of energy and a dry mouth. Psychosomatic symptoms are also physical in nature and include headaches, dizziness, skin rashes and colitis. Some of these can be quite frightening, and being aware that they stem from stress of grief lessons their physical impact. I recall being extremely frightened one evening in the early stages of my bereavement. I was having my tea and suddenly felt a tightening in my chest. I was convinced that I was about to have a heart attack. I was greatly relieved when the doctor told me that my chest muscles had tightened because of stress. This stress also caused the skin on my hands to peel off. Fatigue is another unpleasant side effect of grieving and for a long time I was extremely tired and dispirited. Nowadays we are all aware of what stress can do to us. The literature explains that stress suppresses the immune system and leaves us open to illnesses. The stress of bereavement can be extremely severe. Another grief reaction relates to our thoughts, and these influence how we feel. The main thoughts associated with normal grief are disbelief, confusion (lack of concentration), preoccupation (thinking about the dead person. Such thoughts can be very intrusive if there had been conflict in the relationship), sense of presence (deceased watching over the survivor) and hallucinations (which can be visual or auditory). Disbelief is one of the main grief reactions, especially when the death is sudden. I could not believe it that my child had been killed. He had been at Mass with us

that morning and now was on a mortuary slab, never to be with us again. How could this happen to me? Unbelieveable. I recall going into a shop for the first time a week after his death. I carried my dark inner world and my disbelief with me. My wife’s disbelief was so intense that for a year she listened for the door to open at 4.30, when our child normally returned from school. I also suffered from confusion, lacked concentration, felt disoriented, and frequently it was dangerous for me to drive. There were times when I had to pull in my car and try to recall where I was going. Finally there is the reality of certain behaviours following bereavement. These include sleep disturbance, appetite disturbance, social withdrawal, dreams about the deceased, avoiding reminders of the deceased, searching and calling out, sighing, restless over activity, crying, visiting places and carrying objects that remind the survivor of the deceased and treasuring objects that belong to the deceased. I experienced most of these. One of the most difficult was being very restless. I remember one Sunday when I felt unable to sit, walk, lie or stand. I could not get any relief and I felt that I would not get through that day. I finally visited a healing priest and managed to struggle on. It was a question of a minute at a time. To conclude - feelings, thoughts, physical sensations and behaviours are normal part of grieving. It is important to remember that the suppression of feelings can lead to depression, and depression can often be part of the grieving process. Some feelings are too difficult to face for a long time. Our thoughts, too can be morbid, and these contribute to depression. The Four Tasks of Mourning If grief refers to loss, mourning refers to the process that follows loss. It is often used interchangeably with grieving. most of the writers on grief explore what they call the circle of grief, which is a range of feelings that the survivor experiences, starting with disbelief and ending with acceptance. One excellent author, William Worden, gives another helpful perspective that might be useful for those that have suf-

fered losses. This involves 4 tasks of mourning - (1) to accept the reality of the loss, (2) to work through the pain of grief, (3) to adjust to an environment in which the deceased is missing and (4) to emotionally relocate the deceased and move on with life. I suppose, given the terrible pain of mourning, the word ‘task’ may sound a little harsh. So let us remember how painful it is for us to meet those tasks. In this article I will briefly look at the first two. The immediate task is to accept the reality of the loss. The mourner who fails in this will become stuck in the grieving process and will inevitably suffer anger and perhaps depression. Accepting the reality of the death of a loved one however, is not easy. We can convince ourselves that we have done so, but we must feel this acceptance. Acceptance is not a happy feeling, but is one of peace, where the anxiety and confusion, mentioned in another article, have dissolved. Very often there is denial, and this is seen by some psychologists as a temporary healthy reaction, and a buffer to cope with sudden death. My own acceptance of my sons death was immediate. I suffered the full crushing impact of the loss at once. However, I now realise that this was a biological and intellectual acceptance, rather than an emotional one. Emotional acceptance enables the survivor to properly grieve and move on. I mentioned above being stuck in the grieving process. This can sometimes be seen by people who turn the deceased?s room into a shrine. How often do we hear people say that they have not changed a deceased child?s room, but have left everything as it was. This is very understandable. Giving away possessions emphasises the finality of death, and it is only natural to postpone this. But, if it continues over a long time it is unhealthy grieving. I recall when we gave away our child?s clothes and toys. It was extremely painful. Other types of denial include minimising the loss, denying its irreversibility, selectively forgetting, resorting to spiritual-

Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009 - 43


ism and even irrationally searching for the deceased. Working through the pain of grief has already been dealt with in other articles. Some people try to avoid this by idealising the dead, using drugs or alcohol, or perhaps travelling to get some relief from their emotions. I brought my family with me to London in 1990 when my child was killed. My other son and I found work on a building site and my wife worked in a hospital. But my pain travelled with me. I carried it to my work each day. Grief is an inner tormenting ache, and we must carry it, and endure it, so that it will ultimately heal. I have already explored the first of these two tasks (to accept the reality of the loss and to work through the grief of pain). In this iss I will look at the other two - to adjust to an environment in which the deceased is missing, and to emotionally relocate the deceased and move on with life. Using the word ‘task’, as I have written in the last article, seems a bit harsh, but it does empower the bereaved person. It shows that he or she can do something to promote healing. Adjusting to life without the deceased means different things to different people. For example, the quality of adjustment made by widows depends upon many factors, such as the quality of her relationship with the deceased husband, the quality of their sexual relationship, if there are any children to be raised, and her previous role in the management of domestic finances. Bereaved parents have to cope with their own pain, but also possibly with that of their other children. I was very worried about how my children were coping, and I found their pain hard to bear. I felt powerless to help them.

stuck, and holding on to a past attachment to the extent of being unable to form other attachments. Doing this task means being able to preserve a realistic memory of the dead in a way that enables the survivor to live in a healthy and fulfilling manner. There was a time when survivors were advised to sever the bond and move on. But this interpretation has rightly been questioned in recent years. It is now accepted that the healthy resolution of grief involves a continuing bond with the deceased. When the theory of severing the bond was held by psychologists, the counselling offered was nothing short of brutal and abusive.

Other adjustments involve a new definition of oneself, even the development of self-esteem. The central question is ?who am I now??. There is also the question of spiritual adjustment, of finding meaning in the loss, regaining control and seeing the world as a benevolent place.

Some bereavement psychologists explore different ways of keeping in touch with the dead, and at the same time moving on. These include sensing the prescence of the dead, having a spiritual relationship with them, talking to them and using symbolic places and things associated with them. Although I did not know him, I pray to my paternal grandfather every day and sense that he is somehow looking after me. It is a very comforting thought. I also feel strongly emotionally attached to my child. Serenity has returned to my life, but there are times such as anniversaries, and at Christmas, when I experience deep grief pain. And so it will continue to be. And that is ok. It is part of normal grief.

The fourth task is to emotionally relocate the deceased and move on with life. This can be most difficult. It is the same as acceptance in the so-called wheel of grief. If the survivor is unable to complete this task, it means being emotionally

I once read a book by Judy Tatelbaum called ‘The Courage to Grieve’, which I found very helpful. It taught me what saying goodbye really meant. For long I was afraid to say goodbye to my child. Somehow I equated this to forget-

44 - Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009

ting him. As Tatelbaum says, saying goodbye simply means emotionally accepting my child?s death, and moving on. It means finding a place for the dead in our emotional life. This takes time. Indeed the maxim that people use, that time heals, is true. But we must allow it to heal, and in a later article I will look at what happens when we do not allow it to heal.

Jim O’Shea works as a counsellor from Furze, Thurles. Ph. 087 8211009 . JimO’Shea’s book ‘When a child dies. Footsteps of a Grieving Family’ is published by Veritas. The royalties from this book will go tosthe Children’s Hospital in Crumlin.


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GAA 125th Anniversary Calendar of events for 2009 (March - August) The 125th Anniversary of the GAA in 2009 provides an opportunity to reflect on what the GAA is all about – the promotion of Gaelic games, Irish culture and a sense of place and identity in each community. Clubs, schools and provinces will all have a part to play in celebrating this historic year for the Association. The Calendar of Events is a selection of commemorative events taking place throughout the year and each Province and County will also be celebrating the 125th year in their own way.

10 th May

Lá na gClub

Over 2,000 GAA clubs around the country will celebrate the Anniversary with games and commemorative events in their local communities.

16 th May

Michael Hogan Memorial Match

Gaelic Football match between Tipperary and Dublin and Hurling between Tipperary and Kilkenny in the former club

Grangemockler, Tipperary 19 th – 21st June

Féile na nGael, the national festival of Hurling, Camogie and Handball for boys and girls under 14 years of age, hosted by Laois and Offaly. Uachtarán na hÉireann will review the parade on 19th June.

Féile na nGael Laois/Offaly

6 th July

Áras an Uachtaráin

Uachtarán na hÉireann will host a Garden Party at Áras an Uachtarán.

9 – 14th August

Parnell Summer School

Week long summer school looking at the history and contemporary relevance of sport in Irish society organised by the Parnell Society.

Avondale House, Co. Wicklow August

Launch Exhibition,

46 - Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009


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3 New Street, Killaloe. Reduced to sell; Guide Price; €145,000 Lovely two bedroom semi-detached home, central to Killaloe with extra large long rear gardens. Double glazed windows, ample parking, plenty of room for expansion if required. Size; Approx. 700sq.ft. Superb opportunity to become a home owner with a good solid home in a reasonable price range

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Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009 - 49

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You are driving along and hear an ad that interests you

FREE ADVERTISING For a Year in Life and Fitness Magazine Directory of Services

Is it easier to remember "Call us now on 18506254162" Or "text wedding to 51101 standard rate text" ? Use keywords to get your message to people

Starting in next issue March ‘09

VALUE €5,000 Perfect for any business! For your chance to win this fantastic prize simply text LIFE HEALTH followed by your answer (A, B or C) to the following question to 57188 Q. Who won the All Ireland Hurling Championship in 2008? A. Kilkenny B. Dublin C. Kerry *

For details text: iword to 51101 standard rate text

The cost per entry is €1.50. Closing date for entries 10th June 2009. There is no cash alternative. Judges decision is final. For full terms and conditions contact Life and Fitness Magazine, Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary or email: Good Luck! *

Competition deadline extended due to misprint in previous issue Life and Fitness Magazine - May 2009 - 51

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Tel: 085 1 000 000 / 835 9007


Visit Our Website:

Life and Fitness Magazine Issue 3  

Life and Fitness Magazine is a new fitness and health magazine distributed through gyms, leisure centres and newsagents throughout Ireland....

Life and Fitness Magazine Issue 3  

Life and Fitness Magazine is a new fitness and health magazine distributed through gyms, leisure centres and newsagents throughout Ireland....