Page 1




November December 2009

ONLY €1.75 stg £1.50

Ireland’s No.1 Fitness Magazine



ear One Y


Gy m p ershi Memb

SWINE FLU Protect Yourself Alcohol Eats Away at Muscle Mass

Words of Fitness and Success Ways to Keep a GOOD Work/Life Balance through Exercise

What is a therapeutic vibrosaun? It is the latest health sensation from Australia! The Therapeutic Vibrosaun is a revolutionary body-conditioning system invented in Australia. It provides vibration massage and warmth in a soothing and relaxing environment, simulating the effect of exercising. The Therapeutic Vibrosaun is the result of a long and intensive study with a group of highly qualified people; a medical practitioner, a Chiropractor, an Osteopath, a Physiotherapist and a design engineer. It was the intent of this group to create a simple, economical and universal machine that would, as near as possible, simulate exercise without putting stress on the body. This has not only been achieved, but the benefits experienced by users of the Therapeutic Vibrosaun have been overwhelming.

matic pains cellulite reduction & promotes perspiration

lates kidney function help relieve tension and stress

"Having suffered for 12 years with arthritis, I found the Vibrosaun a fantastic relief from the rigours of everyday life." Mary from Kilkenny

How does it work? Designed to be controlled from within by the user, the Therapeutic Vibrosaun provides massage vibration and warmth in a soothing and relaxing environment that includes appropriate music and cool negative ion charged air to keep the head cool. The vibration of the padded bed relaxes the muscles whilst the introduction of the dry heat dilutes the blood vessels. This in turn, increases the blood flow to peripheral muscles and soft tissues, improving the exchange of oxygen and other nutrients as well as improving the elimination of body wastes. The body cells also use oxygen to burn carbohydrates, and then burn up fat cells. A healthier body must result! The Therapeutic Vibrosaun is designed to be used alone or in conjunction with existing hands on therapies. Therapists using this technology have found that after treatment with the Therapeutic Vibrosaun the muscles are relaxed and pliable. This allows physical treatments to produce better results in shorter times, improving the efficacy of treatment.

What are the benefits? Therapeutic Vibrosaun provides the benefits of a sauna without the costly installation and running costs and with added therapeutic massage. Some of the many benefits experienced by users are:

BEAT the Recession blues - Relax while you exercise? Miraculously slimming, toning and detoxifying while your body is lulled into relaxation by gentle waves of warm, dry heat and rhythmic movement, more comfortable than a sauna and with personal privacy, the Therapeutic Vibrosaun combines the health benefits of massage and sauna without the costly installation and maintenance!

Invented in Australia and used in health and fitness clubs, weight loss clinics, chiropractors, physiotherapists, beauty salons, sports clinics, hotels, spas and homes in several countries world wide – now also in Ireland and UK! Therapeutic Vibrosaun is a self contained unit (no specialist installation needed) with low running costs (runs from an ordinary socket). The unit is clean and hygienic requiring only disinfection between clients. If you have 7ft X 6ft free space, you have space for a Vibrosaun! Available for sale or rent.... Delivery, installation and full back up service provided. For viewing or appointment: call 052 6128657 For sales and further information: Call 086 6036995 or 0871317018 Email

2 - Life and Fitness Magazine - November/December 2009


Fitness White House Fitness Consultant Joins Life and Fitness Magazine

Editors Note Welcome to our November/December issue of Life and Fitness Magazine. We’ve got loads of articles to help you achieve your fitness goals and start the New Year more motivated than ever. Christmas time is almost upon us and many of the best plans for exercising and eating healthily are abandoned at this time of year. You don’t have to be a complete ‘bah humbug’ to continue with your routine, or indeed begin a new one. We’ve got some useful articles inside which offer sound advice and easy to implement strategies to ensure you don’t overdo it and undo all the good work you’ve done throughout the year. The H1N1 virus (swine flu) is now fairly widespread. Inside you will find an informative article with advice on how to protect yourself from colds and flu and be better equipped to fight the virus if you do become infected. We have great pleasure in announcing the addition of Ted Vickey as a contributing editor to Life and Fitness. Ted is the former Executive Director of The White House Athletic Center under the Bush, Clinton and Bush administrations. Ted brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the team. A new newsletter is being launched by us and subscribers have a great chance to win some fantastic prizes. See page 34 for more details. On behalf of the team here and all our contributors I would like to wish you all a fit and happy Christmas and a healthy New Year. Yours in Fitness, Derry O Donnell

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.

One of the America’s top fitness management consultants, Ted Vickey has joined the editorial team of Life and Fitness Magazine Ireland. Ted is the former Executive Director of the White House Athletic Center under the Bush, Clinton and George W Bush administrations. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the American Council on Exercise. He joins the team of Life and Fitness as a contributing editor, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to the magazine. Life and Fitness is Ireland’s leading healthy lifestyle magazine and is the first in the country to be distributed free through gyms and leisure centres nationwide. It contains articles on fitness, health, weight loss, nutrition and wellness from some of the country’s leading experts. The bi-monthly publication also offers regular email newsletters to subscribers, containing up to date news and developments in the health and fitness industry. Derry O Donnell, publisher and editor said “We are absolutely delighted to have someone with Ted’s credentials join the team. He is very highly regarded in the fitness industry in the US. Ted has also written a number of fitness related books along with articles for several US and International publications. His expertise will be a great addition to us.” Ted said “I am pleased to be part of the Life and Fitness magazine team. Derry has some great things planned for the magazine and the readers and I am happy to be part of his journey. Fitness is one of my passions, so this opportunity is a natural fit.” Ted contributed to the magazine earlier this year with articles on golf fitness. The upcoming November issue of Life and Fitness Magazine will include a number of articles written by him on fitness and exercise. Ted is President of FitWell LLC, a fitness consulting company to small businesses, corporations and the golf industry. Clients have included the White House Athletic Center, The US Department of Commerce, Osram Sylvania, Fruit of the Loom and Eastern Mountain Sports. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the American Council on Exercise and founder of serving the fitness needs of golfers worldwide. Ted received his Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sport Science from Penn State, a Master’s degree in International Entrepreneurship Management from the University of Limerick and has been an ACE Personal Trainer since 1992. Over his career, Ted has helped thousands of people achieve their goal of better health through better fitness The American Council on Exercise® (ACE) is a nonprofit organization committed to enriching quality of life through safe and effective exercise and physical activity. As America’s Authority on Fitness, ACE protects all segments of society against ineffective fitness products, programs and trends through its ongoing public education, outreach and research. ACE further protects the public by setting certification and continuing education standards for fitness professionals. Founded in 1985, today ACE is one of the largest fitness certification, education and training organizations in the world. They currently have more than 55,000 certified fitness professionals in 107 countries. ACE certification, continuing education and training are among the most respected in the fitness industry. For a copy of this press release email: Life and Fitness Magazine - November/December 2009 - 3

Life and Fitness Magazine Contents May 2009 p. 6 p. 8 p. 10 p. 11 p. 12 p. 13 p. 14 p. 16

p. 17 Super Foods - Super You p. 18 Dreaming of a Light Christmas p. 19 Before You Start an Exercising p. 24 Making Time for Exercise p. 27 When is best time to exercise Alcohol eats away at Muscle Mass p. 28 Self Defense Reality Based Training p. 30 p. 32 A Walk a Day

to Hit Get Ready

Get ready for the slopes Protects yourself from Colds & Flu 7 ways work/life balance exercise tips The words of fitness & success Travel - Australia Christmas survival tips Healthy Recipe - Irish Stew Dealing with Bereavement

s The Slope p 17

Your Fitness Goals don’t have to be insurmountable

Win a years free membership in a gym of your choice see p. 34 for details “Have the dogged determination to follow through to achieve your goal; regardless of circumstances or whatever other people say, think, or do.” - Paul J. Meyer 4 - Life and Fitness Magazine -November/December 2009

Life and Fitness Magazine now available for digital download go to

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.

Meet some of our Contributors One of the America’s top fitness management consultants, Ted is the former Executive Director of the White House Athletic Center under the Bush, Clinton and Bush administrations now living in Ireland. He is President of FitWell LLC, a fitness consulting company to small businesses, corporations and the golf industry. Clients have included the White House Athletic Center, The US Department of Commerce, Osram Sylvania, Fruit of the Loom and Eastern Mountain Sports. He is a member of the Board of Director for the American

Council on Exercise and founder of serving the fitness needs of golfers worldwide. Ted received his Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sport Science from Penn State, a Master’s degree in International Entrepreneurship Management from the University of Limerick and has been an ACE Personal Trainer since 1992.Over his career, Ted has helped thousands of people achieve their goal of better health through better fitness. Visit or www.myFitnessCaddy for more information.

Elaine Rogers BA, MLBCAI, MIITD, Dip ICT is a qualified Business Coach and Trainer. She works with SMEs, Multinationals and Government departments. Following an early career in Finance and Credit Control, she studied to become an IT Specialist. As well as her extensive Training and Development experience, Elaine holds a

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.

Suzanne Laurie is a Nutritional Therapist and Director of Studies at the Institute of Health Sciences (IHS). IHS run industry recognised and accredited nutrition training courses from general interest to full practitioner training level.

BA in Computers and Mathematics from UCC and Diploma in Training and Development from the IITD. She also holds the JEB Diploma in ICT Skills and is a qualified Microsoft Train the Trainer. Elaine has recently undertaken a fitness regime and took on the challenge of integrating her new program into her day.

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 - November/December 2009 - 5


Super Foods – Super You! By Suzanne Laurie We all know that improving our diet can improve our health, helping us look and feel better. However an abundance of new research is demonstrating that with minimum effort we can make a good diet ‘really’ good simply by munching on specific ‘super foods’ on a daily basis. These foods are packed with nutrients powerful enough to increase physical performance, lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, and, for an added bonus, put you in a better mood. Surprisingly, many of these foods are old favourites that are available right in your local supermarket and green grocers and are easily incorporated into delicious meals.

Energy Foods To ensure a spring in your step from morning until evening it is vital that your diet is packed with foods high in the B vitamins, such as oats, brown rice, mushrooms, pulses, lean meats, liver, sunflower seeds and Brewer’s yeast. That's because compounds in B vitamins are vital for helping us release energy from our foods, by breaking down carbohydrates, fats and protein into energy and other v ital chemicals to keep us going. They also help our nervous systems cope with stress, one of the major causes of fatigue. Many common problems such as fatigue, irritability and poor concentration can be signs of a deficiency, as we cannot store these vitamins in the body so they need constantly supplying by our diet.

Fitness Foods For those wishing to keep active it is vital that your muscles can keep up with your desire to stay fit. Magnesium is a hugely important nutrient for muscle function and for helping minimise and relieve painful and debilitating cramps. Tucking into green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, pulses and whole grains both before and after exercise can minimise muscle pain or cramping. Antioxidants are also vital to help minimise the ageing effects of the free radicals generated by intense aerobic exercise Your joints work hard during exercise so it is no surprise that they can get creaky and stiff as you age. However a diet rich in particular fruits and vegetables can

6 - Life and Fitness Magazine - November/December 2009

help increase flexibility and prevent aching joints, as their natural plant compounds can protect against damage and reduce inflammation. Foods especially beneficial are those containing nutrients called flavonoids, such as cherries, blackberries and strawberries. Also important are sulphurcontaining foods, such as onions, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage. Ginger also contains anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. Ginger root can be chopped into stir-fries, porridge and stews to add a delicious zing, or sliced up and put in hot water to make a tea.

Brain Power Foods Your brain is the greediest organ in your body. So it is not surprising that what you eat can affect how you think. Brains are around 60 percent fat, so the essential omega-3 and 6 fats found in oily fish (such as salmon and mackerel), seeds, and vegetable cooking oils are some of the best brain food. Unfortunately fats are easily damaged so your brain needs constantly protecting by nutrients called antioxidants. High levels of some antioxidants are found in the foods mentioned above but vitamin C, found in peppers, green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, strawberries and papaya is particularly good at protecting the brain.

Feel good Foods There are certain foods that can be termed 'feel good' foods (and we don't mean chocolate cake!). These contain a substance called tryptophan, which produces the brain chemical serotonin. Serotonin levels have a direct effect on mood and behaviour. If levels get too low, the imbalance can result in anxiety and depression. The best way to keep that balance is to eat tryptophan rich foods. Chicken, turkey, eggs, avocados, and soya all help to boost the production of serotonin. And the great news? Chocolate also triggers the release of feel good chemicals called endorphins – but keep it dark and eat sparingly to avoid post binge blues!


Immune System foods Garlic is one of the best known natural antibiotics and can be used for preventing everything from the common cold to gastrointestinal infections. It is the compound called allicin it contains that is thought to deliver its medicinal properties. Unfortunately it is also responsible for garlic’s characteristic odour! Allicin exhibits its strongest effects when eaten raw but alternatively can be added to dishes towards the end of cooking if preferred. Other great antibiotics include cloves, thyme and manuka honey. When it comes to a diet rich in cancer-fighting substances, most experts agree that it should be predominantly plantbased. This is due to the high levels of cancer fighting phytonutrients found only in plants. These substances are antioxidants and help protect the body from potent free radical toxins. Free radicals attack all cells of the body and can cause them to mutate into cancer cells. The best sources include highly coloured fruits and vegetables particularly pomegranates, blueberries and goji berries. The ever popular green tea is also an antioxidant powerhouse.

Suzanne Laurie is a Nutritional Therapist and Director of Studies at the Institute of Health Sciences (IHS). IHS run industry recognised and accredited nutrition training courses from general interest to full practitioner training level. Tel: +353 (0) 90 974 9929


Life and Fitness Magazine - November/December 2009 - 7


Dreaming Of A Light Christmas By Bryan Kavanagh

The question I get asked most frequently on a yearly basis is ‘How do I keep the weight off over the Christmas’. The truth of the matter and the answer people don’t like to hear is ‘don’t eat so much’. That doesn’t usually go down too well. When I sat down and thought about it, the odds really are stacked against people over the holidays. Excess food and inactivity is everywhere to be seen and I soon realised that it really isn’t anybody’s fault. December is almost an excuse to gain a few pounds and go off the rails a bit. I’ve decided to take a different approach and write

Then we have Christmas time. Personally I used to dread it. It’s sickening when you think about it! You have worked hard all year, looked great on the beach during the Summer, you resisted the ‘trick or treating’ and wore that revealing Halloween outfit with pride and now comes Christmas!

this article especially for those people who fall victim to the festive season. The main purpose of this article is help people realise that gaining weight and making a mess of themselves every Christmas is not a necessity. You can enjoy the festive season and still lose weight/ maintain your current weight simultaneously. Other holidays are not as bad, you can avoid the Easter chocolate rush easily and even if you don’t, it’s only one day and not that much damage can be done in such a small timeframe. Halloween is also only one day and all you have to do is avoid the trick or treats!

be hungry! Below I have some nutritional strategies that will help you get through the Christmas without ruining your progress. Who knows…you might even get leaner this Christmas!

snacks through the day that may add up to 1000’s of calories!

Nutritional Strategies For The Festive Season!

Gaining that extra holiday weight Limit the amount of cheat meal leaves you at an immediate disadfoods in your house over Christmas is different! You are vantage in the new year. There is a way Christmas! If you are going to expected to put on weight! to enjoy the holidays and still stay in shape have a cheat meal you should ‘Why?’ You ask; it is engineered and that is to start a fitness and nutrition only buy enough food for one that way! Gyms are closed, cake program before the holidays. Don’t make cheat meal at a time. Try not to and treats are available in abunthe same mistake everybody does and keep cheat meal foods stocked dance! You’re not working, your at home. I know this is hard over wait until January, then its kids have their selection boxes lying Christmas but be strong! At least too late. around just waiting to be stolen.

What do you do? Give in and sit in the corner with your cake and chocolate and big gluttonous Christmas dinners. That’s not a typo, I mean dinners; plural. You can’t just have ‘a’ dinner anymore on Christmas. No, you have dinner, then a big slab of ice cream, then some chocolates and then an hour later you make a turkey sandwich out of the leftovers and follow it up with some more chocolates. Come on, you couldn’t possibly still

Ok so you’re still wondering ‘How do I beat the Christmas bulge?’ Well it really is simple! Write it all down! You see logging what you eat will make you aware of the amount of food you are taking in! It’s ok to eat and forget but if you document what you are eating and write down the time you last ate, when your next meal is due you will not eat nearly as much! Align your eating plans through the days that you are only allowed a meal every 3-4 hours! I know it’s not ideal but it’s realistic and you could save yourself 3-4

8 - Life and Fitness Magazine - November/December 2009

minimise the amount of junk you have around the house. We all know there will be plenty of selection boxes and chocolates around the place to resist! Why make it harder!?

'Light' Christmas Tips 1) If you buy it you will eat it, so only buy enough for the couple of days the shopping centres are closed. People stock up on sweets


and chocolate over the holiday period and then feel obliged to eat them. “Once you pop you can’t stop”. 2) Help set the table and make your self useful. That way you aren’t sitting at the table nibbling at everything as it gets put on front of you! 3) Skip the bread. Leave it there! You don’t need or want these ridiculously empty calories! 4) Eat Slowly! It takes 20 minutes for your bodies satiety mechanism to kick in! let your body tell you that

you are full before you cram another 500 kcals in your face!

days. That way you have no choice but not to drink alcohol.

5) Delay your dessert! If you delay dessert you give your bodies satiety mechanism a chance to kick in! i.e. you feel too full to eat the dessert! Try it. . . it works!

Gaining that extra holiday weight leaves you at an immediate disadvantage in the new year. There is a way to enjoy the holidays and still stay in shape and that is to start a fitness and nutrition program before the holidays. Don’t make the same mistake everybody does and wait until January, then its too late.

6) Don’t drink wine with your meal. And if you do, have it halfway through the meal, as you will not really want it! 7) Make yourself the designated driver at least once over the holi-

If you delay dessert you give your bodies satiety mechanism a chance to kick in! i.e. you feel too full to eat the dessert!

Personal Training Bryan Kavanagh is the owner of and ‘Athletic Body Personal Training’ in Temple Bar, Dublin. Co author of Athletic Body System and Athlete Physique. For more tips on how to stay fit during the holidays, visit Bryan’s website to download your free Meal Planner and get access to his weekly newsletter in which you will receive the latest fitness and weight loss tips.

€50 Voucher To: Expires 31/12/2009

From: Log on to:

Lose that weight before Christmas, don’t add to it. For more information call/text or email Bryan. His contact information is available on his website.

Life and Fitness Magazine - November/December 2009 - 9


Before You Start an Exercise Program One of the many questions I am asked as a fitness professional is the best way to start an exercise program. You may be a beginner to exercise or a weekend athlete – the answer to the question remains the same. Before you start an exercise program, there are a few questions to ask yourself to determine whether you should see your GP first. Question Yourself Your first step is to ask yourself how active you want to be. This may sound like a silly question—you’re probably planning on doing whatever you’re capable of, whether that’s a slow walk around the block or a vigorous step class. But if you’re of a certain age or have certain cardiovascular risk factors, you may need to see your physician before beginning a program that involves vigorous (as opposed to moderate) aerobic activity. Here’s how exercise intensities are typically defined: Low-to-Moderate This is an intensity that can be sustained relatively comfortably for a long period of time (about 60 minutes). This type of exercise typically begins slowly, progresses gradually and usually isn’t competitive in nature.

By Ted Vickey

you’re unsure if this applies to you, check with your GP. More Questions Now that you’ve made it through the first questions, there are a few more to answer. A “yes” to any one of the following questions means you should talk with your GP, by phone or in person, before you start an exercise program. Explain which questions you answered ‘’yes’’ to and the activities you are planning to pursue. • Have you been told that you have a heart condition and should only participate in physical activity recommended by a doctor? • Do you feel pain (or discomfort) in your chest when you do physical activity? When you are not participating in physical activity? While at rest, do you frequently experience fast, irregular heartbeats or very slow beats? • Do you ever become dizzy and lose your balance, or lose consciousness? Have you fallen more than twice in the past year (no matter what the reason)? • Do you have a bone or joint problem that could worsen as a result of physical activity? • Do you have pain in your legs or buttocks when you walk? • Do you take blood pressure or heart medications? • Do you have any cuts or wounds on your feet that don’t seem to heal? • Have you experienced unexplained weight loss in the past six months? • Are you aware of any reason why you should not participate in physical activity?

Vigorous This is an intensity that is high enough to significantly raise both your heart and breathing rates, and is usually performed for about 20 minutes before fatigue sets in.

If you answered “no” to all of these questions, and you passed the first round of questions, you can be reasonably sure that you can safely take part in at least a moderate-intensity physical-activity program.

Are you planning to participate in vigorous activities and are a man over 45 or a woman over 55? You should receive a medical exam first. The same is true for individuals of any age with two or more coronary artery disease risk factors. If

But again, if you are a man over 45 or a woman over 55 and want to exercise more vigorously, you should check with your physician before getting started.

10 - Life and Fitness Magazine - November/December 2009

So, are you ready? If you are, but are unsure of how to get started, consider contacting a certified Personal Trainer or joining a reputable fitness facility. By taking the time to evaluate if you are ready to start exercising, you’ve planted yourself firmly on the path to better health and fitness. ________________________________

Additional Resource American Heart Association’s Scientific Position on Physical Activity: www.american American Council on Exercise: myFitnessCaddy: Parts of this article were reproduced with the permission of the American Council on Exercise.

One of the America’s top fitness management consultants, Ted is the former Executive Director of the White House Athletic Center under the Bush, Clinton and Bush administrations now living in Ireland. He is President of FitWell LLC, a fitness consulting company to small businesses, corporations and the golf industry. Clients have included the White House Athletic Center, The US Department of Commerce, Osram Sylvania, Fruit of the Loom and Eastern Mountain Sports. He is a member of the Board of Director for the American Council on Exercise and founder of serving the fitness needs of golfers worldwide. Ted received his Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sport Science from Penn State, a Master’s degree in International Entrepreneurship Management from the University of Limerick and has been an ACE Personal Trainer since 1992. Over his career, Ted has helped thousands of people achieve their goal of better health through better fitness. Visit or www.myFitnessCaddy for more information.


Making Time for Exercise is Easy

By Ted Vickey

By now you know that exercise is good for you, and that you should do something on a regular basis. What’s the best time for you to exercise?

The good thing about aerobic activity is that it includes many of the sports you probably already enjoy. Walking, biking, hiking, dancing, swimming and even soccer are all examples of aerobic exercise.

Any time. Honestly.

For example, when you’re sitting and watching TV, stretch your muscles. Never stretch so hard it hurts. Instead, stretch to the point of mild tension and hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.

A healthy exercise program includes three kinds of exercise: 1. Aerobic activity 2. Muscular conditioning

Another good thing is that you can easily accomplish those three 10-minute sessions with things like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking around the neighbourhood after work or parking your car farther away from your destination. You could even turn shopping into an aerobic activity. Shopping involves walking, so don’t stop for 10 minutes straight and you’ve worked in one of your daily sessions!

3. Flexibility exercise

You can start your exercise program without investing in any elaborate equipment. For example, you can do simple body-weight exercises at home or at your desk at work, including sit-ups, pushups and pull-ups.

For basic strength-training exercises, expensive weight-lifting equipment isn’t required. Instead, head for the kitchen and pick up the soup cans you have in the cupboard or the milk jug from the fridge.

Aerobic Activity Can Be Fun Aerobic activity is defined as prolonged continuous movement of large muscle groups. Translated, that means “do something that keeps you moving.” Ideally, do it for 30 minutes straight. If you don’t have that much time, three 10-minute aerobic activity sessions will benefit you almost as much.

Aerobic exercise is definitely good for cardiovascular health and fitness. And here’s something else you’ll like: Aerobic activity can help you lose weight.

the office. Get rid of the day’s stress by fitting in an exercise session after work.

Whatever time you choose, make sure you stick with it, as establishing a routine will help you adhere to the program. For some people, it’s easier to stay with an exercise program when you do it with a friend or coworker.

Make Time to Stay Healthy Plenty of Good Exercise All Around the House If you do housework or yard work, you’re doing yourself a favour. The stretching and lifting that housework entails is good exercise. So is work you do outside. Yard work uses many muscle groups, especially activities like planting and working in the garden. Raking uses your arm and back muscles. Digging gives your arms and legs a workout. And gardening provides a bonus: You’ll have more fresh vegetables and fruits to add to your diet. Is one time better than another to exercise? It’s really up to you. You can exercise in the morning, afternoon or evening. Lunch breaks offer an excellent opportunity to get out of the office and exercise. Use your coffee break to take a short walk around

Exercise is one of the best things you can do for yourself. If you’re basically healthy, get going right now. If you’re a man 45 or older, or a woman 55 or older, or have any health problems, consult your GP first.

Additional Resource American Heart Association’s Scientific Position on Physical Activity: www.american American Council



myFitnessCaddy: Parts of this article were reproduced with the permission of the American Council on Exercise.

Life and Fitness Magazine - November/December 2009 - 11


The Best Time to Exercise By Ted Vickey

Morning or Evening? Contrary to popular belief, women aren’t the only ones with biological clocks. Everyone has them, and we all heed their ticking on a daily basis.

Other Considerations If stress relief is your goal, exercise always works, all the time. And if you’re wondering when it’s best to train for an upcoming event, it all depends on what time you’ll actually be competing. If an upcoming marathon begins at 7:00 a.m., try training at that time of day.

If you are a regular exerciser, you may have already determined your most productive time to exercise and follow a routine that works best for you. On the other hand, if your exercise time varies from day to day, and it’s wearing you out instead of pumping you up, you may be interested in the work of scientists who are studying the proverbial internal clock and how to best determine what time of day you should schedule your workouts.

Though training at any time of day will raise performance levels, research has shown that the ability to maintain sustained exercise is adaptive to circadian rhythms. In other words, consistently training in the morning will allow you to sustain exercise during a morning marathon longer than if you train in the evening.

Rhythm: It’s Not Just for Dancing The secret appears to lie in circadian rhythms, the daily cycles that the human body follows. These rhythms originate in the hypothalamus and regulate everything from body temperature and metabolism to blood pressure.

ceived exertion is low, reaction time is quicker, strength is at its peak and resting heart rate and blood pressure are low.

Body The rhythms result from the firing rate of temperature is at its lowneurons. They have conformed to the 24est about one to three hours hour light-to-dark cycle, and may be regubefore most of us wake up in the lated and re-regulated each day according morning, in contrast to late afterto the environment. noon when body temperature reaches its peak. Warm Is Better

It is the influence of circadian rhythms on body temperature that seems to yield the most control over the quality of a workout. When body temperature is at its highest, your workouts will likely be more productive; when your temperature is low, chances are your exercise session may be less than optimal.

Don’t Fix It If It’s Not Broken

Find Your Peak To determine your own circadian peak in body temperature, record your temperature every couple of hours for five to six consecutive days. Body temperature usually fluctuates by plus or minus 1.5 degrees throughout the day. Try exercising during the period three hours before and after your highest temperature. If you are an early bird or a night owl, you may notice that your temperature peaks one to two hours before or after the norm (between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.); you can adjust your exercise time accordingly.

First of all, don’t change your schedule if you feel good beginning your day with exercise. Everyone agrees that exercise at any time is better than no exercise at all. In fact, people who exercise in the morning Additional Resources are more successful at making it a habit.

Body temperature is at its lowest about one to three hours before most of us wake up in the morning, in contrast to late afternoon when body temperature reaches its peak.

And, though it has been suggested that morning exercise may put some people at higher risk for heart attack, further research indicates that there is simply a generalized increased risk of heart attacks in the morning. If your schedule favours an Studies have consistently shown that exer- early workout, emphasize stretching and a cise during these late-in-the-day hours pro- good warm-up to ensure that your body is duces better performance and more power. ready for action. Muscles are warm and more flexible, per-

12 - Life and Fitness Magazine - November/December 2009

WebMD: tm American Council on Exercise: myFitnessCaddy: Parts of this article were reproduced with the permission of the American Council on Exercise


Alcohol Eats Away at Muscle Mass By Ted Vickey

Bad news for fans of alcoholic beverages. If increasing muscle mass is one of your goals, then think twice before you go out for a night of heavy drinking. Consuming alcohol in large quantities has a direct effect on your metabolism, causing fat to be stored instead of being utilized as an energy source. Alcohol contains seven “empty” calories per gram, meaning that these calories don’t provide you with any of the essential nutrients you need to build that muscle mass you desire. Effects of Excessive Alcohol Consumption on Your Body Muscles—Reduces blood flow to the muscles, causing weakness and deterioration Hormones—Reduces testosterone in your blood and increases conversion of testosterone to estrogen, causing increased fat depositing and fluid retention Liver—Creates imbalances that can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), fatty liver and hyperlipidemia (build-up of fats in the bloodstream) Brain—Cuts off the supply of oxygen to the brain, resulting in a “blackout” caused by a lack of oxygen supply to the brain that can kill tens of thousands of brain cells

Effects of Excessive Alcohol Consumption on Physical Performance Alcohol is a known depressant that suppresses the brain’s ability to function. Even though you may feel a “high” after several cocktails, the truth is that your reaction time, accuracy, balance, hand-eye coordination and endurance all decrease dramatically. Furthermore, the after-effects of a night of excessive drinking can be detrimental to your fitness goals. Alcohol is a diuretic that may result in dehydration. This dehydration is known to

decrease physical performance, so that previous night of drinking will continue to affect you the following day. Alcohol and Sleep Alcohol consumption can cause sleep disorders by disrupting the sequence and duration of sleep states and by altering total sleep time and the time required to fall asleep. It is popularly believed that a drink before bedtime can help a person fall asleep. However, alcohol’s effect on sleep patterns results in increased fatigue and physical stress to the body. Therefore, alcohol consumption indirectly affects a person’s strength-training ability due to increased fatigue and a lack of healthy reparative sleep. Alcohol and Nutrition Alcohol inhibits the breakdown of nutrients into usable substances by decreasing the secretion of digestive enzymes from the pancreas. Regular alcohol consumption also impairs nutrient absorption by damaging the cells lining the stomach and intestines and disabling transport of some nutrients into the blood. In addition, nutritional deficiencies themselves may lead to further absorption problems. For example, folate deficiency alters the cells lining the small intestine, which in turn impairs the absorption of water and nutrients, including glucose, sodium and additional folate. Such interference of nutrient breakdown and absorption may impair the physical performance and recovery required to build and maintain muscle mass.

Safe in Moderation Now that you know some of the negative effects of excessive alcohol consumption, you might be scared to have that glass of wine with dinner. Don’t be. When alcohol is consumed in moderation (no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men), it has been shown to have some positive effects: Increased HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol) within one to two weeks Reduced stress levels Reduced insulin sensitivity The Take-home Message In conclusion, if you want to increase muscle mass, decrease fat or improve general health, make sure alcohol is only consumed in moderation. Next time you are asked to go out socially, be the designated driver. Not only will your friends appreciate it and be much safer, but you will be one step closer to your fitness goals. Additional Resources National Institutes of Health—Alcohol Consumption: National Strength & Conditioning Association— Alcohol Consumption and its Effect on Performance: American Council on Exercise: myFitnessCaddy: Parts of this article were reproduced with the permission of the American Council on Exercise

Putting on the Stones Many people under the influence experience “drunk munchies” that can result in the consumption of several hundred extra calories for the day. A study examining how alcohol affects caloric intake found that subjects who drank wine with their lunch consumed an additional 200 calories and did not compensate for those calories by cutting back at dinner.

Calories Add Up Fast 12 ounces of beer = ~150 calories 5 ounces of wine = ~100 calories 1.5-ounces of distilled spirits = ~100 calories

Life and Fitness Magazine - November/December 2009 - 13


Self Defence

Primary Survival signals - Intuition By Aidan Carroll

In this month’s self defence feature we will take a closer look at one of our primary survival signalsIntuition. The following is a true story. Names have been changed for confidentiality. Tina is a 36 year old single mother from Dublin. We first met two years ago, when she contacted me by phone enquiring

Tina: The first time I was aware of him was when he smiled at me from the bar. It was a Friday night and myself and a few friends dropped into our local for a few drinks. I can initially remember thinking to myself that he looked very attractive. To be honest I was probably looking at him more than he was looking at me. I approached the bar about 15 minutes after our eyes first met. I was standing within arms length of him. He looked at me again from the reflection in the mirror over the bar; again we smiled at each other. As I waited to be served he turned and asked how I was doing? “I am grand” I said, “and yourself?”. “I am doing great”, he said, “but your not having much luck ordering your drinks”. He offered to order them for me, and immediately gestured to the barman to catch his eye. I said no, I don’t mind waiting to be served, but he insisted that he wanted to help me get my order. It was as he gestured with his hand to the barman that I first noticed what looked like DIY tattoos on the inside of his left forearm. Tina continues by telling me that she doesn’t have a problem with tattoos, but these tattoos didn’t seem right on such a clean cut man she explains.

I didn’t give it much thought, and we continued with small talk for a minute or two. I glanced over at my friends, who were giggling like school girls, believing that I may have found a man after 3 years of being single! As we conversed something told me that I no longer wanted to be in this mans company. I thanked him, and he looked surprised but remained very calm as I made my way back to my seat.

My friends looked even more surprised, but not so calm when I told them that I wanted to leave and move onto another pub. What’s

about our self defence classes. She had being doing some research on the Internet when she came across our website . One word on our class section prompted Tina to call me. The heading read “Understanding adrenaline and intuition our main survival signals”. It was the word intuition that was the link for myself and Tina to meet. The next day I invited her to drop by my office to discuss the matter in more detail.

wrong? Are you mad? He’s gorgeous! I don’t know why, but I didn’t want to stay in that pub any longer. The man was very polite, at no point did he make a pass at me or say or do anything inappropriate, I just wanted out. To this day I don’t know why, but I do know that it was the right decision.

I reminded Tina that she called me, because she believes that what she had experienced was gut feelings. I asked her to think about that night in more detail, and when she did – it all became very clear to her.

Tina: The barman John AC (Aidan Carroll): What about him? Tina: Well, I know him well, and it was the way John looked at this man, he seemed bothered by the way he beckoned him over to order drinks. In fact he was a little uneasy with the guy. Its not like John, he is normally very jovial. I suppose I was surprised to see how John reacted to this guy. In hindsight it was bit domineering how he called John over. That’s when I noticed the DIY tattoos. AC: Tell me about his body language? Tina: What do mean?

As she thinks back she explains that she did notice him looking at most of the other women in the bar. In fact it was more like he was leering, “but I guess I didn’t pay much attention to it because he was so attractive. And it was obvious that many women in the room thought the same”.

AC: Tell me about his posture, how he sat, how close or how far away from you was he? Did he make any hand gestures that come to mind? Did he cover his mouth as you made small talk with him? Were his legs open or crossed? Were his arms folded? Were there any body language signals that you felt were inappropriate? Tina: I can’t believe you mentioned that.

But I am not sure why I reacted the way I did, she explains- Tina wants me to tell her why her intuition made her leave that mans company, but I will not tell her, she will tell me. As I was leaving he offered his hand for me to shake, which I did. I can remember thinking how strong his grip was. “But that didn’t make you leave his company” I tell her. “You had already decided that you wanted to get away from this man within seconds of meeting him, so take me back again”. She pauses to think…”I don’t know she says, I really don’t”. “Yes you do”, I replied, “otherwise you wouldn’t be sitting in my office today”.

It is important in this situation that the client tells me, I will give them the map (so to speak) but they must tell me- so that they get a real understanding of these feelings.

14 - Life and Fitness Magazine - November/December 2009

AC: Why? Tina: {Pause} because I distinctly remember one of my friends saying that he looked very keen to get to know me. My friends had noticed that when he turned to talk to me that his legs were very wide apart, and that he shifted his bar stool to get closer to me. The other thing I remember was his handshake- it was very powerful, and that it seemed different than a normal handshake. AC: How do you mean- different? Tina: Well I noticed that when he took my hand he turned his over so that his hand was facing palm down, which gave my wrist a little twist. It just seemed odd. AC: Anything else you can recall? Tina: Now that I think of it. I remember that his leg, (I am not sure which one) was jump-

FITNESS The Messengers of Intuition: Nagging feelings - Persistent thoughts - Wonder - Gut feelings - Anxiety - Curiosity - Doubt - Hesitation - Apprehension - Fear

ing up and down. He had his feet on a bar that sat near the base of his stool, and I remember thinking he must be nervous, because of his leg movement. I often get the same feeling when waiting at the dentists for a filling (laughs). Tina was experiencing the early warning signals of sinister intention –namely (in this case) Intuition.

Over the past 20 years of teaching people self defence many people who have been attacked tell me that it happened “out of the blue” or “he came at me from out of nowhere” This is often said to me during the part of my class that deals with predicting human behaviour. When it is said, it is done to give the person some solace, by believing that the attack came out of the blue, the student doesn’t feel so vulnerable. But of course no attack occurs – out of the blue. Every day we predict human behaviour.

We unconsciously read untaught signals: the slight tilt of a person’s head in traffic will tell us it’s ok to pull out into traffic. We can predict with great accuracy how someone will react to a question, how a child will react to a warning, how an audience will react to a horror movie. And yet predicting violent behaviour is easier than all of these.

Tina’s friends tried (thankfully unsuccessfully) to convince her that she was just being paranoid, and that he seemed like a really nice guy. But Tina knew better. It is my belief that a woman’s intuition is stronger than a man’s. By this I mean that a woman will see the dangers signs from a man, quicker than a man will.

I always explain to my students we can learn so much about true self protection by studying animals. No animal would react to adrenaline release or intuition in the same manner as the majority of humans do. No animal (when faced with fear) will waste time thinking… “It’s probably nothing”, yet as humans we seek validity for those feelings. If someone walks past us two or three times as we walk home, we tell ourselves – he must be lost, or if a guy at the bar insists on buying you a drink, even after you categorically told him you didn’t want him to buy you drink, we continue to convince ourselves they have no sinister intention.

In contrast to every other creature on God’s earth, we chose to ignore these survival signals. A victim can unknowingly fall into the predator’s trap, by telling herself “But he seemed like such a lovely man” As much as we don’t like to admit it – we do judge a book by the cover.

The marketing experts make us believe that we need their products by enticing us with decorative packing and we fall for it hook, line and sinker! The same applies to predators who will often wear many disguises. If a man approaches you at bus stop, and engages you in some small talk about bus time-tables, you may not feel uneasy if he is dressed in a sharp suit and tie, if he is well spoken and carrying a brief case- but how would you feel if the same questions were asked by the same man wearing a tracksuit, and t-shirt (revealing his arms with DIY tattoos) sovereign rings, and wearing a baseball cap? Different I bet.

Picture the scene: Your on your way back to your car after some late night shopping, you are cautious because there is no one else in the car park as you approach with your shopping. You have a quick look around before you reach into your handbag for your keys. As you load your bags into the boot, you hear a voice in the distance” Excuse me Miss, can I help you with them bags?” Immediately your feel adrenaline hitting your stomach, as you ask yourself….where the hell did he come from? In a second you assess him- well dressed, middle aged, smiling face, also carrying shopping bags. You tell yourself in an instant that your initial feelings of fear were unwarranted.

You tell him you’re fine and that you can manage, and thank him. But he persists as he says those bags look quite heavy- be careful you don’t strain your back. As he speaks he is walking towards you, within seconds this stranger is at the boot of your car helping you with the bags. Now ask yourself a question Do you think this man is a predator or just being a Good Samaritan? Of course some of you will argue that it’s impossible to say, but I disagree. What I can tell you is that there is definitely sinister intention in his behaviour. Like the guy at the bar with Tina, this man displayed some definite pre-cursors of bad intention.

I often use this scenario in my self defence classes. When I ask the men in the group if they would offer to help a woman in the same situation? -some say yes, others say no. This is not surprising, some men may just genuinely want to help, but when the group of men are asked would they continue to offer help even after the woman has said ‘No I am fine thank you, I can manage’ all agree they would walk away.

The lesson to be learnt here is that the man offering help refused to hear the word NO.

We will all have experienced this at some time in our lives, but hopefully with no sinister intentions. You may have been asked out for a drink at the end of the week with some work colleagues, but don’t feel up to it. You politely decline his/her offer, but they refuse to hear it and insist that you must come. Of course there may be no sinister intention with the offer, but you can be sure there will be a dominant personality.

The signals that Tina had noticed were delivered by one of human natures primal instincts- Intuition. Unfortunately another lady failed to listen to her intuition and was viscously raped by the same man.

The Messengers of Intuition: Nagging feelings - Persistent thoughts Wonder - Gut feelings - Anxiety - Curiosity Doubt - Hesitation - Apprehension - Fear The first messenger from Tina intuition was gut feeling. The majority of street crime is preceded by a victim selection process. More complicated crimes, such as a prolonged sexual assault, require that a series of specific conditions be met. Our body language, the setting and circumstance are all part of the victim selection process- in other words you can influence them. In the next issue I will address simple methods that can be used everyday to make yourself a Hard Target.

Aidan Carroll is the founder of Hard Target Self Defence Systems

For more information on upcoming self defence classes and courses visit

Life and Fitness Magazine - November/December 2009 - 15


A Walk A Day The popularity of walking as a fitness activity is growing by leaps and bounds. Low risk and easy to start, walking has proved its health benefits in numerous studies. A classic eight-year study of 13,000 people conducted at the Institute for Aerobics Research under the direction of Dr. Steven Blair found that those who walked the equivalent of

30 minutes a day had a significantly lower risk of premature death than those who rarely exercised.

A regular walking program can help:

By Ted Vickey

Get Moving

Beginning walkers can make their workouts less strenuous by limiting how fast and far they walk. Keep the following in mind:

• Walk short distances—Begin with a five-minute stroll and gradually increase your distance. • Forget about speed—Walk at a comfortable pace. Focus on good posture, keeping your head lifted and shoulders relaxed. • Swing your arms naturally—

• Reduce blood cholesterol • Lower blood pressure • Increase cardiovascular endurance • Boost bone strength • Burn calories and keep weight down

A walking program is simple to start. All you need are comfortable clothes and shoes. It is a good idea to layer loose clothing, keeping in mind that exercise elevates the body’s temperature. Shoes specifically designed for walking are your best option.

Every workout should begin with a brief warm-up and a few simple stretches. Walk around the house or in place for a few minutes to get the blood flowing to the muscles before you attempt to stretch them. Although walking primarily works the major muscles of the legs, don’t forget to stretch your back, shoulders and arms. This will help to loosen up any tension you may be carrying and make your walk more enjoyable, as well as more effective.

great way to tone the legs. Concentrate on lengthening your stride or increasing your speed. And don’t forget to reward yourself after each workout with a few minutes of relaxing stretches to help prevent sore muscles. Listening to lively music while you walk is also a great way to energize your workout. But if you wear headphones, keep the volume down and watch out for traffic that you may not hear.

Keep track of your progress. Many experts recommend that you walk a minimum of 30 minutes a day, but there are no hard and fast rules. Fit walking into your schedule whenever you can. That may mean three 10minute walks each day, or even hour-long walks two to three times a week. The best schedule is one that keeps you walking and keeps you fit!

Breathe deeply. If you can’t catch your breath, slow down or avoid hills. • Be sure that you can talk while walking—If you can’t converse, you are walking too fast.

Additional Resources American Heart Association: WebMD—The Basics: Walking for Fitness and Fun:

Get Fit!

Walking is one fitness activity that allows you numerous options. Once you have reached a point where you can walk a few miles with relative ease, you can start to vary the intensity. Walking hills, in addition to increasing your cardiovascular endurance, is a

16 - Life and Fitness Magazine - November/December 2009

Mayo Clinic—Walking for Fitness: www.mayo Parts of this article were reproduced with the permission of the American Council on Exercise


Get Ready To Hit The Slopes By Ted Vickey You don’t have to wait for the snow to start falling to get ready for ski season. Start your training now and you’ll be sailing past those other ski bums on your way down the mountain. Dusting the competition or showing off to friends are not the only reasons to get in shape before ski season. Skiing is an activity that involves a variety of elements: strength, endurance, balance and coordination. Hit the slopes without developing these components and you may be in for more than a little embarrassment—you might even hurt yourself.

Sport-specific Training This is where sport-specific training comes in. Generally speaking, sportspecific training programs involve focusing on the various skills associated with a particular activity. Depending on the sport, this may include health-related fitness components such as cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength and endurance, and flexibility. A sport-specific program may also take into account skill-related measures of fitness such as agility, balance, coordination, power, speed and reaction time. Most sports require a mixture of these components. Skiing is a sport that relies heavily on skill-related fitness. A traditional fitness program, which includes a combination of weight training and cardiovascular exercise, will only take you so far. A training program to develop specific skills for skiing will take you from the peaks to the valleys in record time.

of music for exercise and silence for rest periods.

Get Ready to Ski There are several ways to begin a sportspecific training program. The simplest way is to add several new exercises to your regular workout schedule. For example, performing wall sits that require you to “sit” against a wall will help build up the isometric strength needed for the tuck position in skiing. Squats and lunges will build lowerbody strength for skiing tough terrain like moguls. Exercises such as crunches to work your abdominals are essential in creating a solid “core” for balance and agility. It is important to train your body to withstand and absorb the impact associated with skiing. Plyometric movements, such as hopping from side to side, develop muscle power and strength as well as improve agility.

Set Up Your Own Ski Circuit A great way to integrate these elements into your existing routine is to create a circuit-training program, which involves rapidly moving from one exercise to the next. You can set up a circuit in any large room, or as part of a group at your club’s aerobic studio.

Try these stations to help you gear up for the slopes. Use the slide for lateral training, perform one-legged squats to develop balance and strength and use a step-bench platform to improve power. Try catching a bean bag as it drops off your forearm to improve reaction times or bounce two balls to improve coordination. To improve agility, create your own slalom by running between cones. In sport-specific training, you are limited only by your imagination.

Additional Resources American Council on Exercise: ACE (Sep/Oct 2006). 3 moves to get you ready for ski and snowboard season. ACE FitnessMatters, 12, 5, 6. American Council on Exercise: Nottingham, S. (Oct/Nov 2004). Conditioning and injury prevention for snowboarding. ACE Certified News, 10, 6, 8–11. ness.htm Parts of this article were reproduced with the permission of the American Council on Exercise

Be sure and place all of your stations before beginning your workout so you don’t have to stop in the middle. Set a specific time limit for each exercise, as well as a set break period between each station. Thirty seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest is a common interval period. Then, simply turn up the music and make your way around the circuit. You might even want to create your own music tape with timed intervals

Life and Fitness Magazine - November/December 2009 - 17


Protect yourself from Colds and Flu By Catherine Connors-Bevalot We all know the feeling of catching a cold or flu; we have all had one at some point. But then on June 11th 2009 the World Health Organization signalled that a global pandemic of a new influenza virus was underway by raising the worldwide pandemic alert level to ‘Level 6’. That new influenza is called the H1N1 Flu or more commonly called ‘Swine Flu’ (also referred to as Hog flu or pig flu) and suddenly we all had something new to worry about. Swine flu is a new strand of flu virus that originated in Mexico at the beginning of 2009, Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs and like all flu viruses it changes constantly. Pigs can be infected by Bird flu and human viruses as well as swine flu, when viruses from different species infect pigs, the virus can change (for example swap genes) and ‘voila’ a brand new flu virus that’s a mix of swine, human and/or bird can emerge. When you read all that it sounds very scary but remember that pigs have been getting sick as long as humans have been, the classical swine flu virus (type A H1N1 virus) was first isolated from a pig in 1930. In fact there have been other outbreaks since that time; the most well-known was an outbreak of swine flu among soldiers in Fort Dix, New Jersey in 1976. Five hundred soldiers caught the flu but only one soldier died; a young 19 year old recruit by the name of David Lewis. Because of close physical contact within a stressed human population in crowded facilities during the winter meant that the flu virus basically had a field day going from one to human to another. Again in September 1988 having visited a pig exhibition at a country fair a healthy 32 year old pregnant woman became sick and died 8 days in later in hospital, swine flu was detected. Even though others that visited the same fair also caught the virus they all showed only mild symptoms. Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans, however it does occur and mostly with those that are in direct contact with pigs such as those who raise pigs, workers in the swine industry or even people who make contact with pigs at an open fair or market. Once you catch the virus you spread it as you would any cold or flu virus, by coughing and sneezing for example or

18 - Life and Fitness Magazine - November/December 2009

by touching something with flu virus on it (like a door handle, telephone etc) then touching your mouth or nose. Since the pandemic was declared the virus has continued to spread at an alarming rate and at this stage it’s wiser to assume that ‘Swine Flu’ is here to stay, so what can we do to minimize our risk of catching the virus and how do we keep our families’ virus free this autumn and winter? Some of the following suggestions and advice will help to do just that, but please note that this article should not replace medical attention, should you or someone in your family start feeling unwell please seek the advice of a your GP or medical professional immediately. The symptoms of Swine Flu are expected to be quite similar to the symptoms of regular human seasonal flu. Although not everyone gets all these symptoms and in many cases the virus is quite mild. Swine flu can include the following symptoms – •

Fever of 38 C or 100.4 F that begins very suddenly

Lethargy / Severe tiredness

Lack of appetite

Coughing and sneezing

Runny nose

Sore throat


Vomiting and Diarrhoea


Muscle aches and pains

On average 30% to 40% of us suffer from allergies, a lot of us have very stressful lifestyles, poor dietary habits and even the normal aging process can make it harder to fights off infections and viruses. So what can we do to stay healthy? Well one area is to look at is boosting your immune systems strength and function. Your immune system is really the bodies defence against viruses and

HEALTH “Stay in good health so that your body is in the best possible position to fight off any virus, bacteria or any other invader that might come your way”

invading pathogens. Your can boost your immune system in the following way –

not counting all the benefits for your body, your heart and your lungs; exercise is a great stress buster.

will be rich in fruits and vegetables (at least 7 servings per day), try to get into the habit of eating as much raw and unprocessed fruit and vegetables as possible. Instead of frying your food, grill it. Make an effort to eat one well prepared meal per day.

– some key nutrients such as vitamin C and Zinc support skin and health, Folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12 help the body produce huge amounts of immune support cells, and antioxidants such as vitamin E, beta carotene and selenium help keep the immune system’s destructive by-products in check. You can buy these at your local chemist, have a chat with your pharmacist and he/she will recommend a good multivitamin suited for you. Also health shops now have a good range of herbal capsules that can help in boosting your health.

you can also buy filtering jugs now that are also good. (and note I said water, not tea, coffee, soft drinks or pints down the local) The body needs on average 8 glasses of water a day, get in the habit of having a small bottle of water with you all the time, once its there you’ll find yourself drinking it all the time.

wellbeing; adults should be aiming for 7 to 8 hours of sleep at night. Depriving your body of sleep can deplete the immune system and also is one of the causes of stress.

the gym, even by getting out and tackling the garden is a good form of exercise. The important thing is that your move your body; try to aim for 30 mins a day,

of the sun trigger your body’s production of vitamin D. The benefits of vitamin D include promoting the absorption of calcium and phosphorus by your body, which is important to the development and maintenance of strong bones and teeth. Other important benefits include strengthening your immune system and even preventing some types of cancer. Certain foods are considered great immune system boosters and some of the best include the following –

continued overleaf Life and Fitness Magazine - November/December 2009 - 19


Protect yourself from Colds and Flu Beef – Lean beef is a good source of Zinc, which plays a role in the production of white blood cells and can spur rapid cell division. When I suggest beef for a meal, I’m not talking about a 24oz beef steak complete with fat, fried to a charcoal finish and served up with a plate of fries and a swimming pool amount of ketchup, but 3ozs of lean beef eaten with lightly steamed vegetables for example. Garlic – is a good source of Phytochemicals, people who eat diets rich in Phytochemicals have a lower incidence of heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer. Our body uses it as an antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial. It’s now possible to buy Garlic capsules from most Chemists and Health food shops if you cannot find a way to introduce garlic into your meals.

Green Tea – contains a Phytochemical called Polyphenols which the body uses to help keep cells healthy. Green tea can also help for anyone with a sore throat. Yogurt – is a good source of Lactobacillus acidophilus, a healthy bacterial that fights fungal infections. Our body uses it to build protein which helps to develop white blood cells. It also is a great aid for anyone suffering from a Yeast infection; eating ‘live’ yogurt regularly will help to balance the bacterial level of your body. Ways to minimize your chances of picking up the virus to passing the virus along –

Spinach – a wonderful food source for folate (and not just for the cartoon character ‘Popeye’). Folate is important in the production of new cells, also includes a phytochemical called quercetin, that helps prevent many viruses from multiplying. Oranges – a good source of Vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals. Our body uses Vitamin C to stimulate the growth of antibodies to fight infections and therefore Vitamin C is one of the best vitamins in the fight against colds and flu. Blueberries – a great source of Vitamin C and E which produces a potent antioxidant effects when working together. Blueberries are the best friends for anyone who suffers with urinary tract infections as blueberries will increase the acidity of the urine which helps to destroy bacteria. Mushrooms – Shiitake mushrooms are the best and are a great source of B vitamins known as Niacin and Riboflavin. Our body uses these vitamins to boost production of white blood cells. When preparing mushrooms, try steaming them or lightly grilling them as opposed to frying them.

tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the rubbish bin when you are finished using it, get children into this habit also. If you have no tissue then sneeze into your elbow, don’t use your hands, everything you touch after will leave traces of the flu virus. Flu virus can live up to two hours after been left on a surface.

can with soap and water (and not a half hearted effort by just running water over your hands as I have seen countless times), especially after coming in from the outside, having used public transport or public bathrooms, after coughing and sneezing, wiping the children’s noses, after touching animals etc. Also Alcohol-based hand cleaners are very effective. It’s always handy to have a bottle of hand cleaner or hand cleaning wipes in your handbag, car, by your desk or in your pocket.

clean every once in a while using some anti-bacterial wipes, areas to concentrate on are the keyboard of your computer, phone keypad and handpiece, the general surface of your desk and door handle. Any


place where you touch a lot during the day. This is especially important for those who share office space, be sure to tell your colleagues and try to get everyone to do this and create a safer environment for all.

or mouth, that’s a sure way to spread germs, although it’s much harder to stop than you would think. Hand-to-face movements start in the womb and are continued into adult life, either by nail-biting, lip pulling, nose picking, hair twirling etc. Many of these habits are preformed both by children and adults alike, and the solutions is either to become very aware of where you hands are or to wash your hands very frequently, and the hands of your children plus their faces.

some flu like symptoms then you should stay at home, contact your doctor and she or he will advice you on what to do. If you or a family member is ill enough to warrant a visit to the emergency room try to call in advance to inform hospital staff of your emergency, especially if it includes potential ‘Swine Flu’.

require a hospital stay, then its best to stay at home, keep warm and drink plenty of fluids. Best solution is to put yourself and your family into a ‘quarantine’ environment, avoid contact with others, stay away from crowded areas, out of public transport, keep children out of schools and playgrounds. Be aware that in general adults will ‘shed’ the flu virus for about 5 days after becoming ill and children may ‘shed’ the virus for up to 7 days or even longer. (continued next page)

20 - Life and Fitness Magazine - November/December 2009

WEIGHT LOSS HEALTH (continued from previous page)

suffering from an illness or condition that depletes the immune system should take particular care this autumn and winter. Pay extra attention to those around you, for example if the person beside you on the bus seems to have a sniffle then don’t be afraid to move seats. When you get home after been outside leave your shoes by the door so your ‘not walking germs all over the house’, wash your hands immediately and insist that others sharing the house with you do the same.

your family and community. Make sure they have everything they need, get them some multivitamins supplements and

make sure they are eating healthy and well. Taking care of your health and immunity is important all year long, but it is more critical through the winter months, take the time to prepare your body and boost your immune system. Anyone who is concerned should go and visit their GP who will advise them on what they should be doing, if your GP recommends it you should get a flu shot. Stay in good health so that your body is in the best possible position to fight off any virus, bacteria or any other invader that might come your way. Often prevention is better than cure, by building up your immune system you are giving yourself the best chance you can to minimize your chances of catching a cold or flu. After all ‘Your Health is Your Wealth’.

Catherine Connors-Bevalot Corporate Stress Management Consultant, Time-Management consultant and Holistic Therapist, Trainer and Teacher. Catherine Connors-Bevalot has been studying and practicing holistic therapies and treatments for over ten years. She starting her career in massage therapy and reflexology, and this began a decade of passion and future intensive study into other areas of Holistic therapies and Stress & Time management. Her workshops and seminars are popular with businesses, health centres, adult learning centres, schools and private clients. Catherine's policy is based on the belief that her customers' needs are of the utmost importance. Her entire goal is committed to meeting those needs. As a result, a high percentage of her business is from repeat customers and referrals.

HSE encourages pregnant women to avail of Swine Flu vaccine The HSE would like to remind all pregnant women (from 14 weeks to six weeks after giving birth) to get the Swine Flu vaccine from their GP or from the HSE clinics nationwide. The HSE is encouraging pregnant women to avail of the vaccine to protect themselves and their unborn baby during the pregnancy. Pregnant women have a reduced immune system during pregnancy which reduces further as the pregnancy progresses and are therefore more at risk of developing complications from swine flu if they do not get the vaccine. They are four times more likely to be admitted to hospital with complications, including early labour or severe pneumonia, as a result The risk of these complications is higher after 14 weeks of pregnancy. As of yesterday there were 45 pregnant women in hospital being treated for swine flu which accounts for 6-8% of hospital admissions with swine flu. One pregnant woman has died from Pandemic (H1N1) in Ireland. The vaccine is the only defence we have against the Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus. It is important also to be protected from swine flu in the weeks after giving birth to ensure the mother is able to adequately mind her baby. The newborn baby will have antibodies passed from the mother in the womb which will offer the infant protection from the virus for up to six months.

Pregnant women should contact their GP to make an appointment to receive a Swine Flu vaccine. GPs are the best place for this at-risk group to get their vaccine and both the visit to the GP and the vaccine are free of charge. If your GP is not giving out the vaccine, they can give you details of vaccine clinic locations or you will find them at the HSE website - and or from the HSE Flu line on 1800 94 11 00. Remember to bring your PPS number with you when attending for the vaccination. You can book an appointment at one of the HSE's clinics on The website also provides information on exact locations, how and when the clinics operate, directions on a map, and links to online booking calendars for each clinic. Those in the at-risk groups will also be accommodated on a walk-in basis although the HSE is advising pre-booking an appointment where possible. Maternity Hospitals around the country are also offering the vaccination to in-patients and women attending ante natal visits if they have not already received it through their GP or HSE vaccination clinic. Pregnant women should contact their GP by phone if they have flulike symptoms. Their GP will assess them and prescribe anti-viral treatment (Tamiflu) if required. It is also important to continue to follow the HSE public health advice - Catch It, Bin It, Kill It' - in order to slow down the spread of infection.

The Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in Ireland, the National Immunisation Advisory Committee, the World Health Organisation and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the Irish College of General Practitioners and the Irish Medical Organ- Remember, you can get information about the swine flu vaccine as isation recommend that pregnant women get the vaccine. follows: There are two H1N1 vaccines licensed for use in Ireland, Pandemrix and Celvapan. While there are differences between the vaccines as to how they are manufactured and their ingredients, both have been licensed for use by the European Medicines Agency and the Irish Medicines Board. Both are considered equally safe, based on available evidence, for use in pregnancy, in the six weeks after delivery and for breastfeeding mothers.

• From your GP • From the dedicated Swine Flu Vaccine section of the HSE Website • From the automated HSE Flu line 1800 94 11 00 • From the HSE infoline 1850 24 1850

Life and Fitness Magazine - November/December 2009 - 21


7 Ways to Keep a Good Work-Life Balance with Exercise By Conor Jordan Stress is known to be one of the main causes of illhealth and frequently the reason for consistent absenteeism in employment. Since our lives can get so hectic and the pressures or work and of home life can take their toll, it is important to maintain some sort of balance in our lives. It can be difficult to know exactly what to do about it since most of the time it seems like we have little or no energy at the end of the day to do anything, but regular exercise built into your daily routine can benefit you and provide a good work-life balance to counteract the negative effects of stress.

2. Make Exercise part of your Day Another common misconception associated with exercise is that you have to be super-fit and supremely thin to ever think about exercising. This is untrue. No matter what shape, size, fitness level or physical abilities are, you can always find a way to be more active in your daily life. If you live relatively close to work, you can always have a walk on a nice day. If you’re workplace is based a long way from your home, you could consider maybe getting off two or three stops earlier and walk the rest of the way. Instead of taking the elevator, you could choose to tackle the stairs to your office. There are an endless amount of ways you can achieve an active lifestyle and as a result, you may feel yourself becoming more motivated and greater energy to give exercising a go.

1. Stay Motivated One of the most common complaints I notice within fitness centres from clients are “I don’t have enough time” or “I just don’t have the energy to start”. These are fully understandable given these people have full time jobs and after a hard day at work, it can seem daunting to even attempt a workout. However, the great thing about exercise is that rather than sapping your energy and leaving you lethargic from the stresses of work, it gives you a great boost to your ability to do normal tasks and give you that extra bit of motivation to carry on. Make sure that you make out a timetable for yourself as you would any other appointment and stick to it. You will be surprised with the real difference it has on your energy levels.

3. Keep it Healthy We all like to nibble on a few treats from time to time. Whether it is the tin of biscuits in the cupboard you can’t resist or the extra chocolate treat at lunchtime, there is no harm in giving yourself the occasional treat. But if you have too many treats and biscuits, it can become a drain on both your energy levels and your motivation to stick with any sort of healthy action plan. Instead of choosing the mars bar for your lunch time snack, try out a nutri-grain bar. If you feel like have some biscuits, replace them with fruits such as grapes next time you’re out shopping. There are numerous ways you can swap the naughty treat for a heavenly delight, but just make sure it’s the once a week treat you enjoy rather than a daily munch on the chocolates.

4. Slow Down your Eating Rate Working life can be a very rushed and fast-paced business and the majority of people working in high-pressure office situations tend to eat a great deal faster than they really should do. There are many difficulties to this, but the main affliction is not being able to properly disgest and enjoy the food you are eating. Make sure that you set some time aside to enjoy the delicacies you are consuming whether it is a sandwhich at lunch time, a piece of fruit on your morning break or your evening dinner, eating slowly allows your stomach to recognise that food is on its way and that your body is easily able to digest the food that its being fed. Eating at a slower pace than normal also satisfies your hunger more than eating an extra

22 - Life and Fitness Magazine - November/December 2009


-Stay Motivated -Make exercise a part of your day -Keep it healthy -Slow down your eating rate -Put a smile on your face -Delegate your work -Make a timetable

snack, so you can finally avoid those extra snacks in the afternoon.

5. Put a Smile on your Face The key to a healthy body, is a healthy mind and there is nothing healthier to do than smile and enjoy yourself. You can maybe meet up with friends at the weekends, watch a funny dvd that you like, call someone you like to talk to and that makes you laugh or just simply taking a step back from life to enjoy what you have. It can be very hard for any of us to fully realise the beauty in our everyday lives. Whether it is the moments that pass us by on our way into work, the beautiful weather just waiting to be appreciated by us all and the morning chat with your co-workers. Having a good laugh or simply enjoying life can be great ways to keep your mind and your body in great working order.

6. Delegate your work One of the most common complaints of office workers is stress from having too much work to do. It can be a great strain on the mind and on the body when we have a great deal of tasks piling up on our desks and most of the time it can seem to be an endless, thankless chore. The best way to deal with these matters is

to delegate your work. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you are finding your tasks are building up, for all you know there could be someone else in the office with little to do and would be more than happy to take on a bit of work to occupy themselves. A little bit of help or assistance from someone you work with can certainly take the strain off and let you get on with your own life.

7. Make a Timetable Setting out a schedule for yourself and keeping to it is one of the central aspects of time management. All of us at some time or another have either missed appointments, forgot the things we were meant to do or just simply cannot remember how many tasks are ahead of us for the coming day. This can all be remedied by keeping a to-do list and a timed schedule of how you are going to follow through with all of these responsibilities. List out the tasks that are most important at the top of your list, detailing how long they might take and when they have to be completed by. Once you have all of your duties listed down on a piece of paper, it is one less thing to keep in your head allowing yourself to concentrate on what you are doing at the moment and not what you will be doing later on.

Life and Fitness Magazine - November/December 2009 - 23


The words of Fitness and Success By Elaine Rogers “Oh, I really need to go on a diet” “Oh, I’d love to lose weight” “Oh, I should join the gym” “Oh, I must start that new supplement diet” “Oh, I had better start my fitness programme, only 4 weeks to the dinner dance” “Oh, I’ll try and start losing weight next week” Sound familiar? And then we wonder the day before “the big Do” why we just never got around to losing the pounds, joining the gym, cutting down on carbs, etc, etc… Look back at the quotes above? Ask yourself: How would saying these things help me succeed? Then ask yourself: How would saying these things help me not to succeed? I invite you to really think about the following words: Need to, love to, should, should have, must, try. Say them again, this time out loud: Need to, love to, should, should have, must, try. What resonates for you there? They are only words, but they are the very words that we use to give oursleves the permission needed to not be successful or simply not achieve. When I say to someone “I’ll try and make the gym tonight”, that means that if I don’t make the gym, I have provided the escape route for the reason I didn’t make it to the gym. “I said I’d try, but [enter reason here]” If I had said “I will go to the gym tonight” then I will feel more inclined to follow it through, because if I do not go, there is only one reason why… I did not follow through with my affirmation/promise. Humans do not like to fail, unless they have permission. So we provide that permission in the form of the words mentioned above. “Self-sabotage is when we say we want something and then go about making sure it doesn't happen.” - Alyce P. CornynSelby Here are some examples: “I really need to go on a diet” – failure guaranteed “I will start a diet on Monday” – some success expected “I’d love to lose weight” - failure guaranteed “I will lose weight for the wedding next month, and begin tomorrow” – certain success expected

“I should join the gym” - failure guaranteed “I sent the cheque in the post yesterday” – begin to succeed “I must start that new supplement diet” – failure guaranteed “I will go to the health store tomorrow and buy my supplements” – success in view “I had better start my fitness programme, only 4 weeks to the dinner dance” – failure guaranteed “I have 4 weeks left, so I will go to the gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays after work, and walk two miles the other days” – success expected “I’ll try and start losing weight next week” – failure guaranteed “Next week is my starting point for my new weight-loss programme. I will begin on Wednesday” – affirmation set, feeling the success

So what are the reasons we fail before we even begin? There are ideas racing around your mind right now, thinking of all the excuses, reasons and stoppers you have come up with in the past to confine yourself and ensure that success doesn’t happen. If a friend was to ask our advice – “Why do I keep messing it up?” I bet my mug collection that you could come up with just the perfect answer. So turn that right around now and ask yourself “Why do I sabotage my success?” – Now answer: Because…[your answer here]. There are many reasons for self-sabotage, such as procrastination, self-doubt, low self-confidence, low self-esteem. It is ingrained into us as a nation. The miracle that is our ability to think things through, analyse and process information can often be the very cause of our failure to follow through with goals and plans. As CornynSelby states: “Procrastination is, hands down, our favorite form of self-sabotage.” I ask you: Why put off until tomorrow what you can do today? All we need is vision, confidence and outcome. Vision to allow ourselves sense, feel, dream and fantasise about the end result. Confidence to go ahead and make the plans and set the goals. Outcome to follow through to the end and REALLY experience what was just a dream before. From a personal point of view (if you are interested), I have experienced this first

24 - Life and Fitness Magazine - November/December 2009

hand many times in my life, and most recently with my fitness programme. I allowed myself have a vision, spent time thinking about it and imagining the outcome, which was indeed very pleasing. It was irrelevant whether I believed I would succeed at this stage, I simply dreamed. With a realistic time scale put into place, I began on the week that I had decided. This was indeed half the battle, simply getting started. Once the first week was down, I really got a sense of success. I could envisage how I would feel and look after 3 months. However, this was the crucial moment – this is where the self-sabotage could kick in. I could think of 10 excuses not to continue (“What was I thinking anyway?”). I could think of only two reasons to continue, so I consciously decided to go with the two. They were easier to remember if nothing else. And that got me over the “hump” and my success achieved higher odds immediately. I also worked into my plan the barriers that would appear before me throughout my programme. When these barriers came up – I had a plan to deal with them effectively and objectively. So next time you make a plan of any kind, think of only the success and what you would do when the obstacles come your way. Decide consciously what you will do when the obstacles and barriers appear. Be ready for them, preempt them so when they arrive, they will not hold you back, emotionally, mentally or physically. But first ask yourself simply: “Do I really really want this?” “For me?” Then visualise your success, set your goals with confidence, and work towards the outcome.

Elaine Rogers of is a qualified Business Coach and Trainer. She works closely and empathetically with her clients to help them develop and enhance crucial aspects of their personal & business effectiveness. This ensures they achieve their maximum potential, and be the change they want to be. You can contact Elaine on 086-1955660 if you have any further questions. Further reading available at Elaines Blog


Don’t be a couch potato!

Subscribe Subscribe Now to Life and Fitness Magazine and never miss a copy! Delivered straight to your door for only â‚Ź25 for the next 12 issues. Includes P&P

Every issue will be overflowing with articles, news and advice on Health, Fitness, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Travel and Wellness. Ensure that you stay looking and feeling your best throughout 2010. Subscribe Today!

To Subscribe fill in your details below and post with payment to: Life and Fitness Magazine Ltd., Curraghgraigue, Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary. Name: Address:

Signature: Date:

Life and Fitness Magazine - November/December 2009 - 25


Fit Photos Have you done something to be proud of or know someone who has?

Send us photos of your feats of fantastic fitness and we will try and reprint them here.

Email your photos (with caption) to:

A group from Kerlin Trekkers on a Scotish trip outside Glen Nevis Visitor Centre at the start of the hike. Ben Nevis is 4408 feet (1344m) high. To find out about other treks visit

The Streets of Galway 8km Road Race

Mickey McLoughlin, FUTURâ‚Ź, sponsors of Streets of Galway 8k, presents the winner for the second year in succession, Kenyan Jospht Boit.(Clonliffe H.), with his prize.

First lady home in Streets of Galway 8k., Rosemary Ryan, receives her prize from Breda Scully, FUTURâ‚Ź, race sponsors

72 years young, Mickey Kelly (Tuam AC), left a large section of the field behind him

First four home in the ladies race, from left; Ruth Wills (DSD, 3rd), winner Rosemary Ryan, (Bilboa AC) and twin sisters, Aoife (2nd) and Crona Brady, (4th), of Sportsworld AC, Dublin

26 - Life and Fitness Magazine - November/December 2009


Holiday Down Under Many people dream of taking an Australian Holiday. After all, Australia, with a population that speaks English and an area that’s roughly the size of the U.S. Yet it features so much found nowhere else in the world, including 80 percent of its plant and animal species, the Great Barrier Reef, the vast Outback and its ancient Aboriginal culture. Maybe the most daunting aspect of an Australia is deciding where to go; the country is so large and varied that many who travel to Australia stay for a matter of weeks, not days. First-time visitors will likely want a “Reef, Rock and Harbour” combination. An Australia beach vacation wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Great Barrier Reef, accessed from tropical north Queensland. The area abounds with kid-friendly resorts, making it ideal for an Australia family vacation. Another top attraction is Uluru/Ayers Rock in the Northern Territory, Australia’s most recognizable icon. Rising from the desert plain, this sandstone monolith is sacred to the Aboriginal people. Sydney, another must-see, is Australia’s oldest and largest city. Its many attractions include the world-famous harbor with a bridge that visitors can climb up, fabulous beaches, the architecturally distinctive Sydney Opera House and a sophisticated vibe. The country’s second-largest city, stylish Melbourne, is also a popular destination during a visit in Australia, and is known as Australia’s cultural and sports capital.

people fly or take the train. Rental cars are also available; driving is on the left. Australia features many climates and types of terrain. The warmest time of year is the summer, from December through February. The currency is the Australian dollar.

Sydney An Australia Holiday wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Sydney, the country’s oldest, largest and most exciting city. Consistently ranked as one of the most popular cities in the world, Sydney offers beautiful scenery, gorgeous beaches, an appealing outdoor lifestyle, friendly locals, cultural attractions, fine food and wine, and much more.

The most famous attraction during a Sydney vacation is the city’s harbor. Visitors can climb to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge for a truly breathtaking view. The harborfront Sydney Opera House, an iconic building, offers world-class per-

By Catherine Maguire

formances. Other popular activities during a vacation in Sydney include dining at one of the many waterfront restaurants, sunbathing at such beaches as Bondi and Palm, visiting the Royal Botanic Gardens, observing Australia’s unique animals at Taronga Zoo or Sydney Wildlife World, and just soaking up the laid-back yet sophisticated vibe of the city.

With more than 340 days of sunshine each year, Sydney has a temperate coastal climate. The warmest time of year is the summer, from December through February, when the average high temperature is about 78°F.

For more information call Travel Counsellors 0504 33333or e-mail catherine.maguire@travelcounsello

Visiting Australia must have a passport that’s valid for six months after their scheduled return date. They must also have an Electronic Travel Authority visa. To cover the vast distances within the country, many

Life and Fitness Magazine - November/December 2009 - 27


Christmas survival tips for a healthy New Year Author: Dr. Muireann Cullen The festive season is upon us once again and the parties are in full swing. Studies show that, on average, people can gain up to 2 kg (4.4lbs) in the Christmas period, which works out daily at an extra 550 kcal (2310 kJ). This results in the average person needing to put “lose some weight” on the top of their New Year’s resolution list. However, there is no reason why you should gain weight over the holidays no matter how inevitable it seems. There are a number factors involved in the weight gain such as spending more time inside, parties, family get-togethers and the stress you feel from everything you have to do before the holidays, giving into the delights of the season, and the leftovers is all to easy. However, over indulgence and reduced levels of physical activity are the main problems. Despite the temptation everywhere, Christmas doesn’t have to throw you off track.

10 top tips from the NHF to help satisfy your cravings and still have a weight gain-free holiday. less fragile after a good sleep. Having a healthy breakfast (a glass of fruit juice, wholegrain cereal or a couple of slices of wholemeal toast) will also help keep you on track.

1 Know your limits. If you’re physically and mentally exhausted, decline invitations to Christmas parties or holiday events by being honest. Most people will understand if you just can’t face another Christmas party, especially if you’re honest about finding the holiday season too demanding.

2 Get enough sleep & have breakfast - plan for as many early nights as possible. A key benefit particularly at this time of year is that your emotions are

3 Don’t skip your normal exercise routine. The holiday season can be busy and exhausting. By all means take a few days to cosy up by the fire and watch TV but balance this some exercise. Ironically, one of the ways to fix flagging energy is by exercising. Don’t skip on your regular exercise routine no matter how busy you are. Even

28 - Life and Fitness Magazine - November/December 2009

if you only have 30 minutes, take those 30 minutes and get active, 2 x 15 minutes slots a day are a great way to start! Walk around your neighbourhood and look at Christmas lights. It doesn’t have to be formal exercise, as long as you are moving.

4 Know what your 'Christmas weight maintenance' goal is over the next few weeks which can simply be maintaining weight. That way, you won't be disappointed if you don't lose weight, while any loss will be a bonus!


5 Decide now to be more careful about what you eat, but still enjoy yourself! Choose foods you particularly like and say no to any you are not really bothered about. Enjoy the company of friends and family you don't see that often, dance at the work party and play games with the children.


keep track of how many you've had. It’s okay to indulge but just not too much and it is important to know your limit. Where you can, drink alcohol with food. Switching to calorie free soft drinks or water can help prevent dehydration and save calories.

Moderation is the key – don't go mad on food and drink you wouldn't normally eat. Avoid eating absentmindedly while visiting friends and family, out at parties or when preparing food. This is when it's most difficult to pay attention to how much you're eating.



Watch your portions: Don’t deprive yourself of the things you truly want - treat yourself without guilt, but focus on smaller portion sizes to help avoiding weight gain this season.

Choose low fat snacks/treats as alternatives If you want a treat, low fat snacks include fruit, popcorn, water crackers and low fat cheddar. Fruit based starters and desserts are very tasty. Low-fat custard, low-fat yogurt and low-fat/light cream make healthy Christmas treats.

8 Follow the Rainbow Rule – - ensure you pile your plate with different coloured fruits and veg. Satsumas, Brussel sprouts, purple cabbage and cranberries are all classic Christmas foods that are colourful. Fruit and vegetables help increase your fibre intake which can help keep you fuller for longer.

9 Try to limit alcohol consumption, especially early in the day. Only fill your glass when it's empty, so you can

Remember Christmas is about celebration, not deprivation, but it is possible to make it into January without feeling like your clothing has shrunk in the wash. During this season, it's more important than ever to make that extra effort and not let healthy habits (like regular exercise) slip away. Wishing every reader a fantastic Christmas wherever you are and whatever you are doing.

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.

Life and Fitness Magazine - November/December 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.

Curried Split Pea Soup Peas are one of my favourite vegetables. Probably because I grew up on mushy peas (an Irish delicacy). When in season fresh peas are a delight but in winter months dried split peas come in handy. They’re not only convenient since they don’t require soaking, but they’re also high in nutrients and low in fat and calories. If you are concerned about coconut milk, turns out it’s gotten a bad rap over the years. The saturated fat content in coconut milk has been shown in independent studies to be an easily metabolized good saturated fat, which means it does not transform into bad cholesterol, clogging up arteries. Using light coconut milk cuts the calories and fat by more than half, paving the way to a delicious healthy meal. RECIPE: 7 cups low-sodium vegetable broth 1 x 14 oz can light unsweetened coconut milk 1 x 16 oz bag dried split peas 1 bay leaf 2 shallots – peeled, small dice 2 cups sweet potato – diced 1 cup red bell pepper – diced 2 tsp curry powder 1/4 tsp chili flakes 2 tbsp olive oil Garnish: Fresh chopped chives S&P to taste DIRECTIONS: Preheat large soup pot on medium heat. Add 2 tbsp olive oil. Saute shallots & red pepper for 1 minute, stirring. Add curry

30 - Life and Fitness Magazine - November/December 2009

Photo: Gavan Murphy

powder and stir for 30 seconds. Add broth, coconut milk, peas, chili flakes and bay leaf and bring to a gentle boil. Once just boiling reduce heat to a simmer and partially cover with lid. Continue cooking for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. After 20 minutes add diced potatoes and continue simmering soup until potatoes are cooked. Once potatoes are cooked through, taste and season with S&P. Sprinkle fresh chopped chives to finish. NOTE: It might look like a lot of broth but once the potatoes start to cook the starch from them will help thicken the soup.


Stuffed Turkey How brilliant does this look? In the States we spend most of November gearing up for the big Thanksgiving celebration at the end of the month. The food that's prepared is very similar to an Irish Christmas dinner. Turkey, gravy, stuffing and's a feast fit for kings. It's the one day to blow your diet as most of the food is full of calories. But I've got some tricks up my sleeve, such as this recipe. Turkey breast is lean and when prepared this way it lends itself to a variety of stuffing. Be sure to check my website for other great festive ideas! Cooking healthy doesn’t mean your food has to lack imagination, presentation or taste. Nor does it have to be hard to make. I know this looks difficult but all it takes is a little practice and you’re on your way to rave reviews from the fam bam. Let’s talk turkey for a sec. Did you know that the skin contains the most calories and fat? You can save yourself calories and fat by simply removing the skin on any cut. Many lean proteins have a tendency to dry out easily so cooking with the skin on, such as cooking a whole turkey or cooking a recipe such as this, will help the moisture stay in the bird. But removing the skin before eating will help cut the junk in the trunk. The breast is the healthiest cut of meat. A 3 1/2 oz portion of turkey breast w/o skin (we’ve all heard this-it’s the size of a deck of cards) has 161 calories, 4g total fat and 30g of protein. Compare that to with skin which has 194 calories, 8g total fat and 29g of protein. That’s double the fat so you see what I mean. This recipe is all-in-one (you can thank me anytime now!) You’ve got your lean protein, carbs and leafy greens. Even the mushrooms are a good source of Vitamin D. We’re talking a healthy and delicious well balanced meal. RECIPE: 3 lb. Boneless turkey breast Stuffing mix: 4 Swiss chard leaves – blanched in boiling water for 20 secs. and refreshed in ice water for 10 secs. Drain on a kitchen towel. 1/4 lb. button mushrooms – sliced 1/4 lb. oyster mushrooms – sliced 2 garlic cloves – minced 1/2 cup uncooked rice (white or brown) 1 1/2 cups chicken broth 2 tbsp. fresh tarragon – chopped 1 lemon – zested 2 tbsp. olive oil 1 tsp. salt

To Assemble: Lay untied turkey breast on a clean surface, skin side down. Season with S&P. Lay blanched and cooled Swiss chard leaves on each breast. (See photo above.) On top of the chard lay a nice layer of your stuffing (rice mixture) on the entire area on the breast. Lay 5 pieces of twine horizontally on your work surface parallel with each other 2 inches apart. Very carefully fold the stuffed turkey breast in half and lift it onto the twine. This is where an extra pair of hands is handy, so to speak. You can even get the kids involved. TIP: Start tying at the ends first working your way towards the center so you’ll keep the filling actually in the breast, otherwise as you keep tying the twine you’ll end up pushing some of it out the other end. Not so good. Take the ends of one of the pieces of twine in your left and right hands. Tie this sting like your tying shoelaces as tightly as you can, and knot it to keep it in place. While you tie each piece of twine tightly around the breast have your assistant help. Continue until all strings are tied and knotted around the turkey. Cut a longer piece of twine and tie end to end to reinforce the roll. NOTE: This can be done ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to cook.

Photo: Gavan Murphy

1/2 tsp. pepper cooking twine 1 cup chicken broth for roasting turkey DIRECTIONS: When you buy a boneless turkey breast in the supermarket it will usually come trussed or tied together, as did the one I bought. If you have a nice local butcher he may stuff the turkey for you if you bring him the filling and tie the bird for you. Otherwise when you’ve put the stuffing in the breast get someone to help you tie it up. Begin by preheating a large saute pan on medium heat. Once hot add olive oil and mushrooms along with a pinch of salt and cook for 3-4 minutes tossing occasionally. The salt will help extract the water from the mushrooms as well as get a little flavor in them as they’re cooking. Add minced garlic and cook for another minute. Add in your uncooked rice to mushroom mixture and saute for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. I like to cook the rice with the mushrooms to get some additional flavor into the rice as opposed to just adding the cooked rice to the mushroom mixture. Add in 1 1/2 cups of broth to rice and mushroom mixture. Cover pan with foil or lid and simmer until rice is cooked, stirring occasionally. Check rice after 10 minutes to see if it’s done. If not, continue to cook until ready. Once rice is cooked add fresh tarragon and lemon zest. Taste and season with S&P. Spread out on an oven tray to cool.

There you have it. Now preheat oven to 400F / 200C. Also preheat a large saute pan on high heat. Season the turkey with S&P. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to pan and sear the turkey on all sides, including top and bottom if possible, until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes each side. Once all sides are browned place on a foiled roasting tray with 1 cup chicken broth. Pop in the oven for 1 1/4 hours or until internal temp. of 160F. NOTE: If you don’t have a thermometer pierce the center of the breast with a small knife and touch your top lip when removed. If your skin sizzles……you’re good to go (to hospital!) Let rest for 10 minutes before carving so as to let the meat relax and to retain the juices in the meat.

Life and Fitness Magazine - November/December 2009 - 31


Dealing with Bereavement (Part of a series, continued from last isssue)

In my contributions on grief so far I have been looking at what is called normal grief. Now I would like to look at anticipatory grief and complicated grief. Anticipatory grief occurs when a person has advanced warning of death. Such warning can help the bereaved cope better with post-death grief, especially if he or she has shared the anticipatory grief with the person who is going to die. But anticipatory grief does not necessarily reduce the amount of grieving the survivor has to do following the death. It really prepares the defences to cope better with the full bereavement experience. It is important to realise that anticipatory grief is never complete and if post death grief is not faced then the result can be complicated grief. Complicated grief is generally dealt with in counselling, where the complicating factor is first resolved before the grieving can take place. Complicated grief is sometimes called pathological grief, unresolved grief, chronic grief, delayed grief or exaggerated grief. It has been described as too little grieving immediately after the death or too much grieving long afterwards. It is as if the grief filters become clogged, preventing normal grieving. Some bereavement writers see normal grieving as arriving from these three sources:- 1. A poor relationship with the deceased. 2. the vulnerability of the survivor, 3. very difficult circumstances surrounding the death. The crucial factors in deciding if grief is complicated are intensity and duration rather than the painful symptoms of grief. These vary from mourner to mourner. We can look

By Jim O Shea

at complicated grief as chronic, delayed, exaggerated and masked. Chronic grief is one of excessive duration, which is never satisfactorily resolved. The bereaved is aware of the unfinished business, but cannot get back to living. Delayed grief reaction stems from an insufficient emotional reaction at the time of loss. It is a defence mechanism in the face of awful pain. How often have we heard someone say ‘so and so is taking death really well’. Not so. In such cases the grief is carried over and results in excessive reaction to some future loss. Exaggerated grief reactions occur when the the bereaved is overwhelmed with pain. Clinical depression is one of the signs of exaggerated grief, and I suffered from this following the death of my child. Masked grief reactions are those where the bereaved is unaware that they are related to the loss. Repressed grief will however, somehow express itself. This can be a physical symptom, or some type of maladaptive behaviour. This behaviour may be delinquent behaviour in young people. One type of death that invariably leads to complicated grief is that of suicide. Bereavement writers hold that it evokes more intense and longer lasting grief than other losses. Suicide leaves the bereaved with a struggle to create meaning from the loss. There was a time when suicides were not buried in consecrated ground, but hopeful such a cultural legacy has now faded from the public mind. It is held by bereavement writers, too, that guilt and perhaps a

32 - Life and Fitness Magazine - November/December 2009

sense of punishment are felt by survivors following a suicide. Some suicides occur in the context of difficult relationships, and this increases the guilt and anger. This can lead, also, to a feeling of rejection that may be accompanied by anxiety and self destructive impulses. Other factors, which add to the pain of suicide bereavement, are abuse and alcoholism. While I had complicated grief, I managed to get through it without counselling; (My wife and I had two sessions). This is not always possible, and I would encourage anyone who feels that they are stuck in grief to get some counselling. Such counselling may not take very long, but will release the survivor from being stuck, and allow them to move to experiencing their grief. I will look at the death of a child in the next article.

Death of a Child (part 1) The death of a child can lead to complicated grieving because it is a particularly painful loss. It is not the natural order of things that a child should die before its parents. There are so many hopes and dreams unfulfilled. My child,who was killed when he was thirteen, would be thirty now. I often wonder what he would be like as an adult, how would I relate to him, who would his wife have been, would he have been a good and kind husband, would he have had children, what kind of parent would he have been. It is natural to have such thoughts and


“The death of a child can lead to complicated grieving because it is a particularly painful loss”

memories, it does not mean living in the past. People say that the death of a child is the saddest of all losses, but it is important to remember that every person experiences loss differently. I can certainly say that the loss of my child was immensely more painful that the loss of my father. I can say no more than that and I cannot project this onto other people. All people grieve differently. Sometimes the death of a child is so painful that some parents try to blot out the memory. I have met individuals who lost their children, and they seem to carry on normally in the very early stages of the bereavement, and show good humour and a sense of optimism about their lives. I am very conscious of the terrible pain that they have buried. Sensitive and skilled counselling is required to support them in bringing out this pain and in supporting them as they struggle with the reality of the loss of their child. What I can say, however, is that the death of a child is what bereavement writers call an enfranchised loss. This means that the survivors experience widespread sympathy following the death of a child. I remember the huge crowds that thronged into the Cathedral in Thurles in February 1990 and the great amount of support I received from so many.

People who lose children have particular ways of expressing their thinking.

They may talk about how the child was special, they try to make sense of the death, they have vivid memories of the death even after the passage of years and they use great pathos in describing the moment of death. They may also explore the `what ifs’ of the transition to being the parents of a dead child. They describe premonitions they may have had before the death and the chasm that exists between them and the rest of the world. These are very familiar to me. I was in Dublin on the day before my child was killed and I suffered from such a severe headache all of that day that I was unable to visit the shops and simply sat in a café until it was time for the bus to depart. I also have vivid memories of the death. I remember exactly where I was when the accident occurred. That day is etched on my brain and will never fade. I always worried that I would forget the sound of my child’s voice and I often mentally listen for it. I can still hear that soft voice and it, too, will never fade.

death can give rise to complex guilt feelings.

Because the death of a child is so complex, I hope to explore it in a further contribution and I hope that this exploration will be of some help to any reader who has lost a child. (Part of a series, continued in next isssue)

Jim O’Shea works as a counsellor from Furze, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Ph. 0878211009 His 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

My surviving children, despite their pain, always held that parental grief was the most poignant within our family and, even now, they are extra conscious of the preciousness of their children. So the death of a child can arouse anxiety in the siblings when they too have children of their own. Look at the special relationship between parent and child, a relationship that is forged in a biological and genetic way. Our role as parents is to keep our children safe and accidental

Life and Fitness Magazine - November/December 2009 - 33


Win! 1 Year Membership in a Gym or Leisure Centre of Your Choice and a Personal Training Session with White House Fitness Consultant Subscribe to our newsletter and be in with a chance to win a one year membership in a gym or leisure centre of your choice along with some other great prizes such as a Personal Training Session with Ted Vickey, former Executive Director of The White House Athletic Center. To enter simply visit our website and subscribe to our monthly newsletter. (Click on ‘Subscribe’ and enter your email address.) Our new monthly newsletter will contain lots of useful tips and advice on fitness and health and will help keep you motivated to achieve your goals throughout 2010 along with an online digital version of Life and Fitness Magazine

Get in Perfect Shape for 2010!

34 - Life and Fitness Magazine - November/December 2009


• Wedding Supplier Directory • Articles & Resources to help plan your Wedding

To get your business listed email: One Year Listing €120 for your own personalised page

Where dreams come true

CIARA O’ MEARA (MIIMH) MEDICAL HERBALIST BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine, BSc (Hons) Science, MSc Medical Genetics

Clinics at Thurles & Nenagh Co.Tipperary For bookings and enquiries please call: 087



or see for more information Member of the Irish Institute of Medical Herbalists (MIIMH)

Wedding Doves Releasing Doves on your wedding day adds a beautiful symbolic gesture to the overall enjoyment of a wonderful occasion. They also provide a fantastic photo opportunity. Doves symbolize peace, love, unity, prosperity and new beginnings.

We specialise in reality based self defence training. No Rules, No Rituals, No Nonsense Regular group classes and private lessons available. For more information visit

Call 086-4021659 now to book for your wedding day


mma Holland, a legal secretary in Dublin, dropped 5 dress sizes from a 16 to an 8 and experienced remarkable health benefits from taking YORKTEST’S foodSCAN food intolerance test. Emma suffered from acne, bloating, tiredness and extreme constipation and despite being a regular gym user Emma found “I’d tried lots of diets but all they did were make me ill and pile on the pounds. The health aspect was something I had been seeing my doctor about because I’d not felt well for maybe eight years ever since I moved to Dublin in 2000. My doctor put me on tablets and sent me for tests suggesting my condition was IBS. At its worst I suffered from bloating to the extent where people would give up their seat for me on the bus because they thought I was pregnant. The constipation was very unpleasant for me because I would go weeks, sometimes a month, before I could go, and you can imagine what was going through my mind as the pain increased. I was also becoming increasingly tired and my face was covered in terrible acne. The spots on my forehead were really sore to touch and none of the creams ever helped. It also did nothing for my self-confidence and nights out were an ever-decreasing rarity. Nothing really worked until my mum put me on to a food intolerance test called foodSCAN 113. As the test I took was a blood test I thought it would be more accurate because it sounded more scientific so I gave it a go and what a decision that was. When the results came back I had to cut out wheat, gluten, dairy, egg and yeast and it was tough. The difference though has been amazing. The acne and stomach pain have all cleared up but most amazing is the weight: I have lost 4 stone and gone from a dress size 16 to an 8. The only problem I have now is my wardrobe. I had to buy a new dress recently when I went to Amsterdam and I measured a size 8.


Finding the right ingredients hasn’t always been easy but once I knew what I could and couldn’t eat and found the right places to buy the food - life was much easier. I got some food over the internet. It’s tough but with the right recipe books and of course the right test, I can live a normal live again. I’m not sure about Christmas yet but at least I know what foods trigger off the symptoms so as long as I stay away from those I should be fine.” Emma’s partner Colin Cox says… “It is amazing the change in Emma and even I have been feeling the benefit of a better diet. To go along with Emma’s new regime, I haven’t been drinking any milk and I’ve got loads more energy too. How Emma managed to be so ill for so long is incredible.”

Emma Holland took a €30 first step food intolerance test from YORKTEST laboratories. The test offers a negative/positive result from a tiny amount of blood which the customer sends off to a laboratory in the UK. In Emma’s case, her results identified a positive so she then upgraded to the second step or a foodSCAN 113 (RRP €350). Using the same blood sample, this test will identify the actual foods causing the food intolerance and the degree of severity.


To take a food intolerance test please call on 01 2022701 or visit the website

Life and Fitness Magazine Issue 5  

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

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you