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Life Fitness AND


H E A LT H • F I T N E S S • N U T R I T I O N • W E I G H T L O S S

January February 2011 Issue no.7

Ireland’s No.1 Fitness Magazine

The Secret To Sexy Arms

Wheat Free Living

Introducing Flexibility to Your Routine

The Truth About Weight Loss New Social Fitness Website

Gadgets To Help Keep Fit

Life and Fitness Magazine Contents p. 6

Walking - A step in the right direction p. 8 Secret to Sexy Arms p. 10 The Truth about Weight Loss p. 12 The Runners High and how to prevent injury p. 15 Shock Absorber Sports Bra Reviewed

p. 17 New Social Fitness Website! p. 18 Using Gadgets to Keep Fit p. 20 Introducing Flexibility to Your Routine p. 22 Plan your fitness p. 24 Wheat Free Living p. 26 Diet and Nutrition - Getting the Balance Right

Martin Breen, Jim Adams, Ann Brosnan, Denny Hayes, Sarah O'Connor, Frank McCarthy, Mary Cronin, Fionnuala McNamee, Delia Adams and Doreen Ogelsby of Kerlin Trekkers in Snowdonia National Park, Wales

Life Fitness AND

Engineer, entrepreneur and charity distance runner. Unusual credentials for the man who is the driving force behind an exciting and much anticipated new fitness product, the Body-Rocka from Rocka Fitness Ltd. Body-Rocka has been developed by Philip Taylor with the assistance of fitness expert Kathryn Freeland to deliver a flexible, easy to use, workout system for home or gym, in groups or alone. Philip has signed a massive exclusive retail deal with Argos, the UK’s largest sports retailer. Available since December the Body-Rocka is priced at just £34.99 with a minimum donation of £25,000 going to charity partner Cancer Research UK through sales proceeds.

Editors Note Welcome to our January/February issue of Life and Fitness Magazine. We’ve got loads of articles to help you achieve your fitness goals and continue throughout the year more motivated than ever. This issue is a digital issue only, so you won’t find it any newsagents or in print form anywhere. You will notice numerous links to various websites throughout the magazine. We plan to introduce a lot of new interactive features in future issues, including embedded video content, direct product purchasing through the magazine and a host of other great functionality. If you haven’t already joined us on Facebook or Twitter, we would be delighted if did. Just click on the links! Hope you have your best year ever! Yours in Fitness, Derry O Donnell

Cover Model Loriann Marchese is a recent winner of Ms. Bikini Fitness America NY, Ms. Model Fitness America NY, Ms. Bikini New England and WBFF Ms. Bikini Fitness Atlantic Medium. She has also appeared in several magazines, such as Physique Magazine, Fitness and Physique Magazine, Fit and Firm Magazine, and 2 June covers of Fitness Life Mag and Natural Bodz Mag.

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.

Combining beautifully engineered design developed over the last year, the Body-Rocka delivers a new perspective on exercise for the 21st century. It uses the twin levers of body mass and balance to develop core body strength whilst also providing a full set of targeted exercise routines. From abs to guns, the Body-Rocka is perfect for getting in shape, for targeted preparation for favourite sports from skiing to wakeboarding or longer term development for professional sportsmen and women in training or rehabilitation.

As Managing Director of Absolute Fitness, Kathryn Freeland has helped get the stars (including Cate Blanchett and Samantha Morton) in shape and has been working to develop a series of Body-Rocka training routines. Kathryn comments “We love new, but not faddish, effective equipment in personal training and Body-Rocka is it. It gives access to a whole range of strength and toning exercises for the whole body – and it’s British.”

Philip Taylor comments: “Founding Rocka Fitness and launching this product realises two years of hard work. This is a serious fitness product designed for people who enjoy life. This means clear and simple workout routines – and the option to refine exercises for the serious sportsperson.”

Rocka Fitness Ltd was founded by Philip Taylor and is backed by city based entrepreneurs. Serving a five year apprenticeship in engineering and working a further two years in the industry Philip has firsthand experience of British manufacturing decline which is why he is pleased to announce that the Body-Rocka will be manufactured in England. Rocka Fitness will develop and manufacture a range of new sports and fitness training equipment with a focus on cutting edge design and application.

To find your nearest stock list visit: +44(0)845 165 1265.


Co-enzyme Q10 – the nutrient that fuels the body Science has discovered the key to human energy production. It is a vitamin-like substance called coenzyme Q10 which cells need in order to make energy from fat, carbohydrate and protein. By taking it as a supplement, you can counteract the age-related energy decrease everyone experiences and get access to physical reserves you never knew you had. Co-enzyme Q10 gives bodies a natural energy boost that may even help ward off diseases.

After a long hard day of work do you feel tired quite often? Is lack of energy a problem for you? Studies have demonstrated that by taking Q10 as a supplement in capsule form, we may be able to stave off some of the physical and mental changes that occur later in life by virtually refuelling our cells. The substance is old as the human race, perhaps even older, but science has now learned how it works and why we need it. And for the first time in history, Q10 is available in your local pharmacy as a revitalising food supplement.

New “batteries” People who start using Q10 do indeed describe the effect as having new batteries installed. It doesn’t give you an instant “kick” like black coffee or ginseng. It has a permanent effect that

typically sets in a few weeks after you start taking it. Suddenly, you feel that you can overcome much more. You don’t need as much sleep, you feel much more alert, you find yourself doing things you didn’t have the energy for earlier, like working out in the gym, doing the weekly shopping or housecleaning.

Energy and well-being So far, scientists have managed to show that Q10 supplementation increases the overall

energy output, contributing to a person’s endurance and physical well-being. But more recent studies even suggest that the compound may actually help prevent or treat heart disease. The explanation seems to lie in the fact that, after a certain age, our cells lose some of their ability to produce energy. This corresponds well with the fact that Q10 levels become reduced after the age of 20-25 years. Once a cell slows down and produces less energy, it becomes increasingly vulnerable. This change sets the stage for a number of physical breakdowns, including disease.

Numerous scientific studies have been conducted on Q10, many of them demonstrating how the substance boosts energy levels. In a group of Finnish cross-country skiers, those supplemented

Life and Fitness Magazine - Jan/Feb 2011

Energy and well-being First of all, boosting your energy metabolism with Q10 makes you feel more alert, more awake and more on top of things. You will have more of a physical surplus. Allowing you to enjoy an active life. This is essential for quality of life.


Studies show the way


with Q10 in capsules had significantly more endurance, compared with those who got identical capsules with an inactive substance. Moreover, the Q10supplemented athletes faired better in competition and training events and even recovered faster. Here are some other indications scientists have discovered about co-enzyme Q10:

Q10 is vital for the heart, as your heart need to produce huge amounts of energy to support its pumping action. Not surprisingly, people with chronic heart failure respond extremely well to supplementation with co-enzyme Q10. In fact, Q10 is a well-documented and recognised therapy in the treatment of chronic heart failure.

Preventing side effects of cholesterol lowering drugs Statins, a widely used class of cholesterol lowering drugs, are believed to cause exercise intolerance and damage muscle tissue. A team of researchers from Columbia University discovered in 2004 the reason for that. They described how their patients on cholesterol-lowering medicine displayed significant reductions in their levels of co-enzyme Q10. They drew the conclusion that the comprehensive Q10 reduction observed with statin use may explain commonly reported side effects like fatigue, exercise intolerance, muscle pain as well as muscle degeneration.

The body’s own energy The most natural energy source Co-enzyme Q10 is a vitamin-like nutrient which cells need in order to produce energy. With age, the body’s levels of the substance become reduced. A supplement is the most natural way to compensate for the loss – and restore your energy.

Coenzyme Q10 content (mg/g) in various bodily tissues1 Liver 100%

100% 95.3% 83.0%

Lungs 72.6%

I feel much more energetic and vital “Q10 is the only substance that has had a noticeable effect on me. In fact, I didn’t realise how effective it was until the time I stopped taking the capsules and my energy levels plummeted”, says Mary Johnson. The bottom-line is the most important: Mary has more energy and feels more vital than ever thanks to the co-enzyme Q10 supplement she has been taking for more than seven years now. “These capsules make me feel great and they give me the power to enjoy my rather busy life”, says the 52 year old woman. “As a matter of fact, Q10 is the only product that has had a notice- able and permanent effect on me”, she says.


65.3% 51.7% 42.9%

20 years 40 years

80 years

1)Ref.: Kalé n et al (1989): Lipids vol. 24, no. 7

Prize winning formula Q10 Pharma Nord contains co-enzyme Q10 in a prizewinning vegetable oil formula in soft, light-protected gelatine capsules. This has been shown to provide superior bio-availability, compared with co-enzyme Q10 in tablet form or as granulate or powder.

Used for research Because of Q10 Pharma Nord’s superior quality, the product has become an official reference for the International Co-enzyme Q10 Association (ICQA). Its benchmark status gives it a leading position on international markets.

The funny thing, however, is that Mary had bought the product for her husband as a Father’s Day gift. He was very busy during that period and needed some extra energy. But he never touched them, they just stood there in the cupboard, so Mary started to use them. “At first, I didn’t notice much of a difference”, she has to admit,“and once I had finished my first box I decided to stop. Then I could feel the difference, my energy levels dropped and I didn’t feel fit like before,so I started on the capsules again and haven’t stopped since that time,” Mary tells.

+ Available in pharmacies and health food stores! The Pharma Nord range is based on scientific research!

Tel: 01 630 5470 •Fax: 01 630 5475 Email: Web:


Walking a step in the right direction By Conor Hughes

How on earth can walking be the best is. Because you don’t really need exercise? Well, we’re glad you asked! anything to go for a walk, it’s a fantastic way to regain your love of First of all, walking is what makes us movement. And it can be done anywhere, anytime, which makes it human. The real branch in the evolutionary tree that separates man very convenient. You don’t need fancy equipment or a gym from the other great apes is our membership. You can reap many ability to easily and efficiently travel benefits from a daily walk, but you long distances walking upright. In order to do this many changes had to cannot buy the benefits like a vitamin pill. If you want to invest in yourself occur in our skeleton and muscles – “What’s the best exercise?” you must learn to walk the walk, not changes that took millions of years. just talk the talk. Despite the simplicity of the question, Once we began walking upright our if you posed if to ten different “fitness hands were free to carry and create. Only after we began walking did we professionals”, it’s unlikely even two So if walking is such an amazing start to grow the massive brain that of them would be in agreement. activity, how should you do it? Seems characterizes modern man. Our Chances are you would hear things like a weird question right? I mean evolutionary heritage is repeated in like “Squats!”, “Dead-lifts”, “Bench walking is walking, how complicated the individual. Our first year of life is Press”, or even some broader terms like “Interval Training”, “High Intensity defined by the relentless quest to get can it get? Although this is true, how you should walk still remains a very Training”, or even “Escalating Density up, get moving and finally get walking. The talent and the drive are important question, simply because Training”. Those who like to keep up many people have lots of inborn — you don’t need to teach a with the latest research trends may misconceptions when it comes to this child to walk, in fact short of even trumpet the benefits of wonderful activity. Here are a few restraining them you cannot prevent “Functional Fitness”. guidelines it. There is absolutely nothing wrong HOW OFTEN is a lot more Since walking isn’t a marketable with any of these exercises. But the important than HOW. product or service – it doesn’t get the best exercise will always be the one publicity it deserves. Scientific most appropriate to meet your Try and walk a bit everyday. The only research confirms that the walking personal training goals. Here at the habit provides an enormous variety of way to make a new habit it to keep BrainChanging Institute our goal is a practicing it. health benefits. It will improve your bit different. We are interested in thinking now and keep your mind helping people “train for life”. This sounds daunting at first. Doing clearer as you age. If you care more anything everyday almost seems about sense than science be So today we want tell you about a impossible. But there are some things reassured that daily walking is a different type of exercise that is common feature among cultures that that you probably do, every single specifically directed to helping you achieve lifelong health and vitality. It’s enjoy very long healthy lives. Walking day. Brushing your teeth is a simple also relieves stress and releases “feel example. You don’t need to brush more of an activity than an exercise good” chemicals into your brain. Now your teeth. It’s not something that you but it’s still the answer that we give “have” to do. Yet you still do it when asked that all elusive question - that’s what we call a healthy because you know it’s good for you. “What is the best exercise?”. And that addiction! And by now it’s likely that brushing answer is - Walking. your teeth is just something that you do everyday, without much thinking. Once you learn how to walk, its “WALKING!!?” something that you never forget, and its something that you can always do The reason is that you have made it a Yes. Walking. habit. “Habits” are created in our no matter what your level of “ability” When you’ve been in the health and fitness industry as long as we have you get asked a lot of different questions. You also get asked a lot of the same questions over and over. But the single most common question endures year after year. That question, ladies and gentlemen, is simply this:


Life and Fitness Magazine - Jan/Feb 2011

FITNESS brains through a process called NeuroPlasticity. Basically, when you do something over and over again for a period of time, your brain changes so that it becomes easier to do that thing again in the future. This is really what learning is, and this same principle can be used to help you get in the habit of walking everyday. Ritual makes habitual The first step is planning. Giving yourself an allocated time to walk everyday is crucial for your success. Let’s go back to the example of brushing your teeth. In all likelihood you probably do this at the same time everyday, say after breakfast and before bed. It’s this consistency that creates the habit. Doing the same thing at the same time trains your brain to expect that again in the future. Maybe you like the idea of a daily walk but don’t believe you have enough time. You have the same amount of time as every other person - 24 hours a day. You cannot make time but you can manage it. And if you don’t manage to find time for health you will eventually be forced to find time for illness. Remember those wise words – failure to plan is planning to fail. Establishing the habit is what involves effort – by definition the habit itself is basically effortless. Start thinking of yourself as “an active person”. Daily walking is about avoiding the pitfalls of the sedentary lifestyle. Walking gets you back in the habit of moving again. How can you expect to exercise 3-4 days a week if you can’t even get yourself to walk on those days? Walking is fantastic because it gives you that shift in momentum. After a few months, or even a few weeks, you will begin to hopefully notice a shift in your attitude towards moving your body. Walking reminds you that moving is not something that you “should” or “need” to do but rather something that you want and like to do. Humans are designed to move. In essence, that’s what we do. If you have lost your love for movement it’s

usually not the case that you don’t like it anymore, but rather you have forgotten how fun it can be. Walking is the perfect way to rekindle that connection with yourself, to remind yourself what it means to be human. So get out into the world and move, you’ll be glad you did. Try not to think of your walk as “exercise”. When you start worrying about walking to burn calories your brain immediately starts putting walking into the “working” category. Walking is to be enjoyed. Don't think of it as just a way to raise your heart-rate and get you sweating. You don’t need to “power walk” – this can be very hard on your joints. Imagine yourself as a child. When children are in a hurry or want to get somewhere faster they don’t power walk – neither should you. Many of our clients are interested in “losing weight”. The reality is that you cannot LOSE weight… you must USE weight. One of the nice perks of walking as a form of activity is that it encourages hormones in your body that facilitate fat burning. We also encourage people to try and walk outdoors as much as possible. Treadmills are very convenient but they are no substitute for nature. We live in a world that is filled with machines and gadgets. Technology is terrific but a walk outside is a superb way to regain some balance in your life. Bad weather is nature’s way of helping us value the lovely days. Without the valleys there are no peaks. Don’t torture yourself but try and “break the inertia” for at least a little walking everyday. Walk instead of Watch.

snack foods. Maybe it's time that you walked away from the temptation. It’s okay to vary the intensity or distance. Sometimes it is nice to have a destination, a place that you are walking to, but that’s not necessary. Sometimes it’s nice to walk briskly, and sometimes it’s nice to just stroll and take in the world around you. Sometimes it’s nice to walk with your friends and to connect socially. Other times, you may just want some time alone, and heading out for a walk is the perfect activity for that. Of course there are certain situations where, let’s be honest, you just can’t walk everyday. That’s fine, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do anything! Planning is still very important here. Try and develop some type of routine. Pick some days – say Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and develop a conscious effort to walk on those days. By doing this you will gain momentum and hopefully the “feel-good” factor of your walks will encourage you to introduce other days to your routine. What we do need is a change of direction. Modern conveniences and increasing affluence has put most of us firmly on the path of an increasingly sedentary lifestyle. We attempt to remedy the situation by committing ourselves to some sort of exercise program. Unfortunately the reality is these are rarely sustained. We speed up but then we are forced to rest and we are still on the same course. To stop this downward trajectory we must change our direction and that means we must change our habits. All children have the habit of movement - adults have merely been sidetracked. But it’s easy to get back on track - just put one foot in front of the other – every day.

The average European spends almost 4 hours a day watching television. If you care about calorie burning you might be interested to know you burn even fewer calories Walking. watching television that you do staring off into space. Of course many people are not entirely inactive It’s definitely a step in the right direction! while watching television – they eat. There is a strong correlation between time in front of the tube and time mindless munching away. The most common food culprits are sweets and

Life and Fitness Magazine - Jan/Feb 2011



Secret to Sexy Arms By Fitness Model Lori-Ann Marchese

Let’s face it, we all want sexy arms. It's hard to wear sleeveless shirts or dresses when your arms lack muscle tone. Whether you are wearing a sleeveless shirt, dress, or want to show off your arms on a hot summer day, we all want that toned arm look. The key to unleash your sexy arms are good healthy eating habits, full body workouts and arm weight lifting exercise.

We first and foremost need to reduce our body fat. The more body fat is reduced the less our arms look saggy. When gaining too much body weight, it can often lead to flabby arms. Our bodies need to find areas where we can deposit and store fat as we gain more weight. The body stores more weight around the stomach, thighs, chest and back. Once the body stores the main fat around those areas, it then begins to add weight to the arms and face. The body tries to add balance to the overall shape of the body.

Our genetics can also play a role on where we store our fat


Life and Fitness Magazine - Jan/Feb 2011

first. If your parents have more lower body fat and then upper body fat, then you will most likely store fat on the thigh area first. You will hardly see a man or woman carry more weight in their arms and have a lean body. The body will try to balance its self. You must go on a healthy fat loss program or diet in order to take fat off your arms. There is no amount of arm exercises that will give you those toned looking arms if you still have that layer of fat over your muscle. You must burn the fat off with proper dieting and exercise for your definition to sow. With the right cardio, proper diet and weight training exercise, you will be on your way to flashy arms.


Two Steps To Sexy Arms Step 1: It is very important to eat very healthily, including good sources of fats, proteins and complex carbs. It is also very important to not skip breakfast!! A good breakfast is a very important part of any diet, as it speeds up your energy and metabolism for the full day . I have added a few examples of each category to help you on your way to healthy food choices. PROTEINS Chicken, Turkey, Eggs, Tuna fish, Lobster, Sword Fish shrimp, Clams, Snapper, Cod Fish, Trout, Lean Beef, Venison, Bison, Cottage Cheese (non fat), Kidney Beans, Peanuts, Cashews, Almonds, All Natural Peanut Butter

FATS Almonds, Walnuts, Cashews, All Natural Peanut Butter, Olive Oil, Flax Seed Oil, Pumpkin Seeds, Fish Oil Supplements CARBS Brown Rice, Whole Wheat Bread, Oatmeal, Beans, Yams, Sweet Potatoes

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES Apples, Bananas, Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Spinach, Asparagus, Peppers, Lettuce, Celery

STEP 2 Women unlike men do not want the big bulky arm look. Women like the slender, defined, sleek arms that look fantastic when wearing a sleeveless shirt or dress. By using lightweights in addition to a lot of repetion we can get toned arms and also build strength. Building your upper body will give you that strong and fit appearance. By building muscle, it will also help burn more fat. Muscle helps speed up our metabolism and helps burn fat. Below are 3 very easy exercises you can perform to tone your arms.

Push Ups –Pushups helps tone your arms and shoulders. If you

are having troubles with the standard pushup, try the modified push. Recommend 10 to 15 pushups 3 sets. Tricep Dumbell Kickbacks – This is another exercise you can perform to improve the shape your arms. This is a good exercise that hits all three parts of your tricep with a good peak contraction.

Recommend 10-15 reps 3 sets with weight Bicep Curls –. When performing bicep curls, make sure you raise the weights one at a time, in a controlled steady motion. Bicep and Triceps exercises should be performed on the same day so you evenly spread the weight bearing exercise to your arm. 10 reps on each arm- 3 sets with weight

Life and Fitness Magazine - Jan/Feb 2011



The truth about weight loss By Conor Hughes Dieting and exercise doesn’t work.

there must be some people out there who knew how to do it right.

There, I said it.

After about 6 months of meeting people who had successfully lost weight and Don’t believe me? You don’t have to. kept it off for more than a year, I began Just look at your own results. If you are to see the same trends occurring. For reading this then I imagine you have lost one, none of them had drastic diet pound after pound after pound. And techniques or exercise routines. “Dieting somehow, despite all the dieting and all and strenuous exercise doesn’t work” the exercise those pounds keep finding they told me. “I know!”, I would reply. there way back to you. So you lose Instead, what I started to understand them again, and the cycle continues. and see was that the successful weight The reason is simple, human beings are loser’s made very small changes to their not designed to LOSE weight, they are lives over time. They became thin designed to USE weight. In order to because they changed, SLOWLY and achieve your healthy weight that lasts a CONSISTENTLY. lifetime, you are going to have to change your goals. To demonstrate what I am talking about let me tell you about “Tom”. After 9 I used to see this all the time. When I months of traveling I decided to set up a was in college I worked part-time as a practice in San Diego working as a personal trainer. People would come to weight loss coach. Tom was one of the me and they would follow my every first people who came to see me. At the instruction. Their diets were perfect, time he weighed around 310 pounds, they exercised like athletes, they lost and like many before him, he had tried lots of weight. But then, just like every diet and exercise program he clockwork, they would stop showing up, could find. and they were back to square one.

For 2 years I saw the same cycle repeat itself. I couldn’t understand it, but every trainer I talked to reported the same thing. “They just don’t have the motivation”, or “They don’t want it bad enough” or “I think that they would just rather be fat”. This is what they would say. This is what they believed, and is what most people still believe. What’s worse is I believed it too. I believed that people who didn’t keep the weight off didn’t really want to be thin. They were just fooling themselves.

After I finished my college degree I decided to leave my position as a personal trainer. Business was good, but results were short lived, and I had become increasingly frustrated with this. I decided to travel and hopefully find some people who had been successful with weight loss. I was convinced that


Life and Fitness Magazine - Jan/Feb 2011

Before, my prescription for Tom would have been obvious. Eliminate all the fat from his diet, limit him to 1,500 calories a day, and an hour of exercise four times a week. Easy! Although of course, I had since learned that this approach NEVER works in the long run. Sure, it’s great for short term results, if you need to look good for a wedding in 3 weeks, it’s the way to go. Over the long haul however, like Tom, you will never be able to "keep it off". And every time you lose the pounds they always seem to find their way back - usually with a few extra thrown in for good measure.

floor and performed 5 pretty ugly looking push-ups. “That’s super Tom” I said, hoping to give him some encouragement. “Now, for the next 30 days I want you to do those 5 push-ups every single day. Then you can come back to see me.”

“That’s it!?”. Tom wasn’t very happy with my advice at all - “How am I going to lose all this weight doing 5 push-ups a day!!!”. I agree, 20 seconds of push-ups every day probably wont get you into amazing shape, but at the same time, it’s more than what 95% of people do on a daily basis. I explained this to Tom, and sent him on his way.

One month later Tom came back to me. “Well so much for your plan, I haven’t lost ANY weight” he proclaimed. “Not to worry”, I said, “How are the press-ups coming along?”. Tom showed me his 5 press-ups and sure enough, they had gotten a lot better. I asked him to do as many as he could without stopping. He got to 10. “Wow, that’s excellent Tom. This month I want you to do those 10 push-ups every day. Then you can come back to see me”. As you can imagine, Tom still wasn’t too happy about my advice, but I finally got him to agree.

This continued for Tom’s next 2 visits. Then on his 5th visit, after 4 months, Tom burst through the doors of the clinic - “I’ve lost weight, I’ve lost weight, I’ve lost weight!” he shouted. By this stage Tom had been doing 22 push-ups a day, every single day. It took him about a minute to do them. But what was amazing was this little act of doing something for his body everyday had started to trickle into other aspects of his life. He started walking a little bit more. After about an hour talking with Tom, we He started eating a little bit healthier. He decided that the best thing we could do even started doing some extra pushwould be to get him doing some ups, simply because he enjoyed doing physical activity again. I asked him what them. he enjoyed to do. “Push-Ups” he said. “Great, how many can you do without stopping”, I asked. He got down on the


By month 6 we capped Tom’s pushup quota to 30 a day. He could do more if he wanted to, but he had to do those 30, every single day. It was easy for him now, because it became a daily habit, just something that he did.

Just like Tom’s previous attempts at weight loss, when you jump in with drastic changes to your diet and physical activity, you doom yourself to failure because you can never sustain the effort. On the other hand, the reason the slow, consistent, baby-step After 12 months, Tom came to see approach works, is due to a me for his 13th visit. He had lost a process called NeuroPlasticity. total of 47 pounds. He did this by Neuroplasticity is the ability of your doing one thing religiously every brain to change over time. We all single day. We calculated it and by have this ability to change our his 12th month Tom had done a total brains, and thus our habitual of 7,840 push-ups (excluding his extra behaviors. Doing something ones). What’s amazing is that it only consistently, every day, will over took him one or two minutes a day to time change your brain and that is accomplish this. Tom remained why a slow, gradual approach to consistent throughout, and that was weight loss is best. the secret to his success. He had a new healthy habit and his future was beginning to look a lot more You see, thin people are not thin promising. because they diet and exercise. They are thin because that’s who they are.

a thin person. Usually this means that you change one, two or maybe three things in your life. But of course, you must be consistent. Start with one thing for now, and only progress when that one thing becomes a habitual behavior. So I ask you, what is the one thing that if you did everyday would have the greatest affect on your body? Answer this question and start immediately. But remember, take it slowly. Do this one thing even if it is only for 30 seconds a day. Allow yourself to gain momentum. Give your brain the time it needs to change. Results may be slow, but then again, they may not be. What’s important is that you do your one thing every day. Every single day. And that’s the truth about weight loss.

Once I was happy that doing pressups everyday was a part of Tom's life, something that he would always do, we introduced another change. We continued with the same approach; slow, steady, and very consistent. Tom remained with me for another 15 months in which he lost a further 51 pounds. It’s now been over 3 years since he came to see me. His weight continues to remain around the 210 mark, and believe it or not, he still enjoys doing his push-ups.

In order to be thin then, you must become a thin person, and not a fat person who diets and exercises. You must take on the habitual activities of a thin person. Nobody can remain on a diet and exercise plan for the rest on their lives.

So then, the truth about weight loss is this; We all want instant results. It’s human nature to want things now. But the fact remains, the faster you lose weight, the quicker you will gain it back. To be thin, you need to become

Conor Hughes is the creator of Lazy Man Fitnees, a program specifically designed for busy people who want to get the most out of their training in the least amount of time. He is also the author of "The Lazy Man's Guide to Fitness" and has worked with many of the industries leading figures including Paul Chek, Charles Poliquin, and Pavel Tsatsouline. He can be contacted at

Life and Fitness Magazine - Jan/Feb 2011



The runners high and how to prevent it from injury Chiropractic Association of Ireland Running is great for both the body and mind. Not only is it a great means of burning calories and keeping our weight down, the process of running also releases endorphins to the rest of the body, making you feel naturally happy after a run. It’s great for you mentally too, triggering receptors in the brain that make it easier to focus on work and other normally challenging tasks. But while running, either competitively or for fun is beneficial to your health, many runners eventually encounter challenges to their physical well being.

According to the Chiropractic Association of Ireland (CAI), as the number of participants in recreational and competitive running continues to increase, so does the number of people who need treatment for runningassociated injuries. The majority of running injuries generally fit into two groups; traumatic injury, such as a slip, fall, or collision or repetitive stress/overuse injury. The following is an overview of the typical running injuries that a Chiropractor treats, outlining cause, symptoms and prevention. To treat running injuries a Chiropractor will be carry out foot, knee, hip and pelvis assessment and alignment where necessary. P12

Life and Fitness Magazine - Jan/Feb 2011

Shin Splints

pronation, exercising on unyielding surfaces and over training

Shin splints, a repetitive stress/overuse injury, are one of the most common running injuries that Chiropractors treat. They are essentially the strain of a muscle and its attachment to the tibia and are medically known as tenoperiostitis or traction periostitis.

Symptoms to look out for include pain or discomfort on the front, inside and/or outside surface of the shin bone or directly on the shin bone.

Preventative measures that can be taken include good shoes with Common causes of shin splints are shock absorbing features, heel toe landing for the minimum impact, calf faulty posture, training errors (too stretches and professionally fitted far, too fast, too soon), changes in custom made orthotics. Sports taproutine, inappropriate shoes, long distances, hills, hard/uneven surfac- ing will also help. es, fallen arches, inadequate warmup, over pronation/under controlled


Stress Fracture

strength of the small muscles that make up the sole of the foot. In some cases the patient may require orthotics to control improper foot movements.

calf. Unfortunately it is a very common site for a disabling injury. With this type of injury its imperative that you get it treated immediately. If your Achilles tendon is sore do not run through the pain as this could result in a chronic injury

Stress fractures are small fractures that occur due to excessive stress (overuse of the bone) or an increase Prevention includes regular stretching of the calf and Achilles tendon, in intensity or distance running, reSymptoms are usually described as and it’s also important that the feet sulting in gradual breakdown of the are assessed for any biomechanical diffuse pain in or around the back of bone. Weakened bones, due to old the ankle (from the calf to the heel). problems. injuries or other conditions are The pain is aggravated by activimuch more susceptible to ty, especially uphill running or stress fractures because they climbing stairs, and relieved are unable to handle the new A Chiropractor can give expert somewhat by wearing higherstresses applied to them. Athadvice and management to insure that heeled shoes or boots letes with compromised bone your injury will recover in the best possible density must be very careful way. Chiropractors use gentle, specific manipwhen increasing their work ulation and adjustment techniques to free stiff load. joints, restore normal movement and remove Again, it is also important that the spinal irritation. Treatment is generally pain- feet are assessed for any biomeThis type of running injury can less, although some short-term discomfort chanical problems. Orthotics or be difficult to diagnose in its may sometimes be felt around the insoles may also be prescribed early stages and can be injured area. and the use of soft heel-lifts are confused with shin splints. effective as part of chiropractic Healing usually requires six to treatment. eight weeks of rest. For stress fractures pain occurs especially in the foot and lower leg becoming more intense with weight bearing activity. X-rays may appear negative initially but fractures become visible up to two weeks after the initial injury so it’s important to keep an eye on it.

Plantar Fasciitis Plantar Fasciitis is usually characterised by pain in the area of the heel bone and the sole of the foot. Proper assessment of the foot is essential as Plantar Fasciitis pain mirrors the pain associated with a bone spur at the heel of the foot. It is a condition that develops over time due to joint and muscle imbalances of the lower leg and foot. Symptoms to look out for include pain in a specific area on the bottom of the foot towards the heel, possibly radiating towards the ball of the foot. The foot feels tender early in the morning and becomes less painful with movement, often associated with pronation and a fallen arch. Treatment includes stretching and strengthening the calf muscle as well as improving the balance and

Runners Knee Runners Knee essentially means the softening of the cartilage of the knee cap. Portions of the cartilage may then be under either too much or too little pressure which may result in cartilage deterioration at the inner part of the knee cap. Usual symptoms of this running injury include pain directly under the kneecap, or the surrounding area. Pain can be worsened by activities, especially climbing, squatting or running, but can also be worse after prolonged periods of sitting with knees bent. A feeling of giving way can occur which is caused by the inhibition of muscle contraction in response to pain. Runner’s knee generally responds well with biomechanical evaluation and an orthotic, when indicated.

If you’ve sustained an injury, the best course of action is to see a professional and until you get the chance to do so remember the acronym PRICE:


Protect injury to prevent additional damage R Rest the injured area I Ice injury to abate swelling, bleeding, muscle spasm, and pain C Compress injury E Elevate the injury, particularly when dealing with ankles and knees A Chiropractor can give expert advice and management to insure that your injury will recover in the best possible way. Chiropractors use gentle, specific manipulation and adjustment techniques to free stiff joints, restore normal movement and remove spinal irritation. Treatment is generally painless, although some short-term discomfort may sometimes be felt around the injured area.

Achilles Tendonitis For a full list of Chiropractors in your The Achilles tendon is the connection area please visit between the heel and the most powerful muscle group in the body, the Life and Fitness Magazine - Jan/Feb 2011


Product Review Product Review Nike ‘Fly Sister One’ shoes The latest offering in women’s sports shoes from Nike, Fly Sister One, is a pleasant surprise with instant support and cushioning perfect for a range of fitness classes. There’s lots of science in the Diamond Flx technology but it all boils down to a grooved sole which gives you a better grip and braking ability. Aimed at the indoor market, they are lighter than road-work shoes which is helpful when you’re pounding out a long session indoors. You’ll hardly feel them on the treadmill or during Spin classes and this tester didn’t get ‘dead toes’

wearing them on the cross-trainer either. And for anyone getting sweaty in Body Combat or Step classes, the support is noticeable from the first lunge. The high-density foam arch lifts you and should give that push for extra time on the floor, and cushions your frame when landing from kicks or jumps. The sock-liner is apparently softer than pervious versions but it did take a few sessions to feel wholly comfortable.

By Niamh Griffin

And we don’t mean to be superficial but colour is important; these come in a range of pinks and blues but the gleaming white and orange combo put a bounce in the step for early morning classes. Plus they look good enough for danceclasses as well as the fitness sessions. You might need to change the laces as they’re short and fiddly – popping open at inopportune moments. As usual with Nike, the fit is quite narrow so make sure you try on a few pairs before splashing out – RRP €80 in Ireland.

New Cork City Marathon Route Not Half Bad Continuing to build on its tradition of being the most open and accessible marathon in Ireland, the Bord Gáis Energy Cork City Marathon today unveiled the route for its inaugural half marathon. The new half-marathon route will allow more people than ever to participate in one of Ireland’s premier running events.

marathon or a leg of the relay is their personal goal. Together with our partners in Bord Gáis Energy, we’re looking to make the 2011 event the most accessible yet, and the addition of the half-marathon route opens up the marathon to a much wider audience.”

Ger Cunnigham, Bord Gáis Energy Sports Sponsorship Manager, said that the half marathon route acted as a step The 13.1-mile route starts on Skehard Road in Mahon and runs with the main up for people who wanted more of a challenge this year. “The relay section marathon course along Ringmahon Road and Castle Road, as far as of the event has become hugely popular, but the feedback from some Blackrock Castle. Just before the castle, the half marathoners split from runners was that they were looking for a step up in distance. The half the main field and continue along Castle Road, into Blackrock Village and marathon allows those people to take on more of a challenge, and for some onto the Marina. The two fields merge again on the Marina and run the rest of to maybe build for the full marathon in 2012. It’s a great opportunity for people the course together, taking the same route as last year to the finish line on St Patrick’s Street. Speaking at the launch of the half-marathon route, Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Michael O’Connell, said that the goal of Cork City Council was to encourage as many people as possible to take part. “Finishing a marathon is an incredible achievement, but for many people, running, jogging or walking a half P14

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to test themselves before they get ready to take on the full 26.2 miles!” Tim Lucey, Cork City Manager, said that the response to the half marathon was already ahead of expectations. “There has been a lot of excitement about the half marathon. We’ve already seen a surge of interest on the website,, before we’ve even announced the route. This is a real indication that the new halfmarathon section will be a very popular addition.“ People wishing to enter the full marathon, the half marathon or the relay can visit Participants entering before the 31st March can avail of the early bird entry fee. Concession fees are offered for those who are unwaged and in receipt of benefit. Further information is available on the website.

Product Review

Shock Absorber Sports Bras Why a Sports Bra? By Gillian Hynes Much of the motivation for us ladies to get out and exercise is to feel better about our bodies, to tone and firm them. We all know the importance of wearing a pair of proper trainers - however are we looking after our breasts adequately during exercise? It would seem not. A recent study found that 73% of women who exercise regularly are not wearing sports bras. This is the equivalent to heading out for a run in a pair of Uggs. While you will reap the cardio vascular benefits you will likely cause damage to your ankles or knees thus decreasing any positive gains. As with our breasts not wearing an appropriate bra during exercise will have negative consequences. Breast tissue contains no muscle and is composed of glandular tissue and fat all held in position by the delicate Cooper’s Ligaments and skin. Women's breasts, when unsupported during exercise, will move up and down (as much as 21 centimetres) and, as a recent University of Portsmouth study has found, will also move side to side and back and forth*. This puts strain on the Cooper's Ligaments causing them to stretch and in the long term lead to irreversible breast sag. A thought that might just strike terror into the heart of any woman! Furthermore inadequate support during exercise can also cause breast pain and discomfort during exercise and even injury due to strain on neck and upper back muscles. In many cases women are relying on their regular bras during exercise. While tests have shown that an ordinary bra will reduce breast movem ent by up to 38% it just does not compare to a proper sports bra which will reduce it by up to 78%. And while larger chested women will certainly experience more movement smaller chested women are not immune to

breast tissue damage and discomfort during exercise. THE PRODUCT As a personal trainer my activity levels are high, and I am always on the lookout for comfortable and good looking gear so when I was invited to try out some of Shock Absorbers new range of sports bras I was very interested. Shock Absorber has been designing sports bras for 15 years and one of leaders in the study of breast biomechanics. For example it is through their research that is it now known that while running breasts move in a continuous figure of 8 pattern. Based upon their studies of breast movement the Shock Absorber range now includes bras specifically designed for different activities such as running, racket sports and ball sports - meeting and minimising the breast movement patterns caused by each type of exercise. As I am most definitely on the smaller side of the size scale in the interest of fair and balanced product review I felt it only right to also have a client of mine - who at a C cup is somewhat more well-endowed than I - to test one of the range also. THE TEST I tested the Shock Absorber Pump Sports Bra with removable padding. This lightweight bra is designed for smaller chests and lower intensity exercise. Made with breathable sports performance fabrics, with soft hook and eye closure at the back, this is a seriously comfortable bra - zero digging into the skin and it’s seriously good looking to match. Racerback and coming in variety of colours you won’t be hiding yourself in the corner as you change – in fact, on a hot summer’s day it would do nicely as a top in itself. My client tested the Shock Absorber Max Sports Bra designed for high

impact sports. Despite my pleas this client had thus far avoided buying a sports bra and was relying on a regular bra during running (with resultant and obvious excess movement) and I was keen to hear her opinion. Off we set on our run. With almost no ‘bounce’ the control effect was visible right away. The client loved it - feeling much more comfortable and completely supported while she exercised. She is insistent that, during exercise, she will never wear a normal bra again. Again this bra looks great, coming in a variety of colours, and gives the breasts fantastic shape too. It would seem the days of ugly and uncomfortable sports bras are well and truly over. If you need any further encouragement to wearing a proper sports bra go to and check out their ‘bounceometer’ to see movement of your breasts based upon their size and your activity level. Based upon this, you can then select the sports bra most appropriate to you. Ladies it is pretty simple, if you’re exercising ditch the normal bra or old and worn sports bras and invest in a proper and well fitted and sports appropriate bra. Your breasts will thank you! Happy exercising! Gillian Product Info: Pump Bra retails at €35 (sizes A - D) and Max Sports Bra €40.50 (sizes B -HH) Shock Absorber is available at Debenhams, Arnotts, Elverys and Champion Sports. *Source: Portsmouth University research 2009, Scurr et al

Gillian Hynes is a Personal Trainer & Pilates Instructor Tel: 087 2028062


A hydro-massage without getting wet?! Many of us love the pressure of water jets in a Jacuzzi, but get frustrated waiting for the space to position ourselves just right so the jets can massage that aching muscle...but we never quite position ourselves right! Queue the Spa Capsule!

The SpaCapsule has arrived in Ireland. This ergonomically designed product has become popular worldwide as the health, fitness, and beauty industries have embraced it. The SpaCapsule is the ultimate wellbeing experience featuring dry hydro-massage, oxygen, aroma, sound and visual therapy. This non-invasive experience stimulates all the senses as the hydro water jets massage tired and sore muscles. Oxygen can be pumped into the capsule to boost energy levels and aromatherapy scents are available also. Soothing music is offered, as well as a visual screen to become immersed in flowering meadows, waterfalls and fly through cloudcapped mountains! The Client remains fully clothed and dry at all times due to the waterproof membrane separating them from the hydro water jets. One of the key features of the SpaCapsule® is the remote control pause button which allows the user to focus on a particular area of the body such as the shoulders or lower back at any time during treatment. As soon as the pause button is released, the water jets continue the massage. This is an excellent opportunity for those in the wellbeing, massage and sport therapy fields to add to their client offering. As a high value product, the SpaCapsule can boost a business’ profile, expand


Life and Fitness Magazine - Jan/Feb 2011

their customer base and stimulate revenue. John Sharkey, Exercise Physiologist, Neuromuscular Therapist and Director of the National Training Centre (NTC) for health, fitness & bodywork therapy in Dublin, endorses the Spa Capsule as a complementary treatment. “This is a great unit, there’s no doubt about it” says John, “Although you can’t substitute for a good qualified therapist, the SpaCapsule is an adjunct to what they can offer their clients”. John further adds that this product would suit therapists with their own premises, “It doesn’t take up much room, is low maintenance and even environmentally friendly as well”. John is the founder and developer of European Neuromuscular Therapy and works closely with the Irish Olympic Team.

The Benefits of Using Spa Capsule: • time saving for people on the go • non invasive • no getting wet or undressed • de-stress, revive & rejuvenate • detox & increase circulation and metobolism • weight loss & cellulite reduction • relieve pain / tension / aching muscles • promote healing • pre & post workout / treatment

For more information about the SpaCapsule’s profit sharing program contact the SpaCapsule team on 00 353 1 8574870 or email You can also visit for further details.


Leg it now! with the new social fitness website This Irish owned business has successfully developed a unique website that combines the benefits of regular sporting activity with social interaction and networking for those that want it. The site is called and has been designed to support individuals as they build and maintain their fitness or possibly act as an aid to managing a weight loss programme for others.

The site is free to use and allows sports people from many disciplines including runners, cyclists, and walkers to set up their own training log / profile and then maintain records of their training activities, their progress against the achievement of members to develop social networks with like-minded people through our a particular goal. face book link. Friends on can then share advice, Users can upload their preferred training routines, routes etc. jogging, walking, cycling and activity routes and offer thoughts opinions and recommendations for various The business owner Colette Hamilton routes based on a host of parameters said “Many users have already including degree of difficulty, length embraced the Legginit platform - not of route, duration of route based on only as an ‘online tracking and fitness level of individual, location monitoring’ site for fitness but also as (central or off the beaten track), a weight loss motivational tool through the use of the calorie burner personal feedback etc and BMI index features. Monitoring and sharing of fitness activity is For others the site offers a new facilitated by functions within the site dimension to training as it allows that let users to create individual

goals and benefit from ongoing motivational prompts from the site.” Colette also stated that the business will launch a iPhone app that will enable subscribers to track and save their workouts together with distance, time, calories burnt info. The app will only cost €2.95 and will be live in early Jan 2011 to help individuals stick to their New Year resolutions. For additional information on the company’s products and services visit or phone Colette Hamilton directly on 087 683 5593.

Mullaghmore Triathlon


Using Gadgets to Keep Fit By Niamh Griffin

Do you remember doing PE in school? Running laps at a steady pace around a muddy field, ill-fitting gear and probably lots of rainy days. The most technical piece of equipment was usually the teacher’s whistle. How things have changed. Now we want everything to be shiny and interactive. And while not all technology is great – the dumbbell phone anyone?, there are some great gadgets on the market which can really help maintain your fitness.

Adidas miCoach Pacer We’d all love the attention of a personal trainer every time we hit the gym, but if finances are tight then this little gadget could be the answer. Weighing in at a tiny 10.5g with a 15g bracelet you’d hardly notice it on your wrist. The idea is to choose a suitable programme and download it for use during a session; you listen as you workout or read it afterwards to charge up for the next day. Used by the World Cup-winning Spanish team as well as rugby player Johnny Wilkinson, champion cyclist Victoria Pendleton and heptathlete Jessia Ennis, the miCoach

will check your heart rate, the distance you run or bike or swim, your pace, calories burned and how long you worked out for. Nowhere to hide. And no excuse for not finding the perfect programme with 3,000 ready and waiting online. Detailed instructions for walking, running, biking as well as sport specific workouts for soccer, American football, tennis and basketball give you a choice of daily, weekly sessions. As of August, you can get the miCoach on any smartphone so you can even measure how healthy your commute to work might be. Retails at €170

Withings WiFi Body Scale Boxers might prefer to use oldfashioned beam-balance scales but to really find out what’s going on in your body then this Tweeting scale could be the answer. The WiFi scale measures weight, body fat and gives you an accurate BMI. In a slightly scary click, your body fat pops up as a weight not as a percentage of your overall weight. straight to your computer or iPhone. This writer isn’t too sure about Hold the cream please. Tweeting her weight every morning but The scale is the first off the production if you train in a group it could be motivating and fun to share. The line from French company Withings; scales can store information for up to set up by three guys with a eight people. background in technology and telecommunications. So it’s not surprising then that this scale has that little extra – it can send the data P18

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To hook it up; use a USB, then assign a wireless hotspot and each time the

scale is used the data floats over. You need to log which data belongs to which user, but each new set of figures drifts in separately so you won’t get any shocks. Retails at €129


Fitbit Remember when you had to wait until someone went on holidays to the States for a Gap T-shirt? Well, here’s a new gadget to stock up on this Christmas. The Fitbit keeps you on the straight and narrow outside the gym so you can get more from your workouts. This tiny gadget measures sleep quality and general daily activity outside the gym. Based on the same technology as the Nintendo Wii series, this straps onto your wrist to record data based on motion. It helps you track how healthy your overall approach to

Fit Apps for your Apple iPhone With up-beat slogans like “Break that Sweat!” this free NikeWomen Training app will keep you motivated on a cold, autumn evening. There are three short workouts to choose from; core, strength or cardio which you access by linking with the Nike Women site. Each workout targets different areas of the body. As each one is only two-three minutes, you can easily tack them onto your regular gym routine or at the end of a class. The best bits? The cute videos which take you through step-by-step and the Reset button for when you miss the link between moves. You can vary the intensity but (so far) once you pick one type of workout, you’re stuck with that. Another freebie is the Six-Pack App from Pocket Cocktails Inc. This comes complete with diagrams of your muscles so you know what to target, and while it won’t give you instant abs; doing the exercises carefully can add a new dimension to your gym workout. Each move comes with images of how it should look plus how it shouldn’t. Clear instructions tell you what moves to avoid and how to hold each position correctly. There are 100 exercises to choose from so you can find a set to match your needs. Just remember to move carefully and avoid this one if you have back problems.

know how this is impacting on your training. It’s not waterresistant or that effective while exercise and movement is. After pedaling away in your spinning all there’s not much use being a class, but it will give you an idea gym-bunny for three hours a week of where you can fit in an extra set and a couch potato the other 165. of stairs or floor-mopping to keep those muscles working. So, for example, while you think you’re sleeping; the Fitbit tracks At the time of writing the Fitbit is how long you were lying there only available in the States, but thinking versus deep sleep, how plans to ship to Europe are in often you woke up and tells you development. exactly how long you slept. And for $99. with sleep deprivation a big issue for health, it could be useful to

Speedo Aquabeat Going for a swim sounds so much more romantic than the noisy reality of laps in a chlorinated pool with 20 other people. One way to beat the boredom is to tune in with the Speedo Aquabeat, and drown out screaming children in the shallow end. This waterproof-to-three-metres MP3 player comes in fluro green, pink or plain black. And as a bonus it floats so you won’t lose it if it drops while you’re getting into the pool. At just 35 grams you won’t notice any drag while you swim, and the textured buttons make it easy to change the song or volume without getting out of the pool The battery charges up for nine hours, with 1GB/2GB of storage so unless you’re swimming the Channel, it should get you through the session.

Finis Lap Track Serious swimmers might want to mount this colourful gadget on the side of the pool. It’s waterproof with a large face and easy to read digits so you can count off your progress as you turn. But as the whole unit is hardly larger than a CD, other swimmers are unlikely complain as they splash past. It counts laps, how long each takes or the time between laps and even gives you the calories burned in each lap. You can set alarms to go off and let you know the time is elapsing, or use it over the whole session (only up to a max of 50 laps) to check how well you’re doing. Press the face in as you swim to set the lap counter - one lap is a full circuit of the pool. buy for $79 Retails from €70

Life and Fitness Magazine - Jan/Feb 2011



Introducing Flexibility to Your Routine By Conor Jordan

Flexibility training is an essential part of a well structured exercise regime. Using flexibility exercises in conjunction with fitness regimes such as strength training and aerobic conditioning can help to prevent injury, increase suppleness, improve your ability to recover from strenuous activity and enable you to prepare for physical exertion. Flexibility is often overlooked when it comes to aerobic training. Many runners for instance tend to neglect the positive

Physiological effects

Warming up

It takes some time for the body to change from its basic resting state, to a point at which it is fully prepared for intense physical activity. If vigorous exercise is started immediately from a resting state, there is a much greater risk of injury since the body will not be sufficiently warmed up and prepared for exercise. This is why stretching before and after a training session can help you to prepare for exercise, enable you to focus before the activity and can prevent injury.

A warm up will result in a number of physiological factors that may be of benefit to stretching. Elevated temperature improves an individual’s ability to perform physical work and in doing so, enables the body to perform to a higher peak. Before you begin stretching, it is important to raise your body temperature as there is a possibility of pulling or straining a muscle if you stretch cold muscles before warming up. Warming up improves the circulation around the body allowing your muscles adequate preparation for strenuous activity. For instance, doing some light running for 5 minutes before performing gentle static stretching exercises is an excellent way of limbering up before a run. Always remember to take your time when doing stretching exercises and ensure you maintain a stable posture throughout.

For a warm up to be effective, the intensity of your preparation will differ greatly depending on your fitness level and the activity you will be taking part in. For instance, the preparation required before a triathlon and a football match would differ greatly due to the different ranges of motions performed throughout each activity. However, keeping to a regular series of warm-up exercises and stretching routines can help improve your performance and reduce the risk of injury in the long term, enabling you to get the most out of your workouts.


impact regular stretching before and after a training session or race can have on their performance. Stretching exercises can be an effective method of warming up before training and competition. In order to get the most out of stretching exercises, it is essential that you are properly warmed up beforehand to avoid the chance of pulling a muscle or straining yourself unnecessarily. In addition, regular stretching can also eliminate tightness throughout the body.

Life and Fitness Magazine - Jan/Feb 2011


Static Stretching Static stretching involves taking a limb to the point at which tightness is felt and holding this position. As the position is held, the inert structures gradually elongate, while the muscle tendons gradually allow the muscle to relax. This is a particularly safe method of stretching, but because the position is held for up to 30 seconds the starting position chosen for the exercise must be comfortable and well supported. Lying and sitting on a mat are good starting positions, but kneeling and standing require good balance and stability. Static stretching should generally be applied for 4-5 repetitions, with each stretch being released and the limb rested for 10-20 seconds before the next repetition is used. With each repetition, the range of motion should gradually improve. This is a very common type of stretching exercise which can be used after a short warm-up.

flexes to become accustomed to the stretch and they desensitise or habituate to the movement. This process occurs when the body simply becomes used to a repeated stimulus and no longer reacts to it. Although this occurs in both ballistic, stretching and pulsing, the smaller movements used in pulsing greatly reduces the momentum built up and so the potential for injury is much lower.

Dynamic Stretching Dynamic stretching is stretching with movement. A dynamic stretch is a controlled movement through the full range of motion at either single or multiple joints. Essentially, it involves placing the stretch within the context of a functional action, whether for a specific sport or for strength training such as weight-lifting. The advantage is that it involves stretching, muscle contraction, muscle control and movement control (skill and timing).


Active Stretching

Static stretching is sometimes used with small presses at the end of the range of movement. This is called pulsing, and involves a little more than tensing the tissue then releasing it, and repeating this action rhythmically. The repetition causes the muscle re-

Active stretching is a slower-speed version of classic dynamic stretching. It involves an active contraction - isometric or concentric - of one muscle to its full inner range, requiring the antagonist to stretch fully to its outer range. Active stretching tends to be used as part of a muscle imbalance correction programme and so is clinically based,

while dynamic stretching is generally used for fitness and sport and so is performance based.

Ballistic Stretching Ballistic stretching is similar to dynamic stretching, but is performed at very high speeds and generally to repetition. Ballistics can be performed in preparation for many sports that actually involve full-range actions and a high degree of flexibility. Initially, only mid-range movements are used, and then gradually the range of motion is increased over many training sessions. However, full static, active and dynamic flexibility coupled with strength and power training should be gained before any ballistic actions are used by athletes new to flexibility exercises. Keeping to a regular routine of stretching before and after workouts can greatly enhance your suppleness and provide a greater level of fitness. Always allow yourself plenty of time while stretching in order to derive the most benefits out of your regime and if you are unsure of any stretching exercises, ask someone who knows the correct technique. Conor Jordan is a freelance journalist specialising primarily in the areas of health, fitness & athletics. He has written much on this particular subject having experience in the field of the health & fitness industry. He is available to provide freelance contributions & can be contacted at: Life and Fitness Magazine - Jan/Feb 2011



You need a plan……… ‘You prepare to plan or you plan to fail’

By Pierce Kennedy

Obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally, with approximately 1.6 billion persons (aged 15 years old and above) being overweight Physical inactivity, (a lack of physical activity) is an independent risk factor for chronic diseases, and overall is estimated to cause 1.9 million deaths globally. Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, are by far the leading cause of mortality in the world, representing 60% of all deaths. Unhealthy diets and physical inactivity are two of the main risk factors for raised blood pressure, raised blood glucose, abnormal blood lipids, overweight/obesity, and for the major chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes. World Health Organisation

‘If you don’t know where you’re going, how can you get there?’ A lot of people make the mistake thinking ‘training’ refers to when they workout in the gym. Whether you’re cleaning the house, doing the gardening, taking part in a fitness class or sport, or going walking, it’s all burning calories.

It takes a deficit of 3500 calories to lose one pound of body fat. A massive mistake people make, especially those who do a lot of aerobic training (Walking, Swimming, Cycling, Running etc) is the relationship between fat loss and muscle loss. Regarding nutrition, the relationship between our emotions and what we eat and when we eat it. Understanding this is massive to your success.

What’s the best diet or fitness programme? … Well simply the one YOU do on a consistent basis. Even the best nutrition or fitness plans will have no results if you’re not being consistent 80% of the time at least. To change behaviours you need to change your lifestyle, for example your fitness activity levels, nutrition, fluid intake, sleep, and generally ensuring you have a balanced lifestyle. What can you do to help ……?

Muscle density is 1.06 g/ml and fat density is (about) 0.9 g/ml. So one litre of muscle would weigh 1.06 kg and one litre of fat would weight 0.9 kg. In other words, muscle is about 18% denser than fat. This should not be confused with the "energy density" of muscle and fat. This is where some people think that muscle weighs 3 times more than fat which is a myth.

Ø Revaluate your life and be open to making positive changes. Ø  Set specific goals…. be as detailed as possible and set a time frame. Ø  Keep an exercise & nutritional diary, make changes where necessary. Ø  Find a training buddy or join a sport / fitness class. Ø  Vary your exercise routine & nutrition and fluid intake. Ø  Ensure you’re getting 6­8 hours of sleep per day, this is vital.


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There is evidence to state that too much aerobic activity in isolation can reduce the muscle tissue of the body as muscle proteins are broken down and used as energy in aerobic exercise. It’s vital to have a balanced programme with cardiovascular, resistance, core and flexibility exercises. If you’re really serious about changing your life I would advise you seek a fitness test and evaluation from your local fitness instructor or personal trainer where all this can be done for you.


It takes a deficit of 3500 calories to lose one pound of body fat

The World Health Organisation recommends 40 – 60 minutes of physical activity 5 – 6 times a week. No No No… This doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym 5 – 6 times a week. Physical activity as I referred to before could be gardening, cleaning the house, dancing, swimming, fitness class, or going to gym or walking. A general rule of thumb for walking is 10,000 steps are 5 miles. This should be a daily target but obviously this depends on the person’s age, fitness level and goals etc. If you’re going to the gym or using a personal trainer ask them for a suitable programme. Exercise is all about numbers…. Time, Reps, Sets, Rest Period etc and most importantly what your heart rate zone is and what energy system you’re using, this is vital. You have 3 energy systems for example….. *(See table below)

Regarding your nutrition we all remember the food pyramid and the saying ‘ eating little but often ‘ Weight loss for most people is not rocket science if you burn off more then you take in, the difference is weight loss. Supplements like CLA and L Carnitine are commonly used for weight loss. If you’re looking to gain weight it’s the opposite way around and Whey Protein is an option with 1.2 grams of protein per 1 kg of body weight.

provide blood sugar to cells and may increase sensitivity to insulin, potentially helping to curb cravings. Chromium is naturally found in foods like yeast, mushrooms, prunes, and broccoli. It is sometimes added to drinking water. Other general supplements which may be used is a multi vitamin and omega 3, however everyone should have their own fitness and nutrition plan done to suit their needs. I hope you found this article useful , if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me on the contact details below. ‘A goal without action is just a wish’

Our emotions have a massive bearing over what we eat and when we eat it. Willpower doesn’t last and is very commonly used by the ‘yo yo person’. That’s why the drop off rate is high with people who give up after a short period. Emotions change our state of mind and keeping a diary can help pin point what your trigger is for when you slip up. The supplement chromium is a trace mineral that assists with burning carbohydrates and fat. It helps


Pierce Kennedy ….. Holistic Coach covering Personal Training, Nutrition, Psychotherapy, Motivation and a Writer. Web Site: Mobile: 087 6536613 Facebook: Twitter:

Energy System

Output level





0 – 20 Secs



21 – 160 Secs



161 Secs +

Fast Sprint or Heavy Set Of Weights 400m Run or 50 Reps Of Weights 5km Run

Life and Fitness Magazine - Jan/Feb 2011



Not just a resolution.... ...a lifetime change By Aoife Luykx,

The New Year is often a time when we reflect the good and the bad, and we usually make some serious promises to ourselves that we will change our ways. However, rather than putting so much pressure on ourselves and deciding a diet is the plan after all the Christmas festivities...we'd be far better off making a few small changes to our diets, ones that will last us a lifetime. Look at our diets, so full of wheat, nearly every carb we touch is laden with wheat. Look closely at each meal - cereal for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, pasta for dinner. Result: wheat-overload, systemoverload, unrefined carb and sugar overload. What about all the other delicious grains out there, that are great substitutes for wheat, are better for you, add variety to your diet and additional nutrients?

The ugly truths behind wheat flour

sugar/refined flour intake places a continual stress on the body.

Wheat also contains a protein called gluten that promotes inflammation in Highly processed white flour is the body and also causes the gut to missing the two most nutritious and become leaky. The more wheat a fibre-rich parts of the seed: the person eats, the more leaky their gut outside bran layer and the germ. A gets. Some people have coeliac diet rich in refined foods leaves many disease which means that they also people malnourished, constipated have a destructive immune response and vulnerable to chronic illness. to the gluten which basically eats at their intestines The more refined foods a and causes huge person eats, the more problems. The benefits of insulin must be living wheat free outweigh produced to manage White bread is the cons. The first thing is it. Insulin promotes dead bread. that you automatically notice the storage of fat, Why is the making way for rapid that you’re not as sluggish colour of weight gain and white bread as before. No more pains in elevated fat levels, so white your stomach, no more which can lead to when the flour bloating and its associated heart disease. Over taken from issues. Some people time, the pancreas wheat is not? even report fewer gets so overworked that It’s because the headaches. insulin production grinds flour used to make to a halt, and white bread is hypoglycaemia (low blood chemically bleached. So sugar) or diabetes sets in. Either you are getting absolutely no way, the body is getting little or no vitamins. You might as well be eating fuel from the food you eat (wheat cardboard. Have I convinced you flour, especially white bread) and enough to change your wheat tries to convert muscle and fat into habits? energy. The constant refined


Life and Fitness Magazine - Jan/Feb 2011

So, how do I start a wheat-free living diet plan? At first, looking for wheat alternatives is challenging, but the reward for wheat-free living is better health and wellbeing. Following a wheat-free diet involves cutting out all products made from wheat and wheat flours, such as breads, crackers, biscuits and pasta to name a few. You'd be surprised where wheat can crop up sauces, cocktail sausages, and soup to name a few. Here's my best advice: shop around and be willing to try some new grains, even if you can't pronounce them! To start afresh in the New Year, have a search through your cupboard and anything that has wheat on the label goes in the bin! So that can mean bread, crackers, pasta, often even stock cubes. It's hard at first, but the long-term rewards are worth it. There are a variety of wheat-free products available from health food stores and most big supermarkets, so it`s not as difficult as you may first think. A lot of the time, you really have to try a little bit of everything to realize your likes and dislikes.


Alternative grains to try are oats, spelt, buckwheat, quinoa, and amaranth. These grains make delicious meals – porridge, stews, and fillers for vegetables.

spelt cereals which again are an alternative to wheat and are just as filling. Have a look at and click on the “breakfast” label for details.

Dinner is probably the easiest meal to eat. As you are avoiding wheat, you can still eat rice, potatoes and any type of wheat-free pasta - corn, millet, rice or buckwheat pastas. There is a good variety available The benefits of living wheat free Lunchtime is always a challenge. and some are tastier and have outweigh the cons. The first thing is Sandwiches have been the staple more flavour than traditional pasta. that you automatically notice that lunch diet of the 21st century, so it So, it`s a matter of testing and you’re not as sluggish as before. can be hard to find anything else, seeing what you like. I find the No more pains in your stomach, no unless you make it yourself. There country markets great for pesto and more bloating and its associated are a vast array of choices, from hummus, which are always a issues. Some people even report rice cakes, to oat cakes, corn cakes delicious snack on bread or fewer headaches. So, these health and gluten free breads. There’s crackers. The pesto can be mixed benefits aren’t a bad thing at all! often an aisle in the supermarket in with pasta, for a quick, easy and dedicated to wheat-free and gluten- nutritious dinner. So, day 1, empty out the free foods. Other alternatives are cupboards, create a wheat-free diet soup, but be careful what you buy, So, no fad diets or crazy promises plan – plan out breakfast, lunch and cause some are loaded with gluten for you this New Year. Ditch the dinner. It may seem confusing, but (a derivative of wheat), so my resolutions that only last a few have a look on websites and blogs advice is to avoid soup, unless you weeks at most. Give your body a to see what’s out there. make your own and you know chance and salute wheat-free Have a look at what`s in it. Soup is easy to make living. Is it time for you to beat the and you can buy gluten free wheat? for some ideas. I advocate wheatstock/bouillon. free living and review a variety of foods and even restaurants, so you’ll get good and bad reviews and it’ll give you an idea with to buy and where to find them! Head to the supermarket and health store, but give yourself an extra bit of time. At first you’ll need to read some labels to familiarize yourself with new foods and grains. But, with time, it will become second nature. Yes, it can be daunting, but it will be worth it! Your new long-found healthy lifestyle and the new you will thank you! Think about the nutritious value of traditional bread and wheat and you’ll soon realise that you can get far more out of your food. To give you some help, here are some ideas: For breakfast, there are a range of options once you look into it more. Instead of cardboard cereal, you can actually eat something nutritious with its added benefits. Oats are a fantastic start to the day, filling you up for longer sustaining your energy. Porridge is a warm and nourishing breakfast and can be eaten with almost any topping - honey, fresh fruit, dried fruit, or simply on its own with soya milk, or milk if you eat dairy. Oats also come in granolas, toasted and raw and are delicious. Other options are buckwheat and


Time to get the balance right Author: Dr. Muireann Cullen Organisation: Nutrition and Health Foundation

New Year's is the traditional time to reflect on the changes we want to make and resolve to follow through on. More often than not, they are the same resolutions around diet, fitness and lifestyle. How far do we get before we break them? As Mark Twain once said, “New Year’s Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.” One hundred years on and we are no different.

So with all our resolutions about diet, fitness and lifestlye – where have we got to? If we only take adults as an example, we now know that * one in four adults are obese (25%) and * almost four out of ten (39%) are overweight (Slan, 2009). This is a 40% increase !!! over the last decade (OECD, 2010).

Our weight is heavily influenced by the amount of calories we take in and burn off. Research shows that almost six out of ten (59%) adults (Slan, 2009) do not meet the recommendations of 30 minutes 5 days a week or 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise (www. In addition, our diets are not the most nutritious with inadequate intakes of iron, calcium, folate and vitamins D, A and B2 (IUNA 2001) but we manage to consume too many calories as almost nine out of ten of us (86%) consume more than 3 portions of foods from the top shelf of the food pyramid (Slan, 2009).

So what does this all mean? In a nutshell, we have lost the balance within our diets and also the balance between energy in (food and drinks) and energy out (physical activity). Why does this matter? As a nation,


Life and Fitness Magazine - Jan/Feb 2011

we are getting heavier and this is doing us no favours. Obesity is a very serious problem. At least 2,500 deaths can be attributed to it each year. Being overweight or obese increases the likelihood of certain serious diseases; to name but a few cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

How do we get this balance back? Although here exercise, diet and weight are dealt with one by one, they in fact all work together in an effort to achieve a healthy lifestyle.

Exercise: TV programmes about people trying to improve their weight, diet, lifestyle etc. are extremely popular. We all find ourselves nodding along with the advice, knowing that we should all be more active. Do you find yourself spending more time talking yourself into exercise rather than at it? Merely becoming more active is the key, it is not about sarcrifice and pain. Physical activity has an important role to play in obtaining and maintaining a healthy weight. Simple things can work and all steps count:

Ideas to help get you started.

* Get off the bus a stop early or walk to a stop further away from your destination * Take the stairs instead of the lift – even if it is only for one floor at the start * Walk to your colleague instead of e mailing or phoning * Standing when taking phone calls will burn more calories * Park at the opposite end of the car park to the entrance * At home, take items up the stairs each time instead of leaving them at the bottom for the next time you need to go up

Being active in any form means positive health benefits and helps reduce your disease risk.

Diet: There is no need for feelings of conflict when it comes to eating. We often associate healthy eating with sarcrifice and eating treats with guilt. A balanced approach to eating – in what we eat, how much we eat, how often we eat it and how it is cooked helps ensure that we can enjoy all foods. Healthier eating does not mean dramatic changes. Small ones can make a huge difference. The food pyramid is the key to help us obtain the balance in our diet not


only from a calories perspective but also our overall nutrition. However, we usually want quick and fast results when it comes to weight loss and this can lead us to choosing fad type diets. Ask yourself the following questions if considering such a diet, does it:

gain more weight than we started out with. Why not decide to examine your diet against the food pyramid to see where you are at?

* Promise quick weight loss? * Require you to buy something in order to participate? * Make claims that certain foods/food groups are bad? * Warnings for people with chronic disease? * Use words like: ‘amazing’ ‘instant’, ‘miraculous’? * Require you to take pills?

If it does, then this is a fad diet. Whilst it might work in the short term, we need to go back to normal eating patterns in the long term to ensure that we are getting proper nutrition. Often these diets can be very difficult to stick to. With such diets, we are more likely to gain more weight afterwards. This is due to the fact that when we are starving the body of what it needs, it will respond by slowing down the rate at which we burn our calories etc. This means that when back on a normal diet, we can

Finding the right balance between diet and exercise can be tricky. Once you find what works for you, stick with it, and you'll see results sooner or later.

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

Life and Fitness Magazine - Jan/Feb 2011


Life and Fitness Magazine Ireland Jan Feb 2011  

Life and Fitness Magazine Ireland is a new fitness and health magazine. It contains informative articles on fitness, health, nutrition, weig...

Life and Fitness Magazine Ireland Jan Feb 2011  

Life and Fitness Magazine Ireland is a new fitness and health magazine. It contains informative articles on fitness, health, nutrition, weig...