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cover model Q&A Alex Kierdorf-Robinson has had a far from easy life. With parents suffering from addiction in her home country of Sweden, she had to grow up early – and fast. But rather than weakening her resolve, Kierforf-Robinson used these challenges to her advantage, and is now a Swedish-qualified physiotherapist, group fitness instructor and personal trainer for her own business, 360Health. She spoke to WH&F about fostering a positive attitude in the face of adversity, finding love, and working to create a healthy and fit lifestyle. MEET YOUR COVER MODEL…
ALEXANDRA KIERDORFROBINSON TRAINER & FITNESS MODEL
Model: Alexandra Kierdorf-Robinson // swedishalex.com // @swedishalex Photographer: Jessica Apap // jessicaapap.com // @jessicaapap_photographer HMU: Cynthia Smyth // cynthiasmythmakeup.com.au // @cynthiasmyth_makeup
ON CAREER I have always loved sports and training. It began with my passion for figure skating as a child, followed by soccer in high school and then I joined the gym for the first time when I was 17. I remember walking into my first group fitness class and thinking that one day I’d like to be an instructor on stage. It looked like so much fun to teach, motivate and train with a room full of people. After school, I did a bit of travelling and working before finally deciding to study physiotherapy in Gothenburg, Sweden. I had always been fascinated by the human body and movement; by its musculoskeletal and 6
physiological systems. It was during my years at university that I started my career as a group fitness instructor. I started out teaching old-school freestyle aerobics and step, but have since moved more toward Les Mills prechoreographed classes such as Bodypump, RPM and Bodybalance. I also teach yoga, which I absolutely love!
ON FINDING LOVE It was during a study abroad in 2006 that I met my now husband, Mark (@healthmanmark). We did long distance for three years while I completed my physiotherapy degree before I finally made
the move to the Gold Coast, Australia. These days I work as a personal trainer for our own business, 360Health, that Mark runs with business partner Rob Quatro. I train people of all ages and fitness levels, and enjoy helping clients rehabilitate and prevent injuries. I also train clients preparing for bodybuilding competitions, as well as providing online coaching services.
ON PASSION & PURPOSE My aim and goal in any field – whether it be during PT, in the cycle studio or in a yoga class – is always to promote the benefits of physical exercise. In a society with so many lifestyle-related metabolic conditions, and abundant healthcare and medicines to aid almost any condition, using exercise to promote health is sometimes forgotten. I want to spread the knowledge that training can help treat and prevent a whole range of ailments. I love what I do because I get to see so many lives completely transformed in this industry. And I’m not just talking about the physical transformations (which of course are rewarding) but the changes to a person’s quality of life: improved confidence and motivation, better energy levels, and a better social and family life too.
ON AN AVERAGE DAY I get up early – usually by 4.30am. I train clients or take a class or two until about lunch. Most afternoons I teach group fitness as well.
ON ‘SUMMER BODIES’ I think it’s great that people want to get fit for summer. It’s a great time to start a new fitness regime given you will likely have more energy thanks to the light and warmth outside. However, I always try to promote staying fit and training year-round. Making your healthy nutrition and training part of your routine 365 days a year will ensure it feels natural and you will never have to struggle making drastic changes to your physique because of one season. Make the commitment. Set pen to paper and write down your plan of attack. Set progress goals and when you want to achieve them by. Make sure you stick to the plan and keep yourself accountable – either by hiring yourself a PT or coach, or telling your friends and family what you hope to achieve.
ON PERSONALITY I’d describe my personality as happy and positive. I try my best to support and inspire friends, family and people around me. I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform, but I am learning that I also need rest and time to look after my body and mind. My childhood was a tough one. I had loving parents, but both suffered from addiction – so I had quite a chaotic life growing up and I pretty much looked after myself from a very young age. I lost my mother when I was 18 and my father has since passed as well. I like to think these life experiences have made me persistent, strong and determined in life rather than weakened me.
court, but also a humble, intelligent, kind man with absolute integrity.
ON GOALS Short term, I am looking forward to getting back into a full training load. I have been dealing with an injury in my elbow for about six months now and it is continuously getting better with rest and very specific rehab training, but I can’t wait to lift some heavy weights again. Long term, I would like to become a person who inspires health and physical activity nationally and globally, through faceto-face meetings, coaching and group fitness. Becoming a master trainer for group fitness instructors has always been a dream.
ON MY FAVOURITE EXERCISE It would have to be teaching a crazy, tough RPM class! But I also love participating in group fitness and hot yoga classes.
ON MY FAVOURITE ‘TREAT’ MEAL A big bowl of pasta, I love it! And for a sweet treat anything including chocolate, lollies and icecream works!
ON MY ROLE MODEL I think Roger Federer is an absolute legend! He is so much more than the greatest of all time (GOAT) on the
HOW TO BE
Monday: teach RPM and Bodypump Tuesday: resistance session and teach yoga Wednesday: teach Bodypump and two RPMs Thursday: teach Bodybalance and RPM Friday: resistance session and teach Bodybalance Saturday: teach Bodybalance Sunday: rest day, which normally includes a long walk.
EAT I eat clean and nutritious foods for all my main meals. I include protein in every meal
and eat most of my carbs during the first half of the day and around my training and classes. I do enjoy a treat here and there as I have a massive sweet tooth! But I try to view treats as actual treats – something to enjoy every now and then as part of an otherwise healthy diet. For me the 80/20 rule works quite well: I eat 80 per cent of my meals for functionality and nutrition, and the other 20 per cent for taste and enjoyment.
BE To relax and relieve stress I enjoy yoga and Bodybalance classes. I find that it centres and grounds me, providing me a great foundation to deal with life.
78 #RAWFITSPO 92 WE’RE LOVING 128 FINDER’S MARKETPLACE 130 LAST WORD
thrive 6 COVER MODEL Q&A Alexandra Kierdorf-Robinson shares how she overcame a difficult childhood to become a successful physiotherapist, trainer and business owner 26 IN THE ZONE: CREATIVITY UNCOVERED How to find your unique creative outlet 30 MERRY FITMAS Top gifts for every fit girl’s Christmas stocking 34 ACTIVE TRAVEL The active girl’s ultimate adventure holiday 36 HORMONES FROM EVERY ANGLE The hormones affecting your everyday life – from how well you sleep to how heavy you lift
42 MINDFUL EATING 101 How being ‘present’ when bringing fork to mouth could help you eat less, improve digestion and fortify your relationship with food
move 46 LAIDBACK LOOPHOLE Why toning down your training might be good for both your physical and mental health 52 WORKOUT: PLAN OF ATTACK WH&F head trainer Alexa Towersey and WH&F cover model Jenna Douros show you how to maintain your fitness in minimum time with their four-week summer training plan 64 CELEB TRAINING DIARIES Steal the training secrets of some of our fave Aussie personalities 70 EXPERT THINK TANK: THE AFTERMATH How to maintain your gains and stay lean – long term 76 FIT FOOD Warm apple pie protein balls and cool strawberry milkshake
eat 80 SILLY SEASON SIDE-STEP Have your cake and stay lean too with tricky If It Fits Your Macros science 86 SUMMER STAPLE Learn how salmon can do wonders for your metabolism and taste buds 88 CUT ABOVE THE REST Which meat cuts will help build lean muscle and which are toxin-ridden 94 ADD IT UP Do you really know what’s in the food you eat? Dodge the hidden cals, toxins and sugars with our no-nonsense guide to reading product labels
122 This Issue’s
100 HERO INGREDIENT Raspberry & coconut bread 102 SEASONAL SENSE There may be a reason you crave that watermelon in the summer months. Keep your health in check and taste buds in love by eating what’s in season
50 PERIPHERAL HEART
106 DEVIL’S ADVOCATE: AERIAL YOGA The new yoga fad that has us hanging from ceiling beams
70 MORE OF TOWERSEY’S EXERCISE, NUTRITION AND LIFESTYLE TIPS
112 READY, RESET, GO! Top holiday destinations to help you unwind and reboot for the new year ahead
glow 116 TOP 45 BEST-SELLING BEAUTY PRODUCTS OF 2017 This year’s best sellers revealed 122 A TO Z OF SKINCARE Your advanced tutorial on all-things skin
ACTION (PHA) WORKOUT
107 BEGINNERS AERIAL YOGA DEMO
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I was sitting at gate A18 of Phoenix International Airport, Arizona, recently when I met this woman with cherry hair. She wandered over from the adjacent newsagent and plonked into the chair beside me, her waterfall of bright red curls falling across her face. Two thoughts occurred to me in that moment: a) she looks great – wish I had the guts to pull that off and b) I am so glad my hair is blonde right now. And those two thoughts pretty much sum up the internal struggle I have with a concept that is repeated from online training program to senseless TV advertisement this time of year: the cringe-worthy ‘summer body’. Half of me thinks: what even is a summer body? Am I supposed to be healthier, fitter and more conscious of my size/shape simply because the Earth happens to be tilted toward the sun? If I want a ‘bikini body’, I’ll put a bikini on my body. Done. Then there is the other half of me that acknowledges that summer means more days spent wearing fewer clothes (unless you feel like sweating through your jumper), which also means self-consciousness is (socially constructed to be) heightened. I also understand that confidence is key: I was in said Phoenix airport because I was speaking at a fitness conference. The day I flew in, I went straight to a photoshoot, meaning I had professionally applied flawless makeup for both days of the media panel. As someone who can barely apply mascara without stabbing herself in the eye, I felt incredible; there is no denying that I got
up on that stage to speak to over 200 people with shoulders proud, back straight and a zip in my step because I believed I looked ‘better’, which in turn made me feel ‘better’. So if having a leaner body and glowing skin come summer is what it takes for you to feel confident, I can’t help but feel that that isn’t to be judged either. So the ‘summer’ edition of WH&F aims to split the difference (or at least let me sleep at night). We understand that social season is here, so don’t you dare avoid a few extra margaritas (if you want them) because you are scared of a piece of fabric covering only your privates (aka. the bikini); instead, make the best use of your time and maintain your health and body composition by using our four-week training plan (p. 52), learning to eat more mindfully (p. 42) and understanding how to manage your calorie intake while still eating Christmas pud using tricky IIFYM science (p. 80). And without meaning to sound like a less articulate Yoda, I’ll leave you with one last observation. That girl with hair the colour of fruit: she woke up one morning, decided she wanted red hair and went on and dyed it. She rocks what she has, looks beautiful being different and wouldn’t know me – the blonde – from a bar of soap. And that same girl with lush locks is now inspiring the editor’s letter of a national health and fitness magazine on the other side of the world. Just sayin’. Wishing you a confident month and a very Merry Christmas,
Katelyn Swallow // Editor
WH&F Head Trainer alexatowersey.com
WH&F Associate Beauty Editor @kristinaioannou
Dietitian & Nutritionist rebeccagawthorne.com.au
Psychologist / Body Image Expert bodymatters.com.au
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Chief Executive Officer // Silvio Morelli General Manager // Ben Stone Chief Financial Officer // Stefania Minuti
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Articles published in this issue of Women's Health & Fitness are Copyrighted © 2017 and are published by Blitz Publications and Multi-media Group Pty Ltd under licence from Bushi Pty Ltd.
PHOTOGRAPHY Cover Image Model // Alexandra Kierdorf-Robinson Photographer // Jessica Apap
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BAD NEWS? BE BLUNT
Delivering bad news is never fun; bearing bad news in a way that is candid and direct with no leading small talk is what most of us prefer. At least that’s the findings from a study out of Brigham Young University. The researchers found that when delivering bad news about a social relationship – such as breaking up or firing someone – simply saying “we need to talk” followed by “I’d like to break up” is best. Apparently most participants valued clarity and directness over other characteristics in receiving bad news. Good to know.
THRIVE FEED YOUR MIND The unhealthy Western diet of heavily processed foods is contributing to mental health disorders according to Professor of Clinical Psychology from the University of Canterbury Julia Rucklidge. “A good diet is one your grandmother would recognise: high in fruit and vegetables, fish and healthy fats and low in processed foods; we know that a well-nourished body and brain is better able to withstand ongoing stress and recover from illness,” she says. Rucklidge’s research has also found that taking micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) can have a positive effect on those suffering from stress, anxiety, ADHD and mood disorders.
JAR OF LOVE Needing a little daily inspiration? Send out some positive energy into the universe with the Gratitude Glass Jar. Designed by Aussie gal Claire Summers, each jar comes with 365 note cards for you to add a thankful thought to every day. We love the bronze finishes for your desktop too. Ca-ute. $39.95, gratitudeglassjars.com
Seeing the glass as half full really does benefit our health according to new University of Sydney Business School research. Positive thinking quickens the recovery of seriously ill patients and helps disaster victims to overcome the psychological impact of a traumatic experience. It’s thought that thinking positively about your future is key to fostering optimism. In one study, participants were given a hand-grip task and researchers found that people squeezed the object longer and more vigorously the more optimistic they were about their future.
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first word HIITING GOALS Time-poor cyclists will be pleased by results from Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence. They found that doing fewer repetitions during a HIIT session may produce better fitness gains than completing more reps. The optimal number of supramaximal sprints (a type of rep on a special high-intensity cycle sprint) is just two, with each additional sprint actually decreasing overall fitness improvement by five per cent. Sometimes less really is more.
TRAIN YOUR MIND A study from the University of Kansas has found that regular exercise can boost your sense of self-control. In a pilot study, sedentary and overweight men and women were told they would take part in a five kilometre run. All participants underwent training and filled in questionnaires, including one on ‘delay discounting’: a technique psychologists use to assess someone’s ability to put off pleasures now for greater enjoyment later. Participants that stuck with the training and attended all sessions had improved self-control that continued for almost a month after the training finished.
Exercising for just an hour a week can prevent depression according to a landmark study in The American Journal of Psychiatry. The joint study by the Black Dog Institute and University of NSW analysed 33,908 Norwegian adults over a period of 11 years. The results showed that 12 per cent of depression cases could have been prevented if participants exercised for just 60 minutes a week. Even more alarmingly, people who reported doing no exercise had a 44 per cent increased chance of developing depression compared to those exercising one to two hours a week.
WATCH YOUR WORKOUT The stick: lacking the motivation to keep moving and sleep well given the call of party season’s champagne cocktails. The fix: Fitbit’s new Ionic smartwatch may be just the ticket. Boasting a range of new tech-heavy features, you can wear it overnight to access intricate details of your sleep stages (including total hours of rest and percentage of sleep in each phase – from deep sleep to light sleep and REM) while also tracking the usual steps walked, floors climbed and calories burnt to a whole new level of accuracy. Plus, it’s water resistant and has a four-day battery life, so you can beach to bed without removing it from your wrist. $449.95, fitbit.com
GONE IN SIXTY MINUTES PHOTOGRAPHY: DO YOU EVEN ACTIVEWEAR
Most of us spend our days sitting, resulting in tight hip flexors. Try doing a pigeon stretch a few times a week to help loosen and free achy joints and muscles. 1. Start on your knees on a yoga mat, with your hands shoulder-width apart. 2. Move your left foot next to your right hand. Slide your right leg straight back, keeping your hips in line with your wrists. 3. Inhale, lift your chest up to lengthen your spine. 4. Take a few breaths before returning to your start pose. Switch sides.
Adding sprouts to your summer salads is a great way to boost nutrients; especially considering studies from the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed that baby broccoli sprouts have 10 to 100 times more cancer-fighting compounds than florets.
DIY Grow alfalfa or even sunflower sprouts on your kitchen bench. All you need is a jar, cheesecloth, bowl, a rubber band and the seeds. Add your seeds to the jar, cover with a cup of filtered water and secure the cheesecloth over the jar neck with the rubber band. Leave for 12 hours, drain off the water, place the jar in the bowl at a tilted angle and wait. Rinse the sprouts every 24 hours and in three to seven days the sprouts will be salad-ready.
EAT ADD SOME AMINOS Want to feel fuller for longer? Try eating foods rich in amino acids. A group of cells in the brain known as tanycytes are stimulated by amino acids. After eating, high levels of amino acids in the blood and the brain are signals that give us the sensation of feeling full. In a study out of the University of Warwick, published in the journal Molecular Metabolism, adding amino acids directly to the brain caused the tanycytes to respond after just 30 seconds. Amino acid-rich sources include apricots, almonds, avocado, lentils and plums. 18
Breakfast might truly be the most important meal of the day, with new research showing that breakfast skippers are associated with heart disease, particularly atherosclerosis – the hardening and narrowing of arteries due to a build-up of plaque. Published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the study examined the brekkie habits of 4052 participants and atherosclerosis was observed with much more frequency in participants who skipped or consumed low-energy breakfasts. They were also much more likely to lead an unhealthy lifestyle including poor diet, frequent alcohol consumption and smoking. Pass us that omelette already!
Are you a thinker? A craver? A socialiser? Maybe you’re a freewheeler or just a keen foodie? The CSIRO have analysed more than 90,000 Australian adults and concluded there are five main diet-related personality types, with the report aiming to find why many people find it hard to maintain a healthy diet. “If you’re frustrated by unsuccessful weight loss attempts, having a better understanding of your personal triggers and diet patterns can be the crucial piece of the puzzle,” said report co-author Dr Sinead Golley. To find out which diet type you are, visit diettypes.com.au
SPROUTS FOR SUMMER
MA ALIAN DE
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VEGIE READY Even the most disastrously useless green thumb can now grow their own eco-friendly produce from the comfort of their own home thanks to cute new kits from Biome. The UrbanGreens Grow Kits are themed to suit different palates – including ‘Some Like It Hot’, which contains five types of peppers, perfect for spicy food lovers – and comes with all the essentials. Think pots, seeds, growing discs, labels and mistake-proof instructions. Don’t have the time? Just handball the task to the kids come school holidays. $24.95, biome.com.au
Choose to reuse
Helping to fight the war on plastic no longer involves ugly khaki and unfashionable fabrics thanks to the new range of recyclable bags from Ulster Weavers. Made from sturdy oil cloth, PVC and polyester, they come in a range of pretty prints and designs, so you can shop in style while helping the environment – #winning. Passiflora Cotton Oil Cloth Bag & Purse $49.99, available at albi.com.au
COOK VEGIE RIBBONS WITH PISTACHIO, SPINACH & THREE-HERB PESTO
FRESH BEV Swap your usual sugary mixer this summer for these lush new CHIA bevs, made from hydrated versions of the seeds rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fibre, iron, calcium, protein and magnesium. Their flavours even sound refreshing, including orange and passionfruit, coconut water and mango, and feijoa and pink guava. Available in leading health food stores and independent grocers in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra, $4.99.
Serves six You’ll love this healthier alternative to your traditional high-carb cuisine. Thanks to health retreat experts Golden Door (goldendoor.com.au), these vegie ribbons with pistachio, spinach and three-herb pesto will leave you with the taste of Italy’s best pasta – minus the mountains of calories.
Pistachio, spinach and three-herb pesto » ½ cup pistachio nuts » 6 roasted garlic cloves » 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest and 3 tbsp lemon juice » 1 cup packed baby spinach or kale » ½ cup packed coriander leaves
» » » » »
1 cup packed basil leaves 1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves ½ cup water 1 avocado (optional) Salt and pepper
DO 1. Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water according to packet instructions, then drain. 2. Transfer to a large bowl and toss through zucchini, carrot, capsicum, spinach, herbs and lemon zest. 3. Place pistachio nuts, garlic and lemon juice in a food processor and combine until smooth. 4. Add remaining ingredients and process together until mix is well combined. The pesto should still be a bit chunky but well blended. 5. Serve together and enjoy.
NEED Vegie ribbons » 250g gluten-free spaghetti or other pasta shape (omit for a carb-free option) » 1 zucchini, cut using a spiraliser » 1 carrot, cut using a spiraliser » 1 red capsicum, sliced finely to julienne » 100 baby spinach leaves, finely sliced » ¼ cup finely diced herbs, such as basil, parsley, thyme » Finely grated zest of ½ lemon » Bush tomato pesto or pistachio, spinach and three-herb pesto to serve
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FAILED? BE EMOTIONAL
Research published in the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making has found making an emotional response to failure is more effective at improving your results the next time you try, compared to thinking about what went wrong. “I do think people will be surprised that allowing themselves to feel bad about a failure can improve performance more than thinking about that failure in some instances,” says study co-author and Assistant Professor of Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Noelle Nelson. “The kinds of thoughts people tend to come up with – such as rationalising a failure – are sometimes counterproductive.”
Feel extra good about using these stunning yoga mats made from eco-friendly natural tree rubber and recycled plastic bottle microfibres. Canadian founder and yogi Chad Turner wanted to make an alternative from the traditional non-recyclable yoga mats that often clutter landfill – so you can downward dog with a clear conscience. Starting at $60, yogalabdesign.com
WORD OF THE MONTH
Apricate To bask in the sun. Derived from the latin word apricus, meaning ‘having lots of sunshine’.
$LEEP OVER MONEY
A study into wellbeing found that sleep and sex are much better for our wellbeing than a pay rise at work. The Living Well Index by Oxford Economics found that quadrupling your income will only increase your happiness slightly, and more happiness is had from regularly sleeping well. People feeling well rested with plenty of sleep were up to 15 points happier than those struggling with shuteye, while a bad sex life decreases happiness significantly.
BLAME NEANDERTHALS 22
Turns out cavemen have more impact on our lives than just the Paleo diet. Researchers reporting in the American Journal of Human Genetics have found that light affects our Neanderthal inheritance – about two per cent of DNA in non-African people – which, in turn, contributes characteristics such as skin tone, hair colour, sleep patterns, mood – and even if we smoke. So you can’t only blame Mum.
You might have tried activated charcoal in your latte to assist digestion and in your toothpaste to whiten your teeth, but now you can also add it to your skincare. Why? It acts as a magnet to draw out oil and dirt that clogs pores – which sounds gross but is actually ridiculously satisfying. Our latest finds: The new BLAQ Cleanse & Exfoliate Dual Sided Wipes with activated charcoal will remove make-up without leaving your skin feeling dry and irritated. First, use the cleansing side to remove surface level makeup and dirt; next, flip it over to the exfoliating side for a deeper clean and to buff dead skin cells. $12.95, blaq.co A healthy summer glow is on our Christmas wish list, and our latest comrade COSMEDIX Detox Activated Charcoal Mask may be Santa’s best gift. Made from a potent combo of charcoal and kaolin clay, this skin saviour will rid your face of daily pollution, leaving you with a radiant complexion. $84.70, cosmedix.com
GLOW FUN IN THE SUN
’Tis the season to be training outdoors and relaxing by the pool in the sunshine. But before you don your bikini, make sure you pack:
Solar D’s Everyday Active broad spectrum SPF 50 sunscreen. It will protect your skin from harmful UV rays (while letting in allimportant vitamin D from the sun). Plus it’s non-greasy, fast absorbing and suitable for sensitive skin. $16.49 for 100ml and $22.95 for 200ml, solar-d.com.au
To keep your skin hydrated, apply Glamourflage’s FiFi Flame After Sun Icy Rescue following your day outdoors. Full of soothing aloe vera and sea water, it replenishes moisture and leaves your skin feeling refreshed. $25, glamourflage.com.au
The stick: Finding the time for a full skincare regime between morning cardio, report deadlines and meal prep. The fix: Fresh Face Skin’s Overnight Healer. The serum provides an all-in-one treatment formulated with a blend of natural oils to assist in rebuilding and retaining your skin’s natural oil production; meaning you’ll wake up with clearer and completely hydrated skin with half the work. $39.95, freshfaceskin.com.au
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BROWS & MORE
thrive in the zone
CREATIVITY u n c o v e r e d
While you might not consider yourself to be creative compared to the art class DUX – and flinch at the thought of picking up a pencil to draw a tree – you might be the one coming up with imaginative ideas in the boardroom. Creativity is multifaceted; it’s about art, expression, innovation, communication, and more. So how do you find your unique creative zone? Angelique Tagaroulias asked the experts.
Creativity is often associated with the art of painting or drawing; however, the Oxford dictionary defines creativity as the use of imagination or original ideas to create something. So there’s much more to it than just picking up a pencil. Being creative can be about generating ideas, as well as problem solving, viewing things in different ways and finding alternatives. It’s an attitude, a process and an experience according to Chloe Constantinides, creative director of Dapper Apps and Kisanii Cosmetics (dapperapps. com.au, kisanii.co). “Creativity is about using your imagination to fuse together a new idea or create a new thing, such as an object, business concept or picture. It is a very individual thing because you draw on your own knowledge and experiences to bring about something original,” she says. “For me, creativity is more a state of mind than something you do.” Your creative abilities are also characterised by a love of learning and developing new ideas, openness, fascination and good problem-solving skills. You can inject creativity into accounting or law or 26
the way you dress, for instance. You can organise paperwork in a clever way, be innovative with your kitchen storage or your home desk or take a different route to work. Constantinides finds her own creativity by letting go and thinking about how to do something better, while Kylie Monteleone, interior designer at Designbx (designbx. com), has a set formula. “My formula to creativity is the ‘idea’ divided by the ‘reason why’ the idea works for its designated purpose. It’s a considered process that provides a new solution to any given problem,” she says.
FOSTERING CREATIVITY While you may not be the next Picasso, there are different perspectives on what makes someone creative – it can be an artistic flair, but also a cognitive process or personality trait – and there are ways to get your creative juices flowing. “There are certain environments where I feel more creative, usually involving playing music that I love, enjoying some sunshine and feeling relaxed. I am probably at my most creative when I am happy – it’s about feeling a sense of freedom,” says Constantinides.
WHAT IS CREATIVITY?
Try listening to a playlist of your favourite songs that make you feel happy. A recent study published in the journal PLOS ONE found that music can enhance creativity. Researchers investigated the effect of music on cognitive creativity by asking 155 participants to complete questionnaires after performing various cognitive tasks while either listening to music or in silence. Participants who listened to happy music came up with the most original and useful solutions to a task and scored higher in divergent thinking (the process of exploring a number of solutions to generate creative ideas) compared to those who listened to silence. As many of us are visual beings, visualisation is a key ingredient in fostering creativity. “I like to take in all of the information and visualise myself in the situation requiring a solution. If it’s a home office requiring a refresh, for instance, I imagine myself working in the space,” says Monteleone. “I imagine the view out the window, the sound of the neighbour’s dog barking, the feel of the breeze coming through the door. From here, I’ll keep these emotions in the back of my mind for a few days, rearranging the layout or style of furniture each time I think about it. Through exploring the experience in my mind I find a way to adapt a space before I make any recommendations. This ensures I’ve considered the solution as more than just a space that looks pretty.”
Research conducted by the Harvard Medical School found that sleep improves creative thinking and catnaps have even been shown to help people retain and separate information and solve problems more effectively. So a quick snooze in the afternoon before getting back to work can be beneficial – and a good excuse to add a comfy futon to the home office.
CONSTANTINIDES’ TOP TIPS FOR FOSTERING GREATER CREATIVITY AT HOME » Natural light: a bright workspace makes you feel happy. » Plants: make a home feel alive and fresh. » Music: make a playlist of your favourites. » Flexible space: don’t restrict yourself in any way. Make sure you have options on where to sit, how to work and what you’re looking at. » Inspo: surround yourself with your mantra and objects that inspire you. Quotes in frames and post-it notes on your computer are examples. » Make it your haven: your home is your haven so make it feel that way. You should love your space and feel good when you’re in it. » Step outside: don’t confine yourself to four walls. If you’re not feeling creative, change your scenery. Grab a coffee, go do a workout or catch up with a friend to re-energise and you’ll feel more creative when you return. » Be social: if you work from home, it is easy to forget to interact with others, but it’s important to discuss, collaborate, share ideas and be social because other people will fuel your creativity.
CREATIVITY GOES HARDCORE Creativity is a skill that can be developed and a process that can be managed. You might think that you weren’t born with a creative bone in your body, but we all possess some level of creativity. Creativity is part nature and part nurture according to Constantinides. It’s about finding that sense of creativity within and having the confidence to express it. Even if you are creative by nature, your environment might prevent you from reaching your optimal creative thinking. For instance, research shows that structures such as formal schooling can hinder rather than foster creative thinking. In a series of experiments conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, participants displayed less creativity and cognitive flexibility when asked to complete tasks using categorised sets of information compared to those asked to work with items that weren’t ordered in any special way. For example, one group was asked to organise a box of LEGO® bricks by colour
and shape and another was asked to organise groups of nouns into categories then make as many sentences from them as they could to assess their innovative abilities. Those in the organised information group also spent less time on their tasks, suggesting reduced persistence: a key ingredient for creativity. “We can all learn to harness our creative essence by exploring differences to our instinctive preferences,” says Monteleone. “Exposing yourself to new experiences opens your mind to notions you may have never considered before. These new experiences are often laced with different people, different cultures and different sights and, when combined, are the perfect recipe for inspiration.” You can find inspiration in unexpected places, so sitting in the same chair at the same desk in your home office might be preventing you from coming up with new and innovative ideas. Try stepping away from your computer screen to take a walk to the beach or a museum. www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au
MONTELEONE’S DESIGN DOS
ACTIVITY CORNER Creative thinking processes can be learned and applied by anyone. Constantinides suggests trying this activity to help find your creative spark: » Give yourself a brief to begin with: this could be an advertising brief for a television commercial, a website for a new company or brand, a story brief, etc. Set yourself a target to come up with a certain number of ideas to suit the brief. » Start with brainstorming words that relate to the topic: write the words on a big piece of paper. List and group them into associated word groups (tip: use a thesaurus, rhymes, song lyrics and famous quotes that relate to find more relevant words). This builds a foundation for you to then come up with ideas. » Continue to build on this with visual cues: gather photos, videos and textures that relate to the the brief. » Start to make connections to concrete ideas: if you find that this starts to spark an idea but you’re not quite there yet, step away and come back to revisit and review your page. The more you fill your mind, the more chance you have of coming up with richer ideas, says Constantinides.
WH&F PRODUCT PICKS FOSTER YOUR CREATIVITY IN-HOUSE WITH THESE STUNNING HOME ADDITIONS.
“I believe that the best ideas arrive when you can unwind, relax and feel comfortable. I’m not suggesting we transform our home offices into a yoga studio, but rather designate a creative zone that reflects a space you are most comfortable in. Soft seating and unstructured and organic shapes with mid-tone colours are all great design features to include in this area,” says Monteleone. » Lighting: natural lighting from windows and sky lights is essential for a productive work space. If that’s not available, LED globes are the closest artificial lighting to daylight. » Comfort: there are many things in a home office that can cause distraction, so establishing a comfortable space is important in order to focus on tasks. Ensure the room is at a comfortable temperature and that you have a comfortable chair and desk to work at for optimal productivity. » Colour: this is the biggest mood changer. Consider the type of space you find most inspiring and lean on this colour palette for your home office. For example, if you love the beach, using blue tones and white and natural timbers will create a space where you can channel your happy place and power through work productively. » De-cluttered space: a cluttered space equals a cluttered mind, so storage is key. Depending on what tools you require in your home office, everything should have a place to call home at the end of the work day so you can start fresh when you return. Wall storage solutions keep the floor open, giving the illusion of more space.
Chicago Floor Lamp, $242.95, zanui.com.au Genius Notebook, $5, inkandcarddesigns.etsy.com
Pearson Lantern (set of 2), $99.95, zanui.com.au
Copen Desk i898, $1650.00, satara.com.au
Haus Paxx 2 Rectangle Frame Set in black/ashwood, $29.95, beaconlighting.com.au
Sportswear for creatures on two & four feet.
Summer Collection just arrived.
A C T I V E C R E AT U R E S . C O M
FITMAS WHAT EVERY FIT GIRL NEEDS IN HER STOCKING THIS CHRISTMAS
FRIENDIE Summer days call for pool parties and barbecues where solid beats are essential. Friendie’s AIR Live Rose Gold Wireless Speaker and Powerbank is compact, water resistant and projects high-quality sound, so it’s perfect for entertaining at home or when the squad’s on the move. $229.99, friendie.com.au
HERSCHEL SUPPLY CO
HERSCHEL CHAPTER TOILETRY BAG To match your new duffle and keep bathroom essentials together, this Herschel Chapter Toiletry Bag is made from durable canvas, has tons of storage space, a carry strap and handle, and an internal mesh pocket to stow your lotions. $59.95, peppermayo.com.au
ACTIVE CREATURES Most dog mamas love spoiling their precious pooch, so ask Santa for a gift for them (and you) with these cute Active Creatures’ bean bags and ottomans for pets. The perfect way for pups to relax next to Mum while she sips on her morning pre-workout coffee. $35, activecreatures.com
PACKABLE DUFFLE BAG This lightweight and collapsable duffle bag is ideal for both the gym and weekend getaways, featuring an internal storage pocket with snap closure for all your knick knacks and a two-way exposed plastic zipper. Plus the pink is super cute. $59.95, theiconic.com.au
BALIBODY Cut the clutter in your skincare regime with BaliBody’s Golden Traveler. Including a luxe creamy lotion, moisturising sunscreen, tanning oil and BB cream zipped safely into a chic travel pouch, it’s ready to take on your vacay. $105.95, balibodyco.com
DYSON Save your hair some damage (and some flyaways) these balmy nights with a Dyson Supersonic hair dryer. Its heat control settings ensure your locks aren’t exposed to excessive temperatures, and it’s available in white, fuchsia and purple to suit every fit fashionista. $499, dyson.com.au
BEAUTIFULLY WELL BOX
KITCHENAID Make Christmas lunch healthier with The KitchenAid Stand Mixer. It now comes with 15 universal attachments including a vegie sheet cutter – creating ultra-thin sheets perfect for making wraps, lasagne, pasta, sides and snacks. Zucchini lasagne or noodles, cucumber wraps and sweet potato chips are now 10 times easier to make. Stand Mixer $899 and Vegetable Sheeter Attachment $199, kitchenaid.com.au
Beautifully Well Box is the Christmas gift that keeps on giving. A subscription gets you a curated selection of natural beauty, health and lifestyle product, delivered to your doorstep every month. Not only is it a great way to discover new products, but $1 from every box is donated to a The Butterfly Foundation to support people struggling with eating disorders and body image issues. So it’s a present for two. $29, beautifullywellbox.com.au
8 SWISSE The brand known for making you healthy on the inside now has the product set to nourish your skin. The Swisse Gift Set includes a Manuka Honey Detoxifying Facial Mask, Swisse Ultiboost Hair Skin Nails+ 60 Tabs and the Swisse Deep Sea Hydrating Mist Toner in a travel bag. It even sounds yummy. $34.95 (valued at $70), available in Priceline and Chemist Warehouse.
GOPRO You’ll be social snap-ready with the latest GoPro – the GoPro HERO6 is waterproof and has exceptionally high image quality, with loads of cool features including slow motion playback of your highlights, night mode and hands-free control. The new Quik Stories app also makes it easier to edit your content and share it directly to Facebook and Instagram via your smartphone. $749.95, gopro.com
BRAZILIAN BUTTERFLY The Brazilian Butterfly Essentials range is made from soothing aloe vera and tea tree oil and includes all the body washes, lotions and scrubs needed for your summer hair removal and bronzing routine. Bring on the beach. Starting at $18, brazilianbutterfly.com
It can be hard to find time to meal prep in between gym sessions and meetings. But Telfal Cook4me+ pressure cooker makes creating delicious meals oh-so-easy, featuring 150 in-built recipes using only six ingredients, and a step-by-step guide. It cooks by itself for the right amount of time and switches to warm when ready – so even the most incompetent chef can get it done. $399.95, tefal.com.au
Lululemon’s Refresh Bottle doubles for hydration and caffeine hit purposes – it’s insulated with a multi-flow lid to keep beverages cold or hot, plus the doublewalled stainless steel provides insulation to keep water tasting fresh. $49, lululemon.com.au
THINGS BY BEAN We’ve discovered these super cute festive cards. Armed with a little bit of quirk, they’re sure to put a smile on every dial this Christmas. $5.95 each or three for $15, thingsbybean.com
BELKIN The Belkin Fitness Armband for iPhone 7 and 7plus is the perfect stocking filler for any fitness buff, featuring a slim and breathable strap and built-in case. Quick and easy access to the iPhone makes it ideal for snapping a scenic photo or changing playlists on-the-go. It’s also sweat resistant and easily hand washable. We love. $59.95, belkin.com.au
From gym to the office to the commute home, a reusable coffee cup is an essential for every active gal. Little Earth Nest’s Joco Reusable Glass Coffee Cup is made from strong borosilicate glass, which is resistant to shock and retains heat. It also has a fancy cyclonic base that pulls sweeteners and sugar free syrups to the centre of the coffee where it can then dissolve and balance flavour. Clever. From $22.95, littleearthnest.com.au
L’URV This glittering leggings and crop combo looks like an outfit for a night on the town, but wears like the squat-proof activewear they are. ALL THAT GLITTERS LEGGINGS High-waisted wet-look leggings with flat seams and inner leg panel for superior comfort, they’re made from nylon compression fabric designed to pull in the silhouette and provide plenty of support mid-deadlift. $109.00, lurv.com.au ALL THAT GLITTERS HALTER BRA Add some sparkle to your next sweat sesh (the prettier kind) with the All That Glitters Halter Crop. It even boasts removable bust cups within the super-flattering halter. $79.00, lurv.com.au
This state of the art Silk Epil 9 epilation, exfoliation and massage system makes DIY hair removal easy – meaning, smooth and glowing skin with no expensive trips to the beauty salon (if you can even manage to get an appointment in December) required. $299, available from Shaver Shop, braun.com
VESTIGE VERDANT Maintaining a fresh and glowing complexion can be difficult during the hot months, with skin often dry and flaky thanks to our hot Aussie sun. As the name suggests, this Organic Peat Mask is made from rare organic peat – filled with reinvigorating ingredients to detoxify skin, boost blood circulation and restore the skin’s natural pH level. Which basically means you will feel a million bucks after just one application. $106 for 100mL, vestigeverdant.com
thrive promotional feature @hugthailand amazingthailand.com.au
TRAVEL The holiday season is finally here, meaning you might find yourself spending less time at the squat rack and more time by the pool sipping on pina coladas. And with Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines recommending two-and a-half hours of moderateintensity activity per week to help prevent weight gain, it’s important to find ways to have your cocktail and keep active too. THE SOLUTION? Book your fitness escape to beautiful (and affordable) Thailand and get ready for a host of funfilled activities that will get your heart rate up in between soaking up rays – no treadmill required.
Muay Thai martial art uses unique combat techniques that require skill in both the body and mind. This full-body workout uses every muscle, inducing rapid weight loss. And with over 1,700 Muay Thai camps across Thailand and many hotels offering classes, you can pretty much try it anytime, anywhere. Rock climbing and abseiling are great outdoor activities for testing your courage. These activities originated in Railay Bay in the Krabi province, now known as a heaven for rock climbers. The area is renowned for its picturesque limestone cliffs set against a white sandy beach and dark blue ocean. Pure bliss. If you love snorkelling and scuba diving – or would love to give it a go – Thailand is the place to do it. With clear turquoise seawater, magnificent coral reefs and an exceptional diversity of marine life, it’s no wonder the region is often referred to as ‘the diver’s heaven’. The peninsula of Southern Thailand stretches between two oceans, allowing diving in Thailand to be possible all year round. The Gulf of Thailand is suitable for diving trips from April to October and the best period for diving in the Andaman Sea is from November to April. Kayaking in Thailand is an amazing way to see spectacular scenery. Whether by sea or river, you’ll paddle over crystal-
clear water under a tropical sun while exploring diverse countryside, a verdant jungle, limestone cliffs, intricate sea caves and mangrove swamps. Koh Phangan is the ultimate paradise to explore. The island offers beautiful hidden coves and beaches – a sight for sore eyes while you work your arm muscles manoeuvring the kayak. Cycling is a fun way to discover the natural wonders, cultural treasures and unique ways of life of Thailand. Getting your heart rate up with some steady-state cardio while experiencing the Thai culture sounds like the ultimate workout for an adventure seeker. Some sensational cycling routes include: » Sam Praeng community in Bangkok » The bike route along the Chao Phraya River on the Thonburi side » Ayutthaya World Heritage bike route » Sukhothai World Heritage bike route
If you’re a bit of a thrillseeker, you won’t pass up gliding down the zipline through a rainforest canopy. But safety first, of course – you’ll be harnessed safely on either the wooden walking platforms or the ziplines.
thrive FROM MOOD SWINGS TO CRAMPS, HORMONES CAN BE A PAIN FOR US TO DEAL WITH (LITERALLY); BUT WHAT EXACTLY ARE THEY AND HOW DO THEY AFFECT EVERYTHING FROM HOW HEAVY YOU CAN LIFT TO HOW WELL YOU SLEEP? AS WE FOUND OUT, IT DEPENDS WHO YOU ASK. Interviews: Angelique Tagaroulias
HORMONES from every
THE EXPERT PANEL RUDY MAWER // Sports nutritionist and researcher // rudymawer.com
ON FAT LOSS COMMON CULPRITS » Insulin » Thyroid hormones
CAUSES As we gain body fat or become less active as adults, insulin sensitivity often declines, leading to ill health and weight gain. Thyroid hormones control metabolism, weight gain and many other bodily
functions. Lower levels of thyroid hormones, resulting in hypothyroidism, can lower our metabolism, making it harder to lose weight, utilise nutrients, maintain energy levels and recover from a workout. Combined, impaired insulin function and a slower metabolism caused by a decrease in thyroid hormone levels can make it tough to lose weight, reach your physique goals and maximise health in general. Insulin and thyroid hormones should be monitored and,
Think of your hormones as an email system: they send messages to specific cells or receptors and the cells respond to their signal; and just as with discrepancies with an email server, hormone imbalances can cause issues – a whole heap of ’em. To delve deeper, WH&F rounded up a variety of experts and asked them to reveal the hormones they see commonly out of whack in their clients’ bodies and what happens as a result.
» Oestrogen » Insulin
muscle for growth. Since insulin plays a role in providing nutrients and stimulating the muscle building process (known as protein synthesis), reduced effectiveness of this key hormone can present issues for maximising muscle growth.
These two hormones are integrally connected with each other and with muscle growth – like a domino effect, when oestrogen levels decline, so does the effectiveness of insulin. Oestrogen tends to decline with age, resulting in a reduction in the production and relative effectiveness of insulin to drive nutrients to the
The best solution is resistance training, which is metabolically demanding. Muscle contraction that occurs with resistance training helps nutrients to be shuttled into the muscle independently of insulin, helping to offset the consequences of insulin’s reduced effectiveness as we age.
ON MUSCLE GAIN COMMON CULPRITS
ON THE CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM COMMON CULPRITS
while insulin function is harder to test from a blood test, you can do a simple at-home test (which comes in a kit that can be purchased online) to monitor your fasting blood sugar levels in the morning. Blood sugar function is closely linked to insulin function, making it a clear marker. Lifestyle drastically affects insulin function. While there are genetic factors that will dictate baseline levels and associated conditions such as type 1 diabetes, generally it’s lifestyle decisions that cause type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. For instance, a bad diet including excessive amounts of processed foods or long-term overconsumption of calories will be one of the biggest drivers of impaired insulin function and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Other factors such as exercise regime, stress, sleep and body fat levels also affect insulin function. Nutrition largely affects thyroid hormones and metabolism, with newer research showing every diet type impacts your thyroid, lowering your metabolism. Many people go on various diets – yo-yo dieting being a common one nowadays – that negatively impact your thyroid hormones, making it harder to be successful with fat loss long term. Other issues such as iodine and selenium deficiencies, food intolerances, toxicity and hormone imbalances also contribute.
» Oestrogen » Progesterone
can help prevent high blood pressure and other heartrelated issues.
As ovaries age, the production of oestrogen and progesterone decline. Oestrogen acts on many tissues in the body, helping to dilate blood vessels for improved blood flow and promoting a healthier balance of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. Progesterone also plays a primary role in dilating blood vessels, which
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is one of the best ways to at least postpone the adverse effects of reduced oestrogen and progesterone. Maintaining a healthy diet and completing metabolically demanding exercise can also help prevent – and potentially reverse – negative cardiovascular effects resulting from declines in oestrogen and progesterone.
ON GENERAL HEALTH COMMON CULPRITS » Thyroid hormones » Oestrogen
CAUSES Thyroid function and oestrogen levels decline with age and affect important processes such as metabolic rate, energy levels, alertness and wellbeing. When reduced, I often see clients experience unexpected weight gain and intense fatigue.
FINDING SOLUTIONS Simple and sustainable lifestyle changes – including cutting back on drastic diets, closely monitoring food intake, and performing high-intensity, metabolically demanding exercises such as highintensity interval training (HIIT) – will both improve insulin sensitivity and help moderate weight gain.
FINDING SOLUTIONS Maintaining a healthy, nutrient-rich diet, regularly practising metabolically demanding exercise and creating healthy habits to improve metabolism and energy levels is imperative for long-term health and wellbeing. www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au
KATE JOHNSTON // Naturopath and nutritionist // korewellbeing.com.au // @korewellbeing
ON FAT LOSS COMMON CULPRITS » Cortisol » Oestrogen
CAUSES Cortisol is released by the adrenal glands during periods of prolonged stress. While this is purposeful when stress comes in short bursts, stress is often ongoing, leading to a chronically high cortisol level. Cortisol stimulates the release of glucose into the bloodstream, which then stimulates the release of insulin – this aids the body to utilise glucose and fat storage. This creates a vicious cycle where high cortisol leads to weight gain – particularly visceral fat around the abdomen – promoting the release of more cortisol in response to the same initial stress. Oestrogen is produced primarily by our ovaries and shouldn’t be too high or too low – balance is the key. Often in the clinic I see women with excess oestrogen, which can impair their ability to lose fat. Elevated oestrogen can be due to a number of factors, including exposure to xenoestrogens (foreign oestrogen 38
that imitates oestrogen), impaired detoxification, low progesterone and holding excess weight itself can produce more oestrogen. Fat cells possess an enzyme called aromatase, which convert testosterone to oestrogen, so the more fat that exists, the more oestrogen you will produce, and the cycle continues. Excess oestrogen can supress thyroid function (which in turn slows the metabolism), and has also been shown to prevent the oxidation of fat to use as energy.
FINDING SOLUTIONS » Reduce stress and make time for rest
and relaxation. » Increase your consumption of fibre and
brassica vegetables (such as cabbage, kale, broccoli and Brussels sprouts). These help to clear oestrogen from the body and support healthy metabolism. » Reduce sugar consumption to improve insulin sensitivity. » Get at least seven to nine hours of quality sleep per night. » Minimise exposure to xenoestrogens, which are found in plastic food containers and commercial cosmetics and fragrances.
ON MUSCLE GAIN COMMON CULPRITS » Human growth hormone (HGH) » Thyroid hormones
CAUSES HGH is required for muscle synthesis and fat burning, and is impaired by lack of sleep (or quality of sleep). Women will experience fluctuations of HGH throughout their menstrual cycle, so aiming for balance across all female hormones will support your ability to increase muscle. T3 (the most active thyroid hormone) is involved in not only the mitochondrial function (energy production) within the muscles, but also its ability to signal an increase in protein synthesis. On the flip side, having an underactive thyroid can cause fatigue, making it difficult to find the energy to exercise.
FINDING SOLUTIONS » Get at least seven to nine hours of
quality sleep per night. » Reduce stress levels and make time
for relaxation. » Ensure adequate consumption of
zinc, iodine and other trace minerals to support thyroid health.
ON THE CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM
ON GENERAL HEALTH
» Progesterone » Melatonin
» Insulin » Vitamin D
CAUSES CAUSES Impaired insulin sensitivity affects metabolic health and increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. An increase in inflammatory cytokines (small secreted proteins released by cells) and increased blood pressure place stress on blood vessels and drive atherosclerosis (a disease of the arteries) – both factors that impact heart health. Vitamin D is a steroid hormone, not a vitamin, and low levels are commonly associated with cardiovascular conditions, including an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and congestive heart failure. Vitamin D regulates blood sugar levels, improves insulin sensitivity and regulates blood pressure via the kidneys.
FINDING SOLUTIONS » A balanced diet of quality protein and carbohydrates
that’s low in refined carbohydrates and added sugar. » Consume an abundance of brightly coloured vegetables
and some fruit to ensure high antioxidant status. » Aim for 20 minutes (or less if you are fair skinned or
in the throes of a hot summer day) of sunshine per day (ideally between 10am and 3pm) without sunglasses and sunscreen to support the absorption of vitamin D. » Consume oily fish, particularly sardines, which are a rich source of vitamin D and help to reduce inflammation.
Progesterone is the hormone produced by ovulation, the catch 22 being that we require progesterone to ovulate. Progesterone has many powerful benefits for women’s health, including immune modulation, reduced feelings of anxiety and PMS, and increased muscle growth and energy. Many women are deficient in this hormone, often due to stress (elevated cortisol steals progesterone) and the use of hormonal contraception, which shuts off ovulation and consequently progesterone production. Melatonin is a vital hormone that regulates our circadian
rhythm and is the master hormone for sleep. Our modern lives and exposure to blue light via our phones, television and other backlit devices is wiping out this hormone, leading to insomnia and impaired sleep quality.
FINDING SOLUTIONS » Reduce stress levels and
make time for relaxation. » Opt for non-hormonal
contraception methods such as a fertility monitor, condoms or the copper IUD. » Avoid exposure to blue light once the sun goes down – use a ‘night mode’ app on your phone and computer and turn off screens at least one hour before bedtime. » Consume a fresh, wholefood diet rich in B vitamins, magnesium and zinc.
DR CRIS BEER // Holistic GP (Integrative medicine specialist) // drcris.com.au
ON FAT LOSS COMMON CULPRITS » Cortisol » Thyroid hormones
CAUSES Ongoing high levels of stress elevate blood cortisol levels, which in turn affects your ability to burn fat. Cortisol causes the body to hold on to fat stores as a way of protecting the body against the effects of stress. Thyroid hormones control metabolic rate, and as this hormone balance is intertwined with cortisol levels, when stress is high, metabolism can be negatively affected. So the higher your stress levels and the more they prolong, the less likely you are able to burn fat.
FINDING SOLUTIONS Reducing stress levels is the most common solution, but is easier said than done. A practical way to do this is with regular exercise – but not intense exercise, which can put more pressure on cortisol levels. Moderate-intensity interval training has been shown to help reduce cortisol levels without adding excess strain on the body. Regular mindfulness meditation and consistently getting a full night’s sleep (seven to nine hours) will also help reduce stress levels. www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au
ON MUSCLE GAIN COMMON CULPRITS » Testosterone » Insulin
CAUSES When testosterone levels reduce due to ongoing high levels of stress or when the body becomes insulin resistant, the body finds it difficult to gain muscle and instead tends to gain body fat (particularly around the mid-section). Insulin controls blood glucose balance, and muscles need a certain amount of glucose to grow. When the body no longer responds to insulin the way it should due to repeated overindulgence, fatty liver disease, high levels of cortisol and/or other hormone imbalance, blood glucose levels rise and the muscles are unable to utilise that glucose.
FINDING SOLUTIONS Two solutions that help to improve testosterone levels and reduce insulin levels are exercising regularly, particularly resistance training (with weights), and controlling blood sugar levels. Resistance training improves muscle growth, which in turn boosts testosterone production and the utilisation of blood glucose, which reduces insulin resistance. Blood sugar levels can be controlled by eating regularly. Eating small-portioned meals regularly (containing low to moderate amounts of carbohydrates) will improve insulin levels and indirectly improve testosterone levels by improving liver health (poor liver health is linked to dysregulation of hormone production). Including protein with each meal will further stabilise blood sugar levels and insulin levels in the blood.
ON THE CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM COMMON CULPRITS » Noradrenaline » Adrenaline
CAUSES These two hormones are often out of balance. They’re part of the nervous system and act as an intrinsic component of the ‘flight or fight’ system in the body, meaning that they help the body respond to sudden short bursts of stress. They act to increase blood flow, heart rate, breathing rate and overall cardiovascular output. Unfortunately, when stress is repeated and/or consistently present, these hormones are overproduced and can lead to strain on the cardiovascular system, leading to palpitations, shortness of breath and muscle tension (for example, intercostal muscle tension leading to sharp chest pains, especially with exercise). 40
FINDING SOLUTIONS Reducing stress levels will reduce the overproduction of these flight or fight hormones – again, often easier said than done. Deep breathing will also help: practise the 4,7,8 breathing method, which involves breathing in for four seconds, holding for seven seconds and then breathing out for eight seconds. Repeat this regularly throughout the day. Another useful technique is progressive muscle relaxation. This involves progressively and actively tensing and then relaxing each muscle group from your toes all the way to your head and neck muscles; especially useful before going to bed each night to help unwind the nervous system.
ON GENERAL HEALTH COMMON CULPRITS » Serotonin » Dopamine
CAUSES Serotonin and dopamine are the two brain hormones, also known as the ‘happy hormones’, and an imbalance will affect overall health and wellbeing. Serotonin regulates mood and a lack of can lead to anxiety and/ or depression. Low dopamine levels can lead to addictions and intense cravings. These hormones can be out of balance due to high stress levels, poor-quality sleep, lack of sunshine and exercise, and poor gut health. In terms of gut health, it is now known that the majority of our body’s serotonin is produced in our gut. So when our gut is not functioning normally (which usually presents as bloating, constipation, diarrhoea and/ or abdominal discomfort), the production of serotonin declines, leading to potential depression and anxiety.
FINDING SOLUTIONS Improve gut function by taking a good-quality probiotic, avoid processed and sugary foods and increase your daily intake of fibrous foods such as vegetables, whole grains and fresh fruit (ideally fruits that have skins). Getting enough daily sun exposure. For most of us this means at least 15 to 20 minutes of sunlight. Exercising outdoors is a great way to kill two birds with one stone and goes a long way to improve happy brain hormone levels.
MARA R swim L U X E | S U N PROTECTION | S W I M W E A R
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Eating mindfully is having a moment. For years now we have heard about its benefits for health and wellness – from alleviating digestive issues and enhancing weight loss to managing binge eating and helping to treat eating disorders. But while mindful eating is a relatively straightforward concept – chew slowly, pay attention to your body’s cues, be ‘present’ while eating – it is not a diet. Confused yet? With Christmas (and more than one guzzled ham) just around the corner, Hilary Simmons took another look at mindful eating’s core principals.
While mindful eating can help you to tune in to your natural feelings of fullness and hunger, or make you more aware of food-related patterns of thought, losing weight is not necessarily the number one reason to eat mindfully; therefore, adopting it as a strategy may be of no real advantage for those with weight-loss goals in mind. Even during the silly season. So what can it do for you and your health – both now and in the long-term?
THE ORIGINS OF MINDFUL EATING The term ‘mindfulness’ itself comes from a word in the Pali language of ancient India that can be loosely translated as ‘awareness.’ It describes the practice of purposefully focusing your attention on the present moment and has its roots in Buddhism. Mindful eating is essentially about eating with awareness and paying attention to your body’s signals. In other words, it’s not what you eat, it’s how and why you eat. Mindful eating is a way of eating your food so that you are truly aware of the experience of eating.
This involves engaging with all the five senses – taste, smell, touch, sound and sight – and paying attention to your own bodily sensations, such as hunger or tension, before, during and after eating. But before you start to worry that you don’t have time to consciously savour the rich aroma and soothing warmth of every cup of coffee you drink – or give up your love of cosying up on the couch with your dinner for a TV show binge – don’t worry. It’s a common misconception that mindful eating means eating in a very minimalistic, monk-like manner. Think slowly munching a salad while sitting solo at a dining room table as opposed to scoffing a sandwich
while scrolling through Facebook alongside your colleagues. According to psychologist Dr Kiera Buchanan, who specialises in eating disorders and mindful eating, bringing a sense of mindfulness to meals is simply about removing the guilt and rules from eating; it’s about focusing on your physical and emotional needs as well as the food on your plate. It is perfectly possible to eat mindfully while in the company of others, or while engaging in another activity, such as watching television or listening to a podcast. The key is being aware that you’re eating while preoccupied rather than consuming food unconsciously because you’re distracted.
MINDFUL EATING VS. INTUITIVE EATING Mindful eating is different from intuitive eating, despite the terms often being used interchangeably. Mindful eating, at its core, focuses on how we eat rather than what we eat. With intuitive eating, the focus is less on how we eat than on how we respond to bodily signals in order to achieve alignment between mind, body and food. Both strategies play an important role in establishing a healthy diet and a healthy relationship with food. The practical difference is that mindful eating revolves around the actual eating experience, whereas intuitive eating is more concerned with how we process and respond to bodily messages about hunger and satiety. Both mindful eating and intuitive eating involve practising inner awareness at the same time as eating foods that both satisfy nutritional needs and are enjoyable. Still sound kind of the same? Well, yes. This is because both ‘how to eat’ philosophies share the aim of helping people achieve their wellness goals long rather than short term – over a lifetime rather than a few weeks.
YOUR PERSONALITY TRAITS MATTER
found that they were more likely to eat ‘congruently’ – in other words, to take a bite within five seconds of the other person taking a bite. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Social & Clinical Psychology found that those who score high on sociotropic tests – that is, are too heavily invested in interpersonal relationships – tend to overeat in social situations to make the people around them feel comfortable. The take-home? Knowing yourself – a fundamental principal of mindfulness – could be key to maintaining a healthy diet rather than just how good you are at counting calories or avoiding the ‘wrong’ types of foods.
THE MISSING LINK Understanding the mind so often means also understanding the body – particularly when it comes to mindful eating. “We live fast-paced lives, often fuelled by sugar, caffeine, and stress,” says nutritionist, author and holistic health coach Lulu Cook. “We can get caught in lifestyle patterns in which we are running on automatic, and this typically will not lead us toward reliable signals from our bodies in those overloaded moments. Our bodies and cravings can mislead us into seeking out fast, easy calories that are soothing and release certain feelgood hormones such as serotonin – until our blood sugar crashes, and we feel cranky and hungry again. Recent research published in BioEssays by the US National Library of Medicine revealed that even our gut microbiota influences our cravings. When we habitually consume diets high in refined carbohydrates such as sugar, we are selectively feeding microbes that will then clamour for more of the sweet stuff. “On the other hand, a diet high in prebiotic foods such as asparagus, apples and barley (which feed our healthful bacteria) will feed a different community of gut bacteria that trigger cravings as well – for more vegetables and nutritious wholegrains,” says Cook. The logical conclusion seems to be that mindfulness in eating is inseparable from mindfulness of biology, and that it may be possible to actually train your body so that it clamours for prebiotics rather than sugar. “We have evolutionary development to thank for being ‘wired’ to seek out high-energy/high-calorie foods that will sustain us through times of deprivation,” says Cook. “There are triggers which can promote this biological tendency to stockpile our personal energy reserves (i.e. fat), such as being confronted with a wide variety of foods at the same time: a feast as opposed to a famine. We might experience this at a holiday buffet, or dining in a social setting with other eaters whose meal-time plans lean toward indulgent rather than healthful, or – and especially – at Christmas.”
According to a 2015 Swiss study published in the international research journal Appetite, your eating habits are unknowingly guided by your personality traits. Your neuroses, in other words, could be partially responsible for your love of Cadbury chocolate. This means that mindful eating could be more beneficial for some personality types than others, as certain characteristics are considered ‘risk factors’ for an unhealthy lifestyle featuring a distinctly ‘mindless’ diet. For instance, conscientious people are less likely to eat sugary food, sensitive people are more likely to engage in ‘emotional eating’, and people-pleasers eat more on average than those less concerned with the opinions of others. Research suggests that extroverted people are more likely to eat out frequently and are also more likely to help themselves to larger portions. As we know from numerous social psychology studies, people tend to mirror the eating patterns of those they are with. A 2011 British study of young women
EATING MINDFULLY IN THE SILLY SEASON The most important thing to remember while navigating the bowls and trays of goodies at Christmas parties and celebrations is that there’s more to eating mindfully than just making ‘good’ food choices. It’s about fully appreciating whatever it is you’re eating – whether that’s a Nutella doughnut or an Israeli grain salad. “Although it too has been bastardised by the diet industry, mindful eating was not intended as, nor is it, a dieting tool to lose weight,” says Dr Buchanan. “In fact, it’s the opposite. It’s not about changing or controlling anything, but rather about bringing a sense of mindfulness to meals to help step away from the shame, guilt and self-criticism often associated with food that in turn can create unhealthy eating behaviours. Mindful eating is only a pipe dream during the silly season if it’s being used as a tactic to control eating, which is not very mindful at all.” “We can always eat mindfully no matter what the occasion or setting,” says Cook. “It does not have to take extra time or special effort – no one need even know about it – and we can do it with any type of food we put on our plate – even truly indulgent holiday treats. By bringing our full attention and appreciation to whatever we are consuming, we give ourselves the gift of enjoying those special bites. The bonus is that we may find ourselves satisfied with less when we are eating mindfully, and therefore get to enjoy those seasonal specials without derailing all of our good intentions.” Eating mindfully over Christmas is not as challenging as it sounds. When you’re out and about celebrating, try to take account of all your senses as you eat. How does the food taste? What’s its texture? What flavours can you identify? How does it smell? Slow down and fully appreciate what it is you’re eating and try to focus on soaking in all the things your senses can pick up. This may sound aspirational, especially if you’re knocking back a few Proseccos, but try to chew slowly and make truly conscious decisions about food instead of just dipping into bowls of lollies or chips because they’re within arm’s reach.
“We can support ourselves in advance of the hectic holiday season by committing to cultivate mindfulness now,” says Cook. “It’s considered a practice because it’s not something we ‘get right’ the first time we try it. It takes regular, consistent attention to begin to shift out of our reactive, busy mindsets toward a sense of more calm, spacious awareness of each passing moment. For most of us, it will remain a practice rather than a destination we ever reach – and that’s okay. The more you practice, the stronger your connection with your mind and body becomes.”
HOLIDAYS MADE HAPPY Eat mindfully during the silly season (and beyond) with our experts top tips: » Set simple, achievable goals: such as eating vegetables in two of the meals you consume every weekday in December, or drinking a glass of water for every two or three alcoholic beverages. » Keep up your usual healthy habits: throughout the silly season and check in with yourself throughout the day, noticing your feelings of excitement or stress, and choosing an intention of compassion that will be crucial when it comes to the craziness of family, feasting and feelings. You don’t have to be mindful with every bite you consume – and letting go of that expectation can actually help you achieve balance without even trying. » Practise knowing your limits. Finding a healthy, sustainable weight range and diet is grounded in self-acceptance. Ultimately, you shouldn’t use Christmas as an excuse to eat poorly for two weeks (or more!), but remember to cut yourself some slack. Working with our bodies instead of against them is the key to creating practical and lasting change, and living a life of mindful balance.
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You may be on holiday from work, but that doesn’t mean time is suddenly abundant. In place of emails, angry bosses and afterhour meetings comes the visiting in-laws, travels (if you’re lucky) and boozy Christmas parties. So where to fit the gym sesh? Knowing what you ‘can get away with’ in terms of your body composition and health is paramount this time of year. And rather than feel guilty about a fitness schedule deload, you will be happy to hear that taking a breather can actually be beneficial to your goals. 46
T HE B E NEF ITS OF TA KING IT EASY The good news is that toning down your training during the festive season can actually benefit – rather than diminish – your health, says nutritionist, trainer and founder of Balance Fitness and Nutrition Brooke Turner (balancefitnessandnutrition. com.au); but this depends on the duration of your sabbatical, along with your activity levels and nutrition. For example, someone who trains six days per week taking a six month break is different to slowing it down for a couple of weeks over Christmas. Plus, your ability to retain muscle mass and cardio fitness differs from person to person and depends on how hard you’ve been training. Generally, between one to three weeks’ break is okay – although tapering, rather than halting, movement is recommended. “Tapering refers to the reduction of exercise before a competition or race, believed to be essential for best performance. Taper periods can range from one to three weeks – about the timeframe that you would want to increase your training so you don’t lose excessive strength and fitness,” says Turner. “All of life’s stressors, including the stress generated from exercise and inadequate rest, compound. Tapering your training for a period of time can have beneficial effects on your hormones, mindset, recovery and reaching your goals.” But again, this depends on the individual – especially mentally. “My clients often tell me that even a period of a week without exercise has a negative impact on their mood, anxiety and stress levels,” adds clinical psychologist Dr Yuliya Richard (bluehorizoncounselling.com.au).
MINDSET & HORMONAL BENEFITS “A lot of women put pressure on themselves to be hitting certain exercise and physique goals, and believe taking a break will cause them to lose all fitness. But this isn’t true. Your muscles won’t shrink overnight and as long as you are doing some kind of movement, you will maintain your cardio fitness. Plus, a short break can give you a newfound motivation to hit the gym when you do go back,” says accredited exercise physiologist Sarah King (skactive.com.au). “Exercise is a stress on your body, and a short break can lower inflammatory hormones such as cortisol. This is important because too much of this hormone can wreak havoc on your health, causing weight gain around your waistline and an increased risk of diabetes.” And you don’t need six days of high-intensity training to reap benefits in the mental stakes. Research suggests that even a single bout of exercise can lead to substantial mood improvements. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that 30 minutes of walking and interval training per day for a period of 10 days resulted in a significant reduction in depression in suffering individuals.
PHYSICAL BENEFITS Many women overtrain and undereat in pursuit of the ‘perfect’ body, which can cause plateaus and even weight gain. In this instance, a reduction in training can help prevent burnout, rebalance hormones vital to a lean body composition and allow muscles to repair and recover. “If you undertake regular exercise for periods of time, your body adapts to the forms of training, the energy systems targeted and you may notice a plateau in your strength, fitness, and weight loss or performance goals. This is also the case when overtraining,” says Turner. “Taking a period of time to ‘tone down’ your training allows your body’s adaptive mechanisms to reset, ridding it of fatigue and allowing full recovery. Research has shown that periods of de-loading followed by a return to training actually result in increased weight loss and support strength and fitness gains.” Reducing your training can also help to rebuild and boot your immune system through longer periods of rest and decreased stress on the body. “When the immune system is responding, it floods overworked areas of the body with fluid to help cushion those areas. This can lead to increased risk of injury and inflammation,” says Turner.
BARE MINIMUM FOR GOOD HEALTH When setting your bare minimum exercise goals, think health – first. Especially given the likelihood of booze and processed foods making a significant entrance into your diet this time of year.
CRUNCH THE NUMB3RS: AUSTRALIA’S PHYSICAL AND SEDENTARY BEHAVIOUR GUIDELINES: are a good starting point, recommending 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity – or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity – or the equivalent of the two, combined with two strength sessions per week, for maintaining good health. Why? The research tends to back their advice, with multiple studies showing that regular sweat sessions not only help to combat obesity and cardiovascular disease, but also improve cognitive function. Researchers at the University of British Columbia found that aerobic exercise boosts the area of your brain responsible for verbal memory and learning. Think fast-paced walking, stair-climbing, swimming, squash and even dancing.
FROM THE TRAINER: Being active on all (or most) days – with a mix of cardiovascular and strength training – is ideal, agrees Turner. She recommends performing cardio four days and strength training two days per week for the average woman to maintain optimal health. Even on the holidays. How? This should be a mix of lowintensity steady state (LISS) cardio with a perceived exertion of five to seven (a steady-paced walk where you can still carry a conversation) and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) with a perceived exertion of seven to nine (think any aerobic exercise that get’s the heart rate up). Add two loadbearing sessions per week (weights, strength training or bodyweight exercises) to improve cardiovascular fitness, reduce lifestyle-related diseases and maintain a healthy weight.
BARE MINIMUM FOR MAINTAINING BODY COMPOSITION STUNTING FAT GAIN As your activity levels decrease, your energy needs will drop, so keeping your body fuelled with nutritious food is key. Turner recommends reducing your carb and calorie intake to match a decreased training load, teamed with higher fats and protein in order to maintain your body composition. “Higher fat and protein in your diet will assist in boosting your energy levels, support the absorption of important nutrients, and contribute to balanced hormones and recovery of your joints and muscles. During periods of decreased activity your body predominantly uses fats as its main fuel source. It also requires a decent amount of fat to stay lean,” says Turner. “Eating adequate fat and protein while reducing carbs during your periods of lower activity can lead to happy hormones, improved metabolism, fat loss and maintained body composition in the long run.” As much as Christmas pudding and cold beers in the sun are difficult to pass up, try to limit processed foods, sugar and alcohol consumption, which all lead to an increase in blood sugar levels, inflammation and weight gain. The good news is that a reduction in training won’t necessarily wreak havoc on your calorie deficit.
“There’s a common misconception that your workout will burn huge amounts of calories, but it’s actually only five to 10 per cent of your energy expenditure,” says King. Your total daily energy expenditure is comprised of four components: » your basal metabolic rate » non-exercise activity thermogenesis (the energy you use when you fidget and move) » the thermic effect of food (energy you use to break down chicken and brown rice into energy your body can use) » exercise activity thermogenesis (the energy you burn working out) “So when you slow down your workouts, your daily energy needs aren’t significantly different,” says King. Try a short HIIT session the morning after a boozy night to eliminate toxins and metabolise the alcohol. Research published in the Journal of Obesity indicates that high-intensity intermittent training (HIIE) can reduce subcutaneous (situated under the skin) and abdominal fat. Women who completed a HIIE training program of three 20-minute sessions per week for 15 weeks lost significantly more subcutaneous fat than a group who did a steady-state aerobic exercise program.
MAINTAINING LEAN MUSCLE You generally lose your conditioning and cardiovascular fitness more quickly than your strength. While conditioning dips after about 14 days of inactivity, expect your strength to hold out for up to three weeks, says Turner. And if you’re concerned about losing your muscle mass, you can rest assured that once you recommence training as usual, muscle memory will assist in restoring your gains. “Muscle memory lives in the brain rather than in the muscles, and is built through repetition over time – it’s an acquired skill that has been practised for so long that it seems innate (similar to tying your shoelaces or riding a bike),” says Turner. “It may still take some time to reach your previous levels of strength, fitness or shape but if you’ve put in the work, you will reach your pre-inactivity levels faster than if you were starting from scratch on your training journey.” Hitting key body parts once to twice a week will help maintain lean muscle mass – and you don’t necessarily need to step foot in a gym. Grab yourself a set of resistance bands and dive into this circuit every few days to target large muscle groups and incorporate compound movements: 3-5 rounds // 35 seconds on, 15 seconds off // 1-minute rest after each round: » Walking lunges » Tricep dips » Air squats or drop squats » Plyo push-ups » Walking plank While short and sharp training circuits are efficient ways of burning calories during and post-workout and maintaining lean muscle mass, they cannot be sustained long term; the higher intensity can be hard on your body and joints, making you more prone to injury. So be sure to adhere to your usual resistance program after your three-week break, and ensure adequate recovery. » CONTINUE ON PAGE 50
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HOLIDAY SHORTCUTS Fat maintenance during the holidays doesn’t necessarily require hours ingym. In conjunction with good nutrition, King recommends peripheral heart action (PHA) training. “Essentially, PHA training is supersetting upper and lower body strength exercises. By doing this your blood constantly has to move from your arms to your legs and back again so your heart rate remains high, improving your cardio fitness while you tone up,” says King. Try the following circuit workout recommended by King to keep excess holiday fat off while maintaining fitness – no equipment needed, a simple one to do from your hotel room: Set a timer for 45 seconds with 15 seconds’ rest and transition, cycling through the exercises below. Aim for three to four rounds. » Bodyweight squats » Tricep dips » Step-ups (place one of the hotel chairs against a wall) » Push-ups » Lateral lunges » Bicycle crunches
M A INTA INING MOTIVATIO N
I LI K E TO MOV E I T
The key is to tone down rather than completely halt your exercise regimen, but maintaining motivation during times of temptation generally comes down to how you think about your training. If heading for the bench press doesn’t excite you, you’ll likely forego exercise for the call of cosmos.
SCAN PAGE FOR A PERIPHERAL HEART ACTION (PHA) WORKOUT
BARE MINIMUM FOR MAINTAINING CARDIOVASCULAR FITNESS The America Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least five days per week for maintaining cardiovascular health.
HOLIDAY SHORTCUTS Interval training can be an efficient way to maintain fitness levels, with higher intensities meaning your muscles and heart work harder in a shorter – more efficient – amount of time. King suggests Tabata, which involves four minutes of working as hard as you can for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest. If you’re left totally spent, you should reap the same benefits as a longer duration steadystate cardio sesh.
“Doing sprint interval training, such as 30 seconds of all-out effort, followed by a short recovery can tax your system enough to maintain your fitness or VO2max,” she says. “But if you don’t like going super hard and fast, a longer, more moderate session such as cycling or jogging for 20 minutes might be a better option.” Turner agrees that Tabata and HIIT workouts can aid in conditioning the anaerobic system necessary for maintaining cardio fitness, but a steady walk or jog will also do the job. Finding a balance of cardio that you enjoy will see you on the path to successfully reaching and maintaining your health, aesthetic and performance goals.
Follow the experts’ top tips for maintaining motivation: » Look on the bright side: “The relationship you have with exercise will depend on how you prioritise it and whether toning down your training will have positive effects or not. If you view exercise as punishment or to purely burn calories rather than seeing it for its mental and physical health benefits, then you’re less likely to enjoy it and remain consistent. When you value and enjoy exercise – you prioritise it,” says Turner. » Develop an exercise routine before summer hits so motivation isn’t an issue next season: “The development of positive habits and routines is important for mental wellbeing, with a holistic and flexible approach. Ideally, a good exercise routine should be sustainable and easily modified and adapted to take life changes into account, and having a number of different activities you participate in can help,” says Richard. » Modify your routine: King suggests experimenting with outdoor activities during this time that take advantage of summer’s social theme and heat. Think learning to surf or a game of beach volleyball with friends. Try mixing up such activities with bootcamps, walking, swimming, running, yoga, Pilates and gym sessions; this way you have options depending on the season and weather moving into the new year.
YOU ARE NOT ALWAYS GIVEN THE LUXURY OF TIME, SPACE AND EQUIPMENT – PARTICULARLY COME DECEMBER. SOMETIMES, IT JUST COMES DOWN TO DAMAGE CONTROL. WH&F HEAD TRAINER ALEXA TOWERSEY AND FORMER WH&F COVER GIRL JENNA DOUROS HAVE YOUR SUMMER WORKOUTS SORTED WITH THEIR FOUR-WEEK PROGRAM SET FOR MAXIMUM FAT LOSS IN MINIMAL TIME – SO YOU STILL HAVE HOURS TO HIT THE BEACH, CELEBRATE AND ENJOY ALL THE FOODS. Models/Trainers: Alexa Towersey (@actionalexa) & Jenna Douros (@jennalouise_jl) Photographer: Jason Lee // @jasonminilee Wearing: Douros – P.E. Nation // Towersey – Heroine Sport (shoes by Athletic Propulsion Labs) via Stylerunner
This workout program is fat loss focused, utilising a combination of full body resistance-based exercises, high-intensity intervals and core control. We wanted to give you the biggest bang for your training buck – to make sure that you really can have your cake and eat it too while maintaining a solid base of strength and conditioning! All of the prescribed exercises can be performed anywhere and anytime, requiring only a pair of dumbbells (DBs or KBs), and your own body weight. So there really are no excuses.
THE PROGRAM YOUR WEEKLY PLAN MONDAY
Resistance Dumbbell Complex
HIIT & Core
Resistance Dumbell Complex
HIIT & Core
Resistance Dumbell Complex
HIIT & Core (Optional)
FOUR-WEEK PROGRAM PROGRESSION WEEK 1 2 rounds 90-sec rest
WEEK 2 3 rounds 70-sec rest
WEEK 3 4 rounds 45-sec rest
WEEK 4 5 rounds 30-sec rest
THE DUMBBELL COMPLEX TARGETS FULL BODY STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING Perform the set number of repetitions for each exercise – A1 through A5 – back to back, with only transition for rest in between exercises. Rest 30 to 90 seconds at the end of each round. Repeat for a total of 2 to 5 rounds. If you don’t have a pair of DBs/KBs, you can use a pair of filled water bottles. Focus on control and precision for each exercise; you should never sacrifice form for speed or load. Think about keeping your core engaged throughout by drawing the bellybutton to the spine, and always think about the alignment of your body: simple things such as ensuring the knees track your second and third toes or keeping your weight on your heels for all standing exercises can make a huge difference.
NOTE: step forward into the lunge with the leg opposite to the hand holding the dumbbell.
DUMBBELL SQUAT TO OVERHEAD LUNGE X 12 EACH SIDE
Set yourself up for a squat with feet slightly turned out and just wider than hip distance, weight on the heels with the dumbbell in the right hand. Keeping the chest proud and the knees tracking the toes, sit down into your squat, touching the dumbbell to the ground, directly underneath your shoulder. Drive up through the heels, bringing the dumbbell up to your shoulder and step forwards into a lunge, reaching the dumbbell overhead. Step your foot back to the initial squat position and repeat.
PUSH-UP ROTATION X 10
Holding the dumbbells, start in a straight arm plank position with hands directly underneath the shoulders, and legs hip-distance apart. Complete one rep of a push-up (chest to ground) and then turn into a side plank position on the blades of your feet, reaching the dumbbell up to the ceiling. Come back to centre and alternate sides. Keep the bellybutton drawn in throughout and the glutes tight to support the lower back. You can regress the exercise by using body weight only, or performing either the push-up or the entire movement on your knees.
LATERAL LUNGE TO CURTSY LUNGE X 12 EACH SIDE
Start by standing upright with feet together, holding the dumbbell in front of your chest. Take a wide step to one side, sitting back and down into a lateral lunge. Drive off the heel and come back to the centre before stepping across and behind with the same leg into a curtsy lunge. Step back to centre and repeat. Make sure the hips and shoulders face forwards throughout.
end of year
stress? Golden Door, yes!
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RENEGADE ROW TO OVERHEAD PRESS X 10
Start upright, holding the dumbbells in each hand, with the feet set up as if for a squat position. Squat down, placing the dumbbells on the ground and jump back into a plank position. Perform a row on each side by pulling the wrist to the rib. Jump the feet outside the hands into a squat position, chest up. Drive through the heels, bringing the dumbbells to your shoulders before pressing overhead.
NOTE: when performing the rows, try and stay in the plank position with minimal hip movement; keep the elbows tight to your body and the abs drawn in. The wider the leg placement, the easier it is to maintain balance.
BUTTERFLY PUMPS X 30
Lie on your back, holding the dumbbell across your hip bones. Bring the soles of your feet together and allow the knees to drop out. Imagine the ribs are down, connected to the pelvis and have a slight posterior tilt. Push through the blades of the feet, driving the hips up to the ceiling, and bringing the knees together at the top of the movement. As the hips come down, the knees fall open again. Really focus on squeezing the inner thighs and glutes at the top of the movement.
HIIT WORKOUT SAMPLER These HIIT circuits are designed to get your heart rate high and burn max calories while improving your muscle endurance and cardiovascular fitness. It requires only your body weight, so you can perform the workout literally anywhere. Complete all exercises back-to-back, as quickly as possible, with only transition time as rest. At the end of the round, rest for 30 to 90 seconds. Complete 2 to 5 rounds.
Kick-sits x 20 Start in a bear position, hands directly under shoulders and elbows/knees hovering approximately an inch off the ground, under hips. Keep both hands planted on the ground while you thread one leg though to the opposite side until your hip taps the ground. Bring your leg back through the same way and repeat on the opposite side. Plyo Push-tucks x 10 Start by lying on your belly with your hands flat on the floor, tucked just under your shoulders. From this position you want to push your body up into a raised plank position while simultaneously tucking both knees towards your underarms. Return the same way and repeat for a total of 10 reps.
3 PLYO PUSH-TUCKS
In and Outs in Squat Position on Toes x 20 Start in a squat position. Now raise up onto your toes before jumping both feet out wide and back in again. Thatâ€™s 1 rep.
1 Wall Walks x 8 Start by lying on your belly with your feet touching a wall and hands above your head. From this position, reverse/push your body up the wall, walking your hands all the way in so that your chest meets the wall. Return the same way and repeat for a total of 8 reps. You ould regress this exercise to reverse burpees, where you just place your hands on the ground as if for a regular burpee and jump your feet up the wall. Travelling Mountain Climbers x 10 each direction Just like your standard mountain climber; the difference being you will move left for 10 reps and right for 10 reps.
IN AND OUTS IN SQUAT POSITION ON TOES
TRAVELLING MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS
www.m-active.com.au /MActiveSportswear @mactivesportswear
CORE FINISHER A strong core will support everything else you do, but when most people think of the core they only think of the abs. The core includes all of the abs (deep and superficial) in addition to the muscles of the hips and lower back. These four exercises are designed to target as much of the core as possible. When combined with the flexion, extension and rotation exercises in the DB Complex and HIIT workout, you have a very comprehensive workout plan. Where possible, think of squeezing the inner thighs together and drawing the pelvic floor in and up (think holding your pee mid-flow) – this is the most surefire way to activate the midline and the ‘lazier’ lower and deep transverse abdominals. We don’t just want a washboard stomach on the outside, we want a corset on the inside. You can do the exercises in any order but I like to start with the lower abs (reverse crunches) and finish with a neutral spine (reinforcing correct posture for the day). REPS: 20 OF EACH PROGRESSION: WEEK 1: 1 SET | WEEK 2: 2 SETS WEEK 3: 3 SETS | WEEK 4: 4 SETS
REVERSE CRUNCH X 20 Lying on your back, lift your legs in the air with your knees slightly bent. Place your hands on the floor beside you. Without momentum, use your lower abs to slowly curl the hips off the floor as if you want to touch your toes to the ceiling. Slowly lower them back to the starting position. This is one rep.
KNEE HUGS X 20 Sit down on the mat with your knees bent, your hands hugging your knees and lift your feet off the floor. Open your arms, extend your legs as long and as low as possible without arching your back. Lift your torso, bend your knees, and return to the starting position.
WINDOW WIPERS X 12 Lie on your back and raise your legs 90 degrees. Spread your arms straight out to your sides for support. Rotate your legs to one side, stopping short of touching the floor. Rotate to the other side. Try and reach the top hip on the rotation while keeping the opposite shoulder on the ground to make sure you’re not only working the abs but getting a great stretch through the upper (thoracic spine). As you improve, bring your arms closer in to your body so they offer less stability.
3 PLANK-UPS X 12 The goal is to maintain a solid plank position throughout the whole exercise and to not let your hips sway. Start on your elbows and toes. Keep your hips as still as possible, push up with one hand, then the other, until you are propped up in a push-up position. Lower back down to your elbows one arm at a time. Halfway through, change your leading arm so you strengthen the other shoulder as you press up to your hands. Note: hand placement should be where your elbows were – don’t cheat the movement by just trying to straighten your arm.
When your body is your business, you have no choice but to implement an epic training regimen. We asked some of Australia’s top athletes, TV personalities, models and personal trainers about their personal exercise plans and got our resident WH&F training expert Sofia Toumbas (@thethaigress) to explain how you can train like them too.
Laura Henshaw MODEL & FOUNDER OF KEEP IT CLEANER (KIC) kicgirls.com // @laura.henshaw (Instagram) // @keepitcleaner (Instagram) ON MY REASONS FOR KEEPING FIT If you asked me three years ago, I would have said being fit was all about achieving ‘model measurements’. But I now understand that having extremely defined abs, hitting my ‘goal weight’ or having a thigh gap (which is genetically impossible for me anyway) is not what will bring me happiness. I am not as slim as I used to be, but I am now happier than ever.
As long as I feel healthy and confident, I am happy! I naturally have quite a sporty build. We all have insecurities but I am really trying to focus on what I love about my body. Instead of trying to change anything, I just dress in what I feel confident in. I think confidence is the most powerful thing you can have. 64
PHOTOGRAPHY: REN PIDGEON
ON MY AESTHETIC GOALS
ON MY TRAINING I work out six days a week for around 30 to 40 minutes per session. I always change up my routine to make sure I forgo boredom or plateau, combining HIIT, boxing, strength and running. And this is exactly what we replicate on our online fitness program KIC because we find it gets the best results. I love to sweat when I train as it makes me feel the best afterwards; there is nothing better than being filled with endorphins. Running is great for your legs, boxing for your arms and core, and HIIT I love because it is a full-body workout and it keeps your metabolism firing all day.
ON MY TOP TRAINING TIPS 1. DON’T WAIT FOR MOTIVATION: I think people assume that they can’t move their body every day because they aren’t motivated enough. If I waited for motivation to work out I would NEVER work out. Don’t think about it: just get up and do it. 2. SEE YOUR WORKOUTS AS AN APPOINTMENT: Tick them off as you get through them. And if you think of cancelling a session, ask yourself if you would cancel on a meeting with someone else. 3. PLAN YOUR WORKOUTS: There is nothing worse than going to the gym and not having a plan and wasting an hour walking around. I love following our KIC workouts at the gym because I don’t have to think; I just get there, turn it on and go!
TOUMBAS’ TWO CENTS
BEST FOR: Training for your goal is paramount for results. In order to select the appropriate training modality, your goal needs to be clear, measurable and attainable. Laura’s goal is probably one of the easiest goals to cater her training to because her motivations are intrinsic; she seeks a feeling rather than a result. HITT TRAINING: Fat loss seems to be the most common result of HIIT training performed correctly. When performed at maximal efforts, HITT training has been said to provoke excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). When you feel breathless after a hard session, the body needs as much oxygen as it can get to restore its levels within the body. Like a car engine remains hot after a long drive, so does your body in a bid to restore homeostasis (balance). In this restorative phase the metabolism is still quite fired up, which provokes your body to keep burning calories after the session has finished. HITT training is one of the most time efficient training styles. It can go from 10 minutes to 45 minutes, but to make it an effective use of time, intensity needs to increase as the duration of the session decreases; so those 10-minute sessions need to be performed at maximal levels to promote the EPOC effect. You need to be gasping for air by the end!
Jaz Correll FITNESS ENTREPRENEUR & WELLNESS COACH madstrengthtraining.com // @jazcorrell (Instagram) ON MY REASONS FOR KEEPING FIT Running my own fitness/health company means that I need to set an example of what real health looks like for my clients and followers. I want to show women that the best way to look fit and healthy and achieve their body composition goals is to actually BE fit and healthy! I don’t believe in giving advice that I wouldn’t be prepared to follow. I am also more productive at work when I am at my healthiest. I find that the best part about improving your health is the flow-on effect it has in other areas of life, such as work (even if you’re not in the fitness industry) and relationships.
ON MY AESTHETIC GOALS
as hyperextension, Bulgarian split squats, leg press, lunges, stiff-legged deadlifts and calf raises. » Tuesday (back and shoulders):
Using a similar format, I start my upper body days with a heavy compound movement, such as chinups, and then do higher rep ranges of other back exercises paired with shoulders. I love training this way because I get a great pump! » Wednesday (full body/arms/ chest): I start off with a close-grip
bench press and EZ bar curls. Then I move on to lighter weights/higher reps of arms, shoulders and abs in a circuit style. » Thursday (rest + light exercise only)
It’s totally cliche but right now I am focusing on growing my booty. Hamstrings is also a focus as I find this the most difficult area to activate and grow.
» Friday (booty): This leg day is also very glute specific. It starts with heavy sumo deadlifts and then I move on to rack pulls and higher reps of leg curls, sumo squats on the Smith machine and calf raises.
ON MY TRAINING
» Saturday (back and shoulders)
I train five days per week for 1.5 hours per session. Training for me is predominantly strength/resistance based. I mix up my program every four weeks to avoid hitting a plateau and to keep it interesting for me. At the moment, the goal of my program is focused on hypertrophy, with an element of strength training at the start of each workout. I add a bit of cardio in here and there throughout the week. The purpose for this is not fat loss (I lift weights for that purpose) but because I enjoy the rush of endorphins. Cardio is my ‘me time’. » Monday (legs): I begin with a
5x5 of heavy low bar squats. This is the strength element which will stimulate and force my legs to grow. I follow this up with exercises that target my glutes and hammies, such
» Sunday (rest/outdoor exercise only)
ON MY TOP TRAINING TIPS 1. ‘ALWAYS SOMETHING’ IS BETTER THAN ‘ALL OR NOTHING’: You are super motivated, hit the gym hard for two weeks and then miss a few days and you’re right back to where you started. Sound familiar? If this is you then I recommend committing to going to the gym four to five times per week for a minimum of 15 minutes per session. This helps create a habit without it being too overwhelming or daunting. 2. BUILD A STRONG FOUNDATION – FIRST: Learn to train with perfect technique and THEN you can train hard. 3. DON’T BE SCARED TO LIFT WEIGHTS!
TOUMBAS’ TWO CENTS
BEST FOR: A strong booty is not just an aesthetic goal; having strong glutes sets a foundation for the rest of your body and its structural balance. The glutes are the largest muscle in the body, so if they aren’t strong, the supporting muscles overwork and eventually cause chronic injuries such as back pain. What I really like about Jaz’s current training protocol is that she is not only focusing on building the muscle itself, but she’s also developing neural efficiency through heavier loading to make the muscle stronger. There are two different training modalities to use because these are two different goals – used together. SPLIT PROGRAMMING: Means you are basically training different muscle groups in different sessions. For example, you can split a program into upper body and lower body; into pull and press; or you can do muscle group splits, such as legs, chest and back. Split programming is prescribed predominantly for
muscle hypertrophy because you can increase total training volume for a specific muscle group and raise the intensity without overtraining. There are three elements that need to be present to build muscle: muscle tension, metabolic stress and muscle damage. Split programming allows you to ensure all three elements are present in your session without totally fatiguing the body. STRENGTH APPLICATION (5X5 PROCOTOL): This is probably my favourite part of Jaz’s training and can be applied to any resistance workout regardless of whether it is a split program or full body program. The 5x5 method is famous in the strength and conditioning world as one of the most reliable methods of building strength. It is easy to remember and easy to perform. However, it is recommended for intermediate and advanced lifters who have developed proper lifting technique already.
Georgia Love TV PERSONALITY @GeorgieALove (Twitter) // @georgiealove (Instagram) ON MY REASONS FOR KEEPING FIT Most of what I do is on television and in the public eye, so that certainly motivates me to maintain a healthy and fit physique. But more importantly, with my days being so busy, eating well and exercising keep me healthy and my body running properly given I have no set routine. Also, as ambassador for Palmer’s skin care, it’s important to keep my skin glowing and fresh!
ON MY AESTHETIC GOALS My tummy is and always has been my ‘problem area’, so that’s always my focus when I work out. But I believe in general fitness being the key 66
to looking and feeling great, so I still do lots of cardio and weight training; it’s not just my core getting strong!
ON MY TRAINING I exercise at least four times a week for 45 minutes to an hour per session. I love F45 at the moment, so I do three to five classes per week. I find HIIT training really beneficial for mixing in both cardio and weight training, and the classes are completely different every time, so I’m never bored. I’m also loving boxing! I do an hour session once a week and it’s such a great workout without really feeling like you’re working out. It’s
PERSONAL TRAINER & PILATES INSTRUCTOR @brigxx (Instagram) // @brigittesaunderspt (Instagram) ON MY REASONS FOR KEEPING FIT
generally train from 45 minutes to an hour each session and on average I do six sessions a week. Sunday is usually active recovery: perhaps a walk or some release work on the roller. I like to mix up my training to keep my body guessing and my mind challenged. I train weights two to three times per week, mixing it up with boxing, Pilates and HIIT workouts. This seems to be the right mix for me to maintain strength, a low body fat level and a solid level of fitness.
I teach up to 12 sessions a day plus train myself as well – it’s a lot! I need all the energy I can get to run at my peak, so a healthy diet, exercise and sleep all contribute to making sure I feel 100 per cent every day to deliver nothing short of the best to my clients. When you’re living a fit and healthy lifestyle, it will show. Not only do you feel fabulous, you look it! My job as a trainer is to motivate men and women to lead a healthier life, so it’s paramount I’m a reflection of what I preach.
ON MY TOP TRAINING TIPS
ON MY AESTHETIC GOALS
1. ENJOY, FIRST: Find something you actually ENJOY doing.
I am quite tall for a girl, so my limbs are long and lean, and I am very much a ‘work with what you got’ kind of gal. If I had to name a body part I’m working on, I’d have to say legs; I love working on them! Making them stronger comes hand in hand with them looking sexier – I am a sucker for a good set of legs!
2. SLEEP WELL: Get your eight hours’ sleep and drink water. 3. PLAN IT OUT: Schedule your workouts in your calendar so you are accountable.
ON MY TRAINING I try and do something every day. I usually only do two to three hard sessions per week to allow time for my body to recover. I
also great for stress relief. I also try to do one to two Pilates or Barre classes so I get a more relaxed core workout.
ON MY TOP TRAINING TIPS 1. FIND A WORKOUT OR TYPE OF EXERCISE THAT YOU GENUINELY ENJOY: Don’t push yourself to do a spin class if you hate spin. If you find something you love, you’ll find yourself looking forward to going and that’s when you get great results. 2. MIX IT UP: Don’t only run or only box. Your body gets used to doing the same thing all the time. 3. SLEEP CAN BE JUST AS IMPORTANT AS EXERCISE: Don’t wake yourself up super early to go to the gym if you’re exhausted – it won’t do you any good. Good sleep and a good diet are just as important as training.
TOUMBAS’ TWO CENTS
BEST FOR: Brigitte engages in an effective and diverse range of activities that not only work with her strengths, but encourage system progression. Two to three heavy weightlifting sessions per week is ideal for anyone to implement into their training protocol because this is where the body makes its biggest transformations. Using the big compound movements at a relatively challenging load teaches the muscles how to move, communicate and work coherently. FOAM ROLLING: Foam rolling is a necessity if you are extremely active, and is essentially a self-regulated massage using a roller of varying degrees of firmness. The firmer the roller, the deeper the massage. Generally, those who suffer from traininginduced tendinopathy are referred to foam rolling sessions to release the muscle belly and stimulate the sensory receptors in the tendon attachments. When tendons become inflamed and tight, they pull on the joints, causing posture and alignment to shift, which, over time, can become chronic issues. By integrating foam rolling into your cool-down, you will be able to progress in your lifts and maintain your mobility to better perform. Adding an extended roll and release in your cool-down will also stimulate a flush-out of any lymphatic byproducts in the muscle tissue.
TOUMBAS’ TWO CENTS
BEST FOR: Georgia is filling her week with a range of activities that require various types of fitness. The combination of HIIT training, boxing, Pilates and Barre provide a well-rounded base to ensure her cardiorespiratory and musculoskeletal systems are pushed to progression. The tummy commonly holds more fat in women than other areas due to natural reproductive necessity. Maintaining a variety of highintensity activities – both conventional HIIT training strategies in addition to challenging weight training – may help mobilise fat storage, but we cannot necessarily ‘torch’ the belly region exclusively. The key is usually nutrition. BARRE: Barre classes fly under the radar and tend to be categorised as a ‘female’
workout – but having done a few myself, I can attest to the fact that it hurts! The foundations of Barre class stem from the strength and conditioning that ballet dancers do in order to progress. It is an excellent activity to build muscular endurance and strengthen commonly weak areas of the lower limbs that cause chronic back pain, such as the glute medius and lateral chain of muscles. It also teaches engagement of the pelvic floor through dynamic movement and works toward ideal posture. However, if your goal is to tone up and grow some muscle, Barre class generally won’t induce the physiological reactions required to do so due to low loading and very high repetitions.
Tara Rushton VW BRAND AMBASSADOR & FOX SPORTS PRESENTER @TaraRushton (twitter) // @tararushtonfox (instagram) ON MY REASONS FOR KEEPING FIT Working in such a dynamic and fast-paced environment and travelling interstate every weekend requires energy and a sharp mind. When I nourish my body and mind with healthy, organic food, drink lots of water, exercise at least three times a week and get enough sleep, I find I execute my job well.
ON MY AESTHETIC GOALS I’m currently working on my arms – in particular my triceps. I get to about three tricep push-ups before waving the white flag.
ON MY TRAINING I have just been introduced to ‘Megaformer’ classes, which I can only describe as ‘turbo-charged’ Pilates! I was sore for a week after my first workout. It’s a mix of intense core and resistance training as well as cardio, which burns calories and sculpts the body. I am trying to do three to four of these sessions a week, each of which last 50 minutes. I am a sporty person by nature – be it playing football with my team, running twice a week or taking boxing classes at the gym. I’ve found Pilates classes have had the most positive impact on my physique personally. It makes me feel toned, strong and I really enjoy doing it.
ON MY TOP TRAINING TIPS 1. DO SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU SMILE: Whether that be a park walk with your best friend, a dance class or an ocean swim – just getting out and about and being active is key. 2. FIND A ROUTINE: Pop 30 or 40 minutes aside in your day to make it happen. 3. BE KIND TO YOURSELF: Everyone has an individual fitness or weight goal and you have to find what suits you and take it at your own pace. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but get yourself into a routine and make small adjustments to reap the benefits in the long run.
TOUMBAS’ TWO CENTS
BEST FOR: Pilates and centring activities will allow Tara to unwind and reconnect with her body. People who live busy schedules and train hard often forget to check in with their bodies. Tara has found an activity that aligns with what she needs and what she does so she can perform in her life and work to the best of her abilities. PILATES: Physiotherapists recommend Pilates to patients who suffer from chronic back pain, injuries and a lack of fundamental core strength. Due to our mostly sedentary workstations, these conditions are very common and enhance our natural forward pelvic tilt, which adds pressure to the lower back. Pilates revolves around teaching people how to use the core muscles (not just the abs) when producing movement; this in turn enhances posture, allows our pelvis to
tilt naturally without overcompensation from tight hips or the lower back, and encourages the body to move better. The calmness and anti-stress mechanisms of Pilates have been shown to reduce anxiety and allow participants to focus on the present, which is part of the reason why Pilates is often grouped with yoga as a restorative practice. There is no question that Pilates will increase core endurance; however, it is not proven to be effective in increasing full body strength. To achieve full body strength, you need to participate in an activity that trains for it specifically and puts stress on the nervous system. Pilates cannot provide enough stimulus for this to happen – this is where additional weight training and loading of the muscles needs to occur.
ON MY TOP TRAINING TIPS
ATHLETE & HOOKIN2HOCKEY AMBASSADOR @janeclax (Instagram & Twitter)
1. YOU ALWAYS HAVE A BIT MORE TO GIVE: Adding one or two reps makes the difference.
ON MY REASONS FOR KEEPING FIT
2. YOU NEED REST DAYS: Your body cannot be pushed all the time.
I think a lot of athletes would agree that when you feel physically and mentally fit, you perform at your best. You have an entirely different level of confidence when you take the field knowing you’re at the top of your game. It helps with injury prevention; the more robust your body is, the less niggles you will experience along the way.
ON MY AESTHETIC GOALS Hockey requires strength, endurance and explosive speed, so there’s a lot of components to develop. Currently, I am working hard on building my agility (footwork). This will hopefully help with staying in defensive contests, turn of speed and elimination skills. As a sport, there are so many physical attributes required to play hockey at an elite level and that’s what makes it such a great game; you need a diverse
range of skills (physical, tactical, technical) in order to be successful.
ON MY TRAINING I exercise five days a week (Wednesday and Sunday are our rest days), for an average of four hours per day if there is a pitch and gym session, or 2.5 hours for just a pitch session. On Saturdays, we are usually involved in our local club competition and during off-season we will play intra-squad ‘mini games’ to replicate being ‘in season’. Currently, the team is split into three groups to work on our physical ‘weaknesses’: so some focus on endurance training, others on strength and heavy lifting, and mine is more high-intensity agility training. We do this three times a week. Plus, gym and conditioning during pitch sessions. There is no one-size-fits-all approach – everyone gets to work on their weaknesses to hopefully develop into holistic athletes.
3. REWARD YOURSELF: I believe you need to indulge occasionally. You are human, after all, so don’t be afraid of sweet treats. Just be smart about your choices, amounts and timing.
TOUMBAS’ TWO CENTS
BEST FOR: An athlete’s training is a full-time commitment. Athletes tend to train twice or even three times per day, including their game/ sport-specific training, and I have seen many of the non-athlete try to train as intense as them to their own detriment. That said, taking aspects of an athlete’s training program such as Jane’s may help the general population challenge themselves and their abilities. Training for performance is getting more support in the fitness industry, encouraging everyday people to train for a performance goal rather than an aesthetic goal: whether it be hitting personal bests, powerlifting, crossfit, marathons, etc. Measuring performance is a great way to keep your mind focused on the activity rather than the result. SPEED AND AGILITY TRAINING: This style of training drives the metabolism and enhances movement. Our bodies are designed in a way that allows us to move in multiple directions. Moving from side to side, for example, is not
how we move very often in everyday life, but is crucial for the development of our lateral muscles. It is safe to say a lot of lower back pain and hip mobility can be attributed to weak lateral muscles. Adding exercises that involve ladders or fast footwork can also help develop strength in muscles that support the joints, so later in life if you lose your balance, you should be able to catch yourself without popping your kneecap. Speed training mixed with reactive drills can also heighten your ability to respond to stimuli. Many trainers use agility ladders and cone drills as part of their warm-ups or conditioning and sometimes use them as fitness tests. Adding one or two of these performance-based activities can provide more of a challenge to test your fundamental movements and are often more fun than conventional training. Boxing, for example, is a great combination of speed, agility and reactive training.
ALEXA TOWERSEY Personal trainer and founder of Creating Curves alexatowersey.com // @actionalexa
E X P E R T T H I N K TA N K
QUALS: BSc Biology and Psychology, Post Grad Dip. Sports Management and Kinesiology, NASM, Gym Jones Certified Instructor, Precision Nutrition, Bio Signature EXPERIENCE: 15+ years
WHILE WE DON’T NECESSARILY SUPPORT THE NOTION OF SHREDDING DOWN FOR A PARTICULAR TIME OF THE YEAR (WANT A BIKINI BODY? THEN PUT A BIKINI ON YOUR BODY), THERE IS NO DENYING THAT MANY BODY TRANSFORMATIONS OCCUR DURING THE SUMMER. SO WHY IS IT THAT A FEW MONTHS LATER, WHEN THE THREATS OF A TINY BIKINI AND HOURS AT THE BEACH ARE GONE, WE TEND TO PILE ON THE KILOS? OUR EXPERTS SHARE THEIR TOP TIPS FOR KEEPING THE WEIGHT OFF – FOR GOOD. Interviews: Katelyn Swallow
SCAN PAGE FOR MORE OF TOWERSEY’S EXERCISE, NUTRITION AND LIFESTYLE TIPS
TRAVIS ‘TJ’ JONES
Vision PT master trainer visionpt.com.au/studios/ brighton // facebook.com/daniel. tramontana
Master trainer thethaigress.co // @thethaigress
Trainer and founder of Result Based Training gyms rbtgyms.com
QUALS: Master Trainer (Cert 3 and 4 Fitness)
QUALS: Cert 3 and 4 in Fitness, CHEK Institute Certified Coach, Poliquin Level 3, AOK Health Corrective Exercise Specialist, FMA Strength Institute Level 3, Australian Strength Coach Level 2
Founder and head coach of Ally’s Angels & Alphas allysangels.com.au // @allysangels_fitness
QUALS: Vision Master Trainer, IAPC Certified, MP Level 3 Transformation Specialist
EXPERIENCE: 8+ years
EXPERIENCE: 8+ years
QUALS: Qualified Personal Trainer and Sports Nutritionist, WBFF Pro Fitness Diva EXPERIENCE: 10+ years
EXPERIENCE: 15+ years
As a trainer specialising in female fat loss, I’ve been privy to all the ‘shredding’ strategies under the sun. It’s clear that we as a gender have a much greater psychological attachment to both food and exercise – and not necessarily a positive one. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve had a client tell me about their ‘Monday’ diet, I’d be a millionaire! It’s taken me close to 20 years to understand that my body is on its very own individual journey and the biggest lesson I’ve learnt is that sometimes less really is more. My top tips for staying physically and psychologically on top of your game year round are less about taking action and more about understanding your body and how it reacts to your mindset. Healthy mind equals healthy body – and vice versa. AVOID DEADLINE DIETING
Deadline dieting is a mindset that is inspired by some day in the future, when you’ve lost all the weight you want to lose and you can focus on keeping it off. No longer will you have to count calories or spend hours in the gym; you’ve got the body you want, so all the hard work is done, right? Wrong. The problem with deadline dieting is that it more than likely involves some sort of extreme action; in the case of a lot of my female clients, overtraining and undereating. In my experience, the
longer it takes to come off, the longer it will stay off. It’s truly a case of slow and steady wins the race. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
Your body is incredibly astute. It knows what it likes and doesn’t like. It’s also a great communicator. It will tell you in no uncertain terms whether it enjoyed that bread you just ate or that hardcore training session you just did. The problem is we are so conditioned to listen to everybody else that we don’t pay attention to what our own bodies are saying. For me, hitting the notorious dirty thirties changed a lot of things: hormone balance, moods, energy levels, recovery time and rate of fat loss, to name a few. I couldn’t understand why the same principles I applied in my teens and twenties – calorie counting and high volume high-intensity training – no longer worked. In fact, it had the opposite effect on my body. These days, I am healthier, happier and, as a by-product, leaner when I focus less on training and more on stress management. Sleep is my secret weapon. When I get good-quality sleep, I’m happier. When I’m happier, I make better decisions. When I make better decisions consistently, I create healthy habits that last a lifetime. DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to the realisation that the happier I am, the leaner I am. It’s as if my body is a small
child: the more I’m unhappy with it, the more I stress about it doing something; the more I argue with it, the more extreme and negative my behaviour and my self-talk is – the more rebellious it becomes. I’ve gotten into a habit of using positive affirmations. My favourite at the moment is ‘My body is a furnace, it burns whatever I eat.’ What you believe, you achieve. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY
You can allow coaches, trainers, nutritionists, friends, partners and families to help you to set up healthy habits, but ultimately you need to be accountable to yourself and honest when it comes to your behaviour. After all, no one wants to see results more than you do. I encourage all my clients to begin their journeys with a lifestyle diary, where they record their food, water, training, sleep and relaxation. It’s not about judgement, it’s about awareness and the ability to identify self-sabotaging patterns. By keeping track of decisions you make in your day-to-day life in response to different stressors, you can start preparing strategies to set yourself up for long-term success.
Keeping the weight off has a lot to do with how you lost the weight in the first place. In the words of author and popular motivational speaker Jim Rohn: “If you want to have more, you have to become more. Success is something you attract by the person you become. For things to improve, you have to improve. For things to get better, you have to get better. For things to change, you have to change. When you change, everything changes for you.” A successful transformation requires a good set-up. I work with clients on who’ll they’ll need to become to pursue and accomplish the goals they set for themselves rather than focus on what they’ll need to do. They probably already know how to eat well, run and lift some weights to a degree. What are the behaviours they’ll need to adopt, learn about or refrain from to achieve what they 72
desire? What does that ‘successful’ version of them do on a daily basis? What do they say to themselves, what do they eat, how do they train and who do they surround themselves with? The best long-term success will come from developing the habits you’ll inevitably need to maintain your weight loss while losing weight. If you follow an extreme, unsustainable or strict diet, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to keep this up in the long term. And once you reach your goals, you will have to learn a whole new approach to keep the weight off. Begin with a complete and wholefood diet; build exercise into your day in a way that is not only realistic but also – to a point –enjoyable; and learn how to make allowances for recovery and recuperation. In some cases, the goal is not a sustainable goal; for instance, training an
athlete for a peak athletic performance, race, event or similar. In this case, there needs to be a clear understanding and recognition that to achieve such an ‘out of the ordinary’ outcome, the approach may not be sustainable for the long term. There is certainly a time and a place for an allor-nothing approach – when going hard is a great strategy. But without integrating this into the ‘bigger picture’, you’re setting yourself up for failure in the future. Secondly, having many clear goals in place to measure success is paramount. I can’t tell you how many times I see clients making unbelievable transformations to both their bodies and lifestyles but never really have the reference points in place to appreciate what they have accomplished. If these are clear, specific and abundant then you’ll be able to celebrate your positive changes.
» Tip 1: keep a high level of accountability present long after you’ve lost the weight. Support is an integral part of what I would determine to be a success: personal training sessions, dates with training partners, couples exercising together, close friends and fitness groups who set and achieve their goals together enjoy a much higher rate of success – both initially and in the long term. » Tip 2: track and measure, track and measure, track and measure. Don’t stop just because you have reached your goals. By consistently checking in with yourself – or better yet employing someone to do so – you’ll detect and minimise any weight gain before it becomes a much bigger problem. Don’t expect your mindset, subconscious thoughts and habits to change as fast as your body does. These things take time, effort, hard work and determination.
Summer is fast approaching and the stress to obtain a less-fluffy ‘summer body’ is in many people’s tunnel vision. However, the self-fulfilling prophecy of ‘summer body’ literally only lasts for that: summer. One issue I find with many people who embark on a summer body transformation is the limitation of the goal itself: why only for summer? There is a huge difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, and the former is a much more powerful motivator than the latter. Intrinsic motivation comes from the feeling you get throughout the process of achieving a goal. It comes from a deepseated desire to change and the process itself often provides that validation, e.g. feeling accomplished when you can deadlift 100kg. Extrinsic motivation only focuses on how the activity will get you to your goal. When trainers encourage you to ‘fall in love with the process’, they are trying to awaken that intrinsic drive that will encourage you to outtrain and outeat your self-limiting transformation time. I encourage my clients to work toward a measurable performance goal – such as a personal best – to align their focus with how they feel. How they look will be a side effect of their efforts. This also establishes a positive relationship with exercise to encourage longevity. Like in any relationship, if you don’t try to get to know it and appreciate it, it will never work in the long term. Good trainers will usually provide their clients with a post-goal training and/
or nutrition protocol to build them up to maintenance without completely losing grip. However, a trainer can only provide so much. If the client is not mentally prepared or willing to participate, it will end in tears. Understanding what you need for yourself to stay within your training and nutrition parameters will allow you to play to your strengths. If you know you lack accountability, make sure you train with a coach more frequently in the aftermath. If you need another goal, choose your next goal well before you complete your first one. Be prepared. But also be prepared to face the reality of physiology. In the afterglow of any weight cut, it is natural for the body to put on some weight in pursuit of a new maintenance goal. The scale may increase by two to three kilos. However, your trainer is there to ensure that it is not all body fat, but also some well-earned muscle. How fast you lose the weight may also be a prediction of how fast you will put it back on. I have seen clients who drastically cut calories, overtrain and hit their goal weight in less time, and as a result experience the repercussions of weight regain in a much faster time frame. Steady weight loss allows the body to adapt to a new baseline steadily without thinking that you are trying to starve it. When the body thinks it’s going into starvation mode, any additional food you put into it will be held on to in a bid to prevent further starvation.
KEY TIPS TO IMPLEMENT: » Try to look past just a weight loss goal. Set a performance goal; whether it’s hitting a personal best in your lifts or running time to pull focus away from body weight. The aesthetics will be a side effect of your efforts. » Ask your trainer or coach to provide you with a maintenance program to help build you up and remain accountable afterwards. » Understand how you work best and play to your strengths. » Have another goal ready to go! » Enjoy the process. Really take into account how you feel during and after your training to fuel the intrinsic motivators.
Beach season is well and truly here and we all know what that means: we will soon be sipping bevvies while enjoying the summer sun, longer days and warmer nights. But it also means something else: less clothing. Being the dedicated gym goer that you are, you are no doubt preparing for that well in advance. You watch your diet like an eagle and you hit the gym hard – harder than usual. Attaining your dream body shape is, however, only one part of the challenge. The other struggle is maintaining your ‘summer body’ once the pressure of the beach season is over. So, to prevent your hard efforts from going to waste, here are the top three tips to avoid weight gain post-summer:
STAY ON TRACK: even the most determined gym junkies can find themselves sidetracked once summer comes to an end. Working out and eating right often take a back seat (if they don’t go right out of the window). To preserve your aesthetic post-weight loss, you must stay on track with your workout and nutrition plan; this means making sure your plan is sustainable in the first place, as the more drastic the plan, the more dramatic the effects of going cold turkey. Having an accountability partner can also be very helpful, especially if he or she has the same goals as you and is dedicated to reaching them.
KEEP COUNTING: weight gain after summer is common. Why? Because people start eating more calories. And it doesn’t matter if that happens consciously or not. If you consume more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. To prevent yourself from overeating, count your calories and macros and adjust your energy intake to your goal. If you want to sustain your weight, eat at calorie maintenance. So, each day, you consume the same number of calories as you burn. If you want to lose weight, eat between 200
to 300 calories below maintenance. And if you’d like to gain weight, consume 200 to 300 more calories than you burn. There are various apps that make it easy to track your calorie intake. Two good options are MyFitnessPal and Cron-o-meter.
INCREASE YOUR PROTEIN INTAKE: a high-protein diet is one of the easiest (and tastiest) ways to prevent your weight from rebounding. Why? Because your food reward system has a strong appetite for protein. Protein raises various satiety hormones – including GLP-1, peptide YY, and cholecystokinin – and reduces the hunger hormone ghrelin. Therefore, a highprotein diet automatically decreases your total energy intake. One study found that when participants raised their protein intake from 15 per cent to 30 per cent of their daily calorie consumption, they ate on average 441 fewer calories a day. This led to the subjects losing a significant amount of weight (5kg in 12 weeks) just by eating more protein.
Where do you think 99 per cent of a body transformation happens? At the gym? On your plate? No, it happens in your mind. Every single weight loss strategy has its own set of positives and negatives, but none of them will be successful unless you get your mind right first. Without the proper inward focus and intention, the outward results simply won’t be achieved. I often see clients who present a determination to ‘fix themselves’ and have self-talk that is ‘trouble-spot’ focused rather than a conversation of personal development, growth, sustainable health and quality of life. The main reason why most diets fail has nothing to do with the diet or the food, but how we process the situation. Aiming for a ‘summer body’ is setting yourself up for failure because it is based on the premise that we set up restrictions on food, training and lifestyle before the ‘bikini season’. To achieve body transformation success we need to look at it as a lifestyle for a greater version of ourselves versus a restrictive diet with a deadline-focused goal, which is inevitably what we detest. You need to
adjust your thought processes to recognise that healthy choices feel right – to ensure the choices don’t end up feeling like a punishment, hard work or unsustainable. Mindset is much like a muscle that can be trained and developed. A large part of our focus with the clients is acknowledging the ‘why’ and focusing daily on the improvements that adopting a healthier lifestyle will bring to them and their loved ones. My top five tips for achieving a total body and mind transformation as part of a sustainable lifestyle: » Change in goals: finding your purpose – the ‘why’ – rather than simply wanting to lose weight. » Developing a healthier, positive outlook on weight loss: finding success in each goal and looking for improvements is a more strategic approach than beating yourself up over your ‘failures’. » Rethinking rewards and punishments: finding non-food-related rewards. » Throw out the calendar: patience is important. Stop focusing on the longterm goal and instead focus on the 24 hours in a day and be present in each moment. » Throw out the scale: a number on the scale does not define your worth.
Improving your mindset will take perseverance, talking to yourself positively (even through the tougher times) and finding a silver lining in every single situation. That’s what it’s going to take to stay motivated and that’s what a winning mindset is all about.
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A MONTH (OR TWO) OF INDULGING IN FESTIVE FOODS AND TREATS IS OFTEN NOT THE BEST NEWS FOR YOUR WAISTLINE. BUT COULD ‘IF IT FITS YOUR MACROS’ (IIFYM) BE THE ANSWER TO HAVING YOUR HOLIDAY PUDDING AND STAYING LEAN TOO? RESA ZEKANTS SIMPLIFIES THE SCIENCE TO SHOW YOU HOW.
WHAT IS IIFYM? Some of you may have seen your favourite fitness YouTubers or social media buffs using the IIFYM method before – weighing out their food and calculating their consumables via a smartphone app – but what does IIFYM actually mean? IIFYM stands for ‘if it fits your macros’ (macros meaning macronutrients) and is a way of managing daily calorie intake via hitting particular macronutrient targets (in grams or as a percentage of your overall diet) in order to reach particular body
composition goals – whether that be weight loss, gain or maintenance. “Macronutrients are the major nutrients that we need within our diet to survive and flourish. They include protein, carbohydrates and fats,” says nutritionist Jessica Cox. “When someone talks about ‘fitting your macros’, this means that they are following a dietary plan that has been made to allow certain amounts of protein, carbs and fats within their day of food intake.”
A M1NUTE ON MACROS BY COX CARBOHYDRATES Carbohydrates are made up of starches, cellulose and sugars. Essentially, starches (a group of sugar molecules stuck together) are broken down into sugars after ingestion and used for energy production. From a nutritionist’s perspective, we often label carbs as simple or complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrate foods are broken down and absorbed quickly, as they often don’t contain much fibre to slow down the absorption process. An excess intake of these carbs means your body can only use so much for fuel before it needs to ‘store’ the extra sugar molecules – generally as fat. Complex carbs take longer to break down due to their high fibre content, meaning they are used for more long-lasting sources of energy and are therefore not stored as easily (unless eaten in excess). They are also a rich source of B vitamins and minerals.
PROTEIN Protein foods are broken down into amino acids in the body. They are large complex molecules made up of a sizeable array of amino acids and they are essential building blocks for metabolism, muscle strength, hormone function, enzyme function and immune health. Some nutritious wholefood sources of protein are: » seafood, meats, eggs » nuts and seeds, legumes and pulses, tofu, tempeh » dairy – (cow/goat/sheep), bocconcini, feta, ricotta, cottage cheese, cheddar and other cheeses that have not been heavily processed
Some nutritious sources of carbohydrates are: » all fruits and vegetables (low in starch is best) » cereals and grains such as whole wheat, rye, rolled oats, buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth, spelt, brown rice, wholewheat pasta, wild rice, barley, sweet potato, potato and legumes
FATS Fats are broken down into fatty acids (triglycerides) in our bodies and are vital for brain function, cell membrane health, skin health and immune function. Types of fats include saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. With fats being quite high in calories (nine calories per gram compared to the four found in carbs and protein), it’s important we are mindful of fat intake; however, eating quality fats daily as part of a balanced dietary intake is very advantageous. Essential fats (omega 3 and omega 6) cannot be made in the body from simply constituents; they must
be consumed from specific food sources and then digested to make them readily available. Trans fats are the fats we need to avoid, which are created through overheating volatile oils. Some nutritious sources of wholefood fats include: » seafood, especially salmon, tuna, sardines, calamari and other oily fish » olive oil, flaxseed oil, macadamia nut oil, coconut oil, cold-pressed avocado oil and other nut and seed oils that have not been heat treated or refined » raw nuts and seeds and their butters » avocado and coconut
Cox says a macronutrient balanced diet is essential for daily function. “A balanced intake of macros also ensures stable energy levels without the ups and downs of omitting a macronutrient. For instance, if we remove carbohydrates, this often reduces readily available fuel and also removes a lot of starchy fibres that keeps us fuller for longer. Without enough of one of the macronutrients in our diet, we most often find we’ll experience fatigue, sugar cravings and hormonal disruptions,” she says.
DOES IIFYM WORK? While the IIFYM way of eating is most commonly used by fitness competitors – where physique and body fat percentage management plays an important role in the outcome – the method has become popular with the general public over the last few years, especially given the rise of calorie and macro counting apps such as MyFitnessPal and Lifesum. These types of apps use your weight, height, age, frequency and intensity of exercise to calculate the number of macros in grams and calories you should be consuming each day, based on the outcome you are after. IIFYM’s proponents claim that balancing macros ensures you consume the correct levels of protein, carbs and fat to maintain or build lean muscle, chew into fat stores and have the energy to get through your training sesh – without the usual pitfalls of old-school calories in versus calories out dieting. Unlike ‘clean eating’ protocols, IIFYM dieters also allow for ‘treats’. Rather than necessarily avoiding particular foods, they instead ensure the foods they eat meet their prescribed macro ratios. For example, that 70g cinnamon donut will cost you about 28g of carbs, 4.5g of protein and 14.3g of fat from your daily macro allowances; so simply enter it into your phone ap and ensure the meals for the rest of your day don’t push you over your carb/protein/fat limits.
While this style of eating requires a lot of pre-planning, the use of kitchen scales and regularly monitoring food intake and calories, Cox says a macronutrient balanced diet will work for the majority of people in regards to stable energy levels and wellbeing. “If followed with nourishing food (lots of vegetables, quality grains or pseudo grains, root vegetables, variety of protein and fats) then it should provide a very nutrientdense diet that we can essentially thrive on,” she says. However, Cox warns that IIFYM is not always the answer for underlying issues pertaining to weight loss, fatigue, immune irregularities and gut issues. There can often be other factors at play that need to be identified and treated by a qualified professional. “When we put restrictions on our diet and use a calculator to determine ‘how much of this’ and ‘how much of that’, it can become restrictive and cause anxiety around food,” says Cox. “I believe – and have seen with clinical experience of over a decade – that learning to eat a macronutrient balanced diet is integral for people as the foundation of nutritional education. However, people need flexibility within this so that they can adapt the way they eat to suit their needs.”
DAISY MAGEE Sponsored athlete and trainer Daisy Magee competed in her first bodybuilding competition last year. She had to follow a strict IIFYM for 20 weeks before the big day. “When I decided I wanted to compete, I hired a coach. My coach is a qualified nutritionist and she taught me how to prepare for my first bodybuilding show,” says Magee. “IIFYM allows me to create a plan and structure it around my day and work. It helps me to keep on track while having a balanced diet full of a variety of foods. I usually have plenty of vegetables (green especially), high-protein lean meats such as chicken breast, rump and occasionally fish, and healthy fats such as nuts, oils and avocado.” Magee says she occasionally enjoys a doughnut on weekends too. Magee’s normal daily intake (offseason) is about 2300 calories; macrowise that’s 115g–130g protein, 300g carbohydrates and 57g fats. During her last stages of comp prep (the week before), her calories were reduced to 1300, with just 90g of carbs per day. “Broccoli was removed from my diet due to bloating and carbs went down to as low as 90g in order to pump up the muscles ready for show day,” she says. “Preparing for a competition is more a mental game than anything else. It requires 100 per cent dedication. For me it was 20 weeks of no social life, feeling alone and everyone telling me I was crazy, and taking my prep meals wherever I went. “The sacrifice is so worth it when you look in that mirror on show day, though.” Outside of competing, Magee still follows the IIFYM way of eating to manage her weight and keep her energised throughout her training, but her plan is a lot more balanced. “A restrictive comp diet is definitely not sustainable long term; by the end of my 20 weeks I felt tired, weak and completely drained. I was thankful it was over and I could once again be eating a balanced IIFYM diet,” she says. “I highly recommend anyone who is looking for results to seek professional advice and guidance – especially when it comes to competing.”
HOW TO IIFYM? The IIFYM way of eating has come under fire by many nutrition experts due to its ‘one size fits all’ approach. Accredited practising dietitian and exercise physiologist Dr Cam McDonald says the standard equation used by calorie counting apps to calculate energy intake is 70 per cent wrong. “One theory is not right for everyone. Long term you want to look at a personalised program, including micronutrients and macronutrients,” he says.
MACRONUTRIENTS Macronutrients are the chemical substances (fat, carbohydrates and protein) for growth and other human body functions. They contribute to the bulk energy needed for our metabolic system; therefore, larger quantities are needed.
MICRONUTRIENTS Micronutrients are the chemical substances (vitamins and nutrients) for various functions of the body, growth and disease prevention. They are essential for overall health. They provide the required cofactors for human body metabolism to be carried out.
The suggested macro ratios for IIFYM via calorie counting apps is 35 per cent or 40 per cent protein, 50 per cent to 40 per cent carbs and 15 per cent or 20 per cent fats, but Dr McDonald says some people aren’t designed for these ratios. Both Cox and McDonald also believe that outside influences such as stress levels, genetics, history, hormonal issues, gut health and external factors need to be taken into consideration before constructing a macroand micronutrient balanced meal plan. “These types of apps give users the wrong impression that weight is the only thing that matters: some people are naturally bigger boned and are designed for more fat, and have bigger muscle. That is not taken into consideration here,” says Dr McDonald. “Nor do they distinguish good calories from the bad; to them a calorie is a calorie no matter where it comes from – for example; chocolate cake equals avocado – and that’s not right at all. People need to be educated.” While it’s not recommended to implement a restrictive IIFYM diet, Dr McDonald says if you’re doing it right (under the guidance of a health professional), have a personalised plan and you’re getting the right amount of nutrients daily, it can be done. www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au
WHILE SEEKING PROFESSIONAL ADVICE IS ALWAYS BEST, HERE’S HOW TO GET STARTED ON THE IIFYM’S BANDWAGON:
PICK YOUR MACRO RATIO
SET YOUR KILOJOULE INTAKE
START CALCULATING GRAMS
Common fitness folklore and expert opinion usually suggest you divide your macros as per the below ratios:
Work out what number of kilojoules you need to be eating to maintain or lose weight – depending on your goal. You can work out your basal metabolic rate using the numerous calculators online to work out the calories you burn at least. You will need to be in a small calorie surplus (slightly above your BMR) for weight gain or a small calorie deficit (slightly below your BMR) if your goal is weight loss.
AS A GENERAL RULE: » CARBS: 1 gram = roughly 16kJ (4 calories) » PROTEIN: 1 gram = roughly 16kJ (4 calories) » FATS: 1 gram = roughly 37kJ (9 calories)
FINE-TUNING YOUR MACROS APPROACH
» PROTEIN: 35 per cent or 40 per cent » CARBS: 50 per cent or 40 per cent » FATS: 15 per cent or 20 per cent In other words, 35 per cent of your calories should come from protein, 50 per cent from carbs and 15 per cent from fats. Tweak the ratios moving forward to see what works best for you.
Work out how many grams of carbs, protein and fats you need to consume each day to meet both your macro percentage ratios and kilojoule goals.
Work out roughly how you want to divvy your macros up into your meals over the course of a day. Many of the aforementioned apps will be able to calculate the grams of carbs, protein and fats in common foods, so you can make a plan for your day.
If you aren’t getting the results you are after, your IIFYM approach may require some tweaking. Common culprits include: » Overestimating or underestimating your kilojoule needs. » Overestimating or underestimating your macronutrient servings per meal/food: for a few days or a week, go back to weighing foods whenever possible and tracking them within your app, instead of guesstimating the amounts.
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SUMMER STAPLE HUON SALMON POKE BOWL BY SCOTT GOODING Serves 1
NEED DO Dressing » 1 garlic clove, finely chopped » 1cm ginger, finely chopped » 1 chilli, finely chopped » 2 limes, juiced » 1 tsp fish sauce » ½ tsp honey Bowl » 1 x 140g fresh Huon Salmon portion, poached and pulled apart » ½ avocado, sliced » 1 carrot, grated/ chopped » ½ cucumber, chopped » ¼ red cabbage, finely chopped » ¼ bunch coriander, roughly chopped » 1 long red/green chilli, finely chopped » Handful of spinach leaves » 1 shallot, finely chopped » 1 tbsp sesame seeds
If you’re keeping an eye on your waistline this festive season, you might want to include salmon at family lunch. Extremely versatile, it can be paired with your poached eggs for breakfast, diced into your salad or steamed with vegies for dinner. Plus, it’s packed with nutrients and provides an excellent source of high-quality protein, helping to boost your metabolism and increase satiety. So it’ll keep both your taste buds and tummy satisfied for longer. For this recipe or more delicious ways to enjoy your Huon Salmon, check out their recipe collection online or on Instagram: huonsalmon.com.au // @huonsalmon
1. Combine all the ingredients for the dressing and whisk/ stir. Set aside and allow the flavours to infuse – adjust accordingly to get the right balance of spice, sour, salt and sweet flavours 2. Bring a pot of salted water to boil 3. Place the salmon portion in the water and return to the boil
4. Once boiling, remove pot from the heat and set aside 5. Allow the fish to cook for 8 to 10 minutes depending on the size of the fillet 6. Meanwhile, arrange the other ingredients in the bowl 7. Once cooked, remove the fish from the water and pull the meat apart and place in the bowl 8. Drizzle with dressing
TIP for an even quicker dinner: leave salmon raw as Scott has done here!
While a staple of the majority of fit-focused diets (more protein, please!), meat – specifically, the amount of saturated fat it contains – has received a bad rap in recent years. But several recent studies have found that the nasty link between sat fat and the risk of heart disease isn’t as conclusive as once thought; while other studies have found that yes, replacing saturated fat sources with poly- and mono-unsaturated fats may lower the risk of heart disease in some people, the biggest leap – in the wrong direction – occurs when saturated fats are replaced by refined carbs. A moderate intake of saturated fat isn’t going to kill you. Besides, meat is far more than just its fat content. “As much as dairy isn’t just calcium and whole grains aren’t just fibre, red meat isn’t just saturated fat,” says Melissa Hartwig, sports nutritionist and co-author of It Starts with Food. “Many people think of meat, seafood and eggs as protein, but meat is also a dense source
of micronutrients, some of which you simply can’t effectively get from plants.” That said, meat’s benefit to your health and physique will depend on the type and quality of the cuts you select. “Fat is not unhealthy; just like protein, it’s an essential part of our diet and nutritional needs,” says Dr Vincent Candrawinata, a clinical nutritionist and food scientist from the University of Newcastle. “However, when it comes to calorie control, limiting the choice of meat to a leaner one is important because most cooking methods will add oil or fat. “The most important thing when choosing the meat – especially from a fatty animal – is the cut. Pork belly and pork tenderloin come from the same animal but their nutritional profiles are significantly different.”
THE HEALTHIEST MEATS The biggest issue for meat-eaters is the shear volume of choice available. While variety is key to ingesting a range of nutrients and boycotting boredom, deciding what you’re going to have for a healthy dinner can be downright confusing. “Liver, eggs, oysters, mussels, sardines and other organ meats are incredibly nutritious foods,” says Sylvia North, a dietitian and integrative nutritionist with Fearless Nutrition. “By not eating these foods you can be totally cheating yourself of many healthpromoting nutrients. I often refer to liver as natural B vitamin complex because it provides all the Bs. These foods are also incredibly rich in highly bioavailable minerals, meaning our body absorbs them easily.” Liver is quite possibly the ultimate king of meats. With high levels of protein, iron and zinc, and containing a host of vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6 and B12, folate, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, copper and selenium, it has rightful claims of being a genuine superfood.
But if liver isn’t your thing, white meat comes a close second in the health stakes. “White meat from chicken and turkey are regarded as the superheroes of meat because of their versatility, high protein and low-fat content,” says Candrawinata. “Per 100 grams, turkey breast has 104 calories, 17 grams of protein and only two grams of fat. Chicken breast has 124 calories per 100 grams, 20 grams of protein and three grams of fat.” Put these stats up against pork tenderloin at 143 calories per 100 grams, 21 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat and trimmed beef at 201 calories, 20 grams of protein and 13 grams of fat, and you can see why white meat is so popular. Other ‘wild’ meats or game such as kangaroo, camel, venison – even crocodile – can provide a lean, low-fat alternative. Camel, for example, contains less than a third the fat of beef, and crocodile contains double the protein of chicken but with less fat, making it a popular choice within the bodybuilding community.
SIGNS OF MEATY MEAT “As a consumer, don’t simply purchase your meats based on their look, perceived flavour and flashy advertising,” says JR Fletcher, a nutritionist and founder of Nutritiontastic. “The healthiest meats come from grass-fed animal livestock which has been raised happily and humanely on pasture. Because the animals you are eating lived happily and consumed nature’s plant matter, in turn you will consume the nutrients they ate. “Organic and lean meats are the foremost nutritional profiles you should look out for. Try to purchase your meats from your local farm or butcher instead of the supermarket. Locally sold meat is generally of higher quality.”
Developing an ongoing dialogue with your butcher can help. Talk to them about your requirements; for example, if you’re after high protein or low fat, be sure to discuss your options. Identifying the leanest premium cuts comes down to four things: a fine meat grain, not a loose one; little connective tissue; a single muscle group within the cut (or as few as possible), and lean to medium amount of marbling. Marbling is representative of fat content, and because this can also indicate flavour, many chefs see this as desirable. “From a health perspective, a good cut must have minimal fat, so even when you choose beef sirloin, duck or chicken thigh, make sure you trim the fat,” says Candrawinata. www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au
SEA YOUR FOOD Fish has been long lauded as the healthiest ‘meaty’ option, with some of the healthiest of the world’s diets centred around seafood, including the famously longliving Okinawans. But are fish really all they’re cracked up to be? “It’s full of proteins, omega-3, the polyunsaturated fats that we all know help tackle depression, and yet contains relatively few calories,” says Dr David Khayat, author of The Anti-cancer Diet. Unfortunately, in some fish these health-giving properties are severely compromised by chemical contaminants, including arsenic, dioxins, PCBs and heavy metals, including lead, mercury and cadmium. “For many years we’ve been polluting our oceans, our fish have become polluted from them, and in turn we’ve been polluting ourselves by eating this seafood,” says Dr Khayat. “There’s a huge number of these pollutants and a major problem with
consuming them is that they take a very long time to disappear. For example, the biological half-life of cadmium is 30 years.” So which fish are okay to eat and which should we be steering clear of? “The more a species is a carnivorous predator, the higher up it is in the food chain and the more likely it is to be contaminated,” says Dr Khayat. “Salmon, red tuna, and swordfish, which are high up on the food chain and are fatty fishes, are most dangerous for our health.” “There are other types of fish, also high in omega 3, that generally contain far less mercury, such as mackerel, anchovies and sardines.” Canned tuna tends to have less harmful contaminants as a tuna steak, as they are generally sourced from smaller tuna varieties, such as the skipjack (which may or may not be specified on the can). Canned wild Alaskan salmon is also a good option for similar reasons.
WHAT TO AVOID Aside from the aforementioned contaminated seafood, you might want to think twice about your consumption of processed meats – sausages, ham, bacon, and deli meats such as salami and cabana. In fact, the World Health Organization take processed meats so seriously that they have tagged them as a Group 1 carcinogen, meaning they are known to cause cancer. Numerous studies back this up, proving that consumption of processed meat increases the risk of cancer, particularly cancer of the stomach and bowel. Not great news for bacon lovers. “Bacon and sausage often contain just as much fat as protein, and if that meat is coming from the factoryfarming system, that fat contains a whole lot of potentially toxic byproducts,” says Hartwig. “As with all protein, the quality of the meat and the manner in which it was processed determine how healthy the end product will be.”
COOK IT UP How you cook your meat goes a long way to determining its ultimate health status. Stuffed with camembert and deep fried, and your original lean breast quickly goes from wholesome goodness to a potential heart attack on a plate, making even bacon look like a health food. “Some cooking methods render the fat and therefore allow for a fattier cut of meat to be used,” says Candrawinata. “On the other hand, when working with lean meat, choose the cooking method that won’t toughen the meat. For pork tenderloin, for example, slicing it thinly for a quick stir fry gives you that tender succulent texture.” As far as healthiest cooking methods, steaming and roasting are your number one and two. “This is especially true for chicken and turkey breast,” says Candrawinata. “I recommend that you don’t remove the skin during preparation, but instead poke
several holes for the fat to escape during steaming or roasting, but not to the point where the meat becomes tough. You can choose to not eat the skin – or if you do, the majority of the fat would have dripped away anyway. “It is also very important to not roast, bake or barbecue your meat until it’s charred or burnt. Doing so creates a wealth of free radicals. But don’t start declining all your invitations to barbecue parties; just watch out for excessive charring. Fortunately, too, our gut and intestinal lining actually has the ability to renew itself. Taking a potent broad-spectrum antioxidant also helps your body fight off nasty free radicals.” And don’t forget to eat meat with plenty of vegies, particularly leafy green ones. This combination actually changes the biological and metabolic effects of the meal, counteracting potential harm and imparting its own wealth of goodness.
MEAT FOR WEIGHT LOSS AND WORKING OUT Chicken and turkey, trimmed of fat, are widely considered the weight loss meats, particularly when steamed, roasted, poached or stewed. Lean pork and fish also provide excellent options and enables enough variety that you wont stray too far from the good stuff. Getting your macro ratios right is also important. “The optimal kilojoule range of protein is 15–25 per cent, with 45–65 per cent carbs and 25–30 of fat,” says dietitian Dr Alan Barclay. “That allows people to have a Mediterranean-style diet or an Asian-style diet – to give you two extremes. Providing you exercise, you will gain muscle eating this way.” And muscle burns fat, even long after you’ve packed up your gym bag and are sitting at home in front of the couch. Too little protein in your diet makes weight loss extremely difficult. “There’s emerging evidence that if you do under-eat protein, you’re going to overeat carbohydrates and fat,” says Dr Barclay. “That’s because protein is more
satiating than the other macronutrients.” Protein naturally complements exercise and famously enhances body composition, but more is not necessarily better. “You can do as much exercise as you like but it’s like trying to build a wall without bricks – you can’t increase your muscle mass if you don’t have adequate protein in the body,” says Melanie McGrice, a dietitian and director of Nutrition Plus. “And if your kilojoule intake is too low, your body will use some of your muscle mass for energy rather than building up lean muscle.” Bodybuilders push their protein levels to extremes, and ideally put it to good use, with regular strength training sessions. “Sure, it can work for hardcore bodybuilders; but for the general public or someone who is doing a weight session twice a week who thinks they can eat as much protein as they like and not gain fat but gain muscle, that is definitely not the case. If you eat too much protein you can put on fat rather than muscle. Not all protein automatically converts to muscle.”
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FITNESS AND NUTRITION ӲěKČÃĄěŚť
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UP PHOTOGRAPHY: THINKSTOCK
You might be making all the â€˜rightâ€™ nutrition choices completely unaware of the additives that lurk beneath the surface of the food products you consume, causing everything from weight gain to behaviour issues. David Goding takes you through reading food labels 101.
One look at any pre-packaged item of processed food and there’s likely to be a string of numbers, acronyms and pharmaceutical terms that, at face value, don’t appear to belong in said food item. So, what are these food additives doing there? Are they necessary? And what, if any, should we be avoiding? Their purpose usually revolves around appearance, taste and economics. Yes, acidity regulators, firming agents, anticaking agents, colourings, emulsifiers, foaming agents, flavour enhancers, glazing agents, humectants and sweeteners all have their role, but they don’t always have our best interests at heart. Processed cheese, for example, may contain as little as 10 per cent actual cheese. The rest is additives. “Manufacturing standards vary from country to country and it is nigh impossible to monitor the safety of additives used in processed foods,” says Bill Statham, author of The Chemical Maze, a guide to food additives and cosmetic ingredients. “Approval is based largely on an assessment of the documentation provided by the additive
developers and manufacturers and whether there is a definite need for the additive. “Another cause for concern is the fact that even the additives that have undergone safety testing are only ever tested on animals and only tested singly – not in combination with other additives.” And additives rarely appear alone. In fact, there’s usually so many of them, you could be forgiven for thinking that someone is being deliberately confusing – an effective way of ‘burying’ any suspect ingredient. The health claims of the product can provide an even better smokescreen. “Industry greatly amplifies the claims of nutritional science through its advertising and, through its sponsorship of self-serving nutritional research, corrupts it,” says Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food. “The predictable result is the general cacophony of nutritional information ringing in our ears and the widespread confusion that has come to surround this most fundamental of creaturely activities – finding something good to eat.”
SCANNING THE LABEL
“Check the 100g columns for protein, fibre, sugar and calories/kilojoules,” says Larina Robinson, dietitian from The Body Dietetics. “You want more protein and fibre, less sugar and calories. To make sure the serving size you’re going to eat will satisfy you, check the ‘per serve’ column to make sure it has 10g or more of protein if it’s a main meal, or 5g or more for a snack. Manufacturers set the serve size of their own products so these will vary from brand to brand. Often, they add more serves per pack to make it look better to the consumer at a quick glance, so don’t get caught out.”
You’ve picked up the appealingly colourful package, flipped it over and started examining the nutritional label – or the ‘nutro’ as it’s known in the trade – for the product’s content breakdown. What should you be looking for? Serving per pack: 1
Serving Size 100g
Carbohydrates (g) sugars (g)
Fats (g) saturated (g)
Dietary Fibre (g)
INGREDIENTS: Then move onto the ingredients list, which always lists in order of highest amounts down to the least. “If a food lists sugar or glucose as the first ingredient, it is best avoided,” says Claire Ratapu, nutritionist and fitness expert at Vision Personal Training. “You will also see ingredients you recognise and ones that you may not. These are foods that are either not in their natural state and listed under a different name or a manufactured one. Ingredients you recognise are always the best bet.”
Most of our salt consumption comes not from added salt at the dinner table but from hidden salt within products we buy, so make a quick check of sodium levels. You shouldn’t be consuming more than 2.5g of salt or 1000mg of sodium per day.
Then check the fibre content. “High fibre foods help you feel full for longer, so for snacks aim for 3g or more per serve, and main meals go for 6g or more,” says Robinson.
WHAT TO AVOID Number one on the list of additives to avoid are the nitrates and nitrites group according to Sally Garrard, sports dietitian and exercise physiologist. “Epidemiological studies have found that higher intakes of nitrates – which are converted to nitrosamines in the body – will increase an individual’s risk of cancer,” she says. “The numbers of the nitrate group are 249–252. You will find these in cured meats – think ham, salami, bacon, mince, sausages, kabana – where they are used as a preservative to improve shelf life and enhance colouring. “Another group I’m not a fan of are flavour enhancers. These don’t have any detrimental health effects, but they get our taste buds used to highly flavoured foods, with the consequence that nonflavour-enhanced foods lose their appeal. Flavour enhancers encourage overconsumption and in a world where it is a battle to maintain an intake that is appropriate, I believe these are problematic.” The most infamous flavour enhancer of them all, monosodium glutamate, is still alive and well, and inhabiting a host of packaged foods, from instant noodles to snack foods and frozen dinners. “MSG should be avoided as it switches off the brain’s ability to say ‘I’m full’, and so increases the risk of obesity; its associated health concerns are diabetes and heart disease – particularly with the types of foods these enhancers are added to, which are also high in trans-saturated fats,” says Ratapu. “Artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, should be limited in the diet, so diet drinks or food products should generally be limited to less than 40mg per kg of bodyweight. Those with a condition called phenylketonuria (PKU) should avoid aspartame entirely.” Then there are the all-pervasive colours and dyes that make our food look so pretty. Tip – if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. “Many of the food dyes should be avoided, particularly for children, as they can affect behaviour and induce hyperactivity and lack of concentration,” says Ratapu. “Those to avoid include blue (E133), red (E124), yellow (E110) and yellow tartrazine (E102).” 96
HIDDEN SUGAR The term ‘free sugar’ sounds great – until you realise what it means. It refers to the amount of sugar found in food, so it doesn’t include naturally occurring sugars found in fresh fruit, vegetables, milk and honey. Since you are actually paying for it, in more ways than one, the ‘free’ is a bit of a misnomer. “Currently there is no guideline on how much sugar is too much, yet society is easily overconsuming sugar at an alarming rate,” says Ratapu. “The World Health Organization recommends that your overall intake of free sugars should be less than 10 per cent of your overall diet, and stated that a reduction to five per cent of diet, or approximately six teaspoons daily, would have additional health benefits.” Restricting your free sugar to six teaspoons a day equates to only 25g of the sweet stuff, which isn’t a lot. A standard can of Coke, for instance, hits you with 39g, or 9.3 teaspoons. While fruit is partially exempt from this standard scrutiny, it doesn’t quite get off scot-free. In concentrated juice form its sugar content is close to those found in soft drinks. Dairy, too, doesn’t always get a clean bill of health; for although lactose is a naturally occurring sugar in milk, which makes the sugar content appear higher, the added sugar can’t be so easily ignored. “Aim for a yoghurt or milk product where sugar or syrup isn’t one of the top three ingredients on the list,” says Robinson.
CONSUMER CONS Food companies have entire marketing departments whose job it is to catch your attention and persuade you to put their item in your shopping trolley. And they’re extremely good at their job. “It’s very easy for food manufacturers to mislead consumers by coming up with all sorts of weird and wonderful names for nutrients that consumers have a belief to be ‘bad’,” says Garrard. “For example, most consumers will have an understanding that added sugar is going to be a product with low nutritional value. However, when the sugar is called ‘organic brown rice syrup’, many consumers will overlook this. And numerous snack products – that promote themselves as being a healthy product – have this as the number one ingredient on the list. “Another marketing trick of the food industry is the use of landscape/farming imagery or natural packaging
to evoke the idea in the consumer that this product comes with a healthier edge than others alongside it. A quick scan of the ingredient list should reveal its true colours.” Serving size manipulation is common, with the aim to deliberately confuse or mislead. After all, they don’t really want you to understand that there are three to four serves in one chocolate bar. Low fat terminology can also hide something more sinister – or be completely meaningless. “Low fat items are hit and miss,” says Robinson. “If it’s low in fat naturally, or has had fat content removed without much else done to it – for example low-fat yoghurt – then that’s fine. But more often than not, they add in a bunch of extra additives to give the same mouth-feel, texture and consistency that fat would, or, in the case of sweets, they make it taste ‘better’ by adding more sugar.”
WHAT THEY CAN AND CAN’T SAY The brains trust behind that breakfast cereal in your pantry are, fortunately, restricted in what they can and can’t claim, as set out by Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ). You can’t, for instance, state that a food ‘lowers your cancer risk’ unless you have the evidence to back it up. But there’s still a bit of wriggle room. “Health claims relating to disease states and risk factors for chronic disease must be proven and backed up by scientific research,” says Robinson. “Nutritional claims such as low fat and no added sugar must meet a particular set of standards. Before recent times, the claims could be manipulated to make the product sound better than what they were, but new legislation is cracking down on this now, making it harder for manufacturers to mislead us.” But where there is a will there is a loophole – and marketers will gladly use them. “Manufacturers can choose whether to show additives by name – often scientific and unfriendly – or by number – something we are more likely to read over and miss,” says Statham. “They are also only required to show the compound ingredient and not what makes it, and can legally leave off any item that amounts to less than five per cent of the total volume. “The ingredients panel of most labels amounts to around 10 per cent of the total label size, so there is great scope for on-pack marketing messages to convince us of a product’s validity, or simply divert our attention from the real and hard data they are legally required to provide us with.” www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au
GOING CHEMICAL FREE
THE CHANGING FACE Food standards bodies are indeed getting wise to some of the marketing tricks out there, just as we are becoming increasingly aware of what is healthy and what isn’t. “There are definitely more processes in recent years that allow for less manipulation and human interference with the original wholesome products,” says Robinson. “However, this technology is going to take some time to filter out into the major manufacturers. It’s another great reason to shop local and support the little guys, who can be flexible and quick to adapt to the new processing options.” Many manufacturers are adopting a healthier approach to product development, at least when starting out. “I see a lot of great new brands coming to the market, with wholesome products, but after successes there, they tend to become less healthy,” says Garrard. “There is only so many tubs of natural yoghurt you can sell. So, when it comes to expanding their ranges, the only way to do it is to create something with lower nutritional values; ie. it will have added sugars and fats that the company’s entry level product didn’t have. “To me, the answer is that you don’t hold any brand of food too closely to your heart. Just because they start out well, doesn’t mean subsequent items in their range will be of that standard. Read the ingredient list and don’t waste time with the number panel. When the ingredient list follows the rules mentioned, you’ll likely have a good product on your hands.” 98
Going chemical free sounds daunting but is really about simplifying what you eat, or, as Pollan says, “If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.” In fact, Pollan goes even further, saying that: “If you’re concerned about your health, you should probably avoid products that make health claims. Why? Because a health claim on a food product is a strong indication it’s not really food, and food is what you want to eat.” Once you have adopted a more analytical and aware approach, it quickly becomes a habit, says Statham. “What might seem an overwhelming task at the outset quickly becomes second nature,” he says. “Label reading over time becomes instinctual and has the effect of making shopping a much simpler task. You will find yourself skipping whole aisles in the supermarket and shopping in an entirely new way. When you are able to make choices to avoid harmful additives and chemicals, there is a natural return to the ‘source’; we get back to basics and a simpler way of eating and living. “Label reading need not be complicated and in a world where chemical development and usage is growing exponentially, it is increasingly necessary for us to be enquiring about what we put in and on our bodies.”
feed your skin this summer SKINFOOD NATURAL & ORGANIC SKIN CARE
eat hero ingredient
BAKER’S DELIGHT RASPBERRY & COCONUT BREAD It can be hard to resist a slice of buttery banana bread with your afternoon cuppa – and why should you, when you can make your own squeaky clean version. You don’t even have to be a baker, with this simple recipe courtesy of sugar-, dairy- and gluten-free Heilala Vanilla Extract. Perfect for office snack-time or to serve the squad during your weekend chinwag. RRP $13.99 (50ml), heilalavanilla.com.au
INGREDIENTS » 2 ½ cups of almond flour » 1 tbsp buckwheat flour » 1 tsp chia seeds » 1 tsp cinnamon » 1 tsp GF baking powder » ¼ tsp sea salt » 1 tsp Heilala Vanilla Pure Vanilla Extract » 4 free range eggs, beaten » ¼ cup coconut oil » ¼ cup rice malt syrup » 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (ACV) » 1 cup raspberries » ¼ cup coconut flakes
PHOTOGRAPHY: HEILALA VANILLA
METHOD 1. Preheat oven to 180°C. 2. Combine flours, chia seeds, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. 3. Add the Heilala Vanilla Pure Vanilla Extract, eggs, oil, rice malt syrup and ACV and mix thoroughly. 4. Carefully fold in the berries and coconut. If the mixture is very thick, add a cup of water and mix thoroughly. Let it sit for 15 minutes. 5. Spoon mixture into lightly greased bread tin. 6. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. 7. Best served warm.
NUTRITION TO LIVE BY
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Hippocrates once said: “Whoever wishes to investigate medicine properly should proceed thus: in the first place to consider the seasons of the year and what effect each of them produces.” As the father of medicine was alluding, eating what’s in season (known as seasonal eating) is a highly intuitive means to sustenance and vitality, as well as disease prevention. It’s thought that the behaviour taps into innate biological intelligence that we aren’t necessarily aware of, but that dictates out palates. On a physiological level, as the climate changes, the body’s nutritional requirements will shift to adapt, maintaining homeostasis or balance, and overall wellbeing. In short, our nutritional needs
are – at least to an extent – environmentally conditioned and met by the consumption of fresh, seasonal produce.
EVOLUTIONARY EATING When it comes to seasonal eating, the view of evolutionary adaptation is applied by anthropologists and nutritionists alike. Research from the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at Oxford University has found that “seasonality is a fundamental environmental factor in mammalian, and primate ecology, and hominid evolution” and that “human feeding adaptations are likely to have arisen in the context of resource seasonality.” As we have evolved over the past 200,000 years to consume
While many of us can attest to craving more raw and fresh foods during warmer months – cue juicy slices of watermelon and zesty summer salads – we don’t quite make the connection between these cravings and a shift in Mother Nature’s menu. Far beyond simply tasting good (in and out of a cocktail), eating what’s in season can offer a host of benefits to your health.
foods that will support our survival needs under specific living conditions at any given time, the theory posits that because our bodies are sensitive to climactic change, they have adapted to respond best to what is seasonally available. “As human beings, we are strongly influenced by our environment, including the change of seasons. Seasonal appetite change may certainly be accounted for by evolutionary adaptation,” says naturopath Amanda Harasym of Elevate Sydney Clinic. “Humans have evolved to consume certain foods at appropriate times of the year to provide our bodies with adequate nutrients to survive in the face of seasonal changes. In the spring and summer, raw, fresh, leafy, cooling foods flourish. This includes vegetables and fruits such as apricot, artichoke, arugula, asparagus, beet, Swiss chard, kale, cherries, parsley, dandelion greens, kiwi, leek, lettuce, nettle, spinach, pea greens, and strawberries. These foods are light and detoxifying, perfect for preparing your body for summer.” So, when the cravings kick in this summer, know that it may be more than just social or cultural conditioning chiming in to inspire your next meal – it might just be a matter of evolution.
sodium levels combined with low hydration levels is a very dangerous situation and can lead to a condition called hyponatremia.” In addition to rehydrating, the body will also seek to protect itself from the detrimental effects of time spent in the harsh Aussie sun, ushering cravings for plant foods rich in flavonoids – a class of compounds known for their ultraviolet UVB photoprotective properties. A 2008 study published in the Journal of Natural Products assessed nutritional compounds quercetin and rutin as agents that could be potentially used in sunscreen products. The study concluded that both flavonoids gave sun protection factor (SPF) values similar to that of standard sunscreen ingredients and also provided a nonnegligible level of photoprotection in the UVA range. So while we aren’t suggesting you ditch your sunscreen, the study results do help to explain that insatiable appetite for summertime cherries and berries. Once again, seasonal food cravings emerge to support and protect the body’s delicate physiological balance under changing conditions, and that fruit salad-topped cup of frozen yoghurt you just can’t get enough of becomes an even greater hero.
DIETARY DIVERSITY COOL AS A CUCUMBER Consider this scenario. It’s a long summer day and you’ve been frolicking outdoors in 30-degree (plus) heat from sunrise at 5am right through to sunset at 8pm. Your seasonal fruit salad and froyo cravings are more than just a matter of taste – they’re a matter of biology. The temperature soars, the days get longer and the sun’s rays are felt more intensely as summer settles into full swing. Culturally, this means more time spent outdoors, increased physical activity and plenty of socialising. Physiologically, our bodies call for support through these changing conditions and turn to nutrition – specifically in-season wholefoods. This is where your summertime food cravings stand justified for helping to balance your body’s key physiological processes, including temperature, metabolism, pH and blood sugar. A study published in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine concluded that “food intake appears to be controlled as if it is a mechanism of temperature regulation” and that the “food eaten appears to be determined, at least partly, by the organism’s ability to dissipate the heat of food metabolism”; demonstrating why summer heat could compel us to choose fresh and cooling seasonal food to keep the body in balance. These foods also boast higher water content, as the body seeks hydration to counter the loss of electrolytes during physical activity and sun exposure. “When active outdoors, our bodies sweat, losing fluid and electrolytes. It is not uncommon for people to crave either sweet or salty foods as the body seeks to replace sodium and electrolytes,” says Harasym. “Low
Diversifying your diet via seasonal eating appears to also diversify your health. By eating what is seasonally available, we are more likely to experiment with new kinds of produce and broaden our eating horizons, consequently expanding our range of consumed nutrients, according to dietitian Anthony Glanville, also of Elevate Sydney Clinic. “Many people in Australia eat a very narrow spectrum of foods. Repeating meals and not varying ingredients means you may be missing out on key nutrients in your diet. Eating more seasonally means that you will ingest a wider variety of vitamins, minerals and nutrients,” says Glanville. “Additionally, some studies have suggested that exposing yourself to a wider variety of foods is important for your microbiome (gut flora/bacteria), encouraging the proliferation of beneficial bacteria.” This nutritional advantage is amplified by the fact that in-season, locally sourced fruits and vegetables are often higher quality than remotely sourced goods that are not in season. A 2008 study published in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition compared the vitamin C content in conventionally and seasonally grown broccoli at the same stage of ripeness and freshness from varied supermarkets in Northern New Jersey, USA. Broccoli collected out of growing season was found to contain half the amount of the vitamin C as the same variety when picked during its prime season of growth. Similar results have been produced when comparing seasonally picked versus out-of-season spinach and www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au
endive, with naturally produced pigments indicating crops should be picked when in season to ensure maximum nutrient content, including levels of antioxidants and phytochemicals. “Fresh, seasonal food hasn’t been stored for long periods and therefore generally contains a higher amount of nutrients, particularly antioxidants, which can decrease with time spent in cold storage,” says dietitian for Shift Nutrition Skye Swaney, who advises her clients to opt for seasonal produce where possible. “Seasonal produce tends to also taste better, which encourages us to eat more of it.” That said, Swaney notes that many frozen fruits and vegetables are snap frozen immediately after picking, so are generally just as nutritious as fresh varieties.
SUMMER’S BEST PICKS
SUMMER LOVING Combining seasonal foods to create whole meals as much as possible is a terrific way to allow seasonal nutrition to support your physiology, according to Harasym. She encourages her clients to have fun and get creative with seasonal wholefoods for an optimally nourishing and enjoyable summer diet. “A delicious, seasonal lunch might be a fresh salad, mixed with arugula leaves, dandelion greens, and lettuce, sliced apricots and strawberries,” says Harasym. “Top this with green peas, dressed in a refreshing tahini, lime, honey and ginger dressing, eaten with your choice of a lean protein.” You can find a full list of what’s in season in your area at seasonalfoodguide.com, which also lists details of local farmers’ markets throughout the country. “[Farmers’ markets] have fresh, seasonal produce, which typically lasts longer and tastes better. Local foods are harvested at the peak of their season when their nutritional content is at its highest and delivered to markets shortly after,” says Harasym – so you really are getting the best for your body, not to mention your buck. “If you eat in season and shop at local markets, you are supporting your local farmers, making a positive contribution towards the local business community as well. This too will save your wallet some extra cash, and market foods are often far less expensive (especially organic) in comparison to bigname supermarkets.” As you gradually incorporate more seasonal foods into your diet, you’ll find that health aligns with harvest and you’ll identify new opportunities to seriously savour your summer.
The following is a list of some of the wholefood goodness that is now in season, and some of the ways these offerings are nutritionally loaded to prime your body for another stunning Aussie summer.
SUMMER-LOVING NUTRITION FRUITS Apricots, berries, melons, nectarines, peaches, plums, strawberries
These tasty summer fruits are hydrating, packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds such as quercetin and rutin, as well as collagen-boosting vitamin C, to protect our skin from sun damage and the inflammatory effects of excessive heat. They are also naturally cooling and provide quickly absorbed energy to fuel increased outdoor physical activity, in the form of natural sugars. These sugars contain low GI levels and a steady metabolism is supported by high amounts of fibre. VEGETABLES
Asian vegetables, celery, cucumbers, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, parsley, zucchini, radish, rhubarb
Boasting high levels of water content to help quench thirst, these summer vegetables are loaded with antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta-carotene, and other antioxidant compounds such as apigenin, luteolin, and kaempferol, to combat oxidative stress from outdoor activity, sun exposure and higher body temperatures. They also induce detoxification enzymes, stimulate the immune and digestive systems through high amounts of fibre, regulate metabolism through an abundance of B vitamins and effectively reduce inflammation.
Beans, beetroot, cabbage, eggplant
This group of summer vegies are hailed for their ability to detoxify the digestive tract with ample amounts of fibre, and for their high levels of antioxidants that neutralise the free radicals produced when playing in the summer sunshine. Collagen-boosting vitamin C once again helps to keep our skin and tissue structures formed and firm, while electrolyte minerals such as potassium and magnesium help to keep the body hydrated.
Red capsicum, tomatoes
These bright red beauties are loaded with high concentrations of lycopene, an antioxidant that can combat the age-accelerating effects of free radicals from sun exposure – with the ability to devour more than 10 times more oxygenated free radicals than vitamin E – and are known to protect against a variety of cancers, including skin cancer in summertime.
Wellness benefits include:
be devil’s advocate
WHILE TRADITIONAL YOGA IS POPULAR WORLDWIDE AND PRACTISED BY THE LIKES OF MICHELLE OBAMA FOR ITS MEDITATIVE EFFECTS, CAN PERFORMING SIMILAR POSES SUSPENDED ABOVE THE GROUND BY A SILK SCARF BE JUST AS GOOD – AND SAFE – FOR YOU? WH&F JOURNALIST ANGELIQUE TAGAROULIAS HIT UP HER LOCAL AERIAL YOGA STUDIO TO FIND OUT. Words: Angelique Tagaroulias Photography: Body Flow Yoga
SCAN PAGE FOR BEGINNERS AERIAL YOGA DEMO
THE ROAD TEST Hatha, hot, vinyasa, yin: all variations of yoga involving bending, stretching and deep breathing; and now aerial yoga – where you perform yoga poses and inversions suspended off the ground in a silk sling – the newest kid on the yogi block. There’s no denying yoga’s health benefits, both physically and mentally. Recent research indicates that during a typical yoga sesh, natural substances are released in the brain that act as antidepressants, while regular yoga practice also increases strength, balance and flexibility, calms the mind and reduces stress. That said, if you’re looking for a solid calorie-burning workout, I wouldn’t rely on yoga alone. A recent research review conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine found that the intensity of holding most yoga poses during a typical yoga session is classified as ‘light intensity’ and doesn’t meet the recommended 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days, required for maintaining good health. Which is probably why I’ve never been much of a yogi myself. I’ve tried it once or twice, but would much prefer a more intense run along the beach to the beat of Calvin Harris than performing downward dogs. But a quick Instagram stalk of women hanging upside down in pretty purple slings and I was adequately curious. Beyond the basic benefits of yoga practice, the advanced movements and greater degree of stretch available to the aerial yogi means it offers added profits. “Aerial yoga provides a traction extension for many areas of the body. This can be helpful for people who suffer from spinal, neck and lower back pain due to compression from poor posture and a sedentary lifestyle,” says Sophie LeFevre, yoga teacher and owner of Body Flow Yoga (bodyflowyoga.com, @bodyflowyoga). “It assists with joint stability. For example, in a posture known as back wrap, the pelvis is supported and stabilised while the spine is extended. Because both joint compression and instability can cause pain, aerial yoga can assist these problems.” Decompression that occurs from inverted postures has a multitude of healing benefits according to LeFevre.
“The heart is rested during inversions and blood flow improved – great for improving circulation and heart health. Getting in and out of inversions develops both core and upper body strength. We design classes to strengthen weaker areas and release tighter areas for an improved overall physical condition and posture,” says LeFevre. To be honest, I had mixed feelings of intrigue and fear on my way to Body Flow Yoga to try the intro aerial yoga class. But the moment I walked into the beautifully lit cream and beige studio and was greeted by the friendly studio manager and instructor, my fear quickly subsided. I complete a form and discussed any health issues or injuries to identify any potential risks: anyone with extremely high or low blood pressure, heart disease, severe osteoporosis or bone weakness, recovering from recent surgery, glaucoma, pregnancy, severe flu or sinusitis is not allowed to join the class. I was, thankfully, given the all clear. It’s recommended you eat more than two hours prior to doing aerial yoga to allow food to digest (wouldn’t want your eggs Bene from brunch to come up – or down in this instance); also, to listen to your body and not stay inverted if you feel dizzy at any stage. I took off my shoes and socks and it was time to begin. The intro class spends time showing students how to use the silk correctly, and how to safely enter and exit basic aerial yoga postures. Basic mindfulness and breathing techniques are also explored. Despite the relatively short history of aerial yoga, our class was a full one at 15 people. We began by getting a feel for the silk and learning how to pull ourselves into it. To begin with, I sat in the silk like a child on a swing and looked up at the beam to which the thick rope was attached; as if reading my mind, the instructor assured us the silk can hold up to 300 kilograms of weight (phew) and I was instantly grateful for my naturally slight frame. The apparatus is approved by an engineer and checked daily to ensure safety. The silk fabric is washed every week, but more often during warm weather, so all equipment is squeaky clean. www.womenshealthandfitness.com.au
I completed my first inversion with no real problem – not saying it was as easy as buttering bread, but with assistance from the instructor I did it. I experienced slight dizziness and a stinging sensation in my hips from the pressure of the silk in the first couple of minutes, but once my mind and body adjusted to being upside down, any discomfort disappeared. After I mastered my first inversion (and we were only inverted for a couple of minutes at a time), I felt a sense of satisfaction and was eager to try more. As the class progressed, my confidence grew, and I even broke out into a sweat at one point while trying to hold up my body weight. You use your arms a lot to hold on to the silk and hold yourself up, and it also provides a great core workout. The session ends with savasana (resting pose). “Savasana involves lying with your body fully wrapped and supported off the ground in the aerial silk. It helps you to achieve a healthier, calmer and more focused energy,” says LeFevre. It allows your body and mind to let go – a relaxing and vital part of any yoga practice. It’s pure bliss.
THE VERDICT I walked out of the yoga studio feeling energised and happy that I had achieved something I never imagined possible. I slept well that night and woke up feeling fantastic. The front of my hips were a bit sore but I guess it’s like lifting a barbell – your body needs to get used to the pressure with regular practice. “We vary the length of time people are in inverted poses and increase this slowly as people become more experienced and skilled. The body will adapt to whatever we do with it and it’s important that people build their competence safely,” says LeFevre. “Ongoing sessions develop the variations on the basic postures, including more challenging postures and transitions between postures.” Would I go back? For a $30 casual visit, maybe not. But for the monthly membership of $27 to $40 to practise more aerial yoga moves and upgrade to a more advanced class, why not? Now that I’ve mastered the intro class, I’m keen to push my body (and mind) to its limit. 108
THE PANEL The experts weigh in…
JASON BRADLEY Senior physiotherapist and owner of BodyWorx Physiotherapy bodyworxphysio.com.au ON WHAT IT IS
Aerial yoga combines traditional postures, stretches and movements with the suspension and support of a sling of stretchy fabric. When correctly installed, the slings can comfortably and safely support the weight of most adults.
While traditional yoga has been shown to help improve mobility, state of mind and strength, there isn’t much evidence relating to aerial yoga. But it’s reasonable to think that some of these benefits might be seen from doing aerial yoga. Provided it is done in a safe environment with a good instructor, aerial yoga is a fun way to challenge your fitness.
ON HOW IT WORKS Aerial or zero gravity yoga involves performing various poses similar to traditional yoga using a loop of stretchy fabric connected to the ceiling. The sling supports body parts, enhancing the effects of your stretch or posture, and adds increased difficulty through instability.
ON BENEFITS Experienced aerial yoga instructors can use the sling of material in multiple ways, including: » To amplify/modify the target of a stretch or pose. This may increase the effects of the posture, and modify target muscles and joints. » Remove the impact and weight bearing from injured or unstable joints. For example, many older people with severe arthritis in the ankles and knees may struggle to attain some of the warrior or lunge positions in traditional yoga, but utilising the sling removes some weight from the lower limbs to make it more achievable. » Increases difficulty by adding instability to the strength portion of the program and utilises suspended body weight for added pressure on stretches. But this is for more advanced participants who already have good core control, body awareness and flexibility.
ON SUITABILITY Aerial yoga is not suitable for everyone; it comes with some cautions and contraindications. However, the vast majority of reasonably healthy people should be able to participate without much risk of injury. It’s always recommended you check with your GP or physiotherapist for specific advice before commencing a new form of exercise.
ON SAFETY Overall, aerial yoga is safe – provided it’s conducted by a qualified and experienced trainer in a well set up studio. It is always recommended that before trying any advanced options that you participate in a learner’s class. If this is not an option, make sure you arrive early to the class and speak with the instructor, making of mention any specific problems or injuries so that they can
give you feedback or options throughout the class to avoid injury. One of the biggest reasons we treat injuries of group fitness participants is because the instructor wasn’t made aware of existing injuries so wasn’t able to modify an exercise for the individual.
ON RISKS There are a few definite contraindications, including: » If you experience dizziness or nausea with inversion or bending forward. » If you have unstable blood pressure or major heart issues. » Osteoperosis – this is not absolute but check with your GP first. » Major musculoskeletal injuries such as muscle strains or joint sprains. It’s best to check with your physio to ensure this won’t affect your rehabilitation. » It’s best not to commence new exercises during pregnancy. Even if you’re experienced with yoga, train with caution when performing end of range movements due to the relaxing effects of hormones during pregnancy. » If you suffer from uncontrolled hyper flexibility of your joints or have suffered multiple previous dislocations (especially in the shoulders), then extra caution should be taken.
KIRSTEN SCOTT Holistic health coach and yoga instructor facebook.com/NaturalPowerFitness // @kirstenscotthealth ON WHAT IT IS Aerial yoga is a new type of yoga that uses a silk hammock as a tool to help students achieve more in-depth traditional yoga positions. The weight of the body is either partially or fully supported by the hammock as you move through a variety of yoga postures, including inversions, hip openers, hamstring stretches and restorative postures.
ON HOW IT WORKS You sit on a soft, fabric hammock that looks similar to a long scarf. They’re made from special high-density nylon material that can support over 2,000 pounds (450kg), so there’s no need to worry about tearing the fabric. The hammock is held up by carabiners, support chains and webbing straps, which can be adjusted for height and better manoeuverability.
ON BENEFITS » Improves flexibility and
increases strength. » It relieves back pain. When hanging
upside down there is no compression on the spine, lengthening the ligaments to help relax your muscles and elongate the spine.
» Neurotransmitters that boost
» » » »
brain power are released through inversion therapy. The nervous system calms while inside the hammock cocoon, providing stress relief. Improves posture by re-aligning the spine. Improves joint mobility and decompression. Improves immune function. Boosts mood by having fun.
ON EFFECTIVENESS For me, aerial yoga is similar to normal yoga; but I find it more effective, fulfilling and calming.
ON SAFETY ON SUITABILITY Anyone can attend if they are mindful of their own conditions. I recommend extreme caution to people who have a head cold or sinusitis, very high or low blood pressure, artificial hips, are pregnant, get vertigo or faint easily, have recently undergone surgery or a head injury, had botox injections (within six hours), or suffer from glaucoma, heart disease, osteoporosis, bone weakness, cerebral sclerosis, carpal tunnel syndrome or severe arthritis.
Aerial yoga is a safe form of exercise when taught by a certified aerial yoga instructor. Your instructor will be able to tell you how to perform aerial poses properly so that you don’t injure yourself. As you are only suspended three or so feet from the ground during aerial classes, the risk of injury from falling is minimal. However, there are risks associated with hanging upside down for too long.
ON RISKS Of course, no reputable yoga instructor is going to keep you upside down for longer than is healthy, but you should be aware of the health risks associated nonetheless. Most benefits of aerial yoga can be experienced after only a couple of minutes of inverting, but the general rule is that you can remain in an inversion for as long as you are comfortable. For a beginner, it might be wise to start with shorter durations and increase over time.
Ready, Reset, 112
Your healthy destination guide to unwind and reboot for the brand-new year ahead. Because, new year, new you â€“ and all that. Words: Raymond Viola
PHOTOGRAPHY: HEALTH AND FITNESS TRAVEL
Divani Apollon Palace
SwaSwara $$$: Indulge = From $2,230pp twin share for seven nights
Divani Apollon Palace $$$$: Splurge = From $4,045pp twin share for seven nights
Divine in every sense of the word, embody your inner goddess at this posh beachfront hotel in the Attica region. Whatever your wellness goal is, it can be achieved at Divani Apollon. Whether focusing on fitness, destressing or looking for weight loss, you are bound for a life-changing holiday. The spa at Divani is nothing short of amazing, offering a wide menu of treatments from relaxing massages to aesthetic beauty therapies. Its thalassotherapy centre is unmatched in the region, combining style and function to make sure guests are thoroughly pampered and relaxed. Dining is also a highlight of this resort with different restaurants and bars catering to every diet. What’s included: seven nights’ accommodation, a wellness program, full board, return private transfers, fitness and wellness evaluation, bespoke spa treatments, complementary access to fitness facilities, and hydro facilities including indoor swimming pool, relaxation room, Hammam and sauna, attendance to group classes such as Body Pump, yogalates and balance training. We love: the wonderful nearby surroundings offer a range of tours and excursions, including a luxurious seaside suburb known as the Beverly Hills of Greece.
In need of a digital detox? Take a break from technology and the frenzy of modern-day living as you embrace the art of mindfulness at this tranquil wellness sanctuary. Tucked away in the secluded countryside of India’s west coast, experience utter stillness in an unspoilt oasis through silence and sitting meditations with the serene view of the Om beach in the background. Benefit from the detoxing power of Kriya yoga followed by different naturopathic massages and therapies. Discover the region and embrace the culture of rural India as you visit undisturbed temples at Gokarna and the town’s weekly farmer’s market. What’s included: seven nights’ accommodation, full board, return private transfers, a wellness program, complementary attendance to group yoga sessions, cooking classes and guided visits to Gokarna temple and town. We love: the chefs perform miracles with unique and mouth-watering vegetarian dishes – your diet will be tailor-made according to your consultation with the naturopath.
COMO Shambhala Estate $$$: Indulge = From $2,415pp twin share for five nights
With lush tropical surrounds, chic residences, private pool comfort and a 360-degree approach to health and fitness, COMO Shambhala Estate sets the standard for wellness luxury. There’s nothing quite like the level of care and attention this boutique wellness retreat serves. You know you’re in good hands with onsite experts including a dedicated Ayurvedic doctor, oriental medicine consultant, certified yoga teacher, certified Pilates and personal fitness instructor, and nutritionist ready to guide you during your stay. If your body calls for a complete lifestyle overhaul or just a much-needed wellness break in the sun-drenched paradise of Bali, this flagship COMO retreat is the escape for you. What’s included: five nights’ accommodation, full board, private transfers, complementary attendance to group classes, such as yoga, Pilates, circuit training, rock climbing and rice field treks, access to steam, sauna and pool, and services of a personal assistant. We love: its back-to-nature approach to fitness. Take your workouts at the jungle gym for a fun and unique fitness experience. COMO Shambhala Estate
Marbella Club $$$$: Splurge = From $4,220pp twin share for seven nights
Experience the rhapsody of Mediterranean life at the golden mile of Marbella. Originally a royal private residence on the sparkling Spanish Costa del Sol, this luxurious hideaway is a picture of regal sophistication. Apart from its beauty, Marbella Club is an idyllic oasis to retune your senses and focus on your wellbeing. With a variety of health programs, from fitness to detox breaks, Marbella Club’s top health experts will ensure that you receive personalised
care to help you reach your optimal self. Providing an allencompassing wellness experience, expect nothing but the best in the quality of services, food and pamper options at your disposal. What’s included: seven-night stay in a private villa, daily breakfast, a wellness program, complementary attendance to group classes, a variety of thalasso-inspired spa treatments and unlimited access to the thalasso pool. We love: the idyllic location is only a 15-minute stroll along the beachfront to the chic boutiques and traditional tapas restaurants of Marbella.
Kamalaya $$$: Indulge = From $2,435pp twin share for seven nights
A holistic haven perched on the captivating island of Koh Samui, Kamalaya is a natural drawcard for those seeking an away-from-it-all wellness break. This luxury health resort is equipped with all the right tools to help you recharge and reset; whether you need to detox, destress or simply kick-start healthy living, Kamalaya is the place to go. With a range of programs focusing on life enhancement and mentoring, you’ll be set on the right path in no time. Healthy spa cuisine and specialised treatments inspired from East to West work hand in hand with each bespoke program to give you the results you seek. What’s included: seven nights’ accommodation, comprehensive wellness program, private consultation, full board including standard beverages, return shared transfers, spa treatments, access ADDED to steam cavern, swimming pool VALUE OFFER: and gym, and complementary Book seven nights attendance to yoga classes, through Health and Fitness meditation and more. Travel (healthandfitnesstravel. We love: Kamalaya is com.au OR call 1300 551 a powerhouse of wellness 353) and receive a knowledge. Join one of the many complementary lectures at the retreat to teach you massage. new ways of healthy living. Kamalaya
Thanyapura $$: Indulge Lite = From $1,430pp twin share for seven nights
Top-notch in all aspects, Thanyapura in Phuket is the retreat you need for a complete body and mind reset. For the athletic type, this destination is the perfect holiday jaunt, armed with world-class sports facilities and coaches to mentor you throughout your stay. Its clientele speaks for itself – don’t be surprised if you find yourself training amongst Olympic athletes from all over the world. For those in search of healing and tranquility, Thanyapura also has your back. A separate garden wing caters for guests who are on a health program, providing an ambient setting to fulfil whatever wellness aspirations you may have. What’s included: seven nights’ accommodation, full board, return private transfers, a holistic health program, complementary attendance to sports and fitness classes, and access to the gym and spa facilities. We love: Thanyapura seeks to inspire a healthier and more positive lifestyle in a conducive environment, with personalised coaching and only the best wellness technology.
BEST-SELLING BEAUTY PRODUCTS OF 2017
Words: Kristina Ioannou
MAKEUP 1. NARS Sheer Glow Foundation, $68.00 (mecca.com.au) It’s a known fact that Australia is the third-largest market in the world for NARS, so we totally 2 get why this foundation is a surefire sell-out. In fact, to date, Mecca has sold 4600 litres of it. Crazy. 2. Inglot AMC Eyeliner Gel, $28 (inglotcosmetics. com.au) Inglot’s top seller is perfect for creating intense eye designs, especially the universally adored
wing. Ultra pigmented, it offers 24-hour flawlessness. Smudgeproof, creaseproof, waterproof – sheer proof that it works!
3. The Ordinary Foundation, $12.90 (adorebeauty.com.au) This cult favourite foundation line has taken the cake this year when it comes to being brandished a ‘best seller’ in the land of the Hemsworth brothers (ahem, Australia). It has a 25,000 wait list brimming with beauty junkies – a testament to its OTT popularity. Both foundations come in 21 shades and have an SPF of 15. 4. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, $33 (mecca.com.au) Call it the unicorn of eye makeup, this intensely black, volumising mascara from Too Faced is all you’ll ever need in your lash wardrobe to achieve lashes that are separated, coated and curled to voluptuous perfection.
COULD A FOUNDATION REALLY HAVE A 25,000 PERSON WAIT LIST? JUST HOW MANY PRODUCTS FROM THIS RANGE ARE SOLD EVERY 2.5 SECONDS? BEHOLD THE BEAUTY BLACK HOLE YOU WON’T WANT TO EMERGE FROM: WHAT SOLD (AND SOLDOUT) THIS YEAR IN AUSTRALIA.
5 10 5. Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Pre Foundation Skin Primer, $59 (napoleonperdis.com.au) Year in, year out, this priming wonderprod reigns supreme. It creates the perfect landing for your make-up, and is bursting with the likes of vitamin E, chamomile and yarrow extracts to keep skin soft, 6 supple and hydrated prior to painting your face.
10. Ardell Glamour Wispies Lashes, $10.99 (priceline.com.au) If you’re having a browse on Insta, you’ll notice that most of the beauty gang are tagging Ardell in all of their make-up selfies. For good reason too – this pair of Wispies is one of Ardell’s highest selling styles and perfect for those of us not blessed with Bambi lashes.
11 11. Benefit Watt’s Up! Cream Highlighter, $53 (benefitcosmetics.com.au) A cult favourite and used on many a celebrity face, this illuminator still remains one of 2017’s bestsellers. It leaves skin with a subtle pearly glow, goes on sheer and works on any skin tone. Blend with the warmth of your fingers for a soft, 12 powdery finish that leaves behind a champagne-tinged hue.
6. Urban Decay Naked3 Eyeshadow Palette, $83 (mecca.com.au) 7 If you’ve ever watched a beauty tutorial on Youtube, you’ve probably seen an Urban Decay Eyeshadow Palette floating around. With no signs of slowing down in the popularity department, you’ll covet this carefully crafted selection of rose-hued eyeshadows, which are gamechangers when it comes to creating endless sultry eye looks. 7. Marc Jacobs Beauty Re(cover) Perfecting Coconut Setting Mist, $61 (sephora.com.au) A 24-hour make-up setting mist that hydrates while giving skin a fresh, dewy glow? Inspired by Marc Jacobs’ love of coconut water, this refreshing spray contains five coconut actives and coconut-derived fragrance for a delicate, delicious experience (it will even sing the song Coco Jumbo if you ask it to!).
12. Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer, $29.95 (priceline.com.au) A quick Google and you’ll be met with hundreds of reviews all singing praise over this skinperfecting bronzer. Featuring ultra-refined pearl and soft-focus pigments that smooth skin’s texture, brightens skin tone and delivers a gorgeous bronze glow, you’ll be left feeling like a Brazilian bombshell.
8. Maybelline Tattoo Brow 3 Day Gel Tint, $24.95 (priceline.com.au) Given brows are still trending in a big way, this brow gel offers an innovative solution to keeping one’s arches looking fierce: it’s a peeloff formula that tints brows for up to three days and gradually fades over time. Formulated with royal jelly and aloe vera, your furry caterpillars will be left filled in and well conditioned.
9. Laura Mercier Secret Concealer, $40 (adorebeauty.com.au) A household name, Laura Mercier’s Secret Concealer is still topping the beauty ranks. Moisture rich, it’s designed specifically for under and around the eye area to conceal discolourations and dark circles without settling into fine lines and wrinkles.
13. Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure, $14.95 (priceline.com.au) We say: skip the salon, get the results. Don’t settle for just colour when you can get a base coat, strengthener, growth treatment, salon-inspired colour, top coat, chip-resistance and a gel finish all in one bottle thanks to Sally Hansen’s bestselling superhero. 14. Luk Beautifood Lip Nourish Lipstick, $29.95 (lukbeautifood.com) Lip balms and lipsticks that don’t make your pout flaky and dry are few and far between. So there’s a reason why this balm-to-lipstick formula is taking over the beauty world. Made entirely from food-based ingredients, it’s 100 per cent natural and comes in a range of 12 delicious shades that range from sheer to pigmented. The best bit? Kourtney Kardashian and the cast of Modern Family are huge fans!
15. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector, $68 (sephora.com.au) Want to nab yourself a quick 8 hours’ sleep minus the actual snoozing? Mix this into your foundation or dab along the high planes of the face – it’ll leave 15 you with the kind of glow that will trick people into thinking you’re well rested and bright eyed, bushy tailed. Keep ’em guessing!
HAIR 1. Sugar Bear Hair Capsules, $38.55 (sugarbearhair.com) Scroll through your Instagram feed and chances are you’ll see a model or a Kardashian with one of these vitamins sticking out of their mouths. The brand’s Instagram page boasts a modest 1.6 million following and sells loveable, blue edible bears that promise stronger and thicker hair. Sold! 2. Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3, $49.95 (ry.com.au) The perfect follow-on from Olaplex No. 1 and No. 2 salon treatments, bestselling Olaplex No 3. works by repairing hair through neutralising pH levels in the broken bonds of the hair shaft. Your hair will remain soft, smooth and less frizzy for mane perfection.
3. Fudge Clean Blonde Violet Shampoo, $16.55 (ry.com.au) Blondies have been rejoicing over this superhero all year long, which is the perfect partnership to neutralise and cleanse the hair while removing unwanted yellow and brassy tones from blonde strands.
4. Bumble & Bumble Pret a Powder, $39 (mecca.com.au) Two words: instant texture. It’s equal parts dry shampoo, style extender and volume in a pinch and one of Mecca’s highest rating hair prods.
5. Kevin Murphy Angel Wash, $38.95 (kevinmurphy.com.au) Meet the one product your hair needs to stay soft and shiny year-long. It cleanses hair without stripping and contains aloe, iris and lavender to gently protect the tresses. All hail Kevin Murphy!
SKINCARE 1. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, $12.90 (ry.com.au) Currently, a product is selling every 2.5 seconds globally from The Ordinary’s range. Gulp. Using a range of different molecular sizes, this hyaluronic powerhouse ensures that HA is delivered at various levels of the skin, supported with the addition of vitamin B5, which also enhances surface hydration. 2. Blaq Mask Tube, $29 (blaq.co) On a pursuit to perfect, poreless skin sans blackheads? Minimise your mirror time with this Insta-famous activated charcoal mask designed to target toxins and draw out impurities – instantly. 3. Tarte Maracuja Oil, $56 (sephora.com.au) Apparently this is one of Sephora’s hottest skincare prods of 2017. Rich in essential fatty
acids known to recharge and replenish skin, Maracuja Oil works to rejuvenate and deliver an even-toned complexion while its infusion of vitamin C creates the appearance of brighter skin. 4. Alpha-H Liquid Gold, $59.95 (ry.com.au) There’s a reason why beauty junkies are raving about this skincare hybrid on all of the online forums: it works! A pioneering cultfavourite skin resurfacing treatment, it works overnight by stimulating healthy cells and radically improving the appearance of tired skin, sun damage, pigmentation and wrinkles. 5. L’Ocittane Shea Butter Hand Cream, $44 (au.loccitane.com) You can bet that this bestselling balm from L’Occitane will save your hands from unnecessary dryness. The soothing blend is chock-full of honey and almond extracts, coconut oil and shea butter to leave hands feeling supple, smooth and scented.
6. Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion, $49 (clinique.com.au) A skincare staple that has been proven an absolute necessity year in, year out. Clinique devotees will swear it’s transformed their skin, and thanks to its light texture and nourishing feel, it’s in a league of its own. 7. Simple Cleansing Wipes, $6.99 (priceline.com.au) These soft wipes are 100 per cent alcohol free and provide an easy one-step cleansing routine. Their popularity stems mainly from their affordability and the fact that you can cleanse, tone and freshen your skin for a smooth, soft finish in a snap. 8. Herbivore Blue Clay, $31 (sephora.com.au) Hello, magical unicorn mask! Cambrian blue clay, a rare clay found in Siberian lakes, is coveted for its skin-balancing and complexion-clarifying properties. And check out that packaging. Exotic!
TOOLS Real Techniques Stippling Brush, $24.99 (priceline.com.au) Beauty bloggers are swearing by this brush, which has the ability to transform cakey foundation into a seamless, flawless base thanks to dualfibre bristles.
3. Clarisonic Mia2, $219 (mecca.com.au) No doubt you’ve seen these plastered around the interwebs this year. Effortless and compact, Clarisonic Mia 2 is a unique cleansing device that features two speeds and a one-minute pulsing T-Timer to guide your cleansing routine and equip you with skin worthy of a selfie.
4. Slip Silk Pillowcases, $79.95 (queen size) (slip.com.au) Given that you spend a third of your life in bed and have slept for an average of 20 years by the time you are 60, it’s no wonder these silk pillowcases are so popular. Anti ageing, anti sleep crease, anti bed head: these are all you need as you head off into the land of nod.
2. Kevyn Aucoin The Eyelash Curler, $30 (mecca.com.au) An award-winning cult beauty tool; from the slim stainless steel frame and unique rounded rubber pad to its one-of-a-kind individually crafted shape, Kevyn Aucoin has perfected the art of beautifully curling lashes without damaging or bending the lashes themselves.
5. Ghd Platinum Styler Hair Straightener, $259 (ry.com.au) Everyone wants beautiful shiny hair. If you struggle with thick, curly tendrils that are hard to manage but you’re worried about damage caused by harsh heating tools, the ghd Platinum styler is the answer to all of your beauty prayers.
9. Frank Body Original Coffee Scrub, $16.95 (frankbody.com) We doubt this invigorating in-shower body scrub will ever go out of style. Made from ground coffee beans, the scrub is dark brown and has a soft, grainy feel. It’s also pretty pungent – which is a good thing (if you like coffee). Tackling everything from dry skin to stretch marks, it’s got our stamp of approval. 10. Murad Blemish Spot Treatment, $32 (sephora.com.au) A solid pick for most skin types, this fast-acting spot treatment reduces the appearance of breakouts and supports healing of blemishes. See ya later, spots. 11. Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask, $38 (sephora.com.au) Can’t stand a parched pout? Bite Beauty’s lip mask improves the texture of lips so that they’re more hydrated, healthier looking,
soothed, and softer feeling. Pair with your favourite lipstick bullet and you’re good to go. 12. Mario Badescu Facial Spray, $9 (mecca.com.au) True story: this is the highest-selling facial mist at MECCA in 2017. Why? It’s the ultimate pick-me-up, formulated simply with fragrant herbal extracts and rosewater to soothe dehydrated, tight and uncomfortable skin. Safe for all skin types thanks to a gentle and non-irritating formula. 13. Bali Body Tanning Body Oil, $23.95 (au. balibodyco.com) The thought of slathering oil all over your body in the sticky, humid summer may sound uncomfortable, but this silky-smooth tanning oil dries without leaving a sticky residue behind and provides skin-loving benefits while enhancing your skin’s natural hue. Plus, it smells awesome!
14. SK-II Facial Treatment Gentle Cleanser, $95 (sk-ii.com.au) Ah, SK-II: what would we do without you? Skin wouldn’t glow as much, that’s for sure. This bestseller has a natural rose scent and cleanses impurities around and inside pores while enveloping your skin with silky smoothness. Perrrrfect. 15. Antipodes Kiwi Seed Oil Eye Cream, $58 (antipodesnature.com) Antipodes sells three of this natural kiwi seed eye creams every five seconds. Wowsers! The luscious yet light eye cream creates a cooling and soothing sensory experience thanks to ultra-rich vitamin C from the seed of New Zealand kiwifruit, carrot seed oil, aloe gel and 100 per cent pure avocado oil.
FRAGRANCE 1. Le Labo Santal 33, $389 (mecca.com.au) Don’t let the hefty price tag deter you. You’ll adore this signature unisex scent with notes of iris, spice and violet, perfect for making a lasting impression. 2. Byredo Gypsy Water, $245 100ml (mecca.com.au) The number 1 selling fragrance across all MECCA stores and online, Byredo has created a household name for itself. In particular, Gypsy Water helps you tap into your inner bohemian with a vivacious, woody aroma laced with bursts of citrus, incense, pine and orris.
2 5. Calvin Klein Obsessed for Women, $99 125 ml (myer.com.au) You’ll want to get your pretty paws on this modernised oriental fragrance with top notes of cedar leaves, a heart of black vanilla and a base of amber. One spritz is all you need.
3. YSL Black Opium, $165 50ml (myer.com.au) Steal the night with YSL’s bestselling Black Opium. Long lasting, daring and sultry, it’s for the gal who lives a life of passion and confidence.
4. Jo Malone London Lime Basil & Mandarin Cologne, $198 100 ml (jomalone.com.au) With a celebrity stamp of approval against its name, this is kind of what 2017 has been smelling like – peppery basil and aromatic white thyme, bringing an unexpected twist to 3 the scent of limes on a Caribbean breeze.
whfmag whandfmag whandfmaged womenshealth andﬁtness
stay fresh, naturally
The double mineral salts in BODY CRYSTAL, kill the bacteria on your skin which cause body odour. This invisible layer of protection on your skin is a safe and effective way to stop odour before it starts. Available unscented or with fresh fragrances, BODY CRYSTAL is safe for sensitive skin and leaves you feeling fresh and clean all day. Find BODY CRYSTAL at leading supermarkets in the deodorant section and at most good health food stores and pharmacies.
OF SKINCARE DEBUNKING BEAUTY TERMINOLOGY HAS NEVER BEEN EASIER. AHEAD, EVERYTHING YOUâ€™VE ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SKINCARE AND BEYOND.
Words: Kristina Ioannou
If you’ve ever glanced at the ingredients list of one of your skincare bottles, you’ve likely been exposed to barely pronounceable terminology and a name for just about every skin woe under the sun. For the average person, this can all be quite overwhelming – especially if your main goal is to seek out a simple skincare regime minus the headache. To give you a push in the right direction, we’re shedding light on what it all means with a little help from the certified skincare pro’s. Look at it as a little beauty vocab lesson, because when it comes to keeping your skin in check, understanding is half the battle.
The best (and easiest) way to remember what these little guys are is to envision them as Pac-Man-like molecules that destroy and neutralise pesky free radicals. “Antioxidants not only help to combat visible signs of ageing, they also assist with a more youthful appearance while revitalising dull-looking skin,” says Mel Driver, director of Embalm Skincare (embalmskincare.com. au). The best way to up your antioxidant intake is through a topical skincare regime and a balanced diet containing fresh, organic foods such as carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato and kale. THE GO-TO: Lavera Regenerating Facial Oil, $29.95 (sproutmarket.com.au)
Because collagen provides structure to the skin, when the production of it starts to slow with age, it can show by way of wrinkles and weaker joints. “Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, so it’s no wonder it’s so important for healthy skin,” says naturopath Fay Halkitis from Luna Beauty & Apothecary (lunanaturopath.com). Halkitis says that while you can find collagen in some skincare products, it is best consumed in the form of bone broth or a good quality gelatin powder.
When it comes to skin barrier health, nothing beats vitamin B3 or, as it’s most commonly known, niacinamide. “It has been proven to boost the production of ceramides and fatty acids, which are important in keeping your skin’s protective barrier healthy,” says Aaron Breckell, co-founder of Happy Skincare (happyskincare. com.au). “The essential building block of glowing skin, vitamin B3 also reduces redness and boosts hydration.” On the other end of the spectrum is vitamin B5. “Also known as panthenol, it’s a humectant that can help stabilise the skin barrier, soothe redness and stimulate healing process,” says skincare expert Helen Dao (befraiche.com). THE GO-TO: Happy Skincare Over The Moon Rich Repair Cream, $30.95 (nourishedlife. com.au)
“Exfoliation is the fastest way to slough away dead skin cells and bring a healthy glow to the skin by stimulating collagen,” says Driver. Whether you opt for a scrub, pair of exfoliating gloves or a polishing gel, with a little bit of friction you can see your dead skin rolling away. Work in circular motions all over the face to gently exfoliate at least twice a week. Easy peasy.
Pigmentation found under the eyes can be characterised by shadows cast by puffy eyelids and hallows. “These can develop as part of ageing, poor circulation, diet, a lack of sleep, a sluggish liver and lack of iron,” explains organic facialist Lindy Bekerman (heavenlyrituals.com.au). “A cold compress of herbal teabags and a lightly textured eye cream with ingredients such as licorice root and vitamin K help with blood circulation around the eye area. Foods such as leafy vegetables, seaweed and strawberries can also aid in lightening dark circles from the inside out.
THE GO-TO: Skinfood Exfoliating Scrub, $14.00 (goodstuffonline.com.au)
THE GO-TO: Lancôme Advanced Génifique Yeux, $102 (lancome.com.au)
THE GO-TO: Mesoestetic Collagen 360 Serum, $129 (advancedcosmceuticals.com.au)
If clear skin nirvana sounds dreamy, especially if you’re acne prone, then Fraxel – a fractional laser – may just be the skincare godmother you’ve always wanted. “It’s a laser skin resurfacing device that produces thousands of tiny, precise holes in the skin, which reduces unwanted pigmentation such as brown and ageing spots,” says Dr Sean Arendse, medical director and cosmetic physician at Flawless Rejuvenation. “It also minimises skin imperfections such as large pores and scars, improving overall skin tone and texture.” It ain’t cheap, but worth it.
THE GO-TO: Flawless Rejuvenation Skin Clinic, (03) 9827 5246 (flawlessrejuvenation.com.au)
“Glycerin works as a humectant on the skin, meaning it attracts water from the air and seals it in,” explains Bekermen. “It’s quite gentle and can stimulate the skin cells to rejuvenate, which is why it’s used as an ingredient in many skincare products.” Look for moisturisers containing this skin-saving component.
THE GO-TO: The Body Shop Seaweed Oil-Balancing Toner, $19 (thebodyshop.com.au)
Sure, drinking eight glasses of water is considered an ideal feat in the pursuit for optimum hydration, but when it comes to keeping the skin super soft and supple, Halkitis claims it all starts with a good cleanser. “Hydration actually starts at the cleansing stage of your skincare routine – your cleanser should be purifying but gentle enough that your skin doesn’t feel tight or dry afterwards,” she says, recommending that oilier skin types reach for water-based serums, which are great at hydrating and protecting the skin in the lightest way possible. THE GO-TO: Andalou Naturals Coconut Water Firming Cleanser, $14.95 (nourishedlife.com.au)
Every ingredient – even those that are natural and organic – have the potential to cause a reaction, which is why Breckell stresses the importance of testing any new product on a small area first. “Though there are some regular offenders when it comes to causing irritation, strong surfactants like SLES and SLS, preservatives and fragrance, including some essential oils, are all irritation’s usual suspects,” he says. “Search for soothing ingredients that are barrierrepairing to reduce symptoms such as redness and inflammation.”
Brandished as the ultimate skin booster, jojoba oil is Mother Nature’s perfect healing ingredient. “It is rich in vitamin A, as well as fatty acids omega 6 and 9, all of which contribute toward skin strength and cell renewal,” says Driver. Halkitis agrees that it is perfect at helping our skin’s natural healing system. “It has a very close affinity to our skin since it’s nearly identical to the molecular structure of our own sebum,” she says. “It’s also naturally antibacterial, making it a great choice for acne-prone skin.”
THE GO-TO: Embalm Luxurious Face Cream, $37.95 (embalmskincare.com.au)
OUR GO-TO: Happy Skincare Laugh Out Loud Active Jojoba, $38.95 (nourishedlife.com.au)
This naturally occurring clay mineral is sometimes known as China clay and tends to be white in colour – kewl, eh? “It can be used by all skin types to cleanse, tone, remove impurities, stimulate and exfoliate,” says Breckell. “It is a main player in face masks but it is also now found in many natural deodorants due to its odour-absorbing and balancing properties.”
THE GO-TO: Woohoo Body All-Natural Deodorant Paste, $17.95 (woohoobody.com.au)
MICRODERMABRASION Much like the aforementioned exfoliant technique with a bit of extra pizzazz, microdermabrasion is a noninvasive procedure that propels fine granules on to the skin surface while simultaneously applying suction. “It works by causing a small amount of trauma to the skin, allowing the skin to repair itself in a more organised fashion to create younger, healthier looking skin,” says cosmetic nurse practitioner Katherine Millar-Shannon (duquessa.com.au). “The skin will almost immediately appear smoother, healthier and rejuvenated,” she says. A machine is generally used to buff and polish the skin in-salon or you can purchase at-home microdermabrasion kits for a gentler DIY approach. THE GO-TO: Synergie Skin Medi Scrub, $79 (synergieskin. com)
There are many different types of lasers that can be used to treat a variety of skin conditions. “Anything from reduction of pigmentation, blood vessels and fine lines, lasers can also be used for tattoo removal, wart removal, fungal nail infections and removal of birth marks,” says Dr Arendse.
THE GO-TO: NeoSkin, (03) 9421 1212 (neoskin.com.au)
Though it sounds a bit nightmarish, skin needling is actually quite beneficial for the skin. According to the experts, this regime improves penetration of active ingredients by up to 40 per cent more effectively than simply massaging the serum directly into your skin. “It causes controlled microscopic wounds and pinpoint bleeding, which elicits the body’s own woundhealing response, releasing the skin’s own cellular chemical messengers, promoting healing, increasing collagen production and resulting in overall improvement of skin texture,” says Dr Arendse. You can opt for an in-salon treatment or athome device. THE GO-TO: Synergie Skin Rejuvaderm Home Roller, $99 (synergieskin.com)
Fact: a great face oil can help with a multitude of skincare concerns. “Your skin has natural lipids as part of its makeup and they are vital for healthy and balanced skin, so it makes complete sense to restore your skin’s natural oils with something from the plant kingdom, especially since as we age, our natural lipid levels drop,” says Breckell. “Good plant oils are nutrient goldmines because they’re high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids 3, 6, 9 and including the lesser-known omegas 5 and 7.” THE GO-TO: Curelle Cacay Oil, $49.95 (nourishedlife.com.au)
These bad boys – which are actually a chain of amino acids or small proteins – come with a wealth of benefits. “When collagen breaks down in the skin, short fragments of amino acids, peptides, are formed,” explains Dao. “Since our collagen cannot be fully replaced over time, one strategy to reverse the signs of ageing is to apply products that contain peptides, as it tricks the skin into thinking that it has lost collagen and needs to produce more. Thus the skin will look more supple and firmer.” THE GO-TO: Dermalogica Super Rich Repair, $128 (dermalogica.com.au)
Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of instant gratification to achieve the skin of our dreams. Cue: face masks. These skin-salving powerhouses can help to moisturise, even out skin tone, tighten pores and extract impurities from deep within the skin – all in as little as 10 to 15 minutes. Lastminute skin rescue coming right up!
Dermatologists everywhere swear by retinol and research over the past 30 years backs up its brilliance, proving that it can tackle a ton of skin concerns including wrinkles, pigmentation and acne. “Retinol is a form of vitamin A that is the most talked about and the most utilised in anti-aging skin products,” says Dao. “When applied on the skin, it is converted into retinoic acid, which works hard to combat free radicals, stimulate cell turnover and boost collagen production; thus increasing skin firmness and giving skin a youthful appearance.”
THE GO-TO: Snow Fox Arctic Breeze Detox Mask, $10 (snowfoxskincare.com)
“This is a beta hydroxy acid that has the ability to exfoliate the surface of the skin and the inside of the pore lining,” explains Bekerman. “Either synthetic or found naturally in willow bark extract, it’s a must-have for skin smoothing, keeping blackheads away and for treating keratosis pilaris.” THE GO-TO: Medik8 beta Gel, $79.50 (medik8.com.au)
Research shows that certain nutrients are essential for preventing and reversing many signs of ageing. While a healthy diet is essential to keep skin luminous, applying vitamins topically can deliver maximum benefits according to Breckell. “Everything from brightening to improving texture and tone to eradicating breakouts can be achieved,” says Breckell. Use a variety in your skincare routine such as vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin K as well as zinc and omega fatty acids. THE GO-TO: Endota Spa Multi-Vitamin Treatment Oil, $50 (endotaspa. com.au)
TREATMENTS Just like exercise, the results from skin treatments are cumulative. “Regular facial treatments every four to six weeks will target cells at turnover,” says Halkitis. “They are fabulous for boosting circulation, enhancing lymphatic drainage, purifying and hydrating the skin and can also be a form of stress relief, soothing the nervous system.” If you don’t have the coin to dish out on regular treatments, try creating an at-home day spa with luscious body oils and bath soaks. OUR GO-TO: Lux Aestiva Gypsy Oil, $33 (luxaestiva.com)
THE GO-TO: Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Anti-Ageing Day Moisturiser SPF15, $39.99 (neutrogena.com.au)
UV protection is nonnegotiable. Duh. Sunscreen should be applied at least 30 minutes prior to sun exposure to allow it to be fully absorbed, and reapplied frequently. Halkitis cites the importance of drawing sun protection concurrently from our diet. “UV protection starts with a high antioxidant diet that includes plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, which provide the body an abundance of phytonutrients, bioflavonoids and vitamin E, boosting the immune system naturally,” she explains. “Topically, a non-nano zinc oxidebased sunscreen is best as it stays close to the surface of the skin and reflects UV.” THE GO-TO: MooGoo Anti-Ageing Face Cream SPF15, $34.90 (moogoo.com.au)
We’re all for smile lines and wrinkles that boast a life well lived, but when it comes to the kind that emerge from lifestyle stressors, excessive sun exposure and poor dietary choices, we say – smell ya later! “Wrinkles are caused by the breakdown of collagen and elastic in the skin,” says Bekerman. “A two-way approach of good internal health, targeted skincare that contains antioxidants and the use of sun protection assists in the prevention of wrinkles.”
THE GO-TO: Ocinium Metamorphis Multi-Vitamin Cream, $120 (ocinium.com)
Say what? We know. It sounds kind of like a space alien, but Dr Arendse describes xanthophyll to be “a plant pigment that functions as an antioxidant in the skin, commonly used to reduce sun damage”. “By consuming plenty of xanthophylls you can take full advantage of their antioxidant properties and keep your body’s cells safe from free radicals,” adds Shannon-Millar.
MA D E W IT H L OV E BY T H E G E LAT I N B R OT H E R S
THE GO-TO: Bioelements Lutein Indoor Protective Day Crème, $95 (bioelements.com)
PALEO FRIENDLY / PROUDLY MADE IN AUSTRALIA
“Youthfulness isn’t just a tub of goop – it’s a healthy state of mind too,” says Bekerman. “We cannot stop ageing, but we are in control of whether we remain youthful as we age and our thoughts play a big part in that.” With that said, pairing positive thinking with a tub of youthinducing goop doesn’t hurt either!
SUPERGREENS COLLAGEN WHEAT GRASS - OAT GRASS - ALFALFA SPELT GRASS - BARLEY GRASS
THE GO-TO: Enbacci Age Revitalising Eye Defence Cream, $88, enbacci.com
Here at Gelpro we have combined our original, almighty Peptipro Collagen with your daily dose of greens to bring you our Organic Supergreens Collagen Formula! Our superstar line up uses greens that are known to be alkalising, nutrient dense and loaded with vitamins and minerals. The perfect addition to your daily juice or smoothie!
When it comes to sending a smattering of pimples to exile, the gold-standard topical acne fighters are retinoids, benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Prescription medication is also widely used in more serious cases. Our advice? Resist the urge to squeeze and leave extractions to the professionals. THE GO-TO: Paula’s Choice Clear Extra Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment with 5% Benzoyl Peroxide, $28 (paulaschoice.com.au)
“We use young leaves that are cold pressed, not juiced to retain full nutrient spectrum”
+ + +
Collagen Protein Organic Australian Greens Cold Pressed
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No Carbs, Fat or Sugar Preservative Free Great in Smoothies & Juice
PHOTOGRAPHY: DOYOUEVEN ACTIVEWEAR
THIS MONTH’S FINDS
THE PURE WAY
If you’re looking for a little something to satisfy your sweet craving post-dinner, we’ve got you sorted with this perfect brew. Planet Organic’s Rosehip Hibiscus herbal blend is a fruity infusion with a pleasant sweet and sour flavour – healthier than a sweet lolly but just as tasty. It’s blended from the finest certified organic rosehips, loaded with vitamin C and rich in antioxidants to help boost immunity. Refreshing, satisfying and a healthy choice. RRP $5.95, planetorganic.com.au
Is the taste of tap water preventing you from meeting your daily two-litre goal? We have the solution: Pure Water Systems Counter-Top Water Filtration System. Its water filter cartridge is made from the latest in carbon block filtration technology, meaning your water will come through with a reduced level of chlorine, chemicals and other water nasties. It’s portable, so perfect for both the office (ask the boss) and home, and you won’t need to call the local plumber to help with installation – you can install it directly onto the tap in two easy steps. Win! RRP $149, purewatersystems.com.au
Looking for a tastier source of protein than your stock-standard French vanilla whey? This WPI Honeycomb by Protein Supplies Australia is perfect for supporting fast post-workout recovery – returning your body from a muscle-wasting (catabolic) to muscle-building (anabolic) state – and is also suitable for cooking and baking. It absorbs quickly, is low in fat and carbs, and is 99 per cent lactose free – good news for your digestive system. You’ll be skipping straight past the Crunchie aisle once you’ve tasted this. RRP starting at $44.95, proteinsuppliesaustralia.com.au
YOU SCREAM, ICE-CREAM Sweet-toothed ladies behold: if you love ice-cream on a summer’s day as much as we do, you’ll love Cocofrio’s organic and dairy- and gluten-free coconut milk ice-cream. It’s made from natural ingredients and is also vegan and fructose friendly to suit all dietary requirements. Plus it comes in a variety of mouth-watering flavours including hazelnut, choc-coconut, choc-raspberry ripple, icedcoffee, mango and salted caramel. Yum. RRP $11.95-$12.95, cocofrio.com.au
SPATONE® Spatone® 100 per cent natural liquid iron supplement. Available in 28 sachets or 14 sachets from selected health food stores and pharmacies. RRP $36.25 (28 sachets) or RRP $24.15 (14 sachets), for more information go to martinandpleasance.com
THE HONEST WHEY
WRAP IT UP
If you don’t want to risk it all for a tan, Eco Tan’s lightweight Cacao Tanning Mousse is our pick in the self-tanner stakes. Its ingredients list reads more like your fav cocktail (think aloe vera, cacao, coffee, blood orange, ginger and mandarin) than a cosmetic product. So you’ll get that luxurious deep bronzed look from just one application – minus any artificial orange dyes or synthetic fragrances. Certified organic and all. RRP $34.95, ecotan.com.au
’Tis the season to be merry – which might also mean working extra hard at the gym to keep your body composition in check. Enter Proganics Organic Whey: this protein powder will boost your daily protein intake and assist with muscle recovery. It’s low carb and gluten free, and did we mention tastes and smells delicious? Add to your post-workout smoothie while on-the-go or in your superfood smoothie bowl for your protein fix (and extra taste). Your body (and taste buds) will thank you. RRP $54.99, proganics.com.au
Balmy nights tend to see us ditching the warm vegie stir-fries for cool salad wraps. But if you’re watching your waistline between Christmas parties and carb-filled dinners, Mission Foods’ low carb wraps might be the top pick for you. They’re also low in sugar and an excellent source of fibre and protein, while still tasting like your average gourmet wrap. Enjoy. RRP $4.99, available in Woolworths, Facebook: @missionfoodsau
Power through your period!
Don’t stop when your period starts. Live life to the fullest, all month every month with the Lunette menstrual cup. ĘåĹƼŅƚųĵŅĹƋĘĬƼāŅƵ±ųųĜƴåŸØƼŅƚŸĘŅƚĬÚĹűƋ have to put your healthy, active life on hold. The Lunette menstrual cup makes managing your period a whole lot easier, so you don’t have to! The hygienic and easy to use alternative to pads and tampons, the Lunette is changing the way we perceive and manage our periods. Made from
100 per cent hypoallergenic medical silicone, it’s comfortable, economical and can be worn for up to 12 hours before emptying. No more frantic dashes to the shops when you’ve run out of supplies or trips to the bathroom to check yourself – Lunette has you covered.
Go to www.lunette.com.au to get yours now!
Carol Morris & Elizabeth Chapman PHYSIOTHERAPIST AND REGISTERED NURSE/MIDWIFE RESPECTIVELY Running a business while working a day job, caring for toddlers and leading a fit and healthy lifestyle is something that sisters Carol Morris and Elizabeth Chapman have mastered. They chat to WH&F about ‘doing it all’, including bringing the Lunette menstrual cup to Oz and their mission to empower women to talk openly about periods and good health.
In 2007 Elizabeth received an email from a friend titled ‘I’ve got a secret I want to share’, and containing a link to Lunette menstrual cups; her friend had discovered this revolutionary solution to pads and tampons, and before long we had tried the Lunette silicone menstrual cups ourselves. They were totally life changing but weren’t available in Australia, so we decided to do some research and go through the Australian medical approval process to bring Lunette to Australian shores. Because of the emotional, financial, environmental and social impacts of menstruation, our mission is to encourage honest conversations about women’s health. Periods can get in the way of everyday life activities and Lunette’s vision is to inspire women to reach their full potential every day of the month. Using a menstrual cup is almost like you don’t have your period, without using hormone pills or harsh chemicals from sanitary items. We have also just launched the Sustainable Period Project, a grassroots educational resource kit to be sent to all high schools in Australia and New Zealand. Through collaboration with other sustainable sanitary companies, the resource kit will teach teenagers about sustainable sanitary options, including organic cotton pads and tampons, cloth pads, period undies and menstrual cups. Today’s youth are very forward-thinking, and making them feel empowered by their sanitary choices is a massive step toward period positivity in Australia. Working in the medical industry has shown us that health cannot be taken for granted. We grew up in a large family and our 130
parents had us all heavily involved in sports. They instilled a strong sense of wellbeing in us and we’ve maintained a good level of fitness as adults. We are now both parents who work in physically demanding jobs, and are involved in team triathlons. We train on most days and ensure we fuel our bodies for peak performance and fast recovery. Health and fitness provides us with stress relief and acts as a mood stabiliser. Carol juggles a clinical role in a busy physiotherapy centre, running Lunette, family commitments and manages to fit in two gym workouts, a two-kilometre swim, one yoga session and at least two 40-minute walks per week. Elizabeth works shift work as a nurse and takes care of three daughters who have many after school activities while running Lunette, making training hard to fit in to her schedule. But by sharing ‘taxi runs’ with her husband, she still fits five or six sessions in per week, including swimming, cycling, walking, running and weight training.
TALKING TREATS AND INSPO What’s your favourite summer holiday indulgence? Carol: I love cold, diced pawpaw with squeezed lime and a sprinkle of sliced almond. Elizabeth: a glass of Tia Maria and skim milk on ice. Who inspires you most? Carol: Heli Kurjanen, our Lunette founder in Finland, is my current inspiration. She is so passionate about the brand and what it stands for, and spoke at the recent UN summit about women and menstruation. Elizabeth: I’m inspired by my children and their generation who are working toward environmental change and are accepting of diversity. This generation are open minded and proactive and I can’t wait to see how they continue to work toward making positive changes to current global and environmental issues. What is your mantra? Carol: I often get overwhelmed by the amount of work there is to do on spreading the word on sustainability and period positivity. Mother Teresa has a beautiful saying: “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.” Elizabeth: One of my daughters is inspired by the late Steve Irwin. His motto is “Push it to the limit”, which I love.