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On the cover

26 Bored at work? You need this genius tweak 30 Winter Olympian Danielle Scott’s winning secrets + how to think like a champ 46 WIN! A year’s membership to Goodlife Health Clubs 54 Office om Yoga poses you can do at your desk 60 Hot body, fast Shape up in 15 minutes with this sweet sesh 72 Next-level veggie burgers 100 Style reboot! 50 fit fashion buys 124 Score your best sleep ever Get ready for sweet dreams






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LiveFIT 18

24 26 28 30 34 36

Quick hits Flip this way for the latest health news and wellness trends Feel the (self) love Show yourself you care this Valentine’s Day Work it out This smart technique may just help you heart Mondays Fit-girl hacks: how to ace your tennis game We serve up the tips High flyer Aussie aerial skier Danielle Scott has her eye on a medal at PyeongChang Wonder women Meet a few of the Winter Olympic stars you’ll be talking about this February How to win at life According to former Olympic snowboarder and WF expert Steph Prem


40 Upgrade your EQ Give your emotions a workout 42 What’s your #lifemotto? This reader bounced back from surgery to score some epic fitness goals 43 Month of mantras Mini hits of inspo 44 Positive vibes How to get more of them into your everyday


48 Get on board This workout is perfect for surfers (and beach babes!) 52 Power move: Bent-over row Improve posture and strength with this classic move 54 Chair pose You don’t even have to stand up to try this too-easy yoga flow 58 HIIT it, don’t quit it Learn how to get the most from your HIIT sessions 60 Jump around! Give your next workout some serious bounce 64 Fast work Run like you mean it with this guide to a speedier sprint 66 Fitness FAQ Your niggling questions, answered


72 Veg out You won’t have food envy with these awesome veggie burgers 80 Smart swaps What to choose for a happy brain and bod

82 Macros, demystified We asked a pro what #IIFYM means, and found some delish recipes to try, too 86 The lowdown on hemp It’s just been legalised as a food Down Under, so here’s how to get some on your plate 88 Bite club The latest foodie finds 90 Snap it up! Love a little Insta food action? We’ll help you make your plates look photo-ready 92 Making magic Fantasy world food that’s as good for you as it looks


98 The fit girl’s guide to glutenfree beauty Is it worth putting your beauty stash on a diet? 100 Style refresh The hottest fashion buys you need in your fitdrobe this year 106 12 ways to future-proof your body The experts share their secrets to hacking your DNA and upgrading your habits for eternal youth 110 Style files The latest cool products worth your coin


114 Wake up your wellness ...with our round-up of life-changing travel experiences 118 Race and relax Head to Mauritius for a trail run with a side of ahhhhh 120 On the move Inspo and smart buys for your next trip


124 Save your sleep These tips will help you have your best night’s sleep ever 126 Sweet dreams Turn your bedroom into a relaxing sleep sanctuary 128 The power of a pause Put yourself in the time-out corner to stress less and get back to you


Every month 12 14

Ed’s letter As seen on Insta What you loved on Insta, plus inspo for your feed 96 Subscribe Get WF and save! 122 Next month Mark it in your diary 130 The last word Save it to your phone!

PRIVACY NOTICE This issue of Women’s Fitness is published by Citrus Media. Citrus Media may use and disclose your information in accordance with our Privacy Policy, including to provide you with your requested products or services and to keep you informed of other Citrus Media publications, products, services and events. Our Privacy Policy is located at It also sets out how you can access or correct your personal information and lodge a complaint. Citrus Media may disclose your personal information off shore to joint venture partners, service providers and agents located throughout the world, including in New Zealand, USA, the Philippines and the European Union. In addition, this issue may contain Reader Off ers, being off ers, competitions or surveys. Reader Off ers may require you to provide personal information to enter or to take part. Personal information collected for Reader Off ers may be disclosed by us to service providers assisting Citrus Media in the conduct of the Reader Off er and to other organisations providing special prizes or off ers that are part of the Reader Off er. An opt-out choice is provided with a Reader Off er. Unless you exercise that opt-out choice, personal information collected for Reader Off ers may also be disclosed by us to other organisations for use by them to inform you about other products, services or events or to give to other organisations that may use this information for this purpose. If you require further information, please contact Privacy Officer either by email at privacyofficer@womensfi or mail at PO Box 20154, World Square NSW 2002.





Photography Trent van der Jagt Art direction Brooke Lyons Styling Jess Pecoraro Hair Mia Hawkswell/DLM Make-up Chloe Langford/DLM Danielle wears Under Armour crop tops, $50 each; leggings, $95, and jacket, $480.


Expert panel Meet the pros lending their expertise to our pages...

If you could be a Winter Olympian, what sport would you choose?

Libby Babet personal trainer

EDITOR Penny Carroll DESIGNER Cynthia Lau

“Speed skating !” “Luge. I’m for any sport you can do lying down.”

“Bobsled! Cool Running s was my fave movie as a kid”


“Figure-skating – if only I was that g raceful!”

SUBEDITOR Rebecca Hanley FASHION EDITOR Jess Pecoraro

Kate Wood chiropractor

Dr Claudia Lee general practitioner

Brad McIntosh physiotherapist

Caitlin Reid dietitian

Belinda Kirkpatrick naturopath

“Cross-country skiing - the least terrifying!”

BEAUTY WRITER Constantina Demos


“Bobsled: Lycra, slippery dip and adrenaline”

Blake Worrall-Thompson PT and wellness coach

Kate Kendall yoga instructor

CONTRIBUTORS Lizza Gebilagin, Catherine Sanders, Angela Saurine, Carmel Sparke NATIONAL ADVERTISING MANAGER Carla D’Agrosa, 0415 096 252, PRODUCTION MANAGER Ian Scott

Yolande Herring kinesiologist

Dr Lissa Johnson psychologist

PUBLISHER Steve Maidens DIRECTOR Jim Flynn

Want to get in touch with the team?

Need help with your subscription?


Steph Prem Pilates instructor

Bec Tippett reader ambassador @bectippett

Women’s Fitness is published by Citrus Media, Level 2, 59 Buckingham St, Surry Hills NSW 2010 under licence from Dennis Publishing Limited. All rights in the title of this magazine belong to Dennis Publishing Limited absolutely and the title of this magazine may not be reproduced, whether in whole or in part, without its prior written consent. Certain content used in this magazine belongs to Dennis Publishing Limited and is used under licence. © Citrus Media. All rights reserved. Printed by Bluestar Web, 83 Derby St, Silverwater NSW 2128. Distributed by Gordon and Gotch in Australia and New Zealand. Price in Australia $6.95; price in New Zealand $7.99 (inc GST). All prices quoted in Women’s Fitness include GST and are approximate and in Australian dollars unless otherwise stated. Citrus Media accepts no responsibility for damage or loss of material submitted for publication. Please keep duplicates of text and illustrative material. For all subscription enquiries, visit; email; or phone 13 61 16 between 8am and 6pm (AEDT) Monday to Friday. Correspondence should be addressed to: Magshop, GPO Box 4967, Sydney NSW 2001.







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Best practice


(self) love, in which we list 14 expertapproved ways to treat yourself. I hope that you won’t just think about doing one or two of the suggestions when the 14th rolls around, but will instead make them a part of your daily routine. It’ll take commitment and courage to keep putting you first, especially when it’s inconvenient and you’re beyond busy, but as our Pilates expert (and former Olympian!) Steph Prem points out on page 36, setting daily non-negotiables is key to achieving any goal, whether it’s to compete on the world stage, or to simply be less of a stress-head. My idea of stress must pale in comparison to the pressure our Aussie athletes will be feeling as they gear up for this month’s PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games, so I have the utmost respect for not just the physical prowess it requires, but the mental strength it takes, too. Our cover star, aerial skier Danielle Scott, has a go-to strategy for dealing with that kind of pressure and, funnily enough, it sounds suspiciously like self-care. “If I’m having a hard day, I ask myself, ‘What do I love about being here, what is it that I’m enjoying?’ And I’ll go and find whatever that is, whether it’s hanging out with people in another country or experiencing the country and culture that I’m in,” Danielle told me. “I think if you love what you do, success comes naturally.” Amen to that. Enjoy the issue!

Penny Carroll, Editor Follow me: penny.carroll Follow WF: womensfitnessmag




These habits will do you good when you least expect it. Trust me, I know! 1 Get up for an early morning workout – yep, even though you’re tired and your bed is SO cosy. Try the plyometric workout on page 60 for a quick energy boost. 2 Choose the healthy option You could have the greasy pizza but your future self will thank you for the salad. May I suggest the delicious recipe on page 84? 3 Turn off your phone. Overnight, on the way to work or for a Sunday afternoon. It will be hard at first, but you can definitely do it. Fill the space with some of the suggestions on page 128.



FULL DISCLOSURE: I NEARLY HAD A MELTDOWN IN THE MAKING OF THIS ISSUE. There was an unusually tight deadline, a poorly timed heatwave, multiple communication breakdowns and good ol’ Mercury retrograde messing with every bit of tech we work with here at WF. And while each issue was really only a minor drama, they all managed to send me directly to stress city. It’s especially frustrating because in this job, I get to talk to experts every day about the importance of meditation, taking time out, stepping away from digital devices and generally going easy on yourself when the pressure hits and bad stuff happens. I’m great at doling out calming advice to friends and family and reminding them to see the bigger picture, but when it comes to implementing it myself? I don’t always have my own back. As it turns out, treating yourself with care and compassion is a daily practice, much like brushing your teeth or working out. It’s not something you can tick off your to-do list once and for all, it’s a lifetime commitment. The benefits include less stress and more resilience, which means you’re far less likely to blow a fuse when the going gets tough. But there’s a catch: the most important time to keep at it, when you most definitely MUST NOT skip your lunch break or your weekly yoga class or your standing date at the cat café, is when you’re tired, stressed and grumpy. This, friends, is when you need your self-care practice more than ever. If there’s one thing I learnt (again and again) as we put together this month’s pages, it’s that being kind to yourself – in my case, taking a break when I need it and consciously toning down my inner monologue when I’ve made a mistake – is the only way to deal with those meltdown moments. Only you can do it, and it’s far easier to implement if you’ve already made a personal promise to watch out for you. So this month, my Valentine’s gift to you is our feature on page 24, Feel the


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You might intuitively know that having a dog around is good for your heart, and now science shows that you’re absolutely spot-on. A Swedish study of more than 3 million people over a period of 12 years found that those with a four-legged bestie were less likely to die during the follow-up than those who lived in a fur-free household. People with pooches who lived solo also showed reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, with terriers and retrievers the breeds linked to owners with the healthiest hearts. If you’ve been thinking about getting a fur baby but haven’t yet, score double the good vibes by adopting a rescue pup from a place like



HITS Enjoy a healthy body and mind with the latest in good living

Go on, take your lunch break And by this we mean actually leaving your desk and going out for a walk for 30 whole minutes! Don’t worry, your work will still be there when you return, but you know what will have changed? Your “future disease burden” – aka your risk of shortening your number of healthy years due to living with an illness or injury. Brisk walking for 30 minutes, five days a week could decrease this risk by 26 per cent, according to a recent report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. If your boss has an issue with this, we suggest you casually leave this page opened on her desk… 18





Are you a morning or evening person?

Good bytes Fresh downloads to upgrade your life

CHARITY MILES (free, iTunes and Google Play) Earn money for charity with each step you take towards your health goals.

The answer to this question could help you get the most out of exercise. Sleep specialist Dr Michael Breu has these suggestions of when to move, based on your body’s natural rhythms

FOOD INTOLERANCES (free, iTunes and Google Play) Whether you’re on a FODMAP diet or gluten intolerant, this app helps take the guesswork out of what you can and can’t eat. GUIDES BY LONELY PLANET (free, iTunes and Google Play) Look like a local as you travel by inconspicuously carrying a guidebook on your phone.

The new super-duo

Just as Harry and Meghan have captured our hearts, so too have turmeric and magnesium. Together, these nutrients can relieve post-workout pain in both muscles and joints and set you up for a great night’s sleep. As naturopath Emily Macgregor, of Blooms Health Products, explains: “Turmeric works as an anti-inflammatory that helps ease joint pain and increase joint mobility, while magnesium is nature’s stress reliever, helping muscles to relax and unwind, and relieving tension in the nervous system.” Nice combo, huh?





5.30pm for a late afternoon boost of energy

8am or 5pm, either before or after work

Late afternoon as your cortisoltestosterone levels are ideal


7.30am for fat burn or midday to keep afternoon snacking in check

12pm or 6pm – either before lunch or dinner

Early evening to take advantage of that perfect hormone combo


6pm to help suppress nighttime cravings


7.30am to help you sleep more deeply at night



Late evening, as 6pm or 10pm – your cortisolbefore dinner or testosterone levels after to help relax are ideal now

10pm to help lower your cortisol levels


Early evening is when your levels of cortisol and testosterone are spot-on for this 19


The best bread to eat

(according to a dietitian)


Blueberry & watermelon ice pops Keep it cool with this refreshing fruity snack idea from Makes 8-12 You’ll need… 2 chamomile teabags, steeped in cup boiling water cup honey 2 cups chopped watermelon, pulsed in a blender until smooth 1 tbs lemon juice cup fresh blueberries

When you’re presented with an overwhelming amount of bread options for your avocado on toast at the café, skip the open-mouthed look of uncertainty and outsource your decision to dietitian Larina Robinson ( Her choice: sourdough. “Most commercial breads are forced to rise quickly during the manufacturing process, whereas traditional sourdough has a long ferment,” Robinson explains. “The natural sourdough cultures work to digest the carbohydrates and release micronutrients, creating a bread that is easier to digest with more nutrients to absorb.” There you go. The decision is made for you.

Remove teabags from water. Add honey to tea and allow to cool. In a medium sized bowl, pass watermelon through a fine mesh sieve, then add tea and lemon juice. Stir thoroughly. Pour liquid into 8-12 ice block moulds, leaving 1cm empty at the top, then divide the blueberries among the moulds. Freeze for 6 hours before serving.

The number of Aussies who do Pilates. Almost half of these also practise yoga.


Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

Say “I love food too” with one of these cute (self) gifts

CHERRY CRUSH Doodad + Fandango Cherry Lips earrings, $85,


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Booze maths

A new study in the journal BMJ Open reveals just how booze can affect our mood. Knowledge is power, people!

Rev your engine

If you’ve hit a fat-burning plateau, try eating dinner earlier, and waiting another 12 hours before you have breakfast. “An overnight fast can speed up metabolism,” explains Dr Helena Popovic (, a medical doctor specialising in weight loss. The overnight fast is basically another form of intermittent fasting, but not as hardcore as the 5:2 diet. So if you have dinner at 7pm, you won’t eat anything else until breakfast the next day at 7am. “The 12-hour overnight fast is a fantastic habit,” Popovic says. “It’s the best form of detox in the body.”

Feeling super-anxious? Take time out from your phone

Our intensely close relationship with our phones is making us more anxious, says an Aussie academic. Clinical psychologist Danielle Einstein, from Sydney’s Macquarie University, says the instant approval of someone liking our Insta photos or FB updates is fuelling our inability to sit with uncertainty, which increases anxiety. “Being more comfortable with uncertainty improves a person’s ability to cope with worry and is associated

with improvement for those experiencing anxiety,” she says. Instead of using your phone, try: ■ Going on a digital detox from 8pm to 8am every day, or start with one weekend each month. ■ Chatting to a psychologist about learning how to deal with those uncomfortable feelings. Video chat Aussie psychologists online at ■ Writing down what’s bothering you. Research shows that this simple act can help relieve stress.







> Spirits



Red wine




(probably not the best combo!)


(be careful with Dutch courage)



Fit diary

Don’t skip today’s yoga session …because just the one yoga class can lower cortisol levels and boost confidence, according to a trial published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine. You won’t regret going.

Culture club

Sign up, show up and sweat it out at these fun events

Melanoma March, National March

Join this charity walk in your nearest city and do your bit to fight melanoma, the most common cancer to affect 15-39 year olds. There are 23 events happening across the country, making it easy to get involved.

Inverell Toughen Up Challenge, NSW 9-10 March

This northern NSW town will host challenges like running log carrying, tyre flipping and monkey bar-climbing. Choose from competitive or non-competitive categories.

Soulpreneurs by Yvette Luciano (Hay House, $19.99, published February 13) This book will give you the courage you need to switch careers, start a blog or launch a new business that means the world to you.


Wellness Women Radio podcast Dr Ashleigh Bond and Dr Andrea Huddleston lead this girls’ chat about everything from holistic breast care to staying healthy on holidays.


Best Booty Burn + Tricep Toner Workout Can’t make it to the gym? Head to the Tone It Up YouTube channel to exercise with Kat and new trainer Chyna. Work out anywhere, anytime!

Sydney Coastrek, NSW 16 March

Grab three of your girlfriends and discover hidden coves and secret bush trails over this 60km or 30km walk from Manly or Kirribilli to Bondi. You’ll be raising money for The Fred Hollows Foundation, too.

2018 Yoga Australia Conference, Vic 16-18 March

At Melbourne’s Crown Conference Centre, passionate yogis can learn about yoga for mental health, sutras and chanting plus get tips on becoming a yogi entrepreneur.


@happsters This Instagram account features two things guaranteed to make you smile: inspirational quotes and cute pups.

Rumble Run Ballarat, Vic 24 March

It’s like all the best bits of your favourite obstacle courses decided to throw their own party at the Rumble Run. This year, Victoria Park will be filled with giant inflatables, colour runs and foam and bubble pits. 22



Raw Challenge Gold Coast, Qld 24-25 March

This muddy 8km race with more than 40 obstacles to test your mental and physical fitness will be held in Numinbah Valley. Bring the kiddos along for the 4km youth course. @womensfitnessau




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FEEL THE (self) LOVE We’ve found 14 ways to romance the most important person in your life this Valentine’s Day (spoiler alert: we mean you!)


LiveFIT THERE’S NO NEED TO HOPE FOR A GUSHY CARD or to hang out for the flower delivery guy this V Day. That’s because this year, you’re taking time out to look after someone special – you! “If you don’t concentrate on loving yourself, you seek that approval elsewhere or externally,” says holistic health coach Claire Obeid. “But if you start appreciating who you are, you’ll find true contentment, joy and gratitude for what you experience and do in life, without feeling as though you’re at the mercy of somebody else.” So whether you’re going out with a wonderful someone, or celebrating quietly with your fave Netflix series, take the time to say happy Valentine’s Day to you with these 14 self-love ideas.

1 Ditch the diss

We all know her – she’s loud, bossy, critical and Hardly. Ever. Shuts. Up. She’s your inner critic and negative self-talk is her modus operandi. Take charge and ask her to play nicely! “Learn to catch, check and change your thoughts and negative self-talk,” says Sydney psychologist Jocelyn Brewer. “Flip it to be the compassionate and kind way you’d talk to a friend going through a rough patch.”


Listen in


Looking after your body by exercising and having a healthy diet is vital, but so is caring for what’s inside. “In this ‘Instafamous’ world, so much importance is placed on our appearance,” says Sydney psychologist and yoga and meditation teacher Melissa Podmore. Keeping your inner self peaceful, nurtured and calm through meditation is just as crucial, to help you to stay in touch with yourself. “We cannot hear what is in the heart until we become quiet, which is where meditation, yoga and solitude are very precious and helpful,” Podmore says. Make a date with your yoga mat and take a moment to breathe. Stay quiet and see what your inner self has to say.


Find your inner child

Life was pretty simple when you were a kid – no credit card worries, nasty bosses or study deadlines, and as for boys? Smelly and stupid. Taking yourself back to that time can help you touch base with who you are now, says Brewer. “Remembering who we were before the responsibility of adulthood kicked in can unlock a sense of self that is unstoppable and optimistic,” she says. “Consider the way you saw the world as a kid, and what you hoped for. Connect with this version of yourself to harness some of that hope, to help reshape your now.”


Stay weird!

Most of us get sucked in at one time or another, but the comparison game is one you’ll never win because someone else will always appear to be prettier, taller, richer, have more Insta followers and a better boyfriend than you. “Comparing ourselves never works well and limits our potential,” says Perth psychologist Dr Marny Lishman. “We’re all so different. Focus on becoming a better version of yourself and focus on moving forward to reach this.”

5 Accept yourself…

We’re talking all the fabulous bits and the not-so-good parts and everything in between. Being comfortable in your own skin and accepting yourself takes some practise though, so start today by making peace with who you really are, without judgement. “Don’t entertain the negative self-beliefs,” says Dr Lishman. “Practise not judging yourself for what you are thinking, feeling or doing.”


Feel deserving

Take a moment to value yourself – you deserve as much as your talkative, confident, beautiful work colleague/friend/ sister. Dr Lishman suggests being “strict” about what you deserve and try not to let others lower your worth. “If you don’t feel as though you are being treated well by others, be assertive about it,” she says.

to your strengths 7 Play

Maybe you can whip up a cracking meal for 10 buddies, but can’t shoot a hoop to save your life. Recognise your strengths and celebrate them, rather than focusing on the assets you don’t have. “We’ve all got knowledge and gifts that other people don’t,” says Lishman. “It’s about recognising what those talents are and doing them every day in some way.”

8 Write away

Reminding yourself of what’s good about you and your life sometimes requires a pen and paper. “One of my favourite practices at the end of the day is to just sit down and write down 10 things I am grateful for,” says Obeid. Try it, it works!


Walk on the wild side

You don’t have to bungee jump off tall buildings, but pushing through your comfort zone helps you explore just how brave and awesome you can be. “Challenging yourself to try new things – without being toooo radical – can provide



you with a new sense of yourself, your abilities and your achievements,” says Brewer. Got your eye on a challenge? Now’s the time to go for it.

the frenemies 10 Lose

Hanging out with buddies should leave you refreshed rather than miserable, but it’s not always the case. “You have a choice in this – if you’re spending too much time with people who make you feel worse, then you are not loving yourself enough,” says Dr Lishman. “Pick friends who are supportive and accept you for who you are.”

11Choose you

It’s Friday night drinks with the girls, but tonight you really don’t feel like going. Give yourself permission to do whatever your intuition tells you to do, rather than what other people think you should. “We can get caught up in this state of comparison, and trying to keep up,” says Obeid. “Try to listen to what your intuition is telling you, and do that, even if that’s the opposite of what you were going to do. Tap into the goddess within!”

12 Dip your toes in

If the closest you’ve come to the great outdoors lately is watering the office pot plant, it’s time to reconnect with Mother Nature. “Go for a walk slowly or head to the beach and really soak up your surroundings,” says Obeid. “Simple acts like that on a regular basis, taking yourself away from the digital world, actually help you feel amazing and that you’re part of the power of nature, too.”

13 Be kind… to you

Hands up who hasn’t messed up at work, or with a friend or family? Next time you make a mistake, try a little self-compassion. “Try not to hold onto guilt, because that is all a lot of negative energy that just eats away at your self-love; it tears down your confidence,” says Obeid. “Self-compassion is about forgiveness and finding your centre again. Don’t beat yourself up. You’re learning, you’re trying, you’re showing up. Keep going.”

14 Treat yo’self!

Finally, remember to occasionally treat that special someone in your life with a gift that makes them feel fabulous. That’s right, we’re looking at you, girlfriend! “Give yourself a present to make yourself feel good,” says Dr Lishman. “It might mean buying new make-up or doing something that is totally about you, like a massage or reading a book.” You’re worth it.



Work it out Try a little job crafting to make Mondays great again

YOU KNOW THAT SAYING about how you should dress for the job you want, not the one you have? The same applies to the way you do your job. Experts say the secret to happiness at work might not be scoring a promotion or switching careers, but fine-tuning the job you have to better serve your interests. It’s a concept called job crafting, and it involves seeking out opportunities within your everyday role that align with your values and talents. It might mean putting your hand up for tasks outside your set duties that will expand your skillset, or it could be as simple as taking the time to find meaning in the work you do. “While of course your employer establishes boundaries around the outcomes that need to be achieved, how you approach your role can be tailored to align with the strengths and interests you bring,” says human resources expert Karen





LiveFIT “To be your best self, you should be playing to your strengths the majority of the time – which will also make you happier” Gately ( “When we’re able to do our work in ways that suit who we are, we’re more likely to be energised by the experience. Equally, most people are energised when they feel empowered and able to influence the way their job is done.” Okay, so this doesn’t mean you can skip the boring parts of your job and just focus on the tasks you like. But what it does mean is that you can be proactive about building more enjoyable work into your day. “In the vast majority of roles, there is the ability to be flexible in how it gets done,” Gately says. “Rather than sitting back and hoping people will give you the opportunity to do what you want to do, make it happen.” Not sure where to start? Conduct an audit of your strengths, suggests Nigel Cumberland, leadership coach and author of 100 Things Successful People Do (Hachette Australia, $19.99). “Make a list of your best qualities – you could ask friends and colleagues for their input, too,” he says. “Then analyse how much time you spend doing the things you’re good at. To be your best self, you should be playing to your strengths the majority of the time – which will also make you happier, as we tend to feel most content and fulfilled when our talents are put to good use.” So, if you’re a people person who feels underutilised behind your computer screen, offer to train new recruits. Or, if you’ve got a reception job but dream of taking over the digital world, ask if you could contribute to the company’s blog. Experts also say

that finding deeper meaning in the work you do will enhance your experience. A job in retail, for example, involves selling products, but the way you do it can educate customers and bring them joy. Suddenly, you’re not just a retail assistant, you’re a teacher and a happiness dealer. Your top skills might not work for your workplace, and that’s okay – look for ways to make the most of them in other areas of your life. “If you’re a great listener, perhaps you could volunteer with a charity, or train to be a counsellor or life coach,” suggests Cumberland. Just take care that you don’t get too carried away with this concept – your core tasks should still take priority. “Understand the fundamentals of what you’re employed to achieve, and don’t lose sight of those,” says Gately. “While you look for opportunities to leverage your talents and passions, continue to invest the focus needed to get your job done.” A little job crafting might be all you need to keep your interest in work firing. It might not be the ultimate route to work nirvana, but it’s a tool you can carry with you throughout your career. “No matter the role you find yourself in, at any stage of your career, there will be opportunities to put your mark on the way things are done,” says Gately. In other words, you do you. Love this? Search for more like it on KEYWORDS: CAREER SUCCESS



If your work (or life) could do with a few more wins, use these simple success tips from leadership coach Nigel Cumberland to level up Fake confidence An attitude of selfassurance can help you feel brave enough to do the things you want to do, and put others at ease. When you feel a bit uncomfortable in a situation, think about how a confident person would behave, and act accordingly.

Aim high Gain an understanding of your true personal desires to help you focus on what matters to you, not what others have. List your ambitions, concentrating on the ones you may have kept hidden for various reasons. Start thinking about how you could work towards them today.


Don’t give up It can be easy to assume that if it isn’t going your way, it isn’t meant to be. But most successful people achieve their aims because they persist – each rejection or failure brings success closer. When you feel stuck, think of different ways to approach your aim. @womensfitnessmag

Become an expert Master something – it will boost your confidence, teach you patience and give you a life skill. It’s best to choose something you really want to do rather than something you think you should learn. Absorb yourself in it, keep practising and enjoy the challenge.




Fit-girl hacks

STEP 1 If you’ve got time to prepare for your social game, work on your tennis prowess at the gym. You need good cardio fitness to be able to race around the court to return balls, and a solid core to power your swing. “Focus on legs for running and generating power, and core strength for rotation,” tips Australia’s top-ranked female player, Ashleigh Barty.

STEP 3 Spend a little time practising your serve. Master the toss (rather than a bounce-andwhack) and you’ll look legit. Get into a stable position with your left foot parallel to the baseline and your right foot a little in front, on a diagonal. Lightly hold the ball in your left hand, toss it straight up and hit it at the top of the toss. “Getting the ball toss in the correct position is important as you don’t want to be chasing the ball when you’re ready to hit it,” says Daria Gavrilova, Australia’s current number two. It’ll take some practice to find the right toss height for you, so stick at it. “Consistency of ball toss and timing are crucial,” adds Barty. “Keep your left arm up, use your legs for power and take your time!”

STEP 2 Get to grips with the racquet. While there are a few different grips you can use, the basic hold – known as the Continental grip – is a good all-rounder. Imagine you’re shaking hands with the handle, then twist your hand a little so (if you’re right handed) your index finger knuckle is at 1 o’clock (it’ll be at 11 o’clock if you’re a leftie). You can stretch out your index finger a little for extra stability.

STEP 4 Tennis is as much a mental game as it is a physical one. You need to stay calm under pressure and keep your opponent guessing if you want to win your match. All bets are off, even if your bestie is on the other side of the net. “Be aggressive and go for your shots!” says Gavrilova. Barty’s advice? “Be confident in your game, vary your shots and take one point at a time,” she says. Game on.

SO, YOU’VE BEEN INSPIRED BY THE ACTION ON COURT AT THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN, and now you’re keen to have a hit. Tennis is an awesome way to stay fit and have fun with mates (bonus points for the cute fashion opportunity) but it can be kinda intimidating if you’ve never served up a ball or attempted a mean backhand. Don’t worry, you can totally ace it. We’ve asked a couple of top tennis stars for their tips to look pro on the courts.








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High f lyer Australian aerial skier Danielle Scott is striding towards gold medal glory at the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games. She talks to WF’s Penny Carroll about what it takes to get there






FOR SOMEONE ABOUT TO COMPETE ON THE WORLD STAGE in a death-defying sport, Danielle Scott is incredibly relaxed. In fact, dressed in a crop top and shorts and sipping a green smoothie at a beachside cafe, she looks every inch the laidback Aussie babe soaking up the summer sunshine. It’s just that this 27-year-old happens to have a chiselled six-pack on show, and instead of chatting about last night’s Bumble date, she’s explaining the intricacies involved in a quadruple twisting double somersault. She might be in her natural habitat, but Danielle is no ordinary Sydney chick. Actually, aerial skier Danielle is one of Australia’s strongest gold medal hopes for the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang in February, where she’ll be flipping her way through the sky in search of Olympic glory. Currently the second-ranked aerial skier in the world, Danielle spends much of her year in freezing conditions, launching herself off snowy slopes to spin, twist and somersault with precision. It’s a world away from her childhood in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, but Danielle always had her eye on an Olympic career. Like many aerial skiers, she began her athletic journey as a gymnast. At seven, she was the youngest athlete to be offered a scholarship at the Australian Institute of Sport, and at 13 she was retired – but her dream of sporting glory was far from over. “It’s funny, from such a young age I loved being an athlete,” Danielle says. “I had that competitive drive in me – I knew that was for me.” A few years later and Danielle’s dream was back on track when at 16, Australian Olympic champ Jacqui Cooper recruited her into the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia’s aerial skiing development program. “Off I went learning to ski and I haven’t looked back since!” she says. It was a complete 180-degree flip from Sydney’s sunkissed beaches, but Danielle adapted quickly to her new sport – once she got used to jumping around with long sticks attached to her feet, that is. “There was never a fear factor because I’d always been flipping, being upside down was very

“I keep level-headed. You have to use pressure to your advantage”



easy for me,” she recalls. “I just remember strapping skis on for the first time and thinking, ‘Wow, these things are slippery, how on earth am I going to stop?’”

Game on

Fast-forward a decade and Danielle is on a precipice of a different kind – with a string of World Cup podiums behind her, there’s every chance she’s about to become a household name by adding an Olympic medal to her trophy cabinet. Big brands are already clamouring to come along for the ride: Danielle is an Under Armour athlete, the face of new Aussie high-protein yoghurt YoPRO, and a brand ambassador for GoPro and Tradie Underwear. Does the pressure get to her? “It’s huge,” she admits. “I just try to keep level-headed, really. You can’t block it out, it’s going to be there and so you just have to face it and use it to your advantage.” Part of that pressure is self-inflicted. At PyeongChang, Danielle will be attempting a “game-changer” jump if she makes it through to the final rounds – the aforementioned quadruple twisting double somersault. It’s known as a blind jump, which means you can’t see the ground before you land, adding an extra layer of danger, and it’s only been performed once before in the women’s competition. “You’re skiing in anywhere from 50-60km per hour, you’re going 7 metres, 10 metres in the air. You’re doing two rotations in the first flip, and two rotations in the second flip,” Danielle explains casually. “In the lesser degree of difficulty jumps you can spot the ground so it’s easier to land,” she adds, “but this is 100 per cent feel. So it comes down to getting the right speeds, [understanding] weather conditions, hitting the take-off, and because your body can change everything in the air, it’s making those adjustments in the air to land. It’s a lot going on. I love it, I’m excited to do it.” While most of us would be shivering with fear at the thought, Danielle is frothing to give it a go. She’s one of those rare breeds who doesn’t just like adrenaline, she thrives on the stuff. “I’m definitely an adrenaline junkie,” she says, laughing. “It’s a sport that I’ll only be able to do while I’m young and I’ll be looking for something else once I’m older as the impact is crazy, your body takes a beating out there. @womensfitnessau


“But the adrenaline that I get from it, I love it, I live for it. That’s why I do it.” That, and the satisfaction of pulling off an incredibly technical feat perfectly. There’s no doubt that Danielle is disciplined, determined and focused, and she says her goal is not so much to bring home a shiny Olympic medal, but to go out and perform her jumps with the precision she’s been training so hard to achieve. “It’s not about the recognition or just having the physical medal, it’s about accomplishing the perfect jump,” she explains. “Because we live and breathe the sport, just to have that to solidify the journey is my biggest goal.”

Hot skills

Thankfully for this summer-loving athlete, an endless winter isn’t required to fine-tune those jaw-dropping aerial skills. Danielle spends the Northern Hemisphere summer in Utah, flipping and twisting into a large pool, rather than skiing down icy mountains. “It’s where we learn tricks and get them safely done before we take them to snow,” she explains. There’s another benefit, too – “I don’t think I could do it [the sport] if I didn’t have a summer. It’s the most fun training, even though it’s harder on the body.” On the rare occasions she’s not practising her jumps, Danielle can’t resist the urge to keep moving – mountain biking, skateboarding and hiking are all part of her relaxation routine, although she admits they’re dangerous hobbies to have as an athlete, as she has to be careful to avoid injury. “It’s really hard actually, because we

have to take our rest and recovery seriously and I love to be in the outdoors,” she says. The life of a pro aerial skier is a busy one – a typical day at work in Utah will involve some trampolining, two sessions jumping into the pool, then a gym session and some ballet. “Yes! We do strict ballet,” Danielle laughs. “It’s really hard. It’s for posture, and holding your body. Obviously we’re not using the same turnout that ballerinas do, but it is the same strength that ballerinas have. It’s an aesthetic sport too, which is judged and you have to have that fluid motion in the air, which I have too much of, so other athletes need to learn that, whereas I have to be a little more rigid. You get other benefits from it though and it’s fun to switch off and do something completely different.” The athletes take it so seriously that there’s even an end-ofyear concert, complete with leotards! When she’s not training, Danielle is studying – she’s almost finished an online degree in communications, mindful that she won’t be able to flip around forever. But for now, her balletfinessed focus is zeroing in on the Olympic challenge ahead. Her first Games at Sochi in 2014 was a warm-up, this time she’s poised to charge to the front of the pack. “I’m feeling really good, I had a successful summer, which is a lot of hard work,” Danielle says. “We’re chasing perfection, and that’s what it will come down to. A lot of girls will be trying the same tricks and you have to have that extra edge on your style or your technique to knock them out and get through the rounds.” We can’t wait to watch this sporty powerhouse do just that to become a fully-fledged ice queen.

Danielle wears Under Armour crop top, $50, shorts, $85, and shoes, $130.

Danielle in action at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics… … And collecting silver (far lef t) at the 2017 FIS Freestyle Ski an d Snowboard Wor ld Championships






Danielle’s day on a plate How this Olympian fuels her sporting life


“I always travel with my jar of Vegemite. I like to have Vegemite and avocado on toast, with a YoPRO and some granola or muesli. I have a massive brekkie – if anything, I’d eat more than that.”


“I’m constantly eating because I enjoy smaller meals regularly to keep that energy consistent. So I’ll pack some trail mix, nuts or dried fruit if we can’t access fresh fruit.”


“Depending on where we are, I’ll pre-make a pasta – those good carbs keep the energy up. Otherwise it’s a sandwich. It really depends on where you are but anything fresh and healthy that you can get your hands on is good.”


“It might be a banana or trail mix for the gym, or another YoPRO for that extra protein hit that we need.”


“I’ll have something more fun like tacos or a curry or homemade pizzas. Anything that’s healthy. You can think of burgers or pizzas as unhealthy foods, but if you make it at home and choose the right ingredients, it’s just a bit more fun.”






WOMEN The PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games are here, and we’re excited! We’ll be cheering on these incredibly talented Aussie sportswomen, who all have a serious chance of making it onto the podium. Go team!

Joany Badenhorst SPORT: Para-snowboarding HOMETOWN: Griffith, NSW Promising athlete Joany was 10 when she lost her left leg below the knee during a tractor accident on her parents’ farm in South Africa. A few years later, her family moved to Australia and her athletic talents were quickly noticed. Joany just missed out on selection for the athletics team for the London 2012 Paralympic Games, but was soon approached by the Australian Paralympic Committee to switch to para-snowboarding. She was set to make her debut in the first-ever Olympic para-snowboard event at Sochi in 2014, but an accident on her final training run just hours before her race left her with a collapsed hip and broken knee. Now 23 and co-captain of the Australian Team at PyeongChang, Joany’s thrilled to have a second shot at her Olympic dream. “Sochi was devastating to me, but it was in the past as soon as I started rehab. I would be thrilled to bring home a medal from Korea, but as long as I step away knowing I’ve done absolutely everything and that I’ve given a really big fight, then I’m happy.”


Lydia Lassila

Torah Brig ht

SPORT: Aerial skiing HOMETOWN: Melbourne, Vic Five-time Winter Olympian Lydia Lassila, 35, began her sporting career as an elite gymnast in her teens. She took up aerial skiing in 1998 and competed in her first Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City less than four years later, finishing eighth. Lydia went on to win gold at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and bronze at Sochi in 2014. Among her numerous awards and honours, she received Sport Australia Hall of Fame’s “Don” Award in 2010 and was appointed to the Order of Australia in 2012. “It’s not easy making it to one Olympics, let alone five, and mine has been an amazing journey filled with ups, downs and everything in between. I’ve learnt so much about myself, so a medal at these Olympics would certainly be a fairytale ending to my journey as an aerial skier.”

SPORT: Snowboarding HOMETOWN: Cooma, NSW Torah, 31, has been brightening slopes around the world with her infectious smile since she went pro at the age of 14. Among her many achievements, she’s three times world superpipe champion and three times US Open champion. She really caught the world’s attention when she carried the Australian flag at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and then won gold in the snowboard halfpipe. At the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, she became the first athlete to compete in all three snowboard disciplines at the same Games. She took home a silver medal for the halfpipe, placed seventh in slopestyle and finished 18th in snowboard cross. “I’m a competitor, but I’m not uber competitive to the point where I only think about winning medals. I just love being out there and doing my best.”





Jaclyn Narracott

Britt Cox

Kailani Craine

SPORT: Skeleton HOMETOWN: Brisbane, Qld Born into a sports mad family, Jaclyn “Jackie” Narracott knew she’d dedicate her life to sport. In primary school she played hockey before turning to athletics. She tried bobsled because her uncle, Paul Narracott, had been an Olympic sprinter and bobsledder. But in 2012, she made the switch from the teamwork of bobsled to the precarious solo effort of skeleton with its small, unprotected sled. At the end of the 2016/17 season, she was ranked 23rd in the world and first in Australia. Jackie, 27, will make her Olympic debut at PyeongChang. “A medal in PyeongChang would mean achieving my dream and creating history because no Aussie slider has finished higher than eighth. The thought of that sends waves of excitement through me.”

SPORT: Mogul skiing HOMETOWN: Wodonga, Vic When 15-year-old Britt Cox competed in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, she was the youngest athlete at the Games and Australia’s youngest Olympian in 50 years. At Sochi, she hit the record books again by placing fifth, the best result yet for a female Aussie mogul skier at the Olympics. In the 2016/17 season she’s won seven gold medals in 11 World Cup events. Now 23, she was awarded the FIS Crystal Globe, which goes to the freestyle skier with the most points in any freestyle discipline, and jointly named Ski & Snowboard Australia Athlete of the Year. “I’m coming into this season as World Champion, which is a new position for me, but I welcome the challenge and look forward to seeing what I can do.”

SPORT: Figure skating HOMETOWN: Newcastle, NSW Kailani laced up her first pair of ice skates at a friend’s birthday party when she was just eight years old. She was crowned Australian Junior Champion every year between 2012 and 2015, and added the senior title to her list of accomplishments from 2014 to 2016. Internationally, she’s won several ISU medals and placed 10th at her ISU Grand Prix debut at Skate Canada last October. She then took gold at the Nebelhorn Trophy, securing an Olympic spot for Australia at PyeongChang at the tender age of 19. “I don’t think anything can prepare you for the Olympic experience. My dream since I was a little girl was to be an Olympian and now I’m going to fulfil that goal! So much hard work has gone into my sport, but I’d do it all again.”

Belle Brockhoff


SPORT: Snowboard cross HOMETOWN: Melbourne, Vic Belle started snowboarding at the age of 10, and competed in a number of snowboard disciplines before making her World Cup debut in Snowboard Cross in 2012/13 and becoming the first Australian woman to win a snowboard cross World Cup medal. In her first Olympic Winter Games at Sochi in 2014, she placed eighth in snowboard cross ahead of all the other Australian athletes. With 32 World Cups under her belt, including three gold, three silver and one bronze medal, Belle, 24, is a force to be reckoned with. “Bringing home a medal would be a great honour because I’m representing more than just myself. I’m representing my family, friends, sponsors and people I’ve never met. I’m representing Australia.”






How to win at life WF Pilates expert and former Olympic snowboarder Steph Prem shares her secrets to competing smart and thinking like a champ


STICK TO YOUR GUNS Athletes make decisions every day that affect their daily performance and that are in line with their goals and end-game. This can relate to anything from food choices, training, visualisation practices and even whether or not to go to social events. Daily non-negotiables are key to an athlete’s success and you don’t have to be an Olympian to harness that same level of determination and decision-making to improve your daily fitness routine.


GET UNCOMFY Athletes are comfortable being uncomfortable. Sure, no one likes feeling out of their depth, but it’s a big part 36

Steph learnt a lot ab out life while shredding up the slopes

Keep an eye out for Steph on Channel 7’s coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang as she commentates the snowboard cross and race events.

of improving your personal performance, creativity and self-belief. The challenge is to get past that initial feeling of wanting to go back to what you know and what feels comfortable. No athlete would ever improve if they just repeated the norm every day. We grow and learn from discomfort, so it’s essential to constantly check in and challenge yourself.


FOCUS ON 1-PER-CENTERS Short-term goals are the ones you want to accomplish ASAP, as opposed to a goal that will take you a long time to achieve (like a four-year Olympic cycle). So, the daily and weekly 1 per cent efforts and improvements are key to success for athletes as they work towards a long-term goal. Personally, as an athlete I was always very impatient, but having my



1-per-centers and non-negotiables were key to keeping me on track to achieve my big-picture vision.


PREPARE FOR PRESSURE Performing on the world stage is a mighty feat. Athletes have an unwavering level of courage, confidence and self-belief to do it, but this – like any skill – needs to be honed and honoured. While you may have no intention of stepping onto a podium, you’ll still encounter high-pressure situations in your everyday life, so train yourself to perform under stress. Just as a pro athlete trains daily, so too can you. Often, an underwhelming performance is due to a lack of proper preparation. My coach used to always say, “Never forget: perfect preparation prevents poor performance.”




MINDSET IS KEY Thinking like an athlete takes a lot of motivation and oomph. Positive mindset is a key tool for professional athletes. They maintain their selfconfidence during difficult times with realistic and positive self-talk. Before all races, I would say to myself in the start gate, “Easily and effortlessly, you’ve done it before, you can do it again”. It was reassuring and empowering for me. Just like an athlete uses a positive mindset for competition days, you too can use self-talk to regulate thoughts, feelings and behaviours during stressful situations and milestone events in your life.



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YOUR INBOX NEEDS A WORKOUT! And we send some seriously fit emails.

Sign up to our weekly newsletter for health, fitness and wellness inspo you won’t want to unsubscribe from.







As your legs bask in the physical benefits of your regular spin class, your brain is getting in on the action too. How? Well, a bit of background first: as we age, from around 40 onwards, our brains begin to shrink by approximately 5 per cent every 10 years. But a new Australian-led study shows that aerobic exercise – whether it be cycling, walking or running – helps slow that shrinkage from occurring in the first place. So if you want a healthy mind, make sure you stick to the resolutions you made at the beginning of the year, and keep exercising regularly. Your future self with thank you for it.


Upgrade your EQ How to exercise your brain for better emotional fitness

WE ALL KNOW ABOUT THE PERKS OF PHYSICAL EXERCISE, but have you ever thought about the benefits of a mental workout? Nope, we’re not talking about sodoku puzzles, but the kind of mind training that will help make you mentally strong and emotionally flexible. As with physical fitness, challenging yourself a little every day is a big part of fine-tuning your emotional fitness, says Mark Freeman, mental health coach and author of The Mind Workout (Little Brown, $32.99). “If you struggle to swim, we don’t tell you to avoid swimming and label you with a drowning disorder. You get swimming lessons. You challenge yourself, learn new skills, and consistently push into your limits,” he explains. To build emotional fitness, you need to develop your ability to handle your feels by, yes, feeling more – not by avoiding or controlling your emotions. “For years, when I struggled with mental illness, I was always trying to avoid difficult thoughts and feelings. That became my entire life,” Freeman says. “Learning how to accept the stuff in my head has been a far more enjoyable and effective journey.”

Start small

If you’ve never run before, you’re not going to run a marathon straight away. “You’d get a structured workout plan from somebody who runs. It would start small and help you build strength, endurance, and flexibility to reach your goal. The same applies with exercising your mind,” Freeman says. Developing basic mental health skills to help you let go of unhelpful ways of thinking and acting is your emotional 40

equivalent of a marathon. You’ll need to build up your strength over time. “For example, let’s say you’ve always struggled with anxiety about rejection so you’re constantly ending relationships, switching careers, and never setting boundaries because you’re afraid people won’t like you. For you, committing to something like a relationship with a person you really care about won’t be mentally possible at first. So, you break it down into smaller workouts,” Freeman says. First, you might invite a group of friends over for dinner and work on dealing with the risk of nobody showing up; and the week after you could start an Instagram account to show off your cooking photos, because you love cooking but were nervous about how others would react to your creations. “Those are all uncertainties you can accept. Each week, seek out the uncomfortable edge of your limits, accept it, and push through towards your goal,” Freeman says. Don’t forget to enlist support for your training. That might mean working with a psychologist (aka your emotional PT) or simply reaching out to your network of friends and family (hello, group workouts!). “One of the simplest things that research shows you can do to boost your mood is to meet with groups of people regularly,” notes Freeman.

Be mindful

When life is dealing you more than your fair share of challenges, it’s easy to ignore the feelings you don’t like, burying them down deep while you put on a brave face. While this helps to control your feelings in the short term, over time your negative



emotions can build up and bubble over. To strengthen your emotional wellbeing, address your fears and try to accept them. Mindfulness is one of the best tools we have for learning to acknowledge fears and emotions. This meditation technique is simply about tuning in to the present moment. In mindfulness, you learn to experience your thoughts and emotions without judgement, which, says Freeman, allows you to “welcome bad vibes without getting lost in them.” If you’ve ever noticed your brain jumping from a flash of inspiration to the shopping list, you’ll know that staying focused on the present moment takes practice. So, set aside time for mindfulness every day and consider it part of your emotional workout routine. Prioritising time to meditate will help you develop the strength and endurance you need to apply mindfulness to everyday activities and emotions. You only need to do a little – 10 to 15 minutes a day, drawing on equipment like books, videos, podcasts and apps. You could even join a meditation group, in person or online. Think of it like a running group, where you’d use the motivation and support to maximise your performance. Learning to quiet your mind and concentrate on something as simple as your breath when emotions start to overwhelm you can help you rise calmly to meet life’s challenges. “Trying to avoid negative experiences or only have positive thoughts will, ultimately, make you miserable,” adds Freeman. “Like avoiding lifting anything heavy at the gym: what happens? You can’t lift anything heavy! By learning to lift heavy emotions, you can carry happiness wherever you go.” @womensfitnessau


Emotional cross-training Consider these daily dos a healthy side dish to your mind workouts

EAT WELL Nourishing your body nurtures your mind, so it’s important to eat well to fuel your emotional fitness. That means focusing on the good stuff like fresh fruit and veggies, wholegrains and lean protein. MOVE YOUR BOD Aim to get moving in some way every day. It doesn’t have to be a full-on HIIT workout – a lunchtime stroll, yoga class or throwing the ball for your dog counts towards your quota. Research shows that regular movement contributes to a healthier state of mind, which will give you a solid base from which to work on your EQ.


SLEEP BETTER Not only is sleep important for everyday functions, it also allows your brain to eliminate toxins that build up during the day. Prioritising sleep helps you to handle your emotions better and creates new connections that will support you as you train your brain.





ThinkFIT W HA T ’ S YO U R # LI FE M O T TO ?

If it doesn’t challenge you,

it doesn’t change you A serious back injury wasn’t going to stop Skei Hanlon, 40, from hitting her fitness goals


it slowly over time because I thought that if I swing into it too hard at the start then I’m going to burn out. I just loved the training part of it so I ended up doing about 10 sessions a week, everything from high-intensity group sessions to running, spinning and weights.

back into running and managed to do a half-marathon. I was told I’d never run again! In terms of mindset, the challenge really boosted my confidence. It just gave me that breath of fresh air to feel better about me. It wasn’t about anyone else, it was about me and what I needed. People

“It wasn’t about anyone else, it was about what I needed. People love you no matter what, but I didn’t love me” Because of my back I’m restricted in some ways, so I was nervous that people would wonder why I was lifting such light weights at the group sessions, but my trainer and the support of the other people doing the challenge really helped. We had such a good group network, if one of us was feeling down or struggling with willpower, we would message our group and someone would message back pretty quickly to help you stay positive. It’s really hard training on your own so that support made a big difference. At the end of the 12 weeks, I had dropped 15kg and 19 per cent body fat, and increased my muscle mass. I also got



love you no matter what, but I didn’t love me, so it really helped. Exercise is my antidepressant! I’m still training about six times a week now and I’ve been able to maintain where I was at pretty well. My next goal is to do the Oxfam 100km walk with a group of people. I like to make sure I always have a challenge ahead of me to keep up my routine and flow, and make sure I don’t take a step backwards. If I could give any advice to others dealing with injury, it’d be to get to know your body – while you can’t do everything, there’s plenty of other things that you can do. It doesn’t stop you living your life. @womensfitnessau


ABOUT THREE-AND-A-HALF YEARS AGO I had major spinal surgery. I’d had a whole lot of small injuries – although no major injury – over a period of time that became worse and worse. It got to a point where I couldn’t sit for more than 30 seconds at a time, so I opted to try these spinal cord implants, which means that I have wires going through my spinal cord and a little battery pack that I have to charge every night. It’s not a cure, it’s only pain management, and it’s taken me around two-and-a-half years to work out what it can and can’t allow me to do with movement. I was a dancer when I was younger so I was always fi t, and then I put on weight due to injuries and completely lost my confidence. When I looked at photos from my 40th birthday, I thought, “that’s not me, I’m not that person”. That was what set my heart to say, okay, I need to work on this, and I signed up for the Goodlife Health Club 12 Week Transformation Challenge [available only for Goodlife members, next round starts 10 February]. Through the challenge you get a food plan and group workout sessions – I also opted for personal training. I started off doing a few sessions a week and increased


MONTH OF mantras Looking for some daily inspo? These mini motivational hits will do the trick. Cut them out and stick them around your home or work




What if?


Wherever you are, be all there 6



You are entirely

is proud of you 11






Stay in your





Hey girl, you’re killing it!



Be the energy you want to attract

When one grows,

we all grow


If you get tired,

learn to rest, not quit

Fight like a girl 20

No one is you and that is your power

Start now!




The magic is in the mess 10







Out-dream yourself

Eat, sleep, win at life, repeat

Like the stars, we all fall until we are in the right place

Don’t spend your life getting ready to live

Go get what you dream of








Difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations

Be thankful, BE GRATEFUL

GIFT A MANTRA Know someone who’d appreciate a little optimism in their life? Slip ’em one of these mantras.

Floves on Instagram to show #W g ta sh ha e th se U ! nd Spread the love arou us all the different ways you’ve gotten creative with these little messages.






VIBES Glass-half-empty kinda gal? You may be short-changing your health. Here’s how to always find the upside

LAST TIME LIFE DIDN’T GO YOUR WAY, did you put it down to lousy timing, poor decisions or old-fashioned bad luck? If so, you might need to refresh your positive mental attitude, for the good of your health. Research claims that those with an optimistic outlook on life are not only more likely to live a fuller, happier life, chances are they’ll enjoy a longer one, too. A study published in the journal Aging claims that happy people tend to live longer – and those who rack up 100-plus years have the sunniest dispositions of all. A previous study from the Mayo Clinic indicated that positive thinking could help to cut your risk of an early death by around 50 per cent, while findings from Carnegie Mellon University in the US showed that positive people are more likely to be healthier. But it’s not just in fighting off sickness and old age that positivity can make its mark, it can also help you achieve your life goals. “Positive thought is incredibly powerful,” says therapist Marisa Peer. “Positive thoughts can overcome adversity, illness and take you right to the top, because what you think, you tend to believe.”






To start thinking on the bright side, examine your inner dialogue. “What we say to ourselves has an amazing impact on how we feel and what we do,” says Julie Hurst, a psychotherapist, hypnotherapist and life coach. “Calling yourself names – ‘I’m so stupid for doing that’; ‘I was an idiot then’; ‘I’m such a loser’, for example – is destructive. We would never speak to our friends that way, so why is it acceptable when speaking to yourself?” This kind of self-sabotage can ebb away at your confidence and derail your goals. “Negative thoughts can really stop you in your tracks,” says women’s health specialist Dr Catherine Hood. “If you feel under-confident about your own abilities or unmotivated, it’s easier to avoid a difficult situation than face it.” Take that new clean-eating plan you’ve been trying to stick to... if you could only curb your 4pm chocolate habit. “If you think you’ll never be able to lose weight, then why bother going through the difficult first few days of a diet?” says Dr Hood. “If you tell yourself you can do it, it’s easier to stick to your guns.” To bolster your willpower, Dr Hood suggests swapping pessimistic phrases such as, “I can’t have that piece of chocolate,” for authoritative phrases like, “I don’t want to eat that piece of chocolate.” As she explains, “‘Can’t’, ‘shouldn’t’ and ‘not allowed’ imply that some external power is forbidding you. The reality is that only you can change your life. If you want the chocolate you can have it, but think of the reasons you want to avoid it. Positive choices will help boost your willpower.”



Sometimes, a goal seems so insurmountable that you can’t help giving in to the niggling feeling that it will never happen, like that big promotion you’ve been angling for. Instead of telling yourself that it’s out of reach, break your goal down into a few more achievable steps. “‘Never’ is a horrible word as it takes away all hope. It implies that you won’t succeed no matter how hard you try, so why bother. And it’s also often untrue,” says Dr Hood. “It’s important the goals you set are realistic. If you set the bar too high, then you won’t achieve it and all you’ll feel is a sense of failure. Setting realistic goals can be really motivating, particularly if you give yourself praise for achieving them.” Of course, none of us are completely immune to moments of self-doubt, and it’s perfectly normal to have a confidence wobble every now and then – just as long as you don’t let those moments of negativity control you. The trick is to ignore your negative thoughts and act on your positive thoughts. According to Phil Parker, author of The 10 Questions to Ask for Success (Hay House, $16.95), you can make your positive thoughts



more effective by putting them on paper. “Make a list of the things you want, and make sure the wording is positive,” Parker says. If your goal is to improve your love life, for example, write “I am loveable” not, “I don’t want to be alone”. “Visualise those goals coming your way and start making an action plan for how you are going to get those things,” Parker adds. “Finally, take the first step of your action plan.” This could be as simple as letting a friend set you up on a blind date.


Unfortunately, some negative thoughts can be trickier to control than others – especially when they fool the brain into perceiving imaginary problems. You know that hot guy you were afraid to talk to in case you stammered and blushed? That was negative thinking letting your imagination run wild. What about the time you refused to speak up in a meeting in case your idea got laughed out of the room? Again, negative thinking. Steve Tromans, a hypnotherapist and neuro-linguistic programming practitioner, has a few pointers. “Close your eyes and think ahead to a place where typically you’d be engaged in negative thought patterns,” he says. It might be that important work meeting where you have to pitch ideas. “Imagine you are looking at a tiny you in a tiny, distant situation. Visually distancing the thought tends to diminish the emotion attached to it. You are giving yourself a sense of perspective, literally.” Next, suggests Tromans, rewrite the scenario in your mind. Picture yourself again, only this time, your bosses are nodding at your ideas. “See yourself engaging in the new behaviour, radiant and happy.” It’s important to go easy on yourself when those inner doubts do creep in. “We all think silly things from time to time,” says Tromans. “Talk to yourself kindly. There’s always a way out of a negative thought pattern.”

Note to self

Use these affirmations daily for a feel-good fix

“I am enoug h.”

“I’m ready and good enough to have the life I love, now.”




! n i W




GOT A BIG FITNESS GOAL ON YOUR HORIZON? A year’s worth of free workouts is just the kind of boost you need. Goodlife Health Clubs is one of Australia’s largest and most popular health club chains, supporting more than 230,000 members to live healthier and more active lifestyles. To help Women’s Fitness readers reach their goals this year, Goodlife is offering you the chance to win one of three 12-month Home Memberships for 2018! With 77 convenient locations across Australia, Goodlife makes it easy to find

a fully equipped club close to home or work, so you can stay on top of your healthy lifestyle. With 24-hour access in most clubs, an extensive range of group fitness classes on offer and a guided 12-week challenge to help you nail your body goals, Goodlife will get you on the road to your fittest year ever. The best bit? You won’t just score a gym membership, you’ll join the Goodlife extended family. It’s the team and members that make Goodlife unique – don’t miss your chance to be part of this healthy and supportive tribe.

For your chance to score one of the three memberships on offer, visit womensfitness. and answer in 25 words or less, what motivates you to hit the gym?

Competition opens 22 January 2018 and closes 5pm AEDT 18 February 2018. Open to Australian residents only aged 18 years and over. One entry per person. The prize includes 3 x Goodlife Health Club 12 Month Home Memberships. Value: SA: $980.40; NSW, QLD, VIC, WA: $1,084.40. Total prize pool available: $3,253.20. Prize not available in ACT, Tas or NT. For full terms and conditions, visit Please see contents page for location of the Women’s Fitness Privacy Policy. The Promoter is Citrus Media. 46






Let’s hear it for the girls! Scientists have just proved what we’ve always sneakily suspected – women are naturally more fit than men. According to researchers from the University of Waterloo in the US, women process oxygen more quickly than men when they start to exercise, meaning they’re less likely to accumulate molecules associated with muscle fatigue, effort perception and poor athletic performance. To determine the fitter of the species, the study monitored the oxygen uptake and muscle oxygen extraction of 18 young men and women during a treadmill workout. The female volunteers consistently out-performed the dudes, with around 30 per cent faster oxygen uptake throughout the body. While researchers say the results could end up changing the way we approach athletic training in the future, for now we’ll just enjoy the bragging rights to superior fitness.


n o t e G

board You’ve got to be fit if you wanna hang ten

PSA: SURFER CHICKS DON’T JUST HAVE AMAZING HAIR, epic tans and a laidback vibe, they’re also seriously fit. You need a core of steel, strong shoulders and top cardio fitness to spend hours paddling in the ocean, popping up on a board and balancing on the water. So whether you’ve got your eye on the horizon this summer or just want to look like you spent your holidays in the waves, jump on this sweet sweat sesh, designed to challenge your core and build your upper-body strength. Surfboard optional, stoke essential! HOW TO DO IT: Perform all the reps for each move one after the other. Rest for 5 to 15 seconds between each move. Once you’ve done a full circuit, go back to the start and repeat. YOU’LL NEED: Bosu balance trainer, 2 x dumbbells, medicine ball or kettlebell, stability ball


Star 4 reps o ting out? f ea ch m 3 sets ove, N e ed a 6 reps o challenge? f ea ch m 5 sets ove, Alm 8 reps o ost pro? f ea ch m 6 sets ove,



GREAT FOR: SIDES, STOMACH Technique ■ Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet off the floor, back neutral and holding a weight straight out in front of you.

■ Twist your torso as far as you can to the left, bringing the weight with you, then reverse the motion, twisting as far as you can to the right. That’s one rep.


Keep your elbows soft at the top of the movement


Try not to h unch your shoulder s

GREAT FOR: CORE, REAR UPPER ARMS, BACK Technique ■ Sit on the ball, feet apart and holding a dumbbell with both hands overhead. ■ Squeeze your elbows together, then bend to lower the weight down behind your head. ■ When the dumbbell reaches neck level, extend the weight upwards and repeat the motion.


GREAT FOR: BOTTOM, CORE, SHOULDERS Technique ■ Start standing on the deck of the Bosu with a dumbbell in each hand by your sides. ■ Bend at your hips and knees to lower yourself into a squat, keeping your weight in your heels and your body as upright as possible. ■ As you squat down, raise the dumbbells up in front of you with arms straight, but elbows soft. ■ Extend your hips and knees back to the start while you lower the dumbbells back down.







GREAT FOR: CORE Technique ■ Start in a high plank position with your hands under your shoulders and feet on a stability ball. Keep your back straight and in line with your head. ■ Hold this position with your tummy muscles tight, and contract your abs to make a flat surface. Hold the plank for 30 seconds.


GREAT FOR: BOTTOM, THIGHS, CORE, SHOULDERS Technique ■ Start standing, holding a kettlebell in one hand by your side. ■ Take a large step forwards and bend both knees to 90 degrees, until your back knee is hovering just above the floor. As you step into the lunge, pass the kettlebell to the other hand in front of your leading leg. ■ Step your back foot up to come to standing with your feet together. ■ Repeat with the opposite leg for the following rep.

6 BOSU SIDE PLANK STAR GREAT FOR: CORE, SIDES Technique ■ Place one hand on the ball of the Bosu and stack one foot on top of the other, 50

engaging your core to stabilise and keep your body in a straight line. ■ Extend your top arm to the ceiling and



raise your top leg to create a star shape. ■ Hold for 30 seconds each side to complete this move. @womensfitnessau




GREAT FOR: SHOULDERS, ARMS Technique ■ Sit on a stability ball holding a dumbbell in each hand by your sides. ■ Keeping your elbows close to your body, curl the dumbbells up to your shoulders. ■ Press the dumbbells up towards the ceiling, rotating your palms to face forwards as you do so. ■ Reverse the movements to lower back to the start and repeat.


GREAT FOR: BOTTOM, THIGHS, CORE, ARMS Technique just above the floor. As you do ■ Stand holding a dumbbell in this, curl both dumbbells up to each hand by your sides. your shoulders, keeping your ■ Keeping your back straight, elbows close to your sides. ■ Return to the start position and take a large step forwards and repeat, stepping forward with the bend both knees to 90 degrees, opposite leg. That’s one rep. until your back knee is hovering


Search for womensfitnessau on Spotify to get this workout’s matching playlist!


GREAT FOR: BOTTOM, THIGHS, CORE Technique your bottom behind you, ■ Stand holding keeping your weight in dumbbells in each your heels. ■ Push up through your hand by your sides. ■ Squat, bending at your heels back to the start hips and knees to lower and repeat.

Keep your shoulders back as you squat






BENT-OVER ROW Get strong, improve posture and balance out your body with this classic lifting move

GOT A HUNCH? THIS MOVE WILL STRAIGHTEN YOUR BODY OUT. When it comes to the upper body, we often end up doing far more pushing exercises such as push-ups and chest presses, rather than pulling ones. This can create an imbalance between the muscles on the front and back of the body, so it’s important you get pulling. The bent-over row is an oldie (but a goodie!) that will help to balance out your body, rewarding you with better posture. “This is a back-to-basics move that’s great for making postural improvements as well as boosting strength,” explains personal trainer Richard Tidmarsh. There’s a bonus, too: “The scapula control and pulling-based strength gained through bent-over rows will be a stepping stone to a pull-up.” Hello, #fitgoals! Whether your aim is to get stronger, tone up or to improve your posture, you need to include the bent-over row in your workouts. Try five sets of six to 10 reps, depending on your gym prowess. It’s a simple, effective move to have in your toolkit – plus, every gym has a barbell!

Focus on k e epin back flat as g your you do this one – don’t let your lower bac overarch or k your upper back round


YOU’LL NEED: A barbell HOW TO DO IT ■ Start standing upright, holding a barbell with your arms fully extended. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, bend your knees to around 30 degrees and push your hips backwards with your weight in your heels, so that your upper body is almost parallel to the floor. ■ Row the barbell up to your belly button, keeping your shoulder blades squeezed together as you pull. ■ Lower the bar back to full extension without letting your shoulders round.







Chair pose Take a seat for your next yoga flow

TOO BUSY FOR YOGA? Never. This smart yoga session is perfect for office workers – and you don’t even need to get out of your chair to do it. “Chair yoga is made up of simple exercises you can do daily that will help strengthen and stretch your body while focusing your mind and helping you tap into your breath,” explains Kristin McGee, author of Chair Yoga: Sit, Stretch and Strengthen Your Way to a Happier, Healthier You (Piatkus, $32.99). Take time out during your day for this seated stretch session and you can expect to see improvements in flexibility, mobility and strength. It’s also a great way to see off stress when pressure bites. Namaste! HOW TO DO IT: Work through the poses, one after the other, resting whenever you need to.


YOU’LL NEED: A chair







Keep a tall seated postur e in the chair

GREAT FOR: SHOULDERS, ARMS, STOMACH, SIDES together, looking up at your hands. Technique ■ Sit tall at the edge of your seat. ■ Exhale as you bring your arms back ■ Inhale as you bring your arms up to your sides. ■ Repeat 6 times. overhead and press your palms



Keep your shoulders away from your ears

GREAT FOR: REAR UPPER ARMS, SHOULDERS, BACK Technique ■ Interlace your hands overhead and invert your palms to the ceiling. ■ Inhale as you bend your elbows to the sides. ■ Exhale as you extend your arms back up overhead. ■ Repeat 6-8 times.




Technique ■ Sit with your feet wider than the chair and toes and knees turned out. ■ Engage your core and place your hands behind your head with your elbows out wide. ■ Lean to your left side as you lift the left knee, bringing your left elbow towards it, then return to the start with control. ■ Repeat 20 times (10 to each side).

Keep your core switched on to stay stable!






GREAT FOR: STOMACH, CORE Technique ■ Sit at the edge of your seat with your hands firmly gripping the chair seat on either side of your hips. ■ Extend your legs straight out in front of you and kick them alternately as you ‘scissor’ your legs. ■ Scissor for 20 reps (10 each leg).


Search for womensfitnessau on Spotify to get this workout’s matching playlist!

GREAT FOR: STOMACH, SIDES, CORE elbow on top of your right Technique ■ Sit tall, then open your right knee as you extend your left knee to the side and turn your arm overhead at a 45-degree right toes out to the right. angle, gazing at your elbow. ■ Extend your left leg straight ■ Hold the pose and breathe out and angle your toes for 5-8 breaths. ■ Repeat on the opposite side. inwards slightly. ■ From here, rest your right Repeat on each side twice.

Keep your rig ht hand on your hip if you’re a beginner

Keep you and sp r neck ine lon g


GREAT FOR: BOTTOM, THIGHS behind you, pressing through Technique ■ Stand to the right side of the ball of your foot. Lift your your chair and hold on to the right arm straight up. Hold top of the chair back. here for 5-8 breaths. ■ Lunge your left foot forward ■ Repeat the pose on the and extend your right leg back opposite side.







GREAT FOR: BOTTOM, STOMACH, LOWER BACK ■ Lift your right leg, bend your knee and Technique ■ Stand behind your chair. Place your pulse your heel up to the ceiling 20 times. ■ Repeat on the left side. Remember to elbows on it and walk your feet back until breathe as you pulse your leg. your body is almost parallel to the floor.




WF’s digital content coordinator Tess Mol gives this seated sesh a go As a newbie to the desk-job scene, my back, shoulders and neck have been telling me sternly I need to break up my work flow with more movement, and this little stretch did just the trick. Fave move: The extended side angle – I looove a lateral stretch. It allowed me to extend my core, neck and shoulders all in one go. This is the perfect antidote to a hunch-over-yourcomputer desk job. Toughest part: The goddess side crunches – who named them that?! I certainly don’t feel like a goddess when I’m doing them. Core. On. Fire. Final verdict: This is the perfect little yoga flow routine to break up the working day. While it made my core burn (and made me a little sweaty!) getting in touch with my breath and body mid-way through the day was incredibly beneficial. I got back to my to-do list way more energised, feeling fresher, extra focused and sitting up a whole lot straighter in my chair!

Keep your abs scooped in and your hips facing the floor throug hout


GREAT FOR: REAR UPPER ARMS, CORE Technique ■ Stand facing the back of your chair. Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the back of the chair. ■ Keep your arms straight and step back, keeping your body in a straight line from your head to your heels. Engage your abs and bend your elbows (keeping them close to your sides) to do a push-up. ■ Exhale, then push back up to the start position. ■ Repeat 10-12 times.

Keep your elbows tucked in, skimming your ribcage as you lower






HIIT IT DON’T QUIT IT! Read this before you tackle your next high-intensity interval session





BeFIT HERE’S SOMETHING THAT PROBABLY WON’T COME AS A SURPRISE: high-intensity interval training (HIIT, aka intense bouts of exercise followed by brief periods of rest) isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has placed HIIT among its top five fitness trends for four years running, and it seems we can’t go a week without a new HIIT class launching. The appeal is obvious – HIIT is great at getting you fit, fast – but how can you be sure you’re getting the most from your HIIT workout? Personal trainer Matt Crane warns that your body will master any form of exercise that you do regularly, leading to less progress over time. “Your body will get used to this type of training and you’ll need to change the way you work out,” he says. And fitness experts worry that our gung-ho approach to training means we’re missing out on the benefits of performing exercises properly. “While moving fast will raise your heart rate and burn energy, doing the moves right is key to activating the correct muscles and maximising on your workout,” explains personal trainer and gym founder Jess Schuring. Want to fire up your intervals? Read on to nail your next HIIT class.



Sure, HIIT is all about moving quickly so that you break a sweat, but doing an exercise correctly – if a little slower – will mean you reap more fitness rewards. New exercises require muscular and neurological coordination, so give your body time to master the movement. Rushing through it means you risk doing the move incorrectly and stressing the wrong muscles. “Doing the moves properly is key to staying injury-free and getting results,” says Schuring. “Next time you’re doing a burpee, get your chest close to the ground to work your chest and arm muscles. Keep your shoulders over your wrists during

mountain climbers, and keep your chest upright during your next squat jump. Slow down the pace because speed will come naturally as you improve and engage the right muscles.”


HIIT training should feel hard, but how speedily you move will depend on your individual fitness level. How do you know if you’re working hard enough? Fitness instructor Janine George recommends measuring your heart rate. “You should be performing at 80-95 per cent of your estimated maximum heart rate [to calculate your MHR, subtract your age from 220]. This intensity is enough to make you feel breathless and sweaty,” she says. Achieving this intensity will hinge on recovering fully between activity efforts, so aim to get your heart rate down to 40-50 per cent of your max rate before moving again.


There’s no doubt about it – high-intensity exercise requires oodles of energy, so don’t try to do it on an empty stomach. “Eat one to two hours before working out and aim to have something that’s high in protein, contains carbohydrates, good fats and includes veggies. Poached eggs with smoked salmon, spinach and avocado on potato rösti is a good example,” says Crane. “I wouldn’t advise doing a HIIT session very late in the evening because it can leave you on an adrenaline high, which might make it difficult to sleep.”


We get it – you don’t want to be the one performing push-ups on your knees while everyone else does the full move. But here’s the thing – you’ll get much better results doing a regression exercise (the easier form of a move) properly than others will get from doing the full move poorly.

“If you progress too quickly, you’ll develop bad form and shift the work away from the targeted muscles,” warns George. “This could place extra stress on your joints, risking injury, and might mean you fatigue quickly as well.” The take-home message? Exercise for results, not for show.


Take note: if you can do two HIIT workouts in a row, you’re not a beast. You’re just not working hard enough. “You should feel fully fatigued at the end of a HIIT session,” says personal trainer Kelly Du Boisson, “So, if you still have enough energy to do a spin class or an hour of yoga, you haven’t worked hard enough and won’t benefit from the EPOC [excess post-exercise oxygen consumption] fat-burning effect.” HIIT sessions shouldn’t last much longer than 30 minutes, but newbies may only be able to cope with five minutes of exercise at such a high intensity – and that’s okay, too. Aim for a maximum of two to three HIIT workouts per week, alternating between these sessions and low-tomoderate-intensity exercise.


Your muscles are on fire and you’re ready to collapse – nope, it’s not time for a breather, it’s time to push harder. “The burning sensation you feel in your muscles will make you want to stop,” says George. “It’s a key indicator that you’re in the right zone, as is feeling breathless. When you’re breathless, your body has been pushed to the maximum, producing energy for muscles without the necessary requirement of oxygen. This results in an anaerobic state that leads to EPOC, which raises your metabolism and causes the body to burn kilojoules for up to 24 hours after working out.” It’ll hurt, but keep going when you feel the burn and you’ll be better for it.


Follow these commandments from Steve Barrett, author of The HIIT Bible: Supercharge Your Body and Brain (Bloomsbury, $15.99), for a next-level sesh. FIND THE RIGHT BALANCE

Some of my PT clients always look for a reason to give up; others ask for a refund if still standing at the end. Make your own judgement call on how hard you should push yourself.


This is my mantra. Rather than going all out in the first workout, practise drills and movement patterns. Work at perfecting technique and developing fitness before adding intensity.




Work out smart. Aim to improve one rep at a time before you attempt to do an exercise flat-out or try a method such as AMRAP (as many reps as possible in a set time).




AROUND! Give your workout some bounce to get strong and lean, fast





BeFIT THE EASIEST WAY TO SHAPE UP FAST? Jumping will do it. Dynamic, explosive moves work your body hard and send your heart rate soaring to get you next-level results on the double. This high-intensity workout is full of jumping moves and it’s so efficient you’ll be done and dusted in under 15 minutes. But don’t be fooled – it’s a toughie. There’s barely any rest – instead, you’ll use skipping as active recovery in between sets of plyometric moves. The good news is, when this session is done your heart rate will return to normal, but your metabolism will keep on cranking well after your cool-down. Ready to work? Let’s bounce.



Technique ■ Start in a lunge position with both legs at 90 degrees, and your back knee just above the floor. ■ Jump up as high as you can, extending

both legs. Switch legs at the height of the jump and land softly in a lunge with your opposite leg in front. ■ Keep jumping fluidly, alternating sides with each jump.

Keep your torso uprig ht and hip s square

HOW TO DO IT: After a dynamic warm-up, alternate one minute of skipping with 30 seconds of work for each exercise, all performed at high intensity and a fast pace. Once you’ve completed the circuit, high-five – you’re done. Take a breather, and if you’re up for it, you can do the circuit again. YOU’LL NEED: Skipping rope, bench, kettlebell, dumbbells


GREAT FOR: BOTTOM, THIGHS, CORE Technique ■ Stand with a box in front of you. ■ Load up by half-squatting then jump up onto the box and land softly in a squat. ■ Stand up straight then step back to the start and repeat.






Keep your chest proud as you lower


GREAT FOR: ALL OVER! Technique ■ Crouch down to place your hands flat on the floor by your feet. ■ Jump your feet back into a plank

GREAT FOR: BOTTOM, THIGHS, CORE, SIDES Technique ■ Bend at your knees and hips to lower your bottom out behind you as low as possible. ■ From this position, jump up as high as you can and rotate your body 180 degrees mid-air. ■ Land softly straight into another squat facing the opposite side of the room, and with the next rep, rotate in the opposite direction. Turn with each rep.

position, then immediately jump them back to the start. ■ Jump up as high as you can, then land softly and go straight into another rep.

Keep your core engaged


5 WIDE-TO-NARROW SQUAT JUMP GREAT FOR: BOTTOM, THIGHS Technique ■ Start with your feet wider than shoulderwidth apart, toes pointing slightly out. ■ Lower yourself into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground. ■ From here, jump up as high as you can. While mid-air, bring your feet together. ■ Land softly then lower into another squat, this time with feet together. ■ Jump up again, bringing your feet back to a wide position while mid-air. ■ Land softly and repeat.







GREAT FOR: BOTTOM, THIGHS, CORE Technique ■ Holding a dumbbell in each hand by your sides, stand with one foot behind you and the other foot slightly ahead of your body. ■ Bend both legs to lower into a lunge, keeping your front heel on the floor. ■ From here, jump up and land softly, going straight into another rep. ■ Switch leg position at 15 seconds.

Keep your hips and shoulders square



Technique ■ Standing with a light kettlebell on the floor in front of you, squat deeply to take hold of it by the handle. ■ Jump off the floor explosively, extending your body straight. Land softly with knees bent and lower the kettlebell back towards the floor before going straight into another rep. Search for womensfitnessau on Spotify to get this workout’s matching playlist!



GREAT FOR: BOTTOM, THIGHS, BACK, HIPS Technique ■ Step one foot back and lower into a lunge with both knees at 90 degrees and your back knee hovering just above the floor. ■ From here, jump to extend your front leg and bring your back knee up towards your chest. ■ Lower from the jump back to the start position and repeat. Switch your leg position at 15 seconds.











Got a need for speed? This expert plan will help you beat the clock

BeFIT YOU TRAIN HARD, SO YOU DESERVE TO RUN FAST. Your body will thank you for it too: speedy running helps develop fast-twitch fibres, which studies show can melt fat and make higher mileage, at a relatively slower pace, seem easier. Trouble is, speed declines with age – fast-twitch fibres can reduce by as much as 30 per cent between the ages of 20 and 80. Yikes! Luckily, there’s a trade-off : swap some of your time on the road for minutes in the weights room and you’ll offset fast-twitch fibre shrinkage, improve your running economy (that’s how much energy you expend with each stride) and look leaner to boot. “If you haven’t been doing any conditioning work, you can make huge speed gains in just three to four months thanks to greater power, technical improvements and a stronger core that can withstand the impact forces of running,” reveals Nike trainer and speed expert Courtney Fearon. Not so sure about dedicating some of your precious training time to weights work? Know this: running is a high-impact sport and each footfall generates a force of around three to four times your own bodyweight. To run faster and with fewer injuries, your body needs to be able to absorb that force and use it to move forward; that requires single-leg balance, core strength and explosive muscles from the hips to the feet (including the glutes, quads, hamstrings and calf muscles). Enter speed conditioning work. “Speed conditioning is for every runner,” says Fearon. “Runners need to be able to jump, land and rebound efficiently. Those training for a marathon need to be strong enough to withstand the repetitive loading that comes from pounding the roads for a long time. Those training for speed need to be able to jump and spend minimal time on the floor before jumping off again.” So it’s clear you need to condition your body for whatever running you’re doing. Fearon takes us through his go-to gym plan for speeding up your runs.


Before you can even think about strength training, you must warm up and prepare your muscles for exercise, and this means doing dynamic moves that will fire up

“You can make huge speed gains with conditioning work thanks to greater power and technical improvements” your brain-to-muscle communication, lubricate joints and increase core body temperature. Aim to do mobilising moves that use the major running muscles, such as your quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves. Fearon recommends doing a series of resistance-band moves, including banded squats, crab walks and glute bridges, to get your body prepped.

minimal time in contact with the ground.” These two exercises will teach you to hit the ground with good form, so you can use the impact energy you’ve absorbed to reaccelerate.


To run fast, you have to train at pace, so add sprint work to your conditioning session. “I like to combine sprint work with power movements,” says Fearon. “A lot of the professional track athletes start with technique and speed work, then head into the gym to do strength work. You need good technique, raw speed and power when you race, so it helps to put different methods together: technique drills and speed work, speed work and plyometric exercises, plyometric exercises and heavy lifts.” Try doing some fast running: 60 metres at maximum pace followed by a 30-second low plank (that’s resting on your forearms, focusing on good form to replicate the core stability and hip integrity required for running when tired) and a 60-90-second recovery. Repeat 10 times. Aim to sprint at maximum speed to boost your speed adaptations.

Plenty of runners shy away from heavy lifting, thinking it will cause them to build bulk that will slow them down. Not so. Done correctly, weighted exercises will teach your body to move with good posture and trunk stiffness when under load. Runners who can’t do this are actually less efficient and are also at greater risk of injury. “Do some heavy lifting for the lower limbs,” says Fearon. “I recommend the deadlift because it has a hip-hinging pattern that strengthens hips, and it also strengthens posterior chain muscles [that’s the hamstrings, calves, butt and core: all required for running].” Add to that some variation of a squat, such as a rear-elevated split squat, which is a bit like a lunge and has a similar body pattern to running. After warming up and getting to grips with the movements, aim to do three sets of five repetitions with a weight you find challenging.

LEAP TO IT Plyometric (aka jumping) moves boost

speed and power, as well as stimulate fast-twitch fibres in the muscle. Jumping and rebounding are two great moves for runners to add to their training. “Try doing a depth jump off various heights, starting with a small 15cm box and progressing up to a 75cm box when your form is perfect and your body is capable,” says Fearon. “Begin simply by jumping off the box into the ideal landing position [soft knees, activated core]. Then progress to rebounding off the floor by landing with good form and immediately jumping again, spending





When it comes to running well and without pain, good technique is key. When you’ve perfected these drills, keep challenging your body by progressing onto tougher variations of the moves. “Strength and speed moves, such as power cleans or kettlebell swings, are great for increasing running power,” adds Fearon. “And when you’re ready, try the moves you’ve mastered using single-leg variations. For example, single-leg deadlifts, split squats, hopping and even depth jumps on one leg – but only when your body is strong enough.” Love this? Search for more like it on KEYWORDS: RUNNING FITNESS



Fitness FAQ If your workout routine is a hot and sweaty mess, get the lowdown on exactly how to train from celebrity PT James Duigan



NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU LISTENED IN PE CLASS, it’s almost impossible not to feel totally confused by today’s array of workout kit and fitness advice. Should you stretch before or after your workout? Is it okay to spend a long time on the treadmill, or no time at all? What does that stretchy band actually do? Of course, you could hire a personal trainer to outsource the job of deciphering it all for you. Or, you could read up on this nononsense advice from celebrity trainer and Bodyism founder James Duigan (, and plan your own killer workouts. Yep, that’s more like it. Notepads at the ready!




BeFIT The Q: How often should I work out?

“Find time to move every day in different ways. Don’t just stick to the gym – go for a walk in the park, carry your shopping home or offer to give someone a piggyback to work from the bus stop (only kidding – maybe you shouldn’t do that one). You get the point. Embrace change. If we think of exercise in the same way we think about food, it will illustrate why balance and variety is so important. Is broccoli good for us? Yes, absolutely. So, should we just eat broccoli every day and nothing else? Absolutely not. Ask the same question with exercise: is running good for you? Yes. Is it all you should ever do? Absolutely not. Be balanced about your workouts. I lift weights for 20 minutes twice a week, I do yoga, and I do jiu-jitsu three times a week.”

The Q: Do I really need to warm up?

“What we consider ‘warming up’ doesn’t simply mean 20 minutes on the treadmill; it means intelligent, targeted movement preparation. Movement preparation literally prepares your body for the activity that it’s about to do. It’s dedicated to getting the right muscles switched on, so you achieve results in less time, prevent injury and optimise your workout. So, hip extensions switch on your glute (bottom) muscles, plank variations switch on your abdominals, Supermans switch on your postural muscles and connect your arms and legs with your abdominals. All of these have a really powerful reason behind them and are a simple but effective way of preparing your body for whatever moves you’re about to do.”


The Q: How can I get a flat tummy?

“A flat tummy won’t make you happy, but being happy will give you a flat tummy. All the things that make people happy – less stress, nourishing foods, a good night’s sleep – will lead to a flat tummy as a by-product. Also, a flat tummy is way more than doing ab crunches. In fact, your stomach is almost like a second brain. It’s no accident that they call it ‘gut instinct’. So much of it is emotionally driven. So, if you can find ways to relieve your stress, you’ll see the effects in your tummy. Also, if you heal your gut, it solves so many seemingly unrelated problems – emotionally, physically and hormonally. If you get your digestion right, everything else is easy.”

The Q: How long should I exercise for?

“The fact is, if you’re training for 90 minutes to two hours, you’re not doing it in the most effective way. You can make significant progress with your body, without damaging it, just by simply working the three aspects of movement intelligently:


Movements that challenge your balance include single-leg work, single-arm work, certain yoga poses and even closing your eyes while doing a familiar movement such as a squat or a lunge.


This can be anything from lifting weights to bodyweight exercises, such as squats, single lunges, push-ups or, if you’re ready for it, handstands.


This includes the full spectrum, from sustained cardio, such as a long walk in the park, to highintensity cardio, such as sprints. A really good, balanced fitness program will incorporate all three of the above. Even if you’re training for a marathon, it’s important to implement all three aspects of exercise. If you just run without doing joint stabilisation, strength-work and skill-based balance work, there’s a greater chance of injury through faulty movement patterns and unstable joints.”



The Q: How long will it take to see results?

“It depends on what you mean by ‘results’. As we know, any change that happens in your body happens in your mind first. So the second you commit to being kind to yourself and living a long, happy, healthy life is the very moment that you get the most important and powerful transformation: the change in your mind. The rest is easy and you will then start to see the results in your body very quickly. The changes that you see in your body are just a side effect of the wonderful changes that you make in your mind, and when you truly begin to enjoy the process and appreciate that journey, as opposed to a series of destinations, not only do you stop thinking about results in terms of a number on a scale, but your body transforms. This is when the most dramatic changes happen.”

The Q: What moves will lift my butt?

“Resistance bands are one of the only pieces of equipment we use at Bodyism. They are incredibly effective and are such an intelligent way to lift your butt without overworking your quads (a very common problem for people who sit at a desk all day). The other great thing about the bands is they enable you to work your butt without damaging your knees, hips or ankles. It actually helps to stabilise those joints, too. If you don’t have the bands, then hip extensions and squat thrusts are your butt’s best friend. Another great thing is to actively squeeze your glutes whenever you can. Just squeeze your butt for 10 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds. If you do this every day, you’ll get a smoking hot butt.”

For more fit tips, pick up a copy of James Duigan’s Blueprint for Health (Pavilion, $29.99).





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Uh, so we’ve all been a bit naughty when it comes to eating enough veggies. The latest annual Shape of Australia survey found that only one out of 10 of us are consuming the recommended five serves of vegetables every day. Worse still, 20 per cent of those surveyed dobbed in their housemates for not eating any at all! We know, five serves can sound like a lot when you’re not eating enough of the good stuff, so start small by adding a bit of veg to each meal. Try at least one of these ideas a day… 1 BREAKFAST Add a side of sautéed spinach and mushrooms to your scrambled eggs. 2 LUNCH Opt for a sashimi salad over your usual sushi roll. 3 SNACK Pair hummus with carrot sticks, sliced capsicum and crunchy cukes rather than rice crackers.


4 DINNER Swap the spag Bol for one of the delicious veggie burger recipes over the page.

DF = DAIRY FREE V = VEGETARIAN VG = VEGAN. GF = GLUTEN FREE DECODE OUR RECIPES: DF GF womensfitnessaustralia @womensfitnessmag @womensfitnessau


VEG OUT No meat necessary for these inventive veggie burgers and sides



600g firm tofu butter for frying 6 eggs TO SERVE 6 pickled radishes fresh coriander leaves or roots 6 burger buns butter for the buns 300g kimchi 6 tbs mayonnaise



1 Cut the tofu into 6 slices, then halve each slice. 2 Put a dry frying pan over a very high heat and wait until it is really hot. Place one slice of tofu at a time in the pan and gently press it down with a spatula. Fry the tofu quickly until the surface is blackened. The tofu must keep its cold, silky-smooth consistency inside, so it’s important that you don’t fry it for long. Remove and set aside. 3 Heat some butter in the frying pan. Fry the eggs carefully over a medium heat – the yolk must stay runny. 4 Thinly cut the pickled radishes and pick the coriander leaves or thinly shred the coriander roots. 5 Butter the buns on the cut surface and fry them quickly in a frying pan or grill them in the oven. 6 Place 2 slices of tofu at the bottom of each bun. Put a generous serving of kimchi, a dash of mayonnaise and some pickled radishes on top. Finish off with a fried egg and coriander leaves or shredded coriander roots.








4 large sweet potatoes 3 tbs peanut oil sea salt 2 garlic cloves 3 tbs butter 2 tbs finely chopped fresh parsley 50g Swiss hard cheese or Parmesan 1 Preheat the oven to 200°C.

2 Cut the sweet potatoes into sticks 5mm thick. Spread the sweet potatoes out on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle over the oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast the sweet potatoes for 20-30 minutes, stirring now and then. 3 Peel the cloves of garlic and crush them using the thick edge of a knife. Put the garlic into a cold saucepan together



with the butter. Melt the butter over a low heat. Put the saucepan to one side and leave for a few minutes so the butter takes on the flavour of the garlic. Pour the melted butter into a bowl (throw away the garlic). 4 Put the chips on a plate, spoon over the butter and sprinkle the parsley on top. Grate the cheese over and serve.



You can do so m cauliflower! Tr uch with y ro frying it in bu asting or t te the but ter re r. When aches the soft flesh, it ’s magical



3 small cauliflower heads (the diameter must correspond to the size of the bun) 150g butter at room temperature sea salt and freshly ground black pepper LEMON OIL shaved peel of 100ml olive oil


GOAT CHEESE CREAM 200g creamy goat cheese or feta 200g crème fraîche sea salt TO SERVE 6 burger buns butter for the buns


1 tbs coarsely crushed pink peppercorns watercress zest of lemon 1 Preheat the oven to 200°C. 2 For the lemon oil, heat the lemon peel and olive oil in a small saucepan. Remove the pan from the heat when the oil starts to simmer. Leave for 10 minutes so the lemon infuses the oil, then remove peel and reserve oil. 3 Trim the heads of cauliflower and rub in plenty of butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer them to an ovenproof dish and bake for 10 minutes in the middle of the oven. Then reduce the heat to 150°C and bake for a further 30-40 minutes,


until the cauliflower has taken on a golden colour and starts to soften. The florets should give if pressed gently, but must not go too soft, as they won’t hold together when cut. 4 Put the goat cheese or feta into a bowl and mash it with a fork. Add the crème fraîche and stir to make a smooth cream. Add salt to taste. 5 Butter the buns on the cut surface and fry them quickly in a frying pan or grill them in the oven. 6 Cut the cauliflower into 1cm-thick slices and place two slices on each bun. Spread on a little of the goat cheese cream, sprinkle over some crushed pink pepper and add a little watercress. Drizzle lemon oil over and top with a little lemon zest.





3-4 medium avocados freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime olive oil MARINATED BEANS 1 cups cooked black beans 2-3 smoked tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes if preferred) 1 spring onion, finely chopped 1 tsp finely chopped serrano chilli 1 tbs finely chopped fresh coriander 1 tsp finely chopped garlic 1 tbs white wine vinegar 2 tbs olive oil zest of 1 lime TO SERVE 6 burger buns

butter for the buns 6 tbs crème fraîche fresh parsley and coriander cayenne pepper 1 Rinse the beans and drain them well in a colander. Place in a large bowl. 2 Light the barbecue and make the smoked tomatoes. The smoky flavour adds a fantastic dimension to the bean mixture, but you can omit the smoking and use unsmoked tomatoes instead. Chop 2-3 tomatoes and add them and the other ingredients to the marinated beans. Stir carefully and put to one side. 3 Halve the avocados and remove the seeds, then carefully scoop out the avocado flesh with a spoon. Cut slices



that are as big as possible – about 1cm thick, depending on the size of the avocado. Put the slices on a plate and brush them with lime juice then with oil. 4 Grill the slices of avocado quickly on the barbecue over a really high heat or burn off the surface with a blowtorch. The surface of the avocado should be caramelised and nearly burnt, while the inside should be cold and retain its consistency. 5 Butter the buns on the cut surface and grill them quickly on the barbecue. 6 Slap a generous dollop of marinated beans on each bun. Then add 2 slices of avocado, a splash of crème fraîche, a little parsley and coriander. Finish off by sprinkling over a little cayenne pepper.





canola oil for frying 6 medium sweet potatoes 6 tbs coarse sea salt BLACK VINEGAR MIX 1 tsp roasted pepper seasoning 2 spring onions 2 tbs dark malt or red wine vinegar 3 black garlic cloves sea salt TO SERVE 6 burger buns butter for the buns 300g feta fresh marjoram or oregano ROASTED PEPPER SEASONING 2 tbs coriander seeds 2 tbs Sichuan pepper 2 tbs whole black peppercorns

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C. 2 To make the roasted pepper seasoning, heat a dry cast-iron pan over a medium heat. Toast the coriander seeds, Sichuan pepper and black peppercorns until the seeds start to go golden brown and there is a clear spice aroma. Pound the spices in a mortar or mix them to a fine powder with a hand blender. Set aside 1 teaspoon of seasoning and store the rest in a jar. 3 Cut off the green tops of the spring onions. Put the tops on a baking tray lined with baking paper and grill in the oven for 20 minutes until completely black. Thinly slice the white parts of the spring onions and save for the garnish. Put the burnt tops in a blender or food processor and mix to a fine powder. Add the vinegar, black garlic and 1 teaspoon of the roasted pepper seasoning and mix until smooth. Add salt to taste.

4 Heat some oil in a frying pan until it starts to smoke. Fry the sweet potatoes all over until the skins are crispy and on the verge of burning. Transfer them to an ovenproof dish, sprinkle sea salt over them and bake for about 45 minutes or until they are completely soft. 5 Split the potatoes lengthways and use a spoon to carefully scoop out the insides – try to get it out in one go so the potato doesn’t get mashed. Discard the skins. 6 Butter the buns on the cut surface and quickly fry them in a frying pan or grill them in the oven. 7 Shape the scooped-out sweet potato flesh into 6 round patties, either by hand or using a food ring. Place a sweet potato patty on each bun. Brush on the black vinegar mix, crumble over some feta and top off with sliced spring onions and a little fresh marjoram or oregano.

n of T he combinatio potatoes tender sweet of the and the acidity a real hit black vineg ar is

For more delicious veggie burgers, pick up a copy of Green Burgers by Martin Nordin (Hardie Grant Books, $29.99).






The brains behind these epic veggie burgers, Martin Nordin, shares his golden rules Consider balance: As with all cooking, the art in creating a wicked burger lies largely at the interface between different textures and flavours. If the patty is deep-fried and crispy, maybe you’ll need something acidic to counterbalance the greasy taste. If part of the burger seems on the dry side – for example, if the patty is based on legumes – some mayonnaise would even things out. Respect the patty: Most patties improve if left to rest in the fridge for a few hours before you cook them. It’s a good idea to prepare bean patties the evening before. Choose your bun: The choice of bun should be based on the flavour of the filling. A slightly sweeter brioche bun goes well with a salty bean patty, while a filling made of something sweet (like Jerusalem artichokes) would go better with a crispy bun. Add sauce: Mayonnaise, tomato sauce, herb sauce or a creamy miso dressing contributes juiciness and counterbalances acidity. I usually serve the sauce on the side so everyone can add it according to their own taste.  






2-3 carrots 500g savoy cabbage 300g fennel zest of 1 lemon and 2 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice 2 tbs finely chopped fresh lovage or parsley 1 tbs pickled mustard seeds or wholegrain mustard lemon segments, to serve COLESLAW DRESSING 2 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp dill seeds 1 tsp whole black peppercorns 200g (generous cup) mayonnaise 2-3 tbs apple cider vinegar tsp sea salt 1 For the coleslaw dressing, roast the fennel seeds, dill seeds and whole black peppercorns in a dry cast-iron pan over a medium heat until the seeds are golden brown. Pound the spices in a mortar or grind them to a fine powder in a spice mixer.



2 Put the spice mix in a bowl and pour in the rest of the ingredients for the coleslaw dressing. Whisk until fluff y. 3 Peel the carrots and trim the cabbage and fennel. Thinly slice the carrots, savoy cabbage and fennel, ideally using a mandoline. Transfer them to a bowl and pour the lemon juice over them. Knead well with your hands. 4 Stir in the dressing and top with the lemon zest, lovage or parsley and the pickled mustard seeds or mustard. Serve with the lemon segments.



WO M E N ’ S FITN F IT NEESSSS promotion promotion WOM

Berry smoothie bowl SERVES 1

cup Pureharvest Almond Milk 150g frozen banana, cut into chunks cup frozen berries 1 tbs peanut butter, or fave nut butter 1 medjool date 1 Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth. Pour into a bowl. Top with fresh berries and a sprinkle of homemade granola.

Smooth operator Need fresh brekkie inspo? Whizz up this berry smoothie bowl from Mindful Moose and Pureharvest! It’s packed full of flavour and nutrients for an energy boost that will keep you going all morning

food YOU’RE ALL OVER THE RIGHT FOODS TO KEEP YOUR BODY HEALTHY, but do you ever think about what you’re feeding your brain? It’s easy to forget that your diet directly determines how your grey matter functions and ages. “It matters what and when we eat, as our blood-sugar balance and brain energy depend on it,” says nutritionist Rika Keck, author of Nourish Your Brain Cookbook (Cico Books, $29.99). “Our brain needs a steady stream of energy from food for optimal cognition, memory, attention and stable mood.” The way you eat also has a huge impact on the long-term wellness of your brain. Keep it happy now, and your future will look bright. “A nutrient-deprived brain ages faster,” says Keck. “For example, a deficiency of vitamin B12 is associated with dementia.” Not only does your brain rely on healthy nutrients to operate at its best, it can also be damaged by your diet. “Your brain and gut are closely related,” explains Keck. “Processed foods contribute to inflammation in both and can contribute to many illnesses, including painful joints, cognitive difficulties and degenerative neurological diseases.” Want to stay happy and smart? Try these simple food swaps. 80

AVOID: Tuna and swordfish Yep, we know you love your tuna but it’s time to mix up your lunch staple for the good of your grey matter. Large fish such as tuna, shark (flake) and swordfish contain high levels of mercury that may damage the brain. It’s also a good idea to avoid farmed fish, which can be contaminated with antibiotics, growth hormones, preservatives and commercial dyes.

AVOID: Processed cereals We sing the praises of whole foods all the time – but here’s another reason to ditch the processed stuff. Cereals made from refined grains are low in fibre, which is needed to keep your blood-sugar levels balanced, and the colours, preservatives and additives may irritate the brain.

CHOOSE: Cold-water fish The scaly friends should you tuck into instead? Cold-water fish such as cod, halibut, wild salmon and sardines are a great option for your noggin. Smaller fish are less contaminated with mercury, so you can eat these a couple of times a week safely. And as a bonus, they contain healthy omega-3 fats that can help lower inflammation in the body and power up your brain function.

Home-cooked porridge or grains are your breakfast buddies. These cereals are rich in fibre and brain-friendly B vitamins. Good choices include steel-cut oats or barley, buckwheat groats, quinoa, millet and amaranth. Try pimping your porridge by mixing your preferred grains with chia, coconut flakes, hemp seeds, nuts and chopped fruit. Or, for a savoury option, top your porridge with sautéed mushroom, feta and a sprinkling of herbs.



CHOOSE: Homemade

or quinoa porridge


oat, barley



Try these simple switches to boost your mind and body

AVOID: Meals in a box Mum was right when she said fresh is best. That kit meal you keep in your pantry for a last-minute menu fix? It isn’t such a great idea. Processed foods with a long shelf-life tend to contain way too much refined sugar, salt and trans fats, which can kick off inflammation, slow down your gut and leave you feeling generally ick. CHOOSE: Fresh veg gies Eat the rainbow as often as you can! Multicoloured vegetables and fruit will provide a smorgasbord of vitamins and minerals needed for the healthy function of your brain. Good choices include carrots, broccoli, celery, avocado, dark leafy greens, beetroot, onions, garlic, blueberries, pineapple and grapes. Need a quick snack or light meal? Cut up carrot, cucumber, capsicum and mushrooms and serve with hummus. Delish!

AVOID: Concentrated fruit juice

Still buying those bottles of ‘fruit drink’? These drinks spike blood sugar levels and induce an exaggerated insulin response that increases inflammation, reduces cognitive flexibility and can encourage weight gain. Hardly the healthy option you were hoping for… CHOOSE: Homemade

and veg gie juice


When you make your own juice and include some veggies in the mix, you’ll be drinking up natural fibre that prevents a spike in blood sugar. If you’re happy to DIY, make it a smoothie and stick to one serving of fruit, such as a cup of mixed berries or one banana, and add some protein and fat (like avocado or almond milk) to slow the release of sugar. Use the same formula if you’re ordering a drink on the go.



AVOID: Old, rancid nuts That might sound like a no-brainer (pardon the pun) but hear us out: because nuts are full of natural oils, exposure to light and heat can make them go rancid quicker than you might expect. And, nuts are often stored in conditions that can contribute to mould toxicity symptoms, including brain fog! Peanuts (actually a legume) are best avoided for this reason. If you’ve been dipping into the same bag of cashews or almonds for a few months, it’s probably time to refresh your stores. CHOOSE: Good-quality nuts Well-stored nuts – ideally soaked, drained and dried (‘activated’) – provide omega-3 and unrefined omega-6 oils that support healthy brain membranes and lower inflammation. Brazil nuts, pecans, walnuts and almonds are good choices. Keep fresh in an air-tight container in the fridge. @womensfitnessau


MACROS, demystified Get the skinny on this fit food trend

#IIFYM… NOTICED THIS HASHTAG AROUND INSTAGRAM LATELY? Or maybe your gym buddy has jokingly mentioned it while reaching for a post-workout doughnut. It stands for ‘if it fits your macros’, and going by the gazillions of enthusiastic posts using this tag, it sounds like it might be the key to eating whatever you want without losing your hard-won peach-emoji booty or sculpted abs. Here’s the deal: macros refers to the three essential macronutrients – that is, carbohydrates, protein and fats – which are the main components that make up the caloric content in food. When people talk about tracking macros, it means they’re honing in on a specific ratio of these nutrients designed to help them reach their body or health goals. It’s simpler than it sounds, says Sophie Guidolin (right), a nutritionist, fitness model and trainer at “Tracking macros allows the flexibility to eat anything you love, while reaching your goals. The difference [to counting calories] is that while you’re aiming to reach particular macro counts each day, you’re eating to the right ratios to build muscle, lose body fat and assist in changing your body composition.” So, it’s less about the number of calories you’re eating, and more about the kind of calories. The wrong ratio of carbs to protein might stall one person’s metabolism, while not enough carbs might leave another lacking energy. “It’s a bit of trial and error to find the perfect ratio for your lifestyle,” says Guidolin. “To start with, you’ll need to work out your required daily calories [the amount you need to fuel your lifestyle and workouts]. From there, you can work out how to spread your protein, fat and carbohydrate intake across your calories.” It’s a good idea to get some guidance from a nutrition expert, and an app like MyFitnessPal can help with the maths. Once you get into a rhythm with it, tracking macros opens up a world of eating options, Guidolin says. “I find that once you have tracked for two to three weeks consistently, it becomes easy and allows you to eat foods that a lot of people feel would be restricted on a meal plan or diet,” she says. “I believe that flexibility allows people to not feel obsessed about hitting numbers, and more empowered to see a change.” And, despite what the hashtag might suggest, it’s not an excuse to morph into the Cookie Monster just because your preferred treat fits within your ratios. “A big myth is that tracking macros allows you to eat junk all day,” says Guidolin. “I recommend meeting vitamin and mineral intake requirements before you eat treats! However, [eating this way] is easy to maintain as you’re allowed some chocolate – without cheating!” Good, honest meals and a treat on the side? Count us in. To get us started, Guidolin has shared some of her healthy, macro-ready recipes here… 82








1 cup traditional rolled oats 1 cup puffed rice cup pepitas (pumpkin seed kernels) cup desiccated coconut 1 tsp ground cinnamon cup sultanas cup dried cranberries cup honey 2 medium green apples, grated coarsely cup solid coconut oil, melted 1 Grease a 20cm square cake tin; line the base and sides with baking paper, extending paper 2cm over edge. 2 Place the oats, puffed rice and pepitas in a medium non-stick frying pan, stir over medium heat for 3 minutes or until lightly toasted. Add coconut and cinnamon; stir for a further 3 minutes or until coconut is golden and toasted. Tip the mixture into a large bowl and add dried fruits. 3 In the same frying pan, add honey and apple; cook, stirring for 10 minutes or until all the water evaporates from the apple and the mixture is thick and golden brown. 4 Add the melted coconut oil and apple mixture to the oat mixture; mix well to combine. Press the mixture evenly and firmly into the prepared cake tin; cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until set. 5 Lift muesli bars from the tin and cut into 12 bars. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.


(per serve) 15.4g total fat (10.5g sat fat) 9.2g carbohydrate 4.1g protein 1136kJ (271 cal)








750g jap pumpkin, cut into 2cm wedges with skin on 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil tsp smoked paprika 500g lamb backstraps 80g wild rocket leaves small red onion, sliced thinly into rounds 150g truss cherry tomatoes, halved 1 Lebanese cucumber, sliced into ribbons HUMMUS DRESSING 400g canned chickpeas, rinsed, drained

cup lemon juice 2 tbs hulled tahini cup water 1 tsp ground cumin tsp ground coriander 1 clove garlic, crushed 1 Preheat oven to 200°C. Line an oven tray with baking paper. 2 Place pumpkin, 1 tablespoon of the oil and paprika in a large bowl; toss to coat. Spread evenly over tray; roast for 40 minutes or until tender. 3 Meanwhile, season lamb. Heat the

remaining oil in a large frying pan over high heat; cook lamb for 2 minutes each side for medium-rare, or until to your liking. Remove from the pan; rest loosely covered with foil. 4 Make hummus; process all ingredients until smooth. Season to taste. 5 Combine rocket, onion, tomato and cucumber in a large bowl. Add the pumpkin; mix to combine. 6 Thinly slice lamb. Divide the salad among bowls, then top with lamb and hummus dressing. Sprinkle with extra paprika, if you like.


(per serve) 22.4g total fat (3.9g sat fat) 22.2g carbohydrate 34.5g protein 11.6g fibre 1938kJ (463 cal)

For more recipes and tips, pick up a copy of Macros: A Wellness And Lifestyle Guide To Transform Your Body by Sophie Guidolin, ($49.95, sophieguidolin. 84






250g trimmed rhubarb, cut into 2cm pieces 1 tbs pure maple syrup 2 tbs orange juice cup coconut sugar cup desiccated coconut 1 cup wholemeal plain flour 2 tsp baking powder tsp bicarbonate of soda 2 eggs 1 cup plain yoghurt cup coconut oil, melted 2 tsp vanilla extract 1 tsp finely grated orange rind 125g raspberries


1 Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease a 12.5cm x 23.5cm (top measurement) loaf pan; line the base and sides of the pan with baking paper, extending the paper 2cm over edge. 2 Combine rhubarb, maple syrup, orange juice and cup of the coconut sugar in a medium bowl. 3 Place the desiccated coconut in a medium bowl. Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda; return flour husks to bowl. 4 Place eggs, yoghurt, coconut oil, vanilla and orange rind in a jug; whisk to combine. Pour mixture over flour mixture. Add half the rhubarb and one-third of the raspberries; stir well to combine. Spoon mixture into prepared tin and level the top. 5 Bake for 55 minutes or until a crust has just formed on top. Working quickly, scatter the remaining rhubarb mixture and raspberries over the top; sprinkle with remaining coconut sugar. Return to the oven; bake for a further 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Stand in the pan for 20 minutes. Using the baking paper, pull the loaf from the tin; cool on a wire rack. 6 Serve the rhubarb and raspberry loaf warm and spread with nut butter, or eat with plain yoghurt and some maple syrup drizzled over the top. Sprinkle with a little ground cinnamon, if you like.


(per serve) 13g total fat (11.1g sat fat) 18.5g carbohydrate 3.8g protein 883kJ (211 cal)






The lowdown US FO O D FO C

ON HEMP It’s now legally a food in Australia, and health experts are excited. Here’s what you need to know about this mighty seed


Hemp isn’t just good for your bod, it’s good for the planet, too. It can be used in fabric, fibre, building materials, paper and bio plastics, and it uses less water to grow than corn, cotton or wheat.







LOOKING FOR A HEALTH HIGH? GET YOURSELF SOME HEMP. The Australian government legalised the consumption of this plant late last year, and while its more famous cousin has a certain uplifting effect, this little buddy’s powers are more nutritious than psychedelic. “Commercial hemp does not contain mood-altering chemical properties, so it doesn’t matter how much you eat – you cannot get high from it!” says nutritionist Fiona Tuck ( What you will get is a hefty dose of nutrients. Hemp contains an impressive nutrient profile that includes omega-3 and 6 essential fatty acids, antioxidants, B vitamins, folate, protein, inflammation-fighting GLA and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. Phew! “Hemp is low in carbohydrates and it’s a good source of protein, which is necessary for growth and repair of the body and may also help to keep you fuller for longer by helping to balance blood sugar levels,” explains Tuck. “Essential fats are necessary for many functions such as cell health, a healthy nervous system, immune system, strong skin, hair and nails. And we need antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to protect our cells from damage and disease.” This food powerhouse comes in a few edible forms – you can buy it as a seed to sprinkle, a flour to bake with, a protein powder to mix into shakes and even an oil for drizzling. Its protein content makes it a great workout buddy, particularly for vegans, and it’s a good plant source of those essential fatty acids, too. “Hemp is so versatile, which makes it easy to include into your daily diet,” Tuck notes. “It’s jam-packed full of nutrients and has a particularly strong fatty acid profile, with a well-balanced ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 oils. Hemp contains almost 15 times as much fat-fighting conjugated linoleic acid as fish oil and is the only plant food source known to contain vitamin D3.” Yep, it has plenty of experts sounding the ‘superfood’ bell – but as Tuck says, “As with all foods, variety is key.” If you do want to get on board the hemp train, you’ll be pleased to know it tastes pretty pleasant – slightly nutty in flavour – so it works well in a variety of dishes. Try adding the oil to salad dressings – “Mix it with lemon juice and tahini for a mineral-rich, super tasty dressing,” Tuck suggests – or sprinkle the seeds over muesli, salads or baked veggies.

Vanilla and hemp chia parfait SERVES 2

3 tbs chia seeds 1 cup milk of your choice tbs hemp protein 1 tsp vanilla essence 2 tbs maple syrup 1 pinch cinnamon lemon 1 cup blueberries, plus extra to serve 2 tbs yoghurt of your choice 1 handful shredded coconut hemp seeds, to serve 1 In a bowl, mix the chia seeds, milk, hemp protein, vanilla, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and the cinnamon. Stir until smooth then place the bowl in the



fridge and stir every so often until the chia has absorbed the liquid. Leave overnight if desired. 2 Meanwhile, squeeze the lemon into a saucepan and add the berries along with the remaining maple syrup. Cook on a low heat until soft; leave to cool. 3 To serve, spoon enough chia parfait to fill of two glasses or jars. Add a layer of yoghurt and blueberries, then repeat. Top with the remaining fresh blueberries, coconut and a generous sprinkle of hemp seeds. For more hemp recipe ideas, check out




BITcElub The latest fun foodie finds

Snack pro

Need a tasty treat that’s good for you? This one is vegan, gluten-free and made with active probiotics. Not bad at all! Piranha Active Probiotic Snaps in Oregano & Thyme, $2.65,

The clever “tree plunger” in this glass-like bottle uses filter tablets made from coconut shells to remove nasties from your water. Tasty! 321 Filter Bottle, $31.95,


Wake up a tired menu with a drizzle of flavoured olive oil. This picnic set from Grampians Olive Co offers mini bottles of roasted capsicum, garlic and lemon-infused oils – delicious! $40, 88


Summer = delicious stone fruit. Here’s how to choose the freshest peaches, nectarines, apricots and plums, from chair of Summerfruit Australia (and stone fruit grower) Andrew Finlay: “Make sure the fruit smells sweet and gives a little under pressure when squeezed, with no soft spots or blemishes. If not quite ripe, let sit at room temperature. Only refrigerate once ripe, as the cold stops the ripening process.” Done!




If pasta makes your eyes light up but your tummy cramp, you might want to give the Slendier range a try. Instead of wheat, it’s made with konjac, an Asian vegetable that’s low on kJs and big on fibre, and totally cool for coeliacs, vegans and FODMAP followers. From $4.33,




Photographing your meals can make them taste better (fact!), so dig into this guide to taking droolworthy food shots

SNAP ! P U IT 90




EatFIT SUMPTUOUS SMOOTHIES, RAINBOW SALADS, beautifully styled breakfast bowls… A quick scroll through Instagram can leave your mouth watering. And no wonder – US researchers say that when we photograph food before eating it, it can make the meal taste better. Why? ’Cause pausing to appreciate the look and aroma of your brekkie/lunch/ arvo snack ups your anticipation of the deliciousness ahead. So, tell your mum: whipping out your camera at the table isn’t such bad manners after all. Want to make that food snap worthy of a bunch of Insta likes while you’re at it? Of course you do. We’ve asked the experts to dish up their insider secrets to help you turn that hastily snapped al-desko lunch into a work of art before you can say #smashedavotoast.


Good lighting is the key to a striking shot, and natural light is king. “You want lots of light, and natural is always best,” says food stylist Dani Tucker. While you’re at it, make that natural light diff used – too direct and it will create shadows. “Experiment with angles and try to eliminate harsh shadows created by anything in the way of your subject,” says Tucker. Wonder why your restaurant shots are always disappointing? Indoor light can suck the life out of your photos and using the flash will bleach out any plate of food, no matter how exquisitely crafted it is. Instead, ask to be seated by a window and, if light is still limited, try increasing the brightness by editing the image on your phone or desktop computer afterwards.



Want your photos to ooze deliciousness? Once you’ve plated up your dish, make your pictures pop by adding colour and texture with vibrant garnishes. “I love using edible flowers, microgreens, spices and sugars to add that extra-special finishing touch,” says Tucker. “Herbs are your friends!” adds food photographer Šárka Babická (sarkababicka. com). “Adding a sprinkling of your fave herb, such as rosemary or basil, makes a huge difference to your photos.”


Clever use of props can transform the most basic dish into something special. “Adding textures, colours and patterns by using different backgrounds, plates and cutlery makes the world of difference,” says Tucker. “Go for contrasting colours to add impact. For example, if I’m photographing a classic avocado on toast, it can look amazing on a purple plate.” Get creative and experiment. You don’t need to spend a fortune; charity shops and garage sales are great places to pick up crockery, as well as interesting cutlery. Scour your local Salvos or antique shops for a stash of unique plates, glasses, cutlery and even tablecloths and napkins that will level up your shot.


Once your culinary creation is ready to photograph, take a minute to compose the shot. Don’t just point and shoot; move


Tools of the trade

“PIZZA IS ONE OF THE MOST INSTAGRAMMABLE FOODS! CUT IT TO MAKE IT LOOK MORE INTERESTING” Sárka Babická, food photographer things in and out of the frame to see what looks best. “Don’t be afraid to cut into your food. It looks more real and that’s the style right now,” adds Babická. “A few crumbs and drips are all okay; it’s fine to be messy! And don’t be afraid to let your picture bleed out of the frame; again, this style looks more real.” Play with angles too. “Don’t just do the classic overhead shot,” tips Tucker. “Have fun with different angles and see what works best for your dish.” Whatever you do, be prepared to act quickly. “Food wilts or goes dull fast and it doesn’t look so appealing after sitting for too long,” warns Tucker. “Snap away as soon as possible to get the best shot.”


Resist the temptation to put your plate of food in the centre of the frame. The secret to an engaging image is to remember the ‘rule of thirds’. Imagine two horizontal lines and two vertical lines drawn across your image dissecting it into thirds. The main elements of your photo should be placed where these lines intersect. “Where your lines cross are your sweet spots,” explains food photographer Lucy Heath. “Lead people into the photo with focus points where your grid lines meet.” To help you line up the shot, activate the grid on your phone or camera.

6 PROP PARTY Bordallo Flora Cosmos Bowl, $24.95, and Flora Daisy Charger Plate, $79.95, Stock up on colourful and textured plates and bowls to give your shots plenty of appeal.

LAY THE TABLE InkAndElm small vinyl backdrops, from $20.36 each, Forget using your dodgy kitchen bench – go pro with vinyl photography backdrops in marble and whitewashed timber.

EASY EDITING Snapseed by Google, Free, iTunes Create profesh-looking images with this editing app’s brightening, sharpening and retouch tools, plus creative filters and frames.




When styling your food images, think about the colour wheel and how colours complement each other: for example, blues look great against yellow and orange, greens go with reds and pinks, says natural-light photographer Heath. “Add a pop of the opposite colour by using a plate, garnish or napkin to add to the visual appeal. I aim to make people want to lean in and lick the screen!” Watch out for horizons too. “Lines in a table, windows in the background, patterns on plates: they all add to the overall image. Keep them straight!” adds Heath.




MAGIC Whip up a fantasy world in your kitchen with dishes worthy of a double-tap (plus, they’re as good for your bod as they are your Insta)





packet bean thread vermicelli 1-2 drops natural blue food colouring or blue spirulina 1 carrot 1 cucumber red cabbage a few pink radishes avocado 6 rice paper wrappers a few green lettuce leaves a few black and white sesame seeds mango for decoration LEMON COCONUT TAHINI SAUCE 1 tbs tahini 1 tbs sesame oil juice of lime 1 tbs coconut cream 1 tsp light soy sauce 1 drop natural blue food colouring 1 Cook the vermicelli according to the instructions on the packet, adding a little blue food colouring to the cooking water. Once the vermicelli is coloured, set aside in a bowl of cold water. Cut the carrot and half the cucumber into thin matchsticks. Thinly slice the red cabbage. Slice the radishes into rounds and thinly slice the avocado. 2 Moisten a sheet of rice paper and place it on a slightly damp, clean tea towel. Cut off the top edge of the wrapper (to give a straight side for an open-ended roll). Arrange the lettuce leaves and vegetables in the middle, starting with the ingredients that will show through. Wrap up the roll, using your fingertips to tightly close the lower part. 3 Place the rolls in the refrigerator. At serving time, sprinkle with black and white sesame seeds, then decorate with stars cut out of the mango or the rest of the cucumber. 4 To make the lemon coconut sauce, blend the sauce ingredients, except the food colouring, in a food processor. Add the drop of blue food colouring and swirl once with the tip of a knife to make a pretty spiral, then sprinkle with a few sesame seeds. Serve the rolls with the sauce.










HUMMUS 1 tbs tahini (white sesame paste) 500g tinned chickpeas 2 garlic cloves juice of 1 lemon 50ml olive oil 2 tsp salt 300g beetroot, cooked 1 tsp natural blue powdered food colouring or powdered blue spirulina SESAME GUACAMOLE 2 ripe avocados 2 tbs olive oil lemon juice salt and pepper 1 pinch green spirulina fresh vegetables and sesame seeds for decoration grissini (breadsticks), to serve 1 To make the hummus, dilute the tahini



in 50ml hot water. Drain the chickpeas. Cut the garlic cloves in half. Blend together the tahini, chickpeas, garlic and olive oil in a food processor until you have a very smooth purée. Add salt to taste. Divide the mixture into two portions. Set aside in the refrigerator. 2 To make the hummus pink, blend the cooked beetroot and mix into one portion of the hummus mixture. 3 For the blue hummus, mix the natural blue food colouring into the other portion, then place a drop of liquid blue food colouring in the middle for a guaranteed ‘mermaid’ effect. 4 Cut stars of carrot, cucumber or pink radish to decorate. 5 To make the sesame guacamole, mash all the ingredients or blend in a food processor. Add a little extra olive oil or water to make the guacamole smooth. Taste to check for seasoning. 6 Top with sesame seeds and cucumber stars. Serve with grissini for dipping.




Get creative with these all-natural (and good-for-you) food colours BLUE Red cabbage juice + lemon; natural powdered blue food colouring such as blue spirulina, aรงai or klamath PURPLE Blueberry juice; beetroot; aรงai powder YELLOW Curry powder; turmeric; bee pollen grains ground to a powder PINK OR RED Raspberry juice (or the juice of another berry); beetroot juice; roselle (hibiscus) juice GREEN Green spirulina; spinach juice; matcha powder; barley grass juice powder ORANGE Carrot juice; paprika








1 Cut the fruit into slices or pieces and divide them between bowls according to colour. Set a few slices of fruit aside for decoration. 2 Add the sugar or syrup to the yoghurt. Leave half the yoghurt plain and mix the remainder with the food colourings to create several different colours. 3 Place the pieces of fruit in the bottom of the moulds, then pour in a little plain yoghurt. Finish filling the popsicle moulds with different colours of yoghurt. Each popsicle should have its own colour. 4 Place in the freezer for at least one night.


blueberries strawberries blackberries mango passionfruit dragon fruit 800g plain yoghurt 80g sugar or agave syrup a few drops natural food colouring or blue spirulina 1 silicone popsicle mould with 10 wooden popsicle sticks

For more magical recipes to try, pick up a copy of Unicorn Food by Sandra Mahut (Murdoch Books, $19.99).





200ml almond, oat or rice milk 50ml coconut milk 1 tsp ground ginger juice of lemon 2 tsp agave syrup natural blue food colouring (or blue spirulina or klamath powder)


edible glitter and flowers, to decorate 1 Blend all the ingredients except the glitter and flowers in a blender, then heat them in the microwave or serve cold if preferred. 2 Pour into glasses or mugs. 3 Sprinkle with glitter and flowers.




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Did you know you’re already in possession of the perfect summer accessory? We’re talking about that gorgeous smile of yours. Yep, smiling can make you seem friendlier and more confident to others, and it can even make you look younger, according to one US study. So make sure you’re looking after your mega-watt grin properly with these tips. 1 EAT APPLES They’re known as ‘nature’s toothbrush’ as they clean your teeth while you eat. Raw carrot, celery and popcorn are other tasty options. 2 BRUSH AFTER DRINKING RED WINE, BLACK TEA OR COFFEE This will help stop these drinks from staining your teeth. And if you decide to bleach your pearly whites, experts recommend doing it no more than once or twice a year to avoid any damage. 3 DRINK LOTS OF WATER Keeping your lips hydrated will help maintain their natural colour. Plus all the water is great for your skin, too.

GET THE DEETS! Head to for stockists of the pretty products featured in these pages



gluten-free beauty Does your beauty stash need to go on a diet?





LookFIT “FREE” IS A WORD THAT CAN SOMETIMES SOUND a little restricting, rather than liberating, when it comes to health. Case in point: gluten-free eating, which can be a real buzz-kill when your mate suggests catching up over spag Bol at your local Italian. While most of us can’t imagine a life without bread, the glutenfree food trend has an army of fans who swear by the benefits of avoiding wheat – and now there’s an influx of gluten-free beauty products cropping up in stores, too. Confused much? Yep, we hear you. We’ve asked the experts to give us the lowdown on gluten-free beauty, who needs it and what it can do for your health and looks.


First, let’s go over the basics. Gluten is a protein naturally found in some grains, including wheat, barley, rye and spelt. The key role of gluten in foods is to act as a binder, holding food together by adding a stretchy quality to it. You’ll find gluten in foods like pasta, bread, most baked goods and commercially manufactured products. So, ah, what’s it doing in your beauty cabinet? Gluten pops up in cosmetics for the same reasons as it does in food. Ingredients like vitamin E (from wheatgerm oil), oats (avena sativa) and hydrolysed wheat protein are used to nourish your skin and bind beauty products together.



As you can imagine, eliminating gluten from your diet does keep you from indulging in some pretty delicious foods and can affect your intake of important nutrients, so it’s important to be clear about whether you really need to give it a miss. “Only those with coeliac disease need to avoid gluten,” says Penny Dellsperger, an accredited practising dietitian at Coeliac Australia. “Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disorder that occurs in genetically susceptible individuals. The symptoms of coeliac disease vary considerably; some people experience severe symptoms, while others have no obvious symptoms.” Symptoms of coeliac disease include, but aren’t limited to, fatigue, nausea, diarrhoea, gas, vomiting, bloating, bone and joint pain and skin rashes. For those who have coeliac disease, cutting out gluten is a must, but if you’re not diagnosed with the condition, skipping the bread basket

and opting for gluten-free everything could be an inconvenience without much benefit. “The avoidance of gluten may actually result in reduced consumption of beneficial wholegrains,” says Dellsperger. “While a gluten-free diet can certainly be healthy if managed properly, there is no need for those who don’t have coeliac disease to avoid gluten.” Jacqueline Alwill, nutritionist, author and ambassador for Hair Recipe, agrees – mostly. “While a gluten-free lifestyle doesn’t guarantee the same result for absolutely everyone, some individuals [without coeliac disease] notice reduced bloating, healthier digestion, increased energy and improved mental clarity.” Alwill also believes that by avoiding gluten some people may experience better digestion and absorption of nutrients, and as a result their skin may look clearer and more radiant. But, while easing up on gluten could help your skin’s health from the inside out, the same doesn’t necessarily apply for beauty products.

Taste-tester Want to try gluten-free prods? Shop up these clean beauty buys


Similarly to ingesting gluten, when it comes to beauty products, only those with coeliac disease can be affected by the presence of gluten, and only if they ingest it. The good news is, experts say the gluten molecule is too large to be absorbed when applied directly to the skin. “It must be ingested by someone with coeliac disease to cause an immune response and the subsequent symptoms associated with coeliac disease,” says Dellsperger. “It’s quite safe to use topically, just don’t swallow moisturiser!” Noted. But, consider how often you lick your lips after applying lipstick, or accidentally get a little shampoo in your mouth when lathering up. For severe sufferers of coeliac disease who need to be super-strict about their exposure to the protein, gluten-free beauty products get the thumbs-up. For the rest of us, it’s a matter of choice. Alwill points out that a lot of gluten-free beauty products are also free of other nasties like silicons and parabens, so if you’re interested in natural cosmetics, gluten-free beauty might be worth adding to your radar. “My philosophy is to treat your beauty routine as you would your diet, and consider the type of ingredients in everything – from what you eat to what you put in your hair and on your skin,” she says. “It’s always best to opt for ingredients that are healthy and enriching because they’ll nourish you inside and out. Try to get into the habit of reading the label so you can identify ingredients you want to avoid.”



1 RMS Beauty Master Mixer, $55 2 Lanolips Rose Hand Cream Intense, $16.95 3 Drunk Elephant Lippe, $26 4 Nudestix Lip/Cheek Pencil, $35 5 James Read Tan Coconut Melting Tanning Balm, $52 6 Hair Recipe Strawberry and Mint Cleanse Shampoo, $14.99 7 French Girl Sea Spray, $18 8 French Girl Cleansing Wash, $26 9 Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub, $9.95



STYLE REFRESH Update your wardrobe (and your motivation) with these fresh fit picks


The number-one way to power up your morning workouts? Add a splash of energising colour. 100

The Upside leggings, $139, and crop top (blue/green), $109; Running Bare crop top (peach), $69.99; Beyond Her shorts, $39.95; Nimble Activewear jacket, $179.95; Bolon sunglasses, $200; Fila shoes, $30; Nixon watch, $99.95; Kmart dumbbells, $20, and skipping rope, $15. womensfitnessaustralia






Update your yoga kit with these pretty essentials. Now, breathe! Co t

B od y ton O n

yo g a m

at, $19.9

Forget lugging your gear around in a clunk y gym bag – stash it in a backpack and you’re good to go.


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W Lululemon crop top, $59

Herschel Supply Co, $179.95

L ulu lem on t l, $ 3 6

Running Bare leggings, $89.95



Lightweight and quick-drying, these running shorts will get you going faster.

Roxy, $39.99


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SKINS, $69.95





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Say yes to bold leggings and team them with a block colour or plain black or white tee.

The Upside, $139

Cotton On Body, $39.95

Bonds, $34.95

Running Bare, $79.95


Shake up your crop game with on-trend hues and strappy details.


Running Bare, $89.95

Running Bare, $89.95

Cotton On Body, $29.95

Running Bare, $69.95 womensfitnessaustralia





Mix khaki and navy for a luxe athleisure look with an edge.

Bonds top, $34.95; Nimble Activewear leggings, $95; Local Supply sunglasses, $79.95; Roxy backpack, $79.95; New Balance shoes, $140.






me Feeling brave? Inject so by k loo punch into your mixing bright, graphic prints and balance it out with plenty of white.

Bonds top, $29.95, and leggings, $59.95; G-Star Raw jumper, $130; Herschel Supply Co backpack, $189.95; Local Supply sunglasses, $79.95; Fitbit Flex 2 $149.95; Under Armour shoes, $190. 104





You’ll be super comf y in these cosy sweats.

Topshop, $59.95

Bonds, $49.95

The Upside, $169.95



Keep your Pilates sesh sweet in a mix of feminine pale pinks and metallic finishes with a dash of burgundy.

Running Bare top, $59.95; Lululemon leggings, $119; Beyond Her shorts, $49.95; Koral pale pink crop top, $109, leggings, $159, and bronze crop top, $119; Puma shoes, $150.





12 ways to


your body Use these smart strategies and beauty hacks to combat ageing and safeguard your youthful glow






2 Shield your skin



We all want to look as young as possible for as long as possible, right? And while some of us are blessed with genes that seem to be immune to the effects of time, experts reckon we can all make a few lifestyle changes to give our cells the best chance they have at fighting the ageing process. In fact, the latest research suggests that around 90 per cent of the signs of ageing are caused by lifestyle and environmental factors, not genes. “Ageing is a natural process, but it can be accelerated by inflammation, which causes damage to the tissues and cells,” says general practitioner Dr Riccardo Di Cuffa. “Bad habits such as smoking, drinking alcohol and eating a poor diet can speed up a process called telomere shortening. Telomeres are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protect our chromosomes, like the plastic tips at the end of shoelaces,” he explains. “Without telomeres, DNA strands become damaged and our cells can’t do their job properly. Take steps to cut out those unhealthy habits, however, and it’s possible to significantly reduce the speed of telomere-shortening.”


One big environmental ager? That’d be pollution. “Studies show that components of air pollution can damage DNA in cells and contribute to premature skin ageing such as wrinkling and pigmentation spots,” explains dermatologist Dr Anjali Mahto. Your beauty weapon to counter this invisible foe and delay skin ageing? Use an antioxidant serum, then follow up with a moisturiser containing SPF, she says. ❤ WF loves: Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum, $45; Goodness Every Morning Moisturiser SPF 15, $16.95.



Choosing a good, antioxidant-rich, anti-ageing night cream is only half the battle. “Many of us hold tension in our jaw, between the brows and along the hairline, which can make us look much older,” says spa therapist Natalie Hart. She suggests when applying evening moisturiser, spend five minutes massaging your face, to help release excess tension and clear your mind.


Permission to get stuck into your trashy beach read, granted: reading helps you live longer. That’s according to researchers at Yale University, who tracked the reading habits of more than 3,500 older people across a 12-year period. Regardless of gender, health, wealth or education, book lovers were 20 per cent less likely to kick the bucket during the course of the study. One theory is that reading boosts empathy and social skills, which have both been linked to longevity.





6 Mask it 5 OPT FOR ORANGE

Want a product that will really make your skin glow? Get colour savvy in the fruit and veg aisle. “Consuming the right food has a huge impact on skin health, including the 80 per cent of skin that topical products can’t reach,” says dermatologist Dr Howard Murad. “Diet provides the necessary nutrients to build strong, healthy new cells, and antioxidants that neutralise cell-damaging free radicals. Carrots, sweet potatoes and oranges are packed with vitamins A and C, which help restore damaged collagen.”

Treat your skin to regular masks to keep hydration high, as long-term dehydration can leave your face looking older than its years. Plus, sitting back with a mask gives guaranteed “you time”. Win-win. Try one of these masks to keep your face fresh. ❤ WF loves: Bobbi Brown Face Mask Skin Nourish, $68 (right); Innoxa Hydroboost Face Mask Sheet, $9.95,

7 Go med



A healthy work-life balance is key to looking and feeling youthful – so make a point of switching off (literally) at the end of the working day. More than half of workers in high-pressure jobs suffer dangerous levels of stress at home, partly as a result of being connected via devices, according to a study in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. Another way to counter the effects of stress is to embrace it, says psychologist Dr Elissa Epel. “A predominant habitual threat response can, over time, work itself into your cells and grind down your telomeres,” she says. “A ‘bring it on’ attitude, though, may shield your telomeres from some of the worst effects of chronic stress.” That doesn’t meant pretending you enjoy stress, but rather than letting it overwhelm you, acknowledge that even though times are difficult, you can rise to the challenge.





Bone broth is rich in collagen, the protein needed to keep your skin, hair and nails looking young. Your body’s production of collagen falls as you age and some nutrition scientists now believe that getting collagen through diet can help boost your body’s supply. “Consuming bone broth is one of the best ways to replenish collagen in your body so your hair regains lustre and your nails, joints and teeth strengthen,” says Dr Sara Gottfried, author of Younger (Vermillion, $45.99). You can use beef, chicken or fish bones to make your own. “The slow cooking breaks the collagen down into gelatin,” she says. “Drink a warm cup daily.” @womensfitnessau


Molecular biologist Dr Elizabeth Blackburn, who won a Nobel Prize for her discovery of telomeres, says one of the best ways to fuel your body and skin for longevity is to treat it to a healthy diet of whole foods. “As it turns out, eating for healthy telomeres is very pleasant, satisfying and non-restrictive,” she notes. “The most empowering choice we can make is to eat fresh, whole foods instead of processed ones.” No need to cut out dairy or carbs – instead, focus on a varied diet of fresh fruit and veg, wholegrains, beans, raw nuts and seeds, legumes, omega-3 fatty acids, and low-fat, high-quality protein. Basically, the Mediterranean diet should do the trick.



As well as giving us a healthy glow, exercise may turn around the visible signs of skin ageing, such as sagging. “With age, the outer layer of our skin thickens and becomes more dry and flaky, while the innermost layer, the dermis, starts to thin,” explains Dr Gottfried. “But if you exercise, your outer layer of skin doesn’t thicken as early and your inner layer doesn’t become thin.” Why? Proteins called myokines are released by working muscles and increase after exercise. Your skin uses myokines and the more provided, the younger it stays. In a McMaster University, US, study, a group of people aged 20-86 exercised for 30 minutes, twice a week at 65 per cent of their maximum heart rate. After three months, the skin composition of the older subjects looked like that of the 24 year olds. While the study focused on moderate-intensity exercise, personal trainer Zana Morris says adding in some high-intensity sessions is an effective way to slow down the rate at which you age. “It’s the best way to increase muscle mass and blood flow, lose fat and minimise protein loss,” she says. But, she adds, it’s important to note that over-exercising can be ageing, too. “Any moderate to high-intensity exercise beyond 45 minutes will eat into protein levels and speed up the ageing process.”


Tweak your beauty sleep

Get ahead in the anti-ageing stakes with a regular sleeping pattern, lying on your side. Researchers have looked at how sleep length affects telomeres in different populations and, says Dr Blackburn, “The same answer keeps coming up: long sleep means long telomeres.” The ideal length is around seven hours, she adds, but it’s more important to focus on sleep rhythm (aka a regular bedtime and waking schedule) and sleep quality (deep, REM sleep reaps the most rewards). Dr Gottfried says the position you sleep in can also play a role and suggests sleeping on your side. “Your brain’s glymphatic system, which cleanses damaging and toxic molecules, works best in this position,” she says.




Make your morning fix benefit your skin by switching to a collagen latte. Dr Gottfried says once a collagen latte became her morning ritual, her skin started to glow. Blend 250ml of low-toxin decaffeinated coffee with 1-2 teaspoons of collagen powder and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil for up to 15 seconds until frothy. Coffee not your thing? Try a matcha latte. “Matcha is extremely high in antioxidants and amino acids,” she says.






FILES d The prettif ying products an cool kit worth your coin!


This limited-edition Frank Body Shimmer Scrub, $19.95, promises three times the amount of shimmer this time round. We can already see the twinkle in your eyes.


Carry all

If you’re a one-bag-fits-all kinda lady, we have a hunch you’ll like the Mr Poppins + Co Kahoots oversized tote, $249. It’s made with water-resistant marine canvas and has no less than six pockets, so it’s ideal for all your fitness adventures, from gym to swim.

Yep, it’s a thing. If you’re not ready to give up your fullcream lattes just yet, why not try clearing your beauty shelf of products that contain animal ingredients and replacing them with vegan options that are kind on skin. Here’s a few basics to try: 1 Herbivore Botanicals Jasmine Green Tea Balancing Toner, $63 2 Grown Alchemist Body Cream Mandarin & Rosemary Leaf, $69.95 3 Lush Angels on Bare Skin Cleanser, $17.50









Keep your peepers looking fresh with a little help from the fruit bowl. Enbacci Age Revitalising Eye Defence, $88, uses stem cells from a rare variety of apples to boost skin regeneration and fight the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the delicate eye area. Sweet!

Here’s one way to brighten up your morning – get a grip on the diamanté-encrusted MakeUp Weapons Signature Lash Curler, $29.95. Aside from looking legit in your beauty stash, this blinged-up tool gently curls even the tiniest lashes for an eyes-wide-open effect.

All set

Ensure you don’t sweat off your look with Models Own Aquaproof Makeup Fixing Spray, $9.95. Enriched with coconut water and aloe vera, the mist will also nourish skin.


Need help unwinding? Try these soothing (and stylin’) ideas

SNIFF THIS: Rub Kora Organics Heart Chakra Aromatherapy Oil, $59.95, on your wrists for a calming whiff of rose otto, sandalwood, ylang ylang and cedarwood.

MASK IT: Soothe red, stressed-out skin with Ole Henriksen’s Hygge HydraClay Detox Mask, $46, a unique fusion of clay and botanical oils to purify and hydrate.

GET ZEN: Tune into the balancing vibes of crystals by slipping on the chic quartz Stoned Crystals Stone Maiden Bracelet, $219,



5 mins with Rachael Finch

The model, wellness guru and mum dishes on her new activewear label, B.O.D by Finch What made you want to create your own label? Activewear has taken me through so much in life – not just my daily fitness. I’ve travelled the world in it, met my husband wearing it, and even gave birth to my two babies in it! It’s always been a dream of mine to create my own activewear line. The first thing I do when I get out of the shower is put on my leggings and a singlet which immediately makes me feel motivated. I love feeling strong and connected to my body. Your active style is… Very relaxed, which is a reflection of who I am and where I grew up. I love a minimal colour palette with the staples black, white and grey, and simple pieces with a slight point of difference. I think style is a true reflection of someone’s personality. Fave piece from the line? The cloud dancer leggings or the petal shorts (pictured above)! They both feel soft, light and fresh to wear. Visit to check out the full range @womensfitnessau








EFIT NE S S .C W W W.AN Y TIM *A 7-day free trial. Offer valid for first time guests who are local residents or workers 18 years & older only, however, 16 & 17 year olds may trial an “Approved Club” - see (photo ID required). Offer subject to satisfactory completion of pre-exercise screening & to standard temporary/guest membership terms. Not valid with any other offers. Not redeemable for cash. Not transferrable. Limit 1 offer per person. Where the trial pass permits use outside staffed hours, a refundable deposit may be payable for an access card. Further provisions may apply. See Club for details. Offer expires 31/03/18.



You’ve finally had enough of your friends’ holiday snaps, so you’ve decided to book a last-minute trip of your own. Michelle Legge, head of community at insurance company Travel with Jane (, has these tips for doing it on the cheap. 1 BOOK YOUR TRIP TWO TO FOUR WEEKS OUT “It’s actually cheaper doing that than getting in six months early – good news for the organisationally challenged among us!” 2 LEAVE MID-WEEK “Travelling on Tuesday or Wednesday has proven to be consistently cheaper than travelling on a Friday. Pop in a few mid-week options when you’re searching for deals – you’ll be pleasantly surprised.”


3 SPEND A DAY PACKING “Your last-minute holiday shouldn’t be sabotaged by a last-minute packing job. And don’t forget your chargers and adapters!” 4 GET COVERED “If things happen that are out of your control, travel insurance can ensure you aren’t out of pocket. It’s vital for your peace of mind, and for your wallet.”


WAKE UP your wellness Book in one of these next-level experiences to treat your mind, body and spirit

TRAVEL IS AMAZING. Not only does it broaden your knowledge about the world and its cultures, at its best it can also transform your state of mind. Whether it’s soaking up nature’s energy while hiking, cycling or kayaking in a scenic or spiritual location, indulging in an exotic spa treatment or becoming one with wildlife, the enriching experiences we have exploring the planet earth can make you feel like a whole new person by the time you board your flight back home. Here’s a handful of the world’s most transformative wellness experiences on our radar…

GO HIKING IN THE SWISS ALPS It’s one of the most scenic places on the planet, so Switzerland makes an obvious choice for a hiking holiday. Channel your inner Heidi as you walk past breathtaking glacial lakes, through hidden mountain passes and beside towering glaciers in the Swiss Alps. Trek the trails of the Bernese Oberland region and see the Matterhorn – the famous mountain that the triangular-shaped Swiss chocolate Toblerone was modelled on – reflected in the glass-like lakes you pass on the Five Lakes Walk during RAW Travel’s eightday Swiss Alps Discovery tour. Along the way you’ll stop to enjoy picnic lunches with cheese and baguettes, and can even take a refreshing dip. But if you don’t feel like trekking one of the days, there’s no pressure to pull on your boots. Instead, spend it visiting a wine bar, eating fondue or relaxing at the lodge reading a good book with a hot chocolate in hand. Bliss! BOOK IT:






SWIM WITH DOLPHINS IN HAWAII If you’ve ever hoped to come back as a dolphin in a future lifetime, this is about as close as you can get in this one! Feel like part of the pod as you snorkel along with the playful marine creatures off the coast of Hawaii’s main island, Oahu. The crew of Wild Side Hawaii’s catamaran, Island Spirit, drop passengers off in the water ahead of the spinner dolphins. Once they catch up you start swimming, with hands by your side and flippers below the surface to avoid making a splash, and keep going for as long as you can keep up! Expect to hear their high-pitched calls as they chatter to each other while they scoot along. If you’re craving more wildlife encounters, you’ll get it: on the way back to Waianae Boat Harbor, around an hour-anda-half drive south of Waikiki, you’ll swim with green sea turtles at a “cleaning station” off Makaha Beach, where fish nibble off the algae which grows on their shells. BOOK IT:


Sure, we’ve all seen those sunrise and sunset snaps of Uluru from a distance, but the best way to really experience the mega monolith and all its character is to get up close. Hop on a bike and ride around the iconic and sacred site on a 15km track, stopping to explore its caves, waterholes and Indigenous rock art along the way. If you’re fit, this self-guided adventure should take around three hours. Transfers are


available from Ayers Rock Resort hotels to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, and Outback Cycling offers bike hire from its mobile shop at Uluru-Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre. While you’re there it’s worth popping into the centre to learn about the spiritual significance of Uluru to its traditional owners, the Anangu people. BOOK IT:





It’s billed as the world’s oldest yoga studio, and who are we to argue? Park City Yoga Adventures in Utah offers a truly unique experience where you can do a stand-up paddle board yoga class on a geothermal spring inside a 10,000-year-old crater cave. And, yep, it’s totally as cool as it sounds! It gets a bit chilly in the US state of Utah during winter, so losing your balance and falling off into the warm water during warrior pose isn’t such a bad thing! And at the end of the class, you get to lie back on your board and twirl your fingers in the water while gazing up through the opening in the cave’s roof during yoga nidra. It’s the perfect way to unwind after skiing at nearby Park City Ski Resort, and can be combined with a snowshoeing tour where you weave through snow-covered trees behind guide Julia Geisler and her energetic Tibetan terrier, Sluff. BOOK IT:

FIND CALM IN THE MALDIVES As if the powdery white sand beaches, clear turquoise water and overwater villas weren’t already enticing enough, now there’s another reason for wellness lovers to head to the Maldives. Dream resort LUX South Mari Atoll is running a bunch of workshops led by Australian experts to help make us calmer and all-round better individuals. Find out how to access your intuition and inner voice through the vibrations and soothing sounds of ancient singing bowls in a Tibetan sound healing workshop, discover how the fermented health drink kombucha and other Chinese tonics can help boost your immune system, or learn daily meditation exercises to help prevent stress when you’re back in the daily grind. If that’s not enough, while you’re there you can also go snorkelling (and maybe even run into one of the resident whale sharks!), swim in the infinity-edge pool or sip on cocktails in the super-chic beach club. BOOK IT: 116





There’s something about Fiji and spa treatments that just, well, works. The sound of palm fronds rippling in the breeze, waves crashing against the shore, the smell of hibiscus flowers and other tropical goodies used in the nourishing oils… Heaven. The Bebe Spa Sanctuary at Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort, on the main island Viti Levu, has magnificent views over the village and lagoon from its perch atop the appropriately-named Heavenly Hill. The one-hour warm-shell massage kicks off with a coconut sugar foot rub before the shells are placed on your body and the soothing kneading and stroking begins. Afterwards, lie on the spa’s deck and sip a glass of chilled water and munch on watermelon, pineapple and pawpaw as you watch the tide wash in over the reef below. Naturally, the spa uses Pure Fiji and Pevonia Botanica products. Other treatment options include the Bebe Vakaviti Signature Massage, a Tropical Salt Mousse Exfoliation and Tropical Escape Body Wrap. Enjoy! BOOK IT:



With its breathtaking landscapes and impressive wildlife, there’s no doubt that Antarctica is the ultimate bucket list destination. It’s also really, really far away, so if you’re travelling that distance you may as well go all out and add kayaking to your itinerary. Some expedition ships offer the chance for up to 30 people per cruise to spend their days paddling around the still, majestic waters of the Antarctic Peninsula getting up close and personal with fluffy penguins, sunbathing fur seals and snoozing humpback whales. If you’re super lucky, you may even see, and hear, a glacier calving (just be sure not to get too close!). It’s best if you have previous experience kayaking – you’ll be good if you know how to do a wet roll – and it’s always subject to weather and ice conditions. But it’s usually pretty calm around the peninsula’s islands, and a Zodiac (inflatable boat) will be on hand for safety reasons. Kayaking is a fab way to stay fit on your trip, take time out from other passengers and truly immerse yourself in this remote environment. BOOK IT:





Race & relax A trail run in Mauritius followed by a tropical retreat might just be the ultimate holiday combo, discovers Yanar Alkayat

I REALLY HAD NO IDEA WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A 25KM TRAIL race in Mauritius. The health benefits of exercising in nature are proven, so what could be better than running over hills, across rivers and through the forests of a beautiful island in the Indian Ocean? Except, I’d never run anything remotely like this before. The Ultra Trail Raidlight Beachcomber event includes a 10km, 47km and 120km race along with the 25km event I would be tackling. Would I be wading through knee-high mud as runners did on last year’s 47km race? Would I suffer in the heat (even in winter, average temperatures are still in the mid-20s)? Or would I be left for dust behind the elites? On race day, I’m one of 138 runners at the 8.30am start line on the south coast of Mauritius – mainly Mauritian locals, but a few internationals, too. I’ve forgotten to pack a cap and almost everyone around me is wearing a CamelBak liquid bag, so I’m slightly apprehensive. As it turns out, there are plenty of refreshments throughout the race – in fact, a big attraction of this event is the five-star service. Along my route there are three refreshment stations (start line, 5km and 15km) with cooked sweet potato, dried fruits, bananas, tea, coffee and even chocolate, so we’re well fuelled! For the longer races (the 120km stretches across two nights), chefs from the Shandrani Beachcomber Resort & Spa cook up fresh pancakes, pasta and rice to keep the ultra runners going. 118






On the course For someone who’s only done a little bit of

trail running (I’m mainly a road runner), the 25km course is just right – challenging enough to keep me engaged on nimble footwork, but not too technical to intimidate me. For those with more experience, the 47km distance would be ideal. My route spans a 91m ascent across 5km in the first half, and after that it’s fairly flat. Along the way, I have to cross five or six knee-deep rivers and climb several riverbanks (including one where I come face to face with a giant spider and have to close my eyes to climb over it!), plus I run through countless sugarcane fields, along jungle paths and rocky coastline, through winding woodland, up steep inclines and down dramatic descents against the scenic Mauritian coast. There’s no chance to tune out or think about aching limbs when you’re negotiating your way around trees, rocks and roots so, from start to finish, I’m fully connected to the act of running. This is the total antithesis to being distracted by music, friends or spectators, like I’m used to. I discover that the physical and mental connection – as well as the wilderness – is the unique beauty of trail running, and I love it. By the time I reach the final 10km, the path has flattened so all I need is a steady push to the end. I’m stoked to find out my finishing time is three hours, 12 minutes – and I’m the 11th female out of 29. A medal, a leg massage, some local snacks and, later, a five-star barbecue buffet at the “race village” at Shandrani Beachcomber are just what’s needed to round off the day. The festivities continue as friends, family

and guests hang around to cheer in the runners as they trickle in throughout the night, some clocking up to 30 hours on their feet. I’m full of admiration for their stamina, steel and determination. So much of road racing is fixated on time and pacing, it’s refreshing to run a race where it’s more about you against the elements than the clock. The next day, 600 runners of all levels brave tropical showers for the 10km race, and they’re rewarded with a hot breakfast buffet at the finish line.

Luxe recovery Like most of the international runners,

I’m staying at Shandrani Beachcomber ( on the south-east coast of the island, which means indulging in luxurious post-event recovery time during my week-long break. The resort’s open-air, thatched-roof lobby, overlooking an infinity pool and a private beach-fringed peninsula, is the perfect welcome for my exhausted body. There are six tennis courts, daily Zumba classes, a nine-hole golf course and water sports on offer here, but I’m headed straight to the resort spa, a secret oasis with a private pool, a spectacular courtyard of tropical plants, outdoor therapy rooms and Mauritian-sourced beauty oils. The food is a highlight, which is a big win for hungry athletes! Shandrani has four open restaurants and two bars on site, each with their own vibe. There’s endless choice at Le Grand Port’s bustling breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets with live cooking stations. The attractive Ponte Vecchio serves modern Italian overlooking the central pool, Teak Elephant offers beautifully presented Thai food and Le Sirius is where to go for internationalMauritian cuisine complete with a side of stunning Blue Bay views. Outside the resort, the local town of Mahébourg has a lively market, colourful colonial-era houses and cute local eateries. Don’t miss a visit to the tiny Ile aux Aigrettes island, where the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation runs nature trails to see protected wildlife, such as the Mauritius fody bird, giant tortoises and fruit bats. Fully rejuvenated after my recovery in paradise, I head home inspired to veer off-road into the wilderness again. Maybe I’ll even brave the 47km event next year…

on chcomber Event is ea B t h lig d ai R il ra The next Ultra T 28-29 July, 2018. Head to






E H NoT Om ve the world! Get out there and explore



Forget full-size packs, travel light with a starter kit of your must-have beauty products. This set includes day cream, night cream, micellar water and mist toner. A’kin Ultimate Hydration Starter Kit, $24.99,

Ski do

Snow bunnies, listen up – Mt Hutt near Christchurch was named New Zealand’s Best Ski Resort for the third time in 2017, so it’s probs worth adding to your wish list for winter. You can nab a season pass for a cool $349 before April 2018. Head to mt-hutt.


Get your dose of this wellness-boosting practice in the Amazon with On The Go Tours’ Amazon and Inca Trail Adventure. You’ll canoe down the Madre de Dios River, spend two nights in an eco lodge deep in the jungle then make your way to the famous Machu Picchu. Book at


Calling all latte lovers – put these far-flung cafes on your radar. Hip vego joint Palm Vaults in East London is serving up coffee with a glitter sprinkle, while the too-cute Carol Mel Café in Singapore adorns its froth with cherry blossoms. They’re almost too pretty to sip. Follow them on Insta @palmvaults and @carol_mel_cafe to check out their sweet work.

in overs – check out the tours ep sle r fo t jus ’t isn nb irb A ! Psst Melbourne and Sydney to explore like a local. Head to 120





A lightweight, quick-drying, compact towel is every traveller’s BFF. This one is a decent size and it’s great for the gym when you’re not on the road. Toska Active towel, $39.95, toska

Our next issue ON SALE 19 FEB

Get your boots on!

nds Flat-belly feasts to try stra out edess str for ks hac ir Ha s art PLUS Get fierce with martial 122





We’re going on an adventure! Pick up the March issue for all the workouts, expert tips and tools you need to get prepped for an epic hiking experience. Don’t miss it!




It’s time to let go of the idea that eight hours is the magic number for a good night’s sleep, because a new Aussie study of almost 15,000 adults shows it’s all about quality rather than quantity. “We found that poor sleep quality is linked to worse functioning, regardless of how long a person has slept for,” says University of Sydney researcher Yu Sun Bin. “In fact, the people who sleep six or fewer hours functioned just as well as those who sleep six to eight hours, provided their sleep was of good quality.” But how do you know if you’re getting quality shut-eye? Falling asleep in less than 30 minutes, waking up only once a night, and sleeping 85 per cent of the time you’re in bed are good signs. Turn the page for more expert tips to improve your sleep.


SAVE YOUR SLE EP Reset your snoozeability and get ready to catch a bunch of ZZZs



SLEEP. WE ALL NEED IT, AND YET SO MANY OF US can’t figure out how to get a decent amount of it. A global study of 1,000 adults, conducted by bed and sleep specialist Time4Sleep last year, discovered that 45 per cent of the world’s population are aware that they have a sleep problem. That’s a lot of restless nights. The quality and quantity of your sleep can have a huge impact on your day-today life, which is why finding out how to maximise your ZZZs is so essential. “A lack of sleep impacts your visual working memory, meaning the decisions you make might not be the ones that you would make after a good night’s sleep,” says Jason Ellis, professor in psychology and director of the Northumbria Centre for Sleep Research. Sleep deprivation can also lead to increased appetite, a reduced attention span, mood swings and lower levels of productivity. However, fine-tuning your emotional wellbeing, your bedtime habits and your workouts could be the key to scoring a regular ticket to dreamland…



If you’re feeling particularly grouchy and are lacking energy, a bad night’s sleep is most likely to blame. Lack of sleep can have a huge impact on the way you feel, both physically and emotionally. “A bi-directional relationship exists between mood and sleep,” says sleep specialist Dr Guy Meadows. “When one is out, the other is also affected. For example, both anxiety and depression can worsen sleep, but equally, poor sleep can also trigger anxiety and depression.” When you find yourself stuck in a vicious circle of poor sleep and a negative mental state, it can seem impossible to break through. Experts say a little mindfulness before bed could seriously benefit your sleep and your wellbeing in the long run. “Mindfulness is the ability to gently notice and let go of thoughts as they arrive in the moment,” says Dr Meadows. “Doing this before bed or in bed can be a helpful way of preparing your mind for sleep.” When you’re going through a tough time, sleep is an essential restorative tool – but it can also feel like a danger zone for ruminating on problems. “Sleep can help us overcome sadness and depression. But, sometimes, sleep can make us feel like we are reliving those problems,” says herbalist Natasha Richardson. “This means that in

cases of grief or depression, people may want to avoid sleep. It’s important to seek help from your doctor or a counsellor if you actively try to avoid sleep,” she adds.


Your mind and your body are a team, so you need to soothe both if you want to go to bed feeling completely at ease. When you’re stressed, there’s a chance you’ll have a few niggling aches and pains, just as an injury will likely have a negative effect on your mood. Luckily, one of the big benefits of your regular workouts is their ability to help you sleep. “Exercise increases your metabolism and therefore the production of the brain chemical adenosine,” says Dr Meadows. “Adenosine helps to increase your sleep drive, helping you to fall to sleep quicker and sleep more deeply.” While all exercise helps induce sleep, some workouts are better taken closer to bedtime than others – yoga and tai chi are generally considered the best nightcap for blissful sleep.


If mindful thinking and serene stretching aren’t doing the trick, it may be worth trying something new to reset your sleep. But first, get a better understanding of your evening routine by keeping a regular sleep diary. “This allows you to really pinpoint what’s causing your bad sleep, and highlights any bad habits that you might have,” says Professor Ellis. “You might be doing something without realising how it’s impacting the quality of your sleep.” And finding out how little sleep you’re having – or just how much time you’re spending on your phone – before bed may give you the motivation you need to switch things up. Once you have an idea of your bad habits, it’s important to create some new, healthy ones in their place. “Sleep hygiene” is a term that’s used to describe habits that you can adopt to make sure that you sleep peacefully on a regular basis. “Sleep hygiene is about creating a bedtime routine for yourself which promotes healthy promotion of melatonin from the pineal gland and which is in sync with the natural


Try this mini yoga sequence for a sweet night’s sleep

Bound angle pose

From a seated position, place the soles of your feet together and open your knees outward. Take your hands onto your feet and open them out like a book. Inhaling, lift your chest and look up, exhaling, fold forward. Breathe slowly here and stay here for 5-10 breaths.

Seated twist

Bring your knees together. Place both hands on your knees, and inhaling, lift your chest to sit tall. As you exhale, turn to your right, wrapping your left arm around your knees and taking your right hand onto the floor or bed behind you for support. Stay here breathing slowly for 5-10 breaths. Repeat, twisting to the left.

Knees to chest

From your seated twist, lie back and hug both knees into your chest. As you inhale, feel your legs lift away from your abdomen slightly and, as you exhale, use your arms to gently draw them in closer. Breathe slowly here for 5-10 breaths.

circadian rhythms we all have,” explains Richardson. “That means bedtime alarms, low lights, soft music, sweet scents and herbal teas. Bring that spa experience into your home!” Investing in products such as pillow mists, bath oils and a comfortable mattress could be exactly what you need. Before you know it you’ll be heading to bed earlier, sleeping through the night and waking up feeling fresh. Don’t believe us? We suggest you sleep on it.

to find out how to ge pa e th n ur T ! n o Dream create your own sleep sanctuary at home. womensfitnessaustralia





A peaceful night’s slumber calls for a dreamy oasis. Here’s how to create your own sleep sanctuary

SWEET DREAMS ARE MADE OF THIS: SOOTHING COLOURS, indulgent fabrics, delicious scents and leafy green plants. Yep, there really is a point to giving your bedroom a Pinterest-worthy makeover – it’ll help you relax, de-stress and get in the zone for some valuable shut-eye. Co-founders and directors of The Goodnight Co, Shea Morrison and Danielle Knight, have put together this guide to creating a sleep sanctuary in your own home. Follow these tips and get ready for your best night in ever.


Arguably the most important step in creating a perfect sleep sanctuary is to surround yourself with the things that make you happy and tranquil. It’s vital to ensure your sleep sanctuary is disconnected from the technological world. You should avoid using anything digital an hour before bedtime and make your bedroom a tech-free zone. Even the luminous rays from a digital alarm clock or a charging mobile phone can disrupt the sleep cycle. Studies show that soft neutral and earthy colours are a good option for the bedroom. They’re easy on the eye and blend harmoniously but, if your style is more colourful, deep, rich tones are also snooze-worthy (in the best way!) as they absorb light and put the mind at rest. A study by NASA has shown certain plants can purify the air in our homes and therefore create a relaxing environment. English ivy is not only a pretty plant but it may help those suffering with allergies and can keep sneezing at bay overnight. Ferns are another good air-cleaning option. 126


We spend about 30,000 hours in each bed we buy, so it’s important to choose wisely. When selecting the perfect mattress, ensure it supports your body at all points, keeping your spine in line with the best standing posture. Mattresses have a life expectancy of around nine to 10 years, so take note of when yours is due for renewal. Your preferred sleeping position will dictate the perfect pillow – for example, if you’re a stomach sleeper, you’ll need a flat pillow to avoid straining your neck, while a side sleeper is better off with a thicker, firmer pillow to support the spine. Have a chat to a bedding consultant about the perfect pillow choice for your sleeping style to avoid waking with neck stiffness.


The materials draping your mattress and pillows play an important role in creating a perfect sleep sanctuary. Look for coverings that offer comfort but not too much heat. For the pillowcases, we suggest 22 momme 100 per cent mulberry silk. This luxurious fabric will have your face gliding across the surface of your pillow, while also offering a long list of benefits for your hair and skin. For the sheets, it’s ideal to aim for a temperature under the covers of about 28°C and a room temperature of around 16°C. It’s important to set the temperature in your bedroom a degree cooler than the rest of the house to help you nod off.

sleep sanctuary, particularly lavender, cedarwood and gardenia essential oils, as these have been found to help induce sleep. Following the flower power trend, studies suggest winding down at night with a warm drink can help provoke sleep and prepare your body for rest. Chamomile and passionflower teas are both popular choices for aiding slumber. Love this? Search for more like it on KEYWORDS: SLEEP WELLNESS

This is an edited extract from The Goodnight Co Sleep Cleanse, $19.95, thegoodnight


Research suggests floral scents will act on neurotransmitters to ease anxiety and promote sleep. Add aromatherapy to your





Making your bed every day is linked with greater productivity, increased wellbeing and more happiness. Plus, it’s an easy way to ensure your sleep sanctuary always looks inviting.



Add these pretty buys to your sleep sanctuary and snooze on

1 Soothing scent: Wilds Jasmine + Cedar Classic Candle, $29.95, 2 Lush linen: In Bed Store 100% Linen Duvet Cover in Peach, from $200, 3 Lights out: The Goodnight Co Silk Sleep Mask in Pink, $39.95, 4 Brew a nightcap: Yarra Valley Tea Co Nod Off Tea, $7.95, 5 Add some green: Plant, for similar try Birds Nest fern, from $11.98, 6 Drift off with a good book: The Sisters’ Song by Louise Allan, $29.95, Allen & Unwin.





The power of a pause Feeling not-so chill? Tap into the present to slow down life and reconnect with yourself

RACING TO MEET DEADLINES, RUSHING FOR THE BUS, hurrying to finish your Netflix queue – yep, it’s official: fast is the new normal. Unfortunately, it’s not great for your wellbeing – all that busy-ness can put you on the fast track to chronic stress and exhaustion. It can also create an unhelpful buffer between you and what makes you truly happy. “It’s easy to be swept into the busy-ness of life and to get so caught up being all things to everyone that you forget who you 128

are, why you’re here and what your heart yearns for,” says Danielle Marchant, author of Pause: How to Press Pause Before Life Does It For You (Hachette Australia, $19.95). Sound about right? The good news is, you don’t have to sign up for a month-long silent retreat to reconnect with who you are and restore your sense of zen. You just need to find a way to freeze-frame your hectic schedule more often. “Taking a few moments to evaluate what you really want and need in life can help you work out



whether you’re heading in the right direction,” Marchant says. Use these tips to slow down and get back to you…

Inner journey

Being on the go all the time can make it hard to remember what fuels your body and lights up your soul. The first step to breaking busy is to reconnect with what you need to be the best version of you. Start by tuning into your natural rhythms and evaluating your life through fresh eyes. @womensfitnessau


“Falling into a virtual spiral during moments of downtime transports you away from your real-time environment” – even if it’s just 10 minutes – and while you’re there, make note of what you’ve achieved so far. “While there’ll be parts of your life that don’t work, almost everyone has something that is going well for them, something that can be an anchor amid all the change,” says Marchant. If you’re really struggling to restore the connection, try this exercise to tap into the messages your soul is trying to transmit. “Find a place you are drawn to, ideally beside some water, and sit there for an hour without a watch, phone, pen or paper,” says Marchant. “The invitation is to sit in your spot and consider a big question, letting it rise up, but holding it lightly at the same time. This exercise is designed as a total technology break – it’s not specifically a meditation, but it can feel like one.”


Tune in

Keep an inventory of your basic needs, like your ideal length of sleep, what time you naturally wake up, what kind of food gives your body the energy it requires and what values are most important to you. Making note of these will give you a direct route to equilibrium when life speeds up. Feeling a little lost amid all the rushing? It’s never too late to assess what you want in life and how you’re going about achieving it. Give yourself permission to stop and think about your big, overarching life goals

We’re constantly connected to the digital world (thanks, phones!) but what about the real one? Falling into a virtual spiral during moments of downtime (waiting in queues, your bus ride home) transports you away from your real-time environment. Instead, use these in-between moments to clock off from your digital connections and make some IRL ones instead, says Marchant. “We’re social beings who crave connection, but the digital world provides only a superficial connection,” she explains. Next time you’re commuting, resist the urge to pull out your phone and look at the people around you, noticing small details such as their shoe colour or their clothing. As you walk down the street, tune into your surrounds, taking in the colours of flowers or smiling at a passer-by. “I call them micro/ macro walks, when you pay attention to your surroundings by zooming in and out between the vastness of the landscape and the tiny details,” says Marchant. “The idea is to linger in either the micro or the macro, taking your time to absorb the experience before moving your attention elsewhere.”

Personal pauses

Looking after yourself shouldn’t be a phase – it’s a part of life. It just happens to be one of the first things we tend to let slip when



the going gets frantic. Making self-care a routine will help you keep your cool in a hectic world. Aim to slot nourishing pauses in once a week – it can be as simple as treating your skin to a face mask, reading a chapter of the book that’s been gathering dust on your bedside table or getting up half an hour earlier to practise yoga. You could also recruit a friend to practise pausing together, says Marchant. “One pause I recommend is to walk in nature with a partner and talk while being listened to,” she says. “The person you are with only listens – they don’t ask any questions or respond with words. You could try this with a friend and have one person talk and the other listen, and then vice versa.” Finding out what kind of pauses work best for you, then making them a routine will be a learning curve, but the pay-off is more calm, extra happiness and a little more power over life’s remote control.

Good scents Use these essential oils to press pause more often


Rub 2-3 drops into your hands and inhale for an instant and fragrant stress-relieving effect.


This delicious oil is ideal to use during meditation to help you connect with your sense of compassion.


Great for people who are feeling overwhelmed and fatigued – add a drop or two of this herbal scent to a diff user to lift tired souls.



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Women fitness australia 2018  

Hot body fast shape up in 15 minutes to get 50 fit fashion buys. Score your best sleep ever.

Women fitness australia 2018  

Hot body fast shape up in 15 minutes to get 50 fit fashion buys. Score your best sleep ever.