NEW YEAR ISSUE
EAT • MOVE • THRIVE • BE • GLOW
KICKSTART YOUR 2018 with LAURA
7-DAY LEANDOWN PLAN ARE YOUR HEALTH SUPPS
WORTHLESS? VOLUME 24 NO.1 JANUARY 2018
AUST $8.50 INC GST N.Z. $10.80 INC GST
GET SMART EXERCISES FOR BRAIN HEALTH
CUT CRAVINGS AND CURB YOUR HUNGER
NEW YEAR BEAUTY
SHE SHOOTS, SHE SCORES
HOW TO MAKE RESOLUTIONS STICK
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cover model q&a
Model, law student and entrepreneur rolled into one, Laura Henshaw knows how to take care of business. Co-founder of Keep it Cleaner, a health blog and fitness program with a healthy food range to boot, she is inspiring women all over Australia to chase their dreams and start their own side-hustle. This is how she does it.
Laura Henshaw MODEL: LAURA HENSHAW // KICGIRLS.COM // @LAURA.HENSHAW // @KEEPITCLEANER PHOTOGRAPHER: REN PIDGEON // @RENPIDGEON HMU: MONICA GINGOLD // @MONICAGINGOLD_BEAUTY ON COVER WEARING: JAGGAD & LULULEMON
ON MODELLING I started modelling when I was 19. My first agent approached me at my cousin’s engagement party, and I started by doing mostly runway and editorial. As I grew into my body and became curvier, I moved into more commercial work, which I love because I don’t feel any pressure to be a certain size.
ON SHIFTING DIRECTION I got into the health and fitness industry when I started a health blog, simply as something to do while I was modelling overseas. Soon after I got back, my business partner and friend Steph [Smith] and I created our first Keep it Cleaner project, which was our eBook. I now do more model jobs that reflect
my new direction, which is often with amazing health and fitness brands. I am really lucky now that my modelling is booked for who I am and not just for what I look like.
ON STUDYING LAW I have always found law really interesting. I never thought I would ever get a good enough score to get into it and couldn’t believe when I actually got in. I don’t want to be a lawyer anymore, but I am so grateful for everything I have learnt so far and still plan to finish the degree. It has helped me to problem solve and think analytically, which I have to do in our business every day.
ON SOCIAL MEDIA SUCCESS I still can’t understand why people want to follow my life, let alone 125,000 people! The biggest ‘Is this for real?’ moment was seeing our Keep it Cleaner products in Coles. If you told me we’d be in Coles two years ago, there is no way in the world I would have believed you. It really is a dream come true.
ON ACHIEVING A SUMMER BODY I believe that if you have a body and a bikini…you have a summer body! Although I do understand that feeling healthy makes you feel so much more comfortable in a bikini. One of the main messages from our KIC Girls program is to avoid fad diets and make healthy living your lifestyle so you don’t have to panic diet before your beach holiday. If you find a healthy balance, you will find your healthy weight, be full of energy and feel more confident in your own skin. It should never be about trying to look like someone else; being unique is special and we should all celebrate that.
ON MY PERSONALITY Bubbly and positive…and maybe a bit nerdy – is that a personality trait?
ON MY FAVOURITE WORKOUT I love running – it is my form of meditation. No matter what kind of day I have had, I can always rely on a run to declutter my thoughts and to feel less stressed. Running is also amazing for toning legs.
HOW TO BE HENSHAW EAT 6:30am: wake up and have an espresso. I can’t stomach food before training. 8am (breakfast): protein-packed smoothie bowl or two whole eggs with ½ an avocado, spinach and smoked salmon. I always ensure I refuel my body with a high-protein-packed meal after training. 12pm (lunch): tuna or chicken salad with loads of greens, crunchy seeds and avo. I dress my salad with olive oil, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. 3pm (snack): I always crave something sweet at this time, so I will have a homemade KIC smoothie ball or a handful of nuts with a piece of fruit or some berries. 6:30pm (dinner): this is different every night, but usually I have heaps of vegies with either salmon, chicken or beef. I am loving baked salmon at the moment with a roasted Brussel sprout salad and some roasted sweet potato. The dinner recipes on KIC are a combination of my favourite dishes plus a whole heap of crowd pleasers. 8pm (after dinner): I always crave something sweet after dinner. I will have Greek yoghurt and berries, homemade banana ice-cream (just blend frozen bananas), or dark choc and a peppermint tea to aid with my digestion.
ON MY CHEAT MEAL
MOVE I am loving the training combination I have at the moment; I always change it up so I don’t get bored or plateau. My training every week is a combination of HIIT, boxing, strength and running. I do boxing one or two times per week, HIIT twice a week and run about three or four times per week. I always make sure I have one rest day to let my body recover.
THRIVE I don’t have many days that are the same, but I always get up between 6 and 7am and get my workout done early. I get back from the gym and have breakfast, and then if it is a quiet day I’ll head to my office to catch up on emails. If I’m busy, I’m usually between shoots and meetings. Or sometimes I do all three! It really depends on the day. I also always ensure I switch off (or try as hard as I can to by 8pm) so I can spend quality time with my partner, Dalton.
Hot chips…I simply cannot resist.
ON ROLE MODELS I suppose I have different role models for different parts of my life. My mum has taught me to work as hard as I can and to believe in myself. In a business sense, Janine Allis and Lisa Messenger are big role models for me. And of course Steph is an amazing business partner, best friend and inspiration to me.
ON THE FUTURE Long term, I hope to grow the Keep it Cleaner brand as much as I can with
BE I relax by running and switching off from social media for a few hours, or even a full day if I need it.
Steph. We aim to expand KIC Girls, reach more women and expand our range in Coles to make more healthy food options available to everyone. Short term, I want to start appreciating and celebrating my small achievements more; it’s so easy to let them pass without stopping and letting it sink in. womenshealthandfitness.com.au
every thrive month 6
80 #RAWFITSPO 128 FINDER’S MARKETPLACE 130 LAST WORD
COVER MODEL Q&A
move 46 FIT FORECAST
Laura Henshaw explains how she stays fit and healthy while balancing a busy modelling career with her own business endeavours
The fitness trends and technology #trending for the 12 months to come – and how to use them
26 IN THE ZONE: ORGANISATION STATION How to keep your home zone clutter free and aligned for clearer thinking and more productive days
WH&F head trainer Alexa Towersey and WH&F cover model Jenna Douros provide you their four-week new year training plan designed for max fat loss, shape and fitness – fast
30 SHE SHOOTS, SHE SCORES
64 ANYTHING BUT GYM
How to be one of the few who stick to their resolution in 2018 and make lasting change
Get that same intense workout in the great outdoors
52 WORKOUT: NEW YEAR LEAN
70 TALKIN’ WITH TOWERSEY 36 SWIM TO GYM Some of Australia’s hottest designers talk swimwear functionality and style
42 TRAIN YOUR BRAIN Incorporate these noggin workout tips into your day to boost your thinking power
WH&F head trainer Alexa Towersey answers YOUR questions
72 EXPERT THINK TANK: RUN, BABY, RUN How to become a runner – or at least get better at it
78 FIT FOOD Green tea protein smoothie bowl and matcha donuts
82 DEVIL’S ADVOCATE: TO DEADLINE Do new year fitness challenges actually work – in the long term? See what the experts have to say, as well as WH&F editor Katelyn Swallow’s road test results
88 CLEAN PLATE, CLEAN SLATE
110 BACK TO (MEDITATIVE) BASICS
What everyone will be eating in 2018
Still not sold on meditation? This simple approach might work for you
The make-up, hair and skin trends to try this year
114 WANDER: NEW ADVENTURE, NEW YOU
122 NEW YEAR BEAUTY RESOLUTIONS
Exotic fitness retreats to kickstart your new year
Beauty commandments to live by in 2018
94 HERO INGREDIENT Roasted salmon with sprouted broccoli courtesy of Huon Salmon
96 NUTRITION ROUND TABLE: CUT THE CRAVING The best of the best in the nutrition world come together to discuss a girlâ€™s worst best friend: food cravings and how to manage them
102 EXTRA CREDIT Are sport and health supplements really worth the coin? We show you what to consume and what to cut according to your goal
106 TREAT YOURSELF How healthy desserts can boost your wellbeing in more ways than one. Includes a scrummy Snickers nicecream recipe
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editor’s letter My grandmother Betty is exactly what you would expect an Aussie grandma to be: cute as a button, kind, tiny in stature, she gets her hair permed on the regular, and likes nothing better than sitting down to a cuppa and an Arnott’s choc-mint biccie for a chat. In the same notion, she’s everything you wouldn't expect from a (she’s going to kill me for this) 83-year-old: she likes her grandchildren to call her by her nickname, ‘Bet’, she’s the only family member I can talk to when I’ve been dumped (again), and watching her beloved West Coast Eagles play she turns into a different (somewhat harsh) person (“Bet, he’s in a neck brace; I don’t think he’s faking it”). And considering she’s on the wrong side of 50, she’s also extremely healthy – always has been. While many of my childhood friends’ grandparents were frail, hunched and overweight, and nd on a rainbow b off medications, she w wouldn’t be caught dead with a walking stick and has taken nothing more than Panadoll for the past 20 years. The ‘secret’ to her g good health? Good (mostly unprocesseed) food, an active lifestyle (chasing cows – I grew up on a farm) and a solid dollop of good luck/ epic genes (at leastt, I hope). The point of this little side-sttory about the best person I know is sim mply to show you that the foundation n of health and fitness is actually relatively r simple. Coming intto a new year, there are all sorts of o pressures to overhaul your diet and training regimens to something unrecognisable – and then you feel deflated when they fail (learn to trick yourr brain into resolution achievem ments p. 30). And while kno owledge is
CONNECT WITH ME deadlift.to.deadline 10
power and reading widely is key, getting overwhelmed by the differing opinions and mountains of research (#trending 2018 training and nutrition studies explained on p. 46 & p. 88) of a saturated industry so often leads to confusion. Or as renowned sports scientist Rudy Mawer said at a recent course I attended, why would you get lost in making the icing when you haven’t baked the cake? So our new year edition attempts to remove at least some of the mental clutter so you can start (and continue) your year on a higher note: learn which supps are worth your coin (p. 102), kick-start your new year training with our ready-made seven-day lean-down plan (p. 52) and learn how to meditate (p. 110). But most of all, remember to be like Bet (did I just start a new #hashtag?): take stock of your achievements over the h get the h b past 12 months, basics d down pat as you move into January, and then fasttrack your results with the most easily implemented tips, tricks and shortcuts that work for you. And like Bet has always been there for me through break-up to deadlinee meltdown, we at WH&F F willl be 8. right there with you for 2018 py Wishing you a very happ new year,
Katelyn Swallow // Editor
WH&F Head Trainer alexatowersey.com
WH&F Associate Beauty Editor @kristinaioannou
Dietitian & Nutritionist rebeccagawthorne.com.au
Psychologist / Body Image Expert bodymatters.com.au
Share your #rawfitspo via Instagram for a chance to win one Amazonia Raw Acai Skin Active Liquid and a threeissue digital subscription to Womenâ€™s Health and Fitness magazine. Total value $47.85.
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Editorial Assistant // Angelique Tagaroulias
Copy Editor // Molly Morelli Associate Beauty Editor //
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General Manager // Ben Stone
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Chief Financial Officer // Stefania Minuti
Contributing writers // David Goding,
ADMINISTRATION & CUSTOMER SERVICE
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Finance // Min You Subscriptions Manager & Customer Service // Angelina Modica Email // firstname.lastname@example.org Phone // (03) 9574 8999 Fax: (03) 9574 8899 PO Box 4075, Mulgrave, 3170 Web // womenshealthandfitness.com.au Articles published in this issue of Women's Health & Fitness are Copyrighted © 2018 and are published by Blitz Publications and Multi-media Group Pty Ltd under licence from Bushi Pty Ltd.
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MAGAZINE EDITOR KATELYN AND SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER CHRISTINE TALK ALL THINGS HEALTH AND FITNESS, DESCRIBING THEIR OWN STRUGGLES AND VICTORIES AND INTERVIEWING SOME OF THE BIGGEST NAMES IN THE FITNESS INDUSTRY AND BEYOND.
2FJ is your ultim ate guide to health & ﬁtness, workouts, weight loss, nutri tion, recipes & exerci se.
WARNING - May also contain discussions on trashy TV shows.
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Daydream? Clever you!
WHY WORRY Worrying constantly throughout the day? Using a tool such as the WorryTime app could help. Created by ReachOut Australia, WorryTime lets you schedule a time and place to deal with your worries. Each time a worrying thought pops into your head, add it to WorryTime and move on with your day. You can review each worry and trash them when they no longer worry you. Sounds therapeutic to us! Free and available on the AppStore and Google Play.
If you’ve ever been told off for daydreaming in a meeting, don’t fret! A study from the Georgia Institute of Technology shows that those with wandering minds might just have extra-efficient brains. Participants that reported higher rates of daydreaming scored higher in intelligence and creative ability in an MRI scan. The giveaway? If you can zone in and out of tasks or conversations and tune back in without missing anything important, you may have one proficient brain!
THRIVE FRIENDS FOR LIFE
Staying mentally sharp in old age might be down to your friends. A study from Northwestern University found that SuperAgers – people who are 80 years and older but have the same cognitive ability as people in their 50s – have more satisfying and highquality relationships compared to average cognitive peers. Researchers said having besties won’t stave off cognitive decline but still has strong benefits.
5 STRESSORS FOR BUSINESS TRAVELLERS
1. 2. 3. 4.
Jet lag Lack of work-life balance Poor diet and sleep Isolation or disconnection from personal and/or work relationships 5. Organisational structure 14
Travelling on business might seem exotic but it’s not without its stressors. In fact, a new survey by International SOS shows that the negative aspects of travelling could increase your risk of stress, depression and anxiety. Almost one million Aussies travel for work each year, with the top five stressful components being:
ON YOUR BIKE Cycling to work is just as effective for fat loss as working out in the gym. That’s the takeaway from a study at the University of Copenhagen. One hundred-and-thirty overweight participants were divided into four groups for six months: control, bike riding, HIIT and moderate workouts. Although HIIT had the highest level of overall fat loss, cycling to work was just 300g less, making cycling a great option for those struggling to find the time to hit the gym.
We are just slightly infatuated with recently re-branded Ryderwear’s F-LO footwear collection. It fits like a second skin thanks to a lightweight design, making it feel like you’re wearing nothing at all while you squat, and comes in black, white and khaki to match any outfit – in-gym or otherwise. Plus, they’re unisex so you can buy matching his and hers. Cute. $119.95, ryderwear.com.au
Rise and stretch
Wanting to get #fitandflexy? Research suggests stretching first thing in the morning makes it easier to form the habit. A study published in Health Psychology followed university students trying to add hip flexor stretches into a daily routine, with half of the participants asked to stretch in the morning after waking up and the other half stretching before bed. Morning
stretchers would automatically remember to do their daily stretches almost 50 days before the evening group! Researchers believe this might be due to the stress hormone cortisol, which is highest in the morning, helping with memory. TRY IT: create a cue for yourself like a note on the bathroom mirror to help remember your daily habit.
The secret to living a long life? Researchers at the University of Sydney found that people who perform strengthpaced movement such as push-ups and sit-ups reduced their risk of premature death by 21 per cent. They also reduced a cancer-related death by 31 per cent. “The study shows that exercise that promotes muscular strength may be just as important for health as aerobic activities such as jogging or cycling,” said lead author of the study Emmanuel Stamatakis.
PUSH IT REAL GOOD
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EAT MEALS, NOT SNACKS
SPICE IT UP If you’ve been trying to cut down on salt, adding spice could be the answer to reducing cravings. A study published in Hypertension found that people consuming and enjoying spicy cuisine preferred their food less salty. Researchers believe this may be because the areas of the brain stimulated by spicy food and salty food actually overlap, as indicated by brain scanning imagery. Hand us that paprika!
How we name the food we’re eating actually impacts how much we eat. A study published in the journal Appetite asked 80 participants to eat pasta as either a ‘snack’ from a plastic pot standing up, or as a ‘meal’ sitting down and eating from a ceramic plate. Afterwards, they were invited to eat other foods, such as cheddar cheese and M&M’s. People that ate the ‘snack’ pasta ate 50 per cent more than the meal eaters, and ate 100 per cent more M&M’s. The takeaway: make the effort to properly plate your meal, and sit down when eating to prevent overeating.
Stress might be just as unhealthy for us as eating junk food. A study from Brigham Young University found that stress caused the gut microbiota of female mice to change to look like the microbiota of mice that ate a high-fat diet. Something to remember the next time you consider missing that centering yoga sesh.
Researchers have found that some people can actually taste carbs in the same way your tastebuds can tell salt, sweet and sour. Published in The Journal of Nutrition, the Deakin University study found that those more sensitive to the carb taste tend to eat much more of them and have wider waistlines to match. The study tested the presence of complex carbohydrates maltodextrin (found in soft drink and lollies) and oligofructose (found in wheat and garlic but also a common food additive).
Adding more greens into your diet could cut your risk of heart disease by 40 per cent. Researchers at Edith Cowan University studied nitrate levels in the diets of more than 1000 women from Western Australia. Over 15 years, the women with the highest nitrate levels (eating loads of raw and leafy vegetables) decreased their risk of dying from heart disease or stroke. “Nitrate improves the ability for our blood vessels to dilate, reducing blood pressure,” says PhD student Lauren Blekkenhorst. She said the research team showed that adding one cup of raw leafy greens per day (about 75g) provides enough nitrates to gain the health benefits. Although raw is best – boiling vegetables will cause the nitrates to leach out and we lose those benefits.
THE BEST OF THE BUNCH: spinach, lettuce and kale have the most nitrates followed by radish, beetroot and celery.
BREAK GLASS IN CASE OF
New! Â© General Mills. A39851
Coconut Ice Blocks (with six flavour options) If you’re looking for a tasty treat to keep you cool and satisfy your sweet cravings, you’ll love these easy-to-throw together healthy ice blocks courtesy of Monica Yates (monicayates.com.au). The ingredients are kind to your tummy and full of good fats to keep you full and satisfied, minus the sugar.
COYO YOGHURT & GRANOLA NEED » 1 ½ cups Coyo coconut yoghurt (natural) » ½ cup chopped nuts, seeds and coconut flakes with 1 tbsp cinnamon DO 1. Combine the granola mix and place at the bottom of the mould. Then fill with yoghurt, pushing the yoghurt down well so that it fills through the gaps of the granola to help it hold.
Vanilla Bean: » ⅔ cup coconut milk » ½ cup water » ½ tsp organic vanilla bean powder
NEED Almond and Chocolate: » ⅔ cup coconut milk » 4 tsp raw cacao » ¼ cup chopped almonds Coffee: » ½ cup strongly brewed coffee (cooled) » 1 cup coconut milk Choc Peppermint: » ⅔ cup coconut milk » ½ cup water » 4 tbsp cacao nibs » 3–4 drops food-grade peppermint essential oil Blueberry and Coconut: » ⅔ cup coconut milk » ½ cup water » ½ cup blueberries (roll in dessicated coconut to serve) Tip: Use your blender to finely chop the nuts and almonds before you start
SUMMER DRINK BAR While we always encourage keeping up your daily two litres of water, who doesn’t crave a tastier, fresher bev on a balmy day? Try these delicious thirst-quenchers to keep you cool and hydrated. Be Joyous’ cold-pressed protein drinks contain amino acids and dish up 19.4 grams of protein per serve, making them perfect for post-workout recovery or as an afternoon treat. They’re also gluten free and lactose free and come in chocolate, vanilla, caramel and banana flavours. Yum. $25 for a 6-pack, $40 for a 10-pack, bejoyous.com.au
DO 1. Choose the mix you want, and blend until well combined (a Vitamix blender on the lowest speed setting works well). 2. Pour the mix in ice-block moulds, freeze and enjoy!
This lightly sparkling organic kombucha courtesy of the girls at Keep it Cleaner is the ultimate health elixir to keep you feeling refreshed. It’s filled with gut-friendly probiotics to keep your tummy happy, aid digestion and boost your immune system. Plus, it's editor tested and one of the best she has ever tasted! $4.00, available in Coles nationwide.
We love that H2coco coconut water is made from 100 per cent natural fruit juice alternatives that are hydrating and full of flavour, but with less than half the sugar content of your average OJ. Available in a range of flavours, including Pure Coconut Water, Watermelon Water and Cocoespresso, from $4.50 for a three-pack, h2coconut.com
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CLOUD NINE LUXURY Feel like you’re on cloud nine with these soaps from Vice & Velvet. Each bar is made in the heart of Melbourne – owner Mei Ong designs, makes and packages every soap with her own two hands – and is vegan friendly and cruelty free. Plus there is a colour to match every bathroom design palette: choose from four different hues, each with a signature essential oil blend. $17,
The average number of days it takes for us to form a new habit. Research from University College London found that it takes over two months to form a habit, although habit forming varies depending on the person’s behaviour style and the complexity of the habit. Ultimately, it can take anywhere from 18 days to 254 days to be immersed in the custom.
The extreme or irrational fear of anything new of unfamiliar
EXPERIENCE NATURE The expression ‘stop and smell the roses’ is now scientifically proven to boost happiness. Three hundred and ninety-five study participants were asked to either take a photo of nature or a humanmade object and write how they feel, or do nothing, over the course of two weeks. More than 2500 photos and descriptions were submitted, with those submitting nature photos gaining a significant increase in happiness and level of connectedness to others. Think depictions of plants, birds or sunlight streaming through a window.
Listening to happy music can generate creative and innovative solutions compared to listening to silence. A joint study from Radboud University in the Netherlands and the University of Technology in Sydney had participants perform cognitive tasks that tested creative thinking. Participants listened to music that was either calm, happy, sad or anxious, while the control group worked in silence. Participants that listened to the happy music – positive classical music with high arousal – performed more creatively in tasks. Researchers suggest the happy music might enhance flexibility in thinking to boost creative thinking.
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GET THE LOOK: TEXTURED BEACH WAVES While we’re not all blessed with naturally luscious and wavy tresses, hairdresser and owner of Bliss Hair by Sarah Jane, Sarah Grech (@blisshairbysarahjane), shares these simple steps for creating the look yourself.
DO 1. Wash hair and dry the top section 2. Section the top section and back-comb, and lightly tease with a bit of volume powder to create messy body and texture
NEED » Teasing comb » Volume powder (Grech recommends Eleven I Want Body Volume Powder)
3. Towel dry bottom and mid-lengths of the hair and apply texturising spray to damp areas
» Texturising spray » Hairspray or shine spray
4. Scrunch hair with hands to achieve more messy waves 5. Finish with a lightweight hairspray or shine spray
BEACH BABE Start the new year right with WH&F’s hot summer essentials.
cool salt water and soft sand mean a cute and functional towel is a necessity. This luxe Turkish pom pom towel by Koku is made from 100 per cent Turkish cotton, is ultraabsorbent and gentle on the skin, plus it doubles as a yoga throw. $99,
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The advent of a new year usually comes with resolutions: “I will exercise more, I will eat better, I will work harder for that promotion…” But how can you manage to juggle all of the above, and more, if you don’t have the ordered space to do so? WH&F explores the many benefits of being organised (enhanced health included) and shows you how to get it done. WORDS: ANGELIQUE TAGAROULIAS
Eighty-eight per cent of homes have at least one cluttered room, and four in 10 Australians feel anxious, guilty or depressed about their disorganised homes according to a national survey conducted by the Australia Institute. While research indicates that being organised leads to greater clarity and has a multitude of benefits to your mental, physical and emotional health, it also depends on the individual. In fact, some studies suggest that a messy environment can actually enhance innovation and creativity. “While some of us love and thrive in a structured and organised existence, others feel that it chokes the life out of them,” says
psychologist Patrea O’Donoghue (positivepsychologystrategies.com.au). “Some people say they benefit from sitting down to a clear, organised desk as they have fewer distractions taking them away from core tasks, while others find the busyness of a less than clinical home and office stimulating, freeing them to be spontaneous.” The middle ground can offer compromise: avoid being rigidly organised or impulsively chaotic, but rather, organised with the flexibility to be spontaneous. Whatever your approach, the evidence is clear that working and living in an organised space (or at least in organised chaos) can be beneficial to your health.
HEALTHY HOME HABITS FOOD As the saying goes, you are what you eat, and research has shown that your surroundings can influence your eating habits, specifically your ability to resist sweets. One study published in the journal Psychological Science involved participants completing tasks in a clean and orderly office versus a messy office, with those in the tidy room more likely to reach for an apple than a chocolate bar when exiting.
MIND AND BODY Being organised means you have more time to plan a weekly workout routine and are more likely to stick to it thanks to clever hard-wired reward mechanisms. When we exercise, our bodies release endorphins along with feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine. Given your brain loves to anticipate profits, planning your exercise routine helps your brain to foretell the rewards it will receive, making you more likely to complete your workout. Similarly, clearing your home office of clutter and creating space has the same connotations of a reward, especially if you’re someone who likes to be in control. “Walking into a clear and orderly space can operate as a sign of one less thing to do, reducing the sense of overwhelm and stress you might experience otherwise,” says O’Donoghue. “In some ways, being able to put your hands on a document at a moment’s notice acts as a reward, signalling to your brain that the effort you’ve put into creating a system of order is working. Achieving these little rewards helps to reinforce the habit and motivates you to continue the organised way of being – especially useful if you have a lot on your plate.”
THRIVE Research shows that feeling in control of your work is linked to increased job satisfaction and reduced stress. One study of 30 families in the US, published in Personality and Social
Psychology Bulletin, revealed that a messy home can raise stress hormone cortisol. Participants completed mood assessment reports and had their saliva tested for cortisol analysis over a one-week period, the results showing that a disorganised home environment is linked to poor mood and increased stress – which, if left untreated for prolonged periods, can lead to fatigue and even depression. “Our bodies were designed to have short bursts of stress relatively infrequently throughout a month, but nowadays the average human experiences stress multiple times a day,” says O’Donoghue. “Stress has an inflammatory effect on the body, and inflammation has been linked to a number of long-term health conditions.” Less worry results in increased mental energy, as you don’t have unfinished tasks or projects lingering in the back of your mind. “Having an organised home not only removes clutter from your environment but also de-clutters and relaxes the mind,” says creative director of One x One Interiors Christine Ghrayche (onexoneinteriors.com.au). “Organising your home can reduce the stress associated with having a massive to-do list, whether it be unfinished renovations or general housekeeping.” What’s more, a cluttered and disorganised environment can affect your ability to concentrate according to a study published in The Journal of Neuroscience. Researchers used physiological measurement tools to monitor the brain’s response to organised and disorganised stimuli and found that participants had better focus and performed tasks more effectively in an uncluttered and organised room.
RELATIONSHIPS Organisation can also be beneficial to your relationships. How many household disputes start with dishes piled up in the kitchen and chaos in the living space? That’s not to say you should be spending every waking minute filing documents and putting clothes away; there are negatives associated with being overly pedantic.
ORGANISATION GURU MAINTAINING ORGANISATION IS A WHOLE LOT EASIER IF YOU TURN IT INTO A HABIT – OR A NATURAL TENDENCY – SO YOU CAN KEEP A CLUTTER-FREE ENVIRONMENT WHILE ACTING ON AUTOPILOT.
Habits have three core components according to O’Donoghue: 1. TRIGGER: the signal that activates the behaviour – this could be a set time or even another behaviour for starting the organisation process. 2. BEHAVIOUR: start small and work to apply the new behaviour consistently. A simple strategy involves ‘if-then plans’; that is, if your trigger gets activated, then you do the specific new behaviour for getting organised. 3. REWARD: is about satisfaction. Prioritising and creating to-do lists can also help, says positive psychology coach at Flourishing Mothers Kate Wilkie (flourishingmothers.com.au). “Write down an achievable to-do list every day, which gives you an overview of the things that need to be done. You may have 10 things that need doing but it may only be achievable to do three of them one day,” she says. “Research shows our ability to recall facts and ideas is heightened when we write them down the old-fashioned way – by hand. A handwritten to-do list will unburden your brain and make you more efficient, and ticking each item off your list once completed will give you a sense of accomplishment and a boost of confidence.”
“If it means you can’t relax because your house always has to be Vogue Living photo-shoot ready, then being organised might be a façade for anxiety and a fear of what other people might think of you,” says O’Donoghue. “What’s more, applying high standards of being organised to everything can be a source of angst for an individual and those sharing their physical space.” womenshealthandfitness.com.au
ORGANISED HOME 101 BY GHRAYCHE “In my experience, the biggest obstacle my clients face is the dread that comes with making that first step from being disorganised to organised,” says Ghrayche. “As we all know, we accumulate a massive amount of stuff over the year, some useful and some not so much. The most effective way to overcome organisation issues is clever storage solutions.”
HOME OFFICE Everything in your home office (computer, printer, filing cabinet, stationery) needs a place to sit to make working as enjoyable as it can be. Don’t discard the cords leading out of your devices as they can be a real eyesore (and a hazard). There are some great solutions for hiding cords; for example, if you have built-in cabinetry, you can add a custom panel between the wall and the cabinet that helps hide them. You can also bundle cords together with cable ducting, which come in a range of colours that blend in with your walls.
LIVING AREA Given the popularity of open plan living, storage for the living room is essential. It’s worth investing in sofas and ottomans with hidden storage compartments. Positioning of furniture is also important. Many people make the classic error of pushing chunky and overpowering furniture against walls, making the space appear smaller; but just because it fits, doesn’t mean it fits well. Moving your furniture even a couple of inches off the wall can make a huge difference. But before investing in a new piece of furniture, measure your space and select a piece that is proportionate, not just the biggest one you can squeeze in.
KITCHEN Again, plenty of storage, including builtin cabinetry and a home for kitchen appliances and utensils, is vital. If you
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love to cook and bake, you’ll need a bigger prep area, and a large oven and cooktop to avoid a cluttered and disorganised space. You can purchase cabinetry designed to store the height and width of large saucepans comfortably stacked, as well as custom dividers for your drawers to vertically store oven trays and save space.
TOP PRODUCTS TO HELP YOU GET ORGANISED NOW This erasable gel ink pen is perfect for writing your daily/weekly to-do list and comes in 10 colours for listing and highlighting. Frixion Ball Pen, $3.25, pilotpen.com.au
BEDROOM A disorganised and messy bedroom can induce stress and affect sleep. A poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation in the US found that people who make their bed every day or on most days are more likely to get a good night’s sleep than those who don’t. Ensure all your personal items have a place and invest in petite furniture and built-in wardrobes to maximise your space and keep your clothing organised and packed away.
BATHROOM Bathroom joinery and medicine cabinets are perfect for storing your everyday bathroom items so they’re not scattered across the vanity. Consider mirrored cabinets, which are functional while giving the illusion of space.
This unique and high-end Paros Storage Unit is sure to keep your household items in order, $4090.00, satara.com.au
Whether placed at the foot of your bed or in your living room, this Tilbury Shoebox doubles as a storage box and comfy seat, $2330.00, heatherlydesign.com.au
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HOW DO OUR BEST INTENTIONS END UP SO QUICKLY ON THE SCRAP HEAP? WE LOOK AT WHERE YOUR NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS MAY BE GOING WRONG AND HOW TO TRICK YOUR BRAIN INTO ACHIEVING YOUR DREAMS IN 2018. WORDS: DAVID GODING
It’s finally 2018. You’ve announced to friends and family alike that this is the year. You’re giving up chocolate and wine, signing up for a year of bootcamp classes, going to lose 10 kilograms, run a marathon and get a promotion. It’s set it stone – what could possibly go wrong? Plenty, as it turns out. New year resolutions are notoriously unsuccessful – approximately eight per cent of people actually achieve the goals they set themselves in January according to University of Scranton research – and yet remain just as popular as ever. “Your brain wants to conserve energy, so it prefers that you do what you did last time whenever your past actions have led to success,” explains Dr Art Markman, psychologist and author of Smart Change. “Even when you might want to change your behaviour, there is a powerful tendency to want things that are good right now rather than waiting for something even better later. “A piece of cake now has a stronger pull on our actions than having a ‘beach-ready’ body by next summer. An afternoon playing video games feels like a better way to spend an afternoon than studying for an exam that won’t happen for another week.” Willpower is a bit of an oxymoron, as our will has very little power indeed; at least when compared to our far stronger and more primitive reward system, where our brain releases pleasuring dopamine at the merest hint of getting something we want immediately. But fear not, your resolution is far from pointless and it doesn’t have to be doomed from the start. Ultimately, it comes down to smart goal-setting, understanding how to follow through, and not relying on your feeble willpower. Instead, you essentially trick your brain into performing the actions you desire to make.
WHERE WE GO WRONG Generally, people get side-tracked by what they want to be rather than considering the change it takes to get there, or by simply overestimating their capabilities over too short a period of time. “People set themselves up for failure by trying to do too much at once and not really being clear about what they’re wanting to achieve,” says exercise physiologist Naomi Ferstera. “Many people decide to essentially overhaul their entire lives instead of choosing specific, single goals. Choosing to try to live an entirely different life to the one you’re currently living is no small task. Rewiring
the brain involves repetition of new behaviours or habits for a long enough period of time until these become the norm. This takes much more time than people realise, so when things haven’t drastically turned around in the first few weeks of the new year – which they won’t – they give up.” Goals that lack detail or are too vague can also cause a problem. “If your resolution is ‘to be more healthy’, then you’ve set a very subjective target,” says business coach Mike Irving. “You want to set goals based on actions, not results. You can’t guarantee a result, but you can make a commitment to take an action.”
RESOLUTIONS VS GOAL-SETTING Making a new year resolution and setting a goal are essentially the same thing. It’s just that, invariably, goal-setting is taken far more seriously than the humble resolution. It’s more thought out, which means you’re more likely to get it right. “People tend to be more focussed on goal-setting, and tend to be more frivolous about new year resolutions,” says Kusal Goonewardena, sports physiotherapist and founder of Elite Akademy. “Goals tend to be clear and provide something to work towards, while resolutions can be quite vague. For
example, your resolution may be to lose weight, but what does this really mean?” Then there’s the general excitement surrounding New Year’s Eve that should provide the ideal launching pad for success but can often leave you feeling let down and confused. “Society has built up the idea of resolutions so much that people feel inclined to make at least one per year,” says Irving. “You get caught up in it and have great ideas about what you’ll do, but it’s not sustainable and the motivation is quickly lost.”
YOUR PATHWAY TO SUCCESSFUL RESOLUTIONS
BE SMART: A workable, successful resolution should involve the SMART principle. S M A R T
Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Timely
“So, to be successful with your resolution you should be specific about what you’re wanting to achieve, and make it measurable. You need to make sure that what you’re trying to do is in fact achievable and realistic; and if you feel that the goal meets all these criteria, then set a timeframe to help keep you on track,” says Ferstera. “Give yourself mini-goals within your goal. If you have 20kg to lose, set a goal for 5kg. It’s incredibly motivating to tick these off along the way.”
WRITE IT DOWN: Write all your achievements down in a little logbook to track your progress.
PHONE A FRIEND: Have a qualified individual on speed dial who can support you and hold you accountable to your goals. Choose somebody you can confide in, who’ll get excited for your little victories and give you support when you’ve strayed. Even better, find a resolution ‘buddy’ to share the load. But again, choose wisely. “You need to partner with people who will bring a positive mindset and share your determination,” says Goonewardena.
FIX YOUR ATTITUDE: What you don’t want is for the resolution to feel like a burden that is controlling you. Remind yourself that you are calling the shots and try to keep your attitude as relaxed – yet focused – as possible. “It’s important to ‘remain in choice’ about your goal,” says Irving. “If you set a goal and then tell yourself you ‘have to’ do it, you’re undermining your own intention. Remain in choice – that you’re choosing to do whatever it is you’ve agreed with yourself to do – and it won’t begin to feel like a burden. You’ve chosen it and you continue to choose it.”
PICK A BEAT: Don’t forget the soundtrack. “Make sure you’ve got some motivation music,” says Ferstera. “When I feel like quitting, I think about all my goals and put on my ‘pump up’ music. This distracts me from my negative feelings and gets me focused on my goals again.”
PITFALLS TO AVOID Ok, so you’ve thought long and hard about your attainable goals and determined to implement a SMART strategy with your resolution, but there’s still a few things that can trip you up. “You can become too focused on a very specific area or a certain body type or body part, such as wanting a flat stomach or toned arms,” says Goonewardena. “Not everybody will be able to achieve the look they’re after, even if they work out hard. Many very fit women do not have a toned, cut body, but they are still extremely healthy and strong.” Another surprising obstacle can come in the form of organisation – or, more precisely, a lack of it. “Saying you want to get organised is great as a concept, but you really need to take the time and figure out exactly where you feel disorganised,” says Linda Eagleton, professional organiser and founder of Creative Surrounds. “Focus on specific elements of your life that feel chaotic and you want to change. Is it your morning routine, where you always run late as you can’t find clothes you want to wear
or struggle getting the kid’s lunches ready? Is it your evenings, feeling you don’t eat healthy enough as there is no time to cook or never the right food in the house? Are you fed up of ‘dumping spaces’ scattered around your home, meaning it always looks untidy and you can never find anything? “Be specific about where you need more organisation in your life and picture how this will positively impact your life when you get on top of it.” And lastly, consider where your resolutions are actually coming from – is it from a positive place or reinforcing negative beliefs you have of yourself? “Many new year resolutions come from places of unhappiness,” says Festera. “People are often not happy with who they are and are trying to reinvent themselves for that reason. The aim is to make a ‘better’ version of you rather than trying to change you into someone or something you’re not. Therefore, when making a resolution, think about what you enjoy, what you’re likely to stick to, what makes you feel good and what will make you healthier.”
CHOOSE YOUR RESOLUTION THE FITNESS RESOLUTION:
Keep your goal realistic and – importantly – enjoyable. “A suitable goal might be ‘to go to the gym three times a week’. That’s based on an action, and it’s measurable – you’ll know you’ve achieved it when you’ve gone to the gym three times in one week. It’s achievable and sustainable,” says Irving. Consider your fitness base before you set your training goals for the coming year. “It’s easy to run too far, for example, which will cause you to break down. But if you start by running a tolerable distance, on a regular basis, you can gradually increase that distance,” says Goonewardena. “Even elite athletes build their fitness gradually, using the '20 per cent rule’; that is, you only increase your workload by a maximum of 20 percent, and only after at least three weeks at the previous level. For example, you need to be running five kilometres for at least three weeks before you consider increasing the distance to six kilometres.”
THE DIET RESOLUTION:
“Healthy, sustainable weight loss is about one kg a week, so keep that in mind when you set your diet goals,” says Duncan Hunter, dietitian and advisor to Atkins Nutritionals. “Create an inspirations board to keep yourself on track. This may be the ‘skinny’ jeans you want to fit back into, your children who you want to be healthy for or a fun run you are aiming to compete in. Look at it for daily reinforcement.” Set yourself a number of smaller, easier goals that will help you gain confidence in your ability to achieve your bigger objective. “With my clients, I encourage having non-weight loss goals as their primary focus,” says Ferstera. “Weight loss is not easy – particularly keeping it off – so I encourage focusing on strength or fitness as I know I can help them achieve this. If their weight is not coming down as fast as it should, they can focus on their improvements in strength and fitness, which helps keep them motivated and on track.”
THE RELATIONSHIPS RESOLUTION:
“In making your goal, it’s important to work out where you are at the moment, and where you want to go,” says Dr Glen Hosking, clinical psychologist. “The more specific you can be with the end point, the better. Work out what you would like to change. Perhaps it’s getting more quality time together, so your goal might be ‘for my partner and I to spend every Sunday morning together doing an activity’.” Part of the secret of success is perfecting the tricky balance of fun with planning – without killing the mood. “We can sometimes get bogged down in the many responsibilities and general stress of life, so brainstorming some fun and enjoyable couple activities can really lighten the mood,” says sex therapist and relationship counsellor Christina Spaccavento. “Sitting down together, syncing your diaries and choosing days and times to connect is a great way to ensure that you can both follow through on your commitments to each other and the relationship.”
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THERE’S AN ART TO FINDING A SWIMSUIT THAT COMBINES AESTHETIC, DURABILITY AND VERSATILITY, PARTICULARLY IF YOU PLAN ON THREE SETS OF BEACH SPRINTS BEFORE A DIP IN THE OCEAN – AND WANT TO LOOK GOOD DOING IT. WE ASKED SOME OF AUSTRALIA’S HOTTEST DESIGNERS FOR THEIR BESPOKE FORMULA. WORDS: MELINA THOMSON
GYM In the past, you’ve had to think through the purpose of your swimwear before making your design purchase. Were you after a traditional one-piece cossie for thrashing your opponents in the pool, or a set of togs to turn heads at the beach? Now? Designers are making many of the decisions for you, combining fashion, function and multiple training goals far more closely. But how to spot the one-season bather versus the durable swimsuit you can train and bathe in is one choice that still needs to be made.
“A bikini is no longer just a bikini. Brands are pushing the boundaries to create designs which transcend the pool or beach, and develop their own aesthetics and reputations,” say cofounders of Kulani Kinis Swimwear (kulanikinis.com.au) Dani Atkins and Alex Babich. “Brands need to know who ‘their girl’ [customer] is and create a collection or individual pieces which are on trend, amazing quality, feel great on the skin, enhance her shape, support her and
PHOTOGRAPHY: KULANI KINIS & JESSICA ABRAHAM (PHOTOGRAPHER)
FUNCTIONALITY – FIRST
offer her a choice in style, colour, print and functionality." The style, fabric and cut of the swimsuit you choose will depend on your personal preferences, aesthetic and body shape, but most predominantly on the activity you are going to perform wearing it. “If you are going to be suntanning versus surfing, for example, some activities need more durable swimwear,” says Atkins. Quality is another issue. Aussie women put their swimwear through some of the toughest conditions in the world, with swimwear exposed to extreme sun, slapped with sunscreen, and drenched with either chlorine or sea water. And that’s just on the first day of the six-week summer holiday! Asking the togs to hold their shape, colour and support – as well as be functioninal during sea sports and training in/out of the pool – is a tough ask. But it’s a challenge many leading designers are rising to. “More girls than ever are surfing, SUPPing and kitesurfing, which requires a whole new level of functionality,” says creative director and founder of Bombshell Bay Swimwear line (bombshellbayswimwear.com) Emily Doig.
SEAMLESS STYLE “When it comes to water sports or transitioning your swimwear into workout gear, seamless and durable pieces are key. If you are super active, the seams can have a big impact on the functionality of the garment,” says Doig. Doig suggests looking for garments that have flat seams or are seamless to prevent rubbing, skin irritation and chaffing. Seamless swimwear is often reversible, with different prints on either side offering both variety and a cost-effective choice – essentially two for one. For outdoor sports come summer, garments offering sun protection are also useful. “Sun protection swimwear is an emerging market and brands exist which incorporate an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) within their designs,” says Atkins. “They are great for women who are active and spending significant time in the sun (kayaking, paddle boarding) or who are vigilant and seeking protection from the sun’s harsh rays.” The blend of fabric also plays an important role in the durability and resistance of swimsuits. For Atkins
ONE-PIECE WONDERS As well as sports and general bathing, designers also need to take into account the latest fashion. “Girls are blurring the lines between swimwear and everydaywear using their pieces as a base or opportunity to layer their outfits,” say Atkins and Babich. Think one-pieces turned into bodysuits post-beach by adding a pair of denim shorts or a skirt to attend lunch with friends. Long-sleeve swimsuits with floral prints and colourful patterns are also replacing the traditional rashies that many of us were forced into as kids by our overprotective (and rightly so) sunsmart parents. This more elegant, new and improved adaptation of the traditional rashie is increasingly being used for water sports such as stand-up paddle-boarding,
surfing, kite surfing and snorkelling. Women are also wearing them to weekly Pilates and yoga classes, and under sheer tops at festivals. If you are a fashionista, what should you expect to see around the shore this summer? Atkins and Babich say the hottest upcoming trends will include “a resurgence of vintage styles with a modern feel” and floral will make a resurgence, “…as well as ’80s V cuts, high panels and ‘cheeky’ styles.” However, if cheeky Rio-style cuts are not to your taste, swimsuits can be selected according to body type. “A plunging neckline will flatter broad shoulders, while ruffles and movement will enhance a small bust,” says Doig. “Boy legs make your legs look shorter, so avoid those if you are wanting a
and Babich, soft blends of nylon and spandex are best. “Lycra is the registered brand name for this type of fabric and spandex is also interchangeable for elastane. Fabrics of this nature are delicate and have to be treated with care. The different (ratios) can alter the softness of the swimwear; however, as the softness decreases, the durability and other properties increase, such as chlorine resistance,” say Atkins and Babich. So it really depends on what you are using the bathers for: comfort sitting poolside, or beach sprint performance. Sustainable fabrics are also a recent market favourite when it comes to the latest swimwear trends. Often a blend of Econyl (post consumer water polyamide yarn – if you care to know) and elastane, the new movement is allowing socially conscious consumers to have options. “Sustainable fabrics made from recycled plastics are the newest fabrics on the market. They actually sit ‘flatter’ on the body, which means they are better for performance-based activities (and not to mention the planet),” says Doig.
long, lean look. If you have an athletic build and you are wanting to create some curves, avoid crop tops and minimising tops which can enhance your athletic frame.” While we now expect our swimwear to do a lot more for us, should we expect it to cost more? As the saying goes, it seems you get what you pay for. “Good swimwear is actually pretty expensive to make, which surprises some people. Quality is everything when it comes to the fabrics and the dyes (which is what makes the swimwear last longer), so if you are wanting a good-quality suit, you need to pay a little more,” says Doig. “As a rule of thumb, you should pay around $100–150 for a top and bottom, and anywhere from $150–250 for a goodquality one-piece.” womenshealthandfitness.com.au
ROBB & LULU BRANDS
WE ROUNDED UP SOME OF THE EMERGING SWIMWEAR BRANDS KNOWN FOR THEIR DURABILITY, FUNCTIONALITY AND FASHION SENSE – SO YOUR BEACH WORKOUT IS SORTED IN TERMS OF BOTH STYLE AND COMFORT THIS HOT SEASON
PHOTOGRAPHY: NAT LANYON
DESIGNER AT BLUE ATHLETICA BLUEATHLETICA.COM.AU // @BLUEATHLETICA
ON HOW IT BEGAN Growing up on the beach I was always surfing or swimming, so I lived in my swimmers. When I was studying fashion design I interned at swimwear companies and my graduate collection was swim/resort wear, so it was a natural progression for me to go on to design activewear and swimwear. My co-owners, Bridie Cutifani and Angela Saville, and I launched Blue Athletica in 2017, so the business is still a baby. We have had great feedback from customers so far; they love BLUE ATHLETICA
the high quality fabric and compression feel of our tights. In our latest collection, we have evolved our range to feature a new 7/8 length tight and a surf crop – a beautifully cut bikini top that features adjustable straps and a strong, elasticated underbust band to stay put when you are surfing or swimming laps.
ON WHO IT’S DESIGNED FOR We design for women that live active lifestyles but also love fashion. She could be a busy mum or an urban professional but she will take every opportunity to move. Whether it be training for a marathon, hitting the gym, barre class, yoga or going for a surf, she is the type of woman that appreciates quality and likes to express herself through her style.
PHOTOGRAPHY: SUPPLIED BY BLUE ATHLETICA
ON KEY DESIGN ELEMENTS
Bridie and Angela are accomplished personal trainers and I grew up in the water, so when we review each design we not only have high standards for quality, but our combined experience gives us the ability to understand how it will perform at the gym or in the water. When we think about the water component, we want women to be free to move without worrying if their activewear or swimwear is going to hold up. This is why we use compression fabrics, place
elastic in all our straps, and flatlocked seams in the waistbands. Our tights also have powermesh in the waistband. If you can duck dive under a wave or swim laps and not have to re-adjust every time you come up for air, that's a good result! Our anklebiters (full-length tights) and high-neck crops are perfect for providing sun protection if you are spending a day surfing or paddle boarding We use soft fabric imported from Italy which provides great coverage and compression and have it printed here in Australia. The yarn contains lycra so it has great recovery and is long lasting.
ON AESTHETICS Our signature prints that I design inhouse contribute to our range’s aesthetic. We want to stay relevant to what’s in fashion, and one of the ways I ensure this is to ask the girls and myself: ‘Would you wear this print in a dress?’ If the answer is ‘yes’ then I know I am on the right track. Currently, I am loving the classic prints making a comeback in swimwear, such as polkadots and gingham stripes. We have just released our Ciao Bella collection featuring navy with a small white polkadot print and we have a colourful vintage floral on the way too.
Kate Davis Steer
DIRECTOR OF ROBB & LULU BRANDS ROBBANDLULU.COM // FITBYROBBANDLULU.COM // @ROBBLULU // @FITSWIMWEAR_
FOUNDER AND DESIGNER OF SUNSOAKED SUNSOAKED.COM.AU // @SUNSOAKED_SWIMRESORT
ON HOW IT BEGAN
ON HOW IT BEGAN
I grew up in Melbourne and trained as a high-level gymnast for 15 years alongside my identical twin sister, Sophia. It was because of gymnastics that I fell in love with lycra and its diversity, design possibilities and colour range. My mum loved to sew and my grandmother was an artist who taught Sophia and I how to paint and draw from a very young age. We were emerged in fashion drawing, colour and art from childhood. At 17, while studying fashion design, Sophia and I launched our first business: the Savage Sisters. Together we created groovy activewear and some swimwear. I have worked as a freelance illustrator for major fashion houses since then, but have always continued to have my own label. Things started to fall into place when I met my husband, Rob. Our love for each other and our common interests – a passion for fashion, creativity and the arts – is how our swim label started. Rob and I work together as business partners – Rob provides the structure and framework for the business to thrive and I work on the day-to-day workings of the business, the creative direction, textile prints and business development. Together, our success has come from a mix of Rob’s business flare and my eye for detail, topped with a combined love of colour, activity and creativity.
I went searching for a stylish rashie for a beach holiday back in 2012 and I wasn’t able to find an attractive option that was suitable for our Australian climate. After a conversation with a friend, I started thinking: what type of rashie was I searching for? What did I want to wear? So I put my design background to use and SunSoaked was born.
ON WHO IT’S DESIGNED FOR Our performance swim label, FiT by Robb & Lulu, is designed to transform the way athletes view training swimwear. We aim to provide all swimmers – elite and recreational – with chlorine-resistant pieces that are both fun and functional. We offer swimwear ranges for women, men, girls and toddlers, and believe the value of keeping fit should be instilled at a young age. Our label is also designed for sporty babes who aren’t afraid to stand out. We want women to feel strong and beautiful while they work out in the water.
ON KEY DESIGN ELEMENTS FiT Swimwear has an exceptionally high 50+ UPF rating, meaning that approximately 97.5 per cent of all ultraviolet radiation from the sun’s rays will be blocked by garment coverage.
ON AESTHETICS We offer themed fabric prints and this year launched our debut collection, Fruit Salad. The pineapple, lemon and watermelon prints are unique and we have pushed the boundaries by combining clashy, contrasting strap colours, and introducing silhouettes and designs that are new to the performance swimwear industry.
ON WHO IT’S DESIGNED FOR SunSoaked is designed for women who want luxury but also value practicality; who love the skin they’re in. Our latest La Dolce Vita collection (SS 17/18), injects a sense of glamour into our chic, sunsafe pieces. They’re designed for everyday women to incorporate into their lives and the styles are figure enhancing for all shapes, sizes and ages.
ON KEY DESIGN ELEMENTS Our pieces are becoming instantly recognisable for their sun protective styling, sophisticated prints and effortless elegance. Constructed from luxe Italian performance lycra, they are chlorine resistant, UPF50+, moisture wicking and breathable. The premium lycra provides excellent shape retention and support, which helps create a figure-flattering silhouette. With features such as thumbholes in long sleeve styles, supportive shelf bras in all of our zip-up one-pieces and sun-safe coverage in most
PHOTOGRAPHY: SUPPLIED BY SUNSOAKED
SUNSOAKED of our designs, you know you are protected. To extend your coverage after your swim our exclusive UPF25+ Di Acqua (out of water) resort range complements our swim pieces and takes your swimwear seamlessly from beach to street.
ON AESTHETICS A driving force behind SunSoaked is to build a brand that values highlevel sun safety, but doesn’t compromise style. We are changing mindsets about what sun-safe swimwear looks like: you can look fabulous and be sun safe – the two are not mutually exclusive. The one-piece swimsuit is having a revival and continues to be one of the top trends this summer, and we believe every woman – no matter her size, shape or age – can find her ultimate bather. It’s about finding that perfect swimsuit you can go out in and feel beautiful and confident in, and which allows you to relax and enjoy your time outdoors with family and friends. womenshealthandfitness.com.au
FOUNDER OF MATIA BEACHWEAR MATIABEACHWEAR.COM // @MATIABEACHWEAR
Our target market is confident, ageless women who appreciate style and quality.
ON KEY DESIGN ELEMENTS
Designing swimwear started as a dream and stemmed from the desire to create something I couldn’t find for myself throughout Europe. With the support of my family and friends, I took the step forward and went for it. Matia Beachwear is produced in Portugal in a small family factory which ensures the quality we seek. We not only support the local economy of my home country, but also take pride in knowing it is produced locally. It’s been a challenging journey, with ups and downs, but I love it. And here I am working on my 2018 collection that will include more than just bikins.
Our designs are timeless, as seamless as possible, and with sexy and flattering cuts designed to emphasise the beautiful curves of the female body. The two-way stretch feels great on your body – almost as though you’re wearing nothing – ensuring a comfy and enjoyable fit all day long. We work with Italian fabric LYCRA® Xtra Life™, which offers the perfect balance between lightness and elasticity. Its innovative construction makes the fabric more durable and more resistant to chlorine, suntan creams and oils than other swimwear fabrics. It also provides UV (UPF 50+) protection and remains unaltered over time.
ON WHO IT’S DESIGNED FOR
Matia Beachwear is a fashion-, surfand lifestyle-inspired brand, offering a collection of high-quality swimwear with a timeless, minimalist and sexy aesthetic design, catering for a range of body types.
Our brand reflects a ‘less is more’ principle. In my opinion, timeless designs will always remain, regardless of current trends. That said, I think that the ’70s and ’80s design influences will never date.
ON HOW IT BEGAN
PHOTOGRAPHY: @PIXPOP @BURNT_BREAKFAST
Heather Ferguson CREATIVE DIRECTOR & BRAND MANAGER OF BOND-EYE SWIM BOND-EYE.COM // @BONDEYESWIM
ON HOW IT BEGAN I have been utterly obsessed with swimwear my entire life. I thought I was the only person that swim-crazed – until the rest of the Bondeye team came together. Lee-Anne had been designing swimwear for over 30 years, and Mim’s next level of creativity and interest in pushing swimwear innovation created our little swimwearconsumed trio. We are currently working on the Australian 2018 collection injecting fresh new colours and some pretty epic new shapes I honestly can’t wait to wear myself.
ON WHO IT’S DESIGNED FOR BOND-EYE
Our swimwear is designed for the cool, confident beach girl who wants a product different to
everything else. We also manufacture right here in Sydney, and I think that is an important factor to many of our customers.
ON KEY DESIGN ELEMENTS Our new BOUND range is one-size-fits-all – a feature that makes us stand out from the crowd. We have girls who are a size six wearing the exact same piece as a size 12 to 14 can wear. The fabric hugs and supports in a way no other swimwear can; its truly something special.
ON AESTHETICS Texture is so hot right now, and the knitted BOUND fabric hits that trend better than any other fabric I have seen. It’s durability and stretch works as a bodycon, allowing you to swim/surf, or just look great lying on the beach. We take current trends and pushing the boundaries on innovating new trends very seriously. We have at least two meetings per week to specifically talk about what we are seeing in the market, and how we can go further.
PHOTOGRAPHY: LUKAS BUDIMAIER
Most of us take New Yearâ€™s as an opportunity to make new fitness resolutions, resolving to tackle vigorous training routines, drop a few kilos or build lean muscle. And while these goals are all well and good, 2018 may be missing one crucial workout mission before it has even begun: training for your brain.
WORDS: HILARY SIMMONS
In ancient Greece, where the first Olympic Games were held, physical wellbeing and mental wellbeing went hand in hand. The phrase ‘mens sana in corpore sano’, which translates to ‘a healthy mind in a healthy body’, was the ideal people aspired to. The widely accepted tenet that there was a close relationship between physical health and mental power facilitated the growth of fitness throughout ancient Greece – and this was a civilisation that prized physical perfection like no other in history. The ideal is still one we can strive towards today: that there must be a balance and harmony between body and soul for peak performance to be attained. A healthy brain is essential to a healthy body. So it makes sense that a healthy brain needs exercise, similar to
the muscles and systems you target with dumbbells and cardio. Despite this metaphor, it is important to note that the brain is not actually a muscle; but given that evidence suggests the organ can be trained similar to how you would train your quads, it is often thought of as one. This is where the ‘use it or lose it’ principle applies: if you don’t actively engage your brain – at work, play or both – its capacity for engagement lessens. Our brains can atrophy – or waste away – as a result of the degeneration of cells, or due to underuse or neglect. If you don’t fancy your wits literally withering away, there’s good news: adhering to a ‘brain-healthy’ lifestyle and performing regular, targeted brain exercises can increase your brain’s cognitive reserve.
research on how to tap in to your own neuroplasticity – that is, the brain’s ability to modify its connections or ‘rewire’ itself – with a view to enhancing mental fitness and preventing age-related memory decline. It turns out that instead of simply accepting that the bundles of nerves in your brain inevitably deteriorate with age, you can help slow – or even prevent – the process by making smart lifestyle changes and embracing brain fitness. “Although we do need to accept that some of these changes are influenced by genetic predispositions and are part of the normal ageing process, there are ways to delay and even prevent age-related changes to your brain,” says clinical psychologist Dr Lillian Nejad. “We are born with certain capacities and vulnerabilities, and we do develop a personality that is influenced by nature and nurture; but our brain has the capacity to change, and it’s not the number of brain cells that are important, it’s the neural pathways. Your neural
pathways can actually regenerate and you have the power to make this happen through both your mind and your body. What you do with your body affects your mind and vice versa…so whoever you are, you can train your brain in the same way you train your body – to be fitter, stronger and healthier.” Exercising your brain doesn’t have to involve blowing your wages on brain training software either, although there has been a lot of fuss made about computerised cognitive training in recent years. University of Newcastle researcher Dr Vincent Candrawinata recommends sticking to brain training that involves real-world activities and offers novelty and challenge. “There are many apps, games and programs that claim to have a boosting effect on our brains, but research shows that they don’t work because they don’t provide the challenge, flexibility and fluidity of a situation needed to train our brains,” he says.
BRAIN TRAIN So how do you treat your brain like a muscle given it’s not likely to respond well to squats? On top of a healthy diet and regular exercise, mental stimulation is what it takes to strengthen synaptic networks. Research suggests that mental stimulation can improve brain function and reduce the risk of cognitive decline and related diseases. It is a generally accepted scientific fact that the brain shrinks with age and that associated changes occur at all levels, from molecules to morphology. In fact, the volume of the brain and its weight declines with age at a rate of around five per cent per decade after age 40. Scary stuff. This is costly in terms of the mental acuity required to make decisions, plan, organise, and pay attention to and remember details. Like so many of the symptoms of ageing, people used to assume brain shrinkage was something over which we had little control. In recent years, however, there has been a bulk of
READ A GOOD BOOK
Research shows that reading a novel has the power to make positive longterm changes to the brain. A recent study from Emory University focussed on how the brain is reshaped over the course of reading a novel. Researchers asked 21 participants to come in for functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRIs) over 19 days. For the first five days, the researchers took baseline fMRIs. They then assigned the participants nine sections of Pompeii, a 2003 thriller by Robert Harris, to read over a nine-day period. They gave them further fMRIs after they had completed each section of the novel as well as additional scans after they had finished it. The results showed heightened connectivity in the left temporal cortex, an area of the brain associated with language comprehension, as well as in the brain’s central sulcus, which is associated with sensations and movement. The neural changes were likened to ‘muscle memory’, suggesting that reading a novel not
TAKE TIME TO REFLECT
Mindfulness is a bit of a marketing buzzword, but according to Dr Nejad, even the most haphazard engagement with mindfulness practices can help stimulate neuronal growth, particularly in the areas of the brain that are responsible for planning, decisionmaking and emotional regulation. Small amounts of meditation help strengthen the self-control regions of the brain, which is particularly useful for people recovering from addictions such as smoking. Regular meditation has also been found to increase that all-important ‘grey matter’, which is responsible for hearing, memory, impulse control, speech, emotions and many other executive functions, all of which tend to become less reliable with age. “Relaxation exercises also have a positive impact on the structure of our brains,” says Dr Nejad. “Meditation
only stimulates the brain by forcing it to analyse words, sentence structure and storyline, it also stimulates our imaginations and improves societal awareness. “Reading has always been regarded as the most effective way to train the brain because it triggers so many aspects and functions of it,” says Dr Candrawinata. “In my opinion, reading for brain is like swimming for muscles. It activates, trains and utilises the brain in its entirety.” So read a book and you’ll not only enhance its performance but prevent premature ageing. Join a monthly book club in 2018 or make it a goal to read 12 books throughout the year – that’s only one per month. If you’re not a big reader, you can also try creating ‘word pictures’ to get similar brain-boosting effects. Visualise the spelling of a word in your head then try to think of any other words that begin or end with the same two letters. This is a great standing-in-line-at-the-supermarket exercise – no reading glasses required.
is mainly about relaxation, calm and positive thoughts, so it can influence the neuroplasticity of the brain to change and adapt in psychologically advantageous ways.” Find ‘emptying your mind’ difficult? Mindfulness is arguably more accessible than meditation but equally useful in terms of clearing your brain of unhelpful thoughts and beliefs, thus giving it more space to focus on positives instead. Dr Nejad suggests directing your brain to look at particular thoughts as helpful or unhelpful rather than negative or positive. She emphasises that your thoughts are not facts; you can adjust your thinking to cultivate optimism. “Imagine yourself coping well with a situation – imagining is almost as powerful as doing it for real and will put you in better stead to help yourself,” she says.
START A CONVERSATION
It sounds too good to be true, but as it turns out, socialising is positively good for your state of mind. Having a conversation requires your brain to be highly engaged; it follows that mingling with strangers or having a good chat with a friend can, in the long run, actually boost your brain power. “Social interactions, conversations, working out and even having a nice meal with friends and family actually work better than the numerous apps, games or programs that claim to have a boosting effect on our brains,” says Dr Candrawinata. “If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then seek connection with other people through social activities and meaningful relationships. Talking to other people is not only a way to understand and process your thoughts, it elevates your ability to think clearly and can also lift your mood.” In case you needed more help to justify lingering over brunch with friends, research also shows that social engagement is associated with a stronger immune system, better mental health and a lowered risk of dementia. People who connect with others generally perform better on tests of memory and other cognitive skills, and tend to live longer than those who are more socially isolated. For optimal brain health benefits, choose social activities that are both physically and cognitively engaging, such as exercising with a friend or singing in a choir.
FOR THE MEMORY BANK It goes without saying that there are plenty more ways you can give your brain its own workout routine, including mind games such as sudoku and Scrabble, or learning a new language or musical instrument. Vigorous physical exercise has positive effects on brain function on multiple fronts – it increases heart rate, which pumps more oxygen to the brain; it helps the body release hormones, which create a nourishing environment for brain cell growth; and it stimulates brain plasticity by increasing the number of connections between cells. At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most – if not all – days of the week is best. But don’t be deterred! A study from the Department of Exercise Science at the University of Georgia found that even briefly exercising for 20 minutes improves information processing and memory functions. “Health supplements such as fish oil, activated phenolics and acetyl L-carnitine can also help boost brain activities and increase the efficiency of its functions,” says Dr Candrawinata. “What you eat can improve cognitive function, but a littleknown fact is that hydration levels and brain performance are directly linked. Dehydration can lead to mental fatigue, memory problems and sleeping problems – and when you consider that about 70 per cent of our brain is water, it’s not too difficult to grasp that hydration is essential for it to function properly.” Dark chocolate also gives your brain a boost due to its production of dopamine, which helps you learn faster and remember better. So feel free to eat a few squares in the interest of brain power. Out of all the chocolate research out there, our favourite is a 2012 study released in the New England Journal of Medicine, which found that the higher a country’s chocolate consumption, the more Nobel laureates it spawns per capita. While it sounds like a stretch, you can rest assured that dark chocolate has multiple proven brain health benefits including improved learning, memory and focus, and protection against free radical damage. To keep your brain sharp as a tack, make it a priority in 2018 to do things that are good for it as well as your body. Let it struggle with challenging tasks to flex and tone its neural connections, and exercise it like a muscle – even though it’s predominantly grey and white matter. You’ll reap the benefits in far more ways than one.
LIVE LIFE BY YOUR OWN RULES KĪĞĂƚŵŽĚĞ ŝƐ ĨŽƌ ƚŚŽƐĞ ǁŚŽ ůŝǀĞ ůŝĨĞ ďǇ ƚŚĞŝƌ ŽǁŶ ƌƵůĞƐ ĂŶĚ ĚĂƌĞ ƚŽ ďĞ ĚŝīĞƌĞŶƚ ĨƌĞĞ ŽĨ ƐŽĐŝĞƚǇ͛Ɛ ĞǆƉĞĐƚĂƟŽŶƐ /ƚ ƐƚĂŶĚƐ ĨŽƌ ŝŶĚŝǀŝĚƵĂůŝƚǇ͕ ĨƌĞĞ ƐƉŝƌŝƚ͕ ƉŽƐŝƟǀĞ ĂƫƚƵĚĞ͕ ĐƵƌŝŽƐŝƚǇ ĂďŽƵƚ ƚŚĞ ǁŽƌůĚ ĂŶĚ ĞŵďƌĂĐŝŶŐ ĐŚĂůůĞŶŐĞƐ͘ ϮϬйŝƐĐŽƵŶƚŽŶǇŽƵƌĮƌƐƚŽƌĚĞƌηĮƌƐƚŽƌĚĞƌ OFFBEATMODE.COM // @OFFBEAT_MODE
USE O T UR OW O YO E. H OU 018 T NTAG Y A W 2 W HO S OF Y ADV SWALLO S RTS REND EVER ATELYN E P :K EX ING T DS E R O H W T RAIN T E TH
S S E N T T I S F A
The ebb and flow of fitness trends and traditions are inevitable. But what’s interesting is the way fit protocols tend to come full circle, if given time. “I’ve been in the fitness industry for 20 years and witnessed so many trends come and go, and the odd one sticks – pump or spin, anyone?” says trainer and co-founder of voome.com.au, Amelia Phillips (@_amelia_phillips). “Back in the ’90s, intensities were high; whether it was blokes pumping iron in the gym or the explosion of Les Mills classes such as BodyAttack, RPM (spin) and Pump, people were working HARD! “In the first decade of the noughties, I witnessed the rise of more zen workouts. This was when yoga became mainstream,
entering many of the large health club chains.” Come 2010, the emergence of CrossFit and popular military-style bootcamps began to drive intensities up again. Today, a fear of injury, raging cortisol levels and a renewed focus on mind-body connection is seeing the re-prioritisation of training balance. Yoga, in other words, is back. So what’s in store for the year ahead? A bit of a mixed bag according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), which recently released its annual 12- month fitness forecast. Based on surveys of over 4000 fitness professionals, here are the top 10 activities you are predicted to be participating in come Jan.
ALL THINGS TRAINING NUMBER 5:
Strength training might not sound like a groundbreaking concept, but the fact that more and more women are picking up the barbell – proudly – is a fairly modern concept. “Traditionally, women have opted for cardio and/or light weights; however, as more and more evidence backs up weight training as the best and fastest method to reduce body fat for both men and women, I believe you will see women lifting weights more than ever,” says fitness and wellbeing coach Mark Moon (markmoonfitness.com) “Especially as we age, weight training will help slow down the ageing process, whereas too much cardio has been
C E R O F
proven to speed it up – mainly due to the hormonal response by the body.” Unlike most cardio protocols, the benefits of strength training to fat loss is not so much the calories burned inworkout; rather, the increase in lean muscle mass results in increases in your resting metabolic rate – or the calories you burn when doing nothing at all. Additionally, lean muscle mass and bone strength decline drastically as you age, so getting your reps in early in life is ideal. Pay particular attention to targeted resistance training of your postural muscles – the ones that keep your back straight.
USE IT: “I would recommend three full-body strength workouts each week, with at least one day recovery in between. On this day, you could do some other activity such as cardio or sport,” says Moon. “Each time you train, choose different exercises for each body part; and for variety, change the order. One day start with push, next time start with pull, next day legs – and so on.”
MOON'S BUILD YOUR OWN PROGRAM For each exercise, perform as many controlled reps as possible in 30 seconds (should be 15–20 reps), then rest 30 seconds. Perform 3 sets before moving on to the next exercise. » Upper body push exercise x 2 (example: shoulder press and push-ups) » Upper body pull exercise x 2 (example: cable lat pull-downs and seated rows) » Arm push exercise x 1 (example: cable tricep pushdowns) » Arm pull exercise x 1 (example: dumbbell bicep curls) » Leg push exercise x 2 (example: squats and machine leg press) » Leg pull exercise x 1 (example: lying hamstring curls) » Core exercise x 1 (example: full-range sit-ups)
No surprises here. High-intensity interval training comprises short bursts of activity where the heart rate sky-rockets followed by equally short periods of rest or ‘active recovery’. Made popular by its reputation for producing significant fat loss and fitness results in a limited amount of time, it has been pounced upon by modern fitness franchises. “Short bursts of high intensity trigger the heart and lungs to increase their efficiency in oxygen uptake at a faster rate than endurance training, which in turn increases your fitness and translates to better overall health,” says Phillips. “I’m a fan of HIIT for a few reasons. Firstly, it’s so adaptable; any fitness level can do it, beginners with a modified version of course, and it works for most workout types: from strength training to fitness, to weight loss, to athletic conditioning. “Secondly, it’s one of the most timeefficient ways to train, which is perfect in this time-poor world. It means that a 20min session CAN get you great results. You can do it indoors or outdoors, with equipment or just your body weight.” HIIT’s variety of formats means it's also enjoyable, aiding longterm motivation.
“The flow of the workout means you get ample rest breaks, so it’s not as mentally taxing. And it certainly gets those exercise happy endorphins pumping,” adds Phillips. That said, higher intensities are not as beneficial to those already suffering from elevated cortisol levels, anxiety or stress. “More nurturing workouts such as yoga and Pilates can help train your mind to connect with your breathing and teach you how to regulate the stresspromoting thoughts that can consume us,” says Phillips. “For lung busters, steady-state cardio such as running or walking can turn into a moving meditation, especially if you start to use mantra words or music to manage your stress.”
USE IT: “Many trainers adopt the super-short 10- or 20-second intervals; but in my experience, especially with the general population, these short blasts are done either at a lower, less effective intensity, or the all-out 110 per cent effort increases the risk of injury,” says Phillips. Phillips suggests opting for work intervals of 30 seconds–four minutes for beginner to moderate fitness levels.
MOON ON MIXED OR MODERATE INTENSITY EXERCISE Despite HIIT topping the ACSM charts, Moon suggests the ‘harder is better’ mentality may be turfed in 2018. “Over time, HIIT actually starts to have a negative effect on our results as we start to overtrain, get injuries and burn out. Remember, HIIT workouts are meant to be done in 30 minutes or less – not 45,” he says. “When we are constantly focused on working at a high intensity, we also tend to neglect exercises that focus on recovery, posture alignment and maintenance of a healthy body.” Mixed intensity interval training splits the difference between LISS and HIIT, combining intense exercise with active recovery bouts that focus on posture and correct muscle activation as part of a ‘giant set’. Think five
exercises per set, alternating an explosive movement with a lower intensity active rest. “This is perfect for the time poor or those who want a more holistic approach to their health and fitness,” says Moon. “It encourages the user to incorporate all those exercises that most people consider a bit boring and utilise them in a more dynamic and motivational way.”
USE IT: Perform each exercise at your own pace for a 45-second AMRAP (as many reps as possible), then use 15 seconds of transition time to the next exercise. Three or four rounds. It should take 15–20 minutes in total, not including the warm-up or cool-down. womenshealthandfitness.com.au
EXAMPLE SET: » Squats with resistance » Rotator cuff stability » Bent-over barbell rows » Reverse bridge to activate hamstrings » Shoulder press Recovery between each set could be walking around the room for 60–90 seconds.
Functional fitness is the concept of training your body in a way that mimics movements you perform daily – better equipping your body for the strains of everyday life, defines Phillips. Functional fitness involves multi-plane movements such as a curtsy lunge with cables or lateral step-ups. “Functional fitness squeezed into the top 10 (10th place), but I would predict in Australia it would actually rank higher: the fitness industry in Australia is world class, with many great sports and exercise scientists paving the way with innovations – just look at our great Olympic records with such a small population! If a new trend works, we tend to grab it and run with it,” says Phillips. “Functional fitness helps to improve the mobility of your joints – such as the range of movement in your hips and back – release tight muscles that often lead to imbalances and injury, and improve coordination in movement patterns that mimic everyday life. For example, if you’ve ever witnessed a mum dragging the heavy pram out of the boot, there’s a cable wood-chop coming into play!” Performed incorrectly, however, and functional fitness can do more harm than good. “Deadlifts, for example, are a great functional move (who doesn’t lift something heavy from the floor on a regular basis?), but when performed without correct core engagement, neutral spine and synchronicity with the legs, it can be a very dangerous move. Add some hefty weight to the bar, and I’ve seen backs lock up in spasm,” says Phillips.
“One-on-one training with a functional training expert is the best place to start, and adopting my 10 per cent rule!”
Try these key functional moves: » Reverse lunges with core rotation: teach the obliques, and hip and leg stabilisers to support you during single-leg movements (such as lunging to reach something either side of you). » Turkish get-up: uses practically every muscle in the body while you are balancing an unstable load (a single dumbbell). It improves leg, core and upper body coordination and increases the stability of your shoulder joints. Mimics everyday moves such as getting up off the floor with a heavy load in one hand. » Barbell thruster: helps with everyday movements such as picking objects up off the floor and moving them overhead. It improves strength and coordination, and mobility of your legs, hips, back and shoulders.
New entrant to the top 10, fitness programs for older adults focuses on the array of health benefits exercise provides for those over 50, improving baby boomers’, quality of life and unburdening the healthcare system. “It is so important for over 50s to stay active, because ‘if you don’t use it, you lose it’. You lose muscle strength, bone density, joint mobility and balance. That’s a oneway ticket to feeling old before your time!” says Phillips. “Australia is an ageing population with lifestyle-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes impacting so many lives. Exercise has been proven to reduce the risks and effects of these diseases. Falls are one of the biggest risk factors for over 60s and exercise has a direct influence on balance.”
USE IT: “All over 50s programs should have a balance element to them. Other activities for over 50s are ones that involve both strength and cardio, preferably in a social environment,” says Phillips. Think low-impact classes such as yoga, Zumba and aqua aerobics. Ideally, training with an over 50s specialist personal trainer will give that personalised attention many wellworn bodies need. And for those feeling slightly apprehensive about starting a new plan in 2018 – fear not. “I’ve met marathon runners that started running at age 50. I’ve met master bodybuilders that are stronger now than in their 30s,” says Phillips. “My advice is to adopt the 10 per cent rule: increase in intensity no more than 10 per cent per week to let your body adapt. And find something that peps you up and leaves you feeling energised – not drained.”
PHOTOGRAPHY: DO YOU EVEN APPAREL
FITNESS PROGRAMS FOR OLDER ADULTS
Not only is bodyweight training convenient, the lower load makes full-body, explosive movements possible at higher volumes and intensities, burning a magnitude of calories and, so, fat. It’s also perfect for beginners who lack the fitness, confidence or form to tackle the weights room. “Depending on where you are on your fitness journey, and your current level of strength, mobility and coordination will determine what is best for you and where you should start. For example, an overweight person may use bodyweight leg exercises while starting out, while someone more fit would need to use resistance to reach the same intensity and volume level,” says Moon. That said, the body does adapt quickly. Bodyweight movements must be effectively scaled to allow for the progressive overload (read: gradual increase in training load/ volume/frequency/time) required for muscle growth. Eventually, you will plateau and need the help of the barbell.
USE IT (BY MOON): Try this bodyweight circuit. Perform each exercise for as many reps as possible in 45 seconds, followed by a 30-second break before beginning the next exercise. Three to five rounds. As you advance, add in equiptment to increase the load:
1. Bodyweight squats 2. Push-up with rotation into side plank
MENTORSHIP Number 2: Group Training; Number 8: Personal Training; Number 6: Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals All of which are a forms of training mentorship. With greater awareness surrounding cookie-cutter plans, educated trainers and coaches are in high demand in 2018. After all, knowledge is power, and bespoke training plans – tailormade for you and your body – are the new black. Group training comes in at number 2, offering both training convenience (most gyms have an array of class types and times to suit every goal – from fat loss to fitness to strength), along with motivation and support. Plus, it’s usually cheaper per week than a one-on-one session, offering value for money. While Pump and spin may already be on your radar, we’ve rounded up a couple of newbie classes fresh to Aussie shores: » K-KORE by LAGREE FITNESS (kkore.com.au): Think Pilates on steroids. Created by Hollywood fitness guru Sebastien Largee, this full-body conditioning method combines the benefits of Pilates, strength training and cardio into one sweaty sesh using the Megaformer. Straight from the heart of LA, the 45-minute Lagree classes use slow, controlled movements to activate slow-twitch muscle, and promise a toned, lean look for its faithful.
PHOTOGRAPHY: SCOTT EHLER
» INFINITE CYCLE (infinitecycle. com.au): So-called ‘responsive bikes’ are the latest workout craze. These mechanically savvy options offer a more ‘realistic’ riding experience, with the bikes moving and tilting with your body – similar to the real deal during your weekend cycle. Not only does it make classes more fun, but its proponents claim it can burn up to 20 per cent more calories than your regular spin class. “The body automatically engages additional muscle groups to achieve stability as the bike moves. This results in a much more holistic workout, including the core muscles in your back and abdomen, as well as your arms (biceps, triceps, traps and deltoids). As a result of this, Infinite Cycle cyclists burn more calories, as well as achieving a range of other benefits such as muscle development and an improved cardiovascular workout,” say Infinite Cycle founders Alan Sacharowitz and Dani Carr.
3. Shuttle sprints/jogs 4. Reverse bridge 5. TRX rows or towel rows (use a TRX or wrap a towel around a secure pole.)
While fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors and GPS tracking devices have been in the top 10 for a while now, other technological advancements are also beginning to trend. Example: genetic testing, now widely available in Australia, using methods as simple as a saliva test to determine improved training and nutrition protocols according to your individual genetic makeup. “As people’s awareness evolves and we become more educated about how our lifestyle, diet, mindset, environment, nutrients and medications affect our genetics, the study of epigenetics is beginning to trend – which, put simply, is how we can turn our genes on or off to live a healthy and disease-free life,” says Moon. Think of your DNA as the recipe book of how your body works, passed down from generation to generation. If the DNA is the recipe book, your genes are the individual recipes that lead to the formation of proteins – and proteins are what drive everything. Understanding how your body works at such a level can aid in a more refined training plan. “Everyone will see a response when they go on a diet and are physically active, but there is a difference in the strength of this response. Due to certain genetic variables, some people may require major lifestyle changes and another type of training than others,” says Tuomas Kilpeläinen of the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
DON’T FORGET THE OMM NUMBER 7: YOGA Yoga coming in at number 7 in 2018 is a clear indication that balanced training for both body and mind is back ‘in’. Encouraging hormonal profiles that act as a natural antidepressant, and improving balance and flexibility, it's little wonder yoga is practised the world over. Along with slow and steady exercise practices comes a stronger focus on mindset in the new year, predicts Moon. “Self-talk really does play a huge part in our level of self-esteem and instances of depression. Every thought we have is determining our daily mindset, and meditation and positive self-talk techniques can create positive change,” he says.
USE IT: (BY MOON) » DON’T COMPARE YOUR BODY: The most important thing for anyone to remember for a healthy mindset is to be careful of body comparing. Understand there is a big difference between an athlete’s body and that of someone who works out for general health and fitness.
According to leading genetic testing facility Fitness Genes (fitnessgenes.com), some of the key genes impacting your training progress include:
» BE REALISTIC: It’s easy to be misguided with what you can actually achieve, especially in the age of
FTO GENE (for fat loss): one of the first genes to have been linked with obesity. Carry particular variations of this gene, and you are more likely to produce excess ghrelin (the hormone that causes hunger) and respond poorly to low-carb diets.
NOTEWORTHY BY PHILLIPS
ACEm ACTN3, PGC1A (for muscle gain): how these particular genes – plus others – work individually and collectively determines the training styles you should adopt for building lean muscle. For example, they determine the volume frequency and intensity your muscles most efficienctly and effectively respond to, and can even determine your ideal training split for best results.
We have talked about what made the top 10 – but what trends missed out? Exercise and weight loss: “With 63 per cent of society overweight or obese, why is ‘exercise and weight loss’ not a trend? Has the message of ‘weight loss is 80 per cent nutrition, 20 per cent exercise’ gone too far? Do people not realise the importance of exercise in any weight loss
Instagram fitness models who use their physique as click bait. It can be easy to feel deflated due to the unrealistic standards set. » SET A GOAL: It’s important to set a clear goal of what it is you want to achieve and design a sustainable and realistic path of how you can get there. Learning to listen to your own body and observing what does and doesn’t work for you is a great habit to attain, and deleting instagram or taking a digital detox from time to time won’t hurt either. » ENJOY, FIRST: Find an activity you enjoy doing and stick with that. People always ask what exercises or programs are ‘best’, but for the average person the best exercise is the one that you will continue to do on a regular basis. Think team sports, group fitness and community-focussed fitness options for those who struggle with self-motivation. » REFLECTION AND RECOVERY: Take the time to reflect and rest – this goes for both fitness and life in general. I believe our addiction to digital and expecting everything to be super fast and convenient has given a lot of people a false sense of reality and a distorted image of what fitness and life is really about. program? Or has the term ‘weight loss’ simply gone out of fashion?” Exercise is medicine: “This is a global initiative aimed at health care providers, encouraging them to prescribe exercise when treating patients and referring them to exercise professionals. It is concerning that this trend has dropped off the top 10, as research shows that exercise has enormous benefits on our major health care issues such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity.”
PHOTOGRAPHY: YOGI PEACE CLUB
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IT’S A BRAND NEW YEAR, SO WHY NOT START IT OFF RIGHT? WH&F HEAD TRAINER ALEXA TOWERSEY AND FORMER WH&F COVER MODEL JENNA DOUROS ARE BACK – AND EVEN BIGGER THAN LAST MONTH. TO COME: YOUR FOUR-WEEK TRAINING PROGRAM SET FOR MAX FAT LOSS, SHAPE AND FITNESS; SO YOU CAN SET THE TONE FOR THE 12 MONTHS AHEAD, INSTILLING THE HABITS AND TRAINING METHODS NEEDED FOR YOUR INDIVIDUAL GOALS – YEAR ROUND. MODELS: ALEXA TOWERSEY (@ACTIONALEXA) & JENNA DOUROS (@JENNALOUISE_JL) PHOTOGRAPHY: JASON LEE // @JASONMINILEE LOCATION: 98 RILEY STREET GYM // 98GYM.COM // @98RILEYSTGYM WEARING: STYLING BY STYLERUNNER // @STYLERUNNER JENNA WEARS: CHARLI COHEN ALEXA WEARS: TOP BY HEROINE SPORT, TIGHTS BY LILIYBOD
The new year is about getting back into the swing of your training and nutrition routine, and setting new goals. This comprehensive training program addresses all of your needs. The resistance component targets the full body with particular emphaisis on the posterior chain and core for both strength and physique shape, and allows you to work towards YOUR own objective by having targeted options with both your rep range and load. It also provides exercises designed to challenge your grip, in addition to providing some of the progressions needed to achieve a pull-up. The HIIT component is representative of Jenna’s ALL IN program. It is designed to challenge your strength, power, coordination and overall fitness, with the metabolic requirement of high reps, moderate load and minimal rest raising your heart rate as quickly as possible and keeping it elevated for up to 36 hours post workout. The active rest and recovery component is highly recommended – not only as a stress management tool, but also to allow you enough time between workouts so that you can perform at your best. For both increased fat loss and muscle repair, in addition to supporting all the detoxification channels that may have been overworked over the holidays, I recommend power walking, foam rolling, infrared sauna and epsom salts baths. Supplementing with a pharmaceutical-grade magnesium is also suggested.
THE PLAN 4-WEEK NEW YEAR TRAINING PROGRAM MONDAY
WEDNESDAY Active recovery/power walk (epsom salt bath, infrared sauna) THURSDAY
Active recovery/power walk (epsom salt bath, infrared sauna)
Alexa’s Resistance Training: DAY 1: MONDAY This workout consists of a standalone EMOM, followed by two supersets. EMOM stands for ‘every minute on the minute’. The beauty of this format is that you can structure the rep range and load of the EMOM to target your own specific goals. If you’re an advanced lifter, know your one rep max (1RM), and if you want to opt for pure strength and no advance in muscle size, aim for three reps with an exertion level of 8/10. If you’re a beginner to intermediate lifter and want to aim for more strength and minimal size, aim for five reps and an exertion level of 6–7/10. If you’re a beginner lifter and prefer to stick to lighter weights for form OR you want to aim for fat loss with a little lean muscle gain, then aim for 10 reps with an exertion level of 5/10. You should be able to complete all 10 reps for all 10 sets at the same weight – so don’t be a hero by trying to go too heavy! Perform each exercise for the reps/time that are prescribed. Where there is a superset [e.g. C1 & C2], perform the excercises one after the other with no rest in between. After you have completed the superset, rest 30 seconds. Complete three to five rounds before moving on to the next superset. To progress these workouts, you can increase the load (heavier weights), the time under tension (slow it down), and/or the volume (add a set each week).
NOTE: YOU SHOULD NEVER SACRIFICE FORM FOR LOAD, TIME OR VOLUME. womenshealthandfitness.com.au
BARBELL GLUTE BRIDGE EMOM – GOAL-DEPENDENT REP RANGE (3,5 OR 10). COMPLETE REQUIRED AMOUNT OF REPS EVERY MINUTE ON THE MINUTE FOR 10 MINUTES (SO 10 SETS IN TOTAL). Feet need to be set up in line with the sit bones: so align the hip bone, knee and 2/3rd toe. Place a towel or mat across
the front of the hips underneath the barbell. Drive your hips up to the ceiling, squeezing the glutes. Keep a slight posterior pelvic tilt throughout to make sure you are using the glutes rather than the lower back. If you struggle to engage the glutes, pop a band around your knees, lift the toes and even turn your feet slightly out.
NOTE: 2 MINS REST AFTER EMOM TO START FIRST SUPERSET
Feet hip-distance apart, hold the bar in front of your thighs. Pin the shoulders back and keep them set throughout. The RDL part of the movement is initiated by a hip hinge (imagine you’re shutting a car door with your butt) – as your hips go back, the upper body naturally comes forward. Come to a position where your upper body is almost parallel with the floor, then perform the bent-over row, pulling to the bottom rib with elbows squeezing in. Drive through the heels to come up and squeeze the glutes at the top.
10 X BARBELL ROMANIAN DEADLIFT INTO BENTOVER ROW
NOTE: If you struggle to keep your shoulders back throughout, you can perform this movement with an underhand grip.
30-SEC DEAD HANG
With hands just wider than shoulder distance, hang from a pull-up bar using an overhand grip. Note: make sure you wrap your thumb around the bar and focus on gripping hard. Let your shoulders shrug up to your ears.
NOTE: REST 2 MINS BEFORE NEXT SUPERSET
10 X RACK HOLD STEP-UPS
Hold two kettlebells in front of the body with the inside of your wrists touching. Plant your top foot on a box and focus on engaging your glutes and hamstrings to pull you up through the heel, as opposed to pushing too much with the bottom leg. Keep the top leg elevated for all of the reps, then switch sides.
10 X KNEE TUCKS
Set yourself up in a plank position with your shins and the top of your feet on a Swissball, hands directly underneath the shoulders. Initiate the movement from the lower abs by lifting your hips towards the ceiling as you draw your knees in towards your chest. Lower with control and repeat. To avoid dropping through the lower back, keep your glutes tight and your abdominals drawn in to the spine throughout.
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Alexa’s Resistance Training DAY 2:THURSDAY
NOTE: 2 MINS REST AFTER EMOM TO START FIRST SUPERSET 16 X ZERCHER REVERSE LUNGE
TRAP BAR DEADLIFT EMOM – GOAL-DEPENDENT REP RANGE (3, 5 OR 10). COMPLETE REQUIRED AMOUNT OF REPS EVERY MINUTE ON THE MINUTE FOR 10 MINUTES (SO 10 SETS IN TOTAL). You can use any compound lift for the EMOM. I like the trap bar deadlift as the positioning of the load allows you to both lift heavy and with volume, with a decreased chance of injury. As with all deadlifts, make sure your set-up is correct as this will determine the quality of your set. Weight is on the heels throughout. Focus on being able to ‘feel’ the ground (going barefoot can help with this), and imagine you are screwing your feet into the ground, which will help engage the glutes. Pull yourself into the bar and lock the triceps and lats down – there should be no slack from the hands to the heels. Push the floor away, and drive through the heels to stand up, squeezing your glutes at the top. To lower, push the hips back first then sit down. Hips should be slightly higher than knees at the bottom of the movement to ensure that the posterior chain is loaded correctly.
Set up the rack at waist height so that you can pick up the barbell in the elbow crease. Clasp hands together. Keeping your shoulders back, step back into a reverse lunge with the weight on the front heel. Back knee should graze the ground. Alternate legs. Lean slightly forward without hunching to place more emphasis on the glutes and hamstrings.
30-SEC ISOMETRIC CHIN
Jump up or pull yourself up into the top position of a chin-up – grip is underhand and chin should be above the bar. Lean back ever so slightly and drive the chest out to engage the lats and lower traps, not the upper traps. At the end of the 30 secs, lower yourself to a dead hang as slowly as possible.
10 X SWISSBALL ROLLOUTS
Set yourself up in a plank position on a Swissball with elbows directly underneath shoulders, abs drawn in to spine and glutes tight to support the lower back. Extend the elbows out in front of you as far as you can without losing your neutral spine. Start and finish position is with elbows underneath the shoulders, not underneath the chest. This is a small and controlled movement.
3 NOTE: REST 2 MINS BEFORE NEXT SUPERSET
SUPPLEMENTALS To round out this program, I would also include supplemental exercises such as a bench-supported row, bicep curl to overhead press, and tricep pressdown to further focus on torso stability, in addition to working on any potential imbalances or weaknesses found in a pull-up position.
10 X BARBELL THRUSTER
Hold the barbell against your collarbone with chest slightly pushed out and hands just outside the line of the shoulders. Try and keep the wrists straight. Set feet up for squat position. Perform a full squat without allowing the bar to pull you forwards. As you drive up, use the momentum of your legs to help push the barbell overhead.
Tabata: SATURDAY Twenty-second max effort followed by 10 seconds' ‘active rest’ (regression: complete rest). Eight rounds. One to two mins rest between exercises.
1. SQUAT JUMPS/ SQUAT HOLD A. Squat jumps: Start by doing a regular squat, then engage your core and jump up explosively, driving the hips through the hands into extension. When you land, lower your body back into the squat position to complete one rep. Land as quietly as possible, which requires control.
B SQUAT HOLD
2. BURPEES/STRAIGHT ARM PLANK
B. Squat hold: Sink into the bottom of the squat position and hold (A1). Keep all of the weight in your heels while driving the knees and hips open. Be sure to maintain an upright body position with your chest up, shoulders back and down, and core engaged.
A. Burpees 1. Bend over or squat down and place your hands on the floor in front of you, just outside of your feet. 2. Jump both feet back so that you’re now in plank position. 3. Drop to a push-up – your chest should touch the floor. You can also drop to your knees, which makes the impending push-up easier.
4. Push up to return to plank position (this can be a strict push-up, a push-up from the knees, or not a push-up at all (i.e. push yourself up from the ground as you would if you weren’t working out) – your choice). 5. Jump your feet back in toward the hands. 6. Explosively jump into the air, reaching your arms straight overhead. B. Hold straight arm plank – place your palms on the ground with wrists and elbows aligned below the shoulders, and arms parallel to the body at about shoulder-width distance. Hold.
A3 PLYO GLUTE MARCH
3. PLYO GLUTE MARCH/ GLUTE BRIDGE HOLD A. Plyo glute march: Lift your hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. Raise one leg towards the roof, and in one swift move jump the feet to swap to the opposite leg. Keep your abs tensed throughout the movement.
GLUTE BRIDGE HOLD
B. Glute bridge hold: Lift your hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. Squeeze your glutes hard and keep your abs drawn in so you don't overextend your back.
STRAIGHT ARM PLANK
4. V-UPS/LOW BOAT HOLD
LOW BOAT HOLD
A. V-ups: To begin the exercise, keep your legs straight and lift them into the air; at the same time, raise your upper body off of the floor and reach for your toes with your hands. Lower under control to the starting position.
B. Low boat hold: Every muscle in your abdominals is engaged during low boat pose. Use your core muscles to hold you in the position, and bring your arms slightly away from your body for better balance. I encourage rolling the upper body up onto the shoulder blades before lifting the legs to help support the lower back.
B A2 DEAD BALL SLAMS
5. DEAD BALL SLAMS/ OVERHEAD HOLD A. Dead ball slams: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent. Pick up a non-bounce dead ball and raise it over your head with arms extended. Slam the ball to the ground, bringing the body into a closed hip position, i.e. a squat. Make sure that when you pick the ball up to return to the starting position, you keep your chest up, your abs in and your back braced (not rounded). Repeat. B. Overhead hold: Simply stand holding the dead ball over your head for 20 seconds. Make sure you squeeze your glutes tight to avoid arching the back.
Jenna’s Example HIIT Workout 1: TUESDAY For this workout you have the ability to choose your weapon: Stairmaster, treadmill, assault bike, ski-erg or rower. My favourite for this specific workout is the Stairmaster. Complete each exercise one after the other, with as little rest in between as possible. Five rounds with 1–2 minutes rest between each round.
» 2-minute Stairmaster (highest speed possible) » 10m sled push (2 laps) » 10m dumbbell farmer's walk (heavy as possible – 2 laps) » 20 x battle rope slams » 40 x butterfly sit-ups
Jenna’s Example HIIT Workout 2: FRIDAY For this HIIT workout, record your time after the five rounds so you can try to beat it next time.
» » » » »
400m row 20 x wall balls 15 x Russian kettlebell swings 10 x push-ups 5 x burpee pull-ups (regression: eliminate the pull-up and just jump to the bar) » 60-sec plank
: 5Â½Â½ +
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THE SUMMER EDIT
If you spent the entirety of last year in-gym, it might be time to put the dumbells down and take a breather – in your own backyard. Take advantage of the summer rays by moving your workout outdoors – without letting your fitness and physique goals fade – using WH&F’s no-nonsense guide to nature’s best fat-frying, muscle-building and sweatcreating activities. WORDS: ANGELIQUE TAGAROULIAS
Hiking, cycling and running GOOD FOR Taking your cardiovascular training outdoors may be the answer to increased motivation and dodging results plateaus according to the latest research. One study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology found that activities such as hiking, cycling and running in nature have been associated with greater feelings of revitalisation, increased energy, and a reduction in feelings of anger, confusion and depression – meaning you are more likely to make it out the door to work out. Not only will hiking your local trails help to bolster your mental state, but the length of such activities (usually upward of the 45-minute to an hour threshold) means they will improve both cardiovascular fitness and your ability to dip into fat stores. Muscular endurance, agility, balance and coordination are also improved via a hike thanks to the uneven terrain, says exercise physiologist and exercise scientist Naomi Ferstera (naomiferstera. com). Cycling is another winner for increasing aerobic fitness as you can adjust the level of intensity as you improve to avoid plateau, while running sits your heart rate at about 60 per cent – perfect for fat loss. “You use primarily your aerobic energy system while running – this energy system uses mainly fat [rather than carbs] as fuel, which means that you burn a lot of fat. The repetitive activity helps you improve your VO2max, which is your cardiovascular fitness and your muscular endurance,” says exercise physiologist and nutritionist Veronika Larisova (eatlikeachief.com). But before you ditch the treadie for good, be warned: research published in The Journal of Physiology found that just three 30-minute sessions of sprint interval training on a bike can be as effective as five one-hour endurance workouts per week in increasing the body’s insulin sensitivity. Improved insulin sensitivity supports the body’s ability to store carbs you eat as muscle
glycogen instead of fat, meaning improved weight maintenance. So if time is a factor for your lifestyle, it might be worth keeping the gym membership on standby.
LIMITATIONS While muscle endurance can be aided by the odd hike up a hill, serious muscle gains are limited when performing cardio-based activities. Even the most avid professional cyclists still supplement their bike work with gym workouts for a reason. In order to lose fat and gain muscle, hypertrophy-focused strength training is necessary. “My advice to anyone who wants to be fit overall – with good muscle mass and strength, low body fat and solid cardiovascular fitness – is that you need to cover all these components in your training,” says Larisova. “You can’t gain muscle by running; you need to do specific hypertrophy strength training at the gym, which involves lifting heavy weights to gain muscle and to prevent muscle loss. And to lose fat without losing muscle you need to do different types of running such as sprinting, hill sprints, interval running and short bursts at high intensity. This will also work your anaerobic fitness, lactose threshold and power if done correctly.” Running also puts a lot of stress on your muscles and joints, with the potential to cause inflammation, premature ageing and shin splints if overdone. Running on softer surfaces, fuelling your body correctly and ensuring adequate recovery time are important for preventing injury. Try alternating your longer runs with lower impact cycling every other day. Focusing on your ankle, hip and knee stability, your core strength, and glute and quad exercises – including single-leg versions – can also help. “Work on overall body tightness and improve your flexibility with plenty of stretching – if you’re tight you won’t run properly because you won’t have good biomechanics, which then leads to injuries,” says Larisova. womenshealthandfitness.com.au
Muscle tightness causes the muscle to shorten, which limits range of motion, while stretching increases the muscle length. Research shows that regular stretching will lead to the muscle being permanently extended, increasing flexibility. “Long distance running and marathons also create lots of free radicals in your body, which is damaging and causes inflammation and premature ageing,” warns Larisova. Opt for softer running surfaces such as sand or grass, and avoid concrete, which can lead to overuse injuries, shin splints, stress fractures and damage to your ligaments and tendons if adequate recovery time is not allowed for. Good nutrition should never be overlooked. In order to maintain muscle despite in the midst of excessive cardio activites, a protein-rich diet high in amino acids is essential according to BioMed Research International. Think lean meat, soybeans and lentils.
TRY TABATA SPRINTING OUTDOORS: Sprint as fast as you can for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat 8 times. “This will work on your fat burning and on improving your cardiovascular fitness by increasing your VO2max but it will not lead to the same level of muscle wastage, such as running a marathon probably would,” says Larisova. Larisova suggests 2 to 3 strength sessions per week in addition to your 3 to 4 runs, alternating between long, slow jogs and sprints at high intensity, which will help to build muscle. Personal trainer and owner of Flow Athletic Ben Lucas (flowathletic.com. au) recommends keeping cardio-based cycling to 2 to 3 sessions per week, and
both Lucas and Ferstera encourage supplementing your cardio (whether it be cycling, hiking or running) with resistance training. This will be particularly useful to cyclists’ core strength and posture as they tend to hunch over the bicycle bars. Combining strength exercises with sprinting around the oval: Complete a 400-metre sprint around an oval (or similar) followed by: » 20 x jump lunges » 10 x push-ups » 20 x sit-ups » 10 x full burpees » 1-minute plank » 1-minute isometric squat against a tree or wall. Repeat for 30 to 40 minutes for optimal fat loss/ fitness results and to hit all key body parts.
Rock climbing GOOD FOR The short bursts of high intensity activity followed by even shorter sections of active rest native to rock climbing make it an ideal activity for spiking your heart rate – improving both your fitness and your ability to burn fat post-workout (if you work hard enough). A woman of average height and build can burn around 600 to 700 calories in a one-hour rock climbing sesh, and this HIIT-style workout is likely to provide an EPOC (excess post oxygen consumption) or afterburn effect where you continue to expend energy for 12 to 48 hours after you jump off the rocks. It’s also a full-body workout that will improve muscular strength and endurance, particularly for the upper body, according to Ferstera. “Every muscle in your body is likely to improve with rock climbing but particularly the type II fibres, which activate under power, speed or heavy loads,” she says. Type II or fast twitch muscle fibres have larger motor units that control more cells, meaning they’re bigger and contract with greater force. So it’s no surprise they’re working in overdrive to support your entire body while rock climbing.
LIMITATIONS Rock climbing allows for significant gains in upper body strength but can be unbalanced in terms of the lower body, with your legs playing more of a supporting role. Plateau is also a risk
Kayaking GOOD FOR
eventually, particularly if rock climbing is your only training poison of choice. “As with any exercise, your body adapts to what you’re doing, so you’ll need to keep pushing yourself with harder climbs,” says Ferstera. “It’s likely you’ll see significant gains in upper body strength but it’ll be more endurance improvements you see in the lower body. Therefore you should think about balancing this out in the gym or by doing other activities such as sprints or HIIT training.”
TRY Ferstera suggests adding 1 to 3 strength-based training sessions to your rock climbing load per week, to ensure you are working every muscle group. Reps below six and intensity above 85 per cent of your 1RM (one repetition maximum) is optimal. Working on your upper body strength and hand/ eye coordination will improve your rock climbing ability, while leg work will ensure physique balance. “To encourage the use of your lower half and experience balanced growth in your fitness, I suggest matching every rock climbing session (minimum 90 minutes) with a core/leg day, focusing on glute engagement, deep core strength and joint stability,” says trainer and founder of Surf Style Elise Carver (littlebantamhealthandfitness.com.au). “Include a minimum of 3 cardio sessions per week – 2 of LISS and 1 of HIIT – concentrating on sprint training to improve heart rate recovery and oxygen efficiency.” Ferstera agrees that interval cardio training will increase aerobic power and endurance, vital to rock climbing. Think bike, cross trainer, stairs and hill sprints.
Kayaking is great for cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance and fat loss. And if you’re injured and need to rest your legs, it’s an ideal aerobic activity to get your heart rate up and maintain cardio fitness without fatiguing your pins. Aerobic activities use fat as the primary source of energy, so it’s great for fat burning too, says Larisova. According to research published by the US National Institutes of Health, aerobic exercises performed in water can burn approximately 501 calories per hour (for a 90kg person). Water has a greater resistance than air, so working out in water requires more effort than on land, making it a great calorie burner.
LIMITATIONS This isn’t your pick for muscular hypertrophy; again, you need to lift heavy weights to build lean muscle. Limiting your exercise routine to kayaking only can lead to weakened legs and glutes, lower back issues, shoulder pain and knee injuries because you’re essentially neglecting your lower body. Posture and technique is critical, says Larisova. “As with any cardio exercise, you need to supplement your kayaking with other strength training including leg work and stretching,” she says.
TRY While kayaking at a moderate pace for an hour observing nature can be relaxing, you need to up the ante for better body composition results.
TRY A KAYAKING TABATA. “Kayak as fast as you can at 100 per cent for 20 seconds and for 10 seconds sit in the kayak and catch your breath; repeat 8 times. You can also do longer intervals such as 1-minute fast kayak, 30 seconds slow kayak. Or kayak fast to a point (a buoy would work), then kayak slowly back and alternate again with fast and slow,” says Larisova. “My advice to anyone trying to build muscle and work on their cardiovascular fitness and muscular endurance at the same time is to focus on short bursts of cardiac activity (interval kayaking) and make sure you stretch, release, sleep well, and have adequate nutrition.”
Beach circuit training and boot camps GOOD FOR “Circuit training is an excellent way to frame your workouts regardless of whether you are working to time (i.e. 30 seconds on, 10 seconds off) or reps (i.e. 8–12 reps),” says Lucas. “You can tailor a circuit workout to suit your needs whether you want to work on your heart rate and endurance, or a slower strength-based workout.” Sand also adds to the resistance, which Lucas says is great for your core, thighs and glutes – hello, booty. The unusual surface also helps with stability and is lower impact than running and sprinting on regular ground. Plus, with an array of exercise and timing options, you won’t get bored. Win, win, win. Once a form of military entry training, outdoor boot camps typically involve a mix of bodyweight exercises, interval training and strength training in a group fitness environment – a good way to cover all fitness goals. Outdoor boot camps also help you to continuously progress and see results due to the variety of exercises and intensities involved. For beginners, bodyweight exercises will likely produce some muscle gains, but for the more advanced you can add equipment such as kettlebells and
resistance bands to allow for heavier loads and progression.
LIMITATIONS The potential to improve all areas of your fitness and physique skyrocket given your ability to adjust the workout to your goal: want to lose fat? Keep the cardio exercises at high intensity with limited rest. Want to gain muscle? Add moderately weighted resistance exercise into the mix and increase your rest times between movements. Think time under tension – slow and steady movements to ensure the muscles are under load for longer periods of time, maximising ‘tone’. That said, the high intensity and fastpaced nature of circuits can cause injury – particularly if overtraining and poor technique are a factor, warns Ferstera. Recovery sessions and a balanced training regimen, again, are important. “Mixing up the type of activities you do in your boot camps means you’re likely to continue to see improvements. Most people who are stuck in a plateau and then have a rest from their training often find their plateau ends after their rest,” says Ferstera. “Plus, when you’re enjoying what you’re doing, you’re more likely to keep going and push yourself harder.”
Doing what you enjoy seems to be the best strategy for success when it comes to getting your recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. A study published in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise found that among two groups of people – one that did HIIT and the other longer moderate-intensity exercise – those who did moderate-intensity exercise compared to high-intensity reported greater pleasure and enjoyment, and felt more likely to keep it up. If circuit training on the beach is your pick, Lucas recommends 3 to 4 workouts per week at 30 to 40 minutes in duration, supplemented with lowintensity steady-state cardio such as walking and yoga. Try the following exercises, completing: » 10 reps » Repeat for 3 rounds » 30 seconds' rest between rounds 1. 2. 3. 4.
lateral lunges squat jumps push-ups 20 metre shuttle sprints (use towels or cones as markers and set them out 20 metres apart)
“Training on the sand can cause lactic acid to build up in the legs, so you want to flush it out. Lighter exercise will ensure your muscles have a chance to recover, and will also keep your cortisol and inflammation levels in check,” he says.
PHOTOGRAPHY: JACK HANNAH
GOOD FOR The movements involved in swimming and surfing – such as paddling, duck diving and breathing at various paces – makes them excellent activities for improving cardio fitness. When you exercise regularly at your maximum heart rate (also termed your V02max), your heart muscle becomes more efficient at pumping oxygenated blood through your body, improving your fitness. Swimming laps vigorously will raise your heart rate and keep it there – particularly the taxing butterfly stroke. Your body’s consistent push against the resistance of the water means sufing and swimming can also build full body muscular endurance if performed regularly enough, says Carver. Hence the post-surfing leg burn, as you are forced to control the board through constant muscle engagement. Water also acts as a cushion for your joints, reducing stress on muscles, tendons and ligaments.
LIMITATIONS While surfing and swimming movements challenge muscular endurance, Carver says it won’t do much for muscular definition. Unlike bodybuilders, surfers don’t focus on isolated muscles – their whole body must work as one unit to move through the waves and, in the end, load (and progressive overload needed to build muscle) is limited. While perfect for improving stability and balance that can translate to your key lifts, it won’t do so much for creating sharp curves.
TRY Carver suggests doing a minimum of 4 strength-building sessions per week. Pick 5 to 8 exercises that focus on two body parts per session. For example, core and legs, core and glutes, core and postural strength or core and balance/joint stability. “You want to build lean, pliable muscle and tone to complement your surfing/swimming by being light in the water while still strong. Add weights to all movements that you can hold with correct technique, starting at a weight just inside your comfort zone for you to complete 3 sets of 15 repetitions,” she says. “Start low at a manageable level and increase the weight when you begin to find completing 3x20 repetitions of the exercise quite easy. Follow this method, beginning at 3x15 repetitions again for each weight increase, then increase your repetitions to 3x20 again once 3x15 is easy.”
Surfing and swimming
h t i w ’ n i k l Ta Y E S R E OW
The January edition of WH&F seemed the perfect launching pad for a brandnew column. So, drum roll, please: WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU. Once a month, we will be asking you to submit a training question via the comments on a Facebook post (womenshealthandfitness. com.au), which our incredibly knowledgeable and experienced WH&F head trainer Alexa Towersey will answer in the very next edition. Boasting a long list of credentials and over 15 years' industry experience, no training query is off limits.
“Hi Alexa, I am 53, a size 8 and recently went on holidays overseas for 12 weeks. I was unable to sustain my rigorous training workouts and nutrition plan. I have gained only 2kg but I have lost some of my toned physique and leanness, which I worked for over four years to get! I am now worried that I won’t get back to where I was 12 weeks ago. What would you recommend as a plan of action? Thank you.” – Elaine Boyd, QLD
PHOTOGRAPHY: EMILY ABAY
Despite people’s best intentions, including the more hardcore weekend warriors or athletes among us, almost everyone gains an extra layer of non-functional flab over the holiday season. But if we can’t sleep in and overindulge without feeling guilty on our hard-earned – and often ‘once a year only’ break – then when can we? Women tend to have a psychological attachment to their training and nutrition compliance (or lack of), particularly when compared to men. We feel that if we allow our routine to slip, our intensity to drop or we have a cheat meal when we’re not supposed to, then we instantly gain 10 kilos – even if our trainers or friends/ family tell us otherwise.
So let me lay it out in a few paragraphs to reassure you; Firstly, if you have built a solid foundation with your training and nutrition, you may temporarily lose some of your ‘gains’ after a training dip – but you’ll get them back far quicker than you think. It’s much easier to rebuild lost muscle than it is to build it from scratch. As a general rule of thumb (and it does vary from person to person), this ‘reconditioning’ works on a 1:1 ratio in terms of time frame. If you took 12 weeks off, you should get back to your previous level of performance and development within 12 weeks of resuming your training program. Not to mention the fact that you’ll be completely recovered and rejuvenated. Secondly, the softness and extra curves created by your lack of hard training during your holiday period isn’t necessarily fat. Having less muscle tone also results from the nervous system being less ‘turned on’, and the amount of chronic inflammation in your stressed out muscles and tendons being less; both of which contribute to the ‘pumped up’ look that we’re more familiar with. Sometimes it’s just a case of reframing the situation: instead of having a negative mindset towards being ‘softer’, think about the positives to having a break from high impact or hardcore training, especially if there are any niggling injuries to repair. Finally, stressing out about holiday weight gain is going to do you more harm than good. We now know that there is a correlation between the stress hormone
cortisol and what we affectionately refer to as the ‘jelly belly’. Stress is one of the most underestimated yet common factors in weight or body fat gain, especially around the midsection. So while some of us are getting ‘fatter’ just stressing about getting ‘fatter’, others are getting leaner as they leave their stress behind them and just relax. Now after having said all this, I understand that some of you regular gym bunnies will be rolling your eyes and wondering when I’m going to stop telling you to just relax and take a load off, and give you some practical advice. So here are my top two takeaways:
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If you’re planning a getaway, amp up your training stress significantly for the last phase of your program leading into the holidays by increasing the overall training volume by at least 50 per cent while maintaining the same intensity. You can do this by increasing the number of sets per exercise or by increasing the number of training sessions per week. The goal here is to create a state of accumulated fatigue so the holiday becomes more about the body recovering than regressing.
We’ve all heard about ‘functional training’, but this is where I introduce you to ‘functional eating for the holidays’. No more mainstream ‘drink more water’ or ‘carry some celery sticks around with you at all times’ tips. If we think in a truly paleo sense of emulating our hunter-gatherer descendants, life was all about eating less during the day while we’re active and having a veritable feast at night while socialising and relaxing. This approach has lost its way in modern times because we’re told that if we eat too much at night, it will lead to fat gain. But it’s not eating big at night that makes you put on weight, it’s eating too many calories for the entire day. So my advice? Eat light during the day and focus on the feast. That way you not only get to truly enjoy your food and the company you’re with, but knowing that you have something to look forward to will keep your hand out of the cookie jar beforehand.
fii t e s
E X P E R T T H I N K TA N K
RUN, BABY, RUN HOW TO BECOME A RUNNER – OR AT LEAST GET BETTER AT IT – ACCORDING TO OUR (PREDOMINANTLY WEIGHT-SAVVY) EXPERTS. THIS COULD GET INTERESTING.
INTERVIEWS: KATELYN SWALLOW
TRAVIS ‘TJ’ JONES
Founder and head coach of Ally’s Angels & Alphas
Trainer and director of Earn Your Stripes
Personal trainer, nutrition and health coach
Vision PT master trainer
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Trainer and founder of Result Based Training gyms
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EXPERIENCE: 7+ years
GOWANS If you are anything like me, you don’t break into a run unless zombies are chasing you. So why, other than when escaping the living dead, would you adopt running into your fitness regime? For starters, according to a landmark study in the American Journal of Cardiology, running has been associated with the significant reduction in heart disease. Every time you run it positively impacts your resting heart rate and therefore reduces the workload on the heart. A stronger heart means greater cardiovascular fitness and gives you the ability to take part in more activities, or simply enjoy ‘playtime’ with our family and friends for a lot longer in life. Running also helps build stronger bones and joints. Contrary to popular belief, running places stress on the joints, which helps them to grow stronger – similar to the gains reflected in your muscles via resistance training. Combining an effective weights-based programming with some running is therefor a strong strategy to ward off signs of osteoarthritis.
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Yes, you guessed it, on top of being a great way to simply ‘get fit’, running also plays a key role in serious fat torching. For the average 55kg person, you will burn a whopping 12.2 cals per min on flat terrain. Now imagine if you push that on a slight slope and mix it up with a little intervalbased sprint. You are one lean, mean, fatburning machine. If you didn’t already feel like the above was reason enough, well, the runner's high may just be the final drawcard to make you lace up your sneakers and take to the pavement. When you run, your brain pumps out two powerful feel-good chemicals, endorphins and endocannabinoids. These have been found to have the same effect on our brains/mood chemically as that of moodelevating drugs. So the ‘feel-good’ high that only runners know is actually a very REAL thing. So, like me, you may now be thinking: let’s prepare for an apocalypse and – should it never happen – we can enjoy all of the above.
HERE ARE MY FIVE TOP TIPS TO GET YOU STARTED: » Get the right pair of shoes: get fitted for the right type of shoe for your feet and step. » Start slow: don’t be all macho and think you are Steve Monaghetti on your first outing. Start with a realistic and smaller distance and slowly build up. » Warm up and cool down: start with dynamic warm-up exercises and ALWAYS finish with full body stretching. » Don’t run often: similar to resistance training, the body needs rest and nutritious fuel to recover. Break up your running sessions over the week accordingly. » Stay hydrated: drink more water than usual on the days you are running. Being even slightly dehydrated can significantly impact your performance.
I know exactly what it is like to train toward a long distance run. All throughout primary and high school I was involved in athletics – primarily as a 100m and 200m sprinter – and I couldn’t run 1.2 kms to save my life. When I hit my 20s I decided to enter Run Melbourne and complete the 10km course; I had just four months to build up my endurance and fitness – a big challenge for a weight lifter/sprinter to undertake. The training was structured as follows: » Two continuous running sessions on terrain per week. » One interval training running session on terrain per week. » One strength and conditioning session at the gym. » The remaining days were filled with active recovery and rest. I started with continuous runs for time: meaning I simply recorded the kilometres I could achieve in a certain amount of time, and tried to progressively get quicker. I started at 20 minutes of continuous running, which was usually around the Tan track (knowing that I would be running the same track for the event). It is extremely important to train on the same or similar
terrain as the event course. Running on a treadmill and running on gravel are two very different experiences for the feet and joints. Gravel and rocky grounds challenge your body’s ability to stabilise and if your legs are not familiar with the terrain, you are at increased risk of injury. This session would usually be followed by a recovery day, which allowed me a full day to stretch in preparation for my interval session, which would start at 15 minutes in duration. The purpose of the interval session was to build strength and power in the lower body as well as improve my VO2 max (the maximum amount of oxygen an athlete can use). Essentially, the more oxygen I can use throughout the course, the longer I will be able to run before I fatigue. This session would usually comprise of a 20-second sprint and a 30-second jog – depending on my energy levels for that day – for a total of 15 minutes, with some jogging haphazardly placed to allow optimal recovery. My second continuous run would be the same duration as the first of that week, to see if I could actually better my distance after all the training. Finally, my strength and conditioning session would be a full body routine to maintain and
build strength in my body to maintain its functionality. With all my running sessions, I aimed to increase the duration by five minutes every week, until I was able to run the full 10km. A key to long distance running is to be able to actually run your goal distance a couple of weeks before the event itself. This way, it won’t come as a complete shock to your body and it will be part of the routine. The week of the event I tapered off my training to 20-minute runs and lower intensity sessions to enable my body to peak on event day. Paired with guided nutrition, I managed to run the 10km in under an hour, which for me was incredible coming from 1.2 km difficulties!
RUNNING PROS: it improves cardiovascular health and teaches the body how to use oxygen efficiently so you become less ‘puffed out’. It also enhances oxygen transportation to the brain, which stimulates better focus, a big reason why people are more likely to go for a run in the morning before work. Running or similar cardiovascular exercise will also strengthen the heart, which will encourage it to pump blood more efficiently to the muscles. This, in turn, improves your circulation, which will help you during strength training and sports. RUNNING CONS: it can be very high impact on the joints, especially if running on uneven terrain. Can increase risk of developing overuse injuries.
JONES If you want to shed fat, you should grab your running shoes and toil away on the treadmill, right? Wrong! Steady-state running is not the best way to slim down. Here’s why one of RBTs favourite T-Shirt slogans is 'treadmills get you nowhere'.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CALORIES Changes to the number on your bathroom scale are ultimately determined by one main factor: energy balance. You gain weight if you consume more calories than you burn and you lose weight if you consume fewer calories than you burn. It’s that simple. Given running requires multiple muscle groups and you do it in a continuous fashion, you burn a magnitude of calories – more than with most other forms of exercise. If a 70-kilo trainee runs for 30 minutes at 10km per hour, he or she burns on average 372 calories. From this standpoint, it makes a lot of sense to run if you want to slim down. If only it was that simple.
BOEHM Running is one of the most accessible forms of exercise. You can do it anywhere, anytime and it doesn’t cost a thing. It increases your cardiovascular health, improves aerobic capacity, burns plenty of energy and could help you survive the zombie apocalypse.
THE PROBLEM While you may burn many calories during a run, it is not the optimal way to slim down for two main reasons: Firstly, low-intensity steady-state cardio stimulates the appetite, as proven by multiple studies. As a result, most people – whether consciously or unconsciously – end up re-loading some (or even all) of the calories they burned. Second, excessive running can cause muscle loss. Muscle loss not only impairs your body shape (think skinny-fat) but also makes it harder to keep the lost weight off in the long run. Why? Because muscle mass is one of the main determinants of your metabolic rate; if you lose muscle, you burn fewer calories per day and thus you’ll be more prone to rebounding.
THE ALTERNATIVE The foundation for every effective fat loss transformation is always eating right and following a proper strengthtraining plan. If you nail those two aspects, you’re well on your way to achieving a figure that makes you proud when you catch a glance of yourself in just about any reflective surface. If, on top of lifting weights, you want to burn additional calories, DON’T do steady-state cardio. Instead, perform high-intensity interval training (HIIT): HIIT is superior for fat loss and it is better at preserving muscle. One study compared the effectiveness of a 20week steady-state cardio program to a 15-week HIIT plan comprising 15 x 30-second sprints. The results? The HIIT group lost nine times as much fat and 12 per cent more belly fat than the steady-state cardio group! So, perish the thought that you must toil away hour after hour on the treadmill to get lean this summer – you don’t!
A BASIC OVERVIEW Pros: » Increased aerobic capacity from running transcends into other areas of training, i.e. weight lifting, circuit training, etc. » The ‘runner’s high’ endorphins can boost your mood for an entire day. » Running is a very social sport and there are many events held throughout the year to aid motivation.
Cons: » Injury risk is high due to the repetitive strain on joints, ligaments and soft tissue. » Running for too long or too frequently can drive up cortisol, the stress hormone. » It can be catabolic, i.e. burn away precious, metabolismenhancing muscle. » Running increases your appetite, which can make it very difficult to control intake when attempting to lose weight.
There are several considerations to make before lacing up your brand-new trainers and hitting the pavement: BEGIN WHERE YOU ARE. When starting any new exercise regime it can be tempting to go balls-to-wall right away. Getting caught up in the excitement of your new-found motivation can mean you overdo it, leaving you feeling exhausted, disheartened and struggling to get out of bed. The key is to start small and continually build upon your previous effort. I suggest setting goal posts along your running track to ensure you feel as though you are achieving something, and ensure adequate rest between efforts. An example would be: run for 100m, walk for 100m; or use an interval timer app and run for 3 min, walk for 3 min, etc. Once your running interval becomes easier, increase the distance/time between walks. womenshealthandfitness.com.au
MIX IT UP. Running on different paths and terrains is not only a great way to explore and stave off boredom, but also provides your body with different stimulus, requiring a greater variety of postures, position muscles and joints to engage. Running on the same surface repeatedly reinforces only one particular pattern, which can become detrimental to your joints and ligaments and cause muscular imbalances. Incorporate trail running, soft-sand, stairs, hills, grass and the treadmill to keep your body balanced and stimulated. GET STRONG. Of all the things that influence your running, strength training is one of the biggest factors that will impact your performance and recovery. Unfortunately, many runners avoid doing any form of lower-body resistance training out of fear it will ‘bulk’ them up or slow them down; this couldn’t be further from the truth. Increasing lean muscle density on your legs will not only enable you to run faster but also help to prevent the majority of common running injuries. Due to the angle between our hips and knees (called the Q-angle), women are at much higher risk of suffering joint pain and associated soft-tissue damage in both of these areas. Strengthening the glutes and hamstrings will not only help with injury prevention, but give you a shapely, perky bum – win! FUEL. Providing your body with adequate nutrition is absolutely crucial for improving fitness and losing fat. Setting out on a run with no fuel in the tank will make you feel heavy and lethargic, while also triggering the release of cortisol (fat-storing stress hormone) and cause your body to preserve energy. This means your perfomance will suffer and you will more than likely burn less calories than you would have had you chosen to power up beforehand. A perfect pre-run meal should consist of a balance of protein (to prevent muscle breakdown), fat (for blood sugar stabilisation) and carbohydrates (accessible energy) and be eaten 60 to 90 minutes prior to allow for digestion. If you are running first thing in the morning and can’t stomach food, ensure your dinner from the night before was large enough to push you through. 76
Running is one of the best workouts around. Why? Because it's easy to do, requires next to no equipment and can be done pretty much anywhere, from your gym treadmill to outdoors and around your block. All you need is a good pair of running shoes. A lot of people love to run simply to experience what our bodies are capable of. Running doesn’t care if you smash out 42km marathons or jog around the block with the kids: it’s a great physical outlet on so many levels. Like any training objective, I suggest you approach running by setting specific goals, working to a specific plan and setting a specific nutritional approach. Think about the reasons why you want to start running and be clear on what you are trying to achieve. Generally, running five kilometres is a great place to start for most entry-level runners.
PLAN YOUR TRAINING Run for distance and then run for speed – you need to be fit enough to complete five kilometres before you worry about how fast you are going. Your program needs to include long, slow-distance runs, as well as speed work. Progress slowly, and don’t increase your training by too much each week, so as to protect yourself from injury. Once you feel like you have five kilometres covered, you may want to set yourself up for a longer distance run so you are progressively challenged.
NUTRITION Like anything to do with physical fitness, nutrition is number one: you’d be surprised at how much your running
and/or training in general would improve if you clean up your nutrition and lost a little body fat.
LINEAR PROGRESSION Aside from nutrition, for the weekend warrior or fitness enthusiast looking to become a runner or just get better at it, increasing overall fitness, stength and endurance should be the focus. I personally like a program that uses linear progression. This approach is simple and effective – although often forgotten in a modern training culture that’s always looking for the ‘next big thing.’ Linear periodisation for running will work through the various training phases: aerobic, anaerobic, strength, speed and race. Each phase is essentially arranged in a line, in which each phase gives way to the next over a set period of time. Begin with a base phase in which you can perform a set volume of moderatepace running. For example, if training for a 10km fun run, begin with four weeks at a volume of 12km (3 x 4). The training cycle then begins with an initial phase, in which you perform an increasing volume of mostly moderately paced runs (3 x 4 km this week, 3 x 4 km next week etc.). Next, a strength phase, in which aerobic running is replaced with sprint work and hill training. For example, run hard 200m up hill, walk down; repeat eight times. Finish this phase with some anaerobic work with fast intervals. The final phase is the racing phase: drop the volume and intensity of training and rest up in preparation for the race. Good luck!
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GO FOR GREEN Buddhist monks have been reaping the benefits of matcha for centuries, with the pure green tea leaves ground into a fine powder said to boost energy, concentration and metabolism. Give your body the double whammy by coupling the superfood with protein in this Instaworthy smoothie bowl or cheeky mini donut, both by matcha monarch Sarah Holloway. Perfect for a preor post-workout snack, or a summer dessert – just sayin’. Matcha powder, $24.95, matchamaiden.com
GREEN TEASER PROTEIN SMOOTHIE BOWL NEED: » 1 frozen banana » 1 cup frozen mango » 1 handful spinach » ½ to 1 tsp matcha powder » 1 scoop vanilla protein powder » 1–2 cups coconut milk » Handful of ice
DO: 1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Frozen ingredients are not necessary but work best to create the thickness to allow toppings on the smoothie bowl not to sink. 2. Pour smoothie mixture into a shallow bowl. 3. Top with your desired toppings (we love fresh fruit, nuts or nut butters, seeds and edible flowers).
MEANWHILE, PREPARE THE GLAZE.
MATCHA PROnut (PROTEIN DONUTS)
MAKES 12 mini PROnuts BY Change Room Foods (@changeroomfoods)
NEED: FOR THE PROnuts » 1 tbsp raw coconut sugar » 1 tbsp coconut nectar » 1 tbsp extra-virgin coconut oil, melted » 3 tbsp boiling water » 3 tbsp almond mylk (or milk of choice) » 2 tbsp organic unsweetened yoghurt » ½ tsp vanilla extract » 1 organic and free-range egg, whisked » 3 tbsp vanilla-flavoured protein powder » 3 tbsp coconut flour » 2 tbsp potato starch » 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder DO: 1. Preheat a mini donut-maker. 2. Place the coconut sugar, coconut nectar, melted coconut oil and boiling water into a bowl and whisk until
the sugar and syrup has completely dissolved. Add the mylk and yoghurt. Whisk lightly – it’s okay if there are lumps of yoghurt remaining. Add the egg and vanilla, and whisk until glossy and well combined. In a mixing bowl, combine the protein powder, coconut flour, potato starch and baking powder. Pour over the wet mixture and whisk until the batter is smooth and lump free. When the donut-maker is ready, fill each of the molds with approximately 1½ tbsp batter. Close the lid and cook for 3–4 minutes. The donuts will be quite golden brown, and this is okay. They are not burnt and the centres should be fluffy and moist. Carefully transfer the donuts to a cooling rack and repeat with the remaining batter. Allow the donuts to cool.
NEED: » ½ cup stevia icing mix » 1 tbsp raw honey » 1 and ½ tsp Matcha Maiden #mixnmatcha powder » 1 tbsp black tahini » 3 tbsp almond mylk (or other milk), warmed » Toasted sesame seeds and extra Matcha Maiden #mixnmatcha powder, to decorate DO: 1. Divide the stevia icing mix, honey and warmed mylk between two small bowls. 2. Add the matcha powder to one bowl, and the black tahini to the other. 3. Stir the contents of each bowl until the mixtures have completely combined and are glossy, smooth and uniform in colour. 4. Working quickly, dip the tops of half of the donuts into the black sesame glaze, the other half into the matcha glaze. 5. While the glaze is still wet, sprinkle toasted sesame seeds over the black sesame-glazed donuts, and #mixnmatcha powder over the matcha-glazed donuts.
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D E V I L’ S A D V O C AT E : If it’s not an ‘eight-week booty challenge’, it’s a ‘lose four kilos in five weeks’ training program or a ‘shred for summer’ boot camp. Come January, the internet and gyms alike are rife with plans promising significant weight loss and ultimate tone – to a strict deadline. So why is the concept so popular, particularly come new year? And do short and sharp fitness programs actually work – in the long term? WH&F editor Katelyn Swallow decided to give one a go, entrusting her nutrition and training to one of Australia’s most established franchises, Vision Personal Training, for a total of nine weeks. These are her results, with the usual experts weighing in .
THE ROAD TEST
The interesting thing about challenges is that people come from all walks of life to participate in them. I’d seen friends and family members sign up to challenges because they were overweight or lacking muscle; because they were happy with their body but hated that they couldn’t get up the stairs without puffing; because a friend had dragged them along, they wanted to get back into shape post-bub or because they wanted a plumper behind. Myself? Having competed in my first ever bikini competition in May – and then spent a good four to five months drinking my fair share of wine at social events – I was what you would call a ‘soft fit person’. About six kilos up from stage weight (not overly unusual for competitors), my training had certainly been less strict than usual, my eating was at about 60 per cent and my head was nowhere near in the health and fitness space. While not horrified with my body, I was looking for a mindset reset and a body ‘detox’. So when the opportunity to join the 9 Week Weight Loss Challenge at Vision Personal Training Brighton (visionpt.com.au) arose, my only questions was: where do I sign up? “The Vision community, which consists of 58 studios across Australia and New Zealand, only runs two challenges per year for current clients to participate in. We see the challenges as a great way for our clients to stay motivated, accountable and to be celebrated and recognised in a broader community,” says the director of Vision Personal Training Brighton, David Wescon. “The 9 Week Challenge began in 1999, and earlier this year it saw Zoe Charters take out the female title with an impressive weight loss of 17.1kg, while Steve Yerbery took out the male title, after losing a whopping 22.8kg. “Vision chooses to set nine-week goals for all clients. Nine weeks is not an overwhelming amount of time, but long
enough to set and achieve some really impressive results.”
GOING FOR GOALS New clients at Vision meet first with the studio manager, who matches them with a trainer best suited to their goals and personality. My first meeting with my trainer included a thorough body composition assessment (including body measurements and progress photos), and my personal history with food, training and my body weight was discussed in detail. Then, a goal-setting session: I decided that I would like to lose five kilos within the nine weeks, but while experimenting with foods I enjoy and still socialising at least once a week. My ultimate goal at the end of the challange would act as a motivator: a photoshoot!
AT THE SQUAT RACK Vision split their clients’ training shedule into two types: cardio and resistance, with cardio divided again into low-intensity and high-intensity components. I was given specific targets to meet each week, in minutes (all of which can be tracked in the Vision phone app) – so you can essentially work your training times around your own schedule, as long as you meet the targets by the end of the week. My cardio consisted of about two to three hours of walking per week and two HIIT group sessions at Vision, while my resistance training was just two half-hour sessions per week with my trainer. Considering some of the challenges out there, it didn’t seem like too big of a workload. “True success comes when maintaining a healthy lifestyle for you and your family becomes second nature,” says Wescon. “Exercise shouldn’t be viewed as a punishment, but rather an activity that is enjoyed. When we are fit, healthy and able, exercise should be a way we celebrate this!”
That’s not to say the HIIT group sessions and PT appointments were easy – I walked out of nearly every one dripping in sweat and legs shaking. Given that challanges are usually after max results in limited time to aid motivation, my PT was full-body, multijoint work designed for fat loss: so lots of squats, deadlifts and shoulder presses – with my trainer keeping a close eye on my loads each and every week so I was continuously progressing.
SHOW ME THE FOOD Nutrition was based on hitting daily macro-nutrient targets rather than calorie counting: so hitting a particular number of grams of fat, protein and carbs, worked out for me by my trainer based on my activity level, gender and body composition. All food was encouraged to be planned in advance and tracked in the Vision app. While I was slightly hungry at times, the fact that macros – rather than foods – are the focus meant there was greater flexibility and I could still eat my favourite treats (including peanut butter and nutella anything).
STUDY CORNER My scale weight was tracked on a weekly basis, and I set mini behavioural goals for the seven days ahead – ranging from reducing dairy to walking an extra half hour – so the five kilograms never felt too overwhelming. But one of the most helpful aspects of the challenge was definitely the group mentality: not only did my trainer keep me accountable, but the small studio and admission to a private Facebook page for challengers meant I always had an ear to listen. Regular nutrition and training workshops, along with shopping tours to explain product labelling, nutrition and selection, meant I met fellow challengers in very small, private environments where everyone was needing to learn. womenshealthandfitness.com.au
T H E PA N E L
While challenges have the potential to aid motivation and get your results ball rolling, pick the wrong one and you may be left drowning in the deep end – fast. We asked our panel of experts to weigh the pros and cons of various new year challenges, and show you how to find one that best suits your body and goals.
TRAINER & FAT LOSS EXPERT strongandleanaustralia.com.au // @strong_and_lean_australia
ON DEADLINE CHALLENGES I’ve seen five- to seven-day detox challenges, and fitness challenges that range from 14 days right through to 12 weeks. I’ve even seen a one-day ‘arm cure’ designed to produce bigger biceps that involved training the arms 15 times in one day! Most of these challenges include both training and nutrition protocols, as most industry experts know training alone won’t achieve a weight loss result without some form of calorie control.
ON POPULARITY Challenges appeal to people’s ‘get rich quick mentality’: people want results and they want them as fast as possible, with as little effort as possible. It’s human nature. Challenges tend to be more popular with women than men, simply because of the increased pressure placed on women
to look a particular way, particularly in summer. Happiness should be viewed as a mindset, not a number on the scale; personally, I like to help people find happiness in the present. That way they can still work towards their goal but skip the ‘I will not be happy until I lose those final two kilograms’ mindset.
ON PROS AND CONS Weight loss is best achieved via a longterm approach, but challenges do offer a kick-start. Short periods of intense focus and determination offer an ‘end in sight’ mentality and, if it yields good results, often give women the motivation they need to commit to long-term body composition change. A lot of these challenges are also done in groups: when you know there are others doing the hard yards with you, it makes it easier to keep going when times get tough. While you may see short, fast results thanks to a challenge, the reality is that 90 per cent of people who lose 10 per cent of their body weight fail to keep it
One of the best things about Vision’s challenge approach is that they encourage you to make it your own. While some of the challengers went all in, sticking 100 per cent to their macro recommendations and going above and beyond with their cardio goals, others – such as myself – used it as a simple reset moving into the new year. “I challenge each participant to really question their ‘why?’. Why now, why is it so important that you increase your fitness or lose weight?" says Wescon. “We all have a why – and I encourage my clients to use their ‘why’ as the reason they make it to the studio and stick to their nutrition plan every day.” Sure, I lost about three kilos (and plenty more in water retention), a couple of per cent body fat and felt far more shapely after nine weeks, but the real win was working with my trainer to accept my body shape, celebrate my small wins and work out how I could have a lifestyle that balanced a body I was happy and confident in, with food and social events I enjoyed. While not for everyone – I can see how weighing yourself weekly could result in an obsession with the scales and tracking every gram of food can become tiresome – finding a challenge that didn’t demand hours and hours of intensive training, took into account my busy lifestyle and didn’t cut any food groups was a blessing, and gave me the tools to sustain my healthy lifestyle (and body) long term. “While we encourage clients to participate in the nine-week challenge, we can’t stress enough that a quick fix like a weight loss challenge isn’t a reflection of the overarching Vision philosophy,” says Wescon. “When the challenge is over, that’s when the real motivation kicks in. When clients see tangible results, and know what they’re capable of achieving, they are more determined than ever to adhere to their exercise and nutrition plan.” And while out of my comfort zone, my photoshoot gave me a timeless reminder of what can be achieved with a little hard work and plenty of education.
PARAMEDIC, PRO FITNESS COMPETITOR & COACH melissazimmerman.com // fitparamedic.com // @melissa_zimmerman off long term. Those that do manage to keep the weight off do so by maintaing the behaviours and habits that helped them to lose the weight in the first place. That’s why quick-fix behaviours aren’t often sustainable.
ON RISKS Some of these challenges are legitimately dangerous, both physically and mentally. When it comes to low-calorie diets and extreme training programs, women are prone to metabolic damage. Loss of menstrual cycle, thinning hair, lowered body temperature, skin discolouration, general irritability and trouble sleeping are all possible side effects. Couple that with encouraging an unhealthy relationship with specific food groups and sometimes a four-, five-, six- or nineweek challenge may be the worst thing to ever happen to a woman! People on challenges are often conditioned to believe certain foods are ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Along with that comes the subconscious idea that eating bad foods makes you a bad person. I don’t believe guilt and shame are the right ways to motivate people! Anyone who makes you feel bad about your food choices should not be in a position to educate and inspire.
ON SUITABILITY First, assess your position at present. Do you have the space and support of your loved ones to commit to a short-term period of intense effort and preparation? If you are currently experiencing signs of metabolic damage, are on a heavily calorie-restricted diet, are training intensely, have an unhealthy relationship with food or are finding it hard to meet your current life responsibilities, then right now might not be the best time for you. You want to give yourself every opportunity to succeed, so simply waiting six to 10 weeks until the space opens up in your life will give you the chance to be one of the people who manages to ingrain some healthy habits and keep the weight off for good.
ON DEADLINE CHALLENGES We have hundreds of challenges at our fingertips 24 hours a day. There’s also every possible duration of challenge you could think of: from a ‘seven-day shred’ to a ‘90-day body’. I think HIIT (high intensity interval training) challenges can achieve great results, provided correct nutrition. But in the end, the choice is yours and you may have to try different short-term challenges to find the one that works best for you and your body.
ON POPULARITY There are many different reasons people sign up for challenges. They may be looking to lose weight, increase fitness, build bigger, rounder glutes or build endurance. Strength and conditioning is also a major motivation.
ON PROS AND CONS I love challenges; I love to pull them apart and put them to the test. I think a nineweek challenge is the best way to kickstart your health and fitness regime and hopefully inspire a lifetime of dedication to your body. By starting a nine- or 12week challenge, you set a standard for yourself, which is the best way to achieve results and maintain them long term. I always advise my clients to split their nine-week challenges into three-week goal-setting periods. Smaller, achievable time frames can keep you motivated, especially if you don’t see results immediately. If you are not in tune with your body, you may not realise that feeling good is a part of good health – results are not always purely visual. Nutrition is also an essential part of any challenge. If the creator of the challenge has in-depth knowledge of gut health, you have struck gold. Hours of cardio within the first
two days always rings alarm bells for me. If you see extremely low calories, the creator is trying to get you results with a total disregard for your health. This can cause a rebound after your challenge, where you gain weight and your health suffers.
ON RISKS The popular squat challenge has an alarming increase in injury rates and now people are having to replace strength training with rehabilitation. If you are new to training but take on specific, isolated muscle training, overloaded with constant repetitions and heavy weight, you are asking for trouble. Overtraining without conditioning is another way to cause injury. Athletes require years of conditioning to know their strengths and weaknesses, and understand their body and what it responds to. It’s important to listen to your body and know when to stop. I always advise anyone who needs a little more help to seek a reputable personal trainer who can teach them the basics of weight training and assist with nutrition, rather than opting for a challenge straight away.
ON SUITABILITY One key element to look for in a sustainable challenge is personalised plans for participants. Generic plans will not work because we’re all different. Does it have a seven-day nutritional plan with a variety of proteins, carbohydrates, essential fats and lots of different vegetables for fibre? Does it have functional weight lifting and cardiovascular plan that you can follow? Does it guide you on essential supplements and minerals you need? Is it basic or does it look complicated? Does it keep you accountable?
TRAINER & FITNESS ENTREPRENEUR vitfit.com.au // @vitfitpt
ON DEADLINE CHALLENGES Most challenges are a combination of exercise programs and nutritional education. I’d personally recommend avoiding online cookie-cutter challenges, where you don’t have access to an expert. It helps to choose challenges that provide access to someone qualified that can assist you along the way. This can be through a closed group forum or a direct messaging feature. I’ve also seen success with challenges that combine face-to-face training in the form of group fitness workouts and ongoing education. Outdoor group fitness programs such as boot camps are a good example: you can get fit, build a healthier lifestyle and meet new people to keep you motivated.
ON POPULARITY The most popular challenges I see are around nine to 12 weeks, just before summer. A new program can be tough in the beginning, so allowing one to two weeks for the body to adjust is a good way to prevent injuries and achieve great results. I personally think programs of a longer nature are the way to go. At the four-week mark, you should see visible results; but it’s the weeks following where you can make significant progress. Ensure your program is structured well and allow for both progressive challenges and lighter sessions to aid recovery. This is what we refer to as periodised programming: an effective exercise programming method used for professional athletes. Just because you may not be an athlete doesn’t mean you can’t train like one.
ON PROS AND CONS Nine-week challenges are a great way to get motivated, live a more active, healthy lifestyle and
set positive habits. They’re suitable for someone who’s just starting out right through to someone who’s been exercising diligently for a while, because most challenges offer scaled levels of intensity. There are some potential negatives with challenges, as following the wrong programs can cause health risks. Rigid and restrictive challenges with pre-set meal plans that set a specific diet and restrict certain food groups altogether can deprive you of key macronutrients. While diets that are extremely calorie restrictive can result in rapid weight loss, they can also cause a loss of muscle mass. This typically leads to regaining body weight.
ON RISKS Anyone who is chronically gaining weight, morbidly obese or suffering emotionally should consult their GP, a professional dietitian or even a psychologist before considering a challenge. Pairing extremely restrictive food intake with excessive training and poor recovery is a recipe for poor emotional wellbeing, development of hormonal imbalances and a potential loss of menstrual cycle. If you are just starting your fitness journey, it’s worth considering teaming up with a friend who has been training for a while, or hiring a personal trainer for few months. This can help you learn how to move well and exercise correctly.
ON SUITABILITY If you’re considering signing up to a fitness challenge, choose a time frame that works for you and accommodates your training needs and lifestyle balance. There may be days that you don’t feel like following through; that’s when motivational aspects including group chats, leadership boards and coaching calls can help keep the focus on achieving your goal.
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ISSUE 6 / NOVEMBER 2017
SPICES ARE THE NEW KALE, AND FIBRE IS THE NEW PALEO. IF DIETARY TRENDS ARE ANYTHING TO GO BY, HERE’S WHAT’S ON THE MENU FOR 2018.
SLATE PHOTOGRAPHY: BIGSTOCK
WORDS: DAVID GODING
With a new year comes new dietary trends. It’s as inevitable as the next season of MasterChef, exciting our palate and providing us with the perfect opportunity to give ourselves a dietary overhaul – or perhaps just add a little zest. So, what can we expect to see emerge or expand over the course of 2018? Plenty if past years are anything to go by. “I think we’re starting to become a little more savvy about crash diets,” says Gemma Clark, clinical nutritionist and founder of The Sprout Nutrition & Wellness. “Let’s be real, they will always be around, and there will always be someone making money out of them; but for the most
part, I think women, in particular, are starting to like the idea of balance more than restrictive fad diets.” The new year looks like it will finally, once and for all, kill off the low-fat era. “Research is continuing to promote the benefits of including healthy fats in our diets and they are so important for so many things – hormones, energy, body composition, hair and skin, energy, the list goes on,” says Clark. The brief rise of nutritionism – isolating nutrients in order to make food and our health more of a science – also appears to be getting the cold shoulder. Yes, that means it’s ok to love food again; you don’t have to pull
it apart, break it down and analyse its every component. When it comes to natural, whole foods, it’s the sum of its parts that imparts the magic, not the detail. “There is definitely a move towards looking at the total diet and diet pattern rather than isolating single nutrients,” says Kate Gudorf, dietitian and spokesperson for the Dietitian’s Association of Australia. “This is a welcome change from past trends that saw individual nutrients or food groups being singled out as good or bad. For people wanting to eat healthy in the new year, these changes should help make that easier. Remember, we eat food, not nutrients.”
YOUR MENU CIRCA 2018 WELCOMING BACK THE PRODIGAL CARBS That’s right, they’re back – sort of. It’s just that we’re not calling them carbs anymore, we’re calling them fibre. And in 2018, fibre is the new black. “A lack of fibre can lead you to overeat, struggle with an insatiable appetite, and cause havoc with your health and weight loss goals,” says Larina Robinson, nutritionist and dietitian from The Body Dietetics. “Always choose the higher fibre option to help naturally keep your portions lower and your calories down. Remember, dietary fibre doesn’t get digested by the body, so those fibre calories don’t count.” Fibre’s most well-known role is that of allowing efficient elimination of waste and toxins. However, research is increasingly finding out that fibre plays a crucial role in lowering cholesterol, controlling weight, managing diabetes and preventing disease. Current recommendations are for 25g of fibre per day for women and 30g for men.
“That sounds like a lot, but by eating a large variety of plant-based foods you will get to your daily target with ease,” says Alexandra Handreck, clinical nutritionist. “Some examples of fibrerich foods include 3g of fibre per banana, 16g of fibre per cup of lentils, 8g of fibre per cup of raspberries, 5g of fibre per cup of cooked cauliflower, 4g of fibre per cup of cooked quinoa and 4g per medium sweet potato. “But note, if you intend to up your fibre intake, do so gradually, and with an increased intake of water to avoid digestive issues.”
GUT HEALTH FOCUS With paleo in decline, gut health is likely to become a major health focus, which means all things probiotic are likely to take centre stage. “We predict a big increase in the interest in probiotics,” says Alex Parker, dietitian and co-founder of The Biting Truth. “We’ve started to see more kefir products pop up on supermarket shelves and we expect this to continue. Kefir is a probiotic drink made from grains, which womenshealthandfitness.com.au
act like the starter culture in yoghurt. Traditionally the grains are added to milk and fermented via the lactose.” Parker agrees. “More and more people are looking at the link between gut health and its impact on the brain, mood and performance,” she says. “We foresee huge trends in gut-related diets, such as the low FODMAP diet, in 2018 as individuals seek to improve their gut health. This diet will involve people limit the amount of ‘gassy foods’ that they consume, eg. cabbage, beans, onions and stone fruit.” Addressing gut health may also help deal with undiagnosed and untreated food sensitivities, says naturopath and nutritionist Kate Johnston. “Unlike a food allergy where the reaction is immediate or up to four hours following exposure, food sensitivities affect you cumulatively and are usually a secondary issue caused by impaired gut function or hyperpermeability,” she says. “Figuring out the foods you are reacting to is an important step in reducing inflammation, improving gut health, and recovering from many chronic conditions such as eczema, IBS, chronic fatigue and even hormonal imbalances.”
GETTING SPICY Australians have been getting hotter and spicier – in terms of what we like to eat, that is. And 2018 may be the hottest year yet, benefiting our health. According to research published in the journal Chemical Senses, chilli, which contains capsaicin, has mild appetite-suppressing qualities, combined with the fact that spiciness in general tends to deter us from overeating. “Research has indicated that chilli can have a positive effect on fat metabolism, blood sugar control, digestive function and has antiinflammatory properties,” says Sharon Natoli, dietitian with Food and Nutrition Australia. “Adding chilli or red pepper to meals can help reduce energy intake following the meal and has been shown in some instances to have cholesterol-lowering properties. In people with diabetes, the active ingredient in chilli, capsaicin, is used as an alternative therapy for diabetic neuropathy. Animal studies have also demonstrated an anti-tumour effect of capsaicin.” But it’s not just about the hot stuff. Another of the great Indian pleasures, turmeric, with its anti-inflammatory benefits and possible anti-Alzheimer’s effects, could quite possibly steal chilli’s culinary thunder. Interestingly, though, turmeric needs to be combined with chilli in order for the body to receive the full benefit.
GOING FLEXITARIAN Yes, flexitarian is a thing – and it suits 2018’s slightly decadent ways perfectly. “We predict a definite rise in the flexitarian trend,” says Parker. “This is the movement that celebrates eating more vegies and plant-based foods without the commitment to becoming a full-time vegetarian or vegan. It’s a more flexible, long-term approach and allows people to enjoy a little bit of meat occasionally.” Any trend that gets Australians eating more vegies get the thumbs up, as it’s an area we’ve traditionally performed poorly in. “Currently, only seven percent of Australian adults are meeting the guidelines for vegetable intake
daily, which is an alarming statistic,” says Gudorf. “We recommend that adults aim for five serves of vegetables daily, which is half a cup of cooked vegetables or one cup of raw/leafy vegetables. “If you choose to focus on increasing vegetable intake, there are many ways that you could do this. Try to include vegetables with breakfast, perhaps by adding sliced tomato to your toast or making a vegetable omelette. Aim to include two to three serves of vegetables with your lunch, perhaps lettuce, beetroot and carrot on your sandwich, or have a large leafy salad with chicken and sweet potato. For dinner, aim to make half of your plate vegetables.”
GREATER MINDFULNESS Mindful eating took off in 2017, and the new year should see it continue to skyrocket. It helps that mindful eating can be combined with virtually any dietary approach, except perhaps when munching down a post-midnight kebab. “I think we’re entering the era of mindfulness when it comes to eating,” says Clark. “We’ve been implementing more meditation and mindfulness into our days, but intuitive and mindful eating are making a big resurgence. This is all about listening to your body and understanding how it communicates with you to tell you what it does and doesn’t need.” Invariably, if you listen to your body, you’ll get your food choices right.
THE INSTAGRAM DIET The phenomenon of taking photos of the masterful dish you’ve just created, or just been served, has resulted in an indirect and unforeseen health benefit – if your meal looks colourful and interesting enough, chances are it’s healthy too. “If you’re sick of counting calories and using maths for every meal, cut down on the hassle by infusing colour into your plate instead,” says Robinson. “Colourful water-based vegetables and fruit are nutrient-rich, low-calorie options and most contain fibre, so they help keep you satisfied.” Then take a photo, (no photoshopping allowed). “Take photos of everything you eat for three to four days and see if you can spot every colour of the rainbow,” says Clark. “If not, challenge yourself to get every colour into your body for the following three to four days – and that doesn’t mean scoffing a packet of Skittles.”
CHANGING FATS Just because the low-fat diet is out, it doesn’t mean that all fats are created equal. And one that had many people championing its health benefits in 2017 is being put under the microscope come 2018. “It’s time to re-assess your obsession with coconut oil,” says Robinson. “The coconut oil phase has reached its peak, and while it’s not inherently ‘bad’ for you, there are many other more nutritious oils and fats to use. “Switch it out for extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, ghee or cultured butter. And don’t forget that a little still goes a long way! If you really want to make the most out of your fat intake, eat most of it from wholefood sources such as avocado, nuts, seeds and oily fish. They’ll give you your best nutritional bang for your buck.” If you’re one of those people who have avoided fats as a rule, think about introducing them. “Studies are emerging every day, teaching us about the importance of healthy fats,” says Gabriella Ratner, nutritionist. “Healthy fats do not cause weight gain; on the contrary, they increase satiety, help balance blood sugars and maintain a healthy mood.”
BOOSTING WATER Does water really qualify as a trend of dietary proportions? Well, if you look at it as arguably the most important substance we ingest, then absolutely. “In terms of specific changes that make a drastic change quickly, try simply drinking more water,” says dietitian Georgia Bevan. “Thirty-five to 45ml per kilogram of body weight will help decrease fatigue and you will be less likely to hold on to excess water through dehydration. If you struggle to drink enough, try 500ml upon waking, at least one litre at work, and a target amount – or your choosing – on your commute home and before dinner.” Carrying around a water bottle as a reminder to constantly sip can also help form the habit, while reducing your salt intake will aid hydration levels. “Reducing salt intake will also decrease the water your body holds, thus helping to feel ‘lighter’. Use spices and
fresh herbs to season dishes rather than relying on salt for taste,” says Bevan. “Reduce your intake slowly – avoiding processed sauces, pastas and packaged food – to allow your taste buds to adjust. This simple swap is a great motivator for your health journey.”
JIMMINY CRICKETS Looking for something completely new this year? Traditional dietary approaches not doing it for you? You could try cricket flour. Made from dried, ground up crickets, it’s a nutritious high-fibre option that is winning over many a health-conscious eater. And with a future many predict to include food shortages, it does provide one alternative that is not only high in protein, vitamins and minerals, but is also – importantly – sustainable. We are game if you are.
eat hero ingredient
TIP: Enjoy the summer breeze while cooking this one pan wonder on the Barbie outside instead of the oven.
ROASTED HUON SALMON WITH SPROUTED BROCCOLI, LEMON & ALMONDS
Prep time: 10 mins // Cooking time: 30 mins // Serves 4
1. Preheat oven to 200°C. 2. Line a baking tray with baking paper and set aside. 3. Mix the lemon juice and butter in a small bowl.
Swap the traditional snags on the barbie for something a little different (and super healthy) this summer, thanks to this tangy salmon and veg dish courtesy of Huon Salmon (huonsalmon.com.au). The omega-3 fatty acids found in the superfood fish and the array of nutrients found in vegies offer a potent disease preventer – including reducing your risk of heart disease, which kills one Australian ever 12 minutes according to the Australian Heart Foundation. Load our plate, please.
NEED » 140g fresh Huon Salmon portions (skin on) » 2 bunches of sprouted broccoli, dry ends trimmed » Juice and zest of 1 lemon » 50g butter, melted » ½ bunch fresh parsley » slivered almonds
4. Arrange the sprouted broccoli and salmon portions and pour over the lemon and butter mix, then sprinkle with lemon zest and a little salt. 5. Cook for eight minutes, then remove from oven and gently toss everything around so it’s nicely covered in the lemony buttery juices. Scatter the slivered almonds on top and return to the oven for another five minutes. 6. Remove from oven, add the parsley and serve.
NUTRITION ROUND TABLE
EVERY MONTH, WE WILL BE BRINGING TOGETHER THE BEST OF THE BEST IN THE WORLD OF NOURISHMENT TO DISCUSS A KEY NUTRITION TOPIC. THIS MONTH: FOOD CRAVINGS. WHY YOU GET THEM AND HOW TO STOP YOURSELF FROM DIVING HEAD FIRST INTO A BOWL OF MELTED CHOCOLATE. INTERVIEWS: KATELYN SWALLOW
McLEOD A food craving is an intense desire for a specific food, or type of food. At the time, the desire can seem uncontrollable, with satisfaction difficult to achieve until the food has been consumed. Foods that contain sugar or salt, and starchy carbs are commonly craved, with Christmas being a particularly difficult time, as there are so many indulgences in sight. Food cravings are caused by the regions of the brain that are responsible for memory, pleasure and reward. Hormones and emotions are also often linked to food cravings: for example, craving something sweet after a main meal to ‘finish it off’, looking for something rich in carbohydrates when feeling tired, or chronic stress
influencing eating behaviour and increasing desirability of highly palatable foods.
Why do you crave sweets after a big meal, such as Christmas lunch? Bigger meals cause a spike and then subsequent drop in blood sugar levels. The body starts looking for this energy spike again, which results in the sugar craving. Additionally, when we feel tired, more of the hormones which make us feel hungry are released, while the ones that help us feel satisfied slow down. This can lead us to feel hungry when we really don’t require fuel. Pair these with the stress that Christmas day can cause, and there’s the perfect melting pot to exacerbate cravings and overeating.
CHLOE McLEOD Sports dietitan chloemcleod.com // @chloe_ mcleod _dietitian QUALS: Bachelor Nutrition & Dietetics, Master Public Health, ISAK Level 1 EXPERIENCE: 9+ years
BROOKE TURNER Nutritionist, trainer & founder of Balance Fitness & Nutrition balancefitnessandnutrition.com. au // @balancefitnessandnutrition QUALS: GradDip Human Nutrition, BSc Exercise & Sports Science, Certificate III & IV Fitness EXPERIENCE: 8+ years
SO HOW TO BEST MANAGE CRAVINGS?
FIRSTLY, CHOOSE FOODS THAT COMPLEMENT A HEALTHY, BALANCED DIET. This
means lean proteins, plenty of vegetables, healthy fats, and adequate portions of low-GI carbohydrate. Not consuming enough carbohydrates can result in cravings, so keep your meals balanced so you remain satisfied and your blood sugar levels stay level between meals.
ADEQUATE SLEEP IS KEY TO MANAGING CRAVINGS. When
you feel tired, you’re more likely to look for high sugar foods to give you a quick burst of energy.
DRINK PLENTY OF WATER.
Becoming dehydrated can increase appetite, and increases the risk of overeating rather than drinking a glass of water.
INCLUDE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY.
Exercise can help manage blood sugar levels while also boosting serotonin levels – the hormone that makes you feel happy. Before reaching for the chocolate cake, have a handful of berries or cherries. Sometimes the sweetness of the fruit can be enough to curb your craving.
AND IF YOU DO CHOOSE TO INDULGE… Eat slowly, take your time and savour each bite. If you’re including dessert, the sole purpose is enjoyment, so taking the time to relish the flavours, textures and smells of what you are eating will enhance the experience, while also helping you to exert portion control through increased feelings of satisfaction.
Excercise scientist & nutritionist integratedfitnessnutrition.com // @tomfitzgerald.ifn QUALS: Bachelor of Sports Coaching & Exercise Science (B SportCoach&ExSci), Bachelor of Human Nutrition (B Human Nutrition), Certified Sports Nutritionist – International Society of Sports Nutrition (CISSN) EXPERIENCE: 4+ years
MARK ROBINSON Dietitian & nutritionist, online dietitian coach & co-owner 360Health Natural Supplements healthmanmark.com// @healthmanmark QUALS: Masters Degree in Nutrition & Dietetics, Bachelors Degrees in Exercise Science and Psychology EXPERIENCE: 7+ years
Cravings can be particularly prominent leading into and following the festive season, largely due to changes in our diet, physical activity level and amount of quality sleep.
DIETARY CHOICES: If you don’t eat regularly, your blood sugar levels cause the body to crave something to eat – often high calorie comfort foods – which leads to a rapid increase, followed by a sharp drop, in blood sugar. On Christmas Day you may a) skip breakfast in lieu of allowing enough room for Christmas lunch or b) enjoy a calorie-rich first meal with a glass of bubbles, followed by Christmas lunch – both beginning the blood sugar cycle.
STRESS, HORMONES AND EMOTIONS: Emotions play a part in cravings, especially if you eat for comfort. Periods of high stress and a lowered mental state are also precursors, along with deadlines, long hours, financial outgoings and full social calendars taking priority over diet, training and sleep during Christmas and the new year. An imbalance of hormones, such as the stress hormone cortisol, can also lead to poor food choices. Chronic stress increases our palatable food intake and subsequent increases in visceral fat, leading to a vicious cycle.
SLEEP: A poor night’s sleep increases our ‘hunger hormone’ ghrelin and decreases leptin, the hormone responsible for satiety. This can cause you to reach for quick, convenient and calorie-rich foods.
EFFECTIVELY MANAGING CRAVINGS There are many ways to manage cravings if you can’t avoid them altogether. I recommend prioritising sleep, reducing stress, ensuring sound nutrition and keeping adequately hydrated.
PRIORITISING NUTRITION: What you eat directly affects what you crave. I recommend incorporating fats and protein into every main meal to reduce hunger, balance hormones and provide long-lasting energy. Consuming hearthealthy fats helps slow the release of sugars into the bloodstream and promotes less insulin release, while protein aids satiety and recovery. The best tip I can give is not to get hungry in the first place: don’t skip meals or avoid carbs.
PRIORITISING SLEEP AND REDUCING STRESS: Tired = no energy to train = lowered mental state = poor food choices (sugar and caffeine fixes) = decreased quality of sleep; and the cycle continues. Prioritising sleep will help to reduce
feelings of fatigue, stop you from seeking out a caffeine or sugar fix, and help you manage stress. It will also improve brain activity in areas involved in using information and making decisions to aid you in your healthy food choices. I recommend identifying the stressors in your life and actively working to reduce, eliminate or better manage them. Stressors can be conscious or subconscious. Starting a daily journal is a good way to identify what your stressors are.
ADEQUATE HYDRATION: Hunger and thirst signals are controlled by the same part of our brain – namely the hypothalamus. Staying hydrated can therefore reduce ‘hunger’ signals. When you feel a craving hit, reach for a large glass of water and wait 10 to 15 minutes. I recommend adding freshly squeezed grapefruit, lime and mint to soda water for a refreshing hit in between Christmas drinks. If you are still hungry, opt for a healthy snack.
FITZGERALD THE SCIENCE BEHIND CRAVINGS Food cravings are known as selective hunger, and involves a desire for a specific food. Non-selective hunger is a desire to eat anything. Cravings are associated with pleasure or reward feedback in the brain: your brain recalls that eating chocolate tasted nice and made you feel good and, because we seek pleasure, we are likely to desire and eat chocolate again. People rarely experience cravings for foods they don’t actually enjoy eating. The exception is pica, which is a desire to consume non-food items, which can occur during pregnancy.
WHY MOST PEOPLE SUFFER CRAVINGS Once you have consumed a large meal, there is no physiological need for your body to attain more fuel. Despite this, many people find themselves reaching for the box of chocolates that are sitting on the table and unable to stop eating them.
WHY? PLEASURE, PROXIMITY AND INHIBITION PLEASURE: There is typically a pleasure response associated with the foods people crave. The more you eat, the more hits of pleasure. When you are taking it easy, why not add to the enjoyment with a few snacks, particularly when you can enjoy them guilt free because ‘it’s Christmas’.
PROXIMITY: Such an array of energy-dense foods are rarely so accessible as they are at Christmas. It’s rare to have chocolates, cakes, jelly, lollies, etc, all within five metres. This creates a lower barrier to consumption. If you had no chocolate in the house, I doubt you would be heading out trying to find a store that sells it on Christmas Day.
INHIBITION: Christmas is a time to relax, so it’s easy to take the ‘anything goes’ approach for a few days. Adding a few alcoholic drinks to the mix, and we have a recipe for overconsumption.
MANAGING CRAVINGS The best approach to managing cravings and energy intake is to have a plan. It doesn’t need to be extreme – on Christmas Day, you don’t need to be tracking macros or bringing your own chicken in Tupperware because your ‘mother cooks it with too much fat’. What’s more important is maintaining exercise over the course of the holiday period, and not letting a single day of ‘anything goes’ turn into a whole week, fortnight, or month. There is evidence to suggest that many people gain weight during a few periods of the year – their holidays – and then maintain it, or fail to lose it. The cycle repeats – with each holiday adding a little bit more weight. So if you do gain weight, it will take extra effort to lose it after. But this can be challenging when the new work year kicks off, gyms are busy, it’s hot, and anything else. Enjoy Christmas Day, and don’t feel the need to restrict food intake. But in the following days, stick to your plan and be disciplined with food intake. A few treats are fine – just don’t slip into an ‘anything goes’ mentality! womenshealthandfitness.com.au
MY TOP TIPS FOR REDUCING CRAVINGS ARE:
CONSIDER THE TIMING OF YOUR MEALS: Start the day with a
breakfast that is definitely NOT sugary and then aim to eat every three to four hours, including some protein and vegetables with each meal and snack.
Everyone suffers from sugar cravings – myself 100 per cent included, just about every day! I think it’s important to first acknowledge that cravings are both common and, for the most part, normal. It’s how we manage them that’s important. I believe cravings stem from simply not getting enough protein and vegetables into your day. Your body has a set amount of protein it requires per 24 hours and, until we hit that number, you constantly crave; and, invariably, the first thing you crave is something sweet. Vegetable consumption is the other key tactic due to their low calorie content and high activation of digestive enzymes that increase metabolism. The trick is to fill yourself up with vegetables in the form of vegetable sticks, salads, stirfries and smoothies to satisfy your cravings and still maintain calorie control. Another cause for sugar cravings is to do with the timing of your energy intake throughout the day. Achieving an optimal frequency of meals and snacks means eating every three to four hours rather than fasting for numerous hours, which can lead to you becoming overly hungry before craving easy, convenient and largely unhealthy options! In addition, you usually see weight gain from incorrect meal and snack timing because your metabolism slows down and you start to store food as fat as a safety mechanism – to have a ‘reserve’ knowing a ‘famine’ is ahead.
INTAKE TYPE: Proteins should be
the prioritised macronutrient to prevent and treat sugar cravings; thereafter, choose natural, highfibre carbohydrates that provide long-lasting energy and stable moods. For example, low-GI rather than fast-releasing high-GI sugary carbs.
VEGETABLES: Aim to
freely include a variety of predominantly green vegetables throughout the day to counter sugar cravings and maintain low blood sugar levels.
SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT: Yes, it’s extremely hard to stay strict when you are constantly surrounded by temptations – and, at this time of year, there are many! My tip here is to eat before going out so you go in satisfied – and then just join in the social scene by snacking on something small. At least if you are full you are less likely to actually crave and overindulge.
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NEEDS BASIS Ideally, a balanced diet should be providing you with all the nutrient goodness your body needs. Supplements, as the name suggests, are designed to do just that – supplement your existing nutrition. The problem is we don’t live in an ideal world, with our modern lives often making it inconvenient to consume the levels of high-quality fruit, vegetables, healthy fats and lean proteins our bodies require for good health. “Often the food we buy is lacking in crucial minerals due to the depletion of the soil our fruit and vegetables are grown in,” says clinical nutritionist and health coach Gabriella Ratner (intuitivehealthhub.com.au). “Supplementation can also be particularly useful for people with absorption issues due to low stomach acid or malabsorption syndrome.” Malabsorption occurs when the bowel is prevented from absorbing nutrients – including proteins, fats and vitamins – with conditions such as
coeliac disease, Crohn’s disease, lactose intolerance or intestinal damage often the underlying culprits. The prevalence of coeliac disease (1 in 100 people) and inflammatory bowel disease (1 in 250 people) is increasing rapidly, along with the use of some medications that prevent the absorption of nutrients – think weight loss drugs or medications to treat acid reflux. Be sure to check with your doctor about your specific needs. In terms of body composition goals, personal trainer and sports nutritionist Shannon Smith (smithfit.com.au) says that supplements can be used to decrease recovery time and improve strength, aiding workout performance and so physique. “Some supplements can also be useful from a convenience perspective. For example, using protein powders after a workout if ‘real’ food isn’t easily accessible,” adds accredited sports dietitian Chloe McLeod (chloemcleod.com).
WHO SHOULD AVOID SUPPS? Speak with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements, particularly if you are on any medication or are pregnant, warns McLeod. For example, large doses of vitamin A in early pregnancy can result in birth defects. “Athletes competing in federationtested sports need to be careful that the supplements they are taking meet WADA-approved standards. If you are a competing athlete, be sure to check WADA’s list of banned substances on their website,” says Smith. Overdose is the number one risk factor for supplement use. Research has shown that large doses of vitamins A and D, for example, can build up in your body, resulting in nausea, vomiting and dizziness. Prolonged use of vitamin B-6 can cause nerve damage, while excess vitamin C can lead to diarrhoea. Be careful of the level of mineral supplements you ingest too. Overdosing on iron, selenium or boron can induce headaches, vomiting and, when taken to the extreme, liver damage.
PRIME CANDIDATES As long as you have the all-clear from your doctor, supplementation is unlikely to do much damage – other than, perhaps, to your wallet. “Vitamin and mineral supplements can be most useful in people following restricted diets; for example, those with food intolerances who are in the elimination phase of determining their triggers,” says McLeod. But for those who have their nutrition down pat and instead want the convenience of an ergogenic aid, protein powders and other sports supplements could be for you. McLeod recommends caffeine and the humble beetroot as a starting point. And the suggestion is supported by the research. One study reported in Science Daily revealed that drinking beetroot juice boosts stamina and could increase your exercise time by 16 per cent. The nitrates in the juice lead to reduced oxygen uptake, which results in less feelings of fatigue.
BE CHOOSY It’s important to note that dietary supplements are not regulated to the same standards as prescription drugs. Instead, they are managed by the
Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) under a risk-based approach; meaning that the risk of the side effects is weighed against the benefits of taking the medication. Bear in mind that international supplements bought online are not regulated by the TGA – so make sure you aren’t doing anything illegal before you add it to your cart. McLeod recommends selecting supplements where a third party has tested the product. “Choose products that are certified by either InformedSport or HASTA to ensure you are getting a good-quality product,” she says. It’s also important to pay attention to the ingredients. Keep an eye out for artificial sweeteners, milk solids, thickeners and fillers used to bulk up the product rather than contribute anything of use. These additions are particularly rife in the protein powder market. “Look for brands that contain no more than four ingredients; a natural flavour such as vanilla bean, a natural sweetener such as stevia, a mixing agent like sunflower lecithin and, of course, the protein itself,” says Smith. “I would also recommend you find a protein that has not been heat treated like the majority of whey protein supplements, as this process denatures the fats and proteins in the product.”
TIMING IS EVERYTHING » First thing in the morning: “B vitamins are quite stimulatory, so they are great in the morning. It’s also great to have fat-soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K) with some healthy fats for maximum absorption,” suggests Ratner. Probiotics designed to aid digestion should also be taken in the morning, says Smith.
» Post-workout: Protein powders – particularly whey protein – help to repair muscle micro-tears caused by training, aiding both recovery and muscle hypertrophy. “Protein powder, if being used for recovery, should be consumed within 30 minutes of finishing the activity,” says McLeod.
» Pre-workout: Caffeine can help with energy production, aiding workout performance. Stick to the dosage on the label, but if you are particularly sensitive and find yourself having an adverse reaction such as anxiousness, experiment with drops in dosage.
Before bed: Both Ratner and McLeod recommend calming minerals before bed. For example, magnesium, which helps to decrease cortisol or stress hormone. Calcium can also be beneficial before bed as it assists in the creation of melatonin, resulting in a deeper sleep.
THE BOTTOM LINE “Supplements should be used like the sprinkles on the icing on the cake; you need the right training, and the right nutrition first, then add the supplements in – like you would baking cupcakes: adding icing, then adding the sprinkles,” says McLeod. “Supplementing with purpose rather than using as much as possible is a good rule of thumb to go by. To determine best performance and efficacy, aim to change one thing at a time.”
ABSORPTION MATTERS If your supplement intake is time sensitive, then you may need to consider the form in which it’s taken: » Tablets are built to be released at specific intervals, as formulated by the drug manufacturer. So the builtin time release combined with your individual digestive system means it’s a tad unpredictable. » Capsules are coated in a gelatin shell and release their contents when they come into contact with water. This generally means the contents will be absorbed quicker, especially if the content is liquid. » Liquids are favoured due to their quick absoroption time when compared to tablets and capsules. The downside is often the taste. » Powders are mixed with water or milk and become a liquid. “Powders are great if you have a lot of supplements on your hands. You can mix them up and drink thoughtout the day for maximum absorption,” says Ratner. » Sprays are the latest trend in supplementation. Sprayed directly into the mouth, they’re quickly absorbed into the bloodstream via capillaries in the lining of your tongue and cheeks, rather than swallowed. “Always take vitamins and minerals with food for better absorption. Other supplements such as amino acids are better taken without food,” says Ratner.
SUPP BY GOAL FOR PERFORMANCE » B vitamin complex: “B vitamins are important as they help your body pull energy from the nutrients you eat and help get oxygen to the muscle tissue. They are also necessary for metabolising food into energy,” says Ratner. » Espresso: When consumed before a workout, coffee can cause fat cells to replace glycogen as your energy source. Additionally, the high amount of caffeine in an espresso will increase your metabolism throughout the day, says Smith. FOR MUSCLE GAIN AND MAINTENANCE » Glutamine: “Glutamine is an amino acid that provides numerous benefits for gaining muscle, such as aiding muscle growth by increasing levels of leucine in muscle fibres, helping to decrease muscle breakdown. Glutamine taken before workouts can help decrease muscle fatigue and boost growth hormone levels. Additionally, glutamine can also play a role in fat loss by increasing the amount of
calories and fat burned at rest and during exercise,” says Ratner. » Creatine: Creatine is another type of amino acid and occurs naturally in proteinrich foods. It assists with the production of energy, so taking a creatine supplement can aid energy stores and increase your workout output. “The only supplement that I can measure and have personally experienced that will help you build more muscle is creatine,” says Smith. FOR FAT LOSS » Alpha-lipoic acid: “Alpha-lipoic acid is fatty acid present in the mitochondria (energy-producing portion of the cell). Originally used to assist with type 2 diabetes, it enhances our ability to metabolise food into energy,” says Ratner. A recent study showed ALA contributed to approximately two kilograms of extra weight loss over the course of 10 weeks. “It is recommended that it be taken on an empty stomach or two hours after eating as food intake may reduce its bioavailability,” says Ratner.
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yourself Desserts tend to get a bad rap in the health realm – often for good reason given their high fat and sugar content. But a little sweet indulgence can have some wellbeing perks. WH&F journalist Angelique Tagaroulias shows you how to have your cake and eat it too. WORDS: ANGELIQUE TAGAROULIAS
For many, eating dessert after a meal is a habit – one that traces back to ancient civilisations. Instead of the rainbow icecream many of us fought our siblings for during childhood, our ancestors indulged in fruit and nuts rolled in honey as a post-dinner treat. Sugar, extracted from sugar cane, began being manufactured in India over 2000 years ago, and soon spread to other parts of the world, enjoyed predominantly by the wealthy. Today, eating dessert is a popular universal culinary and social experience – from rich crème brulee to sweet and creamy gelato.
The downside is that traditional desserts are typically high in calories, fats and refined sugars, making them less than ideal for the health- and weight-conscious. The long-held tradition of eating a third course can be difficult to give up according to nutritionist and psychotherapist Jennifer Murrant (healthsynergy.com.au). “Often desserts are very low in protein and other nutrients, and entirely without dietary fibre, which is essential to gut health and contributes to satiety,” she says.
So why do our bodies crave a sugar hit post main meal? The primary culprit is sugar, which the consumption of causes levels of the feel-good brain chemical serotonin to rise, helping us to feel both happier and calmer (which explains the 3pm sweet cravings when
deadlines are looming). An overconsumption of sugar and processed foods also impairs insulin function, the hormone that helps to regulate blood sugar levels. After the sugar-high has worn off, there’ll be a rapid rise in blood sugar and consequently a sugar crash – think lethargy and fatigue. The good news is that desserts don’t necessarily have to be booted entirely from your diet – in fact, they can even be beneficial. It’s not the frequency of eating dessert that’s a problem, it’s what constitutes the dessert itself; empty calories are what you should be avoiding. “Opting for a balanced dessert will help stabilise blood sugars and curb cravings before bedtime, and it’s an opportunity to fit in any nutrients you might have missed out on during the day, leading to a more peaceful sleep,” says dietitian and nutritionist Rachel Scoular (@healthyhappyhabits).
PHYSICAL HEALTH WEIGHT MAINTENANCE
Contrary to what you might think, eating dessert has actually been linked to weight maintenance. This is because depriving yourself of certain foods can eventually lead to bingeing on unhealthy foods to satisfy cravings – doing more damage than the occasional treat would have. “After a period of enforced deprivation, you’re likely to throw in the towel completely and binge eat mindlessly,” says Scoular. “Once you cut your favourites out, you’re messing with your attitude towards food and if your willpower doesn’t derail at dessert time, you’ll probably find it falls during another meal.” This logic is backed by research published in the journal Steroids. Two hundred adults were assigned two different low-calorie diets with the same number of calories, one including a small treat such as a doughnut or chocolate with breakfast. After eight months, both groups lost a similar amount of weight but the dessert eaters lost an additional 6.9 kg in the final four months; they also reported feeling less hungry and having fewer cravings. Scoular suggests making dessert a reward – in moderation. Try treating yourself once a week with a meal you’ll look forward to and enjoy, such as a scoop of your favourite ice-cream or a caramel slice.
DISEASE AND HEALTH Organic cacao (found in many healthier deserts) is high in magnesium and flavonoids (a plant-
produced antioxidant), which enhances the flexibility of blood vessels and lowers blood pressure, thus improving cardiovascular health, says Murrant. Antioxidants also have anti-inflammatory properties that help to fight a number of chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease and cancer. The research concurs that dessert can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and help to lower blood pressure, particularly our favourite chocolate-maker, cocoa. One study published in the journal Heart examined over 20 thousand men and women over a number of years and found that those who consumed chocolate had lower risks of coronary heart disease. Plus, chocolate has been associated with a healthier sex life. One study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine examined two groups of women – one that enjoyed a daily piece of chocolate and another group who didn’t – revealing that those who ate the aphrodisiac scored higher in a sexual function assessment, including sexual desire and pleasure.
PROVIDING NUTRIENTS A post-dinner treat is also an opportunity to top up your daily nutrient profile. Many women struggle to consume their recommended twoand-a-half servings of dairy per day, so a yoghurt or custard high in calcium can be a good option, says Scoular. Choose desserts with a balanced macronutrient profile, containing quality protein, carbs and fats, adds Murrant.
MENTAL HEALTH MOOD AND STRESS
Desserts can positively influence your mood. “Carbohydrates assist the bioavailability of the essential amino acid tryptophan, which is the precursor to the mood-stabilising neurotransmitter serotonin,” says Murrant. For instance, cashews, a popular dessert ingredient that may harness mood-boosting tryptophan and eventually lead to a more relaxed state. Scoular agrees that a healthy dessert can be beneficial but warns against the high-sugar carb types such as ice-cream and cake, which are also low in soluble fibre and can cause inflammation in the body. “Choose a dessert with low-GI carbohydrates – think banana ice-cream or yoghurt,” says Scoular.
BRAIN HEALTH Some ingredients found in desserts may even aid brain health and function. Cinnamon has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, while chia is a good source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids known to decrease the risk of brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease. Think a chia pudding with a sprinkle of the brown stuff.
MINDFUL EATING Being aware can lead to better eating habits. There will be nights that you’re not hungry for a sweet treat, so skip dessert rather than eating it out of habit. Evaluate what you eat and try to pinpoint what’s causing the sweet cravings. Is it the aroma, texture or taste that’s appealing to you? “Paying attention allows you to be more present with your innate sense of satiety and of satisfying the desire for sweet food without overindulging and creating an unhealthy binge and deprivation cycle,” says Murrant. “Mindful eating is about being with food rather than eating while doing other things. Eating in the cinema or on the run are examples of mindless eating, where significant quantities of calories can be consumed almost without noticing.” Studies show that monitoring what you’re eating (specifically, counting the number of times you swallow while eating a snack) can lead to higher self-control. The simple act of paying attention makes people more satisfied – think munching on your salad in a quiet room rather than scoffing it down while rushing off to your next meeting.
HEALTHY CHOICE Findings from the Australian Health Survey revealed that Australians consumed an average of 60 grams of sugar each day (about 14 teaspoons) between 2011 and 2012 – well above the daily maximum of six teaspoons per day recommended by the World Health Organization. We rounded up some tips from our experts on minimising your sugar intake, and maximising nourishment, via your desserts.
MURRANT’S MOUTH-WATERING DESSERT DOS: » Swap refined sugar for sweeteners that are as close to their natural form as possible. Dates contain natural sugars but are a good source of dietary fibre, calcium and magnesium. Raw honey and coconut nectar are other good alternatives. » Add vegies such as zucchini, sweet potato and beetroot in cakes and brownies for a nutrient boost. » Use avocado instead of cream to make chocolate mousse. It’ll provide a host of vitamins necessary for heart health, including mono-unsaturated fats, potassium, fibre, B vitamins and vitamin E, while creating a creamy texture. » Make nice-cream instead of icecream. Freeze bananas (a great source of potassium, magnesium, dietary fibre, vitamins C and B6, folate and tryptophan) and blend with cacao and your choice of other fruits. For added flavour and crunch, macadamias are a winner – they provide protein, monounsaturated fats, vitamins and antioxidants.
SCOULAR’S SWEET SWAPS: » Pure maple syrup, rice malt syrup or honey instead of refined sugar and syrups: they’re perfect for drizzling over Greek yoghurt. » Chickpeas instead of cookie dough: they provide a slightly nutty taste, and are protein and fibre rich – two things missing in your regular chocchip cookie. » Natural nut butters (peanut or almond) instead of butter: they contain healthy polyunsaturated fats, vitamin E and good-quality protein without the high levels of saturated fat you get from butter. » Apple puree instead of creamed butter: creamed butter is often the foundation for sweets, but apple puree will cut down the fat. You can substitute weight for weight, but depending on what you’re making, the texture of the final product may change – it just takes some trial and error.
DIY DESSERT RECIPES
Snickers nice-cream SERVES 4 BY @HEALTHSYNERGY AND @COCONUTANDBLISS
NEED » 4 frozen bananas, chopped » ¼ cup peanut butter » 1 tbsp mesquite powder » 1 tsp vanilla bean powder » ¼ tsp salt
Choc tahini sauce: » 2 tbsp cacao powder » 1 tbsp hulled tahini » 1 tbsp coconut nectar » Boiling water, add until desired consistency is reached
DO 1. First prepare the choc tahini sauce. Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix until all ingredients are well combined. 2. Combine all nice-cream ingredients in a high-power blender, blend until smooth and creamy. 3. Transfer to four small bowls and top with choc tahini sauce. OPTIONAL: add peanut butter, raw peanuts and cacao nibs (*these ingredients aren’t included in the macro calculation)
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ENERGY: 256 CALORIES // CARBS: 31G PROTEIN: 9G // FATS: TOTAL 13G; SATURATED 1.9G
These delicious bars taste just like your traditional brownie, but are high in fibre and contain only 90 calories per square. Plus, they come in a range of delicious flavours including chocolate fudge brownie and, our personal fav, lemon drizzle.
COCOFRIO Made from coconut milk and other organic ingredients, Cocofrio’s gluten-free, dairyfree and fructose-friendly ice-cream is the perfect alternative to your creamy, high-sugar chocolate sundae. And we’re spoilt for choice with the flavours available – everything from mango and iced coffee to salted caramel and choc raspberry ripple. $11.50–$12.50, cocofrio.com.au
BOUNCE Made from pea and brown rice proteins, Bounce balls are rich in amino acids essential for muscle recovery, and are easily digested. With flavours such as beetroot and cashew and almond kale, it’s a tasty way to get an extra serve of veg in.
$3.29, available at Coles and health stores, au.bouncefoods.com womenshealthandfitness.com.au
FOR MANY, PRACTISING MEDITATION IS AKIN TO PULLING TEETH. WH&F CONTRIBUTOR HILARY SIMMONS SHOWS YOU HOW TO FIND THE BESPOKE APPROACH THAT WILL HAVE YOU BOUNDING OUT OF BED IN SEARCH OF THE OMM AND ITS ARRAY OF HEALTH BENEFITS – FROM BOOSTED IMMUNE SYSTEM TO IMPROVED POSTURE AND SLEEP.
(Meditative) HISTORY HAS IT It’s a practice you either love or you hate, you swear by or you just don’t ‘get’. In recent years, meditation has gone mainstream; but some of the earliest written records of the custom date back to circa 1500 BCE, as part of the Hindu philosophic tradition of Vedantism. However, historians guess it was practised as early as 3000 BCE. The word meditation comes from the Latin word meditatum, which literally means ‘to ponder’. So in practice, the history of meditation may have started when a heavybrowed caveman or cavewoman sat down one evening after a long day of hunter-gathering, stared at the fire, and slipped into an altered state of consciousness. Regardless of tradition, today the word ‘meditation’ comes with a very specific set of associations. The image of an Instagram model sitting cross-legged by the ocean
may spring to mind, or that of a Zen Buddhist monk’s face beaming beneficently beside a gently flowing stream. According to naturopath Melinda King, these images create the misapprehension that meditation is only for the healthy and enlightened, and unattainable for the slightly cynical or the busy. “Meditation needs to be recognised as a tool that benefits all human beings,” says King. “We all have emotions and an inner world that needs nourishment and support. It is commonly and mistakenly thought that meditation is about ‘emptying the mind of all thoughts’. Not only is this impossible, it’s inaccurate. Most meditation styles are about bringing your attention into the present moment by focusing on the breath or an object – not eliminating thoughts altogether, which, generally speaking, are free to come and go.”
CUE THE BENEFITS So how, in 2018, can we reap the benefits of meditation if we’re not the stereotypical meditation ‘type’ – or if we find the idea of fitting a regular meditation practice into a modern, cerebral, hectic lifestyle a bit of a tall order? It starts with understanding that meditation is a learned practice, and that it’s also deeply personal. While meditation needs to be integrated into your lifestyle to be effective, there’s flexibility in how to do that. You need to find a routine that suits you. “We have very high expectations of ourselves when it comes to meditation,” says meditation facilitator and founder of Meditate Now Sabina Vitacca. “I find that people overestimate what it takes to learn meditation techniques, which can set them up to fail from the get-go. People often feel so intimidated by meditation that they automatically strike it out as something they should do but can’t find the time, money or circumstances for.” Similar to many people’s exercise routines, while you understand the benefits and recognise the guilt associated with not hitting the gym, excuses are easy to cling to.
“Some people approach meditation with a performance-based attitude, as if it’s something they’ll be assessed on,” says King. “This can intimidate the inner perfectionist who worries they won’t be able to do it right and makes them end up avoiding it altogether. To be honest, meditation can also be scary if you’re afraid of the emotions that might arise when you sit too long with nothing but your thoughts.” Both King and Vitacca agree that instead of seeing meditation as part of a mindfulness trend that we may or may not subscribe to, we should see it as a valuable life skill. Or simply as a healthy habit akin to going to the gym – hard to get started, but you won’t regret it. “The most common misconceptions I hear are along the lines of ‘I don’t have time, I’m not disciplined enough, my mind never stops, or it’s a bit fluffy-newage for me,’” says Vitacca. “A lot of people assume that meditation is only for stress reduction. However, it has been proven to also enhance creativity, improve sleep, improve posture and increase immunity. It’s not all about counting to 10 and cooling your jets, although it can definitely achieve this!”
USE IT According to King and Vitacca, integrating meditation into your life in small increments is the best way to go. The basic exercise of taking three deep breaths while counting to three in your head, then, as you exhale, releasing your shoulders and counting down from three
again, is a simple yet effective practice that takes all of five seconds and can be completed while standing in line at the supermarket. “Just start with five minutes a day, at a time that suits your lifestyle,” says King. “This makes meditation achievable and less overwhelming. It could be during your morning shower or a bedtime routine to replace scrolling through social media feeds as so many of us do. A simple breathing technique for 30 to 60 seconds can do wonders for calming the central nervous system and moving out of the fight-or-flight mode caused by stress.” Vitacca agrees. “Meditation can take five seconds or 20 minutes – the timeframe is actually not important. You’ve got to make it work for you,” she says. “Different meditation styles will suit different lifestyles, temperaments and preferences. People are more likely to adopt an ongoing meditation practice if they come across the form or mix of techniques that is a good match for them. So experiment – not all meditation techniques will be the right fit and you can have more than one form of meditation in your toolbox to use for different reasons.” For some people, creating a specific meditation zone at home can help remind and inspire them to tune out: simply unplug and be still. Think a cushion, blanket, a candle, affirming words or motivating images on display. Whatever inspires you to take five minutes to yourself – do that! womenshealthandfitness.com.au
FOR THE BRAVE: TRY THIS EXERCISE ONE: BODY AWARENESS 101 METHOD
EXERCISE TWO: RUB YOUR TUMMY, PAT YOUR HEAD METHOD
For longer meditations, King recommends trying the following easy (yet effective) meditation exercise:
Vitacca recommends the following slightly less conventional exercise:
1. Set the timer on your phone for the duration of five or 10 minutes. 2. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and take two deep breaths in and out. 3. Starting with your feet, focus your attention on the weight of your feet and how they’re touching the floor. Notice any pressure or tension within them. Take a deep breath in and as you exhale, allow your feet to relax further into the floor. 4. Now move your awareness to your calves. Notice any tension, heaviness or jumpiness within them. Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, imagine your calves softening and releasing tension slowly and gently. 5. Repeat this process all the way up the body, moving from the knees to the thighs, hips, abdomen, ribs, chest, arms, hands, shoulders, neck, jaw, face and scalp. Be sure to take your time with each body area, focusing on bringing softness to each part.
“Remember the tricky ‘pat your head and rub your tummy at the same time’ combo you always used to try to master as a kid? Well, it’s a favourite technique of mine for meditation, and always manages to make my groups laugh. An element of humour in meditation is great because it plucks us out of our heads and attunes us to our bodies, freeing them up of tension,” she says. “So, you just tap your head and rub your tummy simultaneously, before swapping hands. There’s no need to rush it. Observe yourself doing it and relax into the motion. Focus on your breathing and how your hair and your body feel as you come into contact with them. “I find this is a good exercise to change my mental state when I’ve been at the computer for too long, or need a fun start to get me into the mood for unwinding into silence and stillness. Like getting the sillies out.”
6. Once you reach your scalp, bring your attention back to the whole of the body, noticing the presence your whole body has attained in this moment. Continue to breathe deeply until your timer goes.
For the techno savvy, there are also a range of high-quality, effective apps available to guide you through a variety of different meditation routines. Play around with ones that speak to you and your personality: this can be a great way to experiment with the role meditation can play in your life before committing to classes or finding an instructor. “We are all so unique; to expect everyone to find satori [sudden enlightenment] from a 10-day, silent vipassana meditation retreat is as absurd as claiming that every ’90s kid likes punk rock,” says Vitacca.
“Meditation is really a very personal journey, and different forms will suit you and your lifestyle at different points in your life, as your needs may change. Fortunately, with the rise of the internet and easy access to so many inspiring teachers and facilitators, there really is something for everyone. You just have to find what your individual ‘something’ is. This has partly inspired my work at Meditate Now, where the benefits of having a personalised meditation program help people adopt what will become a lifestyle with ease.”
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THE LAST WORD Like anything else, meditation requires a skill set to get the most out of it and, fortunately, the skills required to meditate are innately within us. “In the beginning, it can feel overwhelming trying to decide which meditation style to try,” says King. “Just choose one and stick to it for a period of time or until you get the urge to try another. This way you’ll give that particular style a chance to see if it’s suitable for your needs. One of the key lessons from meditation is that the mind and body are deeply interconnected; when you practise meditation you’ll notice the effects not just mentally, but also physically.” Ultimately, meditation is free, timeless and accessible for everyone. Some people may be more drawn to it than others, particularly if they’re already into yoga or mindfulness; but on a core level, it’s just a matter of prioritising yourself – which is something we should all be doing, say the experts. “A teacher once told me that our bodies are always present, so we should access the present moment through our bodies,” says Vitacca. “And this is true; our bodies are forever living in the present moment; it’s the mind that likes to wander. Luckily, all we need to do is focus on our breath to fast-track us back to the now.”
LIFE BEGINS AT THE END OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE, SO STEP IT UP A NOTCH AND JOURNEY OFF THE BEATEN TRACK THIS NEW YEAR FOR A FITNESS ADVENTURE THAT WILL REVEAL YOUR BEST VERSION YET. WORDS: RAYMOND VIOLA
Porto Elounda Optimal Fitness, Greece $$: Indulge Lite = from $2,230pp twin share for seven nights Overlooking stunning views of Mirabello Bay, Porto Elounda is the perfect location for an inspiring Mediterranean fitness getaway. Get the guidance you need to kick-start your goals as personal trainers assess your current fitness level and design a training program that best suits you. With astounding lush surroundings and access to its own private beach area, this resort is host to a myriad of land and water sports activities. Explore the local sights on a hike or bicycle tour, or learn to windsurf and sail as you discover what the beautiful bay of Mirabello has to offer. What’s included: Seven nights' accommodation, half board, a fitness program, personal training sessions, attendance to group classes, unlimited use of thalasso therapy pool and thermal suite, access to the fitness centre, welcome treat and daily herbal tea. We love: If you are following a specific diet, the team at the restaurants can easily adapt the meals to suit you – so all you need to do is focus on your holiday!
Porto Elounda Optimal Fitness, Greece
Atmantan Fitness, India $$$$: Splurge = from $4,810pp twin share for seven nights If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you, so take a trip to Atmantan Wellness Centre, located in the majestic Sahyadri mountain range in India to expand your physical and mental boundaries. Begin with a VO2 max test during your initial fitness consultation to learn how to maximise your workouts and measure how you can progress. Shun the humdrum gym exercises with a variety of workouts to broaden your fitness horizons. Atmantan’s fitness program is both transformative and educational, from
which you can learn to strengthen your body and mind through functional fitness, mindful living and proper nutrition. What’s included: Seven nights' accommodation, full board, a fitness program, initial and final wellness consultation, endurance assessment, daily spa treatments, personal training sessions, attendance to group classes and access to the spa. We love: The all-encompassing approach to fitness, which includes postural assessment and correction to ensure you get the most out of your program.
Atmantan Fitness, India
MesaStila Fitness & Weight Management, Java
Florblanca Fusion Fitness, Costa Rica
Florblanca Fusion Fitness, Costa Rica $$$$: Splurge = from $4,050pp twin share for seven nights Surrounded by meandering jungle trails, majestic waterfalls and unspoiled beaches, Florblanca is an idyllic destination for your fitness pursuits. Explore the natural beauty of Central America as you bring balance back to your health at this tropical wellness haven. With a tailored approach to fitness, begin with a health and fitness consultation and choose from a plethora of activities from Pilates, yoga and meditation to mountain biking, surfing and kayaking. Recover
and relax at the end of the day with Spa Bambu’s selection of natural treatments. What’s included: Seven nights' accommodation, daily breakfast, a Fusion Fitness program, wellness consultation, attendance to group classes, access to the fitness centre and complementary rental of snorkels, masks, surfboards and boogie boards. We love: Florblanca is all about backto-nature wellness. Walking from your private villa to the Nectar restaurant is like wandering through a wildlife reserve – a magical experience.
MesaStila Fitness & Weight Management, Java $: Scrimp = from $1,050pp twin share for three nights This fitness escape set amongst thriving flora and a lush coffee plantation will give you the right boost to kick-start your new year resolutions. Breathe in the cool highland air and draw inspiration from nature to help you reach your personal best during a variety of fitness activities and personal training sessions. Mix it up and follow the tracks of the old plantation trains through vast rice paddies and peaceful villages on a trekking or cycling tour. Return to pamper with an authentic hammam ritual before enjoying a nutritious feast to suit all taste buds. What’s included: Three nights' stay at a private villa, full board, a fitness program, wellness consultation, massages, daily hammam steam bath, afternoon tea and attendance to group fitness classes. We love: The tours offered at MesaStila are extraordinary – discover the local culture, the architectural splendour of colonial influence and explore the coffee plantation where you get to try true Javanese coffee. Search #theimmersionjava for more MesaStila healthy holiday inspo from the Lululemon retreat held there!
Wildfitness Zanzibar, Tanzania $$$: Indulge = from $3,950pp twin share for seven nights When you have nature, you have a gym – that’s what Wildfitness Zanzibar is all about. In this sunny, palm-fringed destination, trees are used as much for climbing as they are for providing shade, and a vast white sand beach serves as your running track. While the outdoors offer a daring challenge for anyone looking for a combination of nature, thrill and adventure, you will not be short of luxury and comfort. The villas are spread along Paje Beach, so you can witness uninterrupted sea views or lounge in your roof terrace during your downtime. What’s included: Seven nights' accommodation, full board, fitness assessment, two to three training sessions per day, workshops covering movement, metabolism
and nutrition, and an information USB to take away with before and after footage of your movement patterns and posture. We love: Dining under the stars after an informative talk about ‘Wild Eating’ that covers the biological and evolutionary logic behind the food that is served and the behavioural aspects of eating.
Escape to the turquoise beach paradise of Mauritius for an invigorating start to the year. This luxury five-star retreat welcomes you with a fitness and wellness consultation to help you reach your goals, whether to tone muscles, cleanse out toxins, calm your mind or restore your overstressed body. Follow a slate of activities including yoga, Pilates, cooking classes, morning powerwalks, water sports, snorkelling, tennis and group exercise classes. End your active day
BY WELLNESS WANDERER, SAMANTHA LIPPIATT
RESEARCH – Consider what it is you want to achieve and what type of exercises you enjoy before you decide on your fitness holiday destination.
PRE-HOLIDAY PREP – You don’t have to be fit before going on a fitness holiday. But it’s best if you build up your fitness levels before you go so you can physically prepare your body for the challenges ahead.
GO ON HOLIDAYS IN YOUR ACTIVE WEAR – Invest in fitness apparel that will add function and confidence to your workouts but that you can also mix and match. BONUS: you can be comfy en route as well.
TRAIN YOUR MIND – Practise positive thinking. Consider having a fitness mantra: something you can repeat to serve as a little boost during tough workouts.
Shanti Maurice Physique, Mauritius $$$: Splurge = from $3,540pp twin share for seven nights
A QUICK GUIDE TO PLANNING YOUR FITNESS RETREAT:
at the Nira Spa to revive your senses through a mix of beauty and holistic treatments, including slimming body wraps and Ayurvedic therapies. What’s included: Seven nights' accommodation, half board, a fitness program, wellness consultation, personal training, attendance to group fitness classes, use of the spa and pool and a complementary bag of detox products. We love: The beach at Shanti Maurice offers a tranquility perfect for non-motorised watersports such as windsurfing, sailing, pedal boats, snorkelling and kayaking.
VARIETY IS KEY – Don’t restrict yourself to just one form of exercise. A fitness retreat is a great opportunity to try new things and learn new skills.
ASK AN EXPERT – There is a program to suit every fitness level and goal, so talk to a wellness travel expert who can guide you to the right holiday to suit your abilities.
KNOW YOUR LIMITS – Don’t risk injuries for the sake of competing with others or yourself. Fitness retreats should also be fun!
HYDRATE – Not only does drinking water serve as a quick and effective pick-me-up during workouts, it also boosts your brain function for the rest of the day. Especially important in tropical destinations.
SOAK UP THE SUN – Get that extra oomph by soaking up some sunlight on a fitness retreat. The sun is a natural booster for our mitochondria (the energy-producing power plants in our cells).
RECOVER – Giving your body and mind the time to recover is equally as important as working out. Treat yourself to a massage or dare to take the cold plunge with contrast spa therapy.
Shanti Maurice Physique, Mauritius
Samantha Lippiatt is a wellness travel guru and co-founder of Australia’s first dedicated wellness travel company Health and Fitness Travel. For more advice or to book your own healthy holiday, contact the wellness travel specialist team on 1300 551 353 or email email@example.com.
Hosting A Fitness Retreat?
h e id ea of h hosting your fi r st retreat can b e b o th d a u nting a n d ex hi la r atti ng. T e r s t t in g to cconsider is the venue. Hotel Komune Bali ticks all the boxes. B a u s u r ro u n d , e pic food, 5 st a r t ra i ni ng f a c i l i t i e s a nd l u x u r y a c c o m m o d a tii
The comfort of your guests is crucial. Komune features 66 impressive 4 star rooms as well as 1,2 and 3 bedroom villas plus 38, 5 star beach front pool suites.
The Health Hub
Delicious, fresh and healthy food and world class health and wellness facilities. This is the Health Hub. A child free area where our award winning chefs cater to your dietary requirements. Located next to our 25m lap pool itâ€™s the perfect place to enjoy a cold pressed fresh juice after a morning yoga session.
Our Health Hub facilities include 3 large yoga shalas a fully equipped functional training gym, sports ground, spin bikes, barre and pilates equipment plus a full service spa for those looking to relax and unwind with a massage or some beauty therapy.
For more info head to: komuneresorts.com m/keramasbali or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org m
WHAT’S IN (AND WHAT’S ON THE WAY OUT) IN THE BEAUTY WORLD CIRCA 2018. IT’S EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW TO STAY FASHION FORWARD IN TERMS OF MAKE-UP, HAIR AND SKIN. WORDS: KRISTINA IOANNOU
TREND TO TRY : MULTI-COLOURED HIGHLIGHTER
Gone are the days where highlighter was only available in pearl – brands now dedicate entire palettes to different shades from white to orange. “As long as it reflects light, we’ll be seeing it on cheekbones; try a pinky blue for an ethereal effect,” says lead make-up artist for Mecca Sally Axford (mecca.com.au). To avoid overpowdering your goddesslike glow, Axford recommends swapping your palm-sized powder brush for a blush brush and only powder where you get shiny or want to smooth pores – in between the brows, on either side of the nose and on the chin. “It’s called spot-powdering and the difference in textures will also make your highlighter pop,” she says.
WE LOVE Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush, $55, mecca.com.au
Another year over (almost) and another set of beauty trends to start dabbling with. And one thing’s for sure: 2018 is going to be a pretty darn epic year for embracing all that the beauty world has to offer. We’ll see a return of barely there skin and all things sparkly, shimmery and glittery, as seen across the New York, London, Paris and Milan runways. We’ll also see beautifully bold brows, skincare ingestibles, recycled do’s of years passed and make-up that takes colour cosmetics to new horizons. Spring/Summer18, we’re so ready for you.
TREND TO TRY: GRAPHIC COLOURFUL EYES
TREND TO TRY: WELL-GROOMED BROWS
The European catwalks were championing a graphic liner look for their SS 2018 shows, but not just in classic black felineflick style: “The lines were artistic, freehand and multicoloured and weren’t limited to the top lashline only – paired with clean skin and minimal mascara and brows, it’s a modern artwork in itself,” says Axford. Indeed, colour will be blazing its way through next year’s trends. “Looks are becoming much more playful and colour takes on different textures that we haven’t seen on the market before – try an emerald green glitter eye or a slick of sparkly purple gloss if you dare,” suggests Axford.
With images of brow microblading and feathering flooding our Instagram feeds, brow queens are starting to recreate the look with a full brow that still has translucency between the skin and the hair. “Liquid brow pens are particularly useful at achieving this as they tint the skin and don’t look powdery, and can fill gaps whilst still looking like actual hairs,” says Axford. Use two colours to create a textured, natural-looking brow. Banks warns that it’s best to keep the colour as close to your brow colour as possible. “Rather than drawing in harsh blocks or panels, use swift, short movements with your pencil, following the direction of the hairline,” she explains. “It’s about looking like you haven’t drawn them in at all.”
WE LOVE Inika Certified Organic Brow Pencil, $29, inikaorganic.com
WE LOVE Jane Iredale Mystikol Dark Topaz, $38, adorebeauty.com.au
Though it’s been doing the rounds for a number of years, contouring shows no signs of slowing down. “Contour doesn’t have to be extreme to be effective, and the most important thing is to really stand back and look at your face and what you’re trying to achieve,” says Axford. “The aim is to create the illusion of shadows on the face, so work with the shadows you already have to make it look seamless, blend longer than you think and pick tones that have a hint of grey in them to really fake it – leave the warmth for your bronzers.”
TREND TO TRY: GLOSSY SKIN
All hail fresh, polished skin! “Balmy highlighters or even lip glosses on the high points of the face will be used to contour with light instead of shadow – they create volume, which in turn will lift your complexion but not turn muddy by the end of the day,” says Axford. Make sure you moisturise thoroughly and mix in some liquid bronzer or highlighter to look like the newest addition to Victoria’s Secret. To avoid entering ‘shiny-disco-ball’ territory, natural make-up artist Emmily Banks (depthsofbeauty. com.au) points to highlighting with subtlety. “The key to a good highlighter is to look like you aren’t wearing any – you want the end result to give you that ‘fresh out of the sun’ glow rather than stopping traffic with the shine on your forehead,” she says. Use a dewy highlighter on the Cupid’s bow, brow bone and tip of the nose.
WE LOVE By Terry Terrybly Densiliss Sun Glow, $155, mecca.com.au 6
TREND TO TRY: PRO CONTOUR
WE LOVE Smashbox Step by Step Contour Kit, $51, mecca.com.au
TREND TO TRY: GLITTER, GLITTER, GLITTER
According to M.A.C Pro senior artist Carol Mackie (maccosmetics.com.au), there was a whole lot of sparkle backstage on the runways this season. “Glitter was everywhere, which is perfect for the holiday season coming up,” says Mackie. She recommends applying M.A.C Pro Longwear Paint Pot ($35) over the eye using a M.A.C #217 Brush ($37) as a sheer wash of colour starting at the base of the eye and blending upwards. “Add a little wash of M.A.C Pigment ($39) through the centre of the lid and tap on glitter – it looks better when it’s applied more freely. For a softer, more subtle, finer sparkle try M.A.C Reflects Glitters ($29),” she says.
WE LOVE M.A.C Glitter Pigment, $39, maccosmetics.com.au womenshealthandfitness.com.au
If you battled with frizz this year, aim to combat the fuzz. “To repair any hair damage from 2017, use an overnight hair masque, apply before bed and sleep on a silk pillowcase to reduce friction, resulting in less frizz and fewer split ends,” says founder of Original Mineral Jose Bryce Smith (originalmineral.com).
TREND TO TRY: SLEEK & STRAIGHT
One common trend that continues to stand out is a sleek, straight style with a deep part. Celebrity hair stylist Joey Scandizzo walks us through a step-by-step hair tutorial to getting glossy, straight locks:
» Prep hair by washing and rinsing with Eleven Australia Hydrate My Hair Shampoo and Conditioner ($23.95 & $24.95).
O&M Seven Day Miracle Moisture Mask, $35.15, originalmineral.com
» Apply two to three pumps of Eleven Australia Miracle Hair Treatment ($24.95) to the mid-lengths and ends of toweldried hair. » Straighten hair with a flat iron. 4
O&M Original Queenie Firm Hold Hair Spray, $35.15, originalmineral.com
ghd Platinum Styler, $315, ghdhair.com/au
TREND TO TRY: SUMMER TEXTURE
Tousled beachside hair is back with a bang, the perfect way to create texture in short or long locks. Easily achievable with a sea salt texture spray applied from roots to end, simply set hair in plaits around the head, blow dry, squeeze section of plaits with flat iron and remove plaits before shaking out with fingers. “Spray a dry shampoo through mid-lengths and ends for added texture,” says Scandizzo.
WE LOVE Eleven Australia Give Me Clean Hair Dry Shampoo, $24.95, elevenaustralia.com 120
TREND TO TRY: DEEP SIDE PART
Hair parted deep to one side and pushed behind the ear with natural texture will reign supreme. As seen recently at Balmain, Alexander Wang and Simon Miller SS18 shows, use a firm hold hair spray to create the look, recommends Smith.
» Blow dry hair and section into three parts. » Finish hair off using Eleven Australia Make Me Shine Spray Gloss ($23.95). Shake well and spray 25cm away, layering this into the hair for a super-sleek finish.
TREND TO TRY: FRICTION-FREE STRANDS
TREND TO TRY: FRENCH GIRL HAIR
The concept of effortless hair will be around for a while longer according to creative director of evo and Cloud Nine Lauren McCowan (au.cloudninehair.com). “The French Girl haircut – easy bangs with layers – looks chic and is not hard to maintain or style; it’s sexy, cool, glam, slightly rock and roll,” says McCowan. “The likes of Emporio Armani, Chloe, Marco De Vincenzo all embraced bangs throughout their shows; sleek and choppy, curly and wild – simply gorgeous and slightly angelic,” she says.
WE LOVE Sansceuticals Volumising Hair Hydratant, $35.70, sansceuticals.com
TREND TO TRY: LO FI SKIN
Looks like 2018 is the year to embrace all that your mama gave you. “We’re seeing lo-fi beauty on the runways with looks being super simple and letting skin glow naturally,” says Natalie Sellars, owner of Kindred Toxin Free Facial Studio (kindredtoxinfreefacials.com.au). While there’s plenty of products that can help achieve the look, you need to ensure your base is at its best. “Make sure you are nourishing your skin with a skincare routine that is best for your skin, get monthly facials if your budget allows to give your skin a nourishing treat and drink enough water,” says Sellars.
WE LOVE Black Chicken Remedies Love Your Face Serum, $79, blackchicken.com.au
TREND TO TRY: POST-GYM GLOW
It seems the beauty world has caught up to women’s obsession with fitness, as 2018 is shaping up to be all about the post-sweat glow. “It’s all about wet-look everything, radiant highlighted skin; ‘I woke up like this’ brows with visibly separated and sweated in hairs and naturally stained lips,” says Benefit’s national brow artist Hannah Terret (benefitcosmetics.com).
Nature’s Way Beauty Collagen Booster Tablets, $29.95, naturesway.com.au
jane iredale Golden Shimmer Face & Body Lotion, $45, janeiredale.com.au
According to studies, loss of collagen contributes significantly to skin ageing and from our mid-twenties, 1.5 per cent of the body’s collagen is lost every year. One of the latest trends in anti-ageing is the rise of skin-supporting supplements. An entirely non-invasive way to improve the visible signs of ageing, this targeted nutritional support is a natural alternative to more invasive anti-ageing treatments. Make way for collagen ingestibles to make skin look youthful and refreshed.
TREND TO TRY: VITAMIN INFUSION
TREND TO TRY: COLLAGEN INGESTIBLES
According to celebrity facialist Ingrid Seaburn (ingridseaburn. com), the worlds of overall health and antiageing are as one in 2018. “A few years back in the States, vitamin injections were coming in to clinics as a part of the menu for skincare and the trend is now picking up steam in Australia with many clinics offering injections by a trained professional of a variety of vitamin and mineral infusions,” says Seaburn. “A good diet and balanced lifestyle play a much more important role; but for those who love the idea of a booster, go for it!”
TREND TO TRY: ANTI-INFLAMMAGING
Inflammaging...huh? A’kin’s botanical chemist, Annabelle Personeni, explains that the term refers to long-term exposure to small amounts of toxic ingredients, habits that we have or not eating properly. “The process is ongoing and slowly ages our bodies much like the wear and tear seen from a pair of jeans over time,” she says. “By using a lot of antiinflammatory products on a regular basis, we are fighting those small inflammations ongoing, slowing down the whole ageing process.”
Skin Juice Juice-C Skin Brightening Skin Supplement, $49, skinjuice.com.au
A’kin Cellular Radiance Booster Oil, $46.95, akin.com.au womenshealthandfitness.com.au
If you spent most of 2017 face planted on your pillow after a big night out with makeup still intact or if too much holiday cheer has got the best of your beauty game, then it’s time to set some serious grooming goals. 2018 never looked so good. WORDS: KRISTINA IOANNOU
Beauty RESOLUTIONS If you didn’t abide by the golden rules of beauty in 2017, the new year brings opportunity for redemption – and it doesn’t necessarily involve double sessions at the gym nor sticking to an intricate 20-step Korean beauty regime. Give your primping routine a boost with some easy and achievable beauty resolutions so you surge into the new year fresh faced and feeling fab.
THOU SHALT START THE NEW YEAR WITH A BEAUTY DETOX
Detoxing isn’t just for our internal systems. Post-party season, the focus should be on restoring skin back to its natural state with an external detox according to esthetician Amy Wall (loveamyskin. com). “For the three days at the start of the year, only use a light hydrating moisturiser with clean ingredients and pair with a detox mask,” says Wall.
Skin detox recipe » Mix 3 tablespoons of zeolite clay and 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to create a mask. » Apply this mask every morning and evening of the 3-day reset. » Leave for 3 to 5 minutes. » Remove with a clean, warm washcloth to gently exfoliate. Follow with a hydrating moisturiser. Wall also recommends upping your water intake, dry body brushing for increased lymphatic drainage and increasing your cardio to prompt p p circulation of your skin. 1
RESOLVE TO USE: At One Skincare Vitalitty Beauty Balm, $39.95, atoneskincare.com.auu
THOU SHALT NOT SKIP THE NIGHTLY CLEANSE
If your 2017 skin looked more Mick Jagger than Emilia Clarke, it could be due to a poor cleansing routine. You wouldn’t dream of not brushing your teeth before bed, so why sleep with a dirty face? “If you do one good thing for your skin this year it will be to cleanse your skin before bed,” says expert skin therapist Robyn McAlpine (skintifix.com.au). “Even if you don’t wear make-up, it’s 3 still important to cleanse; pollution and dirt stick to your face throughout the day and need to be washed off before your face hits the pillow.” And don’t forget to clean your make-up brushes while you’re at it!
RESOLVE TO USE: Face Halo Makeup Remover, $22, facehalo.com
down the track. “UV rays break down our collagen – the protein that gives our skin its strength and smoothness – which leads to premature ageing,” says McAlpine. “It’s never too late to start, even if last year you weren’t so sun savvy. Check your make-up as most will have an SPF for daily wear, and don’t forget a sunscreen for your neck and chest, which are the ultimate age giveaways and will be sure to show the first signs of ageing,” she says.
RESOLVE TO USE: Skinstitut Age Defence SPF 50+, $45, adorebeauty.com.au
THOU SHALT DO A FRAGRANCE OVERHAUL
Your regular perfume bottle could be unknowingly making you ill, especially if you’re prone to skin sensitivities and likely to spray your scent directly onto skin. “Try opting for a cleaner version in the new year with a natural, botanical scent that’s transeasonal, skin-loving and filled with safe, organic ingredients,” says founder of IME Natural Perfume, Tonia Walker (ime-natural-perfume. com.au).
RESOLVE TO USE: IME Natural Perfume Erato Eau de Pafum, $69.95, imenatural-perfume.com.au
THOU SHALT WEAR SUNSCREEN YEAR ROUND
Sunburn is so 2017! You’ve heard it before – SPF is a must. Rain or shine, take the extra precaution and apply a sunscreen or product with SPF protection to save yourself from dark spots and sun damage
THOU SHALT PROTECT THE NAILS
If you spent most of the year getting your claws prettied up at a nail salon, it might be time to let the nail bed breathe and support cuticles back to optimum health. But if you’re not willing to go bare, treat yourself to a gentle at-home DIY manicure. Start with a layer of a base coat, preferably fortified with nutrients, paint two layers of your favourite non-toxic colour and seal with a non-toxic top coat. In between paint jobs, coat nails in an almond cuticle oil to maintain moisture levels.
RESOLVE TO USE: Say It With Polish Protective Base Coat, $20, sayitwithpolish.com.au
THOU SHALT INDULGE IN A REGULAR FACIAL
Working with a skin expert and having monthly treatments keeps your skin in check, especially if it’s acting angrier than a Taylor Swift revenge song. “Your skin changes depending on your lifestyle, environment and mental wellbeing, so having regular appointment keeps everything up to date and your skincare as specific as possible,” says McAlpine.
RESOLVE TO USE: Skin Juice Facial In A Jar, $75, skinjuice.com.au
THOU SHALT PROTECT THY LIPS
RESOLVE TO USE: Antipodes Healthy Lipstick, $32, antipodesnature.com
THOU SHALT EXFOLIATE REGULARLY BUT NOT EXCESSIVELY
According to McAlpine, overexfoliating your skin and using acid-based skincare (think: AHAs and BHAs) creates inflammation in the skin and removes the surface cells that are there to protect it. “If your skin is congested, rough and bumpy, the answer is to find out why and begin to work from the inside out,” she says. A mild exfoliant once per week may be the better solution to peeling and excessive exfoliating come 2018. Celebrity facialist Ingrid Seaburn (ingridseaburn.com) agrees that the days of harsh exfoliation and aggressive scrubbing are gone. “Introduce yourself to an enzyme- or fruit-based papaya or pumpkin exfoliant to gently break down the dead skin cells for fresh, new, vibrant skin,” she says. This is less damaging to your skin’s lipid barrier and just as effective to slough off dead skin without harsh action.
RESOLVE TO USE: Ella Bache Tomate Granule Free Micro Exfoliant, $72, ellabache.com.au
THOU SHALT NOT PICK AT PIMPLES AND BLACKHEADS
Have you been guilty of picking at every lump, bump or flaky bit this year? Step away from the mirror! That hard lump
The Australian summer can be the best time of the year. But for those lipstick-loving people it can mean dry and chapped lips, and what could be worse than trying to achieve the best lipstick look with weary kissers? Our lips are one of most delicate and sensitive parts of the body. They also have a low water-holding capacity and become vulnerable when there are environmental changes – such as the summer heat. One of the best remedies for dry and chapped lips is hydration, so why not hydrate your lips with a healthy lipstick formula inspired by health supplements. “An abundance of natural, edible ingredients make these lipsticks healthier to wear every day,” says founder and CEO of Antipodes Elizabeth Barbalich.
that you feel after a picking marathon isn’t more ‘pus’ – it’s swelling that you created when you went digging for gold. “Your skin is only a few millimetres thick, so squeezing until you bleed is only creating trauma, risking your skin to scarring, damaging capillaries and re-starting the wound healing process all over again,” says McAlpine. Hello, sore, scabby mess! “If you leave your bumps, lumps and flakes alone, they will magically disappear on their own as our skin has an amazing ability to heal itself, so you need not interfere,” she says.
RESOLVE TO USE: Formula 10.0.6 Bye Bye Blackheads, $9.99, priceline.com.au
THOU SHALT THROW OUT OLD PRODUCTS
If you’re a skin product hoarder of 2017, it may be time to throw out expired beauty products as they can compromise skin. A study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science found that 70 per cent of women use some type of expired product – mostly eye make-up – and 67 per cent of these were contaminated or past their use by date. Cringe! “Throw away anything that you haven’t touched in three months or that is almost empty,” says Wall.
RESOLVE TO USE: Happy Skincare Happily Ever After Vitamin C Eye Serum, $40.70, happyskincare.com.au
THOU SHALT KNOW YOUR INGREDIENTS
Knowing your ingredients can make all of the difference to tailoring a skincare regime that suits the needs of your skin. “Hyaluronic acid is great for hydration, vitamin C is great and hyper for brightening b h dh pigmentation, while amino acids nd peptides are great an for firming skin,” says Seeaburn. Be smart about reading the back of the 11 bels and question the lab ingredients before anding over ha our money. yo
RESOLVE TO US SE: Lux Aestiva Wiildflower Oil, $49, luxxaestiva.com
THOU SHALT COMMIT TO THE CHOP When it comes to hair, we say jump in and go for a big change – why not? Try something new, cut or colour your sins away or experiment with a new part – then be sure to make the most of it. Add a hit of protein and moisture to your hair with a quick-fix hair mask. Play around with different styling products and do the opposite to what you’ve always done: if you always wear your hair sleek and smooth, mix it up with a texturising spray. Or if you always wear loads of texture, try going sleek and smooth with an anti-frizz serum. This will keep people guessing while maintaining optimum hair health so strands are in their best condition.
RESOLVE TO USE: Eleven Australia 3 Minute Repair Rinse Out Treatment, $26.95, elevenaustralia.com
THOU SHALT SWITCH DEODORANTS
If you’ve ever tried to make the switch from mainstream to natural deodorants, 13 you may have noticed some side effects ranging from itchiness to rashes. According to founder of Nourished Life Irene Falcone (www.nourishedlife.com.au), these side effects may occur after a prolonged usage of chemicalbased deodorants that block your body’s ability 14 to expel toxins. “The skin is the body’s largest organ and what touches our skin can easily enter our bloodstream. As your armpits are an exit point for the body to naturally remove toxins, we shouldn’t be blocking it with more toxins,” says Falcone. Remember, it’s natural to sweat. Give your pits a break with an allnatural deodorant paste that’s both detoxifying and deodorising.
RESOLVE TO USE: Black Chicken Remedies Axilla Deodorant Paste, $18.50, blackchicken.com.au
THOU SHALT EAT CLEAN FOR GOOD SKIN HEALTH
What you eat is what your skin reflects. Between the mulled wine and mistletoe madness, you might have noticed your skin acting out. In the new year, treat your diet as part of your skincare routine. “Supplements and products are essential. However, fresh vegies, salmon, water – all the things we know give the glow – are good to commit
to,” says Seaburn. For glowing, youthful skin, it’s important to also stay hydrated according to lifestyle expert Lolita Waters (wotnot.com.au). “Make sure you are consuming two to three litres of water each day. Coconut water is also a great hydration booster and you can stir in a teaspoon of a quality greens supplement powder to kickstart that new year detox,” says Waters.
RESOLVE TO USE: The Beauty Chef Glow Inner Beauty Powder, $59.95, thebeautychef.com
THOU SHALT TAN EVENLY
We’re all guilty of it. Those uneven, streaky lines can affect even the most well-versed self-tanners amongst us. But here’s the good news: it turns out an actual lemon (as in, from the supermarket) can help. To remove a botched tan job, use lemon and baking soda. Mix them together and let the formula sit on the skin for a few minutes to strip the tan colour out of the skin easily and effectively. You can also use a tan removal mitt to even out your glow job. Dampen the mitt, squeeze out excess water and using reasonable pressure, rub the skin in a rapid vertical direction to see the streaks roll away.
RESOLVE TO USE: St Tropez Tan Build Up Remover Mitt, $12.99, priceline.com.au womenshealthandfitness.com.au
THOU SHALT KEEP BROWS VA-VAVOLUMINOUS
Having your brows professionally shaped and tinted can be life changing. “Eyebrows have the ability to transform your face as they create the appearance of lifted cheek bones, a brighter, open eye area and a more youthful appearance as our brows naturally lose structure and colour as we age,” says Benefit’s national brow artist Hannah Mutze (benefitcosmetics. com). Similarly, brushing your brows up works like an instant facelift. “Consider it the slick, high ponytail of the brow world as it opens the brow area and straightens the brow, reducing the appearance of dark circles and puffiness,” explains Mutze. With thick, bold brows still reigning supreme, it’s about time you give your own pair a chance by investing in a brow conditioner to stimulate growth.
RESOLVE TO USE: Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow Volumizing Eyebrow Gel, $39, myer.com.au
THOU SHALT USE SUPERFOODS IN THY HAIR
Just like on the skin, superfoods work a treat on the hair too. These powerhouse ingredients harness the natural wonder and potency of enriching essential nutrients to maximise colour retention, and nourish and fortify damaged and dry hair. Products that ‘feed the hair’ are also key to slowing down thinning, adding loads of shine and preventing breakage and fallouts.
RESOLVE TO USE: Pureology Superfood Hair Treatment, $44, pureology.com
OU SHA NDUCT WEEKLY CIAL MASSAGES Facial massage is another eat way to improve the circulation of your sk according to owner o Kindred Toxin Free Facial Studio, Natalie Sellars (ki dredtoxi re ac .c .a . “It has the added bonus of helping lift and firm the skin, reducing puffiness and wrinkles and reducing stress,” she says.
RESOLVE TO USE: Lux Aestiva Jade Face Roller, $29, luxaestiva.com
DIY lymphatic drainage massage » Beginning at the centre of your forehead, pull your fingers firmly from the middle to your temples. Repeat the pprocess three times. » Now moving your fingers too under the eyes (where those nastty bags 18 rm), start at the inner corner of ur eye and use gentle strokes to pull in a half moon motiion out towards your temples. Reppeat three five times. » Using the tip of your indexx finger, ply pressure to your eyelid starting om the inner cavity beneeath your ebrow and slide out along the e bone to your temples. Repeat ree times. » arting from the sides your nose, take four fingers and movve firmly outwards towards the baase of your ears. Repeat this three times. » Moving towards your chiin, starting at the centre, scoop the maassage in a ight semi circle curving up towards your earlobes. Repeat thhree times. » Finish the process by placing your fingers beneath your chhin and running th them downward downwards in smooth strokes towards your collarbones. This will release any blockages in your lymph nodes. » For optimum results, repeat the process every two to three days.
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THIS MONTH’S FINDS
COOK UP A STORM
If you’re looking for some wholesome recipes to create in your kitchen this summer (festive bloat, be gone!), Golden Door at home cookbook has a collection of 110 options for you to try, including coconut pancakes, quinoa and vegetable burgers, and Moroccan chicken tagine. They’re not only simple and decked out with nutritious ingredients, but super tasty too. RRP $49.95, goldendoor.com.au/store
Is your digestive system running riot postChristmas? Lifestream’s Aloe Vera juice to the rescue! This clean-tasting aloe drink is soothing to the stomach lining and intestines while supporting our natural digestion process, so it’s perfect for those with sensitive tummies. And it’s made from 99.7 per cent pure aloe vera juice, which means it contains absolutely no additives, sugars or sweeteners. RRP $19.95, lifestream.co.nz
It’s prime time to be outdoors, basking in the summer sun – but this also means protecting and moisturising your skin from the effects of UV rays. We’ve got you sorted this summer with UberZinc from Synergie Skin. With 21 per cent zinc oxide and enriched with green tea, this UV protective moisturiser combats cellular damage and is 100 per cent free from chemical sunscreens. RRP $115, synergieskin.com
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QUENCH YOUR THIRST
With the sun beating down on us, we should be keeping our skin hydrated – both through the water we drink and what we lather on our face. That’s where Andalou Naturals Coconut Water Firming Toner steps in. This handy little spray contains aloe vera, coconut water and white tea to replenish skin with fast-absorbing moisture, along with vitamin C to brighten your complexion. Plus, it’s dermatologist tested so you know you’re getting the best. Toss it in your gym bag and mist over your face the next time your skin feels parched to help smooth out skin tone and texture, and promote a youthful complexion. RRP $16.95, nourishedlife.com.au
You don’t have to find yourself a desert island to get your coconut milk fix. Pure Harvest’s Coco Quench is a non-dairy milk made with organic coconuts and brown rice, making it suitable for those who are lactose intolerant. Plus this sweet milk hits all your macronutrient needs, with the healthy fats from coconuts and the complex carbohydrates from rice providing the perfect combo to keep you fuller for longer! Available in leading supermarkets and health food stores, toss it into your trolley next time you hit the shops. RRP $3.60, pureharvest.com.au
JOURNALIST, AUTHOR AND STUDIO 10 TV HOST With a successful career in journalism spanning over 20 years, busy career woman, mum, and ambassador for Solar D and beyondblue Jessica Rowe knows a thing or two about finding balance amongst the chaos. WH&F sat down with her to chat about the importance of health and wellbeing in an era where women are striving to ‘do it all’.
During my time working as a journalist, I’ve worked at all major commercial television networks in Australia. Currently, I’m a co-host on Studio 10 morning show. I came across Solar D when one of our guests, Jules Sebastian, came on the show to talk about the product. She gave me some samples to try and I’ve been using it ever since! I’m now an ambassador for the brand. Australians are pretty aware of the importance of skin protection. However, I was unaware that many of us aren’t getting enough UVB rays, resulting in a vitamin D deficiency. Solar D sunscreen is the perfect way to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays while still allowing your body to absorb some of the good UVB (ultraviolet) rays. I’m also an ambassador for beyondblue, and I’m avid about talking openly about mental health. To me, mental health is about asking for help when I need it, taking my antidepressant medication and looking after myself. And that means letting go of the idea that life is perfect, and that you have to be the ‘perfect’ mum, wife, daughter and friend all the time. Those ideals are impossible
and too often we are not compassionate with ourselves. When it comes to work-life balance, I don’t think there is any one secret to getting it right – all of us muddle through in different ways. For me, some days are smoother than others, which is more to do with good luck than with careful planning. I’m a big believer in being gentle with yourself – it’s impossible to be good at everything and it’s exhausting trying to do it all. I have a messy house and I could live in my car, but I make sure I spend the time I have with my family having a laugh rather than wasting it sweating about cleaning and putting clothes away! To relax, I love reading and eating chocolate in bed. I have a Lindt chocolate stash hidden in my top bedside drawer – although it’s not really a secret hiding spot given my daughters know where to find it! Exercise for me is more about managing my mental rather than physical health. I do Pilates once a week with a close friend, and because we do it together it’s harder for me to cancel. I’ve only been doing Pilates for a year
Rowe’s favourite motto
“Promise me you’ll always remember: you’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
– A.A. Milne from Winnie the Pooh
now and really enjoy the stretching and strengthening aspect of it as well as the social. But our trainer knows to work us harder if we talk too much! In the new year, I plan on getting plenty of sunshine and swimming in salt water while lathered up in Solar D sunscreen, eating mangoes, and letting go of routine.
E X C L U S I V E LY AVA I L A B L E AT
s t y l e r u n n e r. c o m
& days leandown plan, get smart exercises for brain health and kick start your 2018 with Laura Henshaw
Published on Jan 12, 2018
& days leandown plan, get smart exercises for brain health and kick start your 2018 with Laura Henshaw