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Claire Sanderson / Editor Follow me on Instagram @clairesanderson

This month I’m... Having lunch with… Carly Rowena. We caught up after her shoot for our glutes supplement. Her authentic approach is so refreshing.

Wearing… Dot Dash Activewear. This new British brand isn’t just about pretty prints, the quality is built to withstand regular full-on workouts, too.

Working out at… Orangetheory. Already huge in the US, it’s expanding in the UK this year. I’m lucky enough to have a studio at the end of my road in Winchester.

Using… Sachajuan hair products. When I find a shampoo and conditioner that leave my coloured hair feeling as soft as these do, it’s time to celebrate.

PHOTOGRAPHY: IAN HARRISON

’m jetlagged. I’m so blooming tired, I can’t sleep. You know when you need some zeds so badly that you tie yourself up in knots trying to drop off? That’s been me this week. I’ve just spent five days in New York working with the Women’s Health US team, devising a plan to make WH an even bigger and better global powerhouse. Did you know we’re the fastest growing magazine brand in the world? We’re in 53 countries and publish 29 editions. Pretty impressive, eh? And six years on from its launch, WH UK is still increasing its audience. We recently posted our eleventh consecutive growth in circulation figures and you’re going to see more from us this year than ever, including events, products and books. Exciting times. Speaking of events, I’ve got a busy summer ahead. You’ll find me on stage interviewing some of the most awe-inspiring women in wellness at the season’s best fitness festivals, kicking of with Be:FIT London (4-6 May). If you want to hear me drilling Alice Liveing on how she got her abs, learn why Jasmine Hemsley is perennially zen,

and find out what Madeleine Shaw does to retain her gorgeous glow, then get yourself along to London’s Business Design Centre. I’m also hosting the Powerful Women in Business panel so, if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or looking to make the next step in your career, it’ll be well worth getting in the front row for that one. Remember to come over and say hi. Keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram (@clairesanderson) for more details of other fitness events I’ll be at this year. I hope you like the little present we’ve given you along with the issue this month, courtesy of the wonderful Carly Rowena. Who doesn’t want a great bum, after all? Mine’s never going to be small, but it’s not about size, is it? Let’s concentrate on lifting and strengthening to create a shapely derrière. So, it’s Carly to rescue. We’ve also got a feature this month about how to squat correctly (lots of us don’t) and the best squat variations for your body type. So that’s technique and a plan to follow. We’re here to serve. I’m also loving our feature on page 32 about why you should absolutely include carbs in your diet. At Women’s Health, we’d never endorse cutting out food groups, but carbs have got a bad rap elsewhere. We cut through all that crap to give you the low-down on the benefits of your spag bol. Don’t forget to let me know what you think of the issue. Until next month.

NEVER MISS AN ISSUE Get WH delivered direct to your door every month or choose to download it to your mobile or tablet. Go to p91 for our latest subscription ofer.

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Follow the team on Instagram

Executive Assistant to Managing Director Natasha Mann Head of Marketing Jane Shackleton Senior Marketing Executive Philippa Turner

@clairesanderson

Creative Director Adam Gerrard

Workflow Director Emma King

@spreadingthejoy

@adamgerrard_whuk

@emmak1ng

Managing Editor/ Picture Editor Emily Murphy @emilybaho

WORDS Features Editor Nikki Osman

Health & Beauty Editor Amelia Jean Jones

@nikstamatic

Chief Sub Editor Victoria Rudland

Deputy Chief Sub Editor James Brown

@victoriarudland

@ameliajeanjones

@ja_mesbrown

Features Writer Roisín Dervish-O’Kane

Editorial Assistant/Junior Writer Florence Mitchell

@roisin.dervishokane

@flomit

FASHION

VISUALS

Acting Fashion Director Saskia Quirke

Fashion Assistant Polly Bartlett

Deputy Art Editor Nathalie Gimson

Designer George Hilton

Picture Assistant Eliot Brittain

@saskiaquirke

@pollyvbartlett

@nathaliegimsondesign

@gbhilton

@eliotbrittain

DIGITAL Digital Editor Amy Hopkinson

Social Media Editor Francesca Menato

Junior Digital Writer Ally Head

@wellness_ed

@ces_menato

@allyyhead

THE FACES FROM THE ISSUE

THE FACIALIST

THE JUNIOR DOCTOR

THE ATHLETE

Abigail James, skincare expert and author of Love Your Skin, tells us her top tips for glowing skin on p21

On p124, Dr Hazel Wallace shares some exclusive recipes from her new book, The Food Medic For Life

British track star and five-time Olympian Jo Pavey reveals her runner’s diet on p138

Words to live by? You never know what’s around the corner, so make today count. I wish I’d invented… A cream that banishes acne forever. Fitness favourite? Yoga, spinning or dancing.

Best de-stresser? Going for a walk and listening to Harry Potter audiobooks. If I weren’t The Food Medic, I’d... Be at the hospital constantly, working towards being a surgeon or consultant. But I think I’m helping far more people maintain their health this way.

Post-race treat? Chocolate. I’d tell my 20-year-old self… Not to stress about things – you can only do your best. Prioritise what’s important and always make sure you have fun. Favourite place? Woolacombe Beach in Devon.

WITH THANKS TO Co-conspirators: Andres de Lara, Eloise Hall, Alex Jefferies, Jamie Lee Jenkins, Georgie Lane-Godfrey, Charlie Lambros, Elisa Macellari, Sophia Marci-Anderson, Maja Milicevic, Rebecca Miller, Adam Nickel, Mitch Payne, Lizzie Thomas, Tom Watkins

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CLIENT DIVISION Managing Director, Beauty Jacqui Cave Managing Director, Fashion & Luxury Jacqueline Euwe Director of Health & Sport Andrea Sullivan Director of Travel Denise Degroot Director of Motors Jim Chaudry Director of Watches & Jewellery Anna O’Sullivan Client Director, Personal Finance Jacquie Duckworth Client Direct Director, Health & Sport Natasha Bailey Client Direct Director, Fashion & Beauty Emma Barnes AGENCY DIVISION Chief Agency Officer Jane Wolfson Director, Client Direct Matt Hayes Group Agency Director Joni Morriss Regional Agency Director Clare Crookes Agency Director, Print Vanessa Wiles (0207 339 4405) Head of Business Management Lucy Porter (0207 439 5276) Luxury Business Manager Rosalie Atkinson-Willes (0207 439 5615) Head of Classified Lee Rimmer (0203 728 7707) CONSUMER SALES AND MARKETING Marketing & Circulation Director Reid Holland Head of Consumer Sales and Marketing Matt Blaize-Smith Head of Subscriptions Marketing Justine Boucher Subscriptions Marketing Manager Vicky Chandler Subscriptions Marketing Executive Victoria Greenwood Digital Marketing Director Seema Kumari

COMMUNICATIONS Head of PR Fay Jennings Deputy Head of PR Ben Bolton PR Manager Clare Fenny PR & Communications Executive Georgia Black Journalist enquiries media@hearst.co.uk SHOWS & EVENTS Director of Events & Sponsorship, Hearst Live Victoria Archbold Events Executive, Hearst Live Jenni Whale (0207 312 4190) PRODUCTION Production Manager Roger Bilsland Ad Production Controller Jonathan Stuart (0207 439 5290) HEARST UK President & CEO James Wildman Chief Operating Officer Claire Blunt Chief Strategy Officer Robert Ffitch HR Director Surinder Simmons Chief Operations Director Clare Gorman Acting Head of Editorial Operations Sophie Wilkinson Director, Hearst Brand Services Judith Secombe HEARST INTERNATIONAL Senior Vice President/ Managing Director, Asia Pacific & Russia Simon Horne Director of International Licensing & Business Development Richard Bean Senior Vice President/ Editorial & Brand Director Kim St. Clair Bodden Deputy Brands Director Chloe O’Brien Executive Director, Content Services Shelley Meeks

Women’s Health is published in the UK by Hearst-UK Limited. Women’s Health is a trademark of Hearst Magazines Inc. Hearst-UK Limited, 72 Broadwick Street, London W1F 9EP. Company number: 00519122. Editorial team tel: 020 7339 4466. Women’s Health (ISSN 2049-2243). Copyright © 2018. All rights reserved. Women’s Health is printed and bound by Southernprint Ltd. 17-21 Factory Road, Upton Ind. Estate, Poole, Dorset BH16 5SN, and distributed by Frontline Ltd, Peterborough; tel: 01733 555161. Published 11 times a year. Conditions apply. Women’s Health does not consider unsolicited material for publication and will not return it if submitted. Hearst Magazines Environmental Statement All paper used to make this magazine is from sustainable sources in Scandinavia and we encourage our suppliers to join an accredited green scheme. Magazines are now fully recyclable. By recycling, you can reduce waste and add to the 5.5 million tonnes of paper recycled by the UK paper industry each year. Before you recycle your magazine, ensure you remove all plastic wrapping, free gifts and samples. If you are unable to join a recycling scheme, why not pass your magazine on to a local hospital or charity? Women’s Health is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (which regulates the UK’s magazine and newspaper industry). We abide by the Editors’ Code of Practice and are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you think that we have not met those standards and want to make a complaint, please contact complaints@hearst.co.uk or visit hearst.co.uk/hearst-magazines-uk-complaints-procedure. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, or if you would like more information about IPSO or the Editors’ Code, contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visit ipso.co.uk

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INTERVIEWS: FLORENCE MITCHELL

Editor Claire Sanderson Deputy Editor Victoria Joy

Managing Director, Health & Fitness Alun Williams


May 2018

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KNOW HOW

STRONG MIND

11 IF YOU DO ONE THING THIS MONTH...

43 SELF-CARE DECODED What it actually means

12 NEED TO KNOW All-new science, just for you

48 MARGINAL GAINS 15 small steps that add up to a calmer, happier you

14 FOOD FOR THOUGHT Is five a day enough?

55 LIVING WITH OCD There’s more to it than scrubbing your hands

16 ASK ANYTHING Thrust awks at the gym, sorted

BEST BODY

18 FIT KIT HERO A spring style update 19 WHAT HAPPENS WHEN... ...you take caffeine off the menu

21 SKIN CLINIC Celebrity facialist Abigail James

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64 FIGHT TO THE FINISH There’s no such thing as a happy ending around here

22 TECHNIQUE SCHOOL Learn to row, renegade style

67 MY FIT LIFE Actress Nina Dobrev

23 ALICE LIVEING ON... ...circus skills. No clowning

69 HIIT VS LISS Time for a change of pace?

EAT SMART

70 ONE-PIECE WORKOUT It’s all about the hula hoop

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27 TOP OF THE MORNING What your breakfast of choice says about you 32 PLAY YOUR CARBS RIGHT The fat-loss winner that was in your bread bin all along 36 COOL BEANS Swot up on legumes, the kitchen basics that pack a punch

73 FAT BURNER’S DIARY How one reader cured her anxiety with exercise

GOOD LOOKS 77 SPORTSWEAR HEROES 32 pieces to pull off fitness luxe 86 ON THE NAIL Show your talons some love

38 5 INGREDIENTS, 1 MEAL Because sometimes only a burger will do

92 WH TESTS We trial make-up for the gym

40 SLAW, FOUR WAYS What’s an al fresco lunch without a bowl of slaw?

94 BELOW-THE-BELT BEAUTY Yep, skincare and cosmetics for, erm, down there

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COVER PHOTOGRAPHY: STEVEN CHEE. MODEL: NATALIE ROSER, CHIC MANAGEMENT AUSTRALIA

20 DOES IT WORK IRL? Time to get your float on

59 GOING DEEP Whatever your squat goals, tailor the move to your body


118 FEATURES 100 WHAT’S EATING YOU? The diet that’s changed the lives of some, but led to a whole new struggle for others 106 THE TWISTED TRUTH How bowel cancer became a real threat to young women 112 OUTRUNNING GRIEF For Poorna Bell, running was the only way to keep going 118 THE DEATH OF DATING Has digital swiping transformed the way we fall in love? 124 DOCTOR’S ORDERS Five medic-approved recipes from Dr Hazel Wallace

CREDITS HERE PLEASE

131 WELL TRAVELLED Escape the hustle and bustle for a taste of the great outdoors

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138 MY WEEK ON A PLATE Five-time Olympian Jo Pavey

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T H E H E A LT H N E WS TO U S E N OW Friends with benefits

WORDS: RACHEL MOORE. PHOTOGRAPHY: GALLERY STOCK

IF YOU DO ONE THING THIS MONTH…

Embrace squad goals for

LESS STRESS

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If your idea of a Saturday morning well spent is getting your crew together for a sweat sesh followed by brunch, you know how to live and we salute you. But if the motivation for your weekend workout is purely physical gains, you’re not giving yourself enough credit: there are mental benefits to a social session, too. In a 12-week study of medical students at the University of New England in the US, researchers found that exercising in group classes for 30 minutes a week lowered stress levels by 26%. Participation in regular group fitness classes led to a statistically significant decrease in perceived stress and an increase in physical, mental and emotional quality of life, compared with exercising alone or not exercising regularly at all. Feel free to share the news on the Girls With Gains WhatsApp thread.

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In the know Want the latest health intel? Here it is – served up on a plate

PERCENT The amount by which the risk of coronary heart disease or stroke is lowered when women with high blood pressure increase their dairy yoghurt intake, according to a comprehensive study* of the diets of 55,000 women over 30 years. Add a dollop to your next biryani.

WE’VE HAD HYGGE, THEN THERE WAS IKIGAI; THE LATEST IMPORTED TREND IS PLOGGING (THAT’S A MASH-UP OF ‘PLOCKA UPP’ – ‘PICK UP’ IN SWEDISH – AND ‘JOGGING’). THIS MOVEMENT IS ABOUT PICKING UP LITTER WHILE YOU RUN. GETTING FIT WHILE SAVING THE PLANET? MORAL HIGH GROUND CONQUERED.

THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT Infatuation Three million US users can attest to the usefulness of this app, which helps you find restaurants with availability and healthy options, in a couple of taps. The UK rollout is due later this month. Nom.

‘There are so many reasons to quit, but even more to keep playing. So keep playing’ SERENA WILLIAMS

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IT’S NOT A SPRINT The Virgin Money London Marathon Last year’s champ Mary Keitany is running with male pacers in the hope of smashing the world record, held by Britain’s own Paula Radcliffe. 26.2 miles in under 2:15:25? Kudos.

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ATHLEISURE BOOMS Trend forecasters predict performancewear fabrics in office-appropriate cuts will soon become a wardrobe staple. Sign. Us. Up.

See GREEN in the gym Look out for a biophilic gym – one with hanging plants, turf floors and plenty of natural light – popping up near you. They’re based on research that found communing with nature is good for the mind.

365 DAYS THE TIME IT TAKES FOR YOUR BODY TO STOP RAMPING UP THE HUNGER HORMONES AFTER YOU’VE LOST WEIGHT, ACCORDING TO A STUDY FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF COPENHAGEN. TO STAVE OFF THE HANGER, TURN TO HEALTHY SNACKS. DID SOMEONE SAY PIP & NUT?

FIGHT FOOD WASTE WITH... Chickpea water mayo might sound like something out of your nan’s ration book, but the latest ofering from Rubies in the Rubble – whose condiments are made from fruit and veg that would otherwise have been chucked – is made from aquafaba (aka bean water) and tastes fit.

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WORDS: FLORENCE MITCHELL. PHOTOGRAPHY: GETTY IMAGES. RETOUCHING: COLIN BEAGLEY. *SOURCE: AMERICAN JOURNAL OF HYPERTENSION

ITS ALL ABOUT #PLOGGING

FANCY A FEST? Be:FIT London Three days of workouts, talks and discussions from the best PTs around and your favourites faces from the ’gram. You’ll find us in the front row for sessions with WH cover stars Deliciously Ella and Alice Liveing. (Tickets from £25, befitlondon.com)


THE EXPERT Laura Tilt, registered dietitian and founder of Tilt Nutrition (tiltnutrition.co.uk)

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Do I really need to eat the rainbow? First it was five a day, then it was 10 – a hefty 20 has even done the rounds. Dietitian Laura Tilt reveals how much fruit and veg you should be eating for good health s marketing slogans go, none has been commandeered quite as successfully as ‘taste the rainbow’ has by the wellness industry. While getting your five a day used to feel like a chore – there’s nothing appetising about a limp salad leaf – the rise of veggie feeds on the ’gram and cookbooks on the shelves have made the process more palatable. But is there such a thing as the magic number? The roots of the five-a-day message can be traced back to a 1990 recommendation from the World Health Organization, linking a daily dose of 400g of fruit and veg with a lower risk of heart disease and cancer. Divide that into 80g servings and what do you get? Five a day. The UK government launched a campaign around this idea in 2003, but since then, we’ve had claim and counter-claim, with the true number being stated as anything from three to 20. Last year, Imperial College London scientists examined 95 global studies looking at fruit and veg intake and the risk of various diseases. Though benefits were noted at modest intakes (about 200g a day – or two and a half portions), the risk of premature death from any cause continued to drop by 10% for every 200g increase up to 800g (or 10 portions) a day. A few months later, Canadian researchers published differing results, showing that eating three to four large (125g) portions a day was enough to get the maximum risk reduction against heart disease and death from various causes, with higher intakes showing little extra benefit. The bulk of the evidence still supports that the biggest gains seem to come from increasing fruit and veg intake from zero up to five a day, with benefits levelling out after this. And if three bigger portions feels more manageable than five smaller ones, make that your goal instead.

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COLOUR ME HEALTHY ● Red fruit and veg contain lycopene, an antioxidant that can protect against heart disease and some cancers. Cooked tomatoes are a rich source. ● ● If it’s orange or yellow, it will contain carotenoids, which keep eyes and skin healthy. Add dried apricots or mango to your morning oats. ● Foods that are purple contain anthocyanins – antioxidants that protect cells from damage and may also lower blood pressure. Bake a purple sweet potato or chuck some blueberries into your smoothie.

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PHOTOGRAPHY: TED CAVANAUGH

So, grams sorted. But what about that rainbow? While a colourful plate might make for a great pic, according to the British Heart Foundation, there’s no evidence that a balance of colours equals a balance in nutrients. But we do know different colours and varieties have varying efects on your risk of developing different diseases. Cruciferous veg like cauliflower and broccoli have been linked with a reduced risk of cancer, while apples and pears, citrus fruits, carrots and leafy greens can have a protective effect against heart disease. It makes sense, then, to eat a mix of fruits and vegetables for maximum protection. And with experts increasingly hailing the benefits of diversity for the sake of your gut bacteria – 20 different varieties a week is thought to be a good amount to aim for – it’s worth restocking your veg drawer every Sunday. By choosing at least three different kinds a day (an apple, a red pepper, a good portion of butternut squash) you’ll get a range of beneficial compounds, without needing to fret about the colour palette.


UP YOUR GAME

THE BIG QUESTION

If you’re marathon training NIKE AIR ZOOM PEGASUS 34, £104.95 Loved by the runners at WH, these have responsive cushioning and a flymesh upper that regulates your temperature.

Is it worth spending a little extra on highend gym kit?

If you’re HIIT-ing it hard

Yes, and for more reasons than you’d think. First, you’re more likely to feel like – and therefore become – a better athlete in quality kit, according to a recent study in the Journal Of Experimental Social Psychology. Researchers call this phenomenon ‘enclothed cognition’, suggesting that what you wear subconsciously influences the way you act. So, dress like a pro, and you’ll act like a pro. Plus, quality clothing will boost not only your mindset, but your performance, too. ‘The first step is to identify your goal and what will help you meet it,’ says Best’s Bootcamp trainer Abigail Dewberry. ‘I train hard, and I’m happy to spend extra on leggings that don’t go see-through when I squat.’ If you’re training for a half-marathon, however, cushioned trainers that support your ankles may be your priority. ‘If you’re new to a type of training, or looking for something specific, tap into your community,’ says Dewberry. ‘When a piece of kit has truly upgraded my workout, I love to pass that on.’

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SHOCK ABSORBER ULTIMATE FLY BRA, £45 A high-impact bra that doesn’t feel like a straitjacket, hurrah! It’s lightweight but doesn’t compromise on support.

If you’re getting serious about yoga LULULEMON WUNDER UNDER HI-RISE TIGHT, £78 A second-skin feel with a secure high waistband that will make bending through a vinyasa flow a breeze.

If you’re super into conditioning REEBOK CROSSFIT NANO 8 FLEXWEAVE, £99.95 These ofer the flat sole that’s essential for lifting heavy, with high-abrasion rubber for extra security.

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Q

If I pack my lunch for work, I end up eating it by 11am – help!

We’re not in the business of patronising you, nutritionally savvy WH reader. We know that you know that a breakfast containing both protein and high-fibre carbohydrate is best. So, if you’re regularly powering up on rye toast with nut butter or protein powder-boosted oats and still chowing down on lunch at 11am, something other than hunger could be motivating you. ‘Learn to evaluate what I call your “hunger quotient”,’ advises dietitian Keri Glassman. ‘Next time you have the urge to eat midmorning, ask yourself if you’re really ready for a meal. Once you learn to be more tuned into your body, you’ll know

when your real appetite strikes.’ This 11am ‘hunger’ may just be an urge to nibble on something. Keep vegetable sticks on hand for when your needs are more ‘mindless munching’, less ‘sustaining snack’. ‘You might find that your body prefers mini meals throughout the working day, which is okay, too,’ adds Glassman. ‘Try portioning out your lunch into three smaller servings, and keep hearty snack options like Greek yoghurt with chopped nuts in the vicinity,’ she adds. The upshot? Listen to your body.

WORDS: NIKKI OSMAN; ROISÍN DERVISH-O’KANE; POLLY BARTLETT; GINNI MANSBERG; MARCI GOOLSBY; DEAN STATTMAN; PAUL KITA; MICHAEL SNEEDEN. PHOTOGAPHY: GRAHAM WALSER AT HEARST STUDIOS; GETTY IMAGES. PAPER ARTIST: ISOBEL BARBER. ILLUSTRATIONS: LIZZY THOMAS

Food chain

‘ASKING FOR A FRIEND’

How do I tell my partner I’d love to squeeze their spots?

Q

What are these thrust moves I see people doing in the gym? And are they worth the potential awks?

They’re called hip thrusts and if you want a round, lifted posterior then yes, you’d better bulldoze through the blushes and work them into your routine. ‘Hip thrusts are so efective because they activate the glutes without putting pressure on the spine,’ explains Sarah Lindsay, former Olympian and PT at Roar Fitness (roar-fitness.com). Gains-wise, this means you’ll build your booty, not your thighs. To get started, sit on the floor

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with your back against a bench, knees bent and a barbell across your hips. ‘Lift your hips until your thighs are parallel with the floor, squeezing your glutes and pushing your hips up at the top of the movement,’ says Lindsay. ‘From there, slowly lower your hips to the ground, without touching down – that’s one rep.’ Feel a cringe coming on? Repeat Lindsay’s mantra: ‘Do what you have to do to get the job done.’ Or, er, face the wall.

Firstly, you rotter. Secondly, you’re not alone. The pustastic YouTube videos of Dr Sandra Lee – aka Dr Pimple Popper – have been watched over 1.8 billion times. Maybe wave one under your partner’s nose and gauge their reaction. Perhaps you could drop in a semi-subtle, ‘It is quite satisfying though, isn’t it?’ If they laugh and confess to a love of lancing their own pustules, then you’re probably safe to fess up. But if they look at you – and don’t be surprised if this is the case – with an expression of mild horror,

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don’t go there. If that’s their level of revulsion when presented with the visuals of a spot-squeezing session on someone else’s body, we can’t imagine that they’re going to be cool with you going in hard on them. From there, you’ve got a few options: make time for regular solo spot-squeezing viewing, go savage on your own whiteheads or fire up your Tinder profile once again for a more open-minded mate. Though don’t be surprised if going public about your pimple fetish draws an interesting crowd.

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THE MICRO TREND

Lightweight

RUNNING jackets

April showers may be inevitable, but soggy training sessions needn’t be with these weatherproof pieces

£125, ASICS With waterproof, sweat-wicking and reflective qualities, this jacket is worth its weight in gold.

£34.99, H&M Windproof fabric + zip pockets + drawstring back = a winning bargain buy.

Bodyism x Emilia Wickstead TOP, £120, AND LEGGINGS, £120 It’s April – but this is Britain, so obviously the weather is still shit. You can at least pretend spring has sprung, however, by throwing on some blooming lovely activewear. Bodyism’s new collection with designer Emilia Wickstead combines her signature ultra-girly floral prints with high-tech gymwear details, using fabric that boasts both cotton-soft comfort and the breathable, quick-drying qualities of performance wear. All the wins. Plus, Emilia says the collection is inspired by ‘strong feminine personalities’ – aka you – so get your hands on this dreamy set, like, now.

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£38, ASOS When you want to show of a race vest but need that extra layer, this sheer number’s the answer.

£125, TED BAKER Stand out from the black and high-vis crowd in this statement pink printed number.

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WORDS: POLLY BARTLETT

FIT KIT HERO


WHAT HAPPENS WHEN…

I give up caffeine Whether yours is a cortado, a cold brew or you worship at the altar of Diet Coke, go cold turkey on caffeine and your body will notice

SHORT FUSE Swerving the daily grind? You may want to add a little heads-up to your email signature. ‘Cafeine causes a mild physical dependence, so giving it up has side efects,’ says dietitian and sports nutritionist Linia Patel (liniapatel.com). A pounding headache and irritability being the most notable. Working in an open-plan oice? May we suggest wearing a cautionary badge, too?

Mug shot

READY TO RUMBLE ATHLETE’S AID

WORDS: FLORENCE MITCHELL. PHOTOGRAPHY: GRAHAM WALSER AT HEARST STUDIOS

NODDING OFF With your pick-me-up put down, it’s hardly surprising you’re not so chirpy. ‘Cafeine binds to your brain’s adenosine receptors and prevents them from making you feel drowsy,’ says Patel. To compensate, your brain develops more of them, so it takes more cafeine to stave of fatigue. When you give it up, those receptors will signal that you’re tired prematurely. A mid-morning nap’s a thing, right?

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GUT’S UP? When you’re drinking Diet Coke like it’s water, it’s your gut that pays the price. ‘Some people find that cafeine afects their bowel movements,’ warns Patel. It means that pulling the plug on your habit can lead to a blockage in your pipes. ‘Eat more highfibre food, such as fruit and legumes (more of which on page 36), keep hydrated and stay active,’ suggests Patel.

Banishing brain fog isn’t all that third cuppa was good for. ‘Cafeine is used as an ergogenic aid (a performance enhancer) in sports nutrition as it spares muscle glycogen and diminishes your perception of fatigue,’ adds Patel. You can still smash that PB when you’re cafeine-free by fuelling your workouts adequately and staying well hydrated.

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Reaching into your snack drawer every five minutes? Yeah, thought so. ‘Cafeine contains phytochemicals called chlorogenic acids, which are thought to decrease appetite,’ says Patel. Plug the teapot-shaped hole by upping your intake of chlorogenic acidcontaining foods such as blueberries, apples, pears and artichokes and keep hunger locked up until teatime.

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THE GUINEA PIG Jessica Howley, WH contributor

Floating therapy The best bath you’ve ever had or the gateway to the Upside Down? Stranger things have happened. WH dives into flotation therapy hen astronauts talk about space, what they always seem to come back to is the floating thing. There’s something special, they say, about being alone with your thoughts in a body that feels weightless. I haven’t been to space, but I do feel like I’ve done the next best thing. The idea of floating in an isolation tank is nothing new. If Ab Fab made it cool the first time around (the Iso Tank ep – enjoy), Stranger Things is responsible for the second coming of this trend. But while floating in a tank won’t transport you to the Upside Down, when it comes to floating and mental health, it’s not all science fiction. Until fairly recently, its stressrelieving benefits were purely anecdotal. But groundbreaking research from neuropsychologists at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research in the US shows that something special happens in the brain when the body floats. The research is ongoing, but early studies suggest that it dims anxiety in the brain in a way that could rival prescription drugs and meditation. I’m intrigued. After a period of anxiety attacks a couple of years ago, I was referred to a mindfulness course by my doctor. While it made a huge diference, I’ve been on the lookout for anxiety-easing techniques ever since – and I’m yet to find one that’s stuck. Picture an alien’s bed and that’s the pod-like pool I climb into one dreary Tuesday evening at Floatworks in South London. The water is 25cm deep and

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filled with Epsom salts; and both the air and the water are heated to skin temperature (35.5°C), meaning it’s impossible to tell which parts of your body are in the water and which aren’t. It’s an experience unlike any bath I’ve ever drawn – even when I use the fancy bubbles. I pull the door closed behind me so that I’m floating in total darkness. I expect to feel claustrophobic; but it’s like I’m back in the womb. It’s right about now that things are quietening down in my amygdala. Back at the Laureate Institute, fMRI scans done on the brains of volunteers before and after taking a dip show that floating quietens the activity in this region – the same one that’s activated by the fight or flight response. And I feel as calm and placid as the water around me. I go in feeling apprehensive about the 55 minutes stretched out in front of me. But by the time I’m sipping on a green tea in the chill-out room, I’m so at peace that I feel almost nervous stepping back out into the big wide world again. In the following weeks, I return, and each time I slip into the water, that familiar calm washes over me – and it isn’t confined to my time in the tank. The mind-spinning chaos of my commute is notably absent; deadlines no longer fill me with dread. It could be a placebo effect, or perhaps it’s just the knowledge that, in the act of booking my next session, I’m carving out an hour of my week to be alone with my thoughts. I’m fully submerged in this wellness trend. When buying in bulk, an hour in a flotation tank costs around £30 – about the same as I’d spend on a session in the pub on a Friday. Knowing that one will leave me peaceful and the other, well, pissed, it’s a no-brainer.

THE VERDICT Stress-relieving Quick results Value for money Long-term solution OVERALL SCORE

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AS TOLD TO: NIKKI OSMAN. PHOTOGRAPHY: PAVEL DORNAK AT HEARST STUDIOS

DOES IT WORK IN REAL LIFE


THE EXPERT Abigail James, 42, expert facialist whose clients include Rita Ora and Melissa Hemsley

SKIN CLINIC

A typical day: The school run followed by back-to-back clients for facials at The Beaumont Hotel Skincare philosophy: See your skincare as you would your diet – balanced in key ingredients Skincare non-negotiable: Cleansing morning and night – never go to sleep without taking of your make-up Personal skincare concern: Premature ageing and lines

Abigail James Want red-carpet-worthy radiance? We’ve pumped celebrity facialist Abigail for her skincare secrets 4 1

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WORDS: GEORGIE LANE-GODFREY. PHOTOGRAPHY: BETH CRUTCHFIELD AT HEARST STUDIOS

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1. Skin Laundry Gentle Foaming Wash, £20 I like a cleanser to wake my face up in the morning – this one is great for a gentle wash that doesn’t strip your skin. I always use a cloth to remove it and splash my face with cold water after.

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2. Medik8 r-Retinoate Youth Activating Cream, £135 Retinol can irritate sensitive skin at first, but this plumping formula is powerful without causing reactions. I apply it all over my face and neck day and night, avoiding the eye area.

3. Lancôme Absolue Eye Precious Cells Intense Revitalizing Eye Cream, £100 As I’ve aged, I’ve found I need richer eye products to help with fine lines. This is very hydrating and really plumps out the skin – I tap a pea-sized amount around my eyes then smooth it in.

4. Darphin Aromatic Cleansing Balm With Rosewood, £35 The thickness of this nourishing balm makes it perfect for a circulation-stimulating massage, but it turns into a light lotion when you add water. As well as cleansing, it helps relieve tightness in the skin.

5. Rituals Pure Face Oil, £32.50 I’m obsessed with face oils as they give such intense moisturisation – just two drops is plenty for the whole face. I use this to give myself a face massage after cleansing to help drain toxins, iron out fine lines and stimulate cell renewal.

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6. Nivea Q-10plusC Anti-Wrinkle + Energy Skin Sleep Cream, £10.99 This combines two antioxidants – Q10 and Vitamin C – to help you wake up glowing the next morning. I smooth it over my face, neck and décolletage after cleansing and leave it to soak in.

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REMIX THAT ROW Keep things interesting with these combos

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Push one weight into the floor as you pull the other one towards you

Keep your hips still, core tight and squeeze your glutes

Get into a plank position with your wrists directly below your shoulders

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TECHNIQUE SCHOOL

Renegade row Permission to stop plain old planking. Chop and change your core workout with this mid-section multitasker f we told you there was a way to boost the burn on your average plank even more, you’d probably tell us where to go. Oh, and there are weights involved, too. But bear with us, because this one holds the key to a mid-section Blake Lively would be proud of. ‘The renegade row is one of the most challenging core exercises out there,’ says muscle physiologist Tayla Faulmann. ‘Maintaining a challenging position, coupled with the compound movement of the row, creates a great upper-body workout that simultaneously engages your core.’ Yep, if moves were shops, this one would be a department store. In one fell swoop, you’re engaging your abs, biceps, back and shoulders.

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‘The more muscles that work to perform an exercise, the faster your strength will increase,’ adds trainer Sanchia du Preez. Nail it by keeping your torso completely still. You’ll feel the burn just by holding the starting position, so don’t aim for a million reps. ‘Muscle fatigue is not the goal,’ adds Faulmann. ‘So keep reps low and ensure your form is correct.’ Concentrate on keeping your body as rigid as possible. To start with, do three reps, working your way up to five on each side. If you’re new to exercise, build up to this one gradually.

Keep your head down and look at your fingers

SIGNS YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG You’re twisting your hips ‘This is an exercise in stability. Keep your body as rigid as possible,’ says du Preez. You’re drifting to one side ‘Improper form when you’re transferring weights may result in a shoulder injury,’ says Faulmann. Keep it slow and even. You’re only lifting with your arms ‘Lead with your elbows and contract your lats (the muscles on the side of your back),’ advises Faulmann.

MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS TO ROW ‘Up your heart rate to boost fat burn,’ says du Preez. Draw your left knee up to your chest, then back to the starting position. Repeat with your right knee, then do a renegade row on both sides and repeat. Boom.

AVOID IF... You’ve got a lower-back injury, weak shoulders or core, or a rotator cuff injury.

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WORDS: MICHELLE OCTOBER. PHOTOGRAPHY: IGOR POLZENHAGEN

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PRESS-UP TO ROW ‘By adding a pressup between reps, you’ll raise the intensity and the diiculty,’ says Faulmann. Start with your hands on the dumbbells, then complete a press-up. Now do a renegade row on your right side. Then repeat and row on your left.


THE EXPERT Alice Liveing, personal trainer at Third Space, London, author and Instagram star (@aliceliveing)

Alice Liveing on...

CIRCUS SKILLS

This month, Alice reveals why there’s much to be gained from clowning around challenge you to take a trip to the circus and not leave with a long list of moves you want to master. Recently, I went to watch an amazing travelling circus and felt so inspired by what I saw. As an ex-professional dancer, I love the idea of circus-style skills that require concentration and a completely diferent way of using your body. This moves the focus away from constantly

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adding load or increasing volume. As with most things, strength gains will, at some point, plateau. Working on skill-based movements alongside continued strength work can help to keep you motivated and interested in your training routine. I’m not suggesting you run of and join the circus, but have a go at building some of these moves into your workout. Don’t worry: no unicycles involved.

PHOTOGRAPHY: BETH CRUTCHFIELD AT HEARST STUDIOS. ILLUSTRATIONS: LIZZY THOMAS

THE WORKOUT 1

SWISS BALL DIPS Targets: Obliques Do: 3 sets of 8-10 reps on each side (a) Lie on your left side across a Swiss ball with your feet on the floor, right in front of left, so you’re in a straight line from head to toe. (b) Put your hands behind your head, elbows out. Lower your torso towards the floor, contracting on one side of your abs, then drive back up to the start and repeat.

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HOLLOW HOLD HANG Targets: Upper body and core Do: 4 sets of 45 secs (a) At a pull-up machine, grasp the bar with both hands in an overhand grip and hang, feet above the floor. (b) Imagine drawing your ribs back and down towards your navel, and banana your body so that your feet extend out a little in front of you. In this position, focus on your breath and hold for 45 secs.

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KETTLEBELL WINDMILL Targets: Shoulders and obliques Do: 3 sets of 8 reps on each side (a) With your feet wide, hold a kettlebell in your left hand and turn your right foot out a little. (b) Raise your left arm above your head, then bend laterally at the waist, running your right hand down your right leg while keeping your left arm straight. Then reverse to come back up to standing.

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HANDSTAND WITH WALL SUPPORT Targets: Upper body and core. Do: 3 reps, holding for 10-20 secs Stand facing a wall, roughly a stride away, with arms overhead and one foot in front of the other. Put your hands on the floor and kick your legs up one at a time so your feet meet the wall and you can hold a handstand. Spine arching? Move closer to the wall. Yep, it’s tricky.

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Eat Smart T H E L AT E S T N U T R I T I O N A L K N O W - H O W TO H E L P YO U L O O K A N D F E E L G R E AT

If it didn’t happen before 11am, it isn’t worth talking about. Wipe the sleep from your eyes, have a stretch and pull up a stool at the bar – it’s time to choose your breakfast tribe WORDS JESSICA SALTER

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PHOTOGRAPHY MITCH PAYNE

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BULLETPROOF COFFEE

AVOCADO ON SOURDOUGH ast your mind back: you’re sitting at your childhood breakfast table reaching for one of two boxes. The first is emblazoned with the image of a certain cartoon tiger, the other has a monkey in a hat chowing down on something chocolatey. After a bowl – or two – it’s of to school on a blood sugar spike strong enough to drive your teachers to the job centre. Breakfast has always been bloody magical, hasn’t it? And it’s enjoying a renaissance, where every bowl or plate served pre-11am is obliged to deliver that same excitement you had as a kid. While you used to sink a chunk of your wages on dinner, the salary-shrinker of 2018 is breakfast – the UK spends an estimated £76 million a day on it. Showing early morning eats some love certainly isn’t bad news for your health, either. Those who eat breakfast typically weigh less than those who skip it, according to the National Weight Control Registry. And research by the American College of Cardiology last year found that missing your morning meal could lead to poor heart health, too. You may not realise it, but what you eat for breakfast says more about you than your carefully curated social feeds ever could. Time to find your tribe.

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WHAT ? With its creamy consistency and intense mushability (if it isn’t a word, it should be), there’s a reason why you’ll struggle to scroll through Instagram mid-Saturday morning without spotting some #avocadotoast. THE TRIBE Never knowingly not brunching early. Can be found in M&S with a ’cado in each hand testing the validity of the ‘ready to eat’ sticker. Has googled: can you eat too much avocado? THE NUTRITION Avocado is loaded with vitamin E, fibre and healthy fats such as omega-9, which makes it a great choice for breakfast. In short: it fills you up. Crush/spread it on to toast and you’ll get another hit of fibre. But while the fat found in avos is the good stuff, try not to start every day with a hit. ‘As a rule of thumb, I’d suggest having avocado for breakfast three times a week,’ says nutritionist Angelique Panagos. ‘That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with having healthy fat first thing, but variety is important, so you should try to mix up your morning meals.’ To really supercharge this breakfast, she suggests adding some eggs for protein. Plus, you know, the yellow of the yolk looks great against the green of the avo. Just sayin’.

WHAT ? Tech millionaire Dave Asprey invented bulletproof coffee when he tried to ‘hack’ his own biology to lose weight. He came up with a morning coffee blended with fat. Yep, he claims that by downing 500 calories and 50g fat in the morning, instead of a plate-based breakfast, you can lose weight, reduce your risk of cancer and boost your brainpower. THE TRIBE Up at 5am furiously typing missives on her iPhone X with one hand while slurping from a pimped-up fat-laced coffee held in the other. Has spies in Silicon Valley who keep her updated on the latest trends. Who has time for breakfast anyway? THE NUTRITION Asprey claims to have spent a decade working with the world’s top health and nutrition researchers before devising his bulletproof bio-hack. The makers claim that it’s the mediumchain triglycerides in the fat (be that coconut oil or butter) that aid weight loss and regulate cholesterol. Asprey points to his own waistline as proof: he shed 7st on bulletproof coffee and countless celebrities have followed his lead, including Ed Sheeran. But it’s controversial, to put it mildly. There have been no studies done to support the claims – and Panagos takes issue with the idea of starting the day with a fatty coffee. ‘Some people will find that consuming such a high-fat drink without anything to line their stomach will upset the gut. Not to mention that coffee on its own is not a balanced meal, no matter how much fat you’re adding to it. It’s also worth remembering that, if your stress levels are high, a diet of coffee and exercise can be a toxic combination and can spike your cortisol levels further. This means that you won’t necessarily see the weight loss you want, anyway.’ Our advice? Stick to solids.


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ACAI BOWL

PROTEIN PORRIDGE WHAT ? There’s nothing new about porridge – the Scots have been eating it since the Middle Ages and, in the UK, we spoon 47 million gallons of it into our mouths annually. The gym-gains upgrade is to add a scoop of protein powder and lashings of nut butter to meet those protein and fat macros. THE TRIBE Who has time for meal prep when you’re in the gym by 7am? Eats her porridge in the office post-sweat sesh, upgraded with protein powder and whatever nuts she has in her desk drawer. Has been spotted picking the dried oats from the bowl mid-morning. THE NUTRITION For something oat so simple, porridge is nothing short of a nutritional hero: the fibre found in oats, a compound called beta-glucan, can help lower cholesterol. While you may have had it down as a welcome carbfest, know that 50g oats contains 8g protein, so by adding a scoop of protein powder, you’re getting another 28g – bringing your total count up to 36g – that’s quite the protein hit. A study published in The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate 35g protein at breakfast felt less hungry throughout the day and experienced fewer cravings. ‘But don’t feel you have to splash out on a fancy powder,’ says Panagos. ‘Topping your porridge with nuts and seeds can help you pack in that protein, too.’

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WHAT ? First things first: it’s ah-sigh-ee. Now that’s out of the way, you’ll have seen this plastered over Pinterest: a thick blended smoothie of frozen acai berries poured into a bowl and topped with fruit, seeds and nuts. Full-on fitness food porn. THE TRIBE Sets her alarm an hour early in order to chop, blend and sprinkle. Her kitchen could be the set of a cooking show, such is the array of blenders on display – it weren’t for the chia seeds everywhere. Can usually be found in the kitchenware department of John Lewis buying yet another Kilner jar. THE NUTRITION The Amazonian acai berry has a great rep, but legit science is pretty slim. Sure, it’s good for you, but no more so than home-grown berries. And by the time you’ve topped it with more fruit, there’s a whole lot of sweet in that bowl. ‘I’m wary of fruit smoothies – particularly for breakfast,’ says Panagos. ‘You want to start the day by balancing your blood sugar levels. When you blend fruit into a puree, the sugar is more easily absorbed by the body and this puts an extra load on the liver.’ She suggests swapping in some leafy greens, then making sure you’re getting enough protein and fat by adding nuts and seeds to the bowl. Try as an afternoon snack instead.


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GRANOLA WHAT ? There are two kinds of granola: the crack-in-a-box stuff that you could eat by the fistful after a late night at work meets an empty fridge. Then there’s the homemade nutritional powerhouse packed with nuts, fruit and seeds. THE TRIBE Desperate to find a socially acceptable alternative to her beloved piled-high-with-sugary-clusters bowl, a savoury breakfast isn’t going to cut it. Spends an incomprehensible amount of time in Holland & Barrett looking appreciatively at the packaged goods. Constantly runs her oven on a low setting in order to dehydrate nuts and toast oats. THE NUTRITION With the nutrientpacked dried fruits and healthy fats from the nuts, plus the cholesterol-reducing oats, granola will keep you full and feel like a treat. But, like the acai bowl, it can be laden with sugar, which isn’t an ideal way to break your fast. ‘You have to be a granola snob,’ says Panagos. ‘You want a variety that uses whole grains as opposed to anything that’s refined, and no sugar. Then, add some low-sugar fruit for sweetness and a spice, like cinnamon, for flavour.’ When it comes to toppings, Panagos suggests either full-fat milk or plain yoghurt. But even if you’ve got the contents of your breakfast nailed, poor portion control can derail your nutrition goals. ‘Usually, the portion pictured on the box is huge: aim for 30-40g,’ says Panagos. ‘That’s not to say you need to start weighing your food – start with a few tablespoons, then add the yoghurt or milk and top with a few berries and seeds.’ When it comes to granola, less really is more.

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WHAT ? No, we’re not about to tell you what an egg is. But these guys aren’t to be saved for lazy weekend brunches any more. Eggs have had an every-day upgrade. THE TRIBE How do you like your eggs in the morning? Well, preferably by a well-lit window, served on a plate from Anthropologie, with a few herbs thrown on for good measure. Has her poaching tekkers down (it involves a whisk and white wine vinegar, FYI) and if you break her yolk, she might just break you. THE NUTRITION ‘The humble egg is one of the best breakfasts going as it’s a good source of protein, iron, choline (essential for fertility) and healthy fats,’ says Panagos. And it’s worth tucking into first thing. A study found that those who ate eggs for breakfast went on to eat less fatty food in the evening than those who ate cereal in the morning. And if you’re a yolk-avoider, listen up – the egg-white omelette is old news. A study by the University of Connecticut found that the fat in egg yolks helps to reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol in the body. And while we’re on the topic of cholesterol, know that those rumours about eggs being bad for yours simply aren’t true. Cracking.

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FOOD STYLIST: MATTHEW FORD AT HERS AGENCY

ALL THE EGGS


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ALL HAIL THE

In your average line-up of nutritional heavyweights, the humble beige carb is nowhere to be seen. But, while we know the macronutrient is essential for energy, now science is pointing to carbohydrates as the key to achieving a healthy body composition, too WORDS KATE WILLS

ILLUSTRATIONS MDI DIGITAL

h, carbohydrates, it’s been such a rollercoaster. We had a good thing going until Atkins arrived, then Dukan and paleo followed and once again things went a little cold. We’d just about repaired the damage caused by ‘no carbs before Marbs’ when courgetti happened and, as if to add insult to injury, cauli rice. But hang in there, carbs, because things are looking up – for good.

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A growing body of research is pointing to the ability of carbohydrates to help you lose weight. So ingrained is the ‘bread and pasta make you gain’ message that the idea of the opposite being true seems nothing short of tomfoolery. Of course, the tables have been turning, albeit in slo-mo, for a while now. We’ve always encouraged you not to be too hard on carbs – any nutrition expert will promote eating across all food groups – but it was around the time when HIIT really, well, hit, that everyone embraced carbs as vital for fuelling intense workouts (the fact that the tastiest way to eat nut butter is clearly slathered on toast did no harm). Should you need convincing that you should be choosing, rather than avoiding, carbs for weight loss, take a look at the science.

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QUALITY CONTROL In February this year, scientists at the Stanford Prevention Research Center in California published the results of a major study comparing the validity of low-carb and low-fat diets. While the randomised clinical trial monitoring 600 overweight adults found no significant diference between the two groups’ results after one year, the researchers did make an interesting observation – that the key to lasting weight loss isn’t the quantity of food on your plate, nor the food group, but the quality of that food. They

found that those who cut back on added sugar, refined grains and highly processed foods, while upping their intake of vegetables and whole foods – carbs included – lost significant amounts of weight over the course of a year. This follows the recent publication of a book hailing the power of complex carbs to help you lose weight. The Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper, PT to the likes of Ben Stiller and Gwyneth Paltrow (and, yes, he’s the guy from America’s Biggest Loser, if you have the same taste in TV as us) is a diet plan based on the idea of eating

SATIETY IS THE KEY TO LONG-TERM WEIGHT CONTROL carbs at every meal three times a day for 90 days. Among the carbohydrates donning their superhero capes are the likes of brown rice, buckwheat and bulgar, as well as wholegrain bread and pasta; Harper recommends avoiding bagels, cereals (excluding oats) and dried fruit while on the plan. Confused? We don’t blame you. ‘The nutritional science behind carbohydrates and their impact on the body is complex because they come in a wide variety of forms, particularly in foods that are plant-based,’ explains Dr Duane Mellor, senior lecturer in human nutrition at the

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260 University of Coventry and British Dietetic Association (BDA) spokesperson. ‘Carbs can exist as anything from one molecule to chains of thousands, so the possible combinations are huge.’ As reckless as the ‘no carbs before Marbs’ mantra is, it’s based on the idea that carbculling sheds fat, and fast. Should you need a reminder of what happens to your body when you swerve carbs completely, within days, your body enters ketosis – a state where it burns fat rather than sugar to fuel its processes. Multiple studies investigating

low-carb diets, such as keto and Atkins, have found that they do indeed lead to weight loss. So how can eating more carbs have the same efect?

A TALE OF TWO CARBS Increasingly, research is emphasising the significance of the diference between simple and complex carbs – and they don’t call them complex for nothing. ‘As their name suggests, simple carbohydrates break down in one step. When you eat a chocolate bar, the simplecarbohydrate sucrose molecules head directly

The number of grams of carbohydrates the NHS recommends you don’t exceed in a day. Good news – there’s only 47g in 75g wholegrain pasta. Happy days.

to your small intestine where they’re quickly converted to glucose and absorbed into your bloodstream, causing your insulin levels to quickly rise,’ explains Kaitlin Colucci, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the BDA (@themissiondietitian). ‘Whereas complex carbohydrate molecules require more work to convert to glucose. When you eat a piece of wholegrain bread or a forkful of wholegrain pasta, saliva surrounds the complex carb molecule and begins

breaking it down into maltose. Then an enzyme in your intestine called amylase has to break it down further into smaller glucose molecules, at which point they can enter your bloodstream. This longer process causes a slower rise in your insulin levels, avoiding any sudden peaks.’ In short, swap simple carbs for their complex cousins and you’ll feel fuller for longer, meaning you won’t be so tempted by the 3pm sugar monster – and this guy.

Carbage?


E AT SM A RT This is important because more and more research is pointing to satiety, rather than deprivation, being the key to long-term weight maintenance. It means that, while culling all carbs (as restrictive and miserable as that is) might help you lose weight in the short-term, eating complex carbs could be the key to keeping the weight of long-term. ‘In studies that have looked at low-carb diets versus low-fat diets over 12 months, it seems that, after six months, people’s behaviour tends to converge, meaning they start eating more similar amounts of carbohydrate, regardless of which diet they’re on,’ says Dr Mellor. ‘Some people manage to maintain a low-carb diet, but others don’t. Eating a range of foods sensibly, including complex carbs, can avoid the risk of deprivation and help to maintain a feeling of fullness or satiety after meals.’

POWERLESS TO RESIST Recent research goes one step further, pointing to the powers of resistant starches – a specific type of complex carb. ‘Resistant starches (RS) are not completely digested by the human body in the small intestine, and therefore pass into the large intestine (the colon) where they undergo fermentation and form short-chain fatty acids such as butyrate,’ explains Paul Arciero, professor of health and exercise sciences at Skidmore College in New York. It’s the role of these fatty acids that is so intriguing. Professor Arciero led a study, published in 2015 in the journal Nutrition, exploring the link between RS and fat burn. The researchers cooked a series of four pancake breakfasts for 70 women (our invite got lost in the post, yeah?) and monitored them for three hours after each meal. They found that after they ate pancakes containing RS plus protein, they experienced a greater increase in fatburning compared with the other varieties of pancakes. ‘It was quite fascinating that by eating a carbohydrate food, in this case, pancakes, the body actually increased its ability to burn fat,’ adds Professor Arciero. ‘This is very unusual, but clearly demonstrates the ability of RS to be converted into fatty acids, instead of turning into blood glucose and being stored as glycogen.’

THE KEY TO LASTING WEIGHT LOSS IS QUALITY OF FOOD, NOT QUANTITY

If the idea of chowing down on pancakes every morning and losing weight sounds a little far-fetched, you’re a clever one; it isn’t quite that simple. ‘The long-term eficacy of RS to aid weight loss is less clear, although a growing body of scientific evidence is showing promising results,’ continues Professor Arciero. ‘What is clear is that RS enhances fat-burning (oxidation) and increases good bacteria in the colon, which have been shown to facilitate weight loss and promote a healthy body composition.’ If your goal is to shed kilos and then maintain a healthy weight, then the science suggests consuming complex carbs can help you do that. Now to get ‘complex carbs before Marbs’ to catch on.

POCKETS OF RESISTANCE Not used to scanning labels for resistant starch content? We hear you, so try these for starters

BANANAS Unripe green bananas contain 34g RS per 100g. This lowers to 6.2g when they’re very ripe.

OATS Oats contain 3.6g RS per 100g, but soak them overnight to boost levels further. Win.

PASTA Just-cooked pasta = a rise in blood sugar, but reheat it and the RS content halves the blood glucose increase.

POTATOES When cooled, you’ll benefit from a RS content hike from 0.5g to 3.2g per 100g, plus a rise in vitamins C and B6.

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Magic

BEANS Legumes: just a posh word for beans? Nope. They’re up there with leafy greens and whole grains as a food group you should probably be eating more of WORDS MARIA LALLY

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f it’s been a few years since you heard the one about Jack and his beanstalk, allow us to refresh your memory. At the centre of this story are some magic beans. As to their potency, Jack was sceptical. But the beans delivered, and then some. Which is why you’d do well to keep an open mind while we tell you about some little morsels that ofer a more modern kind of magic. Consistently listed by nutrition experts as wonders of home cooking and meal prep, legumes (ley-gooms) come from plants that bear seeds and pods – so beans, as well as peas and nuts, sit under the umbrella term. ‘Legumes are quite unique in that they’re an incredible source of both protein and fibre,’ says Helen Bond, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association. ‘They’re nutrient-dense, meaning they’re generally low in calories and fat but pack a lot of vitamins, minerals and nutrients into one serving.’ Their powers are rooted in science. Recent research suggests they could be an untapped resource when it comes to weight loss. A 2017 study from the University of Copenhagen found that those who ate a serving of legumes at one meal consumed 12% fewer calories at their next. Another study published in the Journal Of The American College of Nutrition found that people who consumed legumes regularly

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were slimmer and had a lower risk of becoming obese later in life than those who didn’t. ‘It all comes down to their high fibre content, which means they’re great for digestion,’ adds Bond. ‘They also feed the good bacteria in your gut, which we now know is beneficial to your overall health.’ And it gets better. Three heaped tablespoons count as one of your five a day. They’re cheap, easy to cook and nutritionists consistently say we should all be eating more of them. So why aren’t we? ‘Not everybody knows what a legume is,’ says Bond. ‘It’s a strange word and interchangeable with others, like pulses, beans and lentils, which are actually subcategories of the legume family. There are many diferent types, but nearly all are full of fibre, protein and many diferent health-protecting vitamins and minerals. So rather than get hung up on their fat or vitamin content, include a wide variety in your diet and try a new one each week.’ Full of beans? You will be.

PINTO BEANS 100g = 99 calories, 8g fibre, 7g protein, 0.13g saturated fat THE BENEFITS An excellent source of fibre and folate, pinto beans are also a good source of energyboosting B vitamins and iron. One study published in the American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition found that pinto beans contain powerful antioxidants called polyphenols, which can help to prevent certain cancers, including breast. Another study found that half a cup a day can help lower cholesterol levels. HOW TO EAT THEM Cook up a Middle Eastern or Mexican storm of burritos, tacos, salads and soups.

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PHOTOGRAPHY: GETTY IMAGES

KIDNEY BEANS 100g = 116 calories, 6.2g fibre, 7g protein, 0.1g saturated fat THE BENEFITS ‘Kidney beans are a good source of zinc, which helps to strengthen your immune system,’ says Bond. ‘They contain a natural toxin called lectin, so you must follow cooking instructions carefully if you buy them raw. Canned kidney beans are fine because they’ve been through a process to remove this toxin.’ HOW TO EAT THEM Not just for chilli con carne. Drain, rinse, toss and throw into a summer salad.

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LENTILS

PEANUTS

100g = 116 calories, 8g fibre, 9g protein, 0.1g saturated fat THE BENEFITS Costing around 50p a tin, they’re one of the cheapest foods you can find, so it’s worth learning your way around a few lentil recipes. But batch-cooking the week before pay day isn’t all they’re good for. ‘Lentils are particularly low in fat, full of fibre and are associated with better heart health,’ says Bond. ‘They’re also thought to slow down the rate at which sugar is absorbed.’ HOW TO EAT THEM Red make great dhals, green make delicious stews and brown are great for bulking out a salad.

100g = 567 calories, 9g fibre, 26g protein, 7g saturated fat THE BENEFITS Peanuts might seem like an imposter in a line-up of legumes, but they’re from the ground, so they’re legit. ‘They’re a fantastic source of resveratrol, an antioxidant believed to ofer protection against heart disease,’ says Bond. But be mindful of how many you eat in one go, as fat = cals, and they’re mega moreish. Aim for about 30g, which is a small handful. And try to buy the unsalted ones. HOW TO EAT THEM Keep a pack in your desk drawer for the 3pm snack attack or add them to Thai curries or noodles for a little extra crunch.

BLACK BEANS 100g = 132 calories, 16g fibre, 21g protein, 0.2g saturated fat THE BENEFITS Most of us first discovered these in our local Chinese (chicken in black bean sauce, anyone?). But takeaways aside, these beans are a great staple to keep in your store cupboard at home. ‘They’re a good source of calcium, magnesium and zinc to support bone health,’ says Bond. ‘Plus, potassium and magnesium, which are good for heart health.’ HOW TO EAT THEM ‘They work well alongside beef, chicken or vegetables in stir-fries,’ adds Bond. ‘And they make a good substitute for kidney beans in a chilli con carne, too.’

CHICKPEAS

BAKED BEANS

100g = 164 calories, 8g fibre, 9g protein, 0g saturated fat THE BENEFITS ‘Chickpeas are a filling, fibrous legume full of iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc and vitamin K, meaning they’re good for bone health,’ says Bond. ‘Plus, they contain B vitamins, which help convert food into energy.’ HOW TO EAT THEM ‘They’re the main ingredient of hummus, so buy a tub (or make your own). Raw chickpeas can take an age to cook, but the tinned variety are great for throwing into a curry,’ adds Bond.

100g = 78 calories, 3.7g fibre, 4.7g protein, 0g saturated fat THE BENEFITS If you’d written them of along with the rest of your Sunday fry-up, don’t be so hasty. ‘Baked beans are an incredibly good source of fibre, but some cans contain higher levels of salt and sugar than others,’ says Bond, so look out for low-salt versions. Oh, and don’t forget the farts. ‘Baked beans can trigger IBS symptoms in some people and cause them to become gassy,’ adds Bond. They’re not called the musical fruit for nothing. HOW TO EAT THEM On toast, after a bad day. Nothing beats it.

SOYBEANS 100g = 173 calories, 6g fibre, 16g protein, 1.3g saturated fat THE BENEFITS Soybeans are known for being a potent source of protein – on a par with meat – so they’re often processed into other foods, like milk, tofu or miso soup. They can also be eaten fresh from the pod, when they’re known as edamame beans. ‘Like kidney beans, soybeans also contain a natural toxin, which is destroyed through proper preparation and cooking, so follow instructions carefully when preparing them at home,’ says Bond. HOW TO EAT THEM Eat them from the pod, sprinkled with sea salt.

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FIVE INGREDIENTS = ONE MEAL

Coconut chicken burger

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WHOLEMEAL BUN You might have turned your nose up at brown bread as a child but, unlike its white counterpart, wholemeal bread contains all parts of the wheat kernel. This means it retains higher amounts of nutrients and fibre. Plus, you’ll get healthy fats from the added seeds. That’s dough well spent.

2

CHICKEN Swap the beef in your burger for chicken and you’ll not only be consuming a leaner source of protein, it could also be the perfect antidote to a stressful day. Chicken is high in tryptophan and niacin (vitamin B3), both of which are associated with lower levels of stress. Boom.

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DESICCATED COCONUT Not just a topping on your nan’s teacakes, you know. It’s testament to the tenacity of our coconut obsession that today you can buy the dried grated flesh from most supermarkets to be used in everyday dishes. It’s high in fibre and iron, but go easy – it’s also full of saturated fat.

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THE EXPERT Madeleine Shaw, nutritionist and chef (madeleineshaw.com)

E AT SM A RT

cals 320

fat 4g

protein 29g

carbs 31g

serves 4

COCONUT CHICKEN BURGER Because sometimes only a burger will do. But you don’t have to head for the golden arches to enjoy a happy meal – nutritionist Madeleine Shaw shares her recipe for a healthy fakeaway that will put a smile on your face with just a handful of ingredients.

ADDITIONAL WORDS: NIKKI OSMAN. PHOTOGRAPHY: PAVEL DORNAK AT HEARST STUDIOS. FOOD STYLIST: TAMARA VOS AT HERS AGENCY. NUTRITIONIST: GRACE BARNES @GRACEBARNESNUTRITION

INGREDIENTS

4

SPRING ONION Named after the season when they’re at their most delicious, these guys have a milder, sweeter taste than your average onion, which makes them perfect for throwing into marinades or salads. And they won’t make you weep. Win.

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TAMARI Think of it as soy sauce but better: darker, richer, thicker. Its health profile is pretty solid, too. Fermented, check; preservative-free, check. Great for dipping, too.

450g chicken thighs, de-boned, skinned and roughly chopped • 2 tbsp desiccated coconut • 2 spring onions, finely chopped • 2 tsp tamari • 4 wholemeal buns 

FROM THE CUPBOARD 1 tsp chilli flakes • ½ tsp cumin  • salt and pepper  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

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METHOD 1. Throw the chicken, coconut, spring onion, tamari, spices and seasoning into a food processor and blitz until well combined. 2. Now it’s time to get your (clean) hands dirty. Grab some of the mixture and mould it into a patty the size of your palm. Repeat to make four. 3. Place a griddle pan over a medium heat. Melt the coconut oil in the pan and rub a little on each burger. Grill the patties for 7 or 8 mins, then flip and cook for another 5 or 6 mins or until cooked through. 4. Toast the buns if you like – or don’t, it’s your call – and serve with whatever salad you’ve got knocking about in the veg drawer if you’re craving greenery.

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ONE FOOD, FOUR WAYS

More slaw, please Here are four recipes that will help you forget the days when coleslaw was simply cabbage smothered in mayo. These dishes will take pride of place in any al fresco buffet (weather permitting)

cals 174

fat 0.8g

protein 4g

carbs 42g

DOMS FIGHTING

serves 4

Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, said to be so strong that some studies suggest the fiery root can help reduce DOMS. Feel the burn, then taste the burn.

METHOD 1. In a food processor, pulse the apple, pear and cabbage into chunks, then set aside.

cals 136

fat 9g

2. Repeat with the beetroot and add it to the mixture. 3. Stir the ingredients well and sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds. 4. Drizzle the vinegar over the mixture and add the lemon or lime juice. 5. Grate the ginger and mix that in, too. Then sprinkle with sea salt. 6. Garnish with blueberries and serve. A tutti-ally foolproof side dish.

protein 4g

carbs 13g

serves 4

Guacamole – but not as you know it. A creamy way to get your five a day that will provide much-needed pep. Come on, those crudités won’t dip themselves. INGREDIENTS 400g broccoli • 150g sugar snap peas • 8 green olives, pitted • 2 small avocados • 1 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes • 1 red chilli, deseeded • juice of 1 lemon • pinch of sea salt • glug of olive oil (optional) METHOD 1. Roughly chop the broccoli and pulse it gently in a food processor until it’s reduced to chunks (for more texture, thinly slice the broccoli instead), then set aside. 2. Repeat the process with the sugar snap peas. Pulse them for a few seconds to

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avoid over-chopping, or slice into strips using a knife. 3. Add the olives, avocados and tomatoes to the food processor. Blitz until the mixture is thick and smooth, then mix into the veg. 4. Slice the red chilli, removing any rogue seeds (those things are potent) and add to the mix. 5. Squeeze the lemon juice over the vegetables and sprinkle with sea salt. Taste the dressing and then drizzle with a bit of olive oil to thin out the mixture if necessary. Holy moly, that’s good.

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ADDITIONAL WORDS: RACHEL MOORE. PHOTOGRAPHY: PAVEL DORNAK AT HEARST STUDIOS. NUTRITIONIST: GRACE BARNES @GRACEBARNESNUTRITION

INGREDIENTS 1 apple • 1 pear • 1 cabbage • 175g cooked beetroot • seeds of 1 pomegranate, • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar • juice of ½ a lemon or lime • 1cm cube fresh ginger, peeled • pinch of sea salt • handful of blueberries

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E AT SM A RT

IMMUNITY BOOSTING

cals 207

fat 11g

protein 4g

carbs 27g

serves 4

With more vegetables in one tiny dish than you’ll find in an entire aisle at Whole Foods, this one’s a powerhouse of nutrients. INGREDIENTS 7 carrots, peeled • 200g broccoli • 3 handfuls of watercress • 1 apple, peeled and cored • 1 small cube fresh ginger • ½ tsp ground turmeric • 1 lemon • 1 red pepper • seeds of ½ a pomegranate • 3 tbsp olive oil • pinch of sea salt METHOD 1. Place the carrots in a food processor and pulse until chopped (if it sounds like it’s about to take off, don’t worry – carrots are dense and noisy). Alternatively, you

RECOVERY AIDING

cals 81

fat 4g

can finely slice them with a knife, then add to a bowl. 2. Repeat with the broccoli and watercress, then toss them into the bowl with the carrot and mix well. 3. Next, repeat with the apple and ginger. 4. Mix it all together and stir in the turmeric. Squeeze over the lemon juice and mix some more. 5. Slice the pepper (be sure to remove the seeds) and stir it into the mix. Finally, add the pomegranate seeds. 6. Drizzle with the olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. A feed worthy of your feed.

protein 2g

carbs 10g

serves 4

A fruit in a salad you say? What tomfoolery is this? Watermelon contains citrulline, which boosts blood flow and post-workout recovery. Plus, it’s downright delicious. INGREDIENTS 200g radishes, topped and tailed • 4 handfuls of kale • ½ red onion • 2 handfuls of basil • 2 handfuls of mint • 1cm cube of fresh ginger, peeled • drizzle of olive oil • 200g watermelon, cubed • pinch of sea salt

chunks (you’ll be a pro at this by now), then scoop them out into a bowl. 2. Repeat the same process with the onion and herbs, then add them to the bowl. 3. Grate the ginger over the vegetables (or chop into tiny pieces by hand if you prefer) and stir it in. 4. Mix the ingredients together and drizzle with olive oil, then stir through the watermelon and season with salt. A sight for slaw eyes.

METHOD 1. Pulse the radishes and kale in a food processor until they’re chopped into

Super Slaw: Blitz Your Way To 5 A Day by Jill Greenwood (£12.99, Ebury)

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P O S I T I V E ST E P S TO A H E A LT H I E R O U T LO O K

WTF IS

SELF CARE?

It has infiltrated the wellness vernacular, but beyond the hashtags, do you know what it actually means – and how to do it? WORDS ROISÍN DERVISH-O’KANE

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‘Y

ou can’t pour from an empty cup,’ reads one. ‘Imagine if we recharged ourselves as often as we did our phones,’ suggests another. We challenge you to scroll through a social feed without happening upon such a statement, immortalised in swirly script against a blush-pink backdrop. And don’t forget the hashtag. We’re talking, of course, about self-care: the term that’s overtaken hygge and mindfulness to become the wellness word of 2018. Peruse the circa 4.5 million #selfcare Instagram posts and you’ll find a profusion of candles, cocktails and kittens; vegan chocolate smoothies and acai bowls; a bath bomb, a blanket, a Buddha. Testament to the tenacity of this trend, the publishing industry has responded in kind, with titles such as The Self-Care Revolution, The Self-Care Project and Recharge: A Year Of Self-Care To Focus On You released in the past six months. But beyond the picture-perfect version of this movement, popularised by influencers (who else?), is this just ‘me time’ by another name? ‘Self-care was originally a medical term that doctors used to refer to activities they recommended to patients to complement their physical or mental health treatment,’ says Professor Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, a New York-based health and wellness historian. ‘Then in the 1960s, the civil rights movement came to see self-care as a rejection of a medical system that didn’t support them. Women who felt let down by the traditional processes of medicine also saw self-care as a way to reclaim control.’ In the years that followed, wellness evolved from a niche concept to a global industry, and self-care has followed, becoming increasingly more marketable – and glossy – in the process. When did we get so self-care-obsessed?

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S T R ON G MIND

DESPERATE TIMES Some digital detective work ofers insight. The ‘self-care’ search term reaching a five-year high the week after the election of a certain US leader suggests that it might marry with times of stress or trauma. ‘When you feel threatened, it’s natural to seek self-comfort,’ explains Dr Hamira Riaz, a London-based clinical psychologist. ‘We’re raised to prioritise others’ needs over our own. But focusing on the things that you can control is important. It helps create an all-important sense of security.’ So it’s not another brand of ‘me time’ then, that which your mum prayed for when you were in nappies. Just. Five. Minutes’. Peace. ‘Self-care is more than a rebrand of looking after ourselves for 2018, more than carving out time for yourself or adding new habits to your routine,’ adds Dr Riaz. ‘It’s about becoming more skilled at discerning between the situations and relationships that serve you and those that don’t, so you can make better choices about who and what to invest your time in.’ When her clients present with problems like ‘struggling to feel genuinely happy’, Dr Riaz finds that self-care – a lack thereof – tends to lie at the heart of the issue, and the solution.

MIND MANAGEMENT So, it seems that self-care is a legitimate tactic for mental health maintenance – indeed, the charity Mind certainly thinks so. ‘Self-care techniques and general lifestyle changes can help manage the symptoms of many mental health problems,’ reads a statement on the charity’s website. ‘They may also help prevent some problems from developing or getting worse.’ It’s something Jayne Hardy, 36, author of The Self Care Project (£12.99, Orion) and founder of support organisation The Blurt Foundation, understands first-hand.

She was diagnosed with depression at 22, and by the age of 30 was contemplating suicide. ‘My teeth were rotting because I didn’t value myself enough to brush them,’ she recalls. ‘Eventually one fell out, but I couldn’t see a future for myself so it didn’t even matter.’ Recovery was hard-won, and self-care was an integral part of the process. Journalling reconnected Jayne with her love of writing and blogging about beauty gave her a purpose. ‘Once I had a platform, I felt like I had to keep it up. So I applied moisturiser to my itchy, flaky lower legs; I dragged a hairbrush through my matted mane; I started attending to my basic needs,’ she says. Gradually, these small, seemingly inconsequential acts helped Jayne get out of her head. ‘It’s not an overstatement to say that self-care saved me.’ Given the profound impact that self-care had on her life, Jayne fears the current spike in interest is diluting its true message and value. ‘I worry that the appetite for self-care will be lost as quickly as it’s grown if we fail to get the message out about what it actually means. If you see other people doing things – burning candles, lining up crystals – and just copy them, then you’re not practising your own form of self-care, you’re just following a trend.’ As well as mitigating the message, Dr Riaz believes the Instagram approach is giving the wrong impression of self-care – presenting it as a narcissistic act as opposed to mental health maintenance. ‘It’s such an important distinction to make,’ she says. ‘I think the British stif upper lip can make us feel guilty about prioritising ourselves. Many of my clients establish healthy self-care practices only to sabotage them by convincing themselves that it’s unjustifiable self-indulgence.’

This attitude is being propagated by an increasingly vocal army of self-care naysayers. ‘The backlash is real,’ adds Jayne. ‘People sufering with mental illnesses are telling me they’re swearing of self-care because they’ve read a scathing blog post about how narcissistic it is.’ In this sense, dismissing self-care as shallow could be hurting the people who need it most.

BACK TO BASICS Now we know what self-care isn’t. But what is it – that is, what does it look like? According to Dr Alicia Clark, a psychologist specialising in anxiety, you need to go back to basics. Unless you’re routinely getting your eight hours, she suggests starting with sleep. ‘The parts of your brain that deal with decision-making and self-control plummet when you’re fatigued. As do two areas called the insula and prefrontal cortex, which enable you to choose between what you want and what you need,’ she explains. Fundamental self-care stuff. Lack of suficient shut-eye also makes dopamine-spiking activities (making a doughnut magically disappear; completing the next level of Candy Crush) harder to resist. As Dr Clark puts it: ‘Trying to make good calls when you haven’t allowed yourself to rest is like trying to prepare for a presentation in your living room the morning after you’ve thrown a house party.’

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S T R ON G MIND

SELF-CARE FOR SOCIAL MEDIA Be kind to your mind with tips from Nadia Narain and Katia Narain Phillips, authors of Self-Care For The Real World (£16.99, Penguin)

AVOID SUNRISE STALKING ‘You’re at your most creative in the morning when you wake up. Don’t waste this time looking at the highlights reel of someone else’s life – do something for you.’

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Me time by another name?

these small acts in terms of boring self-care helped me pace myself and be more realistic about how I managed my – sometimes limited – reserves of energy. It also helped me stop beating myself up.’ It’s an inclusive, quiet pushback against the picture-perfect version of the movement. Not everyone can afford or access a meditation retreat or a photogenic rolltop bath. And it makes good on her intention to show how practical and actionable self-care can be. ‘Accept that prepping healthy food can feel laborious; and that leaving work on time can be difficult – but do it to feel good later,’ says Dr Clark. ‘That is the true message of self-care. It’s not about buying expensive candles and posting pictures of them on social media. It’s about finding that sweet spot between being disciplined and being kind to yourself. Commit to that larger goal by having empathy for future you.’ At the risk of paraphrasing an Insta-meme, it could be the most important commitment you’ll ever make.

CURATE A POSITIVE FEED ‘Don’t look at posts or people that you know trigger your insecurities. Can you cut your follows down to close friends and inspiring people?’

DON’T SCROLL AT NIGHT ‘Avoid looking at social media after 8pm. Evenings are a vulnerable time when your emotions can become magnified. Give yourself a break.’

SHARE RESPONSIBLY ‘Post to inspire and interest people, not to impress anyone, prove yourself or make a point.’

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PHOTOGRAPHY: ALAMY; GETTY IMAGES; STOCKSY. ADDITIONAL WORDS: SOPHIA ANDERSON

Break it down and self-care appears mundane. Or, as mental health occupational therapist Hannah Daisy calls it, boring. ‘About a year ago, I kept reading comments online from people complaining about being told to “go and do something nice for you” when they were so depressed that their house was an uncontrollable mess,’ she says. ‘I noticed a disconnect between the practical way we talked about self-care in the NHS and the way it looked on social media. I wanted to create something to bridge that gap and make self-care more accessible to people battling mental illness.’ Enter #boringselfcare. Scroll through Hannah’s feed – @makedaisychains – and you’ll find touching, and frequently funny, illustrations, the likes of ‘changed my bed sheets’, ‘booked a doctor’s appointment’ and ‘did the dishes’. Self-care helped Hannah deal with polycystic ovary syndrome and endometriosis – and manage her anxiety. ‘Thinking about

FEELING DOWN? STEP AWAY ‘If you’re in a low place, limit your use of social media. Just like drinking, it’s not wise to do it when you’re sad.’


Spring clean

YOUR MIND

Washing your windows, airing your throws, giving the oven a proper scrub: a series of small tasks that, combined, make your home sparkle like new. Is your mental health in need of something similar? WORDS FLORENCE MITCHELL AND SOPHIA ANDERSON

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T

he blossom is in bloom and you’re so full of the joys of spring that you’re basically a living Disney character. Well, this is how the season is supposed to look. In reality, your resolutions went AWOL at some point around Pancake Day and the ‘stuf to sort’ list you keep meaning to make a dent in is multiplying beyond reason. Brain fuzz is starting to spawn into legitimate angst – better stop it before it takes you down. Enter marginal gains theory – the idea that in order to achieve something in the long term, you need to focus on short-term changes. Put simply, clean away the cobwebs now to safeguard your mental health for the rest of the year and beyond. The theory was popularised by British Cycling to turn around the fortunes of the beleaguered national team in 2003. The aim was to improve multiple aspects by 1% to accumulate gradually into an overall improved performance; start tiny, achieve big. Micro-upgrades included the use of hand sanitiser to avoid the spread of germs. The success of the strategy made household names of the cyclists (Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton, anyone?). But this theory can do wonders for amateurs, too, argues Dr Jessamy Hibberd, a clinical psychologist. ‘It’s a commonsense approach to wellbeing, as opposed to a clinical one,’ she explains. ‘Making small shifts has an accumulative impact on your overall wellbeing. You’re giving yourself a better chance of things going well, leading to a greater possibility of success.’ So instead of trying to climb Everest (ain’t no one got the time nor the inclination for that), improve your mental health by making these small, science-backed tweaks. Remember: start tiny, achieve big.

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LIST THE GOOD STUFF

They might not have had a doctorate in psychology, but Monty Python had it right when they said something about looking on the bright side of life. And if writing about the things you’re grateful for sounds like the kind of advice doled out by a marketing exec at a stationery company, get a load of this: a University of Miami study found that people were more optimistic and felt better about their lives after writing in a gratitude journal for 10 weeks. So next time something genuinely nice happens – your boss praises a job well done, you decide you do deserve that Apple Watch or your Friday night drinks escalate to dancing – park your cynicism and put pen to paper.

2

SWERVE SOME SUGARS

You’re well-versed in the joyride that is the sugar train; a 3pm chocolate bar spikes your blood sugar, giving you a temporary boost, followed by a sharp crash. But recent research from UCL found that a consistent intake of refined sugar can increase your risk of developing anxiety and depression. No need to stick your birthday candles in a pot of hummus, it’s habitual sugar intake that’s problematic, so just be more discerning come snack time.

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5

There’s a reason they’ve got where they are: they get shit done – even though that begins when most of us are still in REM. Anna Wintour is on the tennis court by 5.45am and Oprah is already mid-sun-salutation at 6am. Hal Elrod has written the book on the subject, The Miracle Morning. He argues that, by rising just one hour earlier to exercise, meditate or even just to read a book, you can feel more energised and lower your stress levels. The early bird...

3

SWEAT AROUND YOUR CYCLE

No, not your bike – we’re talking about the monthly kind. When you buy a box of super tampons, head to the gym and can’t quite crush it like you usually do, blaming your biology will get you nowhere. Period. When it’s your time of the month, book a yoga class instead. Save HIIT for the first two weeks of your cycle when you’re feeling more energised, and schedule strength training for the week before your period.

4

FLY SOLO

Whether you’re single or not-at-all-single, time spent alone is a proven confidence-booster and stressreducer – headphones in on the commute doesn’t count. You don’t have to dive in at the deep end and book a table for one (although, more power to you), but choose activities that allow you to soak up the solo-ness. Peruse an art gallery in your lunch hour, take yourself of for a cofee and chill, or block out single time just as you would date nights.

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START THE DAY LIKE A CEO

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GET A PET

Important pet news: some of the country’s greatest minds have put their heads together to find out once and for all whether dogs really are man’s best friend. Academics at the universities of Manchester, Southampton and Liverpool reviewed 17 studies on the impact of pets on the mental health of their owners and – from reduced feelings of loneliness to a heightened a sense of purpose – the overall impact was positive. If you’re sans pet because of, you know, life, hit up borrowmydoggy.com to walk someone else’s dog or trustedhousesitters.com to look after a cat. Or just get a goldfish.

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GIVE SOMETHING BACK

If you haven’t surrendered your time for a good cause since you earned a Brownies badge for doing so, you’re human and that’s cool. But with a large amount of evidence linking volunteering to mental wellbeing, helping others could be a legit way of helping yourself. The theory goes that people who volunteer regularly experience spikes in oxytocin (the cuddle hormone). Need some inspo? We googled a0nd volunteering as a puppy socialiser is a genuine thing.

PUT YOUR TECH ON TIME OUT

If an actual human was pestering you every few seconds with pics of cute animals, Kardashian gossip and Brexit updates, it would probably be time to have The Talk. So why do you put up with it from your phone? A recent study found that smartphone interruptions cause inattention and hyperactivity – and you don’t need science to tell you how easy it is to fall down a WhatsApp wormhole when you’re on deadline. A smartphone breakup is extreme, but some ground rules are a good start. Stick your phone on airplane mode while at work and mute group chats if you’re stressed. If it’s really pissing you of, throw it in the washing up bowl.

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S T R ON G MIND

10

SWITCH YOUR FOCUS

Meditation has been around for, oh, about 4,000 years or so, but science has finally caught up and discovered that just 10 minutes per day can ease anxiety and stress, relieve chronic pain, increase creativity, boost empathy and make you cognitively sharper. The real question is what doesn’t it help? Start by sitting in a comfortable position – you don’t need to be in a yogi lotus – and focus on your breath, not a whisper of an om. Take in the sounds and smells around you – some people prefer to close their eyes, but the choice is yours. Tune into how your hands are resting and how your feet are planted until you’re relaxed and your mind is clear. It’s not a simple as it sounds, but practice makes perfect.

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GET SOME D

Minds out of the gutter please, we’re talking about the vitamin. Researchers from the University of Georgia studied the link between vitamin D and seasonal afective disorder (the aptly named SAD) and found that the nutrient played an integral role. One theory is that vitamin D is involved in the synthesis of serotonin and dopamine within the brain – low levels of which are linked with depression. The

womenshealthmag.co.uk

GO WITH YOUR GUT

The mind-gut connection gets more press than Meghan Markle – and with good reason. While research into the complex relationship between the brain and the gut microbiome continues at pace, researchers are already sold on upping your intake of prebiotics (think asparagus, leeks, onions) as well as probiotic foods (think live yoghurt, kombucha, miso) for future-proofing your brain health. So be sure to get your fill.

good news is that, between March and October, getting out for 20 minutes – with a bit of flesh exposed – should be sufficient to get all the D you need. (In winter, look to a supplement to get your fill.) For a wellbeing bonus, combine your sunlight stroll with the proven mood-boosting efects of being in nature by walking through a park or chilling in your garden, for example, and you’re laughing.

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TRY A LITTLE METACOGNITIVE THERAPY A thought is just a thought; it does not reflect reality. This is the theory behind MCT – the new kid on the cognitive therapy block that’s evolved out of some 20 years of research by scientists at the University of Manchester. Studies suggest it has promise in treating anxiety and depression when applied by trained clinicians. But the principle can help you even if you don’t have a mental health condition. Next time you have a negative thought (or, you know, a whole bunch of ’em), recognise (talking to yourself can help here) that it’s just a thought and that it is separate from you and your situation. Have the thought, then move on.

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CHANNEL THOSE CHORES

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SWITCH OFF THE NEWS Sometimes, watching the news/ reading a paper/perusing Twitter can leave you feeling like you’ve gone three rounds with Nicola Adams. But worrying about the state of the world will do you no good. Research conducted after the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013 found that repeatedly engaging with trauma-related media content prolonged viewers’ stress. We’re not saying you should go and live under a rock, but turning of the news alerts on your phone is a good start.

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If one more person tells you to do something mindfully, you’ll probably tell them to do one. But before you throw the dirty dishes at us, mindful chores are a legit thing. It’s all about reframing something you think of negatively as an opportunity. Menial it may be, but focus on the warmth of the water when you’re washing the dishes, the texture of the plates and the sounds of the suds and you might find that you can take small delight in the dull-asdishwater job. Repeat for things like hoovering, bill-paying and your Sunday batch cook and you’ll basically be bossing life.

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BREATHE CLEVER If anyone is an expert on maintaining their game face while screaming inside, it is surely Hillary Clinton. Now, she’s revealed the secret to her on-stage composure during her 2016 presidential campaign. Block your right nostril with your right thumb and inhale through your left, pinch both nostrils for a few moments, then exhale through your left. Repeat on the other side using the ring finger of your right hand. Have a google to see HC in action and get the tekkers to be as chilled as her in your next presentation.

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PHOTOGRAPHY: JOBE LAWRENSON; GRAHAM WALSER AND PAVEL DORNAK AT HEARST STUDIOS; ALAMY; GETTY IMAGES

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THE CASE STUDY Catherine Benfield, 37, mental health blogger from East London

S T R ONG MIND

‘My mind convinced me I was a villain’ OCD conjures images of neatly arranged stationery and meticulous hand washing. In reality, it’s a devastating mental health condition. Catherine Benfield shares her story ILLUSTRATION ELISA MACELLARI

our-year-old me, with my cheeks glued to the window, probably looked like any child waiting for her mum to come home. Only I knew that I wasn’t waiting for my mum; my ritual was saving her – and if I moved from that spot, she would die. At least, that’s what I told myself. That’s the thing about obsessive compulsive disorder; it attacks the things you love the most. I lived with OCD throughout my childhood, though it lessened its grip while I was focused on my GCSEs, A levels and getting into uni. Fascinated by the mind, I chose to study psychology. But I didn’t link my own experience to the can’t-stop-washing-yourhands portrayal of OCD I read about in textbooks.  Hindsight has taught me that my OCD is triggered by big life events. Like when I moved in with my boyfriend, aged 25, and thought the house was going to burn down and he would be killed. The majority of the time, my compulsions would be internal – I would lose hours looking back on the past, analysing my every word and action. But occasionally they

AS TOLD TO: ROISÍN DERVISH-O’KANE. *FOLLOW CATHERINE ON INSTAGRAM @CATHERINE_BENFIELD

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would be external, like when I was younger and touched, say, a glass, I’d feel as though I left responsibility for my parents’ lives on it. So I’d need to touch the glass again to take it back; and so the cycle continued. I never identified this as OCD – and people around me put any slightly odd behaviour down to an anxious disposition. But it was after I gave birth to my son at the age of 31 that my OCD became unmanageable. Images of him lying still, not breathing, were front and centre in my mind as I kept nightly vigil by his bed. Things escalated to the point that I became convinced I was going to hurt him. I had visions of myself throwing him down the stairs or against a wall. I saw my crimes on the front pages of newspapers.  When I confessed the contents of my mind to a psychotherapist at my local NHS mental health outpatient centre, I half expected her to lock me up. She didn’t, of course. Instead, she told me mine was a classic case of OCD.

WHAT IS OCD? ‘OCD is a disabling condition. It leads to intrusive thoughts that enter the mind against a person’s will. Sometimes those affected know the thoughts are irrational; other times they believe them – and they can lead people to carry out certain behaviours or ‘compulsions’ repeatedly to stop the thought from happening. These can take the form of actions or further thoughts, such as reviewing memories. The experience can be very distressing and can impact a person’s family, social and work life. Treatment usually takes the form of antidepressant medication or psychological therapy, which aims to help someone face their thoughts without the need to “correct” them with compulsions.’

Dr Sarah Vohra, NHS psychiatrist and author @themindmedic

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A doctor later confirmed the diagnosis and prescribed antidepressants to complement my therapy: a combination of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) and ERP (exposure and response prevention). The former taught me that violent thoughts don’t necessarily precede violent actions; the latter dismantled the belief that my compulsions kept my loved ones safe. Recovery wasn’t easy, nor was it linear. After five months of therapy, I reached a milestone. I’d always refused to keep knives in the house in case my son got hold of them, or worse, I’d use them to hurt him. But therapy helped me reach the point of being able to chop onions with my son in the same room. But after a series of family tragedies – losing my dad to a heart attack and my mum to cancer just 13 weeks later – my OCD took hold once again, this time more strongly than before. The internal horror show returned, with me reprising my role as the villainous mother. Cajoled by my husband, I returned to therapy. Meanwhile, I spent hours reading about the illness and teaching myself tactics to keep it under control. One piece of advice I read was to separate yourself from the obsessive thoughts by assigning your OCD an identity. I began to visualise mine as a cartoon character, and I named her Olivia. It worked. Creating Olivia extinguished the power OCD wielded over me. When obsessive thoughts left me questioning my character or my sanity, I’d picture Olivia, whingeing. She helped me see that the condition was the problem, not me.  That’s why I started a blog in her name – and why I continue to post*, even now I’m largely free from the intrusive thoughts and compulsions that once ruled my life. Alongside medication and therapy, Olivia helped me recover – and I want to pass that on. For more information, visit ocdaction.org.uk

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H E A LT H A N D FIT N E S S T R I C K S T H AT WO R K FRO M T H E I N S I D E O U T

You don’t know

SQUAT

Undoubtedly an indispensable move for those seeking powerful glutes and toned legs, the humble squat now elicits such enthusiasm among exercisers that it’s being butchered daily on gym floors everywhere. Go deep, following our expert guide, or you could be going home in pain WORDS MARISSA GAINSBURG AND VICTORIA JOY

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GO LOW Deep squats are bad for your knees. TRUTH Old studies suggested that lowering your hips so far that they track below your knees puts too much force on your knee joints. More recent research* has found no such thing.

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f the form police were real, they’d be launching a major investigation. Gone would be the doughnut sojourns – they would be far too busy watching you and your fellow exercisers squat. Why? The trend towards body-weight-focused routines and the rise of CrossFit (few WODs eschew the squat entirely) has seen the popularity of the move soar; but although it looks easy, it’s not so simple to execute it correctly. And while your intentions may be good, unless you’re an ex-Olympic lifter or the like, you’re probably overlooking the underlying issue: that we’re all following mass instruction – but everyone squats differently. ‘Most PTs are taught a generic definition for a proper squat, which they pass on to clients,’ says Sarah Lindsay, founder of London gym Roar Fitness. ‘But as you train more people, you realise that it’s unrealistic – actually, impossible – for everyone’s squat to be and look the same.

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Unlike other foundational exercises (think plank, press-up or sit-up), the squat involves multiple muscle groups and joints working in various planes of motion. More specifically, your hips hinge back, your torso moves down and your knees shift forward and to the sides, so it’s quite the multitasker. ‘When an exercise calls for such a variety of movements, lots of factors – from your anatomy to your mobility – can afect the way your body squats properly,’ says Lindsay.

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Of course, there are textbook rules for a reason – to maximise the effectiveness of the move while keeping you safe from injury – and, for the most part, they’ll serve you well. But if you’re squatting heavy weights or performing the move at speed, it’s crucial you nail correct technique first. Guilty of squatting without guidance? Here’s what you need to make each drop work for you. And if it’s buns of steel you’re after, look no further than our 32-page butt-workout supplement by Carly Rowena.

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PHOTOGRAPHY: CHRISTOPHER GRIFFITH. *SOURCE: SPORTS MEDICINE

MYTH


BE S T BODY

Squat and spot Many professionals use the squat to assess a client before a workout. ‘It reveals so much about where your body is at,’ says Lindsay. From how much you sit, stand and exercise, to any muscular imbalances you may have. Drop into a basic squat and check your own form for these common concerns

BABY GOT BACK You were dropping squats way before Kayla Itsines ever persuaded you it was the secret to calorie burn – before you could walk, in fact. Pros often point to infants as model performers of the move. A natural progression that occurs between learning to sit up and being able to stand, the squat has five form ideals, so take note: 1. Torso is upright 2. Back is straight 3. Knees track over (not past) the toes 4. Hips dip below knee height 5. Weight is in the heels

THE PROBLEM

THE CAUSE

THE FIX

YOUR KNEES COLLAPSE IN

Some experts blame tight hips – from too much sitting, running without stretching or both. But recent research suggests that stif ankles may also be responsible. Limited ankle dorsiflexion (a fancy term for how well you can point your foot up) causes your feet to turn in as you squat, which rotates your legs, knees included, inward.

Reduce sitting hours and spend three minutes stretching your hips with lunges when you wake up, after a workout and before bed. Strengthening hamstrings and glutes will also help lessen stress on your hips – try three sets of 20 glute bridges four days a week. To improve ankle mobility, trace lower-case Ts for a minute daily.

Once you’ve lowered into position, your knees cave in so they align closer to your big toes than the middle of your feet. It’s a condition called valgus and can be both the cause and an efect of knee pain – it’s sometimes linked to ligament sprains or tears.

THE PROBLEM

THE CAUSE

THE FIX

YOUR LOWER BACK ARCHES

Ugh, tight hips strike again. But this time it’s combined with tense lats – the muscles around the sides of your back. The two issues combined produce anterior pelvic tilt, in which your hips rotate forward, jutting out your belly and curving your spine.

At least twice a week, strengthen your core with planks and make time to foam-roll your lats. Lying on your side with a roller under your armpit, roll your body up and down. Yes, it will hurt, but in a good way.

THE PROBLEM

THE CAUSE

THE FIX

YOUR KNEES PASS YOUR TOES

The issue usually traces back to poor glute activation. In other words, your quads initiate the sit-back movement instead of your glutes and hamstrings. You might also have tight calves and ankles – perhaps from daily jogs or that stiletto habit you just can’t kick – which prevents you from grounding your heels.

Train your glutes to switch on during exercise by incorporating deadlifts and donkey kicks into your regular training. Also stretch your lower legs by bending alternate knees in a downward dog position as part of your warm-ups and cool-downs.

As you deepen into your squat, your spine looks more like half of a U than an I – well beyond a natural curve in your back. The stress on your spine in this position (especially if you add weight) may increase your risk of disc injuries.

At the bottom of your squat, your knees are extending past your toes, so your body leans forward. Your heels are lifting of the floor, shifting your centre of gravity forward. Not only are you missing the full bum-toning benefits, but there’s a chance of face-planting.

THE PROBLEM

THE CAUSE

THE FIX

YOUR BODY SHIFTS TO ONE SIDE

You’ve probably sufered an injury on the side you lean away from. If it’s recent, you’ll feel some discomfort, but if it was in the past, you’ve likely developed a muscular imbalance. If you don’t fix it, your better side will just keep getting stronger until it can no longer overcompensate, which could result in further injury.

See a physiotherapist to figure out what’s causing you to favour one side. When you have your diagnosis, the physio can recommend moves to remedy it.

You put more weight on one side as you settle into your squat, so your body looks a bit of-balance. Use a mirror or video yourself doing the move to gauge any of-side leaning.

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FIND YOUR SQUAT SHANGRI-LA Squats should never be sold as one-size-fits-all. ‘Nobody is anatomically perfect,’ says Lindsay. ‘Tweaking your form to suit your body’s restrictions can make the move more suitable – and efficient – for you.’ So check out these eight variations...

GOBLET SQUAT BOX SQUAT

Best for: Long torso Why? More upper-body engagement means you’re more likely to lean forward as you lower down. Holding a weight in front of you forces you to shift your own weight back so you don’t fall over. It distributes the load equally between your glutes and hamstrings and your quads, making it a go-to move among the pros.

Best for: Short legs Why? Squatting to sit on the edge of a box or bench can ease you into a deeper stance than your legs will allow and eliminate fear of injury. Remember, the bench is there to support you.

HEEL-ELEVATED SQUAT

SUMO SQUAT

Best for: Flat feet Why? The lack of an arch makes throwing your weight into your heels tricky. Lifting your heels can help redistribute weight backward where it belongs, making each rep more effective.

Best for: Tight hips Why? Separating your feet more than shoulderwidth apart and turning your knees and toes out will help isolate the posterior chain and inner-thigh area. Meanwhile, the width opens up more space for your pelvis to dip low.

#SQUATGOALS PT Kyle Dobbs shares four ways to utilise the squat for whatever you want from your workout

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TORCH FAT

You’ll need high volume to amp up the musclebuilding, fat-burning efect. Once or twice a week, perform six sets of five reps of a weighted squat (front or back). When choosing what weight to carry, pick a load that feels challenging by the third rep of each set.

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BE S T BODY

BANDED SQUAT

BACK SQUAT

Best for: Knee valgus Why? Placing a looped resistance band around your thighs encourages you to assume a more parallel position. As the band pulls your knees in, your brain cues your hip muscles to work harder to counteract the movement.

Best for: Petite frames Why? For those who are short-to-average height, holding a bar against your shoulders better distributes weight to the posterior chain without overstressing your lower back.

TOES-OUT SQUAT

DUMBBELL SQUAT

Best for: Long legs Why? Pointing your toes out at a 45° angle (not as extreme as a sumo stance) can give your hips more space to squat, as a lengthy lower half makes it tougher to get close to the ground. Remember to keep your knees aligned with your middle toe for the perfect position.

Best for: Asymmetry Why? Holding a weight at each side as you lower into your squat helps you instantly spot and correct any side-leaning – if one dumbbell is closer to the ground than the other, something is clearly off. Work on evening out the weights and, in turn, your body.

RUN FASTER

REDUCE BACK PAIN

BOOST YOUR GLUTES

Build power with heavy front squats, carrying 75% of your usual maximum weight, doing five sets of five reps. On other days, do Bulgarian split squats (a lunge with your back foot up on a bench) – three sets of 10 per side. Do each once or twice weekly.

If cleared by your doctor, try three to five sets of five reps of slow and controlled front or box squats. Focus on stabilising your hips and bracing your abs for each rep – they’re essential to strengthening the muscles in your back.

Back-loaded squats work your posterior chain harder. Two or three times per week, do five sets of 10 reps, carrying 60-70% of your maximum weight. Avoid bouncing and using momentum, and focus on squeezing your glutes with every rep.

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THE EXPERT Luke Barnsley (@lukebaden), master trainer at Third Space, London (thirdspace.london)

BE S T BODY T H E M AT H E M AT I C I A N

This is an AMRAP finisher – as many rounds as possible. Complete the circuit as many times as you can in 4 mins, then rest for 60 secs. Repeat three times. At the end, add up your reps for your final score – if you were halfway through a round when the clock reached zero, then it’s discounted.

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RENEGADE ROW Do: 20 reps (a) Start in a sturdy plank position with your feet shoulder-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand. (b) Draw your right

elbow up to lift the weight of the floor. Keep it close to the body. (c) Lower the weight back down and repeat, alternating sides.

2

THRUSTER Do: 10 reps (a) Hold a pair of dumbbells just above your shoulders and lower into a deep squat.

ou know when you’ve challenged yourself during a workout. And if you’re all about the calorie burn, this usually translates to red cheeks, sweaty limbs and your heart going full throttle. Feels good, right? If, however, you suspect you don’t quite give 100% – or even 80% – during a session, you’d do well to add a little something special into the mix. A filthy finisher, if you will. Usually consisting of two to five moves, it’s a mini workout to tag on to the end of any sesh with the aim of expending those last energy reserves in the most intense way possible. Sounds brutal – and they usually are. ‘Finishers condense a high volume of work into a small amount of time,’

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(b) Press the weights straight up as you push back up to standing. Pause, then return to the starting position.

3 says Luke Barnsley, master trainer at Third Space, London. ‘As the intensity increases, your body taps into its anaerobic energy systems to build lean muscle. It’s tough, but it separates the committed from the day trippers.’ The payoff – as committed HIITers will know – lasts. Studies have shown that the more calories you burn in a workout, the more you’ll burn after it, thanks to excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC to its mates), which depends more on intensity than duration. Up for the challenge? Luke shares his four filthiest, whole-bodyblasting finishers with WH, guaranteed to leave you crawling to the showers.

DUMBBELL BURPEE TO OVERHEAD PRESS Do: 5 reps (a) With your feet hip-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand, bend your knees to place the weights on the floor. (b) Jump back into a plank position. Then do a press-up – lower your knees if necessary.

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(c) Jump your feet back up to your hands and return to standing. Once upright, press the weights directly overhead – but don’t lock out your elbows. Hold for a sec, then lower the weights back to the starting position.

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BE S T BODY

T H E B U T T E R F LY C AT C H E R

Another AMRAP finisher – working for 12 mins, try to complete as many rounds as you can before the timer hits zero. Don’t cheat on the press-ups – just do the movement on your knees if the full version is too hard.

2

PRESS-UP Do: 6 reps (a) Start in a high plank position so you’re in a straight line from head to toe, with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.

3

BUTTERFLY SIT-UP (b) Keeping your body straight, bend your elbows and lower until your chest nearly touches the floor. Push back up, keeping your core engaged, to return to a plank.

Do: 12 reps (a) Lie on your back with your arms on the floor over your head, your knees bent and fallen open to the sides and the soles of your feet together.

GOBLET SQUAT (b) Brace your core and sit up, reaching your fingers towards your toes. Once you’ve extended as far as possible, roll slowly back down to the starting position.

Do: 24 reps (a) Stand tall with your feet shoulderwidth apart, holding a kettlebell at your chest. Choose as heavy a weight as you can safely lift.

(b) Squat down until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Pause at the bottom, then push back up to the starting position. Keep your core engaged throughout.

THE CLEAN BREAK

MINUTES OF MADNESS

A brutal upper-body finisher, this involves doing 100 reps in as little time as possible. Don’t sacrifice form for speed – take rests when you need them so you don’t quit.

This finisher uses an EMOM format – every minute on the minute – so the harder you work, the more time you have to rest. You have 60 secs to complete each of the tasks, alternating kettlebell swings on even minutes and chest-to-floor burpees on odd minutes for 10 mins in total.

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DUMBBELL CLEAN AND PRESS Do: 100 reps (a) Holding dumbbells, palms against your thighs, push your hips back with a slight knee bend to let the weights slide down your thighs, keeping your weight in your heels. (b) From there, use your hips to initiate the drive upwards, ‘throwing’ the dumbbells up towards

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KETTLEBELL SWING

your shoulders. This will let you change your hand position so your palms face each other as you catch them in a quarter-squat position. (c) Slightly bend your knees, then drive the weights straight above your head. Lower them back to your shoulders, then return to the starting position.

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Do: 32 reps on even mins (a) Hingeing at the waist, grip a kettlebell in both hands. With knees bent, let it swing between your legs.

(b) Thrust your hips forward to stand, and let the weight swing up to shoulder height. As it falls, stand with a strong core until your forearms reach hip level, then hinge forward and repeat.

CHEST-TO-FLOOR BURPEE Do: 12 reps on odd mins (a) Begin standing with your feet hip-width apart. Crouch down, place your hands on the floor in front of you and jump into a plank. Do a press-up, then

jump your feet back towards your hands. (b) Jump in the air as high as possible, arms overhead. Repeat as fast as you can.

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PHOTOGRAPHY: KOUROSH SOTOODEH/THE LICENSING PROJECT. ILLUSTRATION: LIZZY THOMAS

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MY FIT LIFE

BE S T BODY

Nina Dobrev What gets the actress and star of The Vampire Diaries going? Puppy kisses, infrared yoga and a night in with her squad

FUEL I’m not human until I’ve had my coffee. After the alarm clock goes off – and my dog Maverick makes me get up by licking my face – I head to the kitchen to make an Americano. Then I blend vegan protein and collagen powder with half a banana, almond milk, coconut and peanut butter and ice – once I’m fed, I can function.

NOURISH I fly a lot for work, which seems to suck all of the moisture out of my face. I make sure I drink water regularly while I’m in the air and apply a layer of Dior Hydra Life Fresh Hydration Sorbet Crème (£45.50, John Lewis) before I board. Not only does it rehydrate my skin, it has the yummiest cashmerelike feel on my face.

AS TOLD TO ROISÍN DERVISH-O’KANE. PHOTOGRAPHY: REEBOK. *A REEBOK X LES MILLS TRAINER

REST I’m a nightmare if I don’t get between seven and eight hours’ sleep every night. But all the travelling I do means that I regularly need to catch up on rest. That’s why, on a very rare day off, you’ll find me at home, curled up on the sofa with a book – I love getting lost in thrillers, like Dead Certain by Adam Mitzner. I’d relish the chance to spend a whole day being lazy and no use to anyone except myself.

STATS Age: 29 Job: Actress Fitness MO: Highintensity workouts Wind-down secret: Old movies and a scary read

FOCUS My daily half-hour workouts with my trainer Lissa Bankston* are tough but I savour every minute of them. I see it as time for me to do something good for my body – normally I’m so caught up with what everyone else needs from me.

PLAY I’m not the type to wallow when things don’t go my way. Life’s ups and downs have taught me that laughter is the best medicine for bad days, so when I have one, I call up my hilarious girlfriends and invite them over.

SWEAT

EXPERIMENT I’m not shy when it comes to trying out new wellness trends – and I’m spoilt for choice in LA. Last year, I had cryotherapy, and I even tried a cleansing sweat lodge. On my list for 2018 is infrared yoga. It’s always interesting to find new ways to push my body’s limits.

As a child, I trained in gymnastics, which instilled discipline in me and a love of challenging my body. Creating my new #LikeNina Grit workout with Reebok and Les Mills was the hardest thing I’ve ever done – but also one of the best. The explosive cardio moves leave me totally exhausted but flooded with endorphins and feeling like a rock star.

WATCH I recently started rewatching old films and I love Goldie Hawn classics like Death Becomes Her and Overboard. I made the mistake of watching another oldie, The Bridges Of Madison County, on a flight to New York. Meryl Streep’s performance made me cry so much, the other passengers must have thought I’d lost my mind.

Nina Dobrev is a Reebok X Les Mills ambassador; lesmills.com/ likenina


BE S T BODY

HIIT vs LISS Are fast and furious intervals the way forward? Or does low-intensity and steady-state win the race? WH puts both approaches through their paces to determine which is best for fat loss

HIIT

LISS

VS

80%

65%

You need to work at this percentage of your max heart rate for it to count as ‘high-intensity’. Go all out, rest, then repeat

The percentage of your max heart rate to aim for during LISS to reach the fat-burning zone

When you’re going hard and working anaerobically, it’s the fast-twitch muscles that are doing their thing. These are the ones you need to engage to build power and strength.

WORDS: FLORENCE MITCHELL. PHOTOGRAPHY: GETTY IMAGES. *SOURCE: PSYCHOLOGY OF SPORT AND EXERCISE

Your metabolism keeps burning calories long after you hit the showers. A short daily session can cut 5% body fat in just 45 days, according to researchers from Southern Illinois University in the US.

HIIT pushes your body to the max. A study* found that participants with lower fitness levels found vigorous HIIT training less enjoyable. You can also increase your injury risk if you dive into a sesh that’s beyond your ability.

Consuming a snack with a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein within 30 minutes of completing your HIIT workout is best for replacing energy stores and aiding recovery. ‘HIIT stimulates production of growth hormones and testosterone for muscle growth, and endorphins and adrenaline to help you keep up the pace. It also increases your ability to use fat as an energy source.’ Doug Tannahill, osteopath at the Centre for Health & Human Performance

The science

The good

The bad

LISS can be any form of low-intensity cardio where you maintain a constant pace. Slow-twitch fibres used during LISS provide their own source of energy, so you can work out for longer.

Any form of regular cardio strengthens your heart and lungs and builds endurance. Plus, a 2013 study comparing high- and low-intensity regimes found that a gentler approach was more likely to lead to long-term success.

If you’re not into it, LISS can feel like a chore. A study from the University of Florida found that those who varied their workouts enjoyed their session 45% more than those who repeated the same workout. Mix it up.

Fasted or fed? According to one study, fasted cardio may burn up to 20% more fat than eating pre-LISS. Plus, we reckon breakfast tastes better post-workout. The nutrition

The expert verdict

‘Less abrasive on the body, LISS is a great way to keep active and burn fat while you’re recovering. But when used alone, the body adapts quickly to the movement and its rhythmic cardio pattern, so the benefit is limited.’ Abi Dewberry, master trainer at Best’s Bootcamp

FOR THE WIN? HIIT IT HARD

Supercharged fat burn in a fraction of the time. Sure, you’ll feel it the day after, but what’s a workout for if you don’t get hot and sweaty? Gentle running has its place, but HIIT’s hare beats the LISS tortoise every time.

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THE EXPERT Monty Simmons (@montysimmonspt), trainer at Method Movement (methodmovement.co.uk)

ONE-PIECE WORKOUT

Hula hoop Not just a party trick, hula-hooping could help roll away excess fat and add serious muscle gains to your current routine

(a)

BASIC HULA-HOOPING Targets: Abs, obliques, glutes, quads Do: 30 secs (a)

(b)

T

hought hula-hooping was just for pigtailed schoolgirls and circus types? Wrong. With minimal space, you can torch fat and tone up, plus it’s a lot more fun than planking. ‘Hula-hooping is fantastic for getting your hips and core working together to reduce injury risk and hit muscles you can’t usually reach,’ says Monty Simmons, trainer at Method Movement. ‘And there’s more to it than the physical – it helps to improve your coordination, too.’ When you’re tired of your usual HIIT, this piece of kit will provide a new mind and body challenge.

FYI 1. Practice makes perfect – just getting the hoop to stay up is a skill in itself. Keep trying the basic move to begin with until you master your shimmy. 2. Rest for 30 secs between each move. 3. Aim to complete three rounds in 15 mins. 70

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(a) Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Hold the hoop around your waist with your hands out to your sides. Your right hand will be slightly behind you and your left just in front of your left hip. (b) Get the hoop moving by bringing your hands across your body with speed and letting go of the hoop – meanwhile, push your hips in the opposite direction. To keep the hoop airborne, rotate your hips in a circular motion, bracing your core. As you gain confidence, try raising your hands.

(b)

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SQUAT HOOPING Targets: Quads, glutes, obliques, core Do: 30 secs

(a) Start in a partial squat with the hoop around your waist. Hold it out to one side of your body, the other side against your waist. (b) Keeping your core engaged and legs still, push the hoop around your waist and let go. Simultaneously rotate your hips in a circular motion so the hula hoop circles around your waist. Maintain the partial squat throughout. You should feel a burn in your quads and bum.

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WORDS: FLORENCE MITCHELL. PHOTOGRAPHY: BETH CRUTCHFIELD AT HEARST STUDIOS. MODEL: TONI COX AT W MODEL MANAGEMENT

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STEERING WHEEL IN A STATIC SQUAT Targets: Back, shoulders, quads, glutes Do: 20 reps

(a) Start in a squat position, feet shoulder-width apart, chest up and knees over your toes. Hold the hula hoop out in front of you between the thumb and forefinger of each hand. Keep your arms outstretched and parallel at either side of the hoop. (b) Rotate the hoop by steering your hands back and forth from a 12 o’clock to six o’clock position.

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SINGLE-LEG HOOPING Targets: Hip stabilisers, hamstrings, abs, glutes Do: 15 secs on each foot

(c)

HIP-UP TO SIT-UP Targets: Abs Do: 10-15 reps

(a) Start in the same position as for the basic hula hoop move but, when you push the hoop across your body and let go, bring your right foot up so you’re balancing on one leg. (b) Squeeze your glutes and core for balance while rotating your hips in a circular motion to keep the hoop aloft. Do this for 15 secs before stopping and repeating on your left foot. Feeling confident? Bring your foot higher off the floor.

(a)

(a) Sit in an ‘L’ shape with your legs out in front of you and back straight. Hold the hoop in both hands and lift it above your head like a halo, arms and back straight. (b) Roll on to your back, keeping the hoop in place, and tuck your knees into your chest, passing your legs through the hoop. (c) Using the momentum gained from rolling back, thrust your hips off the floor and legs up through the hoop. Aim to get your legs as straight as you can. Now, roll back out to your starting ‘L’.

(b)

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‘Exercise cured my anxiety’

THEN Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I was preparing for my first term at uni when a family member mentioned that they were concerned about my weight. I was shocked, but not really surprised. Bullied at school, I ate for comfort. I thought it was normal to eat two bagels, a few packets of crisps and a chocolate bar for lunch. As a vegetarian, my meals were 80% carbs: think chips, pasta and jacket potatoes. My dad is from Mauritius, where being bigger is a mark of happiness, but at 14st 3lbs and 5ft 4in, my health and relationships were starting to sufer.

Leila Yadalee-Bromfield, 33, an account manager from London, discovered a passion for yoga after a family intervention

AS TOLD TO FLORENCE MITCHELL. PHOTOGRAPHY: TOM WATKINS. HAIR & MAKE-UP: AMI PENFOLD AT LHA REPRESENTS. WITH THANKS TO LOMAX COCOON

HOW I joined the gym in freshers’ week and began doing three cardio sessions a week. I walked every day, and vegetables and pulses became my staple foods. In three months, I lost nearly 3st. My weight loss slowed over the next few years but I persisted, and by the age of 25 I’d reached 9st 5lbs. Then one day in 2013, I accidentally walked into a yoga class instead of the body combat session I’d signed up for. Too awkward to leave, I did the class, and loved it. So I upped my workouts and started doing yoga five times a week. Six months later, I noticed how toned I looked and how calm I felt. I’d always suffered with anxiety and yoga proved a great cure – it even helped me lose another stone.

WEIGHT TO GO GOOD FUEL Vegan protein shakes with almond milk and frozen blueberries

NOW Wanting to share my passion, I trained as a yoga teacher in 2015. But in May 2017, I injured my neck while on holiday and now I can’t lift more than 1kg. Being off work and unable to move was so frustrating, but I try to see the positives. I’ve discovered ballet barre and Pilates, which help to protect my joints. Doing a combination of these and yoga, I can still work out five times a week and maintain my weight and muscle tone. Before exercise, I hadn’t found anything I really loved. Now it’s a key part of my life – and I’ve never felt better.

FIT KIT Lululemon leggings – the quality is fantastic

FITSPO Katie Piper – I love her positivity

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Making it work Marathon training is a gruelling physical test, and no one knows this more than Rochelle Humes. With the Virgin Money London Marathon to conquer, fitting in training around her busy lifestyle is a challenge in itself


WH PROMOTION

Shop Rochelle’s look online at newbalance.co.uk Q Speed Woven Tank, £50; NB Studio Bra, £40; Q Speed Crop, £70; Fresh Foam Zante Trainers, £100

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s a singer, TV presenter, wife and mum, training for her first Virgin Money London Marathon hasn’t been easy for Rochelle Humes. ‘Juggling work, family and training has been hard as each day is so diferent,’ she says. ‘But my husband Marvin and I make it work, it just means that I don’t run at the same time every day.’ To go the full 26.2 miles, Rochelle’s training programme comprises two shorter runs and one long one each week. Like the best of us, motivation to keep training during winter months has been challenging, but the thought of the race-day buzz keeps her motivated. ‘I love keeping fit with pilates, but hard cardio’s not my strong point, so external factors like the atmosphere of the crowd and wearing endurance kit from the New Balance London Edition marathon range will really help me.’ Despite diving in at the deep end, Rochelle hopes that her fearlessly independent attitude will inspire her daughters. ‘I try to live my life without fear and training for this makes me feel empowered. That’s exactly how I want to raise my children to be.’

ALL FOR A GOOD CAUSE Rochelle is running the marathon for the Teenage Cancer Trust

STRENGTH-BUILDING MOVES FOR RUNNERS Marathon training’s not just about the running, use these strength exercises to prevent injuries

KETTLEBELL SQUAT Targets: Glutes, quads, hamstrings Do: 4 sets of 10-12 reps Holding a kettlebell to your chest, lower down into a squat with feet shoulder-width apart until thighs are parallel with the floor.

RUSSIAN TWIST Targets: Core Do: 4 sets of 15-20 reps Sit with your knees bent creating a ‘V’ shape with your body. Keep your legs still and twist your torso. Repeat on other side.

OVERHEAD FORWARD LUNGE Targets: Quads, glutes, shoulders, core Do: 4 sets of 6-8 reps per leg Holding dumbells above your head, step forward with one leg so both are bent at 90°. Stand up and repeat on other leg.

Follow Rochelle’s marathon training journey @NewBalanceUK and explore the latest New Balance range at newbalance.co.uk/londonmarathon


Sportswear is stepping it up a notch. From bold prints to sleek metallics, these hero pieces will add statement to your workout style STYLING SASKIA QUIRKE PHOTOGRAPHY ANDRES DE LARA

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Throw this on for a colourful style hit – because every gym kit deserves one investment piece and it’ll make the 10 pairs of black leggings you own look so much better. Jacket, £385, Angel Chen at Urban Outfitters Sports bra, £50, Adidas by Stella McCartney at Selfridges Shorts, £40, DKNY Sport

PREVIOUS PAGE Simple design but with extra oomph. Choose pieces that throw in a streamlining stripe or pocket detail and work them together. Style reference: Gigi Hadid. You get the gist. Jacket, £110, Tommy Hilfiger at Topshop Sports bra, £20, Asos Leggings, £106, Laain Bumbag, £29.99, Zara Trainers, £129, Kurt Geiger

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With a high-rise waist that sculpts the core and side stripes to elongate the leg, this statement set streamlines your entire frame and looks damn good doing it. Sports bra, £95; leggings, £170, both No Ka’Oi at fashercise.com Top (around waist), £19.99, Zara Trainers, £75, Adidas at Schuh Watch, £299, Samsung

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ALL THE LAYERS Go for bold but simple layers in tonal shades for the ultimate gym luxe look. Colour-coordination essential, bumbag optional. Jacket, £169.95, Adidas by Stella McCartney Sports bra, £45; shorts, £49; under-shorts, £20, all Tribe Sports Bumbag, £50, Herschel Supply

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BRIGHT SPARK

Metallics make ultimate workout showpieces. Team your classic staples with a touch of silver for a serious sportswear upgrade. Jacket, £305, Heroine Sport at Net-A-Porter Sports bra, £89.91, P.E Nation Shorts, £85, LNDR Top (around waist), £62, Varley Waistpack, £65, DKNY Sport

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CLASH HAPPY Technical and beautiful. Up your game by combining clashing prints to create a colourful gym look that still boosts performance. Top,£115; shorts, £82.26, both P.E Nation Cycling shorts, £5, Pretty Little Thing Backpack, £204; yoga mats, £127 each, both No Ka’Oi

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AS BOLD AS BRASS Patterns and prints have never been so bright and bold. Keep everything else simple and let your leggings do the talking.

FASHION ASSISTANT: POLLY BARTLETT. MODEL: DJERRA JOAN AT THE HIVE MANAGEMENT. MAKE-UP: NANCY SUMNER AT EIGHTEEN MANAGEMENT USING GIORGIO ARMANI BEAUTY AND SKINCARE. HAIR: STEFAN BERTIN AT FRANK AGENCY USING WELLA EIMI

Jacket, £160, Adidas by Stella McCartney at coggles.com Sports bra, £70, No Ka’Oi at Harvey Nichols Leggings, £115, P.E Nation at Selfridges Trainers, £70, Adidas at Schuh

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Go beneath the varnish and pay your nails some attention – they’re guaranteed to need it. The key to healthy fingertips is all in the detail, and they could be showing you signs worth taking note of WORDS GEORGIE LANE-GODFREY

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GROW YOUR OWN

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here are few better ways to spend a Saturday afternoon than taking yourself off to the salon, collapsing into a chair (ideally one with massage functionality) and proffering your hands – or feet, for extra indulgence – to a stranger so they can transform your bedraggled hooves into sleek talons. That’s probably why we’re all at it: British women spend an estimated £161 million on nail products and treatments every year. And while we don’t make a habit of encouraging you to second-guess your pleasures, pausing before you choose your next gel colour to get an insight into your health, both of your nails and in general, is worth it. ‘The shape, texture and colour of your nails can act as a window into your body,’ says Dr Tim Clayton, consultant dermatologist and lecturer at the University of Manchester. ‘While some nail symptoms are harmless, others can indicate chronic diseases.’ Consider forgoing the varnish – at least until you’ve learnt the facts.

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Can’t get your nails to grow, despite adding it to your cosmic ordering list months ago? There’s a reason for that. ‘Nail growth varies from person to person, but there are a few reasons why yours might grow noticeably slowly,’ says Dr Anita Takwale, consultant dermatologist at Nufield Health. If your nails are flaky or separate into thin layers, they could be dehydrated – if this is the case, your focus should be on moisturising the nail and cuticle before trying to strengthen it with hardeners. Mavala Mava-Flex (£16.95 for 10ml) is a serum containing urea, calcium and vitamin B5, which work together to hydrate and strengthen. Poor circulation in your hands can also slow growth, so try to remedy this and you should see a difference. If your nails seem in good health, if on the stubby side, rule out any underlying issues. ‘Some diseases or illnesses present slow nail growth as a symptom,’ says Dr Clayton. Got the all-clear from your doc? Give your growth some added edge with Nails Inc Nail Grow Powered By Matcha (£15 for 14ml). This gel treatment stimulates growth while regenerating the nail bed to help brittle, slow-growing nails speed up. Think of it as Miracle-Gro for your talons.

A THICK SKIN Skin around your nails dryer than your ex’s chat? We feel you. Sadly, the ex might be easier to get rid of. ‘The first thing to do is to work out whether an inflammatory skin disease is causing the dryness,’ says Dr Adam Friedmann, consultant dermatologist at The Harley Street Dermatology Clinic. ‘Conditions like psoriasis, eczema and lichen planus can result in dryness, as well as fungal infestations, which also cause nail dystrophy.’ A visit to your GP or a dermatologist should help identify the cause. Otherwise, it’s a case of TLC. ‘Dry skin around the nail is usually secondary to poor cuticle upkeep,’ adds Dr Friedmann. It’s not enough to leave your nails and cuticles to fend for themselves between manicures. Cuticle oils or creams should be applied every other day. Store OPI Pro Spa Nail & Cuticle Oil To-Go (£10.70 for 7.5ml) in your handbag to keep nails nourished on the move. The formula combines grapeseed, sesame, sunflower and cupuaçu oils to provide intense moisture and comes in a leak-proof tube.

PAINTING OVER THE CRACKS It’s time you knew what your nail colour sans varnish says about you

NO COLOUR/VERY PALE Nutrient deficiencies are one of the most common reasons cited when things go wrong with nails. ‘Anaemia can show itself in pale nails that lack colour,’ says Dr Friedmann. Look familiar? It may be time to boost your iron intake.

YELLOW/GREEN Nails can reveal whether something’s a little of with your thyroid. ‘Things to look out for include discoloration of the nail plate,’ says Dr Takwale. A yellow/green tinge can also indicate a fungal infection – either way, best to get it checked.

BLACK LINES If you have a black stripe and it doesn’t change width, it’s likely to be a benign mole under the nail bed. But noticed it change shape or grow? ‘See a dermatologist urgently as it may be a melanoma, a form of skin cancer,’ says Dr Clayton.

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BITING OFF MORE THAN YOU CAN CHEW Can’t keep your hands out of your mouth when cortisol levels are up? The satisfaction of each nibble and gnaw is so not worth it. Technically known as onychophagia, nailbiting not only damages your nails, it can also cause problems because of what your mouth is adding to the party. ‘Nail-biting can result in the transfer of yeast and bacteria found in the mouth to the nails,’ says Dr Dana Stern, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in the US. ‘This can result in infections such as paronychia, where the skin around your nail becomes red and tender, resulting in pus-filled blisters at its most extreme.’ But regular biting can be more than a bad habit. ‘Mental illness can present in the form of nail-biting in anxious patients,’ says Dr Takwale. Nail-biting has been linked with OCD, too. Happily, all damage to your nails is reversible – as long as you can break the behaviour. ‘Keep nails short and manicured so there is nothing left to chew or bite,’ says Lynn Gray, nail expert for Swiss nailcare brand Mavala. ‘Occupying the hands or mouth with other activities, such as chewing gum or squeezing a stress ball, can also be useful.’ Or make like your childhood self and give the bitter polish treatment a go. Mavala Stop (£11 for 10ml) is a transparent varnish with a rancid (but completely harmless) taste. If that doesn’t do it, there’s nothing left but to make your peace and try to keep your bitten hands as clean as possible.

BRUSH UP ON YOUR BIOLOGY

PARONYCHIUM The fold of skin around the side of the nail, which protects it from infection.

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Redness around your nail could be inflammation if you’re a picker or a biter – or it could be an allergic reaction. ‘Nail varnish often contains chemicals such as camphor and formaldehyde, which can be a cause of contact allergies,’ says Dr Friedmann. ‘It’s rare for individuals to become allergic to their polish, but it can happen.’ And don’t think that you’re immune just because you’ve never had any problems before. ‘Allergies can occur with nail products used for a long time,’ says Dr Takwale. Avoid the chance of an unwelcome reaction with non-toxic nail polish brands such as Kure Bazaar, whose vegan varnishes are up to 90% naturally derived and ‘10-free’ – meaning that 10 commonly used varnish chemicals have been removed from the polish formation.

LUNULA The white crescent shape at the base of the nail. This is actually the visible part of the matrix, which produces the nail plate.

EPONYCHIUM The scientific term for your cuticle – the skin around the nail.

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IN THE RED?

HYPONYCHIUM The thick skin under the free edge of the nail that protects the nail bed from infection.

Decode the jargon you need to really know your nails

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STAR TREATMENT

Thought serums and masks were just for your face? Not so – these formulas are worth weaving into your nailcare regime. Apply Nails Inc Overnight Detox Mask or Soigné Nail Serum (both £15 for 14ml) twice a week on bare nails just before bed to protect and nourish.

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CUTICLES: SHOULD THEY STAY OR SHOULD THEY GO? Next time your nail technician goes anywhere near your cuticles with a sharp instrument, swat them away. ‘Removing the cuticle can expose the delicate area below the proximal nail fold to irritants and allergens, which risks infection,’ warns Dr Takwale.

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FINGER FIXES Take a holistic approach with these nail-boosting tweaks and tips

EAT STRONG Diet is the place to start if you want healthy nails. Omega-3 fatty acids (salmon), magnesium (almonds), zinc (beans) and iron (steak) are all fortifying foods.

SWERVE THE SUPPLEMENTS There’s little scientific backing for supps that promise to improve your nails. ‘Plus, you don’t really need them,’ says Dr Friedmann. ‘A healthy diet will provide all the nutrients your nails need.’

BE INGREDIENT-SAVVY ‘Look for products containing emollients rich in phospholipids, such as sunflower oil,’ says Dr Stern. ‘Alpha-hydroxy acids have also been shown to improve brittle nails.’

PHOTOGRAPHY: CLAIRE BENOIST AT THE LICENSING PROJECT

MILKING IT

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The recent popular trend for ditching dairy in favour of nut, bean and oat alternatives might be a win for select digestive systems – but are your nails missing a calcium boost? Nope. Research has found no correlation between white spots on nails – known as leukonychia – and a calcium (or zinc) deficiency. Instead, they’re far more likely simply the result of trauma, says Dr Stern. ‘White spots can appear after banging or crushing your finger, but are most commonly caused by overly aggressive manipulation of the cuticle area, such as cutting, picking or pushing.’

SANITISE SAFELY The alcohol found in many hand santisers dries out cuticles. Try an alcohol-free one, such as Bentley Organic Hand Sanitizer (£3.34 for 50ml), for all-natural ingredients.

CONTROL THE TEMP Next time you take a shower, make sure the temperature isn’t too extreme. Exposure to piping hot or freezing cold water triggers the sudden expansion and contraction of your nails, which can turn small nicks into full-blown tears.

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A lick of

PAINT

PRIMARY COLOURS Because a bold-colour mani is as simple as ABC. Pair with denim and whites for peak pop. Chanel Le Vernis in Arancio Vibrante, £20; OPI Infinite Shine 2 in Tile Art To Warm Your Heart, £14.25; Chanel Le Vernis in Giallo Napoli, £20

Now that you’ve overhauled the health and condition of your nails, play with this season’s colour trends for a mani worth talking about PHOTOGRAPHY JOBE LAWRENSON

PURPLE

Be led by Pantone’s colour of 2018, Ultra Violet, and inject the colour purple into your nail kit. Mavala Nail Color Cream in Reykjavik, £4.25; Kure Bazaar Paris in Catwalk, £15; Jessica Custom Nail Colour in Haute Hoodie, from £6.85

MERMAID Do Ariel proud with a shimmer that catches the spring sunshine (or the artificial lighting in your office). Nails Inc in Mermaid Parade, £15 for Self-Made Mermaid Nail Polish Duo, which also includes Ocean Ever After; Barry M Under The Sea Nail Paint in Butterflyfish, £3.99; Nails Inc in Straight To My Head, £15 for Champagne Shine Nail Polish Duo, which also includes Fizz-ical

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BEAUTY

Not a fan of the tomato-faced sweaty mess look? These gym-primed products will go the distance when you up the intensity

CLINIQUE FIT WORKOUT MAKEUP SPF 40, £29.50

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earing make-up to the gym – we hear you scoff – don’t be ridiculous. Divisive though it may be, it’s on the rise, whether that’s because you’re squeezing in a class in your lunch break and don’t have time/can’t be arsed to remove then reapply, or because you want to look as fit as poss in your #gymselfie (hey, no judgement). Easier said than done though, right? Seven out of 10 British women wear make-up to the gym, yet 39% of you say your cosmetics don’t last through your sweat sesh*. What you need is make-up made with gym bunnies in mind. That’s where we come in. This month, team WH test the products designed to keep you looking polished as you pump that iron.

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Experience Results Value for money Tested by: Claire Sanderson, Editor They say: A high-performance foundation with broad-spectrum SPF40 that keeps you covered when you exercise without clogging pores or causing breakouts. Slick it on for matt, medium coverage that lasts for 12 hours and is both sweat- and humidity-proof. Claire says: Ultimately, I would prefer not to wear make-up to work out, but this was light enough not to feel too heavy and it withstood the sweat test. I’d say the cover it gives is dewy rather than matt, which actually lends itself to a bit of sweat. I might use it on days when I’m feeling I need a little extra to face the world.

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BEST FOR ADDING COLOUR E.L.F. WORKOUT READY LIP & CHEEK PALETTE, £9 Experience Results Value for money Tested by Florence Mitchell, Editorial Assistant/Junior Writer They say: A multi-tasking tool designed to keep up whatever the workout. Its customisable shades can be slicked on to both lips and cheeks, providing breathable, performance-focused colour that’s sweat-resistant but won’t clog pores. Florence says: On first glance, the palette’s sticky formula and packaging reminded me of something I’d pick up at Claire’s Accessories aged 12. However, the highlight and cheek pigment stayed put during a workout and blended well. But I had to ditch the tiny brush – which is useless – in favour of my own.

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WORDS: GEORGIE LANE-GODFREY. PHOTOGRAPHY: BETH CRUTCHFIELD AT HEARST STUDIOS. *SOURCE: MINTEL

BEST FOR EVENING SKINTONE


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BEST FOR CONTROLLING SHINE BEST FOR MAINTAINING MAKE-UP SPORT FX TIME OUT FACE MIST + FIX, £5.99 Experience Results Value for money Tested by: Eliot Brittain, Picture Assistant They say: This face mist is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C to prevent damage to skin, while menthol essence will keep complexions cool and refreshed. Spritz it on your face before working out to hydrate and keep make-up in place. Eliot says: I don’t usually wear make-up at the gym as I worry about patchiness after sweating off my foundation. I didn’t have high hopes for this spray holding it in place, but I was pleasantly surprised. Although a little shiny, my face for the most part remained intact. Plus, it was great as a little pick-me-up when my skin felt dry.

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PRIMARK PHR SWEAT RESISTANT FACE POWDER, £3.50 Experience Results Value for money Tested by: Victoria Joy, Deputy Editor They say: A hard-working powder designed to keep your foundation in place. Apply before exercise to mattify any oil on the skin and keep sweat at bay whatever your workout. Victoria says: This did a good enough job – I used it on holiday so it was put to the test twice over as I was working up a sweat in a hot climate. The powder gave an even coverage without settling into fine lines (of which my face has many) and although it didn’t put the kibosh on shine entirely, I was pleased with how it seemed to last a good few hours post-workout.

BEST FOR LASHES THAT LAST EYEKO YOGA WATERPROOF MASCARA, £19 Experience Results Value for money Tested by: Georgie Lane-Godfrey, WH contributor They say: A mascara that holds under even extreme conditions (hi, Bikram) – Korean technology locks in colour for 24 hours, while collagen, matcha green tea and fruit extracts nourish and condition. Georgie says: After a severe panda-eye incident a few years back, I was put off working out with eye make-up on. So I was sceptical – but not for long. No matter what I threw at this mascara – sweat, water, slightly aggressive towelling – it did not budge. It might not give me the thick luscious look I’d want for an evening out, but for the gym, it’s just what I’m after.

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DOWN-THERE skincare Not. Even. Joking. But is vaginal pampering a legit example of next-generation beauty, or vanity gone bonkers? WORDS

hat do you call your vagina? Because if it’s something like foof, noony or any other cutesy-sounding moniker, it’s time you started taking it more seriously. Not just to give you the best chance of warding off gynae health issues (one in four British women fail to take up a smear test invitation), but because your vagina and its surrounding area is becoming a pretty big deal in the beauty industry.

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We’ve come a long way since Gwyneth Paltrow earned herself yet another eye-roll by extolling the virtues of vaginal steaming to ‘cleanse the uterus’. Intimate skincare – that is, products and treatments designed to upgrade the appearance, smell and feel of your genital area – is booming. The global feminine hygiene market is set to be worth £30 billion by 2022. Recent data gathered by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery showed labiaplasty has become one of the world’s fastest-growing cosmetic procedures, as more and more women seek to surgically alter the inner lips of their vulvas. And a Google search for ‘vagina skincare products’ delivers four and a half million results. Leading the way are brands such as intimate skincare company SASS and V Magic, whose products claim to ‘deliver the perfect balance of moisture, nutrition and support for the vulva area’. It’s fair to say that The Only Way Is Essex hasn’t done much to change the fundamentals of society (bar delivering Gemma Collins and her incredibly strong meme game), but it did bring the vajazzle into the British collective consciousness, paving the way for vajacials, which are now so mainstream, they’ve been performed live on ITV’s This Morning in front of a mortified Eamonn Holmes. A facial for your mons pubis (as in, the bit where you would have a bit of hair if you choose a Brazilian), labia and the skin surrounding it, the vajacial involves cleansing and AHA (alpha-hydroxy acid) exfoliation, followed by a mask or peels – a treatment

many of these new intimate products claim to let you replicate yourself at home. As well as this growing bounty of customised vulval cleansers and exfoliators – standing firmly in the skincare camp – there’s also an influx of (more controversial) intimate make-up products. The Perfect V – a brand that ofers women the chance to ‘rejuvenate, enhance and beautify the V’ – sells its own Very V Luminizer (around £31 for 50ml), which ‘highlights, softens and illuminates’, should you find yourself with a burning desire to pretty up your bits. The most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard? Taking it even further is Passion Dust; a glitter capsule you insert into your vagina, where it breaks down to leave its shimmering mark on, presumably, your underwear – or anything else you choose to rub your genitals up against. You still there? Obviously, gynaecologists are unimpressed and have warned that the cost of sparkling discharge could be inflammation, infection and even tiny scratches in the vagina. So, yeah, totally not worth it.

AS NATURE INTENDED Passion Dust aside, there’s a certain sense of empowerment emanating from these new launches. For centuries, simply the idea that women had genitals was an ‘out of sight, out

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of mind’ situation, so is the very fact that down-there exfoliators exist an indication that society now considers genitals as ‘normal’ as the rest of the female body? Or is it just a porn-inspired trend that does more to objectify than inspire? The jury’s out. What we do know is that, while an increasing number of women are beginning to add an extra step or two to their beauty regime, doctors are becoming concerned about the medical ramifications. ‘The vagina is a carefully balanced environment,’ says Dr Vanessa Mackay, a spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. ‘If you place a foreign object in there, or apply products to skin nearby that can make their way inside, you risk disturbing this balance, which may lead

DOCTORS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT MEDICAL RAMIFICATIONS to infection.’ Which poses the question: do you actually need intimate skincare? Medical experts say no – to cleansing your bits as well as beautifying them. ‘You risk upsetting your vagina’s delicate pH and bacterial flora balances by using any of these products, which can lead to infection and inflammation,’ says Narendra Pisal, consultant gynaecologist at London Gynaecology. Instead, it’s recommended that you stick to good old H2O to freshen up. ‘Remember, the vagina is designed to clean itself with natural secretions,’ adds Dr Mackay. If you do feel like you want to go the extra mile, ensure you’re using a cleanser that’s been specifically formulated for female genitals. SASS Intimate Purifying Cleanser (£6.99 for 100ml), for example, boasts probiotics, while The Perfect V Gentle Wash (around £15 for 100ml) is gentle and chic enough that it doesn’t need to be hidden away in your bathroom cabinet. But if you experience any sign of irritation, itching or redness – step away. While they might be convenient, the same rule applies to wipes sold by intimate

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skincare brands. A study from Ohio State University identified a chemical preservative in flushable wipes that causes red lumps and allergic reactions – not exactly what you want to subject your privates to. Take into account the fact that last year Water UK reported that wipes make up about 95% of the material blocking sewers, and they’re best avoided all round. As for vajacials, Dr Anne Wetter, clinical dermatologist and co-founder of Allél, advises caution: ‘Peels can result in irritation, eczema and long-term problems, and there is a risk of harsh active ingredients reaching the mucous membrane of the vagina.’ Meanwhile, ingrown hairs are best tackled with a loofah, as tweezers can cause infection. Plus, most gynaecologists advise against using AHAs around the pubic area, voicing concerns that it may spread to the vaginal canal and cause irritation.

STEER CLEAR The ingredients that have no business being near your business

1

PAYING LIP SERVICE Any anti-ageing claims are also worth an eyebrow raise. As UV damage accounts for about 85% of visible ageing, unless you’re spending a serious amount of time on a nudist beach, your pubic region is pretty safe on that front. ‘The biggest ageing factor in the genital area is actually oestrogen, so skincare products targeting external aggressors aren’t much help,’ says Dr Wetter. On the other hand, a vulval lipstick might be useful – particularly when it comes to vaginal dryness, which can afect women at any age. V Magic Feminine Lips Stick (around £15) contains avocado and extravirgin olive oils for on-the-spot relief, but

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shouldn’t be used regularly, according to Dr Pisal. ‘Lipstick for vulval use may help with soreness, but I would be reluctant to recommend repeated use,’ he says. ‘Vulval skin is very delicate and it’s best to use simple moisturisers, such as aqueous cream.’ Dr Wetter echoes his sentiments. ‘Don’t use products with fragrances or too many ingredients, as they increase the risk of an allergic reaction,’ she advises. ‘ In my opinion, Vaseline is a good choice.’ If you do feel drawn to indulge in a little intimate skincare, it’s important to bear one thing in mind: despite what you may read online, there’s no such thing as the perfect vagina, so no beauty product is going to transform yours into one. ‘Every woman’s genitals are diferent in colour, size and shape,’ agrees Dr Mackay. ‘Labia are as individual as women themselves, so they are going to vary. People need to understand that everyone is unique and that diference in appearance is normal in the vast majority of cases.’ Amen to that.

2 EXFOLIATING ACIDS AHAs – alpha-hydroxy acids – are not the one. They’re too aggressive for delicate genital areas and can spread to and inflame the vaginal canal. Maybe cancel that vajacial appointment.

3 TEA TREE OIL Swerve disinfectants such as tea tree that can destabilise your pH levels.

4 PRESERVATIVES Methylisothiazolinone (handily abbreviated to MI) is found in many cleansing products, including flushable wipes, and can cause an allergic reaction.

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PHOTOGRAPHY: GETTY IMAGES; HANS GISSINGER AT TRUNK ARCHIVE

UV DAMAGE CAUSES 85% OF VISIBLE AGEING, SO YOU’RE SAFE DOWN THERE

PERFUME Irritants such as alcohol and synthetic fragrances can result in infection and discharge. Look out for anything with the word ‘alcohol’ in it, including ‘alcohol denat’ (short for denatured) on labels.


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DALJIT KAUR BABBER, ART DIRECTOR

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FIONA DOWNIE, FASHION STYLIST

I want a summer dress that’s feminine, without being sickly sweet ‘A ruffled sundress layered with your favourite leather jacket toughens up a look if you’re not about looking ultra girly. When it’s warm enough to go jacket-free, wear it on its own with a pair of trainers or chunky flat sandals.’

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HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF ALL THESE FOODS WERE OFF LIMITS? It’s a very real scenario for anyone who’s ever tried the lowFODMAP diet. But while it has improved the lives of IBS sufferers the world over, it can have a darker side, too WORDS NIKKI OSMAN PHOTOGRAPHY GRAHAM WALSER

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r Peter Gibson isn’t your typical trendsetter. A professor of gastroenterology at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, he spent some 20 years researching intestinal disease before coining a term to more simply describe a group of short-chain carbohydrates that would change the course of his career – and the thinking behind eating for digestive health worldwide. ‘My team and I started talking about our research into fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols,’ he explains. ‘But by the time you’ve said all that about 20 times in a talk, you’ve lost most of your time – and your audience. So we had to come up with a collective term for them.’ And while no one’s debating the eficacy of the digestive diet plan that transpired, there are now questions about whether it’s leading to a larger emotional fallout. In the years since, the low-FODMAP diet has experienced an ascent comparable with cryptocurrency and contactless, with study after study suggesting it’s the best thing to happen to IBS suferers since gluten-free sliced bread. ‘FODMAPs are either absorbed slowly from the small intestine or not absorbed at all,’ explains Dr Gibson. ‘We all get symptoms from them – if you eat a can of baked beans, you’ll probably get a bit of wind.’ But it isn’t the FODMAPs themselves that trigger a reaction, it’s the impact they have on the gut. ‘When the FODMAPs move into the bowel, where they are fermented by bacteria, this produces gas and can also cause water to move into the bowel. This stretches the bowel wall, which stimulates the gut.’ That’s science-speak for the urge for a post-lunch toilet dash. This is where the low-FODMAP diet comes in. ‘We found that when you remove FODMAPs from the diet altogether, the impact on symptoms was greater than if you just removed fructose or lactose by themselves,’ Dr Gibson continues. Today, dietitians are overt in recommending an elimination phase of four to six weeks before a reintroduction phase. But a small section of research points to a rather more troubling trend: that beyond the physical impact of this diet, the mental toll is

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going unnoticed. A recent article published in the Journal Of Gastroenterology & Hepatology explored the latest developments in the low-FODMAP diet. And, amid the head-spinning science jargon, there are two words you’re bound to know: disordered eating. Could it be that solving one health issue is causing another?

THE ELIMINATION GAME The theory goes that FODMAP-tolerance varies from person to person, and reintroducing foods one FODMAP at a time will help you discern the ones you can tolerate from the ones you can’t. The evidence in its favour is stacking up fast. ‘When the FODMAP approach was used in London, Norway and New Zealand, people were having great results,’ says Dr Gibson. He’s being modest. Proving that a specific way of eating improves health is hard – it takes decades of research to prove that what you think is happening is happening for the reason you think. But the latest review of observational studies and clinical trials concluded that the evidence for the low-FODMAP diet is now so strong, it’s ready to be rolled out as first-line therapy for IBS patients. So what’s the problem?

Well, the sheer number of FODMAPcontaining foods makes this diet trickier than most. The list of things you can’t eat reads like an everyday shopping list. There’s the home-cooking staples like onions and garlic; the snacks you probably munch on without thinking, like apples and cashews; the but-I-thought-they-were-healthy kombucha and camomile tea; and that’s before you throw in the likes of mufins, wine and cream cheese. While there is, of course, a list of foods you can eat, the result can be launching yourself into a restrictive diet with a good food/bad food mentality. Sacha Walsh, a 38-year-old co-founder of a legal tech company in Brisbane, Australia, started experiencing gut symptoms in her early twenties, but it was around five years ago that the pain became unmanageable. Her GP referred her to a dietitian, who suggested she follow the low-FODMAP diet.

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OUT OF ORDER

She thought it would be the fix she’d been waiting for; instead, it marked the start of another struggle altogether. ‘Because of the nature of the diet – I had to write down everything I was eating, including quantities – I became quite obsessive,’ she recalls. ‘I’d take FODMAPfriendly food with me everywhere so I was in control of my eating, and I’d be forensic about it. But then, if I slipped up, I’d think “sod it” and I’d eat all the food that was off limits, which resulted in pain for days. It was a binge-eating cycle of sorts.’ With hindsight, Sacha recognises the pattern as disordered eating. After being on the diet for a year, she visited her GP with symptoms of anxiety and depression and began counselling. Her experience could, of course, be a one-of. Eating disorders are complex psychological conditions with myriad causes and triggers. But, according to Dr Joanna Silver, lead therapist for eating disorders at The Nightingale Hospital, London, any kind of elimination diet could be triggering if you have a history of – or you’re vulnerable to – disordered eating. ‘There is never one risk factor, it’s often a combination of the psychological, biological and social,’ she explains. ‘From a social perspective, if you’re in a situation where there’s a lot of talk about diets and food, that can be really dificult; and when you start categorising food as good and bad, you can enter really dangerous territory.’ Some personality types are more vulnerable than others. ‘A perfectionist personality is certainly a risk factor,’ she adds. ‘They will constantly want to achieve, to be the best at something, and that can feed into dietary choices, too. Other risk factors include dificulty expressing emotions and impulsive or obsessive behaviours.’ For Sacha, it all makes sense now. Perfectionist, check; high-achiever, check. But research suggests that her history of gut problems alone is a red flag. In a 2015 study published in the journal Appetite, researchers concluded that disordered eating was more common in those who had GI disorders than it was in healthy control groups. It’s a chicken-and-egg situation, and researchers don’t yet know why this link exists, but Dr Silver confirms it’s a thing. ‘Often, what starts as a physical problem can develop into an eating disorder. For example, if you’ve eaten a certain food and had a very bad reaction to it, then that food can come to feel scary, and it can lead to

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a desire to stay away from it.’ Whatever the reason, it does suggest that the very people who are looking to the low-FODMAP diet for a solution are also likely to be predisposed to having a problematic relationship with food.

FAKE NEWS But it isn’t just those with existing issues with food who are at risk. With wellmeaning proponents shouting from the supermarket aisles and social media providing fertile ground for success stories, awareness of the low-FODMAP diet is growing globally with a momentum that the medical profession can’t match. Try googling the term and, among the 11 million results, you’ll find hundreds of guides detailing how

to do it. The result is a problem that’s best described as FODMAP fake news. While a website might be able to give you a list of high- and low-FODMAP foods, it can’t tell you the ins and outs of this diet. ‘The data collected on the amount of FODMAPs in certain foods is protected,’ explains Dr Megan Rossi (@theguthealthdoctor), a research associate at King’s College London who also runs a gut clinic on Harley Street. ‘Decide to measure your macros and that data is readily available online – how many grams of protein there are in a handful of nuts, for example – but there are only a few

‘BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OF THE DIET, I BECAME QUITE OBSESSIVE’

SPOT THE SIGNS If you recognise one or more of these behaviours in yourself or in another, it’s time to talk, says Dr Silver IN YOURSELF… y Thinking about food constantly y Avoiding social situations where there will be food y A change in mirror behaviour – avoiding or obsessing y A desire to shut yourself away IN SOMEONE ELSE… y Talking about food excessively y Going to the toilet soon after finishing a meal y A desire to feed others without eating themselves y Becoming withdrawn

places in the world that measure FODMAP data and they don’t publish it widely. It is protected in this way for a reason – because it’s such a restrictive diet. If you’re working of wrong information, you could be cutting out the wrong things or restricting too much.’ One of those places is Monash University, where Dr Gibson teaches, and this is an issue he is well aware of. ‘What’s happening right now is what I call the paper-plane method,’ he says. ‘Doctors will google the diet, throw a piece of paper at the patient and it’s up to them to work out how to do it. That’s not how the diet has ever been studied and it shouldn’t be administered by someone who isn’t trained.’ According to Dr Rossi, this isn’t something that’s just happening in Australia, but in the UK, too. ‘There have been a number of cases where GPs have said, “You’ve got IBS, go on a low-FODMAP diet,”’ she adds. ‘The only support they give is a printout with a limited explanation of the diet from the internet. I’ve had clients coming to my practice who’ve been given a list of 10 “friendly” foods to survive on, which is nutritionally dangerous.’ It’s an experience 30-year-old Sarah Taylor from Edinburgh recalls all too well. ‘I first heard about the low-FODMAP diet from my doctor around three years ago,’ she says. ‘She mentioned it in passing and handed me a piece of paper. I’d already been suffering from IBS for years by this point,

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BEYOND FODMAP YOGA A study published in January, comparing the low-FODMAP approach with yoga as a treatment for IBS, reported a reduction in gastrointestinal symptoms among both groups. Whether or not this is linked to the dreaded yoga fart is inconclusive.

and I was desperate for something that would work. But this long list of foods was completely overwhelming. I couldn’t face the thought of cutting out things like garlic and onions, so I just ignored it. It was only when my friend, a dietitian, suggested that I see someone who is trained to deliver the diet that I did.’ With the right support, Sarah followed the elimination part of the diet for eight weeks and she now blogs about her experience at theweefoddie.com. ‘Some people contact me via my blog to say they’re surprised to hear that the elimination phase is short-term; others tell me they’re scared to reintroduce foods so end up putting it of. I’m trying to get the message out there that you have to see a trained professional.’ While a doctor should always be your first port of call with a health problem, the advice from the UK government is that you should see a dietitian if you want to follow the low-FODMAP diet. It is yet another reason to apply the same level of scrutiny to your choice of nutrition professional that you would your dentist. In the UK, the gold standard is a registered dietitian. This is a legally protected title for nutrition professionals who are registered with the Health And Care Professions Council and accredited by the British Dietetic Association. FYI, Monash University has struck a data-sharing arrangement with King’s College London and, as a result, King’s has produced a low-FODMAP booklet, which is being distributed to healthcare professionals throughout the NHS and to registered dietitians.

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ALT-MEDICINE If you present symptoms of digestive issues and you’re worried about how you’ll react to the diet, it’s worth talking it out with your GP or a registered dietitian to see if there is a way that you can make it work. Sacha credits counselling with helping her to reshape her relationship with food and follow the diet in a way that worked for her physical and mental health. ‘It gave me that extra support I needed to find a more balanced way of looking at the diet,’ she says. ‘For me, that means an 80:20 approach. For the most part, I eat low-FODMAP foods, but if I fancy eating a beautiful nectarine, then I will eat it and I will enjoy it. I might experience symptoms, but I don’t have the accumulative efect, which is what made it so unbearable before.’ If, on the other hand, you feel the FODMAP approach isn’t for you, there are, increasingly, other options. Researchers are actively working towards building an evidence base for other approaches to IBS treatment, from hypnotherapy to yoga. ‘Let me be clear that this diet has changed my life for the better,’ adds Sacha. ‘To be able to go through a day without being in excruciating pain is truly amazing – but it comes with a caveat. I’ve witnessed people close to me go through eating disorders and it’s absolutely horrendous. I feel really fortunate that I was able to catch mine before it progressed any further.’ In health, as in life, knowledge is power.

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GUT HYPNOTHERAPY While the evidence for treating IBS with the mind is still limited, a 2014 review and meta-analysis of existing evidence concluded that hypnotherapy significantly improved abdominal pain, at least in the short-term.

GLUTEN-FREE DIET In a 2016 study of IBS-D patients (those for whom diarrhoea is the main symptom), following a dietitian-led gluten-free diet significantly reduced the severity of symptoms. Some 18 months later, 72% of the volunteers were still following the diet and reporting a reduction in symptoms.

PEPPERMINT OIL It’s long been thought to ease IBS symptoms, and a 2014 study assessing the efficacy of this idea found it to be a safe and efective short-term treatment. Try High Strength Peppermint Oil (£12.95 for 180 capsules, healthspan.co.uk).

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Traditionally seen as an ‘old person’s disease’, bowel cancer has set its beady eye on a new target: people like you. Numbers of young British women being diagnosed with the condition are growing – we’re asking why WORDS CHARLOTTE HUFF, ALEX DAVIES AND EMMA PRITCHARD

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et’s, even if only while you read the next four pages, cut the crap; none of this ‘number two’ nonsense or the idea that the word ‘stool’ ceases to exist outside the confines of a GP surgery. Because – for no other reason than that it could make an incredible diference to your health – it’s good to talk shit. When Ally Parry visited her doctor with major fatigue, she wasn’t surprised to hear her iron levels were low – being female, a vegetarian and a new mum all ticked boxes. But a series of events, including inconsistent blood-test results and perseverance from both Ally and her doctor, led to a diagnosis that nobody saw coming. She was iron-deficient because she had bowel cancer. She was 29 years old. ‘Hearing the news was harrowing,’ she recalls. ‘I had a CT scan the next day to see if the cancer had spread to my liver and lungs. I was so relieved when they didn’t find any. I’ve never cried so hard – I’d be able to be a mother to my son.’ Before the diagnosis that changed her life, Ally thought little of the C word.

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As for bowel cancer, she thought that was ‘an old man’s disease’. The latest stats reveal a diferent reality: that the cancer (symptoms of which can include gas, a change in bowel habits, bleeding and, as in Ally’s case, anaemia) has started afecting women like you. Bowel cancer among women is on the rise – rates are 4% higher than they were 20 years ago, while cases among men have remained stable. Right now, it’s the second most common cancer to afect women worldwide, third in the UK, with around 50 women receiving a diagnosis every day.

CAUSE FOR CONCERN But the most worrying aspect of this whole situation? Many of these cases are in the advanced stages because they’re initially misdiagnosed or caught too late. ‘If it’s detected early, at stage one, 98% of people will survive bowel cancer for five years or

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SPOT THE SIGNS more,’ says Willie Hamilton, professor of primary care diagnostics at the University of Exeter Medical School, and medical adviser for charities Beating Bowel Cancer and Bowel Cancer UK. ‘But the sad truth is that many younger people have a lower chance of survival from bowel cancer because they often face a delay in their diagnosis. Three out of five people diagnosed under the age of 50 will be at stages three or four, with a third of those in an emergency situation.’ More on the cause of these delays later. As experts work to identify the causes of the unwelcome increase in sufferers, an inconsistency in healthy habits looks to be the main culprit. So, you went large on the Papa John’s last night, then decided this morning was more of a bath-than-shower scenario, leaving no time to make your scheduled workout class. And what? All fine – unless your good intentions fail to come to fruition more often than not. As workloads and personal stressors increase, it’s easy to lose track of how much you’re really eating and exercising. And a pile-up of this behaviour can clog your bowel. Hit-or-miss nutrition, for one, can rob your gut of the consistent fuel it needs to stay strong. Added kilos also court

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trouble: up to 11% of cases of bowel cancer were linked to obesity in a major review by the IARC Handbooks Of Cancer Prevention – an independent cancer agency that’s part of the World Health Organization (WHO). ‘Most of my patients don’t eat as well as they’d like because they’re always on the go and heavily processed convenience food is a welcome solution,’ says David McArthur, colorectal surgeon at Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull. ‘But diet, alcohol intake and weight play a key role in determining your bowel cancer risk.’ According to a 2015 review by the WHO, there may be a link between red meat and bowel cancer – and an even stronger association if the meat is processed. The advice from the IARC is to limit consumption of red meat, particularly the processed stuf, in order to lower your risk. ‘Simply put, whatever you put in your mouth spends time in the bowel,’ says Stephen Fenwick, consultant hepatobiliary surgeon at Aintree University Hospital. ‘So, if there is any carcinogenic (read: cancer-causing) element in what you eat or drink, that will come into direct contact with the bowel.’ Think of it like putting smoke into your lungs and it suddenly feels a whole lot more real.

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PROBABLY OKAY Bright-red blood on your toilet paper post-poo. Chances are you’ve simply got a small anal tear or a harmless haemorrhoid.

PROBABLY NOT Darker blood or clots. The colour indicates how long it’s been in the bowel, which in turn shows how high up it’s come from. It could be a sign of colon bleeding. PROBABLY OKAY A stretch (even a week or two) of constipation or straining. You may simply be dehydrated.

PROBABLY NOT Prolonged constipation for three weeks or more, together with narrow or thin, pencil-like stools. Constipation is relative – everyone poos with difering frequency; look for what’s out of the ordinary for you. PROBABLY OKAY Cramping or bloating.

PROBABLY NOT Regular abdominal pain that interrupts your routine. See your GP ASAP.

PR ISSUES Diagnosis delays compound the problem. Bowel cancer isn’t on the health radar of the average twenty- or thirty-something woman. Awareness is low and awkwardness high. ‘The symptoms are potentially embarrassing: rectal bleeding, discharge and diarrhoea,’ says McArthur. ‘And because bowel cancer is rarer in younger people – despite the rise in cases – it can easily be missed by GPs.’ Plus, this cancer plays dirty; many of us struggle with gut issues – they’re more common among women – and typical symptoms of bowel cancer can overlap with more innocent and treatable conditions. ‘Many of my young advanced-disease patients had been complaining of symptoms for more than two years – they’d been told they had haemorrhoids,’ says McArthur. Signs like abdominal pain and cramping could be misattributed to irritable bowel syndrome, so getting any digestive problems diagnosed and under control could be life-saving. Screenings are one way to take such speculation of the table. In the UK, this involves either a direct bowel cancer test – a thin tube with a camera at the end is used to look for and remove any polyps inside your bowel – or an at-home testing kit, which

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POWER UP YOUR PLATE EASE UP ON RED MEAT A study in The American Journal Of Gastroenterology found that eating white meat can lower your risk of bowel cancer, while other research points to an increased risk for those who eat processed meats. The WHO advises eating no more than 500g red meat per week (about three meals’ worth) and avoiding processed meats. KEEP DRINKING COFFEE According to the University of Southern California, drinking two and a half cups of the stuf a day – be it decaf or a cafeinated double shot – can reduce your bowel cancer risk by 50%.

DON’T SKIMP ON YOUR GREENS Particularly broccoli. This cruciferous veg contains huge amounts of the bowel-cancerfighting compound sulforaphane. Opt for young broccoli sprouts if you can, as these have 50 times the amount of sulforaphane in more mature stems. EMBRACE YOUR NUT BUTTER ADDICTION Nuts release protective enzymes that inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Plus, research from the American Society of Clinical Oncology found that people who ate 55g of hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts or cashews a week had a 42% lower risk of cancer recurrence than those who didn’t.

SPRINKLE POMEGRANATE SEEDS ON YOUR SALAD According to the University of Warwick, these fruity seeds contain natural compounds that can activate autophagy (the fancy term for the process whereby cells break down harmful elements). Red grapes, pears, mushrooms, lentils and green peas work, too. SWITCH TO WHOLEGRAIN BREAD AND BROWN RICE Eating a high-fibre diet, including brown rice at least once a week and three servings of whole grains daily, is thought to reduce your risk of bowel cancer by 40% and 17% respectively.

will flag any need for further tests. But you’ll only be invited to complete a test if you’re over the age of 60 (or over 50 in Scotland). The advice for anyone else with symptoms or a family history of the disease is to speak to your GP, who will refer you for tests, such as a colonoscopy.

evidence to suggest that gut health plays an important role. ‘Inflammation in the body can lead to an increased risk of developing cancer,’ says McArthur. ‘A strong gut microbiome has been shown to reduce inflammation, so there’s reason to think that it might also minimise your

AWARENESS IS LOW AND AWKWARDNESS HIGH DON’T LET IT SLIDE When it comes to prevention, the stuff that works is the stuff you already know. Don’t smoke and check your alcohol consumption, since drinkers are more vulnerable to the disease. As mentioned, diet plays a major role, too – enjoy plenty of fibre-rich foods, such as legumes, whole grains and vegetables, to keep everything flowing as it should. Oh, and go easy on the bacon, too. But there is also growing

risk of bowel cancer.’ Improve yours by eating natural cheerleaders of gut bacteria, such as artichokes, apples and sauerkraut. And, as if you needed an excuse, exercising for just two and a half hours a week could slash your risk by 24%, according to a study in the British Journal Of Cancer. The other simple strategy? Be proactive: look out for any new, persistent below-the-belt aches. If your doctor delivers a rushed diagnosis – like it must be period-related or it’s just stress – seek a second opinion. Detailing every symptom, however awkward, and insisting on tests could be a lifesaver. ‘If you do have


‘I FELT LIKE A HYPOCHONDRIAC’

persistent symptoms, never be afraid to get them checked,’ adds McArthur. ‘Bowel cancer has one of the highest survival rates with treatment. If you’re not happy with your GP’s diagnosis, definitely push for a referral.’ Inflammatory gastrointestinal disorders, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, can also increase your odds. Ally implores women to trust their instincts. ‘It’s so important to

The bottom line? In 90% of cases, bowel cancer can be treated successfully. Symptoms shouldn’t be cause for panic – blood in the toilet bowl doesn’t automatically equate to bowel cancer. But it is cause for

‘NEVER BE AFRAID TO GET SYMPTOMS CHECKED’ know and pay attention to your body,’ she says. ‘It’s all too easy to put health symptoms down to a crazy-busy life. I could have easily dismissed the low iron, but I knew that something else was going on, so I persevered.’ Ally had a right hemicolectomy to remove the cancerous part of her bowel and is now undergoing chemotherapy. ‘I’ve been told my chance of survival is about 85%,’ she says. ‘It’s clichéd, but it really makes you stop and focus on the present.’

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investigation and possibly a colonoscopy to rule out anything serious. People of any age with a family history of bowel cancer, other risk factors or symptoms should always get themselves checked. If in doubt, talk it out with someone you trust. It might be awkward, but it might just save your life. Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer’s Never Too Young campaign aims to improve the diagnosis, treatment and care of younger patients. For more information, go to bowelcanceruk.org.uk

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‘I was nine when my “tummy troubles” began. They resurfaced when I was 19, then again at 22. When I explained my symptoms to doctors – intense abdominal pain coupled with debilitating exhaustion – they were explained away: it was probably IBS or it could be stress. I felt like a hypochondriac. When pain followed me around South America, I wrote it of as food poisoning, then altitude sickness. Even when I ended up in a Bolivian hospital, twice, I was told I’d picked up a bug. I was on a flight to Florida with my family when the pain hit with a new ferocity. I began vomiting, crying – and then I passed out. I could have screamed when someone suggested I was “having a bad period”. Hours later, in the emergency room in Florida, I had a CT scan, followed by a colonoscopy. A doctor told me he’d suspect bowel cancer if I was a 70-year-old man, but my age and sex meant that couldn’t be the case. Three days later, the test results proved that, actually, it was. Luckily, it was stage three, meaning it hadn’t yet spread to other organs. Days later, I had surgery to cut out the tumour and, within a month, I was back in Manchester starting chemotherapy. While my friends posted pictures from festivals and travels, I split four long months between a hospital ward and my childhood bedroom. Six months on, I’m cautiously optimistic. My last scan was clear and I’m applying for my dream job in environmental consulting. But I’m still angry. It didn’t have to come to this. While I don’t have a family history of bowel cancer, prolonged digestive conditions such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis (or my undiagnosed “tummy troubles”) can increase your chances of developing bowel cancer. Because the symptoms are similar to so many digestive conditions, it’s hard to get them taken seriously. But you know your body, and only you will know when something is wrong. I want every woman in my position to make herself heard.’

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PHOTOGRAPHY: GETTY IMAGES

Rachael Stiles, 24, an environmental consultancy graduate from Manchester


‘Running gave me an escape from the grief that consumed me after Rob killed himself’ Can you outrun a hellish reality? It was this question that resounded in Poorna Bell’s mind as she put one foot in front of the other after her husband took his own life. In this moving account, she reveals how she exorcised her demons – one stride at a time WORDS POORNA BELL

PHOTOGRAPHY RETTS WOOD

nyone walking past my window that morning would have no doubt heard the creaking, the grunting, the breathless intonations of Oh. My. God. The sweaty encounter taking place in my bedroom was anything but sexy. I was using every ounce of strength to manoeuvre a heavy, unwieldy mattress – and I was doing it alone. The delivery guys were none the wiser, of course. They probably assumed that anyone ordering a king-size mattress would have their bedfellow on hand to help. How could they know that this represented the latest goodbye, in a long line of goodbyes, to my husband Rob, who had taken his own life the year before? There would never

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again be a bed that we’d share, nor a mattress that would bear the press of his body. Among the million other things he was to me, Rob was my chief lifter of heavy things. And while the grieving process was largely taking place inside my head, out in the real world, life was marching on, and physical strength was an urgent requirement. Every deadlift, barbell squat and tricep dip had led me to this moment. I wasn’t just sweating out my sadness in the gym, I was building a body that would help me forge my way in this scary new world. When I finished, and collapsed sweating on the floor, I laughed. Then I started crying. Because here’s the thing with grief: it doesn’t respect your milestones. I met Rob on a blind date, set up by a mutual friend, at a time when I was fed up with men. I didn’t expect him to be any diferent from the other losers who

‘I WAS BUILDING A BODY THAT WOULD HELP ME FORGE MY WAY IN THIS SCARY NEW WORLD’

CREDITS HERE PLEASE

had messed me around. I knew he was a science journalist from New Zealand, but that was all I knew. Over sushi in Brixton, South London, I learnt that Rob was a man of contrasts and contradictions. He was a punk rocker in a Ramones T-shirt; a nature lover, with hands calloused from gardening; a tall, broad-shouldered skinhead, who held the door open for me and stood up when I went to the bathroom. I knew I was falling for him the day he brought chicken soup to my sickbed. He ofered to leave it on my doorstep – I looked like something dredged from the bottom of a well. But, touched by his kindness, I begrudgingly let him in, and he told me I looked beautiful. I’d heard rumours of big love: the kind where someone sees you as you are, and loves you anyway. But I’d never felt it first-hand. A few weeks later, as we held hands across the back seat of a taxi, Rob told me he had depression. He seemed responsible in the way he managed it, and he assured me that he’d get help when he needed it. But I was

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already in love with him and he might as well have told me he had athlete’s foot. A year after we met, we got engaged in Malaysia, and we got married 18 months later in a pretty country house in Surrey. But after the wedding, Rob began to spend more and more time in bed. He seemed exhausted, withdrawn, and he walled of his feelings, venturing out from behind them only occasionally to say: ‘I’m fine.’ It was obvious to anyone that he wasn’t. I hadn’t prepared myself for what loving, and living with, someone with depression actually meant. But I was convinced that if anyone could coax him out of it, it was me. Love conquers all; Disney taught us as much. So it was unbearable to discover that it doesn’t. Alone for much of the time, I was tasked with keeping the household ticking over – restocking the fridge and paying the bills. But I wasn’t just alone, I was lonely. A year into our marriage, I was spending whole weekends just waiting for Rob to get out of bed, and I was starting to unravel. It wasn’t just the looking after him; it was his denial about how crippling his illness had become. I was patient, until I was angry, and then guilty. I was a human volcano. One October morning, I felt a sharp sense of dread. It was 11am, and Rob was still in bed. I knew how the day was going to play out – it would be another day of feeling like I was married to a ghost. I badly needed to get out of the house, but I couldn’t face putting on a fake front with friends, nor being somewhere public, like the gym. I needed to do something for myself; something that wasn’t worrying

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about Rob and whether he was alright. So I put on my trainers and went for a run. Outdoor running is part sweat, part psychology. I’d been meaning to do it for months, but the doubts always kept me indoors – one louder than most: what if I couldn’t physically do it? This time, I pegged it out the front door before my brain had a chance to catch up. My lungs began to burn and my brain felt crowded with thoughts. But I slowed down until I was going only marginally faster than my walking pace, and as the landscape unwound itself into columns of trees, duck ponds and ice cream trucks, my mind became quieter. I noticed the curve of the trees, the glance of the sunlight on a puddle. By the time I made it back to the house, I’d created something: a moment in time just for me. But it was only a moment. The following year, life – already testing – became even more dificult. In an admission that shook me to my core, Rob confessed that he wasn’t just depressed, he’d also been hiding a crippling addiction to heroin. I knew he’d dabbled in drugs over the years, but nothing

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like this. As painful as it was, I decided to forgive him and do whatever I could to help him recover. But Rob couldn’t break the pattern of lying and trying to fix things on his own, and after the last colossal lie, we separated. A week later, while visiting his family in Auckland, Rob took his own life. I oscillated between deep shock and feeling the full, undiluted horror of it all. I felt guilty for not being able to save him, and despair that he’d died this way, alone. I flew to New Zealand for the funeral. I got through it, but afterwards, I think people expected me to lie down and draw the curtains. I knew if I did, I wouldn’t get back up again. I had to cling to things that made sense, so, the next day, I put on my trainers. I opened my Nike running app without a thought for where I was going, and I ended up on a beach. With the swirl of the clouds and the crash of waves on the rocks, I felt something approaching normality. It was the strangest feeling, to be so overcome with sadness, and so glad to be alive. Back home, the shell of my old life remained, but without Rob in it. I knew

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‘WHILE OUT RUNNING, I COULD CRY, WITH MY TEARS PASSING FOR SWEAT’

I had to do something – and running became my something. I forged a routine of going for a jog along the stretch of the Thames near Richmond. The crowd of tourists and geese strutting around for scraps soon gave way to quiet, leafy avenues where I could take the smallest pleasure in seeing a bird Rob loved or the trees by a little brook. I could even cry, with my tears passing for sweat. During those first few months, running anchored me to reality; it gave me roots to a world I felt like I was no longer a part of. But I needed more. With a house move imminent and no Rob to help me lift the boxes and cart the rubbish of to the dump, I not only needed to feel strong, I needed to be strong. With no idea where to start, I hired a personal trainer. His name was Tyrone, and he listened patiently while I told him what I wanted to do. When he told me he would get me deadlifting 100kg, I laughed. But as the weeks wore on, my time with him on the gym floor came to mean more to me than I could ever have imagined. Something borne out of practicality became an emotional lifeline. Here was a world that made sense; where I was in control; where I would get out exactly what I put in. Session by session, I created a strong scaffolding within myself, and the heavier I lifted (I managed 87kg), the more stable I felt. There’s a statistic that, to this day, I find shocking: people bereaved by the suicide of a friend or family member are 65% more likely to attempt suicide themselves than

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THE SWEAT EFFECT RUNNING

HIIT A study* has shown high-intensity exercise has particular benefits for women when it comes to stress and anxiety. Participants either took a HIIT class, exercised moderately or relaxed. Results revealed that the higher the intensity, the sharper the decline in anxiety and stress.

WEIGHT TRAINING

‘IN MY DARKEST MOMENTS, IT IS EXERCISE THAT HAS KEPT ME HERE’

Research* found that women who participated in a twice-weekly weight-training regime for 15 weeks had significantly higher general wellbeing than those who didn’t train. They also benefitted from increased strength (unsurprisingly) and improved overall body image.

CYCLING

they would be if the person had died by natural causes. This brings their absolute risk up to one in 10. I’m not saying I was suicidal, but there were moments when I couldn’t imagine living with this much pain for the rest of my life. It’s important because recent studies have confirmed what we’ve all long suspected about exercise – and it’s not just about the immediate biology of the endorphins flooding the hypothalamus in your brain. A cohort study of 33,908 participants published last year concluded that doing one to two hours of

The commute isn’t all your bike is good for; it could also be useful in protecting against future emotional stress. One study found that those who cycled for 30 minutes had lower anxiety levels when later ‘emotionally stimulated’ (by looking at photos of pleasant, neutral and unpleasant events) than those who’d had 30 minutes’ rest.

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exercise each week nearly halves your long-term risk of depression. The majority of this seemingly protective effect occurred at low levels of exercise and was observed regardless of the intensity. Researchers don’t know exactly why exercise has this efect, but one theory is that it enhances the body’s ability to respond to stressors; the idea that handling a gruelling workout is good practice for coping with a bad day. For me, now, a typical week involves some combination of running, strength training and yoga, all of which serve a different purpose. Strength training makes me feel less vulnerable, and less like I need a man; running helps me unload my worries into the river I run alongside; and yoga works out the knots created by both. When people tell me I’m ‘so good’ to be working out so much, I know they don’t get it. I don’t exercise to be ‘good’ – whatever that means. I don’t do it to fit into a pair of jeans or to help me run for a bus. Fitness has become part of the fabric of who I am. When I’m working out, my mind travels to a place larger than my sadness. I’m lucky to have such supportive friends and family, but in my darkest moments, it is exercise that has kept me here. Fitness was never just about flipping a mattress; it saved my life.

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*SOURCES: COGNITION AND EMOTION; UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-COLUMBIA; BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY; UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND

In a 2016 study*, people who jogged for 30 minutes before watching sad clips from a film were less afected than those who hadn’t exercised. Researchers concluded that aerobic exercise can help regulate emotion and allow you to recover more quickly from negative feelings.


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Have we killed Cupid? Swipe. Match. Ghost. Digital dating has transformed the way we find love. But as new research suggests it’s hampering our ability to flirt, one (single) writer discovers it’s complicated in every sense WORDS ROISÍN DERVISH-O’KANE ILLUSTRATION ADAM NICKEL

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ello, how are you?’ A simple enough phrase – until you need to use it. It’s around 9.30pm on a Saturday night when, out celebrating my best mates’ birthdays, I find myself elbow-to-elbow at the bar with a broadshouldered man serving Fassbender vibes. He looks my way. So I do what any selfrespecting socially awkward millennial would do in a situation without a clear script: I get out my phone. By the time I glance up from Tinder, he’s gone, and I’m left alone with a nauseating one-liner from Adam, the deck-shoe-sporting, tigerstroking ‘entrepreneur’ I accidentally just Super Liked. I pay for my vodka soda, then finish it in three gulps. This is dating circa 2018. A sphere where dick pics are the new love letters, a tiny blue tick has the power to send you into a threeday shame spiral, and every time you teeter on the edge of a genuine connection, a little ping reminds you that someone better could be just a few taps away. It’s a world into which, in 2016, after my eight-year relationship ended, I plunged with all the enthusiasm of a toddler leaping head first into a ball pond. When it comes to love, I’m an optimist. But 18 months on the front line of dating has the power to spark cynicism in even the most dedicated of glass half-full types – and it isn’t just the genital selfies. One aspect of the scene troubles me more than most; recent research by dating app Happn found that a third of respondents (by their own account) don’t know how to flirt. And if my recent all-too-brief encounters in bars are anything to go by, I can’t say I’m surprised – or the exception to the rule. Flirting. Chirpsing. The ability to let someone know you like them should be one of the most basic tools I have at my disposal. If those tools have gone rusty when, in mind and body, I’m the most confident I’ve ever been, I want to know why. Has the digital landscape signalled the death of dating as we know (or once knew) it? Could our swipe-tastic thumbs have inadvertently dealt good old Cupid his P45?

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SERVER ERROR

In pursuit of answers, I call Dr Helen Fisher, the pioneering biological anthropologist who led the first fMRI study scanning the brains of lovers to decipher what really goes on in our heads when we fall for someone. ‘The brain system for romantic love lies way below the cortex and the limbic regions linked with emotions; it emanates from the base of the brain in regions linked with drive, craving, obsession.’ So far, so Fatal Attraction. But what of my questions? ‘It’s close to the areas that drive hunger and thirst and, just like them, it’s a survival mechanism. Romantic drive enables you to focus your energy on one person and start mating. It’s a primal process that hasn’t changed for thousands of years.’ She argues that our hardware for finding love is deep, ancient

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and powerful. ‘There is no way we can kill it. Dating apps aren’t changing the mechanism. They’re a new way to do the same old thing.’ I end our call reassured that digital dating hasn’t totally screwed with my ability to connect romantically. But things have changed. The last time I was single it was 2009, and being hit on amounted to being asked for my BlackBerry PIN in a Manchester nightclub. The social landscape of dating is shifting, and with it, our behaviour. Enter Tinder – and the copycat swipe-to-like apps it’s inspired since launching in 2012. When I bring them up around a table groaning under G&Ts and going-out bags, I’m hit with a barrage of vitriol. But it’s my

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THE WRITER Roisín Dervish-O’Kane, WH Features Writer

pal Lizzy who says what I’m thinking. ‘I used to find it sweet when guys would come over to chat to me. But these days it just seems creepy. I feel caught off-guard, as if my space has been invaded. We think apps have opened up all these new opportunities, but actually, they’ve created blockers in real life.’

SYNC REQUIRED

Circa 6pm the next day, my hangover reaches existential pondering stage and I pause a halfhearted swipe sesh to make sense of what I’ve learned. Sure, our disrupted dating landscape may not be diluting love when we find it, but I’m convinced it’s changed how we approach the search. I put this to Dr Anna Machin, evolutionary anthropologist at the University of Oxford. ‘Modern dating is playing out at a distance and we’ve simply not evolved to meet a mate that way,’ she explains. You know that buzz you feel when an attractive face gives your swiping thumb pause? That’s a spurt of feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine. But it’s nothing compared with the chemical push that erupts in your body and brain when you find yourself in a room with the person. ‘You get a hit of two neurochemicals. First, oxytocin, which quietens the fear centre of the brain, making you less inhibited,’ Dr Machin explains. ‘Then dopamine, which motivates you to actually walk across the room.’

THE SMART WOMAN’S DATING GUIDE

Joanna Coles, Hearst’s Chief Content Officer, Snapchat board member and author of Love Rules, gives her best advice for finding love in 2018

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TREAT YOUR LOVE LIFE LIKE YOUR CAREER ‘We like to think we’ll meet someone and just “know” they’re the right person. For a lot of us, it won’t happen like that. You wouldn’t leave your career to chance. Finding a good relationship means paying attention to who you’re dating and how they make you feel.’

APPY EVER AFTER?

‘DEAL-BREAKERS DON’T EXIST WHEN THERE’S A CHEMICAL ATTRACTION’ Not only is the Bumble-induced buzz less potent than its IRL equivalent, it’s also less useful. That’s down to something called histocompatibility. ‘This is how you unconsciously gauge how good a match someone is by assessing how different their genes are to yours, via a set of cell proteins called the major histocompatibility complex,’ explains Dr Machin. And to sniff out someone’s potential as a mate, you need to get in front of them. ‘The more diverse your genes, the stronger the immune systems of your offspring will be and the more attractive that person will seem to you.’ In fact, all of your senses come into play. ‘Your eyes take in a person’s body language and symmetry to assess their genetic strength and virility; when you laugh with them, your body is flooded with beta-

LOWER THE PRESSURE ‘Apps like Tinder and Bumble mean that it has never been easier to set up dates. Take advantage of this and set up multiple dates at a time. If you need to reduce the pressure, remind yourself that even if this date doesn’t lead to the next, you’re expanding your social network.’

endorphin, a potent bonding chemical, making you more open to starting a relationship; there’s even a theory that we kiss to taste our partner’s compatibility.’ So, you need to be face-to-face with a potential bae in order to be the highly attuned matchmaking machine your body wants you to be. And yet, we’re repeatedly told that online dating platforms are based upon science. Take eHarmony’s poster on the London Underground. ‘Our scientifically proven matching system decodes the mystery of compatibility and chemistry so you don’t have to.’ Big promises. Too big, according to the UK’s advertising standards regulator, who upheld a complaint that branded it ‘fake news’. ‘You can’t whittle love down to an algorithm,’ scofs Dr Machin. ‘Not least a similarity algorithm, which most of these apps use. Similarity is one of the poorest indicators of compatibility.’ She goes on to critique the ‘box-ticking approach’ I know I’m guilty of. I swipe with my own tick list front and centre of my mind. Russell Group uni; pushing 6ft; good bone structure; left-of-centre politics; decent grammar… Spoiler alert: that’s not how love works. ‘Apps encourage us to think that ticking our most important boxes will guarantee happiness and relationship success. But research shows that in a high proportion of successful

DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP FOR WANTING A PARTNER ‘There is often this judgement that it’s somehow retro to want to find someone and be in a partnership. Of course it’s not the only solution for a happy life, but relationships are one of life’s biggest joys and it’s okay to want that.’

STALK WITH IMPUNITY ‘We think sending between 250-1,000 texts is a substitute for those three dates in a bar. It’s not. The online conversation you’ve had may not accurately reflect who they are. It’s easy to have a false persona online, so cross-reference with Facebook and look for friends you have in common.’

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LEARN FROM THE BEST ‘Look for relationship role models: couples whose partnership you admire. Ask them when they knew that they’d be together forever. Were there ever any moments when they thought they might not make it? Understanding others’ messy times makes you less afraid of your own.’

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relationships, someone’s partner ticks one or none of their former boxes,’ Dr Machin explains. ‘Supposed “deal-breakers” don’t exist when there’s a chemical attraction.’

‘IT’S ALL TOO EASY TO FALL IN LOVE WITH A DIGITAL VOICE’

PRESS TO RESTART

Swiping culture may be flawed, but it’s undoubtedly widened the pool – increasing your odds of finding a partner by 17%, according to scientists at the University of Bath. Now, it’s estimated that one in seven people end up in relationships with someone they never would have met if it weren’t for dating apps. In this sense, could Tinder et al be (whisper it) good for dating? To that point, let me tell you a love story. Jane, 37, a marketing director from Surrey, stumbled on to Tinder after a three-year relationship – ignited with a traditional jolt of attraction across a bar – didn’t work out. Fatigued by a previous slog on ‘boxticking’ websites, her expectations were low. ‘I would always match with men like me: university-educated with a love of theatre,’ she says. ‘We’d exchange messages for weeks before meeting up, and when we finally did, there was no spark.’ Then she saw Steve on Tinder. Fancied him. Swiped right. Matched. After a few messages, he asked her out for a drink. She knew straight away that she liked him. Three years later, they’re engaged and have a house, a cockapoo and a baby on the way. ‘Our paths never would have crossed otherwise. I spent my twenties focused on my career, while he worked in a sports shop,’ she says. Combine this with his divorcee status and Jane admits she’d have vetoed him on traditional dating sites.

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The newer apps broaden your pool of choices by eliminating your box-ticking bias, while also narrowing your pool by location. This, it seems, is the sweet spot. ‘Less information can be helpful,’ says Dr Machin. ‘It allows you to instantly assess someone’s suitability based on what you see. A bit more like real life.’ Dr Fisher believes the fast pace works in our favour, too. ‘While people spend weeks messaging on traditional sites, Tinder users tend to meet after six days,’ she explains. ‘This is important because if you meet up quickly, you can assess whether or not you like them and, if not, you can start looking for alternatives.’

FACE TIME

This refrain comes up time and again: meet quickly. Those hours unclaimed by work or family obligations are your ‘most precious resource’. That’s according to Joanna Coles,

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author of Love Rules: How To Find A Real Relationship In A Digital World. ‘Your time is too important to waste, and the search for the person you want to be with is too exciting to leave to chance – or an app. The tools are very useful but they won’t find you the person you’re looking for. Only you can do that.’ Being proactive means actually meeting up with them – and fast. Research suggests the average single person goes on just two dates a month. This worries Coles. ‘It’s all too easy to fall in love with a digital voice. You don’t get an accurate picture of them – you can’t hear if they maintain eye contact or whether their witty retorts are actually crafted by their friend.’ She points to the work of cyberpsychologist Mary Aiken, who argues that there are four people in a digital relationship: two flawed, unpredictable humans and two curated digital selves. ‘Love isn’t some mystical force,’ Dr Fisher adds. ‘It’s a brain system. And we know that the more you get to know someone, the more you like them.’ A brain system. Strip back the heavily curated profiles and the tools you need are there, if you have the courage to use them. No matter how strong your in-app banter, nothing is as enlivening – or as fun – as the real thing. I can’t suss out if someone’s right for me with one eye trained on Netflix and the other on my mates’ Instagram Stories. Instead, I’ll be doing it on walks, over cofees and, yes, in bars – where I can let my highly attuned, ancient animal senses do their thing. Now, repeat after me: ‘Hello, how are you?’ Love Rules: How To Find A Real Relationship In A Digital World (£18.99, Harper) is out on 17 May, available for pre-order from Amazon

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Anyone capable of double-tapping probably knows what Hazel Wallace throws together for midweek dinners and how much she loves a quick at-home HIIT session. But it turns out there are many things The Food Medic was keeping close to her chest – until now WORDS

GEORGIE LANE-GODFREY AND NIKKI OSMAN PHOTOGRAPHY ELLIS PARRINDER

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azel Wallace celebrated her 27th birthday with 27 burpees – although we assume cake made an appearance at some point, too. This practice has become something of a tradition for the junior-doctor-turned-wellness-influencer – just one of those she cheerily shares with 211k Instagram followers as part of her almost-constant showreel of daily life. It’s this kind of transparency that’s earned @thefoodmedic such an invested following, and why Hazel is about to publish her second book in as many years, The Food Medic For Life, which is not only brimming with simple (no, really) recipes that feel as indulgent as they are wholesome, but also includes details of Hazel’s personal life that she’s previously chosen to keep private. ‘It’s all well and good telling people what to do, but if

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you’re not living and breathing that advice yourself then no one will be able to relate to you,’ she says, offering those in the room homemade oat and banana cookies that she prepped that morning ahead of a day of meetings and interviews. ‘And I wouldn’t be in this position if it wasn’t for my personal experience, so it felt like the right time to share my story – curated properly and published in a book rather than uploaded in an online post.’ The 27-year-old’s story refers to her teen years, when a normal family meal took a tragic turn. ‘My dad had a mini stroke there at the dinner table, which led to a larger stroke a week later that killed him,’ she explains. ‘He’d been diagnosed with high blood pressure and borderline diabetes – so had multiple risk factors – but he’d started eating more healthily and going to the gym, so it came as a complete shock.’

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COOKING UP A CURE

Hazel recounts this time as sowing the first seed in her mind to become a doctor, but in reality, she had to navigate the grief that tore her family apart. ‘I was 14 and I didn’t grieve his loss for many years because I could see my mum grieving and she needed me to look after her and help around the house as my dad would have done. A year or so later, when I think I subconsciously felt she was getting better, it was my turn to grieve. But I internalised everything: I threw myself into school, withdrew from my friends for two years, stopped eating and even washing myself.’ It was only when the teenager’s mum came to her, crying with worry, that Hazel visited her GP. Her health wasn’t in danger, but she needed to gain weight. ‘It was a slow process, and the focus was on eating any food rather than the healthiest foods, but I experienced first-hand how food could act as medicine,’ she says. ‘It was definitely a wake-up call and made me think, “What the hell am I doing? I’m young, I can go to university, I have so much to live for,” rather than being a 17-year-old girl who hoped her life would end.’ That turning point delivered more than one hell of a mental pep talk: Hazel packed her bags, moved out of the family home and earned a degree in medical science from the University of South Wales, before going on to study medicine at the University of Cardiff. Derailed as most students are – ‘noodles, pizza, a lot of cider’ – Hazel felt like she wasn’t quite living the life she’d soon be prescribing to her patients. So she launched her digital persona, and in the five years since has built up a loyal community who love her no-nonsense approach to nutrition and do-them-inyour-PJs workouts. ‘I’m a big believer in everything in moderation,’ Hazel explains. ‘I’ll have two squares of chocolate but I don’t need to demolish the bar; I enjoy a glass of wine but I’m not out at the weekend boozing all the time. It’s about having a little bit of everything.’ Amen to that. Turn the page to get an exclusive look at some of Hazel’s favourite healthy recipes from her new book.

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cals 452

fat 28g

protein 16g

carbs 32g

serves 1

Don’t knock savoury porridge until you try it. It’s basically like risotto, minus the faff. You can prepare savoury oats a thousand different ways by mixing up your ingredients and flavourings. I love that it’s an easy vehicle for getting in lots of fibre and a variety of nutrients, not to mention the protein and healthy fats from the egg.

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INGREDIENTS 40g oats • ½ courgette, grated • ¼ tsp salt • ¼ tsp dried basil • ¼ tsp dried oregano • 175-200ml milk or water • 1 tbsp pesto • 1 tbsp grated Parmesan • 2-3 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped • ½ tbsp oil • 1 egg • 1 tbsp pine nuts • 2-3 fresh basil leaves, torn METHOD 1. Put the oats, courgette, salt and dried herbs in a pan and add the milk or water. Cook gently for 3-5 mins over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thick and creamy. 2. Stir in the pesto, Parmesan and sun-dried tomatoes. Keep warm on a very low heat. Meanwhile, grab a frying pan, heat the oil and fry the egg how you like it. 3. Spoon your porridge into a bowl and top with the fried egg, pine nuts and basil leaves.

May 2018

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cals 204

fat 13.8g

protein 4.5g

carbs 15g

I grew up with a group of eight friends who all lived in the same village as me. We’re still close, despite living in different countries. Sophie Van Dijk is one of the group and a huge foodie, like me, and I’m excited to share her gorgeous dhal recipe here. The beetroot gives it a wonderful pinkish-red colour, but also brings a slight sweetness to the dish.

serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS 400ml full-fat coconut milk • 1 tbsp coconut oil • 1 heaped tsp cumin seeds • 200g uncooked red lentils, rinsed • 1 tsp ground turmeric • 1 heaped tsp garam masala • 1 heaped tsp ground coriander • ½ tsp chilli powder or cayenne pepper • 500g cooked whole beetroot, peeled To serve (optional): boiled rice • natural yoghurt • fresh coriander, chopped


COOKING UP A CURE

cals 198

METHOD 1. Shake the tin of coconut milk and open – you’ll need it primed and ready to go. Melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and fry gently for 15-20 secs, until fragrant. Then add the coconut milk immediately to prevent the seeds from burning. 2. Add the lentils and spices to the pan and stir together. Half-fill the coconut milk tin with water, swish around and add to the pan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 mins, until the lentils are tender, almost mushy and only just holding their shape. 3. Meanwhile, grate the beetroot coarsely. Once the lentils are cooked, stir in the beetroot. This dhal is gorgeous served with rice, a dollop of natural yoghurt and some fresh coriander.

fat 6.8g

protein 4.6g

carbs 25.6g

serves 4-5

If you think I’m obsessed with peanut butter, you’re right, I am. But it really works well in this savoury dish and adds a lovely nutty undertone. This soup is super-filling with a bit of a kick. INGREDIENTS 1¼ tbsp coconut oil • 1 onion, chopped • 2 garlic cloves, chopped • ½ tsp ground cumin • 2 tbsp red curry paste • 2 tbsp smooth peanut (or almond) butter • 1 ltr vegetable stock • 600g sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed • salt and pepper To serve (optional): roasted peanuts, chopped • fresh coriander

METHOD 1. Place the coconut oil in a large saucepan (the biggest you have) over a medium heat. When hot, fry the onion and garlic for 5 mins until soft and translucent. Lower the heat, then stir in the cumin, curry paste and nut butter. Stirring constantly, slowly pour in the stock, stirring to combine. 2. Add the cubed sweet potatoes along with ½ tsp salt and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 20 mins, until the potato is soft. 3. Remove from the heat and use a hand blender to blitz until smooth and creamy. If you don’t have one, allow the soup to cool for 20 mins, then blitz in a food processor. If it’s too thick, add a small amount of water and blend again. 4. Taste and season, then ladle into bowls and serve sprinkled with the chopped peanuts and coriander if using.

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cals 504

fat 19g

protein 31g

carbs 55g

serves 2

Miso is a traditional Japanese food made from fermented soya beans, rice or barley and salt. It adds the most amazing, intense flavour to this simple salmon recipe and it’s something I always have in my fridge. You can find miso in the Japanese section of most large supermarkets.

INGREDIENTS 2 tbsp white miso paste • 2 tsp soy sauce • 1 tbsp maple syrup • 2 salmon fillets • 125g black rice • 250ml water • salt • 1 tbsp sesame oil, plus extra to drizzle • 1 garlic clove, chopped • 1 head of pak choi, quartered lengthways • 2 handfuls of spinach • 1 tbsp sesame seeds METHOD 1. Combine the miso paste, soy sauce and maple syrup and use to coat the salmon fillets, then cover with cling film and marinate in the fridge overnight, or for at least 2 hrs. 2. Put the rice in a saucepan

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with the water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 40-45 mins, stirring occasionally. Drain. 3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C and line a roasting tray with foil. Place the salmon on the tray and roast for 15 mins, until the flesh flakes easily and it’s cooked through. 4. Place a wok on a mediumhigh heat. Add the sesame oil and fry the garlic for 30 secs. Add the pak choi and 1 tbsp water and stir-fry for 1-2 mins. Then add the spinach and stir-fry for another 1-2 mins. 5. Serve with the salmon and the rice. Drizzle with sesame oil and top with sesame seeds.

womenshealthmag.co.uk


COOKING UP A CURE

cals 169

fat 7.6g

protein 4.7g

carbs 19.6g

makes 9

Who knew chickpeas could be so versatile? Being high in fibre and protein, they give these blondies a great texture, and the recipe is relatively low in sugar compared with shop-bought versions. I’m not quite sure which tastes better, the raw batter or the cooked blondies, but licking the spoon is definitely one of the best bits of making these. INGREDIENTS 1 tbsp coconut oil, plus extra to grease • 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed • 125g smooth peanut butter • 4 tbsp milk or water • 2 tsp vanilla extract • 90ml maple syrup or honey • ½ tsp salt • ½ tsp baking powder • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda • 60g dark chocolate, chopped • 1 tsp cocoa powder METHOD 1. Preheat the oven to 200°C and grease a shallow 15cm baking tin. 2. Place the chickpeas in a blender and add the peanut butter, milk or water, vanilla extract, maple syrup or honey, salt, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Blitz until smooth. Stir in the chocolate, then tip into the baking tin. 3. Melt the coconut oil in a small bowl and set over a pan of simmering water. Stir in the cocoa powder to make a chocolate sauce, then drizzle half of it over the batter and swirl it through the mixture with a knife. 4. Bake for 16-18 mins. Set aside to cool in the tin for 15 mins, then turn on to a wire rack to cool completely. When ready to serve, cut into squares and drizzle over some more peanut butter and the remaining chocolate sauce. You can store them in an airtight container for up to a week. (If they last that long...)

The Food Medic For Life (£20, Yellow Kite), is out on 19 April

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WH PROMOTION

The perfect fitness destination Think you know all the best wellness spots? Think again. Revitalise your body and mind with a trip to historic Malta

nly a short three-hour flight away from the UK, with balmy temperatures, scuba-diving prestige, gastronomic delights and wellness activities aplenty, the Maltese Islands are an undiscovered wellness hotspot. Malta’s capital city Valletta, European Capital of Culture 2018, boasts a number of restaurants perfect for the health-conscious. Head to The Grassy Hopper or Soul Food for the Med’s take on plantbased dishes or treat yourself to a sumptuous dinner with picturesque views of majestic

O

Malta at the Harbour Club or Panorama Restaurant. Hop aboard a 25-minute ferry to discover Malta’s sister island Gozo, with stunning bays, crystal-clear waters and vast clifs. Just of the beaten track, make a beeline for Thirty Seven Gozo, a stunning boutique hotel that ofers yoga, massages and organic food. Dive into the sparkling Mediterranean Sea for snorkelling, kayaking and swimming or stay on dry land for some mountainbiking or horse-riding and swoon at the views. Now that’s a bucket-list destination.

Upper Barrakka Gardens, Valletta

Yacht in Sliema, Malta

WHY MALTA? Whether it’s for sailing, trail running or the delicious fresh meals, there’s no better place in Europe

FITNESS Put that city climbing-wall training to practice on Malta’s rocky terrain and sheer clifs.

WATERSPORTS Voted secondbest diving destination in the world; discover the abundance of reefs, caves and wrecks.

CUISINE Devour fresh produce and indulge in pastizzi; a delicious pastry filled with ricotta cheese.

CULTURE With 7,000 years of history; explore Valletta’s three Unesco World Heritage Sites and historic monuments.

To find out more and to plan your stay – including accommodation and the complete cultural programme for 2018 – visit maltauk.com


REJUVENATING RETREATS FOR BODY AND MIND

THE GREAT OUTDOORS The research is irrefutable – getting back to nature does the world of good for your physical and mental wellness. So swerve the city break this time and embrace the outdoors in its most natural state

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CANADA A CANOE ADVENTURE IN...

training basics are covered, you’ll be settled into your personal wooden transportation and the adventure begins. Whether you’re paddling through tranquil waters or whizzing down the rapid Madawaska River, the feeling of being surrounded by nothing but water (and the lush trees on either side) is calming and exhilarating at the same time. The sounds of nature fill the space – and your mind – which lifts any worries about the reality of life back home. Sounds like a complete escape… Hell, yes. Return to the Kanu Centre after a day of water travel and the team will encourage you to immerse yourself in the environment and strip of the usual shackles of the outside world. Wi-Fi is a distant memory, all food is sourced locally (legit) and evening entertainment consists of lakeside conversations perched on a rock while watching the sunset.

from £104 per night and Madawaska Kanu Centre courses start at £332. Air Canada offers return flights from Heathrow to Toronto from £401; ontariotravel.net/uk WHO? George Hilton, Designer

I’m a canoe virgin – does it matter? Not in the slightest. The team at Madawaska Kanu Centre are pros at teaching the ins and outs to beginners, and with good reason – there’s no more authentic way to experience Canada than by paddling through the incredible waters of Ontario. Once the

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Don’t be surprised if a little chipmunk finds its way to your cabin door. Oh, and be prepared to take an open-air shower. Sounds hellish, but it’s actually an incredible experience to scrub down in steaming hot water as you look up at the sky and take in the overhang of magnificent woodland.

PHOTOGRAPHY: GETTY IMAGES

WHAT? A canoeing retreat WHERE? Ontario, Canada WHY? To boss water sports in the wild HOW MUCH? Elmhirst’s Resort offers rooms

womenshealthmag.co.uk


WELL TRAVELLED REDISCOVER THE BRITISH COUNTRYSIDE IN...

DEVON

WHAT? A luxe spa in the country WHERE? Ilsington Country House

Hotel, Dartmoor WHY? For rambling and pampering HOW MUCH? Double rooms from £125 per night, including breakfast; ilsington.co.uk WHO? Nikki Osman, Features Editor

What if I’m looking for something a little more, well, civilised? A two-hour drive south to Elmhirst’s Resort in the Kawarthas region of Ontario should do you. This may not be a five-star city high-rise, but you will get to enjoy a speedy jaunt in a seaplane and incredible views of a rice lake. Guests staying at the mini village of cottages and cabins become a little community, enjoying canoeing expeditions, kayaking and paddleboarding – bookended by a breakfast of pancakes drizzled in maple syrup and an evening nightcap of red, hand-picked from Elmhirst’s wine cellar. What can I do if achy limbs are kicking in after days of water sports? Stop, relax and refuel on a food tour at the ByWard Market in Ottawa’s Lower Town area, or freshen up for afternoon tea at The Fairmont Chateau Laurier: the maplesyrup tea is an absolute must.

womenshealthmag.co.uk

A staycation? Really? Abso-bloody-lutely. Perched on the edge of Dartmoor National Park, with views so good you have to put your phone down and use your actual eyes, is the Ilsington – a traditional country hotel with a modern spa. This place has a location, location, location that would render Kirstie Allsopp speechless (think Wuthering Heights meets Poldark). But what would I do? Do ‘future old-age you’ proud and ramble for England; UK scenery doesn’t get much better than this, and your wearable tech won’t know what’s hit it – a 10,000 step count will suddenly seem decidedly small fry. The terrain

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is varied – the park ofers calming riverside walks, or you can take on the steep hills and bogs of open moorland. And when the hard work’s over? Once your boots are suitably muddied, take the weight of in the hotel spa. It’s recently had a makeover – and it’s one worth bragging about (as is spending so long in the spa you have to be asked to leave at closing time). As well as the usual features – a swimming pool befitting of a footballer’s basement, steam room and sauna – you can relax with a dip in the hydrotherapy pool. But the highlight is the kubel dusche. Don’t let the fancy name fool you, it’s basically a bucket on a string. But this is one fancy bucket. And after a spell in the sauna, the cold water raining down on you is a feeling akin to being reborn. Food = pub grub? Hardly. After spa kick-out, head to the Ilsington’s restaurant, where everything on the menu is locally sourced. Menus are seasonal (natch), but typical dishes include a delicate cauliflower cream and a melt-in-yourmouth slow-cooked lamb shoulder. The only downside is the guilt you feel when you bump into one of its woolly siblings on a ramble the next day.

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ITALY

MOUNTAIN WALKS IN...

WHAT? Trekking in the Dolomites WHERE? Hotel Rosa Alpina, San Cassiano WHY? The mountain air and landscapes HOW MUCH? Double rooms from £342 per

team will greet you with warm smiles, and that friendly service remains throughout your stay, including calling on local hiking guide Filippo to show you the sights. The resort’s ski lift provides a shortcut to the ideal vantage point, from where you can choose an out-of-season long or short hike. I chose the latter, much to Filippo’s disappointment, but I’d already spotted the hotel spa and swimming pool and they were calling. The facilities are completely serene – even happening on a naked couple in the sauna (those Europeans…) didn’t cause a spike in my stress levels. And all the Italian food? Less pasta/pizza, more locally grown oferings. Head chef Norbert Niederkofler explains that everything served in his restaurant is native to the mountain range – no olive trees grow on the mountain, so no olive oil is used in his cooking (arguably Italian sacrilege). Breakfast is a highlight, with local honeycomb and berry-based yoghurt bowls, and the evening tasting menu was washed down with Italian Prosecco by the fireside, obviously.

night, including breakfast; rosalpina.it WHO? Jane Shackleton, Head of Marketing

Mountains, you say? Big ones. Head to this range in the north-east of the country to experience the peak (yes, I went there) of Italian landscapes: deep valleys, rolling green hills, dense forests and gurgling rivers. It’s perhaps best known as a top ski destination, but visit out of season and you’ll find spectacular scenery sans snow. Where do I start? Fly to Venice and hire a car – the drive is breathtaking, if a little hairy as you leave motorways behind for mountain roads. (In hindsight, a Fiat 500 probably wasn’t the best choice of wheels.) The Rosa Alpina

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MEXICO

MEET EXOTIC WILDLIFE IN...

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womenshealthmag.co.uk


WELL TRAVELLED WHAT? Nature-spotting WHERE? Puerto Vallarta

by the Pacific and Riviera

Nayarit, Mexico WHY? Because when else will you get to play with turtles? HOW MUCH? Rooms at Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort from £126 per person per night, all-inclusive; hilton.com. Double rooms at Grand Velas Rivera Nayarit from £234 per night, all-inclusive; vallarta.grandvelas.com. Beach-front casita at Casitas Maraika from £164 per night; casitasmaraika.com WHO? Francesca Menato, Social Media Editor

So, Mexico, tell me more. We’re talking the western coast, which is relatively unknown to British tourists, yet has long been a big attraction for US holidaymakers, including the extended Kardashian clan. But it’s totally fine if you’re

womenshealthmag.co.uk

not repping a million-dollar yacht, because this side of the gulf’s pull isn’t champagne on ice, but an incredible look at its exotic wildlife. Like, wild birds exotic? Better. There’s swimming with dolphins and then there’s swimming with dolphins here – visit Puerto Vallarta’s Wildlife Connection to meet marine biologists who study the animals and happily take tourists out into the bay to see if there’s a pod ready to play. ‘They’re like humans: some days they’re excited to meet people, other days they’re not in the mood,’ warned my guide, but we got closer than close. It was far from my only sighting. On a visit to Marietas Islands, aka The Hidden Beach, we had at least 20 dolphins racing in the boat’s wake. Even more incredible when you consider that came after snorkelling with Mexican Nemo and just before spotting a group of humpback whales flicking their tales in our direction. But I’m not a water baby… No bother – solid ground promises just as many sights (prepare for iguanas to be an all-but-permanent fixture in your peripheral vision). You can even do your bit by releasing newborn turtles into the sea. 

So, where should I stay? Resort options are plentiful, with beach access, all-inclusive stays and gym facilities included as standard. In Puerto Vallarta, stay at the Hilton (nothing like the one you might book for a weekend hen do in Manchester), which is just a quick taxi ride from downtown, where foodies can spend half a day at Gaby’s Restaurant Bar learning how to make all manner of Mexican delights – or just gorge on guac. For ultimate luxury, book a stay at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit. With five restaurants, which cater very well for vegans, and the choice to change your room’s minibar into a ‘wellness fridge’, there’s no need to leave the resort if you feel that way inclined. Or choose a tropical paradise at Casitas Maraika, accessible only by boat and ofering (fully plumbed) beach huts, delicious fresh food and ultimate tranquillity (plus Wi-Fi). 

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VITONIX

((BOUNCE))

LIVE LIMITLESS

When you need a boost before or after your workout, Vitonix brings you its innovative EAA and BCAA functional beverages. Packed with a scientifically-proven formulation of essential amino acids, vitamins and vegan and vegetarian friendly with nothing artificial added. Low calorie, but with a caffeine and glutamine boost to help you burn fat and fly through a workout or tough day. Vitonix.co.uk

Performed on mini trampolines, ((BOUNCE)) is an exercise class featuring dance-choreographed routines. Focusing on high intensity cardio that’s low impact, we can improve weight loss up to 3 times quicker than floor-based exercise due to opposing gravity and added g-force. Suitable for all fitness levels, shapes and sizes, ((BOUNCE)) is unique because of our motivating, supportive instructors creating a welcoming vibe! Classes nationwide. www.bouncefitbody.com

‘Limitless’ is a revolutionary and patented complex of natural plant fibres, medically proven under extensive EU testing to aid weight loss. The capsules control calorie intake by absorbing fats, sugars and reducing appetite – capturing up to 462 calories per day, or ALL the fats and sugars contained in six pieces of chocolate. £35 at www.livelimitless.co.uk WHLIMITLESS10 for 10% off.

THE HEALTH &

ORGANIFI

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TAKE CONTROL TODAY

Imagine getting all of your 5-a-day in one glass with no shopping, no blending, no juicing, and no clean-up. Organifi encompasses some of the most nutritious superfoods in one glass, through a powdered formula scientifically designed to nourish your body with vital nutrients without the need to dramatically change your daily routine. Visit www.noblending.com for ingredient breakdown, reviews and to purchase.

A unique beauty cocktail packed with collagen, antioxidants and natural fruit juice for healthy skin that glows! Less than 80 calories each. www.mybeautyandgo.co.uk

Poor bladder control is a symptom of stress incontinence. If left untreated it can develop into a much bigger problem. The good news is it can be stopped without medical intervention. This is where the PelvicToner can help. NHS approved, clinically proven and available on prescription, it helps strengthen your pelvic floor. To purchase a PelvicToner for £29.99 (no prescription needed), visit pelvictoner.co.uk or call 0117 974 3534.


WO M E N ’S H E A LT H

PROMOTION

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BLOSSOM YOGA WEAR

WELLTHOS

FIT BAKES brownies are made of 47% sweet potatoes, are vegan and only 140 calories per pack. Use code WH10 for 10% off at www.fitbakes.uk

Blossom Yoga Wear will definitely get you noticed on and off the mat: our bright flattering designs will add perfection to your sun salutations. The brand was born out of desire to create fashionable, quality yoga wear at affordable price, which you can wear all day long; from your morning yoga to a night out: www.blossomyogawear.com Use code Healthy20 to save 20% on all orders until end of May.

NEW expert-led, health and fitness delivery box – to inspire your healthy choices. Choose or gift a trial or monthly subscription. 20% off your first trial box with code WH20 wellthos.com/wh

STYLE EDIT

AWARD WINNING COSMETIC SURGEONS YOU CAN TRUST Visit MyBreast, the UK’s best surgery team. For outstanding care and superb results. www.MyBreast.org

LOOK AFTER YOURSELF THIS MONTH

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NIBBLE ME Are you ready to consistently achieve your health and fitness goals? Our coaching delivers results. NibbleMe.co.uk has read all the labels for you to make your health food shopping experience a whole lot easier. Low calorie, high protein, gluten and dairy free goodies delivered right to your fridge door. Call today for a free consultation.


My week on a plate Jo Pavey MBE, 44, is a long-distance runner and five-time Olympian

TUE

WED

THU

FRI

SAT

SUN

7.30am

8am

8am

8am

7am

8.30am

8.30am

Cofee, banana

Porridge with protein powder

Porridge with blueberries

Toast with peanut butter

Porridge with banana

Porridge with banana

Bowl of cereal

10am

1.30pm

10am

10.30am

10am

Cofee and cake

Chicken sandwich, popcorn

Half a PowerBar Protein Plus bar

Egg mayo and salad on toast. Yoghurt and berries

PowerBar Protein Plus bar

9.15am Half a PowerBar Energize

Energy gel

11.30am

2.45pm

The second half of my energy bar

12.15pm

Jacket potato with tuna mayo. Two squares of chocolate

3pm

3pm

1pm

Apple, bag of nuts

6pm

Jacket potato with beans, cheese and salad

Apple, orange

Energy bar

1.30pm 3pm

1.30pm Tuna sandwich, apple, cashew nuts

Toast with banana

Tuna, rice and veg. Fruit and ice cream

4pm

2pm

7.30pm

8pm

Cofee, cake, bag of peanuts

6pm

6pm

Apple, cereal bar

Spag bol, fruit salad, glass of red

Biscuit, grapes

9pm

Pizza, chips, peas and salad

Beef chilli with rice and veg

9pm

Chicken curry with rice and veg

Hot milk, cereal bar

Porridge, hot chocolate

Salmon, pasta and veg. Hot chocolate and a biscuit

I train twice a day and run up to 100 miles a week – or 120 when I’m preparing for a marathon. I need to eat before my morning run, so I’ll have half an energy bar, saving the other half for when I’m done.

Whether I’m training for a marathon or for track season, my diet stays pretty consistent. Before a marathon, I’ll rehearse the full race to prepare my body for taking on gels and water at diferent points.

This morning, I ran along the beach with my daughter cycling beside me. When I had kids, I was able to keep running by including them in my training sessions. I love spending quality time with them.

I had a tough 18-mile running session on the track this morning. I do a mixture of 200m sprints and eight to 10 reps of 1km. Protein-rich snacks help me recover quickly.

10pm

WH nutritionist Eve Kalinik gives her verdict: It’s great

EXPERT VERDICT 138

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to see that Jo isn’t too regimented with her diet and that she allows herself to have what she wants, when she wants it. She’s clearly in tune with her body. Having a more relaxed approach to eating avoids activating certain stress hormones, which will aid her performance and support quicker recovery. She could benefit from adding some natural probiotic and

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1pm Jacket potato with baked beans, egg and salad. Apple, chocolate biscuit

6.30pm

3pm

Eggs on toast, salad, yoghurt

6pm

11am

Grapes, cereal bar

Roast chicken with potatoes and veg. Fruit and ice cream

9.30pm

9pm

9.30pm

Apple, hot milk

Toast, hot milk

Natural yoghurt, chocolate biscuit, glass of milk

When it’s not racing season – like now – I’ll take advantage of being able to eat what’s convenient as a busy mum. But once I’m officially in training, I’ll be more strict with my nutrition.

I always have a snack before bed. I know a lot of nutritionists advise against it, but if I don’t, I get hungry and I struggle to sleep. I’ve learned what works for me over the years.

Surprisingly, I feel I have more energy now I’m a bit older and a mum. My diet and rest time are less closely monitored, but I feel energised being busy, which I think is why I’m still competing.

gut-supporting foods to her diet, such as miso paste, kefir, sauerkraut and sourdough bread. Perhaps she could also diversify her grains by swapping rice for quinoa. Omega-3 fatty acids are especially important for athletes, as they aid muscle recovery and are anti-inflammatory. The fact that Jo is prepping a lot of her meals from scratch shows that she really enjoys her food, which is brilliant.

womenshealthmag.co.uk

AS TOLD TO FLORENCE MITCHELL. PHOTOGRAPHY: GETTY IMAGES

MON


44 KILLER MOVES TO BUILD A SHAPELY BUM

WORKOUTS TO LIFT AND STRENGTHEN

with Carly Rowena

YOUR ULTIMATE GLUTES GUIDE

ยบ PT SPECIAL


º WELCOME

Work your glutes Meet Carly Rowena, qualified personal trainer, fitspo blogger and evangelist of working out to sculpt a winning rear. Exclusively for Women’s Health, she’s put together four 60-minute workouts – two using your own body weight as resistance and two that utilise common fitness equipment – as well as warm-ups and finishers, to torch fat and build muscle in your lower body.

3 WELCOME

PHOTOGRAPHY: IAN HARRISON. HAIR & MAKE-UP: GIGI HAMMOND AT FRANK AGENCY. STYLING: POLLY BARTLETT. CARLY WEARS: (ON THIS PAGE AND COVER) BRA, LORNA JANE; LEGGINGS AND SHOES, BOTH ADIDAS. (THROUGHOUT) BRA, VARLEY; LEGGINGS, GYMSHARK; SHOES, ADIDAS

Want to build a pert, peachy behind? It’s all about working those glutes – and our manual of moves can help you fire them up.

P4 SECTION 1: BODY OF STRENGTH

P18 SECTION 2: EQUIP YOURSELF

Gym-free training for fast results

Increase the intensity with clever kit

Forget about the tedium of doing endless bum clenches while you go about your daily business – instead, use these cheeky kit-free do-anywhere moves, pulled together into bum-on-fire routines to fatigue your glutes and the muscle groups around them. All you need is your good self and the motivation to work that butt.

Take it up a notch with weighted and banded exercises to trigger muscle growth in your glutes (the secret to a lifted and defined bum). Deadlifts, weighted lunges, bosu ball squats and kettlebell swings – make full use of the tools you have available to guarantee more pertness of the posterior.

In each section, you’ll find a warm-up to get your glutes burning, two full workouts to choose between and an empty-the-tank finisher to end on a high. Switch ’em up however you wish – but aim to do a full session (warm-up, workout and finisher) twice a week.


º BODY OF STRENGTH: WARM-UP

The fire starter Feeling warm? Nope? Well, you will be soon, we promise. Prep your lower body for a full workout with this five-move activation warm-up that will give your glutes a hint of what’s to come – yes, you should be excited. Get ready to burn… Grab a mat or find a large area in a carpeted room to protect your knees. Perform each exercise as many times as possible for 30 secs on each side, resting for 30-60 secs before moving on to the next.

SECTION 1

FYI

(a)

4

(b)

BOOTY TAP BACK (a) Kneel on all fours, making sure your shoulders are over your wrists and your hips are over your knees. This will be your starting position for each exercise of the warm-up. (b) Lift your right knee of the floor and straighten your leg out behind you, tapping your toe to the floor. (c) Bring your knee straight back in – but don’t let it rest on the floor. Keep it going.

(c)


(a)

5 SECTION 1

DONKEY KICK (a) Start on all fours as before. Lift your right knee of the oor and, keeping the knee bent, send the leg back and up so your foot lifts towards the ceiling. Keep your core engaged and your hips still so your glutes do all the work. (b) Once your thigh is in line with your torso, reverse the move to bring your knee back towards your body. Got it?

(b)


SECTION 1

(a)

6

KICK BACK (a) Start on all fours, then send your right leg straight back behind you, engaging your glutes to control the movement. (b) As soon as the leg reaches full extension, bring it back in – without touching it to the floor – and repeat.

(b)


(a)

SIDE KICK (a) For this one, you’re kicking your right foot out to the side. Be sure that you’re squeezing your bum to control that kick.

(b)

(b) Bring your leg back in towards the body and repeat. Does it burn yet? Good.

7 SECTION 1

(a)

SIDE CIRCLE (a) Keeping your left knee firmly glued to the floor and your hips static, extend your right leg out to the side, pointing your toe and reaching it away from your body. (b)

(b) Rotate your leg outwards, as if you’re drawing small circles with your big toe. Keep that foot up – don’t let it drop towards the floor.


º BODY OF STRENGTH: WORKOUT ONE

Buns of steel Work your quads and glutes with simple yet incredibly effective moves for a tighter, toned bum in minimal time. Speed is key in this workout because you’re looking to really set the lower body on fire – so keep breathing and power through the pain like the champ you are Perform 30 reps of each move (good reps – poor form and swinging limbs don’t count), then rest for 30-60 secs before moving on to the next. All six make a circuit: complete three to five rounds.

SECTION 1

FYI

8

(a)

(b)

SQUAT (a) Stand tall with your feet a little wider than shoulderwidth apart, spine neutral and shoulders relaxed. (b) Keeping your chest proud, move your hips back and lower into a squat, reaching your arms out in front of you. Then push back up to standing. (Find out how to perfect your squat form with our expert guide on page 59 of the May issue of Women’s Health.)


LUNGE (a) Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and your arms relaxed by your sides. (b) Step forward into a lunge on your left leg, so that your left knee is directly over your ankle and your right knee is hovering above the oor. Then drive through your left heel to return to standing. Do 30 reps, then switch legs.

(a)

(b)

9 SECTION 1

JUMP SQUAT (a)

(b)

(a) Stand with your feet wide, toes slightly turned out and arms extended out in front of your chest with your palms together. Lower into a squat. (b) Push through your heels into a high straight-legged jump while swinging your arms back and squeezing your glutes. Land back in a squat then go again immediately. Yep, this one’s a killer.


(b)

SECTION 1

(a)

10

REVERSE LUNGE TO PLYO JUMP (a) From standing, take a big step back on your right leg and lower into a lunge, so that both knees are bent at 90° and your back is straight. (b) Now, driving through your left heel, draw your right leg up into a high knee and hop on your left leg as you swing your left arm forward. Land softly back in your lunge. Do your 30 reps, then switch legs.

(a)

(b)


WALKING SQUAT WITH STAND (a) Start on your knees, with your arms out in front of you. (c)

(d)

(b) Lift your right knee to place your right foot flat on the floor, so the knee is at a right angle. (c) Without moving your hips, lift your left knee and place your left foot flat on the floor. You should be in a deep squat. (d) Finally, push through your heels to standing as you move your arms behind your hips. Then reverse the move back to the starting position.

11 SECTION 1

GLUTE BRIDGE (a)

(a) Lie on your back with your knees bent, your hands behind your head and a small curve in your lower back. (b) Pushing through your heels, lift your hips until your knees and shoulders are in a straight line. Squeeze those glutes as hard as you can without overarching your lower back, then lower back down to the starting position.

(b)


º BODY OF STRENGTH: WORKOUT TWO

Booty blast Trigger serious glute power while switching on your hamstrings and developing your core strength. Work your way through this circuit-style routine of compound moves to keep your bum pert and your brain engaged. You’ve got this You know the drill – perform 30 good-quality reps of each exercise, then rest for 30-60 secs before moving on to the next. Do three to five rounds of the whole circuit.

SECTION 1

FYI

12

GOOD MORNING (a) Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, your arms crossed in front of your chest and your core engaged.

(a)

(b)

(b) Soften (but don’t bend) your knees and hinge at the hips to lower your torso towards the floor. Don’t round that back. Hold for a moment, then reverse back up to standing. Easy.


SINGLE-LEG DEADLIFT (a) Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by your sides. Lift your right foot of the floor.

(a)

(b) Keeping your left knee soft, hinge at the hips to bring your torso towards the floor as you send your right leg up behind you until you’re in a horizontal line from head to toe. Squeezing your glutes, reverse back to standing, but don’t let that foot touch the floor.

(b)

13 SECTION 1

SQUAT TO GOOD MORNING (a) Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms crossed in front of your chest. (b) Push your hips back and lower into a squat. (c) Straighten your legs as you fold forwards into a flat back position. Hold for a sec, then use your glutes to return to standing. Go again.

(a)

(b)

(c)


SINGLE-LEG CHAIR STAND (a) Stand in front of a chair (a stable one, obvs) and place your left foot on the seat.

SECTION 1

(b) Engaging your core and squeezing your glutes for balance, drive through your left foot and lift your right up of the floor so you’re standing on your left leg on the chair. Hold for a moment, then step your right foot back down to the ground. That’s one – now keep it going. Swap legs after you’ve done 30 reps. (b)

(a)

14

PLANK TO SQUAT (a) Start in a high plank with your shoulders over your wrists and your body in a straight line from your head to your heels. (b) Jump your feet up so they land slightly turned out, a little wider than your hands.

(c) Extend your arms out in front of you so you’re in a deep squat. Then reverse the movement, placing your hands back down on the floor and jumping your feet back into a high plank. Now of you go.

(a)


CURTSEY LUNGE (a) Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and your arms relaxed by your sides.

(a)

(b)

(b) Take a big step back with your left leg, crossing it behind your right. Bend your knees and lower your hips until both knees are bent at 90°. Hold at the bottom, then drive through your left leg back to the starting position. Wobbling all over the shop? Engage your core and bring your hands to your hips.

15 SECTION 1

(b)

(c)


º BODY OF STRENGTH: FINISHER

Fight to the finish This intense finisher is designed to use your energy reserves to wring every last bit of work out of those glutes of yours (you know, in case you aren’t in enough pain already). It ain’t easy – but it’s worth it. Ready? Come on then

FYI

You’re familiar with the glute bridge – well, now it’s time to make it your best friend. Run through this circuit three times. Then collapse on the floor crying. Kidding. (Sort of.)

1 SECTION 1

10 X STANDARD

16

GLUTE BRIDGE

(a)

(a) Lie on your back with your knees bent and a small curve in your lower back. (b) Pushing through your heels, lift your hips until your body is in a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Without overarching the lower back, squeeze your glutes as hard as you can, then lower back down to the starting position.

2

(b)

10-SECOND HOLD


3

4

5

6

10 X LEFT LEG EXTENDED

10 X RIGHT LEG EXTENDED

10-SECOND HOLD

10-SECOND HOLD

17 SECTION 1

7

10 X MARCHES


º EQUIP YOURSELF: WARM-UP

Saved by the bell Want a peachy bum with bells on? Then activate your glutes with this kettlebell warm-up and you’ll be all prepped to get the most out of your main workout

FYI

Perform 10 reps of each exercise, resting for 30-60 secs beween moves, and repeat the circuit three or four times. You’ll need a kettlebell (obvs). Not sure how heavy to go? Choose a weight that’s light enough for you to maintain form but heavy enough that the last three reps of each move are tough.

GOOD MORNING SECTION 2

(a) Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a kettlebell in front of your chest. (b) Engage your core, soften your knees and hinge at the hips to lower your torso towards the floor, keeping your back flat. Hold here for a moment, then reverse the move, using your lower body to lift back up to standing.

18

(a)

(b)


GOBLET SQUAT (a) Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a kettlebell in front of your chest. (b) Push your hips back, bend your knees and lower into a squat, until the tops of your thighs are parallel with the oor. Hold here for a moment, then push back up to standing.

(b)

(a)

19 SECTION 2

KETTLEBELL SWING (a) Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart, gripping a kettlebell by its handle. Soften the knees and hinge at the hips, shifting your weight to your heels and letting the kettlebell swing between your legs.

(a)

(b)

(b) Thrust your hips forward to bring you up to standing and let the kettlebell swing up to shoulder height. As it falls, stand straight with a strong core until it reaches hip level, then hinge and let it swing between your legs. And again.


REVERSE LUNGE

SECTION 2

(a) Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, holding a kettlebell in front of your chest. (b) Take a big step back with your right foot. Lower your hips until your left thigh is parallel to the oor with the knee over the ankle and both knees bent at a 90° angle. Return to standing by pushing through your left heel and bringing your right leg back in. Now repeat on the left. That makes one rep.

20

(a)

(b)


º EQUIP YOURSELF: WORKOUT ONE

Feel the burn Whether you’re new to resistance training or a total glute-honing pro, learning to control and apply your body weight under tension will strengthen your glutes, engage your core and prime your lower body for heavier lifts. Let’s go

FYI

Do 20 reps of each exercise before moving on to the next, resting for 30-60 secs between moves. Aim for three to five rounds of the whole circuit. You’ll need a resistance band, a bosu ball, a kettlebell, a pair of dumbbells, a bench and a weighted plate, so… you’ll probably want to head to the gym.

RESISTANCE BAND WALK 21 SECTION 2

(a) Start with your feet hip-width apart, standing on a resistance band. Hold the ends of the band in your hands, up by your shoulders. (b) Step your left foot out to the side, then, keeping the tension in the band, step your right foot in. Repeat until you’ve done 10 steps to the left, then do 10 steps to the right.

(a)

(b)


BOSU BALL SQUAT (b)

(a)

(a) Stand on an upside-down bosu ball with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms extended in front of you.

SECTION 2

(b) Keeping your back straight, send your hips back and lower into a squat. Then reverse back up to standing. Tricky, ain’t it?

22

(a) Stand tall, holding a kettlebell in your left hand. Bend your knees and let it swing between your legs. (a)

(b) (b) Thrust your hips forward and let the weight swing up, switching hands when it reaches shoulder height. Then let it swing down in your right hand and repeat.

BOSU BALL: POWERHOUSE-FITNESS.CO.UK

SINGLE-ARM KETTLEBELL SWING


(a)

(b)

BENCH LUNGE TO HIGH KNEE

23 SECTION 2

(a) Stand in front of a bench with a dumbbell in each hand. (b) Step your left foot on to the bench – your left knee should be bent at a 90° angle. (c) Push down through your left heel to step the right foot of the floor so you’re balancing on your left leg. (d) Bring the right leg up into a high knee at hip height. Then step back down with your right foot followed by your left. And repeat. After you’ve done 10, switch legs. (c)

(d)


WEIGHTED WALKING LUNGE (a)

(b)

SECTION 2

(a) Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Press the weights overhead. (b) Keeping the dumbbells directly above your head, step forward with your right foot and lower into a lunge. Then push down through your right heel and bring your left leg through to a lunge on the other side. Keep going.

24

(a)

WEIGHTED CRAB WALK

(b)

(a) Start sitting on the floor with a weighted plate on your abdomen, with your knees bent, feet on the floor and your arms supporting you. Then press your hips up of the floor. (b) Walk your hands and feet forward for 10 steps, then back for 10, keeping your hips up.


º EQUIP YOURSELF: WORKOUT TWO

Glutes of glory If a toned, rounded rear is your goal, you’re going to want to focus on your hamstrings as well as your quads. Pull on your activewear, grab your kit and get going

FYI

Yep, we’re doing this the same way as before – circuit style. Do 20 reps of each exercise, resting for 30-60 secs before moving on to the next. Aim for three to five rounds. You’ll need a kettlebell, a stability ball, a bosu ball, a plyo box, a weighted plate and a pair of dumbbells.

KETTLEBELL PICK-UP

(b) Lift your right foot of the floor and, keeping your left knee soft, hinge at the hips to bring your torso and the kettlebell towards the

(a)

(b)

25 SECTION 2

floor as you send your right leg up behind you. Your body should be in a straight line from head to toe throughout. Once the kettlebell reaches the floor, squeeze your glutes and reverse back up to the starting position – but don’t let your foot touch the floor.

(a) Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by your sides, holding a kettlebell in your left hand.


(a)

STABILITY BALL PULL

SECTION 2

(a) Start lying on your back, with your calves and ankles resting on a stability ball, then squeeze your glutes to lift your hips of the ground. (b) Without dropping your hips, bend your knees in to roll the ball towards your bum until your feet are on top of it. Hold here for a moment, then roll it back out. Oof.

(b)

26

WEIGHTED BOSU BALL BRIDGE (a)

(a) Lie on your back with your knees bent, heels on a bosu ball and a weighted plate on your abdomen. (b) Squeezing your glutes, push down through your heels to lift your hips until your knees and shoulders are in a straight line, then lower back down.

(b)


BOX JUMP (a) Stand in front of a plyo box with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, then send your hips back and lower into a partial squat, extending your arms.

(b) Push through your heels and thrust your hips forwards to jump in the air, landing in a squat on the box. Then hop back down and repeat. Sounds easy. It’s not.

(a)

(b)

27

(a) Start on your knees, holding a weighted plate to your chest. (b) Lift your right knee and place the right foot flat on the floor, so your knee is at a right angle.

(a)

(b)

SECTION 2

5

WEIGHTED WALKING SQUAT WITH STAND (c) Lift your left knee and place the left foot flat on the floor so you’re in a deep squat. (d) Straighten up to standing, then reverse back to the start.

(c)

(d)


6 WEIGHTED

JUMP LUNGE (a) Start standing tall with a dumbbell in each hand, then step your right foot forward. (b) Lower into a lunge until your right knee is above the ankle. (c) Push through both feet to jump straight up, switching legs in mid-air.

SECTION 2

(d) Land in a lunge with your left leg in front. Now go again.

28

(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)


º EQUIP YOURSELF: FINISHER

The bitter end It’s not over just yet – those glutes have a few more moves left in them. You’ll know these exercises from the main workouts; now it’s time to use them to the max to end your sweat session on a high. Then you’re done, promise

FYI

Perform 10 reps of each move before moving on to the next, then repeat the whole circuit twice more. You’ll need a weighted plate, a kettlebell and a resistance loop.

WEIGHTED WALKING SQUAT (a) Start on your knees, holding a weighted plate out in front of your chest. (a)

29

(b)

SECTION 2

(b) Lift your right knee and place your right foot flat on the floor, so your knee is at a right angle. (c) Keeping your hips steady, lift your left knee and place the left foot flat on the floor so you’re in a deep squat. (d) Reverse the move, going down on one knee at a time until you’re back in the starting position. That’s one rep – now keep going. Don’t let that plate drop.

(c)

(d)


KETTLEBELL SWING

REVERSE LUNGE

(a) You know this one by now. Let the kettlebell swing between your legs, then use your hips to drive it up to shoulder height.

(a) Stand tall, holding a weighted plate in front of your torso. (b) Lunge backwards with your right leg as you press the plate overhead. Then reverse to the starting position. Now swap legs.

(b) As it falls, stand straight until it reaches hip level, then hinge and let it swing between your legs again.

(b)

(a)

(b)

SECTION 2

(a)

30

4 BANDED CLAM

(a)

(a) Lie on your right side with a resistance loop just above your knees. Your legs should be stacked, with your knees bent and your heels in line with your hips. (b) Without moving your hips, open your top knee towards the ceiling, keeping your heels glued together. Embrace that burn – after this, you’re done.

(b)


Women's health UK May 2018  

Burn maximum calories just in 12 minutes workouts and 23 light easy eat without carbs to self-care

Women's health UK May 2018  

Burn maximum calories just in 12 minutes workouts and 23 light easy eat without carbs to self-care

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