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FITNESS MAGAZINE IRELAND March 2009 Introductory Offer

How Stress Affects Our Lives

ONLY €1.95

Weight Loss in Diabetes Belly Dancing Reality Based Self Defence

ALSO INSIDE • Exercise During Pregnancy • Monthly Weight Loss Tracker • Delicious Healthy Recipes • A look at Badminton • Strength Training for Cyclists

Recession Depression How to cope HEALTH • FITNESS • NUTRITION • TRAVEL • SPORT • WEIGHT LOSS


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2 - Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009

No Business

W W W . I RI S HCOM P UT E RS . I E


Contributors

Editors Note Hello and Welcome back to Life and Fitness Magazine. I hope you’ve been busy looking after yourself since last month’s issue. We’ve certainly been busy here. We have received lots of great feedback from our first issue. Several gym and leisure centre owners from all over the country have contacted us to tell us how happy they were to receive the free copies to hand out to members. Both staff and members alike found the articles very informative and educational. We love feedback and yours is always welcome. Work is also being done on the website so you will soon be able to access all the articles from our expert contributors online direct from our site along with a comprehensive nationwide directory listing of gyms, leisure centres, physio clinics etc. Of course you can still download copies of Life and Fitness from mymagonline.com to read at home or abroad. I would also like to thank our advertisers who add an important element to the magazine with various products and services on offer. You will notice that we have added a classified ad page and a business directory at the back of this issue. This will enable all businesses to promote their services nationwide on an ongoing basis no matter what advertising budget they have. I hope you enjoy reading this issue and that you support our advertisers. And remember “Your Health is more important than Wealth!” Derry O Donnell

Contact Details: Life and Fitness Magazine Ltd., Curraghgraigue, Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary. Tel: 0504-51945 Email: info@lifeandfitnessmag.com Web: www.lifeandfitnessmag.com. Life and Fitness Magazine is published monthly by Life and Fitness Magazine Ltd. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the permission of the publisher. The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the publisher. Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Check with your GP before trying any remedies. While every effort has been made to ensure that all information contained in this publication is factual and correct at time of going to press, Life and Fitness Magazine cannot be held responsible for any inadvertent errors or omissions contained herein.

Philip Phelan is the Program Director of Litton Lane Training and he holds a wide range of qualifications and experience. Philips qualifications include certificates in fitness instruction, personal training, resistance training and course tutoring. He also possesses a B. Sc. in physiotherapy (TCD) and a masters in medical science (UCD). He is also the fitness and injury expert with the VHI healthcare website and also acted as the fitness expert on The Afternoon Show in 2007.

Gillian Hynes is a NCEHS qualfied personal trainer. Over the past several years she has worked with a wide variety of clients to achieve their fitness goals. In this months issue she explains some of the reasons why resistance training (in addition to your cardio work) is so vital to achieving your goals and why such training will not make you a musclebound Arnie but will help you achieve a lean, toned and healthy body. Jim O’Shea works as a counsellor from Furze, Thurles. Ph. 087 8211009 www.jimoshea.net . JimO’Shea’s book ‘When a child dies. Footsteps of a Grieving Family’ is published by Veritas. The royalties from this book will go to the Children’s Hospital in Crumlin. Chef Gavan Murphy began his culinary adventure at Ballymaloe Cookery School in 1994. In 2000 his journey took him to Los Angeles, where his interest in health and nutrition flourished, naturally merging with his cooking experience. Gavan has worked as a consulting chef for a multi-national sports nutrition company, as well as a personal chef to the stars, often working in conjunction with celebrity trainers. He created The Healthy Irishman with the hope of educating the public about healthy eating

Catherine Connors-Bevalot has been studying and practising holistic therapies and treatments for ten years. She is a Stress Management Consultant, Time-Management consultant and Holistic Therapist, Trainer & Teacher. She is based in both Paris, France and Tipperary, Ireland. Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009 - 3


Life and Fitness Magazine Contents March 2009 pg

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8 12

WEIGHT LOSS Weight loss in Diabetes, Yoga & Weight Loss

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HEALTH Reality Based Self Defence

Exercise in Pregnancy

Green Tea & Weight Loss

FITNESS

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Your Workout Questions Answered

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Life and Fitness Magazine now available for digital download

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go to www.mymagonline.com

"Just remember this: No one ever won the olive wreath with an impressive training diary." - Marty Liquori

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WEIGHT LOSS Better Fitness Better Sex SPORT Focus on Badminton


"The five S's of sports training are: stamina, speed, strength, skill, and spirit; but the greatest of these is spirit." - Ken Doherty

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24 25

SPORT GAA 125 Anniversary Calendar of Events

Strength Training for Cyclists

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40

Recession Depression

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Travel - The Algarve

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Top Tips for investing

NUTRITION

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30 32

The Healthy Irishman shows us a couple of healthy recipes

News & Events

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43

WELLNESS What is Counselling WELLNESS

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The first of a series of article by counsellor Jim O’Shea

Business Directory

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36

A Weighty Issue

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38

How Stress is Affecting our Lives

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45

“If you think you can or can’t, you’re right”. - Henry Ford

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48

Classifieds

Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009 - 5


WEIGHT LOSS

Benefits of weight loss in Diabetes by Peter Harris

If you have diabetes you have probably been told by your doctor that you should lose weight. The benefits of weight loss in diabetes is so important that every diabetes educa-

tion class covers this topic. It is as important as taking your medication to control your blood sugar levels.

The weight loss benefits for people suffering from diabetes are many.

you have less chance of suffering from heart problems or from having a stroke.

Weight loss benefits in people with diabetes include: 1. Lowering your blood sugar levels. Dropping excess pounds will help keep your blood sugar regulated through out the day.

4. Possibly getting off insulin and other medication. When your body weight is regulated your blood sugar levels will become more regular. This may allow you to stop taking insulin (never stop taking medication without first consulting your MD).

2. Reducing your blood pressure. If you are carrying excess weight around then your heart will not have to work as hard and your blood pressure will be lower. This can help prevent a heart attack or stroke.

5. Less stress on your major joints. Your hips, knees and ankles won't have to work as hard to move you around if there is less of you to move! Losing weight can help save your joints from developing early onset of degenerative arthritis.

3. Reducing your cholesterol levels. Losing weight will usually result in a drop in your bodies bad cholesterol. When your cholesterol levels are lower

6. You will likely have more energy and be able to breath easier. Carrying excess weight forces our bodies organs and systems to work harder. If you lose

weight your energy levels will go up because your body doesn't have to work as hard. You will be able to breath easier as your lungs are taxed nearly as hard as when you were overweight. These are some of the many benefits of weight loss with diabetes. You can significantly lower your blood sugar and lead a healthier lifestyle if you lose some weight. It doesn't matter how heavy you are. You have the power to curb the dangerous effects of diabetes. Scientific studies have proven that losing weight will lower your blood sugar levels. Peter Harris is a Physical Therapist that promotes health and wellness by writing frequently about diet, exercise and nutrition.

How Yoga and Weight Loss Go Together You don't have to practice yoga to lose weight however yoga can facilitate the weight loss in many different aspects. In fact, if you love yoga and want to practice it - it might be the only thing you need to lose weight. How is it possible? Yoga includes postures (asanas) and breathing exercises. Together they form a powerful combination that helps to increase the awareness of our own body, relax deeply and connect with your Higher Self.

for 4-5 months. Self-awareness brings a desire to take a better care of the body; it also cultivates self-love. These inner psychological changes make it easy for you to follow any diet or exercise program without any effort because healthy, fit body becomes a new program engrained in your subconscious mind. This way you can lose weight effortlessly.

Another benefit of yoga is that yoga provides a gentle massage to endocrine glands and hence can help normalize hormonal disbalances in the body. These disbalances are ofIn order to start experiencing this, you need to ten the reasons for weight gain. practice regularly, at least 2-3 times per week,

6 - Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009

Major energy centers of the body (chakras) are connected to major endocrine glands. The gentle massage that yoga provides for the body also improves the energy flow between major chakras and this is the reason why yoga promotes positive psychological changes that lead to effortless weight loss. Yoga is also an excellent stretching exercise that incorporates resistance training (try Ashtanga or Power yoga); in addition it can also help to detoxify the body (try hot yoga or Bikram yoga). Give it a try. If you persist you will reap all the benefits.


WEIGHT LOSS

3 Good Weight Loss Fitness Exercises Losing weight is hard especially as there are so many different methods on the internet of what to do. All these methods are good, however, how would you narrow them down to the top 3? With the help of this article I will tell you 3 good weight loss fitness exercises.

Fitness Exercise Two

Weight training is a good way to lose weight and gain build up your muscle. Weight training is thought to lose less calories than cardio which it does, however that is only during the exercise. When you finish a cardio workout the Fitness Exercise One calories start to stop burning. When you finish a weight training workout your Cardio exercises. Cardio is a great way of body is still burning the calories as your losing weight as it burns calories. By muscle fibres are repairing themselves burning more calories than you take in which needs energy, so in the long run you are shifting those unwanted pounds. weight training burns calories for a longThe most popular cardio exercise is walk- er period of time plus you build a larger ing. Everyone does it and burns calories, muscle mass. however, if you want to take it to the next step you could go for a run, a swim, cyFitness Exercise Three cling and even dancing. There are loads of other cardio exercises these are just a Doing a physical activity. This can lead handful. into fitness exercise one but still is another good point. Physical activities like

football or martial arts are great for losing weight. Instead of going to the gym everyday and doing this same thing, you could go and play football (or whatever sport you enjoy). The reason you should do a physical activity is that you are doing something you like. Going to the gym everyday isn't that fun whereas doing your favourite sport is; you stay fit and have fun with your teammates. If you don't do any sports then find something to do. There are plenty of physical activities that you will be good at, try them, you never know, you may have some fun. These 3 exercises are things you can fit into your everyday life. Read through them again and see which point (or points) you need to improve. What's the worst that could happen?

Belly Dancing For Weight Loss Can Belly Dancing Help in Reducing Tummy Fat? Exercise is very important for maintaining a healthy and fit body. It is the best way to reduce tummy fat. Despite having many benefits in exercise, people do not feel motivated to exercise as it gets repetitive and boring. A fun way to incorporate vigorous exercise in your routine is belly dancing. It will help you to reduce that tummy fat without hitting the treadmill or any gym.

· Belly dance is one of the most vigorous dance forms. It is performed on fast paced rhythmic music and thus it can raise the heartbeat to a considerable level. · Once the heartbeat is raced the metabolic rate also rises. Then like with any other aerobic activity the fat reserves of the body are burnt and the process of weight loss begins.

Does belly dancing help to reduce tummy fat? · As the name suggests, the part of your body that is the focus of attention in dancing is the belly area. There are a number of dynamic motions that employ the abdominal muscles, and help to give a workout to these groups of muscles. · Usually the abs are not used in a lot of work outs, besides here is a way to work this group without long boring crunches and sit ups. · The movements of belly dancing are holistic and target the entire body. · Belly dancing is a great stress buster which helps release feel good hormones. As a result, for all those whose body fat is a result of excessive cortisol secretion, belly dancing helps to reduce stress levels and thus aids weight loss. · Belly dancing is a complete exercise because it requires the mind and body to be in rhythm. It is especially good for tummy fat reduction as it is an activity where you have the incentive to enjoy the process of targeting this problem area.

Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009 - 7


WEIGHT LOSS

Green Tea And Weight Loss There’s recently been a LOT in the weight loss news concerning green tea. Green tea’s weight loss effects have been causing more and more people to start sipping the ancient Japanese brew. But just how does green tea help you lose weight? And does it really work or is it all just hype? This article gives you the real facts about drinking green tea to lose weight. Advantages of Drinking Green Tea for Weight Loss: 1) Green tea revs up your metabolism A study reported on in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that green tea extract resulted in a significant increase in energy expenditure (a metabolism 'boost'). The researchers also concluded that over a 24-hour period, green tea extract increases the metabolic rate by 4%. These effects are probably due to the high concentrations of catechin polyphenols found in green tea. These work to help intensify levels of fat oxidation and thermogenesis (the rate at which your body burns calories). 2) Green tea inhibits fat absorption and helps glucose regulation Experts tell us that the catechins in green tea help to inhibit the movement of glucose into fat cells. Green tea may also act as al glucose regulator. It helps to slow the rise in blood sugar after a meal. This prevents high insulin spikes (lots of insulin promotes fat storage) and the subsequent fat storage. 3) Green tea may help reduce appetite Scientists at the University of Chicago found that green tea caused rats to lose

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up to 21 percent of their body weight. Rats injected with a green tea extract lost their appetites and consumed up to 60 percent less food after seven days of daily injections. This may have something to do with the blood sugar regulating effects of green tea. 4) Green tea can help you save calories on your morning brew. We are a nation hooked on our coffee. Be it the regular double-cream, double-sugar standard or that mocha, dappa, frappucinno, the calories we ingest just to get our morning caffeine is wreaking havoc on our waistlines.

You’re not going to eat 5000 calories a day, drink a cup of green tea and make it all go away – it just isn’t going to happen If you want to save mega-calories in the morning but still get your caffeine fix, try substituting green tea for coffee. Or have a green tea in the afternoon instead of that 700 calorie mocha-chillate dream. You’ll definitely notice the difference in your waistline after a few weeks. So there are 4 ways that green tea can help you with weight loss. But how much do you actually have to drink to get these amazing metabolism boosting effects? Experts vary but the general consensus seems to be that 3 – 5 cups of green tea per day is optimal. Doing this can help you burn an extra 70 calories per day which amounts to 7 pounds per year. Pretty good for not exercising or cutting calories, right?

However, 3 – 5 cups can be a lot for some people, so you might also want to consider green tea extract, green tea pills or a green tea patch. Disadvantages of Drinking Green Tea For Weight Loss: 1) Green tea is not a magic bullet While some people will tell you that green tea is the be-all-end-all for weight loss success, I think the keyword here is balance. You’re not going to eat 5000 calories a day, drink a cup of green tea and make it all go away – it just isn’t going to happen. A healthy diet and increased exercise will go a long way in helping you lose weight and keep it off. 2) Be cautious of the caffeine if you have health problems For some people that have heart troubles, high blood pressure or stimulant sensitivities, the caffeine in green tea may not be the best idea. If you’re worried about the caffeine from green tea, try taking green tea extract. Most green tea extract is made from decaffeinated green tea so you can still get the weight loss benefits without the caffeine. If you think the caffeine may be a problem, make sure to consult your doctor before starting green tea for weight loss. Also make sure to consult your doctor before starting green tea if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Bottom Line: Green tea helps you with weight loss by boosting your metabolic rate, regulating your blood sugar, suppressing your appetite and giving you something else besides that high calorie, high sugar coffee beverage to drink in the morning. While it's not the magic bullet, it can definitely give you a boost in weight loss and in your overall health!


THE TRUTH ABOUT WEIGHT LOSS

brings you...

4 benefits you will NEVER get unless you fix your metabolism 1. Real Weight Loss 99% of weight loss plans deliver ‘false’ weight loss i.e. mostly just water loss and very little fat loss. This is the reason why people lose weight from theiand ‘stick’ after 2 to 3 weeks – because they were never burning fat in the first place! Fixing your metabolism is about burning REAL fat. The results are very dramatic. Even a few pounds and you will notice the change. Because you are burning REAL fat you do not ‘stick’ after 3 weeks and it is way easier to keep the weight off after.

2. Your Best Shape Ever The only way to shift stubborn fat from your stomach or hips and thighs is by fixing your metabolism. The only way to balance ‘top’ heavy and ‘bottom’ heavy bodies is to fix your metabolism. Both of these problems are influenced by ‘metabolic’ changes including high blood sugar levels, poorer digestion, a sluggish liver and hormone imbalances. The only way to correct them is to fix your metabolism.

3. Stop the Misery of Weight Loss

4. Miraculous Health Benefits If you never wanted to lose weight the most important reason of all for fixing your metabolism is for the

Hunger, cravings, tiredness and poor results are just some of the things people experience when trying to lose weight. Most people describe weight loss as a miserable experience. The truth is that most people suffer and make sacrifices that are totally unnecessary and of no benefit. This is what happens when you are relying on diet only or diet and exercise only – the margin for error is very small. When you fix your metabolism you attack weight loss from a number of angles. It is about a balanced and sensible approach. Food balance is more important than calorie counting, so you can eat quite well and have a few drinks every week. Fixing your metabolism builds your energy and stops cravings. Fixing your metabolism is about getting great results but looking and feeling great too.

There is only 1 CORRECT WAY to lose weight and keep it off!

miraculous health benefits. – the same metabolism changes that underlie weight gain, often progress to serious illness and disease including the big 3 – heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Now currently nearly 1 out of every 3 people get cancer! That is a shocking statistic but it is going to get worse and could become 1 out of every 2 within the next 20 years! You must start taking careful note of the metabolism changes in your body –constipation, bloating, bad breath,cysts, fluid retention, poor skin and indigestion to mention a few. You must start to take action to cure them now. Don’t mask the mover with medications. The greatest medicine of all is in your own hands. Don’t become a victim. You have the power in your own hands to greatly reduce your risk of serious illness and disease

Careers & Opportunities System 10 is dedicated to bringing people the truth about weight loss. We are passionate about helping people to lose weight properly. If there was a better way to lose weight we would have it.

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It brings these incredible benefits: The freedom of running your own business Substantial income for 1 or 2 evenings work per week A superb product that really produces results Opportunity to genuinely help people to lose weight Access to professional advertising materials (posters, advertisements etc.)

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Excellent opportunities Nationwide. To get more information and a detailed information pack to see if you’re suitable for this opportunity, please text. Life System 10 to 57188 Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009 - 9


FITNESS

Boost your Fitness & Step Into Shape for Spring SpringBoost Footwear is one of these brilliant purchases that will keep both you and your wallet fit for the season. All it takes is, you, your SpringBoost shoes and some walking to ensure you look, and feel your best this year. SpringBoost shoes can help increase the benefit you get, whether you are walking, training in the gym, or road running. They get you into your natural posture, so you are working all your proper muscles while relieving pressure on your joints. Keen walker Michael Ryan says that “SpringBoost are the best walking shoes I've ever worn! “ Anne Harrison, who was unsure about all the hype she heard from her friends about SpringBoost, exclaimed “For someone who prefers exercise outside of a gym, the SpringBoost ‘Motion’ shoes are perfect – They really work for me! I feel and look much more toned since wearing these, compared with any of the branded runners I’ve ever worn!” HOW DO SPRINGBOOST WORK? SpringBoost shoes come with 2 Sets of insoles, which are numbered 0 & 2. The number is actually the angle of the insole. 1.

You start off with ‘Insole 0’ which means you are at ‘Zero’ degrees. You will immediately feel the difference when you try on a pair as you are standing in your natural posture, compared to ordinary shoes that misalign your legs and

tilt your hips. WOW! No wonder so many of us have bad backs, and knees, and so on. 2.

3.

You can stay in ‘Insole 0’ forever if you want, comfortable in the knowledge that you are in the right posture, and you are using all the right muscles, burning more calories, and toning up your leg & back muscles. But if you want to increase your fitness you can change to ‘Insole 2’ which lowers your heel by 2 Degrees; so every step is like walking up a 2° hill. This doesn’t sound like much, but the benefits to you are fantastic. The ‘Energy Plate’ is the other unique feature in SpringBoost shoes. This is hidden in the sole of the shoe and is great for boosting the ‘push off phase’ of the step, so you get a faster and more energetic walk. 25% of your body’s bones are in your feet so the Energy Plate is ideal for protecting your feet as well, and keeping your body balanced.

Internationally renowned foot care specialist, Pam Werner, explains “Our feet are our body's foundation and our connection to the Earth. If your feet are misaligned, a reflection of this will appear up through the body “

Top Irish Physiotherapist, Dara Totterdell, puts it simply; “With SpringBoost shoes, stretching & strengthening isn’t difficult and boring, but easy and simple: you just have to wear the shoes.” WALKING SpringBoost are said to be ‘the most natural walking shoes in the World’, and they are now Official Partners to many of the top International Walking, and Nordic Walking Societies, including Nordic Walking Ireland. Studies by Swiss scientists over the past 10 years, led to the SpringBoost being designed to ‘Control the 3 phases of the step’. Firstly, landing the heel at the right time, leading on to the natural roll of the foot, and the push off with the ‘Energy Plate’ Jane Hutton was really happy to rid herself of long term backache said “From the first moment I tried SpringBoost shoes on I knew I was going to get on well with them. They are really comfortable! I had a lower back problem and was amazed at how SpringBoost have helped me. I instantly noticed a difference in my posture (and many other people commented on this too) and my legs have really toned up since wearing them." Physiotherapist Joy Teo who runs Nordic Walking Ireland classes in Dublin explains “'Nordic Walking changes your regular walk

How to Choose a Health Club Are you thinking of joining a health club? How many times have you skipped a workout because the gym is too far away or will be too crowded when you get there? If you’re like a lot of people, the answer is “too many.” Why give yourself an out? Cut the excuses by doing your homework and choosing a club that’s right for you. It’s no secret that picking a quality club is key to sticking with your program. But choosing a health club can rank high on the confusion meter. Sign-up specials scream in all forms of media, and it seems there’s a new club on every corner. Before you jump on the latest two-for-one membership deal, take the time to consider these helpful tips: Location—For your fitness routine to be successful, exercise has to be convenient. You’re more likely to use a club if it is close to either your home or workplace. While you don’t want to choose a health club only because it is close to your home or work, joining a club that isn’t con-

10 - Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009

venient will make you more likely to find an excuse to stop going. Classes—If classes are what keep you motivated, make sure the club offers an eclectic mix of classes you like and that they are offered at a time of day that fits your schedule. Staff—Staff members should be trained. Personal trainers and group fitness instructors should be certified through a certification organization .Credible certification can assure you that the instructor meets the guidelines to provide a safe and efficient workout.

need to actually try out some of the equipment and get a feel for the club’s atmosphere before you sign up. Request a day pass or a trial membership, which is a good way to ‘’test drive’’ the health club’s services. Payments—Many clubs have a variety of payment options. Find a payment schedule that meets your budget needs and take advantage of any sign-up specials. Find out exactly what the membership fee is and what it includes. Will you have to pay extra for childcare and towels? Don’t forget to ask if they require an initiation fee.

Hours—Lots of health clubs open early and stay open late. Before you join, though, make sure your club is open when you plan to go. Then visit the club at the times you intend to work out. Check whether the club is too crowded or if there are long lines for equipment at that time.

Little details—As you tour the club, pay attention to details. How clean is the facility? Is the music too loud? Is most of the equipment in working order? Too many ‘’out of order’’ signs may indicate poor maintenance. Are new members provided with a club orientation and instruction on how to use equipment? Make sure the club is a place where you would enjoy spending time.

Try it before you buy it—Salespeople are trained to hype the benefits of their health club, but you


FITNESS Boost your Fitness & Step Into Shape for Spring into a whole body workout. Allowing you to train comfortably and effectively outdoors in ways you may not have considered before, burning up to more calories than normal walking and strengthening your back, core, chest, shoulders and arms. Nordic Walking is great for releasing neck and shoulder tension while reducing pressure on the hips, knees and feet. Nordic walking is the nearest thing to a complete body workout.' Joy also recognises the benefits of walking in SpringBoost saying “My Springboost shoes have helped lengthen out the muscles in my legs while I walk. They also make it easier to walk uphill. For the first 2 months I wore the 0 degree insoles and when I felt completely comfortable I changed to the -2 degree insoles. I could feel a strong stretch at first but now they just feel really comfortable. The fact that they're waterproof is fantastic too" FITNESS Whether you are an occasional exerciser of a top athlete, you can immediately feel the benefits of wearing SpringBoost. By doing the same exercise, with different insoles can really help build up your fitness and strength. SpringBoost shoes are also the official training shoe of USA Triathlon, as well as many of the top GAA county teams. Noel Richardson, Kilkenny All Ireland Hurling Champions, Physical trainer, maintains that “Every other team is looking for that extra couple of per cent in their game that could, and usually does, make a difference” Studies have shown SpringBoost can increase an athletes performance by up to 6%. Tri-Athlete John Ferguson “I never thought a pair of shoes could make such a difference to my fitness. I have been wearing SpringBoost B-Train training for a forthcoming IRON MAN event – mainly for warm up, gym work and running. A previous knee injury has improved dramatically and I have really felt the increased spring from the energy plate”. Fitness enthusiast Rose Cassidy says “They are very comfortable, and give me a real spring in my step. I brought my SpringBoost, as I do a lot of exercise, walking and running. However, I have always been very conscious that my legs never really tone up. My legs are certainly more toned now. I am a working mother and therefore time for working out is difficult to find; so having that extra boost without having to workout for longer is ideal!

TONES, STRENGTHENS AND LENGTHENS LEG AND BUTT MUSCLES FLATTENS YOUR STOMACH BY STABILISING AND STRENGTHENING YOUR CORE

SpringBoost have recently launched a new training website called “Work your Butt off”, www.workyourbuttoff.net which has weekly training programs backed with online video training to get you fit. All the exercises are shown on video, in 3 different fitness levels. You can pick the level that suits you, to ensure you are on your way to getting fit.

IMPROVES BODY ALIGNMENT BURNS MORE CALORIES RELIEVES BACK ACHE AND SORE JOINTS

Your whole body will feel the positive change from corrected posture to toned muscles. Your calf and thigh muscles will stretch & tone, your bum will firm up and your stomach will tighten and for the women we also benefit from working our pelvic floor muscles. Where to get SpringBoost For Your Local Stockist Lo Call Pacelli Sports on 1890 882422 or email: info@pacellisports.com For more information on Nordic Walking Text 087-685 9313 or email joy@nordicwalking.ie

For local stockists please call

1890

882422 Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009 - 11


FITNESS

Your workout questions answered Are pulls ups and dips considered resistance training?

endurance plus of course get a more defined look in your physical appearance.

Answer - Yes any weight - even your body weight - is considered resistance training. If you are a person who the doctor or trainer recommends adding resistance training into your program, chances are you are probably ONLY doing cardio workouts or a beginner to exercise.

Even if you have no equipment, you can still do a lot to strengthen your abs and arm muscles. Of course there are the standard no-equipment exercises like push-ups, crunches and tricep dips, but there are also a lot of other options available too.

Resistance training is moving various joints of your body through a full range of motion with applied force on them. Some examples: weight training (machines, dumbbells, or barbells), calisthenics (pushups, dips, crunches, pull-ups, squats, and lunges - the resistance is the force of gravity), rubber bands, and even common household chores such as garden work. The best part of resistance training is that you will burn more calories in the long run and build muscle fibres (which will in turn increase your metabolism more so than cardio alone). You still need your cardio for cardio-respiratory benefits and fat burning, but resistance training will enhance your results significantly.

Here are some exercise examples: Dumbbells: Preacher Curls, Tricep 90 Degree Pull Downs, Chest Flys Resistance Band: Bicep Curls, Tricep Push Downs, Lat Pull Downs, Leg Extensions Stability Ball: Crunches, Hamstring Curls, Adductor Squeeze No Equipment: Tricep Push-Ups, One-Legged Tricep Dips, Oblique Crunch

Will doing ab exercises just strengthen muscles I won't see for a long time or will they still help flatten my tummy as I lose weight?

How can I get strong abs and arm muscles not going to the gym? There are many, many options for strength training that don't require a trip to the gym. If you have dumbbells, a resistance band, or an exercise stability ball, there are literally hundreds of exercises that you can do at home. With these exercises you can increase your muscular strength, muscular

The short answer is: Yes, it is definitely worthwhile to do exercises to strengthen your abdominals as part of your weekly fitness regimen. But, it is also true that you can't spot reduce. It is necessary for you to reduce the fat in your stomach area before you will see big results from your abdominal exercises. That's why cardio is so important. With that in mind, it still is very worthwhile for you to do crunches (or at least some type of abdominal exercises). There are several reasons (benefits) to continuing to work those muscles. They include:

Food~Fact: The tin can was invented in the early 1800's, but the can opener was not invented until 1858, small hammer & chisel were used

12 - Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009

* Even though you may not see immediate big differences, you will see differences (just smaller ones). * Each week as you reduce more fat in your stomach from cardio exercises (and eating healthy), your abdominal muscles that are being strengthened will become more visible. * If you wait until you have lost all the fat before you start working on your abdominal muscles, it will take you much longer to achieve your flat stomach. * It's important to work your core muscles (back, stomach, etc). for every day activities. Strong ab muscles help you build stronger back muscles and help prevent some back pain.

Summer is just around the corner. What kind of exercises should I do to get in shape for the summer? There are three major components to any successful fitness program. They are: cardiovascular training, flexibility, and strength training. So, you will want to ensure that you participate in a total workout plan that includes all three of those components. For cardio, you want to do exercises like walking, jogging, biking, swimming, skipping rope, etc. and including interval training is highly recommended. Flexibility is as simple as performing stretches for the entire body. Strength training should include some type of resistance (e.g. weights, bands, ball) exercise for every major muscle group.

Send your questions to info@lifeandfitnessmag.com


FITNESS

Ask your question! Have you a fitness related question you would like answered? Simply email us at: info@lifeandfitnessmag.com or by Post to: Life and Fitness Magazine, Curraghgraigue, Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary. Our expert Philip Phelan of Litton Lane Training will answer your queries.

Philip Phelan is the Program Director of Litton Lane Training and he holds a wide range of qualifications and experience. Philips qualifications include certificates in fitness instruction, personal training, resistance training and course tutoring. He also possesses a B. Sc. in physiotherapy (TCD) and a masters in medical science (UCD). He is a qualified Pilates instructor and speaks on topics such as back pain prevention and treatment, in a variety of corporate settings. He has worked in commercial fitness centres and freelance class and client training and he currently works as chartered physiotherapist to underage international football teams. He has trained two county gaelic football teams and a number of club teams as well as Olympic and professional boxers. He is also the fitness and injury expert with the VHI healthcare website and also acted as the fitness expert on The Afternoon Show in 2007.

Workout Tip Heat Therapy Using heat therapy is a great way to reduce long-term effects or injury for overworked muscles. If you have sore muscles and joints, use heat to help increase blood flow, relieve muscle spasms, and increase joint mobility.

Quick Tip Quick Energy Listen to your body. If you find that you are dragging, eat the right foods that will give your body the energy needed and are healthy. Examples of these foods include carrots, rice cakes, breakfast cereals, bananas, and potatoes. Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009 - 13


FITNESS

Reality Based Self Defence Make Yourself a Hard Target It’s a cold January morning at 8am, and I have just arrived at gym to set up the equipment for my latest 6 week self defence course. The class starts at 10am, but I like to get in early to get the training area ready to go for the 10 o’clock start. It also gives me some time to have a cup of tea and a chat with some of the new students. This is a vital part of the day, as the majority of people who are booked in are complete beginners and it is always a sure bet that their adrenaline will be pumping as they get closer to the gym entrance. It is, after all a Saturday (their day off) so a friendly face & a warm cup of tea are always welcome. I have been teaching Martial Arts & Self Defence for over 15 years now and in that time, the percentage of females who attend my classes, seminars & workshops has increased dramatically. I remember back to the early 80’s when I walked into my first martial arts classthere was one female amongst a whole group of men! In total today, there are 25 booked into today’s course – of which 12 are women. Over the past 15 years I have continued to train in various martial art systems which ultimately lead me into opening my first reality based self defence school 5 years ago, and this is what is planned the next 6 weeks- reality based self defence. Many of you who read this article will be wondering what the difference is with reality based self defence & martial arts. Let me briefly explain and give you a REAL situation that happened to me 10 years ago.

I had normally used my motorbike to travel to and from work, but the bike was in dire need of a mechanical service, so I gave in and booked an appointment with a garage. The following 2 days (while the mechanic waited for certain parts to arrive) I had to rely on the bus! I remember thinking (while I waited on the bus) how uncomfortable I felt not having the luxury of my bike. I remember feeling angry about having to wait for the parts to arrive - how easily we take things for granted. My brain was engaged looking at how comfortable people were sitting in their warm cars that I didn’t notice the 2 thugs who where approaching me with bad intent on their minds. It only became obvious when one moved into my flank and at that stage it was almost too late. I had fallen into their trap, the classic ‘pincer approach’ - a favoured manoeuvre of the career street mugger. I was asked a question about money, I didn’t exactly hear what he said (this is a side effect to adrenaline reaction, which we will discuss later) and just then I was attacked! It seemed like an eternity, but of course it only lasted about 5 seconds. I was lucky, I managed to run away. Before I go any further, let me give me you a brief description of myself. I stand 5ft 11 inches tall, I weigh over 14 stone and with a lifetime of continuous hard training 5 days a week has resulted in a solid physique backed up with a strong heart & lungs.

So why was I chosen? Could these thugs not see I was not to be picked on? Was it not completely obvious that I was bigger than them and out weighed their drugged ravaged bodies by at least 3 stone? No they couldn’t – no more than I could see them planning their attack, and that simply is why I was chosen. In one word what I lacked was AWARNESS. What just happened? I ran as fast as I could, but where was I going. I didn’t care. I just needed to get as far away from the scene as quick as my legs could carry me. Why hadn’t all my years training in martial arts helped me in this situation? The simple answer was that on the street there are no rules. I just hit everything and anything that came close & ran, but this wasn’t like anything we had been doing in the gym. These guys didn’t give me a chance to block, or adapt a stance. Did they not understand that it was not part of the plan to spit in my face just before they whacked me! This was to be the start of my continuous search for a system that would work under such conditions. For anyone who has practised martial arts (including myself) you will be aware that all traditional martial systems have rules. When you face your opponent, they have a series of blocks and strikes that they can use against each other. If you or your opponent gets cut, the fight is stopped, if you’re not defending yourself, the ref will stop it, or if you’re really finding it hard going, your buddy will throw the towel in. This is why I now train primarily in RBSD (Reality Based Self Defence). I am not by any means advising you not to train in a traditional system, quite the contrary. Any traditional system you train in will have great benefits. It will increase your confidence, your fitness, your reaction time, your flexibility, all good stuff, but what it won’t do is prepare you for that bowel loosening, leg shaking, and temporary deafness that kicks in when faced with raw uncontrolled aggression. My aim is to give you some advice on how to make yourself a HARD TARGET.

The first thing I tell all my students is that real self defence is 90% mindset and 10% technique. We must first understand the attacker’s rituals, before we can prepare ourselves. Ritual of Violence:

14 - Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009


A report issued by the RCNI (Rape Crisis Network Ireland) found that persons who had experienced sexual violence were significantly more likely to have used medication for anxiety or depression or to have been an in-patient in a psychiatric hospital. Those who had experienced penetrative abuse – either attempted or actual – were eight times more likely to have been a psychiatric hospital in-patient SAVI (Sexual Abuse and Violence in Ireland); Almost a quarter of perpetrators of sexual violence against adult women were intimate partners or expartners (RCNI report and SAVI); While some men avail of the services of the Rape Crisis Centres, the majority of the Centres’ clients are female. RCNI has as one of its core values and beliefs, that sexual violence is underpinned and sustained by inequalities, including gender equality. The latest figures released from CSO ( Central Statistics Office) shows the figures from 2006 -2007. 2006

2007

60

78

up 30%

Murder attempts/threats 103

166

up 61%

Sexual Offences

1,477

Murder

Most attacks like the one I described are preceded by stalking and brain engaging dialogue. Most attackers will use dialogue as their precursor for an attack. This is why it is so important to include this scenario type training on a regular basis. Many self defence Instructors I have trained with over the years fail to explain and teach what really happens both psychologically & physiologically when attacked. We must be always switched on to our environment. If we are switched on to the attacker’s rituals, then usually you won’t be selected as a victim. Some common rituals (body language & dialogue) that we should always be aware of are: Dialogue: Excuse me mate have you got a light? This is a common question that most of us will have been asked at one time or another. Excuse me; I think you may have dropped this € 2 coin! Immediately you think. Nice Guy. He is a Good Samaritan. Excuse me mate, would you have the right time please? This engages the brain while giving the attacker the opportunity to draw a knife on you. Body language: Hand gestures to the face and mouth area. Subconsciously the attacker knows he wants his hands above you, so he will often hold his hand higher than yours, ready for attack. He will often cover his mouth while speaking as if scratching his top lip with his index and thumb fingers. This is a natural instinct that is in us all from childhood. (Think of the

child telling a white lie and/or blurting out a profanity and immediately covering his or her mouth. This is because what they are saying is a lie) He/she may move their hands forward gesturing for you to light their cigarette.

1,642

down 10%

Ok so let’s look at putting in place a Self Protection Game Plan and how to make ourselves a Hard Target. In order of importance.

Game Plan Erratic eye and or head movement: This is because their adrenaline is pumping and they are twitchy- constantly scanning for police or bystanders involvement. Just before he launches his attack he may look past, through or around you constantly checking his environment. The attacker will (whether he knows it or not) work off an action trigger. This is when he/or she asks a question. Excuse me miss do you know where the nearest newsagents is around here? And as soon as you go to answer your brain is engaged for a split second and this is the predators trigger to attack. This is just a small sample of the attacker’s rituals. But the one that we should all be aware of, and never fall into, is the Distance Close Down. What I mean by this is never to allow anyone into your personal space. Fully extend your arm out in front of you, with fingers extended…..this is your space and never allow anyone step into it PERIOD.

Awareness (avoids & escapes) Situational Control Pre-Emption Continuous Attack Escape Awareness/Target Hardening (stay switched on and maintain a confident posture) Avoid & Escape where possible. If approached, protect space with the fence & move into a line-up position. Verbally de-escalate the situation if possible. If this fails, engage attackers brain, employ action trigger- Strike first, fast and hard then escape. If necessary keep striking until threat subsides then escape.

This is called a FENCE and it is drilled in every class, seminar or workshop I teach. It was devised and adapted by Geoff Thompson of the British Combat Association.

Having a prepared game plan based around situational awareness will increase your reaction time and provide you with a pro-active opportunity to deal with the situation.

Geoff is regarded by me and many of my peers as the greatest self defence instructor in the world. I was privileged to be asked by Geoff to teach his system in Ireland.

Remember the game plan’s Number 1 Priority is Avoid & Escape

Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009 - 15


FITNESS

Ultimately whoever is pre-emptive in a potentially dangerous situation is usually the person who survives the attack. This is very easy to say, but not so easy to do. Think of the situation: You’re standing at a bus stop, you’re tired after a hard day’s work, just before you left the office you had a few cross words with the boss, your mind is wandering. You’re not happy, you’re trying to remember what is in the fridge for dinner. Its cold – your hood is up, the scarf around neck and gloves you are wearing are slightly restricting your movement. You look down at your shoes and wonder why you hadn’t bought them walking boots you promised yourself. At least they would be warmer than these loose, worn and out of style high heels. You look up and are a bit startled, you didn’t notice the guy who now is standing uncomfortably close to you. Sorry missus I didn’t mean to frighten you, the buses on this route are a nightmare. In a split second you weigh him up. Well dressed, well spoken, no visible tattoos, or over loaded with sovereign rings. You feel a bit relaxed as he makes small talk. Then in a blink of an eye the dialogue turns aggressive. This is a complete shock to you. Your gut instinct tells you that at any second you are going to be attacked. The only chance you have of stopping his attack is a Preemptive strike. My Top 10 Tips: Awareness: As I said earlier, if you are situational aware you will avoid most conflict situations. Always be pre-emptive. In the majority of situations, whoever is pre-emptive will survive. Be very aggressive when you attack, if your preemptive strike is weak this will only trigger more aggression from the attacker. Learn to hit with your body weight.

You must continually attack until the threat subsides.

nal to break in and lay in wait for you to return. Make your home a HARD TARGET.

In general women are physically weaker than men, so women must always strike at the parts of the anatomy that cause most pain and disorientation to the attacker or attackers. Mainly the face (below the eye line) a full body weight slap to this area will cause a brain shake in the attacker, but not forgetting the eyes. Remember it doesn’t matter how big or strong the attacker is, he can never build muscle on his eyes.

Analysis your typical day: Look at the times and places that you feel most venerable . You can bet this is when and where a potential attacker would choose. Change your routine now, and keep changing it if you again begin to feel vulnerable.

Make sure the clothes you wear are functional. Think about the girl at the bus stop in the restrictive shoes and clothes. You don’t wear a karate uniform in the street. Make sure your reality training provides classes that allow you wear clothes that you would normally wear from day to day.

The students who attend my classes come from every back ground you can mention. The ages range from 12 to 70. Over the past few years many schools and colleges have availed of our services, I am extremely happy that the teachers and principles are now seeking this type of training for teenage girls. It not only teaches them how to make themselves a Hard Target, they also get a great work-out from our classes. I hope it becomes a regular part of all school curriculum.

My company Focus Fitness Personal Training & Self Defence Systems only teaches techniques If your approached for your bag, phone, or money that myself and my fellow instructors have completely pressure tested. The system we teach does etc my advice is to hand it over. Items of monetary value can be replaced or are insured .Is it re- not look very choreographed or staged, in fact it looks quite ugly, as most live situations are. ally worth dying for your mobile phone. But always be prepared. The attacker may want more One of my assistant instructors Sharon Hutchinthan just your bag or phone. Your life can not be son is the survivor of a viscous attack. Sharon has replaced. since dedicated her life to teaching women from all backgrounds the importance of self defence When in your car: Always have the doors locked training. Sharon is now regarded as Irelands leadNever pick up hitch hikers. Always make sure ing female self defence instructor. As with so you have enough fuel to go from A to B and back many survivors of violent attacks Sharon used again, this experience to her advantage and created a Know how to change your spare wheel. If you get positive mindset from a very negative experience. Its only when survivors take on this mind set that a flat tyre in an isolated area, drive extremely they no longer feel trapped by their experience, slow, but never stop until you are in an area that is safe to do so. A car can drive on 4 flat tyres at a no matter how traumatic. slow speed. Try to break into your own home! I know this might sound ridiculous, but I bet all of us will have locked ourselves out at one time or another. The reality of it is that we can do it relatively easy. So how easy would it be for a career crimi-

Over the past few years there has been a steady increase in stabbings with an edged weapon. Homicides involving stabbings doubled from 18 to 36 from 2006 – 2007. There is talk of tightening the laws around the selling of certain blades. In my opinion I don’t see any harm in tightening the laws or putting in place an amnesty, but the fact remains that if the intention of the attacker is to stab his/her victim then this can be achieved with any everyday object, kitchen knife, screwdriver, pen, shard of glass, or a sharpened piece of tin! What needs to be changed is the public’s mindset. If intention is in place then no amount of restrictions or amnestys will stop an attacker from stabbing. But that’s just my opinion. I offer regular classes , seminars and workshops nationwide. If you would like to come along you are more than welcome. Check out www.kravmaga.ie or www.hardtargetselfdefence.com for further details. Aidan Carroll is the Director of Focus Fitness Personal Training & self Defence Systems. He is qualified self defence Instructors with Krav Maga ( IKMF) Israel. Real Combat ( BCA) UK. Self Defence Federation ( UK). Aidan is the founder of the Hard Target System ( IRL)

16 - Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009


FITNESS

Hot Fitness Trends for 2009 Ready to adopt a new workout program in the new year? A survey by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) predicts that fitness programs that are easy on the pocketbook will shine in 2009. The group is out with its top 10 fitness trends for the upcoming year, after surveying personal trainers, group fitness professionals, and lifestyle and weight management consultants. For the second year in a row, boot camp-style workouts are predicted to be the top fitness trend for 2009. Boot camps, group classes that aim to

strengthen large muscle groups with pushups, squats, and lunges, can burn up to 600 calories during one session. Another trend? Getting more for the money, says ACE Chief Science Officer Cedric X. Bryant, PhD, in a news release. “The overarching theme for fitness in 2009 is getting more bang for the buck.” Bryant says, “Consumers will engage in workouts that provide multiple benefits due to time and economic limitations. We will also see continued trends from 2008 including boot-camp style workouts, technology-based workouts, out-of-the-box programming, and an increased interest in fitness for those who are over 50 years old.”

A walk a day The popularity of walking as a fitness activity is growing by leaps and bounds. Low risk and easy to start, walking has proved its health benefits in numerous studies. A classic eightyear study of 13,000 people conducted at the Institute for Aerobics Research under the direction of Dr. Steven Blair found that those who walked the equivalent of 30 minutes a day had a significantly lower risk of premature death than those who rarely exercised.

Get Ready

A walking program is simple to start. All you need are comfortable clothes and shoes. It is a good idea to layer loose clothing, keeping in mind that exercise elevates the body’s temperature. Shoes specifically designed for walking are your best option. Every workout should begin with a brief warm-up and a few simple stretches. Walk around the house or in place for a few minutes to get the blood flowing to the muscles before you atA regular walking program can tempt to stretch them. Although help: walking primarily works the • Reduce blood cholesterol major muscles of the legs, don’t • Lower blood pressure forget to stretch your back, • Increase cardiovascular enshoulders and arms. This will durance help to loosen up any tension • Boost bone strength you may be carrying and make • Burn calories and keep weight your walk more enjoyable, as down well as more effective.

Quick Tip

Life and Fitness Magazine - February 2009 - 17


HEALTH

Exercise and Pregnancy For many mums-to-be, the news of a pregnancy is filled with excitement, anticipation, anxiety and a newfound commitment to do everything right for the growth and development of a healthy baby. The question of whether to continue or begin an exercise program to optimise health for both mom and baby often arises. The first step to help answer this question is a visit to your doctor. While exercise during pregnancy is usually encouraged, under some circumstances exercise can be detrimental to both the expecting mother and the growing fetus. Only after a thorough clinical evaluation can a physician determine your exercise risks, if any.

Plenty of Benefits Exercise during pregnancy offers many physical and emotional benefits. For example, a good exercise program may help relieve common problems associated with pregnancy, such as excessive weight gain, swelling of your hands and feet, leg cramps, varicose veins, insomnia, fatigue and constipation. You also can look forward to improved posture and circulation, reduced backaches, and increased mood and energy. Plus, you’ll feel better knowing you’re doing something good for yourself and your baby.

8 Useful Tips 1. Don't be scared of exercise.

3. Hydration is key.

6. Find a buddy. Workout with a buddy,

It is so important to be active throughout your pregnancy. It will not only make you feel better, it will make everything around you feel better.

Always make sure you drink plenty of water before and after exercise.

friend, or family member.

2. Keep up the chatter. Conversation hat will help you judge how intense your workouts should be. When you are out of breath, so is your baby.

7. Listen to your body. 4. Go for a swim. It is a great workout and you forget your pregnant during the workout, you feel so light!

8. Wear the right gear. 5. Perform all strength exercises as usual except those on your back.

18 - Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009

If you are not feeling well, don't push it and take a day off.

You want to stay dry and comfortable and make sure you carry your mobile with you.


HEALTH

Eat Healthily for You and Your Baby You should include fresh, light, wholesome, high fibre foods in your diet in the form of porridge (minerals and natural fibre); dairy (calcium); vegetables like carrots and tomatoes (carotene); red and orange fruits like apples and oranges (vitamin B complex). Walnuts, almonds and raisins (vitamin and minerals); leafy vegetables like cabbage, spinach, broccoli (calcium and iron); brown rice, lotus stem (iron); sprouts, lentil and pulses (protein), and of course plenty of milk (calcium) are important ingredients of a pregnancy diet. During the pregnancy period, eat five small meals a day instead of three heavy meals. Also, reduce your intake of fat, sugar and salt. Do not indulge in overeating during

pregnancy because if you eat too much you will feel uncomfortable. One basic mantra of staying healthy is to drink lots of water as soon as you wake up in the morning and throughout the day. It helps clean your digestive system too. You might be scared you would vomit if you drink more water, when you feel nausea, which is normal in pregnancy, but the fact is, water helps to flush out the toxins from your body and prevents dehydration.

Besides healthy eating and maintaining a healthy diet and nutrition plan in consultation with your doctor, you should try yoga and other light exercises under expert medical advice. Your diet is the most important factor to take care of when you are pregnant. It is important because not only does it keep you healthy and fit during pregnancy but it also provides vital nutrition to your baby who is dependant on you during the pregnancy.

Avoid junk food because it just gives you empty calories (and extra pounds) without the nutritional benefits of healthier foods. Also avoid caffeine and alcohol, fats, oily food, additives and unpasteurized food.

Try to remain stress free and positive. This will definitely shower you and your baby with positive energy. So, be cool, relax, and celebrate your pregnancy.

Stay Healthy During Your Pregnancy Exercise during pregnancy provides many good benefits. It is a very important part of having a healthy pregnancy and even making the birth process much easier. Here are some simple tips to keeping in shape while preparing to have your baby. Exercise also provides other benefits during pregnancy such as keeping excess weight gain to a minimum, as well as helping in pushing your baby out during labour and delivery. Your legs and abdominal muscles, though not as toned as they normally would be, will be stronger and make things a little easier while in labour. Being tired is another part of being pregnant and exercise is a proven way to give your body a little more energy throughout the day. What are some exercises that you can do during pregnancy? 1. Yoga is a fantastic form of exercise that is very low impact and helps in stretching muscles. 2. Walking is another good pregnancy exercise for more than one reason. Sure, it gives you some much needed exercise, but it also gets you out of the house and clears your head so to speak. 3. Do some light sit ups. Nothing too strenuous here, but perhaps rest your legs on a chair and try bringing your head up off the floor a few inches. 4. Another good exercise is swimming. The water gives you the ability to move around and work nearly all of your muscle groups, while at the same time it helps in keeping you balanced. This is only a partial listing of many different pregnancy exercises you can do. There are many others listed below in a good book you can read on pregnancy, as well as exercises you should avoid while pregnant. Keep in mind that you should do any form of exercise during pregnancy in moderation. Talk to your doctor before starting any new workout or fitness routine to be sure it will not have an adverse affect on your pregnancy.

3 Exercise Routines 1. Seated High Row. This allows you to toughen your upper back. Sit on the floor with your legs stretched outward. Bend your knees a little and make sure your spine is in a fine position. You can wrap an exercise tube around your feet and cross it to create an "X" letter beyond your legs. Each of your hands must get hold of the handle. Draw the handles backward but keeping your elbows up and back instead of taken out to the sides. Your upper arms must be held vertically with the floor and shoulders are to be down. 2. Leg Raise Crawl. This gives toughness to your hamstrings and buttocks. Aside from that, it will allow your baby to be at rest in the proper head-down pose while executing the exercise. Get down with your body weight equally spread and your arms stretched straightly. Raise your left knee slowly and take it toward your elbow. After this, you can stretch your leg out and back. As you do it, don't curl your back. Don't lock your knee either. 3. Skater's Lunge. Who says pregnant women can't exercise? One of the routines they can do is the skater's lunge. This will enable you to firm your hamstrings, buttocks, upper hip, thighs and quadriceps. You see, you are targeting several muscles. Stand straight up and grasp your hips with your hands. Or you can also hold onto the chair's back part. Put all your weight to your left foot by having your right foot's toes held on the ground. Bend your right knee accordingly and tighten your belly to maintain a very impartial position of your spine. Bend your left knee as you push right foot out toward the side at a slanting position. Pregnant women can do these routines lightly and carefully. They are aimed at strengthening your muscles especially your upper body and abs muscles that give support to your womb where the baby rests on.

Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009 - 19


HEALTH

Study: Better Fitness Means Better Sex Researchers Link Working Out and Enhanced Sexuality Researchers at the University of Arkansas have come up with yet another reason for pumping iron. It can make you sexy, and even improve your sexual performance. That may not seem particularly astonishing, especially since an abundance of research shows that regular exercise improves our physical fitness and makes us feel better about ourselves, but in fact there's not a lot of scientific evidence that it has much of an effect on our sexuality, according to the researchers. Michael Young, professor of health science at the university, learned that fact a few years ago when he was asked to talk

about sex and running fitness to athletes who were going to compete in a marathon the next day. "The organizers assumed there would be a great deal of research on the topic indicating that runners and others who were highly fit would be more attractive sexually and be better performers, and that I would be able to organize and summarize that for the attendees," Young says. "But the research just wasn't there." So, being a good scientist, he later asked a graduate student to see if she could correct that. Tina Penhollow, a doctoral candidate, lined up 408 volunteers on the university campus to see what they could tell us about physical fitness and sexuality. A Guy Thing?

Perhaps not surprisingly, she found evidence of a link between working out and both feeling sexually attractive and increasing sexual performance, but the results were not always consistent. It doesn't seem to work as well for women as it does to men, for example. Men, for instance, thought they were sex gods in both attractiveness and performance if they worked out every day. But only 63 percent of the females in the study rated themselves as above or much above average in attractiveness and performance if they worked out nearly every day. Why the difference? "Guys and girls have a difference focus," Penhollow says. Guys do it mostly to "bulk up and get bigger," she says, whereas females do it mostly for health reasons.

Great Tips to Stop Underarm Sweating Underarm sweating is a problem that a lot many people face. It is embarrassing to be so conscious about your underarms and keep checking if there are stains appearing. This causes the self confidence and morale of all of us suffering to go down, affecting every area of your life including your personal and social life. The usual prescriptions for underarm sweating include the use of antiperspirants that contain aluminum chloride. Though this is not a permanent cure, it at least keeps away the sweating for small amount of time. You need to understand that with such excessive underarm sweating, the area that is wet is very appropriate for thriving bacteria and this is what will cause additional body odour. This is another problem that you have to cope with if you want to move about in public. It is such a disgrace to go about smelling so bad.

20 - Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009

There are several precautions that you can take in this case of underarm sweating. This includes the use of anti bacterial cleansing agents for your underarms. You need to choose clothes that are loose and are made from cotton fabrics. Having a bath as frequently as possible, will make sure that you will remain clean and hygienic reducing the odour. This is no fault of yours, as this is a clinical disorder. There are several natural methods that you can use as this includes the use of ingredients that are available in your home easily. This is very effec-

tive as they will not cause you any side effects. You need to consider revising your diet. Diets are something that has a direct relation to such underarm sweating. Avoiding certain food will make sure that you sweat less. Using relaxation techniques also proves to be very useful as they get you into a calm state of mind avoiding all the stress and tension that you have to go through.


WEIGHT LOSS

Weight Loss Tracker Date

Weight

Change

Total Loss

What gets measured gets done! Every attempt to lose weight should be accompanied by a method of tracking the weight that you have lost. Most gyms, leisure centres and weight loss classes will provide such a service for you. But for those who prefer to monitor their own progress we have included a handy weight loss tracker for you. It’s easy to complete, simply weigh yourself, log the date, your weight, how much weight you lost from your previous weighing and total up your overall weight loss. You can set targets for yourself also and reward yourself when you achieve your target. It can be a great motivator to see those numbers fall and will encourage you to keep going. Best of luck!

Lose Weight & Keep it Off in 2009 Over 7 stone (100 LB) of weight lost!

Before

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After

www.myfabshape.com Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009 - 21


SPORTS

Ireland’s Chloe Magee at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing

Ireland’s Scott Evans at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing

A physical and mental workout! Badminton is fast becoming one of the most popular sports in Ireland due its dynamic nature and the work done by development officers, clubs, coaches and volunteers on the ground. It’s a sport that can be played throughout a lifetime, both socially and competitively and offers both a mental and physical workout. Badminton is a totally inclusive sport and is open to all ages and all levels of ability. There are over 430 clubs in Ireland, many of which invite beginners to join in the fun. The objective of the game is simple, that is to hit the shuttle over the net so that it lands in your opponent’s court before it can be returned. A rally is started when the shuttle is returned. Each rally begins with a stroke known as the serve. This gets the shuttle into play, and from then on you will be engaged in a battle to outwit your opponent. You can hit the shuttle fast, slow, high, flat or low. You can smash it with maximum power or use the most delicate touch shots. There are over 40 shots in a badminton player’s repertoire from which they must use in every game whether it is singles, level doubles or mixed doubles.

Badminton offers a great aerobic workout and players can burn 600 to 1,000 calories an hour while moving around the court. It also offers a mental workout and has been likened to

Food~Fact:

22 - Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009

the board game of chess. Strategy is key during a match, and the game requires constant thinking and planning. Each shot of the shuttle has a purpose, and a good player keeps his or her eye on the entire court at all times. At the highest levels of play, the sport demands excellent fitness, aerobic stamina, agility, strength, speed, good motor coordination, astute tactical judgments and the development of sophisticated racquet movements.

Badminton Ireland is the National Governing Body of sport for Badminton in all 32 counties of Ireland and was founded in 1899. The Headquarters are now housed in Baldoyle Badminton Centre and there are 11 staff working in administration, development and headed up by Colm MCashin, CEO. Badminton Ireland is moving towards a more professional set-up and attitude towards the administration and organization of sport in Ireland. With the support of the Irish Sports Council, both financially and professionally, Badminton Ireland is putting a lot of resources into development, grassroots and participation initiatives in schools, clubs and third level institutions.

Currently there are 477 primary and secondary schools in Ireland taking part in the Badminton Ireland schools program and initiatives to encourage more school children to take part in the sport. There are an estimated 100,000 people playing badminton in Ireland in clubs, schools, youth clubs, sports halls and leisure centers around the country. This does not include all those seasonal players that take out their racquets and nets


SPORTS

European Mixed Team 2009

during the summer months and play in outdoor areas such as gardens and parks – wind permitting!! The Badminton Community has played a big part in encouraging more and more people to engage in this sport; badminton is a very social sport and club nights and matches alike always include the opportunities to meet new people and catch up with old friends. Many clubs have hectic social calendars with club fun nights, fund raisers and Christmas parties.

Badminton is an Olympic Sport played first in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. In the Sydney Olympics 2000, Ireland had their first ever Badminton Olympian Sonya McGinn from Howth, Dublin. More than 1.1 billion people watched the 1992 Olympic Badminton competition on television. In 2008 Ireland had 2 Olympian bad-

minton players, Scott Evans in men’s singles and Chloe Magee in the ladies singles. These Olympians have heralded a new era in Irish badminton and have become role models for thousands of players around the country who have seen their dedication, determination and fighting Irish spirit on national television for all to witness. Chloe also managed to win her first round and beat a player ranked 20 places higher in the world rankings. Both players are now professional athletes and partly funded by the Irish Sports Council athlete carding scheme, which has enabled them to be full-time players. All in all, Badminton is on the up and that’s a fact! Badminton offers so much at a relatively cheap price tag, it would be a crime not to try it out even once! More information can be found at www.badminton.ie

The Shuttle An ordinary badminton shuttle (also called a shuttlecock or bird) contains 14 to 16 feathers from geese, ducks, and even chickens in some parts of the world but also could be made of plastic. The shuttle is about 6,4cm (2-and-a-half inches) tall and weighs 73-85 grains (4.745.50 grams). It is one of the fastest objects in sport, easily travelling at 180 km/h (112 mph). It has been clocked at an amazing 289 km/h (180 mph), making it second fastest only to Jai-Alai, a sport that originated in the Basque country. In 1979, Guinness World Records recorded a player throwing the Jai-Alai pelota at 302,5 km/h (188 mph). Speed comparisons: Jai-Alai 302,5 km/h Badminton 289 km/h Squash 241 km/h Tennis 228 km/h Table tennis 178 km/h

Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009 - 23


SPORTS

GAA 125th Anniversary Calendar of events for 2009 (March - August) The 125th Anniversary of the GAA in 2009 provides an opportunity to reflect on what the GAA is all about – the promotion of Gaelic games, Irish culture and a sense of place and identity in each community. Clubs, schools and provinces will all have a part to play in celebrating this historic year for the Association. The Calendar of Events is a selection of commemorative events taking place throughout the year and each Province and County will also be celebrating the 125th year in their own way. 13 th March

Organised by the O’Fiaich Library, Uachtarán na hÉireann will give a lecture on the importance of the GAA in Ireland over the last 125 years.

O’Fiaich Lecture Armagh

17 th March

St Patricks Festival Parade & AIB GAA Club Finals Croke Park

The GAA will be the lead in the St Patricks Festival Parade in Dublin and later the pageant will make its way to Croke Park for the interval of the AIB GAA Club Finals, an important fixture in the GAA calendar.

March

3 rd Level Student Art Competition

Competition for 3rd Level students to submit GAA themed pieces of art which will later be exhibited at Office of Public Works venues around the country.

17 th / 18th April

GAA

GAA members from around the country will come together for their annual congress at which the Anniversary will be marked with the GAA 125 Banquet.

Congress 18 th April

All Ireland final talent competition for adults. Includes Irish music, dance, novelty act, recitation, ballad singing and quiz.

Scór Sinsear Killarney

24 th April

GAA 125 Schools Day

Pupils will be invited to wear their GAA jerseys at school and take part in a host of GAA activities.

25 th April

History Conference

Leading scholars from the world of sports and Irish history will present papers at a one day conference.

Croke Park 10 th May

Lá na gClub

Over 2,000 GAA clubs around the country will celebrate the Anniversary with games and commemorative events in their local communities.

16 th May

Michael Hogan Memorial Match

Gaelic Football match between Tipperary and Dublin and Hurling between Tipperary and Kilkenny in the former club

Grangemockler, Tipperary 19 th – 21st June

Féile na nGael, the national festival of Hurling, Camogie and Handball for boys and girls under 14 years of age, hosted by Laois and Offaly. Uachtarán na hÉireann will review the parade on 19th June.

Féile na nGael Laois/Offaly

6 th July

Áras an Uachtaráin

Uachtarán na hÉireann will host a Garden Party at Áras an Uachtarán.

9 – 14th August

Parnell Summer School

Week long summer school looking at the history and contemporary relevance of sport in Irish society organised by the Parnell Society.

Avondale House, Co. Wicklow August

Launch Exhibition,

24 - Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009

of

Online National

Online exhibition detailing 125 years of the GAA and linking with relevant historic material in the National Archives.


SPORTS

The Importance of Strength Training For the Cyclist! Cycling is a very physically taxing activity that your muscles must be able to endure at varying intensities. If you are a competitive cycler then you understand how hard it is on the muscles to climb the hills and still have enough left at the end to beat out your competition. This article will look at the importance of strength training for the body of the cyclist. To be a cyclist there is no doubt your legs have to be powerful. They are constantly churning against a resistance that is constantly changing whether you are going straight, uphill, or downhill in your event. Even though that cycle has a seat you may find that your rear is out of it during some of the more demanding parts of the course. Leg strength is essential because

of this very reason. My opinion on all cyclist that want to enhance their ability is that an effective strength training program should be as important as time on the bike. When we look at the demands on the legs of this event some may automatically assume that the legs are the sole muscle to train for this event and that is not necessarily true. Yes, the legs will endure a great deal of the load of an effective strength training program in this case, but the body should be more trained as a whole with more emphasis on the lower body as a foundation. If you think about your time on the bike you realize that deep into the race you have to have a strong pair of legs, a strong back, and outstanding cardiovascu-

lar conditioning. Being on that 2 wheeled machine pedaling yourself silly should definitely be part of your conditioning, but the inclusion of effective strength training can further enhance both qualities of muscular strength and endurance. I would approach the program by doing variations of deadlifts, squats (single and double-leg), cleans, and a variety of plyometric drills(single and double-leg). The key to optimizing your performance here is also having a base understanding of the importance of periodization. You should engage in a high volume of both lifting and riding and strategically taper it down as you approach your competition.

Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009 - 25


HELLO TEAM, Recently, Men’s Journal® magazine did their own independent testing on several popular superjuices in an article called “Superjuices on Trial”. We’re proud to say that Vemma® earned their “Best Overall” rating of all juices tested with “Sky-high vitamin C levels and solid in antioxidants”. Surprisingly, a superjuice leader, Mona Vie®, came in under the category “Not so Super” stating that “Mona Vie tested extremely low in anthocyanins and phenolics. Even apple juice (which also tested poorly) has more phenolics…Plus Mona Vie’s vitamin C level was five times lower than that of Welch’s® Grape Juice. That’s not many nutrients.”† I want to start off by saying I’m a big fan of superjuices, almost all of them. Anytime you’re choosing something healthy, I applaud you. Knowing the importance of independent testing, we recently sent both Vemma and Mona Vie to a reputable, independent lab for our own independent testing of four other popular phytonutrients as well as 12 vitamins and ORAC Value. The purpose of these independent tests is to simply stress the importance of choosing a COMPLETE superjuice when making that ever important decision that positively impacts your family’s health. A while ago, a noted skin care doctor wrote a book and made a statement that the açaí berry was the #1 super food and many don’t know he was listing them in alphabetical order, hence the #1 rank. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of the açaí berry, but I’ll put the whole fruit of the mangosteen up against any superfruit on the planet, açaí included. After all, it didn’t earn the title “Queen of Fruits” for nothing.

THIS COMPARISON REALLY COMES DOWN

Many Members have asked me how Vemma compares with Mona Vie, and why my research team chose mangosteen instead of açaí. Well, even though that TO: ‘SUPERFRUIT VS. skin care doctor touts açaí, I know a couple of other well known doctors that every day choose to supplement with a mangosteen-based formula, not açaí. SUPER COMPLETE’ The reason for their decision all goes back to that one word, complete. You see, Vemma is a physician-formulated, clinically studied formula that not only provides your body with the critical phytonutrients that play such a vital role in a person’s overall health regimen, but also provides aggressive levels of vitamins, plant-sourced minerals and antioxidants that help support your immune system and create abundant energy.*

Based on the modest results of Mona Vie’s vitamin test results, phytonutrients are the core of their story. I want to bring your attention to a very special phytonutrient called proanthocyanidins. These are a specific class of phytonutrients with numerous health-giving properties. This class of flavonoids earned their primary reputation as being powerful antioxidants or free radical scavengers. Proanthocyanidins also help in the stabilization of collagen and elastin.* These are two critical fibrous proteins found in the connective tissues that support organs, joints, blood vessels and muscle.* More importantly, all of these phytonutrient test results really set the mangosteen fruit in an elite category of superfruits (do I dare say, super-duper fruits?). To learn more about the role phytonutrients may play in your health, please Google them, you’ll be impressed! I believe when it comes down to the health of your family, it’s not about fancy packaging and stories of which fruit is #1. It’s about what’s on the inside of the bottle; how complete is that superjuice formula and what kind of results your family can expect. You see, this superjuice comparison really comes down to: “superfruit vs. super complete” and anytime you’re making a decision that will affect the health of your family, you want to enjoy the benefits of the most complete and “Best Overall” superjuice on the planet…Vemma. Wishing you the best of health…and life,

BK Boreyko President, CEO

Vemma Nutrition Company

† Men’s Journal, December 2008, page 100. *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

26 - Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009


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NUTRITION

High Protein Diet - Top High Protein Low Carbohydrate Foods For Lean Muscles Protein is most essential of all the nutrients which help a person in building lean muscles. Without protein, the muscle and tissues cannot grow. A high protein diet does not only help to build muscles but also keeps a body healthier. This diet should be low in carbohydrate as it has saturated or trans-fat in it. A person must eat proteins like egg, milk, meat and cheese and he must avoid carbohydrates like potatoes, bread, pasta or rice which will make the body bloated. Here is a diet which contains high protein and low carbohydrate to build lean muscles:

1. Milk- Milk is considered to have a complete protein which helps in building muscles. Drinking milk is a great way to achieve your daily protein target. A person must take milk in skimmed form. He should drink 2 cups of skim milk in a day which does not contain any trans-fat. It helps to speed up the muscle recovery after lot of workout. 2. Eggs- This is a healthy source of supplement and has a very high protein in it. Egg protein has an excellent source of vitamins and nutrients that feed the muscles and tissues to become stronger. The egg white contains 0 grams of fat. So the

egg white is an excellent form of protein. 3. Fish- This is one of the best sources of protein. It helps a person to gain weight and build muscles rapidly. Fish must be eaten after baking it properly and should be taken 2-3 times a week. It also contains a very high amount of 3-omega fatty acids which is very helpful to build muscles. 4. Red meat- Another high protein diet is red meat. This meat is extremely lean and has a great source of protein. It contains iron and vitamins that can help for growth of muscles.

Fat Fighting Foods Top 5 Foods to Fight Fat and Burn Calories We all enjoy food and it can be very hard to resist eating even with the strictest of resolutions. In such a case it seems a like great idea to eat healthy low calorie food that actually helps you lose weight. If you include the top 5 fat fighting foods your diet control can get the extra kick that you need to reach your weight loss goal. Berries: Berries are sweet and refreshing. They contain a high quantity of fiber, they are

Quick Tip Eat Less Later in the Day Everyone knows, whether they want to admit it or not, reducing calories will help you to lose weight. However, just as you should reduce the calorie intake, you need to know when to eat. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and the one meal that should not be missed. Lunch should be healthy but a less than what you ate for breakfast. As you approach dinner, eat healthy but light. Avoid after dinner snacks or eating before bed!

28 - Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009

low on the Glycemic index and therefore they keep your stomach full all day. They are also high in antioxidants which help to clean the body of toxins and raise the metabolic rate. So you burn fat faster. Raspberries and blueberries have the highest fiber content of all berries. Peanuts: They are a rich source of healthy protein and they cause the rise in blood sugar level to slow down. It reduces hunger and helps to lower blood fats like triglycerides. This lowers the risk of heart disease. Moreover it is rich in fibre, and cleanses the stomach. So you have fewer mid meal cravings, and the removal of toxins from the body makes the body burn calories faster. Whole cereal: It has very little Trans fats, and is high on fibre. This helps the body to reduce craving for longer periods of time. The fibre also helps to keep the colon free of toxins due to which the digestion is nor-

mal, and the body fights fat at a normal rate. Turkey: Turkey is a protein rich but lean meat. It is rich in amino acid leucine without too many fatty calories. This helps to preserve muscle mass in weight loss. As a result the metabolism works efficiently and burns calories faster than usual. Enova oil: This oil is a combination of canola and soy oil and it contains of diglycerides. This is a type of fat which is not stored as fat easily. Replacing your regular cooking medium with this oil will help you to reduce fat, and burn it faster. Quick and Sustained weight loss is a combination of external and internal factors. The external factors of exercise and diet are of course helpful to lose weight. But you need to equally focus on internal factors of boosting your metabolism and keep yourself motivated to loose weight.


WEIGHT LOSS

20 Diet Tips 1. Drink plenty of water. Your body needs a lot of water so give in to water. Water is not just a way to flush out toxins; if you have more water in your body you will generally feel healthier and fitter. This itself will discourage any tendency to gorge. The best thing about water is that is has no calories at all!

2. Start your day with a glass of water. As soon as you wake up, gulp down a glass of cool water. It's a wonderful way to start you day and you only need a lesser quantity of your breakfast drink after that. A glass of water lets out all your digestive juices and sort of lubricates the insides of your body. You may have your morning cup of tea but have it after a glass of water.

lent source of vitamins. (A glass of juice typically has 120 calories!)

8. Fresh fruit juice. If you do have a craving for fruit juice then go for fresh fruit juice instead of those that contain artificial flavors and colors. Or even better, try making your own fruit juice taking care not to sweeten it with too many calories.

9. Choose fresh fruit over processed fruits. Processed and canned fruits do not have as much fibre as fresh fruit and they are nearly always sweetened.

10. Increase your fiber intake.

3. Drink a glass of water before you start a meal.

Like I mentioned, the body needs a lot of fiber. So try to include in your diet as many fruits and vegetables as you can.

Water naturally needs some space so that you feel fuller without actually having to stuff yourself.

11. Go crazy on vegetables.

4. Have another glass of water while you are having the meal. Again this is another way of making yourself full so that you can actually rise from the table eating less but feeling full just the same. Instead of drinking it in one gulp, take sips after each morsel. It will help the food to settle faster so that you get that feeling that you are full faster.

5. Stay away from sweetened drinks, especially sodas. Hey - all those colas and fizzy drinks are sweetened with sugar and sugar means calories. The more you can cut out on these sweetened bottle drinks, the better for you. Plus, soda contains phosphoric acid which can drain calcium from your bones and contribute to bone loss.

6. Include in your diet things that contain more water like tomatoes and watermelons. These things contain 90 to 95 % water so that there is nothing that you have to lose by feasting on them. They fill you up without adding to the pounds.

7. Eat fresh fruit instead of drinking fruit juice. Juice is often sweetened but fresh fruits have natural sugars. When you eat fruit, you are taking in a lot of fiber, which is needed by the body, and fruits of course are an excel-

thing more than that is going to affect your eating pattern, the result will either be a loss of appetite or that famished feeling which will make you stuff yourself with more than what is required the next time you eat.

Vegetables are your best bet when it comes to losing pounds. Nature has a terrific spread when it comes to choosing vegetables. And the leafy green vegetables are your best bet. Try to include a daily salad in you diet always.

12. Eat intelligently. The difference between man and beast is that we are driven by intelligence while beasts are driven by instinct. Don't just eat something because you feel like eating it. Ask yourself whether your body really needs it.

13. Watch what you eat. Keep a watchful eye on every thing that goes in. Sometimes the garnishes can be richer than the food itself. Accompaniments too can be very rich. Remember that it is the easiest thing in the world to eat something without realizing that it was something that you should not have eaten. Selective memory you know...

16. Eat only when you are hungry. Some of us have the tendency to eat whenever we see food. We use parties as an excuse to stuff ourselves. Understand that the effect of a whole week of dieting can be wasted by just one day's party food. Whenever you are offered something to eat do not decline it completely bit just break of a nibble so that you appear to mind your manners and at the same time can watch your diet.

17. Quit snacking between meals. Do not fall for snacks in between meals. This is especially true for those who have to travel a lot. They feel that the only time they can get a bite to eat is snacks and junk food. The main problem with most snacks and junk food is that they are usually less filling and contain a lot of fat and calories. Just think about French

18. Snack on vegetables if you must. You might get the pangs of hunger in between meals, but it is something that you can very well control. Or even better, try munching on carrots. They are an excellent way to satisfy those cravings and are good for your eyes and teeth. True, you might end up being called Bugs Bunny, but its miles better to be called Bugs Bunny than fatso.

19. Go easy on tea and coffee. Tea and coffee are harmless by themselves. It's when you add the cream and sugar that they become fattening. Did you know that having a cup of tea or coffee that has cream and at least two cubes of sugar is as bad as having a big piece of rich chocolate cake?

14. Control that sweet tooth. Remember that sweet things generally mean more calories. It is natural that we have cravings for sweet things especially chocolates and other confectionary. Go easy on these things and each time you consume something sweet understand that it is going to add on somewhere.

20. Try to stick to black tea/coffee. Black tea or coffee (and green and white tea) can actually be good for you. But personally I would like to recommend tea rather than coffee. The caffeine in the coffee is not really good for you because it is an alkaloid and can affect other functions of your body like the metabolism.

15. Fix times to have meals and stick to it. Try to have food at fixed times of the day. You can stretch these times by half an hour, but anyLife and Fitness Magazine - March 2009 - 29


NUTRITION

The Healthy Irishman Gavan Murphy Chef Gavan Murphy began his culinary adventure at Ballymaloe Cookery School in 1994. In 2000 his journey took him to Los Angeles, where his interest in health and nutrition flourished, naturally merging with his cooking experience. Gavan has worked as a consulting chef for a multi-national sports nutrition company, as well as a personal chef to the stars, often working in conjunction with celebrity trainers. He created The Healthy Irishman with the hope of educating the public about healthy eating. www.thehealthyirishman.com

His Philosophy My philosophy for how one should achieve a healthy balanced diet is simply to fuel the body with wholesome natural foods. Your body needs constant refueling to maintain a high metabolism thus enabling the body to burn any excess body fat. To achieve this, I not only advocate but practice eating smaller portioned meals more frequently throughout the day. This keeps your energy levels at a constant and prevents cravings, which ultimately leads to over-indulgence. I don’t use the word “diet” in terms of losing weight; to me it’s a lifestyle that involves making healthy choices based on eating whole foods that are nutritious and delicious.

Traditional Irish Food Facts Most traditional Irish foods use simple, basic and cheap ingredients, a reminder of the fact that they originated in a less affluent past. Many have been given a modern twist by a new generation of chefs or incorporated into dishes that better suit the tastes of a more widely traveled population. Traditional Irish recipes tend to be very simple, with just a few ingredients in most cases. This should be no surprise – it was the food of the poor and they did not have a huge range of exotic ingredients available to them. The main staples: meat, fish, dairy, potatoes, parsnips, cabbage, carrots, turnips, oats and barely.

30 - Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009

Traditional Irish food: leek & potato soup, brown or white soda bread, Irish stew, colcannon, champ, barm brack, bacon & cabbage, mince pies. It was not a tradition to eat outside the home in Ireland other than at weddings or other special occasions until restaurants became common in the late 60’s or early 70’s. The offerings were dull – meat, vegetables and potatoes, stodgy flour & cream based sauces, with lots of frying. Anything that wasn’t fried to death was boiled to tastelessness. Vegetarians were offered an omelet. Traditional Irish food and diet, with a large emphasis on meat and butter, took the blame for the increasing obesity during this time.

The biggest revolution in Irish restaurant food began in the early 1990’s and two women must take a great deal of credit for it – Myrtle and Darina Allen, of Ballymaloe House in County Cork. What they did sounds simple – took the freshest and best of Irish ingredients and prepared them with a minimum of fuss. What a change! The quality of the ingredients were key – meat reared on grass, vegetables eaten the day they were picked, fish direct from the sea. Once the cookery school was established at Ballymaloe, this style of cooking spread throughout the country and is still a major influence on how the Irish eat today, both in restaurants and at home. This is where Gavan trained as a chef and where his plight in ‘healthifying’ foods began.


NUTRITION

The Healthy Irishman on the GAA by Gavan Murphy, The Healthy Irishman www.thehealthyirishman.com

For any true-blooded Irishman football is nothing but Gaelic Football. I read that somewhere and it stuck a chord with me, as that is exactly how I feel. In a sporting world full of young millionaires it’s quite refreshing to come across a sport that’s played for just that, sport. No one’s getting a bonus for scoring but simply playing for bragging rights and pride. Founded out of national pride and able to sustain through the tough times, few things bring people and communities together than a sporting event. In honor of the GAA celebrating it’s 125th year anniversary this year, I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on the sport’s history after all it is, together with hurling, one of the two

most popular spectator sports in Ireland today. Irish sports have endured their share of obstacles throughout the years; the Sunday Observance Act of 1695, which banned hurling and football on Sundays, the Famine, which caused death and emigration and the introduction of rugby, which the Irish were smitten with, so much so it was becoming more popular than our national sports. The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) was set up in 1884 by a nationalist Michael Cusack. The GAA sought to promote traditional Irish sports, such as hurling and football and to reject "foreign" (particularly English) imports. The GAA was set up to not only promote Gaelic games

(football, hurling, handball, camogie and rounders), but also to promote the Irish language, music and dance. Today it is the largest sporting association in Ireland. St. Patrick’s Day is not only Ireland’s National Holiday but also the day the football and hurling senior club championships are being played. For some this will be the highlight of their sporting year. It’s a time for all these players to shine on the big stage. The fact that it’s the 125th year anniversary is just an added bonus making the celebrations more meaningful. Don’t fancy that headache the next morning however!

Irish Stew (My way) Traditionally Irish foods use simple, basic and cheap ingredients. Irish stew is only Irish stew if using lamb or mutton (a lamb over 1½ years old). Using other meats is not considered a traditional Irish stew. Although I have kept the original ingredients I have put my own spin on the style and presentation of the dish. That’s the beauty about cooking—you can take traditional dishes and make them your own. Believe me the flavour is still all there. RECIPE: 3 lbs. Lamb shoulder 3 large parsnips – peeled & sliced ¼” rounds ½ lb. baby carrots - washed 3 garlic cloves – peeled 1 lb. mini potatoes – halved 1 Bouquet garni – rosemary, thyme, bay leaf 1 cup white wine 7 cups beef broth olive oil S&P DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 400F/200C Begin by preheating a heavy bot-

tomed sauté pan on high heat for 3-4 minutes. Add in 2 tbsp olive oil. Season each lamb chop with S&P and sear in hot pan for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove to large roasting tray. De-glaze sauté pan with white wine for 1 minute and scrape all carmelised bits from bottom. Add to lamb along with bouquet garni, garlic and broth. Cover with foil and place in oven for 1½ hrs. Once initial cooking time has elapsed, reduce oven temperature to 375F/190C. Add vegetables to stew (baby carrots, parsnips and mini potatoes), cover and return to oven at lower temp for additional hour or until veg are fully cooked and meat begins to fall off the bone. Taste and season to desired taste.

NOTE: Never season your gravy before braising meat. The saltiness of the dish will intensify too much over the long cooking period. It’s always best to season just before serving.

Photo: Gavan Murphy, www.thehealthyirishman.com

Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009 - 31


NUTRITION

Food - The Ultimate Performance Enhancer Do you ever find yourself sluggish and lacking energy during your workout? Do you find you take longer to recover after your workouts? These can be a result of not eating and hydrating properly before and especially after a workout. There is a definite correlation between what you eat and how you feel. Eating certain types of food can boost the results you get from working out. Think of your body as a car and food as your fuel. Although professional athletes have the benefits of nutritionists and chefs, by making smarter choices at home, you too can maximize your performance be it on the field or in the gym. Start off by following these 3 simple rules: Rule #1 Water is your best friend. Hydrate before, during and after your exercise as well as throughout the rest of your day to replenish fluids lost through sweat. Rule #2 Do not be afraid of carbs. Carbohydrates are the body's main source of fuel. Eating carbohydrates with a little protein

about an hour or two before you exercise "feeds" your workouts. Rule #3 Choose what you eat after the workout with just as much care as you choose that pre-workout snack or meal. Protein is critical for recovery after intense exercise. The goal here is to immediately begin repairing the tissue damage caused by the training session. It's the time your muscles are most hungry for nutrients.

Now for the fun part—Food! Not only are these healthy and natural food choices great to stock up on so you’ll always be prepared, they’re also choices I eat every day in my balanced diet. -Eggs. Eggs are loaded with protein, which is what the body needs to recover after exercise. I always have a dozen handy! -Potatoes. Easily found, wouldn’t you say? Potatoes are one of the best sources of carbohydrates around with about 30 grams of

carbs in a 4-ounce potato. Skip the fatty extras and boost antioxidant levels by topping it with a spoonful of salsa or opt for a sweet potato, which is already packed with vitamins and minerals. -Chicken. Packed with protein with roughly 35 grams for a 4-ounce breast, this makes another great post-workout choice. Opt for grilled or baked chicken instead of fried and peel off any fatty skin, saving unwanted fat and calories. -Oatmeal. Another excellent source of carbohydrates is good old-fashioned porridge. Eat a serving before you work out for a nice burst of energy. For extra vitamins, add some fruit. -Pasta. Pasta is packed with roughly 50 grams of carbohydrates per cup. Add a little tomato sauce for the perfect pre-workout meal. Add chicken and you’ve got a great post-workout meal. Eating right to optimize your training doesn’t have to be rocket science, just a little smarter than your typical spud.

Homemade Brown Soda Bread An Irish Tradition From the earliest times, bread making was (and still is) and integral part of daily life in some Irish homes. Soda bread dates back to approximately 1840. Because the climate of Ireland hinders the growth of hard wheat (which creates a flour that rises easily with the assistance of yeast), buttermilk and bicarbonate of soda were the main raising agents in the past, which has never lapsed. Buttermilk gives soda bread that beautiful tender crumb for which they are renowned. DOUGH: (MAKES ONE LOAF) 2 cups plain white all-purpose flour 2 cups brown wholemeal (whole wheat) flour 1½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) ¾ teaspoons salt 2 cups low fat buttermilk cooking spray PREPARATION: Preheat oven on 230*C/450*F. Thoroughly mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour in the buttermilk; stir using one hand in a full circle starting in the center of the bowl working towards the outside of the bowl until al the flour is incorporated (dough will be sticky). Turn dough out onto a generously floured surface. Knead lightly 4-5 times. Shape dough into a round loaf. Place on floured baking sheet. Cut a deep cross on top, ¼ " deep. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 400F and bake for another 15 minutes. When ready you should hear a hollow sound when tapped on bottom. thehealthyirishman.com Photo: Gavan Murphy, www.thehealthyirishman.com

32 - Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009


NEWS & EVENTS

DEBRA Ireland Wicklow Mountains Half Marathon A new event in the calendar of Irish Marathons will take place on the 29th March 2009, in aid of DEBRA Ireland. The inaugural DEBRA Ireland Wicklow Mountains Half-Marathon has been designed to test your stamina and fitness. With over 1,000 meters of climbing and 21km of mountain trails this race is like no other. The route will take participants across beautiful valleys and along remote tracks high in the mountains. The views stretch along the East Coast, over the Irish Sea and deep into Ireland’s largest upland area- the Wicklow Mountains. Registration for the race is €30 per person and we are asking people to raise an additional €70 for DEBRA Ireland. Included in the registration is Bus Transfer to race start, race support along the route and post race tea and coffee.

The day promises to be personally rewarding whilst allowing flexing social muscles in a fun environment. That ‘feel good factor’ is also boosted by the knowledge that a deserving charity DEBRA Ireland is directly benefiting from your fundraising efforts. If you would like to receive more information or sign up 01 412 6924, email: challenges@debraireland.org or log on to www.debraireland.org DEBRA Ireland is a national charity set up in 1988 to raise awareness of and offer support to patients and families affected by the rare genetic skin condition, Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). This is a very distressing and painful disorder which causes the skin layers and internal

Send News to: info@lifeandfitnessmag.com

body linings to separate and blister at the slightest touch. There are three types of EB the most common being EB Simplex or EB Dystrophic, with EB Junctional being fatal within the first two years of life. Fundraising and donations are vital so that DEBRA Ireland can fund services for patients and families including: EB Nurse Liaison Service, support to the EB clinics, EB Support Worker, information, advice, equipment and respite holidays. DEBRA Ireland also funds specific research programmes in Ireland, the UK and the USA into wound healing, skin cancer in EB patients and gene therapy, in the hope of finding affective treatments and ultimately a cure for EB.

Break a sweat with EA SPORTS™ Active The all-new heart pumping, calorie burning workout, coming spring 2009. Do you find there are too few hours in the day to fit in a workout? Or, are you just getting bored of the same old fitness routine? EA SPORTS Active is an innovative new customisable and personalised fitness product that will get you motivated to move in the comfort of your home. EA SPORTS Active will launch exclusively for the Wii™ worldwide next spring.

Developed in collaboration with fitness experts, EA SPORTS Active is perfect for the whole family, though designed specifically for women seeking a simple, fun and cost-effective way to achieve a healthy lifestyle. The product will be the first in a new line of EA SPORTS fitness and sports performance products to improve the well-being of people of all ages.

EA SPORTS Active features a wide variety of interactive activities combined into a circuit that target both the upper and

lower body as well as cardio, and supports two players to allow family or friends to get fit together. EA SPORTS Active provides a new level of motivation with on-screen, real-time feedback on your workout such as calories burned, while also allowing you to adjust intensity levels. EA SPORTS Active will include two specially-designed leg straps that hold the Wii’s Nunchuk controller to track lower body movements, as well as a resistance band to support a number of upper body strength training exercises.

Bob Greene – renowned exercise physiologist, author and personal trainer to Oprah, had this to say: “One of the most frequent questions I am asked is how to get fit at home. EA

SPORTS Active provides a fun and effective workout that targets your upper body, lower body, and gets your heart pumping in just 20 minutes a day. It’s a great way to get moving when you can’t get outside or you only have a short amount of time at home. In addition, I like the variety of exercises that it provides – one of the many reasons it has earned the Best Life seal of approval.”

EA SPORTS Active features a “30 Day Challenge,” a fitness road map for players to reach their fitness goals with the guidance of a virtual trainer. The Challenge provides a new, 20-minute workout every time a player exercises, including clear instruction, feedback on technique and positive encouragement throughout the workout. Each circuit will feel different and increase in intensity as fitness levels improve to help you work up a sweat and work toward your fitness goals. Users can also create their own custom workouts that vary in activity, duration and intensity, and the Wii Balance Board will add functionality to many exercises.

Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009 - 33


WIN €500 Voucher for Beau Ireland Medical Cosmetic procedures for All Your Wrinkles, Lines and Lips For your chance to win €500 voucher for Beau Ireland simply text LIFE BEAU followed by your answer (A, B or C) to the following question to 57188 Q. Beau Ireland is located in which Irish city? A. Limerick B. Dublin C. Cork The cost per entry is €1.50. Closing date for entries 3rd April 2009. There is no cash alternative. Judges decision is final. For full terms and conditions contact Life and Fitness Magazine, Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary or email: info@lifeandfitnessmag.com. Good Luck!

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34 - Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009


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FITNESS

Weighty Issues by Gillian Hynes

It is a shame that in their quest to a better physique that so many women demonstrate nervousness if not outright fear of weight training. Over and over I hear from new female clients 'I don’t use weights as I don’t want to bulk up'. Many of these same women have spent endless mind numbing hours labouring away on treadmills, steppers and cross trainers (anything to stay away from the dreaded weights area and its supposed 'bulking up' effect!) and with little or no progress in their body shape.

muscle that can develop. As women have significantly less testosterone than men do, we simply can not gain muscle to the same extent.

2

Muscle is metabolically active – over a 24-hour period a pound of muscle burns in the region of 75 calories – this compares very favourably with the only 3 calories burned by a pound of fat over the same period. Thus increased muscle helps burn the body's stored fat.

A moderate cardio workout will burn more total calories than a moderate resistance training sesIt has taken serious powers of persuasion. However, while a cardio sion to convince these clients that propworkout will boost the metabolism er and (the rate at which your effective re“As women have significantly body burns calories) sistance training would not less testosterone than men do, for about 3 hours post bulk them up we simply can not gain muscle workout, an effective resistance training but would in workout will speed up to the same extent.” fact massively the metabolism for anaccelerate ything up to 15 hours post workout. their fat loss and give them the toned appearance which they are looking for and with no sudden transformation into a candidate for WWF wrestling!

If, like many women, fat loss and toning and overall good health are your goals let me explain some of the reasons why resistance training (in addition to your cardio work) is so vital to achieving these goals and why such training will not make you a muscle-bound Arnie but will help you achieve a lean, toned and healthy body.

1

Women are physiologically different from men. The greater the amount of testosterone the more

36 - Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009

representing a pound of fat, the remainding third being the muscle and the picture becomes clearer on how developing muscle, and in the process losing fat, will make you leaner.

3

4

5

If your workouts consist of cardio work only and/or you are on a calorie restrictive diet your body may resist burning its stored fat and instead will break down muscle for use as a source of energy - thus actually slowing your metabolism (see point 3!).

Muscle does not weigh more than fat (a pound after all is a pound) but in fact more dense than fat. In simple terms, to the eye a pound of fat is alot larger than a pound of muscle. Imagine a bag of sugar now cut two thirds of the bag away, this

6

Weight training helps prevent osteoporosis, a condition which mainly thanks to low fat diets and thus limited intake of calcium is making levels of this condition soar among young women. During weight training 'osteoblasts' – otherwise known as the bone building cells are stimulated to strengthen the bones. Weight training also improves posture so you will walk taller and look leaner as a result.

7

You need not relinquish your cardio work, as an optimum fitness regime will include both cardio & resistance training. Cardio work is essential for increasing your cardio-respiratory fitness.

8

One final point and perhaps most important of all – resistance train-


FITNESS

Weighty Issues (continued)

ing will jazz up your workouts (how boring is clambering onto the stepper every time?!) giving variety and moreover a sense of empowerment that cardio workouts alone just can not give. As regards weight training and diet if you are having visions of having to down eight raw eggs each morning think again. Current guidelines deem that our recommended daily allowance of protein should be around 15% of our daily intake – only professional body builders and serious weight lifters need to go beyond this recommended level. So yes, while weight training (as any training) should be done in conjunction with a healthy, nutritious diet there is no need to go downing protein shakes or eating 7 chicken breasts a day. If fat loss and toning are your goals get off the treadmill and take a walk over to the weights area or invest in a few dumbbells and start resistance training – you and your body will be very glad that you did. Before embarking on a weight training program please seek the advice of a trained fitness professional.

Fitness Tips Asthmatics and Sports If you suffer from asthma, you already know that some sports should be avoided, depending on the severity. If you have trouble on a daily basis and love sports, be encouraged to know that some sports are asthma-friendly and in fact, can be helpful in that they help make the lungs stronger. These sports include swimming, cycling, and fishing, walking, and canoeing. Again,

check with your physician before getting involved with any sport if you have a health condition.

psoralen, which is known to speed up the aging process. Circulation and Lymph Glands

for your legs and toward your armpits for the arms and torso. This might sound funny, but studies have shown this works.

Fragrance and Aging If you want to do everything you can to age gracefully, you should avoid anything that has the perfumes or lotions of coconut oil and orange. The reason is that these fragrances contain a substance called

When you finish with your bath or shower, you can actually help your body's circulation and improvement in which lymph glands drain, all by the way that you towel off your body. Very simply, when drying your arms and legs as well as torso, always towel away toward the groin

Make Time for Intimacy If you are married, be sure to make time for intimacy in your relationship. Sex is a great stress reducer and keeps a marriage happy. Sex is healthy act that should be enjoyed.

Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009 - 37


WELLNESS

How stress is affecting our lives by Catherine Connors-Bevalot

Stress is now considered one of the biggest issues facing us in today’s modern and fast paced world. It’s a topic we are all well aware of. Stress related and psychosomatic illnesses are on the increase and the majority of people asked will admit to feeling pressured and stressed, either from work or home. So how does Stress make us feel? When the cute guy at works asks you out and you find yourself preparing for your date with ‘butterflies’ in your stomach, this is Stress. But many of you will agree this is a nice stress, a good stress, a similar feeling will occur when you give a public speech, sitting a job interview, saying your wedding vows etc. A little of this stress can help to keep you on your toes and ready for a challenge, it will give you focus, strength, stamina and you will find you are more alert and ‘alive’. But what about Bad Stress, or stress overload.

38 - Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009

“Juggling, juggling, juggling, about 10 balls in the air, and one has razor blades stuck in it” – Anthony Galvin, Macroom, Cork. Too many people feel like this almost daily now, and stress overload is very common. We are coping with pressures that are too intense or last too long, a feeling of ‘holding the world on your shoulders’, worrying about bills, job security, constant overtime or demands at work, your family, keeping up with mortgage repayments, even the long commute to work and fighting traffic on a daily basic can cause stress overload. The list is endless and each person’s level of stress and ability to cope is different. Ongoing or long-term events, like coping with a divorce, illness in the family or loss of a loved one can cause stress too. Long-term stressful situations can produce a lasting, low-level stress that's hard on people. The nervous system senses continued pressure and may remain slightly activated and continue to pump out extra stress hormones. Over a long period of time this type of stress takes its toll on the body. Many physical and physiological symptoms can accord, such as –


WELLNESS Catherine Connors-Bevalot has been studying and practising holistic therapies and treatments for ten years. She is a Stress Management Consultant, Time-Management consultant and Holistic Therapist, Trainer & Teacher. She is based in both Paris, France and Tipperary, Ireland.

ents alike. Her treatments suit babies to children, the young to the old, the fit to the terminally ill and all others in between. Her workshops, seminars and treatments are becoming increasingly popular and all of these are carried out with great professionalism and complete care and attention of the client.

Her workshops and seminars are popular with businesses, health centres, adult learning centres, schools and private cli-

Anxiety or panic attacks Wear and tear on the heart and internal organs

der. Many companies now offer stress management workshops and seminars for their employees, a wise decision considering the number of lawsuits against companies due to stress related illnesses is on the increase.

Lowers the immune system Irritability and emotional outbursts

Learning the importance of proper timemanagement is also a must for those with busy schedules or hectic lives.

Stomach problems Headaches Chest pain, elevated heart rate Allergic reactions such as eczema or asthma

Some simple changes to your life can also help greatly, such as –

Insomnia Depression, sadness and tendency to cry easily General feeling of been ‘worn out’ But what can we do to beat stress? There are many ways to tackle the stress in your life and to find a balance that works for you. Certainly attending a stress workshop or making an appointment with a stress consultant or therapist is the ideal if you find you are unable to cope with the pressures that you may be un-

1. Learn to relax – very important this one and simple breathing exercises or meditation is a great tool in the fight against Stress. 2. Get a good night’s sleep – this will give you an energized feeling for the day, it’s hard to work at peak performance when we’re tired and sluggish. 3. Treat your body well – that means having a healthy diet, eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, drink lots of water as opposed to coffee or soft drinks, cut back on alcohol and

smoking (ideally cutting them out completely). 4. Move your body – take up a physical exercise, it doesn’t matter what you do, walking, swimming, belly dancing, yoga etc, the point is that at least 4 times a week you work and move your body, this is great for stress reduction, not to mention the benefits for your body. Its very hard to remain stressed when the body is working up a sweat. 5. Take up a hobby – find an activity that is neither work nor home related can do wonders for wellbeing, again it’s unimportant what you do, it can be sailing, fishing, collecting stamps, photography etc. What’s important is that this is something which you enjoy, and everyone deserves a little ‘me’ time in the day. The bottom line is that Stress is here to stay, what we need to do is learn how to live with it and to properly manage and cope with the stress in our lives. Take control of your life today. Catherine Connors-Bevalot Stress Management Consultant, TimeManagement consultant and Holistic Therapist, Trainer and Teacher. www.catherine-connorsbevalot.com

Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009 - 39


WELLNESS

Recession Depression It’s hard to get focused these days with all the bad news going around. Even the most positive people I know , are struggling a bit.. But lets not despair. All is not lost. We just need to realign what’s really important to us. For some of you, who may have lost their job recently, for others it might be the worry that your business may be in trouble. Whatever it is ,always remember your health is your wealth. So now more than ever , you need to take care of yourself . To see yourself through the tough days ahead. So, where do you begin..

Write down the area’s you most need to give attention to. If you have been used to a hectic schedule ,use this down time to improve your neglected areas. In my experience ,most highly successful business people tend to neglect their health and take it for granted. Too busy to go the gym and too tired at the end of the day to eat the right foods.

We have had a lot of good times in last ten years. So lets not forget that. Media is making everyone feel despairing. Try not to dwell on world wide issues. Easier said than done. Watch for the symptoms of depression though.

by Cathy Soraghan www.womenontherun.ie

Feeling worthless. Especially ,if you have lost your job and you have a family to support.

Take action.

6. Set a budget each week and stick to it. Especially , those of you that are currently working. Stay within your boundaries. Put the credit card on hold for the moment and try and clear as much of it as you can. It’s by far, the most expensive item in your wallet.

Make a list of the things that you know you can control. Such as: 7. Start a programme with your diet and exercise. You can keep a diary to help you focus. Just write down everyday what form 1. Spending on unnecessary items. of exercise you have taken and how much food you have consumed. Read it through at the end of the day . Reward yourself 2. Don’t expect your teenagers ,to underwith a nice treat if you have achieved your stand that certain things they deem essengoal, eg. a movie you always wanted to tial, are not your priority. We gave these see, a massage at the end of the month, etc. things, to them unwittingly when the good times were here. So, involve them in the decision making about what’s really impor- 8. Stop blaming yourself, you didn’t create tant. Explain, that you have not the same this recession. Learn to live with it with as income anymore and get them to underpositive frame of mind you can muster. All stand why changes have to be made. With- is not lost. Look to your partner, family for out making them worry that they are at support. Learn to enjoy the smaller things serious risk. in life, walk in the park, by the sea. Play football with the kids. Things that are free. Learn to read again. 3. Pay a lot more attention to how you buy your weekly shopping. Eating processed food ,puts on average 25-30% to your bill. 9. Re-educate. Learning new things can It’s also far healthier to buy less food and help stimulate the brain. It’s amazing how shop more regularly for fresh items. Go to we all got into technology and let it do all your local vegetable man and buy direct. the things for us. Get back to playing cards, Or better still grow your own. Even if you scrabble etc, things that involve social netdon’t have a garden. A couple of tubs out working. on the balcony of your apartment is enough space to grow tomatoes, berries of any description even lemons. 10. Attend to your hobbies. Whatever , they may be . If you have none create one.

Dwelling over the latest news bulletin. Letting your appearance go. Inability to sleep. Neglecting your diet. Eating more comfort food.

4. Exercise. It’s a well known fact that people who exercise everyday are less likely to suffer from depression. Even ten minutes a day, will release those positive endorphins you will need to get through these gloomy times. ..

Gaining/loosing weight. Lacking interest in those around you. Consuming more alcohol. Smoking more or starting back on cigarettes.

Keep the faith and remember over the next few months I will be providing you with some expert advice on a range of fitness and wellbeing topics. If there is anything you might like to discuss just send your requests to info@lifeandfitnessmag.com We are always available to help you.

5. Eliminate where possible, the people in your life that bring you down. Stay close to positive like minded forward thinking people. It’s amazing how we feed from one another.

Top Tip Walk the Dog Instead of just opening the back door to let the dogs out, put them on a leash and go for a nice walk. They will appreciate the new scenery and you are doing yourself a great justice.

40 - Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009


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Altura in The Algarve, Portugal Altura is a wonderful village which has retained most of its original Portuguese charm and feel. During the day there is a laid back, relaxed atmosphere and visitors can enjoy the sun and a beer at one of the seafront bars or take a stroll and do some leisurely shopping. For the sun worshippers, the expansive white beaches have sun beds for hire and provide great walking territory into the neighbouring resorts! In the evening, visitors can choose from a wide selection of bars and restaurants to suit all tastes ranging from the cheap and cheerful Tasca bars to High Quality cuisine. The village is generally very family orientated. Car hire is not essential as there are good bus and rail networks which can be used to explore the surrounding areas Further details for this holiday villa rental in Altura, Portugal The Beautiful Town of Tavira 15 kms: When staying in Altura, a visit to the beautiful town of Tavira is essential! You will not fail to be enthralled by its unspoilt charm, character and tranquility. As you wander along the cobbled streets, you'll see an abundance of history dating as far back as 2000BC. A Roman bridge links the 2 parts of the town across the River Gilao, its sides decorated with traditional old bars and restaurants where you can relax and enjoy a peaceful drink or meal. Horse drawn carriages and a small train operate around the town and are perfect for sightseeing and enjoying the peaceful ambience. The many churches (37 in total!), the town castle and the typical fisherman's harbour leading to the

River Formosa Natural Park are all places to visit, along with the wonderful daily market selling fresh home grown produce. Tavira Island and its wonderful beach is accessible by ferry boat from the town and offers excellent facilities with a wonderful holiday atmosphere. Local Beach & Things to do: he Algarve is famous for its wonderful sandy beaches and Alagoa is no exception. It is the sun worshipper’s paradise with white expansive sands and good water for swimming. Located at the bottom end of the village, the beach can be reached in around 20 minutes on foot and also has restaurants. By travelling a little further afield there are a good range of things to do for everyone. For nature lovers, forest walks, cruises along the River Guadiana or nature trails along the Ria Formosa Reserve where bird watching is in abundance! Travelling towards the West there are some excellent shopping centres in Faro and Ghia as well as the famous Water Parks and Zoo Marine all easily reached by car or by day trip coach. The Spanish border town of Ayamonte is only 15kms away where the delights of another country can be sampled along with wine, Tapas and shopping, accessible by bus, train, ferry or car. Seville is around 150km. For budding historians, as well as Tavira, Castro Marim is a must

Golf: This is perfect spot for golfers wishing to sample the excellent courses situated in the Eastern Algarve. Within a 20km radius there are 7 courses to choose from. Benamor and the 2 Quintas (Ria and Cima) are the most popular and can be reached within several minutes. The prestigious new course of Monte Rei designed by Jack Nicklaus now has its first 18 holes open and is continuing in its development to the second phase offering the height of golfing luxury - although a costly experience, this is a real treat for golfing fanatics wishing to experience a little high life! Travelling only 10kms further on towards Spain, the challenging course of Castro Marim, along with its famous country club comes highly recommended and just across the border are the Costa Esuri and Quinta do Vale courses now growing in popularity.

Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009 - 41


FINANCIAL HEALTH

Top Ten Tips for Investing by Ardle Culleton & Susan Hayes

Know who you are in the market There are two types of the market participants – speculators and investors. A speculator frequently buys and sells whereas an investor is prepared to be in the market for the medium to long term. On average, only 5% of speculators will make money in the stock market. If you don’t know who you are, the stock market is an expensive place to find out. Market Myth – Is the stock market just for gamblers? No!!!

folio of ten stocks for diversification purposes or invest in several ETF’s. Person C has the luxury of greater scope for diversification both in shares and collective products. Four Horsemen of Stock Market Investing There are four “horsemen”, namely fear, hope, greed and ignorance. Many people

Over the long term, business develops, companies generate profits and hence the economy grows. As a result, the market makes money over time – for example, the Irish Index has returned 14% compound per annum from 1983 - 2007. It is very difficult to make significant gains in the short term because an economy simply hasn’t had time to develop. This can be shown through “The Poker Analogy”. If four people play poker, two win, two lose but there is no new money created in the room. Similarly, in the stock market, there is no “new money” created in a short time frame. Find out what is available in the stock market There are two ways to invest in the stock market, directly and indirectly. Everybody knows the direct route - buying individual companies i.e. Vodafone. However there are collective products such as “Exchange Traded Funds” which simply generate the market returns i.e. the performance of the ISEQ, FT100 etc. Three Different Types of Investors There can be three different types of investor – Person A with €700 upwards, Person B with €10,000 upwards and Person C with €100,000 upwards. The stock market can cater for all of these people. For example, Person A could buy an aforementioned Exchange Traded Fund (i.e. ISEQ 20 Tracker) which provides exposure to the top twenty shares in the Irish market. Person B could buy a port-

42 - Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009

need in order to be successful in the market. Find a Strategy It is important to have a clearly defined investment strategy which is time tested as well as being easy to implement and to understand. As a result, you can identify what to buy and when to sell with ease. An example of this may be to look for stocks with certain established factors, i.e. shares with a high “Dividend Yield” for value or a high “Return on Capital Employed” for profitability. Identify the number of shares you will hold in your portfolio and for how long you will hold them until re-evaluation. Believe in your strategy and stick with it! Any strategy could underperform in a year, but the key is not to panic! Believe in the past performance of the time tested approach and remember that if you sell because the returns are down, you could very well miss significant future gains. If you fully understand your strategy, you will be confident in knowing that you bought value. As a result, stick with your plan and you will eventually reap the rewards.

experience the fear that a share might fall in value, hope that a share will rise in value and because of greed, hold on to a share too long. A disciplined strategy will neutralise these three emotions and education will eliminate ignorance, so take a look at what training facilities are out there!! Stock Market Training While you don’t need to be in an expert in stock market terminology, you do need to have a general understanding of how the market works, some value terms and the practicalities of investing in the stock market. A professional stock market training company i.e. Invest Like The Best, can deliver all the training that you

Develop a Plan If possible, try to add a regular amount to the initial investment. This will provide you with a disciplined approach going forward, an effective savings plan as well as building up your nest egg. Open a brokerage account Now that you know what to buy, the next thing to do is to open a trading account. There are both traditional and online discount brokers available. A traditional broker will provide you with more service, but will cost more. An online discount broker will require you to be more “hands on” but will cost you less.


WELLNESS

What is counselling? Jim O Shea In the coming months I hope to write some brief articles on the many issues that cause distress to people, which sometimes result in their resorting to counselling. In this first article, however, I would like to explain what counselling is all about, with a specific focus on humanistic counselling. There was a time, and not so very long ago, when people felt ashamed of going for counselling. Their families almost saw it as a stigma. Thankfully, that has changed; and better still, more and more men now turn to counselling in times of distress. The person who comes to counselling is generally vulnerable, and it is important to stress that vulnerability is not a weakness, but one of the greatest strengths we have. It enables us to reach out to others.

Counselling is about helping people make sense of their lives. It creates a safe, confidential place for people to be vulnerable, to feel (or indeed to find) their feelings, and to explore distress. The counselling room can be a very challenging place, for it is only by challenge that we can change and move on. Challenge is not aggressive, but is gentle and direct.

There is nothing more healing than to explore issues, especially shameful ones, in the presence of a non-judgemental person. Hence, the person of the counsellor is extremely important. It is important that they be well trained and have done a significant amount of personal therapy themselves. It is the job of the counsellor to create the conditions, which will enable the client to feel safe

enough to explore the issues and ultimately to lead an independent life. So many people are in controlling relationships (personal and work- related) that they lead dependent lives. A good counsellor can skilfully challenge them to change, to feel their power and to become more independent.

In the case of humanistic counselling, there are specific core conditions which the counsellor must strive to create, so that the counselling relationship with the client will allow this to happen. Humanistic counselling is about relationship. It is called the therapeutic relationship, which is a professional, but deeply human one. The core conditions are (1) a process of empathic understanding, (2) an attitude of unconditional positive regard and (3) a state of being called congruence (genuineness).

Empathic understanding means being able to step into the clients shoes and experience the client’s distress as if it were the counsellor’s own. It is a process of being with the client. It is important for the client to feel understood, if empathy is to be an effective healing process.

It is also a process of being able to see behind the clients words and sense what is in the subconscious. This requires much self-awareness by the counsellor.

The attitude of unconditional positive regard is a difficult one. We are all reared in a conditional way. Our parents, teachers, clergymen, employers and significant others lay down the conditions for us and if we wish to be valued we must follow them. The humanistic coun-

sellor must value (prize) their clients no matter what they are revealing, no matter how shameful it is. The counsellor may dislike the behaviours of the client and sometimes may not even like the client, but they must always see the client as a person of worth. This helps build self esteem, because many people who come to counselling lack self esteem.

The final piece of the core conditions is congruence or genuineness. This means that the outward responses of the counsellor matches how he or she actually feels. Anything else is merely a pretence or even a defence, and hinders rather than promotes healing. It means having real contact with the client. It is also important for the client to see that the counsellor is genuine.

All three of these core conditions must be present for therapy to be effective, and all three must be evident to the client. It is not possible for the counsellor to be perfect in having them, but they must be aspired to. The more personal therapy a counsellor undergoes, the more likely that these conditions will be present.

Bereavement and grieving As the anniversary of the death of my youngest son approaches, I would like to write a number of articles on bereavement, which I hope will help those suffering loss.

The emphasis is on loss. This does not mean only death. People may experience loss when they retire, especially if

Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009 - 43


WELLNESS

they are forced to retire through ill health, they experience loss if their health fails, if a relationship breaks down; children experience loss at the death of pets and so on. Indeed the word bereavement comes from the word ?reave?, which means to be dispossessed or robbed of something.

In the first of articles on grieving I hope to explore normal grieving and later I will devote an article to delayed or complicated grief, which normally requires counselling to unravel.

People who are grieving usually experience 4 types of reactions - feeling, physical sensations, thoughts and behaviours. I have experienced these in my own life, and they are a painful and sometimes a devastating process. But it is a process that must be endured. There is no shortcut through grief. I recall that the pain was at times so great in my grieving that I often wondered if it would ever end or would I ever be happy again. There are many feeling associated with grieving. Not all bereaved people experience all of them.

The range of feelings involved in grief are as follows: sadness, anger, guilt, anxiety, loneliness, fatigue, helplessness, shock, yearning, emancipation, relief, horror, terror and numbness. Please remember that feelings are part of you. They are your friends. They will ultimately liberate you. Allow them

I do not have the space here to explore each feeling, so I will concentrate upon a few. The one that seems to be the most problematic to people, especially older people is that of anger. When I was learning the catechism, I learned that anger was one of the seven deadly sins. So I grew up with a feeling that anger was a sin; even more, a deadly

44 - Life and Fitness Magazine - March 2009

sin! Anger is not a sin. It is a normal healthy feeling which should be allowed expression (not however in violent behaviour towards others). I recall stopping the car and shouting my anger at God, at my child for being o careless on the road, for leaving me bereft and suffering. God can take it.

Another feeling which is hard to bear is loneliness. In a sense it is a feeling of desolation that part of ones life is gone and will never return. I experienced this not only following tragedy in my family, but when I retired from a busy job. Then there is the feeling of terror. I found that this arose from my feeling of helplessness. I was unable to do anything to prevent the death of my child. I have mentioned the feeling of emancipation. This is also problematic for the grieving person to admit. But relief and emancipation are feelings that arise when the survivor is released from a life of cruelty and abuse inflicted by the person who has died.

In conclusion, it is only by allowing the feelings that arise that the grieving person can move on. It is possible to accept anything and to move on. What is the alternative? That does not mean that feeling of sadness and loneliness will return from time to time through-

out one’s life. Neither does it mean forgetting about the person who has died. Jim O’Shea works as a counsellor from Furze, Thurles. Ph. 087 8211009 www.jimoshea.net . JimO’Shea’s book ‘When a child dies. Footsteps of a Grieving Family’ is published by Veritas. The royalties from this book will go tosthe Children’s Hospital in Crumlin.


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