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Complementary Fitness 10 July newsletter

Complementary Fitness Logo

Welcome to this week’s newsletter & updates:

I came across another article about improving body and brain health and thought I’d share some of the info with you.  As you’d expect, it’s about the importance of regular exercise, good nutrition, relaxation and reducing negative bad stress:

  • Exercise regularly to create more neural connections in the brain to reduce risk for dementia.
  • Resistance training helps to build muscle mass can help reduce inflammation in the brain and grow more brain cell connections
  • According to research, people who have more muscle mass and have better stamina have a sharper brain.
  • Focus on exercising between 150 – 300 minutes per week, ha, not all at once but over several exercise sessions a week.  The key is reducing sedentary behaviour so as well as our usual classes, sport, walks and hikes, gardening and household chores, all exercise is good as long as you enjoy it and push yourself safely and stick to it.

It’s also really important to relax, unwind, have time for ourselves, meditate and try to stress less because stress has been associated with brain atrophy (shrinkage).   Those of us who have constant bad stress and worry in our lives tend to have higher adrenaline and cortisol circulating – all associated with neurodegenerative changes so stress management is extremely important for building a healthy brain.

Good nutrition is a very important for our overall health and evidence shows that a diet high in plant-based foods (eg green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, fruits and berries, beans and legumes, whole-grains, nuts, seeds, herbs & spices,) can lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia.  Choose oils high in polyunsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats eg extra virgin olive oil and omega-3 fatty acids (from flax, chia, hemp seeds or supplement with algae-based DHA).  Lower consumption of ultra-processed foods, saturated fats and trans fats, salt and refined carbs (processed sugar, white flour, etc.).  Excess alcohol consumption is neurotoxic and has been associated with increased risk of brain atrophy (shrinkage).

I’m sure that you’ll have heard that people in their 80s and 90s who live in the Blue Zones around the world large very healthy and live the longest.  They’re very active, they dance, cook, drive, help others and enjoy support and friendships from their wider community.

Here are 10 foods that support healthy ageing:

  1. Green tea – contains a powerful antioxidant called EGCG that fights DNA damage
  2. Extra virgin olive oil contains anti-inflammatory properties
  3. Dark chocolate contains flavanols that act as antioxidants in the body. Flavanols slow down damage caused by free radicals and have powerful anti-inflammatory properties that may improve skin health
  4. Oily fish eg salmon are high in omega 3-s, protein, selenium and astaxanthin which is an antioxidant associated with maintaining strong muscles and healthy bones.
  5. Flax seeds contain fibre and contain antioxidants known as lignins which help fight free radicals in the body. They’re also high in omega-3 known as alpha linolenic acid (ALA) which supports a healthy skin membrane.
  6. Pomegranates have a substance called urolithin A and research suggests that it boosts mitochondria (our cells power stations) which tend to run down with age, causing muscle weakening and frailty.
  7. Watercress is a nutrient dense, hydrating leafy green that’s a great source of beta carotene, vitamins C and E and also 2 powerful antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which help mop up free radicals that cause damage as we age.
  8. Nuts & seeds are nutrient dense powerhouses that give us protein, healthy fats and antioxidants which are vital nutrients for healthy aging.
  9. Herbs & spices have some degree of antioxidant power which protect us from oxidative stress.
  10. Collagen – did you know that as our cells age, their ability to produce collagen decreases. We can lose up to 50% of our bone strength during the aging process due to collagen breakdown. Consuming collagen may have some anti-aging benefits eg strengthening bones, muscles and joints and supporting healthy skin.

(blue zones & 10 healthy foods info from a post by @liniapatelnutrition)


I hope that you can make it to as many classes as you can over the summer holidays for more bone building, strength & flexibility improvements and benefits.


Easiest and best way that you can pay for classes:

  • With cash ie £6 per class (always best and I have change)
  • Directly into my bank account (if you don’t have my details, email me and I can give you my sort code & business account number).
  • Alternatively, using my SumUp card machine (although sometimes, it seems to ‘play up’!!)


Remember to let me know if you have any comments, news and keep me updated with anything that’s happening with you ie health-related stuff, goals, achievements etc.


See you soon, Susan:

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