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Complementary Fitness 16 May Newsletter

Complementary Fitness Logo

Welcome to this week’s newsletter & updates:

If you’re just starting on your fitness journey – welcome to Complementary Fitness.

I’m glad that you found us and I hope that you’ll stay and continue to work out with us on a weekly/regular basis.

When we do begin, I know that sometimes it can be a struggle to stay motivated to exercise but remember that we all start somewhere.

We’re all beginners at some point.

No one’s progress will be the same as the next person.

We’re all different and unique with different bodies, mindsets, challenges, health issues, fitness levels etc, but it’s great to make the decision to join a class and if it helps, come along with a friend so that you encourage each other.

Patience and consistency are key.

Wise words: ‘Be patient.  The results will speak for themselves’.

Some of you have told me that on occasion, you nearly didn’t come to a class on a particular morning or evening because you were tired or you’d had a challenging day at work or that traffic or the weather was bad (or good) but that when you made up your mind to come anyway, that you were glad that you did.

You said that you really enjoyed it and were happy that you came along and took part.

Many of you have said that your mood changed for the better and felt more relaxed and focussed.

Keep going to keep going.

Stay on track.

We can boost our mood and confidence when we correct and improve our posture.

Notice how you sit and stand.

If you’re sitting on the sofa or at a desk all day, are you slouching?

Posture matters because research shows that a stooped or hunched posture might keep us in a negative mood but being aware and changing our posture can influence hormones and mood making us feel more confident.

If we’re in a hunched position, we’re likely to be looking down, we might not realise that our shoulders are elevated, or they’re forward which can cause muscle tension in the neck and upper body and maybe headaches.  Poor posture can lead to chronic musculoskeletal pain and stiffness in the body too.


Poor posture can negatively affect our energy levels resulting in fatigue and overall tiredness but on the other hand, good posture, good body alignment can help us feel more focussed and energised.


By being aware and improving our posture, we can look straight ahead with better body alignment, less tension in the neck, shoulders, back, more confidence and focus.

As well as improved overall blood flow with better posture, we can breathe easier and improve blood flow to the abdomen which may result in better digestion.


More about posture

Thanks to Kay who gave me a Body + Soul, The Times article she kept for me (thanks Kay), according to a top Hollywood guru that A-listers go to for posture issues, he says that at a minimum, we should avoid sitting in one position for more than 30 minutes and that, at least once an hour, we should stand and do some shoulder squeezes to pull shoulders back and down towards the spine to offset hunching.  He says ‘the more you move, the more posture will improve’ and ‘The muscles around the pelvis and shoulders will relax and as the body begins to lengthen, the better you will breathe, digest, stand and sit’.


And here’s something I’m guilty of too: wearing/carrying a cross-body (heavy) handbag on one shoulder which can cause tension and muscle ache on my left shoulder.

I can often carry too much ‘stuff’ in my bag ‘just in case I l might need it’ so should look at only taking what I will need.  Maybe using a smaller bag with less stuff in it or better advice might be to wear a backpack-style bag which reduces the muscle tension and weight on one side and shares it between both shoulders and on the back.


Some equipment that might help release muscle tension:

A foam roller can be a great piece of equipment to use to stretch off tight hamstrings, quads, back muscles etc.

Plain & simple: a tennis ball.  We’ve used to use a tennis ball years ago in our fitness Pilates warm up.  I used to bring a big bag of them (thanks to Stephen who ‘donated’ to us at the time, ‘back in the day’) but now of course, we have to use our own equipment and not share.  Anyway, we must get round to bringing one each and using them again.

You can give it a try at home though in the meantime: take your shoes off and with bare feet or socks on, place a tennis ball under one foot and roll it around the sole of the foot, from one side to the other and notice if there’s some tension in one particular area.  You might try keeping the ball there until muscle tension eases and play about with the pressure.

Try rolling the ball back and around your heel – be careful, it might roll away!

Obviously, do the same on the other side.


In class, when using the tennis ball, we also used to lie on the floor and place the ball under the glute muscles and roll it around to ease buttock muscle tension.

Guess what we’ll be doing in class soon?


As you know, apart from working to improve our strength, flexibility, fitness levels, balance and co-ordination, we also work on improving our posture in our classes.  Join us this week.


Oh and I’ve also read that we can walk ourselves out of a bad mood.

Studies show that even a 10 minute walk immediately boosts brain chemistry to increase happiness.

Get outdoors for a walk as often as you can.  Being in nature helps too.


This year’s Royal Highland Show is on 23-26 June and you can find out more or buy tickets at


I came across this recipe for chilli lime tahini sauce that can easily be made to drizzle over just about everything including roasted veggies.

The recipe is from @simplyquinoa and all you need to do is blitz or blend the following:

¼ cup tahini, juice of 2 limes, 1 tsp chilli powder, ½ tap smoked paprika, ½ tsp garlic powder, a pinch of salt and water if needed to thin it down.

Let me know if you try it, what you poured it over and if/that you enjoyed it.


I’ve also bought some organic berry powders – I ordered & got blueberry, cranberry, blackberry, sea buckthorn (all separate / not combined) as well as chaga mushroom powder from @loovorganicfood and have tried out their pina colada smoothie recipe on their Insta page – it was deeeelishious.

Blend to combine: ½ frozen banana, ½ cup/100mg pineapple chunks (fresh or frozen), 1 can of coconut milk, 2T organic sea buckthorn powder and some ice cubes (optional but I don’t ‘do’ ice cubes so didn’t put them in), enjoy.

LOOV are a Nordic superfood & supplements natural, organic, vegan company at:


I love these 9 daily habits that will change your life:

  1. 1 hour of exercise
  2. 2 litres of water
  3. 3 cups of tea
  4. 4 colours on our plate
  5. 5 mins of meditation
  6. Listen to 6 songs that motivate you
  7. 7 minutes of laughter
  8. 8 hours of sleep
  9. Read 9 pages of a book

(thanks to @nutritiontipsss)


Talking about sleep, when we get plenty of sleep every night, it’s one of the best things that we can do for our short term and long term health ie boosting mood, performance and for the overall health of our brain.

This tip might help you sleep better too: when I watch tv in the evening, I always wear blue light blocking glasses.  Why? ….

Excessive exposure to artificial light at night, particularly blue light, has been linked to problems ie poor sleep.  Lessening exposure to light at night helps restore our circadian rhythm so we improve our sleep.


You can order them from that big online warehouse ‘over the bridge’ or from (they also sell blackout sleep masks etc too).

You can get a 20% discount through Dr Chatterjee’s partner offer with, just add the code: “livemore20”.


According to experts, two hormones that go awry with too little sleep are cortisol (which causes the body to store fat) and ghrelin (which causes us to get hungry).

Make quality sleep every night a priority.


I thought I’d share this tweet by Frank Lipman MD: ‘why is sugar so hard to break up with?  Because it’s a drug, an addictive substance that stimulates the same areas in the brain as cocaine and heroin.  The sooner you get off it, however you do it, the faster you can start turning back the clock on aging and amp up your immunity”.

He also says: ‘like smoking and alcohol use, sugar accelerates aging by weakening the immune system and promoting the development of diseases that we all fear ie diabetes, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease to name a few’.


Reminders that:

  • if you have any news, anything you’d like to share ie whether it’s local news, ideas, comments, recipes etc, let me know and I’ll let everyone know. I’m always on the hunt for things to add into our weekly newsletter.  Please regularly send me class comments & feedback (eg if the class has benefitted you, that a fitness yoga evening class helps you sleep, that you have more energy after a particular class etc etc), then please email me directly or through my website and I’ll continually update the ‘what class participants say’ section of my website, thank you.
  • you can email me for a space in any class and/or just turn up, there’ll be space for you. We’re never 100% full with no spaces left.  You can book a place through my Facebook page too if you want to.
  • If you feel unwell, have any cold or other virus symptoms, don’t come to a class but stay home, take care, get well and come back when you’re full recovered and feel better.
  • please follow me on Instagram and Facebook @complementaryfitness where you’ll see the latest updates, photos, mini videos etc. On Pinterest, I’m @SusanCockburn

As always, I look forward to seeing you this week and working out together.

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