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Complementary Fitness 18 March newsletter

Complementary Fitness Logo

Welcome to this week’s newsletter & updates:

Lightweight / barefoot flexible shoes for classes:

A lot of people ask me about the Pilates and yoga lightweight shoes that I wear in classes

ie where to get them from etc and I always recommend Vivobarefoot shoes.  They’re expensive but last for years.

This is also to remind you that you can get 15% off your first order of Vivo’s using the code: LBLM09

You’ll see the code if you click on this link

  1. Rangan Chatterjee’s feel better, live more podcast | Vivobarefoot | UK

I’ve bought several pairs of Vivos and like their Primus Lite 111 shoes and Primus Lite Knit shoes.


Class feedback:

I love and appreciate all the lovely feedback and comments that we get about our classes and thought I’d share this kind comment that was emailed to me from a recent fitness Pilates class:

“Just wanted to say that when I left your class on Tuesday, I felt great.  All the tension of a stressful day at work was gone”

Elaine also said “I am so glad to see that the class is busy again.  You put a lot of work into your classes to make them welcoming, friendly and varied and you deserve them to be busy.  PS My glutes are killing me today”!!  Oops

Thanks very much Elaine for your comment and I’m sure that your glutes eased after a couple of days, fingers crossed!.


Building and maintaining muscle mass as we age:

According to a blog on, building and maintaining muscle mass as we age is critical for our overall health and apart from the benefits of being able to move, exercise etc, strong muscles can protect against osteoporosis and lower the risk of dementia as we’ve mentioned before.


So, what are the best ways to build muscle?

What’s the role of exercise and food?

and, is it really possible to get and stay strong if you don’t eat animal products? (answer: yes btw)

Strong muscles are important for everyone, even if we’re not an athlete, bodybuilder, or the family designated jar opener!  Being strong allows us to support our body in various situations and positions, and allows us to perform essential movements like lifting, gripping, bending and pulling.

Stronger muscles produce strong bones and joints which can help prevent injury, as well as stave off degenerative bone diseases eg osteoporosis.   But increasing muscle mass and strength can also prevent chronic diseases that are seemingly unrelated to our ability to do bicep curls and squats.

Stronger muscles aid metabolism, which makes sense if we think about the fact that one of the main functions of metabolism is to get fuel to those muscles.  One 2013 study found that bigger, stronger muscles actually combated insulin resistance and prevented the development of type 2 diabetes in mice.

The need to maintain muscle mass becomes more critical as you age because muscle loss occurs naturally with aging and muscles start deteriorating in our 30s – sooo young.  Between ages 40 and 60, most people lose an average of 8% of their muscle mass every decade and after 60, the loss typically accelerates at an even faster rate.

Muscle loss is known as sarcopenia (from the Greek sarco, meaning flesh, and penia, meaning poverty).  Studies show that sarcopenia comes with many health consequences: people get diseases sooner, move less easily and can die earlier.  On the other hand, it’s good to know that muscle strength and mass are associated with lower risks of cognitive decline and dementia so all of those squats, lunges etc may actually help our brain health too.

How to build muscle – with resistance training

Which is any physical activity that causes the muscles to work against some opposing force (like a weight).  There are 2 main varieties: isometric and isotonic.

Isometric exercises keep joints still, while the muscle group strains against the resistance. Examples of isometric exercises include planks, wall sits (as it says ‘on the tin’, with your back against a wall in a held bent knee pose) held yoga poses etc.

Isotonic exercises involve moving muscle groups against some resistance eg push-ups, sit-ups and lifting weights.  We can combine isometric and isotonic training in a session.

Protein and exercise:

When we consume foods that contain protein, we digest them into their component amino acids, which the body uses as the building blocks for various tissues, enzymes, and hormones that keep us going.  In the context of resistance training, protein is necessary for muscle building and repair to occur after exercises are complete.  And I read that eating protein shortly after exercising has been shown to support muscle synthesis — although researchers disagree on both the optimal amount of protein and the timing window that leads to the best results.

On the other hand, eating too much protein (or more than the body needs) can lead to a variety of health issues.  Excess protein is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, as our bodies lacks a mechanism for storing protein (unlike carbohydrates, which get stored as glycogen, and fats, which get stored as fat).  So if we consume more protein than the body can use, it either gets broken down for energy or converted into fat — and both processes can be hard on the body.

How much protein should we consume in a day for optimum health?  (bodybuilders and athletes may require more) – certain people may indeed require more than the minimum recommendation of 0.8g per kilo of bodyweight and the answer to the question above, No we don’t need to consume animal sources of protein to get adequate amounts.  If veggie/vegan, sources include: tofu, tempeh, legumes, nuts and seeds, quinoa etc.

To get more info and read the whole article (too long to add everything here), click on the link (or copy & paste to your browser).  There are also some recipes at the end of the article too.

Building Muscle on a Plant-Based Diet: How-to | Food Revolution Network


Reminder about 9am start on Fri 29 March

A week on Friday, on Fri 29 March (Good Friday), our fitness yoga is at the earlier start time of 9.00 (and finishing at 10am sharp), just for that one day.

Put the earlier 9am start time in your diary, phone calendar etc now and set yourself a reminder.


You can also view this newsletter on my website at

Complementary Fitness 18 March Newsletter – Complementary Fitness


Reminder to send me any info, articles, local or other news etc that you come across that we can share with each other, thanks.


How you can pay for classes:

With cash ie £6 per class

Paying directly on my iphone or

By bank transfer into my account.


Connecting with Susan:

Email me: