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Complementary Fitness 2 Dec newsletter

Complementary Fitness Logo

Did you also know that:

I’m looking forward to seeing you in our classes this week as above and you’ll notice (or know that) our December Tuesday 7.30pm and Thursday 7pm classes are candlelight classes (for the last 20 minutes of each class so please bring your tea lights and holders and something warm to keep cozy when relaxing and stretching on the floor).

I’m reminding that next week, again our Tuesday class on 10 Dec is another Fitness Pilates candlelight class and although no class on Thurs 12 Dec because of the General Election, our Wednesday and Friday classes are still on and we finish on Fri 13 Dec.

Oh and our 2020 classes start back up on Tue 7 Jan.

Core strength helps us eliminate lower back pain and maintain better posture which is really important and especially for people who are hunched over a desk all day.

We strengthen our core muscles in our classes eg when performing ‘the Plank’.  As you know, and as I’ve said before, there are various variations of the Plank which even when done on forearms and knees, is still a great core exercise for abdominal and back strength. 

Occasionally in our Fitness Pilates classes we’ll also perform a Russian twist which is another great strengthening exercise and this is done by sitting on your mat, leaning back, bending our knees and either keeping your heels lightly on the floor or raising your feet from the floor.  Clasp your hands together and twist your upper body from side to side as you bring one elbow at a time closer to the floor at the side then change/twist to the other side.  You should definitely feel your core engaged.

Thanks to Diana (Wed class) for passing on some newspaper articles to me that she thought be of interest to us.  I’m always on ‘the look out’ for info to put in our weekly newsletters and if you have anything you think would be of interest, please let me know and I’ll pass it on.  Anyway, one of the articles about exercising in winter saying that Finnish researchers found that taking a supplement of 6-8g of vitamin C a day can be more helpful for exercisers than the general population.  (The article also said that NHS guidelines are lower in Vit C dosage).  In various studies by scientists at the Uni of Helsinki involving more than 11,000 people who were given a dose of vitamin C then the impact was assessed on their health.  All participants (incl school children, marathon runners, competitive swimmers, soldiers etc) showed that extra vitamin C halved their risk of colds in people who do intense exercise.  Among the exercisers who caught a cold and took the supplement, they shook off their illness twice as quickly as those who didn’t take the vitamin. 

The article then went on to talk about hydration and said that a chilled drink may lower your body temperature so it’s best to drink fluids which are at room temperature.

We’re also advised to layer up and start with a base layer of sweat-wicking synthetic material or a merino wool, wool-synthetic blend and to avoid cotton because it absorbs sweat and feels clammy.  Then put on a fleece or wool layer for insulation then a breathable outer shell layer made from a wind and water-resistant material.  If you’re running in winter, hat and gloves are necessary too and prepare your body for exercise by warming up for 5-10 mins first.  It’s a good idea to wear high-visibility clothing too.  If/when I’m out running first thing in the morning, I like to layer up and wear a bright coloured fluorescent light jacket. 

Interesting to note that a 2017 study published in the American Journal of Human Biology found that participants used up to 34% more calories when hiking in cold weather and that exposure to cold temperatures is known to trigger the body’s brown fat stores into action.  This kind of fat burns rather than stores calories.

In a completely different article on a different topic, according to a nutritionist and dietician at King’s College, London, “gut health is all about eating an inclusive diet, about moderation and plant diversity”  In her opinion, she also says that we should be eating 30 different types of plant-based foods every week and that people who eat a more diverse range of bacteria in their gut have better long-term health with lower risk of diabetes and heart disease.  We now know that:

  • our bodies contain more bacteria than human cells and
  • 70% of our immune system lies along the 9 metres of our digestive tract
  • what we eat affects our mental health

How diverse is your diet? 

Do you tend to eat the same rotation of meals each week? 

Do you make sure you eat the minimum 5-a-day fruit & vegetables? 

Are you (maybe as a result of recent TV programmes eg the truth about meat) eating less red meat, eating more plant-based foods, eating more chicken or fish or maybe (according to another recent TV programme about how old ‘fresh fish’ actually is – when they found out that ‘fresh’ can be up to 21 days!! Or frozen and now defrosted) buying and eating more frozen fish?

There’s a lot of information ‘out there’ and sometimes you feel that this week x is being advocated in the news then next week, some other ‘expert’ has a different opinion and they say that y is the thing to give up or eat more of for this or that reason and it can be confusing.  I guess you just have to read, watch or listen to the latest info and make your own mind up and try not to stress about it too much too which in itself, can be detrimental to our health.  As I’ve said before and for me/us, we cook from scratch, buy organic as much as we can, try to buy ‘in season’, eat a lot of soups and stews which are full of different vegetables, pulses etc and for me, I’m soooo lucky that I love teaching our classes so that’s generally when I exercise.  Everyone is unique and different and no one approach is right for each individual person.

I hope that you’ll continue to work out with me/us up until the end of term – dates above.

Take care, see you soon.


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