Complementary Fitness Logo

Complementary Fitness 22 Nov News

Complementary Fitness Logo

I’ve said frequently in previous newsletters but it’s worth mentioning again that there are lots of health benefits from fitness Pilates/yoga both in terms of mental and physical health.  When done regularly, we can improve our posture, muscle tone, flexibility, joint mobility, and balance.  Building and strengthening our core abdominal and back muscles helps prevent back injury.  These benefits can also be gained from our Wednesday general fitness strength (optional weights and resistance bands) class.

OK I know that it can be a thought to come to a class when it’s dark and cold, raining, you’ve just got in from work, still got a million things to do or getting the kids organised for bed/homework etc but … you know you’ll ALWAYS feel better during and after a class.

As long as you’re feeling well, you’ll be glad you booked your place and joined us.

Oh and to tempt you to join our Tue & Thursday evening classes – if you’re thinking of starting or returning to our classes:

in a couple of weeks time, ie on Tue 7 & 14 and Thurs 9 & 16 December, we’ll enjoy our Fitness Pilates/Yoga by Candlelight classes in Craiglockhart Church hall & DLH again.  We missed out on those candlelight classes last year when we did Zoom/recorded classes.

I usually ask you to bring a tea light and we light our candles around 40 mins into the class, I turn off the lights and we relax & stretch in the candlelight for the last 20 minutes or so of our December classes.

I’m thinking this year that if you have battery-operated tea lights/candles, please bring them.  If not, your ‘ordinary’ tea lights/candles will still be fine – we may need to ensure we put our face coverings on IF I’m lighting your candle re social distancing.  You can always bring your own lighter.  The other thing is that when blowing out our ‘ordinary’ wax candles, sometimes the wax blows onto the floor and I have to wait until it’s cool and use a knife to scrape it off.

Craiglockhart Church have had a new floor fitted recently and may not be too happy re candle wax on their floor!  Just a thought.

I still wouldn’t want to miss our relaxing candlelight classes though so maybe think about battery-operated, just switch on/off ones.

Just to let you know that our Wed & Fri am classes have been great numbers-wise (pre-booking a place is best) and Tue 7.30pm has been good but Thurs at 7pm has been really quiet the last couple of weeks with just 6 people on 11 Nov and numbers-wise, ‘not quite double but almost’ last Thurs.

So there are LOTS of places if you want to come back and join us.  I know that numbers fluctuate up and down depending on work & family commitments, holidays etc.

I just hope that I’ve not ‘broken’ anyone as (jokingly, laughingly aka hopefully) suggested after a Thursday class at the beginning of November!

I want to repeat again, and again: there are options to each of the exercises and stretches.

We don’t have to go with the suggested harder and more challenging options when it comes to arms and legs.

It’s YOUR WORKOUT in each class.

Always do what’s right for YOU, no one else.

You may prefer to plank on forearms ie ‘saving’ any wrist tension and/or knees, making this modified plank less intense on the abs and back too.  Great.

Maybe not take such a long or low lunge or squat.

You don’t have to push yourself to max 100% then feel that the following day (or 2) that you can’t walk!

Fyi: this may/does happen after the very first class or when returning to classes, and we’re possibly not used to performing squats and lunges but we get used to these strength building exercises and we can do more without feeling those achy muscles that we did on week one.

So always best to EASE INTO a class for the first few weeks or so then take it from there once you’ve got the ‘rhythm’ of the class.

Oh, that just came to me: ‘the rhythm of the class’.  I like it.

You know what I mean.

Each class is unique, different and I like to ‘mix it up’ and keep us ‘on our toes’.

Different sequences, exercises, keeps us guessing, keeps us thinking and creating new neural pathways in our brains.

So exercise is not only good for our bodies but good for our brains as well.

It’s de-stressing and (hopefully) enjoyable as we build up happy hormones in our brains.  During and after a class, we can create a sense of achievement, knowing that we’ve done our best.  That we’ve improved and worked on our fitness levels, overall & core strength and flexibility.  It’s great knowing that in each 60 minute class, we’re working towards the recommended weekly 150 minutes guidelines of moderate aerobic activity.

So a couple of classes a week and a walk, run or hike or other activity and we know we’ve ticked off the exercise component of our healthy lifestyle.

Chocolate/cacao – that always gets my attention.

(Info here from

Raw cacao is definitely something you want to start incorporating into your diet if you haven’t already.

Cacao is loaded with antioxidants (more so than even acai and blueberries).

Antioxidants help to fight off free radicals which are responsible for causing cellular damage that leads to signs of aging and serious diseases like cancer.

Along with its abundance of antioxidants, cacao is rich in vitamins and minerals, incl calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium, and magnesium.  These vitamins and minerals are vital for boosting energy levels, memory, clarity and immunity.

The combination of cacao’s antioxidants and vitamins is a healing powerhouse.

It’s also a natural anti-inflammatory and we know that inflammation is the root of many conditions like heart disease and diabetes.  Cacao is linked to numerous heart benefits including lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.

Along with keeping the heart healthy, cacao works wonders on the brain.  It boosts cognitive health and neuroplasticity – the process by which the brain creates new neural connections and has been shown to help patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia.  In addition, cacao can help elevate your mood by increasing serotonin levels.

As if those healing properties weren’t enough, cacao helps overall health by being gut-friendly.  It works as a prebiotic, full of fibre that helps create good bacteria to keep our tummy healthy and happy.

Here’s a recipe for a hot cardamom tahini cacao drink:

Ingredients for 2 people

  • 2 cups milk of choice, such as vanilla almond milk
  • 5Torganic cacao powder
  • 3Tmaple syrup (I’d find this far too sweet & would reduce but up to you)
  • 2Ttahini (I also love tahini by the way)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 green cardamom pod contents freshly ground (or 1/4 tsp ground cardamom)
  • optionally ground cardamom, chopped pistachios, or cinnamon for garnishing


  • In a saucepan over medium heat combine all of the above ingredients.
  • Whisk continually until all is smoothly combined, beginning to bubble and appears frothy.
  • Carefully pour into mugs, and sprinkle with a little cardamom or cinnamon if desired.   This would be great as a cozy, comforting hot choc (healthy) drink over the winter.

More recipes on their blog: Blog – The Sacred Science The Sacred Science

And / or / but ….I really love this easy raw chocolatey recipe and often make it.

It doesn’t raise blood sugar and also contains healthy fats from coconut oil.

The last time I made it, I even added some chopped up banana into it and it was soooo delicious and yummy.

Over a low heat, melt 1 heaped tablespoon of coconut oil.

In a small bowl or cup, add 1 heaped tablespoon of raw cacao powder and 1 tsp cacao nibs and a pinch of salt.  Pour in the melted oil.  That’s it, just enjoy.

It’s great if you want a quick ‘chocolate fix’ and as I say, you can have it on its own or add in some sliced banana.

There are also lots of delicious healthy recipes to look through & try at

All Minimalist Baker Recipes

I was reading a MindBodyGreen blog by a gastroenterologist about his top 10 foods for gut health and they are: rocket (fibre & prebiotic), coriander leaves (supports detox, blood sugar & antioxidants), asparagus (prebiotic, fibre, vitamins), bok choy (gut healthy vitamins & minerals), ginger (anti-inflammatory), kimchi (probiotics), sweet potato (antioxidants, fibre), blueberries (purple-blue pigment for brain health + fibre), turmeric (anti-inflammatory), walnut (vitamin E & omega 3).

I love home ( and you can read articles about food, mindfulness, parenting, health, movement, beauty and more there.

Just an idea (from Waitrose Weekend paper) with Christmas just around the corner: consider a reversible advent calendar where you put a non-perishable food item into a box each day during Advent to donate to your local foodbank.

Again a fact from the Weekend paper: did you know that an extra 30% of rubbish is produced and discarded throughout the festive period compared with the rest of the year?  Makes you think when we’re all more eco, footprint and planet aware.  Think all that discarded wrapping paper, plastic toys and wrap, shiny paper, glitter etc in crackers.  We could wrap presents in brown paper and wrap with gold or green ribbon which can be recycled/reused.

Please continue to pre-book your place in our indoor DLH or Craiglockhart Church classes, by emailing me and I’ll reserve your space.

Please always remember to wear a face covering when entering and leaving church halls and also when/if moving around the hall ie moving from hall to toilets and back.

Please pay for classes by contactless or insert your card using my card machine in class and you can also bank transfer the money to my account too – I can give you my sort code & bank details.  Or £5 cash but card/bank transfer preferred.

Please also ensure that you return your completed Booking Checklist to me electronically if you’re attending indoor classes.

Downloads / Forms – Complementary Fitness

If you have any difficulties emailing your completed Booking Form or printing it off, please let me know.  I’ll bring a few blank Booking Forms with me anyway

I hope that you enjoyed this week’s exercise/food/lifestyle inspired newsletter with lots of links to click on and find out more.

I look forward to hearing from you and also seeing you in Craiglockhart Church and Dreghorn Loan Hall this week.

Please click on the Classes tab for class times & details for this week.

Please Share, Like, Follow and Subscribe as appropriate to my social media channels, thank you 

Instagram or Facebook – @complementaryfitness

If you sign up to Instagram, please follow me.  You’ll see all of posts there.

See you soon

Connecting with Susan:  or

click here for Complementary Fitness Youtube channel

Email me: