Complementary Fitness Logo

Complementary Fitness 24 June newsletter

Complementary Fitness Logo

Welcome to this week’s newsletter & updates:

Have you heard of rucking?

If not, I hadn’t either but it’s walking or hiking with a loaded backpack on your back which adds additional strength building and endurance into our fitness/exercise mix.

Rucking is a great way to build strength, boost cardiovascular health and enjoy the great outdoors any time but especially now we’re in Summer! and maybe great to try out on holiday too.

If you’re going to try it out, get a backpack that fits correctly (eg one that doesn’t bounce around and one where the straps fit snugly) then add some weight – but start slowly, with no more than 5% – 10% of your body weight. The additional weight in your backpack will challenge your body, up the effort on your walk, and burn more calories.

So if you know what your body weight is (eg 140lb, then 5% would be 7lb which could be made up of a big full bottle of water, maybe a couple of 1 or 2k hand weights or a hardback book if you plan to go on a long hike and take a break and read a chapter – just a thought but you can decide what you want to add in.  Just weigh it all out first and see how it goes or feels).

As you get used to it, over time, you could consider gradually/slightly increasing the backpack weight.

As you embark on your rucking journey, start slow and steady.  Aim for between 10 and 30 minutes for your first few rucks and no more than 2-3 times a week.


One of the things about rucking is that anyone can do it anywhere – and great for us as we live in Edinburgh where we can enjoy walking in the Dell, up in the Pentlands, Arthur’s Seat etc or even in the countryside.  We all know that walking is so good for our general health and mental wellbeing and all we just need to get out and walk.  We can even get added points or a gold star for an uphill trek!

We can consider rucking as strength training too.

There are so many benefits to be had from strength training which can also include using our own body weight (squats, lunges, using resistance bands, hand weights etc) incl better body composition, reduced risk of muscle loss, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke.  Strength training also helps:

  • reverse ageing,
  • boost energy,
  • improve hormone profile and brain health,
  • reduce stress and anxiety and
  • increase self esteem.


Muscles have so many active roles in the daily running of our bodies.  We’ve mentioned before that after the age of 30, we lose 3 – 5 % of muscle mass every decade (this goes up 3% per year after 50!) unless we actively do something about it or reverse it.

We’re strength training in all of our classes but we can start with simple bodyweight exercises at home (eg squats, lunges, even calf raises or knee lifts using hand weights or a kettlebell/resistance band) and then progress from there.

In times of stress when our minds are on overdrive, our thoughts are busy, loud and not helpful, maybe consider having a mantra can help ground us and bring us back into a calmer mind space.  Mantras or affirmations can anchor us to the present moment and allow us to find our breath which oftentimes is exactly what we need.  If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and in need of a breather, then here is a gentle suggestion that may help.


This very simple exercise could be exactly what’d needed to stop anxiety, stress or overwhelm from taking hold or running away.


First, stop what you’re doing a take a deep breath to centre yourself, you can choose to step outside or stay exactly where you are.

Then when you’re ready, in your head, or maybe better still out loud, list:

5 things you can see

4 things you can hear

3 things you can feel

2 things you can smell

Finally, take 1 big deep breath in then exhale and imagine letting go of all the stress in that breath.  Release it all as you exhale.


Allow yourself to stand still for a few moments and come back to yourself before you continue with your day, hopefully feeling more grounded and calm.  I find it can gently help to connect to the present moment; by observing your surroundings, you can move beyond your own anxieties and appreciate the real world around you.

In order to detangle ourselves from the over thinking, busy brain days we need to first pause, take a deep breath and catch ourselves before the panic has time to settle in.  A healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body; allow yourself time to relax and de-stress


Just to let you know that there is no class on Thursday 4 July because Dreghorn Loan Hall is being used for polling for the General Election but you’re welcome to join any/all of our other classes that week instead.

So apart from no class on 4 July, all classes are on up until the mid December.

That means that all classes are also ON over the summer holidays too.

I’ve only organised and look forward to just weekend breaks this summer & autumn.

I know some of you went along to Edinburgh Canal Festival which was on Sat 15 June.  When we were there, we saw Bryce (Tue class) who was taking a video of the event.  He sent me the link and said that I could share it with you, so here it is:
(270) Edinburgh Canal Festival, June 2024 – YouTube  (thanks Bryce).


For the past 2 years, our class price has been £6 but from Tue 30 July onwards, each class will be £7 because of increases in hall let, website & newsletter platform, insurance price increases etc etc.

Just to let you know that when I go to a yoga class, drop in prices are £15 each class.

If I pay for 5 classes upfront, the cost is £65 (ie £13 each) or if I buy a 10 pass block, it’s £120.

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 (I’ve always got change too)

Paying directly on my iphone or

By bank transfer into my account.

Connecting with Susan:

Email me: