Complementary Fitness Logo

Complementary Fitness 27 November newsletter

Complementary Fitness Logo

Welcome to this week’s newsletter & updates:

Thanks to FB (Fri fitness yoga) who sent me a screenshot of a recent article in The Times which said that if we’re in need of a mood boost on these dull, dark days, then try squeezing in 20 minutes of yoga.  It’s great to know and also as a reminder that last week, I gave a description and some photos of some stretches which you could do at home or in the office at any time of the day as ‘homework’.

Anyway, back to the article: according to a study at the Uni of Illinois, a session that includes a variety of seated, standing and lying yoga poses with contraction and relaxation of different muscle groups, as well as breathing or meditative exercises, was shown to enhance memory, speed and focus of the brain, improve reaction times and scoring well in cognitive tasks more efficiently than a treadmill walk or run of the same duration.

The researchers found that “the breathing and meditative exercises aim at calming the mind and body and keeping distracting thoughts away while you focus on your body, posture or breath”.

So again, add a variety of stretches into a daily flexibility routine which could last 5, 10 or 20 minutes depending on how much time you have.


Here’s a link to a tiny short 1 min warm up that we might in our fitness yoga classes to encourage you to stretch and work out with us.  I’ll start adding more soon as I haven’t added any to my youtube channel for sooooo long (ie since the days of lockdown when we couldn’t work out together).

We know that heart disease is a leading cause of death, but here are some factors that are under our control that can reduce the risk:


  • Up intake of plants ie green leafy veg, fruits, nuts, seeds, wholegrains
  • Exercise & physical activity, weight bearing exercise, resistance training & maintain/improve muscle mass
  • Weight management/healthy body weight/reducing visceral fat round organs
  • Reduce high cholesterol levels & high blood pressure
  • Reduce chronic stress levels with breathing techniques, meditation etc
  • Reduce sugars and artificial sweeteners
  • Eliminate ultra processed food
  • Better quality sleep
  • Not smoking has been talked about for years and it’s still important but nowadays, maybe we shouldn’t vape either.


Lately, we’ve been talking about blood sugar/glucose levels (especially as I had been using the Zoe CGM, now finished, and app and it was interesting to note that some foods caused a large spike and dips in blood sugar levels ie when I ‘had to’ eat the test cookies for breakfast & lunch on day one, whereas others keep them stable and sustained.

Minimizing spikes and dips in blood sugar levels is important for:

  • Reducing excess inflammation after eating
  • Sustaining energy
  • Controlling hunger
  • Improving long-term health and
  • Maintaining a healthy weight


It’s important to note that not all calories are created equal.

We do need calories to perform all the essential functions to keep us alive and keep us thriving.  But foods with the same number of calories can cause very different effects on our blood sugar responses.  Consider 100 or 200 calories of cookie, bread or cake to the equivalent number of calories of broccoli, berries, cauliflower, pears, apple etc.

Carb rich foods eg white bread break down into glucose in the body causing blood sugar levels to rise significantly.  However, if we add fat or protein-rich foods, it doesn’t cause such a big rise in levels.  Also good to know that high-quality carbs that contain lots of fibre (eg wholegrains, beans and veg), slow down the release of glucose into the bloodstream so pairing carb-rich foods with protein, fats and fibre can keep our blood sugar levels steady and stable and we want to avoid large spikes and big crashes.

Going for a walk after eating also helps reduce the curve too.

I also found it interesting to see all of the food posts that are added to #plantpoweredchallenge


Eating a wide variety of different plants is key to supporting a happy healthy gut microbiome ie not just choosing one or 2 different veggies eg peas and sweetcorn all the time.  So eating a variety of plants provides our gut bacteria with more diversity and different types of prebiotic fibres, polyphenols and other nutrients.  Conversely, the fewer types of plants we eat, the fewer different types of good bacteria will thrive in our gut.  A more diverse the gut microbiome is linked to overall health of our heart, brain, metabolic and immune health.


Make a big colourful winter salad, stew, soup, stir fry or roasted veggies and add in beans, lentils or add in lentil or broccoli sprouts (so easy to do yourself at home), pumpkin, sunflower seeds, and toasted almonds or pistachios on the top.  A big slice of toasted sourdough with almond or other nut butter or tahini on top and you’ve got a great meal – heaven.


And all those different gut bacteria helps protect our bodies by training our immune cells, strengthening our gut barrier and fighting off harmful bacteria.

Good to know that we’re also training and strengthening on the inside with what we eat as well as the outside through exercise and other lifestyle factors ie sleep, breathing techniques etc.

As we said before, nothing is separate and what we eat affects our mind, body and overall health.


Have you found the info about my Zoe experience and info that I’ve learned interesting?

I can’t wait to get my own personal results hopefully at the end of next week.


Local and Christmas news/events:

  • Our Tuesday & Thursday evening candlelight classes which start next week where we bring a battery-operated candle or tea light & holder or candle & lighter to these December classes and light our candles and stretch out and relax for at least the last 20 minutes. You could also bring a warm blanket (& maybe even a wee pillow) to keep yourself nice & cozy or at least have a fleecy jacket handy.

  • You might like to book up for Christmas at the Botanics which is on until 30 December. Early booking is advised and you can book through:


You can also have a look at this great video taken by BM (Tue class) who went to Christmas at the Botanics and thought you might be interested to see what it’s all about.  Thanks for taking the video and sharing it with us Bryce.

(36) Christmas at the Botanics, Edinburgh, 2023 #ChristmasAtTheBotanics – YouTube

Looking forward to seeing you and working out with you in our classes this week as always.

Easiest and best way that you can pay for classes:

  • With cash ie £6 per class (always best and I have change)
  • Directly into my bank account (if you don’t have my details, email me and I can give you my sort code & business account number).
  • Alternatively, using contactless directly to my iphone in class

Remember to let me know if you have any comments, news and keep me updated with anything that’s happening with you ie health-related stuff, goals, achievements etc.

Connecting with Susan:

Email me: