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Complementary Fitness 31 July Newsletter

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Welcome to this week’s newsletter & updates:


In last week’s newsletter, we talked about longevity, nutrition and lifestyle and in a recent report, I read about key areas of health to pay attention to as we age but firstly, did you know that globally, there is under investment in healthy ageing?  Eg European countries invest on average 2.6% of their health budget on prevention.  There is much that we can do ourselves on the path to healthy ageing and there are 5 key areas of health to pay attention to as we age:


  1. Muscles and bones. As we age, our body becomes resistant to growth signals, resulting in muscle loss.  This is a process known as sarcopenia and on average, after the age of 50, adults lose 3% of their muscle strength every year.  Muscle is metabolically active and we burn more calories when we’ve got more muscle mass.  Bones become more brittle and fragile with age plus, hormone changes and losses of collagen also lead to join changes in older people and common complaints can be pain, stiffness and inflammation.

  1. Digestive system. As part of the natural ageing process, the muscles that help move food through the digestive tract lose strength.  This has a knock-on effect on how quickly food eaten moves through the intestine and can ultimately lead to constipation.


  1. Heart health. Ageing can cause changes in the heart and blood vessels.  As we get older, the heart can’t beat as fast during physical activity or in times of stress as it did when we were younger.


  1. Cognitive health. It’s common to become forgetful with age.  Science suggests that many thinking abilities appear to peak around the age of 30 and subtly decline with age.


  1. Vision. The normal ageing process can bring changes that impact eyesight.


Last week I also mentioned 10 foods that support healthy ageing and in I wanted to share why these are beneficial to us.  Here’s a recap of the foods and below, the benefits.

  1. Green tea
  2. Extra virgin olive oil
  3. Dark chocolate
  4. Oily fish
  5. Flaxseeds
  6. Pomegranates
  7. Herbs and spices
  8. Nuts and seeds
  9. Watercress
  10. Collagen


Green tea contains a powerful antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that fights DNA damage from UV rays and is also thought to be super in supporting the body to detoxify more effectively.

Extra virgin olive oil contains olecanthal which has anti-inflammatory properties


Dark chocolate contains flavanols that act as antioxidants in the body.  Research suggests that flavanols slow down damage caused by free radicals and have powerful anti-inflammatory properties which may improve skin health and helps us age better.

I’ve read that 70+ cocao solids are best and for me, my go-to is from a big supermarket (with 4 letters in its name beginning with A and ending with i) and I love the organic 85% one.

Anyway, note to self: stop talking and thinking about dark choc, get on and continue with the list:


Oily fish eg salmon is high in omega-3s, protein, selenium and an antioxidant called astaxanthin which are all associated with maintaining strong muscles, healthy bones and help to prevent visible signs of ageing by reducing inflammation in the body.


Flaxseeds are one of the best multi-tasking nutrients around.  They’re high in fibre and contain types of antioxidants known as lignans which help fight free radicals in the body.  They’re also high in an omega-3 known as alpha linolenic acid (ALA) which supports healthy skin membrane.  Flaxseeds are best when ground up for maximum benefits.


Pomegranates have a substance called urolithin A and new research suggests that it boosts the mitochondria which are our cells’ power stations.  Mitochondria tend to run down with age causing muscle weakening and frailty.


Herbs and spices all have some degree of antioxidant power protecting us against oxidative stress, a phenomenon that increases with age.


Nuts and seeds are next on the list and they’re nutrient-packed powerhouses.  They provide us with protein, healthy fats and antioxidants which are vital nutrients for healthy ageing.

Watercress – not something I buy tbh but I should.  Why?  because again, it’s a nutrient-dense, hydrating leafy green that’s a great source of beta carotene, vitamins E and C and 2 powerful antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin.  These nutrients work together to soak up free radicals that can cause damage as we age.  I’ll need to add watercress to my shopping list now.


Last on the list is collagen.  Collagen breakdown is a chronic part of our ageing process.  As our cells age, their ability to produce collagen is diminished.  Thanks (?) to collagen breakdown, we can lose up to 50% of our bone strength during the ageing process.  Consuming collagen may have some anti-ageing benefits like strengthening bones, muscles and joints and supporting healthy skin.


Interesting reading:

Thanks to NM (Fri yoga) who emailed me after last week’s newsletter to say: “just reading a book I think you might be interested in.  It’s called Ultra Processed People by Chris van Tulleken.

It’s about ultra processed food (UPF) and what it does to our bodies and brains” – hint: and not in a good way.  It’s about UPF that’s wrapped in plastic, has been specifically engineered to behave as addictive with added addictive substances ie wanting to eat more and leading to diet-related diseases.


Thanks also to ES (Wed/Fri classes) who also emailed me after last week’s newsletter saying she’d seen a newspaper article where Michael Mosley shares exercises that burn more calories than a ‘tough’ workout – Daily Record

Interestingly, the doc says:  2 exercise types can boost calorie burning – and they won’t get your heart racing.  When it comes to burning calories, we might think of gruelling, long jogs, HIIT sessions or lifting heavy weights.

But according to Dr Mosley, more low impact exercises like yoga and Pilates may be more effective at burning energy.

Dr Mosley also has a new book out and he says that “It may sound counterintuitive that these less heart-pumping workouts are as good as their high-paced counterparts when it comes to using up calories, but the health guru has explained their benefits in his book, (called Just One Thing).  According to his latest release, it’s all down to eccentric exercise, which features heavily in both yoga and Pilates.”  For more info, you can read and watch videos if you click on the link Michael Mosley shares exercises that burn more calories than a ‘tough’ workout – Daily Record

Lastly, whether you’re ‘new’ to our classes or a longtime regular, you’ll know that there are options and variations of all exercises and stretches in our classes so that you can modify, vary, improvise and adapt and do what’s best for YOU, your body and your abilities.  We can also take more time to do the exercise/stretch and don’t need to (aka shouldn’t) compete with anyone else.  It’s YOUR WORKOUT in each single unique class.


I look forward to seeing you in classes this week for more bone building, strength & flexibility improvements and benefits.


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 my SumUp card machine (although sometimes, it seems to ‘play up’!!)


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.


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