Complementary Fitness Logo

Complementary Fitness newsletter 28 November

Complementary Fitness Logo

Last week, I listened to a fitpro webinar about ‘exercise, brain health and cognition’ which particularly looked at mid-life through to older age.

Two things go hand in hand: cognitive resilience and physical resilience.

We’re always learning and adapting to different stimuli, our environment, social interactions etc and these all have an effect on neuroplasticity (or brain plasticity which is described as the ability of neural networks in the brain to change through growth and reorganization).


I learned that the single, biggest, greatest driver for neuroplasticity is exercise ie the physical and cognitive change to our brain as adults.  When we exercise, we have neurotrophic factors which are chemicals that are released that promote neuroplasticity eg BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factors).  Exercise also promotes the release of neurotransmitters ie dopamine and serotonin and exercise also affects our hormones which is important for us as we get older and for those going through or after menopause.


The webinar host went on to say that exercise also directly drives structural changes to our brain including the development of new blood vessels (angiogenesis), new connections between existing neurons in our brain (synaptogenesis).  With exercise, there’s an improvement in the functional connectivity between different parts of the brain which is really important as we get older.


The webinar was very interesting, I learned a lot about the benefits of exercise and brain health and we all know about the physical, emotional and social aspects of exercise and especially when we exercise together as a group.


As you know, I never like to do the same workout a second time.  I like to ‘keep it fresh’, each one different and unique even though there are similarities.  We can vary, adapt, stay connected, stay active, keep moving and keep our bodies and brains healthy.

Wow, its the last week of November already!  Just to remind you that from this Thursday ie 1 December, we start our candlelight classes.

If you’ve not been to one of our fitness Pilates/yoga candlelight classes before, you’re very welcome to come and join us and please bring a candle/tealight in a container or a battery-operated candle (easy to switch on and saves time and possibly hot wax spillage when blowing it out).  Please also bring a lighter to light your candle, thanks.

Pilates + yoga by candlelight from Thurs 1 December

So what happens is: we warm up and do our ‘usual class’ for the first 40 minutes then for the last 20 minutes of the class, we light our candles, (I put off the main lights) and we get cozy, put our warm fleeces on and do some stretches and relaxed breathing in the glow of our candles.

We’ll also have candlelight classes on Tue 6 + 13 and Thurs 8 + 15 Dec too so more opportunity to join us and enjoy some lovely stretches.


Talking about breathing, I love this tweet @eckharttolle: “be aware of your breathing.  Notice how this takes attention away from your thinking and creates space”.


and about lights, a reminder about this Sunday’s Colinton Shines A Light which is a torchlight and music event on 4 December 4-6pm.  Pipers will lead the way and everyone is invited to walk from Bonaly Store to Colinton Parish Church via Westgarth Avenue.  Inside the church, shine a light on our community as well as on music and singing talent from local schools and organisations.

You can dress up as an angel and carry a lantern or glow-stick.

Join the procession at any point.  Donations welcome in aid of Shelter Scotland


Edinburgh Christmas Markets and attractions are back this year (25 Nov – 3 Jan) including Forth 1’s Big Wheel and the ice rink at George Square.  Santa Land is also returning in West Princes Street Gardens.  Ho ho ho and have fun if you’re going.


Reminder that you can pay for classes:

With cash ie £6 per class

Directly into my bank account

Using my SumUp card machine.


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.


I look forward to seeing you and working out with you this week.


Connecting with Susan:  or

click here for Complementary Fitness Youtube channel

Email me: