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Complementary Fitness Newsletter 4 February

Complementary Fitness Logo

Check out our Classes Where/When page and join us this week to improve your fitness, strength + flexibility in our fun, friendly community classes in Colinton + Craiglockhart Edinburgh

I like making different smoothies and usually use almond milk as a base then add different fruits, veg, nuts and seeds.  Well I decided to make a green smoothie for breakfast last Thursday and after I’d added the milk into the blender, I then added a handful each of spinach leaves and kale then a small avocado (those small ones are great coz sometimes recipes say: use ½ an avocado which I always think is a waste unless you’re going to use it asap).  I then added a few dried prunes (remember last week: we talked about fibre?  Dried prunes are naturally sweet and are a good source of fibre as well as being low in fat), 1T shelled hemp seeds (added protein) and 1 tsp of an organic turmeric superblend (a blend of turmeric, maca, lucuma and spices).  I do like a thick shake/smoothie and it was very thick and green so for a tiny touch of some more sweetness, I added 1 tsp of freeze dried raspberry crumble on top and it was delicious and filling. 

Avo + greens smoothie with added rasps

Smoothies can be a great way to increase your veggie intake and as you know, we’re supposed to be eating anywhere from 5 to 10 portions of fruit & veg a day in a bid to stay healthy.  You also know what you’re getting if you make your own as it’s fresh (ie doesn’t contain flavour enhancers, pesticides or anything to increase it’s shelf-life) and you can make adjustments to make it the way you want/the way you like.  I’d recommend definitely adding in some non starchy veggies, leaves, herbs etc though as opposed to just making fruit smoothies which can be really nice but very sweet.  Did you know that you can also add in some frozen greens (kale, spinach, herbs etc) or fruit (blueberries, banana etc) into smoothies for convenience or if you like a cold smoothie.  I also love to add some nut butter or sometimes protein powder into smoothies to make them thicker and add more protein in too.

I get a lot of ingredients from (as I’ve mentioned before and they’re a local company too) and if you buy in 1k (or more) bags, you also save on packaging too.

What’s your favourite smoothie – let me know and I’ll share it here.

Exercise is now being recommended as a great way of improving wellbeing, as well as treatment for a range of medical conditions, including depression.  The recommendations are that we exercise for 150 minutes a week but according to a new international study, even 25 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous exercise can cut your risk of depression by 22%. Scientists in Australia also revealed that ditching your weekly exercise regime leaves you at a greater risk of depressive symptoms (especially if you’re a woman).  So ensure to make your exercise sessions work for as well as your body as well as your mind.

When taken in moderation, exercise reduces levels of stress hormones cortisol and noradrenaline.  Continual high levels of these hormones place you at risk of stress-related illnesses like chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, so keep active to give your body a way of burning them off.  I always feel better during and after exercise – it releases any tension, stress, increases the ‘feel good’ hormones in the body as well as keeping me fit too.

To keep our bones healthy and strong, we need to eat well and stay active.  When we move, hormones are released to encourage bone density and it’s said that a mix of strength, balance and cardio exercise is best.  We can get this in our classes or from going for a run, brisk walk or do some strength training yourself by doing some squats, lunges, press-ups or practice some stretches (eg the quad stretch) by standing on one leg.

Eating well to encourage bone building/strengthening: green leafy veg, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, pulses etc (calcium).  Dark chocolate, avocado, nuts and pulses (magnesium), fortified cereals, egg yolks (vitamin D), eggs, beans, dairy, nuts, seeds (protein), chia, hemp and linseeds, walnuts (omega fatty acids for joint mobility).  We all know that eating a variety of nutritious, healthy foods help us to keep our bodies healthy but it also keeps our skeleton strong too.

More great healthy recipes ideas at:

What else would you add to describe a healthy lifestyle apart from:

getting enough sleep, a varied nutritious diet, moderate exercise, positive thinking, stress management ……………………………………………………………

Good to know: repeat a positive action consistently to help you make it a healthy habit for a lifestyle.  Did you know that that researchers from the British Journal of General Practice noted 3 things performed regularly to create ‘habit strength’ and they are: having a sense of ownership over making a healthy change, persevering through a 3 month learning phase and keeping things simple.

We’re just back from a great, enjoyable weekend in York where we met up with and celebrated our son Steven’s birthday (a pre-celebration as it’s this week).  We travelled down on the train (on the Friday after the class) and he took the train from London so we kind of met half way.  We love York, have been many times and stayed in a lovely apartment.  We went out to a couple of great restaurants for dinner and lovely cafes for lunch too.  We booked up in advance and went on a guided 2 hour walking tour which included a visit to York Minster and it was very good, informative and interesting.

On a personal note, what are you looking forward to this month/over the next few weeks or months?  Are you aiming to:

read more books, learn a new skill, walk more, do some gardening, start or continue with a new fitness/exercise challenge, planning to add more veggies, smoothies or home made meals to your day, get more sleep, practice meditation or mindfulness? 

in any case, keep yourself hydrated

What ever it is, know that I’ll be encouraging you and if I can help, let me know.

I look forward to seeing you this week/soon for more fitness, fun and sequence variations.

Take care


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