Health & Fitness Newsletter 23 July
Newsletter – 23 July 2012

Hi and Welcome to this week’s Complementary Fitness Newsletter
Thanks to everyone who attended last week’s fitness and lifestyle classes which are designed to help you reach your fitness, health and wellness goals. I hope you’ll join us this week and are ready to take action, get fit, have fun and commit to improve your fitness, health and lifestyle If you are, I look forward to seeing you and welcoming you in all the classes this week.
See current and summer classes on our Classes Page on this website.

Did you know?
* that if you set yourself a goal, you’re more likely to put on your trainers and go for a run or attend a class. Don’t make the goal all about weight loss – instead focus on how you’ll become fitter and stronger.

* that people who eat breakfast are 30% less likely to be overweight. Rustle up something healthy at home/work and have a nutritious start to the day.

* that exercise raises feel-good endorphins and will keep you positive and focused on what you want to achieve in all areas of your life. Remember how exercise makes you feel: is it a sense of achievement? enjoyment? You may not enjoy the aching muscles a day or 2 after return to a class but did you ever regret doing the class/exercise? Stay focussed, keep going, keep up the good work (outs).

* that green tea is not only refreshing and great for fat burning, but it can give you more energy and calm your nerves. It contains antioxidants, polyphenols (active plant nutrients) and catechins which can help increase 24 hour energy expenditure and fat oxidation according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Green tea also raises levels of the chemicals dopamine and GABA in the brain which both have a calming and focusing effect.

* that dark chocolate (at least 70%) scores highly on the ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) scale, it contains 5½ times the antioxidants in blueberries per 100g. The bioactive compounds tryramine and phenylethylamine found in chocolate can provide you with an energy boost for an intense exercise session. Dark chocolate or cacao nibs contain fewer calories and more antioxidants than milk chocolate. 70% dark chocolate is rarely off my menu (even if just a square …. or 2 now and then!)

* that cold pressed extra virgin olive oil is packed with polyphenols which support heart, bone and digestive health.

* that watercress can minimise the stress caused to your body after a tough workout. This peppery salad leaf is packed with antioxidants, also scoring high on the ORAC scale (see above). Research by our own Edinburgh Napier University recently found that watercress can help restore energy levels and help combat the natural stress that exercise creates in the body. People who ate watercress 2 hours before a workout experienced less cellular damage after exercise. To get the benefits, you’d need to eat an 85g portion of watercress (the size of a small bag) every day you work out. I’m off to get myself some watercress.

*that flaxseeds are little brown or golden seeds also known as linseeds. They’re packed with omega-3 fatty acids, fibre and magnesium and can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack. Sprinkle them whole onto salads or add them to your cereal. Your body absorbs the beneficial nutrients from flaxseed more easily when it’s ground so look for flaxseed meal or ground flaxseed. Add a tablespoon to smoothies or porridge to increase fibre content. You can also use flaxseed in place of flour in many gluten free recipes or in place of an egg when mixed with water. You can also use flaxseed oil topically as a treatment for skin conditions such as eczema.

(I know I’ve mentioned the benefits of beetroot before but I wanted to remind you)…..
*that, according to new research (by Louise University US) , beetroot helps rejuvenate sluggish muscles by raising blood nitrate levels. Nitrate widens blood vessels which, in turn, improves oxygen supply to your muscles. Participants in the study were able to run for longer and faster than a group who’d snacked on cranberries. Closer to home, in a separate study at the University of Exeter, cyclists’ endurance increased by 19% after drinking beetroot juice an hour before exercising. Blood nitrate levels peak 2 to 3 hours after drinking beetroot juice so time your training sessions accordingly.
Luckily, I’ve got a juicer and love beetroot so I’ll be adding more beetroot to my juices in future. If you don’t have a juicer though, you can buy Beet It juice from Holland & Barrett (£1.69 for 250ml) to help increase endurance. Marilyn Okoro, the 800m GB gold medallist says she drinks beetroot juice before every race.

Complementary Fitness Mindfulness
At Complementary Fitness, it’s time to launch and improve our confidence, self esteem and mindset by dismissing negative self-talk and concentrating and focusing on being positive and also repeating positive affirmations daily. We all have lots of good character traits like being kind, helpful, friendly, reliable, warm, loving and affectionate so celebrate these facts. Get a pen and paper and list all your good points and be proud.

Health + Lifestyle
To boost your body confidence:
* Appreciate what your body can do rather than criticise how it looks. Set confidence-boosting goals to ‘do’ something (like attend a class, go for a run or swim) rather than ‘be’ something (ie a dress size smaller).

* Concentrate on being healthy rather than being a specific shape or size

* Stop comparing yourself to unrealistic air-brushed images of celebrities and models. Think about what really matters to you and take the focus away from body image.

* To help you on your way to happiness, connect to family, friends and good health.

* It’s your life and your body so make time to rejuvenate both. Even ½ an hour a day or 1 or 2 classes a week will make a huge difference to how you look and feel. Commit to yourself.

* I know from last year’s holiday that mosquito bites are uncomfortable/painful and this year, I’m going to be more prepared… According to the Centre for Disease Control, USA, they say that lemon eucalyptus oil is the most effective natural mosquito repellent. Apply a few drops of oil onto your skin or clothes and you’ll have protection from mosquitos for up to 6 hours. If you get bitten, there are 2 homeopathic remedies available. If the bite if red, swollen, shiny and warm to touch, try Apis 30, a remedy that comes from honeybees, it’s the perfect antidote to insect bites. If the bite has a blue/purple hue and feels cold to touch, try Ledum 30. This plant based remedy is ideal for bites and any puncture wounds with bruising. You can find both remedies at health food stores and pharmacies.

Lastly: Laughing is a good exercise, it’s like running on the inside!

Email me at:
See you in class soon, take care,
Susan x

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