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From a stroll in the park to a day-long hike over rough terrain, the right summer walking shoes will help you put your best foot forward. Wh...


From a stroll in the park to a day-long hike over rough terrain, the right summer walking shoes will help you put your best foot forward. Whether you’re after reliable shoes to get your 10,000 steps in or want to take to the hills for a full-on adventure, knowing what to look for when buying hiking footwear will help you walk further in comfort and stay injury free. So, what should you consider when choosing walking shoes for summer?


First up, bear in mind the locations you’ll be walking in. Sandy coastal trails need very different footwear to rocky  inclines. Walking footwear is made with a specific environment in mind, so considerations such as sole stiffness or how high up the ankle they go will vary depending on the type of terrain and the conditions you’ll be walking in.

For this reason, it’s worth getting a little geeky about walking shoes. Lugs, the studs on the outsole, vary in depth from 2-3mm to 8mm or more. Generally, the deeper they are, the better the traction on mud or loose  rock, while the greater surface area of wider lugs give better grip on flat rocks. You need to take into account the gap between lugs, too – the narrower the space, the more likely it is that mud and stones will get trapped, making your boots feel heavier.

Even in summer you’ll appreciate a waterproof membrane such as GoreTex, whether for the unpredictable UK weather or making the shoes useful for more than one season, but check they’re breathable too, or your feet will feel uncomfortable and sweaty. The support you need – as well as the  responsiveness, cushioning and energy return – largely comes from the midsole. Essentially, the stiffer the midsole, the more suited it is to tougher terrains.


Shoes that don’t fit well can leave you with sore feet and, potentially, create muscle imbalances higher up in your body. You generally need to go up a half or full size in walking shoes, especially if you’re wearing dedicated walking socks, too, but it’s worth  bearing in mind the following tips:

• Make sure there’s a finger’s-width space between your big toe and the front of the shoe, and your heel should fit snuggly with no slipping as you walk or you’ll end up with blisters on your Achilles heel. To test this out, edge your foot forwards in the boot, then try to slip a finger behind the back of your heel – it should only just fit.

• As your feet expand during walks, try shoes on in the late afternoon, as your feet naturally get wider over the course of the day. This will give you a better comparison with how they’ll feel when out walking.

• Don’t forget to wear walking socks when you’re trying shoes on for size. A thick pair of socks makes a considerable difference to the fit of your shoe or boot.

• You could also try an in-store fitting service. Cotswold Outdoor, for example, will measure your feet with a Brannock device, work out where your foot’s flex point is and what sort of arch you have, then make recommendations for the type of shoe you need. 

Should I drink more when exercising in the heat? ‘It’s extremely important to drink more water when you are exercising in hot weather. When ...


Should I drink more when exercising in the heat?

‘It’s extremely important to drink more water when you are exercising in hot weather. When the human body is exposed to hotter than average conditions it challenges the body’s ability to regulate its temperature. This can lead to a multitude of problems, including heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

‘When exercising in the heat, you tend to sweat more, which leads to you losing more bodily fluid than usual. Staying hydrated is vital as it replaces the bodily fluids you have lost and allows the body to regulate its internal temperature, as well as deliver nutrients to cells and keep organs functioning properly.

‘Hydration can come from a variety of drinks and foods, but water is a great calorie- and sugar-free option to ensure you stay hydrated. Mineral water is a great choice when choosing how to stay hydrated, as it contains electrolytes, which are minerals such as calcium, magnesium and sodium.’.

What’s the best way to exercise in hot weather?

‘When it starts to get hot, do a shorter and slower workout, then your body will slowly begin to adapt by increasing its sweating capacity and reducing  the electrolyte concentration of the sweat to boost your ability to maintain a safe core body temperature.

‘Swap your long run for interval training or circuit training. This type of training will allow you more rest, so that your body can cool down and you can take on extra water. If possible, try to work out in shaded areas, which will offer you more protection from the sun.

‘Listen to your body. If you start to feel extremely tired, lightheaded, disorientated or nauseous, you should stop exercising, grab some water and find somewhere cool to sit.’

What should I wear when in the heat?

‘Always opt for sweat-wicking clothing to stay dry and reduce the chance of chafing. Avoid cotton clothing, as it holds onto moisture and won’t make you feel your best.

‘Try to wear light colours that reflect the sunlight instead of absorbing it. If you’re wearing a vest and shorts, make sure you wear sunscreen to avoid damaging your skin, even if you’re working out in the morning or late evening. For more protection, wear a hat or visor to keep the sun off your face. 

‘It is also important to stay hydrated. You can use a normal water bottle but, if you’re running, you might consider freeing your hands up by using a hydration pack.’

What sunscreen is best for outdoor exercise?

‘It’s important to wear sunscreen during your outdoor workouts to protect your skin. Sunburn not only increases your skin cancer risk, but it can also affect your body’s ability to cool down. Apply a high-factor SPF sunscreen liberally 20 to 30 minutes before exercising in the heat. Make sure you choose a sunscreen that has both UVA and UVB protection.’

How will the hot weather affect my performance?

‘When exercising in a hot climate your body has to work a lot harder, so you will instantly feel that exercise is a lot tougher – this isn’t a time when you’re likely to clock a personal best.

‘Your heart has to beat faster as it sends more blood to your skin. Your body temperature will raise much faster, which is why feeling dizzy and faint can occur. In short, it will feel far more difficult to exercise in the heat, especially if you are a beginner. The key is to do sessions at a more manageable pace, and do drink plenty of water.’

How should I approach exercising in the heat?

‘When it’s really hot, exercise in the morning or evening to avoid the midday heat. If possible, choose shady areas and take time to rest, hydrate and cool down.

‘The heat will affect your workout, so it’s important to listen to your body. It may take a few weeks for your body to acclimatise to the heat, so start slowly with shorter and less intense workouts. As you get used to the heat, you may respond better to it – your body may start sweating earlier to help you cool down and, over time, your heart rate may not rise quite as high.’

Most people head to the sauna for a dose of calm, or maybe to ease a few aches and pains, but if you knew the full extent of their benefits,...


Most people head to the sauna for a dose of calm, or maybe to ease a few aches and pains, but if you knew the full extent of their benefits, you’d probably move in.

Dry heat rooms, used for centuries in Finnish and Swedish communities, have some serious health credentials, including a reduced risk of high blood pressure, improved lung function and proven benefits for cognitive health.

The science-based evidence for heart health has long been established. Indeed, a review of 40 studies involving 3,855 participants in the journal Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine reports that regular sauna use reduced the enlarged heart size of people with congestive heart failure, improved arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and cut the risk of sudden death from heart attack by 63 per cent. Research shows they’re good for cognitive health, too, with one study reporting a 66 per cent reduction in dementia risk.

When it comes to fitness, saunas are good news – improving oxygen saturation during exercise and increasing workout time post heat session, even boosting the function of your powerhouse cells, the  mitochondria, by 28 per cent. Add to this proven benefits for pain relief and their undoubted usefulness for post-workout recovery and you can see visiting the sauna is a valuable addition to your training plan.


Often housed in small wood-panelled cabins, saunas provide dry heat at between 65°C to 90°C. The intense heat exposure raises your skin and core body temperature, and your sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response) kicks in along with other mechanisms, increasing heart rate, blood flow and sweating in an attempt to regulate your temperature. Your muscles relax, you feel more alert and less sensitive to pain. On a cellular level, the effects include reduced oxidative stress and inflammation. It’s also believed the heat stress your body experiences in a sauna improves its functionality and/or tolerance to more severe challenges in a similar way to exercising. Finally, adding essential oils into the air brings additional benefits – eucalyptus, for example, can help clear the airways, while pine can leave you feeling refreshed and energised.

Are ultra-processed foods secretly sabotaging your diet goals? It’s time to study the labels on your favourite health-food brands. Oat milk....


Are ultra-processed foods secretly sabotaging your diet goals? It’s time to study the labels on your favourite health-food brands. Oat milk. Cereal. Hummus. Plant-based burgers… Hands up whose weekly groceries list goes something like this? Yup, ours too. But did you know these wholesome-sounding staples are often ultra-processed foods (UPFs), linked to weight gain, diabetes and heart disease? According to latest figures, even if you avoid eating junk food such as sugary drinks and snacks, your diet is likely to be shockingly high in UPFs – including cleverly-marketed ‘health’ foods many of us eat daily.

We’re now consuming more than 50 per cent of our energy from UPFs. While their convenience and palatability is tempting, research shows this is having a potentially devastating impact on our health. UPFs tend to produce peaks and dips in blood sugar which are bad for cardiovascular health and conditions such as type-2 diabetes.

Want to protect your health or lose a few pounds? Stop counting calories and start checking the ingredients in your favourite products, say a growing number of nutrition experts. Here’s what you need to know. 


Much of our Western diet is processed to some extent. Fish is canned, peas are frozen, milk is  turned into yoghurt, wheat is milled into flour. These processes are harmless and can improve food’s digestibility and nutritional value. For instance, did you know canned tomatoes are richer in antioxidant lycopene than raw ones? Most food undergoes some form of processing which isn’t a cause for concern – think cheese, sourdough bread and tofu. ‘These foods have been partially altered by adding sugar, oil, fat, salt and other culinary ingredients.’.

Problems start when food is engineered to create novel flavours and textures. Chewy chocolate cookies, doughy supermarket bread, tongue-tingling tangy tortilla chips… think of your favourite moreish foods and you can guarantee they’re UPFs. Ultra-processed foods have undergone industrial processing to become hyper-palatable,. ‘They typically contain a lot of added salt, sugar, fat and chemical additives. For instance, bread should only have a few ingredients, but white supermarket bread can have a long list of ingredients to increase shelf-life and taste.’

According to the NOVA classification system, common UPFs include reconstituted meats, sausages, salty and sugary snacks, frozen meals, biscuits, ice cream and chocolate. No surprises there. But other UPFs may come as a shock: the almond milk you pour on your cereal, the baked beans or canned soup and sliced bread you grab for lunch, that post-gym smoothie, the pesto you pop on pasta and the fruit yoghurt you have for dessert. And yes, plant-based ready meals, protein drinks and energy bars, too (see Purely plants, below).


Once inside your body, UPFs behave very differently to the wholefoods they’re made from. Not only are they usually higher in calories, fat and sugar, but their structure (or ‘food matrix’) is also altered during processing, meaning they release these nutrients more quickly into your blood which, in turn, disrupts your metabolism.

One example is oats. ‘You could have two types of oatmeal with identical labels but totally different metabolic and long-term responses. Whole oats produce a blunted blood-sugar level response while finely ground ones [found in instant oatmeal] create a big peak in blood sugar followed by a dip, triggering hunger and inflammation.’

Similarly, fruit juices and smoothies trigger a higher blood-sugar rise and fall than   fibre-packed whole fruit. The processing breaks down the original structure of the fruit. ‘Swapping a glass of orange juice for an orange gives you all the benefits of the orange, rather than just the sugar.’


No time to cook from scratch? The long-term health cost of eating processed foods may make you reconsider. According to a study of 77,000 people published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, those who ate over half their calories from UPFs (meat- or plant-based) were 14 per cent more likely to die over 10 years. A French study of over 100,000 adults, in the British Medical Journal, found people consuming higher levels of UPFs had an increased risk of heart disease. Meanwhile, a second French study found a 10 per cent increase in UPF consumption raised the risk of cancer.

Scientists believe these effects occur because UPFs increase obesity and exposure to potentially carcinogenic chemicals (from additives and processing). But your gut health may also be involved. The ZOE PREDICT study shows a strong link between UPFs and worse long-term health, including detrimental impacts on the gut microbiome. Results revealed a diet rich in processed foods (including baked beans and juices) encouraged bad gut microbes while a minimally processed, plant-based diet led to good microbes, linked to better metabolic health.

Eating processed foods also leaves less room in your diet for protective healthy produce. ‘A diet high in UPFs is more likely to be lower in nutrient-dense foods, fibre and wholefoods,’ she says.


Do you find it hard to shed stubborn pounds despite opting for calorie-controlled meals and snacks? Ironically, they could be the problem. Your body absorbs energy more readily from  low-fibre UPFs than wholefoods. Calories, of course, play a role in weight management but they’re not the be-all and end-all. ‘Very refined ingredients can have a higher caloric availability, meaning the body can access these calories far more easily than the same calories encased in fibre-rich wholefoods.’

UPFs are engineered to hit your ‘bliss spot’ so you eat more of them. Research suggests they may disrupt gut-brain signalling and stimulate appetite. Consumption of UPFs is a real problem for people who want to lose weight. ‘It’s much harder when we’re consuming these energy-dense, tasty foods that are quickly metabolised and impact our hunger and satiety signals, encouraging us to eat more.’

A landmark trial by the US National Institutes of Health compared an ultra-processed diet to a minimally processed one of the same calorie, fat, sugar and micronutrient value. Results showed people on the ultra-processed diet ate 500 more calories a day, leading to an average weight gain of two pounds in two weeks. Blood tests revealed that while on the processed diet, people had lower levels of appetite-suppressing hormones and higher levels of appetite-stimulating hormones.


For anyone wanting to lose weight or improve their diet, I’d encourage them to eat food in its original form. ‘Eat whole apples rather than apple juice, for instance. Minimise UPF consumption and eat a diversity of foods. Thirty plants a week is something we should aim for to improve our gut health.’

Of course, some UPFs are worse than others. While the term “ultra-processed foods” includes foods such as confectionery, fried snacks, cakes and sugary drinks we know we should eat less of, the definition also includes foods that can be part of a healthy, balanced diet, such as sliced wholemeal bread, lower-sugar yoghurts, wholegrain breakfast cereals and baked beans.

Wholegrain UPFs, such as wholegrain breads and breakfast cereals, tend to be healthier than non-wholegrain equivalents, due to their fibre content. Wholegrain bread or cereal still has a poor glucose response but it will be better than white bread.

As always, it’s about balance but, ultimately, minimising UPFs is key to good health. When people cut down on ultraprocessed foods and incorporate more wholefoods rich in vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and fibre, they’re likely to see improved gut health, increased energy and mental clarity alongside better sleep and improved wellbeing.

Feeling worse for wear after your workout? Modifying your go-to recovery methods could help to boost your exercise results. Whether you’re n...


Feeling worse for wear after your workout? Modifying your go-to recovery methods could help to boost your exercise results. Whether you’re new to fitness, or a seasoned gym-goer, you’re probably familiar with the pumped up feeling you get after you finish a workout. The endorphin rush that floods your body when you get moving helps to keep your mood in gear and your health on track. But if you don’t allow your body to recover fully after an intense workout, you can be left feeling worse for wear.

Without adequate recovery, your workout can leave you feeling fatigued with physical discomfort and exhaustion, brain fog, headaches and nausea. A new study shows that 29 per cent of exercisers felt so bad after a workout they ended up missing work, whilst 55 per cent admitted to feeling forced  to stay indoors due to extreme soreness. Experts have dubbed this phenomenon ‘the fitness hangover’ which is essentially when your workout leaves you feeling worse off than before you exercised.

Recovery is important to side step any hungover feeling. Recovery helps  to prevent injury, reduce muscle soreness, rebuilds energy stores in the body and prevents the build up of toxins. It’s also important to have rest days to prevent overtraining (which can actually increase body fat and cortisol, and prevent restful sleep)


There are lots of reasons that exercise might not be giving you that pumped up feeling that you’re searching for. During exercise, glycogen stores in the muscles get used up, which can leave you feeling light headed. You’re also losing electrolytes through sweat, causing a drop in blood pressure which can bring on dizziness. ‘Hydration varies from person to person, so make sure you know what you body needs, and if you’re sweating, drink to replace the water you’ve lost. Furthermore, when you exercise, blood rushes to muscles and lungs, reducing blood flow to the digestive system. This can cause nausea and stomach pain,’ explains Lee Oakley. Here we show you the best ways to beat unwanted symptoms and make sure you feel your best.


It can be tempting to push through the pain barrier when you’re working out, and whilst getting out of breath during a HIIT class or feeling the burn when you’re lifting weights is pretty much part and parcel of a workout, be aware of pushing your body too far. If you’re overdoing it, you’ll probably get exercise symptoms like cramps, dizziness and physical sickness. 

These are all clues that your body is telling you to stop and rest, so don’t ignore the signs.


Good nutrition is the cornerstone of any fitness routine, as eating well helps aid your recovery by fuelling your body with the nutrients it needs to repair muscle – and macronutrients should be top on your list of postworkout priorities. Carbs are needed for glycogen synthesis and protein is needed for muscle repair. Fats are also needed for hormone production, as an energy source as well as for inflammation reduction. Those doing regular and high-intensity training should get at least 20 per cent of their calories from fat.. Try to eat within 45 minutes of your workout. A peanut butter and banana protein smoothie or an omelette with avocado on wholemeal toast are great options to nourish your body.


Looking after yourself isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity to avoid fitness burnout. Allocating 15 minutes after your gym workout to relax in the sauna, or having a warm bath, can help boost blood flow and muscle relaxation, whilst getting enough sleep will allow your cells to repair and renew properly.

Don’t forget to stretch after a fitness session – it’s as important as the workout itself. Stretching after your workout and on rest days will help to reduce stiffness and help with DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness). Child’s pose, kneesto-chest stretch and forward bends aid joint flexibility and keep you mobile.


Recovery doesn’t have to mean lying on the sofa all day. Gentle movement known as active recovery can also aid circulation, muscle recovery and energy levels in between workouts, but you should ensure to listen to your body so that you don’t overdo it. Active recovery can be used during a workout, for example in a HIIT class you could take a light jog in between the highenergy movements. It can also be used immediately after a workout, like stretching in a cool down. Lastly, active recovery can be used on a rest day – exercises like swimming or tai chi are useful as they’re gentle on the body.

Many people have little problem losing weight. The real challenge is keeping it off. Far too often, many people are on a constant physical, ...


Many people have little problem losing weight. The real challenge is keeping it off. Far too often, many people are on a constant physical, emotional and mental roller coaster of losi ng weig ht from various diets, exercise, only to see weight regain within weeks or months. Rather than flicking from one fad diet to another, the foundation of long-term weight loss is maintenance of a healthy, calorie regulated diet and regular physical exercise. Life often gets in the way and in this article, but I share some strategies of patients who have achieved successful long term weight loss.

1. Mindset, goal setting and commitment to lifestyle change.

Visualisation of success is the first step. Think about the why. Concrete objectives are the key. I want to be able to keep up with my kids. I want to be able to fit into off the shelf clothes. Difficult goals require strong motivators. Set achievable goals e.g. 0.5kg off per week and write them down and e.g. stop buying soft drinks. Commit to ticking off these goals. Keep a journal. Celebrate your achievements, with a healthy reward to create a cycle of positive reinforcement.

2. Get professional help. Teamwork makes the dream work.

Don't do this alone. Surround yourself with supportive and positive people. Professional athletes have a team around them to optimise their performance. Long term weight loss is more likely if you have a great support team including doctors, dietitians, exercise professionals and psychologists. Not only can they help keep you accountable, but their professional experience is also invaluable. This may involve discussions of weight loss medications and surgery as extra tools in achieving your longer-term goals.

3. Identify and deal with stressors and obstacles.

Daily life throws many obstacles to successful maintenance of weight loss. Work and family commitments can overwhelm. Suddenly there is no time to exercise or to eat properly. We opt for fast food and skip sleep. If you accept that your personal health is your top priority, then other daily life matters need to be rescheduled around that goal. Importantly, remember food should not be an excuse to deal with stress or boredom. Plan to replace food with a run or a swim in these situations.

4. Focus on mindful eating.

80% of healthy weight maintenance comes from diet and the remainder via exercise. Mindful eating is critical. Success involves being conscious of exactly what is eaten and portion size as opposed to mindless binge snacking and grazing. Be aware of eating regular meals and actively keep unhealthy foods out of the house.

5. Track your progress.

Now that you have written down your motivations and your diet/exercise plans, it is important to track your progress. There are many fantastic free apps for your phone that you can enter your daily diet/exercise achievements and weight measurements. Visual reminders can provide positive reinforcement to remind you to stay the path. Phone based pedometers and calorie counters are great.

6. Transition perspective obstacles to a lifestyle.


Choosing to cook healthy meals and exercising vigorously is difficult. Habits take time to form. Often there are setbacks and relapses. The real key to long term success is when these difficulties are no longer perceived as things to do but become a natural part of your daily lifestyle. For example, it suddenly becomes preferable to walk or cycle to work rather than driving.

Successful long term weight maintenance is challenging. Strategies for success involve goal setting, progress tracking and adopting a commitment to lifestyle change. Healthy eating and regular exercising need to be the new normal lifestyle. Creating a support network of both personal contacts and professionals will increase chance of success.

People often perceive resistance (or strength/weights) training as building muscle without truly understanding the plethora of other health ...


People often perceive resistance (or strength/weights) training as building muscle without truly understanding the plethora of other health benefits associated with this methodology of exercise. Resistance training is not just for people to become 'muscly' but can be utilised by people with many conditions and of all ages to improve their quality of life and make noticeable improvements in both their physical and mental health.

Sometimes when we think of resistance training, we think of lifting weights, however, resistance training is a broad term used for a number of different training methodologies such as free weights (e.g. dumbbells), resistance bands, and even bodyweight training which is essentially the resistance to gravity.

Improved strength is one of the first things that comes to mind when we think of resistance training, and rightly so, for this is such an important component of day to day life and not just for athletes. Increased strength allows us to complete activities of daily living so much easier, whether that be having to lift up your kids or carrying your groceries to the car.

Resistance training has been proven to improve bone density/strength due to the weight bearing stresses that it places through these body structures. It should also be noted that resistance training has a positive impact on your metabolism as muscle cells have a superior metabolic rate compared to fat cells.

One of the most conscious areas that people are concerned about gaining weight is their stomach, which is technically called 'visceral' fat. This abdominal fat is actually associated with higher rates of diseases which includes type 2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and certain types of cancers. Evidence has shown that incorporating resistance training into your exercise regime reduces not only the total fat, but in particular this abdominal fat that all of us like to lose by the time summer comes around to get those beach bodies ready.

In summary, the benefits of resistance training include:

  • Improved strength.
  • Improved ability to carry out our usual activities of daily living (housework, shopping, lifting kids etc).
  • Improved bone density .
  • Reduced risk of developing osteoporosis or reduced osteoporosis progression if you already have it.
  • Reduced abdominal fat and improved body shape.
  • Improved sports performance with reduced risk of injuries.

Bear in mind, that the type of resistance training you do, needs to be specific to you - your physical health, your health and fitness goals and your sports background. As with any new physical activity it's important to consult your physiotherapist prior to starting, to make sure that you will be exercising safely and effectively.

Other important features are discussed:

1. Reduces the risk of falls.

Falling over is something that many people might not often think about, but as we become older this is of the biggest risks of injury. Most people believe that balance is associated with the risk of having a fall however, strength plays a huge role in our ability to reduce the chance of that happening. If we have greater strength in our muscles throughout our body, especially our core muscles, then we are able to support our body, particularly during dynamic (moving) positions. As we age, we start to become more aware of our body's limitations and potential frailness, and the risk of injury. By improving our strength we are able to decrease the likelihood of injuries occurring as a result of tripping and falling, while participating in various activities, or other activities in our day to day lives.

2. Increases spine & joint mobility.

Resistance training not only improves our muscle strength but also can help increase the mobility and the range of motion of our spine and joints. Muscular imbalances are common in most of us, even if we are unaware of it. We generally have a dominant side (i.e. left or right) and because of this it is important to maintain consistency and equilibrium between both sides of our body. Not only that, but our joints are better supported when surrounded by stronger muscular tissue which can help prevent injuries even in something as common as rolling our ankle.

3. Improves cardiovascular function.

Our heart is the hardest working muscle in the body. Did you know that on average it contracts and relaxes around 100,000 times a day? Resistance training helps to strengthen the heart muscles and thus improve our cardiovascular function. This is essential to maintain vital body processes such as blood pressure, peripheral circulation, cholesterol level and many other aspects in a healthy body.

4. Decreases risk of Type 2 Diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is one of the most prevalent conditions in today's society, however, this can be prevented through a healthy lifestyle such as exercise regimes where strength training is involved. It does this through improving our insulin sensitivity and correspondingly reducing   blood sugar levels which decreases the likelihood of becoming diabetic. This also helps those who are diabetic by stabilizing their blood glucose levels.

5. Effects on brain, mood & cognitive decline.

Resistance training can also benefit the mind. We're all aware that sometimes we are prone to having off days and feeling down in the dumps but exercise and resistance training can help boost our self-esteem and mood. These are critical aspects that help us function and move through the days, particularly the hard ones. It also improves our sense of body image, social anxiety and other cognitive (psychological) limitations. Resistance training does help slow down cognitive decline and the potential for brain health deterioration which is especially important as we age.

There are many health benefits associated with incorporating resistance training into exercise regimes which can actually help improve our quality of life not only now, but in the future. Even if you are not a fan of 'lifting weights', incorporating this into your current exercise regimes, will only result in further benefits and positive outcomes.

Mobility Mobility is how a joint moves actively through a range of motion. (Key word here is actively – with muscle engagement happening.) H...



Mobility is how a joint moves actively through a range of motion. (Key word here is actively – with muscle engagement happening.)

How it looks : Picture doing a dynamic warm-up, like walking lunges with a side bend each time you step forward, before a run.

Why it matters : Mobility training teaches your body to activate muscles properly and to move with control and power, which helps reduce your risk for muscle imbalances and agitating pains day-to-day, and helps you maintain good form as you train. Basically, you need to focus on mobility to live an injury-free and active life.


What it means : This is the amount a muscle can stretch or lengthen. Flexibility is what allows you to have range of motion in a joint passively – i.e. without activating your muscles.

How it looks : Imagine holding a static stretch (like reaching for your toes) for 30 to 60 seconds.

Why it matters : Consider flexibility a prerequisite for mobility. Think about it: if you’ve got super-tight hip flexors, you likely do shallow squats or lunges. Improving your flexibility allows your joints to move through their full ranges of motion during functional workout movements. Long-term, you’ll live a more ache-free and comfortable life.

When to do it : Post-workout. Flexibility requires your muscles to be loose and disengaged (the opposite of what you want during your actual sweat session). Plus, static stretching calms the nervous system, easing your body into recovery.

For a consistentl y ouch - free, active lifestyle, remember to incorporate both mobility and flexibility into your workouts .

A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is an increasingly popular procedure for those looking to remove excess fat from the stomach ...


A tummy tuck, also known as an abdominoplasty, is an increasingly popular procedure for those looking to remove excess fat from the stomach area. If you’ve tried everything to get a flat tummy with little success or simply want to tighten things up after pregnancy or weight loss, a tummy tuck might just be the solution you’re looking for.

While a tummy tuck operation is a fairly straightforward and low-risk procedure for otherwise healthy patients, it’s vital to follow postoperative care instructions. For example, as you’ll see in this Seattle tummy tuck checklist, you should avoid strenuous exercise and get enough rest after your procedure. That said, if you want to get the best out of your new body, it’s equally important that you don’t become completely sedentary during your recovery. Once you’re feeling well enough to move around, it’s time to work on building up your strength.

Check Out These Five Top Tips To Stay Fit After A Tummy Tuck:

#1- Know Your Limits

Doctors generally recommend that patients take it easy for the first week or two after surgery. It can be tempting to get up and moving, but you should always listen to your physician and your body.

Strenuous activities shouldn’t be attempted until at least six weeks after surgery as they may impact negatively on wound healing and compromise the corseting effect of the operation. If you simply can’t resist the urge to get moving, begin by standing with a straight back several times a day to strengthen your healing muscles. From there, progress to walking short distances.

#2- Return to Work

Returning to your normal work routine is a good way to get back into the swing of things. Not only will it allow you to add some light exercise into your day (walking, climbing stairs), but it will also help to regulate your meal times. This will ensure that poor dietary habits don’t slow your healing or cause excess weight gain.

#3- Combine Recreation and Fitness

You don’t have to hit the gym immediately to stay fit after a tummy tuck. Try incorporating a light workout into your daily routine, whether that means taking the stairs at work or parking further away from the office or supermarket. To help you get back into it, consider signing up for a yoga class with friends. The reward of a hot coffee and a good chat post workout is great incentive to get moving!

#4- Start with Low-Impact Exercises

When you do feel ready to get back in gear, start slow. Even if you feel fine, keep in mind that your muscles could be healing for up to a year. Begin with low-intensity exercises, such as low-impact aerobics and incline walking. From around week six, you can start to incorporate cardio, running and swimming. After approximately six months, you can return to high-intensity activities, such as weights and resistance training, if desired.

#5- Monitor Your Diet

A tummy tuck might seem like a permanent fix, but eating the wrong foods (especially during the sedentary part of your recovery) can hamper your results. Don’t restrict yourself (the body needs nutrients to heal), but try to steer clear of greasy, sodium laden fast-food and make sure that your diet contains high levels of protein, essential amino acids and fruits and vegetables.

A tummy tuck is a great way to regain some body confidence post-pregnancy or after significant weight loss. To get the most out of your procedure, follow these five tips for staying fit after abdominoplasty and always listen to your body, as everyone’s recovery process is different.