How to keep fit all year round

Inspired by the fact that most give up on their new year’s resolutions on February, Simply Gym has created a guide to keeping to your health and fitness resolutions all year long, including some motivation tips and monthly goals to aim for.

The infographic gives you a little tip for each month of the year – combine them all to keep up your momentum and celebrate reaching your goals in December!

Get fit – win the latest Italian hydrodynamic swim goggles + kit

Why not kick-start your fitness regime by taking up swimming? Elixir has teamed up with Aqua Sphere to offer you the chance to win a pair of their new technologically advanced swim goggles plus kit to go with it – all worth more than £45!
Recognised for its relentless pursuit of innovation, award winning swim kit expert Aqua Sphere is really proud of its new K180 – the first ever hydrodynamic small socket swimming goggle with asymmetrical and anatomical curved lenses, combining outstanding wraparound vision with the most comfortable and natural fit possible. 

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Aqua Sphere is highly regarded for the technological excellence of its groundbreaking eyewear which uses clever curved lenses to deliver a full 180 degrees of vision.   The K180 is its first ever small socket goggle and it has been devised to not only offer a wider field of vision than current racing or competitive goggles but to deliver superior performance because it sits very close to the eye. The goggles are extremely stylish – not surprisingly they are made in Italy.
Using an ultra-soft proprietary composite material, the K180 follows the natural line of the eye socket, ensuring the goggles feel completely secure and stable, even during pool dives and turns, and can be worn for extended periods with minimal discomfort.  The curved lenses, integrated side loops and low profile buckles also create a more hydrodynamic profile than current options on the market because the latter have flat face lenses and their inherent corners and edges reduce their streamlining capability.    A K180+ micro gasket version is suitable for faster elite-level racing.  
Interestingly, both goggles are also available in Lady versions to offer the best possible fit for the female face, which Aqua Sphere proudly offers for many of its goggle and mask designs.   Try Aqua Sphere aquatic eyewear and we are confident you will notice the difference in terms of amazing vision and really great comfort.   
Elixir has  4 superb Aqua Sphere swim bundles worth£45 each to win.   Each includes a pair of K180 Lady goggles worth £19.99 plus a  deck bag, towel and cap. All you have to do is give the correct answer to the question below and email it to us at with ‘goggles’ in the header, and your name and address. Your email will be put into a draw and four winners  will be drawn from the correct answers.  Please note that no cash equivalent is offered and the Editor’s decision is final.
So to win your swim bundle please give us the correct answer to the following question:
Where are Aqua Sphere googles manufactured:
(a) China
(b) India
(c) Italy
Please note that this competition ends on 3 January 2013.
Follow Aqua Sphere on facebook at www.facebook/aquasphereuk and visit the web site    

Loquax Competitions

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Skipping breakfast – the new rules on fat loss and staying younger!

Let’s get one thing straight….skipping breakfast is fine!!!In fact it is more than fine, it’s the starting point to actually getting you the body you have always dreamed of, according to the authors of a new book.

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Co-authors, Shaun Petafi and Dean Connor BSc, a top fitness trainer and male model, have analysed the latest research on fat, fitness and longevity and come up with a formula that has literally Ripped to Shreds all the diet myths.
The report includes a number of controversial key elements designed to help people achieve their goals.
These include:
Forget about breakfast – The new law on fat loss
The amazing benefits of fasting
Why only fools spend longer than 3 hours a week in the gym
How to put your fat burning on autopilot 24/7
“I know you have all been brainwashed by the food industry about how important breakfast is and how it ‘kick starts’ your metabolism for the day, this is not actually true,’ writes Shaun in an exclusive article for Elixir.
The latest research shows your metabolic rate is determined by your lean mass (how much muscle you have). Not by how many meals you consume throughout the day.
Eating first thing, especially the usual grains and dairy will certainly put your fat burning on hold for a few hours. This coupled with breakfast bars for your elevenses, before your typical lunch all causing rising and falling levels of insulin.
Instead give your body a break, allow it to process the food from the day before. 
Waiting say for example 14-16 hours after your last meal the night before will allow your body to become a master of controlling Insulin (the key to fat loss), reset the hormone Ghrelin (hunger hormone) and re-programme the hormone Leptin 
(the carbohydrate sensitive hormone). You will now become a fat burning machine when you do eat.
I’m sure you would all love some more time in the morning to yourselves too, an extra half hour in bed perhaps?
Shaun Petafi and Dean Connor BSc, fat loss experts and co-authors of the groundbreaking Ripped To Shreds report have used the latest scientific literature behind rapid body transformation. In their e-book they claim short fasts can actually accelerate fat loss and make you considerably healthier in the process.
Although intermittent fasting research is still only in its infancy and it may well be another 5 years before it reaches the masses and becomes a mainstream nutritional idea, its benefits have already reached almost legendary proportions within many nutritional and dieting circles around the world.
So what is it exactly? Well the term Fasting refers to going long periods without food followed by a period of eating. It is basically what we did as cavemen and women all those years ago. The invention of breakfast is only very recent in terms of human time on this planet, and our greed along with the greed of the food industry has driven this change.
Why do it? Here is a list of all the benefits of following the anabolic fasting approach
This is a typical criticism of most diets, the person feels hungry all the time. Due to the effect the approach has on the hormone ghrelin (hunger hormone), your body becomes a very stable environment. Plus you get to eat really large meals when you do actually eat, certainly something that was lacking in many other protocols.
Intermittent fasting has been shown to produce elevated levels of human growth hormone (HGH). This hormone regulates metabolism, allows us to build muscle, burn fat and reduce the negative effects caused by stress.
During the fasting hours your body produces a great deal of fat burning hormones, by prolonging this time (to a certain extent) you are prolonging the body’s ability to use fat as fuel.
Now imagine training at this time when all these fat burning hormones are going wild and you can see why the results are so epic.
Both key in setting your body up to be a fat burning machine.
By maintaining low levels of insulin throughout the day, your body becomes very sensitive so when you do feed it with the dreaded carbs of other diets, your body is very sufficient at storing them in the muscle cells. Low levels of both of blood
glucose and insulin are also markers of improved health.
Gone will be the days of feeling deprived whilst dieting to get lean, you will look forward to your large meals and feel perfectly fine when not eating. This will lead to an easy integration into your normal daily life, you will feel that these 
methods are so easy and you won’t be thinking “I can’t wait to finish this diet.”
The health markers of fasting are also very profound, reduced risk of cancer, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, diabetes etc. Additionally the increase in Growth Hormone production further stimulates cell development, cell reproduction and regeneration, which in turn assists with the anti-aging process.
Ok so you’re sold…what next?
Typically The R2S (Ripped To Shreds) report promotes an 8 hour feeding window and a 16 hour fast, bearing in mind you will likely be sleeping for around half of the fasting time, it basically equates to skipping breakfast. For most people this set up is quite controversial, however its works best in terms of compliance, fat loss and weight training.
For example feeding window is 12 midday – 8pm, and the fast from 8pm – 12 midday.
The eating period falls into either an 8 hour window (for men) or a 10 hour window (for women) with a 16 and 14 hour fasting period respectively.
For more information about fasting and rapid fat loss visit
The full ripped to shreds report is available for download for just £9.99 
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Jogging can add years to your life, says new study

Woman running.jpgCopenhagen: Jogging for as little as an hour a week can put years on your life, new research has shown.

Regular running increases the average life expectancy of men and women by around six years, a study found.

The greatest benefit came from jogging at a “slow or average” pace – enough to cause slight breathlessness – rather than pushing to physical limits.

Danish heart expert Dr Peter Schnohr, who led the study of almost 2,000 male and female joggers, said: “The results of our research allow us to definitively answer the question of whether jogging is good for your health.

“We can say with certainty that regular jogging increases longevity. The good news is that you don’t actually need to do that much to reap the benefits.”

The jogging research is part of the Copenhagen City Heart Study which has been monitoring the health of 20,000 Danish men and women aged 20 to 93 since 1976.

A team led by Dr Schnohr looked at death rates among a sub-group of 1,116 male and 762 female joggers over a period of up to 35 years.

Participants were asked how much time they spent jogging each week, and whether they ran at a slow, average or fast pace.

Compared with non-joggers in the main heart study population, the risk of death for both male and female runners was reduced by 44%.

The data showed that, after taking account of age, jogging increased the lifespan of men by 6.2 years and of women by 5.6 years.

Further analysis of the association between jogging and death rate revealed a “U-shaped curve”.

This meant improvements were seen with increasing levels of exercise until an optimum point was reached, after which they reduced.

Between one hour and two-and-a-half hours of moderately paced jogging a week, undertaken over two to three sessions, was ideal, said the scientists.

“The relationship appears much like alcohol intakes,” said Dr Schnohr, who presented the findings today at a meeting of heart experts in Dublin. “Mortality is lower in people reporting moderate jogging than in non-joggers or those undertaking extreme levels of exercise.

“You should aim to feel a little breathless, but not very breathless.”

He said jogging delivered multiple health benefits, including raised oxygen uptake, increased insulin sensitivity, higher levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, lowered blood pressure, and reduced blood clotting.

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Charles Eugster: the world’s fittest 91-year-old on spreading the Viagra-effect of exercise

London: When we meet Dr Charles Eugster, a former dentist, is wearing a stylish grey cashmere suit, with a white cotton shirt, complimented by a pink silk tie and matching pocket handkerchief. The suit doesn’t hang as it would on most men his age but fits perfectly on his trim and moderately defined muscular physique. He may be 91-years-old but unlike the majority of his contemporaries he has no superflous hair peeking from his nostrils or ears and has a decent haircut.

When I compliment him by telling him he looks 30 years younger than his real age – which he does. He responds by saying that he doesn’t need Viagra nowadays (not that he took it before). And as a once-divorced widower he is looking forward to his next internet date.  His last relationship was with a 72-year-old synchronised swimmer.

The secret to his youthfulness is not down to any cosmetic surgery. His “elixir of life” is exercise.  And not a punishing regime either – just 45 minutes, three times a week.

Charles October 2010 2.JPG  Charles in competition – October 2010

His workout, is based on building and retaining muscle mass.  The dramatic fall in muscle mass in older people, known as sacrophenia, is a major contributor to frailty among the elderly.  He lifts weights and combines this with resistance training and cardio workout through rowing.  His regime has not only changed his body shape – his weight has decreased from 85 to 65 kilos,  but has also boosted levels of his youth hormones. It is scientifically proven, that levels of Human Growth Hormone – the main youth hormone – are boosted through exercise.

A blood analysis has also revealed he has the profile of an athlete and an absence of the nasty substances that usually accompany ageing such as high levels of bad LDL cholesterol. His resting heart rate is also in the 50s which is near athletic.

He also claims that exercise has also had an interesting affect on the colour of his body hair. He tells me that his once grey pubic hairs have returned to their original colour – although Elixir clearly cannot testify to this!

He claims to be the fittest nonogenerian on the planet.  And looking around on the streets of the UK where woman are now the most obese in Europe – he may well be right.

BILD1192.jpgCharles Eugster brims over with enthusiasm for life and is now on a one-man mission to not only get older folks off their feet to take more exercise but also to reinvent themselves in new careers.

“After all”, he says, “they have another thirty years to live.” And he believes this is where “vanity” has a positive role. “I am vain and it has its place as a motivator.  If you want to stay young then act young – join a gym, be competitive and find a new job.”

Charles doesn’t take hormone replacement, or expensive supplements, or even count calories. He does have a personal trainer who advices on changes to his exercise regime so that his body is constantly challenged. He recently decided to target his derierre which his personal trainer says is now “firming up nicely”.

As far as diet goes, he eats lots of fruits, vegetables and porridge. He also he takes whey protein which helps build lean muscle, confesses to the odd glass of wine and drinks green tea.

There is no question that Charles is a role model for older people.  He “retired” as a dentist and publisher of a newsletter for dentists well past the usual retirement age at the age of 75. And has now embarked on a career to promote positive ageing.  He has his own website , is a prolific Tweeter and is also in the process of writing an “inspirational book” about ageing. He is also a “Fitness Ambassador” for  INJOY, a gym chain in Continental Europe aimed at babyboomers.

Born in England but now living in Zurich, Switzerland, Charles has an accent that is “cut glass” British. His wealthy parents sent him to St Pauls, the London public school which is where he learned to row.

The turning point for his health came in his 50s when he discovered varicose veins on his legs and was diagnosed with low blood. His doctor said he needed to take more exercise so he took up walking and then jogging

 “To my surprise my first wife was not interested in sport at all so I tried to adapt to her lifestyle which was not good for me at all.” They later divorced and his second wife died tragically in a car crash in France.

At the age of 87, he decided to take up body building  to counter muscle loss.  Last year (2010) he won the Strenflex World Championship (an international fitness competition) in the over 80-age group with the highest number of points ever scored.  His winning performance featured 57 dips, 61 chin-ups, 50 push-ups and 48 abdominal crunches, each in 45 seconds!

Dr Eugster has won 31 International rowing Gold medals and added 5 more Gold’s at the recent World Masters Regatta in Canada.

He is a vehement supporter of the UK’s Government’s decision to phase out the Default Retirement Age (DRA). As a passionate evangelist for being fit in old age, he has clear views about making sure one has correctly provided for one’s later years and he points out that a healthier ‘old old’ population will make fewer demands on an exceptionally stretched health service.

Dr Eugster says:  “The aged are considered not only to be unproductive but to put an enormous strain on the health service. It is claimed that in the UK, services for the aged already cost £126 Billion or 60% of all social services.” He continues, “The blessings of work have been underestimated – those that work are statistically healthier and recover faster from illness. There is satisfaction in earning one’s keep.   The horror of retirement has also been underestimated – the prospect of no longer making a contribution to society, of loss of status, of loss of satisfaction of earning money and of slow mental and physical decline.

“The retirement age of 65 was first introduced at the turn of the century when life expectancy was 46.  In the meantime life expectancy has increased by about 74%, but retirement age has remained the same.  The enormous growth of the aged population has made the present pension system unaffordable.  An increase in retirement age and a reduced pension is politically difficult but would be made easier by encouraging work after retirement with training facilities with the object of learning a new profession or starting a new career- which could be full-time, part-time or temporary.”

Dr Eugster surmises:”It is absurd that we should spend about a third of our lives being unproductive and supported by other people’s children. The discovery of the enormous plasticity of the human body means that it is possible to rebuild one’s body and mental ability in old age through specific exercises and changes in diet.  This in turn cannot only prevent decline but can increase physical and mental powers.  Thus the possibility of work in old age together with fewer demands on the health services is feasible.”

And you only have to look at Charles to know that he is right.

To find out more about Dr Eugster

Interview by Avril O’Connor

Darcey Bussell’s Dance Body Workout

Darcey Bussell is one of our most talented and celebrated ballet dancers. She joined the Royal Ballet as a Soloist, become First Soloist in 1989. She became Principal when she was aged just 20.

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Get lovely Darcey’s suppleness with this book

This book is illustrated with pictures of Darcey doing the exercises herself – and they are aimed at us ordinary mortals. So some of the ballet moves are done lying flat on the floor not jumping through the air. The ballet is combined with Pilates which is great for core muscle strength.

Costs £14.99 for the paperback version. Buy here Darcey Bussell’s Dance Body Workout: Tone, Sculpt, Stretch

British Military Fitness launches the walkfit workout

British Military Fitness, the UK’s largest outdoor fitness provider, has launched a new walkfit workout in eight London parks.

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Walkfit with British Military Fitness (BMF) is a new, fun way to get healthy outdoors in your local park. Led by BMF’s highly trained fitness instructors the class will keep you interested with constant variety, achievable challenges and personal encouragement.


 Retired Major  Robin Cope, Managing Director at BMFsaid: “Many people I’ve spoken to, like to go for a walk but wouldn’t necessarily do it by themselves. Our classes will ensure that the members are with like-minded people and will be encouraged to chat and socialise while they exercise.”


WF Image1 [640x480].JPGWalkfit classes will last for one hour and promise to increase your heart rate, use your muscles and improve your mobility. The BMF instructors will carefully guide you through the activities and exercises of the class, making sure that you work to a level which is right for you. They will encourage and motivate the participants throughout the class so they are fun and sociable and you’ll wonder where the time goes. It’s a whole new type of social fitness – feeling healthier, having fun and making friends.


“We recognised the need for an outdoor exercise class that appealed to a broader audience, focusing on our common goal of getting more people active. We’ve made the classes for everyone, so even if you’re returning to exercise after children, injury or illness, the low intensity class is perfect for you. It’s a totally different experience to a gym or other fitness classes and I can guarantee that you won’t be asked to drop and give me twenty!” says Robin.   


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Walkfit classes are fun, friendly, effective and great for meeting people in your local area. The launch will see classes starting in Battersea, Wandsworth, Dulwich, Peckham, Bushy Park, Hyde Park, Finsbury, and Cheam. To find your nearest Walkfit class or to try a FREE introductory class, visit  


More about Walkfit


  • Walkfit is a new, fun way to get healthy outdoors in your local park, led by highly trained fitness instructors.
  • Classes are designed for all abilities and are taken by highly trained professional instructors who will carefully guide you through the activities and exercises. The class is low impact and low intensity exercise.
  • Walkfit payment options: one class a week is £30 per month, unlimited classes per week is £40 per month and session blocks of 3 and 5 classes are £8.50 each. There is also an over 60/under 21 rate and partner rate of membership. More information on prices can be found at
  • Walkfit classes will run in the following locations: Battersea, Wandsworth, Dulwich, Peckham, Bushy Park, Hyde Park, Finsbury and Cheam.
  • British Military Fitness (BMF), founded in 1999 by Major Robin Cope as an alternative form of fitness training to gyms. Like Walkfit, BMF classes last one hour and are taken by serving or ex-armed forces physical training instructors. The basic principles are the same as Walkfit – motivational instructors, a sense of fun, strong group dynamic and use of the great outdoors.
  • BMF has over 17,000 members training in over 100 parks across the UK. For more information visit




Win free training from British Military Fitness


London: British Military Fitness believes that gyms are not for everyone and that working out with inspirational and motivational trainers delivers the best results.

British Military Fitness takes places in parks all over the UK. Why not kick-start your fitness regime by signing up to one near you. And it you are fit why not give yourself a change in regime. This is not a “shout and shutup” fitness regime but one of friendly motivation.

BMF also has a thriving social scene which includes and annual ball and also challenging treks in the UK and abroad.

BMF has joined Elixir to offer 5 readers a month’s free fitness training – and if you want to try a lesson int he meantime – the first lesson is freey anyway and you can take a friend to try out the experience with you. All you have to do is fill in the pre-exercise questionnaire which is availabel on line at the BMF’s web site:

If you would like one of the five free places please send you name and address by email to with the word “fitness” in the email header and your name will be put into a draw. Please note that this competition closes in one month on September 4 and no money equivalent is offered.

Pilates – how to be superfit age 50+


Though sometimes we may care not to admit it, we all know that regular exercise can help keep us fit and healthy.

But if you still haven’t joined the gym, started playing a sport or just haven’t had time to build more activity into your daily life, there’s good news. According to experts, it’s not too late to start getting active on a regular basis – even if you’re pushing 50.

In a paper published in the British Medical Journal (i), researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden report how they quizzed more than 2,000 men aged 50 and over about their activity levels. What they discovered was those who upped their activity levels in their 50s enjoyed similar life-extending benefits as those who were already regular exercisers by the time they reached middle age.

In fact, those who went from being low to moderate exercisers when they were younger to regular exercisers between the age of 50 to 60 were more likely to live longer than those who were already doing high levels of activity at that age. The effect on lifespan, say the researchers, is the same as giving up smoking.

“Increased physical activity in middle age is eventually followed by a reduction in mortality to the same level as seen among men with constantly high physical activity,” the report concludes. “This reduction is comparable with that associated with smoking cessation.”

The survey defines ‘heavy’ activity as hard physical training, competitive sport, active recreational sports and heavy gardening for at least three hours a week. But if the mere thought of three hours’ heavy sports training leaves you feeling weak at the knees, another way to increase your activity levels – whatever your age – is to practise an exercise method such as Pilates.

Lengthening and strengthening

Developed by German-born Joseph Pilates, Pilates is an exercise system that originally attracted performance professionals such as actors, dancers and athletes. Today, however, it is practised by ordinary people in gyms, exercise studios, church halls and living rooms all over the world, thanks to the way it effectively lengthens and strengthens all the body’s muscle groups.

And since it aims to strengthen core stability as well as improve posture and flexibility, Pilates is ideal for older exercisers with back and joint problems – not to mention those who are want to avoid them in later life too.

However, so that seasoned and inexperienced exercisers alike can find out exactly what happens in the body during the classic series of Pilates exercises, Paul Massey – a UK-based Pilates instructor and physiotherapist – has written The Anatomy of Pilates (Lotus Publishing, £14.99).

The Anatomy of Pilates, which contains 150 full-colour anatomical illustrations, is divided in to chapters on the principles of the Pilates Method, posture and movement assessment, and application of the Pilates Method – with a chapter on the classic series of exercises.

Along with detailed anatomical illustrations, each exercise in the series includes the following:

• Full description of how the exercise performed
• Objectives of the exercise
• Tips on what to concentrate on
• How the breathing pattern works
• Checkpoints
• Pitfalls

Each exercise also comes with list of which muscles are involved – for instance, Spine Stretch Forward, which is used to stretch the spine and back extensors, involves the lower abdominals, hamstrings, back extensors, psoas and hip flexors.

And if you don’t have a degree in anatomy, the illustrations show you exactly where each muscle is and how it moves during the exercise.

“If you’re practising Pilates and you want to know more about it and how it works to lengthen and strengthen your muscles, The Anatomy of Pilates is exactly what you need,” claims the author.

The Anatomy of Pilates, priced from £14.99 and available from Waterstones and Lotus Publishing –

About the author

Paul Massey is a leading physiotherapist in private practice as well as a Pilates instructor. Massey works closely with governing bodies of track and field, swimming, and hockey, both at home and internationally, and has attended numerous Olympic Games and World Championships. He received the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Team Award in 2000. He lectures worldwide on sports injuries and Pilates, and has written or co-written several books on the subject, including Sports Pilates: How to Prevent and Overcome Sports Injuries and The Pilates Prescription for Back Pain.


(i) Liisa Byberg, Håkan Melhus, Rolf Gedeborg, Johan Sundström, Anders Ahlbom, Björn Zethelius, Lars G Berglund, Alicja Wolk, Karl Michaëlsson. “Total mortality after changes in leisure time physical activity in 50 year old men: 35 year follow-up of population based cohort.” BMJ 2009;338:b688, doi: 10.1136/bmj.b688

Exercise younger – on your bike!


Bike Week (13-21 June), the UK’s biggest mass participation cycling event, is this year challenging families to get more out of life by swapping their four wheels for two and exploring new places in their local community. Towns, villages and cities across the UK will host free cycling events with the theme of ‘Get more out of life: live local, get cycling’.

Thousands of events will inspire people to hop on their bikes and discover the benefits and pleasures of cycling locally. Over half of all car journeys are less than five miles long, so by switching them to an easy thirty minute bike ride, you’ll save money, find new places you didn’t know existed, shrink your carbon footprint and get fit too!

There’s something for everyone during Bike Week, with events ranging from cycle training and Dr Bike sessions for novices, to commuter challenges and group rides around local cycling routes – all for free! Many are open to the entire family meaning it’s a great way to spend time together and meet other locals whilst rediscovering the fun of riding a bike in a safe and friendly environment.

Phillip Darnton, Chairman of Cycling England, said: “Many families are looking for easy ways to get more out of life, particularly during these difficult financial times. Cycling brings families together and is a fantastic, free way to explore new places and rides and have a lot of fun. We hope that people will use Bike Week as the perfect opportunity to get back on their bikes and re-connect with their communities.”

Bike Week has teamed up with Change4Life, the movement that provides families with helpful hints and tips about how to be more active and less sedentary and promotes cycling as a great way for children to achieve 60 minutes of their recommended daily activity.

To find out what is taking place in your local area, visit and enter your postcode. If you’d like to take part but don’t have a bike, this shouldn’t stop you – you can find your nearest bike rental outlet on the website. All participants get the chance to win a Center Parcs family holiday or one of twenty-four bike carriers in the lead up to Bike Week – another reason to get on your bike!

For further information, or if you’d like to organise your own event, log on to or phone 0845 612 0661(UK number).

Five reasons to get on your bike:

1. Over half of our car journeys are less than 5 miles – swapping them for an easy 30 minute bike ride can save you a small fortune in fuel costs

2. Cyclists live on average at least two years longer than non-cyclists and their fitness levels are equivalent to being ten years younger – so forget nip and tuck, think pedal and push!

3. Cycling is the ultimate family activity; it’s free, healthy, fun and encourages children to be independent

4. Cycling gets you out and about and you’re more likely to find that cute little delicatessen or beautiful park you never knew existed than when you’re cooped up in a car

5. In a hurry? During rush-hour, a bicycle is twice as fast as a car – good if you hate traffic jams! Even better, you won’t spend a penny on parking

More information
1. This year’s Bike Week will run from 13-21 June 2009.

2. Bike Week is one of the UK’s biggest annual promotions of cycling and provides a national umbrella for locally organised events and activities up and down the UK

3. Bike Week began as a grass-roots organisation in 1923 and receives funding from the Department for Transport via Cycling England, Transport for London, Northern Ireland Executive, The Welsh Assembly Government and Cycling Scotland with support from the Scottish Government. Bike Week also receives funding from the cycle industry via Bike Hub.

4. The partners that run Bike Week are drawn from the whole cycling community including the cycle industry, Cycling England and Cycling Scotland, Sustrans, CTC and Cyclenation. More information can be found at

5. BikeWeek supports the Change4Life movement. In order to maintain a healthy weight we need to eat well and move more. Many families are making changes that will help them live healthier and longer. Visit or call 0300 1234567 for more information

6. To find out more about Change4Life, visit

Sheraton Salobre Golf Resort & Spa, Gran Canaria


Sheraton Salobre Golf Resort & Spa
Aloe Spa
Urbanizacion Salobre Golf SN
Maspalomas, Gran Canaria
Canary Islands 35100, Spain
T:34 928 943 030
T:34 928 943 000 Spa
15% off spa treatments

Find all the comforts of home and so much more at the Sheraton Salobre Golf Resort & Spa.

Overlooking the breathtaking greens of the 27-hole Salobre Golf Course, fairways, and splendid surrounding mountains, our resort is the perfect place to catch up with the people who matter.

Treat yourself to some well-deserved you-time and discover a new world of well-being in a relaxing oasis at our Aloe Spa. After a busy day of sightseeing or business, let us show you how to find your internal beauty and balance with our soothing treatments.

Spend the day at Maspalomas Beach. Our free shuttle service can drive you directly to our private beach house, offering a bar, changing room, showers, and swimming pool.

Enticing guest rooms, a wealth of recreational facilities, and a range of exceptional dining venues make the Sheraton Salobre Golf Resort & Spa an unforgettable resort experience.

Plus, all-day, everyday sun, with an average annual temperature of 23C (73F). So there’s none of that anxious staring-up-at-the-heavens and saying, “Surely in five minutes that cloud will have blown away, sod it, where’s the beer. . .?”

The spa treatments include Swedish massage and hot-stone therapy and cost from €20 to €120 (£14.40 to £86.50). The aloe vera wrap is the signature dish, but the spa’s age-defying treatment and lymphatic drainage is another productive way to spend your time.

This spa also uses the high quality Espa products and is the place for fashionable Spanish yummy mummies


Rejuvenate at the Royal Parks fitness festival

London: From the stunning Serpentine through the green heart of London: The inaugural Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon and Brakes Food & Fitness Festival takes place next month.

On Sunday 12 October 2008 (8.30am to 4pm), the Royal Parks Foundation launches its first ever Half Marathon through the green lungs of the capital and will host the Brakes Food & Fitness Festival in Hyde Park – to which entry is free.

12,500 runners will race over a 13.1 mile route that takes in all aspects of our diverse and colourful city and passes through King Henry VIII’s old hunting grounds. Starting in the autumn colours of Hyde Park, the route goes through Green Park and St James’s Park, along the ancient Thames, past the futuristic London Eye, back to the historic Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens, finishing once again in Hyde Park. Runners will then be able to join friends and family and rejuvenate at the Brakes Food & Fitness Festival taking place all day in Hyde Park.

The Brakes Food & Fitness Festival will offer something for everyone – runners and non-runners alike. Activities throughout the day will include:

· Warm up with the British Military Fitness team at 9.30am

· SUPERChick stretch workshop for tired muscles

· Learn to be a Parkour – (think James Bond in the opening scenes of Casino Royale)

· Kids’ craft area with face-painting and lots of other free fun

· Tennis skills training, plus hockey and football challenges with a giant inflatable football goal and speed camera

· Army climbing wall

· Massage area

· Farmers market stalls for those who would rather just relax and enjoy some delicious food

Echoing the ethos of the Royal Parks, the Half Marathon aims to be as environmentally friendly as possible – with bamboo t-shirts, medals carved from sustainable pine, recycled water bottles and a Fairtrade banana for every runner. Funds raised will benefit The Royal Parks Foundation, plus the work of hundreds of other charities, large and small, from around the UK.

In keeping with the ‘something for everyone’ theme, there are a variety of prize categories for runners including:

Open Men
Open Women
Senior Women – 40-55 year olds
Senior Men – 45-60 year olds
Veteran Women – 55+
Veteran Men – 60+
Corporate Challenge (Fastest Team & Best Dressed Team)
Most Successful Fundraiser

Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon timings:

· 8.30 – Runners should arrive at 8.30 to check in bags

· 9.30 – British Military Fitness warm up

· 10.00 – Run starts in Hyde Park

· Brakes Food & Fitness Festival open between 8.30am-4pm

The Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon

· The Royal Parks Foundation is the charity for London’s eight Royal Parks. For further information please visit: www.royalparksfoundation or visit The Royal Parks at

Headline sponsor

· Brakes – Brakes is the headline partner for the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon and is the UK’s leading foodservice

Get the Hip Hop Body – win the DVD


Currently one of the world’s leading fitness presenters, Troy’s expertise spans 14 years in the industry. He regularly performs master-classes to over 2000 people at conventions all over the world. Endorsed by leading brand names, Troy is one of the most sought after trainers in celebrity circles and is about to revolutionise fitness through Hip Hop Body.

He has a body to die for, and if you want to look good too, he’s your man.You will find out how to have fun exercising, burn calories, get the max definition in Troys new DVD, Hip Hop Body which has just gone on sale in UK shops.

There are five DVDs, each worth £17.99 for you to win. If you would like one of these DVDs please email us with your name and address and HIP HOP in the header to by 7 April. The winners will be selected in a draw. No cash equivalent is beint offered and the Editor’s decision is final.

What is the Hip Hop Body workout – Troy answers your questions:

Hi – I’m Amy.
I’m 16 and there’s a really fit boy I wanna impress. My body’s not all that at the moment, and I wanna look buff. It’s not about school sports, the dance floor’s bangin.

Hi – I’m Lucy. I’m 22 and I work at Top Shop. I’m never in on the weekends – there’s always someone’s guest list to be on and somewhere to be seen. I wanna stay trim but spandex makes me wanna die!

Lucy: My mate says you’re The Man. Is it really true that you’ve trained stars like Colleen McLoughlin?

Troy: Yeah, and loads of others. But for me, it’s not about celebrity, it’s about

having the attitude. The girls you see working out with me in the DVD aren’t professional dancers but girls just like you.

Lucy: So what’s Hip Hop Body then?

Troy: HipHop Body is THE new way to get the body you want. Forget the press ups and star jumps. Hip Hop Body will change the way you think about hip hop and fitness.

Amy: But fitness DVDs are just for your mum, aren’t they?

Troy: That’s where you’re wrong. Hip Hop Body is all about expression, attitude, moves and the way you look.

Lucy: Sounds like hard work to me.

Troy: That’s where Hip Hop Body is different. You’ll get the body you want and have fun at the same time – dance is a fantastic way to burn calories and you can do it with your mates.

Amy: I’ve got a flabby tummy. How’s HipHop gonna help that?

Troy: Hip Hop Body is a complete body workout – there’s a special range of moves to tone your stomach and strengthen your core.

Lucy: I love dancing, but I’m not an expert…

Troy: Hip Hop Body is for everyone, from beginners to advanced.

Amy: But I’m really into dance – this isn’t gonna be boring, is it?

Troy: The DVD has a routine for more advanced dancers. It concentrates on performance and is great for anyone who’s really into dance. For the beginner, the work outs will give asense of direction and achievement.

Amy: Sounds cool. So where can we get this DVD then?

Troy: You can buy Hip Hop Body in all the shops now you can also see me in action

Boost your fitness regime with the new Salter Body Analyser


Christmas parties, Christmas lunch, Christmas pudding, Christmas cake, mince pies and mulled wine, edible and drinkable Christmas presents… the list goes on and on and results in many of us bearing a closer resemblance to the traditionally rotund Old Saint Nick than we might like. And the result; come 12pm NYE we pledge that in the New Year we will be healthier, fitter or slimmer, but that is easier said than done.

Luckily Salter is at hand to aid on this journey with the convenient and innovative #9106 Glass Body Analyser Scale. Beneath the sleek exterior the scale features five smart analyser functions which measure weight, body fat %, body water %, muscle mass and bone mass. There is also an athlete mode and a ten user memory which will help all members of the household to understand what they are made of, as well as keeping track of weight or slimming goals whilst simultaneously giving a helpful health update.

As well as being easy to use, the Salter 9106 Body Analyser Scale is certainly easy on the eye; it’s contemporary stylish design and functional easy to read 40mm LCD display with illuminated icons makes the Salter 9106 Body Analyser Scale the perfect addition to any bathroom.

The Body Analyser Scale retails at around £50 and is available in the UK online and in store from Argos and John Lewis.

Salter is offering six 9106 Body Analyser Scales to ElixirNews readers. The six lucky readers will be selected in a draw. To take part in the draw please email us at by January 15, stating Salter in the email headline, and giving us your name and address. Please note that no money eqivalent is being offered and the Editor’s decison is final.

How to walk your way to fitness in 2008


London: One of the most popular new year resolutions made each year is to get fit, but how many see it through? Not many, according to research* released in December 2007 which stated that 71% of people failed in their attempt,probably preferring the comfort of their sofa.

Joanna Hall, (pictured above right) one of the UK’s leading fitness and walking experts and co-founder of Walkactive, has five top tips that get results. The good bit is that there isn’t a gym in sight.

Joanna Hall says: “Walking is simple, easy, and just about anyone can do it. Some people are sceptical about many of its benefits, but there is no disputing the research. Walking at the right pace and with the right technique can reduce the risk of many diseases and painful conditions (see Note 3 below). Whether someone is completely new to fitness, wants to firm up, lose excess Christmas pounds, or just get fitter and healthier, walking is perfect.”

Walking has few side effects and can be done by almost anyone, anywhere.

Try Walkactive’s top five tips and start stepping into shape:

1. Invest in a good pedometer – studies show that individuals who wear a pedometer are significantly more physically active than those who don’t.

2. Establish your average daily baseline – use your pedometer to record the number of steps you take per day for four days and work out your average steps per day (ideally you should include a weekend and work day to get a truer reflection of your weekly activity). During the first week you must match your baseline number of steps every day, then for the next 4 weeks, depending on how fit you are, add 500 or 1,000 steps to your baseline and match that new baseline each day. This approach gets you fitter gradually and helps you feel in control.

3. Establish your Optimum Walking Pace™ – this is the pace at which you feel slightly out of breath, feel you need to take off a layer of clothing and is most probably the pace you may walk at if you are late for a meeting but don’t want to break into a run!

4. Fine Footwear – your footwear is the most important asset. Specialist shoes and boots are available for leisure, fitness, hill and mountain pursuits. Look for good support in your ankle and forefoot – comfort and support do matter.

5. Spread your steps – split your days into zones and aim for a certain number of steps in each three or four time zones. This stops you having to achieve a huge step target all in one go at the end of the day, plus challenges you to use walking as a form of travel and reduces your carbon footprint.

Alissa Twisk, (pictured above left) leading charity walking expert and co–founder of Walkactive, says: “Whether it’s walking to get fit, train for a charity walk, firm up, or lose weight, we have trained thousands of people to get the results they deserve. Our courses began in Central London locations but as of January 2008 we have grown to include venues spread around the South East. We also launched our online club in January so we can motivate and encourage in-between training sessions through weekly e-mail support, monthly online chats with Joanna and myself, and exclusive discounts on our courses and events. Anyone wishing to benefit from the power of walking can join our next courses which start from Sunday 20th January.”

Further details of course dates, venues and how to book a place can be
found at

*Professor Wiseman, University of Hertfordshire

1. WalkActive courses:

• WalkFit is for those who want to get fit, firm and healthy and includes one one-hour session per week for six weeks – with courses held on Sundays or weekday mornings.

• Walk Firm makes lunchtimes count with a 45 minute cardio walking blast class. A dynamic class that will leaves you feeling toned, refreshed and full of energy for the afternoon. Held in Green Park on Thursdays.

• Baby Buggy and Me helps mums regain their body through one 50 minute session a week for six weeks.

• Walk Off Weight, is a 28 day course that gets weight and inches off through twice-weekly one-hour sessions and weekly 30 minute motivational talks.

2. WalkActive is run by two fitness and walking experts – Joanna Hall and Alissa Twisk.

• Joanna Hall is one of the UK’s leading fitness experts and is passionate about walking. A regular on TV and radio, she is creator and presenter of four exercise DVD’s and author of nine books, including three top ten best sellers. Joanna is committed to delivering programmes that work.

• Alissa Twisk has for the past eight years trained and encouraged hundreds of people as they prepare to complete charity walking events. Her knowledge and hands on experience is widely sought.

3. The health benefits of walking.

• Walking can help prevent heart disease, stroke, colon cancer, constipation, osteoporosis, impotence, high blood pressure and depression

• Walking can help improve metabolism, breathing, circulation, concentration, memory, sleep, sense of well being, overall mood and stress levels

• Walking can take inches off hips, thighs, bottoms and waistlines, manage weight, and strengthen muscles, bones and joints

Moderate exercise relieves arthritis symptoms


Adults with arthritis tend to be less fit than their peers, but a new study from the University of Carolina has found that moderate exercise increases fitness.

Lead researcher Leigh F. Callahan of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, N.C., said the study examined 346 patients with an average age of 70 who had self-reported arthritis.

The participants were divided into an intervention group that took part in the Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program – exercise classes at basic and advanced levels that met for one hour twice a week for eight weeks – and a control group that was offered the program after eight weeks.

The intervention group completed self-report assessments at three months and six months after completing the program.

The study, published in Arthritis Care & Research, showed that the intervention group had significant improvements in pain, fatigue and managing arthritis at eight weeks, and maintained improvements in pain and fatigue at six months.

Nagging health questions answered on new UK government site

London: Got a nagging question about your health? Are you planning a new fitness regime or are you interested in finding out more about a particular condition and relevant treatment options? If you are looking for reliable, personalised information about your health and lifestyle you can now find it at the new website, NHS Choices

Health advice is now the second most searched for subject online so it is no surprise that there is a lot of information of variable quality out there.
NHS Choices is a one-stop shop for all your health information that you can trust and that puts you in charge of decisions about your own health, lifestyle and even treatment options.

See how fit and healthy you are with a quick and easy personal health check and watch short movies from the experts and real people about their experiences of common conditions and treatments. Read honest accounts of how celebrities such as Steve Redgrave, Tricia Goddard, Rosemary Conley and Nik Powell, Richard Branson’s co-founder of Virgin Records have overcome their own health problems. You can even become an expert with access to information only previously available to the medical profession.

Get motivated and take inspiration for a healthy life from Live Well, a series of online magazines featuring up to date articles, short movies and celebrity contributions to appeal to different groups such as women, teenagers, men and families.

Get great ideas for healthy eating with recipes from Emma Bunton, Nadine Coyle, Dannii Minogue and Myleene Klass and watch celebrity chefs cook up simple, healthy meals for the whole family and romantic nights in.

Find inspiration for a fitness regime that works for your age and lifestyle. Get active and take the Chelsea FC challenge, try walking your way to fitness and a great pair of legs or read how Olympic sprinter, Linford Christie has managed to stay fit and lean post retirement and post forty.

Learn our how to stay happy and healthy at work and see what the experts have to say about a mid life crisis. Is your urge for a newer model – car or woman – due to brain or hormone changes or just bad behaviour.

Should you need to go to hospital NHS Choices gives you the information to make an informed decision about where and when you want to be treated. View ratings on hospital waiting times, cleanliness and readmission figures and for the first time what previous patients have to say about their treatment and experiences via immediate online feedback.

It is even possible for you to make your choice of hospital based upon personal preferences such as travelling times, MRSA incidences and availability of single sex wards.

1. The NHS Choices website draws on the combined experience and expertise of, NHS Direct, the National Electronic Library for Health, and the Healthcare Commission.

2. NHS Choices can be found at The site will continue to evolve and significant extensions are scheduled for later in 2007 and 2008.

3. The site will allow patients to access NHS approved information using a number of features under distinct headings:

Live Well
• Information that will help the well to stay fit and assist those who are unwell to manage their condition

• ‘Magazine’ content will reflect the interests and needs of different groups such as teenagers, families and those over 70

Health A-Z
• Access to a vast library of approved medical literature, previously only available to clinicians to enable a deeper understanding of conditions & treatment options
• Easy to understand multi-media guides on the most common procedures e.g. hip replacement
• Detailed guides to living with 20 long-term conditions such as diabetes to help patients manage their condition. Expert opinions from professionals and patients will provide advice and support

Choose Services
• Authoritative, comparative data on the standards and availability of services
• Searchable comprehensive directories e.g. on hospitals, GPs and care homes
• A quality scorecard that will help patients and GPs together to identify the most appropriate clinicians and locations for their treatment

Your Thoughts
• Patients will be able to directly comment and feedback on their hospital experience
• All comments will be pre-moderated and references to named individuals will be removed
• Hospitals will have the opportunity to respond to comments about their services.

Full-time workers take more exercise, reveals new survey

London: New research has shown that people who work full time are fitting in more exercise and sport than those who work 25 hours or less each week.

Fitness First’s ten-point ‘Health Tracker’ has questioned more than 8,000 people over the past 18 month on a range of health aspects such as stress, alcohol consumption, water intake and fitness levels and found that those who work part time are significantly less likely to take any exercise or participate in any sport.

In a society that is well documented for being short on time the research found that those working more than 30 hours a week are almost 50% more likely to exercise or play sport than those who work part time. According to the research 44% of the population are working over 30 hours a week, this means that nearly 12,500,000 of the population are participating in over 16 hours a week of exercise.

The retired age group, a population of roughly 11,500,000, are the second highest group to take part in some form of exercise, with 18% putting on those sweat bands to do 16 hours or more exercise in a week, putting students and part time workers to shame with only 3% working out for this length of time.

Though those who spend over 16 hours a week doing exercise don’t see themselves as the fittest, in fact those who spend between 11 to 15 hours per week working out rated themselves 12% healthier than those who are exercising more and for longer.

Nick Smith of Fitness First believes, “in a time poor society sport and fitness is a great way to escape from the day to day stresses of work. These findings are very encouraging as it shows that fitness is not being ignored when time is precious.”

The Index provides an overall health score out of 100: the higher the score the better the overall health of the person surveyed. Full time workers gave themselves an average score of 42 out of 100, whereas part time workers, working less than 8 hours a week gave themselves the poor score of 2/100 and students, fairing not much better, gave themselves 5/100, while those who are retired rate themselves at a medioca 24 out of 100.

Fitness and Health – Jon Trevor


Jon Trevor is a broadcast commentator on health and fitness. He has over two decades experience as a training expert and is director of the company “Fit4 the Part” which specialises in fitness management for celebrities who need to get in shape to prepare their body for stage and screen performances.

A vocologist Jon also works with celebrities to physically train and prepare their voices for roles. Jon was founder of one of the first professional training organisations for personal trainers. Find out more about Jon at Email your exercise concerns at Jon Trevor

Les Thermes Marines de Monte-Carlo

2 Avenue de Monte-Carlo, MC 98000 Principaute de Monaco

T: +377 92 16 49 46;

Overlooking the sea, the hotel spa, specialises in relaxation, energy, fitness, weight loss, beauty and well-being. Also specialises in marine therapies. Dietetic, sporting, psychological, and made-to-measure programmes available. Discover new methods to fight cellulite without disrupting your biological rhythm and with effective results. Very strong on seawater and seaweed treatments. Other treatments include massages, aromatherapy, shiatsu, reflexology and non-surgical facelifts.

Udai vilas, Udaipur, Rajasthan


T:+91 294 243 3300;

The resort has two large swimming pools which are heated in winter, a gymnasium, boutique and a library with a selection of music and DVDs. Private excursions and cruises on the lake can be organised by the hotel. The spa, managed by Banyan Tree, offers holistic treatments and therapies to pamper and revitalise mind and body using holistic therapies and massages combining the best of East and West. Massages, facials and body beautification methods use ancient Ayurveda and aromatherapy as well as Thai and western techniques designed to relieve stress as well as create a sense of wellbeing. The spa has a private pool and individual therapy suites with views of Lake Pichola, the Aravali mountains and City Palace. Each of the eight suites has its own steam sauna and Victorian style bathtub. The gym and hair salon are located around a central domed foyer with a marble fountain.