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Holiday magic . . .

If you’re one of those lucky people about to go on holiday, make sure you take enough sun protection – can you believe I actually got a bit of sunburn on my forehead recently without feeling a thing! Mind you, it was 44 degrees for a couple of days in the Tuscan heat of Il Borro spa – just back home after a very successful week teaching meditation, stretching and fitness. Insightful to see that the same issues and challenges in treating clients occur both here and abroad – we are all the same under the skin, in our heads and hearts …

The Ferragamo family were excellent, warm and welcoming hosts – their estate is a vision of ‘the good life’ as well as a functional blend of abundant nature mixed with sophisticated Italian design. Big thanks to the great clients and my new friends Gioia, Miria, Sara, Olivia and Vivia who helped to make the trip first class – see you in September, if not before!

Exercise & Diet Myths: Take a look at a couple of these myths to help you keep on track over the summer.

Fattening foods equal rapid weight gain?

Weight gain is a slow process, you need to eat around 3000 calories to gain 1 pound of body fat! Although you may feel like you’ve put on weight when you’ve had a blow-out meal, you’re more likely to be carrying excess fluid, which will resolve itself.

Low-fat foods help you to lose weight?

Low-fat or fat-free foods are often high in sugars and thickeners to boost the flavour, which makes them only slightly lower in calories than standard products. You also have to watch the quantity – if something is low-fat, we think we can have more of it, which is equally damaging.

Summer is the right time to start an exercise regime?

This is a tricky one – all year is great for exercise, but it is important to look at the type of exercise you do in heat. When the weather is hot, you need to be careful about over-heating with exercise, especially if you live the city, where heat tends to get trapped, thanks to the buildings and where there are no cooling sea breezes.

Walking, early morning jogging, cycling, swimming and stretching are all good – if you’re working out in an air-conditioned gym, then you can take the intensity higher a couple of times a week.

Counting calories is outdated?

No it isn’t. No amount of exercise will burn off a high-calorie diet and people over-estimate how much energy they are using when exercising. Cutting out certain foods is not as important as making sure you are not overeating.

Sleeping less means you burn more calories?

The reverse is true here: short sleeps mean more stress hormones, especially cortisol, which stimulates hunger. A study in the US conducted over 16 years, showed that women who slept five hours per night were 32 per cent more likely to experience major weight gain and 15 per cent more likely to become obese.

And finally…

Crystal Clear Health Beginners’ Mediation and Ma’At Stretching classes are due to start up again in September, so get in touch if you want secure a place – more details will follow next month.

Bye for now!