Our secret garden!
Jenny Dunn, Personal Trainer and Alive’s very own Horticulturist gives us the low down on Alive’s secret garden and how the changeable weather has affected the plants.
‘Well finally the rain abated and the sun came out! The garden has grown dramatically in all the stubborn rain we have had. Toby’s Cobea (commonly known as Cathedral bells) has done a fantastic job of almost completely covering the wooden fence on both sides. Considering this was only planted out earlier this year its growth is astonishing!
The sunshine we have had over the last week has encouraged out its stunning, big white bell shaped flowers (hence the name!) I am hoping that we will soon get some buzzing visitors attracted to this and the beautiful smelling honeysuckle which is now in full bloom.
Talking of visitors we have had a fair few amazing, punky, spiky long haired black and yellow caterpillars (much to Stephan’s horror!) These have more than quadrupled in size and now can be spotted in pupae form (if you look carefully enough) Soon emerge as much less flamboyant, rather conservative brown Vapourer moths.
We also have a magnificent bright green caterpillar which has eaten its way through our French bean plant, thank you very much! I believe it will turn into a Small White otherwise known as Cabbage White butterfly.
The Kiwi plant is running rampant along the wall of the Crèche and Neil’s tomato plant has loads of flowers on it, some already turning into small green tomatoes. So fingers crossed despite the best efforts of the Cabbage White caterpillar, we may be able to harvest a little for ourselves from the secret garden yet….
Check out the links below:
Vapourer Moth Caterpillar http://www.habitas.org.uk/moths/images/larvae/6112l.jpg
Vapourer Moth http://www.habitas.org.uk/moths/images/larvae/6112l.jpg
Personal trainer, Matt Dunn, runs through a highly effective training system which can easily be done as part of your gym routine.
There are numerous approaches to resistance training and deciding which one to apply to your own routine can be confusing. In truth as individuals we all respond differently to varying types of exercise. The majority of people respond well to new stimulus, “keeping your body guessing” if you like.
If you are looking for some variety to your weights (resistance) routine why not give the SuperSlow training system a go. The tempo of an exercise refers to how long it takes to complete each stroke/phase of the movement, it is commonly around 1:1 (1 second lifting and 1 second lowering) or 2:2. SuperSlow exercises are performed at a much slower tempo, the idea being that muscles are under tension for a much longer period of time, typically 80-120 seconds. Exercises are performed for a single set until you can’t continue. Because of the increased time under load you will have to reduce the amount of weight used for a given exercise by up to 60%.
There are a number of benefits to adopting the SuperSlow approach. Firstly, because of the decreased loads used it is structurally less demanding for the body so it is well suited for people with joint/arthritic problems, older people or those suffering from injury. Working at a slow tempo also encourages a greater level of muscle awareness throughout a full range of movement. If you are short of time then SuperSlow training can be very effective as workouts tend to be under for the whole body and completed within 20 min! It should be noted that whilst SuperSlow training is beneficial in many ways it doesn’t have much crossover for most sports/activities that require increased acceleration and will not be as effective if you want to achieve maximal strength and power from your training. However as a tool to add new stimulus and variety to your program and as a method of maintaining strength during injury it is a great approach.
Don’t be mistaken into thinking that because you are working slowly and for only 20 mins that the SuperSlow training is easy. Because you are working to exhaustion on each set it proves a challenging workout!
Have a go at the workout below; perform 1 set of each exercise with as many reps as possible. The tempo remains the same throughout. As you become stronger increase the load or the number of repetitions to progress your training.
1 – Leg Press 10:10
2 – Chest Press 8:8
3 – Leg Curls 6:6
4 – Shoulder Press 8:8
5 – Lat Pull Down 8:8
6 – Abdominal Crunch 5:5
For more help on how to apply SuperSlow training to your sessions or advice on how to refresh your gym routine, talk to one of the personal trainers in the gym or book in for a program review on reception.
Just to introduce myself to those of you who have not already met me, my name is Marianne but most people know me as Maz. I have taken over Creche from the lovely Nicky, who I know will be greatly missed. My previous experience in child care (apart from having two sons myself) has ranged from room leader in a baby room to managing a small nursery and most recently I became a self employed child carer in the home, working with The Family Information Centre. I am qualified to NVQ Level 3, Ofsted Registered,insured and hold a paediatric first aid certificate. It’s a bit like being a nanny but irregular hours! I was then lucky enough to be introduced to Alive by Joe, so now I do a bit of both. I have been here a couple of months already. Its gone so fast and I am enjoying meeting all the regular children and parents. I have also had a couple of new children to the creche in the last month but we do have plenty of space for more! So, if you have any children up to 8yrs old and would like to use any facilities whilst your children are safe and having fun, then please come and see me. We are so lucky to have a creche,there are very few gyms locally that do and if anyone out there uses childcare they will know that we offer very reasonable rates.
We have lots of toys for various age groups and I never say no to a request. The children decide what they would like to play with and there are also plenty of books if they fancy a story. I always ensure there is play dough, sand/water play and painting to hand in the messy area. We follow Ofsted guidelines for our ratios too, so you know we won’t be overcrowded and the children will have enough attention.
As the schools have now finished for the summer its worth remembering that we take school age children up to 8yrs (INCLUSIVE!) so if you usually come to the
gym whilst your children are at school and you are wondering how you will manage for the holidays….look no further! They are welcome to bring snacks and any
toys they would like from home. During the holidays I will be bringing my face paints in and planning some craft activities for the older age groups so don’t send them in their best clothes please!
At present the creche is only open from 9am-1pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. I do occasionally stay later if there is a demand. We are also considering offering Wednesdays and possibly weekend creche so watch this space! You can book up to a week in advance and there is no charge for cancellations if they are made at least 24 hours prior to the booked slot. You can choose one hour, one and a half or two hours of care so if you want to chill out and catch your breath before you come to collect them you can. Please feel free to come and check the creche out,those of you that have not yet seen it will be impressed, I guarantee you. Those of you that already use creche, please feel free to make any request or suggestions.
Hope to see you and your children soon!
Joe Addison, Personal Trainer, gives us his top summer tip of using nutrition to help protect you from the sun’s rays.
‘Now that the sun is finally here (for a little while, at least), it’s really important to look after your skin.
As well as covering up and using sun screen, there are a few foods you can eat to help protect against the sun’s powerful rays. Luckily, they are all things you should be eating anyway, as part of a healthy balanced diet!’
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
First up we have Omega-3s. These have been shown to protect from free radical damage (like that caused by the sun) and can be found in shellfish and oily fish like sardines.
Red and Orange Fruit and Veg
Lycopene, which is found in red and pink foods such as tomatoes, has been shown to protect the skin against some UV-induced irritations.
Beta-carotine, which can be found in orange and red fruit and veg has been linked to reduced reaction to sunburn. And Flavanoid-filled orange and pink citrus fruits have been shown to protect the skin from UV rays.
Cruciferous and Green Veggies
Things like kale, cauliflower and broccoli are packed with antioxidants that help to rid the body of those pesky free-radicals.
Green leafy veg is also filled with the antioxidants and one study has suggested that dark leafy veg such as Spinach can reduce the risk of skin cancer reoccurring in remission patients.
Both the green and black varieties (which start off as leafy greens anyway) contain polyphenols, which have been shown to help stop cancer development, just don’t add lots of milk and sugar!
The flavanoids found in dark chocolate could help protect against sun burns. Plus, they keep the skin hydrated, increase oxygen saturation and increase blood flow. Hurrah!
‘So load up on these goodies and you’ll help protect yourself against that nasty ball of fire that only seems to appear a couple of times a year!’
Grilled wild salmon with anchovies, capers & lentils
Wild Salmon is now in season so this delicious dish is perfect cooked on the griddle or the barbecue.
Difficulty and servings:
Preparation and cooking times
ready in 35-40 minutes
- 4 Lemons
- 16 salted anchovies, rinsed, filleted and dried
- extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- 8 tbsp capers, well rinsed
- 6 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- 1 side of wild salmon from a 3.5kg/7lb 8oz fish, cut into 8, 175/6oz portions
FOR THE LENTILS
- 300g small brown lentils , such as Castelluccio or Puy
- 2 garlic cloves peeled
- 2 sprigs of sage(8-10 leaves)
- 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Get the lentils ready first. Tip them into a small saucepan, cover with water and add the garlic and sage. Simmer gently for 15-20 minutes until tender. Drain, discard garlic and sage, season with salt and pepper. Stir in olive oil and set aside.
- Squeeze the juice of one lemon over anchovies in a bowl, add freshly ground black pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Mix capers with the parsley in another bowl. You can get to here several hours in advance.
- Preheat griddle pan until very hot. Season salmon on both sides, then sear, skin-side down (if pan is very hot the skin won’t stick – this goes for grilling on a barbecue, too). Turn fish over when you see it change colour halfway, then sear the other side. This will take 2-3 minutes on each side for rare salmon, but cooking time may vary if pieces of fish are very thick.
- To serve, reheat the lentils and put a large spoonful in the centre of warmed plates. Top with the salmon, skin-side up, then scatter the anchovies, capers and parsley on top. Serve with the remaining lemons.
485 kcalories, protein 38g, carbohydrate 19g, fat 26 g, saturated fat 4g, fibre 4g, salt 1.52
On Sunday 15th July Joseph from Alive Sales Team took part in CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) 6th annual London Bridges Walk.
The route crosses 7 Thames bridges and includes great views of at least 12 of London’s famous landmarks, representing the 12 young sudden cardiac deaths that occur each week in the UK. These landmarks include County Hall, the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, Somerset House, St Paul’s Cathedral, Royal Festival Hall, the Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Southwark Cathedral, the Tower of London, City Hall and HMS Belfast.
Joseph completed the walk with the Myheart group, people from Myheart are people that have been diagnosed with heart conditions.
The main aim for the day is to raise awareness in the UK for Cardiac Risk in the Young.
On Sunday +800 people walked the 5 mile course, many did it for a loved one they lost prematurely, it can be a very emotional day for some!
The sun shined on everyone during the walk, which was relief considering that weather we’ve had this year.
So far the Myheart group have raised £500 for the walk and money is still coming in, if you would like to sponsor them please click on this link: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/Myheart
Joseph’s story: Sunday 16th March 2008, I had a cardiac arrest, my heart stopped for 7 minutes. I collapsed at the finishing line of the Hastings half marathon.
I deemed myself a fairly healthy young man, I had run the London Marathon in 2007, I was a part of a run group and I was training for the New Marathon at the time.
I was lucky that it happened in Hastings at an event where defibrillators were at hand to shock my heart back into normal rhythm.
After my cardiac arrest I was put into intensive care for a couple of days, waking up in hospital on the Wednesday surrounded by family and friends.
On the day it had happened my family were told to expect the worst, they drove to Hastings a 3 hour journey expecting to be told that I had passed away when they arrived.
People that have cardiac arrest only 1.78% make it alive to hospital, so the odds weren’t good!
I had to stay in hospital for 3 weeks over during the Easter holiday, for the my body to recover from the trauma and for the doctors to determine why someone so young had a cardiac arrest.
I was then diagnosed with a condition called Brugada Syndrome and had a defibrillator implanted in me, also known as an ICD.
4 Years later, I still have to pinch myself that is happened to me, outside of work I raise awareness for CRY and supports others with similar conditions.
If you would like to read more about my story visit: http://www.myheart.org.uk/2011/03/25/joseph-tanner/
If you would like to know more about CRY please visit: www.c-r-y.org.uk/