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“You've probably heard me say it a million times, but protein and healthy fats are the key to maintaining steady blood sugar, keeping your energy levels up and helping you make healthier food choices as we head into Autumn." says Nutrition & Health coach Abi

"Which makes these sesame peanut power balls the perfect snack. I suggest making a double batch as they disappear pretty quickly in my house!”

Sesame Peanut Power Balls

Makes approx 16 balls

Ingredients

  • 200g sesame seeds
  • 200g peanut butter (Note 1)
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut 
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cranberries (Note 2)
  • 3 tbsp raw honey

Notes:

1   Great nut butter brands are Meridian and Biona. They contain only nuts, without any palm oil, added salt or sugars.

2   If they’re sweetened try for those sweetened with apple juice.

Preparation

  • Pop everything into a bowl and mix together well
  • Roll into balls and pop into the fridge to set

It couldn't be easier!

Enjoy.

Despite the name, you don’t necessarily have to have had a sports related injury to receive a sports massage.

The idea of sports massage therapy is that it helps flush away toxins and realign muscle fibres. The aches that we feel in muscles come from tiny micro tears. "Tears?!" I hear you exclaim… well these imperfections can be beneficial if dealt with in the right way.  Muscles build by repairing this damage after they form. The body naturally doesn’t want to waste energy repairing that tear again so each time the repair should be stronger.

This can be advantageous for a number of individuals who have worked their muscles hard from an activity; say during your FastTone sessin on the Power Plates. However it can also occur in the tightness you feel in your shoulders after spending a long day at your desk. These muscles are repeatedly being used, every day, to create the same posture. They then build to become stronger within this position but if your posture is poor they could be forming in an inefficient way. It is important to break this cycle of muscle fibre strengthening and therefore tension to reduce the stiffness that can build. This is where massage comes in, if we keep those muscle fibres aligned it means that the repair of tears can happen faster and more efficiently.

Unlike holistic or beauty massage therapy which is designed more to relieve emotional stress, sports massage works on specific muscle groups to allow stretch and aid repair. It is a more active form of treatment that often involves the patient working with the therapist during a treatment whether this be by gentle resisted stretches to create a deeper muscle release or by performing gentle movements before and after treatment in order to gain further postural information to tailor treatment specific to the individual.

Does it work?

There are many factors that affect this and one individual massage is unlikely to mean the end of that repeated shoulder tension however sports massage has been proven to reduce the effect on delayed onset muscle soreness and swelling after exercise by 30%. (Journal of Athletic Training).

It can also be beneficial in preventing further problems before they manifest. Like getting the car serviced to ensure it keeps running smoothly.

However, sports massage is not the cure to all problems, it is important to ensure there are no underlying structures, such as ligaments or joints that are causing the muscles to become tight. If the problem doesn’t seem connected with a particular posture or activity then it may be worth seeing another health professional such as an Osteopath as they are qualified primary healthcare practitioners and therefore able to provide you with a diagnosis. 

Members and non-members can have a Sports massage at both our St Margarets and Balham studios. For further information on Osteopathy or Sport Massage in St  Margarets please do not hesitate to call Sian, our onsite qualified Sports massage therapist & Osteopath on 0203 143 5051,  or email sian@totalmotion.org . For Balham, contact Gemma Hendy, Sports Therapist with Chiropractic By hand on 07847 202365 or info@chiropracticbyhand.com

Most of us  struggle with snacking, it gets to 11am and we start rooting around in our handbag to see what we can eat. It’s been drilled into us that to eat healthily we should stick to just three meals a day, no snacking - luckily that is far from the truth.

Rather than cutting out your elevensies, it’s about ensuring that your mid-morning, mid-afternoon or post-workout snacks are filling and nutritious rather than empty calories.

When we asked our nutritionist Abi Manders about it, she said: "Snacking is something I work with 99% of my clients on. It can feel like one of the biggest obstacles for busy women who just need that extra energy to keep them going, but once you understand which foods are both tasty and filling, you'll stop reaching for the high sugar or carb snacks that leave you reaching for more".

Here are Abi's top 5 desk and handbag snacks that will nourish you and keep you fuller for longer:

1. Chopped veggies and hoummous. Hoummous is packed with protein and healthy fats; the two main nutrients that will keep you full until your next meal. Cucumber, pepper, carrots, celery, sugar snap peas and green beans are all great veggies to try with this, but you can literally pick any that take your fancy.

If you haven’t got time to prepare these at home Marks & Spencer do great crudite pots with mini hoummous tubs to keep in the office fridge or grab on the go.

2. Dates and nut butter. If you have more of a sweet tooth, try having 2 or 3 dates filled with your favourite nut butter. Dates are packed with dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals, and nut butter ups your protein and healthy fat intake making them a real winner.

You can prepare a batch of these in advance and freeze them until you need them.

3. Healthy flapjacks. If you're going to be out and about, pop one of these homemade flapjacks into a ziplock bag and keep them in your handbag. They're packed with protein from the nuts and seeds, and you'll benefit from the slow release energy provided by the oats.

On the go? Try a KIND bar with only 1tsp of sugar for an afternoon treat.

4. Trail mix. No time to make anything? Throw a handful of mixed nuts, popcorn, seeds and dried fruit, such as unsweetened coconut, raisins, cranberries or goji berries, into a bag and voila! It's that easy.

Larger Wholefoods stores have these healthy pick-n-mix selection stations so you don’t have to buy large bags of all your trail mix components.

5. Avocado on oat or rice cake. Sometimes we fancy something a little more substantial than a 'snack', but are in between meals. This is when avocado wins every time. Oat or rice cakes can be easily stored in your desk drawer so all you need to remember if your avocado in the morning. To elevate this sprinkle on some salt, pepper, chilli flakes and seeds for a luxury mid morning or afternoon snack.

You could also spread some peanut or almond butter if you prefer - keep a tub at work or these Pip and Nut sachets in your bag.  

For more nutrition advice or to find out about our 14-day Whole Food Cleanse later this year email Movers & Shapers' Nutritionist Abi here.

We love being part of the Salusbury Road community and we've been out and about making a few friends! If you're working out with us you can enjoy these great offers from our neighbours. And if you're not, why not?!

Laurie Neall - Soft Tissue Therapist & Sports Massage

07871 875 846
www.laurieneall.co.uk
hello@laurieneall.co.uk

For...Neck & shoulder pain
Knee pain
Back pain
Rehabilitation
Injury prevention
Improve performance
Relaxation

Offer to Movers & Shapers Clients: Free 30 minutes trial plus a free consultation

DK Medical Aesthetics

Offering Wrinkle Relaxing Injections (Botox) at a 15% discount to Movers & Shapers clients! Plus a FREE initial consultation.

Dr Anita Kovacic is a Consultant Anaesthetist with over 20 years experience. She is extremely professional on all levels and has worked alongside the best plastic surgeons in London. She is an expert in her field and is highly skilled in medical aesthetics. Choosing a highly qualified practitioner is the key to receiving safe treatment and achieving the best possible results. 

Please call 07703 577 509 to enquire. www.dkmedicalaesthetics.com

 7 therapies

Lonsdale Road, NW6 - www.7therapies.com

7 Therapies is a friendly and professional health and beauty studio in the heart of Queens Park. Our highly qualified therapists are passionate about all aspects of inner and outer wellbeing and offer a range of complementary therapies and beauty treatments in a nurturing and relaxing environment to help you look and feel your best.

Offer to Movers & Shapers Clients: 10% discount on massage, beauty treatments and Reflexology

ego hair salon

45 Salusbury Road NW6 - www.egohair.co.uk/queens-park

"Ego's boutique salon is situated in the heart of Queens Park, with it's electric charm and unique decor. Our team of creative stylist are here to provide you a phenomenal hairdressing experience and exceptional service in a relaxed glamourous atmosphere."

20% discount on hairdressing and 10% off products  - WOW!

Gymtote

Offering stunningly designed, fully functional gym bags which we love, GymTote was born out of one woman's search for the perfect gym bag. GymTote bags are unique to the market - they look like a high end handbag but perform like a gym bag. Fully functional, they feature separate, breathable areas for kit and trainers, with water resistant linings, a hidden water bottle holder and a top compartment for handbag essentials - no rummaging through your trainers to get to your purse! 

For a 15% client discount visit www.gymtote.co.ukPriced from £115 . Display model available to view in studio!

osteopaths @ kensal health works

2a Wrentham Ave, Tay  Building No 18, NW10 3HA www.nwlondonosteopaths.co.uk

"We are excited about the healing potential and power of osteopathy to rejuvenate the most ‘world- weary’ body. Osteopathic treatment not only helps ease pain, but we are confident it can relieve most types of pain or strain related problems within the ‘body’s frame’ and supports a well- balanced and healthy body. We offer excellence in osteopathic care six days a week, including early and late appointments to suit your schedule."

For a Free ‘Well Being’ Check for Movers & Shapers clients, call 020 8969 4030 or email  info.bcosteo@gmail.com 

wellbeing escapes

www.wellbeingescapes.com

Wellbeing Escapes offers a unique collection of the most authentic spas and reputable health resorts around the world as well as life skills based workshops to help you maintain a sense of wellbeing at home. Clients receive a stress-free, knowledgeable and great value service to finding the most appropriate health, fitness and relaxation holidays handpicked by the team.  So whether you're looking to spend three days relaxing in a spa with healthy food , you need to lose weight with a detox holiday or improve your fitness levels with a tailored training package we have the right approach to help you achieve your wellness goals.

Movers & Shapers clients can enjoy £50 off any booking over £500 & 10% off any Wellbeing Escapes Lifestyle Workshop bookings. Book Online or call 0207 644 6111. 

Amandine Limtouch

www.amandinelimtouch.com

Manage, manipulate and rehab your body's soft tissues including muscles, tendons and ligaments with sports and remedial massage therapy. Amandine's massage practice is complemented through her experience as a professionally trained Dancer, Choreographer and Barre Instructor which has made her aware of the need to educate good posture, alignment and technique as the foundation for a good working musculo-skeletal system and a strong and supple body for peak performance.

15% off bookings. Email: ajlsportsmassage@gmail.com or call: 0786 880 4312

Look out for more offers coming soon!

To eat or not to eat? That is the question.

A lot of people can be confused about what to eat before a workout to get maximum gain from their Group Personal Training sessions. The key is to have enough energy and fuelled muscles without having a full stomach! 
We asked Movers & Shapers' Nutritionist Abi Manders to share her advice below. 
Enjoy the rest of your week and, as part of our Summer Plan, we'd love to know in our Facebook Group page how these tips work out for you! 

Over to Abi...

1. Start your day right (with protein and healthy fats)
Having fasted through the night your body needs a good dose of nutrients to get it going for the day. 

If you're tackling a session first thing, try a banana with a tbsp of peanut or almond butter, or some cottage cheese. Eggs are a great option if your workout is later in the morning or at lunchtime. Try them scrambled with avocado on rye, or simply boiled with a side serving of spinach.

If you're tackling a session first thing, try a banana with a tbsp of peanut or almond butter, or some cottage cheese. Eggs are a great option if your workout is later in the morning or at lunchtime. Try them scrambled with avocado on rye, or simply boiled with a side serving of spinach.

If you're tackling a session first thing, try a banana with a tbsp of peanut or almond butter, or some cottage cheese. Eggs are a great option if your workout is later in the morning or at lunchtime. Try them scrambled with avocado on rye, or simply boiled with a side serving of spinach.

2. Stay hydrated 
Drinking plenty of water before your workout is key (as well as during and after your sweat fest). Sip water as you're getting your gym kit on, or enjoy this hydrating green smoothie as your pre-workout snack. 

Water regulates your body temperature, keeps your joints lubricated and helps move nutrients into your bloodstream so you have the energy you need to exercise.  

3. Don't be afraid of the carbs!
The recent craze of Atkins and Paleo diets have scare mongered many people into thinking they should avoid carbs. But this is far from the truth, especially if you're a fitness fanatic. Carbohydrates give you the energy you need to work out longer and harder, helping you build muscle and recover well. 

1.5 hours before your workout, eat a serving of brown rice, porridge oats, quinoa  or sweet potato. You could cook these the night before and take them to work with you so they're ready when you need them. 

4.  Your muscles love protein 
Whether you feed them with a protein ball, nut bar, Greek yogurt, or a meal including some lean protein like chicken or fish, or plant based options like quinoa, tofu or peas, combining carbs and protein 1-2 hours before your workout can help you feel fueled and could help reduce muscle soreness. Rice cakes with peanut or almond butter, or homemade protein balls do just that. 

5. Left it too late? 
Not able to eat in the morning or left it to the last minute to fuel your workout? Don't skip it completely - opt for a low cal sports drink (or one of these homemade versions), coconut water, some raisins or a slice of wholemeal bread for some quick, easily digestible simple sugars.

Every Movers & Shapers studio offers a selection of coconut water, maple water and mineral water, perfect if you need an energy boost for your session! No excuse not to join that pre or post-work FastTone session!

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After three weeks my jeans felt looser. After four, friends asked, "Wow, what have you been doing?"

Lynne Hyland, SW London
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