Free massage at Ham Parade Market!

Food, fun… and physio!

Free massages and physio consultations will be on offer from Leon and the Physio Extra crew at Ham Parade Market this Saturday, October 6.

They will be out in force this month as the market is celebrating its first anniversary and has turned into a very successful local event.

You will find the team opposite the Texaco petrol station at the Tudor Drive end of the Parade.


So if you have any aches, pains, injuries, or general questions about your health and fitness, why not drop in for a chat with Leon, Claudia, Johnny and Nim.

Leon Almasham






Lose your ‘spare tyre’ – it can kill

Having a ‘spare tyre’ around belly worse than being obese, a long-term scientific study has found.


The Annals of Internal Medicine in the US found that normal-weight men with extra fat around their middles were twice as likely to die than those classed as overweight or obese.


The damaging effect on women was slightly less pronounced but still increased their risk of death by up to 40 percent.


This is because having a “spare tyre” is connected with the accumulation of visceral fat around the internal organs


Unlike subcutaneous fat, which lies just below the skin, deep-lying visceral fat is associated with many health problems, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

The good news is that you can do something about it. And no, the right response isn’t to put weight on all over!


Eating less calories and burning off calories is the way to go. A weight loss of five to 10 percent of your total body weight can help reduce visceral fat stores.


You can work with a dietitian to design a nutrition plan for you that focuses on improving your health.


To start with, increase your exercise – any activity that gets your heart rate up and you moving for an hour is good. This should also be mixed with some high-intensity training.


For every 10% of overall weight loss, you lose 30% of your visceral fat – and you can target it effectively with a 60-minute workout involving rowing machine sprints, light weight reps, squats and press-ups, for example.


Weight loss takes time. Don’t expect to lose weight overnight – you didn’t gain it overnight.


So maintaining motivation is key – and a good trainer is invaluable for this.






Live long and prosper!

Who wants to get old? No one over the age of 21 – but it’s one of life’s unfortunate inevitables along with taxes (unless you’re HSBC, it seems).

But the good news is that exercising can offset the ageing process.

As we get older growth hormone production decreases and there is a weakening and loss of muscle mass. This has serious effects on the metabolism, because amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, are stored in muscle.

So beefing up is not just about getting a six-pack – it can keep you young.

Increased physical fitness also boosts growth hormone release, counteracting the effects of ageing.

Building up your muscle mass also improves

  • coordination and balance, helping people avoid falls
  • joint flexibility and mobility
  • cardiovascular and respiratory function
  • bone strength, making people less prone to fractures

Regular exercise also helps prevents heart disease, type two diabetes, cancer, and depression – so why do so few people do it?

In 2011, a report by the Chief Medical Officer found that only 40% of men and 28% of women in England do enough exercise to achieve health benefits.

There are many reasons why, but it is never too late to get fit. The human body responds to exercise, no matter what its age.

The key is finding an exercise regime that suits you individual needs and limitations.


10 tips for Lent

The 40 days of Lent are a good time to give up unhealthy habits and cultivate a few healthy ones.

Here are our top 10 tips to guarantee feeling fitter by Easter:

1. Give up smoking – you know all the reasons why. Just stub it out! (Have you ever tried hypnotherapy?)

2. Take up walking. Even a few minutes a day can make a difference, so cut out lifts and escalators and leave the car behind.

3. Give up sugar – refined sugar in fizzy drinks is one of the major causes of obesity and is linked to a range of health problems such as type 2 diabetes.

4. Eat more fruit. This is a great substitute for sugar as well as a vital source of vitamins.

5. Give up your lie-in. Get up, get a shower, get moving and get things done. Lying in can leave you feeling listless.

6. Eat a healthy breakfast. Starting the day the right way can give you the energy you need.

7. Give up late nights. Sleep is good for you in so many ways, so substitute late night TV or computer games for a relaxing decaf tea and a good book (nothing too exciting – the idea is to send you gently to sleep!)

8. Water – keeping yourself properly hydrated reduces your craving for unhealthy drinks and food.

9. Give up TV: couch potatoes have a higher risk of health problems.

10. Give up alcohol. It will make you thinner, fitter and improve your sleep.