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  1. H.I.T. really is a hit. How to get fit with 3 minutes exercise a week in midlife

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    Article by Anne Elliott I wrote an article recently called ‘Get fit in 3 minutes a week’, about a training system called HIT (High intensity training), which had been investigated by Dr Michael Mosley on the BBC programme Horizon. He was reporting on (and trying out) this very particular way of training. It comprises doing sprint work either running or cycling. Cycling is easier to control, especially on a gym bike. Its such a brilliant system its worth me reprising it in brief: What is H.I.T or High intensity Training? If you have not done any exercise for a while, it consists of doing a minute gentle warm up then sprinting as fast as possible for 20 seconds followed by 1-2 minutes slow, 20 seconds fast, 1-2 minutes slow, 20...
  2. Can you be the same weight at 50 as you were at 20?

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      Article by Anne Elliott 68% of all adults in Britain are overweight or obese. That’s nearly ¾ of the population, and it’s growing. The reasons and the cures for the problem are as numerous as there are researchers and commentators. The weight loss industry is worth billions and with so many people having a financial stake in the waistline issue, finding a way through the mountains of wordage and offers of cures becomes increasingly harder. Let me put before you a few straightforward facts that might aid your search for the answer: •If your waist is bigger than 32”/80cm (men 40”/120cm) you are at greater risk of cardio vascular disease, diabetes and stroke (World Health Organisation). Fat cells grow in 2 ways: size...
  3. What’s in it for us? Will the Olympics help improve our health over 50 through exercise?

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    Article by Anne Elliott I’m transfixed with the amazing young people competing in the Olympics. As I watch, I realize that sport wasn’t encouraged in the environment I grew up in and it felt that athletes and sports people lived in an alternative universe to the one I inhabited. And when I think back to the specimens of manhood that were available as potential boyfriends, they certainly never matched up to the honed and focused individuals we see competing to be the best. Hindsight! The gorgeous ones must have been spending all their time in various sporting clubs and centres. Never mind. Its never too late to start being active But for those of us that missed the boat first time round, its never to late...
  4. Why does exercise have to be so painful?

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    Article by Anne Elliott I was recently asked this question, and as someone who finds exercise enjoyable it really took me aback. I really had to consider what was being asked; was it what it appeared to be on the surface? Why didn’t I think exercise was painful? Is this what is genuinely putting people off doing it? Cruel remarks from childhood can sill impact how you exercise today The first thing to consider is peoples likes and dislikes that can often be rooted in the past. For example, if you had a really bad experience of PE or sport or physical activity it might have set up a barrier to doing it for the rest of your adult life. I had a client who was quite...
  5. To have plastic surgery or not, that is the question….

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    Article by Anne Elliott I am often asked what I think about using cosmetic surgery or supplements. My view on both of these things is quite straightforward. They are best used conservatively and at an appropriate time. For example, if you eat a good enough diet you shouldn’t really need supplements unless it is at specific time in your life when you need more than you can get in your daily diet i.e. folic acid during pregnancy or calcium during menopause. As to cosmetic surgery I think it also has a place, but it can be easily abused or used instead of trying to follow a good diet and exercise regime.  Vulnerable to body image during menopause We are all vulnerable to body image at all...
  6. Can you bear to look? Too much chocolate playing havoc with your waistline?

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    Article by Anne Elliott. So how much chocolate did you end up consuming? Me too! In fact the week after Easter was even more dangerous than the week before. Suddenly chocolate sponge cake with lashings of butter icing and topped with mini eggs was being sold off at £1 a time. Easter eggs 60p each, sugar frenzy. I’ve actually eaten so much that I couldn’t face another sweet thing. I can hear my body screaming for savoury and vitamins. I haven’t been listening to it over the last fortnight to my cost. My guts are bloated, I’m sluggish, my clothes are tight and I’ve got used to eating so much that I feel hungry every 60 minutes. The worst of it is I caught...
  7. Can you get fit on just 3 minutes exercise a week?

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    Article by Anne Elliott Did you see it, the BBC ‘Horizon’ programme about exercising? It was fascinating. The main premise was that if you exercise for 3 minutes a week, you can make a substantial impact on your fitness levels. What you need to do is get on an exercise bicycle and pedal as absolutely fast as you can for 20 seconds then slow down for 2 minutes then 20 seconds then slow for 2 minutes, then 20 seconds then rest. That’s only 1 minute of exercise in a day and you do this 3 times a week. HIT (High Intensity Training) It’s called HIT (high intensity training) and it has a direct effect on two significant health aspects: The first is its ability to...
  8. Are we heading to be a nation of obese people?

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    Article by Anne Elliott Did you know that 68% of all British adults are overweight or obese and that means nearly 1,000,000 people are obese. That’s an enormous number of people. Perhaps you think that is exaggerated. Next time you are on a bus or tube or train, just notice how many people in the compartment you think could do with losing a stone or two. I think you’ll find it is representative of the research statistics. The interesting thing is that we sort of know what a healthy weight should look like and have a reasonable sense of what overweight is as well, we just don’t want to acknowledge it. I was reading a very interesting article on the nature of ‘deviance’, not as you would expect! but as...
  9. Top tips for sticking to your fitness goals

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    Article by Anne Elliott So, how is your new exercise regime going? Are you enjoying it? There is much work done in the area of motivation research and this falls into two camps: pre exercise motivation and continuing participation motivation, that means what would get you going before you started to exercise and what would keep you doing it once you’ve started. The participation part is of particular interest to the fitness Industry, as it is recognised that although many people join a gym around this time of year, they stop going after a few weeks. That’s bad for everyone because the individual feels resentment as they are contracted to pay for 12 months for an activity they have decided they don’t like for whatever reason, they don’t get anywhere near...
  10. Its decision time. What fitness and diet regime is best for you?

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    By Anne Elliott I always think that this time of year brings into sharp focus any concerns we have about our bodies, our weight and how much exercisewe do or don’t do. After just having gone through a Christmas period media frenzy with pressure to eat, consume, mange and overindulge, we now have, like a coin flipping, the onslaught of ‘guilt’ messages. Every other advert on TV seems to be about joining diet clubs and eating low fat food in the breaks of programmes about super large people who cry and grimace their way through arduous physical tasks and are forced to publically denounce their previous sedentary lifestyles. All so we can voyeuristically look on and think ‘at least I’m not that big’. We also...
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