Topnotch Health Clubs Healthy Hub

Safe Handling, Storage and Cooking of Food
For us, healthy eating is normally about finding delicous 'good for you foods' which will tempt and fule your body for exercise and support your healthy lifestyle. However for this article we look at another side of healthy eating - avoiding unwelcome illness - so read on for a few tips on how to make sure that you are storing and handling your food in a healthy way.
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Very Berry Muffins
It’s September and the start of changes in the seasons. At this time of year, gardens and markets are laden with ripe fruits and berries – plums and peaches, apples and pears, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and the last of the cherries.
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Healthier, No-Bake Granola Bars
Granola bars are a popular snack when you’re pressed for time or need a quick energy-boost after a workout. However, the commercially available ones tend to be expensive and loaded with a surprising amount of refined sugar, so may not be as healthy as you think.
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The Pros and Cons of the Paleo Diet
According to proponents of the Paleolithic diet, including some medical experts and celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, we should be eating like our caveman ancestors. The theory goes that our digestive systems have not evolved to cope with the modern diet, loaded as it is with low-fibre, high fat, high sugar and highly processed foods.
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Celebrate National Fitness Day At Topnotch!
National Fitness Day, which this year falls on Wednesday 26th September, is a UK-wide celebration of the fun that fitness and physical activity can offer in helping us to lead healthier lives. “Strictly Come Dancing” judge, Darcy Bussell, is kick-starting the day in central London with a morning dance fitness workout, and there are lots of other fitness-related events for the public to join in with happening throughout the country.
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Enjoy A Snack Attack With A Vegan Vibe
If for ethical or health reasons you’ve decided to try a vegan diet, you may think that snacks are a definite no-no, with a bit of imagination and planning during your weekly shop, these are all vegan-friendly snacks you can eat when you’re on the go and hunger strikes or if you need a quick boost before or after a workout.A rice cake spread with some peanut or other nut butter.
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Exercise During Pregnancy
If you’re expecting a baby for the first time, you may be a little concerned about whether it’s safe to continue exercising and if so, which types of exercise are most beneficial while you are pregnant.Remember, pregnancy is a perfectly natural physical process and current NHS advice is that, as long as your health is generally good, the more fit and active you are during pregnancy, the less likely you are to gain excess weight or suffer complications.
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Hands Up If You Love Fridays - Our FFOF Offer Will Make Them Even More Fun!
It’s the end of the working week; your weekend starts here, and now Topnotch is giving you yet another reason to feel Fridaylicious!On 17th August 2018, we’re launching a “Friends Free On Fridays” promotion, which means you can bring a friend along to work out alongside you absolutely free of charge!
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Week 5: Well Done, Sprint Start Members - Here's A Little Treat For You!
We’re extremely impressed that you Sprint Start members have stayed the course and are now nearing the end of your six-week gym membership, specifically designed to kick-start your resolution to prioritise your health and fitness. We know it may not have been easy, so well done for joining up to this initiative and for the effort and dedication you have shown so far!
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Week 3 Sprint Start - Ask an Expert
If you’re embarking on week 3 of our special six-week Sprint Start gym membership, you’re almost half way through. We hope the time has flown by, that you’re really enjoying your visits to the gym and that you’re already feeling the benefits of taking time out to make a serious commitment to your personal fitness.
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Week 2: Make The Most Of Your Sprint Start Membership
We expect that all you Sprint Start members have settled into the gym, familiarised yourselves with our equipment, got to know some of our lovely staff, and made lots of new friends to accompany you on your 6-week journey, dedicated to maximising your efforts to improve your fitness. We hope that, especially if you’re a newcomer, you now feel more comfortable in the gym environment and that you’re enjoying your visits to the club.
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On Your Marks For Our New Summer Sprint Start Membership!
This summer we are launching a special summer membership, which will harness the mood of optimism, motivation and determination that most people feel with the advent of warmer weather and longer days. Called “Sprint Start”, this special short-term gym membership which puts you in the best possible position to feel fitter and achieve your goals.
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Week One: Sprint Start Members - Ready, Steady, Go!
If you’ve signed up to our special “Sprint Start” six-week gym membership – welcome!We’re very pleased that you’ve taken this great opportunity to make the summer of 2018 a designated time when you really concentrate on your personal health and fitness.
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On Your Marks For Our New Summer "Sprint Start" Membership!
This summer we are launching a special summer membership, which will harness the mood of optimism, motivation and determination that most people feel with the advent of warmer weather and longer days. Called “Sprint Start”, this special short-term gym membership puts you in the best possible position to become fitter and healthier and achieve your goals.
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HIIT Classes Unravelled.
’High Intensity Interval Training’ is one of the top fitness trends, but what is it all about and why is it so beneficial? Read on to find out more…This kind of training technique is based on the concept of giving one hundred per cent effort for a short period of time, in a quick and intense burst of exercise.
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The Walk Of Life!
Modern life has made us all increasingly sedentary – hunched in front of computers, slumped in front of the TV or sitting for hours on car journeys and commutes. Walking is an easy form of exercise and no special equipment is needed, apart from comfortable, supportive shoes.
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Go Totally Tomatoes!
“Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.
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Suspension Training - A New Way To Train!
Suspension training (or TRX) is a great alternative way of completing body weight-based exercises that can be varied, challenging and even fun! So, if you're aiming to increase your physical performance and core strength or generally looking for something different, add these five exercises next time you’re at the gym.
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Soy Salmon Fish - A Perfect Summer Dish!
Salmon is one of the best types of fish you can eat, as it is rich in Omega 3, a nutrient that helps brain function and your nervous system. Fats found in salmon are responsible for many cardiovascular benefits and when eaten two to three times per week, salmon can protect you from problems such as heart attack, stroke, arrhythmia and high blood pressure.
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"Slip Another Shrimp on the Barbie"... Or A Simple Lamb Kebab
Before he became famous in the role of Crocodile Dundee, Paul Hogan featured in an advert for the Australian Tourist Board, when he offered to do just this, to welcome American visitors “down under”. But shrimps - or rather prawns, as we usually call them in both Australia and the UK - aren’t the only things you can barbecue when you want to take advantage of the summer evenings and entertain your friends in the garden.
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Swimming and how it can help Asthma Sufferers
There is currently no cure for this Asthma, but in recent years treatments have been developed to relieve asthma symptoms and reduce the risk of an attack. If asthma is well controlled, sufferers should be able to exercise, have fun and keep fit.
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Bake Your Own!
Bread is a very simple food, using only three main ingredients – flour, water and yeast – yet it can vary hugely in quality, flavour and nutritional value. The Chorleywood process, introduced in the 1960s, enabled the fast mass production of bread, using lower-protein, highly refined flour with a number of enzymes and additives.
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How Yoga Can Combat Stress
Let’s face it; life can be stressful - trying to juggle our busy lives, work and family with a constant stream of digital media and news. To compound this, intrusive and negative thoughts can exacerbate our feelings of anxiety and depression.
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Power Breakfasts To Keep Your Tank Fuelled Up Til Lunchtime
Were often told “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” but the wrong breakfast choices - sugary cereals or toast made from sliced white bread, for example - are low in fibre, lacking in nutritional value and can leave your tummy rumbling by 11am. This can lead to mid-morning snacking on whatever comes easily to hand to stave off those niggling hunger pangs and quite often that ‘thing’ is not the healthiest choice.
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Easy Food Swaps For A Healthier Diet
Eating more healthily can be as simple as adjusting some small things which overall will make a big difference. By swapping foods that are high in fat, sugar and salt with alternatives that are equally satisfying but healthier, you can make a big difference to your diet and your overall health and wellbeing.
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Celebrate Chinese New Year - Cook Up Some Chicken Noodle Soup
This recipe is so easy and quick, you must try it. It's all cooked in one pot for minimum hassle and very little mess.
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Is it A Bird, Is It A Plane... No It's A SuperFood!
“Superfoods” are foods that are particularly rich in nutrients, which experts consider to be particularly beneficial when incorporated into a healthy diet. These foods are good sources of vitamins, minerals and fibre, which are thought to reduce the risk of heart disease, memory loss and other health problems.
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Chickpea Pancake With Avocado And Sundried Tomatoes
Yes this is a pancake! It is sugar free, but that does not mean it is not still delicious.
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Some Healthy Little Snacks For When The Munchies Strike
We all know that feeling; breakfast was ages ago, lunch is still on the distant horizon, but you are just a bit hungry, and you get a craving for a snack – an attack of the Munchies. Research suggests that snacking may help control your appetite.
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Florentine Pizza
Our classic Florentine pizza recipe combines tangy tomatoes, silky spinach and perfectly cooked eggs on a crisp, home-made base - delicious served with a side salad for lunch or supper. It’s not only a fresher, healthier and cheaper alternative to a shop-bought pizza, but it’s surprisingly easy and fun to make.
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Give Your Valentine The Gift of Fitness
Valentine's Day, a festival dedicated to romance, love and friendship, falls on Wednesday 14th February. At this time of year, when winter seems never-ending, we humans are glad of an excuse to celebrate with a scattering of scarlet hearts, a bottle of bubbly and a candlelit dinner for two.
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Winter Salad - Give it A Try
Salads can definately work for you in the winter, and this one is a delicious flavour packed treat, its good warm or cold, so save any left overs and then pack a portion into a Tupperware container and take it to work. Not only is it a delicious and satisfying salad, it's also packed with slow release energy, which will leave you feeling fuller for longer - result!
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Cleanse & Detox - Pineapple, Coconut And Ginger Smoothie
Try this super smoothie with delicious pineapple, coconut and ginger. Detoxing your body has 5 major health benefits:Helps remove toxins from the body and liverReduces inflammationPromotes healthy brighter skinClears your digestive systemGives you a bit of energy and va va voom!
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Getting Started On That New Year Fitness Resolution
Perhaps you used to take part in lots of exercise at school but you have let this slip, since there's no longer a formidable gym teacher forcing you to run up that hockey pitch in unflattering shorts in the winter drizzle? Or maybe you have always avoided any form of exercise and found it boring?
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Festive Treat With A Fitness Twist
Few of us can resist the seasonal favourite mince pie. Our version is a fraction healthier than the traditional variety, and your own mincemeat is suprisingly easy to make.
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Surviving The Office Party With Your Health, Fitness and Reputation Intact!
It is that time of year again – you’ve been invited to the office party and you want to wow your colleagues with your amazing dress sense, sparkling personality and your incredible dance moves. You also don’t want to make the party season an excuse to let your health and fitness regime slip, after months of hard work in the gym.
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Busy Mum? How To Find Some Time For You!
Being a busy mother can feel like being a Jack-of-all trades with your life a constant whirl of activity, trying to fit in a job, domestic chores, food shopping, cooking and ferrying the kids to school and their many play-dates, parties and other social activities. It’s very hard to fit in time just to relax and find some “me time”, let alone finding time to exercise and make sure you keep fit and healthy yourself.
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5 Tips To Help You Deal With Diabetes
Living with a condition like diabetes can be extremely difficult and sometimes even debilitating, so we’ve come up with five digestible pointers to try and help you manage your lifestyle a little better.Tip #1: Eat the right food!
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Plate Up For The Planet - 7 Day Vegan Challenge
This November, various celebrities including Evanna Lynch (from the Harry Potter films) and the Green Party’s co-leader, Caroline Lucas, are endorsing the 7-Day Vegan Challenge to “Plate Up For The Planet”, and encouraging people to try veganism, if only for just a week.The main driving force of veganism is compassion and concern for animal rights and the natural environment.
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Open House At Topnotch Health Clubs!
On the weekend of 28th/29th October, when the clocks go back and British Summertime officially ends, Topnotch is holding an Open House event to encourage members’ families, friends and work colleagues to make 2017 the winter when they decide not to just hibernate but to commit to get fit!The doors of all Topnotch Health Clubs will be open to everyone, from those that would just like a tour to have a look at the facilities or those who would like to try out the gym completely free of charge.
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Eating Well at Uni
Everything’s new, exciting (and daunting too) when you start at university – moving away from home for the first time, mixing with new people, worries about your course, and concerns about your student loan and how to make it stretch as far as possible. Eating properly may be the last thing on your mind, but it’s very important to make sure you get a varied, healthy diet within your limited budget.
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Soft Drinks - Sugar Explained!
If you are an avid gym goer, or you get your daily exercise from walking, running or playing a sport, then you will probably watch what you eat as well. You will be used to looking at calories, fat content and sugar levels in different foods.
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Fitting In Fitness For Freshers!
Finding time to exercise while you’re studying is very important. Hunching over a computer terminal or sitting through lectures can mean you’re very sedentary, and exercise will help relieve stress and anxiety, keep you fit and boost your mental wellbeing and energy levels.
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Healthy Food For Freshers
If you’re a student that has just left home to start a university or college course, you may be experiencing a whole range of emotions – excitement about the adventures that lie ahead and trepidation about managing on your own for the first time.You now have total responsibility for your own wellbeing, which can be rather daunting, but there are things you can do to make sure you look after yourself, eat well and get enough exercise without swallowing up the whole of your student loan in the first week.
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The Upside Of Being An Empty Nester
This is the time of year when many young adults leave home for the first time to take up places at universities and colleges, perhaps at some distance away. It is quite normal for parents to experience some sense of loss and emptiness as their children take that great step into the unknown, towards independence and adulthood.
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Benefits Of Breakfast
Breakfast is regarded by many nutritionists as the most important meal of the day. When you get up in the morning, you probably haven’t eaten for at least twelve hours, so when you consume your first meal, you’re literally “breaking your fast” and providing your body with the fuel and nutrients it needs to function efficiently.
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The Breakfast of Champions
Having established that eating breakfast is the most important meal of the day here are a few suggestions for quick, easy and healthy breakfasts: - Bircher muesli. Newly trendy but originally introduced around 1900 by the Swiss physician, Maximilian Bircher-Benner, this can be prepared the night before, so is super-speedy to eat in the morning.
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Five Unexpected Benefits From Using a Personal Trainer
Even if you’re a regular gym-goer, working out on your own does not always result in the achievements and physical improvements that you may have envisaged. Even if you persuade a best mate to train alongside you to liven things up and encourage you to visit the gym more regularly, you might reach a plateau, where you don’t really seem to be making positive advancements to your fitness.
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12 Great Reasons to Join for 12 Months
12 Great Reasons to Join for 12 MonthsIf you are seeking a really affordable place to exercise, Topnotch offers a great solution, and with our exclusive annual membership offer this bank holiday, it is the best time ever to sign up. 1.
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Grow Your Own Five (Or More) A Day
We all know food is just as important as exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle. The ’5-A Day’ message is widely known and encourages us to incorporate as many fruits and vegetables into our diet as possible, and what better way to do this than to grow your own?
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How To Avoid Returning From Your Holiday With Excess Baggage!
You’re really looking forward to your summer holiday, and have spent all year working hard in the gym and passing up on the chips and chocolate, so that you feel good about your body. You want to enjoy the sun, sea, sand and sangria, as well as the delicious, exotic food on offer but you don’t want to come home having piled on the pounds and feeling like a beached whale (apparently 60% of us put on an average 5lbs during a two-week break).
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Try Something Different And Give An Apex Class A Go..
With the launch of our brand new 30 minute Apex gym floor classes across our fitness clubs, we asked 2 students from Cheltenham to answer some questions about why they joined the gym and what they thought of these new classes! But first… what are Apex Classes?
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Challenging The Myths Around Lower Back Pain & Exercise
Back pain is commonA total of 84% of people worldwide will experience back pain during their lifetime. It is equally common across all age groups; from young to old and doesn't get worse with age.
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Our Healthy Drink on a Stick For Long Hot Days
When the weather’s hot and sticky, the tinkling chimes of the ice cream van make even grown-ups think nostalgically of licking a lovely, fruity ice lolly to help them cool down. But why not make your own more healthy and delicious lollies and ices at a fraction of the cost of shop-bought ones?
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Your Ultimate Post Workout Smoothie
We’re always being urged to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day and for many people this can be difficult. It can definately be more tempting to reach for a bar of chocolate or packet of crisps than to choose an apple, orange or carrot.
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A 15 Minute Parter Based Workout - Intermediate Level
Let’s face it – it’s easy for a training routine in the gym to become a little stagnant and for you to lose heart if you keep doing the same thing over and over again. Not only will it hinder your performance and your potential to achieve some exceptional results, but it can also lead to you becoming disillusioned with your gym routine, full stop.
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Phew! You Made It!
Congratulations! You started in early May, it’s now nearing the end of June, and you’ve reached your destination – the end of the Topnotch Join, Like, Learn Six Week Challenge.
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Trainers At The Ready!
Jog Down to Our Open Weekend Sat 24th/Sun 25th JuneAs the culmination of this summer’s Join, Like, Learn Challenge, Fitness4Less clubs are holding a celebratory Open Weekend from 24th to 25th June.So bring along your friends and family to have a look round the gym, watch demonstrations of some of the huge range of fitness classes we offer, and chat to our team of fitness instructors and personal trainers.
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Chia Seed Pudding and Blueberry Compote
Chia seeds come from a plant called Salvia Hispanica, originally grown in Mexico and related to the mint family. They have become a popular “superfood”, prized for their nutritional value and health giving properties.
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Give Your Dad The Gift Of Health On Fathers Day
We’ve had a special day for mothers for centuries (Mothering Sunday) but Fathers’ Day was only introduced early in the last century in America and imported to England far more recently – and why not! Dad’s are just as important and deserve a bit of spoiling at least once a year, to remind them how much we appreciate and love them.
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How Can Exercise Really Help Me Quit Smoking?
Even with the recent introduction of e-cigarettes, around 17% of the UK population still smoke regularly. Studies have shown that even moderate exercise, especially aerobic exercise that works your heart and lungs, actively reduces the urge to smoke.
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Running Trainers - Getting The Right Fit!
Running shoes are the most essential piece of kit for any runner. Knowing how your feet work is vital for finding the right trainers to keep you injury free and keep you running!
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Delicious Cacao Nib & Sour Cherry Bar
This nutritious granola bar is a healthy pre or post work out snack. It's very simple to make with little or no cooking skills required.
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Join For Free - May Bank Holiday Offer
The May Bank Holiday is already upon us and summer is beginning to feel like a reality at last.We all tend to be more active during the warmer months and feel more inspired to take up new and healthier habits.
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A Taste Of Spring!
WOW look at this delicious rolled leg of lamb with minty pesto! We think this is a cracking easter holiday weekend recipe, and suprisingly simple to do.
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Yummy Little Cup Cakes!
How about treating your mum to these delicious little morsles? Carrot, raisin and maple cakes are moist, with lower in refined sugar than a traditional cupcake.
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Pancakes - They Are Flippin Delicious!
We’ve been dreaming up ways to make pancakes a bit healthier, so you can enjoy this age-old custom without feeling too guilty. Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras (fat Tuesday) is celebrated in many countries throughout the world with extravagant carnivals and feasting.
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Worried About A History Of Heart Disease In Your Family?
It’s something that only hits you at tough times, a spell of illness, discovering a medical issue or a when a sad occurance happens in the family. That realisation that heredity does have a part to play in your future health.
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5 Reasons You Will See More Results if You Work Out With a Friend!
A lot of people work out alone; I am one of them and with so much to cram into a day, sometimes it’s just more convenient only having to worry about me. But...
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A Third Of The Cost Of A Delivery Pizza And 3 Times The Taste!
Just look at this mouthwatering pizza! It costs around just £3.
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For A Detox Boost, Try Eating Raw - Sample Our Raw Pad Thai
Raw foods such as fruits, grains and vegetables tend to retain their natural goodness in abundance, as well as offering a cleaner fresher taste. Raw food fans believe that you gain a much greater nutritious value from the food with many additional benefits such as boosting your immune system, aiding detox and promoting better digestion.
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Soy Salmon Fish - A Perfect Summer Dish!
Salmon is one of the best fishes you can eat, as it is rich in Omega 3, a nutrient helps brain function and your nervous system. Fats found in salmon are responsible for many cardiovascular benefits, when eaten two to three times per week, salmon can protect you from problems such as heart attack, stroke, arrhythmia and high blood pressure.
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5 Reasons To Take a Walk on The Wild Side..
Walking in the country is one of the most painless and enjoyable ways of taking exercise, whether alone or with friends, at any time of year and in most weathers. Here are five good reasons for getting into the great British outdoors and putting your best foot forward: -1.
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5 Reasons To Take a Walk on The Wild Side..
Walking in the country is one of the most painless and enjoyable ways of taking exercise, whether alone or with friends, at any time of year and in most weathers. Here are five good reasons for getting into the great British outdoors and putting your best foot forward: -1.
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5 Reasons Why Getting On Your Bike Is Good For You!
I don’t know about you, but when it’s a lovely day outside and I’ve been stuck at my desk all day, the last thing I want to do is exercise indoors. Cycling is a fantastic outdoor exercise, a great form of cardio vascular exercise and at this time of year allows you to not only get fit and de-stress but also take advantage of the sunshine!
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Get on Your Bike! 2 Effective Cycling Fitness Programmes
My interest in cycling started from talking to my uncle, who cycled to work regularly on his commute from Clapham to Southwark. He talked about the feeling of freedom on a bike, and the joy of being able to complete a journey ‘under your own steam’ that would otherwise have only been possible by car or public transport.
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Sweet Potato, Goats Cheese and Walnut Salad
If you are feeling fed up with sandwiches for lunch, try this delicious and easy alternative, in just 10 minutes you can prepare this the night before and than pack a portion into a tupperware and take it to work. Not only is it a delicious and satisfying salad, its packed with slow release energy which will leave you feeling fuller for longer - result!
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Would your Family Benefit? - UK's Change4Life Campaign Explained
Have you ever seen the Change4Life campaign advertised on TV but you’ve never really known what it’s all about? Weve put together a summary of the Change4Life appeal, which is supported by activitites that we run at Fitness4Less… It will take just 5 minutes for you to read, perfect to while away the time, whilst doing your bike warm up in the gym and it might inspire you to take some steps which will benefit your whole family.
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Dance Your Way To Fitness
The Sport England “This Girl Can” campaign was launched to encourage ordinary women to take up sport and exercise, dispelling the myth that fitness is only for those already fit, skilful and thin. Their TV campaign featured normal women really going for it, to a sound track of Missy Elliott’s “Get Ur Freak On” and included the taglines “I jiggle, therefore I am”, “Hot and not bothered” and “Sweating like a pig, feeling like a fox”.
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Making a splash – swimming as an aid to fitness for the over 60s
Swimming is an easy way to improve your overall fitness and you don’t have to be a young or lean Michael Phelps or Rebbeca Adlington to take part. You can enjoy swimming at any age, whatever your shape, and it’s an ideal way of making a fitness gain without too much pain.
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“Gardening adds years to your life and life to your years”
Over a third of people over 60 choose gardening as the activity that gives them most pleasure in life, and it is not only pleasurable, but has major heath and fitness benefits too. These are just some of them: - 1.
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It's never too late to start exercising..
There’s no doubt about it, keeping fit at any age makes for a happier, healthier life. However getting yourself into a gym or a fitness routine as you get older can be particularly tough and daunting.
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Feeling awkward and afraid to join a gym is normal.. you're not alone!
‘I’m so awkward, I’m afraid I will trip or won’t know how to use the machines’Does that feel like you? Along with some of these common thoughts: I don’t know what kind of clothes to wear.
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Mixed berry breakfast omelette
Start the day with this quick, easy and healthy breakfast. Its packed with flavour and will keep the hunger pangs at bay until lunch.
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