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August 25th, 2007

A host of top athletes have hailed the recovery powers of milk on the back of two new pieces of groundbreaking research.

Champion decathlete Dean Macey, Olympic sprinter Marlon Devonish and long jumper Greg Rutherford were all quick to celebrate the news that milk may promote better recovery after exercise than both water and isotonic sports drinks.

The key new study, conducted by Loughborough University and published in the British Journal of Nutrition, indicated that milk is significantly more effective than water or isotonic drinks at re-hydration after training.
And it’s more good news for dairy as a second study, which was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition this month, also backed milk as a post-exercise drink.

This study suggested that milk can help increase muscle size and strength, whilst reducing body fat.  Several other studies have also noted milk’s positive effects on exercise and recovery, while athletes and sports teams are already experiencing the benefits by consuming milk after training.

Dean Macey said: “I can’t say it comes as a huge surprise to me that this research says milk is the best thing for athletes, it makes perfect sense. If you want a great, natural drink to help performance then it’s got to contain milk every time.” Read more »

On Sunday 23 September, London goes traffic-free

August 22nd, 2007

London is buzzing today with the news that, for one remarkable day, many of the capital’s roads will be completely traffic-free and open only to cyclists.

All Londoners – from mums on shoppers to old folks on rusty relics – will be have the opportunity to ride down the city’s most famous roads, seeing sights like London Eye, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and Tower Bridge.


“It’s a chance to enjoy a view of London you’ve never seen before” said Mark Watts from the Mayor of London’s Office. “You can pedal at your leisure past sights like The Houses of Parliament, the Thames and Buckingham Palace. It’s free and anyone can be part of it.”

The entire route is only nine miles in total. So it’s not some gruelling cycle marathon, it’s just a nice day out for the whole family.

However, it’s not just about cycling the route. According to organisers, getting their will be half the fun, with a host of Freewheel Hubs around the capital where people can meet up and cycle in together. Plus, once you get there, you can stop off and chill out at The Freewheel Festival in St James’s Park.

The Hovis London Freewheel – organised by the Mayor of London – is aimed at encouraging more people in London to cycle. London is already experiencing a cycle revolution with the number of cyclists soaring by 83 per cent since 2000.

Targeted at all Londoners especially those who have access to a bike, but do not use it, the Hovis London Freewheel will offer participants a traffic-free ride round some of London’s most famous roads and landmarks. Riders will have the support, advice and help of regular cyclist ‘mentors’.

The Hovis London Freewheel is accessible to and inclusive of all Londoners, including those with disabilities.

Registration and participation in the Hovis London Freewheel is FREE. Click here to register.

Arthritis drug approved

August 22nd, 2007

Thousands of arthritis patients with crippling disabilities were given new hope yesterday after winning the right to free treatment with a “smart” drug.

The surprise decision to approve NHS funding of the antibody drug MabThera was hailed as “a triumph” by one leading charity.

The news comes less than three weeks after a health service watchdog issued draft guidance rejecting free prescriptions of another cutting-edge drug, Orencia, for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

Read more »

What is “moderate exercise”?

August 21st, 2007

UK Government guidelines recommend that we take 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week. But what is “moderate exercise”?

It’s clear that many people who exercise are not working out at the right level of intensity. How many times have you been to the gym and watched a person reading a book or magazine while on the upright bike? How many people do you see each day that are dressed for exercise but are just strolling around the village?

At fitness-etc we believe that one of the simplest ways to check the intensity of your workout is to use the Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale. Read more »

POWERbreathe gets Ironman endorsement

August 16th, 2007

30 years ago the marathon was the most testing and extreme of sports, now it’s the Ironman Challenge.

In 1978, there were only 15 challengers; in 2007 there will be 1700. The marathon covers 26.2 miles whereas the Ironman Challenge covers 140 miles! It comprises a 2.4 mile swim; 112 mile bicycle race; and to finish a 26.2 mile marathon! It can take up to 17 hours to complete.

Read more »

“Even light exercise” aids health

August 14th, 2007

Even low levels of weekly exercise could help reduce blood pressure and improve fitness, scientists say.

Experts say walking for half an hour, five days a week, is the minimum required to achieve health benefits.

But a Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health report from Northern Ireland found walking on just three days a week gave similar benefits.

The finding could encourage those with sedentary lifestyles to take up exercise gradually, the authors say.

This could be helpful as few people currently meet the minimum recommendations for exercise, with many saying they do not have enough time. Click here for full article

Tiger’s fitness helps him win his 13th Major title.

August 13th, 2007

Tiger Woods won his 13th major title of his career at Southern Hills Country Club and put his victory down to his improved fitness levels.

On a day when the temperature reached a tournament-high of 102 degrees, Woods strode down the middle of each sun-drenched fairway as playing partner Stephen Ames sought shade between shots. Ames finish tied for 12th after a 6-over-par 76.

Ernie Els and Woody Austin had a rare chance to catch Woods when they got to within one shot. Neither player was able to reel in the world’s best golfer as he held on to win his 13th major title and fourth PGA Championship with an 8-under-par 272 total. Read more »

How hard am I working out?

July 18th, 2007

The Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) is a scale of how hard you feel you are working when you exercise. The scale relates to the responses experienced during exercise and is based on the correlation between perceived exertion, heart rate and oxygen consumption.

Physical symptom


Heart rate training zone

At rest


Non exercise heart rates

Low level activity


Non exercise heart rates

Light exertion


Non exercise heart rates

Slightly more involved activity, breathing is normal.


Non exercise heart rates

Breathing through the nose, conversation is possible in paragraph statements.


50% of maximum heart rate

Change from breathing through the nose to through the mouth.


60% of maximum heart rate

Breathing becomes more difficult, slightly out of breath, conversation is possible in sentences.


70% of maximum heart rate

Breathing is heavy; conversation is possible in short sentences.


80% of maximum heart rate

Sweating, conversation possible in one word answers.


90% of maximum heart rate

Maximum effort, hard to maintain for long, unable to hold a conversation.


Maximum heart rate

Bench pec-flye

July 16th, 2007

This is an excellent exercise for working the muscles of your chest.

Bench pec flye


  • Rest your back on a bench with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Hold a dumbbell weight in each hand with your palms facing the wall opposite.
  • Raise the weights above your chest such that your arms are slightly bent.
  • Slowly extend your arms away from the vertical position until your hands are at shoulder level.
  • Use your chest muscles to raise the weights until your arms are back at the start position.
  • Repeat the exercise for the required number of repetitions in your programme.

Muscles worked

  • pectorals

Online fitness workouts

July 14th, 2007

We all know that we should be more active. Thousands of us join the gym in January, but the dark nights and cold weather soon take their toll. What seemed like a great idea once loses its appeal and our enthusiasm goes back into hiding.

Get a personal trainer! Good idea, but at prices from £30 per hour upwards, it’s not really an option for most of us.

Get a workout buddy! Again, excellent idea and a top tip, but in reality it’s not always practical. Your friends may enjoy different exercises or their timetable may not be compatible with yours.

What about online personal training? Excellent idea. You can get a full monthly set of fitness training workouts for a fraction of the cost. Why not try where you can access your workouts online via their unique calendar for only £8.95 per month.


You can choose from a selection of programmes that have been designed for a specific purpose. If there’s not a programme that you like then you can contact and they’ll design one especially for you.

The great thing about the workouts is that you exercise on the equipment that you have available. Your preferences are taken into account when the workouts are created.

You can view your workouts online and print them off. You can also provide feedback so that you can see how you’re getting on.

Click here to find out more.

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