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Red Nose Day Fit Test…

Red nose day is almost upon us again, and as you can see from my latest posts, health and fitness is at the forefront on the nation’s medias mind.

So with this in mind I have devised a little fit test for you. There are 13 exercises in total, each at a minuet a piece with the idea that you are to complete as many of each as possible in the allotted time 13 Minuets!!. This is to be every day from 1st March to 15th March. Record your results and post them back on here either each day or with your final scores, click here to print off you score card sheet. Don't forget to record your results and email them back.

This does not have to be for money, but just for fun, health and inquisitiveness. If however you do feel like raising a few pennies for the cause, then I would suggest that for every extra exercise you accomplish throughout the 2 weeks, you out 10p-£1 in a pot and donate it at the end of the 2 weeks.

Watch your results and see how an extra 13 minuets a day cant be a bad thing. For this Fit Test, you will need A kitchen chair, an exercise matt (of sorts/to lay on), some space and of course your wonderful’selfs!


1: Jog on the Spot This is to warm up the muscles and to prepare your body for the exercise to come

2: Double Leg Sit to Stand Starting in a seated position (on your chair), your feet off the floor and your hands strait above your head and stand before going strait back into the start position.

3: Single Leg Sit to Stand (Right Leg) This is similar to the above move, however your hands are by your side (not to touch ANYTHING) and your left leg is to remain off the floor. You can use your arms for momentum only. Come to a full stand before sitting back down (keeping your remaining foot off the floor) and starting again. (Modification: Place the tip-toes of your left foot on the floor, this should make the move easier)

4: Single Leg Sit to Stand (Left Leg) This is similar to the above move, however your hands are by your side (not to touch ANYTHING) and your Right leg is to remain off the floor. You can use your arms for momentum only. Come to a full stand before sitting back down (keeping your remaining foot off the floor) and starting again. (Modification: Place the tip-toes of your Right foot on the floor, this should make the move easier)

5: Squat Jump Stand up straight with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, toes following your knees. Bring your arms loosely to your sides. Squat down as deep as comfortable by bending your knees and reaching your hips back as if to sit down in a chair behind you. Throw your arms up as you jump in the air as high as you can. Land softly in the same spot you jumped from. Bend your knees as you land so as not to hurt your knee joints. Drop your arms as you land and repeat. (Modification remove the jump and perform squats)

6: Push-Up/Press-Up Chest-down with your hands at shoulder level, palms flat on the floor and slightly more than shoulder-width apart, your feet together and parallel to each other. Keep your legs straight and your toes tucked under. Straighten your arms as you push your body up off the floor. Keep your palms fixed at the same position and keep your body straightens. Try not to bend or arch your upper or lower back as you push up. Lower your body slowly towards the floor. Bend your arms and keep your palms in fixed position. Keep body straight and feet together until back to the start position and repeat. (Modification perform this on your knees.) 7: Burpee Stand with your feet hip width apart. Extend your arms and hands to the floor and quickly jump out kicking your legs out behind you while supporting your body on your arms and land in a push-up start position. Jump your feet back to your chest. Pull your knees to your chest and plant your feet under you. Jump up. Push off the ground with your hands and simultaneously quickly jump to a standing position. (Modification, remove the last jump)

8: High Knee Run on the spot with short, quick bursts, pumping your knees into the air as near to your chest as possible flexing your hip, knee and foot. Keep your chest up, pump your arms and land on the balls of your feet. (Modification jog on the spot)

9: Split Lunge Stand with one foot forward and one leg back. Both feet should be facing straight ahead. Your front foot should be flat on the ground and your knee should be bent slightly in front of your ankle in line with your shoelaces. Your back heel can rise of the ground. Your torso should be vertical with your chest lifted and shoulders open and relaxed. Bend both knees and lower your body weight down towards the floor keeping a 90% angle between the upper and lower leg. Then push up explosively and jump off the ground. Switch your legs in mid air and then land with your opposite feet forward and back from where your started. As you land, bend both knees so as to soften the landing. Push back up again explosively and switch your legs around back to start position. (Modification removes the jump and perform alternating lunges)

10: Tuck Jump Stand with feet shoulder width and knees slightly bend, Bend your knees and descend to a squat position. At the bottom of the squat, powerfully explode straight up bringing your knees toward your chest while in midair. Release your legs, control your landing and descend into the squat again with soft knees to avoid impact I the knees. Avoid doing these drills on concrete and use a soft, flat landing surface until you are comfortable with the exercise.

11: Jumping Jacks/Star Jumps Start with feet together and hands by your side, jump both feet out to the side and raise your arms out to the side until your hands are just above shoulder height, return your feet together and hands to your side, Repeat

12: Mountain Climbers Bend down and put your hands shoulder width apart on the floor. Place yourself in the basic push-up position with your arms in line with your chest and your legs extended outward. Rest on the balls of your feet while bringing one leg (for this example we'll say left leg) forward to your chest and back to its original position. Keep the right leg tucked during the forward and back movement of the left leg. Check to be sure your bent leg and hands carry the weight of your body and that you hold your head up during the back and forth leg movements.

13: Squat and Jab Squat down as deep as comfortable by bending your knees and reaching your hips back as if to sit down in a chair behind you. While in this position keep your abs tight by pulling your belly button into your back, and keep your body upright. By holding a fist with both hands, jab forward alternately with each arm, hold this pose and punch your way through the last minuet…. Remember to record your scores and let me know what you got! Good luck!


End ...Congratulations to anyone who completed this workout a magnificent effort!
...Until next time

Ensure you adequately stretch your body ideally before and after your workout, to ensure your muscles are ready for the workout to come avoiding any unwanted injuries. If anyone has any questions on stretching, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Group Exercise Classes are coming back this April, why not come and give it a go!..


Asparagus, mozzarella & prosciutto parcels

Spring is on it's way, crocuses' are starting to pop up and next month is the prime asparagus eating time! So I thought i'd get a heads up with this tasty recipe, a great snack, mini dinner or a starter to show off your skills with.


1: Blanch the asparagus for 2 minutes then refresh under cold water.
2: Cut each mozzarella slice in half and sit both pieces on top of 2 spears of asparagus.
3: Top with 2 more spears then wrap the asparagus in prosciutto so the mozzarella is enclosed (you will need 2 or 3 strips).
4: Heat a little olive oil in a pan, then carefully fry the parcels until the prosciutto has crisped and the mozzarella oozes.
5: Whisk together the olive oil and vinegar and add the basil. Serve each parcel with salad leaves and a little dressing drizzled over.

231 calories, protein 14g, carbohydrate 2.2g, fat 18.5 g, saturated fat 6.4g, fibre 1.7g, salt 0.97 g

Fact of the Fortnight

Food Labels

You probably already use the Nutrition Facts label in some way, maybe to check calories, fat or carb content. But, the more familiar you are with the information, the more you’ll want to use it to ensure you’re eating a healthy, balanced diet. Whilst my aim is to inform you of this information, to allow you to have a better understanding of the foods we are eating, you should not let it dominate your diet. Food labels makes it easy to determine the amounts of nutrients you’re getting pr serving and generally, per 100g.

So, hands to anyone who has ever checked a food label and then rejected the item based on the fat content? If you’ve ever been on a "diet", I'm guessing this would be most of you.

For many of us trying to loose weight, fat seems enemy to be enemy number1! However, choosing low fat products such as low fat meals, can be much more of a disaster than opting for those that contain moderate amounts of fat.

Many low fat meals are packed with sugar(s) to compensate for the lack of other ingredients, meaning that they can still lead to weight gain. Furthermore, despite to what most people may think, not all fats are bad for you, and studies have shown that eating good monounsaturated fats, such as those found in olives, nuts and avocados (eaten in the right amounts), can actually help to promote weight loss.

So lets take a generic food label (as pictured below)


Serving Sizes
We'll start with the "serving size". In this picture it clearly states that each serving (for this particular product) is 55g or equal to a 3/4 cup measurement, and there are 5 servings per container. This information however is not always so clear, and as outlined earlier (in some soups for example) the nutritional information may be presented as per 100g or per 1/2 can (etc). Many of us assume that small packets such as biscuits, crackers or medium sized cans are a single serving, but this may not be the case.

Calories, Fat, Carbohydrates and Proteins.
Carbohydrates include natural sources such as sugars and fruits and it is not always easy to tell them from the line labeled "Sugars" which advises you where the main bulk of the sugar is from without looking and the ingredients list. For example, if a cereal has little "added" sugar, but contains rasins, the sugar content would likely come from the natural fruit sugar.
By checking the ingredients list for sugar, the main sugar component will always be the biggest, and first listed. Sugars come with many names such as "Sucrose, Glucose Fructose, Maltose, Hydrogonised Starch, Invert Sugar, Corn Syrup and Honey" If you see these neer the top of the ingredients list, you will know that the product is likely to be high in sugar.
Carbohydrate Fact: By looking at the carbohydrate content per pack in grams, divide the amount by 5, and this will roughly equate to the amount of sugar in teaspoons that you body will convert to sugar.

The Low-Down on Fats...
The issue of dietary fats is probably one of the most confusing. Ideally you want to eat only the amount that you need to flavour your foods, and of the fat you eat needs to be the healthiest possible. All fats regardless of their source are about 120 calories per tablespoon and therefore should not be eaten freely.
Fats are categorised as Saturated, Polyunsaturated or monounsaturated, depending on the predominant fatty acid present.
Generally these can be found as follows:
Saturated Fats: Found in animal products such as meats, cheeses, ice creams and hydrogenated vegetable oils. They tend to raise blood cholesterol levels and can produce trans-fatty acids and should be avoided.

Polyunsaturated Fats: Can be both good and bad depending on whether they are primarily Omega-6 (found in corn and wheat) fats or Omega-3 fats (fund in fish and linseed), both of which are essential as our body can't make them how ever our diets are typically overloaded with Omega-6 with inadequate amounts of Omega-3, but can be eaten in moderation.

Monounsaturated Fat: Can be found in olive oil and avocados. These are healthy fatty acids and can also be eaten in moderation

Strive for a diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products. Include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, and nuts. Choose foods that are low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt, and added sugar.

Regular physical activity is important for your overall health and fitness. It also helps you control body weight by balancing the calories you take in from food with the calories you expend each day.

If you need help or have any comments with any of the information supplied, please don't hesitate to contact me via email

Soul Trainer Helpful Archive Pages

You can see all previous News & Interviews and Exercise & Recipe. pages, by clicking the relevant link(s) below.

1st December 2011 - Water

15th December 2011 - A Day in The Life

29th December 2011 - Festive Food Facts

2nd February 2012 - Daily Oats

1st March 2012 - Great Balls of Fire

12 May 2012 - Bitter Sweet Lemon

26th May 2012 - What a Way to Start the Day!

30th July 2012 - Spinach, Feta, Bacon and/or Nut Salad

26th September 2012 - Eat a Rainbow

30th October 2012 - Feta, Spinich and Pine-nut Parcels

12th November 2012 - Get up and Go, with Spelt and Oaty Pancakes

20th December 2012 - Festive Turkey Burgers

January 2013 - Felafel Wrapes and Stairway to Heaven

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