Thursday 25th August 2022
Welcome to August! I hope you are having a great summer. You may be getting ready to go on holiday or have just come back from one. Or maybe you're in the middle of juggling childcare, work, gym and general family commitments - like getting new school uniform ready or wondering why the grass is still brown and your hydrangea is still wilting! Whatever your situation, we all have our own pressures but it’s important to remember to make time for yourself to relax - and what better place to do that but at your club?
Gym challenges are taking place throughout the summer and the team is on hand to help you get ready for your seasonal getaway, or to help you get back into shape after a summer escape!
The little ones have so many activities to join in with over the school holidays, including visits from unicorns and even a fun family festival taking place on Friday 2nd September from 1-3pm! We'll be putting on a bouncy castle, Baby Sing, live band for the under-5s, a teddy tombola, sweet stall, garden games and bubble station! This event will take place on the driving range field. Tickets are £5 and can be purchased from reception.
I’d like to welcome several new team members who have joined us over the last month, including new Duty Managers Rachel Wiggin & Luke Billet, who are on hand to help you with any queries. After his recent retirement, Paul Abley’s successor as Maintenance Manager is Curt Hodgkins. We also welcome back Debi Harris as our Head of Club Experience. Debi has a wealth of customer service experience and is excited about coming back to the club to help further improve our member engagement and club standards.
On the flip side to this, we have to say goodbye to a couple of team members who will be sorely missed by everyone. Lee Roberts, from membership, has been with the club (and in fact the group, as he spent time down at Nizels too) for many years, beginning as Duty Manager, moving to Food & Beverage Manager and finally moving into membership sales. James Khannon, another member of our membership team, has decided to go travelling around the world (I’m not at all jealous!) but to make things easier we have a new ‘James’ joining the team to replace him – James Bell made the move from David Lloyd and joined us at the end of July. Finally, our Studio Coordinator Jordanna Hemingway is leaving us to manage a boutique gym in Derby – thankfully the transition to our new co-ordinator will be seamless as Sarah Bennett, one of our instructors who covered Jordanna’s maternity leave will be taking the role on again.
Improvements to Personal Training
Personal Training has had a revamp!
Trainer Levels: We’re introducing clearer bandings of our Personal Trainers, recognising their level of experience and qualifications. You can now choose between three bands; Trainer, Senior Trainer and Master Trainer. We are also re-invigorating our in-house training programme for our Personal Trainers to offer them better support in their development and to provide more opportunities to gain greater expertise in key health and fitness topics. This will mean that we can provide an even better service to our members.
Personal Training blocks: There will be a clearer structure of Personal Training pricing, with single, 4-block and 8-block sessions available, with 4-block purchases holding a 5% discount and 8-blocks a 10% discount off the single session price.
Direct Debit option: We are introducing an easier and more cost-effective way to set up your Personal Training, by enabling you to add your sessions to your membership direct debit, either with 4 or 8 sessions per month. Four sessions will offer a 15% saving and eight sessions a 20% saving off the single session price.
Client Agreement: We will be asking all Personal training clients to sign a new agreement, which better highlights the expiry dates of block and direct debit purchases, along with our cancellation and refund policy.
How to avoid the ‘dad bod’
Written by new father Ben, our Wellness Manager
Whether it’s your first or one of many, there is no doubt that becoming a father makes it hard to chase your health and fitness goals like you did before. But what if we said that you don’t have to choose between your health and your new bundle of joy?
“I don’t have time!”, or “I don't have the energy!” are the first thoughts that probably come to mind for most new parents. But think about it this way - do you want to set a good example to your children? Do you want to be able to play with your kids in the park without feeling out of breath? Can you afford not to care about your health?
Being a parent is the best thing you will ever experience! But nothing can prepare you for the number of sleepless nights, nappy changing and constant demands. We'll look at why it doesn't need to be an ‘either-or’ decision. With some smart tweaks, you can put yourself on a better path to living a healthier lifestyle.
1. You can’t remember when you last had a good night’s sleep
A few hours’ less sleep here and there may seem like nothing. But as a new father experiencing regular sleepless nights and broken sleep, you'll understand how difficult this can be. 56% of new fathers report falling into negative health behaviours in the first 12 months of their child being born.
2. Stress management
As your little one becomes the most important thing in your life and your main priority, it's safe to say that your needs have moved firmly to the bottom of the pecking order. Up to one in 10 new fathers experience depression after the birth of their baby. Chronic stress is also significantly involved in the onset of almost all major depressive disorders.
3. Less gym time, bigger waistline
Heading to the gym when the baby needs a change may not be the best way to keep your partner happy. New fathers can lose an average of five hours of physical activity per week. This translates to higher risk of conditions like heart disease, as well as increasing the likelihood of gaining weight and negatively impacting your mental health.
4. You could be setting up your children for poor health
How you care for yourself has a massive impact on your children. In a study of 3,285 families, children with an obese father were fourteen times more likely to become obese in their teens, even if the mother was of a healthy weight.
Of course, when you’re juggling so many plates, this decline can feel so inevitable that you ask how you’re possibly going to stop it. But some quick adjustments can make all the difference. We'll take a look at how.
1. Join a gym or a fitness community
Loneliness can be a big issue for new dads. There are plenty of fathers like you craving social time. Joining a gym or fitness community is a great way to socialise, whether it’s a Monday night spin class or an hour of five-a-side after work, just one hour of exercise a week can help massively with your mindset.
2. Keep your nutrition simple
Knackered? Can’t be bothered? A takeaway sounds like a good idea! We understand the urge. But seeking ultra-processed, highly calorific food as a means of saving time and energy puts you in a vicious cycle. High consumption of processed foods is associated with a significant increase in the risk of obesity. This will also increase your chances of heart disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes.
Now that’s not to say you have to become a Michelin-starred chef. But neither you nor your partner can perform at your best if you’re not effectively fuelled. Here are some tips:
- Keep high-quality proteins like chicken, pre-cooked salmon, tuna or high-protein yoghurt stocked up so that you can keep yourselves fuelled at short notice.
- Batch prepare veggies and freeze them to slash your meal prep time.
- For every meal you prepare, make additional portions and freeze for later. This is a great way to eat healthier foods when you're struggling for time!
- Weigh out nuts and fruits into food bags to create grab-and-go snacks that will help energise you. Squeezable yoghurt pouches are a great on-the-go option too. This will reduce the temptation to grab sweets, chocolate or crisps.
3. Cut out the evening drink to ‘unwind’
Unfortunately, right now the only person hitting the bottle every night should be your baby. Of the many negative health behaviours reported by men following the birth of their first child, alcohol consumption is one of the most common. Alcohol disrupts sleep quality, slashes testosterone levels, and impairs muscle growth. All in all, not a great combination for looking and feeling at your best. If you can replace this habit, you’ll find yourself far better placed to cope with sleep deprivation, work, looking after your little one and supporting a tired partner.
4. Keep active with the baby while your other half naps
It’s crazy how such a small human can leave you feeling so utterly exhausted. But as tired as you are, mum is most likely feeling it even more. Getting out with your baby gives her a well-needed chance to take a nap and provides an opportunity to get in some extra steps. Not only is walking outside a great mental health boost, research also shows it can help baby’s sleep cycle settle in more quickly, which means better rest for you both sooner rather than later.
5. Focus on sleep quality
Granted, it’s pretty unlikely that either of you are getting the recommended amount of sleep at the moment. There may not be much you can do about your sleep quantity but that’s not to say you can’t maximise the quality. Investing in blackout blinds or an eye mask are easy hacks that will improve your sleep quality. White noise can also help make sure that whatever shut eye you get is as good as it can be.
A new baby means less time to sleep, eat and train, which can soon become a slippery slope. Before you know it, you’re several kilos heavier, you haven’t worked out in months and your go-to meal is a take-away. But it doesn’t need to be that way. Staying healthy and performing as a new dad may seem like two incompatible goals but the choices you make now will have a major impact on you and your family’s health. And let’s face it, every second, hour and day you get to spend with those you love most is a precious commodity.
But hopefully we have demonstrated that effective doesn’t equal complicated. With some smart pre-planning, you can give mum and baby the best start without compromising on your health.
Sports and Remedial Massage Therapy
Ben, our Wellness Manager, is a Personal Trainer and a Sports Massage Therapist who is on hand to treat members at the club.
What is sports massage therapy?
Sports massage therapy is a specialised form of massage that focuses on the treatment of soft tissue to release tension, reduce pain and restore range of movement. Sports massage is beneficial for anybody experiencing aches, pains and injuries as a result of exercise.
Remedial massage is a lighter approach than sports massage. Although not always as effective as sports massage, remedial massage is ideally suited for individuals who wish to just relax and de-stress from the demands of daily activities, work or sports.
How sports and remedial massage can benefit you:
- Reduced blood pressure and heart rate
- Helps with rehabilitation after an injury
- Lowers anxiety & improves mood
- Increases blood flow throughout the body, bringing vital oxygen and nutrients all over
- Improved recovery from training sessions
- Relieves muscle pain and tension
- Helps reduce and prevents injury
Who is it for?
This type of massage was originally developed for athletes to prevent and relieve injuries, but both athletes and non-athletes can gain physiological and psychological benefits from receiving sports massage therapy. You might not be an athlete or sports person, but you may be putting your body through stress on a daily basis, without realising it.
Does it hurt?
It is a common misconception that sports massage has to hurt to be beneficial, which is not the case. When applied correctly sports massage is extremely beneficial and can be relaxing at the same time. However, for those who wish to experience the full benefit of sports massage, deeper pressure can be applied which might be a bit sore at the time. Each treatment is specific to each individual and can be modified accordingly.
Sports massage for pain & injury
Pain, injury and dysfunction of the muscles can occur for many different reasons. Sports massage therapy can help with the assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of such pain complaints, and can prevent them from re-occurring in the future.
So, if you’re struggling to improve your physical performance, general health or have any aches and pains, a sports massage could benefit you. For any enquiries please see Ben in the gym or you can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Therapist at Lichfield – Body Matters
Louise Lewis, Body Matters, joins the Club this month as one of our therapists. Body Matters offers a new treatment using State of the Art Low Level Laser Therapy.
This works using the controlled delivery of light to stimulate the body's natural healing process, optimising repair and helping to restore normal cellular function.
It is an intense and effective treatment yet non-invasive, so perfect for conditions such as:
- Acute Muscle Spasm
- Open Wounds
- Post Operative Scar Tissue
Medical Acupuncture for Pain Relief
If you are suffering from pain or tension, why not try Medical Acupuncture?
Medical Acupuncture (otherwise known as Dry Needling) stimulates the body to produce endorphins and oxytocin, its own pain and stress relieving chemicals. It also stimulates nerve fibres to block out pain signals and helps to reduce the sensitivity of tender points in the body. It helps to improve sleep by promoting the release of melatonin in the body, which creates a sense of wellbeing.
If you want to discuss treatment with a practitioner, please call Louise on 07502 206422 for further information.
Member of the Month
Congratulation to John Derry - John has pushed through his barriers, struggling for motivation and confidence. He would previously rarely attend the gym and certainly not use weight programmes and kit.
He is now attending nearly every day, using the free weights section, reaping the benefits and already seeing the results of his hard work. John has now since lost 3kg with a huge boost in his self-confidence too. Well done, John!
The summer holidays are in full swing, and lots of children have been taking part in a huge range of activities including athletics, rainforest activities, meeting the emergency services, taking lambs and calves for walks and brushing a unicorn’s mane - there is even a crèche family festival later in the holidays. If you are struggling for things to keep your little ones occupied why not get them booked on some sessions – all the information you need is at reception.
On Friday 22nd July we held an official opening night at Strike Shack inviting many people from the local area and the club to try our brand-new range facility and enjoy some free beer, wine & gin and free food courtesy of Asahi, Diageo & the Canned Wine Company. Even though the heavens opened no-one seemed to mind and everyone had a great time.
If you haven’t tried Strike Shack yet come and give it a try – you don’t need clubs as we have plenty to lend you and you don’t need to be golfer – our Strike Shack hosts will set you up and give you lots of hints and tips so you can have a really great time.
On Wednesday 12th October we are taking a group to London’s West End to see the acclaimed Drifters Girl. Tickets include return coach trip and a matinee performance with seats in the dress circle for just £79 per person. There are only 43 seats available so you need to be quick! Places can be booked (and paid for) at reception.
You Asked, We Acted
- You recently asked us to increase staffing in the crèche to avoid having to put people on a waiting list. We have now increased our crèche team and rearranged the ratios. This along with additional junior classes has reduced our waiting lists, so we hope to see you in the crèche soon!
- You asked if we could introduce sports massage treatments at the club. We now have Sports Therapy Massage treatments available from Ben Lund, our Wellness Manager, Kat McGuinness, Class instructor and our new therapist Louise Lewis who offers laser therapy and acupuncture.
Raise your salad game this summer
Long gone are the days when salads were simply the supporting act – a wilted plate of greens designed to bulk out the main event or balance out a rich meal.
The good news is that nowadays, with access to a wide range of ingredients offering a variety of colour, flavour and texture, they can be stand out dishes in their own right.
So go on, get creative and throw together something you can be proud of this summer. Here’s five salad staples to get you started.
Classic Greek salad
Nothing beats the simplicity of the humble Greek salad. With crunchy veg, smooth and tangy feta, a sprinkling of oregano and a really good extra virgin olive oil, you can create something magical in a matter of minutes.
- 4 large vine tomatoes, cut into irregular wedges
- 1 cucumber, peeled, deseeded, then roughly chopped
- ½ a red onion thinly sliced
- 16 Kalamata olives
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 85g feta cheese, cut into chunks
- 4 tbsp Greek extra virgin olive oil
- Place 4 large vine tomatoes, cut into wedges, 1 peeled, deseeded and chopped cucumber, ½ a thinly sliced red onion, 16 Kalamata olives, 1 tsp dried oregano, 85g feta cheese chunks and 4 tbsp Greek extra virgin olive oil in a large bowl.
- Lightly season, then serve with crusty bread to mop up all the juices.
Grilled peach and pecan salad
This vibrant vegan salad is a feast for both the eyes and the stomach. The toasted pecans add a satisfying crunch alongside the smooth sweetness of the peach.
- 2 shallots, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 180g cous cous
- 1 tbsp agave syrup
- 4 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 125g pecans
- a bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- 70g rocket
- 3 peaches, slightly under-ripe, halved and stoned
- 4 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
- In a small bowl, mix the shallots and chilli with 1/2 the lemon juice. Cover and chill for 20 minutes.
- Cover the couscous with just boiled water and leave to stand for 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, in a small bowl combine the agave syrup, remaining lemon juice and the rapeseed oil with a good grind of black pepper and a pinch of flaky sea salt. Mix well to combine.
- Toast the pecans in a small frying pan over a medium heat for a few minutes until slightly browned and fragrant, tossing regularly to keep them from burning. Remove the nuts from the pan and cool.
- In a large salad bowl, combine couscous with parsley, rocket and pecans. Drain the pickled shallots and chillies and toss through.
- Use a pastry brush to coat the cut sides of the peaches with a little of the agave dressing. Sprinkle with the thyme leaves and cook on a BBQ over white-hot coals or in a griddle pan heated until hot. Flip after a minute or so – the peaches should be just-soft with some grill lines. Slice each grilled peach half in two and add to the salad bowl. Dress the salad, toss gently and serve.
Hot smoked salmon salad
This healthy summer salad packs a great protein punch and will keep you fuller for longer. A tangy dressing is the perfect accompaniment to soft salmon pieces and crunchy veg.
- 2 Little Gem lettuces, cut into chunky pieces
- 50g sugar snap peas, halved
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp capers
- 150g hot-smoked salmon
- crusty bread, to serve (optional)
- 100ml buttermilk or kefir
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- caster sugar, a pinch
- Handful of chives, finely chopped
- To make the dressing, whisk together the buttermilk, vinegar, sugar and some seasoning and stir in the chives.
- Add the lettuce to a large bowl with the sugar snaps, red onion and capers and toss gently. Pour in 1/2 the dressing and toss again. Flake over the salmon and gently toss again.
- Tip into a serving bowl, drizzle over the rest of the dressing and serve with crusty bread, if you like
Courgette, sundried tomato and goats cheese salad
Impress your barbeque guests with this tangy and nutritious courgette salad, perfectly balanced with a zingy pumpkin seed dressing.
- 4 medium green courgettes
- 150g goat’s cheese
- 120g Sundried tomatoes, sliced
- 200g peas, (If frozen defrosted)
- sea salt and cracked black pepper
Pumpkin seed dressing:
- 6 tbsp. sherry vinegar
- 4 tsp. honey
- 250ml olive oil
- 2 tbsp. freshly grated ginger
- 5 tbsp. pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted
- 3 tbsp. poppy seeds
- 10 Mint leaves, finely chopped
- Handful of flat leaf parsley finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Add all the dressing ingredients into a sealable container and shake up well. This will make more than needed, but you can use to dress any salads, and it will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.
- Wash the courgettes under cold running water and pat dry. Using a knife, top and tail the courgettes, then using a potato peeler, run long slices off the courgette turning each time you reach the seedy centre.
- In a large bowl combine the courgette ribbons, peas and sundried tomatoes and then crumble in your goats’ cheese with some of your dressing. Season with salt and cracked black pepper. Toss everything together, serve in a large bowl or on individual plates depending on your requirements.
Thai ginger salad
A deliciously nutty peanut butter and lime dressing makes this adventurous salad sing.
- 300g (use red, white or a mixture) cabbage, shredded
- 150g carrot, grated
- 1 cucumber, halved lengthways, seeds removed and thinly sliced
- 60g edamame, cooked and shelled
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- a handful, chopped, plus extra to serve coriander
- to serve chopped peanuts
- 60g crunchy peanut butter
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 3 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 lime, juiced to make 2 tbsp
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2cm piece ginger, thinly sliced
- To make the dressing, whizz together all the ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth.
- Combine all the salad ingredients, except the peanuts, in a salad bowl, pour over the dressing and mix well. Garnish with the peanuts and more coriander to serve.
Prawn, cucumber and avocado salad
With just a few ingredients, this simple salad doesn’t skimp on flavour. It can feature as an impressive side dish or the star of the show as a light main meal.
- Handful of king prawns
- Half a cucumber
- Bag of mixed salad leaves
- 1 red onion
- 1 avocado
- 1 lime
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Handful of coriander
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (adjust as preferred)
- Mix the prawns with the oil, coriander, garlic, lime juice and chilli flakes. Add to a hot pan and fry for 2 minutes.
- Dress the salad leaves in oil and vinegar. Transfer to a serving bowl.
- Top the lettuce with the red onion, cucumber, avocado and cooked prawns.
Ways to stay healthy on holiday
Holidays are for relaxing and having fun, but the change in routine can also derail our best health and fitness efforts. With a few pointers though, you can build some healthy habits into your trip away and come back ready to pick up where you left off.
Build exercise into your day
Consider your location and opportunities for building exercise into your trip. Are you staying near the beach? Perhaps a morning swim is achievable, or some adventurous water sports with the family. Out in the countryside? Check out the best hiking routes or cycling trails. Think of ways to increase your energy expenditure throughout the day, however small.
Book a walking tour
Many towns and cities offer guided walking tours which can be a great way to get your bearings as you explore your destination’s rich heritage on foot, as well as burning off the previous night’s cocktails! You might even meet some interesting people along the way.
Savour your holiday meals and take your time. Focus on the flavours and textures of the food you’re eating, and the signals sent by your body that you may be full. Taking a 10-minute break after your first portion can be a good way of determining whether you really do need that extra helping.
Give yourself a treat night
You’re on holiday, so naturally some indulgence is expected. If you can make healthy meal choices for most of your trip, choose a night where you relax and enjoy whatever you fancy as a reward for your willpower.
Beware the breakfast buffet
With so much choice on offer, an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet can be a tempting sight on holiday. Load up on yoghurt, fruit and muesli, or eggs to feel fuller for longer. Try to limit the time allocated for breakfast so you don’t have time to consider a second or third trip to the buffet.
Watch your alcohol intake
As well as the extra risks associated with drinking alcohol in hot climates, it’s also a sure way to add empty calories to your trip. Try to earmark certain nights where you will not drink alcohol or choose lower calorie options such as a vodka or soda-based cocktail instead of that Pina Colada.
Plan when you will exercise
Spontaneity can be one of the best things about getting away from your routine. However, it might pay off to do a little forward planning for the sake of your health. If you build dedicated exercise time into your day in advance, you’re far more likely to stick to it. While that 30-minute workout may not be achievable on holiday, maybe you can fit in 15 minutes of morning Yoga and then a 15-minute walk after lunch.
Be mindful of drinking enough water during your trip. Feeling hungry can often be a sign of dehydration, so make sure to have a bottle of water on hand – especially in extremely hot weather. Alternating alcoholic drinks with water can be a great way of keeping your body hydrated, consuming less calories and lessening the effects of a hangover.
Pack healthy snacks
Sightseeing can mean long periods of time without eating, which then leads to overindulgence later. Plan ahead by taking a few energy bars with you to make sure you never go too long without a snack.
Make the most of online workouts
If you love the energy of studio classes, there’s no need to give them up during your trip. Make sure to log onto the member portal while you’re away and explore one of the many live and recorded online workouts at the tap of a finger!