Monthly Archives: January 2015

Is it safe to eat fish during pregnancy?


Fish is a great source of omega 3 which is very important to the health of mother and baby. Omega 3 is needed for the development of babies central nervous system, it has also been found that if mum to be eats fish babies will have better social skills. Oily fish and cooked shellfish are entirely safe to consume when pregnant with the recommended amount to be 2 portions of oily fish per week. Safe oily fish to eat include salmon, anchovies, sardines and herring. Tuna is safe to consume but limit to 2 portions a week or 4 tins. However, fish with high levels of mercury are to be avoided during pregnancy, these include shark, swordfish, mackerel, and marlin. Raw fish is also to be avoided during pregnancy.

If you need any help with what you can and can’t eat during in pregnancy check out our nourishing nutrition for mums to be ebook or contact Sarah for a bespoke plan designed especially for you at this special time.

Benefits of aqua natal classes



Exercising in the water is beneficial to mum to be and a natural environment for baby.

Being in the water prevents you from over heating while exercising which is normally a risk you need to be aware of when exercising on land during pregnancy.

The buoyancy of the water will support the weight of your bump and support some of your body weight too, this makes it safer for your joints and also helps with back pain.

Due to the hydrostatic pressure of water venous return and lymphatic drainage is improved helping reduce those swollen ankles!

The resistance of the water also enables you to strengthen and tone your body ready for labour and the physical strains of motherhood.

Water exercise aids relaxation, reduces stress and improves mood. The benefits to taking part in aqua natal classes are endless so give it a try and make a splash.



Upper back pain during pregnancy

During pregnancy some ladies may experience back pain between the shoulder blades due to an increased kyphotic curve (rounding of the shoulders and upper back) caused by an increase in bust size and bump weight. This can be particularly uncomfortable but with some pilates based exercises can help.

Shoulder squeezes: Kneeling, seated or standing. Hands by your sides thumbs touching trouser seams, draw your shoulders back and down squeezing the shoulder blades together without pushing out the chest and rotating the hands so little finger is touching trouser seams, release and repeat 7 – 10 times. Watch the video below to see this exercise in action. 

Yoga to run faster!


So you want to run faster, you should train harder then right? Wrong! Training smarter more often than not gives you the results you want and in the case of running you really need to think about trying Yoga!

The benefits of Yoga are huge. Not only do the breathing techniques learned help you utilise your lungs more effectively but the flexibility gained allows you to see huge improvements. I can speak from personal experience here as not long ago I was meant to be training for a 10km, however circumstances out of my control restricted me to run just 3 times in the 5 weeks leading up to the race. During that time though I was attending Yoga 3 times a week as part of my ongoing qualification. More specifically I was actually focusing one session a week on my hips in an attempt to release the hip flexors and rotators.

Come race day I found that my stride had lengthened and I was able to relax a lot more into a race pace rhythm. The end result was that I ran a time that was only 12 seconds outside of a personal best and a good minute better than anytime in the last 9 months! I had no right to run such a time with the level of running specific training I had done in the lead up and can solely place the performance as result of yoga.

If you haven’t considered adding yoga to your training I would urge you to do so. If you live in Macclesfield and want to try yoga  book online now.

Happy training and enjoy those tumbling times this season!

HIIT Training, are you doing it right?


So were into another year and HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training, is still high up on the trendy workouts chart. So much so in fact that major fitness providers are now getting on board and developing their own forms of the workout. However not all of these new programmes are being true to the origins of HIIT.

By its very nature the training needs to be high intensity, seems obviously right? Maybe not. What would you consider to be ‘high intensity?’ Its quite a subjective question but something that is key if you are to get the most of a HIIT workout! The best way I have found to help people understand the mechanics of a HIIT workout is to explain how we need to use each interval. In short the idea of HIIT is that whilst we are in the workout phase we build up an oxygen debt, in other words we work harder than our body can keep up with. This means that when we reach the end of an exercise interval our body continues to too work hard to recover. The best way to build the oxygen debt in this situation is to work at a maximum effort for a given period, anything from 30-90 seconds should be long enough. It’s important to remember that if you are still capable of continuing the same exercise beyond this period it is extremely unlikely that you are working at your maximum intensity.

All to often though I have seen people hit the same exercise for minutes on end, including some trainers, and then claim that they are doing HIIT training. HIIT training is a fantastic workout, however if you aren’t using it in the right way you may be better off looking at other forms of training. You have to be able to push your body beyond the boundaries of what feels comfy to gain the full benefits of HIIT and this isn’t always possible, or safe, for everyone.

If you’re unsure how to get the most of your HIIT workout ask  a local trainer or get in touch with us at Variety Fitness!

Fitness professional, Pilates and Yoga studio owner, sports therapist and nutritionist. Love anything fitness related #Pilates #yoga #Macclesfield