Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Cheeseburger Casserole

July 5, 2018



Coffs Coast Health Club eNews – July 2018

July 3, 2018















Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Simple Pork Stew

June 28, 2018


Four Ways Sleep Supports Healthy Aging

June 19, 2018

Good sleep
We know that getting a good night’s rest helps us feel better in the morning, but what may be even more important is how consistent sleep habits might predict future health. From smoother, glowing skin to a sharper mind and a healthier heart, mounting research shows that quality rest can help us all age a little more gracefully. Here’s how.

Regular Sleep Reduces Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

Those planning on powering through early adulthood and middle age with little sleep and resting in old age might want to take particular notice. One recent review from Baylor University examining decades of data, suggests that getting good sleep in middle age and young adulthood protects against age-related cognitive decline during senior years.

Deep sleep plays an important role in memory, and research shows that missing out on rest can contribute to a build up of beta-amyloid protein in the brain, associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease. In middle to older age, continuing to practice good habits is further associatedwith healthy brain function and reducing risk of dementia.

Deep Sleep Protects Skin Against Damage and Aging

During sleep, our bodies repair and renew at a cellular level. For example, growth hormone peaks during deep sleep, which plays an important role in aging and metabolism. Even a single night of sleep deprivation can affect how attractive and healthy we appear to other people.

A study conducted by Estee Lauder and University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, found that middle-aged women with poor sleep habits showed more advanced signs of skin aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, unevenness, and saggy skin compared to good sleepers. Poor sleepers also showed slower recovery from damage and had less confidence in their own looks.

Restful Sleep Lowers Risk of Obesity

Staying fit is about more than just appearances; maintaining a healthy weight reduces risks of conditions such as diabetes, stroke, and certain cancers. Healthy sleep is believed to affect weight in a couple of different ways: a lack of it affects metabolism mechanisms, increases hunger and overall calorie intake, and increases fatigue. Being well-rested makes it easier to choose healthier foods and stick to workout routines, which can make a big difference over the long term. Studies have found that people with poor sleep habits, including too little rest and irregular schedules, are more prone to gaining weight as they age.

Good Sleep Protects Your Heart

Heart disease remains the leading cause of mortality both men and women in the United States. Along with an active lifestyle and balanced diet, sleep plays an important role in minimizing risk. Good sleep habits are associated with lower cholesterol, healthier blood pressure, healthier weight, reduced diabetes risk, and other positive lifestyle habits (like exercise and eating well)—all of which encompass the leading risk factors for developing heart disease.

Studies have found that short-term sleep deprivation increases blood pressure and inflammation while affecting hormones and gene expression. When a lack of rest becomes habitual, these changes can affect health. One large study of middle-age female nurses found that both sleeping too little and too much was linked with higher risks of developing heart disease over a 10-year period compared with normal sleepers.

Heart disease does not solely affect the elderly; everyone is at risk, including teenagers. Research shows that teens who don’t get enough rest have higher cholesterol, blood pressure and body weight, which makes them high risk for heart disease later in life.


Studies Show Group Fitness Classes Make For a Better Life!

June 12, 2018

If you’re always going lone wolf at the gym, you might want to switch things up. A recent study from the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine found that people who took regular workout classes reported less stress and higher quality of life than those who work out solo. (To be fair, there are both pros and cons to working out alone.)

For the study, researchers split medical students into three groups that each adopted different fitness regimens for 12 weeks. Group one took at least one workout class per week (and could do additional exercise if they wanted). Group two worked out alone or with one or two partners at least twice a week. Group three didn’t work out at all. Every four weeks, the students answered survey questions about their stress levels and quality of life.

The results will make you feel way better about splurging on that pack of boutique fitness classes: The group exercisers reported significantly lower stress levels and increased physical, mental, and emotional quality of life, while the non-class exercisers only showed an increase in quality of life. The non-exercise group didn’t show a significant change in any of the four measurements.

While, yeah, group exercise had the added benefit of reducing stress, it’s important to note that all the exercisers experienced a quality-of-life boost. (Not surprising, considering exercise comes with all of these mental health benefits.)

“The most important thing is to exercise in general,” says Mark D. Schuenke, Ph.D., associate professor of anatomy at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine and coauthor of the study. “But the social and supportive aspects of group exercise might encourage people to push themselves harder, helping them derive more benefit from exercise.” Plus, “the emotional benefit of the support experienced in a group fitness class could carry over throughout the rest of the day.” (Seriously. There are huge benefits from doing just one workout.)

It’s worth mentioning that the study participants self-selected their groups, which may have had an effect on the results. Plus, the class exercisers reported a lower quality of life at the start of the study, meaning they had more room for improvement. But that insight translates into some practical advice: If you’re having a crap day, a group exercise class might be the perfect thing to take your quality of life from bleh to bangin’.

So next time you’re tempted to go schlep away on the elliptical or lift weights totally solo, consider signing up for that boxing class instead. And don’t feel too guilty about that $35/class charge—there’s research backing you up, after all!

Find a class here in our Winter 2018 timetable:

Article sourced here:

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Low Carb Gnocchi

June 7, 2018


Coffs Coast Health Club eNews – June 2018

June 3, 2018


















Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Butter Chicken

May 30, 2018

Everyone’s favourite Indian food has a lot of ingredients, but they’re mostly spices to give depth of flavour so don’t be deterred. Serves 6 


1 Tbsp coconut oil
2 medium onions, finely diced
3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp grated ginger
1 Tbsp mild curry powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
750 g chicken thighs
2 (400g) cans diced tomatoes
1 cup cream
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp garam masala
1/2 cup Greek yoghurt
1 Tbsp sugar substitute


  1. Heat the oil in a large fry pan, add onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent. Add the ginger, curry powder, cumin and coriander and cook for 1 min, stirring constantly.
  2. Cut the tenderloins in half and stir them into the onion mixture over moderate heat until well coated. Place the contents of the pan into a slow cooker or crock pot, then stir in the tomatoes, evaporated milk, tomato paste and garam masala. Cover and cook on low for 6 – 8 hours.
  3. Stir in the yoghurt and sugar substitute and cook on low for 15 minutes (any longer and the yoghurt may separate).
  4. Serve with rice (if on plan) and steamed vegetables, or a tomato and cucumber salad.
  5. Note: Sauce may be thickened by mixing 1 Tbsp cornflour with a little cold water to make a paste, then adding some of the sauce to the paste and mixing well. This can then be added to the Butter Chicken along with the tomato paste but before the garam masala.

Self-Care & Success Go Hand-In-Hand

May 20, 2018

While most hardworking, ambitious people logically know that taking care of themselves is likely correlated with greater success, life gets busy. And when that happens, self-care practices can easily fall by the wayside, and suddenly habits like getting enough sleep, meditating, and eating nourishing meals just don’t seem that important.

But a new study conducted by Porch points to exactly how important self-care is: The study found that highly successful people are more likely to go to sleep early, limit TV and internet time before bed, take vitamins, eat a healthy breakfast, and meal prep. So why aren’t more people practicing self-care, and how can you squeeze it in when it feels like the last thing you have time for? Here’s what the experts have to say.

When self-care becomes a challenge.

Whether you’re working to build a career or you’re busy with kids and other obligations, Alison Stone, LCSW explains that self-care often becomes challenging to maintain when you don’t know which practices actually work for you. “What I see most of the time in my practice is not necessarily that people don’t have time for self-care but that they aren’t clued in to which practices work best for them,” she explains. “There is a lot of advice out there about what you ‘should’ do, which makes us skip over the process of identifying the nitty-gritty details of which practices make us tick.”

Neurologist Ilene Ruhoy adds that we all have enough time for self-care; we simply have to acknowledge it. “We can choose healthier foods to eat. We can drink water and stay hydrated even on the go,” she explains. “We can wake half an hour earlier each morning to run, walk, hike, and clear our minds. We can schedule into our day an infrared sauna or an energy healing session. We can decide on rules of when to shut the work down—8 p.m.? 9 p.m.? Time is in your control.”

Taking action on taking care of yourself.

Stone notes that most people intuitively know what they have to do; they just don’t have a plan in place that can help them accomplish it. She uses sleep as an example, noting that most people know how important it is to get enough sleep, but they don’t know how to go about it, especially when they’re incredibly busy. “The idea is to focus less on ‘getting enough sleep’ and more on what nightly rituals work best for me that ensure I get the right amount of sleep for my body,” she explains. “When you’re doing the version of self-care that works best for you, you’re more likely to maintain the behavior because it will feel natural and authentic.”

The biggest self-care payoffs.

Of course, even when it comes to self-care, it’s impossible to do it all. So if you’re working to prioritize certain practices, which ones should you aim for? Stone suggests starting by finding a small action that can be transformed into a habit. “A lot of people get stuck in all-or-nothing thinking, believing that if they can’t spend an hour doing something, then there’s no point in doing it at all,” she says. “In reality, you can do a lot in five minutes—you can do a guided meditation, a calming breathing sequence, a few restorative yoga poses. Find a few things that work for you and condense them into smaller nuggets. No matter how busy your schedule, the payoff is well worth it.”

Ruhoy adds that finding small pockets of time for restorative morning and evening rituals can yield big results when it comes to happiness and success. “I believe the morning and evening ritual together have the largest cumulative benefits together,” she says. “A morning ritual of exercise and meditation and an evening ritual of meditation and quiet are the two bookends to a highly productive and rewarding day when done consistently.”

Article sourced here:

Two Research-Based Reasons Not to Skip Leg Day

May 6, 2018

by Ryan Halvorson on Apr 13, 2018

Making News
Two studies reveal surprising benefits from specific types of leg

.Screen Shot 2018-05-06 at 5.56.59 pm

High-Volume Lower-Body Workouts Contribute To Upper-Body Strength

Can lower-body resistance training produce improvements in upper-body maximal strength? That was the question posed in a study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (2018; 32 [1], 13–18).

To explore that question, researchers recruited 20 resistance-trained men to participate in either high-intensity resistance training for both upper and lower body or mixed resistance training (high volume for lower body, high intensity for upper body). The first group completed 4–5 reps of upper- and lower-body exercises at 88%–90% of 1-RM. The second group did 10–12 reps of lower-body exercises at 65%–70% of 1-RM and performed a high-intensity program for the upper body. Primary measures were upper-body maximal strength and power output.

Subjects in the mixed-protocol group developed significantly greater bench press strength and power production than the high-intensity-only group.

Study authors concluded: “Results indicated that training programs focused on lower-body muscle hypertrophy and maximal strength for upper body can stimulate greater strength and power gains in the upper body compared with high-intensity resistance training programs for both the upper and lower body.”

Lower-Body Strength Helps Back Pain In Runners

Runners who experience back pain may want to add squats and lunges to their weekly routine, say researchers from Singapore.

A recently published study compared three treatment types to determine which was most successful in helping runners with chronic lower-back pain to experience relief. The study included 84 recreational runners who completed 8 weeks of lower-limb training, lumbar extensor exercises or lumbar stabilization exercises. Participants reported their pain levels and underwent tests on running ability, lower-leg strength, back muscle function and running gait at several points during and after the study.

Here are some of the discoveries made by the research team:

  • All groups experienced improvements in lower-back pain and back muscle function.
  • Knee extensor strength was superior in the leg protocol compared with the other two.
  • Running step length was greater in the leg strength group than in the lumbar stabilization group.

“Lower-limb exercise therapy could be a new option for chronic low-back pain management given its superior effects in improving running capability, knee extension strength and running gait,” the authors concluded.

The study appeared in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. (2017; 49 [12], 2374–84).
Article sourced from: