Good morning and happy Wednesday. I hope you are well.  With so many bad things going on in Brussels and in the world, I thought it may be good to focus on something positive.  Here is a feel good story showing the reunion of Christian the lion with his old friends! Click here to see the video. Search for Christian the Lion if you want to watch the whole documentary - it's fascinating that they kept a lion in Central London and even walked him on a lead in the park!

Food of the week

This week's 'Food of the Week' is the Kiwifruit – which is tasty with natural yoghurt as a snack, eaten on it's own with a spoon or cut up on top of muesli. 

Kiwifruit packs a lot of nutrition into a small, fuzzy package.  Each one is loaded with nutrients that can help to ward off disease, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, boost energy and help keep you healthy ... all in a fruit that's fun and flavourful!  They can get messy so you'll need a knife and a teaspoon.

Kiwifruit is one of nature's perfect foods: low in calories, high in energy and an excellent source of antioxidants.  Each one delivers a world of nutrition benefits, including:

  • Vitamin C: Each kiwifruit has nearly two-and-a-half times the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, proven to boost the immune system, ward off colds and fight the effects of stress and ageing.
  • No fat: Kiwifruit is fat-free, an important consideration in choosing a healthy diet and a rarity among foods containing so many other nutritional benefits.
  • Fibre: Two kiwifruit contain more fiber than a bowl of bran cereal, so are a tasty way to maintain heart health, regular digestion and lower cholesterol.
  • Potassium: Two kiwifruit have more potassium than a banana, ideal for maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance and for releasing energy during exercise.
  • Antioxidants: Kiwifruit is an excellent source of antioxidants, which are important in reducing your risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke.
  • Low glycemic index: Kiwifruit is a fat-free, low-carb fruit that's safe for diabetics and a great part of any weight-loss diet.
  • Magnesium: Two kiwifruit deliver 30 mg of magnesium, which improves nerve and muscle function while boosting your energy level.
  • Lutein: Kiwifruit contains the phytochemical lutein, which works to prevent age-related blindness and protect eyes from various kinds of damage.
  • Folate: With nearly 10% of the recommended daily value of folate, kiwifruit is a good way to protect the health of mother and baby during pregnancy while helping to prevent birth defects.
  • Zinc: Men will appreciate kiwifruit's zinc content, which helps produce testosterone, while everyone can enjoy its other benefits like healthy hair, skin, teeth and nails.
  • Vitamin E: Kiwifruit is one of just a handful of fat-free sources of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that helps lower cholesterol and boost immunity.

Exercise of the week

This week, I'm talking about an exercise that can really strengthen your glute (buttock) muscles. You may hear people say they had an injury and their physio told them it was due to 'weak glutes'. This is a common problem as most of us sit down a lot of the day, mean out buttock muscles get lazy!

For this exercise, minimal equipment is needed - all you need is a floor mat or a carpeted area.

  • Start on your hands and knees with your back straight, with a gentle curve in the spine.
  • Take one knee an inch off the ground.
  • Keeping your knee bent at 90 degrees, extend back from your hip so that your foot comes behind you and then upwards. This motion is called hip extension, and isolates your hamstring glutes and lower back muscles.
  • Try to straighten your leg as much as you can and squeeze you buttock at the top of the movement.  
  • Now that you've reached the peak of your glute kickback, return back to the starting position.
  • Perform 15 to 20.
  • Repeat for the other side.
  • Perform two to three sets of this exercise - this is a good exercise to do with your abdominal exercises at the end of your session.

Let me know if you have any questions at all.

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