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Let your dog lead the way

Can’t find a running buddy- Need some motivation to get out there and clock up those miles- A canine companion could be just the ticket to boosting your running game

Dog owners are 77 per cent more likely to fill their exercise quota compared to those who don’t own a pooch, according to an Australian study. But what if you don’t have the time and space for your own four-legged friend-

Volunteer to walk someone else’s dog! Jogs for Dogs has developed an amazing new concept where they match runners with pet owners whose dogs need exercise. So, if you fancy some company while you pound the pavement – and the chance to earn some extra cash – head to www.jogsfordogs.com to register. You can earn around £15 for a 30-45 minute run – and those puppy dog eyes will keep you going for miles!

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Woman and dog image courtesy of Shutterstock

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The Camp: bridal boot camp review

Location: Scotland, near Dumfries
My goal: To improve fitness levels ahead of the marathon and shape up for my wedding 

When I was sat on the train waiting to depart London Euston, I tried to remember my last experience of boot camp. I remember it being a gruelling but enjoyable experience that led me to make significant changes to my lifestyle – I no longer drink tea or coffee, and I actually enjoy running! So, put bluntly, with all my hopes and expectations, The Camp (the original boot camp) had a lot to live up to.

At a first glance I wasn’t disappointed. I was collected, along with other bootcampers from Carlisle train station and delivered to Shennanton House, an imposing mansion house which was to be our home for the next seven days. We were weighed and measured and told our fat to muscle ratio. Mine was 29.5% fat and 39.5% muscle. I was left pretty distraught to hear I am a third fat, but it was time to get moving!

During the week we’re set numerous challenges, not least to get up for a 6am workout on the lawn every day. We’re put to the test physically, emotionally and mentally. Abseiling, hill walking and mountain biking are all on the cards, plus we’re told there’s a pretty nerve-racking (and chilly) river-crossing to complete. This all takes place in the wet and wilds of the local Scottish countryside. The remoteness of Shennanton House make it the perfect location for a weight loss camp – there’s no supermarket for miles and miles!

A typical day:

6am 40-minute circuits workout on the lawn
7am breakfast: muesli with soya milk
Abseil
11am snack homemade flapjack
Hill-walking
1pm Lunch Mackerel salad
Trim trail in the grounds of Shennanton House
Breathing exercises
4pm snack mixed seeds
Compass reading and a 2km walk
7pm Dinner – duck pea and mint soup followed by duck with braised cabbage
Boxing
Swiss ball exercises
Cool down
One piece of fruit – pear
9pm Bed

Using the grounds of Shennanton House PTs Bobby and Ewan devised a circuit they affectionately called ‘The Trim Trail’. We lifted logs instead of weights, used benches to perform tricep dips, got down and dirty on the ground to do pressups and situps and doid sprints up and down the drive. Not only was this a great 20-minute workout, but it showed us how simple it is to create a workout in the local park.

The (wonderful) group of women I shared the week with were of similar fitness ability but of all ages. It’s a great advert for The Camp that four of the women were returning guests, who love and trust the approach on offer at The Camp. The PTs, all ex-military or adventure trained have a real zest for life, one which is infectious. Even though sense of humour failure set in towards the end of the week, when the rain, cold and wind took their toll, The Camp’s leader Sam remained full of enthusiasm and motivation.

At the end of the week I actually felt rested. I hadn’t once thought about work, wedding planning or marathon training. I left The Camp having lost 6 cm on my waist and two and a half pounds. I also gained an extra percentage of muscle and lost a percentage of fat. Feeling pretty chuffed with myself and with renewed vigour to hit marathon training hard, I was sad to wave goodbye to the PTs and to my new friends.

Why YOU should go to The Camp:

-       The food – though small in portions, is exquisite, fresh and homemade

-       The location – is beautiful and wild, the complete opposite of the hustle and bustle of London or city life.

-       The results – are guaranteed. You will change your body and lose inches over your whole body. Plus, you’ll continue to lose weight after The Camp because your metabolism is working faster.

Interested- Visit i www.thecamp.co.uk for more information, to check available dates and to book.

For more fitness tips and reviews, subscribe to Health & Fitness magazine. We’ll give you three issues for £1!

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Get fit with netball

Let’s face it, when motivation is low, the idea of hanging with your friends trumps a workout every time. So why not combine the two- Team sports are great tools for keeping you focused and committed to your fitness and if you make friends and get involved in the social side of the sport, you’re more likely to play regularly.

Why netball-
Sports such as hockey and football are great for getting you fit, so why does netball stand out from the crowd- ‘It hits all the right components of fitness, like endurance, speed and agility, without you even realising,’ says Sasha. ‘It’s a team sport, you’re never alone and you learn from one another. Netball’s also great for cardio, and it gives your body a pretty good workout.’

Haven’t played since school-?
Aside from all the fitness benefits, for many of us, netball also has a nostalgia factor. We all remember braving the grim British weather in unflattering gym skirts to master the basic skills in weekly PE lessons, and part of us wants to see if we can still do it!

Well, there’s good news! Back to Netball run weekly sessions all over the country for those of us keen to relive our days as speedy centres or ferocious wing attacks?and it costs as little as £3.

What do you need to wear-?
You don’t need any special kit for netball. The key thing is to wear comfortable clothing and a good pair of trainers. Here’s our pick of the best netball gear out there.

Top
A simple, lightweight T-shirt which will wick away sweat from the body is best for netball. Try the bold pink Nike running shirt. It’s super comfy, with a really flattering fit.

Skirt
Netball is traditionally played in skirts, so a ‘skapri’ is perfect. It’s a skirt with capri pants built in to keep you warm even when the weather’s misbehaving. Check out the Nike skapri?at www.newitts.com.

Sports bra
Sasha wears a Freya Active sports bra. ‘It’s so supportive. Netball is a very physical and fast-paced sport. As we are jumping, throwing and running, our bodies are put through their paces, so a sports bra really does make a difference by reducing bounce and keeping us supported and cool.’

Hair band
Keep you hair out of your face when you go for that all-important shot or grappling for the ball. Try Sweaty Betty’s cute plaited headband.

Trainers
Sasha’s favourite are Asics. ‘I like any Asics trainers, but I wear the netball specific Gel-Netburner Professional 7, which has grip and provides bounce.’?

Freya Active is the official sports bra supplier to the England Netball Squad.?

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Time to chill out

Weeks of deadlines, too many nights out and aching muscles from my new exercise regime meant I was desperate for some pamper time – and the Lifehouse Spa seemed like the perfect solution.?

Set in 12 acres of listed grounds in quiet Thorpe-Le-Soken, Essex, this peaceful retreat was the perfect antidote to my usually hectic schedule. We were picked up from the station by a courtesy minibus and driven through some of the famous grounds on our approach to the spa. The spa itself is relatively new, built on the site of the former Thorpe Hall owned by Lord and Lady Byng. But the gardens, apparently greatly admired but Queen Mary, have been restored to their former glory.

After checking in we headed straight to the pool and enjoyed dipping our toes in the various pools and rooms in the cavernous and naturally lit wet area. After we’d tried out the salt pool, sauna and steam room, we took a dip in the beautiful main pool, which revitalised us after our journey.

Then it was off to the Water Lilies restaurant for dinner, where we feasted on delicious food and a view of the lake that was good enough to eat. I highly recommend eating here, even if you’re not using the spa, but don’t book your dinner in too late in the evening, as service goes at a leisurely pace.

After a blissful night’s sleep we stumbled down to breakfast in our fluffy slippers and dressing gown – true bliss! A full English breakfast later and I was ready to face the day. First up, a quick session in the gym.

While the gym itself is quite small, it’s got everything you could possibly need for a great workout and there’s an outdoor area at the back with a huge tyre and other obstacles, which is great for adding variety. After a speedy sprints session followed by a quick circuit I felt I’d had a pretty good workout. There’s also a good range of classes on offer for guests.

My workout got me well and truly ready for a shiatsu massage – I couldn’t wait for the treatment to really shift those last knots of tension. After a quick consultation, my therapist decided to address my overall lack of energy and stress levels. He then set to work focusing on pressure points across my body. This was a long treatment lasting 95 minutes, but by the end I was completely zoned out!

Lunch served up another delicious meal – this time, salmon with a pea pur?e – before waiting out the rain with a coffee in the smart and spacious bar area. When the weather finally picked up, we dashed to reception, grabbed some complimentary wellies and set out for a stroll around the gardens.

The Lifehouse grounds are really beautiful and in many ways were the highlight of the trip: completely relaxing, peaceful and stunning to look at. As we watched a line of ducklings take their first dip in the lake, I felt completely removed from my busy lifestyle.

I was disappointed that we didn’t have the time – or the weather! – to fully explore the grounds and I’d recommend booking in for two nights, preferably in the summer, hiring one of the complimentary bikes and heading out to explore. Frinton-on-sea is an easy cycling distance, so you can enjoy the seaside, too.

Sadly, the weekend was over before we knew it. We headed back to the station – and reality – relaxed and revitalised.

Bed and breakfast from £89 per room. Call 01255 860 050 to book or visit www.lifehouse.co.uk for more information

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Find inner calm

Is your body feeling stiff- Do you have trouble falling asleep- If you want to learn how to live more comfortably in your own body and de-clutter your mind, book in for Bo Forbes’ insightful and life-enhancing workshops at Triyoga Soho on May 24-27.?

The Boston-based clinical psychologist, yoga therapist and founder of Integrative Yoga Therapeutics is running a series of workshops to help you achieve your best level of physical and mental health yet.

The in-depth learning, extensive discussion, yoga asanas and adjustments aim to soothe your mind, regulate your nervous system and enhance your immunity to forge a direct path to optimum health and vibrant living.

You can mix and match the workshops that are most relevant to you or attend them all. H&F will be there, so if you can’t attend, we’ll report back with Bo’s top tips on how to enhance your wellbeing with integrative yoga. In the meantime, here’s a taste of what’s on offer.

May 24: How yoga creates change ?
Bo reports back on the latest research on yoga and how meditation can help support physical and emotional transformation.

May 25: Meditation in motion + stillness?
A deeply therapeutic class that will work across physical, mental and emotional levels.

May 26: Yoga for insomnia?
A class that will explore mindful asana, breath work and restorative yoga to balance the nervous system, enhance immunity and facilitate deep, restorative sleep. ??

May 27: Yoga for emotional balance??
How to create a therapeutic yoga practice to ease anxiety?and depression.?

For more information, details of the other workshops or to book your place, log on to triyoga.co.uk or call 020 7483 3344.

Subscribe to Health & Fitness magazine for more yoga tips. We’ll give you three issues for £1!

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Go polo!

Polo’s Olympic career was exciting – it was actually won by Team GB at the 1908 Olympics – but short-lived, as it was abandoned at the 1948 ‘austerity’ games. ‘The last time polo was included in the Olympic game schedule was in 1936, and I would love to see it reinstated at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil,’ says former model and polo player Jodie Kidd. ‘The Olympics is a great platform to bring unknown sports like polo into the public eye.’

So does polo warrant a place at the world’s biggest sporting event- Can it compete with the likes of other popular Olympic disciplines, such as athletics and gymnastics- Does it have the spectator appeal, athletic prowess and accessibility that a true Olympic sport requires- Women’s Fitness’s Ellie Moss donned wellies and a waterproof to investigate!

Fitness first
It’s often said that in polo, 80 per cent of the skill lies with the horse. However, having spent an hour or so learning the basics I can vouch for the fact that the rider also has to have an impressive level of fitness, core stability and leg strength just to stay on – never mind the skills required to actually manoeuvre the horse and hit the ball. ‘Polo is a lot more physical than people think,’ admits Jodie.

I was completely exhausted after our short session of ground work and a quick chukka on the ponies. I was visibly sweating and my legs ached – a feeling that stayed with me for days afterwards!

‘There’s some sort of fitness that you get on the horses that you can’t seem to get elsewhere,’ agrees Eddie Kennedy, polo coach at Cool Hooves Polo. ‘You can be very fit at other athletic sports, but there’s something that really challenges your fitness here.’

And just a short session can really put certain parts of your body through their paces. ‘Core fitness is absolutely key,’ says Eddie. ‘But you also have to be supple and have a strong grip with your legs to stay on the horse. Your lower body takes a physical pounding.’ Believe me, he’s right! The game has really evolved with many players now doing full stretching sessions before they head out on the pitch and looking to Pilates and yoga to guard against injury.

Get involved
One of the most interesting aspects of polo, as with the other equestrian Olympic sports, is the fact that male and female players compete against each other, on an even footing. ‘Girls play alongside boys, so you have to be prepared to get stuck in! It’s what I love about the sport,’ says Jodie.

But surely you need a string of polo ponies and plenty of cash to be a contender- Actually, polo is also a surprisingly easy sport to get into. You don’t need to own legions of horses to play regularly, in fact you don’t even need to own one – and you also don’t need to have ridden before!

‘The sessions we offer at Cool Hooves are done at a level and a speed in keeping with your fitness and experience, but within a few weeks a complete beginner could be riding around and hitting a ball reasonably well,’ says Eddie.

At the polo clinic I attended, the award for best player went to someone who had never been on a horse before! It was deserved: he scored every goal in the chukka!

‘Learning to play is much easier than people realise,’ says Jodie. ‘There are some fantastic polo academies up and down the country, starting from around £40 a lesson. And learning the sport doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive, I know lots of beginners who pop down to their local polo clubs once or twice a month and really get into the social aspect of the sport.’

Of course, at the very highest levels it is a hugely expensive sport and most top teams will take at least 40 horses to a single match. But many polo clubs now also have associated polo schools that you can pop down to of a Saturday afternoon and play a few chukkas.

‘The great thing is that with a polo school, you don’t have to be a member of a club – which can be very expensive,’ says Eddie. ‘A lot of people who come to polo school just come once a week on a Saturday or Sunday. We’re almost a club within a club, and we bring people to quite a high level without them having to invest in horses.’ It’s an easy and relatively inexpensive way to get involved.

One for the crowd
As far as spectator appeal goes, polo is hugely popular and summer provides a series of great opportunities to watch the game. One of the best is MINT Polo in the Park, a three-day polo extravaganza with a ladies’ day, family day and a whole host of amazing entertainment. Head to www.polointheparklondon.com to book your tickets.

It seems polo may indeed have what it takes to rival its Olympic cousins. ‘Polo is such a high-octane and exhilarating game,’ says Jodie.?It’s action-packed for both players and spectators, it puts male and female athletes on an even footing, it’s a truly international game (played in the Middle East, America, Russia, Australia, India, and Argentina to name a few), and it’s a sport that its fans can actually go out and get involved in. What more could you want-

To try your hand at the game, check out www.coolhoovespolo.co.uk who ran our polo clinic, or take a look at www.hpa-polo.co.uk to find a local club or school.

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10 ways to… Boost motivation

There’s an endless list of excuses you can rely on to get you out of going to the gym – and when you can’t be bothered, absolutely any one of them will do. We help you push through with these procrastination-busting tips.

1. Try out a new class
Working out in?a group with an instructor will keep your energy up and ensure you get a good workout. There are so many classes out there, so this month promise to try out at least two.

2. Invest in a new piece of kit
If you like working out at home, some new equipment will help keep your routine fresh. The Reebok EasyTone Step (£79.99, www.reebokfitness.info) is our top pick.

3. Join a different gym
If the pool is always closed and the classes are?dull, don’t let it put you off. The facilities gyms offer vary and another centre might have something that suits you better, like a dedicated spin studio or squash courts.

4. Get outside
If the bustle of the gym has become irritating rather than motivating, head outdoors – park benches, steps and logs can all be useful fitness equipment.

5. Exercise with a friend
Sometimes the oldest advice is the best. Get a buddy on board to keep you focused and interested. Just make sure it’s someone who has similar goals to you – and doesn’t simply fancy a chat! – and will commit to all, or at least part, of the programme you have in mind. Someone who always drops out at the last minute or takes it easy when they do turn up won’t help you reach your fitness goals.

6. Refresh your music
Listening to the same old songs as you push yourself through the toughest stages of your workout can leave you feeling a little lacklustre. Ask your friends to share their favourite workout tracks and compile a selection that will get?you raring to go.

7. Try personal training
Yes it can be expensive, but if you’re struggling to reach your goals, it’s often worth it. Most personal trainers offer one free session to start with, so you can work out if it’s right for you. To find a fully qualified PT, check whether your gym offers personal training or visit the Register of Exercise Professionals (www.exerciseregister.org). There’s nothing like a bit of dedicated one-on-one attention to get your motivation back on track.

8. Head to the shops
Gym kit can wear out quickly and that sweaty, damp smell it acquires is not at all appealing! Everyone feels a bit rubbish in old, tatty gear, so spoil yourself and invest in one new piece of kit this month. That way you’ll have to go to the gym at least a few times to justify the purchase!

9. Take up a sport
Us women tend to shy away from team sports, but we’re missing out! Sports such as hockey offer a host of benefits. For starters, you’ll make friends on your team and won’t want to let them down by missing training. The competitive element is also a great motivator and non-stop action means you’ll see your fitness skyrocket. Go to www.englandhockey.co.uk or www.englandnetball.co.uk to find a session near you.

10. Walk, cycle or run to work
It’s probably something you’ve talked about doing and haven’t quite got around to yet, but it’s the perfect way to avoid procrastination. It may increase your journey time, but when you get home you’ll have already done a workout and saved yourself some cash, too.

Subscribe to Women’s Fitness magazine for more handy tips.?We’ll give you three issues for £1!?Image used courtesy of Shutterstock.?

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Matt answers your workout worries (May)

He’s trained everyone from Naomi Campbell to Samantha Cameron, now top PT Matt Roberts answers your get-fit dilemmas.

Is it true that a workout has to be longer than 35 minutes to burn fat-
The duration of your workout is not as important as the quality. The key is to work at a high intensity, where fat is used as fuel – circuit-style sessions are great for this. The intensity of the workout means your body will continue to burn calories long after your training has ended when your body goes through a complex cellular process to rebuild and strengthen. If you’re short on time, alternating between upper and lower body exercises, which encourages shorter rest periods, allows you to do more work in less time. If you’re working at a high intensity, you need less time to see results.

?I use plant-based protein shakes (hemp and pea) following training as I’m intolerant to whey. Will they give me enough protein per gram-
The protein supplement that you use should contain all of the nutritional information on the package. Within this there should be a listing for the grams of protein per serving. Ideally, you’re looking for 20-30 grams of protein per serving to give you the amount your body will require.

?I have to wear a bikini in two weeks! What are the best exercises to tone up my bottom-
Lower-body exercises such as squats, deadlifts, lunges and step-ups will focus on the quads, hamstrings and muscles in your bum. Using large muscle groups by performing these compound exercises will also encourage a larger calorie burn to help reduce body fat. If you couple this with a strict nutritional program over the next two weeks, you should make some impact.

I’ve recently begun interval training, doing strength and ab work that uses both large and small muscle groups. It seems to be working – but is it because it’s a new regime or because it’s a good way to exercise-
If this way of training is new to you then it’s possible you’re seeing results as your body hasn’t yet adapted. For a beginner, it’s important that the focus is on performing exercises with correct technique. Working both small and large muscles groups together has many benefits, but as your body starts to adapt and plateau you will need to revise your training programme. Splitting up exercises into compound and isolation work or introducing split routines where you work different body parts within different training sessions is a good way to continue to challenge the body.

Matt Roberts owns four private training clubs in London. For more information on his services, visit mattroberts.co.uk.Got a question for Matt-?Email Matt?with ‘Ask Matt’ as the subject and we’ll try to include it.

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Louise Hazel interview

As a heptathlete, what would you replace the nightmare 800m with-
The 800m is one of those events that you get so nervous about when you stand on the start line. You dread it, even during the 48 hours beforehand. I’d much rather it all be over and done with in 11.5 seconds, so swapping it for a 100m sprint would suit me.

What is your kitbag must-have-
I have to have my GHD hair straighteners. I like to wear my hair straight during competition, as it’s naturally afro, but unfortunately my hair and humidity don’t go well together.

Does confidence stem from looking good-
When you step out there, on the field or on the track, you want to feel and look your best, at least for the first event. I describe it as putting my war paint on. In the same way you would go through a routine for your warm-up, you have a routine to get ready for a competition.

Would you say training with the guys is beneficial or counter-productive-
It’s easier to do a session when there is someone there to break up the recovery time and it helps you to push one another. My training partner is currently Philips Idowu and if I’m not paying attention he tends to get a head start during our running sessions. Guys don’t like to be outshone by females and us girls are ultra-competitive anyway, so you both get the most out of sessions training together.

Any tips for the darker winter months-
There’s a real tendency to back off from training during the autumn and winter months, and diets and regimes often go out of the window. So, I make sure that every moment I’m out on the track, I’m enjoying myself. One thing I’ve always enjoyed is Boxercise, but I absolutely adore the idea of Zumba, which I haven’t yet tried. It looks so much fun.

Have you adopted any strange rituals-
It’s all about the music for me. I really have to thank Germaine Mason (Olympic silver medal-winning high jumper), who’s been staying with me: instead of paying rent, I’ve made him update my iPod with all his music. He puts some really funky tunes on there and lots of songs that make you feel upbeat and in the right frame of mind to compete and train.

Standing on the London 2012 podium, what song would you love played-
It would definitely have to be Beyonc?’s Run The World. ‘Who run the world- Girls. Who run the world- Girls.’

How do you let your hair down-
For me, downtime is all about taking time to unwind with my friends and my family and indulging in all the little things you miss when you’re training all the time. It’s a time when you can sit back and reflect on your past performances and just be grateful for everything that you’ve achieved over the past few months. Then I just put those memories in the can, forget about them, move forward and think about what’s to come in the future.

Apparently you’re adept at poetry and writing, is this true-
In life, you’ve obviously got your passion, but every now and then you find something else you’re good at. I’ve only recently started writing an autobiography, but from talking with friends and family I’m coming up with lots of memories, real corkers that I thought were forgotten. I’m sharing them with my mum, which has brought us really close.

Let’s pretend you’re hosting a Team GB dinner party… who’s invited-
I’ve always wanted to attempt a beef wellington and a fruity and creamy pastry for dessert, so I’d invite Linford Christie, because he likes his food, and I’d love to entertain Perri Shakes-Drayton, she’s always amusing and a good laugh. Then finally the lovely Sophie Hitchon, British record holder in the hammer, who I’m rooming with this year.

Aviva has been supporting British athletes since 1999. Aviva’s support, both at home and abroad, is helping the team prepare to compete at their best. Visit www.aviva.co.uk/athletics or follow @AvivaAthletics on Twitter.

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Your beauty prescription

Whether you long for glossy locks or glowing skin, the real key to enhancing your appearance isn’t expensive beauty products or a jab of botox, but looking after your health. Your looks are a reflection of your body’s inner state, so a whole range of surface symptoms, from unsightly spots to sagging skin, could indicate deficiencies in the nutrition department. While there is no quick-fix cure all, looking after your body on the inside can have real beauty pay-offs on the outside. We’ve rounded up a whole host of nutrients to help you banish every beauty complaint, without a jar of cream in sight!
?
WARD OFF WRINKLES?
Beauty woe: ?Sagging skin and fine lines.
What you need: Vitamin C
The buzz: Famed for keeping colds and germs at bay, vitamin C is also the ultimate antioxidant and is involved in hundreds of processes carried out in the body. ‘This vitamin, from a beauty point of view, is essential in the manufacture of collagen. It also has mild antioxidant properties, which neutralise any harmful free radicals responsible for damaging your skin,’ says Shabir Daya, co-founder of Victoria Health and a registered pharmacist.
Pop this: ?Holland & Barrett Effervescent Vitamin C, £3.25, www.hollandandbarrett.com
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IMPROVE HAIR HEALTH
Beauty woe: Brittle locks
What you need: Silica
The buzz: The mineral silica is especially good for keeping skin soft and locks lustrous. ‘Silica, in the form of silicon, is needed for the manufacture of collagen and is also a major component of all of the connective tissues within our bodies,’ reveals Shabir. In addition to this, silica helps to support strong bones and teeth by playing a part in the metabolism of calcium within the body.
Pop this: Qsilica Colloidal Silica Capsules, £19.95, www.revital.co.uk
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BANISH WINTER SKIN
Beauty woe: Dry, flaky skin
What you need: Essential fatty acids
The buzz: The colder months are often seriously bad news for your skin. Cranking up the central heating and everyday exposure to cold air and wind can leave you with dry, scaly?skin. But help is at hand. The correct ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 can go a long way to counteracting the harsh effects of the winter months. ‘These essential fatty acids maintain lipid levels in skin, helping to alleviate dry and inflammatory skin problems,’ says Shabir.
Pop this: BioCare MicroCell Essential Fatty Acids, £10.25, www.totallynourish.com

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MINIMISE STRETCH MARKS?
Beauty woe: Unsightly stretch marks
What you need: Vitamin E
The buzz: A powerful antioxidant, vitamin E is often used to help heal scars and to delay the skin’s ageing process. It’s also added into lots of pregnancy beauty products to help minimise stretch marks as it promotes skin elasticity, and works wonderfully when applied directly to the area. However, you can also get some of the good stuff through your diet, as well as through supplements, and it’s totally worth it. ‘Vitamin E is a free radical scavenger, protecting the skin and the body’s organs against harmful molecules,’ says Shabir. Great-looking, younger skin, what more could you want-
Pop this: Vitamin E-400iu Softgels, £14.50, www.victoriahealth.com

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FIGHT UV DAMAGE?
Beauty woe: Sun-ravaged skin
What you need: Selenium
The buzz: Wearing an SPF all year round will help to combat the skin ageing that can be caused by exposure to UV rays, but eating the right foods can help too. Sun damage doesn’t occur solely during summer, but all year round. Selenium is one of the most crucial minerals for the protection of cells within our bodies, helping to counteract damaging free radicals, which are produced during UV exposure. ‘Selenium combines with glutathione to form one of the most potent free radical killers in the body called glutathione peroxidase. This helps to protect the skin from damage,’ says Shabir.
Pop this: BioCare Nutrisorb Selenium, £15.20, www.biocare.co.uk

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ZAP ZITS?
Beauty woe: Acne
What you need: Zinc
The buzz: A zinc deficiency has been linked with numerous skin concerns, especially acne. In fact, up to 20 per cent of the zinc in our bodies is present in the skin, showing how vital it is for good skin. Signs you may be suffering from a lack of zinc include white spots on your nails, a poor immune system and a lack of appetite. ‘This mineral influences protein synthesis and encourages tissue regeneration helping to heal any wounds, and clear up any skin problems,’ says Shabir.
Pop this: Solgar Zinc Citrate, £7.05,?www.solgar.co.uk
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