Category Archives: Bodycare Health

Surviving the Christmas Party Season….

During the festive season we all want to have a good time but that doesn’t mean going completely wild and losing track of what is truly important to you throughout the rest of the year…being fit and healthy and happy with yourself.

With this in mind we recommend the 80:20 rule – staying n the straight and narrow 80% of the time and 20% available for treats should you wish to have a little splurge – after all, it’s what we do most of the time that’s important.

Here are our top tips for Surviving the Festive Season….

* Everything starts with breakfast….no matter what the day holds in store, breakfast is as important on a “big night out” day as it always is.  Have some porridge, probiotic yogurt, berries, whole grain toast or eggs.  It will also help your body recover after the night before.

* Stay hydrated- it’s crucial to stay hydrated – especially if you are drinking alcohol – aim to drink 6-8 glasses of water throughout the day plus a glass of water for every unit of alcohol  during the evening.  Make sure to drink plenty of water the next day too.

* Sensible snacking – if you want to avoid over eating when you’re out make sure you have a healthy snack before you go – something protein rich is ideal, like natural yogurt or peanut butter on toast.

* Back away from the buffet – it’s all too easy to over eat in a buffet scenario – make sure you have at least half you plate filled with vegetables and salad and the remainder with lean meats and proteins.  Avoid deep fried objects, cheese and pastry and make sure you don’t need to balance anything – if you do your plate is telling you something!  Don’t overload.  Also avoid picking at things as you travel along the buffet and don’t go back for seconds!!!

* No more hangovers –   Don’t be tempted to skip meals so you can stockpile calories for drinking. Alcohol only supplies empty calories, so avoiding proper meals to compensate for a booze splurge means you’re losing out on valuable nutrients, just when your body needs them to help it detoxify.  Stick to one type of drink and make it a lighter-coloured one because they tend to be lower in the chemical by-products that can worsen a hangover.  Aim to have no more than one alcoholic drink an hour, alternated with juice, water or soft drinks – perfect if you don’t like holding an empty glass.

*What to eat the morning after - one of the best ‘morning after’ breakfast is a frittata or omelette packed with veg.   We love mushrooms for their energising B vitamins, tomatoes for vitamin C and onions for their liver-friendly sulphur compounds, add a generous handful of spinach because it’s a great source of folate which helps your body repair DNA. Eggs are an excellent choice for the morning after because they provide choline, a nutrient that supports the liver. Add a sprinkle of cayenne pepper or a chopped chilli to boost circulation and rev up your recovery. If you can’t face a cooked breakfast then have a smoothie made with fruits like bananas, oranges or kiwi – these are rich in potassium which helps replenish the electrolytes lost due to the diuretic effects of alcohol.

* Get back on track – even after overindulging don’t carry on in self destruct mode – remember the 80:20 rule!!


We are at the ready to kick start your year and get you straight back into your fit and healthy lifestyle!


Merry Christmas – remember that 80:20 rule!


The Bodycare Team

Bodycare, Benfleet, 01268 758181

7 Health Benefits of Ginger

Ginger, a perfect health boost!  Has amazing health benefits, nothing but good to be Sid about this power house…taste great, versatile and virtually no calories!

1) combating nausea and vomiting.

2) It reduces pain and inflammation, making it valuable in managing arthritis, headaches, and menstrual cramps.

3) It has a warming effect and stimulates circulation.
4) It inhibits rhinovirus, which can cause the common cold.
5) It inhibits such bacteria as Salmonella, which cause diarrhea, and protozoa, such as Trichomonas.
6) In the intestinal tract, it reduces gas and painful spasms.
7) It may prevent stomach ulcers caused by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen.

You can take ginger in whatever form appeals to you.

01268 758181

Can exercise help fight prostrate cancer?

Study leader Dr Liam Bourke said: “It’s early days yet, but the data that we do have suggests that exercise may actually be beneficial in terms of helping regulate the way that cancer cells grow and repair DNA.
“It builds on what we already know and is the first step towards finding out whether exercise could be an effective and practical NHS treatment for localised prostate cancer.”
Prof Malcolm Mason, of Cancer Research, UK said: “Taking exercise is good for all of us, whether or not we have cancer – but this interesting study could help discover whether it’s particularly helpful and a viable, additional treatment for some prostate cancer patients.”

The lowdown on sugar and insulin

Read this article and it really makes it easy to understand how sugar affects our bodies, thought we would share with you….

“So what is it about sugar that’s so bad?
Sugar is a fast energy releasing carbohydrate, whenever we eat carbohydrates blood sugar levels rise triggering the release of insulin from the pancreas to remove sugar from the blood stream and deliver it to:
* working muscles for immediate fuel, should we be exercising; or
* replenish muscle and liver cells if they have been depleted through hard exercise; or if they are full, into:
* fat cells

Since a lot of people are sedentary and consume too much sugar and too many carbs in general, a large proportion of carb intake has nowhere to go other than into fat stores. Through repeated exposure to raised blood sugar levels our insulin levels are repeatedly too high – as a result we become “insulin resistant” which causes our pancreas to produce ever increasing amounts of insulin to keep blood sugar levels stable. Higher levels of insulin leads to more fat being stored.

How do you know if you are insulin resistant? Simple, no need for tests. You are insulin resistant if you are carrying excess weight.

Unless you address your food and lifestyle choices it could only be a matter of time before your pancreas becomes exhausted and stops being able to produce the insulin needed to metabolise carbohydrates. This is diabetes.
Insulin resistance doesn’t just increase body fat and the risk of diabetes, it impacts every cell in the body increasing your risk of cancer, thyroid problems and heart disease.

Keep your insulin levels low by avoiding spikes in your blood sugar by:
1) exercising 3-4 times per week, including strength and interval training
2) getting plenty of sleep
3) eating fewer carbs
4) eating slow digesting foods
5) leaving gaps between eating – 12 hours from breakfast to your evening meal, 4 hours between meals.”

Food for thought……


The Bodycare Team

01268 758181

article originally from Health & Beauty magazine, by Bo Tyler.

8 Reasons You Have No Energy….

We read an article recently that we’d like to share with you…. “Stuck in a midday slump?  Change these habits right now for an instant energy boost….

1) You’re eating too much sugar….sweets, chocolates, biscuits are the obvious culprits but beware of the high concentration of sugar (refined carbohydrate) in white bread, pasta, rice & cereal.  This type of sugar is digested too quickly by the body, leading to a dip in blood sugar leaving you feeling fatigued.  Go for long lasting complex carbs – wholegrains!

2) You aren’t exercsing enough…it may seem counterintuitive but adding a workout to your daily routine will actulaly boost energy levels and also improve sleep quality leading to a more refreshed feeling.

3) You’re skipping breakfast…It is important to give your body good fuel to start the day after fasting for so long overnight.  You’re literally running on empty if you don’t – you’ll be famished by lunchtime and much more likely to chose unhealthy choices which will then cause that awful mid afternoon slump.  Combine healthy carbs – fruit & veggies and whole grains with protein – the carbs give you na initial boost and the protein will help keep you fuller for longer.

4) You’re sitting too much – stand up, get your blood flowing and get more oxygen flowing to your brain, which will increase alertness.

5) You’re drinking too much caffine…cafine is a stimulant that will give you an instant jolt but often leave you crashing later.  Too much in the afternoon and it may also affect your sleep quality.

6) You’re dehydrated…even mild dehydration will affect your mood, concentration and energy levels.  Drink plnety of water, at least one glass per hour and more if its really hot or your doing strenuous exercise.

7) You have poor posture…A study found that slouched walking decreased energy levels whilst exacerbating symptoms of depression.  Sit up straight!!

8) You’re not snacking smart…stay away from the vending machine – the chances of you choosing sensible options is pretty slim!  A combo of protein and complex carbs is ideal – think wholegrain toast with peanut butter, trail mix, veggies and hummus…


Simple changes that could really make a difference!

Bodycare Personal Fitness Club, Benfleet, 01268 758181

Article sourced from Everyday Health by Brianna Steinhilber

5 ways to sleep better tonight zzzzzz!

We’ve all been there. You snuggle down under the covers and wait for sleep — and wait and wait and wait. Sleep disorders can reduce your productivity and raise your risk of illness. If counting sheep just isn’t cutting it, use our five simple steps to get more rest.

Nibble These Before Napping
Avoid large meals before bedtime, but if you’re constantly up late at night, snack on cherries to help you sleep better, they contain phytochemicals like melatonin, which is a known sleep aid that your body secretes at night to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. For insomniacs who need a melatonin boost, doctors can prescribe the chemical in pill form, but you can also find it in foods like tomatoes, olives, barley, rice and walnuts. Milk is also naturally high in melatonin, possibly to help give mothers a respite from fussy babies.

Soothing sounds
Listening to music before bed can help you fall asleep, music is a beneficial (and non-pharmalogical!) method of improving your ability to fall asleep and the quality of your shuteye. Next time you’re having trouble getting some zzzs, turn on some soothing music and let the calming beats lull you into dreamland.

Sniff Lavender
A little lavender oil on your pillow before bed could help you fall asleep. Research suggests, though doesn’t prove, that aromatic wafts of lavender offer relief for insomniacs. The scent of chamomile and ylang-ylang, a plant native to the Philippines, may also induce sleepiness.

Turn Down the Temp
When you go to bed for the night, check your room temperature. People generally sleep better when it’s cool. For normal sleepers, the drop in core temperature is marked by an increase in temperature in the hands and feet, as the blood vessels dilate and the body radiates heat. So turn down the thermostat to save time falling asleep — and save money on your electricity bill!

Curl Your Toes
Curling (and uncurling) your toes while lying in bed can help you fall asleep faster. The repetitive movement helps some relax. The exercise also works with other muscle groups like your legs, abdomen and arms. Give it a try next time you’re ready for bed!

Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite!

Jo, Nicola & The Bodycare Team

01268 758181

Information sourced from Everyday Health
By Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato, Everyday Health Staff Writer

Energy drinks and your heart….

Read this article today regarding energy drinks and thought you might find it interesting….we’ve always known they’re pretty bad for you and here’s why…..

Highly caffeinated energy drinks and energy shots may enhance sports performance or keep you alert and attentive. However, hidden in their promise is the risk of getting too much caffeine — and that can endanger your heart. Drinks like Red Bull, Monster, and Rockstar, or shots like 5-Hour Energy, are not the same as sports drinks or coffee. Energy drinks and energy shots contain up to 500 milligrams (mgs) of caffeine per can or bottle compared with 100 mgs in a typical cup of coffee, or about 50 mgs in a 12 oz. caffeinated soda. As the number of energy drink-related emergency room visits is spiking — from about 1,500 in 2005 to over 20,000 cases in 2011. Though energy drinks are popular with young people, the largest increase in emergencies was for people over 40.

Energy Drinks Pump Up Blood Pressure and Heart Rate
The caffeine in energy drinks doesn’t just pump up your nervous system. It also gives your heart a kick by raising blood pressure and heart rate, which is risky for people with heart disease. People with heart conditions should absolutely avoid all energy drinks and energy shots. Also, the taurine in energy drinks may overload the heart with calcium, which can cause irregular heartbeat, cardiac arrest, and sudden cardiac death.

Energy Drinks Plus Alcohol: Heart Failure Triggers
The trend of adding energy drinks or shots to alcohol increases the risks of both. The energy drinks raise blood pressure and heart rate but also intensify alcohol’s effects. Drinking alcohol causes your body to lose water and raises the risk for dehydration. Like caffeine, alcohol also works as a diuretic and can increase volume and electrolyte loss. Many deaths each year are as a result of excessive alcohol consumption – these deaths are most often from binge drinking, which for women is four or more drinks in one session and for men, five or more.

Sports Drinks: A Better Alternative
Sports drinks like Gatorade, Powerade, and Vitamin Water — which don’t contain caffeine — can replace the sodium, potassium and magnesium salts lost during a good workout. Because of this, sports drinks are essentially the opposite of the energy drinks and energy shots that contain high levels of caffeine. Bunch explained that, like sweating, caffeine works as a diuretic to increase urination and fluid loss, which lowers the levels of sodium, potassium, and magnesium in the blood. Yet the normal heart needs these elements, because it creates electricity by moving sodium, potassium, and calcium in and out of cells. “When levels of these electrolytes fall, then the heart is more vulnerable to development of abnormal heart rhythms,” Bunch explained. One of the downsides to sports drinks is that they are packed with added sugar.

By Jennifer J. Brown, PhD, Everyday Health Staff Writer

Obesity and cancer

Being overweight and obese puts people at greater risk of developing 10 of the most common cancers, according to research in the Lancet medical journal.

They found each 13-16kg (2-2.5 stone) of extra weight an average adult gained was linked firmly and linearly to a greater risk of six cancers.

How big this risk was varied depending on tumour type.

Cancer of the uterus had the highest increased risk
leukaemia had the lowest rise in risk.

People who had a high BMI were also more likely to develop cancer of the liver, colon, ovaries, and post-menopausal brea cancer.


Scientists calculated individuals carrying this extra weight could contribute to more than 12,000 cases of cancer in the UK population every year.

Tom Stansfeld, at Cancer Research UK, said: “Although the relationship between cancer and obesity is complex, it is clear carrying excess weight increases your risk of developing cancer.

“Keeping a healthy weight reduces cancer risk and the best way to do this is through eating a healthy, balanced diet and exercising regularly.”

(Sourced from the BBC).

Need to get in shape?  Call us today, we can help YOU!

Bodycare Personal Fitness Club….01268 758181