Running – A Physiotherapy Perspective – by Andre Le Leu

Personally, there is no better feeling then when I hit my ‘second wind’, I find myself drifting into a day dream, my breathing has finally steadied, and my legs seems to work without me thinking about it.  I feel free to glide through the rest of my run without that sense of pain or fatigue, then there is the euphoria which brings me back to running time after time.  The science, behind the ‘second wind phenomena’ comes when the body releases a large about of endorphins into the system in response to stress.  Endorphins are our bodies natural morphine supply, and yes we all crave them.  You can stimulate endorphin release in a number of ways such eating chocolate, taking a hot bath, or laughing with friends.  The ‘second wind’ phenomena however, gives you that double bonus of feeling great and pushing the body to work off that extra latte.


Here are some basic tips to optimise your running experience and hopefully reduce the risk of some of the more common injuries. The first bit is to target the calf complex and yes there are two muscles involved here, the soleus which helps us to balance and stand up all day and the gastrocnemius that helps us to sprint or jump.  A quick test to check the length of the calf muscle is to try a knee to wall test.


There should be no more than ½ an inch difference between the two legs. If there is a big difference then you need to work at stretching out the tight side, otherwise your stride may become uneven. 


Next for the hamstrings, these are a really important muscle group as they help us to stop quickly as well as improving rotational control of the knee.  A progressive strengthening program in the ‘off season’ has become the main-stay of most professional sports, so it must be useful for all of us to take time to train them up!


The final muscle group is the gluteus maximus (bum), this is the power house of the body and is critical to our ‘core stability’ and limb alignment. Not only does the glut stabilise the hip and spine but is also absorbs the impact energy from the feet hitting the pavement.  A quick test to check the balance and strength of the gluteus maximus is to perform a single leg hip thrust.  The effort and co-ordination of the movement should be the same on both legs, if one side is more difficult than the other then you can use this movement as a training exercise or seek professional advice.


By Andre Le Leu – Physiotherapist


Why your ‘regular’ is essential for your running schedule – by Hannah Richards

All about you: Digestion and your Running Routine


The gastrointestinal system is a long and winding road housed between the mouth and the anus and when ill health arises, the gut is the first place I look for answers. Chemical reactions take place here to break down the food you eat and liquid you drink into smaller particles to be absorbed into the bloodstream to be used as energy by you.

A lot of people do not know what their bowels look like, or how often they go and this is essential to know for your overall health.

I use two charts in my clinic: the Bristol Stool Chart and the other from Paul Chek’s book Eat, Move and Be Healthy, which gives names and faces to all the potential states of the bowel and consistency of stools in outfits, with appropriate names. It is called the Poopy Policeman line up. A lot can be told from your bowels, so get brave and have a look and then ask yourself the following questions.

• When is your first bowel movement of the day?
• How many BM do you have / day?
• Have your BM changed in the last year?
• Does the consistency change on a daily basis?
• Do you ever see blood or mucus in your stool?
• Do you have haemorrhoids ?
• Do you have an urgency to go immediately after food?

When you eat too close to running you may find that you start to feel uncomfortable, almost nauseous. You may also feel and hear your digestive tract making noises when you are running. These noises are called borborygmus, a rumbling or gurgling sound caused by the movement of gas in the intestines. When your body has food to digest, the running motion nudges your digestive tract, making it harder to control the course your food wants to take and the longer you run for then longer digestion take a back seat. Your digestive system also requires blood to digest and if you have eaten too close to your run the blood is diverted to the muscles in your body leaving you feeling uncomfortable and in need of the toilet! As well as this there’s also an increase in those gastric hormones that help things move along. In general, the harder you run, the more these effects are amplified. Anything from a little gas and cramping on up to nausea and diarrhea can result.

To make sure these uncomfortable and potentially embarrassing moments do not happen make sure you are hydrated. Dehydration leads to even less blood flow to the digestive tract, slowing your body’s ability to empty and absorb what you put in your stomach. As a result, constipation can develop, making it more difficult to empty your bowels before heading out for a run.

Tips to avoid potential triggers for Gastro Intestinal Distress:

• Stay hydrated – do not drink a litre of water just before you run
• Make sure you keep a tight schedule of the time you eat and the time you run
• Stay clear of any intolerance in foods such as lactose intolerance as these can be exacerbated by running
• Avoid emotional triggers such as excitement, nervousness or stress

How to avoid the runs on the run:

• Test all the drinks, gels and snacks 2-3 time before race day
• Surround yourself in a place of calm and leave negativity behind you
• Test all your kit
• Make sure your sleep the night before is rested
Hannah is available for Consultations in Highgate at The Holistic Highgate Clinic on Mondays.

For a Gastro Health M.O.T quote AAY for a 15% discount on your initial appointment.

By Hannah Richards

Top Ten Habits of Healthy People

We’re on the countdown to the Christmas Party season. Somehow 2015 is nearly over, how has it been for you? If your goal at the start of the year was to achieve some amazing fitness goals, feel really good about yourself and look great naked let me explain how.


It’s easy to get lost in the various fad diets that appear on the market and confused by the latest fitness trends. The truth is that most diets DON’T work and most fitness programmes WILL work if they are just followed consistently.


The real key to achieving your goals is to create really good habits that can allow you to consistently perform at your best. Don’t be like everyone else and make some empty promises to yourself on 1st January, start getting into great habits now!


Here are ten great habits of healthy people…


1. Exercise
If we all moved a bit more then we’d all feel a lot better about ourselves! Don’t focus on the end goal, just start off with creating a routine. If you decide you’re going to run a marathon this year but the thought of getting started fills you with dread you’re probably going to give up on your goal quite quickly.

In an ideal world I would advise that you try to move in some way every day, but try this as a goal for this year…

I recommend that you aim for 150 workouts in 2015. Get to the gym or put on your running shoes three times EVERY week for the whole year and I guarantee you will be looking and feeling so much better in 12 months’ time!


2. Make a plan

Failing to plan is planning to fail!

Nothing happens until we decide it’s going to happen and if you make a commitment with yourself then you need to get in the habit of fulfilling that commitment each week.

Don’t see it as a chore. If you have a meeting with your boss at 9am every Monday morning then you know you have to show up. Make the appointments with yourself even more of a priority!


3. Get some sleep.

Sleep is vital to a healthy lifestyle. You can survive on four hours sleep per night but your body won’t thank you for it. Create an environment that will allow you to switch off: No television, no mobile phones, keeps the room dark and at a comfortable temperature and most importantly invest in a great bed, you spend a third of our life there, look forward to getting in it! In just a few weeks’ time you will be one of those really annoying bouncy early morning people! 😉


4. Meditate.
The thought of switching off from the outside world and switching in to you is one that scares most people. Just find a quiet place to relax and switch off your mind and focus on taking deep breaths for 5-10 minutes and it will allow you to switch from a re-active state to very proactive and in control person.


5. Listen to music.

Listening to your favourite artist or to a song that takes you to your “happy place” can really put a smile on your face, be an amazing stress reliever and also a great way to get you “in the zone” for your training sessions.


6. Get up early.

Make an appointment with yourself every morning. Don’t press the snooze button, get up, have a pint of water, have a high protein breakfast, go for a walk, take five minutes to plan a great day and head off to work with plenty of time to spare. I guarantee you will have an amazing day! Now imagine what you could achieve if you did this every day?!


7. Avoid alcohol.
After a stressful day the perfect way for most people to unwind is with a nice glass of wine, right? The odd glass now and then won’t do too much harm but binge drinking and a dependency on alcohol is a recipe for disaster. Love life, have fun, just don’t be dependent on anything to make you happy!


8. Laugh more.
Don’t take life too seriously, laughter really is the best medicine to unwind, de-stress and have fun. The therapeutic effects of a good giggle can decrease your stress hormones, increase your “feel good” endorphin levels and allow you to release your frustrations and boost your self-esteem. So dig out that comedy DVD or give your funniest friend a call.


9. Have sex!
There are many benefits to a good sex life. Having fun and really being in the moment with your other half is an incredible way to unwind. People who have a great sex life are happier and less stressed!


10. Act like a kid
Life was much less complicated when we were kids and sometimes we forget that just because we’ve grown up doesn’t mean we can’t still act like a kid! Work, relationships and even your training sessions can become tedious and dull quite easily. Make these things more fun, playful and enjoyable and you’ll get so much more from each of them!

Does Weight Training Make Women Bulky?

There are numerous myths and scare stories around the issue of female resistance training that cause most women to stay well away from the weights room in the gym through the fear of growing bulky muscles.


This simply won’t happen!


The truth is that women don’t have enough of the hormones in their body that allow for increased muscle mass. In fact they actually have 10 to 30 times less amounts of testosterone and human growth hormone than males.


In fact most male weight trainers will tell you that simply lifting weights isn’t going to guarantee instant muscle gain. It takes serious dedication, a precise and appropriate weight training programme, a strict and scientifically engineered diet complete with dietary supplementation and for a number of guys, chemical enhancement to see these results!


Muscle mass just won’t suddenly appear because you dare to lift weights. Unfortunately many women believe this myth and therefore miss out on all of the benefits that strength training offers.


Weight training is incredibly beneficial to women and my team of trainers and I incorporate some form of strength training element into all of our female client’s programmes. The down side is that YES, it may mean that your overall weight may go up but as I always say to my clients “is the number on those scales really important if you look and feel so much better?”


The bottom line is that muscle tissue weights more than fat. Therefore, as you increase your muscle tissue, your “weight” will increase.


However, here’s the good bit, Muscle is thermogenic which means that by having more of it this will increase your resting metabolism. The denser your muscle tissue, the more calories you will burn even at a complete rest. Those with dense muscles burn more calories by just engaging in their regular daily activities. In fact, research shows that for each pound of muscle earned, you will expend 35 to 50 more calories per day.


So, if you gain three pounds of muscle, you will burn 40 more calories per pound, which equates to 120 additional calories per day, which translates into 3,600 additional calories per month and ultimately results in a weight loss of 10 to 12 pounds in a single year.


Weight training is also an incredibly powerful weapon against osteoporosis, a disease characterised by low bone mass, leading to an increased susceptibility to fractures of the wrists, hips, and spine. About 3 million people in the UK have osteoporosis and every year more than 230,000 fractures occur because of it. In fact, statistics show that one in two women over the age of 50 will suffer from an osteoporosis-related fracture during their lifetime.


So maybe the question should be can we really live healthily without weight training?


For more information check out this link.

The Great Calorie Debate

You want to lose weight?


Just cut your calories right?


Or burn a few more in the gym??


This started off as a simple conversation in the studio earlier this week and soon turned in to a pretty heated debate! So we thought we’d share our view on why all calories aren’t created equally and how your body is just too smart to fall for this simple trick!…




In theory the calories in vs calories out debate works but the reality is your body is far too intelligent for this to work as a long term weight loss solution and there are a number of considerations you need to be aware of as to why following this simple equation won’t get you the results you desire.


The truth is your body is an amazing control centre that is monitoring and regulating constantly therefore the fewer calories you consume, the fewer calories your body burns.


There are around 3500 calories in a pound of fat. So if your goal is to lose 1 pound of fat per week simple maths tells us that if you simply reduce your calorie intake by 500 calories per day you’ll lose one pound of fat per week and you can just keep doing this until you hit your desired weight. Simple 




Well, NO


You’ll probably find that you lose a pound in the first week but less and less in subsequent weeks as your body adapts to this change and starts to literally run cooler to conserve the lower amount of calories you are now consuming – effectively increasing the value of each calorie!


It’s a tough job to outsmart the human body!
Here’s the even worse news…


The long term damage of this approach is that your body has now effectively lowered its Basal Metabolic rate – the amount energy expended daily at rest.

So, when you go back to your normal eating habits you easily put on the weight you’ve lost AND more!


This is the reason why most calorie restrictive diets don’t work as a long term solution and why most people go back to weight watchers time and time again.


My other problem with calorie counting is that All Calories Are Not Created Equally!
Simply put some of the things we eat are just not food! They are “food like substances!”


Real food or GOOD CALORIES, are those that supply energy to the body in an effective and efficient manner. They ensure that all of our bodily processes like hormone production, muscle growth and organ function develop and perform in the way that they should.


BAD CALORIES are those that stimulate excessive insulin levels (which is the real cause of fat storage and will be properly discussed in another blog post) they offer very little to the body except for fat accumulation and poor health.


So what do you do?


Here are a few simple tricks:


Don’t fall for marketing tricks! No matter how “Low Cal” it may be, if your body cannot use it, digest it and function optimally from consuming it your causing harm to your health and adding to that growing waist line!


Eat real food.


Our simple philosophy at All About You is that if it’s lived or come out of the ground it will benefit your body and you can pretty much eat as much as you like of these foods!


We are now offering nutrition and lifestyle consultations at the studio. If you like the sound of this and want to find out more, CONTACT US for more information.

The Art Of Chillaxing..

Meditation and the art of “chillaxing”


If you struggle to deal with Monday morning’s or Tuesday and Wednesday morning’s even then perhaps you need to learn how to switch off a bit more. Our meditation and relaxation specialist Simon Paul Frost from is holding a meditation workshop at the studio in Highgate next Wednesday 25th April and in this article he explains why we need to learn to chillax…


Ask most people if they meditate… the answer would be NO…
Ask most people if they want to feel calm, relaxed, be free from tension, anxiety and be happy about life…the answer would be YES…


Why is it then that most people don’t meditate…but desire the mind set and feelings that meditation provides?


I believe it is the old associations: after all, what does the word meditation mean to you? Orange robed monks sitting in silence for hours on end – a chilled out hippie or even an anti religious practice that is more witch craft than prayer … the list could go on!


If we feel limited by restrictions in our lives then we can lose hope – if however, we can remain calm then we enter a place of better understanding and from this objective perspective we can create any desired changes.


How often have you been in a place of regretful hind sight? Wouldn’t it be great to be in a place of productive for sight and be able to focus on the things you do want rather than waste your energy on all the things you don’t?

Times have changed but our human needs haven’t – we all love to feel calm, we all love to relax and we all would love our lives to be happy and positive…so what are you waiting for?


If you learn to meditate (like a work-out for the mind; the more you do the quicker and faster you become) not only will you be able to understand what meditation is all about you will also be able to say to this modern world that you also know how to “chillax”!


To chill = to feel calm and anxiety free.


To relax = to be tension-free and happy.


To book your place at the workshop on Wednesday 25th April 2012 Contact Us at the studio.


For more information on Simon go to:
For meditations go to: