Dominique Lloyd-Walter (former England squash international) works as a personal trainer in and around Surrey
Dominique Lloyd-Walter (former England squash international) works as a personal trainer in and around Surrey

Newsletter number twenty three

Hi everyone,Dom Xmas hat

Please see below the final health and fitness newsletter of 2011. I wish you all a very happy Christmas and look forward to giving you more information in January 2012 (6th January).


How does the body make energy?

The human body, although extremely complex and still not fully understood, is in essence, a machine. Our bodies, like any machine, require energy to power locomotion or movement, produce force against objects, generate heat and to grow or repair tissue. This energy comes from one place, a substance known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP). For our purposes ATP is the only fuel our machine (the human body) recognises and uses. It could be compared with an unleaded car not being able to use diesel fuel.

Humans convert chemical energy (food) to mechanical (movement) or heat energy. The food we eat and certain drinks we drink will provide us with energy such as carbohydrate, fat and protein with which to rebuild our very limited stores of ATP when they have been used up. The more regular aerobic exercise we undertake the more efficient and faster we will become at breaking down our food nutrients.

ATP is composed of one adenosine molecule bound with three phosphate molecules. ATP releases it's energy when one of it's high energy bonds is broken and it is converted to adenosine diphosphate (ADP). When this high energy bond is broken down, energy is released. There is a very limited store of ATP within the muscles and this will only last for approximately 1-2 seconds. Once the limited store of ATP has been used up, our energy systems will regenerate the ADP back into ATP, for use by the cells.

We have three energy systems,

* Creatine phosphate (CP system)

* Lactate (anaerobic system)

* Aerobic (oxidative system)

At any one time, all three systems are working together to provide the body with energy:

* a golf swing would use the CP system

* squash/tennis would use predominately the lactate system

* marathon running would use predominately the aerobic system

The important difference between the systems is that one will provide little ATP but will be able to go for a long time whereas another system will provide a lot of ATP, but only for a short duration.


Weight loss

Research in recent years has shown that people who eat breakfast tend to be slimmer. Now a small study by the University of Missouri in the US involving overweight teenage girls has found a protein rich morning meal could benefit weight loss even more by reducing hunger pangs during the rest of the day. Using an MRI scan, researchers found that after eating a protein packed brekkie there was decreased activity in the brain area thought to be responsible for triggering food binges. Try the following ideas....

1.) Boiled/poached egg with granary toast

2.) Low fat yoghurt with berries and a sprinkling of chopped nuts

3.) Omlette with mushrooms

4.) Peanut butter on a wholegrain bagel and a home made banana milkshake made with skimmed milk

5.) Grilled mackerel with grilled tomatoes


Nutrition tip

For many of us, Christmas is the only time we eat turkey, which is a shame as it is incredibly healthy. Turkey is high in protein, low in fat and provides many nutrients, including several B vitamins - a 150g serving of roasted turkey breast for example, provides 60% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin B12 essential for a healthy nervous system. So dig into those leftovers!!



Beware of those salted peanuts that are on display everywhere at Christmas time. A handful of salted cashews amounts to 183 calories and 15.3g of fat. Swap these for 10 olives (31 calories and 3.3g of fat) and save yourself 152 calories and 12g of fat.


Quote of the week

 “A man’s health can be judged by which he takes two at a time – pills or stairs.”

Joan Welsh


Interesting fact

Over indulgence and eating particular foods like brassicas (such as brussel sprouts), onions and pulses can cause bloating. To prevent it this Christmas, eat little and often rather than having a huge blowout and don't rush your meals. If you suffer, keep a food diary and symptoms diary to identify trigger foods, to make it easier to avoid them. Also drink plenty of water to boost digestion.


Challenge of the week

Winners of this week's side plank challenge (on the right side) are,

Male winner : Tim Bowen with 1 minute 15 seconds

Male runner up : Matthew Bates with 30 seconds

Female winner : Jo Wallace with 1 minute 35 seconds

Female runner up : Julia Bowen with 1 minute 04 seconds  

WELL DONE to all participants!

Next challenge is to hold a left side plank for as long as possible. You have a couple of weeks to practice! Results released in next newsletter (Friday January 6th). Below is a rating of times,

30 seconds : AVERAGE

60 seconds : GOOD

90 seconds : VERY GOOD

120 seconds : ELITE

As always, all readers are welcome to post their times below should they wish to join in.


Star client of the week Jackie

This week's star client goes to Jackie Hyde who put in a great session with me this week. Jackie's running speed has really improved since we started working together. She always gives maximum effort which is another testament to 'hard work pays off'. Jackie is also now only one pound away from her weight loss target. Well done Jackie!