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 two

Hi everyone,Dom Xmas hat

Hope you are all well and still managing to fit in some exercise despite the hectic month of December. Have a great weekend and enjoy those office Christmas parties! I know there are quite a few going on this weekend.

The benefits of ice baths

Having an ice water bath (a tub of 12 to 15 degrees Celsius ice water) after a training session/event/match is a common practice among many elite athletes as a way to recover faster and reduce muscle pain and soreness after intense training sessions or competitions. From elite runners such as Paula Radcliffe to nearly all professional rugby players, the ice bath is a standard practice routine. What is the theory and does it work?

The theory behind ice baths is related to the fact that intense exercise causes microtrauma (tiny tears in muscle fibers). This muscle damage not only stimulates muscle cell activity and helps repair the damage and strengthen the muscles (muscle hypertrophy), but it is also linked with delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS) which occurs between 24 and 72 hours after exercise. The ice bath is thought to....

* Constrict blood vessels and flush waste products such as lactic acid out of the affected tissues

* Decrease metabolic activity and slow down physiological processes

* Reduce swelling and tissue breakdown

Then with rewarming, the increased blood flow speeds circulation and in turn improves the healing process. Although there is no current protocol regarding the ideal time and temperature for cold immersion routines, most athletes or trainers who use them recommend a water temperature between 12 to 15 degrees Celsius and immersion times of 5 to 10 and sometimes up to 20 minutes.

Whilst this is the theory behind cold water immersion for exercise recovery, conclusive research about the pros, cons and ideal time and temperatures is still a way off. However, from my own personal experience when playing professional squash, I know that the times I had ice baths after a particularly hard match, certainly paid dividends the day after for my next match. There was no stiffness and I was able to move with ease. The trick is to have the bath as soon as possible after exercise and something to completely distract you from the temperature of the water!


Weight loss

Green tea may help to keep weight off. Nutritionists at Penn State University found that a compound in green tea (EGCG) reduced fat absorption and prevented weight gain in obese mice.


Nutrition tip

Government guidelines suggest we consume 18g to 24g daily to promote digestive health and help prevent colon and bowel cancer. A bowl of high fibre cereal such as bran flakes contains 4g of fibre, an apple 1.8g and a baked potato with the skin on 7.7g.



In order to burn off the calories in a mince pie, you need to run on average for 26 minutes.


Quote of the week

"One of the ways to reach your goals, is to practice and self control. Don't look for a quick fix, take the time, there are no tricks."

Adrian M Williams


Interesting fact

Only 28% of women in this country meet the government's recommendation of 150 minutes of activity per week.


Challenge of the week

Winners of this week's wall sit challenge are,

Male winner : Tim Bowen with 3 minutes 10 seconds

Male runner up : James Sayers with 2 minutes 5 seconds

Female winner : Alex Sayers with 5 minutes 15 seconds

Female runner ups : Julia Bowen and Sophie Kirkwood-Jones both with 3 minutes 30 seconds

WELL DONE to all participants!

Next challenge is to hold a right side plank for as long as possible. Winners and runners up published in next week's newsletter. Below is a rating of times,

30 seconds : AVERAGE

60 seconds : GOOD

90 seconds : VERY GOOD

120 seconds : ELITE

If any other readers would like to join in with these challenges, please post your times in the comments section below.


Star client of the weekJulia

This week's star client goes to Julia Bowen who reached her weight loss target on Monday. Julia has shown great discipline since our first session on 5th October 2011 and this week's quote sums up her approach perfectly! Well done Julia!