Scorchiooooo, top tips and very important!

Contemporary Stretch
6:15 pm - 7:25 pm
December 13, 2018

Wow, I can’t remember the last time, in my adult life, we had this much unbroken sunshine (I was a young school girl when we had the much talked about great heat wave of ’76). It brings both blessings and troubles which as an adult, I can now see. As a child it meant playing on the school field, fete’s, garden parties, swimming in open water and camping holidays – oh yes and my first/only case of sunstroke!

When we have long periods of bad weather we all initially stop our regular routine and obsessively ‘go with’ the weather – sunbathing, bbq’s, ice creams bunking off work and our classes!!! Well folks the weather predictors tell us it’s here to stay for a bit so it’s time to slip, slap, slop and carry on (with some adaptations).

Hydration – us Brits are renowned for not drinking enough water.

Dehydration is one of the worst things we can do to our health, performance and appearance. Every one of our systems require us to be optimally hydrated.

Brain function – a healthy brain is soft, wet and plump and we are unable to think clearly, problem solve, balance or remember even simple things when dehydrated.

Eye sight – worsens as the eye and its associated tissues dry out.

Blood – thickens as water is drawn from the plasma to preserve the function of vital organs, this places greater strain on our heart.

Digestive and elimination systems – when dehydrated these slow, resulting in sluggish lymphatic circulation, slowing the removal of metabolic waste. The slowing of peristalsis leaves decaying food in the gut for longer periods resulting in the build up of nasty toxins and ‘gas’. Our kidney function is affected resulting in an increased risk of UTI’s and kidney, bladder and urethra problems.

Fascia – dehydrates resulting in reduced mobility, performance and comfort, poor balance and co ordination and an increased risk of injury.

We get shorter! For some of us that’s more of an issue!…but seriously our intervertebral discs lose water and height – a healthy disc needs to be wet slippery and plump. Due to the spines’ structure the front part of the disc and vertebral bodies lose more height than at the rear especially when dehydrated, this flexes our spines forward creating a less functional spine and aged appearance! Many of us sit in a forward flexed position for too long every day which creates a forward round shoulder posture and flattened lumbar spine casing back pain and injury. A dehydrated spine is less mobile and more likely to cause pain and become injured.

Our skin dries and apart from looking less youthful it becomes more vulnerable to skin problems and is less able to keep nasty bacteria, toxins/free radicals out.

Symptoms of Dehydration

  • Headache
  • Feeling sluggish/lethargic
  • Poor concentration
  • Strong smelling dark urine
  • Reduced balance and co ordination
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Get breathless more easily
  • Feeling weaker
  • Mood change

How to avoid heat stress and dehydration

Exercise in the morning or evening, not in the hottest part of the day but keep exercising. Fitter bodies can tolerate and deal with heat more effectively.

Avoid sitting/working in the sun between 11am and 4pm or when it’s very hot.

Pre-cool your self before exercise (I don’t sit in the sun at all before teaching in the evening or training – I simply start out too hot), take a shower before exercise and air dry to cool off and refresh.

Pre-cool your environment, keep curtains drawn through the day, place a bowl of iced water in front of a fan and draw cool air in from outside, and when the room is hotter than outside point the fan outwards and blow the hot air out of the window, open windows and doors to create airflow and draw cooler air from shaded and cooler parts of the house. Note that the motor on the fan creates heat so leave doors and windows open when the fan is running otherwise you will heat the room up.

Wear natural fibres and spray cool water over clothes and skin to promote the cooling effects of evaporation.

Room temperature water is best for rehydration and cool water helps us cool from the inside so consider both those needs.

When outside, long sleeves (again, natural or specialist heat control fabrics) and spritz with water regularly.

Keep face, body creams and sunscreens in the fridge. Application of cooled products will really cool you down.

Turn off non essential electrical items – even on standby they produce heat.

Wear light colours to reflect the light away from your body, ditch the black and dark blues etc.


Leave pets at home in the shade, only walk dogs early and late, before and after the hottest parts of the day.

Keep play sedentary, ie non physical, we have food search games for our pups – it stimulates them without them running about.

Use cooling neckerchief, harnesses and keep them wet. Even wetting their coats regularly or giving them access to a supervised paddling pool (dogs can take in too much water into their lungs and stomach, so avoid excessive excitement).

Put ice in their water bowls and keep checking they are full and easily accessed all day.

If it’s nice and cool for you it will be perfect for them, bring outdoor dogs in or ensure they have plenty of shade and a cool shelter.

All this advice works for cats too but ensure that they at least  have access to shade and water. My female cat Bonnie actually loves a flannel wash!

A great tip for smaller animals like rabbits is to freeze a bottle of water and place in their hutch.

Humans and pets love refrigerated watermelon and pure diluted fruit juice. Chunks of pineapple in ice cubes/lollies is lush.

My lovely building boys taking my advice re heat stress and hydration. I have made them Pro Argi 9 and e9 iced lollies and drinks. Looking after my boys!

Exercise Classes and PT

I will ensure that class content accommodates the weather whilst honouring our desire to get/stay fit n’ fabulous! I will have the fans running, over iced water with doors and windows open.Please bring plenty of water to keep hydrated, more than you usually need. Wear whatever you like to keep yourself cool! Bring cooling sprays, iced cloths or bottles of iced water to place on pulse points,

New Friday Night class

Summer Fitness Yoga, book now for this popular class!

Iced Lolly Recipe

I’m making my own rocket ice lollies with the L-Arginine supplement, Pro Argi 9, and energy boosting E9 – no naughty sugar, yet health giving and yummy. 1 sachet in about 50cl with a little over to drink.

Kiwi, Cucumber and Lemon Refresher Lolly


Small plastic beakers or shot glasses and lolly sticks, or ice lolly moulds and a freezer of course!


  • 2 large ripe kiwis
  • ½ cucumber
  • juice from ¼ lemon
  • 150mls coconut water

The cucumber and coconut water are both intensely hydrating, and have essential minerals, the kiwis and lemon juice have lots of Vitamin C for an immunity boost to keep away those summer colds.


  • Blitz together
  • Divide across moulds and freeze!
  • When frozen, run under a warm tap to easily remove from moulds

Summer Schedule

We will be emailing you with our Summer Class Schedule requests, so you can tell us which classes you would like to attend over the school holidays and early September – you can also pick up a copy at class.

Have a great week!

Luv ya,

Helen x





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These are not just any fitness classes but somewhere where you are really made feel part of a club. The stretch class has given me back flexibility that I thought I'd lost forever and the 'DYBO' class is quite simply ‘fantastic’. I hate to miss either.
Anne Wilson, Class member and Head Teacher