Griffen Fitness

  • Easy Healthy Recipe: Fasting Day Soup
  • Reading Recommendation: Get HIIT Fit
  • Article: Fitness has Gone to the Dogs
  • And Finally... Get Gung Ho!

Hello healthy people,

It’s March. How on earth did that happen? It’s been a busy start to the year, and I’m excited about my holiday to Cuba at the end of this month (25 March to 14 April), to celebrate Andy and my 10th wedding anniversary. We’ll be doing a cycle tour as well as returning to the beach we got married on. Therefore there will be no April newsletter, so read on and enjoy what this month has to bring...

Easy Healthy Recipe: Fasting Day Soup

miso easy soupI have a fast day (a day of maximum 500 calories) every few weeks, when my fitness timetable allows. Not only do I find it beneficial for health, but it 'resets' my appetite and makes food choices simple. This soup is good to warm up after a chilly dog walk, with only 56 calories but a surprisingly hearty flavour.

Japanese miso paste is a useful ingredient to keep in your fridge; made of fermented soy beans, it's packed with nutrients and makes a super-quick soup or stock. Buy GMO-free miso from the fridge section of a Chinese supermarket...

Serves 1

20g miso paste
one spring onion, finely chopped
½ carrot, grated
teaspoon dried wakame (seaweed)
fresh coriander leaves (optional)
chilli (optional)

-    Half fill a soup bowl with boiling water, add the above ingredients. Stir, cover and wait 3 minutes. Enjoy!
-    Quick, nutritious, warming.

Recommended Reading: Get HIIT Fit
'Rapid fitness: Elevate Your Fitness to New Heights in Minutes' by Zen Martinol
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is flavour of the moment. It’s neither new nor novel, however it can be very effective – if you have the level of fitness to undertake it safely. To be fit enough for HIIT, you need to already do ‘steady state’ aerobic exercise regularly.

HIIT is designed to get your heart rate up really high, and if your heart is not ‘strong’ enough (i.e. you are unfit), it is going to be neither pleasant nor useful. So, this book is an excellent reference for those who are already fit and are looking for ideas to push themselves in workouts. There are some excellent body weight exercise options that may extend your repertoire and therefore diversify muscle groups worked.

Article of the Month: Fitness has Gone to the Dogs
Coco conquers North Berwick LawOwning a dog is a great excuse to get out and about. No matter the size, dogs love a good walk and romp about in a park. Even if you have a big back garden, dogs appreciate getting out in the world, meeting other dogs and having a sniff about. Simply taking your dog for a wander is a great way to get more active. Fitness pug Coco (pictured) doesn’t necessarily need long walks, but appreciates variety.

There are lots of parks and greenspaces in Edinburgh, and it’s good to go exploring with the lengthening days.Favourite dog walking places include St Mark’s, Victoria and Inverleith parks, Cramond, shopping at dog-friendly Stockbridge (of course, with a visit to Just Dogs on Raaburn place to pick up some treats), and combining a number of parks in one walk. For instance, our Leith ‘3 park wander’ is Pilrig Park, Hopetoun Crescent Garden, then Gayfield Square and back down Leith Walk. Also good is the Water of Leith path, and the cycle path which nicely links King George V Park with St Mark’s Park and Victoria Park.

If you prefer to move a little faster, you might like to try Cani-Cross who often meet in Vogrie Park, near Patthead. Canine Cross Country running is suitable for a range of fitness levels, and the main focus is to enjoy the great outdoors with your pooch. Short nose dogs (i.e. pugs, bull dogs) are not suitable to run distance with, for the main reason that they have a short snout and therefore are more likely to overheat. We have found that Coco loves sprinting along the beach, and on cool days we can do short sprints with her (with lots of sniffing around time inbetween). If you do walk or run with your dog, remember to take fresh drinking water for it. 

You can find a huge amount of information about dog-friendly Edinburgh on the Dugs ‘n’ Pubs website www.dugswelcome.com including day trips from Edinburgh and contacts for groomers, walkers and other essential doggy things.

And Finally: Get Gung Ho!
There are many serious and competitive races out there, but sometimes it's fun to do something completely daft. This year, long-suffering Andy and I have entered the first Gung Ho! event in Edinburgh on June 11, the world's largest inflatable obstacle 5km course. Join us if you dare however be warned, the 'Not Ninja Warrior' team may involve costumes...

Have a happy and healthy spring,
Tracy :)