15th March 2012
Join the thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies on The Storm's opening day
01 ZERO-GRAVITY STRESS RELIEF
Handsup if you're feeling stressed this year. OK, now leave them up there as you clamber into The Swarm, a new ride at Thorpe Park which opens for screams this month. Billed as the UK's first 'Winged rollercoaster', the cars are suspended to the sides of the track so riders have no idea which way they'll turn next. This increases your sense of vulnerability, cranking up your adrenaline. "On a psychological level, there is also more dopamine released in your brain," says Professor Kevin Meyer, a psychologist at the University of Mount Union in Ohio, who researches rides like this. "This is the same cocktail our brains are exposed to during sex." Sadly, there's no time for foreplay with this ride:it begins with a 40m (130ft) drop. Head first. Pre-book tickets at theswarm.co.uk
The world's largest fundraising swim takes place nationwide (swimathon.org)
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS
02-22 Build muscle in minutes and learn eating tricks that boost immunity with our fast-digit digest
02 CARVE OUT A SWIMMER'S BODY IN JUST ONE MOVE
Get a physique Phelps would be proud of with "the death crawl", created by Todd Durkin*
Get into a press-up position [A] with arms extended, grasping a pair of dumbbells. Lower your chest to the floor and pause for 2 sec [B], then press yourself back up.
Raise the dumbbell in your right hand up to the side of your chest [C]. Then lower it to the floor. Now do the same with your left [D].
'Walk' the dumbbells forward one step at a time [E]. Then bring your feet forward [F]. Do 3 steps with each hand, while keeping your cone tensed.
Get up into a standing position, dumbbells at your sides. Bend your knees and squat [G]. Jump up explosively [H]. Thats 1 rep of the death crawl. Aim for 2-3 sets of 5-10 reps.
03-07 FIVE WAYS TO TEST YOUR STRENGTH THIS MONTH
Put your body through its paces at rhis season's toughest endurance events
Half Marathon, Rotherham
City to City 16.5-Mile
Trail Run, Cambridge
12 or 24 Hours of Exposure: Solo MTB Championships, Newcastleton, Scotland
Thames Turbo Sprint
Open Air Pool, London
08-11 FOUR BRAND-NEW IMMUNITY BOOSTERS
23% More disease-fighting polyphenols foundin organic tomato juice than the regular variety.
42% Decrease in your odds of catching a cold when you take probiotics or eat yoghurt every day.
50% Decrease in your risk of prostate cancer if you avoid well-done and chargrilled meat.
15% Less post-workout arm soreness reported by weight lifters who took 3g of omega-3 daily.
12-14 THREE WAYS TO FORTIFY YOUR SALAD
Trade in your side-dish staples for these tasty alternatives
/SWAP CELERY FOR ...BELGIAN CHICORY
One cup of this leafy veg contains your entire RDA of vitamin K, a vital nutrient for healthy bones, with cancer-culling properties.
//SWAP ROCKET FOR ...DANDELION GREENS
A large handful provides your RDA of vitamin A and a third of your vitamin C. If you don't fancy eating it raw, try sauteing instead.
///SWAP LETTUCE FOR ...RADICCHIO
This Italian leaf is a source of folate to keep your sperm healthy; vitamins E, C and K and copper which helps your body absorb iron.
15-17 THE 60 SECOND SIX-PACK SHORTCUT
Upgrade your abs with this twist on the humble plank
15 Get into a plank position with your feet shoulder-width apart.
16 Lift one arm and hold it across your lower abdomen like a sling, so that your balance comes from three points of contact only.
17 If this feels easy, try the advanced stage with your arm extended out in front. Hold it for 30-60 sec and then repeat on the other side.
18-22 FIVE CARB SWAPS
Raise your pulse rate with these super grains
A source of slow-release energy, barley also contains manganese for better blood sugar regulation.
Eat it: in a lamb stew.
Contains even more protein and iron than a bowl of porridge, says health author Sandra Woodruff.
Eat it: hot, with milk and fruit.
This high-fibre, gluten-free seed lowers cholesterol levels, says dietitian Gaynor Bussell.
Eat it: in place of risotto rice.
Loaded with protein, this can also be substituted for fatty croutons in salad, says Woodruff.
Eat it: in a homemade curry.
22 IRISH SODA BREAD
It bakes in under 3o min, has a lower GI value and tastes far better than any cheap white loaf.
Eat it: with scrambled egg.
1st APRIL 2012
Kale and purple-sprouting broccoli come into season. Stock up
FIVE ALIVE23-27 Down this pint to get your daily fruit and veg nutrient fix.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR SMOOTHIE
Pour 200ml of cold water into a blender; add the fruit and veg and blend on a high setting for 10-20 sec. Then add two ice cubes (any more will make it too thick) and top with 200-300ml water. blitzing for a further 10 sec.
THE POWER PUNCH
To boost the potency, you can add 2tsp of blackstrap molasses. Yes, it looks like crude oil, but a recent study at Virginia Tech showed it had the highest antioxidant capacity of any sweetener-helping to kill off wrinkle causing free radicals.
KALE, 1 HANDFUL
With over 40 varieties of heart-protecting flavonoids, kale is the pound-for-pound nutrient champ of the plant world. Research in Carcinogenesis found that regular consumption inhibits the development of prostate cancer, the most common type in British men.
SHARPEN YOUR MIND
PURPLE-SPROUTING BROCCOLI, 4 SPEARS
A true nutritional powerhouse, broccoli is a rich source of selenium-a mineral that is known to fight age-related cognitive decline. It also contains glucosinolates and calcium d-glucarate. Research in the Journal Toxicology shows that these compounds help your liver process harmful toxins, allowing them to be flushed out of the body faster.
FEED YOUR MUSCLES
BABY SPINACH, 1 HANDFUL
Add lean, green power to your workouts to slow the rate at which you lose muscle mass over time. Studies at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found that one serving of spinach a day delivered enough nitrates to vastly improve muscular efficiency.
BLOOD ORANGE, 1 PEELED
The red pigments that give this fruit its colour are called anthocyanins-flavonoids which are known for their anti-ageing properties. Research in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism shows they also reduce oxidative stress and inflammation after exercise. Helpfully, the citrus tang will mask the taste of liquefied green vegetables, too.
KEEP YOUR BODY LEAN
RASPBERRIES, 14 OR A LARGE HANDFUL
This low-carb well of antioxidants has been linked to a wide range of health benefits. But with summer on the way, perhaps the most timely are those of the waist-shrinking variety. Research in the journal Life Sciences found that raspberries' ketones help reduce fat stores as we age. Sweet.
...oxidative stress on your body if you drink a veg-packed liquid breakfastevery day*
Birmingham's NEC hosts the annual Gadget Show tech fest (gadgetsshowlive.net)
GET TOOLED UP
28-32 Five chunks of hardware for lightning reactions, studio-quality sound and your best ever brew
ALWAYS BE PREPARED
THE TOOL FOR ANY JOB
The 12in Mo-Tool Axe makes your Swiss Army Knife look like a child;s toy. This clever bit of kit comprises a 2in axe, hammer and a set of pliers (ingeniously, the weight of the hammer and axis of the handle can turn the pliers into a super-sharp wire-cutter). It also holds a set of screwdrivers, knives, a file and a bottle opener, but nobody's going to talk about those when you've got an axe in your pocket. If you've any friends or relatives spending time at Her Majesty's pleasure, this is what to send them in a cake.
Brook & Hunter Mo-Tool Axe,£33
ROBOT-POWER YOUR TRAINING
THE PING-PONG COACH
Dust off the old table tennis table and clear out the garage. The TT bussy is a plug-in boot camp for ping pong. This android opponent gives you a bigger range of return shots than any coach could ever provide: use the remote control to determine shot frequency, pace, spin and flight. If your deep game needs work, set it to pepper the area in front of the baseline. Stand back and strike away.
GET A BESPOKE CAFFEINE HIT
THE BEAN MACHINE
Fine-tune your morning espresso order with the Philips coffee maker. Select from 50 variables of aroma, temperature, strength, creaminess and length to create your perfect cup, then store your settings using the biometric fingerprint reader. Better still, it's entirely self-cleaning.
Philips Saeco Xelsis Automatic Espresso Machine,£1,700
NEVER MISS A BEAT
THE UNIVERSAL DOCK
Now you've switched to MP3s and your CDs are in the attic, you need a music player equally as streamlined and futuristic. This system redirects the sound depending on where it's placed to reduce distortion and increase clarity, so you can position it anywhere. The super-thin silhouette looks as good mounted on the wall as it does on a table top.
Bang & Olufsen BeaSound 8,£900
HONE YOUR REACTION TIMES
These glasses are a resistance workout for the brain, developing coordination and laser-fast reaction times. The lenses use liquid-crystal technology to intermittently block your vision as you train, forcing you to work harder tointerpret and respond to your surroundings. Take them off, and it feels as though you now have more time to react. You can increase the difficulty gradually meaning hey're good for Premiership pros and Sunday league warriors alike.
NikeSPARQVaporStrobeEyewear, £189 nikestore.com
Your last chance to upload a video of your power move to the MH Facebook page
WALK AND BURN
33 Send your metabolic rate into orbit with this fat-torching move from PT Cathy Brown. It'll burn calories for days.
A STAND STRONG
With feet shoulder-width apart, deadlift two heavy dumbbells from the ground. Keep your legs straight, tense your glutes and bring the weights to waist height. Push your hips forward at the top. Working your lower-body like this will increase the rate at which you metabolise calories at rest.
B STEP IT UP
It's time to go for a rather unpleasant stroll. Clean the dumbbells upwards so they come to rest on your shoulders. Now walk forwards fivesteps [or as far as you can go]. This is where you get the biggest metabolichit, so be sure to keep your form tight and muscles flexed.
C LIFT HIGH
Now press the weights upwards, keeping your back straight: this engages more muscles to add to the intensity of the move. Focus on your shoulders and lats as you raise the dumbbells. Hold them at the to pfor 2 sec, then lower them back to your shoulders with a controlled movement.
D HUNKER DOWN
Time for the final push. Squat down slowly until your thighs are almost parallel to the floor. Hold this position for a couple of seconds, then tense your thighs and glutes as you push yourself back to standing. Walk backwards to the start position. Then let your newly fired-up metabolism get to work.
VITAL STATS YOUR PROGRAMME
Reps/sets 10x5 Weight Light Speed Slow and steady.
Reps/sets 10x6 Weight Heavy Speed Slow and Steady.
Reps/sets 10x7 Weight Moderate Speed Slow and Steady.
Training tweets from the great and good. This month:@russellcrowe
90 sweaty minutes, rowing machine, bike, body movement, bm with weighted objects and tradeweights. Road to redemption is slick with perspiration.
"Crowe's workouts are always varied," says strength & conditioning coach Joe Lightfoot*. "By keeping your body guessing, you can get faster results."
"This high level of intensity will keep his metabolism running at full tilt. And if you find repetitive cardio workouts boring, then try throwing in a hard and fast sport like he does," suggests Lightfoot. "Squash is ideal."
Yesterday:short 8k bike ride, 40 min walk, then 40 min weights and 40 min racketball.
2 walks-40min this morning in the bush and 1 hr this afternoon in the city. The latter in the sunshine, thank the lord.
"Crowe walks a lot, which is great for fat-burning," Lightfoot says, "It increases your non-exercise physical activity without compromising on muscle mass or recovery."
Research from Brigham Young University in Utah found that doing resistance work after cardio increases your calorie burn at rest.
41k bike ride, all hills. I'm shattered but off to the gym, it"ll be short and sharp.
1 hr 40 min of Yoga. I'm much taller now.
"Like walking, Crowe throws in yoga sessions to let his body recover from harder workouts. It's also great for flexibility and mobility," says Lightfoot.
MH VERDICT IN 140 CHARACTERS
NOT ONE FOR THOSE LOOKING TO BULK UP, BUT CROWE'S VARIED APPROACH IS A MODEL OF FULL-BODY CONDITIONING.
There's no better time to track your body than World Health Day
35-39 Health monitors can help keep your energy, fitness and happiness at optimim levels 24 hours a day. Get to know yourself with the best tech on the market.
35 BULLETPROOF YOUR HEART
WITHINGS BLOOD PRESSURE MONITOR
Almost a third of British men have high blood pressure, increasing their risk of heart failure. This monitor plugs into your iphone, measuring your pulse and blood pressure in seconds. It saves your readings, looks for pikes (so you can identify triggers) and compares the results to recommendations from the World Health Organisation.
PERFECT READOUT 90/60-120/80
36 BE LIKE WATER
HYDRACOACH INTELLIGENT WATER BOTTLE
Dry skin, rollercoaster temperature or trouble staying regular? Drink more water. "The average person needs 2.3 litres per day," says triathlete Andy Blow. "A third comes from food and metabolic reactions, leaving 1.5 litres to come from drinks." This bottle monitors and regulates your intake through the day. NB: not designed for lager.
PERFECT READOUT 1.5 litres+
37 UP AND AT'EM
According to the Great British Sleep Survey, only 39% of us get a good night's shut-eye. This is a problem, as poor sleep has been linked to impaired metabolic and cognitive function and a greater risk of heart disease. This device monitors your sleep, walking you at the optimum time so you rise on form.
PERFECT READOUT 7-8 hours
38 BLITZ YOUR LOVE HANDLES
WIFI BATHROOM SCALES
"Weight tracking is important-especially when changing your diet or exercise," says Blow. The WiFi Bathroom Scales provides the incentive, beaming your bulk, fat and BMI to your iphone. It graphs the results so you can determine whether your diet or exercise plan is working or not, and adjust accordingly.
PERFECT READOUT 6-13% body fat
39 PURGE THE BOOZE
DRAGER ALCODIGITAL 3000
Your body breaks down one unit of alcohol per hour. But your ability to metabolise it depends upon age, weight, stress, food eaten and the type of booze consumed. This tool uses the same technology as the police, so you can gauge whether you're fit to drive and stay this side of the thin blue line.
PERFECT READOUT 35mg/100ml breath