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We have a wide range of articles about fitness, health and events at Active.

Read one of our many articles below by clicking on the title and after you have finished, let us know what you think by submitting a comment. What fitness techniques have you tried that have worked or failed? Is there a new kind of fitness class that we don't currently provide? What more could we do to help you achieve a healthy lifestyle?

We will be uploading more articles regularly so please keep an eye on this page, and we hope to hear from you soon!

Easy Packed Lunch Recipe ideas

Brown rice salad

Cook brown rice and add chopped cucumber and pepper, grated carrot, spring onion, a handful of lightly toasted pine nuts or chopped cashew nuts, chopped sun-dried tomatoes and a small amount of feta cheese. Moisten with a dessertspoon of cold pressed essential fat oil from the health food shops Carob, Leaders and Health Essentials.

Guacamole (Avocado Dip)

Mash the flesh of 1 avocado with 1 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Add some finely chopped red onion, 1 crushed garlic clove, 1 chopped tomato, 1 tbsp fresh coriander and olive oil. Mix well and season with salt and pepper. Eat with pieces of carrot, cucumber, celery, red or green pepper, green beans, broccoli or cauliflower.

Easy Packed Lunch Recipe Ideas

Quick Quinoa Salad (adapted from Gillian McKeith's 'Ultimate Health Plan')

Boil 50g quinoa grains for 10 minutes. Drain under cold water. Add chopped cubes of cucumber and beetroot, sliced spring onions, sliced chicory, a handful of trimmed mange-tout and some chopped parsley. Add some of your favourite salad leaves and sprinkle with a small handful of raw nuts such as hazelnuts, cashews, almonds.

Don't forget the mid-afternoon snack

Remember that eating 'little and often' is one of the best ways to eat. So don't wait until tea-time before you get your next food fix. If you do this, your blood sugar levels will usually drop to a low level, leaving you feeling lethargic in the afternoon and at risk of indulging in the mid-afternoon treat box at work! Be prepared with a healthy supply of snacks, ready to combat any afternoon hunger pangs.


Written by at 09:00

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Café Des Sports opens at Les Quennevais

On Thursday 5th July 2012, Les Quennevais Sports Centre's café will re-open as CAFÉ DES SPORTS. The café will have a new look together with a new menu, designed to compliment the healthy lifestyle choices enjoyed by Active people.

New proprietors Paul and Rachel Mauger will be familiar to many centre users; Paul was previously one of the Duty Managers at Les Quennevais Sports Centre for 16 years, and together with their young family, they have enjoyed considerable time at the centre. Both are keen sports people - Rachel with marathon experience, and Ironman aspirations - Paul heavily in to Road cycle racing, with the 2012 Haute Route 7 day alpine sportive event in August.

Paul and Rachel are looking forward to their new venture and felt that the café and its menu were ready for a new look.  They have created a new menu filled with traditional favourites and new healthy options.  These include - freshly squeezed juices and smoothies, together with a salad bar, quality coffee and teas, light seasonal meals and a good range of homemade cakes, not to mention healthy morning take - out options for early gym and swim users, rushing off to work!

Of course the old favorites, such as burgers and fries will still be available.

Adopting the "use local" motto, Paul and Rachel indicate the emphasis will be on using fresh, quality ingredients, locally sourced from independent suppliers - where practical.

Paul and Rachel have a young family, and understand that parents often want healthy, good quality food options for their children, and look forward to presenting parents with a new children's menu.  This will include freshly made pasta dishes as well as a grazing platter to tempt little appetites. Their own children have proved to have limitless energy levels on a diet of healthy, home cooked meals. 

They will also introduce a modest play area for younger children, to allow parents a little bit of quiet time, to catch their breath and revitalize, while enjoying a soothing drink in the new soft seating area.

Paul, Rachel and staff look forward to welcoming both existing and new clients.

Written by Active at 17:00

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Devoid of Energy...Has your engine run dry?

Having trouble getting your engine started in the morning; feeling stressed and frazzled; tired all the time;having problems concentrating; or feeling de-motivated?If this rings true for you, then read on for tips on how to increase your zest for living and re energize your batteries.

Step 1
Identify what is sapping your body of energy?
• Lack of sleep
• Stress
• Overwork
• Blood sugar imbalance
• Excess alcohol
• Over reliance on stimulants such as tea and coffee
Poor diet

Step 2
Shake up your diet.
Energizing nutrition can have a profound effect on the way you feel. Instead of relying on that chocolate bar or double latte to keep you pepped up; fill your diet with fresh foods and slow releasing carbohydrates to keep your body running in peak condition. The body has to work harder processing low quality nutrient-poor foods and uses some of its own energy reserves in the process - resulting in less energy for you.
Eat oat porridge for breakfast topped with fresh berries and a desert spoon of ground seeds (mixed ground seeds available from the health food shops).

Eat every 3 - 4 hours.
To stop your energy levels from falling. Leaving long gaps between meals can cause blood sugar levels to drop resulting in tiredness, reduced concentration and general lethargy.
Take a small tupperware of mixed nuts and seeds to work to snack mid morning and mid afternoon.

Drink plenty of water.
Dehydration can exhaust your body.
Aim to drink between 1 and 2 litres of bottled or filtered water per day.

Avoid eating late at night.
It disrupts digestion and prevents the body from carrying out its essential repair work - this can leave you feeling groggy and low on energy the next day.
If you get home late at night, try to eat your main meal at lunchtime and have a smaller,
more easily digested meal for dinner.

Eat slow releasing carbs with protein.
Simple carbs release sugar in the body at a faster rate than complex carbs, fats, and protein, and give the body an immediate energy surge. However this boost is short-lived and can leave you constantly fighting a battle for energy during the day. Protein gives your body a boost, and when combined with the right carbohydrates, gives the body long-lasting energy.
For a super quick protein-rich lunch try tinned sardines in tomato on whole meal toast.

Cut caffeine.
Caffeine is an anti-nutrient and will rob your body of vital vitamins and minerals. It can reduce the absorption of iron and zinc by up to 50%. Sugar and stimulants such as caffeine do provide a quick energy boost but they are usually followed by an even greater low, as blood sugar levels crash back down. These fleeting bursts of artificial energy can leave you feeling whacked out.
Come off the caffeine slowly. Start by reducing the amount of coffee you drink by half. Experiment with alternatives such as Red Bush (Rooibosch) tea, Caro coffee alternative and herbal teas. Don't be put off by your first herbal tea taste, there are loads to choose from!

Useful supplements to help boost energy B vitamins, Coenzyme Q10, Ginseng and spirulina can all help increase energy levels in the body.

Step 3
Try the following to take your energy to new heights
✔ Let the sunshine into your life. Get yourself outdoors and breathe in that fresh air
✔ Get enough sleep. Poor sleep is one of the main contributing factors to low energy. Work out how much you need and stick to it
✔ Get active and exercise at least 3 times a week - exercise helps create vitality, resilience and health
✔ Practice proper breathing - take deep breathes to reduce stress, unwind and re energize - all in one shot!
✔ Stop worrying - stress and anxiety literally drain the body of energy.Worry never helped anyone
✔ Be positive - negativity is draining

High energy eating ideas

✔ Porridge oats soaked overnight with almonds, desiccated coconut, raisins, flax seeds. Add berries in the morning. Glass of diluted unsweetened fruit juice
✔ Fresh fruit smoothie mixed with yogurt or plain tofu and seeds

✔ Glass of freshly squeezed carrot juice (homemade, or from the Market juice bar or Cafejacs at the Arts Centre) + a small handful of nuts
✔ One chopped pepper + a small tub of hummus (M & S or Waitrose at Checkers)

✔ Wholemeal tortilla wrap with chicken and vegetables
✔ Fresh soup (made without cream) and wholemeal brown roll

✔ Unsweetened probiotic yogurt with chopped banana
✔ Chopped apple with peanut butter (healthy version)

✔ Stir-fried beef with broccoli and spring onions served with brown basmati rice
✔ Baked potato and chilli
✔ Grilled trout or salmon fillet with steamed green vegetables

To sum up -
For good energy eat food that brings goodness to your body. Keep nutrient-poor foods to a minimum - to process these the body has to use its own stores. Avoid stimulating an unnatural high with caffeine and finally sleep well, smile lots, breathe deeply, relax whenever you can and take time to enjoy your life.

Written by Mandy Bonhomme at 15:35

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