FITNESS Tala Samman’s hits and hype
Tala Samman tells us all about fitness finds you should follow and fly-by-night fads you should forget
My resolution for 2018 was that I was going to focus on my wellbeing; that included everything from working out regularly to investing both time and money into both my physical and mental wellness and trying to focus on eating in a more healthy manner. I’m quite the guinea pig -- as you’ll see on my website myfashdiary.com -- so I’m always ready to try out new trends in this sphere to see whether they’re hyped-up fads or the real deal. Here’s the run-down on what I tried and tested.
My Pilates instructor, Roshi at Roshi Ross Pilates (roshiross.com), got me to try chlorophyll earlier this year and I must say I swear by it, and even travel with it in my carry on. I buy it in powder form, and mix it in with my water. The benefits are truly impressive. Personally I feel it cleanses my body, it instantly makes me feel less bloated and my skin gets clearer. Other reported benefits include the fact that it cleans your blood, heals your skin and assists in weight loss.
STAR APPROVAL: Actress Busy Philips buys her ready-made chlorophyll water from Whole Foods Market daily.
Many people rave about probiotics and swear by them as soon as they start taking it. It’s filled with the good bacteria that we need, that helps our digestion system - I started taking doses when I was experiencing bloating and it really did wonders for me. You can take it in pill form once a day, via drinks like Yakult or Actimel or via powder sachets that you can apply underneath your tongue.
STAR APPROVAL: The A-list cottoned onto this first and everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to
Halle Berry are converts.
I work out regularly -- five times a week -- and tend to do quite a bit of strength training so
I’ve realised the importance of stretching. To avoid losing my flexibility, I try to do stretch session classes. It’s taken off in a big way in
Los Angeles, with studios dedicated to just stretch classes and here in Dubai there are places that have incorporated stretch hour sessions into their programmes.
TOP TIP: There’s also a brand new Stretch
Studio (stretchstudios.com.au) that has opened in Times Square Mall with specially trained flexologists who help you in one-on-one sessions.
Meditation and mindfulness is something I find vital for my mental health. It’s a great way to mentally slow down, appreciate the moment and give you more clarity in your life. There truly is a type of meditation that’ll suit everyone -- one of my favourites, and one that has been slowly getting popular here in the region is Gong Meditation. Meditating and healing through gong sounds and vibrations – which is incredibly therapeutic – helps you end up in a theta state; a conscious, yet deep sleep state.
TOP TIP: Try Life’n One (lifenone.com) on Jumeirah Beach Road.
When I want to treat myself, I always go for massages but a specific type of massage that has changed my life in the past year is a pressure point massage. This concentrates on pressure points – when they are pressed they release chronic pain – even ease migraines. The technique involves locating the trigger points on the body, then gently pressing or stimulating them, to cause them to relax. The gentle pressure of trigger point massage allows the muscle to stop its spasm and release, thus relieving the pain.
TOP TIP: A gem in the city is Sara at Machka Salon (machka.ae) off Al Thanya Street.
A SPOONFUL OF VINEGAR
Beyoncé allegedly used the lemonade diet to slim down drastically for her role in Dreamgirls; taking in a combination of cayenne pepper, fresh lemon or lime juice, maple syrup and water. But right now, it’s all about taking a spoonful of apple cider vinegar. Regular intake comes with several benefits like weight loss and reduced cholesterol and is said to show promise in improving insulin sensitivity for diabetics.
TOP TIP: This isn’t something to take neat; dilute a spoonful in a glass of water, first thing every morning, ideally on an empty stomach.
What exactly is alkaline water that’s taking LA and NYC by storm? pH levels indicate how acidic or alkaline water is; most normal water is neutral at 7, whilst if it goes down towards 1 it gets more acidic, and if it goes higher towards 14, it is more alkaline. It’s alleged that alkaline water – commercially sold bottles are produced by using electrolysis and ionizing normal water -- negates the acidity in your body and thus boosts, helps with anti-aging and cleans out your colon but the medical profession largely remains sceptical about its benefits, especially given that this is produced using a chemical rather than a natural process, and warns that it’s a marketing ploy.
STAR APPROVAL: “I have alkaline water filters in my kitchen sink and on my shower heads, so it’s purified and alkaline,” says Miranda Kerr. “I learned about the benefits of alkaline in your body from studying nutrition — drinking alkaline water is one of them.”
Activated charcoal (charcoal that’s heated to increase its absorption ability) has become so common; you can get everything from activated charcoal lemonades to charcoal hits in pill form. With all the hormones in our food these days, charcoal is said to be the best thing to absorb any toxins; it’s also said to keep cholesterol levels in check. A-listers like Kim Kardashian and Shailene Woodley are turning to it for liver, kidney and overall body detoxes due to its ability to absorb through its porous quality.
STAR APPROVAL: Although it’s often ingested – and used to give trendy foods a cool dark hue -- charcoal is taking off in the beauty industry too, with masks and creams. Priyanka Chopra swears by a charcoal face mask prior to any red carpet appearance.
DNA testing has given us breakthroughs in so many fields – from determining ancestry to the diet that’s supposed to give you a bespoke set of foods best suited to your body. But the newest hype that centres around this is called DNAFit (DNAFit.com/ae), which purports to be able to determine what workouts you should be doing – in addition to tailoring a diet plan -- based on a sample of your genes. Fitness fans can discover if they have a natural aptitude for endurance sports or power sports like weightlifting, their aerobic potential; and how quickly their body is likely to recover between workouts.
STAR APPROVAL: The Egyptian Football team as well as Olympic
400m sprinter Andrew Steele are firm fans.
‘I’m quite the guinea pig so I’m always ready to try out new trends in this sphere to see whether they’re hyped-up fads or the real deal’