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

Hello! Middle East - - THIS WEEK -

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 my­fash­di­ -- 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 (roshi­, 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 (stretch­stu­ 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 ( 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 ( off Al Thanya Street.


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 (, 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’

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