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Optical Blog

by Kerry Taher, New Vision Opticians

Sports & Vision

Do you wish you could cut a few strokes off your golf score? Having trouble returning your tennis partner’s serve? Does your child always seem to be just a few steps away from the football? Vision, just like speed and strength, is an important component in how well you play your sport.

Eye protection should also be considered by all sports people, especially in certain high-risk sports. Thousands of children and adults suffer sports-related eye injuries each year, with squash and paintball accounting for a very large part of this group. Nearly all of these injuries could have been prevented if the proper protective eyewear had been worn. Years ago, there was some resistance by children to “looking funny” when they wore protective eyewear but today, sports goggles are an accepted part of everyday life, similar to the way bike helmets have become the norm.

Sporting Blog

by Lesley Handley

Rest Days – We All Need to Take Them!

When people embark on new fitness program’s they often train as much as they can and don’t give their body time to recover. Rest days are just as important as training days, and everyone needs to take them.

1. Muscles need rest…

It’s not about the saying of ‘no pain no gain’, if your muscles are becoming permanently achy then it’s time to take a day or two rest. Sore muscles after a training session is actually the pain of muscle damage – muscle fibers tend to stretch and break during exercise and these fibers then need time to repair and grow allowing them to develop/strengthen and reduce further breakage over time.

2. Prevent injuries…

There is only so much that the body can take within training and often injuries can come about simply by over use of certain muscles or muscle groups. A great example of this is shin splints; this injury is common in new runners who go from doing very little to trying to run every day and shin splints are often the result – the cure for them… REST!

3. Stronger immune system…

Exercise is a great way to improve the immune system, which also plays a big role in recovery. However too much exercise and no time for the body to recover has the opposite effect on the immune system. Feeling run-down, or colds hanging around longer than usual often indicates that some rest is required to let the body catch back up on itself.

4. Improved Performance…

Yes… believe it or not a few days rest can help improve your performance. Some people don’t want to miss a couple of days in case it affects the progress they have already made, but for most people it generally takes 1 or 2 weeks of no activity before they notice a change in their performance.


Sporting Blog

by Lesley Handley

Weight Training

Whilst training one of my clients the other day, a friend of his approached us and laughed saying he could never do what my client was doing as he was too old for it... My client was 63 and was lifting a 30kg bar doing a chest press on a bench...

Weight training in the gym has a lot of misguided beliefs surrounding it; women think it will make them bulky and elderly people think it will injure them. The issue is, these populations that think weight training is bad could be seeing massive benefits if implementing it in their training.

The fact is, building muscle is hard work, and it doesn’t come easy to a huge amount of people. Many men struggle for years to build solid muscular tissue and this struggle is compounded more so in females; as females’ have 10x less testosterone than men, (a key muscle building hormone). You also need a calorie surplus when looking to gain muscle, so you need to eat more than your body normally needs to stimulate new muscle growth. It is rare for a female to increase calories if they are health conscious and trying to improve their body composition.

Muscle creates shape and many women want more shape, firm legs, toned arms, and to create the ideal body. Weight training is actually an essential path to creating that ‘look’. Weights, often heavy weights, need to be lifted to condition the muscles under fat tissue, and then reduce the fat tissue enough to see it.

The elderly are another population put off by the apparent negatives of weight training. Often there’s a perception of a high injury risk with weight training in a gym, or perceived as being for the ‘young’. Strength in old age becomes important as the body naturally declines in overall function/condition, joint integrity, bone strength and muscle flexibility. Lifting weights just once a week can protect against these issues. Strong bones, muscles and joints will dramatically reduce the risk of injury and comes from being active and resisting your body against heavy objects, such as weight training or other activities.


For more information or advice on any aspect of Personal Training, or for a free consultation contact me on 0773 6274925 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Sporting Blog

by Lesley Handley

What your body type can say about your health.

According to Doctors, there are 3 main body types; apple, pear and hour glass (they can also be known as Ectomorph, Endomorph and Mesomorph). Which one you have can say a lot about your health, and can sometimes explain why losing weight can be a bit tougher.

“Apple” body types tend to carry excess weight around their waist. This is where a dangerous amount of fat often accumulates. The type of fat that accumulates here is known as visceral fat and it penetrates deep under the skin. It builds up around the organs and can harm them over time. The result of this is a higher risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. The ‘upside’ for ‘apple’ shape body types is that visceral fat is the easiest type to get rid of through diet and exercise, meaning this body type can often lose weight faster than other body shapes.

“Pear” body types tend to store most excess fat in the lower half of their body. This type of fat is often referred to as ‘passive fat’ and can be a bit harder to lose. While it is not deemed as dangerous as visceral fat it does place a lot of extra stress on the legs and can increase the risk of varicose veins or knee and leg joint issues. The ‘upside’ for ‘pears’ is that they are at a lower risk of the diseases that ‘apples’ can often face.

Finally, there are the ‘hourglass’ shapes or also referred to as ‘rectangle’ for men. These body shapes tend to carry excess weight all over. This includes visceral fat around the trunk area meaning they are also at risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

So, which body shape are you?


For more information on personal training or to get a health check on the Tanita Scales at Birkmyre Park Fitness Gym contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit my website at www.fitsmartfitness.co.uk