How to maintain a healthy lifestyle? What does health mean to you?

Two questions I’m asking myself as I lie here on a lazy Saturday morning … and I wanted to jot down some thoughts.

Health to me is having a healthy attitude to life, training and food! And two words spring to mind …

“BALANCE” and “CONSISTENCY”

Health to me, is training and eating sensibly (most of the time) so that I can enjoy my normal everyday activities and the life I want to lead.

I exercise and eat healthily the majority of the time, so that I can enjoy myself (even more) the rest of the time!

It’s OK to eat cake!

How to maintain a healthy lifestyle with Jo Tuffrey

Sometimes the balance will tip and that’s ok! It’s ok to eat the cake and have a few glasses of wine – but not all the time – if you want to see results.

Friends comment how relaxed I am when I go round for supper or out for a meal and I order things deemed wrong, in order to stay slim.

I have recently just finished a weekend away on our boat and my staple food was bbq-ed sausages and burgers! Those times are my relaxed times and my fun times and so why wouldn’t I eat and drink what I want? Particularly, when I know the other 80% of the time I’m more disciplined.

To maintain health, it’s so important to find exercise you enjoy and even look forward to, to maintain consistency.

Find the training you enjoy  – make it a habit and not a chore or research has shown you will not stick to it! James Clear’s Atomic Habits goes into detail here and is well worth a read.

“At the end of the day, how long it takes to form a particular habit doesn’t really matter that much. Whether it takes 50 days or 500 days, you have to put in the work either way.

The only way to get to Day 500 is to start with Day 1. So forget about the number and focus on doing the work.”

– James Clear

I’m very transparent with the Weekly Workout Family (they know I love a figgy roll or two) as I release new workouts every week and chat in my classes about exercise and food.

The health of our members is paramount to me and my approach to teaching will always be balanced and consistent, both in the classes but also in my chatter throughout these classes.

I will always strive to help our members develop a permanent, healthy, happy habit for getting fit and strong – both with their bodies and minds and will always present a balanced view on training and eating. If my views and teaching methods help 1000’s of others focus on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle, then I can certainly sleep well.

So on that note – it’s the weekend and so I’m off to tip the balance …. because that’s ok!! 🥰

Happy weekends everyone ❤️

The benefits of Pilates are numerous!

I’m often asked the question – “Why is Pilates so good for you?” and so I’ve put this article and video together for you to explain just 6 benefits of Pilates. There are many more – but these are the ones I hear about most often from clients and my weekly workout family. They are also the benefits I believe in the most.

Pilates is so good for you in so many different ways and if you’re intrigued to find out more – click play on the video below or read about the benefits of Pilates in the synopsis below.

If you’re looking to start a new Pilates practice or get back into it  – then you might be interested in my Members Workout Club – which is Pilates focused. With two new workouts each week, 200+ videos inside the membership area and a “Pilates for beginners” programme – it’s the perfect place to learn and improve.

Ready to see those benefits? – click play below or read on …

Benefit  #1 – Weight loss

Pilates is brilliant for aiding your weight loss journey – but we have to look at a good diet as well.

Why will Pilates aid weight loss?

Because we’re working with our own bodyweight … we are working with our muscles. Muscle burns fat and the greater the muscular frame we have, the more metabolically active we are and so the more calories we burn.

If you have a higher muscle to fat ratio, compared to a higher fat to muscle ratio, then you will burn more calories per hour – just by being sat down!

So one of the key benefits of Pilates is to aid your weight loss, as long as you couple your practice with a beautifully balanced diet. It’s a brilliant win-win situation.

A picture showing the one of the many benefits of pilates

Benefit #2 – Body tone

Pilates is fantastic for toning and sculpting the entire body.

The important thing is is to choose the right programme – a programme which works on all parts of the body and as I like to say, ‘keeps the body guessing.’ Working solely on one part of the body each day OR doing the same exercises each week won’t give you the body tone you’re looking for.

My Tone with Tuffrey Pilates programme is just perfect for toning and sculpting.

I use small equipment too, such as weights, a band, a roller or even sliders – there are so many different pieces of equipment to help challenge the body.

Pilates is brilliant for body tone.

Benefit #3 – Posture

Another benefit of Pilates is that it really helps your posture.

First of all, it makes you aware of your posture.  Because we are ‘forward moving’ creatures … we are at our desks more … we are reading more and often we’re anxious more, Pilates is so important for opening up our front line and strengthening our back line, which in turn enhances our posture.

The second thing it does is to prevent injury through creating the right posture. This is one of the best benefits of Pilates there could be! The more that we’re stuck in bad posture, the more likely it is we can get injured, through the smallest of movements.

So, it’s really important to think of really opening ourselves up. The more we open up – the more we can work from our centre – then the more we will work our back muscles and release through the chest – helping to improve our posture on a daily basis.

A photo showing a pilates class to improve posture through stretching

Benefit #4 – Balance

As we get older, our balance becomes compromised. It’s a natural part of the ageing process.

Another brilliant benefit of regular Pilates practice is to help us to improve our balance.

We can achieve this by working all the muscles that help with balance. As an example – we often work with the feet. I know it sounds strange to hear this – but it’s true – and it’s why I like to work with both the ankles and feet regularly. Working the glutes and centre as part of the body’s kinetic chain can also help with our balance too …

So just a simple exercise, such as standing on one leg and thinking about the pelvis being level, whilst engaging into the glutes, can be a really good exercise to do regularly.  If we have weak glutes, we take the tension into our lower back.

To reiterate, balance is extremely important as we get older. Pilates can really help to ensure that it doesn’t deteriorate as quickly as it would do, as part of the ageing process.

Improving balance is another benefit of pilates. This image shows Jo Tuffrey instructing a class.

Benefit #5 – Core stability

You will always hear that Pilates is fantastic for bad backs. It’s often the reason that people turn to Pilates in the first place – through a recommendation from their physio. Pilates works all the core muscles to stabilise and strengthen our centres from the inside out.

Why is Pilates so good for bad backs?

Because a healthy back relies on core stability and strength and Pilates is all about working from your centre, with other parts of the body released and relaxed. Regular Pilates practice creates a beautifully strong, yet flexible centre.

The key however is balance (if you excuse the pun).

You should aim to achieve the right equilibrium, between strength, stamina and suppleness.

It’s important to not be totally core strong, with no flexibility. Your body needs a balance of all of the three elements I list above.

Any Pilates programme you choose needs to help you to achieve that balance. Any instructor should be mindful of that when devising a program. I certainly am!

When you have a strong centre and core stability – imagine it to be like the scaffolding around a building – it appears that it is propping the building up. It also makes the spine beautifully aligned so the body can move in the way that it was designed to.

This is why Pilates is of huge benefit when it comes to alleviating the pain of a bad back.

Benefit #6 – Mindset

Physical exercise plays such an important part of improving our mindset.

With more energetic classes, endorphins, (the happy hormone that makes us feel good) flood the body. For more relaxing classes, where we want to chill out and stretch our bodies, then we can take ourselves off into a different place, which is also amazing for our mental health. Relaxation is such an important component of a balanced life.

Breathing is a really important part of any Pilates workout and by focusing on your breath – it helps to keep your body released and gives you that complete relaxation and mind space.

It’s always good to to forget everything else for a moment once in a while and just be at one just with yourself. Pilates can help you to do this.

I have many stretch and relaxation classes in my Workout Club – and you can try a free pilates relaxation class right here. Why not drop me a line and let me know what you think!

In summary – 6 benefits of pilates

Hopefully you can now see there are so many benefits to a regular Pilates practise. You’ve got nothing to lose by trying a free Pilates workout. Click the link – and get started today – maybe you’re about to start a new habit today? I do hope so.

Every now and then I aim to showcase a business I really love and believe in – it’s great to champion the smaller business.

Many workout family members have asked about the various outfits that I wear that they’ve spotted on Instagram and so I thought I would launch this showcase section by introducing a fabulous lady called Lindy and her business.

Over the years I have bought many things from Lindy… most of my jewellery in fact and my various “floaty” dresses.

I shall leave the rest to Lindy…

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Hi, I am Lindy Harpham, owner of online retail store, Story in Bray in Berkshire, UK.

Jo has been a friend, ambassador and super-loyal customer of mine for years … everything looks fabulous on her so I was so thrilled when she was willing to include Story in Bray here in her lifestyle section.

I had an actual bricks and mortar shop in Bray Village for around 13 years where I sold gorgeous clothing, jewellery and interior pieces.  On this journey, I was lucky enough to meet loads of fantastic people and acquired a very loyal following who have remained with me to this day.

As the interior service side of the business grew, I decided to close my beloved shop in Bray and run the creative side of my business from my ‘den’ at home.

I have a huge love of clothing, jewellery and interiors and so continue to combine all three into a great little business.

One of our selling points is that we don’t stock a lot of anything and we tend to avoid big labels and instead, work hard to source unusual stock for our customers – generally timeless pieces that work together season after season.  We also stock super gifts too!

Have a peek at storyinbray.com

We generally use Instagram to announce new clothing. Do follow us if you like what you see!

Finally – you can see Jo in some of our clothing in the photos below …


Hi! I’m Helen Gambarota and I am delighted to be back with Jo’s Weekly Workout Family to share my love of books with you.

I am a total book nerd. An avid reader and a compulsive book buyer, although I do need to slow down on the book buying as there are piles of books all around the house. I started reviewing books on Instagram as @BestBookFoward almost 4 years ago and I love chatting about books and sharing my passion for reading.

Each month I bring you my recommendation of a must-read book. I read a variety of genres so it could be anything from fiction, non-fiction, romance, historical fiction or a thriller and I really hope that you’ll enjoy each of them as much as I do.

If you’d like more book inspiration you can find my reviews on my Instagram account which is @BestBookForward, on Facebook or on my website bestbookforward.org

Still Life by Sarah Winman

Over the past year or so I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought to myself I am so grateful to be a bookworm. As the world shut down and we found we could no longer travel or see friends I found myself feeling increasingly glad to be a reader.

Whenever I pick up a book I know that I can transport myself anywhere in the world, I can go backwards or forwards in time, I can even visit make-believe worlds and I can just escape the realities of life all by turning the pages.

Maybe you’ve managed to get away on a little trip recently or maybe you haven’t but I thought this month I’d take you all on a trip to Italy with the stunning new novel by Sarah Winman, Still Life.

The story opens in Florence, 1944 where we meet sexagenarian Evelyn Skinner, an art historian and possible spy. A woman who loves Florence and is trying to salvage paintings from the ruins while reliving her memories of the time she encountered EM Forster and had her heart stolen by an Italian maid.

As the Allied troops advance and bombs fall around, Eveyln meets a young British Soldier, Ulysses Temper. The two become instant friends and while they don’t get to spend much time together, their meeting will shape the following decades of their lives.

“This is just the most beautiful book to escape into; normally I tear through books at great speed but I wanted to savour this one and I never wanted it to end.”

Its a story about life, love and friendships and has the most wonderful cast of unforgettable characters. There are parts that are really moving and there are parts that will make you laugh and I really hope that you will love it as much as I did.

I’m going to leave you with the trailer for Still Life, which is one of the most beautiful book trailers I’ve seen. If I can’t convince you to pick this one up, this trailer will …

I really hope you’ll enjoy reading Stil Life as much as I did. I’ll be back next month with another recommendation for you.

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You can buy your copy from Amazon here, or from all good bookshops.

 

I’m incredibly proud to be featured in this month’s Om Yoga Magazine. It’s one of the UK’s biggest selling industry magazines and is read by thousands across the country each month.

I want to say a big thank you to Claudia Brown @yogabyclaudia for this lovely article.

You can read the article below … Click the image to go full screen.

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Nudea is revolutionising the underwear industry, by offering a unique custom diagnostic fitting process with their tried and tested “Fit Tools”.

They offer 60 second online quiz and personalised “Virtual Fit” Consultations with bra experts and a custom designed tape measure that can be used at home. Gone are the days of having a bra fitting at your local department or clothing store.

Jo chats with Priya Downes, one of Nudea’s co-founders who explains the story behind Nudea. She provides all kinds of advice when it comes to buying bras and also reveals the number of times that breast size changes in your life – intrigued?

Sit back, pour yourself a coffee and have a watch – we think you’ll really enjoy their chat.

Find out more at https://www.nudea.com/

An exclusive offer for Jo’s Workout Club members!

Logged in members can see an exclusive discount below. If you’re not a member or logged in – you’ll see a different message.

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If you're on the website - do check your subscription is current.

If you're not a member - visit Jo's homepage - we'd love to have you as a member!

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Katie Bishop is back with another recipe to make your mouth water – easy fish pie.

As this recipe says – it’s super easy, as well tasty and nourishing.

This is great for a family meal or entertaining a group – what’s also brilliant is that you can make it ahead of time too.

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Overview

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Time to cook: 20 minutes
Serves: 6 people

Ingredients

500ml whole milk
2 fresh bay leaves
1 small onion, finely chopped
3-4 anchovies in olive oil, drained and chopped
4 tbsp cornflour
4 tbsp dry white wine
750g mixed fish fillet (haddock, cod, salmon), skinned, cut into large chunks
150-250g raw, peeled king prawns
2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
75g fresh breadcrumbs
25g Parmesan, finely grated

Let’s get cooking …

  1. Preheat the grill to medium.
  2. Pour the milk into a large, shallow, ovenproof and flameproof casserole dish (or use a saucepan and transfer to an ovenproof dish later).
  3. Add the bay leaves, onion and anchovies and bring to a gentle simmer for 5 minutes or until the onion is tender.
  4. Mix the cornflour with 4 tbsp cold water to make a paste. Stir into the milk and simmer for 2-3 minutes, until thickened slightly.
  5. Stir in the white wine and then the fish. Season and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Stir in the prawns and cook for a further 3-5 minutes or until the prawns are pink. Remove the bay leaves, then add the parsley.
  7. If needed, transfer the mixture into a 2 litre ovenproof dish.
  8. Mix the breadcrumbs and cheese together, then scatter over the top of the fish.
  9. Grill for 5 minutes or until golden and bubbling. Serve immediately. Great with steamed green beans.

Other ideas

If you’re a fan of peas, add a few handfuls of frozen or fresh peas to the mixture at the same time as the fish.

If you want to make this ahead, just make the fish layer, then cool, cover and chill for up to 24 hours, then when ready to eat, reheat gently and add the crumbs at the last minute and continue as above.

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Katie will be back next month with something else delicious to try.

In the meantime, you can find out more about her at http://katiebishop.co.uk or follow her on Instagram at @ktbishopcooks

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Each month, we feature one of our amazing Weekly Workout Club members here in our shiny wellness and lifestyle area.

If you’re a member, you’ll know that its really important to Jo that we are all in this together and supporting one another on our fitness journeys.  This is the reason why Jo always refers to the club as the ‘Weekly Workout Family!’

We thought it was time for members to get to know each other a little more and to share some stories and experiences.

Our June spotlight features Camilla Seymour, one of our very early members – Camilla lives in Somerset and has written a wonderful spotlight below …

Tell us about yourself

I am 60 years old and teach the violin, which is a job I love. I think it is a real privilege to work with children and young adults.

I have three grown up children and a pianist husband. I’ve done Pilates for years but teachers kept leaving or class times were mornings or early evenings when I was teaching, so I was looking for classes online and getting heartily fed up with American teachers who were all “work your booty.”

When I found Jo she was a breath of fresh air. I love the way she loves it – it’s infectious and one doesn’t feel she is doing it just for the money or to create some fitness empire.

I also have invested in a Bellicon rebounder ( eye wateringly expensive) but I love the sensation of jumping without damaging your joints and by using weights you can increase the heart rate and use different muscles. It’s a good compliment to Jo’s classes. I also have a young black Labrador so I am up with the lark for an hour’s walking too.

I am very interested in all things health and listen to podcasts when I bounce. The gut biome a few years ago became a fascinating topic (except if you were my children!) and now it is sleep. I have found magnesium glycinate immensely helpful. Today I added cold showers to ward off Alzheimer’s but I’m not sure how long this will last… Also breath work and breathing through the nose more is another new area of interest. Oh and gua sha!

I met Jo and her husband once a few years ago when she came to Bath and she is exactly as she is on the videos except even more glowing and laughy and well just utterly lovely (and tiny!)

Apart from music I love gardening, calligraphy and being by the sea.

Why do you exercise?

I exercise to feel energised and strong.

I am aware that as one ages the mantra “Use it or Lose it” becomes increasingly relevant. I also want to keep up my bone density and flexibility, plus that all important balance.

Apparently ( heard on the radio this morning!) after car crashes, death by falling is the next most common reason. So I am trying to stand on one leg now as well as balance with my eyes shut. I also want to keep my muscle mass so I don’t become an instant blancmange in my later years – and yes I do want to keep my weight down too!

What motivates you to exercise regularly?

Jo is a great motivator – what nicer way to start the day than having a good laugh with her? Plus, it’s so wonderful that each class is completely different so boredom never creeps in.

In the very early days before there was a new class twice a week, I used to rotate the classes and could tell how I was progressing by the number of times I had a quick rest. Now I rarely have to press pause.

So getting stronger is a great motivator and also noticing my arms weren’t flabby and walking up hills was easy. Of course one feels great afterwards so there is a little addiction to those endorphins too.

Your top 3 favourite Workout Club classes?

Hmm, a tricky one as I like so many.

Very very often I find the class is totally in tune with what I feel I need. The other day there was a stretch class which was delicious as I had woken after a bad night and felt stiff and creaky.

Probably Rock’nRoll, Release the hips, Serene Stretch, oh there are so many!

(Those workouts available to logged in members only)

What’s your favourite type of exercise?

Well, obviously the ones I find easy peasy!

I love the hip rolls with the feet on the floor, as it really helps my stiff lower back, and I like most leg ones, and the jujee. I hate the ones where you lie on your tummy and have your feet like a mermaid and have to lift your legs up. Mine barely leave the floor and I feel like a beached whale.

However I know this is the exercise I need to do a LOT to strengthen my back. I have started to do it on a gym ball as it’s more comfortable. I am thrilled with the 10 minute blasts as sometimes I get late and so can still target something before work. I think Jo once said she would do some face exercises which would be fabulous! (coming soon!)

(Blasts available to logged in members only)

Favourite food?

My breakfast – home made kefir with homemade buckwheat granola, lots of frozen berries defrosted overnight and passionfruit.

I once read no one wakes up hungry, but I do – the thought of breakfast gets me out of bed. Salted roasted Spanish almonds are my go to can’t-stop-eating snack.

Favourite drink?

Hmm, I’ve started making Kombucha which I do like but not yet my favourite. I think maybe I have favourite drinks at different times of day…a really good decaf latte in the morning, a really good cup of tea in the afternoon, a really good green smoothie etc.

Sadly alcohol makes me drunk in about three sips. Cheap date.

Favourite book?

This is impossible! I think books speak to you at different times in one’s life. Sometimes a book will really resonate because of your personal circumstances, and other times a book with brilliant reviews will leave me feeling meh.

Recently I really enjoyed A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, which was beautifully nuanced and brilliantly written. Novels I reread every ten years are Nancy Mitford’s Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate.

Favourite film?

Also completely impossible! I loved Les Intouchables, and The Chorus, and of course all Audrey Hepburn’s films.

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Thank you so much to Camilla for her wonderful spotlight article. We’ll feature another member next month and if you’d like to be featured – drop us a line!

Jo is an avid reader and if you’re a member of her workout family, you’ll know she likes to make the occasional recommendation.

Recently, she did an Instagram Live interview, with our resident book reviewer, Helen Gambarota.

If you’d like more book inspiration you can find her reviews on her Instagram account, which is @BestBookForward, or on her website bestbookforward.org

Jo and Helen talk about a number of books in this interview – the full list (and Amazon links to buy them) is below for you.

Santa Mouse – Michael Brown

Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque

The Cellist of Sarajevo – Steven Galloway

The Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller

Hamnet – Maggie O’Farrell

Sit back, pour yourself a drink and have a watch – we think you’ll really enjoy their chat.

 

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It’s time to bring you our regular monthly meditation, courtesy of Amanda Penalver.

Amanda is a meditation expert and founder of True Rest®. Her work is devoted to challenging, inspiring & motivating her clients to live a more growth-full, rich & deeply fulfilling life.

Amanda offers True Rest classes & guided meditations to uplift, restore, replenish & re-energise you to live on purpose, fully awake, fully embodied & deeply connected.

We’re delighted to be able to offer May’s guided meditation for you below – Space of Love.

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Space of Love:

Feeling anxious or stressed? Take some time out to drop into the space of love within yourself with this soothing, calming meditation set to the beautiful music of Pablo Arellano.
Find out more about Amanda’s brilliant work at mandypenalver.com