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Top Tips: #GetLifting

Top Tip 1: Cut out processed foods

Once foods are processed you lost a lot of the natural goodness. Quite often there are added preservatives, salt, colours and sugar, so make sure you always check the ingredients.

Herbs and natural flavours are your best friend. For extra flavour marinate meat using freshly squeezed lemons, ginger, garlic or what ever natural flavour you fancy. You can use the same method for using herbs with new potatoes. This is also a really great option for BBQ food this summer.

Top Tip 2: Do weight bearing exercises twice a week
Weight bearing exercises refer to any activity performed whilst standing, such as weight-lifting, dancing or even running.
Young people aged give to 18 years old are advised to do vigorous activities that strengthen muscle and bones at least three days a week.
The key bone-building years are those up to our mid-20’s when the skeleton is still growing, and this is the prime period for building up bone strength for the future years.

To reduce the rate of natural bone loss that occurs from age 35 onwards, aim to do muscle-strengthening activities at least two days a week.
“Muscle-strengthening exercises are any activity that requires your muscles to work harder than normal, like lifting weights. This type of resistance exercise works the tendons that attach muscle to bone, which in turn boosts bone strength.” – NHS Choices
Keep it up and feel the difference.

Get motivated by The Valley Leisure Team.


Tuesday Tips: Cut it out

Top Tip 1: Avoid (or cut back on) refined sugar

Start with the obvious sweets, cakes and fizzy drinks, or that sneaky sugar in your tea or coffee. You don’t have to go cold turkey overnight, just gently limit the amount you eat over a period of time and occasionally treat yourself. Too much sugar stores fat, and can imbalance hormones, attribute to age, onset diabetes and many more ailments.
Top Tip 2: Move more
Exercise does not start and finish in the gym, studio class or pool. The government recommended amount of exercise per week is 150 minutes of moderate exercise for adults. This can be split into 5x 30 minutes or 2x 60 minutes and 1x 30 minutes. The best way to organise yourself is to plan ahead. Try to get yourself into a regular routine so for example, exercising every Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week.

If you can’t make it to the gym for whatever reason, exercise at home. Go for a 30 minute walk or march on the spot for 5 minute intervals if you have been sitting for a long time. A pedometer can be a useful tool to boost your fitness programme and measure your steps each day, helping you to set daily goals and try to achieve a personal best each time.

You can also ask the fitness team for an exercise plan to do at home in short bursts for the days you cannot make the gym.


Fun days out this summer

School’s out for summer, so now what?!

We know how daunting it can be trying to think of fun and creative ways to get the kids out this summer without breaking the bank, so we’ve created a ‘Best of Valley Leisure’ guide to help you come rain or shine.


Creche ☀

Suitable for: 3 months to 5 years

1 – 2 hour stays (children 12 months or under can only stay for a maximum of one hour)

Available at Andover Leisure Centre and Romsey Rapids Sports Complex


Holiday Club ☀

Suitable for: 5 – 11 years

Day club from 8:30am – 5:30pm and includes activities such as go-karting, trampolining, climbing wall, inflatables and an every day swim.

Available at Andover Leisure Centre.

*Hot, healthy lunch included.


Adventure Club ☀

Suitable for: 8 – 14 years

Adventure day club from 9am – 5pm and includes activities such as orienteering, raft building, climbing, canoeing and even bushcraft.

Available at Charlton Lakeside.

– Don’t worry, if the weather isn’t great then Adventure Club still runs! There may just be a little rejigging of activities.

*Hot, healthy lunch included.


Fast Track ☀

Suitable for: All the family

Plan your day, beat the queues and receive a free found of Adventure Golf! Bookable online during weekends and school holidays, multiple time slots available.

Available at Romsey Rapids Sports Complex.


Pay-as-you-go Options:

If you’re looking for something to do as a family, or just for a spontaneous day out, we also have a great range of pay-as-you-go options. Head down to Charlton Lakeside for activities such as canoeing, kayaking and climbing (weather and day dependant), or if it’s a rainy day then bring the fun inside with Merlin’s Kingdom soft and adventure play at Andover Leisure Centre or swimming at Romsey Rapids Sports Complex.


Don’t forget, we have a range of FREE activities available at some of our centres:

Charlton Lakeside: Play park, woodland footpaths and lakes.

Romsey Rapids Sports Complex: Play park and outdoor table tennis.

Knightwood Leisure Centre: BMX track and woodland paths.



6 weird and wonderful tennis facts

Nothing says ‘Great British Summer’ quite like watching tennis and drinking Pimms, and with Wimbledon in full swing, we thought we would grace you with some weird and wonderful tennis facts.


1. Apparently, over 24 tons of strawberries are ordered each year for the Wimbledon championships.

2. The longest match recorded in history took place at Wimbledon in 2010 between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut. It lasted for over 11 hours and three full days!


3. You can burn between 400-600 calories an hour: singles tennis is known to burn more calories than other types of physical activity including leisurely cycling, weightlifting and even dancing. Pass us the racket already!


4. Tennis balls were originally white. The balls changed to the neon yellow colour we all resemble with tennis in 1986. Apparently, the ball was too hard to view on television.

5. Andy Murray’s dog, Maggie May is Twitter famous. Okay, so this isn’t strictly tennis, but Maggie May is probably the most famous tennis dog with over 30,000 Twitter followers. Not only that, but Maggie has just released her first book “How to look after your human”. Who knew you could be so jealous of a dog right?!

maggie may.jpg

6. Tim Henman was the first person to ever be disqualified from Wimbledon. In 1995 he lost his temper and smashed a ball straight into the ball girls face. Ouch!andy murray

1, 2, 3, 4.




A latte love for coffee: weird facts

Much like the rest of the world, we love coffee. Stereotypically we love tea (being British and all), but coffee holds a sweet spot in our hearts, so we’ve scoured the globe to find some pretty awesome and quirky coffee facts.

1) Coffee was originally discovered by some crazy dancing goats
Legend has it that in the 9th century, Ethopian goat herders noticed their goats ‘dancing’ after eating coffee berries.



2) Coffee is a great anti-oxidant and fat burner
Black coffee is actually a great drink for fat-burning. Coffee in general is full of Vitamin B’s, potassium and magnesium. According to a study found on The Huffington Post, caffeine ‘increases the number of fatty acids in the bloodstream, which allows athletes’ muscles to absorb and burn those fats for fuel’.
3) Coffee is a fruit

Okay so we don’t advise to start drinking coffee like you’re doing shots at the bar, but it is technically a fruit. Coffee originates from a type of berry which grows on bushes. It has a similar look to beans, which is why we often refer them to coffee beans.



4) There are two main types of coffee
Realistically there are dozens of different types of coffee, but the two most common are Arabica and Robusta. Arabica beans tend to taste softer and sweeter, due to their high sugar levels and acidity. Robusta, however, has a much stronger taste, and contains almost twice as much caffeine in comparison to the Arabica bean. The Robusta bean is used more commonly in supermarket coffees, and is the cheaper of the bean.



Click here and here to find all the weird coffee facts you desire.

Shake it off…

With Bank Holiday fast approaching, there is no doubt that we will all be giving ourselves a bit of TLC this weekend. We always stick by the motto “everything in moderation”, so don’t feel guilty if you want to indulge in a bit of chocolate every now and then.

The Royal Society for Public Health have recently issued statements suggesting that labels should be added to food and drink to show how much activity would be needed to burn off the calories consumed and the results are pretty shocking.

Although the results seem a little daunting, it does highlight that you should earn your calories. This simply means to find that balance between eating and exercising. So if you’re going to indulge a little, just be aware of the activity you’ll need to do to shake it off.



Click here for more information.