Archive for the Health & Fitness Category

Free Bellydancing Classes With Danone Activia Yogurts!

April 11th, 2012

Hi everyone,

I’m delighted to announce a promotion I’m running with Danone Activia!

Activia yogurts are yummy and contain a live culture which can help boost the good bacteria in your digestive system. In studies these kinds of yogurts can be particularly beneficial to children, older adults and those recovering from illness although with “everything in moderation” everybody’s belly can benefit from a boost …and especially now because…

…If you buy special “TLC Rewards” promotional packs of Activia yogurts you can get a free Bellydancingbarbie Class!

Just key in the on-pack code into their website and it tallies up your points. Collect 500 points and claim your free Bellydancingbarbie class! Any class you fancy, any week of term, providing there is a space available then. Just call or email me to confirm before bringing along your voucher on the day.

Get collecting your yogurt pots, get fitter & get healthier!


Love, BDB♥Xx

Best Womens Heart Rate Monitor

February 29th, 2012

What’s the best Women’s Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) on the market?

This is a question I’ve been asked a lot and Polar was always my recommendation in the past. The fit was comfortable, sizing good, functionality was just what you needed, accuracy was there and different sporting models offered you relevant data features. For these reasons Polar established themselves as the pulse in the beating world of the heart rate monitor.

Bryan O’Rourke recommended  Garmin to me the other day as they’re making noteworthy fitness gadgets and this set me off on a full blown HRM expedition.

Seems in these 2 years since running the Gym at Stevenson College Edinburgh the market has seen an explosion of new products and devices. Now there are not only “wrist computers” but also plug-ins, apps, dongles, bells and whistles. Technology really is moving so quickly these days which is great but you could spend days reading up on this stuff and still be baffled as to which is the best HRM for you! So if you’re thinking of investing in your health & fitness let me help you, I’ve spent some hours recently researching which is the soundest investment for us ladies and here’s what I’ve come up with…

The Polar FT60 F with Flowlink – £140

  • Time of day like a regular watch.
  • STAR Training Programme – Guides you without being too strict for day-to-day plans. Follow the weekly intensity and time targets and your fitness improvement is guaranteed. This intelligent programme even adapts to your training habits, giving you new targets and guidance.
  • POLAR Fitness TestTM with OwnIndex® – Measures your fitness level in five minutes. The result, Polar OwnIndex, predicts your maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max).
  • POLAR OwnZone® – Individual determination of your optimal target heart rate limits based on your daily condition.
  • Training Zones – The three training zones will help you to train on the right intensity (light, moderate and hard).
  • POLAR OwnCal® – Shows calories burnt during and after the training session. See also the estimated amount of fat (%) burnt as an energy source.
  • POLAR OwnCode® – Prevents cross-talk from other heart rate monitors.
  • Wireless ECG accurate heart rate (% / beats per minute).
  • Average and maximum heart rate of total exercise.
  • Zone Lock – Lock a training zone to train on a specific intensity.
  • Memory features – daily, weekly and total summaries.
  • User changeable battery.
  • Includes Polar WearLink+ 31 Coded Transmitter with user changeable battery and elastic chest strap.

The FT60 Female is great for all activities and particularly group fitness classes such as aerobics and dance based classes. It gives you the basic data easily and the more complex usage is there if you want it. It doesn’t seem to be rocket science which is great for when you don’t have hours to familiarise yourself with something because you also want to socialise in class and then cook a good complex carb meal when you get home again. Having a chest strap, if fitted correctly, will provide a more accurate reading and the female FT60 is shaped well for comfort. It’s magenta (triple point score in my book) Opting for the inclusion of “Flowlink” (£30) enables you to upload your training data to Polar’s Personal Training website where you can chart your progress in a variety of ways and compete with others to reach your personal fitness goals fastest, giving you added motivation and AIWAAAA!!! Here’s a generic  sample page from the Polar personal training site, different models chart different data.

Don’t get me wrong, the Polar FT60 Female is not a newly launched product, in fact it’s been around for about 4+ years, this means if you buy a new one now it’s had it’s tweaks in design and add-ons are already built-in. It’s a well worn path, in that, any issues you have will likely be “known issues” and the resolution will be easier to find. You just got to be prepared for it to be superseded at some point …but even then there are now hundreds of apps available which successfully bridge the evolving tech gap meaning you can continue to use this HRM watch and chest strap adding in any new technology which becomes available in, say, 2018 in the form of a plug-in-dongle-app-turbocharged-thingwy as I’m sure they’ll be calling them by then.

Yeah, ok, so it’s £140

You’ve only got one life.

My Polar FT60 will be arriving soon and you’ll see me sporting it in BellyJam!


Fake Bake, meet Toffee Tottie!

December 12th, 2011

toffee body shimmer bronzer tanning oil


When you just can’t get time off to weekend in St. Tropez sometimes it’s great to treat yourself to a spray tan or “Fake Bake” for your impending performing gig or big night out but lets face it sometimes you can overdo it and windup looking, well.. fake and baked! It’s easy done and not so easily undone! …Then there’s the time and cost involved in this high maintenance treat and *then* there’s the interesting research I’ve been reading on the effects of excessive prolonged use of tanning treatments …so here it is, the bottle to look out for …I’ve recommended this product *a lot*

…Enter Mr. Indulgent Toffee Shimmer body oil. He’s bronzed, slick and smells pretty darn fine too. Spare just a few moments to enjoy using this product before your event and your skin, of any tone, takes on an instant contouring, healthy glow and you’ll smell positively edible too!

These days I’m gravitating a little closer towards the “less is more” centre of gravity and I believe that well cared for, radiant skin is what we should all aspire to first and foremost, then enhancing our natural beauty and letting our personality take the place of that third layer of mascara!

This is a dry oil so it doesn’t feel heavy on the skin. I have used it on my cheeks before but would recommend just for body. Spray it into your hand then apply straight from there as it will mark fabric and polished surfaces (hence the 4/5 stars) If you have very sensitive skin do one of those funny patch tests they always tell you to do, you know, just in case.

The bottle reads: ”Just a kiss of the sun” said the wise man “is that moment at dusk when sea turns to molten caramel, smooth like toffee and creamy soft. What if the sun turned water into gold? Take a melting moment to discover the Forbidden Fruit of nectar that surrounds you like caramel rain”. Take the indulgent pleasure of Toffee Shimmer with silky Sweet Almond Oil and Vitamin E, add the wisdom of Nirvana, make time in your day and turn your bathroom into a blissful spa.

Ingredients: Paraffinum Liquidum , Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride , Isopropyl Myristate , Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil , Silica , Tocopheryl Acetate , Tocopherol , Parfum , Mica , CI 77891 , CI 77491

…and just to make it an even sweeter tip off, it’s available in Asda for only £2!

Zumba Hurricane Bawbag

December 9th, 2011

Our beloved BellyJam class didn’t run on Thursday 8th December thanks to Hurricane Bawbag.

My decision to cancel was in line with the Edinburgh Council and Lothian & Borders Police advice not to travel and I considered it would be quite irresponsible to tempt people out on a potentially dangerous night. High risk does not always equal high reward… Take Zumba Fitness for example;

Zumba is a MACHINE driven by marketing and exploitation. Harsh you might say? well here’s why…

Zumba is essentially a 1989 aerobics fitness class that has been branded, heavily. The concept isn’t new, the branding is, oh… and the message that “it’s doesn’t matter if you’re not doing it right, just have fun!”

Zumba was reportedly born when aerobics instructor, Alberto Perez, forgot his music for a class he was delivering one day. He ran out to his car where he had a tape with salsa and merengue music on it. In the fitness industry forgetting your music for an ‘Exercise To Music’ class is incompetence and general salsa/merengue music doesn’t have the progressive bpm or 32-phrasing for an effective aerobics class so this wouldn’t actually meet the aims of participants. Oblivious to either of these things, apparently his class loved it and so “Zumba” was born.

Zumba grew and Mr. Perez’ students began to instruct their own classes. Over the next ten years investors came on board and the Les Mills – Body Training Systems (BTS) revolution that sold to public & private gyms globally had successfully blown open the group classes market and then plateaued, and salsa dancing was also at peak popularity, paving the way for the expansion of Zumba. A pyramid structure was then set up to secure the rapid growth of Zumba and paid endorsements from various celebrities elevated it’s status and the ball was rolling…

The emphasis of a Zumba class is not on having the best fitness technique you possibly can in order to get the results you want, it’s on having fun and dancing around like you’re at a party to burn calories. Great! …Brilliant! Except, eh dude? …that’s actually bloody dangerous when you’re standing in a 54m x 33m sports hall lined with 10 rows of 15 people. You’re at the back and can only follow the person in front, who is following the person in front of them and so on and so forth …all the way to the front where 1 instructor attempts to lead you all visually with little or no verbal instruction or teaching points. Movements we did in the classes I attended were decidedly iffy even for me and definitely not for the exercise inexperienced target market of Zumba. There were no proper warm up, main section and cool down structures to the classes I attended and generally, knowing what I know about fitness and exercise I wouldn’t rush back. Ever. I did however give Zumba a really good open-minded taster and I can say on the positive side it was good fun …but then realistically I could have had that fun standing in my living room flailing my limbs around to a music channel “…all the single ladies, ALL THE SINGLE LADIES… …all the single ladies, ALL THE SINGLE LADIES…”

A safe participant to instructor ratio is considered to be no more than 20 : 1. Teaching should take the form of naming the move, the areas of the body being worked, the individual muscles, a silent demonstration, explained demonstration, teaching and correction. Instruction should be at a minimum.  

A “Certified Zumba Instructor” is an individual who has paid £190 (US$300) to attend an 8 hour course which includes a short tutorial, receiving an instuction manual, 3 x DVD’s to watch, 1 x music CD and a certificate of completion. There are no prerequisites, you’re 80 year old granny with a heart condition and chronic osteoporosis could become a Certified Zumba Instructor, as long as she hands over £190 and turns up on the day. There are a number of very good professionally qualified fitness instructors who have sadly felt compelled to pay up to “join the party” as they’ve had their regular teaching slot taken from them in favour of adding Zumba to the timetable, so it’s a case of either beat them or join them. Zumba apparently contains salsa, Bachata, Merengue, Reggaeton, Hip Hop, Street Dance and “Belly Dance” There are additional class types including Aqua Zumba which is inherently flawed. The skills of each individual instructor will vary drastically, be warned.

By 2011 Zumba has now rolled out its pyramid structure within 125 countries with a reported 2 million people taking part in weekly classes at studios, gyms, community centres, schools, you name it Zumba will be there. It has it’s own fitness equipment range, training shoes, the most popular wii game this year, clothing range and as I sickeningly discovered the other day a Zumba newborn baby onesie, so now your treasured little bubba can endorse Zumba too!

Zumba gets people off the couch and introduces a new spectrum of people to dance fitness classes, all be it training the majority of these people to value industry crippling low prices and low quality sessions which make claim to more than they are realistically capable of. As with all things in life, there is a balance to be found within. There are positives to Zumba and it will leave it’s creative legacy within the dance fitness industry paving the way for another trend to follow. I just hope people can use their common sense, take initiative to learn about quality & movement and that there aren’t too many injuries & court settlements along the way!

This post is likely to come under pressure by unknowing enthusiasts and the teams of people Zumba employs on a full time basis to police the internet for such outing truths. As a professional dance teacher & fitness instructor who has studied the industry for many years I am qualified to own these opinions and I do so proudly. Safe & honest exercise will always be my passionate motivation. My participants will always come first.

Of course the flip side of “high risk, high reward” is that you might just reach out to the best thing you’ve ever done! Make informed choices, limit the risk and you’ll rarely go wrong.

If you’ve had enough of Zumba for a while, come try my BellyJam class. It’s a safe, effective & good fun fusion of Belly Dance Aerobics. Ironically, the only real challenge I face with BellyJam is sourcing more BellyDance Aerobics music as it’s so specialised it’s not in mainstream production! 

Ditch the Zombies, join our Jams!

(btw if you own a couple of Zumba branded tshirts you want rid of, don’t think about trying to sell them on ebay, they’ll have your account suspended in a bid to control the supply/demand/value of the Zumba brand, yeah I know, SHOCKING! You can buy the above t-shirt for £14.50 from GetAroundGlasgow …they have my size!)

Exercise Programming & Personal Training for Women

November 20th, 2011

Thought I’d start regularly sharing news on some of the other exciting things I offer to women in the community. First up is Exercise Programming & Personal Training…

Start making the right choices for you now!

Recognising and understanding the needs of the female form and of the individual woman Lindsey can guide you towards progressive and maintainable fitness levels using nothing but absolutely fun and effective techniques. She believes “there is no greater force on earth than your own personal will” Lindsey says: “..we all live in mindsets, mindsets are just choices in disguise. Once you know this you can make the right choices for you.. and if you choose to keep fit, be strong, confident and attractive I’m right here to help you..”

Building a working relationship of trust & positive motivation, Lindsey first assesses your aims and then carefully calculates the path of that journey. Offering 1 to 1 sessions in the comfort of your own home & local area at a time that suits you, with previous employment as Gym Supervisor at Stevenson College Edinburgh & the backing of many delighted previous clients Lindsey is ‘like a little ray of sunshine’

Lindsey Marie Silver operates professional Health & Fitness services in and around Edinburgh & Glasgow.
Also trained in Pre and Post Natal exercise she is confident in delivering safe and effective sessions to all.
Fully Qualified & Insured | Advanced First Aider | Enhanced Disclosure Certified |

| 1.5 hour sessions | 1 to 1′s or groups of up to 3 | £35 per individual session | discounted block bookings

Add some sparkle to your life!

Call: 07853 197 964


The New Reebok Easytone Training Shoe

April 2nd, 2010

Knowing my belly dance students and fitness clients lifestyles pretty well I know some of you will be really interested in the new Reebok Easytone Shoe.

Read more »

..and now for the science bit!

February 18th, 2010

Throughout my studies of Middle Eastern dance and Health, Fitness and Exercise I’ve come to notice a significant lack of scientific research available on the effects of Bellydance. Most teachers of the dance will make claim to certain health benefits, the majority of which can therefore only be surmised, nothing more than guess work, passed on from teacher to student – teacher to student and so forth. This lack of accuracy and reliability will perhaps not aid the preservation of a dance so historic, it certainly won’t  help those who dance it today for a plethora of reasons.

..and so, I seek to find the facts, for myself and my teachings and also for others who will find the results very valuable. Read more »