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    “I Tried The Latest Massage That Promises To Help With Insomnia, Pain And Fatigue.”

    A magnesium massage may sound like something better suited to pro-athletes or off-the-grid wellness gurus, but there’s a growing body of research that’s showing us mere mortals should jump aboard the magnesium train. 

    To find out if you can actually massage your way to better ZZZ’s, we kneaded our way through the research before getting treated to a much-needed kneading at a Cape Town spa. Here’s everything you need to know about magnesium massages.

    What Is Magnesium?

    “Magnesium is an essential macronutrient that plays a key role in many body processes, including muscle, nerve, and bone health and mood,” according to Medical News Today. Many people don’t get enough in their diet despite it being found in a variety of different foods like nuts, beans and leafy greens, says Healthline. 

    READ MORE: Exactly How Sleep Deprivation And Weight Gain Are Linked – And How To Prevent The Spread

    The Benefits Of Magnesium:

    If you’ve spent any time on the health and wellness side of TikTok, you’ll no doubt have come across videos about magnesium and the amazing benefits people have experienced from taking supplements. But it’s not just a factless fad. Research conducted into the benefits of magnesium and magnesium supplements have shown many benefits:

    It may boost exercise performance: One 2015 study of 2 570 women associated higher magnesium intake with increased muscle mass and power.

    It may improve PMS symptoms: Some research suggests that magnesium supplements help relieve PMS symptoms, menstrual cramps and migraine attacks.

    It may combat depression: A PubMed Central study linked low levels of magnesium to an increased risk of depression.

    It may support better sleep: Research has shown a positive link between magnesium and improved sleep

    Magnesium may also be linked to supporting healthy blood sugar levels, promoting heart health, fighting inflammation, and reducing symptoms of anxiety. 

    What Is A Magnesium Massage?

    It’s usually a full-body massage that incorporates magnesium oil to help induce a state of calm, help with pain and fatigue and give you a great night’s sleep.

    Why Get A Magnesium Massage For Better Sleep?

    Like many of the above-mentioned TikTok users will tell you, magnesium supplements are a very common natural remedy for sleep problems like insomnia. And there’s a scientific reason for that; magnesium regulates many neurotransmitters that are involved with sleep. One such neurotransmitter is GABA (or gamma-aminobutyric acid) which is a neurotransmitter associated with helping with feelings of anxiety, stress, and fear. And what do you know, a 2017 systematic review showed that magnesium supplementation also had a beneficial effect on mild anxiety.

    But if your problem is falling asleep, a 2021 review of older adults who had insomnia found that magnesium supplements lowered the amount of time it took them to fall asleep by an average of 17 minutes. And another study of almost 4000 adults found a link between taking magnesium and improved sleep quality and duration.

    Plus, if you find yourself nodding off in your morning meeting or needing to take a nap in the arvie, a PubMed Central study found that women who had a higher magnesium intake experience a decreased likelihood of falling asleep during the day.  

    While magnesium supplements could positively impact your sleep, like the research suggests (always consult a doc before taking anything new though), magnesium massage therapy could be an underrated sleep hack.

    READ MORE: Normal Sleep — Turns Out, There Might Be No Such Thing

    How Does It Work?

    Transdermal (through the skin) magnesium therapy has been touted online as a hero ingredient that could potentially cure many conditions. It’s said that when used topically, it’s absorbed straight into the body’s cells and tissues, raising magnesium levels in a shorter period of time. 

    However, the research is limited and there are varying opinions about your body’s ability to absorb it through the skin. One Journal of Integrative Medicine study showed that magnesium oil alleviated fibromyalgia symptoms, such as pain. And we know that many athletes love using magnesium in their routines.

    Magnesium Massage Full Review

    Between never-ending loadshedding and a Woolies avo costing a month’s rent, it’s no wonder we’re losing out on precious ZZZ’s.  And while most of us are cutting out anything that isn’t a necessity, I’m here to tell you why a magnesium massage might just be worth the investment.

    I tried the Muscle And Joint Magnesium Therapy Massage at Steenberg Spa. It’s a luxury wellness spa in the Constantia Winelands (tough job). Their massage promises to re-energise the body while treating symptoms of insomnia, pain and fatigue. According to them, their luxurious magnesium therapy induces a state of calm and promise’s a good night’s sleep.

    My treatment expert carefully kneaded away at my body, working through my problem areas (my back – thanks WFH shrimp-like posture!). And by the end of it I felt relaxed and rejuvenated. She even told me concern areas; knots along my scapula and tightness in my lower back I was unaware of. Following a delicious breakfast of fruit, yoghurt, granola and green juice, I wandered through the gardens and pool where you can lounge with a glass of bubbles and a good book.

    You can’t help but feel relaxed being surrounded by gorg gardens, buildings and mountains at Steenberg. But the real star of the show is their scented garden. You can have your massage in this secluded haven that’s punctuated by fragrant flora and a towering Oak tree. So you can soak up nature’s scenes, sounds and scents and segue into a peaceful state. 

    So Did It Help With Insomnia And Fatigue?

    Yes, the real impact happened that night. My sleep is where I suffer most when I’m stressed out. I experience late nights with my mind racing, wake up several times throughout the night and lie for hours trying to fall asleep. Bedtime becomes something I dread, anxiety building throughout the evening as I worry I will have another sleepless night. 

    I’d had a few weeks of terrible sleep so I was in serious need of a good night’s rest. And that’s exactly what happened. I fell asleep almost immediately, without any of that bedtime anxiety, and I slept through the night, not waking up once (a very rare occurrence for me). And the following nights were exactly the same.

    Of course, I can’t state how much of it was placebo or not. But it really helped with the weeks of insomnia I had been dealing with and reset my bedtime routine. Sometimes you just need to break the pattern to alleviate bedtime anxiety that accompanies an extended period of bad sleep. And this massage was exactly that. Although managing the stressors in your life so that your sleep is unaffected is first prize. 

    For me, The Muscle And Joint Magnesium Therapy Massage at Steenberg did exactly what it promised and had lasting benefits outside of what a sublime spa day already does. The massage costs R1 100 for 60 minutes, R1 210 for 75 minutes and R1 340 for 90 minutes and in my opinion it’s well worth it just for the good night’s sleep, let alone the luxe experience you receive.

    READ MORE: The 6 Greatest Recovery Tools That Ease Tight Muscles

    What To Book

    They currently have an amazing Scented Bliss package on offer that’s the ultimate spoil. You’ll have your massage in the Scented Garden. This package for two includes a side-by-side Herbal Oil Massage, Pressure Point Foot Massage and Scalp Ritual at R2450 (60 minutes) or R2970 (90 minutes).

    Alternatively, you can have one of their three unique massage treatments. There’s the CBD Wellness Journey for pain relief and immune boosting, Bellabaci Signature Massage for circulation and toxin elimination or the highly-recommended-by-me Muscle and Joint Magnesium Therapy Massage for fatigue and insomnia.

    Post-pamper, indulge with a bottle of crisp Steenberg 1682 Chardonnay Cap Classique and a refreshing dip in the pool. And it doesn’t have to end there; delight your taste buds with a Scented Garden private dining experience. At R1 250 per person, you’ll get to enjoy a three-course meal on the candlelit deck under the stars with the gentle sounds of trickling water from the garden’s water feature for ambience.

    How To Get More Magnesium In Your Diet

    Once you leave the Steenberg spa, you can still incorporate magnesium into your everyday life. These foods are rich in magnesium (click on the magnesium sources for delicious recipes using these ingredients):

    Pumpkin seeds

    Chia seeds

    Black beans

    Kidney beans

    Edamame beans




    Potato with the skin on



    Peanut butter

    Brown rice



    Soy milk

    Whole wheat bread

    Low-fat yoghurt


    Fortified breakfast cereals

    Add These Magnesium Sources To Your Pantry

    Shop them from local brand, Faithful To Nature. You’ll have the magnesium magic sources at the ready every time you want to cook or have a snack.

    Chia seeds contain 335mg of magnesium per 100g.

    Pumpkin seeds contain 262mg of magnesium per 100g.

    Almonds contain 268mg of magnesium per 100g.

    Cashews contain 292mg of magnesium per 100g.

    1/2 cup of cooked black beans contains 60mg of magnesium.

    Kidney beans contain 140mg of magnesium per 100g.

    Peanut butter contains 154mg of magnesium per 100g.

    1 serving of instant oats contains 36mg of magnesium.

    1 cup of soy milk contains 61mg of magnesium.

    Women’s Health participates in various affiliate marketing programmes, which means we may get commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.

    Kelleigh is the Managing Editor of Women’s Health. When she’s not convincing her colleagues to try the latest TikTok trends, you can find her planning a holiday that never leaves the group chat, binge-reading or eating her way through Cape Town. More

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    The 27 Best Wines For Any Occasion You Can Imagine

    From fizzy celebratory toasts to flavoursome meal pairings, it’s only right that we honour the accompaniment to so many of our cherished rituals. After rigorous testing (tough job), WH editors and wine experts bring you the best wines of 2023.

    The Best Wines Of 2023 For Summer Feels

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    Best White

    La Vierge Jezebelle Chardonnay

    Funky and fresh, it’ll trick your friends into thinking you hand-selected it after acing the vino course at Le Cordon Bleu. Hell, it might even convert ‘I-don’t-like-white-wine’-ers.

    Prettiest Bottle

    Gerard Bertrand Cote des Roses

    Not since college have booze bottles doubled as décor – until this. Wine today, vase tomorrow, it’s the ideal hostess gift or centrepiece for a gathering with friends and family.

    Best Rosé

    Hidden Valley Wines Hidden Treasure

    Doesn’t matter who you are or what season it is, this never-not-cool bottle, containing hints of delicious candy floss, is a damn classic.

    Best Bubbles

    Lubanzi Rosé Bubbles NV

    A highly gluggable cherry berry explosion that pairs well with that raise you busted your ass for. Chug away, you superstar.

    Best Orange

    Intellego Elementis

    Yes, the goddess Chenin Blanc comes in this sexy hue. You: in a cozzie, new sunnies, and sipping a glass of this till further notice.

    Best Canapé Pairing

    FAT bastard The Golden Reserve

    Summer red? Sure! This cabernet sauvignon / merlot blend has flavours of dark berry fruit and plum that pair well with canapés.

    Best For Christmas Leftovers

    Botanica Mary Delany Pinot Noir

    This cherry and strawberry Pinot is the yin to your salty leftover turkey and stuffing yang. Because opposites do, in fact, attract. A hot take, and you’ll probs agree.

    Best For Summer Braais

    Leopard’s Leap Pinotage

    Mostly due to its super-delish hints of pomegranate and raspberry sherbet. Sipped from a Solo cup, it’s summer sun in a glass.

    Best For New Year’s Eve

    Villa Esposto Muscat D’Alexandrie

    This is quite literally liquid dessert and guaranteed to help you end the year (or any night) on a good note. Expect honey, fruity dessert wine goodness.

    READ MORE: Mindful Drinking: How More And More People Are Becoming ‘Sober Curious’

    The Best Wines Of 2023 For General Excellence

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    Best Red

    Paul Cluver Village Pinot Noir

    When you need a solid hug substitute, this goes-with-everything Pinot Noir tastes like ripe plums, roasted spices and calling your mom.

    Best Low-ABV

    Spier 5.5% Chenin Blanc

    Oh hey, it’s the answer to having super fun times and still waking up before noon. It tastes like tropical fruit, sunshine, and festivity sans hangover, of course.

    Best Organic

    Reyneke Organic Sauvignon Blanc

    When that one friend who shops only at Wellness Warehouse swings by, pour them this. It’s a Sauvy B babe that’s just complex enough to leave you intrigued.

    Best Canned

    Buffelsfontein Wyntjie Steen 2022

    This fruity sip that looks like the Tin Man but tastes sweet like Dorothy won’t spill in your backpack. It’s perfect for picnics or B.Y.O.B braais with friends and family.

    Best Boxed

    Two Oceans Sauvignon Blanc

    Pour a glass before a date, another on pasta night and a couple more when you want to escape to a beachside villa without leaving your couch. This is a classic for a reason.

    Best Under R65

    Alvi’s Drift Signature Chenin Blanc

    Alvi’s Drift is that friend you know you can call up anytime and they’ll be there to make the day that much sweeter – always reliable, always incredible, never disappointing.

    Best Under R130

    Babylon’s Peak The Wedge Wines Grenache 2018

    She’s low budget, but honestly, her blackberry and mocha notes demand a Lake Como boat ride and diamonds.

    Best Find It Anywhere

    Haute Cabrière Pierre Jourdan Tranquille

    Whether you’re on a grocery run or being snobby in a local wine shop, you can always grab this vibrant classic.

    Best Vegan

    Van Loveren Four Cousins Skinny Red Wine Box

    What, your vegan wine doesn’t come in a bag-in-a-box? It’s time to become a papsak princess. Extra points for lower alc and kJs.

    READ MORE: 13 Simple Mocktails To Make This Year

    The Best Wines Of 2023 For Situational Drinks

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    Best For Roomie Skinder Sessions

    Sparkling Pinot Noir Rosé 2022

    Nothing beats popping a beautiful bottle with your girls. And because shit-talking requires much fizzy, pinot-based fuel, this is an ideal third wheel for laughter-filled catch-ups.

    Best For Getting In Your Feels

    Hillcrest Estate Malbec

    Christmas spices and dense dark berries will leave you wistful for holidays past. Best paired with a bubble bath followed by your fave comfort romcom.

    Best For That Time Of The Month

    Hartenberg Merlot Malbec

    Science says red wine actually helps alleviate cramps. So pour yourself a glass, grab that hot water bottle and cheers the scientists who figured that one out.

    Best For Girls’ Night

    Da Luca Prosecco DOC

    It’s high time to retire the “white or red?” table debate. They’re both flat. Grab this affordable bubbly instead and celebrate the women and mashed potatoes before ye.

    Best For Office Parties

    De Grendel Merlot

    Small talk with your colleagues on a Thursday night? Enter this Merlot that’s still not as heavy as that awks convo with Sally from accounts you’ll never forget.

    Best For Series Binges

    Piekenierskloof Cinsault

    The easy-drinking sipper you need while knee-deep in the drama of The Wife or Blood & Water. Enjoy with your fave salty snack (we like this local recipe).

    Best For Sunday Scaries

    Constantia Uitsig Natura Vista 2019

    This full-bodied white blend is school night safe and has flavours of sweet melon and soft lime. Basically, it’s like doing yoga but yummier.

    Best For A Veggie Braai With Family

    Aaldering Estate Pinotage 2020

    The raspberry, cherry and earthy flavours will pair perfectly with the smoky char of whatever delish veggie treat you’re braaing. No ribs or chops necessary.

    Best For A Celebratory Splurge

    Ken Forrester Dirty Little Secret Three

    Want to splurge for a momentous occasion? The cellar exclusive wine will age beautifully for at least 10 years. This natural beauty makes a great wedding gift.

    Kelleigh Korevaar

    Kelleigh is the Managing Editor of Women’s Health. When she’s not convincing her colleagues to try the latest TikTok trends, you can find her planning a holiday that never leaves the group chat, binge-reading or eating her way through Cape Town. More

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    “I Tried A Vitamin IV Drip For A Health Boost — Here’s What Happened”

    I’m pretty into exploring new ways to boost my health, which is why getting a vitamin IV drip piqued my interest.
    I’ve had a vitamin B12 shot a few times and it was sore AF, so volunteering for a whole IV just didn’t seem worth it to me. Until I chatted to a friend, who had recently found a “cool new IV Bar in Camps Bay” and swore it did wonders for her skin. I’m guilty of chasing the glow as much as the next girl, so I decided to brave up and go for it…
    Here’s Exactly What Happened…
    Walking into the IV Bar I didn’t quite know what to expect, but much to my delight there were no hospital beds or scary IV trolleys. Instead, I was greeted by friendly faces and delightfully comfy armchairs. We discussed my needs and decided that the Signature IV Therapy aka the “Royal IV” was best for me – with a high dose of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
    READ MORE: Will Collagen Supplements Really Make You Any Healthier?
    The very gentle and caring Nurse administered my IV. It was slightly painful, but not what I’d built it up to be (very often the case). And then I sat back, relaxed and sucked on a few sweets (these counter the metallic taste you get from the drip), while the 45-minute vitamin boost entered my veins.
    Most people will know IV bars as the place that celebs go when they’ve got a mean hangover and need to get rid of it fast. And sure, you can get them done. But MobivIVe has a lot more to offer than a hangover treatment or as they call it the “Babelas Beater”. They also administer drips for pregnant women, people who want to boost their immune system and avoid or recover from COVID-19, anti-ageing, detoxifying, energy boosting, high performance athletes and more.
    As for me, once I left the beautiful IV bar, my energy levels immediately perked up. I met a friend for a meal afterwards and felt alert and excited to see her. I wasn’t all buzzed the way you get from a caffeine overdose though; instead, I felt a sense of calmness. A few weeks down the line, I noticed my skin was glowing and I was sleeping better. Although, typical to the season I’ve picked up a little cold. I know an “Immune Boost” IV with vitamin C is just what’s needed to sort me out… I think it’s safe to say I might be hooked.
    Everything You Need To Know About Vitamin IV Drips
    While these IVs are a mix of vitamins and minerals that are already found in your body, it’s important to do your research and make sure whoever is administering your drip really is clued up. Here’s everything we all want to know about this latest health trend…
    Before you visit and IV Bar, what credentials etc. should you check the establishment for?
    Safety is critical! You want to make sure the intravenous vitamin centre is associated with a doctor and a registered nurse is administering the drips. Even though it’s vitamins and minerals and is considered very safe, you want to make sure the vitamins you are receiving are compounded in a sterile facility, and that the nurse has extensive experience in dripping clients. Also, from a logistical point of view, you want to go somewhere that’s inviting, comfortable and has a good energy. This is not a grudge purchase – it’s by choice, and you want to enjoy your time there.
    Do the IV drips come with any side effects – during, immediately after or the next day?
    There are no negative side effects at all – only the upside! Very few people have reported a slight headache after the detox drip, but this is normal as the body is getting rid of toxins… it’s just incredibly rare. Some people get minor bruising at the needle site, which again is normal and usually not painful. Most people, however, don’t bruise and feel the positive effects of the energy boost and immune boost immediately.
    READ MORE: 4 Simple Healthy Coffee Hacks To Really Boost Your Blend
    What are the costs of the IV?
    The MobivIVe vitamin drips start at R750 and go up, depending on the drip. Their IV drips are well priced so that they can be available to everyone – not just the stars and singers and actors and athletes who can afford a lot more. The vitamin drips have effective and safe compounds at an affordable price.
    For more info, check out MobivIVe. More

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    REVIEW: I Tried A Vibrating Foam Roller PLUS How You Can Win One

    Confession: When Women’s Health asked me to review a vibrating foam roller – the Hyperice Vyper 2.0  to be precise – my immediate thought was that it was going to be another gimmicky fitness tool that would end up gathering dust in the cupboard. Turns out, I was wrong.
    Vibrating Foam Roller: First Impression
    At first glance, the Hyperice Vyper 2.0 looks just like a regular foam roller – a solid cylinder about 30cm long. In the box, you also get a charging cable and a number of international plug adaptors.
    On closer inspection, there’s an on/off switch on one end and another button on the other, which controls vibration speed. LEDs indicate that it’s on and as well as its level of charge.

    How It Works
    When you switch it on, the foam roller starts vibrating fiercely, even at its lowest speed (there are three). I found it worked better to get in position first and only then switch it on – otherwise it jumped around on the floor alarmingly.
    Initially, I tried rolling on it but soon discovered that keeping it in one spot was the way to go – the vibrations do all the work that I would usually do by rolling back and forth.
    [embedded content]
    What The Research Says
    There seems to be a decent amount of evidence that the vibes actually work.
    For instance, a small study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology found that participants using a vibrating roller experienced better range of motion in their hips compared to those using a standard roller.
    And a 2019 study in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine found that vibrating foam rollers had a substantially bigger effect on pain threshold than standard rollers.
    WH Tests It
    I happened to receive the Hyperice Vyper 2.0 vibrating foam roller at a time when a sciatic nerve issue was hampering my training. I found that positioning the trouble spot (my piriformis) on the roller and then holding still while the vibrations went to work gave me relief.
    I could feel the tension easing but I didn’t experience that close-your-eyes-and-go-to-your-happy-place pressure pain that I’m used to with regular rollers. (Incidentally, research backs this up – using a vibrating roller on sore muscles was shown to have a similar effect to regular rolling but participants found it easier and more comfortable.)
    In the weeks that followed, the universe saw fit to throw more muscular niggles my way – forearm, hamstring, back. Clocking time on the roller provided relief for all of the above. I even used it under my feet, although I found it works best on longer muscles, like the hamstrings. NB: Keep it away from your neck – the vibrations are intense and skull-rattling!
    The benefits of foam rolling are numerous but I tend not to do it as often as I should because a) The pain! and b) It’s a mission. I found I used the vibrating foam roller way more often and got results. It’s a yes from me, although at R2 900, it’s an investment.
    WIN a Hyperice Vyper Go vibrating roller worth R3 000!
    Designed for portability, the Vyper Go is ideal for anyone who travels regularly. It’s TSA approved for hand luggage, has three vibration speeds and two hours of battery life. And you can win one rn!

    How do you enter?
    It’s so easy!
    1. Make sure that you are following us on Instagram @womenshealthmagsa and @hyperice2. Then fill in your details and sign up to our newsletter here or below.3. To be eligible for the prize, you must be over 18 and a South African resident, and follow all the steps above.4. The winner will be randomly selected and notified.

    READ MORE ON: Fitness Gear WH Tests It More

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    I Tried The Planet Fitness FitBuddy App – Here’s What I Think

    The Planet Fitness FitBuddy app to marries your gym membership with your goals and your real-life schedule.
    When it comes to workout apps, there are truly no shortages. The global lockdown did nothing if not create an even sturdier offering as we all attempted to get buff within the confines of our four walls.
    But as we came out of lockdown, some apps stuck around on our phones. I tried the Planet Fitness FitBuddy app and wondered if it was going to be a staple addition in my phone’s fitness folder – and it delivered.
    What is the Planet Fitness FitBuddy app?
    It’s a workout app, but like the term “fit buddy” denotes, you’re held accountable. When you sign up, you’re assigned a real coach at Planet Fitness, who loads workouts for you in the app to hit your desired goals. You’re also asked to log your meals in an associated app that’s sent to you to download.
    Unlike other workout apps, where you scroll through a variety of workouts and pick the one you feel up to, FitBuddy has scheduled workouts loaded in it, and you do the workout designated for you by your trainer.
    If you have a smartwatch, you can sync the data to the app so your steps, caloric expenditure and heart rate information can be tracked, too.

    READ MORE:  “I Did A 30-Day Push-up Challenge—Here’s What Happened”
    I Tried The FitBuddy App
    When I downloaded the app, I expected to scroll through workouts, pick one, do it, and share my achievement, like every other fitness app. But this app is a bit more involved than others – and it’s great. I got an email from my trainer, Tokey, who scheduled a call with me to chat about my fitness goals, how often I exercise and any other niggling issues I had. I told him I wanted to improve my surfing ability and that I’ve been trying to ditch about 10 kilos for a few years. We spoke about my eating habits, how often I train, the kind of training I do, and a few other lifestyle preferences.
    Then, he devised a training programme for me and input the data into my app. I was to do three workouts a week, totalling 20 minutes each, and he left room for my surfing sessions (which I can also log in the app, along with any other extra activities).
    READ MORE: 11 Best New Running Shoes That’ll Inspire Your Next PB
    At first, I struggled to find my way around the app, until I realised that I didn’t necessarily need to explore anything, but rather just open it, navigate to my scheduled workout and do it.
    Taking the brain work out of losing weight and being healthy is one of the huge benefits of an app like this. Without having to think about anything, you’re less likely to come up with an excuse or feel fatigued after scrolling through different workouts before actually committing to one.
    READ MORE: Quick HIIT Warm Up: Blast More KJs By Doing These 3 Moves First
    Added to that, Tokey sends me regular messages, checking in on my progress. He’s also able to see if I’ve skipped a workout or failed to log a few meals, which is excellent if you’re serious about making progress. Because there’s a real human being at the other end of the phone, if anything is bothering you, it can be fixed, which I really appreciated. I have a niggly back that’s been lousy from overuse, and my workouts are adjusted nicely to make up for that.
    Overall, this is one app I’d recommend if you’re looking to get serious about your progress and goals. Plus, you don’t have to be a Planet Fitness member to join at all. Keen to try it? Book a consultation here.

    READ MORE ON: Fitness Gear Fitness Trackers WH Tests It More

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    “I Did A 30-Day Push-up Challenge—Here’s What Happened”

    There’s a reason military sergeants demand push-ups as a form of punishment. They are effing hard, can knock even the fittest off their feet—okay, toes—and seem to be designed to reveal weaknesses. So much so that fitness editors have been guilty of blowing off the classic move. My go-to excuses when they pop up in a class or training session: “I’m too sore” or “My elbow hurts!”
    But! They’re also one of the all-time exercise MVPs, no question. Push-ups are mega-efficient multitaskers—working your whole body in every rep.
    With fitness streaks (a month of repeating the same exercise every day) being all the rage, we wondered: Could committing to a 30-day push-up challenge finally change our feelings toward the little guys, all while chiselling our muscles? Ready to rid myself of my own cop-outs and make something of my average arms, I signed up to find out.
    READ MORE: Quick HIIT Warm Up: Blast More KJs By Doing These 3 Moves First
    Wanna Try A Fitness Challenge? Here’s What To Do – And What To Avoid
    First step in taking on a 30-day push-up challenge: I called personal-training connoisseur Tony Gentilcore, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, to help me devise the plan.
    Modified (or “girlie”) push-ups—which so many of us drop into to up our rep count—were out of the question; they don’t build strength in the full range of up-down motion, so they’re no help. But no need for tons of reps, anyway.
    Some push-up challenges online – you’ll find thousands – will call for 100 push-ups a day, or some that add more to the set every day. Not necessary, according to Gentilcore. Our 30-day push-up challenge called for just 10 pushups each day.
    “Ten is the minimal effective and sustainable dose,” Gentilcore said—meaning, it’s just enough to induce noticeable changes in upper-body strength and appearance without overloading you to the point of quitting. Even then, “take as long as you need—or split them up over the day—to make sure you’re completing high-quality reps,” he told me.
    As someone who works out six days a week, I thought, ten push-ups? No prob—I can knock those out after my workouts or while I’m cooking dinner. But the first few days were unexpectedly tough. Since my typical routine had mostly consisted of exercises like biceps curls and shoulder presses (muscle-isolating moves) and occasional boxing, my upper body parts weren’t used to working together to hoist my body weight. And while this new daily stress on the same muscle groups never left me can’t-wash-my-hair sore, I definitely shook through the end of my set on Friday.
    READ MORE: It’s Time To Try Padel: The New Social Sport Everyone’s Talking About
    30-Day Push-Up Challenge: Finding Momentum
    Still, things turned around fairly quickly: On day one, it took me five minutes (and several breaks) to get through 10 polished, chest-to-the-floor reps. By day 15, it took me under three minutes. On day 30, it took me just 27 seconds. “The more you do something, the better you get at it, because you’re improving communication between your neurons and muscles,” explains Gentilcore.
    Not only did my push-ups become easier, but everything else I did in the gym—planks, ball slams, battle ropes—felt less taxing too. “A lot of people think the best way to measure progress is through brute strength—where you test how much weight you can possibly move for one rep,” he says. “But a far better gauge of progress is whether you’re less fatigued after completing the same amount of work.” Awesome-sauce.
    Now let’s talk about the other kind of progress—the flexed-muscles kind. Did I go from meh muscles to dope guns? Not quite. Turns out, unless you are a genetically blessed muscle gainer, per Gentilcore, 30 days isn’t exactly long enough to develop lasting definition. Muscle growth and fat loss—the combo that lets those babies shine through—usually takes a bit longer, at least six-ish weeks.
    Push-Up Variations
    Try the variations in this video if you’re bored with the run-of-the-mill push-ups:
    [embedded content]
    The Results: Do 30-Day Push-Up Challenges Work?
    What I did see after the month? Noticeably more sculpted shoulders—to the point that my tops started to fit higher up on my chest—and slightly more pronounced biceps and triceps. I also saw a very welcome bonus: flatter abs. “To do a clean push-up, your core has to engage to keep your hips level throughout—hence the tighter stomach.”
    And here’s the best change: When I walked into boxing-meets-HIIT hot spot Rumble last week and had to crank out 30 push-ups, I didn’t spit out an alibi about the previous night’s margs or throw my gloves in the instructor’s face.
    Competence is a crucial ingredient to confidence—which, as Gentilcore puts it, “is the secret to not only maintaining an activity, but also enjoying it.” Perhaps that’s why 15 days post-challenge, I’m still going strong—and not as a punishment, but as a reward.
    This article was originally featured on

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    “I Tried The New Apple Watch Series 7 And I’m Totally Upgrading ASAP”

    It’s no secret that I’m an Apple Watch devotee. At this point, it feels a little bit like Christmas morning when I get word about a new watch model being released. But part of the magic of the Apple Watch is that every iteration really does feel like you’re getting a new, novel product with bells and whistles you didn’t even realize you wanted – until you have them. After getting a look at the Apple Watch Series 7, that was the case for me once again.
    The Series 7 (as well as the latest watchOS 8 software) boasts some subtle upgrades that make it more wearable than previous models, like a larger screen display, gorgeous new colourways (I love my gold-silvery Starlight watch face), and better battery life. But after wearing the Apple Watch Series 7 for several days around the clock, it’s clear to me the upgrade will only make my wellness routine even stronger with some surprising new bigger and better features.
    READ MORE: 15 Best Running Shoes for Women + How to Pick The Right Trainers for You
    Ahead, a rundown of the fresh features I’m most excited about, and how they’ve helped me day to day. (The Series 7 officially launched October 15 and you can order it here.)

    It has multiple new health and fitness features.
    The Series 7 includes a new Mindfulness app that prompts you to take a minute to reflect throughout your day. The Reflect feature in the app instructs you to pause and use the time to notice your thoughts as they go through your mind. As a busy person constantly hustling from a workout to a meeting to an event, even those reminders for 60-second pauses make a difference for my mental well-being.
    When it comes to working out, the Series 7 also includes Tai Chi and Pilates as workout types in the Workout app. But the workout update (on watchOS 8, so you don’t need the Series 7 to use it!) that really blew my mind is the new fall detection feature that can now detect falls during workouts, like if you tumble off your bike while outdoor cycling. Safety first!

    READ MORE: 12 Bonnie Mbuli Wellness Quotes To Keep You Motivated
    Lastly, I started noticing a little cheerleader voice coming from my wrist when I would, say, close my Move ring or hit a mile marker on a walk or jog. The Series 7 includes new voice feedback via the built-in speaker (or through your AirPods or other Bluetooth headphones) that automatically announces workout milestones and Activity ring progress. For me, this means less glancing down at my Watch to check my stats, distance, time – and more head in the game during all my workouts.
    It charges faster than before.
    The Series 7 has a battery life of 18 hours, and it juices up 33 percent faster compared to the Series 6. This is super-helpful for me right before bed, when I need a little extra power on my Watch in order to keep it charged through the night to track my sleep.
    It includes a keyboard to make responding to texts and emails a breeze.
    As much as it pains me to let the outside world interrupt my workouts, there are plenty of times where I need to respond to a time-sensitive text or email. Up until now I’ve used voice dictation when absolutely necessary, which isn’t always the most accurate on loud city streets.
    READ MORE: Busy With Work All The Time? Try This 25-Minute Total-Body HIIT Workout And Torch Calories Fast
    The Series 7 has two larger font sizes to make messages more readable, as well as a special keyboard that lets you slide your finger over the keys to “messy type,” as I like to call it – and it autocorrects spelling errors and anticipates your next words to make your communication quicker (and less disruptive!).
    *This article was originally published on Women’s Health US

    READ MORE ON: Fitness Gear gear tech WH Tests It More

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    15 Best Running Shoes for Women + How to Pick The Right Trainers for You

    Finding the right running trainers for you is just as important as correct form and technique. (And, yes. That includes getting your running warm-up and cool-down done, too. No skipping!). Plus, with it being a new year, it’s a pretty good time to treat yourself and get all kitted out.
    READ MORE: 5 Workouts To Help You Tone, Trim, and Build Muscle This Summer
    Why are good running shoes so important?
    Making sure you have the right running shoes is a point certified strength coach and footwear expert Emma Kirk-Odunubi stresses, especially because different runs demand different footwear:
    ‘As your distance increases many people generally want to increase the cushioning level of their shoe. For (postponed) half marathon or marathon runners, having greater cushioning over longer distances can have its benefits.’
    But we get it: good running shoes are an investment and the price tag can often exceed what you’d budgeted to spend on new takkies. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up a mix of the best women’s running trainers so you can shop to your feet and budget’s content.
    What to look for in running shoes for women

    Cushioning: This helps the ground feel softer underfoot and encourages ground-contact stability.

    Weight: Lighter shoes typically have less cushioning, giving an increased rebound off the ground. They’re designed for speedy splits and powerful runs. For longer distances choose heavier shoes with more cushioning.

    Drop: This is the difference in the cushioning level from the rear foot to the forefoot. The lower the drop, the more conducive the shoe is for a speedy running style. Speed shoes will tend to have around a 4mm drop.

    READ MORE: How Much Muscle You Build Running Ultimately Depends On How You Run
    Best Cushioned Running Shoes
    1. HOKA Clifton 8

    Best for: Long distance training
    Weight: 215g
    Drop: 5mm
    How much? R2 599.95

    The Clifton 8 from Hoka are a dreamy neutral, cushioned shoe that gives you consistent support without weighing you down. Perfect for taking on longer distances, they offer a stable ride as you pound out the kilometres.
    ‘They’re a shoe I don’t think about being on my feet and I mean that in the best possible way. I can run for [kilometres] and [kilometres] of marathon training without feeling the time in my feet,’ says runner Francesca Menato. ‘There’s enough bounce that you don’t feel like you’re missing out on something super responsive, but mostly they’re an incredibly comfortable shoe.’
    You can wear them for any distance but they’re not designed to give you as much bang for your buck if you’re trying to knock out a 5km PB. That said, they’re a great all-rounder.

    2. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38

    Best for: All-round training
    Weight: lightweight
    Drop: 6mm
    How much? R2 399.95

    Runners LOVE ‘workhorse with wings’ Nike Pegasus trainers. A bounce around in these will have even the most tentative of joggers drawing up their marathon training plans. Signature responsive foam, a breathable upper and a wider fit at the toes mean you can clock up distances comfortably and recover swiftly, ready to take flight again.
    Having tried every type of Nike ‘Pegs’ since the 32s, Francesca Menato, took these for a spin.
    ‘I was in a committed relationship with the Pegs for years but we had to part ways a few iterations ago as they made the sole firmer and the shoe base narrower. So, sceptical but always hopeful, I tried the Pegasus 38. They may just be the middle ground between the old and new. A wider shoe with an update to the lacing, these feel secure and comfortable.’
    ‘For me, they take the term “neutral shoe” to the next level. They feel like the running trainers you could truck along in for [kilometres] and [kilometres].’
    Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38R 2 399.95BUY NOW
    3. Adidas Ultraboost 21s

    Best for: Road running
    Weight: 340g
    Drop: 10mm
    How much? R3 599

    Here are the specs you need to know before adding to basket – a sock-like fit with 6% more cushioning than previous Boost iterations; Primeblue material made with Parley Ocean Plastic (Adidas’ recycled high-performance fabric) and no virgin polyester; supportive heel counter and 115% increase in forefoot bending stiffness to make them your most responsive trainers yet.
    Be aware, they are heavier than the UB20s and as such definitely lend themselves to easy, longer mileage over a speedy 5k.
    Adidas Ultraboost 21sR 3 599BUY NOW
    READ MORE: 10 Steps To Becoming A Runner, According To Running Coaches
    4. Saucony Ride 14

    Best for: All-round training
    Weight: 238g
    Drop: 8mm
    How much? R2 649

    Lighter (and faster) than previous models these stealth-cool women’s trainers signal you know your sport. Designed with a durable outsole and PWRRUN cushioning, you’ll be springy, supported and stable as you get going. A firm run-favourite of Fitness Writer Morgan Fargo, these shoes are basically everything we love in a running shoe and more. Cheers, Sauc’.

    5. Asics Novablast 2

    Best for: Neutral runners who want extra propulsion
    Weight: Lightweight
    How much? R2 499

    If you’ve ever wanted to feel like you’re running on a mini-trampoline – in a brilliant way – these Asics Novablast will do that and then some. The propulsive nature of the foam midsole means every step you put in will be energised, cushioned and keep you trucking on when the kilometres rack up.
    Shave seconds off your 5k, stay cool with a breathable upper or just enjoy the feeling of running on more cushion than you thought possible – Novablast are the running shoe for you.

    6. HOKA Carbon X 2

    Best for: Distance racing (and other bouncy long runs)
    Weight: 198g
    How much? R3 499.90

    You say cushioned, HOKA says cushioned. Another trainer that utilises the carbon plate, these shoes feel less aggressive in their propulsion than some of their counterparts. So, if you like the idea of super light, bouncy running shoes that secretly give you a helping hand in turning over your feet, we’ve found them. Ideal for springing your way through longer kilometres.

    7. On Running Cloudflow

    Best for: 10km race training
    Weight: 235g
    Drop: 6mm
    How much? R2 899

    A newer ON Running shoe, the Cloudflow, combines their Helion™ super foam along with a curved heel for ‘better hold, durability and comfort.’
    Basically, they’re going to feel light on the top of your foot, super cushioned underneath and cool thanks to the ventilated mesh. The new rubber traction base will also keep you more stable on slippery wet roads.

    READ MORE: This Is What Running In A Face Mask Does To Your Skin
    8. Nike Air Zoom Tempo Next %

    Best for: Speed training
    How much? R3 899

    Designed to go the distance, this Nike iteration of the cult-followed Next % trainers are the everyday companion for comfort and durability. The visible Zoom Air unit (the round disc) gives springy cushioning while the Nike React technology in the heel is lightweight to help keep your stride as efficient as poss.
    Be aware these are designed specifically for shorter ‘tempo’ runs. Hence the name. If you’re looking for an all-rounder, check out the Nike ZoomX Invincibles below.
    Nike Air Zoom Tempo Next %R 3 899BUY NOW
    9. New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v11

    Best for: Beginner distance running
    Drop: 8mm
    Weight: 230g
    How much? R2 599.90

    Cushioned, stable, lightweight – three words we love to hear when it comes to trainers that’ll more than do the job. A running staple, New Balance Fresh Foam is a style that’s been around for aeons – fortunately for us, they just keep making it better. This latest style has enough support for long-distance runs whilst the foam and cushioning helps you pick up speed too.
    New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v11R 2 599.90BUY NOW
    10. Skechers Max Cushioning Premier

    Best for: Runners on a budget
    Weight: 213g
    Drop: 6mm
    How much? R1 499

    Skechers Max Cushioning Premier shoe adds extra comfort to your run (without weighing you down in the process) while letting tired feet breathe as they work. Cushioned, lightweight and breathable, these gems come in at under R1 500.
    Skechers Max Cushioning PremierR 1 499BUY NOW
    11. Nike ZoomX Invincible Run

    Best for: Injury-prone runners
    Weight: 253g
    Drop: 8.4 mm
    How much? R3 499

    One of Nike’s most popular running shoes for women (The React Infinity Run Flyknit 2) has had a revamp: enter the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run women’s trainers.
    ‘Injury plagues runners of all levels and it can be something that stops people from joining the sport or rejoining post-injury,’ says Brett Holts, VP of Nike Running.
    So what makes these so special? According to the brand, it’s ‘The Nike ZoomX foam, [it’s] our most responsive and soft foam—and we used a lot more of it than you’d find in most everyday Nike running shoes.’ They counteract the instability that comes with extra foam with the ‘rocker’ shape.
    After 12 weeks of testing, Nike found that these trainers had similar results to their predecessors. A study conducted by the BCSMRF showed that runners wearing those shoes had a 52% lower injury rate than those wearing the control shoe. So, if you’re constantly bemoaning a sore-this or a pulled-that, it might be time to invest in some kit that quite literally was made for the job.
    Francesca Menato was a bona fide Infinity React super fan and can attest that this latest iteration is just as bouncy and that the increase of a few grams can’t be felt. Nike wants to ‘make running feel easy’. In these, it’s certainly easier.
    Nike ZoomX Invincible RunR 3 499BUY NOW
    READ MORE: 10 Steps To Becoming A Runner, According To Running Coaches
    Best ‘Smart’ Running Shoe For Women
    12. Women’s UA Flow Velociti Wind Running Shoes

    Best for: Neutral runners who like to track their stats
    Weight: 227g
    Drop: 8mm
    How much? R3 499

    Under Armour’s speed-friendly running shoe comes with a personal running coach that when connected to MapMyRun™ tracks your stride length, cadence and pace and coaches you in real-time. As for the shoes, these kicks are designed for shorter, sharper sessions but unlike some running trainers designed for speed work, they still come with decent cushioning. The sole is shaped with a slight rock to propel you with every stride. Why thank you.
    Women’s UA Flow Velociti Wind Running ShoesR 3 499BUY NOW
    Best Road Running Shoes For Women
    13. Saucony Endorphin Shift

    Best for: Runners looking to up the distance
    Weight: 269g
    Drop: 4mm
    How much? R2 799.90

    So. You’ve completed the Couch to 5k app, you’ve been running on the reg and you’re looking to take it to the next level. These are the shoes for you. The Saucony Endorphin Shift promises to make every run feel easier – and it really delivers. How, you ask? The PWRRUN cushioning feels super plush, and the SPEEDROLL technology enhances each and every stride to keep you moving forward.
    Saucony Endorphin ShiftR 2 799.90BUY NOW
    14. Brooks Running Ghost 14

    Best for: everyday road runners
    Weight: 255.1g
    How much? R2 599.90

    Designed for a soft and smooth ride these Ghost 14’s are perfect for road running, with the midsole offering you that easy, comfortable glide from landing to toe-off. The cushioning isn’t too squishy either so you still feel supported and, importantly, won’t even notice the transitions as you run.
    Brooks Running Ghost 14R 2 599.90BUY NOW
    Best supportive running shoes for women
    15. Saucony Guide 14

    Best for: Cushioned support
    Weight: 244g
    Drop: 8mm
    How much? R2 799.90

    Looking for extra comfort when you run? The Saucony Guide 14’s are the kicks for you. Reliable, cushioned, with a fluid feel from heel to toe, you’ll be supported your whole run long. Plus, with reduced bulk, you’ll feel light and free as you stride. Love that.

    *This article was originally published on Women’s Health UK

    READ MORE ON: Fitness Fitness Advice Fitness Gear Running WH Tests It More