I’ve waited 51 weeks and now the mother of all festivals is only days away!
51st State arrives this Saturday 4th August and promises to be BIG & BASHY with a host of global DJ’s and live performances on six stages across Trent Country Park.
Joining house music regular’s Masters At Work, John Morales, Todd Terry, Matt Jam Lamont, Bobby & Steve, 51st State has R&B The Lick leg Trevor Nelson and 80’s soulsters Loose Ends in the We Love Soul tent, reggae dancehall’s Mr Vegas and UK’s own Stylo G singing live sets under Hotwuk.
I could carry on listing and listing but there is no point. Last year’s reviews say it all. If you like music, if you like festivals, if you like dancing in 29 degree sunshine, grab one of the last few tickets and get yourself down to 51st State this Saturday. It’s gonna be a heatwave.
The stars came out for BUFF 2017 launch at the plush BT Tower. Founder Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe welcomed attendees to his 13th celebration of everything urban on screen, but all eyes were on Hollywood actor, turned ‘Supergirl,‘ David Harewood for the London premiere of his latest movie ‘Free In Deed.’
Following complimentary pre-movie drinks we entered the BT auditorium for the screening.
Based on a true story, this slow paced disturbing drama works its way through the struggles of a single mother, played by Edwina Findley Dickerson, trying to raise two kids, one of which has severe autism. She encounters an old lady who introduces her to the church.
Set against the desolate backdrop of Memphis, in stark contrast to the beautiful mountaintop that Dr King dreamed of, Pastor Abe Wilkins’ (Harewood) attempts to exorcize demons fails to rid her 8-year-old son of his autism, instead leaving the child dead and Wilkins in deeper and darker torment.
For those not familiar with Pentecostal worship the movie provides a window into ‘Black Church.’ (We [black people] know. We have been there in the UK too.)
Hat’s off to Harewood for embodying the character so well of, quite frankly, a rather creepy married man who’s a school janitor by day, and spiritual healing by night. A stark contrast to the real Harewood, who during the Q&A after the movie was full of humour and relishing insight into how the production came together organically.
Within 3 days they had ditched the script and any attempts of trying to replicate Ray Hemphill, the minister the story is based on. By Day 17 it was a wrap after zero budget and lots of improv. The church featured was the REAL church, REAL pastors and REALLY REAL congregation. Harewood said some even thought he was a REAL PASTOR!!
Free In Deed is truly a memorable piece that highlights the horror that can ensue when all the best intentions have such a catastrophic effect. Also, this movie shows star quality acting from the little boy who Harewood says fell into character with ease.
Post Q&A we were ushered to BT Towers 34th floor for more Shiraz, canapé’s and a chance to mingle with guests and celebrities in the house while taking in the breathtaking view of the central London.
DAY 3: Screening and Q&A – Chapter & Verse
Back again for more of the same; drinks, movie, Q&A and canapé’s, but this time with Jamal Joseph director and co-writer of Chapter & Verse, producer Cheryl Hill and Chris Preddie OBE. Joseph spent time in prison in the 70’s for his activist role as a New York Black Panther. His experience, and the continued disproportionate incarceration of black men, helped shape the script for this gritty intense drama.
Ex-con, Lance Ingram, played by Daniel Beaty who also co-wrote, attempts to stay the right side of parole on the streets of Harlem. After 8 years away he reconnects with an old friend (Omari Hardwick) and builds a heartwarming new one with Ms. Maddy (Loretta Devine) a widow and carer of her gang member grandson Ty. Ingram’s half-way to freedom but faces challenges.
This story covers homelessness, drugs, gangs, guns, projects, terminal illness, assisted suicide, entrepreneurism, poverty, welfare, sex, gentrification and more. You’re constantly rooting for Ingram to make it.
During the Q&A Joseph and Hill amazingly reveal Chapter & Verse is their first production under Harlem Film Company. It’s no surprise this feature is so impacting with Hill’s resume steeped in Hollywood and the scriptwriters first and second hand experiences of life after lock-up.
In 2012 Preddie was the youngest black male to receive an OBE at the age of 25 honouring his passion for guiding youngers to make the right choice, which mirrors Ingram’s schooling of Ty. This theme and others touched on in the movie are prevalent in society today in the UK and the States.
Keep abreast of #BTBUFF2017 happenings for 2018 as they take it to #AWholeNewLevel .
September 6th kicks of f the13th year of BUFF, the leading diverse film festival in the world, and what a line up on offer.
Angela Douglas (DivaScribe) with Ashley Walters and Kano
Over 30 movies, including premiere’s, Black Lives Matter, African Highlife, live script readings, 2 masterclasses, directors and actors Q & A’s, networking, a chance to meet agents and an incredible BUFF Awards ceremony honouring exceptional contribution to film, TV and theatre.
Best of all, you can bag a 3 hour MASTERCLASS tutored by this years Honorary Award Recipient, trailblazer and D.I.V.O Ashley Walters. If acting is your passion grab this amazing opportunity to be mastered by an outstanding accomplished and talented actor who is DivaScribe’s Top Boy. It’s only £16 so book your place now, Now NOW!
Another highlight will see Wil Johnson, a multi-talented celeb in our Diva Got Soul Feature archives and last years BUFF Honorary Award Winner, hosting 3 Live Script Readings.
Wil Johnson. Read our review of Wills gorgeous and talented musical daughter- Ayanna Witter-Johnson HERE
But opening the festival will be London premiere of ‘Free In Deed’ starring David Harewood MBE, Brummie actor now Hollywood star, followed by a Q & A with him. In this role he leads as a pastor with healing powers, an all too familiar scenario in our community.
So if you want to take your career to the next level, punch the air and yell, “Hollywood here I come,” and make haste to meet the UK’s top four Casting, Writing and Talent Agents. Calling all budding and active actors, writers, directors and commercial models to be part of a Q&A followed by two whole hours speed networking. Remember to bring your portfolios, show-reels and head shots.
BUFF definitely has something for everyone whether you are in the industry or the audience. All events will be held at the iconic BT Tower, London and the award ceremony can be watched on BT.com.
Now in it’s third year 51st State Festival, the premier event for celebrating the evolution of house music, returns to London’s Trent Park on 5th August with a fantastic line up of heavyweight DJ’s and legendary artists singing live across 6 arenas.
Line-up Announced With MAW, DJ Spen, Wookie, Norman Jay MBE, BeBe Winan, Evelyn “Champagne” King and Barbara Tucker.
Bringing together the sounds of US House, UK Garage, Soul and some Reggae vibes, this year’s line-up will be headed up yet again by the undisputed kings of house, Masters At Work, who will be pushing the main stage to its limits as they lay down a dance music masterclass. Joining the ranks is the inimitable Dimitri from Paris, who will be bringing his distinct fusion house, disco and soul to ignite the main stage, while Backto95 host “Battle” and “Back up back up” hitmaker Wookie will be spinning a history of UKG. Elsewhere, new stage hosts FOUND will be bringing down the Chicago house with the legendary Derrick Carter.
The electric line-up continues on the We Love Soul stage, where the long-reigning queen of disco, Evelyn “Champagne” King, will demonstrate why she deserves her crown. If this wasn’t enough for what is shaping up to be one of the most pivotal events for dance fans across the globe, Grammy Award winning gospel icon BeBe Winans, rare groove pioneer Norman Jay MBE, and falsetto pro Byron Stingily will also be bringing their own visionary sounds to this guaranteed sell-out.
This year’s event promises to be fine-tuned with an easy bar, quicker entry, sharper sound systems and a state of the art production. With tickets already on fourth release, 51st State Festival 2017 is set to lay its own milestone in the annals of dance music history.
A new pilot stands up to modern slavery in the Nigerian community
A new pilot campaign launched today will help tackle modern slavery within the Nigerian community in the UK. It will focus on helping those trapped in domestic slavery, where victims are typically kept against their will, mistreated and forced to work long hours with no pay.
Leading local charities, community and faith groups including Celestial Church of Christ Manchester, Redeemed Christian Church of God – The Pathfinder and Nigerian Community in Manchester are working together to raise awareness and increase reporting within at-risk communities.
A short film, developed in partnership with the Salvation Army and child protection charity AFRUCA, is being launched to highlight how incidents of domestic slavery are happening under the radar in Nigerian communities across the UK, and to empower communities to report concerns confidentially and anonymously to the Modern Slavery helpline.
Slavery is a problem in every country which has tried to measure it. There are an estimated 10,000-13,000 victims of Modern Slavery in the UK today. No community is immune; we have encountered modern day slavery in nail bars, car washes, on fishing boats and farms and in people’s homes. Nigeria remains one of the UK’s major source countries for victims of Modern Slavery, including human trafficking.
The ‘Have you Heard?’ film, produced by award-winning Nigerian film maker Ogo Okpue, demonstrates the devastating impact of being held as a domestic slave (also known as illegal househelp), underlines the potential consequences for perpetrators and the specialist support available to victims.
Young Nigerian women are particularly at risk – one such victim is Glory*. Thirteen year old Glory was trafficked to the UK from Nigeria by a woman who told her mother she could have a better life in London. In reality she was forced to work between 6am-9pm, and often beyond. Glory was shouted at and beaten for incidents as minor as not realising her Madame had finished her cup of tea, with the frequency of the beatings increasing as time went on. Sometimes her Madame’s husband would visit Glory in the night and sexually assault heri.
Anne Read, Director of Anti Trafficking and Modern Slavery at The Salvation Army said:
“Have you Heard? brings a very hidden crime to the surface and drives the message home that it’s the responsibility of all of us to spot the signs that someone is being kept in unfair conditions and report it. It may be a crime that happens behind closed doors but the signs are out there – we just need to look for them and do something about it. People should feel confident that anything suspicious they report will be acted on and anyone rescued from this kind of exploitation will receive the specialist support they need from The Salvation Army and our partners.”
Debbie Ariyo, Chief Executive of AFRUCA said:
“There are many indicators which point to someone being kept in forced domestic servitude. If you have a suspicion, ask yourself does the person seem afraid and anxious? Do they seem to stand out from other family members? What conditions is the person living in? We’re hoping Have you Heard? will encourage people to report suspicions so victims can be get the crucial support they need.”
The Minister for Vulnerability, Safeguarding and Countering Extremism Sarah Newton said:
“Domestic slavery devastates the lives of victims and strips them of their basic human rights. We are proud to support the Nigerian community in bringing this terrible crime into the spotlight.”
“The Government is driving world-leading action to tackle modern slavery but we cannot do it alone. Professionals, charities and the wider community all have a vital part to play as we work together to end this.”
To report concerns, seek advice or get help call the confidential UK Modern Slavery Helpline 08000 121 700 or visit the website www.modernslaveryhelpline.org
If this isn’t paradise then what is?! Barbados. Blessed with sublime turquoise sea, lavish hotels and world-class cuisine … perfect haven for the great escape.
Us D.I.V.A.’s love to travel so I couldn’t resist the lure of Barbados’ 50th Year of Independence Celebrations and frankly, a well-earned slice of indulgence on Sun, Sea and Bajan’s finest Soca!
My journey started along the southern coast of this tranquil 21 miles long and 14 miles wide Caribbean “Small Island,” whose resident’s warmth matches the climate.
First stop, Savannah Beach Hotel (SBH). This four star all-inclusive resort lies in Christchurch next to the historic Garrison Savannah and the similar named famous horse racetrack. Next day, I couldn’t wait to don my shades and kini, have a plunge in the palm tree lined pool, then flip flop around the local area.
The picturesque south is the hub for tourists with excellent transport links to get sightseeing. And there’s plenty on offer, whether cruising on a catamaran, roughing it on a 4×4 Island Safari, splashing on Duty Free shopping, strutting at Barbados Fashion Week, dining in US President George Washington’s house, boarding the supersonic jet Concorde to NY (well it doesn’t physically leave the museum) or simply taking a romantic walk along Hastings broad walk.
I didn’t quite make it to GW’s table but I did feast at Rachel’s Restaurant, at SBH. Set against a backdrop of tranquillity; with its sweeping floor and open view to the pool I fine dined to the sound of the waterfall gushing below, whilst carnival rhythms of jerk chicken and zing of lemon meringue danced on my taste buds. The staff were first class; Horace, Tyrone and graceful Kay and even fulfilled my request for Bajan drink Mauby, made from the bark of the Mauby tree, even though it was not on the menu.
That night I somehow managed to get to my historical plantation room, flop my sunstroke-rum punched and Maubied body onto the solid mahogany four poster bed.
Day 3.Time to Independence parrrr-tay! I was eager to get to the free concert everyone was so excited about at Kensington Oval Cricket Ground (cricket is the country’s national sport) to celebrate national achievements since breaking free from British rule. I heard bajan born superstar, Rihanna would perform. I got a right royal surprise when the hippest Prince, HARRY, took centre stage to rain his nana’s blessings on the nation. I was surprised Rhi Rhi got louder cheers than him, but disappointed she didn’t “Work Work Work Work Work,” her 20,000 fans.
Barbados dubbed “Little England” due to similarities to England like lush countryside, school and judicial systems, heritage properties and place names – Worthing, Hastings, Clapham, Kensington, Holborn and even Brighton Beach!
So it was no surprise to see fish ‘n’ chips for sale at Oistins Fish Fry, Friday night hang-out or liming, at Oistins Bay. The place exploded with chefs conjuring flames on steel pan BBQ’s preparing mouth-watering traditional seafood dishes, while reggae music blared and people danced at the stage show in the humid night air.
I’m fish-phobic, but didn’t PANIC!!! KFC was across the street (phew!) alongside vendor’s selling original arts, crafts and souvenirs.
Amongst the hubbub I found grandparents gracefully waltzing to melodies from yesteryear. My heart-tugged as I romanticised about dancing under the stars one day. Bizarrely OAP’s jam ended later than the main one.
Alas my final night south had ended but those with the energy moved on to the string of clubs along St Lawrence Gap where nightlife pulsates till sunrise.
Next day I took the $2 Reggae bus (£0.80 cost per journey. Bus plays music) along the west coast to enjoy a day pass at Sugar Cane Club (SCC). Nestled in St. Peters amongst thick tropical paradise, this luxurious haven was serenity, well – after the quick bike ride around the area.
Stillness fell when I entered the luxury Spa for a pedicure with therapist Nikaie and rested back on the massage chair, feet up and eyes closed. She worked magic on my hardened heels (Q. Why is it that flip flops can be the most comfortable (to wear) and the most harsh (on the skin) at the same time?) as she shared her story. Post spa I met up with my holiday buddies, Rum and Punch for a succulent burger and chips overlooking the pool below.
As well as a wealth of treatments SCC has the usual luxuries expected at a four star boutique hotel, but the added extras include a Gully Walk into the lush green landscape, beautiful pieces at Frangipani Art Gallery and best of all the chance to be up close with little green monkeys as they make their morning visit for food. I didn’t see any but if you check-in you’re bound to get a glimpse.
Also, SCC was literally on the doorstep of Port St. Charles marina where multi-millionaires, including X Factor Simon Cowell, leave their super yachts (you can blag a boat tour).
As the afternoon ticked into evening I took the free shuttle bus to Almond Beach Hotel along sleepy Speightown ready to take in the breath-taking sunset and write my name in the powdery sand. I jigged to the symphony of tropical night creatures, lapping waves and Soca Queen Alison Hinds wafting from Little Bristol Beach Bar. My time in utopia was at an unwelcomed end.
Whine your waist at Carnival Crop Over.
Flutter at prestigious turf Garrison Savannah Racetrack.
Eat Sunday Brunch at posh Sandy Lane Hotel $275 (£120)
Cheer on cricketers at England vs. West Indies
Discover fresh flavours at Barbados Food & Rum Festival.
Attend Holders Season Performing Arts Festival.
Devour a delicious roti from Chutney’s Roti & Curry House
Find arts, crafts and organic food at Holders Farmers Market.
Currency: Barbados Dollar and/or US Dollars.
Visas: You may need a visa so check before you book.
Born in the Eastern town of Kono, Sierra Leone Isatu Harrison was raised by her entrepreneurial single mother with her 3 siblings. Whilst living in Kono, civil war broke out which put her community in danger. Her entire family had to escape from the civil war in Kono and moved to the capital of Sierra Leone, Freetown.
Despite being uprooted from her family home, Isatu had a happy upbringing and knew that there was much more to Sierra Leone than the war which seemed to define it at the time. She grew up watching her mother design outfits for herself and others using traditional West African tie-dyed prints. In a country with no welfare system, Isatu’s mother worked hard to ensure that her family did not have to struggle and Isatu hails her mother as her biggest inspiration and influence. Despite there being very few opportunities, particularly within the fashion industry in Sierra Leone, Isatu was encouraged to pursue her purpose and developed her gifts as a fashion designer. Although her passion for fashion was still at the forefront of her mind, when Isatu arrived in The UK in 2001 she studied a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at South Bank University and subsequently an MBA. The corporate world overshadowed the creative world and Isatu undertook a number of management roles in HR within the private and public sectors – including Transport for London.
After starting a family with her husband, and having a daughter who now has a budding career in modelling, Isatu could no longer ignore her true calling; fashion. She invested her savings and started her own fashion label, Izelia which interweaves the two cultural landscapes of Britain and Sierra Leone.
Isatu officially launched Izelia at Africa Fashion Week in August 2014 and London Fashion Week in the same year. By drawing from her Sierra Leonean heritage Isatu has created a modern and sophisticated range of ready to wear pieces. Izelia is a brand for those who want to make an impression in stylish and colourful outfits with high quality fabrics and structured tailoring. Each piece features a new twist on African-inspired fashion and Isatu’s own signature style of design. By combining colourful African tie-dye and prints, Izelia brings a taste of Sierra Leone to the British high street. Having seen the impact that civil war can make on communities, Isatu wants to be at the forefront of a new generation of ‘AfriCapitalists’ – African entrepreneurs driving growth, awareness and development in Africa, through marketing and selling the best that Africa has to offer.
Isatu opened a boutique last Winter (2016) in East London where she organises training programmes and apprenticeships opportunities for immigrants / first generation citizens in fashion design.
“I intend to inspire and assist women in rural Sierra Leone, be a voice for these women and young creatives. Whilst the brand is becoming well entrenched in the UK, as an African, I feel I have a role to play in the economic development of my continent. Through Izelia, I wish to invest long-term in Sierra Leone’s private sector and I am interested in developing manufacturing, as well as production factories and establishing additional outlets in Africa. I am proud to be among a growing crop of entrepreneurs who are creating employment opportunities and bringing economic growth to our countries across Africa” – Isatu Harrison
Isatu is set to take the fashion industry by storm in the UK, Sierra Leone and across the world.
There can be many reasons for feeling tired, with the most obvious being lack of sleep! But what you eat and drink can also be important. The ‘right’ choices will provide slow-releasing energy, as well as all the necessary nutrients to help your body convert that food to energy.Nutritionist, Cassandra Barnsreveals 6 healthy choices you can make to improve your ‘get up and go’!
Whole grain oats
If you start the day with a sugary breakfast cereal, toast or croissant, your energy is probably taking a nosedive by about 11am. Try swapping them for whole grain oats: as an unprocessed whole grain, they’re higher in fibre and break down more slowly, providing sustained energy. They’re also a natural source of energy-producing vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, vitamins B1 and B6. Go for Nairn’s Scottish Porridge Oats – as well as porridge, they can be used to make ‘overnight oats’, or to make your own healthy muesli by adding chopped nuts or seeds and a sprinkle of dried fruit.
Like sugary breakfast cereals, the average bowl of pasta won’t keep your energy up for very long. As most pastas are made with refined white flour, they’re quickly broken down in the gut and absorbed, giving you a blood sugar high followed by a slump. Instead, try a high-protein pasta such as Clearspring’s Green Pea and Quinoa Pasta. It contains almost twice the amount of protein of a standard pasta, and more than twice the amount of fibre. This means that breaks down and releases energy more slowly, as well as filling you up for longer – a bonus if you’re watching your weight!
One reason for low energy can be a deficiency in a specific nutrient (or nutrients). A common example is vitamin B12, which works with iron to help build healthy red blood cells that carry oxygen around your body. Mackerel is one of our best natural sources of B12, and also provides other B vitamins and magnesium, which help our body to release energy from food. Added bonus: it’s also high in heart-healthy omega-3s, and high in protein too, helping to balance your blood sugar.
Another nutrient that can be lacking in the average person’s diet is iodine. This trace mineral is vital for making thyroid hormone, which plays a crucial role in metabolism and energy release from food. When we don’t make enough of this hormone, one of the first symptoms is tiredness. The best food source of iodine is sea vegetables; try snacking on Clearspring’s Seaveg Crispies.
Could your tiredness simply be due to not drinking enough water? Water helps nutrients and oxygen to get where they’re needed in the body, and plays a role in chemical reactions that break down food molecules to make energy. So it’s no wonder we feel deflated (literally) when we don’t drink enough. Aim to get about 1.5 to 2 litres of water a day, which can include liquid in foods such as soups, caffeine-free teas and watered-down fruit juices.
If you’re a chocolate fiend – or even if you’re not – then try raw chocolate. Whereas a standard chocolate bar can give you a quick energy buzz from the sugar content, it’s likely to last for long. But raw cacao – the unheated, unroasted version of cocoa – is actually a superfood, rich in energy-providing nutrients such as magnesium and iron. It also contains a gentle stimulating substance called theobromine. But by choosing raw chocolate, such as OMBAR chocolate made with raw cacao and without refined sugar, you’re getting the benefits of the energy-supporting nutrients without the sugar rush.
Nollywood Reaches for the Sky as it Brings Awesome Original movies & TV Series to 10m UK Households.
Lagos Cougars – Latest 2014 Nigerian Nollywood Drama Movie
Rok Studios, the award-winning Nigerian film studio, is set to launch a brand new Nollywood channel on Sky TV, on Thursday 29 September 2016. The channel which will be on 344 is programmed with thousands of hours of Rok Studios-produced originals, including Husbands of Lagos, Desperate Housegirls, Losing Control and Cougars. The new channel for Sky customers in the UK will bring the latest and best Rok Studios produced TV shows, movies and magazine shows to Sky customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Rok on Sky will be available as a free-to-view channel for all Sky subscribers – that’s around 10 million homes in the UK. Showing awesome originals, such as Single Ladies, Banks Chronicles and Bloodline, as well as some of the most recent smash hit movies including Walking Away, Aso Ebi and Forever. Rok viewers will be the first to watch new and exclusive homegrown Rok content, before it goes anywhere else.
The new Sky channel will be fully programmed, produced and developed in-house, by Rok teams in Lagos and London. Heading up Rok is Mary Njoku, an award-winning Nollywood actress and film producer who’s spent over 12 years at the heart of Nigerian filmmaking. The new channel will be supported by Iroko, the VC-backed African technology and entertainment broadcaster and content distributor.
Speaking on the launch, Rok CEO Mary Njoku says: “Nollywood’s appeal is truly global; it is not just for Africans, but for film fans in general. As a production house, we have been obsessed with curating amazing African content and telling African stories our way, and with the launch of Rok on Sky, we can bring our stories to millions more. This channel is an unashamed celebration of all things Nollywood, but more than that, a celebration of African stories – in our own words, with our own characters, with our own drama”.
“In its short but busy history, Rok has become synonymous with edgy, distinct content, depicting the full gamut of Nigerian life. Rok is fortunate to have worked with so many of the screen greats – the likes of, Mercy Johnson, Mercy Aigbe Gentry, Ini Edo, Desmond Elliot, John Dumelo, to name but a few. These actors are instrumental in bringing our storytelling to life. We are also blessed to have a dedicated, hard-working and creative production team, who work tirelessly to ensure we release amazing content. Together, as the Rok family, we are now bringing our beloved Nollywood content onto its biggest platform yet – Sky”.
Rok will lead Nollywood fans in the UK to content they’ll love, and whilst the typical Nollywood audience is currently made up of a predominantly African and Caribbean demographic, those behind the channel hope to attract an even broader audience, thanks to the hyper-modern, original content.
Timed to celebrate Nigeria’s 56th Independence Day anniversary, Rok on Sky will launch with a bang on the 29th September, followed by a Gala launch in London at 8 Northumberland on 30th September. Nollywood glitterati, including Alexx Ekubo, Chioma Chukwuka-Akpotha, John Dumelo, Oge Okoye, Mercy Aigbe Gentry, Ini Edo, Annie Idibia, Yul Edochie, Jackie Appiah, Nse Ikpe-Etim, Patience Ozokwor, Segun Arinze, Funke Akindele and many more have already been confirmed on the guestlist, with a red carpet hosted by presenter Denrele Edun.
Mary concludes, “We have so many Nollywood stars travelling to London to celebrate the launch of our new channel; this is unheard of until now. London won’t know what has hit it – Nollywood is going to take over the city. We’re also hoping to see many of our fans at the Rok on Sky gala launch as well – we are eternally grateful to all the Rok fans who’ve been with us along the way”. #RokOnSky
Luxury residenceChateau Lou Casteouin the South of France, this week hosts its fitness retreat –Body Tonic, 4-8 May, 2016.
Set in the beautiful French Riviera countryside the luxurious retreat provides a balance of different energetic training classes, stunning coastal and mountain treks, meals prepared by a private chef and chateau accommodation.
HereDavid Higgins, the highly skilled performance fitness coach who leads the fitness program, presents hisfive key fitness tips for summer.
1) ROLL IT OUT
Myofacial release, massage and foam rolling, prior to exercising, allows the muscle to breath and feed better, enhancing stamina by up to 10%.
Myofacial Release is foam rolling or massage, which manually stretches the muscle fibres, more so than a static muscle stretch. It aids in lymph drainage and improves circulation through the muscle, making it more efficient. It also improves efficiency of the body, in removing the bi-products of exercise such as lactic acid. Massage has been around since before the Greek Empire – foam rolling is just unassisted massage.
2) GET ANAEROBIC
Anaerobic exercise is less efficient and requires more energy per minute of exercise – if you are pushed for time and have good fitness then go anaerobic (power and strength).
Anaerobic exercise (without oxygen) is less efficient than aerobic exercise (requiring oxygen) because it requires more energy per second. Anaerobic exercises are generally power and strength exercises, for example sprinting rather than jogging; you will require far more energy (ATP) to sprint 100m rather than jog it. Unfortunately you need a good level of aerobic fitness (lungs and circulation) for you to safely train anaerobically.
3) HYDRATION ALLOWS FOR BETTER HOMEOSTASIS
Fuel the body prior to exercise and maintain good hydration throughout – allowing for better homeostasis.
Homeostasis relates to the chemical reactions that happen in your body, in this case for the production of energy. Water is the solution that these chemical reactions take place in. If you are thirsty then you are already dehydrated, if your muscle is fatigued then you are again late in providing it with energy. Fuel up before, during and after exercise to make sure your body reacts in its most efficient manner.
4) FREE WEIGHTS AID THE KINETIC CHAIN
Use free weights. This encourages more muscle to be utilised through the kinetic chain and challenges your core.
The kinetic chain is the integrated use of many muscles in a movement or exercise. For example if you were doing a standing overhead press with some dumbbells as opposed to a seated overhead press on a fixed machine, your body would need to recruit many more muscles for the standing overhead press with dumbbells. The main moving muscles would be the same for both types of exercise – the deltoids and the triceps – but the free weights requires you to use your fixating or stabilising muscles. Your legs and glutes stabilise your position from the floor (they are engaged but not moving), your core muscles are engaged to provide a strong base for the moving muscles above.
5) STRETCH IT OUT
Stretch before and after exercise will help prevent muscle pulls and aid in recovery. Each stretch should be for a minimum of ten seconds.
Stretching helps prevent injury. Static stretching is essential prior to exercise because it warns you if a muscle is tight and therefore more susceptible to injury often in the form of a pulled muscle. A dynamic stretch post static stretching, for example lunging prior to a sprint race, again helps stretch the muscle fibres. It also improves the blood circulation to the legs by dilating the arteries and veins in the legs, which means more fuel and quicker removal of waste products.
The Body Tonic luxury fitness retreats are priced at £1,550 pp (inc VAT) pp for a private en-suite room with a sea or mountain view or £1,350 pp (inc VAT) for two guests sharing a room. The price includes five days accommodation, all meals with wine, champagne reception on arrival, daily fitness classes, coastal treks, water aerobics, one massage, yoga and stretching classes and transfers from Nice airport. The next Autumn Body Tonic event dates are Wednesday October 12th to Sunday October 16th at Chateau Lou Casteou, Cote d’Azur, France.