Boot Camp, Gym, Personal Training, Running

The Benefits of Sports Massage

Following on from last months self care article I want to talk about the benefits of sports massage, as this not only benefits clients in the sporting field but also the every day client that comes through my door.

Not only do you have physiological effects of sport massage but also the psychological effects and the physical changes.

Since sports massage can affect the mental state of a client by either stimulating them or reducing their level of stress, the psychological effects are also closely related to the physiological effects

The physiological changes occur as a result of the sympathetic/parasympathetic response.

The psychological changes are the changes that happen to a clients mental state.

The physical changes are the changes which occur regardless of either the clients nervous system response or mental reaction.

The physiological effects of sports massage depending on the method of application can induce either a sympathetic or parasympathetic response from the clients body systems.

However, the majority of the time it is the parasympathetic (relaxation) response which is most beneficial, since this causes:

  • vasodilation to both blood and lymphatic vessels as the smooth muscle relaxes.
  • reduction in neural stimulation (contraction) of muscles as the skeletal muscles relax
  • reduction in the production of sympathetic (‘stress’) hormones

A sympathetic response would cause the opposite to occur.

The sympathetic response.

When massage is performed vigorously it can help increase mental alertness and leave the client feeling stimulated and ready for activity. The physiological response from a treatment will result in chemical changes such as an increase of adrenaline and endorphins in the body, altering the clients psychological state.

The parasympathetic response.

General anxiety can be reduced by similar chemical responses as tension is mechanically lessened in tissues allowing blood to flow into a greater area thereby reducing blood pressure. As the body perceives a reduction in physical tension the mind follows, bringing about feelings of well-being and relaxation.

The placebo effect (i.e. the clients preconceptions about what the treatment will do) can have a significant impact on performance or treatment outcome.

Therefore to maximise the effectiveness of any treatment, and avoid any undesired effects, I as the the sports massage practitioner have to be aware that the mind and the body are reflections of each other.

Alteration/stimulation of either the sympathetic or parasympathetic response, through treatment or communication, will influence all corresponding reactions.

The physical effects

  • the mechanical pumping and squeezing action of the strokes will assist in the flow of fluids (i.e. blood and lymph)
  • techniques which involve longitudinal and transverse stretching of soft tissue will improve its mobility and will influence the formation of collagen fibres.
  • specific techniques can separate muscle fibres that have either become adhered to one another, or to other soft tissue structures, even bones.

So to summarise the benefits of Sports Massage

The increase in circulation due to vasodilation and mechanical pumping/squeezing will:

  • increase the supply of nutrients to vascular tissues enhancing their health and aiding in healing and repair.
  • aid in the removal of metabolic waste products from tissue assisting in recovery from activity
  • help reduce pain, by removal of pressure build up due to congestion and metabolic irritants

Relaxation and mobilisation of soft tissues will:

  • increase range of movement, thereby reducing risk of injury and aiding in efficiency of movement
  • aid in pain reduction by lessening tension in muscles)
  • increase functioning of the muscular system e.g. any adhesions may impair function)
  • greater positional awareness, aiding in correction areas of dysfunction, such as poor posture.
Boot Camp, Gym, Personal Training

Self Care.

The Importance Of Self Care

A while back I was in a pretty raw space and had a hard time balancing my training, nutrition and family life.

I made a very open and honest VLOG (like a blog but video) on my Facebook page that was seen nearly 2000 times which amazed me (you can view it here: if you’d like to see it). I made a point of putting ‘mental health’ in the title and it seemed to strike a chord with lots of people. It was an open and honest account of having difficult and complicated stuff going on in your life and how the best way to cope with it is whilst trying to juggle every other aspect of your life..

So I want to talk about self care and give advice as to how you can go about implementing self care if you find yourself in a dark space that you can’t move forward from.

  1. If you are not happy with something you are doing, why and I repeat, why, are you doing it? This is quite a deep question and one that may mean you have to sit and reflect and write some things down. it may make you feel vulnerable and raw but this is where change happens.
  2. If you know deep down that something or someone is destructive in your life. Why are you letting them/it perpetuate this cycle of destruction?

if you know that something is hurting you in your life that you just can’t stop, you need to find the space and time to discover the best way, and best practise forward. It’s all well and good thinking things will change but in reality only you can make it possible to change your path of course. So some reflection on your part is vitally important.

Say for example you start drinking a lot and it’s difficult to stop and you know it’s not helping with your weight loss goals or your mental health. And when you’re with friends they encourage you (as all friends do, let’s not beat around the bush) but then they decide to stop, but you can’t.

Were they really thinking about you in the first place? or was it a crutch for them to make themselves feel better about the fact they were drinking a lot too? They are happy when everyone is doing the same because then they don’t have a problem. Am I right?

But what if you were the one to be the change? The one to say enough’s enough. I need moderation or to stop completely.

This is where self care comes into it.

  1. Be the master of your own destiny. We truly are alone when it comes to dreams and aspirations and the manifestation of them. When all is said and done no-one really cares about what you do, just what you can do for them or with them. Remember that!
  2. Enjoy the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Increased energy, a healthy heart, lungs, muscles, liver, kidneys, gut function, improved mental health, more focus, beautiful skin, beautiful body, etc etc.
  3. Eating for pleasure and not greed. Enjoying your food rather than it being a chore. Learn to cook great meals that you can share with friends. Stepping away from processed rubbish.
  4. Get out into the open. We really do live in an incredible environment feed your imagination and be at one with nature. Your body and your mind will thank you.
  5. Write a gratification diary every night before bed to clear your mind and go to sleep on a positive note. This could be seeing a beautiful flower or bird or just that you were able to get out of your chair and move. Anything but it has to be positive.
  6. Listen to your favourite music or an audio book whilst doing something you’re not keen on doing it’s a great distraction and keeps your mind focused.


Yours in Health and Happiness

Saski. xxxx



Are you short on sleep?

Are you doing everything right but still can’t lose weight?

Maybe your sleeping habits are to blame.

Do you constantly or at least more than often, lie in bed at night eyes wide open willing yourself to sleep? or are you a late night party animal who can survive on just a few hours sleep??

Well if your struggling to lose weight then your sleep pattern could very well be the thing holding you back

Hunger is controlled by two hormones: leptin and ghrelin

leptin is is the appetite-suppressing hormone and also the hormone that sends signals to the brain regarding energy balance. ghrelin is the hunger stimulating hormone. Sleep deprivation on the other hand makes controlling the production of leptin and ghrelin almost impossible as sleep deprivation dials up a person’s appetite by increasing the amounts of ghrelin so it’s vital to have a balance of the two to lose weight. Studies have shown that sleeping less than six hours triggers the area of your brain that increases the need for food whilst also depressing leptin and stimulating ghrelin. Studies have also shown that a lack of sleep decreases the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and impairs insulin sensitivity. Making sleep deprived people hungrier but not only that they are less likely to want to move more through the day, they will burn less calories and will make bad food choices too.

Lack of sleep increases your cortisol levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone associated with fat gain and cortisol also triggers the reward centre of your brain that make you want food. But with lack of sleep and the increased production of ghrelin a combination of the two hormones shut down the part of your brain that leaves you feeling satisfied after a meal. That’s why sometimes after a meal you still want more.

What’s more lack of sleep also decreases protein synthesis meaning whilst all your efforts in the gym may be going great all the muscle building activity that usually happens when you have slow wave sleep and are well rested are stunted. Slow wave sleep is when the most growth hormone is released. If you’re sleep deprived this can reverse the effects of muscle building causing muscle loss. Also, a lack of sleep makes it harder to recover from your workouts and can lead to injuries later on.

So now you have the facts heres what you can do to try and get better quality sleep.

1. Make sure you bedroom is the darkest you can get it. black out blinds or curtains. No artificial light from devices or plugs in walls, no hall lights on etc. Pitch black.

2. No devices before bed as this disturbs your natural sleep patterns and confuses your body with waking up.

3. Establish some kind of relaxing bedtime ritual or routine. For example. Have a bath, then meditate and snuggle down and go to sleep.

4. If you are lying awake and can’t sleep then get up. Potter around or read a book (no devices, not even kindles. A proper book with pages) wait till you are ready for sleep then try again.

5. Good quality bed and bedding is a must. if you are uncomfortable then you are not well rested. Invest in yourself and buy the best you can afford.

6. Try not to consume caffeine, alcohol or have a large meal before bedtime.

7. Get regular exercise.

So there you have it. Get to grips with your sleep patterns and you could see a change in your body composition.

Yours in Health and Happiness

Saski x

Boot Camp, Gym

Is Alcohol consumption killing your weight loss goals?

I have just made the decision to cut out alcohol from my diet, or at least to heavily reduce my intake of it.

The reason?

It’s not getting me where I need to be in terms of my training.

Now don’t get me wrong, i love a drink just as much as the next person, but i have training goals leading up to a certification that i’m going for in June. And alcohol is inhibiting my “gains”

and by gains I mean my strength, my cardio output, my mental resilience, my efficiency to process energy effectively and my levels of hydration.

And what i’ve come to realise the last few days whilst into the first 3 days of my new 8 week training program is that my body and all the wonderful things it can do are more important to me than consuming alcohol. And whilst I continue to drink alcohol (usually in copious amounts at the weekend) come to training the next week, i feel like i’m back to square one and have to build up again. Not to mention the weight gain from alcohol…

I realise that at first it’s going to be hard because I seem to have fallen into a cycle of rewarding myself at the weekend, but I also realise that its imperative to life longevity and my overall health and wellbeing. And I know that I can do it.

As a fitness professional too, whilst I am not perfect, I have to lead by example and I have let that example slip.

Lets have a look at what excessive alcohol consumption does to you in terms of training goals.

The first and probably the most obvious is the lack of hydration. We all know that alcohol dehydrates you. Your kidneys draw all the water in your body to process the alcohol, leaving very little water for other important functions in the body especially for your brain. That’s why you end up with hangover headaches and brain fog. Ouch! Hence why everything seems much harder to do the following days after drinking because it takes a while to get the alcohol out of your system. Your mental resilience takes a hit too, and makes getting that new personal best seem impossible or even trying replicate the previous session seem so hard. Then those pesky limiting beliefs start to creep in…‘I can’t do it!’

I have also found that whilst drinking alcohol and training my weight has steadily stayed the same, maybe even crept up a few pounds. Bearing in mind that I strength train 4 to 5 times a week for roughly an hour or more each session. I can burn anywhere between 275-360 calories per session (sometimes more sometimes less). Now if you compare that to the calories in a medium strength bottle of red wine approx 625 calories, you can see that it will take me 2 sessions to work off that 1 bottle, having said that, most people I know drink boxes of red wine out here and so it’s easy to see or should I say NOT to see if i’m actually really drinking just 1 bottle of wine or more. MORE is more likely, wouldn’t you say? Another glass anyone?…

So consider this…

If I, a fairly active 37 year old, training intensely 4-5 times a week am not reaching my weightloss goals because alcohol is killing my ‘gains’. Imagine what it’s doing to a sedentary (no exercise at all) 37-upwards adult who drinks on average 3-4 bottles of wine a week?

For me the health benefits of not drinking to achieve my goals, far outweigh a few nights of fun getting drunk then spending the next few days recovering.

Yours in Health and Happiness

Saski xx

Boot Camp, Gym, Personal Training

How is February going??

Ok so by now, I hope you have smashed January out the water with your goals and are still feeling positive and focused. If however, you are not or are struggling, then I want to give you 3 key strategies to get back on your winning streak.

To change how you look you must change your mindset. Thus, you need to change your attitude. Thinking obviously affects how you feel, and influences the choices you make. So believing or not believing, that you can make the changes you need to, will ultimately affect your results.

So lets make sure that we can stay on track.

1. Why do we eat?

The obvious answer is to stay alive (I feel a song coming on!) but why is it that once we eat, we sometimes feel the need to eat more so shortly afterwards?

The problem is food is ingrained in us, we celebrate with food, it comforts us and makes us feel warm and homely, it can taste amazing, but conversely we also link food to negative emotions.

I have heard it countless times with children too. “if you’re “good” you can have some sweets or chocolate”. Fear not! I have used similar tactics on my daughter a few times before. I am no saint.

But I have also told myself “What a rubbish day i’ve had today, i’ll cheer myself up with some chocolate”.

There are lots of triggers like, anger, sadness, anxiety, boredom and stress that can drive us to eat but making note of the reasons why we feel the need to eat might be the key to controlling what we actually eat.

Are we actually hungry. Probably not. so the next time you go to the fridge or pick up a chocolate bar then ask yourself “how do I feel?” “am I actually hungry right now? or is this a response to a feeling I have at this moment in time?”

If you are genuinely hungry then eat but choose wisely. If you’re not hungry then just check in with yourself and try to focus on something else that has no association with food, like a hobby or task that needs your attention and see if you can shift your mindset.

2. Wise Decisions

I know it’s easier said than done when you want a treat to choose something healthier, but if you truly want to make some changes over the long term you have to be prepared.

We’re not looking for perfection we are looking for a little better every day so we need to plan daily to eliminate the chances of reaching for that comfort food that doesn’t line up with your weight loss goals.

So when you do your shop don’t buy in the things you know won’t help you, because you will eat them if they’re there. If you have to go out of your way to indulge, you’ll be less likely to do it.

Try chopping up some carrots and red peppers for snacking or a handful of almonds.

3. Be kind to yourself.

I touched on this in Decembers article when I read a quote that really resonated with me. It said:

“You will never speak to anyone more than you speak to yourself in your head. Be kind to yourself”

This is such a pivotal point to make because the way you see yourself and the way you talk to yourself is ultimately what you become.

Our thoughts and feelings can limit us tremendously. When you stand in the mirror what do you tell yourself in your head? you will either fall into 2 categories

  1. Hate and loathing. Telling yourself the most awful things.


  1. Acceptance and love. A feeling that you are good enough and are heading towards better things.

Find new ways to channel aggressive anger towards yourself. When you’re staring at yourself in the mirror chant a positive mantra to give yourself a fighting chance. Something like:

“I woke up in a fab mood. I’m alive and kicking and my body allows me to do wonderful things. Let’s go and achieve”

Try working on these things one-by-one and I promise you will find new ways to push through your weight loss plateaus.

Onwards and upwards….

Saski xxxx

Boot Camp, Gym, Personal Training


Well! Another year done and dusted, phew!

And so we start again…..

New Year’s Resolution anyone!?

There is always something really satisfactory about the 1st of January when starting something new. I love it, the first day of a brand new year and so much to look forward to. But I think we tend to have an all or nothing attitude, rather than just trying to be a little better in our approach to achieving health and fitness.

So here are my top 8 tips for planning a new years resolution that you can stick to.

1. Choose a realistic goal

If your goal is to lose more weight then be realistic, if you have 12lbs to lose, giving yourself till easter to achieve it is realistic, giving yourself 2 weeks is not. So make sure you don’t set yourself an impossible lofty task because you’ll set yourself up to fail, and that’s not what we want.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a weight loss related goal either, it could be to get more quality sleep, or manage your stress levels better. You know you best, so choose the most important thing for you to get you in a healthier state.

2. Planning

This speaks for itself. How are you going to get there? and how are you going to monitor your progress? I like to have a planner where I can see each month to view. For example if your goal is going to take you 3 months then I would print off 3 months to view and stick them all together so you can see where you are on your plan and how long you have left to go. Obviously if you work differently then just go with what works best for you. But plan it all out so you have a clear direction and course of action

3. Chip away

Take each day as it comes, you have your grand plan, now break it down into bit sized pieces (no pun intended) decide what you are going to achieve either each week as you go, or day by day. Knowing what you have to do each week/day will leave you without the guess work, and you’ll be more likely to be able to complete your task if you have clear direction.

4. Don’t worry

This is not the be all and end all of resolutions we want you to go out and achieve your goals but if it’s going to make you stressed then you’ve given yourself too big a challenge. Make this as fun as you possibly can and just don’t worry about it. Seriously! Do not worry about it.

5. Plan to fail

Just remember that you are only human, you will fail some days, we all do, but the key here is not to just throw it all in for one little blip. Don’t adopt the all or nothing mentality, we want to be a little better each day, so if you don’t achieve what you set out to that day/week because something urgent or more pressing came up just write it off, don’t worry about it and move on.

6. Mini Goals in between

Set yourself some little goals along the way. If eating healthily is your resolution then why not set yourself some mini goals in between. If you plan on getting in 3 healthy breakfasts one week and you manage 4 or more, then whoop whoop you can move onto number 7…..

7. Reward Yourself

If you make your plan and follow it, then be sure to reward yourself with something along the way. Some kind of reward that makes you feel good like a little bit of retail therapy or a hot bath with candles and a good book, or maybe a spa session, nails done, you know what like, so treat yourself.

8. Just Keep Going or plan your next thing.

If you don’t achieve you goal in the timescale you’ve given yourself, don’t give up! just continue until you do the key is to think long term. Even if you changed 1 thing every week that amounts to 52 things you’ve changed during the year even if you only changed 1 thing every 2 weeks thats still 26 things you’ve changed in a year and when you think about it like that it is so achievable. And when the people around you are all planning their fitness resolutions, you can high five yourself for your perseverance and determination that you achieved what you set out to do. And best of all you won’t feel so bad when you do let your hair down over the christmas period. Because you know what it takes to get back to where you need to be and it won’t seem as daunting because you know this time you can do it!

Here’s to a wonderful and prosperous new year. Now let’s go achieve!! xx

Boot Camp, Gym

Christmas Tips

Wow! Christmas came around quickly didn’t it!

This month I am going to give you some tips to keep moving and reduce over eating in this full on time.

A lot of people want to know how to handle the party season, but I am going to give you advice for the 12 days of christmas which I think are the most important. Christmas day into the new year.

There is so much food and booze around at this time, and everyone’s spirits are high, so it’s easy to get swept away into some kind of diet debauchery.  So a few tips to keep you active and keep your family active and healthy too.

1: Don’t Buy Sweets and Chocolates as Gifts.

If you are trying to keep a balanced diet yourself then why would you encourage excessive eating on other people. I’m sure there will be plenty of sweets around anyway, people generally don’t need more.

2: Give Active Gifts Instead.

This is not only exciting for the recipient but could be the thing that get’s them moving more and gets them out the house. Not only that but it could also be a great family day out. So think smart.

3: Don’t Skip Your Workouts!

If your workout falls on Christmas day then do it. Either get up a little earlier if that’s possible and workout or change your workout for shorter shaper HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) Sessions you can fit into your day. Bang for your Buck!

4: Walk. Wrap up Warm and Get Outside.

Walk after meals, walk in the mornings, walk in the evening, walk as a family, just walk. Put your fitbits and fitness watches to good use.

5: Relax.

Making sure you get some time to relax too is just as important. Christmas and New Year are so full on so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to prepare so you can kick back to enjoy some downtime with your favourite peeps.

6: Go Easy On The Booze.

You don’t need to make up for lost time, so pace yourself and make sure to rehydrate through the day and evening too. 7 glasses of water a day as a minimum (about 2 litres). So go and refresh, your body needs it. And remember salty snacks are the worst for making you drink more.

7: Ask Yourself If You Really Need It.

Nibbles with appero’s before food is the quickest way to kill your appetite but also gives you added calories that you don’t really need. So either cut them out or eat a healthy snack before going out to stop you over indulging.

8: Get Creative With Kids On New Years Eve

If you are seeing in the new year with kids then make it fun and imaginative, a gift hunt in the garden before fireworks to get you all moving and warm.

9: New Years with Adults

Get your dancing shoes ON! There is nothing more soul soothing than dancing the night away at new year with the people you love. If you haven’t done it for years then start researching for things to do in your area, surprise everyone and make a night to remember. Plus you’ll be burning some of those calories off.

10: Plan a healthy nutritious meal for New Years Day

No stodge, just good nutritious food full of plenty of vitamins and minerals. No alcohol.

11: Think About What You Want To Achieve This Coming Year.

Whatever that may entail. Wether it be fitness and health related or something you’ve always wanted to do. Make the time to make it a priority. Go and Achieve!…..

12: Most Importantly Be Kind To Yourself

I read a quote the other day that said:

“You will never speak to anyone more than you speak to yourself in your head. Be kind to yourself”

Don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t set out to do what you said. We are all learning, just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and try again. For You.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Sask xxxx


The Gym Is Open :-)

Please come down and take a look for yourselves at what we have to offer. We’d be delighted to see you.

We have membership options available and our opening hours are:

Monday: 9am-8pm

Tuesday: 9am-6.30pm

Wednesday: 11am-8pm

Thursday: 9am-6.30pm

Friday: 9am-8pm

Saturday: 9am-1pm

Sunday: Closed



Daily rate: €15

Monthly: €49

6 Monthly: €280

Yearly: €560

Limelight Fitness a5 flyer Final

Gym, Personal Training


SO I have unofficially opened the gym…..Want to take a look??……

This is Phase 1 for equipment Phase 2 will be later down the line to include cardio equipment like a rower, bike and ski erg, plus an extra power rack and more barbells and weight plates. But you can use it now, so come and take a peep!!! Official opening day will be 5th September. Membership available so please ask for more details.