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Hello <<First Name>>  Rosemary Conley CBE

Watching the Olympics has been incredible. So many Medals won by our wonderful athletes and such evidence of dedication and determination that has inspired us as a nation and as individuals. The hard work, the sacrifices and the energy they engender is awesome and it has been enthralling and entertaining to watch. Early on in this year’s Games, when Champion swimmer Adam Peaty won Gold and retained his 100m breaststroke title, the whole country was thrilled. I was in tears!

Adam Peaty’s success reminded me of the time I was sharing a motivational speaking stage with Duncan Goodhew. I am sure many of you will remember Duncan as the ‘star swimmer of his day’ in the ‘70s and ‘80s, and I will never forget what he said in his speech.

His first Olympics was in Montreal in 1976 where he came 7th in the 100m breaststroke. Over the next four years he won no less than four Silver medals at other international events but his ultimate goal was to win Gold at the Moscow Olympics in 1980. He had trained excruciatingly hard and yet, so far, had only achieved Silver. What made it even worse was that when he combined the time by which he had lost out on Gold at all four of these events, the total time difference was less than one second!

He said, “I didn’t know what to do. I’d trained so hard up to that point but it wasn’t enough. Then, in desperation, I decided that on the days I didn’t feel like training, I would train for twice as long!"

In 1980, at the Moscow Olympics, Duncan Goodhew fulfilled his dream and won Gold!  

I am telling you this story as I think we can all learn from it. We all have days when we feel tired or can’t be bothered to go for our walk or do our exercises but, when we do make the effort, we feel so much better mentally as well as advancing our endeavours toward better health and fitness. So, the next time you are thinking of giving your exercise a miss, just think about Duncan Goodhew – though we are not asking you to do twice as much!

Recipe of the Week

These three easy-to-prepare salads can brighten up any barbecue and provide easy fork food that looks great and is nutritious too. They can be prepared in advance and kept in a refrigerator. Adapt the quantities to the number you are serving.


(Calories per portion are difficult to calculate so calories for the ingredients are given as a guide)

Carrot & Sultana Salad

Raw carrot (10 cals per 25g)
Sultanas (30 cals per 10g)

Peel and grate fresh carrots and place in a bowl and mix in some sultanas. Keep in a closed container in the refrigerator until ready to serve to enable the sultanas to plump up (allow at least two hours).

Fresh Beetroot and Sultana

This is a real show-stopper. It looks amazing and is very different from what most folks will have been used to eating. It tastes delicious.

Raw beetroot (11 cals per 25g)
Sultanas (30 cals per 10g)

Peel and grate fresh beetroot and place in a bowl and mix in some sultanas. Keep in a closed plastic container in the refrigerator until ready to serve to enable the sultanas to plump up (allow at least two hours).
Red Kidney Bean and Sweetcorn Salad

This has to be the easiest salad to prepare and looks so attractive in the dish.

Red kidney beans (60 cals per 70g)
Canned Sweet Corn (40 cals per 50g)

Rinse the contents of a can of red kidney beans in cold water and drain a colander. Place in a large bowl. Drain the juice from a can of sweetcorn (reserving the juice for use in gravy etc). Mix the sweetcorn and the red kidney beans together and serve in a large bowl.
For more recipes click here to visit the website
Fun, Facts & Fitness from Mary Morris MSc.

This week I want to reflect on Rosemary's words regarding Duncan Goodhew and his change of training tactics which resulted in his phenomenal success. 

It started me thinking about how we all might approach the idea of making a change to our usual routine and activity that may result in greater success for us too.

Doing something different therefore is my mantra this week.  You may have become 'stuck in a rut' with your fitness regime, doing the same things repeatedly week in and week out and it is time to make a change.  Recently, with one of my classes, we used the resistance band for a whole new series of exercises which not only inspired them to work harder because it was new, but the next week they told me how much they felt the benefit of the change.  They felt it in places they had not felt before! 

Exercise is very specific to the activity that you do.  For example, a great cyclist cannot be a great swimmer because it demands using our muscles differently (unless you are an Olympic triathlete of course!).  So, let's work our body differently and all do something new this week or maybe return to an old activity you used to really enjoy.

Tips for making change happen:

•       Firstly, set your mind to being open to making a change this week.  The mind is like a parachute – it only works when it is open!

•       Now think of what you want that change to be.  Golden rule..... it has to be something you like doing. For example, go on a completely different route on those walks that you enjoy so much, or dust off the exercise bike in the spare bedroom.  You may have used it in the past and enjoyed it!

•       Think about what you want to achieve with this change.  Understand that better muscle strength and muscle tone needs you to commit to more sessions of specific exercises.  More stamina needs either longer or more intense walks.  A full session of stretching will increase your flexibility and mobility. 

•       Finally, the winners in life think constantly in terms of 'I can' and 'I will'.  So set out your plan for the week and just do it!


  1. Plan a walk with a buddy that takes you somewhere you haven’t walked before.  The change of scenery can be inspiring!  Walk for 30 minutes every day.
  2. For the perfect mix of strength, tone and flexibility do the Pilates programme recently added to the website.  If you are new to Pilates then go to Introducing Pilates or if you are already familiar with the programme go straight to Intermediate Pilates. Do either workout twice this week. 
  3. Do the Seated Warm-Up followed by Seated Aerobics once this week.
  4. Do the Seated Warm-Up followed by the Seated Strength Workout once this week.
  5. If you have a step tracker, (eg a FitBit or a pedometer), commit this week to doing 10,000 steps every day.  No excuses!

And Finally...

Continue to be inspired by the Olympics and enjoy being active with an extra spring in your step this week. Have a good one. Let’s let our ‘Gold Medal’ be living longer, living healthier and living happier.
With love and best wishes,

Rosemary Conley CBE DL


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