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High End Supplements and Fitness Apps in London

January 2015

By Martha Alexander, London

Each January, Londoners, like many people the world over, resolve to clean up their act: eat less, do more and have better control over their lives. It could be argued that in London such resolutions are more urgent or acute: December in the UK’s capital is one long binge. Booze, chocolate and late nights mean come January, people want to turn over a brand new leaf. Until next year.

The desire for weight loss is at its peak in January, and as ever, people are looking for quick fixes. Raspberry Ketone is the miracle du jour. Available in health food stores, these capsules encourage weight loss and are endorsed by celebrities, usually reality TV stars who have a lot of coverage but seem relatable and girl-next-door-ish, rather than Hollywood starlets. This makes weight loss seems achievable for every woman and these capsules are increasingly popular because they are so cheap. 

Raspberry Ketone is also natural. In London, the lean towards using natural products where possible is not waning. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t use Echinacea during the winter, for example. On my colleague’s desks are a plethora of supplements from high-end brands like Solgar or Viridian: people are less trusting of Holland & Barratt, deeming it too cheap. Whole Foods or As Nature Intended are better respected. It’s expensive, but this seems to be an area that people are unwilling to scrimp on.

Amongst women, zinc and omega oils tend to feature a lot, because these relate to having strong skin, hair and nails. Personally, I try to avoid chemical medication, except for period painkiller Feminax.

The capital’s gyms always see a spike in membership during the first month of the year – but thanks to technology, leaving the comfort of your own home is now not the only way to get in shape. Also, given how expensive London is (especially after December which bleeds us all dry), a lot of young people are sacking off the gym entirely and working out using YouTube videos. Ryan Heffington – the LA-based choreographer – does a really fun one that doesn’t even require proper work-out gear.

The rise of Instagram fitness stars (@yoga_girl) also contribute to a lot of home training. People simply watch the short video on Instagram and then repeat, before moving onto the next video. These social media fitness gurus all have taut, lean bodies which only serves to provide inspiration.

The arrival of the iPhone 6, with a health app installed already, means people have fewer excuses not to track their daily fitness! However, the popularity amongst my female friends of calorie counting apps never ceases to wane. My Fitness Pal, Nutracheck, Lifesum are the most popular and become slightly addictive. Also a tiny bit antisocial, in my opinion – try sitting at a desk with two people who count calories!

Laser hair removal is no longer only an option for the super-rich, who would spend literally thousands of pounds on permanently banishing unwanted body hair by visiting an exclusive salon. You can now buy the equipment – such as the Philips Lumea - ‘over the counter’ in Boots and other good pharmacies for £350 to £450. It’s safe and virtually pain-free. Making this desired beauty phenomenon available to the masses is changing the face of hair removal.  

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