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About Free Living Fitness

This blog is maintained and authored by Claire Salem of Fire Lotus Fitness

Claire is a personal trainer with a pre/postnatal specialism, professional dancer  (at Scarlet Lotus Dance), doula and perinatal yoga teacher. She is an Anatomical Sciences graduate, former Medical Physics researcher and teacher. Claire lives with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and has a special interest in exercise for joint stability and chronic pain.

Claire likes dancing, lifting heavy things and helping other people to be more awesome.

Claire believes that everyone has the right to access good health in whatever way they are willing and able and as such, that fitness belongs to everyone as laid out in the Free Living Fitness manifesto which opens this blog.




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Popular posts from this blog

What's the deal with yoga and hypermobility?

I wanted to address a question today that keeps coming up on various hypermobility and EDS forums that I frequent. It comes up so often in fact that I feel like I have to write this all up in one place, to save me 1000s of key strokes of individual responses and distil some of my opinions and thought processes on the matter.

It always goes like this. Someone asks a question like "I've just been diagnosed with hypermobility, I've been told I can't do yoga anymore..."

The responses are always a mixture of "yes, my doctor/physio told me yoga was the worst thing I could do for my hypermobility" and "I do yoga and it's been the best thing for my hypermobility".

So what gives?

Well, I'm firmly in the "yoga is useful" camp, and I have to disclose that. I'm a yoga practitioner of around 20 years and a perinatal yoga teacher, as well as a personal trainer and bendy person.

While I have the deepest respect for the medical professio…

I'm an intelligent grown-up, so why can't I eat like one?

Nutrition is complicated.
The rules change all the time. One minute we are told a food is bad, the next it's good. It's like scientists can't make their minds up!

Fat does't make you fat. Sugar is toxic. Undereating puts you in starvation mode. But you can "hack" your metabolism with this one weird trick.....

Of course all of this is false, or at least such a gross reduction of the truth that it is open to extreme misinterpretation. Put it out in plain sight and it becomes very clear that it doesn't hold water. So why are we believing this? Why are people telling us this, and most importantly; why as educated, intelligent adults who are perfectly capable of identifying a healthy plate of food, are we still struggling to consistently eat well?

The rules of healthy eating.
Healthy eating is not at all complicated. It's actually so obscenely simple that when I spell it out you're going to go "well tell me something I didn't know" and r…

Getting it done

My goodness I've been up to my ears recently!

A bunch of work came to a close, I took on some more, and then some other stuff came up and turned what I was expecting to be a fallow period into a flurry of tasks and deadlines.

And because of this, the several blogs I have on my to-do list, remain not done.

But I thought I would check in quickly and talk to you about how I get through those mad to do lists, and avoid getting bogged down by small stuff - because it was a hard lesson to learn.

Left to my own devices, I am both a procrastinator and a perfectionist. I want things right, but sometimes that means they don't get done.

I also suffer from social anxiety. In some ways this is an advantage when I work primarily in connecting with people, It makes me mindful in the way I communicate, and empathic with their uneasiness when it comes to the deep talk. It also means I really need a kick up the butt to reach out, or to get communication done, I need it to be right. Is it tactfu…

Your quick and easy guide to eating healthy from a restaurant menu

Ok, so last time I totally saved your lunch box, and now I'm here to save your lunch out.

Eating out is fun. It's a classic example of how food is so much more than fuel for our bodies - and that is one of the reasons why making dietary changes can be hard. It's not just about what you put in your face, it's also about your culture, the people you hang with, your habits and your emotional or sensory connections with food.



Eating in restaurants can be fraught with difficulty for people trying to adjust their eating patterns. You might have established preferences on the menu, you can't control the portion size or the ingredients in your dishes. You might feel pressured to drink alcohol and studies suggest that people actually eat more when eating in company.

This is why many people on strict weight loss diets, or athletes prepping for competition often choose to sacrifice social eating for their final goals. But you might not have that option if your job involves so…

I'm here to save your lunch. How to make the best salads in the world.

Twice this week, I have caught myself saying to myself (because I talk to myself a lot) "Salads are awesome, I love salad".

Then I laugh at myself for being a massive dork who likes salad AND talks to myself about it.

But it made me think about how often salad is done a great disservice as a food.

Up until my mid twenties, I hated salad. Salad was boring. But the reason I felt this way, was that I, like many children of the '80s, grew up with "salad" that consisted of strips of iceburg lettuce and watery tomatoes. The classic school dinner salad. With salad creme on the side. Possibly also with Spam.

So let's stop this right now. That stuff isn't salad. It's a very sad garnish with big ideas it hasn't got the backbone to live up to.

Then I learned that salad could be made with leaves that don't taste of refrigerator and sadness. And you can add all sorts of awesome things to make it super tasty and satisfying.

But those kinds of salads get a…