Fit-to-Live Health & Fitness Retreats use naturopathic medicine and the Neurological Integration System to help you optimise your health and fitness.

Whatever your aim: rehabilitate after injury or illness, weight loss, improve health and fight chronic illness, to get prepared for pregnancy, or simply to relax and re-charge.

Set in the beautiful Charente-Maritime countryside of western France, amongst forest, vineyards and sunflower fields, our aim is to enable everyone to have the knowledge and motivation to realise your full potential and perform to your best ability whether that be at work in an office environment, in your hobbies, as a parent or as an athlete.

In case of injury e.g. bruising, sprains, strains to any part of the body:

Remember PRICE

Protect from further injury - stop doing what you were doing!

Rest stay calm, lying down is usually best, wait for any spasm to subside

Ice apply anything cold for 10 minutes

Compression use a support bandage or cushions as needed.

Elevate an injured limb to reduce swelling.

Seek advice if necessary.


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Women typically accumulate fat around the hips and thighs to develop a pear-shaped body type.  Abdominal obesity results in an apple-shaped body type, which is more common among men.  This helps explain why men have a higher risk of heart disease than women. 

However, post-menopausal woman have a strong tendency to develop apple-shaped body types as well as so their cardiovascular risk also rises.

Why Abdominal Fat is the worst!

The fat surrounding the liver, stomach, small intestine and colon (and other abdominal organs) is referred to as visceral fat.  Visceral fat is very metabolically active. This means than it releases certain fatty acids, inflammatory agents, and hormones that lead to higher LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, blood glucose, and blood pressure. (1)

Visceral fat and therefore abdominal obesity is the biggest factor in the health problems associated with obesity.  It is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and death from all causes.  This is even after taking into account the person's overall obesity (body mass index (BMI)). (2,3).

Even apparently quite slim people can still carry too much fat around their internal organs resulting in a straight up and down type of figure.

Apple and Pear Body Shapes

Abdominal Fat is Unhealthy Even If You Are Not Overweight!

In a study of 44,000 healthy female volunteers, after 16 years the women with waist size over 35 inches (89cm) had nearly twice the risk of dying from heart disease compared to those with waist size less than 28 inches (71cm).  

The risk also continued to increase with increasing waist size.  There was also a significantly increased risk of death from cancer or any other cause.(4)

This same study (and others looking at large groups of European men and at groups of Asian women 2, 3, 5) found that even women of a normal weight, with a BMI less than 25 were at a higher risk, if they were carrying more of that weight around their waist.  Normal-weight women with a waist of 35 inches or higher had three times the risk of death from heart disease, compared to normal-weight women whose waists were smaller than 35 inches.

Measuring your waist and comparing it to your height has been shown to be the best way of assessing your abdominal fat levels and therefore also one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease and overall health and longevity.  It is also the easiest way to measure your fat levels and body health and fitness.

All you need is a simple tape measure!

Health Risks Posed by Abdominal Fat

Large Waist Size Equals Highest Risk of Heart Disease and Cancer

How To Easily Assess Your Abdominal Fat Levels


1. Despres JP. Health consequences of visceral obesity. Ann Med. 2001;33:534-41.

2. Ohlson LO, Larsson B, Svardsudd K, et al. The influence of body fat distribution on the incidence of diabetes mellitus. 13.5 years of follow-up of the participants in the study of men born in 1913. Diabetes. 1985;34:1055-8.3. 

3. Larsson B, Svardsudd K, Welin L, Wilhelmsen L, Bjorntorp P, Tibblin G. Abdominal adipose tissue distribution, obesity, and risk of cardiovascular disease and death: 13 year follow up of participants in the study of men born in 1913. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed). 1984;288:1401-4.

4.Zhang C, Rexrode KM, van Dam RM, Li TY, Hu FB. Abdominal obesity and the risk of all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality: sixteen years of follow-up in US women. Circulation. 2008;117:1658-67.5. 

5. Zhang X, Shu XO, Yang G, et al. Abdominal adiposity and mortality in Chinese women. Arch Intern Med. 2007;167:886-92.

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