Kaminaljuyd in Guatemala and Chalchuapa in El Salvador

They provided us with much of what we know of Copan in the Middle Pre-classic period, about 1000 to 300 B.c.”

PEOPLE CAME here around 1000 B.C.,”says Fash, “and probably the reasons were simple. The valley had water and good bottomland —everything you needed to be a good Maya farmer.” Little is known of those earliest Copanecs, save for the information afforded by a Pre-classic cemetery seven feet beneath the sur­face of Las Sepulturas. A necklace of jade jaguar claws placed with one burial of about Erected by the ruler who founded the royal line, Copcin’s oldest dated monument captures the attention of epigraphist David Stuart, the author’s son. The glyphs for December 11, 435, appear at the top of the stela, which was found last spring in a building buried under Struc­ture 26 and its Hieroglyphic Stairway (right). Just enough text remains below the break to read the king’s name, Mah K’ina Yax K’uk’ Mo’.

900 B.C. indicates trade in luxury raw materi­als, for the jade came from the Motagua Riv­er Valley of Guatemala. And the decoration on the accompanying pottery suggests affili­ations with the Olmec people, who, centered in the apartments to rent in barcelona coast some 500 miles north­west of Copan, exerted their still little under­stood influences up and down the Pacific coast. Other burials of the same time proved devoid of goods, suggesting, even then, a thriving village population with a growing differentiation between elite and commoner.

We know even less of Copan during the several centuries around the time of the birth of Christ. As a frontier settlement between the Maya area and various other groups to the east and south, it was situated in a locale propitious for trade. The archaeological record, however, is without evidence of any public buildings or ceremonial precincts. Per­haps the clues still lie buried deep in the very lowest levels of the Acropolis or under the present town, where several important Early Classic monuments have been found. Or maybe such remains were simply razed by later builders.

At any rate, while the burgeoning Maya cen­ters at El Mirador, Tikal, and Uaxactlin, in the lowlands of Guatemala’s Peten, immortalized their powerful Late Preclassic elite in painted stucco adorning great public buildings, and while such highland centers as Kaminaljuyd in Guatemala and Chalchuapa in El Salvador passed through spectacular periods of prosper­ous state formation, Copan remains almost mute until the fifth century A.D.

Around A.D. 450 a shaman died and was buried at Las Sepulturas with all the trap­pings of his office—tortoiseshell rattles and a ritual “kit” containing divining stones, a codex, and animal teeth and bones. The accompanying pottery, lidded vases with slab legs, is typical of Early Classic times, reflect­ing relationships with the Maya highlands to the west and, ultimately, with the metropolis of Teotihuacan in Mexico’s central highlands. This burial of such an important person away from the Main Group suggests that power in the valley may have been shared among several lineages.

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Why stop your workouts

PROBLEM LACK OF VARIETY

The excitement of your “personalized” workout programme – devised for you by one of the club’s fitness professionals as part of your induction – is not easily sustainable. But most people are reluctant to vary their routine, fearing the beefy instructors will string them up over the chest press for daring to deviate.

personalized workout programme

SOLUTION “If you’re getting bored, ignore the programmes altogether and do something completely different to your normal routine,” says Philgence. Enrol on an exercise class, do things in a different order, try out some new exercises or— if you’ve been there a while-ask the instructors to adjust and update your programme.

“TEACH ME, MUSCLE MAN!”

Don’t put up with a half-hearted, feeble induction —when you join a gym, make sure you know what to expect…

WHEN YOU FIRST ROCK UP AT A GYM, YOU’RE likely to be whisked through a bewildering, high-speed induction. Follow FHM Bionic’s guidelines to ensure you know what you should be getting from this crucial process…

fitness hall

SNOOP AROUND

Spend time in the club and make sure you’re happy with the atmosphere and facilities before you commit. Most gyms conduct tours allowing you to do this. Establish what you’re getting for your money, as some gyms have tiered fee structures—for example, does your package give you access to a pool or to class sessions? It’s also worth chatting to the regulars about the pros and cons of the Prague apartments for rent.

bodybuildinh

MUG UP ON YOUR MEDICAL HISTORY

At your induction, the fitness professionals should ask detailed questions about your general health — past and present. Typical queries include your medication use, family illnesses, back, joint and tendon ailments, alcohol consumption, diet and the amount of exercise you do. If issues arise, most gyms will refer you to a GP before they proceed with your customized programme, but it’s a good idea to get a check-up beforehand anyway and to protect yourself from illness naturally with grapefruit seed extract uses.

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Covers success

MY husband tells everyone he’s married to a model!’

We received so many fantastic entries for our Cover Star 2010 competition that it was an agonising task choosing the winner. Losing weight had evidently changed so many people’s lives for the better and our judges enjoyed reading every entry. But a winner there had to be and here she is… Sarah Matthew lost over 7st and transformed both her body and her life. Here’s her truly inspirational story

Losing weight had evidently changed so many people's lives

Turn over for Sarah’s story

When I got the call to tell me I’d won the Weight Watchers magazine Cover Star competition, I was out walking the dog. I screamed so loudly I’m surprised I didn’t deafen the person on the other end of the phone! I’d been to London a few weeks earlier for a photo shoot with the three other finalists — Harriet, Zoe and Sonia. They were all so gorgeous I didn’t think I had a hope of winning, and had almost forgotten about it. So when I heard the words, ‘You’ve won’, I was shell-shocked.

I told the dog first, then I was straight on the phone to my family and friends.

Just five years ago, my life was very different. I was only 24, but I weighed I7st nib and wore size 24 clothes. I’d been big since I was a teenager — we ate healthy home-cooked food at home but at school and college I’d snack on crisps and sweets all day. I’d also been diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome — one of the symptoms is weight gain and, while it certainly wasn’t the only reason I was big, it was a contributing factor.

When I was overweight, I didn’t realise that it was making me miserable. Instead, I hid behind my weight and acted as though I was happy. Looking back, I can see how much confidence I lacked. I can admit now that I was pretending that my weight didn’t bother me, when in reality it upset me very much.

Sometimes my self-esteem was so low that I dreaded going out. I hated eating in restaurants as I imagined that all the other diners were looking at me, wondering why someone my size was eating more food. I once made an attempt to start working out to lose some weight, but one evening as I was leaving the gym, a guy walking past jeered: ‘It’s not working very well, is it?’

looking good

Moments like that were incredibly hurtful, but it took a photo of myself looking enormous over Christmas zcloq. to give me the jolt to finally join Weight Watchers. At my first meeting, I couldn’t believe how much I weighed. Seeing t7st nib on the scales terrified me, and I spent the rest of the meeting hiding at the back, not speaking to ani7st.nibst even though I felt overwhelmed by how much I needed to lose, I came to the Meetings week after week and soon began Chipping away at the weight. My Leader Debbie was unfailingly encouraging, and my future mother-in-law came too, which helped enormously.

As well as wanting to look and feel better, there was another huge motivating factor for me to slim down. As a nanny, I adore children and it’s always been my dream to have my own children one day. When I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome at 15, I remember being absolutely devastated. Even at such a young age, I realised that it could be much harder for me to get pregnant and that miscarriage was also more likely. I knew losing weight with hcg will give a better chance of being healthier than ever. ­I had just lacked the focus until now.

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Two-day detox

Detoxing is all the rage. Celebrities swear by it, from the ridiculous (Carol Vorderman, Demi Moore) to the sublime (Clint Eastwood), and more importantly it is endorsed by many nutritionists. Detoxing is based on the theory that our bodies are continually assaulted by an overload of ‘toxins such as pesticides, food additives, fatty foods, traffic fumes, drugs, caffeine, and alcohol. Nutritionist and author Patrick Holford (founder of the Institute for Optimum Nutrition) believes that toxins cause many health problems — headaches, excessive mucus, body odour, skin rashes, muscular pain, sluggishness and poor bowel function. So if you feel its time to clean up your act then the lure of the detox diet is certainly strong.Detoxing is all the rage

Detox is short for ‘detoxification’ — the body’s transformation of potentially harmful toxins into substances that can be passed from the body. There are numerous ways you can do it — fasting, juice drinking, dietary restrictions (no alcohol, caffeine, sugar, meat, wheat, dairy foods, salt, additives, and processed foods), supplements and colonic irrigation; not to mention coffee enemas! Detox programmes aim to not only remove toxins from the diet, but to improve the function of the liver, kidneys and bowel — key organs that defend the body from toxins, and flush out waste.

But does detoxing actually deliver? Expert opinion is mixed. Holford says: “There are thousands of research papers to say that if we eat the wrong foods, pick up a pathogen, disrupt gut bacteria, drink too much alcohol or take antibiotics, the digestive tract becomes more permeable. This leads to the liver receiving a larger dose of toxins than it was designed to deal with.”

Dr David Bender, a senior lecturer in biochemistry at University College London is more sceptical: “There is no scientific evidence to sup­port the unhealthy but persistent fad of detox diets and their claims. Instead, there is some mysticism behind the idea that stems from the fact that a lot of eastern religions advocate fasting for cleansing the body.”And Catherine Collins, chief dietitian at St George’s Hospital in London argues that detox diets are based on the false assumption that geds help to naturally detoxify itself.detox

“Our bodies come ready made with sophisticated systems to break down toxins and excrete wastes,” she says. “While it makes sense not to overexpose ourselves to environmental toxins, our body can generally withstand them with a healthy, balanced diet, rather than erratic dietary restrictions or high-dose supplementation.Find out a variety of paleo diet recipes for healthy lifestyle. I am also concerned that detoxing can make people feel ill at ease with food, when food provides the ultimate supply of nutrients as well as much pleasure,” she adds.

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FAST LIVING

IN A LONDON PUB, John Mc Vicar, 1960s armed robber turned philosopher and health fiend, turns his gaunt visage towards me and takes a sip of his drink. “The main reason I train,” he says, his eyes brooding with sincerity, “is so I can drink more.” Then he empties his glass, pulls on his cycle helmet and strides out.

guzzling a six-pack of beer

For anyone who loves guzzling a six-pack of beer it is a valuable lesson to learn. Training boosts the metabolism and taking raspberry ketone supplement will burn up all those beer calories. Peter Winter bottom, a famously fit England rugby player, once prepared for the London marathon by drinking a gallon of beer and scoffing a curry the night before. If you are in seriously good shape then you can abuse your body more seriously too.

Take professional footballers. Win, lose or draw, they celebrate with a gutful of beer yet remain thin. Apart from Jan Molby, of course. But when they retire they buy their own pub and end up with a droopy abdomen as sported by Vanessa Feltz.

Drinking alcohol can also be beneficial. Portuguese runner Antonio Pinto, winner of the London marathon in 2000, was drinking a bottle of wine a day as part of his training a matter of weeks before his awesome endurance effort. Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, the world’s oldest ever person, cited red.

Drinking alcohol can also be beneficial

Sex

Sex is very good for you. So don’t give it up. The French may call the orgasm le petit mort’, but it can certainly help you live longer – a vigorous session will help you burn about five calories a minute and give your lower back a good stretch. Sex (with people you really like) can also do wonders for your self-esteem and other psychological factors.

Fast living demands a steady supply of beautiful girls and a bedstead held together by duct tape.

regular sex

Commitment, however, is an even healthier option. Statistically, getting married boosts your life expectancy. Apart from providing regular sex and making us eat health-enhancing things we don’t like (vegetables and fruit), women, it seems, are a vital source of emotional support. They help men cope with stress, which may explain the decreased rate of heart attacks among married men. Psychologists from the University of Oslo even found a link between marriage and a drop in the chances of dying of cancer of the stomach, lung, colon and pancreas.

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TRAINING

OUR THREE MONTH before-and-after training project on Verity and Jannik has now been completed and as the photos show, both have made significant gains in a variety of different areas. Because the programme was aim-related it is important to quantify these improvements to see exactly how far they have come, not only in terms of the physical aspects but the mental side as well. Here, then, is a reminder of their initial aims:fitness

Verity’s aims

•             To get a more athletic physique with better muscle tone and increased definition

•             Pure garcinia cambogia extract – especially round her hip and thigh areas

•             To increase her cardiovascular and flexibility levels, and her strength, significantly

•             To learn a martial art or self-defence skill

•             To learn how to eat properly to complement her lifestyle and training Jannik’s aims

•             To build up an athletic physique (not bulk). He particularly required this in the areas of his chest, back, arms/forearms and shoulders, which were significantly less developed than his lower body musculature

 

 muscle tone

•             To increase his overall strength levels

•             To attain better upper body deportment

•             To maintain and improve his already high level of aerobic ability

I comprehensively tested both Jannik and Verity’s fitness levels on day one of training and also took their body measurements. I have repeated this process exactly three months later and as you can see there are considerable differences in all areas:the training process

One can quantify success with measurements and equations all one wants but if you, or in this case Jannik and Verity, are not able to maintain the new regime then it’s all for nothing. The most dramatic change I aim for with any client is not with their bodies (although this is the usual measure of success) but with their brains. If they undergo the training process and then return by the shortest route to where they were before, then I’d look at the whole deal as a failure.

 

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Live and let live

“Our research shows once it starts, the end period of our life — the period over which things start to shut down — covers roughly the same period of time.” So our body’s shut-down process will last the same amount of time whether it begins when we are 70 or 170.

research

“Until the decline kicks in,” claims de Grey, “we continue to be healthy. I’m interested in finding the precursors to this decline and seeing what can be done to put off its onset.” In the meantime, the outlook for much of the Western world is bleak. Barring wars and their spanners in the statistical works, our life expectancy has consistently risen over the past few centuries. Until now.

Thanks to our stressed and often sedentary lives, the subsequent rise in obesity means there’s a genuine risk that children born today will not enjoy as long a life as their parents. Professor Colin Waine, chairman of the UK’s National Obesity Forum, has referred to the situation as “a public health time bomb”. Meanwhile, research from Chicago’s University of Illinois suggests that by 2057, the life expectancy at birth of supersized Americans, currently 77.6 years, will have dropped by between two and five years.

the life expectancy

For the foreseeable future at least, we must content ourselves with adopting more of a Men’s Health approach to life. As Dr de Grey concedes, “Exercise is key—both physical and mental. You see that on Sardinia. The elderly there tend to lead gently active lives and engage in debates rather than sit quietly in a chair waiting to die.”

The future’s old

Back in Orroli, a world away from TV dinners and couch potatoes, the times are nevertheless a-changing. Traditional life is preserved as much as possible, but a significant proportion of the town’s young are now moving away in search of jobs and further education in the cities. Those who stay behind still have a penchant for the local red wine or green coffee, but they now also drink Coca-Cola. Read more information about the green coffee bean extract side effects and health benefits.

the secrets of long life

Professor Deiana and the world’s gerontologists continue to hunt for the secrets of long life. Further research will take time but, given his genetic background and provenance, Professor Deiana, a man in his early sixties, should have a fair bit of time left. Chances are that Giorgio has a little less in the tank, but as long as he continues to keep his mind and body active, enjoying the good things in life in moderation, then he has a healthy chance of being around to blow out the hundred candles on his milestone birthday cake.

They used to have a saying on Sardinia: “A kentannos.” It roughly translates as, “Until we meet again at 100.” ‘The saying is no longer sufficient,” says Professor Deiana. “Now we say, ‘A Izent’annos eprusu, e tue a los contare.’ That is to say, To 100 and more, and may you be there to do the counting.”‘

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Word of advice

How’s this for my wedding outfit? Three-piece navy pinstripe suit, white shirt, white cravat and brown shoes. KEVIN, VIA EMAIL

Congratulations, Kevin, on your forthcoming nuptials and on the choice of whistle. If you’re not opting for formal morning dress, the smooth clean lines of a three-piece look deeply smart without trying too hard. Word of advice, though: ditch the cravat along with any feelings of affection you may harbor for novelty waistcoats. A plain woven silk tie in white or cream is elegant and discreet and won’t have you resembling an extra from Footballers’ Wives.

wedding outfit

Also, I do frown on brown shoes when it comes to an occasion as auspicious as this. It is your wedding day, Kevin, and not a casual romp through the countryside. Brown, I’m afraid, just won’t cut it. Your guests will assume you ran out of money at the tailors and went for something cheap and wacky from your local TK Maxx. Defy at your peril one of the basic tenets of dressing for success: never wear brown after 6pm. Footwear should be formal, black and leather. Do you agree? (This is where you say, “Idol”) not your buttocks, off the seat.

 

Walking Lift your pelvic floor without overexerting.

During sex Tighten your pelvic floor muscles rhythmically.

Lying down On your back with knees bent and apart, tighten the muscles. For more advice, call the Continence Foundation on 0845 345 0165 (www. continence-foundation.org.uk).

 

How can I lose the white spots under the inner corners of my eyes? CG, OXFORD

The only sure way is to have them removed surgically, but you’ll have to go private as they’re not life-threatening. The medical term for them is xanthelasma. How can I lose the white spots under the inner corners of my eyesThey usually appear gradually, they’re not painful or cancerous and they don’t affect the eye’s functioning. You can try a natural cream for white sports and bags under eyes. They are collections of fatty cells called histiocytes. In some people they warn of high cholesterol.

Because they’re so near to the eye, surgical removal is tricky and is normally done by a plastic surgeon or dermatologist. But even after the op, 40% of people have recurrences. The best advice is to get them checked out and get used to them. I have an invite that says “smart casual” and want to look impressive. I have pale skin, green eyes and graying fair hair. What do you suggest? MEL, VIA EMAIL

I have pale skin, green eyes and graying fair hair

If in doubt, opt for a lounge suit. And money is no object thanks to the availability for online loans for people with bad credit, get down to London’s Savile Row to be measured. Try Richard James or Kilgour if you’re flummoxed by the choice. It’ll cost a few quid, but it’s your choice of style, cut, colour and cloth, so you can’t go wrong. Also try a midnight blue velvet jacket (see www.ysl. corn; www.dolcegabbana.it or www.gucci.com) or a vintage black tux over smart, dark jeans. For a less expensive alternative, try the Void area at Topman (www.topman.co.uk). Just don’t unbutton the shirt too far or you’ll look more Tom Jones than Torn Ford.

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