Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Walk a mile in someone else's shoes..

hip dysplasia, cast life, DDH
Natalie Trice and her son Lucas,
the inspiration behind the first Warrior Walk.
Finding your baby has a chronic condition that could affect the rest of their life is every parent's nightmare. And for mum Natalie Trice, the hardship of discovering her son Lucas suffered from developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) when he was just four months old was exacerbated by the realisation that there was little information and support for parents like her.

DDH occurs when the hip joint fails to develop correctly and two to three in every 1,000 infants will require treatment. To date, Lucas has had five major operations and spent over a year in casts, harnesses and wheelchairs - and is still on his treatment path. 

While caring for her son, Natalie founded DDH UK, the UK’s only DDH-dedicated charity, to support families on their journey towards healthy hips and wrote 'Cast Life - A Parent's Guide to DDH' too - the resources she wishes she'd had all those years ago. And now Lucas - and his school, the Stover School in Devon, are hoping to raise the £5,000 needed to register the charity he inspired with the Charity Commission. 

'If I can walk a mile for healthy hips, anyone can.'

Friday, 13 January 2017

Get fit for free!


workout, healthy, stability ball,
Join the Julia Buckley
online gym for free (yes FREE!).
At this time of year everyone wants to start healthy habits but not everyone has the cash to splash on a gym membership or personal trainer. Particularly right after the expense of Christmas! And if you've failed to keep up with a fitness plan in the past you might also be reticent to start paying to work out if you think you might renegade later. (but you won't this time - will you? Because you've read this!).

Thankfully not all exercise plans come with a price tag. And if you can get a taste for the good life for free - why not take it? What have you got to lose?

Here are some top training ideas that won't cost you a penny:

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Healthy homes are heated homes!

snow, winter health, energy savings
The kids are already planning for snow...
but are you ready?
Okay, we've all heard the hype - the temperature is about to drop and it could snow (and some places are already suffering!). But along with the panic of how you'll get to work in icy conditions and your kids' excitement that the schools may shut, it's important to keep your home at a healthy temperature.

A study by Public Health England found that indoor temperatures below 18 degrees can have an impact on health, and independent expert the Energy Saving Trust is reminding people not to take risks and ensure that their homes are able to cope with the conditions. This comes after a study shows 42 per cent of householders across the country avoid putting the heating on during cold spells due to concerns about high bills. Brrrrrr!

So how can you protect your family's health AND avoid a large bill? Here's what our experts have to say:

Does winter make you SAD?

SAD, winter, depression, health
Wake up the right way this winter
I have to admit I've really struggled with the short days and dark mornings this winter. I juggle herding the kids to and from school, taking two dog walks, a trip to the gym and working (please note my priorities there!) in what has seemed like ever-decreasing daylight! And when the alarm goes off at 7am, I'd really like to hit snooze; for about two hours! And yet, do you see me heading to bed at 10pm, ummm no.

Of course, I'm not alone in hating getting up when the sun has yet to rise! As many as a quarter of us experience the winter blues and seven per cent within that group suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It's thought that the dawn light level in winter is too weak to signal the pineal gland to stop producing the sleep hormone melatonin; which leads to over-sleeping and grogginess in the mornings. And the modern trend of spending most of our day indoors means we also have insufficient light exposure, which can make us feel tired and down.

But hibernating isn't an option - and in most cases - neither is just taking these few months easy. So what can you do to improve your mood and energy levels?

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

How to foolproof your NY resolutions

Let nutritionist Zoe Martin
help you reach your goals in 2017.
Yikes! Figures show that over 500 thousand of those who make New Year resolutions will have broken them by the 2nd of January! And even if you have stood firm for the first few days of the month, motivation often wanes by the last Friday in January, with just eight percent of people actually succeeding with their resolution by the end of the year. Since about half of NY promises relate to health and exercise, it's important that we learn just where we are all going wrong if we want to have a happy and healthy 2017!

Baby steps


Zoe Martin is a nutritionist at Discount Supplements. She believes success is all about goal setting - breaking down that ultimate aim into smaller steps - which will get you over that hurdle of one big challenge seeming so overwhelming that you give up all too easily. For example, if you want to lose three stone in 2017, Zoe suggests setting yourself a target weight to lose over the course of each month, and aiming to reach smaller targets in between (such as going to the gym twice a week or not eating takeaways). With this method you're allowing yourself small - and motivating - wins that will help you make progress in the long term. Which is exactly what you need!

Zoe has some other top tips to help you too: