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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Benefits of cycling

Regular cycling can help you lose weight, reduce stress and improve your fitness. As well as information on the health benefits, you'll find plenty of tips below on equipment, road safety and cycle routes.
Cycling is the third most popular recreational activity in the UK. An estimated 3.1 million people ride a bicycle each month.
As a form of exercise, cycling has broad appeal. Toddlers, pensioners, the able-bodied or people with disabilities can all enjoy cycling if they have the right equipment.
Cycling is one of the easiest ways to fit exercise into your daily routine because it's also a form of transport. It saves you money, gets you fit and is good for the environment.
It's a low-impact type of exercise, so it's easier on your joints than running or other high-impact aerobic activities. But it still helps you get into shape.
For example, someone who weighs 80kg (12st 9lb) will burn more than 650 calories with an hour's riding, and tone their legs and bottom. If you ride up hills or off-road, you'll also work your upper body.
The best way to build your cardiovascular fitness on the bike is to ride for at least 150 minutes every week. For example, you could cycle to work a few days a week or do a couple of shorter rides during the week with a longer ride at the weekend. You'll soon feel the benefits.

Cycling safety tips

  • Look behind you before you turn, overtake or stop
  • Use arm signals before you turn right or left
  • Obey traffic lights and road signs
  • Don't ride on the pavement unless there's a sign that says you can
  • On busy or narrow roads, don't cycle next to another person
  • When overtaking parked cars, watch out for car doors opening suddenly and allow room to pass safely
  • Don't use headphones while cycling
  • Never use a mobile phone while cycling

Kit checklist

Wearing a cycling helmet can help prevent a head injury if you fall off your bike.
It's important to wear a helmet that meets the following criteria:
  • It is marked as meeting the British Standard (BS EN 1078:1997).
  • It is a snug fit and positioned squarely on your head. It should sit just above your eyebrows, not tilted back or tipped forwards.
  • It is securely fastened by straps, which aren't twisted, with only enough room for two fingers between your chin and the strap.
Make sure you replace your helmet every five years. Don't buy a secondhand helmet – it may be damaged and may not protect you properly.

Lights and reflectors

If you use your bike at night, it is compulsory to have:
  • a white front light
  • a red rear light
  • a red rear reflector
  • amber/yellow pedal reflectors front and back on each pedal
Reflectors fitted to the front and the spokes will also help you be seen.
You can get lights that are steady or flashing, or a mixture of steady at the front and flashing at the back. A steady light at the front is important when you're cycling through areas without good street lighting.
Check that any steady light has the BS 6102-3 mark on it. Flashing lights don't have to meet the British Standard, but they do need to:
  • flash at a rate of one to four equal flashes per second
  • be at least four candelas in brightness
Your pedal reflectors and rear reflector must be marked with BS 6102-2. You can also use a light or reflector that meets a standard accepted by another European Commission (EC) country (equal to the British Standard).
Additional lights and reflectorsYou can use other lights as well as the compulsory ones, but they must:
  • be the right colour – white at the front, red at the back
  • not dazzle other road users
If they are flashing, it must be at a rate of one to four equal flashes per second.

Getting your bike ready to ride

Do the following checks on your bike regularly to make sure it's in good working order.
Front tyre and wheelsLift the front end of the bike by the handlebar stem and then:
  • give the top of the wheel a bang with your hand to check that it doesn't fall out of the forks or move from side to side
  • check the wheel doesn't move from side to side when you try to wobble it to be sure the bearings aren't worn
  • spin the front wheel – the brakes shouldn't rub on the wheel rim
  • squeeze the sides of the tyre – inflate it if it feels soft
  • look for gaps, cuts or bulges on the tyres – these are signs that the tyres are worn and need to be replaced
If you have a front mudguard, there should be at least 5mm between the front mudguards and the tyre. Remove the mudguard if it rubs against the tip of your shoe when you pedal.
Lift the rear of the bike by the saddle and go through the same checks for the back wheels.
BrakesApply the front brakes. Check that:
  • the brakes work – try pushing the bike forward with the brakes on
  • the brake pads sit evenly on the wheel rim – they shouldn't touch at one end and not the other
  • the cables inside the brake levers aren't frayed
  • the brake levers and handgrips are tight on the handlebars, all the nuts and screws are attached, and the ends of the handlebar tube are covered
Apply the back brake and go through the same checks. The back tyre should slide, not roll, when you apply the brakes and push the bike forward.
Handlebars and steeringAll the parts on the handlebars should be tight and you should be able to steer freely. Release the brakes, stand in front of the front wheel and grip it between your knees. Then make sure nothing is loose when you try to:
  • turn the handlebars from side to side
  • apply the brakes and try to rotate the handlebars
SaddleYour saddle should be set at a height that's comfortable for you.
Place one heel on the pedal. Your leg should straighten when the pedal is furthest from the saddle.
Make sure you don't raise the saddle high enough to see the height limit mark on the seatpost. If the saddle needs to be this high for you to sit comfortably, you probably need a bigger bike.
Move towards the rear of the bike and hold the saddle tightly. Check that you can't move it up and down or from side to side. If it moves, tighten it.
Chain, gears and pedalsAsk someone to work the pedals by hand while you hold the rear wheel off the ground by the saddle. Then:
  • shift through all the gears on the back sprocket (a small wheel the chain passes through) and front gear changer to check the chain stays on and moves smoothly
  • wobble each pedal from side to side to check they don't move too much – if they do, the bearings in the bottom bracket need replacing
Make sure the chain isn't hanging off, broken or rusty. Lubricate the chain with some oil if necessary.

Healthy Herbs


Melly Lou, naturopathic Doctor at Farm Girl and founder of Liquorice Lifestyle told FEMAIL:  'Adding medicinal and culinary herbs to your food and drink can drastically change your health.'

Herbs to incorporate include:  

Mint for calming your digestion.

Turmeric for anti inflammatory properties, building immunity, and having a positive effect on blood cholesterol, among many other things.

Nettle in Spring and Summer to reduce the effects of Hayfever.

Rose for calming the digestive system and cardiovascular health.

Cinnamon facilitates the movement of sugar from the blood into your cells by potentiating the function of insulin. This results in more stable blood sugar levels and less sugar cravings.

Coriander is a 'Metal Chelator', cleansing the central nervous system of unwanted heavy metals consumed mainly in large fish and canned food.

Juices and smoothies might appear to be a 'drink' but should always be viewed a meal. 

Adding herbal powders and different sources of plant based proteins such as chia seeds, spirulina, and soaked nuts, gives your body a huge dose of micronutrients which satisfies you. When you eat like this regularly your body is nourished by a lesser amount of food, as often hunger is actually the desire for vitamins, minerals, and what is commonly referred to these days as 'superfoods'.

Cinnamon is a natural sweetener and can be added to puddings instead of sugar, honey or agave 

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Breathe Your Way To A Better Nights Sleep

Simple '4-7-8' breathing trick can induce sleep in 60 seconds

Dr Andrew Weil says it works because it allows the lungs to become fully charged with air, allowing more oxygen into the body, which promotes a state of calm.

A deep breathing trick can make insomniacs drop off to sleep in under one minute, a health expert has claimed.
The method involves making a loud whooshing noise with the mouth then holding the breath in stages.
Called the ‘4-7-8’ method, it has been pioneered by the US sleep expert Dr Andrew Weil who claims that the technique works by calming the mind and relaxing the muscles.
One in three Britons suffers from poor sleep, with stress, computers and taking work home often blamed for the lack of quality rest.
Regular poor sleep puts you at risk of serious medical conditions including obesity, heart disease and diabetes - and it shortens your life expectancy.
But Dr Weil, founder of the Arizona Centre for Intergrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, claims a simple alteration to normal breathing could be the answer.
“This comes from yoga and in yoga breathing you have to keep the tip of the tongue behind the upper front teeth,” he said.
“ You breathe in through your nose quietly and blow air out forcefully through your mouth making a whoosh sound. It takes all of about 30 seconds so there is no excuse for not doing it.
“It produces a very pleasant altered state of consciousness. You may not get that the first time you do it but it’s one of the benefits of practicing.”
The trick is holding the breath for four seconds, breathing out then holding for seven seconds. After that exhale completely for a count of eight. The steps are then repeated between two and four times.
Dr Weil says it works because it allows the lungs to become fully charged with air, allowing more oxygen into the body, which promotes a state of calm.
“You have to do this two times a day religiously. It will become a wonderful way to help you fall asleep. You can do it more often throughout the day,” added Dr Weil.
"It is utterly simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere.
“After about four to six weeks you will see wonderful changes in your body.”
It can also be used to help deal with cravings and to control anger. Dr Weil claims it can also improve digestion and stop the ‘fight or flight’ response in the body, lowering stress levels.
The method is based on an ancient Indian practice called pranayama, which means regulation of breath, and is used widely in yoga and pilates.
Breathing deeply has been prven to affect the heart, the brain, digestion, the immune system and even the expression of genes.
Research has shown that breathing exercises like pranayama can have immediate effects by altering the pH of the blood, or changing blood pressure.
But more importantly, they can be used as a method to train the body's reaction to stressful situations and dampen the production of harmful stress hormones.
Rapid breathing makes the body think it is stressed but deep breaths stimulates the opposing parasympathetic reaction, which calms people down.
In 1975 Harvard University researcher Herbert Benson discovered that short periods of meditation triggers a 'relaxation response' and even alters genes.
"It does away with the whole mind-body separation," Benson said in his book The Relation Response. "Here you can use the mind to change the body, and the genes we're changing were the very genes acting in an opposite fashion when people are under stress."
Start practicing ‘4-7-8’ method with these steps:
1. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
2. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
3. Hold your breath for a count of seven.
4. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
5. This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths
Simple breath control can make falling asleep easy

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

10 Tips To Look Younger

1 Wear Sunscreen
I can't stress this enough. A large percentage of the visible signs of ageing (wrinkles, age spots) result from the cumulative effect of ultraviolet rays on the skin, over time. Wear sunscreen and you'll keep these at bay.
2 Get enough sleep
The whole idea of beauty sleep is not a myth. Your body needs time to restore itself overnight and that includes your face, too. While you sleep, cells are busy repairing DNA damage from the day before, so snuggle down and give them a chance to get on with it.
3 Learn where to put concealer
Dabbing a bit onto the skin between the inner corner of the eye and the nose has the effect of casting light into a notoriously dark spot and brightens up the face of anyone over 30. Sneak a bit around the edges of your nostrils, too, to minimise redness.
4 Drink plenty of water
Particularly hard to do at this time of year when it is so much easier to reach for warming coffee, tea or hot toddies. It won't hydrate your skin directly, but it will improve the way your insides work and good gut health is soon reflected in glowing skin.
5 Take up yoga
It is soothing, de-stressing, improves your posture, helps loosen the knots of tension that we all accumulate in our bodies and can be done anywhere. All you need is the space to unroll a yoga mat. Also, yoga devotees usually look remarkably youthful – and if you can't beat them, why not join in and see if it works its magic for you.
6 Cut sugar from your diet
The body doesn't need it and sugar, according to nutritionists and skin experts, exacerbates a process called glycation, which accelerates ageing in the skin. (I tried this last year and found that two weeks off the sweet stuff made my skin noticeably clearer and brighter.)
7 Add the odd facial into your beauty regime
Regular TLC from a skincare professional will pay dividends in terms of a fresher-looking complexion with more bloom and spring to it. If you feel guilty about treating yourself, ask for one as a present.
8 Revise your make-up
Most of us are guilty of falling into a make-up time warp and ignoring the fact that what suited us five or 10 years ago might not look so good today. Also, cosmetic formulations are constantly improving, so newer products are nicer to use, with better results.
9 Exercise regularly
Whether it's walking the dog, rock-climbing, or scuba-diving, anything that gets you moving will improve your circulation. That in turn will encourage bloodflow to the skin and help give it a healthy, youth-enhancing glow.
10 Give up smoking
Just in case you need another reason to quit. It deprives the skin of oxygen, accelerates the process of skin ageing by hastening the degradation of collagen, which means more wrinkles – faster. Oh, and it's not great for your health, either.

Image result for look younger

Friday, 17 July 2015


For these days avoid all starchy carbs including wheat, potatoes, rice, bread and pasta. This will heighten your weight loss and limit bloating.

Eat plenty of green leafy veg like spinach and watercress, to keep your calcium intake up. You can also have soya or rice milk with added calcium.

The most important thing is to avoid wheat, dairy, sugar, alcohol and caffeine and fill up on vegetables (except root veg, unless raw carrots), fruit like berries, pears and apples and lean proteins like chicken, turkey, unprocessed ham, fish and eggs.

Eat small portions of seeds too, they are rich in healthy fats. Make salads big; not just leaves. Include sweetcorn, beetroot, olives, tomatoes and mushrooms.
Avoid shop-bought salad dressings, just use lemon juice and a teaspoon of olive or flax oil.

Tuna salad for lunch on Day One
Tuna salad for lunch on Day One

Breakfast: Smoked salmon and scrambled egg.
Mid morning snack: A pear and one tablespoon of pumpkin seeds.

Lunch: Tuna salad.

Mid-afternoon snack: A small bowl of prawns.

Dinner: Grilled chicken and vegetable stir-fry.


Breakfast: Smoothie made with a handful of mixed berries, half a banana, half a glass of rice or soya milk, one heaped tablespoon of seeds.

Mid-morning snack: A hard-boiled egg.

Lunch: Ham salad.

Mid-afternoon snack: A punnet of blueberries.

Dinner: Roasted salmon with streamed green beans and curly kale.


Breakfast: Natural soya yoghurt (about 150g) with fresh berries and one tablespoon of sunflower seeds.

Mid-morning snack: One hard-boiled egg.

Lunch: Avocado salad; slice up one ripe avocado and mix with onions, watercress, tomatoes, cucumber and salad leaves.

Mid-afternoon snack: An apple and one tablespoon of pumpkin seeds.

Dinner: Roast turkey with vegetable stir-fry

Drink detox tea to help the process

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Tips For A Flatter Stomach


Eat 5 times a day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and mid-morning and afternoon snacks.

Have herbal teas and plenty of water. Drink six to eight glasses of water a day, sipping slowly, add a teaspoon of lemon juice to heighten the cleansing effects. If you normally drink a lot of tea and coffee and are worried about going ‘cold turkey’ then have just one to cups a day, but really dilute to lessen the caffeine.

Got a sweet tooth and worried about getting cravings when you cut it out? Eating regular healthy meals, with a steady intake of protein, should help reduce sugar cravings by keeping your blood sugar levels balanced. But if you need extra help try taking a supplement of the mineral chromium, it will help boost blood sugar level balancing. Take two 200mcg tablets a day, one 30 mins before a mid-morning snack and one 30 mins before a mid-afternoon snack

Eat your celery. Celery is an excellent diuretic, due to its high potassium content, so it can help with water retention. Add celery chunks to salad, look for a good recipe for celery soup, or use celery as one of the ingredients in a vegetable juice

Limit gassy foods. Foods like beans, pulses and root vegetables are notorious for causing bloating and wind.

Always chew food well and take your time when eating. Chew each mouthful until the food is almost liquid; not only will this help to ensure that the food is properly digested, but it will also help you to eat slowly and enjoy your food, so can prevent you over eating.

Avoid all fizzy drinks, even diet ones. Fizzy bubbles in carbonated diet drinks can cause gas to get trapped in your stomach and can cause bloating. Instead, drink water flavored with lemon, lime, or cucumber or try peppermint tea or a herbal tea like Pukka Detox, £2.09, with detoxing aniseed, fennel and licorice.

Don't chew chewing gum. It can lead to swallowing air, which can cause bloating. It can also stimulate your digest enzymes to expect food which can then stimulate hunger.

Watch your salt intake. Never add extra salt to your food as it increases the amount of water that the body retains and can therefore make you look more bloated and heavier.

Avoid sweeteners. Many people suffer from bloating because they consume too much sugar alcohol in artificially sweetened foods and drinks, and so it is important to avoid these sweeteners.  

Tips from NutriCentre nutritionist Shauna Wilkinson 


                                               Detox easily with this tea 


Quick Weight Loss & Looking Younger Ideas

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Quick Abs Workout

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

19 Super Foods To Naturally Cleanse Your Liver

Eating the right foods is key, so here is a list of foods you can include in a diet that will promote a wholly natural, and perpetual cleanse of your liver.
Apples contain high levels of pectin, plus other natural chemicals which actually support your liver and facilitate the cleansing operation.
Asparagus is an excellent diuretic. A diuretic is a substance that helps to promote the production of urine, and as urine is the way that you body naturals evacuates itself of any excess toxins, asparagus actively helps to support detoxification.
Alternative grains can lighten the work that your liver has to do. Ordinary grains such as wheat, and flour made from wheat, contain gluten, which can be difficult to digest and is an allergen for many people. Substituting different grains, the likes of buckwheat, millet, and quinoa can make a significant difference.
Avocados are fantastically good for you as a source of nutrition. This renowned super-food also contains a compound known as glutathione, which is essential in helping your liver to extract toxins.
Beetroot (Beets) and carrots are another good source of glutathione that aids your liver to detox. They are also rich in flavonoids and beta-carotene, which both support healthy liver function.
Brussels sprouts are a rich source of the mineral sulfur, and the antioxidant glucosinolate. Both of these substances encourage your liver in producing certain enzymes that can prevent damage caused by both dietary and environmental toxins.
Cabbage facilitates your body’s production of ITCs (Isothiocyanates), another important substance that promotes the manufacture of detox enzymes.
Citrus fruits, and particularly lemons and limes, contain boatloads of vitamin C. This boosts liver function and helps to transform toxins into substances that are them more easily mopped up by water.
Cruciferous veggies such as broccoli and cauliflower also contain the antioxidant glucosinolate, the antioxidant that promotes the production of toxin busting enzymes.
Dandelion root makes a great tea which helps the liver to break down fat. It also boosts the manufacture of amino acids, another substance essential to the detox process.
Garlic s a rich source of Sulfur, (a great detox support agent), plus Allicin and Selenium, both of which are an important aid in helping to cleanse your liver.
Grapefruits are an excellent source of vitamin C, glutathione, and antioxidants, all of which combine to boost the manufacture of specific enzymes that can rid your body of various toxins including certain carcinogens.
Green tea contains a particular type of antioxidant known as catechins which are well known as substances that support healthy liver function.
Leafy green veggies contain certain chlorophylls that have the ability to absorb toxins that contaminate your body from the environment. They also help to deal with various chemicals, heavy metals and pesticides that find their way into your body system.
Olive oil and other cold pressed natural oils such as flax seed and hemp, also support healthy liver function, helping to produce a lipid base that assists with the absorption of toxins.
Spinach is another excellent source of glutathione.
Tomatoes are yet another great source of glutathione, but they also contain a substance known as Lycopene which can help to protect you against certain types of cancer including breast, lung, and skin cancer.
Turmeric is a spice that not only adds bags of flavor to soups stews and casseroles, but that also promotes the manufacture of detox enzymes.
Walnuts are packed with Omega 3 fatty acids, glutathione, and the amino acid, Arginine; all of which enhance the liver’s cleansing powers, and in particular help to rid your body of excess ammonia.

Image result for apples

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Strawberry Lime Popsicles

Fresh fruit popsicles are an easy way to enjoy the summer's freshest produce. This refreshing combination of strawberries and lime is very low in calories, and is also an excellent source of vitamin C.


  • 2 cups fresh or frozen whole California strawberries
  • 1 cup water or lemonade
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup sugar (optional)
  • 4 cups ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup California strawberry slices, for garnish


1. Combine strawberries, water, lime juice, sugar, and ice cubes in blender with a lid. Blend at high speed for about 1 minute or until all ingredients are crushed and mixed well.
2. Divide mixture among 12 4-ounce popsicle molds or cups.
3. Garnish each cup with a few strawberry slices.
4. Freeze for about 4 hours or until completely frozen

Strawberry Lime Popsicles

Diet-Friendly Frozen Dessert Recipe

Cantaloupe-Basil Granita
Granitas are a combination of fruit, water, and sweetener frozen into a scrape-able mixture. This recipe includes only a minimal amount of honey, a natural sweetener containing small amounts of nutrients, allowing the natural sweetness of the fruit to really shine through.


  • 1 cantaloupe, seeds and rind removed, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2-3 tablespoons honey, based on sweetness of fruit
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 basil leaves, divided, plus extra for garnish


1. Add water, honey, lemon juice, and two basil leaves to a saucepan over high heat. Use a spoon to press down on basil leaves a few times to help release their flavor.
2. Bring mixture to boil, remove from heat, remove and discard basil leaves, and allow mixture to cool.
3. Add cantaloupe and liquid mixture to a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
4. Add two remaining basil leaves, and blend until incorporated into mixture.
5. Place mixture into a shallow glass pan and place in freezer.
6. After an hour, remove pan and use fork to scrape mixture around. It should have begun to freeze by this point, but may still be in a fairly liquid state. Place pan back in the freezer.
7. Repeat this process after another hour, and repeat hourly as needed, until reaching desired consistency.
8. Serve in individual bowls, and garnish with basil leaves if you’d like.
*You may want to leave several hours of freezing time before serving the granita

Cantaloupe-Basil Granita

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

How Weights and Cardio Cut Breast Cancer Risk

Working out with weights may do more than just build beautiful muscles. While all types of exercise substantially reduce your risk of both breast cancer and lung cancer,according to two new studies presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, women who work out vigorously—incorporating a variety of weights and cardio several times a week—reduced their risk of lung cancer by one-third and breast cancer by 30 percent. Even better, fit ladies saw these benefits even if they had other risk factors for the cancers, like a smoking habit or being overweight. 
The question researchers are trying to answer now? Why exactly exercise can fend off cancer—and just how much you need to sweat to see the benefits.
One potential explanation: Exercise may reduce the number of fat cells that produce estrogen, a hormone which in excess has been shown to fuel breast cancer, Jyoti Patel, M.D., spokeswoman for the American Society of Clinical Oncology, said in a press release.  And it appears that strength exercises like squats, bicep curls, and chest presses may be particularly good at this. A 2012 Harvard studyfound that muscle-strengthening exercises cause the body to produce a hormone called irisin, which then travels through the body and alters fat cells in a way that speeds up the metabolism, ultimately burning more calories.
How Weights and Cardio Cut Breast Cancer Risk

For lung cancer, the explanation is a little less straightforward, said Ange Wang, M.D. student and the lead author of the Stanford paper. "Physical activity might specifically help the lungs by improving lung function and limiting the deposition deep in the lungs of inhaled cancer-causing agents," she noted. Wang also added that exercise boosts the immune system and helps people lose weight—things that have shown to protect against cancer.
Both research teams also noted that the more minutes a woman spent exercising, the more protection she had against cancer, regardless of the type of workout or other risk factors. In the studies, the women exercised an average of four to seven hours per week. And any level of intensity can help: "Our research seems to indicate that you don't have to kill yourself," Wang said. "It doesn't need to be strenuous. You just have to put the time in." 

So if you want to have a beautiful, healthy chest inside and out, think about incorporating weight lifting and other muscle building exercises into your routine. We recommend starting with the basic pushup—not only will it lift and define your chest muscles (and core, back, and arms!) but it can also help build a body suited to protect you from disease.

Mother Claims Giggling Has Cured Her Asthma and Depression

  • Lynette Webbe, 59, suffered asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease for 6 years as she smoked since the age of 13
  • Also suffered depression since she was a teenager after losing her parents, and began laughter classes as a natural treatment
  • Enjoyed the laughter therapy so much she trained to hold her own classes
  • After a year she claims her doctors said her respiratory problems are much better, and wants other people to be referred for laughter therapy

A mother claims to have cured her lifelong asthma and depression by laughing.
Lynette Webbe, 59, suffered with the respiratory condition for six years before she started holding laughter therapy classes.
A year on, and she said her doctor has noticed a huge difference in her condition – and thinks the NHS should refer other patients to her classes.
She also says the classes, which involve giggling, storytelling, dancing and childsplay have helped her overcome depression.

Miss Webbe, from Pill in Wales, said: 'I went for a check-up recently and was told that my health was much better and I believe laughter is the reason.
'It opens up the lungs, so I can breathe more easily, and gets endorphins pumping around the body.
'Physically I feel much better and leave my classes feeling amazing.
'I see my classes as a fun way of shaking off the cobwebs. Laughter is like a medicine that doctors can't provide.

'I think it's important to laugh and play.
'It's good for stress as well and if you can get rid of that and anxiety, you can prevent bad mental health too.
'I'd really like doctors to start referring patients to me to treat.'
Miss Webbe said she started her laughter therapy classes as she herself suffered from mental health problems herself.
She said: 'After years of mixing with the wrong crowd as a teenager, then losing my parents and my sister, I got so depressed I started to drink and self-medicate.

She began laughter therapy classes in January 2013, and enjoyed them so much she trained to be a laughter therapist herself

'I think it's important to laugh and play.
'It's good for stress as well and if you can get rid of that and anxiety, you can prevent bad mental health too.
'I'd really like doctors to start referring patients to me to treat.'
Miss Webbe said she started her laughter therapy classes as she herself suffered from mental health problems herself.
She said: 'After years of mixing with the wrong crowd as a teenager, then losing my parents and my sister, I got so depressed I started to drink and self-medicate.

'People come and make each other laugh. When we run out of jokes I tell everyone to start fake laughter.
'Basically, fake it until you make it, but you do laugh and this makes you feel better.
'I believe my workshops make people feel amazing. I've been working with people with Alzheimer's and after a class everyone was happy and smiling.
'We dance at my classes so people get some exercise.
'Everyone tells stories, which make them realise we've all got problems and things can get better.
'I share my story as I think this helps people feel they can share. 
'People leave feeling less alone. My workshops gave me a reason to get up and go out. 
'Now they're giving others one too.'

A year after holding her own laughter therapy classes, Miss Webbe said her health was in much better condition, and her breathing problems had been cured 

Thursday, 2 July 2015

The under 16s battling high blood pressure

Admissions treble in ten years amid concerns children are eating too much salt

  • Admissions include almost 400 children under five, figures reveal
  • 1,064 under-16s admitted to hospital for high blood pressure in 2012-14
  • Other research shows half of seven-year-olds have too much salt in diet
  • Children of this age are only meant to eat a maximum of 5g of salt a day

Rising numbers of children are being treated in hospital for high blood pressure over concerns they are eating too much salt, figures reveal.
Admissions have trebled in the last ten years and include almost 400 children under five.
The figures, obtained by Channel 4’s Dispatches from 29 NHS trusts, show that 1,064 children under 16 were admitted to hospital for high blood pressure between 2012 and 2014.

Salt concerns: Some 1,064 children under 16 were admitted to hospital for high blood pressure between 2012 and 2014, figures show (file picture)

Of the trusts who broke admissions down into age groups, 391 children were aged 0 to five, 197 six to ten and 429 11 to 16.
And data from ten NHS trusts going back a decade show admissions have trebled in that time, showing that a total of 153 children were admitted and treated in 2014, compared to just 49 in 2004.

The hospitals could not confirm whether the high blood pressure was caused by excess salt or obesity, and in some cases it may be due to conditions affecting the kidneys or heart. 
But separate research found that half of all seven-year-olds have too much salt in their diet.
Children of this age are only meant to eat a maximum of 5g of salt a day – but a quarter were found to be consuming more than 6.7g.

The study by the University of Bristol tracked 6,000 children from the ages of seven through to 15 and found much of the salt came from processed foods such as pizza.
Salt intake in childhood has medium and potentially long-term effects on cardiovascular health
Dr Kate Northstone, University of Bristol senior research fellow
It also showed that the children who exceeded the recommended salt intake all had high blood pressure at the ages of seven, nine, and 15 – by which stage it was two points above average.
This difference in adults is linked to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Dr Kate Northstone, senior research fellow who was involved in the study said: ‘We were able to look over time, so can show that salt intake in childhood has medium and potentially long-term effects on cardiovascular health.’
The Dispatches documentary also revealed that out of the 73 food companies that signed up to a voluntary Government pledge to cut salt levels, just 12 have actually met the targets set.


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