It’s London Health Week, and to celebrate we’re taking a look at how you can keep fit and healthy in the hustle and bustle of the capital. From making your commute more interesting to running in one of London’s beautiful parks, there’s plenty to do to get your blood pumping.
Every year brings new food trends, and with kale and quinoa here to stay, it’s time to look at the new up-and-comers from this year’s crop. We thought we’d take a look at the trends of bone broth, spiralized vegetables and nut butter to see what the nutritional values are and whether they’re a must try or just a fad.
With a new case of dementia diagnosed every 4 seconds, is there anything you can actually do to improve your mind and slow down the ageing process? Here, we investigate five ways you can potentially slow down your brain’s ageing.
It’s Easter, and that means one thing. Gone are January’s juice diet, February’s fitness plan and March’s morning meditations, and you’ve managed to reach April. Congratulations! Celebrate with chocolate (we know you’re going to anyway so don’t worry, this isn’t a doom and gloom piece about how many calories are in that Green & Blacks Easter Tasting Collection you’ve eaten in one sitting. The egg is almost 1,000 calories by the way, but we’re not judging!). However, it did get us thinking – are there any health benefits to eating chocolate?
Rarely a week goes by where there isn’t a new celebrity-endorsed diet or fitness regime that “you simply must try!!!” From Beyoncé’s vegan diet to Cameron Diaz’s ‘Superhero Workout’, we are always being told what we can do to look like the stars. But what do the personal trainers behind the celebrities actually advise? Vitality has got some top secrets from four of the UK’s most in-demand trainers.
You may be surprised, but that bowl of Special K you had this morning had 11 per cent of your recommended amount of salt in it. That’s an awful lot before you’ve even left the house in the morning. Salt in small quantities isn’t bad for you, but with the average UK adult consuming a third more than recommended, it’s time we looked at not only the health risks associated with high salt consumption, but also how to cut down to the suggested serving.
THE CLINICAL NUTRITIONIST
Also known as The Medicinal Chef, Pinnock combines his qualifications as a clinical nutritionist with the culinary arts and is a regular on TV cooking shows. His bestselling books The Medicinal Chef and Healthy Every Day (both Quadrille, £14.99) have been translated into seven languages worldwide.
Public Health England estimates that almost a quarter of under-10s are obese or overweight in the UK, rising to one-in-three for 11 to 15-year-olds. A new paper published by The Lancet calls for more to be done to stem these rising levels of obesity but parents can also keep their children at healthier weights. Here are some tips that can help.
Despite the running joke about how bad the British summer is (yes, there is such a thing!), occasionally the sun does grace us with its presence. Even if the temperatures don’t reach the heady highs of the continent, the sun is still powerful enough to do long lasting damage to skin, especially children’s that is more delicate. So if you’re out in the sun in the UK, or on the beach abroad, here are some tips to help you stay safe this summer.
What sun protection factor (SPF) should I use?
The SPF rating of sunscreen is a measure of the fraction of sunburn-producing UV rays blocked – for example SPF 20 means that 1/20th of the radiation will reach the skin. You can determine the effectiveness by multiplying the SPF factor by the length of time it takes to suffer a burn without sunscreen. So, if you burn after 5 minutes in the sun when not wearing a sunscreen, you will avoid sunburn for 100 minutes if wearing a sunscreen with an SPF of 20.
Rather than finding out how long it takes for you to burn by not wearing sunscreen, you should always use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 – the higher the number the more protection you will have against sunburn. Make sure that you apply sunscreen at least 15 – 30 minutes beforehand and that you apply it evenly and regularly all over. Don’t make the mistake that a lot of people do by applying your sunscreen too thinly; doing so can reduce the protection the sunscreen offers.
What do the UVA and UVB ratings mean?
The SPF factor is a measurement of the amount of UVB protection – the sunburn producing UV rays which also play a key role in the development of skin cancer. In the UK, a star rating is used to measure the UVA protection – UVA penetrates the skin more deeply than UVB and plays a large role in skin ageing, wrinkling, and contributes to the growth of skin cancer. The higher the number of stars, the more you’ll be protected from the damaging aspects of the sun.
How long can I stay in the sun?
You shouldn’t see wearing sunscreen as an excuse to be able to sit in the sun for as long as you want – rather as something to use that offers protection when exposure is unavoidable. There isn’t a set amount of time that you can stay in the sun for – everybody’s skin is unique and an SPF 15 rated sunscreen could last a varying amount. In the summer, the sun is most damaging to your skin in the middle of the day, so you should look to remain in the shade between 11am and 3pm.
Should I reapply sunscreen if I swim?
Sun cream and spray will generally be washed off when swimming in a pool or the sea and despite some sunscreens claiming that they are “waterproof”, even these should be reapplied after swimming. You should also be aware that the water can act as a double edged sword – it can have a cooling effect which can make you think you’re not getting burned, and it also reflects the UV rays, increasing exposure.
What’s the best way to protect children in the sun?
Young skin is even more at risk of burning in the sun because of how delicate it is. For this reason, children should be even more protected if they have to be exposed to the sun at all. A high factor sunscreen should be applied to areas not protected by clothing, such as feet, hands, face and ears. Sun creams and sprays are also available that have been formulated for younger skin and so are less likely to irritate.
What should I do if I get sunburn?
Even if you do follow all of the above steps, there are still instances where you will get sunburn – be it from missing a spot when applying sunscreen, or not applying it regularly enough. If you do get sunburn, painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen will help to reduce the pain and inflammation. The affected area should be sponged with cool water, and then aloe vera containing lotion, such as after sun, will help to sooth the burning sensation. You should try and stay out of the sun until all signs of redness has gone, and if you feel unwell or the skin swells or blisters you should seek immediate medical help.
What is sunstroke?
Sunstroke is a form of hyperthermia that occurs when your body’s internal thermometer goes from around 37°C to 40°C after being exposed to heat for a long period of time. At this temperature, the body is no longer able to cool itself and starts to overheat, with signs of sunstroke including vertigo, nausea and muscle cramps. If not treated quickly, it can lead to complications such as brain damage and organ failure, so be sure to seek immediate medical help if you see someone who is potentially suffering from sunstroke. You can prevent sunstroke and heat exhaustion by staying out of the sun during the hottest parts of the day, not leaving anyone in a parked car and staying hydrated with plenty of cold drinks.
If you enjoy exercising outside in warm weather, but winter makes you want to hide under the duvet, this may be a good time to consider signing up for your local parkrun. Parkruns are popular weekly 5k running events that are held every Saturday in locations all over the country. They’re free to enter, and although the runs are timed, the emphasis is firmly on fun and camaraderie amongst runners. This is why they’re the perfect workout for a crisp winter’s morning – it’s far more appealing to meet up with friends for a brisk jog than to slog it out on your own in the cold and dark.
One of the nicest things about Christmas dinner is that usually there’s enough left over for you to enjoy all over again the next day – and maybe even the day after that. Creating a meal out of leftovers is convenient and avoids waste, and ensures you have a chance to use up all those healthy Christmas ingredients you’ve stocked in your fridge.
Simon Cabot, a physiotherapist and back specialist with Vitality partner Nuffield Health, believes the solution to chronic back pain is available to all of us. It’s simply: keep moving. Stats show that four out of five adults will experience back pain at some stage… and we give you tips how to not be one of them.
Christmas is a wonderful time for celebrating with family and friends – and often, those celebrations include a festive cocktail or two. There’s nothing wrong with indulging in your favourite mixed drink now and then, but with the sheer number of parties, dinners and other social events taking place over the Christmas period, you may find that the calories from all that alcohol quickly add up.
When all the hustle and bustle of shopping, cooking and partying is finished, many of us are tempted to spend the remainder of our Christmas holidays collapsed in front of the television, nursing sore heads and overfilled stomachs as we slowly work our way through the rest of the leftover treats. But why not shake things up this year by planning some family activities that get you up and moving?
Christmas is the season for making merry, and with all that tempting food and drink being handed around, it’s hard to avoid a little festive indulgence. From mince pies and chocolates, to mulled wine and champagne, everyone has their favourite seasonal treat – and as long as you enjoy these specialities in moderation, there’s no harm done. However, there is a tipping point where indulgence turns into overindulgence – and that’s when Christmas merrymaking can begin to have harmful effects on your health.
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the pressure the festive season comes with, why not take a bit of time out and treat yourself with a gift that supports your healthy lifestyle? After all, any present that contributes to better heath, increased energy and a more relaxed, positive outlook is definitely a gift that keeps on giving!
If you’ve ever experienced a migraine, you’ll be all too aware of how disruptive the symptoms can be to your everyday life. More than just a simple headache, migraine is a chronic condition that causes severe, often throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head. It is sometimes accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and a range of sensory symptoms, such as seeing flashes of light, lines or spots in your vision, or extreme sensitivity to loud sounds or bright light.
Everyone aspires to having perfect posture – after all, we’ve all heard the saying that standing up straight is the quickest way to make yourself look thinner. And no one can deny that clothes tend to hang better on an upright, evenly balanced figure. However, did you know that your posture also plays a vital role in maintaining good health?