Category Archives: Health and well-being

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The chair is a killer

As we are all now spending more time in our living rooms it is a good time to remember the mantra ‘the chair can kill so don’t sit still.’

There was a really interesting episode of Horizon on the BBC exposing ‘The Truth About Exercise’. It raised some excellent and thought provoking points, not least that a ‘one-size fits all’ approach to exercise is not the way forward, we need less generic fitness manuals. As we all respond to and like different things so it will be with our chosen form of exercise.

However, for me the most striking point was raised by Dr. James Levine (Mayo Clinic) who claimed with a touch of hyperbole that “the chair is a killer”. He is advocating a ‘get moving stay active’ approach to health.

In the episode presenter Michael Mosley tested the theory for 24 hours. He admitted to a sedentary job and similar lifestyle so for the 24 hours he moved about as much as possible, standing when talking on the telephone, taking stairs instead of lifts, walking whenever possible.

Just everyday activities we can all take advantage of if we put our minds (and bodies) to it. In the one day he burned an extra 500 calories – no sweat, no cost, no extra time, very little effort but a great result.

By simply moving more in our daily lives we could see real health benefits, more so if we are currently stuck in a sedentary way of life.

I accept that this is a limited form of exercise but it is an excellent starting point for anyone new to exercise and a way to increase for those of us already convinced of the benefits of staying fit and active.

So my challenge to us all echoes Dr. Levine – my new mantra is ‘the chair can kill so don’t sit still’. I invite you to join me.

*If you have any medical condition or are unused to physical exercise it is advisable to consult your physician before beginning any exercise programme.


Holiday health – Well being

Well we’re not exactly on holiday but many of us have more time at home than we usually do. As for the amazing key workers who are still at work doing such a phenomenal job please still try to be kind to yourself. These are very unusual times that most of us never thought we’d see in our lifetime and using this time for renewal is crucial.

I am not necessarily talking about learning a new skill or learning to speak a foreign language, although both of these would be a good use of the time, but learn to relax and take care of your own well being. The biggest aim is to get through this safely and with our well being intact and preferably improved.

This is a blog post from summer 2015 when we were all looking forward to sunshine holidays and a break from routine. Well, no holidays this year but certainly a break or change of routine. The chance to relax and revitalise on holiday is of vital importance but maybe we can follow the same rules and improve our well being at home.

Review, renew, resolve
Holidays allow us time to reflect – on life and on work. Do you always get the balance right? Giving yourself some me time allows your mind to switch off and can bring clarity to your thoughts. Just allow the thoughts to come and go, maybe make a note of some insights to come back to once the holiday time comes to an end. Don’t address everything at once or you could use all your time off thinking about when you get back.

Think about any resolutions or goals you had for the new year. Have you achieved them and need new ones? Are you not there yet and need to redefine? Take this opportunity to look at the balance of your life and make sure it is just how you want it. This is the only life you have right now and no one else can make it how you want, you have to do that for yourself.

If finding your way is too difficult or you don’t know what you want, try different things until you find your niche or read so-called ‘self help’ books for inspiration. Here are a few suggestions.

* Chicken Soup for the Soul
* Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach
* Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl
* The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
* Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom
* The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Rachel Joyce

Self Help
* The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, Robin Sharma
* The Road Less Travelled, M. Scott Peck
* The Chimp Paradox, Dr. Steve Peters

Biographies to inspire and entertain
* How to be Champion, Sarah Millican
* Becoming, Michelle Obama
* My Story, Jo Malone
* Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson

For more prescriptive inspiration why not read autobiographies of your hero or favourite sports person? There are some amazing stories out there from people just like you, be one of them!

Helen in lockdown
Me in lockdown
Helen in coffee shop
In a coffee shop – remember those days?!

What to look for in a massage therapist

How do you know when you search the internet looking for a therapist you are finding the right person? It can be difficult to know as websites can be very impressive but that doesn’t necessarily mean the therapist will be! There are some easy ways to ensure you find a suitable person who not only has the relevant qualifications and insurance but also the correct experience to suit your own unique needs. Continue reading

Out Injured

A couple of months ago I returned from visiting a friend in London with a mild pain on the top of my foot. Not one to ignore any potential injuries I checked the soft tissues involved and my range of movement to find them all perfect. This led me to think the problem had to be a bone problem – not what I wanted. I had a stress fracture confirmed by a local physiotherapist and was on rest from many of the sporting activities I usually enjoy.
Although bones need some weight bearing activity to allow them to repair and remain strong the fracture needed some rest to heal. I decided my job as a massage therapist was probably all the weight bearing I needed and had to look fro alternative forms of exercise for 6 weeks. Any athlete whether professional, amateur or occasional will tell you enforced rest is difficult and maybe more so as I wasn’t really in any pain. Continue reading

Breaking Ground

I have always believed it is important to stay relevant and up to date. This is especially true from a work point of view but makes good sense in life. The old maxim ‘use it or lose it’ applies to work skills, talents and intellectual capacity. I really believe keeping the mind active and pushing boundaries however small is essential for a hacomfortzoneppy and healthy life.
I originally qualified in my profession in 1993 and have spent more time in education than out since then. I have advanced my initial skills and added new ones. It keeps me relevant, focused and interested as well as motivated and challenged. It also gives me a great sense of achievement when I step out of my comfort zone and learn something new.

Continue reading


stevejobsI have just finished reading a great biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson; a fascinating story of a very complex man. He was driven by his vision of perfection and it seems many would testify he could drive others to distraction and tears.
The author gives many insights into Jobs’ personality showing why he became the CEO of the richest company in the world. When he faced criticism regarding the iPhone he declared “We’re not perfect. Phones are not perfect. We all know that. But we want to make our users happy”. What a simple philosophy that set me thinking about perfection and our desire for it. Continue reading