“Identical twins in Finland who shared the same sports and other physical activities as youngsters but different exercise habits as adults soon developed quite different bodies and brains, according to a fascinating new study that highlights the extent to which exercise shapes our health, even in people who have identical genes and nurturing.”
What I’ve Been Up To
I went to see the excellent Marcus Bonfanti at the Rose and Crown in Walthamstow.
Enjoyed a day trips to Brighton and Colchester. Did you know that with a group ticket you can go to Brighton and back for £7? What a bargain.
Tested on: Google Nexus 5 running Android 5.1 (Lollipop)
What they say:
“Our NHS Health and Symptom checker app allows you to check your symptoms if you’re feeling unwell. You can get an assessment, information about your condition and advice on how to look after yourself.
Getting health advice really couldn’t be easier! Simply work through one of our clinically tested health assessment tools by selecting your symptoms and answering some short questions about how you’re feeling.
Once you’ve finished, we’ll instantly give you advice on the best course of action and, if you can look after yourself at home, we’ll tell you how.”
What I say:
This app is just a link to the NHS website. I can’t see the point in it. You may as well go straight to the NHS website or google whatever you want to know.
Having your screen too low makes it impossible to maintain good posture. In order to see clearly you are forced to slouch over your desk, putting pressure on the muscles of your neck and shoulders.
To get your screen at the right height just follow these steps:
1. Sit at your computer chair. Bend your elbows. Adjust your chair height so that your elbows are level with the top of your desk.
2. Make sure your monitor is directly in front of you.
3. The centre of your screen should be at eye level. Your screen might be adjustable, in which case simply raise it up to the appropriate height. If it isn’t adjustable you can place it on some boxes, books or reams of paper. For a cleaner look you can buy special screen risers- 1, 2, 3.
1. Lay down somewhere comfortable. Rest your head on a small pillow or folded towel.
2. Ask your friend to kneel behind you and place their hands softly on the back of your neck. See the image above for reference.
3. They should gently cup the base of your head in their hands and use their finger tips to press into the muscles at the top of your neck.
4. Rest in this position for 30 seconds or so. It may feel a little sore at first, but keep your head nice and relaxed and the discomfort will slowly fade away.
Keep breathing normally. Do not hold your breath.
If you start to feel nauseous or dizzy STOP this technique immediately.
Do not allow your head or neck to bend backwards.
Only perform exercises/self treatment techniques which have been prescribed or approved by a qualified individual such as your GP, physiotherapist or osteopath. This information is provided for reference only.
The end of March has arrived and I am away in Rome for the weekend so this post is scheduled in advance. Can you believe Easter is next week? Hope you’ve had a brilliant month and have lots planned for the long weekend.
“40 to 45 per cent of what we do every day is a habit—something we do by default. When we wake up, we brush our teeth. We get in the car to go to work and, without thinking, we put on our seatbelt. There’s no decision-making at work. It’s automatic. “If you have habits that work for you, you’re much more likely to be happier, healthier and more productive.””
Like I said, I’m away in Rome at the moment so that’s the highlight of my month! I’ve reopened my Guide unit so Friday evenings are filled with entertaining a group of excitable ten year olds again. I was also happy to celebrate International Women’s Day at Wildcard Brewery.
Went for a little trip to Leigh on Sea one Saturday – isn’t the sunset beautiful?
Sitting at your desk (or anywhere else!) all day is a terrible, awful thing to do to your body. You should aim to get up at least once an hour, and definitely leave your desk at lunch time. Short breaks make you more productive as well as healthier so it really is a win-win situation.
I know this can be a tricky habit to develop but it IS possible and it IS worth it.
Here are some suggestions:
Sip water/tea/squash throughout the day so you need to get up and go to the loo.
Listen to the radio while you work and have a break when the news comes on every hour.
Ask one of your colleagues to remind you when it is break time.
Tested on: Google Nexus 5 running Android 5.0 (Lollipop)
What they say:
“Daily Yoga is the world’s most popular yoga coaching app suitable for all levels, beginners, intermediate and advanced, providing 50+ HD yoga exercises and the largest database of 400+ yoga poses, HD VIDEOS, live voice guide, soothing music, social community, and more.”
What I say:
+ Lots of routines to choose from; meditation, back pain, weight loss etc
+ Easy to fit in to your routine. Different durations are available from 10 minutes upwards.
+ Videos and verbal instructions for each posture.
– You have to download each routine separately.
– Some routines are paid.
– Moves quite quickly for beginners.
– Difficult to know if you are doing the poses correctly.
The bottom line:
A pretty handy app. Take it slowly and go through the routines for beginners first. This app will never be a replacement for one to one or small group sessions but it is a useful way to practice yoga at home.
Do your shoulders curve forwards? Do you spend hours a day leaning over a desk or phone? This chest stretch is for you! By stretching the pectoral muscles across the top of your chest you will help your shoulders sit in a more natural position, reducing tension across your neck and back.
1. Sit or stand with good posture.
2. Interlace your fingers behind your back.
3. Slowly lift your hands up behind you until you feel a stretch in your chest, shoulders and arms. Keep your chest out and your chin tucked in.
4. Hold for 10 seconds.
5. Repeat 3 times in total.
Keep breathing normally while you exercise. Do not hold your breath.
Move gently and slowly. Exercises should not hurt.
If an exercise becomes painful, stop immediately and seek advice from your therapist.
Only perform exercisess which have been prescribed or approved by a qualified individual such as your GP, physiotherapist or osteopath. This information is provided for reference only.
1. Is saturated fat really that bad for you? “In the 1970s and 80s, there was a big push away from saturated fats in the US and UK as experts cautioned they were bad for the heart. Scientists writing in the journal Open Heart have now argued this advice lacked the solid scientific trials needed to back it up.”
February proved to be quite a fun month! I took part in a world record attempt at Wilton’s Music Hall, went on a nice walk (12 miles!) from Walthamstow to Alexandra Palace, got excited by the Indietracks line up announcement and saw Ryan Adams at Hammersmith Apollo.
My missus cajoled me to visit Sarah after I grumbled just too much about (crippling) back pain. After two sessions, the pain is gone. No weird stuff, just careful assessment and 'adjustments', and the difference is amazing. Recommended!
Don’t Miss a Thing
Sign up to my email newsletter and get all my latest articles and news directly to your inbox.