New Year Health Tips

New Year’s resolution to quit meat? Vast majority (84%) of vegetarians go back to eating meat 

 

BLT  jeffreyw

Image credit: jeffreyw

Whether you give up meat for ethics, health or to save money, a new study shows that most people who turn vegetarian eventually go back to eating meat, and much sooner than you’d think.

The meaty survey of 11,000 adults by the Humane Research Council is thought to be the first comprehensive study of current and former vegetarians and vegans. Key findings were:

- 84% vegetarians eventually go back to eating meat;

- Over half start eating meat again within a year;

- Almost a third reported they relapsed within three months;

- Over a third of ex-vegetarians and vegans indicated they would be interested in going back to a no-meat diet at some point in the future.

It isn’t just the lure of the bacon sandwich, however, as the researchers found that chicken offers the most temptation.

“Chicken is the most common type of meat consumed by former vegetarians/vegans,” the study group reported. “Reducing and eliminating chicken consumption will have the greatest impact on the number of farmed animals’ lives saved.”

Source: Jump Start magazine, www.jumpstartonline.co.uk

Pudding

Image credit: Benson Kua

Want to lose weight? Eat your pudding first!

Eating sugar-rich food at start of a meal may help keep appetites in check, experts from Imperial College London suggest.

The study focused on glucose, a sugar found in puddings, cakes and chocolate, which is also the brain’s main source of energy.

A brain protein called glucokinase seems to keep track of how much glucose is eaten and if intake is too low, the brain tells the body to find more sugary and starchy food. It may be that people with a sweet tooth naturally make more glucokinase than others, which is why some of us can’t resist sweet treats.

The discovery could lead to new diet drugs and simple tips for losing weight naturally. For example, Dr James Gardiner who is involved in the work suggests that dieters tuck into glucose-rich foods at the start of their meal. The brain will then send messages to the body that enough glucose has been eaten, allowing other natural systems that count calories to kick in and stop us from overeating.

Remember that starchy foods such as bread, pasta and rice are rich in glucose, so eating like an Italian, beginning with a small plate of risotto or pasta, could be the secret to losing weight. Or just tuck into pudding first…

Source: Memory in Mind magazine, www.memoryinmind.co.uk

Pasta

Image credit Luca Nebuloni

Mediterranean diet could be recipe for long life

Eating a Mediterranean diet is associated with health benefits including reduced cardiovascular disease. And now it seems that the diet keep people genetically younger too, says research in the British Medical Journal.

Telomeres sit on the end of chromosomes – like plastic tips on shoelaces – to stop chromosomes from fraying and scrambling their genetic codes. Telomeres become shorter as we age but lifestyle factors such as obesity have been linked with shorter telomeres.

The new study of 4,676 healthy middle-aged women found that those who stuck closely to a Mediterranean diet had longer telomeres, which could mean a lower risk of developing age-related diseases.

The Mediterranean diet is rich in fruit and veg, oily fish and wholegrain cereals, with relatively low levels of meat and low-fat dairy.

“This large study adds to the body of evidence that longer telomeres are found in those who eat a Mediterranean diet,” says Dr Mike Knapton from the British Heart Foundation. “Longer telomeres may partially explain the link between diet and risk of cardiovascular disease.

“Previous findings from the same study had shown that those with unhealthy lifestyles had shorter telomeres. These results reinforce our advice that eating a balanced and healthy diet can reduce your risk of developing heart disease.”

Source: Jump Start magazine, www.jumpstartonline.co.uk

Doctor

Image credit: Vic

A good dose of kindness improves healthcare

When healthcare workers approach people with compassion, patients often heal faster, have less pain and anxiety, and even bounce back faster from common colds, says a review of the literature presented at the Compassion and Healthcare Conference in San Francisco.

“When healthcare is delivered with kindness and compassion, it has a significantly greater effect than when it is given in a dispassionate fashion that assumes that the human connection has no benefit,” explains Dr James Doty, director of the Stanford University School of Medicine’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education.

Although medicine holds the power to cure, Dr Doty believes that how it is delivered can make a huge difference… to healthcare providers as well as patients.

Looking at the research, Dr Doty found that compassionate treatment helped to reduce pain and anxiety and was tied to lower blood pressure, shorter hospital stays and even reduced the severity and length of the common cold.

It is thought that improved cooperation could be part of the reason for the findings, as when patients viewed a healthcare provider as compassionate they may be more likely to follow a doctor’s recommendations. And a caring environments helps healthcare workers to feel more engaged too.

Source: Memory in Mind magazine, www.memoryinmind.co.uk

Our New Years Resolution Survey for 2015

Here in the Chums office we’ve all been making our New Years Resolutions for 2015, and we started to wonder whether there would be any difference between the older and younger generations in the sort of resolutions they make. As well as this, we figured that one group would be more likely to stick to their resolutions for longer than the other – but which one? We conducted a survey of 1,000 people from different age ranges and the findings are below.

Chums New Years resolutions study 2015

Home Based Exercise For The Elderly

Want to stay fit while the nights draw in?

Winter often hampers your ability to exercise. The fear of slipping on the wet pavement full of leaves or getting wet through in the rain can be enough to deter the biggest exercise-enthusiast from keeping in shape in the winter months.

To help you keep active, we spoke to Jenny Cromack, Personal Training Director at Motive8 in Leeds to give you some exercises to keep you in shape and moving over the coming months.

If you are worried about whether you are able to do the exercises due to your mobility and balance then don’t worry! Chair based options have been provided as an alternative.

Please remember if you are new to exercise or are recovering from injury or illness you should always consult with your GP before commencing an exercise programme.

STRENGTH EXERCISES (10-15 reps each)

Elderly Strength Exercise

  1. Sit To Stand Squats – Stand in front of a chair, feet shoulder width apart. Push your hips behind and sit down into the chair. As soon as you ‘sit down’ aim to stand up again. Do not spend too long in a seated position!

Advanced – Hold a dumbbell or bottle filled with water in front of the body as you squat down.

This exercise is good for strengthening the legs

  1. Squats/Supported Squats – Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, place your hands on your hips. Push your hips behind and squat as low as you can (ideally thighs parallel to the floor), ensuring your back remains flat. Return to the start and repeat.

Chair Based Supported Squats – If you need to you can hold on to the back of a chair as you perform this exercise and only squat as low as you feel comfortable.

This exercise is good for strengthening the legs

  1. Lying Side Leg Raise – Lie on the side on the floor, your head should be supported on your arm. Support the body by placing your top arm in front of the body and bend the bottom leg. Keep the top leg as straight as possible as you lift the leg as high as possible – lift in a controlled manner. Lower slowly and repeat.

Chair Based Leg Raises – If you have trouble getting up and down from the floor perform this exercise standing. Stand with feet together and a chair in front of you for support. Raise one leg out to the side, keeping the leg as straight as possible. Return back to the start and perform repeatedly on one side.

This exercise is good for strengthening the hips and adding mobility to the hip region

  1. Press Ups – Kneel on the floor on all fours (place a cushion under your knees if needed). Place your hands shoulder width apart, knees should be under your hips. Bend your elbows out to the side as you lower your chest towards the floor. Push through your arms to fully extend the arms and repeat.

Wall Press Ups – If you struggle getting up and down, you can perform your press ups against a wall. Stand facing the wall, hands on the wall shoulder width apart. Bend your elbows out to the side and lower yourself towards the wall. Push back against the wall as you extend the arms. The further you are away from the wall the harder this exercise becomes.

This exercise is good for improving upper body strength.

  1. Shoulder Circles – Sit in a chair or stand tall. Lift your shoulders up towards your ears and rotate backwards to make a circle (work in the biggest range of movement possible). Repeat this eight times backwards and eight times forwards.

This exercise is good for shoulder mobility.

  1. Ankle Circles – Sit in a chair with both feet flat on the floor. Lift one knee to hip level and hold in place. Rotate the ankle in a clockwise direction eight times, then in an anti-clockwise direction eight times. Make as large a circle as possible.

This exercise is good for ankle mobility.

 

IMPROVING YOUR FITNESS

Elderly Exercise

If you are lucky enough to have an exercise bike or treadmill at home then aim to spend at least 30 minutes every other day exercising at a moderate intensity – you should be a little out of breath as you workout and definitely feeling a bit warmer!

If you don’t have any equipment, or fancy a change then try performing the following exercises in a circuit.

Beginners – Rest 30 seconds between exercises, repeat the circuit twice.

Intermediate – Rest 30 seconds between exercises, repeat the circuit three times.

Advanced – Minimum rest between exercises, repeat the circuit three times.

  1. Step Ups for 30 seconds (Step up and down on your bottom step).

Or Seated Marching – sit tall in a chair and ‘march’ on the spot lifting your knees high.

  1. Sit to Stand Squats (10-15 reps)
  1. Press Ups or Wall Press Ups (10-15 reps)
  1. Heel Digs for 30 seconds

You can perform this exercise either seated or standing.

Seated – Sit in a chair, feet flat against the floor. Push one leg out to fully extend the leg so the heel ‘digs’ into the floor. Bring back and repeat on the opposite side. Keep alternating.

Standing – Perform as above but in a standing position.

5. Leg Raises – either standing up or lying down (10-15 reps each side)

6. Shoulder Circles (8-10 reps each side)

Hopefully that should keep you active, no matter the weather!

Jenny CromackJenny Cromack is the Personal Training Director at Motive8 North. She has been a health and fitness industry professional for over fourteen years, after graduating from Leeds Metropolitan University with a first class degree in Physical Education in 2001.

December’s Health Tips

Spice

Image Credit: Sara Marlowe

Spice up your life this Christmas – herbs and spices enhance heart health as well as flavour

A well-stocked spice rack could improve more than just the quality of your cooking, says new research from the US, which highlights the impact of various spices on cardiovascular health.

Rich in antioxidants, spices and herbs can alter levels of triglycerides in the body. These usually rise after eating a high-fat meal, which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease. But if a special high-antioxidant spice blend is incorporated into the meal, triglyceride levels may be reduced by as much as 30%.

Experts recruited six overweight men aged 30 to 65 years, took blood samples and split them into two groups. Half ate a meal of a dessert biscuit, coconut chicken and cheese bread. The others had the same meal with an added spice blend of black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, garlic powder, ginger, oregano, paprika, rosemary, and turmeric.

Blood samples were taken after the meal and every 30 minutes until eight samples were collected.

Cholesterol levels and glucose levels were not affected by the spice blend. But insulin and triglyceride levels were, and antioxidant activity in the blood increased by 13%.

The team looked at other research papers that focused on the effects that spice blends, cinnamon and garlic have on cardiovascular disease risk.

Cinnamon was shown to help people with diabetes by reducing cholesterol and other blood fats, but it did not seem to have an effect on people without diabetes.

The garlic studies showed there was an 8% decrease in total cholesterol with garlic consumption, and it was associated with a 38% decrease in risk of heart problems in 50-year-olds. The researchers comment:

“We live in a world where people consume too many calories every day. Adding high-antioxidant spices might be a way to reduce calories without sacrificing taste.”

Source: Jump Start magazine, www.jumpstartonline.co.uk.

 

Mentally taxing jobs may protect memory in later life

Santa

Image Credit: Vanessa Pike-Russell

‘It’s a busy time for Santa Claus, who would certainly score highly on memory and thinking tests.’

People with complex jobs may end up having better memory in old age. A study of 1,066 Scottish 70-year-olds found that those who had had jobs that involved dealing with data or mentoring staff scored better on memory and thinking tests than those who had done less mentally intense jobs.

Could it be that those with complex jobs have higher thinking abilities in the first place? The researchers took into account the scores they had achieved in the Scottish Mental Survey in 1947, when they were 11 years old.

“Factoring in people’s IQ at age 11 explained about 50% of the variance in thinking abilities in later life, but it did not account for all of the difference,” explains Dr Alan Gow who is involved in the study. “That is, while it is true that people who have higher cognitive abilities are more likely to get more complex jobs, there still seems to be a small advantage gained from these complex jobs for later thinking skills.

“Our findings have helped to identify the kinds of job demands that preserve memory and thinking later on.”

Source: Memory in Mind magazine, www.memoryinmind.co.uk.

 

Run… to slow down the ageing process as well as shift those Christmas pounds!

Running Shoes

Image Credit: Robert S Donovan

Running several times a week when you’re older can allow you to walk as efficiently as those in their twenties, says exciting research published in PLOS ONE.

“The bottom line is that running keeps you younger, at least in terms of energy efficiency,” enthuses Prof Rodger Kram, who is involved in the work.

A total of 30 healthy people aged on average 69 years (15 males and 15 females) who either regularly ran or walked for exercise took part. They had all been walking or running at least three times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes per workout for at least six months.

The volunteers were asked to walk on a treadmill at three speeds (1.6mph, 2.8mph and 3.9mph while their oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production were recorded. Data from younger and older sedentary adults was also recorded.

Older people who walked for exercise were found to spend the same amount of energy walking as older, sedentary adults, and use up to 22% more energy walking than younger people. But those who ran for exercise were found to walk as efficiently as those who were much younger.

The authors believe that mitochondria are involved as these tiny structures make energy that powers our muscle fibres. People who exercise regularly tend to have more mitochondria in their cells. Owen Beck, also involved in the study comments:

“The take-home message of the study is that consistently running for exercise seems to slow down the aging process and allows older individuals to move more easily, improving their independence and quality of life.”

Source: Arthritis Digest magazine, www.arthritisdigest.co.uk

 

Time to leave town? City living changes the stress response

Urban upbringing alters the activity of one of the body’s major stress response systems researchers report in Psychosomatic Medicine. City living is known to have a significant impact on mental health for some people, but it isn’t clear why.

A big part of the body’s stress system is the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) – it controls levels of cortisol and other important stress hormones.

So experts did three experiments involving 248 people in which they measured the changes in cortisol in response to different stress tasks.

Blood pressure was not affected by urban upbringing. And current city living was not associated with any changes in the stress response. But urban upbringing was associated with raised cortisol responses to acute stress.

“Our findings suggest that urban upbringing changes the (re)activity of the HPA axis,” the researchers say. “Given that changes in HPA axis regulation have been associated with several psychiatric disorders, this may represent a mechanism that contributes to the increased risk for psychopathology in urban populations.”

Source: Memory in Mind magazine, www.memoryinmind.co.uk.

 

 

November’s Health Tips

Shoulders back! Slouching makes us sad…

It goes without saying that poor posture puts us at risk of back and neck pain – but new findings suggest that the issues a slouch can lead to may go a whole lot deeper. Standing and sitting badly can make us feel more stressed and this in turn affects energy levels and sleep, experts report in Health Psychology.

The research team came to this conclusion by splitting 74 people into groups. Half were asked to slump and the others were seated in an upright posture. Their backs were strapped with physiotherapy tape to hold this posture throughout the study and completed a reading task.

The volunteers who were sitting in an upright position had a higher pulse rate and reported higher self-esteem, more arousal, better mood and lower fear, compared to slumped participants.

“Adopting an upright seated posture in the face of stress can maintain self-esteem, reduce negative mood, and increase positive mood compared to a slumped posture,” the research team concludes.

The British Chiropractic Association has the following advice:

  • When relaxing in front of the TV at home, the tendency is to ‘slouch’. An ideal sitting position is to let the seat take your weight and, if possible, keep as much of your body in contact with the chair so that your whole body is supported.
  • Don’t sit for more than 30-40 minutes at a time, stand up to stretch, change position and walk around a little.
  • Drink Up! Try drinking water instead of tea or coffee; it will be healthier and keep your body hydrated.
  • Look for small opportunities to exercise during the day; use the stairs instead of the lift or escalator, get off your bus/train/tube a stop earlier and walk or take a walk during your lunchbreak.

Source: Memory in Mind www.memoryinmind.co.uk.

Jumping-Man-Vector

 

A juicy health tip

Did you know… that drinking grapefruit juice when eating fatty food could lower the amount of weight put on by up to one-fifth? The new study suggests that the fruit juice could keep blood sugar levels under control without drugs. So far the research has been done on mice so wait for the human trials before buying in bulk!

grapefruit

Image credit: Dan Zen

 

Viagra protects the heart beyond the bedroom

Long term intake of Viagra can protect the heart at different stages of heart disease and has very few side effects so could fairly soon be prescribed as a treatment.

The main ingredient in Viagra is an inhibitor called PDE5i, which works by blocking an enzyme that stops the relaxation of smooth muscle tissue.

A team from Italy reviewed trials involving a total of 1,622 people to see if PDE5i can protect the heart, and if it is safe. Results showed that it improved heart performance in people with different heart conditions, with no negative effect on blood pressure.

Andrea Isidori, who led the work, comments:

“Large clinical trials are now urgently needed to build on these encouraging findings.”

Source: Jump Start www.jumpstartonline.co.uk

 

Red wine and grape compound could help treat osteoporosis

 A chemical found in red wine and grapes may offer previously unknown bone health benefits for men at risk of osteoporosis says research from Denmark.

Resveratrol has previously been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, protecting against bone loss in mice and rats. So experts decided to look at the bones of 66 middle-aged men to see what impact taking resveratrol would have.

All of the men had metabolic syndrome, which is linked to inflammation that can cause bone loss. For a 16 week period some men were given daily doses of 100mg resveratrol, others took 150mg of resveratrol every day and a third group took a placebo (pretend treatment).

The men receiving the higher dose of resveratrol had a 2.6% increase in bone mineral density towards the base of the spine compared to the placebo group.

And the highest group also experienced a 16% increase in levels of a marker called bone alkaline phosphatase, which means that this is the first study to show resveratrol’s potential in taking on osteoporosis in humans.

The results are published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

grapes

Image credit: Per Salomonsson

Take out teeth to sleep: sleeping in dentures doubles the risk of pneumonia

Poor oral health and hygiene have been under the spotlight as risk factors for pneumonia in older people. And now the latest study highlights the importance of removing dentures before you turn in for the night.

A total of 524 people (228 men, 296 women) aged an average of 87.8 years old were examined for oral health status, oral hygiene and had a medical assessment.

Among the 453 denture wearers, 40.8% wore their dentures during sleep. Over the three-year follow-up period, there were 20 deaths from pneumonia and 28 acute hospitalisations.

People who wore their dentures at night were more than twice as likely to get pneumonia. And they were more likely to have tongue and denture plaque, gum inflammation, positive culture for Candida albicans, and higher levels of circulating interleukin-6 (a marker of inflammation).

Healthcare professionals and family members should therefore advise older people with dentures to take them out at night.

Source: Jump Start www.jumpstartonline.co.uk.

water glass

Image credit Cyndi Calhoun

Following in grandmother’s footsteps? Half of grandparents teach their grandchildren domestic skills

Grandparents are ensuring that key life skills aren’t lost on the younger generation; over half of parents say their children’s grandparents play a key part in teaching their children some form of domestic task. If seems that retirement is hardly a time for relaxation, as the figures released from Mintel reveal that 30% of parents claim their children’s grandparents play a key part in teaching their children to cook and bake. And nearly a quarter of parents say grandparents play a fundamental role in teaching their children gardening.

But it’s more than just domestic skills on the agenda and one in ten grandparents even brave the delights of potty training. A further 28% of parents say their children’s grandparents help them learn to read and write. And 12% parents with children aged 0–9 years say their children’s grandparents help with bathing and getting them to brush their teeth.

Children are also turning to their grandparents for a shoulder to cry on, with one in five parents agreeing that grandparents offer emotional support to their children, rising to 29% of single parents.

Jack Duckett, lifestyles, household and personal care analyst, at Mintel explains:

“There has been much media discussion about children growing up in a technology-focussed world, which means that whilst they possess a range of modern life skills, they are often behind in terms of basic household skills, such as cooking, cleaning, mending and simple home improvements. However grandparents today are stepping in and supporting their grandchildren’s development in a variety of different ways, ranging from teaching them to cook and write to brushing their teeth and potty training. Grandparents enjoy being part of their grandchildren’s lives wherever possible and, with many consumers in this age group being retired, they have the time to help.”

Money matters

Grandparents are giving away money as well as time. One-third of parents with children aged 5–18 years say their youngest child receives pocket money from their grandparents. Some 23% of parents report that grandparents put money into their child’s savings account and 10% of parents receive financial support for their child’s education.

“Increasing financial pressures are resulting in a growing number of parents balancing work with raising children, which in turn is leading to a greater number of grandparents stepping in to help with day-to-day childcare duties, as well as financial assistance,” Jack explains. “This strong reliance on grandparents, reflects the growing financial pressures on parents to go back to work after having children, as well as the high price of childcare.”

Source: Jump Start www.jumpstartonline.co.uk

Granny

 

Chums Family Favourites Blogger Competition

Chums Family Favourites

***This Competition Is Now Closed, Thank You To All Who Entered!***

We all have family favourites. Whether it’s Grandma’s roast, that has the whole family visiting on a Sunday, or that unusual flavour combination your Dad taught you, that you’ve now passed down to your own kids!

Here at Chums we want to keep up the tradition of family meal times so we are giving bloggers the chance to win a kitchen set to help make those meal times even easier.

Prizes

This 8 piece knife block is ideal for creating those tasty family recipes and with the Soup N Stew you will never tire of creating brand new family favourites as you can blend, steam, boil, pulse, reheat and slow cook all in one gadget!

We want you to share your family’s favourite recipes; meal or snack, traditional or guilty pleasure, we want to hear about them all and more importantly what makes them so special to you. Family and food have always gone hand in hand so share your best story with us to be in with a chance of winning.

How to Enter

  1. On your blog, create a post featuring your family’s favourite recipe.
  2. Be sure to tell us why it is special to you and your family.
  3. Make sure you include a link to this competition page.
  4. Email us your name and a link to your blog post entry to: james.story@chums.co.uk

Terms & Conditions

  • This prize draw is open to all residents of the UK and Eire aged 18 and over.
  • The prize draw will open 22nd October 2014 at 9:00am GMT. It will close on 21st November 2014 at 12 midnight GMT.
  • Only one entry per person.
  • The prize consists of a Swan 8 Piece Knife Block and a Soup N Stew.
  • To be eligible for this Prize Draw, you must create a blog post on your website featuring a family recipe and link back to this competition page: www.chums.co.uk/blog/?p=775 You must email your entry to james.story@chums.co.uk (include a link to your blog post) by the 21st November 2014 (the ‘Closing Date’).
  • The winner will be chosen at random from all qualifying entries.
  • The winner will be contacted via email no later than 7 days after the prize draw closes.
  • If a winner fails to respond within 7 days of being informed of their win, their prize will be forfeited and a new winner selected.
  • By entering this prize draw, you confirm you have read and accepted the terms and conditions above.

Promoter: Chums, Unity Grove, Knowsley Business Park, Liverpool, L34 9AR.

Health Tips

Men who eat over 10 portions of tomatoes a week have an 18% lower risk of developing prostate cancer, highlights a large UK study in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

With 35,000 new cases every year in the UK, and around 10,000 deaths, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide. Rates are higher in developed countries, which some experts believe is linked to a Westernised diet and lifestyle.

So researchers looked at the diets and lifestyle of 1,806 men aged 50–69 years with prostate cancer and compared them with 12,005 cancer-free men. They developed a prostate cancer dietary index that consists of dietary components – selenium, calcium and foods rich in lycopene – that have been linked to prostate cancer.

Analysis of the data suggested that men who ate more of these three dietary components had a lower risk of prostate cancer. Tomatoes and its products – such as tomato juice and baked beans – were shown to be most beneficial, with an 18% reduction in risk found in men eating over 10 portions a week. This is thought to be due to lycopene, an antioxidant that fights off toxins that can cause DNA and cell damage.

“Our findings suggest that tomatoes may be important in prostate cancer prevention,” says Vanessa Er, who led the research. “However, further studies need to be conducted to confirm our findings, especially through human trials. Men should still eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, maintain a healthy weight and stay active.”

Source: Jump Start www.jumpstartonline.co.uk.

Tomato

 

Acute lower back pain? Don’t blame the weatherman… 

Sudden, acute episodes of low back pain are not linked to weather conditions after all, experts outline in Arthritis Care & Research, questioning the belief of many that they can feel damp autumn weather in their joints.

A team from Sydney, Australia, interviewed 993 people who had sudden, acute episodes of back pain. Statistics for temperature, relative humidity, air pressure, wind speed, wind gust, wind direction and precipitation were obtained for the whole study period.

The data showed that temperature, relative humidity, air pressure, wind direction and precipitation was not associated with onset of back pain.

Higher wind speed and wind gust increased the odds of pain onset, but “while this reached statistical significance, the magnitude of the increase was not clinically important,” the researchers state.

“Our findings refute previously held beliefs that certain common weather conditions increase risk of lower back pain. Further investigation of the influence of weather parameters on symptoms associated with specific diseases such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis are needed.”

Source: Arthritis Digest www.arthritisdigest.co.uk

Umbrella

Image credit: Pedro Moura Pinheiro

 

Good news for tea drinkers

Drinking tea reduces the risk of dying from causes unrelated to the heart by 24% compared with those who don’t drink tea, suggests a large study of 131,401 people aged 18 years to 95 years.

The participants had a low risk of cardiovascular (CV) disease. After 3.5 years there had been 95 deaths from CV and 632 deaths from non-CV causes. Tea and coffee consumption was assessed by questionnaire: none, one to four, or more than four cups per day.

Analysis of the data showed that tea lowered the risk of non-CV death by a quarter for tea drinkers compared with no tea at all. Tea had a marked effect on blood pressure, with a significant reduction in the heavy tea drinkers, compared with non-drinkers. And habitual coffee drinkers tended to be more unhealthy and smokers.

Source: Jump Start www.jumpstartonline.co.uk.

Tea

Image credit: Lesley

 

How Trousers Should Fit!

Top Tips …

Trousers act as an anchor for your stylish outfit. By swapping one pair for another you can completely change your image BUT you must make sure they fit properly.

Trousers are particularly important as the base of your outfit and the way they fit can determine whether your body appears short or tall. A high rise waist with along straight leg will make you appear taller whilst a leg finished off at the bottom by boot tucks, turn ups or other trouser breaks coupled with a low rise waist will make you appear shorter!

What is a trouser break? 

A ‘break’ is the fold or bend above the hemline which is created by the fabric where it meets your shoe. Thus the trouser kinks or breaks above your shoe. If a trouser has no break then the front only grazes the shoe and will be unbent. There are of course varying degrees of ‘break’ from ‘full’ break where it could develop two folds and look too long and a bit untidy depending on the trouser type through to ‘no’ break where there is no fold at all and could look a poor fit as it looks too short on you. A ‘half’ break is the optimum for most styles where the trouser bends is noticeably but not significantly.

Suit and formal trousers should sit a bit higher above your hip bones and fit nicely on the waist without the need for a belt although the belt would make the trouser look better. The key is to achieve some drape but avoid them looking too large or too loose – so avoid pleats!  A ‘half’ break would be the best for these trousers.

Cord and Chinos should fit a bit slimmer than formal or suit trousers and worn a bit lower on the waist normally. However men with a larger tummy might prefer a higher rise to sit above it! These styles are very popular in Cords in larger sizes. Chinos look better slim without being too slim in the seat so that the pocket flares out too much and doesn’t lay flat against the trouser. A full break in the leg looks the best on casual chinos and once again avoid front pleats to look good. When choosing your size please remember chinos will stretch slightly in the waist and seat with wear!

Jeans of course are the most casual of trouser styles and there a many options available. They tend to be worn and look at their best even lower on the waist than a chino by perhaps an inch or so. They are at their best slim and tight with a straight leg – they look flattering on most body types. However avoid jeans that are tight on the thigh and loose on the knee so a slight taper below the knee may be preferable if you have large thighs – beware! With jeans a minimum of a full break looks best with some people preferring longer legs that even break twice – racey eh?

One final short thought!

When choosing your trousers always remember trousers can be easily tailored to be shortened but rarely lengthened …

Christmas Craft Events Calendar

We’ve decided to create a Christmas Craft Events Calendar outlining the must-see festive craft fairs across the country. We spoke to some of our favourite craft bloggers to ask them for their insider’s tips on where to go to buy handmade, unique gifts for our loved ones.

This is who we collaborated with:

lily doughballLily is a south west blogger who enjoys nothing more than adventuring in and around Bristol, cooking up a storm in the kitchen, or settling in front of the telly with a cuppa and a basket of knitting. You can catch her ramblings on all of the above, plus a little extra, at www.lilydoughball.com.

Cat1

Oh Hi DIY is a craft and lifestyle blog written by Cat, a Manchester girl with busy hands. Not content with just one type of craft, Cat’s blog covers sewing, baking, papercraft and more.

hi

Dreams That Glitter xoxo is an online scrapbook written by Georgie who enjoys writing about her passion for crafting, DIY projects, beauty, fashion and the arts.

To view our Christmas Events Calendar, click here!

Five best Bed & Breakfasts in Yorkshire

Everyone needs to get away every once in a while. Though the summer holidays are now behind us, that doesn’t mean you can’t sneak away for a relaxing break. Hotels are nice, but we say you can’t beat the personal touch of a Bed and Breakfast. Local businesses with passionate owners and certainly know two things: getting the most out of the local area and how to make your stay as relaxing as possible.

We’ll be recommending our top Bed and Breakfasts across the country, with us starting in the Yorkshire region. Remember, some may have discounts for last minute availability so when you’re choosing where to stay, your trip doesn’t have to be too far away.

 

Wold Cottage
Driffield, East Riding of Yorkshire
Website: www.woldcottage.co.uk

Wold Cottage

Originally a country retreat from the Georgian era, the beautiful Wold Cottage enjoys views of 300 acre farmland and fruit and vegetables are grown straight for the table. Naturally on the border of the Yorkshire Wolds, you’ll always somewhere new to explore, whether you want to walk, cycle or even park your caravan in the touring park nearby. There’s even a marked spot where a 56 pound meteorite struck just two fields away in 1795!

Regular finalists for the White Rose Awards and winner of Welcome to Yorkshire’s Best Bed and Breakfast 2012, hosts Katrina and Derek offer a warm welcome to luxury suits and even more luscious countryside.

Rates: Rooms range from £55 to £75 pppn or £135 to £160 for family rooms

 

River House
Malham, North Yorkshire
Website: www.riverhousemalham.co.uk

River House Malham

River House has enjoyed a life of variety in its history, which goes as far back as 1664. Formally known as Airedale House and also Sparth House, the building has been used as a private dwelling, a café, a blacksmith workplace and an Air Raid Precautions phone centre! The house has evolved, been refurbished, converted and changed owners many times until becoming River House Hotel, which was then bought by its current owners, Alex and Ann Roe.

If you want to relax but still get out and about, be sure to try a spot of fly-fishing up in the Yorkshire Dales while you stay. The house is also great for large groups to stay together, whether it is for a family get-together or a group of ramblers ready to enjoy the scenery. After all, it used to cater to Morris Dancers to celebrate Whit Saturday for forty years!

Rates: Double or Twin bed £35 to £44.50, Single bed £55 to £80 pppn

 

Bishops
Holgate Road, York
Website: www.bishopsyork.co.uk

Credit: www.bishopsyork.co.uk

Credit: www.bishopsyork.co.uk

Another White Rose nominee for our list, this time for those looking to stay in the York area, we recommend Bishops. With each room having a flat screen TV, luxury toiletries, WiFi and a well-stocked hospitality trey, Marco and Deborah lead a passionate team who are always on the lookout for ways to make your stay better.

If you’re completely new to the York area, or if you just want a helping hand, mini guide books are available so you can check out all of the major attractions nearby and they’re more than welcome to help make any dining arrangements that may need to avoid disappointment.

Rates: Double or Twin room £35 to £70 pppn, from £40 for Single room

 

Carr House Farm
Ampleforth, Ryedale, North Yorkshire
Website: http://www.carrhousefarm.co.uk/

Carr House

Carr House Farm certainly has the breakfast side of your stay covered, winning Kellogg’s Enjoy England – Breakfast Award as well as being a finalist for Deliciously Yorkshire Awards with their fine use of local produce. Throughout the year, Carr House also hosts a variety of workshops, so be sure to check out what is be held when looking for a place to stay. Past workshops have included everything from photography to chocolate to creating felt animals!

To hear more about Carr House Farm, we spoke to the owner, Anna Lupton: “We’re very lucky to have both been born and bred in this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Our home is unique as it is set twixt the Abbeys of Ampleforth, Bylland and Stanbrook, on the southern edge of the North Yorks Moors National Park. We love sharing our knowledge of the area with everyone who stays with us.”

Rates: Prices start from £45 pppn

 

17 Burgate
PIckering, North Yorkshire
Website: www.17burgate.co.uk

17 Burgate

17 Burgate has been a five star B&B since 2007 and has gone from strength to strength, the owners expanding over to number 19 Burgate too and another apartment set to open in the future. It’s easy to see why they’ve enjoyed such success too and this is reflected in their local awards. It’s not just for quiet nights away either, as it’s also the perfect place if you’re planning a house party or retreat with your friends. All you need to do is spend two nights at any point and the 17 team can organise everything you need.

You can also surprise that special someone (or go ahead and treat yourself!) by arranging special extras, including Belgian chocolates, flowers or a bottle of champagne. Whatever you need, 17 Burgate will take of it and make your personal stay unique.

Rates: Room start from £80, with variable prices depending on length of stay and time of week