Health and Wellbeing

Walk for Bowel Cancer UK

Julia Bradbury Backs Bowel Cancer’s Walk Together in London

TV  presenter  and  walking  enthusiast  Julia  Bradbury  is  encouraging  you  to  join  Bowel  Cancer  UK  and  Beating  Bowel  Cancer’s  Walk  Together  in  London  on  Saturday  15th  September  to  save  lives  and  improve  the  quality  of  life  for  all  those  affected  by  bowel  cancer. 

The five-mile walk from London Embankment to Southwark Park will pass iconic  city  sites  such  as  Millennium  Bridge,  St  Paul’s  Cathedral  and  Tower  Bridge.  It’s a perfect opportunity to bring people together to  show  their  support  for  those  undergoing  treatment,  remember  loved  ones  and  raise  funds  to  help  stop  bowel  cancer. 

If you can’t take part in the London walk on  15th  September,  you  can  organise  your  own  Walk  Together  event  somewhere  special  in  your  local  area  from  July  to  September. 

Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer’s Patron &  co  founder  of  walking  site  The  Outdoor  Guide,  Julia  Bradbury  says, “Every  year  41,800  people  are  diagnosed  with  bowel  cancer  in  the  UK,  including  my  mum  who  thankfully  is  now  recovered. 

“Physical activity plays an important part in stacking  the  odds  against  a  bowel  cancer  diagnosis  and  as  passionate  walking  advocates,  The  Outdoor  Guide  and  I  are  delighted  to  fully  support  Walk  Together.  It’s a lovely way to bring  everyone  together  affected  by  the  disease  from  all walks of life!

Bowel  cancer  is  the  UK’s  second  biggest  cancer  killer,  and  yet  it  is  preventable,  treatable  and  curable  especially  if  diagnosed  early.  Nearly everyone diagnosed at earliest stage will survive bowel cancer.

To sign up  to  Walk  Together  in  London  on  Saturday  15th  September  or  to  receive  a  fundraising  pack  with  everything  you  need  to  hold  your  own  memorable  walk,  visit:  www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk   you  need  inspiration  on  walks  in  your  area,  visit  The  Outdoor  Guide.

For more information contact  emily.stallard@bowelcanceruk.org.uk  or  call  020  7940  1772  /  07810  204  048. Follow  us  on  social  media  Twitter  @Bowel_Cancer_UK/ @bowelcancer and  Facebook  charityBCUK/  BeatingBCNotes 

About Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer 

Bowel Cancer UK and Beating Bowel Cancer is the UK’s leading bowel  cancer  charity.  We are determined to save lives, improve the  quality  of  life  and  support  all  those  affected  by  bowel  cancer.  We enable and fund research, provide information and support to  patients  and  their  families,  educate  the  public  and  professionals  about  the  disease  and  campaign  for  early  diagnosis  and  best  treatment  and  care  for  all.

Bowel cancer is the fourth most  common  cancer  in  the  UK  and  the  second  biggest  cancer  killer,  affecting  both  men  and  women.  Every 15 minutes in the UK someone is diagnosed with bowel cancer.  That’s almost 42,000 people every year.  Bowel cancer is treatable and curable especially if diagnosed early. 

Nearly everyone diagnosed at the earliest stage will survive bowel cancer.  However, this drops significantly as the disease develops.  Early diagnosis really does save lives. 

The symptoms of bowel cancer can include:   

  • Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo
  • A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
  • A pain or lump in your tummy  (Most  people  with  these  symptoms  don’t  have  bowel  cancer)

Other health problems can cause similar symptoms.  If you have one  or  more  of  these,  or  if  things  just  don’t  feel  right,  see  your  GP.

For further information please click on www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk

Holiday Memory Advice

Draw a Picture to Make Your Precious Holiday Memories Last Longer

By Richard Jenkins

Experts say stop taking photos and draw a picture to make memories last longer.  

If you want your holiday memories to last longer, stop taking photos or videos – draw a picture instead.

That’s the conclusion of a team of experts who revealed the amount of time memories stay fresh in the mind depends on the number of senses used when creating them.

Typically only one sense – sight – is stimulated when taking a photo and at most two – sight and hearing – are triggered when filming something.

Drawing activates up to three, including sight, touch, sound and ‘proprioception’ (or position sense), enabling the brain to solidify the memory, thereby insuring its longer-term existence.

Oxford University sensory expert Professor Charles Spence reached part of his conclusion after a study of 2,000 adults discovered more than half of the population suffer from ‘Digital Amnesia’ – relying on smart phones or other devices to ‘store memories’ for them.

Professor Spence visited TUI Sensatori Resort Negril with British artist Philippa Stanton to explore how sketching can help us engage more of the senses and help us retain holiday memories for longer.

Philippa, 45, has the rare neurological condition of synaesthesia, allowing her to see and experience colours, textures and shapes when listening, tasting or smelling.

Professor Spence said, “Much of the pleasure from holidays comes from remembering, yet research reveals the average Brit’s holiday memories fade after less than two weeks.

“Our love affair with the digital image and growing affiliation to the ‘if it’s not on social it didn’t happen’ mantra, could be inadvertently fuelling a memory bank deficit.

“Scientific evidence even suggests the more senses we stimulate, the more robust the multisensory memory that is formed.

“Technology keeps our eyes occupied. But while it plays to our dominant visual sense, it fails to connect with our emotional senses.”

The research involved a study into holiday memories which discovered eight in 10 Brits wish they could remember sunshine breaks from their past better than they currently can.

It also revealed twice as many people will take a picture of a landmark on holiday, than simply try and take a mental snapshot to remember it in their mind.

But three quarters are more likely to remember things by writing them down than taking pictures or videos.

Professor Spence and his team concluded that when we remember a great time on holiday, our brains reactivate some of the moods, emotions and feelings we experienced at the time.

They also believe the more we process and think about what we are experiencing, the stronger the memories we lay down.

Sketching also has an advantage because it engages both our visual brain and our hands, and things we have a hand in creating become more meaningful to us.

Philippa was invited to curate a unique portrayal of summer memories by interpreting her sensory experience in the form of three pieces of art, bringing to life the sound, taste and smell of what her holiday looked like.

Professor Spence said, “Just because the majority of us do not have synaesthesia, I’m a firm believer that we all can experience surprising connections between our senses that we might not be aware of.

“When we watch something from behind a lens, we’re not truly living and sensing the experience. Smartphones can prevent us from creating fully-fledged memories as capturing a picture only engages one of the senses – sight.

“It’s only by really engaging with our experiences on holiday through all of our senses that we can process all the stimulating information to lay down the sorts of easily-retrievable memories that will last.”

Philippa added: ‘’While you’re on holiday, why not practice trying to make these surprising sensory connections? It’s all about getting in touch with what you feel, and being more aware – you might even call it mindfulness.”

“Doodling and sketching can be thought of as providing a structured framework for getting in touch with your inner synaesthete, where you’re likely to strengthen those connections.”

“When you come across an unusual fragrance, ask yourself what colour do you associate with it? Or try tasting an exotic juice. You can see what colour it is, but can you tell from taste alone whether the fruit is big or small?

“These may sound impossible but the more you practice connecting your senses in new and surprising ways the easier it becomes.”

Helen Morgan, Head of Concept for TUI said, “We are introducing Sketch to Etch kits to our TUI Sensatori Atlantica Rhodes resort this summer because we want our customers to fuel and engage with all of their senses when they are on holiday with us, and retain their holiday memories for longer”.

To find out how connected your senses are, you can take Professor Charles Spence’s quiz here at www.tui.co.uk/sensorialists

Alzheimer's Society Comment

Listening to Music Increases Brain Cell Connectivity

A recent study has found that listening to music increases brain cell connectivity. The Alzheimer’s Society comments on the findings.

Researchers at the University of Utah have analysed the effect hearing familiar music has on the brain of people with Alzheimer’s disease. The study looked at 17 people living with dementia, using a functional MRI scan to analyse brain activity after listening to music.

The researchers found brain activity increased in those areas of the brain which are affected by music temporarily, with greater connectivity between brain areas.

Dr James Pickett, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Society says, “From talking to people with dementia at our Singing for the Brain groups, we know the positive effect that music can have. People who may be quiet or reserved can be transformed when they hear a song they recognise – joining in singing and even having a dance.

“This study suggests that this transformation could be in part due to parts of the brain connecting better for a brief time after hearing music. Further research is needed to help understand the longer-term effects of music, and help show that it’s not only drugs that can help people manage with dementia.

“Dementia is a devastating condition, slowly stripping people of their memories, relationships and identities. It’s so important to still include people with dementia in social activities – no one should have to face it alone.”

For more information about Alzheimer’s Society visit www.alzheimers.org.uk

Travel Advice

Top Tips to Avoid Travel Sickness

Summer holiday season is a time of year that many of us look forward to the most, but for some it can also be a time of dread, as travelling on holiday can also mean uncomfortable journeys spent feeling nauseous.

Motion sickness, or travel sickness, is extremely common and is thought to be caused by a conflict of information between the senses.

Simon Bandy from natural supplements company Veganicity has created some simple top tips for beating motion sickness, without resorting to medication, so holidays can get off to a good start.

Avoid alcohol

It can be tempting to kick-start your holiday with an alcoholic drink on the journey, particularly if travelling by plane or boat with access to a bar.

However, alcohol can worsen symptoms of motion sickness, so stick to soft drinks until you arrive at your destination.

Eat an apple

Foods high in fibre help to remove nausea-inducing chemicals from your system.

Try eating an apple or snack on raw vegetables during your journey if you get hungry.

Try easy acupressure

This ancient Chinese healing practice of pressing or massaging certain points of the body to prevent illness is thought to help prevent travel sickness.

If you’re feeling nauseous on your journey, try pressing your index and middle fingers between the two tendons on the inside of your wrist, about three finger breadths below the base of your palm.

Go for ginger


Ginger is reputed to be excellent for maintaining good health and relieving nausea. Veganicity’s Ginger Tincture (£5.95) can be added to water to help settle the stomach.

Because it comes in a handy, travel-friendly 50ml bottle, it can also be carried in hand luggage when flying. For details www.veganicity.com 

Look at the horizon

Motion sickness can sometimes be avoided by focusing on the horizon or a fixed point when travelling by car or boat.

Take deep breaths

Deep breathing can create a different rhythm pattern in the stomach, which can help to settle it when feeling nauseous. Taking a few deep breaths will also help you to relax and take your mind off the sickness, like a mini meditation.

Wrist bands

Motion sickness travel wrist bands are also a great buy for anyone who suffers from motion sickness or nausea.

These knitted elasticated wrist bands operate by applying pressure on the Nei Kuan acupressure point and can be helpful for those travelling on a cruise, in the car, or a long coach journey.

Motion sickness wrist bands are available from Amazon www.amazon.co.uk   

Leave your phone at home

Avoid checking your phone or tablet or reading during your journey, particularly if travelling by car.

The body’s vestibular system, which senses balance from the inner ear, tells the brain that you are moving, but the senses (your sight) tell the brain you are sitting still when focused on reading or looking at a fixed object inside the car, which can add to feelings of nausea.

Veganicity Ginger is available from www.veganicity.com www.amazon.co.uk  and all good independent health shops nationwide.

Healthy Lifestyle Advice

Five Health Reasons
to Garden

By Dr Sally Norton, founder of www.vavistalife.com

Suddenly everything is green.  Plants are sending exploratory shoots out to feel for the sun.  The grass and daisies are racing to grow daily ahead of the next onslaught from the mower.  The weeds are getting a firm grip before the gardening gloves come into play.  So let’s get to it.   

If you need some motivation – Dr Sally Norton gives us 5 reasons why gardening is a healthy choice:

1.  Get a vitamin D boost! Many of us are lacking in Vitamin D after winter so now the sun is finally starting to show itself, get yourself outside to replenish your vitamin levels.

2.  Forget dieting – gardening offers a great distraction from grazing on junk food and burns off calories to boot. Half an hour of shovelling, mowing or raking can burn off up to 250 calories!

3.  Grow your own fruit and veg to help you get your five-a-day. Don’t worry if you don’t have a garden either as you can grow herbs on the windowsill, tomatoes in a hanging basket or carrots and more in a pot!

4.  There’s a sense of achievement in producing your own veg or creating a flower-filled garden and you get a brain boost from the fresh air. Some people even take the opportunity to do volunteer work outdoors – helping elderly neighbours with lawn mowing, for example – all of which are good for our mental health too!

5.  Finally, you can get a proper workout from gardening! Digging, squatting, lifting and more can help retain muscle and giving our heart and lungs a workout keeps us feeling fit and healthy.

Dr Sally Norton is a Health Expert and NHS weight loss consultant surgeon. Sally is also the founder of www.vavistalife.com  

Treat Yourself to Chocolate

De-Stress with
Dark Chocolate

New research has found that dark chocolate, with at least 70% Cacao and natural sugars, can help to reduce stress levels, inflammation and even have a positive effect on our memory and mood! So go on and treat yourself to a few squares.

The magic of magnesium

“Cacao is high in magnesium, which helps to calm the nervous system, and contains a natural chemical called phenylethylamine (PEA) that’s associated with good mood. So, for the best stress-bursting effects, go for a high-cacao, lower-sugar dark chocolate, like Ombar’s 72% Raw Cacao Bar (RRP £1.99 Ocado),” says nutritionist, Cassandra Barnes.

Only Ombar will do ...

Made with raw, organic Ecuadorian cacao and only natural coconut sugars, Ombar is a deliciously creamy and indulgent chocolate packed full of gut friendly flavanols and anti-oxidants.

Their 72% Cacao and 90% Cacao Bars are the perfect treat after a stressful day! They are also suitable for vegans, gluten-free diets, and are refined sugar free.

Tried & Tasted

I love dark chocolate, but I often find it too sweet and sugary, so I was delighted to try Ombar 72% Cacao Bars and Ombar 72% Organic Buttons.

Smooth, creamy and with a delicious cacao taste, the Buttons and Cacao Bars are luxurious and moreish with a lovely rich fruity flavour. I really enjoyed them.  And it was good to know they are ‘guilt-free’ so I could eat them and know they were nutritious and making me feel good too.

Ombar Raw Cacao Bars (RRP £1.99) and Ombar Organic Buttons (RRP £1.49) are available to buy from Ocado, Planet Organic, Whole Foods Market and the Ombar website at www.ombar.co.uk

Mobility Product Review

Topro Rollators

The Topro portfolio of rollators is one of the most comprehensive in the UK and is available through a national retailer network and NHS providers. USP’s include stylish design, one sided brakes, different grips, extensive range of seat heights, drag brakes and different sized wheels with a choice of tyre treads. 

All the products in the range are tested and approved at official independent test institutes (TÜV in Germany and HMI in Denmark) in accordance with relevant international standards and EU directives and come with a 7-year warranty.

For more information or to arrange a demonstration and an assessment Telephone 0115 846 5406

Or visit www.topro.co.uk

Rollz Motion 2

If you are looking for a strong lightweight rollator and wheelchair in one then the Rollz Motion 2 is for you. Offering superb levels of manoeuvrability, stability, comfort and convenience, the Rollz Motion 2 switches from a rollator to a wheelchair in one smooth movement and is available in four colours.

The Rollz Motion 2 is the ideal mobility solution for anyone that wishes to enjoy days out with the peace of mind that if you get tired you can convert it into the wheelchair mode and continue your day with friends, family or a carer.

For details click on Rollz Motion 2

Forearm Walker

The adjustable Troja Forearm walker has been designed to provide the user with increased stability thanks to the forearm supports. 

Available in three sizes, the Troja has a wide range if user height and weight limits (Medium – user height 150-185cm, max user weight 135kg / Small – user height 130-170cm, max user weight 125kg and Extra Small – user height 130-160cm, max user weight 80kg). 

For more information visit Forearm Walker

Taurus

The Taurus has been developed for use in domestic and care environments to assist people moving from a sitting to standing position with two versions available featuring either a hydraulic or electronic lifting mechanism.

The Taurus has a maximum user weight of 150kg, and comes with adjustable arm pads and footbrakes as standard with the option of adjustable handles and driving/parking brake. The height scale is easy to read and adjust and as the Taurus is made from easy to clean and non-corrosive materials it is simple to maintain. 

For details click on Taurus

Troja Neuro

Developed for people with Parkinson’s and other neurological conditions, the Troja Neuro is available in two sizes and has a recommended user height and weight of 150-200cm, 165kg (medium) and 135 – 170cm, 125kg (small). 

The lightweight design and simple folding mechanism ensures the Neuro is easy to fold for transportation and storage when not being used. 

For details click on Troja Neuro

Tried & Tested by Sixtyplusurfers

We were very impressed with the high quality structure and stylish modern appearance of the Rollz Motion 2. Bright, modern looking and sturdy to hold onto, this premium Rollator offers much more than a standard walking aid. 

Essentially, it has three modes – walker, wheelchair and fold-up chair so that you can pack it up in your car and take it out for the day. There is also a handy shopping basket, so that you can use it for carrying groceries or your own travel essentials.

My father loved using it around the home to help him walk independently. He also found it a useful walking aid for taking short walks to the shops and the park, and when he got tired it was easy to convert it into a wheelchair so that he could take a rest and continue his journey in comfort.

We were particularly impressed with the wheels which were specially made to mount curbs, ramps and difficult to manoeuvre pavements. Other great features included easily adjustable height settings on the handlebars, strong brakes, a comfortable padded seat and handy leg rests.

I would highly recommend buying the Rollz Motion 2 for anyone looking for a versatile portable walking aid that is safe, strong, comfortable and reliable. 

For more information about Topro products click on www.topro.co.uk

Or email: info@topro.co.uk    

Healthy Lifestyle Advice

Help! Why do I Feel so Tired All the Time?

Pharmacist, Mike Wakeman’s offers some top energy boosting tips to help you feel less tired during the day.

Latest research just published shows that 87% of us lack energy, are fatigued and suffer general tiredness.  NHS data also shows that, one in five people feel unusually tired and one in ten has prolonged fatigue. 

Such shocking statistics explains why the UK’s quality of life patterns are so poor. Tiredness also affects people’s ability to work effectively.

Fast Facts & Stats

There can be a number of medical reasons for prolonged tiredness – anaemia, poor sleep, diabetes, coeliac disease or depression and other psychological and emotional health issues.

Poor sleep is frequently implicated in TATT with research suggesting that around 60% of women in particular, regularly fall short of getting the required seven to nine hours of sleep daily.

Poor thyroid function (hypothyroidism) refers to the thyroid gland situated at the front of the neck.  It’s estimated that between one and four percent of the adult population has mild hypothyroidism, which often goes undetected and is a very common cause of tiredness and fatigue.

Mike Wakeman, a clinical pharmacist with Master’s in Pharmaceutical Analysis, Nutritional Medicine and Clinical Oncology comments, “It is a proven fact that 87% of the nation feel tired and lack energy. In today’s 24/7 “always on the go” world, we often try to cram too much into our daily lives. And to try to stay on top of things, we sometimes consume too much alcohol or caffeine, or eat sugary and high-fat snacks on the go rather than sit down for a proper meal.

“Here are my top tips for avoiding being TATT:”

1. Overhaul your diet!  “Are you eating sufficient wholefoods such as beans, peas, lentils, whole-wheat cereals, quinoa, and wholegrain brown rice – foods that contain good levels of energising B vitamins?  Try to include some of these every day in your diet.”

2. Stock up on fruits and veggies. “These are some of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat!  Plus they contain a wealth of trace minerals, including magnesium, a lack of which often causes fatigue.  Eat a rainbow of colours throughout the day to ensure you’re giving the body what it needs.”

3. Are you properly hydrated?  “It sounds so simple but it’s a factor that’s often overlooked.  Too many caffeine-containing drinks can act as a diuretic making the body dehydrated at cellular level.  Try to drink two litres of water daily and feel how much more energy you have and how much sharper your brain becomes.”

4. Eat iron-rich foods. “Even a marginal iron deficiency can make you feel tired and ‘lack-lustre’; this is particularly common in women. Make sure you’re eating red meat, or fortified foods if you’re vegetarian, plus eggs, pulses, beans, nuts and seeds.  Iron is better absorbed if eaten with vitamin C, so a small glass of orange juice with your morning eggs will be really effective.”

5. Check your thyroid function.  “Your basal body temperature is a very sensitive test of thyroid function.  It’s easy to do.  On waking put a thermometer under your armpit for 10 minutes.  Lie very still and then record the temperature for three consecutive mornings. 

Menstruating women must do this on days two, three and four of their period; everyone else can take it at any time.  Basal body temperature should be between 97.6 and 98.2 degrees; anything less indicates potential hypothyroidism.  This will then need to be confirmed by your GP and a blood test.”

6. Take some Bladderwrack!  “It’s a type of popular seaweed that naturally contains high amounts of iodine, a lack of which can lead to low thyroid function, causing tiredness. 

It’s traditionally used to improve fatigue, excess weight gain and as a general immune-booster due to it being naturally rich in vitamins and minerals.  Just a few reasons why seaweed is becoming ever more popular!”

Try this! 

Nature’s Way Bladderwrack with 100% NRV of iodine. Iodine helps maintain normal production of thyroid hormones and normal thyroid function. As well as helping prevent fatigue, the thyroid is involved in maintaining healthy hair, skin weight and cognitive function.

Nature’s Way Bladderwrack is available from Holland & Barrett and all good pharmacy and health food stores or visit www.natures-way.com   £12.99 for 100 one-a-day capsules.

Free from gluten, dairy, yeast and soya. Always read the label.

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