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HEALTHY READING Issue 14 £1.99















hat a strange winter we have had! I am sitting writing this looking at the daffodils which made an early appearance this year. I don’t remember ever seeing them blooming naturally in February. Sitting outside enjoying the warm sunshine without a coat and just in a t-shirt is unheard of in this country and seems even more strange when we think back to last winter and the ‘Beast from the East’. For me the early arrival of spring has been wonderful, but I am resisting the temptation to get my garden ready for summer, as I don’t want to get too far ahead and find my plants don’t survive. We have another packed edition for you, with articles ranging from exercising outdoors to tackling anxiety in young people. Our healthy eating section looks at some of the summer foods we can include in our diet, with an article on skin care for those approaching their 30’s . We’ve also included sections for women, men and the slightly older readers amongst you. One of my personal favourites is the review on different ergonomic products. There’s also an interesting article on how we respond to different scents. We have an article that looks at the impact of our diet on the environment. With an increase in the interest of

veganism, whether you choose to follow it for animal welfare reasons, the impact on the environment or for health reasons the rise in people wanting to adopt a plant based diet is increasing. Whether you choose to follow a plant based diet full time or opt to go for a plant based diet once or twice a week, there are simple steps that can be taken to adjust your meal, taking it from meat based or vegetarian to vegan. Our supermarkets are offering a much wider variety of products aimed at helping you to eat this way. With the warmer weather on the way though, why not get outside; however small your outdoor space, you can grow your own fruit and vegetables. Both tomatoes and herbs need very little space and can be grown on balconies, patios or even your windowsill, adding variety to your diet. Not only does growing your own usually taste better, it can also help you to relax and enhance your wellbeing. Personally I love getting outside and watching the tomatoes begin to form and then adding them to my salads, once ripe. Once you’ve read your magazine it’s time to try some of the ideas. Here’s to a happy and healthy summer! Judith Healy Guest Editor


Wellness Life


Healthy Eating


Ergonomic Life


Child & Adolescents’ Health

10 & 11

Women´s Lifestyle


Skin changes in your 30s


Can scents make your orgasms more intense?


60+ Prime Time


Men´s Lifestyle


Sports & Outdoors


What´s On Diary

Publishers: Healthy Reading Ltd. Editor: Advertising: Contribute: Website: Twitter: @healthyreading Facebook: Contributing writers: Gabriel De Carvalho, Judith Healy, Paul Davies, Jemma B., Mary S., Julia V., Hayley H., Iqra U., Jamie L., Eryn B., Jill S.

Disclaimer: The publisher has taken all reasonable measures to ensure the accuracy of the information in Healthy Reading and cannot accept responsibility for errors in or omissions from any information given in this or previous editions or for any consequences arising thereof. The editor may not always agree with opinions expressed in Healthy Reading but allow publication as a matter of interest, nothing printed should be construed as Policy or an Official Announcement unless stated. The information contained in Healthy Reading magazine is not intended for the purpose of diagnosing or prescribing. Please consult your Doctor/GP before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means whether electronic, mechanical and/or optical without the express prior written permission from the publisher.


Wellness Life

By Gabriel De Carvalho

DOES SUBACROMIAL DECOMPRESSION SURGERY RELIEVE SHOULDER IMPINGEMENT? l Every year, up to one in fifty British adults visit their GP complaining of growing pain and stiffness in their shoulder. Most will be diagnosed with shoulder impingement, a condition where inflammation causes the tendons and bones in the shoulder to rub together resulting in painful pinching and increasingly restricted movement. Shoulder impingement can leave a person struggling to drive, lift their arm, dress themselves or function at work. If rest, exercise, pain relief and steroid injections fail to provide relief, doctors usually recommend subacromial decompression surgery. This common procedure is performed on 21,000 individuals each year. However, the results of a recent clinical trial question its usefulness, leaving many asking whether it should be offered as a treatment at all. In shoulder impingement, one of the tendons that make up the rotator cuff (a layer of tendons surrounding the ball and socket joint of the shoulder) becomes worn and painful. The tendon swells as it rubs on the bone and ligaments around it. The more irritated and swollen the joint becomes, the more it rubs, which increases swelling and results in a vicious cycle that is hard to break. Decompression surgery interrupts this cycle by providing more space within the joint for the tendon to move. During the procedure, the surgeon removes inflamed bursa (a fluid-filled sack separating the tendons and bone in the shoulder) and reduces the size of the acromion bone (a bone that sits above the shoulder’s ball and joint socket). Three to six months after surgery, around 75-90% of people report an improvement in their symptoms. After surgery, patients follow a programme of regular exercises and stretches (usually 5-10 minutes four times per day) under the guidance of a physiotherapist. But for 10-25% of people, surgery doesn’t work. A lack of improvement could be down to being misdiagnosed in the first place, patients not following postsurgical instructions (not regularly doing the exercises), or the surgeon not removing enough bone. However, a recent clinical trial hints at a deeper issue. The trial divided a large group of people diagnosed with shoulder impingement into three groups: patients who underwent subacromial decompression surgery, patients given placebo surgery (the surgeon made an incision but did not remove any bone or bursa) and a group who only followed an exercise plan. There was no significant difference in symptom improvement between the three groups. For patients, this means that having surgery offered them no additional benefit in the relief of pain, improved function or better quality of life. Which raises the question, if both having surgery and simply believing they’d had surgery produced the same result for patients, why do so many feel that it works?


The post-operative rehabilitation regime may be the answer. Neither surgery group showed much more improvement than the exercise-only group. So, is a course of physiotherapy actually the best answer for sufferers of shoulder impingement? Things may not be so clear-cut. Most patients are offered ‘first line’ treatments before their GP considers surgery, including a period of exercise and stretching under the care of a physiotherapist. If this doesn’t relieve symptoms, a GP suggests subacromial decompression surgery. If physiotherapy didn’t work before surgery, why would it work after? It may be that the experience of undergoing surgery motivates patients to stick to the rigid and lengthy exercise regime. Alternatively, physiotherapists might be better at motivating post-operative patients. If surgery is the final option, both patients and health care professionals may be more determined to make it work. This is not to say that surgery and exercise are the only options. Alternatives include rest, pain management techniques, steroid injections and acupuncture, none of which are problemfree. Steroid use can reduce bone density, avoiding using the joint can lead to frozen shoulder and research into the effectiveness of acupuncture is inconclusive. For the 21,000 people due to undergo subacromial decompression surgery this year, the placebo surgery trial may be a source of anxiety. But, while the results should start a conversation, the case is far from closed. GPs might just be a little keener to get their patients exercising before putting them forward for surgery in the future.

KEEPING YOUR BACK HEALTHY WHILE GARDENING l As days get longer and Spring approaches, it’s time for gardeners to get off the sofa and get to work. Now is the ideal time to get to grips with groundwork, soil preparation and landscaping projects to shape the garden for summer. However, be wary when taking on tough jobs. Like the weather, your muscles need time to really warm up, so pacing your projects will avoid aches and strains or worse. Back injuries among gardeners are common. Even if you have a regular winter fitness regime, muscles used for digging, lifting and kneeling are very likely underused and need retraining to rebuild strength.


Most gardening tasks involve bending forward – taking your spine out of its natural posture. This puts a strain on the muscles, ligaments and vertebrae in the spine as it reverses our natural spinal curve. If you regularly practice yoga or pilates, it is likely you do exercises that strengthen and mobilise the back already. If not, consider taking a regular class. Massage can also help mobilise tight muscles ready for work. Whatever your exercise regime, you can reduce risk of strain with simple stretches before you begin gardening. For example, warming up the lower back muscles by lying on your back with knees bent in towards the chest, and gently swiveling your legs and knees from side to side. A trainer, physiotherapist or massage therapist should be able to advise on appropriate stretches.


Your feet take a lot of strain so wear strong, supportive boots that protect your ankles and feet. Any ankle strains or sore feet will affect your posture, and therefore your back. Protect knees too with a kneeling pad. Stiff or sore knees also impact your posture and movement. Use tools that suit you – spades and forks that are too short will put additional strain on your back, as will tools that are too heavy for you. Long handled tools can reduce the amount of forward bending you do. Also, a wheelbarrow will help to shift those heavy loads.


Whether digging, reaching to prune or moving pots around, you will be bending forward. It’s tempting to keep going until a job is done, but to protect your back it’s essential to take regular breaks from repetitive movement – at least every 30 minutes is recommended. Change position by standing up to admire your work. Counter stretch your back by standing upright with hands on the base of the spine and gently bending backwards a few times. The mental health benefits of gardening are increasingly recognised, so taking a more relaxed approach will benefit your mind as well as your body.


Digging and lifting heavy materials, like compost and slabs, are essential gardening tasks. Make sure you protect your back when lifting – don’t twist or bend at the waist. Bend your knees and squat keeping your back straight, using both hands to pick items up, taking the weight through your hips and legs rather than your back. Lift close to your body as you straighten your knees. If a load is very heavy for you, wait until someone can help. When working the soil – digging, weeding, removing roots from the ground or positioning paving – use the same technique. Bend your knees rather than your back, and move your feet to face the job rather than twisting.


You may well be sore or stiff after gardening. Stretching after you’ve finished work will help realign overused muscles and ligaments. Some rest is good but keep mobile to keep muscles working. Any minor aches should wear off after a day or two – but if you have sharp or longer lasting pain, or feel numbness or tingling in any of your limbs, it’s likely you’ve put too much strain on your back. Take advice from a qualified physical therapist – a massage therapist, physiotherapist or osteopath will be able to advise you and put you on track to rehabilitation of any injury and keep you gardening.


Healthy Eating SEASONAL FOOD


hen buying locally grown, seasonal food, you not only save money, but support local farmers and help the environment. The most important advantages of eating seasonally are the health benefits. When fruits and vegetables are picked for consumption after they’ve been naturally ripened and harvested, they have considerably more flavour and nutrients. Read the benefits of some of our Summer choices and start experimenting with new recipes to boost your health and energy.


Antioxidant-rich superfruits

l We know antioxidants are present in all fruits, but those found in berries are especially powerful and capable of halting the process of oxidation of our cells. By adding these colourful, sweet fruits to your diet, you are protecting your body against ageing and cancer. But this is not all; berries, especially strawberries, are packed with vitamin C, responsible for maintaining healthy bones, skin and blood vessels. Just one cup of strawberries provides one and a half times the daily recommendation of vitamin C for adults. Low in sugar and calories, high in fibre and full of flavour, these superfruits can be easily added to your morning smoothie, Yoghurt, oatmeal and even salads. The antioxidant levels in berries do not decrease when they’re frozen so try them in a homemade seasonal ice-cream.


A versatile and healthy summer choice

l This curious food (actually a fruit but eaten as a vegetable) probably has more names than any other. Also known as eggplant or brinjal, it originates from Asia, and, while the different varieties do range slightly in taste and texture, they generally have a slightly bitter taste and spongy texture. One of the most versatile vegetables around, you can eat them baked, grilled or smoked, as a veggie main or in side dishes. They are an ingredient of some of the most well-known worldwide recipes - French Ratatouille, Greek Moussaka or Lebanese Baba Ganoush, the most important benefit of this vegetable is that it provides your body with seven important nutrients. A source of fibre and loaded with vitamins and minerals - potassium, magnesium, vitamins B, C and K, aubergine is an excellent seasonal option for those looking to reduce their cholesterol and improve their gut health. When choosing it, keep your eye on the skin colour, it should be firm, vivid, shiny and free of discoloration and scars; eat the skin, as it contains a most valuable nutrient, the powerful antioxidant (anthocyanin) present in many fruits and vegetables with red, blue and purple colours.


Dozens of nutrients in a bite

l A member of the cabbage family, broccoli, also known as calabrese, is one of the most recognised healthy vegetables. Probably the most publicised health benefit of broccoli is its role in cancer prevention due to its sulforaphane content; but these little

trees are also rich in vitamins A, C, K, calcium, folate and fibre. One cup of broccoli has as much vitamin C as an orange, but the type of cooking process is essential to keep the vitamins available. Steaming, stir-frying and roasting are the best methods to preserve their nutrients. Containing folate, an essential nutrient during pregnancy, broccoli is an excellent option to eat as a snack, side or part of any dish for mums to be.


Nature’s most hydrating vegetable

l At least 95% of cucumber is composed of water; this not only promotes hydration of our body and skin, but also has diuretic benefits, perfect to help deal with conditions such as high blood pressure or fluid retention, or to stimulate our kidney function. To maximise their nutritional content, cucumbers should be eaten unpeeled; for this reason, choosing organic is important. Peeling them reduces the amount of fibre, as well as certain vitamins and minerals like vitamin A and C. Like celery and lettuce, cucumbers are one of the lowest calorie vegetables, 100g contains just 10 kcal, ideal for any weight loss plan. There are many ways to enjoy the benefits of cucumber: as part of refreshing summer smoothies, as a colourful salad or added to a jar of water to make a flavoured diuretic bever-age. But one of the most beneficial ways of eating cucumbers is by fermenting them. Naturally fermented cucumbers are a great source of healthy probiotic bacteria which will support digestive health.


• 4 Baking Potatoes • 225g cooking chorizo, sliced • 2 × 400g tins chopped tomatoes • 2 × 400g tins butter beans (or chick peas), drained • I medium onion, diced • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped • 50g fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped


1. Pre-heat oven to 220 °C (200 fan, Gas 7) 2. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork and


cook in the microwave on full power for about 6 minutes. Rub all over with a little oil, season with salt and transfer to the oven. Cook for about 15 minutes, until tender and the skin is crunchy. 3. Meanwhile, fry the chorizo in a large saucepan until browning and the oil flows from the sausage. Add the onion and garlic and cook gently in the chorizo oil for a few minutes (add a splash of oil if too dry). 4. Tip in the beans or peas and the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 15 minutes

until slightly thickened. Stir to prevent the mixture sticking. 5. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the basil. 6. Serve with the baked potatoes.


• Serve on a bed of brown rice instead of the potatoes. • Add some of your favourite chilli sauce to spice up the stew.




It will only cost you around £28 and can be found on Amazon.

l We live on our computers and a majority of jobs will involve you having to type for extended periods of time. Once you have a proper desk setup at the correct height to reduce wrist strain you want to make sure you’re using an ergonomic keyboard. Standard keyboards put your hands into an unnatural position, causing strain and that can also lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. To avoid the damage that comes with chronic repetition you need a keyboard that has a more natural design and layout. One of the best choices out there will be the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000. The split design in the keyboard encourages natural hand, wrist, and forearm placement leading to less strain. This keyboard will help you support a neutral wrist position as it has a supported cushioned palm rest. It has a curved key bed allowing for more comfortable typing and has a lot of “hot keys” so you can access things with just one key press. Everything you need is within closer proximity to your hand and this allows for a more comfortable, and productive, work day. There can be a period of time needed to adjust to this new style of keyboard but once you get through this it will lead to much more comfort.

l If you spend a lot of time sitting you realize how uncomfortable a bad chair can be over the course of the day. Not only that but the more time you spend sitting the more it may make a negative impact on your health and wellness. There have been connections with extended sitting causing an increase in heart disease, blood clots in your legs, diabetes, weight gain, and back problems just to name a few. Make sure you are getting up a few times an hour just to move around and break up the periods of extended sitting. You also want the best support to make sitting more comfortable and less stressful on your lower back. If you are stuck with an uncomfortable chair you can at least improve it with a good cushion like the Bonmedico Comfort Cushion. This is a simple, and inexpensive, memory foam seat cushion that offers lower back pain relief and coccyx cushioning if you’re suffering from that pain. This moulds to the shape of your body, helping in support and maintaining posture. These newer memory foam style of cushions are great as you can take them with you from your car to work or wherever you’re needing ergonomic support.

Find this keyboard for £42.49 on Amazon

You can find these for under £20 on Amazon

l If your job involves using a computer for most of the day, you know how much repetitive stress this can cause your body. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be a minor annoyance right up to something that can prevent you from working. The first thing you want to do is make sure you’re stretching your hands, wrists, and forearms at various points through the day to help combat this. Another great thing is getting your workstation to the correct height. You want to first make sure that your desk is not too high as this can lead to strain and you want a 90-degree bend at the elbow when typing. If you can’t adjust your desk, a keyboard and mouse tray will help put these things in the correct position to allow more comfort and less strain through your day. Fellowes makes a fantastic under-desk keyboard tray with a separate mouse area which will put you at the perfect height and angle to avoid strain. It’s easy to install and adjusts to three different heights for custom comfort. Your keyboard can even be stored out of the way when not in use making it very convenient along with helping avoid unnecessary stress to your body.




l A recent study carried out by the University of Reading has shown that children growing up in a different country whilst still using their native language within the home have a higher level of intelligence. When comparing children who spoke their native language at home and a second at school with children who spoke their second language both at home and school, those practising their native language at home scored higher. The study was carried out with Turkish children living in the UK, so it is unclear whether similar results could be replicated in other countries or with other native languages. However, this research suggests that speaking the native language at home can be beneficial to the development of a child’s abilities and emphasises the importance of maintaining high levels in both the language used at school and the native language. This is not the first time that being bilingual has been found to have positive benefits. A study carried out in 2018 found that the work involved in having to suppress one language at a time, depending on the situation, is an exercise that can prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s.


l With statistics indicating that up to 5 children per class will be struggling with anxiety, it is important to know how to support a child displaying symptoms. Anxiety UK suggest that 1 in 6 young people will experience anxiety in their lifetime and this can manifest in a variety of ways. Over 50% of mental illness has started by the age of 15, but the average time a person waits before seeking help with their anxiety is 10 years! Within children, the most common anxiety disorders are exam stress, school phobia, separation anxiety, fear of new foods, selective mutism, social phobia, OCD and generalised anxiety disorder. As a side effect of anxiety, school learning, stress tolerance, confidence, motivation and personal relationships are all likely to be adversely affected. With 300,000 young people in Britain having an anxiety disorder, it’s vital you know what to look out for. The NHS website lists not sleeping, experiencing nightmares, not eating and being irritable as possible symptoms. There is a huge amount of pressure on young

people today, with exam stress and body image being two of the biggest triggers of anxiety. Whilst anxiety and other mental health issues can manifest in different ways, if you notice a change in behaviour of a young person, it’s best to seek help early on. Being open and offering an outlet for a young person to talk may be the first step to them getting the help they need.


l Recent figures have shown that over 2000 children per year are having teeth removed due to decay. Worryingly, Public Health England have stated that 90% of tooth extractions in 0 to 5 year olds were due to preventable tooth decay. It is believed that this is due to the increasing consumption of sugar in children but figures this high show just how much of an effect our children’s diets can have on their teeth. As well as causing problems with eating and sleeping, tooth decay can also affect children’s

schooling. More than 60,000 days of school every year are missed due to tooth extractions. Public Health England claim that most children are consuming 8 sugar cubes over the recommended limit per day and are urging parents to swap sugary foods and drinks for healthier alternatives to save children’s teeth. The dental lead for Public Health England advises limiting fruit juice and smoothie consumption to 150ml per day, swapping snacks such as yoghurts for low-sugar or no-added sugar options and ensuring children are brushing their teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day.


l Researchers in the UK carried out a study of 64 different multivitamins, finding that only between 25% and 36% provided the current recommended daily dose of vitamin D. Although, it is recommended that children consume vitamin D daily, the average healthy UK diet only provides 10% of the recommended amount. To prevent rickets in children, vitamin D is important, and it can be obtained naturally through sun-light (without sun protection for short periods - this is not recommended for babies under 1 year and for older children seek advice from your Health Visitor, as the risks of prolonged exposure to sunshine and risk of burning depend on skin tone). It is now recognised that most people require a top up of a vitamin D supplement. In the 64 multivitamins tested, most would require children to take more than the recommended dosage to consume the correct amount of the vitamin, in turn consuming more than the recommended daily dosage of the other vitamins. When buying your child multivitamins, we suggest checking the packaging to ensure they contain the recommended daily dose of the vitamins you are trying to target.


Women’s Lifestyle Wonder what the spring and summer trends are going to be this year? Well we’ve already done a little research for you and come up with the following. See which ones you’ll be trying or adopting... HAIR (HEALTH, NOT BEAUTY RELATED) Have thin, straggly hair or been overdoing the partying recently and your locks are feeling a bit out of sorts? Then don’t worry – just make sure you get plenty of sun this spring and summer. Why? Well, according to hair expert Anabel Kingsley, those golden rays can make your hair appear much thicker. And, in fact, not just appear thicker but be thicker. That’s because all that vitamin D strengthens hair, as well as making it grow faster. So that’s why women have such thick lustrous hair in Southern Mediterranean countries! According to Anabel each single strand of hair has its very own vitamin D receptor just waiting to suck up the vitamin from those rays. She claims that women who spend lots of time indoors (in offices, for instance) and those who live in places where there is very little sunshine tend to suffer from poor hair growth and condition most. So how do you know if you’re getting enough vitamin D? Well, it’s possible to get a blood test to check. You could also take a Vitamin 3 supplement. The best way though is to stand outdoors for a few minutes without cream with SPF factors, according to NHS guidelines.



Consider yourself to have a particularly good sense of smell? Then you’re probably having better orgasms than your colleagues or friends. That’s because, according to a German study carried out last year, there is a definite link between scent and good sex. Put simply, those who smell better have more orgasms. But what about the quality of those orgasms? A study on men by the Smell and Taste Treatment Research Foundation found that those who couldn’t get the scents of florals and colognes as strongly as others (because the researchers were also baking cinnamon buns to put them off!) suffered a form of sexual dysfunction. A later study of smells and intensity by the same organisation found that the best scent for improving penile blood flow was a mix of lavender and pumpkin pie. Why?? Black liquorice mixed with doughnuts was also a winner, as was a mix of doughnuts and pumpkin pie. Similar studies on women showed the big sex enhancer scents were a mix of liquorice and cucumber. The smell of banana nut bread also turned some women on. Interestingly, a woman’s scent preferences change depending where she is on her cycle and if she’s taking birth control pills.

during pregnancy. And the condition itself flares up in around 45 per cent of pregnant women, an Australian medical study carried out by Vanessa Murphy found. However, the same research found that women who selfmanaged their asthma suffered no more risks or symptoms than pregnant women without asthma. Because of the risk, though, women are advised not to cut out or reduce taking asthma medication during pregnancy. Those who don’t manage their symptoms well are more likely to suffer in the late second trimester, rather than the later stages of pregnancy or even during labour. One of the biggest risks is for pre-eclampsia, which occurs in up to 8% of pregnancies and without treatment can worsen rapidly. Frighteningly, pre-eclampsia can prove fatal to both the woman and unborn child. Symptoms include high blood pressure, headaches, feeling sick, swelling, stomach ache and acute changes in vision, such as blurring. Other effects of uncontrolled asthma during pregnancy include low birth weight or premature birth. So, the advice is if you or someone you know is pregnant and are worried, speak to the midwife.



Women who have untreated moderate to severe asthma are more at risk of lifethreatening conditions such as pre-eclampsia

This summer, get ready to find a whole new range of frozen treats on offer in your local ice

cream shop or deli. Some are scrumptious, others are, well, a little unusual or potentially taxing on the taste buds to say the least. So, what are these iced delicacies? Well, prepare yourself for the appearance of ice cream topped with swirls of artisan savoury cheese or vegan delight CocoWhip, comprising of coconut water, organic bio-fermented coconut powder, and vegetable stabilizers. Some ice cream makers are even eschewing traditional vanilla flavouring for a hint of avocado, hummus or tahini. If you went to the US last year you might even have encountered Mochi ice cream (traditional ice cream coated in a sweet rice dough from Japan). Expect to find it in UK store aisles this summer. And what do you mean you’ve never heard of Mexican Nieves de Garrafa? Where have you been living? This is ice cream with salt! It’s traditional in Mexico and originally made by nuns. Flavours today range from rose petal and dried fruits to lime with tequila-infused chia seed. And finally, how about Thai stir fried ice cream (or ‘rolled ice cream’ as it’s more commonly known)? A liquid mix of milk, cream and sugar, it’s stir-fried and manipulated into rolls, before being placed in a cup and topped with all sorts of sweet stuff, such as strawberries and matcha with mango etc.




ntering your 30s is a fantastic phase, full of possibilities and countless opportunities perfect for you to explore. But while you are excited about opening these doors you may also feel a little apprehensive about what it means for your skin care regime. There are plenty of myths about what happens to your skin as you enter your 30s & beyond but with the right skincare routine, you can continue to enjoy great skin.


Your body changes as you approach your 30s, from needing more sleep, to taking longer to recover following a drinking session; and you may also notice that your skin starts to change as well. You might notice that your skin begins to lose its elasticity and the build-up of dead cells increases on the upper layer causing spots or acne and dullness. The chemical composition of your skin cells begins to change and you may find that your skin care products don’t work in the same way as before. This is a great time to treat yourself to a mini facial at a make-up counter of your choice, either for free or at a small cost, to review your skin type and the products you are using.


Being consistent and following a regular routine is the best way to enhance your skin. Cleanse regularly Pollution, dirt and makeup can all clog your pores and lead to dullness of your skin. Cleansing daily before you hit the bed is crucial. It serves two important purposes - keeping your pores clean and helping your skincare products absorb effectively. Moisturise religiously Moisturising not only helps your skin gain the lost hydration level but also locks in the moisture. For this reason, investing in a good hydrating, moisturising product that contains nutrients, multivitamins and sunscreen protection is highly recommended. Using the product when your skin is damp helps improve absorption and produces superior results.


Exfoliate frequently Even if you have been cleansing regularly, some of the dirt can still get trapped in your pores. The dead skin cells start forming a layer on the upper epidermis and need removing to allow the fresher, smoother skin underneath to shine through. Exfoliating can help here, but for those of you who suffer with acne or skin issues, exfoliating once a week and with products that are designed specifically for your issues is recommended. However, be gentle while scrubbing the skin, as too harsh movements can cause breakouts and acne. Use masks often Treat yourself to a home pampering session by using a face mask. This can help you relax while addressing specific concerns that you might have regarding your skin. There are different types on the market to tackle a range of issues, from deep cleansing to refreshing to firming. You can even save yourself some money and make some great face masks at home using things straight out of your kitchen cupboard. Don’t forget the cucumber slices for your eyes! Adopt healthy living It is often said that our skin is a true reflection of our lifestyle. Wherever possible try to incorporate fruits, vegetables and plenty of fluids into your diet to help hydrate and improve your skin. Use face cream daily Using face cream, with UV protection and a minimum of SPF 30 year round, helps to protect your skin. This is better than using a sun cream with the same level of protection and reduces the risk of an allergic reaction.


Massaging your face can help stimulate and regulate the blood supply and improve the overall look of your skin. While you can give yourself a massage at

home, you can also consider treating yourself to a professional facial massage like a Kobido massage. It combines the Shiatsu pressure points to release stress around the face and neck muscles and helps restore the skin’s natural energy levels and is a completely natural process. Some of the other benefits it claims are: • Rejuvenating the damaged skin tissues • Regaining the natural tone of the skin • Stimulating metabolism • Improving overall appearance • Removing dirt and toxins When you give yourself a facial massage try using a variety of different movements, as these can help to release tension in other areas, including your head, neck & shoulders, which in turn can help to reduce the incidence of wrinkles. With these tips in your arsenal, we feel that you are ready to hit the next phase of your life looking and feeling more beautiful and fresher than you did ten years ago.


CAN SCENTS MAKE YOUR ORGASMS MORE INTENSE? R esearch carried out in 2018 found that those with a stronger sense of smell achieve more orgasms, which raises the question: can scents make your orgasms more intense? If those with a stronger sense of smell are achieving a higher level of sexual satisfaction, could it be that different smells could increase the intensity of sexual pleasure? Scent is a very individual sense. What one person perceives as an attractive smell, others might despise; it is different for everyone. It is well known that scents can affect a person’s mood. This is because odour molecules go to the limbic system and hypothalamus, a different destination from our other senses. The hypothalamus is a small region of the brain found near the pituitary gland, responsible for hormone relief while the limbic system contains our feelings, emotions and sexual behaviours. It is therefore understandable that scent can be linked to our mood, but it is still very poorly understood. Research carried out by the Smell and Taste Treatment Foundation, an American based research team studying effects that loss of sense of smell can have on human emotion, mood and behaviour, discovered that almost 20% of their participants who had a lessened sense of smell were experiencing sexual dysfunction, further supporting the idea that scents can have a profound effect on your quality of sex and in turn, your orgasm intensity. This research was carried out on both men and women and findings showed that all scents tested enhanced penile blood flow whereas in women, some scents appeared to actually negatively affect sexual arousal levels. Interestingly, one of the scents that inhibited sexual arousal was men’s cologne. The findings from the previously mentioned study carried out in 2018 aimed to expand on the knowledge that the olfactory system, otherwise known as sense of smell, influences


human behaviours, particularly when it comes to choosing a mate. The research wanted to expand on previous findings that had shown those with a lessened sense of smell had a negatively impacted sex life and wanted to flip this research on its head and explore whether those with a stronger sense of smell experienced stronger sexual desire, sexual experience and sexual performance. The research was carried out on 70 individuals and showed that those with a stronger sense of smell may not only find sex more pleasurable, but also may have stronger orgasms. Whilst no correlations were found between odour sensitivity and sexual desire or sexual performance, sexual experience appeared to be significantly enhanced in those with a stronger sense of smell. The researchers have suggested that this is linked to certain body odours contributing to sexual pleasure due to enhanced recruitment of reward areas within the brain. Whilst this is a novel revelation, it is tricky to apply these findings to the world of sex to enhance sexual pleasure as everyone experiences scents differently. Whilst one scent might enhance the sexual pleasure of one individual, it may well inhibit the sexual pleasure of another. Therefore, it would be incredibly tricky to create a scented product for sexual use that could offer sexual enhancement without first studying the individual to discover which scents appeal to them.

There is also a level of complexity involved when it comes to women as it has been discovered that women prefer different smells at different times throughout their cycle. Researcher, Claus Wedekind, found that whilst women use scent when choosing a partner to find a man with opposite immune system proteins, this was only the case in women not taking birth control. Therefore, birth control is another variable that needs to be considered due to its ability to affect a person’s preference of smell. Further research carried out in partnership with Fragrance Direct explored the varying scents that are most appealing to women at different stages during their cycle. It was found that in the first stage of a period, the first few days, citrus scents are believed to be more appealing. After those first few days, it is thought that preference changes and instead of finding citrus scents attractive, women instead find fragrances often used in men’s cologne such as amber and sandalwood more appealing to the senses. Scents have long been used to seduce others, with evidence dating back to the 16th century. During this time, men would often keep an apple under their armpit to soak up their sweat (and their scent with it). They would then give these apples to the woman they wanted to attract. Similarly, women in Brazil used to strain coffee through their used underwear with the aim of soaking the coffee beans in their scent and using it to attract the man they desired. Overall, it is clear that scents can have a big impact on our sexual arousal and sexual desire, and more recent research has suggested that certain scents may be able to make orgasms more intense. However, this research is in its early stages ,and how this could be implemented in the market is unknown due to the individuality of this phenomenon.



As we age issues like bone density and losing muscle mass can become a problem. In recent years, it has been suggested that older adults should participate in some form of resistance training regularly to delay problems such as these. If you’re a beginner to this type of training, bodyweight exercises are the perfect way to mobilise your body and build strength. Bodyweight training uses your body as a form of resistance against your muscles; this includes exercises such as squats, push ups and lunges. From here, you can begin to add more resistance with equipment like free weights, which include dumbbells, barbells, resistance bands and resistance machines. Practising resistance training twice a week can help to slowly increase muscle mass; however, it is essential that you do not train two consecutive days in a row, as this can lead to excessive muscle fatigue and possible injury. By undertaking this type of training, it can help to increase mobility while helping to increase muscle and bone density. Be sure to consult with your doctor before taking part in any exercise outside of your normal routine.


In recent times the concept of meditation has become more popular in Western society, with people realising that there needs to be another alternative to the stresses of 21st century living. With the rapid increase in technology, more and more information is being fed into our brains which can cause stress that we may struggle to cope with. Some people find it more difficult than others to switch off, and


that’s where meditation can help. This ancient practice has been used by Buddhists for thousands of years and is used to enhance selfawareness, control anxiety, quiet the mind and reduce stress. The best way to start off is small, take a few minutes out of each day to meditate and build it up from here as you become better at quieting the mind for longer periods. There are also apps for phones, websites, videos and centres that can help to teach you the fundamentals of meditation.


If you or someone you know has Rheumatoid Arthritis you will be aware of the debilitating consequences it has on everyday life. Rheumatoid Arthritis is caused by inflammation in the joint, which can lead to swollen and stiff joints, as well as fatigue and a loss of appetite. Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have discovered new findings that may help people relieve the pain of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Removing the gene ELMO1 in mice alleviated the symptoms of Arthritis when it was originally believed that a loss of this gene would infact increase inflammation. Researchers discovered that the gene ELMO1 promotes inflammation as a result of the role it plays in white blood cells called neutrophils. These neutrophils fight bacterial infections, but when they stay around too long they will infiltrate the joints, causing inflammation. There is now research to find a drug that will reduce the function of ELMO1 and therefore alleviate Rheumatoid Arthritis pain.


If you were used to running in your younger years but are not as able to now, then it’s time to find a new sport that will get you outside and offers the same benefits as running. Hill walking has become more popular amongst older people, as it is accessible and can be done by the majority of people. Hill walking can be as easy or difficult as you want, from lowland walking in easy terrains to hikes with more of an incline that will put your muscles to the test and also act as an added pulse-raiser. The best advice there is when it comes to hill walking is to be prepared. Make sure that if you are not familiar with the route that you go with someone who is, and to be sure to take food and water with you. Don’t forget to check the weather forecast beforehand so that you can take suitable equipment and clothing for the conditions.


As we age, calcium becomes more important, especially for bone health and ensuring that the muscles and nerves work properly, but it seems that we are getting a smaller intake of the mineral at a time when we need it the most. Your calcium intake varies depending on your age & gender, so for guidelines refer to the NHS website. Likewise, there is an increased calcium loss as our kidneys become less efficient at retaining calcium. The most common foods that contain calcium are those in the dairy section such as milk and cheese, however, other foods such as dark leafy greens, soya beans and calcium-fortified foods can all be a great way to increase your calcium intake.


Men’s Lifestyle GYM ANXIETY

Going to the gym and exercising is well known to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and improve our mood to the extent that it is often recommended by doctors, but what about those of us who feel anxious even going to the gym? Gym anxiety is a very real issue and can be broken down into four issues: feeling uncertain, comparing to others, feeling judged and feeling like you don’t belong. Research has shown that we place a higher importance on the things we are paying attention to. Based on these findings, if you are going into the gym looking at all the people who are more toned than you are, your brain will see this as the most important aspect of going to the gym. Instead of looking around you, focus on yourself and your workout to minimise this level of comparison.


The UK Royal Society for Public Health named Instagram the most damaging social network for mental health, affecting both anxiety levels and body satisfaction. It was found to negatively affect a person’s view of their body in just 30 minutes alone. All it takes is a click onto the ‘explore’ page to be inundated with the most perfectly toned abs and perfectly chiselled jaw. What is easy to forget, though, is that these images are almost always edited, photoshopped and filtered. Whilst we are aware as a society that models in magazines may not look like their edited photos, because these people on Instagram seem like ‘real’ people, we are quick to assume these are their ‘real’ bodies. With the vast amount of research being carried out on the negative impact of social media such as Instagram, it’s important to keep this in mind when comparing ourselves to others.

IS RUNNING REALLY THAT BENEFICIAL? It’s easy to call those who get up at 6am to go for a run before work crazy, but is it really that life-changing? A study carried out in 2014 found that those who run more than 15 miles per week had a 40% lower risk of dying of Alzheimer’s. Running has also been found to improve cognitive functioning, with the ability


to switch between tasks and memory being improved in those who run regularly. A study by the Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise also found that runners had a 61% reduced risk of developing kidney cancer and the more that people ran, the further this risk was reduced. So perhaps getting up and going for a run isn’t so crazy after all.


A study carried out in Sweden found that touching your partner’s breasts reduces stress levels in males by up to 70%. In addition, the same action helps the release of oxytocin, a stress-relief hormone, in your female partner.


Research carried out in 2018 has found that those with a stronger sense of smell achieve more orgasms which has prompted the question as to whether scents can have an impact on sexual experience. Further research has found that not only do 20% of those with a lessened sense of smell experienced sexual dysfunction but different smells appeal to women at different times in their cycle. At the start of a woman’s cycle she prefers citrus scents, with a preference for woody fragrances during the rest of the cycle.


Research has found that whether you drink wine before beer or beer before wine, if you drink too much, you’ll probably still suffer in the morning regardless. Hangovers occur once the higher than normal blood alcohol concentration which then drops back to zero, and with hangovers reducing productivity and impairing performance in daily tasks, people are always looking for solutions to the dreaded hangover. Unfortunately, there isn’t one! With research showing that the order you consume you drinks in has no influence on how much the alcohol affects you, and with people relying on old folk tales such as “the hair of the dog”, it looks like we’ll just have to suck up the hangovers (or drink less!)

Sports & Outdoors





l If you spend a lot of time doing cardio in a gym, you know how repetitive and monotonous it can get. Slugging away on a treadmill staring at a concrete wall or watching some mindless TV show can be a joyless experience. Instead of getting stuck inside why not move your fitness to the great outdoors? Running and jogging are great but for a true workout that challenges your body, and your mind, look into hiking. When you hike you engage more muscle than you would from walking or jogging. You need the use of stabilizer muscles in the body to navigate the ever-changing terrain. You get better core activation as hiking through trails requires more balance, coordination, and agility. What separates hiking from regular cardio is the mental stimulation it provides. The ever-changing environment and terrain allow for your brain to become more active to adapt to the constant variations. You also get exposure to fresh air and natural sunlight which allows for improved vitamin D levels. Not only is hiking stimulating for your mind it, can also provide you with: l Lower stress levels, improved mood, and a better sense of well-being l Reduced risk of high blood pressure l A lower risk of heart disease l An increase in body fat burnt l Stronger muscles, tendons, and joints l Improved Bone density So, get out there and get hiking as just a one hour hike can help you burn at least 500 calories. If you don’t know of any trails near you, you can Google “hiking trails near me” or use sites like to find the best trails and routes.


l No matter what level of fitness you have, running a 5K race is a very achievable goal. A 5k race lends itself better to anyone who wants to train but isn’t ready to tackle anything bigger like a 10k or half marathon. 5k running is something you can build up to and is a great outdoor sport that has grown in popularity. The great thing about these races is they build a real sense of community as you can enter with groups of people from work or even just a bunch of friends. These races will not only boost your fitness, but they can be a great way to give back as there are many charitable races where you can raise money for a great cause. The start of spring is the perfect time to get

outside and start moving. If you are starting from scratch, try a 20-minute walk 3-4 times a week for a few weeks. Gradually, you can build up this time to 45 minutes and then look at incorporating some running. You’ll want to start slow, if running is new to you, by doing a 30-second light jog every 3-5 minutes you spend walking. If this is too much just pick up your pace to a brisker walk for 30-60 seconds before returning to your usual pace. You can carry on this style for a few weeks and gradually extend the time you spend running and decrease the time you spend walking. When you are comfortable running for 30-60 seconds try to add 5-10 more seconds on to this each time you go out. Over the weeks this will start to add up. When you’re building up this running endurance, a good goal is training 3 days a week and taking 40-45 minutes for the entire workout if you’re wanting to build up to a 5k race. Remember to start with a warm-up of 5-10 minutes at a comfortable pace to get your muscles engaged and your heart rate up. Don’t forget to finish with a 5-10 minute cooldown and this can be at a walking pace too. Finish this up with some stretching to kick start the recovery process and prepare your body for the next time you go out. A 5k race can be a great challenge as it is achievable no matter your level of fitness and you can gradually build up to it. Just remember to listen to your body and keep things comfortable.


l Fitness has always existed in group settings from aerobics classes to CrossFit but more workouts are moving outside and incorporating group training. Outdoor fitness can range from boot camp classes to circuit training or any form of high-intensity interval training. There are great advantages for your health and wellness when it comes to group training. First off is getting out of those stuffy gyms and into more fresh air and sunlight. A group dynamic can be very conducive to improving fitness along with your sense of wellbeing. When you work out with a group of people, you get that support system and added encouragement. There’s a great feeling of knowing you’re all in it together which can boost not only your fitness but your mental strength. Effective outdoor training can revolve around doing circuits, or high-intensity interval training (HITT), which have many advantages. You can have a great workout just using bodyweight exercises such as burpees, mountain climbers and jump squats. You perform short bursts of a high-intensity exercise followed by short periods of rest, and it’s this type of fitness which can give you great results. HIIT training can lead to better body fat burning, increased lean muscle, and improved hormonal markers in the body. This type of training also creates an “afterburn” effect which allows you to burn calories long after the workout is done. With this style of training, you can go at your own pace and complete as many repetitions per round as is comfortable for you. Group training will be one of the best outdoor sport trends in 2019 that you’ll want to look into.

By Paul Davies

APRIL 6th Thames Valley Spring Half Marathon and 5km, 10km, 15km races. Eton College, Rowing Centre, Dorney Lake, Windsor, SL4 6QP 27th Brewin Dolphin Ridgeway Rouleur Sportive cycle event, 103, 73, 33 Miles. Greenlands, Hambleden, Henley-OnThames, Oxfordshire, RG9 3AU 28th Walk for Parkinson’s Welford Park, Newbury walk-parkinsons-welford-park MAY 4th Run for Sparkle 5km run/jog/walk. Remenham Church Lane, Remenham, Henley-on-Thames RG9 3DB 5th Breast Walk Ever. Marlow Bridge, Bisham, Marlow SL7 1RG. 12th Henley10km and Henley Half Marathon Trail Run. Remenham Church Lane, Remenham, Henley on Thames, Oxon, RG9 3DB 19th Green Park Royal Berkshire 10K, 3K and Mini Mile. Longwater Avenue, Reading, RG2 6GP 19th Royal Windsor 10km and Half Marathon River Trail Run. Alexandra Gardens - Barry Avenue, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1QX 26th Marlow Triathlon and Duathlon. Marlow Classic River Swim and Aqua Bike. Higginson Park, Lower Pound Lane, Marlow, SL7 2AE JUNE 1st Race for Life, Royal Windsor Racecourse, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 5JJ 2nd Race for Life, day 2. https://raceforlife. 8th The Little Welly Goes Wild. Greenlands, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire RG9 3AU 30th Newbury Race for Life 5K and 10K. Newbury Racecourse, Racecourse Road, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 7NZ newbury-race-for-life-5k-10k-2019/ JULY 13th Reading Pretty Muddy. Prospect Park, Liebenrood Road, Reading, Berkshire RG30 2ND events/reading-pretty-muddy-2019/ 14th Reading Race for Life. Prospect Park, Liebenrood Road, Reading, Berkshire RG30 2ND www.berkshireeventsguide. 20th Club to Pub Swim. Henley Rowing Club to The Angel on the Bridge 20th Jaguar Tri-Fest – 20th/21st July. Dorney Lake, Court Lane, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 6QP REGULAR: • Park runs are held every Saturday at 9am in various locations in Reading, Woodley, Dinton Pastures, Henley-on-Thames, Maidenhead, Bracknell and Marlow. Free entry, but one-off registration required. • SupportU free sexual health check and HIV testing. (Every second Friday of the month.) 1 – 3pm. Castle Street, Reading. 0118 321 9111


Profile for Healthy Reading

Healthy Reading Magazine Issue #14  

A New Perspective on Health & Wellness

Healthy Reading Magazine Issue #14  

A New Perspective on Health & Wellness