Walking for Fitness, Fun and Charity

women running

I am a massive advocate of walking. Apart from the fact that scientists have discovered a daily brisk walk can delay the ageing process by 12 years, it’s a great weight-bearing exercise so perfect for keeping bones healthy. And – if you do it fast enough – it helps keep the wobble under control. There are even more fabulous benefits: For me, walking every day means I keep my fitness levels fairly constant, my dog gets his exercise and I can guarantee that if I leave the house feeling under the weather, I’ll return after a walk (rain or shine) feeling much brighter. It’s a natural, free happiness booster and as I mentioned here in my last post, I want to bring more of them our way!

Team SOLE Shine Walk training
Team SOLE Shine Walk training

The social aspect of walking is always a bonus – unlike jogging and running, you can hold a conversation with your friends without panting and having to stop mid-goss to get your breath back! That’s why this year, I wanted to take my usual choice of charity walk/run up a notch. So instead of the 5k Race For Life, I’m pleased to be joining a team of great women (including my gorgeous daughter, Aimee, below) to take part in the Cancer Research Shine Night Walk. I’ve opted for the 13 mile walk through London at night rather than the full marathon 26 miles because…well…because I’m a scaredy cat!

Me and Aimee at Race for Life
Me and Aimee at Race for Life

I’m really looking forward to the walk, as well as catching up with the team, but I just hope I’ve trained enough and that my niggly hip doesn’t cause me too much trouble.

One thing I can be sure of though, is that my feet should be comfortable because our team have been sponsored by SOLE whose unique orthopaedic footbeds and footwear adapt to the body to offer optimal support. They have sent our team a range of footbeds, the softest, bounciest socks I’ve ever worn (can socks be bouncy?) and some fab flip flops which look great with my tanned toes!

silver flip flops sole

Shine Walk Bits

Of course, walking to raise money for the Cancer Research charity is the main point of the Shine Walk and I’m delighted to be part of the hundreds of walkers who are going to do our best to help kick cancer’s butt!

If you’d like to donate, it would be much appreciated and you can click on mine and Aimee’s page here.

Thank you everyone and wish us luck! xx 

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Get Happy with The Sunshine Vitamin D3

embracing-the-sunWay back in February I wrote a post about how to make yourself feel good when you’re feeling a bit down (click here) and I often write about how the dark, cold days of winter leave me feeling blah as well (click here). You have every right to think I’m a bit of a moany madam, but it’s really just the winter that does it to me…oh and living in a perpetual building site!

But I wanted to let you know about my favourite feel good find – and I’m so pleased it’s come my way just as the days are getting shorter – and wetter! It’s a handy little Vitamin D3 spray from Natural Health Practice that was sent to me, along with the staggering results of research by the Scientific Advisory Committee, that found a huge 60% of the UK population are deficient in Vitamin D!

Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 15.45.14

So, why do we need Vitamin D? Apart from boosting your mood, Vitamin D helps the body to absorb phosphorous and calcium, which are essential to bone growth and inadequate levels of it can lead to insufficient bone density, fatigue, and muscle aches.

Most dermatologists will tell you to wear sunscreen daily – so this, plus the fact that we have low levels of sunlight in the winter can lead to lack of Vitamin D, BUT that doesn’t mean you should throw away the sunscreen – No Siree – your wrinkles won’t thank you for that! But getting outside for 10 minutes without sunscreen is all you need. In just a few minutes, your skin is unlikely to suffer and you’ll be filling up your Vitamin D quota.

Vitamin-D-Foods

Don’t forget to eat the right foods as well – eggs, mushrooms, fatty fish, meat and fortified cereals all help, but if you’re suffering with the winter blues, fatigue and general lethargy more than usual, it’s a good idea to ask your GP for a blood test. You may just be deficient and not even realise it.

I’ll be writing about Ways to Get Happy a lot more over the coming months, as happiness is something we just can’t get enough of! In the meantime, you might want to invest in your own little Vitamin D spray of sunshine, which you can find here at £10.97.

The Easy Breezy Way to Refreshed Skin with the Skinbreeze Orbital Facial

The treatment being carried out (not on me).
The treatment being carried out (not on me).

Working from home, aka the building site, amidst the dust and drilling of a team of tradesmen, any invitation that comes my way that will get me out of the hell hole house is usually met with me shouting ‘yes please! Yes please!’ in the high pitched, over excited manner of a school girl being asked if she’d like to be the lead in the school play. So, when I was kindly invited to try a new facial at the Soho based Premier Laser Clinic, I was out of the door in a puff of dust…really.

On arrival at the pristine clinic, I met skin specialist, Ellie, whose years of experience belied her youthful looks and who assured me that the recently launched Skinbreeze Orbital Facial would soon put pay to my tired, stressed skin.

I laid back – trying to ignore the weird vertigo that I’ve suddenly acquired which makes me feel as if I’m about to fall off the bed everytime I turn my head – and got ready to be pampered.

I’ve had microdermabrasion before and admit, even though my skin often looks great once the redness has subsided, it’s not particularly relaxing as I find the exfoliating crystals quite scratchy. However, the special thing about the new technology in this facial, is that it has specially designed rotating tips of various levels of coarseness – we started with the least abrasive as it was my first time. There’s also a wide choice of speed settings and I was pleased that the exfoliating tip actually felt quite tickly, and not at all uncomfortable, as it vibrated and massaged my face, cleaning and refining pores.

Another plus point about having various speeds and levels of abrasiveness means that, unlike usual crystal microdermabrasion – which is kind of a one-size-fits-all affair – this treatment can be tailor-made to suit the individual’s skin type and requirements.

While the skin resurfacing is taking place, a red LED light is shined onto my skin, and this is said to help promote cell renewal, stimulate collagen and boost circulation.

The next phase of the facial was what excited me the most as I’d read about the skin plumping and line filling benefits of oxygen on the skin and I couldn’t wait to see it for myself. Ellie used what looked like a small power washer to deliver an infusion of Skinbreeze serum, containing powerful ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid and Seaweed Extract, along with O2, into the deeper layers of the skin. The feeling was wonderful! These little puffs of cool spray made my skin feel very revived and refreshed.

Once my skin was polished and tingly, Ellie placed a super-hydrating sheet mask over my face and as she tried to lay it so that the holes for the nose, mouth and eyes were in the right place, she asked whether I was claustrophobic. ‘Nope’ I replied confidently as the mask came down and it all went black. Of course, my mind then immediately went into self-sabotage mode and mocked me: “what do you mean you’re not claustrophobic? Don’t you remember how hard you find it to breathe when you’re in a lift – or when it takes too long to get a jumper over your head?” Great. Thankfully, just as I was about to embarrass myself and hyperventilate, the mask fell into place and all was well. Phew. I felt calm and relaxed while my skin drank up the softening, nourishing moisturisers.

While the mask was on, Ellie used an ebrasor – a hand held massaging piece of equipment – to smooth and lift the skin and stimulate the muscles of the face in order to drain excess fluid and dissipate puffiness.

My Verdict: What a treat! My skin felt smoother, looked so much brighter and had a restored glow in the cheeks that seemed to have been missing in action lately!

Skinbreeze-Orbital-Facial
Sorry about the no makeup! But skin looks fresh 🙂

A course of Skinbreeze facials is usually required to maintain the results but a one off is the perfect precursor to a night on the tiles. Or in my case, it’s the perfect remedy to bat away the skin spoiling effects of the building debris until the next time!

The Skinbreeze Orbital Microdermabrasion Facial costs from £150 at the London Premier Laser Clinic. Click here to find out more about this and other Skinbreeze treatments.