Sunday, 27 October 2013

How to make Stress your Friend

I’m usually pretty chilled. But like everyone else, I have had some extremely stressful encounters during my life. Like that time I was held up by the ultra-suspicious customs officials at Dallas airport with less than forty minutes to go before my connection flight. I had not slept in twenty hours. After my suitcase was inspected, I got completely lost and had to rely on the slack-jawed Texan staff to help me find my terminal. “Don’tcha worry nahhh, we’s gonna get y’all home.” (Praise the Lord.) If I have many more days like this, I remember thinking, I will have a heart attack before I’m thirty.

Was I right in thinking that? Apparently not! I recently listened to a speech by the delectable Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University. It was about stress. “I have a confession to make,” McGonigal announces to her large audience. Her deadly sin is that for the past ten years, she has been teaching people that stress is BAD. That stress increases the risk of all ailments from the common cold to cardiovascular disease.

Then she discovered that this was not entirely true. She cited an eye-opening study which surveyed 30,000 US adults over an eight-year period. Participants were asked how much stress they had experienced during the past year, and whether or not they believed stress to be damaging to one’s health. Then the researchers checked the death statistics from this sample to see which participants had died. Lovely stuff.

Those who experienced a lot of stress and believed that yes, it is unhealthy, were 43% more likely to pop their clogs than other participants. Not really surprising. However, those who had experienced a lot of stress but did not believe it to be unhealthy had the lowest death rates of all. 
Thus it is not stress per se that’s the killer. It is the way stress is perceived. McGonigal points out that the belief that “stress is harmful” is the fifteenth most major cause of death in the US. This irrational belief kills more than AIDS and homicide! What can be done to change this?
McGonigal describes a stressful scenario to her audience, asking them to imagine how it would affect them physically. Racing heart, rapid breathing, sweat breaking out, that sort of thing. Exactly what I experienced in Dallas. It’s how these symptoms are perceived which determines mortality. Some believe rapid breathing and a pounding heart to be signs of anxiety, of being unable to cope. However, says McGonigal, these symptoms are actually helpful. The increase in heart rate is your body’s way of preparing you for action, whilst the rapid breathing is to get more oxygen to your brain so that you can think faster.

In people who don’t know this, the blood vessels constrict when that person is faced with a stressful situation. (Having constricted blood vessels on a regular basis is indeed linked to cardiovascular problems. It really is not healthy.) People who appreciate the helpful properties of stress symptoms, however, show relaxed blood vessels when under pressure. In fact, their blood vessels resemble those of someone having a joyful or courageous moment, a Harvard study found.

Thus, if perceived in the right way, stress can actually be beneficial. Kelly McGonigal informs her audience that a much overlooked part of the stress response is the release of oxytocin, the “cuddle hormone” – it’s released when you hug someone. How sweet.

Oxytocin is a wonder hormone. It primes people to strengthen their relationships with others, motivating compassion, empathy and helpfulness. It also motivates people to seek support from those who care about them. Ooh, and it counters the more negative effects of stress, protecting the cardiovascular system and helping to build up a resistance. It can even repair damaged heart tissue. We should all snort some every day. 

Oxytocin’s healing properties were demonstrated in a study of 1000 US adults. Investigators asked participants how much stress they’d encountered in the last year, and also how much time they had spent helping other people. And again, wahoo, death rates were analysed.  
Participants who had experienced a major stressful event (e.g. family break-ups, financial troubles, getting lost in Texas) were 30% more likely to die than their un-stressed counterparts. But, if the “stressed” participant spent a significant amount of time helping other people, they were no more likely to die than the un- or marginally-stressed people in the study. In lay terms, people who had the right ideas about stress could enjoy its oxytocin-induced benefits (motivation to help others, protection of cardiovascular system) instead of being bogged down by all the fluey and heart-attacky stuff. 
Had I known all this in Dallas, I might have smiled at the cowboy who ransacked my suitcase instead of snarling at him. 

The Good Old Days

I  feel that life was much better born as a 60’s babe than later on in life, in comparison to modern children’s lives. Life has improved in some ways, but not in others.

Would you believe it that in the 60s mothers used to leave the baby in pram outside the supermarket in the street, and nobody would take it away? If that happened now Social Services would be called and the police would take action against the parents that left the baby on its own. 
As a young child I was able to play outside unsupervised. I think this was very good for children because they were burning up calories. We did things like running, skipping, hop scotch, playing rounders, leap frog, skate boarding and roller skating. I also walked to school. We used to call this playing; now they call it exercise.
Being able to play outside all the time meant that we built up social skills by mixing with the other children. This also allowed us to build up street awareness from a young age. When these children from the 60s grew up into teenagers, they were more able to cross the road safely. ‘Traffic is the biggest single cause of accidental death for 12 to 16 year olds. 1,844 12 to 16 year olds were killed or seriously injured in Britain as pedestrians, cyclists and car occupants in 2007’ (Wirral Council, 2010). We also used to see an advert, THE GREEN CROSS CODE, which taught people how to cross the road properly. The teenagers of today don’t seem to have as much safety awareness crossing the road. 

Back in the day there used to be something called a ‘house wife’. This was women that did not work full time, but spent their time looking after the family. I feel fortunate that my mummy was a ‘house wife’ so she was always there if there was an accident. We also got a good, hot dinner every evening with the whole family together, which was a healthy meal (thanks, mum!). So there was less child obesity because mothers did not have to rely on take-away meals. However, some people believe that they were better off for their mothers going to work. They saw their mothers working as a good example. The mum also had financial independence. They also wonder why it should be the mum at home, not the dad.

Before children had their own computers, we used to make up our own games and songs. This was good for the imagination. Unfortunately, children are spending so much time on computers nowadays that they are turning into a computer couch. They are just exercising their fingers. 

In the good old days we used to know our neighbours a lot more. The children got to know all the other children on the same street. We were more a part of each other’s lives. We got the opportunity to go to lots of parties, weddings; I even went to Turkish weddings which were very good. We did so much together. The fact that we knew so many people as children proved to be a good safety net. I think we had a better education, schools were better and if you wanted to go to university it was free. Only the best things in life are free! 

The family unit seemed more stable, and for that reason less stressful. We didn’t have such a consumer-orientated society. Lots of children these days expect expensive presents all the time, like computers and trainers.

Do you think things were better in the good old days or are things better now? How would you like to improve the future?

Charities & Fundraising

For some time I worked in various departments of a global charity here in London. One of my roles was working in the Fundraising Department. This department is the one which deals with raising money for any appeals. With Major charities, appeals occur on a regular basis and some appeals can last for a long time.

Regular Givings
Most charities have several types of fundraising strategies, including major donations (this is when people give large amounts of money in thousands and millions of pounds), and regular givings (this is the one we all hear about). Regular givings mean you give a set amount, for example £3 to £20 per month; you could do this by doing a direct debit. These are the most commonly used and many charities prefer this form of fundraising. This is because they get a regular amount coming in. People can also send a cheque through the post with a slip or letter saying the amount sent and their name.

On the other side, you can end up getting put on their ‘direct mailing list’. This means that they will send you letters for every appeal that comes along. You can tell if you are getting any more mail for appeals by looking at any small eight to ten digits near your address. To stop them from sending any further mail contact the fundraising department and ask them to take your name off their mailing list. You may wish to send them an email or a letter. They can not keep your name on their list if you ask to be withdrawn.
Most major charities have a way of receiving donations via legacy. In short, this means asking elderly citizens to leave an amount of money or something in their will. It has been known for people to leave their own properties to their favourite charities. When this occurs, the charity in question has to keep the property for at least 18 months. These properties can be used in any way they want, unless the will says otherwise.

TV advertising
Another form of getting more money is through TV donations. I’m sure you’ll all know the adverts that show people or animals in harm. You could call this ‘appealing to your conscience’ or a ‘guilt trip’.  These are carried out by major charities so that they can generate more donations for that particular appeal. 

They are advertised in away to show people in well off conditions how bad the conditions other people or animals live in. By law, they have to get permission from the Charity Commission or the DEC (Disaster Emergency Committee) to advertise on TV. One condition is it has to be a serious event or urgent. There are times when they allow charities to show less serious events. Some charities use international and less mainstream channels to advertise their appeals. The main reason for this is that it would cost less to advertise on foreign or less popular channels, compared to a popular or terrestrial channel. By law, any funds generated by these television appeals have to go to that specific appeal.

Physical donation
This type of donations occurs when charities use their staff, volunteers and temp workers to go on to the streets to collect donations. There are basically three types of physical donations: 1. Door-to-door donations, where a person from the charity goes around houses to get people to sign up for donations; 2. Groups of people trying to attract donations at public areas like malls, shopping areas, etc.; 3. Collecting, where you shake a pot or a bucket at a local shop or a station.

News in Brief

1. Psychological and cognitive benefits of learning another language 

Learning another language has many benefits: it means the language centre in the brain grows, it can stave off dementia, boost your memory, mean you become better at multi-tasking, and improve your first language.

2. Sexiest parts of the body

Research into ‘intimate touch’ (Trunbull, Lovett, Chaldecott & Lucas, 2013) has suggested that ‘we all share the same erogenous zones in at least two very different continents, whether we are a white, middle-aged, middle-class woman sitting in a London office or a gay man living in a village in Africa. It suggests it is hardwired, built in, not based on cultural or life experience’. 

3. People Generally Like the Sound of their Own Voice

I’ve always hated mine whenever I’ve heard it played back, like most people I know (often accompanied by cries of ‘Do I really sound like that???’), but recent research suggests, when presented with recordings of speech, participants (without realising their own voice was included in the mix) consistently rated their own voice as more attractive than anyone else did. Researchers suggest this in an unconscious form of self-enhancement, which could be a mechanism to build self-esteem or combat depression.

4. National Wellbeing 

According to the Office for National Statistics in July, we are a bit happier and slightly less anxious. Good-oh.

5. An apple a day

The peak of an apple’s nutritional value is found in the peel, which contains: 
• vitamins A, C, and K
• minerals including calcium, potassium, and phosphorus
• soluble and insoluble fiber
• antioxidants such as flavonoids and phenolic acids that fight cell-damaging free radicals, and  triterpenoids that help fight cancer
• it also helps reduce bacteria in your mouth by stimulating saliva and contains acids that keep teeth clean.

6. Scottish Government Report in Culture and Health

The Scottish Government have carried out an in-depth study of the whole population and discovered a direct correlation between participation in culture and improved health and life satisfaction. Crucially this remains true even when other factors such as age, economic status, income, area deprivation, education qualification, disability or long standing illness and smoking are accounted for. They discovered that those who had visited a library were almost 20% more likely to report good health than those who had not visited a library in the previous 12 months, those who visited a museum were 20% more likely to report good health than those who did not, and those who visited the theatre were almost 25% more likely to report good health than those who did not in the previous 12 months.

7. Staying Late

A new survey has revealed that  many of us are staying behind at work, past our clocking off time, with 82% of us working more than 40 hours a week (up from 68% in 2011), while 28% do more than 50 hours a week (a 9% increase from two years ago). It’s not an extreme extrapolation to suggest that this will be having a significant and detrimental impact on people’s wellbeing.  

8. People with disabilities often do not receive needed health care

The World Health Organisation’s facts on disability state that ‘half of disabled people cannot afford health care, compared to a third of non-disabled people. People with disabilities are more than twice as likely to find health-care providers’ skills inadequate. Disabled people are four times more likely to report being treated badly and nearly three times more likely to be denied health care’. 

9. The importance of our musical-rhythmic abilities 

New scientific research has come forward, regarding how rhythmic skills from musical education lead to better auditory-neural responses. These are important for learning languages and reading. The researchers suggest that practising music could improve other skills, particularly speech, and argue that rhythm is an integral part of language. So, what are you waiting for – pick up that tambourine!

10. Arts included in Wellbeing Measures

In June this year it was decided that people’s engagement in the arts is (finally!!!!) to be recognised as one of the factors that contributes to wellbeing in the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) Measuring National Wellbeing Programme. About bloomin’ time!!!

Friday, 25 October 2013

Which came first the Rocket or the Wheelchair

Which one should have come first: the motorised wheelchair, or the rocket to the moon?

Man went to the moon for the first time in August 1969, when Neil Armstrong and his team went with NASA. I was six years old then (don’t tell anyone!). I saw a motorised wheelchair for the first time in 1991. Why did it take so long for the motorised wheelchair to be invented? Well, in fact, it was invented in 1916, would you believe it? But it was not commercially available until much later. When did you see one? 
I think wheelchair users have not been treated fairly. There used to be a horrible joke: Which part of the vegetable can’t you eat? The wheelchair. There was a young man talking about what meeting people of the opposite-sex is like as a wheelchair user. He said that if he is in a pub and he sees somebody looking at him, he has to think, is that person looking at him because they find him attractive, or because he is in a wheelchair.  
I remember the days when you did not see a disabled toilet. I do remember the campaign for it in the 80s. Why did it take so long to make a disabled toilet? All that was needed was a wider door, rails, a wider seat and a wider brain for some common sense! 
A map has been designed for wheelchair users. But why was this map not designed when they first invented the tube in 1862? Wheelchair ramp for the bus is very good idea. The Para Olympics is a fantastic idea. It is brilliant that they can take part and win a gold medal just like anybody else, but why were they not allowed to take part when the modern Olympics first started in 1896? Banks now have shelves lower than the counter so that they can do their signature from their wheelchair. We now also have showers, baths and stair-lifts for wheelchair users. Some theatres have a space reserved for wheelchair users, but they request somebody comes with them, and some museums will give a free ticket to the carer of a disabled person, so they can go in with them. 
Shop Mobility is an organisation that hires out motorised wheelchairs. It is run by the Civic Centre for Haringey Council .It is in the Wood Green library arcade. It is open from 10.30am to 5pm. It costs £2.50 for a non member to hire a wheelchair and £2 for a member.  The shop mobility has 10 chairs in stock and it is staffed by Sandra and Doreen who are working there on a voluntary basis. 
London Underground has 6 stations which are step free from street to platform . These are shown by a blue wheelchair  on a white background. On  the Tube map some of these stations are step free from street to train, these are shown by a white wheelchair on a blue background. 
At a number of stations, platform humps have been  installed. These raise  the platform to the level of the train, allowing wheelchair users to board more easily. 
Dedicated Wheelchair spaces are available on Victoria and District lines and on new Metropolitan lines trains. You may not travel on escalators while in your wheelchair. However, if you are  able to stand on the escalator, staff may be able to assist with carrying your chair.  There is also assistance for blind or deaf customers. 
Ramps are currently available to help you board trains at some stations i.e Oxford Circus, Bakerloo line (interchange only). 
I would like to see the day when somebody in a wheelchair goes to the moon in a rocket – what perfect unity!   As human beings on planet earth we are suppose to be intelligent. We have so many ways of communicating, so much access to technology – why not use it to help each other! To make things better for wheelchair users is not rocket science.


Benefits of a Healthy Stroll in the Park

So this is something we all know about, but perhaps tend to forget as we go about our daily lives, particularly the urban folk amongst us. But it is now carved in medical stone:  there are fantastic health benefits to be had from being out and about in parks and woods, walking aimlessly along nature walks and reserves.

One of the fortunate aspects of living in London is the sheer abundance of parks and woods, and this is clearly due to the fact that the country as a whole has always held such spaces in high regard when it comes to health and feeling good. But now there is evidence (as though it were needed!).

A recent study has shown that living in a greener area can have a significant positive effect on our moods. The University of Exeter did a study using data from 5,000 UK households over 17 years, where they asked participants to report on their own psychological health during that time to estimate the “green space effect”. They found that individuals reported less mental distress and higher life satisfaction when they were living in greener areas.

In an action report by the Faculty of Public Health in association with Natural England they suggest that “Safe, green spaces may be as effective as prescription drugs in treating some forms of mental illnesses, without the costs of side-effects and ever-rising numbers of prescriptions... Even window views of nature are closely associated with increased concentration levels and productivity.”

 And further, they add,

 “Green spaces are not just effective at preventing ill health, they can also aid in recovery and rehabilitation. Studies where patients had views of nature through hospital windows found more rapid post-operative recovery and lower need for pain relief, while patients with anxiety disorders exhibited lower levels of fear and anger.”

 The action report makes the following recommendations:

 •Local authorities should provide more accessible green spaces and open-air leisure facilities in which children, families, adults and older people can safely play and exercise.
• Local strategic partnerships, especially those i urban areas, should maximise the use of available green space for health-promoting activities
 • GPs should consider providing advice about physical activity in green spaces as an alternative or adjunct to medication for patients with milder forms of depression or anxiety
• Exercise prescription schemes in general practice could usefully be extended to cover supervised physical activity in green spaces
• Programmes, such as Walking for Health and others, which encourage physical activity in green spaces and natural environments should continue to be fully supported
• Major research-funding bodies should specifically commission research on the potential role of green space in preventing

So get those walking shoes on, find your nearest park (or one we’ve suggested), and take in the greenery and reap the rewards of a healthier life style.

Nigel Prestatyn

Mood Control with Binaural Beats

I recently read an article which caught my eye, an idea which seemed fascinating and bizarre at the same time. The idea in basic layman’s terms is that:

The brain naturally functions using a variety of frequencies (Hz): Alpha, Beta, Theta, Delta, and Gamma; and these frequencies generate certain moods. So if you can control your brain’s frequencies, you can control your moods. And the tools used to control the brain’s frequencies (moods) are called Binaural Beats.

So, you plug in your earphones, switch on your mp3 player, play the frequency beats, and create the required mood. The frequencies are …

Beta brain waves, which are associated with normal waking consciousness and a heightened state of alertness, logic and critical reasoning.

Alpha brain waves which are present in deep relaxation and usually when the eyes are closed, when you’re slipping into a lovely daydream or during light meditation.
Theta brain waves which are present during deep meditation and light sleep, including the all-important REM dream state.

The Delta frequency which is the slowest of the frequencies and is experienced in deep, dreamless sleep.

So this is based on the first premise that the brain works with frequencies and that these frequencies produce moods. It is also based on a second premise that one can listen to audio frequencies, and that the brain will follow these frequencies thus producing certain moods.

There are scientific studies underpinning these ideas.

In the medical journey Anaesthesia (1) it cites that binaural beats were first described by Oster [12] over 30 years ago: “They are produced within the brain in response to two similar pure tones being presented separately to each ear. The rhythm of the binaural beat equals the difference between the two tones and, if sustained, this rhythm can be entrained throughout the brain. The frequency of the binaural beat can thus be selected to produce particular EEG-associated states.”

It goes on further to state that,

“Inducing brain-wave states with binaural beats has been used to decrease anxiety in patients suffering from chronic anxiety … It has been demonstrated that music can be used successfully to relieve patient anxiety before operations, and that audio embedded with tones that create binaural beats within the brain of the listener decreases subjective levels of anxiety in patients with chronic anxiety states.

This team of researchers measured anxiety in pre-operative patients using binaural beat audio (Binaural Group), then with an identical soundtrack but without these added tones (Audio Group), and finally with a third group who received no specific intervention (No Intervention Group).

 After approval from the Local Research Ethics Committee, the study was conducted over a 6-month period (October 2003 to March 2004). This prospective, randomised, controlled study recruited 108 patients scheduled to undergo general anaesthesia for elective surgery at the Day Surgery Unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Decreases in anxiety scores were:
Binaural Group: 26.3% decrease in anxiety
Audio: 11.1% decrease in anxiety
No Intervention Group: 3.8% decrease in anxiety

The conclusion drawn from this study was that binaural beat audio has the potential to decrease acute pre-operative anxiety significantly.

If you are interested in learning how to get in tune with your brain waves and be able to consciously activate them, a quick google search on ‘binaural beats’ should throw up a gamut of possibilities to explore.
So now you may be wondering if I have tried any of these beats? The answer is yes. And did I notice any differences? The answer is no.  But that doesn’t mean it will be a no for you!

Nigel Prestatyn

Anathesia, ): Volume 60, Issue 9, pages 874–877, September 2005

Padmanabhan, R., Hildreth, A. J. and Laws, D. (2005), A prospective, randomised, controlled study examining binaural beat audio and pre-operative anxiety in patients undergoing general anaesthesia for day case surgery. Anaesthesia, 60: 874–877. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2044.2005.04287.x

Books & Exhibitions

SCARP by Nick Papadimitriou
A wild, magic, bleak, visionary text with gender blending and transformations at every chapter. He wanders the edgelands of North London as a rook, a woman, a teller of tales and deep topographer between spells as mad, and a spell in prison as a teenager. He sinks into the tarmac and the ancient brooks, and sleeps under trees and in stinking abandoned caravans. Truly magnetic.
Sceptre Books. 2011.

Outside In: Central Compton Verney, Warks.
This exhibition is part of a national project for showcasing the work of artists perceived to be on the margins. It features 16 artists from the Midlands who find art cathartic - like all artists I would venture - and who are helping themselves to overcome adverse life events through art.
Interleaved with their work were specially chosen pieces from the Folk Art collection at Compton Verney. Among these is a little model of a Potter’s Workshop form 1900 chosen by an embroiderer Natasha Boyd and and Mark James chose a 19th century streetscape to complement his outstanding painting The Narb. The latter is a huge door posted over with junk mail which has a street (The Narborough Road, Leicester) laid over it in  house paint, acrylic and felt tip. Michael George paints intensely accurate and arresting images of methods of travel - from a fat bellied plane to a Cow and Gate lorry - inspired by places he has worked. He finds travel lifts his depression and helps him cope with the dark shadow cast by  childhood traumas.
HIs folk art choice is Alfred Wallis’ Schooner approaching Harbour (1930) - a Cornish boat scene as seen from above almost. Michael says: ‘In the art world, Alfred’s and my work would be labelled ‘Naive’. However, like me, Alfred started painting to anaesthetise emotional pain; he losing his wife and me trying to cope with depression. Both of us just painting whatever we choose to paint in our own unique style. I see Alfred and I as kindred spirits.’
I am always foxed by the ‘Outsider’ label given to  ‘untrained’ artists. It seems arbitrary and meaningless. 

Polly Mortimer

The latest buzz on bees

The problem of honeybees dying off is not contained to Europe and the UK alone but is also found in the US.
Researchers are still trying to find out what is killing them and there has been a lot of news coverage and political discourse on this issue. One school of thought thinks that chemicals or pesticides are the culprit but in the US they are also looking at a mite called the Varroa destructor that  “burrows into the brood cells that host baby bees” and sucks the hemolymph from them –the fluid that serves as blood in bees.
An  article, A World without Bees (Time August 19th 2013 ), points out that a crop like almonds in California, that is particularly important to the economy, is causing serious concern as the pollination task that honeybees naturally perform is at  risk. Because the pollination of crops like almonds and apples –and many more crops that we take for granted- is so important , if the honeybee continues to dwindle then it could have serious repercussions throughout the agricultural industry; about one mouthful in three in our diet directly or indirectly benefits from honey bee pollination.

Marco Lanzarote

Man MOT is coming to Haringey

There’s an exciting new project coming to Haringey which could make it far easier for men to access the health advice they need - especially for more difficult subjects such as mental health.

A three year project funded by the Department of Health, Haringey Man MOT is being run by the Men’s Health Forum and their partners at Haringey Council and the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation. 

Man MOT will offer a free, confidential online health advice service through which men can ‘chat’ directly to a GP or other health professional, about any health problem at all via a computer, tablet or smart phone. No appointment is needed. The Men’s Health Forum has trialled the basic Man MOT concept and are now refining it by working on its design and delivery with the men of one borough - Haringey. To do this, we need to talk to the men who might use it and to the health professionals who might deliver it. 

The initial pilot suggested that ease and immediacy of use and the choice to remain anonymous made it easier for men to discuss taboo topics such as how they were feeling. To develop this, we particularly want the input of people with lived experience of dealing with mental health challenges.

We’re looking for Haringey men of all ages and all backgrounds to help in many different ways:
fill in a survey online or face to face or by phone
take part in face to face interviews going into more depth
join focus groups with other men to help with the research
check out some of our ideas and tell us what you think.

If you’d like to do any or all of these, please get in touch with me using the email address below.

If you’re health professional interested in male health, technology and putting something back into the community we also want to hear from you. You can help:

On the other side of the screen by ‘chatting’ to men in ‘virtual surgeries’
By advising on how we can improve and develop the service 
Taking part in our Project Advisory Group (PAG)
Helping us connect with patients who can advise us on their side of the experience

Man MOT will enable men to ‘chat’ directly to you online. All the health professional needs is a computer. No surgery, no (missed) appointments, no needless visits to A&E, it’s so much easier for everyone. Most of our consultation with you and any virtual surgeries you do will be from a location to suit you. Full training will be provided for using the technology. More information on the project can be found on our website:
Without the help and support of ther men of the borough and committed health professionals this project cannot work. Please contact  HYPERLINK “” if you would like to help us make a difference. 

Jim Pollard,
Haringey Man MOT project manager

Friday, 2 August 2013

Healthy Living Tips - Marco Lanzarote

Wellbeing advice crops up all the time in the media, and magazines abound in it. One I was handed from Glamour, entitled “50 Genius Tweaks for a better you”, may provide a little light reading for those interested in getting more out of life. Here’s a small selection of their suggestions:

Saying ‘No’ seven times a day can give you back an hour a day to yourself.

According to a study, pets can lower your blood pressure and cholesterol.

You can treat anxiety naturally with an amino acid called L-Theanine which has the effect of relaxing you.

Quit Smoking – Eat Veg. A medical journal found that smokers who ate 4 portions of veg a day had better chance of staying smoke free for a year. Apparently veg curbs your craving by making cigarettes taste bad.

Try whey protein as “the unsung hero of morning meals”. Added to porridge, yogurt or a smoothie, it helps you stay full till lunchtime.

Cinnamon regulates blood sugar levels to control hunger.

Open University researchers found that flicking through old photos boosts your mood, even more than music, tv, alcohol or chocolate.

Count your thoughts when your mind is racing.

A lack of face to face relationships is the biggest cause of depression, says a Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health, so talk to someone after every social media session.

If you have any more health or lifestyle tips, why not send them in to Equilibrium?

Marco Lanzarote.