Health

Tick bites and Lyme disease - what you should know

A couple of weeks ago I found a tick.  Right under my bra strap.  I don’t like to think about how much of my body it must have crawled over to get there. 

I’ve never knowingly been bitten by a tick before but I know they can transmit the very nasty Lyme disease.  It’s a bacterial infection which if treated promptly with antibiotics generally causes no problems.  If left, however, it can be utterly debilitating as the bacteria can attack the central nervous system, brain, heart, joints, and eyes, and can also cause skin rashes.

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Balance and the inner ear

Balance is way more complicated than I’d ever thought: muscles, joints, the inner ear, eyes, brain and skin.  They must all work together through a constant process of position detection, feedback and adjustment in order for us to go about our daily lives without dizziness or falling over.  It’s frankly remarkable that we manage at all – so much is involved in even the simplest of movements!

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Latest news round-up on dementia and heart health

There were a couple health-related stories last week which I thought might interest you.

New WHO global guidelines to curb dementia

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Inflammation

I’ve been reading a fascinating little book recently – The Nordic Guide to Living 10 years Longer*.  Originally in Swedish, happily for me it has been translated and published in the UK.  There’s scant reference to the Nordic way of life (‘Nordic’ is I suspect a marketing gimmick as its title in Sweden was ’10 Tips’) and most of what’s written is now widely known.  Nevertheless there were two aspects that particularly interested me:

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Lifestyle changes not pills protect against dementia

The Times this weekend ran the headline ‘Research now shows that brain supplements don’t prevent dementia’.  Omega 3 fish oil, B vitamins (or any other vitamins), selenium (or any other minerals), ginkgo biloba, green tea, curcumin – none of them currently have any proven clinical benefit in either preventing dementia or reducing its symptoms according to the scientific arbiter Cochrane, endorsed by the Alzheimer’s Society. 

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The Illusive Pelvic Floor

Our Guest blog this week is by Fiona Morgan, Woman's Health Physiotherapist, MCSP, HCPC. 

Fiona from Clifton Physiotherapy is originally from South Africa and has been working in the area of women's health for the last 6 years. She has made it her goal to educate as many people about their pelvic floor as possible, and for that we are very grateful! Here's what she has to say about how your plumbing works..

 

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Get Your Life Back: How to Manage Arthritis

We know that many of you are managing arthritis.  Indeed it was autoimmune arthritis that helped lead Vicky to discover Nordic walking and set up Bristol Nordic Walking in the first place. 

An exercise like Nordic walking can help reduce the pain and stiffness of arthritis because it maintains mobility and keeps muscles strong enough to support joints.  However, dietary and lifestyle choices are also important and, besides medication, there are other complimentary treatment options. 

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It's time to think about vitamin D again

We know vitamin D is essential for healthy bones, teeth and muscles.  But the benefits don’t stop there.  There’s been a steady stream of research indicating that the ‘sunshine vitamin’ provides a host of other health benefits including boosting the immune system, preventing a range of cancers, protecting against multiple sclerosis, preventing rheumatoid arthritis, and acting as an anti-depressant.  Wow – that’s quite some list.  So it’s worth making sure that we are getting enough. 

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9 benefits of Nordic walking

Whether you want to shed a few pounds, increase your fitness, protect your joints or simply have a fun sociable walk, Nordic walking ticks all the boxes.  It may not be as trendy as running or cycling but it offers much more of a total body workout and is truly something that will help keep you fit and active for the rest of your life.

Our Bristol Nordic walkers have had first hand experience of its many benefits but if you are new to this incredible health sport or are just inquisitive, here's a short list of what Nordic walking offers.

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Nutrition and Nordic walking

I have written many blogs about the benefits of exercise for health.  But as we all know, exercise is only one of the cornerstones.  My missive a couple of weeks ago was about the importance of sleep.  This week I've asked Judy Gowenlock to contribute an article about nutrition.  Judy is one of our regular Nordic walkers and a registered Nutritional Therapist.  This is what she has to say:

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