Day dreamers relax. It seems that we can let our minds run free – it’s actually a useful part of the mental process. ‘Mind wandering’ in various contexts is the subject of several new papers this autumn including […]
Welcome to my website Under the Scope where you can focus on health matters, find facts or listen to the heartbeat of life-in-general. Join the blog debates, browse the archives, engage, enjoy.
Nicola Hill visited Joanna Hall’s Walkactive Training Camp in Spain and tells Under the Scope of the four days that changed the way she walked (and talked.)
“It’s not a ballet point, it’s not a closed ankle, it’s an open ankle”. As I repeated this mantra to myself I wondered how many Spanish women spent their holidays in English car parks learning how to walk properly. For this is what I was doing in Spain, trudging up and down a piece of gravel wasteland, concentrating on my strides. I did however have a beautiful view of the Mediterranean sea as I tried to ensure my foot was flexing, my hips were lifted, my shoulders were down and my stomach was doing something called an Ab-J. All these instructions were part of the system of Walkactive, a very different way of moving that I was trying to learn over a four day break in La Manga, Spain.Read more
Chain of Hope is the charity set up by British cardiologist Sir Magdi Yacoub to offer disadvantaged children across the globe access to heart surgery. Its most recent – and probably most high profile – patient was Hala al Massri, a three year old girl with Tetralogy of Fallot, one of the most common congenital heart defects in children. Hala was suffering from a decreased blood flow to the lung, a hole between the two ventricles (or main chambers) in the heart, displacement of the aorta (the main artery) and increased thickness of the right ventricle.I met her two weeks after surgery and found her to be a delightful scamp; full of hope and life.Read more
Abraxane – used for the treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer – has been added to National Cancer Drugs Fund List, it has been announced by the Cancer Drugs Fund Panel (CDF).
This mean doctors will be able to offer patients with advanced pancreatic cancer Abraxane (Paclitaxel Albumin) – which used in combination with standard gemcitabine has been found in clinical trials to extend a patients’ life for on average two months – with some patients living significantly longer.
For anyone diagnosed with this type of cancer (or for their family and friends), this is positive news. Life expectancy of pancreatic cancer patients averages less than six months from diagnosis.Read more
Marathon runners often support the big-name charities but super cool hairdresser Charlie Mann, Director of Electric London, will be chalking up his 26 miles in April at the Virgin Money London Marathon for a cause that is worth a little extra publicity. The Sir Simon Milton Foundation follows its eponymous founder’s ‘One City’ policy – a landmark initiative which provides young people with jobs and training, and ensures older residents are looked after and involved in a community that values their contribution.
It’s this latter group which Charlie is keen to support . ‘Sir Simon’s vision is clear,’ he explains. ‘More personal choice and control, personal dignity and the chance to make a positive contribution.’Read more
Walkactive is the health and fitness programme established by sports scientist and trainer Joanna Hall. I’ve written about it in The Telegraph twice – once describing how it feels to a novice, and secondly, two weeks ago, about how I felt attending a Walkactive Bootcamp at La Manga, Spain in October, and its cumulative effects on my health.
The secret of its success seems to lie in the way you can leverage Walkactive to fit into your daily routine to offer benefits both in pure health terms (improving stamina and overall fitness) as well as to one’s appearance – the programme helps you lengthen the torso and walk tall. I tend to think of it as a sort of ambulatory pilates.
Currently, Joanna and her team are recruiting (with the Telegraph) for a scientific trial which she believes will show that her theories are based in science – that if you move your body using Walkactive techniques, you will see real benefits to fat percentages, blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol readings. But the applications close TONIGHT – JANUARY 6! so if you want to join the trial, get busy. I honestly do recommend it.Read more
As the Olympic Games get underway tonight, a fascinating look into the mind and life of one of our greatest