As soon as you’ve got one foot on the board and pushed off with the other, the aim is to get both feet on the board. If you think you can acclimatise by endlessly pushing off, you’ll just get faster and faster without any of the skills you need to slow down or change direction. You’re also not going to learn how to kickflip immediately – who knows, maybe not ever. The dream is to simply ride the skateboard. So you need to push off and not freak out that it is in motion. This is the fitness part. The only stabilising element with a moving board and two incompetent feet is your core: you need to brace yourself enough that you’re solid, but not so much that you’re really tense. … [Read more...] about Fit in my 40s: I thought I could use YouTube to learn skateboarding. I was wrong
There are 15 parks in all; if you have been to any, you’ll have a favourite (mine is the Peak District). You possibly haven’t been to them all, unless you’re methodically ticking them off. Originally, thinking of the health benefits, it was all about the air quality – a municipal park doesn’t compare: there simply are no other Yorkshire Dales. They have closed their visitor centres and landmarks, cancelled their events, but the wide open space isn’t going anywhere. … [Read more...] about Fit in my 40s: wildlife distractions aside, national parks are perfect for a workout
What does it promise? Nordic walkers burn around 50% more calories than their regular-walking counterparts. Its real appeal is that it can be adapted to meet personal needs: beginners can use Nordic Walking to deal with mobility problems, while more seasoned athletes can use it as a sports conditioning tool. … [Read more...] about Is it worth it? Nordic walking
I’m writing to you two months after you came out of hospital, still recovering from the pneumonia that put you in an intensive care unit and worryingly close to being put on a ventilator. (Purely to satisfy our curiosity, I hope by now you’ve found out if it was caused by Covid-19. Testing wasn’t yet in place; but now we know that many of the symptoms were odd for pneumonia, and quite typical for coronavirus. For instance, your oxygen levels were very low, but you didn’t feel breathless, something called happy or silent hypoxia. Don’t pretend you remember the technical term: even I had to look it up.) Already I have to try hard to remember what it was like to be so weak I could barely walk, so slurred in my speech that several doctors asked me if I “always spoke like that”. … [Read more...] about A letter to my post-lockdown self: ‘Keep listening to the birds’
Berriedale-Johnson happily admits that a couple of decades ago most of the free-from products on the market were "pretty inedible". Anyone who had to buy wheat or dairy-free in the 80s will remember being "treated" to bread with the same consistency and weight as a brick and soya milk that largely tasted of chalk. In 2013, the aforementioned big brands have now managed to deliver free-from products that aren't taste-free. And the proliferation of good quality dairy and wheat-free ingredients (take a bow, Dove's Farm) has led to a recent flourish of small, UK-based artisan free-from producers. … [Read more...] about Are ‘free-from’ diets really that good for you?