Tag Archives: health condition

Don’t let diabetes hold you back! Exercise your way to a better future.

Being physically active is beneficial for everyone, it helps to control weight, lower blood pressure, and helps to strengthen muscles.

For people living with diabetes, there are added benefits to being physically active, whether you’re able to go for a walk, run or swim. 

“Exercise lowers blood glucose levels and boosts your body’s sensitivity to insulin, countering insulin resistance.”

Harvard Health Publishing
Taking up a hobby like photography can help motivate you to get outside.

NHS England recommend that adults should

  • aim to be physically active every day. Any activity is better than none, and more is better still.
  • do strengthening activities that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms) on at least 2 days a week.
  • do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week.

Getting Started

Before getting started, there may be a few things to think about

  • What time do you have available each day for physical activity?
  • What activity or activities do you enjoy? Picking something you enjoy can help ensure you stick with it.

Things to remember

  • Don’t push yourself too hard, too fast. It’s no good running 5 miles the first day but then aching too much to exercise the rest of the week, you would be better going for a 10-minute run or walk each day.
  • Start as you mean to go on and remember to take rest days.

Activity Suggestions

Top 3 Exercises

  • Walking is the easiest exercise anyone can do. Walking can be done almost anywhere and you can walk on your own, with friends or with pets.

“Spending 30 minutes of brisk walking, five times each week is a great way to increase your physical activity. You can even break this 30 minutes down into 10-minute sessions three times a day.”

Cleveland Clinic
  • Swimming helps takes the pressure off your joints while stretching and relaxing your muscles.

“To get the most benefit from swimming, we recommend that you swim at least three times a week for at least ten minutes and gradually increase the length of the workout.”

Cleveland Clinic
  • Yoga helps to reduce stress levels while building strength and improving your balance and flexibility.

Yoga is also effective to improve blood glucose levels due to the improved muscle mass that comes with consistent Yoga practice. That’s not all; apparently, Yoga helps to lower body fat and fight insulin resistance too.”

Health and Body Tips
Listening to music can help keep you motivated, here’s a yoga playlist to get you started.

Other activity ideas

If you are not ready or are unable to do any of the above at first, then activities such as housework and gardening can also be a good workout. Any exercise is better than none and once you have built up strength, you can try new exercises.

Gardening is a great form of exercise and it can be a solitary activity or one the grandchildren can get involved in!

Information on glucose levels and weight management can be found here.

Eating for a healthy heart

What is Heart Disease?

“Heart disease includes conditions that narrow or block blood vessels (coronary heart disease). This can lead to a heart attack, angina and some strokes. Heart disease also covers conditions that affect your heart’s muscle, valves or cause abnormal rhythms (arrhythmias).”

British Heart Foundation

There are many different types and causes of heart disease. There are many factors that can put people at risk of heart disease.

Some of these include;

” – Age. Growing older increases your risk of damaged and narrowed arteries and a weakened or thickened heart muscle.

Sex. Men are generally at greater risk of heart disease. The risk for women increases after menopause.

Family History. A family history of heart disease increases your risk of coronary artery disease, especially if a parent developed it at an early age (before age 55 for a male relative, such as your brother or father, and 65 for a female relative, such as your mother or sister).”

Mayo Clinic

Poor lifestyle choices such as a diet full of sugar, salt and fat, smoking and a lack of physical activity can be contributing factors to developing heart disease.

While there is no cure for heart disease, it doesn’t all have to be doom and gloom there are some ways that you can prevent heart disease.

  • Being more physical
  • Improve your diet – cut out junk food
  • Quitting smoking
  • Having regular health screenings
  • Getting enough sleep

Further information about heart disease prevention can be found here.

Good food for helping/preventing heart disease?

There are many recommendations about what food is best to eat for preventing heart disease with the most common ones being fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean protein.

“A low-fat, high-fibre diet is recommended, which should include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables (5 portions a day) and whole grains.

You should limit the amount of salt you eat to no more than 6g (0.2oz) a day as too much salt will increase your blood pressure. 6g of salt is about 1 teaspoonful.”

NHS England

Eating more fresh fruit and vegetables can help with heart disease because many are low in calories and they contain vitamins and nutrients which help contribute to heart health.

Whole grains are a great source of fibre which can help control cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Whole grain foods include brown rice, wholegrain pasta, and wholegrain bread.

Healthy fats such as olive oil, avocados and fat-free or low-fat dairy products. If eaten in moderation healthy fat can help lower cholesterol and protect against strokes and heart attacks.

Lean Protein such eggs and lean ground meat or even oily fish like salmon can help lower cholesterol and contribute to your health overall.

Food to avoid can be found here.


Healthy Heart Recipes

10 heart healthy meals

Heart disease diet plan

Living with Heart Disease

“Living with a heart condition can mean coming to terms with what’s happened and how different aspects of your life may be affected.”

NHS Inform

Tips for living with heart disease can be found here.

There are thousands of reasons for gaining weight, but this one is really unexpected!

Not getting enough sleep can lead to gaining weight!

Extensive research shows:

  • People who sleep 6 hours a day gain more weight than those who sleep 7 hours a day, and those who sleep only 5 hours a day gain more weight than those who sleep 6 hours a day.
  • As long as the lack of sleep for 2 consecutive days, and the sleep time is less than two hours than usual, it can affect the weight.

You might say that after someone stays up all night in a row, they look haggard and disheveled. How can you explain this?

Not getting enough sleep will make you lose muscle


In fact, the weight lost by staying up all night is actually the precious muscles of the body, and it has not lost fat, and it will make it harder to lose weight in the future. If you want to gain more muscle, you might as well take a look here.

And after people stay up late, the secretion of appetite-related hormones will be affected, and they will become more craving high-calorie foods.


The usual saying that snooze and laziness will lead to weight gain means that too much sleep time takes up exercise time, and less activity will lead to weight gain.

However, if you sleep more, you can eat less, and you won’t necessarily get fat, but if you sleep less, you may overeating the next day and make you fat!

More unfortunately…

You can’t make up for lack of sleep

It's okay, just make up the next day's sleep.

too young, too simple, sometimes naive. 

Sleeping less than 7 hours a day can still be energetic. This is really just the talent of a few people.

If you stay up all night occasionally, it’s good to make up for your sleep, but if you stay up often, you can’t make up for your sleep.

Especially for many young people nowadays, for them, time is money, and many people even deliberately train themselves to be “sleepless elites,” thinking about drinking a few large cups of super-strong coffee during the day. (IS CAFFEINE GOOD OR BAD FOR YOU?

This unhealthy routine of work and rest has caused them:

getting fatter

Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep. No matter how you practice, lack of sleep means lack of sleep. Don’t deceive yourself.

Some people will ask,

Actually I want to sleep, but I can't sleep, what should I do?

Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome


Staying up late for a long time leads to irregular sleep, unable to control your own late sleep, etc. These conditions are classified as ” Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS)” in sleep medicine, which is a kind of sleep cycle disorder, rather than “staying up late”, it is more appropriate to say “irregular sleep”

Common irregular sleep injuries include:

  1. Short-term memory loss
  2. The decline in learning ability
  3. Endocrine system disorders
  4. Decreased immune system
  5. Increased risk of heart disease
  6. There is also research that irregular sleep can increase the risk of cancer

Let’s go back to the question just now. What if someone has insomnia and wants to sleep but can’t sleep?

Here are a few scientific methods to change the bad factors that affect sleep. But before, I want to make it clear: If the symptoms of insomnia seriously affect your life, you have to find a professional doctor.

Pay attention to sleep hygiene habits
  • The bedroom environment should be quiet and reduce the light.


  • Put down your mobile phone before going to bed.

睡前看手机或平板?快戒掉这个坏习惯- BBC 英伦网

Don’t let too many electronic light sources stimulate your vision.


  • Please abandon your late-night supper before going to bed.

Is Eating or Snacking Before Bed Okay? | UPMC HealthBeat

One hour before going to bed, be sure not to consume high-fat, high-calorie foods. Otherwise, after you fall asleep, your stomach is still overworked. Don’t blame it for “protesting” and wake you up in the middle of the night!


  • Give coffee and strong tea a limit of “don’t drink after lunch”.


Drinking such beverages as coffee and strong tea after noon can easily lead to overactive brain nerves at night. Next time before you can’t help but want to drink, please remember the late night when everyone sleeps and you wake up alone.


  • Maintain regular schedule

Regular sleep schedule likely benefits metabolic health


Leave your bed temporarily

If you can’t sleep in bed for 20-30 minutes, get up decisively and leave your bed and bedroom.

Go to the living room or study room to listen to some soothing music (the sound should be low), read a light book, and quietly say that it is a good choice to prepare a book that “is sleepy as soon as you open it.”


Note that you must leave the bed and wait until you are a little sleepy before going to bed. If you still cannot sleep, repeat the above steps after 20-30 minutes.

Don’t think this method is silly, stick to it for more than 4 weeks, there will be surprises!

In addition, yoga can also help you fall asleep better. How yoga can help you to sleep better? Click here and learn more.

Tonight, let’s go to bed early, wish you have a good dream, nighty night~

Need Inspiration to Get Moving Again? Look to Athletes who Battle Chronic Health Conditions

Everyone experiences setbacks in their fitness goals, but with a chronic illness, these hurdles can be much larger. For many, there will be times when their chronic illness may ‘win’.  There will be times when it feels like all odds are against them. But, with the right medical treatment, lifestyle, and exercise plan you could be your own success story. If you need inspiration after chronic illness has set you back, this is it.

You may be surprised that numerous professional athletes at the top of their game face chronic health conditions. Venus Williams is known worldwide for being a successful professional tennis player. But, did you know that she lives with a chronic illness?

Williams faces a condition called Sjögren’s, an autoimmune disease that causes issues including extensive dryness, such as of the eyes and mouth, as well as fatigue and chronic pain. Symptoms vary between individuals but can affect multiple different organs making it a challenging condition to live with.

Williams reported the difficulties of being an athlete with an autoimmune disease telling Women’s Health, “I literally had professional tennis taken away from me before I got the right diagnosis”.  Amazingly she didn’t give up, and when she found the right treatment and lifestyle, she bounced back making it into the top 5 in 2017.

Whether you’ve had to put down your racket or your slippers have replaced your running shoes, Williams’ comeback offers hope that you too can get back to the sport you love.

Person putting pills into a weekly medical planning storage device
Photo by Laurynas Mereckas on Unsplash

Another notable athlete living with a chronic health condition is former Manchester United football star, Darren Fletcher. Speaking to the BBC, Fletcher revealed how his diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis left him urgently needing to go to the toilet “10, 20, 30 times per day and losing a lot of blood”. This is due to the effect of Ulcerative Colitis, an autoimmune disease, where the immune system mistakingly attacks healthy cells in the colon. The wider effects on the body include anemia and fatigue, as well as problems with the joints and eyes.

Fletcher reported to the BBC how, for a period of time, he had to take a break from professional football. Amazingly, following successful surgeries, he was able to get back to playing again. The challenges faced by those with chronic illnesses are undeniably huge. But, a diagnosis does not necessarily mean the end of your ability to exercise, as proven by these inspirational athletes who bounced back against the odds.

Man holds arms up in victory
Photo by Japheth Mast on Unsplash

Now you’ve been inspired, but where to start? Consider a low-moderate intensity exercise plan that builds up slowly. A treadmill or exercise bike is ideal for rebuilding both stamina and strength from the comfort of your home, plus the wide range of settings empower you to take control of your workout. You’ve got this.

Remember, always consult your medical team before making any changes to your exercise routine or nutritional intake.

Find Out How To Successfully Manage Your Chronic Illness While At University

University is known to be difficult for any student. It is additionally challenging when you have to navigate university life with a chronic illness. This is how you can improve the way you manage your chronic illness while at university.

1. Find exercise that helps, not hinders.

Exercise has fantastic benefits, you don’t want to miss out by thinking it’s not for you. But, your chronic illness is unique to you, so you need to find ways to exercise that suit your body.

A common misconception is that exercise always wipes you out leaving you more fatigued, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Rather than pushing yourself to the max at the gym doing high-intensity workouts, work regular low-moderate exercise into your routine. Your body will find this easier to cope with, minimising the chance of feeling fatigued afterwards.

Even in a boxy university bedroom, you can start a low-moderate exercise plan. Student budget-friendly equipment, such as a yoga mat, resistance bands, and toning weights are all you need to get started. Youtube is a great tool to find free workouts that you can follow at your own pace.

Young woman performing simple yoga move in front of laptop following an online class
Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

Another excellent piece of equipment for those with a chronic illness is an exercise bike.  The wide range of resistance settings allows for a personalised approach to exercise. Plus, exercising from the comfort of your own home empowers you to set the pace, making exercise work for you.

Woman happy listening to music with earphones and smiling
Photo by Jackson Simmer on Unsplash

Top tip: Start your mornings right! Challenge yourself to a 10k on an exercise bike while you listen to music or catch up on a podcast. This will energise you for a day of university.

2. Check your nutrition.

Vitamins and minerals are nutrients your body needs in small amounts to work properly and stay healthy- NHS

Depending on which chronic illness you have, it may affect your nutrition. Whether you’re catching colds easily or feeling tired and run-down, you could have a nutritional deficiency.

If this sounds like you, the first step should be consulting your medical team. You can get simple blood tests and check your key nutrient levels, like iron and B12. If these are low, they can recommend a treatment such as tablets, intravenous infusions, or injections. This can set you back on the right track for living your best university life.

Wooden chopping board with various foods laid out, eggs, avocado, mushroom, tomatoes, herbs.
Photo by Katie Smith on Unsplash

If possible, also eat a balanced diet including a wide range of food groups and supplement this with nutrient-rich protein shakes. Top tip: When choosing one, check that the ingredients include the nutrients that you specifically need.

woman sitting on yoga mat holding a protein shake or smoothie and with weights on floor
Photo by Derick McKinney on Unsplash

Once you have improved your nutritional levels, you will hopefully start feeling more energised and be able to say ‘yes’ to more opportunities at university!

Group of young men smiling and laughing looking at their laptops
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash


Please consult your medical team before making changes to your exercise routine or nutritional intake, they can provide you with bespoke advice.