Emma Bartley, as you know was one of only two girls selected to represent England, under 15’s, in the European Team Championships in Eindhoven . 19 countries competed. England beat Wales, Belgium, Russia and Hungary in their pool matches, Scotland in the quarter finals and Nederlands in the semi final.
England played Ireland in the final. One boy lost and one boy won for England meaning that it was all down to Emma in the final match. Obviously there was a lot of pressure on her shoulders but Emma played amazingly well and won 3-0 to bring the European title home for England.
We are so proud of Emma and thanks to everyone at Moreton Hall for their support.
When the health benefits of the Japanese practice of ‘forest bathing’ hit the headlines, we were reminded about the many health benefits of open water swimming.
Forest bathing is proven to lower heart rate and blood pressure, reduce stress hormone production, boost the immune system and improve overall feelings of wellbeing. So if you’re wondering whether to take the plunge , you might be interested to hear that swimming in open water promotes both physical and mental wellbeing in much the same way as a stroll through the trees.
From enhancing your happiness to boosting your immune system, open water swimming offers a variety of health benefits. Here is a magnificent seven reasons why you should go for a cold-water dip sometime soon…
The benefit: better sleep
When you swim outdoors, the cold water stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which is responsible for repairing the body. Stimulating the PNS promotes a feeling of relaxation, often with a sense of contentment, which should deliver a better night’s sleep.
The benefit: improves circulation
Whenever we become cold, blood rushes to our organs, making our hearts work a little bit harder, so every time you swim outdoors, the cold water helps to boost your circulation by pumping blood through your capillaries, arteries and veins.
The benefit: a natural high
You’ll know that immersing yourself in cold water – whether in the sea, the Serpentine or simply in the shower – can make your skin sting and take your breath away. To reduce the stinging sensation, your brain releases endorphins (which are painkillers produced by your body), which results in a feeling of wellbeing once you’re back on dry land.
The benefit: increases your metabolism
Swimming in cold water makes your body work harder to keep warm, which increases the number of calories you burn. The colder the water, the more energy your body will convert from fat to fire up your metabolism and keep your core temperature stable.
The benefit: boosts your immune system
A recent study in the Czech Republic revealed that immersing your body in cold water for an hour can shock the immune system and help produce more white blood cells and more antioxidants, which help to boost your immune system and reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.
The benefit: enhances happiness
Diving into cold water releases endorphins – the natural high that helps us fight depression. Our bodies also release dopamine and serotonin, which help us to feel happy, when we swim in cold water. Combine these benefits with a workout in the great outdoors, which has been proven to reduce stress and promote mental wellbeing, and you have a powerful way to keep inject some happiness into your day.
The benefit: it’s great for the skin
Cold water exfoliates the skin, flushing out impurities and making it smoother – which all adds up to you feeling better inside and out every time you swim outdoors.
For me personally, I’ve been plagued with a host of symptoms from sever mood swings, migraine to itchy dry skin – I’ve never suffered until recent years, so it was really disturbing to be raging with a temper, itching - feeling like it had nits all the time and having to put myself in a dark room to sleep – in the middle of the day!
Why was I suffering? Luckily as a leading Women’s Health, Wellness & Menopause Specialist I knew it was down to my hormones deciding to reek havoc and was able to adjust my hormone levels by changing my diet, exercise routine and begin a basic hormone treatment so my symptoms abated.
The month of May has seen an increase in menopausal awareness in the press and I’ve got to say most of it has been sooooo depressing! It doesn’t have to be – honestly! If you think negatively about what is going on you will feel miserable BUT there is so much we can do to help ourselves feel more positive about this next phase in our lives. Talking about it is great, but also being aware of positive, sensible and beneficial solutions is vital, and in Clinic I work with women to empower them to regain their vitality and freedom in our 3rd Age through my Meno-Vitality Programme which is available both in Clinic and on-line. The programme covers a range of really interesting subjects from lifestyle guidance, nutritional advice, smart metabolic exercising, happy hormonal advice and sleep hygiene to name but a few and it is a positive and fun learning experience with you and your longevity in mind.
Menopause is something that all women go through, most will transition naturally, however due to surgery or cancer treatment some women will have surgically induced menopause. The natural transition period into menopause is also called “peri-menopause” and it usually begins during our 40’s, sometimes women can feel the changes earlier. So lets not feel down, anxious and miserable, be positive and embrace this new life phase.
In clinic this past month I’ve helped many women with their symptoms and I’ve highlighted them below. For more information please visit my website www.delglynclinic.co.uk
If you have had migraines in the past they can become worse, however some women report that they cease all together. If you are like me and never suffered, they may begin which can be a sign of your hormone levels changing.
Oestrogen is very important at providing lubrication in your joints and can also reduce any inflammation in your joints. Low levels of oestrogen can lead to many of your joints feeling stiff and aching. Exercise and movement is vital and shouldn’t be avoided, we are designed to move, but maybe change your exercise programme.
It can be common to forget words, appointments, birthdays and even doing silly things like putting your car keys in the fridge! Oh yes I’ve done that once or twice myself! As funny as it may seem, it becomes frustratingly annoying and many women feel there are going into early dementia, which can be worrying and can really affect your ability to work and function. If this is you try using post it notes to jot things down so you can keep in control.
Hair and skin changes
Our skin tends to change through different stages in our lives, puberty, pregnancy, stressful events, but as you become older, the changes in your hormone levels can lead to additional changes to your skin. Oestrogen is important at building collagen, the protein that supports the structure of your skin. Lower levels of oestrogen can lead to skin changes such as reduced elasticity of your skin, dry skin, fine lines and wrinkling of the skin and your skin becoming thinner. Some women find their skin becomes itchier too. Acne and increased facial hair growth can occur during the menopause too.
Oestrogen is very important for your hair growth so you may notice that your hair becomes thinner and less glossy.
You may need to change your skin care, perfume and hair products, go for organic, paraben and toxic free versions if you can so they don’t irritate delicate skin.
Not all women experience mood swings but for other women they can be very disruptive to home and family life. They can be more common if you have had premenstrual syndrome in the past, but not always the case as I found. Try yoga or meditation to calm the nervous system or get out into the fresh air - go for a walk in the countryside or park.
Tiredness and poor sleep
Sometimes these symptoms can be related to disrupted nights’ sleep from the night sweats but many women find that they have more unsettled and less fulfilled nights’ sleep when they are peri-menopausal. Even if your sleep is not affected, you may find that you are more tired than normal during the day. Try cotton or bamboo underwear and night ware, cotton or bamboo bed linen and ditch the heavy duvet for a lighter weight one. Bamboo clothes and bed linen wick away the sweat so you are less likely to feel cold and wet.
Hope you find this article of interest and please visit my website for more positive menopausal tips and information on my courses, workshops and meno-vitality exercise classes. www.delglynclinic.co.uk
Stay positive, stay happy
My marathon journey has come to an end and this will be my final post.
This week has blown my mind with all the kind words thrown in my direction, It's been a pleasure to talk to all those who have asked and I have heard people have taken inspiration from this journey to pursue their own challenge.
so for one last time...
We are launching our Fine Not Fine - Young Peoples Mental Health: It's Everybody's Job on Saturday 18th May in Charter Square in Bury St Edmunds. Following the launch we have events in June, July and October. Find out more about our events at www.finenotfine.org.uk
Our Norfolk Coast walk from 25th -28th of June began as something that Izee & Hamie (Sash’s brothers) and I coukd do together to raise money for young people's mental health. It's clear that we are not alone in being frightened by the epidemic that surrounds us which is why so many people have asked to join us. There will be up to 20 people walking part or all of this path with us including friends of Sash, Izee and Hamie.
We have been inspired by the journey of my daughter + sister Sasha. She's a beautiful, creative and academically gifted young person whose symptoms of failing mental health were missed for too long. Fortunately, after nearly a year in various psychiatric inpatient units Sash is recovering. This is not the case for everyone we have come across so far.
Until our society is able to accept that (i) we are all vulnerable to poor mental health; (ii) we need to learn to spot the signs and seek help; (iii) even people as clever, gifted and talented as Sasha can be affected; then, nothing will change and our young people will continue to suffer.
We are taking action to:
Educate teachers, parents and carers to recognise the early signs of failing mental health
Empower young people to act by telling parents, teachers and carers when they see the signs of failing mental health in their peers
Campaign for the provision of health professional in schools and colleges to support teachers, parents and pupils by providing early intervention before poor mental health conditions become serious.