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Hello <<First Name>>  Rosemary Conley CBE

Having reached the first milestone on the Roadmap out of lockdown, it is such a joy to feel more confident as we venture out into the big wide world and into the Spring sunshine. With more and more of us getting vaccinated there is a real sense of optimism in the air and a glimpse of something approaching normality at the end of the tunnel.

Having survived the pandemic this far, what better time to consider our general health and wellbeing?

What can we do to keep us healthy? This week I am focussing on what action we can take to improve our chances of avoiding a stroke or heart attack as, by making some simple changes in our lifestyle, we can dramatically improve our circulation and heart health.

First, some statistics that might make you think:
  • Strokes cause around 34,000 deaths in the UK each year and are the biggest cause of severe disability.
  • Heart and circulatory diseases cause a staggering 25% of deaths in the UK – 160,000 people each year. To put that into perspective, that’s more than the number of people who have sadly died of COVID in the last 12 months.
  • There are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK each year. The survival rate is 1 in 10.

You can improve the chances of survival for anyone having a stroke or heart attack if you recognise the early signs and take immediate action. You can learn more from these videos from St John Ambulance.
Losing excess weight, eating healthily, and exercising regularly all help toward preventing us from suffering a stroke or coronary heart disease.

On our Stroke and Heart Health page, physiotherapist Judith Pitt-Brooke and neuro-physiotherapist JD Hylton explain what Strokes and Heart Attacks are, how to avoid becoming prone to them, and what can help us recover if we are unfortunate enough to suffer either of these major events.

Losing excess weight
Many of you have told me how successful you have been on The 28-Day Immunity Plan. Whilst not specifically designed as a ‘diet book’ I am hearing of weight losses from 7 – 20 lbs in the 28 days of the Plan. An extra bonus has been the sense of general well-being being experienced by those following it. You might like to watch the video where my Plan trialists talk about the health benefits they experienced. Click here to find it.

Eating healthily for your heart
Carrot & Coriander SoupEating healthily doesn’t have to be dull or complicated and eating low fat, particularly low in saturated fat, is great for your heart health. I am sure you will enjoy trying some more healthy recipes that I have prepared in my kitchen recently. My videos of how to make Carrot & Coriander Soup and how to prepare a Healthy Lunchtime Tuna Wrap are now available on the Recipe Page.
Weekly Fitness Challenge

This Week’s Challenge: Exercising for Heart Health

Aerobic exercise is any exercise that makes you breathe more deeply and works your heart and lungs harder. Going for a 30-minute walk every day is brilliant for your heart and extremely valuable in helping you become generally healthier, particularly if you can include a bit of a hill or incline on your route. However, walking doesn’t work your upper body so we need to include some different activities to do that.

Aerobic fitness: Ideally aim for a 30-minute walk every day (or two x 15 mins)

Aerobic Exercise: Join in with the short all-round Aerobic Exercises 1 workout

Seated Alternative 

Seated Aerobics: Join in with Mary on this chair-based workout

Because the aerobic workouts are quite short, try to do them on five days this week.

Strength Exercises:  Doing a strength workout in addition to aerobic exercises is really important. This week try the Leg Strengthener and Bottom Toner 3-4 times during the week

For those following Mary’s Immunity Plan Workout, we are now on Week 3. If you find this too tough, stick with Week 2 until you feel confident to progress to this more challenging level.

Click here to go to the Exercise page of the website for all the videos
I love getting your questions via our Ask Rosemary page and this week I had a request that took me back almost 40 years!
Slimobility Cassette TapeSlimobility was a fitness programme I created in the early ‘80s on audio cassette long before fitness videos and DVDs were invented. I commissioned Patrick Mower to do the narration on the recording which caused a bit of excitement at the time. The question came from a lady whose mum still has the box but has sadly lost the cassette and would love to get hold of a copy. Unfortunately, I don't even have one in my archive and so I am unable to help but if anyone has one lying around in a drawer somewhere I know a lady who would love to hear from you!

Recipe of the Week

Speaking of archives, here is another recipe from a while ago. It was featured in my Flat Stomach Plan book in 1994. Back then I wasn’t worried about calories and I just focused on the fat in food. I haven’t cooked it for years but I know Banana Bread suddenly became very popular at the beginning of lockdown because it is so easy to make and is a great way to use up ripe bananas. Here is my original recipe: 
BANANA CAKE (serves 8)

5 large ripe bananas, peeled.
2 eggs, beaten
150g brown sugar
100g sultanas
200g self-raising flour

Mash the bananas in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs, sugar and sultanas and mix in the flour carefully. Place in a non-stick 2lb loaf tin (or line it if not non-stick).
Bake for 1½ hours in a preheated oven at 180°C, 350°F or Gas 4.
Store in an airtight tin for 24 hours before serving. Suitable for freezing.

Do you feel you have aged during lockdown?

(And what can we do about it?)

Because we have had to live life differently over the last 12 months, as well as cope with the dangers of the pandemic, it is not surprising that many of us feel we are, perhaps, looking a little older.

For the past couple of weeks I've been sharing my Top Ten Tips to help you hold back the appearance of ageing via my social media accounts. I know many of you may have seen some if not all of these, but, if you are interested, they are all now available on the website. Click here to see them all.
If you are interested to follow me on social media you can find me on Facebook and Linkedin, and every evening on Twitter I post a fun daily fitness challenge!
As we say farewell to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh this weekend, I hope we will be inspired, among many other things, by his example of fitness and zest for life. I learned this week that apparently he did a set of strength exercises every day, even in his 99th year. I guess such discipline reminds us all that there really is no excuse for us not making an effort!

With love,
Rosemary Conley CBE DL


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