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Hello <<First Name>>  Rosemary Conley CBE

Up until 2016 I had happily trotted around in high heels every day since I was 15 when I left school. Suddenly I felt pain in the centre of my right foot and my GP referred me to a specialist for further investigation. It transpired that my 55 years of wearing high heels and 45 years of teaching exercise had finally caught up with me. I had serious arthritis in my feet.

Initially, pain-killers helped a little but I was determined not to give in to this cruel disease so I tried anything and everything I could think of to help relieve my pain so that I could still live an active life. This has included trying acupuncture, steroid injections, a TENS machine, orthotic supports in my shoes, and a combination of pain killers and supplements.  It has been quite a journey.

The good news is that, through trial and error, I have managed to find what works for me and I want to help others who may also be suffering. Because of this, and with the help of an orthopaedic surgeon and a neuro-physiotherapist, I have recorded several videos, including explaining what arthritis is and how to cope with it and how I manage my very arthritic feet today. Sadly, the stilettoes have gone but with the benefit of exercise and orthotics, paracetamol and supplements, I am now able to live a fully active and relatively pain-free life. 

Do my feet ever hurt? Yes - when I step out of bed every morning, for a few minutes, I walk around like an old lady while my feet ‘wake up’. But after going for an early 30 minute walk every day with the dogs, I am able to enjoy the rest of the day pain-free with the help of orthotics in my Skechers (smart trainers), paracetamol, and supplements such as turmeric, rose hip, glucosamine, and green lipped mussel.

If you or anyone you know suffers with arthritis, you may like to take a look at this selection of videos from the Health - Arthritis section of the website. What is Arthritis?  Coping with Arthritis, Arthritis and Exercise, My Journey with Arthritis, Orthotics – can they help?, Supplements – Can they help?, TENS machine.

To find out more about the Skechers I wear, take a look at our section on Ageing Well and click on Dress to Flatter your Figure to find Fashion Trainers

Recipe of the Week

HEALTHY COLESLAW

Shop bought coleslaw can be very high in fat and calories, so why not make your own? This easy-to- make recipe combines fresh vegetables with a mixture of store cupboard and natural ingredients for the dressing.




Serves 6
Prep time 5 minutes
per portion: 54 calories (approx.)

1 x large carrot peeled and grated
1 x red onion, peeled and chopped small
¼ x white cabbage, shredded
1 x courgette, grated

For the dressing:
2 tablespoons Heinz Salad Cream
200g 0% fat Live Yogurt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper - to taste
 

  1. Mix the salad cream and the live yogurt in a small mixing bowl.
  2. Place the grated carrot, courgette, chopped onion and shredded cabbage in a large bowl and mix well.
  3. Add freshly ground black pepper
  4. Finally, stir in the dressing and mix thoroughly. Keep refrigerated and use within two days.
For more recipes click here to visit the website
Fun, Facts & Fitness from Mary Morris MSc.

Our focus for this week is all about our joints and hearing Rosemary's story reminds me of how many similar stories I have heard over my many years of helping people to stay fit and active. 

Determination to stay as active as possible, despite the discomfort of a condition, is paramount if you are to maintain a good degree of mobility. Many of the workouts on this website are designed to help you do just that. 

As Rosemary suggested, watch the interview What is Arthritis? with Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Mr Maneesh Bhatia where he explains the condition. So many of the joints in the body can be affected by arthritis, right down to the wrists and fingers, but the advice is the same for all of them....KEEP THEM MOVING! 

To be honest, the chances are that most, if not all, of us will suffer some level of arthritis in one or more joints at some point in our life, particularly if we have been very active and sporty causing more wear and tear, or if there is a prevalence in your family. Carrying excess weight over a long period will also overload those weight-bearing joints of the hips, knees and spine leading to arthritis.

Thankfully with modern treatments such as joint replacements we can continue to lead a physically active and fulfilling life.  However, those replacements can sometimes be a long time coming and we often need to manage arthritic joints for quite a while before there is the offer of a replacement.  Here we show you that, with regular focus on the controlled and careful movement of your joints, you will suffer less pain and discomfort which will drastically improve your quality of life. 

Tips for Managing Arthritis:

  • Start any activity gently.  A thorough warm up is needed to fully 'oil' the joints.  Our Seated Warm Up is perfect as the whole emphasis is on moving the joints and raising the pulse rate gently.
     
  • Do Strength Exercises.  Strengthening the muscles around each joint is critical. These strength exercises ensure that the muscles surrounding each joint is able to fully support the joint.  Find the level of strength work that suits you best from Weeks 1 – 4 of The 28-Day Immunity Plan workout You can access the videos from the Boosting Immunity section of the website or buy the book from our online Shop.
     
  • Stretch the muscles. Stretching is crucial to allowing the joint its best range of movement which helps relieve the debilitating stiffness that arthritis causes.
     
  • Avoid High Impact Activity.  Protecting the joints rather than stressing them is important. Knowing how much pressure you can put on your joints is vital in managing the condition.  Arthritic knees should not go running for example but a good power walk may be just what they need!
     
  • Watch your weight. Carrying excess weight puts a greater burden on your body which in turn will increase your risk of arthritis in your joints. If you need to lose weight, shedding your excesses will help ease your joint pain and discomfort. Watch Rosemary's videos on Motivation to Lose Weight to see how to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

THIS WEEK’S FITNESS CHALLENGE

1.     Do as much of the Seated Chair Based Exercises Programme as you can manage 3 times this week.  Sitting on the chair relieves pressure on the knees and hips but ensures a full and challenging workout.  It includes the Seated Warm-Up for warming up the joints, raising your pulse rate with the Seated Aerobics and moderate Seated Strength exercises.  These workouts give you everything that you need!

2.     Do the Stretch Workout at least twice this week to increase your range of movement.

3.     Plan two longer walks this week, exceeding your usual distance but add in some rest periods.  This is ideal for arthritic joints.  After a short break you are up and ready to go again.  Perfect! On the other days, aim to do your usual 30-minute walk.

And Finally...

This week I received this delightful email. Teresa Urquhart kindly gave me permission to reproduce it here.  I think its message sums up everything we have said in this week’s Newsletter:

‘I have followed your diet advice and used your videos and DVDs since I was 40.  I am now 64 and unfortunately slipped on the ice and broke my hip this February.  Thanks to you I got out of my hospital bed without the aid of a hoist the day after my operation.  I did not need a walking frame and went straight to crutches. 

‘After seven weeks I was back to work in my home office.  After lots of physio and exercise I am not walking with a limp. 
 
‘I can only thank you for your great health and fitness advice.  The doctors in the hospital were surprised I was not on any medications.  Kind regards, Teresa Urquhart’
 
Have a great week.
 
With love and best wishes,

 
Rosemary Conley CBE DL

LIVE LONGER | LIVE HEALTHIER | LIVE HAPPIER

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