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Getting Active

As the weather begins to warm up we become more aware of the need to move our bodies, to get outside and exercise and maybe shed a few pounds that the winter might have added. At this time of year I like nothing more than planting herbs and veggies for the coming months, foraging for foods that are coming up now like nettles, dandelions, chickweed and wild garlic and getting some much needed vitamin D on my skin. I am really pleased that where I live in Clare, was voted the most active town in Suffolk in November 2018, this award took into account all the amazing activities that go on here which encourage a healthier lifestyle for all such as my husband’s community yoga, pilates, tia chi, bounce, healthy walks and much more. I am proud that Suffolk’s smallest town is also its most active. But physical activity does more than just shed a few extra pounds and there are recent studies showing this. With more and more people living in built up areas, working inside and leading busy lives, many of us are disconnected from the rhythms of nature. According to The World Health Organization, inactivity is the 4th leading cause of death in the world. Dr William Bird, GP and CEO of Intellegent Health explains this science behind this: “ When we are inactive, small ‘batteries’ in the cells called mitochondria ‘charge up’, because the are not being used they leak ions or free radicals, which will eventually damage cells beyond repair. Damaged cells create a cascade of harm to other cells: this not only cause premature ageing, but can also lead to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, dementia, depression, arthritis and more.” What more reason do we need to get our bodies moving than that? To me one of the best things is being outside, in the sun with my kids, digging, planting, watering and collecting food and herbs. This fills me with such joy. We all feel so much better from having that connection to the earth and to our food. We don’t all have large spaces to grow and that doesn’t matter, even if you just have a few pots on a window sill this is better than nothing. If you don’t have a garden why not think about getting an allotment or joining forces with others to grow together. New studies show that the contact with the soil and nature as well as the exposure to the sun are very therapeutic on many levels, let alone the nutritional aspects of growing your own food, free from pesticides, freshly picked containing the highest amount of nutrients. For a Mother’s Day present I have asked for the Forager’s Calender book, which outlines all of the things we can forage throughout the year in the UK. So I will be busy picking and making tasty treats over the coming months to share with you all. Getting active doesn’t just have to be about gardening or foraging, it just happens to be one of my favourite things. Dr Chatterjee has some great simple exercises that can be done in the kitchen whilst cooking. The important thing is getting the body moving in whatever way you enjoy. If we can do things with joy in our heart it is even better for us.

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