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One minute of weekly exercise provides health benefits to the elderly

New research has revealed that just one minute of exercise per week is enough to provide health benefits to people over the age of 65. The study, from Abertay University in Dundee, saw groups of 65 to 75-year-olds participate in either once or twice-weekly training sessions for a period of eight weeks. Each had been living a sedentary lifestyle and had not been taking part in regular exercise. The participants cycled on stationary bikes as hard as possible for six seconds before resting for at least a minute. They then repeated the process – which is known as sprint interval training (SIT) – until they had exercised for one minute.

Experts found that the once weekly session was enough to produce improvements in blood glucose control and general mobility. As people age, they lose the ability to take glucose out of their blood which results in insulin resistance. This can lead to Type 2 diabetes and problems with the heart and liver.

 

Dr John Babraj, who led the study, said: "While those participating in the twice-weekly sessions observed a greater improvement, those taking part in the single session also observed change. Importantly, they also observed a difference in general function, greatly improving their ability to do everyday tasks such as getting up to answer a door and walk up and down stairs. These are major issues for older people. As we lose physical function, we start to become socially isolated, and as we become socially isolated our quality of life declines significantly."

Can you take on the meat-free challenge?

Macmillan Cancer Support’s new fundraising campaign, Meat Free March, is asking people to give up meat for the month of March, with every penny raised going towards providing physical, financial and emotional support to people living with cancer. In order to help you during your challenge, there is a wide selection of veggie recipes from the likes of Fearne Cotton and the Body Coach, Joe Wicks, on the Macmillan website, along with fundraising tips, a countdown planner and ready-made social media posts and posters to download and encourage donations.

To find out more and register, visit meatfree.macmillan.org.uk

Did you know?

There are over 6,000 Fairtrade products from coffee and tea to flowers and gold, so when you shop, look for the FAIRTRADE mark. Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. This year’s Fairtrade Fortnight is taking place from 24 February to 8 March 2020 and the emphasis is on cocoa farmers in West Africa and their right to earn a living income. To become involved in the campaign and find out more, visit www.fairtrade.org.uk

Record growth continues for the organic market

The organic market continues to growth, increasing by 4.5 per cent in 2019 to reach a record £2.45 billion. This was just one of the findings that were revealed in Soil Association Certification’s annual Organic Market Report 2020. The report also revealed that £200 million a month is now spent on organic food and drink as the rise of the ‘conscious consumer’ sees shoppers making two more trips to buy organic than they did five years ago. Indeed the UK organic market is expected to be worth £2.5 billion by the end of 2020. The report shows growth across all areas, including supermarkets, home delivery, foodservice and independent retail, as demand for organic continues to increase across the UK. Independent retailers, the traditional high street home of organic, enjoyed a 6.5 per cent rise in sales of organic in 2019.

Clare McDermott, Business Development Director at Soil Association Certification, said: "With the climate crisis and British farming dominating the headlines, organic is more relevant than ever as a way for shoppers looking for simple choices to reduce their environmental impact. 2019 was another exciting year for organic and 2020 will be a tipping point where organic becomes the go-to choice for shoppers who want to have a sustainable shopping basket."

Brand co-owner’s charity pledge

The co-owner of a natural skincare brand has pledged to donate 10 per cent of sales from one of her key products to the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund in memory of her father who died from the disease.

Claudia Talsma, co-owner of Salcura, lost her father to pancreatic cancer in 2006 and has since organised a number of fundraising efforts in his memory, including running several 10k races in locations such as Florida, Verona and the Netherlands.

Now, Claudia is donating 10 per cent of sales of Salcura’s Bioskin Dermaspray Intensive to help raise funds for pancreatic cancer research. Each year around 10,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It has the lowest survival rate of all cancers – just five per cent of those diagnosed survive beyond five years. This figure has barely improved in 40 years. The Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund is dedicated exclusively to funding and promoting research into the disease.

To find out more, visit pcrf.org.uk/

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