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This section looks at promoting healthy lifestyles to all sections of the community, whether you’re a fitness freak, a marathon runner or a 60 year old couch potato, this section is for you. I firmly believe that every single one of us can improve our fitness and quality of life given the right encouragement and information.
Sometimes too much information can be confusing, low fat diets, high fat diets, low carb diets, high carb diets, detox diets, cabbage soup diets, crash diets, the list is endless and how do you know which one is right for you? A lifetime of fad diets has taught me one thing – balance is the secret to a healthy life.


A balanced diet, combined with regular exercise can transform your life; age doesn’t have to be a barrier and you can keep the exercise to a level and intensity that is right for you. Whether you’re 15 or 75 you can still improve your quality of life with very little effort. In 1989 South African “Wally Hayward” completed the Comrades Ultra Marathon, a distance of 89km at the tender age of just 80. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that we should all take up running ultra marathons but merely suggesting that age is no barrier.

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Super Simple Exercise Tips

 By Verity Wright,

 How to Breathe Properly

One of the first questions I am asked from new runners is how to breathe properly whilst running. If you are one of the many people who have this problem, don’t worry it can be fixed quite easily.

The most common cause of being out of breath when running, which in some cases can lead to serious pain and/or panic, is that you could be running too fast too soon.

Why You Should Walk

If you are just starting out on your running journey then walk, allow yourself to be a beginner, especially if you haven’t exercised for a long time. Try and get into the regular habit of exercising, slowly develop your fitness, give your bones, muscles and tendons the foundations they will need to becoming a runner without injury; and this can be easily achieved by putting walk breaks into your running; don’t worry, walking is not cheating or quitting, it is vital as doing too much too soon could result in you not being able to run at all or you may become de-motivated and frustrated; being stuck in vicious cycle of going for a run, running too fast, feeling out of breath and out of control even after a short amount of running time which can result in you turning back home feeling rubbish and deflated. Walking puts the body through the same range of motion as running, but with less stress impact on the body and lungs, you may not be moving as fast but walking builds a good base for running, a good solid foundation to build the miles upon.

Adding walking breaks into your run and slowing your pace right down can make a big difference to your running, it may be the difference between you going out for 5 mins and giving up or going out for 20 mins and adding walk breaks, these walk breaks are giving your body the chance to recover and then go make your run more enjoyable so that you want to do it again. And if you see anyone you know whilst you are on your walking break, and to be honest this is when we usually see people, then just think to yourself, well they don't know that I haven't just finished a 20-mile training run!


Top Tips for Controlling Your Breathing

Warm up properly by walking briskly for 3-5 minutes. This allows your breathing to increase slowly and your diaphragm to adjust to a more vigorous breath, it also allows the nerves to calm down. • Start out slowly, even if you think you could walk faster, running slowly is still running, it is better to start slowly and finish strong.

Do your walk breaks before you become too breathless and panicky so that you are in control.  

• Once you’ve slowed your pace, breathing can become quite rhythmic so listen to your breath and body

• When running your oxygen consumption increases, so breathe through your mouth to get enough air in; your mouth opening is almost ten times larger than your nose opening, so more oxygen in.

• Like any muscle, it will take time to strengthen your breathing muscles so be patient.

• Avoid fatty foods or large meals right before your run and give yourself two hours to digest a meal, as food can play havoc on your stomach and diaphragm as you begin to breathe and bounce.

• Try not to tense up as this can cause you to hyperventilate causing you to breathe in shallow, quick breaths and then running doesn't become enjoyable so relax and slow it down.


Verity Wright is an Endurance Athlete entering events from 10k to 42k over country, roads, fells and mountains. If you want to know more, you can visit her website www.runverity.com

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