I've been wearing an anti-pollution mask around London

I've been wearing an anti-pollution mask around London

Today is Clean Air Day. I'm writing this article because too many of us do not breathe clean air. We suffer health problems and die too soon because we do not breathe clean air. That needs to change.

This is a topic that I've been talking about a lot lately, especially after the World Health Organisation released new data on air pollutionlast month, including stats like:

  • 9 out of 10 people worldwide breathe polluted air; and

  • Air pollution causes 1 in 9 deaths worldwide.

I was invited be part of a Channel 4 News feature to help raise awareness on how air pollution affects people with cystic fibrosis. You can see my (very short!) clip in this piece on the UK’s most polluted areas.

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Ten months on: "I quit my job. Now what?"

Ten months on: "I quit my job. Now what?"

Ten months ago, I quit my job to save my health. You can read more about why I did that in my article from October 2017.

Last month, I was featured talking about my career change in the latest issue of CF Life magazine from the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, so I thought now would be a great time to write an update on what has changed since I left a high-pressure, full-time job last summer.

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8 Reasons to Use a Menstrual Cup

8 Reasons to Use a Menstrual Cup

I’ve had a lot of conversations with my female friends lately about the benefits of using menstrual cups instead ‘conventional’ products at that time of month.

From the dozens of conversations I’ve had, I can tell you that the benefits of using a menstrual cup are pretty compelling, so I thought it was time I shared a little more information...

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Is lactose intolerance as common as you think? What it is, how to test + my lactose intolerance results

Is lactose intolerance as common as you think? What it is, how to test + my lactose intolerance results

I’ve written quite a lot about food intolerance since I’ve suffered with a lot of digestive issues myself and needed to control them to optimise my own health. While I gave an overview of types of food intolerance in this guide, I’ve not covered lactose intolerance specifically.

A lot of people seem to report lactose intolerance, but it actually seems to be commonly misunderstood. Did you know, for example, that lactose intolerance is thought to affect only around 5-16% of people in the UK? A far lower number than I often see being thrown around on social media.

Because of these kinds of misunderstandings, a lot of people self-diagnose or follow overly-restrictive diets.

There was a point in time where I suspected that I had issues digesting milk. I didn’t know if it was due to a milk protein, lactose, or perhaps something else in my diet entirely, that I happened to consume at the same time.

While I have tried to reduce my cow’s milk intake for sustainability reasons anyway, I felt it was important, from a health perspective, to better understand what could be negatively affecting my body. So, I took a lactose intolerance test.

This article draws from my own experience as well as research into exactly what lactose intolerance is, why the rates vary among different populations around the world, how you can test to see if you actually have it.

But before we get started, here’s a fun fact: when I was younger, I thought that ‘lactose intolerance’ was ‘like toast and tolerance’ and was some kind of idiom that I didn’t properly understand yet.

Thankfully, I understand it now. So here we go.

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What You Should Know About Antibiotic Resistance

What You Should Know About Antibiotic Resistance

There are few public health issues of greater importance than antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in terms of impact on our society. This is a global crisis. And no, I’m not being dramatic. I've been affected by it myself.

While this is an issue far bigger than any one of us, we do have some control over it, if we each take responsibility and act now. By educating ourselves, and sharing information with our friends and family (and anyone else that will listen!), we are playing an important role that shouldn’t be underestimated. 

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4 Must-Read Books for Better Health + Nutrition

4 Must-Read Books for Better Health + Nutrition

The main point I want to make with this article is that the vast majority of the information in these books should be common knowledge.

I can’t stress that enough.

It horrifies me to think that this incredibly valuable information is out there, pretty much for free, and yet some people are never exposed to it.

Here are 4 must-read books to help you improve your health + nutrition.

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The Need-To-Know on Your Pelvic Floor + How Elvie Helps You To Do Your Kegels

The Need-To-Know on Your Pelvic Floor + How Elvie Helps You To Do Your Kegels

Ladies, do you do pelvic floor exercises? 

Honestly?

I’m sure, like me, you’re aware of how important they are. Yet, also like me, when it comes to training these muscles, you’ll probably remember that they exist every fortnight or so, and exercise them by squeezing ‘down there’ how ever many times you deem useful (10, 15, 20 times?) before getting distracted by something else.

Needless to say, there are lots of things wrong with training your pelvic floor muscles in this way:  
* You don’t really know if you are squeezing the muscles correctly  
* You aren’t sure if you are squeezing for long enough, hard enough, or a many times as you should  
* You don’t have any way to measure your progress  
* It’s boring as hell, making it very easy to become distracted

Thankfully, some very clever ladies out there have designed a sleek little gadget and app called Elvie to overcome all of these problems.

But first, here's why doing kegels is important in the first place...

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The Complete Guide to Heart Rate Training

The Complete Guide to Heart Rate Training

Your heart rate (HR) is a useful measure of your activity level and training intensity when exercising. When your exercise intensity increases, your heart rate also increases to match the increased rate of energy expenditure and oxygen uptake. 

Heart rate can be expressed as the absolute number of beats per minute (bpm) or as a percentage of your maximum heart rate (% HRmax). 

Knowing your heart rate in bpm at any point in time may not be a very useful measure on it’s own. So, to put it in context, it’s a good idea to have some ideas of where you sit across other heart rate measures...

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The Science of Sleep: Optimising Sleep for Health + Recovery

The Science of Sleep: Optimising Sleep for Health + Recovery

Good health is achieved from the optimisation of the elements in the ‘health triangle’; a trinity of nutrition, training and sleep. While all of these elements work together, even the best training routine and nutrition programme cannot compensate for insufficient rest from good quality sleep.

Sleep duration and quality can affect many things, including muscle recovery and building, weight loss and maintenance, hormone levels that influence your overall health, athletic performance, and cognition. 

So, here's what you need to know about sleep, as well as a definitive list of all the ways (according to both sceience and my own experience) that you can induce and improve your sleep.
 

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