If you have non-diabetic hyperglycaemia, you have raised blood glucose levels – but not in the diabetic range. Think of it as your body offering up a warning sign.
People with non-diabetic hyperglycaemia are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, as well as other cardiovascular conditions.
The growing number of people with diabetes could result in nearly 39,000 extra people suffering a heart attack in 2035, predictions show, and more than 50,000 experiencing a stroke.
Why care about pre-diabetes?
Just like type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes is largely preventable – or at the very least, you can slow it down. NHS chief executive Simon Stevens said people simply need to take “small, common-sense steps” to control their health.
“Unless many more of us make a change,” he continued, “obesity-related illnesses will end up costing hundreds of thousands more lives and billions of pounds in higher treatment costs.”
People can find out if they have non-diabetic hyperglycaemia through blood tests that determine the levels of glucose in their blood. There aren’t any symptoms, so you won’t know you have it unless you get a blood test.
How can it be prevented?
A key way to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, and pre-diabetes, is to manage your weight. If you’re overweight, losing just 5% of your body weight can significantly reduce your risk.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet can also help – a Mediterranean diet is a good place to start. Or, try a veggie or vegan diet.
Diabetes UK suggests aiming to eat foods with less saturated fat, salt and sugar, as well as at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Meanwhile, have fewer red and processed meats, refined carbs (white bread, pizza dough, pasta, pastries, white flour, white rice), sugary drinks and fries.
You should focus on becoming more active – find something you enjoy though, otherwise the chances of you sticking to it will be slim. A sedentary lifestyle is linked with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
The chief medical officer’s physical activity guidelines suggest that every week, adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity (brisk walking or cycling) or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity (running).
Chris Askew, chief executive at Diabetes UK, estimates more than half of all cases of type 2 diabetes − and the devastating complications it can lead to − could be prevented or delayed by making these changes.
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg shared a heartfelt moment on Saturday when a young boy asked the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor to help him come out to the world.
“Thank you for being so brave,” 9-year-old Zachary Ro wrote in a question read during the openly gay candidate’s rally in Denver. “Would you help me tell the world I’m gay, too? I want to be brave like you.”
Zachary, who reportedly attended the rally with his parents, then joined Buttigieg onstage and gave him a bracelet as the crowd responded with loud applause.
“I don’t think you need a lot of advice from me on bravery. You seem pretty strong,” Buttigieg told the child. “It took me a long time to figure out how to tell even my best friend that I was gay, let alone to go out there and tell the world. And to see you willing to come to terms with who you are in a room full of 1,000 people, thousands of people you’ve never met, that’s really something.”
The former mayor then told Zachary that he does have some tips for him “that might be useful.”
“The first thing is that it won’t always be easy, but that’s OK because you know who you are. And that’s really important, because when you know who you are, you have a center of gravity that can hold you together when all kinds of chaos is happening around you,” Buttigieg said.
“The second thing I want you to know is that you’ll never know who’s taking their lead from you, who’s watching you and deciding that they can be a little braver because you have been brave,” he continued.
Buttigieg came out in his 30s after he returned from deployment in Afghanistan and had already been elected mayor. The Indiana native told his coming-out story at a Democratic debate last year, marking the first time in US history that the public had heard a presidential candidate publicly talk about their coming-out experience.
“When I was trying to figure who I was, I was afraid that who I was might mean that I could never make a difference,” Buttigieg told Zachary. “And what wound up happening instead is that it’s a huge part of the difference I get to make. I never could’ve seen that coming. And you’ll never know who’s life you might be affecting right now just by standing here, right now. There’s a lot of power in that.”
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh recently made homophobic remarks about Buttigieg kissing his husband on the debate stage and questioned on his show how it would play out with voters if the former mayor is the presidential nominee.
“Well, I love my husband. I’m faithful to my husband,” the candidate told CNN of Chasten Buttigieg. “Onstage, we usually just go for a hug. But I love him very much, and I’m not going to take lectures on family values from the likes of Rush Limbaugh.”
Buttigieg said that while he can’t promise Zachary it will always be easy, “I can promise you that I’m gonna be rooting for you.” The two were then joined onstage by Chasten Buttigieg, who walked Zachary back to his parents.
“I think you’ve already got it together, so I’m excited to see what you’re going to do as a leader,” the former mayor told Zachary. “Just promise me you won’t run for president until after I’m done because I think you might be strong competition.”
Tesco has become the first UK supermarket to launch plasters in a diverse range of skin tones. The plasters come in dark, medium and light shades and will be available online and in store from Monday.
The supermarket said it developed the plasters after an employee saw a viral tweet in which a Black man said he was “holding back tears” at finding a plaster that matched his skin tone after 45 years.
Paulette Balson, chairwoman of the ‘BAME at Tesco’ network, said: “No UK supermarket had ever stocked plasters in a range of skin tones before and we saw this as an opportunity for Tesco to lead the charge and make a genuine difference.
“Through our research within the network, we know how emotive a product like this can be. For example, one colleague reported that their child had felt self-conscious wearing a plaster on their face to school recently, because it didn’t match their skin tone and stood out.”
To date, plasters or bandages in diverse skin tones have not been sold at a major UK supermarket, with just a small number of independent businesses selling them online.
HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Prices and availability subject to change.
All The Gear, No Idea is a regular series from HuffPost Finds where we feature product recommendations for parents, by parents.
There’s not much more baffling when you’re preparing to become a parent for the first time than pram paraphernalia.
And if you’re anything like I was – seven years ago, with a tiny, squirming new baby – you’ll soon realise that you don’t just need a pram, at all. You need a pram that fits a carrycot and a car seat… in one.
As I soon learned, it’s much easier to move your sleeping baby from the pram to the car while keeping them in their car seat, rather than having to pick them up to transfer them to the car. That way, screaming lies. Shudder.
Travel systems might be more expensive than a stroller or single pram (and if you can beg, steal or borrow the components separately, then do so), but if you’re looking for a new purchase, then go for an all-in-one. Trust me.
They work like this: you have a pushchair chassis (ideally compact, study and lightweight) that can hold either a carrycot or the pushchair’s standard, forward-facing seat.
There will usually be adaptors included (or sold separately) to fit a rear-facing car seat, too – and all three can be changed around at the click of a button.
Sometimes the car seat is included in the price of the travel system, but most simply include the adaptors to fit the most commonly-known brands, such as Maxi Cosi or Britax (meaning you can use it with a second-hand or borrowed car seat to save money).
Here are the best of the bunch, as recommended by HuffPost readers who’ve been there.
This complete Baby Jogger travel system can be used from birth. It comes with a compact carrycot, a City Go i-Size car seat and adaptors, allowing you to change easily from car to stroller. It comes with a lifetime frame warranty and a one-year textiles warranty, too.
Review: Lucy Tran, mum of two
“The Baby Jogger pushchair collapses in one quick easy movement and can be used from birth. It has a carrycot and a normal pram attachment, and you can also use it with a car seat. It’s very sturdy. I’ve used it every day for five years! It’s been on loads of long-haul flights and is still as strong as ever. It’s medium range price, too, so excellent value for money.”
Bought new, Bugaboo comes with a three-year warranty. This version includes two pushchairs (each 74cm wide), which weigh 15kg. It folds down in one piece, and the seats are designed to hold infants weighing up to 22kg per seat. There’s a roomy storage basket under the seats that can hold up to 28 litres (10kg). Adaptors are compatible with Chicco, Britax-Romer and Maxi Cosi car seats.
Review: Hannah Hearne, mum of three
“I love it! You buy an adapter and can slot car seats in. You can buy a single or double adapter, so you can have one or two car seats at the same time. It looks huge, but it’s really easy to manoeuvre – so much easier than the single Britax I had for baby number one. The downsides are that it’s wide, and sometimes you struggle to get through doors, so I spend a lot of time telling people off for their premises not being accessible! But I’m still using it and the twins are two-and-a-half, now.”
This doesn’t come with a car seat included but can be adapted to fit Maxi Cosi, Kiddy and Cybex car seats on the same chassis. The carrycot and seat unit are available from birth and can fit infants up to 25kg. The carrycot can also be used for overnight sleeping, meaning you’ll be saving on the cost of a Moses basket. It also includes a matching rain cover, cup holder and mosquito net.
Review: Sian Kneller, mum of one
“I had an ABC Design travel system – the Turbo 6 – and found it solid and well-made and easy to fold down. They look elegant and have good storage capacity, such as a basket and clips for a changing bag. I never see it on any comparison sites – maybe because it’s a German brand.”
*The Turbo 6 is no longer available, but we checked the specifications and found them comparable to this model by the same manufacturer.
This is the only car seat in the world with integrated wheels. The Doona goes from seat to stroller in seconds. It’s suitable from birth until 13kg. This version comes with a free rain cover, worth £24.99. We’ve never seen a product like this before – and couldn’t stop watching this video.
Review: Holly Whiteford, mum of one
“The Doona was the best thing I’ve ever bought. My son is too big for it now and I miss it every single day! It just made everything so much easier. I never had to get the pram out of the car when I was quickly popping to the shops or doing the school run, and I didn’t have to transfer my sleeping son from car seat to pram. I would recommended it to every new mum!”
The Stokke stroller looks different to any other on the market – because of its height. The idea, the manufacturers say, is to raise your baby higher “to promote eye contact and connection”, which we love. Suitable from birth, the Stokke is a travel system when combined with the additional Stokke Xplory carrycot (£125, buy it here) or the Stokke® iZi Go™ X1 car seat by BeSafe® (£229, buy it here) – which can be used without need for extra adaptors. Or, you can buy the adaptors as accessories for use with other car seat models, such as the Chicco (£42, buy it here).
Review: Laura Johns, mum of two
“The Stokke is more expensive than other travel systems, but as soon as I saw it, I fell in love with it. It’s slim and sleek and you can easily take it into shops without worrying you’re going to knock everything over! I’ve used it for both children and found having conversations with them while they were in it really easy, because they were almost at my eye level.”
If you like going off-road, this might just be the travel system for you. It’s touted as an “all-rounder for parents who want flexibility” – and promises a one-hand fast fold, a conveniently located hand-braking system, rear wheel suspension and 12-inch air-filled tyres. This package comes with the ‘Protect Car Seat and Carrycot’, as well as car seat adaptors, a shopping basket, storage pockets and a bottle holder. It has a warranty for up to three years.
Review: Carla Pedonomou, mum of four
“I love the Mountain Buggy because it’s great for taking the kids to school and for taking the dog for a walk. It has inflated wheels and is excellent for the forest. We live right by the woods and we’re always in there.”
The iCandy is aimed at urban parents, because it’s lightweight (just 6.6kg), compact and nimble – perfect for nipping in and out of busy streets. The pushchair is light and easily foldable, and comes in a 3-in-1 design to adapt to a car seat, a carrycot and a reversible seat position. The reclinable seat can also be adjusted to three different positions: to sit the baby up straight when awake, recline when relaxed or lie flat when asleep. The baby faces the parent and there’s a concealed storage pod which holds weight up to 5kg. There’s an optional Raspberry Universal carrycot(sold separately for £180, buy it here). Car seat adaptors are sold separately and the iCandy fits a range of car seats, including Maxi Cosi, BeSafe and Kiddy Evolution. It comes with a five-year guarantee.
Review: Matt Thomas, dad of one
“We chose it because it was lightweight and narrow (it fits through the tube barriers, not just the big gates), and we could use it with a car seat. It says you can use the buggy from newborn with a special pod, but I’m glad we bought the pram attachment which was nice and cosy. I like the fact it’s so manoeuvrable. There’s no bar, so the baby feels a bit out in the open sometimes, but there are other plus points – like a giant basket. We bring nets of logs home in it for the fire.”
The BABYZEN YOYO+ is described as a “one pocket-rocker travel system”, eliminating the need for multiple strollers. Ideal for everything from everyday errands, to travelling by car, bus, train or plane. To use the YOYO+ from birth you’ll need to purchase the BABYZEN YOYO+ Newborn Pack (including carry-cot, sold separately for £190, buy it here). There’s also a coordinating car seat: the BABYZEN iZi Go Modular by BeSafe (sold separately for £240, including adapters, buy it here) – which you can connect to the stroller frame in just two clicks. If you want to use the pram chassis with other car seats – such as Maxi Cosi, BeSafe and Cybex – you’ll need these adaptors (sold separately for £53.96, buy it here).
Review: Sarah Williams, mum of one
“I absolutely love the Babyzen Yoyo. It’s my first baby and he’s very active. The Babyzen is perfect for him as it’s light and compact and I can get him in and out of it easily. It can go on the plane as hand luggage because it’s so small – which was handy on a recent long-haul trip to South Africa, as we could take it through the gate and on to the plane with us. It’s not hugely expensive. The only downside is that it’s not brilliant off-road.”
Siannise and Luke T came in second place, while Luke M and Demi came in third place and Jess and Ched were fourth.
Earlier in the programme, Finn – a semi-professional footballer from Milton Keynes – had declared his love for Paige as the finalists made their declarations of love for each other.
Breaking down in tears in the pre-recorded segment, he said: “Paigey, I want you to know I love you.”
Paige, a singer from West Lothian who previously dated chart-topping star Lewis Capaldi, told him: “You brought out a side to me that no-one has ever seen.”
The final episode of the winter series of Love Island came just over a week after former Love Island host Caroline Flack died at the age of 40.
An emotional Laura paid tribute to the presenter earlier in the live final, held in Cape Town, South Africa, telling viewers that it has been “extremely difficult coming to terms with the loss of our friend and colleague Caroline”.
She added: “We’re thinking of her family and everyone who knew her at this time.
“Caroline loved Love Island, she loved love, and that’s why tonight’s final is dedicated to her.”
A montage of footage from Caroline’s time hosting Love Island and companion show Aftersun since 2015 was played.
An ITV spokeswoman confirmed earlier on Sunday that the finalists had been told of her death off camera before the live final.
Ahead of the episode, Laura had tweeted a thanks to her boyfriend, Love Island narrator Iain Stirling, “for a brilliant series and helping me every step of the way”.
She added: “Tonight’s show is dedicated to Caroline.”
The final of Love Island tonight at 9pm. Big up to @IainDoesJokes for a brilliant series and helping me every step of the way. Tonight’s show is dedicated to Caroline ❤️
It said it had reprimanded the people responsible for the earlier announcement that healthy people would be allowed to leave if they had vital business.
The earlier announcement came amid signs that the spread of the virus in China was slowing, with more than 20 province-level jurisdictions reporting zero new infections on Sunday and several regions lowering their emergency response levels.
Wuhan, where the virus is believed to have originated, has been under lockdown for a month. It reported 348 new infections on Sunday, and 131 deaths.
The city alone has seen an accumulated 46,607 cases of infection, amounting to around 60% of China’s national total.
South Korea’s fourth-largest city Daegu grew increasingly isolated as the number of infections there increased rapidly, with Asiana Airlines and Korean Air suspending flights to the city until March 9 and March 28 respectively.
“If we cannot block the spread in the Daegu region in an effective way, there are high possibilities it would lead to a nationwide transmission,” Vice Health Minister Kim Kang-lip told reporters.
In Europe, French Health Minister Olivier Veran said he would talk to his European counterparts soon to discuss how best to cope with a possible epidemic in Europe, after Italy reported a third death from the flu-like virus and 150 infections, from just three before Friday.
“Tonight, there is no epidemic in France. But there is a problematic situation at the door, in Italy, that we are watching with great attention,” Veran told a news conference.
In mainland China, where the virus originated late last year, more than 20 province-level jurisdictions including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as provinces such as Henan and Anhui, reported zero infections, the most since the outbreak began.
China President Xi Jinping urged businesses to get back to work though he said the epidemic was still “severe and complex, and prevention and control work is in the most difficult and critical stage”.
Yunnan, Guangdong, Shanxi and Guizhou provinces lowered their coronavirus emergency response measures from the most serious level, joining the provinces of Gansu and Liaoning to relax restrictions on movements.
Excluding Wuhan, mainland China reported 11 new cases of coronavirus, the lowest number since the national health authority started publishing nationwide figures on January 20.
The virus has infected nearly 77,000 people and killed more than 2,500 in China, mostly in Wuhan.
Italy sealed off the worst-affected towns and banned public gatherings in much of the north, including halting the carnival in Venice, where there were two cases, to try to contain the biggest outbreak in Europe.
Austria suspended train services over the Alps from Italy for about four hours after two travellers showed symptoms of fever. The train carrying about 300 passengers from Venice, Italy, to Munich in Germany was allowed to continue after the two tested negative for the new coronavirus.
Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said a coronavirus task force would meet on Monday to discuss whether to introduce border controls with Italy.
Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been exploiting prison labor to make calls on behalf of his campaign, The Intercept reported on Wednesday.
The Bloomberg campaign contracted a call center company named ProCom through a third-party vendor to conduct the calls, according to the report. ProCom operates call centers in New Jersey and Oklahoma, and two of its Oklahoma centers operate out of prisons.
A source told The Intercept that some people incarcerated at the Dr. Eddie Warrior Correctional Center, a minimum-security women’s prison in Oklahoma that houses one of the call centers, have made calls for the Bloomberg 2020 campaign.
“The people were required to end their calls by disclosing that the calls were paid for by the Bloomberg campaign,” reporter John Washington wrote. “They did not disclose, however, that they were calling from behind bars.”
Bloomberg confirmed the report in a statement Tuesday but said he knew nothing about prison laborers being used to make calls on his behalf. He said he “immediately” ended the campaign’s relationship with ProCom and the vendor that acquired their services.
Hypnobirthing is basically a pre-birth preparation that tries to give pregnant women a positive view of birth – as well as a belief that it doesn’t have to be painful, states the National Childbirth Trust (NCT). The aim is a shorter, more comfortable labour, with less need for intervention. And the practice teaches women that pain is a fear response you can avoid by learning the right techniques. It’s usually taught face-to-face in classes – either over five to eight weekly sessions, or two longer daytime sessions. It can also be taught online.
Katharine Graves, a hypnobirthing teacher who trained midwives at the Lindo Wing, where the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth, has been teaching the practice for 15 years – usually delivering classes over a two-day period. She says combatting the fear of mothers-to-be is the main objective.
“As soon as a bump shows, you’re told horror stories,” she says. “You see traumatic births in the movies – fear is everywhere. We have limited resources in our hospitals and birth can often feel like a conveyor belt, with women put under huge pressure to be induced. They’re not told of the alternatives. Hypnobirthing gives you alternatives.”
A common misconception about hypnobirthing is that women lose control of their thoughts and actions in a hypnotic state, the NCT says. “In fact, women who learn hypnobirthing use it to be less aware of external stimuli. They also learn to have a more focused attention and responsiveness to verbal or non-verbal suggestions. The idea is that these suggestions might make her feel safer, more relaxed and comfortable, and give her some relief from her pain.”
Mum-of-three Siobhan Miller had a positive experience of hypnobirthing – and later went on to become a teacher. Common techniques women learn, she explains, include an introduction to the science and biology around labour and birth, followed by relaxation exercises – such as breathing in for four, and out for eight, in blocks of four – throughout a contraction.
There is also mindfulness involved, guided meditation, ‘light touch massage’ which can be done by a partner, and information on induction and intervention. Women are encouraged to make simple decision-making frameworks, weighing up the benefits and risks. They’re also taught what to expect from labour and how to deal with additional challenges, such as haemorrhaging.
So, does it really work?
Zeenath Uddin, head of quality and safety at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) says there is evidence that women feel more “confident, relaxed, less fearful, focused, and more in control when using hypnobirthing” – but it’s important the technique is taught by competent practitioners.
“Many midwives are qualified and trained to do this,” Uddin says. “What is most important is women are getting all the available information when it comes to pain control and birthing techniques so they can make an informed choice that is right for them. We do know that for many women who use hypnobirthing it works and enables them to manage their pain in labour quite effectively.”
Miller, who founded The Positive Birth Company and has written a book about the benefits of hypnobirthing, can also attest to the benefits. She had her first baby when she was 21. It was a long process, involving a cascade of intervention – and she suffered from postnatal anxiety for a year after. When she fell pregnant again, seven years later, she thought there had to be a better way. She was doing a Masters degree in psychology, and was interested in the power of the mind. So, she went on a two-day hypnobirthing course.
“It’s very common for women who’ve experienced birth trauma to seek control… so I went on to plan a home birth with my second child, and used the techniques I’d learned through hypnobirthing,” she says. “It was life-changing. It lasted just two hours 20 minutes. I felt euphoric when he was born – elated, capable, strong and empowered – and my sense of confidence carried on. I felt like I could do anything, simply because I gave birth on the sofa!”
After she trained as a teacher, Miller offered an online hypnobirthing course. In the first month, she says 15,000 women signed up. “It was overwhelming,” Miller says. “But it just went to show how many women wanted something different to help them take back control of their birth experience.”
Miller believes the techniques can also be used by women having surgery – “If you’re having a C-section, these are techniques that can help you feel calm and grounded and confident. You can even have your own music playing, but lots of women don’t know that. As the saying goes: ‘If you don’t know your options, you don’t have any.’”
Lots of women share their positive stories of hypnobirthing – but it doesn’t work for everyone. The NCT says there can be a difference between what you expect to, or hope, will happen during labour and the reality of your birth experience. It can also take time to learn about hypnobirthing, practise it and master the breathing, visualisation and self-hypnosis techniques.
London-based mum Nicola has previously blogged about it not working for her. Despite being a “huge advocate of hypnobirthing during [her] pregnancy”, and reciting the affirmations “word for word” by the time she was 40 weeks pregnant, things didn’t go to plan.
“The line that was ringing in my ears the whole way through, the line that ‘empowered’ me to refuse the stretch and sweeps and induction was: ‘my body and baby know what to do’,” she wrote on her blog. “I had listened to it twice a day for months, I believed it. I can now confirm neither my body nor the baby knew how to get things started!”
Hear the word “posture” and you’ll instinctively pull your shoulders back and stand a few centimetres taller. It’s a reflex reaction, like when someone talks about head lice and you immediately want to scratch. But can you improve your posture by default, not just when you’re reminded?
Margo’s simple trick for sitting better is “BBC”, which stands for “bum back (in) chair”. Remembering this should stop you slumping forwards or to one side as frequently.
Ciaran Keen, an osteopath at The Centre for Health and Human Performance, adds that if your job requires long stints of sitting, being a fidget isn’t always a bad thing. “Adopting the same posture day in, day out can overstretch muscles and ligaments around the spine, which means muscles have to work harder than usual,” he says. This can result in the typical “tight shoulder feeling” if the chin is constantly forward.
“Changing position frequently allows different joints, ligaments and muscles to take the load off your body,” he says.
If you have a desk job, Keen advises sitting close to the table with your screen at eye level and your mid-back supported.
“This helps keep the chin more tucked so the levator scapulae [muscle at the back and side of neck] and upper traps [upper back muscles] are less overstretched, which are the main culprits for upper back and shoulder tension,” he says.
For those who have multiple screens, aim to use them equally or switch the one you rely on every week to give your neck a break from looking in a certain direction, he adds.
Both Margo and Keen also recommend switching between standing and sitting throughout the day if you have access to a standing desk or work shelf. The key message is to keep moving.
Technology is often blamed for our sedentary lifestyles, but if used smartly, it can actually improve our posture by encouraging us to move around more, says Margo. “Instead of typing, I use more dictation software now,” she says. ”Even just using Siri instead of typing can mean you’re more able to move around.”
Mobile phones are just that, mobile. “They are designed to be moved around, so why aren’t we walking and talking more? Every time you’re on a phone call that doesn’t require you to write anything down, get up and move .”
You can also purchase apps that have been designed to improve posture. Margo recommends Upright – it comes with a small device you attach to your back, which connects to your phone. This device vibrates each time you slouch. Alternatively, you can turn off the vibrate function, but review a summary of your posture at the end of the day – and the results can be eye-opening.
Upright devices cost upwards of £69.99, though, so for a cheaper option, Margo advises looking out for flat walls. Whenever she sees a wall, she stands up against it – whether she’s chatting to friends or clients. “Put your heels up against the skirting board and line yourself up against the wall,” she says. “It’s quite shocking how quickly that makes you realise that you’re actually walking around slumping.”
When walking about, Margo recommends adopting a posture she’s named ‘The Prince Charles’.
“Interlink your fingers behind your back and walk around – like Prince Charles does with his hands behind his back,” she explains. “It really opens up your chest.”
Switching up your shoes can also improve your posture by ensuring you’re not in one fixed position.
“Low shoes all the time are bad and high shoes all the time are bad, doing a blend of both is a good thing,” Margo says. “That might mean walking to work in your trainers and doing the working day in a shoe with a slightly higher heel.”
If you find yourself standing fairly still for a long time, such as in a queue or in a job like hairdressing, Margo advises being mindful of where you’re taking your weight.
“Bad posture often happens when you’re taking your weight through the front of your feet,” she explains. “You want to bring your weight back into your mid-foot, just in front of your ankles. That’s where the load should be travelling down.”
How you sleep will impact your posture, so it’s important to find a position that enables you to drift off, but also feels supported. Our bodies are different, so there’s no “set way” to sleep for better posture, says Margo, but the majority of people will find sleeping on their side most comfortable.
“If you wake up with aches and pains, or you’re a bit stiff in the morning, that’s a sign things aren’t right,” she adds.
Mattresses can lose their firmness and fail to support your body properly after around eight years, so Margo advises investing in a new one if you’ve had yours for a while. Another fast solution can be to try sleeping with a pillow between your legs to raise your hips more comfortably.
If you start the morning pain-free, you’ll be more inclined to keep active throughout the day.
Working as an NHS nurse, there’s never a dull moment. Every day the ward throws up new challenges, each requiring buckets of compassion, hard work and a thick skin. The toughest challenge I face, however, is living in constant fear of losing a job that I love because of something I can do nothing about.
I have severe asthma, the most serious and life-threatening form of the condition, which affects around 200,000 people in the UK, putting many in a never-ending cycle of emergency trips to hospital. Over the years I have missed precious moments like Christmases, birthdays, New Years and holidays because I’ve been in hospital, rigged up to dozens of tubes to help me breathe.
Juggling a chronic condition, a demanding job as a nurse and trying to dodge the minefield of asthma triggers on the ward really tests your mettle. Strong cleaning products, cold and flu viruses and stress can all cause my asthma symptoms to flare up or even trigger a life-threatening asthma attack.
At my worst I can barely walk to the local corner shop… but I often forced myself to work.
A couple of years ago, asthma nearly cost me my job. Six months in, I was being hospitalised every 6-8 weeks because of asthma attacks. I think my determination not to be seen as ill worked against me. At my worst I can barely walk to the local corner shop down the road to pick up some milk or the pharmacy to collect my prescription, but I often forced myself to work when in reality I’m struggling to put on a brave face. I worried about being seen as flaky and was afraid of putting extra pressure on the team if I went off sick. It’s also no secret that the NHS is under a huge amount of strain. We’re so constantly short-staffed, anyone off sick has a big impact on the team.
That concern means I used to put my own health at risk by not using my inhaler at work. The fear of being judged by those around me made me hold out sometimes until the end of the day. Research shows I’m not the only one; feeling guilt, shame and embarrassment for using inhalers at work is widespread.
The frequency of my hospital admissions and appointments caused a couple of raised eyebrows, especially amongst management, who weren’t the most sympathetic towards my situation. They questioned whether I was really that ill and said to me that “asthma doesn’t make people this sick.” You’d think hospital staff of all people would understand. Yet no-one believed that I was genuinely sick.
It was only with union support that I was able to keep my job. I really hated involving the union, worried that escalating things would make things worse. But thankfully I am now working in a job where I have an incredible manager who is willing to take the time to understand my condition and help me make the adjustments I need. I don’t do as much hands-on patient care, which has helped massively, and if I’m having a difficult day with my symptoms I take more time working at the desk. Now, I even feel comfortable having open and frank discussions with my manager about how I’m managing my illness.
The shocking truth is stories like mine prove asthma is still so misunderstood. People are shocked when I tell them that three people every day lose their lives because of the condition.
While my job situation has improved, my health is still an ongoing battle. I still have ‘off days’ – in the last two years I have been admitted to hospital 12 times – but having open conversations with my manager about my condition and how it impacts my life and triggers has made the world of difference.
While my job situation has improved, my health is still an ongoing battle…
Asthma UK estimate one in nine adults with asthma say they have lost their job or were worried about losing their job because of their asthma. More than a third of respondents have had an asthma attack at work, and one in ten had been disciplined or been given a warning at work because of their asthma. That means there are lots more people, just like me, who don’t tell their bosses about their asthma. To us, doing so runs the risk of impacting our career prospects. I still worry about my future.
But it’s important to know it’s not all doom and gloom. Some organisations are doing great work to support people with chronic illnesses like mine. Even something as simple things like having a go-to trusted colleague who knows about your condition and what things trigger your symptoms can feel like a huge weight off your shoulders.
With the right understanding and support there is no reason why any of the millions of us living with these conditions can’t have a fulfilling job where we can contribute at the same level and, more importantly, are seen as equal to our peers.
Sarah is a NHS nurse, writing under a pseudonym. Asthma UK have created a bespoke newsletter that brings together advice for employers across different sectors, ensuring people have advice on how to manage asthma risks to employees in the workplace. For more information, visit: asthma.org.uk/employers
A self-styled daredevil who wanted to fly to the edge of outer space to see if the Earth is flat has died after his homemade rocket crashed.
‘Mad’ Mike Hughes was killed on Saturday after blasting off into the desert sky before plunging back down to the ground near Barstow in California.
The American believed the world is flat, and has said his goal was to fly to the edge of outer space and see for himself.
The Science Channel said on Twitter it had been chronicling Hughes’s journey and that “thoughts & prayers go out to his family & friends during this difficult time”.
“It was always his dream to do this launch,” the Twitter message said.
A video on TMZ.com shows the rocket taking off, with what appears to be a parachute tearing off during the launch.
The steam-powered rocket streaks upwards, then takes around 10 seconds to fall straight back to earth. Shrieks can be heard as the rocket ploughs into the desert.
Michael ‘Mad Mike’ Hughes tragically passed away today during an attempt to launch his homemade rocket. Our thoughts & prayers go out to his family & friends during this difficult time. It was always his dream to do this launch & Science Channel was there to chronicle his journey pic.twitter.com/GxwjpVf2md
Freelance journalist Justin Chapman, who was at the scene, said the rocket appeared to rub against the launch apparatus, which might have caused the mishap with the parachute.
In March 2018, Hughes propelled himself about 1,875 feet (570 metres) into the air. He deployed one parachute and then a second one but still had a hard landing in the Mojave Desert in California, and injured his back.
“This thing wants to kill you 10 different ways,” Hughes said after that launch.
“This thing will kill you in a heartbeat.”
Hughes said in a video that his goal was to eventually fly to the edge of outer space to determine for himself whether the world was round.
“I don’t want to take anyone else’s word for it,” he said in the video, posted on the BBC News website.
“I don’t know if the world is flat or round.”
In another video posted on his YouTube site, Hughes said he also wanted “to convince people they can do things that are extraordinary with their lives”.
“My story really is incredible,” Hughes once told The Associated Press.
“It’s got a bunch of story lines — the garage-built thing. I’m an older guy. It’s out in the middle of nowhere, plus the Flat Earth. The problem is it brings out all the nuts also.”
Hughes was also a limousine driver and held the Guinness World Record for “longest limousine ramp jump”, for jumping 103 feet (31 metres) in a Lincoln Town Car stretch limousine, at a speedway in 2002.
After a big win in Nevada, Bernie Sandersis unquestionably the frontrunner in the race to be the Democratic nominee to take on Donald Trump in November’s presidential election.
Sanders, 78, pulled further away from his rivals after his strong early showings, securing broad-based support across age, race and ideology.
Nevada, with its large Latino community, was seen as a significant test for the senator from Vermont since it is more reflective of the wider US population than in the pervious two contests in Iowa and New Hampshire.
The state-by-state election now moves to 15 nominating contests in the next 10 days, with 14 states voting on Super Tuesday on March 3.
The question now is: can anyone stop Sanders?
What happened in Nevada?
With 50% of the results in as of Sunday morning, Sanders had captured a commanding 47% of the delegates in Nevada – more than twice as many as his nearest rival and a bigger margin than most expected.
Former US vice president Joe Biden appeared headed to a badly needed second-place finish, and Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend in Indiana, was in third. Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren landed in fourth, while Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer were still in a close race for fifth.
Nevada’s population, which aligns more with the US as a whole than the opening elections in Iowa and New Hampshire, is 29% Latino, 10% Black and 9% Asian American and Pacific Islander.
Triumph in the first racially diverse state in the campaign suggested Sanders was reaching a broader coalition of Democratic voters with his unapologetic message of social and economic justice, including his signature pledge to provide universal healthcare for all Americans.
His campaign argues the candidate will bring in new voters — largely progressives and young people — who have been alienated by politics.
“Together we will defeat the most dangerous president in the modern history of this country,” Sanders told a cheering throng of supporters in Houston.
“We have won the popular vote in Iowa. We won the New Hampshire primary. We won the Nevada caucus. And don’t tell anybody … we’re going to win here in Texas.”
The Democratic candidates face-off again in next Saturday’s primary in South Carolina, which will be another test of the coalition.
Three days after that contest, 14 states vote on Super Tuesday, when one-third of the delegates the candidates are competing for are awarded.
A strong showing in those states could put Sanders on a smooth path to the nomination against Trump.
What are his rivals doing?
His opponents are already scrambling to blunt the senator’s momentum, and both Buttigieg and Biden have gone after him harder than they have before.
In his speech to supporters in Las Vegas, Buttigieg claimed Sanders was calling for an “inflexible, ideological revolution that leaves out most Democrats”.
Biden was in South Carolina on Sunday, where he hopes his record on civil rights and as Barack Obama’s vice president will appeal to the state’s many Black voters.
Not long ago, the former VP was the favourite in Nevada. But after disappointing finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire, Biden’s showing in Nevada was strong enough for him to declare his campaign revived.
In an interview on CBS’s Face the Nation, Biden said he was confident he could win in South Carolina with support from African-Americans.
The centrist candidates could now turn on each other for the chance to emerge as the preferred alternative to Sanders.
What are the fears?
Establishment Democrats are worried that the nomination of a self-avowed democratic socialist could cost the party the White House.
They argue Sanders’ liberal policies will drive away moderate and independent voters in the general election in November.
Jim Clyburn, a senior Black leader in Congress, warned of added risk for Democrats if Sanders was the nominee.
“I think it would be a real burden for us in these states or congressional districts that we have to do well in,” Clyburn told This Week on ABC.
The former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg did not take part in Nevada, and his performance in last week’s Las Vegas debate may have damaged his candidacy.
But his massive personal fortune means he’s the political equivalent of the Death Star, with the spending available to him unprecedented
The billionaire has spent more than $400 million of his own money on his campaign, and he still has his cheque book open. He is locked in on making an impact on Super Tuesday, the first set of primaries in which he has chosen to compete.
The best news for Bloomberg may have been Sanders‘ dominating finish in Nevada, which likely will give fresh urgency to efforts among Democratic moderates to stop the senator.
Police are searching the River Clyde after the belongings of a missing woman were found near a bridge in Glasgow.
Emily Hope, 22, was reported missing after leaving the Mango nightclub on Sauchiehall Street in the early hours of Saturday morning and has not been in contact with her family or friends.
Following an extensive search of CCTV, Police Scotland tracked Emily to the Tradeston bridge near the city centre, where some of her belongings were found.
Specialist officers, along with the marine unit, have been called in to help with the search.
Police Scotland have asked anyone who may have seen the 22-year-old, who lived in Jordanhill, to come forward.
She has been described as around 5ft 3in and of slim build, with shoulder-length brown hair and glasses.
Emily was last seen wearing a black and white top, grey trousers and red shoes.
Inspector Gavin Smith said: “A review of CCTV footage has revealed that Emily was last seen near the Tradeston bridge and personal items belonging to Emily have been found next to the River Clyde in the Tradeston area.
“Officers, assisted by specialist search teams including the marine unit, will continue to search that area for Emily.
“I would ask anyone who has seen Emily in Glasgow city centre or the Tradeston area to contact officers through 101 quoting reference number 1448 of February 22.”
Bernie Sanders has won Nevada’s presidential primary election and pulled further away from his moderate rivals in the race to be the Democrat presidential candidate.
After strong showings in Iowa and New Hampshire. the 78-year-old self-described ‘democratic socialist’ cemented his position as the frontrunner with support from the state’s large Latino community.
But his ascendency is sitting uncomfortably with some in the media, with US cable news pundits and hosts making as series of controversial comments about the senator from Vermont.
On Saturday, as results rolled in showing that Sanders was winning the Nevada caucuses, there were horrified reactions and doomsday warnings about Sanders getting the nomination.
The most jaw-dropping came from MSNBC host Chris Matthews, who said he was reading about the fall of France to the Nazis in 1940, and it reminded him of what was going on with Sanders appearing more likely to win the nomination.
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews likens Sanders victory in Nevada to Nazi Germany overrunning France in 1940: “It’s too late to stop him … it’s over” pic.twitter.com/6GJetLoDkq
He mentioned he had been reading about the fall of France in 1940 and about a call to British prime minister Winston Churchill relaying that “It’s over” for France.
“And Churchill says, ‘How can it be? You got the greatest army in Europe. How could it be over?’ He said, ‘It’s over.’ So I had that suppressed feeling,” Matthews said.
Sanders’ spokesman Mike Casca tweeted after the segment that he “never thought part of my job would be pleading with a national news network to stop likening the campaign of a jewish presidential candidate whose family was wiped out by the nazis to the third reich. but here we are.”
After Sanders’ strong showing in the Iowa caucuses, Matthews also expressed his scepticism of socialists, wondering whether Sanders would like to see people executed in Central Park.
Matthews faced swift backlash for his remarks on Saturday, with some viewers calling for his resignation or urging MSNBC to fire him.
“Chris Matthews has been generous to me a number of occasions, even blurbing my book,” filmmaker Arun Chaudhary tweeted. “However, his constant references to political violence and today Nazism to describe Bernie Sanders campaign is beyond the pale.”
Chris Mathews has been generous to me on a number of occasions, even blurbing my book. However, his constant references to political violence and today Nazism to describe Bernie Sanders campaign is beyond the pale. @HardballChris must resign or be fired from @MSNBC.
MSNBC did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
In a similar vein, during the New Hampshire primary, which Sanders also won, MSNBC host Chuck Todd read an article asking whether Sanders supporters were akin to Nazis.
On Saturday, MSNBC had a 10-minute interview with Democratic strategist James Carville, who was most known for his work with Bill Clinton in the 1990s. He was most recently a supporter of senator Michael Bennet, who dropped out of the presidential race this month after failing to gain any significant momentum.
Carville spent a good chunk of his interview attacking Sanders ― and then, at the end of the interview, said the candidates should stop “attacking each other” and talk more about how to push the country forward.
He implied that voters are picking Sanders because they are ignorant, and exhorted the media to better inform the public of the “risks” of making Sanders the nominee.
“I don’t know if us in the media are sufficiently telling people what are the risks that you’re running by doing this,” Carville said, referring to doubts that Sanders could beat president Donald Trump in November. “I think voters need to really be appraised of what’s going on here.”
“The entire theory that by expanding the electorate and increasing turnout you can win an election is the equivalent of climate denial. When people say that, they’re as stupid to political scientists as a climate denier is to an atmospheric scientist … Politically, you’re a fool. That’s a fact,” he added.
James Carville and Nicole Wallace pushing Russia attacks on Sanders on MSNBC, claiming that Putin is the “happiest person in the world now,” trying to help get Sanders the nomination because electability and tying it to Tad Devine & 2016, “this thing just didn’t start right now.” pic.twitter.com/fVd89GyeDl
“The Sanders campaign and the Trump campaign ― they’ve taken these things to the dark arts of bullying the press, abusing the press,” said host Nicole Wallace, who served in president George W Bush’s administration.
MSNBC contributor Jason Johnson also came under fire for appearing on a SiriusXM radio show and commenting on whether Sanders has support from people of colour.
He said that “racist white liberals seem to love them some Bernie Sanders” and then dismissively referred to Sanders’ African-American female staffers: “I don’t care how many people from the island of misfit Black girls that you throw out there to defend you on a regular basis.”
“That’s where you have crossed the line, sir,” host Karen Hunter said, to which Johnson replied, “I don’t care.”