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Osteoarthritis, Kids’ Fitness & the Power of the Cold Shower

Looking for the latest news and updates from the world of fitness, wellbeing and health? You’re in the right spot. From new classes and health news, to the latest tips and tricks, we’ve got you covered.

This month, we look at some of the health and fitness stories making the headlines. From exercising with osteoarthritis, kids’ fitness post-lockdown and, following BBC One’s recent Freeze the Fear program with the self proclaimed Iceman, Wim Hof, we delve into the icy world of cold showers and the benefits. Brrrrrrrrrrr!

Exercising with Osteoarthritis.

First up, a recent report made the headlines with NICE showing that exercise has an important role to play in helping people living with osteoarthritis. Clinical evidence shows that when people with osteoarthritis are offered tailored exercises, such as muscle strengthening and aerobic exercise, they can achieve good health outcomes.  

Dr Paul Chrisp, director for the Centre for Guidelines at NICE said: “Osteoarthritis can cause people discomfort and prevent them from undertaking some of their normal daily activities. However, there is evidence which shows muscle strengthening and aerobic exercise can have an impact on not just managing the condition, but also providing people with an improved quality of life. Beginning that journey can be uncomfortable for some people at first, and they should be supported and provided with enough information to help them to manage their condition over a long period of time.”

Always seek advice from your GP or Nurse Practitioner first before you start a new exercise regime.

Children’s Fitness Post-Covid

Next, we came across some new, worrying research that reveals concerning changes to children’s health and physical fitness following the pandemic, with UK health experts calling for a focus on children’s physical fitness.    

Conducted by Newcastle University (UK), the University of South Australia, Edinburgh Napier University and Murdoch University, the study assessed one-year changes in children’s physical fitness and health-related quality of life and body mass index (BMI), after the 2020 COVID-19 UK lockdowns.

UniSA researcher, Dr Naomi Burn says the study highlights the vital importance of physical fitness for children’s health and wellbeing, post-pandemic.

“Physical fitness is incredibly important for children of all ages, with fitness linked to a range of health outcomes, including heart and skeletal health, body composition, and mental wellbeing,” Dr Burn says.

“When COVID-19 hit the United Kingdom in 2020, infection control measures led to the closure of schools for most pupils; outdoor playgrounds and sports clubs closed, and for many months outdoor exercise was limited to only one hour per day. While the pandemic persists, we need to recognise the need to keep kids healthy and active. Not only will this benefit them now, but also later in life.”

Schools and communities can help to establish fitness programs and policies and of course, here at China Fleet Country Club, we have special classes, gym sessions and swimming for children. Fitness and wellbeing is vital for children’s health post lockdown and for the future.

The Power of the Cold Shower

Lastly….grab your towel! It’s cold shower time!

Anyone watching the BBC One programme Freeze the Fear with Wim Hof recently may be starting to wonder whether there’s really “power in the coldshower” as extreme athlete Hof claims. Hof, who set a Guinness World Record for swimming under ice, says that a “cold shower a day keeps the doctor away” by decreasing stress and increasing energy levels.

Thousands of people from all over the world already incorporate cold showers into their daily routines. A cold shower has many reported health benefits, both physical and mental.  

A large study from the Netherlands found that people who took a cold shower were less likely than those who took a warm shower to take time off work due to sickness. The reason a blast of cold water might stop people from getting ill is not clear, but some research suggests it may have something to do with boosting the immune system.

One study also showed that cold showers could become a potential antidote for depression, as the piercing sensation sends an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses to the brain. It’s like a one-minute workout.

Oh, and they burn small amounts of body fat too. Brown fat to be specific, a type of fatty tissue that generates energy by burning calories.

Some reported benefits include:

  • Reduced stress levels 
  • Higher level of alertness 
  • More robust immune response 
  • Increased willpower
  • Weight loss 

There is a fair amount of evidence that having a cold shower is good for your health – even if the reasons why are still a little unclear. But before you start, you should know that there are some risks to a cold shower. Because a sudden gush of cold water shocks the body, it can be dangerous for people with heart disease so start off slowly.

We have a range of cold shower experiences here in the China Fleet Aqua Spa – from a light cold mist right through to an ice-cold waterfall!  I’m currently doing 40 seconds on the waterfall setting a few times a week and I have to say; it makes me feel alive!

See you next month for more health news, stories and tips that inspire healthy bodies, healthy minds and healthy lives.

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