• Fitness trackers for racehorses could enhance performance and reduce injuries

    Researchers have developed a wearable device for racehorses – similar to fitness trackers used by humans – to provide real-time measures of vital signs.

    A team at the University of Bath say the information could help enhance performance, reduce risk of injury and improve welfare through the early detection of disease.

    Their platform, named EquiVi, measures heart and respiratory rate, blood oxygen saturation, temperature, blood pressure and heart rate variability.

    Dr Ben Metcalfe with William the horse (University of Bath/PA)
    Dr Ben Metcalfe with William the horse (University of Bath/PA)

    Trainers and vets can monitor the measurements during a horse’s day-to-day activities such as stabling, exercise and travel.

    The device, currently in prototype form, is made up of three sensors positioned on different parts of the horse.

    Lucy Nelson, deputy lieutenant of Somerset, described the project as “really exciting”.

    “It’s a fantastic tool, it is really revolutionary,” the stable owner said.

    “We spend our lives trying to look at horses, trying to understand their language and making sure that the horse is thriving.

    “The happier they are, the better they work. There’s no point in trying to train unhappy horses, it just doesn’t work.”

    The device is similar to a fitness tracker worn by humans (University of Bath/PA)
    The device is similar to a fitness tracker worn by humans (University of Bath/PA)

    She described the possibilities of being able to use the device to “hone in” on different situations.

    This could tell trainers whether a horse would travel best in a forwards or sideways position, on a plane, boat or in a horsebox.

    “It will be a real help for racehorse owners, for event horse owners, for vets – there are so many applications it can be used for,” she added.

    “It’s revolutionary. I’m so thrilled that Bath has come forward with this extraordinary project.”

    Dr Ben Metcalfe, an electrical engineer at the University of Bath, said data generated from a racehorse during an event could help advise the racing industry.

    The device could also help pinpoint injuries on horses before they begin to go lame, he said.

    “What we want to see is this technology in widespread adoption,” Dr Metcalfe said.

    “As we develop more and more sensors we’re really interested in how all these parameters fit together – we look at modelling the health of the entire animal by measuring multiple vital signs at different times and in different ways.”

    From Irish News

  • I Exercised 6 Times A Week For Two Months – Here’s What I Learned

    Flashback to freezing early February, and you can imagine how unenthusiastic I was to embark on an eight-week fitness challenge that promised to upend my entire routine. The Deliveroos and Sunday night sofa sessions with three varieties of Lindt that I was using to self-medicate throughout winter were about to be replaced with daily HIIT classes, alcohol abstinence, limited caffeine and virtuous home-cooked meals. But it was too late to back out – a few weeks prior I’d innocently signed up for the F45 Challenge.

    Flashback to freezing early February, and you can imagine how unenthusiastic I was to embark on an eight-week fitness challenge that promised to upend my entire routine. The Deliveroos and Sunday night sofa sessions with three varieties of Lindt that I was using to self-medicate throughout winter were about to be replaced with daily HIIT classes, alcohol abstinence, limited caffeine and virtuous home-cooked meals. But it was too late to back out – a few weeks prior I’d innocently signed up for the F45 Challenge.

    For the uninitiated, F45 is a worldwide Australian-born exercise phenomenon that’s spreading like wildfire throughout the UK and Ireland, with studios as far afield as Glasgow, Bath, Bristol, Oxford, all corners of London, and elsewhere, with more set to open this year. (Mark Wahlberg, whose own hardcore workout schedule starts at 2.30am daily, just bought a minority stake in the franchise, so you know it’s serious.) Its USP is its 45-minute circuit classes that combine interval, cardiovascular and strength training to build muscle and fitness. It holds four eight-week challenges a year, which involve training as many times a week as you can manage, while following a meal plan and monitoring your body composition (muscle, fat and more) at the beginning and end. Yeah, it’s a lot.

    Courtesy of F45 Training Farringdon

    So why did I sign up? A fitness challenge was high on my goal list for 2019 – I’d never done anything like it and wanted to see how I’d feel, mentally and physically, from sticking to a structured exercise regime. My goal wasn’t to lose weight – if anything, I was keen to put on muscle and spice up my exercise regime while challenging myself. I was stuck in an exercise rut and bored of my unfocused routine – which amounted to a pilates or kettlebells class here, a 10km run there, a few times a week – and didn’t think it would be much of a sacrifice at a time of year when my social life wouldn’t ordinarily be popping off anyway (I was wrong, but more on that later).

    Flash forward to now, just a week after finishing the challenge at F45 Farringdon, the endorphins are settling down and the novelty of being able to guiltlessly sip my favourite gin cocktails is starting to wear off, and I’m in a good position to reflect on what I learned. Whether you’re considering doing the next F45 Challenge or another challenge (like Barry’s Bootcamp’s Face Yourself or Hellweek, the CrossFit Games, the or marathon training), or merely looking to hop back on the fitness train for spring, you may find this useful too.

    You really do get out what you put in

    In a world where everyone’s Instagramming their workouts, and gyms flog their classes with the help of their Herculean superstar trainers’ vast online followings, it’s easy to expect immediate results from the latest fitness trend. I’m as guilty as anyone. But the F45 Challenge hammered home the obvious, unglamorous truth: the more sustained effort you expel, the more likely you are to see the outcome you want. The days when I bench pressed 10kg rather than my safer 8kg were the days I’d leave the studio feeling proudest and most satisfied. “People become braver and push themselves more with weights from week to week,” says Honey Fine, a fitness coach at F45 Farringdon. “They learn that being part of a community allows you to feel comfortable in a safe environment to train, discuss the challenge and their concerns.”

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    Equally, there’s no getting around the importance of dusting yourself off and trying again when you hit stumbling blocks. “Getting back into the swing of it after a holiday can be tough for people,” Jake Hazell, F45 Farringdon’s studio manager, tells me, and yep, he’s right. In week three, just as I was hitting my stride, I went on a long weekend to Marrakech and everything went out the window (because YOLO and there’s no way I wanted to be That Girl who ruins their boyfriend’s holiday by eschewing the bread basket and leaving him to drink alone). I ditched the meal plan and broke the plan’s no-alcohol rule, and I drank a few other times later on in the challenge and ended up going more overboard than usual because of the novelty of it. While I don’t regret the fun I had (and wouldn’t have done anything differently on holiday), it was tough getting back into the #fitness mindset and annoying knowing I’d undone my progress. The key, though, is picking up where you left off and letting it go. The challenge is hard enough as it is, without the added mental anguish of regretting some fun experiences that can’t be undone.

    Courtesy of F45 Training Farringdon

    A support system is surprisingly important

    I’m usually an independent exerciser and have no problem motivating myself to work out – the thought of jogging with a friend to “catch up” brings me out in hives – but I seriously underestimated how vital others’ encouragement would be to get me through such a massive lifestyle change. “Team changing, life changing” is the F45 slogan and they’re not just empty words. Complaining about the meals and difficulty of certain classes with the same people each day was cheering. My now-friend Mervet Kagu, with whom I did virtually every class, also describes “the sense of community and support from fellow challengers and the trainers” as her biggest motivation throughout. As someone who usually avoids all eye contact with others at the gym, I surprisingly didn’t mind having to make small talk with fellow challengers at 7am. I was also added to a WhatsApp group headed by the trainer who’d act as my mentor throughout (shout out to Jonah!), which I was grateful for countless times. Once I’d muted it, which I did within five minutes of being added, it was an invaluable source of challenge intel.

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    The first two weeks were the hardest for me – the meal plan means no coffee, alcohol or sugar – and on the first day (my first without coffee for at least a decade) I had the worst headache of my life and felt like I was outside my body, looking down on myself. The immediate impact of the cappuccino withdrawal amazed me, but the WhatsApp group told me I wasn’t alone, and I ended up having one of the best sleeps of my life, so it wasn’t all dire.

    Courtesy of F45 Training Farringdon

    On top of the support from the Farringdon studio, there was also the global network of F45 studios to get me through. Whatever fitness challenge you’re doing, I’d recommend following others doing the same challenge on social media. Everyone on the F45 Challenge around the world does the same classes each day, and it was helpful looking at others’ versions of the same meals and the classes beforehand. My Instagram feed looked like the inside of a bodybuilder’s kitchen, with all the chicken breasts and protein shakes on the challenge hashtags I was following, and I’d religiously watch the studio’s Instagram Stories for a glimpse of the workout I had to look forward to.

    Variety is underrated

    While it’s important to be deliberate and consistent in your training, it’s crucial to have diversity within each session (the same goes for healthy eating). The focus of F45’s classes alternates each day: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are cardio-focused, while Tuesdays and Thursdays are weights-based, and Saturday is a slightly longer class (Hollywood, my favourite) that combines both. Classes are never repeated (and specific exercises are only repeated every now and again) so you never get bored, while recipes on the meal plan aren’t repeated week to week. I realised my diet was extremely lacking in diversity – as a veggie, I leaned heavily towards carbs and wasn’t getting enough protein (I’m now a protein shake addict) – and I was too reliant on caffeine (see: the aforementioned crippling headache). I came away with a cookery book’s worth of recipes that I’ve already been recreating in my post-challenge life.

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    You have to make sacrifices if you want to see results

    Sad but true. Call me a sheep, but I don’t enjoy socialising sober at night when everyone else is drinking. This meant I had to turn down invitations and plans where I knew alcohol would be involved (read: about 80% of them) to stay on track, because I knew I’d be miserable being the boring “healthy” one and having to explain why I wasn’t eating or drinking as normal. (You may find it easier to strike a balance between socialising and a fitness regime, but an all-or-nothing approach sometimes works better for me.) Thus, my social life suffered – badly. During the week I’d spend every evening at the studio, followed by meal prepping for the next day (three meals and two HOMEMADE snacks). Because my fridge is so small I couldn’t make a week’s worth of meals on Sunday like other people. (This being said, I’d never done a weekly online shop before the challenge and it’s a habit I’ll be sticking to because it is, crushingly, cheaper than nightly runs to Tesco Express. My mum was right.)

    Fitness apps may have scored a bad rap recently (with critics claiming they’re too number-heavy) but for me, tracking my habits, mood and workouts in the diary section of the F45 Challenge app became a key source of motivation when I was struggling, and I’d eagerly await the “drop” of the following week’s meal plan on Mondays (how’s that for a sorry glimpse into my life?). I stuck to the meal plan pretty staunchly and trained six times a week on average, giving me a huge sense of achievement and satisfaction that I hadn’t felt for ages. It was great having a fitness and nutrition plan laid out for me – it freed up mental space to think about other things.

    Nothing’s more important than your mental health

    Too much restriction and life admin, I very quickly realised, is terrible for my mental health. In between the alcohol abstinence and nightly meal-prep, there were times when I felt pretty low. Luckily the encouragement from others and the classes themselves were enough to keep me going, but it’s called a “challenge” for a reason: it’s not sustainable long term. A challenge like this (if you’re a fitness fanatic and can afford the hefty £200 a month) is fun, life-enhancing and the health benefits are amazing – by week eight my skin was blemish-free, I felt stronger and I’d shaved a year off my biological age – but it made me realise how much I value alcohol, meals out, and simply doing nothing (that is, not exercising) for my mental health. That being said, I learned you have to get through the lows to properly value the highs – and I’ve already put the dates for the next Challenge in my diary.

    The next F45 Challenge runs from the 29th April-23rd June 2019. For more information about the F45 Challenge or F45 Farringdon, visit their websites.

    From: Refinery 29 UK

  • world health day

    World Health Day: Parents, Here Are Some Expert Recommended Tips To Help Kids Overcome An Eating Disorder

    World Health Day: The causes of eating disorders are very complex, characteristically encompassing hereditary, emotional, environmental, and socio-cultural aspects. Here’s how you can deal with a child suffering from an eating disorder.

      By: Dr. Atish Laddad Updated: Apr 7, 2019 10:40 IST4-Min Read SHARES

    World Health Day: Parents should nurture trust in their kids suffering from eating disorder


    1. Create an environment of support for kids with eating disorder
    2. The causes of eating disorders are very complex
    3. Having unusual food rituals signal eating disorders in kids

    April 7 is observed as World Health Day. On the occasion of this special day, which aims at providing access to healthcare services to everyone, everywhere, we take a look at eating disorders in kids, and how parents can help their kids overcome them.

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    Parents often find it difficult to deal with eating disorders in kids. Some of the common eating disorders in kids include like anorexia, bulimia, binge eating or avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID). Families tend to feel vulnerable and frustrated when helping kids overcome the eating disorder. Even though parents are held accountable for kids’ health, they are not in full control of the. It is actually up to the kids on how and when the progress towards the path of recovery.

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    As a responsible family, it is your responsibility to create an environment of support, sustenance and information for your child. You must allow them to start taking charge for their own well-being.

    World Health Day: Eating disorders in kids: causes and symptoms

    The causes of eating disorders are very complex, characteristically encompassing hereditary, emotional, environmental, and socio-cultural aspects. Kids are already under pressure if they are suffering from a psychological disorder or if they are constantly being told about dieting and importance of being in shape.

    Signs that your child is suffering from an eating disorder include weight gain, inaccurate sense of body image, feeling obsessed with eating food, variations in child’s body weight, dieting at an young age, refusing to eat in front of others, indulging in extreme exercising, having unusual food rituals or displaying strange behaviours, making a trip to the washroom post eating, irritability or variations in mood, weakness and tiredness, thinning of hair, indulging in sports that focus on weight loss, having a family member with an eating illness and cerebral health problems such as anxiety, depression, or OCD to name a few.


    World Health Day: Tell your child with confidence that s/he has the capability to recover from eating disorder
    Photo Credit: iStock

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    How can parents help a child with eating disorder?

    It is important for parents to be aware of eating disorders. They should seek out information and get educated about eating disorders. Look for ways of dealing with eating disorders that suit your situation.

    1. Prioritise self-care: Children will follow the kind of lifestyle you set in front of your children. You can only efficiently care for your child when your own requirements are being met. Parents should start following a well-balanced lifestyle by consuming nutritious meals. Get proper amount of sleep and exercise regularly. Engage in activities that feel wholesome and joyful to you. If you follow a healthy lifestyle, you child will automatically follow your footsteps.

    2. Get early help: When you diagnose an eating disorder early, the child definitely stands a better chance of recovery. Schedule an appointment with your child’s paediatrician to further aid your child’s recovery process, personally attend all appointments with your child. The treatment will take time and effort. Get involved with the care team to get all the assistance your child requires.

    Also read: Eating Disorders, Figure Skating’s ‘Dirty Little Secret’

    3. Practice compassion and kindness: Offer yourself and your child sympathy. Never hold your child to be a culprit for falling prey to such a disorder. Guilt, blame, and disgrace will fail to create the gentle conditions that best serve positive healing.

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    4. Nurture trust: Lend your child ample opportunity to have faith and trust in you. Your child is possibly experiencing terrific amount of shame about their eating disorder, which forces them to departure into silence without speaking out their truth. Let your kids understand they can always come and tell you when they purge or are feeling anxiety about eating, and that you are trying to comprehend with their condition.

    5. Believe in retrieval: It is important for families to firstly believe that the phase of retrieval is possible. Set for your child a steady confidence that they have the courage and strength to accomplish health, and that blunders are not signals of failure. Particularly in times of setback, it is vital to offer absolute support and highlight your belief that recovery is possible.

    On the whole, if your child is purging or is binging on food, the first and foremost treatment involves the family highlighting on standardising their intake of food. So, a child who over-indulgence needs to be thought to consume the next meal at a steady time. The child must be encouraged to eat within every few hours, hungry or not hungry, in order to stop big hunger cues later on, which lead to bingeing. Above all, remember that retrieval from an eating syndrome doesn’t happen just overnight, and it doesn’t happen alone. Eating disorders are curable, and with the right kind of support from your family and child health expert, your child can go on to live a full and healthy lifestyle.

    Also read: Did You Know Why Men Don’t Seem To Suffer From Eating Disorders?

    (Dr. Atish Laddad is Founder andDirector at Docterz)

    Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

    DoctorNDTV is the one stop site for all your health needs providing the most credible health information, health news and tips with expert advice on healthy living, diet plans, informative videos etc. You can get the most relevant and accurate info you need about health problems like diabetescancerpregnancy,HIV and AIDSweight loss and many other lifestyle diseases. We have a panel of over 350 experts who help us develop content by giving their valuable inputs and bringing to us the latest in the world of healthcare.

    From NDTV

  • Romeo cat

    ‘Deliberate attack’ fear after pet cat shot with air gun

    A pet cat is recovering after being shot in the neck with an air gun.

    Black-and-white Romeo was found whimpering by his owners on Monday when he managed to make his way back to his home in Croxteth, Liverpool, after being injured in what RSPCA inspectors believe may have been a deliberate attack.

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    The air gun pellet, which could be seen lodged in his skin, was removed by vets and two-year-old Romeo is now improving and back to exploring his garden.

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    RSPCA Inspector Helen Smith said: “Poor Romeo must have been in such a lot of pain after being shot, and he’s a very lucky boy that the injury wasn’t more serious.

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    “Sadly, we do see cases where pet cats are shot and suffer catastrophic injuries, some having to have a leg amputated or even some not making it and dying as a result of their injury.

    “It’s possible that Romeo was shot by accident, but also I am concerned that he may have been deliberately targeted.

    “Anybody with any information about who may be responsible for injuring Romeo can call our inspector’s appeal line number on 0300 123 8018, where they can leave me a message in complete confidence.”

    From: PA Ready News UK

  • immigration center

    Concerns rise over safety of vulnerable immigration centre detainees

    Detainees at UK immigration centres are being hospitalised at the rate of almost one a day, according to new figures that raise fresh concerns over the safety of vulnerable people held inside.

    Home Office data, obtained following a freedom of information request, revealed that in 2017, there were 330 visits to hospital by detainees held in immigration removal centres.

    The figures were recorded between January and December 2017, shortly after the Home Office introduced its “adults at risk policy”, which was meant to keep vulnerable people out of detention.

    The findings follow a scathing report last month by the home affairs select committee that said the Home Office had overseen serious failings in almost every aspect of the immigration detention process.

    Sonya Sceats, chief executive of charity Freedom from Torture, which submitted the FoI request, said: “The Home Office figures make it abundantly clear that there are very ill and vulnerable people in these immigration detention centres.

    “It is shocking to think that almost every day of the month, there is a hospital admission. From removal centre reports to accounts from torture survivors in treatment with us, we know that self-harm, overdoses and poor provision of medication are commonplace.”

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    Sceats outlined one case involving a distressed detainee who made 22 calls on the emergency bell in his cell before staff came to see him and called an ambulance.

    “Torture survivors and vulnerable people should never be detained for immigration purposes,” she added.

    Another parliamentary report published in February, this time by the joint committee on human rights (JCHR), called for an end to indefinite detention in immigration centres, and said people should ideally be held for no longer than 28 days.

    A Home Office spokesperson said: “The health and welfare of those in immigration detention is of the utmost importance. All immigration detention centres have trained medical staff on hand to provide care to those in detention.”

    From The Guardian