Health news December 2017

Get fit doing the housework, help for shaky hands, how to measure your portions and more.

Clean up your heart health

A report in The Lancet found 2½ hours or more a week of any type of physical activity, including housework, was linked with a 20-30% lower risk of heart disease, stroke or death. So, swap the trainers for a pair of Marigolds?

How to turn your spring clean into a workout

Standing up for stability

A new animation by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy demonstrates simple exercises to help you maintain strength and reduce your chances of a fall. To watch Get Up and Go, visit

Portion caution

Take the guesswork out of portion control with this clever container. The Mealkitt shows you just the right amount you need to eat of all the major food groups, according to NHS calorie guidelines, without the need to weigh. Comes with nutrition and fitness guides, too.

Nothing to sneeze at

Colds and flu can lead to secondary respiratory tract infections, such as pneumonia. So recent research showing that a fresh herbal extract of Echinacea purpurea may help prevent these is good news. How does it do it? By reducing the ability of bacteria to adhere to the mucous membranes. Try A. Vogel Echinaforce Echinacea Drops (15ml), 3.95 from

Sweat it out

We all know high blood pressure is linked with a higher risk of heart disease. And now a new Finnish study has found that taking a sauna four to seven times a week was linked with a 46% lower risk in male test subjects of developing high blood pressure compared with taking a sauna once a week. Part of the reason, say the researchers, may be that the high temperature in a sauna dilates the blood vessels. However, if you are already diagnosed with heart problems ask your GP first if it’s safe for you.

Concerned about your blood pressure? Visit our blood pressure section for more tips

Muggi the mug tray

Carrying hot or cold drinks is a synch with a Muggi cup and mug holder. Made from super-tough plastic, it enables you to carry up to four mugs, glasses or whatever fits inside safely and easily. Non-slip feet, plus finger and thumb holds make it ideal for young and old hands alike. Available in seven colours.

Fix cold sores fast

Cold weather and winter sun are classic cold sore triggers. Send symptoms packing in super-quick time with revolutionary cold sore protection, SoreFix, which has added extra UV protection.

£7.47 from Superdrug and independent pharmacies.

On the buses

Two thirds of people aged 60+ rarely or never use public transport. It you’re one of them, it could be worth thinking again. A study from University College London found that people in this age group who took the bus or train walked faster and were more physically active than those who shunned public transport. Time to dig out or apply for that free bus pass?

Find out how to apply for your bus pass

Make light of veg prep

Shaky hands or arthritis can make prepping those Christmas veg hard work and lead to accidents. If you or a loved one aren’t confident around knives or graters, a cut-resistant glove from Cuisipro offers protection from slips.

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The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.