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HEALTHY YOU

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GYM GERMS

We doubt hygiene’s at the toretront ot your mind when you’re pushing out those deadlitts – but perhaps it should be. A recent study by The European CSeaning Journal analysed 27 common pieces ot gym equipment and tound that each piece harbours more than one million germs per square inch. The worst ottenders? Free weights, tollowed by exercise bikes and treadmills. İn tact, tree weights hold over 300 times the bacteria ot the average toilet seat, apparently, which is nice. Let’s all make sure we wipe down the equipment with a towel after use…

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HEALTH notebook

HANG UP THE PHONE!

We all know excessive screen time isn’t healthy, but new research shows spending too much time on your smartphone can actually change your brain chemistry. A study by researchers at Korea University, South Korea, shows excessive use alters the ratio between neurotransmitters that inhibit and excite brain signals. The researchers measured the extent of internet use, and asked participants how much it affected their daily lives. Those who used their smartphone the most also had higher scores in tests for depression, anxiety and insomnia. Remember to limit your screen time.

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HAVE A NEW BEGINNING

Looking forward to spring? You’re not alone! The spring equinox (around March 20) used to be considered the new year in many parts of Europe, and Gaia Spa at Boringdon Hall in Devon is using the idea to offer a four-day retreat (March 26-30) about new beginnings. Thanks to holistic techniques such as meditation and one-to-one life coaching, you’ll go on a journey of self-discovery that includes full-moon walks on Dartmoor, evening picnics, gentle exercise and Gaia ritual treatments. From £1,965 per person; gaiaboringdon.co.uk.

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PICK OF THE MONTH

PUKKA UP

Sip on Turmeric Active tea, a spicy blend with hints of orange, to strengthen, protect and nourish your system. Medicinal-grade turmeric, ginger, galangal and nettletreat inflammation, alleviate pain and support joints. £2.49 for 20 bags; pukkaherbs.com.

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NATURAL HEALTH Q&A

Q Can I slow Down wrinkles?As we açe. our skin becomes thinner, drier and less elastic due to hormonal changes, free-radical damage and our genes. There are external factors that will exacerbate the ageing process. The two main culprits are excessive sun exposure and smoking. Other factors include poor diet, stress, alcohol, dehydration and pollution. My key nutritional tips for supporting healthy ageing include drinking 1.5-2 litres of water a day to keep your skin hydrated. Caffeine and alcohol dehydrate the skin, so minimise their consumption. Avoid sugar as it reduces the effectiveness of collagen and elastin, causing the skin to lose elasticity and plumpness. Key nutrients for the skin include vitamin C, zinc and vitamin E. Eat a rainbow of brightly coloured, organic vegetables and fruit and plenty of green leafy vegetables, and consume healthy fats from nuts and seeds, extra virgin olive oil and avocados to get these nutrients through your diet.

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