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Archive for March, 2010

Four weeks from yesterday many thousands of runners will be pounding the streets of London in the Virgin London Marathon. Some will be seasoned veterans of running, others will have seen it on TV last year and thought “I could do that”. Either way, all runners will have put in a lot of training over the last four years, possibly running a minimum of 300 miles just in training.

My next few blogs up until 25th April, the date of the London Marathon, will be centered around running including tips for training, eating and how complementary therapies can keep you up and running.

Running is such a great exercise. Don’t believe all you read about how it damages your knees. The one thing to remember is to get proper shoes that support your particular type of foot. Ideally take a visit to your local running shop such as Sweatshop or Runners Need where they will put you on a treadmill, video you running and be able to establish your running gait.

You can’t just decide to run the marathon, wake up on the 25th April and hit the road. You won’t make it past mile 1 at that rate. It’s important to train properly and steadily, follow a schedule and gradually increase your mileage each week by no more than 10%. If you are completely new to running and the hoards of runners out each Sunday have got you thinking you might like to have a go, then just take it easy to begin with, even starting off with walking, say 2 minutes walking then 1 minute running – you don’t need to sprint, just a gentle run that isn’t leaving you breathless. A good website for beginners schedules is http://www.runnersworld.co.uk. A typical schedule for a marathon is 16 weeks and 12 weeks for a half marathon but don’t start from cold, try to build up your base before your start running, even just a few miles for each run several times a week.

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IT’S PROSTATE CANCER AWARENESS MONTH!!

Yes, I’m shouting it because it’s a hidden cancer. Men don’t like talking about it, many don’t know where the prostate is or what it does and not enough is talked about it.

The prostate gland is a small gland that only men have, about the size of a walnut, and it’s main function is to add fluid to semen. Cancer of the prostate occurs when the gland starts growing abnormally. Sometimes there are no symptoms but generally men will find they have a problem with passing urine: a weak flow, dribbling, not feeling like bladder has emptied, going more frequently particularly during the night and leaking urine. Occasionally lower back pain and difficulty keeping an erection may also be signs.

Whilst prostate cancer can affect all men, those particularly at risk are men aged 60+ (in fact 85% of those diagnosed are in this age category), African-Caribbean men, those with family history and those who eat a diet rich in fat and red meat.

The Prostate Cancer Charity are doing as much as they can this month to ensure that awareness of the disease is foremost amongst as all. There are events up and down the country, including “Do Blue” Days where we are being encouraged to do something blue and raise funds and awareness, such as blue sports day, wear denim to work or even wear a blue wig for the day! M&S are also supporting the charity so get down to M&S and buy some pants for prostate.

One of the issues seems to be that there is a lack of support for men with the cancer so they can understand fully what the disease means and what treatment is avaible to them and how this will all impact not only on their life but also the lives of their family. The charity is urging people to “Take Action” on 19th March by arranging events, writing to local MP, contacting local and national media and generlaly making a noise about the disease.

If you are affected by prostate cancer or want to discuss possibly symptoms with complete confidentiality, call the UKs only dedicated prostate cancer support line on 0800 074 8383 or you can take a look at their website for further information – http://www.hiddencancer.org.uk

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