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Metro.co.uk: News, Sport, Showbiz, Celebrities from Metro

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    Today’s fitness challenge is knee get-ups. Starting from your knees, you jump onto your feet into a squat position – how long will it take you to do 20 reps?

    Throughout this Staying Active summer series, fitness experts Elia and Amanda – both qualified instructors at Flykick – will be on hand to show you how to do each challenge and give you their top tips.

    Our daily challenges are perfect to try at home, at the gym or in the park. They are designed to get you moving every day.

    Check back every weekday to see what the next challenge is – you can even film your progress to make a record of how far you’ve come.

    The aim is to be active every day for six weeks over summer. And today’s challenge is a tough one that will test your explosive strength and really work your core.

    These daily challenges can be done in isolation, or you can include them in larger workout – it’s totally up to you. As long as you’re moving, that’s what matters.

    A woman doing a low squat in the gym on a yoga mat
    If jumping from your knees is too hard – try stepping instead (Picture: Getty)

    We know doing the same fitness routine every week can get really tedious, trying a new challenge every day will keep your fitness fresh and fun – and you might even learn some new moves.

    How to do knee get-ups

    Knee get-ups, or knee jumps are great plyometric exercises to develop an explosive and athletic lower body.

    Start in a kneeling position with your thighs long and your back straight.

    You can do this on the gym floor, or you can kneel on a mat for extra support.

    From this position jump from your knees until your feet are flat on the floor – keep your legs low and your bum down, so you finish in a low squat position.

    You will need to really use your glutes and hamstrings to explode from the floor to get enough height to do this.

    If it is too difficult, step each leg up, one at a time, maintaining a low squat at the top, instead of jumping your feet at the same time.

    Once in a full squat, carefully return to the kneeling position for the next repetition.

    I am Team GB

    Toyota has teamed up with Team GB to re-launch the hugely successful participation campaign ‘I am Team GB’.

    Inspired by the achievements of Team GB athletes and the amazing efforts of local community heroes, Team GB has created ‘The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day’, which will take place on the 24thAugust.

    Over the weekend, there will be hundreds of free and fun activities across the country, put on by an army of volunteers; the ‘I am Team GB Games Makers’.

    To Join the Team and be part of The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day sign up at: www.IAmTeamGB.com

    Sporty woman doing exercise in a gymSporty woman doing exercise in a gym

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    The before picture and the sugar soap product
    The before picture and the sugar soap product (Picture: Extreme Couponing and Bargains UK/Facebook)

    Turn your back for a minute and kids can get up to all sorts.

    So if you find your walls covered in pen from your kids’ surprise art show, this is a great tip.

    One mum moved into a new flat and found that the marks were covered in pen marks after the previous tenant’s son scribbled everywhere.

    But after spending £2.50 on a bottle of Bartoline’s sugar soap spray, she was able to remove the marks in minutes.

    Posting in Extreme Couponing and Bargains UK, she said: ‘I cannot recommend this enough… £2.50 from Morrisons I’m shook.

    The picture after a mum scrubs using the sugar scrub soap
    lAll clean (Picture: Extreme Couponing and Bargains UK/Facebook)

    ‘Previous tenant’s young boy had drawn on the walls and had left marks where things had been and it didn’t look good so tried this and WOW!!’

    She added some before and after pictures to show how the spray had completely removed the marks.

    The post got over 600 comments and 400 likes and people were impressed with the results.

    ‘Whaaaat?! You mean to tell me I was scrubbing my little heart out the other day trying to get all sorts off my walls whilst I had unopened sugarsoap in my cupboard?!,’ one said.

    ‘Old sugar soap is one of the very few cleaning products that has been used since my wee granny was alive and she’d be over 100 now. Brilliant stuff. Great for cig smoke damp walls and ceilings and for cleaning any residue of kitchen units and doors. Would recommend using this on walls before painting too,’ another added.

    ‘One of my favourite thing to clean with sugar soap,’ someone else said.

    It sounds like something we all need to add to our cleaning cupboard.

    MORE: Daily Fitness Challenge: How quick can you do 20 knee get-ups?

    MORE: This incredibly niche flatmate advert wants someone who likes nudity and hates deodorant


    Mum says ?2.50 spray got pen marks off her wallsMum says ?2.50 spray got pen marks off her walls

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    Men in women's clothes at a festival
    I think the first time I saw a man in a skirt was at a festival. Or maybe to be more specific, a group of men in skirts. Sparkly tops. Makeup (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    I grew up in Bristol, in the south west of England.

    It’s a city often labelled as a UK music hub, populated by late night venues, music in the streets and – problematically – many a white-hair-dreaded musician handing out flyers to one of the many neighbouring festivals like Glastonbury, Boomtown, Sunrise and Womad.

    My friends and I would all go and in my mid-to-late teens festivals became a staple of our summer plans. The adventures would often be hidden from my mum with an elaborate story about a three day sleepover where my phone was out of battery.

    There is no doubt that part of the reason many enjoy festivals is for the hedonistic escapism. As someone who now mainly attends festivals whilst performing at them, it is interesting watching them from a slightly removed position.

    From this point of view I have seen people try and escape from the limits of their 9-5 jobs and depart from the accustomed silence and wariness of strangers built into British culture.

    But the escapism I want to focus on is the departure from a rigidness that is normally present around gender.

    I think the first time I saw a man in a skirt was at a festival. Or maybe, to be more specific, a group of men in skirts. Sparkly tops. Makeup.

    I had just started to experiment with clothing to match my gender identity myself, meaning I’d also started to experience the harassment that goes along with it, yet in the festival setting this disappeared.

    I’d see boys that would often look at me funny at parties suddenly don the same items they were once punishing me for.

    Much like a stag do, it seems the festival setting presents an unusual freedom for cisgender men to try on something new for a day, weekend or spend a hangover in some heels.

    Now five or six years on, at a festival I was working at last weekend, a similar sight took place.

    I hear a group of men talk about how they ‘think they may wear the dress tonight, boys’ as they excitedly ask their girlfriends to do their makeup.

    On one side of the festival field sits the part of me that feels it’s probably not even a big deal.

    So what, they’re just having a laugh. Why don’t I get off my high, overly analytical, pedestal?

    Surely as someone who has spent much of their artistic and written career encouraging a more relaxed and less rigid view of gender in society, the image of five men getting excited to try on their girlfriends’ clothes before taking smuggled substances in a field with a drone-like trance beat playing in the background is exactly the future I dreamed of?

    Are we in any of their thoughts? Does agreeing to explore your gender in the openness of a field mean you will also support others doing just the same in the busy streets of London?

    Maybe it’s not a big deal. But part of me, somewhere on the other side of this field, sipping a vegan hot chocolate and hemp milkshake that I paid nine pounds for, thinks this is a bit more complicated than that.

    I cannot help but wonder why it takes a festival to create an atmosphere of experimentation and what this exploration means.

    So often I think about how some young boys are allowed to paint their nails at home when they are children – it is seen as a quirk – and then suddenly, as they get older, they are punished and become ‘too old’ for these habits.

    I wonder where those curiosities start to go. Do they go away as soon as they are shunned? Or does our desire to escape the rigidity of gender just lie under the surface? Does it wait for the chance when you are in a field somewhere away from home that you decide to try on a dress ‘just for a laugh with the mates?’

    Gender is far more complicated than just trans and cis. We all have personal and deep relationships with gender – whether conscious or subconsciously – and I believe we are constantly editing, changing and removing or adding parts to ourselves because of the pressure gender puts on us.

    For me, being at a festival proves this. So much of festival culture in Britain, whether good or bad, shows people in a field forgetting about rules. Forgetting about work. Forgetting about space and the city and its confinements.

    And somewhere in that, I believe that for these cisgender, often straight men, donning glitter, skirts and sequins could be about forgetting the grasps of gender and its hold on them. I think it makes them feel good. And I think that’s more than OK.

    However, somewhere in the middle of the field, near the drum and bass tent, and next to the fashion stall that is definitely partaking in cultural appropriation, is where my memory and past experiences remind me this is not as simple as those two options.

    Not as binary, shall I say, as right or wrong.

    I cannot tell if the men in skirts singing a sporting chant have ever harassed anyone before, based on their appearance – it would be silly to make that assumption. But what I do know is that men who have looked like that have harassed me and others before – or have stayed silent when others do so.

    And it is then I wonder where we, as a gender non-conforming and trans community, fit into this escapism.

    Are we in any of their thoughts? Does agreeing to explore your gender in the openness of a field mean you will also support others doing just the same in the busy streets of London?

    A part of me optimistically wants to say yes, yet the news of hate crimes increasing and the stories of my friends feeling the impact of this makes me know that, deep down, this is not the case.

    I chat to some queer people about it at the festival and they express their frustration. And I understand it.

    How it feels to see people try something that you struggle with every day, loaded with past trauma, can rightfully feel at odds.

    Yet I still sit somewhere in the middle. Ultimately, I want a world where people can try things on, remain ever changing and in flux, not stagnant. But I also want people to be aware of the responsibility that comes with it.

    What I hope for – when travelling on a packed train back to London, watching people remove their sequins, skirts and take off their glitter – is that they will stand by, protect and support those of us that never get to remove it.

    MORE: Gender neutral uniforms are pointless if kids don’t feel safe wearing them

    MORE: The importance of trans people telling our own stories in TV like Pose cannot be understated

    MORE: Parents looking for ‘festival nanny’ to look after their kids while they party


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    Team GB
    Kick off a summer of sport with the whole nation at free sporting events that are going on in your local area later this month (Picture: Toyota/IAmTeamGB)

    While we were all so busy counting our steps or setting workout targets, we forgot just how much fun getting active could be.

    Remember when school Sports Days were the most exciting event of the summer? A feel-good day when everyone could team up, practise a skill and cheer each other on, instead of being so serious about fitness all the time?

    Well, next month Toyota and Team GB will be hosting The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day as part of their ‘I am Team GB’ participation campaign, so you can revisit the carefree side of sport where the winning really is in the taking part.

    Its the chance
    Remember when sports day used to be the most fun day of the year? (Photo by Gideon Mendel/In Pictures/Corbis via Getty Images)

    It’s the one day of the year when the nation can come together, get moving and focus on health and wellbeing while local sports clubs and community volunteers host hundreds of activities across the country, which are all free and easy to sign up to.

    Whether you’ve been toying with the idea of trying something new or getting back into something you loved from your childhood, it’s the perfect chance to unleash your active streak.

    We’re all supposed to be getting between 20 and 60 minutes of exercise every day, depending on our age, but less than half of us say we can squeeze it in.

    It’s the chance to try something new or practise a skill you know and love (Photo by Colin McPherson/Corbis via Getty Images)

    Even doing a bit of moderate exercise could help reduce the risk of major illnesses, like heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer, by up to 50 per cent.

    And that can be as casual as an organised walk with friends or some gentle yoga in the park.

    Aside from all the great stuff that it can do for your body, getting more active can be beneficial for the mind, reducing stress and anxiety and generally helping us all to feel happier within ourselves.

    If you’re one of the 59 per cent of us who say they find exercise just too boring, there are even more advantages to doing it in a group.

    Whether it’s a spin class or joining a local football team, being a part of a team can make things a lot more engaging, not to mention the boost it gives your self-esteem.

    Team GB
    This year, it’s going to be so big that even Britain’s most successful female Olympian Laura Kenny (centre) will be taking part (Picture: Toyota/IAmTeamGB)
    Team GB
    Exercise doesn’t have to be excessive, check out the amazing fun and free things going on in your local area (Picture: Toyota/IAmTeamGB)

    On The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day, which is supported by Toyota, you’ll get the chance to join I Am Team GB – the sporting team the whole community can be a part of.

    The last time this incredible event took place almost one million people took part, inspired by the amazing achievements of our Team GB athletes in the Rio 2016 Olympics.

    In 2019, it returns with even more exciting events brought to you by an army of local volunteers called Games Makers.

    Even Britain’s most successful female Olympic athlete Laura Kenny will be taking part to encourage us all to move a bit more.

    But you definitely don’t need to be an athlete to take part – no matter how young, old, inactive or over experienced, there will an event to suit a range of abilities near you, because Toyota is committed to making movement better for everyone.

    All that matters is that you’re moving.

    So, if you fancy having a bit more fun with fitness, join Toyota and Team GB for The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day and let the fun and games begin!

    To join the team and be part of The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day, simply visit iamteamgb.com to sign up.

    Team GBTeam GB

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    Drawing of a woman experiencing back pain
    Don’t let back pain stop you from getting active (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Back pain is incredibly common – and those of us who spend the majority of our days stuck at our desks are most at risk.

    As well as impacting every area of your life, back pain can really compromise your ability and desire to get active.

    Who wants to go the gym when their muscles are on fire?

    There are lots of conditions and circumstances that can cause back pain, and often people are forced to resort to long-term medications or invasive surgery.

    But there are things you can try before you turn to drastic measures – stretching is one of them.

    Nikki Robinson has been a physiotherapist for 25 years.

    She swears by a stretching technique called myofascial release, which aims to work with your body to find and treat the cause of symptoms such as pain, tension and inflammation.

    What is myofascial release?

    Myofascial release is a medicine therapy that claims to treat skeletal muscle immobility and pain by relaxing contracted muscles, improving blood and lymphatic circulation, and stimulating the stretch reflex in muscles.

    It is traditionally accepted that myofascia is the connective tissue in and around muscles, particularly those muscles that are important for posture.

    So this technique aims to alleviate tension, restrictions and adhesions in the myofascia, in order to restore balance and function.

    Nikki has given us her expert insight into simple stretches you can do at home if you’re suffering from back pain. So instead of reaching for more painkillers – why not give these a try first.

    Tennis ball stretch

    Lie on your stomach on the floor with your ball – you can lie on a bed but put a book under the ball so it doesn’t disappear into the mattress.

    On your loosest side, locate the bone at the front of your hip. Place the ball on the inside of the bone and towards your belly button. Lie face down on the ball for 10 minutes.

    Repeat on the tighter side.

    Pelvic tilt

    Lie on your back with both knees bent, feet on the bed.

    Slowly pull your belly button in towards your spine, tilting your pelvis towards the ceiling then release.

    Gently repeat this rocking motion until you feel your back loosen. This is also a very good exercise to help support your back – do the same movement and then hold the tilt for five seconds.

    Do five sets of 20 repetitions.

    Illustration of a woman sitting at a desk working on a laptop
    Desk work and slouching over your laptop can make back pain worse (Picture: Ella Byworth)

    Knee rocking

    Lie on your back with both knees bent.

    Keeping your feet on the bed, gently move your knees together from one side to the other. This is great for loosening your back before you get out of bed in the morning.

    Repeat, gradually going further to each side until you feel your back has freed up.

    Remember, it doesn’t matter how far you move, just that you are feeling into the movement and not forcing your body.

    Knees to chest

    Lie on your back with both knees bent.

    Bring one of your knees up towards your chest and hold it with both hands, keeping your head and the rest of your back resting on the floor or bed.

    Using your arms, slowly pull your knee further in to your chest until you feel a gentle pull. Hold there until you feel it release – do not move into pain.

    You can increase the pull by straightening the other leg onto the bed.

    Repeat with the other leg.

    Back pain advice

    Stay as active as possible and try to continue your daily activities – this is one of the most important things you can do, as resting for long periods is likely to make the pain worse.

    Try exercises and stretches for back pain; other activities such as walking, swimming, yoga and Pilates may also be helpful.

    Take anti-inflammatory painkillers, such as ibuprofen – remember to check the medicine is safe for you to take first and ask a pharmacist if you’re not sure.

    Use hot or cold compression packs for short-term relief. Although it can be difficult, it helps if you stay optimistic and recognise that your pain should get better.

    People who manage to stay positive despite their pain tend to recover quicker.


    Of course, stretches can only do so much, and if you are experiencing chronic, debilitating pain then you should speak to your GP about your options.

    But stretching and limiting your sedentary time every day are all good ways to ward off the worst of the pain and counteract some of the damaging effects of having a desk job.

    Banish back pain and get back to your active best in no time – being pain-free is an excellent incentive to get moving.

    I am Team GB

    Toyota has teamed up with Team GB to re-launch the hugely successful participation campaign ‘I am Team GB’.

    Inspired by the achievements of Team GB athletes and the amazing efforts of local community heroes, Team GB has created ‘The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day’, which will take place on the 24thAugust.

    Over the weekend, there will be hundreds of free and fun activities across the country, put on by an army of volunteers; the ‘I am Team GB Games Makers’.

    To Join the Team and be part of The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day sign up at: www.IAmTeamGB.com

    Back painBack pain

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    Eleanor before and after in her red wine stain outfit
    Eleanor before and after (Picture: @MiaWiliamson_/Twitter)

    Wearing white to an event is a brave move – something Eleanor Walton discovered when she ended up with red wine over her white jumpsuit at the Ripon Races.

    But rather than let it ruin her day, her quick thinking friends turned the stain into a bit of a design feature.

    Yes, they threw even more wine over her to make it look like the outfit was meant to be like that all along.

    Completely soaking the top half and creating a pattern on the bottom, Eleanor posed in her new outfit once it had dried.

    She tweeted: ‘Would you believe someone spilt red wine all down my white outfit so my work girls SOAKED my jumpsuit in the sink so it’s now red.’

    They revealed how they took about four glasses of wine from the bar and soaked it in the sink, while Eleanor sat naked in the bathroom, hoping it worked.

    They dried the outfit under the hand drier to make sure she didn’t even up soaked.

    She then put the jumpsuit back on and got on with enjoying her day.

    Her friend Mia Williamson tweeted: ‘So we’re 2 hours into the races, and el comes and tells me someone has spilt red wine down her… no problem.

    ‘Got some more red wine and fixed it and I think we’ve just made a new product to PLTs festival range.’

    Despite the impromptu transformation, people loved it.

    One person even said it looks like a pair of tie dye trousers they already own.

    ‘Honestly looks like a piece of art masterpiece you wouldn’t tell the difference if it was designer!!!,’ one person said.

    ‘You truly deserve a best friend of the year award for that one,’ another said.

    ‘It’s actually SUCH A CUTE OUTFIT DAMN,’ someone else added.

    Some people pointed out that it might smell a little of wine but when you’re already in a bar, does that really matter?

    Well done girls. We all need quick thinking friends who are willing to sacrifice their wine for us.

    MORE: The best stretches to help with back pain

    MORE: Mum’s £2.50 hack to remove pen marks from wall in minutes

    Racegoer turns her red wine stain into a new outfitRacegoer turns her red wine stain into a new outfit

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    Mumsnet conversation of woman contemplating missing her sister's Caribbean wedding as it's too expensive
    That’s an expensive wedding (Picture: Getty, Mumsnet)

    Weddings are probably the most expensive party the bride and groom will throw.

    They’re no cheap affair for guests either and some have been forced to skip it. One wedding guest, however, was more conflicted than the average invitee as it was her sister getting married.

    But the bride-to-be was making it super difficult, having planned a lavish wedding to the Caribbean.

    Oh and the cost? £10,000.

    So understandably, her sister had some worries about how to afford it and eventually declined it.

    She even said no when her parents offered to cover the costs. Which makes us wonder how rich they are.

    Mumsnet conversation of woman contemplating missing her sister's Caribbean wedding as it's too expensive
    She even declined her parents offer to pay for it (Picture: Mumsnet)

    The poster, known as Laietta, wrote on Mumsnet that the two weren’t particularly close anyway and this was the final straw.

    The kicker was also that the sister is on minimum wage herself and wouldn’t be able to afford it, had her husband-to-be not been rich.

    ‘She has invited us – me, my partner and baby – to her wedding in the Caribbean next year at a cost of around £10,000 per person which is money we don’t have,’ said Laietta.

    ‘Even if I would take the money from my parents, I would rather put it towards a house than a two-week holiday in the Caribbean.’

    Mumsnet conversation of woman contemplating missing her sister's Caribbean wedding as it's too expensive
    Mumsnet users sided with the poster (Picture: Mumsnet)

    Laietta added that they only had a virtual relationship or saw each other on special occasions.

    She also felt that if the sister was keen to have lots of people, she should’ve chosen somewhere cheaper.

    Other Mumsnetters agreed, saying: ‘£10,000! Where is she getting married? The moon?. There’s no way I would go. You are not being in any way unreasonable.’

    Another wrote: ‘She wants you to spend in excess of £20,000 to go to her wedding when you don’t see her from one year to the next?. No. Not happening. That’s insane.’

    METRO GRAB - Caribbean wedding From Mumsnet https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/3643669-AIBU-to-decline-an-invite-to-my-sisters-wedding
    (Picture: Mumsnet)

    Some did defend the bride-to-be. One person had a diplomatic approach: ‘Saying ‘”we can’t afford it” is okay, but you sound quite judgemental of your sister’s decisions. Why not go for just a few days?’

    Others wondered how her parents could afford to fork out £30,000 for the sister’s family.

    We’re wondering the same.

    MORE: Bride can’t forgive ‘selfish’ groom who got so drunk on wedding day he passed out in bridal suite

    MORE: Woman wants to leave fiancé who pays for her degree for another man a week before the wedding

    MORE: Bride asks makeup artist to work for free or do it for ‘probably £10’

    Caribbean weddingCaribbean wedding

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    Vegan festival in the midlands
    Vegan Camp-Out is meant to be the UK’s largest festival of its kind (Picture: @VeganCampOut/Twitter)

    The food situation at festivals used to be dire but thankfully there are now more options, even for vegan folks.

    And now there’s a whole festival dedicated to all things plant-based.

    Well, the event, Vegan Camp-out, has been around since 2016 but it’s only getting bigger and badder (in a good way).

    Organisers have said it’s ‘the world’s largest vegan camping festival’. So we’re definitely on board.

    Last year’s festivities saw a line-up of celebs which included Simon Amstell, JME, Macka B, Neal Barnard, Melanie Joy, Heather Mills.

    This year, you can expect all the great stuff plus delicious new plant-based foods at the event happening in Newark Showground, Nottinghamshire.

    What a time to be alive.

    METRO GRAB - Vegan festival in the midlands From @VeganCampOut/Twitter
    This could be you (Picture: @VeganCampOut/Twitter)

    Organiser Jordan Martin, from Derby, started the whole thing three years ago in a field, attended by 400 people.

    He said there were no social spots for vegans to hang out.

    Since then the event has taken off, having amassed 5,000 guests last year.

    ‘I found there were these events where you pay £3 and try the food but no event that really saw like-minded vegans get together,’ he told Leicestershire Live.

    ‘And that’s what the camp-out is about. We’re expecting to have around 7000 people attend this year.’

    Lucky festival-goers can expect to see the genius that is Akala as well as musicians like Zak Abel and Shikari Sound System.

    There’ll be plenty of fun things to do as well as informative talks including a ‘Vegan Activism Stage’ which will feature talks from Earthling Ed, James Aspey and Erin Janus.

    The meat and dairy-free goodness options include pizza, kebab, smoothies, juices, Indian food and ice cream.

    Doors will open at 2 pm on Friday 30 August and tickets cost £45 for the entire weekend.

    MORE: The UK’s most vegan-friendly city revealed – and it’s not London

    MORE: Spill It: How much does a professional vegan drink in a week?

    MORE: I’m not just a vegan. I’m a fat vegan

    METRO GRAB - Vegan festival in the midlandsMETRO GRAB - Vegan festival in the midlands

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    Illustration of woman with stomach cramps
    Period pain can really put you off going to the gym (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Period pain is horrible.

    As well as the debilitating cramps, you can also suffer with back pain, sore breasts, headaches, mood swings and bloating. What a treat.

    When you’re feeling like this, the last thing you probably want to do is put your trainers on and go and workout.

    But it could be the best thing for you. Studies show that getting active can actually improve the physical and psychological symptoms of PMS. And at this point – we are willing to try anything.

    One study, analysing young women over an eight week period, found that exercise made a ‘significant difference’ in improving PMS symptoms.

    Overall, 31% of PMS symptoms were reduced over the two months, in participants who had been doing aerobic exercise.

    So maybe it’s time to ditch the Netflix and ice cream and get on the treadmill instead.

    If you struggle with PMS, the effects can be truly debilitating. For some people, the monthly cycle of symptoms can severely disrupt their daily lives, causing them to take days off work and even damage their relationships.

    Illustration of three women doing a plank
    Going to the gym could help your feel mentally and physically better (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    So it’s important to get on top of your symptoms and develop coping strategies to manage the pain and improve your mood.

    During this time it’s crucial that you look after your body.

    India Parker-Smith, a personal trainer on the training app Peach, says doing the right kind of exercise is really important.

    ‘During PMS – the two weeks leading up to menstruating – your body is essentially preparing for pregnancy, so you’ll be lacking in energy,’ India tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘I’d suggest taking the intensity of your workouts down, try incorporating more stretching, or yoga into your fitness regime, and try avoid anything too strenuous.

    ‘Your body will be tired, and you may be more likely to injure yourself, so it’s a good time of the month to take a rest from your more hard-core activities.’

    What fitness should you do on your period?

    Steady state cardio like running, cycling, hiking and power walking are perfect during PMS, and will also help regulate mood and even help reduce water retention, common problems with PMS.

    Body temperature also rises during this time, which can make intense exercise less comfortable.

    A lower carb, higher protein and fat diet will complement this type of exercise and since the body is less insulin-sensitive during PMS, will reduce blood sugar and energy swings.

    During your period is the time to hit those heavy weights and take all that tension out with a big workout.

    Your body uses carbohydrates more efficiently now, and the extra carbs will help fuel the harder workouts.

    Pollyanna Hale, fitness expert

    Exercise is known for its endorphin-boosting qualities – sending happy chemicals surging through your veins.

    So that might be why working out helps to reduce the emotional and psychological stress of PMS. But endorphins are only part of the story.

    Herbalist and period pain expert, Rosemary Umolu explains: ‘Studies have shown exercise to boost brain chemicals, causing an analgesic effect. This may help to override the irritability and moodiness that comes with PMS.

    ‘As cramping is sometimes caused by reduced levels of oxygen in the body, exercise stimulates circulation and encourages a healthy blood flow in the uterus, resulting in reduced cramps.’

    And that’s not the only good news – once you’ve made it through PMS and your period starts, the shift in hormones causes improved pain tolerance and muscle recovery, which can all pay off in the gym.

    In other words – starting your period can actually help to supercharge your workout.

    ‘When you’re on your period, your hormones will be at their lowest, meaning you may be able to hit PBs and lift harder,’ explains India.

    ‘Of course, everyone is different, but if you’re not suffering from cramps, your mensuration period is when you can be at your strongest.’

    The only hurdle then, is getting off the sofa and putting your kit on – when you least feel like it.

    India has some tips: ‘If you want to stay motivated during while you’re suffering from PMS, try writing down your goals, the reason for those goals, and how you’ll feel if you don’t meet them.

    ‘Goals are a great motivational tool to keep you on track.’

    I am Team GB

    Toyota has teamed up with Team GB to re-launch the hugely successful participation campaign ‘I am Team GB’.

    Inspired by the achievements of Team GB athletes and the amazing efforts of local community heroes, Team GB has created ‘The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day’, which will take place on the 24thAugust.

    Over the weekend, there will be hundreds of free and fun activities across the country, put on by an army of volunteers; the ‘I am Team GB Games Makers’.

    To Join the Team and be part of The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day sign up at: www.IAmTeamGB.com

    10 symptoms of IBD most people don't realise exist (Jenna Farmer)10 symptoms of IBD most people don't realise exist (Jenna Farmer)

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    The 70 sex position
    This is not it (Picture: Getty)

    Numbers and sex should not go so well together and yet the 69 remains one of the most popular sexy staples.

    The lesser cousin of the most famous numerical sex position, the 68, also tried to give it a run for its money.

    But with so many other choices – the Eagle, the Anaconda – it can be hard to keep up.

    Still, we’re adding one more to the bedroom – the 70. But it might be for the more athletic among us.

    That’s because unlike the 69 where oral pleasure is given lying down, the 70 is performed vertically.

    But we’re calling it The Headstand©.

    The 70 sex position which is like the 69 but standing up
    Will you be trying the 70? (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

    We’re not sure why it’s referred to as the 70, it looks nothing like the number. But it may just be ’cause it’s one-upping the 69.

    To get started on the 70, the man will need to start on his knees.

    The partner can then, standing behind, roll in front of the man as if to perform a cartwheel, wrapping her legs around his neck as she goes.

    Naturally, his head will need to be in between the woman’s legs as she moves forward.

    Next, he rises to his feet while she should be able to reach the floor with her hands and support her weight.

    While this is happening, the male should have his arms around the partner’s waist.

    Their genitals should now be aligned, perfect for some oral goodness.

    Of course, you can start from a different position, for example, one person does a handstand against a wall and then the partner comes towards them in an embrace.

    And while we’ve used heteronormative pronouns to describe the position, of course, it can be enjoyed by any two people.

    This move might heat things up in the bedroom but it’ll definitely take some physical skill.

    Careful you don’t get a cramp.

    MORE: What is the best sex position if you want to get pregnant?

    MORE: What is the anaconda sex position Chris from Love Island says is his favourite?

    MORE: What your favourite sex position says about you


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    Adam running
    I find the cover of darkness comforting (Picture: Adam Selvey)

    As a child, it never occurred to me that I was disabled.

    I am a triplet and both my brother and sister are non-disabled so I would run all the time and was incredibly active – I’d just get on with it.

    However, I have cerebral palsy (CP), which causes impaired motor function on the right side of my body and affects my arm. At 22, I still run – but only at night-time.

    I find the cover of darkness comforting. Growing up with the odd glance or question from a stranger about my CP made me hyper-perceptive.

    Whatever people’s reasons for glancing at me on the street, I came to always assume the worst; that they were staring at my arm, judging me for it – finding it funny, even.

    One of my most vivid memories is of being mocked by my friends a during tennis lesson for my posture. Similarly, in swimming lessons, it was impossible for me to swim with correct technique. My classmates picked up on this and singled me out.

    I remember begging my parents to buy me a swim-shirt, pretending that I was concerned about sunburn when in reality it was just another way to hide my arm.

    I run at night to remove the possibility of these stares. A defence mechanism to hide the reality of my body away from others, and from myself.

    Because of this, I have struggled to come to terms with my identity as a disabled person. For a long time, I stopped running altogether and hid away from people because I was so uncomfortable in my own skin.

    I started to compare myself to other people physically, and I hated who I was.

    There wouldn’t be a waking moment when I wasn’t analysing myself, my posture, my arm, and doing my best to conceal and hide my impairment. If anyone asked about my arm, I would pretend it was broken.

    For years I did no exercise at all, and I put on weight as a result. It really was damaging for my self-esteem and my mental health.

    It wasn’t until I was 18 that I got back into the sport. I realised that I had let the harmful notion that disabled people are victims get to my head; I was worlds away from the eight-year-old boy who simply got on with life. I had allowed myself to become a victim, and I decided enough was enough.

    Starting to run again was my way of regaining control of my self-worth. I’d become accustomed to the notion that disabled people are trapped, that there are simply some things we cannot do.

    I know I’ll have to start running in the day very soon – my dad wants me to join him in a park run.

    Running and getting fit became my way of eroding that myth.

    I kept thinking of how appalled I would have been as a child at who I had become, and the thought of doing my childhood justice kept me going on my journey.

    Still, I choose to run at night.

    I tried running on the treadmill at my school but found myself constantly distracted by the paranoia that people were watching and making fun of me. Running at night seemed like the perfect solution and it stuck.

    I have set a challenge for myself, though; later this year I will run the Royal Parks Half Marathon for the disability equality charity Scope.

    Not only is the race happening in the day time, but I will be running in front of the crowds. The thought alone is terrifying to me.

    The problems young disabled people face are so severe. In many cases, those of us with a disability are not debilitated by our own bodies, but by society, we live in.

    Social media places so much emphasis on aesthetic value and for disabled people, who have no control over what their body looks like, it can be agonising to discover that the bodies we celebrate online, the bodies we ascribe worth to, are overwhelmingly non-disabled.

    Despite this, I do believe that people’s attitudes are changing. Although social media can be toxic, there are ways in which it can be used as a force for good.

    Disabled activists like Jessica Kellgren-Fotzard or Paddy Smyth use social media as a major platform for opening up discussion about disability, and for destabilising so much of the stigma that surrounds disability.

    We all need to familiarise ourselves with disability. We all need to challenge negative attitudes. If we do not expose ourselves to disabled lives and stories, then disability will continue to appear alien to us.

    As long as this is the case, disabled people will continue to feel abnormal, and more prone to isolating and hiding away.

    I still have those urges to hide, as I did as a teenager. Running at night is comforting, but I know I’ll have to start running in the day very soon – my dad wants me to join him in a park run.

    I’m trying to open myself up to who I am and to my body. I would encourage people not to assume negative intent from others, and I’d like to inspire teenagers who might be feeling how I once felt by sharing my experiences.

    To sponsor Adam visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/adam-selvey or take on your own sporting challenge for Scope and visit  www.scope.org.uk/events

    MORE: Amazing moment girl, 10, with cerebral palsy walks independently for first time

    MORE: No one is ‘too slow’ to run a marathon, even if they finish last

    MORE: What it’s like to be diagnosed with a learning disability as an adult


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    Sujata Seta
    Couple goals (Picture: Sujata Setia)

    London-based photographer Sujata Setia photographs old couples and is in awe of the bond between them.

    The mum began her career by chance when a lack of job prospects put her in a difficult emotional space.

    When she ended up showing off her hobby on a Facebook page, her family and friends encouraged her to do it professionally.

    One day when shooting images of her daughter and grandmother, Sujata realised how wonderful it was to capture elderly folks.

    ‘Over these years I started photographing people and the stories of their lives for my own personal creative journey,’ she told Metro.co.uk.

    ‘I started photographing elderlies a year ago. Slowly this subject became a passion for me. I spent all of last year photographing elderlies with their grand and great-grandchildren and that led to me photographing elderly couples as well.’

    Sujata Seta
    Sujata has been capturing elderly couples for a year (Picture: Sujata Setia)

    In the past year, she’s captured some stunning shots of older lovers, their homes and pets.

    ‘It has been an incredible experience. I am literally walking around in public places with my blinkers on, looking for elderly couples and handing them my business card, in case they would love for me to gift them a photoshoot,’ she said.

    Sujata also runs photography classes across the world, inviting her clients to bring in their older family members.

    ‘The love, the bond that these couples share is indescribable,’ she added.

    ‘I almost never ever have to pose them. The love, the way they hold each other’s hands, the way they kiss, it is all so real.

    ‘Slowly now, my clients have also started to bring their parents over for being photographed as part of their family shoots.’

    Here are the images Sujata has shot so far:

    Sujata Seta
    (Picture: Sujata Setia)
    Sujata Seta
    (Picture: Sujata Setia)
    Sujata Seta
    (Picture: Sujata Setia)
    Sujata Seta
    (Picture: Sujata Setia)
    Sujata Seta
    (Picture: Sujata Setia)
    Sujata Seta
    (Picture: Sujata Setia)
    Sujata Seta
    (Picture: Sujata Setia)
    Sujata Seta
    (Picture: Sujata Setia)

    MORE: Great-grandparents celebrate their 60th anniversary with a wedding-themed photoshoot

    MORE: Three-year-old photographer takes her photoshoots with stuffed bear and Ant-man toy very seriously

    MORE: Stunning photoshoot features models with limb differences

    Elderly couples photoshootElderly couples photoshoot

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    Ella and Charly and the sisters with their husbands at their double wedding
    Ella and Charly and the sisters with their husbands (Picture: Lauren Stirling Photography/SWNS)

    Sisters Ella and Charly have pretty similar tastes – so when they realised they wanted almost identical weddings, they decided to combine their big days to save money.

    Ella married partner Chase and Charly married Marcin at a ceremony on last month in Stirling, Scotland.

    Afterwards they cut the cake together, made a speech to each other and all four of them even shared the same first dance to Better Together, by Jack Johnston.

    Ella Pretorius, 23, tells Metro.co.uk: ‘When I was feeling nervous, Charly was there by my side going through the exact same thing and we could really support each other and get excited together. ‘

    Charly Jerwan, 27, adds: ‘I guess I got the best view of my sister’s wedding – standing right there beside her as I celebrated my own day too! Ella is more than my sister she is my best friend and we are so lucky to have shared such a special day.’

    Ella met Chase, 28, while she was living and volunteering at a school for disabled children in South Africa.

    A friend invited her to her housemate’s birthday – and that friend happened to be Chase.

    Ella explains: ‘We bit things off and we have been doing long distance for over three years now while I came home to finish university.’

    Chase, Ella, Charly and Marcin at their double wedding in Scotland
    Chase, Ella, Charly and Marcin (Picture: Lauren Stirling /SWNS)

    The pair got engaged on 6 January this year at his family’s beach house in the Eastern Cape in South Africa.

    ‘He took me to the top of a big sand dune after we had been geocaching on the beach for the day. He got down on one knee and after stumbling to find the right hand, asked me to marry him as we looked out over the ocean – he even planned for his good friend to be there to take pictures of it all for us.’

    Ella’s sister Charly had already been engaged to her partner Marcin, 37, who she met when they worked in a restaurant together, for over four years.

    So when Ella came home and she started to talk about her wedding, Charly realised that Ella’s dream wedding sounded a lot like hers.

    Ella laughs: ‘It started out as a joke because Charly and Marcin (Marly as we call them – and everyone calls Chase and I, Chella) had been engaged for like five years already.

    ‘I was determined to have the wedding that year but as we all started to speak – especially Char and I – we realised we wanted very similar weddings and thought why waste money on the same wedding a year or so apart with mostly the same people when we could share our big day and make it epic?

    Marcin Jerwan, Charly Jerwan, Ella Pretorius, Chase Pretorious at their double wedding
    The couples said planning a double wedding meant there were lots more people to consult (Picture: Lauren Stirling /SWNS)

    ‘Char and I have always been really close and want only the best for each other. There is never any jealousy so it just made sense after a while.

    ‘I am incredibly happy we went ahead with it because the day was perfect and gives us an extra reminder for anniversaries and even a couple to do joint trips with.’

    Charly adds: ‘When Ella and Chase were talking seriously about getting married it became a bit of a joke that we had been engaged for so long and they were closer to planning a wedding than us.

    ‘Ella was the mastermind behind the idea and initially I think we all agreed but we were all a little unsure if it would happen.

    ‘As we were discussing ideas it was obvious we wanted an almost identical wedding and from there we just started throwing in ideas for the day and agreeing to go for it!’

    With Chase still in South Africa, the couples planned the wedding over Skype, coming up with ideas together, and each person taking on jobs.

    The wedding ceremony at the double wedding
    The ceremony was carried out by a family friend (Picture: Lauren Stirling /SWNS)

    Charly says: ‘Whilst we all made decisions and agreed on the overall aspects of the day I think we all brought our own skill set.

    ‘I think we would all agree that without Ella we wouldn’t have had a wedding. Ella did lots of heavy lifting and she was key to holding us all accountable and delegating.

    ‘Marcin was in charge of finding us an incredible photographer and designing our wedding stationary.

    ‘Chase was responsible for some really cool industrial copper style decor on the day.

    ‘I just got a little carried away with loads of ideas and tried not to get distracted by shiny things.’

    They got married at the local Gartmore Village Hall in Stirling at the end of June, in front of all their friends and families.

    (L-R) Sisters Charly Jerwan, 28, and Ella Pretorius on their wedding day
    The sisters on their joint wedding day (Picture: Lauren Stirling /SWNS)

    For bridesmaids, they had their two sisters Tasha and Kirsty and a close friend each – Emma and Jessica.

    Ella says: ‘I’d say they all felt like all ours – not separate. Our husbands both had a best man each -Chase has his brother and Marcin had his best friend Emil.

    ‘We walked down the aisle separately (with our dad and step dad on each arm). I went first and then the dads went back and walked down with Charly.’

    They signed the paperwork separately but the ceremony was carried out by family friend Liz, who was able to bring aspects of both couples together, though they all wrote separate vows to make it more personal.

    Ella explains: ‘She was able to talk about both couples and merge a lot of the ceremony into one – Charly and I even did a little speech for each other during it and then both couples were pronounced and kissed at the same time at the end.

    ‘We both opted for a hand-tie ceremony to finish so the registrar performed this on each couple and then Charly and Marcin walked out first followed by Chase and myself.’

    After the ceremony, they shared more aspects of the day, including the cake and the first dance.

    The couples during the ceremony for their double wedding
    They each wrote their own vows to have something personal as well (Picture: Lauren Stirling /SWNS)

    Charly adds: ‘Both husbands did a speech at dinner and for the cake, we had a three tier in the middle with a single tier at each side for the couples to cut at the same time.’

    The sisters think a double wedding was the perfect way to celebrate – but admit that planning it with so many extra voices made it slightly more stressful.

    Ella says: ‘There were four people to please instead of two and when parents get involved too then theres a lot of different ideas and input.

    Charly adds: ‘‘We are all very laid back and we wanted a day that was relaxed and chilled out just like us. We didn’t disagree on anything but it was still planning a wedding.

    ‘We had multiple opinions and multiple families and we also had a tight budget with constraints so it would be a lie to say it wasn’t stressful at times.’

    But now, almost a month later, with Ella and Chase now in Cape Town, South Africa and Charly and Marcin in Winchburgh, Scotland, the couples are glad they have such happy memories of their wedding day.

    ‘Everything went smoothly and perfectly and I couldn’t ask for anything more! Best day of my life,’ Charly says.

    MORE: As a young disabled man I have to run at night time to avoid stares

    MORE: Exercise can help ease your period pain – this is why

    MORE: A vegan camping festival is coming to the Midlands and it’s set to be the UK’s biggest

    Sisters wed togetherSisters wed together

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    The £12.99 waterslide
    The new water slide is £12.99 (Picture: Aldi)

    If you’re looking for something fun to cool the kids down during this week’s heat wave (and you don’t fancy letting them throw water balloons all over the garden), Aldi has got you covered, as the store has just started selling a water slide for just £12.99.

    The outdoor slide features two lanes for racing and has spray water jets in the middle.

    It also comes with a garden hose connector as well as two inflatable surf riders and a water filled stopper that acts as a cushion.

    The slide has a three-year guarantee and comes in turquoise, blue and red.

    The new waterslide
    This will give your kids hours of fun (Picture: Aldi)

    As they’re so cheap, and if you have more than two kids – it might be worth buying all three for hours of fun in the garden.

    And, if you’re lucky enough to have a pool, the supermarket has also launched two giant pool floats, a unicorn one and a flamingo one.

    The floats are XL in size and feature two air chambers for safety.

    They also have durable handles and are big enough to fit two adults on them comfortable.

    The pool floats cost just £19.99.

    So your kids can have fun while you lounge back on the water with a cocktail.

    The store also has some gins that were recently awarded the top prize at the world renowned Spirits Business Gin Masters.


    MORE: Aldi launches ‘Chilli Chubbies’ sausages infused with jalapeno, sriracha and habenero

    MORE: Maldives hotel lets you sleep on a net over the sea and under the stars

    Aldi is selling a kids’ water slide for £12.99 – and it’sAldi is selling a kids’ water slide for £12.99 – and it’s

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    Lonely woman tweets about celebrating birthday alone, everyone comes out in full force
    (Picture: @sarah_fbpe/Twitter)

    We Brits may be known for having a stiff upper lip but we can really rally together sometimes.

    And a virtual collaboration has unexpectedly taken place on Twitter after a mum said no adults were going to be around for her birthday.

    Sarah Hammond tweeted that she was ‘struggling’ to look forward to the day as her dad passed away and her mum has dementia.

    Her daughter is also too young to acknowledge the day.

    But none of us are having it as Twitter users got #HappybirthdaySarah trending, as well as Tastemade, ITV, and us from Metro.co.uk wishing Sarah the happiest of birthdays.

    Twitter really can be a wholesome environment sometimes.

    Sarah’s tweet blew up yesterday as she celebrates her birthday today, hopefully with the knowledge that thousands of strangers are thinking of her.

    Tastemade, the video platform which offers recipes online, even made a cake in her honour saying: ‘You’re a star’.

    Journalists Victoria Derbyshire and Owen Jones also tweeted at Sarah to wish her a good day.

    English actor Joe Altin who starred in Misfits and Game of Thrones and Eastenders’ Davood Ghadami got involved as well as This Morning folks.

    Others in a similar position who understand Sarah’s loneliness sent love.

    One person wrote: ‘I understand what it’s like, and I am so sorry. My dad had dementia as he lost his sight and my mum had Alzheimer’s. It’s hard because you have to climb into their world.’

    Another said: ‘I went through a terrible time when my mum had it, finished my dad off, they died 4 weeks apart, I remember my last birthday before she died, awful, here to listen anytime, message me if you want to chat.’

    Almost 2,000 other comments followed suit, showing Sarah that she’s not alone and her day wasn’t going to go unacknowledged.

    Though she received an overwhelming amount of support, she’s responded to many.

    She replied: ‘Lovely, kind people on Twitter. Thank you.’

    MORE: Doctors should prescribe technology to tackle loneliness, report urges

    MORE: Woman creates brilliantly lonely honeymoon photos after her husband gets his visa denied

    MORE: Sex doll maker creates replicas of dead partners to combat loneliness: ‘I’m providing comfort’

    MORE: Widow travels the world with a cardboard cutout of her late husband

    Lonely woman tweets about celebrating birthday alone, everyone comes out in full forceLonely woman tweets about celebrating birthday alone, everyone comes out in full force

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    Hummus is the food the keeps on giving – you can eat it with vegetables, with crisps, with pita and probably by itself. It’s a vegan lifesaver too.

    In short, we stan hummus.

    But recently, a food brand has come up with a hummus shake and some of us are not on board.

    Humpit, a purveyor of chickpea goodness, has launched ‘the first’ shake of its kind. But being a vegan brand, there is no milk in their products.

    They’ve fused chickpeas, banana and tahini together in a shake ready to be slurped up.

    It’s certainly not the first time chickpeas have been used in desserts.

    It’s just the banana mix we’re unsure about.

    Humpit's hummus milkshake on a pink background
    Hummus shake anyone? (Picture: Humpit)

    Humpit says the shake is packed with protein, fibre and ‘essential vitamins making this the perfect addition to a healthy diet’.

    The folks also told Metro.co.uk: ‘The 100% plant-based, super-tasty, gluten-free shake can be enjoyed by many as a pre-or post-gym treat’.

    According to the falafel bar, Hummus shakes are already a huge trend in the U.S.

    Whilst the thought of slurping down white stuff may not sound overly appealing to everyone, Humpit says their customers love it.

    Blender with chickpeas and banana in it
    This is where the magic happens (Picture: Humpit)

    They’ve given samples of the drink to hundreds of customers who are apparently shocked by how delicious it actually tastes.

    The Humpit Hummus Shake costs £3 and is currently only available in the York outlet.

    But don’t worry if you aren’t near York as Humpit plan to make the shake available in all of its stores over the coming weeks.

    While the taste might sound a bit questionable to you, at least it really is hummus.

    Other food brands have been accused of ‘gentrifying’ the much-loved Arab staple.

    MORE: Tel Aviv delivers on beaches, gay bars and hummus – but prepare to spend

    MORE: This vegan mayo is made with waste water from hummus factories

    MORE: Food brand creates ‘green hummus’ using edamamae, not chickpeas and people accuse it of ‘gentrification’

    hummous milkshakehummous milkshake

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    Charlotte with her daughter
    Charlotte battled cancer herself (Picture: SWNS)

    A single mum who got cancer while she was pregnant has dedicated her life to helping others with the disease, after becoming a breast cancer nurse.

    Charlotte Ward’s life almost fell apart nine years ago when an abnormality was picked up on a routine pregnancy scan, just months before she was due to give birth.

    Because of the baby, doctors weren’t able to probe any further, and it wasn’t until six weeks after having her daughter, Isabella, that Charlotte, now 38, was diagnosed with cancer.

    In the decade since, the mum-of-one has had four surgeries, including a hysterectomy, and spent months on end having chemotherapy, often leaving her unable to care for Isabella.

    Following a run of clear scans, earlier this year the former gynaecology nurse jumped at the ‘opportunity of a lifetime’ to work for Macmillan Cancer Support.

    For the past six months she has worked for the charity as a breast cancer nurse, helping women cope with the devastating disease that she spent many years battling.

    Charlotte with her daughter
    Charlotte with her daughter (Picture: Charlotte Ward / SWNS)

    Charlotte, from Halifax, West Yorks, said: ‘I have been through so much over the past ten years.

    ‘Some things can’t be taught, sometimes you have to go through something to fully understand it.

    ‘Most cancer-sufferers go through a similar kind of journey, one that I have obviously been on myself.

    ‘I feel like now I’m in a really good position to help people suffering from the same disease I have battled.’

    Charlotte was in the second year of her nursing degree, after spending eight years working as an air hostess, when she fell pregnant.

    She said: ‘I went for a routine pregnancy scan at seven weeks and the sonographer said, “did anyone ever say anything to you about your ovary?”‘

    Charlotte went to see her gynaecologist and was told there was probably nothing wrong and that the mass, measuring 6cm, was likely benign.

    Charlotte is now a breast cancer nurse
    She has become a breast cancer nurse to help others (Picture: Dan Rowlands / SWNS)

    However, when she went for her 20 week scan the mass had doubled in size and just two weeks later Charlotte underwent surgery to have her right ovary removed.

    Six weeks after Isabella was born in March 2010, Charlotte had a CT scan and two weeks later she went to receive the results alongside her newborn and her mum.

    She said: ‘I went in and sat down and the consultant just would not make eye contact with me.

    ‘He was asking me about my appetite and my weight, I knew something was wrong.

    ‘Then he said, “I’m really sorry, I wasn’t expecting this”. I had cancer.’

    In the days, weeks and months that followed, Charlotte was overwhelmed with a feeling of guilt because of her daughter.

    She said: ‘I felt like I was abandoning her straight after bringing her into the world. I thought I was going to die.’

    Charlotte went on to have a hysterectomy in May 2010.

    She was diagnosed with a rare type of appendix cancer called pseudomyxoma peritonei, which effects fewer than one in a million people.

    She describes the aftermath of that surgery as ‘horrendous’, because her body was still recovering from childbirth.

    Charlotte with her daughter
    She was diagnosed after giving birth to her daughter (Picture: Charlotte Ward / SWNS)

    ‘I just wanted to be a mum but I was dealing with such unbelievable pain,’ Charlotte said.

    ‘It was such a low point in my life.’

    After being on a ‘watch and wait’ list for two years a check up scan revealed another tumour in her abdomen and Charlotte had cytoreductive surgery.

    In October 2013 she had to undergo the same surgery again after another mass was found.

    Charlotte had her third and final cytoreductive surgery in January 2016 and since then her scans have come back clear.

    She is currently having annual checks.

    Georgina Wiley, Treatment and Recovery Advisor at Macmillan, said: ‘We’re so grateful to Charlotte for sharing her experience of cancer and her decision to become a Macmillan nurse.

    ‘Receiving a cancer diagnosis can turn your life upside down and affect much more than just your physical health.

    ‘Thanks to the generosity of the UK public, Macmillan professionals like Charlotte are able to support people living with cancer.’

    MORE: Aldi launches new bargain outdoor water slide for £12.99

    MORE: Sisters have a double wedding and get married side by side to save money

    Inspirational single mum who got cancer while she was pregnant has now dedicated her life to helping others with the disease - after becoming a breast cancer nurseInspirational single mum who got cancer while she was pregnant has now dedicated her life to helping others with the disease - after becoming a breast cancer nurse

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    Kaz and her dog in the petticoat
    The petticoat didn’t fit Kaz, but it did fit her dog (Picture: SWNS)

    A bride-to-be was disappointed after buying a size 16 petticoat skirt to wear under her wedding dress, only to find it was so small it fit her dog instead.

    32-year-old Kaz Mainprize ordered the £9 underskirt from Wish to wear underneath her dress, but when it arrived she couldn’t even get it over one leg.

    Kaz tried it on on her Dobermann Zeus and then on her Staffy Marci, who it fitted perfectly.

    She took a photo of Marci in the petticoat, and sent it to Wish as part of her complaint which read: ‘Only just fits my dog! Supposed to be WOMENS!’

    Kaz, from Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, who usually wears a size 12-14, said: ‘I was really annoyed at first.

    A picture of Kaz
    Kaz had ordered the skirt for £9 (Picture: SWNS)

    ‘I thought I would use the dogs as an example of just how small it was – and then I thought it was hilarious.’

    Kaz ordered the skirt in November last year and it arrived a month later, for her upcoming wedding later this month.

    The dog lover ordered the skirt in a 16 because the description online said to allow for extra room.

    Kaz said: ‘I really like to be prepared and with my wedding looming I realised that I needed an underskirt for my wedding dress.

    ‘I had ordered a lot from Wish before and all of it had been great, so figured I’d order my skirt from there too.

    ‘After reading the description and reviews stating it comes up a little small, I ordered two sizes bigger than what I am so I was certain it would fit.

    Marci in the petticoat
    At least Marci has something to wear to the wedding (Picture: SWNS)

    ‘I unwrapped it and held it up, swore a little and then tried to get it over one of my thighs – but it wouldn’t even do up.

    ‘So I figured I would leave feedback that would prove just how small this skirt was to other sellers to save them wasting their money too.

    ‘I tried it on Zeus – but nope, too small for her, and then in walked Marci.

    ‘I popped it on her and it was just able to do up, so I took a picture and left my review on Wish. I also posted it on my Facebook and Instagram – people seemed to find it pretty amusing!’

    After complaining, Kaz received a full refund and found a more suitable replacement on eBay – but hey, at least Marci has something to wear to the wedding.

    MORE: Exercise can help ease your period pain – this is why

    MORE: Mum declines invite to sister’s lavish Caribbean wedding costing £10,000

    A bride-to-be was left disappointed after a size 16 petticoat skirt she bought online for her wedding was so small it would only fit her DOG. Kaz Mainprize, 32, ordered the ?9 underskirt from Wish.com to wear beneath her wedding gown, but when it arrived she couldn't even pull it to the top of one leg. It was even too small for her Dobermann Zeus - but fitted perfectly on her little Staffy Marci. She snapped a pic and send it to the online website as part of her complaint which said: "Only just fits my dog! Supposed to be WOMENS!"A bride-to-be was left disappointed after a size 16 petticoat skirt she bought online for her wedding was so small it would only fit her DOG. Kaz Mainprize, 32, ordered the ?9 underskirt from Wish.com to wear beneath her wedding gown, but when it arrived she couldn't even pull it to the top of one leg. It was even too small for her Dobermann Zeus - but fitted perfectly on her little Staffy Marci. She snapped a pic and send it to the online website as part of her complaint which said: "Only just fits my dog! Supposed to be WOMENS!"

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    If you’re like us and you are mad on dogs then there is nothing better than just spending time with any paw-some pal. It’s good for the soul.

    Even just giving some fuss to a lovely street pup, or a quick cuddle with a dog you find in the pub can turn your stressful day into an absolute lovefest.

    Dogs for Good is a charity that harnesses the healing puppy power and uses it, as the name says, for good.

    The charity works under three branches; assistance dogs who work with adults and children with disabilities and autism; family dogs who help provide live-in support for families of children with autism; and community dogs, who work alongside their specialist handlers to support vulnerable adults in the community improve their independence, wellbeing and life skills.

    Peter Gorbing, the chief executive of Dogs for Good, says: ‘Dogs for Good brings dogs and people together.

    ‘We believe dogs can really make a difference to people’s lives and we specialise in working with people to really give them the opportunity to get the benefits of working alongside a dog.’

    Fleck, a golden retriever cross, looks directly at the camera.
    Fleck, the community support dog. (Credit: Aaron Crowley/Metro.co.uk)

    As part of Dogs with Jobs, Metro.co.uk got to meet Fleck, and his handler Sarah Tosh-Robb. Fleck is a six year old Golden Retriever cross.

    He specialises in working with adults with autism, learning difficulties and mental health issues, such as depression, low confidence and anxiety disorders.

    Sarah says, ‘We work alongside a client that isn’t perhaps able to have their own dog that would benefit from visits.

    ‘We plan a schedule of activities, to enable them to reach the goals that they want to work towards.’

    Sarah, Fleck and other community dog handlers schedule weekly visits with their clients, often alongside support staff such as mental health nurses or support workers.

    Sarah's stand out career moment

    Everyone has one moment in their career that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. For Sarah, one moment stands out.

    ‘We had a lady in a wheelchair with cerebral palsy, very little movement and no speech. She could hear fine and was quite bright. Her whole face would light up when she used to come in and see Fleck each week.

    ‘There was one particular instance where we were at her house, and so she didn’t actually have any shoes on. We were having a break but Fleck obviously thought that we’d have a long enough break. He decided to go and take her socks off!

    ‘I was not sure how she’s going to react but she found it so funny. She just laughed and laughed!

    ‘We then put it on his activity sheets and it became one of the activities and after that she would quite often choose for him to take her socks off, because she just thought it was so funny that he did that.

    ‘I think that was really nice, because the whole point of us going was to to help her to try and make choices, enable and empower her to do that.’

    The dogs can have a really positive affect on the people they work with.

    Hayley Stimpson, Animal Assisted Intervention Development Advisor at Dogs for Good says: ‘Well, the interesting thing about dogs is that, providing you like a dog and are willing to engage with a dog, they can be a really important motivator.

    ‘They can be a bit of a social bridge to get people to talk to people. They can be a role model to do things differently.

    ‘They’re really a key that unlocks a door to enable you to do new things, or do things differently.’

    Mark, an autistic man in his 50s sits for an interview. He wears a blue shirt with white stripes. Behind him in a tabled filled with dogs toys, such as tennis balls, a Frisbee, toy donuts and cones.
    Mark, a client with autism at Kingswood/Dogs For Good (Credit: Aaron Crowley/Metro.co.uk)

    Dogs for Good client Mark is an adult who lives with autism.

    He says before working with Dogs for Good, he was very inactive.

    ‘Dogs for Good has rescued me from quite a traumatic time back at home,’ he explains.

    Mark worked with Dogs for Good for roughly 18 months, with the main goal of growing his confidence and increasing his independence.

    Sarah, and handlers like her, work with a variety of techniques to help their clients overcome various obstacles.

    These can include:

    • Walking the dog on a shared harness that has two leads, one for Sarah and one for the client, to encourage them to leave the house and increase their confidence.
    • Games similar to fetch, to improve their hand-eye coordination
    • Leading the community dog over a hurdle, to improve confidence and coordination
    • A 30 second headpress, which decreases stress and anxiety
    Mark and Sarah walk Fleck
    Mark and Sarah walk Fleck (Credit: Aaron Crowley/Metro.co.uk)

    Since finishing his work with Dogs for Good, Mark’s life has continued to improve. He says:‘They say all good things must come to an end.

    ‘Since then I’ve kept myself active by going swimming with my dad, going out for walks, going to the gym. I’m pretty pretty active.

    ‘I go to the farm to do voluntary work on a Tuesday. We feed the animals, we clean the animals up chickens, goats, sheep, feed the animals, weeding gardens, growing vegetables and fruit and fruit.

    ‘It has taken a bit of time to get used to but it’s not really a substitute for Dogs for Good. There’s no substitute for Dogs for Good.’

    Fleck and his handler Sarah made a visit to Metro.co.uk to show us what they can do.

    Fleck, a golden retriever plays with a toy. The toy is in the shape of a cartoon bone, it has many layers which contain spaces to hide treats. The bone is yellow and teal, alternating colours on different layers.
    Fleck plays with one of his MANY toys (Credit: Aaron Crowley/Metro.co.uk)

    During their time with us, Fleck and Sarah worked with us in small groups of six or seven.

    Members of the Metro Online team got to play a variety of games, such as fetch, having Fleck jump through a hoop, leading Fleck over hurdles and having Fleck weave in and out of a line of people.

    Each session ended with the head rest – sitting on a chair or a stool, Fleck would come over and just rest his head on your lap and press down gently, which was so simple yet so effective.

    Kate Buck, a Metro.co.uk reporter said, ‘Having Fleck come in was such a welcome change and break from everything going on at work in the day.

    ‘It just gave me a chance to focus on something other than my screen.

    ‘I can see why people need therapy dogs on a regular basis to help them cope with stress. I felt so much happier and rejuvenated from playing with Fleck.’

    Rosy Edwards, a community producer, said ‘I don’t actually like dogs THAT much and I fell head over heels for Fleck. He was so calming – there should be a Fleck in every office.

    ‘I think I would find work easier if I could hang out with Fleck for 15 mins.’

    Reporter Elisa Menendez simply referred to Fleck as a ‘Golden angel.’

    Dogs with Jobs

    Dogs are amazing, aren't they? They're adorable, they love a cuddle and they are man's best friend.

    But they are so much more than that.

    Our new series, Dogs with Jobs, explores the roles of working dogs and looks at the impact they have on both society and the people they help

    From Guide Dogs to Nuclear Detection Dogs, we will be meeting so many incredible dogs from all walkies of life.

    Check our Facebook each Monday for a new Dogs with Jobs.

    MORE: Dogs With Jobs: Meet the dogs that are fighting against nuclear terrorism in the UK

    MORE: Dogs With Jobs: Meet the medical detection dogs giving chronically ill people back their lives

    MORE: Dogs with Jobs: What’s involved in training a police dog?


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    Some of the treats you can get in the deal Holland & Barrett meal deal
    Some of the treats you can get in the deal (Picture: Holland & Barrett)

    We all love a meal deal but if you are veggie or vegan, the options are more limited.

    Well, Holland & Barrett is introducing a deal where everything is either free from meat or completely free from animal products.

    For £3.99 (the same price as a Boots meal deal), you’ll be able to get a main, snack and drink from their Food to Go range.

    The deal launches in six stores in London this Friday 19 July, with plans to roll it out further based on demand.

    The range includes plant-based options from popular health brands including Deliciously Ella, Vita Coco, Hippeas and Captain Kombucha.

    It includes veggie sandwiches, wraps and salads; gut-friendly probiotic yoghurts, and a selection of nutritious ‘health pots’ (such as the bulgur wheat and kale tabbouleh bowl).

    Picture: Holland and Barrett Holland and Barrett vegan lunch meal deal for ??3.99
    There’s new fresh food sections in six stores (Picture: Holland & Barrett)

    The six stores to get the meal will be Covent Garden, High Holborn, Cheapside, Leadenhall, Victoria Gate and Canary Wharf, with plans to roll this out further based on consumer demand.

    Ian Chant, Head of Food at Holland & Barrett, said: ‘As a trusted health food retailer, there has been a mounting demand from our customers for vegan and veggie lunch-to-go options and we are excited to be able to launch into this category with six of our stores now selling a wide variety of fresh lunch foods.

    ‘With professional Londoners spending on average £6-7 on lunch each day, we wanted to price our meal deal at a modest £3.99 to become the destination retailer for affordable plant-based lunches – where everything is always 100% vegetarian or vegan.

    ‘We’re delighted by the mix of exciting, innovative food and drinks brands available as part of the deal, with everything from M+LKPLUS’s strawberry cheesecake cashew ‘mylk’ to NOMO’s fantastic vegan chocolate bars, and hope our customers will be too.’

    What does the meal deal include?

    Tofurky’s Chipotle Chick’n Price outside meal deal: £2.79.

    Deliciously Ella’s Hazelnut Nut Butter Balls, 36g Price outside meal deal: £1.99.

    Biotiful Dairy’s Kefir Quark, 170g Price outside meal deal: £1.99.

    Eat Real Sour Cream & Chives Quinoa Chips, 30g. Price outside meal deal: £0.89.

    Botanic Lab CBD, Hibiscus & Sour Cherry Tea Drink, 250ml Price outside meal deal: £1.99.

    Remedy Raspberry Lemonade Kombucha, 250ml Price outside meal deal: £1.99.

    James White Drinks Beet It Beetroot Stamina Shot, 70ml Price outside meal deal: £1.99.

    MORE: Dogs With Jobs: Therapy dogs give people with learning difficulties more independence

    MORE: Woman orders £9 wedding petticoat from Wish – but it only just fits her dog

    Holland and Barrett vegan lunch meal deal for ?3.99Holland and Barrett vegan lunch meal deal for ?3.99

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