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

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    Do you know someone with an invisible illness? You probably do about the symptoms they deal with because they don’t look sick.

    Our weekly series about hidden conditions and disabilities talks to people living with them about how they cope, as well as the judgement they face because of how they look.

    Chris Stennett, 26, from Felixstowe, Suffolk, has Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy.

    Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is a genetic muscle-wasting condition that causes muscles to weaken and waste over time leading to increasing disability.

    It affects the muscles of the limb, shoulders and face and the level of impact varies between people with the condition.

    Currently the condition, which affects around 2,500 people in the UK, has no cure and there is limited research into it.

    Chris Stennett who has Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy
    Chris Stennett who has Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy (Picture: Eastnews Press Agency)

    Chris had spent years wondering what was happening to his shoulders and he was eventually diagnosed in January 2019 through a physical assessment.

    He also had a genetic test to confirm his diagnosis in April 2019.

    For years people would say things like ‘Are you scared of the bench press?’ or ‘pull your shoulders back’ or tell him he has bad posture.

    He explains: ‘These are things I have heard repeatedly all my adult life. Now I know it was for good reason: I have Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy.

    ‘I realised about six years ago that my chest muscles had vanished as well as any kind of scapular stability in my back, and that I was getting a lot of impingement in my shoulders.

    ‘I went to physio but they made my issues worse so I went without and managed it myself with less pain and improved strength over time, but still without having “proper posture” or chest strength / size.

    ‘Having played rugby for 13 years, and with the accompanying tremors in my shoulders and arms, I always assumed that my shoulders or neck had taken a hit somewhere and damaged nerves to certain muscles, or that I had simply trained myself into a less-than-ideal state.’

    Chris suffered a third dislocation in his shoulder area in 2018 and went to a physio. There he was referred to a neurologist and was eventually diagnosed with the condition.

    Chris showing his muscle wastage
    Chris showing his muscle wastage (Picture: Chris Stennett)

    When I was diagnosed, the first time, I was stunned and curious about what it was and how much I needed to learn about it.

    ‘After the second confirmation from the genetic test, I felt overwhelming sadness and fear for the future.

    ‘I had built up a lot of insecurity over my structure and it would have only gotten worse if the problem wasn’t identified.

    ‘There is no cure, which puts it in perspective that I only have a finite amount of athletic physical ability left in me. This is true for all of us, of course, but FSHD could claim mine at any time.’

    Between 10 to 20% of people with FSHD eventually need to use a wheelchair as the muscles weaken more and more but others don’t even realise they have the condition until they are well into old age – the impact it has varies hugely from person to person.

    Right now, Chris doesn’t need to take medication and it doesn’t have much of an impact on his ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.

    He says: ‘I do not feel weakened by this disease. I learnt to adapt around my limits before I knew what it was, and the identification of the problem has absolutely resolved my insecurities around my body structure.’

    He does get tremors through his left arm and side from his neck to his hip.

    Chris in the gym
    Chris in the gym (Picture: Chris Stennett)

    He adds: ‘They are the worst thing I currently but are a lot more manageable now I have looked into it with other FSHD sufferers, and now I take supplements with a lot of electrolytes.

    ‘I do a lot of exercise and it gets me some days still. It causes a great deal of discomfort and stress.’

    Chris has found support through talking about his condition online in support groups for people with FSHD, but he has found it much more difficult to discuss it in real life.

    He adds: ‘Talking to other people online definitely helped me overcome the shock of the diagnosis – they get it.

    ‘We have a great online “family”, that support one another emotionally and answer curiosities. I got the electrolyte tip from this platform which helps a huge deal.

    ‘In real life, some people have said they have never noticed, which is odd because my posture is horrible.

    ‘Me “coming out” as such with this disability to somebody who is not either close to me, a healthcare professional or someone else with FSHD, is only something I have done very recently.

    ‘The only reason I did was to highlight why I am raising money for Muscular Dystrophy UK, before this I was still dealing with it personally.’

    Chris says his Ironman challenge has helped him feel empowered
    Chris says his Ironman challenge has helped him feel empowered (Picture: Chris Stennett)

    Chris found the charity while trying to find more answers about what living with FSHD would mean.

    Inspired by the word that they do, he is now training for an Ironman triathlon to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy UK.

    Before his diagnosis, he’d always planned to complete the hardcore race, which consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bicycle ride and a marathon, run without a break, completed in one day.

    He explains: ‘I don’t see why the plan should change. I confess I thought I may be able to fix my shoulders by then too, but they’ll have to do.’

    The race will be completed in Klagenfurt, Austria in July 2020.

    He hopes to raise more awareness of the condition to show others how he has continued to live his life despite his diagnosis.

    He says: ‘I have FSHD. Not only does it not have me, but I am empowered by it.

    ‘We need more education and awareness of invisible illnesses. You never know what someone is going through and many do not realise the types of issues out there or how lucky they are not to have one.’

    How to get involved with You Don't Look Sick

    You Don’t Look Sick is Metro.co.uk’s weekly series that discusses invisible illness and disabilities.

    If you have an invisible illness or disability and fancy taking part, please email youdontlooksick@metro.co.uk.

    You’ll need to be happy to share pictures that show how your condition affects you, and have some time to have some pictures taken.

    MORE: You Don’t Look Sick: ‘I was born with half a heart but it won’t hold me back’

    MORE: You Don’t Look Sick: ‘People forget that I am visually impaired’

    MORE: You Don’t Look Sick: ‘Don’t tell me my mental health condition is just attention seeking’

    MORE: You Don’t Look Sick: ‘I vomit almost every time I eat but people just assume I’ve been drinking’

    Need support? Contact the Samaritans

    For emotional support you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org, visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.


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    Acrylic toenails on matching pink background
    (Picture: FashionistaBudget, Getty)

    Last year we reported on manicures that look like feet and now we’re coming full circle as we bring you feet that have manicures.

    Yes, we know what you’re thinking – that’s just a pedicure, right?

    But oh no, it’s a bit more than just getting your cleaned, buffered and painted with a fresh lick of paint.

    Instead, it’s closer to getting your fingernails done with acrylics.

    The idea of long fake nails on your toes might sound horrifying to you (imagine getting your shoes on) but they’re popping up all over Instagram this summer.

    Rejoice, foot fetishists.


    With the heat being on steroids this summer, most of us are probably eschewing socks. But that means our feet are on display, so naturally, people are going to see them.

    If you’re going to opt for acrylic toenails, be prepared for the stares. Coloured toenails can be pretty but not when they’re long like fingernails.


    But over on Instagram, they’re getting a lot of love, mostly from the foot fetishist community.

    The long nails hashtag has over 70,062 posts where folks are showing off matching acrylics on hands and feet.


    A lot of the posters are also adding hashtags like #suckabletoes, #toefetish, and #prettyfeet, so we know it’s obviously targeted at those who have a vested interest in the stuff.

    But for the average person walking down the high street, it’s probably a bit too much.

    Just no one show Russian brand Nail Sunny, who is known to create the wackiest (by which we mean the most horrifying) manicures.

    We don’t want to see trapped ants in toenails or with teeth protruding out of our toes, after all.

    MORE: Teenager shares photos of her ragged fingers to warn of risks of fake nails

    MORE: Woman could have lost part of her finger after acrylic nails went wrong

    MORE: You could be the perfect match for this Tinder guy if you have pink and white fake nails

    Behold, long fake toenailsBehold, long fake toenails

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    Mum Lynn helping daughter Tammy who has cerebral palsy on sport's day
    A devastated mum has furiously spoken out after she was asked to leave her disabled daughter’s sports day (Picture BPM/Cambridgeshire Live)

    Mum-of-four Lynn Harrison was furious when her daughter Tammy’s school asked her to leave their sports day.

    Lynn, from Cambridge, was hoping to carry six-year-old Tammy who has cerebral palsy in between her legs for the races.

    She claims that in previous years, the school allowed her to participate in the competitions but this year she was asked to leave.

    When Lynn discussed how Tammy was going to be involved in the active day from her wheelchair, a member of staff asked her to leave the school premises.

    They told the mum that Tammy would be involved, with help from a special needs teacher and Lynn’s assistance was not going to be required.

    Mum Lynn posing with six-year-old daughter tammy who has cerebral palsy
    Mum Lynn said she was able to help Tammy in previous sports days (Picture BPM/Cambridgeshire Live)

    ‘They told me I couldn’t help her because of insurance and child protection, so obviously, I wondered and asked how she was going to take part,’ Lynn told Cambridgeshire Live.

    ‘Last year she was able to come out of the buggy and walk with me carrying her.

    ‘When she does that she feels like she’s joining in and she enjoys it more. It also gives her more exercise which is really good for her.’

    Lynn then sat with the other parents watching the games but was annoyed that she couldn’t get involved.

    ‘I went and sat with the parents and even they thought it was disgusting [behaviour],’ she added.

    ‘They told me [if she was to take part], her one-to-one teaching assistant would have to push her around in her wheelchair buggy.

    ‘But I said no I will take her out and help her do it. She is my daughter and she needs my help. All the other children were taking part and she wasn’t.

    ‘They said no due to child protection.’

    The mum also pointed out that the school keeps a walker for Tammy but forgot to get it out for the activities.

    When Lynn went to speak to them about it, some staff said she was causing a scene.

    Lynn and Tammy at the sports day races
    Lynn decided to take matters into her own hands and assist Tammy anyway (Picture BPM/Cambridgeshire Live)

    So the mum went on Facebook to talk about the incident and ask other parents if she was in the wrong for kicking off.

    ‘One person even replied to me that I didn’t cause a scene and I did the right thing for my daughter,’ she said.

    ‘I don’t understand. When it suits them (the school) I can go in and help them lift her to use the toilet, but when it suits Tammy I can’t do it.

    ‘I think it’s absolutely disgusting from the school. This is down to discrimination.’

    Tammy’s cerebral palsy means that she has poor coordination, stiff and weak muscles, and tremors.

    So when teachers are handling her, they have to be careful. But Lynn added that she carries Tammy every day and knows the best way to lift her and so should be allowed to do so on sports day.

    In the end, Lynn decided to not let Tammy watch from the sidelines and carried her through the races in between her legs.

    She said: ‘She was beaming.’

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

    MORE: Woman whose partner left her for being ‘too disabled’ asks others to share stories of being loved in a wheelchair

    MORE: Disabled people are sharing the worst ‘compliments’ they’ve received

    Mum devastated to not be able to participate in sports day with disabled daughterMum devastated to not be able to participate in sports day with disabled daughter

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    Gay wedding pics from 1957 from ONE Archives. They are trying to track down the men involved.
    These photographs were part of a set that were deemed inappropriate by a photo shop in Philadelphia and never returned to the customer (Picture: ONE Archives at USC Libraries)

    These photos show an incredibly happy occasion – a wedding between two men.

    There’s the moment they said their vows, a first kiss, a first dance and cutting the cake.

    Guests look on as they stare into each other’s eyes and celebrate their love.

    But the men never got to see these memories of their wedding day, which it’s believed took place around 1957 in Philadelphia, U.S.

    Apparently the owner of the store decided the pictures were’t appropriate, and refused to return them to the men.

    Luckily an employee kept them in case the couple came back so she could secretly give them the pictures.

    Gay wedding pics from 1957 from ONE Archives. They are trying to track down the men involved.
    Cutting the cake (Picture: ONE Archives at USC Libraries)

    They never did and the woman kept them until they were found by her daughter after she died, who sold them on eBay in 2013.

    They were then donate to the ONE Archive foundation and then onto the John J. Wicox LGBTQ archives.

    The archives are now working together to try to track down the men in the pictures to return them to them. The men in the pictures appear to be between 20 and 30 so if the men were alive today, they would be in their eighties or nineties.

    ‘It’s a needle in a haystack—there’s too many questions and not enough information about this photo collection,’ Michael Oliveira, an archivist at ONE told the Philadelphia Citizen.

    ‘While many people and families tend to stay put in the Delaware Valley area, we can speculate about where they were taken, who took the photos and so much more—and never arrive at an answer.’

    The museum has been publicising their search through social media and American news outlets but so far no one has come forward.

    If you have any information that could help, you can submit it on their website.

    The full set:

    Gay wedding pics from 1957 from ONE Archives. They are trying to track down the men involved.
    The ceremony (Picture: ONE Archives at USC Libraries)
    Gay wedding pics from 1957 from ONE Archives. They are trying to track down the men involved.
    Celebrating with guests (Picture: ONE Archives at USC Libraries)
    Gay wedding pics from 1957 from ONE Archives. They are trying to track down the men involved.
    Holding each other (Picture: ONE Archives at USC Libraries)
    Gay wedding pics from 1957 from ONE Archives. They are trying to track down the men involved.
    Opening gifts (Picture: ONE Archives at USC Libraries)
    Gay wedding pics from 1957 from ONE Archives. They are trying to track down the men involved.
    The first kiss (Picture: ONE Archives at USC Libraries)
    Gay wedding pics from 1957 from ONE Archives. They are trying to track down the men involved.
    The ceremony (Picture: ONE Archives at USC Libraries)
    Gay wedding pics from 1957 from ONE Archives. They are trying to track down the men involved.
    Dancing at the reception (Picture: ONE Archives at USC Libraries)
    Gay wedding pics from 1957 from ONE Archives. They are trying to track down the men involved.
    Guests enjoying the party (Picture: ONE Archives at USC Libraries)
    Gay wedding pics from 1957 from ONE Archives. They are trying to track down the men involved.
    The pictures show guests as well as the happy couple (Picture: ONE Archives at USC Libraries)

    MORE: Mum devastated to not be able to participate in sports day with disabled daughter

    MORE: You Don’t Look Sick: ‘I thought I just had bad posture until I found out my muscles are wasting away’

    Museum wants to find the men at this 1957 gay wedding after pictures were developed 60 years laterMuseum wants to find the men at this 1957 gay wedding after pictures were developed 60 years later

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    Shanghai Disneyland Selfie
    A mum reckons Disney parks should only be for parents (Picture: Getty)

    A mum’s old rant about hating couples without children at Disney World is being resurrected by millennials.

    The angry Facebook post, which said the adventure park should only be for families, was written last year but it’s been picked up Twitter user Bad Decision Fairy.

    The mum’s expletive-laden status said ‘immature’ millennials need to be banned from the Disney resort in Florida, U.S.

    She said she hates childless women ‘with a burning passion’, particularly the ‘c*nt in very slutty shorts buying a Mickey Mouse pretzel’.

    Jheeze, don’t hold back.

    It might be considered the happiest place on Earth, but it shouldn’t be for millenials, the mum cried.

    Brace yourself, this is what she wrote: ‘It pisses me off TO NO END!!!!! when I see CHILDLESS COUPLES WITHOUT AT DISNEY WORLD!!!!.

    ‘People without CHILDREN need to be BANNED!!!!! Mothers with children should be allowed to skip ALL THE LINE!!!

    ‘This c–t in some very SLUTTY shorts was buying a Mickey pretzel and Aiden wanted one but the line was very long so I said later and it broke his poor little heart and he cried.


    She ended the note with a lovely dig at women without children, saying she can’t stand them.

    If that’s got you wanting to book a ticket to Disneyland just to stick it to her, don’t worry you’re not the only one.

    Disney's Mickey and Mini Mouse participate in the Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia.
    Hate to break it to you, but these two are a childless couple (Picture: Getty)

    Other millennials roasted the mum, led by Bad Decision Fairy who wrote: ‘This is my new favorite wild mommy post. It’s me, the millennial slut who just goes to Disney World to make children cry.’

    One person quipped: ‘Mickey and Minnie are a childless couple.’

    Another joked: ‘As a single man who loves to go to Disneyland, as far as I’m concerned the place is wasted on children. Do you think they are sophisticated enough to understand the artistry? The craft? The layers of nostalgia? Hell no.’

    Others pointed out that she seemed pretty entitled, which is the number one stereotype of millennials.

    Lots of people said her logic is flawed: how can all mums skip queues if that in itself would create queues?

    Anyway, some of us singletons are really tempted to wear booty shorts to the happy place, just in honour of her glorious rant.

    MORE: Single widowed mum says restaurants that allow kids to eat free per every paying adult are unfair

    MORE: Mum-to-be goes on glorious rant and cancels baby shower after people made fun of her baby’s name

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

    Shanghai Disneyland SelfieShanghai Disneyland Selfie

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    Photo showing the remnants of a person's wallet, including money, bank cards, and photographs
    (Picture: Saving Spot)

    What do you keep in your wallet other than the basics? A photograph? Old cinema stubs? Tickets to places that are now enjoyed as special memories?

    The contents of a purse and wallet can reveal things about its owner too.

    Someone may carry a tattered one, not because it does its job adequately but because they’re sentimental and it reminds them of something, perhaps a person who gifted it.

    Saving Spot, an American lenders brand, looked into the wallets of 16 people from around the world, from Venezuela to Nepal, to Ukraine.

    Here are some of the people who revealed the contents of their wallets:


    Ashley (47) – El Valle del Espiritu Santo, Venezuela

     Ashley from Venezuela pictured at home
    Ashley from Venezuela keeps a picture of his daughter and wife (Picture: Saving Spot)

    His wallet contains photos of his wife and daughter, 49.93 VEF ($5), various IDs, three credit cards, three debit cards and a pharmacy loyalty card.

    Photo showing the remnants of a person's wallet, including money, bank cards, and photographs (Picture: Saving Spot)
    (Picture: Saving Spot)

    Jayson (36) – Tampere, Finland

    Jayson from Finland at home
    Jayson carries a picture of his beloved dog (Picture: Saving Spot)

    Jayson only has a couple of coins in his wallet, preferring to use his debit cards to pay for items. He’s a proud pet owner and carries around a photo of his dog. As a keen photographer, he also has some business cards ready to hand out to potential clients.

    Photo showing the remnants of a person's wallet, including money, bank cards, and photographs
    (Picture: Saving Spot)

    Filip (23) – Prilep, Macedonia

    Filip from Macedonia pictured in his home
    Filip carries photos of his friends and cousins graduating (Picture: Saving Spot)

    Filip is a fan of the standard leather wallet. Despite having cash in two different currencies, Filip uses his debit card most often to buy items.

    In addition to the debit card he also has three credit cards and his driver’s license. But his most treasured items in his wallet are the pictures of his friends and cousins graduating.

    Photo showing the remnants of a person's wallet, including money, bank cards, and photographs (Picture: Saving Spot)
    (Picture: Saving Spot)

    Molly (24) – Manchester, UK

    Molly from Manchester pictured at home
    Molly keeps her all-important blood donor card on her (Picture: Saving Spot)

    Molly doesn‘t have credit cards but has a couple of debit cards and a nice chunk of change, although she most often uses debit cards in the shops.

    She has a pharmacy loyalty card and an all-important, blood donor card. She keeps some receipts in her wallet, including a bus ticket and a bar receipt. She also keeps a couple of hair clips in there, just in case.

    Photo showing the remnants of a person's wallet, including money, bank cards, and photographs (Picture: Saving Spot)
    (Picture: Saving Spot)

    Joyce (32) – Tagaytay City, Philippines

    Joyce from Philippines pictured at home
    Joyce’s most prized possession is the letter from a loved one she carries in her purse  (Picture: Saving Spot)

    Joyce opts for a classic looking purse. Although she has a couple of debit cards, she gets paid in cash and usually uses this to pay for items which is why her purse is often full of ATM receipts. She has her I.D in there but doesn’t keep much else inside, except for her most prized possession — a hand-written letter from a loved one

    Photo showing the remnants of a person's wallet, including money, bank cards, and photographs (Picture: Saving Spot)
    (Picture: Saving Spot)

    Gerard (58) – Limal, Peru

    Gerard from Peru pictured at home
    Gerard carries a picture of Jesus in his stylish wallet (Picture: Saving Spot)

    Gerard likes to carry a picture of Jesus in his stylish Peruvian designer wallet.

    Gerard takes money out of the ATM five times a week but ultimately prefers to use his debit card when buying items. The old receipts he keeps in his wallet are all for swimming classes.

    Photo showing the remnants of a person's wallet, including money, bank cards, and photographs (Picture: Saving Spot)
    (Picture: Saving Spot)

    Amer (22) – Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Amer from Bosnia and Herzegovina at home
    Amer carries cash mostly (Picture: Saving Spot)

    Amer doesn‘t carry photos around with him, in fact, he doesn’t like to carry very much at all. One of the few items he does keep around is a loyalty card for a sports store.

    Amer gets paid in cash so doesn’t use an ATM very often, sometimes even just once a month. Amer always has some cash on him, as he prefers this method of payment. Amer thinks it’s important to keep all his coins in their own compartment.

    Photo showing the remnants of a person's wallet, including money, bank cards, and photographs
    (Picture: Saving Spot)

    Povilas (29) Vilnius, Lithuania

    Povilas pictured at home
    Povilas enjoys his old wallet (Picture: Saving Spot)

    Povilas’ has had his wallet for a number of years, as can be seen by its well-worn look. However, the rugged outside hides a very clean and tidy interior holding only carefully curated essentials.

    Povilas carries €100 ($112) in his wallet, but surprisingly, rarely uses cash preferring to pay for things with his debit card.

    Photo showing the remnants of a person's wallet, including money, bank cards, and photographs
    (Picture: Saving Spot)

    Manzeel (30) Kathmandu, Nepal

    Manzeel from nepal pictured at home
    Manzeel only carries the essentials (Picture: Saving Spot)

    Manzeel opts for a nicely compartmentalised wallet, with plenty of space for his cash and cards. He prefers to use his debit cards to pay for his things and doesn’t own a credit card.

    Apart from theses cards and a loyalty card for Buddha Air, Manzeel doesn’t carry much. Manzeel likes to keep his wallet clean and organized, so he doesn’t carry any non-essentials.

    Photo showing the remnants of a person's wallet, including money, bank cards, and photographs
    (Picture: Saving Spot)

    Vivek (27) – Chennai, India

    Photo showing the remnants of a person's wallet, including money, bank cards, and photographs
    Vivek is a photographer so always carries an SD card in his wallet (Picture: Saving Spot)

    Vivek uses the ATM at least twice a day, so it‘s good that he lives close to one. He keeps a bunch of different I.D and bank cards in his wallet, alongside some cash which is his preferred method of payment.

    He is a photographer so he always carries around a spare S.D. card as well as some business cards.

    Photo showing the remnants of a person's wallet, including money, bank cards, and photographs
    (Picture: Saving Spot)

    You can see the rest of the series here.

    MORE: Incredible pictures show what kids around the world eat in one week

    MORE: Photographers reveal the stories behind award-winning wildlife pictures

    MORE: Museum wants to reunite these gay men with their wedding photographs that were confiscated in 1957


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    The Lidl electric razor with extendable handle
    So much extra reach (Picture: Picture: Lidl, Getty)

    Ever tried to shave your legs, but struggle to reach every bit?

    It’s particularly difficult for anyone who is pregnant, suffering from an injury or disability or maybe your shower cubicle is just too small.

    Now Lidl has a solution – an extendable arm for your razor.

    The contraption means you don’t have to bend down to shave your legs and honestly, it sounds like a genius idea.

    The arm comes with an electric body hair trimmer for £14.99.

    It’s on sale from today and comes with three comb attachments, as well as a charging base, mains adapter and cleaning brush.

    The description for the product said: ‘Lidl’s grooming gadget features a practical fold-out extension making it perfect for those slightly harder to reach areas.

    ‘Shoppers better hurry before its hair today, gone tomorrow.’

    Genius. No more stretching in all directions if you choose to shave your legs for the summer.

    The razor isn’t available online so you’ll need to get down to your local store.

    It’s not the first time we’ve heard about a handle like this. Earlier this year, we brought you the news that Amazon was selling an extendable handle for your disposable razor.

    Unfortunately that one is currently out of stock online so the Lidl version might be your best chance of stretch-free shaving.

    The Lidl version is also for an electric razor, meaning less mess to clean up.

    Plus the Amazon one previously cost £39, so even if it dos come back into stock, the Lidl razor seems like a bargain.

    MORE: Fascinating pictures show what people around the world keep in their wallets

    MORE: Mum devastated to not be able to participate in sports day with disabled daughter

    Extendable razorExtendable razor

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    A person pulling up weeds
    Weeds can spread through your garden quickly (Picture: Getty)

    Hopefully, if you’ve given them enough water, the recent heatwave has helped your plants thrive.

    But creating good conditions for plants also creates the conditions for ones you don’t want – the weeds.

    Harsh chemical weed killers are best avoided – they can kill other plants and can be dangerous for pets.

    So how can you keep your garden looking neat and tidy, or just get rid of those pesky leaves that poke out between the bricks on your balcony.

    According to Freddie Blackett, CEO and Co-Founder of Patch, the best way to stop weeds is preventing them growing in the first place.

    He explains: ‘Even the greatest grower in the world will have to do battle with weeds. No matter how careful you are they will always try to sneak into beds, pots, even little gaps between paving slabs. Weeds are annoying, but they’re not that hard to keep under control, if you take the right steps.

    ‘The best way to keep weeds away is to not give them a chance to grow in the first place. Before you even put your new plant in its planter, make sure the planter is really clean. If you’re reusing planters, there’s a risk they could have some weed seeds lurking in them.

    ‘Use hot soapy water to give your planter a thorough clean before putting any new plants in it (make sure to rinse it fully). For a really deep clean you could use a diluted bleach solution, but if you plan to do that make sure to test it on a small, inconspicuous spot first, to make sure it won’t stain your planter.’

    Someone holding a large weed
    Try to get them before they grow too big and spread seed (Picture: Getty)

    Once you have planted your flowers and shrubs, you can stop weeds by covering the exposed soil in the pot using mulch, made up of bits of wood and other garden waste.

    Freddie explains: ‘Mulch will keep the soil cool and prevent light getting to it, making it much harder for any invading weeds to germinate. Replace the mulch every year. Alternatively, you could achieve the same result by covering the soil with pebbles or shells, if you fancy something more decorative. You just want something that will block the light but let the plant breathe.’

    But if it’s too late for prevention you’re already in a jungle of weeds, there are still things you can do.

    Freddie adds: ‘When you see one poking its unwanted head out, stop it in its tracks. Just take a quick glance over your planters every week or so and pull up any little young weeds. You want to get rid of them before they get big and drop seed, because then you’ll be dealing with a whole family of invaders.

    ‘Of course, weeds don’t just infest planters and pots. They also tend to find their way into any small crack, in pathways, decking or balconies. These ones should be shown no mercy. One solution is to pour boiling water on any you see, which should kill them off. We don’t suggest that for balconies as you never know who might be innocently sitting on the balcony beneath yours.

    ‘You can also use a salt solution, poured into the cracks wherever you see weeds. It will make the ground completely inhospitable to plants, so be very careful not to pour the salty water near any soil where you will actually want to grow anything.’

    MORE: How to keep house plants alive during a heatwave

    MORE: Hacks to deal with slugs, snails and insects in the garden in a humane way

    Person pulling out weedsPerson pulling out weeds

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    Willow with mum Leanne and her sister. Leanne makes breast milk lollies
    Willow loves her lollies (Picture: SWNS)

    The heatwave might be over but it’s still set to be up to 25C this week.

    It seems like nothing compared to last week’s highs but you might still be in need of those heatwave hacks for the rest of the summer.

    One mum has a great tip for keeping her kids cool – breastmilk lollies.

    It also uses up leftover breastmilk and helps with teething pain

    Mum-of-three Leanne’s 11-month-old Willow loves them and her older daughters Autumn, nine, and Poppy, four, have tried them too.

    The hairdresser from Leeds, West Yorks., who is still breastfeeding her youngest child, said: ‘Willow will not drink my expressed milk, so I started thinking of ways to give her my milk when I’m not there.

    The breast milk lollies
    The lollies (Picture: SWNS)

    ‘I thought about maybe putting them in a lolly and bought some lolly moulds.. This all happened as our weather started heating up – so it’s worked out brilliantly.’

    Leanne thought they may make a big mess when the milk melted, but Willow loves them so much they don’t get chance to melt – even in this heat.

    Leanne, 37, said: ‘She chomps away at them so fast that they’re gone before you know it.

    ‘Even Poppy and Autumn have had a try, though they’re not really allowed to eat them, they’re for Willow.

    ‘It’s a great way for Willow to get extra milk and stay hydrated while giving her all the nutrients she needs.

    ‘Willow is also teething right now so it doubles up as a teething aid, cooling her hot and sore gums down.’

    MORE: How to get rid of weeds without using harsh chemicals

    MORE: Museum wants to reunite these gay men with their wedding photographs that were confiscated in 1957

    Mum makes ice cool treats for her children using her own breast milkMum makes ice cool treats for her children using her own breast milk

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    Midsection of newlywed couple cutting cake during wedding reception. Horizontal shot.
    Not the cake in question (Picture: iStockphoto)

    It’s a truth universally acknowledged that weddings are expensive, every aspect of it – the makeup, the flowers, the guests.

    But the cake doesn’t have to be. And you don’t need to be a master baker to save hundreds of pounds.

    An American designer named Jessica took to Instagram to reveal a wedding hack used by her brother.

    She revealed that the groom Jeremy and his wife Gosia decided to avoid paying big bucks for a fancy cake.

    Instead, they took to superstore Costco and grabbed a bunch of sheet cakes, cream cheese filling, flowers and got to business.


    Jessica shared the result on her account Cottage Farm House where the homemade design got a lot of love.

    Instead of staying up all night baking, the couple bought two sheet cakes from the store (which you can in British Costco stores or online).

    Jeremy and Gosia spent $18.99 (£15.34) on each cake plus a further $10 (£8) on flowers, bringing their total to $47.98 (£38.75).

    Then the cakes were  ‘cut into tiered squares, stacked and re-iced with buttercream icing (from home)’.

    Relatives then helped the couple put beautiful looking flowers which included pastel roses around the large cake.

    The dessert really came together when it was placed on a rustic cake stand.

    ‘The rustic wedding reception to life,’ wrote Jessica.

    ‘My parents have bees and sell honey so we had a ton of mason jars we were also able to use for centre pieces. We picked wildflowers on the side of the road, flowers and rosemary from my mum’s garden.’

    Newlyweds cutting wedding cake
    (Picture: Getty)

    Jessica’s followers certainly loved the creation as it has become her most-liked Instagram post.

    ‘This is literally the best idea I’ve heard and it looks way better than so many professional ones I’ve seen,’ wrote one person.

    Another said: ‘This is amazing, the idea, and money saved! Great Job!.’

    ‘So pretty,’ wrote another. Others tagged brides and grooms to be to give them some ideas for their wedding day.

    MORE: Bookmark this Ikea bag hack for the next time someone needs to wee while wearing a wedding dress

    MORE: Wedding photographer uses a ridiculously simple photography hack for stunning results

    MORE: Woman admits she’s spent £22,000 attending a decade long wedding season

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    Little boy and white puppy outdoors in summer
    A mum was so determined that only her child could be called Tillie that she asked a pet owner to rid her dog of the same name (Picture: Ivanko)

    If you’ve picked out your future children’s names before they’re born, you’re definitely not alone.

    But what do you do if someone you know has taken the moniker you so carefully carved out for your child?

    Well, most of us would probably find a new one or just keep the name, depending on how often we see the other baby.

    One woman, however, was so adamant that she wanted to name her child Tillie, she was willing to fight for it.

    The pregnant woman messaged her pal, whose dog had the same name, asking her to change it.

    Bizarrely, the mum-of-four went ballistic as the pet owner said no. Apparently, she was determined not to name her newborn after a dog.

    Text message conversation between pregnant mum-of-four and a woman whose dog's name is Tillie, the name the mum wanted for her future child
    It started off well (Picture: Twitter/@BrigadierSlog)

    The text exchange between the two women who met at a christening was shared on Twitter.

    In it, the pregnant mum said: ‘We want to name her Tillie but it’s come to my attention you have a dog named Tilly. I’d really appreciate you changing your dog’s name.

    ‘Obviously, you understand my daughter can’t have the same name as a dog.’

    The recipient, a woman named Jennay replied: ‘Hey mate, I don’t think it’s necessary to change my Tilly’s name.

    ‘I don’t think you’ll ever see her and I don’t think anyone will notice they’ve got the same name anyway.’

     The mum telling the pet owner to change her dog's name
    But the convo quickly went sour (Picture: Twitter/@BrigadierSlog)

    While most of us may have left it at that, the mum continued: ‘You don’t have children, you’ll never understand how a mother can love and just want the best for this perfect little person.

    ‘I’m honestly shocked you’re being so heartless and unreasonable. This is going to impact her life and potentially ruin her confidence.

    ‘Can you even imagine growing up having the same name as a mutt?’

    Not ending there, the mum – perhaps hormonal – made it even more personal.

    She added: ‘You have callously put me in a terrible position.

    ‘You are a piece of work and don’t deserve your good family. You are ruining a baby’s life.’

    The mum telling Jennay to 'fuck off'
    A tale of two Tillies (Picture: Twitter/@BrigadierSlog)

    Jennay understandably ended the conversation there.

    Of course, the mum did not. She replied: ‘No, f*** you. You’re a disgrace. Please reconsider.’

    In case she no longer wants to name her child after a mutt, here are some popular cat names she should probably avoid too.

    MORE: Childless millennials are not happy with the mum who said Disney World should only be for families

    MORE: Bride demands bridesmaid lose her baby weight for her wedding – just three weeks after giving birth

    MORE: People don’t think this woman’s ‘fully loaded English Brekki’ is the fry-up we know and love

    Mum to be asks dog owner to change dog name as she wants it for her unborn childMum to be asks dog owner to change dog name as she wants it for her unborn child

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    On the let, the ASOS dress. On the right, a sack of onions.
    The dress from ASOS that has been compared to a sack of onions (Picture: Asos, Getty)

    Forget taking fashion tips from the catwalk – the latest style inspiration can be found in your local supermarket.

    This dress from ASOS was originally on sale for a hefty £350 – and people think it looks like the netting that comes around onions.

    We can’t say it’s a look we’d normally go for.

    The dress is now in the sale for £210, plus ASOS has an extra 15% off, but it’s still at the top end of most budgets.

    The red mesh style is see through so make sure you’ve got some nice underwear to add underneath.

    At the back, it needs to be laced from top to bottom, like a corset.

    Jay Sharif tweeted an image of the dress, alongside an image of a bag of onions to compare.

    The dress comes in sizes S (6-8), M (10-12) and L (14-16).

    Despite the mesh look, it’s actually made of natural latex and the site advises applying talcum powder to get it on.

    It’s part of the Elissa Poppy range – a winnder of the 2016 ASOS Fashion Discovery competition.

    Oh course, if you can’t get together the money for the ASOS version, you could try creating your own out of the netting leftover from your grocery shop.

    It’s not the only slightly out there fashion item we’ve spotted this week.

    We also brought you the Fashion Nova buckle jeans that look like a nightmare to take off.

    The jeans have buckles right from the bottom to the waistband, meaning unlike the ASOS dress where underwear is a must, you’ll have to avoid wearing knickers for these.

    MORE: Mum-of-four demands woman changes dog’s name as she wants it for her unborn child

    MORE: Wedding cake hack for under £40 doesn’t need a lot of DIY

    Sack of onions dressSack of onions dress

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    If you want an amazing holiday – Greece is the word.

    Here we reveal the delights of the country’s dynamic second city, Thessaloniki. It’s rightly known for its city-within-a-city food market, but there’s so much more to experience and explore.

    From dreamy beaches to top tavernas and from fascinating museums to brilliant bike tours, Thessaloniki has all the ingredients for a holiday to remember.


    There are some sand-sational beaches near Thessaloniki.

    Just to the south is Peraia beach, which can be reached by bus and, if you want to sustain a nautical theme, by ferry. After you disembark, you’ll discover a mile-long strip of fine sand and a gently sloping seabed that’s shallow for about 150ft, so it’s great for kids.

    Also connected to the city by bus is Agia Triada beach, a bit further south. It’s festooned with top tavernas and sun loungers, and boasts enticing crystal-clear water.

    Continue along the coast for a few miles and you’ll arrive at Epanomi beach, which is long, lovely and laced with some great dining-out options.

    The wonders of the White Tower

    The city’s emblem is the 111ft-high White Tower on the waterfront – an unmissable landmark.

    Built in the 15th century, the history of this former Byzantine fortress is fascinating, if gruesome. It was once used as a place of execution for convicts, giving rise to the chilling moniker the Tower of Blood.

    In 1883 it became known as the White Tower after a prisoner whitewashed it in exchange for his freedom.

    Since 2008 the Tower has housed an intriguing permanent exhibition on Thessaloniki over seven floors, covering its history from the age of its founding in 315BC to the present day.

    The balcony at the top affords visitors terrific views of the cityscape.

    Bike tours

    Pedal power is the perfect way to peruse Thessaloniki – and there are several top tour companies to choose from.

    English-speaking guides will take you to the city’s most fascinating sights – such as the iconic White Tower, the labyrinthine streets of Ano Poli, the mesmerisingly mosaic-y Church of Agia Sofia, the statue-studded Arch of Galerius and the restaurant-laden Ladadika district. And most of the tour companies cater for little ‘uns, too, with child seats available to hire.

    A wheel-y great way to get under the skin of the city in double-quick time.

    The famous food market

    A fish stall in the Modiano market

    Mosey on over to the charming glass-roofed Modiano Market for a veritable feast of food stalls and bars.

    Built in 1930 in central Thessaloniki next to Aristotelous Square and named after the architect who designed it – El Modiano – the Market encapsulates the vibrant spirit of the old city.

    Inside you’ll find myriad merchants selling all manner of spices, cheese, fish, meat and vegetables.

    The advice? Take your time, soak up the atmosphere of this glorious city-within-a-city and let the exotic scents fill your nostrils.

    Magnificent museums

    The Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki is housed in a rare city centre building

    Culture vultures prepare to swoop, because Thessaloniki boasts several excellent museums.

    There’s the Archaeological Museum, for instance, which is one of the largest museums in Greece. It contains masterpieces of ancient Greek art dating from prehistoric times to late antiquity. The Derveni Crater, an ornate vase dating to 330-320BC, and The Gold of Macedon exhibition, dedicated tο ancient Macedonian precious metals, are two of the highlights.

    The Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki is another must-see.

    It’s housed in a rare city centre building – the former office of Jewish newspaper L’Independent – one of the few to survive the great fire of 1917 intact.

    Jews have had a presence in Thessaloniki for 2,000 years and the museum traces that heritage with a fascinating collection of religious objects, rare books and material salvaged from the city’s Jewish cemetery and synagogues that were destroyed by the German WWII occupation.

    The Museum of Byzantine Culture, meanwhile, contains a staggering 3,000 Byzantine objects in its 11-room 37,000-square-foot permanent exhibition, from mosaics to tomb paintings.

    Sensational shopping

    Thessaloniki city centre is heaven for those with the urge for a credit-card splurge, because it’s brimming with shops, from designer boutiques to major department stores.

    The biggest shopping boulevard is Tsimiski Street, which is great for upscale clothing, electronics and jewellery.

    Make a beeline from here to the likes of Mitropoleos Street, for more designer gear and stylish eateries, and Egnatia Street for top sports equipment.

    Quality shopping is also ready and waiting in Pavlou Mela Street, Leoforos Nikis Ave, Ermou Street and the pedestrianised Agias Sofias Street.

    And there are plenty of cafes to refuel in.

    Tasty tavernas

    You’re spoiled for choice for top tavernas in Thessaloniki, but one of the hottest of the city’s hotspots for them is the historic port area of Ladadika (which actually translates as ‘shops selling oil’).

    In times gone by it was full of old tobacco houses, now it’s the place to go for a delicious dinner.

    Other areas of the city renowned for rustling up top fodder include Ano Poli and Egnatia.

    What’s on offer? Think steaks soaked in truffle oil, buttered shrimps, slow-cooked pork, the freshest of seafood salads and pizzas to die for.

    And don’t forget dessert. Turkish delight and pistachio is a speciality.

    An excursion to Mount Athos, where sea-ing is believing

    Gregoriou monastery on Mount Athos

    The ancient clifftop monasteries of the Mount Athos peninsula, aka the Holy Mountain, have to be seen to be believed.

    Many are perched on impossibly vertiginous spots.

    One of the best ways of seeing them is by boat. After all, visiting the monasteries by foot can take some organising as special permits are required – and females, to ensure celibacy among the monks, are not allowed to get within 500 metres of the coast.

    There are lots of tours available on a variety of vessels, from sailing ships to glass-bottomed boats.

    Get there

    The wonders of the Greek island of Thessaloniki can be reached from Gatwick Airport with British Airways, which has an extensive network of flights across Europe. Combine your flight with a hotel and car hire from British Airways Holidays to create a great-value getaway.


    Romantic sunset watching the White Tower of ThessalonikiRomantic sunset watching the White Tower of Thessaloniki

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    People use technology for memorable moments (Picture: Getty)

    Technology is rapidly evolving with more ways to communicate than ever before. WhatsApp, FaceTime, Instagram, texts, as well as platforms like Facebook Messenger and dating apps are opening doors to the wider world. You can even send someone a text when you’re flying at 40,000ft these days, but does anything truly beat a good old fashioned heart-to-heart?

    New Zealand’s most admired wine brand, Villa Maria, has been built on pivotal conversations – between friends making plans across a vineyard, growing into the introduction of pagers and faxes, to a now world-renowned business communicating across continents. Villa Maria’s newly-launched Value of Conversation campaign is exploring just how technology has changed the way we communicate. From landing your dream job, meeting the love of your life, making new friends or reconnecting with old pals overseas, we reveal how technology has impacted your conversations for the good and the bad.

    Word of mouth is how people have historically learned from each other, passing down family traditions, stories and even favourite recipes that are treasured forever. Fast forward to today and only 37% of Brits would choose to speak face to face over other ways of communicating. Millennials, having grown up with technology, use it with ease and don’t always place much importance of chatting in IRL (‘in real life’, for those of us not au fait with text speak), with just 27% making sure they check in with loved ones in person. Surely, there’s got to be something said for sitting down in person for a proper catch up over a glass of wine?

    Villa Maria, New Zealand. Wine Down at the Custard Factory, Birmingham.
    Some of our most important moments are shared face to face

    When it comes to instant communication, mishaps are common. A ‘lol’ or smiling emoji (or lack of) can leave a message open to interpretation and you’re not alone, as a staggering 70% of people admit that they’ve got the wrong end of the stick with a message or two.

    As the world craves instant updates, people are turning to smart responses or emojis and more people are now using group chats to keep up. At the moment, 2.6 million British adults are in group chats to regularly keep in touch on family gossip and news, whether it’s new jobs, travel plans or baby pictures. It’s been a long time since having to wait for letters to get delivered – that’s if they arrived at all. Nowadays, moving away doesn’t have to mean our loved ones miss all the important milestones.

    These days, one in five Brits spend three hours or more on social media each day. It makes people’s lives more accessible and can make distance feel irrelevant. Over 19.5 million (37%) Brits feel that technology has given them the keys to keep in contact with family and friends who they might have otherwise lost touch with when they moved away.

    Villa Maria, New Zealand. Wine Down at the Custard Factory, Birmingham.
    Checking in online is great, but how good does sitting down together feel?

    Meeting a partner online has now become perfectly acceptable too, as 4.7 million Brits admit that technology has helped them find love. Apps, dating websites and social networks have allowed people to cross paths with potential lovers, and start a conversation they might not have had otherwise.

    We all know that some of the best conversations are about a flow of dialogue, and some of the life-changing ones are where you learn something new. These days, 70% of people believe that technology plays a huge role in their confidence while having a face to face chat. Being able to quickly ‘Google’ a topic or check the latest headlines can certainly be a lifesaver.

    But while we use these tools and for the most part they enhance our lives, it’s always worth taking some time for a face-to-face. Nothing beats the rapport that you can build with someone when you share a conversation in person. After all, over 60% of us find body language key to how we interpret a conversation, as well as being a key element of building confidence in our relationships with others. So, as we have more tech at our fingertips than ever, we need to make sure it has a positive influence on our lives and use it in a balanced way.

    As part of its expert #VillaMariaTalks series, Angela Lewis, brand ambassador for Villa Maria, spoke with journalist and author Seamas O’Reilly about his decision to take a vow of e-silence and respond to all emails using only smart replies for a week.

    ****** insert video *****

    Villa Maria's Value of Conversation

    Villa Maria, New Zealand. Wine Down at the Custard Factory, Birmingham.
    Picture: There’s nothing like catching up with good friends in person

    The founding of Villa Maria hinged on a pivotal conversation between Sir George and his father, and conversations have continued to play a crucial role in making Villa Maria one of the most successful family-owned wineries in the world. Villa Maria thinks it’s time to celebrate the value of conversation in our lives and remind the world of the pleasure of taking quality time out with friends, colleagues, loved ones – or even strangers – over a glass of wine, while celebrating something truly invaluable: conversation.

    Throughout the summer, you can expect a whole host of chatter from Villa Maria and Metro – we’ve been asking the nation what makes conversation so special to them, uncovering our secret likes and dislikes and taking the time to sit down with experts in their fields and pick their brains about what they feel is so special about the Value of Conversation.

    All of this, along with series of expert talks (over a glass of Villa Maria wine) will delve into four important aspects of conversation, which you can explore here over the coming weeks. So, grab a glass of wine and a friend, sit back, and enjoy!

    For more information about Villa Maria wine visit: https://www.villamariawines.com/

    Mother and adult daughter spending time togetherMother and adult daughter spending time together

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    Planks are bad enough, we know. But today’s challenge takes the plank to the next level – the moving plank.

    Literally moving between two levels, the moving plank requires you to lift yourself from your forearms up to your hands, and back down again – all with a perfect plank form. Prepare for the quivers.

    Can you keep it going for a full minute? There’s only one way to find out.

    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.

    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.

    Check back every day to see what the next challenge is – you could 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. Today’s challenge will test different muscle groups and help to improve your muscle performance.

    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.

    Sporty woman doing plank exercise at park
    The moving plank doubles as a cardio move – ideal (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 a moving plank

    The great thing about a moving plank – or an up-down plank – is that it doubles as a cardio move. Done right, it will get your heart pumping as well as working your core.

    Start in a high plank, with your arms straight, elbows below your shoulders and hands below your elbows.

    Bend one arm to bring the elbow and forearm to the floor.

    Follow with the other arm so you are in a forearm plank.

    In both plank stages, remember to keep your core engaged, you pelvis tucked underneath you and keep your bum down so your body is a straight line.

    Starting with the arm you began with, push back up to a high plank.

    Continue, alternating the first side down with each rep. Try to keep going for a minute.

    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 plank exercise at parkSporty woman doing plank exercise at park

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    illustration of sweaty woman wearing sports kit
    ‘As your body over-exercises and does not have a chance to repair, it grows weaker.’ (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    With so much pressure to go to the gym and get active it can be hard to take a step back and recognise when you’re pushing yourself too hard.

    The release of endorphins can be addictive and 3% of gym goers consider themselves to be addicted to working out. While hitting the gym every day might sound like the healthiest thing you can do – it definitely isn’t. It can lead to burn-out, exhaustion, damaged muscles and dehydration.

    Over-exercising is not a myth and can be seriously dangerous. Not allowing your body to rest can also lead to incomplete workouts that actually cause more harm than good.

    So how do you know when you’re hitting the gym too hard? PT Jason Briggs at fitness brand Shoe Hero reveals the seven signs that will warn you that you are over exercising.

    1) I need to grab water… again

    ‘If you are constantly thirsty even after several pints of water, then chances are you are over exercising,’ Jason tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘Exercising strains the body, meaning that you can put it into a catabolic state. If you are training everyday then your body is constantly breaking down muscle tissue in order to release energy.

    ‘This process naturally causes dehydration therefore, the body will crave copious amounts of water. If you are exercising every day and constantly thirsty, you may want to think about cutting down on your routine.’

    Illustration of woman squatting with weights
    ‘Too much exercise can weaken the immune system as your body is in a constant state of fatigue.’ (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    2) I’m having mood swings

    ‘It is no secret that exercise releases endorphins that elevates a person’s mood and causes a sense of euphoria. However, over exercising can have the reverse effect.

    ‘Constant exercise can impact the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine. This results in a hormonal imbalance that sees mood swings and irritability.’

    3) I can’t sleep

    ‘Trouble sleeping can be the result of too much exercise as the sympathetic nervous system goes into overdrive as it assumes it is required to constantly provide energy to the body.

    ‘This can cause restlessness and the inability to focus on anything for a substantial amount of time.’

    4) I don’t feel hungry

    ‘A lack of appetite can have a detrimental effect on the body if you are continuously exercising.

    ‘Our body needs fuel in order to repair the muscles after exercise. If you are not eating enough then the body does not have the enough nutrients in order to repair itself.’

    5) I always have a cold

    ‘Too much exercise can weaken the immune system as your body is in a constant state of fatigue with insufficient time to recover from intense exercise.

    ‘Consequently, the energy that is kept ensuring the immune system is at its highest function is instead used to repair muscles that have been over-worked.’

    6) I’ve stopped making gains

    ‘Over-training our bodies can lead to our fitness levels plateauing or even declining as our body experiences burn out.

    ‘As your body over-exercises and does not have a chance to repair, it grows weaker.  Essentially, your body finds its own way to recover if you do not present it with the opportunity to recover.

    ‘Ensure that your body is fully recovered between each training session and your fitness levels will increase on a weekly basis.’

    7) I don’t want to workout

    ‘If you experience a decline in motivation to work out, it could be your body telling you to rest.

    ‘Take a few days off until you begin to miss exercising and try to nix up your routine with workouts that you have not previously tried.’

    Ultimately it’s all about listening to your body. If you’re aching and tired and just not up to it – take a day off.

    Building rest and recovery into your fitness routine is crucial for keeping you on track. Burn-out could lead to a more serious injury or illness which could keep you out of the gym for weeks on end – so it’s important to play the long game and allow yourself the time to recharge.

    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

    Sweat fetishSweat fetish

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    Mother and daughter doing a workout together outside
    (Picture: Getty)

    Having kids is exhausting. When you’re not chasing them away from busy roads or hazardous stairs, you’re taking them swimming, playing football in the park or helping them climb trees.

    But how many parents actually have the stamina to properly play with their kids?

    More than half of parents have said they’re worried about how they’ll keep up with their children over the six-week summer holidays because they’re not fit enough.

    A study, conducted by Argos, has revealed that many parents are experiencing ‘fitness anxiety’ when it comes to playing with their children outside. 85% think their kids are fitter than them and 90% agree that they would be fitter if they were as active as their children.

    Obesity in children is a growing problem in this country – and its harder than ever to tear kids away from their screens and get them active.

    This means it’s, at least in part, up to parents to set a positive example and show kids the benefits of being healthy and moving every day. But to do that – you’ve got to be fit.

    Busy, working parents don’t have loads of time to spend in the gym or going for morning runs – but personal trainer Tyrone Brennand has the answer.

    Personal trainer Tyronne smiles in the park with little girl on his knee
    85% of parents think their kids are fitter than them. (Picture: Argos)

    Tyrone has put together the perfect workout for parents to do while spending time with their children at the playground.

    The aim is to get the heart rate racing, increase the number of steps being taken, and burn some serious calories.

    Try this workout in the park with your kids

    Piggy monkeys

    Give your child a piggy back, run from one end of the playground to the other. After this, pop your child down and run to the monkey bars and hold on for as long as you can.

    Challenge your child to beat you to make it more fun.

    Stuck in the Squat

    Kids love playing stuck in the mud.

    To make it tougher, when you become ‘stuck in the mud’, squat non-stop until you’re rescued out of the mud.

    15 minutes of this will burn 140 calories and your heart rate will reach 169.

    Hop Scotch Run 

    Hop Scotch is a classic playground activity.

    Do this with your kids then race them round the roundabout and you’ll burn 113 calories in 12 minutes, with your heart rate reaching 174.

    Jump Rope Challenge

    Skipping is a key exercise for boxers and top tier athletes and is a great way to keep fit.

    To make it more competitive and exciting, challenge your child to do more skips than you.

    For 10 minutes of skipping you’ll burn 146 calories, with a heart rate reaching just below 180.

    Piggy Back Squats

    Tyronne doing piggy monkeys in the park with a little girl on his back
    Piggy back squats are tough for your glutes and fun for your kids. (Picture: Argos)

    Squat with your child on your back and if you have another child, challenge them to do more squats than you in one go.

    Swap them around and go again. If you repeat three times, you’ll burn roughly 60 calories and your heart rate will hit 163.

    If you want to keep track of your calories and heart rate, Tyrone suggests wearing a simple fitness tracker – like the Samsung Galaxy Fit e – which will help you monitor your progress.

    The research also found that 93% of parents wish they were fitter than they currently are.

    When asked why this is, 64% wanted to set a good example for their kids and 57% wanted more energy to play outside with their children, so this workout is a great way to start putting that into practice.

    ‘Doing a little bit of exercise everyday such as playing with our kids can make a huge difference to our fitness and wellbeing,’ says Tyronne.

    ‘As a parent, you want to stay fit and healthy to watch your children grow up.’

    So next time you take your kids to the park, rather than retreating to a bench with an ice cream – get your trainers on and get involved.

    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

    Black mother and daughter practicing yogaBlack mother and daughter practicing yoga

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    Eleanor in her jumpsuit with the stain and after the dying, and the PrettyLittleThing recreation
    Eleanor in her jumpsuit with the stain and after the dying, and the PrettyLittleThing recreation (Picture: Pretty Little Thing)

    When Eleanor Walton ended up with a splash of wine on her white jumpsuit, her friends saved the day – by throwing more wine over her.

    Then the post showing their creative solution went viral.

    And people loved the new-look jumpsuit so much, online clothing store PrettyLittleThing are selling a recreated version.

    The burgundy tie dye scuba jumpsuit has a high neck and a tie waist.

    Eleanor’s original jumpsuit was from the same store and this saves you having to waste any of your own drinks.

    It costs just £25 – so you still have plenty left over for a nice bottle of red wine to enjoy.

    The PrettyLittleThing tie dye jumpsuit
    The jumpsuit costs £25 (Picture: PrettyLittleThing)

    According to the description on the website, they recommend teaming it with strappy heals ‘for a look everyone’s totally obsessing over’.

    Eleanor, the original wearer of the jumpsuit, spotted the recreated version online.

    She posted: ‘AS IF !! if i see anyone out wearing this am buying u a drink.’

    Her friend Mia Williamson, who helped to create the tie dye pattern, added: ‘CANNOT BELIEVE we made this baby.’

    Mia and some of Eleanor’s other friends had the idea when she was splashed with the wine during a day out at Ripon races.

    Instead of letting the stain ruin the look, they turned it into a statement by soaking the dress in about four glasses of red wine in the sink and drying it under the hand drier.

    The jumpsuit came out with a pink top and patterned bottoms and honestly it looked great.

    We’re not quite sure what the jumpsuit smelt like of course, so now you can copy the look without risking a stale wine stench.

    MORE: Seven signs that you’re over-exercising

    MORE: Daily Fitness Challenge: Can you do a moving plank for a minute?


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    A woman in the shower and the picture of the googles
    This actually makes sense (Picture: Getty, @sjschauer/Twitter)

    Getting soap in your eye is pretty painful.

    Despite what the bottle promises about ‘no more tears’, it stings.

    But a woman realised her sister had a simple solution – wearing swimming goggles in the shower.

    While most of us have been struggling through the soapy pain, Sarah Schauer’s sister has been protected.

    Sarah discovered her sister’s secret when she spotted the goggles in a plastic travel bag with other toiletries.

    She posted on Twitter: ‘Just found out my sister wears goggles in the shower and she doesn’t know why I’m freaking out.’

    She later added: ‘She said she doesn’t like getting soap in her eyes…’

    Ok, at first it seems a little strange but the more you think about it, the more it makes sense.

    Keep goggles in the shower and pop them on to protect your eyes – easy really.

    People were pretty impressed with the idea. The tweet has racked up over 48,500 likes.

    One person said: ‘Well just know that your sister is living in 3019.’

    A few others said that they do it too.

    Abigail said: ‘She said she doesn’t like getting soap in her eyes…’

    Lemonie added: ‘I been doing this, t f but when you do shampoo tuck the back of the goggles lace and put it under your hair in the back so u can shampoo it.’

    And the post even led to another tip. Trinity said that they wear ear plugs to keep the water out of their ears in the shower.

    Riley replied: ‘Wait you might be onto something.’

    MORE: PrettyLittleThing is selling a recreation of the jumpsuit that was saved by red wine

    MORE: Seven signs that you’re over-exercising

    Woman finds out her sister wears goggles in the shower - and actually it makes senseWoman finds out her sister wears goggles in the shower - and actually it makes sense

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    Steph Yeboah stands in street
    The idea of going on holiday – or just heat in general – used to incite pure terror in me and was a huge reason why I hated the season (Picture: Steph Yeboah)

    Last week saw the UK hit peak temperatures, including an absolutely ridiculous high of 38 degrees on Thursday (global warming says hi!).

    As a nation, we did what we do best: broke out the sunscreen, had a bit of a moan on Twitter, complained about the ineptitude of public transport in said weather, and dusted off our favourite sandals.

    As summer looms, a whisper of the words ‘bikini’, ‘shorts’ or ‘sundress’ and many of us turn against ourselves, inner voices whispering words of self-doubt.

    This is a problem because critical thoughts interfere with our ability to relax and enjoy ourselves.

    So, rather than focusing on the books we’re going to catch up on in the summer, friends we’ll have long lunches with or the quality time we’ll be spending with friends and family, holiday and heat anticipation is tinged with dread, causing a negative body image to loom larger.

    Like clockwork, I began noticing tweets coming through condemning those not to dress down in the heat.

    Statements such as ‘how can XXX be wearing a leather dress/tights/a cardigan in this heat?!’ and other such judgy statements started to filter through the interwebs and I suddenly felt rather triggered.

    It got me thinking about the way I used to be treated by strangers as a teenager when I would opt to wear leggings and a long-sleeved top in the summertime and frankly, it makes me wonder why it’s anyone’s business how someone chooses to dress during a particular weather.

    Like most of us, my teenage years in regards to how I felt about my body weren’t the best of years.

    I spent the large majority of my time covering the areas that I hated; covering up self-harm scars, fat, cellulite, rolls and hyperpigmentation.

    The idea of going on holiday – or just heat in general – used to incite pure terror in me and was a huge reason why I hated the season. 

    Showing my body off and allowing it to breath and be kissed by the sun was a concept that I didn’t understand – why would anyone ever want to see my fat body in a *gasp*, sleeveless top?

    Steph Yeboah
    It is important to allow others to exist in whatever way they feel comfortable, even if it’s not something you may agree with (Picture: Kaye Ford)

    The general public does not deserve to see such a thing walking around in public.

    I thought that I was unworthy of feeling the benefits of sunlight and warmth – as weird as it sounds – because of how my body looked, and it would be incredibly frustrating to be faced with a barrage of glances and comments on ‘how hot I must be’ and ‘why I’m covering up’.

    Well stranger if I were to unleash this body, you’d probably comment on my saggy boobs or how I ‘should dress for the body I have and not the body I want’! It wasn’t enough that I was punishing my body for existing in its natural state – society was doing that for me too.

    This is by no means a ‘fat only’ issue, as the insecurities affect all bodies, regardless of size or shape. ‘I have acne scars all over my body, in particular arms, shoulders, back and chest. So I actually hate summer especially day time’ says Payzee, from South London.

    Sia also mentions the taunts she gets from strangers in summer when covering up, ‘People used to make fun of me for wearing tights in the summer… I still do a lot of the time’.

    As someone who speaks about body confidence and self-esteem for a living, you would think that I would be encouraging others to ‘live their best lives’ and go out wearing as little as possible and to not care about what people say.

    The truth is that the journey of loving yourself and achieving body confidence can be a long one and we have to remember that not everyone is at the same stage of their journey.

    It is important to allow others to exist in whatever way they feel comfortable, even if it’s not something you may agree with.

    Who knows, they may be taking their first steps towards self-love and it’s not a case where one can just strip down after years of insecurity and societal conditioning over how our bodies should be presented.

    I went through 20 years of wearing cover-ups and tights in the heat before I could get to a point where I could start showing skin and not feel horrible for doing so.

    It’s also a case where people may just generally feel more comfortable in a jumper or a coat in the heat, they may have an illness that prevents them from exposing their skin, or another ailment or condition that may prevent them from wanting to expose their bodies to the heat.

    I believe it’s incredibly important to think about before providing an unsolicited comment to someone who has probably heard the same types of comments all day.

    You may unintentionally be fuelling their insecurities even more and in this modern body positive(ish) era that we currently live in, it’s important to allow ourselves to exist in whichever shape and form we feel comfortable in, even if it is 38 degrees!

    MORE: Women tell us why they love Nike’s plus-size mannequins

    MORE: Love Island cast: Plus size model missing from Love Island 2019 line up

    Steph Yeboah heatwave-7157Steph Yeboah heatwave-7157

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