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

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    A Nutella jar on a pink background
    It’s a delicious spread (Picture: Morrisons/Getty)

    Most people have a favourite toast spread.

    Some opt for savoury options like peanut butter or cream cheese, while others prefer sweet treats like strawberry jam or Nutella.

    If the creamy hazelnut spread is what you reach for every morning – or afternoon, who are we to judge – then we’ve got good news.

    Morrisons is running a special offer where you can pick up a 1kg jar of Nutella for just £4.

    The deal went live yesterday (3 August) and will be available as long as stocks last.

    So if Nutella is your jam, you better hurry.

    The same product costs £5.70 in Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, so you could end up saving £1.70.

    If the family-sized jar feels a bit much, there is a smaller option of 700g available in supermarkets too, as well as cheaper own-brand versions.

    For instance, Asda has a hazelnut spread that costs just 80p for 400g, meaning you could get nearly a kilo for £1.60 – a fraction of the Nutella price.

    In other breakfast news, the ‘world’s biggest’ full English has been announced and can be found at Shepard’s Place Farm in Misteron, near Doncaster.

    It features 135 items, including black pudding, bacon, sausages, hash browns, eggs, beans, tomato, mushrooms, and a whole lot of toast.

    Bring your Nutella jar and go nuts.

    MORE: Nearly 50,000 people are petitioning Starbucks to stop charging extra for vegan milk

    MORE: Ben & Jerry’s launches new ice cream to celebrate Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign

    MORE: Happy International Beer Day: The cheapest place to get a pint in the UK revealed


    PRC_78812087PRC_78812087

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    Proud United 'boss' Graeme Souness stands as an ally for amateur LGBTQ players making strides against homophobia in football at Brighton Pride as part of Paddy Power's Come Out and Play campaign
    Graeme Souness stands as an ally for amateur LGBTQ players making strides against homophobia in football (Picture: SWNS)

    If you were asked to name one famous gay footballer, you’d probably struggle.

    Despite the Premier League boasting many famous names, there are barely any from LGBTQ backgrounds.

    To highlight the lack of queer players, a giant footballer balloon was released during Brighton Pride this weekend.

    Retired Scottish football player, Graeme Souness, walked behind the inflatable – one of the biggest at a Pride Parade – to showcase his support for the LGBTQ community.

    Proud United – a team made up of LGBTQ footballers from across the nation – also walked in the shadow of the colossal balloon.

    It took two hours to inflate and required enough helium to fill 7,000 balloons.

    Giant football inflatable at Brighton Pride wearing a Paddy Powers T-shirt
    Can’t miss it (Picture: SWNS)

    Graeme, a Liverpool legend and football pundit, took up the role as the symbolic manager of Proud United.

    The team aims to draw attention to the lack of visibility of LGBTQ players in the sport.

    Right now there are no openly gay or bisexual players in the Premier League.

    The float – which measures seven metres tall and 14 metres long – was erected in association with Paddy Power as part of its Come Out and Play campaign. The betting shop is also the official partner of Brighton Pride and is in the second year of its inclusive campaign.

    People from the Proud United team with the football player balloon in the background
    Currently, there are no gay players in the Premier League (Picture: SWNS)

    ‘Society has made such giant strides generally in terms of LGBTQ, that as football people we’ve got to ask why does the issue of homophobia persist within our community and the professional game and challenge that,’ said Graeme.

    ‘I’m here today as an ally and to bring attention to members of the LGBT community in the amateur game who are leading the charge in that conversation.’

    In the UK there are more than one million people who identify as LGB, according to 2017 figures from the Office of National Statistics.

    With approximately 500 players signed for the Premier League, it is curious that not a single one has come out as gay or otherwise.

    And it’s not that they don’t exist, FA Chairman Greg Clarke has revealed that he knows at least two players who are gay, but are not ready to share this with the world.

    The need to normalise acceptance in football is clearly an issue that needs to be tackled.

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

    MORE: Christian mum walks gay son down the aisle while wearing a rainbow sash at his wedding

    MORE: These two Indian grooms had a traditional Hindu wedding and people are loving it


    PRI_78791197PRI_78791197

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    Illustration of a woman standing in front of her boss, who is seated and is holding up a cup of tea
    Make me another cuppa, would you? (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Office dynamics can be tricky.

    There are certain issues that seem to happen regardless of which industry you’re in, or if you’re part of a small or a big team.

    For instance: the office tea round – it’s a topic that brings much debate for a myriad of reasons.

    Firstly, making someone else’s beverage can be stress-inducing – imagine that it’s your first day and you don’t know how your desk mates take their tea/coffee. Should you pour the milk or water first, and what if they don’t want any milk at all?

    Don’t even get us started on what type of milk you should choose, as you explore the world of soy, almond, full fat, skimmed and lactose-free options.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking your colleagues if they fancy a cuppa, however, problems can arise if it’s an order, not an offer.

    Some workplaces operate a pyramid structure, where more menial tasks are delegated to junior team members (who are often least likely to speak up if they’re unhappy).

    It’s also highly likely that whoever is requesting the cuppa will turn to a woman, as opposed to a man, according to Karen Kwong, business coach and founder of RenOC, a consultancy company.

    ‘If you’re a woman, being asked to play “mother” and get the teas for a meeting will be very common,’ she tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘In those instances, and bearing in mind the circumstances, it is worth having a conversation with your line manager about it, on a private level.’

    Anna Alexander, 37, tells us that one of her former managers always turned to the women in the office when he needed a drink.

    ‘In one job my male boss would get all the young women to make his tea,’ she said.

    ‘I wasn’t confident enough to speak up but when he told me “put the kettle on love” I did exactly that and walked off.

    ‘When he asked where the tea was I told him I’d done what he asked and acted confused. He didn’t ask me again.’

    Illustration of a woman sat at her laptop (only her hands visible) with a cup of tea
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Hayley Smith, who owns a PR company, describes how when she was younger, she felt ‘disrespected’ when asked to take on simple tasks that others didn’t want to do.

    ‘When I was 22, I was working at a male-dominated tech company, and there were only a handful of women in the company,’ the 31-year-old tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘The company had a very outdated outlook and though I was working in a department with several people, as the only woman, I was often asked by my boss to make the tea, or fetch the stationery etc.

    ‘At 22, when you’re trying to find your footing in your career, and make a good impression, and I was quite frankly naive, I would agree to these jobs not realising they weren’t helping me up the career ladder.

    ‘It made me feel small, disrespected, undervalued and below the rest of my team.

    ‘It sets a standard, including for yourself and this isn’t OK, and can halt your own personal and business development.’

    The issue does not only relate to women – or tea, for that matter.

    To return to the issue at hand, not everyone agrees that the tea round is a problem and some don’t mind doing tasks of this nature.

    Sonja Morgenstern, who worked as a receptionist and office manager for over 12 years, tells Metro.co.uk she enjoyed the break in her day that the beverage round would provide.

    ‘Usually my boss made sure I could get myself a drink too, and I’d much rather stand in the kitchen watching the kettle boil and gossiping with a colleague than sit behind my boring desk,’ she said.

    ‘Or perhaps it’s just my caring nature. I honestly think I never resented making the tea, and I was also responsible for buying an interesting selection of luxury beverages.’

    Certain roles also have coffee or tea-making as part of the job description.

    However, if yours doesn’t but you feel forced to take on this task (and you don’t like it), then it’s time to speak up.

    This can be easier said than done, especially if you are at the start of your career and afraid to rock the boat.

    Remember that you should feel respected at work and do not need to accept this type of behaviour from anyone, regardless of their standing at the company.

    Approach your line manager to discuss the matter. Don’t bring the issue up in an email – these can cause more problems than they solve, but request a meeting.

    Calmly raise your concerns – and if required, point out that your job description does not include tea rounds.

    ‘Perhaps talk to them about their views on your performance in general, your aspirations and your objectives,’ said Karen.

    ‘Then mention that while you’re happy to be a team player and happy to get the teas (not really, but let’s just go with it for a while), you think that this should be something that the whole team participates in, not just you.’

    If the line manager is part of the problem, you can still approach them directly, however if you feel uncomfortable in doing so, there is always the option of speaking to HR or a senior manager.

    When you approach a senior team member, whoever this may be, they should listen to your concerns and offer up a solution.

    ‘Positive workplace culture is one where everyone feels valued and motivated to excel,’ Dr Pragya Agarwal, a behavioural scientist, tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘In creating a top-down hierarchy such as this, people can feel undervalued, and consequently feel a lack of control. This can also perpetuate a culture of workplace bullying.

    ‘It is extremely important to have mutual respect in a workplace, and therefore have a culture of shared responsibility for such tasks like tea-making etc.’

    You could also try a softer approach; next time someone tells you to sort out the drinks, just say that you’re busy with a more important task and that they should do it themselves.

    Or alternatively, tell them that you don’t want a drink at the moment – and see if they take the hint.

    If none of these solutions work, it’s time to look for a new job – one where you know you’ll be appreciated (and not asked to make anyone’s tea).

    MORE: What to do if you hate your job

    MORE: Why you should leave work on time every day

    MORE: The art of ragequit – people share their bridge-burning job resignations


    Work Culture: How to tell your boss you're not doing the tea roundWork Culture: How to tell your boss you're not doing the tea round

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    An illustration of a woman with PCOS
    Are your periods normal? (Picture: Ella Byworth)

    Periods can be different for everyone in terms of length and flow, but significant changes or severe symptoms could be a sign that there is something wrong.

    Most women experience a period every 28 days or so, but it’s also very common for a period to start sooner or later than that, with the menstrual cycle ranging from 21 to 40 days, according to the NHS.

    It’s also normal for your period to last anywhere between three and eight days – and it’s most common for it to last for around five days.

    Heavy bleeding is normal, but usually this only lasts for a couple of days, and the blood will be red. It may turn to pink or brown on lighter days.

    The average woman loses around five to 12 tablespoons of blood during a period, although it can be normal to bleed more than this.

    It’s also normal to get other symptoms before your period, such as bloating – which may last while on your period – tender boobs, mood swings, irritability and a loss of interest in sex.

    An illustration of a woman in her underwear
    Are your periods too heavy? (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    But when does your period show some warning signs?

    While some people do have irregular periods, if you’re skipping periods entirely it’s important that you get checked out.

    This could be down to a number of things including birth control medication, weight gain or loss, stress, or more intensive exercise – but it could also be down to conditions such as Polycystic ovary syndrome.

    You should also see a doctor if you have an abnormally heavy flow. It’s normal for periods to be heavy but bleeding through one or more pads or tampons in an hour could be a sign of other complications, again including PCOS, a hormone imbalance, bleeding complications or even a sign of a miscarriage.

    Intense stomach cramps that interfere with your daily life could also be a warning sign. Cramps are very normal during the menstrual flow, but they could also be the result of a gynecological condition.

    Bowel changes during a period are also very common, but if you are experiencing diarrhoea and vomiting, you need to tell your doctor about your symptoms, as this could cause dehydration.

    Often, these period symptoms can just be normal things that just suck to have. But other times they can be as the result of something more – with 10% of women worldwide having endometriosis and one in five people in the UK having PCOS.

    If you notice any symptoms that don’t seem normal for you, you should go to your GP to let them know what’s going on – as they will be able to offer you treatment and investigations into the root cause of your problems.

    MORE: Is your poo normal? Signs your bowel movements aren’t as healthy as you think

    MORE: Ben & Jerry’s launches new ice cream to celebrate Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign


    SOCIALSOCIAL

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    The boat hold looks easy – but after about five seconds you’ll realise that it’s definitely not.

    This move is all about your abs. Can you balance in this precarious position for more than a minute? That will depend on how strong your stomach muscles are.

    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 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 on their own, or you can include them in larger workout – it’s totally up to you. As long as you’re moving, that’s what matters.

    woman exercising in a field
    (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 a boat hold for core strength

    Start in a sitting position with your knees bent and feet on the ground in front of you.

    Sit up tall, then lean back slightly and lift your feet off the ground.

    Engage your abs.

    Balance here and hold with your feet up off the ground. Beginners – keep your knees bent if straight legs are too difficult.

    When you’ve had some practice. straighten your legs out and up and reach your hands toward your feet to make the move harder.

    Make sure you only attempt this variation if you can feel your abs working and not your lower back.

    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


    Hispanic woman exercising in fieldHispanic woman exercising in field

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    Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past year or so, you’ll have heard people banging on about the wonders of going keto.

    Because it’s a high fat, high protein diet, devotees tend to plump for a sort of Atkins 2.0 style of eating – breakfasting on eggs and bacon, and dining on meat, cheese and nuts.

    There’s no denying the weight loss results many people experience in a super-short space of time – and that’s because keto is incredibly low in sugar.

    Zana Morris, founder of The Library gym, previously told Metro.co.uk that ‘any fat around your middle is entirely insulin-related’.

    In other words, if you have a belly fat that you aren’t comfortable with, it could be down to your consumption or inability to process sugars. And as all carbs are sugar, that could mean going low-carb.

    So what happens if you’re a vegan who’s looking to reduce any sugar-related body fat or who simply wants to maintain their weight using keto?

    Plant-based keto is possible

    The problem with most regular plans is that they misunderstand what the ketogenic diet really involves. While you’re getting a massive gut full of protein (a lot of which your body cannot metabolise), you miss out on vital antioxidants and fibre from fruit and vegetables.

    According to scientists from Tufts University, an incredible one in 12 deaths world wide is caused by not eating enough veg, and one in seven are caused by a lack of fruit.

    Far from being a zero-carb plan, you’re supposed to get all of your carb needs from green vegetables. If you ate a couple of portions of broccoli, spinach, kale, sprouts etc at every meal, not only would you not miss your grains or processed carbs, but you’d also be chock-full of iron, vitamin K, A, C, folate and fibre.

    And when you consider that half of your plate should be made up of those green veggies, it’s pretty easy to see how you could go vegan keto.

    Ditch your meat or fish for grilled tofu or tempeh. Give a quarter of your plate over to avocado, hummus and nuts. Make salad dressings from lashings of olive oil and lemon juice.

    In other words, a vegan keto diet is more like a low-carb Mediterranean style of eating – full of heart healthy fats, proteins and fibre.

    One person who is sold on its benefits is Liz – MeatFreeKeto on Instagram – a vegan keto blogger who shares her low-carb plant-based recipes and ideas with more than 12,000 followers.

    She turned keto for its anti-inflammatory properties. By ditching sugar and gluten, she found that her digestive system worked more efficiently and that her hormone levels evened out.

    The benefits of a keto diet

    Overall the keto diet plan is positive. When you eat high in carbs, your body will produce glucose and insulin. Glucose is the easiest molecule for your body to convert and use as energy which means the fats you eat, your body stores.

    But when you go into ketosis, your body burns stored fat for energy instead of glucose and the benefits include:

    • Rebalancing the body
    • Reducing blood pressure
    • Resetting your insulin levels
    • Improving cognitive processes and mental stability

    The ultimate benefit is that you totally change your eating habits to include more fat and eat healthier as you adapt to this diet.

    Geeta Sidhu-Robb, nutritionist

    Restricting an already restricted diet may be dangerous

    The issue, however, is the fact that any restrictive diet can involve missing out on vital nutrients.

    If you swerve colourful fruit and veg because you’re obsessing over sugar content, you end up missing out on vital vitamins and antioxidants that we know are absolutely crucial for maintaining good health.

    Plant-based foods tend to be much more quickly digested than animal based ones, so if you’re cutting out grains, root veg, dates and fruit, you could find yourself getting really hungry really quickly.

    And then, of course, you’ve got the fact that as vegans, we cut so much out of our diet already that any further restriction could cause issues with how we view nutrition and eating habits.

    For true ketosis to be triggered (that’s the process by which your body starts to use its own body fat for energy), you’ve got to be eating a very low amount of carbs every day. We’re looking at around 5-10% of your daily calorie intake, which for the average woman is going to be about 20kcals. So that’s about a bowl of courgetti.

    Standard keto macronutrients are split into about 70 per cent fat, 20 per cent protein and 10 per cent carbs.

    Again, think about that from a vegan perspective. You don’t have the help of oily fish or nutrient-dense fatty cheeses. You’ve got avocado, nuts (possibly nut cheeses), coconut products and yoghurt to get most of your daily calories from. Unlike lots of animal products, lots of plant-based proteins aren’t also rich in fat – they’re really low in the stuff. So vegan keto requires you to meticulously plan each section of your plate and to track everything.

    If you can do that and you want to do that, cool.

    Keto can help with metabolic conditions

    We know that keto can help with certain conditions like type 2 diabetes and polycystic ovarian syndrome.

    Both of those are affected by insulin resistance.

    70-80% of women with PCOS have insulin resistance. High levels of insulin increase testosterone which cause the facial hair growth, acne, hair loss, and missing periods – so anything that can help to bring down that insulin is worth looking into.

    One study found that a keto diet helped to reverse Type 2 diabetes in 10 weeks and those results were maintained for up to a year with an average weight loss of over 2st.

    Claire Goodwin, AKA the PCOS Nutritionist previously told us that the most simple nutritional advice she’d give to all women with PCOS is to ‘just eat real food’.

    ‘And by real food, I mean anything that you can eat directly from nature, like vegetables, fruit, fish, nuts, oils, seafood and ethically raised, grass fed meat and oils.

    ‘Secondly, remove sugar and sweeteners.  70-80% of women with PCOS have insulin resistance (pre-Type 2 Diabetes), so sugar (and that includes natural sweeteners like dates and maple syrup) is only going to be exacerbating this.’

    While she’s not vegan herself, it’s clear that she’s an advocate for very simple, no-fuss eating that focuses on whole foods.

    But not all keto is quite what is seems

    That doesn’t mean binning fruit and rice, it means eating everything in moderation and filling up on unprocessed grub. If it’s been milled, refined, sweetened, give it a miss.

    ‘Keto is played up in the media as being the thing that helped people to lose their weight,’ Claire and James Davis, also known as the Midlife Mentors, say.

    ‘It’s a lifestyle, not a diet – you can’t dip in and out of ketosis so you have to kiss goodbye to eating out or being social around food. It’s not sustainable for most people.

    ‘The Lancet did a massive study on it (over 15,000 people) and there are all these advocates of keto dismissing their findings!

    ‘There’s lots of dishonesty around it too. You see influences these days claiming to be vegan, posing with beers going “oh, I’m still enjoying beers on keto!”. No, you’re not.’

    Eating healthily doesn’t have to be complicated

    Just remember that eating well doesn’t have to be this complicated.

    You can get similar results from eating a properly whole food, vegan diet – balancing hormones by ditching refined foods and working out regularly to stimulate your metabolism.

    MORE: People are slamming Forever 21 for sending out Atkins diet snack bars with clothes

    MORE: Men, your ‘western diets’ could be ruining your sperm

    MORE: 3 easy changes to your diet that will help save the planet

     

     

     

     

     


    5 common myths about nutrition (and the truths)Ella Byworth5 common myths about nutrition (and the truths)Ella Byworth

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    Female running on a sandy beach
    This simple aerobic workout will set you up for a long, hard day of lounging by the pool. (Picture: Getty)

    It’s holiday season – and that means, sea, sand, all the cocktails and all the food.

    But going abroad doesn’t mean you have to completely abandon your fitness goals. Unless you want to of course.

    If you’re aiming to stay on track, even if you can’t get to the gym – you can work out on the beach. The added bonus is that running around on sand will get your lower body working even harder than normal.

    We asked Beachbody Mastertrainer Diana Wright to come up with the a simple beach workout that you can squeeze in before your buffet breakfast.

    ‘I am heading off to Marbella at the end of September with a group of friends, if you are like me you‘ll know that means late nights, partying and my food will be a little off plan, so I have designed this little beach burnout AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) to do whilst I am there to keep me in tip-top shape.

    ‘I have no idea what I will have access to when I am on holiday, so all you need for this workout is some great tunes and a timer.

    ‘Simply do a 10 minute warm-up – walking through the moves at 50% effort, adding in a little dynamic stretching, then set the timer for 20 minutes and start the workout.

    ‘Five reps (10 for the mountain climbers) of each of the six exercises is one round, aim to complete as many rounds as possible in the 20 minutes. Note your score and you can try to beat it next time.

    Side view of young female runner running barefoot along waters edge at beach
    You don’t even have to pack your trainers – sand is great for a barefoot workout. (Picture: Getty)

    ‘I always track my heart rate for this kind of work out and would expect it to be in the 80%+ range for most of the workout.

    ‘When I’m finished, I will do a short cool down, possibly a dip in the pool or the sea, before heading to breakfast.’

    The best beach workout for your summer holiday

    T shuttle

    Works your lower body

    Draw two lines in the sand – three meters long to make a capital T shape.

    Start at the bottom of the T, sprint to the top of the T sidetracking to one side, then sidetrack all the way to the other side before returning to centre, then running back to return to the start.

    Count every time you return to your base.

    Do this for five reps.

    Squat lunge combo

    Works your lower body

    Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms at your sides, keeping knees out above your feet.

    Squat down while raising the arms out in front, return to standing arms back to sides then perform one jumping lunge on each side driving the arms like a sprinter to aid the movement.

    Aim to get your back knee as close to the ground as you can keeping a tall posture.

    Two Squats and two Lunges = one rep.

    Do this for five reps.

    Muay Thai burpee

    Works your full body

    Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, squat down shoot your legs back to a high plank, perform one push up, then jump your legs back to the hands.

    Return to standing then perform one Muay Thai style knee with each leg.

    This is one rep.

    Do this for five reps.

    Triple bear

    Works your full body

    On the ground, come into a bear pose – hands under your shoulders, knees hip-distance apart and two inches off the sand, stacked directly under hips, flat back.

    Keeping the spacing, hop your feet to one side then back to centre then to the other side.

    Three jumps = one rep.

    Do this for five reps.

    Dive bomber push-up

    Works your upper body

    Start in a high plank position, drive your hips back and up until your body makes an inverted V shape.

    With legs straight throughout, flex your arms, driving your chest down and forwards (imagine moving under a low hurdle as chest passes hands straighten the arms to end up in an upward dog position with the hips low.)

    Then reverse the movement back to the start for one rep

    Do this for five reps.

    Mountain climbers

    Works your core and upper body

    Start in a high plank position. Alternate driving knees forward between your elbows, whilst keeping your hips in position, count every second rep.

    Do this for ten reps.

    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


    Female running on a sandy beach.Female running on a sandy beach.

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    Woman pouring water from bottle into the glass at a outdoor cafe
    Being even slightly dehydrated can cause headaches and tiredness. (Picture: Getty)

    Most of us know that water is pretty important for keeping us alive.

    The average human body is made up of around 60% water – so if we let ourselves get too dehydrated the health implications can be really severe.

    Despite that, a third of Brits have revealed that they don’t drink water every day. None. At all.

    And 20% say that they last drank a glass of water over a week ago – according to a new survey.

    The research, commissioned by Britvic’s family brand Robinsons, showed that almost half of the nation dislike drinking water, with 52% saying it is boring.

    Sure, breathing’s pretty boring too – but it keeps us alive so…

    A shocking 62% of people admit to not drinking the recommended daily allowance of 2.0L – 2.5L. 4% even admitted to not having drunk a glass of water in over a month.

    ‘Keeping hydrated, especially during the warm, summer months is important for so many reasons’, says Hydration Expert, Dr Emma Derbyshire.

    Glasses of water with ice on a wooden table
    20% say that they last drank a glass of water over a week ago. (Picture: Getty)

    ‘The research shows that half of Brits suffer from headaches as result of being dehydrated and many also feel sleepy (41%) if they haven’t had enough fluid.

    ‘As well as the short term impact, dehydration may also contribute to more long-term effects such as constipation, reduced kidney function and kidney stones, urinary tract infection and mental confusion – so it’s vital to ensure fluid intake is in line with recommended guidelines for men and women.

    ‘The simplest way to tell if you are dehydrated and keep track throughout the day is to look at the colour of your urine.

    ‘A wearable hydration monitor with immediate results would be hugely beneficial – especially for children and the elderly who are particularly susceptible to the effects of dehydration.’

    To highlight the importance of staying properly hydrated, Britvic and Robinsons have teamed up with pioneering technology company, Sixty, to introduce a wearable hydration monitor that assesses hydration levels and alerts customers if they should be drinking more liquid.

    The special watch uses a technique called optical spectrometry that can instantly tell if the wearer is dehydrated when placed on the skin.

    It is currently the only device that can accurately measure hydration non-intrusively and aims to be available to buy next summer.

    It’s so important to stay hydrated – particularly during heatwaves or hot weather. It not only helps to keep you healthy, but it can also improve your skin, can improve your alertness and even flush out nasty toxins.

    So drink up.

    MORE: The best beach workout to do on holiday

    MORE: How to exercise safely when you’re pregnant

    MORE: Daily Fitness Challenge: How long can you stay in a boat hold?


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    Woman stretching at her desk while at work
    ‘Muscles tensing and tightening causes restrictions on our spine which can lead to malalignment’ (Picture: Getty)

    Back pain can be chronic, debilitating and affect almost every aspect of your life. And it can particularly bad for people who work at a desk.

    Simple stretching and movement can really do a lot to help alleviate pain.

    Last week we shared the best stretches to do at home to help deal with back pain, but these stretches can be done at your desk – and you don’t even need to leave your chair.

    Osteopath and founder of the Woodside Clinic, Anisha Joshi, is adamant that spending the majority of your day at a desk is a huge contributor for back pain.

    Try Anisha’s stretches next time you’re feeling a bit stiff – and encourage your work pals to do the same.

    Woman stretching at a desk
    ‘Stretching helps oxygen flow around the body and can also help reduce stress.’ (Picture:Getty)

    Posterior shoulder blade stretch

    Bring one arm across your chest and use your other arm to stretch/pull it across your body, holding the arm you are stretching above the elbow.

    Hold each stretch for five seconds and then repeat on the other arm.

    Repeat five times on each arm.

    Benefits: This stretches the muscles between the shoulder blades which attach to the top of neck that get tight which can tense up when looking at a screen.

    Neck stretch

    Sit on one hand, palm down, and turn your neck to the other shoulder so you feel a stretch in one side of neck.

    Hold each one for 10 seconds and then repeat five times.

    Do the same for the other side – sit on the other hand and repeat five times.

    Benefits: Reduces tension and neck pain from hunching and looking at screen – all muscles which attach into the shoulder and neck are anatomically connected to the upper back.

    Nerve supplies come from the neck to the upper back so restrictions can impact nerve functions which can compromise the upper back and cause pain.

    Shoulder shrugs

    Bring your shoulders up towards the bottom of your ear – hold for a couple of seconds and then release.

    Repeat 10 times.

    Benefits: Reduces tension and mobilises the shoulder blades and upper back.

    Why it's important to stretch your lower back

    ‘We were built to hunt for food and not sit for hours and hours, so our bodies are built to move, not be sedentary,

    ‘It is important to show our muscles the full range of movement. This also increases the blood flow in the body and helps reduce inflammation. Stretching helps oxygen flow around the body and can also help reduce stress.’

    Anisha Joshi, founder of the Woodside Clinic

    Backward stretch

    Stand up and interlace your fingers behind back.

    Pull your arms backwards away from you to stretch your muscles across the front of your chest.

    Benefits: Your pecks are typically hunched when at your desk, so contracting anteriorally when hunching forward.

    Think of them as elastic bands from your sternum to anterior parts of shoulder. By stretching them it helps alleviate pain in your upper back.

    Middle back rotation

    Sit forward on your chair so you are perched on the edge.

    Hold your elbows in front of you, so your arms form a square against your body (often known as the Cossack position).

    Rotate gently and slowly from left to right 10 times.

    Benefits: This rotation stretches your lateral muscles and trapezius muscle, which attaches to your mid back to prevent mid back pain.

    Roll down

    Stand up from your desk, giving yourself enough space to bend forwards without banging your head.

    Stand with your feet hip-width apart and gently rock backwards and forwards from heel to toe until you settle slightly towards the ball of your foot.

    With your arms by your side, slightly bend your knees so you are upright, but the knees aren’t locked in a straight position.

    Inhale and on your exhaled breath, tuck your chin to your chest and slowly nod the head and roll down towards the floor, one vertebra at a time.

    Roll down as far as your comfortably can whilst keeping your neck and shoulders relaxed.

    Just hang down there for a few seconds and enjoy the stretch, breathing naturally.

    On your exhale breath, slowly roll back up, one vertebra at a time, until you are standing upright.

    Repeat three or four times.

    Benefits: This stretches the lower back and is good for the core and posture.

    Stretching can be really helpful, but it can only do so much. If you are experiencing new, severe or chronic back pain then you should definitely have a chat with your GP.

    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


    Businesswoman Stretching Body While Working In OfficeBusinesswoman Stretching Body While Working In Office

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    Billboard campaign challenges workplace bias against Afro hair
    The campaign wants to change the stigma and stereotypes around Afro hair. (Picture: Project Embrace)

    Black and mixed-race men and women are often subject to discrimination and unfair treatment for simply wearing their hair in a natural style in the workplace.

    There are frequent examples of people being accused of ‘unprofessionalism’, being forced to change natural styles, or even being fired because of their hair.

    New York recently made it a crime to discriminate against natural, Afro hairstyles in the workplace – which shows just how significant this problem is – but the UK currently has no such law.

    Project Embrace is launching a billboard campaign to challenge old and narrow views of professional hair. The team has created a ‘Rip Up the Dress Code’ campaign to encourage a more inclusive approach to hairstyles in the workplace.

    The series of billboards will be displayed up and down the country, depicting images of black women and a man with natural Afro textured hair in professional environments.

    The campaign aims to tackle the notion that Afro hair is ‘unprofessional’, and is calling on British workplaces to examine their dress codes and how they can be discriminatory to black women and men who choose to wear their natural hair.

    Afro Hair discrimination billboard
    Six winners were chosen to front the campaign from more then 500 applicants. (Picture: Project Embrace)
    Afro Hair discrimination billboard
    The posters will be on roadside billboards and on screens in shopping centres, bars and pubs. (Picture: Project Embrace)

    ‘Women and girls deserve to feel beautiful and accepted without feeling the need to alter their physical self,’ says founder Lekia Lee.

    ‘Whether at school or the workplace, people with curls or coils should not be singled out based on the way their hair grows out of their scalp.

    ‘Unfortunately, this is not the case and as a result of the continued “bad press” Afro textured hair has received over the centuries, many women (and girls) don’t feel they will be accepted in the workplace or society at large if they do not alter their natural hair structure to resemble more closely that of their white counterparts.

    Afro Hair discrimination billboard
    ‘People with curls or coils should not be singled out based on the way their hair grows out of their scalp.’ (Picture: Project Embrace)
    Afro Hair discrimination billboard
    ‘Women and girls deserve to feel beautiful and accepted without feeling the need to alter their physical self.’ (Picture: Project Embrace)

    ‘We believe that discriminating against anyone based on their physical form in any kind of way is unacceptable.

    ‘Many hairstyles considered extreme are just normal for people of African descent because of the structure of our hair. Diversity is natural and no one should be made to suffer or be punished for it.’

    A nationwide campaign was held to find the faces of the campaign, with six people being chosen out of hundreds of applicants.

    The images will be on roadside billboards and on advertising screens in shopping centres, bars and pubs from this week.

    MORE: The best beach workout to do on holiday

    MORE: Mixed Up: ‘I feel the pressure to change negative stereotypes about young black men’

    MORE: Strong Women: ‘My heart attack could have finished me – but now I’m back bodybuilding at 62’


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    Holidays are a whirlwind of excitement. For weeks on end you’re scouring the internet for the best deals before settling on the perfect chill out spot, and that’s when the fun and games really begin. From picking out your holiday outfits, to ensuring you’ve got all the right toiletries, there is so much to do.

    People don’t often talk about it, but getting prepped for a holiday takes time. And, let’s face it, we deserve a holiday after juggling a full-time job and all the planning. Don’t get started on the preening.

    Visas? Check. Passport in date? Check. Currency? Check. What about bugs? Are you going to get eaten alive?

    So, once you’ve had your fill of Vitamin D, had enough ice-creams that could stock a parlour and are so chilled out you’re horizontal, how is it that you’re desperate to get home again? People love things that are familiar, so it no surprise that the idea of setting foot back at home and lounging on your sofa can start feeling like a fantasy while you’re away.

    Don’t worry, you’re not alone – and there are a few reasons why people say, ‘there’s no place like home’.

    1. Your bed

    Sure, there is something totally luxurious about having clean sheets every day, not to mention those little chocolates left on the pillows, but can you beat a good night’s sleep in your own bed? Getting the temperatures right can be tricky when you’re abroad, with one leg in one minute and then another hanging out as you adjust to sunnier climates – but at home, it’s like clockwork. Everything is at the right setting and comfort levels.

    2. Rationing

    Travel and vacation concept, Packing a lot of clothes and stuff into suitcase on bed prepare for travel and journey trip in holiday.

     

    Deciding between your fourth pair of favourite shoes and a full size bottle of shampoo can be hard, and it’s often the shampoo that gets binned. ‘I’ll get it at the airport,’ we say, leaving us with tiny bottles of shampoos and conditioners that you have to use sparingly throughout your vacation. We’ve all been there trying to squeeze the life out of a toothpaste tube to make it last until the final day. That’s one thing that you don’t really have to stress about at home. There is no weight limit!

    3. Furry animals

    Dog hits owner

    Why is it that you always end up being the person that the stray dogs or cats curl up under? They always find you. Leaving your furry pals at home is hard, but there’s a novelty to being able to enjoy a long dinner without having to worry about rushing home to let the dog out. On your hols, you can take yourself for a walk when you like, or not. But it doesn’t take long for us to miss those fur babies.

    4. Binge

    When we set off on our adventures, it’s hard to check in with our favourite shows – whether that’s down to lack of time or whether it’s even airing overseas. Why does it always seem like a top new drama is starting whenever you jet off somewhere? Steering clear of social media and avoiding spoilers is a new sport on holiday for those unable to unplug, and if you do make it all the way home without finding out whodunnit, kicking back in front of the TV is all the sweeter.

    5. Time for tea

    Is there anything better than a proper cup of tea in the comfort of you own home? Putting the kettle on for a brew is the first thing we do after we sling the keys down and nothing beats the taste of a cuppa made with Arla Cravendale, fresh milk that’s filtered for purity! And, thanks to the fact that Arla Cravendale lasts up to 3 weeks unopened, you can buy it before you fly and come home to a refreshing cup of tea without having to worry about the faff of popping to the shops when you return. You can just drop everything and enjoy a much-needed brew. After all, you’ve probably missed a decent cup of tea while you’ve been away – being served Earl Grey or iced tea is never quite the same. And some of us spend our whole holiday without having a brew – the horror!

    6. Internet

    Young asian woman smile and use smart phone

    Because heaven forbid you can’t access social media for a whole day. But seriously though, when you decide to take a hike and there’s literally no connection, it almost feels creepy now. You can feel completely deserted. Gone are the days where resorts had ‘patchy’ internet; most are kitted out pretty well. But with so many adventures to be discovered outside of the hotels, there is something unsettling if you find yourself away from the safety net of 4G.

    7. Home-cooked delights

    Having someone cook for you and bring you drinks every day sounds like a dream, but if you’re anything like us, you lack self-control when you’re away and can go overboard with those portions. When we’re on vacay, we pick out our favourite foods, and why not? You’ve got to treat yourself, but as the holiday nears the end, we’re dreaming of stocking our fridge with light bites, salad, and even those comfort bowls of cereal with lashings of Arla Cravendale milk or a really good cup of tea! Pro tip: don’t you love arriving on holiday with your welcome basket waiting for you? Why not get ahead of the game and get all your best bits before you go so when you get home it’s ready and waiting?

    8. Travel

    When we travel it can be hard to get our bearings, let alone use public transport. That’s why you’ll often find most tourists crammed together in a few blocks, afraid to venture too far off the beaten track without their trusty map apps. Navigating the public transport system can be a minefield, adding stress to a holiday you really don’t need. Back home in the summer, it’s a different ball game. As everyone jets off on their summer hols you can manage to get a seat, not to mention the blissfully quiet roads too – the dream!

    9. Gym bunnies

    Are you one of those people that pack their gym shoes when they go on holiday? No, not many people are. Working up a sweat when you’re already dripping in the sunshine seems a bit futile and, frankly, it’s exhausting just thinking about it. It’s no surprise that people prefer sipping on piña coladas. But let’s face it, after hours cooking on a sun bed and piles of rich food each night, it gets to a point when you start craving a workout in. No, we didn’t think we’d say it either.


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    Maliha Abidi, the woman who paints incredible pakistani women seen with her canvas and holding up her paintings
    Karachi-born artist Maliha has created a book of her amazing paintings (Picture: Instagram/Maliha Abidi)

    Student Maliha Abidi wanted to honour the women of her birthplace, Pakistan.

    So the 23-year-old who was raised in Karachi, and later moved to California, U.S, decided to paint them.

    The artist has created exquisite paintings for her new book Pakistan for Women: Stories of Women Who Have Achieved Something Extraordinary.

    In it, she details the lives of many incredible women including one of the most esteemed Nobel Peace Prize winners, Malala Yousafzai.

    She also profiles human rights lawyer Asma Jahangir and Ayesha Farooq, a female fighter pilot who joined the Pakistani Air Force at 17.

    Altogether, Maliha highlights the work of 50 amazing women, accompanied by her own paintings of them.

    Page from the book including a painting of malala
    Malala features a lot in her work (Picture: Instagram/Maliha Abidi)

    Maliha, who now studies at the University of Sussex faced some criticism along the way.

    People encouraged her dad to not allow her to travel but he paid no mind. She was also criticised for including women like Malala who some are not fans of.

    painting of Abida Parveen, a Sufi singer
    Other notable women like Abida Parveen, a Sufi singer are also included in the book (Picture: Instagram/Maliha Abidi)

    ‘[The] few comments of hate were never directed at me as an artist or a writer, they were directed at some women in my book such as Asma Jahangir and Malala Yousafzai.

    ‘These women are personal heroes to many but the ones who hate them, they don’t even know their full story or didn’t even bother reading it. Like not even a simple article online.’

    Pakistani student painting
    Maliha wants to honour the incredible women from her country (Picture: Instagram/Maliha Abidi)

    The neuroscience student was discouraged by some for travelling and painting, things which some don’t consider lucrative or acceptable for women.

    ‘When I used to travel, people called my father and said things like: “Don’t let her go outside this way” or, “you have given her too much freedom”,’ she said.

    Colourful painting of Sabeen Mahmud. a human rights activist who was killed in a targeted attack in Karach
    Sabeen Mahmud. a human rights activist who was killed in a targeted attack in Karachi (Picture: Instagram/Maliha Abidi)

    ‘When I used to create art, they said things like, “this won’t get her anywhere” or “her father doesn’t care about her that is why he lets her continue in such a useless field.”‘

    But for the most part, Maliha’s work has received wide praise: ‘People from my country have supported this project like crazy but not just that, I have received great appreciation from different corners of the world.’

    Human rights activist Veeru Kohli
    Human rights activist Veeru Kohli (Picture: Instagram/Maliha Abidi)

    She was able to get the book published after launching a Kickstarter campaign earlier this year.

    ‘I see that there are many women we need to celebrate who belong to my land. It is the first book of its kind to be published in Pakistan.

    painting of Samina Baig, the first Pakistani woman to climb Everest
    Samina Baig, the first Pakistani woman to climb Everest (Picture: Instagram/Maliha Abidi)

    ‘From mountaineers to astrophysicists to educators, Pakistan has these stories and this book advocates for the idea that if these Pakistani women can achieve their dreams through hard work and dedication, so can all the girls reading their stories.’

    Here are some more of Maliha’s paintings including other incredible women:

    Painting of Ilhan Omar
    Ilhan Omar (Picture: Instagram/Maliha Abidi)
    Painting of frieda kahlo
    Frieda Kahlo is one of the non Muslim women painted by Maliha (Picture: Instagram/Maliha Abidi)
    Painting of Emma Gonzalez
    Emma Gonzalez, one of the survivors of the Parkland high school shooting (Picture: Instagram/Maliha Abidi)

    MORE: These are the 20 women voted most significant in world history

    MORE: Who is Ramla Ali, Sinéad Burke, Adut Akech and Francesca Hayward who feature in Meghan Markle’s edit of Vogue?

    MORE: Strong Women: ‘My heart attack could have finished me – but now I’m back bodybuilding at 62’


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    girl with mosquito bite, scratching hand has motion blur,
    If you’re going to be outside a lot then make sure to check for tick bites (Picture: Getty)

    With summer in full swing it’s more than likely you’ll be enjoying outdoor adventures.

    But with the great outdoors comes the possibility of not so great ticks.

    These are tiny creatures found in woodland, moorland, grassland and parks. Young ticks can be as small as a poppy seed, whilst older ticks look like a tiny spider.

    Ticks can sometimes pass on diseases to humans, including Lyme disease. But not all ticks carry disease.

    Signs of Lyme diseases include a circular red rash and flu-like symptoms. If the infection is not treated swiftly with antibiotics – it can cause nerve and heart problems, pain and swelling in the joints, and trouble concentrating.

    Removing ticks quickly and safely greatly reduces any risk of illness.

    a lyme disease rash
    The bullseye rash is one of the early signs of Lyme disease (Picture: Kate Allen / SWNS)

    So, how do you check for ticks?

    If you’ve been around any tall grass, low-to-the-ground shrubs, wooded plants, or even your garden, you should do a tick check.

    This includes checking every part of your body for ticks, they can be as small as a poppy seed.

    Make sure to check between joints (behind the knees, elbows, armpits), behind your ears and anywhere covered in hair (behind the neck) as ticks love warm, dark places.

    If you’ve gone hiking with your dog, make sure to check that they are tick-free as well.

    Shower afterwards to not only get dirt off you but to wash off any unnoticed ticks. It’s also a perfect time to do a tick check.

    A female dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus) stuck in the arm skin of a man in Summer
    If you’ve gone hiking with your dog, make sure to check that they are tick-free as well. (Picture: Getty)

    What does a tick bite look like?

    A tick bite usually results in a small red bump – similar to the bump you get when a mosquito bites you – and it will likely go away after a few days.

    The distinct red rash associated with Lyme disease is circular and forms a pattern like a bullseye – but it’s important to note that not everyone who gets Lyme disease will get a rash.

    The NHS points out that the majority of tick bites are harmless, and that only a small amount of ticks carry the bacteria that can cause Lyme disease in humans.

    How to get rid of ticks on your body

    Don’t panic, your odds of catching Lyme disease are fairly low in the first 24 hours so the quicker you check the better.

    Use tweezers if you spot any bites or tick removal keys you can purchase online. Don’t use your fingers as you may end up splitting any nasty pathogens which could cause infection.

    With your tweezer or key, slowly and steadily pull upward, without twisting or jerking. This way parts of the head or mouth won’t remain embedded in your skin.

    Then clean off the area using rubbing alcohol or antibacterial soap, clean both the area of the bit and the tool you used to remove the tick.

    How to kill ticks found on clothing

    Ticks love to hang onto clothing and can be brought into your home this way. Carefully inspect all outer layers of clothing and gear for ticks.

    To kill any ticks found on clothing, you can put them in a dryer for 10-15 minutes, and the heat should overwhelm them.

    If the clothes are dirty, wash them in hot water. Make sure the water’s hot because cold or lukewarm water will not kill the ticks.

    MORE: Woman shares photo of tick bites to raise awareness of the early signs of Lyme disease

    MORE: Lyme disease: What does a tick bite look like?

    MORE: Man thought he would die after symptoms of Lyme disease were mistaken for a stroke


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     Kulsoom Abdullah trains at Crossfit gym in Atlanta
    Muslim weightlifter Kulsoom Abdullah trains at Crossfit gym in Atlanta, U.S, where she studied (Picture: Associated Press)

    Being a woman in a male-dominated field is no easy feat, particularly where physical capabilities are concerned.

    And Kulsoom Abdullah is bossing one of the biggest male-dominated industries – weightlifting.

    The Pakistani-American is one of the very few Muslim women in the profession and is the first to represent Pakistan at the World Championship.

    She is also the only Muslim woman to compete in an international weightlifting event while wearing a hijab.

    Kulsoom has been competing in Olympic weightlifting competitions since 2010, after taking an interest in taekwondo.

    Just in case that wasn’t enough, Kulsoom also has a PhD in engineering (putting us all to shame).

     Kulsoom Abdullah smiles at Crossfit gym in Atlanta
    Oh and she has  PhD (Picture: Associated Press)

    The journey to the World Championship, which takes place in Thailand this September, has been a long one for Kulsoom.

    She was denied entry into the national weightlifting championship in 2010 because she wore a headscarf.

    But she wasn’t willing to lie down and take this, so challenged the rules and was able to enter the following year.

    ‘It was very disappointing and affected my training even though I was used to some discrimination,’ she explains to Metro.co.uk.

    ‘I had already been training and competing at the local level, so this was a jarring feeling.

    ‘In retrospect, it was all a life-changing experience. Being told no, then getting support and media attention was very surprising and sudden. I did my best to take advantage of being given this voice and platform.’

    Kulsoom Abdullah lifting weights
    Kulsoom Abdullah was declared ineligible to compete in national weightlifting in 2010 but successfully challenged them the following year. (Picture: AP/Bob Andres, Atlanta Journal Constitution)

    The lack of representation of Muslim women in sports also hindered the idea that she could enter such spaces.

    ‘I did not know what weightlifting was when I was a child. Not having any role models or thinking that I could be athletic, I never pursued a sport.

    ‘I got interested in weightlifting later in life when I was in graduate school.

    ‘I started taking taekwondo and worked up to the black belt. To supplement it, I started to build up my endurance and strength.

    ‘At the time, it was difficult to find resources on women and strength training so a lot I did on my own. I enjoyed being active and wanted to keep working on my strength even after finishing my PhD. This ultimately led me to weightlifting.’

    Kulsoom lifting weights at the gym
    The Pakistani-American athlete started weightlifting after she graduated from Georgia Tech University where she took up taekwondo. (Picture: Bob Andres/AP)

    While engineering might be considered a lucrative career, weightlifting was somewhat an unorthodox choice for Kulsoom’s community.

    But her family is supportive, she adds: ‘I was encouraged to compete.

    ‘[At the gym] I’m usually asked if I am hot due to being covered up. The answer is yes, I usually am when it is summer, and there is no air conditioning but in the winter I am just fine.

    ‘I think because I tried my best to find positive environments to learn and train, and was focused on it, I did not pay attention or find out what people thought about me doing this.’

    Kulsoom tying her shoelaces
    We stan (Picture: Bob Andres/AP)

    Of course, all of that requires a lot of discipline and a serious amount of hard work. But Kulsoom always manages to lift her spirits (see what we did there?).

    While getting her PhD in Electrical/Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Kulsoom began balancing the sport with her studies.

    ‘It was a challenge. When I was in graduate school, and taking taekwondo, I was basically sleeping, eating, studying, working, training, then sleeping again.

    ‘Later on, with weightlifting, I enjoyed the sport and wanted to keep doing it at least for my own mental and physical health. I tried to make sure I took care of myself, and take breaks during the holidays so I could re-energise.

    ‘Today, working in the industry is more flexible than at university, so I just find weightlifting a part of my routine to take care of myself.’

    Kulsoom adds that seeing the positive reaction from people and showing young Muslim girls that it’s possible for them to do the unthinkable too has been one of the biggest highlights.

    We expect many more highlights from her career.

    MORE: Hindu-Muslim lesbian couple praised for stunning pics that ‘brought India and Pakistan together’

    MORE: Student creates book of paintings featuring extraordinary women from Pakistan, including Malala

    MORE: Muslim teenager enters boxing competition wearing a hijab


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    Aldi's cheese-filled sausages on a table with salads and condiments
    Cheese… inside a sausage? We have to stan. (Picture: Aldi)

    Steadfast carnivores rejoice: defying the vegan tide, you can now buy cheese-filled sausages.

    Many of this summer’s barbecues will have had lots of plant-based options – but for those committed to meaty, cheesy meals, Aldi has launched pork sausages filled with Red Leicester – and they only cost £1.89 for a pack of six (from 15th August).

    According to cheese.com – self-described as ‘the world’s greatest cheese resource’ – Red Leicester dates back to the 17th century when farmers in Leicester wanted to make their cheese stand out. They decided that the cheese’s colour should reflect its creaminess.

    Put that in your sausage and eat it.

    It’s been a good summer for sausage fans shopping at Aldi. They’ve also recently launched ‘Chilli Chubbies’ – mini sausages infused with three different types of peppers – and jerk chicken chipolatas, for BBQs with a Caribbean twist.

    Aldi jerk chicken sausages on a table in buns
    Jerk chicken… in sausage form. (Picture: Aldi)

    The new meat-dairy combo will likely come as a relief to those disturbed by the rise of vegan products – including Piers Morgan, who this year raised serious concerns about the new Gregg’s vegan sausage roll.

    Finally, some cheesy respite for ‘real’ sausage-lovers.

    MORE: This Muslim woman is not only an Olympic weightlifter, she also has an engineering PhD

    MORE: The best beach workout to do on holiday

    MORE: How to check for ticks this summer


    redl-adb8redl-adb8

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    A close up of a woman messaging her frieands using her smartphone in a cafe.
    Have you texted your number neighbour?(Picture: Getty)

    Twitter might be the place where nuance goes to die, but it also provides lots of laughs.

    The latest viral trend on the platform that’s giving us the giggles is an old one – the ‘text your neighbours’ challenge.

    It actually started in 2016 when folks would text the person with an almost identical number to them, but one digit higher or lower, and then would share the responses.

    Conversing with a stranger online is seldom a good idea, but some of the interactions have been more wholesome than expected.

    Others, not so much, and have bordered on needing police intervention.

    So, have you texted your phone number neighbour yet?

    Maybe start by apologising for all the times they got a text from a person you purposely gave the wrong number to.

    One of the most viral messaging exchange came from 20-year-old Chris and 57-year-old grandpa John.

    Being a granddad and a husband of 35 years, John imparted some very useful advice to young Chris.

    Their sweet interaction has amassed more than 600,000 likes.

    The more internet-savvy of the texters ended up with a new buddy or at least a distant friend they could chat to.

    Others, however, ended up in the middle of a heated feud.

    One hopeful texter ended up chatting to a paranoid recipient who was so convinced that he was being texted by an ex, he made some thinly-veiled threats.

    The initial texter then stopped replying after all the incessant messages.

    We don’t know who Amber is, but, poor woman.

    If you’re in the mood for a laugh, here are some more pretty hilarious text door neighbour compilations:

    Of course, some of us are too anxious to make the first move:

    MORE: The Trending Store is AI-powered and only sells things popular on social media

    MORE: Writer shares hilarious story of her husband eating an entire bar of laxative chocolate

    MORE: Viral challenge #TrashTag encourages teens to pick up litter


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    A middle aged woman sits on a bed looking upset with her husband in the background
    The logistics of organising sex was one reason for the decline. (Picture: Getty)

    It’s a common assumption that older people have less sex – and there is still a lot of stigma when it comes to sex in later life.

    Some studies have suggested that people over the age of 50 are having the ‘most adventurous’ sex of their lives – but this isn’t the case for everyone.

    And for women in particular, sex drive can really fall off a cliff as they approach the menopause, and beyond.

    A new study has found that women have less sex and derive less pleasure from sex as they age – and there are a number of reasons that could be behind it.

    The findings are based on a study of 4,418 women with a median age of 64, who answered questions about their sex lives.

    65.3% of the respondents had a romantic partner, while only 22.5% said they were sexually active.

    Over time, sexually active women were reporting that they were having sex less frequently and finding it more uncomfortable.

    Some women said that overwhelming family responsibilities as a reason for not seeking sexual gratification.

    Other key reasons for older women having less sex were a partner’s sexual dysfunction, a partner’s illness, or widowhood.

    Many women said that problems in their romantic relationships, the logistics of organising sex, and the ways aging affected their self-image and self-confidence usually caused a low libido.

    ‘A small minority (3%) reported optimistic and positive sexual experiences,’ say the researchers.

    ‘[1 in 8] women in [the] study experienced sexual problems, but only 2% referred to [hormone therapy].

    ‘Open communication about sexuality, including desires, needs, and dysfunctions, is important and will reduce the threshold for women to discuss sexual function. Additional sexual education for [healthcare practitioners] is required to facilitate this process.’

    The researchers also add that, ‘sexual difficulties are often underreported, underrecognized, and undertreated.’

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    Is it worth the fight anymore?Is it worth the fight anymore?

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    A bag of Lidl's curros
    (Picture: Lidl)

    Usually a holiday favourite, these pre-cooked, frozen churros just need a mini-break in the microwave.

    There’s nothing quite like eating deep-fried, sugary sticks of batter dipped in chocolate on a Spanish beach.

    But now Lidl is bringing back their big bags of churros for £1.19 – so popping to the supermarket and eating them in front of the telly has got to be a close second.

    The treats are traditionally served with a hot chocolate dip, but you could also go rogue and eat them with other sweet sauces and dips. Churros with 1kg of Nutella, anyone?

    Lidl’s churros are part of their Spanish week – starting on 8th August, until stocks last – when shoppers can peruse a selection of national foods including calamari (squid in batter) for £1.99, patatas bravas (fried potatoes) for 99p and cheese tapas for £1.99.

    Lidl's calamari in a bag and scattered on a table
    (Picture: Lidl)

    You can also buy a whole leg of air dried ham along with a knife and cutting board for just £14.99.

    With a picnic basket brimming with these Spanish delights – on a sunny day, who can really tell the difference between a London lido and a pool in Marbella?

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    Lidl's incredible churros are back in stock for one week onlyLidl's incredible churros are back in stock for one week only

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     Koala with tiny cast
    This koala was fitted with a tiny cast after breaking her arm in a tree fall (AAP Image/Supplied by Zoos Victoria)

    Be prepared for the cutest thing you’ll see today – a baby koala wearing a tiny arm cast.

    The joey broke her arm after falling off a tree at a logging plantation in Melbourne, Australia.

    And just to hit you in the feels, the koala was recently orphaned after her mum was euthanised.

    The wee baba was then handed into the folks at Weribee Open Range Zoo who took care of her.

    Weighing less than half a kilogram and at just 150 days old, a joey of this age should still be in its mother’s pouch.

    a 150-day-old Koala joey that has been fitted with a cast and paired with a surrogate mother at Victoria's Werribee zoo
    Just look at the cuteness (AAP Image/Supplied by Zoos Victoria)

    When the koala mum and joey fell off the tree at the Victorian bluegum plantation, the mother was severely injured and was later put down.

    But thankfully an animal carer bought the orphaned joey in to see the vets just in time.

    They fed the youngster marsupial milk replacement through a syringe and fitter her with the cast to aid her recovery.

    ‘It was really touch and go when she was brought to us,’ vet nurse Jess Rice told the Geelong Advertiser.

    ‘She was just at the stage where she would have been starting to poke her head out of mum’s pouch. Joeys that size don’t have a good survival rate in care.’

    a shows a 150-day-old Koala joey sitting on a vet's shoulders
    She was orphaned when her mum fell from the tree with her  (AAP Image/Supplied by Zoos Victoria)

    When they first bought her in, they didn’t realise her arm was broken.

    After an x-ray revealed the injury, they fitted the cast on. But of course, she misses her mum so as well as ensuring around-the-clock care, carers gave her a replacement mum.

    Sadly it’s not a real koala and comes in the form of a stuffed toy.

    ‘Bonding and company is really important to a joey of that age. Koala joeys are often given toys to provide comfort and teach them how to hang off the fur like they would with their mother.’ added Jess.

    An animal carer will take care of the joey for the next few months before being released into the wild.

    Good luck little joey.

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    Koala with tiny castKoala with tiny cast

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    What will work look like when everything is automated?
    Smartphones are one of the biggest causes of workplace distraction. (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Obviously, all work is evil. In an ideal world, we wouldn’t have to sell our labour merely in order to survive. But sadly, we do not live in an ideal world. We live… in hell.

    Most of us have to work, unless we’re Alain de Botton. So we might as well do it as productively as possible.

    It’s not even about doing this for the sake of your bosses. The issue is more that not using your time well can be extremely frustrating and stressful.

    Improving your productivity can, in effect, mean that you spend less time working; it can help you do what you have to do as quickly, and with the least stress, as possible and then get on with enjoying your life.

    To find out the best tips, we spoke to Moyra Scott, a productivity expert who helps helps individuals and teams manage their work so that they can get more done by doing less.

    Prioritise

    Moyra argues that prioritising well is the single most important step we can take towards increased productivity.

    ‘The biggest challenge for most people is “too much to do in too little time” and “not enough time to think.” Studies have shown that even the feeling of “not enough time” makes you less effective,’ she says.

    ‘I work with people to get them to accept that there is always too much to do in the time available and attempting to work harder and faster is not the answer.

    ‘The thing is, in order to improve your productivity you need to stop, think and decide what is most important and do that. It isn’t rocket science, but it can feel counter intuitive.

    ‘So if I can give one piece of advice it is always this,’ she continues, ‘set some time aside to think and plan. This, above everything else, makes the most difference. And you need to understand that no one will ever give you this time. You need to make it and take it yourself.

    ‘All successful people will do this, you just may not know it: I know of one executive who had a weekly meeting with someone called Clive. Only her PA knew that Clive was in fact her cat’s name. Just saying.’

    Stay well rested

    There is nothing more miserable than going to work having had a bad night’s sleep, and few things which have a greater impact on your ability to concentrate. When you’re tired, everything seems to take twice as lot and the quality of the work suffers too.

    ‘Being well rested is key to being productive,’ Moya argues. ‘Pushing on through is not the best way. Being tired means we will struggle to focus, we make mistakes and waste time correcting them.’

    What’s the best way staying well-rested?

    ‘Getting a good nights sleep.

    ‘Your average healthy adult needs seven-nine hours a night. It also means taking breaks from your work during the day.

    ‘Our conscious thinking brain (the prefrontal cortex) gets tired after more than 25 minutes working and if you want optimal focus, it is a good idea to take short breaks.’

    Turn off ya damn phone!

    For most people, in 2019, our smart phones are our single greatest enemy when it comes to concentration. We have a society-wide addiction to the internet and, occasionally, this can hinder our ability to work.

    ‘Every time you switch your focus you lose energy and waste time,’ Moyra says. ‘Interruptions and distractions kill productivity. So switch off all your notifications and liberate yourself to focus on the task in front of you.’

    If you don’t trust your willpower, there are a number of apps which can help. Both Offtime and Moment will block certain apps for a set period of time, which might come in handy if you struggle to tear yourself away from Twitter when you’re supposed to be working.

    You might think there’s nothing more dystopian than using an app to boost productivity… but to each their own!

    Try the ‘Pomodoro Technique’

    This technique involves deciding on a task, setting a timer for 25 minutes (‘pomodoro’ is Italian for ‘tomato’ — the inventor used a tomato-shaped timer while devising the technique) and then rewarding yourself with a short break.

    ‘I find it works wonders for people who are naturally easily distracted (like me!),’ Moyra says, “and works really well for work that requires focus but is also a little boring, or difficult to start.

    ‘There is something about knowing that the time-keeping is being taken care of that allows you to really focus on the task at hand. So if you have a project that you are avoiding starting, it can be a great way to crack on with it.’

    Music

    Listening to music is something which can make working slightly more bearable for lots of people.

    But some say that doing so makes you less productive, but if it makes your day more pleasant and less stressful – maybe that’s a worthwhile trade-off?

    Some people find listening to music with lyrics more distracting though – emoting heavily to a Lana Del Rey song doesn’t necessarily make doing a spreadsheet any easier.

    Instrumental music, such as house, could be your best bet, but some people even recommend listening to video game soundtracks.

    It can be better to listen to playlists, or albums straight through – rather than mucking about and changing the song every three minutes.

    Plus, listening to intense, four-to-the-floor Detroit house can make answering emails feel a little more exciting.

    Moyra agrees that music with lyrics might be a bad idea.

    ‘Listening to music while you work, is entirely individual. Some people find it helps, some don’t.

    ‘Personally I like it but it has to be quite specific music, nothing with lyrics for me, currently listening to a Spotify playlist called Cinematic Chill out.

    ‘But it will depend on the work you are doing. Physical work really benefits from rhythm – much in the same way that people like to listen to music while they run.’

    Manage your emails

    ‘Set other’s expectations. Let them know in your email signature that you do not check emails constantly. Limit the amount of time you spend checking email. Buy yourself some time,’ suggests Moyra.

    Change your settings in Outlook so that it opens in Calendar and not email. (It is easy to do, but hidden in ‘advanced’ settings) This is a tiny but powerful mindset change. Now you look at your plans for the day before you go check your email and see what everyone else wants from you.”

    I would also recommend regularly deleting unimportant emails as they came in. Up until literally twenty minutes ago, I had 1800 unread emails.

    Deleting them all in one fell swoop felt like a huge weight had been lifted. If you want to receive less annoying emails in the first place, it’s a good idea to have a burner email, or an old one, that you use when you want to sign up for stuff which is likely to incur getting promotional emails.

    No more getting held to ransom by the free wi-fi in service stations.

    Illustration of a woman holding a phone
    Stop looking at Instagram…and do your f***ing job! (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Work with other people

    With the boom of freelance work and flexible working, lots of younger employees spend lot of time working from home.

    This can be a brilliant way to manage your own time and avoid stressful commutes, but it can also be extremely isolating.

    It’s also very easy to procrastinate.

    ‘Working from home is a massive distraction, as there is always something that can be done,’ Moyra says. ‘Plus, home is also our place to relax so mentally it can be hard to get working and stay working.’

    Moyra suggests working with others as a way of getting around this.

    ‘Being in co-working space means that you are away from your distractions and in a room where everyone else is focused and working – often more so than in any open plan office as everyone is paying for the privilege of being somewhere where they can focus.

    ‘We are social beings and will fall into the social norms so it is easier to focus on your work when everyone else is.’

    Meeting with other freelancers in a cafe or library and working with them can be extremely helpful.  We all need someone to shame and scold us if we end up looking at our phones instead of working.

    Procrastinate well

    It’s important to know what works for you.

    If you have accepted that you’re a procrastinator by nature, instead of trying to fight this it might be better to only let your attention be diverted by useful things – i.e something work-related.

    But even more stereotypical procrastination activities such as spring-cleaning the entire house or putting a wash on, are still more useful than scrolling through Instagram.

    This approach isn’t particularly helpful if you have something you really need to do right now though – so probably only a good tactic if you don’t have major, pressing responsibilities to deal with.

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