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We’re worlds apart, but like Prince Harry I had to face up to depression

May 2nd, 2017 by

Prince Harry has spoken of his bereavement, Tony Howard recalls how therapy helped him with the loss of his brother-in-law

Turning the corner into my mother-in-law’s street some years ago, it hit me. Michael’s car wasn’t there. Which meant Michael wasn’t there. And Michael wasn’t there because he was gone and none of us would ever see him again. We wouldn’t hear him laugh, we would never again be the butt of his jokes and none of us would share again in his generosity.

The moment of that dreadful realisation came back last week, reading Prince Harry’s comments about mental health and his battle with bereavement. Although our circumstances couldn’t be more different – my issues manifested themselves on a north Manchester council estate, rather than in a royal residence – the feelings of loss and subsequent pain will have been very similar.

Related: On mental health, the royal family is doing more than our government | William Davies

Related: The lesson of Prince Harry’s grief? We need mental health services for all | Suzanne Moore

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Why scientists should start taking orgasm seriously

May 2nd, 2017 by

Orgasms are big business, but there’s surprising little scientific research being done into how they actually work. There are urgent reasons to fix this

As a DPhil student on a four-year funded programme, I had the rare luxury of a year to decide on the major focus of my research. After reading around, I got interested in the science of orgasm and anorgasmia (difficulty or inability to orgasm). It seemed like an ideal research topic – it has social value, it’s a young field with lots of progress ready to be made, and it wouldn’t leave people at parties yawning when they asked what I did.

Unfortunately, it didn’t come to fruition – partly because almost nobody is doing research on it, and I couldn’t find an appropriate supervisor.

Related: ‘Golden trio’ of moves boosts chances of female orgasm, say researchers

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Princes William and Harry break mental health taboos for a new generation | Simon Wessely

May 2nd, 2017 by

There is no correct way to deal with trauma and grief. But the brothers are showing that it’s OK to dispense with the stiff upper lip and ask for help

Big boys don’t cry, so I was told as a child. But has that always been the case? Nelson’s captains as they made their slow way towards the French fleet at Cape Trafalgar certainly didn’t think so. Many had wept when first shown the battle plan. Tears were not unmanly – far from it. Nelson’s captains were “men of feeling”, part of the culture of sensibility. And this wasn’t just an affectation of the gentry: jolly Jack Tar wasn’t always jolly, and wept buckets on numerous occasions captured in contemporary accounts.

Politicians such as Edmund Burke and Charles James Fox were also liable to burst into tears in moments of high parliamentary emotion, as shown in many satirical drawings. As Thomas Dixon describes in his splendid Weeping Britannia: Portrait of a Nation in Tears, it was not until the Victorian era that stoicism replaced sensibility, and the cult of the “stiff upper lip” was born. And it wasn’t even British – the phrase had been popular in the United States for several decades before it first made an appearance over here.

Related: Prince William: suicide callout shed light on men’s mental health

Related: The lesson of Prince Harry’s grief? We need mental health services for all | Suzanne Moore

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Prince William: suicide callout shed light on men’s mental health

May 2nd, 2017 by

Duke of Cambridge says dealing with male suicides in his work as an air ambulance pilot helped him understand scale of issue

The Duke of Cambridge has spoken of his shock at being called out to his first suicide as an air ambulance pilot in a joint interview with his brother, Prince Harry, on tackling masculinity and mental health issues.

Related: ‘So low sometimes’: why Stormzy talking about his depression is so important | Kamran Ahmed

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The body beautiful: in search of freeze-dried blueberries, Mr Universe and a twerk-out

May 2nd, 2017 by

Sydney’s Fitness Show offers a peek at the latest, greatest and most bizarre new trends in the $8.5bn fitness industry

The steady stream of trim people kitted out in fluoro and black Lycra navigating the vast underground car park is the giveaway.

Despite the fact that it’s a gloriously sunny Saturday morning – dare I say perfect for running in the park – the fit and the wannabe fit are headed to Sydney’s newly reopened International Convention Centre, this year’s home for the Fitness Show for a peek at the latest, greatest and most bizarre new trends in the $8.5bn fitness industry.

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Don’t feed seagulls or pick blackberries: how to go for a walk and not get arrested

May 2nd, 2017 by

It used to be one of life’s simple pleasures, but now park rules and regulations mean going for a stroll could cost you an arm and a leg

Walking – sorry, taking the 10,000 steps a day required to keep you from having a heart attack/getting cancer/becoming crippled by anxiety caused by failing to walk 10,000 steps a day – is supposed to be an innocent activity. It’s free, good for you, and you get to avoid following the latest election/Brexit horrors and watch some blossom drifting down a drain instead. Unfortunately, walking can be as fraught with disillusionment as scrolling through your Twitter feed. New rules imposed in Hampshire, which could be rolled out to other councils, stipulate that dog owners who walk more than four animals at a time could face a fine of up to £100. And there are plenty more metaphorical (and actual) poops to avoid on your daily perilous stroll. Here’s how to go for a walk and not get arrested.

Related: Pecking order: East Devon district council to fine seagull feeders

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How was your weekend running?

May 2nd, 2017 by

Lets talk recovery, cakes and weekend racing. Not necessarily in that order. Come and share your recipes and running below the line as always

You guys. Last week’s comments below the line were just overwhelming. I can’t thank you enough (or bake enough cake for all of you) but thank you from the bottom of my now-about-73%-chocolate-and-cake heart. I have wallowed in self-pity and now come out the other side, ready to begin again. Or at least get back into training at some point before I actually just have melted butter running around my veins.

But enough about me. There were plenty of races on this weekend, from yesterday’s Hackney Half, to fell races, to Milton Keynes marathon – about to start as I write this. Who has PBs, PWs or cake recipes to share?

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Are frozen fruit and vegetables as good for you as fresh?

May 2nd, 2017 by

Fresh is best – right? In fact, studies on the relative benefits of fresh and frozen show no consistent differences

When you are shopping for juicy strawberries or fresh greens, you may not stop at the frozen food aisle. Frozen fruit and vegetables often don’t look the part once defrosted, and you may think that the freezing process depletes them of some nutritious value. Nothing is as good for you as fresh – right? On the other hand, frozen is often cheaper and is there all year round. And fresh is a relative term; fruit and vegetables can be in transit, sit in stores or wait in your fridge for some weeks. But can you get the same nutritional benefit from your frozen five a day?

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Steroid injections, physio and fish oils: what really works for painful knees?

May 2nd, 2017 by

It’s not until your knees start hurting that you realise how much work they do. So, which problems should you worry about, and which treatments should you try?

Our knees are a marvel of engineering. They take quite a battering over the course of a lifetime, especially an active one; knees bear our full weight when we’re standing, with extra force when we run, jump, twist, go up and down stairs, kick a ball or cavort around a tennis court or down a ski slope. Little wonder knees are susceptible to short-term (acute) injuries and long-term (chronic) problems such as osteoarthritis (“wear and tear”). Most acute knee problems get better without specific treatment, and the best initial treatment for chronic knee pain is exercise and weight loss. Other options include simple painkillers, physiotherapy, steroid injections, cartilage and ligament repair, and total knee replacement. Claims are made for dietary supplements and spices such as fish oils, turmeric and glucosamine. Newer therapies being investigated include injecting the knee with hyaluronic acid, stem cells or platelet-rich plasma.

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How to let grief work for you | Julia Samuel

May 2nd, 2017 by

The death of a loved one creates an inner wound that can’t be ignored. Healing it requires work

Grief is profoundly misunderstood. We seem happy to talk about sex or our sense of failure, or to expose our deepest vulnerabilities. But on death and loss we are silent. Which is why Prince Harry and the Duke of Cambridge were so courageous in talking openly about the mental health taboo their grief following their mother’s death – having a greater impact in a week, than I’ve managed in 20 years. Most of the time we prefer it when the bereaved don’t show their distress, and we say how “amazing” they are for being “so strong”. But, despite the language we use to try to deny death – euphemisms such as “passed over”, “lost”, “gone to a better place” – the harsh truth is that, as a society, we are ill-equipped to deal with it. The lack of control and powerlessness that we are forced to contend with goes against our 21st-century belief that medical technology can fix us; or if it can’t, that sufficient quantities of determination can.

Every day thousands of people die, expectedly and unexpectedly – 500,000 deaths a year occur in England alone. On average, every death affects at least five people, which means that, cumulatively, millions will be hit by the shock of the news. They will forever remember where they were when they heard that their parent, or sibling, or friend, or child, was dying or had died. It will impact on every aspect of their world for the rest of their lives and ultimately alter their relationship with themselves. How successfully they manage their grief will, in turn, come to touch the family and friends around them.

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