Rambling in bluebell woodland

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Woodland glade Photo by Nick 

It’s #WalkThisMay month and I have been trying out some different walking routes. It’s often on these paths you find the most interesting fauna and flora.

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Carpet of bluebells Photo by Nick 

I came across beautiful carpets of bluebells during one of my woodland walks.

Their deep blue colour is a breathtaking sight stretching out beneath the slowly unfolding woodland canopy.

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Woodland stream Photo by Nick

Bluebells flower from the middle of April to the end of May; producing nectar early in the season.

The bluebells nectar provides an important source of food for bees,🐝butterflies,🦋and other insects.🕷🦟

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Bluebells Photo by Nick

The bluebell is mainly found in Britain and Western Europe.

Areas of woodland where bluebells grow as wildflowers are often likely to have been in existence for hundreds of years and are categorised as ancient woodland.

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Woodland in May Photo by Nick

If your interested in exploring your local area have a look at my page on walking for more information and ideas.👣

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Woodland canopy Photo by Nick

Walking around… Cambridge

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Cambridge Photo by Nick 

On a recent trip to Cambridge, England; I discovered some quaint streets and alleyways on my way to Kings College.

What can I tell you about Cambridge?

It’s on the tourist map as one of the most visited places in Britain.

It’s  famous for its University Kings College, Chapel and Choir. On Christmas Eve every year a service of Nine lessons and Carols is broadcast.

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Cam River Photo by Nick 

The River Cam runs through Cambridge.

Students earn some extra cash by hiring out small boats called “punts”and punting visitors along the river.

On a summers day the river is a colourful mass of punts and people.

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The Backs, Cambridge Photo by Nick 

Walking into the town centre through “the backs” by the river.

A variety of Spring flowers cover the banks. First with snow drops, then daffodils and bluebells.

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As I reach the city centre Gothic architecture surrounds me. It’s a great place to visit on foot.

As it’s #WalkThisMay month it’s a great incentive to get out and about exploring new places.

For more ideas about walking have a look at my blog post.

Easter 🐥 Greetings

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Magnolia Photo by Nick

In this Easter week I wish you peace, happiness and relaxation.

I thought I would post some photos from my walks in parks nearby.  Everything seems to be coming alive at this time of year.

The flowers and trees look so beautiful, it would be great to share them.

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White Narcissi Photo by Nick
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Park Photo by Nick
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Bluebells Photo by Nick
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Genista Photo by Nick

I’ve added a short poem based on the seasons of the apple tree.

 

Apple Tree Seasons 

 

In Spring, pink apple blossom grow delicate buds

New life springs forth

 

In Summer, fully grown blooms take shape as apples

Warm,strong sunlight help them form

 

In Autumn, rosy red, sweet tasting apples

Ready to pick from the tree

 

In Winter, a bare tree stands out amongst

White snow, goodness going back to the roots

Poem by Nick

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Keeping Active with Fibromyalgia

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Photo by mentatdgt on Pexels.com

Now that Spring is here and we are beginning to have lighter evenings. It’s a good time to consider reviewing your fitness and exercise regime if you have one.

After I was was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2004, I found that exercise helped me a lot as I struggled to find things I could do. When you have Fibromyalgia it is a daunting prospect, keeping fit. Particularly starting out for the first time, with a new exercise.

It’s really important to keep as healthy as possible, as your level of stamina fluctuates so much.

I have made a list of everything that has helped me that you could try.

Walking

I found walking to be the most accessible and best for my circumstances.  Walking can help to boost your energy levels and enjoy nature.

If you suffer from low mood, walking on a regular basis is a good non medical therapy, to help feel more positive.

If you are on a low-income, it’s no problem to try out as there is no sign up charges.

If you are new to walking it is best to start with 5 to 10 minutes at first and gradually increase this as your body gets used to the exercise.

You will need to try out a pattern that suits you.

When you first start you may need to get some comfortable shoes and wrap up well with thermal layers on cold days.

Have a look at my post on walking  for more tips.

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Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Hydrotherapy

I found gentle exercise in a warm water pool can help. The water supports your body and has less impact on muscles and joints.

Research has shown that lying in warm water helps the body to relax and lowers pain perception.

A therapist that specialises in hydrotherapy or a qualified physiotherapist that has a good understanding of fibromyalgia, can help you to work out some exercises.

Your local sports centre or gym may have these facilities and let you have a couple of trial sessions.

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Photo by Nadine Wieser on Pexels.com

Pilates

Pilates strengthens the body as a whole, the main aim is to improve core strength. Regular sessions can help to reduce the risk of injury by increasing flexibility.

I  developed my own tailored exercise routine, by trying out different exercises, from visits to a physiotherapy practitioner.

If you go for physio ask the practitioner for advice and help about what exercises are best for you.

I practice these regularly once a day, for about ten minutes in total. Although, I had to work up to doing this amount gradually at first.

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Sitting Exercises

If you have limited mobility, sitting exercises could be a better option than other ways of exercise.

The NHS website has sitting exercises along with flexibility exercises that might be worth trying.

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Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

The NHS live well  website has a lot of really useful tips to get you active.

I hope this short post has given you some new ideas on exercise for Fibromyalgia. My goal is as always to help others with Fibromyalgia and similar invisible illness.

I’m interested in hearing from any fellow sufferers of Fibromyalgia, particularly if you would like to share your experiences on my blog.

Have you tried walking yet?

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Woodland Path Photo by Nick 

Walking is one you should really consider; it can help you loose weight and get exercise.  It’s possible for most people to take up walking and it’s easy to start…..

Being a fibromyalgia sufferer I notice any temperature drop as the weather changes, straight away. My joints feel stiff, I get more pain and all my symptoms get progressively worse. I still try to keep active if I can everyday by walking. I wear layers and thermals to keep warm.  

I started walking regularly before I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  I’d been suffering with lower back pain and sciatica, which got progressively worse.  I was unable to work. My doctor said I need to go to physio first; to get the muscles and joints moving and when I’m mobile to start walking regularly.

At the time I thought it was really unhelpful advice as I could barely move, let alone walk anywhere!  But after a few painful physio sessions. I started with short bursts at first of 5 to 10 minutes, progressing to longer walks.  Now I do a regular walk every day and have not suffered from back pain so much; I also have more energy to do things.

I look forward to my walk everyday, sometimes twice a day if I’m not too tired later on. I like walking especially on a fine sunny day; it can really lift your mood.  I live near a park and I can vary my daily walks through wooded areas and quiet residential streets. I usually spend about 25-45 minutes on each walk and vary the terrain. On really cold or wet days when my symptoms are worse, I go for a walk at a local covered shopping centre, which means I still get exercise but I’m not exposed to the elements as much as outside. 

I bought a new pair of waterproof walking boots recently; which are great to wear in rain and snow. I bought mine from a outdoor clothing and footwear shop in the sale. I’ve also invested in a waterproof jacket,  woolly hat, thermal gloves and socks. I find it difficult keeping my hands and feet warm, when it is really cold. Research shows we loose most heat from our hands and feet; so it makes sense to keep these areas as warm as possible.

If you plan to begin walking and have not exercised recently it would be advisable to consult your doctor or health professional beforehand.

If your joints are very stiff it might help to try gentle exercise at your local heated swimming pool first. Exercising in water supports the body and would free up joints. If you are a wheelchair user some pools have special equipment to access the water easily.

When you feel ready to start put on some comfortable shoes and suitable waterproof clothing for the weather.  Start off with short bursts of 5 to 10 minutes and gradually build up from this.  You will find you get more confidence and can do longer distances.

Throughout the UK free regular guided walks are provided by  Walking for health  which is funded by the UK People’s Postcode Lottery and Macmillan.  They offer different short walks for beginners which are for 20-30 minutes long. The route you walk over is easy terrain as they are specifically designed for people who are not very active. Some walks are suitable for wheelchair users and people with buggies. 

If you are a wheelchair user the UK website Walks with wheelchairs is dedicated to routes for wheelchair users.  All walks have been tested by wheelchair users.

The NHS Walking for health  site gives helpful advice for anyone wanting to start walking. 

If you suffer from fibromyalgia and have started exercise recently, it would be really helpful to hear about your experience.