WANT to be brainier? According to studies, one of the best ways is to take regular exercise or learn a new skill.
Exercise can increase the number of new brain cells and learning a skill in middle age can stave off dementia and reduce stress. We look at ways to boost your brain power by getting fit, and also try out natural body washes.
With Jane Atkinson
JOIN A CLUB
Be Military Fit is one of the most effective outdoor programmes – a 60-minute workout done in a specific order so you get the best calorie burn.
It sounds terrifying but I gave this a go and the instructor was motivating without making me feel very unfit.
It makes a difference having the support of a group of all ages.
Get a free trial at bemilitaryfit.com.
HAVE AN AIM
Although the London Marathon is inspiring, the thought of it can be daunting if you are not in your early 20s – but I was pleased to find many people who run marathons are older.
Mo Farah is 36 and recently won his second London half marathon.
Think small to begin with and sign up for a 5k. You will get the cardio workout and it is great for mental toughness.
More people are changing jobs in their 50s.
Health and Fitness Education found a fifth of their students who sign up to become yoga teachers, personal trainers and massage therapists were over 55.
It costs from £545 to retrain at hfe.co.uk.
With Gabriella Stein
Yope Natural Shower Gel (£7.99, 400ml, Waitrose)
Eco-friendly body wash with 93 per cent natural or low-processed ingredients.
Made with natural plant extracts and neutral pH, and Yope promises it will not cause irritation or dryness to even the most sensitive skin.
Comes in three scents – I tried geranium, which smelled gorgeous.
Natural Mineral Shower Cream (£7.79, 250ml, boots.com)
A natural, sulphate-free shower gel to leave skin cleansed and nourished.
Contains sulphur and sodium to work as natural cleansers as well as magnesium to help restore and moisturise skin to peak condition.
Has a fresh scent, not as sweet as the other two, but it did leave my skin feeling clean and soft.
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Natural Spa Factory Natural Body Wash (£12, 250ml, naturalspafactory.com)
A gentle body wash containing vitamin E to help moisturise and protect the skin.
It also has hydrolysed wheat protein which is high in amino acids to improve moisture levels. Smells divine and is packaged beautifully – my favourite.
Vegan-friendly and sulphate-free too.