Six weeks is all it takes: this plan will take you from couch to 5K in 42 days
New to running and want to build up from couch to 5k? Follow our beginner's scheduleTraining towards a 5K is a great goal for beginner runners. Now that parkrun – the free weekly 5K – is available in locations across the UK, it's never been easier to test yourself over the distance in a welcoming, inclusive environment. This schedule has been designed to get you round your first 5K. It will take six weeks, starting with short run/walks. If you find this too easy, or are already used to running for up to 30 minutes a few times a week, take a look at our intermediate 5K training plan.
Diets, dress sizes, and doubt are part and parcel of what women tackle on a daily basis due to society’s obsession with beauty standards. From photoshopped Instagram posts to airbrushed skincare adverts, women are constantly told their bodies are wrong. © Erinada Valpurgieva/ Unsplash Women feel they have no body confidence for an average of 15 days every month
The impact of this is that the average British woman spends half her life believing her body is inadequate. Body positivity movements have come a long way but new research shows that women are still suffering from negative body image.
In the study conducted by Symprove, a gut health brand, only 6% of women described themselves as very body confident. This compared to half who said they had no body confidence at all on a day to day basis.
England's first mental health 'distress intervention' team to launch in the North East
An NHS trust and local charity have joined forces to pilot a new approach to tackling mental ill health.The organisations will become the first in England to roll-out a "distress brief intervention" (DBI) service. This will see the charity provide support to contact someone in distress - who does not need emergency help - within 24 hours of a referral.
On average, women said they only felt body confident for about eight days each month but felt distinctly lacking confidence for 15 days per month. That is half of each month or 180 days each year where most women are feeling negative about themselves.
Feeling negative about themselves impacted more than just their mood with six in 10 believing a lack of confidence has affected their sex life or relationship. More extremely, a fifth had even cancelled social plans because they did not feel good in their clothes.
This has a knock on effect with relationships and the woman’s ongoing mood as if they cannot socialise they could begin to feel secluded. Loneliness combined with anxiety is a recipe for depressive episodes which could spiral into worse situations.
Negative Medical Language Is Having a Direct Impact on Women's Health Services
Hands up how many women have heard the terms: "Failing to conceive", "inhospitable womb", "poor maternal effort"?Throughout a woman's life - whether they're going through puberty, birth, infertility, or menopause - a woman has been "medically defined as faulty, defective, and deficient," says Dr Elinor Cleghorn in her powerful book "Unwell Women.
Symprove found that on average women rated their happiness in their own skin at 5.6/10 with bad skin days and bad hair days key factors in knocking confidence. Just under a third surveyed admitted that social media impacted their self worth on a daily basis.
When asked about the most common barriers to body confidence, women cited feeling tired and bloated as well as struggling with ill-fitting clothes. Fashion and commodified bodies combined with the smaller sizing mentality mean clothes are often designed to fit one body type.
This leaves all other women who are not built like models struggling to find clothes that fit them adequately. Three quarters of women said their stomach was the area which they felt least confident about.
Issues like bloating play directly into this insecurity with 60% of women saying this was one of their main reasons for feeling down about their body image. Periods and gut related issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) cause some women to bloat regularly, knocking their confidence even more.
'Not a miracle cure': GPs share what to know about prescribing exercise for mental health
With 1.6 million people waiting for mental health services, does social prescribing go far enough?It is hoped that the scheme, which is being trialled in 11 local authorities, will reduce the burden on the NHS through social prescribing – which is essentially when patients are prescribed non-medical activities like reading or exercising to deal with health problems.
While 63% said they faced ‘off days’ on a weekly basis, this figure shot up to 73% for women with IBS. Sammie Gill, gastroenterology dietitian at Symprove said: “Bloating is not something women should put up with, there are many strategies available to help alleviate it - including diet and taking a targeted science backed probiotic like Symprove.”
Gut related issues were considered embarrassing by 55% of the women surveyed with many saying they would not discuss it with a partner. When bloating, cramping and constipation affects most women regularly this taboo about stomach and gut health keeps women feeling insecure.
Body confidence is a learned behaviour but with the resurgence of Y2K fashion and concern growing for the return of 00s ideals, this issue needs to be addressed. Start with tackling gut health issues that could be a sign of further illness and then tackle the mental barriers to feeling beautiful.
Best fleeces for women to keep you cozy and chic .
Our round-up of the best fleeces for women to see you through winter in stylePreviously reserved for dog walks and country pursuits, the fleece has undergone something of a re-brand in recent years. Thanks to the popularity of '90s fashion trends and Gorpcore fashion, the best fleeces for women have joined the ranks of leggings, puffer jackets, and bum bags in being the latest style to add to your wardrobe stat.