Squats and laser for arthritic knees

For several years I have not been able to get up easily if I am bending down to a low cupboard to get something out, have a look or to clean it. In yoga I have avoided doing squats that hurt my knees. So, when I was asked to show an NHS physiotherapist some squats, I winced.  Then he suggested I did them daily to help ease my knees. It’s not always the arthritis in the knees that hurts, it’s often the tightness in and around them.

By regular exercise, in this case, squatting, we can protect the knees by building up strength in the surrounding muscles.  Check out the diagram on squats for the knees on page 27, Chapter 3 of my book, One Step Ahead of Osteoarthritis.

Laser treatment has not been used very much for osteoarthritis but St Thomas Hospital in London was trying it out for injuries and OA. Now, it’s more available at some osteopaths and chiropractors. It’s a very soothing, non-invasive treatment that heals at a deep level and can make your knees feel very good, but it’s important to keep repeating the treatment. 

One Step Ahead of Osteoarthritis focuses on what everyone can do to maintain quality of life by  keeping active and mobile despite having osteoarthritis. I emphasise the importance of exercise, diet and weight loss as well as giving plenty of practical tips that are easy to follow.

Frances Ive is the author of One Step Ahead of Osteoarthritis.  Available at: One Step Ahead of Osteoarthritis: Amazon and Waterstones


Sugar highly addictive – & children’s foods are full of it

Most people would find it hard to believe that sugar is as addictive as cocaine, alcohol and nicotine.

The world’s leading sugar addiction expert Nicole M. Avena, PhD, has devised a plan for reducing sugar intake and improving health. Her 7 step plan helps to wean people off sugar and other sweeteners.  Over-consumption of sugar has detrimental effects on the brain and body and its addictive qualities were found to be comparable to that of cocaine, nicotine, and alcohol. 

 Campaigners including Bite Back founded by Jamie Oliver and Sir Patrick Vallance, former chief scientific advisor in the UK, are pressurising major global food companies to cut sugar and fat in children’s food. Researchers at Oxford University were reported to have found that the top 10 global food manufacturers made more than 68 per cent of their packaged food and drink sales in the UK in 2022 from products high in fat and sugar or salt.

Sugarless, by Nicole M Avena, is available in paperback, Audible and ebook. Click on the Amazon ad on this page. 

Winter heralds aches and pains

We had a fabulous summer in Europe this year and so it’s even harder to go into winter. If you’ve got osteoarthritis the summer could have been very welcome as the aches and pains went away. But as winter starts they come back again.  

(The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) has produced draft guidelines advising GPs that the first recommendation they should give for OA is exercise and weight loss, instead of strong painkillers, that have been  standard treatment for some time.  See my video on Staying Active and Mobile on YouTube.  

One Step Ahead of Osteoarthritis by Frances Ive (the owner of Healthy Soul) shows how staying active and mobile is essential to a good quality of live as we get older. Written from personal experience the book covers the most important aspects of managing osteoarthritis – exercise, weight management and diet, plus therapies supplements, herbal remedies, practical measures  – keep warm, wear comfortable shoes, avoid trip hazards.

An apple a day keeps the doctor and dehydration away

British Apples and Pears has teamed up with leading nutritionist Rob Hobson to champion the humble British apple as the ideal, hydrating snack to munch on this summer.

Water makes up around 50-60 per cent of our body weight and is a major component of our muscles and organs. It is also required for transporting nutrients around the body, helping us to digest food and moderate our body temperature.

Dehydration, on the other hand, can have wide-ranging consequences, as Rob Hobson explains, “Some of the most common signs of dehydration can include extreme fatigue, mood change, a lack of concentration, headaches and dizziness, so ‘eating’ your fluids is a great way to stay hydrated, particularly as the British weather heats up.”

Hydration is usually overlooked when it comes to health and wellness advice but is just as important as a well-balanced diet and regular exercise.

Most people consider 1.5-2L per day of fluids (the 8-glass rule) to be a benchmark for adequate hydration, but this doesn’t have to be just water.

Rob adds, “Many people are unaware that our diet provides nearly 20 per cent of our daily fluid intake, with fruits and vegetables being the optimal source for this, including apples, peppers and cucumbers.”

When exercising, we often crave more than just a drink – we fancy a snack too. Many of us reach for standard protein shakes or energy drinks after a workout, with the intention of supporting recovery. However, this can add significant unwanted calories.

Hobson recommends British apples as the ideal, post-workout snack. Made up of 86 per cent water, apples provide a hydrating, nutritious and low-calorie snack, proving that an apple a day can keep dehydration at bay!


Finding Jo

Finding Jo is all about Taking responsibility for your own wellbeing

Finding Jo, Frances Ive : At breaking point Jo deserts her dysfunctional family and possessive boyfriend, making an uncharacteristic escape to a Himalayan retreat in a bid for freedom and self-knowledge. The peace she finds there helps her to unravel her turmoil, but unexpected challenges test her new-found equilibrium to the limit. 

Finding Jo focuses on relationships between families, lovers and friends, and the resentment and long-held grievances that threaten to destroy them. Her quest for a deeper purpose in life acts as a catalyst to her family, indicating that willingness to change and grow enables people to find happiness.

REVIEW:  @wee_glasgow_bookworm Instagram

 This was such a beautiful book. I’m sure we have all wanted to get away from our lives at some point re-evaluate and assess our lifestyles and situations.
The journey that Jo goes on helps her spiritually and mentally and was fantastic to read. I’d love a second book to find out what happens next.

Read more reviews: fivewrite.co.uk  and instagram.com/fivewrite