Can a £5.99 pot of coconut oil replace EVERY beauty product you buy?

  • It’s a firm favourite with celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Sadie Frost
  • But are there any real benefits to using coconut oil as a beauty remedy?
  • Anna Pursglove puts the product to the test  

Barely a day goes by without a new claim for the miraculous beauty benefits of virgin coconut oil.

‘Virgin’ means it is made from the first pressing of fresh, raw coconut with no chemicals added. If you believe the hype, almost every product in your bathroom cabinet could be replaced with the stuff. Think of the savings!

Gwyneth Paltrow and Sadie Frost apparently wash out their mouths with it, and supermodel Gisele Bundchen says she uses it on her skin after being in the sun. Angelina Jolie is said to eat it for breakfast and fellow actress Blake Lively rubs it into the ends of her hair.

Solid and waxy-looking in the jar, it melts to an oil as soon as you handle it and is said to leave skin butter-soft.

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A firm favourite with celebrities, Gwyneth Paltrow and Sadie Frost apparently wash out their mouths with it, and supermodel Gisele Bundchen says she uses it on her skin after being in the sun

A firm favourite with celebrities, Gwyneth Paltrow and Sadie Frost apparently wash out their mouths with it, and supermodel Gisele Bundchen says she uses it on her skin after being in the sun

There are countless websites devoted to the wonder oil, claiming it can successfully treat everything from stretch marks and cellulite to mosquito bites, sunburn and acne.

The lauric acid in it is credited with antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, hence its popularity as an oral rinse.

Yet despite the surge in demand for coconut oil (sales up 442 per cent at Sainsbury’s last year), there is little scientific data on its health benefits.

So are we right to be nuts about it?

I decided to put the beauty claims to the test. I would have my hair, mouth and skin analysed by experts, then replace my usual beauty products for a month with Groovy Food Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, £5.99 for 283ml jar at Waitrose. Here’s what happened . . .

MAKE-UP REMOVER

Groovy Food Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, £5.99 for 283ml jar at Waitrose

Groovy Food Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, £5.99 for 283ml jar at Waitrose

Method: I put a penny-sized blob on two cotton wool pads and use it to remove eye-make up at night. Celebrity make-up artist Oonagh Connor says: ‘I’m already a fan of coconut oil. It’s great for getting make-up off — particularly waterproof eye make-up.’

Results: Oonagh says the coconut oil is working well for me. ‘It’s thick and can clog pores, so the trick is to use as little as possible. A tiny spot of coconut oil will lift off quite a lot of eye make-up.’

Will I Switch? Definitely. It lifts off make-up more easily than my usual oily make-up remover and leaves the area around my eyes feeling nicely moisturised, too.

THICK, SHINY HAIR

Method: I find most hair conditioners make my thin hair look greasy, so I stick to using it on the dry ends. I follow the same routine with the coconut oil.

Dr Elena Dimitrova, a clinical dermatologist and expert in hair loss at The Belgravia Centre in London, says: ‘Coconut oil may well prove useful in smoothing the hair shaft and improving texture, but it can’t create hair roots or halt hair loss caused by, say, hormones. So I’m sceptical that it will make your hair feel thicker.

‘Your hair is in very good condition and your pull test [a light pull which, in healthy hair, should cause no more than five hairs to come out] is within normal range.’

Results: Dr Dimitrova says: ‘You don’t have additional hair growth — I didn’t think you would — but the existing hair has been maintained in excellent condition even though you haven’t cut it.

‘After a month I would typically expect to see more hair breakage than this, so coconut oil has definitely been a good conditioner for your hair.’

Will I Switch? Not entirely. I’ll be keeping my usual conditioner because I usually blow-dry my hair after washing and the oil doesn’t work well with heat.

As I discover the hard way, heat breaks down the oil and creates an extremely unpleasant smell. But I’ll keep using the oil as an occasional leave-in conditioner at night.

LUSH LASHES

Method: Apply some coconut oil to a cotton bud or clean mascara wand, then gently smooth from the base of the lashes to the tips. This is best done at night after you’ve taken your make-up off, as mascara doesn’t sit well on top of coconut oil.

Dr Dimitrova says: ‘As with your hair, the coconut oil cannot produce more eyelashes than you already have. I’m not convinced we’ll see much of a difference here.’

Results: Dr Dimitrova says: ‘I can’t see any change. Possibly it would help if your eyelashes were very brittle, but yours weren’t in bad condition in the first place.’

Will I Switch? As I’m still not very adept at getting the right amount of oil on the cotton wool pad when I’m using it as make-up remover, a lot of it gets on my lashes anyway, so I might do this accidentally — but I don’t hold out any hope that it will make them lusher or longer.

SMOOTH FEET

There was a noticeable in the condition of Anna's feet after using the coconut oil (picture posed by a model)

There was a noticeable in the condition of Anna’s feet after using the coconut oil (picture posed by a model)

Method: I run a lot so my feet are a mess. I’ve got one black toenail and swollen toe, peeling skin on the end of all my toes and cracking under my heels. My routine for the month will be to melt a bit of coconut oil in my hand and rub it into the foot, especially the dry and cracked area.

I’ll then wrap my feet in clingfilm and, ideally, leave the oil on overnight. I’ve been advised not to wear socks, as the oil will sink into them instead of the skin. The routine must be repeated every couple of nights for mild dryness and every night for more severe cracking.

Adnan Nazir, of The London Foot Clinic, says: ‘It may well be a good moisturiser and could also improve the peeling skin on your toes. As to whether it helps that black toenail, I’ll be interested to see.

‘Don’t use it between your toes, though, as it could encourage fungal infection.’

Results: Mr Nazir says: ‘I’m really very impressed. There is a marked difference in the quality of skin on your feet, and that damaged toenail — which I would expect to take months to heal — has got a lot better in four weeks. I will definitely be recommending this in future.’

Will I Switch? Definitely. I’m really delighted with my prettier feet.

HEALTHY GUMS

Method: The technique is called ‘oil pulling’ and involves swishing a tablespoon of oil around the mouth for around 20 minutes each day before you spit it out. This is said to reduce plaque and bacteria, and so helps to fight gum disease.

Cosmetic dentist Dr Mervyn Druian, from The London Centre for Cosmetic Dentistry, says: ‘Like many people, you have mild gum disease which makes your gums red and swollen in places and will make them bleed more easily.

‘Most tooth loss in adults is caused by gum disease, so it’s important to get on top of it. If oil pulling helps, great.’

Results: ‘In your case it hasn’t made any difference, I’m afraid. I’m not against the oil pulling but would advise my patients to use it alongside three-monthly visits to the dental hygienist.’

Will I Switch? No. It made no difference, oil pulling feels cloying and the taste of coconut is overpowering. I’ll go to see my hygienist instead.

YOUTHFUL SKIN

Is there any benefit to using coconut oil for more youthful skin or a brighter smile? (picture posed by a model)

Is there any benefit to using coconut oil for more youthful skin or a brighter smile? (picture posed by a model)

Method: As the coconut oil gives quite a shiny finish, I used it at night with a tiny top-up in the morning, if needed.

Dr Sam Bunting, a Harley Street cosmetic dermatalogist, tells me my skin is prone to redness, flushing and the appearance of broken blood vessels. ‘I’d be very wary of using something as heavy as coconut oil,’ she tells me. ‘It has a high comedogenic rating (tendency to block pores) and for someone with quite reactive skin, I predict it may well cause break-outs and irritation.’

Results: Since using the coconut oil I have been suffering from patches of irritated skin and pimples in the folds between my nose and the corners of my mouth. Dr Bunting says: ‘This is almost certainly caused by the change in your beauty routine. Someone with your fair skin type also needs to use a high SPF every day, and a sunscreen won’t sit well on top of coconut oil.’

Will I Switch? No way. My skin looks red and splotchy. It’s oily on my forehead, dry around my mouth. Where’s my moisturiser?

WHITE TEETH

Method: Mix two tablespoons of baking soda with two tablespoons of coconut oil to make a smooth paste. Add a drop or two of peppermint oil to make it taste a bit more like toothpaste.

Dr Druian says: ‘Home-made toothpaste doesn’t contain fluoride, which helps to prevent cavities and strengthen your enamel. Bicarbonate of soda is abrasive and can damage enamel.’ He is sceptical that it will have any whitening properties.

Results: I ditched this after five days. DIY toothpaste is horrible. Your mouth feels slimy and dirty, your breath doesn’t smell fresh and bicarb of soda feels too abrasive. My teeth are no whiter.

Will I Switch? Never.

The health benefits of coconut oil – and how to use it

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2930745/Can-5-99-pot-coconut-oil-replace-beauty-product-buy-Anna-Pursglove-puts-test.html#ixzz3QCf0c33S

More than 1m people with asthma may NOT have the condition and could be taking medication unnecessarily

  • NICE says there is no evidence a third of asthma patients have the disease
  • Watchdog is concerned they are receiving treatment they don’t need
  • Now advises doctors to carry out clinical tests before diagnosing patients
  • This includes a spirometer – which measures volume of airway obstruction
  • However asthma charities say patients aren’t receiving adequate care 

More than a million people receiving treatment for asthma may have been misdiagnosed, experts warned today.

Almost a third of the 4.1m people treated for asthma in the UK did not show any ‘clear evidence’ of the incurable condition, according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) .

This means they may be receiving unnecessary treatment.

However, asthma charities warned diagnosing asthma is difficult and the majority of patients ‘do not receive adequate care’.

And experts cautioned that no one diagnosed with the condition should stop taking prescribed medication unless instructed by a healthcare professional.

More than a million people may have been wrongly diagnosed as having asthma - and may be receiving unnecessary treatment

More than a million people may have been wrongly diagnosed as having asthma – and may be receiving unnecessary treatment

NICE has drafted new guidance, its first for asthma, for doctors in England to improve the accuracy of diagnoses.

The guideline makes it clear that a clinical test should be carried out to diagnose asthma, as well as checking for signs and symptoms.

It said the first test should be carried out using a spirometer, a machine which measures how much and how fast a person breathes out.

Further breath tests should be carried out depending on the results from spirometry and the patient’s age.

For adults and young people over five years, an FeNO test should be carried out.

This is a test which checks for levels of nitric oxide, a gas which is found in larger volumes in people with asthma.

A BDR test4 which measures whether standard medicines which widen the airways of the lung are of benefit

WHAT IS ASTHMA?

Asthma is a common long-term condition that can cause coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and breathlessness.

The severity of these symptoms varies from person to person.

Asthma can be controlled well in most people most of the time, although some people may have more persistent problems.

Occasionally, asthma symptoms can get gradually or suddenly worse. This is known as an ‘asthma attack’, although doctors sometimes use the term ‘exacerbation’.

Severe attacks may require hospital treatment and can be life threatening, although this is unusual.

Asthma is caused by inflammation of the small tubes, called bronchi, which carry air in and out of the lungs.

When a person come into contact with something that irritates the lungs – known as a trigger – the airways become narrow, the muscles around them tighten, and there is an increase in the production of sticky mucus (phlegm).

The reason why some people develop asthma is not fully understood, although it is known that a person is more likely to develop it if they have a family history of the condition.

Asthma can develop at any age, including in young children and elderly people.

 Source: NHS Choices

The treatment of children under five should be based on professional judgement and observation until the child is old enough to take clinical tests.

Around 1 in 10 of adults with asthma develops the condition because they are exposed to certain substances, such as chemicals or dust, in their workplace.

The draft guideline also recommends that healthcare professionals ask employed people how their symptoms are affected by work, to check if they may have occupational asthma.

During each review, the healthcare professionals should check the patient is able to use their inhaler correctly and also consider using a questionnaire to get a better estimate of how well a person is doing, it added.

Professor Mark Baker, director of clinical practice at NICE, said: ‘Asthma is a long-term incurable condition that affects millions of people of all ages.

‘If left untreated, asthma attacks can be life threatening.

‘However, with appropriate treatment and thoughtful monitoring, most people will be able to successfully control their symptoms and be spared from serious harm.

‘Accurate diagnosis of asthma has been a significant problem which means that people may be wrongly diagnosed or cases might be missed in others.

‘Our aim with this guideline is to give clarity and set out the most clinical and cost effective ways to diagnose and monitor asthma based on the best available evidence.’

Asthma is one of the world’s most common long-lasting diseases in childhood, affecting 1.1m children and 4.3m adults in the UK.

Around 10 per cent of the 5.4 million people in the UK with asthma have the most severe form, which leaves them unable to control their symptoms, resulting in frequent attacks, despite taking multiple high-strength medicines.

Experts today highlighted the need for respiratory diseases to be diagnosed accurately.

Professor Anna Murphy, a consultant pharmacist and spokesperson for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society said: ‘I think there are issues in primary care in diagnosing asthma.

Asthma UK explains what they do to help sufferers

NICE says doctors should now carry out clinical test as well as observations in order to diagnose asthma. The  first test should be carried out using a spirometer, a machine which measures how much and how fast a person breathes out (pictured)

NICE says doctors should now carry out clinical test as well as observations in order to diagnose asthma. The  first test should be carried out using a spirometer, a machine which measures how much and how fast a person breathes out (pictured)

‘We need to do a thorough history and do objective tests to confirm the findings we suspect.

‘Unfortunately we’re often not doing these tests and so people are being misdiagnosed.

‘Getting the diagnosis right before we get suggest treatment for any disease is important.

‘If we’re given asthma treatment for breathlessness and it’s not working, it could be that the person has COPD, anaemia, or heart failure, which will need to be treated appropriately.

‘Other people with these conditions could slip through the net.’

There aren’t too many risks for people taking inhalers at the doses generally prescribed by doctors and pharmacists, she added, but as they are steroid inhalers they could induce side-effects of oral thrush and a hoarse voice.

‘There’s also a cost to the NHS of wasted treatment,’ she continued.

However, she said asthma can be fatal and so stressed people diagnosed with the condition should not stop their treatment without the advice of a healthcare professional.

‘We can’t miss the fact that people die from asthma, so I don’t want people to think “I don’t have asthma” and stop their treatment.

‘It’s a variable disease which will be well-controlled at some points, but they will have symptoms such as breathlessness, coughing at night, and wheezing at other times.

Experts said people misdiagnosed with asthma could actually be suffering breathlessness for a different reason, such as COPD, lung diseases anaemia or heart failure, which should be treated appropriately

Experts said people misdiagnosed with asthma could actually be suffering breathlessness for a different reason, such as COPD, lung diseases anaemia or heart failure, which should be treated appropriately

‘What we would recommend for anyone with well-controlled disease, is that it’s good practice for the healthcare professional to slowly start reducing their treatments, in a controlled way, so the need less.

‘They would be monitored to make sure people are safe.’

Dr Nick Robinson, a respiratory physician and medical advisor for the British Lung Foundation echoed these concerns.

He told Mailonline: ‘Tens of hundreds of thousands of people are taking inhalers they don’t need is wasteful.

‘Some people with asthma could end up with high doses of inhaled steroids, when the correct dose for them is zero.’

Commenting on the draft guideline, Kay Boycott, chief executive at Asthma UK, said: ‘We welcome the NICE guideline for the improvement of asthma diagnosis in the hope that this will help people with asthma receive more personalised care.

‘Asthma has many complex causes which is one of the reasons why it is sometimes difficult to get a definitive diagnosis.

‘It is also a highly variable condition that can change throughout someone’s life or even week by week, meaning treatment can change over time.

‘For anyone with an asthma diagnosis, it is vital they have the right medication and a plan to better manage their condition and any asthma attacks.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2929353/1m-asthma-cases-misdiagnosed-fear.html#ixzz3Q7hZiol7

Skipping breakfast can lead to TWO STONE of weight gain over a year

  • Survey reveals those who skip breakfast three times a week are twice as likely to snack on a packet of crisps and chocolate bar mid-morning
  • One in 10 people never eat breakfast, with more than a third admitting to skipping the first meal of the day at some point during the week
  • An average 35g bowl of cereal with semi-skimmed milk is around 181 kcal
  • But a 33g packet of crisps and 49g chocolate bar total 433 kcal
Those people who skip breakfast three times a day are twice as likely to snack on unhealthy treats mid-morning, a new survey has revealed

Those people who skip breakfast three times a day are twice as likely to snack on unhealthy treats mid-morning, a new survey has revealed

People who skip breakfast three times a week are twice as likely to gorge on an extra 252 calories a day, new research has today revealed.

Missing the first meal of the day increases the urge to snack and could cause a person to gain up to 26lb – almost two stone – a year, if the extra calories are not burned off through exercise.

A survey, conducted for Breakfast Week, revealed the most popular mid-morning snacks for breakfast skippers are crisps, chocolate and biscuits.

One in 10 people do not eat breakfast at all during the week.

And more than a third – 37 per cent – admit to skipping the first meal of the day at some point during the working week.

That is despite the survey, of 2,000 adults, revealing 45 per cent of breakfast skippers admitting it makes them feel hungry mid-morning, 30 per cent complaining of being tired and lacking in energy and 14 per cent revealing it leaves them feeling grumpy.

The main reasons for missing breakfast are not feeling hungry first thing (30 per cent) or sacrificing eating for extra time in bed (23 per cent).

Meanwhile just over one in 10 (12 per cent) say they simply forget to eat breakfast, with the same number admitting they are too busy doing household chores.

The survey also revealed how breakfast is key in affecting your food choices for the rest of the day.

Those who skip the meal are more likely to opt for a chocolate bar (27 per cent) and a can of sugary fizzy drink (one in 10) with their lunch, than those who eat breakfast every day (13 per cent and four per cent respectively).

Dietitian Azmina Govindji said missing breakfast can cause a person’s blood sugar levels to drop, encouraging them to reach for a snack that will provide instant gratification.

‘This research suggests that those who are missing breakfast are more likely to have unhealthier eating habits during the rest of that morning period,’ she told MailOnline.

‘Perhaps a low blood sugar level prompts people to opt for something that is going to give them an instant boost, like a biscuit or chocolate bar, but this can be counter-productive, and offers little nutritional value.

‘Or perhaps they’re so hungry that they reach for the most convenient food to fill them up.

‘Unfortunately convenient snacks don’t always tend to be the healthiest and can be laden with sugar, salt and fat.

‘The extra 252 calories that we’ve calculated people can be consuming if they miss breakfast and choose a chocolate bar and a 33g bag of crisps as snacks, can, over time, lead to significant weight gain if it’s not compensated for in activity.’

The extra 252 calories is the difference between a person eating an average 35g bowl of branflakes cereal with 135ml of semi-skimmed milk (181 calories), and a 33g bag of crisps (173 calories) and a 49g chocolate bar (260 calories) – two of the most popular snacks among those missing breakfast.

Those who miss breakfast are likely to reach for a packet of crisps and chocolate bar mid-morning. They are also more likely to then add a packet of crisps and fizzy drink at lunch

Those who miss breakfast are likely to reach for a packet of crisps and chocolate bar mid-morning. They are also more likely to then add a packet of crisps and fizzy drink at lunch

Those who miss breakfast are likely to reach for a packet of crisps and chocolate bar mid-morning. They are also more likely to then add a packet of crisps and fizzy drink at lunch

How to swap junk food for healthy, delicious snacks (related)

Researchers calculated the potential weight gain, assuming a person eats an extra 252 calories every day – totalling 91,980 calories every year.

Assuming the extra calories are not matched with any physical activity or a reduced total intake over the course of each day, using the assumption that an extra 3,500 calories equate to an extra 1lb in weight, there is the potential for a person to gain 26lbs a year.

Ms Govindji added: ‘Research shows that eating breakfast can help improve mood, energy and concentration.

‘Studies have also demonstrated that people who eat breakfast are more likely to be in a healthy weight range than those who do not.

‘If you’re someone that simply can’t face eating first thing, then it’s fine to have your breakfast a little later, perhaps when you get to work.

‘Or opt for something light like a small bowl of cereal or a piece of fruit.

‘There are lots of choices out there, many of which are quick and easy, so ideal for those who like to spend as much time as possible in bed; it’s a case of finding something that works for you.’

Breakfast Week, a not-for-profit campaign organised by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, runs this week, until Sunday and is in its 16th year.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2927963/Do-regularly-skip-breakfast-twice-likely-snack-extra-250-calories-day-cause-TWO-STONE-weight-gain-year.html#ixzz3Q49bgm20

Chef, 30, who ignored smear test letters for EIGHT YEARS is left infertile by cervical cancer treatment

  • Lindsay Davies says she received her first smear request aged 21
  • But she found the thought of being examine by doctors ’embarrassing’
  • Later had two children but still didn’t attend screening appointments 
  • In 2013, experience heavy bleeding after sex – and tests revealed cancer
  • Needed hysterectomy to remove the tumour – which has left her infertile  

A young woman who ignored requests for smear tests for eight years has been left infertile after treatment for cervical cancer.

Lindsay Davies received the devastating news last year when she was just 29.

She admits she was ’embarrassed’ by the thought of medical staff examining her – so repeatedly threw requests from her GP in the bin.

It was only when she and her husband began trying for a third child – and she suffered heavy bleeding – that tests revealed she had cervical cancer.

Lindsay Davies with her husband, Michael, admits she 'embarrassed' by the thought of medical staff examining her - so repeatedly ignored cervical screening requests from her GP 

Lindsay Davies with her husband, Michael, admits she ’embarrassed’ by the thought of medical staff examining her – so repeatedly ignored cervical screening requests from her GP

It was only when she suffered heavy bleeding after sex that tests revealed she had cervical cancer. In March last year, she underwent a surgery to have her womb, cervix, fallopian tubes and part of her vagina removed

It was only when she suffered heavy bleeding after sex that tests revealed she had cervical cancer. In March last year, she underwent a surgery to have her womb, cervix, fallopian tubes and part of her vagina removed

While the cancer hadn’t spread beyond the cervix, the tumour was larger than 4cm across.

In March 2014, she underwent a radical hysterectomy at King’s Mill Hospital, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.

This is where the womb, cervix, tissue around the cervix, fallopian tubes, pelvic lymph nodes, the upper part of the vagina and sometimes the ovaries are removed.

Speaking for the first time, Mrs Davies, who is trained as a chef, said: ‘I put having a smear off for so long.

‘But now I can’t have any more children – and I am only 30.

‘My husband Michael and I were trying for a child when I was diagnosed.

‘I would urge people not to be embarrassed – it’s only 10 minutes of your time and it’s really not worth missing it.’

Mrs Davies’ story comes as figures released today revealed the number of young women diagnosed with cervical cancer has soared in the last decade.

Over the last 10 years, cases of the disease in women aged 25 to 29 have soared by 59.2 per cent.

Mrs Davies, who is mother to Isabel, seven, and Darcie-Rae, 18 months, first ignored a smear test request aged 22.'I just kept putting it off,' she said. Today, she urged other women not to behave as she had 

Mrs Davies, who is mother to Isabel, seven, and Darcie-Rae, 18 months, first ignored a smear test request aged 22.’I just kept putting it off,’ she said. Today, she urged other women not to behave as she had

It was while pregnant with Darcie-Rae (right) that Mrs Davies she started bleeding - and the problem became progessively worse. Today she said: 'The children are a comfort. I know I am lucky, I don't need telling that'

It was while pregnant with Darcie-Rae (right) that Mrs Davies she started bleeding – and the problem became progessively worse. Today she said: ‘The children are a comfort. I know I am lucky, I don’t need telling that’

Meanwhile in the last year rates have risen 4.8 per cent, as one million women failed to attend smear test appointments.

The NHS offers a free cervical screening test to all women aged 25-64 every three to five years.

It is not a test for cervical cancer, but it identifies early abnormalities which, if left untreated, could develop into cancer of the cervix (neck of the womb).

A sample of cells is taken from the cervix for analysis and sent to a laboratory for analysis. Those whose cells show abnormalities are called back for further investigation and, if necessary, treatment.

RISING NUMBER OF YOUNG WOMEN SHUNNING SMEAR TESTS

The number of young women diagnosed with cervical cancer has soared in the last decade, as new figures reveal more than one million failed to attend smear tests last year.

Over the last 10 years, cases of the disease in women aged 25 to 29 have soared by 59.2 per cent.

Meanwhile in the last year rates have risen 4.8 per cent, as one million women failed to attend smear test appointments.

Eight women in the UK are diagnosed each day and cervical cancer is the most common form of the disease in under 35s.

A leading charity is today urging women to ensure they attend their regular smear tests, raising concerns that the uptake of screening has fallen to an all-time low.

While some women admit they are too embarrassed to go for screening tests, others said they are concerned it will be painful, while some said they don’t think the tests are necessary.

SYMPTOMS

The most common symptom of cervical cancer is bleeding from the vagina at times other than when a woman is having a period.

Women may have bleeding:

Between periods

After or during sex

At any time if you are past the menopause

Some women also have:

A vaginal discharge that smells unpleasant

Discomfort or pain during sex

While some women admit they are too embarrassed to go for screening tests, others polled in today’s research said they were concerned it will be painful, while some said they don’t think the tests are necessary.

Eight women in the UK are diagnosed each day and cervical cancer is the most common form of the disease in under 35s.

Mrs Davies, who is mother to Isabel, seven, and Darcie-Rae, 18 months, first ignored a smear test request aged 22.

‘I just kept putting it off,’ she said.

I don’t like going to the doctors or the hospital because I am uncomfortable with it.

‘The thought of it was embarrassing – I know that sounds stupid, given the fact I’ve had children.

‘Plus there never seemed to be the time.’

It was when she was pregnant with Darcie-Rae that Mrs Davies she started bleeding.

And things only got worse after her daughter was born in December 2013.

‘It was after sex,’ Mrs Davies said. ‘One day it wouldn’t stop.’

On Christmas Eve 2013 she had her first smear test ever and two weeks later, at King’s Mill Hospital, Nottinghamshire, she was diagnosed with cancer.

She continued: ‘When they said it was cervical cancer, I didn’t feel anything.

‘I felt numb. My husband started to cry, but I didn’t feel anything.’

An MRI revealed the tumour was 1.5cm by 2cm at that stage.

While she avoided chemotherapy and radiation, doctors told Mrs Davies she would require a radical hysterectomy.

‘We were trying for children – it was so hard,’ she said. ‘But I am alive and I will live to see my children grow up.’

Surgeons also managed to keep Mrs Davies’ ovaries, meaning she will not experience an early menopause.

‘The children are a comfort. I know I am lucky, I don’t need telling that.

‘But I wish I hadn’t neglected my smear – don’t delay it for eight years like I did.’

Mrs Davies has been told she is now cancer-free and has check-ups every three months.

Mrs Davies is now supporting Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust’s Smear for Smear campaign.

People are being asked to smear lipstick across their face and show their support.

THE CERVICAL SCREENING PROGRAMME – WHAT IS IT AND WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

The NHS offers a free cervical screening test to all women aged 25-64 every three to five years.

It is not a test for cervical cancer, but it identifies early abnormalities which, if left untreated, could develop into cancer of the cervix (neck of the womb).

A sample of cells is taken from the cervix for analysis and sent to a laboratory for analysis. Those whose cells show abnormalities are called back for further investigation and, if necessary, treatment.

Currently the test is not offered routinely to women aged younger than 25 because cervical cancer is so rare in women that young.

According to Cancer Research UK statistics, not a single woman under the age of 20 died from cervical cancer between 2009-2011.

The NHS offers free cervical screening tests to all women aged 25 to 64 every three to five years. The test detects early abnormalities which, if left untreated, can develop into cancer of the cervix (pictured)

The NHS offers free cervical screening tests to all women aged 25 to 64 every three to five years. The test detects early abnormalities which, if left untreated, can develop into cancer of the cervix (pictured)

The lower age of 25 was raised from 20 after the Advisory Committee on Cervical Cancer Screening (ACCS) advised the NHS in 2003 that cervical screening in younger women did more harm than good.

The committee advised that cell abnormalities in younger women normally went away of their own accord, and said that sending young women for further tests and treatment increased the likelihood of the woman having pre-term delivery if she went on to have children, and could cause significant anxiety.

Many other countries offer cervical screening from the age of 25, including Italy, France, Belgium and Ireland.

In Scotland, women are invited to be checked from the age of 20, though it is due to go up to 25 next year.

In Australia women are invited from 18, Greece from 20, and in the US two years after women become sexually active.

Meanwhile, other countries start cervical screening later. Both the Netherlands and Finland offer screening to women only once they are 30, and these two countries boast some of the lowest mortality rates for cervical cancer in Europe, and in Bulgaria it is for women over 31.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2926776/Chef-29-ignored-smear-tests-EIGHT-YEARS-left-infertile-cervical-cancer-treatment.html#ixzz3PxnsB3R2

Back On The Plan – Slimming World

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For those that love their food like me, and DO NOT follow the Slimming World Plan, it really is a great plan to follow.  Its not a diet its a new different way of eating.   the plan has changed slighlty, and its no longer based on red and green days.  Slimming World focuses on what they call FREE and SUPERFREE FOODS, food that you can eat at any time :

  • Fish and Seafood
  • Lean meat and poultry
  • Eggs
  • Fat Free Dairy Products
  • Potatoes, Pulses and Starchy Vegetables
  • Rice, Pasta and Grains
  • Vegetable Proteins such as Quark and Tofu
  • Fruit (SUPERFREE)
  • Vegetables (SUPERFREE)

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So if the thought of a full English breakfast is your idea of a great breakfast to set you up for the day, you could load your plate with eggs, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, beans and have as much of it as you wanted…..as it is all FREE ::))

cookedbreakfastEach day you firstly choose your Healthy Extras which consist of 2 categories.

Healthy Extra A (choose 1) which is your milk and cheese etc slimming-world-healthy-extras-a

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Healthy Extra B (choose 2)  which is your cereals and cheeseslimming-world-healthy-extras-b

Then for breakfast/dinner and tea your food plate should look like this :  2/3 of your plate filled with free foods such as rice, pasta, potatoes, fish, meat eggs etc and the remaining1/3 filled with fruit, vegetables and salad52f9378ac65f1973df75afdfa095f145image-1919438462Then there are whats called as SYNS.  This is the naughty bit of for your wine, takeaways , sweets basically anything that is not FREE or SUPERFREE FOOD.  Each day you get allocated 5-15 syns a day.  You dont have to use these each day so for example if you knew you were going out the weekend you could save your SYNS up all week and use them on your night out as in a week you have a total of 115 SYNS.

I love my food and being on medication it does increase your appetite, and I’m not an angel on this but following slimming world gives me the choice of being in control of what I eat and you know that most of your food intake is healthy.  Its the flexibility of the SYNS that give you that feeling of not being deprived of treats, such as a night out or take away etc

If your looking for help and support with any part of diet, fitness and health come and join our Facebook Group From Blogging to Jogging.  There are lots of members all at different fitness and health levels, with one aim to get fit and healthy.

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Come and join us ::))

http://www.slimmingworld.com/

Keeping fit doesn’t have to be hard: Just one hour of exercise a week found to reduce chance of premature death by 15%

  • Experts say people should focus on small increases in physical activity
  • They say the weekly target of 150 minutes of ‘moderate intensity activity’ is beyond the reach of some, especially older people
  • More than a third of adults worldwide are not sufficiently active
  • This is despite proof too much sitting increases risk of chronic diseases

Just one hour of exercise a week could be enough to reduce the risk of premature death.

Despite public health campaigns urging a daily 20-minute workout, experts say people should focus on the benefits of small increases in physical activity.

They say the weekly target of 150 minutes of ‘moderate intensity activity’ is beyond the reach of some, especially older people.

  

Just one hour of exercise a week could be enough to reduce the risk of premature death by 15 per cent

Just one hour of exercise a week could be enough to reduce the risk of premature death by 15 per cent

Articles published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) suggest that instead, people and public health bodies should focus on the benefits of small increases in daily physical activity.

More than a third (35.6 per cent) of adults worldwide are not sufficiently active, despite proof that too much sitting increases the risk of chronic diseases.

Dr Philipe de Souto Barreto, of Toulouse University Hospital, writing in the British Medical Journal, said improvements can be achieved by doing less.

A study of more than 250,000 adults aged 50 to 71 in the US found less than one hour of moderate physical activity a week or 20 minutes or more of vigorous activity once a week reduced the risk of premature death by 15 per cent and 23 per cent respectively.

Experts say people should focus on the benefits of small increases in physical activity - as a weekly target of 150 minutes of ‘moderate intensity activity’ is beyond the reach of some, especially older people

Experts say people should focus on the benefits of small increases in physical activity – as a weekly target of 150 minutes of ‘moderate intensity activity’ is beyond the reach of some, especially older people

And a review of six studies found a 19 per cent decrease in the risk of mortality among people walking for one to 74 minutes a week compared with people doing nothing.

A second paper points out older adults find it difficult to meet moderate and vigorous exercise targets.

Also in the BMJ, Professor Phillip Sparling, of the Georgia Institute of Technology, said the 150-minute recommendation ‘may mean the benefits of lesser amounts of exercise are overlooked’.

InstructorLive.com helps you to reach your fitness goals…

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2920958/One-hour-exercise-week-reduce-chance-premature-death.html#ixzz3PYVkzGIk

Vaseline, the make-up bag miracle? Use it to make your skin shine or to boost your eyelashes, it’s a celebrity favourite

  • Beyoncé uses it on her eyelashes and teeth while Joan Collins uses it to soften up dry skin
  • The petroleum jelly product is a firm favourite with a host of A-listers 
  •  It was first discovered in 1859 by American chemist Augustus Chesebrough

Jennifer Lopez uses it as make-up remover, Beyoncé coats her eyelashes with it and, last week, actress Joan Collins revealed she dabs a little on her heels and elbows to soften her driest areas.

So what is this miracle, multi-purpose product? Vaseline! Pots of the £1.99 petroleum jelly are a firm fixture in most of Britain’s bathroom cabinets and can be used for much more than soothing dry, chapped lips.

Scroll down for video 

Joan Collins (pictured) uses the petroleum jelly product on her heels and elbows to soften up dry areas

Joan Collins (pictured) uses the petroleum jelly product on her heels and elbows to soften up dry areas

Here, we reveal the most unusual uses for this wonder product…

BOOST EYELASHES

Instead of layering on lashings of mascara, follow Beyoncé and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini’s lead and apply a little Vaseline to lashes for a full and shiny look. This works especially well if you have naturally long eyelashes. If not, use a thickening mascara first, then apply the Vaseline on top.

MAKE SKIN SHINE

Freida Pinto (pictured) is said to be a big fan of using Vaseline on her eyelids and cheekbones to give extra shine and glow

Freida Pinto (pictured) is said to be a big fan of using Vaseline on her eyelids and cheekbones to give extra shine and glow

Make-up artist Mary Greenwell — whose Hollywood clientele includes actresses Uma Thurman and Cate Blanchett — is never without her trusty pot of Vaseline in her make-up kit.

‘If you want a really wonderful glowing look, it’s the perfect product, as it will pick up the light where you want it to. It gives just the right amount of shine and creates a glowing, gorgeous, nude effect,’ she says.

‘Build colour up before, then dab it on top of the eyelids and cheekbones to give extra sheen, shine and glow, without adding more colour.’

Bollywood beauty Freida Pinto is a fan of the technique to create her dewy look.

PERFECT PARTY LOOK

Mixing eyeshadow and Vaseline can create some great make-up effects for a night out

Mixing eyeshadow and Vaseline can create some great make-up effects for a night out

New Pink Bubbly Vaseline launches at Selfridges (related)

Combine a touch of Vaseline with your favourite eyeshadow and the possibilities are endless.

Apply a touch of the jelly on the top of the shadow on your eyelid and blend outwards: this allows the colour to ‘travel’, making a smoky, subtle effect. Or mix the shadow powder with Vaseline before you apply the colour to create a cream-based product, giving longer-lasting colour.

MAKE YOUR LIPPY STICK

Beyoncé (pictured) is a big fan of using Vaseline on her teeth to stop lipstick smudging on them 

Beyoncé (pictured) is a big fan of using Vaseline on her teeth to stop lipstick smudging on them

Another firm favourite of Beyoncé’s is a quick and generous smear of Vaseline all over the front teeth.

This isn’t to get a brighter smile — Vaseline doesn’t have any whitening properties — but the gel acts as a barrier to protect against the dreaded lipstick-to-teeth migration.

FOR HAIRY MOMENTS

From frizzy to fried to fuzzy, Vaseline is the answer to all haircare conundrums.

For pesky fly-aways after blow-drying or straightening, warm a little Vaseline in between fingers and smooth over the hair. Top hairdresser Lee Stafford also recommends the same trick to inject moisture into split-ends in need of a miracle.

And don’t forget the classic trick of dabbing some on your hairline before dying your hair to avoid any fetching purple face stains, too.

TAME UNRULY EYEBROWS 

Try two bizarre beauty ideas in one — use the classic old toothbrush trick to comb through your brows, followed by a slathering of Vaseline to keep bushy hairs at bay.

MAKE YOUR MANICURE LAST

Use Vaseline to smarten up a fading manicure by putting a quick slick on each nail to improve the shine

Use Vaseline to smarten up a fading manicure by putting a quick slick on each nail to improve the shine

Any manicurist will argue the importance of soft and supple cuticles for a healthy, strong set of nails.

All it takes is a Vaseline application directly to the nail bed once a week to keep your cuticles looking great. Nail polish losing its shine? A quick slick of Vaseline on each nail will freshen up your manicure in a flash.

EASY HAIR REMOVAL

Want razors to last longer? Apply a thin layer of Vaseline to the blade to prevent moisture from the shower reacting with the metal, which causes the build up of rust. Or for those who prefer waxing, apply Vaseline to skin post-wax for a cooling effect.

TREAT PSORIASIS AND ECZEMA

Supermodel Alek Wek (pictured) has struggled with psoriasis since she was a child and uses Vaseline to ease the skin irritation

Supermodel Alek Wek (pictured) has struggled with psoriasis since she was a child and uses Vaseline to ease the skin irritation

The impenetrable moisturising barrier between the skin and bacteria that is created by applying layers of Vaseline makes the jelly the perfect skin saviour — for even the angriest of ailments.

Supermodel Alek Wek has suffered from the itchy skin condition psoriasis since childhood and found Vaseline to be ‘the only thing that really worked’ to ease her irritation.

The £2 tub has also proven effective in soothing flare-ups of nasty skin conditions, from eczema to nappy rash.

STOP BLEEDING 

American chemist Robert Augustus Chesebrough (pictured) discovered petroleum jelly in 1859

American chemist Robert Augustus Chesebrough (pictured) discovered petroleum jelly in 1859

When it was discovered in 1859 by English-born American chemist Robert Augustus Chesebrough, petroleum jelly was celebrated as a ‘wonder-jelly’ that miraculously healed cuts and burns.

More than 150 years later, cosmetic doctor and skincare expert Dr Jean-Louis Sebagh believes the true wonder of Vaseline still lies with this original discovery. ‘It can be a temporary “healing plaster” after minor burns or abrasions injuries,’ he says.

‘Air does not pass through it, so it’s useful to seal wounds and help stop infections reaching the damaged area.’

Cosmetic doctor and skincare expert Dr Jean-Louis Sebagh says vaseline can be a 'temporary "healing plaster" after minor burns or abrasion injuries'

Cosmetic doctor and skincare expert Dr Jean-Louis Sebagh says vaseline can be a ‘temporary “healing plaster” after minor burns or abrasion injuries’

He even recommends it as an effective therapeutic product for the aftercare of a cosmetic procedure — in particular, following laser peels.

The lack of perfumes or colourants in the standard Vaseline formula means there’s a considerably reduced risk of irritation to any open wound.

PS…AND YOU CAN EVEN USE IT TO SHINE YOUR SHOES!

Vaseline’s uses go further than purely cosmetic. Use it to ease off rings stuck on fingers, or to open a tightly screwed-on nail varnish lid.

You can also use it to remove chewing gum from wood and to add the shine back to patent-leather shoes.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2905857/Vaseline-make-bag-miracle-Use-make-skin-shine-boost-eyelashes-s-celebrity-favourite.html#ixzz3OkH1QG5F

Review of Fitbit

This has to be the best gadget I have had in a long time…….. I love it.

I originally bought this for the hubby, but after him wearing it for a few days it started to annoy him.  So I got given it ::)) And how glad I am.  In the past I’ve bought all the pedometers, wore them for a while then straight into the drawer.  With the Fitbit you wear it around your wrist and there are different sizes so do measure your wrist.  It clocks every step you walk your activities all day.  The charge/battery life is fab and lasts for around 7-10 days so your not constantly putting it on charge.  Its also a watch and has an alarm clock so will wake you up on these freezing cold mornings.  When your out walking it has caller id so you no who is ringing your mobile without looking at your phone….just look at your Fitbit and it tells you ::))

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The best feature for me is that it monitors your sleep.  I have a lot of trouble sleeping, due to medication I am on, Fitbit logs all your sleep activity tells you how long you slept, how long you were restless.  So for me this has been a God send.

You can download the app from the app store and check how your progress is going, and also receive weekly emails on your progress too..

A fab must have for 2015

Who needs to join an expensive gym? Get fit with an app on your phone

  • High-tech fitness websites and apps offer workouts and fitness advice
  • The Scientific 7-Minute Workout offers guide to 12 key exercises
  • RunKeeper track your route using GPS and tell you how far you’ve gone
  • Instructor Live streams live classes every month to an electronic device
Some apps are designed to provide instruction and feedback as you move

Some apps are designed to provide instruction and feedback as you move

Have pricey gym memberships and celebrity workout DVDs had their day?

A new breed of high-tech fitness websites and apps — programs you use on your mobile phone or tablet — offer workouts and fitness advice for a fraction of the price or even free.

Some provide watch-as-you-workout instructions that are best suited to larger screens such as iPads and other tablets.

And others are designed to provide instruction and feedback as you move, usually via a smartphone that can be strapped to your arm or waistband.

But how effective are the apps on offer and which will work best for you?

We asked London personal trainers Jon Denoris and Joe Wicks for their verdicts, then rated the apps for usefulness . . .

BEST FOR THE TIME-CRUNCHED

The Scientific 7-Minute Workout

£1.49; Android, iPhone and iPad

An app based on groundbreaking research in the Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine last year that suggested a mere seven minutes’ daily effort is enough to get you fit.

It offers a step-by-step video guide to 12 key exercises, including jumping jacks, push-ups and abdominal crunches. You do each for 30 seconds, rest ten seconds, then move onto the next. There are alternative exercises, a Pilates workout and you can customise your own plan.

Verdict: Great if you don’t have time to go to the gym or prefer to work out at home. None of the moves requires equipment — all use your body weight.

The potential for variety is limited and you might get bored. You would need to do this at least four to five times a week and combine with general activity such as walking for aerobic fitness. 9/10

BEST FOR GYM CLASS DEVOTEE

Instructor Live

£5.99 a month with a 30-day free trial; instructorlive.com; laptop, iPod, iPhone and TV connected to internet

This website streams live classes every month to any internet-enabled electronic device.

A huge range of classes (around 40 different ones a month) includes ballet, Pilates and aerobics, all filmed from a studio in London.

Classes are live, but other participants can’t see you, though you can ask the instructor questions. If you miss a scheduled class, you can watch it on catch-up.

Verdict: Good value compared with the price of a gym membership. However, people enjoy gym classes because of the social side, so the lack of contact could be crucial. Plenty of options from beginner to advanced classes. 8/10

InstructorLive.com helps you to reach your fitness goals

BEST FOR OUTDOORS

RunKeeper

Free; runkeeper.com; iPhone, iPod and Android

One of the many walking and running apps that track your route using GPS and tell you how far you’ve gone and how fast.

You can store and save your favourite routes, input goals and follow set training programmes — from a beginner’s 5km to a marathon — share your workouts with friends if they sign up for the app or even compare results over the same course.

Verdict: Excellent as a basic motivational tool and one of the simplest apps around, the detailed training maps and routes are really useful. Much like a fitness tracker, it also calculates your pace in real time as well as working out your average and top speeds.

Keen runners or walkers may want more tailored data, which costs £27.99 a year with the premium service.

This fitness app also offers more personalised running programmes and downloadable feedback, along with a virtual coach who will keep you on track towards your goal. 7/10

Essentially Fitocracy is a fitness social network — a motivational tool with which you share your pain

Essentially Fitocracy is a fitness social network — a motivational tool with which you share your pain

BEST FOR MOTIVATION

Fitocracy

Free; iPhone, iPod and Android

One of the most popular fitness apps of the past couple of years.

Essentially it’s a fitness social network — a motivational tool with which you share your pain with others aiming to get fit and (for a fee) learn better techniques and approaches from expert trainers.

You are encouraged to log your progress, list your challenges for others to see, then go about achieving them — using guidance and help of the other members, including fitness experts.

Verdict: Well-designed and simple to use, this app could prove effective for anyone who tends to lose interest after the first few weeks. The idea that you report back to fellow exercisers can be very motivational. However, it’s targeted at the beginner and could quickly lose its appeal. 7/10

BEST FOR YOGA FANS

Though targeted at all levels, even the more basic workouts assume some experience of yoga 

Though targeted at all levels, even the more basic workouts assume some experience of yoga

Daily yoga

Free; iPod, iPhone and Android

This provides a library of more than 50 classes with video demonstrations, music and 400 poses.

Plans come in a variety of intensities and durations. There are options such as ‘office yoga to de-stress’ and ‘seated yoga’ to be done at your desk or by people who are less mobile.

Verdict: Though targeted at all levels, even the more basic workouts assume some experience of yoga. There’s plenty of variety, but those wanting more advanced postures will need the ‘pro’ version of the app (£22 a year).

Yoga alone won’t improve all-over fitness, but it is a great adjunct to cardiovascular activities, such as running and cycling. 5/10

Tabata Trainer involves performing 20 seconds of an exercise  followed by a ten-second rest

Tabata Trainer involves performing 20 seconds of an exercise followed by a ten-second rest

BEST FOR THE SUPERFIT

Tabata Trainer

£1.49; tabatatrainerapp.com; iPhone and iPod Touch

Tabata involves performing 20 seconds of an exercise — including lunges, squat jumps and press-ups — followed by a ten-second rest, repeated for four minutes in total.

This provides a routines of varying lengths — there are no demonstration videos, so you need to know how to do each exercise.

Verdict: Not suitable for beginners. There’s also a risk that technique will suffer as you focus on speed and intensity, raising the risk of injury and muscle strains. These type of workouts could be demotivating or too challenging because, even though short, Tabata is incredibly tough. 6/10

BEST FOR INDOOR RUNNERS

BeatBurn Treadmill Trainer

£2.49; iPhone and iPod

Treadmill exercise classes — done in a group — are set to be a big trend in 2015, with gyms such as Virgin Active launching them.

This app prescribes individual running workouts set to music with varying speeds — slower for the warm-up (which you can walk) and faster for sprints and hill work.

You can customise the intensity and it can be used outdoors.

Verdict: Running to a beat has scientific backing — psychologists at Brunel University have shown many people find running to music easier. A good variety of tunes and you can add your own. It’s all about running or walking, though, so you’d need to add your own strength moves. 8/10

BEST FOR TONING

Barre3

£2.99; barre3.com; iPhone and iPod

Creator and presenter Sadie Lincoln, who trained workout queen Madonna, provides 24 ten-minute ballet-style workouts for your mobile along with healthy eating advice and recipes.

It can all be done on the go — all you need is a table, tree, bench or chair to lean on. Routines are based on the principle of a cardiovascular workout (such as repetitive fast side steps) combined with dance-inspired toning moves performed with small pulse movements that will leave your muscles quivering.

Verdict: Well-presented and with clear instructions, but many exercises require equipment such as weights or yoga balls. You will need additional cardio exercises to keep your weight down. 6/10

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2897609/Health-apps-needs-join-expensive-gym-fit-app-phone.html#ixzz3O5AnWwKn

Aldi targets yummy mummies with New Year YOGA range including bargain mat and foam roller for just £6.99

  • Aldi launches new yoga range with mat and foam roller costing just £6.99
  • It comes just a month after it introduced budget skiwear and accessories
  • Yoga range features mat, foam roller, weights, capri pants and yoga jacket
  • Major supermarkets facing constant competition from cheap Aldi and Lidl 
  • The stores are heaping pressure on the ‘big four’ with their bargain prices
Aldi's new yoga range (pictured) features a mat, foam roller and clothing and offers prices which are a fraction of those at other major sport retailers

Aldi’s new yoga range (pictured) features a mat, foam roller and clothing and offers prices which are a fraction of those at other major sport retailers

Supermarket chain Aldi has launched a brand new budget yoga range just in time for the New Year, including a mat and foam roller for just £6.99.

The store claims its new range enables people to experience ‘yogic calm’ on a budget by snapping up mats, foam rollers and yoga-style clothing at just a fraction of the price they are usually sold at.

The launch comes just a month after the budget chain introduced a skiwear range, which boasted of being able to kit out a family of four for just £160.

From Friday, Aldi’s yoga range will be available in all stores and there will also be a series of ‘yoga and pilates accessory sets’, each costing only £4.99, in a bid to tempt in new shoppers.

The main item from the range, a yoga mat and foam roller, costs just £6.99 – a bargain compared to prices up to £70 at some dedicated sports retailers.

Aldi is also selling a ladies’ yoga jacket for £11.99 and capri pants for £6.99 as part of its ‘Specialbuys’ offering.

The firm’s managing director of buying Tony Baines said: ‘It is no secret that our shopper demographic has evolved.

‘The past few years have seen a significant shift in perceptions of Aldi customers who are increasingly being attracted to our top quality, great value philosophy.

‘Our yoga range is an extension of this – it gives our shoppers the chance to try a new sport this January without spending a fortune.’

It follows the budget supermarket chain’s entry into the skiwear market.

The store claimed the bargain-priced range meant a whole family could be kitted out for a ski trip for just £160.

The Ski Pro range features £35 jackets, £30 trousers and a host of accessories with technical gloves priced at just £4.99 and goggles from £7.99.

Aldi has become increasingly popular with families over recent years, launching ranges which rival upmarket products at low-cost prices.

Earlier this month a £4.29 Irish Cream Liqueur from the supermarket scooped the top award at an internationally renowned drinks competition, alongside products more than triple its price

The Ballycastle Irish Cream was described by judges as ‘everything you’d expect from a cream liqueur – thick, creamy and luscious’ at the prestigious Spirits Business Liqueur Masters 2014 awards.

The supermarket also scooped the ‘Consistency in Excellence’ trophy; a one-off accolade giving special recognition to Aldi’s high quality spirits.

Last month, the supermarket put a bottle of the ‘six-rated’ white, Hungarian Chateau Pajzos Tokaji Aszu 6 Puttonyos 2008 wine on shelves for just £18.99.

Ordinarily, a 1993 bottle would be likely to set shoppers back about £185 – and similar quality 2008 dessert wines are sold at an eye-watering £76.

The move was all part of the budget chain’s aim to attract affluent shoppers.

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A yoga mat and foam roller set (pictured) costs just £6.99 in the new range at the budget supermarket which has been making an effort to appeal to a wider demographic recently. It launched a skiwear range last month

A yoga mat and foam roller set (pictured) costs just £6.99 in the new range at the budget supermarket which has been making an effort to appeal to a wider demographic recently. It launched a skiwear range last month

The yoga range features a variety of different weights
Prices for Aldi's yoga weights start from just £6.49

The yoga range features a variety of different weights (pictured), with prices starting from just £6.49

The Aldi Specialbuys Yoga range, which also includes Kettlebells (from £6.99), Dumbbells (£6.49) will be in store on January 2
Customers can also buy a yoga jacket for just £11.99

As well as weights (left), customers can also buy a yoga jacket (right) for £11.99 and matching capri pants

Both Aldi and fellow budget store Lidl have made a concerted effort to attract middle income families with everything from fresh Aberbeen Angus fillet steaks at £5 each to award-winning wine, coffee and cheese.

The move has put mounted on pressure on the big supermarket ‘four’ – Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Asda – which are being forced to slash prices to compete with their budget counterparts.

The Aldi Specialbuys Yoga range, which also includes Kettlebells (from £6.99), Dumbbells (£6.49) will be in store on January 2.

Aldi has become increasingly popular, launching ranges which rival upmarket products at low-cost prices

Aldi has become increasingly popular, launching ranges which rival upmarket products at low-cost prices

Both Aldi and fellow budget store Lidl have made a concerted effort to attract middle income families with everything from fresh Aberbeen Angus fillet steaks at £5 each to award-winning wine (pictured) and cheese

Both Aldi and fellow budget store Lidl have made a concerted effort to attract middle income families with everything from fresh Aberbeen Angus fillet steaks at £5 each to award-winning wine (pictured) and cheese

Aldi trying to attract even more customers with their Xmas ad

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2891339/Aldi-targets-yummy-mummies-New-Year-YOGA-range-including-bargain-mat-foam-roller-just-6-99.html#ixzz3NOoR0WI1