Getting out into the fresh air at the moment is very important to us all but if your nearest walk is not very exciting then you could learn while you walk.

You could listen to endless Podcasts. Good Housekeeping has 30 Best Podcasts for 2020 to listen to now.

You could learn a language. Lingualift has a list of the top 10 best language learning apps.

You could learn all about the birds and bees flying around at the moment. Dr. Hilary said this morning how you can here lots more bird song in the capital now the roads are so quiet. Hobby Help has listed the top 5 best Bird Watching Apps for 2020.

You could learn all about the flowers, trees and the leaves you pass on the road. The Telegraph has a list of the 10 best apps to identify unknown plants and flowers and Techigem has the 10 Best Plant Identification Apps for 2020.

If you just simply want to walk for health and some fresh air and don’t own a Fitbit then why not download an app and keep your phone in your pocket so it can register how many steps you have taken. I get a real buzz from knowing how many steps I’ve done as I know it’s so important for your health. Good Housekeeping have a list of the 10 best Step Counter Apps.

Nature is all around us, even if you live on busy streets or in cities. If you stuck in an apartment you could still take up bird watching, just zoom in your camera and take a picture of the bird then find out what it is from one of the apps. Being outside is very important and no matter how small your garden if you cannot get out into the streets then you could enjoy any off this list just walking around your garden.

We all want to get through this terrible ordeal we are now in ‘fit not fat.‘ There is also a brilliant book called Every Day Nature by Andy Beer (National Trust Book) which encourages you to find beauty in the everyday and forge a powerful connection with the nature than can be found on your doorstep.


I was given the opportunity to try a pair of Joya Shoes which they explain ‘support the natural movement process and encourage active walking. Joya shoes also promote healthy posture, which provides relief to the back and joints and can also reduce and prevent back and joint pain.’

As a chronic back pain sufferer walking out in the open is something I only really enjoyed occasionally when I was having a good day with my back. My biggest problem was deciding how far I could walk on any particular day so I was very excited to see if these shoes would make any difference.

The first impression when I put the shoes on was how high and supported I felt. It felt a bit like walking on air. The soft and springing material of the Joya sole transforms a hard and flat floor into a soft, elastic surface.

This, they say ‘increasingly activates small support and stability muscles again, which can remove stress from the joints and the spinal column. Plus, “micro movements” support the activity of the foot, calf, and leg muscles, which enable active walking and standing.’

Well, I have to say I am more than impressed with these shoes. The last few weeks have been an ideal time for me to see how far I could walk while in isolation. We are lucky enough to have lots of walks on The South Downs on our doorstep and the dry weather over the last couple of weeks has meant it safer to walk off-piste.

When my daughter first saw me in a pair of Joya shoes she thought I looked ‘very trendy’, which at the end of the day is also important to us women. Their shoes most definitely do what they say and relieve the back pain and cushions the feet and support healthy walking. Joya Shoes website explains in great detail about how these shoes work with a video and all about the Optimal pressure distribution, Joya ensures smooth rolling movement and optimum pressure distribution. This prevents pressure spikes in heel and forefoot. Joya footwear enables natural movement and encourages active walking.

At the moment one of their suppliers ShoeMed has an offer of 15% discount on full RRP to everyone Code: HURRY15. The code is valid until the end of the month. I wouldn’t hesitate to give these shoes a try if you get back pain during or after walking.


There are several methods of treating back pain. There are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which help to reduce prostaglandins and deter the COX enzymes… and we also have holistic methods such as acupuncture which works for many, but has no effect on some. I have written about the four I have listed before but not in one post and with us all being at home so much at the moment we have to be careful with our posture to avoid aggravating our spines.

The truth of the matter is that we’re all individuals and no two people are alike. What works for some may not work for another. One man’s meat is another man’s poison, so to speak. This is especially applicable to holistic methods such as physiotherapy.

These methods take time to work, but when you do find one that works for you, the relief you get can be immense. It’s all a matter of patience and finding one that yields results.
Strong medication such as pain killers and NSAIDs can have side effects. Surgery is expensive and has risks. In fact, the thought of surgery alone is enough to make most people’s hearts skip a beat.

It’s best to try the holistic methods first and see how they work for you. In this article, we’ll look at 4 different types of physiotherapy that you can use to alleviate your back pain. Not all may work for you, but you’ll definitely find at least one that helps bring you relief.


This method will require you to place an ice pack on the area that’s affected. Always remember to place a towel on the affected part before placing the ice pack on it. Do not ice the area for more than 20 minutes.
Cold treatment will help to numb the swollen tissues and reduce the pain. It’ll also interrupt the pain messages because the nerve impulses are affected by the cold. Muscle spasms will decrease and any swelling and inflammation will subside to some degree… and this will bring relief.


Acupressure is a method of massage where pressure is applied on specific points of the body known as acupoints. This is a Chinese method of holistic treatment and while it has drawn scepticism, many people have benefitted from it.
The theory states that by manipulating the acupoints, the energy in your body can flow freely, and this will aid in healing. You’ll have to try it to know if it works for you.


Similar to acupressure, but instead of fingers massaging you, slim needles are inserted into the acupoints to stimulate and relax the muscles in the area at the same time.
The life force (qi) will flow freely, and you’ll feel better. Millions of people have reported positive results by using acupuncture to treat back pain and migraines. It’s worth a try.


Similar to cold treatment, but you’re using heat this time. It may seem strange that heat works too. After all, unlike ice which numbs the area, won’t heat aggravate it?
Not really. When you place heat on the affected area, the soft tissues will relax and become less stiff. So, there will be more flexible and you’ll be able to move more easily. The heat will also dilate the blood vessels which will help to improve blood circulation.

Your back will feel much better when fresh oxygenated blood that’s rich in nutrients flows around it and aids in healing. Do note that you shouldn’t apply heat therapy to a back injury that’s less than four days old. Only give these 4 methods a try after you have checked with your GP first.



So this weekend our adult children decided we need to self isolate even before the government made it a requirement for the over 70’s. They felt that because there Dad is 79 years young, that he must be in the high risk category. As for me, although 13 years his junior they feel that due to all the drugs I am on that this alone must mean I have a slightly lower immune system. And now the PM has suggested the over 70’s isolate as best we can anyway.

My daughter had an appointment at her heart consultant this morning ( she has a heart condition) which I insisted she still went to which meant I would drive over to her and look after my 7 month old granddaughter while she went to the hospital. I’d only been there for about an hour and she had already texted about three times to remind me to keep washing my hands and to do the 10 second breath test.

After Boris Johnson said “people in the UK should avoid “non-essential” travel and contact with others to curb coronavirus and people over the age of 70 and those with certain health conditions should consider the advice “particularly important”. We knew contact with our family should really be when we are out for a walk and not personal contact anymore which really did pull at my heart strings, but health has to come first.

We are so lucky to have this sort of love and care from our children but it does make you wonder how other isolated loved ones will cope. A GP that had just recovered from COVID 19 was being interviewed by Pierce this morning and I had to totally agree that Pierce was making us all feel terrified about the worst possible outcome and implying that the government has done nothing. This is such a new horror which we are all getting anxious about but in particular the elderly. I could not have agreed with the GP more when she basically said that Pierce has no idea what’s really being done to prevent further deaths of the COVID 19.


I have decided I want us to get fit not fat during this what could be a long isolation period so we are going to walk every day no matter what the weather to get some fresh air in our lungs which they have said you can do in open spaces. We are lucky enough to have The South Downs on our doorstep but I’m sure people in the City will find this hard to do. Maybe they will come up with some idea on how City people could get outside into an open space as well.

We all need to think of the elderly in this crisis and even if we cannot go and visit them at least have regular contact with them on the phone. I also think that little care parcels would not go amiss, maybe send a magazine or book to a loved one and put in their favourite chocolate or bath salts or even a jigsaw so they know they are being thought about. It might just cheer them up if we do have to isolate for a long time. I sat yesterday and made a few hand made cards ( thinking of you and hi etc) to send to my friends who are of a similar age group, just to cheer them up. 

My head is busy thinking of other ways to help keep our peckers up and I thought it would be nice if we could find an online course, maybe a language course, that hubby and I could do together and at least get something good out of a negative. Of course I love my Words With Friends as I love Scrabble but my daughter doesn’t so I’m looking for another game we could play opposite each other online. 

If you have any ideas to break the boredom which could easily set in for the over 70’s group then please pop it in my comments as the more the merrier.