Time to get active
Finding satisfactory holiday destinations for restless adults, children and/or dogs can be tricky... ... So our mother of two under-tens was excited to discover a quirky boutique hotel that sorts out the ‘what can we do today?’ dilemma and also offers five-star food and drink. The William Cecil Hotel in Stamford has a ‘Get Active’ break with activities included in the price.
She reports, ‘The hotel is right next to the huge grounds of Burghley House, which are free to enter via the hotel. We also pounded the corridors of the magnificent mansion with two-for-one tickets and the kids were kept amused by their Horrible Histories-style activity guide. Also included was a choice of activities at nearby Rutland Water Nature Reserve. We spent an hour testing our strength and flexibility on a climbing wall and another two hours of traffic-free cycling around the lake. There’s a choice of three- to 26-mile routes and a huge range of bikes to rent or buy. The climbing centre can organise raftbuilding, kayaking, fly-fishing and more.’
Visit www.thewilliamcecil.co.uk for breaks from £190 per room including dinner, bed and breakfast, plus either cycle hire around Rutland Water with www.rutlandcycling.com, a round of golf at the Luffenham Heath Golf Club or climbing at nearby Rockblok (www.rockblok.com), all for two people. A family package – two adults two children – costs from £325.
Q. Since my baby was born recently, I have suffered from ‘leaking’. Is there anything I can do?
A. This is a common problem. Pregnancy and birth can cause serious damage to the pelvic floor muscles, which can lead to incontinence (and possibly prolapse of the womb and/or bladder). A recent Netmums survey of 1,900 women for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP ) and the Royal College of Midwives revealed that 80 per cent of respondents were or had been experiencing leaking after the birth of a baby.
Sadly, many women were too embarrassed to seek help despite it being an easily treatable condition, according to the CSP .
The key is exercising your pelvic floor muscles. The CSP has produced a new leaflet Personal training for your pelvic floor (download it free from www.csp.org.uk/publications).
Aim to do the exercises three times a day. Results may take weeks so don’t give up. Ideally, women should start as soon as they know they are pregnant, but it should help you now.
Leaking should resolve within a few weeks of giving birth but if the problem persists ask your midwife or GP to refer you to a women’s health physiotherapist (more information on www.csp.org.uk/your-health).
Accidental leakage is a widespread problem for other reasons, including ageing, constipation, obesity, smoking and/or a persistent cough, so do consult your GP.
To avoid incontinence long term, make pelvic floor exercises a lifetime habit. They are easy to do anywhere, eg, the bus stop or at your desk.
As the days lengthen and the countryside blooms, the idea of exercising in a ‘green gym’ becomes ever more appealing. A colleague recommends this new book highly: ‘This invaluable guide lists 150 trails through some of Britain’s finest scenery, from Richmond Park near London to the shaded splendour of Sherwood Forest. It provides a comprehensive breakdown of each route in terms of distance, ascent and difficulty, grading them from easy to challenging. The real joy is that the majority of trails can also be walked with relative ease.
As someone who wakes at the first peep of light I love eye masks. My favourite is Aromatherapy Associates' soft, featherweight, lavender scented Relax Eye Mask, with a light-blocking velvet lining, £46. Part of its Relax range, it's brilliant for nights away anywhere. From www.aromatherapyassociates.com, tel: 02078381117.