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Archive for the category “Health”

Low Steppage

Because of the issues with the car last week, it meant I actually got out a lot less than usual.

I’ve written before about my general aims to get out more, walk more and so on – although I do a lot of walking anyway, in comparison to most people.   As part of that, a couple of years ago now I started using the FitBit activity trackers and so on, which allowed me to keep an eye on things.

I have a 5,000-step-per-day ‘target’, which I normally blast through (although some days are closer than others) and average around 50,000 steps per week. Last week, for the first time since getting the FitBit,  I did about half that, and didn’t reach my daily target on most days.

A lot of that was simply that I was working from home, rather than in my office in Milton Keynes. That meant I didn’t go out for a walk in the morning, nor to get lunch and then take the ‘long’ way back to the office – all of which contribute to those totals.

Additionally, I wasn’t feeling great – just a bit burned out, and with this nagging cough (nothing serious, it just keeps tickling and being a twat) it meant I didn’t want to go out as much as I usually do.  And then not doing my usual weekend stuff of going to the cinema, walking round Milton Keynes etc. – it all conspired to make it my worst week in two years.

Of course, my worst week’s activity is still a lot better than that of a lot of people, but it’s annoyed me anyway.

Health Check

A couple of weeks ago, I got a letter from my local GP, asking me to go in for an “NHS Health Check”. It was a bit annoying, as the accompanying leaflet said that my surgery ‘needed to update their records as I hadn’t been in for so long’ and so on. Considering I was in there for a check in November 2014, that was kind of worrying – implying that my records weren’t up to date and so on.

Anyway, they then called me up to chase getting an appointment, and today I went in. It wasn’t anything special, but still, always good to know what’s going on.

It turns out that what they meant was that this Health Check thing needs records less than three months old – which is understandable, things can change in that time. But it would’ve been good if their own bumf had actually said so, rather than implying that the record-keeping at the surgery was bad.

Still, onwards and upwards.

The Health Check is basically a quick check of the key figures: weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and the like, as well as various health factors (smoking, drinking, activity etc.) and comes out with a ‘risk’ factor at the end of it.

All told, the figures came out pretty well :

  • blood pressure was fine at 130/80,
  • blood sugar was fine – although I can’t remember the exact figure, it was well within acceptable limits
  • cholesterol came in at 4.5 (anything under 5 is regarded as ‘good’) with ‘good’ cholesterol of 1.8
  • weight is still ‘too high’, but has kept on coming down, so *shrug*

The final “risk factor” figure was 4 – which supposedly means I have a 4% risk of suffering a heart attack in the next ten years. They’re happy with anything under 10, so I shouldn’t need to darken the surgery’s door on that score for a while.

Obviously I’m going to keep on working on losing weight, and being healthier/fitter, but having a quick summary like that is good for pointing out that I’m not doing too bad, and could be doing one hell of a lot worse than I am. I can live with that, to be fair.

Run Down

The first week of 2016 has been quiet round here, mainly because my health took a bit of a kicking.

Over the Festering Season I’d developed a cough/cold that was annoying and persistent, but was fading out as we went into the New Year.

Then this week, it looks (on current evidence) like I got a dose of food poisoning from the meal on New Years’ Eve. Nothing major, but enough to debilitate, with a reduced level of sleep (and when you sleep as badly as I do, that’s relevant) and knock-on effects.

The food poisoning has been reported back to the restaurant, by the way, and we’re going through that process.

That’s pretty much gone now, thankfully.

What I’m left with is another vile hacking cough/cold – which I’m keeping an eye on, to make sure it doesn’t turn nasty and infected, as some of them do with me – and just feeling ropy, with weird aches and twinges elsewhere.

None of it’s serious, none of it has stopped me from working. It’s all just a bit annoying.

Still, onwards and upwards, and all that rot.


Happily, today is the Winter Solstice for 2015 – the shortest day, the longest night. (technically it’s tomorrow at 4.20am, but traditionally it’s today, the 21st, so I’m sticking with that)

From here, the days get longer – and that’s always a good thing.  I suspect the impact of it will be lessened this year, as we’ve had such a stunningly warm December anyway, whereas the impact is always greater when November and December have been consistently grey and crap.

The day’s won’t feel longer it for a while – the increase is only seconds until at least the new year – but just knowing that it’s happening is A Good Thing.

And once the Festering Season is over and done with, it’s all improvements from there.


Having had an utterly chaotic and busy three months – I’ve covered 1,500 miles just in the last month – things are finally calming down.

This weekend spent in Manchester was my last full weekend away ’til mid-February, although I still have a number of things booked in for days, and a couple of busy weekends doing lots of stuff, at least I’ll be back home in between for each one.

This is definitely A Good Thing.



This week has been a harder one than usual, due to feeling rougher than a badger’s backside in wintertime. I’ve not been seriously ill – it’s been a heavy cold at worst, but it’s just hit me.

I think it’s been incubating since the weekend in Durham, where I got spectacularly wet and cold, and it all kicked in just in time for last weekend’s London trip. I know by the time I’d walked back to Barbican to pick up the car, I was pretty much shattered (which isn’t the normal state of things for having walked 15km) and Sunday was spent doing as little as possible as a result.

On Monday I was nothing short of a snot-fountain, but it had eased up a bit on Tuesday, and has been improving since.

I’m not normally one for popping pills for a cold, but in this case it was all sat in my sinuses, so I ended up breaking the back of it with hefty doses of Sudafed – and for once it’s worked pretty well.

I’m just about back to normal now (or at least my version of normal, before anyone else says it) so that’s counting as a win. But it’s not been a fun week all told.


As people should have gathered, I’m currently doing a bundle of plans for the coming year, as well as continuing to make changes to my general life, health, fitness and so on.

One of those changes is – yet again – cutting down a lot on my caffeine intake, and seeing how things go.

My caffeine intake is highly cyclic, I cut it down (and sometimes out) for a while, and then it slowly goes back up again. And lo, another cycle continues.

Anyway, this time round I’m working on it again, and so far it’s fairly successful. I’m drinking a lot more water, and the Diet Coke intake is commensurately much, much lower.

What’s annoying, though, is that even with a massively reduced intake, it hasn’t affected my insomnia at all. It’s annoying because just about every person who has ever pointed out I drink too much Diet Coke (or caffeine in any other format) has said it explains my insomnia.

But nope, even when I’m just drinking water – and have been for a couple of weeks – my sleep is still atrocious. Indeed, sometimes even worse than usual.

It really is bloody annoying.

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