Author Archives: myfirstyearjournalism2018

Covid 19: How to make your ED recovery successful

Coronavirus is causing people a lot of additional stress and anxiety. For those people struggling with an eating disorder, or those looking after someone who has issues with such illnesses, the self-isolation process can negatively affect the recovery process.

According to the eating disorder charity Beat, around 125 million people in the UK are affected by an eating disorder.

Eating disorders are complex mental health problems that can be caused by various different factors. Examples include biological factors, such as genetics and psychological factors such as low self-esteem, perfectionism, issues with bullying or simply issues at work, school or personal life.

When Boris Johnson announced the lockdown on March 23, those who have struggled or are still struggling with the eating problems did not expect it to have a major impact on the way they are coping.

28-year-old nurse Ann said that having to shop for food less often triggers her eating disorder she battled with while being a nursing student, because it requires bigger product quantities for a longer time.

“I simply cannot buy many products; a full trolley is making me anxious and I feel better while purchasing smaller quantities more often.” – said Ann.

She claims to feel pressured to “stock up”, which she is not used to do. For the majority struggling from eating disorders, one of the biggest challenges is shopping for food.

The patients tend to stick to certain products only, which are considered to be “safe.” There is no room for experimenting or trying new foods.

However, some of the patients are willingly stock-piling food. It is common for those struggling with the binge-purge behaviour. For those isolating alone with no one looking after them can trigger more binge episodes.

Even though the situation is extremely challenging, you will look back on these few months and will be proud of yourself for getting through this.

In order to succeed in your journey, we present five activities to take on when the bad thoughts visit.

by: Monika Laimaite

(image source: Siora Photography.

Looking for a new health & fitness coach? Here are 5 things to keep in mind


Self-isolation gave us some extra time to work on our summer bodies. However, with all “Abs In Two Weeks” or “Toned Legs In A Month” we are left with false hopes and a major risk of failing.

Not every online fitness ‘expert’ is trustworthy, which leads us to searching for someone, who will truly support us on a getting in your best shape journey.

We gathered five most important aspects to consider while looking for you one and only online coach.


Fitness professionals must be certified to a Level 2 (Fitness/Gym Instructors) or Level 3 (Personal Trainers) qualification. Feel free to ask to see a copy of any certification.

Industry Memberships

It is not a legal requirement for fitness professionals to be members of industry memberships, such as REPs (Register of Exercise Professionals, an independent public register which recognises qualifications and expertise of health and fitness professionals in the UK) but it’s worth asking as it signifies that the coach has met nationally agreed standards and holds recognised and approved qualifications.


Unsplash/Robert Anasch

Measurement & Goals

You should have a discussion upfront and then continue about your goals and how to measure you are staying on track. This holds both the coach and you accountable.

Ask your coach how success will be measured. What are some key performance metrics that will be evaluated and how often those will be reviewed?

Care of Health & Safety

The number one goal for a health and fitness coach, should be to keep you safe and reduce risk to injury or harm. A health assessment or conversation should be done before you start to train together.

They should ask you some basic questions up front, then more if you decide to work together. Any injuries, medical conditions, pregnancies, disabilities etc. True health and fitness professional will conduct detailed health, fitness or lifestyle assessment before taking on a new client. This will help them create a personalised program, which is completely tailored to and mindful of your current health, fitness and lifestyle.

If these questions aren’t being asked, that should be an immediate red flag.

Referrals & Testimonials

Ask for previous success stories or client testimonials. Examples of how they have met goals for others and over what periods of time. Perhaps asking for before and after pictures, if the goals have been centred around transformations.

New coaches may not have client success stories to share, so it’s worth asking for 1 or 2 free sessions. This allows you to get a feel for the teaching style, so you can decide if you’d like to continue.

Don’t be afraid to ask what you can expect. A certified and quality fitness coach will share realistic expectations and also discuss with you what is required, both sides, to make that happen.

Relationship is the key…

Another very important thing to consider, which is not necessarily an upfront ‘checklist’ requirement, is the relationship between the coach and client. I use the ‘push/pull’ fitness term as an analogy. It should not feel that the coach is just pushing, and you are doing all the pulling.

The relationship needs to be balanced. Often, the above 5 check’s may have been done, but you just don’t have a healthy or natural chemistry with the trainer. Don’t be afraid to tell the coach that you are looking for something you feel you could just naturally work better with.

Your coach is there to inspire, motivate and support you. It should feel they are challenging you and holding you accountable. But the ‘push/pull’ factor should be 50/50 for it to be successful and potentially long-lasting.

fitness coach

Unsplash/Luis Quintero

by Sam Tabahriti

(Image source: Sam Tabahriti)

Coronavirus volunteer: “I felt that I cannot sit this one out”

With thousands of people isolating at home in the UK, depression and a feeling of being “left out” are already at epidemic levels, especially among the vulnerable ones. In what ways Britain is willing to tackle the abandonment among the lonely ones?

Thousands of volunteers gather around areas such as London, Cornwall and Norfolk to help those self-isolating.

Many people are joining Facebook groups offering food, support and other types of help for struggling families due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

According to GOV.UK, volunteering is now crucial in the response to Coronavirus especially during the lockdown.


A 27-year-old man, who has just received training from the outreach programme run by The Bridge of Heroes charity, is now ready to hit the streets.

However, Martin’s focus has now been shifted away from home-visits; instead he is running a press office and covering all their remote activities such as online cooking classes and exercises.

According to Martin, volunteers are provided with all the required PPE such as overalls, boot covers, face masks, eye protection, gloves and they are trained to implement decontamination procedures during the “shifts”.

The home visitors will also provide disposable face masks and gloves for the person they are visiting.

“I could either sit this one out and watch the pandemic evolve and unveil itself from the comfort of my own home, but instead I chose to get involved and help in whichever way possible.” – Martin said.

He said: “I felt that I cannot sit this one out. Instead I am going to receive as much training as possible to help those who are vulnerable.”better res

UK Coronavirus lockdown: what do you need to know?

The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced strict restrictions for the efforts of tackling too frequently occurring Coronavirus cases. Boris Johnson announced the UK lockdown on March 23rd in order to stop virus from spreading.

Restrictions include:

  1. Only shopping for necessities are allowed, excluding any other shops, such as beauty supplies and electronic shops (encouraged to use delivery services where possible);
  2. One form of exercise per day is allowed, such as cycling or running alone or people you live with;
  3. You can only travel for work, but only if you cannot work from home;
  4. You can leave your home to take care of a vulnerable person or if you have to do so because of the medical care needs;
  5. No crowd gatherings, no more meeting friends or being around more than one friend at a time (including weddings, churches).

According to Boris Johnson, if people do not follow the rules police will have the power to address fines and disperse gatherings.

Watch the report:


Clothing to have the largest negative footprint

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has found that clothing has the 4th largest environmental impact after housing, transport and food.

With the bi-annual Paris Fashion Week being held on February 24th, 2020, the event reminds about a negative footprint of quick fashion. Studies suggest, that the fashion industry is producing extreme amounts of waste.

Generally, this year’s fashion was heavily focused on sustainability, hoping celebrities would reuse their previously worn dresses and tucks in social events such as BAFTAs and Oscars. None of these requirements were mandatory, yet it was expected that celebrities would follow the green theme. But not many did.

More environmentalists are emphasising the importance of reducing fashion events’ carbon footprint, because fashion industry is criticised for generating too much waste.

According to WRAP, around 1,100,000 tonnes of clothing are purchased every year in the UK. As their Sustainable Clothing Action Plan 2020 (SCAP) suggests, one of the ways to re-invent or simply extend life of clothes is purchasing items from charity shops.

Find yourself second-hand treasures in our favourite Central London’s charity shops using the map we provided.