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Staying young

Life is the greatest gift of all


We’re often told to feel grateful for our jobs, friends and pets, says Matthew Syed in The Sunday Times. Yet we mustn’t forget the extraordinary gift of our existence. “To be alive when we might never have lived – isn’t this the greatest mystery and most confounding gift?” Richard Dawkins once wrote: “We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born.” He’s right. We must embrace the preciousness of life while there’s still time.

Wall sits will get you fit 

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Wall sits are a great way to break up sedentary days, says Priyankaa Joshi in Stylist. The “isometric” exercise strengthens the quads, glutes and calves, as well as the core and back. To do a wall sit, stand with your back pressed against a wall and your feet firmly on the ground, shoulder width apart, about 2ft from the wall. Slide your body down the wall until your knees and hips reach a 90-degree angle.

On your first try, hold the position for as long as possible. From then on, hold it for about 70% of your maximum time – if your legs feel like jelly after 60 seconds, hold for 40 seconds. Repeat three times, with one-minute breaks between each set. As you get fitter, you can hold for longer, do one-legged sits or even put weights on your lap. You’ll find this improves your performance in sports such as swimming, running and cycling.

A hot new beauty hack

I recently tried out an infrared sauna blanket, which is basically a £469 “sweat bag for virtuous women”, says Claire Carusillo in Gawker. The American company HigherDose said it would detoxify my body, relax my mind and leave my skin glowing. I’d even “get addicted” to my own alchemy. Simply heat up the “burrito bag” and jump in. I lasted 12 minutes in mine – and emerged drenched in sweat.