Health & Fitness: Taking care of body and mind

On this month's tick list: sign up for Cambridge Half, pledge to pedal and invest in stress-busting home scents

Run for Rowan

Saucony Cambridge Half Marathon 2020. Picture: Keith Heppell (49576388)
Saucony Cambridge Half Marathon 2020. Picture: Keith Heppell (49576388)

If you’re an avid runner – or even a plodding jogger – why not put your exploits to good use and run for Rowan in this year’s Cambridge Half Marathon. The Cambridge-based arts charity has a number of charity places available for this year’s 13.1 mile outing on October 17 and is looking for running enthusiasts to take part.

Participants will be asked to raise a minimum of £395 sponsorship for the charity, which lays on creative workshops and a forest school for adults with learning disabilities. “We’re so excited to support our runners in this event,” says Rose Bloomfield, fundraising engagement manager at Rowan. “Council grants cover a fraction of our costs, so we rely on donations from the community to fund the rest of our work. We really couldn’t support our students without fundraisers like this.”

With this year marking Cambridge Half Marathon’s 10th anniversary, jog along to be part of this milestone event!

Find out more about running for Rowan by emailing or calling (01223) 566027

On Your Bike

Actress Maxine Peake urges women to get on their bikes (49576397)
Actress Maxine Peake urges women to get on their bikes (49576397)

Actress Maxine Peake is urging women to get on their bikes, as studies show 31 per cent of women switched from driving to cycling for everyday journeys during lockdown – and felt better for it!

Maxine, famed for roles in The Theory of Everything, Shameless and Dinnerladies, and a supporter of The Women’s Festival of Cycling (delivered by Cycling UK and sponsored by Raleigh), tells Velvet: “Cycling gives you such a sense of freedom and calm. It’s a brilliant way to exercise – it’s fantastic for your mental health to be able to get out into nature.”

A regular group cyclist, Maxine began riding with support from a friend: “You need that encouragement, especially for women. We can feel a bit self-conscious sometimes and a bit judged.

Cycling is very male-dominated and sometimes women might not feel completely comfortable, or feel it’s too competitive.”

Cycling UK launched a survey into women’s cycling habits and wellbeing earlier this year, and the word most respondents used to describe biking was ‘happiness’.

A simple way to reduce your carbon footprint and pollution, get those endorphins up and boost wellbeing, is it time you tried pedal power?

And Relax. . .

Lock & Latch Aromatherapy range (49576390)
Lock & Latch Aromatherapy range (49576390)

The pandemic has caused anxiety levels to soar – and this ongoing stress can take its toll on our minds and bodies. Give yourself a break by indulging in a little self-care courtesy of Lock & Latch Aromatherapy. A family-run business, Lock & Latch create therapeutic essential oil blends which can help ease all manner of stress-related conditions, from anxiety attacks and fatigue to brain fog and insomnia.

The tempting product range includes wellness pods, essential oils, atomisers, candles, melts and reed diffusers. Among our favourite blends are Slumber (fresh lavender, ylang ylang and vanilla) to aid restorative deep sleep; Neroli Calm (neroli, bergamot, lemongrass, jasmine, ginger and cedarwood) to uplift and soothe your mood; and Joyful (sweet orange, cinnamon, sandalwood, lemongrass and cedarwood) to bring happiness to your home. Made from 100 essential oils and plant extracts, with no synthetic nasties, these dreamy blends are just the tonic to navigate uncertain times.

Shop the range at

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