Average daily Covid cases and deaths fall to 15,000 and 447 - the lowest totals in more than A YEAR - Godz
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Average daily Covid cases and deaths fall to 15,000 and 447 – the lowest totals in more than A YEAR

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Average daily coronavirus cases and deaths in the U.S. are continuing to fall to record low levels and health experts say vaccinations are to thank for the downward trends.

On Thursday, the U.S. reported 18,991 infections of COVID-19, a 36 percent drop from the 30,141 cases recorded two weeks ago, according to a DailyMail.com analysis of Johns Hopkins data.

Although the daily total is higher than the number recorded on Wednesday, the seven-day rolling average currently sits at 15,045, the lowest figure seen since March 29, 2020, when the seven-day average was 13,988.

Currently, there are an estimated 45 cases per million people in America, which is a 61 percent decline from the 117 cases per million reported three weeks ago, and a number not seen since March 28 of last year, according to Our World in Data.

COVID-19 deaths are also declining with 601 recorded on Thursday, which marks the sixth day in a row that daily fatalities have fallen below 1,000.

The seven-day rolling average currently stands at 447, which is also the first time the figure has fallen below 500 since April 1.

What’s more, between Thursday of last week and this week, a total of 105,318 cases were reported over seven days, and the U.S. could soon see a five-figure weekly total of infections.

Health experts say the improving numbers are because of COVID-19 vaccinations, with 63 percent of American adults receiving at least one dose and 52 percent fully vaccinated.  

On Thursday, the U.S. recorded 18,991 coronavirus infections with a seven-day rolling average of 15,045, the lowest figure seen since March 29, 2020

There are currently an estimated 45 cases per million people in the U.S., which is a 61% decline from the 117 per million reported three weeks ago

A total of 601 deaths were also reported Thursday with a seven-day rolling average of 447, which is the first time the figure has fallen below 500 since April 1 of last year

Coronavirus cases are not just falling across the country, but also in former epicenters of the U.S., including New York and California.  

In New York, the seven-day rolling average of cases sits at 473, which is a 64 percent decline from the 1,349 average cases recorded on May 21, the DailyMail.com analysis found.

What’s more, the average is the lowest in the Empire State since March 15 of last year.

Meanwhile, in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday that new COVID-19 cases are down 95 percent since January, and the positivity rate is down 91 percent with just 0.81 percent of all tests coming back positive.

‘It’s stunning how much progress has been made,’ he told reporters at a press conference. 

California is also seeing declines with an average of 933 cases per day, down from 1,246 reported two weeks ago, representing a drop of 25 percent.

The rolling average is slightly higher than the figure reported over the last couple of days, but in line with numbers not seen since late March of last year, the DailyMail.com analysis found. 

New York recorded a seven-day rolling average of cases of 473 on Thursday, a 64% decline from the 1,349 average cases recorded on May 21

The seven-day rolling average of cases in California sits at 933 per day, a drop of 25% from 1,246 reported two weeks ago

And Los Angeles County, which was at one time recording a COVID-19 death every eight minutes, has seen shockingly low numbers.

Department of Public Health data show 228 cases were reported on Thursday with a test positivity rate of 0.4 percent, the lowest ever since the start of the pandemic. 

‘Our metrics continue to improve, and we continue to see declines in cases, hospitalizations and deaths,’ county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said earlier this week. 

‘Vaccinations are saving lives and I ask each of you to continue keeping yourself, your friends and your family members safe by getting vaccinated if you haven’t done so already. We end this pandemic with vaccinations.’ 

Dr Chris Beyrer, a professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told NBC News that the real test will come in the fall, when temperatures drop and more people congregate indoors. 

However, he believes that any uptick in fall 2021 or winter 2022 is not going to mirror the surge seen last year, when daily cases hit a record high of 300,000.

He said this is because vaccines have not only been proven to prevent illness, but also in preventing severe disease in the small percentage of people who do get sick.  

‘We’ve got to get as high of coverage with these terrific vaccines as we can, as that’s the key to whether or not we have another fall where we see outbreaks and infections,’ Beyrer told NBC News.    

Health experts credit falling numbers to vaccinations with 50.9% of the U.S. population, including children 12 and older, have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and 41.2% having completed their vaccine series

President Joe Biden’s goal is to inoculate 70% of U.S. adults with at least one vaccine dose by July 4, but average daily vaccinations have fallen from more than three million per day in April to fewer than 1.5 million per day in June

According to CDC data, 50.9 percent of the population, including children 12 and older, have been given at least one vaccine dose and 41.2 percent have completed their vaccine series.

President Joe Biden has set a goal of giving 70 percent of adults at least one shot by July 4. 

However, this has proven difficult with the number of daily vaccinations falling, decreasing from an average of three million per day in April to fewer than 1.5 million per day currently. 

As of Friday, just 12 U.S. states have administered at least one coronavirus vaccine dose to 70 percent of their adult populations.

Nine of the states – Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont – are in the Northeast with just three states, California, Hawaii and New Mexico, in the west.

To incentivize more residents to get vaccinated, some governors have announced lotteries with large cash prizes and private companies have announced giveaways including free groceries and vacations to the Bahamas.

This post first appeared on Daily mail

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Men who suffer from erectile dysfunction see their love lives left ‘in tatters’

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Men who suffer problems between the sheets are seeing their sex lives left ‘in tatters’ because NHS doctors are barred from prescribing the latest drugs that target erectile dysfunction, experts warn.

Patients can be offered Viagra, but in the three decades since the famous blue pill was first trialled, medications that are far more effective have been developed.

One such treatment, a tablet called tadalafil, can be taken in a low daily dose. This dispenses with the need, as when using Viagra, to take a pill 30 minutes to an hour before intercourse, making things much more spontaneous.

Daily tadalafil – brand name Cialis – may even bring about long-lasting physical improvements, helping to address the nerve and blood circulation problems that cause erectile dysfunction in some cases.

When the drug was first launched in 2003 it was prohibitively expensive, compared with Viagra, leading the NHS spending watchdog, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), to instruct doctors not to offer it. 

FEELING BLUE: A Time magazine cover in the early days of Viagra in 1998

New medicines, under patent, usually have a higher price. After the patent expires – usually 20 years after it is first granted – other manufacturers can make so-called generic versions, driving down this cost.

US pharma giant Eli Lilly’s patent on Cialis ended in 2017, and today the NHS pays as little as 20p a day per patient for generic tadalafil. So why is it still so difficult for men to get it?

Part of the problem lies in the current NICE guidance, say experts. It instructs doctors that generic Viagra can be prescribed ‘without restriction’. And it does permit use of tadalafil in certain doses, for men with specific health problems.

Alongside the low-dose daily version, tadalafil is also available in a higher dose that can be taken 30 minutes before sex, much like Viagra.

NICE state that this high dose version is recommended for ‘most men’ who are eligible. The lower, daily dose should only be offered to ‘men who prefer spontaneous (rather than planned) sexual activities’. 

And, regardless, daily tadalafil remains prohibited by local prescribing groups in charge of GP spending – a situation described by one expert as nonsensical.

Now urologists are calling for a dramatic rethink of the treatment for erectile dysfunction, which affects one in five men.

Patients in the UK can be offered Viagra (above), but in the three decades since the famous blue pill was first trialled, medications that are far more effective have been developed

All erectile dysfunction drugs work by improving the blood flow to the penis

Common causes of the condition include diabetes, neurological illnesses and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, while men with prostate cancer who have surgery to remove the gland are often left with some degree of erectile dysfunction. 

These groups are eligible for NHS help – but in the vast majority of cases, Viagra is the only option given.

All erectile dysfunction drugs work by improving the blood flow to the penis.

‘The problem is that the effect of Viagra isn’t long-lasting, which means you have to get your timing right,’ says Marc Lucky, consultant urologist and surgeon at Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

‘You need to take it between 30 minutes to an hour before you have sex. If you wait too long after having the dose, the effect can be weaker or it might not work at all. Similarly, if you take it and don’t wait long enough before having sex, it won’t work and you’ll have to stop and wait.

‘It’s a very unnatural way to approach intimacy, and basically requires men to disclose to their partners that they need an erectile dysfunction drug.

‘This might be fine for some men in long-term relationships, but particularly for younger men it can be hugely embarrassing. Many try to keep it a secret – and this fuels myths and misunderstandings about the causes of erectile dysfunction, and the role drugs play in treatment.

‘Women often mistakenly believe that their partner takes Viagra because they’re not attracted to them – which isn’t the case.

‘Erectile dysfunction medication allows men to have erections, but they won’t happen if a man isn’t sexually aroused.’

Dr Geoff Hackett, a men’s health specialist at Good Hope Hospital, Birmingham, says Viagra often leads to ‘dysfunctional sex’.

He adds: ‘Many men feel like once they’ve taken the tablet, they have to make use of it. But what if their wife then has a headache and doesn’t want to?

‘Patients have also told me their doctor would only write them a prescription for one tablet a week, which both ups the pressure, and isn’t very encouraging.’

Brazilian football star Pelé raises awareness in a 2002 impotence campaign

Unlike Viagra, tadalafil can be taken in a low-dose daily tablet and stays in the system for up to 36 hours. There are few to no side effects and this regime allows men to have sex without worrying about timescales.

Mr Lucky adds: ‘I’ve had patients whose sex lives have been left in tatters, and some who were even suicidal after a relationship broke down due to problems with Viagra. Don’t get me wrong – it still has its place. We’ll offer it to patients, but the problem is, if it doesn’t suit them, we’ve got no other options.

‘It’s frustrating to know there’s a drug available that could help solve these problems but we are not allowed to prescribe it.’

One patient to have been affected is James, a teacher from Liverpool who didn’t want his full identity revealed. 

The 35-year-old, who has type 1 diabetes, suffered erectile dysfunction as a complication of his condition and was prescribed Viagra in 2019. 

But using the pills, he says, zapped his relationship with his fiancee of ‘all spontaneity’, resulting in the end of their two-year engagement.

‘It turned sex into a scheduled task, putting me under even more pressure to get it right,’ he says. ‘And most of the time it didn’t even work, which made me feel like I’d failed.’ After a year of trying different doses, the couple stopped even attempting sex.

James says his mood was ‘bleak, most of the time’ as he struggled to feel confident in every area of his life. He returned to his GP to ask for an alternative to Viagra and was referred to a private doctor, who was able to offer a prescription for daily tadalafil, costing about £100 a packet.

While the NHS can buy drugs in bulk for a lower cost, the so-called ‘list price’ charged to private patients for a single packet of tablets is far higher.

‘Within a few weeks our sex life completely went back to normal,’ says James. ‘We felt closer again and I just stopped thinking about my sex problems all the time, which made it happen naturally, like it should do. 

‘But I just couldn’t afford to keep getting it – spending more than £1,200 a year on pills just so I could have sex.’

A year later, the couple split up. ‘Maybe if I had stayed on the pills, and just kept paying, I’d still be getting married,’ he says, sadly.

According to official guidance set by NICE, GPs can offer the generic form of Viagra, called sildenafil, and also tadalafil, to men with erectile dysfunction.

In its guidance, it suggests tadalafil daily tablets may be considered for men who ‘prefer spontaneous rather than planned sexual activity’.

When health chiefs first evaluated tadalafil, under the brand name Cialis, it cost more than £50 per patient for a month’s supply. 

Now, in its generic form, it is roughly ten times cheaper. But critically, in NICE’s guidance it suggests generic sildenafil ‘has the lowest acquisition cost’.

This alone, says Mr Lucky, deters GPs from offering tadalafil. ‘In many doctors’ minds, tadalafil is an expensive drug so they won’t offer it,’ he says. ‘In fact, both sildenafil and tadalafil cost the NHS the same, about 20p per dose. 

‘As men don’t necessarily take sildenafil every day, just as and when they need it, there is a cost difference, but it’s fairly marginal.’

Local health authorities also make their own rules about which pills can be routinely prescribed, and many prohibit tadalafil due to cost and as it has not been proven to be more effective than Viagra. Experts say this is in urgent need of updating.

‘The current NHS rules on tadalafil are nonsensical,’ says Professor Roger Kirby, president of The Royal Society of Medicine and a retired urologist who was involved in the original UK research and approval of Viagra in the 1990s.

Prof Kirby, who is in his early 70s, had his prostate removed in 2013 after being diagnosed with prostate cancer and now takes daily tadalafil.

‘We know it’s a better drug,’ he says. ‘Most middle-aged men will take a few tablets a day, maybe a statin or something for blood pressure. 

‘Tadalafil can be added to that, and it becomes a normal part of life. You don’t have to think about it.

‘When I first started taking it, I also took a dose of Viagra as and when I needed it. But now I don’t need this.

‘We’re not sure why, as the studies haven’t been done, but we think, at least in the case of men who’ve got erectile dysfunction after prostate surgery, that the daily dose regime might help recovery of the blood supply and nerves, leading to a long-term physiological improvement.’

Urologists have written several letters to NICE, urging it to reconsider the restrictions and encourage local heath chiefs to promote the use of tadalafil, but so far it has failed to act.

There was a similar reluctance to offer Viagra widely: the drug was licensed in the UK in the late 1990s but was only available privately until 2014 when it was approved for prescribing by the NHS. 

Dr Hackett says that despite its prevalence, there is still a stigma around taking Viagra, particularly in younger men: ‘Many of my patients tell me that women are instantly put off when they say they are taking Viagra. Some say they are even laughed at.

‘For men who already struggle with confidence issues, this can be really traumatising.’

All the experts agree that taking tadalafil offers men a feeling of normality.

Mr Lucky adds: ‘Considering so much of erectile dysfunction is psychological, this alone can help them rebuild their confidence and get past the issue.’

While erectile dysfunction drugs increase blood flow to the penis, there is also evidence that tadalafil helps increase it in the limbs of people with severe type 2 diabetes, who can be at risk of losing their legs or feet due to dangerously low blood flow.

Tadalafil is also available on the NHS to treat other conditions, including pulmonary hypertension – high blood pressure in the part of the heart that supplies the lungs. ‘It really is an incredibly powerful drug,’ said Dr Hackett. 

‘There are just so many benefits to taking it.’

Another man with erectile dysfunction to have benefited is 54-year-old Daryl Tompkins, from Birmingham, who describes the treatment, which he pays for privately, as life-changing.

Daryl, who has type 2 diabetes, was convinced his 25-year marriage would end after spending three years on ever-increasing doses of Viagra.

‘Even the highest dose didn’t work,’ says Daryl, a research assistant who has struggled with erectile dysfunction since 2011. Before then, Daryl and his wife Sunita had an active sex life, enjoying intimate moments at least twice a week. 

Gradually, following his diabetes diagnosis, this dwindled to roughly once every two weeks – and usually, he says, these were only ‘attempts’.

‘I was given only four Viagra pills to last me a week, so if I took them and we didn’t have sex, we both felt like failures and like we’d wasted a chance, which piled on the pressure for both of us,’ he says.

‘And because it wasn’t working, Sunita became convinced the real problem was that I’d lost interest in her. She became self-conscious when it came to intimacy, which wasn’t like her.’

Daryl went to see Dr Hackett privately, who prescribed a daily dose of tadalafil. After three months, Daryl says he felt like a completely different person.

‘It was almost like we’d just got married again,’ he adds. ‘I’ve noticed other benefits too – my blood pressure is lower and I have bags more energy to go out and exercise, which I wasn’t interested in before. 

‘In fact, I didn’t have much interest in anything. But these drugs changed that. They’ve changed everything.’

This post first appeared on Daily mail

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Pill for diabetics could also protect against heart failure

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A pill that tackles high blood sugar in type 2 diabetics might also protect against heart failure.

The medication, empagliflozin, is thought to stimulate the heart, making it more efficient and leading to ‘significant improvements’ in function after just three months, according to a study funded by the British Heart Foundation.

Patients involved in the trial also lost weight and saw improvements in their blood pressure.

Type 2 diabetes, triggered by genetics, an inactive lifestyle and excess body fat, affects roughly three million Britons, with millions more thought to be undiagnosed.

Although there is a range of treatments for the condition, patients are still more likely to develop a raft of heart problems due to the damage that raised blood sugar causes inside arteries and veins.

Type 2 diabetics have two to three times the normal risk of heart and circulatory problems, and a third die from cardiovascular events such as heart attacks.

A pill that tackles high blood sugar in type 2 diabetics might also protect against heart failure. Pictured: Stock image

Experts had previously noted that diabetics on empagliflozin, which forces the body to expel excess sugar in the urine so it doesn’t build up in the blood, were less likely to develop these conditions.

Major trials subsequently showed that the drug – along with similar medication dapagliflozin – taken alongside other drugs could improve symptoms in people living with heart failure.

This condition, which affects one million Britons, occurs when the heart becomes too weak or stiff and is unable to pump blood effectively round the body. Although the outlook is improving, at present one in five patients with heart failure dies within a year of diagnosis.

Those living with heart failure suffer debilitating symptoms, including extreme breathlessness and crushing fatigue that sees them regularly hospitalised. Heart failure causes roughly 86,000 emergency hospital admissions each year, and for many the only way out is a heart transplant.

But it is now becoming clear that empagliflozin could help prevent diabetes patients from developing heart failure in the first place.

In the latest study, researchers at the University of Leeds recruited 18 type 2 diabetes patients to take the drug and monitored them over 12 weeks. 

None of the patients had heart failure, but at the start of the study all were found to have lower-than-normal heart energy levels and weaker heart contractions.

WEIRD SCIENCE: Cancer that grows under your nails  

Did you know that cancer can grow in your nail bed? 

Nail melanoma, or acral lentiginous melanoma, is one of the rarest forms of skin cancer, accounting for less than five per cent of melanomas – the deadliest form of skin cancer.

The disease appears as a new, singular dark streak under the nail bed, a bit like a line drawn with a felt-tip pen. It most commonly occurs on the thumb of the dominant hand, or the big toe.

The risk of developing the disease increases with excess sun exposure but experts say genetics and family history is much more likely to drive it.

Some US doctors have suggested over-use of UV lamps in nail salons could increase the risk.

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Cardiologist Dr Sharmaine Thirunavukarasu, who led the study, said: ‘In most patients, [by the end of the trial] we saw a significant improvement in the heart’s energy levels, and also improvements in the amount of blood being pumped by their heart.’ 

The researchers believe this is because the drug has a direct effect on the heart muscle, making it stronger.

Dr Thirunavukarasu added: ‘We also saw patients lose weight, their blood pressure came down and generally they told us they had more energy and felt better. 

‘Although we didn’t formally look at quality of life in this study, you could see in the way they carried themselves – they looked happier.

‘Seeing their health improve seemed to inspire them to eat more healthily and exercise more.

‘We know these drugs work wonders if you already have advanced disease, but to have something that protects patients against ever developing it is hugely positive.’

One of the patients on the trial was quiz champion Barry Simmons. The 72-year-old, who regularly features on the television show Eggheads, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 12 years ago.

Barry, a retired IT consultant who has two grown-up children and lives in Leeds with wife Janet, 69, said: ‘Since I was diagnosed I have seen my blood sugar levels spike, and at times this has been difficult to control, despite taking medication and exercise.

‘It was incredible to see the difference this new medication made – and I was absolutely amazed when I was told that the blood flow to my heart had improved by 18 per cent in just three months.

‘My blood sugar levels improved, my blood pressure reduced and, along with regular exercise, I lost half a stone.

‘When I was diagnosed with diabetes I was 15st 10 lb – which was pretty overweight. I’m now 11st 8 lb. More than anything else, I just feel a lot better. It’s wonderful.’

This post first appeared on Daily mail

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Twelve adventurous staycations to make you happy, fit and healthy

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A one-mile swim challenge before a moonlit float

Glide through the cool, open waters of Ullswater on a wild swim, just one of several bracing activities laid on at the Lake District’s Another Place hotel. 

You’ll be guided by endurance swimmer Colin Hill, who helps guests of all abilities through a range of aquatic activities. 

You can challenge yourself to a one-mile cross-lake expedition during the day, then enjoy a leisurely float under the Moon in the evening, before retiring to the on-site library. 

Accommodation comes courtesy of a Georgian townhouse-turned hotel, and food from one of two contemporary restaurants.

From £220 per night. Guided swimming sessions from £35. another.place/active

Glide through the cool, open waters of Ullswater on a wild swim, just one of several bracing activities laid on at the Lake District’s Another Place hotel

You’ll be guided by endurance swimmer Colin Hill, who helps guests of all abilities through a range of aquatic activities

Bathe in the forest with a treehouse for a bed

Forest bathing, a Japanese relaxation practice known as shinrin-yoku – focusing on wildlife around you and breathing deeply to distract from ruminating thoughts – has been shown in studies to halt the production of stress hormones, reducing blood pressure and lowering the heart rate.

And what better way of trying it out than taking lodgings inside a treehouse, nestled within one of England’s largest forests?

Country estate The Tawny offers luxury treehouses looking out on to the forestry of the Staffordshire countryside, and which come with an outdoor spa bath. 

A short walk down one of the walking trails is a hidden thatched cottage, where guests can enjoy one of many spa treatments, including body wraps and mud masks.

Treehouses from £1,040 for a two-night stay. Sleeps four. thetawny.co.uk

Country estate The Tawny offers luxury treehouses looking out on to the forestry of the Staffordshire countryside, and which come with an outdoor spa bath

Blitz the lockdown bulge in seven days

Desperate to lose the lockdown bulge but can’t stand the thought of another sweaty gym? 

Let an expert team of nutritionists, yoga teachers and former professional athletes take care of it on a seven-night stay at The Body Retreat in Dorset, run exclusively by women for women. 

You’ll join a small group and be set at least five hours of intensive activities a day to help you shift the weight for good. 

There are personalised meal plans, nutrition education and follow-up sessions to help you maintain weight loss goals.

From £2,175, all-inclusive. thebodyretreat.co.uk

Britons could enjoy a seven-night stay at The Body Retreat in Dorset, run exclusively by women for women

Zip-line through a Scottish forest

From mountain-biking to paddle-boarding and zip-lining, there are 60 activities on offer at the sprawling Perthshire resort, Crieff Hydro. 

Some are available very near to the hotel and self-catering cottages – in the heart of an enchanting forest – while others are a short drive away. 

The team will arrange everything for you, including a spot at the free childcare facilities on site.

From £442 for a self-catering two-night stay. Activities priced from roughly £30. crieffhydro.com

Join the hipsters, get into mindful pottery

Studies show that hands-on hobbies such as pottery-making, knitting and baking can distract from anxious thoughts and increase feelings of relaxation. 

Half an hour from London is the ultimate retreat for creatives: a short stay at Birch is jam-packed with activities, from candle-making to learning how to master trendy sourdough bread, all of which are said to elicit calming effects similar to mindfulness meditation. 

The generous-sized pool, swanky restaurants and on-site co-working spaces are just one of the many reasons Birch is popular with London’s 30-something hipster set.

From £450 for a two-night stay with breakfast. Some activities free. birchcommunity.com

From mountain-biking to paddle-boarding and zip-lining, there are 60 activities on offer at the sprawling Perthshire resort, Crieff Hydro

Couples therapy for yoga bunnies 

For active couples looking to relight their fire after a year of being locked in together, Green Farm, in the Kent countryside, offers weekend yoga and Pilates retreats, which combine daily exercise classes with couples therapy, supported by a trained counsellor, as well as couples massages. 

The working farm also offers a host of other yoga and Pilates retreats for solo visitors.

From £1,350 for two. See greenfarmkent.co.uk or email team@greenfarmkent.co.uk to make a booking

For active couples looking to relight their fire after a year of being locked in together, Green Farm, in the Kent countryside, offers weekend yoga and Pilates retreats

Ramble in the Dales… with a physio on hand

Explore the boundless beauty of the Yorkshire Dales with physiotherapist and seasoned rambler Dave Jelley. 

He guides guests through a series of trails along the breathtaking countryside, suitable for walking or running. 

Self-catering accommodation is included – choose from cottages, garden rooms or a treehouse – and the team delivers a hearty breakfast of granola, fresh fruit and bread to your door every morning. Expert Jelley can deal with sore muscles.

From £100 for a two-night stay. jelleylegs.co.uk

Go climbing and caving in Cumbria 

Caving has become increasingly popular with British thrill-seekers in the past few years, with communities dedicated to the discovery of underground caves popping up all over the country.

Cumbrian resort Gamara arranges half-day trips to the mystical caves and waterfalls in nearby Ingleton, where guests are joined by professionals to point beginners in the right direction. Rock climbing and abseiling are also on offer. 

And the delightful hotel is set in the heart of the hiking hotspot Borrowdale Fells, making it an ideal base for all kinds of outdoor adventures.

From £268 for a two-night stay with breakfast. Activities priced on request. glaramara.co.uk

Pamper yourself with a spa bath… in bath

Who needs to fly to Europe to soak in natural, health-boosting thermal springs? Head to Britain’s only natural thermal spa in Bath. 

According to legend it was discovered by an ancient British prince who believed that the waters – containing 42 different minerals – cured him of the skin disease leprosy.

Some have suggested that the waters, which can reach a temperature of 33.5C, ease patches of eczema and acne, while others say it reduces joint pain associated with arthritis.

The scientific consensus on the physical benefits isn’t quite there yet but the full weekend experience, courtesy of the Royal Bath Hotel, is undoubtedly good for a weary mind.

From £224 for a two-night stay including breakfast and dinner, including visit to Bath’s Thermae Spa, and use of the spa facilities. royalhotelbath.co.uk

Wean yourself off tech with a digital detox

Data released last week by Ofcom showed that adults have spent more time online than ever before since last March – at least three hours daily, on average, which is more than citizens of Spain, Germany and France.

Experts have drawn links between the surge in browsing time, particularly time spent on social media, and the spike in anxiety problems reported during the pandemic lockdown.

You can try pulling the plug at one of the UK’s most decadent hotels, the Mandarin Oriental, which offers a Digital Wellness Escape package, including a 90-minute massage.

This targets the tendons in the neck and shoulders that can be sprained when staring at devices. 

Alongside this, guests can enjoy the tranquil colour therapy room and book a one-to-one yoga class with a personal instructor.

From £520 per night. The Digital Wellness Escape massage costs £225 per person. mandarinoriental.com

The canal barge with an on-board spa

Water babies will love this luxury spa experience, with aromatherapy massages given on board a canal boat moored next to the Monkey Island Estate Hotel in Bray, on the River Thames.

The swanky barge boasts three indulgent treatment rooms for massages and facials, as well as a stylish bar offering a range of herbal teas that are made from locally grown produce.

Guests staying at the Grade I listed hotel – which is on its own beautifully landscaped private island – get exclusive access to the barge, and can enjoy other activities on the water, including stand-up paddle boarding, windsurfing and cold-water swimming.

From £275 per night. Sixty- minute treatments on the floating spa start at £100. monkeyislandestate.co.uk

A two-and-a-half-hour ferry ride from Penzance takes you to a natural paradise, featuring more than 20,000 exotic plants. Pictured: Tresco Island resort on the Isles of Scilly

Stay in the UK’s biggest tropical garden

For those who have spent the past year stuck in the smog of the city, missing out on the wealth of health benefits associated with nature, the perfect antidote comes in the form of the UK’s most exuberant garden – at the Tresco Island resort on the Isles of Scilly.

A two-and-a-half-hour ferry ride from Penzance takes you to a natural paradise, featuring more than 20,000 exotic plants. 

When guests aren’t marvelling at the colourful collection, they can take a bird-watching tour and admire the influx of puffins, guillemots, cormorants – and purple herons.

From £245 per night. tresco.co.uk

This post first appeared on Daily mail

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