Letters: Building muscle isn’t just for superstars | women’s health

In Yvonne Roberts’ review of Nicole Kidman for staying fit and being proud of it, she mentions that “exercise can be fun” (“Fabulous abs, Nicole. But that frantic effort to look half your age is frankly a little humiliating”, Comment). It’s essential. I’m a year older than Kidman and I swim three times a week, do Pilates, bike around town, walk the dog, and eat pretty healthy. I still don’t look like Kidman and can’t act, but I love the activity, feeling fit and strong and the mental benefits that come with it. It’s not trying to “go back in time” but living my life in great shape, enjoying my body and respecting it. Hopefully it will also reduce some of the health issues that come with old age, but otherwise I would have had a great time anyway.
Debo Adams
Sudbury, Suffolk

Nicole Kidman’s body is abnormal and was only acquired because she has money, power, stylists and lots of time. Any magazine cover announcing this as “perfect” is lying to the public and its readership.

I’m in my 50s and wouldn’t mind looking like I did 20 (or even 10) years ago. But how can I look my daughters – whom I constantly remind to love themselves as they are and not conform to imprisoning stereotypes – in the face if I resort to surgery, surgery and more? surgery ?

Kidman is a great actor and very intelligent. This magazine cover though; it’s a parallel universe. Women age. Go with it.
Donna White
Barnett, London

I’m in a Facebook group with about 60 women in their 50s from around the world, only two of whom I’ve ever met. We post our self-defined fitness sessions: a long dog walk, a Pilates class, a CrossFit session. Each of us aims to reach 222 sessions by the end of the year. Last year it was 221 and the year before 220; you get the picture. It’s fraternal and united, without judgement, festive. Many of us do strength and resistance exercises; none of us look like Nicole Kidman. But there’s muscle definition, there’s abs, quads and biceps and most importantly there’s glowing, smiling, red selfies. I’m unlikely to be in the group in 2050 with a 250-session goal, but if I am, it will likely have something to do with the proven benefits of weight-bearing exercise for older women.

This is not “frenzied self-improvement”, but sensible sustainability; a set of inexpensive dumbbells and 3 regular 30-minute sessions per week at home. It stabilizes our joints, helps withstand the impacts of decreased bone density, and allows us to keep putting one foot in front of the other for longer. And yeah, I like it to look good and it’s true that I watch my shoulders when I wear a tank top. Building muscle is for all of us, not just superstars.
Alison Clark
Durham

Gardens a luxury for tenants

James Wong asks: “Why, even as a nation of gardeners, do we struggle to involve people in gardening? (“Is it time to ditch the term ‘gardening’?”, Magazine). I would say it’s because so few young people own and many rent. When renting, you can be evicted from your home for no reason with a Section 21 notice, so why bother cultivating the back garden and spending hundreds on bulbs, shrubs and small trees when you could lose everything in no time. the mat ? Why invest in trowels, gardening gloves, bags of compost or woodchips and endless weekend afternoons of your time on something so precarious?

Worse still, homeowners may have their own ideas about what can be done with their gardens. When I was a tenant, I remember tidying up the garden and planting some inexpensive berry bushes. The following weekend, he found himself with workmen and dumped a load of construction materials on them. I almost gave up after that.

Remember that gardening, decorating, home renovations or DIY are mostly off limits at Generation Rent and will remain so until we have a long overdue reform of the rental sector.
Gavin Holmes
Norwich

Refugees and bureaucracy

Kenan Malik is right (“There are lies, fucking lies and then there is Home Office propaganda”, Commentary). The Home Office is full of conflicting and impossible advice. Afghans ‘at serious risk’ in Afghanistan are told they ‘must apply for a visa to come to the UK [but] there is no Visa Application Center (VAC) in Afghanistan”. What to do? You “will normally need to submit your biometric information (fingerprints and photograph) at a third-country VAC to complete your application.” So you have to scramble with your children in a neighboring country and then find a VAC. If you lose heart, of course, and decide to make your own way here, you will find yourself in Rwanda.
Bob Mouncer
shell

Industrial agriculture harms water

While the reduction in the number of agricultural inspections must certainly be reversed (“Farmers are free to pollute our rivers ‘because Truss cut red tape'”, News), the fundamental reason why agriculture is now the The number one cause of water pollution is that today’s industrial-scale intensive farms keep large numbers of animals on land far too small to absorb animal waste.

Ending factory farming and reducing the number of farmed animals would contribute to water pollution, climate change (partly caused by methane emissions from livestock), and worrying growth of resistant bacteria to antibiotics (partly caused by overuse of antibiotics in factories). farms). It would also reduce the scale of misery, frustration and sometimes chronic pain experienced by millions of farm animals today.
Iain GreenDirector, Animal Aid, Tonbridge, Kent

Forget Mars. think of the earth

The huge sum wasted on sending astronauts to Mars could instead address the climate emergency by funding vast amounts of clean energy and insulation (“NASA’s deep-space adventure will cost $93 billion dollars. She will be worth every penny”, Editorial). Our appreciation of the fragility of our unique planet would be much heightened by watching shows such as David Attenborough or Climate change: Ade on the front line. A small fraction of $93 billion could fund many television commercials to raise funds for the preservation of the natural world.
Tim Root
London N4

Sweet surrender

Every August, I grit my teeth and wait for the annual moment of frustration and jealousy. And, yes, there it is – Nigel Slater’s column proclaiming he has more fresh figs than he knows what to do with (Food and Drink, Magazine). Please Nigel, have mercy! On the other hand, as we roam through swaths of wild garlic in the spring, we still fondly remember the recipe from long ago when he described it as “very rare”.
Sarah Williamson
Sheffield

Committed and caring college

The decision to assess our performance as an employer through Stonewall’s Equality at Work Index was not informed by “a climate of fear”, as a recent letter implied, but through a strong commitment to providing a safe and supportive environment for lesbian, gay, bi and trans+ staff members. Our commitment to providing an inclusive environment has been recognized by Stonewall with a silver award and we have been rated as one of the nation’s top employers for LGBTQ+ staff.

Our involvement in the Stonewall program depends on the results it brings in improving diversity and inclusion in our workplace, not on the threat of public controversy. Stonewall has no power to influence our political position. This is established through a member-driven process, entirely separate from our employment function.

The polarized debate about trans rights may often have prevented a balanced discussion, but it hasn’t stopped the Order from advocating for the right of trans and gender diverse people to mental health care.

The release of our 2018 position statement is a great example of the integrity of our policy work, making it very clear that gender dysphoria is not a mental disorder and should never have been classified as such. At the same time, we advocate to continue to support psychiatrists in their role of fully exploring the gender identity of their patients, in a nonjudgmental, supportive and ethical way.

To achieve this, we need to build the evidence base that will enable young people, their families, caregivers and the clinicians who support them to make more informed decisions about the care that is right for them.

The recommendations in Cass’s interim review echo our own calls for more research and the need for a cautious but compassionate approach to caring for children and young people in the meantime. We will offer our full support to the review to ensure that the final recommendations can help services learn from past mistakes and that children and young people with gender dysphoria can access good mental health care, when they need it. need.

Dr Adrian JamesPresident of the Royal College of Psychiatrists

London E1

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